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Republican Puts $2,500 Bounty on Transgender People

January 17, 2015 in Blogs

By Jenny Kutner, Salon

Kentucky state senator C.B. Embry has proposed a bill that would actively punish trans-inclusivity.


This week in transphobic bathroom panic: A Kentucky Republican has introduced a bill that would force students to use school restrooms and locker rooms in accordance with their “biological” sex in order to “protect” cisgender students — but wait, there’s more. State Sen. C.B. Embry’s so-called Kentucky Student Privacy Act would also actively punish schools that attempt to accommodate transgender students, forcing them to pay students who encounter trans people in the “wrong” bathroom.

Think Progress breaks downthe insanity:

The bill provides that any student who encounters “a person of the opposite biological sex” in a bathroom or locker room shall have a legal cause of action if it’s because the school gave the trans student permission or didn’t explicitly prohibit the trans student from using that facility. The “aggrieved” student would be entitled to $2,500 from the offending school “for each instance” he or she encountered a trans student in a sex-divided facility in addition to monetary damages “for all psychological, emotional, and physical harm suffered” and attorney fees.

Embry has stated that the bill will help schools avoid the “potential embarrassment, shame, and psychological injury to students” that he believes naturally occurs when trans people are allowed to use restrooms in accordance with their gender identity. There is certainly no embarrassment, shame or psychological injury to be felt when trans kids are forced to conform to the gender identity assigned to them at birth, or are singled out from their peers because they, like the rest of us, sometimes need to pee while they’re at school. Nope, none of that at all!

The law would contain provisions requiring schools to provide separate, single-stalled toilets or unisex restrooms for trans students, but those accommodations could be limited to just one per campus. That the bill was introduced by a lawmaker who opposed anti-bullying legislation in 2013 should come as no surprise. It seems that Embry, like fellow transphobic bigots Bill O’Reilly and Steve Doocy, does not really understand what bullying is, given that …read more


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5 Outrageous Right-Wing Moments This Week: Red-Faced Fox Actually Admits It Made a Mistake

January 17, 2015 in Blogs

By Janet Allon, AlterNet

Turns out even Rupert Murdoch can be shamed.

1. Ben Carson says totally crazy thing; O’Reilly blames the liberal media.

It does not seem to matter what kind of crazy thing Fox rave-fave Dr. Ben Carson says; his Faux friends will back him up. This week Carson likened American patriots to Islamic State militants in a speech at the Republican National Committee's (RNC) winter meeting. This was an odd and perplexing move to be sure, but Carson was fully committed to it. He spoke admiringly of the Islamic State fighters as people willing to die for what they believe, just like the early Americans, but with the wrong philosophy.

Our problem today, Carson continued, is that we are “busily giving away every belief and every value for the sake of political correctness.”

So apparently, what the world needs now is less political correctness and more extremists willing to die for their cause.

Not everyone was entirely onboard with this bizarre comparison, and Carson's remarks subsequently met a whole lot of criticism. But not from Team Fox. The next night, Bill O’Reilly gave Carson a chance to clarify his statement, or perhaps retract? No, no! Carson doubled down and claimed the media had taken him “out of context.”

O’Reilly jumped in. “Don't worry about the liberal media, they're never going to give you a shot.”

Imagine if President Obama had compared early Americans to the Islamic State warriors, not that he ever would have. No chance of any Fox firestorm there.

2. Ayn Randian billionaire Roger Ver, who renounced U.S.citizenship to avoid taxes last year, whines that U.S. won’t let him visit.

Super-rich investor Roger Ver objected to the oppression of having to pay taxes on his gazillions, and in an Ayn Randian hissy fit, renounced his U.S. citizenship. Now he lives in the tropical tax haven heaven of St. Kitts. Problem solved. Happy ending for him, right? Well no, because now he would like to come to the U.S. to attend a tech conference, presumably so he can make some more money to shelter from taxes. And the mean U.S. authorities won’t let him …read more


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America's Terrorism Fear Factory Rolls On

January 17, 2015 in Economics

By John Mueller

John Mueller

“Fear sells,” points out journalist James Risen in his recent book, Pay Any Price.

There was a great deal of selling on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Friday. Segueing neatly from a report on raids against terrorists in Belgium, host George Stephanopoulos noted that “fears in Europe are matched by growing anxiety here about homegrown terror.” He then stoked those anxieties as he introduced a segment on an apparently current “sting operation to stop a radicalized young man planning a deadly attack on our nation’s Capitol.”

Only at the end of the “exclusive” report, and in passing, was it noted that the plot actually took place three years ago. And nowhere was it pointed out that the man had overstayed his visitor’s visa by 12 years (and therefore could have been deported at any time), that he had been evicted from his apartment in Virginia, or that FBI operatives had paid him $5,700 for living expenses and provided him with every scrap of weaponry he possessed. Also unmentioned: FBI informants had promised to pay the man’s destitute parents in Morocco up to $1,000 a month after he killed himself in the process of detonating a small (FBI-provided) bomb in a ludicrous mission to bring down the Capitol dome. The average monthly household income in Morocco is less than $600.

Fear-mongering by officials and by the media is politically (and economically) understandable, but it is also decidedly irresponsible.”

It is often assumed that, even without the FBI’s aid, a determined homegrown terrorist would eventually find someone else to supply him with his required weaponry. However, as Trevor Aaronson observes in his book, The Terror Factory, there has never “been a single would-be terrorist in the United States who has become operational through a chance meeting with someone able to provide the means for a terrorist attack.” Only the police and FBI have been able to supply that service.

In his book, Risen skewers what he calls the “homeland security-industrial complex.” American leaders, he notes, “have learned that keeping the terrorist threat alive provides enormous political benefits” by allowing “incumbents to look tough,” lending them “the national attention and political glamor that comes with dealing with national security issues.” Thus “a decade of fear-mongering has brought power and wealth to those who have been the most skillful at hyping the terrorism threat” and “is central to the financial well-being of …read more

Source: OP-EDS