Friday, February 5, 2010

Kreativ Blogger Award-Redeux-Seven More Things You Didn't Know

Steve at Long Haired Boy nominated me for a KBA and Mr. Mischief at A Bit of Loki nominated all of his followers, so there are only three things for me to do. Proudly post my husband's creations for the award, shamelessly thank my nominators, and reveal seven more things you don't know about me. 

I really do want to thank Steve and Mr. M for this. Both have awesome blogs that deserve attention. Steve has seen many bands and gone to many places I admire and could never go to see, so I get to live through him, seeing things through his eyes and experiences. Mr. M is so grounded and he really knows what is really important in life(like marrying Mrs Miss A and caring so much for Guinness) and that is a beautiful thing to see. He sees wonderful things in even the smallest of life's details, something I wish more people could do.

In essence that is why I follow any of your blogs. All of you bring to me perspectives from around the globe and allow me to experience things I otherwise may never have the opportunity do or see. Most of you have found some of the great secrets of life and it is nice to see those in action. It is nice to look at life's fabric with new eyes, listen to its' music with new ears, and trace its' subtle textures with new hands. One heart, one mind, one spirit. 

It is hard for me to write about very personal things, without having a compelling reason to do so, so the meme portion of the award is a blessing in disguise in many ways. So here it goes:

  1. Reading and writing came naturally to me as a child, so I was reading and writing long before most boys my age could. I have been able to speed read since sixth grade. It comes in handy, but you pay a price. You sacrifice detail and subtle interpretation, for the speed. I speed read things I don't care about. I slow down and savor books I love or hope to love.
  2. I rarely drink alcohol, much to Stan's and my close friends' consternation, but I used to be able to consume more drinks than most people could dream of, and still be mentally cognitive.I think the "magical" properties of Irish blood helps me in this respect. I can't say the same for physical motor function. 
  3. I am a mutt and I like it that way. I have English, Irish, German, and Native American(Blackfoot) blood coursing through my veins. That's just going back several generations. People who are concerned with bloodlines, or purity in any form, are just scary. That kind of thinking just goes against nature and the beauty of evolution and natural selection. Mix it up people!  
  4. Of all the writing I have done in my life, my erotic writing makes me the most proud. I am constantly in awe of fellow erotic writers. You have to know yourself(and others) and be comfortable in your own skin to write good erotic tales. They expose an area of the human psyche that is often suppressed. Truthfully, I have to say it is also an ego boost. There is nothing like getting mail from a fan telling me about how much they liked my stories or characters. I like being an orgasm assistant!
  5. Kyle isn't my real name. It is a name carefully chosen by my friends and myself when I moved from the south, to NH, eighteen year ago. I feel like a Kyle, so everyone who knows me calls me by my chosen name, but legally the world knows me under another name.
  6. I've been sexually active since early childhood, and I don't mean the show me yours and I will show you mine kind. That had its own pleasures, and unfortunately its own perils, because of the way we are in this country with regard to sex.  Honestly, human beings really need to grow up when it comes to talking about sex and preparing our kids for there sexual lives. They are blooming earlier and faster than we can imagine, and we do them a great disservice by hiding information from them and judging them based on outmoded models.
  7. When I was young I wanted to have children, I even dreamed about it often. But, little by little, I learned because of who I was, I wouldn't be able to do that. Fortunately that has changed in many ways, but I wouldn't decide to bring life into this world any longer. We have way too much growing up to do as a species, and I don't believe in children taking care of children, unless they absolutely have to. Now adoption, that's another story.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Huffington Post-Woman Says Sex-Change Tax Battle Also Helps Others

We have a long way to go on transgender rights and getting people to understand what being transgender means, but this was a tremendous step forward for transgender people across the nation. On Tuesday, the U.S. Tax Court ruled that O’Donnabhain should be allowed to deduct the costs of her treatment for her gender-identity disorder off of her taxes. This includes her sex-reassignment surgery and hormone treatments. Rhiannon O’Donnabhain sued the IRS in 2007 after the agency rejected a $5,000 deduction on her taxes. The IRS originally ruled it was a cosmetic procedure and not medically necessary.

The New Republic-Is There Enough Food Out There For Nine Billion People?

All of you know I don't do well with crowds, so the thought of nine million people locked together on a floating space bubble isn't easy for me to take. I like many of the ideas in this article. It presupposes a best case scenario, which I guess is good to hope for, but I think is ultimately a mistake to plan toward. It also seems to assume that people will make the right choices in the next forty years. I can't really fault them for their idealism, but I think it minimizes the many problems problems we face and serves to give complacent people of the world excuses not to change their behavior, think beyond themselves, and grow up. That isn't going to help anyone, which in some ways makes the article a moot point. This article is like a time capsule being put in the ground as a warning those those in the world forty years from now. The warning will come forty years too late to help to people of 2050.

I'll be seventy-nine in 2050 when the world population has reached this size. Three of my grandparents lived into their nineties. So, I have a good chance to live to see this mess, and I won't be a spring chicken any more. Most people making policy, running industry, heading world religions, and doing the heavy decision making day to day right now, will be gone at that point. I think that is how they can continue to make the destructive choices they do. 2050 won't be their world anymore. They don't have to care. They don't have to do anything, so they don't. Those of us left will have to deal with their choices. Why don't we make some of those choices for them, now? In 2010 this is my world, and in 2050 it will still be mine. Doesn't look like much of a choice. The time to act for a sustainable future for the world is now! Any other choice or continued non-action is just global assisted suicide.

Meet The Ethical Butcher

Ethical omnivorism is gaining ground in many environmental circles. I'm actually really excited about this development. I'm not going to become a omnivore again because of this though. The reason I don't eat animal meat comes from many sources, environmental impact only being one of those reasons. Ethical omnivorism is an relatively easy way for people to help with the growing demand for food sources, improve their own health, and hep the environment at the same time. We need sustainable food options for the future and I think this is one is a piece to that puzzle. Check out the article at the link above.

Bay Windows-Man Gets Maximum For Attack On Transgender Woman

It is nice to see some courts defending GLBT people and treating them with dignity and respect. A man in San Francisco received the maximum prison term for the sexual assault on a transgendered woman, who was working as a prostitute at the time. The judge gave Donzell Francis a 17 year and eight month sentence for the forcible sexual assault and robbery, of the victim. Police also believe DNA evidence has linked Francis to the rape and strangulation of another transgender prostitute in 2007, though no charges have been filed at this time.

Ad Campaign Promoting Gay Acceptance Hits Long Island,0,5129205.story?hpt=T2

I guess this is the modern version of, we're here, we're queer, get used to it? Good to see the campaign for acceptance is getting support in Long Island.

Huffington Post-2010 Environmental Performance Index Released: Which Nation Is Most Eco-Friendly? (Chart with nation breakdown and other information sets in PDF format)

3Costa Rica86.4

14United Kingdom74.2
15New Zealand73.4
22Czech Republic71.6

Notice, we in the US, are not even in the top twenty-five. We happen to be number sixty-one. Many of our "allies"  have better placement than we do. At least we are in the top half. China and India are at one hundred twenty-one and one hundred twenty-three, respectively.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Same-Sex Marriage: The Big Lie

A big thanks has to go out to Greg at Sincerely Positive, for allowing me to find this, while I catching up on blogs. It is seven months old, but what can I say, I live a hermetic life. I can't catch everything while it is hot, nor do I really care to.

BBC-Malawi Arrests 'Gay-Poster' Man

We really need to keep the light focused on Malawi. Malawian authorities have arrested a man for putting up gay rights posters, just as a national debate over homosexuality begun after two men were arrested for having a same sex coupling. While in jail the couple have been abused and tortured. Homosexuality is banned in Malawi, which is a severely conservative Nation. In response to the arrest and treatment of the couple, Peter Sawali had put up posters saying: "Gay rights are human rights," on a main road in Blantyre, authorities said. He was later arrested and charged with conduct likely to cause a breach of peace, because of that act of humanitarianism.

Huffington Post-Herbie, The Elm Tree, May Have Climate Data In Trunk

Looks like Herbie the great elm from Maine, has a few last words. It would appear, in death, Herbie will stand just as tall and proud, contributing just as much to the world as he did in life. Herbie, who was felled two weeks ago has sparked interest from many climate scientists, who think Herbie may have scientific value. Scientists from Columbia University, the University of Maine, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have contacted the Maine Forest Service about examining Herbie's trunk. They want to see what can be learned about Herbie's age and about the climate he lived in, over the possible 235-240 years Herbie watched the country grow and change. That means Herbie has data, via his trunk rings, from about the 1770's. Talk about a being a patriot.

Huffington Post-'Gothic Kittens' Trial Begins: Groomer Holly Crawford Faces Animal Cruelty Charges Over Piercing Cats

Although Holly Crawford may have had good intentions and didn't mean to hurt the animals in her care, she certainly crossed a boundary, when she put her own personal gain above the welfare of the cats she altered. What she did to those animals has no beneficial effect for them. In fact, I would argue that the alterations she implemented could cause harm to the cats. I hope her trial is swift, and that the repercussions for her are expensive and demanding. There is no good reason to harm an animal for cosmetic purposes. She needs to know that, and so do others who might do such things, thinking it is acceptable.

Huffington Post-Obama To Meet Dalai Lama, Despite Continued Objections From China

China is fond of telling all other nations of the world to keep their noses out of China's business. They are also fond of doing what ever they please, despite advice from other nations. Looks like China is having a hard time eating crow, now that the tables are reversed. Two can play that game. China, I suggest you keep your nose out of our business. What was that? I can't hear you! The Dalai Lama will be in Washington on Feb 17-18, where he will meet with President Obama. He then will head for California and Florida before returning to India on Feb. 26.

Huffington Post-"Dunno Y Na Jaane Kyun' To Give Bollywood Its First Gay Kiss

Bollywood will have its first gay kiss this year and India will have to confront a long held sexual/social taboo. 
Director Sanjay Sharma, is certain that the first Bollywood gay love story will be approved by censors and is planned for a May release.(Lets keep an eye on this an make sure they approve, if not we need to give them hell.) Homosexuality may still be a taboo in India, but it is no longer a crime, with recent laws overturning that status. Dunno Y will bring plenty of controversy, as it will be the country's most honest portrayal of a same sex relationship to date. The film is serious and by all accounts explicit. As important as that kiss and sex might be, what is most important about the film, in my view, is its' exploration of love between men. Isn't love grand?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tishman Speyer Walked Away-From Mortgage. Why Shouldn't You? I Say, Don't Walk Away, It Is Time To Make Them Pay

I would recommend reading this article. It is a terrific companion piece to an article I posted a few weeks ago. The original article is here. That original article was about defaulting on a financial contract(mortgage) or just handing over an underwater asset to a bank, because you don't want to pay. In the commentary about the article, I talked about how that is not something people should do, it simply isn't right. But I also pointed out that it was hypocritical of the banking industry to the blame the mortgage crisis on ordinary homeowners, and expecting them not to protect their own financial interests, just as lenders and the upper class do themselves, by dumping bad assets, using morally reprehensible means, when it convenient for them to do so.

This new article talks about those shady decisions and brings a recent one to light.It is obvious the mortgage, banking, and other financial institutions are talking out of both sides of their mouths. If they don't want defaults, they need to pull themselves together and do their jobs. They need to not lend people more money or credit than they can pay off. They should treat all borrowers with the same courtesies, retribution, and penalties. It is clear from this article they have created a system where one group(ordinary citizens) is treated terribly for handing back underwater mortgages and the other group(the wealthy and corporate interests), though reprimanded, still gets to keep their other assets and go through the default process relatively unscathed. I don't think that is even remotely close to how capitalism is supposed to work.

I am convinced more than ever, because of these actions, that banks, mortgage lenders and other financial institutions shouldn't be getting our help in times of need. They are living in some fantasy land, while we live through hell. They think they can do whatever they want and "we the people" will still give them funds, even when they bring to nation's financial sector to the brink of destruction. They won't help us in our time of need, after we saved their sorry asses. They don't need hand holding, taxpayer money, or any assistance from us, when they make mistakes they can't fix, because they will continue to use and abuse us and make no corrections for their own actions.

It is interesting that our elected officials, from both sides of the isle, asked for our help when our financial sector was about to collapse, because of mismanagement. Yet they turn a deaf ear, and create stalling tactics, to the very same people who loaned them that money, and now need extensive help themselves. Wake up people, we are in a nation with heavy socialist leanings now. Conservatives don't have a problem with socialism, as long as that socialism is fueling industry, as it does now. They are very happy that anyone but "we the people" are reaping the benefits of our nation's wealth and resources; industry and the uber wealthy steal the fruits of our labors every day. Welfare for industry needs to stop, especially if we want to be a capitalist nation. The only way to do that is to break our abusive relationship with them and hold them accountable for their actions and mismanagement. We need to make them pay dearly for their inane behavior. If they run themselves into the ground they need to fail. That's the kind of capitalism I'm talking about and it is the only kind that is true capitalism.

Recent GLBTQ Issues In The News

Over the last week and a half many GLBTQ issues have peppered media outlets, but I didn't address most of them. Here are some those news items, from around the world, with a little commentary from me.

Bill would stop Md. from recognizing gay marriages.

Maryland is mulling over whether to recognize same sex marriages from other states. In the past Maryland has knocked down attempts to restrict recognition of same sex marriages across state lines. The marriage activity in DC has many Maryland conservatives shaking in their boots, which is the reason this is being aired at all. Only time will tell on this one. 

Hawaii nixes same-sex civil unions bill.

Not a surprising development at all. Hawaii has show itself to be a terribly backward state with regard to GLBT issues, despite its forward thinking on other issues. Don't forget Hawaii was the first state to push through a "defense of marriage" constitutional amendment back in 1998. Disappointing, but hardly unexpected.

Pentagon starts process of lifting gay ban.

Today is the day the joint chiefs start to hash out the details of the repeal of DADT and how the changes will be implemented. I would expect them to drag their feet. After all it took them five years to integrate the ranks after separate but equal status was abolished based on race. They have already said it would take several years to implement the plan to undo DADT. Just keep the faith. It will happen, just not quickly.

Openly gay candidate pulls out of Illinois U.S. Senate race.

I must say this is one of the nicest new stories to come along in a while. Jacob Meister(who is openly gay) announced his withdrawal from the race and announced his support for frontrunner Alexi Giannoulias, the front runner, to create a cohesiveness among Democrats at election time. That' the spirit! Unite!

Defense witnesses agree Prop 8 discriminates against gays.

I was really happy about many of the developments in the Prop 8 case this week. The Yes on 8 side’s case took a beating and from their own witnesses, no less. Many of their witnesses "credentials" were brought into question and many made statements, under oath, that agree with the the plaintiffs’ assertion that same-sex marriages will not hurt traditional marriages, that the ballot campaigns are fueled by biased hate, and that legalizing same sex will have will have a positive effect on children. A favorable week indeed, but it still has to hold up when this case gets to the highest court. We are in the minor leagues right not in caparison to that situation. Again, this is going to be long and drawn out.

Malawi unfazed by int’l criticism of gay arrests.

Malawi’s Information Ministry says that international pressure will not dissuade them prosecuting a gay couple for having a public engagement ceremony. Unfortunately, not surprising at all. Malawi's stance on human rights is abysmal. The men both  face fourteen years in prison if convicted. One half of the couple has already been subjected to a forced medical exam to prove he’s had gay sex. And both men were forced to undergo "psychiatric testing." One of them is reportedly suffering from malaria and vomited and collapsed at a recent hearing, but after recovering was forced to mop up the vomit by authorities. Not much to say hear, I'm speechless. I'm sure you can feel my anger, outrage, and disgust toward Malawai's authority figures through the ether.

Euro Assembly plan to pass pro-gay measures thwarted

For there first time in ten years PACE tied to address GLBT issues, but anti-gay MPs delayed the plan at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. The were trying to end discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the 47 member nations. Not surprisingly, the Russian MPs and Italian MPs (which have to deal with the Vatican) were some of the most hostile. There were 15 proposals for pro-gay action and opponents proposed 70 "hostile" amendments. Read the article for the full details of the proposals and the amendments.

Russian marriage case headed to Euro Court

The Moscow city court upheld a lower court decision which refused to issue a marriage license to a lesbian couple. Irina Fedotova-Fet and Irina Shipitko, later traveled to Canada and got married and they will now appeal the case to the European Court of Human Rights. It would expect that will be a long and arduous process.If anyone on the other side of the great pond could shed more light on this process I would appreciate it.

Mayor Luzhkov lashes out at gays again.

Moscow Mayor Yuri LuzhkovLuzhkov will yet again get to send riot police to violently arrest the small groups of activists who try to ignore the bans.

Latin American, Caribbean LGBTs gather in Brazil.

Well, I will end on a good note. About four hundred GLBTQ leaders, from 35 nations, attended the fifth Latin America and Caribbean regional ILGA conference, from January 26-31 in Curitiba, Brazil. ILGA, which was founded in 1978, is composed of 670 organizations from those nations. Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva sent a welcoming message to the delegates. He said, "the fight against intolerance and discrimination, and the consequent efforts to respect human nature, including sexual orientation, have guided our government since its first mandate." He also talked about supporting the government’s 3rd National Human Rights Plan, which outlines a national civil-union law. The delegates were there to discuss topics such as HIV, homophobia in schools, women’s issues, transgender issues, racism, as well as, art, culture, the media.

Words To Live By-Your Choice

"What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make."
Jane Goodall

Remarkable words from a lady I admire and respect, because she lives those words. She has devoted her life to helping the Earth, the many creatures that inhabit it, and has made a commitment to help humanity be better towards itself and the only home it has.