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17-Year Old Gay Teen Commits Suicide — Father Blames Anti-Gay Bullying

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An openly-gay 17-year old boy committed suicide in Rochester, Minnesota on Sunday, and his father is blaming anti-gay bullying as “a big part” of the cause of his son’s death. Jay ‘Corey’ Jones, also known as Corey Jay Jonestrader on his Facebook page, was a student at Century High School, and was bullied for years his father, JayBocka Strader, says.

“He said all of his life they always picked on him. He’d still try to keep his head up at school, but then he’d come home and be really sad about it,” Strader says, in a report at the Post Bulletin:

Jones, a member of Century’s gay-straight alliance, had an image on his Facebook page that said, “Gay & Proud.” He was open about his sexuality and occasionally wore tight, colorful tank tops and short-shorts to school, Strader said.

“He just got really depressed about it because the guys weren’t accepting him,” Strader said.

Jones jumped from a pedestrian bridge near Century High School on Sunday, according to police.

In response to an inquiry from the Post-Bulletin, schools Superintendent Michael Muñoz issued a statement acknowledging there are issues related to bullying in the district. He did not directly address Jones’ situation.

The district is in the planning stages of providing training and support for students, staff and families, Muñoz said, and will continue anti-bullying collaborations with Gov. Mark Dayton’s recently formed anti-bullying task force, Rochester police and others in the community.

“I want everyone to have on pink shirts and remember the Corey that tried to get the rights,” Strader said. Pink was one of Jones’ favorite colors, his dad said.

“When I saw him in pink, I really liked him in pink, and he was really happy,” Strader said. “I just told him that pink looked good on him.”

A report on Minnesota Public Radio yesterday added:

Last year, Jones told his dad, Jay Strader, he was gay. Strader immediately noticed a change.

“I just saw a difference in him I saw a smile, I saw a little more energy than actually being down and out and depressed-looking,” Strader said. “To me he felt a sign of relief, like, ‘Yeah I got over the hard part, right,’ you know.”

But coming out exposed Jones to other pressures, Strader said, primarily from bullies at school. Jones moved to Minnesota from Chicago two years ago. He lived in Minneapolis for a year before moving down to Rochester.

Strader said his son was comfortable with his sexual orientation. But the teasing Jones encountered at school turned into a constant struggle for him and he was diagnosed with depression.

“I wanted him to let me know what was going on with him. I didn’t get a chance to get that,” Strader. “I didn’t get a chance to find out what was going on inside his head.”

Strader said his son’s death Sunday has not sunk in yet. It’s been an emotional week for his family and him, as well as for many high school students in southeastern Minnesota.

Minnesota is currently the stage for a contentious battle for an anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

The funeral for Jay ‘Corey’ Jones will be held in Chicago on Saturday.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends.

Image: Facebook

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‘Segregated?’: Republican Ridiculed for Call to Return to ‘Where America Was in the 1960s’

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A Republican U.S. Congressman is being criticized for his remarks calling for a return to the 1960’s, a direct attack on federal government social safety programs like welfare and food stamps.

Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI), who has spent a decade in the House often fighting against those programs, lamented that “every year of course, I am lobbied by people who want the government … to take up an even greater role in their children’s life, be it daycare, be it preschool, be it after school programs, whatever. They clearly want the children raised by the government. So I hope the press corps picks up on this, and I hope Republican and Democratic leadership put together some sort of plan for January in which we work our way back to where America was in the 1960s.”

RELATED: Republican Complaining It’s ‘Almost Impossible’ for Straight ‘White Guys’ to Get Appointed by Biden Has History of Bigotry

“We now have the TANF program which gives cash benefits to people,” Grothman continued. “Indeed there are over 70 government programs in which your benefits are based on percent of poverty, which is to say, you get benefits if either you if you are not working hard or and if you are not married to a spouse who is working hard because as soon as you have one person who’s working kind of hard, they’re going to make enough money. They’re not eligible for all these programs. So, when you consider the powerful forces who wanted to get rid of the family, perhaps this is not a coincidence.”

This is not the first time Rep. Grothman has attacked critical social safety net programs.

Last month, in an interview littered with racist, misogynistic, and xenophobic remarks, claiming progressives, social justice movements, and the government for decades have wanted to destroy the family unit, he blamed the federal government for “bribing” low-income women with welfare to prevent them from marrying.

The 1960’s were plagued by racial segregation, discrimination, inequality, police brutality, the Vietnam War, anti-war protests, resistance to the draft, pollution, civil unrest, and political assassinations.

READ MORE: ‘Betrayal’: Trump Hosts ‘Russian Puppet’ Viktor Orbán as Biden Hosts NATO Leaders

Critics slammed Grothman Thursday. One, national security attorney Brad Moss, responding to the Republican’s desire to return to the 1960s, asking: “Segregated? Watching presidents and major political figures be assassinated?”

Others mentioned Project 2025, suggesting it is the vehicle Republicans plan on using to reach Grothman’s desired goal.

Watch the clips below or at this link.

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‘Betrayal’: Trump Hosts ‘Russian Puppet’ Viktor Orbán as Biden Hosts NATO Leaders

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President Joe Biden this week has been hosting the leaders of the 32 nations that form the 75-year old alliance known as NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and at 6:30 PM ET the leader of the free world will hold an unscripted, “high stakes” press conference with reporters to detail their progress (video below). Also Thursday evening, ex-president Donald Trump, the convicted felon who remains out on bail and is still facing 54 criminal counts, will reportedly host the authoritarian Christian nationalist prime minister of Hungary, Viktor Orbán, at Mar-a-Lago.

President Biden’s remarks will be televised nationwide. Donald Trump’s meeting will not.

Trump’s meeting with Orbán comes just one week after the far-right autocrat, branded a “neo-fascist dictator” back in 2014 by the late Republican U.S. Senator John McCain, met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, and just days after Orbán met with China’s President Xi Jinping, reportedly on a “peace mission” for the Russian war against Ukraine.

Thursday will be Trump’s second meeting this year with Orbán.

Critics have been sound alarms.

“Fresh from visiting Xi in China and Putin in Moscow, Viktor Orban will apparently complete his pilgrimage by showing up at Mar-a-Lago today,” observed The Bulwark’s Bill Kristol.

“Trump meeting Orban opposite NATO Summit immediately following Orban mtg w Putin and Xi is the sort of betrayal of the US that would’ve led to Congressional investigations or worse in the past,” observed noted foreign policy, national security, and political affairs analyst and author David Rothkopf.

Russian propagandists have been claiming Orban is acting as an intermediary, delivering messages from Putin to Trump and vice versa,” wrote Daily Beast columnist Julia Davis, creator of the Russian Media Monitor.

“U.S. Ambassador to Hungary David Pressman lashed out at Orbán recently, saying that no other U.S. ally has so ‘overtly and tirelessly’ campaigned for the Republican candidate,” Politico reports. “This week, Orbán praised Trump in an interview with Axel Springer media outlets, which owns POLITICO, as ‘the man of peace,’ and he predicted there is a ‘very, very high chance’ Biden will not win the U.S. election.”

READ MORE: ‘Dangerous’ and ‘Unfit’: NY Times Calls on Republicans to Reject Trump Ahead of Convention

Russia, Ukraine, and Eastern Europe expert Olga Lautman, a non-resident senior fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) also issued a warning:

“As NATO holds its summit Russian media reports that Russian puppet Orban may share info he collected from Russia & China of terrorist Russia’s nonstarter plan for Ukraine w Trump. Pay attention to Orban’s moves while he is in U.S. especially with Heritage Foundation and Trump’s people.”

The Heritage Foundation is the major entity behind the multi-million dollar Project 2025.

Lautman also pointed to a March post she wrote: “Newly emerged evidence shows how Hungary and Russia worked together during the 2020 Slovak elections to help the Slovak government stay in power, Orban acted as a middleman. Take note America,” she warned.

Also issuing warnings is former CIA analyst Gail Helt.

Responding to another Politico report that “Donald Trump is considering a reduction in intelligence sharing with members of NATO, which depends on the U.S. for the type of information that has helped Ukraine fend off Russia,” Helt wrote: “Oh dear God.”

READ MORE: ‘Dead Heat’: Biden Ahead or Tied With Trump in Two New Post-Debate Polls

“I walk my students through some ‘what if’ exercises in my intro to Intel analysis class,” she wrote Wednesday night, “this will make a great case study: what if an American president wanted to ally with Russia without the American people knowing? What would that look like? What would we see? What could he do?”

“This,” she continued. “He could do this. Curtailing Intel sharing with NATO hands the continent to Russia. He’s not trying to make America great. He’s will make Russia great and erode US standing in the world. We have to ask why. Don’t let him do it.”

You can watch Biden’s 6:30 PM ET press conference live below or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘No Change’: Biden Debate Performance Has Had ‘Almost No Impact’ on 2024 Race Report Finds

 

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‘Dangerous’ and ‘Unfit’: NY Times Calls on Republicans to Reject Trump Ahead of Convention

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In a massive 4300 word editorial The New York Times Editorial Board calls Donald Trump “dangerous” and “unfit to lead,” just days ahead of the Republican National Committee’s convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where the convicted ex-president is slated to officially become the GOP nominee for president.

“A once great political party now serves the interests of one man, a man as demonstrably unsuited for the office of president as any to run in the long history of the Republic, a man whose values, temperament, ideas and language are directly opposed to so much of what has made this country great,” the Editorial Board writes.

Editorial Board member Mara Gay told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Thursday (video below) that this extensive project had been in the works for “months,” and said it had nothing to do with the Editorial Board twice declaring President Joe Biden should exit the race after his debate performance two weeks ago.

“This election is not a policy disagreement,” Gay explained. “This is about two vastly different visions for America, one that is committed to multiracial democracy, and to pluralism, to human rights, to well-being and reproductive freedom and things that most Americans say consistently that they want and are committed to, and the other vision for America, which is about retribution, and about authoritarianism, and is hateful, racist, and extremely close-minded.”

READ MORE: ‘Dead Heat’: Biden Ahead or Tied With Trump in Two New Post-Debate Polls

“We don’t believe that that’s the direction that most Americans want to go in. And so we are really urging American voters to listen to Donald Trump’s words, and to take him seriously. And to understand that this second presidency could be even more dangerous than the last. Of course, we lost a million Americans to the COVID virus, and a lot of other horrific events took place under Donald Trump’s presidency. His calling folks at Charlottesville who were Nazis, ‘fine people.’ The list goes on. We make the case. I would urge people to read the editorial. This is this is a moment of alarm not just for people who are progressives or Democrats, but for anyone who still wants to see this country remain a democracy.”

The multi-media interactive editorial begins in all-caps:

“HE IS DANGEROUS IN WORD, DEED AND ACTION”
“HE PUTS SELF OVER COUNTRY”
“HE LOATHES THE LAWS WE LIVE BY”

“Mr. Trump has shown a character unworthy of the responsibilities of the presidency,” the editorial states. “He has demonstrated an utter lack of respect for the Constitution, the rule of law and the American people. Instead of a cogent vision for the country’s future, Mr. Trump is animated by a thirst for political power: to use the levers of government to advance his interests, satisfy his impulses and exact retribution against those who he thinks have wronged him.”

“He is, quite simply, unfit to lead.”

READ MORE: ‘No Change’: Biden Debate Performance Has Had ‘Almost No Impact’ on 2024 Race Report Finds

It also warns: “The Supreme Court, with its ruling on July 1 granting presidents ‘absolute immunity’ for official acts, has removed an obstacle to Mr. Trump’s worst impulses: the threat of legal consequences. What remains is his own sense of right and wrong. Our country’s future is too precious to rely on such a broken moral compass.”

The Editorial Board adds, “with his nomination by his party all but assured, Mr. Trump has become even more reckless in employing extreme and violent speech, such as his references to executing generals who raise questions about his actions. He has argued, before the Supreme Court, that he should have the right to assassinate a political rival and face no consequences.”

What the Editorial Board does not do is call for Donald Trump to exit the race, as it has done for President Biden, twice, over one debate performance.

Read the entire New York Times editorial here, and watch the video below or at this link:

READ MORE: Josh Hawley: ‘I’m Advocating Christian Nationalism’

 

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