"The white, pink and light blue comes from the trans pride flag," Quasar told AFP on June 9. "My use of those colors in the 'Progress Pride Flag' are one and the same as the trans flag served as inspiration for the design."
Activist Monica Helms designed the first transgender pride flag in 1999. It debuted the following year at an LGBTQ pride parade in Phoenix, Arizona.
Helms said in a 2015 interview (archived here) that the light pink and blue stripes symbolize the colors typically associated with girls and boys. She added a white stripe for "everybody else" outside of the "gender binary spectrum."
Quasar said those claiming the colors represent pedophiles are "trying to spin false narratives about my community."
A former CNN television producer who had pleaded guilty to luring a 9-year-old girl into illegal sexual acts was sentenced Tuesday to more than 19 years in prison and an additional 15 years of supervised release during a U.S. District Court hearing in Vermont.
John Griffin of Stamford, Connecticut, pleaded guilty in federal court in December to using interstate commerce to entice and coerce the girl to engage in sexual activity at his Vermont ski house.
As part of the 2022 plea deal, the government dropped two remaining counts of enticement of a minor against Griffin, then 45 year old.
Griffin had initially pleaded not guilty in 2021. He has been ordered to pay restitution to the victims.
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
AMY GOODMAN: Two years later, in 2019, I spoke to Daniel Ellsberg a day after the Justice Department charged WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange with 17 counts of violating the Espionage Act for publishing U.S. military and diplomatic documents exposing U.S. war crimes. Assange, who’s locked up in the Belmarsh prison in London, faces up to 175 years in prison if extradited to the U.S. and convicted here.
DANIEL ELLSBERG: Yesterday is a day that will be — live in the history of journalism, of law in this country and of civil liberties in this country, because it was a direct attack on the First Amendment, an unprecedented one. There hasn’t actually been such a significant attack on the freedom of the press, the First Amendment, which is the bedrock of our republic, really, our form of government, since my case in 1971, 48 years ago. But this is — I was indicted as a source. And I warned newsmen then that that would not be the last indictment of a source, if I were convicted. Well, I wasn’t convicted. The charges were dropped on governmental misconduct. And it was another 10 years before anybody else faced that charge under the Espionage Act again, Samuel Loring Morison. And it was not until President Obama that nine cases were brought, as I had been warning for so long.
But my warning really was that it wasn’t going to stop there, that almost inevitably there would be a stronger attack directly on the foundations of journalism, against editors, publishers and journalists themselves. And we’ve now seen that as of yesterday. That’s a new front in President Trump’s war on the free press, which he regards as the enemy of the people.
AMY GOODMAN: And the Trump administration saying Julian Assange is not a publisher, is not a journalist, that’s why he is not protected by the First Amendment?
DANIEL ELLSBERG: In the face of this new indictment, which — and let me correct something that’s been said just a little wrong by everybody so far. He doesn’t just face 170 years. That’s for the 17 counts on the Espionage Act, each worth 10. Plus, he’s still facing the five-year conspiracy charge that he started out with a few weeks ago. I was sure that the administration did not want to keep Julian Assange in jail just for five years. So I’ve been expecting these Espionage Act charges. I really expected them later, after he was extradited, because adding them now makes it a little more complicated for Britain to extradite him now, as I understand it. They’re not supposed to extradite for political offenses or for political motives, and this is obviously for both political motives and political offenses. So, from Julian Assange’s point of view, it makes extradition a little more difficult.
Why then did they bring it right now? Well, coming back to the case, by the way, that I faced, I faced only 11 [Espionage] Act charges, each worth 10 years in prison, plus a conspiracy charge worth five. So I was facing exactly 115 years in prison. He’s facing exactly 175. Now, that’s not a difference that makes any difference. In both cases, it’s a question of a life sentence.
I think that the reason they brought these charges so soon, because they had until June 12th, was to lay out — the necessity to lay out for extradition all the charges they plan to bring. And I don’t assume these are the last ones. They’ve got a couple weeks left to string up some new charges.
They started out with a charge that made Julian look something other than a normal journalist. The help to hacking a password sounded like something that, even in the Digital Age, perhaps most journalists wouldn’t do, and that would hope to separate him from the support of other journalists.
In this case, when they had to lay out their larger charge, this is straight journalism. They mention, for instance, that he solicited investigative material, he solicited classified information — terribly, he didn’t just passively receive it over the transom. I can’t count the number of times I have been solicited for classified information, starting with the Pentagon Papers, but long after that, and that’s by every member of the responsible press that I dealt with — the Times, the Post, AP, you name it. That’s journalism. So, what they have done is recognizable, I think, this time to all journalists, that they are in the crosshairs of this one. They may not have known enough about digital performance to help a source conceal her identity by using new passwords, as Julian was charged with. They may not be able to do that. But every one of them has eagerly received classified information and solicited it.
AMY GOODMAN: We end our show with Daniel Ellsberg in his own words, May 18th, 2018, when I spoke to him at a Right Livelihood laureate gathering at University of California, Santa Cruz. I asked him what message he had for government insiders who are considering becoming whistleblowers.
DANIEL ELLSBERG: My message to them is: Don’t do what I did. Don’t wait 'til the bombs are actually falling or thousands more have died, before you do what I wish I had done years earlier, in ’64 or even ’61, on the nuclear issue. And that is, reveal the truth that you know, the dangerous truths that are being withheld by the government, at whatever cost to yourself, whatever risk that may take. Consider doing that, because a war's worth of lives may be at stake. Or in the case of the two existential crises I’m talking about, the future of humanity is at stake.
So many graduating classes, I think, have been taught — have been told, year after year for half a century, that they face a crossroads or that much depends on what they do. That’s no exaggeration right now. It’s this generation, not the next one, the people living right now, that have to change these problems fast. And I think truth-telling is crucial to mobilize that.
AMY GOODMAN: Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg died Friday at the age of 92, just months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Our deepest condolences to his family, his wife Patricia, his children Robert, Mary and Michael, his grandchildren and his great-granddaughter. That does it for our show. I’m Amy Goodman. Thank you for joining us.
But most of those today loudly hailing Ellsberg as an "American hero" have been far more reluctant to champion the Ellsberg of our times: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
For years, Assange has been rotting in a London high-security prison while the Biden administration seeks his extradition on charges that ludicrously equate his publication of the Afghan and Iraq war logs - a modern Pentagon Papers - with “espionage”.
Like Ellsberg, Assange exposed the way western states had been systematically lying while they perpetrated war crimes. Like Ellsberg, he was fraudulently labelled a threat to national security and charged with espionage. Like Ellsberg, if found guilty, he faces more than 100 years in jail. Like Ellsberg, Assange has learned that the US Congress is unwilling to exercise its powers to curb governmental abuses.
But unlike Ellsberg’s case, the courts have consistently sided with Assange’s persecutors, not with him for shining a light on state criminality. And, in a further contrast, the western media have stayed largely silent as the noose has tightened around Assange’s neck.
The similarities in Assange's and Ellsberg’s deeds - and the stark differences in outcomes - are hard to ignore. The very journalists and publications now extolling Ellsberg for his historic act of bravery have been enabling, if only through years of muteness, western capitals’ moves to demonise Assange for his contemporary act of heroism.
Marianne Williamson has lost her second campaign manager in as many months in what has proven to be a rocky 2024 presidential bid.
Roza Calderon’s departure was announced Monday on a small left-wing podcast, the Vanguard, and independently confirmed by two sources to POLITICO granted anonymity to discuss internal staffing dynamics. It is unclear whether she was fired, quit or if it was a mutually agreed upon departure.
Calderon was first hired as a fundraiser for the Williamson campaign in late April and then took on the top job in May after then-interim campaign manager Peter Daou stepped down along with deputy campaign manager Jason Call.
Calderon’s experience in such roles was limited. She ran for Congress in 2018 but lost. During that campaign, she was sentenced to probation after allegedly stealing money from a local Democratic Party group to spend on gas, movie downloads and BottleRock music festival tickets. She had also embellished her resume calling herself a director of development when she was in fact a contractor at the progressive nonprofit Our Revolution.
Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie dunked on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis this week over his bitter crusade against Walt Disney World as an example of the party wasting its time on "small" political issues.
Republicans, he said, should instead be "arguing about and being daring" on policies involving China, economic security, reducing the import of petroleum, and expanding charter schools.
"What we are wasting our time on is talking about, 'Is it OK for Disney to oppose a bill in Florida and should they be penalized for it? And does that prove you're really a tough guy or does it just prove that you're not conservative in terms of the way you think government should operate?" the former New Jersey governor told the "Ruthless" podcast in an interview that aired Monday, without using DeSantis' name.
Large majorities of U.S. adults across different racial, ethnic, and religious identities oppose religious-based discrimination against LGBTQ+ people, according to a new Williams Institute report.
Even majorities of Republicans oppose religious-based anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination, the report found. Its findings suggest that Republican-led attacks on LGBTQ+ civil rights — many of which are couched in religious terms — are actually opposed by most American adults.
Approximately 84% of survey respondents said they opposed religious-based denials of healthcare to LGBTQ+ people, 74% opposed religious-based anti-LGBTQ+ employment discrimination, and 71% opposed business employees denying services to LGBTQ+ people based on the employees or employer’s religious beliefs.
Over 80% of respondents in all non-white racial and ethnic groups opposed the use of religious beliefs to deny LGBTQ+ people business services, medical care, and employment. About 70% of white respondents felt the same. Female, younger, or college-educated respondents were also more likely to oppose religious-based anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination than respondents who are men, older in age, or non-college educated.
A consultative process among Catholics around the world has led the church to take steps to include women in decision-making positions, accept “radical inclusion” of the LGBTQ+ community and change the authority of bishops Are. ,
The Vatican on Tuesday released a summary of the consultation process, a project that has lasted two years and will form the basis of discussions for a synod between bishops and laity in October. The event, one of Pope Francis’ priorities, reflects his vision of a Church oriented more toward the flock and not so much toward the clergy.
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), the first female combat veteran elected to the U.S. Senate, is leading a bipartisan charge to amend military records of female veterans who deployed alongside Special Forces in Afghanistan and Iraq to ensure they accurately reflect their work as members of Cultural Support Teams (CST). These female veterans shared similar operational experiences as their male peers but have not been recognized for their combat service, denying them rank, benefits, and critical healthcare services.
“Make no mistake – women have been wearing our nation’s uniform and serving honorably in war zones long before our military removed the ban on women serving in combat,” said Senator Joni Ernst. “As the first female combat veteran to serve in the U.S. Senate, I’m proud to fight for the hundreds of women who played critical roles in Afghanistan and Iraq and ensure they receive the care and recognition they have always deserved.”
Before female servicemembers were able to formally serve in combat roles, CSTs were deployed to combat zones with Special Operations Forces (SOF) in order to engage with female populations, greatly expanding operational and intelligence capabilities.
This bipartisan effort would require the review of the military records of CST women veterans who served from 2010 to 2021 in support of Special Operations Forces. The bill is named the Jax Act after Jaclyn “Jax” Scott, who served on a Cultural Support Team and has been leading the fight to get female combat veterans the recognition and benefits they earned.
Senators Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) are leading the Jax Act alongside Senator Ernst.