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All Writing Mental Health Prose Random Response Thoughts Transgender

An Open Letter to People that Don’t Know Me, and Judge Me with No Information

So, yesterday, I received an email. Nothing abnormal about that, except for 4 things.

1) It was from an old family friend who I haven’t seen or spoken to in years, and would have no way to get the email address they sent it to, except by getting it from someone.

2) They somehow knew that I am trans, despite me having no connection to them or their family for a long time (Years before I started looking at my identity), and not coming out to them, because they are not a part of my life anymore.

3) They came at me from a place of judgement, incorrect information, and telling me that I am simply confused or mistaken about being Trans.

4) and They did not try to open a dialogue. It was a very  judgement-filled, close-minded, and higher than thou type of message.

I decided not to respond, but this is a teachable moment for any one of you who may have a trans person in your life (or may in the future), and this is NOT how to behave if you want to have a relationship with them, or want them to actually open a dialogue with you.

The message is as follows:

As you said, you are an intelligent person …

Your family would sacrifice their lives for you! Their love is that deep. Do you REALLY think it is healthy to distance yourself from them at such a crucial time in your life? They are all very intelligent people. Don’t run for fear of hearing something that would change the trajectory of your life yet again. Listen to all sides again and again. Don’t immerse yourself in one or you will blind yourself to all other possibilities!

What if the leap you make is not REAL?

SC Lewis…

“I am afraid the psychologists will not be content to explain my insect fears by what a simpler generation would diagnose as their cause – a certain detestable picture in one of my nursery books …”

Best, <Name Redacted>”


Now, there is a lot to unpack there, most of which is not based on actual facts, and I wish I could tell you that this was the only/first time such ignorant things have been said to me, but it is not, and I would be willfully ignorant if I thought it would be the last.

My first feeling when I read this was that my heart had suddenly gained 50 pounds and was run over by a steamroller. It took all of the air out of my lungs.

What does this person know about me, or my relationships with my family except secondhand information? Where do they get off telling me what to do, or how much my family loves me, I know that, despite the sick way that some of them have reacted? Coming at me, after zero contact for almost a decade, and not being close for almost 2, with the blatant audacity of thinking that they know me.

Once I calmed down a bit, I wrote a well thought out, non-judgemental, logical response (with actual facts, not unfounded opinions. I shared it with a few close friends, trans and not. One of my good friends suggested I leave it alone, as she told me:

So your response is good, but my personal opinion is that they don’t deserve a response. Nothing you say will convince them of anything. And if you haven’t talked to them in over 10 years than an response is unnecessary. Also, lions don’t lose sleep over the opinions of sheep. And you’re a beautiful lioness, fuck that little sheep. They’re being the actor, trying to control both you and your family by saying what everyone should do and say and act like. Which is sick behavior. The only way to win is to not participate, in my opinion.

I am taking her advice, and instead using this as an opportunity to say what I wanted to say in a more public forum. If it helps one person that is struggling with family/friends/coworkers and their unfounded opinions, unasked for advice, or plain bigotry, or someone that has a trans person in their life doesn’t act in this way, then the time that I take to write this is well worth it.

First, love.

Now, I am not Christian (far from it, in fact), but the Bible has some real gems, such as the following.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

My family, and the person that wrote the email that is the catalyst for this post, are Christian. When they talk about me distancing myself from my family, that is partially true.

I did not spend Christmas with them, I did not go to a sibling get together a few weeks later, and I have not been reaching out to them that much. However there are reasons for that, and more to that than meets the eye.

1) When I came to Thanksgiving as Justice, not <Redacted>, and came out to the remainder of my siblings (which is covered in detail in this post) my Mom told me that I would always be her son, although my siblings seemed to take it well (which turned out to not be the case).

2) Because of the toxic victim mentality, inability to hear what I was saying (they listened, but didn’t hear), weaponized feelings, manipulative actions, and attempting to use old friends to convince me that I was simply confused (not positive on this, but pretty sure) I decided to put up boundaries to protect myself. <Note: This was not all of them, and some of this has gotten better>

3) I told them three things. That my name is Justice, and not to use my birthname; I am a trans woman, and to use feminine pronouns; and that if they were going to try to convince me of something about my identity, then I respectfully declined to put myself in those situations.

4) I didn’t reach out to them that much before this, so it is not like I cut off contact.

5) I have continued to have communication with every one of my family, barring one, as they have completely ignored my requests. I also, am not opposed to speaking to them, I am just not reaching out to someone that seemed to be an ally, until I told them something that they don’t agree with, and then started spitting venom. I think that they were ok (ish) with my questioning my gender, as long as I came to the conclusion that I was cisgender.

Sorry, dear, not the reality.


So, back to that email. Being transgender is not something I chose, am confused about, isn’t real, or is some fleeting thing like a hair color, or an outfit. It is a part of me, and always has been.

I can remember the first time I felt ok with myself and comfortable with my body. It was when I was 4 or 5 and was playing dress up. I wore a dress and and I felt at home in my own body for the first time. I couldn’t tell you that at that time, put words to it, or accept it, but that was the moment that I knew, in my heart of hearts, that I was transgender.

There have been thousands (if not millions) of moments, thoughts, feelings, and experiences that have given me pause, and looking back at them now, I just wonder how it took me so long.

Also, “listening to all sides again and again,” is not what this is about. My existence is not up for debate. Period.

I know that it must be hard for my family to deal with me being trans, but sorry, it is the truth. It doesn’t matter how many times you tell me that 2+2=19, it doesn’t make it accurate.

Intelligence is different than educated, and doesn’t equal logical or openminded or well. I told them how I have felt my entire life, and based on their religious views, or idea of who I am, even when I was telling them that they were mistaken, I was being told I am wrong. They see me as the person that I was, that I put up as a shield, to hide from myself and others, so I wouldn’t have to look at being trans. Eventually, I couldn’t keep the facade up anymore, and it broke.

And “blinding myseld to all other possibilities”? You mean a heterosexual cisgender male? Like the life I tried to live my entire life and it kept me stagnant, broken, and living in a world of grayscale and unhappiness? Sorry, I tried that, and it didn’t work, and it could have killed me. Not going back to that.

Multiple members of my family also were worried about me becoming sterile by being on HRT.  Did any of them actually ask me if I want to have children? No, because if they had, I would have told them the answer. If I can’t bear children of my own, I don’t want, or need to be the biological parent, plus, there are so many kids that need love, family, and advocates, and I am happy to be that for them. Family doesn’t have to be blood.

I could go into the science or medical opinion on transgender people, or biological sex and gender, or the history of us (spoiler alert, been around for centuries, if not longer), but there are experts who are much more familiar and eloquent than I am, so if you are interested, simply take a look.

I hope that this has been helpful to at least one person, besides for me. If you have thoughts that are not coming from a place of willingness, and you are simply going to throw your opinion, with no facts, or an experience of your own, kindly, shove off.

I exist, I am valid, I am proud, I am transgender, I am strong.

Love, Light, and Laughter,

– Justice Faye Dazzle
Categories
All Writing Family Prose Random Response Thoughts Transgender

Mutterings and Musings of a Merry Maiden

The last 18 months have been some of the hardest, but most rewarding of my life. I realized a lot of things about myself and the world about me. Not just that I am a Bisexual Transgender Woman, that is probably the biggest one, but many other things as well.

In all of the self reflection, I was able to come to a better understanding of who I am as a person, not sexuality, gender, name, or otherwise, but the unique things about me, that make me me.

When I started questioning my gender identity, it was a series of existential crises on top of existential crises. This may not be the case for all Trans/enby/GnC folx, but it certainly was for me. I didn’t know what was real about me and what I had put up to prevent myself from looking “feminine,” not because of what others would think, but so I could keep those thoughts at bay. Why did I act in certain ways? Was it because I actually felt that way/liked those things/etc? Or was it yet another mask that I had put on to protect myself and my ego, and not wanting to face the truth about myself?

It’s something you’re born with, and you realize that you’re trapped in the wrong body. It’s not like one day you’re like, ‘I want to be transgender!’

Jazz Jennings

I had to categorically look at almost everything in my life, childhood, relationships (romantic, friendships, family, etc.), career choices, hobbies, political beliefs, music, movies, likes, dislikes, and on, and on, and on. The reason that I did this was because I didn’t know who I truly was, and what was part of my pseudo-self.

I also didn’t know that I had gender dysphoria, until my therapist read me the DSM definition, and I hit all of the criterion. I have seen all of the memes and Tumblr posts that you all have (maybe a few more because, well…) and I thought that I had to hate my body, want to mutilate myself, kill myself, etc. in order for me to have dysphoria.

This is not necessarily the case!

What my therapist told me is that dysphoria, like gender (and sexuality, politics, biological sex [Don’t believe me, check out the science], etc.) exists along a spectrum. The reason that the things that I saw was because of the shock value and that those are the extremes. Extremes grab peoples’ attention, get remembered, and get clicks/read/views. The average is just that, average, and it doesn’t catch attention.

What made it easier for me to start questioning everything was having out and proud Trans/enby/GnC people in my circle, so I could talk to them about their experience. I spoke to a friend and former co-worker who is genderfluid, and what she/they told me about her experience rang true in certain aspects, but there were other things that didn’t jive with me. There were things that I could relate to, and things I couldn’t. But it made me realize that there was definitely something there. If I had spoken to her and nothing made sense or sounded familiar to how I have felt, then I would have known (hopefully) that I was cisgender. What happened instead was similar to Alice. Once she went down the rabbit hole, there was no going back.

Once I realized that there was something there, I couldn’t ignore it/hide from it anymore. I started looking at everything I had thought about, and explained away with a “Everyone thinks like this sometimes,” which is certainly not the case. Not everyone imagines that they will wake up one day and be the opposite sex, or plays every available character in games that is the opposite sex and is annoyed when there is no option for it, and 1000s of other little things that are easy to explain away at the time.

I existed in what one of my friends accurately described as “Gender Purgatory,” for probably about 9 months. I didn’t know if I was trans, enby, or just a guy that enjoyed wearing women’s clothing…or something in between. I described myself as “Whatever the fuck I am,” for awhile. It was very confusing, and disheartening at times. I didn’t know if I wanted to change my name, pronouns, go onto hormones, etc. I talked to probably about 2 dozen different peeps with similar experiences (mostly trans women, but some questioning, some trans men, etc.) over that time, did a LOT of research, introspection, digging in therapy, refection on my life, talking to close friends, etc.

I tried using They/Them pronouns, but it didn’t feel right, just like my birth name and male pronouns no longer felt like me anymore, I stopped using my birth name and used Gael for a bit (at least online and with my therapist), but that didn’t seem right, either, and didn’t feel like me, so I never asked anyone to use it. I started introducing/using a nickname that I have had for a long time, which didn’t feel right, but it didn’t feel as wrong as my birth name…it at least wasn’t overtly male, like my birth name is.

I wasn’t truly happy or content for most of my life, but now that I have realized that I was inside a man shaped shell and am doing what I am to move towards and grow into the woman inside, I can truthfully say that I am happier and more in touch with myself than I have ever been. 

This lasted until September 11th, 2019. That’s when I found my name, and realized that I was definitely a trans woman. I had given up researching names and was just processing a bunch of stuff, letting it happen how it would. I was anxious all of the time, not sure what direction to go in, lost and confused.

Don’t get me wrong, I was happier than I had ever been, felt more like myself than I ever had, and leaned on some people and was a looot more open about my feelings than I ever had been in my life.

That was something that directly contributed to the end of the relationship that ended right before I started to look at my identity. I wasn’t able to be emotionally vulnerable, partly because I couldn’t identify what I was feeling (because I had been burying it for so long), partly because I wouldn’t allow myself to try (unconsciously, that is) because if I did, then the mask would start to unravel, and partly because I was in stasis.

I could only grow so much…even though I did a LOT of work on myself over the last decade, but I had hit a wall, and it was like I was in a world of greyscale, I knew that colour existed (Note: I grew up near the Canadien border, so I spell some things that way, it is not wrong, just different, and my preference) but I couldn’t see it, and I had gotten used to the world without it, and was resigned to my reality, it just was.

This is not to say that I wasn’t ecstatic or melancholy sometimes, but the majority of the time, I was just kind of bleh.

I had trained myself how not to let my emotions run over, and the longer I did it, the harder it was for me to feel anything outside of a pre-determined scale…and the longer I did that, the smaller the scale got.

Not that I didn’t feel emotions, in fact, I felt (and feel) them very intensely, but to protect myself from digging deeper, I disciplined myself on “moving” my reactions from an emotional one to a logical one. I did this (I thought) as a healthy way to avoid boiling over, when in fact, the reality of the situation was that this was a coping mechanism to keep my identity locked away, so I could be ok with being a straight cisgender male…even though none of that was accurate.

I grew up in an Irish Catholic household, was homeschooled, have mental health issues (anxiety and AD/HD), have an overactive imagination, and am fairly intelligent, couple that all together, and I ended up with a lot of guilt and shame about being outside of the norm. That would have been fine, and I probably could have kept it together and lived a semi-normal life, but then when I was 14 or 15 a friend (Let’s call him M…one of the kindest souls I have ever met) came out to me as gay.

This didn’t change my opinion of him, in fact, it was a pivotal point in my life. What it did do, was made me seriously question the Catholic church (which I already had misgivings about and it was all my family could do to get me to go to Mass), and this loving God that said that M. was not as good as them, not as worthy of love, because of something that he couldn’t control. That, to put it bluntly, was absolutely fucked in the head, in my opinion.

The second thing it did, was make me a staunch ally of LGBT people…even though I didn’t know that that (Either the term Ally, or the LGBT community) was a thing for quite a few years. I remember having (I tell myself hundreds, but it was probably closer to) dozens of arguments with family members. I call them arguments, because, there was no chance that either side was going to give on their position. I believed that they were wrong, and any God that was loving and didn’t make mistakes wouldn’t forsake and condemn his children for being how he made them, and they followed the Bible and the teachings of the Church, which was (in my perception), that it was ok to be gay, just don’t ever act upon it, because that’s a sin.

Fast forward to the recent past.

I was at work, at my new job (which I LOVE!), taking care of cleaning up a database of users (professional nerd here) which I had been working on every day for about 3 weeks, when I saw my name. 2 seconds earlier, if you had asked me my name, I wouldn’t have known what to respond, but as soon as I saw it, it was like I could finally breathe. Being the logical, analytical person that I am, I researched similar names, but nothing made me quite so peaceful, content, and at home as Justice did.

I knew two things that day. I knew my name, and I knew that I was a Transgender Woman.

I felt so much more at home in my own body than I had my entire life. Honestly, I couldn’t tell you most of my life that I didn’t feel at home in my own body, something just felt off. I couldn’t put words to it, I just felt wrong, not able to put a name to it, and wouldn’t allow myself to face it for a very long time.

I don’t know if this was because of societal pressure, family expectations, self-imposed misogyny, a combination of these, or something else entirely.

After I found my name, I continued talking to people who had been on/were on HRT. I had done a lot of research/talking to people before this, but because of the unknowns and confusion, it was simply information gathering before this point. Now, I knew that I was a transgender woman, so it was real, not a what-if situation.

I did a ton of contemplation about what this would mean for my life: health, people around me, friendships, romantic relationships, family, my career/co-workers, etc. This was all well and good, but one of the things that I have done my entire life was analyze and think my way away from my emotions to avoid facing the truth about myself, and I knew that this was something that I needed to do to feel like me. I had finally ripped the mask off and thrown it away, and I had gotten to a place that I was ok with being me.

I was done limiting, minimizing, and changing who I was to please anyone else or the self imposed limits that I had placed on myself. If I lost every relationship in my life and had to go it alone, then at least I would be ok with that person, like I never had been before. Knowing myself and being true to myself was worth the risk.

About this same time, I came out to my mom. She didn’t approve, understand, or get it. I had told her, one of my sisters, and my dad not that long before that I was questioning my gender identity and had been dressing more feminine, so this wasn’t as huge a thing as it could have been.

I told her that I am a trans woman, I am using female pronouns, going by Justice everywhere except work, and I am probably (had made my initial appontment) going to start HRT soon. She had some things to say which were not the easiest to hear, but were how she felt. I assumed that she was going to tell my dad (this will become important later), and we both went our separate ways.

One of the saving graces that I had through this whole process was having a very strong chosen family around me, both cis and trans people. The cis women in my life helped me with makeup, clothes, giving me a safe space to be myself, and so many other things.

This is such a different experience than so many trans people have, and I know that it is how I was able to get through this whole process without a major breakdown, especially since for the majority of this, my manager at my job was a narcissistic gaslighter who emotionally and psychologically abused me. Just that alone could have sent me off the deep end had I not had the tribe I did, let alone the confusion and unknowns of my identity crisis.

I have so many examples of this, but my rock through this was my bestie (Let’s call her K). She literally saved my sanity, kept me from falling apart too many times to fathom, and helped me nurture the Woman inside. She gave me a safe place to explore and took me as I was at the time. She came with me the first time I went shopping for women’s clothing, which is not something that I could have done alone at the time; pushed me to be true to myself and explore what kind of woman I was, gave me no judgement, just was my biggest cheerleader and a great example and stood on the sidelines shouting encouragement.


She helped me become the woman that I am today, and I cannot even begin to thank her for her love and support.


In early November, I realized that there was not a Pride center in my city. There is one in the next city over, but not one here. The first thought I had was why? The second was, what if I hadn’t had the people and support that I do/did? What if I was 15 going through this? What would I do?

Directly after that, it was, ok Bitch, time to get to work.

I reached out to friends of mine in my city that are in the LGBT community, to see if they would be interested in helping, and a few of them were 100% behind it. We are still in the beginning stages, but we have a solid core group of people that are movers and shakers and are motivated to get this going. We need a safe place for LGBT people to go to be themselves. We are in the process of planning our first event, and doing our initial outreach.

About this time, I decided that it was time to come out at work. I was living as Justice everywhere except work, and I felt like I was a fake, not being true to myself.

However, I wanted to make sure that I would be safe, so I reached out to my LGBT team member of my local union (Proud member here!), to find out what protections I would have, and what the process would look like. She is amazing! Such a great help.

I then talked to my manager…which was much easier than I thought it would be. He had already figured it out months before. Apparently I didn’t hide it as well as I thought. He is concerned with my skillset and ability to do the job, not with my gender. He talked to the head of HR for me so that they knew what was going on, so if anyone made it an issue, I would be protected.

I then had a call with both my manager and the head of HR about potentially changing my name/pronouns at work. Unfortunately, because of the nature of my job, there could be things that might be audited, so I need to wait until I legally change my name, which is giving me impetus to do that sooner rather than later.

During this time, I started coming out to my family. They were seemingly supportive.

At Thanksgiving I finished coming out to my siblings, which went semi well…I thought. My mom, however, told me flat out that I would always be my birth name and her son to her, which felt very hurtful, and like I was not being heard.

It feels like there is this huge double standard in my family. I mean, I know that I have caused a lot of hurt because of some of my past actions, but I have spent the past decade trying to mend them. It seems like it is ok to judge me and comment on my life, but I have to just accept the things that are broken in my family, and the choices/beliefs that my family has as accurate/acceptable. If I go against the grain…which is literally everything that makes me who I am, then it is going to be analyzed and debated to death, or ignored.

About a week after that, my mom sent a passive aggressive message to our family group chat (using my birth name and male pronouns) which rocked me, as she referenced the rest of the family being a mess. I reached out to my siblings to get clarity, and they all were wrecks emotionally.

They said things which showed me how much I have grown emotionally, as I know that someone’s feelings about what someone doing in their life (which do not directly effect them) is not the other person’s fault. I can’t make them feel something, that is on them and their beliefs/issues. I responded in a kind way, but saying, essentially, that It is my life and I am not going to change to spare their feelings, that they need to fix themselves, I can’t do that for them.

I then decided that because of how toxic some of the things that they were saying, that it was better for me to not spend the holidays with them. I needed to put up healthy boundaries to take care of me.

This caused my oldest sister to send me a bunch of poison. The things she said attacked my character, my morals, and were some of the most hurtful things that have ever been sent to me, period. Was she not my sister, I would have responded nastily and told her to never speak to me again. The things that she said are just not ok.

That just cemented my decision to not spend holidays with them, because she was going to be there, and I do not want to see her while she is saying things like that. She also outed me to one of my best friends from growing up, which, due to the nature of her job, and her contact with people in the LGBT community, she should know that you don’t do that. Especially, since, my suspicion was so that he could convince me to change my life and put the cute boy costume back on.

Not gonna happen. They may not like it, understand it, approve of it, or have made the same decision if they were in my shoes, but this is who I am.

One really good thing that came out of this shitstorm was that I am learning how to set healthy boundaries with my family.


While this is not everything that has happened to me over the last 18 months or so, it is a pretty good synopsis, and what I feel I needed to say.

I am trans, I am proud, I am finally starting to love myself, I am not afraid anymore

Love, Light, and Laughter,

-Justice Dazzle

Categories
All Writing Poetry Politics Random Response Thoughts

The Modern Day Philosophy

This is a poem that I wrote for my Critical Thinking class that I took back in 2006. Originally posted on my DeviantArt.

People today don’t like to think
No one uses their brains anymore, in fact, they’re starting to stink,
Everyone watches the TV news,
Hell! The U.S government gives her citizens their views.

Bush and his lackeys tell us what to believe,
That should be reason enough to grieve,
The information that we receive,
Is given to us, only after it has been filtered through a sieve.

In order for us to find out the truth
We must all get out of our personal soundproof booth,
And find out all the sides of the issues,
We must pick and choose,
To glean the truth out of the subterfuge, of our government,
To fix the huge hole that has been rent,
In the real truth of the matter in our society;
To bring about in our world a sobriety,
We need to cut through the web of falsehood,
To decipher the full picture, we must experience both bad and good.

How do we solve this quandary???
We need to pull out our dirty laundry
And air it out in the bright sunlight,
To find the truth, you need both wrong and right.

Our world as a whole, as I am sure you know,
Has sunk to a blissful new low.
Can we stop this flood of ambivalence?
Is there any way to help it all make sense?

There is a way to remove this poison that we
Have been drinking,
The antidote is a splash of Critical Thinking,
A buoy is rising, helping us float,
Lifting us high enough to grab this monster by the throat.

Get behind it, give a twist,
Until its head begins to list,
Pull out your knife, give a slice,
Until its skin feels like ice.

But Wait! Before this evil is laid to rest in his eternal bed,
There is one more thing to do to make sure that he is dead.
Jump upon him
As his eyes become dim
Open your mouth, take a bite,
You have become the victor of this fight
As you sit there, you feel a warm, invigorating rain
For in your teeth, you hold the monstrous beast’s most vital jugular vein!

Categories
All Writing Politics Prose Response Thoughts

Response to 2015 State of the Union

As most of you are aware, last night was the President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union address. It was filled with hope, togetherness, and some new ideas. It was, however, also ridden with inaccuracies. I am not going to say that it was incorrect in its entirety, or that Obama is living in a pipe dream, as some others have, but there were some key points that were mis-represented. Those are the things that I am going to focus on. I will not simply paraphrase his words and state an opinion based on that, I will directly quote from the transcript, which can be found in many locations across the web. If you want to read it for yourself, here is where I read it and am copying it from.

Here goes:

The first point that stood out to me was the example he used to about the family that went through hard times.

“America, Rebekah and Ben’s story is our story. They represent the millions who have worked hard, and scrimped, and sacrificed, and retooled.” While that is great, for this family, what about all of the other families who when this kind of financial insecurity hits, they end up homeless, having used up all of their unemployment, or, still have unemployment, but it isn’t enough to get by? I have known many people who, the only reason they are on the street is because of one big, unexpected emergency expense or lay off. While this is a touching story, it is not even close to being representative to what happens in a situation like this.

Next, we have education. Obama talks about our improvement, “We believed we could prepare our kids for a more competitive world. And today, our younger students have earned the highest math and reading scores on record.” While that may be true, I, personally wouldn’t be bragging about being 14th in education, as a whole, 14th in math, and 25th in reading, respectively. This is not something to be shouting from the rooftops about. Who is #1, you may be asking? None other than South Korea. This is a country that, in the 1950s was one of the poorest in the world. in about 50 years, they have gone from bottom of the barrel to top dog (at least in education).

The next point Obama talked about that is not completely valid is his statement, “Today, we have new tools to stop taxpayer-funded bailouts.” What he is talking about, I believe, is the Dodd-Frank Law. This is a law, passed in 2010 that, supposedly, will make taxpayer funded bailouts a thing of the past, and “Too Big to Fail,” a relic of the past. There is, however, language that gives banks and other corporations plenty of other tools that give them advantages over your mom and pop shops. The other options they have include “liquidation, receivership, a division of the institution into a good and bad bank, with the former to be run by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), selling the good bank to another bank or recapitalization. Fears of counterparty risk and former bondholders carrying equity of questionable value could engender a sale of its and its competitors’ shares.” (Via Investopedia) This “New Tool,” is more a new tool for big corporations to keep their money and avoid failure, while giving the illusion of limiting them.

Going right into his next point, “Middle-class economics works.” First off, Middle-Class economics is something that the current administration pulled out of thin air a short time ago. It sounds good to blue collar workers, because it makes it seem as if their representatives have them in mind, but even if you use the definition that Obama used last night, it has failed before it was even a term. “The nation’s median income remains lower than it was when the Great Recession ended, $52,000 at the end of 2013 compared to $54,400 at the end of 2008 in today’s dollars.” (Via The Washington Post) The fact remains, the United States Government is giving more priority to business, and exactly the same to their constituents.

“We know that more small business owners plan to raise their employees’ pay than at any time since 2007.” While, that is great, and thanks for that, what about large businesses? They get larger tax breaks, they have legislation that will protect them, they outsource manufacturing to China and Singapore, where is their plan to raise wages?

While there were lots of good ideas, and pipe dreams being touted and spouted last night, I didn’t hear any solutions…did you? What do you think? Did I miss something? Let me know.

-Wiggums, The Wanderer

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From the Archives: Net Neutrality Part 2

Originally Posted on Nov 25th, 2009.

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So after I read that, this issue has consumed a good chunk of my waking hours. I cannot believe that this would even be an issue here in the USA, “The land of the free and the brave,” this would seem to be something more in line with The People’s Republic of China’s take on the internet (such as this interesting factoid, or even more disturbing, this act of censoring information). It seems, however that, because internet stores and businesses have surpassed physical locations, in revenue, especially internet advertising companies, as illustrated in this pdf, this is an issue that we must be concerned about!

As Paul Erdman once said “The entire essence of America is the hope to first make money — then make money with money — then make lots of money with lots of money.” This is true, at least in big business, and what better way to make lots of money than to make sure that your URL loads 10, 100, or 1,000 times faster than all of your competitors? I cannot think of one, for if your URL is the fastest loading, in this age of faster is better, then it won’t matter whose product is better, because people will not use the “other guy,” and soon, the “other guy,” will not exist to keep prices down.

If The Internet Preservation Act of 2009 does not pass, there are so many things that will crumble into rubble…I get depressed just thinking about it.

Please sign this petition to help stop Big Business from getting its way!

-wiggums

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From The Archives: Net Neutrality: Part 1

Originally Posted on Nov 25, 2009.

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Last week, I discovered This page and immediately signed the petition, as this is something that is of the utmost import. For those of you who do not know what Net Neutrality is even about, I will begin at the beginning.

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Taken from their FAQ:

What is this about?

When we log onto the Internet, we take a lot for granted. We assume we’ll be able to access any Web site we want, whenever we want, at the fastest speed, whether it’s a corporate or mom-and-pop site. We assume that we can use any service we like — watching online video, listening to podcasts, sending instant messages — anytime we choose. What makes all these assumptions possible is Net Neutrality.

What is Net Neutrality?

Net Neutrality is the guiding principle that preserves the free and open Internet.

Net Neutrality simply means no discrimination. Net Neutrality prevents Internet providers from blocking, speeding up or slowing down Web content based on its source, ownership or destination.

Net Neutrality is the reason the Internet has driven economic innovation, democratic participation and free speech online. It protects the consumer’s right to use any equipment, content, application or service without interference from the network provider. With Net Neutrality, the network’s only job is to move data — not to choose which data to privilege with higher quality service.

Learn more in Net Neutrality 101.

Who wants to get rid of Net Neutrality?

The nation’s largest telephone and cable companies — including AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner Cable — want to be Internet gatekeepers, deciding which Web sites go fast or slow and which won’t load at all.

They want to tax content providers to guarantee speedy delivery of their data. And they want to discriminate in favor of their own search engines, Internet phone services and streaming video — while slowing down or blocking services offered by their competitors.

These companies have a new vision for the Internet. Instead of a level playing field, they want to reserve express lanes for their own content and services — or those of big corporations that can afford the steep tolls — and leave the rest of us on a winding dirt road.

The big phone and cable companies are spending hundreds of millions of dollars lobbying Congress and the Federal Communications Commission to gut Net Neutrality, putting the future of the Internet at risk.

Is Net Neutrality a new regulation?

Absolutely not. Net Neutrality has been part of the Internet since its inception. Pioneers like Vint Cerf and Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, always intended the Internet to be a neutral network. And non-discrimination provisions like Net Neutrality have governed the nation’s communications networks since the 1920s.

But as a consequence of a 2005 decision by the Federal Communications Commission, Net Neutrality — the foundation of the free and open Internet — was put in jeopardy. Now, cable and phone company lobbyists are pushing to block legislation that would reinstate Net Neutrality.

Writing Net Neutrality into law would preserve the freedoms we currently enjoy on the Internet. For all their talk about “deregulation,” the cable and phone giants don’t want real competition. They want special rules written in their favor.

Isn’t the threat to Net Neutrality just hypothetical?

No. By far the most significant evidence of the network owners’ plans to discriminate is their stated intent to do so.

The CEOs of all the largest telecom companies have been clear about their plans to build a tiered Internet with faster service for the select few companies willing or able to pay exorbitant tolls. Net Neutrality advocates are not imagining a doomsday scenario. We are taking the telecom execs at their word.

So far, we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg. But numerous examples show that without Net Neutrality requirements, Internet service providers will discriminate against content and competing services they don’t like. This type of censorship will become the norm unless we act now. Given the chance, these gatekeepers will consistently put their own interests before the public good.

The cable and phone companies already dominate the broadband marketplace. And when network owners start abusing their control of the pipes, there will be nowhere else for consumers to turn.

Isn’t this just a battle between giant corporations?

No. Our opponents would like to paint this debate as a clash of corporate titans. But the real story is the millions of everyday people fighting for their Internet freedom.

Small business owners benefit from an Internet that allows them to compete directly — not one where they can’t afford the price of entry. Net Neutrality ensures that innovators can start small and dream big about being the next EBay or Google without facing insurmountable hurdles. Without Net Neutrality, startups and entrepreneurs will be muscled out of the marketplace by big corporations that pay for a top spot on the Web.

If Congress turns the Internet over to the telecom giants, everyone who uses the Internet will be affected. Connecting to your office could take longer if you don’t purchase your carrier’s preferred applications. Sending family photos and videos could slow to a crawl. Web pages you always use for online banking, access to health care information, planning a trip, or communicating with friends and family could fall victim to pay-for-speed schemes.

Independent voices and political groups are especially vulnerable. Costs will skyrocket to post and share video and audio clips, silencing bloggers and amplifying the voices of the big media companies. Political organizing could be slowed by the handful of dominant Internet providers that ask advocacy groups or candidates to pay to join the “fast lane.”

What else are the phone and cable companies not telling the truth about?

AT&T and other telecom giants have funded a massive misinformation campaign, filled with deceptive advertising and “Astroturf” groups like Hands Off the Internet and NetCompetition.org.

Learn how to separate the myths from the realities in our report, Network Neutrality: Fact vs. Fiction.

What’s at stake if we lose Net Neutrality?

The consequences of a world without Net Neutrality would be devastating. Innovation would be stifled, competition limited, and access to information restricted. Consumer choice and the free market would be sacrificed to the interests of a few corporations.

On the Internet, consumers are in ultimate control — deciding between content, applications and services available anywhere, no matter who owns the network. There’s no middleman. But without Net Neutrality, the Internet will look more like cable TV. Network owners will decide which channels, content and applications are available; consumers will have to choose from their menu.

The free and open Internet brings with it the revolutionary possibility that any Internet site could have the reach of a TV or radio station. The loss of Net Neutrality would end this unparalleled opportunity for freedom of expression.

The Internet has always been driven by innovation. Web sites and services succeed or fail on their own merits. Without Net Neutrality, decisions now made collectively by millions of users will be made in corporate boardrooms. The choice we face now is whether we can choose the content and services we want, or whether the broadband barons will choose for us.

What’s happening in Congress?

In August 2009, Reps. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) introduced the Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2009 (H.R. 3458). This landmark legislation would protect Net Neutrality under the Communications Act, safeguarding the future of the open Internet and protecting Internet users from discrimination online.

Urge your member of Congress to support this important piece of legislation today!

The SavetheInternet.com coalition also applauds the recent passage of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. The law, which allocates $7.2 billion to expand broadband access and adoption, attaches open Internet conditions to all broadband networks built with public funds.

But these conditions only apply to the broadband lines built with federal stimulus money. We need to make Net Neutrality the law of the land to ensure that all networks are open and free from discrimination. That’s why the Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2009 (H.R. 3458) is so important. Take action today to pass this bill and to make Net Neutrality the law.

Who’s part of the SavetheInternet.com Coalition?

The SavetheInternet.com Coalition is made up of hundreds of groups from across the political spectrum that are concerned about maintaining a free and open Internet. Click here to see a list of coalition members.

No corporation or political party funds our efforts. We simply agree to a statement of principles in support of Internet freedom.

The coalition is being coordinated by Free Press, a national, nonpartisan organization working to reform the media. Please complete this brief survey if your group would like to join this broad, bipartisan effort to save the Internet.

Who else supports Net Neutrality?

The supporters of Net Neutrality include leading tech companies such as Amazon.com, EBay, Google, Intel, Microsoft, Facebook, Skype and Yahoo. Prominent national figures such as Internet pioneer Vint Cerf, Stanford law professor Lawrence Lessig and Acting FCC Chairman Michael Copps have called for stronger Net Neutrality protections.

President Barack Obama himself pledged to “take a back seat to no one” in his commitment to Net Neutrality. And the administration’s technology policies now posted on the White House Web site list Net Neutrality as the top priority.

Editorial boards at the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, Seattle Times, St. Petersburg Times and Christian Science Monitor have all have urged Congress to save the Internet.

What can I do to help?

Sign the SavetheInternet.com petition and tell Congress to pass Net Neutrality legislation now.

Show your support for Internet freedom on your Web site or blog.

Tell your friends about this crucial issue before it’s too late

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From the Archives: Music, The “Industry,” and Pity…

I found this in one of my old WordPress accounts, and I figured that this was as good a place as any to put it. This was originally posted on April 24th, 2009.

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The current American music industry angers me more and more every day…for one thing, unless an artist stays with an independent label or puts out their own albums, real artists don’t make it, just those “artists” that are either recording songs and albums to make money or because they are “hot” and they will get play time because hormone driven teenagers determine that because they have a good body and they don’t mind acting like a slut on camera, they are an “artist.” What about the real artists that are making music because they LOVE MUSIC!!?? I am talking about the people that have been struggling and striving to make their music an art since they were knee high to a grasshopper. Those people that write their own music, music which is poetry to the ears and the soul…and people who actually play all of their own beats and rhythms…

Unfortunately, in this age of instant gratification, it is counter productive, or so the studios want us to believe, to take two and a half years to record an Album…and I am talking about an Album, not an album, which, to clarify, Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here,” or for that matter, any Pink Floyd album is an Album…a series of tracks that have common themes, or, if they do not, they have incredible transitions, which make the album connected, at least in the musical themes. I am talking about, say AC/DC’s “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap,” rather than, for example whatever teen idol is popular this week. Albums that will still be selling copies twenty years from now…Albums that were written for the music’s sake…not to make money, and certainly not just to record an album.

I HATE Simon Cowell and what he has done to the music industry…American Idol has destroyed the music industry…for every genuine Artiste that shows up on that hypocrisy, there are 1500 idiotic assholes that only showed up so they could be on television…and that is a conservative estimate.  I mean, have you ever listened to a Kelly Clarkson song? Unfortunately, I have, and let me tell you it is blatantly obvious to an audiophile such as myself that this girl has almost no love for the music, it is all for the money and the fame…how sad is that, when people will do something that they can barely tolerate in order to make money? Personally, I would rather struggle and strive at something for fifteen or twenty years, but have True Passion for! Actually, I feel sorry for Hannah Montana/Mylie Cyrus, The Jonas Brothers, Kelly Clarkson, etc. As of five minutes ago, I wouldn’t have said that, but it wasn’t True five minutes ago…they are going to be doing this as long as it makes the studios money, which is about as long as teens are going to be worshiping them…and then they will be cut loose in 2 or 5 or 10 years with no idea what they want to do with their lives and either go on trying to make it and revise their music into something worthwhile…as that is the only way they know to make money, and they don’t know how to do anything else.

Although, I can’t totally blame Simon Cowell, for if the music industry was the way it was in the 60’s, hell even the 80’s, He wouldn’t have even been able to get a foothold. I mean we had them actively searching for true art rather than waiting for money making clowns to get dropped in their laps…I mean how many actual musicians do you think are on any of the boards of any of the major labels? I mean, I hate to say it, but if Pink Floyd were appearing now instead of when they did…they probably have been told to get lost, and music today would be an entirely differerent animal…

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Amanda Palmer is My Hero!

Amanda Palmers’s blog post about “A poem for Dzhokhar,” is beautiful. NO, not in its imagery, or similes, or its rhyme scheme (because it doesn’t have any), but because at the time I read it, it had over 2,000 comments on it (Some hate filled, some love filled, and everything in between.)

That’s right, you read right, A POEM, Written 2 DAYS AGO, had over 2,000 separate reactions! And this in the age of instant gratification and the days of “Tell Me What to believe!”, and Fuck Art and History and Geography and Literature, and give me what I want NOW! a POEM (written in 9 minutes) created so much controversy that it was front page news on tons of news outlets, prominent blogs, etc. (just Google “Amanda Palmer Poem,” and see for yourself.)

So, Kudos to you, Miss Palmer, good job at shaking up the norm, and maybe, just maybe, getting some people to think for themselves.

-Wiggums