Wednesday 30 April 2008

Today's Battle

Actually, more like then last week's battles.

There's the issue of same-sex marriage over at Feministe. Will TS and IS people be prevented from marrying at all as part of a trade-off to get same-sex marriage legalised?

There's the defence of the Day of Silence over at Wake up America, where I attempt to give some right-wingers some sleepless nights by pointing out a few facts that would never have occurred to them.

A re-visit to the Transphobic RadFems over at Buried Alive, where I take on a transphobic victim of Kallmann's syndrome (an Intersex condition) who doesn't want the trannies sharing his victimology.

Legal Absurdities at Queer Cents, and the legal and financial complications that can result in so many areas when someone transitions.

I didn't quote it, but this is apposite:
Urging the United States Supreme Court to tackle the issue in 2000, lawyers for Christie Lee Littleton, a Texas male-to-female transsexual suing her husband's doctors for wrongful death, noted the
confused landscape: "Taking this situation to its logical conclusion, Mrs. Littleton, while in San Antonio, Texas, is a male and has a void marriage; as she travels to Houston, Texas, and enters federal property, she is female and a widow; upon traveling to Kentucky she is female and a widow; but, upon entering Ohio, she is once again male and prohibited from marriage; entering Connecticut, she is again
female and may marry; if her travel takes her north to Vermont, she is male and may marry a female; if instead she travels south to New Jersey, she may marry a male."

The Supreme Court declined to take the case.
It gets even more complicated when the jurisdictions involve not just different states, but different nations. The whole thing is a mess. As I wrote:
God alone knows what the situation would be if I moved to the US. Currently I think I’d be regarded as a married male, a married female, an unmarried female, or neither male nor female, depending on the state (and sometimes county).

And finally a serve to the Pharisees over at Faith and Freedom.

Tuesday 29 April 2008

The Earth Is Flat

Musings on the Philosophy of Science.

The Earth is flat. Locally.

When travelling to the local shops, it makes more sense to consider the Earth's surface to be a flat plane than anything else. Draw a triangle on the sidewalk in chalk, and you'll see that the 3 angles add up to 180 degrees, a property possessed only by flat surfaces.

The Earth is Spherical.

But when doing long-distance navigation, anything over a day's walk, you get incorrect results with a "Flat Earth Model". You get correct results assuming the Earth is a sphere. Draw a triangle with sides a few hundred kilometres (or miles) long, and you'll see the angles add up to a little more than 180 degrees.

The Earth is an Oblate Spheroid.

When doing really accurate navigation over long distances, a "Spherical Earth Model" won't do. A better model is one where the Earth is almost spherical but has a hint of looking more like an M&M or Smartie. A bit pear-shaped. A bit (gridiron or rugby) football shaped. Only a bit, it's nearly spherical. But enough so that if you fire off a rocket to another continent, it will land hundreds of metres off-target if you use a Spherical Earth in your calculations.

The Earth is an Oblate Spheroid with irregularities

And then you add in the "crinkly bits", mountain ranges, even mass concentrations that distort space-time a smidgin. Not usually enough to make any difference, so they can be ignored. Usually. And it varies with time, the tides, earthquakes, even man-made buildings and open-cut mines.

So which of these models is "true"? Well, all of them, in their domains. They are models, not the thing itself, useful approximations.

That leads me on to talk about Science.

'A scientist is never certain. We all know that. We know that all our statements are approximate statements with different degrees of certainty; that when a statement is made, the question is not whether it is true or false but rather how likely it is to be true or false.'
- Nobel prize-winner, Richard Feynman
And how useful it is under certain conditions in predicting what will happen if we do something.

Science is based on certain propositions - axioms. Things which we take as true because they are useful, not because we can prove them.
  1. There is an objective reality.
  2. That it allows measurements to be taken that are repeatable, over time and over distance
So we assume that a Hydrogen atom here on Earth is no different from a Hydrogen atom a billion light years away. They behave the same. We can't prove that by going out and measuring it, but it seems to work.

Ideally, the process of Science is as follows.
  1. Make some observations
  2. Try to think up an idea, a reason for those observations
  3. Come up with a test to see if that idea is true (or false)
  4. Perform the test, and refine the idea if the test results aren't as predicted
  5. Repeat
  6. After many tests, tentatively accept the idea as being "true enough", though always subject to later falsification when more data comes in
There are some complexities though, which perplex the nice, simple ideal.
  1. We can only use tools based on this Universe to measure this Universe
  2. We are Human, and thus our objectivity is compromised to a greater or lesser extent
The first means that "we see through a glass, darkly" - meaning that we can never "see" the Absolute Truth of reality, we can only take indirect measurements and make inferences. As our measurements get better, we must modify our inferences to accord with the new facts, not ignore the facts to suit our ideas. Well, that's what we should be doing... We also can't wait for all the evidence to come in, because it's a continuing process. We have to assume our approximations are true enough to base further ideas upon them.

The second means that Science is a human endeavour. Being human, we tend to identify with our own ideas, and resent it when those ideas are challenged. We see them as an attack. It's all too easy to ignore evidence against our wonderful theory as being a mere artifact of flawed observation. We confuse what we want to be true with what the objective evidence shows. And we forget that our approximations, ones with myriads of confirmatory observations, are only approximations to Reality, and not Absolute Truth where we should ignore any contradictory evidence as being artifacts of poor measurement.

The fact that Science can never claim Absolute and Perfect Knowledge puts it at something of a disadvantage compared with Superstition.

Common Superstitions include variants of Post-Modernist theory, which claim that as Science is a Human Endeavour, with all evidence being flawed, it has no greater claim to truth than mere supposition without any evidence whatsoever. That Objective Reality does not exist, and the only worthwhile metric for an idea's truth is how useful it is at confirming our own prejudices about what ought to be true on moral grounds.

Although proponents of this idea eschew the idea of "empirical evidence", they actually have quite a lot for their belief. They didn't come to it for no reason, and often it's from entirely worthy motives.

Examples - Drapetomania:
In psychiatry, drapetomania was a mental illness described by American physician Samuel A. Cartwright in 1851 that caused black slaves to flee captivity. Today, drapetomania is considered an example of pseudoscience, and part of the edifice of scientific racism.
Cartwright described the disorder — which, he said, was "unknown to our medical authorities, although its diagnostic symptom, the absconding from service, is well known to our planters and overseers" — in a paper delivered before the Medical Association of Louisiana that was widely reprinted. He stated that the malady was a consequence of masters who "made themselves too familiar with [slaves], treating them as equals." In Diseases and Pecularities of the Negro Race, Cartwright writes that the Bible calls for the slave to be submissive to his master, and by doing so, the slave will have no desire to run away. In addition to identifying drapetomania, Cartwright prescribed a remedy to cure the malady. His feeling was that with "proper medical advice, strictly followed, this troublesome practice that many Negroes have of running away can be almost entirely prevented." In the case of slaves "sulky and dissatisfied without cause" — a warning sign of imminent flight — Cartwright prescribed "whipping the devil out of them" as a "preventative measure."
From the Canadian Medical Journal :
In The Nazi War on Cancer, an impressive sidebar to his Racial Hygiene: Medicine under the Nazis (1988), Proctor grapples with a more slippery demon: Nazi programs in health promotion that are oddly consonant with the values of today.

What are we to do with the fact that it was under Hitler's regime that a causal link between smoking and lung cancer was first made, that Nazi anti-tobacco campaigns were ahead of their time, that Nazi physicians identified and attempted to control exposure to carcinogens such as asbestos, pesticides and food additives, advocated an organic, vegetarian diet high in fibre and low in fat, were the first to promote breast examination and that, the destruction of the Jewish intellectual and scientific community notwithstanding, managed to conduct a certain amount of "good" science, notably in epidemiology?
Solutions were attempted on the front of public health, in education campaigns, disease registers, mass screening programs and legislation. All of these efforts drew on the essence of Nazi ideology, which might be described as a counterfeit of reasonable desires: beauty, freedom, health, vitality. Proctor calls Nazism "a vast hygienic experiment designed to bring about an exclusively sanitary utopia ... . [A]sbestos and lead were to be cleansed from Germany's factory air and water, much as Jews were to be swept from the German body politic." The metaphors were powerful and replicated themselves in false and murderous equivalences: Judaism was a cancer, cancer was like the Jews.
I might just insert a quote from Oklahoma Representative Dally Kern here:
One of my colleagues said We don't have a gay problem in our community...well you know what, that is so dumb. If you have cancer in your little toe, do you just say that I'm going to forget about it since the rest of you is fine? It spreads! This stuff is deadly and it is spreading. It will destroy our young people and it will destroy this nation.
Now to return to the Nazis..."Einer meiner gesagten Kollegen "wir haben nicht ein j├╝disches Problem in unserer Gemeinschaft", das ist Quatsch" Whoops, sorry. Wrong channel. It's so difficult telling them apart sometimes.
Surveillance, detection, control, eradication: these were activities applicable to diseases and to people equally.

Proctor's account is a disquieting case study of how public health concepts are tied to ideology and, with apparent innocence, can support malign sociopolitical agendas. It also demonstrates, as Churchill was aware on the eve of the Battle of Britain, that science is blind to the motivations of its practitioners. Serving any master, any purpose, it marches on.
Churchill's quote is :
But if we fall, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.
Science is a tool, and like a murderer's knife or a surgeon's scalpel, it is not good or evil in itself, merely a test for what is and what is not, not what should or should not be.

Against that... please just look at this video clip.

That is what can happen, what usually happens, even what eventually and inevitably always happens, when you arrogantly claim Moral Superiority for your Utopian ideas over the messy, imperfect, flawed, but constantly improving and very Human endeavour called "Science".

Monday 28 April 2008

Excluded Again

The US Genetic Information Non Discrimination Act will now protect everyone from having their genetic information un-necessarily disclosed, or used as cause for discrimination in employment etc.

This bill was passed almost unanimously. The Senate passed the Act 95-0. The House passed an earlier version 420-3.

Except..... not "everyone" is protected. Some pigs are more equal than others. Again.

(A) IN GENERAL- The term `genetic information' means, with respect to any individual, information about--

(i) such individual's genetic tests,

(ii) the genetic tests of family members of such individual, and

(iii) the manifestation of a disease or disorder in family members of such individual.

(C) EXCLUSIONS- The term `genetic information' shall not include information about the sex or age of any individual.
So if you're Intersexed or Transsexual, with genes that don't match your appearance, you're excluded. Again. Deliberate or an oversight? Not that it makes any practical difference. Probably an oversight, they didn't consider the implications to IS or TS people. At least, I hope they didn't.

There's no genetic test for age, of course.


The legislation says, in effect:

It shall NOT be an unlawful employment practice for an employer--

(1) to fail or refuse to hire, or to discharge, any employee, or otherwise to discriminate against any employee with respect to the compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment of the employee, because of genetic information with respect to the sex of the employee (though it is for all other genetic information); or

(2) to limit, segregate, or classify the employees of the employer in any way that would deprive or tend to deprive any employee of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect the status of the employee as an employee, because of genetic information with respect to the sex of the employee (though it is for all other genetic information).

(b) Acquisition of Genetic Information- It shall NOT be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to request, require, or purchase genetic information with respect to the sex of an employee or a family member of the employee (though it is for all other genetic information).
See the problem?

Sunday 27 April 2008

Some Good News

Regular readers will recall back in October, I posted about Raychel, the transgendered girl who was beaten and raped by her cousins.

Some recent news from a relative of hers :
The doctors have said that her physical damage will be "indistinguishable from fully recovered" -- which means that unless you both knew her before and knew she was attacked, you're not likely to pick up on a difference once things are done... though Raychel has emailed me venting about how much she hates her physical therapist! *grin*

As of today she was able to take 5 unassisted steps!
She's seeing a speech therapist too, to recover from the brain damage she received in that area as well.

That's one name that won't be added to the list of our dead this year. A Victory.

Mixing It

One Camera. One Take.

From comments at the YouTube site:
You only have to see Ford perform live to understand what is going on here. There is nothing pre recorded...he is genuinely doing it all as he goes along. When he plays live he loops the vocals and percussion through a separate 50's style the single mic is taken in and out of the loop when he's singing. All the instruments are hooked up to the sampler. And he needs the ear piece to hear what he's playing properly. as I say, see him live, maybe it needs to be seen to be believed.

Friday 25 April 2008

Today's Battle

Over at the Massachusetts Eagle Tribune, where a local legislator would prefer to see transsexual prisoners die, even if keeping them alive is a lot less expensive:
"I want to put into the law something that there is fairly widespread agreement on," Tarr said yesterday. "That this is a procedure that shouldn't be paid for, especially when the budget is tight and the Department of Corrections is strained to perform basic functions."

If passed, Tarr's bill would prohibit any use of public money to pay for "sex reassignment surgery" for anyone held at any of the state's jails or prisons.

The state couldn't pay for hormone replacement therapy for any person in jail or prison, unless a doctor approved the therapy for something other than a sex-change operation. And it couldn't pay for laser hair removal treatment.
The bill also is backed by Essex County Sheriff Frank Cousins.

"He doesn't feel that is an appropriate use of taxpayer dollars," said Paul Fleming, a spokesman.

There are no Essex County prisoners requesting a sex change, Fleming said.

Here's my reply - one expressing a minority opinion, alas.
I congratulate Senator Tarr and Sherrif Cousins for their courageous and principled stand, sticking to their guns despite all the medical and scientific evidence, and the greatly increased costs to Massachusetts taxpayers of this bill.

From the World Professional Association for Transgender Health:
"Sex Reassignment is Effective and Medically Indicated in Severe GID. In persons diagnosed with transsexualism or profound GID, sex reassignment surgery, along with hormone therapy and real life experience, is a treatment that has proven to be effective. Such a therapeutic regimen, when prescribed or recommended by qualified practitioners, is medically indicated and medically necessary. Sex reassignment is not "experimental," "investigational," "elective," "cosmetic," or optional in any meaningful sense. It constitutes very effective and appropriate treatment for transsexualism or profound GID."
From the only other state to have this kind of legislation, Wisconsin, which has now spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal costs as the result:
"Earlier, Kevin Kallas, a psychiatrist and mental health director for Wisconsin's prisons, testified he opposed the law banning hormones.

Besides in federal prisons, hormones are given in all of the Midwestern states surveyed by the Department of Corrections, he said. Kallas called hormones a "medically necessary" treatment in some, though not all, cases.

Kallas said patients who are taken off hormones typically need counseling, drugs and hospital stays instead, suicide treatments that are more expensive than the hormones, which cost $675 to $1,600 a year. Kallas said he did not know of any other medical treatment that the state Legislature has banned in prisons."
If this bill was not so immensely costly, their bravery in putting it forward would not have been recognised - although coming as it does with the full support of MassResistance, the Hate Group (You'll find them on the list just under the "Nation of Islam" and the "American National Socialist Workers' Party") that would have been brave enough.
See a previous post on the Wisconsin situation.

Now I'm sure that the well-organised GLB (and occasionally T when it's not inconvenient) Massachusetts human rights groups are all over this. Well, maybe not. The sound I hear here in Australia emanating from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts sounds more like crickets chirping.

And in other news, the great state of Tennessee proves yet again why it was the venue for the Scopes Monkey Trial. From the Nashville Scene:
A bill in the legislature that would have made it easier for sex-change recipients to get Tennessee driver’s licenses, passports and other documents died quietly last week thanks to a bizarre amendment by House Republican Leader Jason Mumpower.

Tennessee is the only state in nation with a law preventing sex-change recipients from retroactively revising the sex designation on their birth certificates to correspond with their new gender identity. The law makes it difficult for those who have undergone such surgical changes to get driver’s licenses and other documentation, because obtaining such critical documents invariably requires a birth certificate.

This year, a group of House Democrats sponsored legislation that would have dispensed with this piece of unnecessary moralizing, er, law. The Dems withdrew the bill after Mumpower attached an amendment that would have essentially created a new category of sex.

“A birth certificate can be amended with the designation MTF,” Mumpower tells the Scene, “designating male to female, or FTM designating female to male.”

Asked why Tennessee would need such specificity when no other state or the federal government requires it, Mumpower says, “I’m not a representative in any other state.”
What wit! I mean, it's not as if we're talking about Real People here, or the effective withdrawal of valid birth certificates from them. They don't matter, they're not real. Not to him, anyway.

Just apart from the transsexual issue, what about people who are Intersexed, and whose BC gender has since been found to be medically incorrect? Are these to be mislabelled in this way?

It's worth noting that Senator Tarr is a member of the House Ethics Committee, and also the Bristol TN/VA Rotary Club. The Rotarian 4-way test in ethics is as follows:
* Is it the truth?
* Is it fair to all concerned?
* Will it build good will and better friendships?
* Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
No more need be said.

The story is misleading in one way though. While it is true that Tennessee is alone in having a law expressly forbidding correcting the gender on birth certificates, both Idaho and Ohio don't allow it either, as a matter of policy or as the result of court decisions. Ignorance and Bigotry is not the province of Tennessee alone.

Wednesday 23 April 2008

American Politics in a nutshell

The story so far....

The Democrats have got down to 2 contenders, and they're neck and neck. One's Black, the other's Female. Hillary Rodham Clinton is a dirtier fighter, but is behind on votes. Will she pull some take it all the way to the wire, or rather the convention? I think so. Barrack Hussein Obama is ahead by a nose, despite his recent loss in Pennsylvania, but Clinton has a well-deserved reputation for dubious backroom deals.

From SFGate :
Sen. Hillary Clinton got the lifesaving victory she needed in Pennsylvania today, moving the Democratic presidential primary showdown - and her gritty hand-to-hand combat with Illinois Sen. Barack Obama - to Indiana, where the New York senator is slightly ahead in the polls and desperately behind in cash.

Emerging from a brawling six-week-long Pennsylvania primary with a win, but facing the hurdles of beating the mathematical odds to win the Democratic presidential nomination, Clinton called her win, hovering near double digits over Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, decisive evidence that "the tide is turning" in the Democratic presidential race.
Clinton's margin of victory in Pennsylvania, where she was outspent by Obama at least 2-1, is unlikely to dramatically change the landscape of the Democratic presidential race. In That's because delegate-rich urban areas like Philadelphia - where Obama's strength in heavily African American districts delivered him 69 percent of the vote - are heavily weighted in the awarding of delegates.

But her win does gives the New York Senator leverage to argue to 300-plus superdelegates - who are likely to break the down-to-the-wire deadlock between the two Democratic contenders - that she is the stronger candidate in powerful, voter-rich states and a more robust general election candidate come fall.

Both Democratic candidates are running attack ads, but it's their partisan supporters who are really dishing the dirt. And there's plenty of dirt to dish, on both sides.

Meanwhile, the Republican candidate, McCain, is doing very little. Spending very little anyway. He doesn't have to do more than get the choicest bits of Obama's or Clinton's attack ads, edit them a bit, repackage them, and then produce two sets of concentrated venom - one for each candidate. So the day that the Democrat contender is known, he either presses button A or button B, adds his own pro-Republican constructive material, and he's home and hosed. And he can quite justifiably state that it's the Democrats themselves who endorse the anti-Obama (or anti-Clinton) material.

And the war-chests of both Democrats have been largely spent on auto-cannibalism.

That shows a very self-destructive trend that's always existed, more or less, in US politics. Partisanship is taken to ridiculous extremes. Now that's balanced by the far more loose, even slack, grip of party whips. In Australia, a vote along anything other than party lines is rare indeed. If one Senator crosses the floor over an issue, it's front-page news, and the defector can expect severe retaliation, up to and including expulsion from the party, unless there are very exceptional circumstances. In the US, it's almost universal that votes will not be on exact party lines.

Tuesday 22 April 2008

Ares or Taurus?

The Great White Elephant Whale Hope of the US space program is the Ares 1, pictured on the right. (Picture courtesy of Mark Wade's excellent Encyclopedia Astronautica).

As you can see, this comprises a solid-fuel shuttle booster (with an additional segment added, just enough to invalidate most of the test data we have on it), and a new upper stage, based on the J2-S engine that was partially developed many years ago for the follow-on Apollo missions that never happened. Again from Mark Wade :
The J-2S engine and components were developed between 1965 and 1972 and the effort was based on experimental engines tested between 1964 and 1968 (the J-2X engine series).
The J-2S, while not a qualified in-production engine, was not a paper engine. It was an engine with significant flight heritage in the J-2 Saturn program engine, and it had significant ground test experience. It was not put into production only because a follow-on order for Saturn launch vehicles never materialized. Because of the excellent flight history of its heritage system, and because of its "almost ready for flight" status, the J-2S was considered by NASA for a number of applications after its development.
It was estimated by ATK Thiokol in 2005 that restarting the J-2S program, including engine fabrication, design and reliability verification, certification, and production, would require four years. Although no J-2S tooling was known to exist, modern soft tooling could be developed quickly and less expensively than the original hard tooling. There was an existing manufacturing and supplier network in place to support a J-2S restart.

In the event, NASA was unable to resist 'improving' the J-2S, and by early 2007 the engine for the second stage of the Ares 1 Crew Launch Vehicle was the redesignated and substantially different J-2X.
Just enough change to invalidate all the existing test data once again...

OK, but at least the new testing schedule is timely, with a launch scheduled for this time next year.

Well, it was scheduled for this time next year. There's been a few delays. And the booster won't have all 5 segments live, only 4 and a dummy. And will use a different grain size in the propellant. And the upper stage will be a dummy as well.

Now I'm all for stepwise refinement, but one thing you do not do in stepwise refinement is change the bits you're testing after they've been tested successfully. You test one bit, get it working, freeze it, then test the next bit. You don't get "do-overs", unless you're just trying to prove principles. This program was supposed to use "proven technology", not "loosely based on proven technology somewhat but not really".

So why are they doing this? A Cynic would say that they're launching something, anything, in the hope that it will put pressure on a newly installed Democrat president not to can the whole thing, and effectively abandon the US manned space program.

Good luck on that.

From Space Politics :
These fiscal pressures will force the next president—regardless of whoever is elected in November—to make some hard decisions in the years to come about discretionary spending. It is unrealistic to expect that NASA will somehow be immune to pressures to cut spending. A budget cut in the next Administration that is equivalent to last decade’s cut would result in reduction of NASA’s budget of over $3 billion per year. If that happens, it will be difficult, if not impossible, for the current exploration architecture to continue in anything resembling its current form and schedule. It will be significantly delayed, radically altered, or even cancelled.
NASA's budget is currently $18 billion. That's rather less than the projected cost of hosting the Olympics in 2012, and less than Athens spent in 2004.

That's less than 2c per day per US citizen.

Monday 21 April 2008

In Good Company

From GayUnganda:
Ugandans know a guy called Brenda. A gal, because Brenda is a trans person. Meaning that biologically the birth was to a male baby, but growing up Brenda was more confortable in the female role, and ultimately embraced the female gender.

Far as I know, she has not got surgery.
I can, and do hide the fact that I am gay. Brenda does not. She does not hide the fact that she is transgender.

Recently, Brenda needed travel documents. They were denied. Reason, they don’t give them to ‘people who have changed themselves’. Julie Victor Mukasa tells of the time that she had to prove that she was biologically female at the RDC’s office in Kampala, when she went to get passport forms filled. Use your imagination how she proved that.

Our constitution states that it is a citizens right to get a passport. Brenda is apparently not included in that definition of a citizen.

From the Australian Passports Determination 2005 Explanatory Statement Section 6.3 Para 89:

Persons who are to be denied passports because it is undesirable that they be allowed to have one include:
Australian citizens who are transgender, that is are living in the identity of a member of the opposite sex; and
Australian citizens being repatriated or deported to Australia or extradited

Readers of this blog will know that it took a 20 month fight, with legal letters, letters to Ministers, the Prime Minister, members of the (then) Opposition (who gave no help at all), to get my passport - and an apology over the phone, not in writing. Had I been a pre-op transsexual like Brenda, I'd still be waiting.

I didn't have to go to the lengths of Julie Mukasa, though the thought had occurred more than once. It came close to that. They did require me to give a detailed verbal description of my genitalia, yet another humiliation (and not the worst I've had to endure from the Government). The written medical evidence that I was intersexed and in transition was insufficient for them. I was neither asked to provide, nor did I give them, any surgeon's letter showing what procedures had been performed. They required Sex Reassignment Surgery, and as the mountain of evidence I'd already provided showed that I was medically female before surgery, that would have meant FtoM. They dared not ask for that.

Looking back on it, I think that when they realised the consequences of what they were doing, and that I was not ashamed of my condition, but eager to blow the whole filthy business wide open in a courtroom, that they caved. That, and the legal drubbing they'd recently received from the Administrative Appeals Tribunal on a related issue. They'd relied on me being too embarrassed to proceed.

Anyway, in this one area, the generally trans-friendly Australia can claim to have exactly the same stellar human rights record as Uganda. <sarcasm> Makes you proud to be Australian, doesn't it? </sarcasm>

Saturday 19 April 2008

Sometimes you win....

I have been known to send PayPal money to people in extremis. Sometimes it's enough to keep them going, and to overcome a temporary but insuperable hurdle for them. Sometimes it only takes $30, enough for a fortnight.

But sometimes having the money isn't enough, there can be obstacles that can't be overcome. Treatment can be interrupted, and if interrupted for too long, permanent damage can happen. Masculinisation can't be reversed, and time is precious during the 10 years after puberty begins.

Fri, 18 April 2008 : For those of you who knew S.... from Nova Scotia from this site I have some sad news. She committed suicide yesterday. I know that some view suicide as a selfish act. But I ask those who have strong feelings about this to set them aside and reserve judgement.

S.... was wonderful person. I knew her for over 2 years. She was young and vibrant only 22 years old. But recently she became desperate because she was not getting her meds because the place that sends them would not ship them. Her father also was diagnosed with cancer. But that cancer was under control.

So you are probably (want to know) how I know. Well I became good friends with her mother and today she gave me the news. Her family is devastated.

Her yahoo messenger was (redacted)

She was the girl from Canada who had a bright future.

She is loved and I and many others are going to feel this for a long time to come. My heart is broken.


So now I have to pick myself up and try to make sure that this isn't repeated. It will be, of course, but you do what you can.

Compared with the norm, we lose so few. Just having a support group, knowing you're not alone, is often the difference between enduring when there is no hope, and giving up. It's been well over a year since I helped her out with just the few dollars needed. Less than a hundred if I remember correctly. I'm not exactly rolling in filthy lucre myself, but it doesn't take much. The donations to my tip jar, $5 here, $20 there, if targeted correctly to people who need it, are worth millions. I'm not out of pocket much.

Or maybe it was another young girl from Nova Scotia, I'm not sure. I lose track. When giving help, the names aren't important, just the need. S... had support from her family too, so many girls don't. She at least will be buried as the woman she was, no matter what her birth certificate says.

I can't help her any more. But there are others I can, usually just with words at the right time, and I do a good line in absorbent shoulders.

This is the meaning behind a short-short story I wrote nearly two years ago for Prof Norm Geras, my favourite Marxist, and a good friend to me, despite my Right-of-centre politics. I'll quote it below:
DiEthylStilbestrol (by Zoe Brain)

One in five genetic males whose mothers took that drug have Gender Dysphoria.

Simon: pushed under a bus by bullies at age 7. She didn't 'vibe right' as a boy.

James: slit her wrists at 16, after being raped after school. Again.

John, Freddy and George: all kicked out of home for being 'sissy boys', shaming their families.

John: took the wrong one home, and her mutilated body was found in a back alley. She was 19.

Freddy: OD'd on her 20th birthday, just another tranny whore.

George: turned tricks, saved, paid for her treatment at 24, with enough for legal studies too. Georgina, now a successful lawyer, and her partner Sue live two doors from Samantha. Georgina hides her past carefully.

Sam: supported by her parents, transitioned at 21. Samantha's married, with two adopted children. Only her husband and her gynecologist know her medical history.

Neither Georgina nor Samantha know about the other.

William: earned a posthumous decoration at 24, charging a machine gun nest. Ending her pain.

Charles: ate her gun at 25. Her platoon never knew why.

Andy: resigned her commission after being surprised in drag. Drugs, Aversion Therapy and repeated ECT didn't work, so they tried lobotomy. The body died of pneumonia years later, but she was gone at 28.

Harry: A chief design engineer, lost her job, her savings, her family, her home too, when she started transitioning. She's 42, now on the game as she's unemployable. Saving for treatment. There's still hope.
This isn't fiction, this isn't some hypothetical, it's very real.

In a week's time, many schools will have a Day of Silence, to commemorate the silence GLBT people must bear in order to protect themselves from persecution. This year, we especially commemorate the execution-style slaying of Lawrence King, a 15 year old shot twice in the back of the head at his schooldesk for not remaining silent. Naturally, some people are against such a commemoration.

You'd think that the GLBT groups would be baying for the blood of Larry King's killer. Instead, they are calling for the kid who shot him to be tried as the minor he is, and not as an adult.



Thursday 17 April 2008

Double Feature

Two more from Mike Oldfield - and with a Space theme. This film is 28 years old.

Dry Spell

Not exactly writers' block... but Real Life (tm) getting in the way.

I've thought about a variety of posts, even started some, then left them unfinished. Most are to do with the same tired old subjects of prejudice, persecution and so on. Now I'm not tired of "fighting the good fight", but I think my readers deserve better than to get yet another dose of Zoe vs the Idiots of Sol III.

I thought of posting about the Clinton vs Obama death-match in US politics. But that would mean explaining to non-US readers just exactly what the backgrounds of those two are. One's an unprincipled political slimeball and habitual liar, but at least has some experience, and the other's a veteran of some of the dirtiest and most corrupt politics in the whole of the USA, with some very dodgy connections. Once you realise that all the mud they're slinging at each other is absolutely true, they're both really awful candidates, there's not much more to say. One's female, the other's black (though African-Black not American-Black, so culturally quite different). The Democratic Slime-throwers are engaging in auto-cannibalism. The Republican candidate McCain is looking good, only because a has-been and also-ran couldn't help but look good against the kind of opposition he faces.

I thought about commenting about our Illustrious Prime Monster's great 1000-person Gabfest, the 2020 summit. But when 120+ of them belong to just one left-wing think-tank, you know the fix is in, the agenda is set, and the draft reports already written. The immortal bard's words apply : "tis a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

Instead, I'll just leave 220 seconds of Mike Oldfield's "Tubular bells 2003".

Thursday 10 April 2008

Look what I found under a rock

There's no easy link. It's on the Hal Turner site, and might explain to some readers just how dangerous it can be in the USA. The object of persecution in this case is not TS or IS people as such, it's GLBs. But that's only because they see no difference.

I'll quote the whole thing. For the Hard of Thinking, no I do not support the words I'm quoting. I do think that the article should be widely publicised, to draw attention to the author.



It is time to do to this person what any parent should do to someone who endangers their child: TUNE HIM UP!

Paul B. Ash is the superintendent of Lexington, MA Schools. He has insisted that children be taught about faggotry/queerdom/sodomites under the guise of "diversity." He has even told at least one court that parents do not have the right to take their children out of such teachings despite those teachings advocating a deadly, disease-ridden lifestyle! Sadly the court AGREED with him.

When parents are told by government schools or courts that parents cannot control what their own children are taught, it is time to make use of "the original right of self defense" against that government school and court.

To that end, here's what he looks like:

and here's his last known addresses. Some of these may be OLD addresses, so make certain you have the right one and see the right guy before doing anything.

BIRTH DATE: 03/11/1950
AGE: 58 Years Old

(617) 244-9622


NEWTON, MA 02158

For those not familiar, a "TUNE UP" is defined as physical modification to improve performance."

It is abundantly clear to us at The Hal Turner Show that Mr. Ash believes he knows what's best for YOUR children; in fact, he seems to think he knows better than parents! It is time to disabuse him of this notion.

I would laugh if some concerned father(s) donned ski masks and gloves, took a ride over to this arrogant pr1ck's house and knocked the living sh1t out of him. I advocate parents using FORCE AND VIOLENCE against Superintendent Paul B. Ash as a method of defending the health and safety of school children presently being endangered through his politically-correct indoctrination into deadly, disease-ridden sodomite lifestyles.

In my opinion if a father is not willing to use force to defend his own child, then that father is worthless. As for the Judge who sided with this arrogant pr1ck, I will have his home address info very soon.

There the follows a link to a story on WorldNetDaily, a conservative publication that has been known to be a little economical with the truth at times.

The comments are what can only be expected. I'll quote some, and remember, these comments are moderated, they have been approved by the site's author.
I agree with you Hal, but this freak needs more than a tune up. He needs to be permanently shut up.
That fag in mass must be a put on. But again this is more jew crap. All commie jew crap. A hit on all those Rothchild pigs is called for to start.
We have notified the appropriate authorities about this Mr. Turner.

The MA State Police have gotten quite a number of calls about it and so has the Boston Office of the FBI.

----------- Hal Turner Laughs:

Big f*cking deal.

Neither agency can do anything about it. It is LEGAL to publicly advocate crime in a context that does not lend itself to imminent lawlessness.

See US Supreme Court case:
"Brandenberg v. Ohio."

Now get off my web site you homo-loving degenerate!

Edited By Siteowner
It's worthwhile looking at Brandenberg vs Ohio here.

The successful defence of the KKK was "that government cannot constitutionally punish abstract advocacy of force or law violation". To quote Wikipedia,
These later decisions have fashioned the principle that the constitutional guarantees of free speech and free press do not permit a State to forbid or proscribe advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.
The context is that of sedition against the state, not a threat against an individual.

To continue with the comments:
Good hunting, fathers.

IMO, the bastard should be packhunted down and destroyed like a rabid animal. Here's hoping someone videotapes the event as an example to others.
3 words...
Dont worry Hal my friends on the police force have given me all the trouble makers names, they are all laughing at them. They are homo.
The implication that those making complaints to the police about this web page will have their complaints ignored, and the complainers' names passed on to those who will do them harm later. Given past history, this threat is not completely incredible.

There's more:
Fellow Americans, This is what you tune up various styles of baseball bats on. This is a picture of a most perverted total piece of worthless sh1t that needs squashed.The St. Charles river would do for swimming lessons. Sh1t does float....

It is time to KILL these f*ckin' social destructors AND the jew judges who back them up.

They are perverts who want to make YOUR CHILDREN mentally sick so they have absolute control over your daily life.

You are an arogant ASSHOLE. Jesus said to turn the other cheek to YOUR enemies.

He NEVER said to turn the other cheek to HIS ENEMIES. His enemies are the degenerate KIKES LIKE YOU. He said to SLAY HIS ENEMIES. Faggots, child molesters and teachers of perversion who are JEWS. Yes, your talmud says it like it is.

Gang, get out the Zyklon-B because the time of the aftermath IS HERE.
Gay in Mass.

So YOU want to pervert little children for your own sodomitic use?

You know what, it's time for YOU to be burned alive. You are a piece of SH*T. Filthy degenerate child molesting jew queer.

Go call the cops. They will f*ck you in the ass. Now you are happy. You are a 100% JERKOFF. All faggots DIE.
What an ugly, deformed-looking JEW this Mr. Ash is. Amazing how these vermin slipped into our land and debauched it so. Where is my can of Zyklon-B?
Mass Activist, you are a faggot that needs your teeth smashed in and you should be impaled on a telephone pole for everyone to see. Faggots are a perversion of nature and need to be destroyed. Its that simple. You are abnormalities of humanity, you are NOT human. You may be able to talk and walk, but much like a nigger, you are not a human being and you have no rights as such. You are animal, and you need and should be destroyed. So go find a peaceful quiet place, and just die....


I smell Bagels.

Paul Ash looks like a Kike, Acts like a Kike, walks & Talks like a Kike.

Therefore, By using the time tested & proven formula of analysis & deduction, I conclude that...
Paul Ash is a KIKE..
These mentally ill social manipulator and destructor jews have wrecked ur country so badly it cannot be repaired. The government must be torn down and rebuilt from the ground up. National Socialism can do that. It will be called Civil War II.

To assure that this sickness doesn't infect us again, all jews must be eradicated from the earth.

That means RAcial HOly WAr by the way. The things you learn when you do some research. Oh well, time to wade into the comments again, and expose them to the limelight. Light cleanses.
boy if this quy doesnt look like a jew, and the fact of where he lives, i didnt know school superintentets made that much, our tax dollars at work, to support these filthy, scum-sucking false jews, gods so called chosen people, my ass!! the only thing god has chosen them for is the oven!!and the smoke of there torment will go up before god as a sweet smelling paraprase the bible. ( hope my post are getting better guys, not too long i hope.
These faggot liberals are not trying to eduate children. They are trying to INDOCTRINATE children. Since homos cannot reproduce, they must recruit.

And what arrogance these pansies have! If anyone stands up to them, the little sniveling faggots run to the cops or the courts for protection, whining about "homophobia" or "hate speech". Since when did the Law protect these pieces of sh1t and not the parents or the children?

There was a time not too long ago when these faggots would've had the sh1t beaten out of them and the cops would have just stood there, laughing. We need to return to those days of rough justice immediately. These faggots, with their money and influence, are TAKING OVER.
He needn't worry. Most cops won't do that now, but some will.

1. Beastiality is not only sexual intercourse with animals, but with negro, mestizo animals, etc. Wikipedia does not mention the negro or non-white part.
This degenerate fag yid probably plays ring toss with his bagels on his johnson before he eats them. He should be in an oven instead of telling us what to teach our kids...
Anon shut up and crawl away homo supporting fag.Violence has always worked in the past and now.The niggers always get their way when they riot so stay the fuck off this forum.
And so on and so on. It gets boringly banal after a while. There's a PGP 8.0.3 encrypted message that might be a plan of attack, but might also be anything else.

Oh, we do get a mention in passing. I was beginning to feel left out.
Simply put, GLBT's are defectively hard-wired from birth. They should not be integrated into society and their defects celebrated; rather they should all be quarantined until they drop dead of AIDS. They are all degenerates and the scourge of Western civilization. Anyone promoting these freaks should be permanently neutralized.
The number for the Lexington MA police department is (781) 862-1212.

Wednesday 9 April 2008

Who Ordered THAT???

I've just failed my blood test.

Let me explain... every few months, I have to go and see my endocrinologist in Sydney. My peculiar metabolic whoopsie of nearly 3 years ago - the rapid femininisation - is still unexplained. We have a good theory, but we're still in uncharted territory.

It had been hoped that after removal of various dysfunctional glands as part of the genital reconstruction, that my system would follow that of the standard transsexual transition. Transsexual women, with male or mostly male bodies, after Sex Reassignment Surgery, usually have an increased rate of feminisation, even if their doses of hormones are reduced. Typically, they might be on 2 or 4 mg of oestrodiol valerate before, plus an anti-androgen to remove the testosterone, but the latter is not always needed. Some endocrinologists prefer increasing the oestrogen, the female sex hormone, as this often removes the need for anti-testosterone medication. 2mg of oestrogen and an anti-androgen, or 4 without, is not uncommon, though some endos prefer larger doses. 6mg and an anti-androgen is also not that unusual. 8mg and an anti-androgen "nukes it" in extreme cases, for those pre-op.

The dose is then usually reduced, and in some cases removed entirely, when post-op. In some cases again, up to 4mg of oestrogen is maintained, and possibly some anti-androgens to stop scalp hair loss, if that happens. But 2mg is more usual.

I'd been on 4mg, just in case.

Well, now the changes that happened nearly 3 years ago are reversing. My skin and hair oil content has risen. Instead of losing weight dramatically, I'm gaining it, and the psoriasis I'd had for 30 years, which had vanished overnight, has made a comeback. I'm sprouting body hair again too, after losing it all. My eyes haven't changed colour again, at least, not yet, and there have been none of the psychological changes I had before either, thank goodness.

I don't have the blood test results to hand, but they show the usual inexplicably low oestrogen levels - well, low for 4mg intake - a low female level of testosterone, but SHBG levels (sex hormone binding globulin) levels that indicate lots of sex hormones being produced, and immediately being consumed by the cellular receptors.

At this point, I should remind everyone that all my sex glands have been removed. I should be close to a tabula rasa, with only tiny amounts of hormone from other glands, primarily the adrenals.

If the prime theory as to what happened is correct, reversal was always a possibility. One I tried hard not to think about. To me, the genital reconstruction and permanent facial hair removal, the artificial changes, were a way of "putting money in the bank" so to speak. Things that couldn't be reversed, just in case.

My appearance is about 80% from natural causes, 20% from medical intervention. If we play it right, all that will happen is that the "medical intervention" percentage will rise, and I will continue to look normal. Or normal-ish.

The model for my treatment regime now appears to be that of a standard 46xx female with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia. It's not CAH, but it's like it in some ways. That would be in accordance with the ultrasounds I had nearly 3 years ago, which showed peculiarities in the adrenals.

I conjecture (a fancy name for a wild guess) at this point that even if I had been born with 46xx chromosomes, I would have looked male. Instead, I have 46xy ones, then an Intersex condition on top of that, which would have made me look somewhat feminised, then a CAH-like condition on top of that to reverse it again. That is in accordance with the theory behind what happened 3 years ago as well. Or it could be something else entirely, we just don't know. Oddly, despite the somatic changes, the rest of my system is boringly normal, I'm in perfect health.

We Shall See. In the meantime, my oestrogen dose has been doubled(!) to 8mg, and I've been given a prescription for the same powerful anti-androgen I was taking "pre-op". Nuking it till it glows.

I'm back in the position I was in three years ago: not knowing what the heck I'm going to look like in a year's time. One thing's for sure though: I will never, ever go back to doing the Boy act. With the medical intervention I've already had, that has become physically impossible, and you have no idea how much comfort I derive from that fact. The gates of that particular Hell are closed, I locked, barred and barricaded them just in case something like this happened. Even if I was dragged kicking and screaming backwards, there's no way I can get there from here. GOOD.

I'm trying to look on this as something most other women suffer at age 50, just a peculiar kind of menopause, and one that might even be halted and reversed. It might be just a glitch, a temporary hiccup. Hopefully, I will look on this blog post as being embarrassingly melodramatic, a mere record of what I felt at a time when my hormones were in chaos. I got the news less than 24 hours ago too, it wasn't a surprise, but it was a shock to have my suspicions confirmed.

I'm just trying very hard to be objective, rational, the scientist, and not under any circumstances to think of Flowers for Algernon.

It's not working. Still, worse things happen at sea, etc. My life has not always been easy, and not always been fun. But it is continuing not to be in the slightest bit boring. I'm surrounded by love and support, and I have my son, who turns 7 soon. Too many blessings to count them all, so I'll stop this post there, and go and have a cup of tea.

Monday 7 April 2008

Girl Germs and Malice

I've commented on the Male pregnancy issue before.

This post is about comments from others, at the Oprah comments site. It illustrates some of the problems we face, and the darker side of human nature, my own included.

Comment 1,776:
I`m really shocked and amazed that you would taint your show with such a sham of a story. I am a gay man and found the content of this show so unworthy of air time. Who are these two lesbians trying to fool. Not me! I get so tied of women like these always pushing the envelope. Perhaps if I have my partner of 25 years put his sperm into a turkey baster and squirt it up my rectum, I could claim to be a pregnant too.

I'll just repeat what I wrote in reply:
"One of the supreme ironies that transsexual and intersexed people suffer from is being confused with Gays and Lesbians. Some of our greatest allies have been from the Gay and Lesbian community. They know what it's like to be persecuted too. Those who oppose our existence don't see much of a difference, no matter how we see ourselves.

But some of our most vitriolic opponents have been Gay or Lesbian too. Some Gay men in particular manage to mix misogyny, hatred of women, with heterophobia, hatred of straights, and transphobia. At a time when so many accuse us of being part of some "Homosexual Agenda", we get Gays successfully agitating for us to be excluded from Human Rights legislation such as the Employment Non Discrimination Act, because we're straight. Well, most of us.

Having a sense of humour is a survival skill for us, and when I see a post like this, I have to laugh. Some of those furthest from understanding are those who we get confused with. And the most Gay-hating homophobes and Straight-hating Gays are in total agreement on one thing - that our existence is wrong . You have to laugh, don't you?"
This next one is no laughing matter though. It's not just a matter of railing against "icky lesbians" with "girl germs", it's actual, unadulterated malice.

Comment 1,896:
Tracy/Thomas found a legal loophole to obtain recognition as a "male" and played that to their advantage to obtain a marriage license that is denied to every other gay couple in the United States. These people are benefitting from their status as a married couple when it comes to filing taxes and other government benefits they are eligible to receive as a married person. Gay individuals have been fighting for so long to have the right to marry and even though several states now recognize civil unions they still don't have the recognition of the federal government. I live in California and even though these two were "married" in Hawaii and now live in Oregon, I wrote to my state senators asking that they initiate an investigation into the legality of this union on a federal level and perhaps collect back taxes that are owed the same as they would in any other fraud situation.
The selfish, spiteful, envious Gay is a well-worn and tired cliche, demeaning and hurtful, and inaccurate. Well, usually inaccurate.

Not only is he on shaky legal ground, not only does he completely misrepresent and misunderstand the situation, his letter could only cause problems not just for all transsexual couples, but those gays who have managed to achieve same-sex marriage in Massachusetts. He and his partner haven't been granted what they want, so he's doing what he can to make sure everyone else will suffer too. Even if it damages his own cause. This is not just Transphobia, it's Rabid.

Then there's the God-Fearing Christian who appears to have lost the plot a bit, out of the best of intentions.
Comment 1,814:
Maybe The lord will take this child home to be with him before, they are born, I personally think that would be the best thing to happen.

I'm ashamed to say that my immediate response to that was
"After you.... Soon please."
Snappy comeback, Zoe. But how exactly does that make me any better than her? I wrote it out of anger, "Righteous Wrath", not out of a misguided sense of Charity, as she did. It was written out of malice. So that make me worse, not better. I'm just like the Fundies, the Concerned Women of America (whose spokesmen are men, naturally), MassResistance, the Family Values Coalition or whatever, I lose track of all these Pharisaic groups. All so convinced of their own sanctity and piety that no enormity is beyond them. It's an easy trap to fall into, and the Left is even more prone to it than Rightists like me. I should farnarckling well know better.

Ah spit. Christ knows (and that might be literally true, though I don't consider myself Christian), I'm no Saint. But maybe before I criticise specks in others' eyes, I might just do something about the whole darn lumberyard in my own. Now this went through my mind even as I was writing my snappy, witty, and ultimately vain retort. So I left it there, as a monument to my own fallibility, and wrote a sincere apology as an afterword.

Here is what I should be saying, when I'm not consumed with pride at my own "goodness". HA! I was asked why I ventured into the Lion's Den, so to speak, along with some kind compliments for me doing so.
There's no point preaching to the choir though, is there? We have to talk to those most entrenched in their views if we are to do any good.

At this time of the year, we remember another person who was criticised by those of goodwill for "stirring up the hornet's nest". Many wondered whether he was doing more harm than good. But Dr Martin Luther King Jr did not make his speeches in Berkeley, California. He did it in his opponents' - for he never had any enemies, he had too much love inside him for that - his opponents' heartland, in Birmingham, Alabama.

Now Dr Martin Luther King Jr holds a very special place in the hearts of all Black Americans, and I won't co-opt that. I'm neither Black, nor American. I have no right to. But he holds a place in the hearts of every human being on the planet too, yes, even in far-off Australia, as a great American, as a great Human Being. He is a model and an inspiration to all of us.

And it's not as if I face attack dogs and fire hoses, and we hardly ever get our places of worship bombed. The worse that can happen is for a Transgendered child to be assassinated at his schooldesk by two shots to the head, as happened a few weeks ago. And for days of remembrance for him to be boycotted by "Christian" groups who fanatically oppose the measures to ensure that this happens less often, even a day of silence to mark his passing.

Most of those so disgusted and revolted by my existence are actually pretty decent people. I have to have faith in that. I won't reach all of them. I probably won't reach most of them. But if I reach just one, that's enough. If I can get them to read the Bible, Isaiah 56:4-5, 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, Matthew 19:12, rather than having them dictate to God what he wants, that will suffice.

Besides which, we have no choice. We've been caught in the backlash against Gay Marriage. We used to do what you suggest, fly under the radar, not make waves, but we can't now. They won't let us. The only way now is forward.

And I have a Dream too.
I'm a million light years away from being in MLK's league, to state the bleedin' obvious, but everyone can share that Dream of his. It's equal-opportunity, not restricted to one race, colour, or creed, that's the whole point. We have to be Kind to one another. That's all there is to it. Simple, really.

For those without a copy of the Bible handy, these are the verses I referred to, from the KJV. What can I say, I'm a traditionalist, and of Anglican heritage.

Matthew 19
12 - For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb...

Isaiah 56
4 - For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant;
5 - Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.

And my favourite, 1 Corinthians 13
1 - Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
2 - And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
3 - And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
4 - Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5 - Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6 - Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7 - Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
8 - Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
9 - For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
10 - But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
11 - When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12 - For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
13 - And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Sunday 6 April 2008

Phaedra and Fractals

Music: "Phaedra" by Tangerine Dream

Saturday 5 April 2008

Today's Battle

At Oprah, and, and NewsBusters...

The comments here have shown so much ignorance, so much bigotry, so much spite and malice, so much hypocrisy, so much Phariseeism....

The comments on the Oprah site are particularly baleful. 90% Disgust, 60% Anger, over 50% dictate to God what He wants... and that's just from the Gays. Reading through them all is like probing a sore tooth with your tongue, it's horridly fascinating.

Oh well, if the task was easy, it would be boring, wouldn't it?

Friday 4 April 2008

All Your Alkalines Are Belong To us

This and many other Scientific in-jokes at Nearing Zero.

And that is one of the most accurate drawings of a Fairey Swordfish I've ever seen. The details matter.

Thursday 3 April 2008

A Letter to Ms Divine

I've been a fan of Miranda Divine, the "Token Conservative" at the Sydney Morning Herald, for some time. I've agreed with her on nearly everything, and she pulls no punches. She's honest, and like me, has little time for "Political Correctness" in matters great or small.
Dear Ms Devine

Over the years, I've read your columns, and found myself in complete agreement with all but a few.

Your recent column "Society’s not ready for this" is one of those few.

My reasons (at length - sorry, I could do with a good editor) are on my blog.

May I ask you to reconsider your view. Think about it - if someone says
"THERE is no polite way of saying this ... the sight of the alleged "pregnant man" who hit the news last week is enough to turn anyone's stomach. It is simply repulsive to see a person with a beard and a man's flat chest sporting a swollen pregnant belly. It is wrong in the most visceral way."

Then maybe they are likely to think with their viscera than with their formidable intellect.

I don't find it repulsive: I do find it frightening, disquieting, very uncomfortable. And I should be "hardened" to it, after all, I'm Intersexed in a spectacular way. One that many would think is even more "wrong in the most visceral way", even more stomach-turning and repulsive. Can't say I'm real thrilled with the situation myself, but "them's the breaks".

In closing, you're right when you say that this is a political statement, and so should be open to criticism. There's a reason for that though, and for why the dozens of other similar cases weren't publicised before (for this is by no means the first, as some reports suggest). It's because people like this guy, people like me, have been caught in the crossfire of the backlash against Gay Marriage. We used to "fly under the radar" and "not rock the boat". But long-held rights, such as the right of transsexual people to hold a passport corresponding to their presentation when going overseas for surgery, rights quietly granted without making waves after some unfortunate incidents, are being summarily withdrawn. It's not that we're not going forwards fast enough, it's that we're going backwards. We can no longer hide and not cause nausea.

All the best,
Zoe E Brain
Will she reconsider? I think so. She may not change her mind, but if I read her right - or Right - then she'll give it some thought. That's all I can reasonably ask, really.

Wednesday 2 April 2008

Now *This* Is Funny

Tobogganing in the Station. Read the whole thing.

A great blog. Australian police have to put up with a lot, but not as much as these guys. Yet somehow they've not just kept their sense of humour, they've kept their sense of fun. Even Superintendents. The better ones, anyway.

And it was time I took a break from Deep and Meaningful subjects, I've been entirely too serious lately.