This Teenager Is Speaking Out Against President Trump’s Proposed Repeal Of Transgender Protections

From Forbes:

Dawn Ennis
Aug 13, 2019

The comment period for sweeping changes in federal health care policy, proposed by the Trump Administration, has ended, but advocates on each side are still making their case.

At 11:59 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, the portal at stopped accepting comments about the administration’s plan to repeal and replace an Obama-era regulation prohibiting health care providers from discriminating against transgender people.

The new U.S. Department of Health and Human Services rule would eliminate the currently accepted expanded definition of sex, which recognizes gender identity in cases involving sex discrimination. The Affordable Care Act forbids discrimination based on race, national origin, disability, age or sex in health-related programs that receive federal funding. The language includes gender identity as an aspect of sex.

One longstanding opponent to transgender rights and proponent of religious freedom laws favored by the administration addressed the issue Saturday during a Republican breakfast in Fort Payne, Ala. Former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, now a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, called transgender identity “dumb,” reported the conservative blog, Yellowhammer News. He also said it’s “not Biblical.”

“You know LGBT rights aren’t given to us by God. They’re created by man,” Moore said. “I don’t see a right in our Constitution for a man to be a woman. If it was there, why wouldn’t it come up earlier? I don’t see a right.”

Advocates on the other side gathered on August 6 in Hartford, Conn. Connecticut is the latest state to join a multi-state alliance that objects to the change, and federal and state lawmakers joined local LGBTQ activists in the capital to denounce the proposal.

“This would mean that I would not have blockers or hormones,” 13 year old Eva Gold. “This is important to me because these services and medications make me my whole self.”

Before she transitioned, Gold said she considered killing herself because of how others treated her.

“I felt out of place. I was made fun of daily and discriminated against so I tried to take my life because my body did not match who I am,” Gold said. “How would you feel if your loved one took their own life because they couldn’t get the emotional or medical support they needed to live their best life as their authentic self?”

One of Gold’s mentors, trans man, author and advocate Tony Ferraiolo, delivered a grim message at the news conference.

“Eliminating the general prohibition on discrimination based on gender identity, as well as specific health insurance coverage protections for transgender individuals will literally kill members of the transgender and non-binary communities,” Ferraiolo said. “We can’t go back to the days when health care providers and first responders could stand around a trans person and watch them die.”

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A brutal culture war may be Trump’s only path to re-election

From LGBTQ Nation:

A desperate Trump will pull out all the stops – including homophobia – if that’s what he thinks he needs to hold onto the White House.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Polls have never been Donald Trump’s friend. Unlike any of his predecessors, Trump has never won the approval of even 50 percent of Americans. Trump’s divisiveness, coarseness, and dreadful policies have combined to make him the least popular president of modern times.

That’s why Trump plays so hard to his core supporters. Without their enthusiasm, he has no chance of re-election.

But Trump has had one thing going for him that traditionally counts for a lot when a president is seeking re-election: a strong economy. Indeed, that’s the one area where the public is willing to give Trump credit. A Washington Post-ABC News poll from last May found that the economy is the single issue where a (slim) majority of Americans think Trump has done an okay job.

Which makes the market’s wooziness over the past week a major threat to Trump’s re-election efforts. If the economy goes south, as some indicators are suggesting, then Trump’s support will erode even more. That’s why Trump is fulminating against the Federal Reserve, Europe, and virtually anyone else he can blame, without having to take responsibility for the trade war jitters that he unleashed. 

If the economy slides into a recession, Trump is going to have to work even harder to convince his base of supporters to turn out in force at the polls. There’s really only one strategy available to him: double down on the culture wars.

You can see that already in Trump’s racist rants. He’s appealing to his supporters’ sense of aggrievement that America’s changing demographics means that a Great Replacement is taking place, at the expense of whites. Racial resentment was the single biggest predictor of support for Trump in 2016, so Trump will try to repeat that winning (and disgusting) formula.

But it’s not just race. You can bet that attacking LGBTQ rights will also be part of the strategy. It’s hardly a coincidence that in the midst of bad economic news and Trump’s disastrous response to two mass shootings that his administration announced it was rolling back anti-discrimination protections that federal contractors had to follow. That was a blunt reminder to his base – especially whtie evangelicals – that he was delivering on their wish list.

Already the Trump campaign is going out of its way to make the culture wars the focus of Trump’s re-election effort. As a thumb in the eye to environmentalists, the Trump campaign is selling plastic straws emblazoned with the president’s name.

“It’s part and parcel of his long-running effort to energize his base at the expense of those who were not for him before and who are not for him today,” said Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster, told the Washington Post. “Part of his appeal to his base is that he is famously and proudly not politically correct.”

Of course, decrying LGBTQ rights as a form of political correctness has long been a conservative theme. In the Trump era, it’s been taken to extremes not seen in a quarter century, with Straight Pride parades and special rights for religious conservatives.

The prospect of losing is the one Trump fears the most, so he will pull out all the stops in his effort to get re-elected. Racism, homophobia, xenophobia – sure, the president has exhibited those in unprecedented volume.

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White Terrorism Shows ‘Stunning’ Parallels to Islamic State’s Rise

From The New York Times:

By Max Fisher
Aug. 5, 2019

Many scholars of terrorism see worrying similarities between the rise of the Islamic State and that of white nationalist terrorism, seen most recently in the carnage in El Paso, Tex.

“The parallels are stunning,” said Will McCants, a prominent expert in the field.

And they are growing more notable with each new attack.

Experts say that the similarities are far from a coincidence. White nationalist terrorism is following a progression eerily similar to that of jihadism under the leadership of the Islamic State, in ways that do much to explain why the attacks have suddenly grown so frequent and deadly.

In both, there is the apocalyptic ideology that predicts — and promises to hasten — a civilizational conflict that will consume the world. There is theatrical, indiscriminate violence that will supposedly bring about this final battle, but often does little more than grant the killer a brief flash of empowerment and win attention for the cause.

There are self-starter recruits who, gathering in social media’s dark corners, drive their own radicalization. And for these recruits, the official ideology may serve simply as an outlet for existing tendencies toward hatred and violence.

Differences between white nationalists and the Islamic State remain vast. While Islamic State leaders leveraged their followers’ zeal into a short-lived government, the new white nationalism has no formal leadership at all.

“I think a lot of people working on online extremism saw this coming,” said J.M. Berger, author of the book “Extremism,” and a fellow with VOX-Pol, a group that studies online extremism, referring to the similarities between white nationalism and the Islamic State.

In retrospect, it is not hard to see why.

The world-shaking infamy of the Islamic State has made it a natural model even — perhaps especially — for extremists who see Muslims as enemies.

A set of global changes, particularly the rise of social media, has made it easy for any decentralized terrorist cause to drift toward ever-grander, and evermore nonsensical, violence.

“Structurally, it didn’t matter whether those extremists were jihadists or white nationalists,” Mr. Berger said.

White nationalism in all forms has been on the rise for some years. Its violent fringe was all but certain to rise as well.

The feedback loop of radicalization and violence, once triggered, can take on a terrible momentum all its own, with each attack boosting the online radicalization and doomsday ideology that, in turn, drive more attacks.

The lessons are concerning. It is nearly impossible to eradicate a movement animated by ideas and decentralized social networks. Nor is it easy to prevent attacks when the perpetrators’ ideology makes nearly any target as good as the next, and requires little more training or guidance than opening a web forum.

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