Julie Andrews: I’ve ‘Just Always’ Been An LGBTQ Ally

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For Julie Andrews, being a patron of the arts and an LGBTQ rights advocate go hand in hand. 

In a new interview with The Advocate, the legendary star of ?Mary Poppins? and ?The Sound of Music? credited her years of working in film and on stage for exposing her to diversity early on. When it comes to queer people specifically, Andrews said she?s ?just always? been an ally. 

?Theater, anyway, is such an open community and free,? the Oscar winner said. She went on to note that she was ?very aware of bias and bigotry? from a young age, but that she ?was raised not to be that way and not to think that way.?

?It always seemed puzzling to me that the world wasn?t just embracing human beings. But it?s never been something that I stumbled on,? she said. ?It?s just always been innate, thanks I think to the professions that I am in.? 

Andrews, 81, is back in the spotlight as the host of ?Julie?s Greenroom,? a new Netflix series for children that explores different aspects of the performing arts. Her co-stars in the series are the ?Greenies,? a cast of original puppets that were created by The Jim Henson Company. One of the ?Greenies,? Riley, is depicted as a gender neutral character. ?We tried to be as inclusive as we possibly could within the show,? Andrews, who created ?Julie?s Greenroom? with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, and Judy Rothman, said. 

In March, Andrews and Hamilton spoke out against President Donald Trump?s ?mind-boggling? plan to cut funding for the National Endowment for the Arts in an impassioned CNN editorial. True to form, the woman beloved by legions of fans for her iconic role as Maria von Trapp doubled down on that stance in the Advocate interview.

?There?s no doubt that [the arts] help people understand each other and they transcend all barriers, and I cannot think of anything more important,? Andrews said. As far as her suggestion for Trump?s apparent disregard for the arts is concerned, she said, ?Talk to anybody that is passionate about them and listen and learn, because I cannot imagine a world without them.? 

For the latest in LGBTQ news, check out the Queer Voices newsletter. 

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Counterterrorism Expert Slams ‘Narcissist’ Donald Trump

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A former counterterrorism official at both the CIA and FBI has again slammed President Donald Trump, this time for being an unredeemable ?narcissist.?

Philip Mudd, now a counterterrorism analyst on CNN, said it was ?disgusting? that Trump stood in front of a memorial wall honoring CIA heroes in January and complained about media reports of a mediocre inauguration crowd.

?We saw this within 24 hours of his inauguration,? Mudd said Thursday on CNN. ?He doesn?t represent 320 million Americans, he represents one. And that?s Donald Trump.?

And Mudd lashed Trump for a speech he delivered this week to the graduating class of the Coast Guard Academy, in which the president said he was doing a ?tremendous job.?

?He should be offering a vision of the future,? Mudd said. ?What does he talk about? The sissy-in-chief talks about how tough it is to be president because the media comes after him.?

Mudd has been a frequent harsh critic of Trump. He attacked him twice on CNN last week, first calling the president a ?coward? for firing James Comey from his post as FBI director. Two days later, Mudd criticized the president again by saying, ?You feel like you?ve got to give the president of the United States a pacifier and a rattle and put him in the crib.?

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This Startup Is Telling Everyday Investors It Will Be The Next Uber

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Ramy El-Batrawi has founded 27 companies that are now inactive or dissolved, hawking everything from relationship counseling to futures trading to van rentals to Alaskan fishing vacations, a HuffPost review of state records finds. He even ran a travel agency in Palm Beach, Florida, with a Saudi arms dealer involved in the Iran-Contra affair, and was named as a go-between for an offshore entity listed in the Panama Papers.

In 2010, the Securities and Exchange Commission barred El-Batrawi from being an executive in a publicly traded company for five years as part of the settlement over a $130 million stock fraud case against a company he led until it collapsed in 2001.

Now that his prohibition period is over, El-Batrawi has something new to sell: shares in YayYo, a price-comparing ride-sharing app that doesn?t currently work.

The company, with El-Batrawi as CEO, is trying to sell $50 million in stock ? which it can do thanks to newly relaxed securities laws that let speculative startups raise money from mom-and-pop investors. Proponents of the laws said they would boost the economy and create jobs, while critics said the loosened rules put people?s money at risk. 

YayYo paid Master P to record a promotional track for the company and has been running TV ads on daytime cable news for weeks featuring the actor John O?Hurley, who famously played a catalog salesman peddling ordinary products and whimsical stories on ?Seinfeld.?

?What if you were an early investor in Uber or Lyft ? what would you be worth today?? O?Hurley asks. The answer, he says, is that you would have made ?made millions, if not tens of millions.? (Uber and Lyft are valued at $62.5 billion and $7.4 billion, respectively.)

But wait, there?s more: YayYo, O?Hurley says, might just grow even faster that Uber and Lyft. When and if YayYo?s app works, it will let you compare prices from different ride-hailing companies by plugging directly into the data that companies like Uber and Lyft have made available to third-party developers.

As the old saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it?s probably running stock ads on Fox News at 11:45 on a random weekday morning.

Lyft has already filed a cease and desist order against YayYo and barred the company from using its data, a spokesman told HuffPost. Uber did not return HuffPost?s request for comment, but BuzzFeed?s Will Alden noted that the company?s terms don?t allow its data to be aggregated with that of its competitors.

A ride-hailing price-comparison app that can?t compare the prices of the two dominant ride-hailing services is extremely unlikely to succeed, let alone be larger and more popular than the two multi-billion-dollar companies whose data it?s supposed to use.

A spokesperson for YayYo declined HuffPost?s request to comment for this story. Bob Vanech, a YayYo board member, told BuzzFeed last week that the company was likely to meet its $50 million goal.

A ride-hailing price-comparison app that can?t compare the prices of the two dominant ride-hailing services is extremely unlikely to succeed.

Buried on page 54 of YayYo?s 69-page offering document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is a biography that details some of El-Batrawi?s past business ventures, as well as his history of running afoul of financial regulators. What got him temporarily banned from running a public company was his leadership of GenesisIntermedia, a telemarketing company.

The SEC alleged that El-Batrawi and Adnan Khashoggi ? a Saudi arms dealer who was rumored to be the world?s richest man in the 1980s ? created an offshore company to hold 15 million share of Genesis? stock. The offshore entity then lent those shares to stockbrokers in return for cash. The loan agreements, the SEC said, meant that if the price of Genesis stock rose, El-Batrawi and Khashoggi would receive more cash.

So they allegedly pumped up the price of the stock by making false statements about the company?s finances and restricting the number of shares that could trade. They also paid an actress to promote the stock in TV commercials.

When the value of Genisis stock fell as the stock market dropped after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, El-Batrawi and Khashoggi were supposed to pay back their loans, but they defaulted, bankrupting the brokers who had given them cash. The Securities Investor Protection Corporation, a government-mandated industry group that effectively insures customers? accounts when a brokerage goes under, had to step in with what was at the time the agency?s largest-ever bailout.

At least nine other companies El-Batrawi registered were dissolved between 2002 and 2004 for failing to pay annual fees or to file reports to the state officials. Douglas Jacobsen, who was Genesis? former chief financial officer, told HuffPost he had created 20 or 30 different entities for El-Batrawi, a number of which were effectively shuttered in 2001.

Jacobsen blamed the Sept. 11 attacks for the businesses? failures: ?9/11 ruined everything for everybody,? he said. While that explanation seems insensitive, it?s probably not entirely wrong: Sudden stock market drops like those after 9/11 can help unmask fraudulent business schemes that rely on stock prices continuing to go up. When the overall stock market dropped, it dragged Genesis? stock down and prompted the brokers to ask for their money back ? only to discover they weren?t getting paid back.

But even in disclosing these not-very-promising past business ventures in his YayYo?s SEC filing, El-Batrawi may be overstating his professional background.

The offering document says that El-Batrawi also founded Aloha Aviation Group, which then partnered with an investment vehicle run by billionaire Ron Burkle to acquire the then-bankrupt Aloha Airlines in 2005.

A spokesman for Burkle?s firm, The Yucaipa Companies, declined to comment, but a close associate of El-Batrawi told HuffPost the SEC filing does not accurately state what happened. El-Batrawi tried to bring Yucaipa deals and introduce the company to people, but it didn?t really pan out. El-Batrawi, the associate said, is ?being a little bit fast and loose? ? exaggerating his involvement in the deal to bolster his résumé.

YayYo is almost exactly what critics of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act ? the JOBS Act ? feared when President Barack Obama signed the bill in 2012. (The SEC finished the final rulemaking to implement the law in 2015.) The legislation capitalized on the idea that crowd-funding could help boost the economy by kickstarting investments in small, innovative and risky companies that are normally open only to sophisticated investors like venture capitalists. 

?It?s really hard to see how removing basic investor protections and exposing millions of Americans to ripoffs will spur ?jobs,? but it isn?t hard to remember how it helped destroy the economy,? Tyler Gellasch, a former Senate staffer and counsel for SEC Commissioner Kara Stein told HuffPost. ?Unfortunately, that?s exactly where Congress and the SEC seem to now be headed.?

From Gellasch?s perspective, the JOBS Act was a siren call to for shady businessman to take money from gullible investors. In YayYo?s case, it seems like that?s exactly what?s happening.

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Why Is Donald Trump Sticking By Michael Flynn?

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The controversy surrounding former national security adviser Michael Flynn has engulfed President Donald Trump?s White House. And yet it is Trump?s own staunch defense of Flynn that has fanned the intrigue.

Flynn was fired after just 24 days on the job after it was revealed he discussed sanctions against Russia with its ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, before Trump?s inauguration and then repeatedly lied about doing so. 

Yet Flynn has remained in the spotlight as the FBI investigates his ties to the Russian government as well as his lobbying on behalf of the Turkish government during Trump?s campaign.

But Flynn has also received a great deal of attention over Trump?s unusual devotion to him. Even though he fired him, Trump has continued to heap praise on the retired lieutenant general, has defended his communications with Russia and possibly attempted to obstruct justice in order to clear his former adviser?s name. 

Few other Trump associates have received this kind of backing. His team has sought to distance the president from other ex-staffers under FBI investigation, including Trump?s former campaign manager Paul Manafort and his onetime foreign policy adviser Carter Page. In March, White House press secretary Sean Spicer claimed Manafort played a ?very limited role for a very limited amount of time? in Trump?s presidential campaign. (Manafort managed the campaign from March to August 2016.) The same week, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway claimed the president didn?t know Page, despite the work he did on the presidential campaign.

With Flynn, it?s a different story. 

According to a New York Times report, the White House knew Flynn was under investigation for his work with the Turkish government weeks before the inauguration. Trump still named him national security adviser, giving him access to the highest levels of classified information. The president also ignored a warning from President Barack Obama, who shortly after the election cautioned Trump against hiring Flynn. (Obama fired Flynn from his post at the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014.) 

And, according to the Daily Beast, Trump actually talked Flynn into taking the job even though Flynn was ?reluctant.? 

A week after the inauguration, then-acting Attorney General Sally Yates warned the administration that Flynn was ?compromised? and ?could essentially be blackmailed? by the Russian government. However, Flynn wasn?t fired until 18 days later.  

Even after Flynn?s Feb. 13 dismissal, Trump maintained that Flynn did nothing wrong by speaking to Kislyak, claiming he fired Flynn only because he lied to Vice President Mike Pence about his Russian communications. He also described Flynn as a ?wonderful man? who was ?treated very, very unfairly by the media.?

Most notably, the president reportedly asked then-FBI Director James Comey on Feb. 14 to drop his investigation of Flynn. ?He is a good guy,? Trump reportedly told Comey. ?I hope you can let this go.?

The revelation, which emerged after Trump fired Comey on May 9, has thrown the White House into further chaos and has sparked discussion of impeachment. 

Trump reportedly told Flynn last month to ?stay strong? amid his growing legal woes.

So why would Trump potentially risk his own presidency to defend Flynn?

One possible explanation is Flynn?s fierce devotion to the president.   

Loyalty, while not a virtue he seems to practice often himself, is one of the qualities Trump admires most in others. And Flynn had been one of Trump?s most loyal allies. 

Flynn joined the campaign relatively early in the Republican primary, in February 2016, while most of the Republican Party was siding with candidates such as Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. He was a frequent presence on the campaign trail and famously led the Republican National Convention in chants of ?Lock her up!? in reference to Trump?s Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. While the GOP national security establishment lined up against Trump, Flynn advised his campaign on how to improve its foreign policy message and touted that message on cable news. And he stood by Trump during the fallout from the 2005 ?Access Hollywood? tape, in which Trump boasted of sexual improprieties, even as many Republicans (at least temporarily) retracted their endorsements of him. 

There?s been some speculation that Flynn must have some dirt on the president.

Joking aside, that speculation kicked into high gear after Flynn sought immunity in exchange for testifying in front of Congress and the FBI, an offer that was refused. But according to a report in Yahoo News, people close to Flynn say that his loyalty has not wavered and that the retired general has no plans to turn on Trump. 

?These are two men who bonded on the campaign trail,? a Flynn associate told Yahoo. ?Flynn always believed that Trump would win. They were together so much during the campaign that Flynn became family. There has been zero sign of anything but supreme loyalty.?

A White House official echoed that sentiment to The Atlantic

?They got so close during the campaign,? said a senior White House official who was brought on by Flynn and has stayed after his departure. When Flynn left, ?the real person who probably took it hardest was the president because General Flynn was the person closest to him on national-security matters.?

That loyalty has strained Trump?s relationship with Flynn?s replacement, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, Politico reported. According to its sources, Trump ?misses his conversations with Flynn? and is ?struggling to connect? with his new national security adviser. 

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Dogs can’t handle a summer heat as well as we humans do. domainnameMake your dog a cake by freezing some dog toys and food in a bullion your dog will be thankful for this idea.


Stephen Colbert Skewers Donald Trump’s Ridiculous Exercise Theories

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?Late Show? host Stephen Colbert took President Donald Trump to task over his reported bizarre theories on exercise Wednesday.

?At the age of 70, Trump doesn?t have the energy of a child?in part ?cause he doesn?t believe in exercise,? Colbert said.

Citing a Washington Post article that reported Trump thinks people?s bodies are like batteries with finite amounts of energy that become depleted with exercise, Colbert admitted ?we should?ve seen his anti-exercise thing coming.?

?After all, one of the first things Trump did was replace Michelle Obama?s ?Let?s Move? campaign with his own: ?Let?s Not,?? he added.

Check out the full segment above.

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2017 AT

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Here are 10 players to watch headed into the AT&T Byron Nelson, which will be played at TCP Four Seasons Las Colinas for the last time this week.


Jimmy Kimmel’s ‘Schoolhouse Rock’ Spoof Explains Donald Trump’s Lies To Kids

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It?s a conundrum that parents across the country currently face: How do you explain to your children the lies that President Donald Trump tells?

Thankfully, Jimmy Kimmel is on hand to help ? via this glorious ?Schoolhouse Rock? parody.

?We are now living in a world of alternative facts,? Kimmel said Tuesday. ?The president makes statements almost every day that aren?t necessarily based in truth.?

Noting how kids were raised ?to believe the president tells the truth,? Kimmel said it wasn?t ?the case anymore? but hoped his animated video would ?explain how it all works? now.

Check out the full video above.

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War: There can not be one single thought for this. But there can be only one to describe the reason of it.War When conducting a chiropractic exam, the procedure and aspects of it are very similar to those carried out when conducting a common medical exam, but the treatment is particularly different.. And that according to me wud be “Us, the human repeatedly failing as a species able to think”. We say we are the only ones to have decisive powers, then why we use it to destroy ourselves?


Donald Trump Says He Has The Right To Share Info With The Russians

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President Donald Trump on Tuesday all but admitted that he revealed ?highly classified? information while meeting with Russian officials last week, contradicting his administration?s earlier attempts to deny the story.

Early Tuesday morning, Trump proclaimed that he has ?the absolute right? to share any information he wants:

The Washington Post reported Monday that Trump ?jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State? with disclosures to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak in the Oval Office. The Post said it wasn?t reporting what the president told the Russians, ?at the urging of officials who warned that revealing them would jeopardize important intelligence capabilities.?

BuzzFeed and The New York Times later confirmed the Post report.

The president also indicated he?s eager to determine who gave information to reporters. 

Administration officials, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and national security adviser H.R. McMaster, criticized the reporting.

In disputing the story, McMaster told reporters that ?at no time were sources or methods discussed.? But the Post?s story did not report that Trump revealed sources or methods.

The bombshell allegation, which drew concern from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, came amid intense scrutiny over the president?s ties to the Russian government.

The day before his meeting with the Russians, Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, whose agency had been investigating whether the president?s campaign colluded with the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 election. 

The White House also faced criticism for allowing a photographer for a Russian state news agency to cover the Oval Office meeting, while members of the American press were barred. 

The president has frequently lashed out at major media outlets that have published damaging stories about him, including The New York Times and CNN. During a rally last month, he railed against the ?fake news? media and called the press ?dishonest.? He also has called for changes to libel laws to allow him to more easily sue news organizations. 

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Despite Campaign Boasts, Trump Has No Idea How To Handle Classified Material

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During the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump egged on his supporters when they chanted ?Lock her up!? about Hillary Clinton at nearly every one of his rallies. He repeatedly went after his Democratic opponent for her use of a private email server as secretary of state, saying she endangered national security and potentially let U.S. secrets get out. 

But Trump himself has absolutely no idea how to handle classified information. (And he apparently also doesn?t know that C stands for ?confidential.?)  

The Washington Post reported Monday that Trump disclosed ?highly classified? information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador during a White House meeting last week. The material reportedly came from a source who knows about the inner workings of ISIS and was so sensitive it hadn?t even been shared with U.S. allies and many people within the U.S. government.

?Donald Trump still believes someone who gave classified national security secrets to our adversaries is unfit to be President, right?? said Jesse Ferguson, who served as a spokesman for the Clinton campaign.

Despite what he said on the campaign trail, Trump has never really seemed to grasp the nuances of foreign policy ? and he often didn?t show much interest. After he won the election, Trump refused to go to the briefings offered by the intelligence community every day, saying he didn?t need them because he was a ?smart person.?

?You know, I?m, like, a smart person. I don?t have to be told the same thing in the same words every single day for the next eight years. Could be eight years ? but eight years. I don?t need that,? Trump said in December. 

Officials told The Washington Post that, even though the National Security Council still prepares detailed, multi-page briefings for Trump to deal with foreign leaders, ?he has insisted that the guidance be distilled to a single page of bullet points ? and often ignores those.?

?Every day we get closer to testing Trump?s theory about what would happen if he shot a man on Fifth Avenue in broad daylight. To the foreign ally he betrayed, this may already be the equivalent of that,? said Brian Fallon, who was the Clinton campaign press secretary, referring to Trump?s campaign statement that his voters would stick by him no matter what he did.

Trump?s advisers also relentlessly attacked Clinton for her use of a private email server. 

You know, I?m, like, a smart person.
Donald Trump

Michael Flynn, Trump?s former national security adviser who resigned after lying about his contact with the Russian ambassador before Trump took office, said Clinton should be in jail for what she did. 

?You know why we?re saying that [lock her up]? We?re saying that because if I, a guy who knows this business, if I did a tenth, a tenth of what she did, I would be in jail today. So ? so, Crooked Hillary Clinton, leave this race now!? Flynn said in his speech at the Republican National Convention

Even as president, Trump has continued to rail against leaks coming from within the federal government, arguing that people who reveal classified secrets should go to prison.

?Classified. That?s classified,? he said in a recent interview with Time magazine. ?You go to prison when you release stuff like that. And who would release that??

Want more updates from Amanda Terkel? Sign up for her newsletter, Piping Hot Truth, here.

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Predisposed And Unaware: How Race Called The Shots On My Health

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I?m a black woman with uterine fibroids. These noncancerous growths, also called intramural fibroids, line the muscular wall of my uterus. Technically benign, they threaten to grow into larger, painful masses that could ultimately rob me of the ability to bear children.

Fibroids are common in all women, but research suggests that African American women are significantly more likely to develop uterine fibroids. In fact, in addition to a family history of fibroids, being African American is at the top of the list of causes for the condition. And black women aren?t only at a higher risk for developing fibroids. They also tend to experience more severe symptoms.

As I consider my new diagnosis and explore treatment options, I reflect on the incidents that led me to this point. The signs of the condition were there, but I was never quite aware of them until my diagnosis. It?s important for black women to know about the unique risk they have for uterine fibroids and understand the scope of their options in order to face fibroids head-on.

Frustration and pain

Before my own diagnosis, I didn?t know much about fibroids ? other than that they caused my mom to get a hysterectomy.

Having African American roots may very well have had something to do with this. For black women, fibroids develop at a younger age and grow larger than for other women. As a result, the fibroids are more likely to cause extreme pain, infertility issues, and lead to a hysterectomy.

How did my race make me more prone to reproductive issues? My diagnosis confused me. I didn?t understand why being black increased my risk. I wanted to return to the ?regular? days of my adolescence, when I was a textbook case for normal periods.

I?d eventually learn that my mom and I weren?t the only ones in my family to deal with this condition. Although complications are rare, uterine fibroids had deeply impacted my female relatives. They had had procedures ranging from fibroid reduction to uterus removal. I wondered if I?d be the next story to tell. If uterine fibroids would change the course of my life. If I?d ever have another child.

I wondered if I?d be the next story to tell. If uterine fibroids would change the course of my life. If I?d ever have another child.

Growing up ?regular?

I?ve always considered myself lucky in the reproductive area. This is mostly because I?ve always been ?regular.? I got my first period at a ?regular? age. I had a ?regular? 28-day cycle, and I was able to maintain a ?regular? weight for my short stature. Everything in my life remained ?regular? up until my first child was born. Suddenly, I found myself going to the doctor more times than I could count for more pains than I could remember. After finding out I had retained placenta, I had no expectations of being ?regular? again.

Persistent Pain

I?d always had back pain, intense menstrual cramps, and pain during sex. But so many women have the same problems that I thought they were just part of being ?regular.? Many of the things I?d read about uterine-related health issues like endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome were linked to irregular periods. And since my periods have always been on a predictable 28-day cycle, I believed that nothing was wrong. So when I started having the occasional cramp, I was uncomfortable but not alarmed.

Around six months postpartum, I began having occasional cramp-like sensations.

After 14 months of nursing, I thought my frequent uterine contractions marked the return of my old ?regular? friend.

?My body is having trouble regulating itself,? I?d think to myself. Then it occurred to me that all the issues I?d had with retained placenta could?ve affected my reproductive cycle. So I started talking with holistic practitioners and thinking of a plan.

A natural cure

During a family trip to Colorado, curiosity led me into an apothecary. I had no intention of purchasing anything, I just wanted to know what the homeopathic world had to offer. But when the practitioner commented on my skin and the conditions that could relate to that symptom, I was sold.

I told her everything. I told her about my traumatic birth experience and the retained placenta. I told her about the frequent bloodless cramps I?d been experiencing. And I told her about my history of painful menstrual periods. She recommended raspberry leaf tea and an assortment of herbs believed to help reproductive issues and jump-start menstrual periods. I?d never had loose leaf tea before. I was excited to get started.

After a few days, I started cramping. I had some light spotting, which excited me. I was sure my period was finally back and I could live like before. But after a few hours, the pain multiplied and I couldn?t walk. I knew something was wrong. It was time to call a doctor.

A diagnosis

I?d never been big on taking medications, but I knew something had to be done. I made an appointment with my gynecologist to understand what was going on. After discussing the pain, she recommended an ultrasound. A few days after my ultrasound, the doctor called with the news: I had multiple uterine fibroids. She was nearly certain that they were the cause of my pain. Suddenly, all those years of gut-wrenching periods made sense.

Looking forward

I cried and moved around to reduce the pain. My frequent movement woke my husband, and he insisted that we go to the urgent care. Despite the fact that I was in extreme pain, the doctors found nothing. The doctor prescribed muscle relaxers and we went home. For the next three days, I had to take muscle relaxers around the clock in order to function.

During my cycle of ibuprofen and muscle relaxers, I remembered my tea and the benefits of raspberry leaf. I had nothing to lose, so I began drinking it. Soon, tea replaced every drink other than water. Within two weeks, I got my period for the first time in two years. I was in a lot of pain, but it felt worth it. There was hope to be ?regular? once again.

My diagnosis is new, but my complications aren?t. I plan to have a laparoscopy and hysteroscopy to see if my fibroids can be managed with diet changes or if they should be removed. As time goes by, I truly believe the tea is helping. Even if that help is a placebo effect, it?s given me peace of mind. Fibroids may bring complications, but with homeopathic and medical solutions, there?s hope.

For other women out there, I encourage you to get to know your family history and listen to what your body tells you. My family history and predisposition to uterine fibroids were signs I missed. Whether I could have prevented them or not doesn?t matter now. I?ve learned that it?s important to know your body and your options, so you can be in control of your future.

Rochaun Meadows-Fernandez is a freelance writer that specializes in health, sociology, and parenting. She spends her time reading, loving on her family, and studying society. Follow her articles on her writer?s page.

This original story was published on Healthline.com.

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I made a friend online and we got really close, so i decided to visit her. She was from a different country and so i prepare to travel to her place. I had gotten my visa and the website from LH documents ready when i heard her country’s president had stopped people from my country from entering her country. It was really disappointing, but there was nothing i could do about it.


Twitter Turned A Simple Question Into The Most Relatable Joke About Moms

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There are certain phrases that moms say so often, they could act as a soundtrack to your childhood.

So, when David DeWeil, a professor at University of South Carolina, poised this question to Twitter the day before Mother?s Day ?

? It quickly turned into a joke about moms? greatest hits ? phrase-wise.

People named a lot of classics:

And once the meme caught on, users began naming some sayings that should be certified platinum:

Never change, moms!

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You’re Probably Eating Plastic For Dinner, You Just Don’t Know It Yet

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This story is part of a series on ocean plastics.

The oceans are teeming with plastic trash: shopping bags, water bottles, old toothbrushes, and much more. By 2020, there will be more plastic than fish in marine waters.

Over time, this debris begins to break into near-microscopic particles. There may be 51 trillion tiny plastic pieces scattered across the world?s oceans ? 500 times more than there are stars in the galaxy. Fish, unable to discern what?s plastic and what?s food, are eating this stuff. And humans, ever ravenous, eat fish ? lots of them.

One in four fish has plastic in its gut, according a recent study. Plastic particles have also been found in oysters and mussels. If you eat a lot of shellfish, for example, you might be consuming 11,000 pieces of plastic a year. The health effects of this are unknown.

To see how this cycle plays out, take a look through the storybook below:

Sources: NOAA(1)(2), NRDC, Columbia Earth Institute, EPA, Seeker, PLOS ONE, UN, University of California, NCBI, The Guardian.

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A Gender Fluid Mother’s Day

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Drag Queen Story Hour is a program in which drag queens read books to children. In this 360 video, Ona Louise reads a story in celebration of Mother?s Day at Love Child Yoga in Manhattan.


Hope You Don’t Expect The Senate GOP To Be Transparent About Obamacare Repeal

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Senate Republicans have spent the last 10 days or so promising not to tackle health care in the same hurried, irresponsible way that their House counterparts did. ?We are not under any deadlines,? Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said last week, ?so we are going to take our time.?

They have also suggested they have little interest in drafting something that looks like the American Health Care Act ? the wildly unpopular House bill that would roll back many of the Affordable Care Act?s most important insurance regulations and deprive something like 24 million people of coverage. ?We?re starting over from a clean sheet of paper here,? Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) promised.  

All of that is probably true ? and less meaningful than it sounds at first blush.

It?s possible to write a bill in a slower, more deliberative manner than the House did without allowing the kind lengthy, open public debate that legislation of such magnitude would seem to require. It?s also possible to pass less disruptive, less extreme legislation that would nevertheless take away insurance from many millions of people, causing widespread hardship.

In fact, from the looks of things, this is precisely what Senate Republican leaders are trying to do.

GOP leaders are trying to shield their legislation from scrutiny

The big boast Senate Republicans are making is that they won?t vote on legislation before the Congressional Budget Office has a chance to analyze it. That?s what House Republicans did when they voted on their bill last week, less than 24 hours after making amendments that had potential to affect insurance coverage and the federal budget in fairly significant ways.

?Y?all, I?m still waiting to see if it?s a boy or a girl,? Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) quipped afterward. ?Any bill that has been posted less than 24 hours, going to be debated three or four hours, not scored? Needs to be viewed with suspicion.?

But voting without a CBO score was merely one way in which the House rushed its debate.

House leaders wrote legislation privately and then pushed it through the two committees of jurisdiction with markup sessions that lasted just one day each. Leaders had to pull the bill from the House floor at the last minute, because it lacked enough support to pass, but their response was to return to private negotiations, hash out the additional amendments, and then proceed quickly with the final vote.

Even those House Republicans who had time to read and study the final language (many admitted they hadn?t) probably didn?t grasp its implications, because those implications were still becoming apparent in real time. Two days before the vote, for example, a Brookings Institution report showed how the bill could bring back annual and lifetime limits on benefits, even for employer policies.

You saw what the House Republicans did. When you don?t read it, you don?t know what the impact is.
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.)

Those limits, which the Affordable Care Act prohibits, would be a huge deal for that tiny portion of Americans dealing with the most severe medical problems ? think aggressive cancer that requires chemotherapy and surgery, or genetic disorders that require long stays in neonatal care. By the time a Wall Street Journal article on the subject brought the possibility to national attention, the vote was just hours away ? too late for new information to have an effect.

Of course that was precisely what House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and his allies were trying to accomplish ? to avoid public scrutiny, to get legislation through the House before either the media or the public could recognize and seize on its shortcomings. Now it looks like Senate Republicans are intent upon doing the same thing.

Back in March, the first time the House was set to vote on repeal, Senate leaders indicated that they intended to bypass the two committees that had jurisdiction. ?Probably straight to the floor,? Cornyn told CNN, when asked about the plan, ?Because there has already been a lot of consultations on a bicameral basis to get us here.?

Leadership hasn?t said much about his plans since that time, and the office of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) declined to answer HuffPost?s inquiries about process and timetable. But on Wednesday, finance committee chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) told The Hill, ?I don?t think it?s going to go through the committees, at least from what I know about it.?

Democrats are furious, in part because most of them were around in 2009 and 2010 when they spent more than a year writing and debating what eventually became the Affordable Care Act. For all of the discussion that took place behind closed doors back then, quite a lot took place in public ? over the course of more than 130 hearings, spanning five committees, according to a Democratic tally that didn?t even include administration events like the daylong, bipartisan session at Blair House that President Barack Obama presided over personally.

?We had 45 bipartisan hearings and roundtables,? Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), ranking Democrat on the help, education, labor and pensions committee, said in an interview. ?Every issue and aspect of this was discussed. People had a chance to really see the impact ? line by line, amendment by amendment ? and know what they were actually passing.?

?You saw what the House Republicans did,? Murray added. ?When you don?t read it, you don?t know what the impact is. And somebody who is being impacted doesn?t have a chance to say, ?Wait a minute, that doesn?t work for me.??

This isn?t just some partisan talking point. Norm Ornstein, a respected political scientist at the American Enterprise Institute, says, ?The push and pull, give and take of an open markup can make a bad bill, with stupid provisions, sloppy drafting, unintended consequences, repeated mistakes from past experience, a better one.? 

Earlier this week, Murray and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), ranking Democrat on the finance committee, sent their GOP counterparts a letter demanding hearings. They have not gotten a formal response, and neither did HuffPost inquiries to those offices, except for a statement from Hatch?s office that he ?appreciates Senate Democrats? renewed interest in improving the nation?s healthcare system and welcomes their input and ideas as we move through this debate.?

Most Republicans seem ready to accept some pretty big cuts 

One reason the House bill is so spectacularly unpopular is the likelihood that it will leave so many millions of Americans without health insurance. And from the very beginning of the debate, senators have been warning, publicly and privately, that they could not abide such dramatic losses of coverage.

Many of those warnings focused on the American Health Care Act?s proposed cuts to Medicaid. That includes phasing out the new funding available through Obamacare that the states have used to expand eligibility for the program ? effectively making it available to all people with incomes below or just above the poverty line. Among the 32 states that have accepted the money and expanded the program are more than a dozen with Republican senators.

One of them is Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who has reportedly taken the lead on figuring out how the Senate legislation will deal with Medicaid. Something like 700,000 of his constituents got insurance through the Medicaid expansion, and the program has become a critical source of financing for opioid treatment, as well as for community clinics that provide basic medical care to the poor. Ohio?s Medicaid expansion also has a vocal, influential champion in Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio), one of about a half-dozen Republican governors who have lobbied hard to keep the expansion in place.

But Portman told reporters on Wednesday that he was looking for a ?soft landing? on Medicaid and that he supported ending expansion funding eventually. A key letter on Medicaid he and three other Republican senators wrote during the early stages of House debate was careful to talk about ?stability for individuals currently enrolled in the program? ? which suggests they are open to a proposal that tapers off funding slowly, and lets people who qualify under the expansion hold onto Medicaid until their enrollment lapses.

That?s actually what the House bill already does. The Medicaid population would still drop sharply in the first three years, CBO predicts, because low-income people tend to have volatile incomes and lose eligibility quickly. Senate Republicans might have some other ideas for stretching out the transition ? they have said very little publicly ? but it appears to be a matter of when, not whether, the expansion population loses its coverage.

?Clearly the House has done some important work,? Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) said this week. ?I think we?d like to take the Medicaid provision and engineer a softer landing and eventually get to the same place?

The House bill wouldn?t simply roll back the Medicaid expansion. It would also introduce a ?per capita cap? that would reduce the program?s funding over time. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.), who joined the Portman letter and whose home state is particularly dependent on Medicaid, left a meeting two days ago saying that the Senate was open to per capita caps ? a tell-tale sign that the cap, or something like it, could end up in final legislation.

And then there are the implications that repeal could have for people purchasing coverage on their own, either directly from insurers or through healthcare.gov and state-run insurance exchanges. Senate Republicans have said the House bill would punish older consumers too much, by allowing insurers to charge near-retirement seniors up to five times what they charge younger consumers ? and, simultaneously, by rearranging the Affordable Care Act?s financial aid so that it doesn?t provide extra help to people with high insurance costs.

But they haven?t made the same fuss about the way the House bill also shifts assistance away from lower-income consumers, which is a big reason why so many people would lose coverage. And key members like Hatch seem committed both to cutting as much spending as possible ? and rescinding the Affordable Care Act?s taxes, including hefty levies on corporations and the wealthiest American households. The net result is likely to be large losses of insurance coverage, even if they are not as large as the losses in the House bill.

Senate politics are tricky enough that public pressure matters

GOP leaders face some big obstacles as they try to craft a bill that can pass, and most likely those obstacles are bigger than the ones that stood in the way of Ryan and his allies earlier this year.

In the Senate, Republicans need 50 votes to pass legislation, assuming Vice President Mike Pence would break a tie, and they have only 52 seats. Already two of their members, Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), have called explicitly to preserve or even expand the Affordable Care Act?s expansion of insurance coverage. Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), who is among those who have been most openly critical of the House bill, faces a difficult re-election fight in a Democratic state. 

Put those together with the likes of Capito, Portman and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and their strong feelings about protecting the Medicaid expansion population, and it?s easy to see how the Senate could end up with a bill that?s less extreme than the House version ? or maybe no bill at all.

But even Cassidy and Collins have left themselves wiggle room, which means they could end up supporting a bill in exchange for minor modifications, just as so-called moderates in the House did. And they will be fighting ultra-conservatives like Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.), whose idea of ?compromise? is a bill that looks like the House bill or is maybe even more extreme.

The deciding factor could be public reaction, but the public can?t react to a bill unless it gets a good look at it. It appears Republican leaders are trying not to let that happen.

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Creepy Laughing Clown Doll Scares Bear Out Of Stealing Trash

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This black bear won?t be targeting a trash can again in a hurry.

The animal received a fright when it tried raiding the locked receptacle outside a home in Salem, Virginia, on May 2, reports UPI.

As the bear attempted to tip the can over, it activated the laughing mechanism on a creepy clown doll that the can?s owners had strapped to its side.

The clown?s menacing cackle spooked the bear, prompting it to run off. The trash can and its contents were left intact, meaning no clean up duties the following day.

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Jesse Williams Calls Racist ‘Cotton’ Promposal ‘Destructive Dumbf**kery’

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Jesse Williams is calling out the teens involved in a racist prom proposal that has gone viral.

A photo was posted of two white teens from Monarch High School in Coconut Creek, Florida, standing beside a black teen as they hold a cardboard sign that reads, ?You may be picking cotton but we?re picking you to go to prom with us.?

One of the white teens posted the photo to Instagram with the caption ?she said yes.? After a screenshot of her post was shared by Monarch High alum Jon Aro on Twitter on Wednesday, the teens received widespread backlash. 

Williams posted a photo of the teens on Instagram on Saturday with a damning caption. 

?Trash and tragedy the likes of this requires a great many failures, lies and omissions, working in concert, publicly and privately, to achieve this level of destructive dumbf**kery. #GETOUT #StayWoke #TheSunkenPlace #AintNuthinChangedButTheDate,? the actor wrote.

The father of one of the white students defended them to Local 10 News, calling it an inside joke. He said the black teen, who is homeschooled and initially wasn?t going to prom, has a grandmother who owns a cotton farm in Alabama.

The father of the other white student apologized on behalf of both teens. 

?They really want to apologize for their extremely poor choice of words in this situation,? he told the local outlet. ?They would like to take it back. They would like to find a different way to express this invitation to prom.?

Now, the students are reportedly afraid to attend the dance.

The two white teens have been suspended for a week while the school district investigates, according to CBS Miami.

H/T Vibe

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When asking for a raise, do not just ask for a raise with no clear figure in mind. This leaves the raise to the prerogative of the employer and you may not get a fair amount in the endnorthcentralnewjersey.licehappens.com/. Go into the meeting with a workable figure so that you have a starting point for negotiation.



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The last thing you need in your budget is unforeseen phone call bills. International calling cards allow you to plan with certainty. FacebookThe pay as you go provision is recommended for one-time users or if you are travelling shortly. callingcard.The prepaid services provide longtime users with an unlimited connection.


A Community Terrorized: Immigration Crackdown Could Destroy The Social Fabric Of The U.S.

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In this week?s episode of Scheer Intelligence, Robert Scheer interviews Victor Narro, an immigration and labor attorney who is the project director at the UCLA Labor Center.

Narro tells Scheer about the climate of fear that has engulfed undocumented communities since President Trump took office. Although California has a progressive immigration policy, Narro and others are continuing to work to provide even greater protections for undocumented immigrants in the state.

Scheer Intelligence is available in iTunes. Click, subscribe, and share.


Robert Scheer: Hi, this is Robert Scheer with another edition of Scheer Intelligence, where the intelligence comes from my guests. In this case, Victor Narro, who is a lawyer here in Los Angeles, teaches at the UCLA law school, and is director of the UCLA labor center. And that labor center is centered in what I would consider ground zero for President Trump?s attempt to basically destroy a part of the Latino community, the undocumented workers and their families. We?re talking about 11, 12 million people directly, and then their related families; this is in a state that has almost 50 percent or something of its population is Latino?not that all undocumented people are Latino; we have plenty of others from France and Italy and Iran and Ireland and everywhere else, China. But it is the heart of the problem. And I want to just set this up from my view of somebody who lives in California, has been around this issue; I covered it for the LA Times for many years. I can?t even fathom what?s going on. To me, this is the yellow-star moment for Jews in [World War II] Germany. I mean, this is an effort to destroy a whole community that, as I say, is interrelated with the life of not only California, Texas, other states; agriculture, you know, just everywhere. Here at the University of Southern California, our student body and what have you. So let me just ask you for your initial assessment here, somewhat five years into Trump?s crusade against the undocumented, who he demeaned as a group. How does this fear in MacArthur Park area, where you operate?

Victor Narro: Well, first of all, thank you for having me on the show; I greatly appreciate it. I think MacArthur Park is very densely populated, it?s the most populated of foreign-born immigrants anywhere in Los Angeles, mostly from Central America. And people are living in fear. People are afraid to go to the shopping centers; people are afraid to go to the clinics. People are afraid to take their children to school because we had that high-profile case of a few weeks ago where a father in Lincoln Heights was picked up right after he dropped his children off to school.

RS: Yeah, eight-year-old and 13-year-old daughters, and they saw their father being arrested.

VN: Yes, they recorded it and put it out there on social media. So the thought of, you?re 13 years old and you?re recording your father being taken away by immigration, not knowing where he?s being taken to, is traumatic.

RS: Yeah, and the reason they were able to get him, so to speak, was that 20 years ago, he had a DUI. Twenty years ago, and that popped up in some of the files; we don?t know whether it?s Palantir, a CIA-funded data-mining organization that a lot of these so-called intelligence agencies use, and ICE uses. But somehow they can go through the records; you had led a splendid life for 20 years, you?re dropping your kids off at school, and boom, you?re nabbed in this crusade. And the word you used, fear?I think we?ve got a reign of terror here that many people can go about their lives not noticing. You know, just like they didn?t notice the exploitation of these people before. And there?s something frighteningly schizophrenic about it. Which was true of Nazi Germany; I mean, you had one part of the population, first Gypsies and homosexuals and handicapped people, and then of course six million Jews ended up being killed. And a large part of the German population went about their business thinking nothing big was going on. You know, look the other way. Is that what?s happening here?

VN: Well, I don?t think that?s happening in California. I think Californians have really, the last 20 years, have really come together as a state where everybody really feels integrated with each other. And I think in California, really, we should be leading the rest of the country. California has denounced Donald Trump?s immigration policies on so many levels. The majority, more than 80, 90 percent of the public in California denounces what he?s doing. I think the rest of the country, we need to figure out?

RS: And elected officials from the governor on down.

VN: Yes, we?re all working hard on Senate Bill 54, by Senator Kevin De León, that would create a sanctuary state in California. I think the challenge for us is how to get the rest of the country to move in our direction.

RS: Tell me how it feels day in and day out, people coming to your office, you?re an attorney in this UCLA project dealing with this; what do you tell them, what are their rights, what can be done?

VN: Well, we have?we?re engaging in what?s called rapid response. Working with other organizations, we?re working together to create policies in Los Angeles to protect undocumented immigrants as much as possible. Statistics show that immigrant families are mixed households. So you have people with legal resident status or U.S. citizens living in the same household, the same family household as undocumented immigrants. So when you detain and deport an immigrant in this country, you?re separating a family; you?re creating a hardship on the family. You?re deporting, in many cases, the mother, the father, the individual who?s taking care of the families. Virtually overnight, your whole life can change, and it can change for the family. And I think people are in fear of being separated, children are living in fear; many teachers are telling me that the children are bringing up these questions about what?s going to happen to their mothers and fathers if they?re deported. It?s having a traumatic experience on the whole community. So in Los Angeles, we?re working with the mayor of Los Angeles and with the city council to create strong, protective policies, knowing that federal agents can come in and out whenever they please. But we?re trying to make it as restrictive as possible. ICE agents are out of control now. They are going to schools, they are going to public spaces; a couple of weeks ago they were at Union Station. They were, you know, somebody took a picture of five or six ICE agents at Union Station.

RS: That?s the main train station in downtown Los Angeles.

VN: Yes. So people are living in fear. They?re thinking, what happens when somebody knocks on the door? Families are telling me that they just don?t open the door to anybody. Now we?re hearing about cases where ICE agents are misrepresenting themselves as police officers when they?re knocking on doors. So people are going to be afraid to report crimes. It came out this week, [Police] Chief [Charlie] Beck and the mayor reported this week that domestic violence reports are 25 percent down in Los Angeles because victims of domestic violence are afraid to report their crime to the police station, because they don?t know if that police officer is working with ICE or not working with ICE. People are afraid to open their doors to anybody. So they?re living in constant fear every day, and that?s trauma. That?s the trauma that they live through every day.

RS: You know, what?s so crazy-making about this?there was no big immigration crisis. First of all, it has nothing to do with terrorism. I don?t know of a single documented case of somebody sneaking across the border from Mexico because they want to do harm as a terrorist or so forth. Just, you know, the people who did the biggest harm to us had valid passports, papers issued by Saudi Arabia, our big-buddy nation; they came in legally, they went out legally, they sent money legally. And yet the trauma of 9/11, which does not concern a single undocumented person, certainly not from Central America or from Mexico, has been used as the big excuse, right? We have to secure our borders. There was no big crisis of labor people coming, because with the Great American Recession, you actually had more people returning to Mexico than coming here. So this is, as with any incredible demagogic act, not based on fact; it?s a fake crisis that was invented by Donald Trump as his main election ploy. And it was his answer to why American workers are not doing better. Well, that?s nonsense! American workers are not doing better because they?ve been replaced by robots, by foreign labor in China and India, outsourcing, trade agreements that hurt them. But somehow, people from Mexico and Central America were made the villain. That?s classic scapegoating. And what?s interesting is now, the police response?I mean, California basically had a more humane?this goes back to Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan actually thought we should not demonize the undocumented and the immigrant. He actually made speeches, even when he was running for president, about this. Pete Wilson, a republican governor, at first when he came in, had fairly enlightened?I know you worked on some of those programs. And it goes to this question of crime. Because what you want are people in the community to trust the police. If they see something happen, whether it?s domestic violence or they see a crime, or violation of the labor law, you want them to be able to say, ?Hey! Somebody ought to put a stop to it.? Now you have the opposite situation, where they?re intimidated, they?re not going to testify, they?re afraid to say what they saw. And you?re a lawyer. I want to get this across to people listening: this is not an abstract discussion. I covered this as a reporter for the LA Times. But you have worked this side of the law day in and day out, so put us in the shoes of some undocumented person facing the current situation.

VN: You?re afraid to go into any public spaces now because of what?s been happening recently. You know, you?re no longer safe being in a public space because of ICE agents being reported to have detained individuals in different spaces. So it?s the fear of going to the supermarket, the fear of taking your children to school, the fear of going to work. Because I think we may go back to the days when we saw a lot of workplace raids, in the workplace. So you?re living in constant fear, looking out the window before you go outside to make sure there?s not ICE agents there, looking behind you all the time. When you hear the knock on the door, the anxiety, the stress, the fear that comes into the family when somebody knocks on the door. And always living under the fear of being suspicious of every activity, and it?s just, it?s a mental health issue as well, because you can only absorb so much of that trauma before it starts to impact you in physical and mental ways. We?re trying to work hard in Los Angeles to get the chief of police, the mayor, to create the protective policies [so] that we can send a strong message to the Trump administration, but also to the undocumented immigrant communities, that we?re here to?this city is trying to become as protective as possible against these vicious policies of Donald Trump. On the county level we?re trying to do the same thing. Unfortunately, Sheriff [Jim] McDonnell opposes the California Values Act. He thinks it doesn?t go far enough. The LA County Sheriff?s Department does collaborate with ICE in many ways. And we?re trying to move the Sheriff of LA County in a good direction to shift away from those kind of policies and take the lead of what other law enforcement agencies have been doing throughout California, where they have been making strong statements that we will not collaborate or cooperate with ICE agents under any circumstance. I think it?s time to move in that direction. There?s going to be confrontation with the administration, because he is trying to sue cities like Los Angeles for these kind of policies, but then we challenge it in court, you know. I think we have to make a strong statement that we have to protect the most vulnerable in our communities, who contribute the most. California is the sixth largest economy in the whole world?

RS: Actually, Jerry Brown now says it?s the fifth largest.

VN: The fifth largest, and it?s because of the immigrant workforce. And within this immigrant workforce are a large number of undocumented. They sustain the economy of California.

RS: Well, this is what?s so crazy-making about it. We know in California, we have a good part of the solution that America requires. We?ve become the fifth largest economy in the world; we produce stuff the rest of the world wants, whether it?s in design of computers, whether it?s in movies, what have you. We have the greatest agriculture. And all of this is going to be torn apart because of a demagogue who has considerable appeal to people who are hurting because their lives are not good. And they aren?t. There are real issues. But the fact of the matter is, you don?t make it better by attacking your fellow workers. That?s really?

VN: Just to add to that, I?ve been focusing a lot with children. So I just came out with a children?s book to try to connect with children. Because many undocumented parents have children who are U.S. citizens; they were born here.

RS: You?ve written a children?s book?

VN: Yes.

RS: Oh. What?s the title, can we get it?

VN: Yes. It?s ?Jimmy?s Car Wash Adventure.? It?s about workers in the car wash industry that work hard every day, many are undocumented; they contribute to our lifestyle by washing our cars and polishing and waxing our cars every day. These are the workers that contribute to our lives, and the story is focused?

RS: ?Jimmy?s Car Wash Adventure.? And it?s in bookstores and on Amazon?

VN: It?s not in bookstores, but you can order it from the publisher.

RS: Oh. Well, who?s the publisher?

VN: Hard Ball Press, it?s a publisher in New York. So I?ve been reaching out to children because I think it?s traumatic for children who are?what happens to these children when their parents are deported? They?re U.S. citizens, they?re here, who?s going to take care of these children? You know, it?s a human disaster that?s happening, and it?s?you?re creating suffering with many people, but the children, you?re?children should not have to be exposed to that kind of situation where they have to fear every day that they may not go back home to their parents.

RS: Yeah. So where is the pro-life movement now that children are being hurt? People who cared about family values, the people who said, you know, that they cared so much about traditional religious values. Which, after all, every major religion centers on protection of the other, you know, no matter their nationality, no matter their papers, right? This is the whole theme. The Pope has said this very clearly. Where is the Catholic church, where are the churches on this?

VN: So there?s a sanctuary movement that has emerged, very analogous to the sanctuary movements of the 1980s. Many interfaith organizations, many local churches are getting involved, that we?re going to start?and we?ve been doing the trainings, the workshops?soon you?re going to see a sanctuary statement by many churches that they?re willing to harbor undocumented immigrants as a confrontation to the Trump administration. The Catholic archdiocese in Los Angeles has recently moved forward to give workshops for immigrant families about their rights and participate in some of these efforts to reach out to immigrant families about what to do if they suffer the unfortunate situation where a member is being detained, subject to deportation by ICE. And then, the Pope has been making strong statements about how inhumane it is to target particular immigrant communities. And he?s been denouncing the Muslim ban. Donald Trump has tried two times, the courts have pushed back on him twice, but he?s determined to move forward with his ban on the Muslim community. But even if he doesn?t get his ban approved by the court system, he?s already created this fear in that community throughout the country. And what happens is, these ICE agents, these border patrol agents, these ICE agents, they get empowered by the Trump administration. And this is an [agency] that?s been plagued with so many violations. It just came out yesterday that the ACLU is filing a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security because two Guatemalan teenagers who tried to cross the border were sexually assaulted by border patrol agents here in California. So this is an agency that?s plagued with so many violations, and they?ve been empowered by the Trump administration to pretty much do what they want to do. It would be against the law for me if I were to knock on somebody?s door and say I?m an LAPD officer, but it?s not against the law for them to do. And they feel empowered to do anything that they feel necessary, to go out there and detain people.

RS: I just want to cut to the chase here, because as a lawyer, you?re up against the old arguments about states? rights and federal rights. And most of us have grown up asserting federal power as pro-human rights. That was true, certainly, of desegregation; it?s been true in many cases where the federal government was considered more progressive, particularly than southern states and others in advancing human rights. But here you have the reversal, states like Washington which pushed back on the immigrant ban on the grounds that it?s hurting the economy of Washington, the cybereconomy. California seems highly unified; there?s, I believe, a two-thirds majority in the state House and Senate now in California; the governor, the attorney general of the state, and down to the mayors of all of the major cities are supporting some notion of sanctuary, of California pushback. So as a lawyer, let me ask you this question, because federal has generally, the federal government has controlled the border situation and the old INS and border patrol. And by the way, on your point of some of those people not being so wonderful, the former head, the outgoing head of the border patrol warned that they have serious problems of morale in training. And the idea that Trump has pushed through of suddenly hiring tens of thousands of new officers who can arrest you, shoot you, do anything, he says is a prescription for disaster. But let me get you back to the Tenth Amendment argument. I mean, here California is going to be positioned not of arguing for a reactionary, pro-segregation position, but now we have a major constitutional challenge on whether California, Washington, maybe even Texas can protect its own people and its own agriculture, its own economy. That?s really the issue here, because if you get border patrol and you get ICE coming through and just ripping people out of their homes, as you say, who?s going to watch their children? Who?s going to go to work the next day? What happens to our economy? So there?s really a good states-rights argument for saying you don?t want the federal government destroying the fabric of life here.

VN: Yeah. I?m not a legal expert or scholar on the Tenth Amendment and federal versus states? rights, but I think the issue is, you really got to look at it issue by issue; I think there are certain issues where the states? rights argument makes a lot of sense. In this case, you know, the California economy would suffer tremendously if they were to move along with a Trump immigration policy. And that?s the economic argument. But there?s also the argument about protecting the rights of residents here in California. Whether or not you?re documented or undocumented, you live in California, you?re a resident of the state. And the states have to do as much as they can to protect their residents. I think some issues, you know, like abortion for example, I tend to lean more towards looking at the judiciary system, looking at, sometimes the federal government might be the better approach to look at issues like abortion and the right to choose. But with issues in immigration, when you?re dealing with issues of people?s lives, so vulnerable and subject to the negative, harsh consequences of a policy of what Trump is trying to do, I think we?re doing the right thing arguing that it rests in the state of California to protect its residents against these kind of policies.

RS: [omission] Hi, this is Robert Scheer with Scheer Intelligence, and my guest is Victor Narro. And we?re back for the concluding second half of this interview. And we?re talking to a lawyer here in Los Angeles who operates out of a UCLA labor [center], he teaches in the UCLA law school. But he also operates at ground zero of the immigration crisis around MacArthur Park, which is a center of a lot of people who are undocumented, who look for work, are working and so forth. And what I?m trying to get across in this podcast is that this is not just some abstract policy discussion. Now we look back on the internment of Japanese-Americans in World War II, and there are books that have come out and so forth recently, saying how did we just sit by while a hundred thousand people were ripped out of their homes and their farms and put into concentration camps, effectively? You know, that?s what happened. We wonder, why didn?t they speak up?people say, ?Well, we had Pearl Harbor and we had the hysteria of war.? OK. Now you have a tragedy in the making of even greater dimension because of the numbers involved. How do you?you?re saying you are starting to get support for this, but it?s happening right now, right? People are being arrested right now. So what is it out there?when you go back to MacArthur Park now and people come into your office looking for help at your labor project, tell me what they face.

VN: Many who are workers come with stories of exploitation. I think employers, bad employers, the unscrupulous employers also get empowered by these kind of policies, because then they feel they can exploit workers based on their immigration status. And so in the workplace, workers are feeling this kind of fear. But many are just people in the community trying to survive, residents in Los Angeles trying to survive, and because of their undocumented status they live in total fear of even just going out in public. And so we have strong networks now; we?re very well networked in Los Angeles, we have great immigrant rights groups, a lot of the major unions, we?re all working together on rapid response, on know your rights programs. We have a good rapid response network of immigration lawyers that is able to respond right away. Our goal is to prevent any deportation that happens. I always come from the perspective, one deportation is too much. And every life merits an immediate response and immediate attention. We?re working with the city of Los Angeles and the county to create a special justice fund for universal representation, similar to what they have in New York, where if anybody is being detained you will have access to counsel, to a lawyer, to represent you in your deportation proceedings. Because you really stand very little chance, if you go before an immigration judge, of being able to stay in this country. That?s, we have documented that most likely you will be deported if you are in deportation proceedings and you are undocumented and you go before an immigration judge. But your likelihood of being able to stay in this country increases dramatically if you have legal counsel. In California, in addition to the California Values Act, we?re also moving forward with Senator [Ben] Hueso to pass Senate Bill 6, which will create universal representation throughout all California. So that every immigrant who is detained and going through deportation proceedings will have due process in the way of a lawyer.

RS: Let me conclude this by dealing with what is really the central question for decent people who do want to change the immigration situation. And that is, are we sanctioning a system of exploitation because people don?t have rights, they work for less, they undermine the wages of people who do have documents, and so forth. This is a traditional argument; traditionally, many democratic politicians and labor unions were against the undocumented, including the farmworkers union of Cesar Chavez in our own state. And the traditional argument had been not to be anti- the undocumented, but the undocumented prevent the organizing and struggling for the rights of people who do have documents, so OK. And you were involved in a program started by a republican governor in California, Pete Wilson. Unfortunately he also went for another program, Prop 187, that was quite anti- the rights of people and their children to go to school and so forth. But he had hold of, I thought, a very important idea. And as a reporter for the LA Times, I covered that program; I went on the raids. And what it said was, we have laws in this country about labor, human rights, occupational safety, right? Working conditions. Let?s address this argument if there are documented people who want those jobs, or do we need more immigrants, OK? And we?ll do it by enforcing minimum wage laws, workers? compensation, right? Overtime pay, all of you know, facilities, bathrooms, everything. And under a guy named Jose Millan, who was the state labor commissioner?before him Victoria Bradshaw, who had pioneered this program, a department store executive?Pete Wilson, a republican governor who started out as a moderate from San Diego, put through the TIPP program. And when I observed it as a reporter, it seemed to me a very effective program. Because the first thing they said?and they also had people from the federal labor department?they said, we?re not immigration. We?re not here to arrest you. We?re here to find out if the law is being observed about your working conditions and your occupational safety. And I thought that was a model, a very effective model for answering the question of, do we need more workers from Central America and Mexico? Or are there indeed documented Americans who would take those jobs in agriculture, right, and the service industry? And you worked on that program.

VN: Yeah. I mean, I come from the perspective that if you hire an individual, you?re creating employment in this country. So whether or not the individual is documented or undocumented, you have an employment relationship. And because you have an employment relationship, that person is afforded all the labor and employment protections in this country. If you really want to do something about businesses that hire undocumented workers and exploit them, you will enforce labor standards. I think that?s the best way to address that issue; it?s not to create fear in these communities by trying to deport undocumented immigrants. They?re already in this country working; many have been working for many years in this country. We have to create the most effective form of labor enforcement systems in this country to send a strong message out there: when you hire somebody, that person is your employee. Regardless of their immigration status, you chose to hire that person, you have to comply with all the labor standards.

RS: The ugly reality here is you are either going to have mass deportation on a level never imagined in this country, or you?re going to have a subservient workforce whose limited rights now have been taken from them. And as a lawyer in this UCLA project, this labor project which I think is admirable, as a lawyer there, you?re going to find people not coming forth to defend their rights.

VN: Yeah. I mean, we?ve been documenting wage theft in Los Angeles and throughout the country for many years. And Los Angeles is considered the wage-theft capital of the entire country.

RS: Tell us what you mean by ?wage theft.?

VN: Wage theft is any attempt by employers to deny you your wages, whether it be not paying you overtime, not giving you required breaks, or paying you less than minimum wage, or even nonpayment of wages. And we documented through many years of research and surveys that in Los Angeles every week, every work week in Los Angeles, $26.2 million are stolen from workers in wage theft. That workers are not receiving $26.2 million that they should be receiving from their employers in wages. And that adds up, $1.4 billion a year that?s really, I think, that?s taken out of the LA economy. And we need to?it drains the economy, because we have to subsidize that $1.4 billion. And these are already workers who live in low-income, they live in poverty, because they?re low wages to begin with, and then on top of that they?re not being paid the wages that they?re owed. And we think that?s going to get worse under this president, because in many of these industries where we have low wages, it?s not only native-born workers who are suffering, but many immigrant workers in these industries. And many of them are undocumented workers that are going to be afraid to come forward to exercise their rights to file wage claims. And because of that, this issue is going to get even worse.

RS: OK, that?s it for Scheer Intelligence. Victor Narro has been my guest. Alana Bracken has been the engineer here at the USC [Annenberg] School for Communication and Journalism, which hosted the program. Our producers at KCRW are Rebecca Mooney and Joshua Scheer. Our engineers at KCRW are Mario Diaz and Kat Yore. See you next week.

Adapted from Truthdig.com

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Think of all the things that make your job enjoyable. You enjoy what you do, you enjoy making a difference, it pays your bills, and most importantly, it affords you those enjoyable holidaysWe saw Peter in Westfiel NJ. With this in mind, you will appreciate the fact that your job does not just give you a place to go spend the day.


Twenty Tortured And Killed At Pakistani Sufi Shrine, Police Say

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LAHORE, Pakistan, April 2 (Reuters) – Twenty people were tortured and then murdered with clubs and knives at a Pakistani Sufi shrine, the police said on Sunday, in an attack purportedly carried out by the shrine?s custodian and several accomplices.

Four others were wounded during the attack on Sunday morning at the shrine on the edge of Sargodha, a remote town in the Punjab region.

The custodian of the shrine, Abdul Waheed, called on the worshippers to visit the shrine and then attacked them with his accomplices, said Liaqat Ali Chattha, deputy commissioner for the area.

?As they kept arriving, they were torturing and murdering them,? Chattha told Geo TV.

Pervaiz Haider, a doctor in a Sargodha hospital, said most of the dead were hit on the back of the neck.

?There are bruises and wounds inflicted by a club and dagger on the bodies of victims,? he told Reuters.

Police arrested Waheed. During his interrogation, the custodian told police he believed his victims were out to kill him, said Zulfiqar Hameed, Regional Police Officer for Sargodha.

?Waheed told police that he killed the people because they had tried to kill him by poisoning him in the past, and again they were there to kill him,? Hameed told Reuters.

Reuters could not immediately find contact details for Waheed or any lawyer representing him.

With its ancient hypnotic rituals, Sufism is a mystical form of Islam that has been practiced in Pakistan for centuries.

But in recent months, Sufi shrines have been targeted by extremist Sunni militants who consider them heretics, including a suicide bombing by Islamic State that killed more than 80 worshippers at a shrine in Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine in southern Sindh province.

Last November, an explosion ripped through another Sufi shrine, the Shah Noorani in southwestern Pakistan, killing at least 52 people. Islamic State also claimed responsibility for that attack.

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What will be the most famous Donald Trump quote? All presidents leave a legacy and their quotes form a big part of it. Some of the most famous quotes are inspirational in nature. However Trump?s quotes have been more on the controversial side yelp business pages. His tweets give the same indication.