Tag Archive: Society

China and Transgender People

Qian Jinfan felt she should be a girl at the age of 3.  But she never had a chance to be one until she reached the age of 80.

In June Qian became the oldest Chinese citizen to come out to the media about being transgender…at the age of 84.  Despite the efforts of her wife and son to “ground” her, she snuck out of their home to speak to China Daily.

People may ask why I come out as a transgender person when I’m so old, but I ask, why can’t I?  Chinese stereotype the elderly as people who can’t do anything but wait for death.  But I’ve just entered the best time of my life.  I can finally be myself.

–Qian

While some Chinese admire her courage, others have called her “a nasty old man” and “attention-seeker”.  Children playing near her house have called her a “monster.”  Her family members object to her transition, claiming that she has made the a “laughing stock”.

I won’t reach out to media but won’t hide from them either if they approach me.

I haven’t done anything wrong.  My life as a transgender person doesn’t harm anyone.  Why should I hide?

–Qian Jingfan

Drifting Over the Edge

Dmitri Orlov is an interesting commentator. He has been claiming publically since about 2006 that the U.S. is on the edge of collapse similar to what the Soviet Union went through only a bit worse. He was born in Russia and experienced first-hand the privation of the post-Soviet period which, if you dug a little, was pretty bad. Interestingly this collapse had been predicted up to a decade before it happened but was not widely reported because of the Reagan agenda of demonizing the Soviet Union as an existential threat to the U.S.

Orlov along with people like James Howard Kunstler and many others on both the right and left-in fact, my monitoring of this movement shows a real blurring of left/right distinctions that is interesting in itself. I won’t go into the merits of Orlov’s predictions here but only want to say that the movement towards survivalism and a fascination and even longing for a collapse seems to be spreading in this country. I don’t believe this movement is irrational at all. Why do I say that? Because it should be very clear that we are in a kind of serious decline, not just economic decline, but serious political and social decline that we ought to wake up to or Orlov’s collapse scenarios may in fact take place.  

The Sheen’s, Lohan’s, Oscar’s Style’s vs The Fallen Soldiers’

I’m not going to add anything except this to what I’m posting below, we’ve got a decade plus of living the reality while also no mention of the Country demanding ‘Sacrifice’ for what they readily support,

The Country doesn’t even understand the damage they’ve created with the actions of these two now long running occupations and the hate rhetoric towards others, as a group, that still continues!

Exposing maggots, planting grass

A lot of people here are good at exposing maggots, and it’s scary to see what’s under the rocks.  Necessary, but scary. If we don’t know what’s under the rocks, we have no chance of defeating it.  And there are surely plenty of rocks to kick and maggots to expose.

But it’s not enough to expose maggots.  We must also plant grass.  Otherwise, our landscape will be just a lot of upturned rocks and dirt.

Most people aren’t devils or gods, they’re just ordinary shmoes trying to get along in the world, not thinking too much, just putting food on the table and themselves in a chair before a TV.  They listen to what their leaders say because it’s easy, and they don’t question because that’s hard.

Winning the hearts and minds of the leaders of the opposition may be impossible- the Koch brothers are not going to become liberals, Glenn Beck is not going to become sane; but winning the hearts and minds of these people – the ordinary people – is possible.  We just have to plant some grass.

I have some ideas.  But not nearly enough.  I need your help – this community’s help.  Together we do have the brains, the talent, and the wherewithal to plant a lot of grass. The seeds are there.

I have sometimes played a game with myself:

Suppose you had a fortune.  A Gates-like fortune.  What would you do?

One thing I’d like to do is start rewarding acts that promote a civil society.  What do I mean?  What acts would promote such a society?  It could be a lot of things.  Here are some examples


      NOT IN OUR TOWN is the inspiring documentary film about the residents of Billings, Montana who responded to an upsurge in hate violence by standing together for a hate-free community. In 1993, hate activities in Billings reached a crescendo. KKK fliers were distributed, the Jewish cemetery was desecrated, the home of a Native American family was painted with swastikas, and a brick was thrown through the window of a six-year-old boy who displayed a Menorah for Hanukkah.

      Rather than resigning itself to the growing climate of hate, the community took a stand. The police chief urged citizens to respond before the violence escalated any further. Religious groups from every denomination sponsored marches and candlelight vigils. The local labor council passed a resolution against racism, anti-Semitism and homophobia. Members of the local Painters Union pitched in to paint over racist graffiti. The local newspaper printed full-page Menorahs that were subsequently displayed in nearly 10,000 homes and businesses. The community made an unmistakable declaration: “Not in Our Town.” Since then, no serious acts of hate violence have been reported in Billings.

You can buy the film here

There are other people like that police chief.  People we don’t hear about.  Let’s find them.  Let’s reward them.  Let’s give them publicity.  

Or what happened to the people in a small town in Tennessee where one person decided they didn’t know enough about differences: I wrote about the great film that came out of this.  I really hope you’ll click on that story, but, briefly, a school principal in a small, all-white, all Christian town in TN decided that she, and the teachers and student in her school, didn’t know enough about differences.  They decided to collect a paper clip for every person who died in the concentration camps.  What happened next…..well….read the diary and see the film.

Let’s distribute those films. Buy a copy or two.  Send them off to someone somewhere.  

Sometimes the acts are mind-blowingly heroic – like those of Irena Sendler (don’t know who she is?  The answer is a click away).  But sometimes they are the simple acts of random kindness that go on each day, that we see, here and there. Good acts.  Acts that promote tolerance.  Acts that promote a civil society.

These people are rare, but they aren’t unknown.  Even if only 1 in 1,000 Americans are like that – well that’s 300,000 people.  We can find them.  We can publicize them.

It’s necessary, of course, to expose the maggots.  I applaud the work that many kossacks do to expose them.  But, while it is necessary to expose the maggots, it is our own act of bigotry to assume that everything that lives under the rock is and always will be a maggot.  Some are just people who have never seen light.  

Another is the simple acts of random kindness that go on each day, that we see, here and there.  Good acts.  Acts that promote tolerance.  Acts that promote a civil society.

Thanks for reading

Shooting Safeguards. A Society Armed

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copyright © 2011 Betsy L. Angert.  Empathy And Education; BeThink or  BeThink.org

Once again, Americans are up in arms or perchance, better armed and dangerous.  Only little more than a week into 2011, citizens have had to confront their fears, feelings, all at gunpoint.  It began on a calm, clear Saturday.  In a Safeway Store Tucson parking lot Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords held one of her customary Congress on the Corner events.  It was January 8, 2011.  Friends and admirers from each political Party turned out.  Suddenly, cordial chatter turned icy cold. gunshots shattered the calm.  People were slaughtered.  Some survived.   However, as a nation, we were all wounded.

Retorts followed.  Seemingly, a culture was changed, or was it?  Just as has occurred, many times in the recent past, people quickly took sides.  Blame was ballied about.  Solutions were also presented.  Some argued for stricter gun control laws.  Others used the occasion to validate a need for less restrictive restraints on gun ownership.  Persons who held a position similar to the most prominent victim proposed a need to protect themselves.

Shit Town



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When they tried to name the place, some wanted to call it Dawn City or New America or New Phoenix (like mythical bird rising from the ashes.) But the more folks thought about it and realized our circumstances and understood the reason we were huddled here in this remote area protecting ourselves from the elements and marauding bands of sadistic skinheads, was because the world had gone to shit, well, the name might not be what some Madison Avenue type would have called it, but the naming was easy.

Shit Town.

Warning Shot



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The Oil Age is over. Running on the fumes of empty. It is a ghost empire. The Age of Ponzi-scheme fractional banking is over. The house of cards has collapsed. The emperor not only has no clothes, but he has no skin, bones or blood. He was always a mirage.

Civilization as we have known it in our lifetimes – the move toward centralization, globalization, authoritarianism – is at an end.

Believe it or not.

False Gods



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False Prophets are a dime a dozen. From the clergy to politicians to flim-flam banksters, charalatans are monkeys in a barrel, if you have eyes to see and ears to hear.

The problem is while many are on the lookout for False Prophets, most do not question the Gods behind the religions of these socio-economic-religious shysters.

DOGMA spelled backwards is AM GOD. Dogma is strict adherence to the teachings of the Priest caste. When God is replaced by Religion-as-God, things turn sour.

But further, when you look at the great religions of Western Civilization – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – that, based upon the history of inhumanity practiced by these “great” religions, one must question the veracity of the God behind all these religions. And if one is fearless in the face of billions of believers, the God of the Victors who wrote the History and made the rules is a FALSE God.

American Tinder Box



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On the one hand…

Bad Mood Rising. Short fuses on human time bombs. Powder kegs of combustible frustration. Palpable erosion of the social fabric. Race wars, class wars and culture wars. Rage; the new bliss. Violence; the logical extension of free speech in a tone-deaf world. Murder-suicide and fifteen minutes of fame. Write the note and blow out your brains along with the wife, kids and the management team who fired you for cause in the name of “results.” Shareholder value. No longer a human but a line-item on a ledger. No longer a person but an impediment to the profit margin.

Comfortably Numb



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How else can you explain it?

Massacres, disasters, high crimes, betrayals, faked pandemics, the disintegration of decency, the destruction of dignity, the religion of the root of all evil and the genocide of the poor by the rich.

Flashes of outrage replaced by short-term memory fail. Moments of insight chasing the rabbit down the memory hole.

They say in time “everything that is hidden will eventually be brought into the open, and every secret will be brought to light.”

But I say what more do you need? The truth isn’t “out there” it’s right in front of your face. Staring at you and daring you to do something about it.

It’s not the truth which sets you free, but what you do about it which frees you.

 

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