Fraudulent anti-gay parenting study now used to create link between watching porno, marriage equality support

From Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters:

By Alvin McEwen
Thursday, December 20, 2012

Reposted with permission

How is this for a swift attempt to kick the gay community in the face? Not only is Mark Regnerus attempting to use his fraudulent study on gay parenting to attack same-sex families, but apparently he is now attempting to create a link between pornography and marriage equality support from information taken from the same study:

There is a correlation between watching porn and support for gay marriage among men, Dr. Mark Regnerus, associate professor of sociology at University of Texas at Austin, found. Exposure to diverse and graphic sex acts, he believes, may undermine a traditional view of marriage. Using data from The New Family Structures Study, a project for which he was the principal investigator, Regnerus found statistically significant positive correlation between porn use and support for same-sex marriage among men, even after controlling for other predictors, such as political party, religiosity, marital status, age, education and sexual orientation. In the full sample, 42 percent of men and 47 percent of women agreed or strongly agreed that gay marriage should be legal. Among men who view porn daily or almost daily, though, 54 percent strongly agreed (not just agreed) that gay marriage should be legal while only 13 percent who said they viewed porn monthly or less believed the same, Regnerus wrote for The Witherspoon Institute’s “Public Discourse.”

Wasn’t that flawed study – which received much deserved criticism – about same-sex parenting? Just how in the world did the porn factor come in?

I almost can’t wait to hear what “negative” factor involving marriage equality Regnerus’ study conveniently finds.

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Pope Benedict Hurls Unhinged Assault In His Anti-Gay Marriage Holy War

From The New Civil Rights Movement

by David Badash
on December 21, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI today in a Christmas address to the College of Cardinals unleashed an unhinged assault on all gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, and gay marriage, from his home in the Vatican. During his reign, Benedict has become ever-increasingly hostile to LGBT people and same-sex marriage. In April, as reported, the Vatican reached out to form a coalition with other religions and called on them to join in a worldwide holy war against same-sex marriage, claiming that proliferation of equality “is not a good thing for society,” and will lead to “confusion.”

But today’s address was startling in the intensity of its anti-gay rhetoric, going so far as to state same-sex marriage threatens the “essence of the human creature,” and thus, mankind’s future.

Noting “the family is still strong and vibrant today,” Pope Benedict strongly questioned the ability of  a member of “the western world” to “bind oneself for a lifetime” in marriage. And he warned when “such commitment is repudiated, the key figures of human existence likewise vanish: father, mother, child – essential elements of the experience of being human are lost.”

“According to the biblical creation account, being created by God as male and female pertains to the essence of the human creature,” the Pope said. “This duality is an essential aspect of what being human is all about, as ordained by God. This very duality as something previously given is what is now disputed.”

The words of the creation account: “male and female he created them” (Gen 1:27) no longer apply. No, what applies now is this: it was not God who created them male and female – hitherto society did this, now we decide for ourselves. Man and woman as created realities, as the nature of the human being, no longer exist. Man calls his nature into question. From now on he is merely spirit and will. The manipulation of nature, which we deplore today where our environment is concerned, now becomes man’s fundamental choice where he himself is concerned. From now on there is only the abstract human being, who chooses for himself what his nature is to be. Man and woman in their created state as complementary versions of what it means to be human are disputed. But if there is no pre-ordained duality of man and woman in creation, then neither is the family any longer a reality established by creation. Likewise, the child has lost the place he had occupied hitherto and the dignity pertaining to him.

Pope Benedict railed against same-sex marriage as an attack on the “traditional” family, and lamented that children adopted by same-sex couples “become an object to which people have a right and which they have a right to obtain.” Benedict claimed this “creation” causes “human dignity” to  disappear.

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Marijuana, Not Yet Legal for Californians, Might as Well Be

From The New York Times:

Published: December 20, 2012

LOS ANGELES — Let Colorado and Washington be the marijuana trailblazers. Let them struggle with the messy details of what it means to actually legalize the drug. Marijuana is, as a practical matter, already legal in much of California.

No matter that its recreational use remains technically against the law. Marijuana has, in many parts of this state, become the equivalent of a beer in a paper bag on the streets of Greenwich Village. It is losing whatever stigma it ever had and still has in many parts of the country, including New York City, where the kind of open marijuana use that is common here would attract the attention of any passing law officer.

“It’s shocking, from my perspective, the number of people that we all know who are recreational marijuana users,” said Gavin Newsom, the lieutenant governor. “These are incredibly upstanding citizens: Leaders in our community, and exceptional people. Increasingly, people are willing to share how they use it and not be ashamed of it.”

Marijuana can be smelled in suburban backyards in neighborhoods from Hollywood to Topanga Canyon as dusk falls — what in other places is known as the cocktail hour — often wafting in from three sides. In some homes in Beverly Hills and San Francisco, it is offered at the start of a dinner party with the customary ease of a host offering a chilled Bombay Sapphire martini.

Lighting up a cigarette (the tobacco kind) can get you booted from many venues in this rigorously anti-tobacco state. But no one seemed to mind as marijuana smoke filled the air at an outdoor concert at the Hollywood Bowl in September or even in the much more intimate, enclosed atmosphere of the Troubadour in West Hollywood during a Mountain Goats concert last week.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, the former Republican governor, ticked off the acceptance of open marijuana smoking in a list of reasons he thought Venice was such a wonderful place for his morning bicycle rides. With so many people smoking in so many places, he said in an interview this year, there was no reason to light up one’s own joint.

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Maddow: Entire conservative movement is ‘a complete mess’

From Raw Story:

By David Ferguson
Friday, December 21, 2012

Thursday night on “The Rachel Maddow Show,” host Rachel Maddow took stock of Republicans — from where they stand on the so-called fiscal cliff negotiations to thier their overall message. If the wild, shouting-match free-for-all that went on under the Capitol dome Thursday night is any indication, the party is in complete disarray.

“Do you want to know what just happened in Washington?” she asked at the segment’s opening. “Do you want to know what just happened, with Congress just unexpectedly imploding and the Republicans in Congress dissolving into a huge internal fight including screaming matches within their own caucus? And then all of a sudden, they’re just turning off the lights and abandoning what they were doing and nobody really knows why, nobody really knows what happens next?”

It all started, apparently, with Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC). Since taking his Senate seat in 2004, DeMint, a tea party favorite, has sponsored no major pieces of legislation, but has instead spent his time building a coalition and amassing a great deal of support against Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), who the tea party see as being a little too squishy on some of their most important issues.

Then, DeMint abruptly announced earlier this month that he’s leaving the Senate to chair the Heritage Foundation. In his farewell speech on Thursday, Maddow said, things got a little weird.

“I hope that we can create more common ground between the political parties,” DeMint said, “by showing everyone that ideas that work for their constituents and our constituents are right there in front of our faces, if we’re willing to set aside the pressure groups and special interests and let’s just focus on what’s working.”

The camera cut back to Maddow, who looked deeply skeptical. This is Jim DeMint, one of the most obstructive, anti-Obama Republicans on the Hill calling for comity and a focus on the practical? And telling the party to ignore pressure groups?

“Jim DeMint is leaving the Senate to go run a pressure group!” she said.

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Crony Capitalism’s Power Couple

From Truth Dig:

By Robert Scheer
Dec 21, 2012

Where is Phil Gramm hiding? The former Republican senator from Texas, who wrote the radical banking deregulation of the 1990s and was rewarded for his efforts to enrich the banks with a plum job at Switzerland-based UBS, has not been heard from since his bank got nailed by the G-men. Or, as The New York Times put it, UBS now has the distinction of being “the first big global bank in more than two decades to have a subsidiary plead guilty to fraud.”

Surely Gramm, who retired from the bank last year, must know something about the nefarious activities conducted over a timespan when he was helping to manage the firm. This latest scandal, involving the rigging of a major trusted banking interest rate, might finally test the theories that he has long written into law that assume banks are best when regulated by themselves—a now obviously dumb idea.

As the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday: “U.S., U.K. and Swiss authorities alleged a vast conspiracy led by UBS AG to rig interest rates tied to trillions of dollars in loans and other financial products, indicating the practice was far more pervasive than previously known.” But what did Gramm know about this criminal behavior at a bank he helped govern, and when did he know it?

In a deal brokered with the criminal division of the U.S. Justice Department, UBS was also fined $1.5 billion in the massive Libor interest-rate-fixing scam that evidenced a pattern of deep corruption across a score of top banks. But Gramm, the man most responsible for the repeal in 1999 of 60 years of sensible banking regulation that enabled the financial industry to run wild, has not responded to a single question from the mainstream media concerning UBS’ criminal behavior. I assume he has been queried, given his important prior contribution to the sorry state of banking.

When Gramm was still at the bank, his bio page on the UBS website paid tribute to his prior achievements in government: “As chairman of the Banking Committee, Sen. Gramm steered through legislation modernizing the nation’s banking, insurance and securities laws.”

That “modernization” in 2000 made legal the mergers that created the too-big-to-fail banks that had to be bailed out by taxpayers, as well as insuring that the burgeoning markets in toxic derivatives and credit default swaps were summarily freed from all government regulation. Bill Clinton signed off on the new laws, and his successor, George W. Bush, enthusiastically enforced them.

How fitting then to find the two presidents united again on several occasions documented on the UBS website participating in bank-sponsored panels on “Revitalizing America.” Clinton’s foundation has partnered with UBS in mentoring small businesses in poorer communities, the very communities hit hardest by the banking shenanigans of the past decade. Ever the optimist, Clinton promised that “Our partnership with UBS Wealth Management Americas will give these businesses essential new opportunities to expand and to make a positive difference in underserved communities.” With friends like these…

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Fiscal cliff cuts threaten austerity for 50 million Americans already in poverty

From The Guardian UK:

Our nurses see dire need every day in the ER, but the growing gulf of inequality in the US has made such deprivation ubiquitous, Wednesday 19 December 2012

With a compromise on social security now unmasked – costing the elderly an estimated 6.2-7.7%, according to business writer Doug Henwood – America becomes more and more a place of poverty. Warnings that austerity begets poverty will go ignored, but the nation’s deteriorating condition cannot so easily be overlooked.

No surprise, in this milieu of victimizing the most marginal, that one anniversary has received far too little attention. This year, 2012,  marked the 50th anniversary of a ground breaking book, The Other America, by Michael Harrington, a searing examination of rampant poverty in the richest nation on earth. A prominent review of Harrington’s work in the New Yorker magazine, reportedly brought to the attention of then President John F Kennedy, ultimately helped influence the Great Society reforms later launched by his successor Lyndon B Johnson.

But half a century later, we seem to be back to square one in this country.

For the past two years, the nation’s largest nurses’ organization, National Nurses United, has promoted a program to spur revitalization of our economy to assist families in financial peril. Our campaign was largely spurred by an alarming spike in patients presenting in hospital emergency rooms and clinics across the country who are forced to choose between paying medical bills, their rent or mortgage or feeding their families.

The crisis nurses saw was not an aberration. By 2011, with the recent recession showing scant signs of abating, official US poverty figures had soared to nearly 50 million Americans. Some in the political arena tend to pigeonhole poverty by race, but this calamity crosses all lines of gender, geography, age, and ethnicity.

Last year, almost one in four children lived in a family that regularly had difficulty affording sufficient food, according to the US department of agriculture. On the other end of life, 8.3 million people over 60 in 2010 faced the threat of hunger, up 78% from a decade earlier – yet another reason to oppose the proposed fiscal cliff cuts in social security or Medicare.

Hunger and malnutrition, as nurses will attest, lead to a broad array of health problems, ranging from reduced immunity to disease or even organ failure. For children, poor nutrition can severely stunt cognitive development and growth. For adults and seniors, the consequences can include more chronic illnesses and shorter life spans.

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CNN: After Mass Shootings, Should We Profile White Men?

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