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Monday, February 20, 2017

Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos appeared to speak tolerantly of pedophilia in video clips shared ahead of his speaking engagement at next week's Conservative Political Action Conference. He flippantly said young boys "discover who they are" through such relationships, later implying that those relationships can be sexual in nature, and can "give them security and safety and provide them with love and a reliable rock where they can't speak to their parents." The news of these comments led CPAC to drop Yiannapoulos as a speaker and Simon & Shuster to cancel his $250,000 book deal Monday afternoon. At Breitbart News, a half dozen employees are planning to leave if he isn't fired.

A dossier on Donald Trump's psychological makeup is being prepared for Russian President Vladimir Putin. Among its preliminary conclusions is that the new American leader is a risk-taker who can be naïve, according to a senior Kremlin adviser. Trump "doesn't understand fully who is Mr. Putin -- he is a tough guy," former Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Fedorov told NBC News. "Very serious preparatory work is going on in the Kremlin, including a paper -- seven pages -- describing a psychological portrait of Trump, especially based on this last two to three months, and the last weeks," added Fedorov, who said he has known Trump since 2000. The dossier was being revised regularly, he said, adding that many in the Kremlin believed that Trump viewed the presidency as a business. Fedorov added: "Trump is not living in a box -- he is living in a crowd. He should listen to the people around him especially in the areas where he is weak." read more

Monday, January 30, 2017

There should be nothing surprising about what Donald Trump has done in his first week -- but he has underestimated the resilience of Americans and their institutions.

I am not surprised by President Donald Trump's antics this week. Not by the big splashy pronouncements such as announcing a wall that he would force Mexico to pay for, even as the Mexican foreign minister held talks with American officials in Washington. Not by the quiet, but no less dangerous bureaucratic orders, such as kicking the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff out of meetings of the Principals' Committee, the senior foreign-policy decision-making group below the president, while inserting his chief ideologist, Steve Bannon, into them. Many conservative foreign-policy and national-security experts saw the dangers last spring and summer, which is why we signed letters denouncing not Trump's policies but his temperament; not his program but his character. read more

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Here is the fair and unbiased story about the inauguration written in compliance with the Trump style guidelines that we should have been obeying all along.

Nothing that has ever happened or will ever happen was as great as Donald Trump's inauguration.

The crowd was magnificent and huge, bigger than any crowd had ever been before! It stretched all the way to the moon. The Pope, who was there, confirmed it.
"Thanks for being here, Pope," Donald Trump told him.

"Are you kidding? You're my best friend," the Pope said. "I wouldn't miss your big day for anything!" He gave Donald Trump a big high-five.

Everyone in the world had come there at great expense. They sold all their possessions -- their homes, their "Hamilton" tickets, which were worthless to them -- to raise money to come and see this great sight. They could not believe that a perfect being such as Donald Trump even existed. They thought that he was a myth or a legend or a decades-long series of fabrications. read more

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

President Donald Trump revived a baseless claim he made shortly after winning the election in 2016 -- that he lost the national popular vote to Hillary Clinton because of voter fraud. Trump made the comments during a meeting with congressional leaders on Monday. House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn were in attendance, according to Politico. Cornyn told the publication that Trump rehashed the long-debunked claim. Cornyn added: "I didn't pay a lot of attention to it. I was ready to move on to some policy issues. I didn't anticipate that discussion." read more


The fact that Takei says he never told anyone about the sexual abuse and also said he hadn't thought about if for years suggests it was a traumatic experience for him on some level despite any jokes he may have made about it 40 or 50 years later (I'm not sure how old he is). At the very least, he had mixed emotions about the experience at the time. Or maybe I should say mixed sensations: it felt good physically but was also frightening emotionally. He said the abuse that wasn't abuse only happened once, so unlike Milo we don't know If he had other underage experiences with men or not. In the incident he talks about he wasn't the aggressor as Milo claimed he was at that age. Nowhere does Takei suggest that older men having sex with young teens is a right of passage etc. the way Milo did. Milo's comments and Takei's comments really aren't the same, but Takei's comments will probably be enough to get him to lose his Pizza Hut gig, so mission accomplished for Milo.

It's not unusual for victims of sexual assault and even rape to feel physical pleasure:

Myth #3 - If a boy experiences sexual arousal or orgasm from abuse, this means he was a willing participant or enjoyed it.

In reality, males can respond physically to stimulation (get an erection) even in traumatic or painful sexual situations. Therapists who work with sexual offenders know that one way a perpetrator can maintain secrecy is to label the child's sexual response as an indication of his willingness to participate. "You liked it, you wanted it," they'll say. Many survivors feel guilt and shame because they experienced physical arousal while being abused. Physical (and visual or auditory) stimulation is likely to happen in a sexual situation. It does not mean that the child wanted the experience or understood what it meant at the time.


"White male privilege is very real and very ahhorant. It's what's wrong today."
Statements like this in the context of what it was in response to are what's wrong today, and also why we have President Trump.

What is wrong today is that the middle class, working class and poor are letting themselves be divided along racial and ethnic lines, instead of banding together. Trump is not the answer and neither is the emergence of white identity politics:

Sheehan, who wore a black MAGA hat, told me that he's president of the College Republicans at a state school in New England. (I agreed not to name it.) Schneider's speech denouncing the alt-right had not impressed him. "It kind of reminded me of those '80s teen comedies with the assistant principal who's like" -- here Sheehan did a parody of a stern, hectoring voice -- " ‘Rules and regulations! You crazy kids!' "

Sheehan, 26, says he voted for Obama twice, but as Obama's presidency progressed, he came to feel like minorities had become emboldened at his expense. He realized, he said, "This actually isn't in my best interest, and I can do better for myself." Eventually, Sheehan came to see his whiteness as a source of meaning. "The thing about racial identity and ethnic heritage is that it's like your shadow," he said. "It's going to be with you everywhere you go, but it reminds you that the sun is shining on you. People think the alt-right is just simply about being mean to other people. It's really not. The alt-right is simply identity politics for white people."


The GI bill after WW II didn't just benefit white solders more than black solders when it came to housing, it also gave them a leg up when it came to earning college degree:

But not all Americans benefited equally

For African-American service members, of whom almost one million served during World War II, one huge barrier to fully using the GI Bill's college benefits was a lack of access to higher education


African Americans and the G.I. Bill


Post-War Economic Boom and Racial Discrimination

Returning World War II veterans spurred a population and housing boom driven in part by benefits from the GI bill. The economic demands of the post-war boom and the burgeoning Civil Rights movement led to conflicts over discrimination in housing, jobs and education. The Federal Housing Administration, which instituted policies that reinforced patterns of segregation, routinely denied low-interest loans to non-whites. The experience of fighting for freedom in Europe and then returning to a country where discrimination and opportunities were limited fostered discontent for returning black GIs. The legacy of post-war economic discrimination contributed to the wealth gap between whites and non-whites that we see today. One of the most important factors that contributed to the wealth gap was the federal housing policy. This policy endorsed redlining and discrimination in sales, financing and homeowners insurance, is reflected in the unequal rates of home ownership even today.


The homeownership gap : how the post-world War II GI bill shaped modern day
homeownership patterns for black and white Americans

Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, commonly known as the GI Bill, was a transformative piece of legislation signed by President Roosevelt intended to help WWII Veterans transition successfully from soldier to citizen. Often dubbed the magic carpet to the middle class, provisions of the bill granted eligible veterans free college tuition, job training and placement, generous unemployment benefits and a low interest, no money down loan for a home or business. The effects of this bill were widespread; it touched eight out of ten men born in the 1920's. Much is known of impact GI Bill benefits had on white veterans, but less is known of how black veterans, who accounted for one in thirteen WWII Veterans, were able to use them. This paper examines barriers black veterans faced to access and use the housing benefit, and examines the possible intergenerational impacts such barriers had on the wealth and homeownership status of African Americans today.


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