November 4, 2011 archive

Nov 04

Fighting Forced Sterilization in Sweden

I generally troll the Transgender news regularly looking for stories to use in my quest to enlighten people about why transpeople need to be treated better than vermin.  This week I was deleted to discover a feature article by Ann Tornkvist at GlobalPost, entitled Transgender Actress mourns her “forcible sterilization”.

We like to think that Scandanavia countries like Sweden are bastions of good treatment for people like us.  I read the article and stand corrected.  Some things are apparently pretty much the same all over.

The article features the story of Swedish actress Aleksa Lundberg.  Now 29 Lundberg completed transition when she was 18.

Aleksa Lundberg remembers being four years old and standing by the kindergarten’s wading pool. The teachers began separating the children into groups for an autumnal walk through the nearby woods, ushering boys to one side, girls to another. Lundberg remembers being unsure which side to choose.

“I knew that I was expected to join the boys, but equally I knew that I wanted to join the girls,” Lundberg says.

As Lundberg moved to join the girls’ side, a teacher with a tight, graying perm framing a face contorted in anger grabbed Lundberg by the wrist and “half led, half pulled” her to the group of boys, telling her firmly that this was where Lundberg belonged.

“It was my first experience of an ‘authority’ telling me what I could do, what I should be, and it led to what is my first memory of an anxiety attack,” says Lundberg, now a popular 29-year-old actress who completed the transition from male to female when she was 18. “The silhouettes of the boys standing around me transformed into jail bars in front of my eyes.”

This remembrance strikes so close to my own experience that I had to keep reading.

Nov 04

Today on The Stars Hollow Gazette

Our regular featured content-

These featured articles-

And these special features-

This is an Open Thread

The Stars Hollow Gazette

Nov 04

Good News?

Crossposted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

It appears that time is on the side of environmentalist groups opposed to the Keystone XL pipeline.

What is happening is that penalty clauses in TransCanada contracts are kicking in and refineries and other groups are withdrawing to seek other suppliers.

TransCanada predicts losses of up to $1 Million a day, however the Obama administration has already signaled that any final decision will be put off to next year at the earliest.

On Tuesday, TransCanada Chief Executive Russ Girling said another extended delay in the regulatory process would lead oil shippers and refiners to abandon support for the project, rendering it uneconomic to build.

We can certainly hope so.

dday at Firedog Lake has some more positive coverage from this morning-

The other day, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney tried to offload the decision on whether to go forward with the Keystone XL pipeline on the State Department. But President Obama himself was asked about the pipeline in a local news interview last night, and he took full responsibility for making the decision. In doing so, he related a full understanding of the public health risks, though he limited that to the immediate risks of a pipeline spill, rather than the extraction and burning of tar sands oil in general.



This is definitely encouraging, though as I said, it looks at the problem from a NIMBY standpoint rather than the main idea that burning tar sands oil is, as Bill McKibben put it over the weekend, the fuse to the biggest carbon bomb on the planet. Climate scientist James Hansen has said that if the pipeline goes through, the climate will basically never be stabilized. That’s the larger problem, though obviously the risk to the Ogalalla aquifer is a factor as well. Keep in mind that Obama actually won the single electoral vote in the Omaha area in Nebraska, and probably wants to win it again.

Bill McKibben’s White House protest of Keystone XL is scheduled for Sunday, November 6th.

Nov 04

Occupy Wall St. Livestream: Day 49

Watch live streaming video from globalrevolution at livestream.com

OccupyWallStreet

The resistance continues at Liberty Square, with free pizza ­čśë

“I don’t know how to fix this but I know it’s wrong.” ~ Unknown Author

Occupy Wall Street NYC now has a web site for its General Assembly  with up dates and information. Very informative and user friendly. It has information about events, a bulletin board, groups and minutes of the GA meetings.

NYC General Assembly #OccupyWallStreet

Eviction Defense!

Sign up for the eviction defense text blast!

Send a text to the number 23559, with the the message @occupyalert

This will be used for emergency alerts and announcements.

Three weeks ago NYPD delivered what was effectively a notice of eviction, telling residents of Liberty Square that Brookfield, with the help of the city, was going to clean the park. Instead, #OWS mobilized, organizing a mass clean up, mobilizing thousands of supporters, and flooding the mayors office with phone calls. An amazing pre-dawn defence packed the square with thousands of people. Brookfield stood down and the eviction was averted.

Today rumors are rampant that the city is again considering action to end the occupation. Labor leaders, local elected officials, and news outlets are hearing the rumblings of eviction. We know that when the next eviction attempt comes, we will not get advanced warning. NYPD could move in as early as tonight, or it could be next week. We know that our adversaries are trying to build political cover for eviction by demonizing us in the press.

We need to be ready to defend the occupation. Be prepared!

Occupy Wall Street to Mayor Bloomberg: Get Your Facts Straight; Stop the Fear Mongering

Yesterday New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg alleged that Occupy Wall Street participants at Liberty Square (Zuccotti Park) are chasing criminals out of the park instead of reporting them to police. In reality, Occupy Wall Street has its own well-trained internal security force, but this team does not substitute for the police when it comes to criminal activity that threatens our community or local residents. Occupy Wall Street participants have called upon police on occasions when people with predatory intentions have come into the park and engaged in illegal and destructive behavior, and have in fact turned over criminals to the NYPD.

“Bloomberg lied yesterday when he claimed tha a sexual assault suspect was merely kicked out of the park, when in fact OWS security personnel forcibly removed the individual and handed him directly to the NYPD,” said Andrew Smith, a member of OWS’s overnight Community Watch. “The Mayor should get his facts straight before he calls responsible citizens protecting our community ‘despicable.'”

Bloomberg will say and do just about anything to protect his fellow 1%ers.

Jobless Protesters Occupy Mitch McConnell’s Office As Congress Dithers On Jobs

WASHINGTON — Roughly 30 jobless protesters from D.C. neighborhoods occupied Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office in the Russell Senate Office Building Thursday, saying they wanted to talk to him about jobs.

But McConnell was busy at the Capitol Building, where he led Republicans in blocking a $60 billion infrastructure bill. The protesters said they supported the measure.

McConnell’s legislative director offered to sit down with the group, but they declined, saying they’d rather wait for the senator himself. So they sat in his office, taking up every chair and lots of floor space while McConnell’s staff went about its business. A Capitol Police officer scoped the situation and said her heart went out to them for losing their jobs.

The protesters, most of whom said they lived in the poorest part of Southeast D.C., had no affiliation with the Occupy Wall Street movement. They’d been organized by a community group called OurDC, which has been hectoring Congress about jobs since it launched with SEIU seed money earlier this year. The protesters remained in the office as of Thursday afternoon as of 3 p.m. and said they wouldn’t leave before meeting the senator.

Nov 04

Cartnoon

Lumber Jerks

Nov 04

On this Day In History November 4

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

November 4 is the 308th day of the year (309th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 57 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1922, British archaeologist Howard Carter and his workmen discover a step leading to the tomb of King Tutankhamen in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt.

The British Egyptologist Howard Carter (employed by Lord Carnarvon) discovered Tutankhamun’s tomb (since designated KV62) in the Valley of the Kings on November 4, 1922, near the entrance to the tomb of Ramesses VI, thereby setting off a renewed interest in all things Egyptian in the modern world. Carter contacted his patron, and on November 26 that year, both men became the first people to enter Tutankhamun’s tomb in over 3000 years. After many weeks of careful excavation, on February 16, 1923, Carter opened the inner chamber and first saw the sarcophagus of Tutankhamun. All of this was conveyed to the public by H. V. Morton, the only journalist allowed on the scene.

The first step to the stairs was found on November 4, 1922. The following day saw the exposure of a complete staircase. The end of November saw access to the Antechamber and the discovery of the Annex, and then the Burial Chamber and Treasury.

On November 29, the tomb was officially opened, and the first announcement and press conference followed the next day. The first item was removed from the tomb on December 27.

February 16, 1923 saw the official opening of the Burial Chamber, and April 5 saw the death of Lord Carnarvon.

On February 12, 1924, the granite lid of the sarcophagus was raised In April, Carter argued with the Antiquities Service, and left the excavation for the United States.

In January 1925, Carter resumed activities in the tomb, and on October 13, he removed the cover of the first sarcophagus; on October 23, he removed the cover of the second sarcophagus; on October 28, the team removed the cover of the final sarcophagus and exposed the mummy; and on November 11, the examination of the remains of Tutankhamun started.

Work started in the Treasury on October 24, 1926, and between October 30 and December 15, 1927, the Annex was emptied and examined.

On November 10, 1930, eight years after the discovery, the last objects were finally removed from the tomb of the long lost Pharaoh.

Nov 04

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Muse in the Morning

Time for a break from poetry…in order to create some art.

Magic is believing in yourself; if you can do that, you can make anything happen.

–Johann Wolfgang von Goethe



Vitality 2

Nov 04

The Apolitical Quest For Justice

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Who would have ever thought that these two would ever be on the same page.

Did You Hear the One About the Bankers?

by Thomas L. Friedman

Our Congress today is a forum for legalized bribery. One consumer group using information from Opensecrets.org calculates that the financial services industry, including real estate, spent $2.3 billion on federal campaign contributions from 1990 to 2010, which was more than the health care, energy, defense, agriculture and transportation industries combined. Why are there 61 members on the House Committee on Financial Services? So many congressmen want to be in a position to sell votes to Wall Street.

We can’t afford this any longer. We need to focus on four reforms that don’t require new bureaucracies to implement. 1) If a bank is too big to fail, it is too big and needs to be broken up. We can’t risk another trillion-dollar bailout. 2) If your bank’s deposits are federally insured by U.S. taxpayers, you can’t do any proprietary trading with those deposits – period. 3) Derivatives have to be traded on transparent exchanges where we can see if another A.I.G. is building up enormous risk. 4) Finally, an idea from the blogosphere: U.S. congressmen should have to dress like Nascar drivers and wear the logos of all the banks, investment banks, insurance companies and real estate firms that they’re taking money from. The public needs to know.

Capitalism and free markets are the best engines for generating growth and relieving poverty – provided they are balanced with meaningful transparency, regulation and oversight. We lost that balance in the last decade. If we don’t get it back – and there is now a tidal wave of money resisting that – we will have another crisis. And, if that happens, the cry for justice could turn ugly. Free advice to the financial services industry: Stick to being bulls. Stop being pigs.

Wall Street Isn’t Winning – It’s Cheating

by Matt Taibbi

Can anyone imagine a common thief being caught by police and sentenced to pay back half of what he took? Just one low-ranking individual in that case was charged (case pending), and no individual had to reach into his pocket to help cover the fine. The settlement Goldman paid to to the government was about 1/24th of what Goldman received from the government just in the AIG bailout. And that was the toughest “punishment” the government dished out to a bank in the wake of 2008.

The point being: we have a massive police force in America that outside of lower Manhattan prosecutes crime and imprisons citizens with record-setting, factory-level efficiency, eclipsing the incarceration rates of most of history’s more notorious police states and communist countries.

But the bankers on Wall Street don’t live in that heavily-policed country. There are maybe 1000 SEC agents policing that sector of the economy, plus a handful of FBI agents. There are nearly that many police officers stationed around the polite crowd at Zucotti park.

These inequities are what drive the OWS protests. People don’t want handouts. It’s not a class uprising and they don’t want civil war — they want just the opposite. They want everyone to live in the same country, and live by the same rules. It’s amazing that some people think that that’s asking a lot.

Wonders will never cease

Nov 04

Late Night Karaoke

Nov 04

This Week In The Dream Antilles

   

Photobucket

Your Bloguero is embarrassed.  He was going to tell you that the dog ate his homework, so there was no “This Week” this week.  He even discussed it with the dog.  Would she be willing to take the blame for this week’s soon to be nonexistent post?  No, she would not.  Speaking as a 10-year old, experienced Golden Retriever owned by someone who claims to be a writer, the dog says only this: “Give cookies.  And, by the way, suck it up, hot shot.  You’re the one who’s supposed to be the writer.  Not me.  Stop complaining.  Just hammer it out.”  That is cold.  Very cold.  But good advice.  And to think that your Bloguero thought the dog was going to help.  And provide an excuse.  Alack.  What a disappointment. Your Bloguero also thought there was some drug he could ingest that would get him to write the post, but alack and alack, he confesses he can’t find it.  

Your Bloguero’s desperation runneth over.  Every Friday.  Without fail, your Bloguero has committed to post on four group blogs and his own blog.  Like clock work.  No matter what.  How, your Bloguero wonders, can he explain that this week there just is no “This Week.”  It’s just not there.  It wasn’t written.  It wasn’t posted.  Poof.  It’s gone.  Probably, he can’t.  Probably, you, dear reader, don’t want to hear the whining, excuses, lies, and assorted, inventive short fiction about your Bloguero’s lack of output and the claimed “reasons” for it.  Know what?  Your Bloguero is not exactly captivated by inventing excuses either.

So perhaps a confession will suffice.  This week your Bloguero was obsessed with something.  And he didn’t do much writing because he was totally obsessed with this and he doesn’t write when he’s obsessing.

A bit of probably unnecessary background: your  Bloguero has now reached a certain age.  It’s the age at which the Government is supposed to provide Medicare. But.  And this is a very big but, your Bloguero is so far from retiring that that “R” word is not a regular part of his regular internal discourse. No. So he’s not getting a gold watch.  And he’s not moving to Arizona.  Or Florida.  And he’s not departing on his Spiritual Journey to Benares.  Or even Benares on the Atlantic (Palm Beach).  Or buying an RV.  Or a boat.  Or a vineyard. Or a trophy wife. Or a set of golf clubs. Nope. Nada.  None of the above. Not one of them. Your Bloguero has other concerns, concerns that are more important to him.  Specifically, your Bloguero wants to know what he has to do so that he will be referred to by others as “Don David” or “Don davidseth” or “Don Bloguero.”  

Maybe that’s not a big deal to you, especially if you live in one of the many Gringo parts of the world where honorifics and polite address are utterly irrelevant.  But let your Bloguero assure you, this is a big deal to your Bloguero.  A very big deal.  One he has relentlessly been obsessing about for a week.  One that has become a consummate distraction.

Look.  Being called “Don [insert first name]” is a very big deal to your Bloguero:

Although originally a title reserved for royalty, select nobles, and church hierarchs, it is now often used as a mark of esteem for a person of personal, social or official distinction, such as a community leader of long standing, a person of significant wealth, or a noble, but may also be used ironically. As a style, rather than a title or rank, it is used with, and not instead of, a person’s name….

Today in Mexican-American communities, the Don or Do├▒a is used in honorific form when addressing a senior citizen.

Wiki  

Right.  It’s an honorific.   For people of esteem.  For senior citizens.  Your Bloguero consulted with his usual, expert cultural consultants about this, and they each told him uniformly that he was old enough, yes, that he didn’t need to have any grandchildren to merit the title, yes, and because he was a nice guy and held in esteem generally, he could properly be called “Don Bloguero.”  Right.

But why then, your Bloguero wants to understand, is he NOT called “Don” anything?   Ever.  It has never ever happened. Surely, it is not your Bloguero’s obligation to tell other people that he has now assumed the rank of Don by virtue of his age and being an esteemed and great person, so, therefore they should now begin to address him as such.  No.  It is not your Bloguero’s function to demand this title. Instead, what is required, your Bloguero thinks, is for the large community spontaneously, without prompting, without coaching or wheedling or paying of mordidas, to confer the title, to begin to call him Don.  All on its own.  Spontaneously.

That is what your Bloguero has been obsessing about.  Can’t your Bloguero pick up this title?  And if he can’t, what exactly has your Bloguero done so that he does not merit being called “Don Bloguero?”  And what, pray tell, does your Bloguero have to do to be referred to by his important honorific.

If you know the answer, please write it on a $500 peso bill and mail it to your Bloguero immediately.

This Week In The Dream Antilles is usually a weekly digest. Sometimes, like now and for several of the past weeks, it isn’t actually a digest of essays posted in the past week at The Dream Antilles. For that you have to visit The Dream Antilles.