Archive for November, 2013

Caught in another lie.

Everyone is talking about the shaky beginnings of the Affordable Care Act. Rightly so. But that isn’t the first time this President backed away from a promise, turned inside-out by bureaucratic and political infighting.

There’s nothing left, as far as I can tell, from the Gender Assignment Initiative that President Obama rolled out in May 2011. The one big speech, then nothing.



The promise was so clear, there was no equivocation then.

      “Under the GAI, if you like your current gender, you can keep it. But when you’re ready to make a change you will be able to go to our website: You will be able to view a menu of choices and, with a few clicks, began whatever degree of reassignment you choose. You will see, clearly presented, the exact cost of every option, and whether you qualify for assistance under the Where-You-Need-To-Be federal tax credit program.”

      “We are absolutely committed to continuum neutrality. We respect the full equality of every point on all definable scales. But, let me repeat our fundamental promise: if you are happy with your gender, you will not be required to change.”

The original website was never fully operational, difficult to log on to, and prone to lock up. But the menus were tantalizing, liberating.

  • Conviction scale.
    Absolutely certain.
    Reasonably certain.
    Curious, yellow.
    Curious, blue.
  • Degree scale.
    Reversal, complete, permanent.
    Reversal, complete, temporary, select term.
    Partial transformation, permanent.
    Partial transformation, temporary, select term.
    Surprise me.
  • Procedure scale.
    Physical, surgical and hormonal.
    Physical, hormonal only.
    Social only, wardrobe.
    Social, wardrobe and pronoun.
    Surprise me.
  • Timeline scale.
    Begin process immediately (requires credit card, charged now).
    Begin at specified date (requires credit card, charged later).
    Save in shopping basket, I’ll be back.
    Empty basket, not today.
    Surprise me.

Oh, well. That was then. Now the refusal of Congress to implement key sections of the new law, especially for setting up the Federal Gender Exchanges, has been compounded by Sequester funding cuts. A flurry of GAI cancellation and reassignment notices has already been issued by the President’s Gender Czar, almost three million in October alone. Pink slips, blue slips, purple slips, the Interior Department has pulled the rug out from under all Americans.

We will be processed one-by-one through the new sex panels, not by our own choice any longer, the assignments will be determined by quota-filling bureaucrats.

As everybody knows, those who are condemned to remember history must be prepared to repeat it.

Join today at the HOOP! website (Hands Off Our Privates!): No contribution is too large, and no support is better than none at all.


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Without benefit of clergy.


At her house, her husband’s and son’s house now, we met this afternoon to celebrate the life and spirit of a friend whose body had failed. She died half a year ago, suddenly and too soon.

      Julia released four white doves, three from the large basket then, a moment after, a single bird. They shot towards the ridge behind us, whiter than any real creature could be, swooped down over the valley below, the one dove cutting across, almost colliding, synching with the flock. They circled all four once more before passing beyond the ridge and our view. The three horses in the high pasture let go their trance: they had frozen, heads up, lined up, in perfect profile, at the first shudder of the wings of the freed birds.

DOVE1, borrowed image.

Impossibly white.


They will get home, twenty-one air miles, Julia said, long before she will. We had sung a song, cheerily dark, read and recited poems, holding close in memory, at the same time letting go of Dory’s spirit. The Royal Black Cherry settled into its hole with help from a hundred hands. Inside, the feast was waiting.

Live long, Dory Brown, in the hearts of family and friends, in the aggregated recollection of all your intersecting communities.



She seems nice. Edit, adit, obit: ever a crossword.

I met her on the internet, I replied to her ad. Smooth sailing, surely, thence-from-there-forward.

She’s freelance, doesn’t work for a house. But her eye is good, and relentless. Some degree of compassion, also, I’m almost sure. Trust but verify. If you can.

Rates are within trade norms, fuzzy edges, though between the copy- and line- options.

But Ghost Walk is a big book, many pages, many words, many hours. Is she up to it? And is the edit worth the fee? Measured along what scale, or against what result?


Book Three.



I think so. But there is not a more intimate relation than a writer with an editor. Success in collaboration is not guaranteed nor in any way insurable. How will this end? All previous winnings bet on one number, on one spin, with no hedging on the red or even halves. What would Geoffrey do? What would Ellen do? So much easier to write their parts than mine.

Oh, look, that’s it: edge of the cliff. To the metal, Thelma, fly! Where’s my blankey?


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