Kamala’s Coup

October 7, 2020


Kamala Harris was forced to drop out of the Democratic primary race months before a single vote was cast. Yet a handful of party insiders anointed her as vice presidential nominee.  Now paired with an elderly running mate, Harris could well soon ascend to the Oval Office.  Her personal past and professional record reveals how she managed this feat, and portends how she would comport herself as President.


A Pig in a Poke

Tonight, on this 281th day of the surreal anno 2020, Kamala Harris, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, will debate sitting VP Mike Pence.  Way back on Day 43, it would’ve been inconceivable to imagine that match-up on stage in Utah eight months hence.  The New Hampshire primary had just been held, with win, place, and show going to Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, and a surging Amy Klobuchar.  Joe Biden had finished a distant fifth with only 8%, with pundits issuing Last Rites to his flagging campaign.  Harris wasn’t even part of the conversation.  She’d ended her run just after Thanksgiving; her grossly mismanaged campaign bankrupt and torn apart by acrimony, her polling sunken below 1%, the result of her caustic demeanor in debates, her serial flip-flopping on issues. And, perhaps, her inability to come across as empathetic, highlighted by her bizarre tic of protracted, cackling laughter at the most inappropriate moments.

There’s no need to detail what followed. The Dems’ backdoor scheming to block Bernie by settling for Biden.  The George Floyd incident that indirectly knocked odds-on favorite, Klobuchar, out of the VP slot.  The heated struggle among Biden’s handlers to select an African-American woman, one who neither espoused a too-far left agenda nor had a history as a tough police chief or prosecutor.  All somehow resulting in the selection of a dark-skinned — though not African-American — former DA and AG with a record of draconian, often sadistic, law enforcement, who’d recently and eagerly embraced everything from open borders, to slave reparations, to gun confiscation, to socialized healthcare.

To give you an idea of the dread Kamala Harris instills in those who know her well, consider this: a large group of California Democratic pols desperately offered Rep. Karen Bass as an alternative.  Not only is Bass an unknown with a thin legislative record, she’s an actual communist fellow-traveler.  After pulling every string to thwart the socialist Sanders, these Dems were willing to place a Fidel Castro groupie on the ticket, just to keep Kamala off. Biden advisor and party veteran, Chris Dodd, vehemently opposed Harris’ selection on the principle of ‘first, do no harm.’

The American electorate, including the Democrat voters who endured a seemingly interminable primary season, are now asked to endorse a slate comprised of nobody’s first choice and everyone’s last choice.  Simply because they aren’t Trump.  Further, given Biden’s age and obvious mental decline, the tacit understanding is that Biden is merely a placeholder, with Harris the actual POTUS nominee “ready to step in on Day One”.  Tellingly, Biden recently referred to a “Harris/Biden administration,” while Kamala haughtily spoke of a “Harris administration, with Joe Biden.”

If elected, Harris could well serve up to eleven years in the White House.  She’s threatened to rule by fiat, ignoring Congress if it fails to pass legislation pleasing to her.  Her record is rife with abuses of the powers of her offices, moral flexibility on issues and policy, and a machiavellian approach to anything or anyone standing in her way.  Especially as her campaign is actively shielding her from public scrutiny, It would behoove us all to take a long, hard look at Kamala Harris.

Cette Petite Fille?  C’était Moi.

Kamala Harris was born in 1964 to Donald Harris and Gopalan Shyamala, immigrants who’d met as grad students at UC Berkeley.  As everyone now knows, when the young family lived in Berkeley, CA, little Kamala was bused across town.  But the Harris’ were by no means poor or disadvantaged.  Both parents were academics — Donald an economist, Gopalan, an endocrinologist. On her father’s side, Kamala is descended from wealthy Jamaican slave owners, while her mother comes from an elite Brahmin clan.  With her parents, young Kamala visited relatives across the globe.

When Kamala was seven, her parents divorced.  Kamala continued to reside with her mother in Berkeley while spending weekends at her father’s home in the upscale university community of Palo Alto.  Five years later, Gopalan accepted a research and teaching position at McGill University in Montréal, where Kamala, now twelve, was enrolled in a private, French-speaking school.

So, whenever Kamala ‘code-switches’ into urban black dialect for the benefit of an african-american audience, recognize that she’s not just pandering, she’s faking.

Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z.

In 1981, Harris returned to the US to attend college at Howard, a private HBUC where, she claims, she smoked a lot of weed while jamming to Tupac Shakur.  Kamala must’ve been a huge Tupac fan, to be listening to the rapper a decade before he’d released any recordings.

Years later, as San Francisco’s District Attorney, the former stoner was unable to muster any empathy as she zealously prosecuted marijuana possession.  As Kamala put it at the time, “It is not progressive to be soft on crime.”

Interestingly, Kamala’s life-long passion for hip hop came up again recently, during the candidate’s video appearance at the NCAAP’s streaming convention.  When asked her opinion on the best living hip hop artist, Kamala blurted out “Tupac” — who, unfortunately, does not qualify for the honor, having died 24 years ago.  When pressed to name a performer among the quick, Kamala demurred, saying “oh, there’s so many to choose from.”  A much better response than admitting she was once again faking it.

On The Way Up

Harris attended law school at UC Hastings in San Francisco, gaining admission through the school’s Legal Education Opportunity Program (LEOP).  The program

“offers special consideration in admission to applicants who have been subject to significant adversity that may have prevented them from attaining numeric criteria that fully reflect their motivation, talent, and academic and professional ability.”

In plain English, LEOP is a quota system for poor students with poor grades.

While Kamala, with a renowned cancer researcher and a Stanford professor for parents, likely didn’t meet the program’s financial hardship criterion, she was the daughter of immigrants, and surely played up the “impact on [her] academic performance” from the “bias” she faced as a Jamaican/Indian surrounded first by white Berkeleyites, then Quebecois, then Southern Blacks.  She might even have had the temerity to claim that l’anglais was not her first language after those formative years at Notre-Dame-des-Neiges.


After passing the California bar in 1990, Harris was hired by Alameda County as a deputy district attorney, where she made a name for herself as  ”an able prosecutor on the way up” by prosecuting child sexual assault cases.  It was around this time that Harris first made the acquaintance of fellow up-and-comer, Gavin Newsom, and through him, his aunt, Nancy Pelosi — connections that would later serve Kamala well.

Whore

At some point in 1993 or early 1994 (accounts vary), the 29-year-old Harris became romantically involved with Willie Brown, thirty-one years her senior.  A notorious philanderer, Brown was then speaker of the State Assembly and head of a very powerful, very corrupt, Democratic machine.

Brown bought his new squeeze a BMW and began sporting her on his arm at the many lavish society functions he frequented.  Kamala was thus introduced to California’s political bosses, as well as to the philanthropists — among them Susie Tompkins Buell and Gordon Getty — the business magnates, and Hollywood moguls whose campaign donations sustained them.  “I would think it’s fair to say that most of the people in San Francisco met her through Willie,” opined one Democratic bigwig. “It’s a club, and it’s bigger than Brown,” a former Harris backer observed. “It comes instantly with basically the entire business community at your doorstep, so it means you have access to large amounts of campaign money and institutional political support. It’s that simple.”

Brown’s next gifts to his new girlfriend were even more extravagant than a sports car: a seat on the California Medical Assistance Commission, then one on the state Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, with annual salaries of $72,000 and $97,000 respectively. These two prize patronage plums falling into the lap of a neophyte with no related expertise or experience irked politicos, but Kamala had clearly put in the work.

Shortly after Brown won the 1995 San Francisco mayoral election, he and Harris split up. Accounts conflict as to who dumped who, but Harris’ words a few years later are revealing.  Describing Brown as “an albatross hanging around my neck,” Harris sneered, “[h]is career is over; I will be alive and kicking for the next 40 years. I do not owe him a thing … Willie Brown is not going to be around. He’s gone — hello people, move on.”

Brown readily admits he jump-started Kamala’s political career with his favoritism.  “I’ve helped lots of people…. The difference is that Harris is the only one who, after I helped her, sent word that I would be indicted if I ‘so much as jaywalked’ while she was D.A.”

Thug Life

In 1998, San Francisco’s district attorney, Terence Hallinan, recruited fellow progressive, Harris, as his assistant DA.  Little did he realize at the time he was nursing a viper in his bosom.  As she had in Oakland across the Bay,  Harris focused on sexual assault cases.  But before long, Harris was generating friction within the office.  Frequently and publicly clashing with colleagues over policy, Harris became persona non grata.  She quit in 2000 to run the City Hall’s Family and Children’s Services Division.

Two years later, it was time for Kamala’s next big career step; only her former boss stood in her way.  When Harris entered the 2003 San Francisco District Attorney race, she had nothing close to the name recognition enjoyed by her rivals, the progressive, two-term incumbent, Hallinan, or the moderate challenger, Bill Fazio. What Kamala did have were those establishment relationships she’d forged at Willie Brown’s many soirees, not to mention the sympathy of her pal, Gavin Newsom’s, coterie.  Working these connections, she began lining up endorsements — at times resorting to veiled threats.  The president of the city police union recalled Harris cornering him at a party: “I didn’t know who she was … and she came up to me and she put her finger in my chest and she said, ‘You better endorse me, you better endorse me. You get it?’

The endorsement of other unions who recognized their true masters followed. Harris also received a boon from her friends in high places. In an unprecedented move, the state Democratic Committee, led by Diane Feinstein and Nancy Pelosi, declined to endorse any candidate in the race.  The donations rolled in, too — hundreds of thousands of dollars, coming in so fast Harris was cited for campaign finance violations. Curiously, among Harris’ largest donors were numerous individuals, groups, and law firms associated with San Francisco’s Roman Catholic archdiocese.

But Kamala’s biggest advantage over her rivals was her own sheer ruthlessness.  At the first debate, Harris sprung a carefully-planned ambush that entered Bay Area politics legend.  After Hallinan and Fazio gave their opening statements, Harris rose from her seat to stand behind Hallinan. “You know Terence Hallinan has attacked Bill Fazio for being caught in a massage parlor,” she boomed.  Then, walking over to stand behind Fazio, Harris noted how he’d ridiculed Hallinan “for people having sex in his office.”  Returning to her spot in the middle of the stage, Harris announced: “I want to make a commitment to you that my campaign is not going to be about negative attacks.”  

It was a performance worthy of Machiavelli’s prince.  Harris had simultaneously slung mud at both opponents while chastising them for the exact same mud-slinging.  The audience ate it up.  Decades later, Harris reminisced that “San Francisco is hard-knocks politics.  They punch the gut.”  Hallinan always considered it more of a stab in the back.

In the election, Harris eked past Fazio to force a run-off with Hallinan.  Her campaign literature attacked her former boss for his low conviction rates, while contrasting her sex and skin color with his and all the city DAs of the past century.  References to her affiliation with Brown were declared sexist.  Harris won the run-off handily.  In her victory speech, she promised to balance compassion for minor offenders with a hard-nosed pursuit of the most depraved criminals.

Menace II Society

Harris’ eight years as DA were filled with controversy while her decisions disappointed and shocked many of her grassroots supporters.

The mystery behind Kamala’s large haul of Catholic donations was solved soon after she took office.  Harris, who’d first made a name for herself as a young prosecutor fighting “sex crimes and child exploitation” and “later touted her record on child sexual abuse cases and prosecuting pedophiles,” quashed Hallinan’s ongoing, exhaustive investigation into sexual abuse of minors by priests.  Harris failed to pursue any open cases, while refusing to release any files to the public despite the urging of SNAP and other victims’ advocates.  Years later, in response to FOIA requests, the SF DA’s office announced the documents were nowhere to be found.

While Harris significantly increased conviction rates over her predecessor’s, she did so by aggressively prosecuting minor pot busts and by accepting plea bargains on outstanding murder cases, something she’d criticized Hallinan for.

At other times, however, Harris could be draconian. In 2005, the DA’s office brought murder charges against Lashaun Ternice Harris, a paranoid schizophrenic who’d thrown her three small children into the San Francisco Bay by the command of voices in her head. Ternice Harris, who was living in a homeless shelter at the time, had recently gone off her meds in hopes of retaining custody of her children. The judge rejected the guilty verdict, instead committing her to a mental institution. Harris successfully fought to have the murder conviction reinstated.

In 2006, Harris launched a crusade against school truancy, on the questionable theory that, as most violent criminals had been truants, forcing kids to attend class today would reduce crime in future.  To add teeth to her program, Harris threatened parents of habitual truants with a $2,500 fine and a year in jail.  Although no parents served time, several were prosecuted. When Harris’ own staff brought to her attention the program’s deep unpopularity among the public, she laughed.

Harris ran unopposed for reelection in 2007, her powerful SF machine friends advising any aspirants to stay out of the race if they knew what was good for them.


In 2009, Deborah Madden, a police lab technician who’d frequently testified in court over the years, was arrested for stealing cocaine from the evidence room.  It soon came out that Harris’ office had for years been aware of Madden tampering with evidence, among other criminal offenses.  Madden’s personnel file even included a folder labeled “Brady Implications.” Under Brady v. Maryland (1963), the DA was required to hand over this potentially exculpatory evidence to any defendant convicted in trials in which Madden had appeared.  Harris did not, even though an internal memo had circulated in her office listing over a hundred law enforcement officials with criminal or misconduct issues impacting over 1,000 convictions (600 of which were later vacated.)  Harris claimed she never saw the memo.

In 2010, Jamal Trulove was convicted of murder based on a solitary eyewitness.  The conviction was overturned when it was revealed that Harris’ office wrongfully withheld from the jury that the witness had been paid $60,000 and given new housing. Trulove was awarded a $13 million settlement.

In 2010, after a judge vacated Caramad Conley’s murder conviction, citing “voluminous” evidence of false testimony, Harris nevertheless attempted to retry Conley.  Once Harris left office, the new DA declined to pursue the case.

Still I Rise

The next logical stepping stone in the Rise of Kamala was state attorney general, which she sought in 2010.  With a 33.6% plurality against six primary opponents, Harris advanced to the general election, where she garnered 46% of the vote in another crowded field.  She easily won reelection in 2014.

As in San Francisco, Harris’ tenure in Sacramento was marred with nearly identical controversies.

One of Harris’ first acts as AG was to block, for two years, the release of Daniel Larsen, whose conviction for illegal weapons possession had been overturned based on exculpatory testimony of nine eyewitnesses, including a policeman. When Larson was finally set free, Harris appealed, claiming he missed a deadline to file paperwork.

Beginning in 2011, and sporadically for the following three years, Harris would attempt to inflict her draconian anti-truancy crusade on the entire state.


2013: Harris recommended that the California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board not pay Rafael Madrigal the $282,000 he was owed for a wrongful conviction due to … you guessed it, suppressed exculpatory evidence.

2013: Harris, citing technicalities, declined to prosecute OneWest Bank for “widespread violation” of California foreclosure laws. Many legal observers considered her excuse bogus.  Coincidentally, Harris later was the only US Senate candidate to receive a campaign donation from Steven Mnuchin, who’d profited greatly from OneWest’s subprime lending.

2013: Harris certified that “micro-stamping” of handgun shell casings in two locations “is a technology available to more than one [gun] manufacturer unencumbered by any patent restrictions”, despite its defiance of the laws of physics.  When the related law was challenged, Harris’ office successfully argued before the Ninth Circuit that impossibility of compliance is no bar to a legal requirement.  The net result has been an effective ban on the sale of new handguns in California, even though most new models feature improved safety mechanisms. Harris recently revealed that she herself owns a handgun for personal protection.


2013: Harris declined to prosecute a Pacific Gas and Electric executive for an illegal meeting with a member of the state utilities board.

2014: Harris declined to investigate a widely publicized ‘judge shopping’ scandal surrounding a lawsuit stemming from a PG&E gas explosion that wiped out an entire neighborhood.  NB: PG&E is a major campaign donor to several powerful California Democrats, including Kamala’s longtime ally, Gavin Newsom.

2014: state attorneys attempted to block the early release of prisoners, citing the need for inmates’ assistance in fighting wildfires. When this provoked public outrage, Harris denied all knowledge of the effort by her staff.

2015: Harris declined to act on a memo from within her own DA’s office on the urgency of investigating the nutritional supplement manufacturer, Herbalife, for multiple fraudulent marketing practices. Herbalife was represented by the law firm of Kamala’s husband.

2015: Harris brokered a $33 million settlement with Comcast for its release of data of tens of thousands of customers who’d paid for unlisted phone service.  Comcast realizes $109 billion in annual revenue.  Apparently, the deal resulted in no hard feelings, as five senior Comcast execs donated generously to Kamala’s 2019 presidential campaign.

2015: Harris fought an appeal of a sexual assault conviction by George Gage. A judge ruled that Harris’ prosecutors had withheld exculpatory evidence, but Harris successfully blocked a retrial on a procedural technicality.

2016 : Harris ordered the state DOJ to raid the home of David Daleiden, a pro-life activist who’d recorded undercover video exposing Planned Parenthood’s sale of fetal tissue from abortions in violation of California and Federal law. Daleiden was then charged with violating California’s two-party consent law regarding recorded conversations.  This was the first and, to date, only indictment made under this law, despite the regular use of undercover recordings by journalists in exposés.

It later came to light that prior to the raid, Harris had met to strategize and to coordinate her actions with Planned Parenthood executives, including one whose clinic was under investigation by a County DA for illegal sale of fetal tissue. That executive later pleaded guilty, his clinic accepting a $7.8 million plea bargain. Needless to say, Planned Parenthood has been a generous campaign donor over the years to Harris.


2016:  Harris opposed the American Bar Association’s request for the retesting of forensic evidence in the case of Kevin Cooper, an inmate on California’s death row who claims his 1983 conviction for murder was the result of evidence-tampering by police.  Shortly before launching her presidential run, Harris publicly reversed her stance, saying, “I feel awful about this.”

Just Passing Through

The upwards path opened again for Kamala with the retirement of US Senator, Barbara Boxer. After a brief scuffle with Gavin Newsom over the vacancy, the two pals agreed to divvy up the booty, with Newsom gunning for Governor.  In an open Senate primary, Harris breezed past 37 others, then won handily in the general election vs. another democrat under CA’s newly-introduced ‘top-two’ format.

During her brief time in Washington, Harris has not made much of a legislative mark.  Co-sponsor to nearly five hundred bills, she is the architect of none of consequence. Her notoriety has come primarily from her performances during televised confirmations and other hearings.  Whether it was disparaging three federal district-court nominees for their membership in the Knights of Columbus, badgering the US Attorney General by asking him whether he was “aware of the perception” that his agents were just like the KKK, or her clumsy attempt to bluff Brett Kavanaugh with an allusion to non-existent incriminating evidence, in committee chambers Harris has employed the pit-bull tactics of a prosecutor.

But Harris never intended to forge a legacy for herself as a workhorse on Capitol Hill.  It was merely a momentary stop on her lifelong climb to the very pinnacle of power.

The Last Laugh

What to make of someone who, during a tough-on-crime era, is willing to burnish her reputation by suppressing exculpatory evidence, but during a time when policing reform is trending, will preach about how going after crime is “wrongheaded” and we must instead “reimagine public safety?”  Who threatened to throw parents of truants in jail, but gave corporate criminals slaps on the wrist? Who billed herself as a warrior against the sexual exploitation of youth, but was fine with letting child raping priests get off if it’d help her win an election?  Who traded sexual favors for access to patronage? Who will morph her persona on the fly to pander to this or that group?

There can be but one conclusion:  Kamala Harris is a sociopath.

Over the course of her bid to ascend to the Oval Office, Kamala Harris has employed all of the same ruthless machinations seen in her relentless, lifelong quest for power. As one of her former campaign managers warned, “the biggest mistake would be to underestimate her.  She will leave no stone unturned in figuring out how to get it done.”

Witness how, when Harris’ most formidable obstacle was Joe Biden, she carefully laid a brutal ambush, tacitly calling him a racist by professing she did not believe he was a racist. Witness her readiness to “believe” Tara Reade’s accusations, only to later throw Reade under the bus.  Witness her flip-flopping on policy positions from one week to the next, a brazen attempt to surf the undulating wave of popular sentiment.  Or, on controversial issues where she cannot tell which way the wind will blow, her trademark prevarication, “we really need to have a discussion on that.”

When these tactics led to her rejection by Democratic voters, she bitterly accused them of being racist and sexist and “not ready” for her intersectional awesomeness.  Whereas any other candidate, whose campaign had crashed and burned as spectacularly as Kamala’s did, would have entered into four years of introspection, Harris merely dusted herself off and unleashed her secret weapon, those insider connections she’d first first cultivated all those years ago as Willie Brown’s arm candy.  It was these titans, the party’s shadowy power brokers, the Silicon Valley mega-donors, who strong-armed Team Joe to pick their asset, Kamala.

And when questioned about her sudden volte-face on her now-running mate, she barely hesitated before dismissing any concerns as to whether she possessed any scruples whatsoever, much less a soul. “It’s just politics!” she laughed.


(c) 2020 by True Liberal Nexus. All rights reserved.


What Gender Spectrum?

January 7, 2014

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“The Next Frontier in Social Justice”

Lately, social justice warriors have exhibited considerable agitation and sense of urgency over the rights of transgendered people, who are said to suffer considerable discrimination, harassment, and lack of acceptance. Joe Biden declared discrimination against this minority “the civil rights issue of our time,” while journalists and activists speak excitedly of transgender rights as “the next frontier.”

Just enforcing existing, or passing new, anti-discrimination laws is not enough, we are forewarned. “Cultural protections” for transgendered people, commonly known as trans*, will be erected, and society will be re-educated about how it conceives of sexual identity. “[I]t will need to reevaluate just how necessary it really is to define people according to what’s between their legs. This would clearly help the transgender community, but it might be healthy for the rest of us, too.” 

The so-called “gender binary”, where the world is viewed as male and female, is evil and wrong, we are instructed. We must all now embrace the “Gender Spectrum” (“GS”), which better reflects nature and most importantly, is “inclusive.”

But is this novel way of perceiving human sexuality valid? What, if any, scientific evidence exists to support it? And why is changing not just how people treat trans*, but how they think and feel about their own sexuality, so important?  We shall see.

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Terms

The Gender Spectrum has been defined as

“… a range of gender identities between and outside of the categories of male and female…”

which is usually expanded to include Gender Expression, “the ways in which people externally communicate their gender identity to others through behavior, clothing, haircut, voice, and other forms of presentation”, and Gender Role, “the set of roles, activities, expectations and behaviors assigned to females and males by society.”  Sexual orientation (gay; straight; bi; asexual) is also frequently placed under the rubric.

In contrast to the “static, binary model”, The Gender Spectrum is presented as a “more nuanced, and ultimately truly authentic model of human gender” that describes the “far more rich texture of biology, gender expression, and gender identity intersect in multidimensional array of possibilities.”  The concept has been around for about fifteen years.

Gender itself is a fairly recent coinage that refers to the personal sexual identity of an individual above & beyond their biological sex. People almost always identify as the gender that matches their sex, but trans* either identify as the gender opposite their sex, or, in rare cases, have no clearly defined gender identity. The causes of transgenderism are poorly understood. (A small fraction of the population is intersex — people who, due to genetic or embryological anomalies, have genitalia & other physical sexual traits that are neither completely male or female. Intersex is separate from transgendered.)

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Numbers

When people discuss transgenderism and the GS, they can be maddeningly vague with quantification — ‘not all people conform…’ or ‘many people express…’ or ‘some people display…’ etc. There happens to be a debate raging over the figures generally cited for prevelance of transgenderism. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) gives 1:30,000 among men and 1:100,000 among women, figures that found their way into APA’s DSM V. But these derive from just a handful of forty year-old studies, and Lynn Conway, a mathematician and a trans* zirself, has made a compelling argument that they’re off by several factors.

By adding up sex reassignment surgeries (SRS) performed in the US since the 1960’s, Conway arrives at a minimal  transgender prevalence of 1:2,500, or 0.04%. But considering lessening stigma, and that not every person who identifies as trans gets SRS, more trans* are likely out there. Through a series of assumptions & back-of-the-envelope calculations, Conway extrapolates to a final estimate of 1:170, or <0.6%

A careful & comprehensive meta-study by UCLA’s Williams Institute, conducted in 2011, found that ~ 0.3% of US residents identified as trans* — all things considered, within the same ballpark as Conway’s figure. The results of other recent surveys tend to fall within Conway’s base and peak estimates.

Whether trans people constitute 3/10ths or 6/10ths of a percent of the population, describing them as ‘some’ is vague, and as ‘many’ downright misleading. ‘Very few’,  ‘a small fraction’ and ‘rare’ are more fitting, as this visualization of the UCLA estimates makes clear:


Identity_pie

Now, this is not to say that, just because trans* are a tiny minority, they are not deserving of our respect or equal rights. As Conway observes, the prevalence of blindness and deafness are similarly low, but society takes great pains to accommodate the blind and the deaf.

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The Nature of Sex

This may seem pedantic, but a basic review of sexual development & reproduction is in order before examining the validity of the GS.

Homo sapiens reproduce sexually, as have our ancestors for the past 1.2 billion years. By design, each human comes equipped with either exclusively female, or exclusively male sex organs. We are not hermaphroditic, are incapable of parthenogenesis, nor do we self-pollinate.

Sex is determined by the X and Y chromosomes. Get two Xs and you’re female; an X and a Y, and you’re male — it’s either/or. (Specifically, the SRY gene on the Y chromosome determines maleness.) Rarely, something goes wrong when the gametes merge, creating a zygote with a lone X, an XXY, XXYY, or an SRY gene that’s fallen off the Y chromosome or migrated to an X. A meiotic anomaly can create XYY. Individuals born with any of these karyotypes are known as intersex and (except XYY) are infertile.

In the womb, the precisely-timed delivery of precise amounts of hormones is required for the initially amorphous embryo to develop either male or female attributes. This process, too, infrequently goes awry, leading to individuals with genitalia and other physical sex attributes that are neither fully male nor female. They are also intersex and infertile.

It must be stressed that karyotypic and embryological anomalies are errors in the processes — fatal breakdowns, actually, from the perspective of the germ line — and in no way ‘natural’ variants of sex. (It’s noteworthy that intersex pregnancies spontaneously abort at a far higher frequency than average.) This should be an uncontroversial statement of fact, yet there are those who deny it.

The group GenderSpectrum.org insists

“… even if gender is to be restricted to basic biology, a binary concept still fails to capture the rich variation observed. Rather than just two distinct boxes, biological gender occurs across a continuum of possibilities. This spectrum of anatomical variations by itself should be enough to disregard the simplistic notion of only two genders.”

Evidence of this “biological continuum” presumably includes:

  • 5-Alpha-Reductase Deficiency — incidence of births 1:40,000
  • Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (XY female) — 1:20,000
  • Cloacal Exstrophy — 1:400,000
  • Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH) — 1:14,200
  • Klinefelter Syndrome (XXY males) — 1:1,000
  • Mullerian Agenesis (congenital absence of a vagina) — 1:5,000
  • Partial Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (PAIS) — rare, incidence unknown
  • Swyer Syndrome (XY gonadal dysgenesis) — 1:30,000
  • Turner Syndrome (45,X0) — 1:2,500

This is idiotic. The above are all intersex conditions where the natural sex determinant processes have gone awry. Intersex people deserve our compassion and our support in developing their personal gender identity. Their conditions, however, are birth defects, not “rich variations.”

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The Nature of Gender

To successfuly reproduce, an individual must: 1) attract members of the opposite sex; 2) be attracted to members of the opposite sex. Mating relies on physical cues and behaviors to achieve these two objectives. These physical traits and behaviors are fixed, phenotypic expressions of the genome.

For humans at least, it’s generally assumed that a gender identity is generated within the mind. To the best of my knowledge, humans are also the only animals who’ve developed elaborate cultural rituals and cues (most notably, hoop earrings, raised pick-up trucks, & line dancing) to augment or supplant instinctual sex behaviors and attributes.

Getting one’s gender identity or sexual attraction wrong is, again from the perspective of the germ line, a fatal mistake. That’s why we don’t find any trans* animals or gay animals. (Homosexual behaviors have been observed in animals, but they are — aside from one known example of male beetles depositing sperm packets on other males’ carapaces, and that an alternate, “piggy-back” strategy for delivering sperm to females —  for dominance or other non-sexual social purposes.)

Homosexuals, bisexuals, and trans* are, of course, found among humans. Some hypothetical explanations for a genetic basis to homosexuality have been put forth (based on outlaw genes, kin selection), but no hard evidence exists (i.e., no “gay gene” has been found.) Pre-natal hormonal imbalances have been tentatively linked to lesbianism. Instances like ancient Sparta imply that culture can influence human sexual attraction. And that’s about the extent of what we know at this point.

How gender identity forms is even less clearly understood. A few studies have found that the brains of MtF trans* resemble the brains of normative females in certain ways, but no causation arrow can be attached to this correlation. What can be said is, although gender self-identification can sometimes be mutable in childhood, it nearly always is fixed by puberty.

In all but a tiny fraction of instances, gender identity aligns with anatomical sex. This should be considered the normative, default position. (Please bear in mind that this is not by any means a moral judgment.) Further, in most trans*, it seems that this default position has simply been reversed. Whether that cortex where gender forms developed differently in the womb, or whether the social cues that influence gender went askew, most trans* identify with the sex directly opposite their anatomy. A mere fraction of the fraction of people who are trans* are ambivalent, or “gender fluid”.

As with pretty much everything about us, nature and nurture are likely at play. Research into the mechanics of gender identity is almost non-existent, but the patterns indicate that we are predisposed toward a default ‘cis’ identity, with embryological or environmental anomalies sometimes perturbing it.

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What Spectrum?

Scientific inquiry may thrive on tentative claims that are only as assertive as the evidence merits, but crusades are waged on dogmatic certainty. The social justice crusade to transform society’s attitudes about sex and expression requires that a continuous spectrum of gender identity exist across the entire population. The graphics found in SJW literature give an idea of how they envision the Gender Spectrum:

gender_scale1

(Answer three simple questions about your wardrobe to learn where you fall on the Spectrum!)


newspectrum

(Reminder: Intersex is not the same as transgender.)

gender_doughnut

(As you become more masculine, you eventually turn feminine?)

cartoon_spectrum

(Why don’t these people have necks?)

Let’s compare those to a graphic representation of the findings in the UCLA study:

Spectrum_bar

Do you see a spectrum, or a binary?

Ah, but, the SJW replies, you’ve ignored the hidden influence of sexual attraction, gender expression and gender role-playing. So let’s address those, too.

_

Sexual Attraction

Whether you’re hetero-, homo-, or bi-sexual seems to me a separate issue from your gender identity, and even granting that connection, the raw data does not reveal a spectrum. The UCLA study estimated 3.5% of US adults identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual.

Gay_pie

Other studies conducted over the past decade in the US, Canada, Western Europe and Australia, ranged from 1.2% to 3.7%, with one outlier at 5.6%.

Ah, but, comes the retort, as the noted anthropologist, Honey Boo-Boo, observes: “everybody is a little bit gay.” Straight, gay, bi — these are just artificial cubby holes!  In fact, in all the surveys UCLA looked at, more people reported having had same-sex attractions than self-identify as gay or bisexual. Taking the highest figure, 11.0% (from that outlier study, the 2006-2008 National Survey of Family Growth,) let’s graph it out:

gay_bar

The 89% of adults who reported having never had a same-sex attraction appear on the far left. For the purpose of this exercise, and lacking precise data, I’ve evenly spread out the other 11% along the ‘gayness’ scale, despite indications that around half of gay people are also decidedly ‘binary’ in their attractions. For the overwhelming majority of people, there is no spectrum.

Gender Expression, Gender Roles

When it suits them, SJWs insist that gender identity is hard-wired, and we so often hear them speak of ‘a girl born in the body of a boy.’  But when it’s time for the Cultural Revolution to begin, gender suddenly becomes mutable:

“Gender expectations and messages bombard us constantly…. Like other social constructs, gender is closely monitored by society. Accepted social gender roles and expectations are so entrenched in our culture that most people cannot imagine any other way.”

Thus, not only does society have no room for trans* expression, it actively suppresses the hidden gender-fluid tendencies inside all of us. This argument, however, is predicated on the alleged disparity between the ‘artificial’ binary and the ‘natural’ spectrum. As shown above, both gender identity and sexual attraction display marked binary properties. Spectrum advocates complain that

“individuals fitting neatly into [social gender role] expectations rarely if ever question what gender really means. They have never had to, because the system has worked for them.”

Could it be that the vast majority of people prefer these standard roles?  Not the slightest effort has been made to produce concrete evidence showing otherwise — or to explain, exactly, why safeguarding the rights of a minority requires the majority to alter their private behavior and deepest self-perceptions.  So, when Pistol Annies affirm that there’s nothing better than being loved by a workin’ man, who won’t do the dishes or laundry, but who can fix about anything and will keep your car real clean, instead of trying to re-educate those gals, we should take them at their word.

That being said, if, as a society moving toward greater egalitarianism and less gender-based dichotomy of labor, we now choose to relax enforcement of traditional gender roles for those who choose to deviate from them, that’s a good thing. But no half-baked theory is required to explain David Beckham or Steven Tyler. And we can have women astronauts and men nurses, women in suits and men in scarfs, women who chop wood and men who cry during TERMS OF ENDEARMENT, without the need to pretend they aren’t fully women and fully men.

__

Culture Club

Spectrum advocates assert that “[g]ender diversity is a normal part of human expression documented across cultures and recorded history,” and point to

“[n]on-binary gender diversity … throughout the world, documented by countless historians and anthropologists. Examples of individuals living comfortably outside of typical male/female identities are found in every region of the globe. The calabai, and calalai of Indonesia, two-spirit Native Americans, and the hijra of India all represent more complex understandings of gender than the simplistic model seen in the west.”

It is indeed possible to find scattered examples of cultures tolerant of intersex and transgendered people. (Sadly, they seem the exceptions to the rule.)  One might well cite these examples to encourage greater tolerance in our own society. But they simply do not hold up as evidence of a gender spectrum. Just because these pre-modern societies — ignorant of chromosomes, pre-natal development, or orbital frontal cortices — invented third, fourth or fifth “sexes” to explain certain phenomena, doesn’t mean extra sexes exist for real.

Further, for this to serve as proof that our “simplistic” binary model actively suppresses expressions of gender non-conformity, SJWs would need to produce data showing a significantly higher prevalence of gender-queer individuals in these cultures. They haven’t bothered, and likely can’t.

Finally, hirja of the Indian subcontinent traditionally had, and often still have, their penis and testicles chopped off as boys, then are forced into a life of prostitution. This is not a cultural practice we should seek to emulate.

Spectrum proponents say our gender roles are ‘just a social construct.’ But societies and cultures do not appear out of thin air. The origin of human societal culture can be traced back through the group behaviors of our hominid  & earlier social animal ancestors, all the way to the  mating instincts of the first sexually-reproducing creatures. Our cultural gender constructs are the direct product of, and are designed to facilitate, sexual reproduction. Far from being arbitrary or capricious, our ‘binary’ gender roles and expressions precisely replicate the function of fixed sex displays like plumage or instinctual behaviors. Baby, It’s Cold Outside is a mating dance.

__

The Insane Charade

We have shown that:

  1. Trans* individuals are extremely rare (~ 0.3%);
  2. Same-sex attraction is rare (~ 3%);
  3. Our species is by design a sexual binary of male and female;
  4. The vast majority of people — cis and trans*, straight and gay — self-identify as either male or female;
  5. Normative cultural gender roles and expressions, albeit sometimes taken to extremes by certain cultures, are consistent with that sexual binary and naturally emanate from it;
  6. A large majority of people are comfortable with standard gender roles and forms of expression. That almost no one conforms to clichéd, exaggerated stereotypes is unremarkable; that a few people deviate widely from standard gender expressions does not equate to a smooth variance across the entire population, much less is proof of the existence of extra sexes.

In spite of all this evidence and logic, SJWs damn anyone who doubts the Gender Spectrum as ignorant and hateful.

Not atypically for SJWs, they conflate two separate arguments. The first, that trans* deserve equal treatment under the law, and don’t deserve ridicule or abuse, is one I heartily agree with, as would any fair-minded person.

Their other argument, over which they have launched a crusade, and against which they are experiencing considerable push-back, is that society must be restructured, our public institutions revamped, our very perceptions altered, to conform to a non-existent gender spectrum. So people are shamed for finding trans* sexually unattractive, or for denying that they themselves secretly harbor homosexual feelings. “He” and “she”, “his” and “hers” are banned as Words of Intolerance™, and we are now expected ask each person what are zir preferred pronouns before addressing qi. Teachers and students receive  indoctrination  sensitivity training to embrace the legions of spectrum-queer in their midst.

We have SJWs demanding that trans* be allowed to express their gender in any way they see fit, and expect ‘cis folk’ to not just tolerate it, but to find it groovy. Then, without batting an eye, they hector and shame people who desire and enjoy traditional gender roles and expressions.

We have parents now raising their children as gender neutral, afraid to impose arbitrary idenities in case their kid might be ‘two-spirit.’   Worst of all, many SJWs and therapists now actively encourage children as young as 3 years of age to identify as trans*.   Considering that, while some amount of gender nonconformity & ambivalence is relatively common among children, nearly all children who experience it sort things out on their own to become ‘cis’ by puberty, this is unconscionable.

All this is stupid and wrong, highly unfair to individuals and disruptive to society. I don’t care how often you berate me, how many times you label me a ‘hater’, a ‘trans-phobe’, or ‘cis scum‘, I will not participate in your insane charade. I’ll gladly stand up for equal rights for trans* people, but I won’t deny the facts: there is no Gender Spectrum.


(c) 2013 by Matt Cavanaugh. All rights reserved.


Top 10 Campaign Slogans for Obama/Biden 2012

April 20, 2012

With OFA struggling to come up with a catchy slogan to replace 2008’s “Change We Can Believe In“, True Liberal Nexus decided to brainstorm on the difficult task of  conveying, in a few words, all the many, powerful reasons to re-elect barack obama.  David Axelrod, feel free to use any of the following:

10. Democrats: We Suck Less

9. Take A Look At Those Rich People!

8. Did I Mention I Killed Osama Bin Laden?

7. Romney Hates Women; I Just Pay Them Less

6. WTF

6. WTS (“What Toure Said”)

5. We’re The Ones We’re Still Waiting For

4. Believe Me — I Can Change

3. Happy Days Will Be Here Again, Once Republicans in Congress Start Cooperating

2. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!

2. Jobs!

1. Never Mind the Bollox; He’s Still Black


(c) 2012 by True Liberal Nexus.  All rights reserved.


The White House Dials 911

December 17, 2010

Last week, the nation witnessed the almost surreal spectacle of Bill Clinton’s impromptu press conference at the White House.  Hurriedly called so Clinton could publicly endorse obama’s tax compromise with the Republicans, it featured 8 minutes of the boy president staring sheepishly like some altar boy while Clinton masterfully pitched the deal Barry’d botched selling so far.  After the hen-pecked obama, fearing a spanking for keeping his harridan waiting at a party, bizarrely left the press conference, we were treated to 20+ minutes of deja vu, as the Big Dawg settled in and fielded a range of questions from Haiti, to healthcare, to the economy, to dealing with Congress, plucking detailed facts & figures from his head, even offering nuanced & well thought-out policy options.  Painfully apparent was the realization that, not only did Clinton know more about the tax plan than its chief architect, he seems to know more about everything than everybody.

(To grasp the full impact of this phenomenon, one must watch the entire video or read the transcript.)


Why Bill, Why?

So sooner had the shock worn off, than speculation began as to why Clinton, a long-time foe of tax cuts to the rich, who as president both raised taxes and created jobs all while building a budget surplus, would favor this sell-out to the greed of the richest 2% of Americans.

We can philosophize until the cows come home whether there was a quid pro quo attached, and what that might entail.  But the question on this observer’s mind is: what was Clinton doing there in the first place?  Certainly obama didn’t say, I need to speak with my old friend and trusted mentor, Bill Clinton. It must have been the White House staffers who insisted, you need to talk to this guy. Perhaps they were hoping the boy wonder might pick up a few tips from watching the old master in action.  If so, that hope went unfulfilled.


Slacker-in-Chief

What’s becoming clearer with every passing day is that obama’s sloth, ineptitude and utter indifference is making it impossible for the White House to function as an organ, or to direct an Administration.  obama’s complete unfamiliarity with drafting & passing legislation, his total lack of negotiating savvy, his poor people skills, can no longer be ignored as when he was running for president.

Truth is, even if obama could handle the job of president, he doesn’t feel like it. He’s checked out, lost in ennui.  Was it not his own senior advisor, Valerie Jarrett, who warned us that Barry is  “easily bored?”

He’s been bored to death his whole life. He’s just too talented to do what ordinary people do.

The office of the presidency is one never-ending to-do list, some items profound (passing legislation, averting wars), some tedious (daily briefings, photo ops, press conferences.)  As obama’s early exit the other day attests, the focus of this First Family is on sumptuous parties and back-to-back-to-back vacations. The Slacker-in-Chief even played hooky one day in April, slipping out a side door without notifying his staff or the press corps, or — as some speculate, the Secret Service.  He claimed he went to watch his daughter’s non-existent? soccer game, held at an inner-city baseball field.

Honestly, wha’d y’all expect when you first dreamt of placing a lazy, self-centered, spoiled brat in the Oval Office?  The White House is paralyzed, the administration adrift, the Democrats in rebellion.  Washington burns while obama fiddles.


Dial 911

White House staff are frantically trying to light their own fire under little Nero’s butt.  Prior to President Clinton’s 911 dispatch, the lingering scuttlebutt was that Secretary Clinton should be brought in as VP, to force the boy wonder finish his homework, eat his vegetables, and complete his chores.

It may come now as a surprise to read of the increased role VP Joe Biden is playing at the White House.  Mock him if you like, but Biden has been around the block a few times, and retains excellent contacts and goodwill on Capital Hill.  If these stories are to be believed, it was Biden’s shoe leather, not Clinton’s breath, that got Congress on board the tax deal.   As one testy congressmen was quoted, “Biden brings everything that Rahm Emanuel brings, but the major difference is everyone likes Joe Biden.”  None of this will suffice in the long run, of course.  Barry simply loathes work, and no one can make him do it.

The public story line so far is that obama has suffered but a temporary setback.  Howard Dean and Axelrod of Evil hit the political shows last Sunday to insist that:  1) obama will definitely run for reelection; and,  2) no one in their right mind would even consider mounting a primary challenge.  In November, the press dutifully reported that Axel will be leaving the White House early next year to begin the reelection campaign.  A complimentary story planted last week speculated that the O12 campaign could raise — place pinky to lip — One Biiiillionnn Dollars!

Whatever this spin may or may not indicate about obama’s plans for 2012, it was meant to quash the concept that obama is a one-termer  To be viewed as a lame duck cannot help a president no one seems to take seriously anymore.  Not Democrats, not Republicans, not the media, not the public.


What About Plan B?

If Plan A fails, if things continue to spin out of control and Barry refuses to show up for work, do the party elders have a Plan B … or maybe a Plan (HR)C?  Just how desperate is the situation?

First off, forget about Hillary becoming obama’s VP. There’s no upside, only downside, for her.  It also wouldn’t do any good.

One option is to continue to muddle along as best they can, prodding Barry into occasional action, circumventing him when he refuses.  They can then play it by ear whether to cut their losses and convince Barry not to seek reelection, avoiding an increasingly likely primary challenge.  This seems to be the current plan.  It proved barely enough to salvage some legislation of the lame duck session, but it’s hard to imagine pulling it off for another two years.

Another scenario is to induce obama to step down now.  Radical as this may seem, don’t rule it out.  No one (who’s not a Republican) is benefitting from the obama presidency any more.  His handlers are exasperated, Democrats in Congress have given up on him, the media has turned on him. Even Soros now shuns him.

If Barry resigns, he gets to return to the job he was destined for: pop idol.  Biden becomes a two-year steward, makes emergency repairs, and steers the battered ship of state into dry dock.  A new VP is chosen and given prominent exposure as a key player in the administration, which amounts to a 12-month head start on their 2012 presidential run.  Speculate at will as to who this VP would be, and whether the quid pro quo speculated above comes into play.

That person, however, will most certainly not be Hillary Clinton.  In terms of influence, VP is a both a symbolic and a real step down from SoS. Nor does Hillary need the exposure — she could win a general election if it was held tomorrow.  The only scenario in which Hillary Clinton becomes VP is some variant of Agnew-Nixon-Ford, where two quick resignations propel her into the Oval Office.   Don’t hold your breath.


Which Way to the Life Rafts?

How can we little people influence the outcome of all this behind-the-scenes maneuvering? We can spread the word that BO MUST GO.  Beyond that, not much.  We’re third class passengers trapped in the steerage of an ocean liner.  We’ve felt the impact of the iceberg, and heard the screeching as it tore open the hull.  All we can do now is pray that there’s somebody up there on the bridge who’s taken ahold of the wheel.

(c) 2010 by ‘tamerlane.’  All rights reserved.


Triple “Historicalness”

October 13, 2010

Not to be missed is this post by Ducksoup over at JohnWSmart.  One of the sharpest of the many smart, eloquent commenters at JWS, ‘duck responds to renewed calls for Hillary Clinton to step in as VP by offering some alternate career paths for the current POTUS.  Not only is Ducksoup’s piece both witty and thoughtful, it’s also spurred an invigorating discussion on a wide-range of subjects!