987: Kebab Panic!

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 46m
December 3rd, 2017
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Executive Producers: Baron of Galts Gulch Mark Workman, Sir Atomic Rod Adams Baron of Florida's Gulf Coast, Sir Todd Cochrane, Sir Cal, Timothy Pierce, Richard Futter

Associate Executive Producers: Barron Lataquin, Sir Nuked to Be, Sir john of South London

Cover Artist: Cesium137

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The Men Who Cost Clinton the Election - NYTimes.com
Sun, 03 Dec 2017 12:44
Jill Filipovic
Matt Lauer with Hillary Clinton at the NBC News ''Commander-in-Chief Forum'' in September 2016. Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times Matt Lauer, like Charlie Rose and Mark Halperin before him, is a journalist out of a job after his employer fired him for sexually harassing female colleagues. It's good news that real penalties are now leveled on men who harass '-- after centuries of the costs mostly befalling the women who endure harassment. But the deep cultural rot that has corroded nearly all of our institutions and every corner of our culture is not just about a few badly behaved men. Sexual harassment, and the sexism it's predicated on, involves more than the harassers and the harassed; when the harassers are men with loud microphones, their private misogyny has wide-reaching public consequences. One of the most significant: the 2016 election.
Many of the male journalists who stand accused of sexual harassment were on the forefront of covering the presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Matt Lauer interviewed Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump in an official ''commander-in-chief forum'' for NBC. He notoriously peppered and interrupted Mrs. Clinton with cold, aggressive, condescending questions hyper-focused on her emails, only to pitch softballs at Mr. Trump and treat him with gentle collegiality a half-hour later. Mark Halperin and Charlie Rose set much of the televised political discourse on the race, interviewing other pundits, opining themselves and obsessing over the electoral play-by-play. Mr. Rose, after the election, took a tone similar to Mr. Lauer's with Mrs. Clinton '-- talking down to her, interrupting her, portraying her as untrustworthy. Mr. Halperin was a harsh critic of Mrs. Clinton, painting her as ruthless and corrupt, while going surprisingly easy on Mr. Trump. The reporter Glenn Thrush, currently on leave from The New York Times because of sexual harassment allegations, covered Mrs. Clinton's 2008 campaign when he was at Newsday and continued to write about her over the next eight years for Politico.
When Matt Lauer interviewed Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in September 2016, he was widely criticized as being soft on Mr. Trump and tough on Mrs. Clinton. Published On Nov. 30, 2017Credit Image by Karsten Moran for The New York Times A pervasive theme of all of these men's coverage of Mrs. Clinton was that she was dishonest and unlikable. These recent harassment allegations suggest that perhaps the problem wasn't that Mrs. Clinton was untruthful or inherently hard to connect with, but that these particular men hold deep biases against women who seek power instead of sticking to acquiescent sex-object status.
A month ago, Rebecca Traister wrote in New York magazine that with the flood of sexual harassment charges, ''we see that the men who have had the power to abuse women's bodies and psyches throughout their careers are in many cases also the ones in charge of our political and cultural stories.'' With the Lauer accusations, this observation has come into sharper focus on one particular picture: the media sexism that contributed to Hillary Clinton's loss.
The 2016 presidential race was so close that any of a half-dozen factors surely influenced the outcome: James Comey, racial politics, Clinton family baggage, the contentious Democratic primary, third-party spoilers, Russian interference, fake news. But when one of the best-qualified candidates for the presidency in American history and the first woman to get close to the Oval Office loses to an opponent who had not dedicated a nanosecond of his life to public service and ran a blatantly misogynist campaign, it's hard to conclude that gender didn't play a role.
For arguing that gender shaped the election narrative and its result, feminists have been pooh-poohed, simultaneously told that it was Clinton, not her gender, that was the problem and that her female supporters were voting with their vaginas instead of their brains.
The latest harassment and assault allegations complicate that account and suggest that perhaps many of the high-profile media men covering Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump were the ones leading with their genitals. Mr. Trump was notoriously accused of multiple acts of sexual harassment and assault, and was caught on tape bragging about his proclivity for grabbing women. That several of the men covering the race '-- shaping the way American voters understood the candidates and what was at stake '-- were apparently behaving in similarly appalling ways off-camera calls into question not just their objectivity but also their ability to cover the story with the seriousness and urgency it demanded.
Sexual harassment at the hands of political journalists also pulls back the curtain on how too many of these men view women generally. The journalists in question are accused of a range of behaviors, some more serious than others, from drunken unsolicited kisses to, in Mr. Lauer's case, sexual assault (in addition to exposing himself to a colleague and sending another a sex toy with a note detailing how he would like to use it on her). The theme running through nearly all of the complaints is a man in a position of power who saw the women around him not as competent colleagues or as even sovereign human beings, but as sexual objects he could either proposition to boost his ego or humiliate to feed a desire for domination.
It's hard to look at these men's coverage of Mrs. Clinton and not see glimmers of that same simmering disrespect and impulse to keep women in a subordinate place. When men turn some women into sexual objects, the women who are inside that box are one-dimensional, while those outside of it become disposable; the ones who refuse to be disposed of, who continue to insist on being seen and heard, are inconvenient and pitiable at best, deceitful shrews and crazy harpies at worst. That's exactly how some commentary and news coverage treated Mrs. Clinton.
This has ripple effects for all women. Men are assumed to fail or succeed based on merit; they are mentored and supported by more senior men, and no one bats an eye. Young women, though, are often treated as suspect if more senior men take an interest in them (and too often, more senior men's interests are suspect indeed, but it's women's reputations that suffer the stigma of being thought to sleep or flirt their way to the top rather than earning their perches).
When men see women as sex objects first and colleagues second, their actual talents, skills and smarts are easily overlooked. A boss who harasses the woman in the cubicle next to you may not be sexually coercing you or torpedoing your career, but his actions signal that he does not see women as competent co-workers entitled to a rewarding and effective workplace.
Some commentators, most notably Geraldo Rivera, have written some acts of harassment off as courtship gone awry. This is truly bizarre, and it illustrates just how tied we are to the idea that women are inherently inviting sexual aggression and that men are inherently sexually voracious and socially clueless. Women, and most men, know that courtship doesn't typically take the form of unwanted grabbing or unsolicited indecent exposure. (''Mommy and Daddy fell in love the day Daddy called Mommy into his office and began vigorously masturbating at her'' is not exactly a meet-cute story.)
This moment isn't about a nation of confused men. It's about a minority of men who choose to treat women alternately as walking sex objects or bothersome and potentially devious nags. It's about a majority of Americans who give men a pass for all manner of bad behavior, because they assume men are entitled to behave badly but hold women to an entirely different standard.
That is why it's so egregious that sexual harassers set the tone of much of the coverage of the woman who hoped to be the first female president.
These ''Crooked Hillary'' narratives pushed by Mr. Lauer, Mr. Halperin, and a long list of other prominent journalists and pundits indelibly shaped the election, and were themselves gendered: Hillary Clinton as a cackling witch, Hillary Clinton a woman it was easy to distrust because she was also a woman seeking power, and what kind of woman does that? Mr. Trump emphasized this caricature as part of his more broadly sexist campaign, but he didn't invent it. Nor was he the only famous man going on television to perpetuate it '-- while revealing a deep disdain for women when the cameras weren't rolling.
This story has been updated to clarify a characterization of campaign coverage.
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Sign UpEmails Dispute Claim That Flynn Acted Alone on Russia
The White House portrayed Michael T. Flynn, President Trump's former national security adviser, as a renegade who had acted independently in his discussions with a Russian official.But emails among top transition officials, provided or described to The New York Times, suggest otherwise.Operative Offered Trump Campaign 'Kremlin Connection' Using N.R.A. Ties
A conservative operative told a campaign aide he could arrange a meeting between Donald J. Trump and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia through his pro-gun connections.The outreach shows how Russians were using three pillars of the Republican Party '-- guns, veterans and Christian conservatives '-- to try to make contact with his unorthodox campaign.'S.N.L.' Jabs at Trump, Flynn and Lauer
''Saturday Night Live'' returned after a one-week absence and addressed a very busy news week.
Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein How the Republicans Broke Congress
We used to blame both parties for our poisonous political environment. Not anymore.
ABC News has suspended Brian Ross for four weeks over ''a serious error'' in a report about Mr. Trump.
In a statement, the network said the reporting ''had not been fully vetted through our editorial standards process'' and apologized for the ''serious error.''
Jill Filipovic The Men Who Cost Clinton the Election
Many of the journalists who stand accused of sexual harassment covered the 2016 presidential campaign.
Emails Dispute Claim That Flynn Acted Alone on RussiaOperative Offered Trump Campaign 'Kremlin Connection' Using N.R.A. TiesFew Hurdles Left for Republican Tax Plan'No Such Thing as Rohingya': Myanmar Erases a HistorySite Indexnewsopinionartslivingmore
Jill Filipovic - Wikipedia
Sun, 03 Dec 2017 12:45
Men's rights groups Edit Filipovic has been an outspoken critic of A Voice for Men.[16]Michelle Goldberg, writing in The Washington Post, said she had been "singled out by [men's rights groups]" for her criticism.[17] She was also cited in Hate Crimes in Cyberspace as a victim of hate crime for her feminism. According to Kerryn Goldsworthy, she has been Googlebombed by her detractors.[19]
TSA and civil liberties Edit A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screener was fired after Filipovic used her blog to describe an incident in which a handwritten comment was left in her luggage. She later wrote "I would much prefer a look at why 'security' has been used to justify so many intrusions into our civil liberties".[20]
Beauty pageants Edit Filipovic has been noted for her writing about beauty pageants, saying "the norms that these contests promote are unfortunately not ... obsolete ... we pay lip service to women's rights, but focus more on how good women look in a bathing suit".
Name change Edit Filipovic's opposition to name change for women who marry (published in The Guardian) was cited as recommended reading on the social construction of gender in Critical Encounters in Secondary English: Teaching Literacy Theory to Adolescents.
Rasmea Odeh Edit Filipovic questioned Palestinian activist and former Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine member Rasmea Odeh's participation in progressive organizing. Filipovic stated that even if accounts of Odeh's torture and sexual assault were true, participation in terrorist acts was one of her "hard lines."[23][non-primary source needed ]
Matt Lauer's lawyers trying to get him $30M payout after firing | Page Six
Sun, 03 Dec 2017 15:14
Lawyers for Matt Lauer are working on landing the shamed anchor a $30 million golden sexual parachute following his NBC firing.
Sources close to the disgraced newsman say his team is working on a plan to get him paid through the remainder of his $20 million-a-year contract '-- which still has a year-and-a-half to run.
Matt Lauer (right) and Eddie Burke Jr. MATT AGUDO/INSTARimages.com A source close to Lauer's team said, ''They are currently looking at his contract and determining whether the claims against him, which clearly would affect any moral clause in his contract and his ensuing termination, would cut off his contractual rights to be paid through to the end of his contract.''
NBC in 2016 had renegotiated a new deal with Lauer valued at $20 million a year that would have kept him on the air through the end of 2018.
But moral clauses are often included in TV contracts and specify that talent can be fired without pay if they bring the company into any disrepute.
Another TV insider said, ''There is no way Matt is getting paid. There has been an irrevocable breach of Matt's contract, there is a moral clause that says if he brings the company into disrepute '-- which he clearly has '-- NBC can terminate his employment immediately without pay and they do not have to pay out his contract.''
A rep for Lauer didn't comment, and his personal attorney William Zabel didn't return calls.
Meanwhile, the grim-faced anchor was seen for the first time since his sexual misconduct scandal broke leaving his $33 million Hamptons estate Thursday to meet famed East End real estate and criminal lawyer Eddie Burke Jr., to whom he handed an envelope.
Burke had previously defended basketball star Jason Kidd when he was charged with drunk driving shortly after the then-Brooklyn Nets coach was hit with a misdemeanor drunken driving charge after a 2012 crash.
Burke didn't return calls and NBC News reps declined to comment.
Pamela Anderson Defends Her 'Problematic' Harassment Stance
Sun, 03 Dec 2017 12:49
In the midst of Hollywood's tide turning when it comes to its discourse about sexual assault and harassment, Pamela Anderson appeared on Megyn Kelly Today to discuss why she wasn't surprised about the post''Harvey Weinstein fallout. However, during her interview, Anderson's thoughts soon generated a bit of heat, owing to what some people alleged was victim-blaming language. ''You know what you're getting into if you're going into a hotel room alone,'' Anderson explained on Thursday's program. ''Don't go into a hotel room alone. If someone answers the door in a bathrobe, leave. This is things that are common sense, but I know Hollywood is very seductive and the people want to be famous. Sometimes you think you are going to be safe with an adult in a room. I don't know where this security comes from, but somehow I dodged it all.'' She also recounted her sole encounter with Weinstein while working on the film Superhero Movie, whom she called ''very intimidating.''
As most celebrities do to clear the air in a time of confusion, Anderson took to Instagram the next day. But instead of offering an apology or clarification, she doubled down on her stance. ''We have the power to be safe and free by using common sense. My message is consistent throughout '-- I'm a deep thinker / I have a unique perspective. and consequence is part of my life. This is great,'' she wrote. ''I am also an advocate for men. I just don't agree with it all. Backlash is good. '-- I like this. My position is not 'problematic' because I doesn't fall in line with the common herd or trend.''
''Don't go to hotel rooms alone for an audition. Women are powerful and smart and we can use all our charms in more positive ways,'' she continued. ''I think it's very smart to be proactive. And I stand by what I say.'' What does Julian Assange think?
His personal life is crumbling just as quickly as his professional life.
No, he's not on the prowl for a post''Anna Faris fling.
He smelled great.
She previously said on Megyn Kelly Today that ''You know what you're getting into if you're going into a hotel room alone.''
Nine women '-- from interns to co-hosts '-- describe propositioning and bullying by the longtime anchor of the morning-news program The Takeaway.
The pair announced their separation via social media in August.
The director has reportedly not returned to set due to a ''personal health matter.''
In early August 1969, the infamous Manson Family descended on the home of actress Sharon Tate.
The former host ''will not be paid past his last day at work,'' a source told CNN.
In Kaurismaki's work, it's as if the masks of comedy and tragedy don't '-- as usual '-- face away from each other, but stare each other in the face.
The Sabrina adaptation's two seasons will shoot back-to-back.
Quite the look.
Angela Lansbury Does Statement on Sexual Harassment Comments | Time
Fri, 01 Dec 2017 08:38
Angela Lansbury has followed up on her controversial claims about women needing to ''sometimes take blame'' for sexual harassment, saying she's ''devastated'' by the backlash and interpretation of her comments.
''There is no excuse whatsoever for men to harass women in an abusive sexual manner,'' she said in a statement released Wednesday evening. ''And, I am devastated that anyone should deem me capable of thinking otherwise. Those who have known the quality of my work and the many public statements I have made over the course of my life, must know, that I am a strong supporter of Women's Rights.''
Speaking to the Radio Times, the 92-year-old actress opined, ''We have to own up to the fact that women, since time immemorial, have gone out of their way to make themselves attractive. And unfortunately it has backfired on us '-- and this is where we are today.'' Lansbury did add, ''Although it's awful to say we can't make ourselves look as attractive as possible without being knocked down and raped.''
She concluded her newly released statement by criticizing the reaction to her remarks in the Times, declaring, ''Lastly, I would like to add that I am troubled by how quickly and brutishly some have taken my comments out of context and attempted to blame my generation, my age, or my mindset, without having read the entirety of what I said.''
This article originally appeared on EW.com
10 facts about Matt Lauer's Wife Annette Roque (Bio, Wiki)
Sun, 03 Dec 2017 01:24
This stunning lady is the lovely Annette Roque; wife of former host of Today Show, Matt Lauer, who was fired after 18 years working for NBC News, after he was accused of inappropriate behavior by a colleague; NBC Chairman Andy Lack announced.
Related Story: Lucie Fink Intern Matt Lauer was crazy about
Matt Lauer's has been married to former model Annette Roque since 1998; check out these 10 facts about her
The first thing you need to know is that Annette is Lauer's second wife; he was previously married to Nancy Alspaugh. Mrs. Alspaugh an Emmy Award winner tied the knot to Matt in 1981; they had no children and divorced in 1988.
He was also once engaged to newscaster Kristen Gesswein, his girlfriend from 1989 to 1996.Meeting MattAnnette and Matt met on a blind date in July 1997; their date was set up by their mutual friend, stylist Maria Santoro.
They became engaged 5 months after they met; eventually, they tied the knot on October 3, 1998, in Water Mill, NY.They have three children; Matthew born in 2001; Romy born in 2004 and last but never the least came Thijs born in November 2006.
Mrs. Roque filed for divorce in September 2006, citing cruel and inhumane treatment from her husband (docs here); they ended up talking things and decided to give their marriage a second chance. Nowadays, Annette lives with her family in New York.
Furthermore, Annette Roque, the daughter of an Indonesian father and Dutch mum, Johanna Struijk was born in December 1966, in Amsterdam, Netherlands.Jade Roque is born
At the age of 22, Annette decides to leave her hometown and pursue a modeling career; as a fashion model in the 80's and 90's, Annette became known as Jade Roque; no doubt you saw her pretty face and statuesque form inside the pages of the J. Crew and Victoria's Secret' catalogs.
Prior to her arrival to the US, Annette flew to Paris, where she met French agent Patrick Lemire, who took her under his wing, the rest as you know is history.
Matt Lauer's Wife Departs For Amsterdam Amid Divorce Rumors | Zero Hedge
Sun, 03 Dec 2017 13:38
Matt Lauer's long-suffering wife has finally had enough of the former Today Show host's notorious philandering. According to Fox News, former model Anne Roque.
Roquet reportedly jetted to her native country the Netherlands amid the bombshell sexual misconduct allegations. Before leaving, Roque, a former model, was last spotted at their home in the Hamptons, Long Island, Wednesday, the same day NBC News announced that Lauer had been fired for ''inappropriate sexual behavior.''
Roque has left for her family's home near Amsterdam. It was not clear if the couple's three children went with their mother or remained in New York.
Roque, who has been married to Lauer for 20 years, the same amount of time that Lauer spent at the helm of Today, has not released a statement regarding her husband's termination and alleged sexual misconduct.
Lauer's representatives have not commented on the state of the former anchor's marriage.
Lauer and Roque's marriage has been rocky since 2006. Roque filed for divorce in 2006 but did not follow through, People reported. A source told Page Six the TV host offered Roque a post-nuptial agreement as she filed for divorce.
He reportedly offered the former model $5 million to stay in the marriage.
At least eight women have shared their stories about the harassment they experienced by Lauer's hand
''Matt needed to stay in the marriage to keep his reputation as America's nicest dad. He is in fact a great, and very doting dad to his kids, but he is also a terrible husband,'' a source told Page Six.
As Variety explained earlier in the week, Lauer's paranoia about being spotted by tabloid reporters inspired him to pursue relationships with employees at the network. Disturbing details about Lauer's conduct have been seeping into mainstream media reports since his firing. In one particularly harrowing story, a former colleague recounted an incident that took place in 2001 in Lauer's secluded office in the NBC Newsroom.
Earlier this week, People published a story accusing Lauer of being a serial cheater. Lauer issued an apology on Thursday admitting there is "enough truth" in the allegations against him to justify his departure from the network.
Vaccine$
Sanofi updates information on dengue vaccine | Sanofi
Fri, 01 Dec 2017 21:55
New analysis of long-term Dengvaxia® data found differences in vaccine performance based on prior dengue infectionCompany will ask regulators to update product label to reflect new informationPARIS, FRANCE '' November 29, 2017 '' Sanofi will ask health authorities to update information provided to physicians and patients on its dengue vaccine Dengvaxia® in countries where it is approved. The request is based on a new analysis of long-term clinical trial data, which found differences in vaccine performance based on prior dengue infection.
Based on up to six years of clinical data, the new analysis evaluated long-term safety and efficacy of Dengvaxia in people who had been infected with dengue prior to vaccination and those who had not. The analysis confirmed that Dengvaxia provides persistent protective benefit against dengue fever in those who had prior infection. For those not previously infected by dengue virus, however, the analysis found that in the longer term, more cases of severe disease could occur following vaccination upon a subsequent dengue infection.
''These findings highlight the complex nature of dengue infection. We are working with health authorities to ensure that prescribers, vaccinators and patients are fully informed of the new findings, with the goal of enhancing the impact of Dengvaxia in dengue-endemic countries,'' said Dr. Su-Peing Ng, Global Medical Head, Sanofi Pasteur.
About half of the world's population lives in countries where four serotypes of dengue virus are in circulation. Every year an estimated 390 million dengue infections are reported. People can be infected with dengue up to four times in their lifetime and they can get severely ill after any of these infections. Surveillance data from some endemic countries indicate that between 70 and 90 percent of people will have been exposed to dengue at least once by the time they reach adolescence. There are many factors that can lead to severe dengue infection. However, the highest risk of getting more severe disease has been observed in people infected for the second time by a different dengue virus.
Dengvaxia is currently indicated in most of the countries for individuals 9 years of age and older living in a dengue-endemic area. In this indicated population, Dengvaxia has been shown to prevent 93 percent of severe disease and 80 percent of hospitalizations due to dengue over the 25 month phase of the large-scale clinical studies conducted in 10 countries in Latin America and Asia where dengue is widespread.
Proposed Label Update
Based on the new analysis, Sanofi will propose that national regulatory agencies update the prescribing information, known as the label in many countries, requesting that healthcare professionals assess the likelihood of prior dengue infection in an individual before vaccinating. Vaccination should only be recommended when the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks (in countries with high burden of dengue disease). For individuals who have not been previously infected by dengue virus, vaccination should not be recommended.
The Sanofi label proposal will be reviewed by national regulatory agencies in each of the countries where the vaccine is registered or under registration. Following their review, each agency might amend the company proposed label.
Financial Information
Taking this information into account and expected future sales, Sanofi will record a charge reflecting depreciation of inventories as well as accelerated depreciation of some tangible and intangible assets in its fourth quarter results. The impact on the Business Net Income (BNI) is still under assessment but it is expected to be in the range of '‚¬100 million after tax. Despite this impact, Sanofi confirms the guidance provided on November 2nd of broadly stable Business EPS(1) at CER in 2017 versus 2016, barring unforeseen major adverse events.
(1) Business net income is a non-GAAP financial measure (see Appendix 8 of our November 2, 2017 financial release for a definition).
About Dengue
Dengue is a painful, debilitating mosquito-borne viral disease for which there is no treatment. Almost 4 billion people are living at risk of dengue and these people can be sickened by dengue not just once but as many as four times in their lifetimes.
Dengue hits hardest during rainy season outbreaks that spread rapidly in the urban growth centers of endemic countries. The World Health Organization has called on countries with dengue to employ an integrated approach to dengue prevention and management, with the aim of reducing deaths due to dengue by 50 percent and related disease and disability by 25 percent by 2020.
About Sanofi
Sanofi is dedicated to supporting people through their health challenges. We are a global biopharmaceutical company focused on human health. We prevent illness with vaccines, provide innovative treatments to fight pain and ease suffering. We stand by the few who suffer from rare diseases and the millions with long-term chronic conditions.
With more than 100,000 people in 100 countries, Sanofi is transforming scientific innovation into healthcare solutions around the globe.
Sanofi, Empowering Life
Sanofi Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts. These statements include projections and estimates and their underlying assumptions, statements regarding plans, objectives, intentions and expectations with respect to future financial results, events, operations, services, product development and potential, and statements regarding future performance. Forward-looking statements are generally identified by the words ''expects'', ''anticipates'', ''believes'', ''intends'', ''estimates'', ''plans'' and similar expressions. Although Sanofi's management believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, investors are cautioned that forward-looking information and statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict and generally beyond the control of Sanofi, that could cause actual results and developments to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied or projected by, the forward-looking information and statements. These risks and uncertainties include among other things, the uncertainties inherent in research and development, future clinical data and analysis, including post marketing, decisions by regulatory authorities, such as the FDA or the EMA, regarding whether and when to approve any drug, device or biological application that may be filed for any such product candidates as well as their decisions regarding labelling and other matters that could affect the availability or commercial potential of such product candidates, the absence of guarantee that the product candidates if approved will be commercially successful, the future approval and commercial success of therapeutic alternatives, Sanofi's ability to benefit from external growth opportunities and/or obtain regulatory clearances, risks associated with intellectual property and any related pending or future litigation and the ultimate outcome of such litigation, trends in exchange rates and prevailing interest rates, volatile economic conditions, the impact of cost containment initiatives and subsequent changes thereto, the average number of shares outstanding as well as those discussed or identified in the public filings with the SEC and the AMF made by Sanofi, including those listed under ''Risk Factors'' and ''Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements'' in Sanofi's annual report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2016. Other than as required by applicable law, Sanofi does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information or statements.
Govt. Researchers: Flu Shots Not Effective in Elderly, After All | Sharyl Attkisson
Sun, 03 Dec 2017 13:39
(Above image: a nurse interests a passerby in flu shot information. Courtesy: NCIRD/OD/HCSO Flu vaccination communications team)
An important and definitive ''mainstream'' government study done nearly a decade ago got little attention because the science came down on the wrong side. It found that after decades and billions of dollars spent promoting flu shots for the elderly, the mass vaccination program did not result in saving lives. In fact, the death rate among the elderly increased substantially.
The authors of the study admitted a bias going into the study. Here was the history as described to me: Public health experts long assumed flu shots were effective in the elderly. But, paradoxically, all the studies done failed to demonstrate a benefit. Instead of considering that they, the experts, could be wrong''instead of believing the scientific data''the public health experts assumed the studies were wrong. After all, flu shots have to work, right?
So the NIH launched an effort to do ''the'' definitive study that would actually prove, for the first time, once and for all, that flu shots were beneficial to the elderly. The government would gather some of the brightest scientific minds for the research, and adjust for all kinds of factors that could be masking that presumed benefit.
But when they finished, no matter how they crunched the numbers, the data kept telling the same story: flu shots were of no benefit to the elderly. Quite the opposite. The death rate had increased markedly since widespread flu vaccination among older Americans. The scientists finally had to acknowledge that decades of public health thought had been mistaken.
Read the government study that found no flu shot benefit in elderly
In 2006, lead author Lone Simonsen spoke with me on the phone and agreed to do an on camera interview with me on her study results, which she felt were very important. However, her bosses at the National Institutes of Health blocked the interview. I ended up finding one of her co-authors who was independent from the government and was able to interview him. These study authors who were honest, at their own career peril, should be commended.
After the Simonsen study, many international studies also arrived at the same conclusion. You probably haven't heard much about these ''incendiary'' findings. Too much money being made promoting flu shots?
Read Simonsen's commentary on her study
Read current CDC flu information
Here's my original video story on the topic.
Transcript below:
Flu shots and elderly, CBS News, Sharyl Attkisson
2006
Millions of seniors swear by their annual flu shots. After all, 90% of the people killed by the flu are 65 or older. But CBS News has learned that behind the scenes, public health officials have come to a new and disturbing conclusion: mass vaccinations of the elderly haven't done the job. Dr. Walter Orenstein was among the first to notice the problem when he headed up the Centers for Disease Control's national immunization program. He says it's now become a consensus among public health experts.
Dr. Orenstein: ''What is absolutely clear is that there is still a substantial burden of deaths and hospitalizations out there that has not been prevented through the present strategy.''
Here's what scientists have found. Over 20 years, the percentage of seniors getting flu shots increased sharply from 15% to 65%. It stands to reason that flu deaths among the elderly should have taken a dramatic dip making an ''X'' graph like this (refers to graphic). Instead, flu deaths among the elderly continued to climb. It was hard to believe, so researchers at the National Institutes of Health set out to do a study adjusting for all kinds of factors that could be masking the true benefits of the shots. But no matter how they crunched the numbers, they got the same disappointing result: flu shots had not reduced deaths among the elderly. It's not what health officials hoped to find. NIH wouldn't let us interview the study's lead author. So we went to Boston and found the only co-author of the study not employed by NIH: Dr. Tom Reichert.
Dr. Reichert: ''We realized we had incendiary material.''
Dr. Reichert said they thought their study would prove vaccinations helped.
Dr. Reichert: ''We were trying to do something mainstream. That's for sure.''
Sharyl: ''Were you surprised?''
Dr. Reichert: ''Astonished.''
Sharyl: ''Did you check the data a couple of times to make sure?''
Dr. Reichert: ''Well, even more than that. We've looked at other countries now and the same is true.''
That international study, soon to be published, finds the same poor results in Australia, France, Canada and the UK. And other new research stokes the idea that decades of promoting flu shots in seniors, and the billions spent, haven't had the desired result. The current head of national immunizations confirms CDC is now looking at new strategies, but stops short of calling the present strategy a failure.
Dr. Anne Schuchat: ''There's an active dialogue about how we can do better to prevent influenza and its complications in the elderly.''
So what's an older person to do? The CDC says they should still get their flu shots. That it could make the flu less severe or prevent problems not reflected in the total numbers. But watch for CDC to likely shift in the near future more toward protecting the elderly in a roundabout way by pushing to vaccinate more children and others around the who could give them the flu. (Note: the government quickly followed this news with a recommendation to vaccinate children and infants for flu.)
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Sharyl Attkisson
Investigative Journalist who tries to give you information others don't want you to have. What you do with it is your own business. Do your own research. Seek advice from those you trust. Make up your own mind.
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Canada 'poured thousands and thousands' into 'fruit machine' '-- a wildly unsuccessful attempt at gaydar | National Post
Sun, 03 Dec 2017 15:10
Before the end of this year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will apologize for the mistreatment of gay and lesbian men and women during the Cold War, during which Canada waged a brutal crusade to remove homosexuals from public service, the RCMP and the military. Careers and lives were destroyed as the government accused thousands of the crime of ''sexual abnormality,'' often with little or no evidence.
A major part of that was the ''fruit machine,'' a series of homosexuality tests developed by the Canadian government's Security Panel, which coordinated federal security campaigns and reported directly to cabinet. According to former Vancouver Sun journalist John Sawatsky's book Men in the Shadows: The RCMP Security Service, Prime Minister John Diefenbaker never knew about the exact nature of the project, but accepted the panel's advice that gays needed to be removed from public office by way of concrete proof of their sexuality.
''It was quite devastating,'' said Gary Kinsman, a Carleton sociology professor who co-wrote The Canadian War on Queers: National Security as Sexual Regulation. ''Especially early on, hundreds of people lost their jobs in the first couple years in the early 1960s. People would be called into a security official's office and they would be told, 'We have evidence that you may be a homosexual. What do you have to say about this?'''
The fruit machine consisted of a series of questions, a chair resembling one you might sit in at a dentist's office, and flashing images of mundane scenes contrasted with pornography that people in the '50s thought gay people would like '-- think: half-naked carnival strongmen. Subjects (who were told the machine was measuring stress) sat in the chair and watched the images while scientists noted their pulse rate, skin reflexes, breathing rate and pupillary response.
Hundreds of people lost their jobs in the first couple years
The Canadian War Museum displays an electropsychometer '-- or e-meter '-- that the museum says was used to detect homosexuals during the Cold War. Online, the listing calls it the ''fruit machine,'' but in the museum itself the text simply mentions the investigations as a whole. Either way, Kinsman is adamant that an e-meter was never used as part of the fruit machine.
''We protested it, we challenged it, we said, 'This is not the fruit machine' '-- at least not the fruit machine that the Canadian government was trying to develop in the 1960s,'' he said.
An e-meter is a machine that measures the small amount of electricity that runs through human skin. While e-meters are used for certain clinical trials, they're most widely known for their association with the church of Scientology, which uses them to test for thetans (secret alien souls that control all our thoughts and emotions) during the auditing process of its members. The church has been court-ordered to admit that ''by itself, this meter does nothing. It is for religious use by students and Ministers of the church in Confessionals and pastoral counseling only.''
The whole setup ''looked like something out of science fiction,'' Sawatsky quotes an unnamed participant as saying. ''It didn't look as if it had been built on earth. I'm not trying to be sensational about that. It was a whole bunch of girders that were small flanges to bolt equipment together, and a screen in a box containing naughty pictures.''
''The plan was to monitor as many physiological variables as possible in the hope of finding a reliable method for identifying homosexuals without arousing the fear and anxiety involved with polygraph testing,'' Sawatsky wrote.
The plan was to monitor as many physiological variables as possible in the hope of finding a reliable method for identifying homosexuals without arousing the fear and anxiety involved with polygraph testing
Enter Frank Robert Wake, a Carleton psychology professor the government recruited and sent to the United States for a year to study the homosexual detection measures that were being developed there. They paid him about $5,000, or about $40,000 in today's dollars.
There, he came across a study an American university professor had recently done for a marketing firm in which he strapped a camera to subjects' heads and measured their pupil dilation as they roamed a grocery store to see which product packaging interested them the most. Wake decided that this would be the perfect basis for his project. A camera measured their subjects' pupils as naughty images flashed '-- if their pupils dilated when they saw someone of the same sex, they were a homosexual and therefore a threat to national security.
''We supposedly suffer from a character weakness that meant that we were vulnerable to blackmail from evil Soviet agents,'' said Kinsman. ''The people that we talked to (for the book), they say that the only people who ever tried to blackmail them were the RCMP themselves, who tried to force them to give over the names of lesbians and gay men that they knew.''
Immediately, the team ran into a problem: ''The technology for performing such tests in a sexual context was unknown and had to be invented,'' wrote Sawatsky, ''thus most of the experimenting was done on the technology and not the objectives.''
While it's true that pupil dilation indicates arousal or interest, the test failed to take into account the fact that pupils also react to light. Going from a brighter photo to a darker one caused the same reaction as sexual interest '-- a problem the scientists invested a lot of time trying to remedy, with no success.
The exact numbers remain unclear but, according to Kinsman, the Canadian government spent more than $10,000 (more than $80,000 today) on the fruit machine in one year of testing.
''It wasn't just some bizarre, little experiment that a couple of people in the corner over there in the RCMP or in the military decided to do,'' he said. ''It never could work, it never did work, but the government poured thousands and thousands of dollars into it.''
The project was plagued by a litany of other problems, including the fact that any bisexual subjects would have completely negated the test. The test's cameras also had to be mounted from the side so as not to block the subjects' views of the images, which made their pupil size even harder to measure.
Ultimately, the project collapsed when the homosexual panic died down a bit, and the government decided its coffers no longer ran deep enough to justify breaking new scientific pupil measurement barriers to oust gay people from their jobs. The fruit machine scientists requested more money and the Defence Research Board, which ''had never been interested in the project in the first place'' according to Sawatsky, readily cut the funding.
Kinsman sees the forthcoming apology as an important opportunity for the government to go into detail about past wrongs.
''This apology has to be pretty broad-ranging, and pretty comprehensive, including things like the Canadian government's participation in things like the fruit machine,'' said Kinsman. ''This was a major violation of these people's rights.''
' Email: jhauen@postmedia.com | Twitter:
We Demand an Apology Network | P-SEC
Sun, 03 Dec 2017 15:25
May 27, 2015
In the summer of 1983, in the face of an economic recession and no jobs in Ontario, I joined the Summer Youth Employment Program at the naval reserve unit, HMCS Queen in Regina, my home town. After graduating at the top of my class, I was encouraged to apply for officer training upon my return to Toronto to complete my undergraduate degree. After a rigorous application I was accepted into the program.
While in officer training at Albert Head on the west coast in 1984, I was called to a meeting with a training officer that I did not request. Ostensibly it was to discuss my course of training, but the real reason I was called to the meeting was because of allegations of co-trainees that I was a lesbian. Unbeknownst to me there was an official policy prohibiting homosexuals in the military which also required that all members report any suspicions to their superiors. The policy lumped homosexuality, bestiality and pedophilia together as unacceptable behaviour for which, the system presumed, members could be blackmailed to reveal state secrets.
I talked my way out of that meeting and I was never aware of any formal investigation into my behavior. While at a 27-year reunion in 2007, I heard from some women with whom I trained that they had all been asked about me and they had also lied at risk of their careers to protect me. I served for six years, initially as a naval control of shipping officer; but, before I left the service I became one of the first 5 women in Canada to obtain a bridge-watching certification for minor war vessels. I also worked at Maritime Command in Halifax as the assistant editor of The Trident, an internal naval publication.
During my time in the service I new many sailors who were persecuted while in service or were dishonourably released. In 1989 after my promotion, I was due for re-investigation by CSIS as I had a 'Secret'' security designation. Rather than subjecting friends and family to possible interrogation about my life, I voluntarily resigned. This is why I strongly support the NDP motions for an apology and correction of service record.
Brenda Barnes
(Whitehorse)
(w) 867-667-4441
(h) 867-393-3018
brenda@yukonwitt.org
I joined the military in November 1977. I was told I was going to be an air frame technician. I completed basic training in St Jean, Quebec. After this, I went Chatham, New Brunswick for about 3 months OJT (on-the-job-training). I then went to Borden to take the basic trades training course to become an air frame technician. While in Borden, I met my first girlfriend. She was posted to Shelburne and I got posted back to Chatham, N.B. The first investigation happened in 1978 in Chatham N.B. I was allowed to remain in the service. My partner, with whom I was in a long-distance relationship, was dismissed for ''homosexuality.'' I do not have a clue why I was not released too. I believe my Major, Roger Paradis, stopped my release as he was very understanding and supportive.
The investigation was awful. For the first series of interrogations, I was taken to C.F.B. Halifax and I was met by two SIU officers. For at least 3 days, they interrogated me in an undisclosed place for hours at a time. Examples of the questions they asked me during these interrogations were: "Who is the man in the relationship? Do you like to masturbate in front of a mirror? Who takes the garbage out? Do you use a dildo? Do you hate men?'' There were always two SIU officers. One had long hair, looked like a hippie, and was not very nice. The other guy was clean cut and well shaved, well dressed, and very nice. I guess now that I think of it, it was like the good cop, bad cop routine. I was 19 years old, and I was afraid of being in that room with them for hours. Then came the lie detector test. All they did was ask questions, and I answered with ''yes'' or ''no.'' I didn't believe in that machine, and never did find out the results.
I guess the first series of interrogations were not enough and they made me see a psychiatrist. I also had to travel to Halifax to see the psychiatrist. He asked me about my family life growing up, and if I thought that being raised by a single parent could attribute to my being a lesbian as my father had died when I was 3 months old. I told him that I couldn't see why not having a father would affect me. My sister was not gay, and was married with children. The investigation by the SIU also resumed. These interrogations and the meetings with the psychiatrist went on for months. I met with the SIU in the same place as before and repeatedly. I am not sure where it was because these sessions were always taking place at night time and I didn't know Halifax that well. The same types of questions were asked of me, but this time, I had to write out my answers. At some point, they wanted me to write down who I knew, and who were gay. They badgered me for hours into the night until I gave them names. I gave them first names only. I never gave in to the constant request for second names. I no longer cared at that point. I guess I was getting used to their tactics.
On one visit to the psychiatrist, he told me that he saw nothing wrong with me, and that being a lesbian was not an illness, but he wasn't in charge, and that his decisions didn't carry much weight, but that I would have to see him for several months, keep my nose clean, and stay away from gay people if I wanted to remain in the military. I listened to him, as being in the military was my dream since I was a child, and I didn't want to lose my job. I stopped going to the mess hall, and never went to clubs. In the mornings, I did make a quick stop at the mess to grab my lunch box for my shift, and at night I stopped at the Canex for a snack to eat in my room in the barracks. On the weekends, I went to my mom's place as it was just 2 hours away. It always felt like I was being followed, and it was not a good feeling to think that someone was following me. My colleagues would always ask me why I wouldn't participate in activities with them. I guess they figured I was just too shy. One called me antisocial, and that really hurt.
While I was allowed to remain in the military through all this, I was stripped of my ''top-secret'' clearance. As a result, I had to leave 416 Squadron where I was working on military war planes. I was sent to C.F.B. Borden where I took the Supply Technician course because you only needed a security classification of ''confidential'' to do this type of military work. On my return to Chatham, I was sent to work at the MSE supply shop (military auto parts shop).
In 1979, I decided to move off base, and I shared an apartment with a friend. I also met someone and started dating. Just over a year later, another investigation started. We both were discharged from the military, but only after months of interrogations. I was so devastated. I can't for the life of me remember where the investigation took place this time. I was just so numb, and the experience was worse than the first time. Everyone on base found out. It was not enough having the SIU follow me, but my Captain from work at the time, a guy by the last name of Donahue, made it his mission to make my life a living hell. Everywhere I went on base, Captain Donahue was there; at the canteen, the Gym, the baseball diamond'... everywhere I went, he showed up! One day I asked him, ''What is this all about? I turn around and there you are all the time.'' He told me that I was a security risk, that I could not be left alone wandering about the base, and that he would not have the base compromised because of ''YOU!'' He went on to say that I was a threat to our country, he would make sure I got dismissed, and that he would not allow Captain Paradis to help me this time. Shortly after that, the anonymous phone calls started. They would shout nasty words and hang up. I also was sexually assaulted by a drunken corporal who said that he would show me what I was missing. When I reported it to my Sergeant at work, he told me it was a waste of time, and that no one would take it seriously. When I was walking to work, other soldiers would call me names as they drove by me. It was awful. I went to see Major Paradis and the Base commander, and they both said they would put an end to it, but it continued until the day I was released, which was sometime in the 1980's. My partner followed soon after. I have to say that my Sergeant, Don Cormier, did everything to keep me in the military, but he fought a losing battle. Before the investigations began, he had even put my name forward recommending me for an advance promotion to corporal. I was so excited. But my Captain ripped it up in front of me saying I was not going to get it.
Before I left the military, they had a big party for me with a plaque and all, but I did not attend. I just couldn't. Sgt. Cormier delivered the plaque to my home, and told me how sorry he was. When I cleared off base, the last thing Capt. Donahue told me was, ''Don't forget, when you apply for a job, there might just be a note on your file, and they will all know the kind a person you really are!''
My partner and I had to move away as we were harassed all of the time. We decided to move to Ottawa as it had a bilingual population. At the time, it made sense to us. I got a job with the Corps of Commissionaires, and then moved to a job with Canada Post. I retired after 30 years of service. However, during my employment with Canada Post, every time I was called into the office, I thought I was going to lose my job. My ex-partner is still working for the government. We went our separate ways after 25 years together, but we were blessed with a son who is now 27.
During the years that followed, I often tried to get an apology, but never knew how to go about getting one. I did speak to Svend Robinson in the early 1980s. I gave him a written statement that provided all the details about my dismissal. He used it to help the Michelle Douglas case. I also wrote to Michel Drapeau, and inquired on how to get an apology. His response was, ''Never going to happen,'' and that I would have to prove that being gay was the only reason I was dismissed. I had no clue on how to do that. I knew that was the only reason I was discharged.
All of this happened over 30 years ago, and not one day goes by that I don't think about it. The only thing I ever wanted was to serve my country. And to be told that I was a threat to my country'... well that stays with you for a long time. The countless investigations, they never go away in your mind. I still, to this day, have a hard time answering the phone: I always think that it will be an obscene call. I have a hard time when men are drunk because of the sexual assault by a drunken corporal. I have a hard time listening to the National Anthem without crying. Oddly enough, if I had the opportunity to serve again, I'd do it in a heartbeat!
Today, I still want an apology, and I want help on how to deal with my insecurities. I want ''someone'' to tell me that they are sorry, to acknowledge that I was never a threat, that I was a good soldier, and to acknowledge my service in a form of a medal which I will wear proudly when I stand every November 11 paying my respect to our lost heroes! I know medals are not just given randomly, but my God, myself and all others that suffered like we did deserve a medal in recognition of our service. If I was not dismissed for being gay, I'd still be there today!
In early 1970, I was called to the offices of the Military Police at CFB Halifax and told that enough evidence had been gathered to indicate that I was homosexual. In fact, based on questions asked of me, it became apparent that I had been under investigation and observation for about one year. I was then a 30 year old naval Lieutenant serving as the Operations Officer in a destroyer with what appeared to be prospects of a promising career in the Canadian Forces. In view of the then existing Administrative Order addressing ''sexual perversions'', countering this accusation would have resulted in the immediate removal from my ship, the downgrading of my top secret security clearance and a difficult to explain temporary posting to an insignificant position pending further investigations. As I assessed my situation, I saw this as only postponing the inevitable and running the risk of a less-than-honourable discharge from the Forces. This led me to submitting a letter resigning my officer's commission which was quickly processed and I was honourably released. I might add that throughout this ordeal and mental anguish I enjoyed the complete moral support of my ship's Executive Officer, Commanding Officer (a future admiral) and the Squadron Commander. After some thirteen years with the Canadian Forces I had to seek a new career and begin a new life.
In view of what I described above, I fully support the long overdue redress initiatives outlined in Motions M-517 and M-521. If implemented, these would be the beginning of an honourable means of recognizing the devoted service of Forces personnel like me forced into a humiliating and unnecessary termination of their career.
Frank M. L(C)tourneau
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Email: frankmletourneau@gmail.com
Phone: 902 429 2285
I joined the armed forces in 1983 at the age of 19. A year and a half later, after graduating as a medical assistant I was dishonorably discharged for homosexuality. The events leading up to my discharge consisted of many hours of interrogation, including a promise that, should I confess to my ''sexual perversions'', they would keep me.
I was interrogated in a little house that I didn't even know existed on the base. I was asked very personal questions like ''who did you sleep with?'' and ''How often do you have sex''. I felt exhausted, scared and humiliated. At that moment I lost all sense of my self-worth and selfrespect. I left the interrogation with an uncertainty and fear that I had never experienced before. I was released from the interrogation and life in the army went on as usual. Months later, after I had been transferred to the National Defence Medical Center in Ottawa. I was summoned to the office of a psychologist for an evaluation to determine if I was normal or abnormal as per the investigation of my homosexuality. I did a couple of sessions that did not go very well. Again, I did not receive any news on my investigation for months.
I was offered a new contract of 3 Years as a communication officer with Top Secret code verification, and I accepted. I was scheduled to start my course in Kingston shortly. I was working as a pharmacist assistant the day I got the call to report to the office of the base Colonel. They asked ''Do you know why you are here today?'' I answered ''No''. It was at this moment that I was informed that I had been dishonorably discharged for homosexuality. I had just signed a new contract? I was confused. It made no sense to me that I was being discharged for my sexual orientation!
This event changed my life, robbed me of my self-esteem, and distorted my value system. It took 15 years of intensive therapy, and the help of my family to finally find my place in society, and feel safe to be my authentic self in the workplace. I absolutely support the NDP motions.
As a result of what happened to me in the military, I have devoted the last 15 Years of my life to the demystification of homophobia in the workplace. I do this so that organisations and corporations are not allowed to discriminate against employees for their sexual orientation or gender identity. This education process encourages these organizations and corporations to create an inclusive workplace. Employees are measured by their skills and competences, not by their sexual identity. I strongly believe that authentic employees are more productive in their work. The Initiative, brought forth by the NDP, is an opportunity for the Federal Government of Canada to take responsibility for the violent acts of discrimination that I and so many others lived at the hands of the Canadian Armed Forces. This accountability is the first step in the process of recognition and support for people whose careers were destroyed.
Yours sincerely,
Martine Roy
(514) 514-246 x8411
martine.zuni@videotron.ca
By MCpl Simon Thwaites (retired sort of - I think I can claim that title after one is kicked out of the forces)
To most I was a soft spoken quiet military guy who keeps his business to himself. Imagine in the spring of 1987 being ordered to a meeting down town and finding out this was the home of the military's Special Investigative unit (SIU). Upon arriving being hustled into a small interrogation room that had two chairs with a lie detector machine sitting on a table between them. Then the questions started. Some were extremely personal questions which in knowing elements from my medical files about being HIV positive were structured to discover if I was gay. The important catch phrase used was if one was not comfortable being gay and open about it ''You could be manipulated and coerced into revealing government secrets''. Big deal I was gay and most knew about it. So how did this apply to me but that didn't matter. To the military it became a witch hunt, wanting to know friends and other military members who were gay. Life for me changed. A possible promotion suddenly vanished as my security clearance was removed. A series of officers informed me that I had been reassigned to custodial duties in the drill hall (that meant sweeping floors) and ordered not to visit the ship I belonged to at the time. To not talk to other members about what was going on? Confusion- manipulation and stigmatization. My head spun at what was going on. In Nov. 1987 finally a medical officer tells me all this is happening because I'm under investigation for being gay. Simply going out to a gay bar downtown became a mystery novelists dream with military personal posted up high taking photographs of people entering and leaving the gay bar. You wondered some days if you were being followed. Thrown into this mix I was also struggling with being HIV positive. My life as I knew it was destroyed by the military actions.
Towards the end of my career they tried to pressure me to sign an ''Administration release'' form to absolve them of responsibility. This was the way most gay people were terminated but I refused and managed a medical release but with no benefits. My files were filled with misinformation, mistakes made by key people in charge which led to my Human Rights Challenge. It meant the soft spoken guy was no more '' thrust into the media and spot light I became the ''gay sailor'' because I felt I had no other choice but to stand up and make the military accountable. In the beginning of the court hearings the focus was on the ''Gay issue'' and then the medical. Throughout the process I lost my car, my house my job ... friends and social life. In the end I won The Human Rights Case in 1994 because of discrimination based on a disability and was awarded compensation for lost wages but no medical coverage or pension '' the fact I was gay and how I was treated became a silent back story and at no time did anyone in the Military/Government ever apologize for the war of attrition waged against me, of destroying what could have been. This should never have happened.
It's been just over 25 years since the military released me and I can still get emotional and angry over how things turned out. I start thinking back over what happened and I get animated and frustrated. I should have been able to move on to let it go but in the end there was no real closure. Yes I received a small compensation for lost wages but that vanished in seconds to pay off bills, taxes and lawyers. There was no apology or acknowledgement of what the government did. What they tried to do essentially in my case is hope that I would crawl off somewhere and die. I didn't and I'm still waiting for that apology.
As one who has a well-documented case through the Human Rights Commission and in the public media that clearly establishes how being gay in the military had consequences in that era. That discrimination and stigma propagated by the military was a reality. It is about time that an official government apology be issued for these injustices. I fully support the Motions M-517 and M-521.
Sincerely,
Simon Thwaites
May 25, 2015
(902) 800-2530
hedgehog_bear@hotmail.com
Disney Princes Reimagined as Feminist Allies | The New Yorker
Sun, 03 Dec 2017 13:46
Prince Charming, from ''Cinderella''When the king throws a ball to gather all the eligible maidens in the land, Prince Charming is, like, ''Uh, a ball full of maidens? That's really demeaning to women.'' The prince starts a #BallsFullOfMaidens hashtag, for women to share their stories about being seen as only wives or girlfriends. It goes viral, and, without consulting any of the maidens, Prince Charming signs a seven-figure ''Balls Full of Maidens'' book deal. He later marries Cinderella because it makes him look like he has socialist bona fides, even though Cinderella technically comes from money.
Prince Phillip, from ''Sleeping Beauty''Prince Phillip would never touch a woman without her consent. He knows that a woman in a magically induced coma cannot consent, even if she was flirting with him in the woods earlier, and even if they have been betrothed since birth. (He feels weird about the betrothed-since-birth thing, but doesn't want to confront his conservative family about it, because it makes him uncomfortable.) Prince Phillip is horrified to hear that there are men in the kingdom who do not wait for a woman's consent, and he issues a proclamation asking women to relive their traumas on social media, for the sake of ''awareness.'' He doesn't talk to any of his bros about it because he knows that they are good dudes.
Prince Eric, from ''The Little Mermaid''Prince Eric is extremely committed to female equality in his kingdom. He has so much to tell Ariel about the plight and oppression of women that he fails to notice that she doesn't have a voice.
Prince Adam, from ''Beauty and the Beast''Prince Adam is fine with having been turned into a beast by an enchantress. No, seriously, he knows he deserved it. He spends a lot of time worrying that he is one of the ''bad'' men. He keeps Belle at his house so that whenever this anxiety overwhelms him he can ask her, over and over, if he is a misogynist. Is he holding Belle hostage? I mean . . . maybe, technically? But he's doing this for her, and for all women! He's just trying to be a good guy, and that's worth her not having any agency to pursue her own interests. Which are what, exactly? Oh, reading? The Beast gave Belle a whole library that she can use whenever he doesn't need her to perform emotional labor. Every single book in it is by Don DeLillo.
Aladdin, from ''Aladdin''Aladdin uses all three wishes on lapel pins that say ''Male Feminist.''
Captain John Smith, from ''Pocahontas''When the Virginia Company asks John Smith to go to America to steal land and gold from Native Americans, he declines. Also, he's really into giving women foot rubs.
Li Shang, from ''Mulan''After it has been revealed, in the final fight scene, that Mulan is a woman, Li stands to the side while she battles to save his life, telling her, ''It is so cool that you don't wear makeup. Honestly? I prefer women who don't wear makeup. Maybe that makes me a weird dude. But I just, like, don't need a woman to pour time and resources into fitting a punitive, entirely fabricated standard of beauty for me to think she's hot. I guess what I'm saying is I think you're hot. Anyway, nice sword moves. You're not like other girls; you can really hang.''
Prince Naveen, from ''The Princess and the Frog''Literally just treats women like human beings. '...
EuroLand
Kebab panic: EU objection to phosphate 'threatens' Germany's beloved kebabs | Euronews
Sun, 03 Dec 2017 15:51
German politicians went into damage control amid outcry over media reports that the food additive, which is used in kebabs, may be banned.
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Is doner a goner? Kebabs could be banned under EU plans to combat heart disease
Sun, 03 Dec 2017 16:19
T hey are a much loved late-night snack for revellers as they flock home at the end of a night.
But the future of the kebab is now hanging in the balance, after it emerged that the high street delicacy may be banned from Britain under European Union plans to combat heart disease.
A move by the European parliament to ban the phosphates necessary to keep seasoned kebab meat moist and flavoursome is said to pose a risk to kebabs.
An estimated 1.3m doner kebabs are sold every day in the UK from more than 20,000 outlets, and some 200,000 people work in the industry across Europe.
Ibrahim Dogus, chair of the British Takeaway Campaign, an umbrella organisation that represents fast food groups including the Kebab Association, said: ''An EU ban on the doner would damage the takeaway industry - a sector which generates £4.5bn in economic growth to the UK and supports 231,000 jobs.
''Doner kebabs are a much loved staple in takeaways up and down the country and have been enjoyed since the 8th century BC.''
H e told The Daily Telegraph: ''In many cases, such as in my own restaurants, kebabs are homemade and when served with a fresh salad and pitta bread offer consumers a healthy choice.
''Restaurants are already responding to consumer demand by providing healthier options and adapting menus '' from choosing lower fat oils to sourcing local produce..''
A scientific review in 2012 suggested a possible link between phosphates, when used as food additives, and heart disease, although the evidence remains inconclusive.
The use of phosphate additives in meat preparation, where they are used to protect flavour and retain water, is normally banned under EU laws. However, there are exceptions and there are no current provisions about using phosphate in frozen kebab meat.
The European parliament's health committee this week voted down a proposal from the European commission that would have allowed the use of phosphoric acid, phosphates and polyphosphates in kebab meat made of mutton, lamb, veal, beef or poultry. The full European parliament is due to vote on the issue when it sits in Strasbourg in two weeks time.
Ants!
President Trump's Staff Complain of Cockroach, Mice and Ant Infestations in the White House
Sun, 03 Dec 2017 01:21
President Trump's Staff Complain of Cockroach, Mice and Ant Infestations in the White House
More The White House may be elaborately decorated for the holidays this time of year, but work orders reveal the presidential mansion is also infested with mice, cockroaches and ants.
The vermin came to light when NBC News4 Washington obtained hundreds of work requests stretching back two years. Maintenance staff members at the White House were asked to respond to reports of mice in both the White House Navy mess and in the Situation Room, according to NBC.
Staffers also found cockroaches in at least four different places on the White House grounds. Another report showed ants in the White House chief of staff's office.
Some of the work orders were routine changes, such as former Press Secretary Sean Spicer asking for new furniture shortly after the inauguration, while others were more specific. The files show a request in late January, for example, to replace the toilet seat in the Oval Office. The request included instructions to replace the seat ''after house please.''
Overall, there were a similar number of work orders submitted in 2017 under the Trump administration compared to 2016 under President Barack Obama, according to NBC.
''It's an enormous job. GSA is assigned to manage that job,'' former General Services Administration Inspector General Brian Miller, whose office formally monitored the agency's performance, told the network. ''GSA hires contractors and subcontractors for the [maintenance] work. Then the agency must watch over the contractors.''
Miller said many of the requests must be handled carefully due to the White House's historic nature.
''They are old buildings,'' Miller said. ''Any of us who have old houses know old houses need a lot of work.''
Ministry of Truthiness
ABC Suspends Brian Ross Four Weeks Without Pay - Breitbart
Sun, 03 Dec 2017 01:06
The report claimed Donald Trump had directed his eventual National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to contact the Russians while running for president as a candidate.
Ross followed up his reporting later that day with a ''clarification,'' claiming it was not while Trump was a candidate, but as president-elect.
Statement as follows:
We deeply regret and apologize for the serious error we made yesterday. The reporting conveyed by Brian Ross during the special report had not been fully vetted through our editorial standards process. As a result of our continued reporting over the next several hours ultimately we determined the information was wrong and we corrected the mistake on air and online.
It is vital we get the story right and retain the trust we have built with our audience ''- these are our core principles. We fell far short of that yesterday. Effective immediately, Brian Ross will be suspended for four weeks without pay.
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor
Facebook's Fact-Checking Effort Was Always Going to Fail
Sat, 02 Dec 2017 13:36
Nearly one year ago, Facebook was facing a flood of bad press around the tremendous amounts of misleading news that was passed around on its platform during the November 2016 elections. (As difficult as this is to remember, this was still during a time when ''fake news'' was a phrase that still carried weight and meaning.)
So it partnered with outside publishers, including ABC News, the Associated Press, FactCheck.org, Politifact, and Snopes, to try to ''fact check'' news posts. Links that were flagged by users as inaccurate would be forwarded to the fact-checking team, and if determined by journalists to be factually unsound, would be flagged with a ''Disputed'' tag. Facebook would ding those stories in the News Feed algorithm, and warn users before they tried to share them.
One year later, TheGuardian spoke to a number of journalists working on the project. The consensus: It's a failure.
''I don't feel like it's working at all. The fake information is still going viral and spreading rapidly,'' said one journalist, speaking to TheGuardian on the condition of anonymity. ''They think of us as doing their work for them. They have a big problem, and they are leaning on other organizations to clean up after them.''
Said another fact checker: ''The relationship they have with fact-checking organizations is way too little and way too late. They should really be handling this internally. They should be hiring armies of moderators and their own fact-checkers.''
The problems are myriad. You can ban a domain for peddling stories about George Soros personally Venmo-ing antifa black hats for hitting cops, and the person can simply hop over to another domain and start all over again. Others report that it's rare to see a ''disputed'' tag actually get attached to a story. Facebook is also staying tight-lipped about what effect the fact checking is having. ''We're sort of in the dark. We don't know what is actually happening,'' said Alexios Mantzarlis, director of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, which is supposed to oversee the work of the third-party fact checkers.
Facebook says that the fact-checking work is helping it fine-tune its own algorithms. A spokesperson told TheGuardian, ''Our work with third-party fact-checkers is not just meant to educate people about what has been disputed '-- it also helps us better understand what might be false and show it lower in News Feed.''
But Facebook's fact-checking initiative, whether handled internally or externally, was always doomed to failure. I've worked as a fact checker, and it's time-consuming process. Shitposting that the Mexican drug cartels started the California wildfires can be done in about ten minutes. Fact checking that story will always take longer.
Resource-strapped media companies were never going to be the answer. Given the unprecedented scale of Facebook's platform, the number of professional fact checkers needed to effectively police Facebook's News Feed '-- and then the management needed to oversee them '-- is hard to peg, but would easily be in the thousands. Meanwhile, one of the best and longest running debunking sites Snopes, which was roped into fact-checking for Facebook, currently employs 16 people in total.
Facebook may be doubling the number of people to handle abuse in 2018, and Zuckerberg has even said, ''Protecting our community is more important than maximizing our profits.'' But Zuckerberg is responding to congressional hearings about Facebook selling ads aimed at attempting to influence the presidential election.
Moreover, whatever was done by Russia-linked advertisers and pages on Facebook was done for political ends. Much of the fake news that gets passed around Facebook comes with a hyperpartisan slant, but that's more because hyperpartisan articles gin up cheap traffic and ad revenue. There's financial incentive for an army of online writers to post incendiary and untrue headlines, and very little incentive for Facebook to stop fake news, except to avoid some bad PR. The hastily assembled fact-checking effort by Facebook allowed the company to gesture vaguely at doing something, while actually doing nothing.
Special delivery.
Jack Dorsey says the company gave the wrong explanation for why they allowed racist, violent videos to stay live on the site and endorsed by the prez.
It's like the inauguration all over again.
Five women have spoken out about the Uber investor's behavior.
Private industry becomes part of the surveillance state.
Not a great look for the brain-hacking start-up.
Wireless headphones, drones, and lots of (surprise) games.
Explaining this week's most poetic meme.
He also says the whole thing was a mistake.
Definitely real and not at all fake videos seem to be the president's preferred content these days.
He was just doing his job.
''It does seem that you've been making some rather negative comments about President Trump.''
The new feature is called Reels.
The two characters were appointed in Japan earlier this week.
See what your friends are up to and never engage with brands again.
Trump retweeted several unverified videos from a far-right British politician.
A former Uber employee laid out the ride-sharing company's dubious tactics in court.
From stocking stuffers to splurges, here's a comprehensive list of all of our favorite gadget gifts.
No more hoping your friends complete your Venmo requests.
People are trash and technology is terrible.
No-shows not uncommon at National Christmas Tree Lighting - Story | WTTG
Fri, 01 Dec 2017 06:51
A wide shot of the crowd at the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Nov. 30, 2017. (Photo: Lauren DeMarco / FOX 5 / WTTG)
WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump continued the tradition of lighting the National Christmas Tree on Thursday. While a viral photo posted and shared on social media shows many empty chairs in the crowd during this year's event, the image may be a bit misleading.
The National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony is normally one of the hottest tickets during the holiday season as 20,000 free tickets for the event are given out. People are selected by entering through a nationwide lottery online and by phone.
FOX 5 asked the National Park Service about the empty chairs and they explained that no-shows are not uncommon for the National Christmas Tree Lighting. Since tickets are handed out to people around the country, there are many who are selected that do not live in the nation's capital and in the D.C. region, and this is believed to contribute to people not showing up for the event.
Of the 20,000 tickets given out, it is believed on average that 12,000 to 15,000 people attend the tree lighting ceremony each year, according to the National Park Service.
While there are empty chairs seen in the back of the audience this year, you can still see many attendees in the standing room section behind them. The following photo was taken by FOX 5's Lauren DeMarco during this year's event.
In 2015 while President Barack Obama was in office, there were plenty of empty seats seen at the National Christmas Tree Lighting that year as well.
This year was the 95th edition of this annual event, which was held at President's Park outside of the White House. The event dates back to 1923 when President Calvin Coolidge lit the first tree on Christmas Eve in front of 3,000 people on the Ellipse. The tree lighting ceremony has continued on ever since.
For those who did decide to attend this year, it was a pleasant night weather-wise.
"I was informed tonight that the weather we have is the best it's been in 25 years," Trump said. "In fact, I said, 'Is it always like this?' The secretary said it hasn't been like this for a long time, so we are very lucky."
This year's ceremony was hosted by Kathie Lee Gifford and Dean Cain and included musical performances from The Beach Boys, Wynonna and the U.S. Navy Band.
F-Russia
ABC Suspends Brian Ross Four Weeks Without Pay - Breitbart
Sun, 03 Dec 2017 01:06
The report claimed Donald Trump had directed his eventual National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to contact the Russians while running for president as a candidate.
Ross followed up his reporting later that day with a ''clarification,'' claiming it was not while Trump was a candidate, but as president-elect.
Statement as follows:
We deeply regret and apologize for the serious error we made yesterday. The reporting conveyed by Brian Ross during the special report had not been fully vetted through our editorial standards process. As a result of our continued reporting over the next several hours ultimately we determined the information was wrong and we corrected the mistake on air and online.
It is vital we get the story right and retain the trust we have built with our audience ''- these are our core principles. We fell far short of that yesterday. Effective immediately, Brian Ross will be suspended for four weeks without pay.
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor
ABC News corrects bombshell Flynn report
Sun, 03 Dec 2017 01:21
During "World News Tonight," ABC News investigative reporter Brian Ross said the source who had provided the initial information for his story later told him that it was as president-elect, not as a candidate, that Trump asked Flynn to contact the Russians.
The initial report, based on one anonymous source, prompted a dramatic reaction in the financial markets, and the Dow fell more than 350 points.
Stocks largely recovered later in the day.
CNN had reached out to ABC News in the early afternoon to ask why Ross' initial reporting was not included in the network's online story about Flynn pleading guilty to lying to the FBI.
Several hours later, a spokesperson for the network told CNN that Ross would be issuing a "clarification" on "World News Tonight," which airs at 6:30 p.m. ET.
"[A] clarification tonight on something one of Flynn's confidants told us and we reported earlier today," Ross said on the program. "He said the president had asked Flynn to contact Russia during the campaign. He's now clarifying that saying, according to Flynn, candidate Trump asked him during the campaign to find ways to repair relations with Russia and other world hot spots. And then after the election, the president-elect asked him to contact Russia on issues including working together to fight ISIS."
A tweet published by ABC News containing Ross' initial report had been retweeted more than 25,000 times and embedded in various news stories online before it was deleted. ABC posted a "clarification" on Twitter around 8 p.m.
An ABC spokesperson said the network learned its initial reporting was incorrect at about 6 p.m. The network spokesperson declined to say if any disciplinary action would occur.
ABC's decision to call its correction a "clarification" prompted immediate criticism.
"If we want to regain trust in the media, we need to admit our mistakes, especially when as consequential as this. Retract. Correct. Don't use weasel words to describe it," Jonathan Swan of Axios tweeted.
Greta Van Susteren blasted ABC for trying to "sugar coat" its mistake by characterizing it as a "clarification."
Shortly before 11 p.m., after a barrage of criticism, ABC posted a new tweet with the header "Correction" instead of "Clarification" followed by the same text as the prior tweet. The original tweet was deleted.
This is not the first high-profile mistake by Ross. In a 2012 piece for which he apologized, he suggested that the Aurora shooter may have had a connection to the Tea Party.
CNNMoney (New York) First published December 1, 2017: 9:13 PM ET
Byron York: Nunes blows up, threatens contempt after FBI stonewalls House on Russia investigator demoted for anti-Trump bias
Sun, 03 Dec 2017 01:05
House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes has issued an angry demand to the FBI and Department of Justice to explain why they kept the committee in the dark over the reason Special Counsel Robert Mueller kicked a key supervising FBI agent off the Trump-Russia investigation.
Stories in both the Washington Post and New York Times on Saturday reported that Peter Strzok, who played a key role in the original FBI investigation into the Trump-Russia matter, and then a key role in Mueller's investigation, and who earlier had played an equally critical role in the FBI's Hillary Clinton email investigation, was reassigned out of the Mueller office because of anti-Trump texts he exchanged with a top FBI lawyer, Lisa Page, with whom Strzok was having an extramarital affair. Strzok was transferred to the FBI's human resources office '-- an obvious demotion -- in July.
The Post reported that Strzok and Page exchanged text messages that "expressed anti-Trump sentiments and other comments that appeared to favor Clinton."
Word of the messages and the affair were news to Nunes, even though the committee had issued a subpoena that covered information about Strzok's demotion more than three months ago. The committee's broadly worded subpoena for information related to the so-called Trump dossier went to the FBI and FOJ on Aug. 24. In follow-up conversations on the scope of the subpoena, committee staff told the FBI and DOJ that it included information on the circumstances of Strzok's reassignment.
On Oct. 11, Nunes met with deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein. In that meeting, Nunes specifically discussed the committee's request for information about Strzok.
In an Oct. 31 committee staff meeting with the FBI, bureau officials refused a request for information about Strzok.
On Nov. 20, the committee again requested an interview with Strzok. (Three days earlier, on November 17, Strzok met with the Senate Intelligence Committee.)
On Nov. 29, Nunes again spoke to Rosenstein, and again discussed Strzok.
On Dec. 1, the committee again requested to speak with Strzok.
After each occasion, the FBI and DOJ did nothing. Now, in what appears to be an orchestrated leak, both the Post and Times published the reason for Strzok's demotion, along with concerns that the revelation might help President Trump. "Among federal law enforcement officials, there is great concern that exposure of the texts they exchanged may be used by the president and his defenders to attack the credibility of the Mueller probe and the FBI more broadly," the Post reported. The Times reported that "the existence of the text messages is likely to fuel claims by Mr. Trump that he is the target of a witch hunt."
Well, yes. It will be of concern to Trump's defenders, and to defenders of fair investigations generally, that such an important figure in both the Clinton and Trump probes privately expressed bias. It will be important for investigators -- and the public -- to see Strzok's and Page's texts to assess the extent of the problem. But in any event, Nunes is extremely unhappy -- not only with the revelation of bias but with the FBI's resistance.
"By hiding from Congress, and from the American people, documented political bias by a key FBI head investigator for both the Russia collusion probe and the Clinton email investigation, the FBI and DOJ engaged in a willful attempt to thwart Congress' constitutional oversight responsibility," Nunes said in a statement Saturday afternoon. "This is part of a months-long pattern by the DOJ and FBI of stonewalling and obstructing this committee's oversight work, particularly oversight of their use of the Steele dossier. At this point, these agencies should be investigating themselves."
To add insult to injury, at just the moment the leaked stories appeared, the Justice Department out of the blue notified Nunes that it would meet some of the committee's demands for information that it had been refusing for months. That didn't make the chairman happy, either.
"The DOJ has now expressed -- on a Saturday, just hours after the press reports on Strzok's dismissal appeared -- a sudden willingness to comply with some of the committee's long-standing demands," Nunes said in the statement. "This attempted 11th-hour accommodation is neither credible nor believable, and in fact is yet another example of the DOJ's disingenuousness and obstruction."
As a result, Nunes said he has instructed committee staff to draw up a contempt of Congress citation for Rosenstein and for FBI Director Christopher Wray. The chairman promised to take action on the citation before the end of December unless the FBI and DOJ meet all the committee's outstanding demands.
Obviously Nunes is angry that he did not know about the real reasons for Strzok's demotion. And he is equally angry with the FBI's and DOJ's treatment of the committee. Contempt of Congress is a big move for lawmakers to take, especially against an agency controlled by the same party as leaders of the House. But remember, House Speaker Paul Ryan has already said the FBI and DOJ "stonewalled" the House, and he demanded that it comply immediately. That was five weeks ago. Now, after this latest episode, it seems likely that leaders in Congress are becoming increasingly frustrated with what they see as the FBI and DOJ jerking lawmakers around. At some point, they will act.
Antifa!
Walmart Selling 'Antifa' Fan Gear - Breitbart
Sat, 02 Dec 2017 14:34
The mega-retailer is offering at least 13 different sweatshirts ''made in Mexico of 100% COTTON for all-day comfort'' promoting the group whose activities were ''formally classified'' by the Obama Administration ''as domestic terrorist violence'' as early as April 2016, according to Politico, despite the group's efforts to downplay this determination.
''Antifa,'' or Anti-Fascist Action, is an informal grouping of communist, anarchist, and other far-left street gangs. Drawing inspiration from the German Communist Party's street fighters of the 1930s, the modern movement grew out of the European far-left punk scene in the 1980s. These unapologetically violent bands of leftists were largely unknown in the United States until recent years, when America's post-Occupy Wall Street far-left began adopting the name.
Antifa is well known for dozens of violent crimes against people they consider ''fascists'' on both sides of the Atlantic. As Breitbart News's Ian Mason cataloged, to Antifa, ''fascists'' include ''in no particular order'':
'...Trump supporters, other Trump supporters, members of Germany's populist AfD party, a 20-year-old woman who chose to wear a Spanish-flag bracelet, a Philadelphia free speech rally, former UKIP and Brexit leader Nigel Farage, libertarian VICE News co-founder Gavin McInnes, French policemen, and Israeli-owned bookstores. Interesting, a Salafist Muslim who attacked a ''filthy white'' Antifa writer because he disrespected Islam does not qualify.
None of this has stopped Antifa from receiving a rash of positive press from American left-leaning media outlets; acceptance from both Democratic politicians and Republicans like John McCain, Marco Rubio, and Mitt Romney; and, now, its own clothing collection at Walmart.
''Just remember to keep creating a better world,'' the clothing advertisements encourage.
This glorification of Antifa was mirrored Friday by the New York Times, which published a fashion style guide for the group: ''practical advice on how to dress for a riot.'' In their guide, the Times explains why a uniform look is needed, from Breitbart News's Charlie Nash:
''These defensive methods work only if there are enough black-clad others nearby. A single person in all black and multiple face masks is an eye grabber.''
Finally, the Times claimed that dressing in black militant gear and concealing your face forms an ''emotional connection'' with other rioters.
''Tactical considerations aside, it's this emotional connection with other members of the bloc that many practitioners highlight the most in interviews,'' they proclaimed. ''It's why soldiers and police have uniforms.''
Walmart has come under previous criticism for selling ''Black Lives Matter'' shirts and other items. Following a request from the national Fraternal Order of Police, the retail giant eventually removed one of the items last December, shirts that said ''Bulletproof,'' but refused to remove the rest.
As with the ''Black Lives Matter'' paraphernalia, the Antifa products are being sold by a third party manufacturer, in this case, Tee Bangers, on Walmart's website.
Tee Bangers list as partners the following household names on their ''About Us'' page:
In June, Walmart said it wanted to avoid offending any of its customers and, joining Amazon, Sears, Ebay, and others, stopped selling products displaying the Confederate flag. The chain released a statement saying, ''We never want to offend anyone with the products that we offer. We have taken steps to remove all items promoting the Confederate flag from our assortment '-- whether in our stores or on our web site.''
Here are Walmart's current ''Black Lives Matter'' online offerings:
Amanda House is Breitbart News' Deputy Political Editor. You can follow her on Twitter at @AmandaLeeHouse.
Armageddon!
Vail schools tinker with idea of tiny homes for cash-strapped teachers | Local news | tucson.com
Sun, 03 Dec 2017 13:40
New teachers can't afford to live in full-sized homes within the Vail Unified School District boundaries, so the district is thinking smaller.
In an effort to ensure that teachers can afford to live in the generally well-heeled area that lacks affordable housing options, the Vail School District is looking to build a community of ''tiny homes'' for teachers.
Tiny homes are essentially minimalist urban homes built on top of flatbed trailers. They're usually about 300 square feet but maximize space by using lofts, efficient storage and open-air designs that incorporate outdoor space. They're popular with millennials, hipsters and others looking for a simplified, minimized or ascetic lifestyle.
The district plans to park the new tiny homes on a plot of land it owns and hopes to have at least four available before next school year.
When the site is fully developed, officials hope to build between 20 and 24 tiny homes to accommodate teachers in the district, with the possibility of opening other sites on district-owned land if the program is successful.
Vail Associate Superintendent John Carruth, who is spearheading the effort to get the tiny homes built, said he hopes they will offer new and young teachers '-- or those looking to downsize and minimize their carbon footprint '-- a cheap and hip option that will allow them to integrate into the Vail community. And district officials hope the tiny homes will help attract and retain teachers amid a nationwide teacher shortage.
''They're tiny luxury homes. It feels luxurious, but it's small. We want them to feel like it's a cool and unique and honors the teachers and their profession,'' he said.
But Joe Thomas, president of the Arizona Education Association, the state's largest teachers' union, said the idea of offering teachers tiny homes is somewhat insulting '-- and reflects the overall sad state of teacher pay, especially in Arizona, where teacher salaries are among the lowest in the nation.
''Tiny homes for our tiny salaries,'' Thomas quipped.
Thomas described the plan as ''somewhere between strange and innovative'' and said while he wished it weren't necessary, Vail's attempt to ensure teachers have affordable housing within the school district boundaries is commendable.
Vail Superintendent Calvin Baker said while it would be nice to be able to pay teachers enough to buy homes in Vail, that's simply not a reality for most teachers early in their careers, no matter where they work.
''I think the right way to frame it is not tiny homes versus suburban homes. It's tiny homes versus small apartments, because that's where most of us started,'' he said.
CRUNCHING THE NUMBERS
The starting base salary for a teacher in Vail is about $36,000, which isn't enough for single teachers, or families with a teacher as the main breadwinner, to afford housing in Vail, where the median household income is $83,000 and the median home sale price is about $260,000.
And Vail faces a somewhat unique problem '-- there's not a single apartment complex anywhere in the district's 425-square-mile boundary.
But Vail officials hope that what they're planning will be better than an apartment complex and will inspire a unique community of teachers who want to be a part of Vail's future.
The tiny-home community would be built on a plot of desert land at Old Vail and Colossal Cave roads, right in the heart of old downtown Vail. The land already has a septic system and a well that the district owns.
The land is sandwiched between train tracks, tucked behind a community thrift store. It's within walking distance of three schools, a shopping center, a Mexican restaurant and a Safeway that's moving into the neighborhood. District officials hope the tiny homes will revitalize the area and celebrate Vail's history.
Draft plans show neighborhoods of four inward-facing tiny houses, roughly 250 square feet each. The land is dotted with trees and includes a central plaza area, picnic shelters, a laundry area and a winding path to a community garden.
Figuring out how to finance the tiny homes has been the biggest hurdle so far, according to Baker. The district isn't looking to make a profit on the tiny homes, but it also wants to be sure to recoup its costs.
''No one has done this before. ... The problem is lenders aren't sure what tiny homes are yet,'' he said.
The district is looking at a several different financing options, including a scenario in which the district would take out a loan to buy the tiny houses and charge rent of $500 to $600, not including utilities.
Baker said he'd also like teachers to be able to take out loans to buy tiny homes themselves, to instill a sense of ownership and help build young teachers' credit. If that's the case, the district would set up an employment agreement allowing teachers to park their tiny home on the district property for the duration of their employment.
The costs of tiny homes vary widely, and the district is exploring options in the $45,000 to $70,000 range.
If the district purchases the homes, they would likely buy several different sizes '-- likely between 250 and 400 square feet '-- to accommodate teachers with different family situations, including single teachers, married teachers, and maybe even a young family with a baby or two.
''It seems like when you get to four (people), that's about the max,'' Carruth said.
COMMUNITY BUILDING
The district has been holding meetings to discuss the project with Governing Board members, community leaders and teachers since late last year, and Baker said teachers are excited.
''If we had five or six units available today, I'm confident we could fill them,'' Baker said.
If Vail meets its timeline of having at least one pod of four tiny homes up before next school year, it may be the first of its kind in the country. A Colorado school district is considering a similar plan, though it hasn't started construction.
Darin Dinsmore, the Arizona representative for the American Tiny House Association, said a Sedona charter school is looking to build a few tiny homes for its employees, but hasn't received the necessary permits.
But many rural school districts offer housing as part of their contracts to help attract teachers.
The Baboquivari Unified School District near Sells, for example, has dozens of rental units it supplies to teachers at a steep discount of between $180 and $280 per month. It also buses teachers into town daily from Tucson on Wi-Fi-equipped buses. Patagonia Public Schools renovated an old school building into teachers' living quarters, creating apartments at a discounted rate of around $475 per month, though only two teachers currently live there, according to the district.
A lack of affordable housing within the district is not a phenomena unique to Vail, and many other communities, like San Francisco and New York, struggle with the same issue. But Thomas, the union president, said Vail's predicament is unique for Arizona. He couldn't think of another area where teachers can't find some kind of affordable housing within the district boundaries.
''Scottsdale is kind of high, but there's some affordable housing,'' he said.
And education experts say living in the community where you teach makes a big difference, both for the teachers and the students and parents.
Thomas said if a teacher lives outside the community, they often have to rush home at the end of the day, meaning they can't participate in after-school programs, attend school plays, or just run into students and parents at the grocery store.
''It's hard to explain, but really, it comes down to the value of community,'' he said. ''You're supposed to see important people from the community actually in the community.''
Many Vail Unified School District teachers live in Tucson and commute to work.
That's the case for Samantha Frantz, a 28-year-old fifth-grade teacher at Cottonwood Elementary School who is in her second year teaching in Vail, after teaching for two years in her home state of Indiana before she moved to Arizona. She has a master's degree in elementary education and could be earning significantly more working in Indiana, but she wanted a change and fell in love with Arizona.
After accepting a job offer with Vail, Frantz immediately began searching for a nearby apartment. But she quickly found there were none.
Instead, she and her two pug dogs moved into the Sabino Canyon area, a 40-minute commute to work, which was not only time-consuming but expensive. So Frantz broke her lease and moved to a two-bedroom apartment near 22nd Street and Pantano Road, where her commute is only about 20 minutes. But the apartment was a downgrade, she said.
''I'll be honest, my apartment is not very nice. I wouldn't live here as my first choice,'' Frantz said, adding that although the apartment is only about 700 square feet, she never uses the second bedroom.
So when Vail started discussing the tiny-home idea, Frantz quickly got involved. Since then, she's become enamored with the tiny-home movement, watching TV shows about tiny homes and following tiny-home builders on social media.
And while she was initially skeptical that the project would ever come to fruition, Frantz said after two years working in Vail, she knows when the district sets its mind to an innovative project, it gets done.
''I mean, they have Wi-Fi on school buses,'' she said.
She thinks a tiny-home community would make the transition easier for new teacher like her by offering a sense of community and security among like-minded colleagues. Right now, she drives from Tucson to Vail and straight back home, where she doesn't socialize with her neighbors.
''Because of where I live, I don't explore Vail. I have no idea where the other schools are at, which is awful because I teach here,'' she said.
''It's tiny homes versus small apartments, because that's where most of us started.'' Calvin Baker, Vail superintendent
War on Guns
Government Begins Gun Confiscation: "Surrender Your Firearms" >> Sons of Liberty Media
Sun, 03 Dec 2017 15:10
Oh, look how government trades the use of something that grows in nature for your rights to keep and bear arms that ''shall not be infringed.''
Yep, is the liberal State of Hawaii that is going after users of cannabis.
The Honolulu Police Department has issued an order for medical marijuana users to ''surrender your firearms.''
Not only is this is a violation of the Fifth Amendment's protections, but since when did cops get to make such a decision?
KITV reports, ''In a letter dated November 13th new Chief of police Susan Ballard states card-holders have 30 days to surrender weapons, permits, and ammunition to HPD or to transfer ownership. According to the letter, the only way card-holders can get their weapons back is to get clearance from their doctors.''
According to the Honolulu Star, the letter claims, ''Your medical marijuana use disqualifies you from ownership of firearms and ammunition.''
Ballard cites Hawaii Revised Statutes, Section 134-7 (a) as the reason for the move. That section reads: ''No person who is a fugitive from justice or is a person prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law shall own, possess, or control any firearm or ammunition therefore.''
TRENDING ON SONS OF LIBERTY MEDIAInteresting since people using medical marijuana would be able to do so under law even though ''law'' should have no governance over a plant in the first place.
Furthermore, these people do not necessarily qualify as a ''prohibited'' person since Ballard cannot point to a law in which they are in violation of nor can she point to a conviction, something the Fifth Amendment demands before one can lose their rights.
Leafly commented that the letters appear to represent ''the first time a law enforcement agency has proactively sought out state-registered medical marijuana patients and ordered them to surrender their guns.''
Here's a copy of the letter.
The letter claimed ''a medical doctor's clearance letter is required for any future firearms applications or returns of firearms from HPD evidence.''
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that a ban on gun ownership for medical marijuana users is constitutional.
According to the court, marijuana use remains illegal on the federal level, even if a state exercises the 10th Amendment against the DC beast, but they fail to argue from a position of the Fifth Amendment's protections regarding this.
Form 4473 asks if the would-be firearm purchaser is ''an unlawful user of'...marijuana.'' No one who answers ''yes'' to that question can purchase a gun.
That's all fine and dandy, but what about those who have already purchased and own their gun? They aren't having to answer diddly squat. Furthermore, if government was actually engaging in the job they are supposed to be engaging in, which is protecting the rights of the people and bringing justice upon evildoers (Roman 13:1-5), then maybe, just maybe violent criminals would be put out of this world through the death penalty and the nonsensical laws we have against plants would be reversed.
Keep in mind those drug laws that so many neo-cons push are nothing more than a means to take your money, engage in no-knock searched and seizures and have resulted in billions of dollars being spent which has only helped to facilitate the black market, enrich those selling marijuana and result in far more dead than marijuana will ever bring about.
This is why the drug war must end and this is only a few examples.
Cannabis has been legalized in 29 states and Washington, DC. Still, in 2011, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms sent a letter to all firearms licensees stating that even if individuals have state-issued medical cannabis cards, it is still illegal for them to own firearms because cannabis is still a Schedule I substance under federal law:
''Any person who uses or is addicted to marijuana, regardless of whether his or her State has passed legislation authorizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes, is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance, and is prohibited by Federal law from possessing firearms and ammunition.''
Absolutely incredible how the central government assumes authority never given to it and rides roughshod over the Tenth Amendment.
However, we know they are doing it because of big money from Big Pharma because cannabis has been used to treat cancer, autism, and a variety of other health issues, including treatment of PTSD for our veterans.
Funny, the same government wants you to trust them as to how to manage your healthcare.
It's interesting how government claims cannabis is not medicine but holds the patent on it, isn't it? What does that tell you?
One thing we know for sure is the feds don't even prosecute people who lie on those ATF forms, or they do only rarely, but how dare you own a gun and use marijuana, even with the permission of the state beast and own a weapon!
Susan Ballard is going beyond the law and taking the law into her own hands. She's about as un-American as one can get.
Hate Trumps Love
Comedian Kathy Griffin unloads her Hollywood Hills home for $4.49 million - LA Times
Sun, 03 Dec 2017 13:54
Don't expect to find Kathy Griffin in Hollywood Hills for Thanksgiving this year.
The actress and comedian has finally sold her house of more than a decade for $4.492 million. That's about $1 million shy of her asking price when she put the gated home up for sale last year.
Set up from the street on a knoll, the 2003-built house has wrap-around terraces on two levels for taking in canyon and city views.
Features of the five-bedroom, six-bathroom house include reflecting pools in the foyer, Terrazzo marble floors and contemporary chandeliers. The updated kitchen, outfitted with stainless steel appliances and two islands, opens to the dining room. There are six fireplaces within nearly 8,100 square feet of interior.
Outside, the walled setting includes a saltwater swimming pool and spa, an aquarium and a cabana. A covered dining area holds another fireplace feature.
Griffin won a pair of Emmys for her reality series "Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List." Last year she appeared on "RuPaul's Drag Race" as a guest judge and hosted the E! Series "Fashion Police."
Griffin also generated intense controversy when a photo of her holding bloody severed head replica of President Trump went viral earlier this year. She apologized for the image, then later retracted her apology.
The 57-year-old bought the house more than a decade ago for $2.85 million, records show. She now resides in a 13,400-square-foot mansion in Bel-Air that she purchased last year for $10.85 million.
Steve Frankel of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage was the listing agent.
neal.leitereg@latimes.com
Twitter: @LATHotProperty
MORE FROM HOT PROPERTY:
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Onetime Malibu retreat of actor Pierce Brosnan sells for $2.82 million
NA-Tech News
NEST
Fri, 01 Dec 2017 14:04
Google is considering folding home-automation unit Nest Labs into its hardware team, according to people familiar with the talks, reversing a major element of Google's split two years ago into various businesses under holding company Alphabet Inc.
Nest was a pioneer in internet-connected home devices such as thermostats and home security cameras. But Amazon.com Inc. recently launched a home-security device that competes with Nest.
...
World's first 'smart condom' can track your thrusts and detect any STIs | Metro News
Sun, 03 Dec 2017 03:08
(Picture: British Condoms/Metro.co.uk)Imagine meeting someone in a bar. The drinks are flowing, the chemistry is popping, and you decide to throw caution to the wind by going home with them.
Just before you get down and dirty, you whip out your trusty condom and make them put it on. You also give them a condom ring to stick on top. They think you're a bit OTT but they're too far gone to question you.
What you need to know about having a Santa fetish Suddenly that ring tells you that the bloke you're about to bed is riddled with STIs.
One fake emergency phone call later, and you're trundling home in an over-priced Uber rather than schlepping to a GUM clinic the next morning.
Thank God for that trusty ring. If only we all had one of them.
Well, soon you'll be able to because this week, British Condoms unveiled the first 'smart condom' that will not only record your sexual performance but will also be able to detect common STIs like Chlamydia.
'Not only have we innovated the world's first Smart Condom Ring that'll measure pretty much every aspect of performance in the bedroom, but now I'm pleased to confirm that it will also have built-in indicators to alert the users to any potential STIs present,' says Adam Leverson, lead engineer on the project.
As well as telling you what diseases you've picked up, the condom ring will monitor calories burnt, the number of thrusts, girth measurements and duration of intercourse '' and all that data will be transferable to your smartphone.
While that sounds pretty creepy (you know Patrick Bateman would have studied all his conquests on such an app), the STI element could mean people identifying any infections earlier.
Aaron Slater, spokesperson for British Condoms says: 'We knew we were on the cusp of creating something special with i.Con and bringing a new meaning to 'wearable tech', but being advocates of safe sex, we wanted something more and the addition of an STI indicator has certainly done that.'
And apparently, there have been over 96,000 pre-orders for the product already.
The i.Con should be out later this year and is going to cost £59.99.
Prepare to be even more intimately acquainted with what your penis can do and what state it's in.
MORE: Sexxpot is a new strain of weed designed to help women orgasm
MORE: Compulsory sex education is brilliant '' but only if there are lessons dedicated to consent
Vegas Massacre
BREAKING: Phone Charger In Stephen Paddock's Hotel Room DID NOT FIT HIS PHONE!
Sat, 02 Dec 2017 14:38
October 6, 2017 by Joshua Caplan In yet another bizarre twist in the Las Vegas shooting saga, a charger that does not match with Stephen Paddock's cellphones was found in his Mandalay Bay hotel suite.
NBC News reports:
Investigators are trying to nail down whether anyone else was in the hotel suite reserved by the Las Vegas gunman during the time he was registered there, multiple senior law enforcement officials briefed on the investigation into the shooting told NBC News.
The investigators are puzzled by two discoveries: First, a charger was found that does not match any of the cell phones that belonged to Stephen Paddock, the man who killed himself inside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino after sending a barrage of bullets down on a crowd of 22,000 people below.
Leaked valet entries show gunman Stephen Paddock checked into the Mandalay Bay before September 28th, the date given by U.S. authorities. Reporter Laura Loomer tweeted exclusive photos from the valet on Friday.
Infowars reports:
Valet entries from Mandalay Bay prove that gunman Stephen Paddock checked in on September 25th, three days before the official date given by authorities for when he checked in, September 28.
Reporter Laura Loomer obtained an image from inside the Mandalay Bay valet center which shows Paddock's car was first logged on September 25. Below the computer display a hand written note is also visible that states ''Stephen Paddock 9/25-10/2.''
According to Loomer's source, the note was written by an FBI agent when he asked valet staff to provide details of all in-out times for Paddock's vehicle.
According to Loomer, the picture ''proves (the) FBI misled public about #StephenPaddock's check in date.''
On October 1, 2017, Stephen Paddock from Mesquite, Nevada smashed the windows in his room at the Mandalay Inn and fired down on thousands of concert goers in Las Vegas.
Paddock murdered 59 people and injured more than 500.
Authorities later found over a dozen guns in his hotel room and another 19 guns at his home.
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CLIPS & DOCS
VIDEO - Video News - CNN
Sun, 03 Dec 2017 15:56
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the GOP tax bill and responded to questions about the recent Michael Flynn plea agreement. 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VIDEO - Libya conditions overshadow EU-Africa summit | Euronews
Sun, 03 Dec 2017 15:52
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VIDEO - The State of Union: EU backs new weed-killer licence | Euronews
Sun, 03 Dec 2017 15:45
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VIDEO - Pelosi: 'Congressman Conyers Should Resign' - YouTube
Sun, 03 Dec 2017 15:35
VIDEO - Conyers' Lawyer Promises 'If This Nonsense Continues, This Is Just a Harbinger of What's to Come' - YouTube
Sun, 03 Dec 2017 15:31
VIDEO - 'Flu-pocalypse' Predicted Due To Ineffective Flu Shots, Doctors Say CBS Philly
Sun, 03 Dec 2017 15:05
CBS Local '-- U.S. health officials are bracing for a devastating flu season this winter that many people won't even be able to ward off with their annual flu shot.
The possibility of a ''flu-pocalypse'' is being talked about after record numbers of patients were diagnosed with influenza in Australia, whose flu season just ended. In a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), a group of infectious disease doctors say that Australia's vaccination against the flu was only effective 10 percent of the time this year.
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''What happened is, in the development of the vaccine, as we grow it in eggs, the virus itself mutated a bit, so that there was almost an accidental mismatch purely on the basis of the virus trying to adapt itself to growing in eggs,'' Dr. Anthony Fauci told WTOP. ''That's what happened in Australia and it is likely that that's what we're going to see here.''
The doctors added that the ineffective shots had the lowest rate of success in preventing influenza A. The flu strain '' also known as H3N2 '' ''historically is always the worse influenza,'' according to Dr. Fauci and can result in severe illness and possibly death in at-risk patients. Among the most at risk for complications from the flu include seniors over 65 years old, children under age five, and pregnant women.
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Australia's 10 percent success rate is a major blow to the hopes of Americans lining up for flu shots this year. In 2016, the NEJM reports that flu shots were able to stop H3N2 34 percent of the time.
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While the outlook for the U.S. flu season is grim, Dr. Fauci maintained that Americans should still take the time to get a vaccination. ''Vaccines remain a valuable public health tool, and it is always better to get vaccinated than not to get vaccinated.'' According to the CDC, 40,000 lives were saved by flu vaccines from 2005 to 2014.
VIDEO - (1) Meghan Markle UN Women - YouTube
Sun, 03 Dec 2017 14:55
VIDEO - Intelligence Panel Approves FISA Section 702 Renewal 13 8, Dec 1 2017
Sun, 03 Dec 2017 13:58
About C-SPAN Resources Follow C-SPAN Channel Finder Find C-SPAN On Your TV ");$('nav.channel-finder div').append("Channel Finder ");$('nav.channel-finder div').append("Found C-SPAN On Your TV ");$('nav.channel-finder div').append("");if (provider['STATUS'][0] == 1){var cspan1 = provider['CHANNEL'][0].split(',');$.each(cspan1, function(index, value) {cspan1[index] = parseInt(value);});cspan1 = cspan1.sort(compareNumbers).join(', ');$('nav.channel-finder div table').append("C-SPANChannel " + cspan1 + ((typeof provider['HDCHANNEL'][0] == 'string') ? " & HD " + provider['HDCHANNEL'][0] + "*" : "") + "");}if (provider['STATUS'][1] == 1){var cspan2 = provider['CHANNEL'][1].split(',');$.each(cspan2, function(index, value) {cspan2[index] = parseInt(value);});cspan2 = cspan2.sort(compareNumbers).join(', ');$('nav.channel-finder div table').append("C-SPAN2Channel " + cspan2 + ((typeof provider['HDCHANNEL'][1] == 'string') ? " & HD " + provider['HDCHANNEL'][1] + "*" : "") + "");}if (provider['STATUS'][2] == 1){var cspan3 = provider['CHANNEL'][2].split(',');$.each(cspan3, function(index, value) {cspan3[index] = parseInt(value);});cspan3 = cspan3.sort(compareNumbers).join(', ');$('nav.channel-finder div table').append("C-SPAN3Channel " + cspan3 + ((typeof provider['HDCHANNEL'][2] == 'string') ? " & HD " + provider['HDCHANNEL'][2] + "*" : "") + "");}if (hd)$('nav.channel-finder div').append("* Not available in all packages and areas. Please contact your provider if you don't see C-SPAN on your channel lineup.
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VIDEO - Army veteran says Franken groped her during USO tour in 2003 - CNNPolitics
Fri, 01 Dec 2017 21:56
Stephanie Kemplin, 41, of Maineville, Ohio, is the fifth woman in two weeks to accuse Franken of inappropriate touching, and the second person to allege that such behavior took place while Franken was on a USO tour. Three of the five women have been identified by name.
Kemplin said while she was stationed in the Middle East during the Iraq War, she met Franken -- at the time, a comedian and writer -- as he was visiting American troops with the USO. A longtime fan of "Saturday Night Live," Kemplin got in line to take a photo with Franken.
"When he put his arm around me, he groped my right breast. He kept his hand all the way over on my breast," Kemplin said in an interview. "I've never had a man put their arm around me and then cup my breast. So he was holding my breast on the side."
Kemplin repeatedly used the word "embarrassed" to describe her immediate reaction at the time.
"I remember clenching up and how you just feel yourself flushed," she said. "And I remember thinking -- is he going to move his hand? Was it an accident? Was he going to move his hand? He never moved his hand."
She added: "It was long enough that he should have known if it was an accident. I'm very confident saying that."
Kemplin estimated that the touching lasted anywhere from five to 10 seconds. She said she eventually turned her body to shift Franken's hand off her breast before the picture was taken.
In a photo shared with CNN, Kemplin -- who was 27 at the time and a military police officer -- is smiling widely with the left side of her face pressed against Franken's right cheek. Franken's right arm is wrapped around Kemplin's back and his hand is on her side at chest-level, and does not appear to be on her breast in the photo.
Looking back at the picture, Kemplin said she recalls feeling frozen and numb: "I did not process it in those split seconds."
A Franken spokesperson told CNN Wednesday night: "As Sen. Franken made clear this week, he takes thousands of photos and has met tens of thousands of people and he has never intentionally engaged in this kind of conduct. He remains fully committed to cooperating with the ethics investigation."
'I just feel so sorry for that young girl in that picture.'
In one of multiple lengthy phone calls with a CNN reporter this week, Kemplin repeatedly broke into sobs.
"I was in a war zone... You were on a USO tour -- are you trying to boost the morale of the troops or are you trying to boost your own?" she said. "I just feel so sorry for that young girl in that picture."
Kemplin said she did not say anything to Franken at the time.
"You're immediately put on the spot. What are you going to do? What are you going to do? Your mind goes a mile a minute," she said. "Who was I going to tell?"
She also doesn't recall telling any fellow soldiers about the incident afterwards because she felt ashamed and did not have peers she felt she could confide in. But she discussed it with multiple family members and relatives, including her sister, as well as an ex-boyfriend. CNN interviewed both.
Amy Muddiman, Kemplin's older sister, said she remembers Kemplin being excited that Franken was coming to visit because she had grown up watching SNL.
"I just remember her telling me that he grabbed her breast and that she was so shocked about it," Muddiman said. "My sister is pretty bold and assertive and she said that she didn't know what to do."
One of Kemplin's ex-boyfriends was also in the Army and he and Kemplin dated after the two of them returned to the United States. He asked not to be named to protect his privacy. He told CNN that while he did not remember all of the details of what Kemplin described of her encounter with Franken, she said "he went to put his arm around her and copped a feel."
Kemplin's account sounds similar to others
Kemplin's story bears striking resemblance to those of several other women who have accused Franken of groping in recent days.
Lindsay Menz of Frisco, Texas, told CNN last week that Franken grabbed her buttocks while the two took a photo together at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010. The Huffington Post also reported that two women, whose identities were not revealed, said Franken touched their buttocks in 2007 and 2008.These stories came after Leeann Tweeden, morning news anchor on KABC radio in Los Angeles, revealed that Franken groped and forcibly kissed her during a USO tour in 2006.Kemplin said when she saw Tweeden's story on social media, she "felt like the rug was pulled out from underneath me" because she had tried not to think about her run-in with Franken in years.
Kemplin reached out to Tweeden two days after Tweeden went public with her story, and the two women spoke on the phone a few days later. In one of their subsequent conversations, Tweeden asked Kemplin if she could connect her with a CNN reporter.
Over the past two weeks, Kemplin also wrote about her 2003 meeting with Franken on Facebook in two posts visible to her friends on the social network. One relative, whose name CNN is not using to protect the person's privacy, commented on Facebook that her husband "remembers you telling him about (Franken) years ago."
Kemplin, who now works as a federal contractor investigating Medicare fraud, is a registered Republican and said she voted for President Donald Trump in the 2016 election.
Kemplin recounts sexual assault by fellow soldier
One reason Kemplin said the Franken news has hit her especially hard in recent days is because she was the victim of sexual assault while serving overseas.
She said she was assaulted by a specialist with whom she shared a tent in 2003, just months before her run-in with Franken. The details of the assault were shared with CNN but are not being disclosed at Kemplin's request.
CNN has also reviewed Kemplin's military records. She was discharged honorably in 2008.
Sean Chambers, the platoon sergeant who oversaw Kemplin while she was deployed in Kuwait, described Kemplin in an interview as a "model soldier" who was honest, friendly and quiet.
Chambers said she confided in him about having been inappropriately touched by a member of their unit, though she did not divulge to him the full details at the time. An investigation was launched into Kemplin's complaint of "indecent assault."
According to documents viewed by CNN, Kemplin was eventually told that while the whole incident was "totally inappropriate behavior," the accused specialist was not guilty of "indecent assault." In addition, she was told that she was "responsible" for having allowed the male specialist to get close to her.
"I was really pissed off. It was not right," Chambers said. "My reaction was: when is it ever the victim's fault?"
He added: "I believe Stephanie. I believe that something did happen. I've seen sexual assault victims before in my line of work and the trauma that they face and there's no doubt in my mind that something happened."
Re-living her encounter with Franken, Kemplin said, has brought up memories of that assault
Kemplin struggled to re-acclimate when she came home from Iraq. Today she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and has trouble sleeping. One of her coping mechanisms since the war, Kemplin said, is to "shut down" and block out certain negative memories, particularly when she is feeling overwhelmed. She has described this in the past as a kind of selective "memory loss."
She said she is certain some people will question her story about Franken, because she is only choosing to speak out years later: "Nobody wants to believe anybody if you don't immediately stand up and say something."
Franken has repeatedly apologized about behavior that he said "crossed a line" for some women. The second-term senator has also said that he has taken thousands of photos with people over the years and that while he doesn't remember specific pictures or campaign events, any inappropriate behavior was unintentional.
Franken faces a potential investigation under by the Senate Ethics Committee, and has said he will fully cooperate with the probe.
In a news conference on Capitol Hill this week, CNN asked Franken why he was unable to answer the question of whether more women could come forward with allegations of sexual harassment.
"If you had asked me two weeks ago, would any woman come forward with an allegation like this, I would have said no," Franken said. "And so I cannot speculate. This has been a shock and it's been extremely humbling. I am embarrassed. I feel ashamed."
CNN's Ryan Browne contributed to this report.
VIDEO - (1) DANA2018.COM - Putting an end to sexual harassment scandals. - YouTube
Fri, 01 Dec 2017 07:51
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