Miranda Blue's blog

NOM's Brian Brown To Lead Global Anti-LGBT Efforts At World Congress Of Families

The National Organization for Marriage announced today that its president, Brian Brown, has been elected president of the World Congress of Families, a global network of organizations fighting LGBT rights and reproductive freedom.

As Brown’s fight to stop marriage equality in the U.S. has become increasingly futile, he has taken a leading role in building international networks to stop the advance of LGBT rights around the world. Brown has worked with the World Congress of Families since at least 2013, when he fundraised for the group and, at their invitation, spoke in favor of anti-LGBT laws before the Russian parliament.

Brown attended 2014’s World Congress of Families in Russia (although the World Congress dropped its official sponsorship of the event under pressure after Russia invaded Ukraine), which ended with an appeal for more countries to adopt Russian-style bans on gay “propaganda.” According to NOM, Brown was elected to his new position atthe group’srecent conference in Tbilisi, Georgia.

In NOM’s press release, Brown laments that “secular leaders around the world have become obsessed with advancing so-called 'alternative' family structures,” asserting that in contrast “the natural family produces the best outcomes for society.” (The term “natural family” means something very specific to the World Congress.)

As well as turning his attentions to the global anti-LGBT movement, Brown has increasingly focused on fighting LGBT nondiscrimination measures at home, including getting fully onboard with the Religious Right’s transgender bathroom panic. American anti-LGBT activists seem to be setting the tone for the global movement with their insistence that policies preventing discrimination against LGBT people threaten religious freedom and with the related scapegoating of transgender people; one reporter at this month’s World Congress in Tbilisi noted that “every single speaker” mentioned a recent Obama administration directive on the equal treatment of transgender people in schools.

Larry Pratt: If Conservatives Lose The Supreme Court, We May 'Have To Resort To The Bullet Box'

Larry Pratt, the executive director emeritus of Gun Owners of America, said on his “Gun Owners News Hour” radio program this weekend that if a Democrat wins the White House and the Supreme Court starts issuing decisions in favor of gun regulations, conservatives may turn to the “bullet box” to rectify the situation.

Pratt was interviewing Robert Knight, a senior fellow at the American Civil Rights Union, who warned that “if a liberal Democrat is elected president, then there goes the Supreme Court, it could be two, three, four justices, and I think the Second Amendment would be in great peril if that happens.”

Pratt responded that if such a court interprets the Constitution in ways that conservatives don’t like, they may have to restore “proper constitutional balance” through the “bullet box”:

And at that point, we would have to come to an understanding, which we’ve been sort of taught, it’s been taught out of us, that the courts do not have the last word on what the Constitution is. They decide particular cases, they don’t make law. Their decisions, unlike the Roe v. Wade usurpation, don’t extend to the whole of society, they’re not supposed to. And we may have to reassert that proper constitutional balance, and it may not be pretty. So, I’d much rather have an election where we solve this matter at the ballot box than have to resort to the bullet box.

Knight responded: “Well, there’s impeachment, too.”

Pratt has previously hinted at his willingness to use violence against Supreme Court justices with whom he disagrees, issuing a warning to Merrick Garland, President Obama’s nominee to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia, saying that “the Second Amendment is all about people like Judge Garland.”

Trump-Aligned Pastor: Trans Rights Will Provoke 'The Judgment Of God'

Carl Gallups, a far-right pastor who has been embraced by Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, spoke with Charlottesville, Virginia, radio host Rob Schilling on Friday about the Obama administration's recent directive on transgender rights in public schools, which he said was the sign of the impending End Times and a possible clue about something wrong in Obama’s “personal life.”

“For years I’ve been saying, ‘Look, look, we’re living in very prophetic times,’” Gallups said. “Israel is back in the land, Russia and China are in the Middle East, ISIS has exploded, Christianity is being exterminated, on and on down the list you can go … And so, now, we turn to what Jesus said in Luke 17. He said, ‘Look, in the very last days before my return, it’s going to be just like it was in the days of Lot, Sodom and Gomorrah, the spirit of Sodom and Gomorrah will sweep the planet.’ And we’re watching that happen before our eyes.”

He said that “it’s not just Christians” who are upset about policies allowing transgender people to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity because even “ultra-liberal people … don’t want their little six-year-old girl molested in the bathroom because some hairy guy decides he feels like a girl that day and follows their little pretty little girl into the bathroom under federal decree.”

“So, you’re right,” he told Schilling, “there’s a certain order, there are things, there are boundaries and borders [set up by God] that individuals may cross over them, little subcultures within cultures may cross over them and we kind of just say, ‘Well, to each his own.’ But if a culture crosses over these borders, if a society legalizes, celebrates, embraces these borders, then I think the judgment of God is right behind it.”

Earlier in the interview, Gallups speculated that there is “something” in Obama’s “personal life that would cause him to be absolutely fixated upon this sexual deviancy and this danger to our children and this perversion and insanity and this whole fixation upon this radical transgender movement.”

He hinted that this “something” might have to do with pornography, noting that the president’s official Twitter account, which is run by staffers at the Organizing for Action organization, has been found to follow some porn stars among the more than 636,000 accounts it follows.

“So, it’s demonic,” Gallups said, “and there obviously is a fixation upon this with the man in the White House now. I know there have been reports in the mainstream media that Obama follows pornography sites on his Twitter account, that’s been alleged in mainstream media. I just don’t know. But there’s got to be something there. And again, I’m just speculating on that end, but it is surreal, isn’t it, Rob?”

Walid Shoebat Won't Fly Anymore Because Pilots Might Be Muslim

Walid Shoebat, a conservative activist and the father of unhinged anti-gay vlogger Theodore Shoebat, joined One America News Network’s Graham Ledger yesterday to discuss his completely evidence-free theory that the missing Malaysia Airlines flight and the Egypt Air flight that crashed en route from Paris to Cairo last week were both taken down by Muslim pilots intent on being martyrs to the faith.

This all led Ledger to ask Shoebat if he would “get on a small airliner that’s based out of the Middle East.”

Shoebat responded that even beyond that, he quit all air travel two years ago because you can never know if the pilot of your plane will be Muslim.

“I stopped flying even in the U.S. two years ago,” he said. “I completely — I flew 3,000 flights to get my message out in this country. Finally I realized, I get into an airline where I see 20 Yemeni students, it’s terrifying. I do not know if the pilot is Muslim or not.”

He added that once a border patrol agent on the Mexican border “thought I was a Muslim because my name is Muslim and he welcomed me in an Islamic way” and let him back into the country without checking his luggage.

Georgia Anti-Choice Group Wants Abortion Providers Investigated For Violating Law That Nobody Knew About

A leading Georgia anti-abortion group wants abortion providers to be investigated for violating a law that, due to a clerical error, was in effect for seven months with nobody knowing it.

CNN reports that a Georgia judge dismissed an ACLU challenge to the state’s ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy in October 2015 and lifted an injunction on the ban, thereby putting the new law into effect. But due to a clerical error, the ACLU was never notified and medical providers were not alerted that the law had gone into effect until seven months after the fact:

For nearly seven months, it has been illegal for physicians in Georgia to provide abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy -- but almost no one knew it.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit on behalf of the obstetricians in November 2012, challenging the measure on the grounds that it violates the right to privacy, ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project Director Jen Dalven said. An injunction prevented the law from taking effect while the lawsuit was in play.

Fast forward to October 2015, when Fulton County Superior Court Judge Kimberly M. Esmond Adams dismissed the lawsuit on the grounds of sovereign immunity, which bars citizens challenging the constitutionality of state law and protects state agencies from being sued in their official capacity unless the General Assembly waives that protection. The injunction was lifted and the ban was effectively in place.

Due to a clerical error, however, the ACLU said it was not notified and consequently missed a chance to appeal the ruling within 30 days. The organization only found out when a lawyer in another state noticed the order on the Fulton County Superior Court website and brought it to their attention, said Atlanta lawyer Don Samuel, who is representing the organization after the previous lawyer left.

CNN notes that “doctors, hospitals or clinics, or the public were not informed that the case had been dismissed, and that the law was in effect. Not even the Georgia Department of Public Health knew. In December 2015, the state agency sent a letter to abortion providers indicating the law was still enjoined by the courts and the injunction was still in effect.”

However, Georgia Right to Life, a group that broke with the National Right to Life Committee because of the national group’s willingness to accept some exemptions in abortion bans, wants abortion providers investigated for violating a law that nobody knew was in effect:

Gen Wilson with Georgia Right to Life said, "Dozens, if not hundreds, of babies between 20 and 24 weeks gestation were illegally killed" over the past several months.

Wilson, in a statement Thursday, urged the attorney general to conduct a criminal investigation of all abortion providers to determine whether charges should be filed.

Donald Trump Is Testing White Nationalists' Dream Electoral Strategy

While Donald Trump has promised that he will “win Hispanics” and “win the African-American vote” in November, a recent Huffington Post interview with Trump’s campaign chairman tells a different story.

Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign chairman and chief strategist, told the Huffington Post yesterday that while the campaign intends to reach out to Latino voters in swing states like Pennsylvania and Florida, its goal is to “get into the high 20s in those states with Hispanics,” which is about how Mitt Romney fared among that population nationally in 2012, a dismal showing that helped to sink his presidential bid.

Trump’s strategy, as summarized by the Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman, is to “win with white men and women, plus just enough of everyone else.”

This, incidentally, is exactly what white nationalists have been urging the Republican Party to do for years.

While the Republican National Committee reacted to Romney’s loss by appealing to the party to find ways to attract more people of color — including considering immigration reform — it quickly became clear that GOP elected officials were not behind the project. In September 2013, the white nationalist website VDARE posted an article rejoicing in the Republican Party’s apparent embrace of a whites-only electoral strategy, but complaining that VDARE author Steve Sailer wasn’t getting credit for it.

After the 2000 election, Sailer crunched vote totals from around the country and concluded that moving forward, “the GOP could win more elections by raising its fraction of the white vote minimally than by somehow grabbing vastly higher fractions of the minority vote.”

We wrote in 2013:

…In his [2000] column, titled “ GOP Future Depends on Winning Larger Share of the White Vote ,” Sailer crunched exit poll numbers and outlined a strategy by which the Republican Party could lose “every single nonwhite vote” and still win the presidency by working to increase its share of working class white voters. Sailer and VDARE continued to promote this strategy for over a decade, arguing that Republican attempts to reach out to people of color were not only bad politics, but also a losing strategy.

In the wake of President Obama’s reelection  which relied in a large part on the GOP’s alienation of black and Latino voters – the “Sailer Strategy” has seen a popular resurgence among the Right. While some GOP leaders, like RNC chairman Reince Priebus, have trumpeted the need for the party to expand its base in the face of changing demographics, others  including Phyllis Schlafly, Pat Buchanan, leaders in the anti-immigrant movement, and the editors of The National Review and The Weekly Standard  have argued that the GOP can instead build a lasting strategy by increasing its share of the white vote. These leaders argue that any effort to build a more inclusive Republican Party – and especially any effort to update the country’s immigration policy  would in the long term be futile because, as Schlafly indelicately put it, Latino voters don’t “have any Republican inclinations at all.”

The mostly implicit, but sometimes explicit, subtext in the push for this strategy is that it would be partly achieved by stirring up racial resentments among white voters against the country’s growing Latino population. Buchanan put it most clearly when he called for a renewal of the Southern Strategy – which fundamentally realigned the Republican Party by digging up and egging on Southern white racism against African Americans – only this time with Latinos as the target. (Not coincidentally, Buchanan and Schlafly have both cited Sailer's writings on race in their own work.)

Ann Coulter, who enjoys a cozy relationship with Trump, is also an enthusiastic proponent of the Sailer Strategy, for which she gives him credit.

Trump may not explicitly embrace the Sailer Strategy, but his campaign seems to have embraced its premise: giving up for lost the votes of people of color while trying to effect a marginal increase in the white vote in part by demonizing and scapegoating non-white people.

It’s something that many strategists say won’t work — but, in Trump, white nationalists might finally have a test of their strategy on a presidential level.

Update: Buzzfeed’s Rosie Gray reports that VDARE founder Peter Brimelow told last weekend’s white nationalist American Renaissance conference that Trump has proved that “immigration and economic nationalism and the whole concept of ‘America first’ works electorally”:

This year, white nationalists can barely contain their excitement over the presumptive Republican nominee, and the AmRen conference reflected the moment. “Even if Trump loses, he’s already shown that immigration and economic nationalism and the whole concept of ‘America first’ works electorally,” Peter Brimelow, the founder of Vdare.com, said in his speech to the conference. “There are some elections where losing candidates blaze a trail for the future.” Brimelow asked how many in the audience had been to a Trump rally; about a quarter raised their hands, mostly young people.
 

'Pro-Life' Activist: Not Our Fault 'If Women Wind Up Dying' From Coat Hanger Abortions

Mark Crutcher, the Texas anti-abortion activist who inspired David Daleiden’s “baby parts” smear campaign against Planned Parenthood, discussed on his “Life Talk TV” program on Monday the issue of dangerous illegal abortions that that can be the result of laws banning abortion or restricting access.

The very day that an Indiana court heard an appeal in the case of Purvi Patel, a woman who faces decades in prison for what prosecutors claim was a self-induced abortion that caused her to show up at a hospital with severe blood loss, Crutcher and his colleague Renee Hobbs dismissed concerns that women without access to legal abortion will seek out dangerous alternatives, saying that if they do, it’s all the fault of pro-choicers.

“If abortion were outlawed today and next week a bunch of women died from coat hanger abortions, those coat hangers would have been in the hands of pro-choice people, not pro-life people,” Crutcher said.

He said that he used to present a bizarre argument when debating pro-choice people: “I’d say, I’ll tell you what, we can solve the coat hanger abortion thing right now and here’s how we’ll do it. I will get every pro-lifer in the country to sign an agreement that they will never do a coat hanger abortion if you will get every pro-abort in the country to say that they’ll never do coat hanger abortions.”

“The fact is,” he said, “if women wind up dying — every women that has ever died in an abortion, every woman that was ever was raped in an abortion clinic, was killed by a pro-abort or raped by a pro-abort. Why are we responsible for that?”

“So if you don’t like coat-hanger abortions, don’t do abortions,” he concluded.

Pat Buchanan: 'Shrill' Hillary Clinton Sounds Like 'My Cat'

Pat Buchanan joined the sexist attacks on Hillary Clinton last week, bursting out laughing in an interview with the Catholic television network EWTN as he called Clinton “extremely shrill” and said that when he has heard her on television, “I thought my cat had come back to life.”

EWTN host Raymond Arroyo, who started the program by asking Buchanan if he thought of himself as “the John the Baptist of Donald Trump,” asked him to discuss polls showing a tight general election race between Trump and Clinton.

Buchanan responded that he thinks Clinton is “in deep, deep trouble,” adding that he thought that she was an “outstanding candidate” when she ran for president in 2008 but that she’s “not as good a candidate anymore.”

“She’s, excuse me, she’s extremely shrill at times. Maybe it’s because they pick the tapes and put them on the air —” he said, unable to finish his sentence before bursting out in laughter.

“I thought my cat had come back to life,” he said. “No, it’s very loud and shrill and it does not come off well.”

“Yeah, her voice, yeah, she’s been shouting a lot,” Arroyo agreed.

Leading White Nationalist Predicts Trump Administration Will Be Stacked With 'People Who Think The Way We Do'

Earlier this month, former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke said that it was the job of white nationalists like himself to give Donald Trump “space” so that he can eventually publicly embrace anti-Semitism.

Jared Taylor, the leading white nationalist who heads the organization American Renaissance, expressed a similar hope in a May 16 interview on an “alt-right” podcast, saying that he could “imagine” a scenario in which Trump, once president, would publicly back “white people wanting to remain a majority in their own country” and endorse bogus theories about racial differences in intelligence. Taylor also predicted that Trump would hire people “at all sorts of levels in his administration” who “think the way we do.”

The blog Hail to the Gynocracy, which tracks the alt-right, captured segments of the interview that Taylor gave to the “This Alt-Right Life” podcast, hosted by Matt Forney.

“I’m more optimistic now than I have been at any point in 25 years of trying to wake white people up to this terrible crisis that they face,” Taylor said. “I think that Donald Trump is certainly an important ingredient in that.

Trump, Taylor said, is saying things that he has been saying for years, only it’s impossible for people to ignore him because he’s raising these questions at “a level at which they’ve never been raised ever before.”

Transcript courtesy of Hail to the Gynocracy:

I’ve been saying for 25 years we don’t need any more Muslims, but I can be ignored. The SPLC can say I’m a hatemonger and then people will ignore me. The SPLC can say all it wants that Donald Trump is a hatemonger, but if he is the Republican nominee, then he is in an entirely different position.

And when people start thinking in those terms, Well, wait a minute, are Muslims really of any use to the United States? Then the next step, of course, is to say, Well, are there any other groups that are of no use to the United States? What do, oh, Guatemalans, for example, bring to our country? What do Somalis bring to our country? What do Haitians bring to America? Do we really need 30,000,000 Mexicans living in this country? When you start thinking in terms of group differences, then the camel’s nose is under the tent. That opens the door to all kinds, all kinds of anti-orthodox, subversive thinking. And so Donald Trump has played a huge role in breaking down the gates of orthodoxy and making it possible to raise these questions in a way that they’ve never been raised, at a level at which they’ve never been raised ever before.

Taylor said that although Trump is not a “sophisticated racialist,” he has “good instincts.” He said he could imagine a scenario in which Trump goes beyond his promises to deport undocumented immigrants and ban Muslims from entering the country and specifically embraces white nationalism.

I think that he has committed himself so strongly to those ideas that it would look very bad if he were to back out on them. Even if he did only those things and nothing more, that would be a radical transformation of the way America does politics when it comes to immigration, and that would be a wonderful thing.

We can then imagine a Donald Trump who goes even further. Donald Trump is the only candidate in the last 50 years of whom I could realistically imagine his tossing off to a group of journalists a question such as, Well, what’s wrong with white people wanting to remain a majority in their own country? I can imagine him saying that. He will not necessarily, but I can imagine it. I cannot imagine any other candidate ever saying such a thing.

I can even imagine him saying, Well you know, ultimately, you just can’t expect as many blacks per capita to be in the advanced placement courses because they’re just not as smart. I mean I can imagine that with a little bit greater difficulty than the remark about being majorities, but that too is not an utterly inconceivable thing for Donald Trump to say. And if the president of the United States makes remarks of that kind, they simply cannot be brushed aside.

Taylor added that he was confident that a Trump administration would be stacked with people who “think the way we do” and “read our web pages” and “listen to our podcasts.”

On the other hand, there is an aspect of this that very few people are talking about. If there actually is a Trump presidency, he will attract, at all sorts of levels in his administration, people who do think the way we do. Even though they’re not publicly associated with racial dissidents, or white advocacy. He will attract people who read our web pages, who listen to our podcasts, and they will work in all sorts of very, very useful ways in all levels of his administration to bring about sensible policies.

I think I can also imagine that some of them, they will be caught out, oh, saying rude things about blacks or rude things about Mexico, and there will be little scandals here and there. But there will be a great number who will infiltrate his administration, his campaign, his advisers in ways that cannot but be extremely useful both to Trump and to us.

Georgia Republicans Attack 'Sickening' 'Garbage' AIDS Exhibit At Public College

Some Republican lawmakers in Georgia are objecting to an art exhibit at Kennesaw State University called “Art AIDS America” that “introduces and explores the whole spectrum of artistic responses to AIDS, from the politically outspoken to the quietly mournful, surveying works from the early 1980s to the present.”

The Marietta Daily Journal reported last week that state Republican lawmakers are calling the exhibit “sickening,” “trash” and “garbage”:

State Rep. Earl Ehrhart, R-Powder Springs, who chairs the Georgia House committee that funds universities, called the exhibit “sickening” and “a blatant political statement.”

Ehrhart said he called KSU president Dan Papp to complain about the exhibit this week.

Papp did not return calls from the Journal by press time.

Moving forward, don’t expect to see such exhibits at KSU in the future, Ehrhart said.

“I’m going to make it real clear, let’s just put it that way. I had a lot of success in getting Tech’s attention in spending taxpayer money on ridiculous things,” said Ehrhart, referring to his criticism of how the Georgia Institute of Technology handles accusations of sexual assault. Ehrhart said when Georgia Tech ignored his requests, he eliminated the university’s request for a $47 million building.

State Sen. Lindsey Tippins, R-west Cobb, chairman of the Senate Education Committee, said after visiting the museum he was both disappointed and disgusted.

“Typically, communities send their garbage to the dump and dispose of their body waste at the local sewage treatment plant,” Tippins said. “KSU has chosen to celebrate and elevate it to an ‘art’ exhibit. Trash is trash. I think it speaks for itself.”

State Rep. Ed Setzler, R-Acworth, said the exhibit undermines the university’s reputation.

“Making this kind of trash publicly undermines the otherwise great work that’s happening at Kennesaw State University and makes it much more difficult for those who love the university to talk about the great things that are happening there,” Setzler said Thursday. “I think this sadly trivializes the very serious issue of AIDS, which is something that we as a nation are committed to dealing with in a serious way.”

Ehrhart believes “a fully loaded porta-potty would be a better artistic expression” than the exhibit at Kennesaw State.

The lawmakers reportedly particularly object to “a painting by Jerome Caja of a naked man wearing a clown mask engaged in a sex act with a skeleton” and “a mixed-media installation that includes pictures of the late President Ronald Reagan, conservative godfather William F. Buckley Jr., conservative Sen. Jesse Helms and televangelist Jerry Falwell, mixed in with what appear to be Nazi storm troopers under a pink triangle.”

The criticism is reminiscent of the right-wing outrage over a National Portrait Gallery exhibit on the gay and lesbian experience in American art in 2011.

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