Monday, January 31, 2011

Rush Did He Go Too Far?

Did Rush Limbaugh take his antics too far when Chinese President Hu Jintao was here in the U. S.?
Rush Limbaugh Boycott Gains Steam
By Judy Lin
Huffington Post
Jan 28, 2011
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Rush Limbaugh's imitation of the Chinese language during a recent speech made by Chinese President Hu Jintao has stirred a backlash among Asian-American lawmakers in California and nationally.

California state Sen. Leland Yee, a Democrat from San Francisco, is leading a fight in demanding an apology from the radio talk show host for what he and others view as racist and derogatory remarks against the Chinese people.
"The comments that he made — the mimicking of the Chinese language — harkens back to when I was a little boy growing up in San Francisco and those were hard days, rather insensitive days," Yee said in an interview Thursday. "You think you've arrived and all of a sudden get shot back to the reality that you're a second-class citizen."
Rush continues to use language to disparage others even though the rest of the nation is trying to tone down the rhetoric, he still calls the opposition names and belittles them. However, it now maybe that he has gone too far.
Yee has been joined by Asian-American state and federal lawmakers who say Limbaugh's comments are inciting hate and intolerance amid a polarized atmosphere. A number of civil rights groups, including Chinese for Affirmative Action, Japanese American Citizens League and the California National Organization for Women, have joined Yee in calling on sponsors to pull advertisements from Limbaugh's program.
"I want an apology at the very least," said New York Assemblywoman Grace Meng, a Queens Democrat. "Making fun of any country's leader is just very disrespectful for someone who says he is a proud American."
"We need to stand up for civility and be respectful of one another. Otherwise the consequences are dreadful as we can already see in the death threats against Senator Yee," said Rep. Judy Chu, a Democrat who represents a large Asian district outside Los Angeles.
Rush’s antics has no place in today’s climate, it is from bygone era. It has no place in a civil debate.

Here are the audio clips...

Some say that he just used bad taste, but listen to his condescending tone and also do you really think he would have said the same thing if it was the president of France and they were talking French?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Student Discrimination In The News Again.

In the past, I wrote about school discrimination against transgender students. Well now we can look at what happens when a school system prevented a trans-student from attending her Prom.
Lambda Legal Reaches Settlement Agreement with Indiana School District After Transgender Student Was Barred from Prom

(Gary, Ind., January 28, 2011)—Today Lambda Legal announced the resolution of a lawsuit against Gary School Corporation brought by transgender former student K.K. Logan, who was barred from prom at West Side High School in 2006 because she wore a dress.

"Gary School Corporation's new policies and trainings will help to ensure that other students don't face discrimination because of who they are or what they wear," said Christopher Clark, Senior Staff Attorney in Lambda Legal's Midwest Regional Office in Chicago. "It is unfortunate that Gary School Corporation has spent almost four years defending a discriminatory policy. The message for schools across the country should be clear—they should adopt and follow dress code policies that respect the rights of all students, and they should let all students attend the school prom without discrimination based on gender identity or expression."
In December 2007, Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit on behalf of K.K. Logan challenging that policy arguing that it violates students' First Amendment freedom of expression. Logan also claimed that exclusion from the prom constituted discrimination on the basis of gender.
You would think that schools would have learned by now that they cannot discriminate against trans-students or on the basis of sexual orientation. Do you remember last year when I wrote about Itawamba Agricultural High School in Fulton, Mississippi banning a woman from bring her girlfriend to the prom. When the school was forced to allow then to attend the prom, the schools system held a fake prom for them to attend. Or when the Mohawk Central School District in New York lost a law suite for not protecting a transgender student,
Settlement reached in lawsuit against Mohawk school district
By David Robinson
The Evening Times
Posted Mar 29, 2010

Mohawk, N.Y. — A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit filed last year on behalf of a gay student alleging that the Mohawk Central School District failed to protect him from threats and physical assaults and ignored repeated bullying.
The NYCLU and school district released statements on the settlement.
“This lawsuit affirms that school districts nationwide have the responsibility to protect children from bullying and harassment based on sexual orientation and gender non-conformity,” said NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman. “No child should live in fear of going to school.”
The federal lawsuit alleged over the past two years, prior to this school year, the student was subjected to relentless verbal and physical abuse, culminating in another student bringing a knife and making a death threat.

A failure by district officials to formally investigate harassment, discipline students or even inform the student and his parents of their right to file complaints under board of education grievance procedures is also part of claims made in the lawsuit.
You would think that the schools would get the message by now, they must provide a safe space for students and they must not discriminate against LGBT students. That they should take heed of the letter from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights.

That letter came about because of the dedication of a mother of a student who was being bullied.
Feds protect gay youth thanks to pioneering activist-mom
What legal protections exist for glbt youth in schools?
Psychology Today:
by Elizabeth Meyer, Ph.D.
Published on January 27, 2011

What legal protections exist for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth in schools? If there is no clear school policy or state law (like the one recently passed in New Jersey) do these students have any source of support? Thanks to the work of Carolyn Wagner, a pioneering activist-mom from Arkansas, glbt students in public institutions are protected by Title IX. Sadly, this brave leader for GLBT equality recently passed away after a battle with cancer. This blog post is written to thank her for the changes she initiated and to continue informing schools and education professionals about their legal and ethical responsibilities to prevent and respond to incidents of sex discrimination.
The truth is that Title IX has been used to protect students from discrimination based on sexual orientation since the 1999 decision in the Wagner v. Fayetteville Public Schools case. The parents were able to file suit under Title IX because in 1997, the OCR released guidelines explicitly including gay and lesbian students under sexual harassment protections. Since then, there have been several other cases in California (Ray v. Antioch Unified School District, 2000), Minnesota (Montgomery v. Independent School District No. 709, 2000), and Nevada (Henkle v. Gregory, 2001) where Title IX was applied to protect students from anti-gay harassment. In the Ray v. Antioch decision, the court's rationale is explained as follows:
"[T]he court finds no material difference between the instance in which a female student is subject to unwelcome sexual comments and advances due to her harasser's perception that she is a sexual object, and the instance in which a male student is insulted and abused due to his harasser's perception that he is homosexual, and therefore a subject of prey. In both instances, the conduct is a heinous response to the harasser's perception of the victim's sexuality, and is not distinguishable to this court." 107 F. Supp. 2d at 1170
Title IX has also been applied to cases of gender expression since 2005 due to a decision in the case Theno v. Tonganoxie. In this case, the court wrote that "the plaintiff was harassed because he failed to satisfy his peers' stereotyped expectations for his gender because the primary objectives of plaintiff's harassers appears to have been to disparage his perceived lack of masculinity" (p. 952). The court concluded that the harassment was so, "severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denied (him) an education" (p. 966). The district settled the case for $440,000.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saturday Six – Episode 355

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six – Episode 355

1. Which fast food restaurant have you visited most in the past year?
It is a toss up between Subway, Burger King and Taco Bell. However, I probably only visit each about a half a dozen times in a year

2. What fast food creation do you most wish you could mimic in your own kitchen?
I can mimic most of the fast foods, it doesn’t take must to cook a burger or make a taco.

3. You don’t have time to cook, but you want to eat as healthy a meal as possible: which fast food restaurant are you most likely to choose?

4. Take the quiz: What Kind of French Fries Are You?

You Are Fast Food Fries

You are easygoing and happy-go-lucky. You try to avoid complaining.
You're up for having a good time anywhere, and you definitely aren't a snob.

You are more honest and modest than most people. You don't pretend to be someone you aren't.
You aren't preachy or judgmental. We all have our vices... you just think we should enjoy them more.

5. What do you like most on your French fries?
Ketchup or mayo.

6. When ordering a burger, do you prefer ordering it “all the way” and picking off what you don’t want, or do you prefer to order specifically what you want?

I usually eat a burger “As is”

Friday, January 28, 2011

Saturday 9: What a Fool Believes

Sam’s Saturday 9: What a Fool Believes

1. What celebrity do you think is the MOST foolish?
Oh, I don’t know. I don’t follow what celebrities do.

2. What are 5 things you don't care about?
What celebrities do
Who wins what Oscars
Reality TV shows
Who’s playing in the Superbowl

3. What 'issue' do you think your opinion is so right about that you end up trying to sway others to your point of view?
That everyone should be treated equally and fairly

4. What personality do you like to listen to on the radio?
Faith Middleton

5. What culture are you fascinated by?
I don’t know. I think I am fascinated by any culture; it is interesting to learn their customs. In college around the holidays we have a party the celebrates the various religious traditions and I find it interesting.

6. You are alone with your lover's diary. What do you do?
Not read it unless I was invited to read it.

7. What frustrates you?
People who discriminate

8. Do you remember the first time you were on the internet? What did you do first?
Well back when I was on the internet was back in 1978 and you couldn’t do much. It was all text with no graphics and it used a 300 baud dial-up modem. You could look up news feeds, sports scores and stock prices.

9. What was the biggest fight you have ever had with someone?
Physical fight? I never had one (not counting with my brother when we were little). Do you mean a heated discussion then it was with my boss the day I thought I was having a heart attack.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Friday Fill-ins 2011-04

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins 2011-04


1. Up _to my ears in snow_.

2. _There is a cold at work that is_ going around.

3. Coats and scarves, mittens and boots: _hats and earmuffs_.

4. _After getting around in the snow, I need_ a nice back rub.

5. I'm thinking about _laying out on a warm sunny beach_.

6. _I could_ be _someplace warm_.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _not being snowed in_, tomorrow my plans include _praying for no more snow_ and Sunday, I want to _not to have to dig out again from another snow storm_!
If you haven’t heard Connecticut set a new all time record for the amount of snow in the state for a month… 59.4” and they are forecast more snow Saturday!

My Story Part 62 – Conferences

One of the first conferences that I went to was First Event that is held every year around this time in the Boston area. The first time I went there was a sense of wonderment and belonging. A sense of community. I went to workshops all day long and the gala that was held at night. I went to workshops on make-up, voice, workshops in coming out to family, and workshops on coming out at work. There were dozens of workshops. There were all type of vendors at the conference selling wigs, breast forms, lingerie, insurance, size 14 shoes with six inch heels, you name it and someone was trying to sell it. The small business people found out “there’s gold in them there trannies”.

There was a regular circuit… January, First Event; March, COS Banquet and October, Fantasia Fair. But over time First Event got to be boring, there are only so many times that you can go to a workshop on make-up. So instead of going for the full three day, I started to go only to the Saturday event and this year I didn’t even go at all. The three-day conference was held in one hotel, you never left it. You met your friends for breakfast and met over lunch and then again at the banquet for dinner. All in the company of around a couple hundred trans-people. I always wondered what straight people who booked the hotel for that weekend thought about the conference.

The first couple of years I attended the banquet and then afterwards we all met down at the bar in our evening gowns. When I stopped going to the banquet at night, I usually went down to the bar in my jeans, a turtleneck and sneakers, had supper there, and waited for the banquet to get out. The locals had a field day watching all the trans-people trying to guest who was trans and who was not. Who had the best gown and who had the worst gown.

Fantasia Fair is a lot better, for one thing, it is spread out over Provincetown and it is a weeklong event. You could go to a different restaurant every night and bar hopping. However, you could have warm Indian summer nights or blustery cold winter weather; you placed your money down and took your chances. The weather ran wide range of extremes. I remember the first time that I walked back to my room in the rain and felt rain on my stocking, it was something that I have never felt before in my fifty some years. Other times I fought gale force winds. However, even that became boring. Now I just go back to visit friends and I also want to give a couple of workshops this year. I also bring my camera and wander around town taking photos.

Conferences have run the spectrum from wondrous adventures, to boring sameness. But I think that I will always have a fondness in my heart for them, they were where I first explored my gender.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Who Sets The Priorities?

As we struggle for Human Rights, who determines what the priorities are? A few day ago there was an article in the New York Times by Dan Savage and in the article he sets forth a number of goals. He is not along, in many of the national blogs that I read the same goals are stated, unfortunately they are not my goals. They are good goals, but they are very narrow goals that only effect only a few people. What are the goals? They are to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and marriage equality, and they throw us a bone by listing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) way down on the list. He said,
A Gay Agenda for Everyone
Published: January 22, 2011
New York Times

I’m not an idiot: Now that the Republicans hold the House, only wishful thinkers and the deeply delusional expect to see any movement on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender legislative agenda this year or next. Nevertheless, President Obama should address gay rights in his State of the Union speech this week, and he should tackle the biggest, most meaningful right of them all: the right to marry.
Way down in the article he writes…
Gay Americans are eventually going to win on marriage just like we won on military service, the president should tell Congress, so why not save everyone on both sides of the debate a lot of time, trouble and money by approving the entire gay rights agenda? Send the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the Student Non-Discrimination Act, the Uniting American Families Act and the repeal of the odious Defense of Marriage Act to his desk for his signature.
Notice something about what he writes, he starts out saying, “movement on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender legislative agenda”, but then it becomes “gay rights” and “Gay Americans”, I think that is quite telling.

A rebuttal to Dan Savage’s editorial said,
Dan Savage’s ‘Gay Agenda’ Isn’t My LGBTQ Agenda
Campus Progress
By Jessica Mowles
January 24th, 2011

To hear Dan Savage tell it in yesterday's New York Times, all the United States must do to secure the full spectrum of human rights for its LGBTQ citizens is pass three bills and repeal another. Savage's op ed, one among a handful of thought leaders' opinions on President Barack Obama's remarks in tomorrow's State of the Union, was notable in the simple fact that an LGBTQ voice was given a place at the elite table of the NYT Opinion section. For me, the congratulations end here.

Savage opens with the declaration that Obama “should tackle the biggest, most meaningful right of them all: the right to marry.” While marriage equality is a hot-button cultural, political, and fundraising issue, we've heard again and again why it's not the most important issue for every LGBTQ person or even most LGBTQ people. The LGBTQ activist movement, or the “gay agenda,” as Savage dubs it, consists of millions of people of all genders, sexualities, abilities, races, and socio-economic statuses. Its members need and want a variety of measures to ensure their human rights, the right to marry one among many on a very, very long list. Naming marriage equality as the number one issue among LGBTQ Americans is dishonest at best and divisive at worst. Marriage equality isn't a panacea, and to frame it as such undermines the dire importance of other LGBT human rights measures.
…Kudos on looking beyond marriage, but is this really the entire package of legislation that will make life better, easier, and discrimination-free for LGBTQ folks? What about access to appropriate, respectful health care? Or mandated school curriculum that acknowledges LGBTQ history alongside civil rights and women's rights movements? How about housing non-discrimination measures, in addition to employment, and how about making all those non-discrimination acts trans-inclusive?...
Jessica… Right On!

What good is marriage if you cannot have a job? What good is marriage if you cannot have a roof over your head? What good is marriage if you cannot feed your family? What good is marriage if you cannot get health care for your family? What good is marriage if you can never go anywhere without being thrown out? LGBTQ people need protection in employment, housing, public accommodation and credit; once that is achieved, then we can demand marriage equality. Let’s not let Gay Inc. set the agenda.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Budget Cuts And What They Said They Want To Cut…

U.S. News had an article by Paul Bedard about the "Spending Reduction Act of 2011" proposed by members of the conservative Republican Study Committee, chaired by Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan. What they propose to cut is quite telling; let’s look at the energy and transportation cuts…
Amtrak Subsidies. $1.565 billion annual savings.
Department of Energy Grants to States for Weatherization. $530 million annual savings
New Starts Transit. $2 billion annual savings.
Intercity and High Speed Rail Grants. $2.5 billion annual savings
Applied Research at Department of Energy. $1.27 billion annual savings
FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership. $200 million annual savings
Energy Star Program. $52 million annual savings
Subsidy for Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. $150 million annual savings.
What a gift to BIG OIL! Lets crank out those gas guzzlers! Mass Transit, no way!

When we should be finding way to conserve oil, we should not be cutting that research. We need to have cars that do not run on fossil fuels. We need to weatherize our homes not only to conserve fuel, but also to save money and make homes more affordable. We need mass transit; we have one of the worst mass transit systems in the developed world. We spend billions on aviation, we have just started building up a high-speed rail system and now the Republicans want to do away with it.

At my first internship, I had to research where and how a woman who was seeking prenatal care in Waterbury would go if Waterbury Hospital closed. I found out that the nearest hospitals were in Danbury, Meriden and New Haven and that there was no direct inter-city mass transit available. That for a 10:00am appointment she would have to travel all day. And that leads me to the next proposed cuts…
Legal Services Corporation. $420 million annual savings.
Hope VI Program. $250 million annual savings.
Community Development Fund. $4.5 billion annual savings.
Exchange Programs for Alaska, Natives Native Hawaiians, and Their Historical Trading Partners in Massachusetts. $9 million annual savings.
Title X Family Planning. $318 million annual savings.
Eliminate fund for Obamacare administrative costs. $900 million savings.
Lets increase the burden on low income families. No legal aid to sue landlords when the cut off the heat and hot water. No funding to improve the inner cites. No help for the Native Americans, after all we only took away their most productive lands and made them wards of the government. No family planning, Title X,
The Title X family planning program is intended to assist individuals in determining the number and spacing of their children. This promotes positive birth outcomes and healthy families. The education, counseling, and medical services available in Title X-funded clinic settings assist couples in achieving these goals [Title X does not provide funding for abortions].
How much of these cuts would have been paid for by the millionaire tax? They took away the lifeline for low-income families and gave it to the rich, Robinhood in reverse.

Lastly the Republicans took away the little thorns that irk them…
Corporation for Public Broadcasting Subsidy. $445 million annual savings.
Presidential Campaign Fund. $775 million savings over ten years.
Sell excess federal properties the government does not make use of. $15 billion total savings.
Repeal the Davis-Bacon Act. More than $1 billion annually.
National Endowment for the Arts. $167.5 million annual savings.
National Endowment for the Humanities. $167.5 million annual savings.
Heritage Area Grants and Statutory Aid. $24 million annual savings.
Save America's Treasures Program. $25 million annual savings.
Eliminate taxpayer subsidies to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. $12.5 million annual savings.
Of course the biggest thorn is PBS, the Republicans do not like any media that they cannot control. Their rally cry is the firing of Juan Williams for his remarks about Muslims on Fox News; what they don’t understand is that PBS has higher ethical standards than Fox New. The Republicans do not like public campaign funding, after all when you have millionaires who can run for office or donate why would you want any laws that level the playing field. Since you represent big business why would you want any laws that strengthen the workers. Funding for the arts! Bah, that is for the intellectuals. Then of course, everyone knows that global warming is just a figment of the liberal imagination.

There are a number of items in the list that I do go along with like, cutting the federal travel budget and Beach Replenishment program. You can cut a lot of fat out of the budget, but you cannot do it by just cutting, there has to be increases in taxes like the millionaire and estate taxes. In addition, as President Obama says, when the economy picks up again so will the revenues and it is all about jobs. When you cut spending in infrastructure, you cut jobs. My prediction is this, if the Republicans make these cuts, you will see the unemployment rate increase.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Jobs, It Is All About Jobs…

At least that is what the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) says. This is from an organization that threw us under the bus with the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). This from an organization that at one time one of their Directors said that she would include gender identity to ENDA “over her dead body”.
Jobs program targets transgendered people
Boston Herald
By Donna Goodison
Monday, January 24, 2011

The nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights group has picked Boston to launch its inaugural “Back to Work” seminars for transgender job-seekers.

The Washington, D.C.-based Human Rights Campaign hopes to help highlight a proposed transgender equal rights bill that would add the categories of gender identity and gender expression to Massachusetts’ non-discrimination and hate crimes laws.

“The goal of the Back to Work program is to equip transgender job-seekers with essential skills to make the most of this job market that’s very difficult for everyone, but especially so for them,” said Allyson Robinson, the HRC’s associate director of diversity.
Why didn’t they stand up and back ENDA instead of caving in to pressure and push Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT)? Millions and millions of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgender people go to bed each night worrying if they will have a job tomorrow. I am glad that DADT was passed but I believe that they had their priorities wrong and should have backed the gender inclusive ENDA instead, I am for equality and if gays and lesbians want to defend our country, I think they should have that choice. In addition, did the HRC fight to have trans-people have the choice to defend our country? No, it is still legal to discharge a trans-person from the military for being trans.

Now the HRC has thrown us another bone…
The first 30 people who sign up at will be assigned their own career coach.
I refuse to sit up and beg for table scraps.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Obama Health Care

There have been a number of law suites that states and individuals have filed over the part of the health care provisions that require everyone to have insurance. They claim that it is unconstitutional, Fox News had an article last week that said,
The states claim the health care law is unconstitutional and violates people's rights by forcing them to buy health insurance by 2014 or face penalties.

Government attorneys have said the states do not have standing to challenge the law and want the case dismissed.

Lawsuits have been filed elsewhere. A federal judge in Virginia ruled in December that the insurance-purchase mandate was unconstitutional, though two other federal judges have upheld the requirement. It's expected the Supreme Court will ultimately have to resolve the issue.
However, requiring private citizens to buy health insurance is not new. You can trace back the first time that a law forced people to buy health insurance to 1798. When President Adams one of our Founding Fathers, signed into law the “An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen”. An article in Forbes tilted "Congress Passes Socialized Medicine and Mandates Health Insurance -In 1798" by Rick Ungar said,
In July of 1798, Congress passed – and President John Adams signed - “An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen.” The law authorized the creation of a government operated marine hospital service and mandated that privately employed sailors be required to purchase health care insurance.

Keep in mind that the 5th Congress did not really need to struggle over the intentions of the drafters of the Constitutions in creating this Act as many of its members were the drafters of the Constitution.

And when the Bill came to the desk of President John Adams for signature, I think it’s safe to assume that the man in that chair had a pretty good grasp on what the framers had in mind.
First, it created the Marine Hospital Service, a series of hospitals built and operated by the federal government to treat injured and ailing privately employed sailors. This government provided healthcare service was to be paid for by a mandatory tax on the maritime sailors (a little more than 1% of a sailor’s wages), the same to be withheld from a sailor’s pay and turned over to the government by the ship’s owner. The payment of this tax for health care was not optional. If a sailor wanted to work, he had to pay up.
As the nation grew and expanded, the system was also expanded to cover sailors working the private vessels sailing the Mississippi and Ohio rivers.

The program eventually became the Public Health Service, a government operated health service that exists to this day under the supervision of the Surgeon General.
As for Congress’ understanding of the limits of the Constitution at the time the Act was passed, it is worth noting that Thomas Jefferson was the President of the Senate during the 5th Congress while Jonathan Dayton, the youngest man to sign the United States Constitution, was the Speaker of the House.
Well so much for what the Founding Fathers thought about being forced to pay for private health care.

According the non-partisan Government Accounting Office (GAO) report,
In addition, individuals without health insurance create a public cost because of their higher proportion of hospital emergency room visits. Uninsured adults are 4 times and uninsured children 5 times more likely to use the emergency room, compared with the insured. Costs for the uninsured are often absorbed by providers, passed on to the insured through increased fees and insurance premiums, or underwritten with public funds to support public hospitals and finance public insurance programs.
Who are the people who are most likely to be uninsured? It is the working poor. The report goes on to say,
Although most nonelderly Americans obtain health insurance through employment, three-fourths of all uninsured adults are in fact employed. However, certain types of workers are less likely to have employment based insurance available and thus are more likely to be uninsured. In particular, those working part-time, for small firms, or in certain industries such as agriculture or construction were among the most likely to be uninsured. Not surprisingly, persons with low incomes are most likely to be uninsured, with most uninsured individuals in families earning less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level (which was about $34,000 for a family of four in 1999). Public programs like Medicaid and SCHIP cover many low-income individuals, but significant numbers of low-income children and adults eligible for these programs are not enrolled. Moreover, other low-income individuals (particularly childless adults) are typically not eligible. While low-income individuals are most likely to be uninsured, 8 percent of those earning more than 4 times the federal poverty level are also uninsured. Other populations with a disproportionately high uninsured rate include young adults, Hispanics, and immigrants, in part because of their type of employment, relatively low incomes, or ineligibility for public programs.
When an employed does not cover their employees health costs, they are passing on their business cost on to you and me. And how much is that cost? An article in USA Today said that,
Study: Insured pay 'hidden tax' for uninsured health care
By Seung Min Kim

WASHINGTON — The average U.S. family and their employers paid an extra $1,017 in health care premiums last year to compensate for the uninsured, according to a study to be released Thursday by an advocacy group for health care consumers.

Families USA, which supports expanded health care coverage, found that about 37% of health care costs for people without insurance — or a total of $42.7 billion — went unpaid last year. That cost eventually was shifted to the insured through higher premiums, according to the group.
That is right, each and everyone of us who have health care insurance is paying over a $1,000 a year to pay for people without health care insurance.

When people say that government has not right to force them to pay for health insurance, you tell them that they have no right to forcing you to pay for their health care.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Saturday Six – Episode 354

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six – Episode 354

1. What do you fear most about flying in an airplane?
I don’t really fear flying, more like hating the hassles of flying. I remember the days when you just walked on the plane.

2. Have you ever had a provider lose your luggage? If so, how long did it take for them to find it?
Yes, two days. However, it was on the way home so it didn’t matter.

3. Where would you prefer to sit on an airplane: by the window, the aisle or in the center?

The window seat, I love trying to figure out where we are flying over.

4. Take the quiz: What Airplane Seat Are You?

You Are a Window Seat

You are a highly imaginative person. In fact, you are a visionary.
You are very curious about the world. You want to see as much of it as you possibly can.

You are mentally alert. You like to daydream, but your dreams always have meaning.
You come up with many profound and original thoughts. You find entirely new ways of doing things.

5. If you had to book a flight this evening, which airline would you prefer to fly with?
I don’t know, probably the cheapest.

6. What’s the last place you flew to?

A private corporate jet and I loved it! I wrote about it here

Friday, January 21, 2011

Saturday 9: My Woman From Tokyo

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: My Woman From Tokyo

1. Have you ever been to Japan? If not would you like to travel there?
Nope and nope. I have no desire to travel outside of the U.S.

2. Have you ever played a game that required removal of clothing?

3. Have you ever dated one of your best friends?
Well kind of, we became friends afterward.

4. Have you ever kissed someone you didn't know?

5. What is your secret guaranteed weeping movie?
Fifty First Dates.

6. What feature are you most insecure about?
My voice

7. What do you miss most about being young?

Being young.

8. Who is the most annoying musical artist EVER?
Any of the Rap musicians.

9. Have you ever applied for a job that was an internet hoax, asking for credit history and your social security number?
Nope, why do you ask? Have you?

Friday Fill-ins 2011-03

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins 2011-03


1. So many of us _do not see with their eyes and think with their minds._.

2. _Keep you sense of humor_ even in hardship.

3. Those who are accepting of _those who are different are truly blessed_.

4. _It is rare when a person in line at the DMV_ is waiting quietly.

5. Light is in both the _heart and the mind_.

6. _Beauty can be seen in _ of all that is ordinary.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to doing _homework_, tomorrow my plans include _going to lobbying training_ and Sunday, I want have to _do homework_!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

My Story Part 61 – Childhood

What are your earliest memories? Were they happy? Are they fond memories?

I was reading an article in the Huffington Post last and they had a link to a research study. As I was reading the study and there was a section titled, “Common Experiences” of transsexuals. This section hit a very personal cord it had three common experiences listed…
I used to dream that God made a mistake and got it wrong and I would wake up as a girl

I go to bed and pray I’d wake up and everything would be put right

Used to cry myself to sleep, wishing I’d wake up as a girl from about 7 years old
I did all of those. I use to kneel by my bed at night saying my prays and I would add that to my prays and wonder why God didn’t listen to my prays. I am five years younger than my brother, so I went to sleep before he did and I don’t know how many time I curled up into a ball and just cried until I feel asleep. When I got older, I use to dream that a mad scientist would kidnap me and switch my brain with a girl’s in some type of mad experiment. Aren’t these great childhood memories to have. (sic)

The Huffington Post article writes about when you should tell children about transgender people,
Should We Introduce Children to the Concept of Transgender People?
Joanne Herman
Posted: January 9, 2011

Should we introduce children to the concept of transgender people? The answer is yes according to an article published in the December 2010 issue of the peer-reviewed Graduate Journal of Social Science.
Critics will cry that introducing all children to the concept of transgender people will cause children to "become transgender." But the authors found that schooling has little impact on gender identity development in children. In fact, children who develop a transgender identity seem to do so in spite of often unwitting but nevertheless pervasive efforts by schools to enforce gender conformity.
By having schools introduce the concept of transgender people to all children, the authors assert, transgender children will "feel they are not alone and that their gender identity is as valid as any other." This will, in turn, greatly diminish the damaging consequences currently observed as these children mature.
That is exactly how I felt, that I was the only one in the whole world who felt that I should have been a girl. As a result, I internalized all the guilt and self-loathing and became introverted.

Now many children know about transgenderism and are coming out earlier. I know children who transitioned in Kindergarten and because of them coming out in school; we need to educate all the students. We need to teach all the students about diversity in order to stop bullying and harassment. We cannot hide our heads in the sand and hope that this will go away like the critics want. Don’t let them go through what I went through.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

This and That – Politics In The News

The first article that I want to talk about the child labor laws that were put in place to prevent the sweatshops of the 1800s. Laws that limit the about of hours a child can work, the age and type of jobs the can work. Well Tea Party-backed Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) thinks they are unconstitutional along with federal minimum wage, the civil rights laws, Social Security and Medicare. He gave a series of lectures on the Constitution
Sen. Mike Lee Calls Child Labor Laws Unconstitutional

Last week, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) posted a lecture on his YouTube channel where he explains in great detail his views on the Constitution. As part of the lecture, which is essentially a lengthy defense of his radical tenther interpretation of the Constitution, Lee claims that federal child labor laws are unconstitutional:
Congress decided it wanted to prohibit [child labor], so it passed a law—no more child labor. The Supreme Court heard a challenge to that and the Supreme Court decided a case in 1918 called Hammer v. Dagenhardt. In that case, the Supreme Court acknowledged something very interesting — that, as reprehensible as child labor is, and as much as it ought to be abandoned — that’s something that has to be done by state legislators, not by Members of Congress. [...]

This may sound harsh, but it was designed to be that way. It was designed to be a little bit harsh. Not because we like harshness for the sake of harshness, but because we like a clean division of power, so that everybody understands whose job it is to regulate what.

Now, we got rid of child labor, notwithstanding this case. So the entire world did not implode as a result of that ruling.
Lee’s call for a return to failed constitutional vision that spawned the Great Depression is obviously wrong. The Constitution gives Congress the power “[t]o regulate commerce…among the several states,” and to “make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution” this power to regulate commerce. Even ultraconservative Justice Antonin Scalia agrees that these powers give Congress broad authority to regulate “economic activity” such as hiring and firing. Which explains why the Supreme Court unanimously overruled Hammer v. Daggenhardt in a 1941 decision called United States v. Darby.
Once again they are trying to return back to the days of the Robber Barons. Where anything went and the dollar was the almighty king. When there was no EPA, OSHA or the SEC, when there was neither Social Security nor Medicare. When an employer could refuse to hire you because of the color of your skin or religion. When you could be made to sit in the back of the bus. Don’t believe me? Then keep reading…

Next is the Wake County School District re-segregates the district.
Republican school board in N.C. backed by tea party abolishes integration policy

By Stephanie McCrummen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 12, 2011

RALEIGH, N.C. - The sprawling Wake County School District has long been a rarity. Some of its best, most diverse schools are in the poorest sections of this capital city. And its suburban schools, rather than being exclusive enclaves, include children whose parents cannot afford a house in the neighborhood.
The situation unfolding here in some ways represents a first foray of tea party conservatives into the business of shaping a public school system, and it has made Wake County the center of a fierce debate over the principle first enshrined in the Supreme Court's 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education: that diversity and quality education go hand in hand.
Officials in Raleigh tried to head off that scenario [Schools divided by race and socioeconomic status]. As white flight hit in the 1970s, civic leaders merged the city and county into a single district. And in 2000, they shifted from racial to economic integration, adopting a goal that no school should have more than 40 percent of its students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches, the proxy for poverty.
Over the years, both Republican and Democratic school boards supported the system. A study of 2007 graduation rates by EdWeek magazine ranked Wake County 17th among the nation's 50 largest districts, with a rate of 64 percent, just below Virginia's Prince William County. While most students posted gains in state reading and math tests last year - more than three-quarters passed - the stubborn achievement gap that separates minority students from their white peers has persisted, though it has narrowed by some measures. And many parents see benefits beyond test scores.

"I want these kids to be culturally diverse," said Clarence McClain, who is African American and the guardian of a niece and nephew who are doing well in county schools. "If they're with kids who are all the same way, to break out of that is impossible. You've got to step outside your little world."
The Governor of Maine has the last word…
LePage on NAACP: ‘Tell them to kiss my butt’

Bangor Daily News
By Kevin Miller, BDN Staff
Posted Jan. 14, 2011,

AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage is once again stirring controversy with his off-the-cuff and sometimes off-color statements, this time telling National Association for the Advancement of Colored People leaders and other critics to “kiss my butt” over his decision to decline several invitations from the organization.
Speaking to reporters Friday morning, LePage was asked to respond to suggestions from NAACP members and others that his decision not to attend ceremonies honoring Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was part of a negative pattern.

“Tell them to kiss my butt,” LePage said with a large smile, according to video by WCSH6. He then added: “If they want to play the race card, come to dinner and my son will talk to them,” a reference to his adopted son, Devon Raymond, who is black.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

When Martin Luther King said “I have seen the promised land”, it was Simsbury CT... WHAT!

When Martin Luther King said “I have seen the promised land” he might have been talking of Simsbury CT. When he was a Morehouse College student, he worked two summers in Simsbury at a tobacco farm and in a letter home he wrote, "Yesterday, we didn't work, so went to Hartford," King wrote. "We really had a nice time there. I never thought that a person my race could eat anywhere, but we ate in one of the finest restaurants in Hartford." (Hartford Courant)
Students at Simsbury High created this video… Summers of Freedom: Martin Luther King Jr. in Connecticut

Summers of Freedom: the Story of Martin Luther King, Jr. in Connecticut from Simsbury History Scholars on Vimeo.

Monday, January 17, 2011


I remember watching the civil rights movement on the evening news and in Life magazine back in the sixties, when Alabama governor George Wallace tried to block integration at the University of Alabama. I remember the U.S. Marshals on the steps of the Little Rock school when the schools were integrated. I remember watching the freedom marching on the evening news, watching the police dogs attacking the freedom marchers and the fire hoses spraying them. I member reading in Life magazine about the Greensboro, N.C. Woolworth’s Sit-ins and watching the sit-ins spread over the south. I remember watching Martin Luther King’s “I Had a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. These were the images that shaped my youth.

Maybe something deep inside me struck a cord for fairness and equality. Their goals were simple, to have a job in order to feed their family, to have a roof over their head to shelter their family and to be able to go freely wherever they wanted to go. Maybe back then knowing that I was different, their message of equality resonated with me.

Fast forward close to sixty years, in class for grassroots organizing, watching the old footage of the sit-ins, bus boycotts and marches of how they were organized, it was amazing the work then went in behind the actions. The planning for the sit-in Montgomery Greensboro, N.C. Woolworth’s Sit-ins covered everything from how they had different groups staged to go in to Woolworth when the police arrested one group; the next group were already staged to enter Woolworth to take over the sit-in. The organizers made sure each protester was dressed appropriately, they didn’t want the news media to make an issue of the way they were dressed. Each protester was instructed in non-violent resistance and they were told to refuse bail because they wanted to fill up the jails with protesters. In class, we read an article by Dr. King called the “Drum Major Instinct” on motivating people. If you look over to right the side of my blog, you will see a number of quotes by Dr. King that I like.

The first time non-violent protests were used by the trans-community that I know of was at the Dewey Lunch Counter protests in Philadelphia on April 25 1965. When more than 150 patrons in “non-conformist clothing” were turned away by the management and 3 people stage a sit-in. Then on May 2, activists staged another sit-in and the Janus Society of Philadelphia issued a statement supporting the sit-ins. The trans-community is struggling for the same rights as the Civil Right’s movement back in the sixties, to have a job to be able to feed our families, to have a roof over our heads to shelter our families and to be able to go freely wherever we wanted to go. We just want to be treated fairly and equally.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Saturday Six – Episode 353

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six – Episode 353

1. Under which traditional zodiac sign does your birthday fall?

2. Go to this page and click on the appropriate symbol: what does it say about your zodiac symbol that you feel is most accurate?
“Libras are the diplomat of the zodiac. They are able to put themselves in other's shoes and see things through another person's point of view.” I am a consensus builder.

3. What trait does it describe that you think least describes your personality?
“They will spend lots of money and surround themselves with beautiful things and they seem to be constantly fussing over their appearance.” I am a tightwad.

4. Now check out this schedule of zodiac signs from Time magazine. What does this adjusted lineup claim that your sign should be?

5. If your sign changed, what is most accurate about your “new” zodiac sign’s personality traits?
“Virgos are very intelligent, they have an excellent memory and a highly analytical mind. This makes them good investigators and researchers.”

“They need to be organized in their mind, sometimes all their energy is taken from organizing their mind that they have a difficult time organizing their surroundings.”

6. Assuming your zodiac sign did change, would you be more likely to claim to be whichever sign you felt was more accurate, or just stick with the traditional zodiac sign that has always been associated with your birthdate?
Well first off, I don’t believe in Horoscopes and the Zodiac. They are so general that you can see some trait that matches your personality. Take a look at Aquarius (January 20 - February 18) some of the traits it says an Aquarians have…
“Beneath the detached, unemotional exterior lies a kind hearted friend that will go out of their way to help another.” and “Aquarius likes to do something useful with their lives, mixing that with their amazing way with people, they make excellent politicians and social workers/psychologists.” would also pertain to me. It is all bull.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Saturday 9: Wouldn't It Be Nice

Sam’s Saturday 9: Wouldn't It Be Nice

1. What's the nicest thing a complete stranger ever did for you?
Let me go first at check-out counter.

2. What one thing always speaks deeply to you, to your spirit, no matter your mood or what else is going on in your life?
Just looking at all the beauty that sounds us every day. You can find beauty anywhere you look, you just have to look for it.

3. How many jobs have you held in your life? How many of those were part of your chosen career field?
Three (not counting summer jobs). All three of them were in my chosen career field.

4. Of those jobs, how many did you leave voluntarily?
One, my first employer went bankrupt. My second job I left voluntarily, my boss left for a new job and I gave him my resume, and that lead me to my final job. I worked at my last job for twenty-eight years and then they closed their doors and moved south.

5. How did you discover Saturday 9? How long have you played? (Thank you for joining in!)
Friends were playing Saturday 9 and I joined in, that was back in April 2008

6. What's the worst beverage you've ever tasted?
Anything “Sugar Free”, cannot stand the taste of artificial sweeteners. They leave a horrible after taste, yuck!

7. Is there anything in life you are "certain" about? Firm in your beliefs? Strong in your convictions?
Yes, that some day I am going to die.

8. How did you come up with the title of your blog's posts?
Good question! Well the name of my blog was the name of my Geocities web-site and a friend suggested that I start a blog and I kept the name. The name came about because Connecticut is the Nutmeg state and the “Little Corner” came about because it gives a “folksy” feel to the tile, I wanted a blend of a soapbox and coffee-shop images where people could gather and discuss what’s on their mind.

9. Would you consider yourself a good cook?
I think so, except for pastries.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday Fill-ins 2011-02

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins 2011-02


1. Right now I need _to get ready for work instead of doing this meme_.

2. _Tea_ is what's in my glass mug.

3. A copy of this letter _I carry with me all the time_.

4. _Soup_ is best with a spoon.

5. The best movie I've seen lately is _Star Trek, which was the last movie I saw in a theater_.

6. _Puppy love is _ like; _when you had your first taste of chocolate and you fell in _ love.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _reading_, tomorrow my plans include _driving up to the cottage for the to check it out_ and Sunday, I want to _lay in front of the fire and read_!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

My Story Part 60 – Generations

You all have seen those kids with the purple hair and piercing all over or heard that music that goes boom…boom…boom. What did think? Was it “Kids! What have they become!” or something to that effect. Yeah, at one time I thought that myself, but I was wrong.

One time I was shopping for a Christmas present (before I transitioned) for my brother at Sears’ tool department. I forget exactly what it was that I was looking for, but I was bent over looking at all the tools and this young sales woman with reddish, purplish hair and piercing asked if she could help me. I described to her what I wanted and she picked a tool off the rack and asked if this was what I was looking for. I told it was, but not quite. She said that she knew just what I was looking for and they had some in the backroom. She came back with about a half a dozen, showed me one and restocked the rack with rest of them. When she was ringing up the item, the floor manager was standing scowling at her and I said to him that she was a great help finding what I wanted, unlike those guys and I point to a bunch of salesmen standing around talking with their arms folded.

Before I was laid off, the kids in the shop played rap music all day long. One day I was walking by where they worked and this song came on, I stopped to listen and I liked the song, and the employee told me the name of the group and the song. I forgot about the group and I think if I remember, I would have bought their CD.

So, what does this have to do with me being transgender? Well it is this; don’t judge a book by its cover. Before you criticize someone, get to know them, you might be surprised and find a person underneath the cover.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Let’s Take A Sensible Look At Gun Control

The Clinton era Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, I believe was a good step forward; however, the law expired during the Bush administration in 2004. As a nation, we have been going the other way, towards a return of the Wild West.

Let’s look at some of the steps backward,
  • In April, Gov. Jan Brewer on Friday signed into law a bill allowing people to carry a concealed weapon without requiring a permit. (Huffington Post) (Which I do not believe has anything to do with what happened last Saturday.)
  • In June, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Chicago’s ban on handguns. (Sun-Times)
  • This month, “Carrying a gun on New Hampshire's House floor is OK for the first time in 40 years under new rules the Republican-dominated chamber adopted Wednesday.” (Boston Globe)
Now why in the world would you want the legislators to be able to carry a gun on the House floor? I would think that a gun-carrying legislator would inhibit open discussion. That it would intimidate the other legislators. When I went to Old Sturbridge Village just after New Years, they had a firearms exhibit where they had all types of firearms from the late 1700s to the early 1800s on display. They also had a plaque that proclaimed that all able bodied men had to report for militia training once a month on the town green and they had to supply their own musket and field pack.

The opponents of gun control cite the Second Amendment, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” However, when the Constitution was written, they were talking about guns that are on exhibit at Old Sturbridge Village. The guns of today could not be imagined in the wildest dreams of the founders of our country. For them a rapid-fire weapon was a gun that could be fire once in a minute, not a gun that can fire hundreds of round a minute.

Some facts about guns (The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence)…
  • Gun death rates are 7 times higher in the states with the highest compared with the lowest household gun ownership. (Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard Harvard Injury Control Research Center, 2009).
  • States with the highest levels of gun ownership have 114 percent higher firearm homicide rates and 60 percent higher homicide rates than states with the lowest gun ownership (Miller, Hemenway, and Azrael, 2007, pp. 659, 660).
  • The risk of homicide is three times higher in homes with firearms (Kellermann, 1993, p. 1084).

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Hartford CT... Gender Identity and Expression was added to the city's non-discrimination ordinance

Last night the Hartford City Council voted to pass an amendment that added gender identity and expression the city's non-discrimination ordinances. Making Hartford the first city in Connecticut to include gender identity and expression in a city's non-discrimination ordinance.

Last December 20, hearings were held on the proposed ordinance. Five people spoke in favor of the ordinance and no one spoke against.

I Been Busy…

Today was a twelve hours day, nine to nine. The day started out with the weekly staff meeting and then in the afternoon I had a meeting with the research team that I am a member. We received a grant to study the transgender community in the greater Hartford area, the pilot study will end at the end of the month and we should have the report out by April. When I got out of that meeting I went down to the University of New Haven to a panel discussion on discrimination and harassment facing the Asian Pacific American community. It was a very good discussion and I learned a lot about civil rights and hate crime laws.

Today I am going to a high school in the western part of the state to talk to a Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) about “Telling Your Story” to bring about change.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Let’s Stop The Rhetoric

All sides have used inflammatory language that demeans or belittles the opposition, we as a nation need to relearn the art of debate. We have to learn to agree to disagree and we have to speak up when we hear people use derogatory terms against the opposition.
We must speak up when we hear… “I hope we’re not getting to Second Amendment remedies.” or “Gather your armies.” or comparing President Obama to Hitler or call liberal women “Fem-Nazis” and we must tell them that is not acceptable. We also must speak up when LGBT people are called perverts or pedophiles and conversely we must speak up when LGBT people use derogatory terms or names for the Pope and other conservative religious leaders. We must condemn personal attacks by either side.

I try not to use inflammatory language that demeans or belittles, but if I do, I give you permission to call me out in it. Lets try to move the political debate in this country out of the gutter and on to a higher plane.

Update: 10:00AM

I want to mention that the news media are fault. When they have “experts” talk on issues they tend to use people with extreme points of view, they do not have moderates on to discuss the issues. They want people with extreme opposite views to create a tense confrontational environment. Moderates do not create the environment that these news shows want to have; they do not want people who agree with each other or seeking a common ground. We cannot let them create a hostile situation just to sell ads.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Place Saturday Six – Episode 352

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six – Episode 352

1. Would you like to gain weight or lose weight in 2011?

Lose weight, around 60lbs

2. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most fit, where do you rank yourself?
A 2, I am terrible out of shape.

3. Can you go to a gym and do a workout without any assistance or need for motivation?
I don’t like gyms, too much testosterone. Being a trans-women, I feel that it would be a very unfriendly environment.

4. Do you think you’d accomplish more or less if you had a workout/diet partner?
Yes, I use to go walking once or twice a week, but my walking partners have moved away.

5. Take the quiz:
What’s Your Fitness Personality?

Your Fitness Type is Competitive

You love to work out, but you definitely need a challenge to stay motivated.
You love to compete - both with others and yourself. You have to have goal in mind.

You thrive in team sports, and consider trying a new one to shake things up a bit.
And if you are between teams, set up your own competition. Find a few fitness goals and see how quickly you can reach them.

Boy, is this so far off base.
First I didn’t like the choices…
2. What do you like least about exercise?
My answer would have been, “Its work!”
3. What would you be most game to try?
My answer would have been, “Walking.”
4. Exercising makes you feel:
My answer would have been, “Tired.”
5. What's the thing most likely to make you stop exercising for a while?
My answer would have been, “Its hard work.”

6. You’re working out in the gym and you spot a group of people who are lifting a lot more weight than you and being a little obnoxious about it: would that bother you or could you successfully ignore them without feeling any pressure?
See my answer for number 3.
I once did an “Outreach” (going out to talk to classes about trans-issues) and it was for a class in physical training that athletes had to take. The class was all “Jocks” and they just sat there with there arms crossed, legs wide open in the typical male dominance poise and they did ask a single question all class. Therefore, the person I did the outreach with, we each asked the other questions… So Sue what did you find most difficult when you transitioned?

Friday, January 07, 2011

Saturday 9: Closer to Home

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Closer to Home

1. Where did you grow up? Where do you consider home?
I grew up in the same town where I live now.

2. If you could paint your car any color with no loss in value, what color would it be?
I always hated red cars, but when I bought my first Prius the only color they had was red. When I bought my second Prius the only color they had was red and I kind of like red now.

3. What do you think comes after death?

4. Name a TV show that should NOT be renewed for another season.
Any of the reality shows

5. If you could have a free subscription to any online service, which would you like to have?
The New York Times

6. Where did you think you'd be at the age you are now?
In the ground. I don’t know, I surely didn’t think I’ll be where I am now.

7. What did you want to be when you grew up?
An electrical engineer, which I was until I retired.

8. If you were to suddenly become famous, and were forced to change names, what would you choose as your stage name?
Lota Love

9. What is the first book that you can remember reading by yourself as a child?
Believe it or not, but I never read any books growing up. It wasn’t until college that I started reading books on my own and that was because of my roommate, he read a lot of science fiction and the first book that I read was Robert A. Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land.

Friday Fill-ins #206

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins #206


1. It's 2011; I _graduate in five months_.

2. _I love half-sour_ pickles.

3. Thankfully, I have my _health_.

4. _You have to take time to enjoy_ the best things in life.

5. I am so _ psyched, my workshop was accepted for a professional conference and my paper was published in a professional newsletter. _.

6. _I licked the_ bowl _of frosting_.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _watching the snow come down_, tomorrow my plans did include _going to a support group meeting_ until it was canceled because of snow and Sunday, I want to _go shopping for some new clothes for work_!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

My Story Part 59 – Burgers & Politics

One of the things that I enjoy now that was missing in my life before I transitioned, was going out to lunch with a friend and talking politics. As I have mentioned before, I never really went out to lunch or dinner with friends until I transitioned. Now one of my pleasures in life is to go out with friends and have a leisurely lunch (much to the detriment of my waistline). Last week was one of those days. I went out to eat with a friend at Marlborough Tavern in Colchester; the last time I went out to lunch with her was when she was just laid off last summer. Then we went to the Skippers Dock in Stonington, we talked about her job options in today’s economy and one of the options was to go into teaching. Well she just got a job teaching at a local community college, so we went out to celebrate her new job. Over lunch, among the topics that we talked about was next year’s legislative session, how the new co-chairs of will affect our chances of passing an anti-discrimination bill.

My interest in politics came about because of a desire to pass the gender inclusive anti-discrimination legislation. Which require to have an understanding of the legislative process and to be knowledgeable of what is happening at the state Capitol. In workshops on lobbying, one of the ways that always came up was to work for a candidate, which I have and as result, I gotten to know a number of legislators. In addition, my concentration in school is community organizing which required me to take several classes on activism and know my way around the legislative office building.

My interest in food, well I have always been interested in food, but not in dinning out or cooking. I joke about that the reason why I like to cook is because of all the chemistry classes that I had to take to finally pass the class, but really, it is just because I like good food. My mother was from the school of cooking that you cook meat until it is not pink inside and it became like shoe leather, plus the fact that back then there was no fresh vegetable, therefore everything came from cans and was mushy. Once I found that food can taste great and was easily prepared, I started cooking.

Therefore, the natural combination was a marriage of politics and food.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011


I came across two polls that I would like to share with you. Like all polls, there can be a building bias with the way the questions are phrased, the order of the questions, how you select your population, etc. So, without comment here is the first poll…
Less than 1-in-5 Give America's Places of Worship High Marks on Handling Issue of Homosexuality
Public Religion Research Institute

Regardless of their own religious views on the issue, few Americans believe that places of worship are doing a good job handling the issue of homosexuality. The PRRI/RNS Religion News Poll, conducted by Public Religion Research Institute in partnership with Religion News Service, found that more than 4-in-10 Americans gave religious organizations a “D” (18%) or an “F” (24%). The number of Americans giving places of worship low marks is more than twice as many as give them high marks; Only 5% of Americans give them an “A,” and only 11% give them a “B.”

A plurality (43%) of Americans say the messages coming from places of worship are negative, and 4-in-10 Americans believe that these messages contribute “a lot” to negative perceptions of gay and lesbian people. One-third (33%) of the public also believe that messages from religious bodies are contributing “a lot” to higher rates of suicide among gay and lesbian youth, and another third (32%) say these message contribute “a little;” only 21% say they do not contribute at all.
Of all religious groups, white evangelicals are most likely to give their own church high marks for handling the issue of homosexuality. Three-quarters of white evangelicals give their church an “A” (48%) or “B” (27%). Among white mainline Protestants and Catholics, only about 4-in-10 give their church an “A” or “B.” Catholics were most likely to give their churches negative marks, with nearly one-third giving their churches a “D” (15%) or an “F” (16%).

The survey also found significant generational and partisan gaps on perceptions of the impact of messages about homosexuality from America’s places of worship. Nearly half (47%) of young adults (age 18 to 34) say that messages from places of worship are contributing “a lot” to negative views of gay and lesbian people. Among Americans age 65 and older, less than one-third (30%) say religious bodies are contributing a lot to negative perceptions of gay and lesbian people. Democrats are more than twice as likely as Republicans (42% to 17%) to say places of worship are contributing to higher rates of suicide among gay youth.
The next polls is…
Top Ten Anti-Christian Events in 2010
The Christian News Wire

SAN DIEGO, Jan. 3, 2010 /Christian Newswire/ -- Defend Christians.Org, a ministry of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission, has just released its annual top ten list of anti-Christian acts in America for 2010. The surprising list is selected through an online poll of Christians and people of good will who are part of Defend Christians.Org.

"The poll results demonstrate a double standard is being applied against Christians and their faith, values and liberty," said Dr. Gary Cass, Chairman and CEO. "If these same types of actions were taken against other groups one would call it bigoted. We are exposing the shameful behavior of bashing Christ and biblical values for what it is, "Christophobia;" the irrational fear and hatred of Christ and His Word."
And from the Defend Christians.Org web-site, the actual list…
1. Employment Non-Discrimination Act; a proposed federal bill that would force ministries to hire people who oppose their beliefs or who live in open defiance of their values.

2. Vaughn Walker; California judge who overturned Proposition 8, a State Constitutional Marriage Amendment, and the will of the people by making homosexual marriage legal.
4. Elena Kagan; President Obama’s radical appointment to the Supreme Court bench. While serving under the Clinton Administration, Kagan successfully corrupted unfavorable evidence on partial birth abortion to deceive the Supreme Court.
9. Southern Poverty Law Center; A liberal ACLU-like organization that has continued to label many Christian organizations that hold traditional values as “hate groups” in lists that include violent racists groups.
Comparing these two polls; the first poll’s population was one thousand randomly selected people (you can see the polls and the methodology here). The other poll we know nothing about it, we do not know the sample size, where they chose their populations, all we know is that they were Christians. Did they include both affirming and non-affirming Christians? Were they given a list to choose from? Notice how the second poll phrased the questions. The number one choice, ENDA, “a proposed federal bill that would force ministries to hire people who oppose their beliefs or who live in open defiance of their values” is phrased negatively and doesn’t mention that the bill has explicit language the excludes religious organizations from the law. In choice #4, the poll used the biased phrase “radical appointment”. Then question #9 uses “liberal ACLU-like organization” and “’ hate groups’ in lists that include violent racists groups.” But does not explain that the reason why SPLC added them as hate groups was because of the language they used and the false statement they use, such as calling all LGBT people pedophiles.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Are You Looking For Somewhere To Go On Your Summer Vacation?

Well look no more… Nepal is the place to go.
Nepal aiming to attract 200,000 LGBT tourists in 2011
Jan 02, 2011
KATHMANDU - Nepal plans to attract around 200,000 sexual minorities including Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersexes (LGBTI) during the Nepal Tourism Year 2011 (NTY-2011).

The Blue Diamond Society (BDS), an organization representing sexual minorities in the country, has said that it aims to bring 200,000 i.e. 20 percent such tourists of the total one million tourists in the NTY-2011. Nepal aims to host one million tourists this year.

Already gay tourists are responding favorably to the holiday and travel packages offered by Pink Mountain, a travel and tour agency run by sexual minorities and catering exclusively to LGBTI.
Do you remember the Cat Stevens song Kathmandu?
Kathmandu I'll soon be seeing you
And your strange bewildering time
Will hold me down

Monday, January 03, 2011

Sunday’s Staycation

I had the last two weeks off from my internship and school, so to end my vacation I went up to Old Sturbridge Village. For those who do not know, Old Sturbridge Village is a recreation of an 1800s New England village complete with colonial interpreters.

As you enter the village through the visitor’s center, you are greeted with an old country lane…

I took the left fork in the road and went first to the glass exhibit and the firearms buildings, this is the house that the firearm exhibit is located. Next to those buildings is the cider mill with its apple orchards.

Cider was one of the main staples for the colonials or more precisely, hard cider. Walking down the lane there is a print shop, which I stopped in to talk to the printer who was printing up the parsons Sunday sermon about the evils of the world. Just past the print shop was the village green on the Salem Towne House that was moved to the museum from Charlton, Massachusetts, it was built in 1796.
In the pen were two young bulls butting heads…
Looking out from the front yard you can see the church at the end of the town green.
From there I went down to the lower village, through the covered bridge and to the town sawmill, gristmill and carding mill.

To the left of the gristmill you can see the building where the carding mill is in.
This is the sluice for the gristmill, looking out the mill’s window.
Also down in the lower village is a blacksmith shop. The ringing of hammering was coming from the shop, so I stopped in to see what he was doing and he told me that he was making horseshoes for the town wagon.
Then I wandered up to the potter’s shop where he said that he was making coffee mugs for an order that he had and that they would fire up the kiln in the spring to "fire" them.
They also have a number of farm animals at the village, including sheep and chickens.

While you walk around the village, you see colonial interpreters walking back and forth to their shops.

When you go inside the buildings, you see the way they lived and many of the machines that that had back in the 1800s
I was glad that I went when I did; the weather for the second day of January was in the mid-forties and was overcast. In addition, there were no crowds and I could take all these photo without any 21st century tourist in the background. I was usually they only one talking to the interpreters or in the buildings. I have passed Old Sturbridge Village many times in the summer and it was packed with tourist from all over the country, but yesterday there were only a couple of dozen cars in the parking lot.