Presente, Steve Gilliard

Steve Gilliard (1966-2007)

[Updated on 6-5-07 for minor syntax errors.]

When I heard the news that Steve Gilliard of The News Blog finally surrendered to his recent illness at the far too young age of 51 41; I was more than a bit saddened.

I was a regular reader of his blog even when it was at Blogger, and I had heard for the past two months a daily account of his degeneration, his surgery, and the prognosis of recovery from his companion and blog co-hostess Jen….but I never anticipated that things would spiral downhill this quick.

Although my own personal politics and outlook was and still remains pretty far to the left of Mr. Gilliard — he was an old school liberal Democrat pragmatist with no love for third parties and Naderites (whom he dismissed as single issue hagglers) — I can say without malice that he was a major pioneer who made it possible for other Black progressive/radical bloggers like me to exist in the first place.

His no-nonsense, no frills philosophy and his low tolerance of BS — not to mention his willingness to take on even friends and allies when needed to set them right about race and class issues — raised the bar for Black progressive bloggers and the blogosphere in general.

And despite his mental toughness, he could also be just as much a sensitive and heartwarming fella, too.

May he hook up with Miss Molly in the afterlife, and both of them make beautiful music together smacking down right-wing nonsense.

His current blog is presently preparing a memorial to his legacy; you can also catch some of his work at the old location of his blog here.

LiveJournal: Tough on “Pedophiles”; Soft on Bigots?!?!?!

You will not believe this shit that I just found out from Trinity (via The Strangest Alchemy).

It seems that LiveJournal is currently in a big stink for doing a mass purge of accounts due to a thinly-veiled campaign accusing them of allowing pedophiles and sexual predators to use their sites.  To that end, they went and "struck through" (i.e., shut down) dozens if not hundreds of LJ accounts and pages which basically were associated with themes of rape or incest or pedophilia.  Problem is, a great deal of the groups targeted for censorship were mostly innocent sites which merely either discussed those taboo subjects WITHOUT ever advocating them…or happened to be merely fan sites of slash fiction or GLBT or erotic fiction .  One site which was nuked only dealt with discussion of the novel Lolita…and still got axed.

The chief spokesperson for LJ, who calls himself SixApart, defended the purge against critics by saying that they were just following procedure and enforcing the Terms of Service that all their accounts are subjected to. (Yeah….and perhaps a visit from Abu Gonzales’ henchmen may have been a factor too…naaaaah.)

But here’s the fun part: turns out that the primary group responsible for most of the complaints leading to the purge just so happens to have a few skeletons in their own closets.

And a few hoods and robes.

And plenty of Stars and Bars flags.

And lots and lots of guns, too.

I’ll just let Dark Christian (through Trinity) take the story from here:

Here is the personal blog of the woman who sent in all those complaints to LJ (the Warriors for Innocence woman).


Nice Confederate battle flags, lady…one of which is a banner for a group known as the REDNECK MAFIA??? She’s a total right wing NUT JOB!!!

Her blog:

I can’t believe Six Apart got railroaded by an ultra-conservative xenophobe! What a bunch of dumb fucks!

Here’s where she got her ‘Redneck Mafia’ banner:

One banner she has on her blog reads: "America, Saving Europe’s Ass Since 1917" and another banner on her blog proudly bears the words: "United States of America Deportation Squad". It’s reassuring to know that Six Apart and Live Journal listen and take heed to the rantings of an individual who carries such negative feelings toward non-Americans and immigrants…huh.

Good job, Six Apart! *shakes head*

Here’s her Blogger profile:

And here’s her email:

Here’s where I located this information:

Pass this info around, please. I’ll be damned if I give my money to a company who bends to the will of a person like this woman…

First off, she links to a write-in campaign for Cary Cartter for the 2008 presidential race; a bit of digging around shows Cartter is explicitly dominionist and may in fact be linked with the "Christian Patriot" militia movement. At the very least, he is definitely part of the "Joel’s Army" movement; his blog includes links to a plethora of fellow "Joel’s Army" bloggers (including one named "Third Wave Dave"; "Third Wave" is a codeword for Joel’s Army theology in the Assemblies and other neopente churches) and a number of dominionist correspondence-school bloggers (as well as at least one explicitly Christian Reconstructionist journal called "Sovereign Joy").

The "Redneck Mafia" seems to be a collection of neo-Confederates and neo-Confederate sympathisers; the Blogspot site not only hosts essentially a webring of neo-Confederate sympathisers, but also a Texas-secessionist webring and an anti-UN webring; the Texas secessionist webring in turn also hosts a neoconservative webring and a secondary neo-Confederate sympathiser webring ("Children of the Confederacy"). Pretty much all of the members are almost identical between these Blogspot webrings.

In fact, almost *all* the blogs cross-link to each other (acting as essentially a web-ring of "Joel’s Army" folks connected to the owner of TexasFred, which is registered via DomainsByProxy (a service used to anonymise whois registration, and commonly abused by spammers). The main "Texas Fred" site includes a Java game entitled "Shoot The Wetback" and is a major promoter of the Minutemen militia group (which itself has extensive ties to "Christian Patriot" dominionist militia groups, racists, and in particular the Constitution Party (itself a de jure Christian Reconstructionist party and a de facto "Militia Party" to boot)). Other fun blogs in the same general "network" include "Beast Media" (which is a particularly obnoxious neocon site that actually makes "Mallard Fillmore" look humorous in comparison, a guy calling himself "Minuteman1776" (whose website links in turn to other parts of the "TexasFred" network including a site called "Radioactive Liberty"–which literally calls for war for oil–as well as a group calling itself "Marine Mom Militia". Almost all of these sites seem to be out to out-Ann Coulter Ann Coulter.

The same site also confirms something that a lot of folks have suspected–they are, in fact, simply searching Google for specific keywords (no matter the actual content) and sending complaints directly to Six Apart based on what they are finding on Google without any attempt to verify the actual content of sites. (As an aside, this could put Dark Christianity in danger–we actually have a "child abuse" tagline in our community, and have posts (searchable on Google) in regards to religiously motivated child abuse as well as sexual scandals (including paedophile pastors in dominionist denominations and the almost complete lack of policing in these denominations) that do come up on Google searches.)

….In other words, with the "Warriors for Innocence" scandal, we may actually be dealing with part of a fairly extensive network of neo-Confederate, militia-sympathiser (if not flat out militia-member) "Christian Patriot" God-warriors-with-guns "Joel’s Army" nutcases on our hand…one that potentially makes Focus on the Family or even the American Family Association look like the friggin’ Society of Friends in comparison.

WOW.  Just plain f’n WOW.

So now LJ allows racists and Dominionists not only to roam free and harrass other users, but censors their victims??

Dark Christian’s LJ has much more info on both the controversy and the group here.

Just scroll down Trinity’s LJ home page for the latest articles and links.

[Update: It seems that LJ is trying to right itself now: see this latest post from Trin for details.]

Sex-Positive Feminism 101: The Basic Myths Debunked (or, The Ultimate Bitch Slap)


I guess that I’d better kick this bad girl off (figuratively speaking, of course) with some basics.

Having been well versed in the worldview of the Left for much of my lifetime — having gone from traditional liberal Democrat to damn near Marxist to my presentINdependent Libertarian Socialist beliefs in the span of 20 years time, I’ve seen quite a few sectarian battles in my day….and a lot of them dealing with the issue of sexuality and what should be the Left’s general attitude towards sexual expression. Being just as much a proponent of sexual liberation and the basic right of sexual self-determination and free sexual expression amongst consensual adults, as well as a sometime consumer of explicit sexual material and media, I’ve also seen how explosive the issues of sexuality and feminism can be when they clash with some variants of classical feminism, which puts the sexual exploitation of women by the "patriarchy" as the fundamental root of all oppression of all women.

Now, I tend to agree in major part with both beliefs: I support the full agenda of sexual liberation and free sexual expression, as well as the total decriminalization of the free consumption of sex work media such as pornography and prostitution (mostly because I believe that open and fully legal sex trading can be regulated to insure both safer work conditions and better experiences for both the workers and their clients. Yet, I also strongly believe just as strongly and passionately in the fundamental program of women’s equality, including the right of women to make free and informed personal decisions about their own bodies without censure and without harm, and with the full respect for the concerns and feelings of others.

I would think that the two were totally compatable, and went hand-in-hand with each other, and that sexual liberation is perfectly consistent with feminism and Leftist advocacy. I would think that, and still do…unfortunately, there are certain elements on the fringes of the Left in general and feminism in particular who really do have a BIG problem with overtly (or even casually) sexual women calling themselves feminists and Leftists; or anyone even defending the right to free sexual choice. And these days, they seem to be making a hell of a lot of ground and inroads on progressive political opinion…with the usual results.

The pet peeve
du joir of today is the relationship of those of us who call ourselves "sex-positive feminists" or "pro-sex feminists" (actually, I prefer the term "sex radical") to the overall Left/feminist movement….and the ongoing attempts by a group of antipornography feminists using the language of the Left to isolate, marginalize, and basically wipe us off the face of the earth. (I use the first person "us" in this,. BTW, because I make no apologies and no illusions about placing myself in the "pro-sex" Leftist side; my mentors growing up were people like Wilhelm Reich (his more eccentric theories about "orgone theory" and sexual repression being the center of all oppression aside), Emma Goldman, Victoria Woodhull in the early era; to present day sex-poz (and quite sexy) thinkers like
Susie Bright,
Dr. Betty Dodson,
Dr. Carol Queen,
Dr. Susan Block, and my own special Goddess,
Nina Hartley, who originally turned me to the basics that one can be a Lefitst and a feminist and still be unambiguously pro-sex, pro-lust, pro-choice, and pro-equality..and work to create a more sensual erotic medium.)

Ever since our President-Select decided to reward his Religious Right base with another Meese Commission-type juhad against sexual expression not fitting the standards of reproductive procreative marriage, there has been sort of a countervailing revival of the type of antipornography feminist activism made famous by the duo icons of (now deceased) writer/essayist Andrea Dworkin and her partner in sexual fascism Professor Catherine MacKinnon (still alive and essaying). It was this duo that drafted the original proposal to declare sexually explicit material a violation of civil rights for women due to its allegedly harmful effects on women; and to use lawsuits and peer pressure to wipe out any form of sexual expression deemed harmful or "degrading" to women.

The most benelovent variant of this theory states that by expressing "male sexual control" of women through appealing to their base fantasies about pleasure, porn, prostitution, and so called "pro-sex" advocacy directly contribute to a climate of male sexual domination of women and a repression of an essentially natural female sexuality which apparantly is…well, not male-dominated. The worse variants actually remove even that pretense of subtleness: Men who masturbate ot images of women having sex and loving it are prima facie oppressors of women who only wish to use and rape them for their own selfish and deadly pleasure..and any woman who even tolerates them is a traitor to feminism, if not all womanhood, and should be immediately run out of the "sisterhood". And of course, any progressive man who questions antiporn theory for its parallels with traditional conservative restrictions and its tactical alliances with the Far Right is immediately dubbed a "right-wing libertarian" who masturbates and ejaculates on the bodies of dead women and children; or an enabler of rape and murder.

In the course of promoting these views, the more extreme and loudest of the antiporn "left" feminists tend to bestow the worst stereotypes upon advocates of "sex-positive" feminism…basically, they are either White elitists who use off "people of color" for their own selfish pleasure, or posers who inject evil" male values" into the women’s movement. The ideal world for these "cultural feminists" is one where essential "female values" — including some restrictive ideas about sex — become the norm which overwhelms the evil patriarchy. When these "feminists" inject their vitriol into the overall debate on sexuality amongst feminists, the results can be explosive…and ultimately divisive.

Such is now the case with a debate that is now swirling and flaming over at my colleague

Bitch Lab’s Queer Dewd’s  blog
today over
posts that the hostess (who is a serious feminist/Leftist who is generally "pro-sex" with some qualifications) entered about the myths and misconceptions that were being spread over exactly what "sex-positive feminism" really means….and doesn’t. Here’s a brilliant excerpt from Ms. Bitch’s
first entry:

Seriously. I’d just like to have some examples. As much as I criticize Biting Beaver, I do not get the idea that she doesn’t like sex or that she thinks women naturally have a low sex-drive. Radical cultural feminists hardly seem to me to be interested in claiming that women have low sex drives. Andrea Dworkin clearly gets passion and sexuality.

Similarly, I do not get the idea from

Lusty Lady




Susie Bright


Annalee Newitz

that all they are are interested in having sex constantly. As much as they’d like? Sure.
(Ok. I take that back, I can picture Annalee wanting to have an orgasm contest, as long as she was with a a voluptuous, blonde lap dancer.)
But that’s all they’re about? I don’t get that sense at all.

These are all fascinating women who have all kinds of things going on in their lives: work, knitting, baking pies, music, friends, drinking, writing, blogging, teaching, speaking, families, cupcakes. So, they couldn’t have sex constantly anyway, could they?
They don’t seem to hold women to any particular standard. I also don’t see how they expect that women should have “libidos like men’s.” Maybe I’m wrong. I’m sure they’ll correct me if I am. (ADD: Susie actually wrote something the other day criticizing the insistence by BigPharma that men

pop viagara in order to be forever a stud-horndog

. So, while it sounds as if this post will be about both sides, it’s not really. It’s an argument against a sex positive feminism that just doesn’t exist. If it does, I saw no quote from or links to any women who exemplify this point of view (or even the other one,that of the “prude”).

Biting Beaver, incidentally, refers to a blog team of a radical lesbian feminist and a male friend who promote antiporn feminism and basically dismiss most forms of lesbianism (including girl-girl sex and public bisexuality in mainstream porn) as "male identified" and thus totally wrong. An example of their madness can be found

[More on this later..gotta run for a bit. Hang does get better.]


Well…Here I Am!!! :-)

Considering that this is not that new a venture for me, it has been a while since I decided to create a blog to post my more intimate thoughts on issues..but hopefully I will manage an update or two a week, at least.

This blog will mostly be my rants and raves on two particular topics that are gripping my brain:

The total lack of respect for and misconceptions given to Leftists and feminists who support a more tolerant and open attitude about sexuality and sexual expression. You would think that the idea that adults should have the freedom to determine their own sexuality would be universal along the Left diaspora…but you’d be quite wrong. There has been a history of implicit or even explicit Puritanism among progressives that has perverted and divided progressives from time immortal; and thanks to the most recent sex panics brought forth by the Religious Right commisars who have gained power under the thumb of King George the XLIII…..errrrrrrr, I mean, President-Select George W. Bush; a new round of Left erotophobia and repression has been brewing. This blog is meant to serve as an alternative voice for those of us who call ourselves "sex-positive", and for Leftist sex radicals who believe that a more progressive and open-minded view about sexuality is essential to the revival of the Left politically and socially. (More on this in a later post.)

Why the Democratic Party really, really, REALLY SUCKS as a genuine progressive counter to the Right, and how to build an effective alternative movement from the ground up. Being raised in the Red Boot state of Louisiana (and BTW…a nice SmackDog boot to the ass goes to the fool who switched the color scheme and dictated that red be a right-wing color rather than the traditional color of revolt and revolution), and having been witness to the smarmy behavior of conservative Democrats in power (from "populist" Edwin Edwards to our present guv Kathleen Blanco) and the repeated spinelessness of too many liberal Democrats (with some exceptions, of course), I have come to the conclusion that the Party of the Donkey has lived past its due date as an opposition party. After all, the best they could do to battle a President at the bottom of the ratings in 2004 was to nominate a candidate (namely, John Forbes Kerry) who basically adapted most of the "War on Terra" agenda (albeit with more of a smiling face and a bit more rainbowish patina); then just sit back and watch the noise machine of the Right shred him apart with Swift Boat vets and Ann Coulter/Bill O’Reilly missives.

And even that’s nothing compared to what’s in store if, as expected, Hillary Clinton gets the nomination in 2008, if her initial attempts to triangulate herself into a compassionate Republican in Democratic drag are to be believed. If a loyal Yellow dog Democrat like Molly Ivins is opposing your candidacy, then that says much. (More on this later, too.)

Now, these are only the present issues: I will do my best for variety sakes to mix in some not so serious issues, too. BTW..although some adult topics will be expressed here, don’t come here thinking that this is a porn blog and you can post sex spam or irrelevant links; there are other sites for that. I’m always looking for feedback and comments from anyone who views this blog; especially from any sex-rads, sex-pozzies, and progressives who would like to engage me in principled and mature discussion. It’s the trolls who want to poison the well with drive-by smackdowns whom I want to avoid…though if you really, really piss me off, I may use these pages to respond in kind. (But just in case, and for your protection, I will moderate the Comments section for pre-approval.)

To paraphrase George C. Scott channeling old General "Blood and Guts" in that classic monologue in

All right, you sons-of-bitches (and
bitches, and
porn sluts, and other assorted radical riffraff)….you know where I stand. It is my extreme privilege to fight alongside you men and women anytime, anywhere.
And hopefully, you will come along for the ride, too. (I don’t mean that literally….at least not here.)