Friday, May 24, 2024

So Tell Me, What Is The Difference Between Them?

Person A is firing staff, having them arrested and replacing them with cronies.
Person B wants to fire staff, have them arrested and replace them with cronies.
Is there a difference between the two? The first is Putin and person B is Trump.
It began last month with the arrest of a Russian deputy defense minister. Then the head of the ministry’s personnel directorate was hauled into court. This week, two more senior military officials were detained. All face charges of corruption, which they have denied.

The arrests began after President Vladimir Putin began his fifth term and shuffled his ally, longtime Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, into a new post.

It immediately raised questions about whether Putin was reasserting control over the Defense Ministry amid the war in Ukraine, whether a turf battle had broken out between the military and the security services, or whether some other scenario was playing out behind the Kremlin’s walls.

[…]

Putin wants everyone to have “a skeleton in their closet,” security expert Mark Galeotti said on a recent podcast. If the state has compromising material on key officials, it can cherry-pick whom to target, he added.

Trump vows to fire bureaucrats. Here’s why Biden is trying to stop him.
The Christian Science Monitor
By Caitlin Babcock & Sophie Hills
May 7, 2024


For decades, American presidents routinely offered government jobs to political allies – and expected those employees would do their bidding in return.

Then in 1881, a campaign supporter who did not win such a favor assassinated President James Garfield. That proved to be a tipping point, spurring the creation of a civil service mostly staffed by nonpartisan workers selected on merit, not on political allegiance.

Nearly a century and a half later, the two presidential front-runners are debating whether to keep it that way.

Former President Donald Trump has threatened to fire thousands of “rogue bureaucrats” if he wins the election this fall, as part of his plan to dismantle what he calls “the deep state.” In response, the Biden administration has issued a new rule, which goes into effect this month, shielding the civil service against “corruption and partisan interference.”
You might remember that after losing the election in November 2020 that Trump…
The Trump administration has carried out sweeping changes atop the Defense Department’s civilian leadership structure, removing several of its most senior officials and replacing them with perceived loyalists to the President.

The flurry of changes, announced by the Department of Defense in a statement roughly 24 hours after President Donald Trump fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper, has put officials inside the Pentagon on edge and fueled a growing sense of alarm among military and civilian officials, who are concerned about what could come next.

Four senior civilian officials have been fired or have resigned since Monday, including Esper, his chief of staff and the top officials overseeing policy and intelligence. They were replaced by perceived Trump loyalists, including a controversial figure who promoted fringe conspiracy theories and called former President Barack Obama a terrorist.

A senior defense official told CNN late Tuesday that “it appears we are done with the beheadings for now,” referring to the wave of ousted civilian leaders, including Esper.


So tell me what is the difference between Putin and Trump?

To paraphrase Maya Angelou, “When someone tells you that they want to be a dictator, believe them the first time.”

Thursday, May 23, 2024

New England Is Solid Blue…

...Not so fast! Most of the New England states are a blueish purple, they just have a small Democratic edge and New Hampshire is a more reddish purple.
As a transgender girl, Sarah Huckman’s experience joining girls’ sports in high school wasn’t automatic, her father Tom Huckman recalled. Because she had not undergone gender reassignment surgery, she needed to appeal to the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association for an exception, a process that involved writing letters with the help of GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders.  

But once Sarah started participating in cross-country running, Nordic skiing, and track, she was quickly accepted by her friends and peers, Tom Huckman, of Ossipee, said at a press conference earlier this week.

“She’s a very social, gregarious person, and sports was absolutely one of the best things for her for her mental well-being,” Huckman said.

On Thursday, the New Hampshire Senate passed a measure that would prohibit such participation and sent the legislation to Gov. Chris Sununu’s desk.

The chamber voted to advance House Bill 1205, a bill that would bar transgender girls in grades five through 12 from participating in girls’ sports in public school, in a party-line vote opposed by Democrats.
But the Republicans were not finished yet, they had a whole mess of other anti-trans bills,
The bill is one of several the Senate took up Thursday that would reduce the rights of transgender people in the state. The chamber also passed House Bill 619, which would bar those under 18 from receiving gender reassignment surgeries, and House Bill 1312, which would allow parents to opt their children out of any public school instruction in “sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or gender expression.”
Then they passed a “Drop your drawers” bill to prove you are not trans.
HB 1205 would require public schools to determine a student’s biological gender by requesting the student produce a birth certificate. If that were not available, it would require the student to “provide other evidence indicating the student’s sex at the time of birth.”
Gee… how are they going to determine that? Suppose a student moves up their from Connecticut, our original birth certificates can be changed to show our true gender. Are they going to have everyone bring in your birth certificates or only those who look trans? And what will happen when they request a birth certificate from a cis-gendered girl? How will that make her feel?
Sen. Cindy Rosenwald argued that high school sports teams were meant to be about more than winning and losing.

“Sports teaches you lessons that are about how to be part of a group,” she said. “And (they) also teach you how to lose gracefully.”
That is something that I have been saying that sports teaches;   Team spirit, Leadership skills, Never give up, and Life long friendships. By not allowing trans students to play sports you are denying them from learning those skills!

I See The Light!


When I was growing up religion was open and accepting of all, you thought of those “Fire and Brimstone” preachers only in movies. But something happened “Fire and Brimstone” are making a comeback… you are going to hell if you don’t follow my word (And many times it is not the Bible but rather the preacher who words they follow.) but more are saying enough!
Some Conservative Christians Are Stepping Away From the Gender Wars
Far from the shouting, Christian therapists, writers, parents and their trans children are trying to create a space within conservative circles to acknowledge differences in how people experience gender.
The New York Times
By Ruth Graham
May 17, 2024


Andrew and Debbie James are evangelical Christians. Born in England, the couple moved to Denver years ago and raised their children there. Mrs. James had a profound religious conversion experience early in parenthood, and their large nondenominational church quickly became the focal point of their lives. They used to say that if the doors were open, they were there.

“We always joked that we had this perfect little scenario,” Mrs. James said. “We had our boy, then we had our girl, and they were two years apart and they were just perfect.” They were strict parents — too strict, they say in hindsight, with the goal to “shield them from absolutely everything.”
But then their child came out as trans...
It went badly. They initially refused to use their daughter’s chosen name, Lilia, and Mrs. James could barely be in the same room with her when she was wearing a skirt. Then a pastor at the church encouraged them to kick their daughter out of their home.

“This must be biblical advice,” she recalled thinking. “This must be what we’re supposed to do.”
But they stopped and thought and thought about it, read the Bible for guidance.
“If you’re afraid of change, that’s what trans people now represent,” he said.

[…]

In the most intimate cases, Christians are steering through agonizing, unfamiliar conflicts between their families and their God, or as some put it, between love and truth.
These are the same Christians who see themselves under attack from the left because the left is for change and the right is entrenched in the old ways.

HEHEHEHEHREHTR

Deal with it!
Vowed Hermit Comes Out as Transgender with Support of Bishop Stowe
New Ways Ministry
By Robert Shine
May 20, 2024


In what is perhaps an historical first, a diocesan hermit has come out as transgender, and has done so with the support of his local bishop. The hermit’s hope is to expand what gender-diverse Catholics understand to be possible for them in the church.

On Pentecost Sunday, Brother Christian Matson publicly announced he was trans.  His bishop is Bishop John Stowe, OFM, Conv., of Lexington Kentucky, who as been a vocal supporter of LGBTQ+ people.  According to Religion News Service (RNS):

“Matson, who is also a Benedictine oblate, believes he is the first openly transgender person in his position in the Catholic Church. It is a difficult claim to confirm — even Stowe told RNS he did not know for sure if Matson is the first — but Matson’s status is at least highly unusual, and comes at time when church officials are grappling with how to address transgender Catholics.

This year, Matson decided to come out as trans, with Bishop Stowe’s support, because of the harsh anti-trans climate in both the Catholic Church and U.S. society. Pentecost was the day he was first baptized, and it is a celebration of preaching God’s love to all people. One particular experience cemented the decision to discose his gender identity. According to RNS, the hermit encountered a trans youth whose Catholic parents had rejected them, and the two prayed together. After this, Matson explained:
“‘I can’t stand by and let this false and, at times, culpably ignorant understanding of what it means to be transgender continue to hurt people,’ he said. ‘If I don’t say anything and allow the church to continue to make decisions based on incorrect information, then I’m not serving the church.’ . . .

“‘I’m Catholic,’ he said. ‘I became Catholic after I transitioned because of the Catholic understanding — the sacramental understanding — of the body, of creation, of the desirability of the visible unity of the church, and primarily because of the Eucharist.’

“At the very least, Matson said, he hopes going public will spark dialogue about his fellow transgender Catholics, a discussion he believes can enhance unity among the body of believers.

“‘You’ve got to deal with us, because God has called us into this church,’ he said. ‘It’s not your church to kick us out of — this is God’s church, and God has called us and engrafted us into it.'”
I wonder if he was trans feminine would it have had a different outcome?

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

It Is Spreading! To South America

South America, I’ve written a lot about Europe regressing but down in South America there are also going backward.
Peru classifies transgender identities as 'mental health problems' in new law
Protesters pushed back against the Peruvian Health Ministry’s new gender identity classifications, which contradict the World Health Organization’s guidance.
NBC News
By Joe Kottke
May 20, 2024


LGBTQ advocates in Peru protested in the capital city of Lima last week after the Health Ministry issued a new law that deemed transgender people as having “mental health problems.”

The supreme decree, signed by Peruvian President Dina Boluarte and published May 10, updated the ministry’s list of insurable mental health conditions to include “transexualism,” “gender identity disorders” and “cross-dressing.”

In 2019, the World Health Organization redefined its terms on gender identity-related health, moving conditions of “gender incongruence” out of being defined as “mental and behavioral disorders” and into the “conditions related to sexual health” category.

“This reflects current knowledge that trans-related and gender diverse identities are not conditions of mental ill-health, and that classifying them as such can cause enormous stigma,” the guidance reads.
They have taken a page out of the Republican playbook. The conservative Daily Mail writes,
Trans people are officially classified as 'mentally ill' in Peru, sparking fury among LGBT groups
The decree was signed by Peruvian President Dina Boluarte and Health Minister
By David Averre
15 May 2024


Peru has officially classified trans people as 'mentally ill'.

Under the decree signed by President Dina Boluarte, 'transsexualism, dual-role transvestism, gender identity disorder in childhood, other gender identity disorders and fetishistic transvestism' are now all recorded as mental illnesses.

The move, which comes just days before the 34-year anniversary of the World Health Organisation's removal of homosexuality from the list of International Classification of Diseases (ICD), has prompted fury from rights groups.

The WHO also removed transsexuality from its disease manual in 2019 when a new version of the ICD was proposed and came into effect in 2022.
The right-wing conservatives do not care about what the medical profession thinks, they only want to push their agenda.
Speaking on the latest decree, Percy Mayta-Tristan, a medical researcher at Lima's Scientific University of the South, said it revealed a lack of awareness of complex LGBT issues.

'You can't ignore the context that this is happening in a super-conservative society, where the LGBT community has no rights and where labelling them as mentally ill opens the door to conversion therapy,' he told Yahoo News.
Meanwhile other South American nations are torn between democracy and dictatorship.
THE WORLDWIDE OFFENSIVE AGAINST THE RIGHTS OF THE LGBTQ+ COMMMUNITY
The community, which is celebrating International Pride Day, has been hit by both the rise of the far right and hate speech in democratic countries and by the wave of religious extremism in authoritarian regimes
El Pais
SILVIA BLANCOANDREA GARCÍA BAROJA
JUNE 28, 2023


Whenever the rights of LGBTQ+ people move forward in the world, be it with laws that recognize same-sex marriage or the administrative identity of trans people, there is backlash, to a greater or lesser degree. The historical struggle of the LGBTQ+ community, which today celebrates Pride Day, is full of advances and setbacks, but now that dynamic is rapidly going backwards. And it is happening all over the world.

The offensive can be clearly seen in several countries of the European Union, fueled by a far right that has found that attacks on LGBTQ+ rights can be a powerful electoral and ideological tool. This is the case in Hungary and Poland, where there are doubts about the administrations’ democratic rigor, and in Italy, where the far-right government of Giorgia Meloni is seeking to block the legal recognition of families with same-sex parents. Spain, which has been consolidating LGBTQ+ rights for almost two decades, recently approved one of the most progressive laws to protect the LGBTQ+ community, but the so-called trans law is now under attack by the conservative Popular Party (PP) and far-right Vox, which have put it in the spotlight ahead of the general elections on July 23.

[…]

Equality on paper, hate and murders in the street
BY ALMUDENA BARRAGÁN, MEXICO CITY
In the last two decades, Latin America has made steady progress in recognizing the rights of LGBTQ+ people. However, what has been achieved through legislative and judicial channels has not translated into less violence, homophobia and transphobia. On the contrary, these manifestations of hate have been on the rise. Between 2014 and 2021, around 3,961 LGBTQ+ people were murdered in the region, according to Sin Violencia LGBTI, which brings together organizations from 11 countries in the region. The progress of laws on paper has not materialized in on-the-ground changes in the region, which is traditional and historically conservative. While some Latin American countries have taken steps forward, there have also been setbacks as a result of backlash from conservative groups, churches and right-wing governments. This, for example, has led to the rise of so-called “conversion therapies.”

[…]

COLOMBIA
Rising discrimination amid general violence
BY JUAN ESTEBAN LEWIN, BOGOTÁ
In Colombia, the LGBTQ+ population has been caught in the crosshairs of the resurgence of the armed conflict. The South American country — where at least 148 LGBTQ+ people were murdered in 2022, according to the organization SinViolencia LGBTI — has seen a comeback in armed groups and a rise in conflicts in many states. And that violence puts LGBTQ+ people at greater risk. The community has been targeted by different groups for decades, regardless of the changes in the armed conflict in Colombia. This time is no different. Marcela Sánchez, executive director of the NGO Colombia Diversa, explains: “Between the FARC and the other groups, the only difference is in intensity. Everyone uses discrimination for control and to gain advantage.” What’s more, these tactics have intensified in recent months. For example, the paramilitaries of the so-called Clan del Golfo, also known as Gaitanist Self-Defense Forces of Colombia , have increased their control in the towns of the Colombian Caribbean. Through murder, extortion and violence, the paramilitary group seeks to “impose order” — a goal that in the past has ended in acts of violence against the LGBTQ+ population.

[…]

BRAZIL
More visibility, more attacks from the far right
BY NAIARA GALARRAGA GORTÁZAR, SÃO PAULO
Brazil can be considered a kind of paradise for trans people, while still being hell for the community, with more than 1,700 deaths in 14 years. For more than a decade, Brazil has had the highest official number of murders of trans people. At the same time, however, the trans community in Brazil has much greater visibility compared to many countries. In the last elections, two trans activists — Duda Salabert and Erika Hilton — were even elected to the Chamber of Deputies. But the LGBTQ+ community is also a victim of lethal violence.

[…]

In addition to violent intolerance and machismo, there are other factors that help explain why Brazil is at the top of the list: the visibility and growing empowerment of the LGBTQ+ community, a large population of 210 million, and general violence, with 40,000 murders a year. In Brazil, as in the rest of the world, the vast majority of trans victims are women who were forced into sex work due to the lack of opportunities.
Our rights are a two edge sword, the more rights we demand, the more the conservatives push back in fear that we are somehow taking away their rights. They believe that it is their sacred right to discriminate against people that they don’t like.

They Want To Discriminate.

It is as simple as that, they think that it is their human right to discriminate.
Minnesota lawmakers failed to pass a state Equal Rights Amendment that would have enshrined protections for abortion and LGBTQ+ rights in the state Constitution as the 2024 legislative session came to an acrimonious end.

The Minnesota ERA was the one of the biggest casualties as partisan rancor, lengthy debates and filibusters were fueled by the continued participation of a Democratic senator who was arrested on a burglary charge. Democrats, who hold just a one-vote majority in the Senate, needed her vote to pass any legislation that lacked bipartisan support.

[…]

The ERA would have prohibited discrimination against anyone on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, disability or sex — including gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation. Authors opted not to include the word “abortion,” which critics called a deceptive move. The text instead would have protected the right to be “making and effectuating decisions about all matters relating to one’s own pregnancy or decision whether to become or remain pregnant.”
What does it say about the Republican party that they don't want to treat everyone equally? That they want to be able discriminate because of bigotry.


But it is not all bad news the Supreme Court did not put their 2 cents in, they lat stand a lower court ruling.
The Supreme Court on Monday declined to review an appeal from a group of parents who claimed their suburban Washington-area school district was hiding transgender support plans involving their children.

Three parents sued the Montgomery Country school district in Maryland over guidelines adopted in 2020 that allow schools to develop support plans for transgender students and “respect the students’ wishes to keep certain information confidential.”

The Supreme Court’s decision, made without explanation, left in place an appeals court ruling that the parents lacked standing to sue because they never established the plans were put in place for their children. It’s the latest in a series of cases where the high court has dodged the issue of transgender rights at school – often leaving in place lower court rulings that sided with trans students.
As Laugh-in’s Arte Johnson used to say, “Very interesting.” it is good that they let the lower court ruling stand but still it makes you wonder when the shoe is going to drop.
The school district said the guidelines were put in place to “ensure a safe and respectful school environment” for all students. The fact that a student chooses to disclose information to a teacher or administrator, the school said, “does not authorize school staff to disclose a student’s information to others.”

A federal district court and the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the school, but for different reasons. The appeals court said that the parents had not established that they were injured in a way that allowed them to sue.
The courts have found technicalities and avoided ruling on just us. I look at it as “No news is good news.”
 
However, it is very good news that schools do not have to "out" the student to the parents.

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

We Won One!

It seems that at least in court we are winning, one case at a time but for those involved in the case it is a major victory!
Denying gender-affirming care coverage violates federal law, says appeals court
The 11th Circuit made the ruling in the case of Houston County, Ga., sheriff's deputy Anna Lange.
The Advocate
By Trudy Ring
May 14, 2024


A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court’s ruling that the Houston County, Ga., Sheriff’s Office violated antidiscrimination law by denying transition-related health care to a deputy.

Anna Lange sued in 2019 because she had been repeatedly denied insurance coverage for gender-affirming care under the county’s employee health plan. A U.S. district court in Georgia ruled in 2022 that the denial violated federal civil rights law, and Monday a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11 Circuit affirmed that ruling.

It is only the second decision by a federal appellate court affirming that it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against transgender people in an employee health plan, the first being a recent decision on North Carolina's plan for state employees. It is immediately binding on employers in Georgia, Florida, and Alabama, the states covered by the 11th Circuit, notes a press release from the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, which is representing Lange along with a private law firm.

The ABA Journal reported,
The decision is the first time that a federal appeals court has held that employers can’t discriminate against transgender people in employee health plans, according to the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund.

In another decision issued April 29, a different federal appeals court ruled that a ban on gender-affirming care by state-operated health care plans in North Carolina and West Virginia violated the equal protection clause. The 4th Circuit at Richmond, Virginia, said the health plans discriminated on the basis of sex and gender.

In the Georgia case, Lange’s health care provider had determined that a vaginoplasty was medically necessary after she came out as transgender in 2017, 11 years after she began work for the Houston County, Georgia, sheriff’s office.

The employee health plan refused to pay for the surgery under an exclusion for sex-change drugs, services and supplies.
Metro Weekly looked at it from a different angle,
A Georgia County Spent Millions to Deny a Trans Deputy Health Care. It Failed.
A federal appeals court rebuffed a Georgia county's attempt to avoid providing insurance coverage to a transgender sheriff's deputy.
By John Riley
May 17, 2024


[…]

As of 2023, Houston County had spent nearly $1.2 million fighting against providing insurance coverage for gender-affirming care — three times the county’s annual physical and mental health budget, according to ProPublica, and more than the estimated $20,000 that it would have spent to cover Lange’s requested surgical procedures. The legal costs have only continued to escalate since then.
It is the principle that counts… not the money! We want to discriminate against people we don’t like and we don’t care how much it costs the taxpayers.
 
Unfortunately this is not the only case and the legislatures are not about to listen to the courts... they are above the law!
AP News
By  ANDREW DEMILLO and HANNAH SCHOENBAUM
January 11, 2024

Republican-led state legislatures are considering a new round of bills restricting medical care for transgender youths — and in some cases, adults — returning to the issue the year after a wave of high-profile bills became law and sparked lawsuits.

As legislatures begin their work for the year, lawmakers in several states have proposed enacting or strengthening restrictions on puberty-blocking drugs and hormone treatments for minors. Bills to govern the pronouns kids can use at school, which sports teams students can play on, and the bathrooms they can use are back, as well, along with efforts to restrict drag performances and some books and school curriculums.

{...]

They include Mandy Wong, a mother in Santa Barbara, California, who said she’s tired of conservative politicians using transgender children as “campaign fuel.” While she doesn’t expect such a policy to pass in her Democrat-led state, Wong said, her child and his friends feel emotionally drained.

It will all boil down to one court and one ruling because this is heading to the Supreme Court! 
Nationwide, challenges to laws already in place are moving closer to the U.S. Supreme Court. The American Civil Liberties Union has asked the court to block restrictions on care for youths in Kentucky and Tennessee.

The full 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is also considering Arkansas’ request to reverse a ruling that struck down the state’s first-in-the-nation ban on gender-affirming care for youths.

Federal rulings against the bans so far have come from judges appointed by both Democratic and Republican presidents.
They lost every case that they brought against us but that doesn’t matter to the Republicans what counts are the brownie points that they get the right-wing voters. But the Supreme Court hasn't heard the case yet.

It Is All About The Children.

When you start connecting the dots it all makes sense.
#1. Vouchers are crippling our public schools taking funding away and giving it to privates schools which are mostly White middle class students. Education is becoming only for the rich.
#2. Doing away with abortions… do you really think that the rich cannot get abortions? They can travel to other states or other countries while those in the lower classes have to have children they can’t afford.
#3. The Republicans are cutting the safety nets, cutting SNAP, WIC, and Head Start programs.
#4. The Republicans are gutting child protections laws to allow young children to work in factories.
As states roll back child labor protections legal violations have soared.
Bloomberg
By Mary Ellen Klas
May 19, 2024


School will be out soon, and for many teenagers that means it’s time to get a job. But there’s a new hitch: More teens will be recruited for adult jobs and work longer hours and in more dangerous conditions because several states have weakened their child labor laws.

It’s a brutal and short-sighted attempt to deal with one of the tightest labor markets on record, and it offers an ugly window into the inherent prejudices in the labor market. Rather than seek ways to encourage adults to take these jobs, legislators in mostly red states are loosening protections for workers easiest to exploit— young people.
Do you see a trend here? I’ll tell you this is right out of the plot of the Handmaid’s Tale!
PBS News Hour
By Harm Venhuizen, Associated Press
May 25, 2023


Lawmakers in several states are embracing legislation to let children work in more hazardous occupations, longer hours on school nights and in expanded roles including serving alcohol in bars and restaurants as young as 14.

The efforts to significantly roll back labor rules are largely led by Republican lawmakers to address worker shortages and in some cases run afoul of federal regulations.

Child welfare advocates worry the measures represent a coordinated push to scale back hard-won protections for minors.
Why are the Republicans push this? Is it for some nefarious reason?
Legislators in Wisconsin, Ohio and Iowa are actively considering relaxing child labor laws to address worker shortages, which are driving up wages and contributing to inflation. Employers have struggled to fill open positions after a spike in retirements, deaths and illnesses from COVID-19, decreases in legal immigration and other factors.

The job market is one of the tightest since World War II, with the unemployment rate at 3.4 percent — the lowest in 54 years.
When they work at adult jobs they are going to have adult injuries, the U.S. Department of Labor reported,
The U.S. Department of Labor has obtained a federal consent order and judgment against sawmill operator Florence Hardwoods LLC following the death of a child. The order requires the Florence County company to place labels and signage to prevent children under age 18 from using dangerous equipment and entering the company’s sawmill and planer buildings. The company has agreed not to hire anyone under the age of 16 and if the company hires anyone between the ages of 16 and 18 in the future, the company must strictly comply with the requirements for apprentices or student learners and inform the department before hiring them.

The action follows an investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division into a 16-year-old worker’s death at the Wisconsin sawmill which led to the department invoking the “hot goods” provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The division opened the investigation after the teenager suffered severe injuries on June 29, 2023, at Florence Hardwoods and died two days later.
Why are they doing this? It is simply for cheap labor, you don’t that even through they are doing adult work that they are being paid adult wages?



I am up on Cape Cod and almost all the summer workers are H-1B summer help.

They Don’t Have A Clue.

Their animosity is rooted in culture of the right… we are against it! What are you against? Whatever, that guy in the red hat says we are against.
A Missouri Republican tried to mock gay people for votes. She instead gave us a meme.
Valentina Gomez believes being gay is weak. History shows that hate and discrimination have made us strong.
USA Today
By Sara Pequeño
May 17, 2024


We’re about two weeks away from Pride Month, and a Missouri Republican candidate for secretary of state just gifted us the perfect meme for the season.

“In America, you can be anything you want,” Valentina Gomez says in a social media video as she runs through an idyllic small town in a weighted vest with an American flag emblem on the front.

“So don’t be weak and gay,” she continues in the Sunday post that's no longer available. “Stay f------ hard.”

Then, the lyrics to Lupe Fiasco’s “The Show Goes On" kick in and we see a photo of Gomez in front of a pickup and next to an American flag, wearing a hat for the National Rifle Association and gripping an assault-style rifle in one hand, a handgun in the other.
Well those weak snowflakes gays had to stop laughing at the imagine that the conservatives have of gays being limp wristed and frail gay, NBC News wrote…
While some of the critical response to the video has been in earnest — including from lesbian tennis superstar Martina Navratilova, who called it “homophobic” — much of it has taken on a mocking tone.

Former Secretary of State Jason Kander, a Democrat and former Army intelligence officer, called Gomez’s post “veteran cosplay.”

“So refreshing to see a female GOP candidate who never served in the military doing the whole veteran cosplay, stolen valor, bigotry as a substitute for strength routine as well as any man,” he wrote Tuesday on X.

Rep. Becca Balint, D-Vt., an out lesbian, replied to Gomez’s X post Wednesday, writing, “Not weak, just gay,” coupled with a painted nail emoji.
The right-leaning New York Post wrote,
The 24-year-old — who made headlines earlier this year after sharing a video of herself using a flamethrower to torch library books about the LGBTQ+ community — was most recently filmed running through the Soulard District, a predominantly LGBTQ+ neighborhood in St. Louis.

[…]

Gomez, a real estate investor, has posted several similarly provocative clips online, stirring up controversy ahead of the election.

In February, she went viral for torching a stack of public library books she claims are nefariously attempting to “groom” children, and said if she is elected, she would ban books on LBGTQ+ topics.
Well now we knew how her head is screwed on.

The right-wing conservative Republicans think all gays are limp-wristed fairies and all lesbians are bull dykes. They still think that one morning we woke up and said, “Gee I bet it is fun to be gay, I want to be discriminated against, have my head bashed in.”

Monday, May 20, 2024

We Know Persecution

The evangelicals claim they are being persecuted and believe me when I say you are not being persecuted.
Why Most Evangelicals Say They Face “A Lot” of Discrimination
Survey Center of America
By Daniel A. Cox
September 7, 2023


Is Christianity under attack in the United States? For a growing number of white evangelical Christians, the answer is yes, but that’s not the only major change in how they understand discrimination in America today.

In 2009, the year America swore in the country’s first Black president, most white evangelical Christians rejected the notion that they were experiencing widespread discrimination. Only about four in ten (42 percent) white evangelicals said that “evangelical Christians” in the U.S. faced a lot of discrimination. Over the next decade, views shifted rapidly. By the time of Trump’s election in 2016, most white evangelicals said they were experiencing a lot of discrimination, and by 2023 it became generally accepted—60 percent now believe evangelical Christians are regularly discriminated against.

[…]

The Growing Influence of Gay and Lesbian People

There has been an undeniable shift in American attitudes toward gay and lesbian people over the past couple of decades. It coincides with a much more visible presence of LGBT people in entertainment media, novels, children’s books, television, and movies. Organizations that track LGBTQ representation in entertainment media have found a massive increase in recent years. The most recent report from GLAAD found that 12 percent of prime-time television characters were LGBTQ, representing a fourfold increase since they began tracking in 2005.

This increased visibility has fundamentally changed perceptions among white evangelicals about who wields cultural power in American society. White evangelical Christians have long felt embattled, fighting for relevance in a rapidly secularizing culture, but the growing acceptance of gay and lesbian people, and the prominence of gay characters, themes, and stories in popular media, have altered perceptions of who is being marginalized in American society. Displays of LGBT cultural influence, in the form of drag shows, pride parades, and pride flags flying in public places, engender the most intense reactions from evangelical Christians, in part, because of what they represent—a sign of their waning influence.
They see it as a pie, the more we get the less is for them, but Human Rights is not finite commodity. It can expand to include everyone.

Americans United writes,
For more than a century, white evangelicals in the United States have cultivated a myth that Christians are under siege by a hostile secular culture. This “persecution complex” has been stoked for decades by white evangelical leaders, conspiracy theorists, right-wing media stars and, most recently, Donald Trump, who tells his white evangelical flock that without his protection the secular left will destroy them.

The “war on Christians” has been advanced, in these accounts, by Supreme Court decisions outlawing mandatory prayer and Bible-reading in public schools in the 1960s and legalizing abortion and marriage for same-sex couples. Concerns have also mounted with the growing visibility of non-Christian religious minorities in the U.S., especially Islam, and the rising ranks of the nonreligious have produced minor skirmishes over coffee cups that say “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas.”

But they feel that their rights are being taken away because we don’t want their religion forced down out throats… we want our god given right to discriminate!

Have you noticed when the oppressed force off the yoke of oppression that the oppressor calls us ungrateful, uppity, which is a common tactic used by oppressors to shame and discredit those seeking liberation from unjust subjugation. Do you remember the Blue Laws? They were laws that restrict or prohibit certain commercial and recreational activities on Sundays. Stores and bars were closed, hunting, operating certain businesses like car dealerships, and other activities on Sundays… Sundays were reserved for the church. Boy what an outcry when the Blue Laws were done away with, they felt that their values and influence are being marginalized in American society and was furthered intensified when our LGBTQ rights have advanced. Once again they felt that their god given right to discriminate was being taken away and under attack. In their minds the more rights we had the less they had.

But our Human Rights are being taken away around the globe, ILGA-Europe reports,
The 2023 Rainbow Europe Map finds that trans and intersex rights at the forefront of positive change for LGBTI people in Europe.

    Despite intense anti-LGBTI attacks in several countries, equality is still advancing across Europe

    While the public discourse is becoming more polarised and violent, particularly against trans people, political determination to advance LGBTI rights is paying off. The largest gains on the map are for countries that introduced legal gender recognition using a self-determination model. Over the past 12 months bans on intersex genital mutilation (IGM) are also bringing countries up in the ranking.
  •     Spain jumped six places to number four with its introduction of LGR with self determination, alongside a ban on IGM, while Finland entered the top ten, again up six places, again with LGR based on self-determination. Greece has also moved up four places with its ban on IGM.
  •     Gender identity and sex characteristics are included in anti-discrimination and/or hate crime legislation, moving Belgium, Iceland and Moldova up the chart alongside Spain.
  •     Moldova has jumped 14 places because sexual orientation and gender identity have been positively included in legislation covering employment, education, provision of goods and services, health, hate crime and hate speech.
  •     Slovenia and Switzerland switched positions. Both countries introduced same-sex marriage and joint adoption. Switzerland also allows medically assisted insemination for couples. Croatia too moved up one spot with its introduction of adoption for same-sex couples.



As you can see from the map it is getting hard for trans people in Europe, even Italy is going conservative like they did in the 1930s.

I Keep Telling You…

… But you don’t believe me that the Republican goal is to have women barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen. Don’t believe me well get a load of this bill that the governor vetoed, the bill protected a woman’s right to contraception. It would have prevented contraceptives becoming illegal!
The Hill
BY TARA SUTER
May 17, 2024


Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) vetoed a slew of bills Friday, including one focused on protecting access to contraceptives.

“While I look forward to working with the General Assembly to see if we can reach agreement on language in the future, today I must act on the language before me, and there are several bills which are not ready to become law,” Youngkin said in a release shared by his office.

“This includes legislation related to contraception. Let me be crystal clear: I support access to contraception. However, we cannot trample on the religious freedoms of Virginians,” he added.

In his veto statement, Youngkin said the legislation created “an overly broad cause of action against political subdivisions and parents, as well as medical professionals acting in their expert judgment and within their scope of practice.”
Um, ah… so exactly how does allow contraceptive for all affect religious freedoms? You mean they want to deny contraceptives to other because it interferes with their religious beliefs and the religious beliefs of others don’t count?
Companion bills in the State House and Senate chambers state that “a person shall have the right to obtain contraceptives and to engage in contraception” and that the right “shall not be infringed upon by any law, regulation, or policy that expressly or effectively limits, delays, or impedes access to contraceptives or information related to contraception.”
Just more of the Republican’s twisted logic and it is spreading across the nation in Republican legislatures.
A new conservative incrementalism wants to erode access to birth control and lay the groundwork for a future ban.
MSNBC
By Mary Ziegler, professor at the UC Davis School of Law
October 10, 2023


A recent exposé by The New Yorker dropped a bombshell about the organization that may now be the most important in the antiabortion movement: the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian litigation group with a string of Supreme Court wins and a $104 million dollar budget in 2022. Alan Sears, a long-term leader of the group, told the New Yorker of his hopes that one day, Americans would “say the birth control pill is a mistake.”

Sears’ comment contrasts with ADF’s successful public relations strategy: claiming to defend merely the right to conscience of conservative Christians. The history of strategies like the ADF’s make clear that today’s conscience arguments can underwrite future bans, even on birth control itself.

[…]

The Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade and the ADF’s work against transgender rights have provided the group with an equally important resource for anti-birth control incrementalism: history and tradition as a limit on constitutional rights. The Dobbs ruling rejected the idea of a right to choose abortion by stressing that it is not deeply rooted in our nation’s history and tradition, understood to mean the years around 1868, when the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified.
Their goal is a White Christian Nation!
*****

*****

*****

*****

*****
 
*****
It is like the Republicans are taking their plays from the Handmaid's Tale plot line.

Just in case you forgot what the show was about...
Based on the best-selling novel by Margaret Atwood, this series is set in Gilead, a totalitarian society in what used to be part of the United States. Gilead is ruled by a fundamentalist regime that treats women as property of the state, and is faced with environmental disasters and a plummeting birth rate. In a desperate attempt to repopulate a devastated world, the few remaining fertile women are forced into sexual servitude. One of these women, Offred, is determined to survive the terrifying world she lives in, and find the daughter that was taken from her.
Now tell me doesn't it seem like the Republicans are working toward that utopian goal?

Sunday, May 19, 2024

The Twisted News

The Republicans are quietly twisting the meaning of conversion therapy in to something nasty. They are saying that Conversion Therapy bans include our healthcare! But they want insurance to pay for detransition costs.
Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence roasted Mike Pence at the GLAAD Media Awards, joking that the former US vice president was secretly gay and had gone through conversion therapy. 
Pink News
By Emily Chudy
May 14, 2024


During the LGBTQ+ organisation’s 35th annual media awards on Saturday (11 May), which was disrupted by a pro-Palestine protest, Lawrence took to the stage to tear into Pence’s alleged support for conversion therapy. 

Joking that she had once fallen in love with a gay man and tried to “convert” him, before realising that “conversion therapy doesn’t work”, Lawrence went on to target Pence, quipping that he must be secretly gay. 

“Did you hear me, Mike Pence?” Lawrence said. “I said: ‘Conversion therapy is not real’, even though you think it worked on you.”

While Pence has denied supporting the practice – which purports to change a person’s sexuality or gender identity – opponents, highlighting his well-publicised broadly anti-LGBTQ+ views, have claimed the former presidential candidate backs the idea.
There have been a couple of bills to say the trans healthcare is really “Conversion Therapy.” The Florida Phoenix writes,
Florida House Republicans approved a proposal Monday that would require health insurance companies providing gender-affirming care for transgender people to also cover therapies to affirm a person’s sex assigned at birth — otherwise known as conversion therapy.

The sponsor of HB 1639, GOP Rep. Douglas Michael Bankson representing parts of Orange and Seminole counties, said he doesn’t intend to make anyone choose to reverse transition procedures but that he wants to make that choice more accessible.

The legislation mainly focuses on mandating coverage of detransition treatments to reverse the process of gender-affirming care such as hormone replacement therapy. However, Bankson also plans to swap gender for sex assigned at birth in state driver’s licenses and IDs.
While down in Arizona the Arizona Mirror writes about that state’s effort,
“This is a pretty normal tactic from any anti-LGBTQ elected official to find maybe the couple of folks who have had bad experiences and maybe decided to detransition — and again, that’s up to them — and use it as an example for every single transgender person in the country,” Sharpe said. “It becomes this sort of scare tactic and feeds into this disinformation machine that anti-equality elected officials have been feeding into for the past several years.”
Senator Kelda Helen Roys of Wisconsin wrote on her state webpage,
Today, Republicans voted to suspend a rule preventing state-licensed counselors and therapists from subjecting youth to so-called “conversion therapy,” a discredited and abusive practice that purports to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. 

Sen. Kelda Roys: “‘Conversion therapy’ is child abuse and has no place in Wisconsin. This discriminatory, harmful practice should be banned to protect every child. As Republican legislative leaders have called for good faith efforts to work with Gov. Evers and Democrats, it’s disappointing that one of their first official actions is to use vulnerable children as pawns in their right-wing culture war.

“Actions like this send a clear message to LGBTQ children and families that they aren’t welcome in Wisconsin. It contributes to the outflow of young professionals and working families leaving the state to live in more inclusive places. Worst of all, conversion therapy causes concrete harm to vulnerable young people – including increased risk of depression, drug use, homelessness, and suicide.”

Rep. Sue Conley: “Today’s vote by Republicans is deeply disappointing and disturbing. ‘Conversion therapy’ has no basis in science and is adamantly opposed by professionals in the counseling field. This practice has been proven to put youth at risk of psychological harm. Allowing conversion therapy in Wisconsin reverses the decision made by professional social workers and experts to ban the practice in their profession. Politicians have no business interfering in the work of mental health experts, especially when it involves our children.”
And it is not just the states, the House Republicans added this amendment according to Roll Call.
House Republicans who waged fierce political battles over Obamacare and abortion after that have found a new focus as the lead-up to the 2024 elections: gender-affirming care for transgender Americans.

They’ve added riders on seven of the 12 House fiscal 2024 appropriations bills that would put restrictions on gender-affirming care, which can be anything from hormone therapy to surgical care to insurance coverage of either.

The fight has extended beyond spending bills into policy measures as well: They’ve held up traditionally bipartisan programs to pay for pediatrician training over hospitals’ decisions to provide such care. Another bill would create a global gag rule for gender-affirming care similar to the Mexico City policy for abortion care.
That is the Republican version of Doublespeak which Wikipedia defines as…
Doublespeak is language that deliberately obscures, disguises, distorts, or reverses the meaning of words. Doublespeak may take the form of euphemisms (e.g., "downsizing" for layoffs and "servicing the target" for bombing), in which case it is primarily meant to make the truth sound more palatable. It may also refer to intentional ambiguity in language or to actual inversions of meaning. In such cases, doublespeak disguises the nature of the truth.

Doublespeak is most closely associated with political language.
That sure does sound like what the Republicans are doing! And you can bet your bottom dollar that if Trump wins and the Republicans gain control of Congress you will see legislation on a national level as those laws that the Republican states have passed!

So the next time you hear Republicans talking about a ban on Conversion Therapy beware; what they are really talking about is a ban of trans healthcare!

They want to wipe us off the face of this earth!

Vote Blue and save lives! 

First They Came After… Now It Is Marriage!

First They Came After…

Do you know what is next on the hit parade of Republican goals? Marriage! Yup you got it, they are going after divorce. They want to do away with divorce, you’re married for life!
Ben Carson Is The Latest Republican To Call For An End To No-Fault Divorce
It should be outlawed "for the sake of families," Carson argues in his new book, "The Perilous Fight."
HuffPost
By Kelby Vera
May 14, 2024


Ben Carson is joining the chorus of conservatives who want to do away with no-fault divorce.

In his new book, “The Perilous Fight,” the former cabinet member for Donald Trump writes, “For the sake of families, we should enact legislation to remove or radically reduce incidences of no-fault divorce.”

Carson, who is said to be on the short list for Trump’s vice presidential pick, continues, “The reason this matters is that no-fault divorce legally allows marriages to end much more quickly than in previous decades.”

He goes on, “When there are relatively few legal or financial consequences connected with divorce, it’s natural for people to gravitate toward that option when their marriage hits a rough patch.”

“What those people often don’t consider, however, is the harm — both present and future — inflicted on their children once a divorce is finalized.”
First they came for abortion…
Then they came for the trans kids…
Then they came for the gays…
Now they are coming for marriage on their quest for a Christian Nation.

These are a bunch of men who want to impose their “Christian values” on women and chain them in the kitchen barefoot and pregnant. Can someone please tell that the Republicans are not trying to force us into the “Handmaid Tale?”
No-fault divorce is thought to have had a profound impact on the lives of women. One 2004 study found a drop in domestic violence and suicide rates for women once no-fault divorce became an option.
And it is not just him but also,
Carson is not the first Republican politician to flirt with making divorce more difficult to obtain.

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), in a 2016 sermon, claimed the introduction of no-fault divorce led to the rise of a “completely amoral society.” Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) also endorsed ending the option.
NBC News reported that Ben Carson said,
Ben Carson, who is often named as a potential running mate for Donald Trump, is out with a new book in which he calls for an end to no-fault divorce laws in the U.S.

“For the sake of families, we should enact legislation to remove or radically reduce incidences of no-fault divorce,” Carson writes in “The Perilous Fight,” released Tuesday.

“The reason this matters is that no-fault divorce legally allows marriages to end much more quickly than in previous decades. When there are relatively few legal or financial consequences connected with divorce, it’s natural for people to gravitate toward that option when their marriage hits a rough patch,” he adds. “What those people often don’t consider, however, is the harm — both present and future — inflicted on their children once a divorce is finalized.”
Um… he might be the running mate who has been divorced three time! Do as I say, not as the orange hair man says.
 
This is not a new idea, it has been quietly discussed in the backrooms.
The Coming Attack on an Essential Element of Women’s Freedom
No-fault divorce has improved the lives of millions. Now some extreme Republicans want to abandon it.
The Atlantic
By Kimberly Wehle
September 26, 2023
 
For the past half century, many women in America have enjoyed an unprecedented degree of freedom and legal protection, not because of Roe v. Wade or antidiscrimination laws but because of something much less celebrated: “no fault” divorce. Beginning in the early 1970s, no-fault divorce enabled millions of people, most of them women, to file for divorce over “irreconcilable differences” or the equivalent without having to prove misconduct by a spouse—such as adultery, domestic violence, bigamy, cruelty, abandonment, or impotence.

But now conservative politicians in states such as Texas and Louisiana, as well as a devoutly Catholic husband who tried to halt his wife’s divorce efforts in Nebraska, are attacking no-fault divorce. One of the more alarming steps taken in that direction came from the Texas Republican Party, whose 2022 platform called on the legislature to “rescind unilateral no-fault divorce laws and support covenant marriage.” Given the Republican Party’s control of the offices of governor, secretary of state, and attorney general, and both chambers of the state legislature, Texas has a chance of actually doing it.
And they are trying to put it into affect, they introduced a bill to end no-fault divorce in Oklahoma, the Oklahoman reported...
A bill that would abolish no-fault divorce is drawing the ire of some attorneys and domestic violence victims’ advocates.

Sen. Dusty Deevers, R-Elgin, filed Senate Bill 1958 that would no longer allow Oklahomans to file for divorce on the grounds of incompatibility, also known as no-fault divorce.   

Critics say it would make it more difficult to end a marriage and make the actual reason for a divorce open to public scrutiny.
[From the picture with the article the Senator has eight children!]
They marching with their crucifixes held high in their march to a White Christian Nation… vote Blue! 
 
You freedom and life depends upon Biden winning.
 


A follow-up to last Sunday's post... The Board went through with the name change.
CBS News
May 10, 2024


A Virginia school board voted Friday to restore the names of Confederate military leaders to a high school and an elementary school, four years after the names were removed amid nationwide protests calling for a reckoning over racial injustice.

In a reversal experts believe was the first of its kind, Shenandoah County's school board voted 5-1 to rename Mountain View High School as Stonewall Jackson High School and Honey Run Elementary as Ashby Lee Elementary.

Friday's vote reversed a decision by the school board in 2020 when school systems across Virginia and the South were removing Confederate names from schools and other public locations in response to the Black Lives Matter movement.

[…]

On Friday, school board members who voted to restore the Confederate names said the previous board ignored popular sentiment and due process when the names were stripped.

Elections in 2023 significantly changed the school board's makeup, with one board member writing in an op-ed for the Northern Virginia Daily that the results gave Shenandoah County "the first 100% conservative board since anyone can remember."

That board member, Gloria Carlineo, said during the six-hour meeting that began Thursday night that opponents of the Confederate names should "stop bringing racism and prejudice into everything" because it "detracts from true cases of racism."
That is how twisted these conservatives are, they can see what they are doing is racist, they cannot see that they are disenfranchise the Black community and rubbing slavery in their faces.

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Saturday 9: Tunnel of Love

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

Welcome to Saturday: 9. What we've committed to our readers is that we will post 9 questions every Saturday. Sometimes the post will have a theme, and at other times the questions will be totally unrelated. Those weeks we do "random questions," so-to-speak. We encourage you to visit other participants posts and leave a comment. Because we don't have any rules, it is your choice. We hate rules. We love memes, however, and here is today's meme!

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) In this week's song, Doris Day tries to convince her lover to share a kiss in the Tunnel of Love. What's your favorite amusement park ride?
I don’t have one, the last amusement ride that I was on was a disaster. The Wildcat, it was like a roller coaster but with sharp corners… threw my back out and threw my classes off (I found them when they stopped the ride so they could find my glasses but my back wasn’t so luck it hurt for weeks. 

2) In the 1950s, when Doris recorded this song, Tunnel of Love rides were popular in the US. Couples would climb into small boats that only seat two and float through a dark tunnel, accompanied by romantic music. Today less than 100 of these rides still exist. Have you ever taken a ride through the Tunnel of Love?
Nope.

3) This week's featured artist, Doris Day, made approximately 40 films and a TV series. She said one of her favorite things about being an actress was the clothes. She loved collaborating with the experts who created her wardrobe. Her contemporary, Betty Grable, found all the fittings boring and just let the wardrobe department do their job without offering much input. Imagine you are a performer: Would you be more like Doris or Betty?
Betty, I’ll let the pros do their job.
Some factoids about me:
1) I was in a commercial for a non-profit once.
2) When I was interviewed once they had a professional markup artist on the set. At first is was going to pass on having my face done… then I remember the Kennedy Nixon debates and I had my face touched up.
3) I watched them making It Happened to Jane movie with Doris Day and Jack Lemmon.

4) There was persistent rumor that, after Doris appeared on Bob Hope's radio show, the two had an affair. She always denied it. Have you ever been the subject of workplace gossip?
Oh yes, the day that I was laid off from work one of my technicians that I had worked with for close to 30 years couldn’t wait to spill the beans about me being trans.

5) Doris never liked to fly and her fear increased as she got older. After she retired, she refused to fly at all. This caused her to decline lifetime achievement awards and other events in her honor. Have you more recently extended, accepted or declined an invitation?
Yes, because of my back.

6) After show biz, Doris devoted herself animal welfare. She used to say that we should be more sensitive to the loneliness and sadness people feel when they lose a pet. Think of a time when you were grieving. What words or gestures helped you get through the difficult time?
No.

7) In 1958, when this song was on the Billboard chart, "The Purple People Eater" was also popular. It's a silly song about a creature from another planet. Have you ever seen a UFO (unidentified flying object)?
Nope. When we had a cottage in New Hampshire the state road near the cottage was written up in a newspaper about seeing UFOs (I think they were just yanking the reporters chain.)

8) Also in 1958, Americans were watching 77 Sunset Strip. The show revolved around the LA-based private investigators whose office was at that address. Who is your favorite TV PI?
Paul Drake.

9) Random question -- In the 1950s, stewardesses used to famously ask passengers, "Coffee, tea, or milk?" If asked that right now, which of these three beverages would you prefer?
If they had decaf then tea otherwise milk.
I am on a new kick: Pasteurized but non-homogenized milk. You know the type with the cream on top, like what used to be delivered on your back porch. It taste so much more richer and creamier.


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, May 17, 2024

Is The Head Dead Yet?

I make my livin' off the evenin' news
Just give me somethin', somethin' I can use
People love it when you lose
They love dirty laundry

Dirty Laundry – Don Henley
I watch a lot of evening news and you can help wondering about their “Breaking News” stories are always about shootings first thing. Think about it, the news never carries good events at the beginning of the news… murders, robberies, earthquakes, disaters they are always on the top of the news, why? Because they sell ads.
Americans fear crime despite downward trends
With crime down, why do many Americans believe it's going up? Researchers say there are many reasons for the disconnect.
Scripps News Service
By: Clayton Sandell
May 13, 2024


Crime: It's one of those subjects that always seems to be a top priority for Americans and the candidates who want their votes.

"We've invested a record amount in public safety, violence interruption, and we've also done much work to make communities safer," said President Joe Biden earlier this month in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Crime stories often play big in the news, and a growing number of Americans — 58% — say reducing crime should be a top priority for the president and Congress, according to the Pew Research Center.

But what is actually happening in America when it comes to crime? According to a Pew analysis of FBI data, violent crimes, including robbery, assault and murder are down by 49% from 1993 to 2022.
There have been a rash of car thefts in town and guess who gets blamed for the rise in the car thefts? The Democrats.

Does it matter that there has been a big drop in crimes… Nope. Does it matter that major car manufacturers have cars that are easily hot wired… Nope. Does it matter that the majority of car thefts had their keys in them and were unlocked… Nope.

The Republican’s “Lock ‘em up and thhow away the key approach.” doesn’t work but it resonates with the voters.
With crime down, why do many Americans believe it's going up? Researchers say there are many reasons for the disconnect, from high-profile news stories, politicians who make crime a constant talking point on the campaign trail and even social media keeping track of what we read.

"Algorithms are such that if you've clicked on a few crime stories, you may see more crime stories in your feed," said Gramlich. "And so that could be some reason why people think there's more crime."
Yup! I clicked on one story about the Adirondack park and guess what my news feeds are packed with stories about the Adirondack park, the online news is an echo chamber.

The other thing about crime that it mainly happens where most people don’t go. A shootout at a private party, or a late night bar, or buying drugs, or most often with a family argument.
We got the bubble-headed bleached-blonde, comes on at five
She can tell you 'bout the plane crash with a gleam in her eye
It's interesting when people die
Give us dirty laundry
Then there are the guns… most of the guns used in crimes here in Connecticut come from states with the fewest guns laws. Joslyn Law Firm writes,
Consider the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data on homicides involving firearms. California, a state with notoriously strict gun control laws, has a firearm homicide rate of 3.5 per 100,000 people. On the other hand, gun-friendly Mississippi’s firearm homicide rate is nearly three times that, 10.2 per 100,000 people. While many factors may impact why one state has a higher homicide rate than another, it’s hard to deny that gun violence in America needs to be addressed.

But the Republicans and the gun manufacturers have brainwashed the voters into thinking the more guns the safer you are.
You don't really need to find out what's goin' on
You don't really wanna know just how far it's gone
Just leave well enough alone
Eat your dirty laundry

A Pilgrimage.

Religion and cults sometimes require a pilgrimage to high holy places, the followers of “The Trump” are no different. Many of their Republicans made a pilgrimage to the Big Apple to visit their exalted leader in court.
At least 9 GOP lawmakers are at Trump trial, which could be a problem for Republicans
The Hill
BY REBECCA BEITSCH AND ZACH SCHONFELD
May 16, 2024


At least nine Republican lawmakers traveled to New York to appear in court alongside former President Trump on Thursday, the latest in a string of GOP lawmakers to attend the hush money trial.

The move could jeopardize GOP attendance at a key vote later in the day and also comes after the House Oversight and Accountability Committee bumped a scheduled hearing to facilitate their attendance at court.

Reps. Matt Gaetz (Fla.), Lauren Boebert (Colo.), Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Mike Waltz (Fla.) and Eli Crane (Ariz.) were spotted in the courtroom, while Reps. Andy Ogles (Tenn.) Anna Paulina Luna (Fla.), Ralph Norman (S.C.) and House Freedom Caucus Chair Bob Good (Va.) were also spotted at the Manhattan courthouse.
Of course the closer you get to the exalted leader the more prestige one has.
Boebert and Gaetz were spotted sitting in the first row of the gallery, next to Eric Trump and the former president’s Secret Service agents. Good was also seen seated in the first row, on the other side of Trump’s security detail.

Five additional lawmakers are seated in the second row, which is also reserved for Trump’s guests.
Others hope to be anointed and receive his blessing for VP.
Other GOP lawmakers — including Reps. Byron Donalds (Fla.), Nicole Malliotakis (N.Y.) and Cory Mills (Fla.) and Sens. JD Vance (Ohio) and Tommy Tuberville (Ala.) — made the trip to the Manhattan courthouse this week, in addition to Republicans who have been floated as potential Trump running mates, including North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and Vivek Ramaswamy.
Like coy debutantes they line up for exalted leader blessing.
 
The party of "Law and Order" condemns the legal system, AP News writes,
Johnson, who is second in line for the presidency, called the court system “corrupt.”

Outside the New York courthouse, he decried “this ridiculous prosecution that is not about justice.” He said, “It’s all about politics.”

The speaker is leading a growing list of Republican lawmakers who are criticizing the American judicial system as they rally to Trump’s side, appearing at the courthouse to defend the party’s presumptive presidential nominee. Trump is accused of having arranged secret payments to a porn actress to hide negative stories during his successful 2016 campaign for president.
It seems like the Republicans does not trust the legal system unless it rules in their favor.



Updated May 17, 2024 @ 8:00PM

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said he was flabbergasted that Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) made an appearance at former President Trump’s hush money trial in New York this week, slamming House Republicans who showed up as greedy for power.

Schiff was asked by MSNBC’s Alex Wagner on Thursday evening about his thoughts on the gaggle of Republican lawmakers who traveled to Manhattan to support the former president as he sits in court.

“I have so many thoughts and let me start with the Speaker because, I have to say, I was flabbergasted that he would go and make that pilgrimage, stand outside that courthouse and lie about what was going on inside the building,” Schiff said.

[…]

He went a step further, saying no one in the House Republican conference has “any real commitment” to the Constitution or a system of justice.

“It’s all about keeping power, gaining power, and no debasement too great before … their supreme leader,” Schiff said.