An open letter to lawmakers

To those who govern and those who make legislation,

What purpose does it serve you to discriminate against those whom you are sworn to serve? Or to encourage and support those who would do so?

First of all, your oaths of office are to serve your states, counties, countries, cities … not select portions of it, but all of it. Seems to me, you’ve an obligation to all of them, minority or not, rich or poor, LGBTQIA+ or not, it doesn’t matter.

Then there’s the simple fun fact that you’re an elected official. Seems to me that running on a platform of hatred, oppression, discrimination, etc. may help in the short run, if you can stir up enough of one crowd and hope more of them can get to the polls (or somehow discourage the rest from making it to them) than those whom you’ve just campaigned to alienate. Once in office you have to hope your vitriolic efforts don’t push too far and alienate even those who once supported you.

Most importantly, it’s just self destructive. What good is it to legislate or govern a state that is destitute? What worthwhile businesses will a state, city, county, country, or what have you attract if that place is doing all it can to tell people they aren’t welcome here? Worse, what businesses will want to be beholden to the laws of a place that might be so two-faced as to claim to be welcoming but then is exclusionary in practice?

Businesses want the best and brightest. Most have learnt that this means accepting people for who they are so that they aren’t missing out on some brilliant individual who will help them to turn over that almighty profit. They won’t find their best and brightest in a place that drives them off, that discourages them moving there in the first place, and so on.

Alabama and other states fighting so hard to block marriage equality? You might want to stop and realise how foolish you look.

Georgia, Texas, and others trying to pass “right to discriminate” laws? Oh, you’ll attract some businesses with that, but not the kind you’re liable to be terribly proud of: places that’ll be in constant litigation over wage theft and other labour abuses looking for one less thing they can get sued for.

Uganda and other places trying to actually criminalise people being themselves? Newsflash, this isn’t the Dark Ages; we’ve broken the sound barrier and walked on the moon! Can’t we get over such archaic lunacy? Certainly not too many companies are liable to want to do business somewhere that is stuck in the 10th century.

It doesn’t just have to be sexuality or gender identity. How about women? The poor? True, if no one is treating a demographic well then you’ve nothing to worry about; but that’s not the case. When every Carolinian who can is headed to California, Vermont … or Americans headed for Switzerland, Norway …

Taxes! Your money. Where will it come from? You want people to want to stay, and to want to come. You want people to have jobs that pay them well. Conservative politicians may not have realised it, but the 19th century is over, and with it the viability of a system ruled and owned by a small elite over an enslaved majority. That can work in agrarian societies, feudalism or its analogues, but today that just won’t fly. What makes money isn’t pigs and corn, chickens and beets … it’s money, it’s commerce. Industry, even, in the end is commerce.

Commerce doesn’t work if people haven’t jobs. Jobs are worthless if there’s no money. Do you really think it wise to encourage unemployment by acting rashly?

Yes, you have constituents who believe a woman’s place is in the home and by an extension of “logic” that is more than a little meandering shouldn’t earn the same as men (and which has apparently, blissfully, started not to be argued … now it’s sticking to weird political slants), that marriage is defined thus, that [race] are God’s special ones … you’ve also constituents who believe their sofa talks to them. All of them have the right to believe that – in most democracies, anyhow, and it’s a good idea to push for it in places that don’t – but the rest of us have the right not to be subject to that by the same freedoms. I mean, barring ones where being non-Muslim is illegal, even Islamic states with the Quran enshrined in their constitution draw a line where non-Muslims aren’t subject to that holy book except where ideas overlap (e.g. No Stealin’!!). Just as you would not seriously pass legislation that sofas are citizens with rights et al you shouldn’t take seriously those who, no matter their numbers, would argue beliefs as law.

You want to legislate holy books? How about “judge not”? How about charity? How about hospitality? How about Man was made to be the stewards of this world? All of those come from the Christian Bible that so many who are fond of legislating intolerance seem inclined to cite … funny how the same ones legislate against social aid programs, environmental protections, equality, immigration … then again, those same voices do all they can to defund education; funny, the American South tried banning slaves being literate, even for a time before that tried to not let the slaves be Christian at all in order to keep them knowing about things like the book of Exodus. I suppose shouting the Old Testament to people who can’t make heads nor tails of the New Testament works, but to what purpose?

Have you a plan for what to do with these people? Certainly not hire them, even the good straight Christians are now illiterate & useless as employees beyond the most menial tasks. Not have them in your cities; you’ve done all you can to criminalise being broke and/or homeless … even if you regressed things to an Antebellum society, are you ready to live in an age of outhouses, woodstoves, gas lamps, and horsedrawn buggies? Today’s society was built by, for, and with a middle class enjoying freedom and economy for leisure … they sent their children to colleges, bought cars and computer, they watched movies, listened to radios …

No sirs, madams, and others … conservatives who want to maintain a status quo that no longer exists must, therefore, push for regression; and regression is always harmful. History teaches us this; the Dark Ages didn’t get their name from a candles shortage or some solar calamity. They were a regression from a time of high literacy, education that permitted the building and maintaining of such things as flushing toilets, hot & cold running water, widespread international (and intercontinental) trade, effective medicines and surgeries, and more. Put bluntly: for a few centuries, most of Europe had lost the fork.

Conservativism has a place. It’s good for society to have a voice that says “hold on, now, is this change good? Or is it just change for the sake of change?” Fiscal conservativism doubly so, except today’s fiscal conservatives less often ask “General/President/Congressman, just where in Hell do you expect to find the money for this idea?” and, instead, are more inclined to cut specific spending, but hand blank cheques over to other sorts … often much more expensive sorts.

It’s all related. Is it worth spending so much to defend state laws & amendments that should never have been taken seriously enough to have made it to a ballot in the first place? Defending it costs money. It’s bad press: businesses looking askance at your environment & thinking they can attract better talent elsewhere (whoops, there goes various tax & license funds). It’s that much less work for existing business (more marriages means more caterers and florists get work!). It’s that much more spent on welfare to take care of children waiting to be adopted. It’s lost spending by people who leave, never move to, or never want to visit.

It is said that evil carries the seed of its own downfall. What can be more evil than hatred, whether you choose to dress it in fancy clothes and call it discrimination or not, it is what it is. And denial of rights or denial that what is being withheld is a right is intolance, discrimination, in a word: hate.  Look at World War II Germany … perhaps, if the Nazis hadn’t been so eager to round up Jews, gays, and others it would have been they who had the first atom bombs; it was more than a few of their scientists who helped the US invent the thing, after all.

Simple point of note: history remembers Lincoln freeing the slaves, and that Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act. No one knows the names of those who put the slaves in their chains, and in the Biblical story of Moses the oppressor was a villain and liberator a hero. Who is recalled more kindly? Dr Martin Luther King or Chancellor Adolf Hitler? Ghandi or Genghis Khan?

Your place in history was recorded the day people took to the polls. What role will you play in history’s narrative? Hero or villain? Saint or sinner? Healer or murderer? Bringer of peace or of war?

Maybe it’s time to look around and see that there’s a bigger world, a bigger picture, than your campaign podium and your biggest contributers, because shortsightedness could cost you personally, will almost certainly affect your children, is all but guaranteed to affect their children, and their children have no choice but to face the consequences of our actions today. Remember that Reconstruction, after the American Civil War, was a slew of rash decisions that came to a head almost exactly 100 years later.

Good day.
Ms Jaye Edgecliff

A momentary bout of the politicals

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Those who follow my twitter will have noticed that I shared a survey regarding Bernie Sanders‘ notion of running for the US presidency.  That survey, for those interested, can be found here: 

This is one point where I feel I must voice my opinion.

Senator Sanders represents certain ideals that this country is long overdue for.

He represents the notions of equality under the law:  I don’t care if you are gay or straight, cisgender or trans, man or woman or eunuch, black or white or green the right to live your own life should be fundamental.  I mean, come on America; England and several other European countries with a state religion have this equality yet with your first amendment protection of religion you don’t?!  Does anyone else see this as something that should have been positively embarrassing and immediately passed the day it happened in the Old World?!

He represents the idea that that health care should be available to all.  This one can probably be argued on the grounds of logic, but I’m too passionate on the subject so will posit a moral argument:  if this is the Christian nation that so many opponents of nationalised health care say it is, then this country should have had national health care from its inception.  Now, this isn’t a Christian nation; freedom of religion and the states shall establish no religion, et al ensures this.  That doesn ‘t mean, however, that moral arguments are invalid here.  Any faith I’ve ever encountered has provisions that say that we should care for our fellow man, therefore it ought to include that a man in need of medical attention should not need to check his pocketbook before deciding if he ought to seek medical attention; and health insurance is not health care of any sort, health insurance must be paid for whether used or not and there is still cost to the user even if it is reduced.

He represents the idea that, if the employers of this country do not wish to pay their employees sufficiently to live, then there ought to be laws to enforce that they do.  It’s a sad enough state of affairs that this is necessary.  Certainly not all peoples are so inconsiderate, there is no minimum wage law in Norway, yet they have one of the lowest disparities between the mailroom and the boardroom of any nation in the civilised world.  Minimum wage came to be in this country because employers would not pay people enough to buy a loaf of bread after a day’s work, the number of employers who fight against raising it or its very existence proves that they’d gladly go back to doing so; again, I don’t care what name you give to God, simple concern for your fellow man should say that this is important.  Again, I’m sure, for those who have no gods, there is a logical argument.  Ah!  Yes, this:  if people have money then they can buy your goods; if they don’t, they can’t!  Simple notions of profit ought to dictate that paying your employees sufficiently to have a home, utilities, and then something left over to buy your products with …

Put succinctly, I support people like Bernie simply because I believe wholeheartedly in every variation I’ve ever seen (some 100+ … I found a list once) of “Love thy neighbour as thyself”.  This means a lot to me.  I shan’t tell my neighbour the name and face of God, if she will give me the same courtesy (even if she doesn’t, I won’t, because I’m none too thrilled when she does it); I would want to know that, should I fall on hard times, I can still seek medicine and buy food, have a home, and other such things just as I want that for my neighbour if he falls on hard times; we all ought to wish one another the happiness found in being married to he/she/other we love.

I often look at my feelings and statements on this and will feel they are preachy and heavy-handed, but then I realise something:  the arguments against these ideas, every last one I’ve seen, are illogical, immoral, selfish, self-serving, short sighted, and often downright cruel.  Needless to say, given that, I do feel inclined to voice my opinions as loudly as I might in the hopes of swaying those people to a more chivalrous and noble point of view — a world of people who love, cherish, and care for one another, one that respects the humanity and lives of each other, is a world I’d far rather live in than the one we currently have.

And Amazon joins the fun

So, it turns out, today, that Amazon decided to price match my Labour Day weekend sale.

So!  Until they put the price back up (I’ve actually got to look up how to make sure they do that) Love or Lust is free for the Kindle!

I think I need a Russian translation of my book …

I’ve refrained from comment on the events in Russia, to this point because — frankly — I felt others were doing such a tremendously wonderful job of it already; I could think of nothing to add.  Bravo to Amsterdam and their flying of Pride flags from the government building when Putin (it was Putin, not some Ambassador, right?) came to visit.  Kudos to whoever was responsible for the rainbow crosswalk in front of the Russian embassy.

Of course, too, shame on Russia for this unconscionable law of their’s!

Then I read about this art exhibit thing, and decided that I did have something to say and contribute.

I’ve checked, and discovered — to my deep disappointment — that none of my sales channels include Russia.  I know, in this day of the internet, that Russians can probably get the book through various of my American, EU, UK, Australian, etc. channels.  For example an Aussie purchased my Kobo edition via the US store.  The thing is, sometimes for various reasons these transactions are not possible from certain countries.  Anyone know if Russians can use other countries’ eBook stores?

Makes me wish I had a Russian language edition.

Then again, I’m not entirely sure how this law works.  Would it only be I who was the Russian criminal, and not my reader?  If so then absolutely!  For that I’d learn the language and do the translating myself!  If the reader would be in trouble too (the articles I’ve read indicate that no matter how things go, I’d be ranked guilty of criminal offense — c’est la vie), then I hope that my book is not easily obtainable in Russia and that any Russians who find my work are either sensible enough to use discretion, or to think carefully about what they’re doing if they’re going to be indiscreet.  Protest is all fine and well, and to be encouraged; getting yourself arrested for reading a lesbian romance because you told the wrong person about the story or talked too loudly where the wrong people can hear … let’s no one be that person, shall we?

On a related, if tangential, note — I think the painting below is actually rather good.  I’m not sure, given what the article says the painting represents, that I fully understand the meaning it’s attempting to convey, but it’s rather striking and interesting even if you haven’t the slightest idea who the two are or what the artist was trying to portray with them.  I hope it isn’t the Russian legal authority’s wont to destroy such works once they’re finished their criminal proceedings.

On Tuesday, police raided an exhibit at St. Petersburg’s Museum of Authority, taking several works of art. Among them was a portrait of Vladimir Putin in a negligee and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev sporting a busty female body. The police, apparently, did not see the humor in the satirical painting. The artist has fled the country in the interest of safety: he fears criminal charges as authorities “have already said directly that my exhibition is extremist,” Agence France Presse reported.

The artist, Konstantin Altunin, might have been right in his assumption that getting out of town was the best plan of action. Earlier this summer, Russia passed a law that, effectively, outlawed any discussion or representation of homosexuality. In late July, Dutch filmmakers became the first tourists arrested under the new law, Salon reports, after they were caught interviewing young people about their views on homosexuality for a documentary they’re making about human rights. One of the other paintings Altunin contributed to the exhibit—at the gallery’s request—was of a lawmaker who had led push to ban “gay propaganda,” (Continued: Russian Authorities Are Deciding If It’s Illegal to Paint Putin in a Negligee | Smart News.)

This Is What a Feminist Looks Like (reblogged)

This is just wonderfully said. Feminism really ought to BE about women having the right to be themselves, to be treated as equals, to make up their own minds.

It’s even better for how she speaks of her husband. Of rcognising the EQUAL part. Feminism isn’t about dominance. It’s about the elimination of it. The men do those things for which they are suited, the women their own and for those things not affected by gender then share and share alike.

Choices, equality, freedom, respect. Not whether or not one wears bra or corset, not always wearing pants, or any other nonsense. It’s the right to say I shan’t wear a bra because I don’t wish to, the freedom to wear no skirt ever because you hate them. THAT, my friends, is feminism.

Oh my, I must be tired. I’ve gone all preachy instead of hitting share. I’ll shut up and let you read the post now.



Several years ago, I was playing Apples to Apples. The adjective to match was “scary,” and the “judge,” a young woman majoring in mathematics, chose “feminists.” I said, “I’m a feminist, what’s scary about that?” Another player, also a woman, who was in her 50s and had spent a long time working as an engineer, said, “Are you wearing a bra?” as if to imply that wearing a bra makes one NOT actually a feminist (not that it matters, but I was. Wearing a bra, that is).

I wish I had had the presence of mind to respond to her as Caitlin Moran would: “What part of liberation for women is not for you? Is it the freedom to vote? The right not to be owned by the man that you marry? The campaign for equal pay? Vogue by Madonna? Jeans? Did all that stuff just get on your nerves?”…

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