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Image result for scalpelAnyone can occasionally contradict themselves, or alternatively change their views and opinions.  But there is something unique to the hypocrisy on the right, the emphatic and even coercive “do as I say, not as I do” foundation of their ideology.  I would posit this hypocrisy is so intrinsic to the right wing ideology that it invalidates it.

 

At the end of July, presidential candidate and right wing extremist theocrat Ben Carson ranted and railed for the defunding of Planned Parenthood over the possible expansion of fetal tissue donations.  Pretty much all of the right winger candidates did so; it’s how they make their money.

From CNN:

My entire professional career as a pediatric neurosurgeon was dedicated to saving the lives of children and promoting their long-term welfare, as I took the Hippocratic Oath to “First, do no harm.” Protecting innocent life is a duty consistent with that solemn oath. Destroying or butchering them is particularly offensive to someone like myself who has operated on babies while they were still in utero. All human life is precious and should be preserved and protected with the utmost respect and care.
When we reach a point where we are so callous that we kill innocent little babies, what else won’t we do? Is there a limit to our barbarism? Human history is replete with examples of what happens when we devalue human life. Here in the United States of America, we have a history of compassion and kindness that characterizes a model citizen. It is time to reclaim our heritage and reject the purveyors of selfishness and callousness.
Congress should defund Planned Parenthood and consider having the IRS revoke its status as a 501(c)(3) organization. I believe deeply, as it is written in the Declaration of Independence, that we are all endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights. First and foremost among these unalienable rights is life, and we created a government in order to protect it — not fund its destruction.

Even as he spewed these words, Carson knew damn well that he himself had been one of the ‘buyers’ of fetal tissue donations, or consumer of it, if you prefer.  He KNEW this, but did not happen to mention it, apparently hoping it would not come out and discourage donors to his campaign.

H/t to the Daily Kos for the link to the published paper that Carson produced from his research
  (that’s ol’ Dr. Ben there, third name in):

Colloid cysts of the third ventricle: immunohistochemical evidence for nonneuroepithelial differentiation.

Tsuchida T1, Hruban RH, Carson BS, Phillips PC.

As  the same Daily Kos piece noted:

 

Dr. Ben Carson, a neurosurgeon who is seeking the GOP nomination for President, is opposed to foetal tissue research. He claims nothing can be learned from it that cannot be learned in another way. He has flogged this position on FOX News Channel and on Breitbart.

In point of FACT, there are forms of scientific research for which other tissue IS NOT suitable or as effective as the unique qualities of fetal tissue.  Asserting so is dishonest.

 

Regardless of facts to the contrary, regardless of science contrary to their beliefs, it is what the right wing nuts do to get money and votes from their anti-fact, anti-science, anti-truth base.

 

Planned Parenthood has approximately 4 clinics that currently provide that service to their clients.  No tissue is ever sold, nor has it ever been proposed for sale.  Dishonest conservatives tried to deceive people as to the fees involved in tissue collection, storage and transport, which in some respects resembles similar procedures for organs used in transplants.  It requires special equipment and procedures which entail additional costs over the disposal of medical waste.

 

No abortion is done for the purpose of providing medical specimens; rather this is a decision women have as an option to procedures they have already chosen.  The women donors receive no compensation or benefit.

 

Let’s look at the contradiction in Carson’s statements, courtesy of the Wa Po:

 

He told Fox New’s Megyn Kelly that fetal tissue research was basically useless and that the same things could be accomplished without it.

“And if you go back over the years, and look at the research that has been done and all the things it was supposed to deliver, very little of that has been done, and there’s nothing that can’t be done without fetal tissue”, Carson said.

and the big contradictions:

 

On Thursday, though, Carson told Weigel that the use of fetal tissue shouldn’t be banned. He declined to say whether Planned Parenthood should stop providing fetal tissue for medical research. So one one hand, Carson said the use of fetal tissue doesn’t produce results and is interchangeable with less morally fraught materials, and on the other he used it himself and now says it shouldn’t be banned.

Carson’s views on abortion appear to have long been complicated. In 1992, he appeared in an ad encouraging Maryland voters to oppose a law that would effectively keep abortions legal in the state if the Supreme Court overturned or weakened Roe v. Wade. He later appeared at a pro-abortion-rights activist press conference disavowing the ad, saying he didn’t realize he was making a political statement.

And the Huff Po gives us this additional information, quoting OB/GYN doctor and researcher Dr. Jen Gunter noting this research was on aborted fetuses, and giving the age of the fetuses.  Age and other descriptive factors are used to generate an emotional response rather than a logical one in propganda:

 

“…published a study with three other colleagues in 1992 that described using “human choroid plexus ependyma and nasal mucosa from two fetuses aborted in the ninth and 17th week of gestation.”

As a neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson knows full well that fetal tissue is essential for medical research. His discipline would have a hard time being [where] it is today without that kind of work. What is even more egregious than dismissing the multitude of researchers whose work allowed him to become a neurosurgeon is the hypocrisy of actually having done that research himself while spouting off about its supposed worthlessness.

and the Huff Po goes on to quote Carson — this relates to the age of the aborted fetal tissue HE himself used, underlining his hypocrisy:

 

Last month, Carson railed against Planned Parenthood and pro-choice advocates by describing a fetus in the 17th week of gestation.

“At 17 weeks, you’ve got a nice little nose and little fingers and hands and the heart’s beating,” he said on Fox News. “It can respond to environmental stimulus. How can you believe that that’s just an irrelevant mass of cells? That’s what they want you to believe, when in fact it is a human being.”

So, apparently Carson is all morally and ethically comfy with the ethics of fetal research on 17 week fetuses when HE is the one doing it, but it’s all “no!-wrong!-BAD!” and “don’t fund it” when anyone else does the research.

 

Stick a fork in ol’ Doc Ben; I would bet his campaign as the token right wing negro candidate, the Uncle Tom du Jour, like Hermann Cain’s in the preceding presidential campaign cycle, is concluded.  No loss, really; he would never have been elected by the racists on the right anyway.

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~ Invited Guest Commentary ~

by Invenium Viam on August 9, 2015 · 0 comments

randall tigue

Randall Tigue is a Twin Cities attorney, DFL activist, and Past President of both the First Amendment Lawyers Association and the Minnesota Civil Liberties Union.

Questions From the GOP Debate

By Randall Tigue

 

The first debate of Republican presidential candidates brought a number of questions to my mind that I hope someone in future debates will have the courage to ask the candidates.

 

The first is why, after Megan Kelly asked Donald Trump the question about his referring to women as “fat pigs” and “slobs” and then suggested that the question was about “political correctness,” why was it that not a single one of the remaining nine male candidates said, “There is an obvious difference between political correctness and treating women with basic dignity and respect, and if you can’t see that difference, you are too stupid to be President of the United States”?

 

The second set of questions has to do with all of the candidates demanding immediate defunding of Planned Parenthood.

 

As every one of those candidates knows, because of the Hyde Amendment, not a single penny of federal funding of Planned Parenthood goes to pay for abortions. Federal funding of Planned Parenthood goes for things like screenings for breast and other types and cancer and testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

 

Take away that funding, and there is no question that women will die as a result. The Republicans who take that funding away will have a direct hand in those deaths.

 

So the questions that should be asked of those who advocate defunding of Planned Parenthood should include, at least the following: “Given that defunding Planned Parenthood will not stop a single abortion, how many women are you willing to murder to placate the lunatic fringe of your party? How can you openly support the killing of women and continue to call yourself “pro-life”?

 

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We do not see conservatives trying to make THESE more legitimate challenges to the sanctity and success of traditional marriage illegal. In fact we have seen some of the clerks who claim sincere religious belief as a failed excuse not to do their jobs turn out to themselves have multiple failed traditional marriages to their credit, raising questions about how sincerely they really believe in monogamy.

 
For example, Rowan County, Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, who is suing to be able to refuse to issue same sex marriage licenses on religious belief grounds, is apparently on her own fourth marriage. From Snopes:

 

A 9 July 2015 report from Lexington station WKYT on David Moore’s video noted the rumor that Kim Davis had herself been married four times and stated that her marriage certificate confirmed that fact

My understanding and impression is that Ms. Davis has undergone multiple divorces.

 

Quite the opposite of supporting traditional monogamy in practice, we see conservatives engaging in more cheating on spouses, more use of pornography (remembering that committing adultery in one’s mind and heart are the same as doing it in the flesh), higher rates of divorce, and high rates of multiple marriages (mostly while ex-spouses are still living). So the concept of one man/one woman until death do us part is just simply bullshit; the right does not defend this kind of traditional marriage. Rather it is more a case of TREAD-itional marriage, where they trample all over it. No, the objection to same sex marriage equality is about one thing and one thing only — screwing over the LGBT community and doing their level best to treat them as second class citizens. Shame shame shame on them; they do NOT deserve respect for their position. They instead deserve to be called out for their hypocrisy and hatred of others, and their desire to harm others.

 
A federal judge promises to rule later this month on the Davis sincere-religious-belief suit.  Rowan County is claiming they are immune from this suit, since the county is not refusing to issue the same-sex marriage licenses, which could leave clerk Kim Davis on the hook for some considerable cash.  However as her position and suits are being funded by the radical right wing instead of her personally, I’m sure there will be a generous outpouring of bigot bucks in her direction to help defray judgments against her, since it looks highly likely she will lose, and lose big.

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~ Invited Guest Commentary ~

by Invenium Viam on August 4, 2015 · 1 comment

Honor our Founding Mothers: Finish the Job!

by Betty Folliard

Betty Folliard

Betty Folliard is a former state legislator, founder of ERA Minnesota and Executive Producer and host of A Woman’s Place (www.awomansplacemn.com) on AM950Radio.

 

After 92 years of struggle, American women still don’t have legal equality.

 

According to an Opinion Research Survey, 96% of Americans believe women and men should have equal rights, 88% want an Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) added to our Constitution — but a whopping 72% of Americans somehow are under the false impression that the U.S. Constitution already guarantees equal rights for women.

 

It doesn’t.

 

What we have are patchwork laws unevenly meting out legal protections against gender discrimination cases. The Constitution governs all courts in the land and absent an Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) these laws are nails without a hammer.

 

The U.S. media has an obligation to accurately report this reality; however there remains a dearth of articles focused on women in our media.

 

All four sectors of the press/media in America are male-centric, according to the 2015 Status of Women in the U.S. Media report put out by the Women’s Media Center; and as a result issues regarding women’s equality rarely get coverage. Women are mentioned only 24% of the time in any news stories whatsoever: and of that 24%, only 6% ever mention equality or inequality; so overall, these issues get aired a mere 1.44% of the time.

 

Contrary to popular opinion and polarizing political reporting, the ERA didn’t die — it went dormant. Pushback from the right continues to spread untruths, to focus on red herrings, and to conjure up fear; but the ERA movement perseveres and will ultimately prevail because women are on the right side of history on this matter and we won’t take no for an answer.

 

We can now see light at the end of this tunnel. Today many national coalitions and organizations of women (and a few good men) have reinvigorated the fight to ratify the ERA.

 

This year alone:

 

• There’s legislation at both the state & national levels aimed at removing the artificial deadline that was slapped on equal rights for women and finally ratifying the ERA into our federal constitution (FYI: there’s no such thing as an expiration on equality);

• The documentary “She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry” opened this year, educating a whole new generation about the struggle for women’s rights in America;

• A new book “Equal Means Equal” written by Jessica Neuwirth unveils gender discrimination cases that went all the way to the Supreme Court only to be rejected because the Constitution doesn’t protect women against sex discrimination. In it, Neuwirth points to the 4 key issues that an ERA would help rectify: pay inequity, violence against women, pregnancy discrimination, and laws that discriminate against men;

• A film by that same title – “Equal Means Equal” – produced by Kamala Lopez will soon be released;

• In October, the film “Suffragette” starring Meryl Streep will open in theaters;

• And Helene de Boissierre-Swanson, a former legal professional & co-founder of Katrina’s Dream, has now walked the entire breadth of the U.S. to raise awareness of the need of the ERA in our U.S. Constitution.

 

On Women’s Equality Day – August 26th 2015 — Helene will culminate her walk across America with a final ERA march and rally to the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., to help finally pass the ERA. ERA Minnesota will be there. Women (and a few good men) from all across the country will be there standing up for legal equality. I’ll be speaking at the rally. You’re invited. Join us!

 

Like Suffragists of old, Helene de Boissierre-Swanson has endured homelessness, starvation, deprivation, and molestation on her solo walk across the USA all for the ERA.

 

Helene offered press access in each un-ratified state along her journey from California to Florida and up to Washington, D.C.; but not one national media outlet deigned to pick up this story.

 

NOT ONE.

 

Honor our Founding Mothers by finishing the job. Ratify the ERA.
 
Comment below fold.
 
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The deeply indebted MN GOP is trying to play their wedge politics on the state’s dime, in contrast to legitimate non-wedge-issue investigations, in calling for an investigation into MN Planned Parenthood. It makes sense they want to use state $$$$ to advance their political agenda, they’re still pretty much broke from their past considerable fiscal irresponsibility. They have very little money of their own, do to their own bad planning,  so they try to grab state money.

 

Planned Parenthood is seeing a spike upwards in donations; and now the MN GOP want to see a spike upwards in theirs out of this pseudo-controversy.

 

My hope is that in recognizing that MN PP is doing MORE, not less for women in this region, so that Minnesota consumers of the care they provide are not short changed by overstretching of the limited PP resources, the lege instead of investigating PP authorizes significant funding for PP.

 

A wasteful and pointless investigation would help the MN GOP gin up some excitement and motivate their base to action, which is the purpose of manipulating a wedge issue. The right operates not by legitimate governing, but by keeping their base in an emotional turmoil and misinformed state of agitation and anger. To keep that working for them, they have to poke the base with a big wedge issue stick on a regular basis or they get less crazy, and they give less money.

 

It’s pretty well established that in spite of the efforts to fake videos to the contrary, Planned Parenthood is NOT ‘selling baby parts’, not nationally, not in MN. Donating tissue are not selling, and only four clinics in the US have the costly arrangements in place that permit tissue donation. Minnesota is not one of them.

 

No one is getting rich on baby carcasses, to put it as crudely as the right likes to do, intentionally mis-framing and mis-representing the issue.

 

The reality is that once again the right has overplayed any legitimate objection they might have had — legitimate meaning one that is honest and valid. The result has been an INCREASE NOT A DECREASE in donations to PP.

 

Apparently it deeply upsets the right that their inept dishonesty did not work out as planned. Minnesota PP, which is now doing more, not less good work in taking on the overflow of women seeking reproductive health care and choice, from neighboring red states that have attempted to oppress them with unconstitutional over-regulation, is now under threat of investigation from Minnesota Republicans.

 

Like the endless efforts to repeal Obamacare, even though they know it is not happening, like the shutting down of government to defund Obamacare which did not happen, like the endless and pointless hearings on pseudo-scandals that produce NOTHING, at the federal level, now we have state level Republicans wanting to waste more tax payer money on a crazy, costly and useless witch hunt, for no other reason than cheap and exploitive political theater.

 

I’d speculate with some reason here that throwing in Mayo and especially the U of MN, that this is also the right’s way of subtly threatening those two entities as well. Certainly the U of MN is dependent on state funding directly, and the state lege can threaten the Mayo indirectly with their authority.

 

From the City Pages

Republicans demand investigation of non-existent abortion program

Though Planned Parenthood maintains that the videos were heavily edited to remove the employees’ repeated statements that fetal tissue is only donated, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is spearheading a federal investigation to prove otherwise. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has launched an investigation into Planned Parenthood in his own state, as has Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana.

A group of 65 Minnesota lawmakers are calling on Gov. Mark Dayton to follow suit. The problem is, Minnesota’s Planned Parenthood doesn’t even have a tissue donation program.

Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Jen Aulwes says that although some other affiliates across the country give women the option to donate their aborted fetuses to science, the Minnesota branch doesn’t have any way of doing so even if patients specifically ask for it.

“We definitely stand by all our sister affiliates around the country who do have those programs,” Aulwes says. “We haven’t made a conscious decision not to have one. We just happen to not have that particular program in place.”

Fetal tissue donations contribute to all kinds of medical research, playing a role in the creation of the polio vaccine and the search for a cure to Parkingson’s Disease. Aulwes says none of the legislators who signed the letter to Dayton actually checked with Planned Parenthood Minnesota first to see if it had such a program to investigate.

Dayton said he would not grant the 65 Republicans an investigation. Instead, he offered a bewildered restatement of the obvious: “As far as I’m concerned there’s no basis for an investigation at taxpayer expense into a private nonprofit organization that has stated they don’t engage in those practices here in Minnesota.”

Still, Republican lawmakers press on, unconvinced that Planned Parenthood should be taken at its word.

Rep. Peggy Scott (R-Andover) just wants Democrats to look into it. “The letter that was sent out was written in a way that was very matter-of-fact and in a way that I was truly hoping that Democrats would say, ‘Yes, we do need to look into this in Minnesota to make sure it’s not happening here,'” she says. “I could really change the tone of that letter but I really, truly wanted an investigation, and I’m not doing it for political reasons. It’s astounding that the pro-choice community has been basically silent on this.”

Planned Parenthood may say that fetal issue is only being donated and not sold for profit, but the undercover videos did reveal the callousness of the people in the abortion industry, Scott says. “How can you talk about crunching baby bones and parts while you’re dining? That I think is off-putting to a lot of people.”

Of course Planned Parenthood would deny doing anything illegal, she says. Lawmakers need to make sure that local research hospitals like Mayo Clinic and U of M aren’t in the market for fetal tissue.

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Hillary Clinton as the devil, image from flickr.com – one of many such images on the internet

The fringe right craziest thing I’ve heard this week — the claim that Hillary Clinton is a Satanist.  There are multiples of that actually; but I’ll share only a brief glimpse of the insanity here.

From Yahoo!answers.com:

 

Is Hilary Clinton a satanist?
My Pastor tells me that this is so

 

 

to the silly Youtube video about a secret term paper (secret here doesn’t mean secret, and not leaked either'; also  Hillary Clinton has been a Methodist for years).

 

 

To the really funny comment I came across on Right Wing News from some yobbo who thinks he scared Hillary Clinton into running away and hiding by calling her a Satanist.

 

Christopher John Rozell

July 29 at 11:07pm

CJR- She ran in that building because my sign exposing her Satanic ways scared her half to death! They even put my quote in there and my name Christopher John Rozell! Heck yeah, talk about making a stand and a difference! That’s how you be a True patriot and defend this great nation of the United States of America We The People! http://www.stargazette.com/story/news/local/2015/07/29/hillary-clinton-visits-corning/30848243/

Here is what the coverage of the crazies actually wrote, and it certainly was not an endorsement of  this nutjob as clear, cogent or serious political discourse or discussion:

 

One group of protesters arrived before 4:30 p.m. with signs — one saying “Hillary Clinton is Satanic / I have Proof!” and “GOD Bless AMERICA.”

“I used to be a Hillary Clinton supporter until I researched and educated myself on her,” Christopher John Rozell of Painted Post said.

What is the big fuss about? NOTHING.  Here is the real deal about the supposedly secret paper Hillary Clinton wrote back in college, demonstrating  that the right wing nut knee-jerking would qualify as an audition for the Rockettes:

 

In fact, however, the thesis had been unlocked after the Clintons left the White House in 2001 and is available for reading at the Wellesley College archives. In 2005, msnbc.com investigative reporter Bill Dedman sent his journalism class from Boston University to read the thesis and write articles about it; one of the students, Rick Heller, posted his article online in December 2005.  The thesis is also available through inter-library loan on microfilm, a method reporter Dorian Davis used when he obtained it in January 2007, and sent it to Noonan and to Clinton critic Amanda Carpenter at Human Events, who wrote a piece on it in March. Although publishing the thesis violates copyright,  it can nevertheless be found on various websites.

The suppression of the thesis from 1993 to 2001 at the request of the Clinton White House was documented in March 2007 by reporter Dedman, who read the thesis at the Wellesley library and interviewed Rodham’s thesis adviser. Dedman found that the thesis did not disclose Rodham’s own views much. A Boston Globe assessment found the thesis nuanced, and said that “While [Rodham] defends Alinsky, she is also dispassionate, disappointed, and amused by his divisive methods and dogmatic ideology.”  Rodham’s former professor and thesis adviser Alan Schechter told msnbc.com that “There Is Only The Fight . . .” was a good thesis, and that its suppression by the Clinton White House “was a stupid political decision, obviously, at the time.”

Was it a stupid decision?  Or just setting up the crazies for a little ridicule?  I’m inclined to think it was more the latter than the former.

 

Of course, other right wing nut crazies claim Hillary Clinton is an illuminati witch, the anti-Christ, or possibly a man, to a lizard people shape shifter who is not even human.  One example below of the many such ridiculous things believed on the right.  Again from Yahoo!’s special corner for crazy people:

 

Is Hillary Clinton A Man?

I have heard rumors that Hillary Clinton is actually a man, and that his/her lover…is tv’s, Cokie Roberts. Is this true?

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The public is with Planned Parenthood

by Dan Burns on July 31, 2015 · 0 comments

LnYAxnmXFRKfSBF-556x313-noPadAs usual, the right-wingers are vastly overrating the extent to which the public is purportedly on their side.
 

Sixty-three percent of registered voters oppose cutting off federal funds to Planned Parenthood, according to a new poll commissioned by the organization.
 
The poll, conducted by the Democratic firm Hart Research Associates, finds that along with 63 percent of voters overall who oppose defunding Planned Parenthood, 68 percent of independents also oppose the move. The poll finds that a “bare majority” of 53 percent of Republicans favor defunding, while 34 percent oppose the move.
 
The survey finds that voters are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports funding Planned Parenthood over one calling to end funding, by a margin of 58 to 26 percent.
(The Hill)

This is potentially a great thing, though actually getting it into law will take a lot of changes for the better in the overall quality of our political “representation.”
 

The EACH Woman Act, introduced by Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA), Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), and Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO), over seventy Congressional Co-Sponsors and with the support of thirty-six women’s health, rights, and justice advocacy organizations, ensures coverage for abortion for every woman, however much she earns or however she is insured.
 
For too long, politicians have interfered in women’s health decisions by banning insurance coverage for abortion care.
 
Whether she has private or government-funded health insurance, every woman should have coverage for a full range of pregnancy-related care, including abortion. When health programs for women with low incomes cover birth control and abortion – not just childbirth – and people can plan if and when to have children, it’s good for them and for society as a whole.
(All Above All)

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Ban pedophiles, not gays.  Gays are not automatically pedophiles or sex predators.  Conservatives know, or should reasonably be expected to know this, but prefer to hate “the gays”/LGBT community anyway, while ignoring the very real predatory pedophilia of heterosexuals.

 

The crazy, dishonest, and ignorant radical religious right do this by engaging in blatant homophobic propaganda.  Propaganda, as a working definition, is a combination of animus and factually false claims that negatively target a group with the intention to manipulate the emotions of the gullible against them, and occasionally to manipulate the gullible for additional agenda purposes.

 

The Minnesota Family Council is big on using scare tactics and pushing narratives that are false.  They seek ways to legalize and to try to justify hateful and discriminatory actions to victimize against anyone who does not conform to their extremist agenda.  And like so many conservatives do, they try to assert they are victims, when they are nothing of the kind.  Any group with so little regard for the truth is no supporter of either truth, or anything or anyone other than hate and bigotry.

 

Minnesota Family Council falsely claims they are “strengthening the family and advancing truth.  All gay kids and adults have families; those families are not ‘strengthened’ by discrimination and hateful propaganda.  Minnesota Family Council has routinely shared supposed news items that were factually false, without ever bothering to do the most minimal fact checking before promoting them.

 

NO ONE is forcing any church in the United States to alter their ugly religious views or teachings.  There is no valid threat to churches from the Boy Scouts or any other advancement of the LGBT community towards dignity and equality.

 

The Boy Scouts HAVE had a problem with HETEROSEXUAL pedophile predators in the past, so it is not as if their prior policy was serving them well.  Rather the assumption that heterosexual men were consistently safe with boys was a fallacy that should have been obvious based on the organization’s own pervert files. Just as one law suit was settled in Minnesota, another one was filed against them for the same thing, one of five such law suits in the past two months, with four others currently open.  According to the STrib, the attorney who filed the most recent suit has spoken with other men who claimed to have been similarly victimized, so the numbers of pedophile victim suits may go higher.

 

From bringmethenews.com

At the time of the alleged abuse, Opalinski was a leader for the St. Paul-based Boy Scout Troop 12 and was also an Explorer advisor for Troop 2012.
The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Ramsey County District Court; it’s the fifth such lawsuit to be filed in Minnesota in the past two months and the fourth to name Opalinski as the alleged abuser, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

The Northern Star Council is facing at least nine lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by former leaders or volunteers, MPR News reports. They were allowed under the Minnesota Child Victims Act – the same state law that has led to the spate of legal action against the local Catholic Church.

Contrary to the common mis-perception among conservatives, the target of pedophiles is often one of accessibility rather than sexual orientation.  We consistently see conservatives demonstrating extreme ignorance on a wide range of issues relating to sex, gender, sexuality and sexual orientation, and reproduction.  This is just one more.

 
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The loathsome lows of forced-birth zealotry

by Dan Burns on July 22, 2015 · 0 comments

prochoiceThe best thing I’ve seen about the puerile, despicable, craven attacks on Planned Parenthood.
 

What is happening here is profoundly different. GOP legislators and presidential wannabes appear to be coordinating attacks on Planned Parenthood with a group that may have violated numerous federal and state laws, including using secret videotaping (which is illegal in the State of California, where the taping took place) to surreptitiously record Dr. Deborah Nucatola, and now Dr. Mary Gatter, later dramatically altering both videos to make it seem as though they were saying things they never had.
 
The anti-choice groups with which the GOP has joined forces have a very long history of using lies and deceit to make claims about services and of creating “gotcha” videos that always turn out to be false, though the media continues to lap these up. They’ve made up their own “science” and disregarded medicine and public health to force doctors to provide and women to undergo unnecessary procedures, waiting times, and lectures, all in the service of a radical ideology. Their work to undermine basic public health advances endangers the lives of literally millions of people, including children. But “babies” and children are not really their concern, all protestations aside. They seek total control over sex and sexuality.
 
The most frightening aspect of all of this, however, is the degree to which deeply radical anti-choicers have infiltrated a major political party. These are literally domestic terrorists.
(RH Reality Check)

Yes, they are. And you have to wonder why legal authorities at all levels aren’t doing more to protect women’s rights.
 
In our general neck of the woods, North Dakota’s fetal heartbeat law was just blocked in court. A 20-week ban is “law” in Wisconsin; it will almost certainly be overturned.
 

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RFRA & the Conservative Riffraff

by Dog Gone on July 8, 2015 · 0 comments

bad religion logo

RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act) is not a justification for discrimination, no matter how conservatives try to use and abuse it.  This use of RFRA and of religious belief are wrong, bad, and flat out evil.  It is also generally, broadly illegal.

 

Those conservatives who seem to be bent on misusing freedom of religion are wrong, but they also tend to be the riffraff, the fringe, the mouth breathers, knuckle daggers, Bible-thumping mouth-foamers of the radical right who are too cray-cray to merit serious consideration.  These are not the educated serious thinkers on the right, and these are not people who anyone would view reasonably as statesmen and women.  These are not the people who should be in charge, of ANYTHING, as distinct from rational people of faith across the spectrum of political thinking.

Dictionary.com, riffraff:

noun: people, or a group of people, regarded as disreputable or worthless:
a pack of riffraff.
the lowest classes; rabble

adjective: worthless, disreputable, or trashy.

These are the extremists who have hijacked the GOP.  The GOP needs to hijack their party back, they need to expel these crazy extremists, or the party will fracture and die out, like the Whigs which preceded them.

 

That does not seem to stop them from trying to get attention or their evil and hateful way.

 

Conservatives as the right side of the political spectrum, regardless of parties, has always been pro-discrimination, pro-unequal treatment,pro-injustice,  pro-subordination of others.  We have had to pass civil rights laws, and had ill treatment adjudicated BECAUSE conservatives won’t treat people fairly and equally without the coercion of law.  Rather we see conservatives having used terrible violence to coerce conformity to their discrimination.

 

Conservatives also believe in an ‘immaculate conception’ notion of business creation, by which I mean the belief that any business can be created without the contribution of others, notably government provided services like infrastructure (roads, utilities, educated workforce, customers, fire and police services, etc.).  Nope, it’s just the business owner and divine fertilization, in the minds of conservatives.

 

This is factually false.  But it is also the core premise underlying the current attempt by conservatives to claim a right of businesses to discriminate, and to assert a religious right to treat people differently by refusing service to some (aka public accommodation).

 

I cannot come up with a better definition of public accommodation than that provided by wikipedia:

Within U.S. law, public accommodations are generally defined as entities, both public and private, that are used by the public. Examples include retail stores, rental establishments and service establishments, as well as educational institutions, recreational facilities and service centers. Private clubs and religious institutions were exempt. However, in 1984, the United States Supreme Court declared the previously all-male Junior Chamber International, a chamber of Commerce organization for persons between the ages of eighteen and thirty-six, to be a public accommodation, which compelled the admission of women into the ranks.

One of the premises of a right of the public to service is that the public provides the context and framework, the infrastructure, in which business operates, and which are essential to business to exist.  But more than that, it is a foundational premise of equality that people be able to expect equal treatment in the public sphere, that separate is not equal, that disparate or inferior is not fair or equal, and that refusal of service causes harm.

 

Courtesy of Findlaw for a partial list of court cases relating to civil rights decisions relating to the conservative laws being overturned that mandated or gave legal cover to discriminate, INCLUDING ON THE BASIS OF SINCERELY HELD RELIGIOUS BELIEFS:

Shelley v Kramer, 1948, overturned the right to exclude property sales on the basis of race, used to keep neighborhoods segregated;
Brown v Board of Education 1954 and 55(I and II) ended segregated education, invalidating separate but equal (hint: it was never equal, but consistently inferior);
Bailey v Patterson, 1962, overturned segregation of transportation facilities (public or private, inter and intrastate);
Loving v Virginia
, 1967, overturned prohibitions of inter-racial marriage, in which the Bible and sincerely held religious beliefs about the separation of the races figured prominently;
Jones v Mayer
, 1968, another decision that prohibits in property sales and property rentals, (regardless of sincerely held religious belief, or any other pretext or justification);
Griggs v Duke Power Co., 1971, (yes – THAT Duke Power that funds/ owns conservative candidates) overturned discriminatory education and IQ testing for employment (again, based in part on a sincerely held religious-based belief in racial differences);
Oncale v Sundowner Offshore Serv., Inc. 1987 banned same-sex sexual harassment violated the provision of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964  (the court did not make an exception for sincerely held religious beliefs motivating harassment or bullying);
Add to this list any of the Bob Jones University court decisions that religion or religious beliefs (sincere or otherwise) was not an excuse or legal pretext for discrimination;

This has not been an encyclopedic listing of cases, rather it is a sampling only.  Religion is not a legitimate or legal basis for discrimination.  In some locations, like the state of Oregon, these protections extend to gender and sexual orientation, and this has been the trend in civil rights.

…READ MORE

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