UCLA study tried to change children’s gender identity starting in the 1960s, say two educators

From The Orange County Register:  https://www.ocregister.com/2019/11/18/2-subjects-discuss-trauma-as-kids-involved-in-uclas-now-defunct-gender-identity-study/

November 18, 2019

Karl Bryant had no idea he was the main character in someone else’s book. He discovered his biography in the late 1980s while poking around a San Francisco bookstore.

Jarringly, the tome was titled, “The ‘Sissy Boy Syndrome’ and the Development of Homosexuality.” But it was the author’s name that caught Bryant’s attention: Richard Green, a psychiatrist who evaluated him for 15 years at UCLA’s Gender Identity Research Clinic.

“Sure enough, there I was,” Bryant said.

A UC Irvine seminar held Nov. 12 brought together Bryant and another subject of the clinic’s three-decade study. Sé Shay Sullivan and Bryant knew about each other but had never met in person.

Both call themselves “survivors” of what they consider harmful research that left them feeling shame and humiliation with each session.

Bryant, a professor of sociology and women’s studies at SUNY New Paltz University in New York, identifies as gay. Sullivan, a carpenter who teaches in the sociology department at Gavilan College in Gilroy, identifies as gender fluid. Both are now 57.

Eight years ago, Sullivan, who uses gender-neutral pronouns, requested files on their case from UCLA. Sullivan received a 68-page transcript of doctor-patient interviews that now seem misguided and insensitive.

Sullivan created a multimedia art exhibit of their time under a microscope, and this year began taking the show on the road – so far, to half a dozen colleges around California.

UCI students filed through a room to view the transcript, each page clipped to a long clothesline. “Dr. N” stands for Larry Newman, a psychiatrist who trained at UCLA from 1964 to 1969.

In the background, a slideshow flipped through photos of Sullivan as a child. An audio reading of the transcript, recorded by Sullivan and two friends, runs throughout.

Sullivan comes across as defiant, precocious, bored, defensive and, at times, resigned and conciliatory.

“How does it get decided who’s going to be a boy and who’s going to be a girl?” Newman asks.

“Well, we just want to be what we want to be,” the child responds.

But in other instances, Sullivan assures him that despite longing to be a boy, “When I grow up, I’ll change my mind.”

After the presentation, Bryant and Sullivan took questions from an audience of more than 100 in a standing-room-only lecture hall. Jeanne Scheper, associate professor of gender and sexuality studies, monitored the Q&A.

The symposium would give the guest speakers an opportunity to “turn the lens of critical analysis on the doctors who studied them, labeled their gender as pathology, and subjected them to forms of what we would now call reparative therapy,” Scheper said in her introduction.

Bryant said that as a boy he “exhibited behavior my parents were concerned about.”

“Somehow, they got hooked up with a young psychiatrist named Dr. Green,” he said. “I was about five. All I knew was that I started going to UCLA every other week.”

Continue reading at:  https://www.ocregister.com/2019/11/18/2-subjects-discuss-trauma-as-kids-involved-in-uclas-now-defunct-gender-identity-study/

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Scientists Have Carried Out the Biggest Ever Study on Transgender Children—Here’s What They Found

From Newsweek:  https://www.newsweek.com/transgender-kids-living-identity-develop-cis-children-1471729


Trans children who live as the gender they identify with act and develop similarly to their cisgender counterparts, according to a new study.

In the largest ever study of transgender children, scientists recruited 317 3 to 12-year-old transgender children, 189 of their siblings, and 316 cisgender kids who acted as controls. The transgender participants had socially transitioned, meaning they were living as the gender they identify with rather than what they were assigned at birth. For instance, a child with a penis assigned a boy at birth who has come out as and is living as a girl.

To conduct the study, the researchers met families across North America, study co-author Selin Gülgöz, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Psychology at the University of Washington, told Newsweek. They spoke to children and parents about the former’s gender identity. That included showing kids toys and asking which ones they preferred, and quizzing them on how similar they felt to boys or girls. The cisgender control group followed the same steps.

“The most surprising finding is, overall, just how similar transgender and cisgender kids looked,” Gülgöz told Newsweek. “What this means is that, if I saw the data of any random participant, I would not be able to tell if that child is transgender or cisgender.”

“Within both transgender and cisgender children, we find a wide range in the strength of their identity and preferences. For example, we had some ‘tomboy’ transgender girls in the study, just as we had ‘tomboy’ cisgender girls.”

As the trans rights movement has gained mainstream attention in the past half decade or so, some have debated the legitimacy of the marginalized group’s experiences. Some have controversially argued that teaching children about trans issues is confusing, that children shouldn’t be allowed to transition, or that doing so perpetuates damaging gender stereotypes, for instance that girls wear pink or are submissive.

Gülgöz said the study can’t answer whether children should be allowed to socially transition due to its design. But the findings “show that the time a child spends living as transgender does not appear to change their gender identity, or make their preferences in gender-stereotypical clothes or toys more prominent, which lends support to previous research suggesting that early social transitions are not likely to be the cause of transgender children’s gender identities.”

“This study does show that in fact not all trans girls (or cis girls) want to wear frilly pink dresses or play with dolls. We in fact see plenty of trans kids violating these stereotypes, just as we see cis kids do so,” said Gülgöz.

“Other work in our lab has shown that trans kids either endorse gender stereotypes at equal rates or less than cis kids so the idea that trans kids are perpetuating stereotypes does not appear to hold up.”

According to her team’s findings, Gülgöz said it’s not possible to speculate why children—both cis and trans—appear to be drawn towards different interests, styles of clothing, and whether this is due to socialization, biology, or something else entirely.

Gülgöz acknowledged the study was limited because all of the children had socially transitioned, and the participants were studied in one moment in time. The cohort was also skewed in favor of children from higher-income homes with educated parents. It’s unclear if the same patterns would be found in other samples, she said.

The team plans to revisit the families and chart the participants’ development every three years.

Continue reading at:  https://www.newsweek.com/transgender-kids-living-identity-develop-cis-children-1471729

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Doctors Using a Transgender Patient’s Correct Pronouns Is a Life-or-Death Matter

From Teen Vogue:  https://www.teenvogue.com/story/doctors-using-a-transgender-patients-correct-pronouns-is-a-life-or-death-matter

This is why transgender people deserve better from the people who treat them.

September 27, 2019

In this op-ed, Sam Dylan Finch recounts his experience of being misgendered by doctors after attempting suicide, showing why it’s critical that doctors do better for transgender patients.

It was seven words, haphazardly scrawled on a piece of paper, that landed me in the emergency room: “I can’t do this anymore. I’m sorry.”

Social workers, nurses, doctors would all ask me what I meant by “this,” but how does one explain the feeling you get when you look in the mirror and start searching for the zipper along your spine, fully convinced you must step outside of your body? As if I could explain how I was sure that zipper should be there each and every time someone uttered the words “she” or “woman” to describe me. As if I could capture the obsessive thoughts, the conspiracy theories that I tried to ward off by knocking on wood 30 times, hoping to quell the panic overtaking me.

The note was found by a roommate who wasn’t supposed to be home that day. This is tidily summarized in the paperwork created when I was involuntarily committed. “REASON: Suicidal ideation. Gender Dysphoria.”

After they found the note, I was taken by ambulance to a psych ward in a town I’d never heard of. “That’s one of the nice ones,” the ambulance worker told me. “They’ll take care of you.”

They didn’t.

The first morning in the ward, I was woken up by a nurse standing over me with a small cup of pills. She didn’t tell me what they were, and I didn’t ask. Instead, I stared at the bandage wrapped around the crook of my elbow.

“Did someone draw my blood while I was asleep?” I asked.

She shrugged. “My shift just started,” she said. “I don’t know.”

The nurse shifts rotated every 12 hours or so, which means as soon as the staff learned my pronouns and managed to use them, an entirely new team would clock in, and the process would begin all over again. I told everyone who would listen that I was transgender, that my pronouns were he/him — not because I enjoy disclosing this, but because I cannot stand the thought of being misgendered in a place I can’t leave.

“It’s important for my sanity,” I told them. “Please.”

This was not an exaggeration. In a study looking at transgender people in Canada who had contemplated suicide, a gender-affirming environment — in which people abide by a transgender person’s pronouns and chosen name — was shown to reduce suicidal ideation by a staggering 66%, and among those with ideation, the rate at which they attempted dropped 76%.

For trans people receiving psychiatric care, then, transphobia is literally a matter of life or death.

Still, my request for a basic dignity was met with mixed reactions: sympathetic nods, raised eyebrows, but for most, it was like the words disintegrated the moment they came out of my mouth, swatted away like fruit flies.

Continue reading at:  https://www.teenvogue.com/story/doctors-using-a-transgender-patients-correct-pronouns-is-a-life-or-death-matter

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How a Texas Custody Case Became a Terrifying Right-Wing Talking Point

From Rolling Stone:  https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/transgender-custody-case-dallas-anne-georgulas-mark-younger-904433/

For the far-right, a Texas custody battle over a seven-year-old child has become the battleground for its fight against transgender rights. But according to experts, that’s only hurting trans kids more

By  EJ Dickson
October 28, 2019

If there’s one thing the right loves, it’s to wring their hands and concern-troll over the welfare of transgender children. It’s not uncommon for right-wing pundits and politicians to accuse parents of using their children as pawns and ignoring their children’s welfare in service of their so-called left-wing agenda — and in so doing, ignore the very real, very urgent health crisis facing transgender youth today. A recent court case in Texas has generated rabid backlash from right-wing pundits and politicians alike, and is serving as a lightning rod in the right’s larger effort to erode transgender rights — while simultaneously putting actual transgender children at tremendous risk.

Last Thursday, a Dallas judge ruled that Anne Georgulas and her ex-husband Jeffrey Younger, who have been embroiled in a years-long custody battle, should have joint custody over their 7-year-old transgender child, who self-identifies as female. (Rolling Stone has chosen not to name the child to protect her privacy.)

Georgulas and Younger have been publicly vying for custody for two years, with Younger alleging that Georgulas, a pediatrician, “manipulated” their child into believing that the child self-identified as a girl, and that the mother pushed for the child to undergo medical transition at a young age. Georgulas’ defense has countered that this is untrue, and that she was not requesting sole custody of the child nor to medically transition her, but for Younger to use the child’s correct pronouns and otherwise affirm her gender identity. Judge Kim Cooks ruled that both parents will have equal say in their child’s medical care, and that they will attend mandatory counseling with their children. (The child at the center of the custody dispute has a male twin.)

Judge Cooks’ ruling is notable because it came just a few days after a jury previously ruled 11-1 in favor of Georgulas, granting her sole custody. The jury’s ruling had struck a nerve among conservatives, many of whom have spent months rallying in support of Younger. Last week, Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted that the jury’s decision in favor of Georgulas was “horrifying and tragic,” adding, “For a parent to subject such a young child to life-altering hormone blockers to medically transition their sex is nothing less than child abuse.” Donald Trump Jr. also weighed in, tweeting: “This is child abuse. People need to start to stand up against this bullshit. Enough is enough.”

Texas legislators also responded with outrage. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted that the Texas Attorney General’s office and the state’s Department of Family and Protective Services would be launching an investigation into the case, including probing claims of “possible child abuse” against the child. In a letter sent last week to the Department of Family and Protective Services, First Assistant Attorney General Jeff Mateer inaccurately accused Georgulas of proposing “chemically and surgically altering [the child’s] biological sex based on her belief that he may identify as a girl,” which would lead to “permanent and potentially irreversible harm.” (As Jezebel notes, Mateer has a history of using transphobic language, including describing transgender children as part of “Satan’s plan” in 2017.)

Continue reading at:  https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/transgender-custody-case-dallas-anne-georgulas-mark-younger-904433/

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Hasidic rabbi who can’t ‘pray the girl away’ transitions to female activist

Full Disclosure:  I’m Facebook Friends with Abby and this is a shameless plug of her book. I think she is really very cool and a good spokeswoman, breaking down doors.

From The Times of Israel:  https://www.timesofisrael.com/hasidic-rabbi-who-cant-pray-the-girl-away-transitions-to-female-activist/

Abby Stein was a mischievous yeshiva boy who had an arranged marriage – and son – in her enclave in Brooklyn. Her newly published book, ‘Becoming Eve,’ details her unusual journey

By Cathryn J. Prince
13 November 2019

NEW YORK — Each night, five-year-old Abby Stein lay in bed and prayed: “Holy creator, I am going to sleep now, and I look like a boy. I am begging you, when I wake up in the morning I want to be a girl. I know that you can do anything, and nothing is too hard for you, so please, I am a girl, why can’t I look like a beautiful little girl?”

Stein, now 27, writes about reciting that prayer in her just published memoir “Becoming Eve: My Journey from Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi to Transgender Woman.” The book gives readers a frank look at what it was like to come of age misgendered in one of the world’s most gender-segregated societies. More so, it’s about Stein becoming the woman she is and about her finally being able to embrace Judaism on her terms.

Born and raised in the Hasidic community of Williamsburg, New York, Stein is a direct descendant of the Baal Shem Tov, the founder of Hasidism. Her parents hoped their sixth child would become a great and learned rabbi. They also thought their sixth child was a boy. But Stein knew otherwise.

She writes about how at age three she sobbed through the ritual haircut that established her payos (side locks), how after she turned six she could no longer play with or speak to girls with whom she longed to play with dolls and trade pink Hello Kitty stationary — in Yiddish, of course.

As she grew she turned ever more inward, looking for solace and answers in her faith — both of which proved elusive. One particularly affecting passage of “Becoming Eve” describes how at 18 Stein met the woman she was to marry and how that, as much as she respected Fraidy, she knew she “also wanted to be her. Not her, exactly, but I wanted to be the woman — I wanted to be the wife.”

Stein’s memoir describes the crushing depression that came with trying to suppress her true self, and how she hoped that perhaps after marriage her “feelings would magically go away… I guess it was my own version of ‘praying the gay away,’ although it was more like ‘praying the girl away.’”

And while much of the book occurs before Stein started the process of transitioning. Stein was ordained as an Orthodox rabbi in 2011 and readers learn that Stein divorced her wife, with whom she shares a son, in 2013. With the help of the Footsteps organization she left the Hasidic community.

Today, she is a vocal activist on behalf of the LGBTQ community, a sought-after speaker at universities, synagogues and community centers, and was named by Jewish Week as one of the “36 under 36” Jews who are affecting change in the world.

Continue reading at:  https://www.timesofisrael.com/hasidic-rabbi-who-cant-pray-the-girl-away-transitions-to-female-activist/

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Suicide rates fall after gay marriage legalised in Sweden and Denmark

Life is hard when you are either an outcast or outlaw.  In the 1970s after I had SRS I lived in Los Angeles.  At first I was friends with a lot of sister, but I saw how they were very self destructive and kamikaze in their way of life  (Lots of hard drug abuse and high risk behavior.0

I really didn’t fit in.  I’m a bookworm and have derived great pleasure from taking classes and studying new things.  I assimilated into the feminist and lesbian feminist scene.

My family disowned me and I drank to ease the pain, the loneliness was a killer.

When I got together with Tina, nearly 20 years ago it saved my life and helped me get sober.  Stable relationships are good for people.  Having family is good for people.

Tina and I had a commitment ceremony with a bunch of other folks outside of Big Red (The famous beautiful old Dallas Court House) in 2011.

We were officially married after Marriage Equality was legalized in 2015.  My father had died.  I reconnected with my brother and other family members.

This year I started the process of conversion to Reform Judaism.

All these things are about having social connections and support for dealing with both good times and bad.

People with these connections and support tend to live longer and have better emotional health than people lacking in these connections.

From The Guardian UK:  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/nov/14/suicide-rates-fall-after-gay-marriage-laws-in-sweden-and-denmark

Rate among those in same-sex unions falls by 46%, but still ‘worryingly high’, say researchers

Thu 14 Nov 2019

Suicide rates among those in same-sex relationships have fallen significantly in both Denmark and Sweden since the legalisation of gay marriage, according to a study, although whatever their marital status, homosexual people remain more likely to take their own life.

The joint study by the Danish Research Institute for Suicide Prevention and researchers from Stockholm University compared suicide rates for people in same-sex and heterosexual relationships in the periods 1989-2002 and 2003-16.

Denmark became the first country in the world to allow same-sex civil partnerships in 1989, with neighbouring Sweden following six years later. Same-sex marriage, now authorised in 28 countries, became legal in Sweden in 2009 and Denmark in 2012.

The researchers found that between the two periods, the number of suicides among people in same-sex unions fell by 46%, compared to a decline of about 28% in the number of suicides by people in heterosexual relationships.

“Although suicide rates in the general populations of Denmark and Sweden have been decreasing in recent decades, the rate for those living in same-sex marriage declined at a steeper pace, which has not been noted previously,” the study, which followed 28,000 people in same-sex partnerships for an average of 11 years, concludes.

Annette Erlangsen, the lead author, suggested that along with other gay rights legislation, same-sex marriage may have reduced feelings of social stigmatisation among some homosexual people. “Being married is protective against suicide,” she told Thomson Reuters Foundation.

But she noted that the study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, still showed that more than twice as many people in same-sex marriages and unions killed themselves than those in opposite-sex marriages.

“Of course, it is positive to see that the suicide rate has almost halved. But it remains worryingly high, especially considering that the suicide rate may be higher among non-married people,” she told the Danish newspaper Information.

Continue reading at:  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/nov/14/suicide-rates-fall-after-gay-marriage-laws-in-sweden-and-denmark

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Bari Weiss | Real Time with Bill Maher

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Celebrate Your Kid’s Transition. Don’t Grieve It.

From The New York Times:  https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/18/opinion/sunday/gender-transition-death-grief.html

We didn’t die.


Shortly before my gender assignment surgery in 2002, my father told me that he was grieving the loss of his first-born son. My first impulse was to comfort him. We talked about his feelings one afternoon and I reassured him that he wasn’t losing me. I thought this was my duty; after all, he had supported my transition, defending me against bigoted relatives (even as he stumbled over my pronouns and told me I needed to be less argumentative if I planned to live as a woman).

Still, I counted myself lucky that he and other members of my immediate family didn’t reject me, which an estimated 50 percent of trans people have experienced. So I listened, even as his words were tough for me to hear. He lamented that I could no longer bring honor to our Filipino family or be his rightful heir — gender expectations I couldn’t fulfill and had grown to resent.

It was also hard to listen to because I was dealing with the losses of real relationships of my own: my then-partner, close friends, work colleagues. But I couldn’t tell him or the rest of my family this because I didn’t want to lose their tenuous support.

I’ve heard other trans people tell similar stories of absorbing their loved ones’ grief, of seeing the depiction of such grief in media, of having the eerie feeling that they are providing solace to people who mourned as though they had died.

There was the trans man whose parents continued to display pictures of him as a beautiful girl all around their house, or the trans woman who described how her transition was a celebration for her but was a funeral for her wife. There are personal essays, podcast episodes and articles that focus on the reactions of spouses, partners and family members of trans people grieving over their transitions.

What is often left unspoken is that a trans person is expected to provide emotional support through this grieving process. My father has repeatedly said I should always be grateful he supported me when other parents wouldn’t. Yet I’ve come to find it deeply unfair that trans people are often left with the burden of assuaging their loved ones’ grief.

Not only does this expectation posit that being transgender is a trans person’s fault, but it also fails to account for the fact that transitioning is likely to be many times more difficult for the trans person than for any loved one. Most important, grief as a reaction to transition is a form of transphobia; it reduces a person’s very being to their gender, and reveals that a loved one cares more about a phantom image than for the trans person they supposedly love, who is right in front of them.

We often have to tolerate these expressions of grief, knowing well that we would not receive the same level of empathy for our struggles, because we live in a world that affirms the feelings of cisgender people while rejecting our own.

Continue reading at:  https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/18/opinion/sunday/gender-transition-death-grief.html

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Smashing the patriarchy: why there’s nothing natural about male supremacy

From The Guardian UK:  https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/nov/02/smashing-the-patriarchy-why-theres-nothing-natural-about-male-supremacy

Psychologists such as Jordan Peterson argue patriarchal society is the ‘natural order’, but it is a relatively new development.

Sat 2 Nov 2019

Fathers are happier, less stressed and less tired than mothers, finds a study from the American Time Use Survey. Not unrelated, surely, is the regular report that mothers do more housework and childcare than fathers, even when both parents work full time. When the primary breadwinner is the mother versus the father, she also shoulders the mental load of family management, being three times more likely to handle and schedule their activities, appointments, holidays and gatherings, organise the family finances and take care of home maintenance, according to Slate, the US website. (Men, incidentally, are twice as likely as women to think household chores are divided equally.) In spite of their outsized contributions, full-time working mothers also feel more guilt than full-time working fathers about the negative impact on their children of working. One argument that is often used to explain the anxiety that working mothers experience is that it – and many other social ills – is the result of men and women not living “as nature intended”. This school of thought suggests that men are naturally the dominant ones, whereas women are naturally homemakers.

But the patriarchy is not the “natural” human state. It is, though, very real, often a question of life or death. At least 126 million women and girls around the world are “missing” due to sex-selective abortions, infanticide or neglect, according to United Nations Population Fund figures. Women in some countries have so little power they are essentially infantilised, unable to travel, drive, even show their faces, without male permission. In Britain, with its equality legislation, two women are killed each week by a male partner, and the violence begins in girlhood: it was reported last month that one in 16 US girls was forced into their first experience of sex. The best-paid jobs are mainly held by men; the unpaid labour mainly falls to women. Globally, 82% of ministerial positions are held by men. Whole fields of expertise are predominantly male, such as physical sciences (and women garner less recognition for their contributions – they have received just 2.77% of the Nobel prizes for sciences).

According to a variety of high-profile figures (mainly male, mainly psychologists), bolstered by professorships and no shortage of disciples, there are important biological reasons for why men and women have different roles and status in our society. Steven Pinker, for instance, has argued that men prefer to work with “things”, whereas women prefer to work with “people”. This, he said, explains why more women work in the (low-paid) charity and healthcare sector, rather than getting PhDs in science. According to Pinker, “The occupation that fits best with the ‘people’ end of the continuum is director of a community services organisation. The occupations that fit best with the ‘things’ end are physicist, chemist, mathematician, computer programmer, and biologist.”

Others deny societal sexism even exists, insisting that the gender roles we see are based on cognitive differences – spoiler: men are more intelligent. “The people who hold that our culture is an oppressive patriarchy, they don’t want to admit that the current hierarchy might be predicated on competence,” Jordan Peterson has said, for instance. His reasoning suggests that women would be happier not railing against it but instead observing their traditional gender roles. Such theories have been demolished by a range of scholars, including neuroscientist Gina Rippon and psychologist Cordelia Fine.

There are certainly biological differences between men and women, from their sexual anatomy to hormones. Yet even this isn’t as clear cut as it seems. For instance, around one in 50 people may be “intersex” with some sort of atypical chromosomal or hormonal feature – that’s about the same as the proportion of redheads. Men’s brains are on the whole slightly larger than women’s, and scans reveal some differences in the size and connectedness of specific brain regions, such as the hippocampus, in large samples of men and women.

Continue reading at:  https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/nov/02/smashing-the-patriarchy-why-theres-nothing-natural-about-male-supremacy

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Our Hitler, Our Nazis

From Political Orphans:  https://www.politicalorphans.com/our-hitler-our-nazis/


Back in the earliest days of the Internet, Mike Godwin made a pithy observation. “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.” In other words, if an argument lasts long enough someone will eventually make a reference to Hitler. It came to be known as Godwin’s Law.

This tendency to use Nazi references as a terminal point in an argument was first observed by Leo Strauss back in 1953. He called it reductio ad Hitlerum. Anything with the most tendentious connection to the Nazis was tainted by contact, without regard to merit. If Hitler used a toothbrush, then dental hygiene must be suspect. This created an almost irresistible urge in a debate setting to compare an opponent to Hitler. Nazi comparisons were so overused that they became a joke.

Times have changed and no one’s laughing anymore. In August 2017, Mike Godwin, the father of Godwin’s Law, sent this Tweet:

Mike Godwin

By all means, compare these shitheads to Nazis. Again and again. I’m with you.

Comparisons between present-day politics and the fascism of the mid-20th century are no longer abstract or esoteric. Liberal democracies are facing an existential threat from a new generation of authoritarians borrowing old, discredited ideas. But is it accurate to characterize that threat as “fascist,” and if so, why does it matter? Is Trump our Hitler and are his followers our Nazis, and what response would that conclusion require?

Reaching a sincere and persuasive answer to this question has to start with a set of standards. First we must establish a definition for fascism, of which Nazism is merely our most familiar manifestation, then compare it to our regime. To do so we have to perform some translation across time and cultures. As Robert Paxton, one of our premier modern scholars of fascism explained, new waves of fascists don’t just “dust off their swastikas.” The movement evolves to adapt to changing circumstances. Finally, we must ask the most harrowing question of all, what do the results of this comparison mean for us?

What is Fascism?

According to historian Robert Paxton, “Fascism may be defined as a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victim-hood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.”

A search for fascist exemplars usually starts with Mussolini or Hitler, but the earliest roots of the movement are found in the US, starting in the Reconstruction Era South and continuing with our later anti-immigrant hysterias. The Nazis borrowed their race laws almost word for word from Jim Crow Laws in the Southern states. In Mein Kampf, Hitler praised America’s race-based immigration exclusions that barred entry to “inferior” races:

Continue reading at:  https://www.politicalorphans.com/our-hitler-our-nazis/

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A Gay Man Was Sentenced to Die By a Jury Tainted with Antigay Bias.

Tell me again how I am wrong to call right wing Christians and Republicans Nazi scum.

From Lambda Legal:  https://www.lambdalegal.org/blog/20191105_lambda-legal-decries-rhines-execution?fbclid=IwAR0vYt82mFzf6_DI_TtoBGIjHDTnr-UMt_MJbODJuA-bKz3wn8OXGnczsHo

By Lambda Legal
November 5, 2019

Last night, Charles Rhines, a South Dakota gay man, was put to death by lethal injection after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a final motion that would have allowed Rhines to bring new evidence to the Court showing that antigay bias may have motivated the jury to sentence him to death. Recently, it was discovered that jurors suggested that sentencing Mr. Rhines to life in prison with other men would be “sending him where he wants to go.”

Following the news of Rhines’s tragic execution, Ethan Rice, Lambda Legal Fair Courts Project Senior Attorney, made the following statement:

“No person in our society should be put to death. Cases where bias is a factor in jury decision-making show exactly why the death penalty is unjust and should not be maintained in our society.

“Mr. Rhines’s case represents one of the most extreme forms anti-LGBT bias can take. It’s evident that the he was sentenced to death because he was a gay man. We are deeply troubled that the court chose not to review his case today when it is clear that the constitutional right to a fair trial must include whether jury deliberations involved bias.

“If our legal system allows antigay bias in jury deliberations, the integrity of our entire court system is undermined. The death penalty is an irreversible and harsh misuse of government power. When it is applied in a biased manner, courts should take every possible opportunity to correct that wrong. In this case, no court has ever reviewed the evidence of antigay bias that occurred during jury deliberations in Mr. Rhines’s sentencing.”

Richard Saenz, Senior Attorney and the Criminal Justice and Police Misconduct Strategist:

“Lambda Legal opposes the death penalty precisely because we deal with the legal system’s fallibility and the effects of bias on court decisions every day. We are saddened by Charles Rhines’s death, and we will continue to fight for fair courts, push for more safeguards in the legal system to preserve the courts and weed out jury bias and discrimination against LGBT people and everyone living with HIV.”


Last year, Lambda Legal and five other civil rights organizations filed a friend-of-the-court brief following the discovery of comments from jurors suggesting that sentencing Mr. Rhines to life in prison with other men would be “sending him where he wants to go.”

The brief provided information about the long and painful history of discrimination against lesbian, gay, and bisexual people in the United States and asked the court to issues a certificate of appealability to Mr. Rhines to allow him to present evidence of juror bias.”

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The ‘Glass Floor’ Is Keeping America’s Richest Idiots At The Top

From Huffington Post:  https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-glass-floor-is-keeping-americas-richest-idiots-at-the-top_n_5d9fb1c9e4b06ddfc516e076

Elites are finding more ways to ensure that their children never run out of chances to fail.

By Michael Hobbes
October 13, 2019

In 2014, Zach Dell launched a dating app called Thread. It was nearly identical to Tinder: Users created a profile, uploaded photos and swiped through potential matches.

The only twist on the formula was that Thread was restricted to university students and explicitly designed to produce relationships rather than hookups. The app’s tagline was “Stay Classy.”

Zach Dell is the son of billionaire tech magnate Michael Dell. Though he told reporters that he wasn’t relying on family money, Thread’s early investors included a number of his father’s friends, including Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff.

The app failed almost instantly. Perhaps the number of monogamy-seeking students just wasn’t large enough, or capping users at 10 matches per day limited the app’s addictiveness. It could also have been the mismatch between Thread’s chaste motto and its user experience. Users got just 70 characters to describe themselves on their profiles. Most of them resorted to catchphrases like “Hook ’em” and “Netflix is life.”

After Thread went bust, Dell moved into philanthropy with a startup called Sqwatt, which promised to deliver “low-cost sanitation solutions for the developing world.” Aside from an empty website and a promotional video with fewer than 100 views, the effort seems to have disappeared.

And yet, despite helming two failed ventures and having little work experience beyond an internship at a financial services company created to manage his father’s fortune, things seem to be working out for Zach Dell. According to his LinkedIn profile, he is now an analyst for the private equity firm Blackstone. He is 22.

America has a social mobility problem. Children born in 1940 had a 90% chance of earning more than their parents. For children born in 1984, the odds were 50-50.

Most accounts of this trend focus on the breakdown of upward mobility: It’s getting harder for the poor to become rich. But equally important is the decline of downward mobility: The rich, regardless of their intelligence, are becoming more likely to stay that way.

There’s a lot of talent being wasted because it’s not able to rise, but there’s also a lot of relatively untalented people who aren’t falling and end up occupying positions they shouldn’t,” said Richard Reeves, a Brookings Institution researcher and the author of “Dream Hoarders: How the American Upper Middle Class Is Leaving Everyone Else in the Dust, Why That Is a Problem, and What to Do About It.

According to research carried out by Reeves and others, the likelihood of the rich passing their status down to their children — “stickiness,” in economist-speak — has surpassed the likelihood of poor children remaining poor.

Continue reading at:  https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-glass-floor-is-keeping-americas-richest-idiots-at-the-top_n_5d9fb1c9e4b06ddfc516e076

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