Sunday, July 31, 2022

Your Papers Please

While we are on the topic of Florida...

One thing that I’ve learned over the years of hanging out with lawyers is that if you require a person to do something different based on protected categories that is discrimination.

Say a student is legally named Richard but wants to be called “Dick” or another student Elizabeth wants to be called “Beth”, you don’t require them to fill out a form but if trans student wants to be known by preferred name rather than their legal name and you require them to fill out a form… that is discrimination. 

School district responds to so-called 'Don't Say Gay' law with transgender reporting rule
The plan was created in response to the "Parental Rights in Education" law.
ABC News
By Kiara Alfonseca
uly 27, 2022

Transgender students in Lee County School District in Florida who want to be identified by teachers and principals with pronouns that correspond with their gender identity will now have to fill out a Gender Support Plan.

"If a student does complete a gender support plan, which will by law require their parents' involvement, it is a confidential document and available only to the school counselor and student," said Rob Spicker, the assistant director of media relations and public information at Lee County Schools.

Without a completed gender support plan, with a parent's signature, school staff will use the student’s name and gender as it is identified in the school's system. Students who are 18 or older will not be required to have a parent’s signature.

Local parent Crystal Czyscon told ABC affiliate WZVN that she believed the document was discriminatory and “frightening," fearing that students may be singled out.

This is just another attempt to make trans “different” from the other students. Even if the parents are supportive this separates them from the other students. Here in Connecticut a students does have to go through anything like that, there is no form that a parent has to fill out.

In defense of the district, Spicker said the plan is tended to protect LGBTQ students and denied that the plan is some form of registry of trans students. It is not required for trans students to fill out the form, he said. However, if they do not fill it out, they may only be identified by school faculty with their gender assigned at birth.

If you believe that, I have a famous bridge to sell you.

Gov. DeSantis...

The governor of Florida hates drag! And his latest target is a drag bar and he is bring the full weight and power of the government against the bar.

How R House, the target of DeSantis’ complaint, got one of Miami’s hottest drag shows
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration filed a state complaint against Miami’s R House on Tuesday that says the Wynwood bar’s weekend Drag Show Brunches expose minors to “sexually explicit drag shows.” R House has 21 days to respond. It could lose its liquor license if judged to be in violation of local laws and codes.
Miami Herald
By Amanda Rosa
July 28, 2022

The story goes a little something like this: a chef, a DJ, a lawyer and a drag queen walk into a bar. That might sound like the set up to a funny joke, but according to its website, this is the origins of R House, an iconic Wynwood restaurant known for hosting drag shows while serving Latin-inspired food. But on Tuesday, the restaurant found itself in the headlines when Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration filed a state complaint against R House that says that the restaurant’s drag show brunches expose minors to “sexually explicit drag shows.”

Well first off, the show id not sexual. Yes, there are scantly clad performers but there is no nudity. Second, it is a bar and you have to be 21 to enter.

In the meantime, Wynwood became another LGBTQ hub in South Florida. The neighborhood is often seen as a focal point for Miami’s bustling drag scene and is home to its own Pride festival every June. Since R House began hosting its weekend drag brunches and consistent weekday drag shows, the restaurant’s popularity only skyrocketed. Reservations go fast, and customers often have to book weeks in advance.

And thanks to the governor,

Every weekend, a line of people with reservations forms down the sidewalk in front R House to check in. Once seated, customers order plates of food, pour carafes of mimosas and take out some cash to tip the performers. R House is popular among tourists and locals alike, especially for birthdays and bachelorette parties.

Okay, here is the thing the First Amendment allows drag shows. And as I mentioned above the audience is 21 and over. This is nothing more than political grandstanding it is malicious prosecution, and misuse of power. DeSantis is believed to by running for president in 2024.

There is a New England connection...

Before moving to Miami full-time, Carulli owned a restaurant in Provincetown, a Massachusetts summer resort town, and spent winters working as a chef in Miami Beach. He chose Wynwood as the home of his new restaurant because the neighborhood’s burgeoning art scene reminded him of Provincetown’s artistic community. “I feel like it has the most soul of any of the communities in Miami,” Carulli told the Herald in a 2014 interview. While R House served Latin American, Middle Eastern and Asian inspired dishes, the restaurant also functioned as an art gallery, a unique feature at the time. R House displays artwork on its walls to this day.

What is common in the north is persecuted in the south.

Saturday, July 30, 2022

I Would Be in Love (Anyway)

Saturday 9: I Would Be in Love (Anyway) 1970

On Saturdays I take a break from the heavy stuff and have some fun…

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) Frank Sinatra sings, "If I knew then what I know now." If you were giving advice to a recent high school grad, based on that phrase, what would you say?

Life never goes as planned. Look around and take time to smell the roses.

2) This song is about a man looking back on his marriage, which has ended. While he is sad, he is not sorry he loved her. Do you believe that it's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?

I have loved, not many, but a few and they all brought changes for the good.

3) Sinatra married four times. He met his first wife, Nancy, when he was 19. He saw a pretty girl sitting on her front porch, giving herself a pedicure, and he rushed home for his ukulele so he could serenade her. Have you ever sung to anyone? Has anyone ever sung to you?

Nope, and nope. You really don’t want to hear me sing.

4) According to Barbara, his final wife, they met when they were neighbors in Rancho Mirage, California. Sinatra had his own tennis court, needed a fourth for doubles with his houseguests, and invited the lady next door to play. Tell us about your neighbors.

Well in my neighborhood, everyone has their lawns mowed, driveway plowed, and has remote controlled garage doors so you never see them outside except when they walk down to the mailbox… and that includes me. If I am outdoors then I am usually on my back deck.

5) When not performing before an audience or cameras, Sinatra often wore hats and caps because his hair was thin and his toupee annoyed him. Is there anything you wear for "dress up" that you're happy to ditch when you go casual?

My bra. If I’m hanging out in the house and wearing a baggy blouse.

6) Frank had a sweet tooth and to the end of his life, he enjoyed chocolate-covered apricots, ordered from Lepore's in his hometown of Hoboken, NJ. If you could have any sweet treat right now, what would you request? 

I am so lucky right down the road is a “Zagat-Rated French Bakery, Pastry Shop, and Bistro” their pastries are made in heaven. Before the plague the lines every morning were 30 – 40 minutes long, now you can order online the day before for pickup.

7) This song was written specifically for Sinatra by Bob Gaudio, best known as a member of The Four Seasons. That 1960s quartet is now legendary. In addition to 25 Top Ten Hits, they are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and inspired the Broadway play and movie musical, Jersey Boys. Do you have a favorite Four Seasons song?

Can't Take Me Eyes Off of You and the runner up is Walk Like A Man, third place is Sherry

8) In 1970, the year this record was released, The Mary Tyler Moore Show premiered. Were you a fan?

Yes, I used to watch it all the time and now when I watch it on channels that has shows from that era,

9) Random question: Have you ever named your car or truck?

Nope. But when my niece and nephews were young they called my father’s car “Yellow Bird.”

Friday, July 29, 2022

The Media Is At It Again.

Just like the 80s the media sticks a tag on a disease that stigmatize a whole community and at the same time the whole population is thinking that they have nothing to worry about.

I was on a Zoom meeting that discussed Monkeypox with CT DPH, state legislators, NGO (Non-Government Organizations), and members from the LGBTQ+ communitive, a person from the ADL said,

We are seeing hate and bias incidents towards gay and bi and MSM men reference Monkeypox. The impact of the poor communications around this from public health will have lasting effects in terms of bias and hate.

Just like Trump calling COVID the 'Chinese Virus' or 'Kung Flu.' caused an increase in hate crimes against the Asian population so is the media labeling Monkeypox a “Gay” disease causing an increase in bias crimes against the LGBTQ+ population.

Fauci: Monkeypox Response Must Avoid Stigmatizing Gay and Bi Men
Infectious disease specialist says it's important not to treat infected individuals as the "enemy," as occurred during the AIDS epidemic.

Metro Weekly
By John Riley
July 28, 2022

Infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci has warned that the U.S. government’s response to the global monkeypox outbreak must include combating anti-gay stigmas that may be associated with the disease.

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a health advisor to President Joe Biden, said during an interview with Juana Summers, the host of the National Public Radio program All Things Considered, that it is important to treat the virus as one that can affect anybody, even though the overwhelming majority of infected individuals have been men who have sex with men.

Currently, there are 20,638 confirmed cases of monkeypox infection worldwide, and 4,639 confirmed cases in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The World Health Organization has recently classified the current outbreak as a public health emergency, underscoring the importance of public health officials prioritizing actions like connecting infected individuals with treatment, doing contact tracing to alert those at risk of acquiring the disease, and vaccinating those who have not yet been exposed to the virus but are among high-risk populations, such as men who have sex with men, trans women, and commercial sex workers.

According to an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine, 98% of infected individuals, out of a sample of 528 people from 16 different countries, were gay or bisexual men. But Fauci argues that just because the disease is prevalent in one community doesn’t mean that community should be shunned or stigmatized. He said it’s important for the federal government to underscore that infected individuals aren’t treated like the “enemy” — much as gay and bisexual men were during the early years of the AIDS epidemic.

I believe that the increase in hate crimes against the LGBT+ population is the direct result in the media labeling the disease a “Gay” disease. Spectrum News NY1 reported,

New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan sent a letter to the World Health Organization earlier this week urging them to immediately rename the monkeypox virus over fears that the term could lead to increased violence against marginalized communities.

"We have a growing concern for the potentially stigmatizing effects that the messaging around the 'monkeypox' virus can have on vulnerable communities," part of the letter reads.

The letter states that the term is especially concerning "given the stigma it may engender, and the painful and racist history within which terminology like this is rooted for communities of color."

The virus does not originate in monkeys and was only given the term due to an infection seen in research primates, Vasan wrote.

The disease is transmitted by “skin-to-skin” contact or by contact with an infected persons bodily fluids. From what I understand and I am not a doctor but it is transmitted the same way TB in close prolonged contact or exposure to an infected person.

It is believed that President Biden will issue a public health emergency on Monday and the Connecticut  Governor Lamont is also believed to issue one for Connecticut.

Yesterday DPH had a QA session about the disease...

It Is Our Right To Discriminate!

That is what the Republican Attorney Generals what to do, discriminate against us in the school meal programs. They want to deny us breakfasts and lunches at school!

Republican AGs sue US agency over LGBTQ school guidance
By Kimberlee Kruesi
July 26, 2022

More than 20 Republican attorneys general filed a lawsuit Tuesday against President Joe Biden’s administration over a Department of Agriculture school meal program that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The challenge, led by Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery, claims that the federal government is attempting to force states and schools to follow antidiscrimination requirements that “misconstrue the law.”

The coalition of attorneys general are hoping for a similar result to a separate challenge from earlier this month when a Tennessee judge temporarily barred two federal agencies from enforcing directives issued by Biden’s administration that extended protections for LGBTQ people in schools and workplaces.

The judge sided with the attorneys general, ruling that the directives infringed on states’ right to enact laws, such as banning students from participating in sports based on their gender identity or requiring schools and businesses to provide bathrooms and showers to accommodate transgender people.

“This case is, yet again, about a federal agency trying to change law, which is Congress’ exclusive prerogative,” Slatery said in a statement. “The USDA simply does not have that authority. We have successfully challenged the Biden Administration’s other attempts to rewrite law and we will challenge this as well.”

Isn’t funny that they have no problem with passing federal laws banning abortion but when it comes to LGBTQ laws and executive orders their cry is “states rights!” 

According to the lawsuit, the attorneys general allege that the USDA’s new directive is based on a “misreading” of the Supreme Court’s ruling and did not provide states and other groups the opportunity to provide public comment.

I thought it was pretty clear, that “sex” also includes gender, not only in the last ruling in the case of R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission where the judges said in part,

“Discrimination on the basis of homosexuality or transgender status requires an employer to intentionally treat employees differently because of their sex—the very practice Title VII prohibits in all manifestations.”

The states that involved in the lawsuit against the USA are,

The attorneys general involved in the lawsuit filed Tuesday are from Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.

Gee did you happen to notice that they are all Republican controlled?

Meanwhile, college students also want the right to discriminate, they don’t want no education in diversity or inclusion! We don't need no thought control!*

Fox News via Yahoo News
By Elizabeth Economou and Nicole Pelletiere
July 27, 2022

Some universities across America are requiring compliance from faculty in the form of signed diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) statements, as conditions for tenure or promotion — arguing that DEI across college campuses is a top priority.

However, there may be growing pushback in some areas from faculty as well as from parents — who claim that the DEI agenda actually challenges the diversity of viewpoints and opinions of students within the college environment.

Some say it also promotes a culture of fear and intimidation.

In the city of Seattle, for example, roughly 40 percent of the University of Washington's faculty recently rejected — or abstained from voting on — a measure that would have required faculty members seeking advancement to provide a statement demonstrating their support of DEI.
The Fox article goes on to compare diversity training to the Communist,
"One political viewpoint is being pushed very hard by the administration and by a number of others," said Mass, who is also a meteorologist.

To him, he added, "diversity statements" appear very much like "the anti-communist loyalty oaths of the late 1940s and early 1050s."
Students who hold even moderate viewpoints are often afraid to express themselves, he said.

"Requiring all faculty members to support a social/political agenda favored by one segment of society not only politicizes the university, but represents ‘compelled speech,’" he noted recently in a blog post.

It's "a violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution at a public university," he added.
Hold it right there!

First, diversity training does not tell you how to think! You can think anything you want, you can say anything you want what diversity training does is it teaches that it illegal to discriminate!

It makes you aware that giving a lower grade to a Black student and higher grade to a White student for the same work is illegal. It makes you aware that never calling on a trans student in class is illegal. And it does not violate the First Amendment.

It doesn’t make being an a**hole illegal but it do make picking on students because they are trans or  Latinx illegal.
She said that "DEI proponents (and their allies) use linguistic gymnastics to change the very meaning of words, in order to manipulate the masses into believing propaganda."

"We collectively understand the word 'diversity' to include respectful debate of diverse opinions, open and honest discussion, respect for others, even when we disagree."


"Their definition of ‘diversity' is twisted and is the exact opposite of our understanding," she said. "Their ‘diversity’ accepts only their group-think opinions, their stifling of true debate, their silencing of diverse ideas and their tyrannical control of all content."
It is they who are twisting words, it doesn’t stifle debate but rather it curbs behavior. You can think all the vile thoughts you want but when you act upon those thoughts you have crossed the line. 
We can disagree and still love each other, unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of my humanity and right to exist
James Baldwin

*Pink Floyd - Another Brick In The Wall 

The Doctor Will Not See You.

Can you imagine going to a doctor and being refused to be treated? Well in many Republican states that is true and it is perfectly legal to be refused treatment because you are LGBTQ+!

More than 1 in 8 LGBTQ people live in states where doctors can refuse to treat them
Advocates worry that the growing number of laws that expand religious rights for health care providers could be interpreted as a “license to discriminate.”
NBC News
By Jo Yurcaba
July 28, 2022

South Carolina became the seventh state last month to permit health care providers to decline to serve people if they feel doing so would violate their religious beliefs. 

As a result, more than 1 in 8 LGBTQ people now live in states where doctors, nurses and other health care professionals can legally refuse to treat them, according to the Movement Advancement Project, an LGBTQ think tank. In addition to South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Ohio and Illinois have similar measures in effect.

Picture this… you are driving down to Florida for the winter and as you are driving you get these chest pains that is radiating down one arms, you’re skin is getting clammy and you recognize the symptoms of a heart attack! You call 911 and the EMTs rush to save you but when they see you are trans and they refuse to treat you.

And it is all perfectly legal in South Carolina.

Advocates and legal experts say the laws will further raise the barriers to health care for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer patients. 

“We often are worried that the expansion of religious rights in these contexts will be taken as a license to discriminate,” said Jenny Pizer, the law and policy director for the LGBTQ legal advocacy group Lambda Legal.


South Carolina state Sen. Larry Grooms, who supported his state’s law, the Medical Ethics and Diversity Act, told NPR in June that “it’s based on procedure, not on patients.”

“This is America, where you should have the freedom to say no to something you don’t believe in,” he told NPR.

Although “religious freedom” or “conscience” measures, as they’re often called, don’t explicitly list LGBTQ people among those who may be refused treatment, advocates say that in practice they are affected disproportionately.

This is America where bigotry is allowed to kill.

A trans person died because EMTs refused to treat her.

On August 7, 1995, Tyra Hunter, a transgender woman, died after a car accident in Washington, D.C. Hunter’s medical report predicted that she would have had an 86 percent chance of surviving the crash with proper care. Instead, the EMT shouted racist and transphobic epithets and refused to treat her. She died later that day, after being denied adequate care first by the EMTs and then by the hospital.

Now we have returned to that era when medical providers can refuse to treat us.

Thank you mister Republican because of your bigotry I am a second class citizen and subjected to your hatred.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

It Should Be Interesting!

Like the Chinese blessing/curse of “May you live in interesting times,” depending upon how the Supreme Court votes went the case finally reaches them it will either expose the court ‘s hypocrisy of “Religious Freedom” or their will create so many loopholes in their Roe v, Wade ruling that it render it useless.

Jews, Muslims and others say Roe vs. Wade reversal threatens their religious freedom
Los Angeles Times via Newsbreaks
By Deborah Netburn
July 27, 2022<

For 25 years Rabbi Barry Silver has served as the spiritual leader of L’Dor Va-Dor, a progressive synagogue in Boynton Beach, Fla. Like most congregational rabbis, he offers a Jewish perspective on major life events, giving weekly sermons, performing weddings, funerals and baby namings, and occasionally counseling congregants wrestling with whether to have an abortion.

Silver tells his congregation that contrary to Roman Catholic and evangelical teachings, which state that life begins at conception, traditional Jewish law, known as Halakha, says life begins at birth: when the baby draws its first breath. Before then, the mother’s physical and emotional well-being is paramount.

In some extreme cases — such as when the mother’s life is at stake — an abortion is not just permitted by Jewish law, but required.

“Right in the beginning of the Torah, Genesis states that God formed the human, Adam, from the dust of the Earth, like you create a work of pottery. Then he breathed the breath of life in him and he lived,” Silver said. “We equate breathing with living.”


Muslim teachings hold that the soul is breathed into a fetus 120 days after conception, and other religious groups — Unitarians, the Oklevueha Native American Church, and the Satanic Temple (a global organization that is headquartered in Salem, Mass., and that, despite its name, doesn’t actually worship the Prince of Darkness) — consider reproductive choice and bodily autonomy to be sacred.

And now the fun begins, as lawsuits are being filed under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act claiming that the ban on abortion is preventing them from practicing their religious beliefs.

“One hundred percent, we’re just at the beginning of the religious liberty lawsuits,” said Candace Bond-Theriault, director of racial justice policy with the Law, Rights, and Religion Project at Columbia Law School.

The way is see it when the case get to the Supreme Court if they vote that “Religious Freedom” doesn’t apply then that means we have an “official state religion” because the only religious values that count are the evangelical Christians and all the other religions beliefs don’t count.

If the Supreme Courts votes to allow other religions to be exempt from abortion laws than that leads to another question, what about individuals who want to exercise their own personal religious beliefs about when life begins?

No matter how they vote the justices will be opening a huge can-of-worms.

A Dictionary Under Attack!

Of all things that the conservatives are attacking, they are now arguing over definitions! The conservatives just woke up to the changes from two years ago! I guess that they weren’t very Woke to the change.

They are showing their anger at Merriam-Webster Dictionary because of the words “male,” “female”, and “gender” and boy are they in a tizzy over it.

Criticism Dogs Merriam-Webster Dictionary’s Redefinition of ‘Female,’ ‘Male’ to Include Gender Identity
The Daily Signal
By Evalyn Homoelle
July 23, 2022

Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary is facing renewed criticism for slipping woke gender ideology into its definitions of “male” and “female.” 

“Female,” primarily defined in the online dictionary as “of, relating to, or being the sex that typically has the capacity to bear young or produce eggs,” now includes the secondary definition of “having a gender identity that is the opposite of male.”  

Similarly, the secondary definition of “male” reads “having a gender identity that is the opposite of female.” 

The definition entries were originally changed in 2020, but widespread criticism resurfaced after the new definitions recently circulated on social media. Daily Wire podcast host Matt Walsh and the conservative account Libs of TikTok on Tuesday tweeted images of the expanded definitions as compared to past editions of the dictionary, resulting in a resurgence of overwhelmingly negative responses to Merriam-Webster’s addition.

But those are not the only words that were added or changed in the past they have…

'Social Forces Change Language.' Merriam-Webster Adds Gender-Neutral Pronouns to Dictionary
By Suyin Hayne
September 17, 2019

Merriam-Webster announced Tuesday that gender-neutral pronouns “they” and “themself” have been added to the dictionary, along with more than 530 other words.

Added to “address the complex ways we view ourselves and others,” the word “they” is “used to refer to a single person whose gender identity is nonbinary,” meaning that they do necessarily not identify with the binary language of male or female. Nonbinary and gender nonconforming people have existed throughout history and across cultures, but as Merriam-Webster noted, “we’ve struggled to find the right language to describe these people — and in particular, the right pronouns.”

The use of “they/them” has gained greater visibility in recent years as a pronoun. “‘They’ is interesting, it’s of course ancient and has been around since the 14th century. The new thing is that some people are choosing to refer to themselves as ‘they’ not just in a singular way, but in a non-binary or non-gender specific way,” Peter Sokolowski, an editor-at-large at Merriam-Webster, tells TIME.

For some they are fighting words!

Man Threatens Merriam-Webster With Violence for Definition of 'Female': DA
By Andrew Stanton
April 23, 2022

California man allegedly threatened to bomb Merriam-Webster over its definitions for "female" and other terms related to gender.

The U.S. Attorney's office for Massachusetts accused 34-year-old Jeremy David Hanson of making "a multitude" of "anti-LGBTQ" threats to the company over the definitions, which refer to "gender identity."

Hanson allegedly made the threatening messages in October 2021 through the company's "Contact Us" page and in comment sections on the online dictionary using the handle "@anonYmous," the attorney's office wrote in a statement.

The threats forced Merriam-Webster to close its offices in New York City and Springfield, Massachusetts, for about five days, the statement added.


The 34-year-old also allegedly made a threatening message, which contained a transphobic slur, through the contact form.

Mass Live had this to say about the threat.

A criminal complaint attached to the case outlines eight years of similar alleged threats by Jeremy David Hanson, 34, of Rossmoor, California, against a New York rabbi, a DC Comics writer, a Disney executive, a Black elected official in Wisconsin, Hasbro for offering a gender-neutral Potato Head toy and others.

An FBI affidavit states Hanson and his mother have been interviewed about the alleged threats at least three times since 2015. Hanson seemed chastened each time, but nonetheless continued to troll news accounts and aim vile names and threats against his targets.

Have you noticed that the conservatives are much more violent than liberals? That they show up at protests armed to the teeth wearing bulletproof vest and in military type clothes?

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

The Question Is “Why?”

I always knew that the Republican wouldn’t go for marriage equality but I wondered what excuse they would come up with.

Rubio fires back at Buttigieg over same-sex marriage legislation
The Hill
By Sarakshi
July 25, 2022

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) fired back at Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg Sunday after the Biden administration official called out the Florida senator for saying that legislation protecting same-sex marriage would be a “stupid waste of time.”

Rubio, in a 58-second long video on Twitter, called Buttigieg a “Harvard-educated Transportation secretary” who he said didn’t know the difference between state and federal levels.

The Florida Republican added that, on the federal level, he focuses on “federal problems that matter to real people.”


He added that he will focus on “real problems” and not on an agenda that he believes is “dictated by a bunch of affluent elite liberals” and a “bunch of Marxist misfits, who sadly today control the agenda of the modern Democratic Party.”

I guess he doesn’t think of us as “real people!”

In another Hill article…

Another Republican senator announces opposition to same-sex marriage bill
By Brad Dress
July 25, 2022

Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) on Monday announced he is opposed to federal legislation that would protect the right to same-sex marriage, joining Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) in speaking out against a bill passed by the House last week.

Daines, the junior senator for Montana, said in a statement that he believes “marriage is between a man and a woman” and that the push to pass the Respect for Marriage Act is a ploy from Democrats and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

“I’m opposed to this bill and believe it’s another attempt by Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats to distract the American people from the inflation crisis, energy crisis and the southern border crisis they’ve created,” Daines said.

Oh I see… doesn’t passing legislation blocking trans youth from healthcare fall under the category of “...distract the American people from the inflation crisis, energy crisis and the southern border crisis they’ve created…” but that’s okay because Republicans pass anti-LGBTQ+ legislation it is okay and when Democrats try to pass legislation to protect us and countering their legislation then it becomes frivolous.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), however, has spoken out against giving Americans the broad right to same-sex marriage, arguing on his podcast “Verdict with Ted Cruz” earlier this month that the issue should be left to the states.

But earlier in the month a bunch of Republicans said that they want to pass a federal law on abortion according to another Hill article,

House Republicans are weighing what kind of national-level abortion ban legislation to pursue if they win the House majority next year, with a 15-week ban or further on the table.

But even as they cheer the Supreme Court overturning the landmark abortion rights decision in Roe v. Wade, GOP congressional leaders have made few promises on specific measures they would pursue, and some Republicans have advocated leaving abortion restrictions to the states.

Gee when it is a Democrat bill the Republicans claim “State’s Rights” but when it is a Republican bill it isn’t about “State’s Rights” does anyone else see the hypocrisy in this?

Hey Teacher, Leave Them Kids Alone

We don't need no education
We don't need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teacher, leave them kids alone
Hey, teacher, leave them kids alone
(Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall)

Parental Rights… we hear this mantra coming from the right over what schools can teach, what does it mean?

Right now the biggest flap that the far-right is pushing what they claim is being taught in schools, all around the country there is a cultural war going to bring our educations systems to its knees.

CT News Junkie
By Barth Keck
July 24, 2022

As we approach the Connecticut primaries on Aug. 9, the political rhetoric is heating up. In addition to the abundant TV ads, I’ve noticed some increasingly popular language that has been thrown around by many Republican candidates discussing education: parents’ rights, parental choice, or some variation thereof.

“In order to ensure our children’s future, Connecticut’s school districts should remain local and we should give parents more choice as to where and how their children are educated,” states the website of GOP gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski.


Themis Klarides, meanwhile, has titled one section of her website “Parental Rights.” The GOP-endorsed candidate hoping to unseat Richard Blumenthal in the U.S. Senate describes the concept this way: “Congress has a responsibility to protect local control and honor the rights of parents. Parents deserve options – the money should follow the child.”


Lemaj’s website, meanwhile, states, “Over the last couple years, we have seen our classrooms and curriculums become politicized in a way we’ve never witnessed before. Critical Race Theory has no place in any classroom … Vilifying parents or trying to block them from having a say in what their children are being taught will further polarize this critical issue that our children desperately need us as a nation to get right.”

Yeah and who has politicized it?
We don't need no thought control

Who are banning the books? Who are telling them what they can say in class? Who are telling what after class groups they can have? Who are forcing students to say prayers after a game? 

Hey! Teachers! Leave them kids alone!
It is the Republicans who are stirring up hate.
And away we go! Now it seems like every GOP candidate across the country has jumped on the “parental rights” bandwagon. Clearly, not even Connecticut, whose public schools are fiercely local, is immune to the allure of this coded language, as national groups like Parent’s Choice, No Left Turn in Education, and Parents Against Stupid Stuff – among others – have sent representatives to school board meetings and have donated money to state politicians.

Down in states like Texas and Florida they have regional board of educations but here in Connecticut every town is a silo and have their own board of education so we have 169 BoEs.

Several local elections last November, in fact, featured school board candidates running on Rufo’s ready-made anti-CRT platform without providing any tangible evidence of how it’s taught in schools, let alone defining CRT itself. While all of these candidates were defeated last year, the issue is not going away – thanks in large part to the way GOP candidates from Connecticut have adopted “parental rights” as coded campaign rhetoric.

One of the things that I am concerned about of our town Board of Education is non-partisan, they are just individuals with no party affiliation. That doesn’t mean that they are not a member of a political party, it just means that they are not backed by a party.

My concern is that they could all be MAGA and we don’t know it. We could end up with a BoE so far right that they make Trump blush.

So, when Connecticut citizens vote in the upcoming primaries and general election, they should ask GOP candidates, “Can you show us, specifically, what is wrong with Connecticut schools and how, specifically, would you fix them?”

Good luck getting an answer beyond some bromide about “parents’ rights” or “parental choice.”

Oh… that is a big issue with me!

We have to cut taxes! But they don’t tell us what they would cut.

We have to cut wasteful government spending! But they won’t tell us which departments they would cut.

That is know as “A pig in a poke.”

Now they tell us that they want “parents rights” and we are suppose to figure out what that means. Critical Race Theory what the h*ll does that mean? “I don’t know but I’m against it!” because the Republicans says it is bad.

The Republicans hate public school! They only want white upper class children education, all the peons can pick apples and clean our mansions.

Is this the future of education going to look like?

I want my child to attend the following classes:

__ Reading & writing classes
__ Reading (but only the classic) & writing classes
__ Reading (but only the Bible) & writing classes
__ English classes
__ Math classes
__ Math (but not algebra) classes
__ Math (but not algebra or calculus) classes
__ Science classes
__ Sciences (but only evolution and that we are not related to monkeys) classes
__ Earth science classes
__ Earth science (but only a flat earth) classes
__ Earth science (but only that the earth is only 3000 years old) classes
__ Human sexuality classes
__ Human sexuality (but only if they do not cover; homosexuals, transsexuals, intersex, and sex) classes

Is this what the future of public education going to look like? The Balkanization of education?

To me it seems like that the Republicans want to get back to public education that only taught the 3R’s,  reading, writing and arithmetic. They don’t want to teach critical thinking, critical thinking makes children question authority,  critical thinking makes children ask questions,  critical thinking makes children think. Critical thinking gives conservatives a headache.

We don't need no thought control

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

American Women

American woman, I'm gonna mess your mind
(Guess Who – American Women)

You have to wonder how the Republicans are different from the Taliban? What was one of the first things that they did when they took power? They subjugated women.

Republicans are Russia and American women are Ukraine
Opinion: The GOP goal, using both Congress and the radically stacked Supreme Court, is to make women conform to a warped, evangelical-based notion of females as chattel.
Arizona Republic
By EJ Montini
July 25, 2022

There is no more sovereign territory than a person’s body.

And since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, eliminating reproductive freedom for the first time in 50 years, Republicans in Congress and those in control of state houses around the country have decided to stage an all-out attack on women.

The GOP goal, using both Congress and the radically stacked Supreme Court, is to declare dominion over the female population in the fashion of “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

Or, if you eschew contemporary dystopian fiction in favor of current events, look at it this way: Republicans are Russia and American women are Ukraine.

It’s an invasion, an occupation, with the goal of complete supremacy.

The editorial goes on to say, 205 House Republicans voted against House bill that restated what the Constitution guarantees, travel between the states! 195 Republicans voted no to protect a women’s right to birth control! And 157 Republicans voted no to protect same-sex marriage!

And it is stalled in the Senate, where Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington said, “Let’s be really clear what that means: They (Republicans) want to hold women captive in their own states. They want to punish women and anyone who might help them for exercising their constitutional right to travel within our country to get the services that they need in another state. I hope everyone really observes how extreme and how radical and how un-American that is.”

If the Republicans are truly pro-life then why do they vote against WIC, and family medical leave all the time? Why did they vote against the Child Tax Credit Act during COVID? If they are pro-life why do they block adoptions by same-sex couples.

The dark message the GOP is sending to women is: You can’t travel where you want to travel. You can’t receive the medical care you want. You can’t purchase the health care products you need. And you can’t marry the person you love.

It is nothing less than stripping away the autonomy of an entire gender, forcing them to conform to a warped, religious-based notion of females as chattel.

If this puzzles you, it should.

Remember when Republican states passed anti-Sharia law?

USA Today had an article back in 2019…

The special interest groups and lawmakers who sponsor their bills say they’re protecting Americans from Islamic extremism and terrorism. But the bills have had little practical impact.

But now they are trying to pass the exact same laws that the Taliban have pass over in Afghanistan limiting women’s rights that tell women what they can do with their bodies and where they can travel. The AZ Central article ends with…

Now they are taking a page from what was considered to be a terrorist regime’s playbook, trying to impose a twisted form of evangelical Sharia law on women and transforming the GOP into an American Taliban.

The dystopic novel “The Handmaid’s Tale” is coming to life one law at a time.

American woman, I'm gonna mess your mind

He Has Our Back Again

Trump tore us down, President Biden is building it back up.

Biden Rule Would Strengthen Health Protections for Gay and Transgender People
The proposed rule would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity by health care providers that receive federal funding.
The New York Times
By Sheryl Gay Stolberg
July 25, 2022

The Biden administration said Monday that it intends to enshrine anti-discrimination protections for gay and transgender people in the Affordable Care Act — a proposal that would officially reverse a policy adopted by the Department of Health and Human Services under former President Donald J. Trump.

The Trump rule, finalized in 2020, erased Obama-era protections for transgender patients. Last year, the Biden administration took a preliminary step toward restoring them, by announcing that H.H.S. would draft a rule prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity by hospitals and other health care providers that receive federal funding.

That proposed rule was released Monday, and is far more expansive than the Obama-era policy. It would, for the first time, enforce anti-discrimination protections for patients with Medicare Part B, which covers outpatient physician care.

The new rule comes as some states are enacting bans on providing gender-affirming surgery, particularly for transgender youth. Xavier Becerra, Mr. Biden’s secretary of health and human services, told reporters it would “remove the friction” that kept anti-discrimination protections from being available to all Americans.

The difference is like night and day, Trump brought gloom over the trans community and this is a bright ray of hope that it will nullify the Republican state laws banning us health care.

How those protections will play out in medical practice remains unclear. But Roger Severino, who ran the Health Department’s Office of Civil Rights during the Trump administration, said the new language would likely cover sex reassignment surgery.

Hopefully this will block the Republican states laws that make it a crime to treat trans youth with proper healthcare and also force the insurance companies to cover our healthcare.

I foresee many years of ligation ahead and this going to the Supreme Court where the decks are stacked against us. And if the Republicans gain control of the presidency and Congress expect federal anti-trans, anti-LGBTQ+, and anti-women legislation.

Monday, July 25, 2022

On The Day The Wall Came Down

When the walls came tumbling down
When the walls came tumbling down
When the walls came tumbling down
When the walls came tumbling down
Everybody ran as they screamed at the sound
(Def Leppard - When The Walls Came Tumbling Down

Is this the beginning of the end? That is what loyal supporters of Trump are starting to wonder, as they are backing away from him…

‘US democracy will not survive for long’: how January 6 hearings plot a roadmap to autocracy
Trump’s efforts to subvert the elections laid bare the system’s weaknesses, exposing it to greater exploitation
The Guardian
By Ed Pilkington
24 July 2022

They promised the January 6 hearings would “blow the roof off the house”, presenting America with the truth about Donald Trump’s attack on democracy culminating in the US Capitol insurrection. In the end, the roof of the House, where the summer season of hearings reached their finale on Thursday night, remained intact, though mightily shaken.


To those who track anti-democratic movements there is a chilling familiarity to this rich evocation of a president descending into an abyss of fantasy, fury and possible illegality. “The picture that the hearings depict is of a coup leader,” said the Harvard political scientist Steven Levitsky. “This is a guy who was unwilling to accept defeat and was prepared to use virtually any means to try to stay illegally in power.”


Levitsky told the Guardian that the Trump who emerges from the hearings was a coup leader, “but not a very sophisticated one. Not a very experienced one. A petty autocrat. A type of leader more familiar to someone like me, a student of Latin American politics.”

And the author goes after the Republican party saying,

“In a two-party system, if one political party is not committed to democratic rules of the game, democracy is not likely to survive for very long,” Levitsky said. “The party has revealed itself, from top to bottom, to be a majority anti-democratic party.”


The second lesson for Levitsky relates to accountability, or the lack of it. The Republicans who played with fire, openly backing the anti-democratic movement, found that they were largely immune to the consequences.

“They learned that if you try to overturn the election you will not be punished by Republican voters, activists or donors. For the most part, you’ll be rewarded for it. And to me, that is terrifying.”

Even now, at national level, the Republican leadership continues to stoke the flames. The minority leader of the House, Kevin McCarthy, and his top team have relentlessly striven to hinder and belittle the January 6 committee.

Fox, The Wall Street Journal, and the NY Post are all Rupert Murdoch news media and they are backing off from Trump.

Is Murdoch tiring of Trump? Mogul’s print titles dump the ex-president
Tabloid with long relationship with former president blasts him over Capitol attack, saying he is unworthy to be elected again
The Guardian
By Edward Helmore
25 July 2022

Rupert Murdoch, hitherto one of Donald Trump’s most loyal media messengers, appears to have turned on the former president.

US media circles were rocked this weekend after the New York Post issued an excoriating editorial indictment of Trump’s failure to stop the attack on the US Capitol on 6 January 2021.

The editorial, in a tabloid owned by Murdoch since 1976, began: “As his followers stormed the Capitol, calling for his vice-president to be hanged, President Donald Trump sat in his private dining room, watching TV, doing nothing. For three hours, seven minutes.”

Trump’s only focus, the Post said, was to block the peaceful transfer of power.

“As a matter of principle, as a matter of character, Trump has proven himself unworthy to be this country’s chief executive again.”

The Wall Street Journal, another Murdoch paper, issued a similar critique in which it said evidence before the House January 6 committee was a reminder that “Trump betrayed his supporters”.


Observers believe Murdoch, 91, may be tiring of Trump’s lie that the 2020 election was stolen, which has both kept Trump in the spotlight and denied him the ceremonial status usually extended to ex-presidents.

Murdoch outlets have faced legal repercussions for repeating Trump’s lie. A judge in Delaware recently said Fox Corp could be sued by Dominion Voting Systems for broadcasting conspiracy theories related to the 2020 election.

The squeeze play is on, between the January 6th hearings, the lawsuits, and the low turnout and booing at Trump rallies.

“He knows better than anybody how to read political tea leaves. It’s fairly self-evident that quite a few people in the firmament have begun to challenge the previously supported collective viewpoint about Trump. It’s understood now that the gloves are off. As [Trump] lashes out, it just makes it easier for people to hit back.”

Is this the beginning of the end? Have the people seen the man behind the curtain?

On the day the wall came down
They threw the locks onto the ground
And with glasses high we raised a cry for freedom had arrived
On the day the wall came down
(Pink Floyd - On The Day The Wall Came Down)

I Hate To Say That I Told You So… But

I told you so. So many LGB people have said “We won!” and walked away from advocacy, got married and had children. They are just starting to realize that nothing is forever.

A number of Congressional Republicans have announced that they plan on passing laws banning same-sex marriages and to make trans healthcare illegal. So in defense of marriage equality the Democrats have passed in the House the Respect for Marriage Act bill with some bipartisan support.

Everything to know about the Respect for Marriage Act and the new battle for same-sex marriage
USA Today vis Yahho News
By Marc Ramirez
July 23, 2022

The House passed the Respect for Marriage Act this week, codifying federal protections for same-sex marriage in the wake of concerns among lawmakers and LGBTQ advocates that the U.S. Supreme Court might reassess its landmark 2015 decision making gay marriage the law of the land.

All 220 House Democrats voted in favor, with 47 Republicans also in support. Now, the measure heads to the Senate, where it is unclear whether it can win over enough Republicans and advance to the White House.

Worries over the future of gay marriage were sparked by Justice Clarence Thomas’ remarks in his concurring opinion on the court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade in June. Thomas called on the court to also reconsider other so-called rights protected by the Constitution, such as those outlined in the Obergefell v. Hodges ruling protecting same-sex marriage.

Meanwhile NBC News reported that,

“The issue puts Republicans in an awkward spot," said Jack Pitney, a professor of political science at Claremont McKenna College. "Most Americans support same-sex marriage. Even a majority of self-identified Republicans support it. But evangelicals represent a huge share of GOP activists, and they still oppose it.

“More broadly, Republican activists dislike the idea of giving the Democrats a win — even on an issue where there is consensus in the general public,” he said.


But other Republicans, like Sen. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, both of Texas, have sharply criticized the Supreme Court's decision that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges ruling in 2015. Cruz's office emphasized that he wasn't predicting it would be overturned.

Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, who also faces re-election this fall, will vote against the bill, a Rubio spokesperson said, adding that he believes "it is unnecessary, there are other priorities, and this is an issue he’s always believed should be handled by the states."

It is for the Republicans it is a case of Jekyll and Hyde, they have laid down with the evangelicals and now are stuck with pacifying their radical base.

McConnell, whose top priority is to win a Senate majority this fall, has sought to downplay cultural issues in the midterm elections and instead make the contest a referendum on President Joe Biden amid voter disenchantment over inflation. His goal is to appeal to suburban swing voters, many of whom lean liberal on cultural issues and had fled the GOP during the rise of Donald Trump.

If he supports or green-lights the bill, it could nudge more GOP senators to vote for it. A Republican leadership aide said that same-sex marriage is not an issue the party is likely to pressure senators to vote one way or the other on, describing it as a personal decision based on conviction and views of the law.

I think no matter what the Republicans do they will get up with fleas.

Axios writes,

The bottom line: This is an issue Republicans have largely been able to ignore since 2015 when the court affirmed marriage equality in Obergefell v. Hodges. Politically, they have to straddle the divide in public opinion between their conservative base and the general public, who overwhelmingly support marriage rights.

What is happening here is the Republicans are finally figure out that they might have shot themselves in the foot by rallying the Democrat's base.

On the Republican’s agenda for decades like repealing Roe v. Wade is to cut Social Security and Medicare. Way back in 2016 according to the Chicago Tribune,

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan made clear Thursday that he is willing to pursue a major overhaul of Medicare, including changes that could eventually put private companies in charge of the health care for tens of millions of American seniors. But talk of wholesale changes to the popular federal programs has key GOP lawmakers nervous about overshooting their electoral mandate.

Cutting or doing away with Social Security and Medicare, banning abortion, and criminalizing us once again has always been their goals.

Sunday, July 24, 2022

It Is Wake Up Time And Stop The Merchants Of Hate

The conservatives talk about being “Woke” well it is time we wake to the attempts of them to roll back our rights!

They are calling the non-discrimination laws once again “Special Rights” we have to plan once again to stand up for our equal rights.

After Roe, Republicans Sharpen Attacks on Gay and Transgender Rights
Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, anti-gay rhetoric and calls to roll back L.G.B.T.Q. rights have grown bolder among Republican elected officials and candidates.
The New York Times
By Trip Gabriel
July 22, 2022

Days after the Supreme Court overturned the right to abortion, Michigan’s Republican candidates for governor were asked if it was also time to roll back constitutional protections for gay rights.

None of the five candidates came to the defense of same-sex marriage.

“They need to revisit it all,” one candidate, Garrett Soldano, said at the debate, in Warren, Mich.

“Michigan’s Constitution,” said another candidate, Ralph Rebandt, “says that for the betterment of society, marriage is between a man and a woman.”

Since the Supreme Court decision last month overturning Roe v. Wade, anti-gay rhetoric and calls to roll back established L.G.B.T.Q. protections have grown bolder. And while Republicans in Congress appear deeply divided about same-sex marriage — nearly 50 House Republicans on Tuesday joined Democrats in supporting a bill that would recognize same-sex marriages at the federal level — many Republican officials and candidates across the country have made attacking gay and transgender rights a party norm this midterm season.


Some Democrats and advocates for L.G.B.T.Q. communities say the Republican attacks have deepened their concerns that the overturning of Roe could undermine other cases built on the same legal foundation — the right to privacy provided in the Fourteenth Amendment — and lead to increases in hate crimes as well as suicides of L.G.B.T.Q. youth.

There are mumblings in Congress and the Republican states about special rights and sodomy laws need to be overturned.

“The far right is emboldened in a way they have not been in five decades,” said State Representative Daniel Hernandez Jr. of Arizona, a Democrat and a co-founder of the Legislature’s L.G.B.T.Q. caucus. “In addition to trying to create even more restrictions on abortion, they are going after the L.G.B.T.Q. community even more.”

The Republicans have found a hot button issue in transgender women playing in sports they are preying on the ignorance of the voters in understanding the medical realities and only hear “boys playing on girls teams.”

In the Arizona primary for governor, Ms. Lake, the Trump-endorsed candidate who is leading in some polls, seized on a recent uproar over drag performers — in response to a viral video of children at a Dallas drag show — to demonstrate her sharp shift to the right.

“They kicked God out of schools and welcomed the Drag Queens,” Ms. Lake said in a tweet last month. “They took down our Flag and replaced it with a rainbow.” And Republican leaders in the Arizona Legislature, denouncing “sexual perversion,” called for a law barring children from drag shows.

The conservatives and many moderates equate drag queens with sex, and believe that being LGBTQ+ is a choice so when they say “grooming” they totally believe it.

“We’re taking the first step today to protecting children,” Ms. Dixon said.

“Save Our Children” and the “Lavender Scare” have come back on steroids!

You can’t sit this out, you are an activist every time to step out the door… your life is on the line!

How long before groups like the Proud Boys’ protests at San Lorenzo Library escalate to bring baseball bats or guns. We have already seen s huge rise in hates crimes against up, we are seeing a record year once in the murdering of us. We are the scapegoats just like the Jews of the 1930s and 40s.

We have to vote! And vote Democratic!

We cannot let the merchants of hate win.

Saturday, July 23, 2022

On Vacation!


On vacation...

A friends is up here at the cottage this weekend and I will not be playing Saturday 9 today.

Friday, July 22, 2022

The Speed Of Dark

Is a book written by Elizabeth Moon about an autistic man as he debates where he will take “the cure” that will make him “Normal.” It reminded me of the debate in college when the Cochlear implants were still in the experimental phase. I went to college at Rochester Institute of Technology and on campus was the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, every class had an interpreter and a note taker, one of things that I learned from deaf friends was that debate whether they would have an implant. So saw it as denial of their heritage while others saw it as an escape to the “normal” world.

In Goodreads about the book one of the comments was;

I may need to review my top-ten shelf and see what can be bumped. "The Speed of Dark" book moved me like few books ever have. I cried, I laughed, I didn't want it to end. Elizabeth Moon does an absolutely amazing job of making a reader walk many miles in someone else's shoes. In this case, the reader becomes Lou Arrendale, an autistic man in an era when autism can be cured in childhood. Unfortunately, he was born too soon for the treatment. A new treatment is developed for adult autists and he has to decide whether or not to participate in the clinical trials. At the end, I don't know that I agreed with his decision, but I understood it.

I now understand the term "genre ghetto". I think this book should be more widely read, but it probably won't be because it's classified as science fiction. Believe me, it's not a space opera or a tech-geek novel, it's a novel with real heart that would appeal even to those who never set foot in the science fiction/fantasy section of the bookstore.


That resonated with a thought question in the trans community… “If you could take a pill to “cure” you of being trans, would you take it?”

I imagine that every marginalized community asks the same question if they could do something that creates a way out of the community would you do it?

But then there was another commenter on Goodreads that said in part,

Oh man. This book started out incredibly promising. The autistic first-person narrator is believable and authentic, and when an experimental cure for autism is acquired by the company he works for, the ethical ramifications are gripping and frightening. I mean, when people see autism as an illness, something to be cured, then resisting treatment is obvious grounds for firing someone. So I really wanted to see where the writer would take this.

If there were a cure for being trans and you don’t take it would it mean that you are no longer protected under non-discrimination laws? Could a company fire you for not taking the “cure?”

I picked this book out because the author is a well-know science fiction writer and I just finished listening to a couple of her book and this books write up sounded interesting,  

In the near future, disease will be a condition of the past. Most genetic defects will be removed at birth; the remaining during infancy. Unfortunately, there will be a generation left behind…

So I bought the audiobook.

As I started to listen to the book I thought “What is this, it is not science fiction!” but I started getting drawn into the book and I started seeing the similarities between what the protagonist was going through and the trans community.

Then one commenter connected the dots.

Moon has an autistic son, which clearly informed her writing of this book. The Speed of Dark tells the story of Lou Arrendale, an autistic man living in a near future very similar to our own time. The back of the book blurb focuses on:

"…an experimental “cure” for his condition. Now Lou must decide if he should submit to a surgery that may change the way he views the world–and the very essence of who he is."

But the book is so much more. This isn’t an action or adventure novel, and the treatments and potential cure for autism is pretty much the only real SF element in the story.

The most powerful thing, to me, is the way Moon brings you into Lou’s perspective:

It is hard to drive safely in the hot afternoon, with the wrong music in my head. Light flashed off windshields, bumpers, trim; there are too many flashing lights. By the time I get home, my head hurts and I’m shaking. I take the pillows off my couch into the bedroom, closing all the shades tightly and then the door. I lie down, piling the pillow on top of me, then turn off the light.


Moon shows many of the challenges Lou faces, both the internal and the external. A new supervisor wants to eliminate the “special accommodations” Lou and his unit receive at work. A man from Lou’s fencing group blames Lou for his problems, accusing people like him of stealing jobs from “normal” people. (Sound familiar? Much of this book could be set in today’s world.)

And then there’s the potential cure, the chance for Lou to be normal, whatever that means. Moon does a decent job of exploring the moral messiness and complexities of “curing” autism, though I would have liked to see more of this part. Should we cure someone who’s able to function? What about someone we define as low-functioning? How many of the challenges autistic people face are inherent to the condition, and how many of those challenges are externally created?

My thoughts on taking the “cure” is no.

Life is hard being trans, it is not easy with all the little microaggressions faced every day but it would make me someone not who I am. Most of my accomplishes would be meaningless, I would be denying my heritage. 

The Speed of Dark is a book that makes you think. Lou is a wonderful, sympathetic, beautiful protagonist. This isn’t a plot-oriented, action-packed book, but it’s one I definitely recommend reading.

So lets start a discussion… would you take a “cure” to make you normal our would that be denying who you are?

Speaks The Truth And Gets Attacks

The U.S. Assistant Health Secretary Rachel Levine spoke out against what is being done to us in Florida.

Adm. Rachel Levine: 'One supportive adult' can 'make all the difference' for transgender youth

Assistant Health Secretary Admiral Rachel Levine, the first openly transgender official confirmed by the United States Senate, joins Andrea Mitchell to discuss the “politically motivated attacks through state actions” against transgender youth, and what can be done to support the mental health of this “vulnerable” community. “Studies show, from the Trevor Project, that all it takes is one supportive adult to make all the difference for an LGBTQI+ youth, transgender youth, in terms of their risk of depression and suicide,” says Levine. “One supportive adult. That often is a teacher, or some other school personnel. And the ‘Don't Say Gay’ bill is very damaging to their health.”

MSNBC July 18, 2022

And of course Fox News is hopping mad they reported.

Radio talk show host Mark Davis wrote, "God help us. I would raise no personal quarrel with #RachelLevine about trans status. What adults want to do with their own lives is none of my business.  But this is unfettered advocacy of child abuse."

"This is just appalling. The Biden Presidency is destroying America," Telegraph contributor Nile Gardiner wrote.

Former Dept. of Education press secretary Angela Morabito tweeted, "Perhaps the only thing sicker than cheerleading the sterilization of children is calling it ‘empowerment.’"

Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., wrote, "80% of children outgrow gender dysphoria. Under the Biden Admin’s ‘gender care’ policies, these children may suffer irreversible harm. ‘Gender-affirming care’ is child abuse.

At the end of their belittling they add…

Levine criticized the actions at the time as "targeting" trans youths to "score political points."

"Every major medical association agrees: gender-affirming care is life-saving, medically necessary, age-appropriate and a critical tool for health care providers," Levine said

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Drag Queens

I know many, many drag queens and have attended their fundraisers, they have raised thousands and thousands of dollars for charities and almost all them are so congenial and always have a warm smile and kind words.

I'm I'm A Drag Queen Who Reads To Kids. Haters Call It 'Indoctrination' — Here's What They're Really Learning.
"When I enter the room with my big hair, big shoes, and lots and lots of sequins, children quickly prove to be a generous and curious audience."
By Lil Miss Hot Mess
July 7, 2022

For more than five years, I’ve been reading to children in libraries, bookstores, and beyond as part of Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH), a unique organization that promotes reading through the magic of drag.

I love that this program taps into the creativity and imagination that is already present in the lives of children and drag performers. When I enter the room with my big hair, big shoes, and lots and lots of sequins, children quickly prove to be a generous and curious audience.

They often have lots and lots of questions — are you really a queen? how do you get the glitter to stick to your face? have you ever met a dragon? — but they immediately understand the playful possibilities without being weighed down by social norms and cultural baggage.

Still, as one of DQSH’s organizers, it’s hard to ignore the drama that some members of society stir up. While we have faced backlash from the beginning, in recent months, we’ve seen an uptick in organized opposition. Personally, as the author of two children’s books, my work has faced book bans and challenges, including from Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) who parroted false far-right rhetoric accusing me of creating “sexually charged content.” I also regularly receive hate mail calling me horrific names and threatening my safety.

You have understand where the conservatives are coming from. First in their warped sense of reality they think that being LGBTQ+ is a choice. Second they think we are like rabbits, humping anything that moves. Third they hate anyone and anything that’s different. And that lack of understand or even trying to understand causes the violence.

Moreover, this Pride month, multiple drag performances were disrupted by alleged members of the domestic terrorist group the Proud Boys, including library events in San Lorenzo, California, and Sparks, Nevada.


While it can be hard to stand strong against such blatant hatred and political distractions, drag performers are a particularly resilient force: We’ve been training our entire careers to ensure the show must go on and to spread joy during challenging times.

In fact, that legacy is part of what makes us such powerful role models for children: Ultimately, drag can teach us all to be caring citizens by embracing complexity, doubling down on our imaginations, and standing up for what we believe in.

It is not like we tie them down and give them Electroconvulsive therapy to make them gay, that is what they do to us to make us straight.

As Lil Miss Hot Mess said this is nothing new, we have faced violence thought out history.

Throughout the 20th century and beyond, drag queen activists have channeled a similar spirit of playful resistance to lead calls for justice. Take, for example, San Francisco’s José Sarria, credited as the first out gay American to run for public office in 1961 (16 years before Harvey Milk was elected). Or we might also think of queer and trans people of color activists like Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera and Stormé DeLarverie, who helped catalyze the infamous Stonewall rebellion in New York City. Or today’s up-and-coming drag activists-turned-politicians like Honey Mahogany, Maebe A. Girl and Marti Gould Cummings.

I also bet that you didn’t know that one of our “Founding Fathers” defended a trans person?

John Quincy Adams was an attorney for a trans person who was hit over the head with a cane in the case of “Gray vs. Pitts. Assault and Battery”  in 1771.

I end with the lyrics from “A Touch of Grey”

I will get by
I will get by
I will get by
I will survive

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Good Media

We get a lot of bad press but once in a while we get good press coverage.
Scores of bills in US states aim to block medical treatments for trans youth. But research shows that these bans could have dire consequences.
By Grace Huckins
July 19, 2022

IN THE MIDST of a slew of anti-trans legislation proposed earlier this year, Spencer Cox, the Republican governor of Utah, made an impassioned plea to his state’s legislature as he tried to veto a bill that would bar trans youth from competing in girls’ sports. “I want them to live,” he wrote of the trans athletes in his state, in reference to the astronomical rates of suicide attempts among the trans community. Multiple surveys have estimated that about 40 percent of trans people may attempt suicide in their lifetimes; among the general public, this figure is around 5 percent.

But despite the governor’s veto attempt, the Utah bill passed, as have a few across the country that ban gender-affirming medical care for kids and teens. Many other such bills are currently in the works. These treatments—principally drugs that delay the onset of puberty, and hormone treatments such as testosterone and estrogen—help trans people achieve the bodies and appearances that feel right to them. Experts worry that the bans will have catastrophic effects. “Youth will die,” says Dallas Ducar, CEO of Transhealth Northampton, a medical center in Western Massachusetts that provides gender-affirming health care services.
There are political forces working to send the opposite message. On June 15, the Biden White House issued an executive order directing the administration to safeguard LGBTQ health care access—and, specifically, to work to prevent suicide. But the order doesn’t just focus on medical care: It also aims to support queer student well-being in schools, broaden access to family counseling, and reduce LGBTQ homelessness, among a slew of other goals.

To experts like Turban and Ducar, an expansive approach is exactly what is needed—not simply to prevent deaths, but also to encourage trans youth to lead happy, fulfilling lives. Achieving that goal means offering them access to appropriate mental health care, ensuring that they know they are supported, and publicly and emphatically speaking out against anti-trans hate. “We should not be striving, as a health care community, just to reduce suicidality,” Ducar says. “Keeping someone safe is the bare minimum.”
I think many trans people have seen what early intervention can do to trans children, how their quality of life improves. Stopping puberty and giving time for the child to make an informed decision. It is when puberty is allowed to run rampant that the microaggression and discrimination begins.

A Hatchet Job?

Now here is A new idea… Trans women are women.

There are people who think that this is a choice, that one day we said “You know what I want to do today… be a woman. They are locked into the 1950s notion that sex is just two chromosomes.

A Democrat down in Missouri says,

'Treat trans women as who they are — women:' Dem Senate candidates declare support for transgender rights
Springfield News-Leader
By Andrew Sullender
July 18, 2022

Amid increased political scrutiny on transgender individuals, the three leading Missouri Democratic candidates for Senate have declared support for trans rights — even as a clip circulates online that candidate Trudy Busch Valentine says was taken out of context.

At a Wednesday town hall hosted by the Chesterfield Township Democrats, Busch Valentine was asked whether she believes trans women are women.

"I'm going to say a woman is a woman. You can't say — I've heard this too from the Republicans. You cannot say that a woman can bear a child. I cannot bear a child anymore. A woman is a woman," Busch Valentine said — referencing a recent viral exchange between Senator Josh Hawley and an abortion-rights advocate in which he stated no men can become pregnant, including transgender men.

"But in this transgender thing, that's a different issue and that's an issue that people have to come to on their own," she continued.

"They need the guidance of parents. They need doctors intervention. I don't think anything should be done until they're adults that lasts forever. But I think if they begin things like estrogen or testosterone and they can stop those things so people can get a second look at things."

She has been labeled a TREF (Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist) by some but they only heard the first part and not the part about guidance and doctors. What she said about parents, doctors, and not until they are adults that is basically what the Standard of Care says and puberty blockers give them that time to decide.

But Sarandon's clip cuts out the beginning and end of Busch Valentine's response. In a statement to the News-Leader, Busch Valentine campaign manager Alex Witt called Sarandon's video "deceptively edited to leave a false impression."

The article went on to say what Ms. Valentine said,

But Sarandon's clip cuts out the beginning and end of Busch Valentine's response. In a statement to the News-Leader, Busch Valentine campaign manager Alex Witt called Sarandon's video "deceptively edited to leave a false impression."

"Trudy was responding to a question about Senator Josh Hawley's attack this week on trans women. Trudy believes that we must treat trans women as who they are — women," Witt told the News-Leader.

"Trudy made clear that she believes that every person, regardless of their gender or any other factor, deserves to be safe and treated with dignity and respect. As a nurse, Trudy understands the difficult decisions many people make when it comes to medical care. The last thing they need is disingenuous politicians like Josh Hawley denying them their basic human rights."

I believe that this editing does a disservice to our community and make enemies out of allies. I don't understand why she edited it that way? What were her motives?

The article want on to said that,

According to Witt, Busch Valentine will be a "steadfast champion for LGBTQ equality and justice" in the U.S. Senate and will cosponsor the Equality Act, federal legislation banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

We need all the allies that we can get!

What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

In The Ghetto.

That is the question I like to ask, would you live in an elusive LGBTQ apartments or senior living center?

Many LGBTQ+ people do and they have many reasons for doing so and they range from fear of discrimination or violence to it is easier to find a partner. However, according to some reports the idea of LGBTQ+ housing is losing it appeal.

Once a Crucial Refuge, 'Gayborhoods' Lose LGBTQ Appeal in Major Cities
New York Times via Yahoo News
By Adam Nagourney
July 4, 2022

Cleve Jones has lived in the Castro neighborhood for nearly 50 years, almost from the day he graduated from high school in Phoenix and hitchhiked to California.

He has been a political and cultural leader, organizing gay men and lesbians when the AIDS epidemic devastated these streets in the early 1980s. He created the nationally recognized AIDS Memorial Quilt from a storefront on Market Street. He was a face of the anger and sorrow that swept the Castro in 1978 after the assassination of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

Jones has helped define the Castro, dancing at its gay bars seven nights a week when he was younger, gathering with friends for drinks and gossip as he grew older. To this day, he is recognized when he walks down its sidewalks. “Hi Cleve — I know who you are,” said Lt. Amy Hurwitz of the San Francisco Police Department, after Jones began to introduce himself.

But he has moved out because of rising rent. The article goes on to list other reasons LGBTQ+ are moving out…

LGBTQ couples, particularly younger ones, are starting families and considering more traditional features — public schools, parks and larger homes — in deciding where they want to live. The draw of “gayborhoods” as a refuge for past generations looking to escape discrimination and harassment is less of an imperative today, reflecting the rising acceptance of gay and lesbian people. And dating apps have, for many, replaced the gay bar as a place that leads to a relationship or a sexual encounter.

Many gay and lesbian leaders said this might well be a long-lasting realignment, an unexpected product of the success of a gay rights movement, including the Supreme Court’s recognition of same-sex marriage in 2015, that has pushed for equal rights and integration into mainstream society.

I think that is true… “Gay” nightclubs are going the way of the dinosaurs. I wasn’t much of a bar person but I did notice that the LGBTQ+ bars and nightclubs has dropped since I first stuck my toe out the door.

I remember the tenth anniversary of marriage equality there were a number of ten year olds running around.

Hess said part of this was generational. The men and women who established these neighborhoods “wanted to segregate and be surrounded by gay people,” he said. “In contrast, when you ask young people today what they want, they would prefer an inclusive coffee shop. They don’t want anyone to feel unwelcome.”

Some gay leaders argued that the instinct to live in communities of like-minded people remained a powerful draw and that there would always be some version of a gayborhood, though perhaps not as concentrated and powerful.

There has been much discussion on whether Connecticut needs a LGBTQ+ senior housing center? First we have a small population, second many people think that it will ghettoize us, while other think that it will nice because we would be among community. And now with the hate crime at the LGBTQ+ apartments in Boston it is giving other a pause think think about how safe a LGBTQ+ apartments would be.

So that leads me to today’s poll.

When Elvis Presley sang "In the Ghetto" (originally titled "The Vicious Circle") in 1969 I doubt that he realized that it would still be relevant today.