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...under this name, because I'm switching to my real name: Scottie Thomaston. If you follow me, you should start following that username, since as soon as I post this I'll be logging off this name. Also, could someone send me invites to these groups?

KosAbility, Angry Gays, Milk Men And Women, Progressive Policy Zone, Chronic Tonic Gathering, Inherent Human Rights, Criminal InJustice Kos Community, Bloggers Against Torture, Cranky Grammarians
That would be awesome, thanks.

I'm gonna miss this UID too, since I joined way back in June 2005. Now I have this really new one that's a huge number. Goodbye, UID 55177.

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Programs for the disabled are among the first to go, when states trim their budgets. This puts a lot of people in danger across the country.

-

Now, families and advocates say Pennsylvania is withdrawing the hand and replacing it with a shove toward unemployment and full-time dependence on relatives or institutions.

They accuse Gov. Tom Corbett of breaking his campaign promise to protect the state’s most vulnerable residents.

- In my state, too:
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Possible funding cuts by the state could have a huge impact on thousands of mentally challenged adults and their families across Alabama.

If the state decides to cut funding to the group homes where they live, some of them could be put on the streets.

 "If my brother doesn't have a place to live what will become of him?"

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Patrick Wooden, a preacher in North Carolina who was recently called out for some bizarre homophobic remarks he made on a radio show has decided to attack LGBT activist Pam Spaulding of Pam's House Blend.

Wooden was on a radio show, again, hosted by a right-wing dude who watches a lot of gay porn and goes to gay S&M events to spy and take pictures, and he said:

I love Pam, and one of these days I hope to invite Pam Spaulding maybe to lunch, and we can sit and talk,” Wooden said. “I love her and I am praying for her.”

“Pam needs Jesus. When Pam meets the Lord that yearning for a member of the same sex will change. … She'd probably make a fantastic mother and would enjoy having a husband who was born male – no Chaz Bono business – born male, and meet her man, and rock rock her world in the name of the Lord.”

Oh no, dude. Just no. First of all, seriously, Pam Spaulding? That's who you're attacking? She's brilliant and she's pretty fearless and I don't know what you're thinking. If you want to target someone who is LGBT and get away with it unscathed then you clearly need to do some research first before you choose a target. Because, wow. Good luck on this mission. You're gonna need it.

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UPDATE: Oh, and donate to Planned Parenthood, obviously.

Lolwut:

Commenting on the Komen reversal RE breast cancer screening at Planned Parenthood, Senator Campfield makes the claim that abortion causes breast cancer. He has a website link to prove it. "It's on the internet so my version of science is true" should be Campfield's slogan.

I... can't even think of anything to say right now. This is a guy who has sponsored bills to require death certificates for aborted fetuses, sponsored a bill to require drug testing for people who receive government assistance, tried to join a Black Caucus and when he was rejected, made a comment that even the KKK is less racist or somesuch nonsense. He says HIV/AIDS came from one guy screwing a monkey and that it's virtually impossible for heterosexuals to transmit HIV/AIDS. And he says that he went through 'segregation' when he was asked to leave one restaurant one time, and says that his rights were violated under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. And then there's his bizarre claims about how gays are so dangerous that they are charged higher insurance rates.

And now this. This is starting to reach a level of silliness where I can't tell if the dude is serious.

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Yesterday I alerted you to my new efforts to raise awareness for civil rights violations in this country. Stacey Campfield, a white, male, heterosexual Christian state senator in Tennessee, was denied restaurant service on the basis of horrific racist, serophobic, homophobic and scientifically unsound comments he made his status as a religious white male state legislator in the south. I've launched a new campaign to bring attention to his civil rights fight and to make everyone aware of the struggle for fighting real civil rights violations white Christian male survival in the south. I did this because of his call for awareness he raised in his own blog, letting his readers know that he experienced "segregation" and that he feels Civil Rights Act of 1964 violations occurred.

The movement is simply called: Sit-ins for Stacey.

At The Huffington Post, I explained more:

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Note: this is going up a lot later than I had hoped, since my article just now got posted

Over at The Huffington Post, I've written a follow-up [and you should definitely read it] to the story I called attention to over here a couple days ago; there, it was discussed that Tennessee state senator Stacey Campfield recently scribbled down a few sad and indignant paragraphs on his blog after humanitarian and utterly awesome restaurant-owner Martha Boggs asked him to eat elsewhere (her business is doing very well after her heroic actions.) In his literary masterwork, he offered us insight into his ideas about oppression and the Civil Rights Movement, informing us readers that he guesses "some people still support segregation" and that the treatment he was subjected to violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

I know what you're thinking. But... wait.

Maybe he's onto something here:

Given the long history of civil rights violations against that unpopular minority (including, but not limited to, the destruction of their First Amendment rights on a staggering level), the intense, state-sanctioned campaign of violence and terrorism waged against this innocent minority relentlessly for over a century, and the systematic separation of these human beings from the rest of civilization through our laws and institutions, it was inevitable that someone would eventually take up this fight for the reinstatement of their civil rights.

So I'm going to help him out. I've created a Facebook page, Sit-ins for Stacey, where I've let my Huffington Post readers know there will be lots of action today. I hope you'll all join my effort to help him fight his oppression. Once you've joined, tell all your friends. Get them to tell their friends. As I say to my readers:

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KosAbility is a community diary series posted at 5 PM ET every Sunday and Wednesday by volunteer diarists. This is a gathering place for people who are living with disabilities, who love someone with a disability, or who want to know more about the issues surrounding this topic.  There are two parts to each diary.  First, a volunteer diarist will offer their specific knowledge and insight about a topic they know intimately. Then, readers are invited to comment on what they've read and or ask general questions about disabilities, share something they've learned, tell bad jokes, post photos, or rage about the unfairness of their situation. Our only rule is to be kind; trolls will be spayed or neutered.

The target of all the new state voter-ID laws is racial minorities, in an attempt to keep the country's first black president from winning re-election. But the new laws don't stop at just hurting racial minorities - they make it more difficult for those of us who are disabled to get out to the polls as well. Just yesterday in Tennessee, the American Association of People with Disabilities protested that state's voter-ID law:

“The state, counties and federal government have spent a lot of money making polling places accessible,” said Jim Dickson, vice president of organizing and civic engagement for the Washington-based organization. “Voting is an amazing experience and it is wrong — wrong — and it is mean-spirited to place a photo ID barrier between a citizen with a disability and a voting booth.”
[...]
Supporters of the law say that because many other forms of ID are acceptable at the polls, the law is no more onerous than policies requiring a photo ID to cash a check or buy alcohol. They also say voters can cast their ballots absentee if they do not have an ID and cannot get one.

Dickson, who is blind, said the latter argument is unfair to people like him.

“I have to give up a secret ballot if I’m going to vote absentee,” he said.

The problems with voter-ID laws aren't just limited to stopping people at the polls. In some states, there are new attempts to prevent people from helping potential voters to register. Texas is an example:

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So, Stacey Campfield, a state senator in Tennessee, was refused restaurant service after sponsoring anti-gay legislation and spouting hateful rhetoric:

Martha Boggs, owner of The Bistro at the Bijou, refused to serve Campfield, who has compared homosexuality to bestiality and claimed that one cannot contract AIDS through heterosexual sex.

So, of course, he did what any white, heterosexual Christian state senator might do in his situation: he wrote a blog post discussing his treatment and comparing himself to black people who endured institutional segregation and discrimination during the Civil Rights era.

Facepalm:

He goes on to show how multicultural he is by relating this anecdote about lunch counters:

In the '60s my grandfather sat at the lunch counters with the blacks in Knoxville to help break up the segregation of the races. I guess some people still support segregation. Just segregation of thought. Some people have told me my civil rights were violated under the 1964 civil rights act in that a person can not be denied service based on their religious beliefs. (I am catholic and the catholic church does not support the act of homosexuality) I had not thought about that much.

I just figured this is just another example of the open minded tolerant left. They claim tolerances for divergent points of view.....Until someone actually has one. Then they don't know how to handle it.

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Crossposted at burn after writing

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) is back with a new anti-privacy bill that's been on the radar of civil liberties organizations for several months now, though it hasn't yet received much attention in the mainstream media. He introduced H.R. 1981, euphemistically the "Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act of 2011" back in May 2011 and on July 28, 2011 it was passed onto the floor by the House Judiciary Committee where it is currently awaiting action.

The ACLU explains the ostensible purpose behind the proposed bill as well as the current privacy-related problems with the amended version:

The bill, HR 1981, the "Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act of 2011," – if only it were that narrow! – is a direct assault on the privacy of Internet users and  overlooks some key fixes that could actually help to address the very real  problem of child exploitation.

We blogged about the bill's serious privacy implications back in May. Despite some recent amendments, the legislation still has fundamental problems.

The bill requires Internet companies to log all temporarily assigned network addresses, also known as IP addresses, for a minimum of one year. IP addresses directly link individuals to their online activity and can reveal very private information about everything from health concerns to political interests. And once all of this personal information about innocent Americans is collected, it would be available to law enforcement for any purpose.

Broad immunity provisions for companies in the bill also threaten to undermine state data breach laws and data security protections as well as potentially immunize companies against tort and other claims. At a time when high profile data breaches are daily news stories and identity theft is widespread, this provision seems ill-considered at best.

The bill also ignore steps recommended by the Government Accountability Office to make child exploitation investigations more effective, including devoting more resources to forensic analysis of computers and better coordination between law enforcement agencies.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation had this to say back when the bill was voted out of Committee:

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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

OutServe is an organization for LGBT military servicemembers that was created in response to anti-gay harassment that servicemembers were receiving under the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy. They became a major player in the campaign to repeal DADT, working on the Pentagon's repeal survey and actively approaching the media to tell their stories. In March 2011, OutServe began publishing a magazine online and in print at military bases worldwide.

Metro Weekly is reporting in an exclusive that their January/February 2012 issue confronts the next step in the long-term battle for equality:

Jonathan Mills, a staff sergeant in the Air Force, serves as the executive editor of OutServe Magazine. He tells Metro Weekly that ''after the smoke cleared'' from the repeal of ''Don't Ask, Don't Tell,'' which took place on Sept. 20, 2011, the ''common sentiment echoed by our staff and members was, 'When are we gonna start pushing the T of LGBT?'"

OutServe Magazine interviewed six servicemembers who are transgender and want to serve without fear of being rejected or kicked out of the military for their gender identity.

One of the servicemembers who uses the pseudonym "Bryan" says:

''I want to speak out about it because I know a lot of people are not going to, and I feel like for anything to change … a group of people are going to have to step up to the plate and talk about it … like people did during the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' repeal.

''I want to be part of that so maybe one day I can … serve openly, and so other people can.''

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This is just a quick update: yesterday I wrote a post about a petition urging Tennessee state representative Richard Floyd to resign. He had sponsored a bill to harass people who are transgender when they attempt to use restrooms and make them show their birth certificates beforehand. This is even more strange because in Tennessee their laws prevent anyone from changing their sex on their birth certificate - it has to remain what the state decides it is at your birth. So by law, their birth certificate is incorrect from birth, and then they'd be legally punished later in life because of that fact.

But then, facing pressure and criticism from state and national organizations and blogs, Rep. Richard Floyd wouldn't back down from his proposal. Instead, he did a televised interview in which he said that he wants to "stomp a mudhole" in women who are transgender and who choose to use the same dressing room/restroom as his wife or daughter at the same time they're using it. He seems very attached to his bill, and beyond that, attached to his deep-seated hatred and fear of people who are transgender, and apparently especially women who are transgender. The fact that he felt comfortable enough to go on TV and discuss violently attacking people who are his constituents really speaks volumes.

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MoveOn.org is circulating a petition demanding that Tennessee state representative Richard Floyd should resign. Floyd, along with state senator Bo Watson, introduced a transphobic “bathroom bill” in Tennessee’s General Assembly recently. Shortly thereafter, Watson withdrew his version of the bill after pressure from state and national organizations and blogs, and after Rep. Floyd made a comment that he would "stomp a mudhole" in women who are transgender and who choose to use the same dressing room/restroom as his wife or daughter at the same time they're using it

Violent transphobic rhetoric is one thing but he appears to want to back up his words with state-sponsored action against people who are transgender in a state that’s already hostile to that community.

You know what to do.

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