Friday Night Fun and Culture: Django Reinhardt and Le Club Hot

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Bill Nye Says THREE YEAR OLDS Can Determine Their Gender – Bill Nye Saves the World

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The Secret History BDS Hides From You

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Trump Pick For Army Secretary Says He Opposes Transgender Equality Because He Must ‘Crush Evil’

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/mark-green-transgender-evil_us_58f8c4cce4b0cb086d7eb012?l1f&ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

He has also said he believes being transgender is a disease.

By Amanda Terkel
04/20/2017

Tennessee state Sen. Mark Green (R), President Donald Trump’s choice to be the next Army secretary, believes that part of his mission as a public official is to “crush evil” ― and that opposing transgender equality policies is key to that effort.

As head of the Army, Green would oversee a force that’s fully integrated, since the Pentagon ended its ban on transgender people serving openly in June. If confirmed, he would set a significantly different tone than the previous Army secretary, Eric Fanning, who was the first openly gay person to serve in the position.

In June, Green said he opposed allowing people to use the restroom that corresponds with their gender identity, rather than the sex assigned at birth. He told an online radio show he believed the matter should be left up to the states rather than the federal government, and then cited the safety of women as a key reason he personally opposes transgender equality in public accommodations.

“There are 300,000 rapes in the United States every year,” Green said. “Three hundred thousand women who are sexually assaulted by predators. We know this. It’s documented. It’s factual. To think that some young guy isn’t going to take advantage of the system where we’re going to allow guys to go into the bathroom ― the women’s bathroom ― to think that it’s not going to happen is just ridiculous.”

The need to protect women from sexual predators is a common conservative argument against inclusive bathroom policies. But it’s also a red herring. It’s already illegal for men to sexually assault women, whether it takes place in a bathroom or some other place. Nothing would change in that regard. And leading organizations dedicated to fighting sexual assault say they support transgender equal access.

States and localities that have implemented transgender-inclusive restroom policies have also said they have not seen an increase in rape and assault because of these laws.

But for Green, there’s also a biblical reason to oppose these policies: He needs to “crush evil”:

And as far as the religious argument goes, and this applies to the issue of Syrian refugees as well. There’s a big fuss about whether or not that we should sue the federal government over having to take refugees from Syria into the State of Tennessee, I believe we should sue the federal government in that case because Romans 13 is pretty doggone clear, this is the passage where it tells people to submit to the authorities – meaning, basically if you’re in the government, you should do what the government tells you to do. You know, don’t speed, all that kind of stuff. Obey the laws is basically what the passage says. But what it goes on to say is that because the government exists for two purposes. 

The government exists to honor those people who live honorably, who do good things – to reward people who behave well and to crush evil. So that means as a state senator, my responsibility very clearly in Romans 13 is to create an environment where people who do right are rewarded and the people who do wrong are crushed. Evil is crushed.

So I’m going to protect women in their bathrooms, and I’m going to protect our state against potential infiltration from the Syrian ISIS people in the refugee program. And whoever wants to stand up and take me on that, I’m ready to fight.

“The Trump Administration must have been desperate to fill this post because Mark Green’s anti-LGBTQ remarks should disqualify anyone seeking to be in charge of the United States Army, which includes many out and proud soldiers,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD, an LGBTQ advocacy group. “Our nation is strongest when we are together ― and calling transgender people ‘evil’ does just the opposite.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/mark-green-transgender-evil_us_58f8c4cce4b0cb086d7eb012?l1f&ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

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The Stain of Anti-Semitism at the White House Isn’t Going Away

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/right-wing/anti-semitism-white-house-isnt-going-away

Trump hides behind his Jewish daughter and son-in-law, but he has been an asset to anti-Semitic movements and ideologies.

By Stosh Cotler, Simon Greer
April 23, 2017

What is it with President Trump and anti-Semitism? He kicked off his inauguration with a sermon by pastor Robert Jeffress, who has declared that Jews are going to hell. Just one week in, the administration marked Holocaust Remembrance Day without once mentioning Jews. He is harboring Sebastian Gorka – a frequent associate of Hungary’s anti-Semitic far right – on his national security staff. And who could forget Sean Spicer’s claim – during Passover no less – that Hitler never used “gas on his own people” like Syrian President Assad had?

In response, Trump has pointed to his Jewish daughter and son-in-law to assure the nation that he’s “the least anti-Semitic person you have ever seen in your entire life,” but that hardly put the issue to rest.

Let’s put aside the president’s trademark bluster and take him at his word – he loves his daughter, and he has a handful of individual Jews in his life that he cares about. But the issue isn’t what Trump believes in his heart of hearts. What really counts are his actions and the company he keeps – including once fringe figures like Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka. In that sense, tragically, he has been a godsend to anti-Semitic movements and ideologies once relegated to the margins of society.

All the while, alt-right trolls, white nationalist activists and conspiracy theorists have cheered on President Trump from the virtual sidelines. They’re cheering because this administration has carried the stain of anti-Semitism from the campaign into the White House and federal government. Sadly, the longstanding taboo in the GOP against overt anti-Semitism has begun to fall, and ties to anti-Semitic figures and thought – once considered to be automatically disqualifying by the Republican mainstream – are no longer an impediment to serving in the executive branch.

But across the GOP and among too many establishment Jewish organizations, no one wants to name the depth and breadth of this pattern. Top administration officials like Jeff Sessions, Sebastian Gorka, Steve Bannon, Michael Anton, Rick Perry and, until recently, Mike Flynn, have deep ties to fringe elements of the extreme Christian Right, the white nationalist alt-right, the European far right and the anti-immigration movement. (Don’t miss the detailed chart at the bottom of this article detailing the ties of the Trump Administration to anti-Semites)These ties have played a key role in normalizing anti-Semitic bigotry and advancing political alliances with those who promote or are sympathetic to anti-Semitism. This is dangerous for the Jewish community but it is also perilous for immigrant communities, communities of color, and all religious minorities whose safety is jeopardized by white nationalism.

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/right-wing/anti-semitism-white-house-isnt-going-away

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Ellen isn’t your scapegoat: Caitlyn Jenner has no one to blame for her tarnished public image but herself

I love Ellen a whole lot more than  that Trump Groupie, Jenner.

From Salon:  http://www.salon.com/2017/04/20/ellen-is-not-your-scapegoat-caitlyn-jenner-has-no-one-to-blame-for-her-tarnished-public-image-but-herself/

In her memoir, “The Secrets of My Life,” Jenner blames DeGeneres for her lack of LGBT fans

Caitlyn Jenner still doesn’t get it.

 In an excerpt of the Olympian’s forthcoming memoir, the 67-year-old blames talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres for her poor standing with the LGBT community. Jenner, who came out as transgender during a May 2015 interview with Diane Sawyer, appeared on “The Ellen Show” a few months later to discuss her evolution on LGBT issues. The gold medalist complained in her book, “The Secrets of My Life,” that DeGeneres “took what I said out of context” to make the interview “go viral.” In the now-infamous segment, Jenner confessed that she was slow to support marriage equality, claiming that she’s a “traditionalist.”

“I did not initially understand why marriage was so important, influenced no doubt by my own personal experience,” she added in the memoir, which is set to be released later this month. “Now I do, and it’s a wonderful thing to see.”

With all due respect, it’s utterly absurd and disingenuous to suggest that DeGeneres — who challenged Jenner’s evolution on the issue in a calm yet respectful manner — has anything to do with her widespread unpopularity. Jenner knows better. The reason why the former reality star has become a pariah in the LGBT community is that she pissed away all the goodwill she earned two years ago with her continued support of the Republican Party, as well as her repeated tone-deaf comments on trans issues. If she wants to blame someone for the mess she’s made of her public image, Jenner shouldn’t point the finger at Ellen. She should call up her good friend Donald Trump — or better yet, get a mirror.

To watch a figure who at one time was so universally beloved drive her career off a cliff has been utterly heartbreaking — but nobody can say the LGBT community didn’t try to stop it.

Jenner was a cause célèbre in 2015, lauded for her public bravery in becoming one of the few famous figures to ever come out as transgender. A former Wheaties box fixture, Jenner won the ESPYs’ Arthur Ashe Courage Award, meant to honor trailblazers and game changers in professional athletics. Previous recipients of the honor have included Billie Jean King, Muhammad Ali, Howard Cosell and Michael Sam — quite illustrious company. The public support for Jenner was so overwhelming and unconditional that “South Park” satirized the fact that if she got a pimple, you’d have to call it “stunning.”

As Tyra Banks might say, we were all rooting for her. But alas. Oh, alas.

The cracks in Jenner’s carefully curated PR blitz started to show after the Olympian started speaking out about her political beliefs, which had always leaned conservative. She was a Republican before her transition and a Republican she would remain. As I wrote in an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, there’s actually something quite noble about her persistent claims that she can change the GOP from the inside — by working with lawmakers and politicians who may have never met a trans person before. Jenner gave a rousing speech at an event timed to the 2016 Republican National Convention, saying, “The Republican Party needs to understand, they need to know people who are trans.”

Continue reading at: http://www.salon.com/2017/04/20/ellen-is-not-your-scapegoat-caitlyn-jenner-has-no-one-to-blame-for-her-tarnished-public-image-but-herself/

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I Had 4 Boys — Until One of Them Told Me She Was Really a Girl

From Good Housekeeping:  http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/parenting/a43702/transgender-child-kimberly-shappley/

As early as 18 months old, Kimberly Shappley’s son started showing signs he identified as female. Now, the Christian mom shares how she learned to embrace Kai’s transition — for her child’s happiness and safety.

By Kimberly Shappley, as told to Breanne Randall
Apr 13, 2017

I remember one night when Kai was very young, and I was tucking her into bed. Her legs were cold and, concerned, I lifted the sheets, discovering she had taken a pair of panties off a baby doll and put them on herself. It was constricting her blood circulation and if she’d slept that way overnight, it could have become very dangerous. After that experience, I realized I could no longer ignore something very real about my child: My son, born Joseph Paul Shappley, is a girl.

I was raised as a devout, conservative Christian with strong Republican values in the South. It’s a place where being different can not only be unforgiving, but unsafe. I was, and am, an active member of our local church. I used to lead a small ministry teaching Bible study, and I didn’t support or condone those living the LGBTQ lifestyle. That was just part of the Christian makeup I’d been brought up to believe. I knew I’d instill those same principles in my children.

But all of my beliefs and convictions were brought into question when, at 18 months old, Kai began exhibiting very strong female characteristics. From the moment my child was born, everything about Kai was geared toward femininity. She would pull T-shirts down around her waist to make them into skirts. She would tie long-sleeved shirts around her head and pretend like it was long hair. I tried so hard to force her into wearing clothes with camouflage and superhero patterns, and I even gave her severe, flat-top haircuts. Kai has three other siblings who are boys, so it was also a very testosterone-filled family environment, which I thought might help. Everything was fishing and spitting and boy stuff. But Kai just continued to be Kai.

As a Christian mother raising a Christian family, it was a very difficult time for me. I wasn’t ready to give in and allow Kai to transition socially — especially at such a young age. My internal struggle beat me up daily. I felt like I couldn’t go against everything I’d been taught to believe, and yet I also couldn’t let Kai live in such obvious agony. I wasn’t ready to face the fact that my one-and-a-half-year-old child was a girl. That battle lasted for a couple years.

Shortly after Kai turned 2, friends and family were starting to notice her behavior. Living in Pearland, Texas, that meant we were getting a lot of sidelong glances and questions. Kai would only play with other girls and girls’ toys. She said boys were “gross.” Family members were flat-out asking me if this kid was gay. It made me nervous, and I was constantly worried about what people would think of me, of us and of my parenting. While family was questioning whether Kai was gay, a Christian friend of mine, who is also a child psychologist, asked me: “Have you noticed Kai’s feminine behavior?” It was such a gentle question, as opposed to the harsh accusations of others. I said, “I’ve noticed, but I figure she’ll just grow out of it.” I can laugh at that now. It’s so clear, in retrospect, that this was not a passing phase. But when my friend asked me that, I still wasn’t ready to accept it. As I continued to watch my child developing, my friend started pointing out red flags that there was something very real going on. She told me that Kai being transgender may be something I needed to consider.

Continue reading at:  http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/parenting/a43702/transgender-child-kimberly-shappley/

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