This may shock you: Hillary Clinton is fundamentally honest

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/28/hillary-clinton-honest-transparency-jill-abramson

I’ve investigated Hillary and know she likes a ‘zone of privacy’ around her. This lack of transparency, rather than any actual corruption, is her greatest flaw


Monday 28 March 2016

It’s impossible to miss the “Hillary for Prison” signs at Trump rallies. At one of the Democratic debates, the moderator asked Hillary Clinton whether she would drop out of the race if she were indicted over her private email server. “Oh for goodness – that is not going to happen,” she said. “I’m not even going to answer that question.”

Based on what I know about the emails, the idea of her being indicted or going to prison is nonsensical. Nonetheless, the belief that Clinton is dishonest and untrustworthy is pervasive. A recent New York Times-CBS poll found that 40% of Democrats say she cannot be trusted.

For decades she’s been portrayed as a Lady Macbeth involved in nefarious plots, branded as “a congenital liar” and accused of covering up her husband’s misconduct, from Arkansas to Monica Lewinsky. Some of this is sexist caricature. Some is stoked by the “Hillary is a liar” videos that flood Facebook feeds. Some of it she brings on herself by insisting on a perimeter or “zone of privacy” that she protects too fiercely. It’s a natural impulse, given the level of scrutiny she’s attracted, more than any male politician I can think of.

I would be “dead rich”, to adapt an infamous Clinton phrase, if I could bill for all the hours I’ve spent covering just about every “scandal” that has enveloped the Clintons. As an editor I’ve launched investigations into her business dealings, her fundraising, her foundation and her marriage. As a reporter my stories stretch back to Whitewater. I’m not a favorite in Hillaryland. That makes what I want to say next surprising.

Hillary Clinton is fundamentally honest and trustworthy.

The yardsticks I use for measuring a politician’s honesty are pretty simple. Ever since I was an investigative reporter covering the nexus of money and politics, I’ve looked for connections between money (including campaign donations, loans, Super Pac funds, speaking fees, foundation ties) and official actions. I’m on the lookout for lies, scrutinizing statements candidates make in the heat of an election.

The connection between money and action is often fuzzy. Many investigative articles about Clinton end up “raising serious questions” about “potential” conflicts of interest or lapses in her judgment. Of course, she should be held accountable. It was bad judgment, as she has said, to use a private email server. It was colossally stupid to take those hefty speaking fees, but not corrupt. There are no instances I know of where Clinton was doing the bidding of a donor or benefactor.

Continue reading at:  http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/28/hillary-clinton-honest-transparency-jill-abramson

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N.C. transgender bathroom ban is a ‘national embarrassment,’ state attorney general says

From The Washington Post:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/03/30/nc-transgender-bathroom-ban-is-a-national-embarrassment-says-ag-as-pilloried-law-becomes-key-election-issue/

By Michael E. Miller
March 30, 2016

In the week since it was signed, North Carolina’s controversial new law restricting transgender rights has drawn fierce criticism from across the country. Elected officials from Seattle to San Francisco to New York have ordered their employees to steer clear of the state. Big businesses like American Airlines and Wells Fargo have said they are worried about the law. Small businesses have said they will skip conventions in North Carolina.

The NBA even hinted it might move its 2017 All-Star Game, scheduled to take place in Charlotte.

And then there’s the federal lawsuit filed against North Carolina by two transgender individuals and an array of civil liberties groups.

But the issue only reached full fiasco level on Tuesday, when, in equally fiery statements, the state’s Republican governor and its Democratic Attorney General lambasted one another.

“Not only is this new law a national embarrassment, it will set North Carolina’s economy back,” said Roy Cooper, the AG, who also refused to defend the state against the lawsuit.

“We’re talking about discrimination here,” he said.

Shortly after Cooper’s dramatic press conference, Gov. Pat McCrory — who signed the law March 23 and has staunchly defended it — accused Cooper of breaking his oath of office.

“As the state’s attorney, he can’t select which laws he will defend and which laws are politically expedient to refuse to defend,” McCrory said in a video statement. One GOP state senator called on Cooper to resign.

Underlying the spat is the fact that Cooper and McCrory will face off in the November election, considered one of the most competitive and crucial gubernatorial races in the country.

Continue reading at:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/03/30/nc-transgender-bathroom-ban-is-a-national-embarrassment-says-ag-as-pilloried-law-becomes-key-election-issue/

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Sexual Assault Survivor on the Second Amendment

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Can Your Boss Claim Their Religion Means You Can’t Get Birth Control Coverage?

Yet another example of right wing Christo-Nazi men protecting women.

From The ACLU:  https://www.aclu.org/blog/speak-freely/can-your-boss-claim-their-religion-means-you-cant-get-birth-control-coverage

By Brigitte Amiri, ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project
March 25, 2016
I’ve had Donna Summer’s 1983 hit playing in a loop in my head:  “She works hard for the money, so you better treat her right.” Okay, maybe this dates me a bit, but you get the point. We all work hard. So why should any of us be denied health insurance coverage guaranteed by law because of our employers’ religious beliefs?

That’s the question the Supreme Court considered in Zubik v. Burwell when it heard argument this week in the latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that health insurance plans cover contraception without a co-pay. The employers that have challenged the requirement have a religious objection to providing contraception coverage for their employees. But here’s the deal: The employers before the court don’t actually have to provide the coverage if they fill out a one-page form opting out. If the employer opts out, the insurance company provides the contraception coverage to the employees in a separate plan, at no cost to the employer.

But the employers object even to filling out the opt-out form, and they object to what happens when they opt out — that their insurer then provides the coverage to their employees.  What would happen if the Supreme Court accepts their argument? Tens of thousands of employees would lose their contraception coverage.

The contraception requirement was designed to reduce the disparities in health care costs between men and women — women have historically paid more for health care than men. Also, in establishing the contraception requirement, the government recognized the basic principle that contraception is crucial for women’s equal participation in society. Being able to decide whether and when to have children has a direct effect on women’s ability to make their own paths in terms of their schooling, their careers, and their families.

The employers before the court should not be allowed to use their religious beliefs to block their female employees’ contraception coverage any more than they should be allowed to use their religious beliefs to pay them less than men.  Religious liberty is a fundamental value in our country, but religion cannot be used to discriminate against others.

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Laws written by men to protect women deserve scrutiny, Supreme Court told

Most laws written by men “to protect women” actually tend to do the opposite which is oppress and harm them.  Think the laws barring certain foelds of employment, restrictions on abortion or birth control.  This is especially true when men claim a magic invisible imaginary sky daddy tells them to do this to protect women.

The same can be said of men dictating the proper role or behavior for women.

From The Chicago Tribune:  http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-supreme-court-abortion-20160207-story.html

Robert Barnes
Feb. 10, 2016

History holds a lesson for the Supreme Court, the brief warns: Be skeptical of laws protecting women that are written by men.

The nation’s past is littered with such statutes, say the historians who filed the friend-of-the-court brief, and the motives were suspect.

Some protected women from “the embarrassment of hearing filthy evidence” as members of a jury, a sheltering instinct that resulted in female defendants being judged by panels composed only of men.

Some shielded women from having to work nights as pharmacists in hospitals – but not as low-wage custodians.

Some barred women from working as bartenders – jobs coveted by men – but not as cocktail waitresses.

The brief is filed by professors from across the country in the court’s upcoming abortion case, Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt. The brief urges the justices to examine the intent of Texas legislators who say they approved new restrictions on abortion providers as health safeguards for the women undergoing the procedure.

“Any new law that claims to protect women’s health and safety should be scrutinized carefully to assess whether its ostensibly protective function actually serves to deny liberty and equal citizenship to women,” said the brief filed by 16 historians, 13 of whom are women.

It is part of an avalanche of amicus briefs filed by both sides in the case, which will be the court’s most important look at abortion rights in decades.

And the attempt at persuasion, like many of the others, is representative of a specialized brand of legal brief that aims to school the court not about law but about life.

“Brandeis briefs” are long on history and science and short on detailed legal citations. The first of its kind was filed in 1908 by lawyer Louis D. Brandeis, who eight years later became famous as the first Jewish Supreme Court justice.

Last month, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg discussed the importance of the revolutionary brief at – where else? – Brandeis University, in Waltham, Mass., at a ceremony marking the centennial of his Supreme Court appointment.

Brandeis’s submission “was unlike any the court had yet seen. It was to be loaded with facts and spare on formal legal argument,” Ginsburg said. The facts consumed 98 of the brief’s 113 pages.

“The aim of the Brandeis brief was to educate the judiciary about the real world in which the laws under inspection operated,” Ginsburg said.

Continue reading at:  http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-supreme-court-abortion-20160207-story.html

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North Carolina’s anti-trans law is downright dangerous

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/24/north-carolina-anti-transgender-bathroom-law-dangerous-discrimination

Forcing trans people to use bathrooms that correspond to their sex at birth adds to the discrimination that makes some suicidal


Thursday 24 March 2016

Like all other people, transgender people go to the bathroom to pee. Afterwards, they may even take a moment to comb their hair or just look in the mirror. Overall though, their habits in the restroom are just like yours.

But Wednesday night the North Carolina legislature passed – and Governor Pat McCrory signed – a bill that bans trans people from bathrooms that don’t match the sex they were assigned at birth. There are 40 similar bills being considered in at least 16 US states that echo this now-successful piece of legislation, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

This shocking win not only signals a red alert in the fight for full LGBT equality, but also something more disgusting: a clear message has been sent by North Carolina conservatives, sure to be emulated nationwide, that it doesn’t matter if trans people live or die.

I’m not jumping to conclusions here. An analysis of data compiled by the National Transgender Discrimination Survey last month shows that when young people are denied access to a restroom that aligns with their gender identity, their rates of suicide go up.

Translation: not allowing trans youth to use a bathroom only perpetuates feelings of isolation or depression that lead 41% of transgender people to attempt kill themselves at some point in their lives, compared to the 4.6% in the general population.

This finding should be at the forefront of everyone’s minds as this bill takes effect in North Carolina, and as other proposed legislation moves forward in states like Kansas, where officials have proposed a bill that would allow someone to sue a public school if they saw a transgender person in a bathroom that didn’t match their sex assigned at birth. (Who is going to be checking people’s genitals if this passes? And isn’t that assault?)

Continue reading at:  http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/24/north-carolina-anti-transgender-bathroom-law-dangerous-discrimination

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The Ugly Fantasy at the Heart of Anti–Trans Bathroom Bills

From The Nation:  http://www.thenation.com/article/the-ugly-fantasy-at-the-heart-of-anti-trans-bathroom-bills/

Do supporters of so-called “bathroom bills” want trans people to cease to exist altogether?

By Tobias Barrington Wolff
March 25, 2016

North Carolina has now jumped to the front of the line of states pushing “bathroom bills”—laws that prohibit transgender people from using the facilities that are right for them. Here is my question for the lawmakers who enact these laws: Which facilities do you want trans people to use? Because I don’t think you have thought this through. Or let’s start with a more basic question: Are you trying to eradicate transgender people altogether? Trans people exist. They are human beings. They have just as much right to exist as you do. They are not going to disappear, and if what you really want is to make them disappear, then you are hoping for genocide. Good people don’t hope for genocide.

Let’s break this down. Some bathrooms are segregated by gender—they are limited either to men and boys or to women and girls. Some bathrooms are not, by the way. There is usually no good reason to designate single-occupancy bathrooms for “men” or “women” only, and even multiple-occupancy bathrooms do not always draw these lines. But some do, and that means sometimes we need to categorize people based on gender when they go to the bathroom. What is the best way to do that?

One answer is to respect a person’s own identity—the identity a person presents to the world through personal appearance, dress, and how the person describes himself or herself. Generally, this means that people who look like men will use men’s rooms and people who look like women will use women’s rooms. Do trans people sometimes attract attention because of their appearance? Sure, sometimes. So do people who are not trans. Imagine that a woman who is not transgender goes to use the bathroom, and someone—another woman, or a man who sees her entering the facility—gives her a hard time because she does not look feminine enough. Or imagine that a guy enters a men’s room and other people give him a hard time for having a slight frame or a soft voice. Anyone who did those things would be a jerk, right? And good people don’t act like jerks. So that’s one answer: Respect people’s identities, and recognize that the problems—if there are any—may be coming from people who are acting like jerks.

Then there is the answer that proponents of these “bathroom bills” want: Check people’s genitals. Let’s start with the obvious. That’s creepy. I don’t know the first thing about the genitals of the overwhelming majority of people I encounter, and it is not information I generally need or want. If I somehow became aware that a person’s genitals did not look like what I might vaguely have assumed, that fact would be none of my business. I cannot imagine how such information would affect any of my dealings with a friend or associate, and it creeps me out that some people think that it should.

Proponents of these “bathroom bills” often talk about protecting children. The lieutenant governor of North Carolina released a video to justify that state’s terrible new law in which he repeated the hysterical claim that policies that treat trans people respectfully would help “sex offenders and pedophiles” prey on “women and children.” This is absurd on its face. No one is allowed to lurk in a bathroom for improper reasons, regardless of gender; no policy about respecting trans people would ever change that; and protecting trans people does not put anyone else at risk. But you know who I do want to keep away from the children in my life? Anyone who spends his time trying to figure out how to pass a law that would make other people’s genitals his business.

Continue reading at:  http://www.thenation.com/article/the-ugly-fantasy-at-the-heart-of-anti-trans-bathroom-bills/

Bill Maher: “Maybe now Europe will have more sympathy for Israel”

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Natural’s not in it: just because a product calls itself ‘natural’ doesn’t make it good

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/mar/08/natural-products-food-labeling-healthy-living-consumer-research

Not only are hurricanes, disease and mosquitoes natural, the way the word is defined by regulators can render it practically meaningless


Tuesday 8 March 2016

I’ve repeatedly come across the idea that natural means good among eco-friendly folks like myself. It has emerged in online forums, conversations with friends, and discussions at health food stores. It has also popped up regularly in the comments section of this column, where astute readers can often be found cautioning against making this assumption.

I happen to agree with them: the assumption that natural equals good is wrong. But it’s understandable that people would feel that way, isn’t it? Natural just sounds good; easy. Natural sounds like puppies and sunshine and fresh air. Natural! The way nature intended! Before meddlesome mankind stuck our big noses in and ruined everything, that is.

The problem is twofold. First: “natural” doesn’t mean good – not entirely and not always. Second: “natural” sometimes doesn’t mean anything at all, at least not in the way it’s most commonly used – to imbue a product with a vaguely positive attribute in the hopes that consumers will buy it.

Beginning with the first point, as we learned from vaginal detox pearls, natural does not necessarily equate to beneficial, effective or even safe. In fact, here are some natural things which are also actually quite terrible: death, disease, beets, cute little zebra babies being eaten by lions, poisonous plants, mosquitoes, hurricanes.

All of these things fit the dictionary definition of the word natural (“existing in or caused by nature; not made or caused by humankind”) yet none of them are really all that appealing as they relate to humankind. Beets stain everything and taste like dirt; sunburns ruin vacations; the seeds of the castor oil plant have the distinction of being the Guinness Book of World Records holder for world’s most poisonous plant, yet its charming purple flowers litter gardens around the world.

It is therefore not enough to see “natural” and read “good for me” in its place. It’s no secret that I’m a fan of natural treatments and beauty remedies and homemade cleaning products, but in order for them to be useful, they have to do more than simply have “natural” as their main attribute. There’s no sense in having a natural cleaner that doesn’t clean, or a natural remedy that only makes you sicker. In these cases, natural isn’t doing you any favours.

The reverse isn’t necessarily true either. I’m reminded of this daily: without the dose of 11 decidedly unnatural pills I take twice a day, my chronic kidney condition would make it impossible for me to write this column. My daughter was born when surgeons strapped me to a table, cut an incision into my lower abdomen and then reached in and pulled her out – it really doesn’t get much more unnatural than that. But if it had been left up to nature, my full placenta previa would have meant that one of us would have died during labour.

So, on to point two. In the US, at the time of this writing, the US Department of Agriculture does not restrict the use of the word “natural” to describe food or beverage products unless there are added colours, synthetic substances, or flavours.

Continue reading at:  http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/mar/08/natural-products-food-labeling-healthy-living-consumer-research

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Thanks to the Fucktards Who Have Never-Ever Done Anything Positive or Supportive For Women We Now Have To Share Our Restrooms With People Like This

Or

Or

 

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Europe’s karmic destiny

From Israel National News:  http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/18592#.VvRoVLXlqUn

Europe’s actions, now and in the past, have led to the reaping of a horrible harvest.

Phyllis Chesler
Tuesday, March 22, 2016

In 2004 and 2005 Islamic terrorists blew up the Madrid train and London subway;  243 civilians were murdered and 2,750 were wounded.

Neither attack stopped the flow of Muslim immigrants nor staunched the politically correct thinking of European leaders about Islam.

In 2012, a terrorist shot and blew up seven people and wounded 125 civilians on the street of Liege, Belgium. That same year, in Burgess, Bulgaria, an Islamic terrorist blew up six civilians on a bus and wounded thirty more. The bus was transporting 42 Israeli tourists.

These murderous attacks did not change the immigration policies of Europe, which did not close its national borders or the borders of the EU. Anyone who arrived in Europe could still travel to any other European destination.

In early 2015, Islamic terrorists shot down and murdered 20 civilians and wounded 22 more in the infamous attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices and the kosher deli. Later that same year, Islamic terrorists murdered 130 civilians and wounded 368 more in Paris.

World leaders marched and sent condolences, but the European Union did not change its policies. It did not clean up its “no go” zones which police fear to enter, where terrorists hide out as they plan their attacks, and where Sharia law prevails, not European civil law.

In 2016, women were sexually assaulted by gangs of Muslim men in many cities in Germany, Austria, and Scandinavia. In Cologne alone, over 1,000 women were terrorized, corralled, robbed, groped, and penetrated.

Now, three months later, and despite police vigilance and an ongoing manhunt, Islamic terrorists blew up 34 civilians and wounded 83 more in Brussels, Belgium.

The groups which claimed responsibility for these terrorist attacks include: Al-Qaeda, a lone non-Muslim Jihadist, Hezbollah (our Iranian partners), and ISIS (Obama’s JV team).

Of course, European Jews have been attacked as Jews everywhere in Europe during the 21st century. They have been bullied, beaten, stabbed, shot, kidnapped, tortured (remember Ilan Halimi z”l in Paris?) and blown up, mainly by Muslims.

It is all quite awful. What is going on? Here’s but one idea.

Historically, Europeans mobs and European leaders either led or were passively complicit in the systematic and perpetual pogroms of Jews and thereafter in the Nazi murder of six million Jews in the Holocaust.

Continue reading at: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/18592#.VvRoVLXlqUn

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Rutgers Professor Insists Israel Harvests Terrorist Organs

I am coming to have a very hard time telling the difference between Intersectional Anti-Zionists and Nazis.  Their Jew Hating and use of Blood Libels is identical.

From The Jewish Press:  http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/rutgers-professor-insists-israel-harvests-terrorist-organs/2016/03/21/

A Rutgers professor uses new anti-Semitism in an old blood libel, this one about Arab terrorist organs.

By: Hana Levi Julian
March 21st, 2016

A Rutgers University associate professor of women’s and gender studies claims Israel is stealing organs from the bodies of Arab terrorists — and she’s threatening to sue anyone who publishes a recording of the lecture at Vassar College in which she made the claim.

Professor Jasbir Puar’s February 3 lecture “was taped without my permission or that of the people who had invited me,” she said. Nevertheless, she slammed a “current Zionist strategy” of what she called “silencing and intimidation tactics” aimed at stifling the “exercise of free speech and academic freedom.”

Moreover, Puar recently canceled a scheduled lecture at Fordham University on the “biopolitics of debility in Gaza” – because the administration insisted on recording the talk and making it publicly available, according to The Tower.

For some odd reason she appears unwilling to see that her unwillingness to share her words with the rest of the world is if anything, a much greater self-censorship – one that raises deep suspicions about the legality of what she said.

In a column written in Jadaliyya, (produced by the Arab Studies Institute, ASI) Puar writes about her Feb. 3 lecture, which she said was delivered to a “welcoming and enthusiastic audience.” ASI has received funding from the Social Science Research Council, and the Open Society Institute, supported by George Soros.

The Jadaliyya publication combines local knowledge, scholarship and advocacy aimed at audiences primarily in the United States and the Middle East. The site currently publishes posts both in Arabic, French, English, and Turkish.

“The fraught history of organ mining practices from both IDF soldiers and Palestinian bodies during the 1990s is well documented. During the second intifada, Palestinian bodies were held at the Abu Kabir Institute of Forensic Medicine for prolonged periods without explanation. Even mainstream Israeli press such as Ha’aretz have reported on the collecting of illegally obtained organs at Abu Kabir,” Puar wrote.

“In my lecture, I made clear that I was not making any empirical claims about current organ mining. Rather, I was conveying a small part of the sheer terror of life in the West Bank since the uprising began in October 2015. I can only surmise that the charges of anti-Semitism and blood libel leveled against me were intended to discredit scholarship about the deleterious effects of the occupation on Palestinian daily life.

Continue reading at:  http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/rutgers-professor-insists-israel-harvests-terrorist-organs/2016/03/21/

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Who Birthed the Anti-Trans Bathroom Panic?

From The Pacific Standard:  http://www.psmag.com/politics-and-law/who-birthed-anti-trans-bathroom-panic

Conservatives and religious groups are borrowing myths about transgender people from feminists.


Mar 22, 2016

On a new campaign website in North Carolina, under a silhouette of a woman and some kids crowding her clip-art triangle skirt, there’s this text: “Days Until Charlotte Bathrooms Are Unsafe for Your Family” and there’s a clock ticking down. Fifteen days, some hours, and change. Your first thought might be like mine: I’m not sure why all these families are using bathrooms together, and if they are, doesn’t that mean there’s parental supervision? You won’t find a word for the thing that the people behind this website think is so unsafe, not even on any of the Pinterest-ready images they’ve posted. There, an array of smiling people are also, according to the text adorning them, absolutely horrified at the idea of “women and girls” being forced to use bathrooms with or having to undress around “men.”

The word the people behind this website are loathe to use is “transgender.” What they are so scared of is not the fate of their children, but a legal recognition of the rights of transgender people.

So let’s start there, on a point much of the media has ignored, a simple one that could also work on a Pinterest meme: This is not a bathroom panic; it’s an anti-trans panic.

In 16 states to date, legislatures have been made into arenas for this fight. As I wrote a few weeks back, anti-trans campaigners have marketed their legislative targets as having something to do with bathrooms—or changing rooms, locker rooms, and other places that stir up all kinds of emotions about privacy, sex, and the body. But that’s precisely the point, finding a hook of convenient fears to hang a much broader agenda meant to roll back rights of transgender and gender non-conforming people (as well as lesbians, gays, and bisexuals) in America.

The conservative trump card, the myth that women and girls face a particular threat from transgender women, is still alive, painfully, in feminist circles.

Their campaign doesn’t seem to be letting up. It has two legislative strategies: defeating anti-discrimination bills using trans panic, as well as passing anti-trans bills stripping rights. The Republican National Committee passed a resolution this January encouraging states to go on attack, stating, “These Obama gender identity [their italics] policies are a federal governmental overreach, a misinterpretation of Title IX policies, and an infringement upon the majority of students’ Constitutional rights.”

But where is all this stuff coming from? This specific angle, the idea that gender identity is something made up (a topic for another day, and a longer reading list), something used to manipulate or dupe—that the self-determination of transgender people presents a threat to the rights of (not that they put it this way) cisgender people, or even that transgender people themselves are a threat—this isn’t new. It recalls every culture war argument about “special rights” for LGBT people. The conservative right has long linked gender non-conformity to political deviance. It’s why Pat Buchanan would not only consider LGBT rights unacceptable, but also would describe the Democratic National Convention in 1992 as an event where “20,000 radicals and liberals came dressed up as moderates and centrists–in the greatest single exhibition of cross-dressing in American political history.”

This stuff—the invocation of a threat to the personhood of anyone who isn’t trans, this victim mentality so divorced from the reality of anti-trans discrimination and violence—is not the province of the conservative right alone. The conservative trump card, the myth that women and girls face a particular threat from transgender women, is still alive, painfully, in feminist circles.

Continue reading at:  http://www.psmag.com/politics-and-law/who-birthed-anti-trans-bathroom-panic

‘Don’t tell her to smile’: the subtle sexism still facing Hillary Clinton

Yet another reason why defining women by gender is oppressive.

From The Guardian UK: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/17/hillary-clinton-facing-sexism-sexist-politics

Explicit sexism against the democratic frontrunner might be unacceptable, but subtler forms of prejudice are everywhere – and women have had enough


March 17, 2016

As Hillary Clinton was giving her victory speech after Tuesday night’s primaries, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough tweeted out two sentences that nearly every American woman has heard some version of at one point in her life:

Smile. You just had a big night.

Women on the internet were, to put it lightly, not amused. Many took Scarborough on immediately; even Full Frontal host Samantha Bee responded by replying with a picture of her not-so-smiling face.

This meme-able moment is part of a broader trend this election season: as the explicit sexism we saw during Clinton’s 2008 run has mostly been quelled or deemed unacceptable, women are pushing back against less easy-to-name offenses. And the visceral response against Scarborough demonstrates just how tired women are of having to explain how sexism operates over and over again.

Of all the things women hear from men – whether street harassers or pundits – there is special disdain for “smile” because of its particular condescension, and the tired trope that women should be forever chipper even as they’re walking down the street or, you know, running for president of the United States. In fact, men telling women to smile is such a universally hated prompt that there are feminist art projects dedicated to it, Buzzfeed lists that outline imagined responses (“just fart instead”), and a popular Broad City gif of the lead characters responding to a stranger’s insistence that they put on a happy face.

But it hasn’t been just Scarborough’s poorly thought-out tweet that women have found familiar. There are certain phrases, sentiments and actions that might not seem gendered upon first glance but are so typical to women’s everyday experience of sexism that they rub a lot of us the wrong way.

Continue reading at:  http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/17/hillary-clinton-facing-sexism-sexist-politics

The scientist who first warned of climate change says it’s much worse than we thought

From Grist:  http://grist.org/science/the-scientist-who-first-warned-of-climate-change-says-its-much-worse-than-we-thought/

The rewards of being right about climate change are bittersweet. James Hansen should know this better than most — he warned of this whole thing before Congress in 1988, when he was director of NASA’s Institute for Space Studies. At the time, the world was experiencing its warmest five-month run since we started recording temperatures 130 years earlier. Hansen said, “It is time to stop waffling so much and say that the evidence is pretty strong that the greenhouse effect is here.”

Fast forward 28 years and, while we’re hardly out of the Waffle House yet, we know much more about climate change science. Hansen is still worried that the rest of us aren’t worried enough.

Last summer, prior to countries’ United Nations negotiations in Paris, Hansen and 16 collaborators authored a draft paper that suggested we could see at least 10 feet of sea-level rise in as few as 50 years. If that sounds alarming to you, it is — 10 feet of sea-level rise is more than enough to effectively kick us out of even the most well-endowed coastal cities. Stitching together archaeological evidence of past climate change, current observations, and future-telling climate models, the authors suggested that even a small amount of global warming can rack up enormous consequences — and quickly.

However the paper, publicized before it had been through peer review, elicited a mix of shock and skepticism, with some journalists calling the news a “bombshell” but a number of scientists urging deeper consideration.

Now, the final version of the paper has been published in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. It’s been reviewed and lightly edited, but its conclusions are still shocking — and still contentious.

So what’s the deal? The authors highlight several of threats they believe we’ll face this century, including many feet of sea-level rise, a halting of major ocean circulatory currents, and an outbreak of super storms. These are the big threats we’ve been afraid of — and Hansen et al. say they could be here before we know it — well before the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s sanctioned climate models predict.

Continue reading at:  http://grist.org/science/the-scientist-who-first-warned-of-climate-change-says-its-much-worse-than-we-thought/

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BDS: Jew-Hating Propagandists on the March

From Minding The Campus: http://www.mindingthecampus.org/2016/03/bds-jew-hating-propagandists-on-the-march/


March 16, 2016

The anti-Semitic Boycott-Divest-Sanction (BDS) movement against Israel keeps reaching for—and finding—new depths of indecency.  Among the deepest descenders into this abyss is Jasbir Puar, an associate professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers.  Professor Puar recently garnered national attention for her address at Vassar, February 3, “Inhumanist Biopolitics: How Palestine Matters.”  The talk has not been published, but some in the audience reported that Puar exhorted armed resistance to Israel; alleged that Israel “mined for organs” from dead Palestinians; and claimed that Israel systematically starves Palestinians as part of a medical experiment.

Readers can get a good idea of what Puar had to say from her November 2015 essay, published in Borderlands, “The ‘Right’ to Maim: Disablement and Inhumanist Biopolitics in Palestine.” The “right to maim,” to be clear, does not refer to the epidemic of stabbings of Israelis by Palestinians.  It refers to an “implicit claim” by Israel “to the right to maim and debilitate Palestinian bodies and environments as a form of biopolitical control.”

The talk provoked heated responses, both to its substance and to the eight Vassar academic departments (including Jewish Studies) that sponsored it. But it also introduced a new angle in the current controversies over free expression on campus. The Vassar professor who introduced Puar asked the audience to “refrain from recording this evening’s proceedings, in the spirit of congeniality and mutual respect, though it is not against the law.” This request was also made as part of “the modest contract of trust essential to the exchange of ideas.”

As Cornell law professor William A. Jacobson observed, “Requesting non-recording of an open, public event on the pretext that non-recording is ‘essential to the exchange of ideas’ is odd.”

Puar’s talk leapt to national attention when Mark Yudof, former president of the University of California, and Ken Waltzer, an emeritus professor of history from Michigan State, published an op-ed, “Majoring in Anti-Semitism at Vassar,” in the Wall Street Journal. Puar objected that Yudof and Waltzer quoted her out of context. If they erred, it would be easy enough for Puar to set the record straight by releasing the transcript. Instead, she has protested her right to give public lectures that are off the record.

Continue reading at:  http://www.mindingthecampus.org/2016/03/bds-jew-hating-propagandists-on-the-march/

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I Have Little Respect for Those Who Capitulate to the Left Wing Anti-Semitic Mobs that Haunt the Campuses of Universities Today

Janet Mock has lost my respect for caving into the howling mobs of “Progressive Stalinistic Anti-Semites” who hide their Jew Hating behind rhetoric of support for Palestinians.

Jew Hating along with the constant hatred of the United States is part of why I retired from activism.  Oh I still support working people and a better environment but the crazies rule the world of eActivism and I would rather read action/adventure/mystery novels than fight over all the bullshit.

Her cowardliness is appalling.  All it took was a lynch mob, an electronic infitada, a mob of 160 people signing a petition on Change.org to get her to not speak at RISD Hillel.

From The Brown Daily Herald:  http://www.browndailyherald.com/2016/03/17/mock-cancels-lecture-amid-student-protest/

After petition asking Mock to disassociate from Brown/RISD Hillel, trans activist of color cancels

By and
Senior Staff Writers
Thursday, March 17, 2016

Janet Mock, a black, native Hawaiian trans woman and activist, announced Wednesday morning that she had canceled her campus talk, “Redefining Realness,” which was originally scheduled for March 21. Mock was invited to be a keynote speaker by Moral Voices, in association with the Brown Center for Students of Color, Sarah Doyle Women’s Center, LGBTQ Center, Sexual Assault Peer Educators, Swearer Center for Public Service, Office of the Chaplains, the Rhode Island School of Design’s Office of Intercultural Student Engagement and Brown/RISD Hillel.

Moral Voices is a student group that aims to raise awareness about social justice issues of global importance each year, wrote Moral Voices co-chairs Natalie Cutler ’16 and Rachel Levy ’16 in a written statement published on medium.com.

After the group invited Mock to lecture on campus, students drafted a petition on Change.org asking Mock to disassociate her lecture from Hillel.

Hillel co-sponsored the lecture, and Moral Voices is a student group funded by a grant from within the Hillel budget, said Marshall Einhorn, executive director of Hillel. The statement published by Cutler and Levy states that the group is run “through Brown/RISD Hillel and funded by a private donor.”

The petition argued that the invitation was an attempt to “pinkwash” the history of Israel or “improve Israel’s image and rebrand it as a liberal, modern and ‘hip’ country.” Petitioners saw the move as an attempt to deflect attention from Israel’s previous track record on LGBTQ rights, racism and the occupation of Palestinian territories, the petition stated.

“We do not condone the use of queer people of color as props to hide occupation,” the petition concluded. Petitioners did not intend for Mock to cancel her lecture but instead urged her “to accept Brown students’ sponsorship instead of Hillel’s,” the petition stated.

The petition received 160 signatures, according to a member of Students for Justice in Palestine who wished to remain anonymous for fear of professional repercussions. He added that the petition was drafted and signed by “a broad coalition” of students from various student groups — including trans and queer students — who felt that there was a contradiction between Mock’s message and what Hillel stands for as an organization.

Continue reading at:  http://www.browndailyherald.com/2016/03/17/mock-cancels-lecture-amid-student-protest/

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Labour and the left have an antisemitism problem

Jew hating lately seems to have become a litmus test as to whether or not one can consider themselves either left or progressive.  Seems that because I support both Israel and an individuals right to keep and bear arms for the purposes of self defense while loathing the present day so called Left’s drum beat of attacks upon Free Speech I have, in my old age become a former leftie.

Fortunately for me I have grown weary of politics and have come to view both the left and the right as a bunch of pompous, full of shit trip pushers.  As a result I don’t give a shit as to what either group of extreme lunatics has to say.

My politics can be summed up by the phrase, “Leave me the fuck alone.”  It has all become a game of self promotion and gathering a fan base of sycophants who adore you and lavish praise upon you for your extreme positions.

The Guardian UK:  http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/18/labour-antisemitism-jews-jeremy-corbyn

Under Jeremy Corbyn the party has attracted many activists with views hostile to Jews. Its leaders must see why this matters

Jonathan Freedland
Friday 18 March 2016

As the Conservative party divides its time between running the country and tearing itself apart over Europe, Labour has been consumed with a rather different problem. In the past two weeks, it has had to expel two activists for overt racism. That follows the creation of an inquiry into the Labour club at Oxford University, after the co-chair resigned saying the club was riddled with racism. The racism in question is hatred of Jews.

I suspect many in Labour and on the wider left dearly wish three things to be true of this problem. That these are just a few bad apples in an otherwise pristine barrel; that these incidents aren’t actually about racism at all but concern only opposition to Israel; and that none of this reflects negatively on Jeremy Corbyn.

Start with the bad apples. The cases of Gerry Downing and Vicki Kirby certainly look pretty rotten. The former said it was time to wrestle with the “Jewish Question”, the latter hailed Hitler as a “Zionist God” and tweeted a line about Jews having “big noses”, complete with a “lol”.

It’d be so much easier if these were just two rogue cases. But when Alex Chalmers quit his post at Oxford’s Labour club, he said he’d concluded that many had “some kind of problem with Jews”. He cited the case of one club member who organised a group to shout “filthy Zionist” at a Jewish student whenever they saw her. Former Labour MP Tom Harris wrote this week that the party “does indeed have a problem with Jews”. And there is, of course, the word of Jews themselves. They have been warning of this phenomenon for years, lamenting that parts of the left were succumbing to views of Jews drenched in prejudice.

But this is the brick wall Jews keep running into: the belief that what Jews are complaining about is not antisemitism at all, but criticism of Israel. Jews hear this often. They’re told the problem arises from their own unpleasant habit of identifying any and all criticism of Israel as anti-Jewish racism. Some go further, alleging that Jews’ real purpose in raising the subject of antisemitism is to stifle criticism of Israel.

You can see the appeal of such an argument to those who use it. It means all accusations of antisemitism can be dismissed as mere Israel-boosting propaganda. But Downing and Kirby make that harder. Their explicit targets were Jews.

What of those who attack not Jews, but only Zionists? Defined narrowly, that can of course be legitimate. If one wants to criticise the historical movement that sought to re-establish Jewish self-determination in Palestine, Zionism is the right word.

But Zionism, as commonly used in angry left rhetoric, is rarely that historically precise. It has blended with another meaning, used as a codeword that bridges from Israel to the wider Jewish world, hinting at the age-old, antisemitic notion of a shadowy, global power, operating behind the scenes. For clarity’s sake, if you want to attack the Israeli government, the 50-year occupation or hawkish ultra-nationalism, then use those terms: they carry much less baggage.

Continue reading at: Chttp://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/18/labour-antisemitism-jews-jeremy-corbyn

Why Neither Party Can Survive the Downfall of the Working Class

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Happy St Patrick’s Day