Tuesday, September 30, 2008

music humor

So I was looking through some of my old music theory stuff and found this...

C, E-flat, and G go into a bar. The bartender says, "Sorry, but we don't serve minors." So, the E-flat leaves, and the C and the G have an open fifth between

After a few drinks, the fifth is diminished; the G is out flat. An F comes in and tries to augment the situation, but is not sharp enough.

Then D comes into the bar and heads straight for the bathroom saying, "Excuse me. I'll just be a second."

Then A comes into the bar, but the bartender is not convinced that this relative of C is not a minor. Then the bartender notices a B-flat hiding at the end of the bar and exclaims, "Get out now! You're the seventh minor I've found in this bar tonight."

The E-flat, not easily deflated, comes back to the bar the NEXT night in a 3-piece suit with nicely shined shoes.

The bartender says: "You're looking sharp tonight, come on in! This could be a major development."

This proves to be the case, as the E-flat takes off the suit, and everything else, and is now au naturel.

Eventually, the C sobers up, and realizes in horror that he's under a rest.

The C is brought to trial, is found guilty of contributing to the diminution of a minor, and is sentenced to 10 years of DS without Coda at an upscale correctional facility.

On appeal, however, the C is found innocent of any wrongdoing, even accidental, and that all accusations to the contrary are bass less.

The bartender decides he needs a rest - and closes the bar.

Google opposes CA Proposition 8

I don't think I have any readers in the great state of California. Even so, this entry on the official Google blog caught my eye.

As an Internet company, Google is an active participant in policy debates surrounding information access, technology and energy. Because our company has a great diversity of people and opinions -- Democrats and Republicans, conservatives and liberals, all religions and no religion, straight and gay -- we do not generally take a position on issues outside of our field, especially not social issues. So when Proposition 8 appeared on the California ballot, it was an unlikely question for Google to take an official company position on.

However, while there are many objections to this proposition -- further government encroachment on personal lives, ambiguously written text -- it is the chilling and discriminatory effect of the proposition on many of our employees that brings Google to publicly oppose Proposition 8. While we respect the strongly-held beliefs that people have on both sides of this argument, we see this fundamentally as an issue of equality. We hope that California voters will vote no on Proposition 8 -- we should not eliminate anyone's fundamental rights, whatever their sexuality, to marry the person they love.

While I do have problems with the institution of marriage, which I won't get into right now, I wholeheartedly agree that all people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity should be allowed to access the privileges of of civil marriage. Not to mention these sorts of propositions failing is an indication that variance in sexual orientation and (hopefully) gender identity is becoming more broadly accepted in society. So hurray for google I suppose.

Monday, September 29, 2008

underhanded tactics

I came across this lovely story on a livejournal community called debunkingwhite. I'm concerned that this hasn't been more widespread on the news, even on the internet.

Sunday, September 28th, 2008
9:57 pm More DOMESTIC TERRORISM. how is this NOT huge national news?????
Has this been on a news blackout? How is it that no-one has heard of this until now??

On Friday, September 26, the end of a week in which thousands of copies of Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West -- the fear-mongering, anti-Muslim documentary being distributed by the millions in swing states via DVDs inserted in major newspapers and through the U.S. mail -- were distributed by mail in Ohio, a "chemical irritant" was sprayed through a window of the Islamic Society of Greater Dayton, where 300 people were gathered for a Ramadan prayer service. The room that the chemical was sprayed into was the room where babies and children were being kept while their mothers were engaged in prayers. This, apparently, is what the scare tactic political campaigning of John McCain's supporters has led to -- Americans perpetrating a terrorist attack against innocent children on American soil.

to repeat: Muslim Children Gassed at Dayton Mosque After "Obsession" DVD Hits Ohio

Please, please, go to this link and read the whole thing. http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/9/28/203016/697/536/613742

It was reported in the Dayton Daily News, but not commented on in major media since. The DVDs ---28 million of them--- were inserted in newspapers in many swing states by a pro-McCain group. And so here we are. A country where hatred is distributed with the Sunday paper. Where children are maliciously attacked because of their religion and no one blinks. Thankfully, no-one died. This time.

I urge you to call or write any major media outlet you know of and disseminate this story. Also, I'm sure the people in Dayton Islamic Society and their members would appreciate a kind word.
26 Josie Street, Dayton, OH 45403 Tel: (937) 228-1503
Here is the email:

Here also is the email for the people that put this sick piece of trash into circulation.

crossposted everywhere

I think this event shows the depth of fear and paranoia of Islam and the middle east among certain sectors of the American population. Also the unfounded belief that Obama is secretly an Islamic fundamentalist. I mean, if McCain supporters (hopefully without any direction from the campaign) put out this DVD, clearly they are trying to play on peoples' fear of Islam, and trying to link that fear to Obama. I am hoping that this sort of tactic will completely backfire on the people engaing in it, (let me repeat, children gassed after a dvd gets distributed through the paper) however for the past two elections I also didn't think it was possible for Bush to win.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

11th hour bullshit from the bush regime..

From Fluff the Bunny

The National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association has been sending out policy action alerts about new regulations proposed by the Bush administration that would greatly expand the range of health care that providers can choose to deny patients, based on the providers' "conscience" or "moral beliefs."

As someone who has personally been told by doctors' offices, "we don't treat people like you," this rings a warning-bell I must share.

While the NFPRHA very clearly points out that these proposed regulations would gravely impact women's access to reproductive health care options and full access to comprehensive sex education, there is also a threat to much-needed health-care for already-marginalized communities of people with very real health-care needs... whether they be minorities of religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.

Please click here to learn more about what you can do.

Tell Health and Human Services that you oppose these regulations, and express your concerns about the significant impact these rules could have on access to family planning, and other health services for women and men. Just send your thoughts and comments via email to consciencecomment@hhs.gov and make sure that all submitted comments refer to "Provider Conscience Regulation'' in the subject line. Full instructions for comment submission can be found in the Aug. 26 Federal Register (pdf).

The comment period for the recently proposed HHS regulations ends at 11:59 PM this Thursday, September 25, so be sure you make your opposition known to the administration. The ability of health care centers in your community to provide counseling, comprehensive sex education, contraception and preventive health services is at risk.


I found out a while ago that the insurance policy I get through my job covers transition, which is absolutely stellar. It covers almost everything.. top surgery, hormones, blood tests, therapy. There are a few catches.. before top surgery I'll need to have gone through therapy for a year, there's the whole real-life test thing.. so that'll all be weird. However, I'll be able to stay on this medical insurance plan until I'm done with surgery which is good. Hormones I should then be able to cover out-of-pocket if necessary.

I guess.. it's kinda weird to think that transition is actually almost within reach.. I've gotten so used to feeling like it wasn't actual a real possibility that I almost don't know how to react to the news. I mean, it's good, but part of me doesn't quite grasp it yet. I think this is also partially because I know personally and know of so many trans people who can't afford transition, haven't come out to their families, can't come out to their families. Part of me feels guilty for being lucky enough to have coverage. It feels like another binary, those who've transitioned and those who haven't.

Even so. I am so excited to not bind. I've gotten used to it, the slight twisting, unrolling, tucking, adjusting, compression of putting it on. I've gotten used to the dull ache in my lower back that sneaks up around 3 every day. I've gotten used to rolling it up to my armpits, and tugging the back over my head. I've become much better at using the binder over the years. I couldn't even put my binder on by myself when I first got it. I guess I shouldn't get to excited to see it go yet. I'll still be binding for the next year and half or so.

Wow. I started rambling there. Anyways. Back to work/maybe off to home..

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I am going out on a limb here and I'm going to reveal my (sometimes) secret nerdiness to the world.

Lucy Lawless, star of the tv show Xena, is purportedly going to appear in the upcoming season of L Word.

This makes me really excited. I have had a long affair with the Xena series. I would watch it as a kid with my dad and was totally and completely enthralled. Xena was my first introduction to feminism, and I had a complete and utter crush on Gabrielle, Xena's sidekick. Feminism and girls all in one! woo!

Anyways. the news was too good for me to keep to myself. And I need to get back to work.

Monday, September 22, 2008

long lazy monday

my supervisor isn't a work today, which means i don't have that much to do. currently i'm taking a break from calling all of our RIC congregations and finding out if they have youth groups, who the youth group contact/leader is, and putting that information into an excel file so i have a database of youth contacts and don't need to waste time hunting down the information later.

also this morning, bryan and i were the only people here at 9.. everyone else rolled in around 10:30-11. so that was fun. i would've stayed in bed for another hour or so if i had known.. oh well.

today i've been listening to lots and lots of cloud cult. in particular i've been enjoying "when water comes to life," journey of the featherless," "the ghosts inside our house" and "story of the grandson of jesus"

what else.. one of my friends was in norway and is returning tonight. i'm excited, i hope we get to hang out soon.

yeah. so i'm done procrastinating. i'm gonna go perambulate with bryan for 15 minutes.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

American Prospect article

The American Prospect has a really great article on Sarah Palin and how the Republican party is using Palin's gender as a way to reinforce traditional ideas of masculinity and femininity.

Here's a short section, but you should really go really go read the whole article though.
she attempted to discredit community organizing by feminizing it. She sarcastically told conventioneering Republicans (along with millions of Americans watching on television), "I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a ‘community organizer,' except that you have actual responsibilities." It was an eerie echo of what oblivious men in positions of traditional power have been saying for centuries: that the work of community building -- whether it be child-rearing, elder-caring, teaching, nursing, social work, or, yes, community organizing -- isn't really work at all. That, despite being the backbone of our economy and the heart of our civic life, it doesn't count because it doesn't involve power suits and bottom lines. What makes this ridicule of community-building even more ironic is that the GOP is simultaneously glorifying Palin's role as caregiver of her own sprawling family.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

biking down marshall today

i saw a group of kids standing on a corner wearing yellow tshirts holding up "honk for life signs" with a big cowbell they were ringing occasionally.
it saddens and frustrates me that kids are being co-opted into the vicious war between "pro-life" and "pro-choice," and given these terrifying messages about sex and pregnancy and abortion.

The dichotomy between pro-life and pro-choice should be a binary. pro-choice should not mean abortions for everyone, and pro-life should be more inclusive than thinking that no pregnancy should ever be terminated.

It worries me if kids aren't even given an option, if they're just scared into thinking that abortion isn't in option in any circumstance. Part of me wanted to circle back around the block, cross the street and talk to the kids, ask them how they understand pro-life. Who knows, maybe they were really trying to raise awareness about the death penalty. Either way, I wish I would've stopped to talk about them, asked what they were doing and why. And then talk to them about how all the people I know who are pro-choice are also pro-life. We want to get to a point where abortions are no longer necessary, where women aren't raped, forced to become pregnant against their will, where incest doesn't happen, where contraception is available for anyone and is the responsibility of all parties involved in sex.

So the bigger picture now. This kids learn through these messages that, at best, sex is a confusing complicated thing for adults and at worst that sex is scary and bad. Sexuality is taboo, they learn our capacity for sexuality is sin, that we should shut down all those desires. Sexuality is clamped down on, which is incredibly damaging. It causes deep emotional and mental hurt to fracture our sexuality from the rest of ourselves. And it's so hard to unlearn that message, look at the thousands of lgbtqi people who've been told that their sexuality is evil and twisted. That type of mental hurt creates walking wounded who go around hurting others inadvertently or intentionally in their attempt to heal that hurt. I've seen that already in the few weeks I've been at my job. And it's not just restricted to lgbtqi people, though our population has been rejected more fiercely then other forms of sexuality. As a society we need to frame a healthier understanding of sexuality, a sexual ethic that allows us to appreciate and respect those parts of our being.

Well. I kinda went off in another direction on that rant. I think it's partially because the concept of sexual ethics has been kicking around my head lately due to some discussion I've had lately. anyways. tonight is the minnesota gender advocates left out party at pi. should be some good times.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

More Shifty Republican Tactics

Another quick hit from Feministing:

The chairman of the Macomb County (Michigan) Republican Party wants to deny people the right to vote if they are homeless due to foreclosure.

"We will have a list of foreclosed homes and will make sure people aren't voting from those addresses," party chairman James Carabelli told Michigan Messenger in a telephone interview earlier this week. [...]
Carabelli is not the only Republican Party official to suggest the targeting of foreclosed voters. In Ohio, Doug Preisse, director of elections in Franklin County (around the city of Columbus) and the chair of the local GOP, told The Columbus Dispatch that he has not ruled out challenging voters before the election due to foreclosure-related address issues.

The move would disproportionately affect African-American voters, as "more than 60 percent of all sub-prime loans -- the most likely kind of loan to go into default -- were made to African-Americans in Michigan." One of the largest Republican fundraisers in the county is a "foreclosure specialist." Gross!

insurance websites suck

So I've been trying for the past hour to figure out if trans stuff is covered by my health insurance. It's really aggravating and now I am upset and emotional. I don't enjoy that.
I think the next tactic I am going to use is that I am just going to find out if the doctor that was recommended to me is covered as a provider under the policy, and then make an appointment that way. If he's covered, I should be able to at least have a preliminary visit and see if I can start the process.
I need to talk with my parents again, tell them I'm starting the process. I don't communicate well with them, so this will be interesting.

in other news, I'm going to the augsburg QSU picnic and meetings, so I'll have an LGBTQ group to go to. don't worry luther people, pride will always be first in my heart.

back to work.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

quick creature post

1) There's a bat in the fellowship hall of the church my office is located in. Really neat when we were trying to put together around 40 binders.
2) There's a mouse family living in our LVC house.
3) There was a massive amount of animal poop on our kitchen table, and one of our mouse traps had the good stolen from it without catching anything.
4) A squirrel scampered through our living room and kitchen then disappeared this morning.
5) The dog downstairs has taken an immense liking to my bicycle, he was really upset when i moved it today. At least I know it's well guarded.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

RNC March

Yesterday I went with some of my friends to the March on the RNC against the war. According to some estimates, there were anywhere from 2,000 to 10,000 protestors. I think there were definitely more than 2,000 people there. I would guess there were probably 8,000 to 10,000 people all told during the march itself. The Star Tribune article I found does a good job of laying out what happened.

Anyways. So yesterday morning I walk down to the Capitol with a friend, run into two people from one of the other LVC houses, and meet up with a few other friends. We decide to march with/near the Youth Against War and Racism group and just generally hang around until the march starts. The crowd gathered on the lawn by the state capitol was peaceful, and fairly diverse. There were Somali protestors, Ethiopian protestors and Oromo protestors. There was a contingent from the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign They're also marching today, though it's while I'm at work. In addition there was an immigrant rights coalition, veterans for peace, codepink, a revived SDS group (Stop the War! Yes we can! SDS is back again!), a smattering of anarchists, and a handful of Ron Paul supporters.

A series of people took the microphone on stage, and honestly, most of them were not very inspiring. Around 12:45 we start lining up and around 1:15 we started marching to the Excel Center. I really enjoyed the march. It was fantastic that there were families, grandparents, veterans, teenagers, college students and all sorts of people marching. There were some excellent chants. I particularly enjoyed "war is not pro-life" and "ya, you betcha, war makers we're gonna getcha!" So we got as close to the Excel Center as they would let us, and then we were corraled and turned around through a big metal caged in corridor that directed us back towards the capitol. I was amazed at the amount of police force present around the perimeter of the march. There were squads of officers in riot control gear, many cops on bikes, a horseback division, and police on foot. I didn't see or hear of any police with dogs though so that's good.

The portion of the march I attended was peaceful. About half way through my back freaked out and as soon as we could cut through a side street, my friend and I headed back to my house. I have never had that much back pain before, it was awful. Apparently we just missed the violent part of the protest. Windows were smashed, bricks thrown, delegates spit upon, and clashes with the police ensued.

Honestly, I think what saddens me is that the violent protests often negate the positive effect that a peaceful march can have. Overall, I also think that one issue the Left has with organizing is that we often protest as many different contingents for many different things. I do have to hand it to the Right, even though they don't agree on many things, they find a few issues they do agree on and toe the party line. The Left on the other hand, tends to splinter off into our individual issues. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, we just don't do a good job of supporting each other. Even at the march, there were some chants that I didn't think were effective. For example, one had a section "we say no to the RNC." The Republicans have the right to assemble, to officially pick their candidate and all of that jazz. We might not like it that they're in our city, and at the march many of us disagree with their politics. Nonetheless, that sort of sentiment only makes all of the protestors look a little ridiculous. Also, if you're an anarchist or want to overthrow the government or what not, I can understand how that chant would be more meaningful to you. However, the march was to protest about the war that we're involved in, it was a coalition effort. We should try to stand for something together that we all agree on.

Anyways. I should get back to work since the Many Stories, One Voice conference was cancelled and we are now hosting the Lutherans Concerned/North America leadership retreat and board of directors meeting here.

transphobic words and deeds link

I just finished reading Julia Serrano's book "Whipping Girl" and it's been on my mind pretty much every day since then.
Then today one of my favorite blogs, The Republic of T, posted a link to a blog post about cissexual privilege and transphobia. It's the kind of blog post I wish I could write. It's from a trans woman's blog, and damn is she smart.
So here's the link to Transphobic Words and Deeds from the blog Questioning Transphobia