I love Texas, especially D/FW where Tina and I live. Absolutely adore Austin. Houston has great museums some of the best in the country.
But damn the bigoted right wing Xians can sure be a pain.
16 Oct 2012
Transgender Texans generally face even higher levels of discrimination than transgender people nationwide, according to a state-level breakout from a national study conducted last year.
Equality Texas and the Transgender Education Network of Texas released the state-level figures Tuesday from the study by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and National Center for Transgender Equality. The full national study is available online, and results from the Texas study are below. The national study included 266 Texas respondents.
In Texas, transgender people faced higher rates of harassment and assault in school. Nationally, 78 percent reported being harassed, but in Texas 85 percent faced harassment. Physical assault was also higher in the state at 46 percent compared to 35 percent nationally. Sexual assault in school was comparable at 12 percent nationally and 9 percent in Texas.
Texas doesn’t have LGBT-inclusive employment nondiscrimination or anti-bullying laws. The state’s hate crimes law covers gays and lesbians but not transgender people.
Equality Texas called the rates of workplace discrimination in the state “alarming.” Chuck Smith, Equality Texas interim executive director, said the report graphically demonstrates the discrimination faced by transgender Texans.
A LexisNexis search of major, English-language, publications for the term “CeCe McDonald” yields one search result. It’s an opinion piece, published in the Sydney Morning Herald from late August. Unfortunately, the article wasn’t even about McDonald. It was about Pussy Riot.
I would venture a guess that more articles are published about Pussy Riot in an hour than have been published about McDonald since the attempts on her life that led to her conviction for manslaughter. And my research has proven such a guess to be true. Even if I broadened my search to include all English-language publications (which includes popular blogs like Jezebel and smaller market newspapers, like the Minneapolis Star Tribune, but excludes Feministing.com), I could only find 49 articles in which she was mentioned. Compare that to the 606 articles written on Pussy Riot in the last week.
More articles call the members of Pussy Riot political prisoners than acknowledge CeCe McDonald’s existence. You are more likely to see the names of the three Pussy Rioters spelled correctly than see authors use the proper pronouns when discussing McDonald’s case. Hell, I’d bet my salary that more articles have been written about Nadezhda Tolokonnikova’s hair than about the sum total of trans* women who have been murdered this year, much less those who are also women of color.
For all the rhetoric about political prisoners in other countries, we neglect to acknowledge the women of color, the trans* women, the disabled women, the queer women, who are held as political prisoners in our own nation.
From The Local: http://www.thelocal.se/43844/20121016/
16 Oct 12
The acquittal of a man who was charged with raping a transgender woman has been overturned after an appeals court overruled a lower court”s finding that the rape was “impossible” because the victim was still biologically a man.
The 61-year-old man was “brutally violent” in the attack, which took place last summer, tearing off the victim’s pants and grabbing at her crotch
However, he was acquitted of the attempted rape charges by the Örebro District Court, which deemed the allegations to be “invalid”.
“The intended crime never had the possibility of being fulfilled,” explained Judge Dan Sjöstedt to local newspaper Nerikes Allehanda at the time of the acquittal in July.
The victim appealed the ruling, however, and on Monday, the Göta Court of Appeal convicted the 61-year-old of attempted rape, Sveriges Television (SVT) reported.
While the appeals court partially agreed with the district court’s ruling that the rape could never have been fully consummated because the victim was still physically a man, the court nevertheless found that the 61-year-old intended to carry out the rape.
Complete article at: http://www.thelocal.se/43844/20121016/
by David Badash
on October 16, 2012
Bryan Fischer today repeated his claim to CNN anchor Carol Costello that gays are Nazis in a discussion about the eleven-year old annual “Mix It Up Day,” an opportunity to teach tolerance to children in schools. Fischer attacked gays, the Southern Poverty Law Center(SPLC), and Mix It Up Day, interrupting Costello several times and lying throughout the interview. Costello finally did what every LGBTQ person, equality ally, and decent human being in America has been waiting for the main stream media to do to Bryan Fischer and other hate groups members: She said, “that’s just not true,” and ended the interview.
Mix It Up Day “is a thinly-veiled attempt to push the normalization of homosexual behavior in public schools and to eventually punish students who express a Judeo-Christian view of homosexuality,” Fischer claimed. This morning on Twitter Fischer called the Southern Poverty Law Center a “pro-bullying hate group.”
“What parents need to understand, this is about pressuring public schools and students in public schools to accept homosexuality as a normal, healthy alternative to heterosexuality,” Fischer told Costello.
“You know, it’s interesting to me they’re doing this on October 30, the day before Halloween, and what this program is, it’s like poisoned Halloween candy. Somebody takes a candy bar, injects it with cyanide, the label looks fine, it looks innocuous, it looks fine, it’s not until you internalize it that you realize how toxic it is. And we want parents to be aware that any program that any program that comes from the Southern Poverty Law Center is going to be toxic to their students’ moral health.”
Fischer claimed the Southern Poverty Law Center is about bullying, silencing, and intimidating Christian students.
The world stood still 50 years ago during the last week of October, from the moment when it learned that the Soviet Union had placed nuclear-armed missiles in Cuba until the crisis was officially ended – though, unknown to the public, only officially.
The image of the world standing still is due to Sheldon Stern, former historian at the John F Kennedy Presidential Library, who published the authoritative version of the tapes of the ExComm meetings where Kennedy, and a close circle of advisers, debated how to respond to the crisis. The meetings were secretly recorded by the president, which might bear on the fact that his stand throughout the recorded sessions is relatively temperate, as compared to other participants who were unaware that they were speaking to history. Stern has just published an accessible and accurate review of this critically important documentary record, finally declassified in the 1990s. I will keep to that here. “Never before or since,” he concludes, “has the survival of human civilization been at stake in a few short weeks of dangerous deliberations,” culminating in the Week the World Stood Still.
There was good reason for the global concern. A nuclear war was all too imminent – a war that might “destroy the Northern Hemisphere”, President Eisenhower had warned. Kennedy’s own judgment was that the probability of war might have been as high as 50%. Estimates became higher as the confrontation reached its peak and the “secret doomsday plan to ensure the survival of the government was put into effect” in Washington, described by journalist Michael Dobbs in his recent, well-researched bestseller on the crisis – though he doesn’t explain why there would be much point in doing so, given the likely nature of nuclear war. Dobbs quotes Dino Brugioni, “a key member of the CIA team monitoring the Soviet missile build-up”, who saw no way out except “war and complete destruction” as the clock moved to One Minute to Midnight – Dobbs’ title. Kennedy’s close associate, historian Arthur Schlesinger, described the events as “the most dangerous moment in human history”. Defense Secretary Robert McNamara wondered aloud whether he “would live to see another Saturday night”, and later recognized that “we lucked out” – barely.
A closer look at what took place adds grim overtones to these judgments, with reverberations to the present moment.
From The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/15/opinion/krugman-death-by-ideology.html
By PAUL KRUGMAN
Published: October 14, 2012
Mitt Romney doesn’t see dead people. But that’s only because he doesn’t want to see them; if he did, he’d have to acknowledge the ugly reality of what will happen if he and Paul Ryan get their way on health care.
Last week, speaking to The Columbus Dispatch, Mr. Romney declared that nobody in America dies because he or she is uninsured: “We don’t have people that become ill, who die in their apartment because they don’t have insurance.” This followed on an earlier remark by Mr. Romney — echoing an infamous statement by none other than George W. Bush — in which he insisted that emergency rooms provide essential health care to the uninsured.
These are remarkable statements. They clearly demonstrate that Mr. Romney has no idea what life (and death) are like for those less fortunate than himself.
Even the idea that everyone gets urgent care when needed from emergency rooms is false. Yes, hospitals are required by law to treat people in dire need, whether or not they can pay. But that care isn’t free — on the contrary, if you go to an emergency room you will be billed, and the size of that bill can be shockingly high. Some people can’t or won’t pay, but fear of huge bills can deter the uninsured from visiting the emergency room even when they should. And sometimes they die as a result.
More important, going to the emergency room when you’re very sick is no substitute for regular care, especially if you have chronic health problems. When such problems are left untreated — as they often are among uninsured Americans — a trip to the emergency room can all too easily come too late to save a life.
So the reality, to which Mr. Romney is somehow blind, is that many people in America really do die every year because they don’t have health insurance.
Continue reading at: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/15/opinion/krugman-death-by-ideology.html
The remarks against women voting came from Janis Lane, the president of the Central Mississippi Tea Party.
By Alex Kane
October 16, 2012
A female Tea Party leader came out against women having the right to vote in an interview with the Jackson Free Press.
Journalist R.L. Nave decided to take a look at the Tea Party in Mississippi, given the movement’s influence on Republican politics. Nave interviewed Janis Lane, a former marketing manager who is now the Central Mississippi Tea Party president. Nave also sat down with Kim Wade, a Nation of Islam member-turned conservative radio talk host, and another Tea Party activist named Mark Mayfield.
Nave asked about men getting involved in the reproductive decisions of women. Part of Lane’s response was to say that “probably the biggest turn we ever made was when the women got the right to vote.”
Questioned by Nave on what exactly she means, the Tea Party leader doubled down. “Our country might have been better off if it was still just men voting. There is nothing worse than a bunch of mean, hateful women. They are diabolical in how [they] can skewer a person,” said Lane. “I do not see that in men. The whole time I worked, I’d much rather have a male boss than a female boss. Double-minded, you never can trust them.”
By Eric W. Dolan
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
The Secular Coalition for America on Tuesday released a presidential candidate scorecard, rating the candidates’ public statements and actions in five categories.
“This scorecard shows that our current politicians still have a long way to go in protecting the secular values that America was founded on,” said Edwina Rogers, Executive Director of the Secular Coalition.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney received a failing grade, while President Barack Obama received a “C.” Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson received the highest grade, a “B,” and Green Party candidate Jill Stein received an “incomplete.”
The Secular Coalition for America noted that Romney has insisted the United States is a Christian nation, and thinks the concept of the separation of church and state has been taken “well beyond its original meaning.” Romney has also said his faith would inform his decision as president, was a supporter of the controversial Blunt Amendment, fought for abstinence-only sex education, and promoted government funding for faith-based organizations.
However, Romney earned two individual “A” grades and some “C” grades. The GOP candidate has said that nonbelievers can be just as moral as believers. He has also said he would be willing to appoint an atheist or agnostic judge, and that evolution — not creationism — should be taught in science classes.
Continue reading at: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/10/16/secular-group-gives-romney-a-failing-grade/
WASHINGTON — When Mitt Romney served as CEO of Bain & Co., his consulting firm helped tobacco giant Philip Morris develop a groundbreaking sales strategy that researchers say has been linked to an unprecedented spike in youth smoking.
On Friday April 2, 1993, Philip Morris stunned Wall Street and tobacco experts by the slashing price on its flagship Marlboro brand by 40 cents a pack, to $1.80. It was a landmark day for the tobacco industry, one that became known as “Marlboro Friday” to public health experts.
The radical move was deemed by top Philip Morris executives as necessary based in part on more than two years of Bain research. Marlboro sales were slumping amid pressure from an expanding discount cigarette market, and the prospect of higher cigarette taxes had the company concerned about long-term profitability.
Investors initially pummeled Philip Morris for the price cut, chopping more than 20 percent from the company’s stock price in a day. But within weeks, a cigarette price war was raging, with R.J. Reynolds slashing the price of Camels to compete with the cheaper Marlboro varieties. A year later, Philip Morris stock had fully recovered, and continued to make steady gains over the coming four years. Marlboro Friday ultimately proved to be the tobacco industry’s most successful effort to increase domestic profit in the face of heavier regulations.
The profit was the result of soaring sales that coincided with an unprecedented jump in smoking among high school- aged youth. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey, found that the portion of young people who had smoked at least one cigarette in the previous month rose nearly 20 percent from 1993 to 1997. Youth smoking increased in all categories from that occasional user to the regular user.
From Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/10/16-1
The Big Energy industries (oil, coal and gas) along with their political allies like Mitt Romney are waging war against sustainable energy and the need to transform our energy system and reverse global warming. In many instances they are aided and abetted by the very powerful nuclear power industry.
One of their main lines of attack (used repeatedly by Romney in his first debate with President Obama) is that the federal government is picking energy “winners and losers.” In fact, Romney has said he will not invest in “chasing fads and picking winners and losers” among energy technologies and he will allow the free market to determine energy development.
Romney is right about one thing. The government does pick winners and losers in the energy sector. What Romney has not told the American people, however, is that the big winners of federal support are the already immensely profitable fossil fuel and nuclear industries, not sustainable energy.
As a member of both the Senate Energy and Environment committees, I am working to stop the handouts to the fossil fuel industry. I have introduced legislation called the End Polluter Welfare Act. Rep. Keith Ellison filed the companion bill in the House of Representatives. Our measure calls for the elimination for all subsidies to the oil, gas and coal industries. Using the best available estimates from the non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation and other budget experts, we found more than $113 billion in federal subsidies will go to fossil fuel corporations over the next 10 years alone. These subsidies benefit some of the wealthiest corporations on the planet, including the five largest oil corporations, which made a combined profit of $1 trillion over the last decade. Unlike sustainable energy incentives, many of these fossil fuel subsidies are written permanently into the tax code by industry lobbyists, which means they never expire.
Let me give you just a few examples of outrageously strong federal support for Big Energy companies:
But it is not just fossil fuel companies. The nuclear industry also benefits from massive corporate welfare. The non-partisan Congressional Research Service reports that the nuclear industry has received over $95 billion (in 2011 dollars) in federal research and development support in the last 65 years. Nuclear corporations currently have access to billions in federal loan guarantees to build new plants and enrich uranium. They also have federal tax incentives for mining uranium, producing nuclear electricity and even decommissioning a plant.
Continue reading at: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/10/16-1
By Steve Horn
Saturday, 13 October 2012
The Wizard of Oz was spot on when he saidto “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.” That’s good life advice if you fall into the “Ignorance is bliss” camp. For a journalist though, it’s doing the exact opposite that’s a sin qua non for the job.
Kevin Begos of the Associated Press took the Wizard’s advice to heart in his July 22 story titled, “Experts: Some fracking critics use bad science.”
Citing “Gasland” director Josh Fox’s viral video “The Sky is Pink” as an example, Begos wrote, “Opponents of fracking say breast cancer rates have spiked exactly where intensive drilling is taking place — and nowhere else in the state…But researchers haven’t seen a spike in breast cancer rates in the area.”
As his main source of expertise on the breast cancer issue, Begos turned to Chandini Portteus, Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation’s Vice President of Research, Evaluation, and Scientific Programs. Of the connection between fracking and breast cancer she stated, “what we do know is a little bit, and what we don’t know is a lot.”
Sara Jerving of the Center for Media and Democracy came to diametrically different conclusions in her April 2012 probe for PR Watch, writing,
Benzene, which the U.S. EPA has classified as a Group A, human carcinogen, is released in the fracking process through air pollution and in the water contaminated by the drilling process. The Institute of Medicine released a report in December 2011 that links breast cancer to exposure to benzene.
Up to thirty-seven percent of chemicals in fracking fluids have been identified as endocrine-disruptors — chemicals that have potential adverse developmental and reproductive effects. According to the U.S. EPA, exposure to these types of chemicals has also been implicated in breast cancer.