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.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Saturday Six Episode 397

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six Episode 397

1.From Cat.: What’s the best part about where you live?
I’m half way between New York and Boston
The ocean is an hour away and the mountains are two hours away
It’s a Blue State

2. From Cat.: What can we do about so-called Christians who really aren’t? At least, they don’t look like they’ve ever read the Gospels. At least, not the Gospels you and I seem to have read.
I think the only thing that can be done, is for other Christians to speak up and let their voices be heard. When news coverage only has on conservative Christians, moderate Christians must demand that their views must also be heard. However, the news media wants confrontation and they are not interested in moderates.

3. From Strange: Where did you grow up?
Right here in my hometown in central Connecticut, two miles from where I live now.

4. From Strange: What do you like to do in your spare time?
Since I am retired, all my time is my spare time. But where I not in front of my computer, I go out and talk about diversity.

5. From Strange: If you could visit anywhere in the world where would you go?
I want to explore the Rockies to the west coast. There are so many national parks that I could explore and photograph.

6. From Aislínge: What made you decide to start your blog? An inspiration, a need to empty your head, a complaint of something, or something entirely different?
I originally started out with a geocities web-site that I used as a blog. I started it because I want to show trans-people that you can come out of the closet and have a life. But that morphed into a blog where I wanted to educate non-trans-people that trans-people have the same wants and desires as everyone else. To live in peace and be able to support ourselves.

Oh... and also to have fun with memes

Friday, November 18, 2011

Transgender Day of Remembrance

November 20th, the Transgender Day of Remembrance was set aside to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. The event is held in November to remember Rita Hester, who was murder on November 28th, 1998.

Friday, I was watching the Today show and they had a parent on the show whose daughter committed suicide because of being bullied in elementary school. She was called fagot and gay, we do not know if that was true or not. But that is not important, what is important is that she was bullied to the point that she felt her only option was to committed suicide. There so many people who have committed or tried to commit suicide that we never really know the cause of their actions. Before I came out of the closet I never knew anyone who tried or succeeded in suicide, now I know more than I can count. Let us all work together to end bullying and harassment and bring about a social change where all people are accepted and valued.

This year’s roll call of those who were murdered by senseless violence…

Idania Roberta Sevilla Raudales
Location: Comayaguela City, Honduras
Cause of Death: slit throat
Date of Death: November 29, 2010
Idania was 58 years old.

Luisa Alvarado Hernández
Location: Comayagüela City, Honduras
Cause of Death: Stoned, beaten and burned
Date of Death: December 22, 2010
Luisa was 23 years old.

Lady Óscar Martínez Salgado
Location: Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Cause of Death: Burned and stabbed
Date of Death: December 22, 2010
Oscar was 43 years old.

Reana ‘Cheo’ Bustamente
Location: Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Cause of Death: Multiple stab wounds to the chest
Date of Death: January 2, 2011
No age reported

Génesis Briget Makaligton
Location: Comayagüela City, Honduras
Cause of Death: Strangulation
Date of Death: January 7, 2011
Génesis was approximately 23-27 years old.

Krissy Bates
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Cause of Death: Stabbed
Date of Death: January 10, 2011
Krissy was 45 years old.

Fergie Alice Ferg
Location: San Pedro Sula, Honduras
Cause of Death: Shot multiple times in the head and chest
Date of Death: January 18, 2011
No age reported.

Tyra Trent
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Cause of Death: Strangled
Date of Death: February 19, 2011
Tyra was 25 years old.

Priscila Brandão
Location: Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Cause of Death: shot in the head
Date of Death: March 2, 2011
Priscila was 22 years old.

Marcal Camero Tye
Location: Forrest City, Arkansas
Cause of Death: Shot and dragged
Date of Death: March 8, 2011
Marcal was 25 years old.

Shakira Harahap
Location: Taman Lawang, Jakarta, Indonesia
Cause of Death: shot
Date of Death: March 10, 2011
Shakira was 28 years old.

Miss Nate Nate (or Née) Eugene Davis
Location: Houston, Texas
Cause of Death: shot
Date of Death: June 13, 2011
Née was 44 years old.

Lashai Mclean
Location: Washington, D.C.
Cause of Death: Shot
Date of Death: July 20, 2011
Lashai was 23 years old.

Location: Findikzade, Istanbul
Cause of Death: Slit throat
Date of Death: July 31, 2011
Didem was 26 years old.

Camila Guzman
Location: New York, New York
Cause of Death: Stabbed several times in the back and neck.
Date of Death: August 1, 2011
Camila was 38 years old.

Location: Jalisco, Mexico
Cause of Death: Beaten and burned.
Date of Death: August 6, 2011
No age has been reported.

unidentified male dressed in women’s clothes
Location: Paris, France
Cause of Death: Stabbed
Date of Death: August 24, 2011
She is estimated to be about 30 years old.

Gaurav Gopalan
Location: Washington, D.C.
Cause of Death: subarachnoid hemorrhage due to blunt-impact head trauma
Date of Death: September 10, 2011
Gaurav was 35 years old.

Ramazan Çetin
Location: Gaziantep, Turkey
Cause of Death: Shot to death by her brother.
Date of Death: October 6, 2011
She was 24 years old.
Note: The transwoman had an accident and was seeking treatment at the local hospital.
Her brother found out about the accident and went to the hospital and shot her to death in front of witnesses. Upon leaving the hospital he calmly said to the police, “I killed my brother as he was a transvestite. I cleaned my honour!”

Shelley Hilliard
Location: Detroit, Michigan
Cause of Death: murdered, her body was decapitated and dismembered then burned.
Date of Death: October 23, 2011
Shelley was 19 years old.
Note: Her mother had to identify her torso at the medical examiner’s office on November 10, 2011..

Jessica Rollon
Location: Bergamo, Italy
Cause of Death: Strangled
Date of Death: October 30, 2011
Jessica was 32 years old.
Note: Her body had been dumped on the side of the road and was not discovered for 3 days.
As with most cases,the local news continues to disrespect her by using male pronouns and a male name.

Astrid Carolina López Cruz
Location: Madrid, Spain
Cause of Death: Beaten and stabbed
Date of Death: November 4, 2011
Astrid was 30 years old.

Cassidy Nathan Vickers
Location: Hollywood, California
Cause of Death: Gunshot wound to the chest
Date of Death: November 17, 2011
Cassidy was 32 years old.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance

Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man's sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true.
Martin Luther King Jr.

Hartford’s Transgender Day of Remembrance
Sunday, November 20, 2011
5:15 PM Gathering at Charter Oak Cultural Center, 21 Charter Oak Ave, Hartford
Vigil walk from Charter Oak to the Hartford Public Library
5:45 PM Vigil at the (front steps) Hartford Public Library - to listen to speakers discussing the importance of this day, the interrelationship between the DOR, discrimination, suicide and our recent legislative victory, followed by a reading of the names of those murdered over the last year because of their gender identity and/or expression.
7:00 PM Transgender Day of Remembrance Service at MCC Hartford, 155 Wyllys Street, Hartford - Welcoming by Rev. Aaron Miller, MCC/Hartford Interim Pastor, Speakers and Remembrance of names. Remembrance will be followed by Reception and Food.

You do not have to be trans to attend, all are welcome.
For a list TDOR Events around the world, click here.

Friday Fill-ins

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins

1. As you can see _I finished everything on my plate_.

2. _Thanksgiving is coming too_ soon!

3. I love to buy _electronic stuff (I buying a Kindle) _.

4. _At the last minute I will buy my Christmas_ gift(s).

5. What's up with _all the Christmas music in the stores, it is not even Thanksgiving _.

6. _It is right here at my_ fingertips.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _going up to Springfield this evening_, tomorrow my plans include _relaxing_ and Sunday, I want to _a memorial service for all the trans-people who were murdered this year_!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Massachusetts Passes Transgender Rights Bill

I post this without comment...
Massachusetts Transgender Equal Rights Bill Approved By Legislature
Huffington Post
Nov. 16, 2011

Massachusetts will become the 16th state to treat transgender citizens as a protected class after legislature passed the Transgender Equal Rights Bill, which not only adds protections to the state's civil rights laws against employment, education, housing and credit discrimination, but also adds gender identity and expression to the state's hate crimes law.

As the Associated Press is reporting, the bill, which still needs routine final approval votes in both branches, was approved by the Senate Wednesday morning on a voice vote. The House passed the bill late Tuesday after Democratic leaders moved to limit debate to one hour, effectively cutting down on opponents' amendments.
The measure had been heavily criticized by House Republicans, many of whom objected to a public accommodations section pertaining to single-gender facilities like rest rooms and locker rooms, which was ultimately dropped two days before the vote, the AP notes.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Yesterday Conference...

My workshop went very well, I had about seven people attend and they asked some good questions. Afterward we had some time left, so we had a good discussion at the end of my presentation.

The only thing negative is that my fanny hurts after sitting on hotel conference chairs from nine to five. The keynote speaker, Kenneth V. Hardy was excellent, he spoke about diversity and at he called them the jailer, the helpers and the healers. The jailer is locked into rigidness - the status quo. The helpers pick up the pieces and does nothing more, while the healer mends the “self” and brings us together.


Today is another busy day, I have a meeting with my intern and field instructor in West Hartford. Then after that I rush down to help out with CABO in Wallingford. Then I zip back up to Hartford to donate non-perishable food item at a CT NOW event.
Giving Thanks Cocktails

Celebrate what you are thankful for with CT NOW and CT NARAL

Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2011
5:30—7:30 pm

Salute Restaurant
100 Trumbull Street
Hartford, CT

Light hors d’oeurves will be served

Please bring a non-perishable food item for the Connecticut Food Bank.
Then once I get home again, I have to write my speech for tomorrow at Western New England College, School of Law.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I'm giving a workshop at the Connecticut chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) conference today...
Supporting Transgender Rights at Work, School, and in the Community
1.5 CECs/ .1 CEUs
This workshop will cover the discrimination that the transgender community feels every day and how the important legislation passed this spring by the CT Legislature will help the trans-community in areas such as employment, credit, housing, and public accommodations to alleviate the oppression they face. Students and school employees face particular challenges and the role of the Connecticut State Department of Education will be outlined with attention given to what rights and best practices should be in place in school settings. Connecticut is one of only 15 states to have these protections. Join us to learn more about this significant piece of social justice legislation.

Monday, November 14, 2011


Our favorite topic… NOT

If you don’t know what the DSM is or you just have a faint idea what it is, it is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. It is a book that is published by the American Psychiatric Association of mental disorders, illnesses and syndromes that a therapist use to look up billing numbers for the insurance company. Bed wetting? Well there is a code for that, 307.6. Smoke marijuana? There is a code for that also, 305.20. Can’t sleep because you drink too much coffee, that’s 292.89. You get the picture, anything you go to see a therapist for there is usually a number to bill the insurance company. The code for being trans is 302.85, more on that later.

There is an article about the revision in USA Today,
Psychologists challenge proposed new diagnoses in DSM-5
USA Today
By Rita Rubin

The next edition of the American Psychiatric Association's diagnostic bible will lead to millions of healthy people being labeled with a mental disorder and treated with potentially dangerous drugs, some psychologists say.
Among the disorders the petition [On-line Petition] calls "unsubstantiated and questionable" are "apathy syndrome," "Internet addiction disorder" and "parental alienation syndrome."
Children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable to being mislabeled with a mental illness, he says. For example, the DSM-5 proposes adding the diagnosis "mild neurocognitive disorder," which could lead doctors to prescribe medication to older patients experiencing the normal age-related decline in mental ability.
"They are all tremendously well-meaning," Frances says of the DSM-5 task force members, both psychiatrists and psychologists. "They are not doing it because they are in bed with drug companies. What they are totally naïve about is how the things in the book are transformed in actual practice."
And therein lies the rub, how things transformed in actual practice. Most people think that the DSM is a list of mental illness and it stigmatizes those people who have been diagnosed with something in the DSM. Every time a gender inclusive anti-discrimination bill is introduced the opposition uses the DSM against us.

Kelly Winters, one of the leading opponents of the DSM and the diagnostic for Gender identity disorder (GID) has this to say on her web-site,
There are two prevailing views of gender diversity in American psychiatry and psychology. The emerging view is affirming and accepting. The older view is punitive, judging difference as disorder, something to be ashamed of. The current diagnostic categories of Gender Identity Disorder and Transvestic Fetishism in the DSM-IV and revision IV-TR predominantly reflect the punitive view of gender diversity. They go so far as to disrespect transitioned adults and youth with inappropriate pronouns and gender terms in the diagnostic criteria and supporting text.

The transgender community has expressed growing concern that the work group for Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders in the DSM-V Task Force of the American Psychiatric Association is not sufficiently representative of newer, respectful attitudes toward gender diversity that are widely held by practitioners who work with gender variant adults and youth today. Many transgender advocates and care providers hope to see more balance in this work group, more inclusion of clinical approaches described by Dr. Diane Ehrensaft on National Public Radio, “If we allow people to unfold and give them the freedom to be who they really are, we engender health. And if we try and constrict it, or bend the twig, we engender poor mental health.”

Sunday, November 13, 2011

This And That In The News - Bullying

"This And That In The News" is about articles in the news that have caught my eye and I want to comment about. This time it is about bullying laws.
Anti-bullying measures left out of education bill
Keen News Service
By Dana Rudolph
October 28, 2011

In a blow to activists seeking to stop anti-gay bullying, two proposals to address bullying in schools were left out of an education reform bill approved by a U.S. Senate committee October 20. And a proposal to explicitly prohibit anti-LGBT bullying was stripped out. But senators who support the efforts have promised to try to insert language once the full education bill reaches the floor.
Now consider this bill that was introduced in the Michigan Senate,
Anti-bullying legislation passes state Senate
Detroit Free Press
By Lori Higgins
November 3, 2011

The Michigan Senate passed legislation Wednesday that requires school districts to develop anti-bullying policies, but the father of the boy for whom the bill is named says he has strong objections to language inserted at the last minute.

One of the reforms will require school districts to have procedures in place to address bullying complaints. But the bill now also has language that says requirements don't "prohibit a statement of a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction of a school employee, school volunteer, pupil, or a pupil's parent or guardian."
Whoa! So that means if a bully harasses and another student then that is OK if the bully says the other student is a sinner? What about if the bully trips another student and calls him a sinner, is that OK? What about if a bully shoots another students and says that they were an aberration under God, is that OK then? Does the amendment give a blank check to bullies? The House last week passed its own version of the law without that amendment, the bill now goes back to the Senate.

While in West Virginia, sanity prevails…
W.Va. policy aims to protect students from bullying over sexual orientation, gender identity
Washington Post
By Associated Press
Published: November 7

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A proposed anti-bullying policy for West Virginia schools acknowledges for the first time that sexual orientation and gender identity are common reasons for harassment…
The state Department of Education is taking public comments until 4 p.m. Tuesday about the 75-page student conduct and disciplinary policy that the Board of Education will consider Dec. 14. If approved, the changes that acknowledge the targeting of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students would go into effect July 1, 2012.
The West Virginia Family Foundation, meanwhile, says it’s a “well thought-out, well-crafted design, done for no other reason than to promote the homosexual agenda.”
Ah yes, the infamous “homosexual agenda” to be treated equally. What a novel and radical idea.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Saturday Six Episode 396

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six Episode 396

1. From Aislínge: What is your favorite food?
Lobster! Either boiled or Lobster Newburg or lobster rolls or lobster mac and cheese or...heck just about anything with lobster

2. From Strange: Who were your heroes or people you looked up to when you were young?
A science teacher in high school

3. From Cat.: What’s the best part about your job?
Being retired from it and doing what I like.

4. From Aislínge: What is the one thing for which you are most grateful to your parents?
Making me go to college.

5. From Aislínge: What was/is the one thing your parents did that most made you angry?
Making me go to college. But I must say, it kept me from going to Vietnam

6. From Strange: What is your favorite time of year and why?
I like all the colors… “Wow man, the colors, far out!” and the rustle of leaves under your feet. However this year we were cheated, we had a snow storm that brought down a lot of trees.

Saturday 9: How Long

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: How Long

1. Have your discovered a betrayal? If so, did you ask, “How long has THIS been going on”?
No, I haven’t.

2. What is the longest line you've ever stood in? Would you do it again?
Probably the classic… the Department of Motor Vehicles and yes, I would do it again because I have to go there.

3. Someone has hung a sign around your neck, and you have to wear it all day long. What does it say?
Ba Humbug!

4. As the Christmas season approaches, what song is it that you just can't wait to hear?
Christmas Wrapping by the Waitresses

5. What Christmas song do you dread to hear?
I don’t know, if I hear it I’ll know. I even like Burl Ives’ "A holly jolly Christmas"

6. How often do you read the last chapter of a book first?
Never, I might read a teaser paragraph or two.

7. Do you have a favorite movie that you just love to see each year during the holidays?
A Christmas Story
Trivia: in college saw a show by Jean Shepard; he is a great story teller.

8. Do you enjoy winter in the area that you live?
As long as it is only about 3 months long, after that it starts to wear out its welcome.

9. At holidays I think we all show more kindness. In your opinion, is this a “concept” that has value (like money or other tangible things) or does it exists as simply emotion? Why?
It is simply emotional, it makes us feel good.

Friday, November 11, 2011

11/11/18 11:11:11

At the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the eighteenth year the war to end all wars ended.

They thought that the brutality of modern warfare would end all wars... they were wrong.

Let us remember all those men and women who put their lives on the line to protect our freedom.

Friday Fill-ins

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins

1. Turkey is _the traditional food for Thanksgiving_.

2. _Also Apple_ pie.

3. On and on and on we go _through the airport terminal, through the train station, down the highways to Grandma's condo we go _.

4. The last time I saw _you, you were knee high to a grasshopper_.

5. Can you believe _you believe that we had a major snowstorm and some people were without power for over ten days_.

6. I need a _drink_.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _relaxing_, tomorrow my plans include _going to a gala fundraiser banquet_ and Sunday, I want am going to _another banquet that was postponed from two Saturdays ago because they didn’t have power, so now I have two banquets in a row_!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

My Story Part 98 – We Have The Power

We have the power. We have the weapon. We have a weapon that only we can use. We have a weapon not of destruction, but of change. The weapon can only be used by us and no one else effectively. That weapon is our stories. A story of our efforts to live our lives, no one else can tell our stories and have the same impact that we have.

Last night and Monday night I went to two local colleges for what we call an “Outreach”. Monday night it was a part of the Stonewall Speakers and I was on a panel where we told our personal stories and answered questions from the class. Last night it was for a class that was researching a new dormitory policy for trans-students at a local Catholic women’s college, they want an open and affirming policy. Both classes were for students who are working for their bachelor in Social Work.

When we tell our stories, we bring the abstract to a personal level. We create allies who will speak up for us and also it is a lot harder to hate when you know the person, People can speak for us, but they cannot do it on a personal level, how can they explain what it is like to be discriminated. They cannot say what it felt like to be made fun of a fast food store. They can’t say what it was like to get fired from a job, they can only read statistics.

I have a problem when a non- trans person who knows nothing about being trans speakers for us. In the Huffington Post, Rebecca Juro wrote about that and said,
The first concern is also the most obvious. Given that Chaz Bono is a female-to-male transsexual man, one has to wonder why Ed Schultz invited a gay man and not an actual transgender person to appear on his show to speak on the topic. It's kind of like hosting a discussion on issues faced by African Americans with a white person presented as an expert, and makes just about as much sense.
I agree. When I go out and give an outreach, I always say that I am speaking about myself and my experiences. A non-trans person can only talk about second hand experiences or worst just what they have read about. She goes on to write,
Those who saw the segment and took it as accurate and representative of the reality of transgender lives would likely be led to believe that all transgender people are gay, that being transgender is just another form of homosexuality. The problem is that they would also be completely wrong.
That is the biggest misconception that I face when I do outreach, they all are surprised when I say I’m attracted women. It is something that takes time to explain that I am attracted to women as a woman.

I know many non-trans people who can do training about gender variant people, but still I believe that the very best outreach or training should have a trans-person do that training. It is like Rebecca Juro said “It's kind of like hosting a discussion on issues faced by African Americans with a white person presented as an expert, and makes just about as much sense.” Personal stories are the best teaching method, they have the greatest impact. The doctors refuse to treat me… I was thrown out of the restaurant… I was fired… Instead of 47% of trans-people are discriminate against in hospitals.

I know public speaking is not for everyone and I not saying we should all go out and speak. What I am saying is let us speak for ourselves. We can give the best answers to the questions that are asked.

Monday, November 07, 2011

One Small Victory…

This week the IRS issued a statement, they said that they will abide by the court’s decision in the O’Donnabhain v. Commissioner case. I know you all have been following this case with eagle eyes… What you never heard of this ground breaking case? Well you should have been following it instead of the Dr. Conrad Murray trial.

Last year the Tax Court ruled the medical expenses related to, “…medical expenses related to gender identity disorder - including but not limited to hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgeries - the same as expenses for any other medical condition” (GLAD). In other words they are tax deductible. GLAD’s Transgender Rights Project (TRP) took on this case on behalf of Rhiannon O'Donnabhain whose tax deduction for her surgery was denied by the IRS and last spring the Tax Court ruled in her favor, that it was medically necessary surgery. This is a very big victory for the trans-community, now not only does the AMA, APA and WPATH all say the treatment for therapy and medical treatment is a medically necessity but now so does the IRS. This ruling should now make it easier to have insurance companies cover medical expenses.

I want to thank GLAD for all of their work that they have done in New England. They are one of our strongest allies in our battle to past the gender inclusive anti-discrimination law here in Connecticut. They also helped in passing the Hate Crime law here and in the CHRO John/Jane Doe ruling. They were also a key player in passing Vermont’s, Rhode Island’s and Main’s gender inclusive non-discrimination laws. They are also working strongly in Massachusetts to pass the law there. They also have won a number of court cases (both state and federal)that helped the trans-community and the lesbian and gay communities. You can read about it here.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Unemployment Drops Below 9%

That was the headlines, that we only created a net gain of 80,000 new jobs. But that is only half of the story, the private sector had a gain of 104,000 jobs and that was offset by a loss of 24,000 of public sector jobs due to budget cuts. As the Republicans swing there budget cutting axe and refuse to raise taxes on the millionaires and billionaires the numbers will continue to climb. Some see this as good, but the brunt of the slashes is where it hurts women and child and the disabled. The “Safety Net” is being torn to shreds, just when we need it the most. Millions of unemployed workers who worked their whole life are going on food stamps because their unemployment insurance is running out.

An article in the Nation called “War Against Government Workers Is Prolonging the Recession” by Ari Berman highlighted the effects of the budget cuts,
This is by now a depressingly familiar story. In the past year, 1.6 million private sector jobs have been created. But since the recession began in December 2007, more than 500,000 public sector jobs have been lost. Half of those jobs have disappeared since January 2011, after Republicans (who ran on improving the economy in 2010) took control of the House of Representatives. States have cut 49,000 jobs and localities have cut 210,000 jobs since the beginning of the year. Contrary to what Republicans might tell you, these are “real” jobs lost by real people, who pay taxes, spend money, provide for their families and perform vital public services. When they suffer, the economy suffers too.
That is a total of 259,000 jobs and that doesn’t even count the loss of jobs in the private sector because of the budget cuts. We cannot balance the budget without tax increases for the mega rich.

Congress (both the Democrats and the Republicans) and the President (Bush) had no problem bailing out the banks that were “too big to fail”, but the Republicans refuse to help create jobs for the ordinary people. The article goes on to say,
Just last month, Republicans in Congress blocked a section of Obama’s jobs plan that would have prevented 400,000 teachers, firefighters and cops from losing their jobs through aid to state and local governments, which is among the most effective forms of stimulus. “Federal aid to strapped state and local governments also is providing significant economic benefits, lessening their need to slash programs and jobs or to hike taxes and fees,” wrote Mark Zandi of Moody’s in July 2010. Had it not been for austerity policies, wrote David Leonhardt of the New York Times, state and local governments would have added half a million jobs, rather than cutting them. “In other words, the state and local austerity of the last two years has cost the economy about one million jobs,” Leonhardt writes.
The Republican job plan is to cut taxes even more on corporations and the mega rich. The Regan administration called this the trickledown theory and after thirty years we have seen what trickledown and it is brown in color. The Bush administration gave to the rich the largest tax cut in history back in 2001 and we went from having a budget surplus to having some of the largest budget deficits in history which plunged us in to a depression.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Saturday Six Episode 395

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six Episode 395

1. Do you think you have the same accent as most of the people who live in your neighborhood, or do you sound like you’re from somewhere else?
Yes, I was born and raised in town.

2. Have you ever been mistaken by a stranger as being from somewhere other than your place of birth? If so, what’s the farthest from your hometown one has guessed you’re from?
Nope, I have a mid-Connecticut accent.

3. If you had to come up with a name for the dialect you hear most often, what would it be?

Southern Yankee

4. Take the quiz: What Kind of American English Do You Speak?

You Speak General American English!

55% General American English
30% Yankee
10% Upper Midwestern
5% Dixie
0% Midwestern

5. What regional word or expression common to your area do you find yourself using most often?
Package store as in “I’m going to the package store to buy some rum.”

6. Which regional word or expression common to your area do you hate the most?
Newbritan for New Britain

Last year I was down in Asheville in a fast food place and as I was leave the woman said, “You all come back again.” I looked around the restaurant and there was nobody else there.

It used to be if you went up to Massachusetts and ordered a milkshake that was once you got, milk shaken. But we taught them the right way to make a milkshake, with milk and ice cream.

Also one time when I was in Boston the waiter asked me what I wanted to drink and I said soda. Usually I get a reply, cola, lemon lime, root beer, etc., but instead he walked away and returned with a club soda. However, that no longer happens.

Saturday 9: Melancholy Man

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Melancholy Man

1. Are you more melancholy on occasion?
Yes, being retired I pretty bored during the day and busy at night going to meetings

2. What did you think you looked like when you were a teenager?
A nerd. I was a member of the science club in high school

3. Whose advice are you least likely to listen to?
Strangers. I don’t why they feel that they can butt in and offer advice

4. Tell us about a job that you liked when you were younger.
The job that I had last throughout my life time. Outside of summer jobs, I only worked 3 places. One job I was a field technician and I traveled all over the country (They went bankrupt). The next job I worked as a technician and I didn’t have to travel. I left there when the senior engineer left and I gave him my resume. The last job lasted 28 years, I was a junior engineer and when there was an opening for the supervisor of the test department, I grabbed.

5. Would you lie to someone if you knew the truth would end your friendship or relationship?
Been there done that. When I was in the closet, I lied when I went away to conferences.

6. What do you have little or no patience for?
Slow drivers.

7. What is there never enough hours in the day to do?

8. What is the most productive thing that you accomplished in October?
Not much, being retired I try not to be productive.

9. What have you always wanted to learn but haven't yet?
How to use Photoshop.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Friday Fill-ins

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins

1. In November, I most look forward to _gaining 5lbs at Thanksgiving_.

2. _The electricity is back on_...phew!

3. It's right there, in the _corner under all that junk_.

4. _When the power came on, it was good for my_ peace of mind.

5. Water _in my pipes almost froze because I didn’t have any electricity for over two days and it got down in the 29F at night_.

6. _When life hands you a lemon go and make lemonade_ is what my grandmother used to say!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _reading_, tomorrow my plans include _going to a banquet_ and Sunday, I want to _go up to Springfield to visit a friend_!

Update 10:44am: Well the banquet was just cancelled, the restaurant still has no power. It is being reschedule for the 13th. That will mean that I'll have a banquet on Saturday and Sunday. That will just about shot my diet for the week.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Strong Majorities of Americans Favor Rights and Legal Protections for Transgender People

Public Religion Research Institute

Strong Majorities of Americans Favor Rights and Legal Protections for Transgender People

Overwhelming majorities of Americans agree that transgender people should have the same general rights and legal protections as others.*

  • Approximately 9-in-10 (89%) Americans agree that transgender people deserve the same rights and protections as other Americans.
    • Overwhelming majorities of all major religious groups agree that transgender people should have the same rights and protections as other Americans, including approximately 8-in-10 (83%) white evangelical Protestants, and roughly 9-in-10 Catholics (93%), white mainline Protestants (90%), and the unaffiliated (95%).
    • Overwhelming majorities of Republicans (86%), Independents (94%), and Democrats (92%) also agree.
  • More than 8-in-10 (81%) Americans agree that legal protections for gay and lesbian people should also include transgender people.

My Story Part 97 – Sexual Orientation

A group of social work students wanted to interview me for a paper that they were writing on a policy for transgender students dorms at a women's religious college. During the interview, one of them asked me if it was hard to find boyfriends… STOP RIGHT THERE! Boyfriends? Why do you think I’m attracted to men? Her answer was you are a woman… Hold it, are all women attracted men? Well no, but why then would you want to become a women?

It took a little while, but I think she started to understand that there is no linkage between gender identity and sexual orientation. That is one of the most common mistakes that I hear when I do outreaches at colleges. When I do you an outreach, I usually get the question “Are you attracted to men or women?” and when I say to women, they inevitable ask why did I transition if you are attracted to women. It is because my gender identity is female and I want to make love as a female.

The Huffington Post had an article by Rebecca Juro about Chaz Bono sexual orientation,
The second problem is more difficult to recognize unless the viewer is already familiar with Chaz Bono himself. Bono is a man who is in a serious romantic relationship with a woman. He is therefore heterosexual, not gay. By asking Mike Rogers if the media attacks on Bono lead to gay bashing, Ed Schultz revealed his clear lack of understanding of what a transgender person is, as well as his ignorance of the difference between sexual orientation, the gender of the person one is sexually and romantically attracted to, and gender identity, whether an individual personally sees themselves as male, female, or something else entirely, a gender identity that doesn't fit neatly into either of those socially constructed boxes.
Labeling trans-people sexual orientation make no sense. For many trans-people their sexual orientation does not change after their transition, they go from being straight to being gay or lesbian. Or they go from being lesbian or gay to being straight. However, their sexual orientation has not changed, only the way people label them.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

99% v. 1%

With the “Occupy Wall St,” movement, there has been a lot of talk about the 1 percenters and there was an article in the Hufffington Post that caught my eye.
Most Americans Think Income Inequality Is A Big Problem: Poll
The Huffington Post
By Alexander Eichler

The people occupying Wall Street aren't the only ones worried about the wealth gap.

Nearly three-quarters of the people in a new poll conducted by The Hill say that income inequality is a problem for the United States. Fifty-five percent of respondents said income inequality is a big problem, while another 19 percent described it as somewhat of a problem.

The findings come only days after a Congressional Budget Office report showed the very highest earners in the United States have been pulling away from the rest of the population for over 30 years.
This is not the only time when there was such a wide gap between the rich and the poor, it has happened before in our history, in the late 1990s and the late 1920s. In the 1890s, the mega-rich John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, Philip Armour, Jay Gould, and James Mellon made their fortunes then and that era was followed by a depression. Then in the 1920s the disparity between the rich and poor once again grew to where the top decile of income had 45% share of income and of that top 10%, the top 1% had a 20% share of that 45%1. Hmm… now where have we seen that wide disparity of income? Also consider that 1920s was followed by the worst depression this country has been through. There is a cycle here, as the gap between the rich and poor grows, it is followed by a depression. It is the middle class that supports the economy, we spend and the economy grows. The mega-rich can only by some many cars and televisions, they don’t support the economy, instead they are leeches and suck up all the money.

At the same time that the fortunes of the mega-rich has grown, those who are living below the poverty level has also grown.
Number of poor hit record 46 million in 2010
By David Morgan
Sep 13, 2011

The Census Bureau's annual report on income, poverty and health insurance coverage said the national poverty rate climbed for a third consecutive year to 15.1 percent in 2010 as the economy struggled to recover from the recession that began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009.

That marked a 0.8 percent increase from 2009, when there were 43.6 million Americans living in poverty.

The number of poor Americans in 2010 was the largest in the 52 years that the Census Bureau has been publishing poverty estimates, the report said, while the poverty rate was the highest since 1993.
If that did move you, then take a look at this graph from Mother Jones
And who says there isn’t class warfare?

1Piketty, T., & Saez, E. (2006, January). The Evolution of Top Incomes: A Historical and International Perspective. NBER Working Paper No. 11995. Cambridge, MA: NBER.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

To Trim Or Not To Trim, That Is The Question.

Since the only thing that I could entertain myself with during the power outage was to listen to the radio. On the station that I was listening to, there were so many callers complaining about the massage outage, they were say that the power companies have to get more aggressive on tree trimming or bury the power lines. Do they know what they are saying?

Every few year the power company comes around and trims the trees along their lines, I know this because I see them out there trimming. During this storm it wasn’t the branches that caused the power outages in town, but whole trees. I had a tree in my backyard (I have about 200 feet of wetlands to the main road and it is heavily wooded) and one of them was leaning on the power lines, the tree was about 50 feet tall and about 40 feet from the power lines. Most of the other downed wires that I saw around town were also cause by tall trees falling on the lines. As I was driving around town, most of the wires going to homes that I saw were knocked down were by branches, but I think, the majority of the main power lines were knocked down by trees.

So that means that these people who want more aggressive trimming would need to trim back at least sixty feet from the lines. I don’t think that many home owners would like to be told that any tall trees in their front yards would have to be cut down. Those nice pines tree in your front lawn... gone. The beautiful maple… gone. Those quant tree lined streets that New England is famous for…gone. They would be replaced by a clear cut strip 50 feet on either side of the power lines.

Some people say bury the power lines. That would cost $Big Bucks$ and I for one do not want to pay for it. Also, it is not the cure all; did you ever see a picture of a manhole explosion when one of the wires shorted out? Water is the big danger for underground utilities. The wires are not carrying only 240 volts, over 15 thousand volts, there is a lot of energy in the wire that can do considerable damage. In addition, there is a lot of capacitance losses with long distance underground wires.

Yeah, it is a great big inconvenience. But it got me out and talking to my neighbors for the first time in a very long time. A family that I know, they posted on Facebook that they went outside with their kids and built snow forts and snowmen together. That night they sat around reading together by the fire, toasted marshmallows in the fireplace and played games together in the candle light. At the library, I told a couple of people where I found gas without waiting lines and we were all talking about the “Storm”. There was a woman who was working on her computer and calling her clients. I also bet you that a lot of people, just sat back watching the fire, listen to soft music and sipping a drink and relaxing. It was a great timeout if you let it be.

Also, it made me appreciate a nice long hot shower.

Yes, it is harder on older people or the disabled and they probably had to go to shelters and that is a big inconvenience and hardship for them. At the library, I overheard two older women who were getting books for the readers at the library and they neighbors, from the conversation that I overheard they had just met at the shelter. And it also got me out of the house and to the library for the first time where I sat for a couple of hours; instead of the normal in and out. How does the saying go, when life hands you a lemon go and make lemonade. See you later… I’m going to make lemonade.