President Obama: No Matter How Tough The Times, We Rise And Fall As One Nation

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HBS Folk’s Freakish Obsession With Transvestites and Drag Queens

When ever I mention that drag queens and transvestites are human beings and therefore are entitled to the same rights, dignity and protections of anyone else I seem to trigger an automatic hysterical reaction on the part of Jennifer Usher and other HBS supremacists.

I look at some of their blogs and you would never know nearly a hundred people lost their lives this week in a storm that was freakish in size and because of climate change maybe a harbinger of storms to come.

One would never know that there is this huge election battle going on.  One being fought between ultra right wing neo-Nazis/neo-fascist and people who  actually care about the rights and lives of the majority of American people.

Or that there is a war on women that impacts the lives of all women because if the Republicans win they will end reproductive rights and fair employment practices.

But, boy, oh boy, can these people ever obsess about the proper ideological thoughts of other sisters who had the same surgery they had.

Man, oh man are these people ever obsessed with the genitals of transvestites and transgender people.

They make it sound as though transvestites are enemy of all that is good and decent.

Here I must confess I just don’t get “transvestism” per se.  To me clothes are just clothes.

For years I had a black leather motorcycle jacket.  I called it my rock and roll leathers.  It was a guys jacket, thick hard leather.  The kind that would protect from road rash if the bike you were on went down.

I loved that jacket.  Saw a lot of great bands while wearing it.

It was my jacket therefore it was a woman’s jacket…  Didn’t much matter to me that the original owner had probably been a gay guy.

Now the perversifying of cross dressing seems to be a very Bible based thing rather than something that belongs in the DSM.

It’s also kind of one sided although the religious freaks insist on rigid gender based distinctions of clothing.

Now I confess to only knowing a few heterosexual cross-dressers/transvestites well enough to talk to as to what they feel and I only know them from the Tran-theory list.

Honestly I found them annoying, but not because they were transvestites.  Mainly they were annoying because they kept pulling class privilege on me.

On the other hand I’ve known a number of drag queens, gay men who performed in drag.  I met them in the 1970s when I was doing documentary photography.  A sort of West Coast version of the scene documented in Paris is Burning.

I loved many of the queens I met and was saddened by the deaths of so many during the Plague Years before the AIDS drugs.

I simply don’t get why I’m supposed to feel so much animosity.

People who were considered queens when I first came out were people we now call transgender.  They had everything but SRS.

Sometimes it seems like the HBS Freaks look upon their surgery as some sort of status symbol that makes them special.

Me…  Not so much considering there are some 3.5 billion other people on the planet who also have cunts between their legs.

Besides… I thought the point of getting SRS was to feel comfortable within your own skin.

I don’t get the fixation on transvestites the obsessive hatred.  It is almost like homophobia, an insecurity, a fear that maybe you are like them and you have to violently differentiate yourself from that group of freaks.

Think about it.  Other than general platitudes about equal rights, including the right to live with dignity and protections from discrimination I’m pretty damn indifferent toward transvestites and their culture.

They get to do their thing and I get to do mine.  I’m okay/You’re okay sort of relationship.

Yesterday I had reason to check out Carolyn Ann’s Blog.  We’ve had harsh words for each other.  What I noticed was how her blog had the same massive amount of election related material as mine does.  This is just an observation and doesn’t mean I’m looking to strike up a friendship with Carolyn Ann.

But considering how the posted material seemed in sync with my positions I would be willing to bet we could work together in the context of a political movement.

I couldn’t say that about the HBS assholes who mostly seem to want to be teabaggers.

Thing is the real Tea Baggers and Christo-Fascists consider the HBS assholes to be horrible perverts too.

Working as a thug for the master doen’t make you an equal of the master.  It just makes you an enemy of the people.

Voter Identification Laws Create Unique Problems For Transgender Voters

From The Daily Beast:

Thousands of transgender voters could encounter problems at the polls, reports Alex Berg.

Nov 2, 2012

After coming out as a transgender woman, Claire Swinford recalled her first time back at the polls as an “incredibly uncomfortable, very, very embarrassing” experience.

What’s it like for a transgender person to vote? Transgender rights attorney Dru Levasseur on what identification laws mean for trans and gender nonconforming voters at the polls.

When Swinford, 41, voted in Arizona’s 2010 primary, she was stopped by a poll worker who refused to let her cast her ballot because of her identification documents. While she had an appropriate ID and her name was on the rolls, Swinford, who was early on in her transition from male to female, hadn’t yet changed the gender marker and name on her driver’s license to reflect her appearance, because of the cost, which she said was more than $200.

Despite the poll worker’s challenging Swinford’s gender, she persisted. “Everyone in the place can overhear the conversation where the person is questioning my identity and calling me sir,” she said. The poll worker finally offered her a provisional ballot, and Swinford asked to see a supervisor who could contact the county elections office. The office said Swinford met the requirements and could vote after all, but “it would have been very easy to walk away from that,” she said. 

Transgender refers to the broad set of people whose gender identity or expression does not match those typically associated with the sex assigned to them at birth. Many transgender people go through gender transition, though some do not, said Lisa Mottet, Transgender Civil Rights Project Director at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

At a campaign event Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden—who famously got “a little bit over his skies” when he endorsed same-sex marriage earlier this year, before President Barack Obama had done so—called transgender discrimination the “civil rights issue of our time,” a rare moment in the political spotlight for the group. That statement came after Biden met at his home earlier this year with a conference of LGBT activists, apparently marking the first time a president has sent a representative to a conference with transgender people.

Transgender people, though, have largely been overlooked in the national outcry over new voter-identification laws that could pose challenges to people of color, low-income voters, seniors, people with disabilities and students.

But for Swinford and other transgender and gender-nonconforming people, a trip to the polls on Nov. 6 presents a confluence of the legal and cultural barriers they face when changing identification documents, said Jody L. Herman, manager of transgender research at the Williams Institute at UCLA.

Now the executive director of TransHaven, an advocacy group, Swinford’s Arizona experience was hardly uncommon. Across the country, transgender people face unique challenges when updating gender information on government-issued IDs. Dru Levasseur, a transgender rights attorney for Lambda Legal, an LGBT legal organization, said these challenges can include gaining access to legal resources and proof of costly surgery that not all trans people can afford, want, or need.

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Where are the Nation’s Most Comprehensive Services for Trans People?

From The Advocate:

A Chicago nonprofit offers the nation’s most comprehensive services for trans people

BY Trudy Ring
November 01 2012

Chicago house and Social Service Agency which has served people with HIV/AIDS since the epidemic’s early days, has a history of adjusting its programs to meet needs. And now it’s expanding its mission to serve another often marginalized group: transgender people.
The agency, which provides supportive housing, case management, and job training for HIV-positive people, has just launched the TransLife Project to offer housing, employment assistance, and health care connections to transgender Chicagoans, regardless of HIV status.

The leaders of Chicago House decided to develop the project after several transgender women went through its job training and internship programs, established in 2008 in recognition of the fact that HIVers were living longer, healthier lives and desiring to reenter the work force.

“We saw how big the gaps in service were for transgender people,” says CEO Stan Sloan. “One in five transgender people has experienced homelessness, which is a staggering number.” They are four times as likely as other Americans to live in extreme poverty (on less than $2,000 a year), and an estimated 41% have attempted suicide, he adds.

Chicago House will address those numbers by providing subsidized housing in a nine-bedroom home (being rehabbed and readied for a 2013 opening) and scattered-site apartments, employment training, and connections to appropriate health care.

While many cities have organizations offering one or more of these services to trans people, Chicago House’s program appears to be the nation’s most comprehensive, according to both Sloan and National Center for Transgender Equality executive director Mara Keisling.

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Princeton University Is Spreading Anti-Gay Lies And Hate To The World

From The New Civil Rights Movement:

by Scott Rose
on November 2, 2012

Reposted with permission


Princeton University bears direct responsibility for enabling the worldwide dissemination of demonizing lies told against LGBT people.

It is way past time for the LGBT community and its allies worldwide to wake up and to take actions against Princeton.

Later in this article, there will be suggestions for actions to take against Princeton for its guilt in enabling the worldwide dissemination of demonizing lies told against LGBTers.


W. Bradford Wilcox is a Member of Princeton University’s James Madison Society.

In 2010, Wilcox was Director of the Witherspoon Institute’s Program for Marriage, Family  and Democracy.

The Witherspoon Institute was founded in the same room as the notorious National Organization for Marriage, at 20 Nassau Street in Princeton, New Jersey.

NOM founder and mastermind Robert P. George is a Witherspoon senior fellow.

READ: Hold NOM’s Robert George Accountable For The Anti-Gay Regnerus Hit Job

Witherspoon President Luis Tellez — the regional representative for Opus Dei — is a NOM board member.

Tellez and George both are hooked up with various deep-pocketed, anti-gay-rights groups; with their assistance, they funnel an endless, nearly unquantifiable money rush into Princeton.

Princeton University benefits from the anti-gay-rights-tainted money that Tellez attracts to the university. It is largely because of this influx of anti-gay-rights money that the Princeton University Board of Trustees look the other way when members of the university community promulgate demonizing lies against gays.

The problem is not so much that powerful people at an Ivy League university are opposed to gay rights.

The problem is that these powerful people are promulgating lies against gay people, and then using the prestigious university’s name to imply that their lies have scholarly merit.  They are disseminating their demonizing anti-gay lies — around the world — under the false pretense that the lies conform to Princeton’s Rights, Rules, and Responsibilities, and Princeton University is guilty of letting them disseminate their demonizing anti-gay lies around the world.

Nowadays, the Witherspoon Institute is housed directly on the Princeton campus, where Witherspoon holds seminars.

In 2010, Witherspoon officials — many of whom are also NOM officials — hatched an evil plot to carry out a study rigged against gay parents.

Wilcox recruited Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas, Austin to do the study.

Together, Wilcox and Regnerus collaborated on the booby-trapped study design. Neither had prior professional training or experience in studying gay people.

Witherspoon’s 2010 IRS 990 form describes the same-sex parenting study as one of Witherspoon’s “major accomplishments.”

Witherspoon gave Regnerus a $55,000 planning grant, and then arranged for him to have full study funding of $785,000.

The study was published through corrupt peer review, in Elsevier’s journal Social Science Research, where Wilcox, an old crony to editor James Wright, is on the editorial board.

Elsevier CEO Youngsuk Chi is a Princeton graduate who has made donations to rabid anti-gay-rights candidates, including Oklahoma Senator Tom Inhofe, notorious for whipping up anti-gay hatred in political contexts by running on the phrase “God, guns, and gays.”

In his published article, Regnerus lies by saying that his funders had nothing “at all” to do with designing or carrying out his study. Witherspoon tells the public that same lie. Witherspoon and Regnerus both are deliberately seeking to deceive the public into believing that Regnerus did his study independently of Witherspoon’s anti-gay-rights political goals for it. As investigative work has uncovered Regnerus’s and Witherspoon’s lies, Witherspoon has attempted to scrub incriminating evidence from its websites. Such despicable, dishonest behavior is inappropriate to carrying out and publicizing supposed academic endeavors, yet it is happening on the Princeton University campus, among members of the Princeton University community, with the knowledge of the Princeton Board of Trustees. An ex oficio Princeton Trustee is Governor Chris Christie, who vetoed equality after the New Jersey Legislature voted in favor of it.

In addition to collaborating with Regnerus on the booby-trapped study design, Wilcox collaborated with Regnerus on data collection, data analysis and interpretation. Moreover, a preponderance of evidence shows that Wilcox was permitted to do peer review.

Neither Witherspoon nor Regnerus voluntarily disclosed these conflicts of interest; they were uncovered through investigative efforts. Compounding Wilcox’s conflicts of interest, programs he runs at the University of Virginia receive financial support from Witherspoon.

And, Wilcox’s conflicts of interest with Regnerus’s funders do not stop with The Witherspoon Institute. Regnerus received $90,000 for the study from The Bradley Foundation, which contributes money to The Ridge Foundation, whose chief officer is Brad Wilcox. (On page 3 at this link, you may see the Bradley Foundation’s $20,000 grant to Wilcox’s Ridge Foundation).

Regnerus, his funders and their associated anti-gay-rights groups, including the Catholic Church and the Family Research Council — an SPLC certified anti-gay hate group, of which NOM’s and Princeton University’s Robert P. George is a board member — have been using Regnerus’s study as the foundation for an immense public disinformation campaign about science. The parties are not merely promoting a booby-trapped anti-gay vehicle; to promote the booby-trapped anti-gay vehicle, they are misrepresenting the foundations of sociology to a broad public.

For that specific reason, Regnerus’s University of Texas (UT) colleague Dr. Debra Umberson wrote: “I am disturbed by his irresponsible and reckless representation of social science research.”

A Loren Marks study published alongside the Regnerus article misrepresents the value of studies based on snowball and convenience samples generally, to prop up Regnerus’s study, which is alleged to be, but is not actually based on a large, random, “representative” national sample. That is not opinion; Regnerus’s sample is not representative, but he and his funders continue to mislead the public by saying that it is.

No professional without some conflict of interest with Regnerus or Witherspoon has vouched for the study. Indeed, along with three other Witherspoon-affiliated persons, Wilcox signed a letter that deliberately distorts other studies to support the Regnerus article. In signing that deliberately deceptive letter, Wilcox did not disclose his connections to the study and its funders.

Dr. Erik Olin Wright, President of the American Sociological Association, is among over 200 Ph.D.s and M.D.s to have signed a letter to Social Science Research expressing concerns related to the invalid peer review process and to the study’s lack of intellectual integrity. The American Medical Association and seven other major professional groups filed an amicus brief in which the Regnerus study is analyzed as being methodologically invalid. In The Los Angeles Times, Dr. Nathaniel Frank wrote that Regnerus “fails the most basic requirement of social science research — assessing causation by holding all other variables constant.” You would think the Princeton University Board of Trustees might have taken notice of all of that. The scientifically invalid study is being promoted during a conference of anti-gay bigots at Princeton, after all.

In reaction to the letter from 200+ Ph.D.s and M.D.s, Social Science Research editor James Wright enabled a sham “audit” of the publication of the Marks and Regnerus studies. The audit reports egregious transgressions against science publishing ethics, but holds nobody accountable for them. One phrase from the audit is “scholars who should have known better failed to recuse themselves from the review process.”

The fact is, not only was Regnerus’s study design rigged; the peer review of it was rigged in advance as well.

Sociologist Lori Holyfield, in calling for the study to be retracted from publication, specified that the names of the peer reviewers should be released.

Dr. Michael Schwartz, the Chair of Sociology at Stony Brook University has called for the study to be retracted from publication and for James Wright to be removed from his position. Many additional Ph.D.s agree that the study should be retracted.

Dr. Andrew Perrin, sociologist with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has said:

“I think the study is so thoroughly flawed, in particular with respect to its categorization of ‘gay’ and ‘lesbian,’ that no conclusions can be drawn with sufficient confidence to report, publicize, or use them.”

From the June 10, 2012 date of publication, it has been evident that Regnerus is acting out on anti-gay-rights political strategies for promotions of the study, strategies that are coordinated with those of his Princeton-based bigot funders.

On October 12, Regnerus — his dishonest researcher’s tail between his legs – told the New York Times only that it would not be “profitable” for him to answer their questions about the role of his religious beliefs in his work.

Imagine that! The New York Times calls to interview you about your work, and you refuse the interview!

The Princeton University Board of Trustees should think hard and long about what it means that the academically dishonest author of anti-minority pseudoscience junk  – orchestrated at their campus — refused to talk with the New York Times about this “study.”

That it would not be “profitable” for Regnerus to talk to the New York Times about how his anti-gay-rights faith informs his gay parenting study is thrown into high relief by the fact that his Trinity Christian College bio is titled Connecting Work and Faith.

Whereas Regnerus would not answer questions from the New York Times, he did not hesitate to give a full interview about his study for October 26 in Citizen Link, an affiliate of Focus on the Family, a notorious source of demonizing disinformation about gay people. After telling lies about his study to Citizen Link, Regnerus urged its anti-gay-rights readership to contact their elected officials about “this issue.”

That is to say, Regnerus’s Princeton University-based, NOM/Witherspoon funders are getting their $785,000 worth of anti-gay politicking based on lies out of Regnerus with their “major accomplishment,” this booby-trapped, anti-gay study.

Shortly after the study appeared, a certain Robert Oscar Lopez began promoting it in online comments threads. Lopez fits NOM’s documented strategy of getting children raised by gay parents to denounce gay parents to the public. Lopez severely misstates what the Regnerus study says, always in a foaming-at-the-mouth, anti-gay-rights direction, yet Regnerus reached out to him, first, for a correspondence about “LGBT issues.” Then, a gay-bashing essay by Lopez about the study — for which Witherspoon paid Lopez — appeared on a Witherspoon site, and now, Regnerus and Lopez are scheduled to appear together at Princeton on November 3, promoting the study in an anti-gay-rights context together with Witherspoon’s Ana Samuel as part of The Love and Fidelity Network’s 2012 annual conference.

Regnerus and Lopez refuse to say who is paying for their travel and attendance.

The Love and Fidelity Network’s head office is inside the Witherspoon building on the Princeton campus; Robert George and his fellow NOM co-founder Maggie Gallagher — who has lied heavily in promoting the Regnerus study — are on the organization’s advisory board. The organization offers funds for students from distant schools to attend the conference. The goal is for those students to get their “marching orders” at the conference and then to spread the anti-gay-rights word on their home campuses. The conference organizers published a Recommended Reading list about the Regnerus study. Their list includes Lopez’s essay The Soul-Crushing, Scorched-Earth Battle for Gay Marriage, but not one piece critical of the study.

I spoke about Princeton, Regnerus, and the conference with Dr. Toni McNaron, author of Poisoned Ivy: Lesbian and Gay Academics Confronting Homophobia.

Dr. McNaron tells me that the situation at Princeton reminds her of the Spanish saying; Candil de la calle, oscuridad de la casa.

A manner of labeling an institution hypocritical, the saying literally means “A candle in the street, darkness inside the house.”

Dr. McNaron says:

“This behavior, no matter what the subject of the study were to be, flies in the face of academic life as we understand it. Even people not interested in gay rights should be shocked by this, not because of the subject matter of it, but because of the procedures around it that so degrade what academic life is supposed to be about. The real issue here is not same-sex relationships, but rather, providing a patina of intellectual respectability for untrustworthy researchers and nefarious research-related activities. If you are a school like Princeton, then there is a responsibility to know about what is being said under your auspices or under your name. The Princeton Board of Trustees are big, grown-up educators, so they are supposed to be doing what I am suggesting they do. That’s your job if you’re running a big university.”

“Princeton is providing a cover for bigotry,” Dr. McNaron continues. “We see that Princeton is fronting for totally unfounded prejudices. There was a time when prestigious universities gave cover for psychological studies ‘proving’ that African-American brains were smaller than Caucasian brains. You know, the KKK was the working class that would terrorize African-Americans, and then there was the White Citizens Council — bankers, doctors, lawyers, affluent people funding the white supremacist political movement. Princeton should not be fronting for totally unfounded prejudices. What has gone on with the Regnerus study being organized at Princeton — with Princeton University community member Brad Wilcox involved in the study design — and then lying about his involvement, why, that is flagrant flying in the face of the university’s own goals and their own public statements. It has to be going on for questionable reasons, like money. What we see going on there flies in the face of real academic freedom.”

Indeed, the Academic Integrity section of Princeton’s Rights, Rules, and Responsibilities says:

Academic freedom can flourish only in a community of scholars which recognizes that intellectual integrity, with its accompanying rights and responsibilities, lies at the heart of its mission. Observing basic honesty in one’s work, words, ideas, and actions is a principle to which all members of the community are required to subscribe.” [Bolding added]

Dr. McNaron continues: “Princeton administration is in this up to their eyeballs. Funding, or giving space, time and attention to people whose shady work undermines the university’s mission; that to me is what is academically reprehensible here.  It’s that expression – Candil de la calle, oscuridad de la casa.  There’s a lot of darkness in Princeton’s house. All of these beautiful words in Princeton’s ethics code mean nothing, if they let this go on. Whether they like it or not, they are answerable for this two-faced business of defining their academic mission one way to the world, but behaving the opposite way behind the gates.”

Gary Kinsman, Ph.D., is a sociologist at Laurentian University in Canada. He is a leading expert in the sociological perspectives of LGBT issues. He and his partner have an adopted son, now a young adult. I spoke with Dr. Kinsman about Regnerus, Princeton, and the Love and Fidelity Network conference.

Dr. Kinsman tells me:

“For the Love and Fidelity Network, a religious right wing organization, to have a session based on Regnerus’s work, an overt attack on same-sex relationships, shows exactly where this study came from. This is not an academic conference where Regnerus has been invited to speak. These are not scholars getting together to discuss work in a discipline. This undermines Regnerus’s credibility even further, beyond his dishonesty in his public statements about his relationship with his funders. He has no autonomy at all. Any claim that this is a scholarly conference is without merit. Regnerus is lending his name to what is clearly a religious right, anti-gay group’s conference. All of these non-scholarly, politically-based connections and relationships between Regnerus and his funders are being made clear.”

“This pernicious right wing argument, this bigotry, that somehow there is something automatically wrong with gay people, this anti-science notion has to be done in,” Dr. Kinsman continues.

“The research needs to be critiqued on grounds of its science, as well as on grounds of the integrity and honesty of the research. Survey studies always have limitations, but within that, Regnerus has done some shameless and obvious manipulating. On the one hand, he says he was more interested in same-sex behavior than in the sexual identity of queer people. On the other hand, though, his report refers throughout to lesbian mothers and gay fathers, and his funders attack all lesbian and gay parents on that basis. Then too, he never asked his respondents from intact biological families whether one or both of their parents had ever had a same-sex romantic relationship. So it turns out, Regnerus was not truly interested in same-sex behavior over queer identity, because we know that there are married heterosexual couples, one or both of whom have same-sex affairs and yet remain married. If Regnerus really were a researcher interested in same-sex behavior rather than sexual identity, he would have asked respondents from intact biological families if their parents had ever had same-sex romantic relationships. Where heterosexual parents remain married through queer affairs, their children tend to continue to benefit from household resources and stability. That is just one part of the larger issue, that Regnerus did not assemble an appropriate comparison group. He violated many ground rules for doing a survey study correctly. There is a whole series of assumptions coloring this study and making it invalid. The design was fixed to attack same-sex relationships, and we see, that’s how they are using the study.”

I asked Dr. Kinsman about Regnerus’s reported finding that 23% of his respondents with “lesbian mothers” had been sexually victimized “by a parent or other adult caregiver.”

“I wanted to mention, there seems to be a specific anti-lesbian bent to this study. Pernicious misogyny often intrudes into right wing work. In the eyes of the right wing, the specter of gay men raising children is already a horror, and that of women raising children is even worse. The study is coming from a particularly nasty place of going after lesbian mothers, especially around their relationships with children. Regnerus’s sex abuse question is worded, so that in the findings, there is no evidence that even one lesbian mother sexually abused a child, yet they are using the finding to smear all lesbian mothers. It also is true that given Regnerus’s definition of his group — young adults who say a parent has ever had a same-sex relationship — there is no way to weight the raw data with a verifiably correct weight.”

Indeed, this reporter made a Public Information Act request to the University of Texas,  specifically for the explanation of how Regnerus derived the 23% sex abuse finding from his raw data.

In a letter UT then sent to the Texas Attorney General, asking for exceptions, the university claimed that Regnerus’s procedure for deriving the finding from the raw data is proprietary and must be kept secret, in order to protect UT’s investment in the study. Yet, in response to an Open Records Act request for information about who is paying for Regnerus to promote the study at the Princeton conference, UT told the attorney general that the study has nothing to do with UT, and that therefore, the Public Information Act does not apply to the requested documentation.

Get it?  It can not possibly be true that UT is both heavily invested in the study, and that the study has nothing to do with UT. UT makes up any old excuse, not to comply with Regnerus study-related Public Information Act requests.

UT carried out a sham “inquiry” of Regnerus and his study over the summer, concluding that there had been no misconduct, but not communicating to the public the facts that Wilcox as a Witherspoon Program Director collaborated with Regnerus on the study design, and that Regnerus then lied in his published study by saying that the funders were not “at all” involved in study design. What it amounts to, is that the Princeton University anti-gay moneybags are corrupting other universities with booby-trapped studies funded to the tune of seven-hundred and eighty-five thousand dollars.

Dr. Kinsman says: “They clearly have lots of things to hide, and don’t want people to see how they arrived at their conclusions.”

One of UT’s letters asking the attorney general for Public Information Act exemptions revealed that prior to publication of the study, Regnerus and highly-placed members of UT administration extensively strategized a public relations spin for the study. UT anticipated negative reaction and was fearful for the university’s “branding.”

“If UT and Regnerus had these discussions prior to the release of the study, ” Dr. Kinsman says, “they realized that there would be things they would have to cover up for. If it was a completely legitimate study, why would you be preparing for the release in this way? UT and Regnerus were going way beyond just preparing to answer questions about the research straightforwardly. You can always answer questions about research, but to prepare in these ways suggests that they were aware of the problems in the research. In this case, they knew there would be negative feedback. This suggests coordination between Regnerus, the funders and UT.”

Dr. Kinsman continues: “Given the peer reviewers’ conflicts of interest, the legitimacy of the Regnerus study as a scholarly publication is dubious. The $785,000 funding was suspect to begin with, but then the conflicts of interest with the funders and the publishing process, along with the funders having a clear ideological orientation in relation to the study and publication process is disturbing. Elsevier’s journal Social Science Research has been discredited through the publication of this study. And clearly, Wilcox is being dishonest. One would think that Wilcox’s and Regnerus’s dishonesty was a matter of grave importance. Wilcox has violated Princeton’s code of ethics, and it’s plain that Princeton is not enforcing the code. This integrated relationship between Princeton and the Witherspoon Institute should not be happening; it is an illegitimate use of a university for anti-LGBT right-wing politicking. With this study, they have moved their propaganda into high gear. This certainly would be a problem for queer and more progressive heterosexual students at Princeton.”

As happens, after Regnerus’s Witherspoon conference collaborator Ana Samuel published an anti-gay essay about the study in The Princetonian, a commenter said:

“I am a LGBT Princetonian. This editorial, the anti-LGBT work of so many faculty and graduate students at Princeton, as well as the intellectual and financial support by Princetonians of NOM and the Witherspoon Institute makes this place suffocating at times. The University sits tacitly by while all this occurs, which is a terrible way to really support the LGBT members of your community.”

Princeton Professor Robert George is central to how the booby-trapped Regnerus study is getting so widely used as an anti-gay political weapon.

George is a ringleader of anti-gay politics worldwide. He is on the Catholic League’s Board of Advisers; Catholic Bishops all over the world are using the Regnerus study to poison minds against gay people.

Because the phrase “Never forget!” has meaning, I am mentioning that the Catholic Church demonized WWII-era homosexuals, many of whom were deported to concentration camps.

George’s friend Bill Donohue, President of the Catholic League, sent a letter to UT President Powers, saying, among other things, that where my misconduct allegations against Regnerus mentioned the U.S. Catholic Bishops’ use of the study during their “Fortnight for Freedom” event, I was being “invidious as well as ignorant” because “the ‘Fortnight for Freedom’ events that were organized by the bishops,” according to Donohue, “had absolutely nothing to do with same-sex marriage.”

But in documented reality, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) were placing a strong emphasis on opposing gay rights during their “Fortnight.” Bishop Cordileone devoted a chunk of a post to the Regnerus study, using it to make anti-gay claims that the study does not support. Virtually every Catholic archdiocese is using the Regnerus study as a propaganda weapon in political contexts against gays. This did not happen by coincidence; Robert George had a role in promoting the study to the bishops.

It is intolerable that this weapon was assembled through Princeton University and then pushed out into and around the world by such figures as Princeton’s Robert George. And the last thing the Catholic Church should be doing after the Holocaust is demonizing gays.

Robert George’s NOM has heavily lied about and used the Regnerus study as a weapon in its anti-gay-rights campaigns. George’s NOM, besides sponsoring rallies where speakers say that homosexuals are “worthy to death,”  also creates anti-gay political ads in which same-sex marriages and gay people are called “uncivilized,” “unnatural,” harmful to society, unfit to raise children, and likened to drug dealers and pedophiles.

That is the same sort of defamation contained in the Regnerus study, orchestrated at and promoted to the world from the campus of Princeton University.

Princeton President Shirley Tilghman alleges having carried out an investigation, which found no financial ties between Princeton University and NOM. She forgot to mention that there is concern, as well, about Princeton’s economic and other benefits had through the Witherspoon Institute.

In 2011, this reporter asked Tilghman’s office for a copy of the alleged investigation report. I am still waiting for it.


1) Make sure everyone you know is aware of Princeton’s role in enabling the most powerful anti-gay bigots in the world to devise, to fund, and to distribute fraudulent anti-gay studies — and associated major anti-gay hate speech campaigns — from the Princeton campus;

2) Urge LGBT people and allies to avoid Princeton, not to attend it, and not to donate any money to the university;

3) Urge prior Princeton donors to stop giving the university money, and to make public declarations about why they will no longer give money to Princeton;

4) Make sure people understand that Princeton University lent its prestigious name to a conference where the lying Mark Regnerus and his lying anti-gay funders propagandized with the academically fraudulent Regnerus study, holding it up as a reference for students from all over the country and beyond to use as the basis for demonizing gay people;

5) Urge high-school guidance counselors to warn students — and particularly LGBT students — away from Princeton;

6) Call the offices of the Princeton University President, Provost, Dean, Vice President and General Counsel to complain about Princeton being a base for the generation of fraudulent, anti-gay studies and anti-gay hate speech: (609) 258-3000;

7) Remind people that women were not allowed into Princeton until 1969, and that the university had to be sued not to discriminate against women in its eating clubs, which were not integrated until 1991;

8) Remind people that in 1939, Princeton accepted Bruce M. Wright, but rescinded acceptance after he arrived at the campus and they realized he was African-American, not white. Ask people, “As repugnant as that story is, is it any worse than allowing an Ivy League campus to be the breeding ground of fraudulent studies used to demonize gays worldwide?”

9) Remind people that in 1924, Princeton thought that having Jews as 3.6% of the student body was unbearable, and so the university set a maximum quota of 2%.

10) Remind people what Dr. Toni McNaron, author of Poisoned Ivy says; “Princeton is fronting for totally unfounded, anti-LGBT prejudices.”

11) Sign this petition, telling the Princeton University Board of Trustees to take a stand, finally, against Robert George’s anti-gay bigotry.

New York City-based novelist and freelance writer Scott Rose’s LGBT-interest by-line has appeared on,, The New York Blade,, 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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President Obama in Springfield, OH – Full Speech 11/2/2012

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It’s Time for the Poor to Come Out of the Plutocracy’s Closet of Shame

From Truth Out:

By Jeff Nall
Friday, 02 November 2012

As a college-educated, heterosexual, white, male American citizen I know something about (unearned) privilege. But being poor – for the last three years our family of five has lived on, and continues to live on, well under $30,000 annually – has also taught me that a social analysis that ignores economic standing is doomed to draw incomplete conclusions. In many situations, being poor diminishes these previously mentioned privileges.

Scholarly communities generally agree that it is wrong to disallow a fellow scholar’s participation in a conference due to their race, sexuality, nationality or citizenship, or gender. There is not, however, an equal objection to excluding people on the basis of their economic standing. As a poor scholar tasked with supporting a family, I have been embarrassed to have had to apologetically cancel participation in conferences because of economic limitations that made me unable to pay for registration fees and travel costs. In the realm of health care, poverty has meant choosing tooth extraction over tooth repair because I didn’t have insurance and couldn’t afford the procedure. My missing tooth is a constant reminder that the poor are routinely denied basic human dignity in our society, even when they are recipients of racial, gender, and/or sexual privilege. If this is true of white, male, heterosexual, educated American poor people, then it is likely worse for those who are additionally “othered” due to race or ethnicity, sexual orientation, nationality or citizenship status, and/or education.

Some people who are poor often try to “pass” as middle class. They simply keep silent about their economic conditions, quiet on the healthcare they need but can’t afford, quiet that the reason they can’t attend an event or outing with friends, family or coworkers is because they don’t have the money.

Perhaps most gravely, poor people hide their status by being silent when others speak about the poor. Since being poor is associated with vice, the last thing many poor people want to do is both be poor and be identified with other poor people.

This is clear from Stacey Patton’s article, “The Ph.D. Now Comes with Food Stamps,”  in The Chronicle for Higher Education. Patton introduces us to several people who admit the shame they feel for being poor. Melissa Bruninga-Matteau, a white woman with a Ph.D. in medieval history and an adjunct professor, begins her conversation with Patton with these words: “I am not a welfare queen.” Bruninga-Matteau goes on to say, “I find it horrifying that someone who stands in front of college classes and teaches is on welfare.”

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In Sandy’s Wake, New York’s Landscape of Inequity Revealed

From In These Times:

By Michelle Chen
Thursday Nov 1, 2012

The shock of Sandy is still rippling across the northeastern United States. But in the microcosm of New York City, we can already see who’s going to bear the brunt of the damage. As Hurricane Katrina demonstrated, floodwaters have a way of exposing the race and class divisions that stratify our cities.

Though some bus and subway service is returning, many neighborhoods dependent on public transportation remain functionally shuttered. Not surprisingly, recent surveys show that Metropolitan Transit Authority ridership consists mostly of people of color, nearly half living on less than $50,000 a year in one of the world’s most expensive cities.

It’s true that Sandy’s path of destruction was to some extent an equal opportunity assault, pummeling the trendiest downtown enclaves and blighted neighborhoods alike. But residents’ levels of resilience to the storm–the capacity to absorb trauma–will likely follow the sharp peaks and valleys of the city’s economic landscape.

Even before the storm, inequities arose in the city’s disaster preparations. Many public-housing residents who stayed behind in evacuation zones were preemptively blacked out, left without elevators, heat or hot water. Meanwhile, once again, in a repeat of Hurricane Irene, the city was criticized for shamelessly denying the incarcerated at Rikers Island an adequate evacuation plan.

Now, floodwaters have ravaged the Lower East Side–a historical bastion of immigant social movements and a dense community of low-income people of color, mostly of Latino and Asian descent. Hundreds have taken shelter at a local school, community service organizations are struggling to stabilize neighborhoods, and some Chinatown activists have reported ugly run-ins with the police during their relief efforts.

Endemic social tensions may intensify as households and communities across lower Manhattan and the outer boroughs face both a transportation shutdown and large-scale displacement: public schools closed, battered storefronts practically abandoned. Many struggling residents will be depending on emergency food rations. In outlying areas such as Far Rockaway, seniors and people with disabilities are especially endangered by power outages combined with physical isolation. In old neighborhoods such as the historic Coney Island district, workers and local small businesses are further hobbled by a lack of insurance.

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Take Me Back to the 21st Century!

From Huffington Post:


Can we not go a week in America without a Republican candidate saying something idiotic and terrifying about women? We had Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin, currently a member of the House Science (!) Committee, explain that victims of “legitimate rape” are biologically incapable of becoming pregnant. We had Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock declare that a pregnancy resulting rape is a “gift from God.” We had Mitt Romney– who, by the way, endorsed Mourdock — explain that he doesn’t need to implement equal pay legislation because when he was governor of Massachusetts he deigned to appoint women to some cabinet posts. In four days, all of these men could be on their way to powerful positions on Capitol Hill and in the White House.

I feel like Michael J. Fox in “Back to the Future,” stuck in the 1950s and desperately trying to get the DeLorean to take me home.

The 1950s attitude toward women that has taken over the GOP isn’t just rhetorical. We are dangerously close to losing some of the important legal protections women have fought for decades to establish. When President Obama tried to close the gap between the amount that women and men pay for health care, ordering insurance companies to provide contraception without copay, the mostly-male congressional GOP revolted. They declared that the president was attacking religious liberty — specifically, the supposed religious liberty of employers to decide whether or not their employees could afford contraception. Senate Republicans came very close to passing a bill that would have allowed any employer to exercise their “religious liberty” by refusing insurance coverage to any employee for any treatment — not exactly what I think of as liberty. Mitt Romney, of course, backed them up all the way.

And of course that’s not all. Last year, Republicans in the House voted to take away federal funding from Planned Parenthood, the organization that ensures that women across the country have access to affordable reproductive care. (Full disclosure: I’m the proud chairwoman of Planned Parenthood’s Board of Advocates.) Their solution was not to replace Planned Parenthood’s care with something else. No, they voted instead to eliminate all of Title X, the federal program that provides funding to all reproductive health groups like Planned Parenthood. Their plan was simple: reproductive care only for those who could afford it, and the rest would be on their own. Mitt Romney followed their lead, promising to “get rid of” Planned Parenthood.

Thankfully, none of these measures made it into law, thanks to a narrow Democratic majority in the Senate and President Obama in the White House. But if Romney wins the White House or Republicans take the Senate, we can all pack our bags for the 1950s.

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Todd Akin Compares Criticism of his Remarks to Beheadings by Islamic Extremists

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A Terrifying Glimpse into the Mind of Romney Supporters

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Romney Adviser Backed Outlawing Homosexuality and Abortion in Africa

From Mother Jones:

Romney wants you to think he’s a moderate. The evangelical, anti-gay agenda peddled by his friend Jay Sekulow is anything but.

Fri Nov. 2, 2012

In the conservative political world, Jay Sekulow is hailed as an avowed crusader for religious liberty and the super-attorney behind the American Center for Law and Justice, a group Time magazine called a “powerful counterweight to the liberal American Civil Liberties Union.” Unlike many conservatives, Sekulow, a Fox News legal analyst, has long backed Mitt Romney, whom he calls his friend. Sekulow advised Romney’s 2008 presidential campaign, and has reprised that role during the 2012 election. He and his group have also joined forces with anti-gay crusaders in Africa to criminalize homosexuality.

Sekulow and his son Jordan opened affiliated offices of the ACLJ in Africa to lobby politicians to “take the Christian’s views into consideration as they draft legislation and policies,” according to ACLJ’s website. ACLJ’s Zimbabwe office has pushed an agenda that backs outlawing same-sex marriage and making sure that homosexuality “remain[s] a criminal activity.” (Zimbabwe had outlawed homosexuality in 2006.) Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe is among the most ruthless dictators in the world—but in 2010 ACLJ-Zimbabwe’s chairman, pastor Alex Chisango, led Mugabe and others in prayer to kick off Zimbabwe’s constitutional reform drive. ACLJ wanted to ensure that, whatever else changed in the country’s constitution, homosexuality remained illegal and same-sex marriage was banned. (Another ACLJ office in Kenya lobbied to eliminate an exemption allowing an abortion when a women’s life is at risk.)

In January, the Sekulows officially endorsed Romney’s 2012 campaign; Romney, in turn, thanked the Sekulows and said, “I look forward to working with them to ensure that we can bring conservative change to Washington.” Jay Sekulow has identified himself as a Romney adviser. And Politico has reported that he talked strategy in April with Romney and other conservative leaders in Washington, DC, and that Sekulow’s advisory role included acting as a liaison between the campaign and movement conservatives. (A Romney spokeswoman did not to respond to a question about Sekulow.)

ACLJ spokesman Gene Kapp said that Sekulow is an “informal” adviser. “Jay Sekulow is an active supporter, endorser, and friend of Mitt Romney and has been for many years,” Kapp says. “He has endorsed Romney in his individual capacity as a private citizen, not as chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice. His support is voluntary and unpaid.”

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Where Did Paul Ryan Find Inspiration for ‘Reforming’ Social Security? A Brutal Military Dictatorship, Naturally

From Alternet:

The basis for Ryan’s big plan was hatched under the radical right-wing Chilean torture regime of 1973 military coup leader Augusto Pinochet.

By Bruce Wilson
October 30, 2012

While the Republican Party and its wealthy plutocrat backers have been accused of waging an elitist virtual war against the American majority, both Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have financial and ideological ties to rich Latin American elites who have waged real wars against average citizens in their countries.

The anti-democratic ethos of today’s GOP, displayed in Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s  apparent contempt  for 47% of U.S. citizens, is reflected in the origins of Mitt Romney’s private equity firm Bain Capital, which was  founded with money from Central American financiers linked to government-backed death squads in El Salvador. Paul Ryan’s budgetary ideas have a similarly dark origin, in the paradigmatic case of what author Naomi Klein has dubbed  “The Shock Doctrine” .

In August 2012, Republican political consultant Roger Stone made the  accusation that the billionaire libertarian Koch Brothers had bought Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as a running mate, by offering to kick in $100 million more for “independent expenditures” in the 2012 presidential election.

While the charge may never be substantiated, Paul Ryan is  one of the few  elected officials allowed into the inner sanctum of the Koch brothers and their fellow libertarian big money donor circle.

It is also the case that Paul Ryan’s Social Security privatization ideas  closely track  Koch Brother schemes promoted from the Koch-funded libertarian Cato Institute since 1980, over three decades ago – before Ryan had even hit puberty. Cato’s website currently features the ringing  endorsement of Paul Ryan:

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Romney vs. Sandy

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The Blackmail Caucus

From The New York Times:

Published: November 1, 2012

If President Obama is re-elected, health care coverage will expand dramatically, taxes on the wealthy will go up and Wall Street will face tougher regulation. If Mitt Romney wins instead, health coverage will shrink substantially, taxes on the wealthy will fall to levels not seen in 80 years and financial regulation will be rolled back.

Given the starkness of this difference, you might have expected to see people from both sides of the political divide urging voters to cast their ballots based on the issues. Lately, however, I’ve seen a growing number of Romney supporters making a quite different argument. Vote for Mr. Romney, they say, because if he loses, Republicans will destroy the economy.

O.K., they don’t quite put it that way. The argument is phrased in terms of “partisan gridlock,” as if both parties were equally extreme. But they aren’t. This is, in reality, all about appeasing the hard men of the Republican Party.

If you want an example of what I’m talking about, consider the remarkable — in a bad way — editorial in which The Des Moines Register endorsed Mr. Romney. The paper acknowledged that Mr. Obama’s signature economic policy, the 2009 stimulus, was the right thing to do. It also acknowledged that Mr. Obama tried hard to reach out across the partisan divide, but was rebuffed.

Yet it endorsed his opponent anyway, offering some half-hearted support for Romneynomics, but mainly asserting that Mr. Romney would be able to work with Democrats in a way that Mr. Obama has not been able to work with Republicans. Why? Well, the paper claims — as many of those making this argument do — that, in office, Mr. Romney would be far more centrist than anything he has said in the campaign would indicate. (And the notion that he has been lying all along is supposed to be a point in his favor?) But mostly it just takes it for granted that Democrats would be more reasonable.

Is this a good argument?

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Joss Whedon on Mitt Romney and Zombie Apocalypse

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Congressional Research Service pulls study that crushed Republican tax theories

From Raw Story:

By Stephen C. Webster
Friday, November 2, 2012

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) isn’t explaining why it recently decided to pull a study that examined Republican theories about tax cuts for the rich and found them wanting.

The study looked at 65 years of tax policies and compared them with resulting effects on America’s gross domestic product, finding that cutting taxes for the very wealthy has never led to job creation and mostly just tends to encourage greater income disparity between the rich and the poor.

It went missing from the CRS website in September amid Republican criticism, although practically nobody noticed at the time. It took a call from a New York Times reporter before the CRS even acknowledged it was gone.

“The results of the analysis suggest that changes over the past 65 years in the top marginal tax rate and the top capital gains tax rate do not appear correlated with economic growth,” the study concludes. “The reduction in the top tax rates appears to be uncorrelated with saving, investment, and productivity growth. The top tax rates appear to have little or no relation to the size of the economic pie. However, the top tax rate reductions appear to be associated with the increasing concentration of income at the top of the income distribution.”

After it’s release in September, Republicans made their displeasure over its findings very clear. Aides to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) reportedly objected to the study’s use of the phrases “Bush tax cuts” and “tax cuts for the rich,” saying it set the wrong “tone” for the nonpartisan group, which operates as an arm of the Library of Congress.

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How Romney used his church’s charity status to lower his tax bill

From Salon:

Mitt rented the Mormon church’s tax exempt status to decrease his bill, new documents show

Tuesday, Oct 30, 2012

We already know that Mormon Mitt Romney has been tremendously generous to his church, giving over $5 million in the past two years alone, but now we learn that his charitable activity with LDS may not have been entirely altruistic. Bloomberg’s Jesse Drucker reports that Romney exploited the church’s tax-exempt status to lower his tax bill.

Romney reportedly took advantage of a loophole, called a charitable remainder unitrust or CRUT, which allows someone to park money or securities in a tax-deferred trust marked for his or her favorite charity, but which often doesn’t pay out much to the nonprofit. The donor pays taxes on the fixed yearly income from the trust, but the principal remains untaxed. Congress outlawed the practice in 1997, but Romney slid in under the wire when his trust, created in June 1996, was grandfathered in.

The trust essentially lets someone “rent” the charity’s tax-exemption while not actually giving the charity much money. If done for this purpose, the trust pays out more every year to the donor than it makes in returns on its holdings, depleting the principal over time, so that when the donor dies and the trust is transferred to the charity, there’s often little left. The actual contribution “is just a throwaway,” Jonathan Blattmachr, a lawyer who set up hundreds of CRUTs in the 1990s, told Bloomberg. “I used to structure them so the value dedicated to charity was as close to zero as possible without being zero.”

Indeed, this appears to be the case for Romney’s trust as well. Bloomberg obtained the trust’s tax returns through a Freedom of Information Request and found that Romney’s CRUT started at $750,000 in 2001 but ended 2011 with only $421,203 — over a period when the stock market grew. Romney’s trust was projected to leave less than 8 percent of the original contribution to the church (or another charity that he can designate).  This, along with the trust’s poor returns — it made just $48 in 2011 — suggest the trust is not designed to grow for the LDS church but just serve as a tax-free holding pool from which annual payments can be disbursed to the Romneys.

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Most Republicans Believe In Demon Possession, Less Than Half Believe In Climate Change: Report

From Huffington Post:

Posted: 11/02/2012

A new poll reveals the majority of registered Republican voters believe that demonic possession is a real phenomenon.

The “Halloween-centric” poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling showed that 68 percent of Republican voters think it’s possible to be possessed by demons.

Meanwhile, as news website AlterNet notes, only 48 percent of Republicans polled in an earlier survey conducted by the Pew Research Center survey said they believe in climate change.

As the election looms ever closer, the topic of climate change and global warming has been in the air — with some experts and politicians calling the recent devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy a reality check.

However, while 88 percent of Obama supporters believe that there is “solid evidence that the earth is warming,” only 42 percent of Romney supporters said that this is true, according to the Pew survey.

In addition, 33 percent of Romney supporters (compared to 5 percent of Obama supporters) said they believe global warming is “not a problem.”

When it comes to demons, however, it seems the Democrat-Republican rift is not quite so wide.

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See also Alternet:  Shocking Poll – More than Two-Thirds of Republican Voters Believe in Demonic Possession

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