HRC’s Shakedown Racket

19 Comments for “HRC’s Shakedown Racket”

  1. posted by Lori Heine on

    Without wading into the fevered swamp that is the Weekly Standard–a magazine founded by warmongering corporate shills–I can’t offer much of an assessment. What, pray tell, were the results of the study that the magazine found so noteworthy?

    Knowing the way their minds work, it was probably that gay people “choose to be that way,” that all transgender people are insane, and on we go.

    Short of that, it’s difficult to see what HRC would have been so upset about.

    I’m certainly no big fan of the HRC, because I don’t see where they do much besides suck up to movie stars at expensive cocktail parties and thousand dollar-a-plate dinners. But I have difficulty imagining what their alleged hysterical overreaction to the magazine’s “study” is without knowing that.

    Not going into the swamp, sorry. Maybe someone with more patience and a stronger stomach will endeavor to go there.

    Reply
  2. posted by Kosh III on

    I realized this article was a total BS hit piece when it stated this:
    “the folks at HRC decided not to press on for same-sex marriage in, say, Saudi Arabia and China”
    HRC is an American organization devoted to expanding rights for Americans. The bloody autocrats of Arabia could care less.
    And like Lori, I wonder what is in the report? Did they join the religious right in calling to kill a queer for Christ?

    Reply
    • posted by TJ on

      Yeah. The Human Rights Campaign is setup to focus on federal policy and sometimes state policy. It is not really into developing human rights in foreign countries

      Reply
  3. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    And like Lori, I wonder what is in the report? Did they join the religious right in calling to kill a queer for Christ?

    What they did was to survey/summarize a body of research (not all, by any means, because several major studies that did not support their conclusions are were not surveyed) from the last decade or two, reasonably carefully, and draw conclusions from the research that was shaped to support the thesis that sexual orientation and gender identity are mutable and not necessarily inborn.

    The report’s conclusions were: (1) sexual orientation is not biologically fixed; (2) gays, lesbians and transgenders are more likely to have experienced childhood sexual abuse than straights; (3) gender identity is not biologically fixed; (4) gays, lesbians and transgenders experience a higher risk of negative mental health outcomes that cannot be explained by stigma and stress, and (5) nothing supports affirming children as transgender.

    The report, published in Atlantis (the journal of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, a think-tank with a decided anti-LGBT cast) was not peer reviewed at any point in the process (a mistake in my opinion, because peer review is a threshold for respectability, but the Atlantis, the author’s journal of choice, seems to pride itself on not publishing peer reviewed material), but taken alone would probably not have raised much of a ruckus. The report wasn’t much from a scientific standpoint, but it wasn’t entirely schlock, either.

    What raised the ruckus was that the anti-gay right immediately hopped on the bandwagon to ballyhoo the report in its media outlets, and anti-gay organizations (e.g. the Heritage Foundation, NOM, the Liberty Counsel, American College of Pediatricians, and so on) trumpeted the report as justification for anti-gay, anti-transgender policies.

    Fairly typical was Mat Staver’s reaction to the report: “The scientific facts do not support the harmful LGBT agenda. Common sense demands we stop rebelling against nature.” You get the drift of the anti-gay, anti-transgender movement’s reaction.

    So, fairly or not, and wittingly or not, Mayer and McHugh have effectively become the latest version of Paul Cameron, shills for the anti-gay, anti-transgender movement in the United States.

    With that in mind, I have no idea whether Jonathan Last’s opinion piece is accurate or not. Last always seems to me to be running at the ragged edge of hysteria, and I imagine that we’ll know more going forward.

    Reply
  4. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    For what it is worth, here is more information about the HRC/Hopkins controversy.

    Reply
  5. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    And, also for what it is worth, here is HRC’s 2017 ranking for Johns Hopkins, with a “Click here to learn why.” link to an explanation of HRC’s point deduction in the “Responsible Citizenship” category.

    Reply
  6. posted by Jorge on

    I think the accusations are more disturbing for what they say about hospitals and corporations than what they say about the opportunists who exploit them.

    I have noticed two things about health care in the Bronx. There have been gigantic mergers and a few specks of independent-minded new businesses. The changes are a sign and a symptom of the increasingly difficult economics of health care. Both types of health care providers push for some kind of involvement with the local community. The motivation I’ve heard most often is because certain health and population trends pose visible challenges that are not easily solved by hospitals’ own devices. They don’t know everything. However this has led to a broader philosophy of the hospital, like the school, being itself a community center, or perhaps a community participant in the case of the small businesses.

    And thus they mingle in the same halls politically minded people roam.

    There is no place in the modern health care industry for people who believe homosexuality is, or even possibly could be, an aberration. Certainly not medically. But I also speak of socially. Do not read this as a moral statement. Hospitals could not be fulfill their noblesse oblige, as I think the saying goes, otherwise. People would quite literally die of distrust, and that would cause the hospitals to fail in their mission.

    (Especially now that the health and insurance industries, lead by Uncle Sam, are incentivizing preventive care so heavily. That’s led to some sick results. An article I read yesterday noted dwindling resources for the seriously mentally ill and an explosion in care for the neurotic.)

    All this is the choice of those hospitals. Rather than remain a loose association of small competitive businesses, they decided to become big know it alls. It may have been the correct decision for economic reasons, who knows? It had a price.

    What, pray tell, were the results of the study that the magazine found so noteworthy?

    (I’ve had it saved for over a year and I still can’t get through it. Maybe next year.)

    Reply
  7. posted by Lori Heine on

    I’m concerned about right-leaning libertarians’ perspective in general. I was beginning to think I was one, after the foolishness of the 2016 elections. But now that the dust is settling, I’m not so sure.

    They seem to cast all judgment aside in order to side with elements on the political Right–just to side with them. Simply to be on the team. There’s nothing libertarian about that. They’re just conservatives–period.

    Last night I had dinner with a gay libertarian friend. He leans Left. He spoke frankly about the flaws on the statist Left, and about what needs to be done about them. Though he’s considerably farther to the Left than I am (anymore), I found his clear-thinking very refreshing.

    In a comment I once posted here, I spoke favorably about Chomsky. Or I guess I did, though I no longer remember exactly what I said. More likely, I was simply pointing out that a lot of left-libertarians take their influences not from Ayn Rand, but from Chomsky, Kropotkin and the like.

    The result? Hysteria! Stephen went absolutely ballistic. One cannot–MUST not–alarm anyone on “the team.” That is how “libertarian” this blog really is.

    Reply
    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      In a comment I once posted here, I spoke favorably about Chomsky. Or I guess I did, though I no longer remember exactly what I said. More likely, I was simply pointing out that a lot of left-libertarians take their influences not from Ayn Rand, but from Chomsky, Kropotkin and the like.

      The result? Hysteria! Stephen went absolutely ballistic.

      I remember that well, Lori, because I was taken aback by Stephen’s reaction.

      Reply
      • posted by Lori Heine on

        I think that there are a lot of people in this country who need a Twelve-Step program–Bubble-a-holics Anonymous. They’ve retreated into a political bubble, and don’t want to know anything the Bubble Masters want them to know.

        Conservatives who are anti-gay like to talk as if they are the ONLY conservatives. They either lack the discernment to determine the difference between anti-gay conservatism and that which is at least neutral, or they’re too pathetically eager to join the team to care about making that distinction.

        It happens on both sides of the political spectrum. But I’ve noticed a lot of it on the LGBT Right. Gay Patriot is famous for it, but IGF–though not as far gone–can venture into bubble-land, too.

        Reply
      • posted by JohnInCA on

        Had to search for that. Yeah, there was a couple-month span in 2015 where you guys were referencing Chomsky a lot. Not as many hits from 2014 or 2016.

        Were you guys in a book club or something back in 2015?

        Also saw all the references to Reason, which ended up leading me over there. Good times. Not for my blood pressure, mind you, but for understanding folks I don’t agree with.

        Reply
        • posted by JohnInCA on

          For clarity, it was a year or two back that I started reading Reason articles. This is not a new development.

          Reply
        • posted by Lori Heine on

          No, “We guys” were not in a book club.

          After the Stephen meltdown here at IGF because I dared to mention Chomsky, I decided it wasn’t worth casting any more pearls.

          Reply
          • posted by JohnInCA on

            Kinda let down that… y’all… didn’t have a secret book club going. Gonna have to check Goodreads later and see if I can find a queer-perspective political book list now. Well not now-now, later-now. Maybe on the weekend.

        • posted by Jorge on

          If it makes you feel any better, I found reading Karl Marx to have a few captivating moments.

          You are only lacking a label for your generation of right-libertarianism. You can get around that by referring to a decade as a reference point for when that philosophy was more common. That the country moves while you stay where you are is nothing to your political identity.

          Unless you’re the HRC, that is true.

          Reply
          • posted by Lori Heine on

            My friend and I were discussing just last night that conventional libertarian wisdom is being upended — and in a huge way.

            It was always thought that whichever side was out of power would be more inclined to become libertarian. But the Bush II years started a migration that did not even slow down during the Obama administration. Most of the converts to libertarianism are coming from the Left.

            That certainly explains the hostility toward libertarianism from the statist Left. We’re poaching big-time from their flock. It’s also why I, and people like me, are so interested in the thinkers who are influential to leftist libertarians. Since they don’t even care about Ayn Rand or Murray Rothbard, where are they getting their inspiration?

            Mine only partially comes from Chomsky. He’s a bit too pessimistic for my liking. Tolstoy is actually a stronger influence on me. As is Rose Wilder Lane, the daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Isabel Paterson.

            Actually, a book club might not be a bad idea. Reason magazine is okay, but it’s sort of pop-culture-ish. If it were my only source of information, I’d have a pretty narrow view of the subject.

          • posted by Jorge on

            It was always thought that whichever side was out of power would be more inclined to become libertarian. But the Bush II years started a migration that did not even slow down during the Obama administration.

            “Oh, no, Obama’s forcing government-sponsored Atheism on America! We need laisseiz faire to save us!”

            “Oh, no, Bush is forcing government-sponsored Christianity on America! We need laisseiz faire to save us!”

            I came of age during the Bush years and started paying attention to politics during the Clinton years, so while I can see the difference a little bit, I don’t relate to it.

  8. posted by TJ on

    So, the Weekly Standard defends an opinion piece trying to pass itself off as actual science….If that is what passes for journalism, perhaps I should sell them a survey I have done on truth of unicorns.

    “In my social media surveys and collection of non-scientific opinion pieces, I have scientific proof that Unicorns choose to be Unicorns because they watched “The Last Unicorn” movie, and that Unicorns are actually a cover for vampires.”

    Reply
    • posted by Lori Heine on

      “They’ve retreated into a political bubble, and don’t want to know anything the Bubble Masters want them to know.”

      I meant to say that they DON’T want them to know. I wish these comments could be edited.

      Reply

Leave a Comment