Monday, July 25, 2016

Meanwhile Across The Pond

You might know him as the former co-host of the BBC show “Top Gear” Jeremy Clarkson just opening his trap again.
Jeremy Clarkson has hit out at a report that calls for gender-neutral toilets in Parliament, claiming “you might as well install urinals suitable for Klingons”.
Pink News
By Nick Duffy
25th July 2016

A report commissioned by Commons Speaker John Bercow last week recommended Parliament introduce gender neutral toilets for MPs, staff and visitors “to plan for a future sex/gender parity and diverse Parliament”.
Jeremy Clarkson claimed in a column in the Sun that it was like introducing toilets for aliens.

He wrote: “This is seen as part of an ongoing struggle to fight sexism and prejudice. Hmmm.

“More like part of an ongoing struggle for our leaders to completely detach themselves from reality.

“First of all, there are no transgender MPs that I’m aware of. So why use taxpayers’ money to provide a facility that isn’t necessary?

“You might as well install urinals suitable for Klingons.”

He continued to mock trans people’s infertility, saying: “It’s all very well fighting for a man’s right to have babies.

“But where’s the foetus going to gestate? In a box?”
It just goes to show you that ignorance and bigotry knows no bounds.

This afternoon I am at the Canton Senior Center for the LGBT Movable Senior Center, this is just one MSC event that is part of a multi-year project to help LGBT seniors meet and have fun.

Putin & Wikileaks

You all have probably seen the news about the stolen Democratic National Committee emails

You know what concerns me more than politics as usual is the fact that the Russian government is trying to influence our elections. The Russians released their stolen documents timed for the Democratic convention and it tells you a lot about who Putin is backing.

The Washington Post had this to say on Friday about the stolen emails,
Friday's digital document dump follows a report last month by The Washington Post that Russian government hackers penetrated the computer network of the Democratic National Committee, gaining access to an entire database of opposition research. DNC and Clinton campaign did not respond to a request for comment Friday as reporters and campaign staff began to assess the situation.
CBS News reported,
Clinton campaign manager says pro-Trump Russia behind DNC email leak
July 24, 2016

Hillary Clinton's campaign manager accused Russia on Sunday of leaking emails on purpose from the Democratic National Committee to help Republican Donald Trump in the presidential election.
The hackers were all kicked out of the DNC computer system shortly after they were discovered. A spokesperson for the Russian Embassy said at the time they had no knowledge of the operation. No financial information was stolen, which indicates that the breach was not the work of criminal hackers.

Putin has complimented Trump in the past and Paul Manafort, Donald Trump's campaign chairman, has worked with Kremlin-linked figures abroad.
The New York Times had this to said about Putin's involvement in our politics,
 WASHINGTON — An unusual question is capturing the attention of cyberspecialists, Russia experts and Democratic Party leaders in Philadelphia: Is Vladimir V. Putin trying to meddle in the American presidential election?

Until Friday, that charge, with its eerie suggestion of a Kremlin conspiracy to aid Donald J. Trump, has been only whispered.

But the release on Friday of some 20,000 stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee’s computer servers, many of them embarrassing to Democratic leaders, has intensified discussion of the role of Russian intelligence agencies in disrupting the 2016 campaign.
Proving the source of a cyberattack is notoriously difficult. But researchers have concluded that the national committee was breached by two Russian intelligence agencies, which were the same attackers behind previous Russian cyberoperations at the White House, the State Department and the Joint Chiefs of Staff last year. And metadata from the released emails suggests that the documents passed through Russian computers. Though a hacker claimed responsibility for giving the emails to WikiLeaks, the same agencies are the prime suspects. Whether the thefts were ordered by Mr. Putin, or just carried out by apparatchiks who thought they might please him, is anyone’s guess.

On Sunday morning, the issue erupted, as Mrs. Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, argued on ABC’s “This Week” that the emails were leaked “by the Russians for the purpose of helping Donald Trump” citing “experts” but offering no other evidence. Mr. Mook also suggested that the Russians might have good reason to support Mr. Trump: The Republican nominee indicated in an interview with The New York Times last week that he might not back NATO nations if they came under attack from Russia — unless he was first convinced that the countries had made sufficient contributions to the Atlantic alliance. It was a remarkable moment: Even at the height of the Cold War, it was hard to find a presidential campaign willing to charge that its rival was essentially secretly doing the bidding of a key American adversary. But the accusation is emerging as a theme of Mrs. Clinton’s campaign, as part of an attempt to portray Mr. Trump not only as an isolationist, but also as one who would go soft on confronting Russia as it threatens nations that have shown too much independence from Moscow or, in the case of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, joined NATO.
And Defense One was even more to the point,
How Putin Weaponized Wikileaks to Influence the Election of an American President
By Patrick Tucker
July 24, 2016

Evidence suggests that a Russian intelligence group was the source of the most recent Wikileaks intel dump, which was aimed to influence the U.S. election.

Close your eyes and imagine that a hacking group backed by Russian President Vladimir Putin broke into the email system of a major U.S. political party. The group stole thousands of sensitive messages and then published them through an obliging third party in a way that was strategically timed to influence the United States presidential election. Now open your eyes because that’s what just happened.

On Friday, Wikileaks published 20,000 emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee. They reveal, among other things, thuggish infighting, a push by a top DNC official to use Bernie Sanders’ religious convictions against him in the South, and attempts to strong-arm media outlets. In other words, they reveal the Washington campaign monster for what it is.

But leave aside the purported content of the Wikileaks data dump (to which numerous other outlets have devoted considerable attention) and consider the source. Considerable evidence shows that the Wikileaks dump was an orchestrated act by the Russian government, working through proxies, to undermine Hillary Clinton’s Presidential campaign.
“This has all the hallmarks of tradecraft. The only rationale to release such data from the Russian bulletproof host was to empower one candidate against another. The Cold War is alive and well,” Tom Kellermann, the CEO of Strategic Cyber Ventures told Defense One.
The use of Wikileaks as the publishing platform served to legitimize the information dump, which also contains a large amount of personal information related to democratic donors such as social security and credit card numbers. This suggests that Wikileaks didn’t perform a thorough analysis of the documents before they released them, or simply didn’t care.
And Defense One summed it up nicely…
The evidence so far suggests it’s a weapon that Putin used to great effect last week.
I know many people are criticizing the DNC, but people this is the nature of U.S. politics for better or worse and I sure would like to see the Republicans emails about them trying to block Trump for the nomination. Do you actually think that the Republicans didn’t write similar emails about Trump?

This should be a major concern that a foreign power is trying to control our elections. Does anyone else not like foreign governments and organizations butting in to our elections?

More Differences

If you need another example of the difference between the Republicans and the Democrats just look at their delegates and speakers.
There Are More Than Two Dozen Transgender Delegates At The Democratic Convention
"It is a very diverse group reflecting the overall demographics in the Democratic Party’s umbrella," says superdelegate Babs Siperstein.
Logo NewNextNow
By Dan Avery
July 25, 2016

Comparing the diversity at the Republican National Convention to this week’s Democratic Convention almost isn’t fair. While the GOP had white people holding signs that read (incorrectly) “Hispanics Para Trump,” the DNC’s delegates represent a wide swath of American.

That includes diverse gender identities, too: For the first time, a trans person will speak at a major American political convention.

Sarah McBride, press secretary for the HRC Foundation, will address the convention on Thursday, the final day of the event. But she’s far from the only trans person heading to Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center.

Logo political correspondent Raymond Braun reports there are at least 27 trans delegates at this year’s convention.
One party is the party of inclusion and one party is of the party of exclusion.

This morning as the executive director of the CT TransAdvocacy Coalition I am at a meeting with another non-profit ED to see how we can work together. On their website they say that,
We offer support, education, and advocacy to people living with mental illnesses, their family members, friends, professionals and the public at large.
Hopefully we will find some common ground to work together to promote our non-profits.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Where Are People’s Mind

When we were trying to pass the gender inclusive non-discrimination here in Connecticut one legislator introduced a Senate amendment to require all trans people to register with the Department of Motor Vehicles, his justification was if we were stopped and questioned by police for being in the women’s bathroom the officer could check the DMV database to see if it was okay for us to be in there. I called the amendment “The Scarlet Letter.”

The earlier this year North Carolina wanted to create a new government document that identified us as trans so that we could use the bathroom of our true gender.

This idea of creating a special identification for us just doesn’t want to go away…
Lawsuit: Trans Students Made To Wear Green Bracelets To ID Themselves
Think Progress
By Casey Quinlan
July 20, 2016

The Wisconsin lawsuit notes other problems with how the school treated Whitaker. He was repeatedly called by his birth name and referred to with female pronouns by school staff, wasn’t allowed to run for prom king (until the school received a petition and media scrutiny), and wasn’t allowed to lodge with boys during school trips. The district also requires staff to make Whitaker and other transgender students wear green bracelets identifying them as transgender to staff — which caused Whitaker to worry about stigmatization and harassment, according to his lawyers. The school eventually instructed security guards to ensure Whitaker didn’t use the boys restroom.
Do you know why the color Pink because the LGBT color? According to ALGBTICAL (Association for Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Transgender Issues in Counseling of Alabama) it is because,
Inverted Triangles
The pink triangle is easily one of the more popular and widely-recognized symbols for the gay community. The pink triangle is rooted in World War II times, and reminds us of the tragedies of that era. Although homosexuals were only one of the many groups targeted for extermination by the Nazi regime, it is unfortunately the group that history often excludes. Each prisoner in the concentration camps wore a colored inverted triangle to designate their reason for incarceration, and hence the designation also served to form a sort of social hierarchy among the prisoners. A green triangle marked its wearer as a regular criminal; a red triangle denoted a political prisoner. Two yellow triangles overlapping to form a Star of David designated a Jewish prisoner. The pink triangle was for homosexuals.
And back in those days the Nazi didn’t make any distinction between gays and trans people.

I don’t think that the people who came up with these ideas knew the history of making us register or wear special IDs. I would like to think that they don’t because if they did that would make it so much worst.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

The Inquisitr News reports that,
In a statement sent to Mashable, the Kenosha Unified School District denied having a “practice or policy requiring any student to wear a wristband for monitoring any purpose or for any reason whatsoever.” The district added it is reviewing the complaint.
According to CNN the green wrists bands...
Then, in May, his guidance counselor showed Ash's mother a bright green wristband that the school intended to use to mark students who are transgender, the lawsuit says.

He was never asked to wear it, he said, but he believes he will have to wear it when he returns for senior year.

The district called the allegation "patently false."

"The district does not have a practice or policy requiring any student to wear a wristband for monitoring any purpose or for any reason whatsoever," Ruder said.
Somehow I find it a little bit hard to believe the school, I think the wrist band is something that would be hard to make up by the parents.

So this will be an interesting case to follow.

I Heard Good Things…

I know of a couple of trans women who have seen her for voice training and the reports that I hear from them was good.
Helping Transgender People Find Their Voice
Heard on Weekend Edition Saturday
July 23, 2016

When they make a transition to publicly presenting themselves as a different gender, transgender people face many challenges. Possible surgeries and hormone treatments are some of them.

But one often overlooked struggle is to find a voice to fit a person's identity. People can identify men's and women's voices because there are typically different ranges in pitch and differences in timbre.

That's where Wendy Chase comes in. She's the director of the University of Connecticut Speech and Hearing Clinic. She works with people who want to make their voice sound more like their gender identity.
On why speech therapy is a good idea for transgender people
Most of our patients are seeking to allow the world to perceive them in the way that they want to be perceived. And communication is a really critical component of that perception, particularly when there is not a visual cue. And I think that it's important for there to be safe places to practice and try things out, and the speech therapy room can be one of those places.

But more importantly, we want folks to be able to change their voice in a way that is safe and doesn't do damage long-term to their vocal cords, because they're going to need it for the rest of their lives.
She is worth a try, I believe there is a nominal fee like $10 a session, she uses the workshop as a training for her students.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Saturday 9: Surf City

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Surf City (1963)

On Saturdays I take a break from the heavy stuff and have some fun...
... Because Melissa suggested Jan and Dean. Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) When the song was written, "Surf City" was a fictitious town.* Tell us a song that is set in a real place.
New York, New York

2) In the song, Jan and Dean sing about riding around in a 1934 station wagon, which means the car was 29 years old when the song was recorded. How old is your vehicle?
3 ½ years old

3) Are you good on a surf board?
I have never been on one so I doubt it very much

4) When you spend time out in the sun, are you careful about applying sunscreen?  
I don’t go out in the sun that much, I much rather sit in the shad.

5) Dean's original partner was Arnie Ginsburg. When Dean was drafted into the Army, Arnie didn't feel like waiting so he abandoned show business and went back to college. Today he holds several patents. What is something you wish someone would invent? 
A transporter so I don’t have to drive everywhere.

6) Jan was a perpetual student who juggled college with recording. He not only graduated from UCLA, he completed two years of medical school at the UC Irvine School of Medicine. Have you ever considered going back to school?
I have gone back to college after 40 years I went back when was 60.

7) In 1966, Jan was sidelined by a serious car accident. During the years that he was unable to perform, partner Dean became a graphic artist. He designed logos and album covers for Steve Martin, Diana Ross and others. Do you feel you respond most to words, pictures, or music?
Words and pictures.

8) In 1978, CBS made a TV movie about Jan and Dean. If they approached you about a made-for-TV movie of your life, who would you like to play you?
Yikes! I don’t know but it will have to be an actor to play the first half of my life and an actress to play the second half.

9) Random question:  Growing up, how did you learn about the birds and the bees? (From books/the web, from parents, from your friends...)
My mother sheepishly handed me a book.