Saturday, January 28, 2012

Monkey Sex Senator Refuses to Back Down

The Republican state Senator, Stacey Campfield, is not backing down from his insane claims about AIDS. Campfield said that a gay pilot had sex with a monkey and then infected men and that the gay community spread AIDS to everyone else. We dissected Campfield's absurd claims here.

He said it is "virtually, if not completely impossible to contract AIDS outside of blood transfusions through heterosexual sex. It's virtually impossible." Now, he tries to claim that comment was taken out of context and that he was referring to risks and, "The odds of a regular man getting it from a regular woman are very low."

First, notice something there. He implies that men contract the disease from women, not that men can infect women. Any individual can contract the disease from any other individual. It is not spread by gay men or women, it is spread by men and women, gay and straight. It is spread by human beings. I guess we could we could add "sexist" to a description to Campfield. It is not just gay men he's bigoted against. By the way, Mr. Campfield is a conservative Republican in his mid 40s who has never been married. Given the past history of raging anti-gay conservatives that is not a good sign for him.

In the interview Campfield claims that the facts continue to back him up. No, they don't. He's just making that up. He claims that the book And the Band Played On supports the claim that a pilot got HIV from having sex with monkeys. The book says no such thing. Note that the Senator makes no attempt to quote the book. He can't. He is taking half facts from dozens of places and combining them according to his own personal bigotry and theories. No one has ever claimed that sex with a monkey started AIDS.

Also pay attention to his use of "regular" man. He was asked what he meant by "regular" and he said "someone who is not from Africa, someone who is not a homosexual, someone who is not an IV drug user, someone who is not sleeping with someone who is one of those things." Okay. So, by regular he means white straight Americans and everyone else is not regular. Apparently marrying someone from Africa also means you are not "regular." Does this sound a tad bit racist? This man is walking stereotype of the Southern redneck, conservative Republican with firm opinions totally unrelated to the facts.

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Friday, January 27, 2012

Republican Blames Monkey Sex for AIDS

A Republican in Tennessee's legislature, State Senator Stacey Campfield, wants to make it a crime for any school official to mention the existence of gay people. The law would literally mandate that only heterosexuality be discussed, all comments otherwise would be a crime. He recently gave an interview which shows you how warped he is mentally.

On the bullying of gay kids, he says the problem is that "sexually confused children" are "pushed into a lifestyle" that is not "appropriate" or the "norm." They don't know how to get out of it and so they kill themselves. See, its the people who support them that are to blame, not the people who harass them or bully them. Gay kids killing themselves, after years of bullying, are doing so because other people made them gay, not because of bullying? Amazing logic.

Campfield, who is often incoherent, has very strange ideas indeed. For instance: "Homosexuals represent about 2 to 3 percent of the population yet you look at television and plays and theaters, it's 50 percent of the theaters, probably more than that, 50 percent of the theaters based on something about homosexuality."

Interesting, but is it true? I looked at a list of the Broadway plays that have had more than 800 performances. This is the heart of "liberal" New York City, so surely this 50% or more trend should show up there.

I don't know every play listed but I do know the majority of the them. There are 162 theatrical productions that fit this category. Out of those I only see two with gay themes: Torch Song Trilogy and Le Cage Aux Folles. Out of the rest I can see nine that have a character or two that is gay: Chorus Line (1), Rent (unsure of the number); Mamma Mia (1); Cabaret (1 plus 1 bisexual); Deathtrap (2); Billy Elliot (1 in the film but not sure about the play); Color Purple (1 in the film, unsure of the play); Kiss of the Spider Woman (1 in the film, unsure of the play); and Spring Awakening (2).

This is so far off 50% as to be laughable. If you add up all the characters in the shows and see how many of them are gay, the reality is that gay characters are under-represented, the complete opposite of what Campfield is claiming. Television pickings are just as sparse, if you consider all the shows and all the characters. Feel free to do your own count, I don't think it will dramatically differ from mine and you might remember a character or two that I didn't. But I doubt any analysis will show numbers approaching 50% let alone exceeding it.

When Campfield gets to discussing AIDS he is even more bizarre. First, let's look at some facts. Only a tiny percentage of all AIDS cases are in North America and Europe. I believe about 10% of the total number of cases are in Western nations. AIDS seems to have originated in Africa and the vast majority of the cases are among heterosexuals. AIDS appears to have been first introduced into the gay community in the West. As a sexually transmitted disease gay men are most likely to infect gay men. So, while a majority of the cases in the West are in the gay community, the majority of all cases in the world are among heterosexuals and the ratio of difference remains very significant. The disease is primarily heterosexually spread and originated in the heterosexual community.

Campfield, has it the complete opposite, and worse. He said, "Most people realize AIDS came from the homosexual community—it was one guy screwing a monkey, if I recall correctly, and then having sex with men. It was an airline pilot, if I recall." He went on to say that "AIDS through heterosexual sex" is "very rarely" possible.

I suspect Campfield is actually this stupid. I don't think anyone could play that dumb otherwise.

Fact, heterosexual sex can transmit AIDS, and most cases are actually transmitted that way. Second, there is no evidence that sex with monkeys was ever involved with AIDS. It is believed that the first cases go back to the 1930s and that the actual origin had to do with someone killing a monkey for food. Infected blood from the monkey entered the individuals body through cuts or scratches that were open. Campfield takes smidgens of facts and twists them beyond recognition to fit his bigoted agenda.

As for the pilot that is quite different from what Campfield says as well. There was no pilot. What he is referring to is a flight attendant who was believed by Randy Shilts to be a source of HIV infection in the United States. He didn't have sex with monkeys and then with men. But, even this flight attendant was not patient zero. It is believed in scientific circles that HIV was transmitted to Haiti from Africa and then to the United States. There are documented cases of people with HIV prior to the case with the flight attendant, so the likelihood that he spread it is small.

In that one sentence there are five factual claims. Here is how they pan out:

"Most people realize...." Actually, I doubt most think this. And we need to be clear on "most people" in what location. I doubt most people in the world think of AIDS this way. Certainly most educated people do not think this. In Campfield's circles I have no doubt this is widely believed along with a world-wide flood, virgin births and other absurdities.

"...came from the homosexual community." As already noted, it didn't.

" guy screwing a monkey..." No sex with a monkey has been discovered to be connected to AIDS. It was from killing a monkey for food.

"...then having sex with men..." Nothing indicates the hunter who killed the monkey had sex with men and it is unlikely he did. The disease spread heterosexually from that point until some years later when homosexuals were infected.

"It was an airline pilot." No. it was a hunter. And he's thinking of the flight attendant who was once thought to spread HIV in the US, not the first case in the world. So even the back-up claim of confusing a pilot with a flight attendant won't save him.

Out of his five factual claims regarding HIV and AIDS he is wrong on every single one of them.

What we see here is that fear-mongers are not good sources for factual information. Hysterics tend to exaggerate and lie or completely misunderstand facts. Campfield is a hysteric pushing his own religious agenda. To do that he has to claim the absurd.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Radio Hosts Imply a Lot in Dumb Statement

Two radio talk show morons, John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou claim that gay men run Hollywood and like to cast women with bodies "that remind them of 14-year-old boys." Kobylt said that "Gay guys control the fashion industry and the casting industry and the whole Hollywood look." Because of this they cast women who look like boys. He said: "I don't need to do any research or any proof that it's gay guys who control the entire casting industry" because of his "fact" that all Hollywood does is promote women who look like boys. He implied that real "guys like curves."

Apparently these experts are talking out their lower extremities. If the claim is that gay casting agents cast women who look like young boys—pandering to a rather nasty stereotype about gay men—then surely the highest paid women in Hollywood would reflect that. Do they? I looked up the top 10 paid actresses in Hollywood. And below is a collection of photos of them. A picture is worth a 1,000 words and in this case the pictures reveal whether or not these women look like 14-year-old boys. You be the judge.

According to Forbes, the 10 top paid actresses in Hollywood are as follows: Angelina Jolie, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Julia Roberts, Kristen Stewart, Katherine Heigl, Cameron Diaz, Sandra Bullock and Meryl Streep.

In all honesty, do you think these women look like 14-year-old boys? I would suggest that if these two hosts look at Jennifer Anniston or Sandra Bullock and confuse them with young boys then they are the ones who ought to be doing a mental inventory. Now, I couldn't think of any 14-year-old male celebrities so I tried Google image search. I thought someone should remind these two talk show imbeciles what a 14-year-old boy looks like. The first "celebrity" to show up in my search was a British diver named Thomas Daley. Would you really get him confused with any of the women above? Daley is now 17 but the photo is from earlier, when he was 14. I just don't see the resemblance.


Wednesday, January 04, 2012

TSA hassles flyer who was robbed by airport employees

TSA Watch:

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Iowa and Ron Paul: How the Rockwell Strategy Harmed Ron Paul

Let’s look at Iowa and what it may mean. First, Santorum obviously pulled up at the last second. This is not particularly surprising. Santorum is one of the most fanatical of the Religious Right candidates. The rural counties in Iowa are filled with Religious Right types. Remember this is a process that put Pat Robertson into first place in the Republican caucus before and favored Mike Huckabee. So, religious kooks like Santorum do have an edge in Iowa.

The religious voters are a firm percentage of the vote. Romney had little chance with them as his Mormonism counts strongly against him. Next to gays, these people certainly hate Mormons. Ron Paul did his level best to secure their vote, but failed. He put a religious extremist in charge of his Iowa campaign, who actively courted the most extreme fundamentalists in the state, but it didn’t work. At the last minute, the Religious Right voters fled to Santorum, not to Ron Paul.

In spite of this, we should remember that the difference in votes between Santorum and Romney is insignificant. Both have 25% of the vote and with Romney winning by only 8 votes.

The other thing to remember is that these votes don’t mean a lot. There are almost 1200 precincts and each of them will elect delegates to go to the 99 local country conventions. At those conventions delegates will be elected to district conventions, which will then elect delegates to the state convention who elect the delegates to the national convention. At no stage are delegates required to vote for any particular candidate. They are free to vote for any candidate they want. Long-term. a lot can change before the state convention and delegates are free to vote for whomever they wish. Circumstance between now and then can easily sway delegates. This is why I argue the Iowa caucus doesn’t actually mean a whole lot. And Iowa has a poor record picking winners in the national election.

I will guess that a majority of the small number of delegates, 28, that Iowa sends to the Republican convention will support Romney.

From where Ron Paul gain his support? Voters did NOT support Ron Paul because of his paleolibertarian leanings. The views expressed in his newsletters were NOT the main reason people supported Paul. In addition Ron Paul’s attempts to appeal to religious conservatives failed.

The so-called paleolibertarian strategy, which was concocted by Lew Rockwell and Murray Rothbard, was an attempt to appeal to the ugliest aspects of the Right. It promoted a moralistic view, intolerance of gays, racism, conspiracy paranoia and religious-based politics. Rothbard and Rockwell were the main forces behind the ugly parts of Ron’s newsletters. And, I simply cannot accept, based on my knowledge of the newsletters, that Ron was unaware of it. In fact, some of those very elements made their way into later campaigns.

Rothbard and Rockwell hated what they called “modal libertarians,” those who promoted social tolerance, social freedom and didn’t like the bigotry they were spewing. Ron tried to appeal to social conservatives with his emphasis on abortion and his attempts to win over fundamentalist Christians.

So, how did this strategy work out in Iowa?

It didn’t. Ron’s support, according to entrance polls came from the voters LEAST likely to find the bigoted views of Rockwell and Rothbard appealing.

First, the most socially liberal age group in the Republican Party is those under the age of 29. Ron Paul won an overwhelming plurality of young voters. He had 48% support in that age group, more than double the closest rival. Santorum won the age groups of 30 to 64, those Republicans most likely to have come to the GOP during the take-over of the party by evangelicals. The oldest voters, those most likely to be old line Republicans, went for Romney. [Please note that entrance poll data is being updated constantly and that the percentages are changing. What is stated here may be slightly off when the final numbers are accumulated.]

Breaking this down further you see that Paul got 50% of the votes of those 17-24 years of age, 45% of those 25 to 29 and 34% of those 30 to 39. In each age group this is a plurality. Young voters, who tend to be socially liberal, voted for Paul.

Paul also attracted non-typical Republicans. Of caucus virgins, voters who never attended a previous caucus, Paul won a plurality with 33%. Both Republicans and independent voters could attend the caucus. Republican voters overwhelmingly rejected Paul. Paul only received 14% of Republican votes, but he got 43% of the votes cast by independents. .

Republican voters went strongly for the candidates who were most consistently attempting to use religion as the foundation for law. I define those candidates as Santorum, Perry, Gingrich and Bachmann. Between them they received 59% of the Republican votes. The candidates who were perceived as the less religious candidates, in terms of imposing religious values through the law, received 41% of the Republican vote. The GOP is still controlled by the Religious Right.

Among independent voters at the caucus a very different story is told. The theocratic wing of the GOP only got 36% of the support. Candidates not perceived as theocrats—Paul, Romney, and Huntsman—received 64% of the votes.

Voters who self identified as “very conservative” rejected Paul; only 15% of them supported him, about the same percentage as went to Romney. The theocrats received 70% of the “very conservative” vote. For those who identified as “somewhat conservative” Paul’s support increased to 21%. The theocrats received 47% of this group. Voters who identified as moderates or liberals went to Paul. Forty percent of them supported Ron Paul and 35% went for Romney with 3% for Huntsman. Only 22% of these voters supported one of the theocratic candidates.

When it comes to the evangelical voters Ron Paul only received 18% of the vote. The plurality of the evangelicals went to Santorum. The theocratic wing won 66% of the evangelical vote. Romney, Paul and Huntsman received 33% of the evangelical vote. Among non-evangelicals Paul did better; support was 8 points higher. The non-evangelicals preferred Romney and Paul, giving them 64% of the votes.

Ron Paul also jumped into this campaign with a renewed opposition to abortion. He has been more strongly in favor of federal regulation of abortion than any time in his past. But he didn’t gain much because of it. Only 13% of Republicans said abortion was the most important issue. Of these voters, only 7% supported Ron Paul. His support came from people concerned about the budget deficit not abortion.

Look at each group where Paul did well and you see a consistent pattern. They were not the kind of bigoted voters that Lew Rockwell was trying to appeal to with this paleolibertarian strategy. Ron’s support came from voters who were most like the libertarians that Rockwell has consistently slandered.

The very kind of voters that Rockwell would dismiss as “hippies”—the young, independents, liberals and moderates—were the people who made up the majority of Ron Paul's supporters. The people that Rockwell tried to appeal to were far more likely to vote for Santorum.

The flaw in the paleolibertarian strategy was that the people they tried to win over like big government. They are not libertarians. The very kind of people that Rockwell and Rothbard attacked in those newsletters, and in other places, were the ones willing to vote for Ron Paul.

If Ron Paul had sounded more like Gary Johnson, I suggest he would have done better, perhaps enough to win. The publicity about his hateful newsletters lost him a lot of support. He was polling better a few days ago. By trying to appeal to the bigoted vote that Rockwell cherished, Ron Paul lost votes in Iowa.

What about the future for Paul? Can he leave behind the newsletter baggage. He can, but he won’t. To effectively leave behind the ugly images of racism and bigotry Paul would have to name the author of his newsletters. He has refused to do that. And he is not likely to throw Rockwell under the bus. Without doing that the newsletter will always be a ghost from his past that will haunt him.

Paul would also need to more consciously abandon paleo strategy that he has been following. He would need to reduced his anti-abortion rhetoric—which didn’t help him—and stop trying to appeal to the Religious nutters on the Right. They rejected him as well. He needs to ratchet up his appeal to young voters, independent voters and to moderates and liberals. In other words, he needs to the do the complete opposite of what Rockwell and Rothbard laid out in their grand paleolibertarian scheme. Paul can strengthen his position by cutting his ties to Rockwell, admitting he was behind the ugly newsletters, and consciously gooing after the voters who have proven most receptive to his message—and that isn't the Religious Right.

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