November 7th, 2010

Transgender Man Is on Women’s Team

Monday was a lazy day for Kye Allums, a typically busy junior playing Division I basketball at George Washington University. Without any classes or practice on his schedule, Allums woke up late, stopped in at a team meeting, worked on a class project, then took an afternoon nap.

But Monday was anything but ordinary because it was the day the world would learn about the decision Allums had embarked on one year earlier: to come out as a transgender man playing on a women’s basketball team.

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Other articles about this story.

An Open Letter to the White Right, On the Occasion of Your Recent, Successful Temper Tantrum


For all y’all rich folks, enjoy that champagne, or whatever fancy ass Scotch you drink.

And for y’all a bit lower on the economic scale, enjoy your Pabst Blue Ribbon, or whatever shitty ass beer you favor.

Whatever the case, and whatever your economic station, know this…

You need to drink up.

And quickly.

And heavily.

Because your time is limited.

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Akuma River

Days after taking Texas Government, the Texas GOP plans on withdrawing from Medicaid

Texas Considers Medicaid Withdrawal
Texas Tribune
Published: November 6, 2010

Some Republican lawmakers — still reveling in Tuesday’s statewide election sweep — are proposing an unprecedented solution to the state’s estimated $25 billion budget shortfall: dropping out of the federal Medicaid program

Far-right conservatives are offering that possibility in impassioned news conferences. Moderate Republicans are studying it behind closed doors. And the party’s advisers on health care policy say it is being discussed more seriously than ever, though they admit it may be as much a huge in-your-face to Washington as anything else.
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Burma Holds First National Elections in 20 Years

 The people of Burma have voted in the country's first national elections for 20 years, but the main opposition party has boycotted the poll. Ruling generals say the polls mark a transition to democratic civilian rule but critics say they are a sham. The National League for Democracy, the main opposition party led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, boycotted the vote. Observers say voting proceeded calmly while opposition parties say it was manipulated.

"The authorities of various levels forced the people to cast advance votes," said Sai Ai Pa O - president of Shan National Democratic Party, which is fielding the fourth largest number of candidates. "We are not allowed to send representatives to the polling stations at the time of advance voting," he said. "If the election was free and fair, I am sure we would win at least 80% of seats."

One soldier based near Rangoon told the BBC that rank-and-file troops from 10 army regiments had refused orders to vote. His testimony could not be verified. Reports from Burma's largest city, Rangoon, suggest turnout was light at many polling stations. Foreign journalists and monitors have not been allowed into the country for the election.

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Supporters Block Funeral Protest in Weston

People in Weston, Missouri banded together on Saturday. They wanted to protect loved ones who were saying goodbye to a fallen soldier. They stood up to members of the Westboro Baptist Church who planned to protest at Sgt. First Class C.J. Sadell's funeral.

Sadell died October 24 from injuries he suffered in a surprise attack in Afghanistan. On Saturday, there was quite a turnout of people who wanted to keep the protesters away from the funeral.

"I'd say probably half the people in Weston are here," said Eric Moser, Marine Corp veteran.

Weston has less than 2,000 residents, but hundreds of people showed up to support the family of First Sgt. Sadell.

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Impressive... dare I hope that if this - meaning a peaceful protest and successful protection of the funeral - happens often enough, the WBC will eventually give up?

Unemployed told: do four weeks of unpaid work or lose your benefits

The unemployed will be ordered to do periods of compulsory full-time work in the community or be stripped of their benefits under controversial American-style plans to slash the number of people without jobs.

The proposals, in a white paper on welfare reform to be unveiled this week, are part of a radical government agenda aimed at cutting the £190bn-a-year welfare bill and breaking what the coalition now calls the "habit of worklessness".

The measures will be announced to parliament by the work and pensions secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, as part of what he will describe as a new "contract" with the 1.4 million people on jobseekers' allowance. The government's side of the bargain will be the promise of a new "universal credit", to replace all existing benefits, that will ensure it always pays to work rather than stay on welfare.

In return, where advisers believe a jobseeker would benefit from experiencing the "habits and routines" of working life, an unemployed person will be told to take up "mandatory work activity" of at least 30 hours a week for a four-week period. If they refuse or fail to complete the programme their jobseeker's allowance payments, currently £50.95 a week for those under 25 and £64.30 for those over 25, could be stopped for at least three months.

The Department for Work and Pensions plans to contract private providers to organise the placements with charities, voluntary organisations and companies. An insider close to the discussions said: "We know there are still some jobseekers who need an extra push to get them into the mindset of being in the working environment and an opportunity to experience that environment.

"This is all about getting them back into a working routine which, in turn, makes them a much more appealing prospect for an employer looking to fill a vacancy, and more confident when they enter the workplace. The goal is to break into the habit of worklessness."

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garf tired

But of Course.

Eric Cantor Opposes Compromise On Extending Bush Tax Cuts, Says Government Shutdown Will Be Obama's Fault

WASHINGTON -- Just as Senate Minority Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has attempted to lower expectations in recent days by saying that Republicans can't really accomplish anything unless President Obama is voted out of office in 2012, so too did Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) set the stage on Sunday by declaring that any lack of progress in Congress -- including a possible government shutdown -- will be Obama's fault.

"I would say, Chris, it's as much as his responsibility," said Cantor in response to a question from Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace about who will be to blame for a government shutdown or a default on the debt. "In fact, he is the one who sets the agenda as the chief executive and as the president of this country."

Cantor also made clear that if there's going to be any compromise, it's going to have to come from Obama, who has said he is willing to work with Republicans. Cantor, however, said that Republicans will work with Obama only if he agrees with them 100 percent.

"Listen, are we willing to work with him?" said Cantor on Sunday. "First and foremost, we're not going to be willing to work with him on the expansive liberal agenda he's been about, but if he is serious about working with us on things like earmarks, for instance -- which he said he would work with me on that -- I'm absolutely hopeful we can do that. I hope he calls Harry Reid the first thing to get the Senate to go along with the House position."
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"Seasteaders" Take First Step Toward Colonizing The Oceans


Chris Rasch is attempting to build a temporary island out of an unremarkable pile of plywood, rope, and empty barrels that once held 50 gallons of maraschino cherries each.

Construction of this manmade island on the Sacramento River delta in California is running something like 24 hours behind schedule, but by the end of the second day, Rasch and a few dozen like-minded souls have finished enough of the project to relax over a dinner of kabobs, chili and curry served aboard their mostly finished homestead.

The result may look a bit ramshackle, complete with a pirate flag flying from a mast that was a spare piece of lumber, but the roughly 125 people who gathered here earlier this month believe it represents the first step toward conquering humanity's next frontier: the colonization of the world's oceans.

"A lot of people interested in seasteading have never been on the water before," says Rasch, a 37-year old programmer whose day job is a programmer for Marketocracy in San Mateo, Calif. "They don't know what the problems are. They don't know what it's actually like. Having events that are in a safe environment where they get some experience — where if anything goes wrong they can easily recover — is a good thing."

Call it a blueprint for sea-cession. Supporters of the Seasteading Institute, a Palo Alto, Calif.,-based non-profit group that organized the three-day floating event, predict there will be enough interest in "seasteads" — permanent dwellings on the high seas outside the territorial waters claimed by the world's governments — to make them viable in a decade or so.

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I'm torn between thinking "This sounds like such fun!" and "This has the potential to somehow go hideously wrong." What do you guys think?
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    Haha, "Atlantis" by Donovan is playing in my head
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Pentecostal minister calls on christian faithful to use the word ‘fag’


James Manning, a New York City-based Pentecostal minister has recently released a video in which he states that use of the homophobic epithet, “Fag” is biblically acceptable and needs to be employed frequently when referring to any LGBT person.

Manning also stated that equality rights for LGBT Americans who practice the “biblical abomination” of homosexuality will lead to the legalization of bestiality, citing an example of the potential for the video’s viewership to possibly have a loved one desire to marry a dog or a goat.

Manning is no stranger to controversial declarations. Not long after the current President of the United States, Barack Obama, was elected, he called Obama’s mother “white trash” for becoming pregnant by a black man out of wedlock.

Manning revisited this issue on 8 December 2008 during a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, when he said in reference to the President:

“It is common knowledge that African men, coming from the continent of Africa — especially for the first time — do diligently seek out white women to have sexual intercourse with. Generally the most noble of white society choose not to intercourse sexually with these men. So it’s usually the trashier ones who make their determinations that they’re going to have sex.”

Manning is the chief pastor at the ATLAH World Missionary Church on 123rd Street in New York City. He grew up in Red Springs, N.C., and has been at ATLAH since 1981.

ATLAH stands for All The Land Anointed Holy, which is Manning’s name for Harlem.


ETA my own comments, since I had a pal over when I posted this and forgot:

First thing: See that sign above his head? Your first indication this man is NOT to be taken seriously.

Second thing: George Takei wants a word with you, sir:

Nigel Farage claims UKIP is a "British Tea Party"

Commentators across the board have been hailing the "British Tea Party" for at least a year. Daniel Hannan, the Tory MEP, has even tried to launch one, without much success.

The latest to ride on the coat-tails of the popular US movement is Nigel Farage, newly re-elected as UK Independence Party leader. Speaking on Sky News, he said that his party shared the feeling of being "overtaxed, over-governed, not being listened to". He claimed that this gave the party a "bigger political opportunity than ever before" to recruit Tories dissatisfied with David Cameron's EU-friendly policies.

Could UKIP be the British Tea Party? The two movements do have quite a lot in common: the anti-establishment flavour, the emphasis on small government, and nationalism. They also share a -- how do I put this? -- certain nuttiness, with both groups containing some pretty extreme and off-centre elements.

But, crucially, does it have the capacity to gain mass appeal akin to that of the US group? It is worth remembering that the party did gain 1 million votes in this year's general election. Some even suggested that this small but significant report could have cost Cameron his overall majority in the Commons.

Given Britain's electoral system, it is unlikely that UKIP will gain any seats in parliament, even if their share of the vote were to double. However, if they were to grow in support, they could influence public debate by pressuring the Conservatives from the right. It's also worth noting that the Tea Party is a wing of the Republican Party, so can pressurise traditionalists from within. UKIP is even more on the edges of mainstream political debate.

At the moment it remains a fringe group, but as US Tea Party shows, you write off the "nutters" at your own peril. Stranger things have happened.

Source: New Statesman
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Pilger calls for direct action

The party game is over. Stand and fight

The lesson of the French anti-government protests is that “normal” politics exists only to promote corporate interests. Britain must prepare for a rebirth of the only thing that works — direct action.

"Rise like lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number!
Shake your chains to earth, like dew
Which in sleep had fall'n on you:
Ye are many - they are few."

These days, the stirring lines of Percy Shelley's "Mask of Anarchy" may seem unattainable. I don't think so. Shelley was both a Romantic and political truth-teller. His words resonate now because only one political course is left to those who are disenfranchised and whose ruin is announced on a government spreadsheet.

Born of the "never again" spirit of 1945, social democracy has surrendered to an extreme political cult of money worship. This reached its apogee when £1trn of public money was handed unconditionally to corrupt banks by a Labour government whose leader, Gordon Brown, had previously described "financiers" as the nation's "great example" and his personal "inspiration".

This is not to say parliamentary politics is meaningless. It has one meaning now: the replacement of democracy with a business plan for every human activity, every dream, every decency, every hope, every child born.

No rationale
The old myths of British rectitude, imperial in origin, provided false comfort while the Blair gang built the foundation of the present "coalition". This is led by a former PR man for an asset stripper and by a bagman who will inherit his knighthood and the tax-shielded fortune of his father, the 17th Baronet of Ballintaylor. David Cameron and George Osborne are essentially fossilised spivs who, in colonial times, would have been sent by their daddies to claim foreign terrain and plunder.

Today, they are claiming 21st-century Britain and imposing their vicious, antique ideology, albeit served as economic snake oil. Their designs have nothing to do with a "deficit crisis". A deficit of 10 per cent is not remotely a crisis. When Britain was officially bankrupt at the end of the Second World War, the government built its greatest public institutions, such as the National Health Service and the arts edifices of London's South Bank.

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The BA workers, the firefighters, the council workers, the post office workers, the NHS workers, the London Underground staff, the teachers, the lecturers, the students can more than match the French if they are resolute and imaginative, forging, with the wider social justice movement, potentially the greatest popular resistance ever. Look at the web; listen to the public's support at fire stations. There is no other way now. Direct action. Civil disobedience. Unerring. Read Shelley and do it.


Source: John Pilger @ New Statesman

He's Back...

Keith Olbermann To RETURN Tuesday, Phil Griffin Announces

Keith Olbermann will return to the air on Tuesday after being suspended for two shows (this past Friday and the upcoming episode on Monday).

The host of MSNBC's "Countdown" was given an indefinite suspension last week after his boss, network president Phil Griffin, discovered that Olbermann had made political contributions without seeking prior approval, as per company policy.

A network spokesman released the following statement via email:


From Phil Griffin, President of MSNBC:

After several days of deliberation and discussion, I have determined that suspending Keith through and including Monday night's program is an appropriate punishment for his violation of our policy. We look forward to having him back on the air Tuesday night.

Earlier on Sunday, Olbermann broke his silence via Twitter, telling his followers "Greetings From Exile!" and thanking people for their support.

Over the past few days, Olbermann had received an outpouring of supportive words -- even from reporters and conservative pundits. CNN's Eliot Spitzer called the punishment "ridiculous." Another MSNBC host, Rachel Maddow, immediately called for his reinstatement and used the opportunity to illustrate that her network is "not a political operation" like Fox News.


who smells network cable television/ insider politics here?

The Kiss and the Pope / El beso y el papa

 Barcelona - Pope Benedict XVI strongly defended traditional families and the rights of the unborn on Sunday, directly attacking Spanish laws that allow gay marriage, fast-track divorce and easier abortions as he dedicated Barcelona's iconic church, the Sagrada Familia.

It was the second time in as many days that Benedict had criticized the policies of Spain's Socialist government and called for Europe as a whole to rediscover Christian teachings and apply them to everyday life.

As he headed to the church named for the sacred family, about 200 gays and lesbians staged a “kiss-in” to protest his visit and church policies on homosexuals, condom use and a host of other issues. Church teaching holds that gays should be treated with dignity and respect but that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered”.Collapse )


I didn't think it was possible, but I hate the church even more now. And the "God loves you too" guys need to GFT.

Go boil your head, Obama.

Democrats reportedly looking at dropping DADT provision to get Defense bill passed

I'd heard the same thing that Kerry Eleveld reports in this article [not linked for some reason]. Not that this is only "an" option, but rather that this is "the" option being considered - to just kiss the DADT repeal effort goodbye.

If HRC and Obama couldn't even get one of their top three promises to our community (DADT, DOMA, ENDA) done with supermajorities in both houses of Congress, a president with a 70% approval rating, and a GOP opposition in utter ruin, then what good are they?

We do not have a friend in the White House, nor do we have an advocacy group in HRC. Neither has our community's best interests at heart. And both are equally responsible for this utter debacle.

Someone asked me the other night if I thought I'd die unequal. It's a good question. And at this point, with the leadership we have in the party and the community, the answer is sadly "yes."

Source: AMERICAblog Gay