Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Haditha, et al

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

I hate to consider myself a chronic complainer, a zealot or some other kind of nut case. seems that every week we get new "surprises"...not the good kind, mind you...from our administration and our goverment. The Haditha massacre, courtesy Rep. Murtha and a marine lance corporal, is one of the latest of those "surprises". It's hard to tell which is worse...the massacre itself or the subsequent cover up. Irregardless...and even though the actions were heinous, I cannot help but to posit the blame at the feet of Sec of DOD...Donald Rumsfeld and VP Dick Cheyney. Yes...we cannot condone the brutal and unforgivable atrocities nor the men who committed them. But, we must bear in mind that this elucidates two critical points. Firstly...general fatigue and despair amongst the troops have set in...there is no definable goal and the soldiers see their comrades being picked off in never ending day to day engagements. Secondly, it points to the oft perceived culture of the military these days which has been imposed from above...victory at all costs! Well...this time the cost has proved to be more than significant and the fallout will, I fear, surpass the outrage following Abu Ghraib or the Gitmo abuses.

It starts at the top...Bush and Cheyney...Bush for his victory at all costs rhetoric and Cheyney for being the puppet master who manipulates Bush's strings. And then we have the master of subterfuge and double talk...Sec Rumsfeld. This triumverate has set policy for our military and any objections by military leaders...generals and trumped by the "Big 3". Congress has abdicated its oversight responsibilities, so the wolves run free amongst the sheep, unchecked and, evidently, unstoppable.

What is next?? One can only wonder.

Well...we don't have to wait that long...the Rep Jefferson fiasco is here to fill the gap. We all know this guy has been caught red handed. Clearly...there was more than enough evidence BEFORE searching his congressional offices. The debate here is about the ramshod technique of searching those offices without the presence of Jefferson's attorney. And...neither the FBI nor the executive branch have addressed the constitutional sanction against such congressional office searches unless the Congressman has been charged with treason or a felony. Jefferson has yet to be charged with ANYTHING!!

What are these people thinking?? up...we hear that the Veep checks (has checked...I doubt he does it personally) every piece of impending legislation to determine if there is ANY potential erosion of what he deems to be executive privilege or power.

And...the pres has amended over 700 pieces of legislation which he has signed declaring his intention to NOT enforce certain parts of the legislation he deems to threaten his executive power. Most noticeable was his caveat regarding the McCain torture bill, in which Bush stated his intention to disregard the ban on torture whenever he saw fit.

Folks...the hits keep coming...yesterday, the Supreme Court...stacked by the Bush nominations...declared that whistleblowers do NOT enjoy 1st amendment privileges. Before the departure of Sandra Day O'connor, this issue had been deadlocked and unresolved. Well...we should have seen this coming, particularly from Alito whom, I fear, is far to the right of the Chief Justice Roberts.

Well...what bombshells will this week bring our way? The erosion of civil liberties is dramatic and palpable. As Sen. Feinstein articulated...we are facing severe and disturbing issues involving constitutionality. And there is no one watching out for the average American because all three branches of government are actively participating in the perpetration of undermining the Constitution or noticeably NOT participating in its protection and safeguarding.

Coming up next...the first constitutional amendment to LIMIT rights takes the stage in Congress. Beware the actions of wolves unchecked!!


Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day

Monday, May 29, 2006

Today is Memorial Day...mostly celebrated as a day off from work and/or a day for shopping the sales. In some case, we do remember but, more or less, as a glorification of armed combat and war. All but forgotten are the ramifications of armed conflicts. More than anything else, this day should be a reminder to us that the face of war is an ugly one and that there are no "good wars", only horrific ones.

I am not here, today, to debate which wars were necessary and just and which ones were wars of choice. Suffice it to say that in either case, the outcome is death, catastrophic injury, sadness and despair. Lives are ruined, families torn asunder, cities and nations devestated. How can we ever choose to glorify such actions?

We must always remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice, irregardless of our politics or opinions. Whether their country's actions were right or wrong, understandable and acceptable or selfish, self serving, Machiavellian and disdainful, those men and women who accepted the responsibility and chose to serve will always be laudable. It was not their lot to choose where the wars and fighting were to occur, only to serve as commanded.

Our leaders are the ones who bear the responsibility, no matter what the nationality or historic milieu. There was a time when, for better or worse, leaders took their places at the front of their armies. Right or wrong, they had the courage to stand with their men and women and fight along side. That is no longer the case and such inaction deserves more scrutiny than it has been accorded of late. Today's men of power rarely send their children to serve in the armed forces. I see this as the pinacle of cowardice...our leaders should hang their heads in shame. They must be held accountable for their actions, called to task for their decisions and they must be forced to accept the responsibiity for the consequences of their actions.

So...on this Memorial Day...let us join together and demand that our leaders show us the accountability that each and every soldier who made the ultimate sacrifice deserves, the same that each and every American deserves.


Sunday, May 28, 2006

The Da Vinci Code

Sunday, May 28, 2006

I saw the Da Vinci Code yesterday. After the negative deluge by critics and clerics, I was not sure if I would fall asleep during the film or just gape at its flaws. I did neither. I was, in fact, entranced by the film and did not notice, for a moment, its near 150 minutes of length. At the end, I felt the little hairs on my neck rise as my brain processed the information that always makes me react this way...the mystery and wonder of life and the possibilities that leave us in awe because they appeal to VERY OLD emotions and ideations that belong to the roots of life. We can never be sure what happened 2000 years ago...there is so much subterfuge and revisionism that, barring the invention of a time machine, it will always remain outside the scope of our discovery.

We can, however, look inside ourselves and realize, given the infinite possibilities theory, that the interpretations have been left open for us to choose. Those of us who choose the literal rendition and also opt for the exclusionary bias will limit themselves to what the clerics teach. Those who would rather interpret the events of so long ago as a theophany that supercedes any attempt to parochialize it may see that it was, perhaps, a celebration of the mystery and beauty of intimacy between men and women. In this sense, it echos those who believe that part of our life quest is to understand what it means to become whole again. It signifies the joining of man to woman, the discovering of the feminine within the masculine, and the masculine within the feminine...ultimately...the restoration of the androgyne archetype. It is, in terms of the kabbalah, the union with the Shekineh.

If we accept the authenticity of the Nag Hamadi texts, it is apparent that the early church elders chose to de-feminize the following of Jesus. Is it true that there was animosity between Peter and Mary Magdelene? The gospels of Mary and others seem to indicate that it was the case. And if, as it has been intimated, Mary Magdelene was Jesus' primary disciple, perhaps it was she who was the designee to lead Jesus' followers after his death.

I think that the emphasis on the mysogynisitic revisionism of the early church is the kernel of truth in the Da Vinci code. The entire Priory of Sion scheme has been shown to be recent and subterfuge in nature. It's purpose, according to Picknett and Prince, was the creation of a unified Europe under the banner of synarchy. This is a dead end, a cul de sac, and those who would choose to know more would be well advised to learn more of its deceptive intent. But...the divine feminine is an archetype that surpasses recent history and has its roots in the collective unconscious. This is equally true of the androgyne archetype. Explorations into ourselves will illuminate these eternal principles and, perhaps, provide a sense of meaning that all spiritual pursuit seeks.

As I have written before...when you live a closed life and have shut yourself off from new possibilities, it is like living in a house with no windows or doors. All investigations whether material or spiritual, should be able to stand the test of scrutiny. If we are unwilling to allow our theories and beliefs to be submitted to sure of them can we really be?

I, for one, will always keep an open mind. I am so not entrenched in my beliefs that I have ceased to be capable of learning something new. I am neither atheist nor agnostic...but...I eschew most organized religion because it is steeped in close mindedness. And, more recently, it has been shown to be intolerant, misogynistic and pecuniary. My church is the universe, my altar every manifestation of Mother Nature. I seek a unified and authentic life, not one that feels a spiritual inclination one day a week. I choose NOT to be intolerant...nor to pass judgement...even for those who would do so to me. We are all part of the divine manifestation of the Great Spirit. At times, we may struggle with and amongst ourselves...put we will continue to be part of the Great Spirit's creation irregardless. And we area all one within this glorious creation...part of the paradox we must come to reslove.


Thursday, May 25, 2006

On Being Transgender, part 5

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Okay...I am going to try and wrap this up for a while. Of course, since being transgender is a major component of who I am, this theme will consistently be one that I address.

The other most common parental response comes from the father and it is rooted in his being a member of a patriarchy which has been used to dominating ALL facets of life for generation after generation. This response goes something lke..."What did I do wrong, that made you come out like this?" This has basically been MY father's reaction and I can't help but feel that the value they place on their own importance really goes beyond the pale. What gives them any indication that it was something THEY did? Why do they refuse to merely accept that we are the way we are and that it is NOBODY'S fault? Just the fact that they consider it to be a malady fo which someone was responsible implies that there is inherently something wrong with us. I refuse to accept this fallacious line of reasoning. People are who they are and you cannot chalk it up merely as a nurture situation. Irregardless of nurture, it would be awfully difficult to force a naturally heterosexual person to become gay. Likewise, it would be awfully difficult to force a male presenting person to want to present as female no matter how draconian their father might have been nor how coddling and pampering the mother might have been.

There is, today, more evidence than ever before (citations of such will need to be addressed later) that there are stong and determinative genetic components to both sexual preference and gender presentation.

There is, equally, the other argument against a binary model that puts forth the proposition that there are not merely two genders or two sexual preferences but that these two traits present themselves in multiplicity...that any combination or permutation that can be imagined is possible.

That does not lend creedence or acceptance to adult predators because we always maintain that one must be respectful and that taking advantage of others, particularly children, is NOT behavior that is either societally acceptable nor to be encouraged. By the same measure, the acceptance of multiplicity does not give the stamp of approval for other deviations such as bestiality, which, again, is one species taking advantage of another.

However, any sexual or gender behavior between consenting adults is strictly between them and no one else's busniess.

Which brings me back to the arrogance that men (fathers) express when they assume that THEY are responsible to set the standards, to elucidate the choices and to create the rules.
They are not required nor encouraged to meddle in affairs that are personal nor should they be allowed to pass legislation that mandates this or that behavior as the "correct" one and condemns all others to be acts of depravity, to be sins against mankind and GOD for which they should suffer marginalization or exclusion.


Wednesday, May 24, 2006

About Being Transgender, Part 4

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Resuming from yesterday's BLOG...the family...parents and siblings.

This is, to say the least, no piece of cake. There are, unfortunately, too many sad stories of rejection and abandonment by parents of transgender individuals. The most prevalent negative reaction is the religious one. "You are going to hell." That old and worn out passage from Deuteronomy is the first one dredged up to advance the belief that being transgender is against God's laws. This is particularly true for those unfortunate souls born to families who subscribe to reconstructionist and literalist dogma. At one time, I was a member of an online group whose primary function was to provide support for those whose lives had been discombobulated due to the guilt they had been forced to swallow on account of their being transgender. Many of these people had been driven to the brink of committing suicide because they had been unable to reconcile their lives with their religion. I am purposefully NOT using the term "faith" because it has little to do with faith. is an imposition of judgement that presupposes infallibility. These same judgers, however, have conveniently "cherry picked" the parts of the Bible to which they resort for bombastic fodder. Has it not been said "He who is without sin...let him cast the first stone."? we support stoning those whom we consider to be heathens, savages and non-believers? the Ten Commandments state "Thou Shalt Not Kill", yet these same reconstructionists support the death penalty. Do we not smell the stench of hypocrisy?

I always appeal to can parents with any sense of conscience and who love their children lay this gulit trip on them? This surpasses my ability to comprehend. The same set of circumscriptions are often promulgated by siblings and they serve to provoke the same responses that condemning parents provoke...confusion, despair and an inability to reconcile their lives with what has been crammed down their throats.

So...I appeal to the power of love to open these small let the light of love shine in. Only love can transmute this recalcitrant refusual to go beyond the parochial dogmas of judgement, pentitence and redemption which are grounded in intolerance, fear and hatred.

Tomorrow I will address the standard and oh so typical patriarchal response often heard from the father.


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

About being transgender, part 3

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

My apologies for not presenting this in a more cohesive and other obligations really limit the amount of time I can devote to this BLOG. As it is...I awoke at 4 AM this morning!!

Continuing upon yesterday's BLOG...the second major factor which determines the viability of transitioning is the family and friends factor. If the individual is single and childless, this is the easiest route. I had no kids and, after being booted out of the house, my marriage was headed for divorce, so I really did not have to confront this issue the way many others have had to. Part of the picture is the nature of the marriage and whether or not it is on solid ground. Either way, the "telling of the spouse" is another of those limiting factors and if it can not be overcome, transition is all but impossible. Generally...there are two possible outcomes. The spouse is SO SHOCKED that the resumption of "normal" relations is all but impossible. And, even if they are able to persist, the strain can often be too much from which to recover.

The second scenario is that the couple IS able to continue the relationship and that they work through this TOGETHER. It probably requires some kind of counseling and may be a long and difficult road.

There are various degrees of making it or not making it...just like anything else in life, it is not black or white, but is composed of an infinite gradations of grey. Children, for example, present a different complication. Do we tell them and how will it affect THEIR emotional states?? Of course, age is an important parameter and helps determine the direction. And, again, there can be a variance in opinions as to the decision to inform the kids and this needs to be addressed as well.

I choose to believe that the difference is really found in the amount and degree of the love between the two persons. If the bonds are very strong...well...anything is possible. If not...well...relationships tend not to persist.

The other part of the family equation are parents and siblings. Although less immediate (not by much) than telling your spouse, it is of enormous consequence and can dramatically affect everyone's lfe.

More on this tomorrow...

Monday, May 22, 2006

About Being Transgender part 2

Monday, May 22, 2006

Upon recognition that they are transgender, the individual's responses are wide and varied and depend upon a host of variables. One important factor is employment. If she/he is self employed...well...this simplifies everything considerably. If not, then this can be a huge and oftentimes insurmountable obstacle. Some workplaces are amicable to transitioning on the job. Most are not. And...that does not even account for the decision to inform the employer, which can be psychologically and emotionally debilitating and something cannot be faced. In some cases, the transgender person just quits and looks for new employment where they are not known. This begs the question of finances. Some individuals are financially stable and can afford the cost of transition. Again, most cannot...their alternatives are an array of choices, none of which can be called "desirable". They can just keep on as they have been, living a "compartmentalized" existence. They can muddle by with a series of minimum wage "grunt" jobs. Many opt for prostitution, which is often accompanied by drug use. Unfortunately...some just cannot cope with the despair and hopelessness they see before them as what they can reasonably expect for the remainder of their lives and they opt for the "final choice".

Of goes without saying that financial stability is conducive, perhaps vital, to survival and that all elusive state of happiness. The other options are bleak and it takes an extremely strong individual to hold out and hold on to a glimmer of optimism. I have always been a survivor and have been very lucky to have developed a few survival skills that have allowed me to maintain that hope. Nonetheless...because I fall into this second of "not financially sound" transgender individuals...I will admit to having had bleak periods where I considered that final step. I was lucky...not much more I can say...

More to follow...


Sunday, May 21, 2006

About Being Transgender

Sunday, May 21, 2006

For many, if not most, transgender individuals, the path towards accepting that one is TG is fraught with dangerous obstacles. They come in many varieties...friends and family who are non-accepting, jobs that deny ones right to transition, financial despair and religious intolerance. Perhaps most difficult to overcome is one's own self...the preconceptions that society has drilled into us, our fears of exploring OUR unknown regions, the "otherness" of considering and accepting and traversing a path that may alienate us from the things we love.

In my case, as with most other TG individuals, I lived my life in utter, total and devestating denial. The internal battle raged daily...submit or succumb..and...generally I lost that "battle" each and every day. The giving in was followed by an intense period of oneself, one's spouse, one's family. Being a good Jewish kid...well...that served to intensify the guilt I was feeling. I would auto psychoanalyze myself, try to pick apart the constituent elelments of what I was feeling, delve into the etiology of my "malady". I would speculate that I was possessed by my anima, or by some disincarnate entity. Whatever it wasn't going away. Every day...that internal battle was still raging. Imagine going through this every day of your life from the time you were about 4 or 5 years old.

I thought it was some kind of arrested development and that, with a concerted effort, it was something I just needed to outgrow...and COULD outgrow. I just wasn't giving it enough effort. I I was...bascially trying to live an authentic and genuine most every other way, I was. I had been a part of the counter culture for most (okay ALL) of my adult life. I was accustomed to living outside the boundaries, to being criticized, ostracized and marginalized. So...why was THIS so difficult for me to deal with? I have to assume that societal conditioning, when we consider sex and/or gender, is SO STRONG that it becomes a bastion of resistance in an otherwise individualistic and autonomous life.

I had given myself until I turned 50 to "cure" myself. I appealed to every spiritual nook and cranny for support and answers. None worked. In I approached my self imposed deadline, the urge to cross dress became more insistent each and every day. I was living in the cross hairs of an ultimate compulsive/obsessive reality and there was no escape. It was like quicksand..the harder I struggled to extricate myself,the deeper I sank into this morass of compulsive/obsessive behavior.

Well...flukes of the universe are sometimes our salvation. Or, perhaps, I had subconsciously set the stage for my own crisis event. Whatever, and however...I had left a bra receipt where it could easily be discovered...and...of was. As was my wont..I denied and was no use. I had been caught and there was no escaping that fact. 40-50 years of denial and an era of self persecution ended that day. It was the first day of the rest of my life...and...despite some ups and downs (mostly financial in nature), I have been living a life I had previously not even dared to dream. It has been like walking on clouds, bathed in the light of understanding and acceptance, living a blessed existence!!

More to follow...


Saturday, May 20, 2006

Air America

Saturday, May 20, 2006

I have recently started listening to Air america broadcasts on my computer. The Al Franken and Randi Rhodes segments have been primarily what I have heard to date. Of course...we are cut from the same cloth so it is no surprise that many of their viewpoints jive with mine. I will note that much of what I hear there I have already alluded to here in this BLOG. I say this to dispel the prevailing attitude amongst some conservatives that these talk show hosts mold or influence my attitudes and beliefs. Unlike those "ditto-heads", who, apparently base their entire political philosophy on the likes of the Limbaugh's, O'Reilly's, Gibson's, et al...those whose political beliefs tend toward the left end of the spectrum generally have mature enough intellects that they do not need to be coddled or directed, nor do they require that their belief system be scripted by someone else. In other words...they, for the most part, have learned the art of critical thinking.

Just to make the point that I am not "bought and paid for" by Air America...I will mention that most of their advertising buys into the very corporatization of America I so despise. I will grant that, however, refusing to carry one or another particular company's advertising is exclusionary and elitist and I will also grant that Air America obviously needs funds to be able to continue broadcasting. I will appeal to them, nonetheless, that it would be wonderful to listen to advertising that did not tell me how much better I would be if I had untold amounts of money, or how I can make so much money by doing nothing. is important...but...some wise person once said that money cannot buy happiness nor peace of mind and I have always subscribed to this philosophy. So...if any of you at Air America read this BLOG...please keep this in mind next time you are courting advertisers.

One item that I had just learned of on C-Span and had later heard about on Air America broadcasts was the comment by Michael Hayden that the 4th amendment does not contain "probable cause" language. He was not uncertain or unclear...he was adamant that there was no such critter...that the 4th amendment only addressed the "reasonable" element. I must admit to being stunned by this comment. Former head of the NSA...soon to be head of the CIA...and...he does not, evidently, know what the 4th amendment protects us from. Are we seriously considering his confirmation? This is ludicrous. How are we to keep any of our civil liberties when Congress, the Bush administration, and a huge segment of the American population is either ignorant or does not care?

Was it Randi Rhodes...or...perhaps it was Senator Feinstein...(probably both) who stated that this country is headed for a consitutional crisis. Truer words were never uttered. The predilection for trotting out the "war in terror" spiel anytime civil liberties are described as being in jeopardy... along with the reconstructionists who want to replace the Bill of rights with the Ten commandments...well...our civil liberties are being dissipated at a historic and unprecedented rate.

And we want to ratify the nomination of a CIA director who does not even know what the Bill of rights stipulates. It absolutely boggles the imagination. And, we think it's okay to sell telephone records to the government.

Ben Franklin was right on the mark regarding a little security and liberty...

As a person of Jewish descent...I can never forget and find my self often paraphrasing that Nazi era quote...

"When they came for the Jews...I was not Jewish so I did not stand up. And, when they came for the homosexuals, I was not a homosexual, so I did not stand up. Again, when they came for the trade unionists, I was not a trade unionist, so I did not stand up. When they came for me...why...there was no one LEFT to stand up."

This statement is more appropriate and relevant now than it has been since the Second World War era...we can only hope that it does not fall upon deaf ears beccause, again, there will be no one left standing after all our rights have been dismantled.

So...this summer...when Congress tries to abridge the rights of the GLBT community, when the NSA continues to spy on American citizens, when we continue to torture prisoners in Gitmo and abroad...recall those words and remember to STAND UP!!!!!


Friday, May 19, 2006

The Blame Game

Friday, May 19, 2006

The Blame Game

I have been hearing this phrase over and over and over again. and, I am so worn out from its reiteration that my brain is no longer willing to entertain the concept. The use of this beat up and tired phrase serves to accomplish nothing but to exempt the speaker from responsibility. If something goes wrong, a plan goes awry, we find we have misjudged a situation...simply pull this phrase out of our old kit bag and everything is okay. Poof!! It's magic!!

Well...Americans have caught onto this ploy. It is not the exclusive possession of one or the other party...the Democrats have resorted to its use on ample occasions are certainly unabashed if they feel the time is right. But...the current Republican administration has perfected and honed the use of this expression to a fine edge and have become its masters. Shall we bow down to their infallibility, praise their in AWE that they are unable to concede any mistakes made?

No...we have smartened up...we realize that to cop a "not guilty" plea to EACH and EVERY misstep of this administration is an exercise in misdirection, a ploy at which they have become extremely adept. Or so they think...One look at the polls will completely dismantle this illusion which they have foisted upon us.

So...I ask Mr. Bush...would you like to see your ratings improve?? No need to remove troops from Iraq, no need to solve the oil crisis, not necessary to alleviate the "undocumented worker" problem...just admit to having made mistakes. Katrina was a start, but Katrina has been all but forgotten, by the press and administration. Remember the George Bush pledge?? History!!

No...admit that taking us to war in Iraq was a mistaken policy based on cherry picked information, that there had been a preconceived plan as detailed in the Project for a New American Century, that your vice president is a war monger and has given you bad advice...and...voila!! Poof!! Ratings above the 50% mark!!

All the American public wants and deserves is honesty, Mr. President...


Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Yesterday afternoon I met with Nancy Mazza, Congressman Howard Coble’s legislative liaison. We chatted for about an hour and she was very cordial and willing to allow herself to become educated regarding transgender issues and philosophy. Whether anything will come of the meeting is a horse of a different color, but…as the saying goes…nothing ventured, nothing gained…

We discussed the two major GLBT issues...ENDA...Employment Non Discrimination Act and Hate Crimes well as the impending Federal Marriage Amendment proposal. Congressman Coble has proved himself to be approachable about this latter issue which is sure to be a boondoggle and a Congressional distraction for July. Of course, the motivation is obvious and transparent...something to occupy the news cycle and detract from the NSA, ethics,CIA leak and other embarrasments the current administation would just as soon be swept under the rug.

It is paramount, particularly with the lead up to the midterm elections, that we not allow ourselves to be distracted, that we maintain focus and direction and keep the pressure on...

So...I will be a regular visitor to Congressman Coble's office and he will receive a steady diet of emails, all polite and respectful, that keep these issues in the forefront.


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Geoege Bush and Immigration

Tuesday May 16, 2006

To say that I am enthusiastic about the presidential address last night would have to be, in all honesty, a bald faced lie. The president managed to placate both the conservatives and liberals while, in reality, postulating nothing of substance. And, to make it worse, he deftly avoided all talk of the real problem and the real culprits...I guess by now we can just see that GWB is a natural at avoiding the truth.

To dissemble without addressing the corporatization of America is a lie. To completely neglect to address the abject failure of our trade agreements is downright criminal. Those two factors, in my estimation, are largely responsible for the immigration problems that confront us.

NAFTA, in particular, is one of those demons. We signed the trade agreement under the pretext of both helping American businesses and assisting Mexican and Central American workers to help to "lift themselves up by their own bootstraps". It was one of those "rather than bring them fish and let them eat tonight, we'll teach them to fish and they can have food forever" deals.

Well...that is not what happened. Instead, under the pretext of boosting the American economy and bringing higher dividends to the stockholders, these Machiavellian corporations have taken their industries south of the border where they pay wages SO LOW that Mexicans opt to cross the US/Mexico at great peril so that they can make sub-minimum wages picking fruit or making palates or some other slave labor type endeavor. If we combine corporate greed with the lust for cheap, sub-human slave labor wages...voila...corporate outsourcing and the erosion of our manufacturing base.

I have heard over and over again the same worn out and hackneyed phrase..."jobs Americans are unwilling to do". Well...let's translate that into reality...what they REALLY mean are jobs that Americans won't do for LESS THAN MINIMUM WAGE!!! So...we import a slave labor force...the new untouchables in the American corporate caste system and create a new class of individuals who will allow their human rights to be violated to line the pockets of these corporate farms or others of their ilk.

It's obvious what these corporate types are trying to accomplish in this shrunken world in which we is an attempt to reduce US wages and bring them in line with the rest of the world, particularly of the recently developed and industrialized nations. The middle class is this country is one victim, the poor underpaid migrant another...and...the elite 10% that is actually heavily invested in the market or in financial services and speculation line their pockets while the rest of us live with the probable and rapidly approaching decline of the Middle Class while we work harder and make less money. It has reached survival proportions.

Oh what a tangled web we weave....


Monday, May 15, 2006


Monday, May 15, 2006

Credit where credit is due department...Ms. JK has helped to expand my understanding of binary systems and I extend my thanks to her.

As I have noted previously, the binary mindset is a major attribute of patriarchal systems and seems to be an important component in the defining and limiting mechanisms within patriarchies. That need to know something definitively, to mark its borders, to remove all ambiguity, is vital to their world view. Feminine patterns of thinking are far more open to shades of grey...perhaps because their psyches are used to postulating, expressing and digesting emotional states.

It is paradixical that, even though I advocate these more subtle ways of understanding, the very existence of a reason versus emotional argument is, in itself, a dichotomy and hence becomes another binary system. Because we are steeped in this male has become part of our everyday way of thinking to categorize and assign a proper place to all of our cerebrations.

It is understandable that, in the course of human evolution and epistemology, we have progressively learned about our immediate environments and, in the course of gaining this knowledge comes a commensurate attempt to control them. We learn how to bend the elements to our wills, rather than to live in dread of them. Fire, for example, was tamed subsequent to it's power to inspire fear.

This is the advance of reason and its aim to bring the universe under our control. As we can see of the effects is a kind of "shrinkage" we tame to world, it gets smaller. Our ability to traverse ther globe and our inclination towards world trade are examples of this shrinkage.

But, there was a time, before reason had become paramount, when our intuitive abilities were far more potent. The loss of some of these abilities is essentially the casualty in the advance of reason, which is not and has not always been the only technique our brains are capable of using.

This is part of the difference in patriarchal as opposed to feminine mindsets.

In the best of all possible worlds, neither way of looking at the world would dominate. Both are equally important and relevant in cultivating a holistic and complete understanding of our world, why we are here, and how best we can manage ourselves and societies within these holistic parameters.

But, because we have sacrificed the intuitive, the shamanic, the "mysterium tremosum", we have allowed that part of our brain to atrophy. It is literally "mind-boggling" for us, as a society, to comprehend alternative ways of knowing. That has been the major etiology of our demonization of all psi related phenomena. They defy reason, scientific proof as we have come to know it, and have therefore been marginalized as useless, speculatory, nonsensical pap.

There are those, however, who understand that these atrophied abilities represent the way to a greater, more comprehensive and all embracing philosophy that will take us in directions we can only, as yet, imagine.

That all being dear friend JK suggests that we embrace ambivalence, avoid the pitfalls of ratiocination...and...make these valid in our everyday lives. She suggests, for example, opting to change our political affiliations from the republican/democrat dichotomy to independent. She makes the case for eschewing black and white and opting for grey.

Of course, for the "transgender" person...we have come to understand that neither gender nor sexual identification are truly binary, as the patriarchal world view espouses. Ms. JK calls this patriarchal arrogance and it has prepetuated a marginalization of women and all things emotional in its path to the deification of reason. In this new and improved world, reason will no longer reign supreme. Nor will emotion. They will be equal partners and share the path to a greater destiny that embraces the paradigm of "all possibilities". Anything that can be dreamed may become manifest on this path towards a new epistemology!!


Sunday, May 14, 2006


Sunday, May 14, 2006


What can I Mom is not only the sweetest mother I know but she is my best friend as well!! I did not always have this kind of relationship with her, but, over the past 4-5 years, we have become extraordinarily close and have helped each other through some rough times. She lost her second husband and soul mate to cancer...I left a wife and a life behind. Consequently, both of us have had the need to lean on someone else for support and we have found each other to be best suited to supply that much needed comfort.

I am not sure how I can possibly repay Mom for what she has given me. Any compassionate resources I am fortunate to have developed came from her as well as my sensitivity and my intuition. These are the assets on which I have come to rely and having had her beqeath them to me has been substantially responsible for who I am today.

Any ability to love and to be loved were taught to me by Mom. The same can be said for any confidence I may have because they certainly did NOT come from Dad. As far as tolerance was my mother who taught me the concept of agreeing to disagree...a way to reach compromise when it appeared that no resolution could be possible. Mom also taught me the significance of living life fully each and every day, because "life is just to short" to do otherwise.

I must add that any domsetic abilities I may have came from, cleaning, a sense of style and fashion...I suspect that any artisitic abilities I have were inherited from her as well.

On this Mother's Day...MOM...I thank you for being the loving Mother you were to me, for all those gifts which you have given me, and for being my best friend...the person whose shoulder I can lean on when my skies are not so blue. And, I promise to always have MY shoulder there for you should you need to lean on me.

Happy Mothers Day!!!!!


Friday, May 12, 2006


Friday, May 12, 2006

Each day I have no idea what kind of entry I will make in this BLOG... I wait until I am actually about to write and hope that some kind of idea or inspiration will manifest itself.

I had been writing in my journal about dreams...and...decided that would be an interesting topic on which to spend a few words.

My dream recall had never been that great...but...for certain reasons I will not go into here, over the past 12 months, my dream recall has increased substantially. I keep a dream journal next to my bed...and...if a dream awakens me and I am not to fuzzy or lazy, I will record much of what has transpired. Usually, however, I wait until the morning and record whatever I can recall of the previous night's dreams.

I have had dreams that range the entire gamut of possibilities...revalatory, idyllic, antagonistic...dreams that are clear as a bell, and ones that are utterly confusing and ambivalent...dreams of good versus evil, dreams of good AND evil...

I am sure that I have only scratched the surface because dreams have the potential and capability to come in all imaginable shapes, forms and varieties. This is because they come from a place where our recourse to reason is not accessible...this place is, as it were, completely UNREASONABLE. Anything can happen in the dream world and it often does. Ideas and concepts can morph, they can create strange and unusual combinations and permutations. Events that actually transpired can attach themselves to events that are completley fantastical.

Because all these strange and wonderful and, at times, frightening and awesome, events transpire in the dream state, they are fertile ground for delving into the unconscious. Sometimes, dreams can even be a gateway to the cosmic unconscious. In those cases, precognition and other alleged "psi" phenomena can make themselves manifest. Some dreamers have markedly prophetic dreams.

The degree to which we are able to recall and decipher our dreams may,perhaps, be coincident with the degree to which we are able to gain access to those realms that lie behold the threshold of consiousness. There are those that would assert that the degree to which we can accomplish this may mark the degree to which we complete what Jung calls the process of individuation. This process is the "becoming whole" that many mystics aspire to and that many have experienced in drug induced states. We all have the ability to open these doors without drugs. However, sometimes the use of specific drugs teaches us what the landscape in that world looks like and how we can turn the key to open the door. Drugs can become counter-productive at some point...their use is specifically as a teacher and if they become a crutch, the ability to open those doors will completely backfire and they can forever remain closed. Drugs must be used circumspectfully...

One last dream characterisitic I would like to mention is what is referred to as "lucid" dreaming. those that have the ability ( I am not one of them...yet...) to achieve this can actually be cognizant, on some level, that they are dreaming, that they are IN the dream and, in some cases, they can affect the nature of the dream or the direction in which it goes. Suffice it to say that this necessitates a certain degree of mastery over oneself, both one's conscious self and one's unconscious self. It is the mark of an "adept"


Thursday, May 11, 2006

Anti TG Tirade

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Over the past week, Mike Adams, a professor at UNCW, has been on a bender in his unmitigated attacks upon those who are Transgender. It appears as though most of Mr. Adams argument is Biblically based. As I personally wrote to Mr. Adams...I would certainly in no way attempt to abridge his first amendment rights. voicing his opinions he has opened himself up to criticism from not only the GLB and specifically T communities, but from many other open minded citizens who feel compelled to dissent.

I have written in this BLOG previously my thoughts on literalism and reconstructionism. Suffice it to say that I believe that mindset to be not only archaic and dogmatic but patently anitproductive in the course of human relations. Mr. Adams makes his case that we (the TG community, at large) have judged him even though we encourage others NOT to judge us. To the extent that I feel judging to be an unfair bias, I would agree with him. So...I will not judge Mr. Adams...he has based his opinions in biblical scripture and he is entitled to do that. I will, however, take the liberty to avail myself of critical thinking and to dismiss his world view (there is a difference between "judging" an individual and holding his beliefs up for public scrutiny) as one that has not entered the 21st century. These archaic ideas impose a world order that is stilted and based, clearly, on an inablilty to understand what are, to his way of thinking, arcane and incomprehensible concepts.

I have stated the syllogism before...a lack of understanding breeds mistrust and fear...fear breeds hatred...hatred breeds inability to understand and comprehend, necessarily, leads to the culmination in violence. A cursory survey of human history will bear out this syllogism. The other reason for violence is greed and I would not intimate that Mr. Adams' is guilty of avarice. (Honestly...I just have no information on which to base such a premise.)

But...I WOULD suggest that world views such as those Mr. Adams professes will, invariably and inexorably, lead to violence. It is the natural outcome of situations in which ignorance reigns, and in which agents actively promulgate the "sinfulness" of this or that lifestyle. It is nothing short of fearmongering. Those who share Mr. Adams' beliefs fear that the GLBT lifestlyle is infectious and communicable and that we will contaminate the purity of their world on account of our depravity.

Mr. Adams appears to live in a binary, patriarchal world. Does he profess female domination by men? Does he equally approve of and obey other biblical proscriptions? Should all heathens be put to the sword as the Old Testament exemplifies? Should non believers be stoned to death? Literalists have shown that they are often selective in what they choose to give creedence to and what they choose to dismiss.

I can only hope that the day will come when Mr. Adams will step out of his box, the one with no doors or windows, and let the light of day in; that he will come to appreciate that the creation is manifold and diverse and that the Great Spirit shines on all creatures; and, that he will, someday, learn to appreciate and celebrate the multitudinous nature of life and the diversity of manifestation, and open his heart to the possibilities of love and not the politics of hate.


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

At the Zoo

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I went to the zoo yesterday and renewed my membership. It had been a couple of years since I had last been there and I was delighted to be able to spend a day with the animals. Of course, I brought my camera and lots of film. I did notice that I was probably the only dinosaur there...everyone else with a camera was shooting digitally, with the exception of the disposable cameras . You can also tell which kids come from wealthier families because they are not using those disposable cameras...some of them had fairly sophisticated models!!

My MO at the zoo is radically different than most others I see, who like to zoom from one exhibit to the next, trying to see EVERYTHING in 5 ot 6 hours. I prefer to sit and linger and observe...sometimes spending an entire afternoon watching one particular group of critters. I do this because it gives me time to see the animals over a period of time. Very often, especially in the afternoons, the animals tend to be rather sedentary and it DOES take time if you want to see them interact with each other. I have found that the early mornings or late afternoons are often the best times to be at the zoo just because of this very reason. The time spent with a particluar exhibit gives me a chance to observe and get to understand the kinds of things that are idiosyncratic to a really the only way to get the kinds of photographs that have a dynamic sense.

Now that I have reactivated my membership, I hope to make weekly trips over the summer and enjoy what is, perhaps, one of the most amazing and prolific zoos I have had the pleasure to visit.


Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Eastern Patriarchy

Tuesday, May 9, 2006

I have written about Western patriarchy, but the Far East is no stranger to the same mindset. In fact, it might be possible to assert that the domination of women by men is much stronger in Asian cultures. Women have been kept out of the higher workplace positions...were more or less used as slave labor in the fields and factories while men enjoyed the pleasures and advantages of a life that had been reserved to them. Besides the fields and factories, women were relegated to their other usual, bearing and raising children.

How far back this attitude goes is indeterminate. Suffice it to say that it is part and parcel of the world of examination of the I Ching evinces the fact that patriarchical thinking predates the Confucian era. I sincerely believe that the I Ching and a careful study of it's 64 hexagrams can be instrumental in developing intuitive insights. And, to the extent that it has Taoist components, there are unique and special relationships between the masculine and the feminine that need to be explored.

I certainly do not advocate a blinders approach in which gender is non-existant. What I do support and promote consists of a twofold understanding. Firstly...the expoitation of the feminie by the masculine must be discontinued. In the 21st century, it is neither useful nor accurate and is, for the most part, counterproductive to all endeavors. Secondly...I stongly advocate and end to our binary understanding of gender. To force it to be an either/or scenario is, again, neither useful nor accurate and needs to be abandoned.

Rational and thinking beings are able to adapt, to grow and develop in different directions when their knowledge reaches a quantum stage. Thus, we have expanded our understanding of geometry and accept that the Euclidian model is no longer satisfactory in its ability to explain geometric principles. Or, our understanding of physics has surpassed the atomic model; in fact, physics has, today, surpassed the Einsteinian model. Additionally, our understanding of the scientific method is also undergoing radical changes with respect to the question of what constitutes proof and the questions regarding the role of the experimenter in the experiment.

Why, then, are we unable to push forward in our understanding of gender issues? Well...a large part of the recalcitrance can be attributed to literalistic, reconstructionist interpretations of scripture, both in the East and West. It is time to enter the Aquarian Age and let our humanity guide us, not the rigid shells of dogmatic thinking that were developed in an era when our world views were radically different then they are today.


Friday, May 05, 2006

Education, part 2

Friday, May5, 2006

I had intended, in my last post, to write about the state of educational standards in our country, before I was sidetracked. As a product of the 50's and 60's education systems in the US northeast...I can see how our standards have deteriorated over the subsequent 40-50 years. Perhaps most important, we have neglected to teach our kids how to properly and effectively communicate. Now...don't get me wrong...I am the first person to embrace idiomatic converstional dialogue...I was never a stranger to slang...but...we always used these techniques to AUGMENT our converstional skills, not to replace them. In today's world, however, we have abandoned any efforts to teach kids those same techniques. For a plethora of reasons...we just give them a free pass. Maybe it is too difficult, maybe the classes are so disruptive that we can't find the time. Or, perhaps, our teachers have already lost those skills and they are just not there to be handed down to the next generation. The home environment is equally to blame...parents who are, themselves, uneducated and who do not encourage their children to aspire to literacy. The number of parents who are not able to read or write is staggering!!

Our education system has been the lowering standards across the board. "College preparatory" falls far short of the academic rigor required when I was in school. These kids are not prepared for college and collegiate courses of study...and that applies to the science and the humanities equally. Bear in mind that my generation was focused on more than just the was the time of Vietnam and the political activity sometimes overtook the classes. But...our minds were alive, we were thinking, cogitating and we were involved. Today's kids seem to view education from a distance, without the dedication to knowledge and experience that, they will discover, life demands.

Maybe it is the incredible diversity of distraction available in today's world. I have come to understand the concept that "stuff" is the new opiate of the masses. We are deluged with the plethora of "stuff" that we "must" have if we are to be accepted members of society. It is a kind of conditioning that supercedes the drive to become educated. It requires less in the way of participation and more in the way of detached and third person ways of thinking.

Similarly, the art of reading books seems to be less appealing when you can have video game stimulation to replace it...

The dearth of inspiring teachers does not help the situation. Those intrepid classroom pioneers who shaped young minds have, it appears, gone the way of the dinosaur. Today, the emphasis seems to be more on moving them through, factory like, or the totally banal task of babysitting. Certainly, our governments, federal, state and local, are not engaged in what the needs of good education demand. As long as we underpay and undervalue the teaching profession, we will continue to get just what we have paid for...a collection of half interested, unmotivated, unable to motivate glorified babysitters.

It is no wonder this country is falling behind the rest of the modern world when it comes to educating our children!!


Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Tuesday, May 3, 2006

I may, or may not, have mentioned that, after being out of school for almost 30 years (I did take some classes in the interim, but that was still 20 years ago), I am now enrolled in a paralegal program at my local community college. Considering the fact that I am, more likely than not, the first openly transgender student to ever have attended this instiyution, I would absolutely grade their tolerance and acceptance levels with an A+!! Considering that we are located in Central North Carolina, I would suggest that this is no mean feat. Even though it feels like baby steps, the world is changing before our very eyes. seems that for every step forward, there are concommitant steps back. For example, a high school in our area has banned the existence of a GLBT friendly on campus for dubious reasons. Within this same jurisdiction, Kate Bornstein, who had been scheduled to appear, was cancelled with last minute notice...again for what appear to be dubious reasons.

It is interesting that the very institutions that are supposed to educate our children exhibit, unfortunately, some of the most monolithic ideas. How can we expect kids to function in the world if they are not exposed to a broad spectrum of viewpoints?? Are they not, especially in high school, capable of digesting and differentiating more than one perspective? We complain that our educational standards are falling behind the rest of the world, yet we are so obtuse as to wonder why?

When you teach kids that the theory of evolution is incorrect, when you teach kids that there is no such thing as global warming, when you teach kids that everything we know about geology and carbon testing is debated and denied by the book of it any wonder why we are producing a generation of kids who are not trained in the arts of critical thinking?

Of course...when you allow spurious theories, often advanced by so called religious and, more often than not, dogmatic, bodies of thought...the net result is a generation of automatons who parrot the local party line.

Even though experiences at my school give me hope...the fact that I am able to interact with many "people of faith" and am still accepted...this is highly laudable...yet, a quick perusal of letters to the editor in my local newspaper, surveyed over, perhaps, a week's time, will scare the stuffing out of any person exhibiting one wit of intelligience. The vitriol, the defamations, the blasphemies to the varieties of experience...the recalitrance and stubborness and refuge in literalist and constructionist mindsets, baffles and worries me about just what the younger generation is learning at home, never mind the schools.

It is time to open the windows and doors of our minds and let a little light shine in!! A house where the doors and windows are never opened gets awfully stale and stuffy!!