Saturday, April 13, 2024

Franklin Graham decries Nazi concentration camp, gets reminded about his anti-LGBTQ comments and support of Donald Trump

 Folks who follow this blog know how much I despise Franklin Graham. From his vile comments about the LGBTQ community to his basic hypocrisy in supporting Donald Trump, there are a plethora of reasons why I think he represents just how far Christianity in America has fallen.

And just like Trump, there is no bottom when it comes to stooping for Graham. Case in point is the following recent tweet:

Using the suffering of Jewish people to encourage folks to embrace Christianity doesn't seem to be in good taste. Since I am not Jewish, though, I don't think it's my place to decipher Graham's intent in that respect. 

However, the basic hypocrisy of Graham's comment stands out. Gays suffered persecution during the Holocaust, including at Auschwitz. And over the years, Graham made some rather awful comments about gays. He's even praised world leaders who have cracked down on gay people in their own countries. In 2015, Graham praised Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin for passing laws which strip Russian gays of their basic rights:

I have met (Obama) on several occasions. He’s a very nice person. But he supports and promotes policies that contradict the teachings of God. As a Christian I believe that abortion is murder, he supports it. Homosexuality and same-sex marriage — those are sins against God, and the president is promoting them. I’m not against homosexuals as people. But God commanded that marriage should be between a man and a woman. And I very much appreciate that President Putin is protecting Russian young people against homosexual propaganda. If only to give them the opportunity to grow up and make a decision for themselves. Again, homosexuals cannot have children, they can take other people’s children. I believe that President Obama (and I’ll repeat, he’s a very nice person) is leading America down the wrong road. He’s taking a stand against God.

This was pointed out to Graham by some of the folks responding to his tweet about Auschwitz:

Other responses to Graham's tweet brought up his unwavering support of Donald Trump and convenient silence when Trump has lied, made bigoted comments about various groups of people, and implied desires of wanting to be a dictator:

Thursday, April 11, 2024

When people whine about 'wokeism,' this is what they really mean

 It always amazes me when I hear some folks gripe about having to deal with racism, homophobia, transphobia, and basic other bigotries nowadays. I understand their exhaustion with it all, but it's still an incredibly naive opinion. 

Bigotry has been with us from the beginning and it's not going anywhere. It's simply human nature to feel fear and superiority against something you don't or won't understand. And it's relatively easy to be manipulated into believing that the unknown thing facing you is trying to hurt you.

The only thing society has progressed in when it comes to bigotry is developing new ways to disguise it. The cartoon strip below from the webpage The Devil's Panties illustrates this point rather well. 

When we hear people whine about wokeism, this is probably what they're actually disturbed about.

Tuesday, April 09, 2024

Federal judge blocks FL anti-trans law, Nebraska legislators turn against their own anti-trans bill & other Tue/Wed news briefs

Federal judge blocks teacher pronoun restriction in Florida, citing First Amendment - A federal judge on Tuesday blocked Florida education officials from enforcing a law requiring a transgender teacher to use pronouns that align with her sex assigned at birth, saying the law violated her First Amendment rights. 

 Nebraska state Senator John Fredrickson is the first out gay man elected to the state legislature. Now, he has another feather in his cap. After an impassioned speech in opposition to a bill that targeted transgender youth, two of his colleagues changed their minds about the legislation that they had co-sponsored. The measure did not pass out of committee after they did. 

Elon Musk uses burner accounts on X, doesn’t fact-check: report - The quicker Elon Musk gets dragged down, the better the world and the online community will be.

Sunday, April 07, 2024

Right-wing social media 'influencer' mocked and proven to be a liar during failed attack on gender-neutral bathrooms

Morgonn McMichael is a right-wing social media 'influencer' who humiliated herself while trying to create a controversy about gender-neutral bathrooms.

Morgonn McMichael considers herself a "social media influencer" out to change the world and become famous while doing it. However, as a recent incident proves, she's nothing more than a desperate engagement-hungry ambulance chaser eager for attention, even if that attention includes widespread ridicule.

 From The Huffington Post:

A right-wing social media influencer was ridiculed and fact-checked after melting down over a gender-neutral bathroom at Kansas City International Airport. In a video posted on X, Morgonn McMichael filmed herself walking into the restroom, complaining that it was a “crazy” concept. “I hate this,” she says in the clip. “I have never seen an all-gender bathroom. I am not going in here.” 

 That would be this video right here:

However, the HuffPost said, folks who answered her back weren't sympathetic to her:

 But as commenters noted, she had no need to use the bathroom if she didn’t want to. A reader context note was added to the bottom of McMichael’s post, pointing out that there are gender-specific bathrooms available in addition to the gender-neutral one. The bathrooms are in the new terminal of the airport, which opened in February last year. 

The facilities were built under a policy supported by the Kansas City LGBTQ Commission. Justice Horn, chair of that commission, replied to the post personally.

 “First, these are single stall, all gender bathrooms that allow for greater privacy. There are gender specific bathrooms down the hall too,” he wrote. “Finally, don’t use my community to create fake outrage―it’s sad.”

Horn was nice compared to other responses McMichael received. Aside from the Community Notes calling her out, other comments condemned her sad attempt at clickbait.

In her attempt to defend herself from the barrage of ridicule, McMichael later tweeted that she had never seen an all-gender restroom before.


McMichael was lying. She had done the same stunt in San Francisco in October 2023. And folks pulled out the "receipts."


As delightful as it is to mock McMichael, it's also a sad realization of how conservative operatives create chaos. They manufacture false hysterias by exploiting people's fears and ignorance. In this case, McMichael tried to simultaneously exploit people's ignorance and all-gender bathrooms and the false fear that trans women actually predators seeking to trap cis women and girls in intimate situations. She failed only because folks called out her out quickly and decisively. 

But unfortunately, McMichael isn't the only conservative doing this. There are many clout-hungry right-wing ghouls like McMichael attempting to replicate her action. And in an age when even proving yourself to be a fool gets you clicks, we are all going to have to fight much harder to stamp it out. Or at least contain it.

Thursday, April 04, 2024

Media Matters: 'Expose' on trans healthcare organization filled with misinformation but amplified by media who didn't fact-check its errors

Media Matters just published an article regarding what appears to be an attempt to undermine gender-affirming healthcare on a large scale:
 Networks owned by the largest local TV station owners in the U.S., and mainstream outlets including The Washington Post and Newsweek, recently amplified a deeply flawed report by anti-trans activists. The outlets also failed to fact-check its misinformation or provide context for the extremists behind it. The report was covered widely by anti-trans figures and outlets, and some Republican state legislators are already using the report to call for expanding restrictions on gender-affirming care. 

 On March 4, anti-woke blogger and former California gubernatorial candidate Michael Shellenberger announced the release of “The WPATH Files,” a collection of leaked forum posts from an internal message board for members of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health. The group is the leading body providing clinical guidance for medical professionals on gender-affirming care, and a frequent target of anti-trans activists.

The report included a loose collection of out-of-context clinical observations paired with inaccurate and editorialized commentary. An independent review from medical news outlet STAT described claims made in the report as false and oversimplified.

Specifically, as discussed by journalist and researcher Erin Reed, the report cites research that comes either from biased sources or is well over a decade old, with newer research refuting the claims. The report makes verifiably false claims about gender-affirming care and the commonality of detransition. Leaked material is inaccurately characterized throughout the report, and at other times, the content was presented without context, allowing readers to misinterpret what was said in the chat logs. 

The report was the product of behind-the-scenes collaboration between Shellenberger and Genspect, an anti-trans activist group that promotes conversion therapy and bans on transition care for adults. The report’s analysis was written by Mia Hughes, who has an extensive history as an anti-trans writer and acted as a spokesperson for an organization that supports conversion therapy for trans youth.

The article goes on to show how this expose gained traction in the news media who failed to adequately check its veracity. Feel free to read and share it. It underscores how war on the trans community and gender-affirming healthcare seems to be more intricate and deeper than the past attacks against the gay community but just as dishonest and deceptive. And unfortunately, members of the media became unintended co-conspirators.

Image above courtesy of Erin Reed.

Tuesday, April 02, 2024

'Right-wing publication retracts article about Biden and Easter, former anti-LGBTQ leader disbarred after Trump elector scheme' & other Tue/Wed news briefs

Former head of the National Organization for Marriage and now former attorney (unless he wins on appeal) John Eastman became the latest proof of whatever Trump touches always dies.

 Editor's note - As you may have noticed, I've dropped my daily news briefs from being a regular feature. However I have devoted posts to news briefs when there are days in which too much stuff is going to focus on one thing.  And today is such a day. From a right-wing wing publication retracting a false story about Biden and Easter, to a former head of an anti-LGBTQ group (the National Organization for Marriage) getting officially disbarred because his participation in Trump's fake electors schemes, to the passage of a bill in Tennessee which would be trouble to LGBTQ foster kids, to a huge victory against an anti-trans bill in Wisconsin.

Daily Caller Fully Retracts Article Claiming Biden Banned ‘Religious Easter Eggs’ From White House Contest - And let's start with what I call an Easter miracle - a far right publication retracting a smear job on President Biden: 

 The Daily Caller on Tuesday retracted an article claiming that the Biden White House banned “religious Easter eggs” from an art contest at the annual Easter Egg Roll over the weekend. The claim had spread through right-wing media, even though it was quickly and widely debunked by various fact-checkers and anyone familiar with the history of the event. 

 Related post - Right-wing media melt down over Easter and Trans Day of Visibility falling on the same day 

 John Eastman's law license yanked in California after judge recommends disbarment: report - Bye, bye, Johnny. Whatever Trump touches always dies. 

 A onetime attorney for former President Donald Trump cannot practice law in California after a judge's ruling recommended disbarment, according to state records and reports. A bold red message on the State Bar of California alerts viewers John Eastman is "Not Eligible to Practice Law," the progressive news site Democracy Docket was among the first to report Tuesday.  
The status update comes with a hefty consumer alert warning would-be clients that Eastman was been charged with a felony in Georgia, where Fulton County District Attorney Fani Wills has accused the lawyer, Trump and more than a dozen others with election racketeering. 

For those who are not aware, Eastman was the head of the National Organization for Marriage, the group behind the unsuccessful fight to stop marriage equality: 

 Eastman also has a long history of anti-LGBTQ+ activism. He became NOM’s board chairman in 2011 and compared marriage equality to slavery in 2014, saying that courts had “illegitimately” decided on the issue and that voters should decide instead. He also tried to get NOM to defend several states’ same-sex marriage bans in courts, though a federal judge ruled that NOM lacked the legal standing to do so. He has supported Uganda’s criminalization of homosexuality, called homosexuality an indicator of “barbarism,” has called same-sex marriage “evil” and “despotic,” and has claimed that the LGBTQ+ equality movement promotes pedophilia, according to Right Wing Watch. 

 In other news: 

Wisconsin Gov. Evers vetoes transgender high school athletics ban, decries "radical policies targeting LGBTQ" 

Tennessee Passes Bill Allowing Non-Accepting Parents To Adopt LGBTQ+ Kids

Monday, April 01, 2024

Biden Administration doesn't back down from Easter/Trans Day of Visibility 'controversy.' Calls out 'misinformation done on purpose'

Unless you've been hiding under a rock last weekend (and if you were, you really should be happy all things considered), then you've heard of the latest right-wing moral panic. To recap - Trans Day of Visibility has been commemorated on March 31 every year since 2009. This particular year, it fell on the same day as the Easter holiday. Easter changes dates every year, so it's never on the same calendar day.

However, when have the religious right, Republicans and various conservatives ever let a small detail like "truth" interfere with their rage farming stunts. And this one was a doozy. In what was implied to be to have been a coordinated attempt, various tweets from Republicans and conservative figures, various right-wing news articles, various right-wing blogs, and various far-right religious entities all attacked President Biden for supposedly making a mockery of "Easter." They claimed that he was deliberately insulting Christians.

Even Trump, demanded that Biden apologize. Unfortunately, in light of Trump's recent attempt to sell of $60 Bibles (and the fact that this is Donald Trump in general), the adage about someone being so brazen that lightning strikes them, thereby causing said person to fall into hell and "bust it wide open" didn't prove true. 

However, many of us on the left and mainstream (including various fact-checkers) didn't back down from calling out the lies about Easter and Trans Day of Visibility. Most important, neither did the Biden Administration. It issued no apologies. Instead, via White House Press Secretary Karine Jeane-Pierre, the Biden Administration called out the fake outrage.

From Mediaite:

“So, surprised by the misinformation that’s been out there around this and I want to be very clear,” Jean-Pierre said, “Every year for the past several years on March 31, Transgender Day of Visibility is marked. And, as we know, for folks who understand the calendar and how it works, Easter falls on different Sundays, right? Every year. And this year, it happens to coincide with Transgender Visibility Day.” 

She continued: We were, at first, I want to be very clear, confused on their coverage. We’re grateful that Fox agrees with President Biden on the importance of recognizing Trans Day of Visibility. And I’ll just quote something that Fox said back in 2021. They tweeted this: “Trans Day of Visibility is dedicated to celebrating transgender people. To all the transgender men, women and nonbinary folk, we see you and stand with you.” “A lot of misinformation done on purpose,” 

Jean-Pierre continued. “And, as a Christian who celebrates Easter with family, President Biden stands for bringing people together, and upholding the freedoms and dignity of every American.” She added, “It is dishonest what we have heard the past 24 hours. It is untrue what we heard over the weekend.” She called the misinformation “dividing.”


You can watch a video of her comments via Forbes Breaking News:

Let's hope this fighting spirit lasts. It's going to be a long electoral season and if Biden keeps this up, I'm personally here for it.