Showing posts with label Stupidity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stupidity. Show all posts

February 2, 2017

Trump Throws Old Friends by the Side Says ”Don’t Worry”

An impression: "I keep saying that soon we will have two friends left. One is the enemy and the other only cares about itself and is the friend that stays by you or others if it can borrow to buy stuff”  (Is this true?Feel free to comment below)

 Australian and American troops take a rest from the past fighting in Iraq

For the first time in decades, America’s oldest allies are questioning where Washington’s heart is.

This week, President Donald Trump and his deputies hit out at some of America’s closest friends, blasting a “dumb” refugee resettlement deal with Australia and accusing Japan and Germany of manipulating their currencies. Ties with Mexico have deteriorated to the point its government had to deny reports that Trump told President Enrique Pena Nieto he might send U.S. troops across the southern border.

“When you hear about the tough phone calls I have, don’t worry about it,” Trump said to an audience of religious and political leaders at the National Prayer Breakfast, a yearly event in Washington. “The world is in trouble -- but we’re going to straighten it out, ok? That’s what I do.”

The dilemma for officials globally is figuring out if Trump’s blunt style is simply a tactic to keep them off balance or the start of a move to tear up the rule book that has guided relations with the U.S. since World War II. In the mean time, allies have little choice but to prepare for the worst.

The latest attacks came against Australia and Japan, even with Trump’s new Pentagon chief in the region to offer assurances about the U.S.’s commitment to security ties. The White House described Trump’s hour-long conversation with Mexico’s leader as “lighthearted.”
“For those of us like Australia, Japan or Korea, who have been dependent on that continuity, we have got to start thinking about a situation where the U.S. is much more self interested, and more more capricious on what it might do,” said Nick Bisley, a professor of international relations at La Trobe University in Melbourne. “Countries in the region have got to sit down and say those old arrangements can’t last forever.”

Trump’s willingness to publicly attack America’s friends in Asia marks a sharp contrast from the Obama administration, which sought to build a united front against China’s military and economic clout. Trump instead has suggested Asian nations should pay more for U.S. security and pulled out of a 12-nation Pacific trade deal.

Earlier this week, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pushed back on Trump’s accusations his country was gaming the foreign exchange market and hindering U.S. auto sales. Still, Abe has a bigger concern when he meets Trump on Feb. 10: Japan depends on the U.S. “nuclear umbrella” to protect it from China and North Korea.

“Dumb Deal”

On Thursday, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull found himself under fire. In a late-night tweet, Trump blasted a deal that involved the U.S. resettling refugees that are being held by Australia in offshore camps, many of them from the Middle East or South Asia.

“Do you believe it? The Obama administration agreed to take thousands of illegal immigrants from Australia. Why? I will study this dumb deal!” Trump tweeted.

If the tweet wasn’t bad enough, earlier in the day Turnbull fielded questions on a Washington Post report that said Trump berated him in a Jan. 28 phone call. The president told Turnbull he had spoken to four other global leaders that day, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, and “this was the worst call by far,” the paper reported, citing unidentified U.S. officials.

In a radio interview on Thursday after Trump’s tweet, Turnbull said he still expects the deal will go ahead. He added he was “very disappointed” over the leak and said the call with Trump ended “courteously.”

“A lot of Australians will find this report deeply unsettling,” said John Blaxland, a senior fellow at the Australian National University’s Strategic and Defence Studies Centre in Canberra. “Australia has invested in this relationship and has been a faithful partner, especially since the declaration of the global war on terror. Trump needs Australia to support its interests in the Asia-Pacific.”

No Consultation

One calming voice may be Defense Secretary James Mattis, who is visiting South Korea and Japan. In Seoul on Thursday he reaffirmed the U.S.’s commitment to defend South Korea against North Korea, according to a statement from the nation’s presidential office.

Still, given Trump’s unpredictability, even Mattis’s words may not help. On Thursday Trump was again busy on Twitter, warning Iran had been “put on notice” for testing ballistic missiles. “Iran was on its last legs and ready to collapse until the U.S. came along and gave it a life-line in the form of the Iran Deal: $150 billion,” Trump said.

Key tests for Trump in Asia will be whether he reaffirms that the mutual defense treaty with Japan applies to islands also claimed by China, and if he continues freedom-of-navigation operations in Asia’s waterways, according to Fumiaki Kubo, a professor at the University of Tokyo. 

“Even if Mr. Trump says something very positive, we may not be really reassured yet unless positive words are followed up by concrete action,” Kubo said. “There’s no advance consultation with allies in the region, so there are many things to be concerned about.”

One country that could benefit from a U.S. retrenchment is China. President Xi Jinping has fashioned himself as a champion of globalization in recent months, and sought to accelerate the passage of a regional trade agreement initiated by Southeast Asian nations.

Still, Beijing has a lot to lose if things go wrong. A trade war with Trump could worsen an economic slowdown in a politically sensitive year, with the Communist Party set to shift many top leaders.

As well, China is embroiled in a dispute with several Southeast Asian nations over the South China Sea, an area where it has reclaimed reefs and built military outposts. New Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has already pledged to challenge China over the waterway.

“China has no idea at the moment about how to deal with Trump and taking a cautious approach,” said Nicholas Thomas, an associate professor of Asian studies at City University of Hong Kong. “The one question that everyone is looking at in the region — and this goes to the web of security partnerships in Asia -- is what is going to happen between the U.S. and China over the South China Sea.”

David Tweed

January 16, 2017

Defense Ministry Gay Themed TV Episode Shown on China Pulled by YouTube


TAIPEI, Taiwan --YouTube has pulled an episode of the Defense Ministry's TV show that features a soldier broken up with by his same-sex partner.

Titled "Rainbow," the half-hour segment of the Ministry of National Defense's "Ju-guang Corner" (莒光園地) showed service members supporting a gay soldier who recently loses an off-base love interest.

The show is broadcast nationwide over Chinese Television System (華視) on Thursday, with reruns on Friday and Saturday.

The official online version of the video was removed by YouTube after users flagged it on grounds that it violated community guidelines. Cached backups of the episode remain online.

The Alliance of Crying for Hope (搶救台灣希望聯盟) blasted the "Rainbow" segment -- calling the government "shameful" and "needing medical attention."

"Imagine what kind of island Taiwan would become if the military became the breeding ground for AIDS. Taiwan's own self-destruction means that China wouldn't even need to invade," the post added.

Before the video's removal, a majority of comments in the discussion section was supportive of the episode, with some applauding the ministry's decision to face the issue of LGBT service members.

In a statement released on Facebook on Friday, the MND said it was "thankful and respectful of diverse societal opinions."

"The segment highlights the consolidated workings of counseling and members of the military supporting one another during difficult times. Combined with support from families, the counseling framework ensures that soldiers can serve with peace of mind," the MND stated.

Taiwan’s Legislature is poised to consider groundbreaking amendments to its civil code this year that legalize same-sex marriage.

The China Post news staff

September 29, 2016

Deplorable Trump Lesbian Comes Down on Clinton’s Campaign Mger for Being Gay?

May be this is what the men referred to when he said Hillary spent her time as secretary of state partying

This woman who is old enough to be my grandmother decided for her own reasons to comedown on Robbie Mook, Hillary’s Campaign manager, which could be her great grandson.  I usually would not print stories about infighting but this goes beyond that with a different point I would like to make.

 First Robbie is well like by all, he is smart, always prepared and you will not hear disparaging things come out his mouth. So what’s up with this old Queer? I would ordinarily say she hans’t taken her pills but she seems to be nasty all the time about Hillary and her followers. 

She is old fat and a lesbian which as you know is Trump’s kind of girl! Not!! Putting that aside she hates Clinton so much she would vote for Hitler if that was the choice. But to start nit picking on young people because they work for Clinton and are trying to help, to accomplish something, unlike her; that most be what gets her jock itch to start burning.

Going after Robbie shows how a crazy this old bat is.  This is some of what she said:

“You know Mr. Mook, I got to tell you something. I was out of the closet during the time of AIDS … you’re 36 years old, you don’t know anything about that. And for me that was a very bad time. I lost a lot of friends then,” she says. “And what I find now it’s not funny going into a gay club and having some terrorist from these Muslim countries coming to kill us. And you should be ashamed of yourself for campaigning for that bitch. Unbelievable.”
She said more and you can see it on the video. It seems this man Trump has a magnet to get the worse of the worse.  Today I was listening to a live polling done by one of the networks and this guy who looked intelligent, ok dressed, opened his mouth to answer the question of why some in the group thought Clinton was a bad secretary of state. He said because she never accomplished nothing, no treaties not agreements and she just spent her time in parties and having a good time like he’s seen on TV.

I don’t have to explain that one to you. But he managed to add one more nail into Clinton’s cross, besides murder, theft and exposing the men fighting Iraq to being killed. Besides that she spends her time partying.
To my surprise the majority of the group thought Clinton Cleaned Trump’s clock (my phrase) in the debate but the Trump people it seems are not watching the same news or reading similar articles about what has been going on in the world and on this country that we are. They seem to have this hatred towards the country and would like someone to come over with a Trump bulldozer and tear everything down.

Some things are bad in our country but other things are worth dying for. You don’t destroy unless you have a plan with schematics and everything to replace what you are about tore down and as you tore it down you better make it better. No secrets plans, no those are not accepted.
No secrets plans because at times there are people that think this is their own private country club to keep it the way they keep their houses but this not anyones person soil. This all ours and when we change things we want to know what is changing, how and to be better by someone we gave a mandate to do it.

 Adam Gonzalez

August 11, 2016

Secret Service Speaks to Trump Who Denies Meeting and says it’s All a Joke

Trump is changed now his characterization of his remarks from encouraging gun owners to vote(not to kill) to he GOP House Speaker Ryan’s own take that it was a joke.  This most be the first time Trump is repeated words that Ryan is said referring to him

 A US Secret Service official confirms to CNN that the USSS has spoken to the Trump campaign regarding his Second Amendment comments.

"There has been more than one conversation" on the topic, the official told CNN. But it's unclear at what level in the campaign structure the conversations occurred.
The campaign told the USSS that Donald Trump did not intend to incite violence, according to the official.

"No such meeting or conversation ever happened," Trump tweeted in response to CNN's report.
The controversy erupted on Tuesday afternoon when Trump said at a rally that Second Amendment defenders might be able to stop Clinton from appointing justices to the Supreme Court who could weaken gun rights.

"Hillary wants to abolish -- essentially abolish the Second Amendment. By the way, if she gets to pick, if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don't know," Trump said. “But I tell you what, that will be a horrible day, if Hillary gets to put her judges in, right now we're tied."

The Secret Service's communications director Cathy Milhoan has not confirmed the conversations between the campaign and the Secret Service, but said in a statement Tuesday that "the U.S. Secret Service is aware of Mr. Trump's comments."
Trump said Tuesday evening that he was simply trying to unify gun owners against Clinton in the voting booth.
"This is a political movement. This is a strong political movement, the Second Amendment," Trump said to Fox News' Sean Hannity. "And there can be no other interpretation ... I mean, give me a break.”

Clinton responded Wednesday to Trump's suggestion at an Iowa rally, saying, "words matter."
"Words matter my friends, and if you are running to be president or you are president of the United States, words can have tremendous consequences," Clinton said. "Yesterday we witnessed the latest in a long line of casual comments from Donald Trump that cross the line."
The Republican presidential nominee's supporters Wednesday attempted to quell the controversy, saying either that Trump was joking or that Democrats and the media were spinning it into something bigger than it was. Many interpreted Trump's comments as a threat to rival Hillary Clinton.
Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s former campaign manager, said the billionaire businessman was trying to unite Second Amendment supporters to turn out to defeat Clinton.

"This was a joke ... He wasn't inciting violence," Lewandowski told Chris Cuomo on CNN's New Day.
Ex-New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said Wednesday that the Clinton campaign and the press were misconstruing Trump's words.
"What he intended is very, very simple -- that (gun owners) should vote against her," Giuliani said on ABC's Good Morning America. "He had no idea that anybody would interpret his words that way. It was so obvious to all of us what he meant.”

Read: Donald Trump: 'Second Amendment' gun advocates could deal with Hillary Clinton
Maine Sen. Susan Collins, who said she won’t vote for either party's candidate, said on CNN's "New Day" Wednesday that she did not think Trump was inciting violence, but that he has only himself to blame for people leaping to that conclusion because of his consistent "stream of inappropriate and reckless comments."

Clinton supports slam comments
But Clinton supporters continued to slam Trump on Wednesday, saying that violence is never a joking matter.
"Words matter, particularly from those folks who want to be president of the United States," Clinton surrogate Christine Quinn, a former New York City Council speaker, said on "New Day." "To think that joking about any kind of violence could be funny ... simply reflects a disregard for the impact of violence."
Read: New York Daily News calls for Donald Trump to end his presidential campaign
Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm agreed, telling Cuomo that joking about assassinating a candidate is not presidential.
"It is, in fact, dangerous for the country," she said.
Bernice King, the daughter of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., took to Twitter to voice her concerns.
“As the daughter of a leader who was assassinated, I find #Trump's comments distasteful, disturbing, dangerous," she tweeted.

By Tami Luhby and Jim Sciutto, CNN

July 29, 2016

On Pulse’s Anniversary Rubio Speaks to Anti Gay Group

*Group of ‘God blocking cure for AIDS'
*Same group of ‘Kim Davis, County clerk'

Marco Rubio, Florida's most brazen political opportunist, used the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando as an excuse to run for Senate reelection despite having said about a thousand times that his career as a U.S. Senator was over. After the shooting, he told the Advocate, the nation's largest LGBT magazine, that the shooting was a clear attack on queer Americans. He said elsewhere he was "deeply impacted" by it.

Because Rubio apparently has the memory span of a goldfish, he sees no issue in returning to Orlando August 12 to speak at a conference held by a virulently anti-gay Christian group.

Rubio will address the crowd at an event called the "Rediscovering God in America Renewal Project" at the Hyatt Regency Orlando next month. The meeting is hosted by the right-wing Liberty Counsel, a "pro-family" Christian group with a long history of straight-up hatred of LGBT people.
The group is run by Mat Staver, also known as the attorney who represented Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk famous for refusing to let gay people get married. During that whole ordeal, Staver attacked "the media" and "liberals" for not siding with Davis.

"They want her scalp to hang on the wall as a trophy," he said of the American Civil Liberties Union. 

The event is also hosted by the Florida Renewal Project, an affiliate of the similarly anti-gay American Renewal Project. That group's leader, David Lane, has spewed so much LGBT-hate in the past that it would take days to compile it all. Here's a short summary: Lane has argued that God would punish homosexuals praying at President Obama's 2013 inauguration with "car bombs"; encouraged Christians to "prepare for martyrdom" to fight same-sex marriage; quoted an author who said that "same sex marriage practiced universally is suicide"; said homosexuality is a "Marxist psychological conditioning plot"; and compared Republicans who support gay marriage to politicians who supported slavery. We're honestly just getting started here. (The website Right Wing Watch has compiled even more.)

And that's just the background of the event's two hosts. Rubio will also speak alongside this all-star cast of gay-haters, including:

David Barton, a discredited evangelical historian whose book about Thomas Jefferson, The Jefferson Lies, was pulled from shelves for containing too many factual inaccuracies. (NPR also attacked him for somehow misquoting the Bible. Repeatedly.) Back to the homophobia: He’s also said God is rightfully blocking a cure for HIV and AIDS to punish LGBT people.

Bill Federer, a conservative author who claims homosexuals are to blame for Islamic terrorism.
Fred L. Lowery, a conservative pastor and author who once wrote a book promoting religious "covenant marriage," a stricter form of marriage in which couples sign documents restricting the reasons they can divorce. In the ‘90s, other religious leaders said marriage in the absence of a "covenant" encourages "homosexual or polygamous marriage."

Ken Graves, a pastor who preaches against the rise of "militant homofascism," whatever that is.
Former U.S. Rep. Bob McEwen, who now works as a lobbyist for the Pro-Family Legislative Network, where he spends his time writing bills aimed at "strengthening family values" across America. (Coincidentally, McEwen also worked as a lobbyist for former Côte d’Ivoire dictator Laurent Gbagbo, who was arrested by the United Nations in 2012 for widespread human rights violations.)

Of course, everyone already knew Rubio's genuflection toward the LGBT community in June was pretty hollow. Rubio himself has a long history of covert LGBT hatred: The civil rights group Human Rights Campaign has repeatedly bit into the senator for his longstanding opposition to gay marriage, his battle to withhold federal civil-rights protections from LGBT people, his history of fundraising for gay-conversion therapy groups, and, of course, for being a “champion” of traditional marriage.

July 28, 2016

Response (from x-CIA Panetta) at Convention to Trump’s Asking Russia to Hack US

Story image for trumps calls on russia to hack emails from NPR

 Former CIA Director Leon Panetta blasted Donald Trump Wednesday night from the stage of the Democratic National Convention, calling his recent comment that Russia should "find" Hillary Clinton's emails "irresponsible" and "inconceivable."

Panetta's comments were largely disrupted by the crowd chanting "No more war," but he continued his remarks.

Earlier Wednesday, Trump urged Russian agents to "find" Clinton's emails and release them, an unprecedented move by a candidate for president encouraging such a foreign breach.

"Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing," the GOP presidential nominee said at a news conference in Miami on Wednesday. "I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press."

Trump was referring to the ongoing controversy surrounding the private server Clinton used while secretary of state.

C-SPAN via YouTube
"Today, Donald Trump once again took Russia's side," Panetta said. "He asked the Russians to interfere in American politics. Think about that for a moment. Donald Trump, who wants to be president of the United States, is asking one of our adversaries to engage in hacking or intelligence efforts against the United States to affect our election."

The crowd at the DNC bood loudly, then cheered this remark from Panetta:

"As someone who was responsible for protecting our nation from cyberattacks, it's inconceivable to me that any presidential candidate would be this irresponsible. Donald Trump cannot become our commander in chief."

Trump responded to Panetta in a statement saying "it is alarming that Leon Panetta would, through his silence, excuse Hillary Clinton's enablement of foreign espionage with her illegal email scheme and her corrupt decision to then destroy those emails and dissemble her 'private' server to hide her crimes from the public and authorities."

Separately, the DNC in Philadelphia this week was upended by a release of hacked emails from the party committee believed to have been orchestrated by Russia. While the motive for intrusion and release of emails isn't known, many Democrats have speculated that it's a possible attempt to influence the outcome of this year's presidential election. A second round of releases came in the form of audio voicemails posted by WikiLeaks Wednesday evening.

Pressed by NBC's Katy Tur as to whether he had any "pause about asking a foreign government ... to interfere, to hack into the system of anybody in this country," Trump dismissed that idea and told Tur to "be quiet."

Clinton's campaign responded in disbelief to and with outrage at Trump's comments.

"This has to be the first time that a major presidential candidate has actively encouraged a foreign power to conduct espionage against his political opponent. That's not hyperbole, those are just the facts," Clinton senior policy adviser Jake Sullivan said in a statement. "This has gone from being a matter of curiosity, and a matter of politics, to being a national security issue."

The Trump campaign appeared to try to clean up Trump's comments with a statement from his running mate, Mike Pence.

"The FBI will get to the bottom of who is behind the hacking" of the DNC emails, said Pence. If it was Russia, "I can assure you both parties and the United States government will ensure there are serious consequences."

The Indiana governor called it "outrageous" that Democrats were "singularly focusing on who might be behind" the breach and not the fallout from the leaked emails, which resulted in the ouster of Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz after some revealed the DNC was rooting for Clinton as its nominee and worked to handicap Bernie Sanders.

"I'm not going to tell Putin what to do"

But then Trump, taking to his usual medium of Twitter, doubled down on his earlier comments just minutes later. 

Later Wednesday, Trump senior communications adviser Jason Miller maintained that the presidential candidate was simply saying anyone with Clinton's emails should turn them over to federal authorities.

Throughout the campaign, Trump has praised Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose rule has become increasingly authoritarian. In the news conference at his own golf course, the GOP presidential nominee again said he hoped he could work with Putin and threw cold water on the idea that the Russians were behind the DNC hack.

"I'm not going to tell Putin what to do. Why should I tell Putin what to do?" Trump retorted. "He already did something today where he said don't blame them, essentially, for your incompetence."

Former CIA Director Leon Panetta called Trump's comments "totally outrageous" and questioned his loyalty to the United States.

"You've got now a presidential candidate who is in fact asking the Russians to engage in American politics," he told CNN's Christiane Amanpour.

"I just think that that's beyond the pale," Panetta, who is backing Clinton, said. "I think that kind of statement only reflects the fact that he truly is not qualified to be president of the United States."

"Zero" ties to Russia

Trump repeatedly batted away questions about whether he might have ties to Russia, saying "Zero! I will tell you right now, zero. I have nothing to do with Russia, yes?"

In fact, Trump has courted Russian investors to fund some of his projects and long sought to extend his brand to Russia and other former Soviet states, according to reporting last month from the Washington Post.

On Putin — who has called Trump "bright" and whom Trump has praised as a strong leader — Trump said they've never spoken. Trump said he wants to have "friendly" relations with Russia if he's elected but denied any connection to the Russian government or investors.

"I don't know who Putin is. He said one nice thing about me. He said I'm a genius. I said thank you very much to the newspaper and that was the end of it. I never met Putin," Trump said.

Hack Trump's taxes?

Former Obama adviser David Axelrod also weighed in on Trump's comments, suggesting on Twitter that Russian hackers should go searching for Trump's tax returns — which he has yet to release, breaking a long tradition among leading presidential candidates.

Trump reiterated that he has no plans to release his tax returns until an audit is completed — which may not be finished until after the November elections.

"It depends on the audit — not a big deal," Trump said. He noted that he has already put out some financial documents, though not the tax forms that are typically released by major presidential candidates, often during the primary season. Trump suggested that is unnecessary: "I built an unbelievable company, tremendous cash, tremendous company with some of the great assets of the world," he said.

As NPR has reported before, there is no legal obstacle to releasing tax returns while an audit is ongoing.

Posted by NPR  from the Democratic Convention days 3

July 14, 2016

Dancing at a Funeral New Craze by George Bush


The prospect of Donald Trump being elected president is beyond horrifying, but we should all remember to be grateful that George W. Bush is no longer in the position to be anywhere near the commander-in-chief seat. Case in point: While attending the memorial service for the five slain Dallas police officers, the former president thought it wise to bust out a couple dance moves as the choir sang “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”.

Instead of solemnly singing along — as most of those in attendance did — Bush, grinning ear to ear, made sure to excitedly swing his arms and sway to and fro. Though it was a somber ceremony to honor lives lost, Bush looked like an overzealous kid either waiting to pee or anxious to get to the candy shop. Or, as Gawker writes, “the one person at a music festival set who clearly took too many drugs.” His wife Laura Bush can be seen awkwardly looking on for the first 20 or so seconds of the ridiculousness and it’s not long before First Lady Michelle Obama, too, becomes visibly embarrassed to be holding hands with him.
You be the judge, this is at a funeral service and the person dancing away goes by the still the tittle of Mr. President. For a moment I thought we were back during those hurtful years of “I’m the decider” and shoes flying off even at a news conference.

May 21, 2016

Your Body does Not Care Where it Relieves it self but Politicians Do

 Written by Jeffrey Kluger and it was originally posted on Time yesterday.

Ted cruz examining dildoRepublican Ted Cruz by #GOPdildo                                                                          

Your genes don't care who you share a bathroom with, but your politicians do

Want to see a living experiment in what happens when traditional gender lines are truly blurred? Forget North Carolina or Mississippi or any of the places in the U.S. where politicians have made the question of which person uses which bathroom an unlikely cultural flash point. 
Take a look instead at Samoa—the tiny island nation that can teach the world’s most powerful democracy a thing or two about the basic business of human sexuality. Samoa, like the U.S. and every other country in the world, is home to plenty of men and plenty of women, but, unlike any other country in the world, it’s also home to the fa’afafine. 
The fa’afafine are, nominally, boys—with a boy’s anatomy and a boy’s chromosomes and, therefore, the “boy” box ticked on their birth certificate.
But the fa’afafine are something more too. They’re typically gay, yes, but they think and act and dress and feel almost entirely “in the manner of a woman,” which is what fa’afafine means. They are thus considered—even embraced as—a third sex.
Typically, the fa’afafine assume traditional female roles in the Samoan culture and, while they are less likely to have children of their own than heterosexual males are, they compensate by being exceedingly dedicated alloparents—the broad category of family caregivers that also includes uncles and aunts and grandparents. That makes the fa’afafine especially prized by evolution. Babies with a greater number loving adults looking after them have a better chance of surviving than those with fewer.
Oh, and as to which public bathrooms the fa’afafine use? Nobody flipping cares.
That’s worth keeping in mind as advocates of restrictive bathroom laws argue that separate accommodations for men and women are more than merely custom, they’re fundamental to human nature—just the way nature wants things to be. On its surface, a scientific argument like this does seem to track.
All evolution is in one way or the other built around the goal of reproducing yourself and your genes, so it stands to reason that there should be no ambiguity about the gender we present to the world, and typically there isn’t. Indeed, we work hard to advertise our maleness or femaleness in the most appealing ways possible. That’s the purpose of sexual signaling like makeup for women or muscle shirts for men.
Ambiguity in this context should be unsettling, especially in public places that require us to disrobe even partially. Things get more disturbing still when the specter of male sexual predators masquerading as females to gain access to women’s bathrooms is thrown into the mix. But none of these arguments bear close scrutiny.
The easiest part to dispense with is the least scientific part—the dangerous man in the girls’ bathroom. Transgender people are no more or less likely to be sexual predators than any other people, and a biological male who wanted to cross-dress to gain access to a bathroom not meant for him would have been doing it already—and presumably could continue to do it despite local laws.
As my colleague Michael Scherer reports in this week’s TIME cover story, “The FBI and local law enforcement do not keep consistent stats on the number of crimes committed in public restrooms, so there is no way to track every claim…But there is not yet any anecdotal evidence that trans-friendly rules have been abused by predators, or that incidents of violence or sexual assault have increased.”
More nettlesome is the human nature argument. It’s undeniable that for most people the idea of mixed gender bathrooms may take some getting used to, but the question is why, and the answer has less to do with evolution than socialization. Even in cultures that have rigid bathroom-division norms, the rules break down fast depending on context—consider camping trips; co-ed dorms; crowded stadiums or theaters where women waiting in long bathroom lines are often waved into the men’s room to help speed things up. And those comparatively conservative cultures are by no means the only kind.
“There is no evolutionary, genetic or primordial drive for a gender binary as we do it and absolutely no primordial drive for two bathrooms, one labeled male and one labeled female,” says anthropologist Elijah Edelman of Rhode Island College. “We have thousands of cultures that do not, and have not, had the gender binary we have right here.”
Even outside the bathroom, sex divisions in the U.S. have blurred and blurred again over just the past half century so that what was once jarring—men with long hair, women in pants, earrings and piercings and tattoos on both sexes—has become entirely unremarkable. A culture that embraces a style trend like the 1990s’ androgyny chic is not a culture governed by genetically determined gender roles.
“We are not sacks of genes walking through the world acting on instinct alone,” says anthropologist Eric Plemons of the University of Arizona. “We are people who learn to see ourselves and each other through the frameworks of cultural practices.”
Yes, some of those those cultural practices can be more deeply felt than others. The proper way to hold a fork is a cultural practice too, but we don’t get terribly rattled when it’s violated. However, the mere fact that we do get rattled—at least at first—by the unexpected anatomy of somebody sharing a locker room with us, does not mean that’s the way we’re all hardwired.
“It would be worth asking who thinks trans-people using the bathroom is such a big deal,” says Plemons. “Clearly groups living in different geographic regions of the U.S. do not have substantively different evolutionary pasts, so why is panic about trans-people organized so differently across the country?”
The answer to that question is partly benign—a large heterogeneous country is likely to be home to many different regions with many different customs and practices. And it’s partly cynical—with some of those regions adopting policies that appeal to an ideological faction, even if it comes at the expense of a minority.
But all of the people in all of those places do come factory-loaded with a human sense of fairness and compassion and empathy—and those are traits that cut across all cultures. For legislators considering restrictive bathroom laws, that should be all the science that’s necessary.

January 22, 2016

Palin gets Heat for Stupid remarks Blaming the President for Her Son’s Arrest


Sarah Palin is taking heat from many U.S. veterans for blaming her son’s recent domestic violence arrest on President Barack Obama’s veteran policies.

Palin’s son, Track,  was arrested Monday night for fourth-degree assault, interfering with a report of a domestic

Track’s girlfriend said that he kicked her, punched her in the face and then threatened to shoot himself with a loaded gun. He was arraigned on Tuesday. noted that at a public appearance the next day, the former governor of Alaska used the news of his arrest to criticize Obama, but now she is the one getting criticism.

Palin said the 26-year-old Iraq veteran came back “hardened” and said that military members look at the president and question whether he knows the sacrifices they make to “secure America and to secure freedoms.”

Paul Rieckhoff, the head of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America slammed her comments.

“It’s not President Obama’s fault that Sarah Palin’s son has PTSD,” he said.  “I hope this doesn’t become a portable chew toy in a political campaign.”

Social media users also voiced their opinions about Palin’s remarks.

One Twitter user and retired Army veteran added that her comments could lead to “perceptual problems & future treatment issues” for those diagnosed with PTSD. [The Celebrity Cafe]

Sarah Palin made a statement this week saying her son Track's arrest on domestic violence charges stemmed from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and pointed the blame at Obama's supposed lack of respect for veterans. Paul Rieckhoff, who leads Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), refuted Palin's statement saying "It's not President Obama's fault that Sarah Palin's son has PTSD".
Include the following visualizations to show the percentage of returning war veterans with PTSD in recent wars, as well as funding for research of PTSD
Total Funding
Average Grant
Number of Grants
Total NIH Funding: Inflation-Adjusted
Total NIH Funding: Inflation-Adjusted
2015 data is estimated | Adjusted for inflation to 2015 dollars | Funding includes grants, contracts, and other funding mechanisms used by the NIH

January 16, 2016

Cruz Doesn’t love NY Values but Loves the Money and Begs for it $$


On Tuesday on the syndicated Howie Carr Show, Ted Cruz declared that Donald Trump “comes from New York and he embodies New York values.” That night on Fox, New York-born Megyn Kelly asked Cruz to explain exactly what “New York values” are. Cruz responded: “The rest of the country knows exactly what New York values are, and I gotta say, they’re not Iowa values and they’re not New Hampshire values.”

Yesterday Kellyanne Conway, president of Keep the Promise I, one of four significant pro-Cruz Super PACs, endorsed Cruz’s anti-New York perspective: “New York is home to many wonderful people and places, but the emphasis is more on money than morality. The line to get into Abercrombie & Fitch is a mile longer than the line to get into St. Patrick’s Cathedral.”


But here’s what Cruz and Conway haven’t mentioned:

Keep the Promise I is registered in New York and has raised $11,000,000 from a single New Yorker, financier Robert Mercer. Mercer is co-CEO of the hedge fund Renaissance Technologies, located on New York’s Long Island. The Super PAC’s only other donor is from Florida and contributed $5,000, so Mercer has provided 99.95 percent of its money.

US hedge fund manager Robert Mercer's new superyacht Sea Owl on the River Thames, London (Photo: Alex J. Berliner /ABImages) U.S. hedge fund manager Robert Mercer’s new super yacht Sea Owl on the River Thames, London. Photo: REX/London News Pictures/APHowever, to be fair to Cruz and Conway, their view on the apparent moral failings of New Yorkers does seem to apply to Mercer himself, who was sued in 2013 by his current and former household staff. According to the complaint, Mercer failed to pay overtime and docked their pay for such infractions as “failing to replace shampoos and other toiletries if there was an amount of less than one-third of a bottle remaining,” “failing to properly close doors,” and “improperly counting beverages.” The same year Mercer took delivery of the Sea Owl, a 203-foot-long super yacht, seen at right.
In addition, as of 2012 Renaissance Technologies owned over $26 million of Abercrombie & Fitch stock — although the hedge fund recently sold its entire position, perhaps out of concern that Abercrombie was damaging the nation’s moral tone.

Cruz also benefited from the affection of ultra-wealthy New Yorkers during his 2012 Senate race. The biggest intervention of the cycle by the Super PAC Club for Growth Action was in Cruz’s primary against Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, consisting of $5 million worth of attacks on Dewhurst. Club for Growth Action spent $630,000 in support of Cruz during the cycle as well. During this time Club for Growth received donations totaling $500,000 from Mercer, as well as $100,000 from his fellow New York hedge fund manager Paul Singer and $100,000 from Laura Fisch, wife of the founder of the New York private equity firm American Securities.

Cruz has received $486,795 in regular, non-Super PAC presidential campaign donations from New York, making it his fourth-most important state behind Texas, California and Florida. According to Doug Weber, senior researcher at the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics, New Yorkers also gave Cruz $290,965 in his 2012 Senate race.

Lastly, Cruz received $1 million in low-interest loans to help finance his Senate campaign from Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, both headquartered in New York City. His wife Heidi is on leave from her job as a Goldman managing director.

(Disclosure: I live in New York.)’

October 28, 2015

Truth: GeorgeW.Bush was a Coward and Dan Rather a Screw Up


The only journalistic sin worse than disastrously misreporting an important story that turns out to be untrue is disastrously misreporting an important story that is true, so no one believes it anymore.
The end result of Dan Rather’s half-assed September 2004 report on George W. Bush’s already well-chronicled, cowardly, rule-breaking behavior as a young man during the Vietnam War was that Bush, once again, was able to avoid accountability for his conduct, and skated to an election victory over John Kerry, a genuine war hero his lickspittles had successfully smeared as unpatriotic.
So a story that should have taken down a president — a story that was already thoroughly documented, but that the mainstream media had hitherto shied away from as overly partisan — was instead discredited, never to be heard of again. Never, at least, until a very bad movie called Truth came out this month, trying to get us to see Rather (Robert Redford) and his producer, Mary Mapes (Cate Blanchett), as heroic and wronged, rather than grappling honestly with their journalistic failures.

Rather and Mapes had an obligation to make sure their segment for CBS’s “60 Minutes II” on Bush using pull to get into the National Guard instead of going to Vietnam — and then going AWOL for a chunk of what was supposed to be his service — was bulletproof. But it wasn’t even bloggerproof. The “new” documents they got copies of — from a source who was cagey about their provenance — were debunked by a bunch of Internet sleuths. An independent review commissioned by CBS found that the segment “failed to meet” CBS’s “two core principles: accuracy and fairness,” and Rather, Mapes and three other staffers were fired or forced to retire.

Two things are undeniably true about the Bush-AWOL story. One is that its collapse exemplified the Bush magic that somehow imbued him with the aura of competence, intelligence, and leadership and made him oddly invulnerable to obvious criticism — think “The Emperor’s New Clothes” — until it all came crashing down after Hurricane Katrina.
The other truth is that Bush was undeniably a shirker, and smugly AWOL from his safe, cushy National Guard gig at a time when thousands of young men his age were being sent to their slaughter in Vietnam.
That had been clear ever since Walter Robinson, the editor of the Spotlight investigative team at the Boston Globe, extensively reported out the story in May 2000, piecing together an article from available military records that has never been definitively challenged.
  The Washington Post in 1999 had raised questions of favoritism and joining the Guard to avoid dangerous duty in Vietnam. But it was the Globe that introduced the missing AWOL year.
Possibly because the Globe had out-reported its bigger colleagues, the story didn’t get picked up by the elite national outlets. When Democrats tried to bring it up again on the eve of the election, the New York Times pooh-poohed it under an instant classic of false-equivalence headline: “Bush’s Guard Attendance Is Questioned and Defended.” A “review of records by the New York Times indicated that some of those concerns may be unfounded,” the story said.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post castigated Democrats for their “11th-hour attempt to exploit a dormant issue.” The Post acknowledged the truth — “It is safe to say that Bush did very light duty in his last two years in the Guard and that his superiors made it easy for him” — but waved it off as an irrelevance.

During Bush’s first term, the AWOL story continued to burble on the Internet, including on websites like The AWOL Project and, but things didn’t pick up again until his reelection campaign.

In January 2004, iconoclastic filmmaker Michael Moore called Bush a “deserter.” And, as Moore himself wrote: “The pundits immediately went berserk. … As well they should. Because they know that they — and much of the mainstream media — ignored this Bush AWOL story when it was first revealed by an investigation in the Boston Globe (in 2000).”, even then the toothless watchdog of the Washington cocktail-party crowd, channeled the elite media with a response headlined: “Bush A Military ‘Deserter?’ [sic] Calm Down, Michael.”
In February, then-Democratic National Committee chairman Terence R. McAuliffe called Bush “AWOL,” and created a brief flurry of coverage. The Globe’s Robinson used the news peg to review the evidence he had collected four years earlier.


In response, the then-White House press secretary Scott McClellan issued robotic non-denial denials — “The President fulfilled his duties. The President was honorably discharged” and “It is really shameful that this was brought up four years ago, and it’s shameful that some are trying to bring it up again.” The White House released 400 pages of records, none of which were definitive. But the elite press, looking for a smoking gun in a case where the real clue was more of the dog-that-didn’t-bark-in-the-night variety, lost interest again.
The story wouldn’t entirely die, however. It came back with a vengeance in September, two months before the 2004 election.

On September 5, the Associated Press, which had sued in a failed attempt to see a microfilm copy of Bush’s entire Texas Air National Guard personnel record, declared: “Documents that should have been written to explain gaps in President Bush’s Texas Air National Guard service are missing from the military records released about his service in 1972 and 1973, according to regulations and outside experts.”

On the morning of September 8, the Boston Globe published Walter Robinson’s full-fledged reexamination of documents old and new, concluding that “Bush fell well short of meeting his military obligation.”
That same day — just hours before CBS aired Rather’s specious report — U.S. News published another thorough debunking of the Bush apologists, describing how “new examination of payroll records and other documents released by the White House earlier this year appear to confirm critics’ assertions that President George W. Bush failed to fulfill his duty to the Air National Guard during the Vietnam War.”


So Dan Rather, who aired his report that night, was hardly the first to report the story. He was simply the last.
Truth is a really odd movie. The casting alone makes it clear that the filmmakers consider Rather and Mapes to be heroic, sympathetic figures. But because the artless screenplay sticks mostly to the truth, most viewers will not be inclined to see things that way. Its painfully cliched establishing shots will give them plenty of time to mull this contradiction. Avoid it. Instead go see Spotlight — a film opening in November about another investigation by Walter Robinson and the Boston Globe team — where the journalistic heroes actually do something heroic, and it’s great to watch. (Disclosure: Spotlightwas partially funded by The Intercept’s parent company, First Look Media.)
The best that can be said for Rather and Mapes is that they didn’t intend to screw up the truth. But they did.

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