Friday Night Fun and Culture: Blues Edition

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Hate Group Focus On The Family Promotes Dangerous ‘Ex-Trans’ Ministries

From Think Progresshttp://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2012/10/25/1090651/focus-on-the-family-ex-trans/

By Zack Ford
on Oct 25, 2012

Focus on the Family’s promotion of ex-gay therapy is nothing new, but this week the anti-LGBT group also started promoting “resources for transgenderism and gender identity disorder.” In addition to citing familiar ex-gay ministries, the links also include efforts to convince transgender people that their gender identities are wrong — the result of “confusion” — and that they should try to conform to their biological sex. For example, the UK ministry Parakaleo aims to help “those seeking to re-establish their God given gender identity and destiny.” Another link highlights an author who claims to “expose and debunk the promises of gender change surgery.” Given the American Psychiatric Association is in the process of declassifying transgender identities as a disorder, Focus seems to be invested in demonizing trans people and denying them affirmation regardless.

Congratulations Allyson: OutServe-SLDN Taps Trans Veteran as Executive Director

Note I have added Out Serve to the Blog Links on the side Bar

From Out Serve:  http://outservemag.com/2012/10/outserve-sldn-taps-trans-veteran-as-executive-director/

Jonathan MillsOn 25, Oct 2012

ORLANDO — Activist and veteran Allyson Robinson will be the new executive director of OutServe-SLDN, the newly combined organization announced today as they kicked off their annual conference here.

Robinson, who is transgender, brings significant professional and military experience to her new role. She will push OutServe-SLDN forward with their vision to secure equality for LGBT military personnel and enhance the readiness and effectiveness of our nation’s military.

“I grew up in a military family. My dad is a Vietnam veteran, his father was a veteran of WWII, so in many ways, the Army was our family business,“ Robinson told OutServe Magazine. “So, this feels like coming home for me in a lot of ways.”

Hailing from Scranton, Penn., Robinson is a 1994 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, where she majored in physics. Her professional military accomplishments include interning at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and commanding Patriot missile units in the United States, Germany and Saudi Arabia. She was also a senior trainer and evaluator for NATO and advisor to the armed forces of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar.

After resigning her commission in 1999 to pursue a calling in the ministry, Robinson worked in the Azores and central Texas, devoting herself to the issue of systemic poverty. Returning to school, she earned her master’s degree from Baylor University with an emphasis on social justice in 2007.


Watch the video

Prior to accepting her new position, Robinson headed the Human Rights Campaign Workplace Project where she helped corporate human resource departments, emphasizing the value of inclusion and empowerment of LGBT professionals in the workforce. Her efforts also promoted awareness of transgender issues, driving corporate responsibility toward inclusion and equality of transgender people.

Robinson is now charged with the mission of ensuring all LGBT service members and their families have the same rights and privileges as their straight counterparts, as well as continuing to urge the military to embrace and promote the value of a diverse workforce.

Continue reading at:  http://outservemag.com/2012/10/outserve-sldn-taps-trans-veteran-as-executive-director/

See also Huffington Post:  Allyson Robinson, Transgender Veteran, Named To Helm Advocacy Group For LGBTs In Military

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Lana Wachowski receives the HRC Visibility Award

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R. Clarke Cooper’s Obnoxious ‘Log Cabin’ Endorsement Of Mitt Romney

From The New Civil Rights Movement:  http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/1-r-clarke-coopers-obnoxious-log-cabin-endorsement-of-mitt-romney/politics/2012/10/25/52077

by Scott Rose
on October 25, 2012
Reposted with Permission

On May 9, 2012, President Obama made public his support of same-sex marriage.

In multiple venues, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney subsequently affirmed his opposition to both same-sex marriage and civil unions.

Republicans in Congress voted to reaffirm the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

R. Clarke Cooper, Executive Director of the Log Cabin Republicans, then issued a press release, in which he said this:

“Governor Mitt Romney’s statement in opposition to not just marriage but civil unions jeopardizes his ability to win moderates, women and younger voters, especially as a large majority of Americans favor some form of relationship recognition for their LGBT friends and neighbors. Ultimately, the response of the Republican candidates this election cycle will determine not just endorsements by Log Cabin Republicans, but the votes of millions of Americans who are simply tired of the culture wars.”

Notice: Cooper drew a line in the sand over Romney’s opposition to same-sex civil unions.

And, he did not say that the Log Cabin Republicans’ endorsements “might” be determined by Republican candidates’ responses to Romney’s opposition to same-sex civil unions.

Cooper said that Republican candidates’ responses “will determine” the Log Cabin Republicans’ endorsements.

Having issued that specific warning over opposition to same-sex civil unions, but then having gotten no concession from Romney on civil unions, Cooper and his Log Cabin Republicans went ahead and endorsed Romney anyway.

What this shows, is that Cooper and his Log Cabin Republicans have no LGBT-rights-related leverage of power whatsoever with Mitt Romney.

Romney does not have to do anything LGBT-rights-related for them — not even when they issue a political ultimatum to him and his party — for him and his party to be able to count on their political support.

Mitt Romney has a long history of opposition to same-sex civil unions, so it should not have been any surprise to Cooper when Romney reiterated his opposition this past May.

If Cooper now wants to claim that with his press release, he meant that all other Republican candidates, but not Mitt Romney, would only receive the LCR’s endorsement if they did not oppose same-sex civil unions, that would be an additional sign of political ineptitude on LGBT rights.

If you are specifically a gay-interest political group affiliated with a party, and draw a line in the sand on an issue for your party’s candidates, but not for your party’s presidential candidate, all other candidates’ will laugh at you, because without the party standard bearer on your side of the issue, your drawing of a line in the sand over that issue is utterly meaningless to their campaigns.

The Log Cabin Republicans have comported themselves like Mitt Romney’s lapdogs, not like LGBT rights negotiators.

They made a failed, disingenuous attempt to save their public face — after their craven and cowardly cave-in on civil unions — by alleging to have accomplished something with Romney on ENDA. Their public statements about it are an obvious and ridiculous P.R. ploy that did not accurately reflect the fact that they had accomplished nothing with Mitt Romney on ENDA. Cooper’s self-serving and self-promoting reports of a private discussion with Romney on LGBT anti-discrimination matters are utterly void of specifics. Anything that Romney and Cooper can not say jointly to the public about their alleged common ground on LGBT rights is totally meaningless. Cooper strengthened his business connections to the Romney network while accomplishing nothing for gay rights.

In this context, it is worth recalling that Cooper was part of Bush administration efforts to role back environmental protections put in place by the Clinton administration. Cooper turned an April, 2012 article about Earth Day celebrations in Texas into an opportunity to lavish praise on former first lady Laura Bush and the Republican party. He had the nerve to credit only Republicans for the Endangered Species Act.  Meanwhile in documented reality, the Bush administration, of which Cooper was at times a part, eliminated independent scientific review of endangered-species-related matters, and otherwise gutted the law, as Republicans had been attempting to do for over a decade.

So there is a discernable pattern of Cooper publicly flattering powerful Republican figures while betraying the underlying cause at issue that he is pretending to champion.

Cooper has endorsed Romney for personal advancement, not for the advancement of LGBT rights.

In the nightmare event of a Romney presidency, LGBT Americans could only expect for the Log Cabin Republicans to accomplish less than nothing for gay rights with a Romney administration.

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

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Objectivity Does Not Mean Neutrality: The Danger of False Equivalency in the Media

As I have pointed out to some of my readers recently:  My Blog has a point of view.  Like the underground papers of my youth, such as Max Scheer’s Berkeley Barb and Art Kunkin’s LA Free Press, I do not pretend to be objective or fair and balanced.

I’m an advocate.  I publish material that I believe in.

If you want objectivity go to the New York Times or Guardian UK.  They are establishment press with a ton of resources.

I write some posts and try to get people to read the stuff I’ve read over the day.

From Common Dreams:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/10/25-3

by David Gutman
Published on Thursday, October 25, 2012 by Common Dreams

What happens when public officials don’t tell the truth? Traditionally it’s been the role of the media to point this out. It is the role of the media not only to uncover hidden deceit, but also to point out deceit in plain sight. The media should not and cannot hide behind the phony gauze of neutrality. As Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously quipped, “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.”

It is the job of the media to distinguish between the two, and to clearly and blatantly point out the discrepancies to the public.

And yet, too often, they do not. The media, too often, reports what officials say and how they say it, and doesn’t delve into the substance and accuracy of the statements.

The truth is objective, a presentation of both sides of an argument is not necessarily objective.

When a topic is noisily debated, journalists go to pains to present, with equal space and import, both sides of the topic. Usually this is a good thing. The public should know the arguments from all sides of a contentious issue.

But sometimes, and this may sound overly simplistic, but it remains true, there is only one credible side to a debate.

The earth is getting warmer, and man-made carbon emissions are causing it.
Humans evolved from apes. You cannot cut taxes by 20 percent and close enough loopholes to be revenue neutral without raising taxes on the middle class.

Study after reputable study has shown these statements to be true. (Admittedly there have been fewer studies of the last claim because it is so much newer, but every reputable study has found the above statement accurate). Yet we still see news stories in which “experts” from both sides of the argument are called upon and given equal standing to make their case.

Paul Krugman, the Nobel-winning economist and unabashedly liberal New York Times op-ed columnist, wrote about this phenomenon in 2000.

“If a presidential candidate were to declare that the earth is flat, you would be sure to see a news analysis under the headline ‘Shape of the Planet: Both Sides Have a Point.’ After all, the earth isn’t perfectly spherical.

Continue reading at:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/10/25-3

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CNN: Romney Won’t Respond To Questions About His Support For Mourdock

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