December 1, World AIDS Day

In the Summer of 1981 I was dating a woman , who lived on Delores Street in San Francisco across from Mission-Delores Park.

It was just a few months into the Reagan Regime and the war between sex positive and pro-censorship lesbians was just on the horizon.  I was going to school in Santa Rosa and would hang out with her on the weekends as well run around with a gay male friend of mine who lived up on Twin Peaks.

It was a hedonistic time.  I was still in Shane mode (L-Word reference) and loving freely.  I was having unprotected sex with one sister who was a sex worker and another sister who was also promiscious, mostly with women.  My main girlfriend had been in a relationship with Kim, a sister I knew from the days we were both in the program at Stanford.  If this all sounds like the plot to a Michelle Tea book…  Well.. Valencia Street is only a couple of blocks away from where my girlfriend lived.

That summer gay men started getting sick, by fall they were dying of a disease that had no name.  One of the men who lived down stairs from her died and his partner was dying.

As summer faded the few cases turned into many cases and as winter set in they started calling it “the gay cancer”.  Soon it would become GRID or (Gay Related Immune Deficiency).

By Pride Day 1982 I would be more or less celibate, yet marching bare breasted in S/M leather with the women of Samois, a sex positive lesbian group that both opposed censorship and was at that point just about the only lesbian group that was openly supportive of women born transsexual.  My leather was more punk than S/M but the defiance was the same.

“And the Band Played On”  (see both the Randy Shilts book and the film).  As the number of deaths passed a thousand gay men still fought to defend the hard won sexual freedom of the 1970s.  And President Reagan never uttered the word AIDS as the disease had come to be named.

By 1985/86,  San Francisco had become like Camus’ Oran, a city of Plague where death walked stealing friends and co-workers, leaving those who were HIV- with address books filled with scratched out names.  A city of mourning, yet the research dollars trickled instead of flowing.

A grim joke at the time was, “What is the hardest part of having AIDS?  Convincing your parents you are Haitian.” Because AIDS was never only a gay male disease. Haitians, drug users, hemophiliacs and women, people who had blood transfusions.

Yet I would go to offices to service computers and ask where so and so was only to hear he had died.  I stopped asking and started drinking more often.  A sign in the Metro said “We all have AIDS Now”.  I tried to deny that one, but then I one gray day I saw a group of men gathered around one of their friends who had collapsed in the street and died, just as the rescue crew was arriving.

I fled the City for Los Angeles.  San Francisco’s compactness had made it all too claustrophobic, in LA even though there were far more people with AIDS the size of the city meant that it was less concentrated. I still got the phone calls.  Bear died, Kim too.  In LA it seemed as though half the queens I had known who were sex workers or performers at the C’est la Vie were either sick or dead.  But mostly though it seemed as though  post-SRS women had by and large escaped the disease, at least among my circle of friends.

Now we have lived with AIDS for nearly 30 years.  It isn’t an automatic death sentence.  It is “manageable” for those who can pay the thousands for the “cocktail”.  Some times it seems as though Larry Kramer is the only angry prophet left voicing outrage at how this disease has become yet one more profit stream for the drug corporations to use as an instrument of control.

Perhaps we need to ask some Krameresque questions:  Who is being controlled, and who is doing the controlling?  Who is profiting?  Why?  Who is still dying?  Why?

Why does it seem as though every disaster becomes a corporate money stream?

 

Senate bill includes the Botox tax – Live Pulse: Senate bill includes the Botox tax

November 18, 2009

The bill levies a 5 percent tax on elective cosmetic surgery. The provision raises $5 billion and was needed to make the numbers work, according to a Democratic Senate aide.

The Finance Committee considered the tax but dismissed it, in part because it was a public relations battle that senators were not willing to wage.

Page 2045

SEC. 9017. EXCISE TAX ON ELECTIVE COSMETIC MEDICAL PROCEDURES.

(a) IN GENERAL.-Subtitle D of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended by this Act, is amended by adding at the end the following new chapter:

”CHAPTER 49-ELECTIVE COSMETIC MEDICAL PROCEDURES ”Sec. 5000B. Imposition of tax on elective cosmetic medical procedures.

”SEC. 5000B. IMPOSITION OF TAX ON ELECTIVE COSMETIC MEDICAL PROCEDURES.
”(a) IN GENERAL.-There is hereby imposed on any cosmetic surgery and medical procedure a tax equal to 5 percent of the amount paid for such procedure (determined without regard to this section), whether paid by insurance or otherwise.
”(b) COSMETIC SURGERY AND MEDICAL PROCEDURE.-For purposes of this section, the term ‘cosmetic surgery and medical procedure’ means any cosmetic surgery (as defined in section 213(d)(9)(B)) or other similar procedure which-
”(1) is performed by a licensed medical professional, and
”(2) is not necessary to ameliorate a deformity arising from, or directly related to, a congenital abnormality, a personal injury resulting from an accident or trauma, or disfiguring disease.
”(c) PAYMENT OF TAX.-
”(1) IN GENERAL.-The tax imposed by this section shall be paid by the individual on whom the procedure is performed.
”(2) COLLECTION.-Every person receiving a payment for procedures on which a tax is imposed under subsection (a) shall collect the amount of the tax from the individual on whom the procedure is performed and remit such tax quarterly to the Secretary at such time and in such manner as provided by the Secretary.”(3) SECONDARY LIABILITY.-Where any tax imposed by subsection (a) is not paid at the time payments for cosmetic surgery and medical procedures are made, then to the extent that such tax is not collected, such tax shall be paid by the person who performs the procedure.”.

(b) CLERICAL AMENDMENT.-The table of chapters for subtitle D of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended by this Act, is amended by inserting after the item relating to chapter 48 the following new item:
”CHAPTER 49-ELECTIVE COSMETIC MEDICAL PROCEDURES”.

(c) EFFECTIVE DATE.-The amendments made by this section shall apply to procedures performed on or after January 1, 2010.

This is potentially discriminatory towards people with either transsexualism or transgenderism, who are already often times excluded from having the procedures they need excluded from Health Insurance coverage, whether explicitly and directly or implicitly as a pre-existing condition.

Procedures other than SRS that bring us more into a place where we can assimilate and avoid some of the employment discrimination are often deemed cosmetic.  FFS and implants certainly would fall within this category.

But for all women there seems to be a really sexist attitude to everything surrounding Health Care Reform.  From Stupak-Pitt Amendments banning abortion coverage to the exclusion of coverage of contraception.  Then this weeks suggestion that there be less screening for breast cancer.

What gives?  I know that the old men of the Catholoc Church, who are the real men in dresses as well as the patriarchs of all the other superstition based patriarch systems of oppression are misogynistic to the core but of late they have become extremely blatent about it.

Perhaps taxing them to pay for these things would be a good idea.  I know they would object that their tax dollar shouldn’t go to things they morally object to but hey I’d rather not pay for non-working over priced war toys.

At the same time no one has suggested eliminating hard on pill or prostate cancer screening.

Posted in Economic Issues, Feminist, Health Care, Politics, Religion, Sexism, Social Justice, Uncategorized, Unequal Treatment. Comments Off on Senate bill includes the Botox tax – Live Pulse: Senate bill includes the Botox tax

NOW Opposes Health Care Bill That Strips Millions of Women of Abortion Access

Says Bill Obliterates Women’s Fundamental Right to Choose

Statement of NOW President Terry O’Neill

November 8, 2009

The House of Representatives has dealt the worst blow to women’s fundamental right to self-determination in order to buy a few votes for reform of the profit-driven health insurance industry. We must protect the rights we fought for in Roe v. Wade. We cannot and will not support a health care bill that strips millions of women of their existing access to abortion.

Birth control and abortion are integral aspects of women’s health care needs. Health care reform should not be a vehicle to obliterate a woman’s fundamental right to choose.

The Stupak Amendment goes far beyond the abusive Hyde Amendment, which has denied federal funding of abortion since 1976. The Stupak Amendment, if incorporated into the final version of health insurance reform legislation, will:

  • Prevent women receiving tax subsidies from using their own money to purchase private insurance that covers abortion;
  • Prevent women participating in the public health insurance exchange, administered by private insurance companies, from using 100 percent of their own money to purchase private insurance that covers abortion;
  • Prevent low-income women from accessing abortion entirely, in many cases.

NOW calls on the Senate to pass a health care bill that respects women’s constitutionally protected right to abortion and calls on President Obama to refuse to sign any health care bill that restricts women’s access to affordable, quality reproductive health care.

Posted in Feminist, Hate Crimes, Health Care, Human Rights, Misogyny, Politics, Religion, Sexism, Social Justice, Unequal Treatment. Comments Off on NOW Opposes Health Care Bill That Strips Millions of Women of Abortion Access

Christo-Fascists and Republi-Nazis Rape of Women’s Rights

There is a word for not having the right to control your own reproductive rights including having free access to any form of birth control you wish to employ including abortion.  That word is slavery.
There is a word for the core belief of both Republicans and Christians, the word is misogyny
There is a word for the Democrats.  Cowards.

From the New York Times

WASHINGTON — It was late Friday night and lawmakers were stalling for time. In a committee room, they yammered away, delaying a procedural vote on the historic health care legislation. Down one floor, in her office, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi desperately tried to deal with an issue that has bedeviled Democrats for more than a generation — abortion.

After hours of heated talks, the people she was trying to convince — some of her closest allies — burst angrily out of her office.

Her attempts at winning them over had failed, and Ms. Pelosi, the first woman speaker and an ardent defender of abortion rights, had no choice but to do the unthinkable. To save the health care bill she had to give in to abortion opponents in her party and allow them to propose tight restrictions barring any insurance plan that is purchased with government subsidies from covering abortions.

The restrictions were necessary to win support for the overall bill from abortion opponents who threatened to scuttle the health care overhaul.

It is time to tax the churches.  They are nothing but lie peddling hate machines.  There is no god.

The Next Phase of Healthcare Apartheid

Published on Thursday, November 5, 2009 by CommonDreams.org

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/11/05

by Norman Solomon

In Washington, “healthcare reform” has degenerated into a sick joke.

At this point, only spinners who’ve succumbed to their own vertigo could use the word “robust” to describe the public option in the healthcare bill that the House Democratic leadership has sent to the floor.

“A main argument was that a public plan would save people money,” the New York Times has noted. But the insurance industry — claiming to want a level playing field — has gotten the Obama administration to bulldoze the plan. “After House Democratic leaders unveiled their health care bill [on October 29], the Congressional Budget Office said the public plan would cost more than private plans and only 6 million people would sign up.”

At its best, “the public option” was a weak remedy for the disastrous ailments of the healthcare system in the United States. But whatever virtues the public option may have offered were stripped from the bill en route to the House floor.

What remains is a Rube Goldberg contraption that will launch this country into a new phase of healthcare apartheid.

People who scrape together enough money to buy health insurance will discover that they’re riding in the back of the nation’s healthcare bus. The most “affordable” policies will be the ones with the highest deductibles and the worst coverage.

We’re hearing that large numbers of lower-income Americans will be provided with Medicaid coverage in the next decade. Translation: If funding holds up, they’ll get to hang onto a bottom rung of the healthcare ladder. Many will not be able to get the medical help they need, from primary care providers or specialists.

Not long ago, we were told that the Obama administration was aiming for a public option that could provide coverage to one out of every four Americans. Now the figure is around one out of every fifty.

Not long ago, the idea was that taxpayer-funded subsidies were to be used only for the public option. But now the entire concept has been hijacked by and for the private insurance industry. As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi put it on October 8, private insurance companies “are going to get 50 million new consumers, many of them subsidized by the taxpayers.”

Pelosi was making the argument that the least the insurance industry could do, in return, would be to accept a higher level of taxation. But her comment was a telling acknowledgment that all the “public option” proposals now provide a massive funnel from the U.S. Treasury to the insurance conglomerates. The individual mandate is a monumental giveaway to private insurance firms.

The specter of “healthcare reform” that requires individuals to stretch their personal finances for often-abysmal insurance coverage is the worst of all worlds — government intrusion for corporate benefit without any guarantees of decent health coverage.

In effect, the individual-mandate requirement tells people that obtaining health coverage is ultimately their own responsibility — and the quality of the coverage is beside the point. In essence, when it comes to guaranteeing quality healthcare for all, the gist of the policy is: “Let’s not, and say we did.”

The predictable result is reinforcement of vast — and often deadly — inequities in access to healthcare.

With Washington making such a corporate mess of “healthcare reform,” the best way to get what we need — healthcare for all as a human right — will be to enact single-payer healthcare in one state after another.

But the House Democratic leadership has not been content to serve up a grimly pathetic “healthcare reform” bill. Speaker Pelosi has used her political leverage to quash Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s amendment — approved months ago by the Education and Labor Committee — that would grant waivers so that states could create their own single-payer system. Pelosi removed the Kucinich amendment from the House bill.

The California legislature has twice passed a strong single-payer bill, both times vetoed by the state’s current execrable governor. The official position of the California Democratic Party is unequivocally in favor of single-payer healthcare. And yet Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, did what she could to sabotage the single-payer position of her own party in her own state.

Sickening.

Norman Solomon is a journalist, historian, and progressive activist. His book “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death [1]” has been adapted into a documentary film of the same name. His most recent book is “Made Love, Got War. [2]” He is a national co-chair of the Healthcare NOT Warfare [3] campaign. In California, he is co-chair of the Commission on a Green New Deal for the North Bay; www.GreenNewDeal.info [4].

Posted in Economic Issues, Health Care, Politics, Uncategorized, Unequal Treatment. Comments Off on The Next Phase of Healthcare Apartheid

Dennis Kucinich: Why Is It We Have Finite Resources for Health Care but Unlimited Money for War?

Why Is It We Have Finite Resources for Health Care But Unlimited Money for War?
by Dennis Kucinich, OpEd News

Friday 06 November 2009

Washington – Following a statement on the Floor of the House of Representative, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today made the following statement:

“Why is it we have finite resources for health care but unlimited money for war?

“The inequities in our economy are piling up: trillions for war, trillions for Wall Street and tens of billions for the insurance companies. Banks and other corporations are sitting on piles of cash of taxpayer’s money while firing workers, cutting pay and denying small businesses money to survive.

“People are losing their homes, their jobs, their health, their investments, their retirement security; yet there is unlimited money for war, Wall Street and insurance companies, but very little money for jobs on Main Street.

“Unlimited money to blow up things in Iraq and Afghanistan, and relatively little money to build things in the US.

“The Administration may soon bring to Congress a request for an additional $50 billion for war. I can tell you that a Democratic version of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is no more acceptable than a Republican version of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Trillions for war and Wall Street, billions for insurance companies… When we were promised change, we weren’t thinking that we give a dollar and get back two cents.”

Dennis Kucinich is a congressman from Ohio and a 2008 presidential primary candidate. http://kucinich.us/

Posted in Culture, Health Care, Human Rights, Politics, Questioning Authority, Social Justice. Comments Off on Dennis Kucinich: Why Is It We Have Finite Resources for Health Care but Unlimited Money for War?

How Does a Religious Cult Have the Clout to Delay Health Care Vote?

From AlterNet

By Adele Stan, AlterNet
Posted on November 6, 2009, Printed on November 7, 2009
http://www.alternet.org/bloggers/www.alternet.org/143797/

Just when it seemed the stars were aligning for an historic vote tomorrow on health-care reform legislation in the House of Representatives, anti-choice Democrats are balking, saying that the plan would permit the indirect flow of federal dollars to fund abortion.

Led by Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., a member of the Capitol Hill religious cult known as The Family, and spurred on by the Catholic bishops, anti-abortion Dems are contesting the fact that some small number of private insurance plans offered via the bill’s insurance exchange scheme may offer coverage for abortion — even therapeutic abortion. Where the federal dollars come in is via the subsidies for which lower-income people would be eligible for buying insurance through the exchange.

Politico‘s Patrick O’Connor reports on the church’s influence at the negotiating table:

Negotiators are working closely with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to finalize language the church can accept. Vulnerable anti-abortion Democrats don’t want to support any bill that the bishops haven’t signed off on.

Last time I looked, abortion was a legal medical procedure in the United States. The changes the church wants would virtually forbid abortion coverage, even for women carrying fetuses without a chance of surviving outside the womb. The church seeks to codify its contempt for women into U.S. law, dooming a woman already facing a tragic pregnancy to compromise her life and health — mental and physical — apparently for the sin of having had sex.

As the legislation stands, no federal dollars would directly cover an abortion, and the public plan will offer no abortion coverage. But that’s not enough for the men of the cloth.

The question remains, of course, as to whether this is an issue truly of moral conscience, or just a trick for stalling health-care reform. At Michele Bachmann’s disinform-athon yesterday on the Capitol steps, the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins alleged, untruthfully, that the bill announced last week by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi covers abortion, as did several members of Congress. The Family Research Council is a Republican-allied group.

Also creating problems for Pelosi is conservative consternation over the ability for undocumented immigrants to buy private health insurance — using their own money — through the exchange. Already locked out of Medicaid, the government plan for the poor, undocumented workers have few options for getting any kind of health care — and few would be able to afford even the plans offered on the exchange.

Nonetheless, conservaDems apparently feel compelled to maintain a punitive stance toward the people who pick our produce and clean our toilets, in order to assuage the resentment of their constituents. Truth is, it’s really bad economics to completely lock the undocumented out of health-insurance reforms, since they’ll likely wind up in emergency rooms in the expensive, late stages of illness.

Hospital emergency rooms are forbidden to people away for ability to pay — a circumstance that many Republicans would like to change. Their message: if the severe poverty your nation suffers (partly because the U.S. sucks up all the world’s resources) drove you to cross the border at extreme personal risk so you could feed your family, you deserve to die a painful, untreated death. Nice. But until Republicans prevail with their death-camps-for-aliens plan, emergency rooms remain on the hook for the care of very sick undocumented immigrants, whose care we all ultimately pay for in the form of higher health care costs for all.

Meanwhile, mainstream media are speculating that conservative Democrats are getting wobbly on health-care reform because of yesterday’s ugly unemployment numbers (10 percent nationally) and the party’s gubernatorial losses in Virginia and New Jersey.

Neither of these rationales for stepping back from a yes vote makes a whit of sense. Health-care reform makes good economic sense, and it will serve as an economic stimulus as new jobs are created as the building of new systemic health-care infrastructures get under way. Our current health-care system, if you can even call it that, is a job-killer, not a job creator.

As for the east-coast governors’ races, both turned on local concerns — not health-care reform.

Now, can we all stop being stupid?

Lost in all this wrangling is the major coup scored by Pelosi yesterday when AARP, which claims to represent some 40 million Americans over the age of 50, endorsed the House bill, backing the bill’s cost-cutting of Medicare through a crack-down on fraud and abuse.

The vote remains scheduled for tomorrow, but many expect it to be delayed until at least Sunday, perhaps Monday. Tomorrow, President Barack Obama will visit reluctant lawmakers on Capitol Hill, hoping to twist some Democratic arms.

Meanwhile, Republicans continue their disinformation campaign, seeking to convince fearful Americans that the health-care bill will end all private plans, force them to pay for frivolous abortions, cut benefits from Medicare, sink the economy and create a Marxist-fascist-socialist dictatorship.

Nice.

Adele M. Stan is AlterNet’s Washington editor.

© 2009 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/bloggers/www.alternet.org/143797/
Posted in Health Care, Religion, Social Justice. Comments Off on How Does a Religious Cult Have the Clout to Delay Health Care Vote?

Private Health Insurance, it’s the Worst Product in American History

Posted in Economic Issues, Health Care, Human Rights, Questioning Authority, Social Justice. Comments Off on Private Health Insurance, it’s the Worst Product in American History

A Modest Proposal: The Future Role of Private Health Insurance

Over the past few days several articles have appeared that have simply given me pause to ponder moments.
One WTF moment was caused the following Headline from Raw Story

Democrats’ healthcare bill would pay for ‘prayer’ treatment

http://rawstory.com/2009/11/democrats-healthcare-bill-pay-prayer-treatment/
What the fuck?
Yet on Tuesday 11/03/09
By John Byrne reported

What do Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) have in common?

A soft spot for Christian Scientists.

The three senators have quietly inserted a provision into the Democrats’ healthcare overhaul that would allow the Christian Science church to receive remuneration from the federal government for prayer treatments as medical expenses.

Why are liberal Democrats teaming up with a conservative senator for a provision that would normally be the bane of the Senate’s liberal elite? Because the headquarters of the Christian Science church is in Boston.

“The measure would put Christian Science prayer treatments — which substitute for or supplement medical treatments — on the same footing as clinical medicine,” the Los Angeles Times’ Tom Hamburger and Kim Geiger, who found the measure, write. “While not mentioning the church by name, it would prohibit discrimination against ‘religious and spiritual healthcare.'”

See the full story at the above link.

The news this week has been full of these What the Fuck stories of government kowtowing to the Christo-Fascists and helping them to install the Christer version of Sharia.

The same day the Washington Post ran the following:

Democrats’ concerns over abortion may imperil health bill

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/02/AR2009110203232.html?wpisrc=newsletter

Bloc could withhold support over fears of a governmental role

By Perry Bacon Jr.
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 3, 2009

While House leaders are moving toward a vote on health-care legislation by the end of the week, enough Democrats are threatening to oppose the measure over the issue of abortion to create a question about its passage.

House leaders were still negotiating Monday with the bloc of Democrats concerned about abortion provisions in the legislation, saying that they could lead to public funding of the procedure. After an evening meeting of top House Democrats, Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (Md.) said, “We are making progress,” but added that they had not reached an agreement.

The outcome of those talks could be crucial in deciding the fate of the health-care bill. Democrats need the vast majority of their caucus to back the bill, since nearly all congressional Republicans have said they will oppose the legislation.

“I will continue whipping my colleagues to oppose bringing the bill to the floor for a vote until a clean vote against public funding for abortion is allowed,” Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) said Monday in a statement. He said last week that 40 Democrats could vote with him to oppose the legislation — enough to derail the bill.

Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, cast Stupak as “attempting to ban abortion coverage in the private insurance market.”

We already have Health insurance companies that will pay for dead dick pills for men whose gluttonous consumption of greasy fast food and obesity has led them to take medications that all have impotence as a side effect.  These same “Health Insurance” companies routinely refuse to fund not only abortion but birth control for women.

Any bets on their willingness to fund sex reassignment surgery?

I have an answer on that one courtesy of Brenda Lana Smith’s news mailing list.

US – Social conservatives are working to ensure that federal funding for sex change operations will be banned in the health reform bill.…

[2009-11-04 Politico]

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1109/29164.html

Conservatives shop sex ops ban to GOP

By JONATHAN ALLEN

11/04/09 9:00 PM EST

The federal government would be banned from funding sex change operations and other services for transgender individuals if social conservative activists get their way.

There’s no sponsor yet for an amendment to the health care overhaul – and it may remain in the dustbin of unrealized wedge issues – but culture warriors are shopping the proposal to Republican senators.

The language is written: “None of the funds authorized or appropriated under this act (or an amendment made by this Act) shall be used to cover any part or portion of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of” any sex or gender reassignment procedure,  surgery related to such a sex change, hormone therapy for a sex change or pre- and post-operation treatments for a sex change.

A senior aide to a Republican senator said that a public insurance plan could easily end up covering sex-change procedures if that’s not specifically banned in the bill.

Follow the link above for the full article.
The misogynistic, homophobic neo-Nazi bigots of the Republican Party and their lynch mobs of bigoted thugs want the enforcement of Christo-fascist Sharia through the government in a manner that is the complete opposite of the intent of the framers of our Constitution.

Remember Jefferson posited a wall of separation between Church and State.  The Nazi like Republicans want the state to not only endorse their superstition based bigotry but to institute Christian Sharia in the process.

They embrace Confederate family values to the point where they ignore the 14th amendment to the Constitution.

I have come to see their “conservative” movement as growing out of the same ideological well spring as the KKK, the John Birch Society and Father Charles Edward Coughlin.  Nazis or Nazi sympathizers one and all.

They hated Roosevelt’s “New Deal” and later the “Fair Deal”, the War on Poverty even though it helped thousands rise above a life of poverty and despair.  They have warred against unions to the point where unions no longer protect the vast majority of workers who have seen their lives reduced to virtual slavery, subjected to the indignity of involuntary searches in the form of drug tests.

Employer provided health insurance is a luxury enjoyed by the rapidly dwindling middle class while many of us are on the stay healthy or die program beloved by both the rich elite scum who run the health insurance corporations and the Republicans alike.

But you can always trust the Nazi like impulses of the Republicans to attack women’s right to control their own bodies and now to attack the new sacrificial lambs, transsexual and transgender people.

And you can always trust the cowardly Democrats to cave to this as they cower in fear of being called socialists or communists.

So we see Democrats offering to include “Prayer Care”

I promised a modest proposal. Here it is.

Get the private health insurance companies out of the business by instituting National Health Insurance funded by taxes paid by everyone.  So what if the rightwing Christian Republicans object that they do not to fund this plan.  There have been a whole lot of imperialistic wars and worthless war toys I would have rather not helped pay for but I did because that is the price of citizenship.

Let the Republicans and Christians who hate National Health insurance opt out and buy private insurance that we could call, “Christian Care”.  Christian Care could cover make your dick hard pills and treatment with the money saved from not providing health and reproductive care for women.  They would of course cover all costs of quiver full artificially induced multiple births with the money they save from treating older women.  Since the only function many of these ultra right wing Christians see women as having is the pleasing of men and bearing of children they could save a bundle of money by cutting off care for women past the age of menopause unless their husbands buy supplemental “Christian Care” packages.

Since everything is in “god’s hands” in the first and last place (alpha and omega babble) Christian Care could use prayer teams instead of expensive surgery and trained specialists.

There was a reason why the right wingers of the 19th century formed the Know Nothing Party.

More about Infant Sex Assigning Surgery vs. TS Alien Space Abductions

Recently I received an e-mail from On the Issues magazine one of the many left wing and feminist publications I read.

And y’all thought I was brilliant enough to think up all the stuff I write and report on myself but I actually do quite a bit of research regarding some of the things I write and call upon a number of sources beyond the internet.  This one fell into my lap as I was pondering how to follow up last week’s major post.

I came to some pretty radical conclusions once I realized that both Tree and Laurent were compulsive liars who poisoned the entire pool of information regarding intersex people in a way that Agnes never did.

Remember Agnes didn’t let the doctors keep on thinking the conclusions they had come to regarding her.  I’ve been around long enough to recognize there are all different levels of honesty and ethics among those of us who were born transsexual but none the less I am saddened by the blatant liars whose sheer lack of ethics cause them to think nothing of creating a whole level of fantasy that both harms actual people with physically apparent intersex conditions and allows them to trash people born with transsexualism, a less obvious form of intersex condition.

The catalyst, the motivator for the original article was a “spazzer”* on a GID reform list who had loudly accused Dr. John Money of surgically mutilating her and making her into a boy.  This person posted from New Zealand.  This immediately set off my bullshit detector.  John Money wrote thousands upon thousands of pages reporting on research regarding the development of sex and gender.  He was in the nurture school but even he postulated that sex/gender identity was fixed before 18 months.  John Money didn’t do the circumcision in the David Reimer case that went awry.  For that matter, while John Money probably observed surgeries preformed on intersex/transsexual people it is highly doubtful he ever wielded the knife as he was a psychologist and not a surgeon.

Further his career as a professor and professor emeritus was at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, and a world away from New Zealand. The story told by the spazzer combined both elements of ignorance regarding actual intersex with geographic improbability.

Nonetheless there non-consensual surgery is routinely performed on male infants, circumcision is at best of questionable medical value but considering the rarity of actual adult SRS prior to 1970 I found myself asking the question.  “What sorts of non-consensual sex related surgery are historically the most common?  The answers were circumcision, female genital mutilation and castration.

I also have the feeling that one of the more common cases dealing male infants is probably bringing down non-descended testicles along with hypospadias repair.

Many other forms of intersex are not apparent at birth.  Forms such a CAIS, extra x or y chromosomes or conditions such as those alleged of Caster Semenya have something in common with transsexualism in that they are not discovered until the person is later in life.

This brings us back to those basic procedures:  Male circumcision is perhaps the most widely practiced in the Western World.  It was initially circumcision gone awry that led to the unfortunate case of David Reimer, not surgery aimed at correction of an intersex condition.  While Dr. Money appears to have acted unethically and far too enthusiastically  regarding the opportunity to study some one with the potential to prove or disprove some of his theories regarding gender identity development, this was not dealing with an intersex person. Further, even though male circumcision is considered a simple procedure it quite probably has more consequences than commonly thought as well as more complications.

Female circumcision is a euphemistic name for a barbaric practice once far more wide spread than it is today.  While it is now most commonly found in Muslim as well as non-Muslim African nations it is still practiced in certain circumstances in the West.  As misogynistic and monstrous as this is this is not where I am going in this article.

Male castration is another practice that is limited in Western society.  Freud aside, males including male Doctors tend to view castration on someone else with the same horror with which they would view it if it were performed on them.

In the late 19th and early 20th Clitoridectomies were performed on girls and women as a way of curing masturbation.  Freud’s misogynistic theories may have inadvertently furthered this practice as he ascribed to the idea that clitoral orgasms represented an immature form of female sexuality and that wholesome mature female orgasms were vaginal.

As I said in the earlier piece on this subject in adult sex reassignment surgery it has always been easier to surgically reassign people from male to female.  Interestingly enough many of the early male to female procedures were aimed at creating a “sensitive vagina” rather than a clitoris and often left people like myself without a clitoris.

Male doctors place a high value on the role of women being to please a man, so much so they ignored the fact that natal female’s vaginas are not the source of orgasms and that their clits are.  What were they thinking?  Oh well this was before Our Bodies, Ourselves and feminist writings about the “myth of vaginal orgasms”.  On the upside as a result of the work of Lonnie Barbach and Betty Dodson as well as consciousness raising sessions at the Women’s Building in LA helped me find the remaining nerve bundles and with the help of a Hitachi Magic Wand I learned how to reach orgasm.

When looking at the probability of a number of alleged infant intersex procedures given the taboos that were until recently in place regarding adult transsexuals one has to assume that most of these procedures were aimed at placing the infant in the category they were perceived as truly belonging in rather than “reassigning the infant” based on arbitrary factors.

That brings us to the following article first published in On the Issues

The Tyranny of the Esthetic Surgery’s Most Intimate Violation
by Martha Coventry

Big clitorises aren’t allowed in America. By big, I mean over three-eighths of an inch for newborns, about the size of a pencil eraser. Tiny penises, under one inch, aren’t allowed either. A big clitoris is considered too capable of becoming alarmingly erect, and a tiny penis not quite capable enough. Such genitals are confounding to the strictly maintained and comforting social order in America today, which has everyone believing that bodies come in only two ways: perfectly female and perfectly male. But genitals are surprisingly ambiguous. One out of every 2,000 babies is born with genitals that don’t elicit the automatic “It’s a girl!” or “It’s a boy!” Many more have genitals that are perceived as “masculinized” or “feminized,” although the child’s sex is not in doubt.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends surgically altering these children between the ages of six weeks and 15 months to fashion their bodies into something closer to perfection. Everyone can then breathe easier, except for the child, who may well spend the rest of her or his life trying to let the breath flow easy and full through the fear and shame created by such devastating surgery.

On a November night in 1958, I was playing in the bathtub in the cheery, country home of my childhood. I was six years old. My mother came in and sat on the edge of the tub, her kind face looking worried. I glanced up at her, wondering, “Time to get out so soon?” She told me that I had to go to the hospital the next day for an operation. I knew this was about something between my legs. My chest felt tight and there was a rushing sound in my ears. I begged not to go. Please. But my mother told me only that I must. Not a word was said about what was going to happen or why. The next day, it took the surgeon 30 minutes to make a U-shaped incision around my half-inch clitoris, remove it, and put it in a specimen dish to send to the lab. He then closed the wound and stitched the skin up over the stump.

Take no comfort in the fact that this took place 40 years ago. Today, most parents and doctors in this country are still unable to see that a child has a right to her or his own sexual body, even if that body is deemed “abnormal” by their standards. If a parent is uncomfortable, a doctor can be found who will be willing to make irreversible changes in the child’s body, in order to ease that discomfort. My gynecologist told me about a case in which he had been involved the year before: A woman brought her five-year-old daughter to his office in Minneapolis; the mother felt that the child’s clitoris was too big. He examined the girl and assured the mother that her daughter would grow into her clitoris, which was no longer than the end of his little finger. The mother left. A few weeks later, he was called into an operating room to help another doctor who had run into trouble during a surgical procedure. On the table, he found the same little girl he had seen earlier. She was hemorrhaging from a clitorectomy attempted by the second doctor, from instructions he had read in a medical text. My physician stopped the bleeding, and managed to keep the girl’s clitoris mostly intact.

Continue reading full article at:
http://www.ontheissuesmagazine.com/1998summer/su98coventry.php

Yet when one looks at all the “intersex” narratives in Transworld one rarely sees mention of this most common of all procedure and instead one hears all sorts of fantastical stories that there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of coverage of in medical journals.

Given the temptation to plead intersex surgical treatment as a reason for my less than perfect genital with their lack of a clitoral structure along with the graft site scar as a way of avoiding suddenly becoming “Transsexual Suzan”** in the eyes of someone I was hoping to develop a serious relationship with I can empathize with someone exercising that option.

However once that story gets repeated too many times by too many people giving into the same temptation we find ourselves faced with a fictitious monster of a transsexual created myth.  All created due to shame of admitting the truth about ourselves.

Call it stealth, call it compartmentalization of information or what ever you want but too many of us have lied out of shame and have created a myth that goes far beyond the harmless sweet loving lie of intimate relationships.

Further these trans-created fictions threaten to prevent serious research that may show a real biological cause from being taken seriously.

I promise that this is not the last post regarding this subject and that more will follow.

* “Spazzer” British slang for a person who fakes being learning disabled or simply fakes terrible ignorance to which they are firmly attached.

**”Transsexual Suzan”  One of the realities of our lives and one which encourages us to be stealth is that our medical histories supersede all other factors in our lives.  We could win a Nobel Prize and yet were our medical history to come out the piece of information that would precede our name would not be “Nobel Prize Winner” but rather “Transsexual” or worse “Transgender” ______ formerly _____ would  be deemed the most important aspect of our entire life and all our accomplishments.

Abstinence-Only Education Shouldn’t Make the Cut

NOW Press Release: http://www.now.org/lists/now-action-list/msg00404.html

Abstinence-Only Education Shouldn’t Make the Cut

Abstinence-only education is dangerous and ineffective, and has no place in our health care reform legislation. But Senator Orrin Hatch’s (R-Utah) abstinence-only-until-marriage amendment has been tucked in with the health care reform legislation — and we need your help to strike it when it reaches Senate floor. Women everywhere need the Senate to support comprehensive sex education programs, not ideological crusades.

Take action NOW!

Tell your senators…
take action

After taking action, please support our work!

Action Needed:

Please take time now to call or e-mail your senators to urge that the Hatch abstinence-only-until-marriage amendment be eliminated from health care reform legislation, and that they strongly support a comprehensive approach to sex education.

Two amendments regarding sex education were passed with the health care reform legislation in the Senate Finance Committee: one by Chair Max Baucus (D-Mont.) authorizing federal funding for comprehensive sex education programs and one by Sen. Hatch to restore funds for abstinence-only programs.

When health care reform legislation reaches the Senate floor, we need to ensure Congress only supports a comprehensive approach to sex education and does not promote dangerous and ineffective abstinence-only-until-marriage programs that put young women and girls at serious risk. In contacting your senators, you can use our formatted message or create one in your own words.

Background:

The Good News:

In the Senate Finance Committee, The Responsibility Education for Adulthood Training amendment passed 14-9 with Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) joining all the Democrats voting in favor. The amendment offered by Sen. Baucus (D-Mont.) provides $75 million for states for evidence-based, medically accurate, age-appropriate programs to educate adolescents about both abstinence and contraception for the prevention of unintended pregnancy and sexually-transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV/AIDS, as well as for research and evaluation.

These types of sex education programs provide students with information they can use and have a proven track record of decreasing unintended pregnancy and STIs. They give young women and girls the knowledge that empowers them to live their lives without fear of STIs and pregnancy.

Reviews of published evaluations of sexuality education, HIV-prevention, and adolescent pregnancy-prevention programs have consistently found that they:

  • do not encourage teens to start having sexual intercourse
  • do not increase the frequency with which teens have intercourse, and
  • do not increase the number of sexual partners teens have.

Instead these programs can:

  • delay the onset of intercourse
  • reduce the frequency of intercourse
  • reduce the number of sexual partners, and
  • increase condom or other contraceptive use.

The Bad News:

Also in the Senate Finance Committee, Sen. Hatch’s amendment to reinstate $50 million per year to the failed Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage program passed by a razor-thin margin of 12-11 with Senators Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) and Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) joining all the Republicans voting in favor. The Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage program expired on June 30, at which time nearly half of the states had refused it both because of the restrictive nature of the program and the fact that overwhelming evidence revealed these programs to be ineffective, dangerous for young women and girls, and a waste of taxpayer dollars.

These programs rely on negative messages about sexuality, distort information about condoms and STIs, and promote biases based on gender, sexual orientation, marriage, family structure, and pregnancy options.

Posted in Feminist, Health Care, Lesbian, LGBT/T, Misogyny, Questioning Authority, Sexism, Uncategorized. Comments Off on Abstinence-Only Education Shouldn’t Make the Cut

Bad Health Care Bill Penalizes Women: More Amendments Limiting Reproductive Health Care and Excessive Premium Rates for Older Women

NOW Call to Action on Health Care Reform

http://www.now.org/lists/now-action-list/msg00401.html

Tell your senators — health care reform can’t restrict women’s rights!
take action

After taking action, please support our work!

Action Needed:

Consideration of Senate Finance Committee Chair Sen. Max Baucus’ (D-Mont.) proposed legislation to reform our broken health care system continues this week. Please send a message to your senators today urging them to oppose all restrictive amendments that would limit women’s access to reproductive health care and to withdraw discriminatory provisions that would charge women (and men), aged 40 to 64, five times (!) the average premium amount charged to younger persons. Also, stress the need for the legislation to offer a strong public health insurance plan; Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W. Va.) is set to soon offer an amendment that would establish a public health insurance plan.

Take action now!

Background:

The Senate Finance Committee is considering amendments this week to a bill that is the health insurance industry’s dream legislation. NOW opposes this bill, primarily because it does not offer a public health insurance option and because there are many onerous and costly provisions. More than 500 amendments have been offered, including a number that would further restrict access to reproductive health services. Other parts of the bill would require unaffordable insurance plans, mandate coverage with penalties for persons without insurance, write age discrimination into law, require taxpayers to pay billions in subsidies to private health insurers and fail to include a public health insurance option — something a majority of the public has said they want.

The amendments offered by opponents of women’s reproductive health care include: restoration of abstinence-only education, adopting a conscience clause, no pre-emption of state laws regarding abortion, no federal funds for abortion and others. Abortion services is the one of the most common medical procedures provided in the U.S., yet these amendments attempt to further stigmatize and marginalize this component of basic women’s health care. There may well be an effort to prohibit coverage of abortion services in all private health insurance plans.

Protect women’s reproductive health care — take action now!

Chairman Baucus and the insurance companies want persons aged 40 to 64 to pay an exorbitant amount for coverage — arguing that it is this age group that needs more care and should pay more. Middle-age women might see themselves paying four or five times the amount a younger person is paying for coverage. The reason that insurers would like this enormous hike in premium amount is that they say they must recoup income to pay for their losses due to new prohibitions against dropping people for pre-existing conditions and for stopping higher charges for women because of maternity care. This 5:1 (other plans have 2:1) charge will result in unaffordable premiums for millions of boomers and billions of dollars that will have to be covered by taxpayers in the form of subsidies.

Add this gigantic subsidy to insurers along with the hundreds of billions in income from the 50 million formerly-uninsured new customers now mandated to buy private insurance and you’re talking real money. It’s clear that the insurance industry is calling the shots.

Send a message to your senators to oppose any further restrictions on women’s reproductive health care, to withdraw a provision that would impose dramatically higher premium costs for middle-age women and men and to support a public health insurance plan.

take action and then donate
Posted in Feminist, Health Care. Comments Off on Bad Health Care Bill Penalizes Women: More Amendments Limiting Reproductive Health Care and Excessive Premium Rates for Older Women

Domestic violence victims have a “pre-existing condition”?

From SEIU.ORG

5:03 PM Eastern – September 11, 2009

http://www.seiu.org/2009/09/domestic-violence-victims-have-a-pre-existing-condition.php

By Maria Tchijov

Insurance companies have used the excuse of “pre-existing conditions” to deny coverage to countless Americans. From cancer patients to the elderly suffering from arthritis, these organizations have padded their profit margins by limiting coverage to patients deemed “high risk” because of their medical condition.

But, in DC and nine other states, including Arkansas, Idaho, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Wyoming, insurance companies have gone too far, claiming that “domestic violence victim” is also a pre-existing condition.

Words cannot describe the sheer inhumanity of this claim. It serves as yet further proof that our insurance system is broken, destroyed by the profit-mongering of the very companies who’s sole purpose should be to provide Americans with access to care when they need it most. In 1994, an informal survey conducted by the Subcommittee on Crime and Criminal Justice of the United States Senate Judiciary Committee revealed that 8 of the 16 largest insurers in the country used domestic violence as a factor when decided whether to extend coverage and how much to charge if coverage was extended.

It is clear that insurance companies refuse to police themselves. It’s up to us to call on Congress to take action now to pass health care reform and end discrimination against patients with pre-existing conditions.

Posted in Feminist, Hate Crimes, Health Care. Comments Off on Domestic violence victims have a “pre-existing condition”?

Ex-insurance exec confesses health insurers dump sick people

By John Byrne

http://rawstory.com/08/news/2009/06/25/nsurance-exec-confesses-industry-attempts-to-dump-sick/

Published: June 25, 2009
Updated 2 hours ago

A retired health insurance executive — in a shocking but not terribly surprising admission — confessed Wednesday that insurance companies deliberately confuse policyholders and attempt to dump sick patients to plump their profit margins.

“[T]hey confuse their customers and dump the sick, all so they can satisfy their Wall Street investors,” former Cigna senior executive Wendell Potter told senators at a hearing on health insurance Wednesday before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

“Potter, who has more than 20 years of experience working in public relations for insurance companies Cigna and Humana, said companies routinely drop seriously ill policyholders so they can meet “Wall Street’s relentless profit expectations,’” Potter told the hearing, according to ABC News.

“They look carefully to see if a sick policyholder may have omitted a minor illness, a pre-existing condition, when applying for coverage, and then they use that as justification to cancel the policy, even if the enrollee has never missed a premium payment,” Potter added. “(D)umping a small number of enrollees can have a big effect on the bottom line.”