Sh*t Dallas People Say

Guilty… Of at least a few dozen of these…

Planned Parenthood did not Teach Girl Scouts how to Lead Happy Sex Lives while Living with HIV

These Pseudo-Christians think nothing of lying.  One cannot believe a single thing they say.

From Right Wing Watch:

by Kyle Mantyla
February 3, 2012

Amid the news that the Susan G. Komen Foundation may (or may not) be reversing its decision to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood, it is worth taking a moment to realize just how ridiculous yet effective the right-wing campaign against Planned Parenthood has been.

For instance, back in 2010, the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute alleged that during a United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, the Girl Scouts “hosted a no-adults-welcome panel at the United Nations … where Planned Parenthood was allowed to distribute a brochure entitled ‘Healthy, Happy and Hot’ [which] contains explicit and graphic details on sex, as well as the promotion of casual sex in many forms.”

The only problem was that it wasn’t true.  As the Girl Scouts explained, all the organizations at the conference had been using the same rooms and so if there were any Planned Parenthood brochures present in the room when they held their meeting, it was only because they had been left behind after previous sessions.

As we pointed out back in 2010, the entire allegation doesn’t even make sense as the purpose of the brochure in question is aimed at teaching people about how to lead sexually fulfilling lives while living with HIV?  Are we really supposed to believe that the Girl Scouts kicked everyone out of the room so that Planned Parenthood could present this information to a bunch of young girls?

But the fact that the entire thing is fundamentally absurd, all of the Religious Right’s anti-Planned Parenthood crusaders ate it up and have repeated it ad nauseum until it has gotten to the point where it is now so accepted as fact that Girl Scout leaders have to spend time repeatedly swatting down the rumor while losing sales:

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Pot legalization efforts forge ahead in key states

From Reuters:

By Alex Dobuzinskis
Tue Jan 31, 2012

(Reuters) – Efforts to legalize marijuana for recreational use are gaining momentum in Washington state and Colorado, despite fierce opposition from the federal government and a decades-long cultural battle over America’s most commonly used illicit drug.

Officials in Washington state on Friday said an initiative to legalize pot has enough signatures to qualify for the ballot in November. In Colorado, officials are likely this week to make a similar determination about an initiative there.

Supporters are prepared to possibly spend millions of dollars ahead of the November ballot, when they hope a strong voter turnout, particularly among youth, for the U.S. presidential election will aid their cause.

“Whether it’s make or break depends on what public opinion does after 2012, but in terms of voter turnout this is the best year to do it,” said Alison Holcomb, director of New Approach Washington, the initiative’s sponsor.

While 16 states, including Washington and Colorado, along with the nation’s capital, now allow marijuana use for medical purposes, cannabis remains an illegal narcotic under U.S. law – and public opinion is sharply divided on the merits of full legalization.

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The T-Word Hasn’t Changed, We Have

From The Advocate:

The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s Jake Finney responds to RuPaul and others and explains that the T-Word has always been inappropriate but few stood up for themselves.

By Jake Finney, op-ed contributor
January 27, 2012

There have been a few knockdown drag-out fights recently within the LGBTQ community over the use of the word “tranny,” a confrontation that has become known as “Trannygate.”   On one side, trans activists and their allies contend that the T-word is a slur used to dehumanize trans people, while the other side, mostly gay men including drag queens, fire back with “it’s just a joke,”  “don’t be so sensitive/P.C.” or my personal favorite “it’s just a word.”

Openly gay entertainers Lance Bass and Neil Patrick Harris recently used the word while kidding around on television, and they subsequently apologized.  Openly gay Project Runway star Christian Siriano teased people as “hot tranny messes” during the show’s fourth season in 2008. In a recent interview that appeared in the Huffington Post, drag entertainer RuPaul said “no one has ever said the word ‘tranny’ in a derogatory sense” then he went on to say that he wished Bass had told his critics “F-you, you tranny jerk!”

The T-word has a long history of being tossed around in both media and casual conversation, so people are wondering why it’s suddenly a slur. The truth is that the T-word has always been depreciative. It was coined by the porn industry to fetishize trans women and boost sales.

A Google search of “tranny” brings up 169,000,000 hits, the vast majority of which come from online porn that is also tied with the equally derogatory term “she-male.”  When someone says “tranny,” they’re expressing a sexual fetish that degrades women who happen to be trans.  So it’s not “suddenly” a slur. The difference today is that trans people are finally feeling empowered enough to stand up and demand that they be treated with dignity.

When gay celebrities use language that publicly ridicules trans people, it sends a clear message to our lesbian, gay and bisexual youth that, despite anti-bullying efforts to protect them, it’s still OK to bully those who identify as trans or who are otherwise gender variant.  So it never gets better for trans youth while they are being bullied not only by their straight peers, but also by their LGB peers who simply mimick their adult role models.

Words have power, like it or not.  This fact was recognized by the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network’s “Think Before You Speak” campaign, which tackled the phrase “that’s so gay.”  Most of us acknowledge that’s a phrase that should be banished from the lexicon because it equates being gay with being stupid or strange.  But what about the harm caused to trans youth when the word tranny is equated with someone who’s a “mess?”

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Obama Owes More on Religious Freedom

From Truth Dig:

By E.J. Dionne, Jr.
Posted on Jan 29, 2012

One of Barack Obama’s great attractions as a presidential candidate was his sensitivity to the feelings and intellectual concerns of religious believers. That is why it is so remarkable that he utterly botched the admittedly difficult question of how contraceptive services should be treated under the new health care law.

His administration mishandled this decision not once but twice. In the process, Obama threw his progressive Catholic allies under the bus, strengthened the very forces inside the church that sought to derail the health care law, and created unnecessary problems for himself in the 2012 election.

This might not have mattered if Obama had presented himself as a pure secular liberal. Before he was elected and after, he held himself to a more inclusive standard, reassuring many religious moderates.

His deservedly celebrated 2006 speech on religion and American public life was a deeply sophisticated and carefully balanced effort to defend the rights of believers and nonbelievers in a pluralistic republic.

Obama’s speech at Notre Dame’s graduation in 2009 was another tour de force. His visit to South Bend was highly controversial among conservative and right-wing Catholics. Yet the address he gave temporarily silenced many of his critics because it showed both an appreciation for the Catholic Church’s contributions to American life—particularly through its vast array of social-service and educational institutions—and a great instinctive feeling for Catholic sensibilities.

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ENDA exec order waiting at the White House: sources

From The Washington Blade:

By Chris Johnson
February 1, 2012

Government agencies have cleared an administrative measure that would bar federal dollars from going to companies without LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination protections, according to three informed sources familiar with the process, and have sent their recommendation to the White House for final approval.

The sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Labor Department and the Justice Department have given the OK to amend existing Executive Order 11246 to include protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Executive Order 11246 already prohibits federal contractors that have contracts exceeding $10,000 from discriminating in employment based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin.

Now that the measure is at the White House, the last remaining step is for President Obama to take action.

“It is at the White House and is now a political decision,” one source said.

Another source was optimistic about President Obama issuing the executive order before the end of his first term, saying, “I think there are better than even odds we’ll see it this year.”

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What Breast Cancer is, and is not!

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Why You Still Shouldn’t Trust Susan G. Komen, Even After Their Reversal

From The New Civil Rights Movement:

by David Badash
February 3, 2012

If there is one thing every human being knows, it’s the idea of trust. And when that trust is broken, it’s hard to rebuild it. Perhaps in a marriage, over time, trust can be restored, hopefully. But in a relationship with an organization, that trust has to be based both on actions and on research. And the bottom line with the new Susan G. Komen For The Cureorganization is that the people who were once part of the organization that was known since its founding as The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation is that it’s an entirely different organization than America once knew, and trusted. Frankly, their name change proves their desire to move from being a cancer non-profit to a political organization.

It’s like when your local neighborhood bank gets bought out by a huge international financial conglomerate. “Union Trust” becomes Bank of America. Everything changes. Oh, they promise it won’t, but you and I know it always does. New policies, new practices, new people.

And it’s these new people at Komen that have changed a once non-political non-profit breast cancer fighting organization into a political profiteering organization with an agenda, beholden to the radical right.

Yes, Komen today reversed course and possibly reinstated funding to Planned Parenthood, but the fact remains that their bylaws have not changed — this is a temporary move, with no guarantee that they will fund Planned Parenthood in the future, or not restrict their funding either.

In fact, as The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent reports, it’s unclear Komen will fund Planned Parenthood in the future at all:

As some were quick to point out, the statement put out by Komen doesn’t really clarify whether Planned Parenthood will actually continue to get money from the group. The original rationale for barring Planned Parenthood was that it was under investigation (a witch-hunt probe undertaken by GOP Rep Cliff Stearns). Komen said today that the group would “amend the criteria to make clear that disqualifying investigations must be criminal and conclusive in nature and not political.”

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Global Business Elite Go Marxist at Davos!

From The Nation:

Andy Robinson
February 1, 2012 

Davos Strange as it may seem, debates on the dangers of rising income inequality are now de rigueur at the annual gathering of the global business elite at this snowbound Swiss mountain resort. During this year’s four-day meeting of the World Economic Forum, 2,600 corporate CEOs, investment bankers, fund managers and assorted social and intellectual entrepreneurs brainstormed and networked frantically during the day. Then, by night, they slithered from party to party in the old tuberculosis sanitariums—now five-star wellness hotels—along the ice-covered promenade.This is the Davos routine, unchanged through boom and bust, though this year the swankiest party was hosted by the Brazilian government and not a Wall Street bank. But ever since the onset of economic crisis, the astute Davos-goer’s agenda must also include at least one session on the implications of soaring income polarization in the twenty-first century. CEOs and private-equity fund managers—even some of the seventy Forbes billionaires attending—interrupted their search for distressed assets in the eurozone this year to attend lectures by grim-faced New York University economist and Davos regular Nouriel Roubini or Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz.

The message: inequality is no longer just a social or ethical issue but an economic blight that will stymie recovery. “The superrich spend little of their incremental income, so we have a problem of aggregate demand, and that hurts the economy,” Roubini explained at a debate evocatively titled “The Seeds of Dystopia.” More than half the 1,200 investors, analysts and traders consulted in a Bloomberg poll published on the eve of the summit agreed that inequality damages economic growth. “Marx was right; capitalism creates obstacles to its own advancement,” said Roubini. The audience nodded in agreement and then headed off for sessions on new investment opportunities in “frontier markets” like Mongolia and Azerbaijan.

But many attendees lost their cool over Barack Obama’s State of the Union promise to introduce a minimum 30 percent income tax on millionaires. American CEOs who had followed the speech on their iPads during the three-hour drive from the airport vented their spleen during a session on the world business outlook. “They say they want to create employment, then they attack the employment creators,” complained Duncan Niederauer, CEO of the electronic stock exchange Euronext, who took home $5 million last year. “It’s wealth creation that matters, not income distribution,” chimed in Alcoa CEO Klaus Kleinfeld, whose last compensation package topped $11 million. Only John Chambers of Cisco (who took home $38 million last year) seemed to sense that the old Davos clichés of trickle-down might not work anymore. He chided Kleinfeld’s arrogance, saying, “It’s an embarrassment that US business has not found a way to combine its success with a growing middle class.”

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Who Wants Ellen DeGeneres Fired?

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Jonathan Franzen warns ebooks are corroding values

From The Guardian UK:

Freedom author tells festival audience that the ‘impermanence’ of ebooks is incompatible with enduring principles
, Monday 30 January 2012

Jonathan Franzen has spoken of his fear that ebooks will have a detrimental effect on the world – and his belief that serious readers will always prefer print editions.

The acclaimed and bestselling novelist, who denies himself access to the internet when writing, was talking at the Hay festival in Cartagena, Colombia. “Maybe nobody will care about printed books 50 years from now, but I do. When I read a book, I’m handling a specific object in a specific time and place. The fact that when I take the book off the shelf it still says the same thing – that’s reassuring,” said Franzen, according to
the Telegraph

“Someone worked really hard to make the language just right, just the way they wanted it. They were so sure of it that they printed it in ink, on paper. A screen always feels like we could delete that, change that, move it around. So for a literature-crazed person like me, it’s just not permanent enough.”

For serious readers, Franzen said, “a sense of permanence has always been part of the experience”. “Everything else in your life is fluid, but here is this text that doesn’t change,” he continued. “Will there still be readers 50 years from now who feel that way? Who have that hunger for something permanent and unalterable? I don’t have a crystal ball. But I do fear that it’s going to be very hard to make the world work if there’s no permanence like that. That kind of radical contingency is not compatible with a system of justice or responsible self-government.”

The acclaimed author of Freedom and The Corrections – which are published as ebooks – has said in the past that “it’s doubtful that anyone with an internet connection at his workplace is writing good fiction”. He seals the ethernet port on his own computer to prevent him connecting to the internet while he writes, also removing the card so he is unable to play computer games and wearing noise-cancelling headphones to prevent distraction.

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Where’s the Bipartisan Support for the Violence Against Women Act?

From Ms Blog:

February 2, 2012

According to the media, the public holds the bickering, do-nothing Congress in unprecedented low esteem. But here’s some good news: In the weeks and months ahead, there is one area where our legislators can redeem themselves. The Violence Against Women Actis up for reauthorization, and if Congress passes a strong bill, millions of girls and women will have a better chance to escape and heal from sexual, domestic, dating and stalking violence.

We only have to read the latest headlines to know that our nation must continue its work to prevent and respond to the cruel sexual violence, lethal battery and assault that lead to murder and destruction in whole families. Shockingly, three U.S. women are killed every day in domestic violence incidents.

VAWA was originally passed in 1994 and currently has the bipartisan support of a third of the full Senate. In a nod to harsh economic times, the money authorized has been lowered to the 2000 level, programs have been consolidated, budgets tightened and accountability emphasized.

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