Friday Night Fun and Culture: Tegan and Sara

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Romney interrupted by DREAM & LGBT advocates @ first rally as US candidate

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Catholic League’s Bill Donohue Defends Conservative Franciscan’s Advocacy for Understanding of Man-Boy Love

What’s the difference between the Catholic Church and NAMBLA?

One has tax exempt status and gets to demand control over women’s reproductive health.

From  The New Civil Rights Movement: http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/1-catholic-leagues-bill-donohue-defends-pedophile-sympathizing-priest/news/2012/08/31/47879

Donohue, for his part, has also called rape victims of the Catholic Church’s pedophile priests “professional victims,” and “a pitiful bunch of malcontents” unable to move on.

by David Badash
on August 31, 2012

Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, issued a statement yesterday defending Father Benedict Groeschel, who earlier this week blamed child victims of pedophile priests for their rapes. Calling Groeschel’s service “heroic,” and his record “impressive,” Donohue claims Father Groeschel merely “hypothesized how a young person (14, 16 or 18, as he put it) could conceivably take advantage of a priest who was having a nervous breakdown.” Groeschel told the National Catholic Register that in a “lot of the cases, the youngster — 14, 16, 18 — is the seducer.”

READ: Famous Roman Catholic Priest Blames Children For Their Rapes

Donohue calls Groeschel’s record of screening applicants to the priesthood “impressive,” yet, as The New Civil Rights Movement posited yesterday, perhaps someone in the past 40 years should have realized that the gatekeeper was a sympathizer to rapists of children? Did no one ever examine Groeschel’s batting average?

The Catholic Church has been plagued with thousands of pedophile priests, enabled by Catholic leadership up to and including Pope Benedict XVI, (certainly in his previously role,) and men like Donohue, who attack groups like SNAP and demean and discredit those victims who speak out.

Speaking of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abuse By Priests — whom Dolan has called a “phony victims’ group” — David Clohessy, SNAP’s Executive Director, writes of the Groeschel issue that “the real issue isn’t that Groeschel makes such hurtful, stupid and Todd Akin-like remarks.(Many Catholic officials have thought and said much the same. We suspect many still do right now.)”

Continue reading at:  http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/1-catholic-leagues-bill-donohue-defends-pedophile-sympathizing-priest/news/2012/08/31/47879

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Father Benedict Groeschel, American Friar, Claims Teens Seduce Priests In Some Sex Abuse Cases

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/29/father-benedict-groeschel-teens-seduce-priests_n_1840900.html

By
08/29/2012

In a recent interview with the National Catholic Register, Father Benedict Groeschel, of the conservative Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, said that teens act as seducers in some sexual abuse cases involving priests.

It’s been close to a decade since an investigation into clergy sex abuse cases by The Boston Globe unearthed a shocking scandal and cover-up that rocked the foundations of the Catholic Church in the U.S. and around the world.

Ten years may have passed, but the wounds have yet to fully heal in America, especially in light of the recent Penn State allegations, as well as the trial of Monsignor William Lynn, former secretary for the clergy in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

In light of this, the recent comments by Groeschel seem both puzzling and jarringly out of step with current sentiments.

In an interview with the National Catholic Register posted this week, Groeschel was asked about his work with the very conservative Friars of the Renewal, a breakaway order he founded 25 years ago. The conversation took an interesting turn, however, when the editor asked about the 78-year-old’s work with sexual abuse perpetrators.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/29/father-benedict-groeschel-teens-seduce-priests_n_1840900.html

See Also: Catholic newspaper scrubs interview after priest says children are ‘seducers’

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Shulamith Firestone, radical feminist, wrote best-seller, 67

From The Villager:  http://www.thevillager.com/?p=7172

BY LINCOLN ANDERSON
August 30, 2012

Shulamith Firestone, a pioneering feminist who shot to fame at age 25 with her best-selling book, “The Dialectic of Sex,” was found dead in her East Village apartment on Tuesday. She was 67.

Alerted by neighbors, who had smelled a strong odor from her apartment, her superintendent peered in through a window from the fire escape and saw her body on the floor. Her landlord, Bob Perl, said she had probably been dead about a week. He said her one-bedroom unit included rows of books, including Greek classics.

Suffering from mental illness, she had shut herself off from contact with other people. Perl said the cause of death is unclear at this point — police said it wasn’t starvation — and that the coroner’s report should provide an answer.

Perl purchased the building, 213 E. 10th St., in 1993, and figures Firestone lived there, on the fifth floor, for about 30 years.

“She was not well for many years,” Perl said, noting that her family members and “strangers” would pay her rent when she was unable to. “She was a prodigy. But she had been ill for so many years, she lost contact with the outside world.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.thevillager.com/?p=7172

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Two Codepink Women disrupt Paul Ryan inside Convention Center during RNC inaugural speech

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Greed and Debt: The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital

It’s a long article and you might want to buy a hard copy of Rolling Stone for this one rather than following the links

From Rolling Stone:  http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/greed-and-debt-the-true-story-of-mitt-romney-and-bain-capital-20120829

How the GOP presidential candidate and his private equity firm staged an epic wealth grab, destroyed jobs – and stuck others with the bill

By Matt Taibbi
August 29, 2012

he great criticism of Mitt Romney, from both sides of the aisle, has always been that he doesn’t stand for anything. He’s a flip-flopper, they say, a lightweight, a cardboard opportunist who’ll say anything to get elected.

The critics couldn’t be more wrong. Mitt Romney is no tissue-paper man. He’s closer to being a revolutionary, a backward-world version of Che or Trotsky, with tweezed nostrils instead of a beard, a half-Windsor instead of a leather jerkin. His legendary flip-flops aren’t the lies of a bumbling opportunist – they’re the confident prevarications of a man untroubled by misleading the nonbeliever in pursuit of a single, all-consuming goal. Romney has a vision, and he’s trying for something big: We’ve just been too slow to sort out what it is, just as we’ve been slow to grasp the roots of the radical economic changes that have swept the country in the last generation.

The incredible untold story of the 2012 election so far is that Romney’s run has been a shimmering pearl of perfect political hypocrisy, which he’s somehow managed to keep hidden, even with thousands of cameras following his every move. And the drama of this rhetorical high-wire act was ratcheted up even further when Romney chose his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin – like himself, a self-righteously anal, thin-lipped, Whitest Kids U Know penny pincher who’d be honored to tell Oliver Twist there’s no more soup left. By selecting Ryan, Romney, the hard-charging, chameleonic champion of a disgraced-yet-defiant Wall Street, officially succeeded in moving the battle lines in the 2012 presidential race.

Like John McCain four years before, Romney desperately needed a vice-presidential pick that would change the game. But where McCain bet on a combustive mix of clueless novelty and suburban sexual tension named Sarah Palin, Romney bet on an idea. He said as much when he unveiled his choice of Ryan, the author of a hair-raising budget-cutting plan best known for its willingness to slash the sacred cows of Medicare and Medicaid. “Paul Ryan has become an intellectual leader of the Republican Party,” Romney told frenzied Republican supporters in Norfolk, Virginia, standing before the reliably jingoistic backdrop of a floating warship. “He understands the fiscal challenges facing America: our exploding deficits and crushing debt.”

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Codepink arrests Condi Rice for War Crimes during RNC 2012

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Bernie Sanders Applauds Obama for Supporting Citizens United Amendment

From PoliticusUSA:  http://www.politicususa.com/bernie-sanders-applauds-obama-supporting-citizens-united-amendment.html

By: Jason Easley
August 30th, 2012

Sen. Bernie Sanders is praising President Obama’s support for his constitutional amendment and movement to overturn Citizens United.

Yesterday, during a Reddit chat, Obama announced his support for Sen. Sanders’ efforts to overturn Citizens United, “Money has always been a factor in politics, but we are seeing something new in the no-holds barred flow of seven and eight figure checks, most undisclosed, into super-PACs; they fundamentally threaten to overwhelm the political process over the long run and drown out the voices of ordinary citizens. We need to start with passing the Disclose Act that is already written and been sponsored in Congress – to at least force disclosure of who is giving to who. We should also pass legislation prohibiting the bundling of campaign contributions from lobbyists. Over the longer term, I think we need to seriously consider mobilizing a constitutional amendment process to overturn Citizens United (assuming the Supreme Court doesn’t revisit it). Even if the amendment process falls short, it can shine a spotlight of the super-PAC phenomenon and help apply pressure for change.”

Sen. Sanders responded to Obama in a statement, “I applaud President Obama for expressing support for a serious effort to restore the democratic foundations of our country that are under severe attack as a result of the disastrous Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United.”

Let’s be honest, President Obama isn’t going to sway the electorate by supporting the movement to overturn Citizens United. The truth is that most Americans still don’t understand Citizens United and the impact that it is having on both our electoral system and our government. The Sanders led campaign to get rid of Citizens United is currently just as much about education as it is policy change.

Continue reading at:  http://www.politicususa.com/bernie-sanders-applauds-obama-supporting-citizens-united-amendment.html

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The Last Stop on the Right’s Crazy Train

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/wayne-besen/the-last-stop-on-the-rights-crazy-train_b_1837691.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices&ir=Gay%20Voices


08/29/2012

The crazy train, built by the religious right and accelerated by the Tea Party, must stop before it goes off the rails and inflicts severe damage on America. It is unclear what the ultimate aims of these extremists truly are or where they ultimately want to take this country, but it is increasingly clear that people like Rep. Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin have a markedly different vision of this nation than the rest of us. As their rhetoric grows more reckless, the fundamentalism more inflexible, the “facts” more fantastical, the threats more menacing, the politics more petulant, and the demands increasingly dictatorial, one has to wonder where this precarious road leads.

The right’s incoherent hatred of its caricature of government mixes uneasily with its worship of weapons that have virtually nothing to do with hunting or helping protect families from intruders. Their unfounded attacks on America’s foundations are as offensive as their stockpile of weapons appears to be offensive. We used to call such efforts sedition, but now they are simply an audition for some GOP and Tea Party candidates. For example, a Lubbock County, Texas, judge, Tom Head, made an appearance on a local television show in which he offered a wild, anti-UN conspiracy theory and suggested rebelling against President Barack Obama and assassinating him. According to The New York Times:

“[Obama] is going to try to hand over the sovereignty of the United States to the U.N.,” Mr. Head said on Fox 34 last week. “O.K., what’s going to happen when that happens? I’m thinking worst-case scenario: civil unrest, civil disobedience, civil war, maybe. And we’re not talking just a few riots here and demonstrations. We’re talking Lexington, Concord, take up arms and get rid of the guy.”

And if the president did send in United Nations troops, Mr. Head continued, “I don’t want ‘em in Lubbock County. O.K. So I’m going to stand in front of their armored personnel carriers and say, ‘You’re not coming in here.’ And the sheriff, I’ve already asked him. I said, ‘You gonna back me?’ He said, ‘Yeah, I’ll back you.’

Well, I don’t want a bunch of rookies back there,” Mr. Head said. “I want trained, equipped, seasoned veteran officers to back me.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/wayne-besen/the-last-stop-on-the-rights-crazy-train_b_1837691.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices&ir=Gay%20Voices

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Workers Feel the Pain of Bain

From Truth Dig:  http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/workers_feel_the_pain_of_bain_20120829/

By Amy Goodman
Posted on Aug 29, 2012

TAMPA, Fla.—Four hardy souls from rural Illinois joined tens of thousands of people undeterred by threats of Hurricane Isaac during this week’s Republican National Convention. They weren’t among the almost 2,400 delegates to the convention, though, nor were they from the press corps, said to number 15,000. They weren’t part of the massive police force assembled here, more than 3,000 strong, all paid for with $50 million of U.S. taxpayer money. These four were about to join a much larger group: the more than 2.4 million people in the past decade whose U.S. jobs have been shipped to China. In their case, the company laying them off and sending their jobs overseas is Bain Capital, co-founded by the Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

We met the group at Romneyville, a tent city on the outskirts of downtown Tampa, established by the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign in the spirit of the Hoovervilles of the Great Depression. A couple hundred people gathered before the makeshift stage to hear speakers and musicians, under intermittent downpours and the noise of three police helicopters drowning out the voices of the anti-poverty activists. Scores of police on bicycles occupied the surrounding streets.

Cheryl Randecker was one of those four we met at Romneyville whose Bain jobs are among the 170 slated to be off-shored. They build transmission sensors for many cars and trucks made in the United States.  Cheryl was sent to China to train workers there, not knowing that the company was about to be sold and the jobs she was training people for included her own.  I asked her how it felt to be training her own replacements after working at the same company for 33 years:

“Knowing that you’re going to be completely out of a job and there’s no hope for any job in our area, it was gut-wrenching, because you don’t know where the next point is going to be. I’m 52 years old. What are we going to do? To start over at this point in my life is extremely scary.”

Cheryl and her co-workers learned that the Honeywell division they had been working for had been sold to Sensata Technologies. They researched Sensata. “We found out this summer that it was owned by Bain [Capital],“she said. “Then we found the connection between Bain and Governor Romney. And that just spurred a little bit of emotion … we wanted to stand up and fight back and take a stand for the American people and for our jobs.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/workers_feel_the_pain_of_bain_20120829/

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Conservative Racist John Derbyshire: Blacks are ‘Radically Ill-Fitted for Life in Bourgeois Society’

From Right Wing Watch:  http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/derbyshire-blacks-ill-fitted-life-bourgeois-society

by Brian Tashman
on Thu, 08/30/2012

After losing his job at the National Review, John Derbyshire has found a new home at the White Nationalist website VDARE where he can even more openly spew vitriol at minorities, as he did yesterday in his column comparing the situation of African Americans in the U.S. to the Roma, better known as gypsies, of Europe. “In both cases you have a big racial-ethnic bloc of people who are, for whatever reason—discuss among yourselves—radically ill-fitted for life in bourgeois society,” Derbyshire writes. “In both cases, actual bourgeois citizens opt for ethnic disaggregation: for the gypsies to be moved on, for separation by white flight from the underclass blacks. National authorities respond appropriately, with expulsion and incarceration.”

With views like these, it makes you wonder why National Review took so long to fire him.

The thing I find myself wondering is: are these truly, as I said back then, different kinds of problem—underclass blacks in America, gypsies in Europe?

In both cases you have a big racial-ethnic bloc of people who are, for whatever reason—discuss among yourselves—radically ill-fitted for life in bourgeois society.

In both cases, well-intentioned Left activists—under the banner of Civil Rights in the U.S.A., Human Rights in Europe—propose social-engineering solutions that would cost scads of public money, even as all our public money is vanishing into chasms of debt. Many of the proposed solutions have already been tried; all of them rest on implausible assumptions about human nature.

The best that either bloc has come up with on its own is the absurd-yet-sinister crackpot mock-militarism of the Nation of Islam.

In both cases, actual bourgeois citizens opt for ethnic disaggregation: for the gypsies to be moved on, for separation by white flight from the underclass blacks. National authorities respond appropriately, with expulsion and incarceration.

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It’s all Another Republican Con Job

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Money in Politics: Where Is the Outrage?

From Common Dreams:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/08/30-12

by Bill Moyers and Bernard Weisberger
Published on Thursday, August 30, 2012 by Common Dreams

We might wish the uproar from the convention halls of both parties these busy weeks were the wholesome clamor of delegates deliberating serious visions of how we should be governed for the next four years. It rises instead from scripted TV spectacles — grown-ups doing somersaults of make-believe — that will once again distract the public’s attention from the death rattle of American democracy brought on by an overdose of campaign cash.

No serious proposal to take the money out of politics, or even reduce its tightening grip on the body politic, will emerge from Tampa or Charlotte, so the sounds of celebration and merriment are merely prelude to a funeral cortege for America as a shared experience. A radical minority of the super-rich has gained ascendency over politics, buying the policies, laws, tax breaks, subsidies, and rules that consolidate a permanent state of vast inequality by which they can further help themselves to America’s wealth and resources.

Their appetite for more is insatiable. As we write, Mitt Romney, after two fundraisers in which he raised nearly $10 million from the oil and gas industry, and having duly consulted with the Oklahoma billionaire energy executive who chairs the campaign’s energy advisory committee, has announced that if elected President, he will end a century of federal control over oil and gas drilling on public lands, leaving such matters to local officials more attuned to industry desires. Theodore Roosevelt, the first great advocate for public lands in the White House, would be rolling in his grave, if Dick Cheney hadn’t already dumped his bones in a Wyoming mining shaft during the first hours of the Bush-Halliburton administration.

We are nearing the culmination of a cunning and fanatical drive to dismantle the political institutions, the legal and statutory canons, and the intellectual and cultural frameworks that were slowly and painstakingly built over decades to protect everyday citizens from the excesses of private power. The “city on the hill” has become a fortress of privilege, guarded by a hired political class and safely separated from the economic pressures that are upending the household stability, family dynamics, social mobility, and civic life of everyday Americans.

Continue reading at:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/08/30-12

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The Real Convention Is at Cracker Bay

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cenk-uygur/mitt-romney-yacht_b_1842680.html


08/30/2012

One of the reasons this Republican convention has been so deathly dull is that the real action isn’t at the convention. It’s at Cracker Bay. That’s the name of the yacht where the Romney team just hosted 50 partiers, including some of his top donors. This was one of about a dozen events outside of the convention where they had private meetings with donors giving more than $1 million dollars to his campaign. Over $1 million a piece. Now, where do you think the real policy gets made?

You think Mitt Romney gives a damn what a delegate thinks? The only delegates that matter were on that yacht. They call this group the “Victory Council.” This is made of people who are literally millionaires and billionaires and who dictate what Mitt Romney’s positions will be. He’s a legendary flip-flopper, but if you want to know what he really thinks you had to be on that boat.

“It was a really nice event. These are good supporters,” said billionaire Wilbur Ross, an energy industry executive, according to ABC News. I bet it was. Mitt Romney just revealed his energy plan a couple of days ago. Are you going to be surprised to find out that it massively helps energy companies? A really nice event is where you pay a million bucks and you get billions back if the candidate you supported wins the presidency.

It’s clear what Mitt Romney owes these people. What do you think he owes you? Ann Romney said that Mitt was a man who would not fail. She’s right; he will not fail his donors. He is a good businessman, so he will give them the service they paid for.

They’re so brazen the boat they were meeting on was flying a Cayman Islands flag. As one local put it, even their yacht doesn’t want to pay taxes. In the old days, you’d be a little embarrassed about things like this and it would be huge news if you got caught. Now people treat it like it’s perfectly normal.

Paul Ryan recently went to get the blessing of billionaire GOP donor Sheldon Adelson. Soon after he was picked and before getting ready for their convention, he had to stop everything and kiss the ring of their boss. This is sick. It is obvious legalized bribery and it’s being done right in front of our eyes. And the press hardly notices as our democracy leaves shore along with that boat full of millionaires.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cenk-uygur/mitt-romney-yacht_b_1842680.html

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BOMBSHELL: Corruption Uncovered In Regnerus Anti-Gay Study Scandal

From The New Civil Rights Movement:  http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/bombshell-corruption-uncovered-in-regnerus-anti-gay-study-scandal/legal-issues/2012/08/29/47670

by Scott Rose
on August 29, 2012

Reposted with Permission

SOME BRIEF STORY BACKGROUND TO THE EXPLOSIVE BOMBSHELL SCOOP THAT IS REPORTED BELOW IN THIS POST

Mark Regnerus is an anti-gay-rights figure at the University of Texas at Austin.

The anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute had — for a  long time – cultivated a relationship with Regnerus before approaching him to commission a $785,000 study that would 1) demonize gay people and; 2) be available in time for pernicious exploitation during the 2012 elections.

The study — published on June 10, 2012 – was ostensibly, but not actually, on same-sex parents’ child outcomes.

And, it was purpose-designed and booby trapped for use against the rights of real-life gay parents in the present day, though it did not study them.

Top officials of the anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute — the chief funder of the Regnerus study — also have positions of authority over the anti-gay-rights National Organization for Marriage.

NOM’s founder and mastermind Robert P. George, moreover, is a senior fellow with the anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute, as well as a board member of the Family Research Council, an SPLC-certified anti-gay hate group known for spreading malicious falsehoods against its umpteen millions of victims, those umpteen millions of victims being the entire LGBT community as well as all heterosexuals who are supportive of LGBTers’ equality.

After all, a lesbian couples’ supportive grand-parents, parents, aunts and uncles, cousins and brothers and sisters do not want Robert George and his anti-gay hate group(s) impinging on their families’ happiness with bullying non-acceptance of gay human beings.

Since the publication of the fraudulent Regnerus study, enemies of gay rights — led by Robert George’s Witherspoon InstituteNOM and FRC – have been perniciously exploiting the “study” as a basis for their anti-gay fear-and-hate-mongering disinformation campaigns.

In response to those anti-gay hate groups’ disinformation campaigns based on the fraudulent Regnerus study, responsible scientists have taken action to correct the scientific record to the public.

For example, a Golinski-case amicus brief analyzing the Regnerus study as scientifically invalid was jointly filed by 1) the American Psychological Association; 2) the California Psychological Association; 3) the American Psychiatric Association; 4) the National Association of Social Workers; and 5) its California Chapter; 6) the American Medical Association; 7) the American Academy of Pediatrics; and 8) the American Psychoanalytic Association.

In an echo of when the American Sociological Association banned Paul Cameron – (a gay-bashing charlatan whom Robert George’s anti-gay-rights groups love to quote) – and declared that Paul Cameron is not a sociologist, due to his intentional distortions of the scientific record, the American Sociological Association (ASA) is poised to take action against the Regnerus study.

Separately, over 200 Ph.D.s and M.D.s sent a letter to the journal Social Science Research, which published the fraudulent Regnerus study, complaining of its lack of intellectual integrity and its suspiciously rushed publication schedule.

THE ANTI-GAY-RIGHTS WITHERSPOON INSTITUTE’S BRAD WILCOX –
A REGNERUS SCANDAL CORRUPTION KINGPIN?

Keeping in mind that the anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute was the main funder of the fraudulent, anti-gay Regnerus “study,” and that Regnerus got a known minimum of $785,000 in study funding:

1) Brad Wilcox is: Director of the Program on Marriage, Family, and Democracy at the anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute, which funded Regnerus;

2) Brad Wilcox also is: An editorial board member of “Public Discourse,” which is published by the anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute, which funded Regnerus;

3) Brad Wilcox also is: An editorial board member of the journal Social Science Research, which published the Regnerus study;

4) Brad Wilcox also has a history of professional collaboration with Mark Regnerus;

4)) Brad Wilcox also is: Director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia;

5) Brad Wilcox also is: Documented as having been a paid Regnerus study consultant, and having assisted Regnerus with data analysis;

6) Brad Wilcox also is: Apparently, one of the peer reviewers whom editor James Wright allowed to rubber stamp the Regnerus study with unwarranted approval for publication;

7) Brad Wilcox also is: An editorial board member of the anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute’s publication Public Discourse. Regnerus saw gay-bashing comments in support of his study, made on line by Robert Oscar Lopez. Regnerus contacted Lopez first and then conducted correspondence with him. Shortly thereafter, a gay-bashing essay in support of the Regnerus study appeared on Public Discourse, where Brad Wilcox of the anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute, which funded Regnerus, is on the editorial board.

8) Brad Wilcox also is: among the 18 signers of a Baylor baptist university letter supporting the Regnerus study. The letter contains multiple deliberate distortions of scientific records, all in support of Regnerus, but in apparent violation of the American Sociological Association’s Code of Ethics for public communications about sociology.  According to a Baylor spokesperson“Baylor expects students not to participate in advocacy groups promoting an understanding of sexuality that is contrary to biblical teaching.” Four signers of the Baylor letter are officials with the anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute, which funded the Regnerus study. In signing the Baylor letter, Brad Wilcox and three other Witherspoon officials failed to disclose their direct connection to Regnerus’s funding.

HOW DOES THIS ALL FIT TOGETHER?

Brad Wilcox of the anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute has a long personal history with Mark Regnerus.

Luis Tellez, President of the anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute also has a long personal history with Mark Regnerus.

The anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute approaches Regnerus about doing a gay parenting study, offering him a $55,000 “planning grant.”

With Regnerus’s anti-gay parenting study plan formed, heads of the anti-gay Witherspoon Institute arrange for Regnerus to have his known minimum study funding of $785,000.

Consultants with no expertise in gay parenting are paid to participate in the Regnerus study design. Regnerus includes some non-gay-bashers among the consultants, but is said to have paid no attention to their suggestions.

With the anti-gay-rights Witherspoon’s Brad Wilcox on the editorial board of the journal Social Science Research, the invalid, anti-gay Regnerus study zooms directly to the top of SSR editor James Wright‘s pile of 335 submissions.

The Regnerus submission gets a “Wham bam, thank you mam!” rush through Social Science Research‘s channels of approval for publication, seemingly appropriate to the various forms and levels of prostitution that were taking place.

In response to the science-based complaint letter sent to Social Science Research by over 200 Ph.D.s and M.D.s, editor-in-chief James Wright and editorial board member Darren Sherkat conspire in an “audit” of the publication of the Regnerus “study.” Sherkat says the study should never have been published, and releases information that the peer review was corrupt, yet exonerates Wright and says he may have made all of Wright’s same decisions.

Multiple journalists send Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to the Regnerus’s University of Texas at Austin (UT) for Regnerus-study related communications, including those between Regnerus and the Witherspoon Institute. Though UT officials can not decide whether Regnerus is going through a misconduct inquiry or a misconduct investigation at the school, UT asks Republican Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott for FOIA exemptions, claiming that releasing the requested communications could comprise UT’s investigation of Regnerus.

With multiple journalists believing that their Regnerus-related FOIA requests are stalled in limbo, Social Science Research‘s Darren Sherkat reveals the following in online comments:

“UT did respond to my FOIA seeking to identify conflicts of interests with anonymous reviewers and the editor of SSR.” (Bolding added).

As part of his “audit,” Sherkat learned the identify of the peer reviewers, whom SSR ordinarily keeps secret from the public.

SSR was intending to continue keeping the peer reviewers’ identities secret from the public.

However, the Freedom of Information Act request that Sherkat made to UT was for Regernus study-related documents that UT had involving those who did the peer review of the Regnerus study for Social Science Research.

And, because Sherkat had to specify the peer reviewers’ names in his FOIA request, in order to get the documentation that he wanted, whatever documentation UT gave him in response to the request would involve documentation for the peer reviewers.  But, the documentation would reflect work the peer reviewers had done on the Regnerus study, apart from peer reviewing it.

Sherkat needed that documentation from UT to check for conflicts of interest. (Boy, were there ever conflicts of interest!)

This reporter contacted the UT office that processes FOIA requests.

I said: “If UT’s rationale for not releasing any of the Regnerus study-related documentation was that releasing it would compromise the investigation of Regnerus, why did you release FOIA-requested documentation to Sherkat but not to the rest of us?”

Several days later, I received the same documentation UT sent to Sherkat.

Two of the same paid Regnerus study consultants appear also to have been Regnerus study peer reviewers:

1) Paul Amato; and

2) Brad Wilcox, of the anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute, the chief funder of the Regnerus study

That is to say: 1) Brad Wilcox had a long, personal history with Mark Regnerus, and; 2) Brad Wilcox is an official at the anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute, the chief known funder of the Regnerus study; and 3) Witherspoon’s Brad Wilcox is on the editorial board of Social Science Research, which wound up publishing the Regnerus study, after; 4) Social Science Research editor James Wright permitted Witherspoon’s Brad Wilcox, a paid Regnerus study consultant; to be a 5) peer reviewer, rubber stamping the Regnerus study for publication.

I spoke with Dr. Gary Gates of the Williams Institute about the the Regnerus peer reviewers’ conflicts of interest.

“The smoking gun here is that a majority of the peer reviewers had specific fiduciary conflicts of interest. This is known, irrefutable evidence that the Regnerus study was not published through appropriate professional peer review. As paid study consultants, these peer reviewers had economic interests in making sure the study got published. Their names in the profession were invested into the Regnerus study, because they had been paid to consult on it. If their study design turned out to produce a study not suitable for publication, then their ability to get future paid study consulting jobs would be affected. If it’s true that one of the paid consultants also is with Witherspoon, which funded the Regnerus study, then that escalates this problematic situation up to another level. The main issue with conflicts of interest is the perception of bias. The duty of the journal editor and more broadly of the academy, is to be sure that the thing is free of conflicts of interest. The basic fact that peer reviewers were paid study consultants is enough to invalidate the peer review process. In the interest of science, the study should be retracted and put through genuine professional peer review, with none of the reviewers having any conflicts of interest. It is objectively true that two peer reviewers had fiduciary conflicts of interest. It is further true that a mass of prominent experts in the field picked up on the study’s methodological flaws that the peer reviewers allowed through. Whether or not the peer reviewer’s fiduciary conflicts of interest were the reasons they missed the study’s methodological problems, the peer review process was not valid. Social Science Research editor James Wright, and Elsevier, the publisher, should be extremely worried about the reputation of their journal in the academy and beyond. Commentators, including the editor Dr. Wright, can say what they want; Wright’s views on this are not shared by the leaders in his field. Our science-based letter of complaint to be posted shortly includes the signatures of the editor-in-chief of the leading academic journal for family sociologists, The Journal of Marriage and Family, and of Dr. Erik Olin Wright, President of the American Sociological Association. The Regnerus study should be retracted from publication and put through genuine professional peer review.”

To sign a petition telling the editorial board of Social Science Research to 1) salvage the ethically contaminated reputation of their journal; by 2) retracting the Regnerus study from publication and putting it through ethically appropriate and professional peer review prior to any future eventual re-publication, go here.

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.

Fear and Loathing in Florida 2012

From Truth Dig:  http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/fear_and_loathing_in_florida_2012_20120829/

By Alan Minsky
Posted on Aug 29, 2012

History repeats itself; the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.  —Karl Marx
TAMPA, Fla.—The real truth in America is hard to come by these days; even the Paul Ryan Wikipedia entry has been whitewashed, omitting that he was voted the biggest brown-noser in his high school class.

As I do not believe, in contrast to most of the press corps here, that Orwellian double-speak is the highest form of human communication, I cannot attend a political convention and not feel the anxiety of Hunter S. Thompson’s influence. However much respect books like “The Making of the President” series merit, it’s the bourbon and crank-fueled honesty of “Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72” that truly captures the zombie-like soullessness of the political lapdog class.

What to make of the 2012 Republican model?

It didn’t take long to realize this convention was dominated by the same country club set that’s been running this party for decades. Fears that some new monstrous tea party/Christian fundamentalist hybrid has seized the GOP’s helm were readily dispelled as the first busloads of late-night partyers arrived in downtown Tampa on Monday night. Anyone anticipating rabid creationists from the Wichita PTA was confronted with the bland secularism of Laura Ashley and Brooks Brothers.

I explained to one woman in her early 30s that she was the first Republican I’d spoken to this week. She laughed and asked me where I was from. Los Angeles, I told her, then followed up: “Do you really support all the platforms in your party—about women, family and all of that?” She replied, “The Republican Party is pro-business; I’m a businesswoman.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/fear_and_loathing_in_florida_2012_20120829/

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GOP’s Nightmarish Response to MLK’s “I Have a Dream”

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Poverty: The New Growth Industry in America

From The Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dean-baker/poverty-the-new-growth-in_b_1833158.html


08/29/2012

Recent trends in poverty rates should have the country furious at its leaders. When we get the data for 2011 next month, we are likely to see yet another uptick in poverty rates, reversing almost 50 years of economic progress. The percentage of people in extreme poverty, with incomes less than half of the poverty level, is likely to again hit an all-time high since the data has been collected.

The situation is made even worse by the fact that so many of those in poverty are children. In 2010, 27 percent of all children in the country were reported as living below the poverty level. For African-American children, the share in poverty is approaching 40 percent.

Many will blame the welfare reform law in 1996 that passed with bipartisan support. That is appropriate. This bill involved a great deal of political grandstanding and removed guarantees that could have protected millions of families in a severe downturn like what we are now seeing.

Advocates of this bill who now profess surprise at the result need to turn to a new line of work. There were plenty of people at the time who warned that the lack of federal guarantees could lead to severe hardship in an economic downturn. No one has a right to be surprised on this one. The surge in the poverty rate in a downturn like the present one was a predictable and predicted outcome of the legislation.

However, there is the other side of the story, the overall state of the economy, which is the more important cause of the increase in the poverty rate. The vast majority of the people in this country rely on work for the bulk of their income and that would also be true for the tens of millions of people in poverty, if work was available. These people cannot find jobs in today’s economy, or at least not full-time jobs that pay anything close to a living wage.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dean-baker/poverty-the-new-growth-in_b_1833158.html

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‘Fetal personhood’ ballot initiative fails in Colorado

From Raw Story:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/08/29/fetal-personhood-ballot-initiative-fails-in-colorado/

By Eric W. Dolan
Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Anti-abortion activists in Colorado have failed to place a proposed “fetal personhood” amendment on the state’s 2012 ballot.

Personhood Colorado announced earlier this month that it collected 112,121 signatures for the ballot initiative. But the Secretary of State said the group only submitted 106,119 signatures. Based on a random sample, the Secretary of State projected that only roughly 85,800 of those signatures are valid, falling short of the 86,105 valid signatures needed to qualify of the ballot.

“Because the percentage of presumed valid signatures falls between 90 percent and 110 percent of the 86,105 valid signatures needed, the office is required to perform a line-by-line analysis of every signature submitted,” the Secretary of State explained in a press release.

Personhood Colorado told the Independent they planned to file a protest of the decision.

Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, praised the defeat of the ballot measure.

Continue reading at:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/08/29/fetal-personhood-ballot-initiative-fails-in-colorado/

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