Tag Archives: CBS news

Elizabeth Warren Has A Point We May Not Get Any Better Cabinet Picks

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

The true catch 22 democrats find themselves in balanced between principles and survival of the fights ahead. Her name conjures images of a staunch democrat fighting for average Americans sounding off about the debt crisis, …Read More

Why Black Hair Matters—Head Scarves, Turbans And Coverings Too

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

Everyone remembers the adage don’t judge a book by its cover, larger meaning don’t judge people simply on how they look; we know it was an idealistic, unattainable dream but we were always supposed to try, that trying making us better people… And in the era of Donald Trump, where his election seems to signal to his voters, his supporters, those non-confrontational individuals just going along to get along permission to hate, disparage, harass or attack people, fellow citizens, fellow human beings they don’t like it surfaces all the more important we refresh our memories about that old adage and its intrinsic value in our lives… Happenings in America representing a confusing duality when we’ve had a black president and first lady, both exuding class, grace, fortitude and no shortage of exemplary parenting under the withering scrutiny of the public eye only for there to be constant references to their race, repeated comparisons to gorillas, apes, negative references to exotic native rainforest women in grass skirts, political operatives are in hot water for telling her to go live in Africa with said apes, someone holding a job as important as teacher’s aide has to be fired for calling our just departed the Whitehouse first lady a gorilla. When Sikhs were just granted the ability to wear turbans in the military and NYC police forces have implemented similar policies regarding head scarves and turbans for Sikh and Muslim officers. But still the select few in ever dwindling numbers cling to immigrants, people wearing different types of dress, legal U.S. citizens, born U.S. citizens whose heritage is from elsewhere across the globe being a bad, dangerous other to be avoided, demand total assimilation and unique cultural annulation because we can? In 2017 blacks still don’t get a chance because even fewer portions of the population can’t leave their 1750, 1850’s and 1950’s mentalities behind?… Routine readers of my work know my repeated articles on education in multiple facets, none more so than on the patently ridiculous bans, restrictions and codes surrounding otherwise benign, everyday activities, clothing, jewelry, footwear hardly anyone would say anything about except it’s in a school, worn by a student. Know my personal mantra schools should adopt immediately to the betterment of educational institutions everywhere; are they wearing clothes, then they can come to class. Logical distain for backwards priorities filtering out into small towns, tightknit communities nationwide who seek to ban flip flops on tourists to important monuments, not as a safety concern but a class issue; how dare you show up here wearing those, kind of thing. Outlaw see-through clothing worn over not see through clothing rendering indecent exposure null and void; outlaw the wearing thong underwear, underwear implying it won‘t be seen. Quite literally foaming at the mouth they might see the top band of said underwear when a woman bends over to get things off low shelves at the store wearing low rise jeans, a little hard not to buy when you need new outerwear and that’s what’s in the store available. Pajamas worn in public, many times indistinguishable from yoga pants, exercise, workout gear, jogger wear, no more and a host of other personal preferences slated for the chopping block wholesome America wide; seeming to be the hallmarks of wasting time, paper and legislation often earning us lower and lower rankings on freedom scales evaluating westernized, emerging westernized nations…. Policies overly, purposefully targeting multiple ethnicities dress, accessory, hair stylings versus standard Caucasian trends. Notable the headline making Kentucky school drawing unwanted attention to itself even misspelling one, known for decades, predominately African American style, calling it corn rolls instead of corn rows. Further barring ‘afros,’ poof-ed hair longer than 2 inches, two toned hair and on, and on, and on; adding to the national debate on natural hair public figures, celebrities embracing it, not hiding, changing it, to fit 50 plus years of previous cultural norms. Another Chicago parent was incensed by a letter sent home with their child asking them not to put so much oil in their female child’s hair alleging it stunk wanting to prevent teasing from other students; anyone who has dealt with African American hair knows it must be regularly moisturized, usually using oil because that heritage has no oil in their scalp as Caucasian and other peoples’ do, the longer it is the more treatment it requires, coconut oil, their preferred method having no discernable smell, forget an obnoxious one. Her daughter being the only black child in class, with a probable white teacher, raises secondary issues regarding display of complete and utter cultural ignorance; come to find out there was no bullying of the child, conversations with administrators revealed the teacher is known as a complainer, foreign themselves, from Russia, resulting in unspecified discipline for her, again not firing, not review of her fit, alignment with the values of the learning center. Similar to the African American high schooler abruptly facing expulsion over her natural hair when she reported bullying because of it; the school’s principal, as opposed to addressing the bullying going on told the student to change her, suddenly concluded against policy, hair….How about a 9 year old suddenly told by her soccer coach to remove her hair beads citing safety, previously playing for years, same beads no mentioned problem; several parent commenters and child sports league players agreeing on the potential hazard posed. More than total unawareness it takes an hour to put in and take out said beads and braids accompanying them eliminating perception she could take 5, remove them, then play, the arbitrary nature of said enforcement undercutting any argument presented on player wellbeing. Reasoning they could smack fellow players in the face, put out an eye, injure the player themselves doing a head strike on the ball, if hit with a fast moving ball beads are essentially trapped between persons head and the ball creating an abrasion, possibly embedding beads(s) into skin; except tell me, readers, not when the last time that happened was because you instituted a rule about no hair jewelry, adornments, earrings, in professional soccer apparently these rules are standard, but when was the first time this happened necessitating ‘the rule’? And of course because it’s designated a rule it must be followed without question, though both American Youth Soccer Organization and FIFA had nothing on their websites until this incident… Employment, fitness for a job should be based on credentials, experience, aptitude, positive attitude, interview performance, overall appearance in terms of appropriate attire for position sought, not stereotypes about ethnic hair, not nagging a tech jockey to remove his lip/nose, ear ring(s) and goth metal t-shirts, black Tripp NYC shorts/jeans, negative about his tattoos when he isn’t regularly interacting with the public, does solid work behind the scenes in an industry regularly welcoming of less mainstream individuals. Why millennials especially insist on being judged for their work product not wardrobe, because no one should be told the rolled down waistband of nurse, dental student scrub pants is scandalous, next to be told by their employer while wearing the standard uniform, available scrub outfits to please dress in more adult, professional attire, then after complying told the colors you chose are too bright, forced into blacks and greys for a dental hygienist, assistant job. Millennials notorious for abandoning traditional jobs; above tech jockey treated like crap for his lip/nose, ear ring(s) and Goth metal t-shirts, black Tripp NYC shorts/jeans, tattoos began his own business to rousing, self-supporting success. Clothing debates that always end with the students winning either when they transfer out of the school bringing the issue, them, their parent enacts clever revenge wearing the objectionable outfit out among the public to positive compliments, no comment, when national attention alerts people nationwide to what localities, school officials are doing with their tax dollars, public pushback forces schools to drop/change policies, procedures, topics they never should have brought up in the first place…. .’ Lastly here the seriously dangerous implementations, ramifications of listed ordinances, rules; take Ervin Leon Edwards’ story, police called to a gas station to break up suspected domestic dispute, when they arrived whatever fight was already over, but because Louisiana passed a baggy pants ordinance banning the style he was taken into custody, later died in jail post being beaten. Adjacently Kevin Moore out of upstate New York who was savagely beaten by prison guards due to telling them he didn’t want to be housed in the jails mental health ward fearing being seen as a monster; one corrections officer was stealing his ripped out dreads to decorate his motorcycle. Moore subsequently hospitalized 17 days suffering 5 fractured ribs, a punctured lung, numinous facial fractures, multiple contusions to various body parts; cost of the officer’s ‘trophy.’ Why black hair is important, why head scarves, turbans and coverings are making the news, because no one should be arrested over their style of pants, injured anywhere because their hairstyle is an easy target, certainly not die for them… Interestingly enough we say we want African Americans to be and do better than gangs, becoming street thugs, public housing dwellers, ‘breading’ welfare recipients who keep popping out children for increased public assistance benefits, but consistently refuse to believe it when they achieve, live up to our best, not worst expectations. Most recent examples, a black OBGYN resident, Tamika Cross, who says a flight attendant requesting help from any doctors onboard to aide an ailing passenger told her when she stood up offering to respond, “Oh no, sweetie, put [your] hand down. We are looking for actual physicians or nurses or some type of medical personnel, we don’t have time to talk to you.”… Paralleling a black, again female, architect who had similar encounters at her bank double and triple checking her account information, grilling her about her work, googling her architecture firm to see if it was real, even calling her companies HR department to confirm her employment; ratcheting up the racial component is they first deposited her check, then after it cleared, they called her back in to answer questions, go through the verification process described. Funny, like rotten in the state of Denmark kind of funny we, society consistently say we want, particularly black people, to get off welfare, stop using food stamps, stop creating situations mandating the need for either, namely keep their legs closed, cease having children they can’t afford, prone to calling democrats the party of give me, give me, condoning irresponsible behavior only to discover the David Packman Moster.com job experiment story. Where an African American woman, Yolanda Spivey, had an uncomfortable hunch about why she wasn’t getting any job offers despite 10 years experience in insurance, applying for 300 open jobs, going back to college and finishing her degree causing her to compile results the alluded to during her employment site trial. For which she first changed her profile’s race to decline to identify (the sites only opt out option) nothing; next she created a mirror profile changing her name to the less distinctive Bianca White, changed her profile ethnicity to white, transferred the phone number to her cell versus home, input identical application materials as herself and offers poured in. Incongruent realities on social issues staring us in the face be it the skinny person versus the fat person and who offers help, the black person versus the white in a whole host of scenarios, male versus female, Mr. Packman’s co-host wondering what would happen if she changed her gender to male, if her job offers would multiply yet again; still we, society in general, continue mistaken beliefs blacks are fundamentally less qualified, wholly dependent on affirmative action to achieve and overly rewarded for markedly less success. Problem this isn’t new… . Many have daughters across America and what little girl, budding teen doesn’t love to dance; picture this, your child eats, sleeps breaths dance, she has 2 very competent dance instructors in the type of dance she loves and excels, who happen to be African American. Best place got her to learn more is out of town, out of state requiring a plane ride; well she’s kept up her grades, earned your trust, you feel confident they can take her to the dance tutorial no problem. World being what it is, you take the pains to draft a legal document stating unambiguously for the purpose of said trip they are her legal guardians; only to be stopped, adults handcuffed at the airport, because someone though it strange 2 black men were traveling with a teen white girl. Put aside alternative, same sex families where it might be 2 mommies or 2 daddies, adoptive families, people traveling with extended relatives, biracial families, relatives, even ignoring momentarily they had the legal document explaining what was going on, if the adults had been white and the teen black, Hispanic, middle eastern no one would have said anything, forget handcuffed them…. But we relentlessly blame black people when they can’t get jobs independent countless stories like those above, a lawsuit filed late 2016 alleging MVP, one of the largest job placement organizations nationwide, passed over black applicants in favor of Hispanics because most were undocumented, less likely to complain about working hours, wages or conditions. Agency countering they were just focused on meeting employer demands or anticipated demands; sadly there is too much truth to that statement. We double down scrutiny on black people’s lives, choices, accomplishments measured in money earned, street address, net worth, notable lack of it when attempting to get off welfare, better oneself, totally support oneself is treated the same way as a person getting out of jail/prison, on parole requiring a patient, forgiving, second chance minded employer; while we would applaud and offer a hand up to the white person in the form of an increased chance of getting a job. We talk an awful lot in this country about blacks and work, usually how hard we think they don’t work; not talked about is the harassment, fear, berating, assault they can face once getting a job, holding a job with any authority oversight. Case in point, woman hired to supervise hurricane Isaac rebuilding in Louisiana yelled at and threated by what appears to be a construction worker, perhaps a business owner, who when he saw she was filming the altercation on her phone became physically aggressive charging the petite, African American woman, spitting in her face….Why black hair is worth normalizing, head scarves, turbans, coverings should be treated as no big deal, because even in Donald Trump’s America where it is now run of the mill to repeatedly shout n*gger at black persons in broad daylight with no shame, people think their support for Trump means they can resort to racial slurs against blacks simultaneously complaining about their coffee taking too long during a rush, can claim white discrimination after losing it in a craft store while bystanders dared film the crazy. When popular millennial created, millennial used services like Uber, Lyft and Airbnb succumb to the same continuing cycles of harassing women and denying patronage to minorities, African Americans, attracted to our exotic beauty or lusting after captive audience young, supple students and all specific drivers can do is hope to get, actively try to get in their pants, into their bed. Contrary to popular belief every black person you meet, walking the streets is not a thug, a drug addict, a gangbanger, a welfare recipient, a hood rat, an irresponsible woman popping out kids for benefits, a baby daddy unwilling to support his offspring; every minority isn’t looking to take, be handed something rather than give back…. It seems all we’ve heard during the campaign, the election cycle, even after is about solid, good, American staple manufacturing jobs going to either Mexico or China; rarely noticed by flocks of Trump voters cheering on election night, clapping, crying inauguration day is the invaluable service both legal and illegal immigrants provide to America. They, decade after decade, do the jobs Americans, decade after decade, by the same token, are unwilling or unable to do; they pick the vegetables and fruits lining our supermarkets, gracing our dinner tables due to expertise, willingness to work for wages cash strapped farmers can afford to get their crops picked, packaged and sold as opposed to rotting on the vine. Harsh truths learned post 2008 and state by state immigration crackdowns; Trump proposed immigration management only going to intensify difficulties exponentially, already struggling famers losing crop they can’t sell due to spoilage, out of pocket costs to bus legal workers to fields too afraid to drive themselves, consequences seen in very recent years past. Worse these vegetable/fruit picking migrants are willing to come here, do backbreaking work, get paid a pittance and go home, singularly returning when the picking season is back on; they don’t want to live here, consume resources here, buy bare necessities while here. Regularly use milk, yogurt, cheese thank an immigrant for keeping Wisconsin and other dairy farms nationwide running; immigrants the only ones willing to muck stalls, put milking machines on cows, short and sweet be surrounded by cow dung all day…. But immigrants, legal, illegal who do stay, generate lives here remain responsible for billions of dollars flow through the U.S. economy, immigration policies not immigrants themselves costing Americans money; so called papers please immigration laws also serve to frighten legal workers from their jobs, purchase of goods, can cause a mass exodus seen in rulings like the Missouri Valley decision, parts of Arizona vacated leaving behind largely empty classrooms, abandoned apartment complexes, vacant jobs across all sectors of local economies. Consensus thinking good, more for us hardworking, small town whites, except that’s not how this works; school funding a prime instance of just the opposite, based on students in the classroom when immigration changes force mass move outs schools lose that funding. Suddenly vacant apartments, homes mean renters are equally suddenly out money, may file bankruptcy rendering those properties vacant, vulnerable to squatters and vandals, drug addicts driving down property values and inviting crime; bitter lesson of the great recession persons in Trump country never fully learned unwaveringly supportive of ridding America of its immigrant populations all, ignorant the inherent consequences. State policies barring illegal immigrants from getting a driving license not only prevents them from getting employed, putting back into local and national economies when they buy goods, services, rent apartments, their children attend school, it drives up the cost of car insurance almost $20, figure circa 2009 assuredly gone up in 8 years. Adjacently it drives away foreign investment spelling more jobs for individual states, pocket local communities; reason E- verify, the widely used system meant to determine if the persons applying for jobs are U.S. citizens, possess the proper work visas, permits, legal resident status, green cards naturalization papers. Problem, not only is E-verify every expensive driving down employment, it has curious results on the labor market specifically white working class persons concerned about immigrants snatching their jobs; “E-Verify lowers wages for unauthorized male Mexican immigrants, raises wages for US-born Hispanic men, increases the labor force participation rate of undocumented Mexican female immigrants, raises employment for Mexican-born naturalized citizens, and has essentially no effect on whites’ earnings.” Further research shows they, immigrant workers independent status, complement current employment environment, legal or illegal, not detract, negatively take from it. Forgotten or willfully ignored, dismissed by people wedded to their anti-immigrant narrative like a husband, wife or recurring bad habit, politicians rooted to their convictions and decidedly low on actual information about immigrants; beyond our history as a nation of immigrants famous immigrants that made incalculable contributions to America’s standing as a global leader over the past 2 centuries of its existence, not all immigrants are Mexican, Latino, Hispanic, Latin American, not all immigrants are illegal, not all immigrants are low skilled. Think the co-founder of google Sergey Brin, who is described as a soviet born American, Elon Musk business magnate, engineer, inventor is a South African Canadian America, WhatsApp creator Jan Koum is Ukrainian-American, John Catsimatidis is a Greek-American billionaire owner of the largest grocery chain in Manhattan. People who haven’t just successfully assimilated into our culture, gotten a job, paid their taxes, obeyed the law, been the stereotypical expectation of a ‘model immigrant’ but who have created countless thousands of jobs, made other businesses possible, more productive, profitable and functional…. . Why the sound of your name, notions it conjures in readers, employers/landlords heads should be outweighed by credentials, because no one should be obstructed from employment on their speculated origins, skin color; José in the opening shouldn’t have had to drop a letter to get the job, there was no indication he was an immigrant, illegal. Hispanic populations growing exponentially from legal immigrants having families, born U.S. citizens producing offspring; never mind if there wasn’t a white American to fill the job he applied for, José had to lose his heritage to participate in the American dream, sad reality of Trump’s emerging new America…. American fears for refugee welcoming cities fueled by fake Syrian passports used in terror plots across Europe engendering speculation the same could happen here indicates Europe has a problem not necessarily us. No one stopping to compare notes on vetting processes used there versus here; political skewing, conservative news to say nothing of president Trump’s hastily thrown together Muslim ban, promises to overhaul vetting procedures, ban indefinitely refugees from Syria like little Halla (videos 2&3) giving off the mistaken impression the vetting process for people from these countries, where terrorists might try to slip though is lax, haphazard, totally untrue. Fear, once described by a prominent Christian pastor as false evidence appearing real, ignoring many of the displaced are children, children who’ve already been injured in war, seen friends, relatives die, not old enough to pronounce the word terrorist never mind embody it. Refugees represented by Halla, her sister and this group of older boys and their parents more than the Bowling Green insurgents who slipped through, the nonexistent ‘Bowling Green massacre’ Kelllyanne Conway misspoke about; those persons stopped via sting operation and vetting process adjusted to prevent future entries like theirs. Refugees seeking residence, visas to enter, live in the United States are first screened by the U.N., surprisingly have identification documents for adults 97% of the time, next subjected to relentless, repetitive interviews, then checked against UN complied terror watch lists, nationally compiled watch lists, homeland security making final decisions at times pulling families off their plane; a vetting process that can last up to 2 years. Refuges once settled here who, if you examine closely the links below, didn’t, according to a Salon article, rape a 5 year old in Idaho, didn’t hold her at knifepoint, didn’t urinate on her, fathers of the mythical Syrian rapists didn’t congratulate them when learning of what they’d done. In fact this properly identified right wing urban legend is based on people who literally don’t exist because the few Syrians living in the area did not come here through president Obama’s demonized refugee program, and instead is on par with related right wing stories, causes: transgender bathroom bills, vulnerable little girls in public bathrooms, fitting rooms, recreation center locker rooms surrounded by men pretending to be women to hurt our kids, rape/harass actual women ring a bell?… ban implemented so poorly it held students back from continuing their educations, had one sports star tweeting to his son he couldn’t come home and why, held a mother, legal resident, green card holder at the airport post visiting her other teenage child in Egypt, a doctor holding a job here, working in an American hospital holding a license to practice some form of medicine also detained. Another family caught in Trump’s travel ban confusion Syrians holding green cards, valid visas waiting for 6 relatives to come who had been in the immigration process 13 years, 13 years; Christians Trump prioritizes over Muslims in instituting the ban also turned away. Yet out of hundreds of thousands of immigrants, refugees, people seeking life away from war-torn homelands marked by regime change, ousting of dictators, who have come to American searching for stability a measly 1% have been tied to commit terror acts on U.S. soil; rather innocents continue to be the victims of crime far more than perpetrators of it….Who remembers the Muslim woman a deranged man tried to set on fire, fortunately he only used a lighter, no accelerant and succeeded in damaging her clothing not her skin; sounds an awful lot like the Trump supporter kicking a traditionally dressed Muslim woman in JFK airport shouting “president Trump will get rid of all of you.” Immigrants, an Uber driver, targeted by individuals who they have no idea how long they’ve been here, could have been in the country years, subjected to a profanity laced tirade as he drove his ride service vehicle, just for being Arab. Another white woman knocking over a baby stroller, containing among them a 15 month old toddler, of Muslim women; shooting of the New York Imam in the same category. Never mind that Imam (Islamic religious leader akin to Christian pastors or priests) shot and killed in New York City is dead for no other reason than he was an Imam, was Muslim, practiced Islam. Though he was not a radical, that mosque visited by practicing Muslims from Pakistan, Bangladesh, the former producing 1 terrorist the latter none; never once people, countries largely associated with terror. Crime against select minorities that spills over from ‘Muslim terrorists’ to other immigrant nationalities, ethnicities, religions having settled here doing nothing but living peaceful lives, holding jobs, raising families; easy targets because of their distinctive headwear, out of place here, traditional clothing… Hatred, violence, harassment, sadly far from reaching some born and bred American persons too; like the lupus patient who wears a scarf to keep the sun from her head, sunlight damaging to lupus suffers, mistaken for Muslim finding her car broken into while on a nature hike complete with nasty not stating in part the following: “Hijab wearing bitch this is our nation now get the f— out.” The Somali-American elected official who ran for office, won her election only to be called ISIS by her cabbie returning from a trip to the Whitehouse where he also threated to rip off her head covering; both instances highlighting profound prevailing ignorance since the scarves in question look like what numerous African Americans wear in every corner of the country easy, simple hair management, likewise seen throughout Africa to keep hair clean, keep sweat out of eyes, off your face, even removed from your head to carry items, what an older white lady might wear on a cold day, wear to church, not strictly associated with Muslims. American born Muslim persons who’ve rightfully earned positions of authority, chosen to be police officers, to protect and serve, attempting to show the positive side of Islam, that Muslims can be and are good people, harassed by a man for their headscarf…. Contrast this to actions taken to include Muslims, Sikhs and others, each allowed to wear their respective head coverings on New York City’s police force, Sikhs in the U.S. military, military colleges considering the hijab in applicants who want to come to their institutions; when a mother was suddenly shown hate in her neighborhood for being ‘obviously Muslim’, despite residing in the city 17 years, her community responded with love, children in one area put up posters, signs welcoming refugees. People across the country and the world donated to a go fund me page dedicated to rebuilding a Texas mosque vandalized by arson, including a Midwestern couple on vacation who hand delivered their donation personally, local entities pulling together to restore what was lost. An American boy reaching out to a little Syrian boy capturing the world and president Obama’s attention when he pleaded with him to let the little boy come live with him. Count the thousands who showed up at every major airport in the country changing let them go, holding signs saying refugees are welcome here, sentiments expressed long before president Trump’s actions; months before the ban, shortly after Trump’s election a Texas man stood outside of a mosque holding a sign not in protest, not it hate, fear or bigotry but expressing solidarity, telling Muslims you belong. Shattering every stereotype he is an older white man, gray beard, requisite cowboy hat, bringing us finally to something else, the Christians Trump says he’s prioritizing, doing this for, the values he claims he’s upholding in addition to our safety; they tellingly don’t like it, find it goes against their faith, the love they are meant to show to their fellow man, their fellow citizen, more than one harkening back to history, the Nazis what happened to Jews in the 1930’s—hmm….

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The Problem With “Female Bodies and Alcohol”: Stop Framing Campus Sexual Assault As A Drinking Issue—Agree To Disagree A Critique

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

We will do anything but teach alcohol education, consent education, legal definitions of rape… Also addressing changing public attitudes on key social issues like criminal responsibility while under the influence of substances, ‘I was high’ uttered by defendants or victims in court meant to explain why the gas station clerk was heinously shot during the commission of a robbery you admit to participating in, doesn’t cut it anymore. ‘I was high’ is no longer an excuse to why you can’t account for your whereabouts on the night in question for a crime to which you have pled not guilty, no longer explains away the vicious beating of your girlfriend. Bad trips, laymen’s terms for bad illegal drug reactions, have ceased to be an acceptable reason eliciting leniency from judges, jurors for extreme vandalism or otherwise seen as random attacks of persons on the streets, stopped being a blanket understood concept of ‘how can you expect me to be responsible for what I did,’ years ago. ‘I was drunk,’ long abandoned as a believable defense when causing death or injury to people with your car, motorcycle or boat, any kind of motor vehicle. And following historical lines in the modern era is fast becoming less of an excuse why it is ok to be judgmentally impaired enough to think raping someone is ok, then actually doing it. But equally for victims, it is unacceptable they can’t remember significant events surrounding the incident due to, not the drugs in their system, not the thing someone slipped into their drink, rather their alcohol consumption, again not liquor they were plied with by a predator, even coerced into drinking via peer pressure, ever popular drinking games everywhere you turn in college, instead willing alcohol ingestion, type of liquor (usually hard liquor) they indulged in. Nor is it wrong, seeing what’s clearly going on, to put out pamphlets talking about alcohol, even one titled ‘Female Bodies and Alcohol’ bullet pointing facts that weighing less, having less muscle mass than men and a different hormonal makeup, more hormonal fluctuations than men you metabolize alcohol differently may, and probably will, feel it’s effects sooner and more acutely, therefore need to drink accordingly. Neither is it overly condescending to begin a guide “We like to think men and women are equal in all things, right,” because they’ve been brought up all their lives to believe this, which socially is true and a message very much needed; however, that doesn’t apply to science, physiology, the basis for their information. Men and women are not equal when their bodies process alcohol…Gaging then campus response, appropriateness of that response is to likewise remember, even post Todd ‘legitimate rape’ Akin, how many high profile sex assault allegations, on campus rapes have been proven false, utterly made up. Going all the way back to the Duke lacrosse case to present day stories like Jackie’s, subject of the since retracted Rolling Stone article…And when it comes to athletes, high school, college and beyond they are natural targets due to their social status, wealth; Duke’s accused played lacrosse, Brock Turner was what, a swimming star, Steubenville assailants later convicted played what, football, the Massachusetts case receiving similar sentencing and attention involved a high school basketball star mirroring Derrick Rose, following in the dubious footsteps of Kobe Bryant off the court and found not liable in is on sex scandal case plays what, basketball. Now this could just as much be about athletes who think, because they are brilliant with a ball, gifted in a sport they are god and have narrowed their perception to seeing women as objects, or it could be some women are looking to be with an athlete, mad about rejection, seeking money. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle differentiated on a case by case basis. Prime example, convoluted story of Brian Banks, charged, tired and convicted as a promising 16 year old up and coming football star, sounds an awful lot like Steubenville doesn’t it; eventually cleared after 10 years, 5 in prison, 5 on parole, contact with the Innocence Project and an accuser recant, finally getting his dream football chance. Welcome to what victims, authorities and the, trying to discern it all, public are up against…. There are a thousand and one things wrong with how universities in general, Stanford specifically, handle sexual assault, handle under age, binge drinking, any issues cropping up involving mass student safety, learning and enrichment; this guide wasn’t one of them. Discouraging fellow members of the swim team, counterpart members of the women’s swim team from writing their own victim impact statements to the judge describing their own strange, creepy, uncomfortable encounters with Brock Turner, possibly speaking to sexually predatory behavior, evidence society may need to watch him long after this incident, proof he perhaps belongs on the sex offender registry rockets to the top of the list… UVA’s ‘don’t go to frat parities’ mandate stands out as the most condescending and offensive to women. Or officials blaming the campus newspaper for their decreased reporting in sexual assaults post their publishing stories of an associate professor’s sexual harassment and assault of students; University of Kentucky staff at The Kernel (the publications name) put forth it’s the exact opposite, more people are coming to Kernel staff because they distrust the university, awareness and reassurance it’s not their fault, they can speak up and receive support, justice helps too… But backing up a step, where are the fundamentals of personal safety, party safety, bar safety, concert safety we’ve tried to drill into our citizenry, focused on this age group, people who regularly frequent above venues? Let’s too dismiss the notion general party, personal safety rules, regardless of the guide’s wording, what it covered, is sexist; watching your drink, monitoring it being poured, not leaving it alone, applies to anyone looking at the increasing numbers of homosexual, bisexual, transgender, non-traditional encounters, situations showing that as the increasing norm… . To that end what were you doing, in the case of Brock Turner’s victim, unconscious behind a dumpster; not because you had been hit over the head, physically assaulted, robbed, not because you had something dropped into your drink, suddenly had a medical episode, heart attack, seizure, asthma attack, succumbed to meningitis you thought was the flu, are homeless and want a place un-harassed by the mean public to sleep, but because you had had too much to drink, have/had no awareness of alcohol’s effect on your unique body?… Massachusetts high school basketball player convicted of raping 2 girls and receiving only probation depicted 2 girls having gone to a bedroom to lie down, reading in between the lines, to sleep it off, and being penetrated with his finger as they slept. He denied touching one girl at all, apologized to the other as well as telling the court when she didn’t protest, he thought it was ok; victim precipitating his light sentence via her impact statement saying he didn’t want to ruin his life, didn’t think jail time was necessary, hints the light sentence everyone is blaming everything from bad judges, to ‘rape culture’ to ‘white privilege’ for. Except, rewind what were you doing sleeping in some strange house, post a house party, crawling off to a room surrounded by people you barely know, don’t know at all, drunk people you barely know, don’t know at all, likely without telling a soul where you were going to sleep thinking you would be safe?…Bringing us to St. Paul’s prep school and Owen Labrie, less about alcohol and more about non-existent safety instincts…You met a boy you were chatting online with, who went to your school true, on the roof of your school; online to real life meet up’s 101 meet in a public place, then later go on a date alone once you are around person X, sense if he is a threat or not, if he is who he says he is unlike the BYU student who met with and was then raped by a guy who lied about everything—age, marital status. Agreeing with the Salon link below, it has to be about women trusting their gut, young women developing that gut, those sets of protective instincts… lone felony related to using a computer to lure a minor, divulging the path to his lighter sentence. Vanderbilt’s headline making rape case, unquestioning these young men were despicable, especially confronted by accusations an ex-boyfriend orchestrated the whole thing, the 2 photo takers didn’t step up and ask what are you doing, hey stop this, sentence more fitting for the last one to be convicted, seeing the singular reason we know about this is surveillance footage. Yet we come around again to the redundant question of what were you doing so drunk you passed out to the point they could carry you around, drag you back to his room and not once did you wake up; remembering there are accusations the former boyfriend orchestrated and manipulated things, part of that manipulation however wasn’t drugging her drink…. common denominator alcohol, way past too much of it combined beside terrible instincts; underscoring the crystal clear, none of these excuse rape, should never excuse rape, but going back to dissecting the base article, certainly explains why there is such a guide, why Stanford is trying to limit alcohol and focusing on alcohol at all. It bolsters it was written exactly as it should have been, sexist, condescending or not, judging by behavior exhibited here…. It’s blatantly obvious we will do anything but talk to our kids about culturally relevant developments regarding drinking, particularly binge drinking, dangers of alcohol poisoning, party culture, sex, consent, even what constitutes a healthy relationship then we want to come down with the fury of god’s own thunder on young people, young boys/men repeatedly for things they didn’t do or say proliferated by social media in addition to legal charges they face…. First seeing widespread evidence of just that when the Steubenville saga began; Michael Nodianos’ sickening ranting video about an incident he wasn’t part of was attributed to both him as well as Ma’lik Richmond and Trent Mays, though they never said any such things. Likewise every mean tweet calling her a wh*re, death threats for daring to charge her attackers that came from others landed on their shoulders….amplified when Ma’lik Richmond got out and his lawyer said patently offensive things upon his release from juvenile detention talking about how hard things had been for him…Forgotten, that’s his lawyer and part of his lawyer’s job in a high profile case like his is to present his client in the best light while he Ma’lik Richmond kept his head down and his mouth closed, no hint of criminal activity ever again years later. Identically Bock Turner’s father makes a comment about his son’s sentence, sex offender status, lifetime ban from swimming exc. being a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action and all the sudden we see the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, exactly where he got his views on women and sex, but he’s held accountable for his father’s words, he doesn’t control, the judge’s sentence he didn’t have anything to do with other than writing a statement, something every defendant in his position has the opportunity to do; no he’s not. He is solely responsible for what he did and the impact it had on his victim, society, more than enough to contend with… Because it’s not as if we’ve ever misconstrued a situation, more information through greater investigation trumped admittedly preliminary speculations on crime X committed by teen Y featured on the nightly news; wait that’s every modern case for 2 plus decades if it involves the latest heinous, depraved thing done by children/teens, drunk/high college students… On the other side a court just found Rolling Stone liable for the defamation of UVA’s college dean in reference to their story later retracted story “A Rape on Campus” and what happened to Jackie…. We will do anything but teach whether that’s sex education that includes conversations about healthy relationships, consent, too many conservatives afraid what students will actually learn about their own bodies… In direct opposition to alcohol education and how what you drink, what type/kind of liquor you consume affects your impairment level, we would prefer to stick to don’t drink your underage, don’t drink and drive you’ll die, because it’s simpler for us, doesn’t cover nuance or conflicting messages; never thinking to teach responsible drinking in preparation for when they are legally able to drink. In light of legalization in an increasing number of states marijuana education a-la what Colorado is doing, broadening it to a comprehensive explanation of the differences between all illicit drugs, their addictiveness, their danger to your body, impact of prescription drug abuse, instead of treating all illicit drugs equally, as the same kind of off the charts horrible, when teens find out that’s not true discarding every other thing you said. Oh no, absolutely not, on the contrary one California mother and police officer didn’t want her state to legalize pot because it will be more prevalent and challenging for kids to say no, though the legal age for recreational use will be identical to alcohol 21, most states have decriminalized 1-2 joint amounts, “there will be more people driving DUI, losing their lives”… Stanford bans alcohol in X quantity for select younger students, no one ever putting together k-12 education stops at 18, college students will turn 21 before graduating, maybe we ought to educate them on the differences in types of alcohol, gender differences and alcohol. Floating so much as the idea people getting sick, falling down, slurring their words is not responsible drinking; responsible drinking… returning again to the base article critique the author talks angrily and incredulously about, “What is frustrating in these ongoing campaigns, however, is the tone is almost always focused on what women can do to not get raped instead of how men can conduct themselves to not rape people.” As if it’s the simplest thing in the world, as if no decent person should ever have to be told this and it’s a sad commentary on society we do, when it’s so much more nuanced than that; here being where feminists and women’s rights activists earn parts on their bad name… 99% of the time we aren’t dealing with future sexual predators, budding serial, habitual rapists as much as drastically uninformed, misinformed young people; even Brock Turner whose behavior points to that possibility, it’s hard to know if he would never have done those things with a father who said more than his measly sentence was a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action. Ma’lik Richmond told the ABC interviewer what he thought rape was, jumping out of an alley and attacking a girl, forcing yourself on her in that context, saying he didn’t do that, elaborating later he didn’t rape anyone, see a rape going on and if he had seen one he would have stopped it. David Becker the Massachusetts high school student found guilty of rape sincerely told the judge he thought his victim’s lack of protest meant it was ok; if we want men, young men specifically to stop raping people, not to be rapists we have to give them an accurate definition, picture of what that is in all it’s facets, something we have yet to do, never mind effectively… We don’t have a rape culture in America we have a consent ambiguous culture whereby rape remains a crime on the books that is dutifully enforced, cases prosecuted and rapists put in jail every day; our problem is narrow social definitions of rape that haven’t caught up to real life scenarios, federal definitions and recent court cases…We operate on the ignorance is no excuse understanding to ensure ‘I didn’t know that’ doesn’t become a legal defense for any number of obviously illegal actions, stealing, killing, physical assault, rape where the person is fighting you, screaming, no, begging you to stop. But is it time to reexamine that in the shadow of Zach Anderson, what really happened in Steubenville, details surrounding David Becker producing that impact statement and persecutors went ahead with the rape, not a lesser degree charge, anyway, when adults are as unaware as their teens and teaching them wrongly, when education systems don’t, won’t teach these issues from a legal perspective believing it’s a family thing, the province and purview of parents to teach these values according to their moral compass, religion?… Surely we can and should do better by both women and men.Read More

The Voter Fraud, ‘Election Rigging’ We Need To Be Worried About

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

To republicans and likeminded citizens, voter fraud is neatly summed up in illegal immigrants, namely Hispanic, Latino ‘Mexican’ illegal immigrants somehow casting ballots, liberal, progressive candidates who want voting rights for said illegal immigrants, completely ignorant to how many Mexican, Hispanic, Latino and similar heritage persons are here legally, possess their citizenship or were born her in the first place. Same liberal, progressive, social justice warrior, advocate types who want to restore voting rights to convicted felons; what’s next giving voting rights to actual inmates while incarcerated, oh the horror. Voting errors where rolls of dead people are casting ballots, non-residents of specific cities, counties or states are voting there, people are voting multiple times, coming in 10 times, assumption skewing the vote in one candidates favor… In reality nothing could be further from the truth, their stereotyped version of voter fraud is so minimal it has little or no impact on voting results at all and is patently racist to boot; however, voter fraud serves a dual purpose these days providing a convenient excuse for why, usually republican, tea party, conservative candidates, 3rd party outliers didn’t win. Donald Trump uses it all the time to energize his rally crowds and to provide cushion when he inevitably loses post alienating key voting blocks women , minorities and young people; the election was rigged, the system is corrupt, there is a conspiracy against me personally, larger policy, issue X launched by the nebulous opposition. Not say your candidate’s antics, ill-preparedness and utter unfitness for office, traits we saw long before Donald Trump, Gary Johnson and to a lesser extent Jill Stein; like the guy who made his dog chief of staff , Delaware candidate Christine O’Donnell who told Phil Donahue back in the day condoms wouldn’t prevent HIV/AID, recorded an MTV abstinence ad that compared masturbation to adultery and, running on a conservative platform, had to issue an ad assuring voters she’s not a witch after admitting to dabbling it witchcraft as teenage rebellion…Then let’s look at the ones who got in, those who achieved enough votes to hold political offices on a local, national level: Jan Brewer fighting for reelection when she had, not 1 but 2 ‘brain freeze’ moments at her crucial debate, who bungled opening statements both there and at a press conference a-la 2010, including totally awkward pauses when asked about supposed beheadings of Americans on U.S. soil by Mexican drug cartels, how she justified Arizona’s ‘papers please’ immigration law, and couldn’t identify one single case. Yet Hillary Clinton and her muumuus are concealing a ‘brain stem battery pack’ to control Parkinson’s tremors, if you say so…. Still, our biggest obstacle to republican won seats and a ‘return to traditional American values’ is vast voter fraud, leading to unfavorable outcomes like LGBT rights, keeping abortion intact so women don’t die if something goes wrong with their pregnancy, more insured Americans receiving healthcare, state by state legalization of marijuana to keep people from serving jail time for our biggest hysteria driven petty drug crime, one joint, single persons smoke-able amounts of a natural substance, federal funding for public schools producing the highest high school graduation rate to date; again oh the horror…. But there is actual voter fraud worthy of concern and its source, as stated above, is primarily republican politicians; by contrast their efforts to stop nearly non-existent voter fraud result perpetrating the biggest fraud against the people. The American people who have the majority’s will regularly subverted via strategically drawn lines, comprising voting districts whose main goal is winning over the competition; that’s called gerrymandering. Easily then answering the echoing question why, why these eyebrow raising candidates won their primaries, why we had to endure Ted Cruz reading Green Eggs and Ham during a government shutdown to impede the implementation of Obamacare is to understand they got there by gerrymandering, a practice well in full swing as the tea party came on scene in 2008; gerrymandering only ramped up since the last election. After their voter driven gut punch in 08’, giving us the first African American president much to their angered dismay even post their huge Palin debacle, their own shellacking in 2012, seeing their least favorite person reelected, they resorted to an anything to win mentality. Best illustrated through the Missouri case where ‘districts’ were so crazily and unfairly drawn one student comprised a district and they weren’t in favor of voting for the proposed business venture said districts were drawn to pass…. Voting restrictions, handed a big boon via the Supreme Court’s ruling removing huge sections of the voting rights act circa 2013, giving carte blanche to forcing people to provide a birth certificate or passport upon voting such as Alabama, demanding photo ID‘s when showing up to vote, limiting early voting, removing same day registration, states accepting gun permit ID’s, fishing licenses but not student ID’s from local universities and students who can’t fly home to cast ballots there. Rural citizens having to go several miles from home to register to vote in offices only open once or twice a month, closing polling places altogether, remaining places having to be told why polls must be kept open past 5:00 PM (people need the opportunity to vote after work) explain long lines seen in 2012, people in line well past closing just to cast their ballot, an elderly disabled woman in line 3 hours to vote. Voter ID laws that aren’t based on when you register to vote, provide proof of residence, usually a utility bill, local pay stub, your picture will be taken, you sign it, similar to a driver license, and that photo and signature are compared to your face, you signature when you sign in at your polling place; rather voter ID laws meant to ‘authenticate whose reporting to vote, prevent duplicate voting, felons, criminals, illegal persons from using some else’s name to vote’ end up disenfranchising older persons past driving age (most common form of ID) and many who are legitimately not be able to locate documents such as a birth certificate to obtain state ID’s, homeless people residing in city, county, state X but who can’t afford a state ID, can’t pay to receive a copy of their birth certificate from say another state, afford expensive transportation to appear in person as is routinely required…. Jim Crow era southerners born outside a hospital who never had a birth certificate, lived somewhere with public transit systems mitigating state ID necessity, working menial labor, who are American citizens, who do reside in area X and have every right to vote, just can’t prove it to the new ‘standards’ blatantly designed to exclude individuals like them… “He’d spent $200, visited two states, and made seven trips to different public institutions, but still couldn’t vote in Wisconsin;” here describes Eddie Lee Holloway Jr. who move to the badger state in 2008 voting without incident until their 2011 restrictive laws went into effect. Yet because of a clerical error on his original birth certificate even with his previous states’ expired license and social security card Milwaukee’s DMV would not issue him the ID; attempting to fix the error required a nearly $200 bus ticket, $400 to 600 he couldn’t afford to verify and reprint his birth certificate, and numerous phone calls, social security statements people couldn’t fax to the appropriate office, rendering him unable to vote in the April primary. Welcome to document hell after a federal appeals court kept the photo ID portion of Wisconsin’s restrictive voting law also demanding they simplify the process to getting said photo ID; obviously it didn’t work…Yet voter fraud is something miscreant citizens are trying to perpetuate on candidates and the law abiding portions of America…. We’ve now added to gerrymandering and voter suppression, in previously seen senses, voter intimidation under the guise of preserving the integrity of our election; hardly surprising when Trump rallies have been marked by fisticuff altercations, calls to beat people in the face, haul those with loud opposing viewpoints out on a stretcher and when 2 white, drunk brothers decided to beat up and urinate on a homeless Latino person, and our GOP candidate for president’s response was my people are passionate. Fast-forwarding to right now, Trump supporters and probable Trump voters, Daniel Parks and friend, are standing outside democratic offices holding fire arms saying they are protecting the election, but clearly making staff, visitors uncomfortable. One Trump supporter, Dan Bowman, vowing to ‘be a patriot’ if Hillary Clinton gets in, ‘doing what he has to do if she is elected,’ thinly veiled allusion to planning her assassination; an outgrowth of his repeated second amendment people rhetoric attacking the legitimacy of the presidency in a whole new way, a sinisterly perfect follow up to his pre-candidacy years dogging president Obama’s birth certificate….New Mexico republicans rather than having faith in their ideas, policy platforms, polished delivery to voters and how it will better their lives resorted to mailers ‘warning’ Albuquerque residents people would be made aware of their voting choices; threats encapsulated in ominous phrases you’d think were movie mafia grade if violence hadn’t been a central theme dominating 20l6 election politics: “your neighbors will know if you vote democrat or “your neighbors will know if democrats win.”…average citizens such as Steve Webb practically giddy describing how he plans to defend his polling place election day, methods: admitted racial profiling, creeping up behind “Mexicans, Syrians, people who can’t speak American,” swearing to do things legally, not do anything illegal, but “I’m going to make them a little bit nervous.” Guess no one told him voter intimidation, interfering with an election is illegal…threats a-la the bombs people want to send to the newly opened civil rights museum when they denied Donald Trump a photo-op. Done so upon encountering rude and disrespectful campaign staff who thought they could bully museum personnel on behalf of a candidate, who didn’t want a tour, just a photo as he breezed through town on a campaign stop then audaciously demanded it be close significant portions of the day during his desired photo-op….You shouldn’t receive death threats being a credible newspaper, publication deciding on a candidate to endorse representing any given election cycle, especially weighing the significance of general elections wherein is chosen a president, the next leader of America, determining our direction for 4 years. Nevertheless that’s the perceived comeuppance doled out to the Arizona Republic for endorsing Hillary Clinton, first democrat in it close to 2 centuries…. interestingly shrugged off, dismissed, downplayed by Trump growing potential threats to our democratic system via hacking, manipulations by foreign powers into our election choices, serious fears Russia may be hacking ballot terminals, is confirmed suspected of distributing documents to WikiLeaks including the Podesta e-mails, causing so much trouble for the Clinton campaign, breaching the DNC, the New York Times and other media outlets. Instead he was concurrently begging Russia to find Hillary Clinton’s 30,000 e-mails alluding to big rewards from U.S. press and using dubiously uncovered ‘documents’ for propel his campaign forward. Lavishing praise on Vladimir Putin, alternating between, we don’t know if there is any hacking and, assuming there is, we don’t know it’s the Russians, it could be a 400lb person sitting on their bed; said despite a double digit number of U.S. intelligence agencies saying concretely yes there is hacking and unanimously naming the Russians, said despite national intelligence briefings where we know he’s being to it is the Russians. Meanwhile substantiated hacks have been successful in cracking voter registration systems circa Illinois and the secretary of states’ office circa Arizona; prime suspect, you don’t need a crystal ball for this one, you guessed it the Russians… Adding to a climate of should be unease, hacks doled out to some of the most known entities in cyberspace shutting down Netflix, Twitter; a Russian traced hack on LinkedIn lead to an on camera arrest of a Russian citizen. Oh and let’s not forget Russia wanted to monitor/observe our elections and was promptly told no way, whatever’s Russian for get lost and don’t come back…. Lost in the clamor about what Mr. Podesta’s emails reveal regarding Clinton campaign tactics, inner workings, her speeches to Wall Street, Clinton Foundation intermingling with the state department, jobs given to former president Bill Clinton stemming from a supposed to be charity doing good work, and long held speculations on ‘crooked, criminal’ Hillary who belongs in jail are incidents of real criminal behavior presenting a real, not manufactured, threat to national security. Another Edward Snowden-esque situation where an NSA contractor walked out of his workplace with classified materials for NSA hacking code to be found on the ‘dark web’ a corner of the internet frequented by criminals; originally though weird-o not whistle blower now facing coming espionage charges. Retired general James Cartwright, who pleaded guilty to giving classified information to the media, 2 journalists at the New York Times and News Week respectively, then lied to investigating FBI agents about it; he says he was just trying to talk them out of publishing top secret information they already had, going to jail regardless….Instead we’re focusing on the contents of WikiLeaks released e-mails no standard news agency can verify, taking them as gospel playing right into a Russian propaganda campaign that starts giving credible facts and slowly slips in fictitious material towards their agenda…. , John Podesta hack-gate ‘Better than Podesta’s creamy risotto recipe! WikiLeaks dumps an email about Nicki Minaj’s butt;’ WikiLeaks is releasing cooking recipes and comments on Nikki Minaj’s behind, don’t leave out thoughts on Cecil the lion, and we’re supposed to take them seriously?… Now the FBI is reopening their investigation into Clinton’s e-mails and private server based on new e-mails uncovered in the unrelated investigation into disgraced congressman Anthony Weiner, who shared a laptop with wife Huma Abedin close Clinton aide…. When both sides, from libertarian Bill Weld to Karl Rove, republicans Chuck Grassley, Joe Walsh, Jim Jordan, John Cornyn, John Weaver, and a legion of democrats, Eric Holder, Harry Reid naming just two, down to Fox news host Jeanine Pirro are angry and clamoring for more information, saying they made a grievous error in judgement. When FBI director James Comey defied FBI and DOJ (department of justice) protocols with his ominous letter to congressional members Friday, defied his own boss, Loretta Lynch or no. Why, firstly they don’t usually comment on commencement of investigations, ongoing investigations or conclusions of investigations; immoveable guidelines prevent FBI personnel from disclosing derogatory information unless charges are filed; once charges are filed, only negative information directly listed and relevant to the charges is mentioned otherwise they don’t talk about it. Why, the FBI is given incredible access and power to look through our personal papers, find out intimate details about our lives, financial status exc., therefore the FBI should be a safe place to put classified, confidential information, leaks shouldn’t be happening and that expands to Paul Manafort and preliminary inquiries into him and Trump campaign person Carter Page both with suspected of Kremlin connections; they don’t belong tried in the court of public opinion, they belong tired in the designated court of law. ‘You don’t get to be a smearer at large with derogatory information,’ why the rule exists; former prosecutors, the attorney general and Whitehouse ethics lawyer under George W. Bush collectively gasping at violations of their most basic rules, telling news outlets Comey had zero obligation to congress precisely to keep politics out of it, not to go down the rabbit hole of what congress thinks appropriate. Ratcheting up stakes even higher credible interpretations he violated The Hatch Act preventing government employees from doing anything to help or hurt partisan political entities in a partisan election; most glaringly we are 7 days out from the election, as this goes to press, 11 when the story broke, FBI, DOJ normally refraining from making public investigations 30 days, preferably 60 days, before an election due to easily seen influencing opportunities. Millions already having cast ballots in early voting permitted states, millions more doing so daily as the election draws closer; a majority telling news media Hillary’s latest e-mail saga chapter didn’t/won’t affect their vote, but divides are on partisan lines and not applicable to everyone; some individuals wanted more information before voting would like to know what it’s about before solidifying their final choice….Read More

Hillary Clinton: The Gaffes That Weren’t There Part 2—Why The FBI Should Have Been Investigating State Department Work Culture, Policy Lapses Not Clinton Alone

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

; the republican spin machine utterly convinced the exposed records gap, former secretary of state Clinton’s, ‘hidden,’ ‘missing’ e-mail(s), were concealing critical information on their favorite pet obsession, Benghazi. Never mind it never materialized, after committee shake ups, embarrassing admissions this was actually an effort on the part of some to derail her presidential aspirations, whistleblowers denigrated as ‘damn liars,’ on national television, 11 hour testimony sessions that saw panel members responsible for said desired questioning bickering like children in a sand box while Clinton radiated calm; Tray Gowdy got one thing right in naming military failures, poor communication and poor security conditions on the ground weeks, months before those fatal, twin night attacks driving forces behind the death of 4 Americans in that volatile region of Libya. Still the cat was out of the bag so to speak, report not yet complete on one major congressional investigation, final price tag 7 million taxpayer dollars, they were vowing to begin another scrutinizing why and how Hillary Clinton had so successfully skirted government record keeping mandates, into what they were sure was her illegal private server. Assumptions made without having any foreknowledge of the state department’s polices, IT set up, probably having to eventually go through written laws detailing parameters on acceptable record keeping at that level; unable to adequately follow laws themselves threatening subpoenas they had no authority to issue in the process of their investigating Benghazi….Ink barely dry on one report, incidentally finding no wrongdoing by Clinton, fact lost in speculation of what wrongdoing they might have uncovered, amidst swirling hype generated by Hillary Clinton killed my friends t-shirts and the impassioned, misinformed speech of a mother whose son was lost in Benghazi. Already having touched off an internal review at state, a looming FBI investigation, congressional republicans soon unhappy with the FBI’s final conclusive finding of non-criminal recklessness striking just shy of gross negligence; they are demanding FBI documents and promising their own inquiry. While America has been titillated with regular e-mail releases, indicating personality quirks, favorite foods, TV shows, navigating her fax machine and titillated again with FBI releases of new e-mails, their investigation notes pulling away the curtain behind their findings, creating a trickledown, ‘dripping’ effect impacting her poll numbers, feeding perceptions of her ‘untrustworthiness’, accusations of criminality, questions of how can it not be prosecutable gross negligence? Based on FBI director James Comey’s unprecedented press conference, finger pointing calling the FBI either weak or in ‘crooked Hillary’s’ pocket, probably both; origins of further lock her up chants, shouted, usually at Trump rallies, Hillary for prison 2016 anti-campaign slogans. Beside salacious media reporting, who has never gotten this right, announcing DOJ (department of justice) investigations the actual department of justice never planned on initiating; even exonerated her from any maleficence in deleting deemed personal e-mails, had they been on the state department system or her own. Naming FBI just released e-mail contents some new revelation when it was instead merely continued release of information that resulted in their ultimate finding, turning it into horserace journalism about elections for the Whitehouse leaving off critical contexts, logical interpretations, countering politicians and known Clinton rivals who are fixated on her 30,0000 lost e-mails by reminding them there are no longer a mysterious 30,000 e-mails where could be found any number of criminal indicators; rather she turned over roughly 30,000 at various requests, FBI officials able to recover another roughly 30,000 from the hard drive they obtained off that infamous server. Absent, in either set of documents recovered, testimony given, their hoped for smoking gun either on Benghazi itself, evidence she knew she was ‘breaking the law,’ flouting procedure, going against standard policy. Worse they uncovered, aide questions and help desk confusion because Clinton’s e-mail lacked familiar .gov identifiers so people knew it was her, not spam; concerns failing to make it up supervisory chains of command. Conversations about keeping X topics secure, not to send her sensitive, classified materials at X time, explanations to follow; caution showing the opposite of a disregard for security. Continuing, despite accusations threats were made about questioning her e-mail set up, there has been no release of the threat maker’s name(s), anonymous John, Jane Doe equivalent pseudonyms denoting either threat makers or who those threats were supposedly made to within FBI internal documents released to both congress and the media. Or journalists would have reasonably used supplied anonymity markers FBI personnel chose in summarizing document contents during broadcast segments, as they have in similar case reporting…Often missed is why the FBI decided against a criminal indictment, legal precedent of there has to be clear intent to commit actions on par with treason, clear willfulness in giving classified materials to people unauthorized to have them, think David Petraeus giving materials to his mistress, aside, apart from people’s testimony they can’t produce, doesn’t seem to exist; they found a state department in complete electronic disarray for this being nearly 20 years into the 21st century. They found a lackadaisical work culture toward securing sensitive documents, subject threads that should have been some level of classified generated on a secure server, computer, began on un-secure state department computers, personal smartphones, blackberries or i-pads. They found a state department unaware people use those devices in a plethora of workplaces nationwide, used them at state to expediently communicate information between support staff and officials, official to official, unaware they needed secure, encrypted versions for staff and their top aides. And unaware of her non-government e-mail address use during her entire tenure as secretary of state; surely apprised of records gaps at the national archives, since a staffer from there spoke to varying news outlets, going all the way back to the 64th secretary of state, Clinton was the 67th. They found a history of government employees, former secretaries of state, ambassadors who used both personal and government e-mail, names included; they found the state department’s own categorized systemic weaknesses still present under a new secretary of state, independent 3 years having gone by and a should be evolution in policy to keep up with changing technology, to adapt to current, shifting situations namely continued hacks, hacking attempts on government systems; they found a state department equally as culpable in what Hillary Clinton did as Clinton herself…. Read More

Hillary Clinton: The Gaffes That Weren’t There—Her Basket Of Deplorables Remark Defined The Line Not Crossed It And Her Temporary Health Is None Of Our Business

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

People where so busy focusing on the purported ‘millions’ she called deplorable they forgot to check statistical math proving her 100% truthful; and, since when does being a public figure, running for office, even the highest office, mean candidates have to report to the world every time they get a cold, the flu or, gasp, pun intended, pneumonia?… Elaborating there is this basket of depolrables and to her point, Trump has lifted them up, given them a voice, placed them in the mainstream and made their views acceptable to the determent of America and the values it was founded on, values fought for through the generations. Also, coming on the heels of a bad week, including continued conversations about her e-mail and growing scrutiny around the Clinton Foundation, allegations of pay for play access; it’s seen as the last thing she needed. Her ultimately walking back the number quantifier, not its sentiment, saying she was grossly generalistic and that’s never a good thing, continuing; it was a mistake to put such a large number to it. Same could be said for her initial not feeling well at New York 9-11 memorial remembrance events and subsequent fainting spell, a horrible capstone to a bad week politically, not only that it served to confirm every right wing conspiracy theory about her failing health, age-ed condition making her unfit to hold our highest office as president. From Karl Rove’s brain damage speculation, rumors she suffers chronic diseases, MS to Parkinson’s, hither to unfounded by more than a persistent cough she attributed to seasonal allergies. A ‘doctor’ who believes she’s being systematically poisoned, doubtlessly by the Russians who share documented culpability in hacking networks such as the DNC database pointing to election interference, attempts to influence our outcomes. To clusters of YouTube videos saying at least one major network announced her death post collapse, calling her reappearance from her daughter’s apartment 90 minutes later after rehydrating and being seen by her doctor fake, along with appearances 1-2 days before. But setting off a torrent of questions about what little we actually know about our top candidates’ health, 2 of the oldest runners for president and what the American people should know, be allowed to know, expect to know before reporting to their voting booth in November…However, do we really need to know about running mate Tim Kane’s broken clavicle (collar bone), dislocated shoulder, removed wisdom teeth, plantar fasciitis (An inflammation of a thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes)? Do we really need arm chair medicine on top of arm chair psychology from entities like Dr. Drew blasting the kind of care she was getting because she was on Coumadin (blood thinner) after a blood clot not newer Xarelto, Eliquis, even though he has never examined or treated her, does not know her medical history in full? And, advertisements for the latter drugs themselves say in their own commercials there is no comparative data between patients on Coumadin and better outcomes if they switch to Xarelto, Eliquis. Do we really need to know more than we already do about her leg blood clot, her 2012 concussion, about her hypothyroidism, sinusitis? Yet she somehow committed an egregious political, public relations faux pa by being diagnosed on a Friday with a mild walking pneumonia, and didn’t immediately dial up news outlets; dido when she fainted, not collapsed, not was on death’s door, let’s cut the hyperbolic adjectives. Upon fainting, instead of seeing to Mrs. Clinton, aides were supposed to be contacting ABC, NBC CBS, MSNBC, HLN, CNN, Fox News, the Washington Post and New York Times, not a um, let me think, doctor; do readers, never mind perpetuators of this need to know everything, including every time public figure X goes to the bathroom, gets a hangnail, stubs their toe, understand how ridiculous that sounds?… Still Hillary Clinton has ratchetted up her untrustworthiness by incalculable exponents because she got pneumonia and didn’t rush to tell voters, the media, hold a national press conference… Question, who doesn’t think the things Secretary Clinton, candidate Clinton listed are deplorable; sexism, particularly considering concepts floated around like rape culture, high school and college campuses riddled with sexual assault, opposing republican politicians who don’t support equal pay for equal work, who however subliminally, want to punish women for having kids, taking time off to raise those children in critical years then complain when parents don’t take that time and the kid turns out a criminal, ordinary citizens who endorse both views, think women should just work harder, college kids should stop drinking and high school girls shouldn’t wear ‘booty shots’ if they don’t want to be called a slut and worse. But Hillary Clinton, by running for office, has lost her rights to free speech, to call those ideas, and them deplorable…Returning to violence, rhetoric consisting of if only they hadn’t been armed, had complied with officers, if only they weren’t rioting, looting and acting like animals held up beside a jail who put a mentally ill, developmentally delayed man in general population then shut his water off after he ‘tried to flood the cell,’ next giving him no drinking water for 6 days until he eventually died of thirst. Another man beaten savagely when he didn’t want to be put in the mental ward of a jail, fearing being viewed a monster, fracturing his face, breaking ribs, puncturing his lung, one officer taking his ripped out dreadlocks, wanting them as a trophy for his motor cycle, finally fabricating injuries to justify their beating…Homophobia, and let’s be clear the level of homophobia we’re talking about, reaching far past individuals who say homosexuality isn’t for me, people who find it unnatural and strange, people who want it kept away from them; still as long as you don’t try to foist your lifestyle on them, try to come on to them, they don’t care, pretty much subscribe to live and let live, they don’t really understand transgender, what it feels like to feel you were born in the wrong body, but to each his own. She was talking, at a LGBT gala mind you, about disingenuous authors of bathroom bills mandating transgender persons use the bathroom corresponding with the gender on their birth certificate, in response to select municipalities in North Carolina adding sexual orientation and gender identity to their discrimination statutes…Described down home American citizens who did things like what was done to Mathew Sheppard tied to a fence and beaten solely due to being gay; Bandon Teena born female, living as a male in a time when transgender wasn’t a word, surgery and mental health help lightyears from readily available, forget expensive, discovered by friends of friends, forced to strip down revealing his biological sex, forced into a car, taken to a remote area, repeatedly sexually assaulted and later murdered for filing a police report on his assailants. For people believing that was another time, we’ve expanded our tolerance since then, agreements to disagree, if the bathroom bill eruption didn’t convince you of the contrary, there are people like the Georgia man sentenced to 40 years in jail for pouring boiling water on his girlfriend’s gay son and his boyfriend merely sleeping in bed together while saying “get out of my house with that gay shit” (it wasn’t his house it was hers); afterwards telling authorities, “They were stuck together like two hot dogs … so I poured a little hot water on them and helped them out, they’ll be alright. It was just a little hot water, they’ll be alright,” oblivious to horrific injuries he inflicted. A man in Australia who replaced containers of personal lubricant with acid; thankfully they had been tampered with before so alarms had been place on containers so no one was injured… Islamophobia, again being clear regarding extent expressed by Clinton in her comments, understanding of people’s heightened fear of terrorism, ISIS, legitimately concerned about sleeper cell possibilities in their neighborhood due to seeing so many on the news, a little or a lot nervous getting on an airplane because you never know… New York City police searching for a man after he attempted to set a Muslim woman on fire only catching her sleeve she quickly put out because she was Muslim and wearing standard conservative dress; let’s stop and digest that latter story, that an American tried to set someone on fire for their religion while we call a nebulous them barbarians, heathens holding archaic beliefs we’re willing to fight wars over. Children can get dumped out of their baby strollers by whites upset they are in their country, because they are Muslims; people who would be apoplectic watching David Muir’s ABC special including children being taught the traditional Muslim/middle eastern greeting (their version of hello how are you) to welcome their 6 year old classmate Hala a Syrian refugee child, not terrorist who is here because her home, her country are little more than a rubble heap… No, Chris Mathews sorry, it isn’t disparaging millions of Americans, wrong for her to call deplorable, deplorable, to define what she means by that and stick to her guns; when moving from isolated incidents and speculative evidence to nearly 60 percent of Trump’s supporters who hold “unfavorable views” of Islam, and 76 percent support a ban on Muslims entering the United States. We know that some 40 percent of Trump’s supporters believe blacks are more violent, more criminal, lazier, and ruder than whites. Two-thirds of Trump’s supporters believe the first black president in this country’s history is not American. These claims are not ancillary to Donald Trump’s candidacy, they are a driving force behind it to quote Ta-Nehisi Coats…Trump renounced his bitherism claims years before he did, who called Black Lives Matter racist. Donald Trump, who literally something like the day before, stated he was troubled by the Tulsa shooting where video shows a man with his hands up still getting shot, not surviving, saying he didn’t know what the officer was thinking, didn’t know if she was choking (as in panicking) the man seemed to be doing what officers wanted him to, doing everything right; only to announce ‘solutions’ of more police, stop and frisk, later limited to extremely violent areas i.e. Chicago… While Hillary Clinton is talking about funds for implicit bias training, aimed at ridding police officers of their engrained subconscious prejudices so they don’t take it out on the public they are to serve, less people get shot, killed holding benign objects mistaken for a weapon; greater police accountability, so when instances like Tulsa happen officers responsible are charged, tried, convicted and put behind bars…Completely ignored, were the other half of identified Trump supporters highlighted by Mrs. Clinton, the people who feel let by their government, let down by their nation’s economy she tried to reach as more than a ploy to win votes, but to say I haven’t forgotten you, I understand why you might vote for Trump, want to vote for Trump, help me understand more…Once and for all Hillary Clinton got pneumonia, not the bubonic, pneumonic plague, TB, she was never diagnosed with a serious long term, ongoing medical condition, MS, Parkinson’s Lou Gehrig’s disease, even diabetes; she has not died, isn’t dead. Her contracting pneumonia not surprising considering background information many Clinton campaign staff had contracted severe colds, 2 of them, not Clinton, hospitalized with repertory infections. Yes she originally told press around her her noticeable cough was due to seasonal allergies; that wasn’t campaign spin to hide a larger, ongoing health problem, a chronic condition she didn’t want the public to know about. It was her doctor’s initial diagnosis when she came to her with fatigue, a low grade fever and cough, was given a short course of antibiotics, probably due to her history of chronic sinusitis (an inflammation or swelling of the tissue lining the sinuses) presumably told to come back if symptoms got worse, wanting to see her in X days, weeks for a standard checkup. Upon said checkup symptoms remained, doctor heard congestion, opted to do an advanced chest x-ray to rule out pneumonia, ended up ruling it in; diagnosing her with a mild walking pneumonia, called such in layman’s terms because individuals with it can usually carry on with their daily activities, may not even know they have it. Advised rest and modification of her rigorous campaign schedule; advice Clinton admits to ignoring until she couldn’t ignore it anymore feeling ill at the 9-11 memorial, trying to discreetly leave, as not to disrupt proceedings, and fainted getting into her car. Never taken to a hospital, rather her daughters nearby apartment because, recognizing what this was, there was no need to sit hours in an ER, disrupt operations at a local urgent care clinic when your name is Hillary Clinton and you’re that Hillary Clinton; her doctor willing to come to her. Evaluating her, finding her dehydrated and in need of rest, probably embarking on a lecture about self-care, listening to your physician; candidate emerging 90 minutes later appearing fine, cancelling a California trip for that Monday, returning to campaign activities that Thursday, short of the 5 days respite doctors recommended…. It should be reassuring we now have a recent health history on Secretary Clinton, many of her public knowledge heath issues explained..It should be reassuring candidate Clinton, possible future president of the United States, is being treated by a professional, someone who exudes professionalism, who can navigate the exposure, status, publicity of her patient; it should be reassuring secretary Clinton’s minor, age commiserate health issues are under control, scrutinized by the watchful eye of a doctor, versus who knows what Harald Bornstein could be missing with Donald Trump, what tests he’s not allowed to perform being awed or intimidated, manipulated by his patient…But Hillary Clinton has always been judged on a different playing field trapped in republican bizarre-o world where effect video editing, making her head bob around spastically imitating a bobble-head doll proves she’s prone to seizures; her fondness for muumuus is concealing medical devices not in evidence or on the market, i.e. Veterans for Trump’s deep brain stem battery pack that counters her tremors…Nor was there any cover up, attempt to mislead people about the state of her health in saying she was merely overheated as opposed to ‘coming clean,’ not waiting 7 hours to announce she had pneumonia; not to overwhelm the tiny brains of republican conspiracy theory spinners, the presumed tiny brains comprising America’s voting populous, it was both. At the 9-11 memorial she was dehydrated, overheated and thus fainted; said dehydration, overheating possibly due to underlying pneumonia, anti-biotics taken, but not necessarily or always…voters seeming to be on her side in developing pneumoniagate believing Hillary Clinton will be fine. Candidate Clinton’s forced sick days should have sparked a completely different conversation, set of conversations before she brought it back to the campaign trail—what millions of sick people, workers in the freelance economy, minimum wage job holders, to small business owners do in this country when they can’t take off from work to mind and care for their health, when they are already living paycheck to paycheck and they can’t afford to miss a paycheck or their rent won’t get paid, their lights won’t stay on, reality for multitudes of hard working Americans. When you, like she, can’t flake on a round table of foreign policy experts, a big product rollout, a months’ long prepared presentation, fundraising events if you want the financial capital to achieve your goals in getting to the Whitehouse to make a difference for average Americans, such as the one your mother was coming up for very little. Your boss doesn’t stop expecting you to make the company money because you’re sick; you can’t miss the region wide sales rep conference. What people do when they don’t have health insurance, when their employer isn’t large enough under Obamacare to be mandated to provide health coverage options, when you can’t afford to see a doctor; how minor infections and would-be simple outpatient, same day surgical procedures become costly ER visits, complicated surgeries, lengthy stays in the hospital, as whatever it is can no longer be ignored. Why people in stable jobs, budding careers or even long time workers at company X don’t take sick days in this country, even if they have them, let alone a vacation fearing for their job, being passed over for a promotion. Studies showing working overtime can kill you, shorten your lifespan, triples risk of major deadly diseases; heart disease, cancer, diabetes…many of those same health problems noted in the overtime story, especially again, for women. Salon author’s self-deprecating assessment he shoehorned Hillary’s pneumonia into a policy examination, policy article because he is an exclusive political writer aside, his question is valid and his answer just as important as her medical records, arguably more so, in terms of things that should be driving our election decisions this election cycle. What would the Trump health plan do to struggling Americans who have health coverage for the first time in their adult lives thanks to Obamacare, uphill battling millennials in the freelance economy who can look after their health while young potentially avoiding huge problems down the line, but that all goes away with his promised repeal of the Affordable Care Act, whose largest selling point is then insurance companies’ ability to sell insurance policies across state lines…. Uniquely ironic Donald Trump talking about transparency whether it be Clinton’s health or his taxes, the hiding behind an audit every expert says doesn’t prevent him from disclosing past, current tax information, then telling people what it doesn’t tell readers about a person’s finances, lastly settling on people just aren’t that interested in his tax returns. Secondary to why we need to see his tax returns, investigative journalists want to know and the public needs to know about any potential conflicts of interest, particularly with say Russia, documented business holdings in China, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates weighed beside legal fact he is not required, should he win the presidency, to set up a blind trust…Coating on another layer of shady adding to stories on contractors and lower level workers not paid for building Trump buildings, numerous lawsuits being the final outcome, accusations he encouraged models to work in America illegally, to skirt immigration laws, questions about his own wife’s immigration to America, work status when she first came into this country…. When the barest minimum investigative journalism turned up tangible wrongdoing in which Trump donated to the attorney general campaign of one Pam Bondi in Florida fined by the IRS for his trouble, fine failing to address optics he did so to preempt her investigation of Trump university affiliates there. Trump who hasn’t put any of his personal money into his named charity since 2008, him using other people’s money to make donations, causing them to think it came from Trump. Using funds from his charity to buy a Tim Tebow helmet for himself, a 6 foot portrait of himself, using charity funds to pay off business debts, even to collect debts from others, how people basically got duped into ‘giving’ so much to his foundation; things so bad the New York attorney general is opening an investigation. This is on top of a mirroring investigation into exposed Trump University running a for-profit model using predatory sales tactics to get people to go into debt, give up savings to attend near meaningless classes, where he famously insulted the judge for ‘being of Mexican descent’ despite being born and raised in Indiana…Whereas Trump’s former campaign chair Paul Manafort resigned when extensive ties to Russia were revealed and that’s not the one who just resigned for racist comments; his current campaign manager is a member of the alt. right, extreme right wing conservatives, white supremacies and was once accused of domestic violence…to quote one commenter on one of many articles about Clinton’s health, political optics and the absurdity this has all taken on, “Honestly, watching the response to this has shown me why she lies. There’s no longer reason to tell the truth.” More accurately reflecting expressed sentiment, we see now why she doesn’t disclose any more personal, health information than she absolutely has to; there is no reason to be that open, vulnerable, ‘transparent,’ ‘honest,’ ‘trustworthy.’ Because, people are going to make it up, draw their own conclusions, create their own reality no matter what you tell them or don’t. Read More