Friday Night Fun and Culture: Marianne Faithful

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The Connection Between Radical Feminism and Right Wing Christo-Fascism

Have you ever wondered if there was a connection between the Transphobia of the Radical Feminists and the right wing Christo-Fascists?

I have.

When I was in SDS/Weatherman the standard joke was you could always tell the undercover agents, they were the ones who suggested building bombs and killing cops.  Even at the Vegetarian Quakers for World Peace and Harmony meetings.

In the old days of the Communist Party USA the joke was: “How can you tellwho is the FBI/Red Squad member?” Answer: “They are the one who is completely pid up on their dues.”

I’ve grown very suspicious over the years when it comes to giving credibility to those who loudly proclaim themselves more “radical” than the rest of the people in any movement.

Particularly when the self proclaimed radicals use their cliam of purer radicalism to destroy mass movements.

Real ultra radicals don’t do that. Groups like the Earth Liberation front didn’t try to take over Earth First or Green Peace.  They just formed tightly knit cadres and did their acts of vandalism without dragging others into it.

The self proclaimed “radical feminists” show up every single time ordinary women are uniting to fight against the right wing war on women.

T to female people have a vested interest in the liberal version of feminism.  We need that equal pay.  We need the equal access to jobs, housing, credit.  Hell given our circumstances of often being severed from family and living alone without the support that comes from family and institutions we may need it more than many assigned female at birth women.

The mythology regarding transsexuals is that we shunned feminism during the 1970s, that we were all detatched from reality “fembots”.

This distorts history and ignores just how amazingly wide spread pop cultural feminism was in the early 1970s. The Feminist Revolution was being touted and talked about in magazines that you wouldn’t imagine.  Especially looking at today’s version of these magazines.

Even in the 1960s, Betty Friedan’s book The Feminine Mystique was excerpted in a wide array of magazines including McCalls and Ladies Home Journal.

Transitioning to female/woman has always meant being subjected to the same rules and restrictions assigned female at birth women are subjected to.  Plus a whole bunch of crap that non-trans people avoid due to normborn privilege.

Let’s look at the background of some of these transphobic “radical feminists”

Aside from from Robin Morgan, whose main religion seems to be opportunism many of the transphobic bigots appear deeply rooted in Catholicism or some other fanatical religion.

Germaine Greer:  Raised Catholic and attended a Convent School

Jean O’Leary:  She trashed out Sylvia Rivera and was loudly anti-transsexual.  She was a Catholic Nun.

Mary Daly: Catholic Theologian

Janice Raymond: former Catholic Nun

Two Transphobes who might not fall exactly in the category of “radical feminist” but you can’t tell from the beliefs they espouse.

Paul McHugh: Opus Dei

Alice Dreger: Former Nun

Cathy Brennan: College of the Holy Cross (A Jesuit College)

Perhaps this is why these people all seem to be reading a script written by William Donahue or Timothy Dolan.

Now I have to ask what role is the Catholic Church playing in defending women’s reproductive rights in the presenht “War on Women?”

Oh yes they are attacking them.

Cui Bono?

Who benefits if the women’s movement gets side tracked by a superfluous issue that involves less than a third of one percent of humanity.  Because transsexualism and transgenderism is a bout a three people in a thousand issue.

I know we are supposedly capable of great super powers but the way I see it half the time the TG/TS people in any given city are hard pressed to put together a bake sale.

Somehow the idea that we created the patriarchy and are the main source of women’s oppression seems on the level of absurdity one sees in the scapegoating of the Jews for all the evils in the world.

But  feminists fighting over transsexual and transgender people disrupts feminist organizations.

It is strictly a destructive tactic that allows the Catholic Church and the other Christo-Fascist patriarchal institutions to successfully wage their war on women’s reproductive rights.

The Codes of Gender (2009)

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The Olympic Games are obsessed with policing femininity

From Feministing:  http://feministing.com/2012/06/14/the-olympic-games-are-obsessed-with-policing-femininity/

By Jos
June 14, 2012

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has planted itself firmly at the intersection of gender policing and colonialism.

The Star recently published a fascinating and infuriating article by Stephanie Findlay about the policing of femininity in preparation for the Games being held this summer in London. Remember all the sturm und drang around Caster Semenya? The IAAF has continued their biological gender essentialism campaign from there.

When folks decide they need to fight for the binary, they go looking for the place where they believe they can find the Truth of Gender. The IAAF has located it in hormone levels. Athletes competing in women’s sports are now required to have testosterone levels below a certain threshold. If they have “too much” testosterone, they have to undergo some sort of hormone-related treatment in order to compete (exercise can impact testosterone levels, by the way. So basically, athletes who work really hard might have somewhat elevated testosterone. Which the IAAF says is a problem. This whole thing is beyond ridiculous). Oddly enough, we’re not hearing about similar testosterone policing in the men’s categories; here’s no talk I’m aware of about athletes having too much or too little naturally occurring testosterone to compete with men. There is policing of hormone treatment in men’s sports – hello steroids! Think about it: we’ve now got the IAAF both requiring and banning hormone treatment in the Olympics.

Gender policing has long been a part of women’s sports. Apparently, when women compete athletically it’s enough of a threat to male fantasies of physical superiority that femininity needs to be reinforced at every possible moment. Which explains why we see so many amazing female athletes getting massively femmed up and sexualized in advertising and the press.

Continue reading at:  http://feministing.com/2012/06/14/the-olympic-games-are-obsessed-with-policing-femininity/

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Transgender Reforms Announced for NYPD Patrol Guide

From The Advocate:  http://www.advocate.com/politics/transgender/2012/06/13/transgender-reforms-announced-nypd-patrol-guide

The long awaited changes to police practices are intended to improve interactions between officers and transgender New Yorkers.

BY Julie Bolcer
June 13 2012

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and advocates announced changes to the NYPD patrol guide intended to improve the way officers interact with transgender and gender non-conforming New Yorkers.

The changes were announced Tuesday afternoon during the annual City Council Pride celebration at the Cooper Union in Manhattan. The event, which was emceed by Whoopi Goldberg, honored the NYPD LGBT Advisory Panel, a group of community leaders who have been working with senior police officials on the updates for two years.

According to a news release from the City Council, the changes “create a written policy for the NYPD to follow when addressing, processing, searching and housing gender non-conforming people.” The patrol guide is the procedural book issued to officers that lays out regulations for dealing with the public. The updated guide formally outlines that city law prohibits discrimination or harassment based on actual or perceived gender.

“The NYPD’s new Patrol Guide makes it clear that all people must be treated with respect,” said Speaker Christine Quinn in a statement. “I applaud Commissioner Kelly for working closely with the City Council and the LGBT community to create respectful, inclusive guidelines that are appropriate for transgender New Yorkers, and I thank the NYPD LGBT Advisory Panel for their work to make these changes.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.advocate.com/politics/transgender/2012/06/13/transgender-reforms-announced-nypd-patrol-guide

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Gay Pride Parade 2012 / Brazil / São Paulo

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CeCe McDonald and the Safety Paradox of Transgender Prison Inmates

From XO Jane:  http://www.xojane.com/issues/safety-paradox-transgender-inmates-prison

CeCe McDonald is currently living with the general population of a men’s prison in Minnesota. The question remains of whether she can ever really be safe as long as she’s incarcerated.

Lesley
Jun 12, 2012

The case of CeCe McDonald — the transgender woman I wrote about last month, who plead guilty to manslaughter following an incident that many believe was fully justified self-defense — continues to shed light on current legal issues affecting the lives of trans folks. This weekend Melissa Harris-Perry took the opportunity on her MSNBC show to bring more attention to the issue of CeCe’s confinement, and discussed the subject with Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality.

CeCe’s story is already a collection of injustices, but her plea deal was barely the beginning of what is sure to be an uphill climb for the duration of her incarcertion. US prisons are divided by binary gender, and these institutions are only required to place inmates by their sex at birth — that is, they are free to ignore the gender identity of an inmate and to privilege her genitalia regardless of how the inmate herself feels about it.

As a result, CeCe has spent her time since her sentencing last week in a men’s prison facility in St. Cloud, MN, spending most of it in “administrative segregation,” known more colloquially as solitary confinement, ostensibly for her own protection. Acoording to Keisling, McDonald has more recently joined the general men’s population.

My kneejerk reaction to this is stark horror: A California study found that transgender women prisoners housed in all-male facilities are 13 times more likely to be sexually assaulted. But as in most things in life, the reality is far more complicated. According to Katie Burgess of the Trans Youth Support Network, quoted in Colorlines:

Continue reading at:  http://www.xojane.com/issues/safety-paradox-transgender-inmates-prison

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How Anti-Gay Regnerus ‘Study’ Was Corrupted By NOM From Beginning To End

From The New Civil Rights Movement:  http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/opinion-how-anti-gay-regnerus-study-was-corrupted-by-nom-from-beginning-to-end/marriage/2012/06/13/41324

by Scott Rose
June 13, 2012

Reposted with Permission

Mark Regnerus‘s recently-released, anti-gay, Republican political propaganda was a trap set by the malicious anti-gay bigots at the National Organization for Marriage.

Where NOM intended to trap people, and, so far, has largely succeeded in trapping people, is in getting them to blah-blah-blah about the details of Regnerus’s junk findings, instead of talking very pointedly about the genesis of the junk.

If you have not yet read an insightful debunking of Regnerus’s garbage, you could go here.

My object, though, is to expose Regnerus’s “study” as a total fraud and a hateful election year political stunt.

NOM’s mastermind Robert George, as happens, also is the mastermind of Regnerus’s anti-gay political propaganda masquerading unjustifiably as “social science.”

Robert George’s virulent, medieval anti-gay biases are already very well known. George is an author of the gay-bashing Manhattan Declaration, which essentially is an anti-Obama election document. George also is an author of the gay-bashing NOM pledge, signed by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

For his service towards the Republican goal of evicting the LGBT-friendly President Obama from the White House, Robert George was rewarded by House Speaker John Boehner, who appointed him to the egregiously misnamed U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. The bitter irony should be lost on nobody that in the United States, Robert George is working tirelessly to deprive clergy who wish to marry same-sex couples of their religious freedom right to do so.

Now, here is how we know that Regnerus’s junk study is corrupted by NOM from beginning to end:

1) The study was funded in part by The Witherspoon Institute, where NOM’s Robert George is a Senior Fellow;
2)  The study was further funded by The Bradley Foundation, where NOM’s Robert George is a Board member:

In other words, NOM’s Robert George, the most malevolent and determined of all American political gay bashers, arranged for the funding of Regnerus’s study. Reportedly, Robert George got Mark Regnerus three-quarters of a million dollars to do the study. You read that right: three-quarters of  a million dollars. Now ask yourselves; who picked Regnerus to do the deed? If Robert George got the funding for this study, do you think that Robert George subsequently had no say in who would carry the study out — not to mention — how they would carry it out?

This study was not funded and otherwise arranged for out of pure scientific curiosity. NOM’s Robert George had specific, ill-intentioned anti-gay political goals in funding the study and controlling how the study was carried out and promoted to the public. This is not science, this is not scholarship; this is anti-minority political hate propaganda.

It must be noted that on his Trinity Christian College bio, Mark Regnerus, an Evangelical, says that he thinks his “Christian” faith should inform his research and every other aspect of his work.

Regnerus’s junk study was announced with great fanfare, and an accompanying, anti-gay families editorial, in the LDS Church’s Deseret News. The Deseret News attempts to lend unwarranted respectability to Regnerus’s corrupt junk study, by saying that the study was published in a journal, Social Science Research. (More on this topic later).

READ: NOM Founder And Mormon Church Tied To First Report Of New Anti-Gay Parenting Paper

Nowhere does the Deseret News mention that the study was funded under the direction of NOM’s Robert George.

Nor do Deseret News reports — and anti-gay-leaning editorials — about Regnerus’s junk propaganda even bother to mention that NOM’s Robert George is on The Deseret News’s Editorial Board. Having arranged funding for the study, and having had a say in directing the political aims of the study, NOM’s Robert George also was able to dictate his NOM blog’s and Deseret News’s editorializing about the study.

In all the many ways and places — including the NOM blog — that the anti-gay NOMzi Republicans have been promoting Regnerus’s junk study —  for which, it cannot be said often enough — NOM’s Robert George arranged the funding — no NOMzi ever mentions that NOM’s Robert George arranged the funding.

What else have the gay-bashing NOMzis rolled out for this hate-filled propaganda blitz?

And in a related question, who went running to venues like ABC with the news of this study? Networks do not pick up on fake social science out of the blue. Who, connected with NOM’s Robert George and with Regnerus, brought the study to the networks’ attentions? Was it NOM’s public relations firm? Or was it Regnerus’s publicists? You have to bear in mind that most studies heretofore done on the subject showed that children raised by same-sex parents do well overall. The vicious gay-bashing NOMzis hated that, and wanted to do something about it. Now, without so much as even eating a dinner with a gay couple and their children, the NOMzis have paid an extravagant sum in order to carry out an attack against all gay parents as a class.

In addition to paying for Regnerus’s study, had control over picking the evangelical Regnerus to carry out the study, and arranging for the study to be heavily promoted through venues over which NOM’s Robert George has editorial control, anti-gay bigots simultaneously coordinated with Dr. Loren Marks, who is alleging, basically, that all previously-reported positive measures of same-sex parents are false.

Why is this Dr. Marks not to be trusted, ever, on matters involving gay human beings?

Marks holds undergraduate and Master’s degrees from Brigham Young University, owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The BYU “Honor Code” prohibits all forms of physical intimacy that give expression to homosexual feelings (while there is no such restriction against expressing heterosexual feelings). Additionally, BYU has this as official policy: No one may advocate homosexuality or promote homosexual relations as being morally acceptable.

Marks previously was lined up by NOM’s anti-gay thugs to testify, essentially against gay parents, in a Proposition 8 related case, even though he had no experience studying or working with same-sex parents. A transcript of Marks’s deposition in the case shows that under questioning, he admitted that he had cherry-picked information convenient to his anti-gay arguments out of the studies he relied on, that he neither read those studies in their entirety, nor knew anything whatsoever about same-sex parents, and that his presumptions were based on his theologically-fueled prejudice against gay people. The witness stand was a lonely place for Marks to tell his anti-gay lies; in the matter of this study, he is not at all under oath, nor is Regnerus, or NOM’s Robert George.

In sum, it is no mere coincidence that Marks’s and Regnerus’s anti-gay political propaganda is appearing at the same time and is being very aggressively promoted by the same sleazy cast of gay-bashing theocratic characters.

Marks’s sleazebag political slap at gay parents appeared in the same online “journal,” as Regnerus’s junk, “Social Science Research.”

Why nobody else has asked whether the Regnerus and Marks studies were peer reviewed, and if so, who those peers might have been, I do not know. According to the site’s “Peer Review Policy,” the editors “welcome suggestions for referees from the author(s).” “Referees” would be those who review the papers for scientific soundness and integrity prior to publication. Who were the “referees” for the Regnerus and Marks junk studies? Did the editors allow Regnerus and Marks to recommend their own referees? Were palms greased?

I sent Social Science Research head editor James Wright an e-mail, asking what vetting methods he used towards being certain that Regnerus was behaving ethically in carrying out and submitting his study to the publication. The financing of the study combined with the known, nasty political motives of the NOMzi who arranged the financing — in an election year — should disqualify the junk from any serious consideration. Nowhere does Social Science Research report that NOM’s Robert George 1) arranged for the funding of Regnerus’s study; or that he 2) had control over picking the evangelical Regnerus to carry out the study, apparently towards fulfillment of; 3) a specific, gay-bashing political goal. How — How? – was this project at all ethical?

In an e-mail, Wright neglected to say whether Regnerus and Marks were permitted to select the evaluators of their own studies. Wright also did not say just who evaluated the studies prior to publication. It appears entirely possible that the Regnerus and the Marks studies were reviewed by persons who share their theologically-motivated anti-gay biases. So far, Wright is not providing this crucial information; who reviewed those two studies? Wright has been involved in books seemingly promoting, and studies of so-called “Covenant Marriage.” Here is a typical sentence from his writings: “[T]his first analysis shows that (1) the beneficial effects of covenant marriage are tied largely to religiosity, and specifically the wife’s religiosity.” One political supporter of “Covenant Marriage” is Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, an SPLC-certified anti-gay hate group. The SPLC classifies groups as hate groups when they engage in patterns of deliberate lie-telling against a minority. In this paper, Wright and his co-authors used the phrase “the threat of gay marriage as a potentially destructive influence on the institution of marriage.” In that paper, Wright and his co-authors refer to efforts to “strengthen heterosexual marriage” as though same-sex couples’ marrying did anything to weaken “heterosexual marriage.” They also write about the “promotion of heterosexual marriage” when what they mean evidently is political opposition to same-sex marriage rights.

Something certainly smells funny, that Wright simultaneously published two anti-gay attack studies carried out by anti-gay theocrats, for election year use by the anti-gay political monsters of NOM.

Regnerus teaches at the University of Texas, Austin. I asked a spokesperson for Randy Diehl, Dean of the UT College of Liberal Arts, if he honestly believes that Regnerus’s study was carried out with academic integrity. I explained how the study was funded, and what NOM’s Robert George’s political intentions are against gay people. Dean Diehl gave a highly disigenuous, CYA response through his spokesperson. He did not at all acknowledge that NOM’s Robert George had funded Regnerus’s junk study, with pre-set anti-gay political aims. But he did blah-blah-blah at me about the need for different points of view to be explored.

That is a total cop out, and an abdication of Dean Diehl’s duty to uphold academic integrity. A university should not be a lies and propaganda factory, where scientific method can be flushed down the toilet to fulfill the demands of deep-pocketed gay-bashing monsters. The University of Texas, Austin handbook has a great deal to say about the topic of “Academic Dishonesty.” The relevant sections all specify that not all forms of disallowed academic dishonesty are described in the handbook. But there is one striking phrase that without question applies to the Regnerus NOM-funded junk study.  The school forbids “providing false or misleading information in an effort to injure another academically or financially.”

The NOMzis are absolute world champions in pumping out misinformation – (and, now, this “study,” and Regnerus’s and NOM’s uses of it contain heaping servings of misinformation) – in deliberate attempts to do injury to other people they do not even know. One NOMzi goal, we must now remember, is to get annulled by force the marriages of every last currently-married same-sex American couple. Robert George finds no success, attempting to prove in a court that marriage equality does him or anybody else a personal damage, and increasingly, Republican as well as Democratic judicial appointees are ruling against anti-gay discriminatory laws, so George and his bigot thugs have to resort to dishonest hate speech propaganda campaigns to try to motivate the electorate against a minority.

NOM and Robert George have widely announced goals of strengthening the institutionalized financial disadvantaging of LGBT Americans. NOM and George are opposed to such measures as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would help to protect LGBTers’ rights to freedom from workplace discrimination. The Regnerus junk study and the deeply dishonest manner in which the evangelical Regnerus presented it to the public manifestly violates everything in the spirit and letter of the UTA description of “Academic Integrity.

In this context, it must not go ignored that I have long deplored the Trustees of Princeton University, including Princeton President Shirley M. Tilghman for looking the other way when Professor Robert George, who brings a lot of right wing money to the school’s vicinity, violates Princeton’s “Rules, Rights and Responsibilities” by publishing anti-gay lies as quack scholarship with the Princeton name attached to the lies.

It is hardly a surprise that NOM’s Robert George did not hesitate to exert a corrupting political anti-gay influence on an academic in a different university.

The words in Regnerus’s junk study — and in Marks’s equal heap of anti-gay junk — should not be dignified by repeating them in order to rebut them.

That NOM’s Robert George funded the Regnerus anti-gay political propaganda, had control over picking the evangelical Regnerus to carry it out, and used venues over which he had editorial control to push the study, without ever disclosing that he had arranged for its funding, is the only thing one really needs to know.

The whole episode is shameful, and yet — surprise to end all surprises — NOM’s Robert George, Maggie Gallagher, Brian Brown and Thomas Peters know no shame.

An e-mail was sent to Mark Regnerus, asking if he is acknowledging how his study got funded through NOM’s Robert George to the tune of three-quarters of a million dollars — a windfall for domestic, non-foreign social sciences — and if he is acknowledging George’s long-established, virulent anti-gay bias. As of publication, Regnerus had not given me the courtesy of a reply. Some “scientist” Regnerus is.

Do not bother looking for any integrity in NOM or in Regnerus; they have none.

New York City– based novelist and freelance writer Scott Rose’s LGBT– interest by– line has appeared on Advocate .com, PoliticusUSA .com, The New York Blade, Queerty .com, Girlfriends and in numerous additional venues. Among his other interests are the arts, boating and yachting, wine and food, travel, poker and dogs. His “Mr. David Cooper’s Happy Suicide” is about a New York City advertising executive assigned to a condom account.

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Baton vs camera: Police open hunt for citizen journalists

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Pentagon announces gay pride celebration in recognition of troops

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jun/14/pentagon-gay-pride-celebration

Gay rights groups praise move as ‘tremendous accomplishment’ just months after US military repeal of ‘don’t ask don’t tell’

in New York
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 14 June 2012

Less than nine months after the repeal of “don’t ask don’t tell”, the US military has announced that it will participate in this month’s celebration of gay pride.

The Pentagon is to organise the first official event to recognise gay and lesbian troops. The move, first reported by Associated Press, was heralded by lesbian and gay groups as a sign of how quickly the military has acted to open up the services in the wake of the repeal.

“This is a tremendous accomplishment to be happening not one year since the repeal of don’t ask, don’t tell,” said Josh Seefried, an air force lieutenant with the Joint Base Maguire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey.

Seefried made a comparison with the British military services, where despite the lifting of a ban on gays in the military ten years ago, it took some time for gay service personnel to be open about their sexuality. “Here, on day one we had more than 100 come out in all branches of the military,” he said.

The Pentagon has declined to give details of the event that it will organise as part of pride month. But it is certain to involve the saluting of gay and lesbian troops, in an echo of how African American and other ethnic groups are celebrated at different times in the annual calendar.

The event will be the latest in the rolling out of the new tolerance within the military. Don’t ask, don’t tell, which was introduced under President Clinton in 1993, forced the discharge of more than 13,000 men and women sacked for revealing their sexual orientation.

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jun/14/pentagon-gay-pride-celebration

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Will Republicans go back to the party of borrow & spend soon?

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Michigan Dem banned by Republicans for using the word ‘vagina’

From Raw Story: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/06/14/michigan-dem-banned-by-republicans-for-using-the-word-vagina/

By Stephen C. Webster
Thursday, June 14, 2012

A female Democratic state representative in Michigan said Thursday that she has been silenced by her Republican colleagues after she uttered the word “vagina” while criticizing a slate of bills that would restrict female reproductive rights.

Michigan State Rep. Lisa Brown (D) made her comments during a Wednesday debate on proposed legislation that critics say could effectively ban abortions in the state. ”I have not asked you to adopt and adhere to my religious beliefs,” she said. “Why are you asking me to adopt yours? And finally, Mr. Speaker, I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina, but no means no.”

The legislation, contained in three separate bills, would limit abortions by restricting procedures past 20 weeks of pregnancy, imposing new insurance and licensing requirements on clinics, limiting access to abortion drugs and placing new requirements on the tissue disposal process.

An earlier hearing on the same bills saw representatives from Michigan Planned Parenthood shut out and ignored — an act that attracted hundreds of protesters to the capitol on Tuesday.

Continue reading at:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/06/14/michigan-dem-banned-by-republicans-for-using-the-word-vagina/

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College Budget Cuts Make Life Grueling for America’s Young and Unemployed

From Truth Dig:  http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/budget_cuts_make_life_impossible_for_americas_young_and_unemployed_20120613

By Howie Stier
Posted on Jun 13, 2012

The vast quad of Los Angeles City College, rimmed by a jumble of architectural styles, boasts the ubiquitous footpaths and the patch of green found at so many American campuses. But come summer, the college that once burgeoned such culture makers as poet Charles Bukowski and filmmakers the Hughes brothers will largely lie fallow.

“We had to give our students notice in April that we didn’t have funds for summer classes,” said Dr. Jamillah Moore, president of the college. “But this is not a surprise. This is our fourth year facing some reduction because of the state deficit.” When Moore took the helm in 2008, the school had a $67 million annual budget, eroded now to $50 million even as a poor job market has increased demand for affordable education.

The California state college system endured budget cuts before the Great Recession, took a pounding during it and was on the ropes entering the 2009 recovery, losing a total of $1.6 billion in the past 10 years, the L.A. Times reports. Word this past May from Gov. Jerry Brown of a budget deficit hovering around $16 billion is the crushing body blow that’s readied the schools for a standing eight.

Although L.A. City College will provide summer courses in professional programs—dental, technology, radiologic technology and nursing—most students at LACC and at other Los Angeles community colleges are out of luck. “Since I arrived, we haven’t been more hard hit than Trade Tech, Pierce, Harbor—we’ve all been hit,” Moore explains, citing other schools in the nine campus Los Angeles Community College District. Moore says those affected can commute to another campus this summer; East Los Angeles College, for example, remains open. But students say that is not a viable option.

Continue reading at:  http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/budget_cuts_make_life_impossible_for_americas_young_and_unemployed_20120613

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American Horror Story

From The New York Times:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/13/opinion/dowd-american-horror-story.html

By
Published: June 12, 2012

BELLEFONTE, Pa.

Standing a few feet away from Jerry Sandusky, as he laughed and reminisced with friends in the front row of the courtroom, made me want to take a shower.

Just not in the Penn State locker room.

That was the gateway to horror where innocence was devoured by evil, over and over and over again, without a word being said. Just rhythmic smacking and slapping noises, silent screams, gutted psyches.

The lead witness in Sandusky’s trial — the former defensive coach at Penn State is charged with molesting 10 boys over 15 years — was a nice-looking, short-haired 28-year-old in white shirt and tie, a narrow parenthesis of a man.

He seemed confident enough when he started, but, as he talked, he grew more and more agitated, running his hand and fist over his face, sliding glances at the 68-year-old, no-neck monster Sandusky at the defense table, staring at the pictures of himself as a young boy with a big grin and bowl cut, relishing the thrilling new world of football heroes that Sandusky had opened up to him. In the photos the prosecution put up on a screen, Sandusky’s hand was usually gripped, mano morta, on the boy’s shoulder.

By the end of his testimony, he looked haunted and acted jittery. His pain seemed fresh.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/13/opinion/dowd-american-horror-story.html

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Romney’s Campaign of Inanity

From Common Dreams:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/14-12

by Ralph Nader
Published on Thursday, June 14, 2012 by Common Dreams

Mitt Romney’s daily dittohead assertions make one wonder what he got out of the law and business degrees he received from Harvard University. One of his regular blasts blames Barack Obama for the daily reports of bad economic indicators. Unemployment increases – blame Obama. Retail sales decline – blame Obama. Profits not rising – blame Obama. Housing crisis continues– blame Obama.

At the same time, Mr. Romney will be the first to tell you that government doesn’t create jobs. In the same breath he’ll brag about creating thousands of jobs as a one-term governor of Massachusetts.

Are there contradictions here?

Welcome to the land of “Republican-speak” and the media dutifully headlining every absurd charge or claim made by the foregone Republican nominee for president in 2012.

First, government can both create jobs and cost jobs. Public works programs by state and federal government have created jobs in America for over 200 years. So do long-overdue safety and health regulations such as those requiring seat belts and air bags and smoke stack scrubbers, which can all be manufactured by American workers.

On the other hand, the “government – global corporate alliance” that created one-sided tax and trade policies like those advanced under NAFTA and through the World Trade Organization have cost millions of net American jobs. After all, the massive annual trade deficits recorded by the United States over the last thirty years have meant a net export of both blue and white collar jobs.

Continue reading at:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/14-12

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Planet Earth may be near tipping point – yawn

From Taranaki Daily News (NZ):   http://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/opinion/7100187/Planet-Earth-may-be-near-tipping-point-yawn

Gwynne Dyer
14/06/2012

The forthcoming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro (Rio+20) on June 20-22 has brought out the usual warnings of environmental doom. They have been greeted with the usual indifference: after all, there are seven billion of us now, and we’re all still eating. What could possibly go wrong?

The United Nations Environment Programme published its five-yearly Global Environmental Outlook (GEO-5) saying that significant progress has been made on only four of 90 environmental goals that were adopted at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992.

“If current patterns of production and consumption of natural resources prevail,” warned UNEP head Achim Steiner, “then governments will preside over unprecedented levels of damage and degradation.” Yawn.

Meanwhile, a team of respected scientists warn that life on Earth may be on the way to an irreversible “tipping point”. Sure. Heard that one before, too.

Last week one of the world’s two leading scientific journals, Nature, published a paper, “Approaching a state shift in Earth’s biosphere,” pointing out that more than 40 per cent of the Earth’s land is already used for human needs. With the human population set to grow by a further two billion by 2050, that figure could soon exceed 50 per cent.

“It really will be a new world, biologically, at that point,” said the paper’s lead author, Professor Anthony Barnofsky of the University of California, Berkeley. But Barnofsky doesn’t go into the details. Scientists hardly ever do in public, for fear of being seen as panic- mongers. Here’s how bad it could get.

Continue reading at:  http://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/opinion/7100187/Planet-Earth-may-be-near-tipping-point-yawn

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Lakoff: Why the Conservative Worldview Exalts Selfishness

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/teaparty/155875/lakoff%3A_why_the_conservative_worldview_exalts_selfishness_/

Conservatives and liberals have profoundly different moral views about what constitutes a just economy and society.

By George Lakoff and Elisabeth Wehling
June 14, 2012

Authors of THE LITTLE BLUE BOOK: The Essential Guide to Thinking and Talking Democratic, where morally-based framing is discussed in great detail.

In his June 11, 2012 op-ed in the NY Times, Paul Krugman goes beyond economic analysis to bring up the morality and the conceptual framing that determines economic policy. He speaks of “the people the economy is supposed to serve” — “the unemployed,” and “workers”— and “the mentality that sees economic pain as somehow redeeming.”

Krugman is right to bring these matters up. Markets are not provided by nature. They are constructed — by laws, rules, and institutions. All of these have moral bases of one sort or another. Hence, all markets are moral, according to someone’s sense of morality. The only question is, Whose morality? In contemporary America, it is conservative versus progressive morality that governs forms of economic policy. The systems of morality behind economic policies need to be discussed.

Most Democrats, consciously or mostly unconsciously, use a moral view deriving from an idealized notion of nurturant parenting, a morality based on caring about their fellow citizens, and acting responsibly both for themselves and others with what President Obama has called “an ethic of excellence” — doing one’s best not just for oneself, but for one’s family, community, and country, and for the world. Government on this view has two moral missions: to protect and empower everyone equally.

The means is The Public, which provides infrastructure, public education, and regulations to maximize health, protection and justice, a sustainable environment, systems for information and transportation, and so forth. The Public is necessary for The Private, especially private enterprise, which relies on all of the above. The liberal market economy maximizes overall freedom by serving public needs: providing needed products at reasonable prices for reasonable profits, paying workers fairly and treating them well, and serving the communities to which they belong. In short, “the people the economy is supposed to serve” are ordinary citizens. This has been the basis of American democracy from the beginning.

Conservatives hold a different moral perspective, based on an idealized notion of a strict father family. In this model, the father is The Decider, who is in charge, knows right from wrong, and teaches children morality by punishing them painfully when they do wrong, so that they can become disciplined enough to do right and thrive in the market.  If they are not well-off, they are not sufficiently disciplined and so cannot be moral: they deserve their poverty. Applied to conservative politics, this yields a moral hierarchy with the wealthy, morally disciplined citizens deservedly on the top.

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/teaparty/155875/lakoff%3A_why_the_conservative_worldview_exalts_selfishness_/

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Sen. Sanders: Consumers should know if food is genetically modified

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