A Brief History of Veterans Day in the U.S.

The significance of November 11 started with the unofficial end of World War I, which happened when the Allied nations and Germany implemented a temporary cessation of war hostilities– also known as an “armistice.” This armistice went into effect on November 11, 1918, at 11:00am. Seven months later the treaty of Versailles was signed and WWI was officially over. At the time it was the greatest war the world had ever seen, so it is also known as the Great War. Its ending had a deep impact on the citizens of the U.S and abroad, as people thought it would be “the war to end all wars.”

In 1919, Woodrow Wilson was the first president to recognize the new day by proclaiming it Armistice Day. He said that the day was meant for “pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory” of the war. Armistice Day was meant to be honored by closing down business for a two minute period beginning at 11:00am, as well as holding parades and having speeches.

Armistice Day was recognized by the states as a legal holiday in 1926, and it wasn’t until 12 years later, in 1938, that Congress declared November 11 a legal Federal holiday.

So how did Armistice Day become Veteran’s Day? After WWII and the Korean War created millions more war veterans, President Eisenhower changed the name of the legal holiday in 1954 to “Veteran’s Day,” in order to honor and recognize new veterans from these wars.

In 1968, Congress passed the Monday Holiday Law—they moved Federal holidays to the first Monday after the actual date, to give Federal employees a longer weekend in hopes that people would travel and participate in recreational and cultural activities, which would stimulate the economy.

Many states & veterans service organizations did not agree with this new law, since Armistice Day had significant historical meaning to U.S. citizens. In response to this, President Gerald Ford returned the observance of Veteran’s day to the original November 11 date, beginning in 1978.

Every year on November 11, national ceremonies for veterans past and present take place to honor their willingness to serve and to sacrifice for the common good.Today is a day that should be honored for all forgotten vets, remembered vets, vets from our standing wars, and vets from our old wars.

For events concerning Veterans Day in Denver, click here! Events are going on all week.

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Corporate Funding will Corrupt College Education

Well, I’m back from my hiatus, babies. It’s been a long road out of hell, and.. actually.. I’m still here. Shit. It’s just a different level of hell this time. Especially considering the rise of the corporate state is on its way.

It’s definitely not a secret that Shell gave Colorado State University’s Natural Resources department a ton of money (looked back and it was almost 1 mil, but Shell has donated very large amounts, if I recall correctly) to research the effects of mining oil shale and how long it takes to “re-naturalize” an area that’s been devastated by mining. I am not sure if anyone cares about the issue but it is important– obviously the reason Shell wants this research is so they can prove that it is “possible” to restore natural areas once they have been raped of their minerals/resources. It’s a dangerous slope indeed, and now that funding for higher education is being supported less and less, it looks like corporate daddy is there to take its place. Every day our country becomes more and more of a corporate state– it’s not necessarily the government we should fear, but the corporations.. they buy and pay for our representatives anyway.

And why shouldn’t they? Our government recognizes them as people and gives them individual rights as applies to any citizen of this country. AT&T recently fought for their individual right to privacy to keep some of their billing practices from going public under FOIA– but only individuals can do this, and only in the realm of protecting their personal privacy. AT&T claimed competitors were attempting to gain information on their company– but in this case, anyone that “works against them” could be considered competitors.

What’s next, corporations fighting for their 2nd amendment rights? Welcome your corporate overlords with welcome arms, then.

temporary hiatus

It’s been too long. but I’ll be back! I’m soon graduating and I’ll be working on a project to bring queer media to Northern Colorado, community style. I know that all ZERO of my readers miss me.. but just you wait. I also may be moving to a REAL DOMAIN!! GET EXCITED, INTERNET. GET IT UP.

Lou Dobbs Oppresses Queer Media (and how?)

SO. Lou Dobbs left CNN. CNN’s ratings are significantly behind those of Fox News and MSNBC, both of which are politically aligned with their appropriate parties.. CNN  remains staunch in the “middle” even though many news organizations can pick slants on either side. Dobbs was “independent” and CNN’s choice of replacing him with John King shows that they remain “independent.” 

 What relevance does this have to objectivity in American media?  

It’s obviously not being sold very well to the American populace anymore. However, does party slant really make up for it?  Are US Americans getting TRUTH? Does this mean we have to go into some epistemological debate about what truth is? Truth is subjective, therefore objective reporting of truth does not exist. Or some such nonsense.

 Objectivity no longer matters in US media however what stations like Fox News are doing is reporting on the premise of objectivity– the US psyche is still stuck in the mindset that news SHOULD be objective and therefore what they perview on cable news is perceived to still be objective. We (the US. Lol, us/we) feel like the press is lying to us all of the time, anyway.

Especially when Fox news states that they are giving us just the facts, ma’am. In actuality they are slanting under guise; they are reporting subjectively on communities or situations or viewpoints that they are not actually a part of.

So like, this is the premise of my thesis: Objectivity is fucking dead. Let’s stop pretending and just get over it, already.

If Fox News were to report on, say, only the Republican party, or only fundamentalist Christians, or only conservatives, or only what Bill O’Reilly does in his freetime, then would it be that we would get fair and accurate information of those communities? Obviously there’d be bias, but shit dude, let’s put that aside. If we KNOW there’s bias, wouldn’t our eyes and ears and other sensory organs be more critical and aware of what we are receiving from the mass media?

Here’s my curtail: is this the proper thing to do with queer media? The problem is underrepresentation. Or maybe, I need a more critical view of the problem; that statement is too simple. Do only queers report for The Advocate?

Queer reporters, or those who have spent time in the queer community or studying queer theory, know the inclusive langauge, understand the importance of representation, and know best how to report on issues affecting this community. So it would suffice to say that Republicans know how to talk about Republicans, too. Right? Obviously there are differences, ie, queers are historically discriminated against for the basis of identities that cannot be chosen. And we dress better.

Objectivity, as an ethical practice, uses outdated perspectives to survey the landscape of sources for stories. These perspectives are oppressive in nature, but on two levels: on a lower/individual level, reporters don’t understand their hetero-privileges and thus just don’t see us; on a higher/systemic level, objectivity is a tool utilized by the mass media to subdue non-normative society, to keep the hegemon in place, and prevent queer acceptance on not just a legislative level but on a social level, too.

….. we’ll keep going with this. Don’t just tune in, cognize! (That’s not good enough for a catchphrase, is it.)

Crashing the Tea Party.

This piece is by guest writer Johnny Black.

Ladies, Gentlemen, and all those in between or outside,

I would like to introduce myself as your local propagandist: Johnny Black. I’m merely another faceless entity in the fight against corprotacratic economic models. I thought that some one out there might find what our GLBT Superhero, LOL-WUTTER, Elle, was up to! So, with out further ado! A quick run-down of the first of our adventures in Capital-Land!

It was all just supposed to be a day like any other…

Driving around on stolen gasoline is no way to spend your first date. But, then again she didn’t know that, so what was the harm. On our way back from having secured some tasty vittles for our lunch we noticed a protest on the corner of College and Mulberry.

Not that this is an odd occurrence, it is Fort Collins; no, the oddness of the situation was seeing all these blue-collar, hard-working, wage slaves spending their time waving signs around when Thor knows that in this economy no one can afford to do that. So, as a man who has served in the United States Armed Forces, worked as a general laborer for my local labor union, and done his fair share of dirt to provide for my family, I tip my hat to them. Nothing wrong with wanting to increase your size of the pie and being Libertarians; they believe this should be done by shrinking the state as opposed to raising taxes on all.

Can’t really argue with that, eh Kids? And that’s where this whole thing got started. We don’t have a counter argument because this isn’t the debate we are trying to have. Their protest is a blind attempt to acquire and secure more liberties for themselves and us. But, their inability to see themselves contributing as oppressors does not change the fact that they operate as a functioning tool of patriarchal society.

“What are they protesting?” our green eyed firebrand asked.

With a quick perusal of their signs, I replied, “they are fucking tea-baggers.”

I sighed. A quick break down on libertarian economics, the Ron Paul movement, and the Tea Bag protests ensued. Pro-states rights anti-federalists who see the governments hand in the market as being responsible for our current economic woes. I always imagine them as strict constitutionalist conservatives with out the fundamentalist nut jobs.

“Lets crash it!” she exclaimed. Arming our selves with a sign that read “LOL WUT” and a camera to forever immortalize our first date we returned to help create open conversation and express an alternative viewpoint!

It worked: the crowd stirred and churned attempting to wrap their minds around what it could possibly mean. Tea baggers each took turns reading into the sign, inferring it expressed their worst fears embedded by years of conservative talking points and fear mongering.

Hence the LOL WUT message. The issues in the United States cannot be solved through free trade and laissez-faire capitalism. The issues that are oppressing the lives and families of these protesters are because of capitalism. The principles of that economic ideology, while looking good on paper, do not translate into reality.

Greed, having been celebrated for so long, has created a culture that is toxic at best. The protesters know this. As a branch of conservatives they are most likely unhappy with the world their children are growing up in. Why shouldn’t they be, eh Kids? Violence, vices, and mindless entertainment surround them and hope to instill in them the values that the United States has come to embrace.

It’s unfortunate that through my conversations with the protesters they seemed to believe I was political boogey-man. Despite my attempts to show that I work for the people and against the bourgeois corporate slave masters that are cracking the whip over all of our heads the idea never seemed to sink in. The average protester was far too blinded by the bipartisanship that is United States politics and culture. I oppose capitalism, they thought, so naturally I must be a socialist.

I was unable to break through this oh-so-common binary, the dualist thinking of the American status quo. Unable to bring a revolutionary thought into the light through the smoke screen of Libertarian ideology. I couldn’t stress enough that the protesters and the crashers are fighting the same fight. We are all in the same struggle. Their fight for what they believe to be the iconic America draws a lot of parallels with our own utopian dreams. In their world the laborer owns his labor, just like ours. The people are not controlled through a talking head of morality, just as in ours. It just didn’t seem to correlate for the Tea Baggers that we were not opposed to their protest as much as we thought their energy was only misdirected.

Playing cameraman to Elle and lacking a sign of my own I couldn’t attention whore my way into a confrontational situation that I could turn into some social critique. Elle was very popular on the other hand, with old women trying to block her sign. Once again, reinforcing the stereotype in my mind that these North Americans are kneejerk reactionaries that fear what they don’t understand.

The situation started to get a little tense. Elle had the intestinal fortitude to stick it out though and soon she had our side of the street pretty stirred up. Through her brazen act of brandishing a sign that no doubt seemed nonsensical to the crowd around us, she had created a situation where they could experience the nonsensical nature of their protest. She quickly disseminated her radical feminist ideology and her blog web address to further help the protesters to open their eyes to a world they unknowingly ignore and unwittingly support. Once it was understood that were not diametrically opposing them some protesters had come to the conclusion that we were actually supporters. At one point we were fashioned as Anarcho-Capitalists!

Eventually the protest was coming to a conclusion. Only a few stragglers were left and even they were packing up and making their way back home, no doubt feeling empowered and satisfied at having voiced their dissent. The only people sticking around were the die-hards bombarding us with questions.

“What does this have to do with GLBT issues?” a confused protester asked.

Elle had given her web address out and he was surfing it from a sidekick. At that point our cover was blown! We were no longer your friendly neighborhood anarcho-capitalists. Unbeknownst to him, we were something much more subversive. We crashed their tea party because despite their spirit they are just misinformed by years of media lies, Christian indoctrination, and corrupt governing bodies. Despite their best efforts the ruling class that decides our fate doesn’t give a god damn what we have to say. That simple internet meme slapped on a piece of poster board wasn’t intended to mock the Tea Baggers. It was intended to illustrate that all these people standing around waving sings, blowing horns, and shouting from the sidewalks; all that noise just boils down to “LOL WUT” at the end of the day.

All in all I will never know if I actually made an impact, if Elle’s sign helped create some social discourse that later turned into an honest debate, or if they all just went home thinking they had performed their civic duty and were now off the hook.

In an attempt to rattle the cages of some hard working people, join in an atmosphere of free expression, and attempt to illustrate the point that their attempts are in vain. The only conclusion truly drawn from this entire experience is that while irony is fucking hilarious to some, it doesn’t make a very good vehicle for political debate as what was initially thought

KRXQ Makes Apology, No Words On Intersex Remarks

A couple of days ago I recapped the KRXQ issue. Today, June 11, the Rob, Arnie and Dawn show came on air to officially apologize for their crudely ignorant and dehumanizing remarks on transfolks and transgender children.

Arnie States, one of the hosts, apparently claimed ignorance in his apology, saying that he “didn’t realize that my words could really affect and hurt as bad and as negatively as they did,” which, I mean, makes sense, except for the fact that they advocated throwing shoes at children, which, in my case, seems like it could hurt.

Rob Williams, brilliant owner of the Rob, Arnie and Dawn show, apologized by saying that “our audience made it clear that we had actually made it seem as though we endorse or allow… or encourage the harming and abuse of children, the bullying and villifying of those who are different and singling out of transgenders * for harm and/or mocking.”

(*Transgender people is a more accurate term.. just a note.)

One thing that I think got completely swept under the rug was one of the hosts’ remarks about intersex individuals as “the real, literal freaks of nature.” No one necessarily apologized for this comment nor did any of the advocates that I saw actually say mention to defend intersex individuals.

Intersex does not always mean transgendered. Intersex individuals are those who are born with both sets of biological sex characteristics.

In the past, parents dealt with this issue by deciding on the sex of the child, removing the “null” biological parts, and moving on with their lives. Often times, the child grows up feeling distressed about gender identity. What if the gender the child feels does not match their biological characteristics? There has been extreme controversy in the past decade as to whether genital surgery on intersex infants is ethical or the right thing to do. One of the largest advocates for intersex people, the Intersex Society of North America, has found that the best possible way for parents to help their children with this condition is to assign a gender (withOUT biological surgery) and, with extensive therapy and counseling as well as peer-to-peer support, allow the child to figure out for his, her or their fluid self, which gender feels more appropriate for who they are as they get older and come more into their own.

This does run in the same line with transgender folks on this aspect, and while I think there is a lot inter-relativity, intersex individuals still get swept under the rug a lot when it comes to advocacy and education.

ISNA has done extensive research on the conditions of these individuals and can provide a TON of information for those looking to learn more on the issue.

The Gay Language: Polari makes comeback, but not really.

Gay slang was heavily used in the 1960s around the time that prosecution was causing us to riot and fight back for equal civil rights. It allowed the GLBT community to communicate in a heterosexual environment without fear of being outed, hated, or attacked as being homosexual.

In the UK, a gay language known as Polari sprang up, but not much has been written about the subject. As scholars delve more into GLBT history, activism, and effects, interest has piqued. Apparently, it’s been hard to track down exact origins or dictionaries of words due to it’s oral nature. (ha.. bad sexual pun, sorry).

However, some small efforts have been made. Some Polari words actually made their way into mainstream language, and some are words we still use today. Here are some common examples:

bod – body (simple, right?)
butch – masculine, masculine lesbian (this has become slightly pejorative)
dish – an attractive male, or buttocks (a term chauvinists use for women now)
drag – clothes, esp. women’s clothes
fruit – a queen, now also pejorative unless you’re gay

It’s not too surprising that a gay slang developed in the UK. British people mostly have an almost unintelligible slang to Americans anyway. Hilariously enough, in a dictionary of British slang I found the following entry:

gannet Noun. A greedy person.

Sound familiar?