In order to counter the gay rights movement, ALEC argued in “Homosexuals: Just Another Minority Group,” one had to understand first that gay people were corrupted beings, since “the homosexual makes the conscious choice to pursue members of his or her own sex.” The answer therefore did not lie with treating gay people fairly, but instead with providing them psychotherapy or by having them join the Christian faith. “The evidence is too great to deny it,” the memo stated.
ALEC classified all gay people into six categories: “the blatant, the secret lifer, the desperate, the adjusted, the bisexual and the situational.” The “blatant” gay person was “obvious and ‘limp-wristed’” the “adjusted” would “try to conduct a ‘conventional’ gay marriage” and so on. Yet no matter what category a gay person fell into, ALEC argued, the most dominant practice within “the homosexual world is pedophilia, the fetish for young children.” This tendency, the group claimed, was the product of the fact that “the homosexual cannot reproduce themselves biologically, so they must recruit the young.”
ALEC lamented that the federal government funded AIDS research and allocated tax money to counter the AIDS epidemic. The group discouraged states from passing anti-discrimination laws because, according to one ALEC newsletter from April 1984, such legislation “might jeopardize public health in restaurants, dental offices, and other areas because of the communicable disease AIDS.” ALEC claimed that under the Carter administration, in addition to funding AIDS research, “the federal government had been active in directly funding the homosexual movement” by approving federal grants to organizations that served gay communities.
So why was the Respect ABQ campaign important? Well firstly, it proves what studies have been showing: that Latin@s tend to prioritize family over religious doctrine. They also understand the complexities of reproductive justice and abortion in a way that conservative politicians pandering to the “people of color” vote never give them credit for. In fact, in a survey conducted by California Latinas for Reproductive Justice, nearly seven in ten of those surveyed said that “while they might not choose to terminate their pregnancy or their partners’ pregnancy, they would protect that right and not take the decision away from women.”
When Obama was reelected in 2012, I think many of us felt that reproductive rights might finally be safe after months of electoral foolishness from the Romney campaign. Unfortunately, conservative politicians are still working to make abortion all but completely inaccessible, particularly for low-income people and people of color.
With rumors already starting about the next presidential elections, I initially got sick just imagining what the GOP might do this round. However, Respect ABQ has given me hope. The GOP can no longer count on the conservative Latin@ vote-if it ever could. If we are honest with our communities, we can change the narrative around abortion. We can take reproductive health care back into our own hands.
In rapidly growing Texas, which is home to one in 11 children in the United States, child poverty has continued to increase despite an improving economy, according to a report released Tuesday.
There was a 47 percent increase in the rate of Texas children living in poverty from 2000 to 2011, according to the Kids Count report by the Center for Public Policy Priorities, a liberal think tank that advocates for low-income Texans. That was faster than the 18 percent growth rate in the child population in Texas during the same period.
Twenty-seven percent of Texas children were living in poverty in 2011, a rate that put the Lone Star State among the nine worst states.
Poverty is “almost a canary in the coal mine,” said Frances Deviney, Texas Kids Count director at the Center for Public Policy Priorities. “Poverty is not destiny, but it certainly puts kids off on the wrong foot.”
Once again, States Rights leads to inequality.
Low-income women who decide to terminate their pregnancies currently face hardship, humiliation or worse before they can obtain the medical care they seek. Many women risk their own health to have an abortion — and were doing so even when there were more clinics available in Texas. Doctors in the state report that many women near the Mexico border are resorting to buying illegal abortion-inducing drugs on the black market, since that’s cheaper and easier than trying to pay multiple visits to a clinic. Now, thanks to the Fifth Circuit, they expect the number of women opting for that potentially dangerous method to rise even further.
This is the landscape facing thousands of women in a nation where the right to choose an abortion is still ostensibly protected by the Constitution itself. “[T]he essential holding of Roe v. Wade should be retained and once again reaffirmed,” according to the Supreme Court’s seminal decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. But for women like Marni Evans in deeply conservative states, the world does not look very different than it would look if Roe had been overruled.
In that alternate universe, where Justice Anthony Kennedy joined with his fellow conservatives to end Roe v. Wade, Marni would still be able to seek an abortion in liberal Seattle, while poorer women would still struggle to obtain the cash and the time off necessary to receive safe medical care — or, worse, they would try to end their pregnancies by taking illegal drugs intended to induce stomach ulcers. The real world and this alternative world are far more similar than Casey’s promise to reaffirm Roe’s “essential holding” would suggest. And neither bears much resemblance to a nation where abortion rights are fully protected.
Google, the tech giant supposedly guided by its “don’t be evil” motto, has been funding a growing list of groups advancing the agenda of the Koch brothers.
Organizations that received “substantial” funding from Google for the first time over the past year include Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, the Federalist Society, the American Conservative Union (best known for its CPAC conference), and the political arm of the Heritage Foundation that led the charge to shut down the government over the Affordable Care Act: Heritage Action.
In 2013, Google also funded the corporate lobby group, the American Legislative Exchange Council, although that group is not listed as receiving “substantial” funding in the list published by Google.
U.S. corporations are not required to publicly disclose their funding of political advocacy groups, and very few do so, but since at least 2010 Google has chosen to voluntarily release some limited details about grants it makes to U.S. non-profits. The published list from Google is not comprehensive, including only those groups that “receive the most substantial contributions from Google’s U.S. Federal Public Policy and Government Affairs team.”
As you travel for the holidays, keep in mind that not all places in these United States are as friendly as others. Now someone has pinpointed the most racist and homophobic locations in the United States—at least according to tweets sent from those areas, Policy Mic reports.
A map, created by the folks over at Floating Sheep, a site that maps and analyzes geo-coded data, visually shows us the most hateful parts of America in a quite simple way: The more red an area, the more hateful the tweets.
Undocumented women often become de facto slaves when brought to this country by their “husbands”. They are uneducated, do not know the language and are manipulated by their men. The fear of deportation or of losing their children is very real.
The US does have laws on the books to help these women, but funds for outreach are limited. Abusers find they have free reign.
Thomas Manger, the police chief in Montgomery County, opposes the SAFE Act. At the recent congressional briefing, he recounted a case in which a Latino man broke into his ex-girlfriend’s house, hit her with a metal rod and caused a head injury that required stitches, but she refused to call the police because she was undocumented. After a friend persuaded her to contact authorities, Manger said, the man was arrested and sent to prison, and the woman was able to obtain a special visa.
“The reluctance of folks to come forward because they are undocumented and fear deportation is a much greater public safety problem than having people here who may be undocumented but are not committing other crimes,” Manger said in an interview. “Criminals thrive in neighborhoods where people don’t trust the police. This is a daily struggle for us.”
No matter their legal status, immigrant women who experience domestic violence often face another obstacle to obtaining help. Like Gonzalez, many pray that their abusive partners will soften over time, and they want to believe the apologies that follow beatings. The situation rarely improves.
This is me not surprised.
One month ago, the Swiss laboratory announced “moderate support” for the poisoning idea. Then the Russians declared that their tests were inconclusive. Today, the French scientists declared that they saw no signs of poisoning, that when Arafat died at age 75, he was just an ailing elderly man vulnerable to spreading infection.
In fact, this isn’t as much of a mixed message as you might think.
Before the French published their findings, the Swiss lab’s results had been called into question by a number of scientists, including the Belgium-based medical investigative reporter, Dr. Rudi Roth. You can find Roth’s inquiry here at his publication, Joods Actuel and translated here. As the translation reveals, Roth asked the head of the Swiss research group why their report lacked the standard margin of error calculations for polonium and was told that the lab had not based the numbers on “any specific evidence” but on their belief that the consistency of polonium levels in the samples was best explained by the supposition of poison. Unlike the French they also discounted the fact that the grave was contaminated with naturally occurring radon, which includes polonium in its decay chain. The inclination to see poisoning in these results also led Nicholas Priest, the former head of biomedical research at Britain’s Atomic Energy Authority, to dispute the findings and suggest that the laboratory was too closely allied with Al Jazeera.
Rayan Dhamuke, 12, doesn’t get to swim a lot, unlike her brothers. During the past summer, she had to visit the pool at 5 a.m. so that she would have the privacy she needed to enjoy the water while still adhering to her family’s cultural and religious beliefs.
To better accommodate girls like Dhamuke, the downtown St. Paul YMCA, in partnership with the St. Paul Police Department, has started a swim group for Somali-American girls. The group, which began in October, is serving as an outlet for girls ages 5 to 17 to learn the basics of swimming..
One evening last week, the din of girls’ laughter and splashes filled the windowless, humid pool room of the St. Paul downtown YMCA.
“Anybody want to try jumping in one more time?” asked an instructor.
“Me! Me! Me!” shouted a chorus of eager beginners, who wore mostly shirts and pants with their heads uncovered.
The group of about 25 girls, who were quiet and reserved earlier in the evening, seemed to come alive while in the water. With each jump, kick and splash, their confidence appeared to grow.
It’s a “night-and-day difference” from the first week when girls hesitated, not wanting to jump in and clinging to the walls of the pool, too afraid to let go, said Morgan Johnson, director of healthy living at the downtown YMCA. Now, they dive in. Even one of the mothers watching Tuesday’s lessons decided to jump in and go for a swim.
“We’ve moved kids from being afraid of the water to really being able to tread water,” said Mary Britts, executive director for the downtown YMCA.
NAUERT: Well the minority becoming the majority at one community pool. Sharia law is now changing everything. A YMCA in Minneapolis-St. Paul is starting a swim group for Muslim girls but special considerations have to be made to keep with their religious beliefs. Now this means during the one-hour class, the pool is being shut down, the men’s locker room is being locked, and female lifeguards are being brought in. Similar classes are now starting at towns across the Midwest. We’ll keep watching this story for you.
Fox News’ decision to cite this story as evidence of “Sharia law” spreading through the country fits with the network’s history of pushing Islamophobia and the myth of “creeping Sharia.” In recent history Fox has led a smear campaign against Park51, an Islamic community center near the World Trade Center, claiming it would potentially be a haven for terrorists. The network has also been known to invite discredited anti-Muslim guests on its shows to push fears about Muslims. Fox’s pattern of Islamophobia has now reached the new low of presenting swimming lessons for young girls as a problem so worrisome that Nauert promised to “keep watching this story.”
The local JCC where Lord Of The Pies go swimming every week also has times set aside for “women only” and for “men only” but nobody is freaking out about that.
The enigmatic Canon 1 à 2 from J. S. Bachs Musical Offering (1747), The manuscript depicts a single musical sequence that is to be played front to back and back to front.
Video by Jos Leys (josleys.com) and Xantox ( strangepaths.com )