ADL asks Urban Outfitters to nix sale of garment similar to Holocaust prisoner clothing

Way to go Urban Outfitter.

Just in time for the 70th anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz.

Think you could come up with anything more Nazi like? 

Maybe KKK robes for African American History Month or something similar.

From The Jerusalem Post:  http://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/ADL-asks-Urban-Outfitters-to-nix-sale-of-garment-similar-to-Holocaust-prisoner-clothing-390538

Civil rights group notes similarity between item and the gray and white stripes and pink triangles that gay male prisoners were forced to wear in Nazi concentration camps.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
02/10/2015

The US civil rights group the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) urged the Urban Outfitters retail chain on Monday to remove a garment it was selling in its stores for being “eerily reminiscent of the prisoner gray and white stripes and pink triangles that gay male prisoners were forced to wear in Nazi concentration camps.”

“Whether intentional or not, this gray and white stripped pattern and pink triangle combination is deeply offensive and should not be mainstreamed into popular culture,”  Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director said Monday.

“We urge Urban Outfitters to immediately remove the product eerily reminiscent of clothing forced upon the victims of the Holocaust from their stores and online,” Foxman added.

This past summer, retail clothing chain Zara issued a public apology following an outcry over one of its T-shirts that some claim bears a resemblance to a concentration camp uniform.

The blue and white striped boy’s shirt with a yellow six-pointed star was intended to convey a wild west aesthetic, according to parent corporation Inditex, and will no longer be sold.

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The Upper Middle Class Is Ruining America

From Slate:  http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2015/01/the_upper_middle_class_is_ruining_all_that_is_great_about_america.html?wpsrc=sh_all_dt_tw_top

And I want it to stop.

By
Jan. 30 2015

I first encountered the upper middle class when I attended a big magnet high school in Manhattan that attracted a decent number of brainy, better-off kids whose parents preferred not to pay private-school tuition. Growing up in an immigrant household, I’d felt largely immune to class distinctions. Before high school, some of the kids I knew were somewhat worse off, and others were somewhat better off than most, but we generally all fell into the same lower-middle- or middle-middle-class milieu. So high school was a revelation. Status distinctions that had been entirely obscure to me came into focus. Everything about you—the clothes you wore, the music you listened to, the way you pronounced things—turned out to be a clear marker of where you were from and whether you were worth knowing.

By the time I made it to a selective college, I found myself entirely surrounded by this upper-middle-class tribe. My fellow students and my professors were overwhelmingly drawn from comfortably affluent families hailing from an almost laughably small number of comfortably affluent neighborhoods, mostly in and around big coastal cities. Though virtually all of these polite, well-groomed people were politically liberal, I sensed that their gut political instincts were all about protecting what they had and scratching out the eyeballs of anyone who dared to suggest taking it away from them. I can’t say I liked these people as a group. Yet without really reflecting on it, I felt that it was inevitable that I would live among them, and that’s pretty much exactly what’s happened.

So allow me to unburden myself. I’ve had a lot of time to observe and think about the upper middle class, and though many of the upper-middle-class individuals I’ve come to know are good, decent people, I’ve come to the conclusion that upper-middle-class Americans threaten to destroy everything that is best in our country. And I want them to stop.

Who counts as upper middle class? It depends. Back in 2013, one survey found that 85 percent of Americans saw themselves as part of a broad middle class, stretching from lower middle (26 percent) to middle middle (46 percent) to upper middle (12 percent). We could define it by income—say, all single adults who earn more than $100,000 a year, or all married couples that earn more than $200,000—but that’s too crude. Let’s just say that upper-middle-class status is a state of mind. We’re talking about families that earn well into the six-figure range yet don’t feel rich, either because of their student loan debt or the enormous cost of the amenities they consider nonnegotiable: living in well-above-average school districts for those with children or living in “cool” neighborhoods for those without.

We often hear about the political muscle of the ultrarich. Billionaires like the libertarians Charles and David Koch and Tom Steyer, the California environmentalist who’s been waging a one-man jihad against the Keystone XL pipeline, have become bogeymen for the left and right respectively. The influence of these machers is considerable, no doubt. Yet the upper middle class collectively wields far more influence. These are households with enough money to make modest political contributions, enough time to email their elected officials and to sign petitions, and enough influence to sway their neighbors. Upper-middle-class Americans vote at substantially higher rates than those less well-off, and though their turnout levels aren’t quite as high as those even richer than they are, there are far more upper-middle-class people than there are rich people. One can easily turn the Kochs or the Steyers of the world into a big fat political target. It’s harder to do the same to the lawyers, doctors, and management consultants who populate the tonier precincts of our cities and suburbs.

Continue reading at:  http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2015/01/the_upper_middle_class_is_ruining_all_that_is_great_about_america.html?wpsrc=sh_all_dt_tw_top

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Parents Reportedly Throwing ‘Measles Parties’ To Infect Their Unvaccinated Kids

From Think Progress:  http://thinkprogress.org/health/2015/02/09/3621020/measles-parties-california/


February 9, 2015

Some parents in California are reportedly considering hosting “measles parties” — social gatherings where unvaccinated children can come into contact with infected kids — to build up their children’s natural resistance to the infectious disease.

Julie Schiffman, who has chosen not to vaccinate her two children, told KQED’s California Report that she was recently approached by a friend who invited her to a measles party. The friend offered to arrange a play date with a child who currently has measles. Schiffman turned her down.

“I would want that to be something they decide on their own, when they’re older and are more capable of assessing the risks and dangers,” she said. “When they’re teenagers, I’d say, ‘okay, you have a choice, you can get vaccinated or you can get the measles, what would you rather?’”

Before the development of the chicken pox vaccine, this particular “natural infection” tactic used to be popular among parents who wanted to give their children the virus while they were still young and the infection would be less severe. Now, despite the fact that there’s a vaccine available to prevent that disease, the practice has persisted among some parents who are skeptical about following the government’s recommended immunization schedule.

The rise of social media has made it easier than ever before for parents to plan so-called “pox parties.” The Facebook group Let’s Have a Chickenpox Party, for instance, helps anti-vaccine parents connect with each other and publicize their pox-related events. In 2011, some adults even started mailing infected lollipops across state lines, something that violates federal law.

The idea has been floated for other diseases, too. When a serious strain of influenza colloquially known as “swine flu” started spreading in 2009, some people started suggesting holding swine flu parties for their kids. The idea was that surviving a milder strain of the virus earlier in the season would protect children from a deadlier strain that could emerge later.

Continue reading at:  http://thinkprogress.org/health/2015/02/09/3621020/measles-parties-california/

 

The selling of Elizabeth Warren: What’s behind progressives’ debilitating fantasy

From Salon:  http://www.salon.com/2015/02/09/the_selling_of_elizabeth_warren_whats_behind_progressives_debilitating_fantasy/

As my inbox fills with emails from groups “drafting” Warren, I find myself wondering who’s helping whom here


Monday, Feb 9, 2015

I’m a huge admirer of Sen. Elizabeth Warren. She’s the best new leader to emerge in the Democratic Party in decades. If she wants to run for president, I hope she does so.

 But I don’t think she wants to run for president. She’s told us that in many different ways and places. I was particularly struck by her no-nonsense answer when asked by colleague Sheila Bair, but she’s basically given no-nonsense negative answers since the effort to “draft” her began.

So I’m coming to find the “draft Warren” juggernaut a little bit perplexing. I know the participants have wonderful motives and genuinely would welcome a Warren candidacy. But with every email I receive, I get a tiny bit more cynical. It doesn’t feel so much like groups are using their organizational strength to help Warren, but enlisting Warren to help build their organizational strength.

Don’t get me wrong, I think MoveOn and Democracy for America have done important infrastructure and leadership building on the left of the Democratic Party. But I’m not really sure that the “Draft Warren “effort does much more for progressives than encourage a cult of personality – and risk member disillusionment when Warren all but certainly declines to make the race.

I confess my misgivings about all this crystallized Sunday night, when I heard the news that the Working Families Party had joined the “Draft Warren” movement. I admire WFP; I think they’re doing exactly what progressives should be doing: Working within the Democratic Party and pulling it to the left, not standing outside the party and declaring it no better than the GOP.

But it was hard not to contrast their “Draft Warren” move, which looks symbolic at best, and contains an implicit challenge to Hillary Clinton, with their cave-in to Gov. Andrew Cuomo last year — which was not merely symbolic but had real ramifications. At that time, they had a terrific progressive female candidate, Zephyr Teachout, ready to challenge Cuomo – and they backed Cuomo. So to recap: With a willing progressive woman challenging a politically centrist Democratic man – the progressive didn’t get the WFP endorsement. But now, with a centrist but more liberal (than Cuomo) Democratic woman, Hillary Clinton, (probably) running for president, WFP is courting a challenger — who (probably) isn’t running anyway.

Continue reading at:  http://www.salon.com/2015/02/09/the_selling_of_elizabeth_warren_whats_behind_progressives_debilitating_fantasy/

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Am I Transgender Anymore?

Answer:  Transgender is a political identity.  You are only transgender if you continue to identify as transgender.  I use post-transsexual to describe life after SRS and transition.

From Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/zoe-dolan/am-i-transgender-anymore_b_6614056.html

Women Born Transsexual Will Be Around For At Least Another Year

In December I started getting notices reminding me it was time for that yearly payment to the gods of domain name registration.

The last few days I found myself thinking,”Maybe it is time to just say ‘fuck it’ and let the blog die.”

During the first few years I had this blog, I found myself fighting with both the HBSers and the Transgender Borg, as I tried to offer an alternative to either extreme.

The HBSers seem to have vanished in their own bile and hate, fighting about purity among themselves until all that remained were a few embittered isolated souls.

The Borg on the other hand are fed by armies of newbees, all signing over their individuality to march in politically correct lock step with other transgender folk.

Me? I ain’t a marching anymore. I’m old and have a life.

Senior citizen and old woman are statuses that are far more real to me than any that involve words with trans-prefixes.

Being old means remembering and having a nostalgia for the past, a time when the music was better and the politics less bitter.

I never saw being “trans” whether you use transgender or transsexual as a permanent status.  I always saw the mopping everyone possible up in some sort of political bloc as a mistake.  Mostly because I have about as much interest in being part of the “transgender community” as I have in being part of the “Catholic community”. Membership in either was due to an accident of birth and not a shared affiliation.

A few years back I came up with the idea of post-transsexual, life beyond transition, beyond all the infighting and jockeying for fame as a trans-activist that goes on within the transgender community.

When this blog first started Marriage Equality seemed a long way off, now it seems like a done deal or at least a nearly done deal.  Even here in Texas we are often asked if we are married.  Here social acceptance on the part of many is preceding legal reality.

Even the larger LGBT community seems as though it is for someone else, perhaps the young and single.  Marriage has been a great force for assimilation for older LGBT folks, particularly couples in long term relationships.

The political litmus tests for being considered either a radical or left wing activist have left me adrift.  I actually think that Obama has done a better job than people give him credit for.  He has had all sorts of partisan opposition, yet managed to pass the Affordable Care Act, imperfect though it may be it opened the door to the idea of universal medical care.

Obama has been attacked by those on the left for his use of drones and focused attacks against terrorists, attacks that have a far lower number of unintended casualties than say invasions of massive air strikes.

I support Israel, something that is anathema to many on the left.  I also support the right of citizens to keep and bear arms for purposes of self defense.

After some internal debate I decided to give this blog another year, if for no other reason than the feeling that there has to be someone who says it is possible to have a life after SRS that isn’t filled with hatred towards transgender people, even when one thinks their momentary political crazes are pretty off the wall.

I think it is good for people to have someone who had SRS nearly a half century ago to look to and see that is is possible to transition and live into old age.

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