To Hell With ‘Today’

August 30, 2009

From the Hollywood Reporter:

NBC’s “Today” show has hired someone with White House experience as a new correspondent — former first daughter Jenna Bush Hager.

‘Scuse me while I kiss this overflowing spitoon.

Well, no – but that’s something I’ll be more likely to do than ever watching Today again.

Even at that, here’s the money shot:

“It wasn’t something I’d always dreamed to do,” she said. “But I think one of the most important things in life is to be open-minded and to be open-minded for change.”

I can presume, then, that she’s never actually met her father?


A Question for Christianists

August 29, 2009

So….

Abortion is a ‘moral issue’ of such grave importance as to warrant invocation of the power of the state…

And same-sex marriage is a ‘moral issue’ of such grave importance as to warrant invocation of the power of the state…

And even homosexuality is a ‘moral issue’ of such grave importance as to warrant invocation of the power of the state…

But ensuring that all of the life forms that you claim were made in your deity’s image receive the healthcare necessary to stay alive is not?

Real Time: Bill Moyers on Health Care as a Human Right

Bill Moyers.

Among other things, he’s a Baptist minister.

Christianists, I suggest opening yourselves up to some of his reality-based preaching.


How I Accidentally Profited From Ted Kennedy’s Death

August 28, 2009

Seriously.

Back in the early 1970s, Topps bubblegum – of baseball card fame – put out a set of U.S. Presidents cards.  Likely (though I don’t know for sure) because the then-current number of presidents (37) didn’t fill out whatever size sheets of paper Topps prints cards on, the set had to be filled out with 1972 presidential contenders.

Well, with my niece moving in with us this summer, space in our house became more of a premium – so I got back into Ebay mode.  A week ago, I listed a handful of cards from that U.S. Presidents set – specifically, three of the 1972 contenders: Hubert Humphrey, John Lindsay and…

scan0043

 

 Ted Kennedy.

For several days, there were no bids – even at $0.99.

Then Teddy died.

The three cards just sold…

for a whopping $0.99.

No – not much, but that’s considerably more than I paid for a full pack of the cards mumble-something years ago.

Now if I can just find the Shirley Chisholm card……..


Sanity from Suzan Cooke

August 28, 2009

I’m not going to say I agree with everything at Women Born Transsexual, but this post by Suzan is well worth reading:

HBS? Count me out. 

And, for good measure:

It is time to tell Alice Dreger to fuck off.  We do not want the advice of a Michael Bailey lackey.

Telling Alice of Baileyland where to go and what to do is always a good thing to do (I encourage everyone to do so at least twice before breakfast each morning; your day will go so much better if you do), but Cooke actually really gets on a roll afterward.


(Some) Sanity From Peter Rosenstein

August 28, 2009

I’ve had cause to criticize him on more than a few occasions – but in his latest piece for Queer Channel Media, he’s pretty much on the mark.

I remember the Bill Clinton vs. George H.W. Bush race in 1992. David got some promises from then-Gov. Clinton after holding the first million-dollar LGBT fundraiser for him with his wealthy friends. It allowed the LGBT community to become a player in the election.

But I also remember the election itself. Clinton was pummeled for not serving in the military and for getting a deferment from the draft. It was a three-way race and Clinton was elected without winning a majority of the votes. Not much of a mandate. For Mixner to suggest as he did in a recent blog post from Turkey Hollow, N.Y., where he lives, that all President Clinton had to do was call in the Joint Chiefs of Staff, including General Colin Powell, and threaten to fire them all if they didn’t allow gays to serve in the military is ludicrous.

When Clinton was interrupted recently by Lane Hudson at the Netroots conference (and as much as Lane knows I admire him, that was rude and really served no purpose), the former president spoke a partial truth about that fight in the early ‘90s. Of course, Clinton couldn’t resist revising history a little, but the reality is (both then and now) that we didn’t have the votes on the Hill to get what we wanted after Mixner forced the president to move on gays in the military before he had any real credibility on the Hill.

In 1993, when the homophobic Senate Armed Services Committee Chair Sam Nunn (D-Ga.) said in essence that gays would serve in the military over his dead body, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was born as a way to keep Nunn from potentially passing a law banning gays from the military entirely.

AS FOR THE Defense of Marriage Act, which Clinton also addressed at Netroots, it passed overwhelmingly (and in bipartisan fashion) in Congress, and we were later able to use it to stop the movement to pass a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Clinton also used it to get re-elected in 1996, but let’s be honest, would we rather have had Bob Dole?

Well – the Log Cabin-oids…

But I digress.

For the most part, Rosenstein’s only misstep was a bit of praise for the eternally-unpraiseworthy Rhode Island Avenue Cesspool.

I wonder what his thoughts are on Tim McFeeley’s revisionism.


Words Mean Something – And So Do Letters

August 27, 2009

Engaging in historical revisionism must give some people a buzz comparable to Pineapple Express. 

Exhibit 639,172,825: Former Scampaign head Tim McFeeley.

Ted Kennedy’s leadership in defense of the civil rights and aspirations of LGBT Americans has been remarkable, and his death leaves us without our fiercest champion in the United States Senate. The value of one strong advocate in the Senate — someone who will use every parliamentary, personal and political lever to preserve, protect and defend an issue — cannot be overstated, and Senator Kennedy was the LGBT community’s lion-hearted advocate.

Whether working with Republican Senator Lowell Weicker to secure the first funding to care for people with AIDS, or standing up to the incessant, vile attacks on gay Americans and people with HIV/AIDS from Jesse Helms, or ensuring that all people with HIV are covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Ted Kennedy was the “go-to” Senator for LGBT Americans for over 20 years. Senator Kennedy was not deterred by a lack of political support; whether our side could deliver 50 votes or 5 in the Senate, and whether the public opinion polls favored the gay side or not, if Kennedy felt the issue deserved his support, he would hold the Senate floor as long as necessary to achieve the best result.

Would that be the same ADA that includes not one, but two, explicitly anti-trans provisions – provisions that led to the erasure of pro-trans Rehabilitation Act precedent?

Senator Kennedy was not deterred by a lack of political support….

Really?

Then why was there never even a trans-inclusive ENDA bill in the Senate until three weeks before Kennedy’s death?

And, if folks are keeping track, Kennedy died in 2009 – not 1994.

One day in particular stands out in my mind: July 29, 1994, a hot summer Friday in Washington. The Employment Non-discrimination Act (ENDA) had its inaugural introduction just a few weeks before, and Senator Kennedy as Chairman of the Labor Committee scheduled a hearing on the bill for 10 a.m. We lined up outside the hearing room two hours in advance, and as the doors opened we had to jostle with a phalanx of right-wing ministers led by Louis Sheldon and his daughter Andrea who broke ahead of the line to try to pack the room. A scuffle and angry words brought Capitol police officers to restore calm, and before the hearing officially commenced Senator Kennedy had to denounce the uncivil behavior at a hearing to discuss civil rights. Here was the leader of every major civil rights bill protecting women, ethnic and racial minorities, and people with disabilities taking up the fight once again, this time to stop discrimination in the workplace against LGBT Americans.

Really?

What was Sen. Kennedy – or any senator, much less you Mr. McFeeley – doing in July 1994 to stop discrimination in the workplace against transgender Americans?  You know – July 1994?  When not only was there not a trans-inclusive ENDA but when trans activists were blocked by a Senate committee from even testifying?  When one senator not named Kennedy managed to get the written testimony of two trans activists (Phyllis Frye and Karen Kerin) added to the record?

Yes – that July 1994.

But believe it or not, my posting here is not anti-Teddy.  I’m willing to accept the possibility that Teddy may finally have come around – but, honestly, there’s not really much of a record (other than his co-sponsorship of the Senate ENDA bill) to back that up.

But that’s not the issue here.

The historical record, when it is finally in full view, may even provide some room to at least maneuver him out of the Barney Frank category; maybe he meant better than his lack of official action indicates – though, it does seem as though there are too many indicators that he indeed was the Senate roadblock that trans people have asserted him to be for the last decade and a half.

But even that’s not the issue here.

The issue is yet another purple-n-yellow-blooded professional queer creating more nuggets of fake trans-inclusive histories of a trans-exclusive movement and a disgustingly transphobic organization, to muddy not just the water but the air and everything else.

And honestly?

If there’s anyone who should be more pissed off about it than trans people…

its Ted Kennedy.


As Usual – If it Comes from the Scampaign, its Crap

August 27, 2009

From the Bay Area Reporter:

Current HRC President Joe Solmonese released a statement calling [Sen. Ted] Kennedy the “greatest champion and strongest voice for justice, fairness, and compassion.”

“The loss to our community is immeasurable,” he said. “There was no greater hero for advocates of LGBT equality than Senator Ted Kennedy.”

No.

That is an assertion that is empirically, provably false. 

Even if one is willing to indulge all of the assumptions, presumptions, etc., about what Kennedy’s co-sponsorship of the legit ENDA S. 1584 actually meant or, as the bill moves forward this fall, could have meant – and for purposes of this posting, I’ll give Kennedy every benefit of every doubt on this issue and acknowledge that it could well be a bad thing that we will never know for sure how things would have played out with him as an active member of the Senate – Pee Wee’s statement is almost as divergent from the historical record as a statement from Kennedy himself claiming to have never been to Chappaquiddick would have been.

I’m not saying Kennedy was unbridled evil – even with respect to Chappaquiddick (again: even at worst, it was not murder); but that statement says plenty – and nothing good – about Pee Wee.


Teddy

August 26, 2009

Well, it would appear as though Ted Kennedy’s death has sent enough spikes through the internets that there has been an upswing in views of a Teddy-hater site which, in turn, led to an upswing in views of a piece I – a hater-of-Teddy-for-a-very-specific-reason – posted a while back.

So be it.

I wasn’t going to say anything about the death – and, even now, I’m going to try to be brief and quasi-respectful.

To the folks who are referring to him as a ‘murderer’, get over yourselves.  You’ve got the facts on your side, but don’t overplay them. 

Did he get away with ‘it’?

Of course.

But ‘it’ was, at most, vehicular manslaughter – serious shit which would/should have ended his political career – with a ‘leaving the scene’ chaser. 

It wasn’t ‘murder’.

But, as I noted a few weeks ago:

[L]ets be honest.  The D and R are irrelevant to this; Teddy survived it the same way that another snot-nosed rich Yankee brat was able to cover up a DWI (and, if J.H. Hatfield was right, a cocaine bust): Undeserved inherited wealth and influence – everything that collectively is the antithesis of what this nation is supposed to stand for and be.

For me, this is the bigger issue that people are going to feel compelled to not ‘go there’ on right now.

Yes, everyone is talking about his ‘life of public service’ that he didn’t have to live that way – that he could have just lived the life of a rich kid, outsde of the public eye.

Both Teddy and Dubya exemplify one of America’s worst untamed sicknesses: inherited political power.

I’m sure folks will say the same thing about their money – and I’m not saying I ver have.  But neither of them – nor any of the Kennedys or the Bushes – could help being born to who they were born to.   Shit happens.

But it doesn’t have to be put into power.

Make no mistake, even at his worst, Teddy was no real-life American equivalent of the fictional Brit Piers Fletcher-Dervish (clearly, that equivalency goes to Dubya – particularly given that Piers as a Tory.)  And, aside from ENDA, he’s someone who I tended to agree with on most issues.

But he was where he was for the last 47 years solely because of who he was.

I said this when I was on Trans FM a few weeks back, and I’ll repeat it here.

Take Dubya (please! <rimshot>).

Assume that he turned out to be a Manhchurian Liberal Candidate, becoming the ultimate liberal – championing a real ENDA, healthcare, elimination of unconstitutional influence of religionism on government, etc.

All else from Nov. 2000 to Jan. 2009 being equal, there would still be one problem with that photo-negative version of the Bush Junta.

Its that last word.

It would still have been an illegitmate presidency – for I said all other things from Nov. 2000 to Jan. 2009 being equal, meaning that he didn’t win in either 2000 or 2004, yet still controlled the federal government.

No, I’m not saying Teddy was illegally occupying his Massachusetts senate seat.

But he didn’t earn it either.

Prior to the 2000 election I added to a previous description of Dubya – that of being born on third base but acting as though he got there by hitting a triple – by saying he was trying to get balked home.

Of course, that’s what happened – though the balk was issued by an Eddie Cicotte five-clone masquerading as a majority of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Teddy?

Well, he ended up on third.  One could say he was born there – though, to continue to abuse baseball terminology, it might be more accurate to say that he got there courtesy of being put in to pinch-run after three hit batsmen.

Joe.

Jack.

And Bobby.

Well, I’m sure you’re saying, that sounds like a legitimate turn of events.

True enough.  As I said above – Teddy couldn’t help being born into the family he was born into, and he couldn’t help being the last surviving brother.

And I have no doubt that he had strong feeling about the way that the Irish were treated in America as immigrants and that that informed his liberalness.

But the Irish were treated like shit in Ireland too…

by British nobility.

You know – those who live not only by inherited economic wealth but by inherited political power.


Sometimes Erasure is Visible

August 26, 2009

Like here:

AmericaBlogMSPoland

 

Now, given my recent posting about Microschlock, you might think I’d simply give an ‘attaboy’ to The John for pointing this out.

And, to be fair, it is an erasure worth noting.

Of course, erasure of trans-everything is as well.

Irony, much?


If You Don’t Mean It, Don’t Say It

August 26, 2009

There’s a piece up over at Pam’s House Blend by Tanya Domi, a former Army Captain, entitled “When will LGBT people be Free?

The piece is about gays and lesbians being able to serve openly in the military – a legitimate subject, of course, except for one detail.

The title.

I see ‘T’ in the title.

Read the piece for yourself – but you’re not going to find ‘T’ in the body of the piece.

I posted the following comment:

When will LGBT people be free?…

One of my favorite New Yorker cartoons that hangs on the wall of my study is a cartoon drawing of President Lincoln–the iconic image of him standing outside a command tent during the Civil War speaking to General Ulysses S. Grant saying: “Should I free the gays too?”

This cartoon amuses me while it simultaneously angers and saddens me too.

Funny – Domi’s piece has the same effect on me…

Well – the last two of those three emotions anyway.

Speaking about DADT as an issue for “gays” or “gay and lesbian soldiers” or “gay soldiers” or “lesbian and gay Americans” or “[those] negatively defined gay sexuality” or “gays and lesbians” or (my favorite) “we” – the seven separate unquestionably-non-trans-inclusive intonations that she employs – is not inaccurate, because DADT only addreses gays, lesbians and bisexuals.

Tacking ‘T’ onto the title is an insult – certainly to trans people but, if she was actually intending to be inclusive, herself by demonstrating a fundamental lack of understanding not only about the policy of DADT but also the gay-trans political dynamic in the non-military world.  Is Domi an aspring A-gay who really does not give a damn but thinks that tacking on that ‘T’ amounts to substantive inclusion of us as people or the concerns of those of us who have served in the military, are serving or desire to?  Is she a Raymond-Daly-Greer-Chiland-Bindel-Bailey-Dreger-Vincent acolyte who doesn’t really believe that there are transsexuals?  Is she an Aravosisist who believes trans-everything has no legitimate connection to GLB?

Go ahead.

Flame me.

But I defy anyone and everyone to point out how the body of her column actually addressed – or for that matter even acknowledged – the fourth of the four prongs of the question she posed with her title.

If you don’t mean it – or understand it – don’t say it.

Predictably, apologists were on the prowl:

if KatRose can’t find an insulT she’ll imagine one

I’ve yet to find the need to conjure up an insult – or a transphobe – with my imagination.

Is it possible that Domi not only is not the latter but also  did not intend the former?

Sure.

We’ll see.

But, as I said, I’ve never needed to imagine such things.  They proliferate quite freely – and unashamedly.