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Woman's Sitting on Ledge

Believing Women – An Unfortunate Culture of Questioning Assault

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One of the howls that has emerged from the #MeToo stories and the ongoing breaking news about accusations of sexual harassment, sexual assault, abuse, and rape in multiple industries is the objection to those who say we should believe women when they come forward.

“But what about the women who falsely accuse men?” is the inevitable reaction, regardless of how many statistics from multiple countries on the low rate of false reports are cited. I am pretty sure this will always be a knee-jerk reaction to the notion of believing women.

Would the howls stop if we said instead that when a woman comes forward with an accusation that she is taken seriously? Can we please at least get to that point?

This is not about denigrating the vital legal principle of innocence until proven guilty. However, it is about treating women with respect when they come forward to report something that is incredibly serious.

Because there is no other crime where the accuser, the alleged victim, is not taken seriously. 

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Patriots Players Kneel in Protest

Super Bowl LII, Anticipating Protest and Selective Outrage

BOSTON — Ahead of the Super Bowl, millions of people may see NFL players silently protest by taking a knee during the national anthem. President Trump has made his feelings on this topic clear, initiating a feud with athletes who choose to kneel.

Weeks ago, at a rally for now failed Alabama senatorial candidate (and possible super-villain) Luther Strange, Trump encouraged NFL owners to fire those ‘sons of bitches’ who decided to kneel during the national anthem. He unleashed a barrage of tweets further admonishing those players, 17 tweets in all, despite the White House’s insistence that Trump is focused on more pressing issues like the hurricane in Puerto Rico or the North Korea crisis.

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Nearly every NFL team responded with messages of unity and support for their players right to protest. The number of players protesting during the anthem rose from about a dozen in the second week to over 100 by the third. Three teams decided to skip the anthem all together. 

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MeToo Protest

Not #MeToo

WASHINGTON — In the months following the inauguration of the 45th US President, Donald J. Trump, women across the country have taken to social media and began the #MeToo movement. On the campaign trail, a leaked audio clip of then Apprentice star Trump, revealed the vulgar side of a man vying for the highest office in the land. “Grab her by the pussy,” he said. This was the catalyst for several women to come forward and accuse the candidate of inappropriate sexual behavior.

President Trump

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Whale Breach

Protect the Whales, Save the Planet

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LOS ANGELES — Over the past couple of years, I have reported on skyrocketing whale deaths – it is horrific and worrisome.

Let me tell you why:

Whales are farmers of the sea. Their flocculent fecal plumes are rich in iron and nitrogen, which fertilize phytoplankton and prochlorococcus (cyanobacteria). Together, the phytoplankton and bacteria provide almost two-thirds of all the oxygen  we breathe. Oxygen makes up almost 65 percent of human body weight.

Whale on Beach
In June 2015, 337 sei whales were victims of man-made global warming along a remote stretch of Chile in the largest mass stranding of baleen whales ever recorded. Image Credit: ToxicWeb/Flickr

Fossil fuel heat has infused 300 zettajoules of energy into the oceans, half of that has accumulated since 1997. It’s the equivalent energy of detonating one Hiroshima-style bomb every second for 75 straight years. Think about that for just a minute. Hiroshima. Every. Second.

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Fit Girl Working Out

Clean Mind, Fit Body

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LOS ANGELES — We’ve all heard that “New Year, New me” saying right?  Don’t make it a new you just because January 1st rolls around.  Change your way of thinking and you will change your fitness.  

For starters, throw that saying right out of the window.  Along with all of those self-proclaimed online fitness gurus on Instagram.  In fact, anytime you see the word “fitness” in the title of an IG handle, turn and run.  It’s like a used car salesman who goes by “Honest Joe.”  It’s a safe bet they’re not honest.  In this case, a safe bet they know nothing or very little about fitness.

A lot of people think they need to mirror exactly what they see “Instagram models” doing, what workouts they do, what they eat, what they wear, etc.  And they think that they have to do all these different kinds of workouts they see on Instagram or in magazines.  But you don’t need to do all of those weird goofy exercises!  All you need is to stick to the basics!

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olive ridley sea turtle

Strawless in America, Ban Them All

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LOS ANGELES — The only way 7.5 billion procreating humans can survive on this planet – our only home – is to mimic Nature. There is no waste in Nature. There is no unemployment in Nature. All life forms are interdependent.

Americans consume 500,000,000 petroleum-based plastic straws daily, or, 1.6 straws per person. That amounts to an unfathomable number of more than 182 billion plastic straws per year.

Plastic straws injure and kill untold numbers of sea birds and many other forms of sea life each year. A couple of years ago, marine biologists in Costa Rica found a distressed olive ridley sea turtle with what they thought was a parasitic worm burrowing into its nose. Using a Swiss army knife (the only tool on the boat) they performed a snap surgery. The biologists were horrified upon extracting the impediment to discover that it was a plastic straw.

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TV Addiction

Toxic Relationship: The one who never loves you back

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WASHINGTON — Do you ever feel sad when your favorite TV show comes to an end? Whether it’s because you just binge watched on Netflix or Hulu, or the dozens of websites you can stream from, or whether it’s a season finale and you have to wait until next season to watch. If your response is yes to any of the former, then you have experienced what is called a parasocial relationship. In other words this relationship is a one-sided experience between viewers and their favorite characters.

Social Psychologists have found that parasocial relationships are a real thing. At its most basic level, they have shown that viewers are inherently prone to develop relationships with the characters they see on television, not only in fictional accounts, but other forms of news media. Yes, this can include our dear supreme leader, President Trump.

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Confront to Overcome

Confront to Overcome

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WASHINGTON — When I find myself faced with life’s obstacles, I remind myself; if you can confront it, you can overcome it. Internally, I welcome these two concurrent actions. If life has taught me anything so far, it’s that there will always be new obstacles awaiting us. No matter what stage in our lives we are in, what we’ve accomplished, or how much we’re revered by others, there will always be new obstacles.

With every new level you reach, new devils await. They are zealously anticipating your arrival because they’ve seen many before you who have entered this realm, clinging to their altruistic thoughts and ideas of how things should be. Keep Reading

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