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Mar-a-Lago: Where Donald Trump learned to be king | Salon.com


Some things don’t change. The promise of a new year. The excitement of new love. Donald Trump being a petty, self-promoting liar with ties to sketchy Russians.

That would be the best way to sum up the new book,“Mar-a-Lago: Inside the Gates of Power at Donald Trump’s Presidential Palace” by New York Times best-selling author Laurence Leamer.  As Leamer made it clear when I interviewed him on “Salon Talks,” Trump has not changed much since the day he bought his 17-acre Mar-a-Lago estate in 1985.

 

Source: Mar-a-Lago: Where Donald Trump learned to be king | Salon.com

Paralympic classification scandal: MPs criticise BPA boss for six years of inaction : DisabledGo News


The head of the British Paralympic Association (BPA) has been heavily criticised by MPs for failing to address cheating within the system that classifies disabled athletes, despite being in his post for more than six years.

Tim Hollingsworth was giving evidence to the Commons digital, culture, media and sport committee, as part of its inquiry into sports governance.

He was giving evidence after the disabled peer and retired Paralympian Baroness [Tanni] Grey-Thompson had told the committee that the classification system was being abused by cheating British athletes in search of money and medals.

On the day they gave evidence to the inquiry, the committee also published a series of witness statements from retired and current athletes, their relatives, and officials, raising serious concerns about the system (see separate story).

The committee has also received evidence from athletes who have given evidence anonymously.

The classification system is run by the national governing body of each Paralympic sport, while athletes competing internationally must also submit to testing by international classifiers.

The process includes medical evidence, physical examinations and assessment of how the athlete functions in that sport, as well as observation of them in competition.

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) defines classification as grouping athletes into different classes according to how much their impairment “affects fundamental activities” in that sport and discipline.

But misleading classifiers can allow athletes to compete against those whose impairments have a greater negative impact on attributes such as speed, coordination and strength.

Hollingsworth told the MPs that the system was the “absolute foundation stone of Paralympic sport”, and he insisted that it was fit for purpose but “can and must be improved”.

Asked if he was surprised at the number of people coming forward with similar concerns to the committee – many of them anonymously – he said again that the system could be improved.

And he said there needed to be an independent body to provide more “transparency and solidity to the process” of complaints about classification.

But he insisted that the International Paralympic Committee had put into place, in 2015, a “far more rigorous set of standards and practices” on classification.

He claimed that “if people were more understanding of that” and the wider system it might help them understand why “one athlete is freely and fairly competing against another”.

But he was later forced to admit that, although BPA would refer any classification complaint to the relevant individual sport, there were currently no procedures for his organisation to take any further action if that stage in the process proved unsuccessful.

Asked by Labour MP Ian Lucas if there should be a route for BPA to take on such a complaint, Hollingsworth said: “There should be, absolutely.”

Lucas then told him: “I find it incredible that in a multi-million pound business, which is what this is nowadays, that that process isn’t there at the minute because the integrity of this is at the heart of the sport.”

He added: “We have had a huge amount of evidence from individual athletes who do not have faith in the integrity of the system.

“These people have come to us because they haven’t felt that they could come to you. Don’t you find that depressing?”

The committee’s chair, Damian Collins, pointed out that Hollingsworth had been leading BPA for six years and told him that the problem had grown “on your watch”.

He said Hollingsworth and BPA had known about the problems with the classification system but had just “sat back and let it happen, and the people who have suffered have been the athletes and their families”.

Hollingsworth said BPA had now decided that it should be involved in developing a national classification code – which should be published next year – and a “better approach to classification at a national level” and “ultimately the development of a suitable process for complaint procedures to be dealt with independently”.

But when he claimed that complaints about the system had not previously “been made clear in the way they are today” to BPA, Collins said: “I don’t believe that and I don’t believe the people in the room believe that and I find it incredible that you say it.”

When Collins asked if Hollingsworth owed Paralympic athletes an apology for the failures in the system, he insisted that there had “not been any proven case of intentional misrepresentation” or “any evidence that has been presented that has gone beyond the circumstantial and the anecdotal”.

But Collins told him that Baroness Grey-Thompson had said the system was being abused, while athletes and families of athletes had also provided evidence about the failures, and he asked him again if he should apologise.

Hollingsworth said: “If there is genuine evidence of an athlete being failed by the system, then yes… [but] to the collective, it would be a no.”

Collins said later: “We have received evidence from athletes who feel they have been discriminated against within teams because they have raised concerns.

“Baroness Grey-Thompson [has said] that as far as she is concerned the classification system is broken and people are cheating it now, today.

“These things may not be all within your direct control, but we would look at BPA and say, you are a leading organisation for para sport in this country, and for you to recognise these failings and be a champion for putting it right, and to acknowledge and apologise to the victims of those failures, I think is something it would be appropriate for you to do.”

But Hollingsworth said: “I am genuinely sorry that there are athletes who feel that they have got grievances, but I don’t necessarily feel that those grievances necessarily are ones that are substantiated.

“I do feel very sorry indeed that we are in a position where there are athletes who feel they can’t get to a point where they are listened to satisfactorily.”

But he said he was “not apologising for failure or a belief that the system is not working as effectively as it is”.

Collins told Hollingsworth that it was “tragic” that, as with other sports, there was “no whistleblowing process, no grievance procedures, cases that have not been properly investigated, athletes have suffered as a result of trying to speak out within their sport”, and that athletes had had to use alternative means to “try to get the truth out there” because there was “no system to do so within their own sport”.

News provided by John Pring at www.disabilitynewsservice.com

 

Source : Paralympic classification scandal: MPs criticise BPA boss for six years of inaction : DisabledGo News

Spiritual Babylon?


See, there's this thing called biology...

So Violet asks, “I was wondering if you have a post that explicitly addresses how you believe a Christian who experiences same sex attractions should live their lives in terms of romance. I’d be interested to know if you think they should attempt a heterosexual marriage or just remain celibate….”

First let me tell a story. Several years ago I tried to take care of a man at the end of his life, racist, bigoted, sexually immoral to the point of believing that all marriage was a sham, intimacy with women was a pipe dream, his only worth and value was in his own sexuality, his conquests of women, of which there had been many. He had an extensive collection of art, all nudes of women, but he also had an intense rage and frustration towards women as a whole, because we allegedly had all failed to love him the…

View original post 1,436 more words

The Strange History of Corn Flakes


Original post from Daily Kos

‘…………..By Lenny Flank

Corn flakes cereal is a staple on breakfast tables all over the world. Today it is marketed as a healthy part of a balanced breakfast. But corn flakes were originally invented by a fanatically religious doctor as a way to stop people from masturbating.

The country's most popular anti-sex food.
The country’s most popular anti-sex food.

In 1894, two brothers, Dr John Harvey Kellogg and Will Keith “WK” Kellogg, were running a sanitarium and health spa in the town of Battle Creek, Michigan. John was the Superintendent, and WK was the bookkeeper. Among the treatments offered at the sanitarium/hospital for various ailments were hot and cold water baths, hydro-therapy with water enemas, electric-current therapy, light therapy using both sunlight and artificial lamps, and a regimen of exercise and massage. Among the more famous of the hospital’s clients through the 1910’s and 1920’s were President Warren G Harding, actor Johnny Weissmuller, Henry Ford, Amelia Earhart, Sojourner Truth, and Mary Todd Lincoln.

Both of the Kellogg brothers were Seventh-Day Adventists, a fundamentalist church emphasizing strict Biblical literalism and clean living, and their religious beliefs had a huge influence on many of their “treatments”. The Adventists believed in maintaining the purity of the “body’s temple”, and forbade the use of caffeine, alcohol and nicotine. They were also strict vegetarians.

Dr John Kellogg, however, took the Adventist faith in the purity of the body to an even further extreme. He was firmly convinced that sex itself was impure and harmful–and most especially the “solitary vice”, the “self-pollution” of masturbation. Kellogg married, but never consummated the union–he and his wife had separate bedrooms, and they adopted all their children. Kellogg became famous across the country for his books condemning sex, promoting celibacy, and luridly describing the evil health effects of “onanism”, which included everything from epilepsy to mood swings to dementia. “Neither plague, nor war, nor small-pox,” he thundered in one of his anti-sex books, “have produced results so disastrous to humanity as the pernicious habit of onanism. Such a victim dies literally by his own hand.” Among the “treatments” that Kellogg proposed for masturbation were piercing the foreskin with silver wires to prevent erections, and using carbolic acid to burn the clitoris so it wouldn’t be touched.

But another part of his anti-sex and anti-masturbation “treatment” came from his traditional Adventist reliance on vegetarianism. Kellogg convinced himself that eating meats and spicy foods increased the desire for sex, and forbade any of them at his sanitarium. Instead, he prescribed a bland tasteless diet containing mostly whole grains and nuts. In this, he was following the earlier lead of Presbyterian religious fanatic Sylvester Graham, who had invented the whole-wheat graham cracker as part of a diet that would reduce people’s sexual desire and stop them from both copulating and masturbating. Kellogg now attempted to make his own anti-sex food, by mixing corn meal and oatmeal into dough, adding nuts, and baking them into biscuits which were then crumbled into pieces. He called it “granula”. Unfortunately for Kellogg, that name was already being used by another health food fanatic with a similar product, and he threatened to sue–so Kellogg changed the name of his concoction to “granola”.

The Kellogg brothers also experimented with different types of bread, and with using whole-grain dough to make thin rolled sheets of toasted crackers. One day, after just having cooked some wheat for rolling, they were unexpectedly called away. When they got back, they ran the cooled wheat through the rollers, and each grain was flattened into an individual flake. It was, they thought, a wonderful health food. In 1898 they tried the same process using corn instead of wheat, and “corn flakes” were born.

John Kellogg immediately began serving corn flakes to his patients at the sanitarium, as a method of cleansing their bodies and reducing their sex drive. His bookkeeper brother WK, meanwhile, had less religious fervor and more business sense than John did, and thought they should add sugar to the mixture to eliminate the cardboard taste (a heretical thought to John) and sell it to the public as a breakfast cereal. After some arguing, the two patented their flake cereals and formed the Sanitas Food Company to sell them through mail-order, mostly to former patients of the sanitarium. After a time, the wheat flakes were dropped. But corn flake sales remained low, mostly because John Kellogg still refused to add sugar to the recipe to make it more palatable. Finally in 1906, in frustration, WK Kellogg purchased the rights to make “corn flakes” from his brother, changed the recipe, and set up the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company. After a long legal battle with his brother over the use of the name “Kellogg”, this became the Kellogg Cereal Company, adding Bran Flakes to its product list in 1915 and Rice Krispies in 1927.

By 1930, the Kellogg Cereal Company was the largest breakfast cereal maker in the world. Its primary competition, the Post Cereal Company, had been founded by CW Post–a former patient at the Kellogg Sanitarium, who, WK Kellogg always claimed, had stolen the recipe for corn flakes from the hospital’s safe. Today, Kellogg’s Corn Flakes are the best-selling breakfast cereal in the US.

ORIGINALLY POSTED TO HISTORY FOR KOSSACKS 

ALSO REPUBLISHED BY DAILY KOS CLASSICS.  …………’

This workout hijab just made athletic wear more inclusive


Original post from Mashable UK

‘…………..BY DAVID YI

IMAGE: AP PHOTO/ALEXANDER ZEMLIANICHENKO/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Muslim women like this one photographed, have traditionally worn hijabs no matter the climate. IMAGE: AP PHOTO/ALEXANDER ZEMLIANICHENKO/ASSOCIATED PRESS

The athleisure space has become a multi-billion dollar industry, with women now opting for comfortable apparel items that have both style and function.

One demographic they’ve largely ignored: the Muslim market. Athletic companies avoid traditional headscarves, or hijabs, which are used for religious purposes and choices of modesty.

But when people exercise with headscarves, they can become soaked with sweat, just like the rest of our workout clothes. Besides perspiration, scarves need to withstand the elements, such as rain or heat.

Enter Veil Garments, the first line of performance-geared hijabs attempting to fill that void.

//giphy.com/embed/3o85xn12jYwQxYkoUg

cooling_edited-1

 

“I was thinking that there was so much incorporated technology with performance clothing. Why hasn’t anyone done this for the hijab,” says the brand’s founder Ahmad Ghanem.

“These women need it more than any of the athletes who have clothing for them readily available. They’re the ones who are wearing these rain or shine, in heat or under rainy conditions.”

 

IMAGE: AHMAD GHANEM
IMAGE: AHMAD GHANEM

After a year and a half of researching various fabrics and manufacturers, the 22-year old from Cleveland, Ohio launched his brand on Kickstarter with a goal of reaching $5,000. Within three days, he’s raised almost twice as much as his initial goal.

The hijab replaces traditional fabrics like silks, chiffons and cottons and opts for nylon, which readily wicks away sweat and is almost fully waterproof.

“It’s a great fabric and is quicker to dry,” he says. “It’s great for a work out and very, very comfortable.”

Ghanem hopes the brand goes international, to comfort women in his parents’ native Palestine where desert temperatures can rise well past 100 degrees. “Hopefully this will help them out in an impactful way.”

Not only is this an opportunity for social change, Ghanem sees this as a real business.

“There are a billion Muslims around the world,” he says. “And the population is only getting bigger. There’s real potential for big sales. I don’t know why no other sports brand has done this before.”

SEE ALSO: Don’t make any assumptions about the next headscarf you see        …………..’

 

 

 

 

 

Buck passing for failure to prosecute FGM must stop


Original post* from Home Affairs Committee*

‘………………

*

14 March 2015

The Home Affairs Committee publishes its report, Female genital mutilation: follow-up, on 14 March 2015, following a revisit of the issue of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

Findings

Raising the profile of FGM

  • The work that has been done by the media, politicians and most importantly by survivors and campaigners has raised the profile of FGM, so that many more people are aware of this horrendous form of child abuse. However, it is still the case that there have been no successful prosecutions for FGM in the UK in the last 20 years.
  • In Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham alone, 1,500 recorded cases of FGM were recorded over the last five years, with doctors seeing six patients who have undergone the procedure each week.
  • There seems to be a chasm between the amount of reported cases and the lack of prosecutions. Someone, somewhere is not doing their job effectively.

Female genital cosmetic surgery

  • We recommend that the Government amend the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 in order to make it very clear that female genital cosmetic surgery would be a criminal offence.

Safeguarding at-risk girls

  • Not enough is being done by the Royal Colleges to encourage their members to report cases of FGM. Given the recent prosecution there may be an even greater reluctance to do so, however, we consider that it is imperative that the Royal College of GPs inform every single doctor about this practice and give them an indication of where adequate training can be provided.

Recent Government action

  • We welcome the provision in the Serious Crime Act to introduce mandatory reporting of FGM, by healthcare professionals, teachers and social care workers, to the police. However, it remains unclear what would happen in the event that a professional should fail to make a report. We recommend that the Government set out the sanctions that may apply when a professional has failed to meet their duty, which should range from compulsory training to a criminal offence for intentional or repeated failures.
  • The Government needs to be aware of the impact that its decisions have on FGM campaigners within practicing communities. We recommend the establishment of an advisory panel of FGM campaigners, which should be consulted before any major policy decisions are taken and also act as a sounding board to ensure that sufficient action is taken.

Chair’s comments

Rt. Hon Keith Vaz MP, Chairman of the Committee, said:

“FGM is an ongoing national scandal which is likely to have resulted in the preventable mutilation of thousands of girls.  Successive governments, politicians, the police, health, education and social care sectors should all share responsibility for the failure to respond adequately to the growing prevalence of FGM in the UK.

In our report last year, we called for immediate action. In that time there have not been any successful prosecutions, and the number of referrals to the police has barely increased. This record is lamentable. The DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions) informed the Committee that she could only prosecute on the basis of evidence, the police said that they could only investigate on the basis of referral, and the health professionals told us that they could not refer cases because their members were not fully trained and aware of the procedure. While agencies play pass the parcel of responsibility, young girls are being mutilated every hour of every day. This is deplorable. This barbaric crime which is committed daily on such a huge scale across the UK cannot continue to go unpunished.

The law relating to  female genital cosmetic surgery is ambiguous and must be clarified. We cannot tell communities in Sierra Leone and Somalia to stop a practice which is freely permitted on Harley Street. Doctors are on the front line. Their professional organisations must do more to encourage their members to report cases of FGM. Without their active reporting of these cases, the full extent of FGM will remain hidden.”

Further information

Image: iStockphoto………….’

 

 

 

 

*Contains Parliamentary information licensed under the Open Parliament Licence v3.0.

 

 

 

A Thin Line of Defense Against ‘Honor Killings’


Original post from The New York Times

‘…………..Women’s shelters are one of the most provocative legacies of the Western presence in Afghanistan.

KABUL, Afghanistan — Faheema stood trembling in the courtyard of the large house, steeling herself for the meeting with her family.

She took a deep breath and ran inside, her black abaya swirling around her, and fell to the floor at her uncle’s feet, hugging his knees, her face pressed against him, her shoulders heaving.

The reproaches came immediately. “How could you do this?” her uncle said. “You were always so sweet to everyone. How could you have done this?”

What Faheema, 21, had done was to run away from her home in easternAfghanistan with the man she loved. She left behind her large family and the man that her family had promised her to. Although her uncle’s words at first seemed kind, his tone had a dangerous edge: Faheema had to come home.

For a young woman from an Afghan village to go home after running away with a man is tantamount to crossing a busy street blindfolded: There is a strong likelihood that she will be killed for bringing shame on her family.

Faheema, who like many Afghans uses a single name, was one of the lucky ones: She had made it to an emergency women’s shelter, one of about 20 that over the last 10 years have protected several thousand women across Afghanistan from abuse or death at the hands of their relatives.

These shelters, almost entirely funded by Western donors, are one of the most successful — and provocative — legacies of the Western presence in Afghanistan, demonstrating that women need protection from their families and can make their own choices. And allowing women to decide for themselves raises the prospect that men might not control the order of things, as they have for centuries. This is a revolutionary idea in Afghanistan — every bit as alien as Western democracy and far more transgressive.

As the shelters have grown, so has the opposition of powerful conservative men who see them as Western assaults on Afghan culture. “Here, if someone tries to leave the family, she is breaking the order of the family and it’s against the Islamic laws and it’s considered a disgrace,” said Habibullah Hasham, the imam of the Nabi mosque in western Kabul and a member of a group of influential senior clerics. “What she has done is rebelling.”

Photo

Watching Turkish soap operas at night in the shelter run by Women for Afghan Women in Kabul. The shelter is one of about 20 that over the last decade have protected several thousand women across Afghanistan from abuse or death at the hands of their relatives.CreditLynsey Addario for The New York Times

The opposition comes not only from conservative imams, but also from within the Afghan government itself. Lawmakers came very close in 2011 to barring the shelters altogether and in 2013 nearly gutted a law barring violence against women. They yielded only after last-minute pressure from the European Union and the United States.

Now, as the Western presence in Afghanistan dwindles, this clash between Western and Afghan ideas of the place of women means many of the gains women made after the 2001 invasion are at risk.

Although the Taliban’s harsh restrictions on women alienated many Afghans and helped rally foreign support for the war, the idea that women must submit to men remains widely held.

Continue reading the main story

Graphic: Narrowing the Gap

“A lot has changed since 2001, but most people still have conservative, traditional views of women,” said Manizha Naderi, who runs Women for Afghan Women, which operates shelters or other programs in 13 provinces.

That makes the fragile network of safe houses and the women who staff them even more vulnerable to restrictive legislation and attacks by local strongmen. The shelters, like so much of the Western project to coax change in Afghanistan, are emblems of a society in transition.

While the shelters have brought freedom to many women, others are stranded, safe for a time from their families but unable to leave because neither their families nor society accepts them.

Ms. Naderi estimates that about 15 percent of the women in her shelters cannot leave — ever. For these abused women, the longer they live suspended between two worlds, the less the shelter comes to feel like a haven and the more like a jail.

A Frightening Example

Above all, Faheema wanted to avoid the fate of Amina, an 18-year-old who ran away from her family in rural Baghlan Province in the summer of 2013 and whose case became widely known. She fled when her family told her she would be marrying an older man.

Amina made it to the provincial capital and was picked up by the Afghan Intelligence Service. Unlike many runaways, who are seen as fallen women and are prey to being molested by the police, she was not abused. Instead, she was brought to the women’s ministry office, which exists in every provincial capital in Afghanistan.

The women’s ministry sent her to the only shelter in the province. But after one or two nights, her family arrived. They promised not to harm Amina if she returned home with them, repeating that pledge on a videotape after meeting with the head of the provincial women’s ministry office, Khadija Yaqeen. The girl then climbed into a taxi with her family.  ………………’

13 year old children today, are the media right or wrong?


Today’s 13-year-olds are not as bad as we’re led to believe from The Conversation.

An extract ‘In 1982 I was toying with the idea of a career in teaching. That year a controversial film, Made in Britain, starring Tim Roth was released and I almost didn’t become a teacher. The film’s central character, Trevor was a dysfunctional, violent, foul-mouthed youth – everything society hates and fears. My natural fear was how would I, as a young teacher, cope with a classroom full of such kids? Of course the film is fictional. It portrayed the 1980s accurately – but did it portray Britain’s youth accurately?

With the way some of the media represents young people, you may be forgiven for thinking that Roth’s character is alive and well and infesting our streets and schools. Different newspapers have their favourite terms for teenagers: the Daily Mail likes “yobs”, while the Daily Express goes with “feral kids”.  ……….’

Within the above is the following report

Longitudinal study of young people in England* from the Department of Education

An extract from ‘ ………The analysis presented in this report shows that 13 year olds and their parents are, on the whole, positive about their school, home and personal lives. They appear more likely to make responsible choices than ten years ago – the findings produced in this report are in line with other research suggesting this is a sober, responsible generation of young
people. ……’

So just what is the truth? Do the media just highlight a minority group and then by either design or not imply this is in fact the majority. Is this just for the media of today or could it also be for yesteryear? For, is it not true that there as and may always will be a minority group of individuals who wish to rebel against the Values of Society and will these persons be the ones who the media wish to highlight. For in most cases what makes ‘headlines’ is it tragedies and bad events or good events?

The same can be said of the media coverage of persons on benefits, do they not publish accounts after accounts of persons claiming benefits for which they are not deemed to be entitled or misuse the benefits they receive. This then provides, to the population at large, a distorted belief of persons who claim benefits. There may be many more instances of how the media may distort information. Should the media not provide a balance in their reporting? It may be that you need to view the political leanings of each publication and should this be made clear within each media.

But in any context you will be studying statistics and can these statistics always be believed. Do we really know how the information as been obtained, is it from actual happenings, or is it from what has been said by particular persons. If it is the former are all happenings being included and if the latter, do we know what is being said is the truth. Are the statistics representative and how many persons have been included in the research. In the former have all areas of the country been included and all demographic persons.

So just what can we believe? Or do we just form our own opinions from information gleaned from a variety of sources, whether they be correct or not.

So are the media right or wrong, but this is just your own opinion as to what it is. But as it is an opinion, others may not agree, but we all do have a right to our own opinions.

* Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v2.0.

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