Archive for Culture

Queer Folk

Matthew Shepherd died for this?

An LGBT pride march in Scotland has banned “cis” drag queens from marching out of the fear that it could offend transgender people.

Free Pride Glasgow is scheduled to take place in August, and bills itself as an alternative to the city’s main Pride event, which has allegedly become too commercialized.

“It was felt by the group within the Trans/Non Binary Caucus that some drag performance, particularly cis drag, hinges on the social view of gender and making it into a joke, however transgender individuals do not feel as though their gender identity is a joke,” organizers said in a statement.

Initially, the policy was also going to ban transsexual drag queens, on the grounds that it would be inappropriate to ask individual queens whether they identified as transgender or not. But then that policy offended the transgender drag queens, who complained, leading to a new policy where trans drag queens are welcome but wicked cis queens are banned (“Cisgender” means a person who identifies with their actual, physical sex).

Drag is the new blackface. Divine is Al Jolson.

Oh gosh! I’m sorry.

If you think you’re confused…

A two-decade-old national drag pageant’s decision to update its rules extending participation by some transgender people — but excluding transgender people who have not yet had gender reassignment surgery from competing — in two categories has caused confusion among some and claims of discrimination by other fans, followers and performers online.

The National Entertainer of the Year (EOY) contest, founded in 1991, announced after its national pageant this weekend that state promoters had voted to allow some transgender persons to participate in its Mr. and Femme categories, traditionally reserved for cisgender men and women portraying men and women.

“During the promoter meeting for this year’s Entertainer of the Year it was decided to fully embrace the LGBT entertainment community,” a Monday release drafted by Arizona EOY promoter and Femme contest coordinator Richard Van Stone read. “Contestants who are transgender may now compete in the division in which they gender identify for both the Femme and Mr categories, provided they have had a complete surgical tranformation [sic].”

The release added, “Contestants must be post operative and live their life as the gender to which they identify.”

The rule, as explained in the pageant’s initial release, effectively means that transgender people who have not undergone complete gender reassignment surgery will be forbidden from participating in the contests’ Mr. and Femme categories.

The news was immediately met with questions from performers and fans on Facebook.

“Embracing only ‘post-op’ is not really ‘fully embracing the LGBT community,’” Terra Rhyzen commented Monday.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Terra Rhyzen no more his/her original name than her/his vagina/penis is his/her original equipment.

I say embrace your prejudices. Trannies hate drags, drags hate straights, post-ops hate pre-ops. If there’s one thing we all share, it’s revulsion with each other. If I may make just one more reference to the divine Divine (hateful to the transgender though she may be):

The once-unthinkable is now unremarkable. As the owner of the Bloodthirsty Puppy, I am more familiar with dog excrement than I am with sex reassignement surgery. But how could I be any more surprised to find merde du chien on the menu at Daniel Boulud’s new boîte than I am at the end of gender? It just takes getting used to.


The Next Planned Parent Video

Wow, so disturbing. That’s your warning, truly upsetting.

– Aggie


How Bill Clinton Is Like Bill Cosby

Also true.

By the way, this is from Camille Paglia, a feminist, lesbian, scholar. I find almost everything that she writes to be interesting.

Paglia seemed to be on the winning side of the wars over feminism and political correctness in the 1990s, but recently those battles have been reopened. Suddenly we’re talking again and in very different ways about sexual culture on campus. Comedians like Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Maher talk about the return of a stifling political correctness. And we’re staring at the potential rematch of a Clinton and a Bush.

There were so many stories that we wanted Paglia’s take on: Bill Cosby, Donald Trump, the state of the Democratic Party. So we spent two hours discussing all of them on Monday, and we’ll present her thoughts over the next three days. Stand back: Paglia does not hold back on anything.

The banner on the Drudge Report this morning is that Kathleen Willey is starting a site to collect harassment claims against Bill Clinton. New York magazine, meanwhile, has the stories of 35 women who say they were raped or assaulted by Bill Cosby. I wonder if you see a connection between the two stories: Would Bill Clinton’s exploits be viewed more like Cosby’s if he was in the White House now, instead of in the 1990s?

Right from the start, when the Bill Cosby scandal surfaced, I knew it was not going to bode well for Hillary’s campaign, because young women today have a much lower threshold for tolerance of these matters. The horrible truth is that the feminist establishment in the U.S., led by Gloria Steinem, did in fact apply a double standard to Bill Clinton’s behavior because he was a Democrat. The Democratic president and administration supported abortion rights, and therefore it didn’t matter what his personal behavior was.

But we’re living in a different time right now, and young women have absolutely no memory of Bill Clinton. It’s like ancient history for them; there’s no reservoir of accumulated good will. And the actual facts of the matter are that Bill Clinton was a serial abuser of working-class women–he had exploited that power differential even in Arkansas. And then in the case of Monica Lewinsky–I mean, the failure on the part of Gloria Steinem and company to protect her was an absolute disgrace in feminist history! What bigger power differential could there be than between the president of the United States and this poor innocent girl? Not only an intern but clearly a girl who had a kind of pleading, open look to her–somebody who was looking for a father figure.

I was enraged! My publicly stated opinion at the time was that I don’t care what public figures do in their private life. It’s a very sophisticated style among the French, and generally in Europe, where the heads of state tend to have mistresses on the side. So what? That doesn’t bother me at all! But the point is, they are sophisticated affairs that the European politicians have, while the Clinton episode was a disgrace.

A cigar and the intern is certainly the opposite of sophisticated.

Absolutely! It was frat house stuff! And Monica got nothing out of it. Bill Clinton used her. Hillary was away or inattentive, and he used Monica in the White House–and in the suite of the Oval Office, of all places. He couldn’t have taken her on some fancy trip? She never got the perks of being a mistress; she was there solely to service him. And her life was completely destroyed by the publicity that followed. The Clinton’s are responsible for the destruction of Monica Lewinsky! They probably hoped that she would just go on and have a job, get married, have children, and disappear, but instead she’s like this walking ghoul.

Here’s what I think: Young women don’t care about this stuff; they will vote for Clinton if they bother to vote at all. Most of the college educated Millenials are struggling economically and would benefit from some economic sanity, but every role model – teachers, most parents, professors, etc., have instilled liberal/leftist values in them throughout their lives. Turning away from the nonsense would feel like a betrayal of their entire world. So they will continue to struggle; they will live in basements or crappy apartments; they won’t buy homes or start families (because young men are in the same predicament.) I am good with all of this. My only regret is that they could somehow see, Dickens-like, what life could have been if we’d had adults running the country during their early adulthood.

– Aggie


Presidential Daughters

Last night I saw a brief film clip of Governor Kasich with his family. He appears to have two daughters. Yes, according to wiki, that is correct:

He has been married to his second wife, Karen, since 1997. They have twin daughters, Emma and Reese.[20]

Obama also has two daughters, as did GW Bush.

Before that, we had Clinton, one daughter.

George HW Bush breaks the pattern, all sorts of kids, both genders. You have to go back to Jimmy Carter to find Amy in the White House. Ford had four kids, three boys. But Nixon had Julie and Tricia. Lyndon Johnson likewise had two girls – Luci Baines and Lynda Bird. Eisenhower had boys; Truman just one child, a daughter.

There are lots of girls in the White House. Not sure what it is about, but in the modern era, we have girls.

Looking at the current field, Hillary obviously has just one kid, a daughter. Rubio – four children, wiki doesn’t give genders, but not likely to be all girls. Jeb Bush has three kids, only one girl. Ted Cruz has two daughters. Scott Walker has two sons – unelectable.

Well, I’m bored with this now, but there are other candidates. The two daughter thing seems to provide the best chance for winning. (Perhaps it has something to do with television? Girls are cuter?) That looks like either Kasich or Cruz. I’ll place a bet on Kasich.

PS: Yes, I really do think that the American public is that shallow. They will fall in love with a politician if he is attractive – a strike against Kasich for sure – and apparently want to see attractive children, especially girls on camera as well.

– Aggie


Ethical Discussion Of Planned Parenthood Scandal

from someone who ran a Planned Parenthood clinic in Texas

Abby Johnson wasn’t horrified by last week’s undercover video showing a Planned Parenthood doctor describing over lunch and wine how to “crush” a fetus during an abortion to preserve the organs because she’s been there.

In her previous role as clinic director for a Planned Parenthood facility in East Texas, Ms. Johnson said part of her job was to sift through the aborted fetal tissue and organs, pack them in a container with dry ice, check the consent form and “ship them off.”

“I lived that life,” said Ms. Johnson in an interview. “I worked at Planned Parenthood for eight years at an abortion facility, and I ran the facility, and that was very common for us after a long day of work — after a long day of performing abortions, the staff going out to eat, having drinks, talking about the day.”

That’s no longer her life. Ms. Johnson, 35, resigned in 2009 after witnessing an ultrasound-guided abortion. Three years ago, she founded And Then There Were None, dedicated to helping abortion clinic employees leave the business by providing counseling, recruiting services, legal fees, even a month’s worth of replacement salary.

The video prompted her to write an open letter last week to Dr. Nucatola offering assistance and saying, “I get how something grotesque to others can seem ordinary.”

Planned Parenthood insists that it only charges for costs arising from the transfer of lawfully donated tissue to medical research centers, which is legal.

Two Democrats — House Judiciary Committee ranking member John Conyers Jr. and Rep. Steve Cohen — released a statement saying that the video “does not demonstrate that Planned Parenthood is ‘selling’ fetal tissue.”

“In fact, many portions of the full video — edited out of the nine-minute version that House Republicans have circulated — directly contradict the allegation that Planned Parenthood has violated federal law,” the joint statement said.

Based on her experience, Ms. Johnson says she saw nothing in the video to indicate that Planned Parenthood is breaking the law. At the same time, she said the video exposes a loophole that gives clinics and processing companies enormous latitude in setting reimbursement charges for fetal hearts, lungs and other organs.

“The law currently states that there can be moneys exchanged as long as they fit under certain categories like preservation, collection, storage, transport, etc.,” Ms. Johnson said. “And the law says there is not a maximum amount that can be charged or a minimum amount but that costs cannot be prohibitive. And that’s very subjective.”

“They [clinics] could say, ‘Well, it’s more difficult for me to harvest a brain than it is for me to harvest a kidney, so that collection fee is going to be $1,000 for a brain, whereas it’s only going to be $400 for a kidney,’” Ms. Johnson said. “And the problem is that it’s so subjective, the amount of money that can be charged. That’s really where we need reform.”

Arthur Caplan, director of medical ethics at NYU Langone Medical Center’s Department of Population Health, also raised the issue of high transfer costs, telling Reuters that only a few companies collect the fetal tissue and that “they charge a lot for it.”

“I’m not sure people who donate it realize that,” Mr. Caplan added.

During her tenure at the Planned Parenthood clinic, Ms. Johnson said most women would agree to donate fetal tissue and/or organs “because we made it seem like that, by donating, they were helping others.”

The National Institutes of Health spent $76 million last year funding grants for research using fetal tissue aimed at finding cures for diseases such as cancer, diabetes and HIV/AIDS.

In a statement, the NIH said such biomedical research is conducted “under the general legal authorities to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability.”

In her experience, Ms. Johnson said the older the gestational age of the fetus, the easier it is to pick out organs.

“At my affiliate, we did abortions at the time up until 16 weeks. You can begin harvesting fetal tissue at approximately eight weeks,” Ms. Johnson said. “Organs are present earlier, but you can’t really decipher them until about 12 weeks. That’s not all of the organs, but some of the larger ones, you can pick those out and say, ‘OK, this is a liver.’ And that’s usually around 12 weeks.”

Ms. Johnson’s story is well known in pro-life circles. She had received a regional Employee of the Year award from Planned Parenthood shortly before she quit in 2009 after a doctor showed her an abortion procedure on an ultrasound.

“I was shocked at what I saw,” she said. “I had been told by Planned Parenthood that the unborn had no sensory development until 28 weeks gestation, and so to see a 13-week fetus trying to actively move away from the abortion instrument during that procedure was very shocking.

“It really caused me to [ask], ‘What else have I been misled about through this organization?’” said Ms. Johnson, who recounts her experience in “Unplanned” (Tyndale Momentum), which was released in paperback in December.

Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest provider of reproductive health services, including abortions, reported revenue of $1.2 billion in 2012-13. Nearly half of that, or $540 billion, came from “government health services grants and reimbursements.”

Dr. Nucatola has come under fire for her comments in the undercover video — even Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards apologized last week for the doctor’s “tone and statements.”

But Ms. Johnson was not among those critics.

“To be perfectly honest, I was disgusted at many of the comments that I saw from people claiming to be pro-life, and the way that they were talking about Dr. Nucatola,” Ms. Johnson said.

“That was very disturbing to me. If we’re going to say that we’re pro-life and we believe in the inherent dignity of all persons, that includes physicians who work at Planned Parenthood.”

I get how the change came about for her. Initially, she focused on the theoretical help she was providing to sick people who need a cure for various illnesses, but when she saw the baby being killed, her world flipped. This is a very tough question ethically. Honestly, I don’t think we’re up to it. We lack the ethical basis, as a nation.

– Aggie


Trump Obama Mirror Image

Brilliant analysis of the similarities between Donald Trump and Barack Obama

…Trump is a celebrity who tweets and phones his praise of and insults to comedians, athletes, and media kingpins. But so does Obama love the celebrity world. He is comfortable with Jay Z and Beyoncé, picks the Sweet Sixteen on live television, and has reminded us that he’s the LeBron of the Teleprompter, who won’t choke under the spotlights. Both see pop culture and the presidency as a fitting together perfectly. Would the Chicago community-organizing cadre be that much different from the Trump Manhattan clique? Isn’t big-city know-how key to “fundamentally transforming” the country? Is there that much difference between Trump’s golden name tags and Obama’ faux Greek columns, vero possumus, “We are the ones we have been waiting for,” and cooling the planet and lowering the seas?

The entire article is just great.

– Aggie

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Another Planned Parenthood Video

Let me say up front that I think that the physician speaking here is not in it for the money, and that from her point of view, she is trying to help people. Almost all advances in human medical care are the result of animal model experimentation, and it is logical to conclude that we could learn a lot from these fetuses. Things like how to grow a new heart or a pancreas or spinal tissue to correct injuries that confine people to wheel chairs and respirators. Society has some very difficult choices to make.

I also object to the cheesy way the editing is constructed to make her look like a monster. She is obviously someone who believes in what she is doing.

My own ethics are that abortion is wrong, and nothing showed that more compellingly than the first video this group released. This one feels like manipulation. And because it is so manipulative, my reaction was that the Right is doing the same thing that the Left has specialized in during the Obama years – vilifying people who disagree. It is beyond sad that we have a culture that has so many women willing to throw away their unborn children, but I completely understand why researchers are interested in the resulting tissue.

– Aggie


Try Not To Let This Destroy Your Faith In Our Immigration System

Woman killed in San Francisco while strolling through tourist area

A woman out for a stroll with her father Wednesday along the San Francisco waterfront was killed by a man in an apparent random shooting, police say.

The shooting occurred in the evening at Pier 14 – one of the busiest tourist destinations in the city and a place where people gather to take in the views, joggers exercise and families push strollers at all hours of the day and night.

Liz Sullivan told the San Francisco Chronicle that the killing of her daughter, Kathryn Steinle, was unbelievable and surreal.

“I don’t think I’ve totally grasped it,” Sullivan said.

Two TV crews reporting on the killing were later mugged at the scene with a masked gunman pistol-whipping a camera operator. The robber took cameras from KNTV and KTVU before he jumped into a black BMW and fled the scene.

This makes me want to hide under the bed. Go to the link and check out the young woman. Absolute tragedy.

Police said Thursday they arrested Francisco Sanchez in the shooting an hour after it occurred.

Police Sgt. Michael Andraychak said witnesses snapped photos of Sanchez immediately after the shooting and the images helped police make the arrested while he was walking on the sidewalk a few blocks away from the scene.

Police believe Sanchez is about 45 years old and from Texas. Andraychak said he’s on probation for an unspecified conviction. Police were still waiting on fingerprint identification on Sanchez.

Sullivan told the newspaper that her 32-year-old daughter turned to her father after she was shot and said she didn’t feel well before collapsing.

“She just kept saying, ‘Dad, help me, help me,'” Sullivan said.

Her father immediately began CPR before paramedics rushed the woman to the hospital.

– Aggie



How many characters do I get? 140?


The names of every black employee at Twitter could fit into a few tweets.

The tech company has only 49 black employees in an American workforce of 2,910, according to the company’s latest Equal Employment Opportunity report.

Across the board, its employment of most minorities deserves a “#dismal” hashtag — whites and Asians comprise 93.8% of Twitter’s workforce, with all other ethnicities represented by only a few dozen employees, if that.

This comes afer the company’s vice president of diversity and inclusion declared in a blog post last summer Twitter is “making diversity an important business issue for ourselves.”

Ironically, black users dominate the medium itself — 27% of black adults use Twitter, compared to 21% of white adults, according to the Pew Research Center. In 2015 especially, Twitter has proven an essential tool for the “Black Lives Matter” movement and the promotion of causes and demonstrations tied to it.

The company’s whitewashed employment stats have already drawn outrage from one black leader.

“I am very disappointed,” the Rev. Jesse Jackson told the Guardian Wednesday.

“Black people are greater users of the product and capable of doing the jobs, but there has not been an adequate commitment to hire, train and maintain (them).”

He added: “They hire people they know, they trust and like. We’re not in that the circle.”

OMG!!! Are you saying, Jesse, that Twitter folk don’t “trust” or even “like” black people?


Anyway, you’re not alone in being alone:

Twitter’s stats also shows a striking gender imbalance, with men making up 70% of its workforce.

There is a higher percentage of black Republican candidates for president than black employees at Twitter. And a higher percentage of women at


PS: Alas, Aggie and I are as white as Rachel Dolezal, lol, but we do have self-identified blacks and Native Americans among our readers.


Gays Win, Sluts Lose

Celebrate now, Mr. and Mr. Homosexual. Blow that noisemaker while you can, Ms. and Ms. Lesbian.

They’re coming for you next:

Government incentives for marriage—gay or straight—discriminate against single and polyamorous individuals. Part of the reason gay people are so exuberant about the Supreme Court’s legalization of same-sex marriage—aside from the symbolism of wider cultural acceptance—is the bribes government gives people for committing to a lifetime of coupled monogamy.

Incentivizing marriage – gay or straight – discriminates against single people who have no formal romantic relationships and a growing number of people who identify as polyamorous.

From income-tax breaks to estate planning benefits to Social Security and insurance benefits to the right to make medical decisions for one’s spouse, there are all kinds of carrots dangled in front of Americans as rewards for getting hitched. Instead of putting unmarried individuals on equal footing with married people, the government has chosen to appease the masses by blessing another category of monogamous couples with the privileges of marriage—those of the same sex.

This is discrimination, plain and simple. It discriminates against single people who have no formal romantic relationships and a growing number of people who identify as polyamorous, who maintain multiple romantic relationships at once. The government has no business incentivizing any type of romantic or non-romantic behavior. It has no business rewarding us or penalizing us based on our relationship status.

By granting gay couples the same “privileges” as straight couples, we are widening the gap of inequality between coupled and non-coupled individuals. The only way to have real equality in this country is to treat everyone as individuals with equal rights, not unequal privileges. Otherwise, we open the doors to social conservatives’ worst nightmare—polygamy! Not long after that, single people, vying for the same entitlements, will surely fulfill former Sen. Rick Santorum’s prophecy by requesting to marry their dogs!

At least my dog is loyal! Though I don’t get how denying this woman tax credits for sleeping around will lead to polygamy. And if she wants to know what “social conservatives’ worst nightmare” is, she should read her own piece. She’s it. (Though she’s pretty cute, you have to admit, in an Amy Adams sort of way.)

Okay, fine. Let’s be fair. The government should get out of the yenta business. No Tax Breaks for Twosomes; No Deductions for Dyads. Social engineering smacks of Orwellian dystopia. The sorts of things we have incentivized in the tax code—home, children, charity (what, no buggy whip?)—sound adorably quaint in this free-agent world.

I just wouldn’t get too comfortable in it. Because something somewhere is always next. Even the Bloodthirsty Puppy. #LoveWins

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Off to the Races

I would have guessed polygamy would win, but incest is making its move (so to speak):

Germany’s national ethics council has called for an end to the criminalisation of incest between siblings after examining the case of a man who had four children with his sister.

Patrick Stuebing, who was adopted as an infant and met his sister in his 20s, has launched several appeals since being imprisoned for incest in 2008 and his lengthy legal battle has prompted widespread public debate.

Sexual relations between siblings or between parents and their children are forbidden under section 173 of the German criminal code and offenders can face years in prison.

But on Wednesday, the German Ethics Council recommended the section be repealed, arguing that the risk of disability in children is not enough to warrant the law and de-criminalising incest would not remove the huge social taboo around it.

I suppose it’s for the best. Imagine being in prison for incest and having to answer the question “What are you in for?”

Out: #LoveWins; In: #FamilialLoveWins

Now would be a good time to remember Chesterton: “When a man stops believing in God he doesn’t then believe in nothing, he believes anything.”


Polygamists Rejoice!

I gotta get me a cult. One where I am el jefe. Because that’s where the action will be:

Although the majority randomly inserts the adjective “two” in various places, it offers no reason at all why the two-person element of the core definition of marriage may be preserved while the man-woman element may not. Indeed, from the standpoint of history and tradition, a leap from opposite-sex marriage to same-sex marriage is much greater than one from a two-person union to plural unions, which have deep roots in some cultures around the world. If the majority is willing to take the big leap, it is hard to see how it can say no to the shorter one.

It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage. If “[t]here is dignity in the bond between two men or two women who seek to marry and in their autonomy to make such profound choices,” why would there be any less dignity in the bond between three people who, in exercising their autonomy, seek to make the profound choice to marry? If a same-sex couple has the constitutional right to marry because their children would otherwise “suffer the stigma of knowing their families are somehow lesser,” why wouldn’t the same reasoning apply to a family of three or more persons raising children? If not having the opportunity to marry “serves to disrespect and subordinate” gay and lesbian couples, why wouldn’t the same “imposition of this disability,” serve to disrespect and subordinate people who find fulfillment in polyamorous relationships?

If this argument sounds familiar, it’s because we’ve made it repeatedly. We support gay marriage. We know several same-sex couples whose relationship can only be described as a marriage, kids and all. We are not threatened by their relationship; nor, in our belief, is marriage threatened by it. Their adherence to a monogamous relationship, out of love and commitment, including the raising of happy and well-adjusted children, only strengthens the institution.

But let us not tell lies: we are redefining the meaning of the word. And once we have erased the definition, once we have obscured the line, who are we to redefine the word, redraw the line? There are some easy outs: a man may not reasonably propose marriage to his toaster. Even his goldfish may be said to be lacking sentience for consent. But mature, consenting adults, who want to get it on in innumerable ways? We now pronounce you husband and wives. Anything less is base bigotry.

Curriculum nights and PTA meetings are about to get a lot more complicated and a lot more crowded. Mail order brides (or grooms) may get a bulk discount. And once marriage is changed in one or two ways, four, eight, or 16 ways will assuredly follow. Massachusetts was first to recognize the right, only ten years ago. You seriously expect the marriage landscape to look the same ten years from now? I didn’t think so.

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Better yet, have them join you. Eight-by-ten glossies and measurements required with each application.

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