Thursday, September 19, 2019

Justin, Justin ! What are we going to do with you ?


Justin Trudeau in black- and brownface make-up

First, the SNC Lavalin scandal, attempted cover-up with lies, and now this...The photos keep popping up of Trudeau in black-face. Mr. Innocent, blue-eyed, smiley, selfie-face.

It is almost too obvious now to point out the rank hypocrisy of the Trudeau brand: one that has zero tolerance for inappropriate touching, except for his own; one that preaches respect for Indigenous Canadians, but won't even give them clean water to drink. And one who has spent his entire political existence proselytizing about tolerance, inclusivity, sensitivity and acceptance, all the while knowing — and hiding — a past that includes multiple instances of dressing up in blackface.
The Liberal leader's days as a progressive icon are pretty much over Can we forgive him one more time?? I don't know.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau made one good point while delivering his apology Wednesday, after Time magazine published a 2001 photo of him wearing brownface as a 29-year-old teacher at an Arabian Nights-themed school party. 
"If everyone who is going to be standing for office needs to demonstrate they've been perfect every step of their lives," Trudeau said, "there is going to be a shortage of people running for office."
Putting aside the enormous chasm between being "perfect" and wearing blackface three times, Trudeau makes a valid point about the need for a political machine that makes allowances for human flaws. If we don't allow people to grow and change, we end up with slates of sanitized candidates who planned their political careers from birth and wore suits to middle school. Bland, antiseptic, cardboard characters. How could we relate to them??

But Trudeau's argument would carry more weight had his war room not spent the week prior furiously digging up reasons why his opponents should be disqualified — reasons that include what they once said, once advocated for, or with whom they previously associated.
None of those claims were close to as bad as a grown man wearing blackface on multiple occasions. Had Trudeau been a regular, lower positioned candidate for office, of any party, including the Liberals, he'd have been closing up his campaign office by now.

Earlier this year, the United States was grappling with a political blackface scandal of its own: Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam was accused of wearing blackface in a 1984 yearbook photo.
That was the perfect time, if ever, for Trudeau to own up to his actions, instead of being cornered into acknowledging them, as he has been now.
Knowing what we know now, if you imagine Trudeau wearing black makeup and singing Day O while accusing Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer of refusing to take racism seriously, the attack loses its potency.

 Each Canadian will decide for themselves whether Trudeau's actions warrant forgiveness.

There is no question that the revelations of the last 24 hours are shocking, and that they could very well shift the direction of the federal election campaign.
But at the same time, for those familiar with the ways the karma gods of politics operate, they are not so surprising, particularly considering the cracks occurring all over the Trudeau brand.

The most sanctimonious of leaders are so often the sinners. And Justin Trudeau is a perfect example: a self-appointed moral steward in a turban and dark makeup.
When you run on sanctimony, govern on arrogance and expect perfection, you find yourself in an awful quandary when you fall short of your own standards.

Trudeau truly has done some important, progressive things for Canada: from opening the door to those fleeing violence and persecution, to putting climate at the forefront of our national agenda But from now on, Trudeau will never be able to separate his record from a few photos of him participating in a racist, ignorant, foolish act.

Maybe that's unfair but, after all, he made the rules.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Implicit Bias: Are we all racists and don't know it ?

Businesspeople in a lobby

Few people openly admit to holding racist beliefs but many psychologists claim most of us are nonetheless unintentionally racist. We hold, what are called "implicit biases". So what is implicit bias, how is it measured and what, if anything, can be done about it? .

 The Implicit Association Test (IAT), is a way to identify implicit bias. And not just race bias, but also, for example, bias against gay, disabled or obese people.
For those who've never taken an IAT, it works a bit like this - using the race IAT as an example. You're shown words and faces. The words may be positive ones ("terrific", "friendship", "joyous", "celebrate") or negative ("pain", "despise", "dirty", "disaster"). In one part of the process you have to press a key whenever you see either a black face or a bad word, and press another key when you see either a white face or a good word. Then it switches round: one key for a black face and good words. Another for white faces and bad words. That's a lot to keep in your head. And here's the rub. You've got to hit the appropriate key as fast as possible. The computer measures your speed.

The idea behind the IAT is that some categories and concepts may be more closely linked in our minds than others. We may find it easier, and therefore quicker, to link black faces with nasty words than white faces with nasty words.
List of faces and categories used in IAT
Suppose the data from your IAT test suggests a slight automatic preference for white people over black people. Are you a racist? A bigot? That would probably be at odds with your self-image.  But it is cause for re-self-examination.
Over the past few decades, measures of explicit bias have been falling rapidly. For example, in Britain in the 1980s about 50% of the population stated that they opposed interracial marriages. That figure had fallen to 15% by 2011. The US has experienced a similarly dramatic shift. Going back to 1958, 94% of Americans said they disapproved of black-white marriage. That had fallen to just 11% by 2013.

But implicit bias - bias that we harbour unintentionally - is much stickier, much more difficult to eradicate. At least that's the claim. The IAT, first introduced two decades ago as a means of measuring implicit bias, is now used in laboratories all across the world. From Harvard's Project Implicit site alone, it has been taken nearly 18 million times. And there's a pattern. On the race test, most people show some kind of pro-white, anti-black bias. They are speedier connecting black faces to bad concepts than white faces. Black people are not immune to this phenomenon themselves. They have implicit bias also. Tests show anti-white results.

Implicit bias has been used to explain, at least partially, everything from the election of President Donald Trump (implicit bias against his female opponent) and the disproportionate number of unarmed black men who are shot in the US by police. The notion that many of us suffer from various forms of implicit bias has become so commonplace that it was even mentioned by Hillary Clinton in one of her presidential debates with Trump. "I think implicit bias is a problem for everyone," she said.
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton debating on 26 September 2016 - the first presidential debate of the 2016 election

Trump responded a week later. "In our debate this week she accuses the entire country - essentially suggesting that everyone - including our police - are basically racist and prejudiced. It's a bad thing she said."

Indeed, it's hard to think of an experiment in social psychology which has had such far-reaching impact. Some of the test's success is because it provides an explanation for why exclusion and discrimination persist.  It doesn't attribute ill-will or animosity to the people who have implicit bias because, for the most part, these people are not conscious they have it.

Over the past decade or so, it's become routine for major companies to use implicit association tests in their diversity training. The aim is to demonstrate to staff, particularly those with the power to recruit and promote, that unbeknown to them, and despite their best intentions, they may nonetheless be prejudiced. The diversity training sector is estimated to be worth $8bn each year in the US alone.
There's an obvious business case for eliminating bias. If you can stop your staff behaving irrationally and prejudicially, you can employ and advance the best talent. Implicit bias down = profits up.

All races, nationalities and religions have a form of implicit bias to people who are different from themselves. It seems to exist just a fraction below conscious thought and expresses itself as a slightly uncomfortable feeling you may not want to try and identify.

FYI - You're going to the toilet wrong

Just when you thought you were doing everything right

Thursday, September 05, 2019

A little satire borrowed from Andy Borowitz

Americans Envious That Tiffany Trump Never Hears from Dad

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Millions of Americans envy Tiffany Trump for never hearing from her father, a new poll reveals.
According to the poll, conducted by the University of Minnesota’s Opinion Research Institute, Tiffany Trump’s unique placement beyond the reach of her father’s voice has made her the most envied woman in America.
Although Donald Trump took the extraordinary step of emitting the word “Tiffany” in remarks to reporters last week, the rarity of that utterance only served to remind Americans of just how fortunate Tiffany was to be off her father’s radar.
“In all our years of polling, it’s highly unusual to find one person so universally envied,” Davis Logsdon, who supervised the poll, said. “People in virtually every demographic group ‘strongly agreed’ with the statement, ‘God, I wish I were Tiffany Trump.’ ”
The poll finds Tiffany Trump sitting atop a list of the most envied women in America, well ahead of Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, and MacKenzie Bezos, who has a net worth of thirty-five billion dollars.

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Pentagon grants $3.6 billion funding to Mexico border wall.

construction along the border
US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper has granted $3.6bn  in Pentagon funding to be redirected to help build a US-Mexico border wall.
The money will fund 175 miles (280km) of construction and will force 127 military projects to be put on hold, he told lawmakers in a letter on Tuesday. Building a border wall was a major campaign pledge of President Trump but it has faced significant opposition. Tough action on immigration also forms a central part of his re-election bid.  Mr Esper's letter did not use the term "wall" but the border barriers described are likely to be cited by Mr Trump as evidence of progress as he gears up for the vote in 2020.
Last July, the Supreme Court handed Mr Trump a victory in a related case, saying that the national emergency he issued in February allowed him the power to use $2.5bn in defence funds for wall construction while the matter proceeds in courts.
In a letter sent to several congressional committees, the Department of Defense identified the 127 military construction projects worldwide that stand to lose funding on behalf of the border wall.

Democrats argue that by diverting funds to the wall, the Trump administration is attempting to circumvent Congress' role in making budgets for government agencies. Democrat Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said it showed Mr Trump "is willing to cannibalize already allocated military funding to boost his own ego and for a wall he promised Mexico would pay to build".
The American Civil Liberties Union promised to seek a court order to block "the president's abuse of emergency powers to secure funds for a wall Congress denied".

Donald Trump promised to use military construction money to fund his long-promised Mexican border wall. Now that order is being recorded on paper and put into action. That may cause some political difficulties for the president, but it's clear he believes the potential damage from not following through on his 2016 border-wall campaign pledge - even if the funds are coming from US taxpayers, not Mexico - is greater than the risk of disgruntled constituents and interested parties.

It wasn't too long ago that he border wall was a non-controversial proposition, tucked into larger spending legislation. That was before Donald Trump made it the most visible embodiment of his immigration policies, however.
Mr Trump has already tweeted aerial video of new border wall construction (technically, just replacement barriers). His goal is to have even more footage to point to - and, perhaps, stand smiling alongside - as his 2020 presidential re-election campaign picks up steam.

Trump's wall: How much has been built so far?

Trump's Claim: "Much of the wall has already been fully renovated or built. Mexico is paying for the wall through the new US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement. We have done a lot of work."

Verdict: The border authorities say work has begun on building improved border security infrastructure. The money made available so far is largely tied to barrier designs that already exist. The trade agreement with Mexico and Canada is not yet in place and it's not clear how this would directly lead to revenue from Mexico to pay for the wall.

What is being defunded?

In a letter released on Wednesday evening, first reported by The Daily Beast, Mr Esper identifies 127 projects that stand to lose funding at the expense of the border wall.  This list includes projects across 23 US states, three US territories and 20 countries. More than $1bn in mainland projects - with a wide array of purposes -will likely be shelved, including $40m to update hazardous waste storage in Virginia and $95m for an engineering centre in New York.

Nearly $700m will be diverted from projects in US territories Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam. Of these Puerto Rico will be hit hardest: the island stands to lose $400m worth of planned projects.
Approximately $770m will be taken from projects across Europe, directed at helping allied countries deter a possible attack from Russia.
Nine projects overall affect the renovation and replacement of schools for children on US military bases across the world... Defunded. 
According to the Pentagon, the affected projects have not been cancelled outright but have been "deferred".
For the projects to be resumed, however, Congress must agree to do so in its annual defence policy bill. If Congress fails to do so, they will be stuck in legislative limbo and effectively defunded.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Trump: Taliban deal close, US troops to drop to 8,600

The Associated Press         DEB RIECHMANN
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Thursday the U.S. plans to withdraw more than 5,000 American troops from Afghanistan and then will determine further drawdowns in the longest war in American history.

Trump's comment comes as a U.S. envoy is in his ninth round of talks with the Taliban to find a resolution to the nearly 18-year-old war. The president said the U.S. was "getting close" to making a deal, but that the outcome is uncertain.

"Who knows if it's going to happen," Trump told Fox News Radio's "The Brian Kilmeade Show."

Trump did not offer a timeline for withdrawing troops. The Pentagon has been developing plans to withdraw as many as half of the 14,000 U.S. troops still there, but the Taliban want all U.S. and NATO forces withdrawn.

"We're going down to 8,600 (troops) and then we'll make a determination from there," Trump said Thursday, adding that the U.S. is going to have a "high intelligence" presence in Afghanistan going forward.

Trump has called Afghanistan — where the Taliban harbored members of the al-Qaida network responsible for 9/11 — the "Harvard University of terror."

If terror groups ever attacked America from Afghanistan again, "we will come back with a force like they've never seen before," Trump said. But he added: "I don't see that happening."

Al-Qaida insurgents used Afghanistan as a base from which to plan the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the United States. A month later, U.S. troops invaded Afghanistan, where they have remained ever since, making it the longest war in American history. More than 2,400 American service members have died in the conflict.

The top U.S. military officer said Wednesday it's too early to talk about a full American troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Pentagon reporters that any U.S. deal with the Taliban will be based on security conditions on the ground and that Afghan forces aren't yet able to secure the country without help from allied forces.

"I'm not using the withdraw word right now," Dunford said. "It's our judgment that the Afghans need support to deal with the level of violence" in the country today.

Afghanistan's government expects that U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad will soon update officials in Kabul on the progress of peace talks with the Taliban.

A Taliban spokesman also has said that they're close to a final agreement. But even as the talks go on, there are persistent attacks by the Taliban across Afghanistan, and an affiliate of the Islamic State group has taken root in the country and is expanding its base.

Even if Khalilzad is able to close a deal, it will remain for the Afghan government to negotiate its own peace agreement with the Taliban. Part of those talks will be determining a role for the Taliban in governing a country that it ruled before U.S. forces invaded in October 2001.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Trump wants to end "endless wars" while ensuring the United States is protected, which means getting adequate guarantees that Afghan territory will never again be used as a launching pad for attacks on the United States or its allies.

"In a place like Afghanistan, that translates into ensuring that ... we do everything we can to reduce the risk that terrorism will emanate from that space," Pompeo said Thursday on Hugh Hewitt's national radio show. "I am confident that we can do just that."

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a key Trump supporter, and retired Gen. Jack Keane, a former Army vice chief of staff, urged caution.

"The United States cannot contract out the American people's security to the Taliban who, in exchange for a U.S. withdrawal, simply 'promise' to guarantee that al-Qaida and ISIS (in Afghanistan) are denied haven," they wrote in an op-ed Wednesday in The Washington Post.

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 Graham and Keane said they fear a U.S. withdrawal will not end the war and could start a new civil war as Afghan forces feel betrayed and abandoned and the Afghan government is severely undermined and weakened.

"The United States should never outsource its national security to anyone, especially the Taliban," they cautioned. "We cannot rely on the Taliban for security; we have lost too many soldiers at Taliban hands for that. The Afghan war must end on our terms, not the Taliban's."

Moreover, they said U.S. national security interests require that any deal the United States signs with the Taliban should allow for a "meaningful U.S. counterterrorism capability, coupled with a robust intelligence apparatus" to deal with threats from terror groups.
Stay tune : As The Stomach Turns
Witchy's opinion ;
Well, Putin doesn't like those American troops that close to him, or his ally Iran. So, he told Trump to get rid of them. 
Who does pulling out of the Iran Deal help? Russia who can now sell ALL the nuclear stuff they want to their military ally Iran.The Republican invaded Afghanistan, remember
There should not be any of the US troops. Let Ilhan Omar, AOC and Rashida Tlaib patrol Afghanistan.  I'm sure Trump will keep his promise. Just like he did with the border wall, the denuclearization of North Korea, his new and better healthcare plan, and settling the trade feud with China! Winning!!  everything with this guy is "real soon" or "many people have said" or "many people agree with me." for ONCE i would like a reporter to ask, "WHAT PEOPLE?" He seems not to want to mention names. Maybe it's the voices' in his head.
Sadly the lives of 2,400 men and women in the Middle East conflicts were those that could have been avoided.  The politicians who ran that war as well as the real war in Vietnam should have learned a lesson.  There we sometimes lost 2,400 or more in a week.  Let the Generals decide what we need to end any inevitable wars in the future.  Leave the media and politicians out of it.  I dont believe any word he says, but I do believe that he wants to used the allocated $ to the troops to use it in the construction of the Wall Mexico was supposed to py for. Besides who believes him anyways?? He is fishing for votes and before 2020 he will lie and lie about proyects etc..
Fox News anchor Shepard Smith on Wednesday called out Donald Trump's false claims about the southern U.S.-Mexico border wall and Puerto Rico after the president lashed out at the network.
During a segment on Shepard Smith Reporting on Wednesday afternoon, the Fox News host fact-checked Trump's recent claims about Puerto Rico. "President Trump is calling the island one of the most corrupt places on earth. He added [on Twitter] that 'by the way, I'm the best thing that's ever happened to Puerto Rico.' Those are opinions as opposed to facts," he said.
Smith went on to declare that Trump also "repeated his false claims" about the $92 billion aid that Puerto Rico has received, citing a tweet the president posted yesterday.
Nuff said..............HeHe

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Trump promised a major tax cut if he and GOP wins in 2020

Geobeats           Aug 24th 2019 
President Trump has promised a “major middle income Tax Cut” if he and Republicans win in 2020. 

“‘Face It, You Probably Got A Tax Cut!’ This was a New York Times headline, and it is very true,” Trump tweeted Saturday. “If Republicans take back the House, and keep the Senate and Presidency, one of our first acts will be to approve a major middle income Tax Cut! Democrats only want to raise your taxes!” 

Trump was apparently referring to a Times report from April which says most Americans probably had their taxes reduced by the GOP-led tax overhaul even though a poll at the time found that many did not believe the changes impacted them. 

The president’s endorsement of the Times’ piece is notable given his frequent criticisms of the outlet.

Days ago, he tweeted: “The New York Times will be out of business soon after I leave office, hopefully in 6 years. They have Zero credibility and are losing a fortune, even now, especially after their massive unfunded liability. I’m fairly certain they’ll endorse me just to keep it all going!”
Stay tune: As The Stomach Turns    
What going on Witchy  :
We won't be FOOLED AGAIN,  Trump!! On 10/27/18 JUST BEFORE THE MID-TERMS, you promised a tax cut of 10% for "MIDDLE AMERICA".  IT NEVER HAPPENED!  Just like "Lock her up", "Mexico will pay", and "Health care, day one, so easy and cheaper than you have right now".  We've seen this MOVIE and it is a LIE.  Your lie did NOT HELP YOU ***BUY***  the Mid-terms and it WILL NOT HELP YOU BUY THE ELECTION, either.
This country can not afford another tax cut...we're in too much debt...we need to pay our debts.  Healthcare  bill ?  jobs  bill ?  coal  jobs ? jobs  for  West  Virginnia ?  jobs  for  Ohio ?  jobs  for  Michigan ?  jobs  for  Kentucky ?  imigration  bill ?  infrastructure  bill ?  treaty  with  North  Korea ?  Iran  deal ?  10 %  raise  for  our  military  personnel ?  10 %  tax  cut  for  our  Middle  Class ?  background  checks  for  firearms ?  
Everyone  is  still waiting for the 10% tax cut he promised right before the 2018 election.  Also waiting for the 10% he promised the military (retired military here).  Those of us who care know what his last tax cut did; my children, your children and your children's children will be paying for that one.   And for those of us who do care, the only way he can pay for a tax cut is to cut Social Security and Medicare and possibly shut down some agencies that he thinks aren't necessary; like EPA and or NOAA.  Not for one minute would I believe him on this one.   He knows he hasn't grown his base since 2016, he knows he has a very real chance of losing in 2020.   What he doesn't know is he can't fulfill his promises from 2016; what makes him think he can in 2020 or beyond?  Americans who are registered to vote, for goodness sake, vote him out in 2020 along with McConnell, Graham and any other Republican or Democrat who isn't doing their job.He is getting Desperate now, so he lies some more.   Which seems almost impossible, considering the amount he lies regularly.  His promises to the American people are about as reliable as all threetimes of his wedding vows. He doesn’t care about promises. He never has and he never will. 

Two things are unique about Ttump over any other president in my lifetime.
1) no other president has ever said “Believe me” as much;
2) no other president has told as many lies - that are PROVEN, not subject to “interpretation “ lies - just during their time in office.
He's desperate to win. If he doesn't, he knows he'll be facing charges; Mueller outright said so. If he does, the statute of limitations will save him. But I have hope that enough of his supporters have already seen enough of his horror show. My brother-in-law did, and he was one of those sheep-like followers, spouting all Trump's nonsense one-liners. Now he admits the guy is an embarrassment.

That's all  folks  for now........HeHe