Trump Tweets Transgender Armed Forces Ban

their willingness to put themselves in harm's way somehow isn't enough?

Before any American points a finger at President Putin and calls him nasty names, they should recognize that a lot of Americans agree with Putin on his stance against homosexual and transgender people.

Henry Rollins

It turns out the statement by Henry Rollins, a long-time human rights activist, was prescient.

There are indeed a lot of people whose beliefs are similar to Vladimir Putin when it comes to transgender and homosexual individuals.

Sadly, one of them is our own President.

Reacting to Trump’s Transgender Twitterstorm

I’m sure you’ve already heard about Donald Trump’s twitterstorm…

OK.  Considering the frequency with which “the Donald” tweets, I should probably be more specific.

I’m referring to the three tweets from July 26th, 2017.  The tweets where he announced a ban on transgendered individuals serving in the armed forces.

It’s pretty clear, from all indications, that this is a political move on Trump’s part.

This is an issue that was already settled for our armed forces.  Transgendered people are currently serving in the military.

As many as 15,000 patriotic transgendered citizens currently serve in the military.  The sky hasn’t fallen.  National defense has not been compromised.

no reason… none

Trump’s tweets seemingly jumped the gun on this issue too, catching military leadership unprepared.

Only a month ago, Defense Secretary James Mattis called for a six-month study of armed services policies regarding transgendered persons.  Action on the issue was to be deferred until the study’s completion.

For those who believe the real reason was cost, check again.  The US military spends more on Viagra/Cialis alone than it costs to support their transgendered population.

There are already 15,000 patriotic, transgender Americans serving in our military, and this ban will cause a huge disruption. Furthermore, this puts the careers of patriotic transgender Americans on the line who want nothing more than to serve their country.

Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)

Our armed forces are 100% volunteer.

That means the brave transgendered who are in the military stepped forward for duty.  They chose to serve in defense of their country.

There is no good reason to deny them that opportunity.

None.

response

The counter reaction to Trump’s tweets was swift and vigorous.

Chelsea Manning (perhaps a catalyst for Trump’s move) replied quickly.  So did Caitlyn Jenner (who had been a vocal Trump supporter.)

The United States armed forces even pushed back.

I know there are questions about yesterday’s announcement on the transgender policy by the President.  There will be no modifications to the current policy until the President’s direction has been received by the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary has issued implementation guidance.

Marine General Joseph Dunford

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

politics?

Admittedly, the President does have his defenders.

They are the people referred to by Henry Rollins.  They are the people who voted for Trump.

Because of their religious beliefs and/or conservative values, they refuse to accept the transgendered.

Not in their schools.  Not in their churches.  And certainly not in their military.

It’s that political constituency the twitterstorm plays towards.

But it’s not what it seems.

Trump’s tweets are not meant to give our country a better military.  No, they are meant to paint the Democrats into a corner in the rust-belt states.  Places where supporters of transgender rights are not the majority.

The whole thing is designed to put Trump’s opponents on the defensive.  It’s all political…

As a veteran, Senator Ernst served alongside fellow service members from all different backgrounds and parts of the country.  While she believes taxpayers shouldn’t cover the costs associated with a gender reassignment surgery, Americans who are qualified and can meet the standards to serve in the military should be afforded that opportunity.

Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa)

- spokesperson - Brook Hougesen

politics suck

I never imagined I’d feel a great need to write about our armed forces.

Perhaps a special greeting on Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day.  But, that’s about it.

It’s not a topic that generally jives well with a sexuality blog.

I want to say up front, that it absolutely sucks to have to put anything dealing with politics here on my blog.

I didn’t want to do it.

And, I still don’t want to get political.  Life, however, doesn’t always present easy choices.  This is one of those times.

I’ve been inside politics.

Worked as a press secretary, campaign manager, a Chief of Staff.  Even managed to get myself elected once.  Before that, I spent close to a decade as a community organizer.

Then, close to ten years ago, I walked away from it all.  Left in disgust.

All too often, politics these days involves betrayal.  I was having none of that.  It was all making me ill.

Wanting no part of that circus anymore, politics was dead to me.  And, I swore not to drag that carcass here.

Whether you’re transgender or not, most of us get to a point in our lives where we can no longer lie to ourselves.

Laverne Cox

reality bites

Then the realization hit.  Sometimes staying silent would be a greater injustice than sullying my blog with politics.

In this case, the topic intersects with the blog’s mission anyway.

I’m here to write about kink.  Fetish.  BDSM.  Exploring paganism.  Tantra.

I want to explore all things sexual.  Revel in the exotic and the erotic.

I’d like to pass on some of what I’ve learned about kink.  And, share a little bit of the history of sexuality that I’ve studied.  Perhaps pass along relevant news from time to time.

I want my words to paint pictures in your mind.  I hope my illustrations and pictures can speak to you like words.

In order to explore these topics, I need to work from a place of sexual freedom.  I have to strive for an atmosphere of tolerance and acceptance.

I loathe the thought of making politics a regular part of Michael’s Way.  But, there’s no escaping the topic.

Political issues and decisions affect the atmosphere I work in.  They impact my sexual freedoms.  Ultimately, the laws of the land even determine my ability to be a sex blogger.

With that in mind, I cannot afford to be silent.  None of us can…

You know, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender – people are people.

Judith Light

Quote of the Day | 7-28-17

Someone told me the delightful story of the crusader who put a chastity belt on his wife and gave the key to his best friend for safekeeping, in case of his death. He had ridden only a few miles away when his friend, riding hard, caught up with him, saying ‘You gave me the wrong key!’

Anaïs Nin

Everyone who’s anyone is on Facebook…

"Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded."

-- Yogi Berra
In the digital age of ‘overnight’ success stories such as Facebook, the hard slog is easily overlooked. James Dyson

anniversary

It was my six year Facebook anniversary last week.  The so called Faceversary.

Have you lived under a rock the last decade?  Then, I don’t need to tell you – Everyone who’s anyone is on Facebook.

Along with many of us who aren’t really anyone.  You know, folks like me.

I have my share of kinky friends on Facebook.  But, they tend to be people that have their own following.  Not ones that follow.

There’s no group of adoring fans waiting to comment on things added to my timeline.  I don’t get re-posted.  My posts rarely even receive ‘likes’.

In the end, I have no one to blame for any of that but myself.

I have my own particular sensibilities.  It seems beneath the dignity of a good dominant to act in a self-aggrandizing manner.  I’ve never been comfortable with self-promotion.

I’ve always believed in the ‘hard slog’, as Dyson calls it.  The kind of ethic that good work has its own merit.  Not to mention that hard work always wins out in the end.

If life were only so simple?  Right?

You can observe a lot by just watching.

Yogi Berra

observe by listening

I should also point out, it really is my true nature to be introverted.

People who have witnessed me giving a demo, or leading a discussion might doubt that fact.  But, it’s the absolute truth.

Public speaking is simply a skill I’ve learned.  Presenting was something I did to give back to the community.  Neither was inherently within my comfort zone.

In life, I find that listening is a more valuable skill than speaking.  Mr. Berra’s quote is about observing by watching.  But, I’ve always found that actively listening to others gives me the best observations of all.

That’s not necessarily true on social media.

Think about what people are doing on Facebook today. They’re keeping up with their friends and family, but they’re also building an image and identity for themselves, which in a sense is their brand. They’re connecting with the audience that they want to connect to. It’s almost a disadvantage if you’re not on it now.

Mark Zuckerberg

I certainly enjoy the time I spend on social media these days.

But, I’m not the kind of person who thinks to post the location of the restaurants where I eat.  I’m not going to send off a notification every time I visit a sick friend in the hospital.

When it comes to social media, I’m maladapted.  It’s not my natural habitat.  I’ll never be “somebody’.  I’ll only ever be myself.

However, I’ve learned by listening to others, that’s not such a bad place to be.

I know who I am.  How many can truly say that?

I didn’t know what Facebook was, and now that I do know what it is, I have to say, it sounds like a huge waste of time. Betty White

Can someone get Betty White a Snickers?  Thanks!

Quote of the Day | 7-27-17

So what is transgressive in the practice of this secret Tantra is the gesture not to elide the difference that women present. What does this mean? That women represent not merely objects, property, or the possibility of sexual gratification, but an opening point to the possibility of difference as the subjectivity of the other.

Loriliai Biernacki

Renowned Goddess of Desire: Women, Sex, and Speech in Tantra

My Swedish sex toy was made in China?

Nea sounds like Neo? Really?

90% of toys are made in China, which technically makes the Chinese elves.

Sean Lock

A version of this post was originally published on October 13, 2011.  It has been edited and updated for MichaelSamadhi.com.

no deposit – no return

There are few guarantees when purchasing adult toys.

For public health reasons, returns are almost always forbidden by local law.  I think even my most staunch libertarian friends would accept that role for government regulation.

Who really wants a used dildo anyway?

(Btw – don’t answer that… you don’t want to go there… there are people who pay for used panties after all.)

Most adult toy makers offer no warranty on their goods.  But, there are a few higher end manufacturers offering a year (or perhaps two) of limited protection against failure.

This also makes sense to me.  Would you be ashamed to return some cheap ‘Johnson’ made by Doc Johnson?  I would.

Some toys are like a really bad one night stand.  The kind where it’s best to cringe, walk away, and pretend nothing happened.

Some things aren’t worth returning…

Sex toys have long since graduated from the floppy rubber things you hide in your bedside table to beautiful works of interactive art

Gwyneth Paltrow

it’s made where?

I recently had an experience with a warranty return on one of those higher end products.

It’s a really nice piece from an established and respected European company in the $100+ price range.

The toy’s name sounds a lot like a role once played by Keanu Reeves. (See subtitle.)

Please note that this particular company proudly advertises manufacturing all of it’s products ‘in-house’.  (edit – At least that was the claim when this article was first written.)

That leads me to believe, for instance, that if this particular company is headquartered in Sweden, then it’s gear would also be manufactured in Sweden.

Suzhou – Shanghai – Anchorage

Imagine my surprise then when the FedEx tracking for my warranty replacement originated in Suzhou, China.

That is not a typographical error either.

My package then transited through Shanghai.  Then to Anchorage.  Before finally making it to the mainland USA, and on towards the humble abode I call Chateau Samadhi.

this is Sweden – it’s a part of Europe

this is China, it’s not a part of Europe

We live in a day and age where good numbers of Chinese exports have been discovered to be tainted with heavy metals.  Poisonous chemicals, like diethylene glycol, have also been found in products from China.

For no other reason than that, I do my best to avoid purchasing products that wear the “Made in China” label.

And, health concerns are not my only worry.

political and religious prisoners

I’m also concerned about the common use of forced labor (i.e. political and religious prisoners) in Chinese manufacturing.  Estimates of the total number of Chinese political and religious prisoners run as high as six or eight million.

The use of those prisoners in manufacturing is both well documented and common.

Some of those individuals are imprisoned simply for their faith.

Most famously, this includes practitioners of Falun Gong.  But, they are not alone in suffering from Chinese persecution.

That’s a pretty disturbing thought for a blog author who believes that BDSM can be a spiritual activity.

As if being inducted into the “Made in China Prison Industrial Complex” wasn’t enough…

It’s said that religious prisoners receive the longest sentences, and worst treatment, once inducted into the Chinese penal system.

You may be reading this on a smartphone, while flying on a plane, or while nibbling on a bit of chocolate. And therefore, a new study asserts, it’s entirely possible that you’re enjoying the products of slave labor.

Jay Busbee

Yahoo News

like blood diamonds

I knew a girl who wouldn’t accept a $10,000 engagement ring without certification.

She had to know it was not a “blood diamond” used to fund some evil insurgent or warlord before ever wearing it.

Her poor unknowing fiance had to return the first ring he bought her…

Do you really think folks like that are going to take kindly to the possibility that the “Sweedish” toy humming in their vagina was made in China?

Can you imagine how she might respond if she found out the vibe was some kind of “prisoner dildo” fostering Communist repression?

Somebody’s got some ‘splaining to do!

God made everything that has life. And the rest is made in China.

Kcee Cunanan


Michael’s Way 2017

Outside of some relatively minor editing, everything above this point was written in October 2011.

I added a few links, illustrations, and made some formatting changes.  Shortening a few of the original’s run-on sentences was another goal of the revision.

I remain especially concerned today about human rights violations in China.  It’s a country where there are only five officially sanctioned religions.

Any spiritual/religious practice outside of those five ‘state’ religions is forbidden, not to mention punished.  Tibetan Buddhism is among the persecuted practices, which is a serious problem for me. 

You can be sure that it was made to look like an accident.  That it was a set up.

Peng Ming

Chinese dissident - predicted his own death in prison

made in China

I’m told that most of the world’s vibrators are made in China.  It’s said that the reason is economics.

I can’t say that I have direct evidence that adult toys are being produced by slave labor.  It is, however, very certain there are huge economic advantages for the Chinese economy in employing slave labor on such a massive scale.

When millions of individuals in your labor force are a ‘captive audience’, it’s relatively easy to produce a product that’s inexpensive.  Especially compared to the wages and benefits necessary for workers in European manufacturing.

Once upon a time, I collected nearly every offering produced by a certain Swedish sex toy company.  Since I discovered that their products were made in China, that’s no longer true.

TMI Tuesday | July 25, 2017

This One or That One

Choose what you most desire or would like to have or try?

 

1. Pilates or HIIT? Why?

When I was younger, I used to play a lot of baseball and football. Back in those days, HIIT would have been perfect for me. Not so much anymore.  I don’t recover as quickly as I once did.  I had back surgery, and now my back has far more than its share of arthritis.  I’ve used pilates as part of my physical therapy before and after surgery.  So, I’ll take the pilates, thank you very much.

2. Spouse or significant other-lover?
I’ve “been there are done that” in terms of marriage.  I love ceremony and ritual.  I love the concept of marriage and theory of marriage.  I love marriage so much I’ve done it three times.  But marriage itself hasn’t been especially kind to me.  Strange, but to me, it seems that marriage alters relationships in ways I would never choose.  If I want a ceremony in the future, I’d go with a handfasting.  I’m also in favor of a future collaring ceremony when the appropriate conditions arise.

3. Go clubbing or entertain friends at home?
Once upon a time, I felt deprived if I didn’t manage to make it out to a bar, or to see a band, every weekend. Preferably, that would include both Friday and Saturday night outings. Sometimes Sunday night Jazz was included too.  Or Tuesday night movies.  Today, that’s no longer true.  For me, ‘clubbing’ would mean going out to the play party of a local BDSM club.  Not exactly what it would mean for most other individuals.  Even considering that possibility, I’d really prefer to entertain at home.  What can I say?  I’m an introvert.  There’s simply no denying that fact.

4. Maybach sedan or Mercedes G-class SUV
Can’t say that I’m real big on German automobiles.  It’s been in the news lately that German auto manufacturers have been illegally colluding with each other.  Add to that, Volkswagon’s great diesel fiasco, and I’m kind of sour on the whole industry.  With that said, I’d take the luxury SUV to use as a grocery getter.  Better still, I’ll sell the G-class, then buy a Toyota 4x4.  I’d use the difference to finish (and expand) my garage for use as a home dungeon. With an attached jacuzzi room.

5. Soccer or Golf?
I’m not really into golf.  On TV, it’s worse than watching paint dry.  I don’t have to listen to inane commentators speaking in hushed tones while paint dries.  I’m sure it’s a great pastime, but I’ve never seen much sense in hitting a ball and chasing it myself.  When I hit a ball, I expect others to chase…   Soccer has serious advantages over golf as a spectator sport. But, I’ve never even bothered to watch a full match from start to finish, not even when the Olympics.  If I absolutely had to choose one, I’d go with soccer, but my unofficial answer is neither.

6. Basketball or baseball?

Baseball was my first true love.  It’s been my favorite sport to play since I was about 8.  However, unless you are at the ballpark with the atmosphere surrounding you, baseball is not the greatest spectator sport.  Professional basketball, on the other hand, is an incredible spectator sport.  The quality of pro hoops is as good as it’s ever been. College hoops are great too, especially during March Madness.  Despite my sentiment for baseball, the clear winner is basketball.

Did you see Jackie Robinson hit that ball?
Did he hit it? Yeah, and that ain’t all.
He stole home.
Yes, yes, Jackie’s real gone.
Jackie’s is a real gone guy.

Woodrow Buddy Johnson & Count Basie

7. Monster or Red Bull? Why?

I’m a big consumer of soda pop.  I used to drink lots of Coke, a 12-pack of cans a day.  Now it’s Coke Zero.  I drink (on average) six 500 ml bottles every day.  So, it’s not that I live so healthy that Monster or Red Bull would not appeal to me.  However, energy drinks (in general) just taste foul to me.  They are overpriced.  Last I checked, Red Bull was shipped from Austria, not bottled locally like my Coke.  I’m not a fan of shipping water around the world for profit.  If I want a jolt of caffeine, I’ll drink an extra Coke. My answer therefore is — Neither.  Please.  Just No.  Energy drinks of all kinds offend my ‘delicate’ sensibilities.

8. Office with a view or work at home?
When I try to work from home these days, I only end up blogging.  I’m not sure you could call that working.   I am an introvert, so from that standpoint, working from home could have it’s advantages.  On the other hand, there’s not much time for the view if you are truly working.  And, I have to admit I’m spoiled in terms of jobs with a view.  I worked for a year at the Grand Canyon.  The walk to work along the canyon rim sounds beautiful, almost romantic (depending on companionship.)  Until you’ve made the trek into the teeth of a raging blizzard.  Really, I’d like to work at home from a studio with a view.

9. Early bird or night owl?
I used to be an early bird.  They get the worm.  When training to be a chef, days in the kitchen started pretty early.  Especially for those of us who wanted to beat the Executive Chef in each morning.  That was the worm.  That’s one way you got the Chef’s attention.  Now, I get up at 7 am for work.  It seems that’s about the earliest I can get my body to function normally.  When I don’t have to work the next day, I have a tendency to stay up until 2 am.  A ‘second wind’ hits about 10 pm, and some of my best writing happens over the next two or three hours.  No doubt, that makes me a night owl.

10. Boyfriend or Girlfriend?
Either?  Neither?  Both of those would be the simple answers.  Either – because I’m bisexual (at least in theory.)  It’s been at least a 25 years since I’ve had any sort of encounter with a man, so the bisexuality is more theoretical than practical at this point.  Neither because I’m not really looking for anything at the moment.  There have been so many misunderstandings with Serafina, and BlissfulTorment before her, that I’m just licking my wounds at the moment.  Girlfriend would be the default answer.  On the ‘Kinsey Scale’ I tend more towards women than men.  My final answer, though, is both.  I want a couple.  I have a strong desire to dominate a couple, cuckolding the man.

11. Ice cream or gelato?
I think I’ve had gelato once in my life.  When visiting my Father, via his Italian girlfriend.  It was good.  Very good, in fact.  Perhaps a little sweet for my taste these days. Since I’ve become diabetic and cut a lot of sweets out of my diet, I have a far keener sense of sweetness.  But, it’s not ice cream.  Ice cream is one of my favorite foods.  The only one that’s not meat.  If I was requesting a final meal, it would include a good steak – rare.  And a heaping bowl of ice cream.  I scream.  You scream.  We all scream… For ice cream.

No stars in the black night
Looks like the sky fell down
No sun in the daylight
Looks like it’s chained to the ground
Chained to the ground
The warden said
The exit is sold
If you want a way out
Silver and gold

U2 / Adam Clayton , Dave Evans, Larry Mullen, Paul Hewson

12. Silver or gold?

Born in the heart of a supernova, gold is a noble metal.  As such it is very special.  Gold doesn’t corrode or lose its luster.  It is very rare and very valuable.  A true precious metal.  Because it’s also malleable, gold can be turned into wondrous artistic creations.  It makes awesome jewelry.   Silver has its uses too.  In fact, it’s all around us.  Silver is used as part of the photographic process.  It’s is in our electronic components.  Silver’s antimicrobial properties make it useful in medicine.  It can also be formed into wondrous creations, jewelry, etc., just like gold.  Even if it does tarnish, Silver is also a noble metal, forged in the heart of great stars.  All of gold’s advantages notwithstanding, given its myriad of uses, give me silver…

Bonus: Money or fame? Why?

Fame or fortune?  Don’t the two of them go together?  Yes, they can go together, but not every famous person also finds fortune, I suppose.  It’s nice to imagine being famous.  Living the glamorous lifestyle that often goes along with great fame.  Adulation generally goes with fame, and who would really mind having fans?  That kind of attention can be intoxicating.  Unfortunately, fame can also come with more than its share of problems.  The crushing weight of expectations can destroy a person.  Think paparazzi.  The loss of personal privacy.  No, that’s not for me.  Give me money, that’s what I want!

The best things in life are free
But you can give them to the birds and bees
I want money
That’s what I want

Janie Bradford / Berry Gordy Jr.

TMI Tuesday blog