Saturday, March 30, 2013

Wikileaks: The Forgotten Man (Private Bradley Manning)

Private Bradley Manning is clearly the most interesting and important figure in the WikiLeaks controversy, but the media has been obsessed with WikiLeaks publsiher Julian Assange. Currently, Manning is wasting away in solitary confinement, with David House being one of the small number of civilians allowed to see him.

House describes the young soldier's mental deterioration and his struggle to deal with long hours of solitary confinement, often without clothing. "The US Government is just trying to put immense pressure on him in order to get him to crack open.

A lot of people see Manning as a hero - a young man who was appalled by the things he saw happening (including war crimes and violations of the Geneva Conventions) in Iraq and decided that the American people should know what their government is doing. Others see him as a traitor who deserves nothing less than conviction and execution for treason.

What do you think?

The film includes interviews with Julian Assange, former military analyst Daniel Ellsberg, former WikiLeaks spokesperson Daniel Dmosceit-Berf, Manning supporter David House, hacker Adrian Lamo, and New York Times Washington Bureau Chief Dean Baquet.


Private Bradley Manning is the man United States authorities allege stole classified military files, providing them to WikiLeaks for publication.

While WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange battles to avoid extradition from the United Kingdom to Sweden, on the other side of the Atlantic Bradley Manning is facing a court martial. If found guilty Manning could spend the rest of his life in prison.

It’s a case that has all the hallmarks of a spy thriller. Bradley Manning was an American soldier serving in Iraq, when he allegedly downloaded classified military files onto a disk storing Lady Gaga songs. A short time later the authorities arrested Manning and he’s been in a military jail ever since.

Early last year reporter Quentin McDermott told the story of Bradley Manning and the people who’d helped the United States government build a case against him. This film uncovers crucial new elements describing the ferocious battle between hackers and the U.S. government as they pursue Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.

The Forgotten Man also interviews Juan Mendez, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, about the treatment of Bradley Manning. Mr Mendez says Manning was subjected to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment during his “excessive and prolonged isolation” at Quantico Marine Corps Base outside Washington.

But one question still remains: will Bradley Manning attempt to avoid a life sentence by turning against Julian Assange?

Friday, March 29, 2013

Omnivore - Gendering Everything

From Bookforum's Omnivore blog, a great collection of links on gender studies, masculinity, tough guys, and how being attractive makes men funnier (and here I thought being funny might be make me more attractive).

Gendering everything

MAR 28 2013 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Dax Shepard's Tribute to His Deceased Father

America is obsessed with celebrity. We like to know all the dirty details about Lindsey Lohan's latest arrest, or Charlie Sheen's insanity, or who George Clooney is dating this month. Most of it is shallow and meaningless.

However, once in a while a celebrity does or says something worth noting.

Actor Dax Shepard is probably best known for his relationship with actress Kristin Bell (Veronica Mars on television, and a whole mess of romantic comedies), but he is on the critically-acclaimed television show Parenthood and has been in several (mostly unknown) films.

Now, he will be known - at least for a while - as the author of a post on his Tumblr blog honoring his deceased father, a post entitled My Father's Horniness. It's really touching and emotionally honest reflection on his last visits with his father - and it's nice to see someone who is a celebrity doing something human and authentic.

Here is the summary from Huffington Post:

Dax Shepard Writes Emotional Post About His Late Father and Kristen Bell

It's like an episode of "Parenthood" -- funny, dramatic and sure to make you cry -- but a recent tear-jerker of a blog post by one of the show's stars is not fiction at all. On his Tumblr, actor Dax Shepard writes about the last visit he had with his dying father, including this poignant moment with his pregnant fiancée, Kristen Bell.Story continues below photo.

His father, who was only 62, was in a Detroit hospital battling cancer, Shepard writes. Bell, who is due to give birth this spring, had been shooting in Los Angeles, but flew to Detroit to surprise them.
It was an amazing, incredible, perfectly timed surprise. She lifted her shirt up and he put his hand on her swollen stomach. He left it there for the better part of an hour. He was smiling from ear to ear, sitting contently, unable to put together a sentence, but still capable of connecting to the new family member we were creating. He wasn’t going to make it to the birth, but that didn’t get in the way of him meeting the new baby. It was an emotional and triumphant moment. One I will never forget. If I live to be a thousand, I will still be in debt to my wife for giving him that one last thrill.
Though Shepard calls Bell his wife in the post, the couple have said they will not wed until their gay friends have the same right.

Any parent who has lost their own mom or dad before their kids were born or old enough to know grandparents knows what kind of hole it leaves. That is why Shepard's anecdote about Bell's role in this visit is especially touching. Yes, as TODAY points out there is a certain allure in learning what two incredibly likable stars experience when cameras aren't rolling, and we have an obsession with celebrity parents that is well-documented. But it is impossible to not feel a twinge of empathy when reading Shepard's tale about Bell's drop-in at his father's bedside.

Shepard writes that he was in the midst of a very full shooting schedule when he first found out about his dad's illness, and he and Bell had just learned they were having a baby. "Whoever was writing my life couldn’t figure out which storyline they wanted to tell, and decided to tell them all at once," he writes.

The actor shares details of his father's life: he was an alcoholic with a colorful group of friends and a big appetite. Dad and Shepard moved 28 times, and when the actor did find "pockets of time" to see his father while he was sick, they would drive around Michigan, looking at all of those homes. "The car rides proved to be shockingly therapeutic," he says. And his father had a "way with women." Shepard's post is titled "My Father's Horniness" for a reason. (Go read it here because it is a beautiful piece.)

Almost 1,500 fans have left notes for Shepard on Tumblr, and his tweet about the piece has been retweeted hundreds of times. This morning, he sent out a message of thanks.

Here is the beginning of Shepard's blog post about his father:

My Father’s Horniness

My father, Dave Robert Shepard Sr., died on either December 30th or December 31st, depending on what time zone you were in. I received the call on the 30th at 11:30PM in Los Angeles, but the caller, positioned in Detroit, was two hours deep into the 31st. He was dead at 62 years old. Small cell carcinoma was to blame. It originated in the lungs and then travelled with great speed to all corners of his body.

I had been back to Detroit just six days before and was disappointed I couldn’t be with him at the actual finish line. We were partners. We had taken on this cancer project together. He chose me to deal with all the doctors and creditors and landlords. It was the only project we ever teamed up on. We never built a tree house or a soap box derby car together, but you would have never known it by watching us tear through chemo decisions and radiation plans. We were two great minds with one single thought: get into the end zone gracefully.

He had noticed a lump in his neck in August. A biopsy was taken and some chest x-rays. “A mass” was detected on the lungs. Those were his words to me, “a mass,” which sounded much more like the words of a doctor than the retired car salesman that he was. He was much more prone to use the word “fuck,” and I wondered while he was telling me this news if he realized how serious that word was. Test results from the “lump,” which turned out to be a swollen lymph node, came back positive for cancer. It was the phone call you see on TV and in movies. It was happening to me now, and I found the timing to be exceedingly inconvenient. In movies, news of this kind seems to always coincide with a huge hole in the lead character’s schedule. He or she is able to spend vast amounts of time at the bedside of the loved one, or at a diner having coffee and pie with estranged family members. This flexible schedule allows for some high quality catharsis to take place.

I was acting full time on a TV show based in LA when I got the call. He was in Detroit. On my days off from the TV show I was traveling around the country promoting a movie I had directed. During the month of August I went to Portland, Seattle, Chicago, Detroit, San Diego, Nashville, Memphis and New York. Compounding all of this was the recent and incredibly fortuitous news that my wife and I were pregnant with our first baby. Whoever was writing my life couldn’t figure out which storyline they wanted to tell, and decided to tell them all at once.

As tends to happen in real life, despite it being inconvenient, it all worked out. Pockets of time opened up here and there and I was able to go back to Detroit often. My initial response was to get him to do chemo in LA. Surely the weather would be better. He wasn’t having it. I then made a strong push for him to go to Oregon to be with my brother. Nope. He was staying in Detroit. He had a huge support system of friends there, and in the end, it was the right decision.

His friends. This is relevant. One of the few upsides of my father being dead is that I can now break his anonymity and state plainly that he was a proud member of Alcoholics Anonymous for over 25 years. During that quarter-of-a-century span, he accumulated the most colorful, caring, fucked-up group of friends you’d ever want to see. It was a rag-tag band of misfits bound together only by their shared desire to not get loaded anymore. What a group. It was truly his greatest accomplishment. They all loved him in a way that even my brother and I had a hard time doing. He hadn’t missed any of their birthdays or soccer games, and they saw only the man who had helped so many struggling folks get sober. They were by his side, uninterrupted, from diagnosis to death. Often annoying, but always a blessing, they gave him the greatest gift possible: their time. He was never alone. Not for one second.

When I visited we would break up the chemo routine with trips to the cineplex or restaurants of his choosing. He loved to eat. Holy shit could he eat. Of all of his addictions, and there were many (drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, sex, cars, houses, shiny things), eating was his number one. He never did get a handle on that vice. He could hunker down in front of the TV for hours, nibbling with comma-inducing ferocity the entire time. Nothing in the pantry was safe. He would come up with the most counter-intuitive combinations of food. Like a true alchemist, he’d put salsa on oatmeal, or smother frozen waffles with a can of black beans. He was like a perpetually stoned, pregnant woman. No permutation of ingredients was out of the question; anything was possible. It was a sight to behold.

We had a lot of fun together during those four months. We took long car rides through the back roads of rural Michigan. We spent a weekend visiting every single house and apartment the two of us had ever lived in. There were 28 between the two of us. Together we had only shared three of those places: a single-wide mobile home from 0-1 years-old, a small, brick ranch on a few acres in the middle of nowhere from 1-3 years-old, and a modern, middle-class home in a McMansion-ee neighborhood from 15-16 years-old. It was that gap between 3 and 15 years-old that caused most of our issues. He was a selfish asshole, and I lived to hold a grudge, so it was a thoroughly symbiotic pairing. The car rides proved to be shockingly therapeutic. One of the hidden benefits of cancer is that it can erode grudges the way WD-40 dissolves rust. It just finds it’s way into all the nooks and crannies and starts loosening. Before long, the once formidable chip on my shoulder had melded into something the size of a nicotine patch. Apologies were exchanged. Tears were had. Hugs were frequent and lingering. I spent the majority of our time together running my hand lightly over the tiny little hairs peaking out from the back of his soft, bald head. He let me do that for hours. Without any awareness of it at the time, the trips home turned into a proper Alexander Payne Movie. It became one of the more beautiful experiences of my life.

Things got worse, as they do. Car rides gave way to hospitals and senior care facilities. His last two months were spent dealing with cancer, heart disease and gout. He had an increasingly difficult time walking and spent most of his time in bed. On my last trip home, just before Christmas, I took him on his final jailbreak. I threw him in a wheelchair and rolled him through 20 degree weather to his favorite restaurant, where I watched him pick at his waffles and bacon. He couldn’t have had more than four bites over the course of an hour. It was a very clear signal to me that the end was near. I took him, for the last time, to his house. I gave him his percocet and sat him in front of the TV. He held the remote in his right hand like a six-shooter, splitting his attention between the TV, the view of the lake through the sliding glass door, and me. It was wonderful. We sat that way for over three hours.
Go read the whole post.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Laura Beck - Men Are Not Constantly Thinking About Humping You

This article from Jezebel, a blog ostensibly for women, posted this piece by Laura Beck (an editor at Jezebel) back in February that attempts to dispel the pervasive myth that men do nothing bu think about sex and that men in relationships are always wanting more sex than their partners.

She cites a recent study of married couples revealing that 80 percent of men reported being very happy or happy with their sex lives, as opposed to only 61 percent of women. It seems men are okay with their married sex lives (contrary to all of the sitcom jokes about sex stopping at the marriage night).

In fact, thirty-nine percent of men report having sex out of obligation at least sometimes. Who woulda thunk?

This is a good piece - worth a few minutes of your time - and it would be good to share this with the female in your life.

Men Are Not Constantly Thinking About Humping You

FEB 12, 2013

 Laura Beck

According to a new survey of married couples, more men than women are happy with their sex lives. Specifically, 80 percent of men reported being very happy or happy with their sex lives, as opposed to 61 percent of women. If that's the case, why are many women's magazines so busy telling ladies how to do sex better? When such a high percentage of men are pleased with the bedroom action, is it necessary to teach women how to fuck backwards and upside down between subway cars just to keep their man satisfied?

It goes hand in hand with the lie that women don't want sex often (or athletically) enough for most men. As sure as Trina brags in Frikitonia, "I'm a lady in the streets and a freak in the sheets," many women believe that the ideal girlfriend or wife is always up for some xxx-rated between-the-sheets shenanigans.

It's not surprising women accept this as gospel. Who hasn't heard the lie that men think about sex every seven seconds? Combine that persistent rumor with the constant confrontation from a multitude of media that aims to make ladies as insecure as possible, and it's not hard to see why men are viewed as sex machines from the fuck factory.

Fortunately for everyone, this isn't reality. In fact, in the same iVillage survey, thirty-nine percent of men report having sex out of obligation at least sometimes. Imagine that! And according to the Kinsey Institute, the men and sex thinking numbers are significantly less terrifying — "54% of men think about sex everyday or several times a day, 43% a few times per month or a few times per week, and 4% less than once a month."

Interestingly, in one study, men's fantasies mentioned a partner's sexual desire and pleasure more frequently than did women's fantasies (Zurbriggen & Yost, 2004). For the amount of information that's out there telling women how to appeal to men's horizontal proclivities, it's fascinating that men might be more interested in their partner's desire and pleasure.

So why do women readily believe that men have an insatiable desire for sexy sex that must be tended to? Maybe it's because sex sells, and it's paramount that woman accept they need to keep their man sexually fascinated or he'll cheat with a limber nympho that's half her age and body weight. Feeding these insecurities sells more than just magazines, it keeps entire industries afloat. It's not hard to believe that cosmetics, plastic surgery, weight loss clinics and pills, waxing and other "self care", and many more would take a hit if women weren't so concerned with how their appearance affects men.

The reality that men are greater than the sum of their dick and balls isn't quite as, well, sexy to businesses built on the back of ladies self-doubt. But the truth is, men in communicative relationships built on trust and respect are often happy with their sex life, and that probably includes plenty of weeks where you only do it once. In missionary. With hairy legs (both of you). Or whatever's normal in your couple. If you've made it to the altar, you probably have a pretty good idea of what that is.

Just like how (most) women don't want to engage in seven hours or foreplay before allowing another to penetrate That Which Is Most Sacred, men don't need to dip their dick into every vagina all the time to feel happiness. Perhaps most married men are happy sexually because they're in loving relationships with the right amount of physical intimacy (read: boning, et al) for them and their partner?

Now we just have to work on improving the percentage of married women who are happy with their sex.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

AZ SB 1045 - Discrimination Against TRansgender People and Anyone Who Does Not Identify or Appear as Biologically Male or Female

I received this email today from the Arizona Counselors Association - I have sent a letter to Mr. Kavanagh, who drafted this "strike everything" amendment to Senate Bill 1045 expressing my concerns around legalizing discrimination against anyone who does look or identify as strictly male or female by traditional standards.

If you are a counselor or even a concerned citizen in Arizona, please write to one the representatives below.

Social Justice Action

Transgender SB1045 - No Loo 4U

Re: SB 1045
Who: All Mental Health Professionals
When: ASAP, prior to March 27th 2pm
How To: See Below

Transgender SB1045
No Loo 4U

The Appropriations Committee will be hearing a strike everything amendment tied to SB 1045 proposed by state Representative John Kavanagh. The strike everything amendment is clearly targeting and discriminating transgender individuals and is an affront to civil rights and human rights. The Government Relations/Public Policy Committee and AzALGBTIC of the Arizona Counselors Association are asking that Professional Counselors, Counselor Educators, and Counseling Students write the members of the Appropriations Committee expressing their reasons that they vote "NO" on the Kavanagh Amendment. As counselors, part of our identity is addressing oppression and abuses of power and privilege, this is an opportunity for counselors to practice Social Justice. Please take a few minutes and write to the Appropriations Committee.

This is a link to read the strike out amendment:

Here are some talking points you can pick and choose from:

There is no problem for this bill to solve. There are no cases of transgender people causing problems in "private" spaces. It is unnecessary and only promotes discrimination. Instead of the government protecting the most vulnerable, this only encourages people to bully them.

This law tries to single out transgender people with targeted discrimination. It serves no purpose but to deny a specific minority with rights others enjoy. Such laws are unconstitutional.

This is fear mongering, a victimization of transgender people. The problem isn't them, it's other people's irrational and unjustified fear. Legislating discrimination against the innocent to satisfy the irrational fears of the privileged is the worst kind of discrimination.

This bill is written with the presumption that transgender people are inherently dangerous and society needs to be protected from them. There is no rational basis for this.

Transgender people are struggling with a recognized medical condition, they face horrible levels of discrimination, and most of them live in poverty. This just encourages people to pick on the weakest among us. This is bullying in law.

Transgender people are the most murdered minority in America. We are the ones who need protection. Others do not need protection from us. Laws like this promote the hate that gets people killed.

Everyone has a gender expression, not just transgender people. This makes it legal to humiliate men for having long hair by forcing them to use a women's room, or degrading women who wear pants by pointing them at the men's room.

This bill in no way addresses physical anatomy, which is what Kavanagh claims it is about. It just characterizes all transgender people as deserving denial of access to all private places.

Last week, Mr. Kavanagh said all transgender people should be in jail. This week he says they should just be degraded and humiliated when trying to use a public restroom. Perhaps next week he will actually get to know one of us and realize that we are just people. You are rushing in and passing laws on something you know nothing about. This is not governance.

This is an inappropriate revision to the law to be coming out of Appropriations. This law has absolutely nothing to do with government expenditure and is nothing but condoning of discrimination in the private sector.

Please send your emails to the members of the Appropriations Committee before 2:00 pm Wednesday, March 27, 2013.

Chairman: John Kavanagh (R) 602-926-5170
Vice-Chair: Justin Olson (R) 602-926-5288
Lela Alston (D) 602-926-5829 fref=ts
Rick Gray (R) 602-926-5993 fref=ts
Michelle Ugenti (R) 602-926-4480
Paul Boyer (R) 602-926-4173 fref=ts
Adam Kwasman (R) 602-926-5839
Chad Campbell (D) 602-926-3026
Stefanie Mach (D) 602-417-3126
Thomas Forese (R) 602-926-5168
Andrew Sherwood (D) 602-926-3028

I would also copy your state Senators and Representative by using the link below to find out who they are:

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me, Elizabeth Forsyth (, or Chad Mosher (

Thank you for your efforts to stand for justice and equality,

Gordon Gray and Elizabeth Forsyth (President of the Arizona Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues in Counseling- AzALGBTIC)

Gordon Gray II
Government Relations/Public Policy Chair
AzALGBTIC Bylaws Chair
Arizona Counselors Association
P.O. Box 38652
Phoenix, AZ 85069
602-300-6198 (Cell)
623-748-9599 (FAX)

Flexible Gender Identities Confound Expectations Of A Male And Female World

This article comes from NPR's 13.7 Cosmos and Culture blog. Barbara King reports on an incident that happened in Virginia (where she lives) in which a transgendered woman was asked to leave a spa (with sex-segregated baths) because of five complaints that she didn't look feminine enough (she is a marathoner and happens to be muscular). The complaints had nothing to do with her genitalia, only her muscular appearance.

From this story, King moves into the complex world of fluid gender identities, something this culture is going to have to deal with as more and more people become gender-queer (whether they identify that way or not).

Flexible Gender Identities Confound Expectations Of A Male And Female World

Riya Suising

March 14, 2013

Last month, a traveler from California named Riya Suising came to Virginia (where I live) on business. While here, Suising decided to visit a spa and relax in its communal, sex-segregated baths, something she, a marathon runner, often does at home.

What happened next shocked her. The spa's manager asked Suising to leave, based on what he said were five complaints lodged by other spa customers. For some people, Suising — who, by her own description is tall and muscular, with broad shoulders — did not look feminine enough to be sitting in the female baths.

Suising, a transgendered person, told The Fairfax Times: "None of the complaints, as they were described to me, referenced my genitalia in any way. I can't believe that they would discriminate based on physical appearance. I was not doing anything but keeping to myself."

It's that comment of Suising's — I was not doing anything but keeping to myself — that I find most poignant. And this was no momentary lapse in judgment for which the spa subsequently apologizes. No, as The Fairfax Times article makes clear, it's the spa's policy to not accept what it terms "any kinds of abnormal sexual oriented customers," a policy that's been interpreted as legal in Virginia.

I learned about what happened to Suising from my daughter, Sarah Hogg, after discussing with her a book we'd both just read: Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg. In this novel, a young person named Jess Goldberg, born female, struggles for many years with gender identity.

As an adolescent, Jess identifies as butch in a butch-femme culture, and later takes steps, including hormone therapy and breast-reduction surgery, to pass as a man. Later still, Jess embraces an identity that is neither wholly female nor wholly male.

Repeatedly, Jess loses hir job (this pronoun is meant to adress Jess' blended identity). Jess is also attacked and beaten. The attacks occur not only when police raid the bars Jess visits in the 1960s and 1970s (both before and after Stonewall), but also when Jess is out in the everyday world, shopping or waiting for the subway. In other words, harm comes to hir even when Jess is not doing anything but keeping to hirself.

There was something different about Jess. For some people, being unable to categorize hir as male or female upon sight was disconcerting enough to trigger discrimination, or worse.

Author Feinberg, a political journalist and gender activist, notes in an afterword that, though fiction, the book is "Real all right. So real it bleeds."

I asked my daughter Sarah — who thinks about these things in the course of her leadership role with James Madison University's Madison Equality organization — two questions: Was it believable that someone who just looked different would be the target of such discrimination in the everyday world, even when keeping to hirself? And even if that result had occurred decades ago, weren't people more informed, aware, and accepting now?

That's when Sarah showed me the article about Suising. While Suising wasn't physically harmed at the spa, the incident clearly and understandably has caused her much emotional pain. What happened at that spa was wrong. Suising identifies as female: end of the story (or it should be). As with anyone, she should be judged on her behavior, not her appearance.

I've written it here before: there's so much gender variety in our world, beyond a strict, imagined born-male versus born-female dichotomy. Some people identify as female, some as male, some as both male and female, some as neither. Feinberg has the character Jess speak this truth through fiction:
Who was I now, woman or man? I fought long and hard to be included as woman among women, but I always felt so excluded by my differences. ... Who was I now, woman or man? That question could never be answered as long as those were the only choices; it could never be answered if it had to be asked.

~ You can keep up with more of what Barbara is thinking on Twitter: @bjkingape

Monday, March 25, 2013

As Predicted, Sandusky Denies Sexually Molesting Boys

As predicted here yesterday, Jerry Sandusky (who is serving 30-60 years in prison for 45 counts of child sexual abuse) continues to deny sexually molesting those young boys and maintains his innocence.

It turns out the "interview" NBC's "The Today Show" acquired was actually taken from 3+ hours of filmed interviews by John Ziegler, a film-maker intent on clearing Joe Paterno's name and reputation. Based on the info in this CBS News article, Ziegler likely is not the most reputable guy around:
Ziegler said the interviews were conducted during three sessions, and told the AP on Monday that additional excerpts will be posted online over the coming days. The transcripts were posted by Ziegler on his site,

He describes himself as an author, broadcaster, commentator and maker of films, including the 2009 movie "Media Malpractice: How Obama Got Elected and Palin Was Targeted."

Along with the Sandusky interview material, Ziegler posted a piece about himself that anticipates critical media coverage of his background. As an example, he noted he has been "fired in radio lots of times for saying things which seem outrageous."

Penn State, which funded an investigation by former FBI director Louis Freeh that concluded Paterno and other top university officials covered up allegations against Sandusky in order to protect the school's reputation, issued a statement that said Sandusky's latest remarks "continue to open wounds for his victims, and the victims of child sexual abuse everywhere."

Attorneys for the boy whose assault was witnessed by Mike McQueary said their client -- identified as Victim 2 in court documents -- "have heard enough from Jerry Sandusky."

The lawyers -- Joel Feller, Matt Casey, Justine Andronici and Andrew Shubin -- issued a statement Monday saying Victim 2 and their other clients are focusing on "healing and holding Penn State accountable for choosing to protect Jerry Sandusky and themselves instead of protecting children from years of horrific sexual abuse."
In addition, Yahoo News reports that Ziegler is looking to acquire financing for a full-length documentary to clear Joe Paterno’s name. He was no doubt paid quite nicely for these "first time" clips of Sandusky. NBC should be ashamed for promoting this sensationalist shit, and for giving that slime-ball a public forum on which to deny the crimes for which he was convicted, the deny the trauma he put those boys through.

Apparently, attorneys for "Victim 2" have posted a couple of the voice mails Sandusky left for their client in the days leading up to his arrest, purportedly trying to exert some influence on him.

What follows below is part of statement the lawyers left on their website about the case against Sandusky and that they are also representing other victims.
Our client has to live the rest of his life not only dealing with the effects of Sandusky's childhood sexual abuse, but also with the knowledge that many powerful adults, including those at the highest levels of Penn State, put their own interests and the interests of a child predator above their legal obligations to protect him.

We have conducted an extensive investigation and gathered overwhelming evidence regarding the details of the abuse he suffered. This evidence includes numerous voicemails left by Sandusky in the fall of 2011 as the likelihood of his indictment became apparent. Today, we are releasing two of those voicemails. As these messages indicate, Sandusky was attempting to exert control over our client even as his arrest for child sexual abuse became imminent. They can be heard by visiting the Ross Feller Casey, LLP website at Due to the sensitive nature of the ongoing criminal and civil cases, we will not make additional comments at this time.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

‘Today Show’ to Air Interview with Convicted Pedophile Jerry Sandusky

This is repulsive and irresponsible in more ways than I can count. NBC’s desire to air sensationalist material - obviously to get higher ratings - is seriously repulsive. If Sandusky wanted to give his side of the story he should have done it in court.

Giving a convicted pedophile a national platform to deny the sexual abuse he inflicted on so many young men is simply re-victimizing them and adding further trauma to what they have already experienced. I work with survivors of sexual trauma, both male and female, so I know how deeply wounded these young men are, and will continue to be for many years. For a national tv show to intentionally re-traumatize them is unconscionable.

I would love to see an organized boycott of NBC, or at least of “The Today Show” – this is simply unacceptable.

Kenny Bodanis blogs at, one of Canada's top parenting blogs (and the only one written by a dad to make the top ten list). I agree with everything he says in this post.

‘Today Show’ Promotes Nauseating Interview With Jerry Sandusky

MARCH 24, 2013 

Kenny Bodanis questions why Jerry Sandusky should be given a platform to tell “his side of the story?” 

The following blurb appeared in the Montreal Gazette’s sports section this morning. It was, no doubt, picked up from an American wire service:

Sandusky to Tell His Story on NBC 
State College, PA. 
NBC says it will air an interview with former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky Monday on the Today Show. NBC says the convicted sex offender will give his account of the encounters that landed him in prison and discuss former boss Joe Paterno. Sandusky is serving a 30 to 60 year prison term for 45 counts of child sexual abuse.

Who is the target audience for this interview? Who just can’t wait to hear this pedophile give “his account of the encounters” he had with children?

What do people expect to hear? Details? Excuses? Apologies? Blame?

What has this creep done to deserve a national platform through which he can give his side of the story?

If he cries on air, I might throw up.

This seems to be mass media’s new modus operandi – crowding around felons, deceivers, and deviants hoping for that shocking morsel which will become a viral clip on YouTube, carrying their ratings through sweeps week.

It is sickening to imagine the celebration and congratulations which probably took place during the production meeting when the Today Show learned they scored this interview: “Good job, everyone!”

Whatever “explanation” Sandusky may give for his actions, will come from the mouth of a liar who was able to scare dozens of abused students into silence year after year.

Sandusky deserves nothing more than that same isolation, in a cell, for the next 60 years.

Photo: AP/Matt Rourke

About Kenny Bodanis
Kenny Bodanis is the author of - named by Reader's Digest Canada as one of that country's top parenting bloggers - the only dad on the list. He is currently editing his first parenting book, and is a monthly parenting columnist on Montreal radio. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Google +

"Sexuality in Focus" - February 2013 Issue of Graduate Journal of Social Science

There are some interesting articles in the new issue of the Graduate Journal of Social Science (GJSS) with a focus on Sexuality in Focus, Volume 10 Issue 1, February 2013. You can download the full issue at this link:

Full Issue
GJSS February 2013, Volume 10, Issue 1 [PDF]
Among the more interesting articles, to me, are the following:

Editorial: Sexualities in the Margins: Creating a Space for Conversations
Arpita Das, Annelies Kleinherenbrink and Ebtihal Mahadeen
GJSS 2013 10:1, pp. 7-12. [PDF]

Here is the beginning of the editorial, which serves to introduce the topic and the papers in this issue:
Although intrinsic to one’s being, sexuality remains a controversial and taboo subject around the world. While certain cultures may appear to be more forthcoming in discussing certain aspects of sexuality, holistic discussions are still in short supply everywhere. In addition, whereas open conversations on sexuality are almost invisible in certain regions, in others they are mostly limited to the heterosexual, white, non-disabled, monogamous and marital realms. In some regions, the mainstream discourses on sexuality are limited to ambits of reproduction and reproductive health alone, thereby rendering invisible conversations on, for example, non-marital and nonheterosexual sexualities. In others still, it may be easier to talk about sexuality in the contexts of public health and/or sexual abuse and assault. However these discussions may again be limited to specific populations. For example, it could be claimed that it is more acceptable to talk about sexual violence against women and girls, but these conversations become strained in the context of sexual assault of men and boys as the social construction of masculinity imagines men as only the perpetrators, but never the victims and survivors, of sexual violence. Thus, although conversations around sexuality have undoubtedly shifted and expanded in the past few years, they still remain confined to the stereotypical stranglehold. Discussions and debates around affirmative sexuality and sexual rights remain scarce or limited to certain spaces, and we often find that even when sexuality is discussed, certain sexualities are deemed legitimate while others are pronounced perverse, immoral, unhealthy or illegitimate.  
This special edition of the Graduate Journal of Social Science (GJSS) is inspired by a unique event, which sought to create a space to talk about marginalized aspects of sexuality. The 2011 NOISE (Network of Interdisciplinary Women’s Studies in Europe) summer school ran in Breukelen, the Netherlands, under the title The Miraculous (Dis)-Appearing Act of Sexuality: Mapping the Study of Sexuality in Europe, 1960-2010. It was there that we, the editors of this special issue, met as participants. The academic institute created a space for conversations on an eclectic selection of subjects – including the history of sexualities in Europe, lesbian and gay sexualities, the emergence of heterosexuality as a concept, intersexualization, homonationalism, as well as nuanced discussions on homosexuality, bisexuality, queer and transgender politics, amongst other topics. Conversations during this academic institute opened up avenues to reflect on many of the unconventional, the invisible and the marginalized aspects of sexuality. Sexuality in Focus emerged from the discussions and debates in Breukelen, and we hope that this diverse collection of papers will speak to a diverse range of readers and academics who are engaged and invested in the broader realm of sexuality studies.
I thought each of these articles to be interesting and informative, especially the piece on pansexuality as opposition the fixed heteronormative models of sexual identity.

Establishing Asexual Identity: The Essential, the Imaginary, and the Collective
Agata Pacho
GJSS 2013 10:1, pp. 13-35. [PDF]

Abstract. Sexuality is seen as a crucial aspect of one's identification and sexual desire is perceived as the core of one's identity. Therefore, the emergence of an asexual identity constitutes a radical disruption of approaches to identity and epistemology in social science. This study explores a virtual community of asexual individuals who engage in discussions about contradictory processes of identification, the instability of sexual identities, gender relations and possible representations of asexuality. This work locates the process of sustaining an asexual identity and its representation within a broader critique of essentialist positions. Furthermore, it investigates the distinctive features of on-line communities and the implications of the Internet in their establishment. These findings may lead to a better understanding of asexuality as well as an enhanced insight into the social and cultural negotiations over the sexual.


Pansexual Identification in Online Communities: Employing a Collaborative Queer Method to Study Pansexuality
Ayisigi Hale Gonel
GJSS 2013 10:1, pp. 36-60. [PDF]

Abstract. The research investigates different aspects of pansexual self-identification within contemporary online communities. To explore this, it is asked whether pansexual identification constitutes an anti-identity position against conservative conceptualisations of identity, as well as the new-homonormativities that mainstream LGBTQ movements of the West engage in to invest in normalcy. It must be noted that, while the research has the deconstructionist focus of queer theory, the anti-identity position of pansexuality investigated does not refer to a performative failure of the subject. As stated, the anti-identity position proposed is pansexual identification's possible opposition to 'traditional' and fixed readings of identity, and the 'respectable' features of new-homonormativities. The study explores the way in which pansexuality is understood as a multiple and flexible identity that exists in stark opposition to binaries of sex and gender in the eyes of the research respondents. As the research investigates pansexual identifications online by gathering data through an online survey, it follows a collaborative queer method that represents a conjunction of queer theory, sociology and cyberstudies.


The Experimental Neuro-Framing of Sexuality
Isabelle Dussauge
GJSS 2013 10:1, pp. 124-151. [PDF]

Abstract. Brain scans of homosexuality, sexual desire and images of male and female brain function are becoming a common element of popular scientific news. How is sexuality re-described and re-produced when studied in brain scanners? This article explores the cultural production of sexuality in the growing field of neuroimaging research. In focus is the neural framing of sexuality, i.e. the process by which sexuality is understood as a matter of brain activity and visualizable with medical imaging technologies. The neuroframing of sexual- ity enables a reproduction of socio-cultural notions of difference, but also of neuroscience's own notions of agency. The neural framing of sexuality re- mediates an idealized sexuality: ageless, neatly oriented, bodiless although haunted by the de-animated body, unfolding neatly as a sequential response of a psychological inside to an inanimate outside, and essentialized as independent from its feelers and objects.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Wil Fleming - Olympic Lift Variations to Get Big

From T-Nation, this article by Wil Fleming offers a selection of Olympic lift combos to build size as well as strength. There are videos demonstrating each of the combos and if this seems like something you might enjoy doing, there is a sample three-week workout program over at T-Nation to get you started.

In my opinion, Olympic lifts and their variations are some of the best exercises available for recruiting a LOT of muscles, for building strength, and if you do combos like these with lighter weights (once you get the form down), they are excellent for burning fat.

Summer is right around the corner . . . .

Olympic Lift Variations to Get Big

by Wil Fleming – 3/19/2013

Sneak into any Russian training hall, Chinese sports school, or Bulgarian weightlifting Mecca and you'll see dozens of guys with traps popping out of their T-shirts, backs as wide as freeways, and quads that would make the Incredible Hulk turn another shade greener.

These world-class weightlifters may possess the powerful physiques we all want, yet they aren't following the typical models when it comes to putting on muscle mass.

It's not Hypertrophy Training For Dummies that they're using – you won't find these guys maxing out reps on the dumbbell shrug, leg extension, or leg curl machine. Instead, you'll see power cleans, snatches, deadlift variations, and several other killers that both stretch the seams of your shorts and scare your momma.

However, were I to peruse college textbooks or ask successful bodybuilder at the gym how to get ripped and get huge, it would be unlikely that the Olympic lifts would come up in any way, shape, or form.

It's because they're seemingly diametrically opposed endeavors, as the main thing it takes to put on muscle mass, high reps, is the kryptonite of Olympic lifting.

So what gives? My eyes tell me that Olympic lifting can make people jacked, but the textbooks and empirical evidence tell me that Olympic lifting and putting on size don't mix.

Hypertrophy Basics

If you're on this site you know how to get bigger. It's no secret, putting on size means some serious time under the bar, but let's review some hypertrophy basics.

The main objective in training for hypertrophy is maximal protein catabolism. In so doing, one should stimulate maximal synthesis of muscle protein in the recovery phase. Break down more muscle through your workouts and gain more muscle through your recovery.

Protein catabolism is greatest when the repetitions per set number 5-12, and the recovery between sets is 1-2 minutes. Training sessions for hypertrophy typically focus on a particular muscle group rather than a particular pattern of movement.

However, compare the above with Olympic lifting and you'll see more differences than while comparing Rambo to The Notebook.

There's absolutely nothing similar about training protocols for Olympic lifting and hypertrophy. Hypertrophy calls for high reps, Olympic lifting calls for low reps. Hypertrophy calls for minimal rest, Olympic lifting for maximal rest.

Variable  Hypertrophy  Normal O Lifting
Intent  Activate and exhaust working muscles  Recruit maximal motor units
Reps  5-7 to 10-12  1-3
Rest Intervals  1-2 minutes/set  3-5 minutes/set
Volume  Large  Small
Weight Used   Maximal or sub-maximal  Maximal or sub-maximal

So what gives? Training for hypertrophy and using Olympic lifting are like oil and water, but there obviously must be some way to get jacked and use Olympic lifting.

Using Olympic Lifting for HypertrophyOlympic Lift Variations to Get Big

There's one common problem that we must overcome to make Olympic lifting useful for hypertrophy.

Hypertrophy requires volume, and big increases in volume result in huge changes muscle size.

But this runs contrary to what most Olympic lifters typically do, as an Olympic lifting program for even a national level lifter rarely exceeds 200-300 reps per week.

Contrast this with the typical "3 sets of 10 reps" hypertrophy workout we often see recommended in beginner bodybuilding articles – applying that to just a total of 10 exercisesper week would yield more reps than most serious Olympic lifters do in a week.

Now this doesn't mean that sets of 3 reps are now sets of 10 and 12 reps. That won't work with the Olympic lifts (I'll explain why later). We sneak in volume by using combo movements to double or triple the volume of an exercise.

Heavy Combos

Combos are multiple movements completed 1 repetition at a time, or 1+1+1 until completion. This is in contrast to a complex where movements are completed in their entirety until completion.

Two examples of a heavy combo are below. The first is a clean combo of deadlift, full clean, and front squat.

In the video I complete it for 1 repetition each. The key here is that I chose a weight (125 kilos) that would be challenging had I done it for only 1 repetition of the full clean, as it's about 85% of my current 1RM.

In a typical Olympic lifting program, doing singles at 85% of your 1RM is not uncommon, but by using a combo I was able to sneak 2 extra reps in to my weekly volume. 
The second combo is a snatch combo of snatch deadlift, snatch high pull, and power snatch.

In the video I complete the movement for 1+1+1 x2, making the total reps completed in the set fall right in the middle of the number of reps one should be doing for hypertrophy (6 reps). 
Heavy combos used for hypertrophy should be done with 2-4 combined movements done one rep at a time. Make sure that when doing them the total reps completed within any given set doesn't exceed 10.

The Klokov Combo
The rules of combos go out the window with this one exception, the Klokov combo.

The Klokov combo is named after Russian lifter, Dmitry Klokov. This combo features 5 movements in sequence completed for 1 repetition each: deadlift, full clean, front squat, push press, and split jerk.

If combos are named after animals (i.e., the bear), this one should be named the shark-tiger-bear. Try completing this combo with 80-85% of your 1RM. 
Klokov has famously completed this exact complex with 205 kilos on the bar. The bar has been set!

5+5 Regression Complexes

While I'm trying to be all sneaky about adding extra reps into Olympic lifts to train for hypertrophy, I'm certain some are thinking, "Wait, why don't I just do sets of 8-12 reps on the clean?"

The answer is simple: high rep Olympic lifts are terrible for you. Consult any textbook and you'll find that Olympic lifts are never prescribed for more than 5 repetitions...ever. Consult any successful coach and they'll tell you that 90% of all sets should be done at 3 reps or below. See, no matter where you turn, it just isn't a good idea.

The problem with high rep Olympic lifts is that no matter how good the technician is at the movements, their form will ultimately break down as the set goes on.

The regression complex is a perfect remedy for this problem.

The concept is simple. Take a complex movement and at the precise moment that form typically breaks down, regress to a similar movement that requires less technical efficiency.

Here's a video of me doing a regression complex of power snatches and snatch grip Romanian deadlifts for 5 reps of each. It's another sneaky way to add repetitions to your Olympic lift training program and get huge in the process. 
A second example is to use the power clean and deadlift in a 3+3 complex. While 110 kilos isn't typically a challenging weight on the deadlift, it's an entirely different story after knocking out several cleans and clean pulls first. 

How to Use Them

So how do you use these? Should you just throw some extra reps at your workout and hope for some gains?

No, use the 3-week training program below to quickly develop mountainous traps, aircraft carrier lats, and giant quads. You've got my word on it.Week 1.
Go check out his sample program at T-Nation.

Friday, March 22, 2013

NPR - How A Patient's Suicide Changed A Doctor's Approach To Guns

This segment of All Things Considered aired on the local NPR station Wednesday evening. This struck me as a largely male issue -   men are more likely to be treated for depression by the family doctor than women (72-89% of females will see a mental health professional at some point, but only 41-58% of males will do so), men are more successful in committing suicide (by a margin of 4:1, even though more women attempt suicide, by a margin of 3:1), and men are more successful at suicide because they use guns (women tend to opt for overdose or cutting themselves).

When we finally look at the real numbers about guns and suicides, the debate about gun control is really an issue of suicide prevention, as noted by the Boston Globe:
In 2010, the last year for which complete numbers are available, the number of gun deaths by suicide in the United States outnumbered homicides 19,392 to 11,078. If you add up all American gun deaths that year, including accidents, 3 out of 5 people who died from gunshot wounds took their own lives. Those figures are not an anomaly: With just a few exceptions, the majority of gun deaths in the United States have been self-inflicted every year since at least 1920. This is a startling fact, and one that forces us to realize that, no matter what we may believe about the Second Amendment, the debate over how to reduce the death toll from guns is, to a great extent, a debate about suicide prevention.
Maybe if the men's rights folks took up an issue such as this, one that has nothing to do with feminism, more people would take them seriously.

How A Patient's Suicide Changed A Doctor's Approach To Guns

March 20, 2013

from CPR
All Things Considered
6 min 20 sec

Listen to the Story


Dr. Frank Dumont at his clinic in Estes Park, Colo.Barry Gutierrez for NPR

Dr. Frank Dumont knew one of his favorite patients was getting depressed.

When Dumont first started seeing him, the man was in his 70s. He was active and fit; he enjoyed hiking into his 80s. But then things started to change.

"He started complaining of his memory starting to slip," Dumont says. The man would forget where he had placed objects, and he'd struggle to remember simple words and phrases.

Dumont prescribed antidepressants and saw him every eight weeks or so.

Like a lot of people in the small town of Estes Park, 90 miles northwest of Denver, both Dumont and his patient were drawn to the ruggedly beautiful mountains there. One of them, called Longs Peak, is a cherished part of Dumont's life. He and the patient talked often about the picturesque mountain.

"He was one of those people where you see them on the schedule for the day and you just smile," Dumont says. "You just realize you get a chance to chat with someone who feels like a friend."

That's what their last visit was like. Dumont says he did ask the man whether he was having any thoughts of hurting himself, but got a very convincing no.

"What in hindsight struck me about that visit is that he brought me a gift, which was a geological survey marker from the top of Longs Peak," says Dumont. "It was a replica, but it was one of those things that was just another reminder to me of this connection that we had had."

Dr. Frank Dumont holds a gift from a patient who committed suicide with a gun. In hindsight, Dumont sees it as a farewell from the man who was one of his favorite patients.Barry Gutierrez for NPR

"And at the time it just seemed like a very generous gift that touched me," Dumont recalls. "And what I didn't realize at the time was that that was, I think, a farewell gift, or a bit of a parting gift, from him. Because I did not see him again. And the next that I had heard of him was from an emergency phone call from his wife about a month later, and she called needing to be seen. .... She had to come in and talk to me with how to deal with the fact that her husband had committed suicide."

Dumont's patient shot himself in the head with a rifle. Dumont was stunned, and guilt-ridden.

He says he always asks his depressed patients about suicide, whether they've thought about how they'd do it. But he now regrets not asking this patient specifically whether he had guns in the house.

Suicide prevention researcher Dr. Matthew Miller, at the Harvard School of Public Health, says Dumont sounds like a great doctor. "He was doing everything he could to try to keep this guy from making a suicide attempt, but what he didn't do was the second step, which is make it hard for him to die if he did make an attempt," Miller says.

The second step, Miller says, is asking patients if they have guns in the house or access to guns. If someone tries to commit suicide without using a gun, they probably won't succeed.

"The likelihood of their dying is of an order of magnitude lower," he says. "Instead of there being a 90-plus percent chance of death, there's a greater than 90 percent chance that they'll live."

Miller wants to make it routine for family doctors to ask their patients about guns. One large study found that nearly half of all suicide victims had seen a primary care doctor within a month of killing themselves. So it's important for them to bring up suicide and possible means.

"We have to get people to stop thinking about these discussions as gun control in one way or another, but rather as a way of conveying useful information, so people make decisions that protect their family," Miller says.

There are lots of reasons family doctors avoid bringing up guns with their patients. They may not want to offend a patient, or they may be too busy checking off all the preventive screenings and tests on the list.

Not everybody wants gun advice from a medical professional. Edgar Antillon organized a pro-gun rally at the Colorado State Capitol earlier this year. He says he would resent a doctor bringing it up.

"Tell me to stay healthy, tell me my baby has colic, but I don't think it's their job to tell me about gun safety," he says. "They're not gun experts. They're not NRA members. ... And if they are, then I'll take it as advice from an NRA member."

But Dumont has spent a lot of time second-guessing himself since his patient shot himself. The doctor hopes small measures he can take will reduce the odds, just a fraction, that another one of his patients will die from suicide by gun.

"I have a lower threshold for asking follow-up questions, asking the same thing a different way," he says. "Or if I have any inkling, starting to push a little bit further, and say, 'Well, so you're not really thinking about it, but have you ever thought about how you would go about it if you were going to?' And I have a lower threshold for asking about a weapon in the home as well."

Dumont says he thinks more physicians would talk with their patients about guns if they got information about health risks associated with them. Medical journals and a federal board of experts regularly issue advice on prevention of obesity, car accidents and workplace injuries. But there's been a ban on federally funded gun safety research until President Obama restored it with an executive action.

This story is part of a partnership between NPR, Colorado Public Radio and Kaiser Health News.