Transgender hate crime

I have an extra special hatred of hate crimes.  Yes, that’s probably due in part to my being a gay man.  It also stems from my belief that no one should be judged on their sexuality or their gender identity (or other physical & mental traits inherent to an individual).  There is no moral component to being transgendered, and being trans does not cause harm to anyone (the perception from and treatment by society causes harm to many transgendered individuals, but that is not inherent to trans people themselves, and can be reduced by education, compassion, and empathy). When I hear stories of transgender hate crimes, it makes my blood boil.  There is nothing different about transmen and transwomen than anyone else. They’re trying to live their lives like every other human being.  They want to go through their daily activities without being the butt of jokes, to be able to use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify, and not be subjected to hate crimes:

Police said on Thursday that a man will be charged with a hate crime after he allegedly stabbed a transgender girl on a Metro train in Washington, D.C.

WRC reported that the 15-year-old girl was on the green line at Fort Totten station when the suspect, who was identified as 24-year-old Reginald Anthony Klaiber, began mocking her appearance.

“He came to my friend and said you have red hair,” Jae-la White, a friend of the victim who witnessed the attack, told the Washington Blade. “My friend said ok, and then he said, ‘Oh, you’re a man!’”

“Then he started bothering my friend,” White recalled. “My friend got up out of her seat to go by the door while the train was moving and told him to please leave her alone. He faced her and said I will stab you up and blow your brains out.”

The witness said that Klaiber “started to hug” the victim in a sexual way, and then began stabbing her.

According to White, a second friend sprayed pepper spray in the suspect’s eyes, but the attack did not end there. After the train arrived at Fort Totten Station, she said that Klaiber chased the group “with the knife upstairs and through the station.” White said that it took four officers to eventually subdue Klaiber.

The victim was reportedly in stable condition after being transported to a local hospital.

A Metro spokesperson told WRC that assault with a deadly weapon charges against Klaiber would include the enhanced hate crime penalty because witnesses heard him taunt the 15-year-old girl for being transgender.

Klaiber’s criminal history includes assault and resisting arrest. He was most recently arrested two weeks ago for carrying a concealed weapon.

Transgender hate crime

They can lie and distort all they want


What an ugly beast.

It has only been in recent years that I’ve become interested in politics.  Once I began to see how political officials shape the country and how laws or proposed legislation can impact people, I started paying more attention to politics.  I’m still far from immersed in the political world, but I keep up to a degree.  I regularly read news from sources like:  BBC, Daily KOS, Al Jazeera, Mother Jones, Guardian, PolitiFact, Media Matters, Think Progress, and Raw Story.  I learned to avoid news from network television as they often don’t present enough information to develop an informed opinion on a given subject.  Nowhere is this more evident than FOX News.  The channel  churns out information that is misleading at best, and outright lies more often than not.  The “facts” that FOX News presents are very often easy to counter.  The accurate information is out there.  For a years I thought they were just spinning and twisting the truth, but I did not know they deliberately lie and distort.  At least not until today:

In February 2003, a Florida Court of Appeals unanimously agreed with an assertion by FOX News that there is no rule against distorting or falsifying the news in the United States.

Back in December of 1996, Jane Akre and her husband, Steve Wilson, were hired by FOX as a part of the Fox “Investigators” team at WTVT in Tampa Bay, Florida. In 1997 the team began work on a story about bovine growth hormone (BGH), a controversial substance manufactured by Monsanto Corporation. The couple produced a four-part series revealing that there were many health risks related to BGH and that Florida supermarket chains did little to avoid selling milk from cows treated with the hormone, despite assuring customers otherwise.

According to Akre and Wilson, the station was initially very excited about the series. But within a week, Fox executives and their attorneys wanted the reporters to use statements from Monsanto representatives that the reporters knew were false and to make other revisions to the story that were in direct conflict with the facts. Fox editors then tried to force Akre and Wilson to continue to produce the distorted story. When they refused and threatened to report Fox’s actions to the FCC, they were both fired.(Project Censored #12 1997)

Akre and Wilson sued the Fox station and on August 18, 2000, a Florida jury unanimously decided that Akre was wrongfully fired by Fox Television when she refused to broadcast (in the jury’s words) “a false, distorted or slanted story” about the widespread use of BGH in dairy cows. They further maintained that she deserved protection under Florida’s whistle blower law. Akre was awarded a $425,000 settlement. Inexplicably, however, the court decided that Steve Wilson, her partner in the case, was ruled not wronged by the same actions taken by FOX.

FOX appealed the case, and on February 14, 2003 the Florida Second District Court of Appeals unanimously overturned the settlement awarded to Akre. The Court held that Akre’s threat to report the station’s actions to the FCC did not deserve protection under Florida’s whistle blower statute, because Florida’s whistle blower law states that an employer must violate an adopted “law, rule, or regulation.” In a stunningly narrow interpretation of FCC rules, the Florida Appeals court claimed that the FCC policy against falsification of the news does not rise to the level of a “law, rule, or regulation,” it was simply a “policy.” Therefore, it is up to the station whether or not it wants to report honestly. (Anybody surprised this happened in Florida?)

During their appeal, FOX asserted that there are no written rules against distorting news in the media. They argued that, under the First Amendment, broadcasters have the right to lie or deliberately distort news reports on public airwaves. Fox attorneys did not dispute Akre’s claim that they pressured her to broadcast a false story, they simply maintained that it was their right to do so.

FOX News argued-successfully-that they have to right to present information in any manner they choose.  They are not responsible for accurate reporting or factual information.  They can mislead viewers all they want, and they do that.  Over and over and over again.

I live in the panhandle of Florida.  I’ve worked in many establishments with conservative guests.  So many of them listen to the lies of FOX News and treat them as fact.  I’m disgusted that FOX is able to do this.  That they have no obligation to report accurately is a travesty of journalism.   They’ve deliberately lied and deceived the public and continue to do so today.  They’ve helped cause strife and dissent in the US to a fantastic degree.  This is shameful.


They can lie and distort all they want

All Rape is Horrible

T R I G G E R  W A R N I N G:  Rape

Richard Dawkins has once again pissed people off.  He took to his Twitter page recently to say:

“Mild date rape is bad. Violent date rape is worse.” Is it really so hard to understand that that doesn’t constitute endorsement of either?

I suspect Dawkins is talking rape in a legal sense, but that’s not completely clear.  He’s also misrepresenting the criticism against him.  I haven’t seen anyone claim that he’s endorsing so-called ‘mild rape’.  The criticism I’ve seen centers on the idea of ranking rape. He’s saying to rape victims:

“oh, you weren’t violently raped?  It’s not that bad.  That person over there had it far worse because they were violently raped.”

All non-consensual sex-i.e. rape-is horrible.  People deal with it differently.  On an individual level, some might feel that their experience wasn’t horrible.  Some even say that what they experienced wasn’t rape.  In the minds of far too many people, rape is this horrifically violent crime that results in a battered, bruised victim who was shouting to the top of her (yes, HER, because so many people refuse to entertain the idea that men can be raped-which they can be).  When you view rape through that lens, then other situations where a victims says they’ve been raped, are viewed through that lens.  “Oh, you don’t have any cuts and bruises.  And you say you didn’t tell your attacker to stop.  I don’t think you were raped. You just had sex that you now regret.”  Just typing that disgusts me.  If it was non-consensual, it was rape, no matter how violent or non-violent it was.  The question should be “Did you want this?”, not “Do you have injuries? Did you put up a fight? Did you say no?”  (the default in sexual interactions should not be “yes”.  It should be no, until you get a confirmed yes-whether that is verbally or physically communicated).

This idea of ‘ranking rape’ has come into play, sadly, at a recent Keith Urban concert:

Country music singer Keith Urban’s Boston concert made news earlier this weekafter at least 46 fans were treated for alcohol-related illnesses, and 50 people were taken in to custody by police.

But on Monday, authorities disclosed that the booze-soaked fun turned violent in at least one case.

According to The Sun Chronicle, Mansfield police determined that 18-year-old Sean Murphy began kissing the 17-year-old girl after meeting her at the concert on Sunday, and then took her away from her friends to another part of the outdoor amphitheater. She said that she went with him because “she was afraid of what would happen” if she didn’t agree.

After removing the girl’s shorts and underwear, Murphy reportedly began having sex with her.

Police said that 15 or more concert-goers gathered around to watch, and even recorded the incident on their cell phones. Some of those photographs and videos had been recovered as evidence.

“My friend told me to look over there and there was a couple on the ground having intercourse. So we looked at it, and we took pictures and we thought it was consensual,” one witness told WFXT.

The attack only allegedly came to an end when a woman asked the victim if the act was consensual.

“Do you want this?” the woman was heard saying.

According to a police report, the girl said, “no,” and then a witness “saw the female break free and run.”

The girl’s friends later brought her to police, and gates to the venue were closed until the suspect was found.

The police report said that Murphy admitted that he had been intoxicated from drinking Jack Daniels, but “stressed that he did not force himself on her.” The report also said that he was overheard telling his parents on the phone that he “messed up.”

Murphy pleaded not guilty to charges of forcible rape at a court hearing on Monday.

In a statement on Tuesday, defense attorney Neil P. Crowley, who is representing Murphy, insisted that his client did not rape the girl.

“This was a consensual act, not a sexual assault. There are no allegations of force or violence put against him,” Crowley said. “This was a private act that regrettably occurred in a public place. Mr. Murphy deeply regrets this incident and I’m sure the young woman does as well.”


Murphy’s defense attorney is playing the “this sexual interaction wasn’t that bad because there was no force or violence”.  Nevermind the fact that the victim said she did not want to have sex with the guy.  Nevermind that she didn’t consent.  Nevermind the fact that force or violence do not have to be in evidence for someone to be raped.  This is what Richard Dawkins’  ‘rape ranking’ results in.  I dearly wish he’d STFU, as he doesn’t appear to listen and think about what his critics are telling him.

All Rape is Horrible

New Thor and FalCap in Marvel Cinematic Universe?

I’d love it just to see the racists and sexists blow their fuses.  It would happen too.  Heck, it happened online when the impending changes were revealed.  They’re so dead set on not having any changes happen to their beloved characters (despite the lack of permanency of these changes).  Moreover, they continue to deny a huge segment of the comic book readership-women and People of Color-from seeing themselves reflected in a multitude of ways.  Other people have held Thor’s hammer and been given its power.  Why not a woman?The idea of a woman holding a traditionally male role, taking on the power of that male?  In a society that considers women weak…that dismisses them…treats them as if they lack agency and power?  Bring. It. On.

Multiple people have been Captain America, but none of them have been black (I’m not counting Isaiah Bradley here, obviously).  I think in the hands of a good writer, that could lead to some interesting discussions on racism in the U.S.  A member of a racially oppressed minority takes up the reins of the country’s most patriotic-themed superhero…a country that enabled the oppression of people of color for centuries…a country where race still shapes society…where people refuse to accept Barack Obama because he’s black?   There is so much material to be mined from a black Captain America.   Now Marvel Studios says that it’s a possibility:

When asked about possibly adapting the new versions of Thor as a woman and Captain America as an African-American (The Falcon), Kevin Feige shared some interesting views.


The option for us is adapting the comics. If we’re able to make as many movies, over the years, as we hope we’re able to make, I think we can pull from any of them. I think its more likely that we’ll see some of the existing female characters from the books, or existing African-American characters, or African-African characters, from the books come to life before we swap some of the other heroes. But, if it becomes a classic, iconic storyline, that’s what we want to make movies of.

New Thor and FalCap in Marvel Cinematic Universe?

He needed special pants

President Lyndon B Johnson once called up the Haggar clothing company in Dallas requesting specialty pants.  He had a very frank discussion concerning his genital region:

Operator: Go ahead sir

LBJ: Mr. Haggar?

JH: Yes this is Joe Haggar

LBJ: Joe, is your father the one that makes clothes?

JH: Yes sir—we’re all together

LBJ: Uh huh. You all made me some real lightweight slacks, uh, that he just made up on his own and sent to me 3 or 4 months ago. There’s a light brown and a light green, a rather soft green, a soft brown.

JH: Yes sir

LBJ: and they’re real lightweight now and I need about six pairs for summer wear.

JH: yes sir

LBJ: I want a couple, maybe three of the light brown kind of a almost powder color like a powder on a ladies face. Then they were some green and some light pair, if you had a blue in that or a black, then I’d have one blue and one black. I need about six pairs to wear around in the evening when I come in from work

JH: yes sir

LBJ: I need…they’re about a half a inch too tight in the waist.

JH: Do you recall sir the exact size, I just want to make sure we get them right for you

LBJ: No, I don’t know—you all just guessed at ‘em I think, some—wouldn’t you the measurement there?

JH: we can find it for you

LBJ: well I can send you a pair. I want them half a inch larger in the waist than they were before except I want two or three inches of stuff left back in there so I can take them up. I vary ten or 15 pounds a month.

JH: alright sir

LBJ: So leave me at least two and a half, three inches in the back where I can let them out or take them up. And make these a half an inch bigger in the waist. And make the pockets at least an inch longer, my money, my knife, everything falls out—wait just a minute.

Operator: Would you hold on a minute please?

[conversation on hold for two minutes]

LBJ: Now the pockets, when you sit down, everything falls out, your money, your knife, everything, so I need at least another inch in the pockets. And another thing—the crotch, down where your nuts hang—is always a little too tight, so when you make them up, give me an inch that I can let out there, uh because they cut me, it’s just like riding a wire fence. These are almost, these are the best I’ve had anywhere in the United States,

JH: Fine

LBJ: But, uh when I gain a little weight they cut me under there. So, leave me , you never do have much of margin there. See if you can’t leave me an inch from where the zipper (burps) ends, round, under my, back to my bunghole, so I can let it out there if I need to.


The rest can be read here.

He needed special pants

Homeless people deserve compassion

A charity in Vancouver has converted city benches into pop up rain shelters for the homeless.


(source: startenthousand)


RainCity Housing, which provides specialised accommodation and support services for homeless people in the Canadian city, has set up instant pop-up shelters that take the form of an ordinary park bench.

During the day, the innovative design simply works as the back support to benches where people might sit and eat lunch or while waiting for a bus.

But at night, the boards fold out upwards, providing emergency cover in what is – like London – a notoriously rainy city.

Homeless people, like all other people deserve to have food, water, and shelter.  It’s great to see that some people recognize that.  

London, take note.  The anti-homeless spikes erected to prevent homeless people from finding shelter from the elements are cruel.

(source: theindependent)


Homeless people deserve compassion

No Ethnic Mixing

A fertility center in Calgary, Canada has policies that prevents patients from using sperm, eggs, or embryos that are not from their ethnic group:

A Calgary woman says she was shocked to learn of a policy at the city’s only fertility treatment centre that restricts patients from using sperm, eggs or embryos from donors who do not match their ethnic background.

Catherine, who asked to use only her first name, said she sought invitro fertilization at the Regional Fertility Program last March as a single woman. During routine consultations with her doctor she was told she could only use sperm from donors who were white, like her.

“That’s when everything went downhill,” she told the Herald. “I was absolutely floored.”

Dr. Calvin Greene, the clinic’s administrative director, confirmed the private facility will not treat couples or singles who insist on using donors of a different ethnicity. The policy has been in place since the clinic opened in the 1980s.

“I’m not sure that we should be creating rainbow families just because some single woman decides that that’s what she wants,” he said. “That’s her prerogative, but that’s not her prerogative in our clinic.”

This is blatant prejudice and racism.  Rainbow families?! As if there is something wrong with people from differing ethnic groups procreating.  We’re all human.  We’re all equal.  There is no such thing as racial purity.  We all share similar descent.  Moreover, we’re far more similar than we different-at least genetically.  This is a horrible policy that should be stricken from their books.  This is fucking 2014.  No fertility clinic should block the efforts of any patient in such a way!

No Ethnic Mixing

Snickers Ad Sexism

A new ad from Snickers has aired in Australia depicting the changes that happen when you go without eating their candy bar.  Said changes involve construction workers no longer cat calling women, or sexually objectifying them (which is a stereotype that isn’t always true).  Instead, they call to women on the street and tell them they support ending misogyny, fighting against objectification of women, and various other decidedly FEMINIST messages of female empowerment.  The theme of the ad is “this is what happens when you’re not you.”  There’s so much wrong with this.  

For one, men aren’t naturally sexist pigs who objectify women.  Many men do.  Many men don’t. It’s not the default of men everywhere.  Treating men as if their default is sexist douchebag is not offensive.

Secondly, the commercial casts feminism in a horrible light.  It treats the quest for gender equality as something wrong.  Do you fight for women’s rights?  There must be something off about you. Are you a man who opposes objectification?  You’re not yourself today.  Who the hell made this commercial, an MRA?

The fight for gender equality is an ongoing, worldwide battle, and it pisses me off to see it mocked like this; treated as if its the butt of a joke.  I don’t think I’ll be having a Snickers to satisfy myself anytime soon.

Snickers Ad Sexism

Mythical creature indeed

Ask ten adults to define a slut and you’ll hear things like: a woman who has sex with lots of men; a women who sleeps around; a woman who has casual sex; a woman who flaunts her body. They’ll probably also use words like loose, easy, trashy, cheap and desperate. Someone might say: a woman who has the sexual appetites of a man. No one will say: a mythical creature dreamt up by people who are jealous of or threatened by female sexual expression.

(via:  sapphoshands)

That nicely sums up my opposition to the word ‘slut’.  

Mythical creature indeed