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No Racism Until Obama Was Elected…If The Blacks Weren’t Successful In the Last 50 Years They Have No One to Blame But Themselves

September 22, 2016

I normally post in the morning, but I couldn’t  sit on this. While Kathy Miller resigned as an election officer for Trump’s campaign, the damage has been done. I am here to spread the wealth:

White supremacy, here we come America, back for another round. I would say it’s a sick video, but it’s really just evidence of the sickness of the Trump campaign. My favoritism comment: “I am glad Mr. Trump pointed this out…” Now do we shun her for her racism or praise her for speaking the truth about Trump?

Miller also called the Black Lives Matter movement “a stupid waste of time” and said lower voter turnout among African Americans could be related to “the way they’re raised”.

The problem with the raising sounds like Kathy Miller’s parents were the problem.

 

Anthony Weiner Fantasizes About Sexual Abuse With 15-year Old Girl in Sexting Scandal

September 22, 2016

I was surprised to see an article in Vogue about Hillary Clinton’s right-hand help, Huma Abedin, a woman seemingly on top of the world, literally, until I read she was married to Anthony Weiner. Weiner, oh the possibilities of jokes about that name forecasting his troubles are legendary, has had sexting scandals before. Abed in had said in the Vogue article, after she thought the sexting scandals were over, that having her son was the “best thing” for she and Anthony.

I thought it strange that a woman so driven would constantly sublimate her own desires for a crackpot husband who engaged in sexting, but then Abedin is working for Clinton, another woman who seemed to be consumed with pleasing her husband even as his extramarital affairs came to light. Abedin had said that Anthony was basically a stay-at-home-dad and that she couldn’t do her job if it weren’t for him, and while Vogue characterizes Abedin’s work right now as “the campaign of a lifetime,” Abedin’s husband is stupid enough to think his pedophilia wouldn’t be outed.

Weiner had been sexting with a 15-year old girl, knowingly saying he wanted her to engage in “rape fantasies.” And it wasn’t just a one-time thing, or an accidental age mistake, compounded by the internet. The girl told Weiner she was 15. To the girl, it was romantic, this important man taking an interest in her. To the rest of us, Weiner was outed for the pedophile he is.

Weiner has faced a number of sexting scandals since 2011, when he was forced to resign from Congress after his online sexual messages with a female college student were revealed.

Another sexting scandal in 2013, involving 22-year-old Sydney Leathers, derailed his bid for New York City mayor. In the course of that scandal, his alias Carlos Danger was disclosed.

The former congressman has faced scrutiny over online chats with minors in the past.

In 2011, he admitted to sending five private Twitter messages to a 17-year-old girl, but said the messages ‘were neither explicit nor indecent’. The girl’s family told the New York Times that the conversation appeared to be harmless.

DailyMail.com reached out to the 15-year-old girl’s family earlier this month after receiving information about her relationship with Weiner.

Although the girl said she did not want to press charges because she believes her relationship with Weiner was consensual, she and her father agreed to sit down for an interview out of concern that Weiner may be sexting with other underage girls.

What’s a woman on a mission to the White House to do? Divorce him the way she should have years ago. And now the NYPD Special Victims Unit is beginning its investigation.

While Weiner claims it was all a “hoax,” sounding remarkably like he feels he was set up, his knowledge that the online personality was 15 is proof enough that he shouldn’t be above investigation.

‘I have repeatedly demonstrated terrible judgement about the people I have communicated with online and the things I have sent.

‘I am filled with regret and heartbroken for those I have hurt.

‘While I have provided the Daily Mail with information showing that I have likely been the subject of a hoax, I have no one to blame but me for putting myself in this position.

‘I am sorry.’

At least he claims regret and blames no one but himself. That’s some small consolation, if there is any in this situation.

 

Michigan Allows Students To Use Restrooms Without Harassment

September 21, 2016

Shocker in Michigan, isn’t it? Allowing students to just use the restroom however they see fit? Guess the Michigan board governing schools stated that transgender students get support to use the bathroom they feel they need to use.

Wednesday afternoon, the Michigan Board of Education voted 6–2 to approve a new set of guidelines for the state’s schools that protect LGBTQ students from harassment and ensure that they are respected in accordance with their gender identity.

The Board first considered a draft of the guidance back in March and received incredible pushback from conservatives. They made some revisions, but the final approved version still provides robust protections for LGBTQ students. These include:

  • Schools must explicitly protect students from any kind of harassment or discrimination based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or gender expression.

  • All district staff and even board members should be trained about issues impacting LGBTQ students.

  • Schools should support the formation of gay-straight alliances.

  • Curricula should be inclusive of LGBTQ topics.

  • Students who come out as transgender should have their gender identity respected, including the name and pronouns they use, the facilities they use, and the athletic teams on which they play.

It’s not all roses from Michigan lawmakers, because this is Michigan, after all. Republicans dominate the legislature, and Republicans have been synonymous with gender bias as of late. Michigan Republicans didn’t stay quiet:

Some Republican state lawmakers suggested legislation this summer resembling North Carolina’s HB2 that would impose restrictions on transgender students. Though the legislature is controlled by Republicans, the bill was originally sent to a committee where it was expected to die, but it’s unclear if the Board’s actions might catalyze a new interest among conservative lawmakers who want to reverse the policy.

The vote followed several hours of heated public testimony, including from state Sen. Patrick Colbeck (R), who warned that the guidelines will open school districts to lawsuits, and from state Sen. Gary Glenn (R), who described transgender children as “suffering the delusion they are of the opposite sex.”

Suffering really is the element that lawmakers miss when it comes to transgender students, the fact that they would be suffering at the hands of bullies. But, I reiterate, if there is need for privacy in the bathroom, which everyone needs, regardless of gender association, why not make bathrooms more private?

Hurrah for the Michigan Education Board. Let’s see a few more protections like this. School should not be a place where administrators get to determine what is someone else’s pants.

Millennials Will Never Have The Wealth of Their Parents And It’s Making America Vulnerable

September 15, 2016

Millennials don’t have a shot at financial security, not even to make what their parents have, never mind their grandparents. As profit sharing amongst employees has declined since the 1970’s with most profits being given to shareholders or executives, Americans are making proportionately  less than any generation since our grandparents. Ever wondered how your grandparents were able to afford a home plus a vacation cabin? Ever wonder why your grandparents seemed to have more money than you? It’s not just age, it’s adjusted wages.

The usual weekly wages of the median full-time worker (half of workers earn more, half earn less) increased by $4 between December 2012 and December 2013 to $782, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s up 1.3% in the past year. The only problem is that prices increased 1.5%.

In real terms, the typical worker slipped further behind.

After adjusting for inflation, median earnings at the end of 2013 were equivalent to $334 in 1982 dollars, no higher than they were in 1999, and just slightly below the $335 that the median worker earned in the summer of 1979.

The median household income has increased slightly — 5% since 1979 — but only because more families are relying on Mom’s wages.

What this means for the US economy? Instability. Our economy is a consumer economy, oversimplifying meaning that the US economy is largely driven by people purchasing product to support the businesses who make them. When consumers don’t have enough money to purchase product, the economy suffers.

While productivity has gone up since 1979 consistently, worker salaries have stayed the same, meaning American workers work more for less money than our parents and grandparents.

Profits from domestic operations have more than doubled in inflation-adjusted terms since the late 1970s even as median wages are flat. Profit margins in nonfinancial companies have risen to nearly 15% of gross valued added, about 4 percentage points higher than average.

Unfortunately, those profits aren’t being reinvested in the economy; they are sitting idle.

The top managers are also getting a much larger share of the pie. According to an analysis by Josh Bivens and Larry Mishel of data from the Congressional Budget Office and from Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez, the income of the top 0.01% of earners (the top 1 in 10,000) has increased at a 6% annual rate since 1979 (compared with a 1% increase for the bottom 90%.) 

The top 0.01% of earners are overwhelmingly corporate managers, top executives in finance, corporate lawyers and investors. This group makes an average of about $16 million a year, or about $300,000 per week.

American workers really are earning less while the 1% keep earning more. For every year the executive gets a raise, pay for workers has decreased. In other words, worker pay is docked each time executives get a raise.

Since June 2009, real average weekly earnings have increased 0.3% per year, even as productivity has increased 1.5% per year. Most of the income gains have gone to the highest paid workers, including the bosses. Real median weekly wages have actually declined 0.8% per year since 2009.

Slow income growth means consumer spending has also grown slowly. Most households are still trying to avoid taking on too much debt (like they did in the 2000s), so they don’t have the purchasing power to buy the additional goods and services that the economy could be producing.

If those additional goods and services can’t be sold, then businesses won’t hire the workers who would produce them, nor will they invest in the buildings or equipment that would be needed.

The U.S. economy relies on consumer spending to drive growth, but consumption is stuck in second gear. With consumer spending growing at less than 2%, it is no surprise that gross domestic product is also stuck in the 2% range. 

Stagnant wage growth isn’t a new trend — it began in the late 1970s — but the Great Recession and its slow aftermath have amplified it. While corporate profits are near a record high as a share of national income, the workers’ share has dropped to the lowest level in nearly 60 years.

After adjusting for inflation, median wages are no higher than they were in 1979.

Short term, executives are pounding each other on the back. They make money from the workers every time, and to them, it makes sense: keep making more money. The reality for the American economy is that this is a dangerous business.

Going beyond the concept of fairness, because it just doesn’t make for a compelling argument for wage increases–the old parental adage of “life is not fair”– the lack of investment in American workers makes for a very unstable economy, as was noticed in the 2009 Recession and most recently, another impending recession after the restaurant industry ( a marker of disposable income) showed declining profits. When people don’t make a living wage at work, the government picks up the tab  in the form of benefits for poor children, increased spending in schools, as opposed to local taxable income supporting schools, increased spending on healthcare, and so on.

But, here is the real crux of the issue–giving money to executives is not helping the economy. Executives aren’t investing in American businesses, infrastructure or building American jobs. One could argue that the executives are the least effective means of disbursing money in America to create a stable economy, right up there with throwing good money away. ‘

Stagnant wages are economically inefficient because they hold back both consumption and investment.

While most of us are spending almost everything we earn, it appears the rich may simply have more money than they know what to do with. They aren’t spending it, and their investments are doing little to increase the economy’s productive capacity.

If our nation invests its wealth stupidly, as in investing in executive and corporate profits, as opposed to consumers who stabilize the economy, then there is only one answer that arises from a stupid investment–lost money.

Corporations are also sitting on a pile of cash. They’ve increased dividend payments modestly, but are still retaining about half the profits they earn. They aren’t plowing the cash back into the business; net investment has fallen to the lowest levels since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Even Apple AAPL, +1.91%  can’t seem to think of anything better to do with its billions than hand them over to Carl Icahn.

The economy is stuck in a kind of Catch 22: It can’t grow at its potential unless consumers spend more, but stronger consumption is impossible without the higher wages that faster growth would bring. 

The only way to make the economic pie bigger is to give workers a larger and fairer share, in line with what they earned in the golden days of the American economy of the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s.

Take a look at the info graphs below. The blue info graph shows the rate of pay for American workers, adjusted for inflation, and you can see a downward spiral. The info graph in yellow and orange/red, shows a comparison of Millennial monies vs their grandparents, and you can see who is losing the financial spending game.

screen-shot-2016-09-15-at-9-30-23-am

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Tennessee Boots Sexual Harassment From Its Capitol, At Least Including Jeremy Durham

September 14, 2016

Given this week’s most recent child rape charges faced by yet another TLC “patriarch,” Tobias Willis,  (and by the TLC version, I do mean child abuser), the history of Duggar Family “patriarch” Josh, in therapy after his sexual abuse charges came to light, men who brand themselves as “conservative Christians” ought to take note that this sort of moniker is synonymous lately with sexual predator. But sexual predator may also be a synonym for Republican legislators who purport their conservative roots, too.

Remember the “colleague” Josh Moore who threatened to pinch any woman’s nipples who was breastfeeding?

“Who doesn’t support a mothers right to feed?” Moore responded. “Don’t give me the liberal talking points Amanda. If it’s a woman’s natural inclination to pull her nipple out in public and you support that, than you should have no problem with a mans [inclination] to stare at it and grab it. After all, it’s ALL relative and natural, right?”

It's a man's natural inclination to grab a woman's nipple

It’s a man’s natural inclination to grab a woman’s nipple

News outlets played if off as a discussion about breastfeeding, but threatening to sexually assault women is not about breastfeeding, any more than it is about her clothing. Threatening sexual assault is just threatening sexual assault. Josh More purportedly campaigned on a “family values” campaign not unlike the Duggar Family “family values,” which apparently includes family values as incest. Or, consider Tobias Willis family values including child rape.

Jeremy Durham, Tennesse legislator, family values supporter, “conservative,” was just ousted from his place in the assembly for espousing “family values” in the form of sexual harassment.

Twenty two women came forward to discuss how Jeremy Durham sexually harassed them, and while he said he would admit “mild fault,” he claimed he was innocent of all charges.

“My sole motivation in this letter is to maintain my innocence, stand on the constitutional conservative principles that I took an oath and was duly elected to defend, while protecting due process rights for both myself and future members,” wrote Durham, a former House Republican majority whip, to lawmakers…“And while I stand ready to respond to specific accusations and accept a mild degree of fault, I must also address the reprehensible nature of how this entire situation was handled,” Durham wrote.

Durham’s other maneuvering included threatening to expose women he supposedly had no interaction with who might have reported him. Another “family values conservative” joints the ranks of sexual predators.

screen-shot-2016-09-14-at-5-40-56-pm

 

 

North Carolina GOP Argues “Keeping Women Safe” Is Reason Behind Anti-LGBT Legislation Costing Them NCAA Tournament

September 13, 2016
North Carolina Governor

North Carolina Governor

Apparently nothing makes a state pay attention to human rights like a sports agency removing its event from the roster of events. NCAA has said it won’t hold any events in North Carolina after sweeping anti-LGBT legislation was put into place by a Republican-led governor, Pat McRory.

“Fairness is about more than the opportunity to participate in college sports, or even compete for championships,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a statement. “We believe in providing a safe and respectful environment at our events and are committed to providing the best experience possible for college athletes, fans and everyone taking part in our championships.”

North Carolina became a lightning rod for criticism after adopting several laws directly targeting LGBT residents. By passing H.B. 2 in March, the state became the first in the country to restrict public restroom access for transgender people. And in May, Gov. Pat McCrory (R) signed into law a bill that invalidated local protections for the queer community.

Nobody really had a problem with this type of “legislation” until the NCAA pulled it’s support? On the one hand, I am disgusted that it takes a sporting event organization to denounce what should have been obvious to any Republican leader: staying out of peoples’ pants should be the first rule of legislation. However, and here is the caveat, what the Republican government wrote in response is chillingly telling, namely that in order to keep women “safe,” legislation aimed at bathroom usage allows for gross invasions of personal privacy and anachronistic gender norms that smack of the chauvinism currently killing the GOP:

A spokeswoman for the North Carolina GOP called the NCAA’s decision “so absurd it’s almost comical” before launching a blistering attack against the organization.

“I genuinely look forward to the NCAA merging all men’s and women’s teams together as singular, unified, unisex teams,” spokeswoman Kami Mueller said in a statement circulating on Twitter. “Perhaps the NCAA should stop with their political peacocking ― and instead focus their energies on making sure our nation’s collegiate athletes are safe, both on and off the field.”

In apparent reference to the transgender bathroom bill, Mueller also called the decision “an assault to female athletes across the nation.”

“Under the NCAA’s logic, colleges should make cheerleaders and football players share bathrooms, showers and hotel rooms.”

First of all, arguing that NCAA should “make” men and women share showers and hotel rooms is a shameless attempt to promote the argument that women are in danger from all men, constantly at risk of sexual assault from athletes, in particular, and that the only way to prevent rape is to have separate showers. Secondly, the GOP commentary floats the idea that bathrooms, themselves, are an “an assault” and equates sharing bathrooms to rape. It’s a poor comparison, and one that only furthers a rape culture that is evident in extremist religious camps that: 1) men are always predatory 2) that women have to limit their freedoms/a.k.a. take responsibility for male predatory behavior and 3) that the only only way to keep women “safe” is to limit women because men are just predators by “nature.”

So much is wrong with this issue. Why do we even discuss shared bathrooms? I, for one, could use more privacy in the bathroom even in a space shared with other women. Do I really need to hear, smell and experience other women’s farts just to use a public restroom? Nope. Do I really need to smell everyone else’s bodily functions, experience them in unison? NO, hell no. Why not make individual bathrooms, with more privacy, available to everyone instead of expecting people to share intimate body functions and then claiming that such intimacy creates danger? The simple fix? Make bathrooms singular use, and no one will have an issue.

By the way, Kami Mueller and Pat McRory officially made the Asshole of the Week winners.

Lack of Women In Stem May Reflect Better Job Opportunities–Overqualification

August 31, 2016

Much talk in the last decade has surrounded the supposed quandary of how to push more women into STEM fields, science, technology, mathematics, etc. For a while, people assumed that women weren’t capable, which is what many of the elect university faculty says: we tried to hire a woman, but none were qualified…

Recent studies point out that the dearth of women in STEM fields may not be a result of them being under qualified, but that women are overqualified for STEM jobs held by males and can make more money elsewhere. This is the second time I have seen a study discussing the phenomenon, which makes all the discussion about women’s abilities comical.

“There are many theories about the social pressure that keeps women out of STEM,” he said. “We found that young men in general were more interested in the field, but considering that young women showed the same ability in our study, that seems to suggest that the dearth of women in the field is probably due to societal factors.”

Le notes that many students, especially women, who excel cognitively also have excellent verbal ability and will often choose a career other than STEM because they have so many opportunities before them. Le says that educators and counselors can influence those decisions by simply introducing students to the benefits of a career in science or engineering.

“This is a critical issue in our economy right now,” he said. “We have a crippling deficit of participants in the STEM field, and if we can encourage our students to pursue this path, we’ll be on our way to eradicating it.”

STEM fields actually need women now, but in essence, women who have both the verbal ability and the mathematical expertise, in comparison with their male counterparts, have better job opportunities outside of STEM. Makes me wonder why STEM glass ceilings never figured this out sooner: other fields will pay talented women more than STEM does, with better benefits. Kind of sucks for STEM that just when they need women the most, women are so over that and onto better-paying careers. I am waiting for the sorry song to begin and the begging to start, but I don’t think women will go back so easily. There has to be a benefit to women first. STEM, supposedly you have the best and the brightest scientists around, so what will you offer?