Culture

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More Abortions
Abortion used to be understood a sad procedure that some had to go through, now it it celebrated from the rooftops... what happened?

Planned Parenthood sues the state of Iowa in yet another effort by them to be able to performing as many abortions as possible, rather than providing quality care to women in need.

Planned Parenthood’s latest argument is that the two laws in Iowa that requires women to wait at least 72-hours and undergo proper medical consultation before they can get an abortion done.

The agency argues that the wait time and the consultation should not be mandatory and should be something the women could decide to have on her own.

Jason Reynolds, manager at an abortion clinic stated that “A lot of patients were very angered on why someone could decide this type of thing for them,” and that “other patients were very upset because they had already made this decision.”

Agreeing, Daniel Grossman, a physician at the University of California, San Francisco, stated that, if the law remains in place, “women will be delayed in the process of seeking an abortion.”

The 72-hour wait time was made into the law by Gov. Terry Branstad (R) earlier this year and was later lifted. However, Planned Parenthood has their eyes set on getting the policy removed completely.

While, the abortion provider argues that they focus is on health care and not on politics, it is to be noted that the agency received a major blow when  governor Brandstad declined some 30 million in federal Medicaid funding for the agency.

Earlier this year a video concerning the agency strongly backed by the Democrats that featured a women expressing her experience with Planned Parenthood. She stated, “For me it was a struggle, because I felt like Planned Parenthood treated women like cattle.”

The video further highlighted Sue Thayer, a manager at one of Planned Parenthood’s clinic. Sue was noted saying that the nation’s leading abortion provider “kept pushing harder and harder and harder to see more and more clients.”

“I remember when it went to four an hour, everybody was like, ‘How are we supposed to see four an hour?’ And then it was five an hour. And it got so, when your clinician was there, it was this insane, crazy, chaotic time,” she continued.  “Women were just herded through there, really,” she says.

Trevino, another clinic manager expressed that she was very bothered when she was asked to spend less time on consulting patients. “It just seems unethical to not spend that time with your patient and provide the proper care and explanation,” she argued.

Abortion is a decision that needs to be well thought out. The state of Iowa argues that by implementing a three day wait time and the series of consultations give women enough time to be certain of their decision and to educate them about the processes involved in an abortion.

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Anti-Semetic
What will happen when they find out that Israel has a homogeneous Western culture, and is (successfully) protected by massive walls?

Reporter for Windy City Times removed from her position, for uncovering the truth about the Chicago Dyke March.

Gretchen Rachel Hammond of the Windy City Times covered a piece on the “voice of  Chicago’s gay, lesbian, bi, trans and queer community,” the article talked about how some women were asked to leave the Dyke March, as the rainbow flags they were carrying contained Jewish stars on them. It has been noted that during the march on the 24th of June, that three women were kicked out from participating in the march.

Laurel Grauer, was amongst the women that were asked to leave. She stated, “They were telling me to leave because my flag was a trigger to people that they found offensive,” and that, “Prior to this [march] I had never been harassed or asked to leave and I had always carried the flag with me.”

Ellie Otra, another women that was kicked out, stated that the organizers “whispered” and “pointed” at her and that she was asked to either “roll up my Jewish Pride flag or leave.”

“During the picnic in the park, organizers in their official T-shirts began whispering and pointing at me and soon, a delegation came over, announcing they’d been sent by the organizers,” Ellie Otra stated in her post on Facebook. “They told me my choices were to roll up my Jewish Pride flag or leave. The Star of David makes it look too much like the Israeli flag, they said, and it triggers people and makes them feel unsafe. This was their complaint.”

She further stated, “I was thrown out of Dyke March for being Jewish. And yes, there were other Jews there, visible ones even, who weren’t accosted, who had fun, even! And yes, Israel exists in a complicated way. But in this case, it doesn’t matter what Israel does or doesn’t do. This was about being Jewish in public, and I was thrown out for being Jewish, for being the “wrong” of Jew, the kind of Jew who shows up with a big Jewish star on a flag. No matter how much I tried to avoid conflict, to explain. Oh, maybe there was a way I could have stayed, but rolling up my beautiful proud flag for them would have been an even bigger loss.”

In her interview with the Israel Times, Hammond stated that she was moved to the sales department and is currently on the lookout for an editorial job.

“Right now I’m in the sales department,” she told the Times of Israel on Monday. “I’m still a part of the company, and it’s my only source of income. To keep what job I have, I can’t comment on it. As an employee of Windy City Times who has loved the company and loved her role in the company for the past four years, I have to respect my publisher’s decision.”

The Windy Times have confirmed Hammond has been moved, but failed to provide any explanation on as to why the move was made.

Tracy Baim, publisher and executive editor for the paper stated, “I cannot comment on our people, but know that we stand by our reporting on our stories.”

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Inappropriate Picture
Hey Private, what do you have there?

A first sentence has been handed out in a widening scandal centered on Facebook page, “Marines United”. The 30,000 strong group with several active-duty marines claiming membership was apparently being used as a forum for circulating explicit pictures of female service members and other women.

The story first hit media attention back in March when a report published by investigative journalist and former Marine, Thomas Brennan, detailed the sophisticated and disturbing nature of the groups’ activities.

“What made this different was the volume of photographs and the details: names, ranks, duty stations.”

According to Brennan, the intelligence gathering methods employed here were similar to tactics at play in Afghanistan and Iraq. In other words, the group had evolved far past glorified locker room antics, and specific women were being targeted and exposed.

One such woman is former Marine Corporal, Ella Audra. Ella suspects that her pictures were leaked to the group as she began to receive messages through her social media profile a few years after leaving active duty. To Ella’s surprise, some of the messages she got even included specific details about her deployment and members she’d served with.

For their part, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service were quick to respond to the growing calls for justice, launching an investigation into the group and encouraging any victims to get in contact.

Marine Corps Representative Maj. Christian Devine had this to say,

“As a father of a young lady growing up in today’s digital information environment, I find this type of voyeurism disturbing and the subsequent justification of it to be repulsive.”

“People who do this to others, regardless of their proclaimed affiliation to military culture, are cowards. Their actions are inconsistent with the Marine Corps’ values and team building, and it impedes our collective ability to perform our mission and win.”

Further investigations in March revealed that the ring extended to a dedicated online image hosting site for military personnel known as AnonIB. Inside were rows of threads requesting “wins”, nude photos of specific female service members, often posted alongside images from their targets’ Instagram accounts with deployment details and full names also provided to aid identification.

Such threads often ran for several months with victims shutting down their social media accounts multiple times to avoid harassment, before nude photos would eventually be posted.

After posting one such image a member purporting to be an ex-boyfriend wrote,

“She knows how to end it all. If she does get in contact with me I won’t post anymore. So get it while it’s hot!”

Cadets from military academies seemed to be involved in the activities as well, one academy related thread started with the challenge,

“Bumping all 3 service academies’ threads to see who can post the best wins in the next 7 days.”

The anonymous nature of the hosting site and its user base posed several problems for investigative efforts. With the website hosted in the Bahamas, and no real names provided on the site itself, it was near impossible to identify any of the major culprits involved in the scandal. Getting the site itself shut down would also be an uphill task due to jurisdictional issues, so any images could be archived and moved elsewhere.

A culture of heroism and honor distinguishes the USMC from other branches of the military, the bonds of loyalty forged in the heat of battle are well known to those who have served. In light of this, the actions of this group seem to fly in the face of many of these values. With female integration in both combat and non-combat roles still moving forward, it remains to be seen if greater female participation can even be possible in such an atmosphere.

The dominoes have fallen quickly as the story has gained prominence. In March Marines United was finally shut down and in May the House passed the PRIVATE act, criminalizing the sharing of sexually explicit photographs.

Now the first sentence has been handed down with one marine receiving 10 days of solitary confinement, a rank reduction and a month forfeiture of salary. 22 others have received administrative action to date with a further seven receiving non-judicial punishment.

It is obvious that the establishment is treating this issue with the seriousness it merits, with more sentences seemingly following – let’s hope that the message sent to the perpetrators of these cowardly acts is clear. The only people our Marines target are those that seek to harm the interests of the United States of America.

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Robot Workers
"Hey, look, the new guy is a human! These affirmative action quotas are getting out of control, who wants a human?"

When James Cameron made his Terminator films back in the 90s, few of us believed that AI could actually take over the world. As it turns out, it could!

Of course, the real version of events is much different – there are no terminators in leather jackets roaming around hunting down little kids, neither is there a nuclear holocaust around the corner.

But you could end up jobless and without a way to make a living. That’s like a disaster in itself.

“These (robots) are things that are superhuman, and we think this will be in every industry, will probably replace 50 percent of human jobs, create a huge amount of wealth for mankind and wipe out poverty.”

These words were spoken by Kai-Fu Lee, a Chinese businessman who has worked for industry giants like Apple, Microsoft, and Google before starting his own Capital Venture Company. Obviously he knows a thing or two about computers and AI.

Now, robots have been around for a few decades at least, and their role in certain industries has become increasingly important. For instance, in the manufacturing sector last year, a company by the name of Foxconn laid off 60,000 workers and replaced them with machines.

This is not an isolated incident by any means. In the US, every robot that enters the industry does end up taking on average 5.6 workers’ jobs.

So what do we do? On the one hand, you can’t discount the productivity that robots bring to the table. Would you prefer hiring 50 people, paying them monthly wages, dealing with their personal issues? Or just invest in a few robots and be done with it.

We live in a world where, even though unemployment is an issue, most of us get by. We don’t realize the severity of the future that is about to become the present. And when the inevitable does happen, the extreme transition required from us might be too tough to deal with.

The truth is that jobs in every single commercial sector are under threat. It’s just common sense. An entrepreneur will always prefer efficiency, the heartlessness of a robot over human workers and you can’t blame them for it.

Even the ever-popular fields of business and finance are not safe. Antony Jenkins, the ex-CEO of Barclays Bank, predicted that the number of people employed in the financial sector would drop by as much as 50 percent in the next decade.

You can argue that robots and AI are manmade and can’t survive without human intervention. That’s true. Yet, this only deals with a handful of highly specialized people. What about the working class? The working class may well disappear.

We have to accept that robots and AI will have a devastating impact on unskilled and lower-level workers in the near future. Rather than thinking about putting a stop to this through restrictions on technology or stopgap solutions, we need to adapt, retrain, and repurpose ourselves.

Advancement in robotics should never stop. You always go forwards not backwards. There are plenty of ways to diminish the social and financial turmoil that we may be thrust into. One of these, as suggested by Bill Gates, is to tax robotics and use that money to support people being replaced. Of course, it falls on the Government and employers involved to take that step.

But how far can this go? If you look at the stakes, we are talking about millions and billions of people losing their jobs all over the world. It would require a complete rethink of the way the economy works.

On a positive note, human beings are a tough bunch. Plus we can’t survive without personal connections and interactions, so the human element won’t ever be written off in its entirety. Maybe AI will make the world a safer place by removing all the hazardous, dangerous jobs that we have to do. Maybe new jobs will be created, jobs that we cannot even imagine right now.

Things might be different, our roles too, but hopefully we’ll be fine!

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While most Maryland residents were at home enjoying their Fourth of July celebrations, vandals snuck into Wood Acres Elementary to deface a school sign to display the message, “EW, TRUMP! MURDER HIS A**”.  The placement and shocking nature of the threat has caused anger in the close-knit Bethesda community, said Andrew Johnson the local resident who spotted and took down the message

“It wouldn’t have mattered if it was Trump, Obama, Clinton, Bush. It was a threat and you know it.”

This is just the latest in a long line of violent attacks and statements made against the President and GOP.  This rhetoric recently culminated in the June 14th shooting of a Republican congressional baseball team, victims of which included House majority whip Steve Scalise.

With the country speaking overwhelmingly against establishment Democrats in the last election is it any wonder now, that instead of focusing on the many problems facing their party, liberals are directing their anger at those chosen to lead?

It’s all over the media anywhere you look. From Kathy Griffin’s vile attempt at courting controversy, shown holding a severed head, to Madonna claiming she’s though about “blowing up the White House” mainstream media sources that are quick to start an uproar at Trump’s latest tweets are surprisingly silent when it comes to this behavior.

Statistics published in a recent Pew Research Center study shows that 4 in 10 Democrats and Republicans see the other party as an active threat to the country. It just goes to show that we’re finding ourselves living in an increasingly divided country split along partisan lines.  Where serious threats become glib buzzwords and echo chambers appear ready to permit even the worst behavior.

Even without calls to violence the dumbing down of mainstream discourse in the country is a sad indictment on how far we need to go to regain our lost values and ideals. In fact Journalistic standards have fallen so far that an annual 2016 Gallup Poll showed only 32 percent of Americans having a great or fair amount of trust in the media.

While many of us retain faith in the people of this great country to see our way clear of this impasse, we pray that further incidents are not needed to stop these efforts at fracturing us further.

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CNN Child
CNN Ceo, Jeff Zucker's corporate tactics were honed on the playground, where he may have regularly beat up 4th graders for lunch money...

On Wednesday, Jeff Zucker, President of CNN, alleged that President Donald Trump is “trying to bully us, and we’re not going to let him intimidate us.”

He claimed that he thinks President Trump has been targeting CNN and criticizing it because the network has viewers that are more susceptible to changing their views than other networks.

In an interview with the New York Times published Wednesday, Zucker said, “My job is to remind everyone that they need to stay focused doing their job. He’s trying to bully us, and we’re not going to let him intimidate us. You can’t lose your confidence and let that change the way you conduct yourselves.”

To a question about why Zucker thinks President Trump is targeting his network, Zucker claimed that Trump prefers television as a medium to reach the masses.

“Television is his preferred medium,” Zucker said. “And he knows our viewers can be swayed because they’re not watching Fox or MSNBC” — networks with an ideological bent in prime time.”

The Times’ interview of the CNN boss comes at a time when Trump’s battle with the network appears to be escalating.

Earlier on Sunday, Trump took to twitter to post a redditor’s video that showed Trump put a wrestler to ground before beating him up. The wrestler’s face was superimposed with the CNN logo.

The video received attention immediately, online. It was retweeted almost 330,000 times, but also received immense criticism from CNN and other members of the media.

However, the news network was also criticized for trying to blackmail the redditor who created the video. According to some, CNN “threatened” the creator with exposing his identity.

“He is a private citizen who has issued an extensive statement of apology, showed his remorse by saying he has taken down all his offending posts and because he said he is not going to repeat this ugly behavior on social media again,” the story, titled “How CNN found the Reddit user behind the Trump wrestling GIF,” reads on CNN.com

Following news of CNN’s threats to the redditor, #CNNBlackmail began trending on social media and public figures including Donald Trump Jr., WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and Vox’s German Lopez.

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Ivanka Trump
More kids equals more leave - Guaranteed!

Ivanka, the first daughter and senior adviser to President Trump, backed Trump’s proposal for the 2018 budget and highlighted that the importance of a paid family leave that is contained within the proposal. The budget proposal by Trump includes six weeks of paid leave for families, after they have given birth or adopted a child.

In an op-ed penned by Trump herself, she wrote, “The policy outlined in the administration’s recent budget proposal emphasizes the need for mothers and fathers to have access to paid leave to encourage both parents to share parenting responsibilities and to strive toward minimizing hiring biases.”

“Providing a national guaranteed paid-leave program — with a reasonable time limit and benefit cap — isn’t an entitlement, it’s an investment in America’s working families,” Trump wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. She indicated that such programs are not reaching “the poorest, most vulnerable workers in our society …” and that, the “government benefits should not be a substitute for private-sector investment,” as implementing paid-leave on a national scale shall participation from the “private sector companies and state governments.”

“To this end, we are working with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to design a paid-leave policy that provides a targeted benefit to help the people who need it the most and are least likely to receive it from their employer, without discouraging larger companies from developing more generous policies,” she writes.

She further argued that implanting such policies shall lead to “healthier children and parents in more tightly bonded families, greater financial stability and stronger attachment to the labor force are among the most important” and would promote the participation of women in the work force. “Women’s increased participation in the workforce in recent decades has been an important driver of middle-class incomes; in fact, research by the Council of Economic Advisers suggests that the vast majority of middle-income growth since 1970 is the result of increased female labor-force participation and education,” she writes.

The White House also emphasized on the idea contained in Trump’s op-ed n Wall Street Journal. An excerpt of Trump op-ed from WSJ, was posted on the White House website. Further emphasis was made by the White House stating on their website that “a 2012 study found that women who took paid family leave were more likely to be working a year after their child’s birth than those who didn’t take leave, and that women who took leave and returned to work were 39% less likely to report receiving public assistance than those who didn’t. Additionally, making it easier for new parents to return to work after the arrival of a new baby is a critical part of solving the persistent gender and minority pay gap that exists in part because of prolonged periods away from the workforce and challenges with re-entry.”

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Indoctrinated Kids
"The number of the day is Five! Now go and tell your parents that the US should be admitting 5 million un-vetted Syrian refugees per month!"

CNN takes the issues concerning immigration laws to the lowest level, by involving an iconic childhood character in the discussion.

Apparently, CNN used “Sesame Street’s” Elmo as their means to convince those that are against immigration laws.

In Monday’s airing of CNN, Sesame Workshop’s Sherrie Westin, CNN reporter Clarissa Ward, David Miliband from the International Rescue Committee, and the world known character Elmo was involved in a discussion about Syria.

CNN reporter Ward asked Elmo, “Did you find that the Syrian little girls and little boys were a lot like your friends here in America?”

“Yeah, they really were,” Elmo responded in a low tone. “It was very interesting because they like to play and learn just like Elmo and all of his friends at Sesame Street.”

“Elmo thinks it’s important to know that everybody is the same deep down and that’s very important,” Elmo stated.

He added, “It was really sad because Elmo’s new friends told Elmo that they had to leave their homes because it wasn’t safe for them to stay, and that made Elmo really sad and sometimes a bit scared.”

Miliband chimed in, “It’s worth saying, perhaps especially today that this country, the US, receives very few refugees and there’s a lot of fear and loathing being put out,” he said.

The show focused on explaining all those watch that they need to take a “child’s perspective” under account and carefully consider “staggering number of children who are displaced,” Westin argued. “This was an area where we really had to try and do something to help,” Westin added.

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Stolen Purse
"This red really compliments my balaclava, and the color of my eyes..."

Christine Braswell, 26, from North Carolina claimed that she spotted a man going through her SUV in the parking lot of an Asheville Walmart on Wednesday afternoon. She alleged that he ran off with her purse as soon as she confronted him.

Braswell, who is also pregnant, said she ran after him on foot but then came up with a different plan.

“Me being five months pregnant, I chased a little ways then come back, jumped in the car, threw it in gear and come across the curb and ran him over,” she told WLOS-TV. “I was not going to let him get away with it. It’s not right, it’s not fair.”

The man, later identified as Robert Raines, was also confronted by Blake Bennett.

“When I walked out of Walmart, he had her purse and was pulling all of her stuff out,” Bennett told WLOS. “Then me and my friend told him to put it down and ‘What are you doing?’”

Another witness, Janice Kelley told the TV station that Braswell “slammed on her brakes, crammed it in reverse, and run over the median over there … and hit him in the back. I mean, he was runnin’, and she flat hit him.”

After Raines was transported to a nearby hospital, police said that he is expected to be fine as he only suffered a few minor injuries.

Raines has been charged with breaking and entering, larceny and misdemeanor damage to property, according to WLOS. The station also reported that Braswell claimed Raines broke her iPad and phone’s screens.

Braswell has also been charged with misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon.

According to a defense attorney, Braswell cannot claim self-defense because Raines was running away. But there won’t be any attempted murder charges because her actions weren’t premeditated.

“When something like that happens, rarely is the person who is the victim operating in a cool mind. They are very upset and angry,” Steve Lindsay told the station. “Once he gets the pocketbook and moves away, she is no longer in jeopardy.”

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Racism Protest
Fighting racism with even more racism... perhaps this is not the most productive way to unite our nation?

Lisa Durden, the Essex County College professor, whose inflammatory discussion with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson led to her dismissal from the college, still isn’t going away quietly.

In Carlson’s show, earlier this month, Durden taunted white people for not being able to attend a Black Lives Matter faction’s “blacks only” Memorial Day party.

“What I say to that is boo-hoo-hoo, you white people are angry because you couldn’t use your ‘white privilege’ card to get invited to the Black Lives Matter’s all-black Memorial Day celebration! Wow!” she spat.

Eventually, in the midst of the exchange, Carlson had to cut out Durden’s microphone, as she kept interrupting him. She even disrespected him and mocked his remarks.

While Durden was only suspended following her debate with Carlson, she claims it was done without any solid reason.

“They did this to humiliate me,” Durden said about the suspension. “Essex County College publicly lynched me in front of my students.” Durden was dismissed last Friday, after suspension ended.

Essex County College President Anthony E. Munroe, regarding the dismissal, said that a “fair and thorough review” of Durden’s remarks was analyzed, and the college board concluded that it could not “maintain an employment relationship with the adjunct.”

Speaking about Durden’s comments, Munroe claimed, “Racism cannot be fought with more racism.”

On Monday, talking to Roland Martin on News One, Durden was asked if she regretted her comments that led to her dismissal. The host also asked her if she would ever apologize for what she said.

“No,” she said, “I am not going to.”

And again, she began ranting about racism; comparing herself and her remarks to Judge Jeanine Pirro’s television comments.

“I wasn’t there to play games, I was there to take a bite out of crime,” Durden said. “When a black woman is on television who is direct, who is aggressive, we’re ‘angry.’ Well, when Jeanine Pirro is on TV pointing and screaming and yelling, she’s ‘intelligent.’”

She added, “Why can’t I come on there and be aggressive and talk in the same vein as any expert in the fields of pop culture, politics and social issues? So now when I do it, I’m not intelligent. When [white women] do it, they’re amazing, they’re intelligent, they’re fantastic!”

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