Friday, December 30, 2011

Friday Fill-Ins

Janet’s Friday Fill-Ins

1. Wait, wait _there’s more_.
2. _What I’m doing today_ is a little different.
In addition, _to running earns _.
4._You might like it but it_ is the way we do it here!
5. At the end of the year, I like to _look back on what I did for the year_.
6. _Finding consulting work _ is one of the things I'm looking forward to in 2012.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _soaking in a whirlpool tub_, tomorrow my plans include _driving up to the New Hampshire cottage to be with my brother’s family_ and Sunday, I want to _relax_!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Story Part 101 – Year In Review

This was a year of great achievement for me, in May I graduated from UConn with my Masters in Social Work. It was a long four years and I miss school. I enjoyed the class discussions and I miss my classmates and professors. I was taking part in the learning process and school activities. I also went to my first Prom, which was “A Night to Remember”. During the graduation ceremony I wondered what mother and dad would have thought as I walked across the stage.

In April, I gave my first professional presentation at the National Association of Social Workers conference in Waterbury and judging from the workshop evaluations form, it was well received. I have given many other workshops, but this one was the first time I presented a workshop to my colleagues.

In June, after 5 years of working to pass a gender inclusive non-discrimination bill, it finally passed and went into law on October 1st. I was there in both the House and Senate when it was debated and with every vote for amendments on the bill we held our breath as the vote count was tallied on the board. All the amendments were defeated except our amendment and when the Senate voted on the bill at 12:30AM on June 4th, I felt jubilant that we had finally passed the legislation after all those years of work.

On July 4th my nephew and his wife had their first child and my brother’s fifth grandchild.

In November, I was invited to give a speech to law students at Western New England University School of Law on social justice and how laws affect us. It was the first time I ever gave a speech, I have given power-point presentation and taken part in panel discussions, but I have stood up and gave a speech before.

The other big event this year was weather, I got by with minimal damage from the hurricane Irene and the October snow storm, and I was only without power for a little over two days.
We have now seen 5 all-time records broken this year that are directly related to the weather. January was the snowiest month ever with 54.3" at Bradley International. July 22nd was the hottest day over the last 105 years with 103 degrees at Bradley International and 103 degrees in Bridgeport. We then had a record October snowstorm! Storm Alfred dumped 12.3" of snow on Windsor Locks. Alfred caused a record power outage for the state with 831,000 customers without power. Now, we have the all-time wettest year on record and we still have 8 days to go before the year is over!

The Meteorological Autumn (September, October, and November) was one for the record books. At Bradley International Airport, the average temperature for the 3 month period was 55.8 degrees, which is 3.0 degrees above normal. It was a tie for the 4th warmest autumn on record! The warmest autumn was in 1931 with an average temperature of 57.7 degrees. Rainfall over the last 3 months was 19.98", which is 7.84" above normal! Plus, we had 12.3" of snow from Winter Storm Alfred in late October. This autumn was the 3rd wettest on record and the 2nd snowiest on record, although Storm Alfred was an all-time record snowstorm for the month of October. For Bridgeport, the average temperature for the season was 58.9 degrees, which is 3.4 degrees above normal. It was the warmest autumn season on record! Rainfall was 13.11", which is 2.60" above normal. Snowfall was 4.0", which is 3.3" above normal. For Bridgeport, it was the 16th wettest autumn on record, but the 3rd snowiest!

For the month of November…the average temperature at Bradley International was 46.4 degrees, which is 4.0 degrees above normal. This November was the 6th warmest on record! Total rainfall came in at 3.81", which is only 0.08" below normal. There was only a trace of snow, which is 2.0" below normal.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

One Of My Fears…

Is being arrested. That is one of the reasons why I never drink when I’ll be driving. For trans-people we are usually put in jail of our birth gender if we do not have GRS down below and left to fend for ourselves.
For Transgender Detainees, a Jail Policy Offers Some Security
New York Times
By Adrienne Lu
December 22, 2011
In March, she was charged with retail theft and sent to Cook County Jail. Despite her shoulder-length hair, fuller lips and breasts, Maribel (who agreed to be interviewed on the condition that only her first name be used) was housed with male detainees.

“It was horrible,” she said. “Sometimes words hurt more than a punch. People can be very cruel.” After two weeks she was moved to the women’s division, where she remains while awaiting trial.

Also in March, Cook County Jail instituted a new policy for detainees like Maribel, who either identify themselves as transgender or are identified by the jail’s medical staff as having gender-identity disorder, the formal diagnosis for those who feel at odds with their sex at birth.

Under the policy, which covers procedures for housing, clothing, showering, grooming, medical care and other aspects of life in jail, a gender identity committee meets periodically to determine and review plans for each transgender detainee. Among the decisions the committee makes is whether the detainee should be housed with men or women.

Of the 60 or so transgender detainees who have entered the jail since the new policy took effect, only two — Maribel and another person who was born with male anatomy but identifies as a woman — have been housed with women, jail officials said. All of the others, who were born male but identify as women, are housed with men but have opted for protective custody and are kept separately from the other detainees, a choice available to anyone entering the jail.

Sheriff Thomas J. Dart said he instituted the new procedures when he realized that the jail — which holds an average daily population of about 8,900, primarily consisting of people awaiting trial — did not have a policy on how to deal with transgender detainees.

In one of his weekly meetings of jail officials, “when it came up, I asked around the room what everyone’s thoughts were on it, and there was a collective pause,” Mr. Dart said. “It just became clear to me that we needed to have a more affirmative position.”
Yea!! Finally some progress, finally a ray of sanity!

I’m still having problems with my high speed internet connection so I’m still using a dial-up modem. It makes reading the news hard because it takes so long to load pages with ads and photos

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

It this time of year that we reflect on all that has happened this past year and to give thanks. However, for many it is not a time to rejoice, it is a time of loneliness, their families may have moved and left them behind, their family or spouse might have pasted away leaving them without any close relatives or their children might be at their in-laws for this holiday. However, for whatever the reason, it is a lonely time.

For many in the LGBT community it is an especially lonely time, they might not have seen their family since they came out to them. Their families and children have disowned them. Sometimes when we do attend the gathering, we feel like outcasts, like the square peg in the round hole, we just don’t fit in, we are tolerated when we bring our partners or ourselves to the table.

So let us open our hearts and doors to them and invite them to the table.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Friday Fill-ins

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins

1. Said the night wind to the little lamb, _come out from the cold_.
2. The first Noel, the angel did say, _was sung in France in 1811_.
3. Dashing through the snow, in a _four-wheel drive SUV… spinning out of control…_.
4. It came upon the midnight clear, _the drunk driver heading the wrong way_.
5. When I was small I believed in Santa Claus, _but he never came while I was awake_.
6. And the thing that will make them ring is the carol that you sing _in the shower_.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _packing_, tomorrow my plans include _driving up to Maine to be with my brother and sister-in-law, and make Lobster Newburg for dinner_ and Sunday, I want to _relax and enjoy Christmas with them_!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

No High Speed Internet

My cable internet went down and I'm waiting on a service call. Which is going to be hard to schedule because I have a number of appointments this week and next. So it might not be until after the holidays until I get it back.

Monday, December 19, 2011

This And That In The News… I Am a Woman Now

"This And That In The News" is about articles in the news that have caught my eye and I want to comment about.

Over the years the trans-community has made great strides. I remember reading an article in either Time or Newsweek about gender confirming surgeries that were being done in Casablanca. I reread the article over and over, dreaming of going to Casablanca.
I Am a Woman Now
Michiel van Erp, Nederland

The 1956 from a con game all undergo sex-change operation go to Georges Burou gynecologist in Casablanca - psychological research without prior notice. The one time with the help of their seemingly impossible dream Burou condensed deliver, are now elderly. Michiel van Erp Filmmaker asks some of the pioneer or the choice at that time changed their lives as they hoped. How did the outside on this first generation of transsexual? Is That a charming Flemish Burou died late eighties, thanks in cash. It's a secret between hair always possible partner state, they take for granted. A stately British, after a most hair transformation in Paris, still regularly experiencing rejection. S solitude: "When would you ever are gray, ever invisible." That endorses a German, "I never thought of myself as that old lady is not what part of the imaginative .." As you young what they got married, when opportunity presented itself operation "When I went to a sudden Dress in the Window's staring me wonder how he could stand me, I knew: this is never over." Seeds with other women and for those visiting Van Erp important places and people he's let them, using old photographs and home videos reflect on their eventful lives.(Translated from Dutch by Google)

What had it been like back then, what discrimination did they face? These fabulous brave women were the pioneers that lead the way where we are now.

The next article looks into Trans-Rights, the story is about Vandiver Elizabeth Glenn, who won the Federal Appeals court ruling about her being fired from her job as a Georgia General Assembly editor…
Transgender People: The Next Frontier in Civil Rights
Being fired for "gender non-conformity" is a violation of the constitution, an important court recently found
By Adam Cohen
December 12, 2011

Since there is no federal or Georgia state statute that protects transgender people from job discrimination, Glenn went a different route. She sued under the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution, claiming that she was a victim of sex discrimination, since she had been fired for failing to conform to the sex that her boss assumed her to be. It was a creative strategy, but there was legal precedent: in 1989, the Supreme Court ruled that it is sex discrimination to turn down a woman for partner in an accounting firm for coming off as too “macho.” Invoking this theory, Glenn argued that she had been fired for “gender non-conformity.”

A three-judge panel of the Atlanta-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit agreed. Discrimination of the kind Glenn was subjected to, the court said, violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. At least three other federal appeals courts have reached similar conclusions, but this is the first appeals court in the Deep South to do so. The ruling is also notable because of one of the judges who signed on: William Pryor, a former Alabama Attorney General who was appointed to the court by George W. Bush. When Judge Pryor was nominated, gay-rights groups opposed him, in part because he had argued in 2003 that the Supreme Court should uphold state sodomy laws. Perhaps even more so than the opinion itself, the fact that judge Pryor agreed with it is an indication of how far transgender legal rights have come.
Transgender people have long been on the margins of society. That has even been true in the LGBT — or Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender — community, where debates have raged over how hard and how fast to push for transgender rights, which remain controversial. But that is true of any group that is still in the early stages of its civil rights struggle. If two of the nation’s most powerful institutions, federal courts and major corporations, are increasingly lining up behind transgender people, then change is undoubtedly on the way.
This year three states passed gender inclusive anti-discrimination laws and one state added to the categories that were already covered, bring the total to 16 states* and the District of Columbia. The opposition is getting harder, they now know our weakness and are exploiting it with lies, innuendos and fear.

The next article is from the Huffington Post about discrimination and white male privilege,
Transgender Rights or Deviant Behavior?
Huffington Post
By Chris Tina Bruce
Posted: 12/12/11 01:38 PM ET

As a white, heterosexual, college-educated male living in suburbia, the sky was the limit when it came to where I could go or what I wanted to do with my life. I still needed to work diligently and attack every opportunity or challenge at full speed, although all barriers were ones I could control. During the first 40 years of my life, I graduated from Georgia State University, relocated to a new city, and entered the corporate world to then start multiple successful and profitable organizations. I had the American dream, a wonderful wife, two healthy and happy children, a loving mother and sister, and a successful career, but I was not being true to myself.
Now two years into living my life as a transgender female, I understand the true meaning of discrimination. I understand the impact of being judged solely based on my appearance and not my substance.
Being transgender is one of my unique characteristics as a person, although it does not define who I am. I am a bodybuilder, business owner, private pilot, writer, and father of two amazing children. These are the things that define who I am, not my gender, sex, or sexual orientation.

What difference does it make about my gender, sex, or sexual orientation? Judge me by my heart, behavior, and actions, then decide if I am someone you wish to have in your life. If I am not, then why waste your time and energy on hate? Move on and invest in doing something for others, our planet, or even yourself. It really is that simple.
All the laws on the books will not make a difference, it will only be through education that change comes about. Educating people not to judge people by who they, but on their abilities and not just trans-people but all people. Give them a chance to show you what they can do, you will be amazed.

*15 states laws cover: employment, housing, public accommodation and credit and one state law covers employment, housing and credit.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

I've Been Fighting A Bug!

I have been fighting a bug of some time and all I have been doing is sleeping, reading and drinking gallons of lemonade and other drinks high in Vitamin C.

I feel like I've been hit by a truck, I'm all aches and pains. :(

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Saturday 9: I Will Survive

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: I Will Survive

1. What in the 2011 has proved to you that you are a survivor?
I made it to today.

2. Have you ever stayed online for a very long time waiting for someone?
Yes, and I will not name names

3. Are REALLY ready for the holidays?
No, not until Christmas Eve, then I might consider going shopping. If you wait until the last minute, then you don’t have to think what to get them, you take what is left on the shelves.

4. Did you have an imaginary friend as a kid?
I cannot remember that far back, after all that was about 60 years ago.

5. What niche network do you watch the most?
USA, TNT and History.

6. Have you ever seen the ocean?
Yes, the Atlantic is only 50 miles away, but I have also seen the Pacific.

7. Have you ever been hospitalized?
Yes, when I was less than a year only, I broke my right wrist. Since then, I only been in the emergency room.

8. What do you think of the US Republican candidates for president?
They are a good comedy act, have they ever thought to be stand-up comics

9. Could you imagine life without a computer?
Nope, it brings the world to my fingertips. When Ron Paul spouts his Austrian Economics, you can with just a few key strokes find out just what he is talking about.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday Fill-ins

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins

1. Sleigh bells ring _...what are sleighs doing on a main road?_.

2. It's coming on Christmas, they're cutting down trees _without a permit from the DEP!_

3. You're a mean one _,yup!_.

4. Father Christmas _is in a nursing home this year_.

5. Silent night _,ah finally I can get a good night sleep_.

6. All I want for Christmas _is for that music to stop at the stores_!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _doing I don’t know what, probably finishing the Christmas cards that I have been procrastinating over for the last week_, tomorrow my plans include _going to a Christmas party in Springfield_ and Sunday, I want to _get out and walk to shake some of these blahs_!

As you can tell, I haven't gotten into the Christmas sprite yet.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The EU Says To End GID As A Mental Disorder

The EU Says To End GID As A Mental Disorder

I came across this article where the EU calls for end to the classification of GID as a mental disorder…
EU Calls for End to Classifying Trans People As Mentally Ill
By Steve Williams
September 30, 2011

The European Parliament this week voted to pass a resolution calling on the World Health Organisation (WHO) to stop classifying transgender people as mentally ill.

The text of the resolution, passed Wednesday, reads:
“The European Parliament calls on the Commission and the World Health Organization to withdraw gender identity disorders from the list of mental and behavioral disorders, and ensure a non-pathologizing reclassification in the negotiations on the 11th version of the International Classification of Diseases.”
A statement from Dutch MEP Emine Bozkurt who authored the amendment comes via Pink News:

“Transgender identities are still considered a mental disorder by the World Health Organisation. This must be changed urgently, and certainly by the time the next version comes into effect in 2015.

“Transgender people wishing to live in a body that matches their identity are of course entitled to medical treatment and its benefits, but the negative stigma surrounding them must stop.”
This would be a step in the right direction. The APA is scheduled to release DSM V early next year and it should be interesting to see what the APA has finally settled on, my fears are the that it will be much worse than we now have. The EU is step in the right direction, but I don’t think we will also see much change there.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Stop The Bigots, Stop The Hatred

There is a reality show on television call American Muslims, that a conservative group said the show was a “danger to American liberties and traditional values." It is not the show that is a “danger to American liberties and traditional values", but the group Florida Family Association who are attacking religious freedom. They have convinced Lowes Home Improvement to withdraw their ads for the show.
Fla. group in Lowe's flap has history of protests
Boston Globe
By Mitch Stacy
Associated Press
December 13, 2011

TAMPA, Fla.—The conservative group that got Lowe's to pull its ads from a reality TV show about American Muslims has been fighting for more than two decades against gay rights, strip clubs and most anything else that offends evangelical Christians.

The leader of the Florida Family Association is David Caton, a 55-year-old family values crusader who left an accounting career to found the group in 1987. He said the association has 35,000 members who were urged to email Lowe's to pressure the home improvement giant into dropping commercials during the TLC cable network show "All-American Muslim."

Lowes has drawn criticism for its decision from leaders in the Muslim community, celebrities and others suggesting a boycott of the store. Despite the growing backlash, the Mooresville, N.C.-based company said Monday it was planning to stick by its decision after the show became a "lightning rod for people to voice complaints from a variety of perspectives -- political, social and otherwise."
Lowes has the right to advertise wherever they want, but we have the right to speak-up against them, to picket and boycott their stores.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

First the bad news…
Lawsuit Filed Against Airport Restaurant by Fired Transgender Employee
Human Resources Journal
Dec. 9, 2011

The Midway Airport is being sued by a transgender server for wrongful termination and employment discrimination according to the Windy City Media Group. A former server from Harry Caray’s Seventh Inning Stretch, Hamed Khan, is alleging that the supervisors at the restaurant ignored transphobic remarks made by other workers at the establishment. The suit also alleges that Khan was subjected to unfair treatment and was terminated because Khan had called attention to the discrimination from the other workers.
“I was sent home for uniform issues,” Khan recalled. “My pants were too tight. I was told they were too feminine.”
I would suggest that the restaurant lawyers read the 1989 Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins Supreme Court ruling.

The good news…
Marriott earns high marks from the Human Rights Campaign
Breaking Travel News

The Corporate Equality Index rates employers for their acceptance of and respect for their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees, consumers and investors. Ratings are based on factors such as non-discrimination policies, equal benefits for domestic partners, and respectful advertising, and external community outreach.

“From our employees and owners to our suppliers, customers and shareholders, everyone brings something different to Marriott and we embrace all,” says Jimmie Paschall, Global Diversity Officer and senior vice president of External Affairs, Marriott International. “We are proud that the Human Rights Campaign recognizes our commitment to a culture of inclusiveness. It is in the fabric of our culture. Our employees, customers, owners and shareholders expect it and understand that it is what makes Marriott successful.”
I do not like the Human Rights Campaign (HRC); however, the one thing that they are doing right is the CEI. They have increased their requirement to get a 100% rating to include surgery and medical care for trans-employees. As a result more companies are covering surgery.
Rights group: Coverage for gender surgery jumps
Sun Journal
Associated Press
Dec. 8, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The number of major U.S. companies covering the cost of gender reassignment surgery for transgender workers has more than doubled in the past year, according to a new scorecard compiled by the nation's largest gay rights group.

The Human Rights Campaign said in a report to be published Thursday that 207 of the 636 businesses it surveyed for its annual Corporate Equality Index either are already providing transgender- inclusive employee health benefits or plan to at the start of the new year.

Last year, 85 companies had insurance plans that paid for sex transformation surgeries, and only 49 did in 2009. A decade ago, when the campaign launched the index, none did.

The major force behind the jump is the fact that this is the first year the Human Rights Campaign graded corporations and law firms on whether their medical plans paid for the full complement of procedures workers might need to transition to a new gender on the job, from psychological counseling to genital reconstruction.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


No one knows why people are transgender, but whatever it is we know at a very early age…
Led by the child who simply knew
The twin boys were identical in every way but one. Wyatt was a girl to the core, and now lives as one, with the help of a brave, loving family and a path-breaking doctor’s care.
Boston Globe
By Bella English
December 11, 2011

Jonas and Wyatt Maines were born identical twins, but from the start each had a distinct personality.

Jonas was all boy. He loved Spiderman, action figures, pirates, and swords.

Wyatt favored pink tutus and beads. At 4, he insisted on a Barbie birthday cake and had a thing for mermaids. On Halloween, Jonas was Buzz Lightyear. Wyatt wanted to be a princess; his mother compromised on a prince costume.

Once, when Wyatt appeared in a sequin shirt and his mother’s heels, his father said: “You don’t want to wear that.’’

“Yes, I do,’’ Wyatt replied.

“Dad, you might as well face it,’’ Wayne recalls Jonas saying. “You have a son and a daughter.’’
Everything was going well for Nicole until the adults got involved. The kids accepted her transition in school, but when a grandparent of another student heard about it, he complained.
But one day a boy called her a “faggot,’’ objected to her using the girls’ bathroom, and reported the matter to his grandfather, who is his legal guardian. The grandfather complained to the Orono School Committee, with the Christian Civic League of Maine backing him. The superintendent of schools then decided Nicole should use a staff bathroom.

“It was like a switch had been turned on, saying it is now OK to question Nicole’s choice to be transgender and it was OK to pursue behavior that was not OK before,’’ Wayne says. “Every day she was reminded that she was different, and the other kids picked up on it.’’
That is segregation when you are told that you have to do something different from everyone else. Here in Connecticut that is now illegal. And notice that it was a boy that complained and he was harassing her by calling her names, which is also illegal here.
To protect her from bullying at school, Nicole was assigned an adult to watch her at all times between classes, following her to the cafeteria, to the bathroom. She found it intrusive and stressful. It made her feel like even more of an outsider.

“Separate but equal does not work,’’ she says.
Ah yes, revictimize the victim.
In the sixth grade, the twins joined the school’s Outing Club. All year they attended meetings to prepare for the crowning event: a whitewater rafting trip. Wayne went to several meetings, too, so he could serve as a chaperone.

Wayne thought he had a good relationship with the club leader. But then the man informed him that Nicole would not be allowed to sleep in the tent with the girls - the same girls who had slept over her house several times. She and her father could have a separate tent.
She eventually won her case before Maine’s Humans Right Commission. This and a lawsuit against Denny’s lead to Rep. Kenneth Fredette, a Republican from Penobscot County, sponsored a bill that would have repealed protections for transgender people in public restrooms, instead allowing schools and businesses to adopt their own policies. The bill was defeated.

Their life was turned upside down, because the hatred and bigotry of one person, forced out of their school, denied after school student activities and was outed in town.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Saturday Six Episode 400

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six Episode 400

1. While going through old boxes, you find an old library book of which you are very fond, but you realize that it was a library book. You assume that the library has long-since written the book off as a loss because it has been boxes away for 20 years or more, and the book carries a great deal of sentimental value for you. Would you return the book or keep it?
I would return it. If I liked it so much, I would have bought a copy of it.

2. You visit one of your closest friends who is battling a terminal illness. It’s clear he or she will not survive, but is in a lot of pain. Your friend begs you to briefly disconnect life support long enough for death to come. If there is no way your intervention could be discovered and no way you could face any kind of prosecution, would you grant your friend’s request?
No comment. It brings back too many sad memories.

3. You have the chance to be in a parade and ride on a float supporting a cause you believe in, but you can’t appear in any kind of disguise or costume: which cause’s float would you most likely be comfortable selecting?
Been there, done that.
The photo is of a rally and march through Hartford CT for transgender rights

4. Your company’s top executive team arrives for a surprise visit, and selects you and a handful of other employees to meet with one-on-one in an attempt to get the pulse of their employees and to uncover any problems within the organization. How honest are you likely to be about your answers when they ask about specific problems you know exist, even if it means that friends you work with could lose their jobs over what you say?
Been there done that. I talked about the problems not the people. It has great impact if you don’t make it personal, “The problem with the purchasing department is the orders are not being processed”… Rather than, “Bill in purchasing is sitting on all the orders”

5. You find yourself slated to be a guest on a talk show: which host, living or dead, would you most like to be interviewed by, and why would you choose that host?
Walter Cronkite, he was the greatest!

6. Your church decides to take part in a political protest, and it seems that nearly everyone feels the same way about the issue. You, however, do not share their view. At the risk of being ostracized, would you deny to participate, or would you search for a way to quietly assist, without being out in front?
Been there done that. Not with a church, but with an organization. I said that I did not belief in the action that they wanted to do. In my community organizing classes they taught that if you were going to have an action, you needed a defined target and strategy (such as target=Bank of America strategy=sit-in) and they didn’t have a target or strategy.

Saturday 9: Drift Away (RIP Dobie Gray)

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Drift Away (RIP Dobie Gray)

1. Who or what bores you enough to mentally drift away?
I have a friend who links to ramble on and never get to the point
As a side bar: I have a voice mail from a radio show host, who left a voice mail that rambled on and never go to the point before the time ran on the voice mail. He left a second voice mail and half way through that one, he finally asked me to be a guest on his show.

2. How many members of your family not living with you do you see on during the holidays?
I see all of my brother’s family except for a nephew who lives down in North Carolina

3. When spending time with family, how long after you arrive do you begin to feel "antsy" about being there too long?
I don’t feel that I do get that "antsy" with the family. However, since I live alone, I do enjoy the peace and quiet.

4. Does your family more generally get along at a holiday gathering or are there generally arguments?
Yes, I think we do.

5. Are you ever embarrassed by your family around friends?
OK, there was this time when my father was still alive and he couldn’t talk because of a stroke and we were eating out. He wanted more coffee so he hit the waitress in the butt with his cane; I wanted to hide under the table. But his lovable smile won over the waitress as he pointed to his cup and he tried to say “coffee”.

6. Of the celebrities that died in 2011, who will you miss the most?
I don’t know I’ll miss them, but I felt sad when I heard the Harry Morgan died

7. When you watch a movie in a movie theater, do you like the theater filled to capacity, halfway full, or nearly empty? Does your answer change depending on the type of movie you're seeing or do you feel the same way regardless of the movie or genre?
I go to the movies maybe once or twice a year and since I am retired, I usually go with the geriatric crowd on a weekday afternoon.

8. What’s one really cool/useful/nice thing you purchased for yourself this year?
My latest toy is a Kindle Touch . The other cool thing was a projector for the computer to give presentations. Did I happen to mention that it also great to watch movies, the screen is 92”

9. Are you in the holiday spirit yet?
Bah Humbug! I hate going to stores and hearing Christmas music playing.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Friday Fill-ins

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins

1. As I neared the _cupboard I could hear some scratching coming from underneath the cabinet. When I opened the door, much to my surprise, there was a small field mouse eating my crackers_.

2. _Sheepfarmer’s Daughter by Elizabeth Moon_ is what I'm reading right now. It's _has me captured and I can’t put the book down__

3. I didn't start out this way, _it took me a long time to evolve into the person I am today_.

4. _I’m not interested in Christmas_ to tell the truth.

5. The best way to _catch a mouse is with a piece of cinnamon sticky bun_.

6. This is the reason I am _who I am_!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _reading_, tomorrow my plans include _going to a support group Christmas party_ and Sunday, I want to _the Wadsworth Atheneum Christmas Tree exhibit (this is from 2009)_!

OK, I Made a Mistake In Buying The Kindle

I haven’t been able to put it down!

If you wondered why I have missed posting articles on my blog it is because in the last two weeks I read two and half books… I admit it, I’m addicted to it. I get up in the morning and start reading and I end up reading until midnight.
I’ve read,
Crusade by David Weber
Broken by Susan Bigelow
Sheepfarmer’s Daughter by Elizabeth Moon (I’m half way through it)

And I just saw on Facebook the Susan Bigelow just released the first two chapters on her new book to preview. I also have an ebook on hold at the library.

I’ll try to do the Friday Fill-ins and Saturday 9 tonight.

Well it’s back to reading, the heroine just saved the battle and is now chasing the bad guy.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

My Story Part 101 – “Stealth” or “Out & Proud”

I always joke the if you can’t tell that I’m trans within ten feet, then you need new glasses and a hearing aid. When I am out in public shopping, I don’t think anyone even notices that I’m trans, if I interact with them they may notice. However, most people never comment so I don’t know if they “read” me and I don’t care if they did or not, it’s how they treat me that is important. If I interact with them, say they are helping me pick out something to buy then, I think there is a good chance in being read.

A few years back I was in an accident and I had to go to an auto repair shop and talk to the owner. I could tell when he read me as trans, his eyes opened wider and he took a step back. However, by the time we finished, he was back to the normal talking distance and we again relaxed.

Sometime when I am in a check-out line the clerk smiles at me and in the back of my mind, I am thinking, did she just read me or does she smile at everyone. Yes, I suppose that I am a little paranoid, but I think it comes with the territory.

That is how it is in my daily life, but as an activist I am OUT. If you Google my full name you get hundreds of hits, I have been interviewed on television, on radio and by the newspapers many times. I have been on numerous panels. I was at a supermarket deli and the woman at the counter recognized me from a TV news interview. A journalist student was able to find my home phone number (scary) and ask for an interview for the college newspaper.

So when someone says that they are “Stealth” or “Out & Proud” they mean different things in different settings.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

This And That In The News – Little Battles

"This And That In The News" is about articles in the news that have caught my eye and I want to comment about.

Sometimes it is the little battles that win the war. Yesterday we won a battle in court, a trans-woman down in Atlanta Georgia was fired from her job as a legislative editor in the Georgia General Assembly. She sued for her job back and won, but the state appealed the decision. Yesterday, they state lost the appeal.
Court rules in favor of transgender editor at Legislature
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
By Bill Rankin
December 6, 2011

The federal appeals court in Atlanta on Tuesday ruled in favor of a transgender woman who was fired from her General Assembly job after disclosing she was going to make the transition from man to woman.

The unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals means Vandy Beth Glenn is one step closer to getting her job back as an editor and proofreader of legislation. Glenn was fired in October 2007.

The court upheld a ruling last year by a federal judge in Atlanta. Glenn had not been allowed to return to her General Assembly job, pending the state’s appeal, but has continued to be paid her state salary.
“An individual cannot be punished because of his or her perceived gender-nonconformity,” Barkett [Judge Rosemary Barkett] wrote. “Because these protections are afforded to everyone, they cannot be denied to a transgender individual. The nature of the discrimination is the same; it may differ in degree but not in kind.”
She sued under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. This is an important case I think because it was the first time that the Equal Protection Clause was used. I know that other cases used the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Also, as far as I know this was also the first case to go to appeal.

The other victory was not in the courts, but in private sector, Macy’s fired an employee for discrimination.
Macy’s Fires Employee For Harassing Trans Woman
Lez Get Real
By: Bridgette P. LaVictoire
December 7, 2011

There are those who seem to confuse religious belief with religious dictatorship, and it appears that Natalie Johnson at the Macy’s department store in San Antonio, Texas made that mistake recently when she refused to allow a trans woman to use the women’s dressing rooms at the store.
Johnson has every right to believe what she wants to, but she violated Macy’s policy. Her religious liberty was not violated, but her ability to do the job she was hired to do was. She showed that she could not distinguish between religious belief and religious tyranny and decided to deny someone the right to use the facilities that they are entitled to under Macy’s policies. This policy does not open up the dressing rooms to every man out there, like Liberty Counsel wants to imply, but rather only those who are transgender or transsexual.
In the statement made the fired employee attorneys, Liberty Counsel, said,
When Johnson was confronted by her employer, she explained that she could not allow a male to change in a female’s fitting room. Johnson’s boss referred her to Macy’s LGBT policy which allows “transgender” people to change in any dressing room they want. However, Johnson pointed out that the same policy also protects against religious discrimination and, in this case, it protects her right to her beliefs that were being violated.
OK, she claimed it was her religious right to discriminate and that they were violated. However, when an employee is hired they are expected to perform their job which is to sell merchandise to the public, all the public, not just the public that she wants to sell it to. If she said that she didn’t want to sell something to a Muslim, would that have been OK.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011


We look at them as Gate Keepers; they control our path to our hormones. Sometimes we get therapist who know nothing about us and we have to train them. Sometimes we get a therapist who follows the Standard of Care like a bible. Sometimes we get a therapist who believe that we can be “Cured”. And once in a while we find a great therapist, the Albany Times Union has an article about such therapists…
Therapists help transgender patients with psychological issues
Times Union
By PAUL GRONDAHL, Staff writer
December 4, 2011

"Are you a man or a woman?"

It seems like a simple question, with an obvious and clear-cut answer.

But for psychotherapists Moonhawk River Stone, of Schenectady, and Arlene Istar Lev, of Albany, complicated responses are at the core of their private practices in transgender care.

The way a person answers the question, ranging from certitude to confusion, holds the key to treatment options.

Both therapists view gender with a wider lens than a binary classification of either male or female. Rather than dealing with black and white distinctions, they work with clients who express themselves in many shades of gray when it comes to gender.
"The problem is that even a majority of social workers and therapists know nothing about this issue," Lev said. "We're just beginning to see more therapists seeking out specialized training, which is still hard to find."
I have known Hawk for over six years, we first met at the “Targeted State” conference in Albany that was given by the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. I have never met Lev, but I have read her book and also I used it as a reference in many of my term papers.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Some Like It Hot

I have mixed feeling about the movie; I feel that the movie is degrading to transgender people. I feel that the jokes are at our expense, but on the other hand, it is a good movie, well directed and well-acted.

The local art cinema is showing the movie and having a discussion this afternoon…
Monday Matinee: Some Like It Hot
Monday, December 5, 2011

1 PM refreshments
1:30 PM screening
Discussion after

$8 | $5 for members

One of the American Film Institute's 100 Greatest American Movies.

Directed by Billy Wilder and featuring an all-star cast of Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon, two struggling musicians witness a mob hit and flee the scene disguised as women in an all female band. But even further complications set in when love enters the equation.

"Wilder's 1959 comedy is one of the enduring treasures of the movies, a film of inspiration and meticulous craft"- Chicago Sun Times

(1959, USA, 120 mins)
Comments encouraged.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Saturday 9: Lies

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Lies

1. “Everybody lies. But it's alright because nobody listens.” is one of Bud's Law's. What do you lie about?
Before I came out to my family, I use to lie about where I was going or been.

2. When you purchase a DVD, what besides the the movie itself, what do you enjoy the most? Is it the director's commentary, the deleted scenes, the bloopers or the behind-the-scenes documentary?
Nothing, I don’t usually watch any of those features.

3. What would you most like to accomplish before the year is over?
Send out my Christmas cards and my Christmas shopping. I think those are two lofty goals for the end of this month.

4. What is your current percentage of online shopping? Is it going to be more this year than last?
0%, but on the other hand I haven’t done any shopping yet. It will probably the same amount of shopping this year.

5. What's left to do at your place (or where you are going)? Is the tree up? ...or maybe you're just happy you found that fave Christmas coffee mug and are calling that good?
Bah Humbug! I don’t put up any Christmas decorations, you only to take them down again, box them and put them away.

6. If you could get worry free, cost free plastic surgery, would you? If yes, where?
It is in a very private spot.

7. Do you think the child you were growing up, would like the adult you've become?
Yes. Very much so.

8. What will you miss about 2011?
College, I will miss my classmate, the class discussions and my professors.

9. What is something you'd love to see invented?
A good back scratcher for people who are single, the door jam just doesn’t work that great.

My New Kindle

I finally broke down and got a Kindle. Sadly all the local bookstores have closed down and my nearest Barns & Noble is a 20 mile round trip, so I used my credit card points to get the Kindle. I ordered it on Tuesday and I got it yesterday morning from Amazon. It took all afternoon to figure out how to load a non-Amazon book; you can do it by two ways. One is to email the book to your Kindle email account, and the other is by downloading it to your computer and connecting the USB cable to the Kindle and computer.

There a great number of places that you can download free books (see the links at the end), some are new books that the author or publisher give away in hopes that you will buy more books in the series. Others are classics that are in the public domain and still more are from authors who just want to be published.

As many of you know I am hooked on science fiction. So my first book was from Baen publishers and was written by David Weber and Steve White, Crusade, it was first published in 1992 and on Amazon it is $7.99 in paperback and at Baen the ebook is free.
Neither side having proved capable of pressing their conflict to a successful conclusion, the Human-Orion war to end all interstellar wars has collapsed into an uneasy peace. But it is a peace filled with fear, hatred and mistrust on both sides. Then from out of a warp point notorious for devouring spaceships, appears a ship from the dim mists of half-forgotten history. It responds to hails from the patrolling Orion sentry using ancient human codes from a long lost colony. And it opens fire on the Orions, igniting the fires of interstellar war anew, in a quest to free Holy Mother Terra...
Baen Free Library
MemoWare - Thousands of Free Ebooks and PDA Documents!
Free eBooks
Free eBooks by Project Gutenberg
20 Best Websites To Download Free EBooks
Also check out the publishers’ websites

Friday, December 02, 2011

Friday Fill-ins

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins

1. One of my favorite things about December _is that it ends with one big party_.

2. _I have several boxes of my grandmothers_ ornament(s)!

3. This is what I'm hoping for today/tonight: _a good night sleep_.

4. _What’s that_ noise?

5. Ooh, a _h, ooh, ah, is what I sound like when I wake up in the morning_.

6. _When I going a grocery store, I hate the bell_ ringing!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _reading with my brand new Kindle_, tomorrow my plans include _more reading_ and Sunday, I want to _go for a short walk_!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

At Last! Ob-Gyns: Prepare to Treat Transgender Patients

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has told their members to treat trans-patients. In a press release they said…
"Transgender patients have many of the same health care needs as the rest of our patients," said Eliza Buyers, MD, former member of The College's Committee on Health Care for Underserved Women who helped develop the new recommendations. Health outcomes for the transgender community are very poor due to their lack of access to health care, noted Dr. Buyers. "It would be wonderful if all transgender patients had the resources to be seen in a specialized clinic, but the reality is that many forgo care because they don't. By increasing the number of ob-gyns providing care to transgender patients we can help improve the overall health of the transgender community."

Transgender individuals who were assigned female sex at birth but are now living as a male will continue needing breast and reproductive organ screening, unless they've had mastectomy or had their ovaries, uterus, and/or cervix removed. Male-to-female individuals who have had genital reconstruction may need cancer screening of the neovagina and breast cancer screening if taking estrogen hormones.
I know of many trans-women and trans-men that have been refused health care by ob-gyns providers. The excuses range from “I don’t want to scare away my regular patients” to “I don’t know how to treat transgender patients. And that is what they are excuses. I work with a group of doctors and other non-profits to talk to other doctors about transgender patients. The only thing that is different about transgender patients is that we take cross-gender hormones which is being treated by our endocrinologist. As for chasing away you regular patients, you just tell that you are obeying the law and not discriminating.

They go on to say,
"We need to make our offices settings that treat all patients with respect," said Dr. Buyers. The College offers ob-gyns suggestions on how to create an office environment that is welcoming to transgender patients. For instance, asking patients their preferred name and pronoun, posting non-discrimination policies, ensuring confidentiality, and offering sensitivity training for staff are all steps that signal acceptance and let patients know that they will be treated with dignity. "We want the transgender community to know that we, as ob-gyns, care about their health."
That is just common sense that they learn in 2nd year med school. Every year I take part on a panel for 2nd year med students at the UConn School of Medicine and the doctor who teaches the class emphasizes that same thing, make your office and staff LGBT friendly. Don’t ask a girl do you have a boyfriend, instead ask do you have somebody that you like romantically and ask open ended questions when it is time to sexual history.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My Story Part 100 – Can A Person Be Two Legal Genders?

On Monday last week I wrote (You Are Damned Either Way) about a trans-woman who was arrested for exposing her breast after the Tennessee Department of Safety refused to list her gender on her driver license as female. Outside she took off her top and was promptly arrested for indecent exposure; something any man can do without being arrested.

When my severance pay ran out, my former employer changed my gender back to male. After many exchanges of emails that said “We are looking into it”, I finally got frustrated and emailed my former
HR director from division which was closed down, she was still working at the main site. What she found out was that their records showed that the “male” me was retired and the “female” me was still working. I asked if that meant that I would get two checks (a pay check and a pension check) and she said no, but nice try though.

Just recently I went to the doctors for a routine checkup and I filled out the forms, putting down an “F” for my gender. After all my driver’s license and passport has my gender as “F”, the insurance company sent back my clam, “wrong gender”. Shortly in the future I will be going to the hospital for a routine test as an outpatient, where will they put me? Will it be in the male ward or the female ward? Under Connecticut state law they have to treat me just like any other woman patient.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

This And That In The News

"This And That In The News" is about articles in the news that have caught my eye and I want to comment about. The first story is about a trans-woman who was arrested and convicted of grand thelf when her story went bankrupt.
A small victory for the TransCommunity
Kay’s overturned grand theft conviction finally officially closed
Rainbow Times
November 28, 2011

On Wednesday, November 23, 2011, historical transgender personality and activist Erica Kay was scheduled to make an appearance in the Panama City courtroom of the Honorable Elijah Smiley to have her case of grand theft officially close; one year and a day after it was overturned by the Appellate Court due to failure to prove criminal intent. Hoping to avoid the press the State Attorney hand delivered the motion to close the case, eliminating the need for a hearing. In spite of the cancelation and in the face of repeated and credible death threats, Ms. Kay was present as her five-year battle against Florida’s law enforcement community finally came to a close to hold a press conference on the steps of the courthouse. During which she outlined the facts in her case and the discrimination she faced while in the custody of law enforcement.
According to court documents, Erica Kay’s conviction was overturned by the court of appeals on November 22, 2010 due to failing to prove criminal intent necessary to secure a conviction. According to the law, grand theft would have required actual money to be stolen or embezzled not work, which was incomplete. So directly from the beginning, there were never grounds for arrest, a trial, or conviction. The law is very clear on the limitations of this law. If in this case it has been allowed to stand then every business, which folded during the economic downturn, could have been prosecuted. The law was not created for that purpose, it was created after the hurricane devastation to prosecute those who went door to door taking money and never completing a job. In her press conference, Ms. Kay asks why did the state not only wait one year and a day after the conviction was overturned to finally close the case, but why was a warrant issued by Detective Aaron Wilson allowed to stand until approximately one month ago when it was finally withdrawn?
How many businesses in Panama City went bankrupt that year and how many were prosecuted? I don’t know the answer, but I bet I can could them on one hand and I bet you those that were prosecuted embezzled money.
Barney Frank Will Not Seek Reelection In 2012
AP/Huffington Post
November 28, 2011

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) will not seek reelection in 2012, according to WBZ News Radio.

CNN has confirmed the news with the Democratic congressman's office. Frank addressed his decision to forgo running for another term at a press conference at a press conference in his hometown of Newton, Mass.

Frank said he originally intended to run for one more term, but that his decision was partially due to the fact that the state's new redistricting map will include many people he has never represented before.

Frank said he has had a "busy and stressful" four years dealing with financial reform after the recession.
Rep. Frank passed many laws that help the LGBT community; however, he is no friend of mine. He also stabbed the trans-community in the back over ENDA when he withdrew the ENDA inclusive bill and substituted a non-trans inclusive ENDA bill. He said on "The Agenda" - Dec. 17, 2007 “ICK” factor and how the Gays and Lesbians went through it 35 years ago and that the trans-community is just now going through it. He also said,
We’d make even more progress if the transgender community was willing to do the hard political work. And not, frankly, think they can just talk a few leaders into handing this to them.”
Totally oblivious to the lobbying that the trans-community for the past 50 years when the gay and lesbian tried to keep us in the closet.

As the LGBT community struggles to for equality we face an uphill battle for employment. The far right sees the battle for equality as an agenda.
Homosexuals Aggressively Push Agenda in Federal Government
New American
Written by Dave Bohon
November 28, 2011

The death of longtime homosexual activist Frank Kameny offered an opportunity for “LGBT” professionals to gather and celebrate their increasing presence in the federal government, as well as to insist that more be done to advance their interests.

On a mid-November evening, a group of D.C. bureaucrats gathered at the Cannon House Office Building to remember the “gay rights pioneer,” who, reported the Associated Press, “is credited with staging the first gay rights protests in front of the White House and Philadelphia’s Independence Hall. He had been fired from his job as a government astronomer for being gay. Kameny took that case to the Supreme Court 50 years ago.”
While such obstacles as the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” have hindered homosexual federal employees full access to the benefits afforded traditional married couples, the Obama administration has conducted a high-profile campaign to change that. Besides leading the campaign that repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and gave homosexuals nearly unfettered access to even the most sensitive military positions, Obama officials have been hard at work chipping away “at one of the biggest obstacles to equality for same-sex partners: the lack of access to more than 1,100 benefits that come with marriage,” reported the Washington Post. “LGBT civil servants can now take leave to care for sick partners and visit them in the hospital; gay couples can get relocation benefits and child-care services. Transgender federal employees are protected by anti-discrimination laws.”

Nonetheless, DOMA, which defines marriage in federal business as only between a man and a woman, blocks “gay” employees from receiving full benefits for their homosexual partners. This is particularly galling as they witness private corporations bending over backward to offer spousal benefits to their homosexual employees.
Yup, the oppressor never see the injustice that they force upon the oppressed. So when we demand our human rights we are being uppity in their eyes, we threw them our table scraps why are they so ungrateful?

And I’ll end this on a positive note…
HUD secretary first cabinet member to address transgender event
Keen News Service
By Dana Rudolph
November 28, 2011

U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Shaun Donovan became the first United States cabinet secretary to address a transgender event when he gave the keynote speech November 15 at the eighth anniversary celebration of the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE).

Mara Keisling, executive director of NCTE, told Keen News Service, “Having Secretary Donovan keynote our event is an important symbolic and historic advance for transgender Americans.”
He said the administration is the first to view the fight for transgender equality “not as an issue—but as a priority.”
He cited the administration’s “record number of LGBT appointments,” including openly transgender appointees; the Office of Personnel Management’s prohibition of discrimination on the basis of gender identity in federal employment; the Veterans Administration’s directive for non-discriminatory care for transgender veterans; the State Department’s efforts “to ensure greater dignity and privacy” for transgender passport applicants; and the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention law.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Bullying In Michigan

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the anti-bullying bill that passed in the Michigan Senate and how it was amended in the House. The Senate passed a bill that allow bullying on religious grounds and the House version removed that exemption, will the bill is back in the Senate.
Anti-bully bill debate heats up in Michigan legislature
Provision for gay students holds up state law
Detroit News Lansing Bureau
By Karen Bouffard
November 28, 2011

Advocates of anti-bullying legislation support bills that enumerate, or list, characteristics — such as race or religion — that are off-limits for taunts or abuse by schoolyard bullies. They say enumerated laws can be written with sufficient breadth to protect every student and better withstand challenges before the U.S. Supreme Court.

But, some conservatives object specifically to the enumeration of gay, lesbian and transgender students. Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan and a challenger to U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, has called inclusion of such students in the bill a "Trojan horse."

"We are concerned that if you establish special protected class status expressly on the basis of homosexual behavior, that will be used to promote such behavior," said Glenn, who was co-sponsor of the "marriage protection" amendment approved by state voters in 2004.
The battle over Michigan's anti-bullying legislation grabbed national attention earlier this month when the Senate passed a bill stipulating it wouldn't prohibit expression of religious or moral viewpoints — a provision critics feared could be used to justify harassment of gay, lesbian or transgendered students. Video of Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer's scathing rebuke was televised coast to coast.
So it looks like that Michigan will have an anti-bullying law with enumerating who is being protected. Consider…
Comprehensive Bullying/Harassment Policies and Laws
Policies and laws that explicitly address bias-based bullying and harassment can reduce the prevalence of bias behaviors and encourage staff intervention. Comprehensive policies and laws that specifically enumerate personal characteristics, such as sexual orientation and gender identity/expression among others, are the most effective at combating anti-LGBT bullying and harassment.
But Michigan doesn’t care about that; they just don’t want to “promote homosexual behavior”. You know if you add sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, kids will become gays or lesbians or transgender just to have protection from getting their heads bashed in.

You might also want to read the Importance of Listing So-Called “Protected Classes" in Anti-Bullying Laws and Policies from the Safe Schools Coalition.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Corporate Welfare

You all have heard how the Republicans say that we need to cut Corporate taxes to stimulate jobs.
GOP Plan To Cut Corporate Taxes Not Feasible Without Revenue Loss, Report Finds
Huffington Post
By Alan Fram
11/ 2/11

WASHINGTON -- It will be hard for Republicans to attain their goal of lowering the top corporate tax rate to 25 percent if they want to pay for it solely by eliminating business tax breaks, a preliminary report by Congress' nonpartisan revenue scorekeeper suggested Wednesday.

The study by the Joint Committee on Taxation found that erasing corporate deductions and credits would save around $960 billion over the next decade, only enough money to lower the top rate to 28 percent. The current top rate is 35 percent.

Well let’s look at how the corporations are using all their cash that they have piled up.
As Layoffs Rise, Stock Buybacks Consume Cash
New York Times
Published: November 21, 2011

When Pfizer cut its research budget this year and laid off 1,100 employees, it was not because the company needed to save money.

In fact, the drug maker had so much cash left over, it decided to buy back an additional $5 billion worth of stock on top of the $4 billion already earmarked for repurchases in 2011 and beyond.
The result is that at a time when the nation is looking for ways to battle unemployment, big companies are creating fewer jobs, and critics say they are neglecting to lay the foundation for future growth by expanding into new businesses or building new plants.

What is more, share buybacks have not fulfilled their stated purpose of rewarding investors over the last decade, experts say. “It’s a symptom of a deeper problem, which is a lack of investment in the long term,” said William W. George, a Harvard Business School professor and former chief executive of Medtronic, a medical technology company. “If we’re not investing in research, innovation and entrepreneurship, we’re going to be a slow-growth country for a decade.”
Last month, the first layoffs began at Zimmer’s plant in Statesville, N.C., which is due to shut early next year. The company made splints and tourniquets there for more than three decades. For the sewing machine operators and the rest of the 124 workers at the plant, it is bad news, but it is a different story for Zimmer’s top executives.

Powered by huge stock buybacks — the company bought $500 million worth of its own shares last year, more than twice what it spent on research and development — Zimmer posted earnings growth of 10 percent a share, even though operating income and revenue grew by less than 5 percent in 2010.

That helped its senior management, including the chief executive, David C. Dvorak, collect millions in cash and stock incentive payments by meeting earnings-per-share goals. For example, 50 percent of Mr. Dvorak’s $1.03 million cash bonus was tied to achieving per-share earnings of $4.28 in 2010. The company earned $4.33, but without the share repurchases the company would have made $4 to $4.10 a share.
Oh yes, we see where all the money is going to the 1 percenters. Not to the workers, not to the stockholders but to the rarefied few, to corporate bosses.

But when they do hire new employees, where are they hiring?
U.S. Firms Keen to Add Foreign Jobs
Wall Street Journal
By David Wessel
November 22, 2011

U.S.-based multinational corporations added 1.5 million workers to their payrolls in Asia and the Pacific region during the 2000s, and 477,500 workers in Latin America, while cutting payrolls at home by 864,000, the Commerce Department reported.
The data show the dramatic changes in the nature of globalization during the past decade, when U.S.-based multinationals concentrated their growth opportunities abroad. And it is likely to become fodder in the political debate over U.S. and foreign corporate tax codes and policies aimed at encouraging companies to produce more jobs at home.
I want you to remember one other thing, do you remember last year when the Supreme Court ruled that corporation could spend unlimited amounts of dollars on US election?
Are corporations the same as people?
Miami Herald
BY Perry Stein
November 26, 2011

When the Supreme Court made its landmark 2008 ruling in the case Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, political warfare was unleashed. It became known among some as the “corporations are people, too” ruling.
“I thought the Supreme Court had moved in a direction that was completely counter to the intention of the founders,” said South Miami Mayor Philip Stoddard, who first introduced the resolution to his city in October. “The Founding Fathers were suspicious of corporations.”

The two cities called for a constitutional amendment to redefine the word “person” to exclude legal entities.
Elizabeth Price Foley, a professor of law at Florida International University, said these types of resolutions mean absolutely nothing in the court law, but could hold carry some weight in the court of public opinion.

“To the extent there is an effect from this, it’s in the court of public opinion,” Price Foley said. “It’s part of a larger societal debate about an important Supreme Court decision.”
How do you think corporation will use their money to influence the elections, for the good of the country or to line their pockets with more cash?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Saturday Six Episode 398

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six Episode 398

1. From Aislínge: Where have you lived?
In Connecticut all my life, in this town since 1955. We moved from the shore in 1955 when I was seven when my father got a new job in Hartford.

2. From Strange: What famous person — living or dead — would you like to meet if you could?
The President, there is a lot that I would like to tell him.

3. From Strange: If you could have any superpower, what would you choose?
A peacemaker, I would like to bring peace where ever I go.

4. From Cat.: Has there ever been a time you’ve had creepy stalker-types hassling you in real live over your blog?
Nope. I have had a state Senator use something that I wrote on my blog. I called his amendment a Scarlet Letter, as far as I know I was the only to call it that and in the Senate he said, “This is no Scarlet Letter”

5. From Cat.: What have you been reading?
I reading all my old books in my bookcase and I just started “Dragonriders of Pern” by Anne McCaffrey who just passed away this week.

6. From Cat.: What’s for dessert? [This is, clearly, THE most important question!]
Apple turnover.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Saturday 9: Turn Back the Hands of Time

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Turn Back the Hands of Time

1. There's a Time Genie. She can put you back in time to relive a day that you loved. If you could turn back time, what day would you relive if given this opportunity?
The day before my mother died.

2. What did you do yesterday?
Went to a friend’s house in Sommers for Thanksgiving.

3. You've been given 3 parachutes, but there are 4 people who need them. Who will you not give one to: Mel Gibson, Charlie Sheen, Kim Kardashian, or Simon Cowell? Why?
I think I would look for a way to share a parachute.

4. Where are you going and where have you been?
I am going to an unexplored future and where I have been will shape where I am going.

5. They say that books read as a child make more of an impact on a person than books read at any other time in life. Are there any books that you particularly loved, that shaped the way you think when you were little?
The Lone Ranger, I always want to rush in and save the day.

6. What do you look forward to most in the next six weeks?
Not much outside of Christmas. The days are getting darker and colder and the white stuff is coming.

7. What was the last text message you received?
A warning about the campus losing power during hurricane Irene. I wish that they would update their call list and delete all the graduated students

8. Do you prefer to call or text?
Call. It cost me extra for a text message.

9. What were you doing at 9PM last night?
Driving down I-91 on the way home.

Harassment Or Assault

You be the judge. Is this harassment or is it an assault?
Des Moines city employee disciplined for harassment of transgender person
Des Moines Register
By Jason Pulliam
Nov. 23, 2011

A Des Moines Public Works employee will receive unspecified punishment for harassing a transgender person last week at a bar.

Numerous Public Works employees were drinking at Z’s Bar and Grill, 1511 South Union St., on Friday when a city employee approached an elderly transgender patron and pulled a wig off the person’s head.

“Appropriate disciplinary action” has been taken against the unnamed employee, Public Works Director Bill Stowe said on Wednesday.
The definition of Assault is,
At Common Law, an intentional act by one person that creates an apprehension in another of an imminent harmful or offensive contact.

An assault is carried out by a threat of bodily harm coupled with an apparent, present ability to cause the harm. It is both a crime and a tort and, therefore, may result in either criminal or civil liability. Generally, the common law definition is the same in criminal and Tort Law. There is, however, an additional Criminal Law category of assault consisting of an attempted but unsuccessful Battery.

Statutory definitions of assault in the various jurisdictions throughout the United States are not substantially different from the common-law definition.
What do you think, just a slap on the wrist or jail time. If that happened here in Connecticut it might also be considered a hate crime.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

For many in the LGBT community it is an especially lonely time, they might not have seen their family since they came out to them. Their families and children have disowned them and for them Thanksgiving is a time when they feel their loss the greatest.

It is also hard on those who have lost their jobs in this economic crisis. So let us open our hearts and doors to them and invite them to the table.

But on a lighter side…

This is one of the all-time classic WKRP shows…

The classic Thanksgiving song…

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My Story Part 99 – Discrimination

This article, A Girl’s Guide To Attending A Gay Bar, reminded me of the time I was up in LGBt friendly towns. I was in Provincetown one November five or six years ago with three other trans-women and two gay friends, and we went to one gay bar and they never served us as we sat at the bar. The bar tender ignored us and after waiting 15 minutes and other people who came in after were served before us, we left and went to another bar where we had no problems.

In Ogunquit, I was with another trans-woman and we went to a lesbian bar and the woman at the door told us we couldn’t come in. We stared at her and she backed down and let us in, but told us we couldn’t use the dance floor because it was reserved for women. When we sat down at a table all the women at the tables around got up and moved. It was until the lesbians that we met at the B&B came in and sat with us did the tables around us filled up again.

Discrimination is discrimination whether it is by straight people, gays or lesbians. In both states it was against the law to discriminate against a trans-person. In Maine it is by statute, their non-discrimination laws include gender identity and expression in public accommodations and in Massachusetts it is by case law.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Well Maybe Not

There is an article in the Medical Press and a recent survey that was done in Massachusetts for transgender health coverage. The article said that it was “A first-of-its-kind study of transgender health”, I know of other surveys that studied transgender health care. Most surveys ask question about health coverage, including the study that we did in the Hartford area.
A first-of-its-kind study of transgender health
Medical Press
November 21, 2011

For her study, Conron used the Massachusetts Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a telephone survey of randomly selected adults in the Commonwealth who voluntarily answer questions about their health. Starting in 2007, the survey began asking people if they considered themselves to be transgender, a term used to describe someone whose assigned sex at birth does not completely match their current gender identity.
“My colleagues and I expected to find higher rates of unemployment and poverty and poorer health among transgender adults compared to non-transgender adults,” said Conron, who based the hypothesis on previous research on socially marginalized populations. “We were surprised to find that transgender adults reported health that is comparable to the non-transgender adult population, despite having higher rates of unemployment and poverty.”
According to Conron, several factors might explain why transgender adults in Massachusetts are relatively healthy despite reduced work opportunities, including near-universal access to health care in the Commonwealth.

“It is also important to remember that there is a sizable body of research showing that some segment of the transgender community has very poor health, including high rates of exposure to discrimination and violence victimization and the types of health problems that develop as a result of such experiences,” Conron said. “This means that our study may have reached a select group of people who were fortunate to be living in fairly stable households and who have better health because of their circumstances. A great deal more research is needed on transgender health, including studies to expand on our findings.”
Another reason might be their definition of transgender, “a term used to describe someone whose assigned sex at birth does not completely match their current gender identity” which is overly broad and unless they asked other questions about how they identified. Otherwise they could also include closeted trans-people which would have skewed the results upward. If they did ask those questions, it would be interesting the difference between the out and closeted trans-people.

On our survey we asked…
The following section contains questions about experiences related to health care coverage and access. The questions will be sensitive in nature; however, it is important for us to gather this information. Please remember that your answers will remain anonymous and confidential.

Before beginning Question H1, please read the instructions in the box above.

(H1) Do you currently have health insurance?
No (skip to H3)

(H2) If you presently have health insurance, how are you covered? (check all that apply)
Connecticut Insurance Assistance Program for AIDS Patients
Private health insurance through my employer
Private health insurance I pay for directly
Private health insurance through my parents or family
Private health insurance through my domestic partner

(H3) Have you ever been denied enrollment in a health insurance plan because you are a cross-dresser, transsexual, drag queen or drag king?

(H4) Do you see a doctor for routine health care? (check one)

(H5) Which of the following do you use for your main source of health care needs? (check one)
Primary care doctor
Emergency room
Walk-in clinic
We also asked demographic questions along with questions about how “Out” they are, it they go out in public dressed, if they are full time, etc. since our study was only a pilot study, we only had 15 people take the survey and it is not enough to draw conclusions from the data.

Monday, November 21, 2011

You Are Damned Either Way

This is about a trans-woman down in Tennessee who went to change her driver license and was told she could not change her gender marker on the license until she had more surgery. That she would still be listed as male on her license, so she protested by going outside and took off her top and exposing her breasts and was promptly arrested for indecent exposure. It seems that the state of Tennessee wants it both ways.
Morristown transgender woman says she went topless to make a statement
6 News Reporter
November 14, 2011

MORRISTOWN (WATE) - A local transgender woman arrested for indecent exposure in the Morristown Driver's License Office parking lot says she took her shirt off to fight for her rights.

Andrea Jones says she is a woman, but the state won't change her sex from male to female on her driver's license.
Jones, a transgender woman, had a partial sex change and says that was all the Social Security office needed to switch her paperwork from male to female.
However, she says the Tennessee Department of Safety informed her she'd need more proof to make the same change on her driver's license.

When she was denied, she says she decided to make a statement by taking her shirt off in the parking lot.

The police report says, "Mr. Jones continued to yell that he had the right to show his breasts in public and wanted to be recognized as a female."
Notice the police report has her as a male but the still arrested her for something any male can do, go topless. This shows the absurdity of the law where there is bigotry and ignorance against trans-people.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Nature v. Nurture

I came across this 2008 article hat found difference in the DNA of trans-people and I thought it is worth sharing…
Transsexual gene link identified
BBC News
October 26, 2008

Australian researchers have identified a significant link between a gene involved in testosterone action and male-to-female transsexualism.

DNA analysis from 112 male-to-female transsexual volunteers showed they were more likely to have a longer version of the androgen receptor gene.

The genetic differenc may cause weaker testosterone signals, the team reported in Biological Psychiatry.
It is known that longer versions of the androgen receptor gene are associated with less efficient testosterone signaling.

This reduced action of the male sex hormone may have an effect on gender development in the womb, the researchers speculated.

"We think that these genetic differences might reduce testosterone action and under masculinise the brain during foetal development," said researcher Lauren Hare from Prince Henry's Institute of Medical Research.
Then is you look at a current study that found…
Transsexual differences caught on brain scan
New Scientist
by Jessica Hamzelou
January 2011

Differences in the brain's white matter that clash with a person's genetic sex may hold the key to identifying transsexual people before puberty. Doctors could use this information to make a case for delaying puberty to improve the success of a sex change later.
They found significant differences between male and female brains in four regions of white matter – and the female-to-male transsexual people had white matter in these regions that resembled a male brain (Journal of Psychiatric Research, DOI: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2010.05.006 ). "It's the first time it has been shown that the brains of female-to-male transsexual people are masculinised," Guillamon says.

In a separate study, the team used the same technique to compare white matter in 18 male-to-female transsexual people with that in 19 males and 19 females. Surprisingly, in each transsexual person's brain the structure of the white matter in the four regions was halfway between that of the males and females (Journal of Psychiatric Research, DOI: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2010.11.007 ). "Their brains are not completely masculinised and not completely feminised, but they still feel female," says Guillamon.
One thing to remember is that if person does not show these DNA or brain scans does not indicate that they are not trans. There may be many other causes that cause a person to be trans, the deciding factor should always rest with the person, it is how they identify.