Tuesday, April 30, 2024

There Is No Differences?

Oh really, how many time have you heard that about the Democrats and Republicans?

I was posting some links on Facebook when I ran across this, now tell me do you think that in Republican states you would see this web page on a the state website?
Department of Aging and Disability Services: LGBTQ+ Resources for Older

We are proud to announce that our staff have received training from the National Resource Center on LGBTQ+ Aging and the State Unit on Aging is now a Safe Space for our friends in the LGBTQ+ community.
Do you think that you would find a web page like this on the Florida or Texas web pages?

What about this? The governor’s Hate Crimes Advisory Council [Which I am a member] do you think you would see anything like this in Republican states?

The Republicans were introduced last year over 510 anti-LGBTQ bills up from 180 in 2022! Democrats, zero!

So I don’t want to hear about not voting this year! Our lives depend upon it!

It is something that trans people know really well... bias crimes and bias speech.

Here is where I stand on the topic of the college protests, if it is peaceful and they are not threatening anyone then it is covered under the 1st Amendment.
But however, Republicans and Democrats see it differently,
By Alexis Simendinger and Kristina Karisch
April 29, 2024

Pro-Palestine protests on college campuses across the country are here to stay.

From Ivy League universities in New York and the Northeast, to schools in the Midwest, Texas, the South and California, the surge in student activism has resulted in protest encampments and other demonstrations, drawing significant police crackdowns and sometimes appearing to attract outside disruptors. At least 900 protesters have been arrested during demonstrations on college campuses in the last 10 days, according to a Washington Post tally.
So what are they protesting?

It seems to me that the debate is over our country's policy on the middle-East and that is a fair topic to debate.
THE PROTESTS HAVE EMERGED as the latest flashpoint in the internal Democratic debate over the war. Most Democrats say they both support free speech and condemn antisemitism, and consider criticism of the Israeli government to be fair game. But debates over how to distinguish between legitimate criticism of Israel and antisemitic speech are fraught and reaching a fever pitch on campus.


THE PROTESTERS ON CAMPUSES are getting very different responses from elected officials in red and blue states. Texas is seeing pushback after state troopers in riot gear arrested more than 50 people at a peaceful demonstration, and Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has threatened expulsion for students who engage in unsanctioned demonstrations, while New York has made clear the National Guard will not be called in as authorities negotiate with Columbia University’s student encampment.
The Republicans believe we should all fall in-line behind them like good little ducks in a row.
That is a concerning difference,” said Kaivan Shroff, senior adviser to the Institute for Education and a Democratic political strategist. “I think that there is a much more sort of set of standards for protecting free speech and basic human rights in the blue states.” [Their emphasis]
Then we have the Democratic Presidential Convention this year...
The clashes between anti-war protesters and police is spreading alarm among congressional Democrats who worry that anger over Biden’s handling of the war in Gaza could engulf their convention in late August. Images of police arresting students have Democratic lawmakers bracing for chaos in Chicago — where in 1968, the Democratic National Convention was marked by violent clashes between police and anti-Vietnam War protesters. Sen. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), who attended the 1968 convention, said he’s worried that protests at this year’s convention might overshadow the official proceedings.
I am also worried about the convention.

Let's bust heads! Politico writes,
State troopers and local police this week arrested scores of demonstrators who assembled at flagship public schools in red states with a history of setting trends on free speech, diversity programs and LGBTQ+ issues for the right. Texas institutions are staring down an order from Gov. Greg Abbott to overhaul campus policies. In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis is suggesting expelling students who cross the line separating free speech from targeted harassment.
 Now prominent Republicans, including House Speaker Mike Johnson, are calling for National Guard troops to be deployed to clamp down on protests.

“It’s not an accident that it’s Mike Johnson, rather than the Democrats in the House, who are going to Columbia to decry it as insufficiently protective of the sensitivities of a minority group,” Dorf said in an interview. “He’s making the same kinds of claims that the DeSantises of the world were complaining about less than a year ago.”
Gee when and where have we seen that? I know 1970 and Kent State, and my memory of it, it didn't go well. Back then it was a Republican governor that called in the Guard and now it is the Republican governors and Republican Congressional delegates that wanted the Guard to step in to the peaceful demonstrations. They want to show the voters that they are tough on crime even when no laws were broken.

Bias Speech is not a crime! It is a crime only if there are threats made or calls of violence.

Anyone Surprised?

I’m not surprised.

Houston Public Media...
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the Biden administration Monday for expanding federal sex discrimination protections under Title IX to include LGBTQ+ students.

Title IX is a sweeping civil rights law that prohibits sex-based discrimination at federally funded colleges and K-12 schools. The Biden administration's interpretation of Title IX rules, which came earlier this month, redefines sex-based harassment to cement protections for LGBTQ and pregnant students.

Paxton joins a number of Republican leaders across the country who have sued to block the change from taking effect.

"Texas will not allow Joe Biden to rewrite Title IX at whim, destroying legal protections for women in furtherance of his radical obsession with gender ideology," Paxton wrote in a Monday statement. "This attempt to subvert federal law is plainly illegal, undemocratic, and divorced from reality. Texas will always take the lead to oppose Biden's extremist, destructive policies that put women at risk."
Did you really expect anything different, it was a matter of would do yank them to court first, Texas or Florida. The Houston Chronicle wrote,
The Biden administration issued similar guidance two years ago, but Texas and 19 other Republican-led states sued and convinced a federal judge to block the policy. The department’s newly finalized rules were delayed by a comment period that drew 240,000 responses, a record for the Education Department.
Hopefully this law suit will not block the policy like the courts did the last policy.
Paxton has frequently filed suits against the Biden administration in Amarillo, where cases are all but guaranteed to go to U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, a former attorney for a conservative religious liberty legal group who was appointed to the bench by former President Donald Trump.
Let us hope the the court will follow the U.S. Judicial Conference guidelines on picking judge. The Texas Tribune said the changes were the result of Trump changing them,
In its final interpretation of Title IX, the Biden administration sought to extend a 2020 U.S. Supreme Court case decision related to workplace discrimination to students. The high court ruled in Bostock v. Clayton County that Title VII, a civil rights law that bars employment discrimination on the basis of sex, applied to gay and transgender workers.

The Title IX changes also walk back rules set during the Trump administration that required “live hearings” in which students accused of sexual misconduct could question accusers in a courtroom-like setting. The Biden administration kept Trump-era provisions that allow informal resolutions and prohibit penalties against students until an investigation is complete.
How this will proceed is anyone’s guess as it goes through the court system.

Monday, April 29, 2024

January 20th 2025

Hopefully it will not be a date which will live in infamy. Hopefully we will still have a Democratic President. There are a number of article about what might happen if Trump wins.

The New Republic writes,
Project 2025’s 180-Day Playbook is a remarkably detailed guide to turning the United States into a fascist’s paradise.
By Melissa Gira Grant
February 8, 2024

On January 20, 2025, conservatives plan to resurrect a 150-year-old defunct law to ban abortion across the nation. This is not a secret plan—far from it. It’s part of the 180-Day Playbook produced by Project 2025, detailing priorities for an incoming conservative president on day one. These 900 pages lay out a Christian nationalist vision of the United States, one in which married heterosexuality is the only valid form of sexual expression and identity; all pregnancies would be carried to term, even if that requires coercion or death; and transgender and gender-nonconforming people do not exist. 

Project 2025’s 180-Day Playbook is driven by such ideology. “Look at America under the ruling and cultural elite today,” writes Kevin Roberts, president of the Heritage Foundation, in the document’s foreword: “Children suffer the toxic normalization of transgenderism with drag queens and pornography invading their school libraries.” Project 2025 claims to present the “consensus recommendations” of “the entire conservative movement” for addressing purported crises like these: The first guiding principle is “Restore the family as the centerpiece of American life and protect our children.”

The hundreds of pages that follow lay out specific plans for each department—from Health and Human Services and Education to Labor and Justice. Make no mistake: As steeped as Project 2025 is in the conspiratorial imagination of the right, its plan is comprehensive and dangerous. Health care providers, educators, employers, and the government’s own civil rights enforcement apparatus, among many others, would all be marshaled to ensure our acquiescence in this dictatorial male supremacist society.
When people say that this election is a matter of life and death to us, they are not kidding! These people dislike our guts along with our gay brothers and lesbian sisters! They want to bring back the time before the Stonewall Uprising!
With careful planning, conservatives today are working to make their policy priorities permanent—no matter what happens in future elections.
February 28, 2024

Wealthy right-wing think tank The Heritage Foundation has published a detailed plan for the next Republican president to use the executive branch of the federal government to attack the rights of women, LGBTQ people and the BIPOC community, by eliminating the agencies and offices responsible for enforcing civil rights laws and placing trained right-wing ideologues in staff positions throughout the federal government. 

Called the 2025 Presidential Transition Project—or “Project 2025,” for short—the plan has “four pillars”:
1. an 887-page policy agenda,
2. a presidential personnel database of vetted conservatives,
3. a Presidential Administration Academy to train these people to achieve the Project 2025 policy agenda, and
4. a 180-day playbook, which is what they hope to achieve in the first 180 days if Trump takes office in January 2025.
To develop this plan, the Heritage Foundation organized a broad coalition of over 90 conservative organizations—a who’s-who of groups that have led attacks on reproductive rights and bodily autonomy, gender studies, the Equal Rights Amendment and #MeToo initiatives.

The coalition includes Concerned Women for America, the Independent Women’s Forum, the Eagle Forum, the Susan B. Anthony Foundation, Moms for Liberty, AAPLOG (the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists), Students for Life of America, Alliance Defending Freedom, First Liberty and Turning Point USA.
This is a “Who’s Who” of right-wing pundits! 
Demonstration is Saturday at Heritage Foundation, author of Project 2025
The Washington Blade
By Christopher Kane
January 25, 2024

The Human Rights Campaign will join a coalition of groups for a rally on Saturday against Project 2025, the 887-page plan that would reshape American government if a Republican is elected president in 2024.

The demonstration was organized by the Center for Popular Democracy as part of its yearlong Stop the Coup campaign. Participants will gather by the headquarters of the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank, which produced Project 2025, at 1 p.m.

“A blueprint for a future dictatorship that reflects the GOP’s 2025 party platform” the Center for Popular Democracy wrote in a press release, “Project 2025 is an 887-page extremist GOP masterplan to systematically dismantle our federal government and democracy.”

The document “envisions America as a future Christian theocracy and seeks to replace public education with the Bible” and was created by “The Heritage Foundation and 75 Christian groups” as “a radical plan to retake power in America.”
That is their ultimate goal, to bring back the time before the Stonewall Uprising! They want to create a theocracy, an utopian dream of the Handmaid's Tale.

The Advocate from November write,
Roberts outlines a vision of a nation in crisis. “Today, the American family is in crisis,” he wrote. “Children suffer the toxic normalization of transgenderism with drag queens and pornography invading their school libraries.”

These statements, which include archaic language, have ignited outrage and concern for their implications on the rights and well-being of the transgender community.

“Pornography, manifested today in the omnipresent propagation of transgender ideology and sexualization of children, for instance, is not a political Gordian knot inextricably binding up disparate claims about free speech, property rights, sexual liberation, and child welfare,” Roberts wrote. “It has no claim to First Amendment protection. Its purveyors are child predators and misogynistic exploiters of women.”
All the world’s troubles are our fault. We are the scapegoats for society’s woes. It is not the billionaires hording their moneys, it is not the oligarchs, it is us the lonely trans community that only make up 0.5% of the people.

It is all about control! Control of the lives of proletariat by the bourgeoisie that is the Republican goal. They are stripping public educations, they want to make birth control illegal, the want to control women’s bodies, and for us in the LGBTQ+ community they want to eradicate us.

And a second term will affect more than us.
How Trump’s second term could be different from his first
The Hill
By Brett Samuels and Rebecca Beitsch
April 28, 2024

Former President Trump’s pursuit of a second term in the White House could lead to an administration stocked with loyalists who are laser-focused on implementing Trump’s agenda and are willing to cater to his whims.

Critics, including some who have worked closely with Trump, have expressed concerns that a second Trump administration would have fewer officials willing to act as guardrails and would enable the former president to act more impulsively, in part because of his lame duck status.

“That is one of my biggest concerns about a second Trump administration, is there would be no guardrails,” said Sarah Matthews, a former Trump spokesperson who has become a critic of the ex-president. “I think there were a lot of people in the first Trump administration who were very skeptical of him but believed it was their duty to serve, so they went to go work for him to try and, I think, guide him and put him on a better path.”

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who backed Trump in 2016 and 2020 before running a primary campaign against Trump in the 2024 race, told The Washington Post the prospect of a “vendetta tour” was his greatest fear about a possible second Trump term.
That is also my concern, he will pack the administration with his cronies.
When they show you who they are, believe them the first time.
Maya Angelou

For Those Who Stand By Us…

It pays a toll. Businesses that have stood by us like Bud Light, Target, and Plant Fitness have paid  price in their support of us.
At least 54 threats have been received by Planet Fitness locations following attacks by far-right influencer Chaya Raichik
The Washington Post
By Taylor Lorenz and Gus Garcia-Roberts
April 28, 2024

John Hart-Battles, a 17-year-old high school junior in Oklahoma, joined Planet Fitness last June to keep in shape as a member of his school’s color guard team. As a young gay man, he liked Planet Fitness’s focus on inclusivity, an approach that turned it into one of the leading fitness brands in the United States. He started going twice a week.

But for the past few weeks, he, like many LGBTQ Planet Fitness patrons and staffers, has stayed away, as at least 54 bomb threats have been made to Planet Fitness locations across the country, many of which led to evacuations. “It’s one of my worst fears, to be hate crimed, specifically in a locker room,” said Hart-Battles, who called the attacks on Planet Fitness “very unsettling.”

Local police and the FBI say they have yet to determine who is behind the threats, which in some instances have forced the evacuation, police say, not just of Planet Fitness locations but of businesses nearby.
When I did diversity training one of my slides read,
    • Misuse of pronouns
    • Using old name (Deadnaming)
    • Use of derogatory words:
        ◦ Transvestite
        ◦ It
        ◦ He/She
        ◦ Shemales
        ◦ Tranny (maybe used within the community)
    • Judging and Blaming
    • Shaming or Guilting
    • Ridiculing
    • Shunning or Ignoring
    • Attacking friends of the target
It is the last bullet point that effects our allies. It is not only those who our are our friend who also get targeted but also businesses that support that get attacked.

It seems that a right-wing talk show host might be behinds it,
But the pattern is familiar to LGBTQ activists, who link the wave of threats to the far-right influencer Chaya Raichik, who runs the social media account @libsoftiktok. She has made Planet Fitness the object of critical posts since early March when Planet Fitness revoked the membership of a woman in Alaska who complained about “a man shaving in a women’s bathroom” and posted a photo of the person online.
These people on social media stir up animosity against us and then hide behind the First Amendment, but many of them social media accounts cross the line to “Incitement to violence.”
Violent threats have followed Raichik’s tweets before, including dozens of bomb threats against LGBTQ pride events, children’s hospitals that provide gender-affirming care, drag queen story hours, and at least two dozen public schools and libraries. Schools in California, Colorado and Oklahoma have canceled classes and evacuated students following Libs of TikTok posts about them. Raichik recently compared her Planet Fitness posts with last year’s controversy after Anheuser-Busch paid a trans influencer to tout a beer brand in an Instagram post. “This might be the most successful boycott since Bud Light,” she said.
Hello law enforcement officials, district attorneys! How about looking in to legal charges?
Bomb threats and evacuations
The 54 incidents are national in nature: Seven Planet Fitness locations in Virginia have been targeted, and at least two in Maryland, according to the tabulations. In Fargo, N.D., two locations were evacuated, and a franchise manager explained to police that “this has been happening across the country at their other locations” since the incident in Alaska, a police report shows.

On Friday, a bomb threat to a Planet Fitness location in Charlottesville caused a nearby street to be closed to traffic during rush hour, police said. It was at least the second threat to the same location. The Planet Fitness employee who answered the phone at that location shortly after the incident said they were “not allowed to say anything.”
Hey! Isn’t that terrorism? I sure hope that the FBI and police are going after the terrorists making the bomb threats.
Haley Zapal, an LGBTQ Planet Fitness member in Atlanta, said that she hopes the company can remain publicly supportive of the trans community and not cave to online pressure. “If they’re prioritizing safety,” Zapal said, “I think they should keep in mind who is doing the aggression, and it doesn’t seem like it’s the trans people.”
The only way to stop these bomb threats are long prison sentences. Start locking them up for 5 to 10.

Sunday, April 28, 2024

They Have Our Backs!

Most of the time you only hear the negative but many time those who support us are not carried by the mainstream news agencies don’t carry the pro-trans article.
Megan Rapinoe, Sue Bird, and more urge NCAA to stand up for trans inclusion
They and hundreds of others have signed on to a pro-inclusion letter.
The Advocate
APRIL 24 2024

Megan Rapinoe, Sue Bird, and other sports stars are urging the National Collegiate Athletic Association to allow transgender athletes to compete under their gender identity.

The NCAA last revised its policy on trans athletes in 2022. For a decade previously, it allowed trans women who’ve completed a year of testosterone suppression treatment to compete alongside cisgender women. The change in 2022 let the governing body for each sport to set standards on testosterone levels.

Now, after another college athletic association barred all trans women from participating in women’s sports, the star athletes and others are calling on the NCAA to stand up for inclusion. More than over 400 current and former NCAA, professional, Olympic, and Paralympic athletes sent an open letter expressing that sentiment to the NCAA Board of Governors, which is having a virtual meeting Thursday. It’s not clear if the trans policy is on the agenda, but “the end of April and beginning of May is typically a key rules-making period for the NCAA,” The Washington Post reports. The NCAA will also hold its annual inclusion forum this week.

“To deny transgender athletes the fundamental right to be who they are, to access the sport they love, and to receive the proven mental and physical health benefits of sport goes against the very principles of the NCAA’s Constitution,” says the letter. Its more well-known signers include WNBA coach Cheryl Reeve, soccer champion Megan Rapinoe, trans male swimmer Schuyler Bailar, and WNBA players Bird, Layshia Clarendon, and Brianna Turner.


The letter continues, “Within the context of broad legislative attacks on the rights of trans people in the United States, opposition to trans athletes is driven by certain politicians who seek to control our bodies, not by science or data. Although trans exclusionary efforts claim to ‘protect women’s sports,’ in reality, they fail to address any of the real, documented threats to women in sports, namely unequal pay, failure to uphold Title IX, rampant sexual abuse and harassment of women and girl athletes, and a lack of equal resources for men’s and women’s teams (as we saw in March Madness tournaments just three years ago).”
They are so right! “...opposition to trans athletes is driven by certain politicians who seek to control our bodies, not by science or data.”

Most people have no idea about what the research actually says, they just go by “Boy playing on girls teams” and they just parrot the Republican propaganda.
“Despite claims by those suing the NCAA over trans inclusion, studies used to justify the exclusion of transgender athletes are methodologically flawed and misinterpreted to further discrimination,” the missive goes on. “In fact, the most current scientific review of transgender women in elite sport (published in 2022 by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES)) underscores that transgender women do not have an advantage over cis women in sport.”
There is a law suit here in Connecticut about trans people playing in sports, the courts found in favor of the trans athletes, NBC News reported…
The case had been dismissed by a Connecticut judge in 2021, and that decision was affirmed by three-judge panel of the 2nd Circuit a year ago.
But on appeal Reuters reported that,
A U.S. appeals court on Friday revived a lawsuit by female former high school track team members challenging a Connecticut policy that allows transgender girls to compete on girls' teams.

The full 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan said the four women could pursue claims that the policy deprived them of wins and athletic opportunities by requiring them to compete with two transgender sprinters.
And so it continues, our Human Rights are at the mercy of judges.

"...Prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech…"

The Republicans only think that their views are permissible, that all other speech should be repressed!
There’s a reason House Speaker Mike Johnson is wrongly describing Columbia’s protests as violent.
By Zeeshan Aleem
April 26, 2024

House Speaker Mike Johnson visited Columbia University’s campus on Wednesday afternoon and said he would demand that President Joe Biden intervene in pro-Palestinian protests that have taken place on campus for over a week — including by potentially calling in the National Guard to dismantle encampments. His statement echoed calls from his Republican colleagues Sens. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and Josh Hawley, R-Mo., who have already asked for the National Guard to be sent in to clear out the protesters. (Cotton has also, in a now-deleted social media post, suggested that people should violently confront pro-Palestinian protesters on the streets.)

These Republicans’ calls for troops to be sent in to repress peaceful student protests are incredibly chilling. They also reflect the GOP’s generally extreme attitudes on the Israel-Hamas war and intolerance of rhetoric remotely critical of Israel. For Johnson, trying to seize control of a wedge issue for Democrats using aggressive law-and-order rhetoric also provides a convenient opportunity for political stagecraft as he faces internal dissent in the House.
Did you get the part where they said “...repress peaceful student protests…?”

The Republicans just don’t care First Amendment Rights only when it is in their favor. They just want to repress people and ideas they don’t like.

Friday I wrote, “Have we learned anything yet?” about Kent State in 1970 the Republicans want a repeat of that to prove to their right-wing base that they are tough on protesters. What is even more worrying is that the base agree with bringing the Guard to bash heads.

The Republicans Takith Away And The Democrats Givith (The Continuing Sage)

How many times have I said that the Republicans think that laws don’t apply to them?
The rights of LGBTQ+ students will be protected by federal law and victims of campus sexual assault will gain new safeguards under rules finalized Friday by the Biden administration.

The new provisions are part of a revised Title IX regulation issued by the Education Department, fulfilling a campaign pledge by President Joe Biden. He had promised to dismantle rules created by former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who added new protections for students accused of sexual misconduct.

Notably absent from Biden’s policy, however, is any mention of transgender athletes.

The administration originally planned to include a new policy forbidding schools from enacting outright bans on transgender athletes, but that provision was put on hold. The delay is widely seen as a political maneuver during an election year in which Republicans have rallied around bans on transgender athletes in girls’ sports.
Yeah he didn’t go far enough, but it is a compromise. I much rather have a Democratic landslide in November than Trump in the White House. Because the majority of courts have been in our favor because of the Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board case. Once President Biden wins in November we will hold his feet to the fire then.
Instead, Biden is officially undoing sexual assault rules put in place by his predecessor and current election-year opponent, former President Donald Trump. The final policy drew praise from victims’ advocates, while Republicans said it erodes the rights of accused students.

The new rule makes “crystal clear that everyone can access schools that are safe, welcoming and that respect their rights,” Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said.
Yeah, he added that from Trump deleting it, do we want him again?
Louisiana’s top education official on Monday instructed schools to ignore new Title IX rules unveiled by the Biden administration, warning that extending the civil rights law’s protections to transgender students may violate existing state and federal law.

The Education Department last week issued a final set of sweeping changes to Title IX — which prohibits sex-based discrimination at federally funded schools — including an expanded definition of sex discrimination that includes sexual orientation and gender identity.


The new rules, which are set to take effect Aug. 1, drew immediate criticism from Republicans, who slammed the proposal’s transgender student protections as an attack on women’s rights.

In a letter sent Monday to school system leaders and board members, Cade Brumley, Louisiana’s superintendent of education, said the new Title IX rules likely conflict with Louisiana law, and schools “should not alter policies or procedures at this time.”
But wait! There's more...
April 24, 2024

Oklahoma State Superintendent Ryan Walters is pushing back on the Biden Administration telling school districts not to comply with the new Title XI regulations. The new rules would prohibit sex-based discrimination at government-funded schools. 

Walters argues the recent rule changes are illegal and unconstitutional. On Tuesday, he told all Oklahoma superintendents to not make any changes based on the new regulations.

“If the Biden administration really wants to move forward with the most radical initiatives that we have ever seen in the country’s history we’re gonna sue him,” said Ryan Walters, Oklahoma State Superintendent. 
These officials should know that federal law supersedes state and local laws. But they are Republicans and they can do what they want. Their federal funding should be cut.

Cuckoo Award

Gullible! You know some people will believe anything, even the most stupid things because of their biases. They despise anything trans!

Today Cuckoo Award goes to the family that believed that the Evil Queen was a drag queen!
Furious Disney World visitors complain about ‘male’ Evil Queen – despite being told she’s a woman
A family has allegedly complained after encountering a “biologically male” performer at a Walt Disney World restaurant.
Pink News
By Amelia Hansford
April 27, 2024

The father of a family-of-four is said to have complained to a member of staff while dining at the Story Book restaurant, at Artist Point, Florida – a themed lodge with performers dressed as characters from Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs.

Speaking to Disney-focused blog That Park Place, the father said he told the waiter serving his table that he had a problem with a “man dressed in drag”.

While waiting to be served, the family were reportedly invited to meet the “Evil Queen”, a character the father said they had “high hopes” for. But after claiming the performer had a “man’s voice,” he complained.

He said the performer was “a man” and that he felt “disrespected” by Disney because it did not conform to his “family values.”


“For the most part, the manager just listened and never once apologised for anything. At one point [the manager said]: ‘I can assure you that she is a woman’.”
There was similar online outrage in 2023, when a much-loved Disney employee dubbed “Nick the fairy godmother” was filmed welcoming kids to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at Disneyland California. In the video, Nick describes their role as “the fairy godmother’s apprentice” as they welcome a child to the store.
A performer playing the Evil Queen at Disney World. (Getty)

So this weeks Cuckoo Award goes to the parents who see drag queens everywhere!

Saturday, April 27, 2024

Saturday 9: Stay

Saturday 9: Stay (I Missed You) 1994

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

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

1) In this week's song, a woman is accused of only hearing what she wants to. "Selective listening" is when you choose to focus on what's important to you and ignore what isn't. Are you often, sometimes, or never guilty of selective listening?
Yes, especially when food is involved.

2) She turns the radio up when she hears her favorite song. What song have you recently sung along to?
Oh, that was a very long time ago.

3) This week's featured artist, Lisa Loeb, has always been a big reader. Her band was called Nine Stories as a tribute to her favorite author, JD Salinger. If you were to name a band to honor your favorite author, what would you call it, and why?
The Zimmer’s
It would be named after Marion Zimmer Bradley, the author of the Darkover series.

4) This week's song is her first and biggest hit. "Stay" was on the soundtrack of Reality Bites, a movie starring her friend and one-time neighbor Ethan Hawke. Ethan gave this song to the film's director, Ben Stiller, who agreed it was perfect for the film's closing credits. When you watch a movie, do you stick around for the closing credits?
Nope, never. But I do know those who do… boring!

5) In the 1990s, Lisa was popular for her style and appeared on many magazine covers, causing People magazine to comment, "Though she rose to fame as a singer, she's probably just as well known for her glasses." Do you wear glasses? If yes, do you consider your eyewear purely functional, there to improve your sight, or are your glasses an extension of your personal style?
If I don’t wear my glasses I’m blind as a bat! I lost my glasses in the house and I had to go out to the car and get my old pair so I could find my new pair.
Last week I forgot that I had them on and I went into the shower... Poof, instant fog!

6) Today Lisa does a show on Sirius Radio, and she enjoys broadcasting while her favorite collaborator, her cat, sits on her shoulder. Is there a pet in the room with you as you answer these questions?

7) Lisa raises funds for SCOPE, a charity that helps children from low-income families attend summer camp. When you were a kid, did you go to camp?
Yes, scout camp. And also to day camp.

8) In 1994, when this song was popular, the nation's attention was riveted to a white Bronco driven by a man named Al Cowlings. Without looking it up, can you recall why this was newsworthy?
Oh yes and he just passed away.

9) Random question: Can you do a cartwheel?
Ha, you’re funny! Right now I’m hobbling around. I blew my back out Tuesday night and my back is slowly getting better, I figured another two or three week for it to get to the point where every move is not a stab in the back.

Friday, April 26, 2024

Have We Learned Anything Yet?

On the radio as I was driving back from New Hampshire last weekend from the funeral of my cousin who was in the Air Force during Vietnam, I heard about the protests at Columbia University and that they shut down the university.

In 1970 I was driving to college and I heard on the radio about Kent State massacre and the college protests around the country shutting down campuses.
In 2024 I heard on the radio protesters are shutting down campuses.

Have we learned anything yet?

In 1970 we were sending our boys in to harms way.
In 2024 we are sending the war machines in the place of our boys.

Have we learned anything yet?

In 1967 there was "Blood in the streets in the town of New Haven"
in 2020 George Floyd was killed on the streets of Minneapolis.

Have we learned anything yet?

In 1972 Nixon broke in to the Watergate complex.
In 2020 rioters broke in to the Capitol.

Have we learned anything yet?

In 1985 the police bombed the headquarters of the Black Panthers in Philadelphia.
In 2024 we sell the bombs to other countries.

Have we learned anything yet?

In 1965 in Selma, Alabama there was a march for their civil rights.
In 2024 in states around the country there are marches for our rights for LGBTQ+ people.

Have we learned anything yet?

In 1970 Ohio Republican Governor Jim Rhodes called in the National Guard at Kent State.
On 2024 Republicans are calling for bring in the National Guard for Columbia University.

Have we learned anything yet?

In 1968 Democratic National Convention was held in Chicago and was protested for the United States' involvement in the Vietnam War.
In 2024 the Democratic National Committee will be held in Chicago.

Have we learned anything yet?
"Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it."
And this one is dedicated to Trump.

Louisiana Title IX

How many times have I said that the Republicans think that laws don’t apply to them?
The rights of LGBTQ+ students will be protected by federal law and victims of campus sexual assault will gain new safeguards under rules finalized Friday by the Biden administration.

The new provisions are part of a revised Title IX regulation issued by the Education Department, fulfilling a campaign pledge by President Joe Biden. He had promised to dismantle rules created by former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who added new protections for students accused of sexual misconduct.

Notably absent from Biden’s policy, however, is any mention of transgender athletes.

The administration originally planned to include a new policy forbidding schools from enacting outright bans on transgender athletes, but that provision was put on hold. The delay is widely seen as a political maneuver during an election year in which Republicans have rallied around bans on transgender athletes in girls’ sports.
Yeah he didn’t go far enough, but it is a compromise. I much rather have a Democratic landslide in November than Trump in the White House. Because the majority of courts have been in our favor because of the Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board case. Once President Biden wins in November we will hold his feet to the fire then.
Instead, Biden is officially undoing sexual assault rules put in place by his predecessor and current election-year opponent, former President Donald Trump. The final policy drew praise from victims’ advocates, while Republicans said it erodes the rights of accused students.

The new rule makes “crystal clear that everyone can access schools that are safe, welcoming and that respect their rights,” Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said.
Yeah, he added that from Trump deleting it, do we want Trump again?
Louisiana’s top education official on Monday instructed schools to ignore new Title IX rules unveiled by the Biden administration, warning that extending the civil rights law’s protections to transgender students may violate existing state and federal law.

The Education Department last week issued a final set of sweeping changes to Title IX — which prohibits sex-based discrimination at federally funded schools — including an expanded definition of sex discrimination that includes sexual orientation and gender identity.


The new rules, which are set to take effect Aug. 1, drew immediate criticism from Republicans, who slammed the proposal’s transgender student protections as an attack on women’s rights.

In a letter sent Monday to school system leaders and board members, Cade Brumley, Louisiana’s superintendent of education, said the new Title IX rules likely conflict with Louisiana law, and schools “should not alter policies or procedures at this time.”
Then DeSantis felt left behind so he...
The Hill
April 25, 2024

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said Thursday his state “will not comply” with recently unveiled changes to Title IX by the Biden administration.

“Florida rejects [President Biden’s] attempt to rewrite Title IX,” DeSantis said in a video posted to the social platform X. “We will not comply, and we will fight back.”

“We are not gonna let Joe Biden try to inject men into women’s activities,” DeSantis continued. “We are not gonna let Joe Biden undermine the rights of parents, and we are not gonna let Joe Biden abuse his constitutional authority to try to impose these policies on us here in Florida.”

The Biden administration on Friday unveiled a final set of changes to Title IX that add protections for transgender students to the federal civil rights law on sex-based discrimination. The changes will take effect in early August.

“These final regulations build on the legacy of Title IX by clarifying that all our nation’s students can access schools that are safe, welcoming, and respect their rights,” Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a statement.
You know this is something like… what do the call it today? Fear of missing out (FoMO)? Well Louisianan has has a law so Florida should also have a law like that! It is like a game to them, One-upmanship! Who can come up with the most draconian laws.

These officials know that federal law supersedes state and local laws, but they are Republicans and they can do what they want.

It Covers Everyone!

The gender inclusive non-discrimination law covers everyone… even non-trans people!
A Connecticut woman, planning medical leave from her job in order to undergo a hysterectomy, was allegedly harassed by her supervisor and co-workers, who taunted her about whether she was having a sex-change operation, according to a lawsuit.

The woman was ultimately terminated from her job at Chase Family Movement Disorder Center in Vernon, according to her lawsuit against Hartford HealthCare, which owns the center.

The woman, an East Hartford resident, is claiming sexual orientation discrimination and hostile work environment against Hartford HealthCare.


Her supervisor responded by asking her whether she was a lesbian, the suit states. Later, the supervisor asked the woman, “Are you sure you won’t be out for a sex change?” it states.

According to the suit, other employees asked the woman about a sex change or said the supervisor had told them the woman was getting a sex change.
The law protects everyone, even cis-gender people!
Comments allegedly included, “How does it feel to be a dude?,” “We thought you were the girl in the marriage, not the guy,” and asking the woman whether she “was manly” because of her rumored sex change, according to the complaint.

The woman “became very upset and responded, ‘I am not a man,’ again asking for the harassment to stop,” the suit states.

Her supervisor told her that co-workers “felt they were ‘walking on eggshells’ and ‘felt weird’ around her” because of the alleged sex change and because she was a lesbian, according to the complaint.
Now Hartford Hospital has a gender clinic! They are pro trans but it goes to show you that a business can be supportive of us but when you get down to supervisors and employees the message might not get filtered down. But…
Tina Varona, senior director of media relations for Hartford HealthCare, said in an email, “While we do not comment on pending litigation by our current or former employees, we are committed to providing a workplace that promotes fair treatment, opportunity and advancement for all, and maintains robust workplace policies and reporting mechanisms to protect colleagues.

“We value the uniqueness of each person and embrace diverse backgrounds, sexual preferences, opinions and experiences,” Varona said. “We are proud of the dedication of our colleagues to create the DEIB —Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging — Council to increase diverse representation and retention in our workforce, and our CRG (Colleague Resource Groups) to bring colleagues together in support of an inclusive workforce.”
However, the message hasn’t gotten out to the employees. [That is one of my peeves with the HRC Corporate Equality Index, they company might have a great policy on paper but if it is not enforced it is worthless!]
When the non-discrimination law was passed, there were no limits on who was covered by the law, it covered everyone! Including non-trans people if they were being discriminated by trans people and as in the case here it protects non-trans people who are being harassed because people think that they are trans.

Thursday, April 25, 2024

I Don't Know


I can't understand why someone who is trans would join an anti-LGBTQ+ organization.

It is beyond my imagination! So I asked Perplexity.AI and it is beyond the AI understanding also.
Question: "Why would a person who is transgender join a political organization that is anti-transgender?"

Based on the search results provided, it is highly unlikely that a transgender person would willingly join a political organization that is anti-transgender. The search results indicate that the anti-transgender movement is actively working to eliminate the rights, protections, and legal recognition of transgender and gender diverse people. [1 & 4]

This movement is described as coordinating efforts to ban gender-affirming healthcare, institutionalize anti-trans conversion practices, and bar transgender people's participation in public life. [4]

The search results make it clear that the agenda of the anti-transgender movement poses a serious threat not just to transgender individuals, but to the broader LGBTQ+ community, reproductive rights, and democracy as a whole. [4]  Transgender people would have no incentive to join such an organization that is fundamentally opposed to their very existence and rights.

The search results also highlight how the anti-transgender movement has sought to co-opt and weaponize certain feminist groups, like the Women's Liberation Front, in order to divide the LGBTQ+ movement. [1]

This suggests the anti-transgender movement is acting in bad faith and using deceptive tactics, rather than genuinely representing the interests of transgender individuals.

In summary, the search results indicate there is no plausible reason why a transgender person would willingly join a political organization that is actively working to restrict their rights and freedoms. [1, 2, & 4]

Such an action would be completely antithetical to the transgender person's own interests and wellbeing
[1, 4, & 5]

So I asked ChatGPT...

There could be several reasons why a transgender person might join a political organization that is anti-transgender:

    1. Belief in Other Policies: They might agree with the organization on other political issues. People are complex, and someone might prioritize certain political stances over others, even if they directly contradict their own identity or interests.
    2. Identity Complexity: Their transgender identity might not be the sole or primary aspect of their identity. They might prioritize other aspects of their identity, such as political ideology, religious beliefs, or community ties.
    3. Desire for Change from Within: Some individuals might join such organizations with the hope of influencing change from within. They might believe that by being a member, they can challenge and change the organization's anti-transgender stance over time.
    4. Lack of Awareness or Understanding: It's possible that the individual hasn't fully come to terms with their own transgender identity, or they may not fully understand the implications of the organization's anti-transgender stance. They might be joining the organization for reasons unrelated to transgender issues, without fully realizing the conflict.
    5. Social Pressure or Obligation: They might join due to familial, social, or professional pressures. They could feel compelled to align with the organization for fear of rejection, ostracization, or other negative consequences if they don't comply with the expectations of their social circle or community.
    6. Seeking Acceptance: In some cases, transgender individuals might join anti-transgender organizations in a misguided attempt to seek acceptance or validation from a group they perceive as powerful or influential, even if it means suppressing or denying their own identity.
    7. Misinformation or Manipulation: They might have been misled or manipulated by the organization's propaganda or messaging, leading them to believe that their interests align with the organization's goals, despite evidence to the contrary.

It's essential to recognize that each individual's motivations and circumstances are unique, and there's no single explanation that applies to all cases.

And I couldn't leave Google out of it, so I asked Gemini...
There are a few reasons why a transgender person might join a seemingly anti-trans organization:

    Misaligned Beliefs: The organization might have some policies the transgender person agrees with, even if they disagree with the anti-trans stances. For instance, they might prioritize economic policies and overlook social stances.
    Hope for Change: They might believe they can influence the organization from within, working to change its views on transgender rights.
    Internalized Transphobia: In some cases, a transgender person might have internalized negative messages about themselves and their identity. This could lead them to believe the anti-trans rhetoric of the organization.
    Lack of Awareness: It's possible the transgender person isn't fully aware of the organization's anti-trans positions.

However, it's important to consider that these reasons don't justify joining an anti-trans organization. There are many LGBTQ+ rights organizations that work towards positive change for transgender people.

I think that Gemini came the closet to what I thought... "Internalized Transphobia" and I also think that they are thinking with their pocketbook. "Its my money and I want to keep it! Sc**w everyone else!"

What are your thoughts on why a trans person or lesbians and gays join an anti-LGBTQ+ organization?


The Dumbing Down.


I tell you that is their goal, they are always talking about “originalists” back in colonial times and that is what they want to bring us back to.
DeSantis said public schools were religious when U.S. began. Is he right?
Scholars say the Founding Fathers’ thoughts on public education are often misconstrued.
Tampa Bay Times
By Jeffrey S. Solochek
April 24, 2024

Before signing into law a measure allowing religious chaplains in public schools, Gov. Ron DeSantis said the initiative brought Florida closer to what the nation’s founders wanted for educating youth.

“When education in the United States first started, every school was a religious school. That was just part of it. Public schools were religious schools,” DeSantis said at an April 18 news conference.

“There’s been things that have been done over the years that veered away from that original intent,” he continued, “but the reality is I think what we are doing is really restoring the sense of purpose that our Founding Fathers wanted to see in education.”
The just want “Reading, ‘Riting, and ‘Rithmetic,” an uneducated population is easier to control. That only the ruling class gets the education.
Education historians said the notion that the founders intended for a religion-based public schooling system is an increasingly common misconception. It’s gained traction amid high profile incidents including a taxpayer-funded church-sponsored charter school in Oklahoma, a lawsuit over whether public high school coaches can pray at games in Washington, and now this provision for chaplains in Florida schools.
They want a Christian nation! They are our version of the Taliban in creating a nation in the image of the evangelicals.

They live in their little own fantasy world, where Blacks know their place, gays and trans people do not exist. They forget that the Pilgrims fled England because of the English state religion.
“An act passed in Massachusetts in 1647, ‘Old Deluder Satan Act,’ is often cited as the first public education in what would become the US,” Curran wrote. “Requiring communities across the state to hire teachers, the general purpose of the act was to ensure a level of literacy sufficient for reading the Bible and preventing individuals from falling prey to ‘the old deluder, Satan.’”
Back to that level of education is where they want to take us.

Just look at the Republican attacks on schools… Book bannings, “Don’t Say Gay,” “Parental Rights,” the removal of Black history, vouchers, and their attacks on liberal colleges are all weakening the public education system.

The Daily Kos writes,
Not long ago, everyone agreed that public education was a value in this nation, much like the notion of a democracy. Yet just like with Republicans shifting attitudes toward democracy, more prominent Republicans are now openly disparaging the entire concept of public schools. Laura Ingraham claimed that “a lot of people are saying it's time to defund government education or at least defund it by giving vouchers to parents.” Fox’s Greg Gutfeld similarly declared that private school vouchers are needed because public schools are “a destructive system” and described teachers as “KKK with summers off.”

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida has called public schools “a cesspool of Marxist indoctrination.” Donald Trump declared, “public schools have been taken over by the radical left maniacs.” And Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia called them taxpayer-funded indoctrination centers that need to end, which is a bit ironic since she is the poster child for the necessity of funding public education.

Although Republicans have long held a disdain for public schools, only recently have they openly advocated for ending them. Like libraries, they are arguing that giving taxpayer money to educate people is a socialist concept. Thankfully, we have had a public school system for centuries, which makes it hard to destroy. However, the GOP has opened up a new front by starving public schools for funds while diverting the resources to charter schools, private institutions, and homeschooling without any of the standards that public schools must adhere to. After all, the biggest threat to their party is critical thinking and an educated populace.
Just look at the Voucher system where middle and upper class family can afford to send their children to private schools while at the same time cut the funding to public schools where lower class families have to send their children. They also know that private schools can turn away the undesirables like Blacks, gays, trans children, and non-Christians.
Right now, red state legislatures are trying to do this through "school choice" reforms. Conservative states, like Florida, are burdening public schools with expensive requirements and taking money to give to unregulated charter schools. They defund schools while supporting a fast-growing sector of charter schools funded by right-wing billionaires to deliver indoctrination of their ideology. The money they take away from public schools cuts not just educational programs, but mental health funding to prevent violence, suicide, and drug abuse.
And now they are putting religious chaplains in schools, how much do you want to bet that they will all be Christian chaplains? Do you think that there will be any Jewish chaplains? Or Muslim chaplains? And I’ll even bet that there would be no affirming Christian chaplains.


Sticking it to them!

When it comes to Girl Scout cookies, I love them but they don’t love me since I’m a diabetic, but did you know that the Girl Scouts allows trans Girl Scouts which has set the holier than thou groups in a tizzy.
Book Riot
By Kelly Jensen
April 24, 2024

The Hanover County Supervisors has censored the honor they are giving to one of their young community members. Why? Because that student’s Girl Scout project is related to banned books — something that the local school board is actively engaged with and something that Commissioners themselves are currently engaged with at the public library.

Hanover County School Book Bans Lead to A Teen Girl Scout Service Project
Hanover County, Virginia, has become a familiar name in the book censorship world. In June 2023, the district adopted a policy to combat so-called “explicit” books in school libraries. The policy allows any resident to file a complaint over a book, and the decision over the book’s fate lies solely in the hands of the school board — not a review committee, not the school or district administration, and not the actual professional librarians or educators in the schools. Just months after the policy was approved 5-2 by the board. Nineteen books were banned at that same meeting with unanimous yes votes by the board, and by the end of 2023, over 75 books were banned from the district. The bulk of those books were by or about LGBTQ+ people.

In response to the policy and removal of books, one local Girl Scout named Kate Lindley decided she knew how she could get engaged locally and work on a project that would impact her community and help her earn her Gold Award from the Scouts — the highest honor given. Kate created an app called the “Free to Read” app, which offered information about the bans and books impacted.
Now here is the quandary the Hanover County Supervisors is in; every year they give an award to Girl Scout who earn a Gold Award. But this years Gold Award Girl Scouts received her award by creating a work around for banned books! Oh what a supervisor to do?

Well they did what any good Republican does… lie!
On April 10, Kate was to be recognized by the Hanover County Board of Supervisors alongside her fellow Girl Scouts, who earned their Gold Award. But instead of being commended, one of the board members, Cold Harbor Supervisor Michael Herzberg, changed the language around Kate’s project for her honor. No longer was the school board and its book ban policy and practice mentioned — the very things that spurred the project itself. Upon censoring the language around the honor, the rest of the Board of Supervisors approved the changes.

Kate’s work has been removed from its context, meaning that not only is her work being undermined by the adults who are supposed to be honoring it, but her work will enter the historical record without noting that it was done in response to the school board’s book banning.
So Kate got banned because of banned books!

But there craziness doesn't end there!
But It Gets Darker & Fishier
Unfortunately for Hanover County, it isn’t just the school district that earned a name for its book banning. The Hanover Public Library also found itself at the center of right-wing censorship in early March 2024, and it is impossible not to connect the censoring of this proclamation with the ongoing battle between County Supervisors and the public libraries.

During a toddler story time at the Atlee Branch Library, one person was offended by the inclusion of Todd Parr’s The Family Book, which showcases all of the ways a family can look. The idea of two same-sex parents “normalized homosexuality,” and the person took their concerns to the library’s board director. The book was deemed perfectly appropriate, but the individual wasn’t satisfied.
The book police got on the case!
Floyd attended the following library board meeting and spoke during public comment, parroting the same language about the book being inappropriate and demanding that the situation be handled (minutes for that library board meeting are not yet available).

Per the library board minutes, she stated, “Personal agendas do not need to be pushed on children and we do not find that acceptable in Hanover County.” Immediately after Floyd’s public comments — the final comments after a series of pro-book banning and anti-book banning sentiments during that time — the Goodrich County Library Board representative Barb Young introduced Floyd and fellow County administrative members to the new point of contact for the county attorney’s office.


The same day that Kate’s commendation was edited, the April 10 County Supervisors Meeting, Hanover County resident Peggy Lavinder noted that something was fishy at the public library. Per the County Supervisor Board Packet:
Ms. Lavinder spoke regarding the Pamunkey Regional Library Board of Trustees meeting held on Tuesday, the 9th of April. Ms. Lavinder explained that documents were not provided to individuals prior to or at the meeting. When she questioned that, she was told that the Board did not want to release that information because they felt the public would be confused. She continued, saying a Board member did confirm that those documents need to be shared with the public in the interest of transparency. She noted that towards the end of the discussion, a proposal was put forth to revise the collection policy, and that is going to involve changing the way the library is in general. The proposal is to have an adult section, and that any book, even if it’s written for a child, a teenager, a 17-year-old, if it has any sexual content in it, it’s going to be put in the adult section. She added that there was no consideration whether it was a sex education book that was written for a young teenager or how this restriction was going to be enforced if a teenager picked up a book from the adult section. Ms. Lavinder spoke regarding book titles that received complaints which she added was 50 maximum and suggested, instead of trying to determine what the public does not want to read, the Board should spend time finding out what the public does want to read. If the library does not have a title, it can be requested. She added that it is the same thing that happened with the school division, and she suggested that the Board use the process developed for the school division and spend time learning what people want. She closed by asking for the Board’s help.
You want to guess who the next Board members are going to be?
But let’s go back to the Hanover County Schools for a second. Supervisor Floyd and fellow County Supervisor Faye Prichard — who was absent from the meeting where the proclamation for Kate’s project was censored — are currently involved in the process of selecting two new members of the Hanover County School Board as well. Floyd is aligned with a local right-wing group, the Hanover Patriots, who’ve had a hand in the policy-making that led to banning dozens of books in the school district.

Update: April 28, 2024

I just found this quote that is about the dumbing down of education...
“In 100 years, we have gone from teaching Latin and Greek in high school to teaching remedial English in college.”
― Joseph Sobran

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

The Clown Car

Once again the Republican Clown Car is running in circles.

Get a load of these clowns!
Rachel Maddow Apologizes for Trump Trial Outburst: I ‘Snorted Out Loud’ at This Shocking Revelation
“A fall-off-your-chair moment,” the MSNBC anchor says
The Wrap
By Natalie Korach
April 23, 2024

Rachel Maddow apologized to journalists sitting near her at Donald Trump’s trial Monday in Manhattan after she “snorted out loud” when prosecutors revealed that one of the former president’s advisors had physically written down the very hush-money reimbursement plan that the jury is considering for criminal charges.
What did Ms. Maddow find funny?
The moment came when prosecutor Matthew Colengelo revealed that Trump ally Allen Weisselberg “wrote everything down” when he met with attorney Michael Cohen to negotiate a reimbursement plan for a hush-money payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

“Weisselberg, you’ll remember, was the Trump Organization chief financial officer and he was one of the defendant’s longest-serving and most trusted employees,” Maddow said. “Neither Trump nor the Trump Organization can just write a check to Michael Cohen for $130,000 with a memo line that said ‘reimbursement for porn star payoff’ … they had to disguise the nature (as employment compensation) so they agreed to cook the books.”


“I annoyed the people sitting near me because I snorted out loud – he said he wrote it all down! If you’re a fan of ‘The Wire,’ this is the scene where Stringer Bell turns to the young man and says, ‘Are you taking notes on a criminal conspiracy?’ … yes, he was taking notes on a criminal conspiracy.”

And according to prosecutors, they have receipts:

“You will see in this trial Allen Weisselberg’s handwriting down the side of that bank statement laying out every one of the steps that I just described showing how they converted the $130,000 payoff,” Maddow said.
What are bumbling bunch of clowns! And these are Trump cronies what does it say about the quality of people Trump has surrounding him?

They are so inept that the judge said something about it!
Todd Blanche appears to be quickly making things worse for Donald Trump in the hush-money trial.
The New Republic
By Ellie Quinlan Houghtaling
April 23, 2024

An attorney for Donald Trump’s legal defense in his New York criminal trial took a serious misstep on Tuesday that resulted in a critical warning from Judge Juan Merchan.

On the second day of the trial, attorney Todd Blanche attempted to portray Trump as an individual fully aware of the limitations of the partial gag order imposed on him in the trial, which forbids him from speaking publicly about courtroom staff, prosecutors, or any of their family members. Comments about jurors are also prohibited, as well as comments about witnesses, though comments about Merchan and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg are still on the table.

Still, Trump has already managed to violate the gag order about a dozen times, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.


“He’s allowed to respond to political attacks, your honor,” Blanche said, according to MSNBC’s Adam Klasfled.

But Merchan remembered the order of events, reminding Blanche that Trump’s disparaging remarks had in fact come before the others’.
Opss… I don’t think that he should have said that! And he didn’t shut up, he continued to put his foot in his mouth.
The ensuing back-and-forth between Blanche and Merchan continued to a rolling boil until Blanche suddenly claimed that the violations at hand—which involve Trump “reposting an article from a news site” or a “news program”—don’t actually violate the order. Still, Blanche had no precedent or case law to support such a claim.

“I don’t have any case law,” Blanche said, instead calling it “common sense” and doubling down that Trump had been “very careful to comply” with the order.
Um… that was even worst. Telling a judge to use common sense and not the law. Tisk, tisk!
That was, apparently, the straw that broke the camel’s back, after which Merchan dropped that the attorney had gone too far.

“Mr. Blanche, you are losing all credibility with the court,” Merchan said, according to LawFare’s Anna Bower.
Where does he get these guys? Did they take correspondence school law courses?

Banning The Ban.

Banning The Ban.
There is a bill in the Connecticut to ban the banning of books because of a protected class. In other words… you cannot ban a book on slavery because that is racist. You cannot ban a book about LGBTQ+ people.
Publishers are fighting back on book bans by flooding the market with books representing diverse points of view.
Fast Company
April 22, 2024

Nikkolas Smith knows a thing or two about book bans. The illustrator has created five picture books over the last three years—four of which have been yanked off library shelves. There’s I am Ruby Bridges, about the civil rights icon; That Flag about the confederate flag; Born on the Water, which explores slavery; and The Artivist which features a child supporting trans kids. 

Book bans aren’t new; the practice is centuries old. But over the past four years, right-wing organizations have been on a crusade to remove books from school libraries and classrooms. Last school year, these groups challenged more than 3,000 titles. The top reasons for contesting books is that they deal with LBGTQ+ issues or shine a light on racism. As someone who tackles both of these issues in his work, Smith has gotten used to his books being challenged. “In many cases, librarians don’t even bother buying them, because they know parents will contest them,” he says. “They don’t even have a chance to be banned.”
Banning a book because there is a sex scene in it is one thing but banning a book because two boys are holding hands is another thing altogether. 
Smith isn’t alone. Publishers, writers, and progressive organizations across the children’s book industry aren’t letting the book bans hold them back. Instead, they’re turning the bans into a rallying cry to publish even more diverse characters and points of view. Indeed, over the last five years, there has been a steady increase in books by and about people of color. And people are finding creative ways to make sure these books get out into the world.
You shouldn’t be able to ban a book because there is a trans child in the book. And they even banned “The Diary of Anne Frank!” 
“This parent didn’t want the book to make children dislike German people,” she says. “I was teaching 250 kids a day and this was just another problem I had to deal with. It meant that I was no longer really free to teach what I felt was important.”
I keep coming beck to the musical South Pacific, “You got to be Carefully Taught,”
You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear,
You’ve got to be taught from year to year,
It’s got to be drummed in your dear little ear—
You’ve got to be carefully taught!
And the conservative don’t want racially integrated school because they might have a Black or a Latina or an Asian friend.
Book banning only accelerated as the Black Lives Matter and Stop Asian Hate movements spread across the country. “They began pursuing an agenda of silencing the voices of marginalized communities and erasing their stories from library shelves so that young people could not access them,” Caldwell-Stone says.
Think about the children.

That is what the right-wing conservatives say all the time. But that is only for parents who want to ban the books for stop the integration of school. The Century Foundation writes,
The Center for American Progress’s (CAP) recent research brief, “The Racist Origins of Private School Vouchers,” highlights a dark period in the history of voucher programs. Following Brown v. Board of Education, many Southern states established voucher, or “tuition grant,” programs for white students to attend segregated private schools when public school systems were ordered to desegregate. The brief argues that it is crucial to acknowledge and learn from this historical context when considering education policy today, in particular, as civil rights protections tied to federal funding were established during that difficult era.


Earlier this year, The Century Foundation documented several schools in North Carolina’s Opportunity Scholarship program that openly discriminated against students by religion and LGBTQ status, charged additional fees that excluded poor children from gifted and dual enrollment programs, employed racially and religiously discriminatory dress codes, and used textbooks that—among other things—offered sympathetic portrayals of the KKK and whitewashed slavery. We should not expect for federal involvement to improve this civil rights dilemma, as U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has testified before Congress that states should “set up the rules around that.” And while the data on voucher student achievement is complicated, the most recent studies of three of the largest programs—Indiana, Louisiana, and Ohio—and in the nation’s only federally funded program in Washington, D.C., showed that students accepting a voucher and transferring to a private school fared worse academically than their counterparts who did not. Clearly, none of these issues benefit black people.
Think how a Black, or Asian, or Muslim, or a trans student feels what they cannot find any book about people like them in the library, how it must make them feel… dirty, that somehow they are bad. What about straight children? Bullying in schools is skyrocketing as they pick on minorities 

I believe that the ultimate goal of the Republicans is to do away with public school as we know it and only those who can afford private education will have an education beyond Reading Riting, and Rithmetic.

The bill reads in part...
43 (c) Each local or regional board of education shall provide a reason
44 for the removal or restricted access to any library material belonging to
45 the collection of a school library or media center as a result of the process
46 prescribed by the policy established pursuant to subsection (b) of this
47 section. No board shall remove or restrict access to library material
48 because of any of the following:
49 (1) Partisan content or views contained in any library material;
50 (2) An author's race, nationality, gender identity, sexual orientation
51 or political or religious views;
52 (3) The personal discomfort, morality or political or religious views
53 of a member or members of the board;
54 (4) An author's points of view concerning current events, whether
55 international, national or local;
56 (5) The race, nationality, gender identity, sexual orientation or
57 political or religious views of a protagonist or other characters or as
58 otherwise represented in the library material; or
59 (6) The content of the library material is related to sexual health and
60 addresses physical, mental, emotional or social dimensions of human
61 sexuality, including, but not limited to, puberty, sex and relationships
62 based on the age, development and grade level of students.
This bill will not prohibit banning of books because of sexual conduct or vulgar language.

This morning I am at the Legislative Office Building lobbying for this bill and other pro-LGBTQ+ bills. If you are a Connecticut resident please call your legislator to support the bill (You can find you legislator here.).

Well that plan went out the window.
Last night I was laying on the couch watching the streaming of my grandnephew's high school concert and after it was over I went to sit up and my back just went out. I've been on a heating pad and doing back exercises since.