Monday, August 24, 2009

Watching this about six times a day

Its simple profundity of obseration and commentary makes me weep.

and lest we forget:

The Internets IS Srs Bzns. As is Life, the Universe, and Everything. And where better to go for a healthy reminder of this Truth than the fanwank community. Maud bless us, every one.

p.s. my ponies hate you, too.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Flying while transgendered: no match, no flight.

And this, friends and neighbors, is a terrific example of how -systemic- transphobia works. Via Helen of Bird of Paradox:

The fixation that every citizen is a potential terrorist has gained so much ground in recent years that any concerns about implications for international travellers whose documentation might not match their gender presentation have been swept aside.

Now, via The Wall Street Journal Online (link here) I see that the paranoia about “suspected terrorists” has been extended to domestic air travel too:

Airlines this week will begin requiring some people making reservations for domestic flights to submit their dates of birth and genders as part of a screening process aimed at keeping boarding passes out of the hands of suspected terrorists, the Transportation Security Administration said.


The government’s goal is to vet all passengers on domestic commercial flights by early next year.

Of concern is that the TSA appears to be relying on the judgement of commercial airlines to make these decisions; and these decisions can also be applied to people who aren’t actually flying, but just accompanying a passenger to the boarding gate:

The TSA said it would be up to individual airlines or travel agents to decide how to collect the required information at the time a reservation is made.


People who receive gate passes, which allow them to proceed into secure areas of airports without boarding passes so they can assist other passengers, also could be required to furnish the additional data.

In other words, if the airline staff don’t like the look of you – or the friend who’s come to wave you off – you may well find that you miss your flight simply because you wore that comfy dress, even though the gender marker in your official documentation dictates that you should have been wearing a collar and tie. It’s absolute nonsense, of course – and trans-misogynistic nonsense, to boot.

...[M]y y point is that being required to provide information about one’s date of birth and gender seems unlikely to deter a committed attacker from hir objective.

It’s hard to see how this measure would have prevented, for instance, the attackers on 9/11 from boarding their planes – and, once again, the people most likely to be adversely affected are trans and gender variant people...

No-match has other implications too, of course, for being hired and fired, for medical care, for being arrested, for any number of situations where "your papers, please:" unless there are specific legal protections for trans folk in place (which there aren't in most states and cities, and even then, what's on the books is not exactly stringently enforced when it comes to civil rights, particularly if you're talking about already-very disenfranchised people), for not presenting or identifying according to your legally identified sex. And if there's a situation where you need to disrobe and your body either doesn't match what the "M" or the "F' on your paper is supposed to represent, or doesn't fully resemble what "M" or "F" is supposed to look like regardless of paperwork,'re not supposed to exist, and can be treated accordingly with no recourse.

See, the papers represent more than national citizenship, date of birth, basic stats: it's a way of declaring -personhood-. Which boundaries hold you? What nation, what sex? Are you a citizen of Manland or Womanland? Are you where we think you belong? Are you God forbid attempting to straddle a line that's supposed to be a wall? Are you "real?" Prove to us that you deserve to get on this airplane, work in this job, get that emergency medical care, step on this land, breathe this air. That box you need to check tells us whether you're human or not. Your papers, please.

This is of course not unrelated to the paranoia over "illegal" immigrants, or even American citizens suspected of being such: no papers? Too foreign? Too brown? Wrong time, wrong place? You, too, are a non-citizen, guilty until proven innocent. You're in the wrong box, and we don't have space. You fall in the crevice between the box outlines. Too bad, so sad; just trying to keep the rest of us safe from our formless, nameless terror; we need names, we need faces, and if yours doesn't match any of the acceptable ones, why, we'll stamp it with our fears and lock you away, overtly or covertly. Denied, delayed, detained, deported. De-legitimized. Your papers, please.

This under-the-radar scapegoating is not anything like "hope and change." This is not keeping anyone safe. This is, in fact, killing people. This is wrong, and it needs to stop.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Not with FDR's bright red atomic strapon, Squealer.

Limbaugh is having sadly Freudian fantasies about what he (fondly, secretly) imagines Obama and/or other Democrats would like to do to him.

And I say again: Not with Rosie the Riveter's brass-knuckled fist wrapped in ten tons of latex and rolled in a kegger of anti-fascist Icy-Hot flavored Crisco. Not if you -begged- on bended trotters. Not for every penny you've made from your noisome effusions lo these past 800 years or so you've been fouling up the zeitgeist. I may be a pervert, I may be a sadist, but goddam, there are STANDARDS.

and now, i must rinse. ick ack ugh.

Actually, we already -have- "death panels."

They're called, "the curtain on the window available for you to get any kind of health care under your insurance plan, even when you have one." And, don't hold back, Progressive Nation:

In your free market wonderland every one some how manages to get health care, even those who are poor or live in isolated areas, though the poor and isolated in your own state required assis­tance from the federal government.

And despite all of this, you appear blithely unaware that the free market health care system we have now does, indeed, have “death panels.” I’ve been part of a death panel conversation. I know about death panels.

You have no idea what it’s like to be called into a sterile conference room with a hospital adminis­trator you’ve never met before and be told that your mother’s insurance policy will only pay for 30 days in ICU. You can’t imagine what it’s like to be advised that you need to “make some deci­sions,” like whether your mother should be released “HTD” which is hospital parlance for “home to die,” or if you want to pay out of pocket to keep her in the ICU another week. And when you ask how much that would cost you are given a number so impossibly large that you realize there really are no decisions to make. The decision has been made for you. “Living will” or no, it doesn’t mat­ter. The bank account and the insurance policy have trumped any legal document.

If this isn’t a “death panel” I don’t know what is.

So don’t talk to me about “death panels” you heartless, cruel, greedy sons of bitches, who are only too happy to keep the profits rolling in to the big insurance companies while you spout your mealy-mouthed bumper sticker slogans about the evils of socialism. You don’t even know what socialism is. You don’t know what government health care is. You have no fucking clue about any­thing except that you lost the last election and you’re pissed off.

And, by the way, guess where the "kill Grandma" shit originated? Surprise, surprise:

When reporters asked former Alaska Gov. and Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin where she got the misinformation she posted to her Facebook page about the health care reform bill creating a "death panel" to promote euthanizing the elderly and people with disabilities, her spokesperson pointed to the section in the House Democrats' legislation that begins on page 425.

If Palin or her staff had actually read the bill, they would have realized this section simply promotes advance care planning, which in fact puts the power to make decisions about end-of-life care in the hands of individuals -- not government panels.

So where did Palin get that bad information? It appears she pulled it from a set of talking points that has been making its way around the internet in recent weeks -- talking points assembled by the Liberty Counsel, a far-right religious group that's part of Jerry Falwell's Liberty University empire based in Lynchburg, Va...

Good old Unca Jerry, fouling up the zeitgeist even from beyond the grave. Well, him among many others. But yeah, these are the oleaginous fuckers that would've been thrown out of the temple in the gorram first place; it's no surprise that they're in bed with Big Insurance, all supposedly in the equally improbably names of Free Market Freedom, Jesus Christ, and Tender Loving Care For The Most Vulnerable. Compassionate as a canker.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Here, just look at this.

Because I can't seem to find it in me to comment coherently right now:

Maddow on the whipped-up right wing "lynch mob" (quite literally, apparently, at least in effigy) doing its best to kill health care reform. (Watch the next two segments too, while you're at it)

Right on schedule, violence breaks out at a Tampa town hall on health care reform. Surprise surprise, the angry crowd was spurred on by local Republican HQ and Glenn Beck.

No violence, but freakouts over "socialism" and "evil" and demands for Obama to be deported in Bristol, VA.

Unions are gearing up to rumble with the conservamobs at the town halls.

Meanwhile, Feministe on yet another angry white dude (sensing some themes here?) who went on a shooting spree targeting women in a gym."

Nolite Irritare Leones and Hoyden About Town have more.

Oh, and the founder of Blackwater, who "views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe," and that Prince's companies "encouraged and rewarded the destruction of Iraqi life," is being investigated for murder of federal authorities attempting to inspect the company. Story at The Nation.

I'll just be over here reading some Transmetropolitan. You know, popcult, to calm myself, cheer up a bit, get some perspective...

Thursday, August 06, 2009

William F. Buckley must be so proud

Positively stationary in his grave, I'll bet. Smiling down with austere benevolence from the Great Country Club In The Sky, safe in the assurance that young conservatives are carrying his torch of intellect and high standards.

Oh, you remember the Young Cons, don't you?

So, Mike Stark of firedoglake got a chance to chat with them a bit:

Scintillating, I think you'll agree.

And thank the Lord that these fine young men, our nation's best and brightest, were not forced to give up their spaces at Dartmouth to some undeserving "affirmative action baby" minority person. Thank the Lord for -standards.-

I particularly enjoy "Stiltz;" he exhibits an almost Proustian display of existentialist conservative rap. And has not fallen off his chair once.