Walmart Admits: ‘Our Profits’ Depend on ‘Their Poverty’

From Common Dreams:

Critics cite irony of annual report filing: ‘This is a company that everywhere it goes it creates poverty’

Lauren McCauley

Although a notorious recipient of “corporate welfare,” Walmart has now admitted that their massive profits also depend on the funding of food stamps and other public assistance programs.

In their annual report, filed with the Security and Exchange Commission last week, the retail giant lists factors that could potentially harm future profitability. Listed among items such as “economic conditions” and “consumer confidence,” the company writes that changes in taxpayer-funded public assistance programs are also a major threat to their bottom line.

The company writes:

Our business operations are subject to numerous risks, factors and uncertainties, domestically and internationally, which are outside our control … These factors include … changes in the amount of payments made under the Supplement[al] Nutrition Assistance Plan and other public assistance plans, changes in the eligibility requirements of public assistance plans …

Walmart, the nation’s largest private employer, is notorious for paying poverty wages and coaching employees to take advantage of social programs. In many states, Walmart employees are the largest group of Medicaid recipients.

However, this report is the first public acknowledgement of the chain’s reliance on the funding of these programs to sustain a profit.

According to Stacy Mitchell, senior researcher with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, the irony of their admission is that Walmart “is the company that has done, perhaps, more than any other corporation to push people into poverty.”

Citing a Penn State study, Mitchell told Common Dreams that research has proven that “when Walmart opens a store, poverty rates are negatively impacted” and that the more stores that have opened in a particular county, the worse it is. “This is a company that everywhere it goes it creates poverty.”

In addition to their own worker’s low wages, Mitchell explains that Walmart, because of their enormous size and market power, have “held down wages for the whole sector.”

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All Around Bigot Pat Robertson: Jews Too Busy Polishing Diamonds To Fix Their Cars

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‘Shem***’ is not OK to use in any venue

From The San Diego LGBT Weekly:

Trans Progressive

I’ve had a back-and-forth with Nicole Murray Ramirez at LGBT Weekly over RuPaul’s promotion of the term tra**y. We disagree on the pejorative nature of the term, but it says something that the former Tra**y Awards has changed the name of the event to the Transgender Erotic Awards.

“When we named the show the ‘Tranny Awards’ in 2007 the climate was different and the usage of the word ‘tranny’ was appropriate as a catchy title in an online porn event,” creator of the awards event Steven Grooby explained in a Cosmo magazine article. “As we aim to be inclusive of all areas of transgender erotica and are looking to broaden the appeal of the show to mainstream media, we believed it was time to re-brand the event.”

Even Jerry Springer recently announced that he’s going to stop using the term tra**y because the term has clearly become offensive.

But now RuPaul has gone clearly into antitrans pejorative use. In season 6, episode 4 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, he used, and encouraged the use of “shem***” by LGBT and straight people in how he and the drag queens on the show used the term.

There is no gray area, as there is with tra**y, on the use of the term shem***. This is a vile term that trans people (outside of the porn industry) don’t use to describe themselves. There are African Americans who refer to themselves by the n-word, and there are gays who refer to themselves by fa**ot, but essentially there just aren’t any trans people outside of the porn industry who refer to themselves as shem***s.

Of course, if one refers to gays as fa**ots, RuPaul takes offense. June 2, 2013 he Tweeted at Amanda Bynes about her use of the word fa**ots in one of her Tweets. “Derogatory slurs are always an outward projection of a person’s own poisonous self-loathing @AmandaBynes,” he wrote.

So when it comes to anti-trans derogatory slurs, RuPaul must either be a hypocrite or self-loathing – there is no gray area here. His use of the term shem*** in an episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race is giving lesbian, gay, bisexual and straight people permission to use a derogatory, dehumanizing slur.

Apparently, RuPaul has no idea of how the term has been used by members of the LGBT and feminist communities to deride trans people. It was back in 1979 that lesbian and feminist Janice G. Raymond used the term in her book The Transsexual Empire: The Making of the She-Male. She justified the use of the term, describing trans women with the term “male-to-constructed female” and that trans experience can be boiled down to trans women’s “artifactual femaleness.” Raymond’s use of the term isn’t the only time the term was used to deride and dehumanize trans experience and trans people, but it epitomizes it.

Trans people deserve to be heard about which terms are problematic, defamatory and derogatory. We trans people deserve better from our LGBT entertainers than what RuPaul gives us; what he gives us is use of, and functionally working to normalize the use of, one of the most vile anti-trans pejoratives that function to dehumanize trans people.

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“Our Only Hope Will Come Through Rebellion”

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Disturbing New Report: Air Pollution Killed 7 Million People in 2012—Or About 1 in 8 Premature Deaths

From The Guardian UK:

Imagine if Jackie O got arrested for losing her son after smoking. Now meet the woman facing life in prison for something like that, Wednesday 26 March 2014

Seven and a half years ago, a Mississippi teenager named Rennie Gibbs went into premature labor and delivered a stillborn baby girl named Samiya. Initially, experts attributed the baby’s death to the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck. But when traces of a cocaine byproduct showed up on the autopsy report, a medical examiner declared the stillbirth a homicide and cited cocaine toxicity as the cause. Shortly afterward, the 16-year-old Gibbs was charged with murder, specifically “depraved heart murder”, a charge that can carry a sentence of up to 20 years to life in prison.

Since her grand-jury indictment in 2007, Gibbs’s team of attorneys has been fighting for the charges to be dropped on both technical and legal grounds. The defense argues that there’s no scientific proof that cocaine use can cause a stillbirth – and that the “depraved heart murder” statute did not apply to unborn children at the time of Samiya’s death. A decision is expected any day now as to whether the Gibbs case will finally proceed to trial or get dismissed. If it does go to trial, and Gibbs is convicted of murder for being 16 and pregnant, then a dangerous precedent may be established that should make anyone with a uterus feel very afraid.

This week, I spoke with one of Gibbs’s attorneys, Robert McDuff, who told me that he volunteered his services to the public defender assigned to the case back in 2009 because he was concerned about the implications for women everywhere if the prosecution is successful:

It’s ridiculous that this teenager is being prosecuted for a murder charge not justified by either law or science. If she can be tried for allegedly taking drugs during her pregnancy, what is to stop other women who miscarry or suffer a stillbirth from being prosecuted because they smoked cigarettes or drank alcohol or just didn’t follow their doctor’s orders?

Central to the Gibbs case is whether her alleged cocaine use directly caused her baby’s stillbirth. A recent ProPublica investigation by Nina Martin goes into some detail on this aspect, outlining serious doubts surrounding the medical examiner’s conclusion that drugs were the cause of death. The reliability of the examiner’s work has been called into question before, and at least four murder convictions based on his evidence have been overturned.

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One Percenter Convicted Of Raping His Infant Child Dodges Jail Because He ‘Will Not Fare Well’

From Huffington Post:

by  Ashley Alman

A Delaware man convicted of raping his three-year-old daughter only faced probation after a state Superior Court judge ruled he “will not fare well” in prison.

In her decision, Judge Jan Jurden suggested Robert H. Richards IV would benefit more from treatment. Richards, who was charged with fourth-degree rape in 2009, is an unemployed heir living off his trust fund. The light sentence has only became public as the result of a subsequent lawsuit filed by his ex-wife, which charges that he penetrated his daughter with his fingers while masturbating, and subsequently assaulted his son as well.

Richards is the great grandson of du Pont family patriarch Irenee du Pont, a chemical baron.

According to the lawsuit filed by Richards’ ex-wife, he admitted to assaulting his infant son in addition to his daughter between 2005 and 2007. Richards was initially indicted on two counts of second-degree child rape, felonies that translate to a 10-year mandatory jail sentence per count. He was released on $60,000 bail while awaiting his charges.

Richards hired one of the state’s top law firms and was offered a plea deal of one count of fourth-degree rape charges — which carries no mandatory minimum prison sentencing. He accepted, and admitted to the assault.

In her sentence, Jurden said he would benefit from participating in a sex offenders rehabilitation program rather than serving prison time.

Delaware Public Defender Brendan J. O’Neill told The News Journal that it was “extremely rare” for an individual to fare well in prison. “Prison is to punish, to segregate the offender from society, and the notion that prison serves people well hasn’t proven to be true in most circumstances,” he said, adding that the light sentence for the member of the one percent raised questions about “how a person with great wealth may be treated by the system.” (Though perhaps it provides more answers than questions.)

According to the The News Journal, several attorneys claimed treatment over jail time was a deal more typically granted to drug addicts, not sex offenders.

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Friday Night Fun and Culture: Linda Perhacs

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Anti-Trans Slurs and Drag: Who Exactly Is Transgender, and Does It Matter?

Years ago I argued that the term transgender should have a more limited meaning than it has come to have.  With every one and their gender-queer emo cousin claiming to be transgender the term has come to have no actual meaning.

Personally I tend to think of a lot of folks under the so called umbrella as not actually being transgender.  That includes butch women and femme guys as well as drag queens and cross dressers.

I know that gut feeling puts me at odds with the community leaders yet I don’t care enough to argue for my position.

From Huffington Post:

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It’s Ugly

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Christo-Nazi Pat Robertson On Stoning Gays; Satan Leads Gay Rights Movement

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Being Trans Is Not Revolutionary You Still Have to Be a Good and Decent Person

When I look back at my life I see my being transsexual as one of the least radical and least revolutionary things about me.

Perhaps others view it that way but I cannot.

I simply see it as being myself and living my life authentically.

You supply your own suffix to the word trans…  Your life, your choice of words for describing that life…

For myself a quote from Anais Nin has always seemed to describe the reason why I came out while I was 21.

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

I was fortunate.  I grew up and came of age when authenticity was far more important than image.  I lived among people who valued authenticity and honesty.

As Dylan sang, “When you live outside the law, you must be honest.”

Coming out was natural once I dug deep enough and found my authentic self.  Anything less wouldn’t have been living up to my personal ideals.

Recently TransGriot, Monica Roberts posted: It Is Revolutionary To Be Trans

In it she quotes Laverne Cox “It is revolutionary for any trans person to choose to be seen and visible in a world that tells us we should not exist.”

I beg to differ.

Living authentically is just being yourself.

Further given all the hatred of anyone who is different in any degree from some imaginary standard any act of non-conformity takes courage.

When one is down by law due to something about their being, and we should know that includes things like race, class, and a whole slew of other factors including trans… Well then just the being trans isn’t revolutionary or even radical.

If it were then sisters who are silicone pushers are revolutionary even as they maim and kill other sisters.

If simply being trans is revolutionary then the vicious name calling trolls like Jennifer Usher and others are revolutionary.

The same could be said of those sisters and brothers who are openly racist, proud to embrace right wing values.

Or those trans-folks who wind up dying from substance abuse because they never had the courage to 12 step their way into sobriety.

Just being something that one is born is not revolutionary.

On the other hand being trans and living your life with honesty and dignity, showing generosity and kindness to other sisters and brothers, well that’s pretty radical.

You don’t have to be a leader to do this, you simply have to strive to be good and decent.

Too often we show jealousy and spite towards each other.

Spite and jealousy are not virtues, living down to all the negative stereotypes people have of us isn’t revolutionary.

Sometimes being a good example rather than a bad one is the most radical thing one can do.

One of the big short comings of the Trans-Movement has been the way everyone declares themselves a leader.

People who say they just want to live their lives are told they need to be leaders.


Why can’t we just relax and go about our lives being good decent people, supporting our various progressive causes, while living quiet lives as ordinary decent ethical people?

Actually being a revolutionary is a hard life that tends to lead to an early death.

It isn’t a term to use lightly as though it were an advertising term.

It’s Time to Stop With The T Word

From The Advocate:

Some may think using the t word is permissible, but trans women who are the target of the hate that the word conjures don’t necessarily agree.

BY Parker Marie Molloy
February 20 2014

Last year I wrote a piece on The Huffington Post titled “Gay Dudes, Can You Just Not?” that generated digital eye rolls, nasty comments, and even threats from readers. It was critical of use of the word “tranny” by gay and bisexual men. The central idea was that the word, which I’ll now simply refer to as “the t slur,” is, in fact, a slur. It’s a term tied to a history of violence, oppression, anger, and hate. It’s a term I’ve been called by those who wish to harm me. And frankly, it’s a term many trans women, like slain New Yorker Islan Nettles, hear immediately prior to falling victim to physical violence.

I dared to inform those who use the word, who think they have a “pass” on account of themselves being part of the “LGBT community,” that it’s not their word to use, and it’s not their slur to “reclaim.”

As expected, response to my essay was dismissive and hostile. “The author is way off base,” one commenter wrote. “The word is just a shortened version of ‘transvestite,’ which is another description of a drag queen,” another said. “Words are just words,” said another. And referring to the use of the t slur on Glee, someone wrote, “You can easily tell that the kids of Glee were saying it out of love in the classroom,” and telling me to “lighten up, grow up.”

I never fully got the opportunity to refute the things said in those comments. But it’s that time of year again, when RuPaul’s show heads back to the cable, and the already high level of transphobic content on television spikes. So what better time than now to tackle this issue again?

Leela Ginelle at PQ Monthly described the conversation following my previous essay as “breaking the queer corner of the Internet.” Here’s my attempt at putting it back together with a warning: fragile.

RuPaul and others contend that the t slur isn’t aimed at trans women, and therefore, he, as a cisgender, gay man, is welcome to use the term as he sees fit. He’s gone so far as to denounce those who have apologized for using the term. “It’s ridiculous! It’s ridiculous!” RuPaul told The Huffington Post’s Michelangelo Signorile in 2012. “I love the word ‘tr*nny.’”

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Friday Night Fun and Culture: Jefferson Airplane

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There is no meritocracy: It’s just the 1 percent, and the game is rigged

From Salon:

The game is rigged: We elected Obama to hold the 1 percent accountable. So why are they still running everything?

Sunday, Mar 16, 2014

The big news after President Obama’s State of the Union address in January was that he didn’t really talk about the issues of inequality that everyone expected him to talk about. Instead, he shifted the “conversation,” as we call it, toward the subject of opportunity. He shied away from the extremely disturbing fact that when you work these days only your boss prospers, and brought us back to the infinitely less disturbing fact that sometimes poor people do get ahead despite it all. In a clever oratorical maneuver, Obama illustrated this comforting idea by referencing the success stories of both himself—“the son of a single mom”—and his arch-foe, Republican House Speaker John Boehner—“the son of a barkeep.” He spoke of building “new ladders of opportunity into the middle class,” a phrase that has become a trademark for his administration.

The problem, as Obama summed it up, is that Americans have ceased to believe they can rise from the ranks. “Opportunity is who we are,” he said. “And the defining project of our generation must be to restore that promise.”

The switcheroo was subtle, but if you’ve been paying attention you couldn’t miss it: These were almost precisely the words Obama had used the month before (“The defining challenge of our time”) to describe inequality itself.

Well, the Democratic apparat heard it, and as one body did they sway and swoon. This was a move of statesmanlike genius, they said. “Opportunity” and social mobility are what Americans have always liked to hear about, they declared; “inequality” sounds like a demand for entitlements—or something much worse. “What you want to do is focus on the aspirational side of this,” said Paul Begala in a typical remark, “lifting people up, not on just complaining about a lack of fairness or inequality.”

If you’re in the right mood, you might well agree with him. In the distant past, “opportunity” used to be something of a liberal buzzword, a way of selling welfare-state inventions of every description. The reason was simple: true equality of opportunity is not possible without achieving, well, greater equality, period. If we’re really serious about opportunity—if we’re going to ensure that every poor kid has a chance in life that is the equal of every rich kid—it’s going to require a gigantic investment in public schools, in housing, in food stamps, in infrastructure, in public projects of every description. It will necessarily mean taking on the broader problem of the One Percent along the way.

But that was what the word meant long ago. It’s different today. When people talk about opportunity nowadays, they’re often not trying to refine the debate over inequality, they’re trying to negate it. The social function of mobility-talk is usually to excuse inequality, not to change it; to persuade us that the system we have now is fair and even natural—or that it can be made so with a few more charter schools or student loans or something. Because everyone has a chance at making it into the One Percent, this version of “opportunity” tells us, there’s nothing wrong with letting the One Percent hog every dish at the banquet.

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How San Francisco Betrayed Us

From Alternet:

The sidewalks are still free — until a cop cites you with “Sit/Lie”.

By Andrew Lam
March 14, 2014

I recently said goodbye to another friend who left San Francisco for greener pastures. Joanne and I have been friends for many years and it was sad to see her go. But like many of my friends who love the city, the bay with its beautiful hills and blue sky, she felt it had somehow betrayed her.

Once home to bohemians, artists and poets, San Francisco has become a city for the mega-rich and up-and-coming high-tech workers. The tension between the haves and have-nots, in fact, is rising fast where those with extraordinary wealth are buying up real estate in droves and leaving those in the middle class floundering.

“I’d love to stay if I can afford something,” Joanne said. “But if you want to raise a family, you have to go elsewhere.”

Besides, where can she find a house with a backyard garden in San Francisco on her middle class income?

According to a new study by the real estate website, Trulia, San Francisco ranks second in the nation among cities with the highest income gap. And, my hometown also tops the list of cities with the most expensive price for homes per square feet. Business Insider reports that a million dollars will buy about a 1,500-sq-foot home in San Francisco. That amount in Boston, which ranked second, would fetch a 2,092-sq-foot home.

This has become a common complaint. San Francisco — indeed, the whole Bay Area — is now facing an enormous dilemma: the economy is booming once again after a long recession, but there’s no affordable space left.

A small, 700-sq-foot, one-bedroom apartment in downtown with a view is now renting for nearly $4000. People are renting out their walk-in closets for over $1,000 a month. San Francisco, in fact, has become the city with the highest rent in the United States this year.

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The Inevitability of Income Inequality

From Truthdig:

By Nomi Prins
Mar 11, 2014

There’s been a lot of discussion about the historically high levels of income and wealth inequality lately—mostly from people on the shorter end of that stick—with good reason: There’s no end in sight.

In his new book, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” economist Thomas Piketty argues that worsening inequality is inevitable in a mature capitalist system, based on his analysis of 200 years of data. But inequality isn’t just an evolving condition like a crippling allergy that comes and goes, or just grows, enumerated by horrifying statistics. Nor is it just the result of a capitalist-utopian idea of free markets in which everyone gets a fair shot armed with equal information (which simply don’t exist in the real world, where markets are routinely gamed by the biggest players). Inequality is endemic to the core structure of an America that operates more as a plutocracy than a democracy. It is an inherent result of the consolidation of a substantial amount of both financial power and political influence in the hands of a few families.

In my upcoming book, “All the Presidents’ Bankers,” I trace the lineage of the banking and political families and their associates who have had the most combined influence on American policy. Inequality of income or wealth is a byproduct of the predisposition and genealogy of this coterie of America’s power elite. True, being born into wealth means having a greater chance of accumulating more of it—but take it a step further. Expanding on the adage of “it takes money to make money,” we get a much better idea of why inequality is so rampant: Because aside from income and wealth issues, it takes power to keep power.

By nature of the construct and self-reinforcing behavior of a small circle of American families and their enterprises—particularly over the past century since financial capitalism replaced productive capitalism as the means to expand power, wealth and influence—a comparative handful of families and their connections run Wall Street and Washington collectively. They run America as two sides of one political-financial coin, not as divided factions but as co-influencers of policy through public and private office.

There have been times during the past century when the specific individuals commanding this joint effort paid credence to the public interest, or were imbued with more humility. During those times, levels of inequality happened to decrease. At other times, the power elite solely promoted private gain, as from WWI through the crash of 1929, and since the 1970s, particularly since the 2008 crisis. At those times,  inequality happened to grow. This is not to imply that the moods of the elite were the sole arbiters of the direction of inequality, but that whatever the direction of these levels, general economic health is more dependent on the actions of this long-term, tightknit and concentrated few than on the ideal of a democracy. In this environment of such power inequality, economic inequality is unavoidable—and unsolvable.

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RuPaul Stokes Anger With Use of Transphobic Slur

Drag Queens and Drag Contests are soo passé and tired.

The same can be said of Mr. RuPaul.

I just can’t bring myself to watch that sort of bullshit.  I left that whole world forty some years ago because I found the whole drag queen scene stupid and boring, preoccupied with sex and drugs sans rock and roll.

Expecting wisdom from drag queens is like expecting a pig to sing high opera.  It ain’t gonna happen.

Transsexual/transgender people have our own artists and musicians in a wide range of genres.  We should give them more support and learn to ignore the aging gay boys in strange dresses as they are nothing but a bunch of transphobic misogynistic pigs.  Let them slither back to the pits they call drag bars.

Time to move on..

From The Advocate:

The controversial drag queen makes use of the transphobic term ‘shemale’ in a segment reminiscent of Maury Povich’s ‘Man or Woman?’ episodes.

BY Parker Marie Molloy
March 18 2014

Last night’s episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race featured a contest many on Twitter are calling transphobic. The game, “Female or Shemale,” pitted the contestants against each other in a quest to determine whether they were being shown a picture of — as RuPaul phrased it — “a biological woman or a psychological woman.”

In announcing the name of the game, “female” was said in a higher-pitched tone, while “shemale” was said in a low, gruff, masculine-sounding tone. The contestants laugh as they guess whether or not the body part they’re being shown belongs to a cisgender (nontrans) woman.

The show has a long history of using the term “shemale” in various plays on words, most notably during a segment called, “You’ve Got Shemail.” In last night’s game, contestants saw pictures of cisgender women Christina Aguilera, former WWE wrestler Chyna, and “Tan Mom” Patricia Krentcil, alongside photos of well-known drag queens.

“Shemale” is a word that historically refers to transgender women, most prominent in pornography. The word originated with transgender porn and doesn’t have roots in “drag culture,” as some have argued is the case with the word “tranny.”

GLAAD’s transgender media reference guide denotes two levels of terms to avoid: problematic and defamatory. “Shemale” falls under the defamatory heading, with GLAAD officials writing that the word — along with words like “tranny,” “shim,” and “gender-bender” — “only serves to dehumanize transgender people and should not be used.”

In response to a 2013 episode of CBS’s Mike & Molly, GLAAD called out the sitcom for its use of the word “shemale,” among other problematic portions of the episode.

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Libertarians’ ethical gap: Why their alliance with Christians is based on contempt

From Salon:

As they try to attract “values” voters, the liberty crowd seems to forget one thing: government’s moral component

Monday, Mar 17, 2014

CPAC 2014 banished its would-be atheist booth, but religion was still a fraught issue among its attendees. While the conservatives of CPAC may have cringed at the evangelizing of American Atheists, it hardly proposed a much sturdier vision of the relationship between Christianity and the evolving American right wing.

Christian leaders at the conference, including CitizenLink’s Tom Minnery and Colorado Christian University Centennial Institute director John Andrews, seemed quick to urge Christian voters to accept and support politicians with patently un-Christian positions on various social issues. But this was no typical call for acceptance of imperfection or mercy on the flawed; it was a calculated political move to try to endear libertarian candidates to erstwhile Republican values voters.

Andrews lamented that the media “are doing their utmost to create divisiveness, fractures, factions, back-biting, family squabbles, between all who believe in liberty, limited government, free enterprise, and traditional Judeo-Christian values,” and urged conservative Christian voters to view their differences with libertarian candidates as a mere “family feud.” According to Minnery, “libertarians can learn from social conservatives about the importance of basic moral principles that create the sense of ordered liberty which is so important to our country.” In other words, the two Christian leaders had in mind a kind of alliance – not unlike the initial marriage of convenience that brought together the Christian right and free market capitalists under Reagan.

But at least when the Reaganite revolution brought Christian values voters and free marketeers together, the profit-driven sect of the Republican Party was willing to campaign for the maintenance of some Christian political principles, such as the sanctity of life and the primacy of the family. CPAC’s message takes the alliance a step further from its Christian commitments by suggesting, more or less, that Christian values are negotiable so long as policies intended to bolster free market capitalism are upheld.

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Anti-Semitic Hate Monger Franklin Graham praises Putin as better than Obama on LGBT issues

From Raw Story:

By Travis Gettys
Monday, March 17, 2014

Evangelist Franklin Graham is the latest conservative to praise Russian President Vladimir Putin for his aggressive crackdown on LGBT people.

Graham, who heads the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association started by his father, credited Putin in the March issue of his group’s Decision magazine with protecting children from gay “propaganda” by signing a bill imposing fines on adults who discuss same-sex relationships in a non-negative way.

On the other hand, Graham wrote, President Barack Obama had sold himself out to promote “the gay-lesbian agenda.”

Graham claims he’s not endorsing Putin, mentioning that he’s never heard the Russian president quote a Bible verse and cites unspecified “controversies” in his personal life.

But he praises Putin as a “commanding presence” who is right to equate homosexuality with pedophilia in the law.

“Isn’t it sad, though, that America’s own morality has fallen so far that on this issue — protecting children from any homosexual agenda or propaganda — Russia’s standard is higher than our own?” Graham wrote.

The column was published Feb. 28, the day after Russian sent troops into Crimea.

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Dragnet Nation: A Quest For Privacy, Security And Freedom In A World Of Relentless Surveillance

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