Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Post Election Night Notes

Hallelujah! Obama is President-Elect! The shocking news had Jill & I darn near speechless on last night's XXBN show. But I did have celebratory sex last night, right after Obama's acceptance speech. There will be plenty of babes born in 9 months.

Sadly, Prop K did not pass; and Prop 8 is too close to call even now... You can follow the results at SFGate.

Many thanks to all those who called into the show last night ~ we're part of history!

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Night Coverage ~ And You're Invited

You are invited to attend XXBN's Election Night Coverage.
When: November 4th, from 10 p.m. to Midnight (Eastern)

Where: On XXBN ~ listen live, talk in the chat room, & even be on-air!

Why: There's this little thing called a presidential election, as well as lots of local elections going on that night and we'll be bringing you the news, results and (fingers-crossed!) the laughs and sighs of relief. (If not we'll be crying, ranting, barfing... possibly renting U-Hauls to cross a border...)

Who: Along with you, of course, Gracie Passette & Jill Brenneman will play host to the always fabulous Nina Hartley, Jessie Daniels, and Prop K Proponent, Maxine Doogan ~ as well as a slew of other sex positive & liberal folks.

What: We'll be talking politics, propositions, and elections ~ on national and local levels.
Please join us ~ no need to RSVP, just be there.

Have something to say, pray, or, if you're really on a rant, spray? You can even join the show by calling in at 646.200.3136.

If you're looking for more info on Prop K, check out Amber Rhea's list of coverage & resources.

Image credits: Sadie Lune I Want You Poster Prop K Poster, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Today's Delicious Links

Today's Delicious Links

Links for 2008-10-15 []

Posted: 16 Oct 2008 12:00 AM CDT

  • Some Cities Will Be Safer in a Recession - BusinessWeek
    Other local economies, those dominated by stable industries, could be relatively well-cushioned. worked with data from, a demographics and data site run by Philadelphia's Reinvestment Fund, to identify the best places to live during a recession. We looked at places where large portions of the population worked in anticyclical industries such as government, health care, education, agriculture, and legal services.
  • Blog Action Day: Poverty & Choice -
    Poverty is more than an economic line, it's a barrier to choice. And what's worse, at the root of all this evil is the false preaching & mean-spirited perpetuation of the stereotype that all poor women are dumb, loose, and morally bankrupt. No one can pretend they do not know the realties of being pregnant here in the US. No one can feign ignorance to the ties between parenting and poverty. Yet they willingly turn their blind-eyes, let moral-deafness protect their delicate ears, and continue to abuse the poor women and families of this country.
  • Fetish! Erotic Fiction By John Gordon -
    It is the mid-1960s and London is beginning to swing. Young Danny make a sudden and seemingly crazy decision to follow two very beautiful young women, drawn irresistibly by their very high, black leather boots and stunning looks! Soon he is welcomed enthusiastically into a deliciously uninhibited, shameless world. His fantasies about 'boots, leather, discipline' (and much else besides) become a thrilling reality topped with lashings of whipped cream.
  • Lingerie Games -
    A Slip of a Girl educates us about the entertainment value of tap pants.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Carnivals Make Me Happy

Hosting carnivals is a lot of work; those of you who have hosted them know the joys of reading so many articles & posts and selecting what you think is the best of the best, sometimes being criticized for your selections. And, if your carnival is based on serious issues (as opposed to cute cats or something), the process of hosting can also bring you down.

For example, when Mike hosted latest edition of Carnival of the Liberals (at Clashing Culture) this week he found himself a bit worn by the task, saying, "Doing the Carnival of the Liberals makes me grumpy, because I realize when reading the submissions that the world is not going to live up to my ideal no matter how I try."

But, he bucked-up and found what he calls the best ten posts "written by people who are trying to apply the brakes as we slide towards the bottom."

Overall, carnivals make me happy because they increase discussion and awareness ~ especially when the host makes the effort and takes the time to realize how important discussion & awareness are. So, I'd like to thank Mike, aka Tangled Up In Blue Guy, for including my post, What does the economic crisis mean for prostitutes?, in his carnival, putting issues of sex work into mainstream discussion.

On a related note, I just hosted the 10th edition of the Feminist Carnival of Sexual Freedom and Autonomy (at XXBN). Please read both carnivals and continue the discussions.

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Monday, September 29, 2008

I Don't Care What You Say About Last Friday's Presidential Debates

Dear Internet, Pundits, & Reporters,

I don't care what you say about last Friday's presidential debates and here's why.

You keep talking about the "undecideds" as if they exist; they don't. There are people who don't care, but anyone with any political consciousness or belief in a failing system has already made up their mind.

Barring any huge acts, such as a gun-toting candidate opening fire on the public or changing their stance on choice, those who intend to vote already have their minds made up.

I take that back; for many voters a candidate can open fire upon anyone he so chooses ~ and without losing a vote, so long as his pro-life stance remains unchanged.

For too many of the people with whom I share an allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, the matter of voting comes down to one issue and one issue only: Pro-life.

Those people don't care about the people here now; they only (express) care for those who do not yet exist. Unborn babies-to-be have more legal & human rights than those of us who already exist here.

While some of us worry about the environment, wax on about human rights, wring our hands in frustration over what the financial bailout will mean for other issues already too long ignored, pro-life people can only mobilize and take action to support the fetal zombie, a pile of tissue which feeds off the body of the host until it matures and actually becomes someone.

Those people are so simplistic in their selection of candidate, so willing to forsake all other values for this one perception of conception, so Pavlovian in political response, that it seems anti-choice is actually the more accurate term for their over-all behaviors.

But I digress.

It's been a long hard road to the candidacy and we've heard about all that we're going to hear. Those of us who see the many issues this country is facing and are willing to examine the candidates on those multiple points have already made up their minds & designated their votes too. There are only those who don't care ~ or don't feel that they have any voice in what passes for the political process here in the land of the free and the home of the brave. And only one candidate, Obama, seems to be trying to reach them.

Which is probably a good thing, because the rest of those preachy types who desire to regulate and control this nation, especially its women, with their own fundamentalist morality have already made up their minds to back the other candidate.

And no debate is going to change any of that.

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

I Smoke-Out Genia

I've known Genia of SistersTalk for years now. We've been out of touch for awhile, but thanks to the magic of Twitter, we recently reconnected...

She Twittered:
Just heard the "smoke free wisconsin" radio ad. Yey! I'm a total supporter.
So I said:
@sisterstalk Seriously? Why you hatin' on legal drug users who have less support ~ ZERO support ~ when compared to illegal drug users?
To which she replied:
@GraciePassette I support a SMOKE FREE Wisconsin because smokers are so f*ckin rude. At least pot smokers go to their car to puff, puff.

@GraciePassette And . . . pot smokers don't throw their paraphernalia out the window, causing even more cleanup for taxpayers to pay for.

@GraciePassette AND . . . pot smokers don't blow their smoke in my face at the bar, claimin' it's their RIGHT to do so cuz it's a bar. Ugh!
As a person who thinks this smokers-as-lepers treatment tramples rights and doesn't help those addicted to tobacco at all, I naturally had to have her come on the show ~ we could have a real discussion past 140 characters. *wink*

While we promise to have a challenging discourse on the issue of smoking, our conversation may take a turn into other areas... Not only because we are two girls who hail from Wisconsin (she's apparently still there), but because Genia is a fascinating, intelligent, & passionate woman and I have no idea what else may be on her mind by the time the October 1st show rolls around.

Chime in with your thoughts on smoking, smokers' rights, health issues, smoking addiction assistance, and "smoke free" or similar "fresh air" projects & legislation.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I Am The Hostess Goo Goo G'joob

I just hosted the 74th edition of Carnival of The Liberals, which was insanely full of excellent submissions; go & see.

Also, I'm pretty jazzed to be hosting Cult Of Gracie Radio tonight with guest Amber Rhea. (That's tonight from 9 to 10 pm central/Chicago time.) Hope to hear you there!

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Amber Rhea Joins The Cult

On Wednesday I'll be chatting with the pole dancing, sex positive feminist with a Bachelor's degree in linguistics and a Master's degree in internet technology ~ Amber Rhea.

Amber is also co-founder of the Georgia Podcast Network, co-host of the award-winning podcast Mostly ITP (which focuses on people and issues in Atlanta), main organizer of PodCamp Atlanta 2007, & organizer of Sex 2.0, an 'unconference' focused on the intersection of social media, feminism, and sexuality.

One of the things that impresses me most about Amber is that she gets sex work ~ despite never having worked 'the game', despite being 'young' and not a crone. She truly has wisdom beyond her years.

You can join the raunchy-fun and the ranty-goodness on Cult of Gracie Radio at 9 p.m. central ~ listen live, hang out in the chat room, and call in at 646.200.3136.

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Carnival Of The Liberals

I'm hosting the next Carnival of the Liberals, on September 24th, at XXBN's Blog ~ please submit something grande!

You can check the last edition of the carnival at Redonkulous Redundancy.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Mad Kane Joins The Cult Of Gracie

Tonight, on Cult of Gracie Radio, at 9 pm central, the special guest is Mad Kane.

I met Madeleine Begun Kane when I hosted the Carnival of The Liberals and became so smitten with her and her funny (but true) comments on politics & current events, that I had to have her on the show.

Who says feminists aren't funny? Mad Kane is funny as heck ~ and I'm not the only one saying so ~ Bob Newhart recently announced her the winner of the 2008 Robert Benchley Society Award for Humor.

You can find out more about her & the show at XXBN

As always, you can participate in the show by calling in at 646.200.3136.

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Saturday, September 6, 2008

Today's Delicious Links

Today's Delicious Links

Links for 2008-09-05 []

Posted: 06 Sep 2008 12:00 AM CDT

  • Gloria's Oversexed Mind: SFP STFU
    I've never made a big deal out of my feminism. Although I was raised in a time when many, if not most, women were still being pushed to embrace the "pregnant and barefoot" model of femininity-- or, in more urban and middle-class homes, the "wife, mother and homemaker" model -- I was raised in a family which believed, unquestionably, that men and women were equals. My parents always assumed that I would pursue a college education and have a profession of some kind. When I encountered people who thought women were somehow less than men, or that men by right had authority over women, I was surprised: they struck me as nutty Neanderthals with antediluvian politics, not unlike those weird white people in the South who actually seemed to believe they were better than blacks. When I was a kid, I marveled at the existence of such people: where did they come from and what were they doing in my beautiful America?

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Today's Delicious Links

Today's Delicious Links

Links for 2008-08-27 []

Posted: 28 Aug 2008 12:00 AM CDT

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

It's Convention Time, So...

Abortion is in the air, or it should be.

The right to have, the very right to make the choice, is a very important issue. It's tied to more than (perceived promiscuous) human sexuality; it's a matter of health, an education issue, and a freakin' human rights issue.

As DeeDee wrote, "The right to choose [is] about more than abortion; not having the right to choose undermines all our choices and our right to live autonomous lives."

Read it and see why; I'm going to take another argument.

When the religious wrong say they want to legislate their beliefs in the name of religious freedom, they are doing the opposite; they enforce their faith on others.

What's more, we don't make our laws based on spiritual practices, especially those which are speculative.

While it should be enough to say that that a fetus isn't an individual being with rights simply because it isn't an individual being, only kept alive by the host (pregnant woman), it apparently isn't. While it should be enough to argue that they cannot prove any claims to "soul" or other "godly" part or intervention, it isn't. The religious oppressors want to us to follow be forced to believe as they do ~ and like intelligent design, we are supposed to buy it not only just on their word but against all scientific proof and reason. They think that their 'word' is 'law' and so it should be my word and The Law. But we don't legislate that way. At least we aren't supposed to.

An example of how we don't fall for such silliness is illustrated in the eating of pigs. The eating of pig meat is (in some religions) a sin; but there is no law making it illegal for me to eat it. Many are wise enough to not legislate the eating of pig, but rather relax in the belief that my punishment awaits me in the afterlife. That's real faith, waiting for that day when the supreme being of that faith will handle things.

The message to not eat pig meat, along with your pro-life message, is out there; I've heard them loud and clear ~ but I just don't buy 'em. So let me make my own choice; I'll be the one to live (or "spend eternity") with the consequences. Leave the law out of it.

"But, Gracie," you whine, "A pig isn't a baby!"

Damn right it isn't.

Eating a pig, even including cooking it, doesn't force a person to serve the same time as pregnancy, let alone the time and dangers of childbearing & child rearing. Yes, I said "dangers." Science, if you care to believe in facts, proves that the eating of pig-flesh has little-to-no physical dangers, especially when compared to pregnancy & childbirth.

And the real point here is that you can't legally stop me from eating pork because the only problem with it is that your 'good book' says there is a problem ~ and that's not enough to warrant any legislation.

If you're thinking this all supports your theory that pregnancy, the fetus, i.e. 'the baby', must be protected, I'm going to accuse of the same supersedence DeeDee did. What makes you presume that the unborn have greater rights than those already here? It's that sort of stupid thinking that got us Israel & into the mess in the Middle East.

Whatever happened to "one in the hand is worth two in the bush"? Don't the living matter? We're here. Now. But you'd rather focus on the fetus & what it might do. We don't legislate & prosecute "mights".

I'm here. I have rights. Or at least I'm supposed to.

Already you deny my freedom, dismiss my need for health care, reject my financial equality & limit means to support myself, and in doing so, remove my autonomy. (You might want to think about those issues and wonder just how much they impact my decision not to have a child.) And now I'm supposed to turn my body over as a host for something or someone you believe in?

And that reminds me, along with your belief in 'the baby', where's your concern for it once it arrives? Where's its health care? Where's its stable home, future financial independence &/or equality? What of its freedom & equality?

I guess in that (lack of) respect, the unborn & I have the same value.

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Hillary Clinton, Class All The Way

Hillary, I love you.

From her convention speech:
I want you to ask yourselves: Were you in this campaign just for me? Or were you in it for that young Marine and others like him? Were you in it for that mom struggling with cancer while raising her kids? Were you in it for that boy and his mom surviving on the minimum wage? Were you in it for all the people in this country who feel invisible?

We need leaders once again who can tap into that special blend of American confidence and optimism that has enabled generations before us to meet our toughest challenges. Leaders who can help us show ourselves and the world that with our ingenuity, creativity, and innovative spirit, there are no limits to what is possible in America.

This won't be easy. Progress never is. But it will be impossible if we don't fight to put a Democrat in the White House.

We need to elect Barack Obama
As if I wasn't already emotional... & eating comfort food. The following had me weeping ~ my heart (and tummy) so heavy, so full...
I'm a United States Senator because in 1848 a group of courageous women and a few brave men gathered in Seneca Falls, New York, many traveling for days and nights, to participate in the first convention on women's rights in our history.

And so dawned a struggle for the right to vote that would last 72 years, handed down by mother to daughter to granddaughter - and a few sons and grandsons along the way.

These women and men looked into their daughters' eyes, imagined a fairer and freer world, and found the strength to fight. To rally and picket. To endure ridicule and harassment. To brave violence and jail.

And after so many decades - 88 years ago on this very day - the 19th amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote would be forever enshrined in our Constitution.

My mother was born before women could vote. But in this election my daughter got to vote for her mother for President.

This is the story of America. Of women and men who defy the odds and never give up.

How do we give this country back to them?

By following the example of a brave New Yorker , a woman who risked her life to shepherd slaves along the Underground Railroad.

And on that path to freedom, Harriett Tubman had one piece of advice.

If you hear the dogs, keep going.

If you see the torches in the woods, keep going.

If they're shouting after you, keep going.

Don't ever stop. Keep going.

If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.

Even in the darkest of moments, ordinary Americans have found the faith to keep going.

I've seen it in you. I've seen it in our teachers and firefighters, nurses and police officers, small business owners and union workers, the men and women of our military - you always keep going.

We are Americans. We're not big on quitting.

But remember, before we can keep going, we have to get going by electing Barack Obama president.
Just to be clear, I will be voting for Obama.

But I still wish she was the Democrat candidate. And I still don't understand why she's not on the ticket.

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Delicious Links (Catching Up)

Today's Delicious Links

Links for 2008-08-21 []

Posted: 22 Aug 2008 12:00 AM CDT

Links for 2008-08-22 []

Posted: 23 Aug 2008 12:00 AM CDT

  • Sex,Life & Frilly Bits: On Abortion & Bloggers That Write About Abortion
    Before you discuss abortion, please make it clear whether you're male or female and if you have experienced an abortion because if your information is based on third party assumptions, I really don't want to waste my time reading hypotheticals – because it insults my intelligence (as a woman who has had an abortion).

Links for 2008-08-25 []

Posted: 26 Aug 2008 12:00 AM CDT

Links for 2008-08-26 []

Posted: 27 Aug 2008 12:00 AM CDT

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Today's Delicious Links

Today's Delicious Links

Links for 2008-08-15 []

Posted: 16 Aug 2008 12:00 AM CDT

  • Marketing Whore - The Assumptions About Links & Comments
    Me on Jonathan Morrow's Copyblogger post Why No One Links to Your Best Posts (And What to Do About It). "it is more than misleading, it's based on assumptions that could cost you."
  • Diane Francis: Female Gymnastics Is Always About Child Abuse
    All females who eventually become world-class gymnasts have been exploited while they are children. I think that competitive female gymnastics is really child abuse and the practice goes on in every country in the world. This is because, for females, developing Gold Medal skills is a race against puberty.
  • Carnival of the Liberals LXXI - Talking Points Edition
    If the last eight years have taught us anything - a conclusion I assume, because the proof would be difficult - it's that, if your argument can't fit in one crawl of the Fox News ticker, or can't be said by Rush Limbaugh without him having to take a codeine break, it's too complex & elitist to be correct. Bringing liberalism to the masses, then, is this edition of Carnival of the Liberals: talking points edition, with each entry boiled into a sentence-sized blurb, for your mass consumption convenience!
  • Hillary PUMAs - Handmaidens of John McCain, or Weaponized Disappointment?
    We hear Hillary-or-die movements defended on the grounds that men don't get women's issues. Rationally, it seems that, if women's issues are PUMAs' interest, doing anything to harm Barack Obama, even in the name of getting Hillary on the ticket, is the height of nearsightedness.
  • Larry Flynt: The Right to Be Left Alone Movie Details and Discussion at the Independent Film Channel -
    In a timely response to a current political situation where the fundamental civil rights of Americans are being contested, Joan Brooker-Marks's documentary offers an eye-opening overview of Huster publisher Larry Flynt's long-standing struggles to expand the parameters of free speech and expose the hypocrisy of this country's elected leaders.
  • 'Larry Flynt: The Right to Be Left Alone' - Los Angeles Times
    With former Playboy philosopher Hugh Hefner having retired to be a bit player in a reality show about his girlfriends, Hustler Publisher Larry Flynt has become the de facto spokesman for politically progressive publishers of what may still be called "men's magazines."

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Today's Delicious Links

Today's Delicious Links

Links for 2008-08-14 []

Posted: 15 Aug 2008 12:00 AM CDT

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Today's Delicious Links

Today's Delicious Links

Links for 2008-08-13 []

Posted: 14 Aug 2008 12:00 AM CDT

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Birth Control Is NOT Abortion, Assholes

Too lazy to type up more than this ~ and it will be cross-posted "everywhere" ~ but I just signed the emergency message to Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt, whose department is considering this stuoopid rule change and here's the quick cut & paste letter to forward:
Subject: Contraception is abortion?


I had to share something with you. Can you imagine living in a place where birth control is considered an "abortion" and health insurers won't cover it? Where even rape victims are denied emergency contraception?

It seems unbelievable, but the Bush Administration is quietly trying to redefine "abortion" to include birth control. The Houston Chronicle says this could wipe out dozens of state laws that protect women's reproductive freedom and protect rape victims. And this proposed "rule change" doesn't need congressional approval.

I just signed a message to Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt, whose department is considering this rule change, telling him: "Contraception is NOT abortion." Can you add your voice to this cause? Click here to sign the message:

Sign it, or suffer the horrors.

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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Cult Of Gracie Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders

Wednesday, August 6th, on Cult of Gracie Radio at 9/10 PM Central/Eastern, I'm interviewing Mark Pickering, author of Story of the Sand, a novel which illustrates the world of post-traumatic stress disorder and other often-overlooked struggles veterans face upon their return home.

To prepare for his novel, Pickering conducted in-depth interviews with real-life American war veterans from WWII, Vietnam, the Gulf War, and newly-returned soldiers from the current conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq; so while Story of the Sand is a novel, we'll also be using this time to discuss what happens to veterans when they return as well as the issues, concerns, & policies surrounding their return. On-air callers are welcome at 1.646.200.3136.

One reviewer, Terri at A Soldier's Mind, wrote:
I almost get the feeling that this novel is an attempt to shout to the world all that Pickering finds wrong with the military and the government, while not addressing the things the military IS doing to address the problems of PTSD and TBI and the substance abuse and homelessness that unfortunately sometimes goes hand in hand with these disorders. The novel doesn’t go into the fact that often those who suffer from these disorders, often don’t see themselves as having a problem and the fact that they often refuse seek treatment for these problems, even when those treatments are readily available to them.

While I agree that the military and the American society needs to do whatever is necessary to ensure that treatment is available for our returning veterans, we also have to acknowledge the fact that the military has stepped up their care for veterans returning and more and more is being done every day, to ensure that our Soldiers and Veterans receive the appropriate care for their problems. New methods of treatment are being explored and those that are proving to be successful are being incorporated into the treatment plans of the Soldiers seeking help.

Story of the Sand, might be an entertaining book to some, however, it covers a subject that I take seriously and I believe that the way it was written does more to cause harm to our Troops suffering from PTSD and other mental disorders related to their time in combat, by possibly causing people to look upon our returning Troops as people who have the extent of problems of the character in this story. I feel this story just detracts from the issue at hand, and will do more harm to our returning Troops, than it will to help them.

I'm going to save my comments on this for the show; but now you know at least some of what's going to be discussed. *wink*

You can listen to the show live, online here; and if you miss the show, the same link is where you can listen to the archived show &/or download a podcast.

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Saturday, August 2, 2008

Dear Mr. President

You can never send him enough letters.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Carnival Of The Liberals

It is my pleasure to be hosting this edition of the Carnival of the Liberals. This is my first time hosting this carnival; it's been both fun and an awesome responsibility to select from the nearly 50 great entries submitted.

Political Bullying, Denial, & Other Errors Of Note:

GrrlScientist does more than share Thoughts on Poverty in America; she's got hardcore facts too.

I'm A Pundit Too announces that Congress Opens Self To Law Suit Over Oil Prices ~ according to the post's poll, readers think it's a good legal action.

Woman Gives Birth Under Torture: Homeland Security Hell, a chilling report by Thinkbridge.

SocraticGadfly says, "Pelosi voted for FISA revisal after knowing THIS?" My question is: "What's going to be done about it?"

Family Values:

McCain's Adultery: Where is the Media?, that's what Atheist Revolution (and I) want to know.

Submitted To A Candid World's The Evangelical Re-Invention of John McCain, and the Sad Paradox of Fundamentalist Family Values:
When a “pro-family” position requires one to sacrifice the best interests of the child at the altar of the Old Testament’s outdated Levitical morality, “family values” cease to be about the family, and become solely about the politics.
At The Republic of T it's even more personal ~ but well debated and equally well-documented: Believing in Our Families.

Religion & Beliefs:

Greg Laden tries to call for 24 hours of silence "as a show of respect for the all those who have suffered at the hands religious zealots around the world and throughout history."

What Is Wrong With Mercy Ministries? Jeffrey Stingerstein at Disillusioned Words will tell you:
Christianity is an oxymoron in that way. On the one hand, it exalts weakness: the meek shall inherit the earth while the Kingdom of Heaven will belong to the poor. On the other hand this is just bait for the predator to trap its prey.
At Bay of Fundie, Reality Denialism and the Limits of Belief:
I have identified two factors at play here. I call them the Technical Limit of Belief (TLB) and the Social Limit of Belief (SLB). When you cross both lines, you have a reality denier.
Rights & Responsibilities:

Human rights; you can curtail them, but you still won't be free of terrorism. The proof is in Terrorism in a police state, at Stochastic Scribbles.

Bound, Not Gagged reports on the Decriminalize Prostitution Initiative on the San Francisco Ballot.

In Hate Speech vs Hate Crime Jason of Washington Interns Gone Bad takes heat for not believing in the lone gunman/nut theory. Echidne Of The Snakes covers the same incident from the point of view of Responsibility.

Toe-to-toe, blow-by-blow coverage of the McCain Healthcare Policy Scam Spam at Home Of The Brave.

Humor & Satire:

One of my favorite areas... Laugh 'til you hurt; laugh because you hurt.

It all may be funny, but Tangled Up In Blue Guy tells us why It’s No Joke.

Virtually everyone's talked about Barry Blitt's Obama New Yorker cover ~ I may be the only exception in this case of folks ~ including liberals ~ not understanding satire. Even if you think you've heard it all, read it all, give A Humorist’s Lament (Covering The New Yorker Cover Brouhaha In Verse) ~ a very funny & creative ode by Mad Kane, who apparently waxes thus on many current events. And if that doesn't inspire a grin, there's Joel Stein's How to make fun of Barack Obama at Against Obama.

Vintage Blasphemy for the Creationists in the Crowd, a must see by GrrlScientist.

Allen at The Whited Sepulchre says, "Brent Rinehart's Comic Book - I need a copy".

(See also Ethan Persoff's George Wallace asks: Is Brent Rinehart an EP.TC Reader? -- or just a natural born stylistic plagiarist?)

I didn't know how else to categorize this one... So how about Honorable Mention:

That long and winding road, by Object Dart.

Talk The Talk & Walk The Walk:

Tonight on Cult of Gracie radio, I'll be talking about some of these very issues; so if they matter to you, listen live and/or call in at 1 (646) 200-3136.

Get ready for the next carnival at Submitted to a Candid World. Submit your blog article to the next edition of carnival of the liberals using the carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on the blog carnival home page.

UPDATE, 8/5/08: Oops, I forgot to mention that I'll be hosting another edition of the Carnival of the Liberals on September 24th at the XXBN blog ~ so don't forget to submit to me, err, the carnival, then.

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Flag Is Nothing To Sniff At

Unless it's a flag used as a saddle by a naked model.

Peru wants to send Leysi Suarez to jail for up to four years for using Peru's flag as a saddle while she modeled "bareback" on a horse.
The suggestive shot of Leysi Suarez, whose main job is dancing for the band Alma Bella, or Beautiful Soul, was splashed on the cover of DFarandula magazine and has caused a political uproar as Peru prepares to celebrate the 187th anniversary of its independence from Spain on Monday.

"These are patriotic symbols that demand total respect, and using them improperly requires punishment," Defense Minister Antero Flores told reporters. "This is an offense."

Flores has ordered a public prosecutor to take up the case and file charges.

Suarez said it was patriotic to pose for the photo.

"I haven't committed a crime. I love Peru and show it with my body and soul," the dancer said on RPP radio.
I'm sure there'd be a line to sniff that flag.

I'm wondering if the trial will include an OJ "if it doesn't fit, you must acquit" moment...

I wonder if there's a porn website for that?

Image via El Comercio.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Call For Liberal (And Progressive) Posts

Just a reminder that while shit happens, life continues on...

I'm hosting Carnival of the Liberals on the 30th. So send your posts in before the 29th, yah?

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Just found this info on what SPARK (formerly Georgians for Choice) has been doing in response to Operative Save America being in their town over at Amber Rhea's:

Wednesday July 16th: Our Bodies, Our Lives!

  • 9 am protest at Woodruff Park 84 Peachtree St. Bring your signs.
  • 6-7:30 pm SisterSong panel: Women of Color and Abortion. Aderhold Learning Center at Georgia State University (60 Luckie St).

Thursday July 17th: RJ is Sexy! Positive Sexuality Matters!

  • 9 am sex positive protest at Woodruff Park 84 Peachtree St. Bring your signs and we’ll have some cardboard poetry.
  • 6-9 pm Movie Night at Georgia State University. Library South 8th Floor Colloquium Room (100 Decatur St).

Friday July 18th: Act Up for Reproductive Justice!

  • 9 am Last day for banner drops and sign shaking before we bid farewell to OSA. Woodruff Park 84 Peachtree St.
  • 5-7 pm Protest at Colony Square (1197 Peachtree St) 404-879-2250.

Saturday July 19th: Goodbye OSA! Don’t Let the Door Hit You on the Way Out!

  • 9 am Carpool from SPARK at 743 Virginia Ave or meet at Denny’s at 5534 Jimmy Carter Blvd. Bring your signs as we say goodbye to OSA.
  • After the farewell we’ll have a community celebration picnic at Best Friend Park at 6224 Jimmy Carter Blvd near their hotel. Yum.

Contact: Paris: 404-917-7694, Amanda: 770-375-5920, SPARK: 404-532-0022,

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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Who Are You & Why Are You Voting?

From Chloe Jo's fabulous GirlieGirl newsletter:
CASTING For Glamour Magazine's November voting package, we are looking for women who will tell us who they are voting for and why. The challenge is -- every submission must have something interesting/surprising/counterintuitive about it! So I need to hear from people who have surprising thoughts/opinions/plans for their vote. Examples: * the military woman who's voting for Obama because she wants the war to end * the woman who's writing in Al Gore, because she's so concerned about global warming * the Rob Paul-ite * the liberal who wants McCain because he's more fiscally conservative. It would also work to find a few 'demographic' surprises -- the Latina for McCain, the Texan for Obama, etc. If you or someone you know is casting a "surprising" vote, let me know. We'll also need a hi-res digital head shot of you! Anyone game? This is due Wednesday AM. Thanks, Melissa (MENTION you are from GirlieGirl in your email).

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Monday, June 9, 2008

A Reminder

From Blog For Choice:

The Netroots Nation Scholarship: You know what Netroots Nation is, right? It used to be called Yearly Kos. Well, this year, Netroots Nation is partnering with Democracy for America to offer scholarships to bring some of those activists to Austin to network with fellow progressives just like them.

Here's more from their email:

Whether you're an activist organizing locally to support a presidential campaign or a blogger mobilizing communities for a common cause, this is your chance to show off what you've done to move the progressive agenda forward.

Our scholarship program is a way to ensure that activists of every age, background, and economic bracket, representing numerous points of view and all 50 states, are able to attend Netroots Nation. Because the more diverse the audience, the richer our experience in Austin will be.

The scholarship program will cover the cost of registration and lodging for at least nine activists.

Sounds awesome right? Click here to apply for your scholarship now. The deadline is June 10 at 11:59pm Eastern.

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Friday, June 6, 2008

High-Five Fridays #19

High-Five Fridays is on an official hiatus; but you can still participate.

#1 What the Coat Hanger Means ~ not for the faint of heart, but then neither is Chris.

#2 Carnival of the Liberals #66 ~ 10 excellent reads, and the opportunity to submit &/or host.

#3 For the Record, Melissa McEwan makes a sane argument regarding the insanity of misogyny which surrounds Hillary Clinton and affects us all.

#4 Dangerous Knitting. I don't even know what to say. Other than to breathe the word "amazing." (Via Sir Robin Rides Away.)

#5 The Pop Feminist is usually brilliant (even when being funny); but this quote from this post is spot-on & worth it's own high-five:
Women especially-- who have been historically institutionally barred from elite, artistic, canonic endeavors-- are often limited to an expression of genius in the artistic medium of the body.

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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Republicans Suffer From Dementia & Can't Understand Satire

First republicans were actually using comedian Steven Colbert's satirical works to push their agendas, and now ABC reports that the Minnesota Republican Party's released a letter, signed by a whopping six GOP women, attacking comedian Al Franken who is running for United States Senate in Minnesota.

Eight years ago, Franken penned a column for Playboy called "Porn-O-Rama!" in which the former Saturday Night Live comedian wrote about visiting a made-up sex institute where he takes part in sexual acts with humans and machines.

"While you may attempt to defend your writing as satire, we hardly find anything defensible about your finding humor in your desire to have sex with women or robots that look like women simply to give yourself a good time," the Minnesota GOP women wrote in the letter. "This column is at its worst, an extreme example of the kind of disrespect for the role of women in society that all of us have fought our entire lives. At best, it is the disrespectful writings of a nearly 50-year-old man who seems to think that women's bodies are the domain of a man who just wants to have a good time."

"Denounce this article and apologize immediately," read the letter.

Sheesh. And they say feminists have no sense of humor...

Perhaps too many republicans suffer from frontotemporal dementia and therefore cannot process sarcasm. (It's funny because it's true.)

Meanwhile, for those suffering from a poor sense of humor, an dementia-induced inability to recognize sarcasm, or a fundamental ignorance of humor ~ including satire ~ and its historical use as social protest, the Franken camp's response (via ABC) should help clarify things a bit:

The Franken campaign said the Playboy column was written as a satire.

"Al had a long career as a satirist," said Jess McIntosh of the Franken campaign. "But he understands the difference between what you say as a satirist and what you do as a senator. And as a senator, Norm Coleman has disrespected the people of Minnesota by putting the Exxons and Halliburtons ahead of working families. And there's nothing funny about that."

You don't have to be an Al Franken fan (though I am) to love the "he understands the difference between what you say as a satirist and what you do as a senator".

Maybe a little remedial reading, via the links here, would help those six GOP ladies... Or lobotomies. Hey, Dr. Katherine P. Rankin, do they do parahippocampal gyrus lobotomies for the sarcasm impaired?

Related: In the New York Times article on sarcasm, Dr. Rankin is quoted as saying, "I bet Jon Stewart has a huge right frontal lobe; that’s where the sense of humor is detected on M.R.I."

And now you know how to spot all the smart funny people (who are happy to see you). Bet there are few bulging lobes in today's republican party.

Then again, they are rarely happy to see me.

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Monday, June 2, 2008

Of Liberals

From an episode of The West Wing:
Santos: I know you like to use that word "liberal" as if it were a crime.

Vinnick: No, I'm sorry. I know I shouldn't have used that word. I know Democrats think "liberal" is a bad word. So bad you had to change it, didn't you? What do you call yourselves now? Progressives? Is that it?

Santos: It's true. Republicans have tried to turn "liberal" into a bad word. Well, liberals ended slavery in this country.

Vinnick: A Republican president ended slavery.

Santos: Yes, a liberal Republican, Senator. What happened to them? They got run out of your party. What did liberals do that was so offensive to the liberal party?

I'll tell you what they did. Liberals got women the right to vote. Liberals got African Americans the right to vote. Liberals created Social Security and lifted millions of elderly people out of poverty. Liberals ended segregation. Liberals passed the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act. Liberals created Medicare. Liberals passed the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act.

What did conservatives do? They opposed every single one of those things. Every one. So when you try to hurl that label at my feet – "liberal" – as if it were something to be ashamed of, something dirty, something to run away from, it won't work Senator. Because I will pick up that label and I will wear it as a badge of honor.

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Friday, May 30, 2008

High-Five Fridays #18

High-Five Fridays is on an official hiatus; but you can still participate.

#1 The 47th edition of Carnival Against Sexual Violence: read, support, submit & host.

#2 A general high-five to Lina (aka Caroline) at Uncool for doing & being the cool.

#3 Shan-ul-Hai examines the claims that conservatives are happier than liberals:
...would you be happier if you became more conservative?

Based on the data, I don’t think so. It seems like the causality follows an indirect trend; certain variables lead to both conservatism and happiness, and neither the political viewpoint nor the happiness can predict one another. Optimism and pride seem to cause life satisfaction and conservatism; higher education and pessimism, meanwhile, seem to cause dissatisfaction and liberalism.

Personally, I think it’s better to have more people who are unsatisfied with the status quo… this will lead to change and, eventually, improvement.
#4 Between Us Girls discusses The Trouble With Sex in America ~ and while I & others remain guarded about Gardasil, the rest is lovely:
Sex is alive and well in America. You never have far to look far to find it. Our society is saturated with it. Movies, magazines, billboards, t.v. shows, advertising, even Disney pop stars reek of it. And yet, in spite of the proliferation of sexual imagery and activity, America still attempts to maintain antiquated, puritanical sexual ideals.

Unfortunately, as so often happens, our behavior doesn't quite manage to live up to the ideals we espouse. And so, while our children's innocence is stolen from them earlier and earlier, our teens make promises that they can never be expected to keep while being fed a steady diet of sexual imagery and innuendo and our adults gorge themselves on every variation of the act they can imagine, we all busy ourselves trying to maintain the facade of purity.

We talk the talk, but don't walk the walk. We send mixed messages to our young people, perpetuate the idea of sex as some sort of guilty pleasure and let our own confused and twisted ideas about sex influence important government policies that end up being misguided, unethical and downright harmful.

#5 In Born or Learned? Sexuality, Science, and Party Lines, Greta Christina ponders the politics behind and fear of researching queer:
Unless you're going to go with the hard-core deconstructionist argument that there is no reality and all of our perceptions and experiences are 100% socially constructed, then you have to accept that the question, "Is sexual orientation genetically determined, learned, or a combination of both -- and if a combination, how much of each, and how do they work together?"... well, it's a question with an answer. It's not a matter of opinion. And it's exactly the kind of question that science is designed to answer: a question of cause and effect in the physical world.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Put Away The Prostitutes

Earlier this year I adapted the classic poem First they came... to fit today's political apathy. So I was delighted to discover that punk rock band NoFX paraphrased that same poem in their song Re-gaining Unconsciousness on the album The War on Errorism (2003).
First they put away the dealers,
keep our kids safe and off the street.
Then they put away the prostitutes,
keep married men cloistered at home.
Then they shooed away the bums,
then they beat and bashed the queers,
turned away asylum-seekers,
fed us suspicions and fears.
We didn´t raise our voice,
we didn´t make a fuss.
It´s funny there was no one left to notice
when they came for us.

The lines, "Then they put away the prostitutes, keep married men cloistered at home," is so indicative of the puritanical prohibitionist plan; as if prostitutes are to blame for male desire.

Shouldn't a married man's own vows, to his partner if not his priest and/or government, mean enough for him to abstain?


Men are too weak to be able to resist; just knowing women are available is like the mythological siren's call, luring him from the safety of the ship to the waters and rocks below. He can't help himself, he's only a man.

So put away the prostitutes, they are dangerous.

...But if women are so damned dangerous (and I do believe it is all women, not just sex workers), then what laws and courts can limit them, what jails can hold them?

Or, indeed, keep the weak men away.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Domestic Violence & Child Custody In The Courts

Today on XXBN, Barry Goldstein discusses the crisis in the custody court system that has resulted in thousands of children being sent to live with abusers.

I love how his website credits him:
attorney, teacher, author and advocate for women abused by their partner (and too often the courts)
I love it, not because the situation is good or funny, but because he dares to say it: The courts are abusive.

It's not like it should be surprising; it's a male dominated place. And I don't care how non-pc it is ~ men's groups be damned ~ domestic violence is a woman's issue. One that's long been ignored.

Domestic violence is like rape: It's directed at far more women than men, is about controlling women via violence, and, because no one wants to face those facts & deal with them, the courts are not only still stuck in stereotypical dark ages but perpetuating the problem.

But you don't need to just take my word for it. Read this information from Battered Women, Abused Children, and Child Custody: A National Crisis:
'I am concerned about his mental stability.' Judge to attorneys just before signing an order removing custody from a protective mother to an alleged sexual abuser. The same order stated that the mother was 'fit'.
So a mentally unstable father with a history of abuse is deemed more appropriate than a fit mother?
'She [the primary caretaker mother] sees herself as primarily a 'mom', and that is too much of a burden for the children to bear.' Open court statement by a NC Family Court judge in a hearing where full custody of the children was taken from a protective mother and given to an alleged abuser.
Ah, it would be easier for the children to bear an abusive father as primary care giver. :snort:
Familiar patterns of abuse simply shift ground to the legal arena where current child custody laws and prodecures present opportunities for new tactics of domination and control. [The National Council of Juvenile & Family Court Judges, Synergy - The Newsletter of the Resource Center on Domestic Violence: Child Protection and Custody, Vol. 4, No. 2, Winter 1999-2000, J. M. Bowermaster, Relocation Restrictions: An Opportunity for Custody Abuse, p.4]
And the courts reward their efforts with improper placements, thus making the courts at best a tool, and at worst perpetrators of abuse themselves.
Despite the powerful stereotypes working against fathers, they are significantly more successful than is commonly believed. The Massachusetts [gender bias] task force, for example, reported that fathers receive primary or joint custody in more than 70% of contested cases. Lynn Hecht Schafran, Gender Bias in Family Courts, American Bar Association Family Advocate, Vol 17, No. 1, p.26
I've seen this with one of my dear friends, DeeDee, who was abused and then suffered more horrific abuse in court ~ at the hands of those who should know better. It boggles my mind as much as it burns.

And it makes me very passionate about the issue of family court and domestic violence. It's a screwed up place where, as DeeDee and I say, "The only reason justice is blind, is due to a head injury from her domestic partner."

And no body seems to give a crap.

And if you disagree, call in and raise the issue with Barry Goldstein.

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Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Real Crime Of Obscenity

Anastasia Mavromatis, in Return to 1959 & 'Obscenity in the UK', or How to Create a Blackmarket, writes:
One thing is certain. Governments are great at creating blackmarkets, and what happens when such a market is created? Hello organized crime. Because that is what happens when everything is banned based on little debate, and one doesn't have to be a law scholar to know this, or an idiot politician. The Prohibition Act of the Twenties in the US is adequate proof.

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Abolition And "Saving" Of Sex Workers

The well-intentioned, misinformed, and even the righteous haters all proclaim to save us ~ sex workers and society itself ~ from the sin and abuses of sex work.

On one hand, there are the myths which blame the sex worker for taking ~ nay, making society run this path to ruin. Like the cliched woman who seduces a man away from his family & home, sex workers force uninterested citizens to fornicate. It would be silly if they weren't so loud & insistent in their claims to condemn the lives and livelihoods of those involved. The mere notion that "a sex worker is out there, somewhere" does not induce partaking of her services, nor even having sex in general.

It's the continual misrepresentation of the facts of sex work and the sex industry which perpetuate gross myths.

Just one of which is the matter of rape.

And as Jill and I discussed during my last XBN interview, the claims that sex workers cause & teach men to rape is ridiculous. It's frightening that such out-right lies (and they are out-right lies, not supported by any facts, studies or findings because rape has nothing to do with sex) are still touted as truth.

On the other hand, there's the myth that all sex workers are to be saved from their situations. Some sex workers are victims of trafficking; but that's not all of them. As discussed, some sex workers have drug issues; this can be found in any industry or occupation. And some sex workers have abuse in their pasts. As Jill and I also discussed in my last interview, abuse knows no limits ~ no economic limits, no professional limits. Like drugs, abuse cuts along all layers of society.

The stereotype that "all sex workers are," or have been abused, physically or otherwise, only further stigmatizes and victimizes survivors of abuse. It forces them to remain quiet on the issue; or, for those who admit such things (and by virtue of standing up, become the tallest nail to receive the hardest pounding), it adds to their past pain of reliving via telling the tale (again & again) as well as (and this is what kills me) acts as if the abuse victim had ability to make the choice to become a sex worker.

Now, you may think this sort of well-intentioned absolution is kind, but it's not. This thinking wipes away any notion that the survivor has any ability to think for herself, to evaluate and make choices. It's as if the abuse has now retarded, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually, the victim, reducing her to nothing more than an unthinking, unresponsive statistic. How insulting. It would be insulting enough for anyone, but for a person who has survived and overcome? It's horrific.

This proves the need for more sex worker media. And the need for mainstream media to actually interview actual sex workers, in many areas of the industry, in order to begin to glimpse the magnificent differences and the honest realities in our profession. Free speech is supposed to protect all speech, even if it's on taboo topics; and one presumes that those viewing media want the real story.

Since the US is a nation of gluttons, who, feel both entitled to excess as well as duty bound to create laws which will protect them from themselves, the debates on "society" and "culture" should continue.

Even if I believe that we must first become a better parent to our children, monitoring, modeling, and then mentoring them on their way to becoming both educated consumers and tolerant of others, even to the inclusion of the rights of others to participate in things feared to result in damned souls. (Isn't that what god is for, to decide in the end?)

So, leave the judgements of things which do not harm another to your individual deity, please. Laws are to protect us in this world; the afterworld, should you believe there is one, may be what you live your life for, but souls are not what we legislate for or against.

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Monday, April 21, 2008

"The Reign of Error"

Classic, vintage misogyny via Silent Porn Star:

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Friday, April 18, 2008

Cult of Gracie Radio

Cult of Gracie Radio launches Wednesday, April 23, and (other than the first week in May, for my much deserved vacation) will air Wednesday evenings at 9 p.m. (central time). All shows are live and you can call in ~ so who knows what will happen?

Here's the show calendar:

April 23 Dr. Jane Vargas, a PhD in human sexuality & expert in tease and fetish, talks cross dressing.
About Jane: After dating a fetishist, she started X-traordinary Talk as a hobby. It grew very quickly and she quit her job as a magazine editor to grow the business which is now nearly 15 years old. She earned her PhD in 2002, with a dissertation on the sexual expression of tease (as distinct from flirtation and seduction) and how tease has manifested in artwork thru the ages. All while raising two strong, feminist daughters.
Update: Dr. Jane Vargas Post-Show Notes here.

April 30 Randall Radic, also known as 'Father Felony' or 'Daddy Radic,' is the Ripon, CA pastor who pleaded guilty to embezzlement after he sold the First Congregational Church without the knowledge of his congregation.
About Randall: His recently released memoir, The Sound Of Meat (published by Ephemera Bound*) covers his earlier life as a professional swim coach and priest, including his eight fiancees & two wives. "I used to try and save souls without ever examining my own," says Radic. Now, with this memoir, he puts pen to his mission, voice to his sin, sadism to his redemption.
Update: Randall Radic Post-Show Notes here.

Update: Note shows after my vacation will run on XBN.

May 14 Dr. Susan Block, sex educator, cable TV host and author, discusses what we can learn from bonobos.
About Suzy: A familiar face on HBO's late-night programming through her #1 Nielsen-rated specials, Radio Sex TV with Dr. Susan Block as well as her episodes on Real Sex, she's not only an educated sexologist, but a hot chick with a grand sense of humor to boot.
Listen to the show live here.

May 21st Call In With Gracie Passette

Ask me anything, or hear me ramble about issues that matter to me. *wink*
About Gracie: If you don't know me, check out my bio & keep reading the blog.
Listen to the show live here.

UPDATE: There's been a change in the line-up. Tonight at 9 p.m. (central) Cult of Gracie on XXBN will have as guests DJ Ashba and James Michael from the band SIXX:A.M. See more info here.

May 28th Amanda Brooks, a retired escort (and former stripper) and author of The Internet Escort's Handbook series.
About Amanda: Amanda is also an activist, serving as a board member of SWOP-East and, as a board member of Desiree Alliance, writer at Bound, Not Gagged.
Listen to the show live here.

June 4th Searah Deysach, owner of Early to Bed & maker of lesbian porn films.
About Searah: Frustrated with the lame sex toy scene in her hometown, Searah Deysach, with help from her friends and family, opened Chicago’s first woman-owned sex shop Early to Bed in 2001. Now Searah spends her days spreading the good word about sex positively and the joys of masturbation through her store, writings and a busy schedule of talks at colleges and community groups. She is also the sex columnist for (the now defunct) Punk Planet Magazine and the online community She lives in Chicago with her girlfriend and their bunny.
Listen live here.

June 18 Andrea Dean Van Scoyoc, award winning author of Horror Sinisteria, with titles published at Ephemera Bound*.
About Andrea: Called “One of the most unique and twisted authors of our generation,” Andrea Dean Van Scoyoc is a best selling, three-time award winning author of Horror Sinisteria. From ghosts to the paranormal, from the Occult to pirates, Andrea can write it, write it well and keep her fans and critics begging for more. A force of nature, Andrea has blazed a path through a genre most often dominated by men. She is routinely sought out for appearances at everything from private functions to public venues to conventions, where she appears as a celebrity guest.
June 25 Jack Hafferkamp, of Libido magazine and Libido films.
About Jack: From 1988 to 2000 Jack Hafferkamp published/edited Libido: The Journal of Sex and Sensibility with Marianna Beck. Since then he has operated Libido Films, which specializes in gender-equal explicit erotica. Libido films have been honored at the annual Erotic Awards in London and featured at New York's Cinekink festival. Jack holds a Ph.D. in Human Sexuality, specializing in Erotology, which is the material culture of sex.
Confirmed guests, with dates not yet scheduled:

J. Eric Miller, author of Decomposition & Animal Rights & Pornography.

Jennifer Epstein, author of The Painter from Shanghai, a novel based on the life of Chinese prostitute-turned-post-Impressionist Pan Yuliang, who stunned China and much of the West in the 20's and 30's by defiantly painting herself in the nude, even though it went against pretty much every Confucian ethic of the time.

Dr. Gloria Brame, a licensed clinical sexologist and leading international authority on BDSM and fetish sex.

*Disclosure Note: Gracie Passette is an editor with Ephemera Bound.

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Collective Adoration of Earl Kemp

SPS, Silent Porn Star, sent me an excited email when she began her interview with Earl Kemp, saying, "He's rapidly making the short list for who I'd like to be stuck on the deserted island with." After reading the first few parts, I'm inclined to wrestle her for that honor.

Kemp, you should know, is the hetero "Godfather of gay publishing" who served just over 3 months in prison for distributing obscenity. You can find out more, of course, by reading the interview series:

Here's the Introduction, Kemp on science fiction, and, perhaps my favorite (so far), Kemp on censorship and politics.

As SPS said, here, there are many reasons for The Collective Adoration Of Earl Kemp:
As for the other reasons to form an Earl Kemp Mutual Admiration Society, I think they all lead back to passion. Certainly there was a passion behind standing up for Big Beliefs -- 10 years of government stalking gave you plenty of time to reconsider the personal cost. But there also is a passion for writing, the sf genre and the community. No one can describe Earl Kemp as apathetic. Even while you mock & paint yourself as the tired man of so many years, here you are.

In an age of apathy, what's not to admire about Earl Kemp.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Blind To Misogyny

I love my partner, CR/LF. But he's a man.

For the past five years, we've agreed on most things political, including elections, and enjoyed debating ~ both others and one another the few times we've disagreed. But this year it's a struggle.

He's decidedly Barack; I'm decidedly Hillary. While I'm really, really certain neither of us is so invested in "our candidate" that should the other win the Dem's nod we'd not be so stupid as to shoot ourselves & our country in the foot by voting anything but the Democratic ticket, just talking about the election this year is difficult.

Primarily, my belief in Hillary is because she's put more concrete information out-there about her ideas, her platform, her direction, than Barack has. Sure, "Hope" and "Our Moment Is Now" are magnificent concepts. But being president requires action, our country needs a framework, and I as a voter need more than a simple philosophy, however grand, to convince me that he can do what needs to be done.

Pragmatic issues aside (which is such an odd expression to use when discussion a presidential election, that I'm tempted to backspace it all...), the past few months have really set the bit between this horse's teeth. And the fundamental reason for that is the gender judging ~ and let's face it, bashing ~ that Hillary is enduring.

And that's something CR/LF is reluctant to discuss.

As smart, sensitive and educated as this good man is, he still has difficulty really understanding the female experience. That's how insidious misogyny is in our culture; men just can't see it. And when it's pointed out, it makes them uncomfortable & defensive. "Hey, not all men say/think/do that... I don't!"

As if that's what I am saying when I point out the crap; as if I am blaming him personally.

Then there's the, "If it's not everyone, then don't worry about it," and the looks that say, "Oh, gawd, there she goes again..." as if I'm "one of those foaming at the mouth feminists" because I won't just sit there silently and take it.

Sure, lots of this can (& does) apply to the issue of race. But there's one big difference with this argument in this election year...

While folks are freely dishing about Hillary's clothes, faulting her for her "female traits" & "feminine wiles" (such as her tears), and equally mocking her for being a "robot" or "monster" when she doesn't display enough of what they perceive to be "feminine traits"; no one is applying such stupid stereotypes, on such a scale, regarding Barack's race.

Has film footage of Barack eating watermelon & fried chicken been discussed (ad nauseam) as "real" or a "campaign ploy"? No one at the news networks would find it acceptable to discuss his demeanor in terms of a "song and dance man" or some other stupid, racist historical role which blacks have been forced to play. No one is allowed to couch Barack's set-backs in terms of "being lynched" by his opponent.

No one would stand for such horrid stereotypes when it comes to race ~ and the few times idiots have gone too close, they've been slapped down. Thankfully we won't tolerate such ignorance and malice when it comes to race.

But it's apparently fine to talk about Hillary in terms of her gender.

As the video shows, it's just dandy to paint Hillary as just another uppity breeder who needs to be put in her place.

It still is just fine to denigrate, belittle & mock based on gender. And as the gender so disparaged and limited, I'm enraged.

Enraged enough to vote my gender ~ even more than before.

And if CR/LF doesn't agree, doesn't want to vote for Hillary for other reasons, that's fine; but he's darn well better start to see what's going on.

Because this misogyny-blindness is making me want to poke people's eyes out.

(Link to video found via Amber Rhea, who found it at Random Babble, etc. etc.)

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