The RadFem Crocodile Tears and Lying Claims of Persecution

When you are partner in a law firm that represents some of the most irresponsible and reprehensable Wall Street Banks and Financial Institutions you are not one of the common people.

You are the problem and not the solution.

When you and another lawyer write letters to the UN urging them to not extend basic human rights protections to transsexual people then you are more like a Nazi than representitive of any progressive movement that has ever existed.

This makes any claims to being a feminist highly dubious.

Targeting a minority group that world wide comprises a tiny fraction of humanity (some where between one tenth and one quarter of one percent of all people) and blaming that tiny minority of people for all oppression of women and for both misogyny and the perpetuation of the patriarchy bears a strong resemblance to the behavior of anti-Semites who want to blame the Jews for all the problems and oppressions suffered by anyone in the world.

This is one of those What The Fuck propositions.

How in the world can a tiny oppressed minority of people who have often endured serious physical and emotional abuse muster such a level of power as to be able to oppress 50% of the world population?

I mean I could see it if this tiny minority were among the wealthiest of the wealthy, like the people the above mentioned lawyer works in the service of, but way too many of my sisters and brothers have lived lives of poverty and deprivation.

Many of us have been so abused we suffer PTSD and yet we are told to suck it up, that we are only imagining the horrible abuse we endured as kid and as adults.

Or worse yet we are told we deserved the abuse because we are transsexual or transgender freaks.

Nearly forty years ago the APA removed  political diagnosis of mental illness form gay and lesbian. Then a little over thirty years ago they created an equally political diagnosis of mental illness and stuck it on TS/TG people.

Now the radfems are using that APA perpetuated fraud to beat up on TG/TS people with  the same zeal their religious right and Tea Bagger allies do.  The same way their allies uses fraudulent studies to perpetuate anti-gay/lesbian bigotry.

Lately the hate group that calls itself  “Radical Feminists” have taken to confronting TS/TG people verbally abusing them and demanding their exclusion from women’s events and the lesbian community. during the 1990s and until recently TS/TG women were welcome at Dyke Marches.  Now Radical Feminists are demanding our exclusion.

If TS/TG women refuse to passively  submit to the verbal and emotional abuse heaped on us by the radfems they try to label us as violent.

This is fucking Nazism.  Just like the number the Nazis ran on the Jews.

From Raymond/Daly onward these people have called for TS/TG people to be eliminated and denied medical treatment and we are not supposed to be angry or point out that we will meet violence with violence.

The radfem’s expectation that TS/TG people will not react badly to having all sorts of repulsive and dehumanizing verbal abuse hurled in our faces is unreasonable to say the least.

This is like expecting African-American people to passively submit to white racists who insist on addressing them with the “N-word” and heaping other sorts of racist abuse upon them without lashing out.

Most people are not Martin Luther King or Gandhi.

People who have suffered a lifetime of abuse and who have gained self respect and pride thorough uniting with other TS/TG sisters and brothers are likely to react badly to being verbally and emotionally abused by radfem bullies.

I saw where Cathy Brennan was upset that the Michigan Women’s Music Festival has finally taken the side of decency and humanity by recognizing the rights of TS/TG people to attend.

Now Brennan claims this makes her feel unsafe.

The MWMF isn’t infringing upon the radfem’s rights by refusing to go along with the radfem’s bigotry.

Harming others by exercising your bigotry is not a human right.

People have as a human right the right to be treated equally and be protected from bigotry.

Now I’ve been beaten by police for refusing to move during non-violent actions, I’ve also fought the police during other actions.  I am not a pacifist nor will I allow someone to actually physically abuse me.

But letting these pseudo-feminists goad us into threats of violence is unwise, as they use these words against us.

Better to expose them for the bigots they are.


Bombshell Letter: 200+ PhDs And MDs Question Scholarly Merit Of Regnerus Study

From The New Civil Rights Movement:

by Scott Rose
on June 29, 2012

Reposted with Permission

Mark Regnerus’ so-called  study of children of gay parents has  failed the rigorous  standards demanded by  academic peer review and his work is now under heightened scrutiny at the University of Texas and by the broader academic community   

Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas, Austin carried out a methodologically-challenged gay parenting study so blatantly in line with the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage‘s goals of smearing gay people for political purposes, that many have considered Regnerus’s work far closer to election year political propaganda than to science. Indeed, Regnerus received a $35,000 “planning grant” from the Witherspoon Institute, where NOM’s Robert George is a Senior Fellow. The appearance is that if George-Witherspoon had not approved the disingenuous, anti-gay study design, Regnerus would not have received any further funding from them. Regnerus has admitted that had he sought funding for a gay parenting study from the National Institutes of Health, their study protocol would have worked in the long-term best interest of science.

Regnerus’s activity is now the subject of a Scientific Misconduct inquiry at the University of Texas, Austin.

Scores of Ph.D.s and M.D.s and professionals in sociology, psychiatry and other relevant fields have sent a letter to James Wright, editor of “Social Science Research,” the journal where Regnerus’s study was published with a companion piece by the known anti-gay bigot Loren Marks.  In an e-mail, Gary J. Gates, Ph.D., Wiliams Distinguished Scholar at the Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law, told me this about the letter:

As a scholar who studies the LGBT population, I see my role as a squeaky wheel in the academic grease.  Whatever assertions may be made about Dr. Rengerus’ ideological leanings or the leanings of his funders, it doesn’t change the fact that a credible academic journal with no obvious ideological bias published his paper. I find this astonishing. The evidence is pointing to an inappropriately accelerated and potentially  biased review process that calls the integrity of the journal and its editorial processes into serious question. The editorial advisors of Social Science Research include many notable and credible scholars. I am hopeful that they will eventually be compelled to intervene. If it can be clearly shown that the review process was biased and inadequate, the paper should be retracted until such time that it undergoes a more rigorous review.”

The letter follows in its entirety:

Letter to the editors and advisory editors of Social Science Research

As researchers and scholars, many of whom with extensive experience in quantitative and qualitative research in family structures and child outcomes, we write to raise serious concerns about the most recent issue of Social Science Research and the set of papers focused on parenting by lesbians and gay men. In this regard, we have particular concern about Mark Regnerus’ paper entitled “How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study.”

LGBT parenting is a highly politicized topic. While the presence of a vibrant and controversial public debate should in no way censor scholarship, it should compel the academy to hold scholarship around that topic to our most rigorous standards. We are very concerned that these standards were not upheld in this issue or with this paper, given the apparently expedited process of publication and the decision to publish commentaries on the paper by scholars who were directly involved with the study and have limited experience in LGBT parenting research. We also have serious concerns about the scholarly merit of this paper.

In this letter, we detail the specific concerns that lead us to request that you publicly disclose the reasons for both the expedited peer review process of this clearly controversial paper and the choice of commentators invited to submit critiques. We further request that you invite scholars with specific expertise in LGBT parenting issues to submit a detailed critique of the paper and accompanying commentaries for publication in the next issue of the journal.

We question the process by which this paper was submitted, reviewed, and accepted for publication. The paper was received by the journal on February 1, 2012. A revision was received on February 29, and the paper was accepted on March 12. This suggests that the peer review process and substantive revisions occurred within a period of just five weeks. According to the peer review policy of the Social Science Research website hosted by Elsevier, the first step of the review process is an initial manuscript evaluation by the editor. Once deemed to meet minimum criteria, at least 2 experts are secured for a peer review. The website states that, “Typically manuscripts are reviewed within 2-3 months of submission but substantially longer review times are not uncommon” and that “Revised manuscripts are usually returned to the initial referees upon receipt.” Clearly, Dr. Regnerus’ paper was returned to him very quickly, because he had time to revise the manuscript and get it back to the journal by February 29th. Further, it appears that a second substantive peer review may not have occurred as the paper was accepted just two weeks after the revision was submitted.

The five-week submission to acceptance length was much shorter than all of the other articles published in the July 2012 issue. The average period of review for papers published in this issue was more than a year and the median review time was more than ten months. As we note below, there are substantial concerns about the merits of this paper, and these concerns should have been identified through a thorough and rigorous peer review process.

We further question the selection of commenters for the Regnerus paper. While Cynthia Osborne and Paul Amato are certainly well-respected scholars, they are also both active participants in the Regnerus study. According to her curriculum vitae, Dr. Osborne is a Co-Principal Investigator of the New Family Structure Survey. Dr. Amato served as a paid consultant on the advisory group convened to provide insights into study design and methods. Perhaps more importantly, neither Osborne nor Amato have ever published work that considers LGBT family or parenting issues. A cursory examination of this body of literature would reveal a wide range of scholars who are much more qualified to evaluate the merits of this study and were neither directly involved in the study design nor compensated for that involvement.

We have substantial concerns about the merits of this paper and question whether it actually uses methods and instruments that answer the research questions posed in the paper. The author claims that the purpose of the analysis is to begin to address the question, “Do the children of gay and lesbian parents look comparable to those of their heterosexual counterparts?” (p. 755). He creates several categories of “family type”, including “lesbian mother” and “gay father” as well as “divorced late,” “stepfamily,” and “single-parent.” But, as the author notes, for those respondents who indicated that a parent had a “same-sex relationship,” these categories were collapsed to boost sample size:

That is, a small minority of respondents might fit more than one group. I have, however, forced their mutual exclusivity here for analytic purposes. For example, a respondent whose mother had a same-sex relationship might also qualify in Group 5 or Group 7, but in this case my analytical interest is in maximizing the sample size of Groups 2 and 3 so the respondent would be placed in Group 2 (LMs). Since Group 3 (GFs) is the smallest and most difficult to locate randomly in the population, its composition trumped that of others, even LMs. (There were 12 cases of respondents who reported both a mother and a father having a same-sex relationship; all are analyzed here as GFs, after ancillary analyses revealed comparable exposure to both their mother and father).

By doing this, the author is unable to distinguish between the impact of having a parent who has had a continuous same-sex relationship from the impact of having same-sex parents who broke-up from the impact of living in a same-sex stepfamily from the impact of living with a single parent who may have dated a same-sex partner; each of these groups are included in a single “lesbian mother” or “gay father” group depending on the gender of the parent who had a same-sex relationship. Specifically, this paper fails to distinguish family structure and family instability. Thus, it fails to distinguish, for children whose parents ever had a same-sex relationship experience, the associations due to family structure from the associations due to family stability. However, he does attempt to distinguish family structure from family instability for the children of different-sex parents by identifying children who lived in an intact biological family. To make a group equivalent to the group he labels as having “lesbian” or “gay” parents, the author should have grouped all other respondents together and included those who lived in an intact biological family with those who ever experienced divorce, or whose parents ever had a different-sex romantic relationship. That seems absurd to family structure researchers, yet that type of grouping is exactly what he did with his “lesbian mother” and “gay father” groups.

It should be noted that the analyses also fail to distinguish family structure from family stability for single mothers; this group included both continuously single mothers and those single mothers who had previously experienced a divorce.
The paper employs an unusual method to measure the sexual orientation of the respondents’ parents. Even if the analyses had distinguished family stability from family structure, this paper and its accompanying study could not actually directly examine the impact of having a gay or lesbian parent on child outcomes because the interpretation of the measurement of parental sexual orientation is unclear. The author acknowledges as much when he states:

It is, however, very possible that the same-sex romantic relationships about which the respondents report were not framed by those respondents as indicating their own (or their parent’s own) understanding of their parent as gay or lesbian or bisexual in sexual orientation. Indeed, this is more a study of the children of parents who have had (and in some cases, are still in) same-sex relationships than it is one of children whose parents have self-identified or are ‘‘out’’ as gay or lesbian or bisexual.

Respondents were asked whether their parents had ever had a same-sex relationship. The author then identifies mothers and fathers as “lesbian” or “gay” without any substantiation of parental sexual orientation either by respondents or their parents. Given the author’s stated caveats, it is both inappropriate and factually incorrect for him to refer to these parents as “gay” or “lesbian” throughout the paper.

We are very concerned about the academic integrity of the peer review process for this paper as well as its intellectual merit. We question the decision of Social Science Research to publish the paper, and particularly, to
publish it without an extensive, rigorous peer review process and commentary from scholars with explicit expertise on LGBT family research. The methodologies used in this paper and the interpretation of the findings are inappropriate. The publication of this paper and the accompanying commentary calls the editorial process at Social Science Research, a well-regarded, highly cited social science journal (ranking in the top 15% of Sociology journals by ISI), into serious question. We urge you to publicly disclose the reasons for both the expedited peer review process of this clearly controversial paper and the choice of commentators invited to submit critiques. We further request that you invite scholars with specific expertise in LGBT parenting issues to submit a detailed critique of the paper and accompanying commentaries for publication in the next issue of the journal.

Sociologists and Family Studies Scholars

For signatures go to:

See Also: Ex-Gay Therapists Join Hate Groups In Praising Flawed Parenting Study

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Help Support Roots Music and Independent Radio

James Poe, one of my friends on Facebook operates a small independent radio station in Greenwood Mississippi.

WABG am 960

“The Awesome A-M” is the newest radio station in the Mississippi Delta.  The station’s format is Mississippi Delta Blues, Classic Rock and “Stuff” (anything the listeners want to hear and anything the DJs want to play).  This type format has never been attempted before.  Its originator, James Poe, bases the format on the Mississippi Delta’s diverse population mix.  His belief is that with the rich culture of the delta and their history of southern rock & roll and blues and their proximity to Memphis, makes this format a daring likely success.  Appropriately, the station’s physical location is set in the midst of the cotton fields of Greenwood, Mississippi on Money Road where the Emmett Till case unraveled in the 1950s, sparking the Civil Rights Movement in the United States.  The station’s Money Road location is also the setting for the burial ground of legendary blues man Robert Johnson (one of many).  The station is located less than a mile from the Little Zion M. B. Church and cemetery.

The Awesome A-M’s programming focuses on tourism and the historical nature of the region.  Which is to say, the station is community driven!  Its target audience includes tourists and the local community alike.  When visitors from around the world frequent the area they are interviewed and the recordings are rebroadcast on the station, prompting partner, Bill Luckett to coin the station as “News, Blues, and Interviews.”

The target audience demographics are designated to attract Black and White males and females 25 years of age and older with special programming for other demos.

Special features like TAKE 5, The Steve Ladd Memorial Show, The Morning Show with Poe, and The Southern Soul Network’s R&B Blues Review make the station one of the most attractive formats in the world.

The station also features special Sunday Inspirational programming, jazz, and special features throughout the week.  Very few nationally syndicated shows are used according to Poe, who is also the General Manager.  “We’re building the station for the people of the Mississippi Delta and around the world who love the music of this region,”  He said.  The station focuses on locally produced shows done professionally dedicating time for local artists regardless of the genre of their music.  “We support local blues, classic rock, and other artists from around the world who support and are perpetuating the music of this region,”  he said.

Non-stop promotions accent the station’s unique format.  Hype and excitement throughout the year are its calling cards.  Plenty of “live remote” broadcasts and “the man on the streets” features are also included.  “The Awesome A-M is the station of the future — bringing People from around the world together.”  Poe concluded.

Now like many independent radio station playing roots and local music this station is struggling to stay alive.

Therefore I promised  James I would reach out to my readers and ask them read his pitch, follow the link and cast a vote to help him get in the running for this grant:

Thanks again for your support.  The station is my passion.  I gave up a wife, kids, dog, and remortgaged my home.  It has been a 40 year obsession with radio that has consumed me.  Now I’m in Heaven on earth.  I own my very own station — my life’s dream.  But there are sacrifices.  And believe you me I’ve made them all.  Here is an excerpt from my narrative when they ask what would you do with $250,000:

Our company has been operating at a deficit since its beginning.  Our facilities are still substandard meeting only minimum requirements.  We had no indoor toilets for the first two years.  We have no heat, say for portable heaters, and our water supply is tainted.  Our only worker, one of our owners, worked for the company from the beginning and has not been paid in three and a half years.  He secured interns and volunteers to keep the station operational over the past four years. 

We have managed to pay the rent and the FCC, but have had little luck securing revenue from advertisers to pay other expenses, because of the competitiveness of the market.  Yet we managed to do trade to run our contests and give-a-ways and personally absorbed the financial loss from our Robert Johnson Festival.  Our roof leaks and the facility is still in need of repairs.  We have none of the updated computer programs to run the station effectively.  We have no fax and can afford only one phone line. 

The station sits on 16 acres of property we lease, but we are unable to pay the $300 monthly for the grass cutting upkeep so it is often overgrown.  Although we have invested heavily in the station over the past four years (over $200,000), we have yet to make a profit. 

A $250,000 grant will enable us to repair the roof and take care of the necessary plumbing and water purification concerns, as well as pay some of our delinquent accounts, not the least of which is our managing partner who has invested over $30,000 out of pocket to the company over the past four years and continues to work without a salary, despite the company agreeing to pay him $4,000 a month.  He has been working around the clock and has orchestrated every major event. He is directly responsible for us not having to hire engineers or FCC Attorneys.  He repairs minor problems and prepared our license renewal package which was recently approved alleviating the cost of an attorney. 

We have been unable to secure full-time employees because we are unable to pay them.  Our most recent hire works for commission only.  In four months as General Sales Manager she is still without a paycheck and is threatening to leave us.  Some form of payment with the commission would secure at least one additional solid employee.  The grant would allow us to secure two other full-time employees and possibly a third part-time, which would create a smooth running and more effective operation.  Long-term this will ensure someone is “Live and Local” at the station 24 hours a day which is what was done with one person over the past four years. 

The station has lost one of its original owners who sold out to the managing partner who now owns 67% of the company.  This grant would secure the future of a small business that provides a vital service to the people of an under-serviced area.             

I need your help in getting a grant through for $250,000 for my radio station. I only found out about it Tuesday and have been working on it since. The narrative is the critical part and it is done and very strong, but I need 250 votes to get them to read it. Please click on this link and type in WABG for the Business Name and vote for me. I sure would appreciate it!

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A New Standard for Oxymoronic Newspeak

From Truth Dig:

By David Sirota
Posted on Jun 28, 2012

If there was an ongoing contest in the art of self-contradicting newspeak, a quote from a U.S. military official during the Vietnam War would be the reigning victor for most of the modern era. In describing the decision to ignore the prospect of civilian casualties and vaporize a Vietnamese village, that unnamed official famously told Peter Arnett of the Associated Press that “it became necessary to destroy the town to save it.”

Epitomizing the futility, immorality and nihilism of that era-defining war, the line has achieved true aphorism status—employed to describe any political endeavor that is, well…futile, immoral and nihilistic.

But now, ever so suddenly, the Vietnam quote has been dethroned by an even more oxymoronic line—one that perfectly summarizes the zeitgeist of the post-9/11 era. As Wired’s Spencer Ackerman reports, “Surveillance experts at the National Security Agency won’t tell two powerful United States Senators how many Americans have had their communications picked up by the agency [because] it would violate your privacy to say so.”

In a letter to senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Mark Udall, the agency wrote: “[A] review of the sort suggested would itself violate the privacy of U.S. persons.”

While the line’s bureaucratic lingo doesn’t roll of the tongue like its Vietnam-era predecessor, it does equal it for sheer audacity. Yes, those actively violating Americans’ privacy claim they can’t tell Congress about their activities because doing so might violate Americans’ privacy.

Of course, what sets this particular oxymoron apart from others—what makes it the new champion of oxymoronic newspeak—is its special mix of incoherence and non-sequitur. This isn’t merely a self-contradictory statement—it’s one that ignores the question at hand. As Wyden told Wired: “All that Senator Udall and I are asking for is a ballpark estimate of how many Americans have been monitored under this law”—not any specific names of those being spied on.

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Conservative Southern Values Revived: How a Brutal Strain of American Aristocrats Have Come to Rule America

From Alternet:

America didn’t used to be run like an old Southern slave plantation, but we’re headed that way now. How did that happen?

By Sara Robinson
June 28, 2012

 It’s been said that the rich are different than you and me. What most Americans don’t know is that they’re also quite different from each other, and that which faction is currently running the show ultimately makes a vast difference in the kind of country we are.

Right now, a lot of our problems stem directly from the fact that the wrong sort has finally gotten the upper hand; a particularly brutal and anti-democratic strain of American aristocrat that the other elites have mostly managed to keep away from the levers of power since the Revolution. Worse: this bunch has set a very ugly tone that’s corrupted how people with power and money behave in every corner of our culture. Here’s what happened, and how it happened, and what it means for America now.

North versus South: Two Definitions of Liberty

Michael Lind first called out the existence of this conflict in his 2006 book, Made In Texas: George W. Bush and the Southern Takeover of American Politics. He argued that much of American history has been characterized by a struggle between two historical factions among the American elite — and that the election of George W. Bush was a definitive sign that the wrong side was winning.

For most of our history, American economics, culture and politics have been dominated by a New England-based Yankee aristocracy that was rooted in Puritan communitarian values, educated at the Ivies and marinated in an ethic of noblesse oblige (the conviction that those who possess wealth and power are morally bound to use it for the betterment of society). While they’ve done their share of damage to the notion of democracy in the name of profit (as all financial elites inevitably do), this group has, for the most part, tempered its predatory instincts with a code that valued mass education and human rights; held up public service as both a duty and an honor; and imbued them with the belief that once you made your nut, you had a moral duty to do something positive with it for the betterment of mankind. Your own legacy depended on this.

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9 Unelected Kings & Queens is our Biggest Challenge

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You Can’t Say That

From The New York Times Books:

‘The Harm in Hate Speech,’ by Jeremy Waldron

Published: June 22, 2012


By Jeremy Waldron
292 pp. Harvard University Press. $26.95.

In his engaging new book, “The Harm in Hate Speech,” the legal philosopher Jeremy Waldron urges Americans to reconsider that tradition. Although he regards it as “unlikely” that hate speech legislation “will ever pass constitutional muster in America,” he hopes to persuade Americans to take more seriously the damage such speech does, and to overcome the “knee-jerk, impulsive and thoughtless” arguments that, he says, “often” characterize American debates on the issue.

Waldron begins with the premise that in a “well-ordered society” not only must all people be protected by the law; they are entitled to live in confidence of this protection. “Each person . . . should be able to go about his or her business, with the assurance that there will be no need to face hostility, violence, discrimination or exclusion by others.” Hate speech undermines this essential public good. “When a society is defaced with anti-Semitic signage, burning crosses and defamatory racial leaflets,” Waldron says, this assurance of security “evaporates. A vigilant police force and a Justice Department may still keep people from being attacked or excluded,” but the objects of hate speech are deprived of the assurance that the society regards them as people of equal dignity.

Even when the hate speech comes from isolated fringe elements, themselves despised by a majority of the public, Waldron tells us, we should not regard the harm as insignificant. “Precisely because the public good that is under attack is provided in a general, diffuse and implicit way,” he explains, “the flare-up of a few particular incidents can have a disproportionate ­effect.”

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Republican mega-donor’s firm accused of ‘directing’ prostitution at its casinos

From Raw Story:

By Muriel Kane
Friday, June 29, 2012

A former executive at the Las Vegas Sands Corp. Steve Jacobs, has filed a wrongful termination suit in which he accuse the company of “controlling and directing” prostitution at its Macau casinos.

The charges are politically significant because the company’s chairman, billionaire Sheldon Adelson, has been perhaps the most generous GOP donor of the current campaign cycle. He has promised to supply “limitless” funds to defeat President Barack Obama, much of which would be channeled through 501(c)(4) non-profits that do not divulge the names of their donors.

Adelson’s donations appear to be inspired in large part by his close personal friendship with Israel’s conservative Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as his opposition to any kind of two-state solution for the Palestinian territories.

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The Julian Assange Show: Noam Chomsky & Tariq Ali

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Air Force Rocked by Increasingly Major Sex Scandal

From Jezebel:

Cassie Murdoch
Jun 29, 2012

A sex scandal is right now spreading through the Air Force that is threatening to become one of the biggest in military history. There are allegations that a dozen male boot-camp instructors at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas assaulted, harassed, or had sex with female recruits under their command. All told there have been 31 victims identified so far, and there are signs that this is but a hint of a much more widespread problem in the Air Force’s training program.

The investigation centers on a particular unit of boot-camp instructors at Lackland where each year 36,000 recruits undergo basic training. It began back in June of last year, when a female recruit said she’d been sexually harassed. Four months later, three instructors came forward to report that the misconduct among their colleagues was far more widespread. All of the 31 victims identified thus far are still in the Air Force.

Charges have so far been filed against six instructors, and the allegations range from rape to having “improper sexual relations” with trainees. One trainer who admitted to having inappropriate relationships with 10 of his trainees has taken a plea deal and was sentenced to 90 days in prison, 30 days hard labor, and a demotion. He has agreed to testify against two other trainers who’ve been chaged. There are six additional instructors being investigated who have not yet been charged. The commander of the 331st Training Squadron, Lt. Col. Michael Paquette, was also relieved of duty by the Air Force because of “an unacceptable level of misconduct” in his unit. Officials say that most of the misconduct happened while recruits were in basic training—under the care of instructors who abused them—but in some cases the contact happened after recruits had moved on to other programs.

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‘Heat… Fire… Disaster’: What Climate Change Looks Like

From Common Dreams:

Western US fires are being driven by extreme temperatures, which are consistent with IPCC projections

– Common Dreams staff
Published on Friday, June 29, 2012 by Common Dreams
“What we’re seeing is a window into what global warming really looks like,” said Princeton University climate scientist Michael Oppenheimer, referring to raging wildfires in the US west, in a press briefingon Thursday. “It looks like heat, it looks like fires, it looks like this kind of environmental disaster… This provides vivid images of what we can expect to see more of in the future.”Oppenheimer, speaking alongside other scientists, argued that shorters winters with less snow, coupled with earlier Springs, and extreme summer heat — all contributors for the fires burning in Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico — were also conditions that he and his colleagues at the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicted would result from carbon-induced climate change.According to “Heat Waves and Climate Change,” a new report from Climate Communication, a nonprofit science outreach group which, along with Climate Nexus, coordinated the conference call with Oppenheimer and others, the “remarkable run of record-shattering heat waves in recent years, from the Russian heat wave of 2010 that set forests ablaze to the historic heat wave in Texas in 2011 and the “Summer in March” in the U.S. Midwest in 2012 all typify the ongoing trend driven by climate change.

The stage was set for these fires when winter snowpack was lighter than usual, said Dr. Steven Running, a forest ecologist at the University of Montana, reports Reuters. Mountain snows melted an average of two weeks earlier than normal this year, Running said. “That just sets us up for a longer, dryer summer. Then all you need is an ignition source and wind.”

“Now we have a lot of dead trees to burn … it’s not even July yet,” he said. Trying to stop such blazes driven by high winds is a bit like to trying to stop a hurricane, Running said: “There is nothing to stop that kind of holocaust.”

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Friday Night Fun and Culture: Marshall Chapman

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The UNAUTHORIZED Trans* March of Toronto’s Pride Week

From Christin Malloy:

I want to draw some attention to an excellent street march event which is set to take place in Toronto tomorrow, Friday June 29th.

The UNAUTHORIZED Trans* March of Toronto’s Pride Week is billed as an opportunity for Trans* (transgender and transsexual), Genderqueer, and other gender variant people and their allies to get out into the major streets of Toronto, and march in support of their community. I’m proud to be part of organizing this important event.

From the event listing:

We will march through Toronto’s Major Streets on the eve of PRIDE weekend, to bring the message of Respect, Acceptance, and Solidarity for Trans*, Genderqueer, and gender variant people OUT from behind the rainbow curtain, and into the awareness of the greater community.

We are marching AFTER the “Official” Pride Toronto Trans March, on Friday June 29th. We encourage all of our participants to consider marching in BOTH events, and we’ve designed our march specifically to make that possible.

It’s pretty neat. The plan is to start up from the precise point where the “Official” Pride Toronto Trans March will finish off, so anyone doing the official march can just join in to this (bigger) March as well.

Here are the key points:

Please feel free to bring your own message– signs are welcome and encouraged. The event organizers’ main messages will be:
1. STAND in solidarity, with those who have suffered from transphobic violence and oppression, and recognize the ongoing intersecting struggles of all people marginalized by transphobia and gender binaries.
2. CELEBRATE Provincial Victory for Trans Human Rights (“Toby’s Act”)
3. DEMAND Federal Action for Trans Human Rights (“C-279″)
4. DEMONSTRATE for societal change; respect for trans* and gender variant identities and expressions

More information is available on the facebook page. I hope to see you there.

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Toronto Ca.: Transcending Stereotypes

From Now Toronto:

It will take a while for this to sink in, but it’s not only immoral to discriminate against trans people – it’s now illegal
By Susan Gapka
June 28-July 5, 2012

When you unpack it all, human beings have more in common with each other than we have separating us. But sometimes it’s hard to remember that.

Two weeks ago we took another step toward that commonality. Ontario passed Bill 33, an act to amend the Human Rights Code with respect to gender identity and expression. This would protect transsexual and transgender persons. And I’m overjoyed.

Not only is it wrong to discriminate against trans people, but it’s now illegal, a fact that sends a clear message to employers, landlords, restaurant owners and gyms that they can never say, “We don’t serve, hire or rent to people like you.” It tells the trans community that we are included, that we are valued.

Of course, there are still people who don’t get it yet, but we hope to surround them with positive, supportive messages. The issue is, we look different, we sound different. Our body image doesn’t always express who we think we are inside, and sometimes people see us as different.

Imagine me on the telephone, for example. I’ve been refused credit card validation, had trouble activating accounts and dealing with student loans – those at the other end of the line don’t believe I’m Susan because of my deep voice. I have to be more patient, but it wears me down.

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Massachusetts: The Transgender Equal Rights Law Goes Into Effect July 1, 2012

The Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition:

Transgender Equal Rights in Massachusetts

Gunner Scott
June 28th, 2012

On July 1, 2012, the Transgender Equal Rights Law goes into effect in Massachusetts. Making Massachusetts the 16th state to add non-discrimination laws for gender identity in the areas of employment, housing, K-12 public education, and credit. Additionally, Massachusetts Hate Crimes laws were also updated to include gender identity. This law is known as An Act Relative to Gender Identity.

This happened because of YOU! All of your hard work in educating legislators, the media, and the public about the experiences that transgender youth, adults, and families face.

Today, MTPC has been working to make sure this law gets implemented, contacting
state agencies, talking with employers, and educating service organizations to make sure their policies reflect the reality that transgender people cannot be discriminated in hiring, buying or renting a home, or attending public schools. Over the next few weeks MTPC will be releasing a series of “Best Practices” guidelines covering different areas of the law.

We know this law is not perfect and there is still work to be done in making sure transgender youth, adults, and families are protected in every facet of their lives, including accessing places that serve the public. If you experience discrimination in any places the law now covers or public accommodations, there is help. Please report your experience to MTPC, considering filing a complaint with MCAD, Fair Housing, or with the State Attorney General or contact GLAD’s legal infoline.

Planning is already underway for filing public accommodations protections in 2013, but we cannot do this without you. Legislators and policy makers need to hear about your experiences in accessing places like restaurants, hotels, emergency rooms, nightclubs, museums, retail stores, hair salons, barber shops, court houses, government offices, city halls, or any place serving the public. If you feel you have been treated unfairly contact MTPC and tell your story. MTPC also needs the resources to make that happen, consider making a donation today.

Thank you for helping MTPC and helping your community in making Massachusetts a better place for all of us to live, work, and/or go to school in. We might all wake up on Sunday morning and not notice anything different, but I know I will feel more empowered to stand up for myself and the transgender community knowing the law is behind me and I hope you will too.


Gunner Scott

Executive Director

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Do People Get Less Religious When Societies Grow More Egalitarian?

From Alternet:

When countries embrace progressive social policy, that tends to create a decline in religious belief. Why?

By Amanda Marcotte
June 25, 2012

Slowly but surely, religion’s historical monopoly on the human mind is breaking apart. On its surface, the reason seems straightforward: the rise of secular democracy and especially of scientific understanding should encourage more people to give up on religion.

In fact, recent research from the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago shows that the picture worldwide is much more complex than that. While atheism is on the rise in many places in the world, others are seeing a rise in religiosity, creating a situation where the levels of belief and non-belief vary wildly depending on culture. A lot of it has to do with history and culture, but one intriguing thread can be pulled from the picture, which is that there seems to be a strong correlation between high rates of atheism and countries that prioritize economic equality and make higher investments in a strong social safety net, such as France and the Netherlands.

Could liberal policies help create non-believers? Previous research indicates that when countries embrace progressive social policy, that tends to create a decline in religious belief. The theory, often called the “secularization thesis” is that the combination of good education of its citizens and the fact that citizens can rely on the government instead of the church for poverty relief means that more people will turn away from religion. But could the reasons go deeper than that? Few people base their choice of whether to believe in God or not on something as simple as whether they can go to the church or the state in times of need. Perhaps it’s more that economic insecurity itself increases the desire to believe in God. And if atheists want to minimize the power religion plays in society, should they start by demanding a more secure and egalitarian society?

There’s a heavy body of research showing that the more stress and uncertainty people face, the more likely they are to engage in what psychologists call “magical thinking”: superstition, prayer, belief in the supernatural. In 2008, Jennifer Whitson and Adam Galinsky published a paper in Science demonstrating that when you remove the amount of control people have over their situation, they tend to engage more in “illusory pattern perception,” which is the psychological process that creates belief in the supernatural. Other research has shown the real-world effects of this psychological tendency, showing, for instance, that people living in war zones tend to engage in more magical thinking, such as carrying lucky charms or believing in the power of prayer, than those who don’t.

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Time for Congress to Impeach Justice Antonin Scalia

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How Medicaid Expansion Affects Gay and Transgender Communities

From Think Progress:

Andrew Cray and Kellan Baker
Jun 28, 2012

The Supreme Court’s decision on health reformconcludes a tense chapter in the life of the Affordable Care Act. The lawsuit decided today challenged the constitutionality of several important provisions of the law, including the expansion of the Medicaid program to cover lower-income people without insurance.

On the issue of Medicaid, the court’s decision was mixed. Overall the court held that while states can receive federal funds to expand Medicaid coverage to all Americans under the age of 65 who make less than $15,000 per year, they cannot lose all Medicaid funding as a penalty for refusing to do so. States that expand eligibility will receive increased federal funding to cover the vast majority of the costs of covering new beneficiaries — a 2010 report projected that the expansion of Medicaid in all fifty states would cost the states $21 billion between 2014 and 2019, while the federal government would spend $443 billion. States that don’t expand eligibility will forfeit this funding and could potentially leave millions of people still without coverage.

By upholding the Medicaid expansion as constitutional, the Court’s decision leaves the door open for states to extend lifesaving access to care for an additional 16 million currently uninsured people, including many gay and transgender people and their families. Despite common stereotypes, poverty and unemployment are higher among LGBT communities, particularly LGBT communities of color, than for the general U.S. population. For example, lesbians and bisexual women are 20 percent more likely to be poor than straight women, and a recent survey indicates that transgender people are twice as likely as the general population to make less than $10,000 a year.

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Bernie Sanders: The American People are Angry

From Nation of Change:

By Bernie Sanders
June 28, 2012

Madam President, the American people are angry.

They are angry because they are living through the worst recession since the great depression.

Unemployment is not 8.2%, real unemployment is closer to 15%.

Young people who are graduating high school and graduating college, they’re going out into the world, they want to become independent, they want to work, and there are no jobs.

There are workers out there 50, 55 years old who intended to work the remainder of their working lives, suddenly they got a pink slip, their self-esteem is destroyed, they’re never going to have another job again and now they’re worried about their retirement security.

What the American people are angry about is they understand that they did not cause this recession. Teachers did not cause this recession. Firefighters and police officers who are being attacked daily by governors all over this country did not cause this recession. Construction workers did not cause this recession. This recession was caused by the greed, the recklessness and illegal behavior of the people on Wall Street.

These people on Wall Street spent billions of dollars, billions of dollars, trying to deregulate Wall Street and they got their way. $5 billion in ten years is what was spent, and then they were able to merge investment banks with commercial banks, with insurance companies. They got everything they wanted. They said get the government off the backs of Wall Street. They got it. And the end result was that they plunged this country into the worst recession since the great depression.

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President Obama Speaks on Health Reform

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