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Good News!

Jul. 14th, 2015 | 06:31 pm

First marriage equality thanks to the Supremes, now this:

"Release No: NR-272-15
July 13, 2015
Statement by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter on DOD Transgender Policy

Over the last fourteen years of conflict, the Department of Defense has proven itself to be a learning organization. This is true in war, where we have adapted to counterinsurgency, unmanned systems, and new battlefield requirements such as MRAPs. It is also true with respect to institutional activities, where we have learned from how we repealed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," from our efforts to eliminate sexual assault in the military, and from our work to open up ground combat positions to women. Throughout this time, transgender men and women in uniform have been there with us, even as they often had to serve in silence alongside their fellow comrades in arms.

The Defense Department's current regulations regarding transgender service members are outdated and are causing uncertainty that distracts commanders from our core missions. At a time when our troops have learned from experience that the most important qualification for service members should be whether they're able and willing to do their job, our officers and enlisted personnel are faced with certain rules that tell them the opposite. Moreover, we have transgender soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines - real, patriotic Americans - who I know are being hurt by an outdated, confusing, inconsistent approach that's contrary to our value of service and individual merit.

Today, I am issuing two directives to deal with this matter. First, DoD will create a working group to study over the next six months the policy and readiness implications of welcoming transgender persons to serve openly. Led by (Acting) Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Brad Carson, and composed of military and civilian personnel representing all the military services and the Joint Staff, this working group will report to Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work. At my direction, the working group will start with the presumption that transgender persons can serve openly without adverse impact on military effectiveness and readiness, unless and except where objective, practical impediments are identified. Second, I am directing that decision authority in all administrative discharges for those diagnosed with gender dysphoria or who identify themselves as transgender be elevated to Under Secretary Carson, who will make determinations on all potential separations.

As I've said before, we must ensure that everyone who's able and willing to serve has the full and equal opportunity to do so, and we must treat all our people with the dignity and respect they deserve. Going forward, the Department of Defense must and will continue to improve how we do both. Our military's future strength depends on it."

--grabbed from http://www.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=17378

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Happy May Day!

May. 1st, 2015 | 12:08 am

It's just after midnight, so it's Beltane. Spring has sprung here in Massachusetts, the trees are leafing out, the flowers are blooming.

And although I won't be singing The Hunt Is Up at at sunrise, I'm glad it's May Day.

Blessings of the season to all and sundry!

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The Puppies

Apr. 18th, 2015 | 06:06 pm

Made it onto On the Media on NPR this afternoon. I just heard the tail end of the segment:

http://www.onthemedia.org/story/hugo-awards-sad-puppy-edition/?utm_source=local&utm_medium=treatment&utm_campaign=daMost&utm_content=damostviewed

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Happy New Year

Jan. 1st, 2015 | 07:27 am

Happy 2015!

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Blessed Beltaine!

May. 1st, 2014 | 12:40 am

It's cold, dreary & raining but in a few hours it will be dawn of Beltaine morning. Blessed Beltaine to all!

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World Hijab Day

Jan. 26th, 2014 | 12:43 am

World Hijab Day 2014 is February 1st. I'm planning to wear hijab on that day in support of women who choose to cover their hair whether Muslim, Jewish, or Christian. I'm psyched but a little nervous because it's a work day for me. Muslim women I see in my work life are supportive. In fact one gave me a beautiful scarf of a size & type that will make a beautiful hijab.

I think this will be a good experience. I see a huge distinction between people forced to wear burqas and people who choose to dress modestly & cover their hair. I'm wearing hijab to support choice. Choice includes choosing modest clothing & covering the hair. It's a feminist thing in part for me. Darn it but women should be able to show as much or as little skin as they want and no one should criticize them.

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Cats I have loved & lost

Jul. 14th, 2011 | 10:27 pm
location: home
mood: sad sad

Tigger, born summer 1988, died 2003
Mittens, born 1986 or 1987, died 1989 or 1990
Loki, born ??, 2008
Bruno, born ?? died 1996
Phillip, born 1981, died 1998
Jasper, born ??, died 2002
FluffCat, born 1996 or 1997, died 8/2008
Vickie, born ?? died 3/2010
Sterling, born ?? died 2010
OhTee, born ??, died 1999 or 2000
Moko, born 1996 or 1997, died 7/14/2011

Wow, I have said goodbye to many good cats. I hope they are waiting for me at the Rainbow Bridge.

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Writer's Block: Double vision

Mar. 14th, 2011 | 09:37 pm

If there was a parallel universe, in what ways would you want your double to differ from you?

If there are parallel universes, there seems to be an infinity of them possible. I'd like one of me to have stayed home and gone to the University of Washington. My parents spent an amazing sum of money sending me to BMC, and while the education was first rate, BMC is not high enough in status that the degree was worth any more then any other bachelor's degree. It's not like I imagine going to Harvard might have been, where the name on the sheepskin might open doors. So why spend all that money on something no better than I could have gotten at UW? That me might have wound up doing physics or chemistry or computer science, all things UW has good undergraduate classes in. That me might have continued the friendships from high school that failed under the impact of the separation.

I'm not sorry for where I wound up, or what I'm doing, but I do think, at times, that UW might have been a good place for me. I've thought that ever since I figured out that unless you can go to one of a very few schools like Harvard or Yale, you might as well go to a state university & save on tuition.

I had a lot of fun at BMC, made good friends, learned to love learning, but was it worth $100,000? I don't think so.

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Writer's Block: Bird by Bird

Jan. 5th, 2009 | 07:08 pm

It's National Bird Day in the U.S. Do you think it's cruel to keep birds in cage where they can't fly freely or flock with others of their kind?

It depends on the bird. A hand-reared parrot who has plenty of toys, a roomy cage, and plenty of attention from his human will thrive in that environment. Many bird owners keep birds in groups if appropriate for the type of bird, and so flocking is available to those birds.

I am unconfortable with reading about a wild bird captured as an adult who is kept in a cage unless it is because the bird is injured and unable to care for itself in the wild.

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Life

Feb. 22nd, 2008 | 03:06 pm

Well, I have an an expensive trip thru vet-land but I think it's good. I noticed that Fluff, who is over 14 (we don't know how old he is, he moved in on me as a stray in 1994) was losing weight and not eating well. Went to vet -> xrays, blood work & eventually an ultrasound. Ultrasound showed a mass in his colon. Went to surgeon, surgeon said it's probably intestinal lymphoma but we can take it out. He had the surgery 2/14. He came home on the 15th, seems to be feeling well, is eating much better. Path report showed colon cancer not intestinal lymphoma. This is *GOOD* as the path report looks like "we got all of it". Colon cancer can be cured surgically some of the time, lymphoma can't be cured in cats. (It's different in humans, some lymphomas can be cured in humans, not all.) So I am quite a bit poorer than I was but it's all good.

On another front, I am so far behind at the office I feel like I will never catch up, but I will, it just means I won't have any free time for the next week or so.

And despite being poor, I succumbed & ordered imps from BPAL. FabricDragon, you're a rotten enabler, and I love you anyway!

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