Obama: If GOP retakes Congress, they will seek to destroy Social Security

From Raw Story http://rawstory.com/rs/2010/0814/obama-gop-retakes-congress-seek-destroy-social-security/

By The Associated Press
Saturday, August 14th, 2010 — 12:08 pm

President Barack Obama used the anniversary of Social Security to trumpet Democrats’ support for the popular program and accuse Republicans of trying to destroy it.

Seventy-five years after President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Social Security into law, Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday: “We have an obligation to keep that promise, to safeguard Social Security for our seniors, people with disabilities and all Americans — today, tomorrow and forever.”

Some Republican leaders in Congress are “pushing to make privatizing Social Security a key part of their legislative agenda if they win a majority in Congress this fall,” Obama said.

He contended that such privatization was “an ill-conceived idea that would add trillions of dollars to our budget deficit while tying your benefits to the whims of Wall Street traders and the ups and downs of the stock market.”

Most Republicans, in fact, are wary of touching that idea, because Social Security is virtually sacrosanct to voters, particularly seniors.

Continue reading at:  http://rawstory.com/rs/2010/0814/obama-gop-retakes-congress-seek-destroy-social-security/

Posted in Economic Issues, Right Wing Bug F*** Insanity, Social Justice, Workers. Comments Off on Obama: If GOP retakes Congress, they will seek to destroy Social Security

Yippie!!!! We Won Judge Over Turns Prop 8

From Raw Story: http://rawstory.com/rs/2010/0804/breaking-court-throws-california-gay-marriage-ban/

Breaking: Federal judge throws out California gay marriage ban

By John Byrne
Wednesday, August 4th, 2010 — 4:56 pm

Chief Judge Vaughn Walker of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California declared Wednesday that the amendment to the California Constitution barring same-sex marriage, adopted in November 2008 as Proposition 8, violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process.

Freedom to Marry, the national nonprofit fighting for same-sex marriage equality, issued a statement praising the decision.

“Today’s federal ruling strikes down a cruel and unfair constitutional amendment that should never have become law and affirms that the freedom to marry belongs to every American,” the group said in a statement. “As the first court to strike down race restrictions on marriage said in 1948, ‘the essence of the right to marry is freedom to join in marriage with the person of one’s choice.'”

“There is no gay exception in the Constitution to personal choice and the right to marry, and there is no good reason to continue excluding same-sex couples from marriage,” the group added. “Judge Walker’s decision will be appealed and litigation will continue, but what we witnessed in the clear light of his courtroom cannot be erased. The witnesses, evidence, and arguments all demonstrated what we’ve long known: exclusion from marriage harms committed same-sex couples and their families, while helping no one, and the unjustified and unfair denial of marriage to same-sex couples violates the United States Constitution. The judge’s ruling reflects the growing consensus in courtrooms and legislatures across the country, and around the world, that there is simply no good reason to exclude same-sex couples from marriage.”

Continue Reading at: http://rawstory.com/rs/2010/0804/breaking-court-throws-california-gay-marriage-ban/

One grain of sand at a time.

One drop of water, freezing and thawing

Each action taken.  Each small step forward

And the rock will wear away

Tina and I are going to a rally that was planned no matter what.

Savor the victory because it was truly a win for social justice and equality.

I Hate the Smell of Sophistry in the Morning

Reposted with author’s permission from ENDABLOG: http://endablog.wordpress.com/2010/08/02/i-hate-the-smell-of-sophistry-in-the-morning/

By Katrina Rose

[Cross-posted at Pam’s House Blend]

Very early morning (at least in the CDT.)

This post is another update regarding the goings-on in the Texas case of Nikki Araguz, the trans widow of firefighter Thomas Araguz.  Her marriage and identity are under attack by her deceased husband’s ex-wife (purportedly representing the interests of the children of Thomas and the ex.)

Even if you’re not otherwise following the case – or even if you from some reason are disinclined to sympathize with Nikki – you should, at some point in the next few minutes, be picking your jaw up off of the floor.  Legal arguments don’t get much more twisted than the one that the lawyers representing the ex-wife of Nikki’s late husband pulled out today.

A key element of Nikki Araguz’s case to validate her marriage to her late husband Thomas is going to be a change to Texas law that happened pretty much under the radar last year:

FAMILY CODE

TITLE 1. THE MARRIAGE RELATIONSHIP

SUBTITLE A. MARRIAGE

CHAPTER 2. THE MARRIAGE RELATIONSHIP

SUBCHAPTER A. APPLICATION FOR MARRIAGE LICENSE

Sec. 2.005.  PROOF OF IDENTITY AND AGE.  (a)  The county clerk shall require proof of the identity and age of each applicant.

(b)  The proof must be established by:

(8)  an original or certified copy of a court order relating to the applicant’s name change or sex change

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 978, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2009.

Essentially, it implicitly recognizes change of sex – and, in turn, that implicit recognition statutorily overturns whatever degree of legal authority that was embodied by the 1999 anti-transsexual decision in Littleton v. Prange, often – though wrongly – referred to as ‘the law in Texas’ regarding change of sex; in fact, it was a decision of but one of Texas’ fourteen intermediate appellate courts and no higher court ever made a substantive ruling in the case.

Again: Clearly, the law implicitly recognizes change of sex.

Here, however, is the spin that attorney Chad Ellis puts on that:

An attorney for the firefighter’s family, Chad Ellis, says the law mentions nothing about allowing someone to legally change gender.

It just acknowledges that such changes occur.  But wait – it gets weirder.

Instead Ellis says it was designed for someone like Nikki who was born a man to apply for a marriage license to marry a female.

Uh huh.  Riiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

Brain, meet hurt.

But this is typical of the anti-transsexual arguments made against laws recognizing change of sex.  Even where the legislature in question is much more specific than Texas’ was in 2009, the argument will invariably be made: ‘Well, the legislature didn’t really mean it.’  Those are never the exact words, but that’s the argument – like that made by the dissenting judge in 2004 in Louisiana’s Pierre v. Pierre:

I am not convinced that because Louisiana law provides for a detailed procedure allowing a person’s name and gender to be changed on a birth certificate after a sexual reassignment surgery has been undertaken, see La. R.S. 40-62, the legislature has expressed its intent to confer an accompanying change in the legal status of a person who has chosen to alter his or her appearance.

BTW…

The statute in play there?

PART II.  BIRTH RECORD AFTER CHANGE IN SEX DESIGNATION

§62.  Issuance of new birth certificate after anatomical change of sex by surgery

A.  Any person born in Louisiana who has sustained sex reassignment or corrective surgery which has changed the anatomical structure of the sex of the individual to that of a sex other than that which appears on the original birth certificate of the individual, may petition a court of competent jurisdiction as provided in this Section to obtain a new certificate of birth.

B.  Suits authorized by this Section shall be filed contradictorily against the state registrar in the judicial district court having jurisdiction over the parish in which the petitioner resides or over the parish in which the petitioner was born.  A nonresident born in Louisiana shall file the petition in the parish of birth.  The suit of any petitioner born in Louisiana shall be filed contradictorily against the state registrar.  In the event the petitioner is married, the spouse shall also be a necessary party to the suit.  To the extent that the petitioner’s name is to be changed, the district attorney shall also be a necessary party.  In all cases the petition shall be accompanied by a certified copy of the petitioner’s original birth record, in which case the short-form birth certificate card shall not be sufficient.

C.  The court shall require such proof as it deems necessary to be convinced that the petitioner was properly diagnosed as a transsexual or pseudo-hermaphrodite, that sex reassignment or corrective surgery has been properly performed upon the petitioner, and that as a result of such surgery and subsequent medical treatment the anatomical structure of the sex of the petitioner has been changed to a sex other than that which is stated on the original birth certificate of the petitioner.

If the court shall find that the evidence sustains the required proof, the court shall render a judgment ordering the issuance of a new birth certificate changing the sex designated thereon from that shown upon the petitioner’s original certificate of birth.  The petitioner may in the same suit seek to have the name of the petitioner changed, and the court may render judgment in accordance with law upon this additional petition at the same time.

….

The legislature really didn’t mean it.

Any bets out there as to how far a similar argument would fly against an anti-trans statute?

Yes, your honor, we know what the ADA says about excluding transsexuals and we know what the senators said on the record in the Congressional Record about excluding transsexuals, but that’s not really what they really meant.

Or…

Yes, your honor, we know what the 1977 Tennessee anti-transsexual birth certificate amendment says about not allowing transsexuals to change their birth certificates and we know what the legislators said back in 1977 about not allowing transsexuals to change their birth certificates, but that’s not really what they meant.

Bar? Meet Dis.

Now, this isn’t to say that Nikki has a slam dunk now, even if – somehow – she gets in front of a judge (and eventually judges) who aren’t Rick Perry worshippers or who are otherwise into legal pretzel logic:

Nikki’s attorneys say at the very least she had what amounts to a common law marriage….

“She has a legal and informal marriage since September 2, 2009 up until the day her husband was taken,” said Phyllis Frye, Nikki’s attorney

It sounds as though the argument is that Texas law prior to 9/1/09 – whatever it was – would have prevented Nikki and Thomas from being married in Texas but that, due to the fact that Texas still allows for common law (informal) marriage, the 2009 change in the law created (for lack of a better phrase) a springing exectutory heterosexual relationship which, due to operation of Texas’ common law marriage requirements, became a marriage immediately thereafter.

Brain, meet more hurt – only this is the headache that should prevail.

Should.

Posted in Equal Treatment, Social Justice. Comments Off on I Hate the Smell of Sophistry in the Morning

Defining Prosperity Down

From the New York Timeshttp://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/02/opinion/02krugman.html?ref=opinion

By PAUL KRUGMAN

I’m starting to have a sick feeling about prospects for American workers — but not, or not entirely, for the reasons you might think.

Yes, growth is slowing, and the odds are that unemployment will rise, not fall, in the months ahead. That’s bad. But what’s worse is the growing evidence that our governing elite just doesn’t care — that a once-unthinkable level of economic distress is in the process of becoming the new normal.

And I worry that those in power, rather than taking responsibility for job creation, will soon declare that high unemployment is “structural,” a permanent part of the economic landscape — and that by condemning large numbers of Americans to long-term joblessness, they’ll turn that excuse into dismal reality.

Not long ago, anyone predicting that one in six American workers would soon be unemployed or underemployed, and that the average unemployed worker would have been jobless for 35 weeks, would have been dismissed as outlandishly pessimistic — in part because if anything like that happened, policy makers would surely be pulling out all the stops on behalf of job creation.

But now it has happened, and what do we see?

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/02/opinion/02krugman.html?ref=opinion

Posted in Economic Issues, Employment, Social Justice. Comments Off on Defining Prosperity Down

American Fascism’s Continuing Assault on ‘Useless Eaters’: Phyllis Schlafly Smears ‘Unmarried Moms’ Receiving Unemployment Benefits

From Anti-Fascist Encyclopedia: http://www.antifascistencyclopedia.com/allposts/american-fascisms-continuing-assault-on-useless-eaters-phyllis-schlafly-smears-unmarried-moms-with-unemployment-insurance

By Charlie Eisenhood
Think Progress | Jul 30th, 2010

schlafly American Fascism’s Continuing Assault on ‘Useless Eaters’: Phyllis Schlafly Smears ‘Unmarried Moms’ Receiving Unemployment Benefits

Over the past two months, many Republican pundits and members of Congress have been calling for the end of unemployment benefit extensions for the millions of Americans who can’t find work. Meanwhile, GOP Senators held the unemployment insurance (UI) extension bill hostage for weeks as 2.5 million Americans were left without the “desperately needed lifeline” of UI benefits. Even as five workers fight for every one job opening, Republicans are still calling the unemployed “spoiled” and suggesting that blocking benefits is fine because it only affects a “small amount of people.”

Last week at a fundraiser for Michigan GOP congressional candidate Rocky Raczowski, conservative pundit Phyllis Schlafly added her voice to the chorus crying out against government assistance for the poor or unemployed:

One of the things Obama’s been doing is deliberately trying to increase the percentage of our population that is dependent on government for your living. For example, do you know what was the second biggest demographic group that voted for Obama? Obviously the blacks were the biggest demographic, y’all know what was the second biggest? Unmarried women. 70% of unmarried women voted for Obama. And this is because when you kick your husband out, you’ve got to have Big Brother Government to be your provider. And they know that. They’ve admitted it. And they have all kinds of bills to continue to subsidize illegitimacy…

The Obama administration wants to continue to subsidize this group because they know they are Democratic votes.

Schlafly’s argument is specious. She talks about “subsidizing illegitimacy,” but not all single women are mothers. Less than 20 percent are mothers to young children. The rest include millions of widows, millions of young never-married women, and plenty in between — some of whom have kids, but most of whom do not.

Continue reading at:  http://www.antifascistencyclopedia.com/allposts/american-fascisms-continuing-assault-on-useless-eaters-phyllis-schlafly-smears-unmarried-moms-with-unemployment-insurance

Desert Religions Run Amok

Religion, all religion oppresses using ignorance and superstition to perpetuate cruelty upon cruelty.

Islamic extremists like those asserting Sharia Law and the Taliban are some of the worst of the worst.

I am going to quote from the following post on another blog:  http://momento24.com/en/2010/07/31/image-of-an-afghan-woman-shattered-the-world/

Trigger Warning!!! Do not click on this link if you are easily disturbed by photographs of Atrocities

Text from site:

The Time published in its cover a surprising and disturbing picture, a portrait of Aisha, a young Afghan woman of 18 years old, who was convicted by a Taliban commander to cut off her nose and ears for not following the rules of her community.

Aisha posed for the photo because she wants “the world to see the effect of the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan’s women, many of which resurfaced in recent years.”

The photograph is accompanied by a solid story by Baker Aryn about how “Afghan women have embraced the freedoms that have come from the defeat of the Taliban and how they fear a resurgence of them.”

The journalist from The Time said he “thought a lot about whether to put this picture on the cover of The Time. First, he wanted to make sure the safety of Aisha and to ensure that she understands why she would be at the cover. She knows that she may become a symbol of Afghan women who had had to pay for the Taliban’s repressive ideology.” It was also confirmed that she is being kept in a secret and protected place by armed guards and sponsored by the NGO Women for Women of Afghanistan. “

Continued at:  http://momento24.com/en/2010/07/31/image-of-an-afghan-woman-shattered-the-world/

By The Way…  It was St. Ronnie Reagan who armed the Taliban and helped them come to power.  Including initially supplying them with the Stinger missiles that are now shooting down our helicopters and killing our military personnel.

No gods, No masters

Posted in Hate Crimes, Human Rights, Islamo-Fascism, Poverty, Rape, Religion, Social Justice, Uncategorized. Comments Off on Desert Religions Run Amok

FBI admits probing ‘radical’ historian Zinn for criticizing bureau

While many babble on about how free people are in America I have tended to question the reality of that freedom. Too often that freedom seems to mean one is free to work wages so mean and parsimonious as to give meaning to the term “wage slavery”.  Oddly that freedom doesn’t seem to extend to the rights of labor to organize, form unions and strike for better conditions, otherwise why would workers who try to exercise that freedom be fired, subjected to beatings and arrest or sometimes even murdered by those who are authorized to enforce the nations laws.

Why are people of color, women, LGBT/TQ people considered subversive and anti-American when they ask that the nation that claims to stand foursquare for freedom, justice and equality honor those claims by giving people of color, women and LGBT/TQ people those things the nation says it is most proud of.

Why are those who peacefully dissent and point out the short-comings, the bait and switch nature of these claims spied upon by secret police when our government tells us that only totalitarian governments use secret police to spy upon citizens who peacefully dissent.  Why is it okay for a nation that claims to stand for freedom of speech turns around and black lists those who have the audacity to speak out against the injustices of racism, imperialism, sexism and homophobia?  Are terminations and black listing the marks of freedom or of an authoritarian police state?

Is it more radical to petition an authoritarian state to be allowed to become part of that authoritarian state than it is to work to end the authoritarian state that oppresses so many?

The late Howard Zinn exposed the reality behind America’s image and showed us how it was so often a bright and shining lie.

For this he was investigated by the FBI and I am sure by secret police squads all over the country.  His crime being a truth teller with the courage to speak that truth to power.  I am not surprised at their attempts to have him fired and blacklisted as that is the nature of those involved in the maintaining of the authoritarian aspects of corporate freedom and the government by and for the rich.

From Raw Storyhttp://rawstory.com/rs/2010/0730/fbi-admits-probing-zinn-criticizing-bureau/

By Daniel Tencer
Friday, July 30th, 2010 — 3:22 pm

FBI files show bureau may have tried to get Zinn fired from Boston University for his political opinions

Those who knew of the dissident historian Howard Zinn would not be surprised that J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI kept tabs on him for decades during the Cold War.

But in a release of documents pertaining to Zinn, the bureau admitted that one of its investigations into the left-wing academic was prompted not by suspicion of criminal activity, but by Zinn’s criticism of the FBI’s record on civil rights investigations.

“In 1949, the FBI opened a domestic security investigation on Zinn,” the bureau states. “The Bureau noted Zinn’s activities in what were called Communist Front Groups and received informant reports that Zinn was an active member of the CPUSA; Zinn denied ever being a member when he was questioned by agents in the 1950s.

“In the 1960s, the Bureau took another look at Zinn on account of his criticism of the FBI’s civil rights investigations.”

Continue reading at: http://rawstory.com/rs/2010/0730/fbi-admits-probing-zinn-criticizing-bureau/

Posted in Abuse, History, Police Abuse, Questioning Authority, Social Justice. Comments Off on FBI admits probing ‘radical’ historian Zinn for criticizing bureau

Federal Court Strikes Down DOMA Section 3

From Glad (Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders)

http://www.glad.org/current/news-detail/federal-court-strikes-down-doma-section-3/

July 08, 2010

Today, U.S. District Court Judge Joseph L. Tauro ruled that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional with respect to claims brought by seven married same-sex couples and three widowers from Massachusetts. Under the ruling, the plaintiffs are entitled to the same federal spousal benefits and protections as every other married couple.

The ruling stems from GLAD’s lawsuit Gill et al v. Office of Personnel Management et al, filed in March 2009.

“Today the Court simply affirmed that our country won’t tolerate second-class marriages,” says Mary Bonauto, GLAD’s Civil Rights Project Director, who argued the case. “I’m pleased that Judge Tauro recognized that married same-sex couples and surviving spouses have been seriously harmed by DOMA and that the plaintiffs deserve the same opportunities to care and provide for each other and for their children that other families enjoy. This ruling will make a real difference for countless families in Massachusetts.”

Read the decision.

Read GLAD’s press release.

Poverty is a queer issue

From LGBT POV

http://www.lgbtpov.com/2010/06/gloria-nieto-poverty-is-a-queer-issue/

By Gloria Nieto

Over the weekend, Pride weekend in many parts of the world, I visited with old friends.  What was completely astonishing to me was the state of poverty that we find ourselves in right now.

All of us are well over 50.  We are the only ones to lose our home at this point.  The other friends are barely holding on.  Of the four of us out the other night at the Egyptian museum, only one of us has a job.  The other three hobos, I mean homos, have all been gainfully employed all our adult lives.  One has owned and operated several businesses over time.  Her unemployment just ran out on Friday.  She is one of the 1.3 million who were dropped that day.

My unemployment ran out back in April.  No income since then so my spouse is trying to keep both of us afloat.

The other friend is on disability and her partner is her paid caregiver.  The Governator is about to drop that program so that poor disabled will continue to bear the burden of this Depression.  They live a half hour drive out of town and cannot afford to move in closer to town so they are facing down foreclosure also.

I have to give a shout out to fellow blogger Patricia Nell Warren  for also talking about the financial crisis many lgbt folks find themselves in, including herself.  We are losing our houses, our savings, our dignity in this disaster.

In all the latest rumblings about LGBT rights, I wonder how we get more of our own folks realizing the recession is a queer issue?  ENDA is a jobs bill, so is DADT.  But ultimately my life and ability to be a participating member is tied up in the Senate and their lack of understanding of our realities, straight and LGBT.

It was finally explained to me during my last visit to DC.  It is an obvious answer, really.  None of the legislature, Senate and House alike, ever see needy people every day.  There is always money in DC so since they don’t go outside of the comfort zone of the Hill and their homes, why would they see the other realities.

There is no urgency on the economy.  There is no urgency on anything.  When I heard the President tell the folks on the Gulf Coast that they were not going to be forgotten, I thought well what about the rest of us?  You have forgotten about us and left us.  We have no help and there is no help on the horizon.

Abandoned.

Let me ask this – how many unemployed people were invited to the White House cocktail party last week?  All the glowing reports of words from the President are irrelevant without action.  There is no action because we have been forgotten and left behind.  Again.

This continued depression has a strong effect on our community.  How many lgbt centers are struggling?  The AIDS prevention money was stripped from the California budget so who will be the next wave of infected gay men in California?  How many activists are sidelined because they have no resources and cannot devote time to planning or activism because we are crippled by poverty.  Getting turned down repeatedly for jobs doesn’t do a lot for a person’s self esteem, trust me.

There is a price to pay for this disaster.

Unfortunately, those who should be paying for it are summering in the Hamptons.  The rest of us are stuck with the bill, both financial and emotional.

So during this month of Pride, while we celebrate all our victories over the years, try to remember those on the sidelines, struggling to keep our heads above water.  Equality should mean an equal chance to contribute to our communities, live  a good life, and hold our heads high.

Mr. Fierce Advocate, this is your chance to make a difference for all of us.

Posted in Politics, Poverty, Social Justice, Unequal Treatment. Comments Off on Poverty is a queer issue

US Supreme Court Deals Blow to Vatican Immunity Regarding Pedophilia Criminal Charges

From Raw Story:

http://rawstory.com/rs/2010/0628/supreme-court-deals-pedophilia-blow-vatican/
By Agence France-Presse
Monday, June 28th, 2010 — 11:21 am

The US Supreme Court declined Monday to hear an appeal by the Vatican in a landmark case that opens the way for priests in the United States to stand trial for pedophilia.

Allowing a federal appeals court ruling to stand, the decision means Vatican officials including theoretically Pope Benedict XVI could face questioning under oath related to a litany of child sex abuse cases.

The Supreme Court effectively confirmed the decision of an appellate court to lift the Vatican’s immunity in the case of an alleged pedophile priest in the northwestern state of Oregon.

The Oregon case, which was filed in 2002, does not directly address questions raised in a separate lawsuit in Kentucky alleging that US bishops are employees of the Holy See.

In recent months, large-scale pedophilia scandals have rocked the Roman Catholic Church in a number of countries, including Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Pope Benedict XVI’s native Germany and the United States.

Senior clerics have been accused of protecting the priests involved by moving them to other parishes — where they sometimes offended again — instead of handing them over to civil authorities for prosecution.

The pope, who has himself faced allegations he covered up the scandal, has repeatedly said priests and religious workers guilty of child abuse should answer for their crimes in courts of law.

Political Prisoners Arrested at G20 Demonstrations Segregated by Sexual Orientation

G20 security state madness

From Xtra

http://www.xtra.ca/blog/national/post/2010/06/28/G20-madness.aspx

I don’t even know where to begin on the events of this past weekend.

How about here? An account by this dude of appalling treatment by police. It’s a tale of unwarranted search and detention, segregation by sexual orientation and suspension of fundamental rights as Canadians. Welcome to Toronto, Dan. This piece brought to you by the good people at rabble.ca

I was at College and University, the southern boundary of Queen’s Park, at about 5pm on Saturday as police began to clear the so-called free-speech zone. It was appalling. I watched as a few were arrested and saw mounted police carve a group of people out of the crowd in the park and arrest them all.

Posted in Activism, Anarchism, Economic Issues, Human Rights, Police Abuse, Questioning Authority, Social Justice. Comments Off on Political Prisoners Arrested at G20 Demonstrations Segregated by Sexual Orientation

Woman caught having sex in park, charged with adultery – in New York

I swear I can’t make this shit up…

From the New York Daily News

Originally Published:Tuesday, June 8th 2010, 9:32 PM
Updated: Wednesday, June 9th 2010, 11:42 AM

By Michael Sheridan
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

A woman arrested for public lewdness for allegedly having sex in a park is facing a surprising additional charge: cheating on her husband.

No, this wasn’t in a Muslim country far away, it is happening in New York.

Suzanne Corona, a 41-year-old woman from Batavia, N.Y., just east of Buffalo, was busted along with 29-year-old Justin Amend last week, police said.

The pair allegedly were having sex on a picnic table near a playground in Farrall Park just after 5 p.m. on Friday, according to WHAM 13. Police report several parents and children were nearby.

“[The police officer] asked them what they were doing, and they said, ‘Just talking,’ and obviously they weren’t just talking,” said Officer Eric Hill, of the Batavia Police Department.

The police in this country have long exhibited Nazi thug tendencies.  From the beatings and murders of union organizers to the arresting and beating of civil rights demonstrators one sees a pattern of anti-human rights abuses.

Of late the military and the police have been invaded by too many Christo-fascists who see these agents of authority positions as empowering them with the ability to enforce their twisted version of the Abrahamic desert mythology.

One expects better of places like New York…  Perhaps it is time for New Yorkers to rethink the Disneyification  of they once international famous cosmopolitan city.

Posted in Abuse, Christo-Fascism, Islamo-Fascism, Misogyny, Police Abuse, Questioning Authority, Religion, Social Justice. Comments Off on Woman caught having sex in park, charged with adultery – in New York

New Study Says Racist Beliefs and Tough on Crime Go Hand-in-Hand

by Colin Asher April 23, 2010 05:47 AM

The idea that there are no racists in America is a popular political trope. Say whatever you want, support discriminatory public policy. As long as you follow your statements with the caveat “I mean, I’m not racist…” you’ll be just fine. And so it’s been with criminal justice policy. Even as our prison and jail populations have exploded — disproportionately locking up blacks and Latinos — there are still plenty of people out there who are willing to claim there’s nothing racist about supporting mass incarceration.

Recently, a pair of criminologists took the time evaluate that claim. What did they find? Well, it turns out that people who support punitive criminal justice policy also…tend to be racists.

In a paper entitled “The Social Sources of Americans’ Punitiveness,” James Unnever and Francis Cullen test three theories that have been offered by criminologists to explain why the U.S. public supports punitive criminal justice policies. Those theories are: 1). the escalating crime distrust model, 2). the moral decline model and 3). the racial animus model.

According to the first theory, because Americans fear crime and distrust our government, we support punitive laws and policies. The second proposes that people support punitive policies because they think our country’s morals are in decline. And the last theory suggests that racist beliefs are what fuel public support for harsh criminal punishments.

All three theories, the study found, explain why American support for so-called “tough-on-crime” penalties is so high. But it turns out that racist beliefs offer the best explanation of all.

Continue reading at: http://criminaljustice.change.org/blog/view/new_study_says_racist_beliefs_and_tough_on_crime_go_hand-in-hand

Posted in Discrimination, Economic Issues, Equal Treatment, Human Rights, Police Abuse, Racism, Social Justice. Comments Off on New Study Says Racist Beliefs and Tough on Crime Go Hand-in-Hand

Human Rights Campaign Submits Official Comment on APA’s DSM Review

Human Rights Campaign, DC, USA

Addresses issues related to transgender people in American Psychiatric Association’s Review of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual.

4/21/2010

Washington – The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender civil rights organization, submitted comment yesterday on the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) proposed changes to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, pressing the APA to do more to eliminate the stigma transgender Americans face. The public comment phase of the review process ended April 20.

“Upon reviewing the APA’s proposed revisions, it appears that they no longer consider gender identity that differs from birth sex to be a basis for psychiatric diagnosis,” said HRC Associate Director of Diversity Allyson Robinson. “By focusing instead on the experience of incongruence, an often distressing conflict between a person’s
physical characteristics and their sense of gender identity, the APA has made an important step toward the destigmatization of transgender lives.”

While affirming this shift, HRC President Joe Solmonese pressed the APA to do more. “These diagnostic categories are frequently used by opponents of equality to deny basic civil rights to transgender Americans, and in that way become a significant source of emotional distress themselves,” said Solmonese. “The APA must address this
heinous practice and do more to empower mental health professionals as they seek to heal the damage caused by stigma, bias, and prejudice.”

HRC also called in its commentary for the complete removal of “transvestic disorder,” which pathologizes male-to-female cross-dressing, from the final DSM-5 document. “The persistence of this archaic category contradicts the positive shift the APA made with gender incongruence and tacitly affirms an understanding of gender
based in sexism, not science,” said Solmonese.

The proposed changes are slated to go into effect in 2013.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights
organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender
equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end
discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that
achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

© 2010 The Human Rights Campaign. All rights reserved

http://www.hrc.org/14322.htm

Securing Fair Access to Credit for All

From the National Center for Transgender Equality
http://transgenderequality.wordpress.com/2010/04/16/securing-fair-access-to-credit-for-all/

This week the Senate is gearing up to tackle legislation that would seek to protect consumers from the bad financial practices of recent years–from hidden fees and outrageous penalties to risky loans and securities that undermine the financial system. It’s a fitting moment for the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) to throw its support behind one consumer protection that isn’t in the House or Senate financial reform packages – prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation in credit and lending.

CUNA, which represents 90% of the nation’s credit unions, announced its support this week for the Israel-Frank Freedom from Discrimination in Credit Act (H.R.4376), a 2-page bill that would add these categories to existing federal protections based on race, sex, religion, national origin, marital status and age.

CUNA isn’t waiting for the bill to pass; it’s also making nondiscrimination against LGBT consumers part of its organizational policy. We applaud CUNA for recognizing that no one should be denied a loan because a bank officer thinks they don’t look sufficiently “masculine” or “feminine,” or because a credit card company thinks being transgender means you’re an unreliable borrower. Transgender people, like everyone else, should have access to credit and lending on fair terms, based on objective financial qualifications, not prejudice or stereotypes.  We hope CUNA’s leadership will help advance this common-sense legislation.

Posted in Economic Issues, Equal Treatment, Social Justice. Comments Off on Securing Fair Access to Credit for All

President Obama Issues Memorandum Regarding Hospital Visitation Rights

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release
April 15, 2010

Presidential Memorandum – Hospital Visitation

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

SUBJECT: Respecting the Rights of Hospital Patients to Receive Visitors and to Designate Surrogate Decision Makers for Medical Emergencies

There are few moments in our lives that call for greater compassion and companionship than when a loved one is admitted to the hospital. In these hours of need and moments of pain and anxiety, all of us would hope to have a hand to hold, a shoulder on which to lean — a loved one to be there for us, as we would be there for them.

Yet every day, all across America, patients are denied the kindnesses and caring of a loved one at their sides — whether in a sudden medical emergency or a prolonged hospital stay. Often, a widow or widower with no children is denied the support and comfort of a good friend. Members of religious orders are sometimes unable to choose someone other than an immediate family member to visit them and make medical decisions on their behalf. Also uniquely affected are gay and lesbian Americans who are often barred from the bedsides of the partners with whom they may have spent decades of their lives — unable to be there for the person they love, and unable to act as a legal surrogate if their partner is incapacitated.

For all of these Americans, the failure to have their wishes respected concerning who may visit them or make medical decisions on their behalf has real onsequences. It means that doctors and nurses do not always have the best information about patients’ medications and medical histories and that friends and certain family members are unable to serve as intermediaries to help communicate patients’ needs. It means that a stressful and at times terrifying experience for patients is senselessly compounded by indignity and unfairness. And it means that all too often, people are made to suffer or even to pass away alone, denied the comfort of companionship in their final moments while a loved one is left worrying and pacing down the hall.

Many States have taken steps to try to put an end to these problems. North Carolina recently amended its Patients’ Bill of Rights to give each patient “the right to designate visitors who shall receive the same visitation privileges as the patient’s immediate family members, regardless of whether the visitors are legally related to the patient” — a right that applies in every hospital in the State. Delaware, Nebraska, and Minnesota have adopted similar laws.

My Administration can expand on these important steps to ensure that patients can receive compassionate care and equal treatment during their hospital stays. By this memorandum, I request that you take the following steps:

1. Initiate appropriate rule making, pursuant to your authority under 42 U.S.C. 1395x and other relevant provisions of law, to ensure that hospitals that participate in Medicare or Medicaid respect the rights of patients to designate visitors. It should be made clear that designated visitors, including individuals designated by legally valid advance directives (such as durable powers of attorney and health care proxies), should enjoy visitation privileges that are no more restrictive than those that immediate family members enjoy. You should also provide that participating hospitals may not deny visitation privileges on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. The rule making should take into account the need for hospitals to restrict visitation in medically appropriate circumstances as well as the clinical decisions that medical professionals make about a patient’s care or treatment.

2. Ensure that all hospitals participating in Medicare or Medicaid are in full compliance with regulations, codified at 42 CFR 482.13 and 42 CFR 489.102(a), promulgated to guarantee that all patients’ advance directives, such as durable powers of attorney and health care proxies, are respected, and that patients’ representatives otherwise have the right to make informed decisions regarding patients’ care. Additionally, I request that you issue new guidelines, pursuant to your authority under 42 U.S.C. 1395cc and other relevant provisions of law, and provide technical assistance on how hospitals participating in Medicare or Medicaid can best comply with the regulations and take any additional appropriate measures to fully enforce the regulations.

3. Provide additional recommendations to me, within 180 days of the date of this memorandum, on actions the Department of Health and Human Services can take to address hospital visitation, medical decision making, or other health care issues that affect LGBT patients and their families.

This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

You are hereby authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.

BARACK OBAMA

Worlds Without Women

From the New York Times
April 11, 2010
By MAUREEN DOWD

WASHINGTON

When I was in Saudi Arabia, I had tea and sweets with a group of educated and sophisticated young professional women.

I asked why they were not more upset about living in a country where women’s rights were strangled, an inbred and autocratic state more like an archaic men’s club than a modern nation. They told me, somewhat defensively, that the kingdom was moving at its own pace, glacial as that seemed to outsiders.

How could such spirited women, smart and successful on every other level, acquiesce in their own subordination?

I was puzzling over that one when it hit me: As a Catholic woman, I was doing the same thing.

I, too, belonged to an inbred and wealthy men’s club cloistered behind walls and disdaining modernity.

I, too, remained part of an autocratic society that repressed women and ignored their progress in the secular world.

I, too, rationalized as men in dresses allowed our religious kingdom to decay and to cling to outdated misogynistic rituals, blind to the benefits of welcoming women’s brains, talents and hearts into their ancient fraternity.

Continue reading at: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/11/opinion/11dowd.html

Here’s The Real Enemy

One of the things that has come to bother me a good deal is that progressives expend far more energy in attacking each other than they do attacking the real enemy.

Traditional Values Coalition is a Christo-Nazi Organization, a Hate Group whose main purpose is the oppression of women as well as LGBT/T people. Other places have other orgaizations.

The following is one of their letters they send out to scam their army of bigots to get them to finance their hate campaigns.

ENDA Would Normalize The Dirty 30

April 8, 2010

Dear Traditional Values Coalition Supporter

Donate Now!

In the next few weeks, President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and their homosexual and transgender allies will attempt to ram through the so-called Employment Non-Discrimination Act

What you may not know is that ENDA normalizes and provides special federal protection for 30+ bizarre sexual orientations listed by the American Psychiatric Association – the so-called “Dirty 30.” These 30+ fetishes include behaviors that are felonies or misdemeanors in most states.

ENDA’s “Dirty 30” includes such bizarre criminal acts as incest, pedophilia, prostitution, beastiality, and cross-dressing. If we don’t act today, Obama and Pelosi will normalize these disorders by federal law on April 21!

In a moment of candor, liberal Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) openly admitted on the House floor that the “Dirty 30” would be covered by federal law. In fact, he wants the Dirty 30 to be given special protection! In his own words: “all of these philias and fetishes and isms that were put forward–need not live in fear because of who they are.”

If Obama, Pelosi, Hastings and the Congressional Democrats pass ENDA, co-workers will be forced to work alongside individuals with these bizarre sex fetishes. Christian businesses will be directly impacted by ENDA. They would be forced to hire or retain cross-dressers and individuals who engage in these sinful behaviors. Students will be indoctrinated that “alternative lifestyles” are no different than traditional lifestyles. Young children will be forced to learn about these bizarre sexual fetishes – and you will have no say in the matter.

TVC has led the fight against ENDA for more than a decade. We have lobbied Members of Congress and their staff and provided a wealth of information on why ENDA should not be passed.

Will you help TVC continue this fight?

ENDA will be voted on in the House Education and Labor Committee on April 21 and sent to the floor for a vote by the end of April. It must be defeated. Contact your Members of Congress.

Sincerely,

Rev. Louis Sheldon and Andrea Lafferty

P.S. Please visit ENDAHurtskids.com
to sign our petition against ENDA. It’s critical that you contact
your Members of Congress today, and tell them to vote NO on this
outrageous legislation. We’re counting on your immediate help.

These Christo-Nazis use every single vile lie they can muster.

What bothers me is that we often hurl the same insults at each other.

Identity politics of the sort that require us to define others in the same basic place we are as the enemy and engage in horizontal hate slinging are not only self defeating but in the long run insure the victory of these fucks.

Posted in Christo-Fascism, Questioning Authority, Right Wing Bigotry, Social Justice. Comments Off on Here’s The Real Enemy

Former Memphis cop testifies to beating of prisoner by arresting officer

This is an all too common story regarding the on going treatment of transsexual and transgender people, many people of color and almost all poor that too often gets ignored by the educated and privileged TS/TG people who do have an ounce of power and a voice.

From the Memphis Tennessee Commercial Appeal

Former Memphis cop testifies to beating of prisoner by arresting officer

By Lawrence Buser

Friday, April 9, 2010

A former Memphis police officer told a federal jury Thursday that a fellow officer’s videotaped altercation with a transgender prisoner last year was not a fight but “a beatdown” by the officer.

Testifying for the prosecution, James Swain said he watched officer Bridges “Sutton” McRae use his metal handcuffs like brass knuckles to punch the prisoner several times in the head in the sally port of the jail.

McRae, who was fired, is charged with civil rights violations. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a maximum $250,000 fine.

Swain said the incident began when the prisoner, Dwayne Johnson, refused to be fingerprinted unless McRae called him by his feminine name, Duanna.

http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2010/apr/09/ex-cop-testifies-of-beating-to-prisoner-by/

If You Think the Civil War Ever Ended, Think Again

Some people have taken me to task because I am an unabashedly left wing anarcha-feminist and atheist who looks at the oppression of people with transsexualism and people with transgenderism in a context that goes beyond just transphobia in its various disguises and place us into the context of being a legitimate minority class of peoples.

Thus when I hear the right wing Christo-fascists spew misogyny that would deny women the right to control their own reproductive choices I see it as part of the same ideology that condemns LGBT/T people by denying them basic civil rights and full equality.

These same people tend to be racist as well as imperialistic supporters of the tyranny of the multi-national corporations and their destruction of workers rights.

In the US this movement is fascist and takes the form of embracing neo-Confederate family values.

The Following article appeared on Alternet

If You Think the Civil War Ever Ended, Think Again

By Adele Stan, AlterNet
Posted on April 8, 2010, Printed on April 9, 2010
http://www.alternet.org/story/146366/

When I first moved to Washington, D.C., I had hardly a stick of furniture, so I boarded a bus to take me to the nearest Ikea, which was in a Virginia mall. Quite unfamiliar with the territory, I watched out the window with curiosity as the bus traveled along the chain-store lined route.

Soon I noticed we were traveling along a road called the Jefferson Davis Highway. I was stunned, and a bit sick to my stomach. How could it be that a highway was named after a man who made war against the United States, all so the citizens of his region could continue to hold human beings in chains? All so slave masters could continue to rape the women they claimed to own. The children of these unions were usually enslaved by their own fathers, often acting as servants to their white half-brothers and -sisters.

Continue reading at: http://www.alternet.org/news/146366/if_you_think_the_civil_war_ever_ended%2C_think_again

Posted in Hate Crimes, Right Wing Bigotry, Social Justice, Unequal Treatment. Comments Off on If You Think the Civil War Ever Ended, Think Again