Thursday, November 30, 2023

403 Years Ago (Part 2)

They say history is written by the victors, but sometimes it is rewritten, and rewritten. The latest rewrite occurred in the 1950s.
November 21, 2019

On a recent Saturday morning in Washington, D.C., about two dozen secondary-and-elementary-school teachers experienced a role reversal. This time, it was their turn to take a quiz: answer “true” or “false” for 14 statements about the famous meal known as the “First Thanksgiving.”

Did the people many of us know as pilgrims call themselves Separatists? Did the famous meal last three days? True and true, they shouted loudly in unison. Were the pilgrims originally heading for New Jersey? False.

But some of the other statements drew long pauses, or the soft murmurs of people nervous about saying the wrong thing in front of a group. Renée Gokey, Teacher Services Coordinator at the National Museum of the American Indian and a member of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, waited patiently for them to respond. The teachers at this Nov. 9 workshop on “Rethinking Thanksgiving in Your Classroom” were there to learn a better way to teach the Thanksgiving story to their students, but first, they had some studying to do. When Gokey explained that early days of thanks celebrated the burning of a Pequot village in 1637, and the killing of Wampanoag leader Massasoit’s son, attendees gasped audibly.


But some of the other statements drew long pauses, or the soft murmurs of people nervous about saying the wrong thing in front of a group. Renée Gokey, Teacher Services Coordinator at the National Museum of the American Indian and a member of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, waited patiently for them to respond. The teachers at this Nov. 9 workshop on “Rethinking Thanksgiving in Your Classroom” were there to learn a better way to teach the Thanksgiving story to their students, but first, they had some studying to do. When Gokey explained that early days of thanks celebrated the burning of a Pequot village in 1637, and the killing of Wampanoag leader Massasoit’s son, attendees gasped audibly.
But when you tread on history you have to walk lightly because some people hold on to tradition and don’t like the facts.
What really happened back in the fall of 1621 is documented in only two primary sources from colonists’ perspectives. Edward Winslow’s account of the bountiful harvest and the three-day feast with the Wampanoag people runs a measly six sentences, and Plymouth Colony Governor William Bradford’s later account is about the same length—evidence, argues historian Peter C. Mancall, that neither colonial leader considered the event worth more than a paragraph. As Plymouth became part of Massachusetts and Puritans gave way to the Founding Fathers, nobody thought much about that moment. When George Washington declared a national day of Thanksgiving in 1789, his proclamation of gratefulness made no mention of anything related to what happened in Plymouth. Then, around 1820, a Philadelphia antiquarian named Alexander Young found Winslow’s account. He republished it in his 1841 Chronicles of the Pilgrim Fathers, with a fateful footnote: “This was the first Thanksgiving, the harvest festival of New England.”
Let us wave the Red, White, and Blue… this is what makes us great! We have Thanksgiving! Lets have parades and marching bands dressed up like Yankee-doodle, pumpkin pie and turkey dinners with all the fixings!
But that’s not what was included in the classroom materials about Thanksgiving that began to be developed in the wake of Lincoln’s proclamation, especially between the 1890s and 1920s, according to former Plimoth Plantation historian James W. Baker’s Thanksgiving: The Biography of an American Holiday. The settlers were re-branded the “pilgrims.” An 1889 novel Standish of Standish: A Story of the Pilgrims by Jane G. Austin, which described “The First Thanksgiving of New England” as an outdoor feast, became a best-seller. In 1897, an illustration by W.L. Taylor of a meal like the one Austin described accompanied a piece in Ladies Home Journal that was presented as a factual article about the first Thanksgiving; thanks in part to the growth of the advertising industry at this time, variations of this image spread quickly.
In 1941 Thanksgiving was made a national holiday. Before then it was celebrated at different days in November. The National Archives writes;
To end the confusion, Congress decided to set a fixed-date for the Thanksgiving holiday. On October 6, 1941, the House passed a joint resolution declaring the last Thursday in November to be the legal Thanksgiving Day. 

The Senate amended the resolution establishing the holiday as the fourth Thursday, which would take into account those years when November has five Thursdays. The House agreed to the amendment, and President Roosevelt signed the resolution on December 26, 1941, establishing the fourth Thursday in November as the federal Thanksgiving Day holiday. The law went into effect the following year.
And so the Christmas shopping season was created!


The Meaning of Thanksgiving, as Told Through Cold War Propaganda
A heartwarming 1950s holiday film about the virtues of capitalism
The Atlantic
By Kathy Gilsinan
November 26, 2014

The Johnsons, a fictional Midwestern family, are in for a letdown one Thanksgiving in the 1950s. Expenses were high the previous month, and while the kids are getting stoked for turkey, it falls to their mom to tell them the truth: There will be no turkey this year. Little Tommy is incredulous: "No turkey for Thanksgiving?" Dick, the oldest, notes that everyone else on the block will have a turkey. "A fat lot we're gonna have to be thankful for," he sulks.


A Day of Thanksgiving came out in 1951, in the context of the early Cold War, with American troops battling communists in Korea and Senator Joseph McCarthy kicking his investigations of suspected American communists into high gear. As such, the film extolls the virtues of capitalist democracy—even, as in the Johnsons' case, when you can't afford turkey. After all, Thanksgiving, as O. Henry pointed out at the turn of the 20th century, "is the one day of the year that is purely American." And America, per Mr. Johnson, is a set of freedoms and privileges that, by the 1950s, has produced abundance beyond the pilgrims' imaginings. "Do you know," Johnson asks his kids, "that there are some places in the world today where you have to get along without just about everything else" besides life itself?
Without Thanksgiving what would Norman Rockwell have to paint? Without Thanksgiving what would Macy's do?

Of all magazines to right about Thanksgiving, Science News had an interesting take on it.
Memory often favors a tidy narrative over the messier reality of history
By Sujata Gupta
Social Sciences Writer
November 21, 2023

Ask someone in the United States to name five events important to the country’s foundation and there’s a good chance they’ll mention the Pilgrims.

That’s what researchers found a few years ago when they put that question to some 2,000 people. The Revolutionary War, Declaration of Independence, Christopher Columbus’ “discovery” of the Americas and the Civil War topped the list. But coming in seventh place were the Pilgrims, the team reported in 2022 in Memory Studies.

The “Thanksgiving myth” is part of that tale, says coauthor and cognitive psychologist Henry Roediger, also at Washington University. The shorthand for that story, he says, goes like this: In 1621, the Pilgrims and Native Americans “had this peaceful meal and powwow [while] singing kumbaya.”

The two groups did engage in a peaceful harvest celebration in the fall of 1621, history suggests. But historians are quick to point out that the tidy tale ignores context, particularly the deadly diseases and bloody wars that devastated Indigenous populations both before and after the occasion.


Origin stories like the Thanksgiving one are particularly sticky as they underpin a group’s raison d’être. Fixing or changing the story risks muddying the plot and tearing apart the group, says Van Engen. “The Pilgrims just become right for telling [the] stories … that we want to tell about ourselves.”


But scholars are starting to grapple with how nations should contend with difficult pasts. “How do you keep a strong national identity and patriotism while at the same time acknowledging the more negative aspects of your history?” Roediger asks. The answer, as evidenced by increasing calls for racial reckonings in the United States and elsewhere, is very much a work in progress.
We must learn from the past! Not only from our roots but from global history, especial from the events in Europe in the 1920s and 1930s.
For that 1621 Thanksgiving, the complex historic arc goes like this. Up to 90 percent of the Wampanoag population had died from an epidemic brought by a previous wave of European explorers by the time the Pilgrims arrived in December 1620 in what’s now Massachusetts. The weakened community faced threats from an encroaching neighboring tribe. Meanwhile, the Pilgrims, unaccustomed to the new environment and climate, were dying of starvation and disease.
That got the right-wingers howling and started this whole “Woke” business.

The right-wingers picture Thanksgiving as “over the river and through the woods to grandma’s house...” and anyone who tampers with their fantasies watch out.
My thoughts:
Thanksgiving is a rough holiday for some and we have to keep that in mind, for the “haves” it is family, a table overflowing with food, and laughter. For the “have-nots” it can be a lonely time, it can be a time famine and empty plates. We need to be aware of these two diametrical opposites.

Thanksgiving might have been created with an ulterior motive to unify the country and build patriotism but it has warp into something else a time to be with family. But the harvest celebrations are found through out history and in all different cultures.

So enjoy your leftovers. (That is also part of the tradition)   

403 Years Ago (Part 1)

This is a reprint from last year, I figured it was fitting as I drive up to Cape Cod today...

The Pilgrims landed on Cape Cod and most of the history that we learned about it is wrong.

The New York Post has this article about the Pilgrims…
Pilgrims’ descendants defend their ancestors — and the history of America
By Peter W. Wood
November 21, 2020

Rebecca Locklear, 64, a 12th-generation Cape Codder, is a descendant of four of the families who arrived on the Mayflower in November 1620. She worries that society today, “is put into groups that are supposedly in a struggle against one another, rather than looking for commonality” — a view that opposes “the more open, inclusive society that the signers of the Mayflower Compact envisioned.”
Locklear and Whitaker both wrote to me after they read my recent New York Post essay, “This American Lie.” In it, I argued that The New York Times’ 1619 Project — which links the beginning of our country to the arrival of the first slaves on our shores in 1619 — is completely wrong. Instead, the Pilgrims’ signing of the Mayflower Compact in 1620 is a more accurate root of our nation, which is built on the idea that “all men are created equal.” Even before the Pilgrims and dozens of non-Pilgrims (or “Strangers” as the Pilgrims called them) stepped ashore in Plymouth, they set aside their deep divisions and voluntarily joined together to sign the Compact, agreeing to govern themselves with “just and equal laws.” After settling in Plymouth, this group lived in peace alongside their Native American neighbors, the Wampanoags, in a treaty that was unbroken for more than 50 years. In 1621, the autumn harvest meal between the Plymouth colonists and the Wampanoags marked the first ever Thanksgiving feast in America.
Yes, the Mayflower Compact was an important document but they brought over slaves and indentured servants. And they didn’t live in peace with the indigenous population… Did you ever hear of the King Phillip War and the Pequot War?

First off the Mayflower wasn’t just carrying Pilgrims, there were also Brownists or Separatists who were fleeing England on board the Mayflower.
The Mayflower compact is a significant historical document, the "wave-rocked cradle of our liberties", as one historian evocatively put it. Signed by the Pilgrims and the so-called Strangers, the craftsmen, merchants and indentured servants brought with them to establish a successful colony, it agreed to pass "just and equal laws for the good of the Colony" 1
The Mayflower first stop in “New World” (which was really only the “New World” if you came from Europe because the indigenous peoples lived here for tens of thousands of years.) wasn’t Provincetown, they first stopped in Newfoundland to resupply, probably at Renews in Newfoundland. And they were actually heading for the Hudson River where they had a charter from the Virginia Colony to settle.

The Pilgrims had slaves and indentured servants (a fancy word for slaves).
Just as their brutality has traditionally been downplayed, the Puritans' embrace of slavery has been ignored. Not only did the colonists import African slaves, they exported Native Americans. By the 1660s, half of the ships in Boston Harbour were involved in the slave trade. At least hundreds of indigenous Americans were enslaved. 1
Provincetown was a known harbor, fishing fleets from England, France, Portugal, and Spanish ships all stopped there to resupply and get fresh water. The Grand Banks are only a couple of hundred miles offshore.
In an article in the Cape Cod Times they write...
Myth: The Pilgrims were the first Europeans to land in Southern New England and to interact with the Native people.
The commonly told version of the 1620 Mayflower landing is that the Pilgrims were the first Europeans to step onto the shores of Massachusetts. According to historic accounts, however, Europeans had been visiting New England since at least the late 1400s. The Basques, English and French had a thriving fishing industry off the coast of Maine and New England. The first documented European to make contact with either the Narragansetts or the Wampanoags in Southern New England was Italian explorer Giovanni de Verrazano, who, in 1524, while sailing for the French, traveled up Narragansett Bay and traded with the Native people he found there. 6
The BBC article also mentioned earlier contacts with Europeans,
It's also a mistake to view the arrival of the Mayflower as the first interaction between white settlers and indigenous North Americans. Contact with Europeans had been going on for at least a century, partly because slave traders targeted Native Americans. When the pilgrims came ashore, a few members of the Wampanoag tribe could even speak English. 1
While sitting out in Provincetown harbor they realized that they didn't have a charter to settle there and there were no laws governing them. So they got this idea… The Mayflower Compact.
Quickly, the Pilgrim leadership drafted a rudimentary constitution to “combine our selves together into a civil body politick”—which would, through democratic process, enact “just and equal laws…for the general good of the Colony.”
In reality, the signing was probably more of an informal affair, Pickering says. “The document was carried from person to person: ‘Here—sign this!’ There was also a bit of coercion involved. You weren’t getting off the boat until you signed.” 2
And they were not good neighbors… They stole the Wampanoag food!

Oh look somebody buried corn in clay pots!
To narrow it down to the outermost areas of Cape Cod, the Nauset tribe, which was part of the Wampanoag Nation, would likely have been watching and wondering what the intentions of the Mayflower occupants were, Peters said.
“Certainly the Nausets didn’t write down (that) they were watching the Mayflower come ashore, but we absolutely know that they would have. You can’t pull that boat up to the coast and people not notice,” he said. “And for them, it must have been such an odd sight to all of a sudden see women and children step off the ship …”
The text also describes how the exploring party came across “heaps of sand” under which they found baskets of “fair Indian corn” and ears of corn of varying colors. The Englishmen dug up the food stores and stole them.
After stealing their food the Nausets said enough…
“I think they would have thought about that very carefully, and I think they were careful in how they responded,” he said. “Ultimately, they did respond in the ‘first encounter’... you know, shoot some arrows at them to say, ‘OK, time for you to move along. We don’t want to take the risk of having Europeans hanging around here.’ That ultimately pushed them over to Plymouth, which was just a short ride in the shallop for them to get there.” 3
The Wampanoag tells their story for the 400 anniversary of the Mayflower…
The Wampanoag have lived in southeastern Massachusetts for more than 12,000 years. They are the tribe first encountered by Mayflower Pilgrims when they landed in Provincetown harbor and explored the eastern coast of Cape Cod and when they continued on to Patuxet (Plymouth) to establish Plymouth Colony.
Chapter 1: Captured: 1614
In 1614, a European explorer kidnapped twenty Wampanoag men from Patuxet (now Plymouth) and seven more from Nauset on Cape Cod to sell them as slaves in Spain. Only one is known to have returned home: Tisquantum, who came to be known as Squanto. This tragic and compelling backstory to the colonization of Plymouth has been long overlooked comes to life in the exhibit’s dramatic images and video impact statements.
Chapter 3: The Great Dying – 2016
God’s Will or Unfortunate Circumstance?

Between 1616 and 1619 Native villages of coastal New England from Maine to Cape Cod were stricken by a catastrophic plague that killed tens of thousands, weakening the Wampanoag nation politically, economically and militarily. 5
And then came the Mayflower.

As for the first "Thanksgiving" the indigenous peoples were not invited but can a running.
Myth: The Pilgrims and Wampanoags came together in November 1621 for a Thanksgiving feast.
There’s a lot to unpack with this one, and not just because it forms the basis of our country’s Thanksgiving Day story.

First, while the Puritans did have “days of Thanksgiving” they were literally the opposite of a big, fun, family feast. They were usually days of fasting and prayer that maybe would be broken with a larger meal.

Edward Winslow, in his writing about the first few years in Plymouth titled “Mourt’s Relation: A Journal of the Pilgrims in Plymouth,” does mention a celebration marking the settlement’s first successful harvest, probably held around October 1621. Given the context, it certainly wasn’t a huge deal but it would later become one in modern America.

According to Winslow, despite the fact that the Wampanoags had allowed the Pilgrims to live on their land, provided them with aid and taught them how to successfully grow native crops, the Wampanoags were not invited to this celebration. They arrived only after the Pilgrims started shooting their guns into the air. Believing themselves to be under attack, the Wampanoags head sachem, Massasoit, showed up at the settlement with about 90 warriors expecting war. Instead, they found a celebration and they decided to stay, with their hunters bringing in five deer as a contribution. Rather than a happy celebration of camaraderie and partnership, the feast that would serve as the basis of the traditional Thanksgiving myth was actually quite a tense affair, fraught with political implic
The Pilgrims and the Mayflower have been romanticized and the truth has been swept under the rug and glossed over and now on the 400 anniversary of their landing in the “New World” is still trying to be whitewashed and the Trump is creating of the 1776 Commission to continue to whitewash history.

A new Part 2 will be posted this afternoon.

Then And Now


I’m a fan of PBS mysteries and the Perry Mason show, both of which are currently on TV. Both shows involve murders. So what is different about them and shows like FBI, NCIS, and other crime dramas.

Blood and guts.

The Perry Mason shows when there is a murder the body is just lying there, no blood from a gun shot victim while now they have closeup of all the blood and gore. Personally I don’t like it, all the B&G doesn’t do anything to advance the plot. It is all just to draw in viewers.

What does all that blood and guts do to the national psyche?


Wednesday, November 29, 2023

They Have Our Back.

Five former high school employees fired! For standing up against bigotry and they were fired because they would not obey and illegal order to discriminate.
District removes school officials to comply with Ron DeSantis’s strict anti-LGBTQ+ laws
A trans girls' volleyball player led to a principal and four other staff members being investigated.
LGBTQ Nation
By Greg Owen Tuesday
November 28, 2023

A high school principal and four top staff members have been reassigned to “non-school sites” as investigators look for evidence they violated a Florida state law barring “improper student participation in sports.”

According to sources at Monarch High School in Broward County, the student in question is a female athlete who has transitioned or is in the process of transitioning while being allowed to play on the girls’ volleyball team.

A Broward County Public Schools Special Investigative Unit is looking into allegations that school officials allowed the student — who was not assigned as female at birth — to play with other females on the team. The officials who allegedly colluded to allow the student’s participation include principal, James Cecil; Assistant Principal Kenneth May; teacher and Athletic Director Dione Hester; Information Management Technician Jessica Norton; and Alex Burgess, a temporary athletic coach.
Let’s see, the Supreme Court in the case of Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board in 2021 ruled,
Transgender student wins bathroom battle after Supreme Court rejects school board appeal
A lower court had ruled that a transgender bathroom ban was unconstitutional.
ABC News
By Devin Dwyer
June 28, 2021

A transgender man from Virginia has won a years-long legal battle against his former high school over its refusal to let him use boys bathrooms when he was a student.

The U.S. Supreme Court Monday rejected the Gloucester County School Board's appeal of a lower court decision that found its transgender bathroom ban is unconstitutional.

The decision is a major victory for former student Gavin Grimm and transgender advocates nationwide.
NBC reported...
Hundreds of students at a Florida high school staged a walkout on Tuesday after their principal and several other school officials were reportedly reassigned over a transgender student’s participation on the girls volleyball team.


Students at Monarch High School in Coconut Creek, about 15 miles north of Fort Lauderdale, filed out of classrooms and onto the school’s football field at around noon, according to aerial footage from NBC Miami. Some held signs in favor of trans rights, while others chanted “trans lives matter.”The protest came a day after the high school’s principal, James Cecil, and four other staffers were reassigned to non-school sites. It also came amid an ongoing investigation by Broward County officials as to whether the school let a transgender student compete on its girls’ volleyball team, NBC Miami reported, which would violate state law. 
The students know that that the Florida law is bull and discriminatory.

The Supreme Court case kind of overrides a state law, the 14th Amendment trumps a state law.
Broward County Public Schools board member Torey Alston said the investigation was necessary to adhere to the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act,” a signature anti-trans bill signed by failing presidential candidate and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in 2021.

“The investigation will follow the facts and if it is revealed that state law is in question, I could tell you, we will follow state law,” Alston told 7News Miami.
 The Daily Beast wrote,
...A statement from a school district spokesperson in Broward County said the school’s principal, James Cecil, was reassigned due to “allegations of improper student participation in sports,” but didn’t divulge more details..
There are legal challenges to the law, the case was initially thrown out by the judge who was appointed by Trump. Now it is going to the Eleventh Circuit on March 8, 2024.
The administrative purge has inspired one group of Monarch students to organize a protest and possible walk-out in support of Principal Cecil, his colleagues, and the transgender community.

“If we were to just sit here and just get them to go to the boy’s team, then it would look like we are not supportive of people’s perspective on things, like, being a girl or a boy or whatever,” a student organizer said.
So I guest we have to wait until the Eleventh Circuit courts rules on the case.

And in Arizona they are trying to walk all over the First Amendment,
Arizona Republic
By Mary Jo Pitzl
November 28, 2023

Appalled by what they called a lack of control on speech at Arizona State University, GOP lawmakers on Monday said they’ll entertain the prospect of deep funding cuts to the state universities.

“This cancer has infiltrated our academics and our armed forces,” said Sen. Sonny Borrelli, R-Lake Havasu City. “I’m open to how much we gut from the university system.”

Sen. Anthony Kern, who chairs the Ad Hoc Committee on Freedom of Expression at Arizona’s Universities, said the idea will get traction when the Legislature convenes in January.

Kern, R-Glendale, added lawmakers are working on several bills to put “guardrails” around the Arizona Board of Regents, which governs the state’s three universities, including ASU.

Democrats appointed to the panel boycotted the hearing. They called it a waste of time and doubted whether anything would result that would protect the free expression of all points of view.

It seems to me that they tried this back in the late 60s and early 70s over the Vietnam war and didn't work then to stop the protests and it will not stop them now. 

Amazing! An Ally I Never Expected!

We find allies in strange places… how about in the Catholic church? Two stories that blew my mind, the first is out of Africa.
Homosexuality should not be a criminal offence and people should be helped to understand the issue better, a top cardinal from Ghana has told the BBC.
BBC News
By Damian Zane
27th November 2023

Cardinal Peter Turkson's comments come as parliament discusses a bill imposing harsh penalties on LGBT people.

His views are at odds with Roman Catholic bishops in Ghana, who say homosexuality is "despicable".


In July, Ghanaian MPs backed measures in a proposed bill, which has still not completed its passage through parliament, that would make identifying as LGBT punishable with a three-year prison sentence. People who campaign for LGBT rights could also face up to 10 years in jail.

Gay sex is already against the law and carries a three-year prison sentence.

In their statement in August, issued along with other leading Christian groups in the country, the Ghanaian bishops also said that Western countries should "stop the incessant attempts to impose unacceptable foreign cultural values on us", the Catholic Herald newspaper reported.

Cardinal Turkson, who has at times been regarded as a future candidate to become pope, told the BBC's HARDtalk programme that "LGBT people may not be criminalised because they've committed no crime".

"It's time to begin education, to help people understand what this reality, this phenomenon is. We need a lot of education to get people to... make a distinction between what is crime and what is not crime," he went on to say.

The cardinal referred to the fact that in one of Ghana's languages, Akan, there is an expression "men who act like women and women who act like men". He argued that this was an indication that homosexuality was not an imposition from outside.
Wow, just wow! I would have never thought I would see a bishop come out against anti-LGBTQ laws. Episcopal bishops have testified for us but not Catholic priest (They did keep silent on the Connecticut bills).


Meanwhile the Pope does lunch.
New Wave Ministry
By Robert Shine
November 22, 2023

Pope Francis welcomed a group of transgender women, with whom he has formed an ongoing relationship, to a luncheon at the Vatican last week marking the church’s World Day of the Poor.

Some 1,200 people who live in poverty or are unhoused joined Francis for a meal inside the papal audience hall, at tables reminiscent of the Synod assembly held in that same space last month. The Associated Press reported on one notable group of luncheon guests: trans women from just outside Rome, many of whom are sex workers and migrants from Latin America:

“Thanks to the local parish priest [in the Italian town of Torvaianica], these women now make monthly visits to Francis’ Wednesday general audiences, where they are given VIP seats. On any given day, they receive handouts of medicine, cash and shampoo. When COVID-19 struck, the Vatican bussed them into its health facility so they could be vaccinated ahead of most Italians. . .

“‘Before, the church was closed to us. They didn’t see us as normal people, they saw us as the devil,’ said Andrea Paola Torres Lopez, a Colombian transgender woman known as Consuelo, whose kitchen is decorated with pictures of Jesus. ‘Then Pope Francis arrived and the doors of the church opened for us.’


The relationship between Pope Francis and this group of trans women dates to 2020, when they sought help from Fr. Andrea Conocchia because they could not work due to the pandemic. As Bondings 2.0 reported previously, Conocchia and the women asked the pope for assistance which the town’s small parish could not fully provide. Per AP:

“‘The pages of the letters of the first four were bathed in tears,’ he recalled. ‘Why? Because they told me ‘Father, I’m ashamed, I can’t tell the pope what I have done, how I have lived.’’

“But they did, and the first assistance arrived from the pope’s chief almsgiver, who then accompanied the women for their COVID-19 vaccines a year later. At the time of the pandemic, many of the women weren’t legally allowed to live in Italy and had no access to the vaccine.”

Reuters posted a video interview with several of the women, who talk movingly about Pope Francis’ impact on their lives, which is available here.
Who would have thought that the Pope does lunch… with trans people!
By Oriana Boselli, Antonio Denti and Philip Pullella
November 20, 2023

The run-down beach town of Torvaianica is about 35 kms (20 miles) south of the Vatican.

But for transgender women who live there it had seemed light years away until a rapprochement with the Catholic Church that began during the COVID-19 lockdown and led to an invitation to have lunch with Pope Francis on Sunday.

Claudia Victoria Salas, 55, and Carla Segovia, 46, both Argentinian, were in a group of transgender people, among about 1,200 poor and homeless people, who attended the lunch on the Church's World Day of the poor.

To her surprise, Salas, a former sex worker, found herself seated opposite the pope, who is also Argentinian, at the main table in the auditorium, where the pontiff holds his general audiences in winter.

"We transgenders here in Italy feel a bit more human because the fact that Pope Francis brings us closer to the Church is a beautiful thing," Carla Segovia, 46, a sex worker, said earlier this week on the deserted windy beach of Torvaianica.
Maybe, just maybe, the Vatican is turning over a new leaf...
By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press
November 11, 2023

Pope Francis on Saturday forcibly removed the bishop of Tyler, Texas, a conservative prelate active on social media who has been a fierce critic of the pontiff and has come to symbolize the polarization within the U.S. Catholic hierarchy.

A one-line statement from the Vatican said Francis had “relieved” Bishop Joseph Strickland of the pastoral governance of Tyler and appointed the bishop of Austin as the temporary administrator.

Strickland, 65, has emerged as a leading critic of Francis, accusing him in a tweet earlier this year of “undermining the deposit of faith.” He has been particularly critical of Francis’ recent meeting on the future of the Catholic Church during which hot-button issues were discussed, including ways to better welcome LGBTQ+ Catholics.

Earlier this year, the Vatican sent in investigators to look into his governance of the diocese, amid reports he was making doctrinally unorthodox claims.
And a second Cardinal was also punished,
AP  News
November 28, 2023

 Pope Francis has decided to punish one of his highest-ranking critics, Cardinal Raymond Burke, by revoking his right to a subsidized Vatican apartment and salary in the second such radical action against a conservative American prelate this month, according to two people briefed on the measures.

Francis told a meeting of the heads of Vatican offices last week that he was moving against Burke because he was a source of “disunity” in the church, said one of the participants at the Nov. 20 meeting. The participant spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to reveal the contents of the encounter.


Burke, a 75-year-old canon lawyer whom Francis had fired as the Vatican’s high court justice in 2014, has become one of the most outspoken critics of the pope, his outreach to LGBTQ+ Catholics and his reform project to make the church more responsive to the needs of ordinary faithful.

Twice, Burke has joined other conservative cardinals in issuing formal questions to the pontiff, known as “dubia,” asking him to clarify questions of doctrine that upset conservatives and traditionalists. In the first, they asked Francis to clarify his outreach to divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, and Francis never replied. In the second, they asked whether same-sex couples could receive church blessings — and received a conditional maybe in response. 

Has the Pope changed the official policy? Has the Pope become my trans friendly? Has the Pope become an ally? Stay tune for the continuing saga of the Pope’s treatment of us.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

What's In A Name?

We are lucky we get to name ourselves, most people don’t get that chance. For me my main factor in choosing my name was to keep my same initials (I wouldn’t have to throw out my monogrammed pocketbook and other things.)

When I used to do the Q&A type of outreach the number one question was “What was your “real” name?” which I used to dance around telling the students politely that is not a good question to ask a trans person.
“Deadname,” which can be used as a noun or a verb, is among the words that defined 2023, according to Merriam-Webster.
NBC News
By Jo Yurcaba
November 27, 2023

A “deadname” is the name a transgender person was given at birth but no longer uses. The word, which can be used as a noun or a verb, is among Merriam-Webster's words that defined 2023, following a notable increase in searches for the term.

The oldest dictionary publisher in the U.S. announced “authentic” as its 2023 Word of the Year on Monday. Other words that stood out in the publisher’s data, along with deadname, include “rizz,” meaning romantic charm or appeal, and “deepfake,” which is an "image or recording that has been convincingly altered and manipulated to misrepresent someone as doing or saying something that was not actually done or said.”

Searches for deadname increased in March, according to the publisher, as a number of states were considering “parental rights” legislation, which restricts the instruction of LGBTQ topics in schools and, in some cases, requires school staff to notify parents if a student asks to use a different name or pronoun than what they were assigned at birth. Merriam-Webster noted that “deadname” doesn’t appear in the legislation but was often used in media coverage of the issue.
Last month I was a guest lecturer at a college last month and of course someone asked about my “old” name and I hemmed and hawed and did a fancy two step around it. The professor noticed it and commented on the question, that it wasn’t polite to ask a trans person about their deadname.
Research has found that using trans people’s requested names and pronouns is associated with improved mental health outcomes. For example, transgender and nonbinary youth who reported having pronouns respected by all of the people they lived with attempted suicide at about half the rate (13%) when compared to those who did not have their pronouns respected by anyone with whom they lived (24%), according to a 2021 survey conducted by The Trevor Project, an LGBTQ youth suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization.

A 2018 study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health similarly found that using transgender youths’ chosen names in more contexts was associated with lower depression, suicidal ideation and suicidal behavior, and that the odds of each were lowest when chosen names were used in more contexts.
What I usually say is that our deadname causes stress and anxiety in us and that our deadname is used to discriminate and harass us. So we do not like to give out our old name.

The Republicans know that it causes increase mental health problems, they heard medical people testify that it would increase suicide and other medical problems in trans youth but the Republicans don’t care about the hard it will do… they just care about votes!
Deadnaming and misgendering, which means intentionally using the pronouns associated with a person’s sex assigned at birth as opposed to their gender identity, are often used to harass trans people online. As a result, many social media platforms have banned both deadnaming and misgendering.
All we have to do is look to Florida and other Republican states that has made it a crime to use out true name and proper pronouns. Teen Vogue writes,
August is one of many trans Florida youth who have been forced to either come out to their parents or go by the wrong name and pronouns at school. The Florida Board of Education adopted a rule in July that mandates parents must explicitly consent for their children to be called anything other than the name on their school record. This policy applies to nicknames too, even if a student has always gone by one.

According to the law, for example, all Nicks will revert to Nicholas, Katies will be Katherine — unless a parent signs a form consenting to the use of a different name. While the policy covers any type of deviation from an official name, LGBTQ+ students, supportive parents, and local advocates say it is pointed to trans students — and hurts them the most. Says August, “It disproportionately affects trans youth and it is meant to target trans youth."
Do you think that the schools will get approvals from all the parents to use nicknames, I bet they will only require it for trans students.

Suggestion: for students in those states, keep track of every time the teachers uses a nicknames so you can sue the pants off of the school. This way you can show that the policy is enforced unevenly.
NBC goes on to say,
In addition to Florida, nine other states have passed laws in 2023 that restrict the instruction of LGBTQ topics in schools, restrict school staff and students from using pronouns that don’t align with their assigned sex, or do both, according to an NBC News analysis of data from the American Civil Liberties Union.
It is like a virus that spreads its slime.
In recent years, Merriam-Webster has increasingly highlighted words associated with LGBTQ people as these terms have become more common. The publisher’s 2019 Word of the Year was “they,” which has gained popularity as a singular pronoun used by nonbinary people, who are neither exclusively male nor female.

Don’t Trust The Voters.

The Republicans don’t care about the voter, they cannot be trusted to vote the “right way.” Cities are liberal and the towns conservatives so the Republicans overturn the voters.
The Washington Post
By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
November 27, 2023 

Despite long advocating small government and local control, Republican governors and legislators across a significant swath of the country are increasingly overriding the actions of Democratic cities — removing elected district attorneys or threatening to strip them of power, taking over election offices and otherwise limiting local independence.

State lawmakers proposed nearly 700 bills this year to circumscribe what cities and counties can do, according to Katie Belanger, lead consultant for the Local Solutions Support Center, a national organization focused in part on ending the overreach it calls “abusive state preemption.”

The group’s tracking mostly found “conservative state legislatures responding to or anticipating actions of progressive cities,” she said, with many bills designed to bolster state restrictions on police defunding, abortion, and LGBTQ and voting rights. As of mid-October, at least 92 had passed.
We just can’t trust those darn voters, to vote the right way.
More clashes are expected. Louisiana Gov.-elect Jeff Landry takes office in January and has promised to confront the state’s largest city, New Orleans. He already has created a committee led by a local GOP political donor and businessman to address public safety and other issues there. He has threatened to withhold state funding for the city’s water infrastructure until the DA agrees to prosecute women who violate the state’s abortion ban by seeking the procedure.


The antagonisms between red states and blue cities are all the more notable because the urban areas in the crosshairs are mostly majority-minority, with many mayors and district attorneys of color.
It is our way or the highway!
These actions go “squarely against the Republican philosophy of small government and more freedom,” said Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb, a Black Democrat who has struggled to pass local tobacco and gun control ordinances because of constraints enacted by Ohio’s Republican-controlled legislature. “This is about common-sense democracy.”


“The governor’s and legislature’s ongoing war on such home-rule cities hurts the state and its economy, discourages new transplants from other states, and thwarts the will of Texas voters,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, another Black Democrat, said in a statement after the initial ruling. “This self-defeating war on cities needs to end.”
This is all about power and control… authoritarianism. 
South Florida Sun Sentinel
By Anthony Man 
August 9, 2023

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ suspension of the prosecutor in Orlando is drawing attention to his repeated use of his executive authority to remove local officials whose policies he disagrees with, but who have not been charged with crimes.

Unlike previous Florida governors of both parties, who used their power under the Florida Constitution to suspend elected officials when they were charged with breaking the law, DeSantis has repeatedly removed elected officials for political and policy reasons.

Wednesday’s move — suspending Monique Worrell, the state attorney in Orange and Osceola counties — comes as DeSantis is looking to change the subject away from the turmoil that has engulfed his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.


In his four years and seven months in office, DeSantis has removed nine county elected officials who weren’t charged with crimes, a South Florida Sun Sentinel review of state suspension orders shows. From his first days in office, DeSantis used the suspension power far more expansively than his Republican predecessor, former Gov. Rick Scott, now the state’s junior senator.
He overturns the will of the people, the people wanted them in office, voted them into office and the governor overturned the will of the people. Nullify the elections and placed a political crony in their place.
DeSantis’ suspensions of elected officials who weren’t charged with crimes affected eight Democrats and one Republican. The one such Scott suspension was of a Democrat.

“All governors have suspended, but one of the key differences for DeSantis is he seems to suspend local officials when he has political and policy disagreements, as opposed to indictments or other clear evidence of illegality or wrongdoing,” said Aubrey Jewett, a political scientist at the University of Central Florida.
This is what dictators do. This is what political despots do.
“Ron DeSantis’ autocratic removal of yet another elected official, purely because he disagrees with her decisions, is the epitome of the weaponization of government.  The authoritarian tactic of removing duly-elected officials without legal cause is a direct affront to voters and Gov. DeSantis’ removal of the Orlando State Attorney is a brazen and petulant act of a flailing presidential candidate whose disregard for democracy and the rule of law is deeply troubling,” U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston, the senior Democrat in the Florida congressional delegation, said in a statement.
What is scary is that around 50 percent of the voters like what he is doing! They want laws against us, they want to make it illegal for us to exist.

A Republican gubernatorial primary candidate in Arizona last year called for us to be forced into relocation of LGBTQ people to camps in an effort to stop the spread of the monkeypox virus.

Monday, November 27, 2023

Question: What Party Says That They Are Business Friendly?

Question: What Party is telling business what they can and cannot say?
New GOP bill targets gender identity in the workplace
By Kimberly Leonard
November 22, 2023

A new bill targeting how people can use pronouns and identify in the workplace is stirring up backlash ahead of Florida’s legislative session.

The bill (HB 599), sponsored by freshman Rep. Ryan Chamberlin (R-Belleview), would block state and local governments — as well as nonprofits and contractors who get money from the state — from forcing employees to use preferred pronouns for transgender and nonbinary colleagues. Workplaces also wouldn’t be allowed to retaliate against workers who misgender others, including for religious or “biology-based beliefs,” a term the bill doesn’t define.

It’s not clear whether local governments have any of these policies in place now, but under the legislation if workers were to be penalized then they could complain to the Florida Commission on Human Relations.

Similar to another measure the Legislature has passed on racial relations in the workplace, the bill would block employers from requiring training on gender identity and sexual orientation as a condition of employment. It also says employees “may not” provide employers their personal titles or pronouns if they don’t match their sex assigned at birth.

“It is the policy of the state that a person’s sex is an immutable biological trait and that it is false to ascribe to a person a pronoun that does not correspond to such person’s sex,” the bill says.
The last sentence says it all… this is based on politics and not science.
A New Florida Bill Proposes Expanding “Don’t Say Gay” to the Workplace
If passed, the law would prohibit trans employees from sharing their pronouns, among other stipulations.
By Samantha Riedel
November 22, 2023

Not content to only target transgender students and staff during school hours, a Florida Republican introduced a state bill this week that would effectively expand Gov. Ron DeSantis’ infamous “Don’t Say Gay” rules to include government workplaces and nonprofits.
Now does Florida sound like they are business friendly, that just put businesses between a rock and a hard place. Title VII bans workplace discrimination and the Supreme Court (Trumps Court), Find Law wrote about the Bostock v. Clayton County Case,
In a 6-3 decision penned by Justice Neal Gorsuch, the Supreme Court held that Title VII protects gay and transgender workers from workplace discrimination. It did so on a plain language reading of the statute, a judicial philosophy known as textualism. Justice Gorsuch was joined by one other Republican-appointed justice, John Roberts, and the four Democratic-appointed justices. Justices Alito, Thomas, and Kavanaugh dissented.
Secondly, the law probably violates the First Amendment rights on speech.
Advocates say the bill, if passed, could have dramatic consequences for LGBTQ+ organizations and individuals across Florida. Writing on Truthout, independent trans journalist Erin Reed speculated that the bill could effectively torpedo LGBTQ+ nonprofits and activist programs, comparable to Russian laws that outlaw gay and trans “propaganda.”

“Virtually every LGBTQ+ organization would be radically affected by [H.B. 599] and would likely have to shut down,” Reed argued, as it would be “nearly impossible” to continue even basic operations legally. “It would be a blatant power grab by the state targeting organizations critical to the government and would further drive LGBTQ+ activism and organizing underground in the state.”
The Republicans don’t care about the Constitution, they don’t care the laws, they only care about the annihilation of trans people, lesbians, and gays.

Last year the website The 19*TH* wrote…
How did trans people become a GOP target? Experts say it’s all about keeping evangelicals voting
The recent blitz of anti-trans bills may not align with what many Republicans believe, but party lawmakers pursue them on behalf of their most important interest group.
By Kate Sosin

“They have an interest in keeping the base riled up about one thing or another, and when one issue fades, as with same-sex relationships and same-sex marriage, they’ve got to find something else,” Balmer said. “It’s almost frantic.”

While many people believe that abortion was the issue that first galvanized evangelicals to the polls in the 1980s, Balmer points to a different issue. Paul Weyrich, an evangelical Christian who helped initially organize the “religious right,” had been testing out issues that would drive other evangelicals to the polls in the 1970s, Balmer says. Weyrich found it in Bob Jones University, a religious institution that was facing the loss of its tax-exempt status for refusing to racially integrate.
They are killing us for politics!
Across the U.S., anti-LGBTQ legislation — and especially anti-trans legislation — is limiting queer youth’s access to everything from bathrooms to gender-affirming surgery. A new national survey from the Trevor Project paints a stark picture of the mental-health toll of these forces: LGBTQ youth consider and attempt suicide at alarmingly high rates, and nearly one-third say their mental health was poor “most of the time or always” due to anti-LGBTQ policies and legislation.

“LGBTQ young people are not inherently prone to increased suicide risk because of their sexual orientation or their gender identity, but rather they are placed at higher risk because of the mistreatment and stigmatization that they experience in society,” said Ronita Rath, the Trevor Project’s vice president of research.

Now businesses will have to decide if they will get the best and the brightest college graduates if they move to Florida. But one thing is certain, the Republicans are no longer business friendly. With the politicization of social issues, such as abortion, same-sex marriage, and climate change, some businesses are shying away from the party.

Down The Red Brick Road.

They even admit it that they are pining over the dictators, Trump even admitted that he admires the dictators and that if elected he will go after his political opponents!
The former president spoke favorably of China’s Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin, while claiming he’s the candidate who will ‘prevent World War III’
The Desert News
By Samuel Benson
November 18, 2023

Just days after Chinese President Xi Jinping made a historic visit to the U.S., former president Donald Trump heaped praise on him, calling him “a great guy.”

During a campaign rally in Fort Dodge, Iowa, Trump called Xi “fierce” and “smart,” contrasting him with President Joe Biden, who Trump called “weak” and “a very stupid person.” Biden said the Chinese president is a “dictator” after meeting with him in California this week.

“Now, the press doesn’t like it when I say good things about (Xi),” Trump told a crowd of about 1,400 people in a high school gymnasium. “What can I say? He runs 1.4 billion people with an iron hand.”


During his remarks, Trump also spoke favorably of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Hungarian President Viktor Orbán, praising both of them as some of the “strongest leaders” in the world. Later, he bragged about a conversation he once had with Abdul Ghani Baradar, a leader of the Taliban in Afghanistan, boasting that Baradar called him “your excellency.
The Republicans are paving the way to authoritarian government. One party, one supreme leader. And what is really scary is half of the country is right there with him!
As Trump stepped up to the lectern, he was greeted with raucous applause and chants of “U-S-A!”
That reminds me of the movies of the guy with the funny little mustache Germany in in the 1930s standing up on a podium pounding his fist.
Just look at what the guy from Florida is doing to that state.
November 19, 2023

Floridians, take notice. Your right to a representative government is being stolen away.

Recent headlines document angry eruptions among an audience of people who show up to meetings ready to tell their leaders what they think — only to be muzzled by time limits that shut down some would-be participants before they could utter a single word.

More often, however, the exclusion is happening quietly and secretly, in meetings that never take place. Closed doors that should be open. A row of empty seats on a dais, facing a roomful of chairs that are also empty.

The result, however, is the same: The only people who can register their concerns face-to-face with their elected officials are the elites who can afford the private clubs and campaign contributions that give them direct access to power. The voices of regular Floridians are shut out or told to shut up.


In a cruelly related dictate, Board Chairman Brian Lamb denied them the right to speak in favor of free speech, diversity and inclusion — by imposing a 15-minute time limit on all public comment. When he gaveled the discussion to a close, the crowd chanted “Let us speak.” But a majority of board members were unwilling to listen.

Lamb said the limitation was “customary,” Martin reported. That’s categorically false. Across Florida, elected and appointed boards and commissions have taken it as a point of pride: When their constituents show up to a public meeting, they deserve the opportunity to be heard. It’s even enshrined in the state constitution.
I have spoken at many hearings and it is customary to give each speaker 3 minutes setting a 15 minute limit would only allow 5 speakers to testify! And it is not just school boards but…
‘These committee meetings are essential parts of Florida’s legislative process, because they are the public’s only opportunity to directly address lawmakers on issues that are important to everyday Floridians. Of 35 House committees, 16 canceled their meetings last week; the ratio was even worse in the Senate, where 17 of 26 committees did not meet. Among them: All 10 of the committees Sen. Linda Stewart, D-Orlando, serves on, including Banking and Insurance; Governmental Oversight and Accountability; and Appropriations. Stewart said she didn’t even bother to return to Tallahassee after the November 6-10 special session.
You know who also does that… fascists. Dictators.

Back in May PBS News Hour reported that back in the spring the Republicans were trying to make it harder to change the Constitutions in some states,
By Laura Barrón-López, Gabrielle Hays, Matt Loffman

Laura Barron-Lopez:

Republican legislators in multiple states have proposed measures that would make it harder for voters to change state constitutions.

That includes Ohio, where, last night, lawmakers scheduled an August special election for a resolution that would require future amendments to receive 60 percent of the vote to be adopted. That's ahead of a pro-abortion rights effort heading to the November ballot. A similar bill is moving through Missouri's legislature.


However, there are also plenty of voters who are not very happy about this being something that the legislature is looking at. Critics argue that it is anti-democratic, that it is taking away the people's ability to share their voices to participate in the democratic system.
The Republicans just don’t trust the voters to vote the right way… the Republican way! The Rolling Stone put it this way,
Ohio Republicans Say It’s Their ‘God Given Right’ to Restrict Abortion Access
Republicans in Ohio want to undermine the will of voters who approved a measure enshrining reproductive freedom into the state’s constitution
All of these initiatives goals are to accomplish one thing… to strengthen the party from the will of the people to the will of the party. The Republicans are trying to restrict voting rights, which could make it more difficult for Democrats to win elections and their gerrymandering makes it easier for Republicans to win elections. The Republicans also opposed the For the People Act, which would have expanded voting rights and made it more difficult to gerrymander districts.

Last year Politico wrote,
The number of states with one-party rule has steadily been on the rise in recent years. Seventeen had divided governments in 2018. That dropped to 13 in 2020 and is now down to 12, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Having a trifecta is necessarily bad, it is how they use that power that is bad. 

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Refugees In Your Own Country.

I came across another family fleeing the Republican states, I wrote about a family fleeing to Connecticut here and you read the article in the CtVoice here, now there is an article about a Vermont family.
Seven Days
November 22, 2023

Kate and Drew Streip never planned to leave Chattanooga. The young couple — born-and-bred Tennesseans — were raising their three children in Streip's childhood home in a hip, close-knit neighborhood they cherished, within easy reach of their extended family.

But when Tennessee passed a law in March prohibiting gender-affirming medical care for transgender children, the Streips bid farewell to their beloved state. Their son Sam, 11, is transgender. Remaining in Chattanooga was not an option.


The Streips have joined an influx of transgender people and their families drawn to Vermont by the promise of relative safety, crucial services and what they view as the state's reputation for tolerance. Newcomers say they left their home states because of the national surge in hatred aimed at transgender people as well as the passage of laws that restrict gender-affirming care. Vermont's emerging role as a haven stems in large part from its laws offering formal protections to LGBTQ+ residents, the array of support services available in the Green Mountains and a health care system that is seen as accommodating to transgender people.
For those here in Connecticut contact the local Pride centers they are helping immigrants from the Republican states. 
The Streips have joined an influx of transgender people and their families drawn to Vermont by the promise of relative safety, crucial services and what they view as the state's reputation for tolerance. Newcomers say they left their home states because of the national surge in hatred aimed at transgender people as well as the passage of laws that restrict gender-affirming care. Vermont's emerging role as a haven stems in large part from its laws offering formal protections to LGBTQ+ residents, the array of support services available in the Green Mountains and a health care system that is seen as accommodating to transgender people.
There are other trans summer camps for children around and other Pride centers.

The article goes on to interview four other trans children who fled north.

Does this sound like America where we have political refugees from other states? Where LGBTQ+ people don't feel safe and have to flee. Where women are having second thoughts about working in states with abortion bans. Where teachers worry about getting arrested for say the wrong word. This doesn't sound like the America that I grew up in.

The Blue & Grey Has Turned Into Blue & Red

The Blue and Grey of the Civil War has turned into the Blue and Red, the old Confederate states are now Republican and are going back to their racist ways, And instead for fleeing the South because of slavery they are fleeing the South because of the Republican's draconian laws against minorities and women.

America is changing, we are becoming red states or blue states and the people are doing their voting with their feet. The MAGA are moving to red states while everyone else are moving to the blue states. LGBTQ families are moving to safe states, young woman are moving to states that don’t want to control their bodies.
The Red State Brain Drain Isn’t Coming. It’s Happening Right Now.
As conservative states wage total culture war, college-educated workers—physicians, teachers, professors, and more—are packing their bags.
The New Republic
By Timothy Noah
November 22, 2023


Another reason was that the state legislature was trying to limit access to contraceptives. In March, the state Senate had voted to require parental consent before a minor could take contraceptives. Kate was chair of the Oklahoma chapter of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and she’d lobbied against this change. (The bill later died in the state House of Representatives.)

“You’re just gonna get my nine-year-old birth control without my knowledge?” one state legislator said to her.

“How does your nine-year-old need birth control?” Kate answered. “And yes, if she needs birth control … what’s worse than her coming home pregnant?”


Republican-dominated states are pushing out young professionals by enacting extremist conservative policies. Abortion restrictions are the most sweeping example, but state laws restricting everything from academic tenure to transgender health care to the teaching of “divisive concepts” about race are making these states uncongenial to knowledge workers.

The precise effect of all this on the brain drain is hard to tease out from migration statistics because the Dobbs decision is still fairly new, and because red states were bleeding college graduates even before the culture war heated up. The only red state that brings in more college graduates than it sends elsewhere is Texas. But the evidence is everywhere that hard-right social policies in red states are making this dynamic worse.
Suppose you are medical student looking to find a medical school but some of the colleges do not teach anything about abortion nor anything about gender dysphoria, where would you go to school? Colleges that leave gaps in your education or to a college that teaches everything.
The number of applications for OB-GYN residencies is down more than 10 percent in states that have banned abortion since Dobbs. Forty-eight teachers in Hernando County, Florida, fed up with “Don’t Say Gay” and other new laws restricting what they can teach, resigned or retired at the end of the last school year. A North Carolina law confining transgender people to bathrooms in accordance with what it said on their birth certificate was projected, before it was repealed, to cost that state $3.76 billion in business investment, including the loss of a planned global operations center for PayPal in Charlotte. A survey of college faculty in four red states (Texas, Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina) about political interference in higher education found a falloff in the number of job candidates for faculty positions, and 67 percent of the respondents said they would not recommend their state to colleagues as a place to work. Indeed, nearly one-third said they were actively considering employment elsewhere.


The heaviest artillery is trained on abortion rights. After Dobbs, wholesale abortion bans took effect in 14 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia. All but Kentucky and Louisiana are trifecta states. In a fifteenth state, Wisconsin, uncertainty about how to interpret an 1849 statute concerning violence against a pregnant woman put abortions on hold for one year until an appeals court ruled that the statute did not apply to abortions.

The students are voting with their feet.

The past few years in U.S. politics have been defined by a series of Supreme Court rulings and unjust laws targeting marginalized groups. From enacting trigger laws after the overturning of Roe v. Wade to encouraging a substantial increase in anti-transgender legislation, conservative lawmakers have forcibly pushed minorities, including women, LGBTQ+ individuals and people of color, to leave conservative states for those that are more liberal, according to Al Jazeera.

Although some might argue that marginalized people can simply vote out the politicians advocating for this legislation, voting hasn’t been the most viable option for these communities, who historically have faced voter suppression. Just last year, Missouri passed a new election law that restricts voter registration drives and requires photo ID at the ballot, which disproportionately hurts Black and Latino citizens, according to The Center for Public Integrity.
History is repeating itself, we saw this exodus before with the Jim Crow laws where Blacks fled the southern states.
The increasing out-migration from conservative states is reminiscent of the Great Migration of the early 1900s in the United States. Racist legislation alongside white supremacist violence pressured millions of Black Americans to leave the sharecropping South for Northern cities in pursuit of educational and economic opportunities, according to The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. Although anti-Blackness remained prevalent in the North, the dire conditions Black Americans faced in the South drove many families away.
What I worry about are those who cannot flee, what will happen to them?
But how do we support the marginalized individuals who choose to stay and/or can’t afford to move away? I have often heard people from both sides of the political spectrum tell me and other queer people of color living in the Midwest to simply leave if we’re unhappy. Republican lawmakers have since adopted this rhetoric, including Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, who said that people “can move” if they don’t like their state’s abortion laws. While I want to leave Missouri in the future, why should others have to uproot themselves from their communities? What about working-class families who don’t have the resources to move to a different state?
The conservatives don’t have much to worry about they are in the majority and they pick on those who are in the minority.
Businesses thinking twice about moving to red states and their ability to hire the best employees, I asked Google's Bard... "Are businesses thinking twice before moving to red states?"
Yes, there is some evidence that businesses are thinking twice before moving to red states. A 2022 poll by the Pew Research Center found that 52% of CEOs said they are less likely to expand their business in states that have passed restrictive abortion laws. And a 2023 survey by the National Association of Manufacturers found that 65% of manufacturers said they are concerned about the impact of restrictive abortion laws on their ability to attract and retain talent.

There are a number of reasons why businesses may be hesitant to move to red states. First, businesses are concerned about the impact of restrictive abortion laws on their employees. Many businesses believe that it is important to provide their employees with access to reproductive healthcare, and they are worried that restrictive abortion laws will make it difficult for their employees to get the care they need.

Second, businesses are also concerned about the impact of restrictive abortion laws on their reputation. Many businesses are committed to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace, and they worry that restrictive abortion laws will make it difficult to attract and retain top talent. Additionally, businesses are concerned that being associated with a state that has passed a restrictive abortion law could damage their reputation with customers and investors.

Finally, businesses are also concerned about the potential legal challenges that they may face if they move to a red state. Several states have passed laws that allow private citizens to sue businesses that assist employees in obtaining abortions. Businesses are worried that these laws could lead to costly and time-consuming lawsuits.

As a result of these concerns, some businesses are choosing to stay out of red states altogether. Others are relocating to blue states, where they believe that their employees will have better access to reproductive healthcare and where they will be less likely to face legal challenges.

It is still too early to say what the long-term impact of restrictive abortion laws will be on businesses. However, the evidence suggests that these laws are already having a significant impact on the business community.
This goes even deeper that banning abortions and trans people, it goes to right-wing MAGA taking over and ignoring the Constitution. This goes to rigging elections by gerrymandering, put excesses regulation on IDs for voting, to cutting back on the hours you can vote.

Lastly I asked Google's Bard: Has college enrollment dropped in states banning abortion?
Yes, there is evidence that college enrollment has dropped in states that have banned abortion. A 2022 poll by Intelligent found that 45% of students were considering or planning to transfer to an abortion-friendly state. A 2023 Gallup Poll found that 75% of currently enrolled college students said reproductive health laws in their college's state are at least somewhat important to their decision to stay enrolled. And a 2023 study by the Association of American Medical Colleges found that states banning abortions saw a "steep" 10.5 percent drop in obstetrics and gynecology residency applications in 2023.

These findings suggest that abortion bans are having a negative impact on college enrollment, both for in-state and out-of-state students. This is likely due to a number of factors, including:
  • Concerns about access to abortion care: Students who want to have access to abortion care may be less likely to choose to attend college in a state where abortion is banned.
  • A desire to live in a state with progressive values: Students who value reproductive rights may be less likely to want to live in a state that has banned abortion.
  • Concerns about the overall quality of life in abortion-ban states: Students may be concerned that states that ban abortion are also likely to have other restrictive policies, such as bans on same-sex marriage or comprehensive sex education.
It is important to note that the research on this issue is still ongoing, and more data is needed to fully understand the impact of abortion bans on college enrollment. However, the available evidence suggests that abortion bans are having a negative impact on students' decisions about where to attend college.