February 29, 2020

Ways {{FIVE}} to Prevent and Prepare for The Corona Virus

As the coronavirus spreads around the globe, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your family. 

"I told my children that while I didn't think that they were at risk right now, we, as a family, need to be preparing for significant disruption of our lives," says Dr. Nancy Messonnier of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Currently, if you live in the U.S. the risk of getting the virus remains very low, but public health officials say there will likely be outbreaks in the United States. So this is a good time to review your emergency game plan.
Here's what you need to know to make good decisions to plan, prepare and even prevent the spread of the disease.   
1. This virus is contagious, but it's not as deadly as other outbreaks
In China, more than three-quarters of the cases have been classified as mild. Symptoms include low-grade fever and a cough. Some people also experience fatigue, headaches and, less frequently, diarrhea.
Overall, the death rate in China is estimated at 2 percent, and the average age of death among those with COVID-19 is in the 70's. People with underlying medical problems, and particularly smokers, seem to be at higher risk. 
Compared to prior outbreaks of novel viruses, this coronavirus appears less deadly than other human coronaviruses that have spread in recent years. For instance, the death rate was about 34% for MERS and about 10% for SARS. 
The flu causes more than 12,000 deaths a year in the U.S. An annual vaccine is the most effective way to prevent flu, but there are other strategies to prevent it. So far, there's no vaccine against the new coronavirus, but some of the same strategies to prevent flu can also protect against coronavirus. 
2. To fend off coronavirus, follow flu prevention tips
The top tip: Wash your hands. Why? Viruses can spread from person to person via respiratory droplets. When an infected person coughs or sneezes, close contacts can be infected. In addition, the virus can end up on doorknobs, elevator buttons, and other surfaces. If you touch those surfaces then touch your eyes, nose or mouth, you can become infected.
This is why it's important to wash rigorously. Here's the CDC's guidance.
"Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing."
"Americans are friendly. We not only shake hands, we also hug. These are ways we can transmit the virus," Katz says. She recommends an elbow bump. Or, you can try these no-touch salutations that NPR's Bob Boilen, host of All Songs Considered, and I demonstrate.
Here are 5 more things to remember, per the CDC:
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
3. Don't panic — start to prepare
This is not the time to panic, but it is a time to prepare - good old fashioned preparedness planning for your family," says Rebecca Katz, who directs the Center for Global Health Science and Security.
Think about the threat of a possible outbreak in your community the way you'd think about a big snowstorm or a hurricane. If it never hits, great. But if it does, you'll be glad you prepared.
Don't hoard, but do stock your cupboards with some extra food and cleaning supplies. Each time you grocery shop, buy a few extra items. Shelf stable foods such as beans and rice are good options. Also, utilize your freezer to preserve foods, everything from meats and vegetables to cooked grains and bread. Think about having enough on hand to last a few weeks. 
  • Check the medicine cabinet to ensure you have basic medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen.
  • Think about a backup plan if schools were to close during an outbreak.
  • If you take a daily prescription medication, have as much of supply on hand as possible.
  • Ask your employer about a work-from-home option.
"If there's a widespread virus in your community, you may not want to go to the [store]. You may want to distance yourself from others," Katz says.
4. The uncertainty of masks to prevent illness
Overall, there's no conclusive evidence that wearing a face mask can help prevent people from being infected by the virus. And public health officials give mixed messages about usefulness for the general public. As we've reported, masks may not fit the face tightly, so you're still able to breathe in infected droplets. And, experts worry that masks can give a false sense of security.
Health care providers are trained to use masks properly, and there's evidence that they're effective in clinical settings. For people at home, the CDC recommends using masks in certain situations. For instance, if you're caring for an infected person at home, the proper use of masks can protect the caregiver.
5. Be smart about travel
The CDC updates its travel advisory information frequently. The federal government uses a 4 level scale to rank risk. Level 1 = lowest risk, Level 4, highest.
For Italy, where there's been sustained spread of the novel coronavirus, there's now a Level 2 Alert. The CDC advises that older adults and those with chronic medical conditions should consider postponing nonessential travel. "Travelers should avoid contact with sick people and clean their hands often by washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60%–95% alcohol."
Check your health insurance to see if it includes international travel coverage, the CDC recommends. Also, consider travel health insurance and medical evacuation insurance. The CDC estimates that — without insurance, a medical evacuation can $100,000 or more.
If you've planned a cruise or overseas travel consider the possibility of travel disruptions in the event of an outbreak. "Think about the consequences of being caught on a ship or over a border when decisions are being made," that could limit or disrupt your travel without much warning says Christopher Mores of George Washington University. If you were quarantined, what would your back-up plan be for your work and family responsibilities back home? This is something to consider.

Gov of Kentucky Proud To Be With Drag Queens in Pic~ GOP Forgets is 2020 Criticized Him

Image result for Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear with drag queens
 Gov. Beshear defends photo taken with drag queens

(AP) — Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear defended a photograph of him posing with drag queens at a gay rights rally and accused a Republican lawmaker of using homophobic tactics by displaying the photo at a recent campaign rally while accusing Democrats of corrupting traditional values.
Beshear, a Democrat, told reporters Thursday that he would pose for the photo again, saying he was practicing his faith to treat everyone with respect.
The Republican lawmaker who denounced the photo at the rally owes an apology to everyone appearing in the picture, Beshear said. At the weekend rally for a Republican legislative candidate, state Sen. Phillip Wheeler accused Beshear and the Democratic Party of corrupting the values of children, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported. 
“They were absolutely homophobic," the governor said of the lawmaker's remarks. “I don't think he is the fashion police for the Capitol. I believe he owes each and every one of them an apology. They are as much Kentuckians as anybody else."
The photo was taken at the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort on Feb. 19 as LGBTQ advocates gathered for Kentucky Fairness Rally, according to a report from LEX 18 in Lexington, Kentucky. 
Wheeler defended his comments Thursday, saying they were not directed toward homosexuals.
“My problem is not with the gay movement," he said in a phone interview. “I didn't say anything about the ‘Pride Celebration.'"
Wheeler said he objected to what the drag queens wore. One of them donned a KFC bucket crafted to look like a nun’s habit while another posing behind Beshear was wearing horns.
“What I thought indecent was the fact that they wore outfits that mocked the Christian religion and mocked traditional values," Wheeler said. “That's what I've got a problem with, is the mockery and the fact that the governor would pose and support that."
The Republican candidate won this week's special election for an eastern Kentucky House seat that had been held by a Democrat for decades. The Appalachian region is a stronghold for Republican President Donald Trump. Beshear said Thursday he didn't think the photo influenced the outcome.
At the campaign event, Wheeler said: “This is not only a fight for the soul of America," the Lexington newspaper reported. “It is a fight against evil, for just the forces of decency.”
According to LEX 18, a video shared on Representative-elect Richard White's official Facebook page shows Wheeler speaking to a group of voters in Elliot County a few days before White won a special election in that district. In the video, Wheeler is seen walking around, showing the photo to the group. 
"I would have never thought that there would be a day where we have people dressed in devil horns celebrating with our governor in our beautiful Capitol in Frankfort, Kentucky. A place with much religious imagery and yet we have a Governor that celebrates it being defiled," Wheeler said in the video.
The Kentucky Democratic Party on Thursday called for Wheeler's resignation and for the Republican leadership in the State Senate and the House to denounce the comments.
“It’s time for Phillip Wheeler to go. He’s an embarrassment to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and his hateful, ignorant comments do not have any place in the Statehouse,” Marisa McNee, spokeswoman for the KDP, said. “If Senator Wheeler does not resign, the Senate must censure him immediately.”
"I think it's being presented as an LGBTQ issue and in my opinion, it's not an LGBTQ issue," said Wheeler. "It's a question of decorum and this particular group - the post with the governor- I mean, part of their agenda is to mock people of religion by using specific religious garb. Like, I think the one used a habit made out of a KFC bucket. One used devil horns. You know, I think that the intention, or the posing of the governor with the group that mocks traditional religion, is just a question of decency. Is that really what we want to support in the Commonwealth of Kentucky?"
Some of the drag queens in the photo come from a group called The Derby City Sisters, which sent a statement to WDRB News in response to Wheeler's comments: 
"The Derby City Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence is an order of sacred clown nuns whose goal is to bring education and awareness of the LGBT+ community. We strive to be present in the community so that others can see they are allowed to be comfortable as they are, where they are in their journey. We would love for anyone (especially Senator Wheeler and Representative White) to come and get to know us! We look atypical as a goal, however, our mission can be easily skewed when someone doesn’t know who we are."
Other queens come from a group called Kentucky Fried Sisters, LEX 18 reported. Both the Derby City Sisters and Kentucky Fried Sisters are part of the Kentucky order of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.
In a Facebook post, the Derby City Sisters invited Wheeler and White to get to know them. 
"We are a nonprofit, who seeks to let everyone know that they are loved and that they belong," the post read. "We advocate for those without a voice. We are dedicated to community service, and we humbly promote human rights and respect for diversity."
Beshear recently became Kentucky’s first sitting governor to attend and speak at the gay rights rally in the state Capitol Rotunda, a few steps from the governor’s office. The rallies by gay-rights supporters date back to the 1990s, activists said.
"As your governor, my door is always open to you," Beshear said at the rally. "And as long as I'm the governor, these doors will always be open to anybody."
The governor spoke against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and supported a ban on conversion therapy for LGBTQ youth during the rally. Beshear said Thursday that he was proud to make history with his appearance.
“It's time to move beyond the hatred and the division and treat everyone the way that they're supposed to be treated," he said. “For me, it's a matter of faith, morals and doing what's right."
“I would absolutely take that picture again because those are Kentuckians that were here at their Capitol," the governor added.
Beshear defeated Republican incumbent Matt Bevin, a staunch social conservative, to win the governorship in last year's election.
Political opposition to gay rights has some deep roots in Kentucky.
In 2004, Kentucky voters overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the state Constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman. But in June 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees same-sex couples have the right to marry. The ruling overturned same-sex marriage bans nationwide.
A county clerk in Kentucky, Kim Davis, made international news when she was jailed in 2015 for refusing to issue marriage licenses after gay weddings became legal. She cited her religious beliefs and said she was acting under “God’s authority.”
Davis was released only after her staff issued the licenses on her behalf but removed her name from the form. The state legislature later passed a law removing the names of all county clerks from state marriage licenses.
Gay-rights activists have made headway. A growing number of Kentucky municipalities have passed local “fairness ordinances,” which ban LGBTQ discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations.

The censors in Russia Cut Disney's First Openly Gay Character~ Someone is Afraid Russians Are Not Strong To Watch This

              Image result for “Onward,” a fantasy-adventureImage result for “Onward,” a fantasy-adventure

Russian distributors appear to have censored Disney and Pixar’s first LGBT character from their animated film “Onward,” the Kinopoisk.ru movie website reported Wednesday.

“Onward,” a fantasy-adventure that hits the big screens in Russia on March 5, introduces a cyclops police officer named Specter as the studios’ first-self identified lesbian character. Officer Specter appears in one scene, where she casually mentions having a girlfriend. 

Viewers who watched “Onward” dubbed in Russian told Kinopoisk that the word “girlfriend” had been changed to the more neutral “partner” and avoids mentioning Specter’s gender.

“Presumably, Disney’s Russia branch tried to avoid unnecessary problems with the anticipated project’s release,” the website wrote.

A Disney spokesperson in Russia declined to comment on Kinopoisk’s queries.

This is at least the third known censorship of a gay scene from a foreign film in Russia since the country passed a controversial 2013 law banning “homosexual propaganda” to minors.

Last year, Russian distributors cut gay sex and kissing scenes from the Elton John biopic “Rocketman.” Similarly, Russia’s version of Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame” altered a gay character’s description of a date to the less romantic “dinner.”

Non-LGBT scenes have also faced tweaks before hitting Russian cinemas.

Sergei, a Russian villain in the 2019 animated film “The Secret Life of Pets 2,” became a Frenchman named Serge in the film’s Russian version. 

Last year’s superhero film “Hellboy” replaced the titular character’s mention of Stalin with Hitler.

Russia has also canceled screenings of other movies, including “The Death of Stalin” and “Child 44,” for their portrayal of sensitive subjects in the Soviet past.

February 28, 2020

Can Trump Pardon His Buddy Roger Stone? NO! Here is Why:


 Roger Stone

I kept hearing about Trump pardoning one of his cronies Roger Stone. I wasn't sure and this is what I found out:

Both the plain meaning of the Constitution’s text and the historical evidence show that once a president has been impeached, he or she loses the power to pardon anyone for criminal offenses connected to the articles of impeachment — and that even after the Senate’s failure to convict the president, he or she does not regain this power. 

Under Article II, Section II of the Constitution, the president is given the “power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.” Pardons are supposed to be used as acts of mercy. The framers thought of the pardon power as a “benign prerogative”—prerogative because it was mostly unchecked by courts or Congress, but benign because presidents would use it for the public good.

But the framers knew not to place blind trust in the president to wield the power justly. That’s why they explicitly forbade a president from exercising the pardon power in “cases of impeachment.” The clause prevents the worst abuse of the pardon power: a president’s protecting cronies who have been convicted of crimes related to the president’s own wrongdoing.

The Constitution
Article on Politico

"A Question on The Alphabet" LGBTQ_P-Pedophile} Chair: Stop? 'Why' Because of Ur Mouth

This was at a House Appropriations Committee in Florida, meeting with questions from the public on the issue at hand, appropriations.

This is short and I feel sorry that in 2020 there can be such misinformed citizens that don't mind showing how uneducated they are they feel free to show their ignorance and homophobia on issues and fights which already have been settled. The Pedophile boloney which was popular in the years before the 20th millennium is past. Adam

Florida man Greg Pound at yesterday's House Appropriations Committee meeting says LGBTQ stands for "lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and P for pedophile" (shout-out to Chair @Travis_Cummings for shutting him TF down)

Fianlized by Mr. Pound Homophobe: LGBT is not offensive? worldly offensive to you?

I wonder under this rock he is been under. Im sure it was red and said MAGA.

Nobody Likes Bernie ? Many Do But It is Not That Important Anymore~ Judging The Ideas Is What Counts

I know Frank Bruni and respect his opinions when he comes on TV and mainly speaks about our political situation. This particular posting appeared in the New York Times. Frank is a handsome correspondent in my opinion, with lots of experience.
Frank Bruni

This article is part of Frank Bruni’s newsletter. 
(You can sign up here to receive it every Wednesday).

“Nobody likes him.” “Nobody wants to work with him.” When Hillary Clinton’s withering statements about Bernie Sanders were reported last month, many people interpreted them as sour grapes — as the fruit of her resentment that he bruised her during the 2016 Democratic primary and didn’t do more to help her in the general election.

But while her words were uncharitable and unnecessary, they spoke to a wider truth about Sanders that didn’t get all that much attention four years ago and hasn’t been widely discussed this time around, either: He isn’t and has never been popular with his Democratic colleagues in the Senate. Clinton would know that firsthand because she served with him there. I know that because I’ve heard some of those colleagues talk about him, describing him as arrogant, uncooperative, unyielding, even mean. One of them once joked that he was the Democrats’, Ted Cruz.

I mention that not in the interest of reviewing his legislative career or assessing his personality. I’m intrigued by the way in which his political success — he is indisputably the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination — contradicts bromides about the importance, professionally, of making friends and using honey instead of vinegar. Sanders didn’t do that. And neither did Donald Trump on his path to the presidency.

They’re very different men with very different values, and my reservations about Sanders are nothing like my revulsion to Trump. But they both demonstrate that personal charm, kindness and the regard of your peers matter less in politics than does the power of your pitch or, to use the lingo that my fellow Times columnist David Brooks did recently, the resonance of your myth.

If you’re telling a story and making a case that enough voters strongly connect with, you can be abrasive. You can have many episodes in your past that don’t square with most Americans’ sensibilities. You can be a thrice-married, trash-talking showman with bankruptcies, lawsuits and all manner of other messiness in your wake. Or you can be a 78-year-old who honeymooned in the Soviet Union, had a heart attack just last year and has not been as forthcoming with your medical records as you pledged to be.

Again, I’m not equating Trump and Sanders, to whom that would be grossly unfair. I’m noting how flawed conventional wisdom is and how Trump first and then Sanders exposed that. We journalists should never again write that someone is too old, too young, too polarizing, too petty, too cranky or too whatever to win an election. We should listen to what he or she is saying and then analyze, with an open mind, how it’s being heard.

Trump told voters that arrogant elites were ignoring their struggles and even contemptuous of them, and while many of those voters didn’t admire him personally, they thrilled to that message and how he delivered it. Sanders is telling voters that America has become a sort of oligarchy in which affluent citizens exploit poorer ones, and while many voters aren’t lining up to have a beer with him, they’re thirsty for — and sated by — that narrative.

We in the media too often cover politics as if it’s all about personality, but the ascents of Trump and Sanders have more to do with ideas — with arguments, perspectives, lenses for looking at America. If you have a seductive one, you needn’t be a storybook seducer. You can even be more ogre than a prince. 

  You can follow me on Twitter (@FrankBruni). 
The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips. And here’s our email: letters@nytimes.com. 
Frank Bruni has been with The Times since 1995 and held a variety of jobs — including White House reporter, Rome bureau chief, and chief restaurant critic — before becoming a columnist in 2011. He is the author of three best-selling books.  @FrankBruni • Facebook

February 27, 2020

Fiji Poet Peter Sipeli Speaks About Being Gay As a Fijian

Peter Sipeli during a TEDx talk in Suva, Fiji. Source: Facebook
Fiji poet and activist Peter Sipeli has been campaigning for LGBTQ+ rights through storytelling.
Peter established a poetry shop and collective that organizes readings, slam events, publishes anthologies and collections of poetry, prose or writings of young Fijians. Peter is also known for conducting spoken word sessions to highlight the experience of LGBTQ+ individuals in Fiji.
In an email interview with this author, Peter shared how art is integral to advocacy, talks about the challenges that artists and activists face in Fiji, and highlights the need to rethink how advocacies are conceptualized in the Oceania region.
Peter observed how development issues are framed in many ways that do not totally capture the lived experiences of Pacific Islanders. Peter said colonialism is partly to blame for discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community.
I think the problem we face in Fiji and generally across the Pacific is that the unjust laws that govern the lives of LGBTQ+ people are archaic and the ones created by the British that our people after independence have inherited; and that all these are not only reflected in our laws, but in Christian ideals as well that pervade and blur cultural ideas, and so we are left working to remind our peoples that before ‘contact’ we were quite sexually diverse and sexuality was very fluid.
Peter noted that colonial legacy has prevented Pacific peoples from interacting with each other:
I think the problem even we in the Pacific face is that we are so busy looking down working in our own burrows that we don’t look up to see other people in the Pacific, in Asia, across the world in Africa and beyond. There need to be newer ways of seeing that allows us to look at creative work being used for societal change so we can not only know but to learn from each other.
Too often the utterance that we hear in the Pacific, is ‘Asia, Pacific region’ and Asia is so large that they cannot even see us. The Pacific is broken up in three parts, parts that the colonizers created 1) French Pacific – that is locked from us because of language 2) the North Pacific, that was colonized by the Americans, we are unable to see them because of geographic location … they’re so far north, we know a little about their nuclear history and us 3) the Anglo pacific and we all work in isolation from each other… there are political and trade relations but the people are divorced from each other.
To remedy this, Peter tapped into the arts to create “a newer and more human conversation about rights, about pain and how we Pacific Island people are able to work to repair the rift that was caused by the colonizers.” Peter adds:
The idea behind ‘storytelling for advocacy’ is about remembering. In the Pacific, if you speak truth and do so with power and with resonance about a lived experience, and the levels of fracture of that experience and indicate to different audiences this reality, people understand, people are awakened to our needs and our work for equal rights.
Peter discussed how storytelling, instead of merely relying on legislative lobbying, became an effective approach to advocate for LGBTQ+ rights:
Too often the rights conversation is a linear one that talks about only one aspect of gaining equality, about advocating for rights, through this movement towards legislature and policy shift. I wanted to create a human conversation about the pain that we endure, that ostracization, and unpack that for people to see into. I also allow the talk to delve into scripture and to look deeply at the parts of the Bible that speak against homosexuality and to demystify these aspects for the audience, to again create a conversation about the biblical text and find kinder ways of caring for people.
Peter said storytelling proved ‘transformative’ in the sessions they conducted with the Fiji Women’s Crisis Center and even with members of the military and police.
I think my work through poetry and through the storytelling for advocacy is finding new ways of having a conversation about creating kinder communities for LGBTQ+ people.
Finally, Peter emphasized the need to develop a ‘new way of seeing’ in the Pacific:
I think we need all collectively to find a new way of ‘seeing’ so we might appreciate, learn and thus become humanly connected to each other in a deeper way that can overcome meaningless utterances.
Watch Peter's TEDx talk about ‘storytelling as advocacy’ through this YouTube video:

Featured Posts

Thai Cabinet Backs Allowing Same Sex Unions

                Patpicha Tanakasempipat BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand’s cabinet approved a civil partnership bill ...