August 31, 2017

Tx. Sen.Ted Cruz said Pork for Sandy Victims Now Cruz is The Pig and We Need Pork for Texas

 Flooding in Manhattan from Sandy

Katrina, Sandy were hurricanes in which the aftermath brought fights from the GOP politicians in which they fought( particularly (Sen. Cruz on sandy) bills for help complaining they had too much pork (too much unnecessary money). Meanwhile lives, remained in the balance. I was here without food,  electric or water and I was lucky because I was not flooded out.

The louder yells came from Texas and its Senators in which they had  so many Sandy victims in NJ and NY which they would not pass a relief bill. Delayed because they wanted less money available for victims like if it was money that was going to be given away knowing perfectly well that is not the way it works.

The President asked for the money he figured by talking with the Governors, Representatives, Senators of those regions affected bad. He calculated with FEMA what was needed and that is what he asked congress to deaf ears from Texas.

The whole NYC downtown business area was underwater. We just had this month the Subway Station on South Ferry reopen from the time Sandy flooded it out, a brand new station which had just reopened at the time.. Just like that Subway station remained closed for so long. The memories are still not fixed yet. There are people that lost everything in NY, Long Island and jersey. Still their losses put them in the food stamps roles which House Speaker Ryan and Trump wanted and still want to cut along with Trump.

The North-east is not asking an eye for an eye but it does demand from Republicans strongholds as Texas that they learn we are in this together and there is no one better than anyone else because of where they happened to be born. 5 Yrs ago NY today Texas...What was the argument again from Ted cruz representing and duly elected by the people of Texas?Pork? Well you know who is the moral pig today and pork for as money to rebuilt is for Texas. Yes?

 This are not the worse pictures from Sandy but it does show than even in a town that has tall buildings they are not insulated when you get high winds and flooding conditions. 

 Republicans from New York and New Jersey are pledging unconditional support for those devastated by Hurricane Harvey. But their resentment lingers.
But as historic floods wreaked havoc across the Gulf Coast, Northeastern Republicans recalled with painful detail the days after Superstorm Sandy ravaged their region in 2012. At the time, Texas' Republican lawmakers, led by Sen. Ted Cruz, overwhelmingly opposed a disaster relief package they argued was packed with wasteful spending.

The debate delayed the passage of the Sandy relief package by several weeks. And five years later, another powerful natural disaster has exposed lingering resentment that underscores regional divisions in a deeply divided Republican Party grappling with the crisis.
"It was cruel, it was vicious, and something that I'll never forget," Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., told The Associated Press on Tuesday. He said Texas Republicans held up the 2012 bill as part of "a political ploy against the Northeast." 

"Having said that," King added, "I don't want the people of Texas to suffer."
King's comments were representative of several New York and New Jersey Republicans interviewed by the AP who said they were still angry but would not employ the tactics of their Texas colleagues as Congress awaits an expected Trump administration request for billions of dollars of assistance. It may take weeks or months to survey the damage, but early estimates suggest Harvey could be one of the most expensive natural disasters in U.S. history. "We're not going to hold it against those poor Texans who need our help what their representatives tried to do to us back five years ago," said Rep. Dan Donovan, R-N.Y. "This is an American crisis and we come to the aid of our fellow Americans."
It's still unclear how the conservative Texas delegation will approach disaster funding when it affects their region. Natural disasters back home typically transform Congress' fiscal conservatives railing about the deficit into fans of federal spending.

Several Texas Republicans did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday. Cruz's office said it was too soon to say whether he could pledge unconditional support to a massive disaster assistance package. In recent days, he has defended his opposition to a $51 billion Sandy relief bill he said was filled with "pork."
The current disaster highlights stark differences between two wings of the Republican Party: more moderate Northeastern Republicans, a group from which President Donald Trump hails, and those across the South and Southwest, who often adhere to a rigid conservative ideology even, apparently, in times of crisis. 
"When regions face serious disasters causing extensive damage, the federal government has an obligation to assist with assets to address the emergency," Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier said. "Sen. Cruz strongly supports this role of government, but emergency bills should not be used for non-emergency spending and that, unfortunately, is what made up nearly 70 percent" of the Sandy relief bill.
The Congressional Budget Office found that the $51 billion Sandy relief package was distributed relatively slowly, but virtually all of the funding was related to the storm or to prevent future disasters.
"I don't want to revisit who did or didn't vote for the legislation then," said Rep. Leonard Lance, R-N.J., "I think it's needed now, and I'll be voting for it when we return to Washington."
Lance, like other Northeastern Republicans interviewed, disagreed with the Texas delegation's insistence five years ago that federal spending for disasters should include corresponding budget cuts elsewhere.
"The overarching lesson is that we have the responsibility nationally to be involved in these situations. And that one never knows where the next natural disaster will occur," he said.
Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., was a state senator back in 2012 when Sandy hit.
"People's lives were hanging in the balance," he recalled, turning his attention to Texas. "I am fully, completely committed to doing whatever I can ... to assist."
Zeldin added, "Regardless of whether you're a fellow New Yorker or a Texan, we want to be as helpful as possible."
Congress stepped forward with enormous aid packages in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Sandy, though some GOP conservatives — including then-Indiana Rep. Mike Pence — chafed at the price tag. White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, who will be responsible for preparing any disaster request for Trump, opposed the Sandy aid package as a South Carolina congressman, offering a plan to cut elsewhere in the budget to pay for it.
Lawmakers provided $110 billion to rebuild the Gulf Coast after Katrina. The George W. Bush administration, politically scalded by criticism over its botched response, signed off on the aid.
But New York and New Jersey lawmakers seeking help over Sandy encountered stiffer resistance.
King said he was speaking out now to "put down a marker" for Cruz and others who stood in the way of Sandy relief five years ago.
"If there was another natural disaster," King said, "we're not going to tolerate what he did the last time."
Steve PeoplesAssociated Press

America First and Rejecting Refugees is Part of American History: 60K Running from The Nazis1938 and Refused

When the U.S. Turned Away 20,000 Jewish Children Fleeing Nazi Germany

 On the evening of Nov. 9, 1938, a wave of violence against Jews swept across Nazi Germany, one that would result in hundreds of Jewish synagogues and businesses being destroyed and tens of thousands of Jews being sent to concentration camps. Kristallnacht, or “Night of Broken Glass,” shocked the world, and some nations, including Great Britain, sprang to action to assist the German Jews fleeing Nazi pogroms. Within days, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and his Cabinet approved the admission of Jewish refugee children; a couple of weeks later, the first train carrying hundreds of children from a burned orphanage left for England.
With an estimated 60,000 Jewish children at risk, all eyes turned to the United States, a nation founded by immigrants, to save thousands more of those children from Nazi persecution. But, in what remains one of the more egregious examples of America’s rather dismal history of offering asylum to refugees fleeing violence, Uncle Sam sat on his hands. T

The number of people displaced by World War II was unprecedented, and, as Carl Bon Tempo chronicles in Americans at the Gate, the European refugee crisis had been growing precipitously before 1938. Yet U.S. immigration laws remained restrictive, adhering to a rigid quota system established in the 1920s that admitted a fixed number of immigrants based on their country of origin. And with Americans still reeling from the Great Depression, there was a very little appetite in Washington for relaxing immigration quotas, even when a humanitarian crisis like few others came knocking on America’s door.
By 1939, U.S. officials had received more than 125,000 visa applications, many from Germany and occupied Austria, and the Congress and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt were under pressure to relax the annual quota for German and Austrian immigrants, then set at 27,000. A bipartisan bill crafted by Sen. Robert Wagner, a New York Democrat, and Rep. Edith Rogers, a Massachusetts Republican, was put forward in early 1939 that would admit 20,000 child refugees to the U.S. over and beyond existing quotas. The Wagner-Rogers proposal was carefully couched as a humanitarian effort, was not limited to Jewish children, and it even specified that the costs would fall on private sources, not the government. But the bill, says Bon Tempo, a professor at the University at Albany, SUNY, “goes nowhere. It doesn’t even make it out of committee.” Why on earth not?
For starters, the issue was a nonstarter with the U.S. public, despite the fact that about 1,400 Americans had written to Congress offering to adopt refugee children. In a January 1939 Gallup poll, almost two-thirds of respondents opposed allowing 10,000 German refugee children into the country, and in an April Fortune poll that year, 83 percent said that the cap on European refugees should not be lifted. Americans in the West and South were particularly opposed to the measures, and members of Congress from those states held key positions on the committees considering the Wagner-Rogers bill. Besides concerns about newcomers taking American jobs and limited public resources, there was also a strain of anti-Semitism and xenophobia underlying the “America First” opposition. “Twenty thousand charming children,” argued Laura Delano Houghteling, FDR’s cousin and wife of the U.S. immigration commissioner, “would all too soon grow into 20,000 ugly adults.” 
FDR himself took no public stand on the issue, and we now know that despite first lady Eleanor Roosevelt pushing him, the president did little to aid the refugee bill. Concerned with the broader landscape of American foreign policy, national security and trying to nudge the nation into a more active posture toward war in Europe, Roosevelt, says Bon Tempo, made a political calculation that he would arouse too many opponents by relaxing immigration quotas. Still, FDR did not ignore the issue: He ordered the INS and State Department to be as generous as possible within existing quotas, and while only 5,200 of the 27,000 quota spaces were taken up in 1935, by the end of 1939, they were all taken and more (around 33,000).
World War II and the Holocaust changed the mindset of both the U.S. and the world toward refugees fleeing war zones and persecution, and a new American commitment to admitting refugees was born during the Cold War years, but one that still, says Bon Tempo, comes with all kinds of political and ideological calculations and qualifications built into it. And to this day, as the present debate over Syrian refugees attests, the U.S. remains guarded toward opening its doors to those, including children, who most need its shelter.
  • Sean BraswellSean Braswell, Senior Writer

[8] Specifics of Why Ivanka and Jared are Seen As Useless, Vindictive and Detested

Photo Credit: YouTube Screengrab
Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump—or Javanka, as some terrible person has dubbed them—moved to Washington, D.C. eight months ago certain they'd become America’s preeminent power couple. Turns out that vision was clouded by an inability to see beyond their own cloistered versions of reality.
“It’s clear that, after an initial period of awe at the sheer power of their positions, Jared and Ivanka have been stung by the vitriol directed at them,” Sarah Ellison writes in a lengthy piece on the pair in the October issue of Vanity Fair. “D.C. punctures their self-esteem on a daily basis.”
The Kushner-Trumps, according to the many Washington insiders Ellison interviewed, are shocked that they have earned (emphasis on earned) the same disdain as the president they serve. Ivanka and Jared are reportedly suffering from a case of the sads that might make you pity them until you remember they are entirely complicit in the horrors of this administration.
Here are 10 reasons Jared and Ivanka are as despicable as anyone in Trump's White House.
1. They’re kind of jerks.
She's the daughter of a billionaire narcissist and pathological liar whose previous claim to fame was firing people on national television. He's the son of a billionaire who tried to avoid jail on corruption charges by framing a witness (who also happened to be his brother-in-law) using a surreptitiously recorded sexual encounter with a prostitute he “personally recruited” for the job. Who would ever guess these two lovestruck billion-dollar babies, who have chosen to support and serve an unabashed kleptocrat, would be anything but pleasant and trustworthy? Surprisingly, they’re not, according to insiders.
“She tries to charm you at first, and then there’ll be the cutting remark in front of her father,” a former adviser told Ellison about Ivanka. Ellison writes that though Kushner “tries to be casual and jokes with other staffers, [he] can have even more of an edge.” When reportedly asked by the former chief-of-staff what Kushner and his small team were working on, Jared responded, “Reince, we aren’t getting paid. What the f**k do you care?”
Ellison also notes that “Kushner and Ivanka have complicity engaged in Trump’s humiliation of various staffers, be it West Wing aides [Steve] Bannon, Priebus, and Kellyanne Conway, or Cabinet members such as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.”
2. Ivanka has a nickname she definitely didn’t choose herself.
Ellison notes that “‘Princess Royal’ is a term that some West Wing advisers apply to her, though never to her face.”
3. Their inflated sense of self-importance, lack of political experience and inability to recognize either have made them almost universally disliked in Washington.
Ivanka and Kushner have lengthy resumes that display their commitment to upholding the long-honored institution of nepotism. What they do not have is any political experience other than what they’re gaining right now in yet another position bestowed upon them by one of their rich dads. In a political town like D.C., according to “one Washington veteran” Ellison spoke with, the right thing to do when the couple arrived would have been to “take a seat a little off to the side, at least until they get their bearings." But according to that same source, Kushner and Ivanka are bereft of the “necessary self-awareness [to] understand how to behave when you roll into Washington as the creature of someone else.”
“What is off-putting about them is they do not grasp their essential irrelevance,” the source told Ellison. “They think they are special.”

4. Their inexperience is apparent in their efforts.
 Ivanka and Kushner met with Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards for an informational interview about the organization. Ellison describes the meeting as “cordial,” and while no formal promises were made, Ivanka had imagined she would ultimately emerge as “a kind of referee between the Republicans clamoring to defund Planned Parenthood and the organization itself.” For years, the GOP has been gunning for Planned Parenthood—which provides a huge range of health care services to 2.4 million men, women, and teens every year—but Ivanka didn’t seem to understand the politics at play. After a Republican health care bill proposed defunding the organization entirely, Ivanka suggested to Richards that Planned Parenthood “stop offering abortions and the White House would advocate increased funding” for its offices around the country.
When Richards declined the offer, Ivanka’s surrogates attempted to go over her head, pitching the same politically unworkable idea to board members. “It completely backfired,” an observer of the process told Ellison. “It wasn’t just naïve from a Planned Parenthood perspective. It was naïve that the Republican House would have accepted it because it would have meant keeping Planned Parenthood open.”
In a dig at Ivanka, Richards later stated that every member of the Trump team “is responsible for addressing why women are in the crosshairs of basically every single policy that we’ve seen out of this administration.”
5. They have no real pull in the White House.
Whether through lack of effort or sheer ineffectiveness, Ivanka and Kushner have proven they will not be “moderating influences” in the Trump White House. Ellison points to a Politico report that says Ivanka found out about her father’s transgender military ban via Twitter. Each of Kushner and Ivanka's failures to influence Trump's agenda, from climate change to LGBT rights, has raised the volume of critical voices. “You can’t prevent him from trying to defund Planned Parenthood or getting out of the Paris Agreement?” a political consultant remarked rhetorically, echoing the sentiments of others around D.C. “What are you good for?”
One interviewee suggested the two are really there to serve as emotional soundboards for Ivanka’s father. “Trump is emotionally dependent on his son-in-law and his daughter...but they can’t do anything for him,” one member of Washington’s old guard told Ellison. “All they can do is make him feel better about what his life has come to.”
That means the two are useless to those who once thought they might serve as resources, a discovery which essentially makes their stock as powerbrokers worthless.
“If her main value in Washington is her access to her father and she is unable to sway him, then she is simply a 35-year-old former real-estate and retail executive in over her head,” Ellison writes.
6. They’ve lost "credibility with pro-environment business owners and Silicon Valley executives."
Ellison notes that on the heels of their numerous failures to impact Trump’s policies, Ivanka has backed away from her advocacy on issues such as climate change, and switched her attention to less politically thorny matters. Her willingness to abandon issues she once claimed to earnestly support has hurt her image with every sane person who opposes her historically unpopular father’s presidency, including eco-minded tech titans and C-suite occupants. Ellison writes:
When Ivanka threw herself into the analysis of the Paris climate accord and the implications of the U.S. pulling out, she talked supportively to Andrew Liveris, chairman and C.E.O. of the Dow Chemical Company, about a letter signed by C.E.O.s urging her father not to abrogate the deal. The ad ran, but Trump pulled out anyway. When Ivanka later tried to distance herself from her own efforts on climate change, the disavowal hurt her credibility with pro-environment business owners and Silicon Valley executives. To them, the episode showed not only her lack of pull with her father but also an unwillingness to stand on principle.
Ivanka now says she has shifted her focus solely to “job creation and women’s empowerment, including paid family leave, child-care tax credits, workforce development, and STEM education,” and insists she “should be judged only on the success or failure of these, not on the broader positions of her father’s administration,” according to Ellison.
7. They are loathed by D.C. society.  
In July, reports emerged of Ivanka and Jared enjoying cocktails and canapés in the Hamptons alongside Chuck Schumer and George Soros. The episode seemed like yet more proof that the rich's first loyalty is to their class, but Ellison spoke to a few dissenting voices. In one instance, Javanka attended a party at the home of Atlantic Media head David Bradley. The “off-the-record dinner” was a moment to do away with soundbites and spin, but the pair apparently stayed on script.
“They were terrible,” Ellison was told by someone who was there, complaining that the duo, “kept to platitudes and pabulum, as they often do in public conversations.”
They also may have lost a few friends from their New York City society circles. Ellison spoke to a Manhattan friend who told her, “I haven’t had anything to do with them since they moved...What am I going to say? ‘What the f**k is wrong with you?’”
But a lot of the sneering and badmouthing is likely going on behind Kushner and Ivanka’s back, as one anecdote seems to show. The couple attended the Allen & Co. conference in Sun Valley this July, where “the chatter was ‘These people are horrible,’ and this and that, but of course, Jared and Ivanka show up and the air-kissing began.”
Their daughter’s school has also attempted to make nice, especially since a little kid who has no part in this whole thing is involved.
Some parents at the upscale and politically liberal Jewish Primary Day School, where Arabella is enrolled and where former senator Joe Lieberman and former White House chief of staff (and now Chicago mayor) Rahm Emanuel sent their children, are anguished over how to temper their disdain for Arabella’s grandfather while welcoming a blameless six-year-old into their ranks.
8. Their brand is the most important thing to them.
Ellison writes that the two have already planned their escape if Trump's presidency completely implodes.
“[I]ncreasingly you hear chatter in Washington that Jared and Ivanka won’t last, not because they are at risk of being pushed out, but because they will save themselves from a damaged White House. One well-connected strategist in New York told me that the two were eyeing a move at the end of the school year in 2018. A person close to the couple said they weren’t planning that far ahead. “When they decide it’s more important to protect their own and their children’s reputations than it is to defend their indefensible father’s, that’s a sign the end is near,” one influential Republican donor told me....People close to Kushner and Ivanka say that they have come to Washington for a limited time to work, not make inroads into the social scene, much less put down roots.”
Kali Holloway is a senior writer and the associate editor of media and culture at AlterNet

[3] Reasons Why So Many People Hate Joel Osteen and His Mega Church in Houston

Twitter is loathing Houston’s megawatt-smile, mega-pastor Joel Osteen. What gives? 
For Myself, the main reason(the are others) is that He is against Gay Marriage but for others:

Joel Osteen’s Houston megachurch transforms into shelter
Lakewood Church, a 606,000-square-foot megachurch in Houston where Joel Osteen preaches, is being used as a shelter from the flood. (Thomas Johnson/The Washington Post)
The question over whether Osteen’s 38,000-member Lakewood Church has sufficiently aided in the disaster relief effort in the wake of Hurricane Harvey has, once again, made America’s prince of the prosperity gospel into an object of social media contempt.
With his yachts and jets and endlessly-smiling mouth offering promises of “Your Best Life Now” (that’s the name of his best-selling book), Osteen was already a subject of contempt among Americans, in general.
But in the past few days, he has been lambasted as being, at best, sluggish in providing emergency aid to those suffering from the disaster and, at worst, a hypocrite who cares more about people’s wealth than welfare. In fairness, the city of Houston has more megachurches than any other metropolitan area in the country, with dozens of big-church celebrities to thrust into the spotlight at a time like this. So what is it about America’s grinning preacher that everyone hates so much? 
I’ve been studying the American prosperity gospel for more than a decade, and I have come to the stunning conclusion that Joel Osteen seems to be a pretty nice guy. He is the cheery advertisement for the 606,000-square-foot Lakewood Church and, with the gorgeous Victoria by his side, tours the country in packed-out arenas to bring “A Night of Hope” — a religion-lite, inspirational speech set to music. And, for those who don’t mind waiting a few minutes after the service, he will shake your hand and tolerate your comment about how his hair looks even better in real life. It does.
But there are three main reasons long after this controversy passes, Joel Osteen will still be the preacher America loves to hate — and perhaps for Christians more than others.
Number 1. Joel Osteen represents the Christian 1 percent. From aerial views of his jaw-dropping mansion to the cut of his navy suits, he always looks like a man with a good reason to be smiling. He is a wealthy man who unapologetically preaches that God has blessed him, with the added bonus that God can bless anyone else, too. 
The promise of the prosperity gospel is that it has found a formula that guarantees that God always blesses the righteous with health, wealth, and happiness. For that reason, churchgoers love to see their preachers thrive as living embodiments of their own message. But the inequality that makes Osteen an inspiration is also what makes him an uncomfortable representation of the deep chasms in the land of opportunity between the haves and the have-nots. When the floodwaters rise, no one wants to see him float by on his yacht, as evidenced by the Christian satire website the Babylon Bee’s shot Tuesday at Osteen: “Joel Osteen Sails Luxury Yacht Through Flooded Houston To Pass Out Copies Of ‘Your Best Life Now.’ ” 
 Number 2. There is a lingering controversy around prosperity megachurches and their charitable giving. When a church that places enormous theological weight on tithes and offerings is not a leader in charitable giving, the most obvious question is about who is the primary beneficiary of the prosperity gospel? The everyman or the man at the front?
Number 3. For many Christians, in particular, the prosperity gospel has an unpopular answer to the problem of evil in the world. Its central claim — “Everyone can be prosperous!”—contains its own conundrum. How do you explain the persistence of suffering? It might be easier to say to someone undergoing a divorce that there is something redemptive about the lessons they learned, but what about a child with cancer? 
This week, the prosperity gospel came face-to-face with its own theological limits. It was unable to answer the lingering questions around what theologians call “natural evil.” There is a natural curiosity about how someone like Osteen will react in the face of indiscriminate disaster. Is God separating the sheep from the goats? Will only the houses of the ungodly be flooded? The prosperity gospel has not every found a robust way to address tragedy when their own theology touts that “Everything Happens for a Reason.”  
The good news is that the prosperity gospel, as a movement, is still young. It still has time to be ready when the next natural disaster strikes and people want to be assured that their religious giants are offering more than their thoughts and prayers.

Evangelicals in Nashville Release Anti Gay Statement But in CA. Police Launches Recruitment for LGBT

With Silicon Valley Pride approaching this weekend, the San Jose Police Department is for the first time launching a campaign to recruit members of the LGBT community through a series of public initiatives and an intrepid ad campaign.
The campaign will feature identical ads showing the actual families of three officers: a heterosexual couple, a gay male couple and a lesbian couple.
 Chief Eddie Garcia also announced Thursday that his department has created a liaison role dedicated to addressing crime and police concerns within the LGBT community, which has battled issues with underreporting of crime out of fear of reprisal from families and colleagues.
“The reality is the LGBT community gets overlooked often,” Garcia said. “Bias isn’t solely about race. We can’t preach social justice outside the organization if we’re not preaching it inside as well. We want to continue to mirror the community we serve.”
Garcia will lead a push this weekend during Pride festivities to drum up interest in joining the police force. And inside the department within existing ranks, an array of projects to improve officers’ cultural competence with LGBT people and issues, and ability to discern hate crimes against them, is underway. Police academy recruits are already required to visit the Billy DeFrank LGBTQ Community Center as a component of their diversity training.
Officer James Gonzales, recently the vice president of the police union, is helping spearhead the new outreach. He is one of two openly gay male officers in the department.
“These steps are significant. No matter what you say, unless officers and people are seeing other officers serving openly, how will they have the confidence to do the same?” Gonzales said. “Seeing us in real same-sex couples can provide the confidence to work here and be open about their family status.”
“We’ve been at Pride for a number of years,” he added. “But we’ve never recruited at a gay event showing a gay officer and their family.”
The new liaison role mirrors efforts in Seattle, Los Angeles, New York, and, naturally, the city’s pioneering neighbors to the north in San Francisco.
Alongside the Pride participation — where the chief will ride in a patrol car outfitted with rainbow SJPD decals — this weekend the department will run the series of TV and print ads touting its new “SJPD + Your Family” campaign.
The ads show officers getting ready for work and saying goodbye to their spouses, with the only differences appearing at the end when their sexual orientation is briefly revealed.
The trailing message: “Now Hiring: San Jose Police Department welcomes all families to join our police family.”
Gonzales is featured with his husband in one of the ads. Officer Saul Duran appears in one with his wife, Patricia Jaime, a former SJPD officer-turned-District Attorney investigator. Officer Margaret Sandez rounds out the campaign appearing with her wife.
The chief is quick to point out that the department is not prioritizing the LGBT community over other underrepresented groups, but rather bringing it more evenly into the fold, especially with a nascent recruiting blitz to replenish years of staffing losses.
“We’re opening up the floodgates with recruiting. The LGBT community consists of all races,” Garcia said. “The individuals who qualify to be an SJPD officer are not all white, not all Latino, not all African-American. And they’re not all straight. If they can answer a call for service and save someone’s life, that’s good enough for me.”
Mayor Sam Liccardo echoed the sentiment.
“We’re passionate about getting the best and brightest women and men to serve our community, that requires us to send a clear message,” Liccardo said. “We invite diversity.”
Garcia noted that within the department culture, there has been more familiarity with openly lesbian officers than gay male officers. Gonzales has been a bridge for many of his colleagues in that regard, thanks in part to his familiarity to them as a union officer.
“I need to make sure that if a male officer happens to be gay, and if they want to keep their life private, that’s fine,” Garcia said. “And if they want to be able to talk about their personal life, I need to make sure that person is safe.”
Much of the planned outreach will be done in consultation with an LGBT advisory board created earlier this year, composed of community leaders including county Supervisor Ken Yeager; county LGBT affairs Director Maribel Martinez; Gabrielle Antolovich, board president of the Billy DeFrank Center; San Jose mayoral LGBT liaison Khanh Russo; and Wiggsy Sivertsen, the South Bay LGBT rights pioneer who spent nearly a half century at San Jose State University and co-founded the Bay Area Municipal Elections Committee.
“This signifies progress in a way we’ve never seen before,” Yeager said. “The police force aggressively recruiting gays and lesbians is something I have not seen, ever. These all send a strong message in many ways: First, feel free to apply but more, importantly, feel free to report a crime.”
Yeager was alluding to a chronic issue in the LGBT community in terms of shaky trust in law enforcement. According to county figures, just one in four LGBT domestic-violence victims report the abuse to police.
Among LGBT youth, 81 percent are verbally harassed, 44 percent of them are physically harassed, and 20 percent are physically assaulted at school, according to the county. And the fear of reporting to police, and potentially outing themselves to families or employers, helps feed the troubling statistic that 29 percent of homeless youth are LGBT.
“I remember the days when officers would harass gay people or would not take the crime against them seriously,” Yeager said, adding that the police outreach “just shows the remarkable progress that’s going to keep on accelerating. I hope this happens with other police departments, and fire departments, as well.”
©2017 the San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.)

Meds in Development in 2017 for HIV

Since the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), was first identified in the United States more than 30 years ago, expanded treatment options have brought down death rates, increased patient adherence, improved the quality of life for patients and paved the way for future research focused on preventing the disease.

Today there are 52 medicines and vaccines for HIV currently in development, including additional combination treatments, more effective therapies, and preventative vaccines. These medicines and vaccines are either in clinical trials or awaiting review by the FDA. Among the 52 medicines in development for HIV, there are 32 antiretrovirals and antivirals, 16 vaccines and four cell therapies, including a potential first-in-class medicine intended to prevent HIV from attaching to new cells and breaking through the cell membrane.

August 30, 2017

Def.Sec. Mattis Will Allow Transgender Troops to Serve Pending Study

 Defense Secretary Jim Mattis late Tuesday announced that transgender troops will be allowed to continue serving in the military pending the results of a study by experts. 
The announcement follows an order from President Trump — first announced in a tweet — declaring that transgender service members can no longer serve in the military, effectively reversing an Obama administration policy. The order also affects the Department of Homeland Security, which houses the Coast Guard.
"Once the panel reports its recommendations and following my consultation with the secretary of Homeland Security, I will provide my advice to the president concerning the implementation of his policy direction," Mattis said in the statement. "In the interim, current policy with respect to currently serving members will remain in place."
Mattis' move buys time for the Pentagon to determine how and if it will allow thousands of transgender troops to continue to serve, whether they will receive medical treatment, or how they will be discharged.
As Defense Secretary, Mattis has emphasized that he has little tolerance for policies that detract from military readiness or the Pentagon's effectiveness on the battlefield. At the last moment in June, he delayed the Pentagon's plan to accept new transgender troops. His reasoning: He demanded more study to determine the effect of recruiting them on the Pentagon's ability to fight and win wars.
Under the Obama administration, the Pentagon rescinded a longstanding ban on transgender troops from serving. It also outlined how those troops could receive medical treatment, including gender reassignment surgery, if it was deemed medically necessary.
Trump's order by tweet on July 26 caught the Pentagon by surprise. The tweets said there was no room in the ranks for transgender troops and that the government would no longer pay for their medical treatment.
Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, responded by saying that the Pentagon would not change its policy until it was notified officially by the White House.
The president issued that notification Friday night. It directed Mattis to study the issue and determine how to implement Trump's direction. It was assailed by advocates for transgender troops who called it discriminatory, and the American Civil Liberties Union has filed suit against it.
Last year, the Pentagon commissioned a study by the nonpartisan RAND Corp. to examine the effects on military readiness of allowing transgender troops to serve openly and the cost of providing them medical treatment. The study estimated that a few to several thousand transgender troops are in the active duty force of 1.3 million. Researchers found that paying for their health care needs would amount to about $8 million per year and their effect on readiness would be negligible. 

Gen. Mattis Talk to The Troop Was Inspiring But If There Was a Coup Would It Be Worse Than Now?

We have a mental case as President and his governing political party which is giving him a pass when he lies, when he breaks the law. The only hope is for the Mueller investigation to bring out his law breaking schemes to get richer on the governments' dime and to commit obstruction of justice to the open. The only thing is, this will not happen in the next six months. We've had eight months of Trump already and Pennsylvannia Avenue is full of road kills from his mistakes including the danger he is put the world through causing North Korea to go rogue with an increasing nuclear arsenal threatening us and our allies.

The situation was not this bad when he took office but his tweeting and threatening that regime is put us in nuclear danger. 

Trump has surrounded himself with Generals, god only knows why but the military which is the one that goes fighting and dying for the decisions coming from the White House and Congress and is not going to let the nation be lost to an attack from one of our enemies because there is nobody competent at the switch.

I would hate to see what that would entailed but when the electorate elected a madman they must've been mad themselves.  To top it all off the nation is divided with a 33% or so backing what ever craziness he does because practically they don't like the laws of this nation and they don't like most of the people either: Blacks, Hispanics, Jews and LGBT's. They have been buying up weapons and saying as much every chance they get. That makes it very difficult for law abiding people to go and demonstrate without getting into deadly fights with them in order to send congress a message, not him (Trump) he does not read messages but to the people that can unseat him legally. Im glad the the Secretary of Defense said those words discussed below but at the same time it tells some of us, the one listening that we are in deep s***.
                 'Speak up now or forever hold your Peace'

High-ranking military officials have become an increasingly ubiquitous presence in American political life during Donald Trump's presidency, repeatedly winning arguments inside the West Wing, publicly contradicting the president and even balking at implementing one of his most controversial policies.
Connected by their faith in order and global norms, these military leaders are rapidly consolidating power throughout the executive branch as they counsel a volatile president. Some establishment figures in both political parties view them as safeguards for the nation in a time of turbulence.
Trump's elevation of a cadre of current and retired generals marks a striking departure for a country that for generations has positioned civilian leaders above and apart from the military.
"This is the only time in modern presidential history when we've had a small number of people from the uniformed world hold this much influence over the chief executive," said John McLaughlin, a former acting director of the CIA who served in seven administrations. "They are right now playing an extraordinary role."
In the wake of deadly racial violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier this month, five of the Joint Chiefs of Staff were hailed as moral authorities for condemning hate in less equivocal terms than the commander in chief.  [Star and Stripes]

video clip of Defense Secretary James Mattis speaking with troops deployed in Jordan has been making the rounds on various social media outlets, with varied and strong reactions.
Upon seeing the clip, I noted on Twitter, “Mattis is reflecting a line I have from many (mil esp but also civ): society is gone to hell and mil is only + last bastion of virtue.”
A lively discussion ensued between current and former military personnel, academics and national security professionals about what he said. Some praised him, while others wrung their hands with worry.
These contradictory reactions to his comments perfectly exemplify the civilian-military divide. The debate left me wondering: Should I be picking out my outfit for the impending military coup? Or should we all just chill?
First, what did Mattis say exactly? While his comments were part of lengthier remarks, here are the critical points:

Keep on fighting…You are buying time. You are a great example for our country. …It’s got some problems….problems we don’t have in the military…Hold the line until our country gets back to understanding and respecting and showing it….being friendly to one another.
His message to the troops in short: Don’t allow the passions and divisions back home diminish your morale or affect your ability to do what you need to do while deployed.
GettyImages-103121261Former US Marine Corps General, now Secretary of Defense, James Mattis testifying before the Senate Armed Service Committee on July 27, 2010 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty 
This seems like a fairly straightforward pep talk from an experienced military commander to those he leads. That was certainly how many military Twitter followers, and some civilians as well, interpreted what Mattis said.
They heard the “ warrior monk ” encouraging fellow warriors and invoking a common theme of his: the lack of “friendliness” and civility in contemporary American society.
However, Mattis makes two points that require deeper reflection.
First, the troops are to stay the course out there/here on the battlefield until things right themselves back at home.
Second, the issues plaguing society at home are not present in the military, in other words, that the military has respect, understanding and friendliness. This view is hardly unique to Mattis.
As I noted in my tweet, the view implied in this part of the statement is one that I have heard in military circles for many years. I have heard it from colleagues, from family members and friends, and I’ve come across it in my research on military ethics and culture. Journalist and author Thomas Ricks notes the issue in his discussion of the civilian/military culture gap in his book Making the Corps .
Plus, numerous studies since Vietnam have demonstrated the public esteem and trust given to the military. The public, if these polls are correct, does view the military as honorable and ethical — and therefore trustworthy — in ways that other public institutions are not.
And here we arrive at the civilian/military cultural divide that was so evident in the reaction of civilian national security professionals and academics on Twitter who expressed concern and even moderate outrage at his comments.  
These folks argued that his comments worked to widen the divide between the military and the civilian society they serve. Some also feared that the growing divide could create favorable conditions for an assertion of even greater military involvement in civilian institutions, if not a military coup.
Those concerns were prompted by the claim of military moral superiority that they thought Mattis expressed in his comments and, for some, this resonates with the experience of Latin American countries where similar sentiments have led to military takeover of democratic institutions.
Loren DeJonge Schulman, who served on the National Security Council and at the Defense Department during the Obama administration, observed, “Mattis is doing well and getting admiration for his Mattisisms. He is also setting enormous precedent – hugely difficult to break at DOD.”
I presume Schulman would not take her point as far as a military takeover even in time of acute crisis, but it is important to ask the question how far toward the insertion of military authority in democratic and civilian life could such sentiments lead.
So is this just another pep talk to the troops or is something else much more concerning afoot? I want to emphasize that this is not about Secretary Mattis.
I am reasonably certain that he is an honorable man dedicated to serving his country as a civilian now, while continuing to live out Marine Corps values and military professionalism. While I would not count myself as a member of the Cult of Mattis, I am not questioning his character.
Instead, I’m much more interested in whether there is a precedent being set. His comments were so striking because they seemed to point to larger attitudes and assumptions held by both civilians and members of the military.
The real questions here are about how the two sides hear what he said, what they might conclude from it, and how they will act? On the military side, how will this be heard?
The concern is that troops will hear an endorsement of military moral exceptionalism and a claim that those in the military are essentially more virtuous than their fellow citizens. They could also hear that civilian society, of which they are not seemingly a part, has these problems and that they have to be sorted out by civilians and are of no concern to the military.
They are on the wall defending; that is their only concern.
On the civilian side, what could be heard is a growing culture divide that has profound importance for our national life. That perception grows up in a time of  the increasing influence of former and current senior military officials in political leadership positions (notably in the current administration, but not exclusively so) and the politicization of the officer corps.
Civilians could also hear the claim of moral superiority (with which some people actually agree) as an assumption that members of the military are generally imbued with some moral character from their service that civilians do not and cannot possess.
This claim can have a powerful political logic to it: eroding the idea of the military as a politically neutral player devoted only to the Constitution and protection of the Nation.
My point here is that language matters, not just in terms of what the speaker meant, but in terms of how these words and attached meanings are perceived and acted upon. Mattis cannot be responsible for that, but his words highlight something that is present and needs to be addressed.
First, we have civilian control of the military as a basic Constitutional principle and a core value of professionalism within the military. These values require a level of engagement and support from the civilian side that seems to be eroding.
The American people and some of their leaders seem more and more content to hand matters over to the military (because they are competent, moral and trustworthy) and essentially say, “We trust you. You handle this.”
This serves several purposes for the public, including: shifting the political and moral risk away from themselves, avoiding difficult decisions and public debate, and refraining from more directly addressing the costs of war.
This was highlighted quite starkly in President Donald Trump’s recent speech on Afghanistan, where he emphasized his desire not to “micromanage” the military as it carried out its mission there.
Second, the military is a part of our society – not a separate fortress. Today’s service members came from society and they will return to it. Sebastian Junger and others have aptly documented the difficulties many in the military have with returning to civilian life and the alienation and separation experienced by veterans.
There is disappointment, frustration, and sometimes, contempt and scorn directed toward civilian society that is often part of this alienation. Thinking of the military as not involved or implicated in the passions and conflicts roiling society today contributes to this, as well as being false and problematic on its own. Indeed, just another slice of this complex puzzle is the involvement of vets in militia groups on American soil.
The military does have a different culture in many ways, but it is one informed by core values that are instilled as part of the training process, then enforced by incentives and in certain cases, coercion to be maintained.
Given this, one would expect military culture to be different! On the other hand, many of the problems and conflicts consuming the American public are present in our contemporary military.
The Fat Leonard and Marines United scandals remind us that strong moral character is not a given in the military. There are discipline problems, racism, sexism, sexual assault, political radicalization, infidelity, drug addiction, lying and theft in the military, just like civilian society.
As an experienced commander, Mattis obviously knows this, even if his remarks do not reflect it in this case. The unified and clear comments of all the service chiefs condemning violence and bigotry following Charlottesville is further evidence of this recognition by commanders that the military is part of society and potentially plagued by the same threats.
In short, Mattis’s remarks and the challenge they pose should be seen as a good opportunity to shift from the civilian/military culture gap to thinking about a civilian/military partnership.
The military does have to hold the line, but they cannot and should not do so alone. Civilians need to reassume much of the moral and political risks of war that they are trying to outsource to the military and be a fully engaged partner – before, during and after conflicts.
What’s more, civilian society is, one might say, a hot mess, but we need the best people of character, commitment and experience to help sort out the myriad issues we face. The military is trained for moral and physical commitment and discipline, so they know what it takes and have practice and training that many in the civilian realm simply lack.
These distinctions could make the difference in facilitating dialog and solutions to our common problems. But it’s short-sighted to fault civilians for not having military training. Better for the military to consider what character, skills and commitment civilians have due to their experiences, education and training that also contributes to the common good.
I think we can all breathe easy that a military coup is not around the corner. I do commend Secretary Mattis for provoking an important discussion, reminding us that there is much work to be done. We need to think seriously about his words: What will the next Marine who hears those words take from them? What will she do?
What will the ROTC cadets who come through my classes hear and take with them when they are commissioned? What will the next president and other future leaders hear and take from them?
How can we as a society, military and civilian, not just learn but train to be better citizens and become, in Mattis’s words, more “friendly to one another”—both across the military-civilian divide not just within one side of it.
Pauline Shanks Kaurin is Associate Professor and Chair of Philosophy at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA.

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