Re-think the "Obvious"

These signs never get old to me. Regardless how ‘obvious’ they may be, they still provoke a “huh, good call” reaction. They also bring those rape myths out in a way that is so important. Trying to reason as to why all those other items on the list are not ‘excuses’, tends to drown us in a never ending spiral-down argument. To me, what these signs say is, “I’m not going to argue as to why you’re wrong because I’m above that. I’m going to jump to the point. I’m going to tackle the issue head on and refuse to continue a conversation that insults, not helps.”

thepoliticalfreakshow:

BREAKING: Arrests Finally Made In Rehteah Parsons Cyberbullying Suicide Case

Last April, after the suicide of her 17-year-old daughter Rehtaeh, Leah Parsons wrote an anguished post on Facebook. She said:


The Person Rehtaeh once was all changed one dreaded night in November 2011. She went with a friend to another’s home. In that home she was raped by four young boys…one of those boys took a photo of her being raped and decided it would be fun to distribute the photo to everyone in Rehtaeh’s school and community where it quickly went viral. Because the boys already had a ‘slut’ story, the victim of the rape Rehtaeh was considered a SLUT. This day changed the lives of our family forever. I stopped working that very day and we have all been on this journey of emotional turmoil ever since.


Leah Parsons also said that she and her daughter had gone to the Halifax, Nova Scotia police, but were told months later that there would be no prosecution. “The justice system failed her,” Parsons wrote. Even if it would be difficult to charge the boys with rape, she said, what about the circulation of the photo?


Her post, along with another from Rehtaeh’s father, Glen Canning, caused the Internet-driven version of a hue and cry. A petition demanding an inquiry into the police investigation gathered more than 450,000 signatures. Members of Anonymous said they’d uncovered the identities of the boys Rehtaeh had accused, and asked the police to take action. There was a protest in Halifax on her family’s behalf, and, after names started leaking out, a counter protest led by some of the boys’ families. Nova Scotia Justice Minister Ross Landry defended the decision not to prosecute and then shifted his position hours later, saying he would asked for “options” from prosecutors. Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he was “sickened” by Rehtaeh’s death. “I think we’ve got to stop just using just the term bullying to describe some of these things,” he said. “Bullying to me has a connotation of kids misbehaving. What we are dealing with in some of these circumstances is simply criminal activity. It is youth criminal activity. It is violent criminal activity. It is sexual criminal activity, and it is often Internet criminal activity.


The Halifax police soon said they would reopen the case, citing “new and credible information,” though they stressed that it “did not come from an online source.” Whatever. It’s entirely clear that the online pressure mattered a great deal in this case. And today, the police made a cryptic announcement that they’d “made two arrests in relation to the Rehtaeh Parsons investigation,” of “two males at their respective residences.”


Does that mean charges are about to be brought? The statement says, “No further information is being released at this time,” but it sure looks like it. The person, or people, responsible for circulating the photos of Rehtaeh could be charged under Canada’s child pornography laws. And whatever steps law enforcement takes next, this is a case in which the hive mind of the Internet played an indispensible role. There are parallels here to the Steubenville rape case—check out Ariel Levy’s interesting recent piece about it, if you haven’t already. But in Steubenville, the police arrested two boys less than two weeks after the assault (they were later convicted). If the Parsons case ends with an indictment nearly two years after Rehtaeh’s first report, it will be its own kind of watershed.




Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he was “sickened” by Rehtaeh’s death. “I think we’ve got to stop just using just the term bullying to describe some of these things,” he said. “Bullying to me has a connotation of kids misbehaving. What we are dealing with in some of these circumstances is simply criminal activity. It is youth criminal activity. It is violent criminal activity. It is sexual criminal activity, and it is often Internet criminal activity.
yes.

thepoliticalfreakshow:

BREAKING: Arrests Finally Made In Rehteah Parsons Cyberbullying Suicide Case

Last April, after the suicide of her 17-year-old daughter Rehtaeh, Leah Parsons wrote an anguished post on Facebook. She said:

The Person Rehtaeh once was all changed one dreaded night in November 2011. She went with a friend to another’s home. In that home she was raped by four young boys…one of those boys took a photo of her being raped and decided it would be fun to distribute the photo to everyone in Rehtaeh’s school and community where it quickly went viral. Because the boys already had a ‘slut’ story, the victim of the rape Rehtaeh was considered a SLUT. This day changed the lives of our family forever. I stopped working that very day and we have all been on this journey of emotional turmoil ever since.

Leah Parsons also said that she and her daughter had gone to the Halifax, Nova Scotia police, but were told months later that there would be no prosecution. “The justice system failed her,” Parsons wrote. Even if it would be difficult to charge the boys with rape, she said, what about the circulation of the photo?

Her post, along with another from Rehtaeh’s father, Glen Canning, caused the Internet-driven version of a hue and cry. A petition demanding an inquiry into the police investigation gathered more than 450,000 signatures. Members of Anonymous said they’d uncovered the identities of the boys Rehtaeh had accused, and asked the police to take action. There was a protest in Halifax on her family’s behalf, and, after names started leaking out, a counter protest led by some of the boys’ families. Nova Scotia Justice Minister Ross Landry defended the decision not to prosecute and then shifted his position hours later, saying he would asked for “options” from prosecutors. Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he was “sickened” by Rehtaeh’s death. “I think we’ve got to stop just using just the term bullying to describe some of these things,” he said. “Bullying to me has a connotation of kids misbehaving. What we are dealing with in some of these circumstances is simply criminal activity. It is youth criminal activity. It is violent criminal activity. It is sexual criminal activity, and it is often Internet criminal activity.

The Halifax police soon said they would reopen the case, citing “new and credible information,” though they stressed that it “did not come from an online source.” Whatever. It’s entirely clear that the online pressure mattered a great deal in this case. And today, the police made a cryptic announcement that they’d “made two arrests in relation to the Rehtaeh Parsons investigation,” of “two males at their respective residences.”

Does that mean charges are about to be brought? The statement says, “No further information is being released at this time,” but it sure looks like it. The person, or people, responsible for circulating the photos of Rehtaeh could be charged under Canada’s child pornography laws. And whatever steps law enforcement takes next, this is a case in which the hive mind of the Internet played an indispensible role. There are parallels here to the Steubenville rape case—check out Ariel Levy’s interesting recent piece about it, if you haven’t already. But in Steubenville, the police arrested two boys less than two weeks after the assault (they were later convicted). If the Parsons case ends with an indictment nearly two years after Rehtaeh’s first report, it will be its own kind of watershed.



Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he was “sickened” by Rehtaeh’s death. “I think we’ve got to stop just using just the term bullying to describe some of these things,” he said. “Bullying to me has a connotation of kids misbehaving. What we are dealing with in some of these circumstances is simply criminal activity. It is youth criminal activity. It is violent criminal activity. It is sexual criminal activity, and it is often Internet criminal activity.
yes.

The Political Freakshow: BREAKING: San Francisco Police have been notified by gov't officials to be on alert after recent al Qaida terror... »

thepoliticalfreakshow:

From ABC7 San Francisco:

The Department of Homeland Security is beefing up its presence at airports, train stations and other travel hubs in the United States in the wake of global travel warning imposed on all U.S. citizens.

Local authorities are not going into specifics but the San…

al Qaida and the Arabian Peninsula is probably the biggest threat to the homeland. They’re the al Qaida faction that still talks about hitting the west and hitting the homeland. And their expertise is chemical explosives. Hitting the aviation sector as we saw with the underwear bomber, so we are on a high state of alert,”
said Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas.

why thank you, representative…of Texas. I can now sleep in peace knowing your guns and cocked and loaded for this pending invasion cross country.
questionall:

MONEY and CAPITALISM are arguably the two most dominant forces acting on our world, but it’s likely that you’ll have no real understanding of what they are. Indeed, even economists at the highest levels have failed to grasp them, so there is no shame if you happen to be amongst the mystified too. As it turns out, understanding what matters is very simple; so simple in fact that I think you’ll be as amazed as I am that this could still be a problem, that almost all of the world’s 7 billion people, all of us who rely on a monetized economy for the basic components of life, still just don’t understand what money is.

Hey guys, you really need to check out this site.  I mean really really really!!  They even have, sources!!!  Awesome!

questionall:

MONEY and CAPITALISM are arguably the two most dominant forces acting on our world, but it’s likely that you’ll have no real understanding of what they are. Indeed, even economists at the highest levels have failed to grasp them, so there is no shame if you happen to be amongst the mystified too. As it turns out, understanding what matters is very simple; so simple in fact that I think you’ll be as amazed as I am that this could still be a problem, that almost all of the world’s 7 billion people, all of us who rely on a monetized economy for the basic components of life, still just don’t understand what money is.

Hey guys, you really need to check out this site.  I mean really really really!!  They even have, sources!!!  Awesome!

Statement from Edward Snowden in Moscow »

One week ago I left Hong Kong after it became clear that my freedom and safety were under threat for revealing the truth. My continued liberty has been owed to the efforts of friends new and old, family, and others who I have never met and probably never will. I trusted them with my life and they returned that trust with a faith in me for which I will always be thankful.

On Thursday, President Obama declared before the world that he would not permit any diplomatic “wheeling and dealing” over my case. Yet now it is being reported that after promising not to do so, the President ordered his Vice President to pressure the leaders of nations from which I have requested protection to deny my asylum petitions.

This kind of deception from a world leader is not justice, and neither is the extralegal penalty of exile. These are the old, bad tools of political aggression. Their purpose is to frighten, not me, but those who would come after me.

For decades the United States of America has been one of the strongest defenders of the human right to seek asylum. Sadly, this right, laid out and voted for by the U.S. in Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is now being rejected by the current government of my country. The Obama administration has now adopted the strategy of using citizenship as a weapon. Although I am convicted of nothing, it has unilaterally revoked my passport, leaving me a stateless person. Without any judicial order, the administration now seeks to stop me exercising a basic right. A right that belongs to everybody. The right to seek asylum.

In the end the Obama administration is not afraid of whistleblowers like me, Bradley Manning or Thomas Drake. We are stateless, imprisoned, or powerless. No, the Obama administration is afraid of you. It is afraid of an informed, angry public demanding the constitutional government it was promised — and it should be.

I am unbowed in my convictions and impressed at the efforts taken by so many.

Edward Joseph Snowden

Monday 1st July 2013

"For decades the United States of America has been one of the strongest defenders of the human right to seek asylum. Sadly, this right, laid out and voted for by the U.S. in Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is now being rejected by the current government of my country. The Obama administration has now adopted the strategy of using citizenship as a weapon. Although I am convicted of nothing, it has unilaterally revoked my passport, leaving me a stateless person. Without any judicial order, the administration now seeks to stop me exercising a basic right. A right that belongs to everybody. The right to seek asylum."


I would be more moved by this if millions haven’t been denied this very right for merely being born in a different country. Look, I don’t think there’s a whole lot of goodness in this situation. BUT if you go to work somewhere, like for a country, and swear under oath you wouldn’t divulge classified information, why on earth, if you DID do such a thing, would you expect a big hug- or the rights you agreed to forfeit should you break that oath. Guess what? Being a whistle blower is not a glamorous life. You did what you did because you felt it was the right thing to do. If you were expecting the world to hail you for it, other countries to compromise international relations for you, you chose the wrong gig. This was much more admirable before you started to complain about consequences and not getting special treatment.
lovebeyondmeasure:

Quick, messy graphic to explain a concept that seems obvious to me:
We shouldn’t be helping women because they’re related to someone else. We shouldn’t be helping women because someone else cares about them. We should be helping women because they are people. 
We should be helping women for their own sake.
Why is that a hard concept for people to grasp?


whoah.

lovebeyondmeasure:

Quick, messy graphic to explain a concept that seems obvious to me:

We shouldn’t be helping women because they’re related to someone else. We shouldn’t be helping women because someone else cares about them. We should be helping women because they are people. 

We should be helping women for their own sake.

Why is that a hard concept for people to grasp?

whoah.

'Ex-Gay' Group Shuts Down, But Movement Is Re-Branding »

thepoliticalfreakshow:

It’s terrific news that Exodus International, the largest and most known group that promoted “reparative therapy,” is shutting down. But don’t be fooled into thinking this is anything more than a re-branding for the “pray-away-the-gay” movement. It’s certainly not a surrender.

The damage the group has done to thousands of LGBT people in the more than 35 years since Exodus International came into existence is immeasurable. We’ve long known that these crackpot therapies don’t “convert” people to heterosexuality, hearing from the many who went through them, including one of Exodus’ founders, Michael Bussee, who denounced the group and apologized for having helped create it. And in recent years we’ve learned more about the emotional and psychological harm done by these groups, with studies confirming it. The president of Exodus, Alan Chambers, issued an apology, stating that “from a Judeo-Christian perspective, gay, straight or otherwise, we’re all prodigal sons and daughters” and that “Exodus International is the prodigal’s older brother, trying to impose its will on God’s promises, and make judgments on who’s worthy of His Kingdom.”

It was a welcome admission from a Christian evangelical leader to say that, in condemning gays, Christian fundamentalists are judging others, something that is against their own tenants. But Chambers has been moving in this direction for some time, as his group was battered with bad PR and an inability to raise money. Chambers was increasing being isolated from other Christian right groups after he admitted that for the vast majority of people who went through ex-gay programs, it was a failure in terms of converting people to heterosexuality. He also had stopped using the term “reparative therapy.”

But as Truth Wins Out, the group that monitors the conversion therapy charlatans, notes, many who led these programs are now embarking on a re-branding rather than shutting down.

In response to Exodus’s movements of late, hardcore fundamentalist “ex-gay” figures have moved to create their own new group, the Restored Hope Network, which is chaired by Anne Paulk, the estranged wife of John Paulk, the former poster-boy for the “ex-gay” movement who now admits that he is an openly gay man. Restored Hope’s co-founder, Andrew Comiskey, has claimed that “Satan delights in homosexual perversion,” which shows that this new group is committed to doing as much as or more damage than Exodus ever did.

In a world where many children are taught by families and churches that their sexual or gender difference is some sort of sickness and is condemned by God, there will always be those who are desperate to “change,” no matter how wrong and futile that will be. And there will always be those who are willing to help them try to do that, either because of their own warped beliefs or to make money or both. The last thing we should be doing is believing “ex-gay” therapy is dead simply because the largest group has shut its doors. It’s a measure of our success that the anti-gay right that promotes these harmful therapies has to re-brand itself. But we’ve got to keep exposing them, because, re-branded and underground, they could now be even more dangerous and deceptive than ever before.

UPDATE: Truth Wins Out applauded Alan Chambers and his board for unanimously voting to shut down Exodus International, historically one of the most influential organizations perpetuating the fraud of “ex-gay” reparative therapy. The announcement came hours after Chambers issued an extensive apology to the LGBTQ community, for the pain and suffering Exodus and its affiliated organizations have inflicted upon LGBTQ people and their families over the course of their thirty-seven year history.

“We applaud and congratulate Alan Chambers for his willingness to approach this decision with honesty, integrity and authenticity,” said Truth Wins Out’s Associate Director Evan Hurst. “It takes a real man to publicly confront the people whose lives were destroyed by his organization’s work, and to take real, concrete action to begin to repair that damage, and to work to ensure that no more lives are destroyed by harmful, discredited ‘ex-gay’ therapy. We look forward to a day when we can truly consider Alan to be an ally.”

Chambers explained their decision in a press release on the Exodus website:

“Exodus is an institution in the conservative Christian world, but we’ve ceased to be a living, breathing organism,” said Alan Chambers, President of Exodus. “For quite some time we’ve been imprisoned in a worldview that’s neither honoring toward our fellow human beings, nor biblical.”

Chambers continued: “From a Judeo-Christian perspective, gay, straight or otherwise, we’re all prodigal sons and daughters. Exodus International is the prodigal’s older brother, trying to impose its will on God’s promises, and make judgments on who’s worthy of His Kingdom. God is calling us to be the Father – to welcome everyone, to love unhindered.”

For these reasons, the Board of Directors unanimously voted to close Exodus International and begin a separate ministry. “This is a new season of ministry, to a new generation,” said Chambers. “Our goals are to reduce fear, and come alongside churches to become safe, welcoming, and mutually transforming communities.”

Exodus International has come under fire over the last couple of years, starting with Chambers’ admission at the 2012 Gay Christian Network conference that ninety-nine percent of the people he had met during his tenure had not experienced any change in their sexual orientation. Over the last year, it has been clear that the organization has been moderating its message, removing links and references to so-called “reparative therapy” from its website. Recently, Exodus announced that it was leaving the Exodus Global Alliance, an international organization that it founded, as it moved away from its “pray away the gay” mission.

However, the fight to put a stop to these harmful “therapeutic” practices is far from over. In response to Exodus’s movements of late, hardcore fundamentalist “ex-gay” figures have moved to create their own new group, the Restored Hope Network, which is chaired by Anne Paulk, the estranged wife of John Paulk, the former poster-boy for the “ex-gay” movement who now admits that he is an openly gay man. Restored Hope’s co-founder, Andrew Comiskey, has claimed that “Satan delights in homosexual perversion,” which shows that this new group is committed to doing as much as or more damage than Exodus ever did.

The Restored Hope Network is holding a concurrent conference in Oklahoma today and tomorrow, and Truth Wins Out’s Executive Director Wayne Besen traveled there for a joint event with the Cimarron Alliance to counter the harmful, fraudulent message of the newly formed fundamentalist group.

According to Besen, “While we are overjoyed to see Alan Chambers and the board of Exodus do the right thing by closing their doors, there is still far more work to do to put an end to the awful practice of ‘ex-gay’ reparative therapy. As we’ve seen with the recent formation of the Restored Hope Network, there are still enough charlatans and hucksters out there committed to pushing their discredited worldview, at the expense of LGBTQ people and their families, to keep us busy. We must remain vigilant in exposing and countering the terrible, damaging work of people like Anne Paulk and Andrew Comiskey, until the day we can safely say that no LGBTQ adult or youth runs the risk of being driven into depression or suicide by the false gods of ‘Pray Away The Gay.’”

!!!!!  !!!!

I’ve had librarians say to me, “People in my school don’t agree with homosexuality, so it’s difficult to have your book on the shelves.” Here’s the thing: Being gay is not an issue, it is an identity. It is not something that you can agree or disagree with. It is a fact, and must be defended and represented as a fact.

To use another part of my identity as an example: if someone said to me, “I’m sorry, but we can’t carry that book because it’s so Jewish and some people in my school don’t agree with Jewish culture,” I would protest until I reached my last gasp. Prohibiting gay books is just as abhorrent…

Discrimination is not a legitimate point of view. Silencing books silences the readers who need them most. And silencing these readers can have dire, tragic consequences. Never forget who these readers are. They are just as curious and anxious about life as any other teenager.

David Levithan - Supporting Gay Teen Literature (via lyras)

while i am 100% on board with this the only “librarians” who make this call are collections managers and admins, the rest of us fight like fucking hell for the books we want

(via methodistcoloringbook)

Baha! Love this statement


Here’s the thing: Being gay is not an issue, it is an identity. It is not something that you can agree or disagree with.” -well said, well said.