Archive for October, 2011

24
Oct
11

Into the Abyss…

I have actually managed not to post anything on the Occupy Movement. Until now.

I agree with some of it, I disagree with a lot of it. The reality is, those pushing for a full socialism, claiming that they will occupy until they get one, are just delusional. The merits or problems of an absolute socialism aside, it just won’t work here. Period. There will always be those who feel like they are owed something for nothing. There will always be those who feel they have some sort of inherent worth above others. It just won’t work. Period.

What do I agree with? Pay your workers more, you freaking assholes. Waltons. Yeah, you. Pay your workers a living wage. Offer them decent benefits, pull the mass of people employed by YOU out of the bracket of the working poor. You take over small town America and then drag it through the dirt. You take people’s businesses and then offer them a minimum wage job, saying that you are providing a service, building community. Bullshit. Your are thieves and liars. Have fun in your ivory tower.

Now, what brought on this rant? The fine and not so fine folks of The Conservative Tree House. Some of them have been interesting and informative, others have been hateful for no known reason, except that I struck a cord with respectful but socially liberal dialogue. Shame on me.

Yeah, I’m a bit bitter about some of them today. That I would be labeled as having an agenda for being polite, pisses me off. Newsflash: I’m generally speaking a polite person and have to be pushed pretty far to retaliate. Secondly, that anyone would stand up and feel sorry for Gaddafi strikes me as nothing short of hatred toward millions of Libyans. Sure, he killed, maimed, and stole, but he was a nice guy. Whatever.

And the coup de grace…They seem to want their religion in their government. I get this from a number of posts (read through and come to your own conclusion). But don’t let Islam into anyone’s government. That’s not right. You can’t have an Islamic state. You can have a Christian one, but NOOOOOOOO…No, you can’t have an Islamic state. Not acceptable.

Well, that lovely rant aside, I close today with a stock AP photo and a quote from one of the most marvelous Occupiers of the Tree…

“Revolts aren’t calm.
They happen when diplomacy and discussion have failed.
It is a pressure cooker of violence and anger. It is a cataclysmic upheaval of decades of frustration and repression. It is animalistic and degrading. There is no more human compassion in anything of this sort. It is horrifically cruel. When any society has been pushed to it’s bearable limits, these are the repercussions.

There is no way to contain the explosive backlash. You have to let it burn out.

This is the burn.”

Advertisements
07
Oct
11

Response to Richard Dawkins

While I found Dawkins’ presentation interesting, it was not without contradiction and was not the best of book presentations I have witnessed (that being Robert Wright, see link below). Quite frankly, I was more impressed with Mary Higgins Clark.

Admittedly, I disagree with Dawkins on a great many of his scientific views and his failure to acknowledge the diversity within the scientific community amazes me. His view of evolution as presented in “The Magic of Reality” is, at best, misleading. Please do not take this as a view against evolution, as that is not at all the case. Whereas Dawkins seems to be under the impression (and not to say that he is wrong, just that I disagree) that evolution is a slow, gradual process that happens over a great deal of time, I subscribe to the view of punctuated evolution or punctuated equilibrium. This is the idea that there are major ecological events throughout history that force change. These events cause a sudden favor to the attributes of any species that support survival of that species in that specific ecosystem. Big jumps, as it were, in the termination and advancement of certain species or variations within a species (Elena, Cooper, & Lenski, 1996) ((Gersick, 1991) (“Evolutionary Models for Genetic Variation,” n.d.).

Secondly, through a question and answer session Dr. Dawkins indicated that he held doubt that there is a euphoric experience just prior to death. I had no idea this was up for debate. Humans certainly experience this and evidence indicates that lower level primates and lower order mammals experience this same phenomenon. The currently supported theory (scientifically speaking) is an increase in GABA activity at death.

Not the last thing I disagree with, but the last I will write about here, is Dawkins’ stance on alien life and space travel. He mentions that there is no such thing as a miracle, that people in times gone by would be astonished at modern commonalities and that those would be interpreted as miracles to those who did not understand them. In that same context, should we see something we do not understand nor can we conceptualize at this point in time, it is interpreted as a miracle. All that being said he then stated that, despite his belief in alien life, any life in the universe is so far apart that the connection of one life form to the next through space was not possible. Then he stated that science fiction is nice, but that it is just that. Fiction. HELLO!? How much of what was once science fiction is now science fact? How likely was it just 400 years ago that, if someone sailed too far, they could go right off the side of the planet? How likely was it, 500, 1000, 1500 years ago that we would ever make it to the north pole, the moon, or to Mars? These are things that can happen given time, innovation, and someone who won’t take ‘no’ for an answer.

Robert Wright:
http://www.ishk.net/moral_animal.pdf

Elena, S. F., Cooper, V. S., & Lenski, R. E. (1996). Punctuated evolution caused by selection of rare beneficial mutations. Science (New York, N.Y.), 272(5269), 1802-1804.

Evolutionary Models for Genetic Variation. (n.d.).(R)Evolution (pp. 81-108). New York: Springer-Verlag. Retrieved from http://www.springerlink.com/index/10.1007/0-387-26159-1_7

Gersick, C. J. G. (1991). Revolutionary Change Theories: A Multilevel Exploration of the Punctuated Equilibrium Paradigm. The Academy of Management Review, 16(1), 10-36. doi:10.2307/258605

07
Oct
11

Response to Sean Faircloth “Attack of the Theocrats”

This one will be short, sweet, and to the point. Mr. Faircloth, while I may agree with a great deal of your political agenda, using the same fear tactics you accuse others of committing is unreasonable, illogical, and distasteful. Additionally, to say that faith healing has no place is just flat out wrong. The placebo effect is strong and often works as well as (or better than) modern medical science (Moseley, Wray, Kuykendall, Willis, & Landon, 1996). Last but certainly not least, my personal religious views and associations aside, you have offered an outright degrading view of Christianity as a whole without differentiation between people who choose to believe in something greater than themselves (as you also do, but with science not faith) and people who are extremist religious zealots.

Link to the above mentioned article:
http://ajs.sagepub.com/content/24/1/28.short

03
Oct
11

In Honor of LGBT History (or herstory as the case may be)

1920 – “Gay” first used to refer to homosexuals in the publication

Underground

1921 – U.S. Naval report on entrapment of “perverts” within its ranks

1924 – First commercially produced play with a lesbian theme, “God of

Vengeance,” opens on Broadway; theatre owner and 12 cast members found

guilty of obscenity (later overturned)

1924 – Illinois charters the Society for Human Rights

1925 – After a year of police raids, New York City’s roster of 20 gay and

lesbian restaurants and “personality clubs” is reduced to 3

1926 – The Hamilton Lodge Ball of Harlem attracts thousands of crossdressing

men and women

1927 – New York state legislature tries to ban gay-themed plays

1927 – “Well of Loneliness” by Radclyffe Hall published, all British copies

destroyed as “obscene”

1930 – Encyclopedia of Sexual Knowledge illustrates first “sex-change”

procedures

1932 – Man Into Woman, the Story of Lili Elbe’s Life, published

1933 – Hitler bans gay and lesbian groups, burns the Institute of Sexual

Science library

1934 – Lillian Hellman’s The Children’s Hour opens on Broadway to rave

reviews

1935 – “Successful” electric shock therapy treatment of homosexuality

reported at American Psychological Association meeting

1937 – Morris Kight organizes the Oscar Wilde Study Circle at Texas

Christian University

1939 – New York City “cleans up” in preparation for the World’s Fair, closing

most of the city’s best-known gay bars

1940s – Revealed that Holocaust victims include LGTs

1940 – Courts rule New York State Liquor Authority can legally close down

bars that serve “sex variants”

1941 – “Transsexuality” first used…in reference to homosexuality and

bisexuality

1942 – Switzerland decriminalizes adult homosexuality (men only; lesbianism

wasn’t outlawed to begin with)

1943 – U.S. military bars gays and lesbians from serving in the Armed Forces

1945 – The Quaker Emergency Committee of New York City opens the first

social welfare agency for gay people, serving young people arrested on

same-sex charges

1945 – First known female-to-male sex change surgery, on Michael Dillon in

Britain

1947 – “Lisa Ben” publishes the first Vice Versa

1948 – New York Times refuses advertisements for Gore Vidal’s The City and

the Pillar

1948 – The Kinsey Report says homosexual behavior among men is

widespread

1948 – Hollywood Ten and the Blacklist

1950 – A Senate hearing reveals the majority of State Department dismissals

are based on accusations of homosexuality; Senate approves wide-ranging

investigation of homosexuals “and other moral perverts” in national

government

1951 – The Mattachine Society founded

1951 – “Donald Webster Cory” publishes The Homosexual in America

1952 – Christine Jorgensen comes to public attention

1952 – British mathematician and computer pioneer Alan Turing sentenced to

a year of hormonal treatments causing impotence and breast development

for “gross indecency with males.” He commits suicide in 1954.

1952 – American Psychiatric Association includes homosexuality under

“sociopathic personality disturbance” in its first official list of mental disorders

1952 – Immigrants banned from U.S. if they have “psychopathic personality,”

including homosexuality

1953 – Twenty-nine out of 30 men arrested during an 8 day period, charged

with engaging in homosexual acts in the Atlanta public library restroom, lost

their jobs after newspapers printed their names and addresses at least 6

times

1953 – President Dwight D. Eisenhower orders dismissal of all federal

employees guilty of “sexual perversion”

1953 – Kinsey report on women’s sexuality, including lesbian behavior,

released

1954 – Dr. Evelyn Hooker presents a study showing gay men are as welladjusted

as straight men, at an American Psychological Association meeting

1955 – Howl! published; Allen Ginsberg unsuccessfully prosecuted for

obscenity

1955 – Daughters of Bilitis formed; publication “The Ladder” launched the

next year

1955 – In the wake of the murder of a boy, 29 Sioux City, Iowa men

suspected of homosexuality are committed to mental asylums as a

preventive measure

1956 – James Baldwin publishes Giovanni’s Room

1957 – “Transsexual” coined by Harry Benjamin

1957 – Ann Bannon publishes Odd Girls Out

1957 – American Civil Liberties Union approves a policy statement saying

laws against sodomy and federal restrictions on employment of lesbians and

gay men are constitutional

1958 – U.S. Supreme Court rules ONE magazine is not obscene and can be

sent through the postal system

1960 – First U.S. public gathering of lesbians, at San Francisco’s Daughters

of Bilitis national convention

1961 – First openly gay person runs for U.S. public office (drag queen Jose

Sarria, running for San Francisco city supervisor)

1961 – First use of the term “homosexual” in a feature film shown in the US

(British movie Victim); motion picture code seal of approval is denied

1962 – Illinois becomes first state to make consensual same-sex acts legal

1962 – First known positive radio program about homosexuality (Randy

Wicker and 7 gay people, on WBAI in New York City)

1963 – American Civil Liberties Union opposes government interference in

the private sex lives of consenting adults

1964 – Life magazine runs positive cover story on “Homosexuality in

America”

1964 – The first openly gay person appears on national television (Randy

Wicker, on The Les Crane Show)

1964 – Series of public demonstrations held in Washington, D.C. by the East

Coast Homophile Organizations to protest U.S. government discrimination

against lesbians and gay men

1966 – “Lesbian” heard for the first time in a Hollywood movie (The Group)

1966 – First U.S. gay community center opens, in San Francisco, led by The

Society for Individual Rights

1966 – Harry Benjamin publishes The Transsexual Phenomenon

1966 – First transgender public uprising at San Francisco’s Compton’s

Cafeteria

1967 – England and Wales legalize male homosexuality

1967 – Bisexual rap group held in San Francisco

1967 – New York and New Jersey decide that state liquor commissions can

no longer forbid bars from serving gay men and lesbians

1967 – First gay bookstore in the U.S. opens: Oscar Wilde Memorial

Bookshop

1967 – “John” turned into “Joan” at John Hopkins Hospital after a

circumcision accident; published case widely impacts gender theory

1968 – Metropolitan Community Church formed

1968 – The American Psychiatric Association moves homosexuality from

“sociopathic” category to “sexual deviation”

1968 – Bi Alliance begins at the University of Minnesota

1969 – Betty Friedan warns feminist movement of the “lavender menace”

within its ranks

1969 – Stonewall Riots

1969 – National Institute of Mental Health study chaired by Dr. Evelyn Hooker

urges decriminalization of private sex acts between consenting adults

1970 – Boys in the Band, first major Hollywood movie on gay life, premieres

1970 – Gay “zaps” begin; first against New York City Mayor John Lindsay

1970 – Unitarian Universalist Association becomes first U.S. mainstream religious group

to recognize LGB clergy and laity within its ranks and to demand an end to anti-gay

discrimination

1970 – The Vatican issues a statement reiterating that homosexuality is a moral

aberration

1972 – “Ithaca Statement on Bisexuality,” by the Quaker Committee of Friends on

Bisexuality, is published in The Advocate; National Bisexual Liberation Group forms in

New York

1972 – East Lansing, Michigan, becomes first city to ban anti-gay bias in city hiring

1972 – First openly gay man ordained, by the United Church of Christ (William Johnson)

1972 – First time a U.S. national political convention (the Democrats) addressed by gay

leaders

1973 – American Psychiatric Association removes homosexuality from its list of mental

illnesses

1973 – U.S. Supreme Court refuses to hear case on the firing of an Oregon teacher for

lesbianism

1973 – Lesbian Herstory Archives founded

1974 – First state-level openly gay person elected: Elaine Noble of Massachusetts

1974 – Ohio Supreme Court rules that even though homosex is legal, the state can

refuse to incorporate a gay organization because “the promotion of homosexuality as a

valid life style is contrary to the public policy of the state.”

1974 – AT&T becomes first major American corporation to agree to an equal opportunity

policy for lesbians and gay men

1974 – Time and Newsweek run “bisexual chic” articles

1975 – U.S. Civil Service Commission stops banning gay men and lesbians from federal

jobs

1975 – Footballer David Kopay is first major sports start to come out (voluntarily) publicly

1976 – First openly gay police officer hired (by San Francisco)

1976 – “Tales of the City” published by the San Francisco Chronicle, includes LGB and T

characters

1976 – Doonesbury is the first mainstream comic strip to feature a gay male character

1976 – Lynn Ransom of California is one of the first openly lesbian mothers to win

custody of her children in court

1976 – Renee Richards outed as MTF and barred from a women’s tennis tournament

1976 – San Francisco Bisexual Center opens

1977 – Anita Bryant and Save Our Children succeed in repealing Miami law against

discrimination based on sexual orientation

1977 – 80% of surveyed Oregon doctors say they would refuse to treat a known

homosexual

1977 – Arkansas recriminalizes gay sex after two years without such a law

1977 – Florida forbids adoption by gays and lesbians

1977 – White House sponsors first-ever meeting with gay activists

1978 – Openly gay San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk murdered by colleague

1978 – National Coalition of Black (later Lesbians and) Gays formed in New York City

1978 – Rainbow flag debuts in San Francisco

1979 – First National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights; 100,000 attend

1979 – Moral Majority founded

1979 – First openly gay judge appointed (Los Angeles, CA)

1980 – First Harry Benjamin Standards produced for therapists working with

transgender persons

1980 – BBC broadcasts “A Change of Sex” about an MTF

1980 – Aaron Fricke takes Paul Guilbert to his high school prom after winning

a lawsuit against the school

1980 – Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence debuts

1981 – First reported cases of what came to be called AIDS

1981 – The Celluloid Closet: Homosexuality in the Movies published

1982 – Wisconsin enacts first statewide gay civil rights legislation

1982 – Parents & Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) founded

1982 – Gay Men’s Health Crisis formed

1983 – Congressman Gerry Studds comes out; first federal official to come

out as gay while in office

1984 – FBI releases 7,500 pages of information gathered over 30 years of

watching gay groups

1984 – Martina Navratilova’s female lover publicly sits in her “box” at

Wimbledon and the French Open

1984 – Berkeley (CA) becomes first U.S. city to extend domestic partnership

benefits to lesbian and gay employees

1984 – San Francisco Department of Public Health closes the city’s

bathhouses

1985 – NAMES Project memorial quilt for AIDS victims launched

1985 – First school for openly lesbian and gay teenagers opens in New York

City (Harvey Milk School)

1985 – Rock Hudson comes out, admits he has AIDS

1986 – U.S. Supreme Court rejects challenge to state sodomy laws

1987 – Second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights;

Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt shown

1987 – What becomes BiNet USA formed

1987 – ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) is formed

1988 – National Coming Out Day launched

1989 – Jazz musician Billy Tipton dies and is revealed to be FTM

1989 – BiPAC New York successfully challenges Hetrick-Martin Gay and

Lesbian Health Clinic to remove a “Bisexual men: Fact or fiction?” workshop

from curriculum.

1989 – First Lambda Literary Awards given

1990 – First National Bisexual Conference held in San Francisco

1990 – Federal Hate Crimes Statistics Act passed; first law extending federal

recognition of gay men and lesbians

1990 – U.S. restrictions against gay immigrants lifted

1991 – First Black Lesbian and Gay Pride celebration held in Washington,

D.C.

1991 – Amnesty International decides to work on behalf of those imprisoned

for consensual same-sex acts

1991 – Karen Thompson named Sharon Kowalski’s legal guardian after an

eight-year fight

1992 – World Health Organization removes homosexuality from its

classification of illnesses

1992 – Press for Change founded in Britain to work for trans people’s equal

rights

1992 – Colorado voters ban state and municipal rights laws for lesbians and

gay men

1993 – Intersex Society of North America founded

1993 – “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” U.S. military policy adopted

1993 – Brandon Teena and two SOFFAs murdered in Nebraska

1993 – March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay and Bi Equal Rights and

Liberation held

1994 – Olympic gold winner swimmer Greg Louganis comes out

1994 – At U.S. insistence, United Nations suspends observer status of the

International Lesbian and Gay Association

1995 – First U.S. conference for FTMs

1995 – President Clinton names the first-ever White House liaison to the gay

and lesbian communities

1995 – Million Man March has no openly gay speakers

1996 – Congress passes Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), forbidding

federal recognition of (and benefits for) married same-sex couples

1997 – South Africa becomes the first country to enact a constitutional ban

outlawing sexual orientation discrimination

1997 – Rolling Stones article details failure of John Money’s John/Joan case

from the 1960s

1998 – Matthew Shepard murdered in Wyoming

1998 – First open lesbian elected to federal legislative office (Tammy

Baldwin)

1999 – Britain bans discrimination against trans people

1999 – Texas post-op MTF Christine Littleton ruled legally male and not the

legal widow of her husband

2000 – British ban against lesbians and gay men serving in the military is

lifted

2000 – Britain outlaws discrimination against lesbians and gay men

2000 – Vermont offers civil unions to same-sex couples

2002 – MTF teenager Gwen Araujo murdered by sex partners, in California

2003 – Massachusetts Supreme Court rules it is unconstitutional to deny

marriage to gay and lesbian couples

2003 – U.S. Supreme Court strikes down remaining state sodomy laws

2004 – United Kingdom: trans people allowed to change the gender on their

birth certificates

2005 – New Zealand first country to outlaw employment discrimination and

hate crimes on the basis of gender identity

2006 – South Africa begins recognizing gay marriages

http://www.forge-forward.org/handouts/LGBT_elder_timeline.pdf