Friday Night Fun and Culture: Kat Edmonson

ISIS Show Video destroy artefacts with sledgehammers at Mosul museum

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No to Prison Industrial Complex: San Francisco’s Trans Community Responds to Brutal Murders

Weird contradiction,  don’tcha think… Catching and punishing murderers and assailants generally means putting the evil bastards behind bars, hopefully for many years.  Hate crimes laws tack additional years onto what should already be long sentences and in the case of murders put the death penalty on the table.

But then again I’ve never seen any charm or sanity come out of San Francisco.  Even years ago I found the city to be an ugly brutal city that made life especially hard for trans-women.  Great place to be a gay man, sucky place to be a woman who was unfortunate enough to have been born transsexual.

From Truth Out:  http://truth-out.org/news/item/29256-no-to-prison-industrial-complex-sf-trans-community-s-response-to-seven-brutal-transgender-murders-in-2015

By Toshio Meronek
Wednesday, 25 February 2015

On Monday, February 2, Taja Gabrielle de Jesus was found stabbed to death in a stairwell in the Bayview neighborhood of San Francisco. She’s one of seven transgender women, most of whom were of color, reported to be murdered in the US since the beginning of 2015.

Danielle Castro is Taja’s adoptive sister. “Every time I think of her, I keep imagining her fighting for her life, and I just keep getting this graphic image of what she went through, Castro says. “And I don’t want to remember her that way.”

Typical responses in horrible situations like this one include angry demands for the killer to be locked up. More police. Stronger hate crimes laws.

But activists like Castro believe that these are most certainly not the way the community will find real safety, noting that trans people face high rates of abuse by police and correctional officers, and are often turned away by gendered social service operators such as battered women’s shelters and drug rehab centers.

Castro was one of the dozens of trans women of color who staged a die-in at the San Francisco City Hall on February 10, as several hundred allies gathered nearby. Another was Janetta Johnson of the Transgender, Gender Variant, and Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP). Her organization, operating on a shoestring budget of well under $100,000 per year as mainstream gay rights groups like the Human Rights Campaign monopolize funding for LGBTQ issues, is one of the few resources geared toward the thousands of currently and formerly incarcerated trans people around the country. “We’re kind of like a population of people who have been left behind,” she says.

Anger is part of what spurred 300 or so people to turn up at City Hall in the middle of a weekday to demand more attention around the extreme rates of violence against trans people, especially trans people of color (Murders of community members are so common that in several hundred cities around the world, Trans Day of Remembrance vigils are held to commemorate the many lives cut short each year). But the group calling itself Taja’s Coalition is fueling their rage into a call for a not-so-typical kind of justice: safe, affordable, accessible housing and reentry programs for trans people in San Francisco. “I’m not requesting anyone go fishing for us, but I’m asking people to teach us how to fish, you know what I’m saying?” Johnson says.

At the same time, Taja’s Coalition is also uniting against the local sheriff’s plans for a new jail. The group doesn’t believe that state “tough-on-crime” solutions are making trans people safer.

Continue reading at:  http://truth-out.org/news/item/29256-no-to-prison-industrial-complex-sf-trans-community-s-response-to-seven-brutal-transgender-murders-in-2015

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If Our Sons Were Treated Like Our Daughters

A perfect illustration of how gender is constructed and indoctrinated. Maybe it is time to stop with all the gender and gender identity nonsense and start referring to that sense of self that tells us we are male or female, women or men as core sex identity instead of gender identity.

Gender roles differ with time and cultures.  The sense of self as male or female transcends cultures and eras.

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lori-day/if-our-sons-were-treated-like-our-daughters_b_6698346.html

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Paul Krugman on Why Republicans Worship ‘Quacks and Charlatans’

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/economy/paul-krugman-why-republicans-worship-quacks-and-charlatans

Getting things epically wrong and denying reality gains you points in today’s GOP.

By Janet Allon
February 20, 2015

Today’s GOP is a kind of bizarro world where ambitious politicians are forced to pledge allegiance to experts who have gotten just about everything wrong. So writes Paul Krugman in his column Friday, who laments the fact that “charlatans and cranks” have gained increasing favor in the party, despite, or maybe even because of, the fact that they get things wrong, and then, by golly, stick to their guns.

This being Krugman, the topic is economics, specifically “supply-siders,” a group which even N. Gregory Mankiw, a professor at Harvard who served for a time as George W. Bush’s chief economic adviser, made fun of when their belief that tax cuts would provide a magical elixir to the economy and miraculously fix deficits proved so very wrong.  But the fact that even a Republican adviser said this approach is bunk has had absolutely no effect on the party’s thinking. Proof: Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, a contender for the Republican presidential nomination, spoke at a dinner at Manhattan’s “21” Club this week. It was “hosted by the three most prominent supply-siders: Art Laffer (he of the curve); Larry Kudlow of CNBC; and Stephen Moore, chief economist of the Heritage Foundation. Politico pointed out that Rick Perry, the former governor of Texas, attended a similar event last month. Clearly, to be a Republican contender you have to court the powerful charlatan caucus,” Krugman writes.

Not to put too fine a point on it, Krugman adds: “A doctrine that even Republican economists consider dangerous nonsense has become party orthodoxy. And what makes this political triumph especially remarkable is that it comes just as the doctrine’s high priests have been setting new standards for utter, epic predictive failure.”

It is not merely that the supply-siders did not see the economic crisis coming, although they didn’t. Then again, lots of economists failed to see it, so Krugman gives them a mild pass on that. It’s the “post-crisis” developments that have been even more telling. “The people Mr. Walker was courting have spent years warning about the wrong things,” Krugman writes.  “‘Get ready for inflation and higher interest rates’ was the title of a June 2009 op-ed article in The Wall Street Journal by Mr. Laffer; what followed were the lowest inflation in two generations and the lowest interest rates in history. Mr. Kudlow and Mr. Moore both predicted 1970s-style stagflation.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/economy/paul-krugman-why-republicans-worship-quacks-and-charlatans

Bill Clinton pounds Republicans for ‘sitting around just begging for America to fail’

From Raw Story:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/02/bill-clinton-pounds-republicans-for-sitting-around-just-begging-for-america-to-fail/


22 Feb 2015

Appearing on ABC’s This Week with his former communications director, George Stephanopoulos, former President Bill Clinton expressed dismay with the Republican Party’s attempts to destroy the Affordable Care Act, claiming that the the GOP is “sitting around just begging for America to fail.”

Addressing a clip of  Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) claiming he intends to change his references to “Obamacare” as “Hillarycare” if the national healthcare program collapses because he wants presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton “to own it,” the former president marveled at the GOP’s obsession with wanting the program to fail.

“This bill [Obamacare] has already produced a lot of good results,” Clinton explained. “Look, they are desperate for this bill to fail. Because, if it’s not a failure, everything they’ve been telling us since 1980, ‘big government’s bad,’ is wrong.”

He continued, “They so badly want it to fail. Can you remember a time in your lifetime when a major political party was sitting around just begging for America to fail? I don’t know what’s going to happen. I would be shocked if it fails. I just think when all these dire predictions don’t come out, if they don’t, I believe that pretty soon, within the next several years, it will be like Medicare and Medicaid. It will be a normal part of our lives and people will be glad it’s there.”

Complete article at:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/02/bill-clinton-pounds-republicans-for-sitting-around-just-begging-for-america-to-fail/

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Why Trans Lives Matter to This Lesbian

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/allison-hope/why-trans-lives-matter-to_b_6731502.html

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