April 10, 2010 archive

I will no longer be used. Will you be?

It should now be apparent by those who are aware of the recent and not so recent sweep of history that a few facts have been coming into focus.  And if it is not, it should be.

Both major political parties of the United States use GLBT people.  It’s not that they ignore us, it’s not that they regard us as an inconvenience.  No, they actively use us to achieve the only thing that is important to them: achieving and maintaining political power, which power is used to enhance the wealth and status of selected groups in our society.

And if you look at the flow and ebb of political power, and what is done with this power with respect to not just GLBT issues, but women’s issues, immigration issues and all manner of social issues is this: Both parties have an interest in keeping the political game going.

It is well established among GLBT folks that the Republican Party has been and continues to be hostile to the well being and first class citizenship of our people; this is not and has not been in dispute for a long, long time.  They are hardly blameless in the game of American social values football, while they tend to be neglected because their position is and has been so clear for so long.  Nonetheless, the interest is in not so much oppressing GLBT people as using them.  Using our existence for fundraising, for demagoguery and for all manner of pandering in order to win elections; to keep and hold power.

Nonetheless, this leads to extremes of social discourse that tend to slide under the perceptual range of the average American; there are things we notice and pay attention to that average people who are not so much interested in GLBT issues tend to ignore, less those that spend inordinate amount of time on liberal political radio and so-called “liberal” blogs and websites.

Extremes such as this.

If you asked me, I would agree with a few propositions, were they brought to me by my GLBT friends and gay allies:

1.  Yes, there are people who genuinely hate and/or fear GLBT people, even people who occupy political office, and that for those people, this is not a game, given the opportunity, they would destroy us, and possibly have all of us killed.

2.  Yes, those people (who want to destroy us) tend to be concentrated on the far right, and that those people in the political center, or to the left of center, where anti-gay, tend to want more to use us and keep us from advancing, than they want to “destroy” us.

What is not so clear, however, to the average politically unengaged American, is the degree to which prominent Democrats, and the Democratic Party, also use GLBT people to their political ends, all of which makes the tolerance among Democrats to far right extremes doubly disgusting in that these extremes of hate and fear might not exist but for the fact that Democrats use this debate to keep and enhance their power.  

Remember, my proposition is the Democrats and the Democratic Party in general are using us despite full knowledge of the degree of damage this hate does to the social discourse.  And that this is a political game played out among Democrats and Republicans, not to settle the social debate on one side or another, but to keep the debate going, to serve their political ends.

This may be somewhat obvious to the average poster on Docudharma, but I would point things out that might not be so obvious to the average American.

Late Night Karaoke

Open Thread

Popular Culture 20100409: The Big Valley

The Big Valley was a popular throwaway TeeVee show in the mid 1960’s.  Does anyone remember it?

It starred Barbara Stanwyck (who insisted on being billed as “Miss Barbara Stanwyck, and I wonder what the “Miss” meant), Peter Breck as Nick Barkley, Richard Long as Jarrord Barkely, and Linda Evans as the prototype “10” as Audra Barkely.

Random Japan


It was noted that after six months in office, Justice Minister Keiko Chiba has failed to authorize a single execution of a death-row prisoner.

The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare is organizing an 8,000km boat cruise for relatives of servicemen who were killed at sea during World War II.

A 40-year-old Russian sailor was awarded ¥500,000 by a court in Hokkaido for emotional distress resulting from a 1997 sting operation in which he was busted for trading a gun for a used car.

It was revealed that the Tokyo Medical Examiner’s Office “mixed up the bodies of two elderly men and conducted an autopsy on a man who didn’t need one.”

The Japan Mint is selling newly pressed ¥1,000 coins featuring the likeness of 19th-century samurai Ryoma Sakamoto for ¥6,000 apiece. Hey, hang on a minute…

Surprise, surprise: War evokes a homicidal phenotype.

The broad outlines of basic animal motivation are easily stripped to bare bones: food deprivation motivates food seeking, sleep deprivation promotes sleep, sexual stimulation promotes reproductive behavior, and the prospect of imminent death by predation induces fear and anger which evoke defensive and offensive attack behaviors.  

Of course, when these existential dominant drives are not on the psychic regulatory and operational front-lines, other subordinate drives, such as curiosity and orienting and re-orienting reflexes, i.e., the careful examination of objects of thought, may successfully compete for operational space.  

Conversely, nothing obliterates subordinate drives such as curiosity and reasoned inquiry like the induction of primal homicidal mania.  

Original v. Cover — #20 in a Series

lauren-bacall Pictures, Images and Photos

The story this week is as much about a great songwriter/performer, as well as a song that has proven to be one of the most versatile ever. Despite the lengthy number of cover versions presented this week, the variety of interpretations was too great to reduce the list further. No matter what your musical tastes might be, you’re likely to hear at least one that you like. His music continues to be performed in styles as diverse as pop, gospel, blues and rock. In 1951, Tony Bennett, accompanied by the Percy Faith orchestra, recorded a cover version of another of this songwriter’s works, which remained on the Billboard Magazine charts for twenty-seven weeks, peaking at #1.

Taser Bullets?

Taser Bullets? That is the report.

Called the nanosecond electrical pulse (nsEP) project, the research focuses on using brief electrical pulses to temporarily paralyze an individual by disrupting the nervous system, similar to the way the Taser, another popular nonlethal device, works. But where this project differs from most other stun guns, according to the Pentagon, is that it could theoretically be built as a wireless system, and have a longer lasting effect.

In the next paragraph, it goes on to state how this research may be able to be shrunk into bullet form.

The Pentagon’s Joint Nonlethal Weapons Directorate, which is sponsoring the work, declined a request for an interview, but answered written questions. “It is hoped the technology can be made small enough to fit in a small, self-contained round,” Dave Law, the chief of the office’s technology division, wrote of the research project. “The round would have a power source and therefore would not need wires.”

I’ll tell you why this is a bad idea.


Tonight, it being Friday, a new set of images I`m presenting show power that things have, implied or inherent.

I left out many, such as the power of hate, or the power of hypocrisy etc, but if you follow, you`ll see what I mean.

This first image I took a few days ago while a photo shoot was going on.

I went up from the opposite side & shot this.



It Is Not Dying

Turn off your mind

Relax and float downstream

It is not dying

It is not dying

We were talking about the space between us all

And the people who hide themselves behind a wall of illusion

Never glimpse the truth, then it’s far too late when they pass away

We were talking about the love we all could share, when we find it

To try our best to hold it there, with our love

With our love, we could save the world if they only knew

Try to realize it’s all within yourself

No one else can make you change

And to see you’re really only very small

And life flows on within you and without you

With Friends Like Israel…

I’m sure everyone is familiar with the AIPAC spy scandal in which Larry Franklin, working under neocon Douglas Feith at the Pentagon’s now infamous Office of Special Plans, was caught passing classified documents to two top AIPAC officials, policy director Steve Rosen and senior Iran analyst Keith Weissman. These two men were scheduled to finally stand trial (they were indicted in 2005) on April 21, 2009, but Obama’s Justice Dept. dismissed the charges.. Franklin had already pled guilty and was sentenced to 12 years in a federal penitentiary, but the judge, based on prosecutors dropping the charges against Rosen and Weissman, reduced his sentence to 10 months.

This was not the first time Israeli agents have been caught spying on their good friends the Americans. One you probably haven’t heard about, because the story broke on the day of the 2008 Pennsylvania primary, is the case of Ben-ami Kadish, an 84 year old retired army engineer who was part of the same spy ring as Jonathan Pollard, the American naval intelligence analyst who was convicted in 1987 for passing classified intelligence to Israel. In fact, the number of instances of Israeli espionage against the US are far too many to list here. It’s been going on since Israel’s birth. And it hasn’t stopped.

But there is a bigger, and far more important case that has hardly been reported at all – even in the so-called alternative press. It involves surveillance and penetration of government and civilian communications systems, from the phones in the White House to potentially 80% of civilian phone phone service.

This story begins back in 2000…

Friday Philosophy: Health care, employment, and housing (or lack of same)

Dr. Jennifer Potter, Director of the Women’s Health Program at Fenway Health announced a health fair for LBT women on May 11 in  this morning’s edition of Bay Windows.  That will be in the midst of National Women’s Health Week.

She acknowledges that LGBT people all experience health disparities because of continued discrimination and ignorance on the part of of health professionals.  But she also notes that the majority of research and funding for LGBT people is directed at gay men’s health, primarily at gay men infected with HIV.  LBT people are often left out in the cold.

Aside:  I’ve had a lot of personal experience with that, having had to train my own medical practitioners how to treat me.  Too often, medical schools don’t provide training in how to interact with transpeople, let alone how to treat us.  Back in the early 90s I participated in a video interview with a doctor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (Karen Young:  her son was a student at the university where I taught) to be used in its ethics courses, hoping to address the issue.  I do not know if it is still being used…and I never received a copy.

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