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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

A Response to Democratic Party Apologists

A Response to Those Who Are Willing to Vote,
and Want Us to Vote,
for Corporate Democrats, to "Stop Trump,"
by Liviana (Giovanna Laine)

If you think the Democrats are going to do anything substantially different, you have been played.  They talk differently, they put on a show, they pretend to be on your side.  As soon as your back is turned, though, out come the knives.  The more some talk about "unity" and "working together," the more annoyed I become.  Why?  I will not work with someone who can't see what's really going on and keeps buying into the Democrats' argumentum ad metum and feigned smiles of phony friends who are nothing but neoliberal, neoconservative fauxgressives even after being told where to look for the evidence.  You're so terrified of da big bad Twump (who is actually nothing more than a big orange blowhard), that you can't bring yourself to look at this honestly and see that both main parties are equally corrupt and serve the same masters, namely, the corporate oligarchs, the 1%.  Ever heard of P.U.M.A. ("Party Unity My Ass")?  Well, those people didn't mean it, but when we said "Bernie or Bust" and "Bernie or Jill," we meant it.  We will not work with you, we will not fall in line so you can use our votes.  After all, it was you guys who told us that you didn't need us back in 2016.  Guess who asked us to come help build and own a party?  The Green Party. How did that not needing us in 2016 work out for you?  Now you want to come and beg us to come back, while constantly trying to shame us & blame us for your mistakes?  You want to get Trump out of the White House?  You want to end the corruption in government?  You want to drain the swamp?  Well, have I got a deal for you.  All you who are serious about this can pull yourselves out of the anti-democratic Party and come to the Greens, because we're not coming to the rescue of your party.  We want them out of power just as much as we want the Republicans out of power.  So there's your choice.  Take it or leave it, but stop trying to cajole us back into your corrupt party to support your corrupt candidates.  #DemExit & #GreenEnter now.

What exactly do you know about the change I want?  Why do you call it Radical?  I'm not a Radical, I'm a Progressive.  Do you understand the difference between those two terms?  I doubt it, since you don't even know the difference between a Progressive, a Regressive, and a Fauxgressive.  Do you know what they used to call what you're now calling "incrementalism," what we call "Democrat incrementalism"?  Back in the '60s, it was known as "gradualism" or "liberal gradualism."  You know who condemned that?  Do you know why?  Because "It is always the right time to do what is right," as he himself said.

You've talked about changing the Constitution to get rid of the Electoral College, to eliminate Free Speech, to eliminate the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, to eliminate Due Process.  You don't have the knowledge to start rewriting the Constitution.  You have nowhere near the amount of education in Classics & History & Philosophy which the founders had.  They wanted to avoid the flaws of all the other systems which had come before, so they gave us something totally new, not a democracy which is subject to the whims and fads of popular opinion, which so often devolves into dictatorship, not a republic which is so prone to fall into imperialism, but a democratic federal republic.  Is it perfect?  Certainly not (and especially not after all the attempts of the 1% and their lackeys in the Democratic and Republican parties to turn it into a corporate oligarchy). Is it better than a pure democracy, a pure republic, a monarchy, an autocracy, a dictatorship, an empire?  Absolutely (even now, still, but for how much longer if you don't pull your heads out of the jackass, I couldn't say).  Can it be improved?  Of course, but only if you know what the hell you're doing, and frankly, someone who can't even tell how he is being bamboozled by partisan rhetoric and logical fallacy is in no position to even contemplate such an undertaking.  Presumptuousness, daring, obstinance, denial, ignorance, these are not virtues, but hindrances to such an undertaking.  Have you even studied any legal systems?  Even the American legal system, & its origins in English common law?  Are you remotely familiar with Roman law?  Have you ever even heard of Brehon law?  Do you know the difference between Retaliatory Justice and Compensatory Justice?  Can you tell me why the Roman Republic became an Empire?  Why did the Athenian democracy become a dictatorship?  Have you read Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Tacitus, John Locke, Jean Jacques Rousseau?  How about the writings of Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison?  Alexander Hamilton?  Do you know who Sulla was?  Have you read Juvenal's Satires?  What do you know about Machiavelli?  Have you read any of his works?  If so, did you read more than selections from The Prince, more than the entirety of The Prince?  Do you know why Machiavelli talked about the difference between appearance & reality?  Do you know what the expression "bread and circuses" means?  For someone with such ambition, you are woefully ignorant of anything related to Enlightenment Liberalism, Social Liberalism, historical Progressivism, or Modern Progressivism, or the history of this country and how it came to be and why.  You're in no position to start screwing with the Constitution.  You know who else didn't want the Constitution to be changed by people who didn't understand the consequences of their actions?  Do you have any idea why we have an Electoral College?  Have you ever read Federalist Number 10? Because if you've read Federalist number 10, which was written by James Madison, then you would know.

You say you'll change the Constitution.
Well, you know, we all want to change your head.
You tell me it's the institution.
Well, you know, you better free your mind instead.
 ~ John Lennon

You want to lecture us about how to win elections, too, telling us to do things we've been doing for decades already.  Oh you're going to tell us about winning elections now?  Where were you when Hillary was running?  Why didn't you tell her what she needed to win an election?  For all her supposed knowledge & experience & intelligence, she sure screwed the pooch on that one.  If she were as intelligent, experienced, competent, & knowledgeable as you all kept claiming she was, surely she should have realized that she needed to win Electoral votes, and not just a popularity contest.  But she didn't.  And you guys think she would have made such a dandy president.

I'm being mean?  Buck up, buttercup.  Y'all can dish it out, but can't take it?  How many insults did Hillary's supporters throw at us in 2016?  We were "sexist, misogynist, chauvinist, racist," and all kinds of other nasty things, simply because we knew she was a corrupt and untrustworthy fake who should never be allowed anywhere near political power again?  Oh, the Russians must have told us that!  Hey guess what?  I lived in Arkansas the whole time her husband was governor except for the first six months of his first term and the last seven or so months of his last term.  I knew she was a fake long before most of you even knew she was alive.  Any Southern woman with even half a brain can tell when some Yankee woman is affecting affability, and I could certainly tell that she was not a person to be trusted.  So tell me the Russians turned me against Hillary again.

You just want to win to stop "Trumpism"?  No.  Your party sucks just as bad as Trump does.  We're not going to let you back in power.  Get it?  You told us to piss off, so now you get what you asked for.  Coming here and trying to blame us, shame us, scare us, and beg us to be good little serfs so the corporate oligarchy can stay in power in its two headed monstrosity which pretends to be two different parties, that's not going to work.  We are wise to your corruption.  We are wise to your anti-democratic attitudes & bylaws.  You know, there's an old saying, "Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me."  I've been watching what the Democratic Party has been doing since the '70s.  I am aware of how they changed their charter and bylaws in 1973 because they didn't want to allow Progressives to nominate another candidate, and the Democratic party has not nominated a single Progressive for president since then. I'm aware of how the Democrats added superdelegates to further promote a top-down organization instead of allowing grassroots activists and reformers to save the party from itself.  Now they want to add yet another hurdle, you must identify as a Democrat in order to run on the Democratic Party ticket.  Oh, and let's not forget all those closed primaries.  Hey, didn't the DNC lawyers state last year before a judge that we should have known the primary was rigged?  Didn't they also state that the DNC had the right to pick their nominee in a smoke-filled back room?  Are we back to Tammany Hall?  Has Boss Tweed been reincarnated?  Is his name Debbie Wasserman Schultz now?  And you want to play nice with us so we'll come and vote for your party.  No.  A resounding, unreserved, and unremitting no.  Go join the Whigs & the damned Anti-Masons on the trash heap of history.  We will not allow your politicians to pimp us out to the corporate oligarchy anymore.  No.  Have I made myself clear yet?  If not, then I will say it again.  No.

You tell me about the 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions and how they're going to lose healthcare insurance if we don't "stop Trump."  Are you one of them?  Because I'm one of them.  Go try this crap on someone else, and fail again, and again, and again, because we're not falling for it.  Only partisan dupes are going to buy it.  ACA is government-ENFORCED, private, for-profit "insurance."  It's neither Progressive nor Leftist.  Look up the Progressive Party platform for 1948.  Look at that.  Universal Health Care.  Did you ever hear of the Second Bill of Rights, proposed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, a Progressive Democrat, in his State of the Union address to he joint session of the US Congress, on 11 January 1944, in which he stated that all, regardless of station, race, or creed, should have the right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health?  Did you ever read the Progressive Party Platform of 1912, when Teddy Roosevelt was their candidate for President?  Did you know that it called for the union of all the existing agencies of the Federal Government dealing with the public health into a single national health service?  Yeah, we've been trying to get this for over 100 years now, and instead, we get "incrementalism."  Y'all screwed yourselves, again and again, despite multiple warnings, & now want us to save you from your own stupidity, arrogance, & utter lack of principles, so you can screw us again.  NO.  Democrats dug your own grave, shot yourself, poisoned yourself, & refused to stop till you wound up braindead, so we removed the feeding tube & unplugged you.  FUNERAL TIME FOR THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY.

Who am I talking to?  You, Democrat.  I told you your only hope to get Trump out of office, because WE ARE NOT JOINING YOUR CORRUPT ANTI-DEMOCRATIC PARTY OR VOTING FOR YOUR NEOCONSERVATIVE/NEOLIBERAL CANDIDATES.  The ball's in YOUR court, sport.  You gonna throw the game again or come to the Greens?  You can't win without us, and we aren't playing the game for your team OR the Republicans.  Because it's not a game.  We weren't playing when we said "Bernie or Jill."  We won't vote for your corrupt candidates, no matter what you dress them up as.  Go Green or lose.  Simple as that.

Oh, I'm being mean again?  Play victim to someone else. You came to us accusing us of electing Trump, but we told you Hillary would lose if you forced her on us.  You thought we were playing.  You thought you could insult, shame, scare, or cajole us into voting for her anyway.  Then when we refused, you said that you didn't need us.  For the past 2 years, you've doubled down, electing corporate pimps to the DNC, purging Progressives from leadership positions, refusing to reject corporate donations, refusing to get rid of superdelegates, pursuing the same corporatist & neocon policies, and blaming everyone but yourselves for your loss in 2016, as well as spewing a bullshit conspiracy theory that anyone who dared to disagree with you was a "Russian bot," and now, after getting exactly what you asked for ever since the Convention in 2016, you're going to halfheartedly play nice and still accuse us of being divisive and blaming us for Trump winning in 2020 because you KNOW you won't win without Progressives, and when we tell you to get fucked, you're going to play victim?  Keep it up.  We're not budging.  The Democratic Party will join the Whigs & Anti-Masons.  Better get off that doomed ship;  there's a madman at the helm and it's headed for an iceberg AND a maelstrom.

You want to "dump Trump"?  You can't do that as a Democrat.  Your party started this battle, and now it's a war of attrition and scorched earth, till your party is dead.  It's like you thought you could invade Russia in winter or something.  You picked the wrong foe and made a colossal tactical error.

As for "Justice Democrats" and other efforts to "reform" the Democratic Party, or take it over, I keep saying that they are wasting time, effort, and money tilting at windmills when they could be building up an authentic alternative.  #DemExit & #GreenEnter

A person can conceive of all manner of things, but when the facts are in the way, those conceptions might need to be reconsidered.  The Democrats revised their charter and bylaws in 1973, to prevent another Progressive-nominated candidate for president like George McGovern, to stack the deck against any grassroots reform of the party, to make nigh-impossible any grassroots takeover of the party, and to secure the party positions of power of those in the Democratic Party establishment.  Not content with this, in the '80s, you added superdelegates to further the top-down nature of the party.  You rigged your Primary in 2016, you insulted us, you mocked us, you attempted to shame us and scare us and threaten us and so forth to get us to fall into line and support your corrupt candidate, you purged Progressives from party leadership positions in 2017, while ensconcing your own corporate sycophants in such positions, and now you want to add yet further insult to injury.  You told us after the convention in 2016 that you didn't need us.  You lost that election.  Starry-eyed idealists keep trying to save you from your own suicidal tendencies, and have been trying this for several decades to no avail.  In fact, most of these efforts not only failed spectacularly, but got co-opted by the party establishment.  And people who have no idea of all this history keep telling us to give you one more chance.  That if you don't get it right this time, that if you rig things again, that if you screw us over, yet again, that then it will finally be time to #DemExit ... Hey, it's well past that time.  Nor will we tolerate or be moved by appeals to pity, appeals to fear, attempts to shift blame for YOUR repeated screw-ups (whether that be the screw-ups of the party establishment or the screw-ups of the people who keep trying to fix them after being told over and over that it can't be done, and SHOWN WHY IT CAN'T), or any other fallacious donkey shit you try to pull.  The Democratic Party has done its best to disenfranchise Progressive Leftist voices for half a century or more, but every time you realize you need our votes and our financial contributions, here you come fawning over us, trying your best to convince us that things will be different now, just like an abusive spouse, and some have developed dysfunctions from this & keep going back for more abuse, and won't hear, refuse to even consider, reason, telling us that we are wrong, that we don't understand, that the party can be fixed, that they can make the party better.

And you tell me that we should work together with the abuser and the one who keeps going back for more?  I just don't even have words to express my frustration at having explained this in great detail, repeatedly, at having pointed to the exact places in the charter and bylaws which make the Democratic Party a top-down organization, while also pointing to the Green party charter and bylaws as an example of a grassroots organization, having explained the differences, pointed out the numerous betrayals of the Democratic Party, explained what Neoliberalism is and when and why the Democratic Party embraced it, shown the numerous examples of intransigence on the part of the leadership of the party with regard to Neoliberalism or any kind of change in direction, only to be told again and again and again "give them just one more chance, they need you, and after you save them again, they will finally see that you're a good person and should be treated with respect and given an audience and maybe a few token positions of leadership."  I'm not going to work together with these people, ever again.  I saw what they were back in the early '90s, and proudly cast my vote in 1996 for someone who gives a damn about the people, the famous consumer advocate Ralph Nader, Green Party nominee for President.  If only he had won, if only the rest of the country had woken up to the shit that the two main parties already were, and still are today.  Work together?  With people foolish enough to waste their time, to waste their money, to waste their energy, trying to save a sadomasochistic party which is intent on suicide and taking as many of us with it as possible? LOL, no.

They tell us we have to choose an elephant shit sandwich or a jackass shit sandwich, but either way, it's still a shit sandwich. We don't want a shit sandwich.  We'll take some sunflower seeds instead.

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All original content in this blog is © Copyright 2013-2018 & an. seqq. by "Liviana" (Giovanna Laine).

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Cocktail Recipe: Piña Colada Rosada

Cocktail Recipe:  Piña Colada Rosada,
by Liviana (Giovanna Laine)

So I do occasionally experiment with cocktail creations of my own design, and some turn out to be not so good, while some turn out to be delightful.  I do still have my bartender's uniform from an establishment which I shall not name here, a black tanktop and black shorts with a certain logo reminiscent of Athena on both ... so perhaps I'm not entirely inexperienced in the art of bartending, although I never went to bartending school.  With that little ... um ... tease ... out of the way, I'll provide you with one of my own cocktail recipes, for a drink I call a "piña colada rosada."  Rosada is a Spanish word for "pink."

As you may know, a piña colada is a cocktail made with coconut milk, pineapple juice, and rum.  I personally prefer to used a spiced silver rum for this, because I have a little Captain in me, as they say.

To make my piña colada rosada, you'll use the same ingredients as a standard piña colada (and again, I do recommend that particular silver spiced rum, Captain Morgan), plus a bit of guava nectar.  The guava nectar, in addition to adding an additional tartness, gives the cocktail a slight pinkish tinge.

If you would like to do this very easily, you'll need only two ingredients:  the rum, and a smoothie made by Bolthouse Farms called "Tropical Goodness," which is made with coconut water, pineapple juice, apple purée, pear juice, banana purée, pink guava purée, orange juice, and dragonfruit purée, among other ingredients.  This won't come out quite as pink as it would if you did it with only rum, coconut milk, pineapple juice, and guava nectar, but it's still quite tasty.

If you try it out, using either recipe, please let me know what you think.

(Edit:  I've been asked about quantities.  That's for you to decide;  I mix my drinks rather strong, so I didn't want to give the amounts I use and get anyone totally sloshed with a single cocktail.)

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All original content in this blog is © Copyright 2013-2018 & an. seqq. by "Liviana" (Giovanna Laine).

Monday, June 4, 2018

What Is a Progressive?

Spatan7W's "Progressive Party Bull Moose" is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

What Is a Progressive?
by Liviana (Giovanna Laine)

For the past two and a half years, the term "Progressive" has been rather frequently used in American political discourse.  But what is a Progressive, exactly?  This is a very good question, because three very distinct groups currently apply the label to themselves in the United Stats, and an historical use also exists.  What is this historical usage, what are the three groups currently claiming the title, and how do these three groups differ from one another?

Beginning in the 1890s and continuing until at least 1917 (some historians argue that it extended to 1920 or even into the 1920s), the "Progressive Era" in the United States can best be characterized as a period of often populist efforts to promote Reform.  This reform was attempted in response to political corruption going back to at least the Boss Tweed leadership of Tammany Hall, as well as issues arising from industrialization and urbanization.  What "reform" meant to any given person was a rather subjective matter, just as it remains today.

As a result of this subjectivity, members of various political parties applied the label "Progressive" to themselves, or had it applied to them by others.  The People's Party (also known as the Populist Party) was established in 1891, and was perhaps the first organized manifestation of the Progressive movement, which would therefore trace its roots to the Populist movement;  the two movements did share at least one ideal, that of a more direct democratic system than was then in operation.  By 1896, most of the members of the People's Party had merged with the Democratic Party, although a few held out till 1908.  Some Democrats and Republicans likewise embraced the Progressive movement and name, and in 1912, a former Republican President, Teddy Roosevelt, formed the Progressive Party (sometimes called "the Bull Moose Party").  By 1918, most members of this party had joined (or returned to) the Republican Party, with some joining the Democratic Party, and the Progressive Bull Moose Party was no more.  Woodrow Wilson had co-opted much of the platform of the Progressive Party for his 1916 re-election bid, and this, coupled with his slogan "He kept us out of war," won him the election.  He never attempted to implement any of the platform he had stolen from the Progressives.

In addition to varying party affiliations, various ideological perspectives with their several agendas were associated, whether by self-identification or the view of outsiders, with the Progressive movement.  Social attitudes which might today be called "Liberal," "Moderate," and "Conservative" were all associated with the label "Progressive."  Some advocated for an end to tariffs and excise taxes in favor of a tax on corporate income;  others wanted to see this also extended to personal income.  Some sought to have the gold standard on which the currency was based replaced by a silver standard, and to see the banks more regulated.  Still others wanted the right to vote to be extended to women.  Some pushed for prohibition of alcohol.  Some called for modernization through technology and science.  Some advocated for greater labor union activity.  Foundations with charitable goals were established.  Improved transportation and education were effected to benefit rural America.  The "Muckrakers" were investigative journalists and novelists who exposed corruption, scandals, and waste in both government and the corporate world, leading to calls for various reforms in both sectors.  Some even regarded Jim Crow laws and eugenics as somehow "Progressive," while African-Americans set about working on their own Progressive reforms involving better education, legal activism to secure equal rights, and assorted other things.  Various other reforms were also encouraged.

In 1921, many Progressive goals had been achieved, and the Progressive movement began to fade.  Some regard the modernization and mechanization of industry in the '20s to be Progressive, but at any rate, the wider reform movement had settled down, and the first stirrings of an economic laissez-faire attitude had begun.  Policies and laws based on the economic aspects of what we now call "Classical Liberalism" were taken to unsustainable extremes, with trickle-down economics deregulation of various industries, anti-labor efforts, a "hard money" approach to currency (leading to less currency in circulation and thus increasing unemployment), risky lending by banks (which encouraged bubble economies), rampant speculation in the stock market, and so on, promoted by the very pro-business Republicans including presidents Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover (who infamously preached "Rugged Individualism" as an anti-solidarity message).  These laws and policies favoring big business and banking, and seeking to restrict the efficacy of collective bargaining and the power of labor unions, were among the main factors which resulted in the Great Depression.  In 1924, Robert M. LaFollette, Sr. had established a new Progressive Party, which continued until 1934.  His 1924 run for President was endorsed by the American Federation of Labor (AFL, which later merged with the Congress of Industrial Organizations, or CIO, to form the AFL-CIO) and the Socialist Party of America.

With the stock market crash and the dawn of the Great Depression in 1929, attention was shifted to economic concerns, as should be expected.  President Hoover's efforts had failed to address the situation to anyone's satisfaction.  Progressive Republican Senators from western states urged him to take steps which might have had some effect, but his pro-business views led to him dismissing their calls and moving further to the economic Right.  In 1932, another Roosevelt was elected President, and among his supporters were the same Progressive Republican Senators who had been ignored by Hoover, while other, Conservative, Progressive Republicans opposed his platform.  In 1933, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was sworn in as the 32nd President of the United States.  He set about implementing "the New Deal" and espoused what could be regarded as Progressive social attitudes.  His Vice President, John N. Garner, a Southern Conservative Democrat, opposed many of FDR's policies, and broke completely from the President in 1937.  When FDR won re-election in 1940, he named his Henry A. Wallace as his new Vice President.  Wallace had been a Progressive Republican, and didn't join the Democratic Party until 1936, having been appointed Secretary of Agriculture by FDR in 1933 and having supported he New Deal from its beginning.  The Democratic National Convention in 1944 refused him the nomination for Vice President and instead nominated Harry D. Truman.  FDR then named Wallace as Secretary of Commerce, in which position he continued under Truman's presidency until September of 1946.  Henry Wallace then became the editor of The New Republic, and in 1948, formed yet another Progressive Party, running for President as the nominee thereof.

It was sometime between 1946 and 1948 that what I call the "Modern Progressive" movement became a distinct perspective in American politics, and Henry Wallace and his Progressive Party of 1948 were part of this movement.  His platform included national health insurance, welfare expansion, desegregation, nationalization of energy, an end to the Truman Doctrine and the Cold War, and conciliation with the Soviet Union.  The Communist Party USA endorsed Wallace for President, and he refused to disavow their endorsement.  In 1952, however, Wallace began to oppose Communism, and specifically what was being done in its name in the USSR, having learned of what life was like inside the Soviet Union from Gulag survivor Vladimir Petrov.

Top Row (L-R):  Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, Henry Wallace.

Wallace also supported the re-election of Republican President Dwight D. "Ike" Eisenhower in 1956.  The Republican Party platform of 1956 was surprisingly Progressive, even by today's standards, and certainly more Progressive than the Democratic Party platform of 2016 (in spite of claims that the 2016 Democratic platform was "the most Progressive platform ever in the history of the Democratic Party," which, even if that claim were true, would be a sad indictment of how far the Democrats have strayed from the platform of FDR).

For "Modern Progressives," the meaning of "Progressive" is largely intended to refer to an attitude toward change in society (and requires support for reform and progress).  The Social Liberals also arose around the same time as the Modern Progressives, and are now generally called simply "Liberals," while the Liberals of the past became known as "Classical Liberals."  Liberal, like Progressive, Moderate, Radical, Conservative, Ultraconservative, and Reactionary, are terms properly reserved for attitudes toward social and/or cultural change.  However, "Progressive" has also come to imply some economic views as well, Modern Progressives typically falling somewhere Left of Center on he economic scale, embracing either Let Social Democracy (Social Democracy is Centrist, with some forms falling a little to the Right of Center, and some a little to the Left) or some form of Socialism, while rejecting the extreme Leftism of Marxist Socialism.  During the Vietnam War, Modern Progressives opposed the war, while Social Liberals supported it, most of them being Democrats by the time and the war prosecuted by Democratic Presidents JFK and LBJ (as well as later by the Republican President Richard M. Nixon).  Progressive grassroots activists helped secure the Democratic nomination for President in 1972 for George McGovern, who was, among other things, an anti-war and pro-ecology candidate.

Following McGovern's defeat by Nixon in the '72 election (a defeat assisted by some establishment Democrats), the Democratic Party in 1973 revised their charter and bylaws to prevent another grassroots Progressive nomination, to avoid any grassroots reform of the party, and to stack the deck against any grassroots takeover of the party, transforming the "Democratic" Party into a top-down organization an ensuring that those in power in the party would be likely to retain their party positions.  The Democratic Party has not nominated a single Progressive for President since, although Progressives have continued to vie for the nomination, notable examples being Dennis Kucinich in 2004 and 2008, and Bernie Sanders in 2016.  Every attempt to reform the Democratic Party has failed, most such efforts having become co-opted by the party establishment.

Following consistent wins by Republicans throughout the 1980s, Democrats beginning in 1989 started moving toward "fiscally conservative" (economically Right Wing) views, influenced by Tony Coelho.  This move to the Right would be cemented during the presidency of William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton in the '90s with the Democrats embracing Neoliberalism (an extreme Right Wing corporatist perspective which has been associated with the Fascist dictator of Chile, Augusto Pinochet, and which takes its name from the economic aspects of Classical Liberalism taken to extremes under Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover), and the Republicans began moving further to the Right themselves in an effort to stay to the Right of the Democrats on economic matters;  many Democrats who had previously called themselves "Liberal" (that is, Social Liberal) also attempted to rebrand following the 1988 election (due to the Republicans having done their best to turn the label into a smear, and the Democrats having no spine to defend their designation), by co-opting the label "Progressive," but without changing their views on social change.  As such, those Liberals who still (whether consistently or occasionally) claim to be Progressive are known by Modern Progressives as "Fauxgressives."  During the presidency of Barack Obama, the Democrats would chase the Republicans by moving even further to the Right, resulting in the Republicans again moving further to the Right.

Also during the Obama presidency, a group which had previously perverted Political Correctness by embracing the worst aspects thereof, including a tendency to authoritarianism, intolerance of even the slightest dissent (and sometimes even of sincere questions), and self-righteous busybodyism, began to distort Kimberlé Crenshaw's original iteration of the concept of "Intersectionality" into a focus on Identity Politics, even as some of them were usurping the language of Social Justice advocates in an effort to spread their outrage and facilitate their promotion of a victim mentality.  These would gradually coalesce, by 2012, into an apparently disorganized movement involving influences from Jacques Derrida's metaphysical Nominalism, Michel Foucault's pessimism and dislike of the idea of objective truth, sex-negative and androphobic fringe elements of Second Wave Feminism, and the social Liberalism of the Democratic Party, among other things.  These Outrage Mongers inserted themselves into the Occupy movement and rendered it impotent by pushing Identity Politics to divide the movement into rival groups based on "Identity," whereas the Occupy movement was at its inception successful through an emphasis on Solidarity.  Many of these Outrage Mongers also label themselves "Progressive," but due to their focus on divisive Identity Politics and their intolerance and authoritarianism, Modern Progressives have come to regard them as "Regressives."

Bernard "Bernie" Sanders brought the name "Progressive" back into the popular consciousness in his 2016 run for the Democratic Party nomination for President.  With a long history of rejecting the partisan loyalty of the Democratic fauxgressives (he has been an Independent most of his career) and the divisive Identity Politics of the regressives (indeed, he even explicitly pointed out that Identity Politics is divisive), Senator Sanders established his credentials as a Modern Progressive.  Unfortunately, for reasons which remain unclear, upon being denied the Democratic nomination for President in 2016, he endorsed Hillary Clinton, who is in no way Progressive.

Meanwhile, even as Democrats were telling Progressives that they didn't need us, David Cobb of Green Party candidate for President Jill Stein's campaign, issued an invitation to Progressives to come "help build and own the Green Party," and several new "Progressive" parties were formed, including "the Progressive Party," "the New Progressive Party," "the Progressive Independent Party," "the Progressive Bull Moose Party," and others.  Some of these have been influenced by regressives, while others may hold true to the Modern Progressive current.  How many of them will last until the next presidential election in 2020 remains to be seen, but the Green Party of the United States remains the Progressive Leftist party in the US with the largest membership and the longest history, as well as an established infrastructure and apparatus, members in public office, and experience getting on the ballot in spite of the numerous hurdles set by the two major parties -- and our numbers are growing.  Join us, and help realize the ideals of Modern Progressives which were born in the 1890s and entered adolescence in 1948, attaining adulthood in 2016, and slowly waking up to the pernicious deception of the "two" party system in the two years which have passed since then.  See the lies of the fauxgressives for what they are, eschew the intolerance and authoritarianism of the regressives, and reject the bifurcation fallacy of the "two" party system.  Join us and help reform the Democratic Federal Republic, and save our Earth from the depredations of those whose greed cannot be satisfied.

Fair use notice
This blog contains copyrighted material the use of which may not have been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. I am making such material available in my effort to advance understanding of scientific, environmental, political, human rights, economic, philosophical, psychological, cultural, and social issues, etc. 
I believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.  No challenge of ownership is intended or implied.
For more information:
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. 

Copyright notice
All original content in this blog is © Copyright 2013-2018 & an. seqq. by "Liviana" (Giovanna Laine).

Friday, January 26, 2018

Softened Cubist Dusk

"Misty Dusk Violets,"
by Giovanna Laine

Click to view larger.

"Misty Dusk Violets," © Copyright 2018 by Giovanna Laine


Monday, October 23, 2017

Liv's Livestreams & Vids, Volume I

Liviana's Livestreams & Videos,
Volume I,
by Liviana (Giovanna Laine)

So, some time has elapsed since last I updated this blog.  I am not retiring this blog, however.  I have republished some of my older posts from here on The Progressive Flame, but I have also (as some of you already know) started a YouTube channel, previously known as "Liviana t'Charvanek," then "Liviana Philosopher," and now called "Giovanna Liviana's Philosophy," which you can find here.

In this post, I will embed (and link) all my videos to date.

My first video, production code 00001, is about an hour and a half long, a response to the first topic in a livestream by others (which eventually led to my being a guest on their show, and which guest appearance you can find in the "Other Appearances" list on my channel).  It is called, simply enough:

A Response to Late Night Echo Chamber EP2, Topic 1

The second video, production code 00002, was a continuation of the first, and was a response to the other topics in the same livestream.  It is less than 30 minutes long, and is also simply named:

A Response to Late Night Echo Chamber EP2, Topics 2-7

My third video, production code 00003, was my original channel trailer/intro.  It was called simply:

Intro Video,

but has since been renamed, now that I have done a new channel trailer/intro.

Video production code 00004 is called

World Goth Day & Why Do I Call Myself "ProtoGoth"?

Video 00005 is

Comments About Gamergate

Video 00006 is

Laci Green & the 'Red Pill,' Evergreen State College, Dialectic vs Debate, & Progressives vs SJWs

Video 00007 is


Video 00008 is

My Thoughts on the So-Called "Gamergate 2.0"

Video 00009 is

Encounter with a Púca, Gamergate Factions

Video 00010 is

#CNNBlackmail #GamerGate

Video 00011 is

Gamergate Factions Revisited

Video 00012 is

Partisanship, Rhetoric, & Bifurcation Fallacy

Video 00013 is

Ideology & Ideologies

Video 00014 is a mirror upload of the upload to my original channel, featuring Dr Margaret Flowers' response to Donald Trump on the question of Healthcare, wherein she discusses HR 676 in some detail (used with her permission):

Response to Donald Trump on Healthcare by Margaret Flowers, MD, 2017-02-28

Video 00015 is just a test video, wherein I was testing a livestream plug-in with the assistance of some friends (fellow players from Star Trek Online), and a few answers to questions they asked in the live chat:

Testing Livestream Plug-in + Chat with Friends

Video 00016 features me in a sleep-deprived, disjointed rant about semantics, semantic revisionism, political rhetoric, the history of political parties in the US, and assorted other matters, which was to some extent a response to the events in Charlottesville and subsequent bullshit both from political figures and in the mainstream media:

Sleep-Deprived, Disjointed Rant

Video 00017 is where things get really interesting.  It was supposed to be an

Interview with James Desborough, Author of "Inside Gamergate"

... but something happened on YouTube's end, for which I have yet to receive any sort of explanation or apology.  Four hours before the streamed interview was to start, I received a "Community Guidelines Strike" on my account, which would have prevented me from doing any livestreams for the ensuing three months, a message told me that YouTube had reviewed my video (which did not even exist yet!) and found it to be in violation of their Community Guidelines (which is awfully peculiar, since there are plenty of videos about Gamergate on YouTube and plenty of people livestreaming about Gamergate from various perspectives).  This happened on a Saturday morning.  I appealed, and by Monday evening the strike had been removed from my account and I was once again able to livestream, but YouTube has, to date, given me no explanation of this incident, nor any apology for it.  I will include a link to a playlist about this at the end of this collection of my videos so far.  In the playlist, you will see an interview with me by the YouTuber Netscape, another video by another YouTuber, the livestream interview which did eventually happen (which will also be linked in this collection), an ad for Jim's book, and his own videos which are an audiobook reading of the book itself.  It is important to get more than one side of the story, and for too long, the anti-Gamergate crowd has dominated the narrative, especially in the video games media and the mainstream media.  Jim's book is an insider account by someone who was involved in Gamergate from the earliest days, and does a great job of putting the whole thing into a wider historical context of other "moral panics," as well as going into detail about what happened when and why.

You can see the link to the supposed interview on the page in my account which shows my videos.  It has no video, no time, and no start date, because there never was a video made.  The only thing there is a thumbnail (shown only on my account Videos page) and my original video description, which I was trying to edit when all of this went down, so I never got to finish even the video description.  Here's the link for those interested:  Non-Existent Video.  And here's the embed, showing the thumbnail:

Video 00018 was a livestream test to see if I really could livestream again after the incident just discussed, with some further discussion of the incident:

Liviana Live Stream

Video 00019 is my new (current) channel trailer/intro, called

Who Is Liviana and What's This About?

Video 00020 is the interview with Jim about his book which was scheduled to take place earlier and was unceremoniously and rudely interrupted.  This was hosted by the "Honey Badgers," a group of YouTubers with a much larger subscriber count than my own, and streamed live on various video platforms including YouTube, Twitch, and others.  They contacted Jim and myself and asked if we would like to take advantage of their hosting, and I had had no dealings with them prior to that, apart from having watched a handful of their videos over the past several years.  I have since had few dealings with them, apart from watching a couple more of their videos and some minor interactions via Twitter, yet I was condemned by another YouTuber for my "association" with them because of some past history between her and them ... ::shrugs::  Anyway, I mirrored the interview on my own channel, with the title

00020 The Forbidden Interview, Mirror of HBR Fireside Chat 66 (2017-08-28)
(HBR stands for "Honey Badger Radio")

Video 00021 was my first actual livestream interview done on my own channel, an interview with Nicholas Goroff, actor, political organizer, journalist, and YouTuber, about his experiences in the Occupy movement, his view of the so-called "Antifa" movement, and his experiences with Gamergate (Nick is a very interesting guy, and I highly recommend that you check out his work on the website as well as his own YouTube channel):

Interview with Nicholas Goroff 2017-09-12

Video 00022 is largely a reading of an older post on this blog, with some additional comments and explanations:

Ethics, Morals, Scruples, & Folkways

Video 00023 deals with one of the compelling issues of our day ... sort of, and was my first video with some additional visual effects to make it less visually boring:

My Answer to the Question 'Are Traps Gay?'

Video 00024 is a response to renewed calls for "Gun Control" following the mass shooting in Las Vegas, and what I believe would be an actual solution instead of a kneejerk reaction which would solve nothing:

What Is the Answer to the Violence?

Video 00025-A is the first part in a new video series I am doing, dealing with Postmodernism, Outrage Mongers, Puritanism, Calvinism, Zoroastrianism, Existentialism, and so on.  This first video in the series is primarily introductory, and over half of the video is taken up by a digression from the main topic, which digression deals with the differences between Progressives and Limousine Liberals, as well as debunking the idea that the Democratic Party is in any way Leftist.  In this video, I used many more visual effects and images than in any previous video.  This took me some time to do, and I hope my efforts are appreciated.  This video is called:

'Postmodernist Outrage Mongers - Historical Context, part A'

As promised above, here is a playlist for the Inside Gamergate audiobook, with some introductory stuff from my own ordeal trying to get an interview with Jim Desborough to be allowed on YouTube, and the interview which did eventually finally happen:

Inside Gamergate Audiobook Playlist

Planned future videos will continue the series on Postmodernist Outrage Mongers, will include an interview with a somewhat well-known journalist and Second Wave Feminist, will also include an interview with a Professor-Emeritus of Theology, and interviews with assorted other persons and discussion of sundry other ideas.

Fair use notice
This blog contains copyrighted material the use of which may not have been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. I am making such material available in my effort to advance understanding of scientific, environmental, political, human rights, economic, philosophical, psychological, cultural, and social issues, etc. 
I believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.  No challenge of ownership is intended or implied.
For more information:
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. 

Copyright notice
All original content in this blog is © Copyright 2013-2017 & an. seqq. by "Liviana" (Giovanna Laine).

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

What Are Little Girls Made Of?

What Are Little Girls Made Of?
Stop Muddying the Waters,
by Liviana (Giovanna Laine)

"This above all: to thine own self be true
And it must follow, as the night the day
Thou canst not then be false to any man."
~ William Shakespeare, The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, Act 1, Scene III

Recently, a young Trans Woman by the name of Blaire White released a video with the title "Transgenderism Is A Mental Disorder."  Now, Ms White has made this claim before, but this was the first time she devoted an entire video to the claim, and, as she expected, it received some backlash from various circles.  The backlash occurred with good reason.  But before I address what she said, I'll put her video here so those interested in her words can hear for themselves.

No.  It's not.  Now I will explain why it's not.

The symptom is not the cause.

"Gender Dyphoria," which is the name of a symptom and not the name of the condition itself, is not regarded as a "mental illness" in the medical community anymore (and hasn't been in several decades, although it took the APA a while to update the DSM and they still waffled a bit with DSM V), but even if it were, the symptom is not the cause.  "Gender Identity Disorder" is no longer considered a legitimate diagnosis of anything;  it's been removed from the DSM as of DSM V.  "Gender Dysphoria" is a diagnosis of a symptom, and is usually required before a person is approved for the various meds to begin transition.

Gender Dysphoria is a symptom of Transsexuality, not the state of Transsexuality, nor the cause of Transsexuality.

That's where people are missing the boat.

(A note on language:  A variety of words are in use, some not always used correctly, some preferred by one group, others preferred by other groups, but the general consensus, particularly among healthcare professionals, is that a "Transsexual" is a person with a particular condition, while "Transgender" is a larger umbrella term under which "Transsexual" falls.  In her video, Ms White was discussing Transsexuals in particular, and so am I in this post.  Some, even among healthcare professionals, use the terms "Transgenderism" and "Transsexualism," which I find, well, frankly, stupid, and prefer "Transsexuality" for the state of being which is the subject of both Ms White's video and this post, for purely linguistic reasons, and to be precise, for etymological and morphological reasons.  The Online Etymology Dictionary explains:

-ismword-forming element making nouns implying a practice, system, doctrine, etc., from French -isme or directly from Latin -isma, -ismus (source also of Italian, Spanish -ismo, Dutch, German -ismus), from Greek -ismos, noun ending signifying the practice or teaching of a thing, from the stem of verbs in -izein, a verb-forming element denoting the doing of the noun or adjective to which it is attached. For distinction of use, see -ity. The related Greek suffix -isma(t)- affects some forms.

Again, The Online Etymology Dictionary explains:

word-forming element making abstract nouns from adjectives and meaning "condition or quality of being ______," from Middle English -ite, from Old French -ete (Modern French -ité) and directly from Latin -itatem (nominative -itas), suffix denoting state or condition, composed of -i- (from the stem or else a connective) + the common abstract suffix -tas (see -ty (2)).
Roughly, the word in -ity usually means the quality of being what the adjective describes, or concretely an instance of the quality, or collectively all the instances; & the word in -ism means the disposition, or collectively all those who feel it. [Fowler]

In short, then, words ending in -ism generally refer to a doctrinal credence, as in a philosophy or religion, or a political or economic perspective, while words ending in -ity generally refer to a state of being.  Being Transsexual is not some cult (more on this later), but a state of being.  This is why I regard the terms "Transgenderism" and "Transsexualism" stupid, and use the term "Transsexuality" instead.)

Transsexuality is a condition with PHYSICAL causes (with physical manifestations which can be measured in clinical tests of stimulus-response and through clinical observation such as in autopsies), which has at least one psychological symptom ("Gender Dysphoria").

And that symptom makes perfect sense:
If your body is so incongruent with what you know to be your identity, usually from a rather early age, it would be remarkable if you didn't have any dysphoria.

Here is the first response video from a Trans Woman which was shown to me:

This Woman in the video says transitioning helped alleviate her dysphoria, which I've heard from other Trans Women, and which also makes sense.  Indeed, some Trans Women have been encouraged by ideals such as the quote from The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark which I placed at the start of this post, to be true to themselves.  Others might find the following biblical passage (from the New Revised Standard Version, which I find to be the translation most matching my own) to be convincing:

"Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.

"So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward.  But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

"And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward.  But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you."

~ Attributed to Jesus in The Gospel According to Matthew, Chapter VI, vv. 1-6

This biblical passage is a condemnation of hypocrisy, of pretending to be what you are not in order to gain public approval, of being, in the words which Shakespeare put into the mouth of Polonius, true to oneself;  the passage also has relevance for the so-called "Transtrenders," whom I will discuss presently.  For someone who is Transsexual, living a lie in order to be "accepted" by society eventually usually becomes unbearable, at which time they enter into a crisis and the outcome of that crisis can be tragic;  some Trans folk at that time choose to simply end it.  Others, however, find the will to be true to themselves, to be who they truly are and stop pretending, or, as some might call it, "playing a role."  They choose, if you will, to remove "the mask of masculinity" (in the case of a Trans Woman) or "the false face of femininity," and expose their true face to the world.  This can also have tragic results, the loss of friends and family, loss of job, social ostracization, religious condemnation and persecution, and so on.  Many Trans persons in former times packed up and moved to a new location (when they could afford it), made their transition (there will be some debate about whether or not there can ever be an end to transitioning, but for the purposes of this discussion, I mean that they did the counseling, began the "Real Time Experience" of living as their true gender 24/7, did the medications necessary to affect some physical changes, and underwent other procedures including surgery/surgeries), and then moved to another location again and started an entirely new life where nobody knew them from before.  Most who go through this process are considerably happier with themselves after the process is over (but then come other challenges, like dating, romance, sex, marriage, when to reveal if ever, and so on, which can cause some significant Angst), because most actual Transsexuals really just want the chance to live a normal life as their true gender, rather than to have any publicity over their state of being, who they seemed to be, and who they are, unless they earn that publicity for something unrelated;  there are some exceptions to this, which may have to do with a generation gap, but may be due to other factors as well or instead.

Before I proceed further with this discussion, I'll include another response video from another Trans Woman, and let her speak for herself:

I made a claim earlier in this piece that Transsexuality is a physical condition with at least one psychological symptom, but physical causes.  I stated that there are measurable physical manifestations which support this claim.  Some of my readers may be reeling at that, but here's the evidence, a collection of links gathered by a Trans Woman who is herself a scientist (although not in a field related to these questions, but certainly trained in the Empirical method and critical thinking), mostly from peer-reviewed, scholarly medical and other scientific journals (and a legal case or two):

Transsexual and Intersex Gender Identity

As for "Gender Dysphoria" and "Mental Disorders" and "Mental Illness" and so on, Dysphoria is not a full-blown psychosis, so calling it "a mental illness" is pushing the envelope.  Let's just have a look at what "Psychosis" means:  NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness | Early Psychosis and Psychosis.  Calling Transsexuality a "mental disorder" is denying that the reality is real.  Psychosis is the term used for the most severe psychological dysfunctions, which involve a break with reality.  Tell me what "crazy" means.  Or "insane."  Or "mentally ill."  And I'll tell you that you're talking about full-blown psychosis.  In ordinary parlance, "mental illness" (and even "mental disorder") means "wrong in the head," "crazy," "delusional," "insane."  What professionals call "psychotic."  Lots of people have minor character disorders or dysfunctions like OCD.  Are they "mentally ill" (psychotic) or just have some "issues" which they need to work out (sometimes requiring medication)?

Again, what is "Dysphoria" in a medical sense?  Not "Gender Dysphoria" specifically, but "Dysphoria" in a general sense.

"A mood of general dissatisfaction, unhappiness, restlessness, depression, and anxiety; a feeling of unpleasantness or discomfort.  The opposite of euphoria."

And then what is "Euphoria" in a medical sense?

"1. A feeling of well-being, commonly exaggerated and not necessarily well founded.
"2. The pleasure state induced by a drug or substance of abuse."

Lots of people would be "mentally ill" if dysphoria (gender or otherwise) were a mental illness, then, yes?  Lots of people are in fact dysphoric in the sense given above, in one way or another (although for most, the state of dysphoria is a transitory one, whereas for someone with Gender Dysphoria, it is persistent, at least until such time as that person transitions).  Some might even need some treatment for it.  But that doesn't mean they're psychotic.

The difference is in how extreme the situation is. A minor psychological disorder/dysfunction is not a full-blown psychosis.  Trans people are not disconnected from reality as a whole class (some certainly may be, but their being Trans is not the cause of that, any more than smoking a reefer will cause Schizophrenia;  what I mean is that, if someone who is Trans happens to be disconnected from reality, then that disconnection is due to some other condition, and not being Trans, because being Trans in itself is in no way a disconnection from reality, nor does it in itself cause such).

Here's the basic message.  Ms White is wrong in generalizing from the symptom to the entire condition, whether the symptom can be called "a mental illness" or not.  It's only a symptom of Transsexuality, not Transsexuality itself.  Transsexuality itself has physical causes, and physical differences have been measured in clinical testing, autopsies, and so on.

Before I go on to address some other, somewhat related topics, I suppose some may want further references.  Alright.

APA Says Being Transgender is No Longer a Mental Disorder | The Bottom Line

DSM-5 Fact Sheets | American Psychiatric Society

So, then.  We come to the topic of people whom some call "Transtrenders."  Like many other neologisms, this term can be misapplied, and until it finally makes it way into a dictionary (if it should ever do so), the term may have no clear, agreed-upon meaning.  So, for some, going back some years, there were ... well, here, I'll just let yet another Trans Woman (who also has her own response to Ms White's video, but the video which follows is about something else) explain, in another video:

I'm not quite sure I agree with everything Ms Lee has to say in the video above, but I think she makes some good points.  Now, to be sure, I agree with her that the older use of the term "Truscum" was catty and denied the reality of others simply because they had not yet transitioned.  Transsexuality is about who you are, not about what you do (or have done to yourself) or how you look.  A person is born Trans, and some would say that person remains Trans even after transitioning.  Transitioning does not make someone Trans;  it's just a process in their life.  Indeed, for some older Trans Women, being "Trans" was something they regarded as their past once they did transition.  Here's an example piece by Allison Washington where I have highlighted a portion of the text expressing this idea (the link should take you directly to the highlighted bit):

My experience during the Trans Dark Ages – Medium

She writes, in case the highlight doesn't show up for you and the link doesn't take you directly to the portion to which I wish to call your attention (but please read the entire piece;  it's very interesting):

I don’t think any of us ‘identified as trans’. We saw ourselves as women in deep trouble, working under the temporary label ‘transsexual’. Once we’d had surgery (and that was the goal) we considered ourselves ‘former transsexuals’; we disappeared into cis society and left ‘trans’ behind forever. The notion of retaining ‘trans’ as part of who we were would have shocked us. I still have trouble getting my head around this concept — I’ve lived decades thinking of myself as no different to any cis woman, and the idea of moving away from that, after having struggled to get there, feels strange.

What I'm not sure about in Ms Lee's video is the critique of "non-binary."  A lot of people operate under the assumption that there are only two genders.  I don't think that's accurate.  I think gender is more complicated than that.  At the same time, however, the phenomenon of "Facebook Genders" or "Tumblr Genders" is a concern, because, rather than helping to dispel misunderstandings about what it means to be Transsexual, it adds to those misunderstandings by spreading misinformation.  There are not 37, 56, 58, or 71 genders.  And there aren't more than 71 genders, either (one list gives a staggering 114 genders!).  I've seen absolutely NO scientific evidence to support such a claim, and I've actually looked.  Evidence that gender may be a spectrum?  Sure, there is some such evidence, but 37 (or more) genders?  No evidence.

You're not a special snowflake, wholly unique from every other person who has ever existed, and you don't get to make up your gender as you go.  Gender is.  It's not something you choose.  This isn't a creative writing class.  This is life, and your claims and behavior, like Ms White's, have consequences for other people who are trying to dispel misconceptions and be accepted without the stigma of being associated with people who want to be "Trans-Racial" or "Trans-Species" or "My gender is Attack Helicopter" or "I'm Female on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, but Male on Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays" or any of that "Oooo, look at me!  I'm so special and you have to accept it, and if you say anything which 'triggers' my neurosis, I'm going to accuse you of 'violence,' because I have no idea what 'violence' actually means!" business.  You are the people who are called "Transtrenders," and with good reason.  It's just a fad with you, a trend, and eventually, you'll grow out of it (hopefully).  This is not the case with actual Transsexuals.  They don't grow out of it, because it's REAL and not merely some effort to out-weird someone else (and I have the greatest respect for weirdness, but please, stop muddying the waters for people who are only just beginning to be understood by the wider society;  go find some other way to be weird).

The facticity of our society at the current moment is that being Transsexual has become more well-known, and significant popularity has come to settle on a few Trans people.  This situation has led to people exploring possibilities, and while there's nothing wrong with exploring possibilities, getting up in other people's faces and demanding that they embrace the idea that you are "Abimegender" or "Abamasgender" or "Juxera" or any of these other alleged genders, is not only immature, but presumptuous.  You do not have to make up new categories for situations or states which already have names, like "Androgyne."  That's a thing.  It's been around for ages.  I'm sorry if it's not "specific" enough for you.  Communication is challenging enough already, and there's no scientific evidence of which I am aware which justifies these 37, 114, or 8 billion "genders."

"I refuse to be categorized!" or "I'm a paradox!" or "I'm on a totally different plane from male and female" is not an adult response to the question of gender.  It's just adolescent rebellion or New Age mumbo-jumbo (at best).

And it does significant harm to those who ARE Transsexual, by undermining the cause of educating others and winning acceptance.

But those who have embraced selfishness and youthful rebellion and New Age phantasies don't stop to consider the harm they cause;  some just don't care, while others are too busy trying to be "unique" or to get attention or to impress others with how imaginative they are.

That all having been said, limiting gender to two and only two is to ignore reality as well.  The existence of Intersex individuals alone ought to suggest that a person can have no gender identity, or can have both (and yes, I am very much aware of the fact that "Intersex" refers to a group of physical conditions and people who have such a condition, and not to gender identity, but insisting that such people have to fit into gender categories which don't even match their physical nature is rather presumptuous and, frankly, asinine).  As such, I would suggest that the number of genders is four:  Female, Male, Agender, and Bigender.  Anything which goes beyond those four should simply be regarded as being under those four "umbrellas," if you will.  And no, I'm also not suggesting that people who are Agender or Bigender are Trans or that they require any kind of treatment in a medical sense (although some may need counseling).

In conclusion, Trans People with an audience, or with a particular ideology, may do significant harm to other Trans People, and to the cause of getting ACCURATE AND UP-TO-DATE information out to the rest of society and the intended greater acceptance of Trans People by the wider society as a result of giving them accurate and up-to-date information.  And people who are claiming to be "Trans"-something which has no relationship whatsoever to Transsexuality may do harm to the same people and their cause.  Which does the greater harm?  I wouldn't presume to know, nor to be able to arrive at a conclusion without significant research and application of Inductive Logic (which isn't really my thing;  I prefer Deductive Logic, because it suits my philosophical positions better), but harm has been being done, and it needs to stop.

The title of the post comes from Star Trek (The Original Series), Season 1, episode 7;  episode 7 overall;  production code 10.

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