Monday, July 26, 2021

Boogeyman

[RANT]

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines boogeyman as…
1: a monstrous imaginary figure used in threatening children
2: a terrifying or dreaded person or thing : BUGBEAR
The Republican party is good at generating boogeymen.

Just look at the big bro-ha-ha over Critical Race Theory… what is it? It seems to have a million definitions and the number of things CRT is suppose to do keeps growing and it is being pushed by far right political pundits like Fox News, One News Now, and other far right-wing political conspiracist.

So lets look first at what CRT really is and not what the right-wing conspiracy theorists claim it is.
What Is Critical Race Theory, and Why Is It Under Attack?
EdWeek
By Stephen Sawchuk
May 18, 2021


Is “critical race theory” a way of understanding how American racism has shaped public policy, or a divisive discourse that pits people of color against white people? Liberals and conservatives are in sharp disagreement.

The topic has exploded in the public arena this spring—especially in K-12, where numerous state legislatures are debating bills seeking to ban its use in the classroom.
[…]
Critical race theory is an academic concept that is more than 40 years old. The core idea is that race is a social construct, and that racism is not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice, but also something embedded in legal systems and policies.

The basic tenets of critical race theory, or CRT, emerged out of a framework for legal analysis in the late 1970s and early 1980s created by legal scholars Derrick Bell, Kimberlé Crenshaw, and Richard Delgado, among others.

A good example is when, in the 1930s, government officials literally drew lines around areas deemed poor financial risks, often explicitly due to the racial composition of inhabitants. Banks subsequently refused to offer mortgages to Black people in those areas.
Now look at what the Republicans claim it is, New York magazine wrote,
This is a classic phantom menace. To the extent it is even clearly definable, CRT is an academic school of thought (initially developed in legal circles) existing almost entirely in higher education. It encourages reevaluation of history, literature, and other bodies of received knowledge to take into account racism as an often-pervasive social construct. It’s an approach, not a set “theory” that is “taught” or “trained,” and it focuses on analysis of institutions and policies, not individual culpability for injustice.

In other words, the current panic-stricken right-wing movement to condemn CRT in settings ranging from K-12 education to corporate diversity training is wildly off-target. There is no there there, for the most part. And the proponents of this witch hunt without witches generally aren’t bothering to supply any evidence of what they are attacking…
According to New York magazine the Alabama lawmaker, state Rep. Chris Pringle, R-Mobile, who sponsored the bill said...
“It basically teaches that certain children are inherently bad people because of the color of their skin, period,” Pringle said.

 When asked for examples the lawmaker said,

“Yeah, uh, well — I can assure you — I’ll have to read a lot more,” he said …
“These people, when they were doing the training programs — and the government — if you didn’t buy into what they taught you a hundred percent, they sent you away to a reeducation camp,” Pringle said.
NBC reported that,
"Any anti-racist effort is being labeled as critical race theory,” said Jonathan Chism, assistant professor of history at the University of Houston–Downtown and co-editor of "Critical Race Studies Across Disciplines.”

“Many that are condemning critical race theory haven’t read it or studied it intensely. This is largely predicated on fear: the fear of losing power and influence and privilege,” he said. “The larger issue that this is all stemming from is a desire to deny the truth about America, about racism.”
In other words they created a boogeyman.

The Oswego Country News Now said this about CRT,
The first rule of critical race theory is that nobody knows what critical race theory is.

Okay, a few people do, but they’re a small fraction of the people who’ve been talking about it lately. Critical race theory (CRT) is an obscure area of legal scholarship. In my two decades of teaching American economic history, including much on slavery and race, I did not come across it until recently. Yet somehow any number of conservative politicians and pundits can’t stop talking about how teaching it endangers our children and our republic.
[…]
The “anti-CRT” campaign is massive. Conservative politicians and pundits are using this fake issue to whip their followers into a frenzy. Fox News has mentioned “critical race theory” some 1,300 times in the past three and a half months. Viral videos denouncing CRT have been viewed a combined thirty million times. Legislators in 22 states have introduced legislation to ban or limit the teaching of CRT, again without ever accurately defining or describing it.
Where else have the Republicans and the right-wing pundits created boogeymen?

How about all the laws that the Republicans have passed against trans people?

What about immigrants and Muslims?

And what about the Black Lives Matter movement?

The Republicans and the right-wing pundits are very good at stirring up fear and hate.

In a USA Opinion article the writer says, “That is why the policies promoted by governors, typically Republicans, that critical race theory should be banned from their state’s public schools are so idiotic, so irrelevant, and so manifestly designed to add fuel to the fires of the culture war.” 

New York magazine article said,
The Heritage Foundation has supplied pseudo-intellectual credibility to the crusade against CRT, and Fox News has been its chief propagandist, with a reported 1,300 on-air references to CRT in just the last three-and-a-half months.

But to an ever-increasing extent, it’s the MAGA wing of the Republican Party at the center of this appropriately paranoid movement, as Politico explains:

Former top aides to President Donald Trump have begun an aggressive push to combat the teaching of critical race theory and capitalize on the issue politically, confident that a backlash will vault them back into power …

“This is the Tea Party to the 10th power,” Steve Bannon, Trump’s former adviser who has zeroed in on local school board fights over critical race theory, said in an interview. “This isn’t Q, this is mainstream suburban moms — and a lot of these people aren’t Trump voters.”
The Republicans and their far right-wing news outlets are very, very good at creating fear.

[/RANT]

This And That In The News

A potpourri of short news article that have caught my attention…
Opinion: Texas should not deny transgender people their full citizenship
Houston Chronicle
Letters to the Editor
July 25, 2021


Regarding “Senate Panel to Revive Transgender Bill,” (July 13): This is absolutely not about sports. Conservative lawmakers need that small slice of ultraconservative voters to push them over the finish line. This is a strategic decision as they exploit both their conservative Christian voters and LGBTQ+ Texans. Listening to senators talk about “a child’s genitalia” is one of the most disturbing experiences of my life.

Just as women were denied their rights because of their bodies, the transgender population is also being denied their full citizenship. When your opportunity to participate in society depends on your body — whether that is skin color, your physical ability or your private parts — instead of your inherent worth as a human being — that is the foundation for discrimination. Make no mistake: This isn’t about sports. It’s about power.

Molly
She got that right it is all about energizing their base and to force us back into the closets.

Then the next two articles are about the courts.
Federal judge grants injunction in lawsuit involving transgender Bridgeport [West Virginia] student-athlete
12WBOY
July 21, 2021


An 11-year-old transgender student-athlete from Bridgeport has gained an early victory in a federal lawsuit filed against state and local education officials over the state’s law banning transgender athletes from competing in female sports.

U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin granted the plaintiff’s motion for a preliminary injunction, meaning that while the suit, on behalf of Becky Pepper-Jackson, continues, the state cannot enforce the law and Pepper-Jackson will be allowed to sign up for school athletics, as any girl would.

Pepper-Jackson was hoping to join the school’s cross country and track and field teams.
The judge said…
Judge Goodwin wrote that he has “been provided with scant evidence that this law addresses any problem at all, let alone an important problem” and that “this law both stigmatizes and isolates” Pepper-Jackson and that she “will be irreparably harmed if this law were to take full effect.”

Goodwin also found that there is a likelihood that the suit will be successful in its claim that the law violates the Equal Protection Clause and Title IX.
I believe that the Supreme Court case Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia last year paved the way for this ruling, in the court’s ruling they said that sexual orientation and gender identity are components of “sex.”

The other article is about federal courts overturning the draconian state laws against us.
Federal Courts Keep Shooting Down Anti-Trans Laws. Will That Hold at SCOTUS?
Slate
By Mark Joseph Stern
July 22, 2021


At the start of his Wednesday order blocking a West Virginia law that prohibits transgender girls and women from playing many school sports, U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin observed: “A fear of the unknown and discomfort with the unfamiliar have motivated many of the most malignant harms committed by our country’s governments on their own citizens.” He may have understated the problem. The tidal wave of anti-transgender state laws enacted in 2021 are motivated not just by fear, but also by sheer hatred toward gender minorities—a hostility rooted in a rigid conception of sex that aligns with neither scientific fact nor lived experience. So far, most federal judges who have assessed these laws see that discriminatory impulse. But the battle will soon reach the Supreme Court once again. And it is far from clear that a majority of the justices, some of whom share this anti-trans animus, are prepared to halt this nationwide assault on trans equality.
BINGO! “A fear of the unknown and discomfort with the unfamiliar have motivated many of the most malignant harms committed by our country’s governments on their own citizens.” That is the reasons so many discriminatory laws are on the books… people being afraid of people who are different. People who look different, people who talk differently, people who worship differently, and people who sexual orientation or gender identity is different from them. What they really want it to turn back the clock to the mythical world of “Father Knows Best.
None of these laws arose organically out of a mass movement against transgender Americans. It was, rather, manufactured by anti-LGBTQ groups working hand in glove with Republican politicians in search of a new wedge issue. The law firm Alliance Defending Freedom, which supports imprisonment as a penalty for same-sex conduct, led the charge; ADF’s attorneys drafting the model legislation that countless Republicans copied, pasted, and pushed onto the statehouse floor. These lobbyists, along with their GOP allies, focused primarily on transgender youth, passing off their campaign as a compassionate effort to “protect children.”
These hatrers are generated by the wedge politics that the conservatives hate politics that the Republicans push.

In an article in Psychology Today they write,
Peer-reviewed research shows that conservatives are generally more sensitive to threat. While this threat-bias can distort reality, fuel irrational fears, and make one more vulnerable to fear-mongering politicians, it could also promote hypervigilance, perhaps making one better prepared to handle an immediate threat.
Now you know what drives the ring-wing conservatives… fear.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Pride = Courage

We sometimes forget the origins of Pride, that it was march to overthrow oppression. It wasn’t a bar crawl, it wasn’t floats of corporate sponsors but it took real courage to march.
In the eyes of the law we were still criminals… That is what Pride is.
Thousands march in Hungary Pride parade to oppose LGBT law
USA Today 
By Justin Spike Associated Press
July 24, 2021


BUDAPEST, Hungary — Rising anger over the policies of Hungary’s right-wing government filled the streets of the country’s capital Saturday as thousands of LGBT supporters marched in the annual Budapest Pride parade.

March organizers expected record crowds at the event and called on participants to express their opposition to recent steps by populist Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government that critics say stigmatize sexual minorities in the Central European country.

Budapest Pride spokesperson Jojo Majercsik said this year’s march is not just a celebration and remembrance of the historical struggles of the LGBT movement but a protest against Orban’s current policies targeting gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer people.
That is what Pride is about.




Saturday, July 24, 2021

Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh

Saturday 9: Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh (1963)

On Saturdays I take a break from the heavy stuff and have some fun…


Unfamiliar with this song> Hear it here.

1) TV writer Allan Sherman based this song on his own son's letters of complaint from camp. Did you go away to summer camp?
No, and I am glad that I didn’t. I went to a day camp and I hated it.

2) Our camper is afraid of both bears and alligators. What animal scares you?
Well it depends…
On what the circumstances are when we meet.
A spider crawling over your face and waking you up is pretty scary. A grizzle bear in a zoo isn’t scary but a grizzle bear that you met on a trial is.
So what scares me?
Poisonous snakes.
I had a copperhead curled up on my front sidewalk sunning itself on the flagstones. I told it don’t move until I get back with a long handled shovel from the garage to flatten it with, but alas it was going by the time I got back.

3) One of his fellow campers developed poison ivy rash. Have you ever experienced redness and itching caused by poison ivy or poison suma?
Poison ivy many times. One time I fell in to a patch of it and by the time I got home rashes were beginning to form.
Pro tip: Wash the affected area with straight dish detergent, it take the oil form the poison ivy right off.

4) Early in his career, Allan Sherman created the game show I've Got a Secret, which became a big hit. What's your all-time favorite TV game show?
Well I used to watch “I’ve Got a Secret” all the time, now it is Jeopardy.

Updated 8:10
There used to be a local TV show "What In The World" that had a panel of know-it-alls that I watched and enjoyed.


5) In 1959 he moved from New York to Hollywood, where he transitioned from writing to performing almost by accident. As a lark, he entertained at the parties of his next-door neighbor, Harpo Marx. A recording company executive heard him and offered him a contract. Tell us about the last party you attended.
My grand niece and nephew graduated from high school & junior high.

6) Allan Sherman got unexpected press attention and a boost in record sales when it was discovered that President John F. Kennedy was a fan. What's something you purchased because of a recommendation from someone else (friend, relative, celebrity endorsement ...)?
I can’t remember anything… sorry.

7) In 1963, the year "Hello Mudduh, Hello Fadduh" was popular, Studebaker stopped producing cars in the United States. What was your family car when you were growing up?
A ‘55 Chevy, Oldsmobile, Buicks… a lot of Buicks, more Chevys, a Vega… I wish that we didn’t, and an Opel.

8) Also in 1963, Vogue magazine did a cover story on how make wearing white "new and exciting." What color do you look best in> Is it the color you wear most often?
Blue as in blue jeans with a white tunic.

9) Random question: Have you ever gone on to have a platonic relationship with a former lover?
Not really, when our paths crossed from time to time we were always cordial. One still has me on speed dial.

Thanks so much for joining us again at Saturday: 9. As always, feel free to come back, see who has participated and comment on their posts. In fact sometimes, if you want to read & comment on everyone's responses, you might want to check back again tomorrow. But it is not a rule. We haven’t any rules here. Join us on next Saturday for another version of Saturday: 9, "Just A Silly Meme on a Saturday!" Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, July 23, 2021

The Library - The Newest Battlefield

I love the town library, I take book out at three in the morning or I can borrow a movie, or an audio book whenever or wherever I want. But there are those who want to destroy the libraries because of their liberal polices of not censoring books.
Right-Wingers are taking over library boards to remove books on racism
Most of these opposition groups purport to be homegrown & grassroots, all have access to numerous national right-wing organizations.
LA Blade
By Special to the LA Blade
July 19, 2021


By Eleanor J. Bader | NILES, IL – When Joe Makula decided to run for the board of the Niles-Maine Public Library in Niles, Illinois, this spring, a community member asked him how he thought the library could better serve the area’s increasingly diverse community.

Many were stunned by his response: “Instead of stocking up on books in seven different languages, if we got people to assimilate and learn English better, I think we would do more good in that area than increasing our inventory of foreign language books.”
[…]
But despite, or perhaps because of, his political outlook, Makula — who did not respond to Truthout’s request for an interview — won the April election and now holds a seat on the library board; two other fiscal conservatives were also elected.
From there it all went down hill.

Not only did they cut the funding for the library which resulted in less staff and fewer hours the library was open but also promoting “traditional values.”

Nationwide there is a push to take over libraries board and they are getting support national organization that are labeled as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The Niles-Maine Public Library is not the only program facing draconian cutbacks or a right-wing takeover. In fact, in places ranging from Kootenai County, Idaho, to Ann Arundel County, Maryland, to Lafayette Parish, Louisiana, to the town of Frisco, Texas, local efforts are underway to limit what libraries offer — especially when it comes to promoting racial equity and gender inclusivity.

Some locales are making opposition to critical race theory — either through books or community lectures and discussions — their core focus, but other locations are adding virulent opposition to comprehensive sex education and LGBTQIA+ acceptance in a trio of concerns. What’s more, while most of these opposition groups purport to be homegrown and grassroots, all have access to the support and resources (including model legislation) of numerous national right-wing organizations. These include the Alliance Defending Freedom, the American Legislative Exchange Council, the Family Research Council, Family Watch International, the Heritage Foundation and Project Blitz, as well as right-wing media outlets such as Breitbart, Fox News, the Daily Wire, Newsmax and the Washington Free Beacon. All told, NPR reports that as of late June, at least 165 local and national groups are working to “disrupt or block lessons on race and gender,” in both traditional classrooms and public spaces.
What got the hackles of the conservatives up?
In today’s world, of course, the Red Menace is no longer dominant; instead, critical race theory, feminism and anything affirming a continuum of gender identities have jelled into a new bogeyman.

And nothing sticks in the conservative craw like Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH).
[…]
Lambda award-winning author Julia Watts found herself the target of right-wing animosity in 2019. Shortly after her 2018 novel, Quiver, was published, Watts was invited to read at LitUp Festival, an event sponsored by the Knox County, Tennessee, Public Library System. “It was going to be a big event to encourage teen readers with a lot of programming put together by the kids,” Watts told Truthout. She says she was pleased to be invited — and then shocked to have the offer rescinded.
Books like In Our Mother’s House, Heather Has Two Mommies, Daddy’s Roommate, Call Me Max, George and I Am Jazz are being yanked from shelves because they don’t promote the conservative lifestyle of the “Father Knows Best” era.

The article ends with,
And that [young people being introduced to ideas about diversity and inclusion], she says, represents a threat to white supremacists — and an incredible opportunity for organizing, whether through electing people who support diversity to library boards, or mobilizing community support for inclusive programming through mass meetings, street protests, petition drives or public demonstrations.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We are facing the same thing in the town where I live with the school board. We have a “non-partisan” school board but in reality it allows far right-wing supporter to fill the seats. The only newspaper to cover the board elections is a right-wing newspaper and the questions they ask the candidates are non-controversial, so you end up with a pig in a poke.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

The Courts Taketh It Away, The Courts Giveth

Yesterday I wrote about the horrible court ruling where we can be deadnamed and misgendered, well here are two “good” court rulings.
Federal judge grants injunction in lawsuit involving transgender Bridgeport student-athlete
WBOY Ch 10
July 21, 2021


CHARLESTON, W.Va. – An 11-year-old transgender student-athlete from Bridgeport has gained an early victory in a federal lawsuit filed against state and local education officials over the state’s law banning transgender athletes from competing in female sports.

U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin granted the plaintiff’s motion for a preliminary injunction, meaning that while the suit, on behalf of Becky Pepper-Jackson, continues, the state cannot enforce the law and Pepper-Jackson will be allowed to sign up for school athletics, as any girl would.
[…]
Judge Goodwin wrote that he has “been provided with scant evidence that this law addresses any problem at all, let alone an important problem” and that “this law both stigmatizes and isolates” Pepper-Jackson and that she “will be irreparably harmed if this law were to take full effect.”

Goodwin also found that there is a likelihood that the suit will be successful in its claim that the law violates the Equal Protection Clause and Title IX.
Thank you Supreme Court in last years ruling that we are protected under Title IX!

Then down in Arkansas another court block another draconian law.
Judge blocks Arkansas' ban on gender-affirming care for transgender minors
The ruling "sends a clear message to states across the country that gender-affirming care is lifesaving care," Holly Dickson of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas said.
NBC News
By Jo Yurcaba
July 21, 2021


A federal judge temporarily blocked an Arkansas law Wednesday that would have banned physicians in the state from providing transition-related health care — such as hormones and puberty blockers — to transgender minors.
[...]
Judge James M. Moody Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas heard arguments in the case Wednesday morning, granting the ACLU's request for a preliminary injunction against the law, which was scheduled to take effect next week.
And of course the Attorney General will fight the injunction.
The suit names Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and members of the Arkansas State Medical Board as defendants.

Rutledge told NBC News in an email after the ACLU filed the suit that she would “aggressively defend Arkansas’s law which strongly limits permanent, life-altering sex changes to adolescents.”
And all the Republican states chimed in…
The state received support from 17 state attorneys general who filed an amicus brief in the case — a move that attorneys have said is largely unprecedented, the 19th reported.
In an article on Spectrum News they said,
U.S. District Judge Jay Moody found that the plaintiffs were likely to succeed with their challenge and that allowing it to be enforced would hurt transgender youth currently receiving the treatments.

“To pull this care midstream from these patients, or minors, would cause irreparable harm,” Moody said.
These cases are only round 1 in a long and drawn out process that will probably go all the way to the Supreme Court.

My guess that these cases when the states deny us healthcare will be seen in violating the First Amendment and Section 1557 of the Affordable Cares Act (Obamacare).

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

The Courts Did It Again

They okay’d harmful speech in long term care facilities as protected speech.

Pictured this… you are suffering from a fatal disease in your senior years and you are confined in a hospice, the staff uses the wrong pronouns and deadnames you causes undue emotional and physiological harm but there is nothing you can do about it because the court ruling that they have a First Amendment right to cause you harm.
Nursing homes can deadname transgender seniors, court rules
Using a trans senior's birth name allows nursing home staff “to express an ideological disagreement" with a person's gender identity, one judge wrote.
NBC News
By AP
July 20, 2021


LGBTQ rights advocates said Monday that they will seek to challenge an appeals court decision tossing out part of a California law designed to protect older transgender residents in nursing homes.

The 2017 law is intended to protect against discrimination or mistreatment based on residents’ sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Third District Court of Appeal [Third District of the California Courts of Appeal.] overturned the part of the law barring employees of long-term care facilities from willfully and repeatedly using anything other than residents’ preferred names and pronouns. In doing so, the law banned employees from using the incorrect pronouns for trans residents, also known as misgendering them, or using their legal name, also known as deadnaming them.

That ban violates employees’ rights to free speech, the court ruled Friday.
What about our rights!

Using our deadnaming and misgendering causes us harm!
“The pronoun provision at issue here tests the limits of the government’s authority to restrict pure speech that, while potentially offensive or harassing to the listener, does not necessarily create a hostile environment,” she wrote, adding italics to “potentially” and “necessarily.”
So deadnaming and misgendering “…does not necessarily create a hostile environment…” spoken by a cisgender white judges.
Democratic state Sen. Scott Wiener, who carried the law, said deliberately using the wrong name or pronoun is “straight up harassment” and “erases an individual’s fundamental humanity.”

But causing us anxiety, depression, and other medical problems is okay. The Washington Blade wrote,
“The Court’s decision is a beyond disappointing, especially for our state’s transgender and nonbinary seniors. Let’s be clear: refusing to use someone’s correct name and pronouns isn’t an issue of free speech — it’s a hateful act that denies someone their dignity and truth,” said Equality California’s Executive Director Rick Chavez Zbur.

“Study after study has shown that trans people who are misgendered face alarming and life-threatening rates of depression and suicidal behavior. And older LGBTQ+ people face feelings of isolation, poor mental health and extreme vulnerability to communicable diseases like COVID-19. California’s nursing home patients deserve better than this — and we’ll be fighting until this decision is overturned,” he added.
In another Washington Blade article they quote Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco)…
“The Court’s decision is disconnected from the reality facing transgender people. Deliberately misgendering a transgender person isn’t just a matter of opinion, and it’s not simply ‘disrespectful, discourteous, or insulting.’ Rather, it’s straight up harassment. And, it erases an individual’s fundamental humanity, particularly one as vulnerable as a trans senior in a nursing home. This misguided decision cannot be allowed to stand,” Senator Wiener said in a statement.
But our rights take a backseat.

Courts after courts have ruled that there are limits to the First Amendment when it causes harm to others, they are called “fighting words,” Cornell Law School says this about fighting words.
Fighting words are, as first defined by the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) in Chaplinsky v New Hampshire, 315 U.S. 568 (1942), words which "by their very utterance, inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace. It has been well observed that such utterances are no essential part of any exposition of ideas, and are of such slight social value as a step to truth that any benefit that may be derived from them is clearly outweighed by the social interest in order and morality."
“…by their very utterance, inflict injury…” the Third District Court of Appeal seems to have forgotten that little item or do not consider us harmed by the microaggressions.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Love Destroys The Hate

There are pockets of love and hate tries to destroy them but we can fight it, it is not easy, it is not a one time deal, and it takes a commitment to keep hate at bay.
The Tenacious Unicorn Ranch made a transgender haven. Then the violent threats began
Reuters
By Leah Millis
July 16, 2021


WESTCLIFFE, Colorado, July 16 (Reuters) - The ranch hand walks along rocky ground, the beam of her flashlight cutting through the moonlit night. She holds a shotgun loosely at her side during her patrol of an alpaca ranch founded as a haven for transgender and non-binary people.
[…]
Logue says she saw that many in the LGBTQ community had nowhere to feel safe and struggled to find employment, housing, and peace of mind.
The hate began with a canceled 4th of July parade and then the protesters started to come to town over the canceled parade, that the article says was more like “a Nazi propaganda parade.”
Messages and calls expressing transphobic hatred and disdain for the ranchers' anti-fascism began then, according to Logue. Reuters has reviewed several hostile and anonymous online messages, two containing death threats. One was an image manipulated to show a gun pointed at the ranch house.
The Custer County Sheriff Shannon Byerly spoke at an Oath Keepers rally so when threats were made going to the sheriff was out of the question.

Now she sleeps with a rife.
May Quinty Dynamic, a transgender woman from Denver, was among the volunteers. Dynamic said she was thrilled to be surrounded by so many other transgender people. She met Logue, who, like her, also began to transition at the age of 35.
So far her love for the trans community has survived the community of hate.



Meanwhile here in New England, summer camp is not an armed camp. Camp Aranu'tiq is a camp for trans youth and this 2014 is about the summer camp.
US: Camp Aranu’tiq provides trans youth a safe, accepting summer camp experience
Pink News
By Katies Dupere
August 13, 2014


A non-traditional summer camp is making a difference for transgender and gender-variant children who are often barred from the experience of summer camp.

Camp Aranu’tiq was founded by Nick Teich, a transgender man, in 2009.

The camp gives transgender and gender-variant youth a chance to experience a summer camp that affirms their gender and recognises their experience as trans kids.

According to The Huffington Post, Teich had grown up with a love for summer camp, eventually becoming a camp counselor.

When he transitioned in his twenties, however, he was told that it would be too “Jerry Springer” for him to be a summer camp volunteer.

To help trans children and adults still have access to the summer camp experience, he founded Camp Aranu’tiq.

In Chugach, the language of an Alaskan indigenous group, aranu’tiq means a person who embodies male and female spirit.
The camp is still going strong and the radio talk show Radio Boston mentioned the camp at the end of the show.
Local Summer Camps Provide More Than Just Fun In The Sun
WBUR
By Amanda Beland and Tiziana Dearing
June 21, 2021


We take listener calls with Michele Rowcliffe, the president of American Camp Association, New England, which accredits hundreds of day and sleepaway camps in the region; and Nick Teich, CEO and Founder of Harbor Camps, which operates a handful of programs including Camp Aranu'tiq, for transgender and non-binary youth.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Incitement To Violence

The right-wing is at again, they are calling for violence against us over a so-called incident at a spa in Los Angeles.
40 People Were Arrested After A Right-Wing Media-Fueled Protest Against A Trans Woman Using A Spa
It was the second time violent protesters have gathered in Los Angeles outside Wi Spa, though little has been confirmed about any incident involving a trans woman.
BuzzFeed News
By Ryan Brooks
July 18, 2021


Forty people were arrested as protesters and counterprotesters clashed outside a Los Angeles spa over transgender rights Saturday, according to the LAPD.

This is the second time protests have turned violent outside the spa since a video of an angry woman confronting staff went viral last month. In the video, the woman yells at staff that a trans woman was nude on the women's floor of Wi Spa in Koreatown and claims other women customers were offended.
The protests have been hyped by Fox News fanning the protests which resulted in violence over an incident that has raised questions of being faked.

The facts surrounding the video, and even whether a transgender woman was actually at the spa, haven't been confirmed. The spa told the Los Angeles Blade that none of its regular transgender clients were scheduled for appointments the day of the incident.
The LA Blade reported that,
Alleged Trans incident at upscale LA Spa may have been staged
The video quickly made the rounds in far right, and Trans-Exclusionary Feminist (TERF) sites and Anti-trans “feminist” websites.
By Robert Lansing 
July 7, 2021


LOS ANGELES – On June 24th, Instagram user “cubaangel” posted a video of herself angrily confronting a staff member at the Wi Spa in Koreatown, accusing them of letting a disrobed transgender person into the women’s section of the business.

There is increasing doubt among law enforcement and staff at the Wi Spa whether there was ever was a transgender person there to begin with. Anonymous sources within the LAPD tell the Blade they have been unable to find any corroborating evidence that there was a transgender person present on that day.

Similarly, a source at the Spa told the Blade there’s no record of any of its usual transgender clients on its appointments guest list on the day in question. Treatment at the Spa is by appointment only, and most of its transgender clients are well known to the staff.

The Q Voice News asked these questions about it.
Was a social media video posted last month about an alleged incident of a transgender woman in the women’s changing area of a Los Angeles area spa a hoax?
Hoax is the wrong word, fraud would be a better word. The article goes on to say…
  • Shortly after the video went viral in transphobic parts of the internet, members of the trans community raised questions about it:
  • Why does the footage end as the woman marches downstairs to confront this person she’s allegedly seen?
The woman repeatedly mentions children being exposed to a penis, but no children appear on the video and the group doesn’t appear to have any children with them.
These early doubts have been bolstered by reporting from the Los Angeles Blade. In that article, police suspect the alleged incident is a hoax because no witnesses were found who saw a trans woman at the spa, and Wi Spa says none of their trans clients had scheduled appointments that day.
It would not be the first time that the right-wing staged an incident to stir up hate against us. In 2008 an incident was staged at a local gym. They don’t care if they lie as long as it stirs up hate.
The Daily Beast
By Danika Fears
July 08, 2021


Earlier this month, violent protests erupted outside a Korean spa in Los Angeles after a customer complained in a viral Instagram video about a naked transgender woman being allowed in the female section of the facility. But authorities have yet to find any evidence that a transgender person was at the Wi Spa that day, suggesting the entire incident might have been staged, the Los Angeles Blade reports. The outlet also points out that the Instagram user who uploaded the video—which made its way to Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show—has an account that posts mostly Christian memes, raising questions about why she would’ve gone to a spa that’s well known for being accepting of LGBTQ customers. A protest in support of the Instagram user turned violent over last weekend, with a video showing one right-wing demonstrator hitting a filmmaker with a pipe and another pulling out a gun, telling those around him it’s “something to shoot you with.”
To me that sure sounds like an incitement to riot.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

“Gay” Paradise

[Essay]
The other day I went in to Provincetown MA otherwise known affectionately know as “P’town.”

I figured that it would be deserted, but when I came down Cromwell St. and went to turn on to Bradford St. there people everywhere and turning on to Commercial St. I had to wait for an opening in the foot traffic. Down Keegan St. and over the rainbow crosswalk to the parking lot.

The parking lot on McMillan pier was full. I had to drive around it a couple of times to find a space, I saw a family of five heading down one of the aisle so with parking skills developed over decades, I stalked them, so with my car in stealth mode running on the electric motor I followed them and was rewarded with a parking space.

As I was waiting to for them to back out of their space a lesbian couple walked by, the kids in the family that I stalked did do anything when they saw the couple, no giggling, poking elbows… it was a non-factor.

Walking down Commercial St. I heard my name called and I looked around but all I saw was masked faces. Someone called my name again and he pulled down his mask… Ah. It was my contractor sitting on the park bench in front of the town hall. I wanted to say why are you not working to install my new windows, but instead I said "Hi" and made smalltalk.

As I continued walking along Commercial St. you can’t help notice all the rainbow flags and a couple of trans and Bi flags flying, almost every store has one flying.

I have a theory why P’town at the very tip of Cape Cod is so “LGBTQ+” friendly. As we were driven out of other towns and places they keep heading father and father out toward the tip of the Cape and finally Provincetown was the last place they couldn’t be driven out because there was no other place to go.

The visit Provincetown website says,
Gay and Lesbian History of Provincetown: Tolerance, Harmony, and Open Spirit
It is no coincidence that for more than 50 years, the gay and lesbian community returns every summer to Provincetown. The recent development/tourism development of Provincetown owes much to this community here where one can find a place to feel at home.
In reality it probably became so gay friendly because of the artists and the writers. P’town was a sleepy Portuguese fishing village until the Roaring Twenties. The Cape was a bootleggers dreams, and P’town at the end of the Cape and other towns had harbors and inlets where the smugglers could unload.
When the railroad came to Provincetown, according the New England Historical Society…
The railroad, though, brought tourists to enjoy Provincetown’s wide, sandy beaches. So did the steamer from Boston and later, Route 6. Portuguese families discovered they could make a little extra money by taking in boarders. While the Portuguese men were away fishing, their wives accommodated visitors, often nice single men. They returned year after year, and they grew friendly with their hostesses.

From then and there, Provincetown was only a few steps away from becoming a gay mecca. But the town’s unique subculture had its roots in a long-ago past.
[…]
Unlike other colonial towns, Ptown didn’t get a charter. And unlike other Puritan towns, it didn’t have to support a minister. The residents lived outside of the Puritans’ strict social order. Well outside.
Then came the playwrights, poets, and artists, Tennessee Williams and Eugene O’Neill, and artist like Marsden Hartley and Charles Demuth with miles and miles of deserted beaches and dunes no body cared what happened on the beaches and dune shacks.
The Atlantic House (also known as the A-House) may possibly be the oldest gay nightclub in the U.S. It was built by Provincetown’s first Postmaster, Daniel Pease, in 1798, and was a hangout for some of America’s most well-known writers in the 1920s. The town became truly “gay-friendly” back in the early 1950s and has remained so to this day. It is one of the largest LGBTQ-friendly communities in the country.
The movie “Packed In a Trunk: The Lost Art of Edith Lake Wilkinson” is about a lesbian artist who lived in P’town in the twenties when Provincetown was the host to the artist colony.

When I was around thirteen my parents and a neighbor rented a cottage for 2 weeks in North Truro my parents took it for a week and the neighbors took for a week so us kids had two weeks in the Cape and our parents go a week vacation with out the kids. I remember when we went into P’town my father use to call it bohemian lifestyle. When we walked the streets there were street artist galore, every nook and cranny had a portrait or character artist in it. Now looking back at that I realize that “bohemian lifestyle” was a code word gays. Little did I know back then that I would have cottage just down the road from P’town and that I would be attending Fantasia Fair one of the oldest trans conferences in the US. Besides Fan Fair, there is Bear Week and Women’s week which is just before Fan Fair.

And then there is Carnival!



Two years ago I went to see the parade on Thursday… it was amazing!

Provincetown goes from a population of 3,000 to almost 100,000 for the parade.

I would have to say P’town is “The” most friendly LGBTQ+ accepting place on the east coast and free thinking for the common people. Northampton is also very LGBTQ+ but I think P'town won just by a nose;  I have heard that on the west coast that Palm Springs is the same way but from what I have seen it is for the rich “GAYs” and sadly P’town could be heading the same way.

One of the biggest problems that they have on the Cape is finding cooks, waiters, store clerks and other employees. At one time they lived in apartments above the stores but now they all have been converted into condos… condo that sell for $200,000 or $300,000. When I was looking for a cottage the real estate broker had a condo that was one room with a sleeping loft on Commercial St. with no parking that was almost $300,000!

The towns around P’town are trying to build low income housing but the residents keep shooting the zoning changes down and then they complain that they can’t find summer help.

Like all coastal towns P’town is in metamorphosis, where it ends up we have to wait and see. Will it be inundates the nouveau riche driving land prices out of sight? Will mega yachts take over the harbor? Will cruise ships dump thousand of passengers on the streets of P’town?
[/Essay]

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Saturday 9: Purple People Eater

Sam’s Saturday 9: Purple People Eater (1958)

On Saturdays I take a break from the heavy stuff and have some fun…


Unfamiliar with this song? Hear it here.

1) When actor Sheb Wooley brought this song to MGM Records, they initially rejected it, saying it just wasn't the kind of thing they wanted to be associated with. Then executives discovered how popular the audition recording was with the 20-somethings in the office. MGM released it after all and it became a #1 hit. Tell us about a time you were glad you changed your mind about something.

Not going to party with Phil Collins.

Yup, you read right I could have partied with Genesis and Phil Collins, instead I studied for an engineering test… which I flunked.

They played in the gym at Rochester Institute of Technology on a weeknight in the gym and there were about 25 – 30 people in the audience and Phil Collins invited everyone to come and party with them.

2) This song has been so enduringly popular that in the 1970s, the Minnesota Vikings defensive line referred to themselves as the Purple People Eaters. What football team do you root for?

None.

I am not into sports, I just understand why people get worked up over a sports team or an athlete.

But I do have an interesting story about Purple People Eaters*.

3) The song was initially inspired by Sputnik, the satellite launched by the Soviet Union in 1958. In the 21st century, do you think space exploration is a worthwhile public investment? Or would you prefer governments spend that money here on earth?

YES!

We need to be changed and dream as a society otherwise we are no more than ants.

Space exploration pushes our knowledge and many inventions come out of that exploration.

It doesn't have to be an either or, it is the politicians who made it that way. Back in the 60s and we could afford both space exploration and the social safety net. The money spent on space exploration is less than 1% of the budget.

Update 8:55 I think space exploration can be used to bring manufacturing back to the US

4) The Purple People Eater is a visitor from another planet. When you imagine creatures from outer space, are they frightening or friendly?

The odds are that there are intelligent creatures and if there are beings that explore the universe then I think they would find us quite boring.

5) This record was the biggest hit Sheb Wooley ever had. He was better known as an actor, costarring with Clint Eastwood on the 1950s TV show, Rawhide. What's your favorite Clint Eastwood movie?

I liked Rawhide but not many other Clint Eastwood movies.

6) Sheb and Clint remained buddies and appeared together decades later in The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976). Tell us about one of your longest-lasting friendships.

Actually my longest-lasting friends are fading away being replaced by new friends.

7) In 1958, when this song was popular, hula hoops were a national craze. Did you ever play with a hula hoop? If yes, were you good at it?

Yes I had a hula hoop and I was horrible at it.

8) Also in 1958, Arnold Palmer won his first Masters Golf Tournament. When did you most recently play golf?

Um… never. Now if you are talking about miniature golf than it was a couple of years ago that I played and I loved it.

9) Random question: Do you believe women gossip more than men?

I can answer this from a unique perspective, and they both do it the same amount.

Thanks so much for joining us again at Saturday: 9. As always, feel free to come back, see who has participated and comment on their posts. In fact sometimes, if you want to read & comment on everyone's responses, you might want to check back again tomorrow. But it is not a rule. We haven’t any rules here. Join us on next Saturday for another version of Saturday: 9, "Just A Silly Meme on a Saturday!" Enjoy your weekend!

* Purple People Eaters: There was a DJ who had a group of loyal followers called the Purple People Eaters. I think the DJ was JoeyReynolds and he was on WPOP or WDRC. I remember that he moved to a clear channel radio station in Buffalo NY that we used to listen to in the parking lot of McDonald’s.

~~~~~~~~

Last weekend Tropical Storm Elsa came through with high winds gusting to 60 mph on Friday and almost no rain on the Cape but back home there was widespread flooding so I decided to drive home on Saturday. At hone we had about 2.5 inches of rain in about 3 hours Hence the reason why I didn't post any comments on your blogs.

Friday, July 16, 2021

According to Blogger...

I have;
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Maybe He Did

Earlier this month the Supreme Court refused to hear a case about a Christian florist and let stand the Washington state Supreme Court verdict.
A timid court, and an uncertain future for religious freedom (pt. 1)
The Christian Post
By Rick Plasterer, CP Op-Ed Contributor
July 15, 2021


The loss of the long-running case involving Barronnelle Stutzman of Washington State, a great-grandmother and proprietor of Arlene’s Flowers, should be cause for both alarm and resolve among committed Christians. In 2014 she declined to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding involving a long-time friend and customer.

Without an initial compliant, the Attorney General of Washington and later the ACLU sued both her business and also Stutzman in her personal capacity. Despite two appeals to the Supreme Court, each after a loss in the Washington State Supreme Court, the U.S. Supreme Court finally declined to take her case on July 2. This leaves her with attorney’s fees for the other side which could close her business and take her personal assets.

Cases involving the clash of religious freedom and the sexual revolution, in which Christians are required to facilitate sinful behavior or express ideas that they believe are wrong have gone from uniform losses when they first appeared early in this century to mixed results in the late 2010s. A rapid review of important cases and decisions follows in this article, and assessment of the proper response to the current situation in the next.
When you open a business you have to take care of every customer. Period. If they don’t want to do that then they shouldn’t be in business. Would it be okay to refuse a black person because the Bible says it is okay? Would it be okay to refuse a Muslim or a Jew? Why do they think that they can pick and chose which customer to serve?

One of the commenters hit the nail right on its head…
Baronelle Stutzman's legal team, the Alliance Defending Freedom, advocates for criminalizing homosexuality in the United States. They've provided free legal support to anti-gay groups seeking the same in Jamaica, Belize, and Brazil.

This was never about flowers.
What will happen if they violate someone else’s religious beliefs? Who beliefs win out? Do you need to be a member of an organized religion or can it be just your own beliefs?

Picture this scenario…
You see a homeless people in the park and you offer to buy them Happy Meals from McDonald’s, then you get arrested for feeding the homeless people in the park because there is a city ordinance against feeding homeless people there. You plea not guilty because it violates you deeply held moral beliefs that no one should go hungry. You are not a religious person but you belief that it is morally wrong to let anyone starve. Does the Religious Freedom Act protect you from arrest?

Then Fox News had this to say,
SCOTUS decision on refusing service to same-sex couple was 'devastating,' Christian florist says
Barronelle Stutzman stands by her strong faith in God despite setback
By Sam Dorman
July 15, 2021


Christian florist Barronelle Stutzman is encouraging others to maintain their faith in God as she deals with the fallout of what she described as a "devastating" decision by the Supreme Court.
[…]
Amid the adverse ruling, the 76-year-old grandmother is standing by her convictions and faith in God.

"Sure, I want to win, and yes, I want everything to go smooth, but He doesn’t promise that," she said. "He just says be obedient and be faithful, and that’s what we’re supposed to do. I mean, it’s just a trust level all the way around. If you don’t trust in God’s word, then you don’t have anything to trust in."
Okay lets stop for awhile and look what she said, “Amid the adverse ruling, the 76-year-old grandmother is standing by her convictions and faith in God.” The ruling didn’t go the way that the Christians wanted, they wanted to be able to discriminate against people but the court said that is wrong. Did they ever stop and think maybe God wanted that ruling because God is telling them that it is wrong to discriminate against people?

The courts are opening a big, big can-of-worms when they delve into religion and the First Amendment. One nation, one law.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Wuhan

The federal government is looking in to if COVID-19 escaped from the Wuhan labs to cause a global plague and we all should stop and think what that means.

This should make all of very, very nervous.

Wuhan Labs is a BSL-4 lab, the highest rating in protection from bio hazards. 

Biosafety Level 4 (BSL-4)

BSL-4 laboratories are used to study infectious agents or toxins that pose a high risk of aerosol-transmitted laboratory infections and life-threatening disease for which no vaccine or therapy is available. The laboratories incorporate all BSL 3 features and occupy safe, isolated zones within a larger building or may be housed in a separate, dedicated building. Access to BSL-4 laboratories is carefully controlled and requires significant training.

If it escaped from the lab that means what we think of maximum protection from bio hazards is not fool proof.

There is a Level 4 lab just miles from Connecticut on Plum Island, it was located there after World War II because of its isolation and it would make it harder for the diseases that they study there like cholera, anthrax, foot-and-mouth disease, and bubonic plague to get out in to the environment.

Now it is being moved to Kansas right in the middle of cattle country. They are building a brand spanking new Level 4 building at Kansas State University's Manhattan campus. Why is it being built in the middle of cattle country and not on some isolated island in Long Island Sound a thousand miles from cattle country… it isn’t because of science but because of politics. According to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientist:

Since the late nineteen-nineties, Pat Roberts, the Kansas senator, had been pushing for a biodefense facility in the state; he hoped to transform Manhattan into the “Silicon Valley for biodefense.” In 1999, at Roberts’s urging, three K-State faculty members—Ron Trewyn, a biology professor and dean, and Jerry and Nancy Jaax, medical-defense experts who’d appeared as characters in Richard Preston’s 1994 book “The Hot Zone”—developed a plan for a facility that could study infectious disease in plants, animals, and the food supply. In 2008, a version of their proposed lab opened as a BSL-3 facility called the Biosecurity Research Institute. By then, D.H.S. had begun considering sites for N.B.A.F. Roberts personally appealed to administration officials, hosting them on visits to K-State. He told a joint session of the Kansas state legislature that “securing this facility would be one of, if not the greatest, economic development initiatives in state history.”

Now these very same Republican senators are calming that COVID-19 escaped from a Level 4 lab just like the one being built in Kansas.

The Kansas protesters have accepted their inability to divert the juggernaut of political and economic interests that favor N.B.A.F. In 2019, the billboard above Highway 18 that once declared “No NBAF Germ Lab!” displayed an ad for the Parkwood Inn & Suites, touting its location, just ten blocks from Kansas State.

It is moving ahead as is a given and the very same senators who want it moved are calling for an investigation of Wuhan, and they don’t see the irony in it.

Wired News said…

“Everyone will tell you, it always comes down to the people,” Trewyn said. They have been the Achilles’ heel of lazarettos throughout history. Of course, the NBAF is carefully engineered to lower the risk of human error. 

Where Has Civility Gone?

Through you Mister Speaker…

When I first went to listen to the debate on the non-discrimination bill in the Connecticut House I was intrigued by the way the debate was handled, none of the representatives addressed each other directly but addressed the Speaker of the House.

It would go something like this…

A housemember would say: Through you Mr. Speaker I would like to ask the good member from Hartford why...

And the Speaker would repeat the question to the representative.

I thought this as being rather peculiar but then someone told me that they do that to keep the debates civil. It is kind of hard to get into a shouting match if you have go through an intermediary.

When I started to give testimony at hearings for bills I realized that support for the bill was split right down party lines I was a little nervous having to field questions from the Republicans but their questions were not mean but rather inquisitive they asked intelligent questions and always addressed me as Miss.

Now compare that to what happened down in Texas when trans people testified.

TX Special Session – Anti-trans sports bill advanced out of committee
Planet Transgender
By Kelli Busey
July 13, 2021


Austin TX: Republican Senators took advantage of the Democrat’s absence Monday and bullied, lied to, misgendered, and insulted every transgender person in Texas before calling the first gender-expansive witness to testify.
[…]
It is always the worst day of the year to testify at the Texas legislature, but Monday was the worse by far. The transgender people in the Senate gallery, waiting to testify, were subjected to an extremely hostile environment, the likes this citizen/reporter has never seen. If this had taken place in a workplace or on the corner in front of a seven-eleven someone would have been sued or it would have been called a hate crime.

That is so totally wrong and unprofessional. It is more like the Republicans are in a bar and not on the floor of the most prestigious building in Texas, they showed that they have no respect to for the citizens  who took time off from work to do their civic duty nor the institution that they were elected to by the people.

When I was in the Legislative Office Building both in hearing rooms and in the building I was treated with respect and dignity something that the Texas Republicans don’t seem to have. They have become not but a bunch of thugs.


Hate has become the new “Normal.” Before hate was kept out of sight, societal pressures kept them quite but now thanks to Trump hate was given the green light, the hater crawled out of the swamp into the light of day.

You can see it all the from the Texas legislature to a library in Wyoming.

Transgender woman cancels Wyoming magic shows after threats
AP
July 14, 2021


GILLETTE, Wyo. (AP) — A magician and comic has canceled performances at libraries in northeastern Wyoming because of online and phoned in threats over a social media post about her being a transgender woman, she said.

The Campbell County Library posted on its Facebook page that Mikayla Oz, 24, was cancelling shows planned for Wednesday and Thursday in Gillette and Wright out of safety concerns for herself, library staff and patrons, the Gillette News Record reported.
[…]
She was initially willing to do her show despite some complaints, but then she started receiving violent and frightening threats online and by telephone, she said.

The haters won.

How do you think that we can get the haters to crawl back into the swamp. There has always been haters but the hate was covert but now it is overt and violent, how do we change that?

I am serious, how do you think we can end this rash of hate crimes? I am on a council that is supposed to advise the governor on how to end hate crimes and I would like to hear your ideas.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Trans Friendly States

The HRC* tracks how friendly states are to their LGBTQ+ residents and Connecticut is up near the top of the list. I think that we all know the least friendly states are but what about the most friendly states?
Is your home state LGBTQ friendly? See how your state measures up.
A lot of people may assume their state is friendly, but in reality, 25 states — half of the 50 United States — are rated in the lowest category.
LGBTQ Nation
By Juwan J. Holmes
February 9, 2021


Do you believe your hometown or locale is a friendly place for LGBTQ people? What about your state or territory?

For the seventh year in a row, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has released its State Equality Index, which comprehensively details how each state affects LGBTQ people and their families, based on laws and policies that either harm or improve the quality of life. A lot of people may assume their state is friendly, but in reality, 25 states — half of the 50 United States — are rated in the lowest category, meaning they are in “High Priority to Achieve Basic Equality,” HRC said.
[…]
The HRC specifies that, despite the court ruling [U.S. Supreme Court decision Bostock v. Clayton County], there are still 27 states where “LGBTQ people remain at risk of facing discrimination due to the lack of statutory protections.”
When Virginia flipped from Republican to Democrat so did it policies on LGBTQ+ issues,
“For example, the landmark Virginia Values Act passed and signed into law, making Virginia the first state in the South to adopt non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people,” David noted.
At the top of the list are a bunch of states that are vying for first place;
The 19 states were California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington state.
Then comes a bunch of states that show improvement,
Two states, Virginia and Iowa, were deemed to be “Solidifying Equality,” second to the “Innovative” rating.

Four states were ranked as “Building Equality” by HRC: Kansas, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Wisconsin.
In Connecticut we have just about every protection there is and then some. I think Connecticut has the only legislative committee on LGBTQ+ issues to advise the legislature and also the governor created a council to advise him on hate crimes and the council includes LGBTQ+ members.

I think that here in Connecticut we now have to focus our efforts on education and enforcement of the laws we have. And we need to focus on improving the quality of life here not just for us but also other minorities and also how to end hate crimes and force the haters back in the closet.

An article in the Hartford Courant Cultural divisions cast shadow on carnival in Unionville; activists call for Connecticut fairs to ban ‘symbols of hate’  says,
The bitter political divisions that have gripped the United States in recent years made for an unpleasant experience for several fairgoers who left complaining about Trump flags, the lack of masks even among food handlers, and alleged harassment of a young man carrying a Pride banner.
[…]
Prescott said it’s time for fairs, carnivals and festivals to ensure everyone feels welcome.

“People of color and the LGBTQ community should be able to go to family friendly events and have a good time. But time and time again it is clear that we aren’t safe anywhere,” she wrote.
The LGBTQ Nation article ends with...
The HRC rating, however, may further motivate Lone Star state lawmakers to take action, Outsmart notes. The recently formed Texas House LGBTQ Caucus made clear to the publication that “the fight for equality in Texas is far from over.”
Yeah right, and I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I want to sell you.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

In Time Of Turmoil.

With age comes wisdom and one of the things that I have notice is that in times of turmoil authoritarian/dictatorial governments thrives. We are in a time of socioeconomic stresses… more people are facing food insecurity, are just barely making ends meet, and have stagnated wages and they are looking for scapegoats.

The politicians are eager to throw them a bone to the proletarians and who do they focus on? People who are different; immigrants, Muslims, Jews, Blacks, Asians, and LGBTQ+ people.

And the working class are ready to eat it up.

In the Week Noah Millman writes an opinion article...
Europe is becoming a right-wing continent
The overall political climate in Europe has been trending rightward for some time


For a certain kind of American liberal, it's almost a reflexive gesture to wish the United States were more like Europe. There, health care is provided on a more egalitarian basis and a university education is much cheaper, if not free; sexual mores are more relaxed and gun ownership is rare; religion is vestigial and militant nationalism is strictly taboo. Widespread European distress over the presidencies of George W. Bush and Donald Trump only confirmed what American liberals knew: that the Old Country was also the dreamland of their imagined liberal American future.

I wonder how it will feel when Europe becomes distinctly more right-wing than the United States.

It's not an inconceivable prospect. The United Kingdom has a Tory government right now, and based on current polling their position looks increasingly secure. France's centrist president Emmanuel Macron would likely be re-elected if the election were held today, but Marine Le Pen's right-wing National Rally party polls considerably higher today in a one-on-one contest with Macron than it did in 2017. Italy's fragile coalition could be followed by a right-wing coalition of Matteo Salvini's Lega and the neofascist-derived Fratelli D'Italia.

Even in Germany, where the Christian Democrat Angela Merkel's 16-year rule is coming to a close, the next government may once again be a coalition led by the CDU/CSU, if not with the center-left SDP, then in a "Jamaica coalition" with a reinvigorated center-right FDP joining the Greens by their side.
And in Poland and Hungery are the right-wing politicians are eager to throw a bone to the proletarians, this time it is us and not the Jews.
EU considers legal action against Poland over "LGBT-free" zones – sources
Reuters
By Gabriela Baczynska, and Joanna Plucinska; editing by John Stonestreet
June 30, 2021


BRUSSELS, June 30 (Reuters) - The European Union's executive is considering legal action against Poland over "LGBT-free" zones set up by some local authorities there, two officials told Reuters.

The EU says LGBT rights must be respected in all member states, but Poland's ruling nationalist party has made anti-gay policies part of its governing platform.

In March it explicitly banned same-sex couples from adopting children, while more than 100 towns and areas have declared themselves "LGBT-free".

"We are checking if there is a violation of EU treaties" in the creation of those zones, said one EU official, adding the process has not yet been completed. A second official confirmed the Brussels-based executive is looking into the issue.
And then in Hungry,
Hungary rejects EU demand to ditch 'shameful' anti-LGBT law
Reuters
By Gabriela Baczynska and Robin Emmott
July 7, 2021


BRUSSELS, July 7 (Reuters) - Hungary on Wednesday rejected a demand from the European Commission and many EU lawmakers to repeal new legislation banning schools from using materials deemed to promote homosexuality.

Last month, EU leaders lambasted Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban over the legislation in a tense discussion behind closed doors, with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte telling Budapest to respect EU values of tolerance or leave the bloc.

"Homosexuality is equated with pornography. This legislation uses the protection of children as an excuse to discriminate against people because of their sexual orientation," Ursula von der Leyen, head of the EU's executive Commission told the European Parliament. "It is a disgrace."
Why are we targeted?

For one thing Eastern Europe is heavily Catholic, another is because Evangelical Christians went had a talk to the nationalist party leaders… Hey look, they are the low hanging fruit.
In Europe today, the most viable traditional parties are often mainstream right-wing parties that have sought to coopt the nationalist right's issues — most notably Boris Johnson's Tory Party, which eclipsed UKIP by adopting Brexit for itself — or parties self-consciously constituted around the technocratic center so as to unite the mainstream against the far right. True left-wing parties like Jean-Luc Mélenchon's in France or Jeremy Corbyn's Labour have largely fizzled. Meanwhile, the far right continues to produce new phenomena, most recently France's Eric Zemmour, who has outflanked Le Pen on the right by being even more nationalist than she is.
So why do I think that we are facing a time of Fascism* across the globe?

Simply because of the oligarchs.

The One Percenters, or more specially the Quarter of a Percent Percenters.

Wages have been stagnated for a generation while the One Percenters skimmed the top off and left us the dross.

As the middle class start to feel the pinch of stagnate wages and inflation they are ripe for a revolution… But the upper class is prepared for that not with guns but with Trump. Ha. Ha… Trump yeah right. You are kidding right?

Stop and think, it is not so much Trump per se, but look who his base is. White supremacist, QAnon, Proud Boys, etc, etc. A name for them in the thirties were Hitlers’ Brown Shirts, and Mussolini's Black Shirts.

It is rising again, I hope that I am wrong, but I see a rise in Fascism.
~~~~~~

What I think needs to be done right now is increase the top tax brackets, bring back the estate tax to break up the fiefdoms, and raise the minimum wage. 

I also see Poland and Hungary breaking off from the EU to form Fascists' governments 

Bring back the middle class.

*Fascism: when I say that I mean...
1: often capitalized : a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition
2: a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control
early instances of army fascism and brutality
— J. W. Aldridge

Monday, July 12, 2021

What Do Anti-Trans Laws And Critical Race Theory Have In Common?

We actually have a lot in common (Hint: Look at the title of the article), take a look at why the Republicans are attacking CRT…
The engineered conservative panic over critical race theory, explained
CNN
By Brandon Tensley
July 08, 2021


Spare a thought for critical race theory. It wasn't always a conservative bogeyman.

Especially over the past several months, Republican leaders have distorted CRT -- an academic frame that scholars such as Kimberlé Crenshaw have been using in graduate-level courses for decades to interrogate how the legal system entrenches racism -- into a catchall to describe things they don't like.

In this bastardized telling, CRT is whatever Republicans want it to be; it comes in many guises. "Black Lives Matter" is one name for CRT. "Social justice" is another. "Identity," yet another. "Reparations." "Ally-ship." "Diversity."

But to linger on what CRT is, or isn't, is to miss the more pressing concern: Why have Republicans latched onto a decades-old academic term?

Here are a couple of hints: “Republican leaders have distorted...” and “In this bastardized telling...” does those phrases ring a bell?
Because so many Americans don't know what CRT is, it's the perfect tool for scaring White conservative voters with made-up problems -- for mobilizing them against the racial awakening of the past year. Here's how we got here:
That was a big hint! “Because so many Americans don't know what…”
The backlash to CRT echoes the 1960s
The panic over CRT is hardly the first time that the US has seen such ethnonationalist fearmongering.

In a recent Twitter thread, Pomona College politics professor Omar Wasow argued that one way to understand the anxiety over CRT is as "a reactionary counter-mobilization."
[…]
In the year since the murder of George Floyd and the renewed demands for racial justice, Republicans have once again detected a need to reposition themselves, to turn a cultural shift into a sense of crisis that they can use to their advantage. (Republicans are doing something similar in their war against transgender students, as The Atlantic's Adam Serwer keenly pointed out.)
What the Republicans are doing is trying to redefine, refocus the national discussion on race and on us, to make us and CRT the bogymen. Because not many people understand CRT or us they can easily distort the message and tell their lies.

The article in the Atlantic that they cite is…
The Republican Party Finds a New Group to Demonize
The recent wave of anti-trans legislation follows a decades-long pattern of the GOP targeting those they think lack the numbers or votes to properly fight back.
By Adam Serwer
April 13, 2021


[…]
The interview represented a shift in conservative politics, as the Republican Party moved from demonizing one group of Americans to another. The time for blaming the nation’s problems on gay people was over; now was the time to come together as a country and blame our problems on Muslims. For the past 30 years, the GOP has pursued a consistent strategy: Find a misunderstood or marginalized group, convince voters that the members of that group pose an existential threat to society, and then ride to victory on the promise of using state power to crush them.
Then after the gays they turned their hate mill on immigration,
Also during this period, Republicans pursued a series of draconian anti-immigration laws modeled after Arizona’s S.B. 1070, criticized by immigrant advocates as the “show me your papers” law, because it allowed police to stop anyone they suspected of being undocumented, effectively requiring noncitizens—or anyone who might be mistaken for one—to carry proof of status at all times. Such proposals were a clear license for racial profiling. As with the anti-Sharia legislation, Republican elected officials across the country fell all over one another in an effort to display their animosity toward immigrants by passing or proposing similar legislation. The Supreme Court struck down much of the Arizona bill in 2012 on the grounds that it conflicted with federal law, which takes precedence on issues of immigration.
[…]
Again and again, Republicans have targeted groups they believe too small or too powerless to spark a costly political backlash. By attacking them, the GOP seeks to place Democrats in a political bind. If they decline to bow to demagoguery, Democrats risk looking either too culturally avant-garde for the comfort of more conservative voters—whose support they need to remain viable—or too preoccupied with defending the rights of a beleaguered minority to pay attention to bread-and-butter issues that matter to the majority. This strategy has worked in the past—President Bill Clinton, who signed the federal statute outlawing same-sex marriage in 1996, was no Republican. Many people across the political spectrum accept the premise that defending a marginalized group’s civil rights is “identity politics,” while choosing to strip away those rights is not.
So now it is our turn and CRT’s turn.

It is designed to drive a wedge by creating a false flag to divert attention from them. Where else have we seen misdirection by the Republican party? Ooh, ooh, I know!!! Voter fraud.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

All The World Is A Stage, Including LA Spa

We have seen it before where the evangelical Christians in the past have fabricated incidents and it is beginning to look like they didn’t it again.
Alleged Trans incident at upscale LA Spa may have been staged
The video quickly made the rounds in far right, and Trans-Exclusionary Feminist (TERF) sites and Anti-trans “feminist” websites.
LA Blade
By Robert Lansing
July 7, 2021


On June 24th, Instagram user “cubaangel” posted a video of herself angrily confronting a staff member at the Wi Spa in Los Angeles, accusing them of letting a disrobed transgender person into the women’s section of the business.

There is increasing doubt among law enforcement and staff at the Wi Spa whether there was ever was a transgender person there to begin with. Anonymous sources within the LAPD tell the Blade they have been unable to find any corroborating evidence that there was a transgender person present on that day.

Similarly, a source at the Spa told the Blade there’s no record of any of its usual transgender clients on its appointments guest list on the day in question. Treatment at the Spa is by appointment only, and most of its transgender clients are well known to the staff.

Several other factors cast doubt on the veracity of the claims in the video. Cubaangel’s Instagram account is almost exclusively Christian memes, which begs the question why she chose to go to a high-end spa well known for being LGBTQ friendly. During Cubaangel’s video, no transgender person can be seen, and no other witnesses have come forward to confirm the allegations made. It’s also not the first time Wi Spa has been targeted for catering to transgender people. After the alleged, unconfirmed incident, Wi Spa was deluged with 1-star Yelp! and Trip Advisor reviews.
[...]
All of this fits into an emerging pattern of the alt-right, anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists, violent far right groups like the Proud Boys, the religious right, and anti-trans “feminists” collaborating and coordinating as they share the same media streams. Rhetoric against transgender people in popular right-wing media like Fox News has grown both more frequent, and more extreme. In April, Tucker Carlson (who serves as a gateway to the far right) declared that transgender people are a threat to the “perpetuation of the species.”
This would not be the first time that the Christian right has pulled that stunt and made other false claims, they make splashy headlines and when the truth comes out it is buried inside. The damage has been done.

In 2015 I wrote about in 2008 Rio Sport and Health about how it was a set-up to rally support against a gender inclusive non-discrimination bill.

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Saturday 9: Mairzy Doats

Sam’s Saturday 9: Mairzy Doats (1944)

On Saturdays I take a break from the heavy stuff and have some fun…
Unfamiliar with this song? Hear it here.

1) While today this is considered a children's song, "Mairzy Doats" was a #1 hit and a staple on radio stations in 1944. Do you know any of today's most popular songs? (Here's this week's Hot 100.)
Nope, not a one.

2) One of the song's writers recalled that the song was inspired by an old English nursery rhyme. Tell us a rhyme you remember from childhood.
Hickory Dickory Dock

3) This week's group, The Merry Macs, was formed by three brothers -- Judd, Joe and Ted McMichael -- who learned to harmonize at home. Did you grow up in a musical household?
Nope, we were a tone deaf family.

4) When the McMichaels decided their new group needed a woman's voice, they asked Cheri McKay to join them. Realizing all their names began with Mc, they began calling themselves The Merry Macs. Have you ever performed with a singing group? (Yes, that garage band you played in after school counts.) If yes, what was your band called?
Nope… boy this Sat 9 is going fast.

5) The Merry Macs' first gigs were playing high school dances. Do you have any memories of school dances you'd like to share this morning?
Um… not really the only dance I went to was the senior prom and that was over 50 years ago!
Hold it, hold it, hold it! I just remembered, it is not for high school but grad school I have some good memories... the good memories was making it to graduation with my classmates.

6) Once their recording career took off, The Merry Macs went to Hollywood. They appeared in a film with the comedy team of Abbott and Costello. Who last made you laugh?
I thought, and I thought and I came up with nothing.

7) In 1944, when "Mairzy Doats" topped the charts, sunscreen was invented. It was first developed to protect soldiers during WWII, and that original formula was sold to Coppertone. Do you regularly use sunscreen?
Yes and I should have used it when I went to P’town the other day the top of my head was a little sensitive.

8) Also in 1944, a board game called Murder! was introduced in England. In 1949 it made its way to the United States and was renamed Clue. It's still popular today. Can you name any of the original 6 "characters" in the Clue game? (Extra credit: One was replaced in 2016; who was it?)
Never played it.

9) Random question: The new house you just bought comes with a big mirror on the ceiling of the master bedroom. Would you take it down or leave it there?
No ifs, ands, or buts, take it down

Thanks so much for joining us again at Saturday: 9. As always, feel free to come back, see who has participated and comment on their posts. In fact sometimes, if you want to read & comment on everyone's responses, you might want to check back again tomorrow. But it is not a rule. We haven’t any rules here. Join us on next Saturday for another version of Saturday: 9, "Just A Silly Meme on a Saturday!" Enjoy your weekend!