Today Was A Good Day

I've long been on the record that things are going to hell in a handbasket. I've also been screaming that the proposed bailout plan, the one that went down to defeat today, for Wall Street was a complete croc. What i haven't been able to do is express the right way, why this bailout of Big Shitpile, was a bad idea. So, I'm going to let Kos tell you as he does it much better than I ever could:

1. I'm glad this thing failed. The right and left may have had different reasons for voting this bill down, but fact is, the "consensus center" rushed into this bill with little transparency or public input deserved to die. Was this the right bill? Maybe, maybe not. but we certainly didn't have a fair debate on it. Some of you may be quick to trust your representatives in DC. I'm not willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

2. On the merits, the bill fell short. The CEO compensation provision was a joke, the oversight provisions were a joke, Congress had no ability to block additional disbursement of the money without an affirmative vote (subject to filibusters), and not a dime was directed at average Americans. It was a reverse Robin Hood -- the largest transfer of wealth in our nation's history from the working class to the upper class. And transferring that wealth to healthy financial institutions and foreign ones was morally repugnant.

3. But there is a finance problem. Just because this solution sucked, doesn't mean that nothing should be done.
So now, with a little more time, perhaps we can have an honest appraisal of the alternatives. I've seen several options floated. I can't find and link to them since I have to soon rush back into the jury pool waiting room, and they don't have wi-fi in there (though they will soon! they promise unhelpfully), but I've linked to some in the past, and others have as well. Now we'll hopefully get a chance to look more closely at those alternatives.

4. And with those alternatives, hopefully we have options that offer solutions to the problem, but don't destroy an Obama's administration to invest in progressive priorities like health care, education, and alternate fuels. Hopefully we have a solution that places the burden of the bailout on those who most benefited from it. Hopefully we have a solution that provides tangible benefits to those most harmed by this crisis, not those who have benefited. And sure, the wingers may not like it (since what they seem to want is more regulation, which is what got us here in the first place!), but we have the majorities. And if the crisis is as bad as Bush claims, let him try to veto a more equitable solution to the crisis.

5. The polling is clear -- the American people, me included, aren't pretending there isn't a finance crisis. But they want a solution that doesn't reward the "evildoers". This one did. Next time, let's put the burden of the bailout on those who deserve to bear it, not on those of us who were never invited to that party to begin with.

Time reports that calls to Congressional offices were 100 to 1 against the bailout deal.

More of the Palin Interview With Curic

A Better Use For $1 Trillion

I have to admit, I'm a bit surprised that the Democrats haven't caved yet and given Bush everything that he wants plus some. I suppose there are a lot of people like me that are totally pissed about this Corporate Giveaway and also like me, they've flooded their Washington representatives with pleas not to support this Big Shitpile Auction. As I've said over and over these past few days, this is just the worst possible thing that Washington could ever do. If they seem so hellbent on spending our money, why not spend it on something that will actually do some good while simultaneously preparing us for a future without oil.

If we were to take that $1 trillion or so and invest it in the following, it would not just help us transition from a petroleum based economy to a low energy economy, provide badly needed jobs, promote economic spending and possibly save some part of our way of life:

1. Fully develop a high speed, electrical passenger rail system that takes the place of current short air trips, those less than 500 miles. In addition, we need to move most of our shipping business away from trucks and onto rails. Moving cargo by rail is the cheapest method available and will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

2. Fully fund mass transit projects in cities across the country. This should include subway expansions, light rail, commuter rail, trolley lines, streetcars and buses.

3. Nuclear power build up. If we want to have any hope of keeping the lights on, nuclear power will have to be the fuel that transitions us from oil, coal and natural gas.

4. Massive expansion of wind, solar and tidal power sources.

Now clearly, fully funding this will take much more than $1 trillion, but this is an investment in our future, one that will give us a chance to possibly weather the coming storm from Peak Energy and especially Peak Oil.

Finally, if we really want to solve a lot of problems, we need to have a serious discussion about population control. The fact is, there are way too many of us, about 5 billion too many. We are killing every other species on this planet and if we don't stop breeding like rabbits, we're all going to go extinct. Stop having babies people.

Of Course They Had To Use a Mac

The new Microsoft commercials are out, the ones that followed up the horrible Jerry Seinfeld ones that nobody liked. This new ad, entitled "I'm A PC", is somewhat better, but only because it was made with a Mac. You see, Microsoft doesn't have enough faith in it's own products to produce a commercial on a PC and thus has to use a Mac. For the life of me, I just can't understand why anyone wants to use a PC. I was given a brand new HP tablet this year and it sits in it's bag gathering dust. My trusty Apple iBook, several years old, runs circles around the HP, and remains my work computer of choice.

It's All So Predictable

Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D-California) is out with a statement saying that Democrats won't cave this time:

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday that Congress should not write a "blank check" to Wall Street in a bill to allow the U.S. to buy up distressed assets.

In a statement issued Sunday evening, Pelosi said a Treasury proposal received by Congress "does not include the necessary safeguards" and that congressional Democrats "will not simply hand over a $700 billion blank check to Wall Street and hope for a better outcome."

It makes for great drama, but in the end, George Bush and his cronies on Wall Street will get what they want as just enough Democrats cower in fear and vote to give the same people who caused this mess a blank check to do with as they please. It will be just like the funding for the war in Iraq or the new and not so improved FISA law. The Democrats will talk the talk but when it comes time to vote, they'll do what they always do, give it all away. The sad thing is, Bush never got this much from Congress when the Republicans were in charge. As bad as they were as a minority party, the Democrats are even worse as a majority party.

Should my representative vote to approve this $700 billion giveaway, I'll rip the sign for his campaign out of my front yard and toss it into his campaign headquarters with a vow to see him defeated in a couple of months. Anyone who votes for this big pile of shit isn't worthy of my vote and never will be. Fuck them all.

ANOTHER THOUGHT: Kurt Cobb brings up what I've long been saying and it bears repeating. As Peak Oil takes hold and our energy supplies continue to decline, it will become impossible to ever repay all of this debt. You see, as fossil fuels become more scarce, economic growth will become impossible and as a result, none of this shit will probably matter in a decade or so. Anyways, here is his quote:

I title this piece, "The Last Bailout," because if we are at peak, then financial bailouts will do little to help us. In the past when society had rising energy supplies with large energy profit ratios, these financial bailouts could avert disastrous consequences. They would allow the economy to regain its equilibrium and await the next sustained upturn. But, what if there is no next sustained upturn? If that turns out to be the case, then even if additional bailouts take place after today, they will all ultimately be lumped together into one, namely, the last bailout. And, the last bailout will of necessity fail to work as advertised.

Trans Things

A couple of things that I've read in the past couple of things have made my mind race as I've contemplated each of them. First up is a piece about a Female to Male Transsexual who has come to the conclusion that transition was a big mistake. The second was a story out about therapy designed to keep someone from transitioning, specifically children. Let's tackle the former topic tonight and the later tomorrow:

Was transition a mistake?

Q: Oh my God! I just don't know what I am going to do. I think I have
made a huge mistake and I don't know what to do about it. I saw a TV
program the other night about people that had transgendered and then
decided to go back to their original gender. Well, I couldn't believe
that there was any one else out there like me. I, too, feel like I
made a big mistake by having a gender change. I was born female and
always thought I wanted to be a boy and also believed I would be
happier if I were one. I truly thought that God had made a mistake
with me.

A little background: I got married right out of high school, had two
children, and then the marriage ended in a divorce. Actually, I
started dressing like a male a lot when I was in my late teens, but it
wasn't until about five years ago that I made the decision to
transition - that was after my divorce. I started taking hormones and
started dressing and living as a male.

I lived as a male for two years and then decided to come out to my
family. My parents weren't too hot on the idea but they weren't really
surprised, either. They have been sort of supportive, but we are not
really as close as we once were. My aunt has been an angel, supporting
me in whatever makes me happy. My children were young when I started
living as a male and it didn't seem to bother them to call me "daddy"
instead of "mommy." My ex has been supportive of my continuing to have
custody of my children; I have been so grateful for that.

I was in therapy during the whole time that I was going through the
transition two years ago. At that time, I decided to have the surgery
to make all my parts match my gender. This was very expensive as well
as difficult, but I felt it was important to have this done to feel
like a man. It took a long time to recover but I felt it would be
worth it. I have lived a gay life style as I am physically attracted
to men, not women.

My family has all accepted me as a male; my kids think I am their dad;
my boss and co workers have no ideas about my sex change (I started
working there after the surgery). My life and friends are in the gay
community. I don't know if I can continue living as a man. I want to
be a woman again, but I don't know how to make the change back. I also
have no breasts, and I have a penis and can't afford more surgery. Who
is going to want me? Help. What do I do?

Wrong Body, Again

You can click here to read the reply but I thought I would weigh in on this since it's something that crosses my mind almost daily. In my case, I waited till my mid-30's to begin transition, my desire being to make sure I was doing the right thing. Unlike this woman, I haven't had all the surgeries though I have had the facial surgery. The years of hormone therapy have taken their toll and in many ways, feminized my body. I've developed breasts, I'm most likely sterile and my equipment is but a mere reflection of it's former self. Still, despite the hormones and facial surgery, I have no doubt that I could instantly go back to living as Greg and no one that doesn't know me would never suspect a thing. I'm sure it's not that way for her and that's a big problem.

When one scans the bookshelves of any major bookstore, you are almost guaranteed to come across a half dozen or more memoirs about successful transitions. What you won't find are books about those who crossed over and then regretted the decision. Hell, finding such things on the internet is hard as well. Now I'm pretty sure that this doesn't mean that there isn't a large number of people who have transitioned and regretted it, it's just that most people don't want to admit to either failure or having made a colossal mistake. As a result, one has very few resources to learn about what to do when things go terribly wrong.

I strongly believe that before anyone has GRS, they should make 100% sure that this is what they need to do. If there is any doubt, any whatsoever, people should not have this surgery. Aside from the financial issue, the main reason I haven't done or plan to do GRS is is that I'm not sure I really want or need to do it. Transition has been a struggle for me since day one and while I'm generally happy, the deeper truth is, I often wish that this was a road I hadn't taken. I'm not ready to give up just yet but I would be lying if I were to say that I don't think about going back almost everyday. As miserable as I was living as a guy, in hindsight, it was still better than how my life is now.

Part of that feelilng obviously stems from my utter disappointment in the results of my FFS. The pain that I endure daily is a reminder of what I've done and likely something that will be with me forever. It made absolutely zero difference in my appearance and is the biggest mistake of my life. I'm very bitter about it and perhaps that has clouded my feelings towards transition. Regardless, things just aren't that much better as Kelly as they were as Greg. I gave up so much and while I think that my expectations were realistic and grounded, it just hasn't been worth it, not in the least.

So, will I decide to go back like the woman in the article? Right now, I'd put the odds at about 50/50. The only real reason that it's that low is that I would just be unable to face my friends or family again. They've all been so supportive of me and I just don't know that could ever be comfortable living around them. I know that's a shitty reason to keep being Kelly but it's the main thing keeping me in this life and not going back to my old life. Regardless, I can't really do anything until the end of this current school year. After missing this past week due to the massive power outages, that won't be till June 1st, and until then, I'm stuck being Kelly.

Turn The Power Back Off

Aside from having air conditioning and the use of an iron and hair dryer, having the power back on has pretty much sucked. For the most part, these past five days were spent concerned only with the weather disaster all around me. I didn't have the time nor the electricity to find out what was really going on in the world and I didn't really care. That all changed of course last night and after reading the news today, well, all I can say is please, turn the power back off, ignorance really is bliss.

Anyways, me being me, I just have to weigh in on the collapse this week of the United States. As readers of this blog know, I've been somewhat pessimistic about the future and the news out of Washington last night and today pretty much make me feel vindicated. For all intents and purposes, this once great country died today and no matter how much money we taxpayers throw at the problem, it isn't going to go away. Todays bailout of the entire economic sector does only one thing: Prolongs the bleeding and makes the final, ugly crash that much more bloody. Any pretenses that this is a capitalist country just went out the window. As Atrios put it, it's been one big game of musical chairs and whoever ended up standing was the one who would get stuck with Big Shitpile. Well, guess who got left standing? You did and so did I.

No longer will I hold my breath and hope that somehow we'll get out of this mess, no, from here on out, I'm convinced that there is just no way possible that this ends well. We are a nation so far in debt that we will NEVER be able to repay it all. As Peak Oil takes hold and the global economy shrinks faster and faster, there simply won't be enough energy to ever come back up for air. The fat lady is singing, the band is warming up and it's GAME OVER BABY. Will the last person left alive please turn out the lights? It's been one hell of a party.

Mish has much more and says it so much better than I ever could.

Update: Seems that members of Congress haven't been paying attention. They are shocked I tell you, shocked, that things are this shitty.

On The Fifth Day, Louisville Gas & Electric Created Light, And It Was Good

The lights are back on, as is the television, computer and most of all, the air conditioner. More on what it's been like this past week, living without electricity, coming tomorrow.

In The Dark

Today is the fourth day without power, though Louisville Gas and Electric did tease me on Monday by turning on the lights for a couple of hours. On Monday, the city had almost 400,000 homes without power and today it's down to about 160,000 or so. Utility crews from North Carolina, Indiana and Nashville have joined local utilities, putting over 1100 crews out on the streets. Over 600 telephone poles were snapped, 6,000 cables torn and tens of thousands of trees blown over. Everywhere you look you see destruction, something I've never seen before. I'm hopeful that the power might come back on today but until that happens, my only way to update this blog and check in on the world at large is to visit a coffee shop and grab a bit of free internet.


The remains of Hurricane Ike put an ass whipping on us yesterday. With wind gusts above hurricane force, Ike battered the area causing over 300,000 power outages in Jefferson County alone. It could be two weeks before everyone has their power back on. Mine went out yesterday around noon and I'm still in the dark and probably will be for quite some time. It's a mess as streets are closed with debris, school is cancelled again tomorrow and most stop lights aren't working. For more coverage on the story, check out the Courier Journal.

Sarah Palin's Interview With ABC

I've found new footage of the Palin interview and I take back every bad thing I've ever said about her. Clearly she's ready to lead right now...

What Looks Back When I Look in the Mirror

I've been home from work all week with a very bad back and thus my mind has had plenty of time to wander. Tonight, I started pouring through all of the pictures I have stored on iPhoto when I came across a picture of me that was taken nearly 2 years ago. I pulled up a rather recent photo to compare and contrast and when I did, I started to cry. I've been disappointed with my facial feminization surgery since day one but when I look back all these months later, I'm even more disappointed and even a bit angry. I spent nearly $30,000 and wasted a whole summer trying to recover. I'm still feeling pain throughout my face and even now, I've still got a lot of swelling and at least one very ugly scar.

So, was it worth it? Not even for a second. I've done a few stupid things in my life but having this surgery totally takes the cake. Going in, I had very high hopes for how things would turn out, Dr. Z has done some amazing work and everyone I talked to thought I was doing the right thing. When I get online and see pics of the girls he's worked on, I wonder what in the hell went wrong. It's not that the results were bad, I'm not hideous or anything, it's that results were such a letdown based upon what I was led to expect. Dr. Z promised me that after surgery, I would be able to pass without makeup and that he guaranteed I would look great. Well, I don't come close to passing, not by a longshot, and thus I can't help but feel so underwhelmed and utterly disappointed.

Bin Ladin Determined To Strike In US

Text of memo presented to President George W. Bush on August 6, 2001. His reply: "Okay, you've covered your ass."

Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US

Clandestine, foreign government, and media reports indicate Bin Ladin since 1997 has wanted to conduct terrorist attacks in the US. Bin Ladin implied in US television interviews in 1997 and 1998 that his followers would follow the example of World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef and "bring the fighting to America."

After US missile strikes on his base in Afghanistan in 1998, Bin Ladin told followers he wanted to retaliate in Washington, according to a [--] service.

An Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) operative told an [--] service at the same time that Bin Ladin was planning to exploit the operative's access to the US to mount a terrorist strike.

The millennium plotting in Canada in 1999 may have been part of Bin Ladin's first serious attempt to implement a terrorist strike in the US. Convicted plotter Ahmed Ressam has told the FBI that he conceived the idea to attack Los Angeles International Airport himself, but that Bin Ladin lieutenant Abu Zubaydah encouraged him and helped facilitate the operation. Ressam also said that in 1998 Abu Zubaydah was planning his own US attack.

Ressam says Bin Ladin was aware of the Los Angeles operation.

Although Bin Ladin has not succeeded, his attacks against the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 demonstrate that he prepares operations years in advance and is not deterred by setbacks. Bin Ladin associates surveilled our Embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam as early as 1993, and some members of the Nairobi cell planning the bombings were arrested and deported in 1997.

Al-Qa'ida members--including some who are US citizens--have resided in or traveled to the US for years, and the group apparently maintains a support structure that could aid attacks. Two al-Qua' da members found guilty in the conspiracy to bomb our embassies in East Africa were US citizens, and a senior EIJ member lived in California in the mid-1990s.

A clandestine source said in 1998 that a Bin Ladin cell in New York was recruiting Muslim-American youth for attacks.

We have not been able to corroborate some of the more sensational threat reporting, such as that from a [--] service in 1998 saying that Bin Ladin wanted to hijack a US aircraft to gain the release of "Blind Shaykh" 'Umar 'Abd al-Rahman and other US-held extremists.

Nevertheless, FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York.

I'm 43% White

I just finished reading "Stuff White People Like" and though I thoroughly enjoyed it, I'm a bit surprised how non-white I ended up being. Out of the 150 things that white people do like, I only found myself liking 71 of them.

Things white people like that I like too: Film festivals, diversity, Barack Obama, making you feel bad for not going outside, Wes Anderson Movies, Asian Girls (oh yeah), nonprofit organizations, having black friends, awareness, international travel, being an expert on your culture, microbreweries, wine, Manhattan, 80;s Nights, architecture, The Daily Show and Colbert Report, Brunch, Apple products, Indie Music, public radio, asian fusion food, liberal arts degrees, irony, Sarah Silverman, dogs, kitchen gadgets, apologies, documentaries, bicycles, knowing what's best for the poor, expensive sandwiches, recycling, standing still at concerts, difficult breakups (lots of them), study abroad, threatening to move to Canada, musical comedy, graduate school, hating corporations (Apple and Target are okay), bad memories of high school, t-shirts, shorts, outdoor performance clothes, having gay friends, dinner parties, San Francisco, self-deprecating humor, integrity, pretending to be a Canadian when traveling abroad, free health care, Non-American news sources, subtitles, the ACLU, platonic friendships, reusable shopping bags, Dave Chappelle, conspiracies, avoiding confrontation, following my dreams, not having cash, eating outside, books, music festivals, hardwood floors, bakeries, cheese therapy, public transportation that is not a bus, and dive bars.

Things white people like that I don't like:
Coffee, religions that our parents don't belong to, assists, farmers markets, organic food, tea, yoga, gifted children, hating your parents, writer's workshops, having two last names, David Sedaris, marathons, not having a TV, Wrigley Field, snowboarding, veganism/vegetariansim, marijuana, renovations, Arrested Development, sushi, plays, The Sunday New York Times, Whole Foods, vintage, living by the water, lawyers, Japan, natural medicine, Toyota Prius, coed sports, divorce (I just don't think people should get married), Michael Gondry, Mos Def, being the only white person around, gentrification, Oscar parties, bottles of water, multilingual children, modern furniture, the idea of soccer, The Wire, St. Patrick's Day, music piracy, rugby, New Balance Shoes, beards, having children in your thirties (no kids is good kids), red hair, Noam Chomsky, non-motorized boating, the Boston Red Sox, scarves, cleanses, the Criterion Collection, natural childbirth, high school english teachers, native wisdom, trying too hard, Portland, Oregon, Che Guevera, The New Yorker, Premium Juice, plaid, acoustic covers, Tibet, Nintendo Wii, The Simpsons, DJ's, Carbon offsets, adopting foreign children, LEED certification, expensive strollers, singer-songwriters, glasses, McSweeney's, modern art museums, self-importance and rock climbing.

We're Going To Lose

Up until this week, I've been totally convinced that Barrack Obama would win come November. Sadly, I don't feel that way anymore. I don't know why, but I failed to comprehend the degree to which the media in this country sucks. They are nothing more than a bunch of empty minded tools who love nothing more than a faux controversy. The Pig in lipstick episode is just the latest, but certainly not the last, hissy fit that Republicans will throw and just like now, the media will eat it up and spend countless days chattering about what a bad person Obama is. Meanwhile, the Obama campaign seems to think that if they just play nice, that McCain and company will back off the petty attacks and focus on the issues that really matter. That's not the way these ass clowns work and why Obama isn't going on the attack is beyond me. If Obama pulls this off, I'll be very surprise, very surprised.

What a Perv

Get a room already!

Dirty Old Man

The real reason John McBush picked Sarah Palin to be his running mate.

I've Got The Coolest Dogs

I just adore my three babies and thought I would share a fun filled day.

Two Minutes Hates

Rudy Giuliani is clearly unhinged. Big Brother would be quite proud. This is turning into a modern day version of Hate Week.

McCains Voice Mail to Palin Leaked

Found this on the internets tonight. Enjoy!

East Bound and Down

Jerry Reed dead at 71. Smokey and the Bandit is one of those movies that should be panned but for Americans my age, it was a big part of our childhood. I'm going to add it to my Netflix queue tonight.

I'll drink a cold one for you!

And Giving Some More...

Palin's husband was arrested for DUI in 1984. Let's see, Palin doesn't know what the Vice President does, believes in creationism, doesn't believe that humans are to blame for Global Warming, lies about the "bridge to nowhere", admits to smoking pot (I'll give her credit on that one), has a husband that was arrested for DUI, advocates the teaching of abstinence only sex education which results in her 17 year old daughter getting pregnant (that is one fertile family), went to 3 colleges in 5 years, thought the pledge of allegiance was around for the Founding Fathers, might be in favor of Alaskan independence and John McBush feels that her running the local PTA was one of the most important factors in her favor.

Cue to sane Americans banging there heads against the walls.

And Giving

Q: Are you offended by the phrase "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance? Why or why not?

PALIN: Not on your life. If it was good enough for the founding fathers, its good enough for me and I’ll fight in defense of our Pledge of Allegiance

Palin was of course a bit off as The Pledge wasn't written till 1892. in a sane world, the fact that Palin believes in Creationism, thinks that Globabl Warming isn't man made and would outlaw abortion in cases of rape or incest should automatically disqualify her from office. Sadly, it's perfectly appropriate in modern day America. This country sucks.

Palin, The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Turns out that Mrs. Family Values had a little secret that won't make the religious nutcases very happy. Her 17 year old daughter is 5 months pregnant and will marry the lucky boy. Now I would normally say that this shouldn't be an issue in the campaign but when you are chosen for your conservative social views, well, it becomes an issue. Palin believes in and supports such things as Abstinence Only education, an approach that does not work. Again, I could care less that she is pregnant, teens have sex, it's what they do, but when you run on a so called "Family Values" platform that demonizes pre-marital sex, well, it's fair game.