Tuesday, 31 December 2013

The Spectra of Gender/Sexual Minority Identities

A chart consisting of various spectra which might (or might not) represent members of the Gender-Sexuality Minority. What do you think? Does it work?

I think that it is possible for people to exist fluidly on multiple spectra, such as biological sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, romantic inclination, asexuality, etc. - all with varying degrees of strength. It is, for example, possible for a biological female to identify as androgynous and feel strongly romantically inclined to females, yet sexually attracted to males and females alike.

It is also possible for a biological male who identifies as existing within a range on the gender identity spectrum to be mildly romantically inclined towards men, but strongly asexual.

I also think that it is possible for any of the identifying factors to change with time or depending on other circumstances. Someone might shift from being mostly attracted to the same gender to being pansexual, for example.

I included a "sexual experience" spectrum because 1) I feel that it plays a role, though not an important one; 2) Dee Hurlbert's chart which she developed for the Michigan State University LGBT Resource Center included that spectrum; and 3) Kinsey was single-minded like that, so I grandfathered it in.

I'm not much a fan of the gender gingerbread person because it isn't possible to express how strongly one feels inclined a certain way; and romantic inclination, asexuality, a-genderism, and sexual experience aren't included in the chart.


I used to like this stuff.

*wrinkling nose*
 — drinking hazelnut cappuccino from Speedway.

Monday, 30 December 2013

Benghazi: Mixed Bag in Defiance of Conservative Punditry

Regarding the article "A Deadly Mix in Benghazi" by David D. Kirkpatrick, New York Times, on 28 December 2013 at

An important note when discussing the attack on the US embassy in Benghazi, Libya: Republicans voted to cut funding for embassy security. They were part of the problem that led to the deadly results of that attack. See the following from a CNN report:

Rep. Chaffetz Says He "Absolutely" Voted to Cut Funding for Embassy Security
10 October 2012

"Look, we have to make priorities and choices in this country. We have… 15,0000 contractors in Iraq. We have more than 6,000 contractors, a private army there, for President Obama, in Baghdad. And we’re talking about can we get two dozen or so people into Libya to help protect our forces. When you’re in touch economic times, you have to make difficult choices. You have to prioritize things."

The New York Times has blown the lid off of both the liberal and the conservative narratives surrounding the attack on the US embassy in Benghazi, Libya. A summary, assembled piece-meal, of the introduction to this mind-blowing NYT investigative work:

The investigation by The Times shows that the reality in Benghazi was different, and murkier, than either of those [two contradictory] story lines [framing the attack on the US embassy in Benghazi] suggests. Benghazi was not infiltrated by Al Qaeda, but nonetheless contained grave local threats to American interests. The attack does not appear to have been meticulously planned, but neither was it spontaneous or without warning signs.

Months of investigation by The New York Times, centered on extensive interviews with Libyans in Benghazi who had direct knowledge of the attack there and its context, turned up no evidence that Al Qaeda or other international terrorist groups had any role in the assault. The fixation on Al Qaeda might have distracted experts from more imminent threats.

The violence, though, also had spontaneous elements. Anger at the video motivated the initial attack. Dozens of people joined in, some of them provoked by the video and others responding to fast-spreading false rumors that guards inside the American compound had shot Libyan protesters. Looters and arsonists, without any sign of a plan, were the ones who ravaged the compound after the initial attack

A fuller accounting of the attacks suggests lessons for the United States that go well beyond Libya. It shows the risks of expecting American aid in a time of desperation to buy durable loyalty, and the difficulty of discerning friends from allies of convenience in a culture shaped by decades of anti-Western sentiment.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Shining the Light through the Cracks

* small clay pots, large enough for tealight or votive candles
* socks
* hammer(s)
* (super)glue
* tealight or votive candles
* lighter(s)

Place a pot inside a sock. Smash with a hammer (remembering that you will try to reconstruct it later - please don't pulverise completely). Extract the pieces, put them together, glue in place. Don't get obsessive about closing the gaps. After the glue has dried, place a candle in each pot and light it.

Note that the light shines through the brightest from those pots which are most broken.

So it is with our lives. Being crushed by painful life experiences is painful. It is excruciating. We wonder whether our souls can survive. Our bodies cry out in pain.

However, when we allow the Light into our lives, it shines through the brokenness and lights up the world around us. Seek the healing that you need and deserve. Remember, too, to turn on your Light.

idea for the post from the following:
"Cracked Pot in the Potter’s Hands"
Monica Heffner
26 November 2012

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Slavery Is Not Diplomatic

Please explain to me 1) what part of "slavery" NPR and the AP don't understand here and 2) since when do slaveholders deserve basic humane treatment by law enforcement officials.

Awww, you pooooor thing, you broke down and criiiiied. *snarl*

Because NO.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Facebook Is Broken (and apparently likes it that way)

Facebook has made so many changes over the years which have disadvantaged its users. The short of it, for me, is that Facebook is not worth my time as long as it prevents the Social Fixer extension from doing its job. I won't leave Facebook, but I will try my damnedest not to lay eyes on its precious little "news" feed until it relents and lets us have Social Fixer back - properly.

My Complaints/Demands:
* Facebook needs to stop interfering with Social Fixer. Facebook manages to screw up a good thing so often - especially after it just managed to make it somewhat nice - that it really isn't worth our time without Social Fixer.

* Facebook needs to put all of our privacy settings on one page. I don't want to have to jump all over the place to tweak this and that and the other thing, too. One control panel to rule them all. In addition, Facebook needs to widely distribute a privacy reader which explains how people's privacy settings affect themselves *and* others.

* Let us filter the "news" feed into tabs. Or else. I don't want to check out all posts right away. There are some posts that I simply do not want to see at all. There are others that I prefer to lump together thematically so that Facebook makes more sense to me. Again, Facebook is worthless without this fix from Social Fixer.

* Let Social Fixer's halt of the "scroll to see more stories" feature actually work. Automatically loading more posts hurts my computer. Stop. It. Already. Let us have some control over this.

* Give us back subscription levels. We can decide just fine on our own what and how much we want to see from whom. I want to determine how much of a contact's photos ends up in my "news" feed. I want to control whether I see someone's group activity or not. And if Facebook is going to force us to read people's comments and likes (none of us really want to), I'd like to control how much of that ends up in my feed, as well. I want the option of seeing all of a contact's "stories" (hint: it's called a "post" - not a "story"), most of the posts, some of the posts, or none of the posts - in each field.

* Stop it with that damned "bump" feature. It throws things out of chronological order. We. Like. Our. Chronological. Order. And, again, we can decide perfectly well on our own what we would like to see from whom.

* Let us control who can be notified of our comments, likes, and group joins. Some of us like to engage socially in peace and quiet without being followed around by family or casual acquaintances. Those of us who are vulnerable minorities would also like very much, if you please, to have safety, security, and maybe even our jobs.

* Don't automatically tag us in posts and photos or add us to groups. Stop the process and pend it on our permission. It's a pain in my ass to have to un-tag myself or leave groups.

* When I comment on or subscribe to notifications on a post, I fully expect to continue receiving notifications form that post. Your "bumping" nonsense is annoying, and it only confuses me when I stop receiving notifications and someone yells at me for dropping out of a conversation. I didn't type away or make those clicks for my good health - I expect to get more notifications.

* I want Facebook to allow Social Reviver, another extension, get rid of those accursed chat bubbles. They are the newest unwanted annoyance that Facebook has tossed at us which I cannot stand.

* Facebook needs to stop with its absolute suppression of all posts by our Pages. We understand that not all of our subscribers will see all of our posts, but when we have hundreds or thousands of followers and only a dozen or less ever see any posts, it's on the point of ridiculousness and seriously not worth our time. There is this thing. It's called a blog. I will use it if Facebook doesn't stop it with its nonsense.

I don't know if you caught it or not, but I have a healthy level of disrespect for Facebook's neo-logisms, not least among them the term "news feed." "News"? Nonsense. I go to Google News for *news.* I go to Facebook for online social interaction. For now (say hello to my email account and my blog). Again, the short is it is that Facebook sucks and is really quite worthless without Social Fixer.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

The Sun Rose for Him

A poem that I composed as the Muslim community lost a young, precious, beautiful soul.

Part of the words:

Then a huge blazing ball of fire
erupted from the horizon
casting its crimson rays across the sky