Rex Tillerson, Exxon Chief, Is Expected to Be Pick for Secretary of State
Mr. Tillerson has close ties with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, whom he has known for more than two decades. Russia awarded Mr. Tillerson its Order of Friendship in 2013, the year before Washington’s relationship with Moscow sank into a deep freeze over Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its shadow war in eastern Ukraine.
Relations with Russia have grown only more troubled since American intelligence agencies formally determined shortly after the November election that Russia had taken steps intended to help Mr. Trump win.
Mr. Tillerson, with no background in diplomacy outside the energy arena, would inherit those problems. He would also face the question of whether to maintain sanctions on Russia — penalties he has criticized for slowing Exxon’s investments in that country.
His connections to Russia are sure to come under scrutiny during a Senate confirmation hearing.
Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, said on Saturday that Mr. Tillerson’s ties to Mr. Putin were “a matter of concern to me.” “I’d have to examine it,” he said on Fox News, adding that “Vladimir Putin is a thug, bully and a murderer, and anybody else who describes him as anything else is lying.”
Mr. Tillerson’s success in business gives him a major credential with Mr. Trump, who values that background, along with loyalty, above other traits. He would be one of several wealthy business executives in top administration jobs.
Mr. Tillerson met with Mr. Trump for more than two hours on Saturday at Trump Tower in New York, and two of the president-elect’s key advisers, his chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, have told Mr. Trump that Mr. Tillerson is in a “different league” from his other options.
But Mr. Trump is famously mercurial and could change his mind before making his final decision public. A transition spokesman, Jason Miller, declined to comment. Among the other contenders have been Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, and Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Mr. Trump’s team has discussed the possibility of appointing as deputy secretary John R. Bolton, a highly conservative and combative veteran of the George W. Bush administration. Mr. Trump has also spoken with Richard N. Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations and a far more centrist figure.
Graphic: Donald Trump Is Choosing His Cabinet. Here’s the Latest List.Mr. Tillerson, 64, has spent the past 41 years at Exxon, where he began as a production engineer and went on to strike deals around the world for a company that explores, buys and sells oil and gas in some of the globe’s most troubled corners.
If confirmed by the Senate, Mr. Tillerson will deal with many of the world leaders he encountered at Exxon, but with a very different agenda. In addition to an increasingly aggressive Russia, he will have to manage a raging war in Syria that has consumed the last year of diplomatic efforts by Secretary of State John Kerry, a rising China that is staking claims in the South China Sea, and a North Korea that is growing closer to being able to launch a nuclear-armed missile at the United States.
The kind of deal-making diplomacy that Mr. Tillerson has excelled at is far different from the alliance-building required of a secretary of state, often without the incentive of profits for negotiating partners.
Mr. Tillerson assumed the role of chairman and chief executive of Exxon Mobil in January 2006, and during his tenure the company acknowledged, for the first time, the science underlying climate change. It has said it supports the creation of a carbon tax, which most Republicans have opposed, and it also supported the Paris climate agreement, a major focus of Mr. Kerry’s time in office. Mr. Trump has vowed to abandon the climate pact.
In May, Mr. Tillerson told shareholders that “we believe that addressing the risk of climate change is a global issue,” adding that it would require the cooperation of governments, businesses and individuals.
Executives at Exxon describe Mr. Tillerson as a strong leader, accustomed to making decisions and giving orders. Some have expressed surprise that he would be interested in the job of secretary of state, because he would not be the final decision maker.
A native of Wichita Falls, Tex., Mr. Tillerson speaks with a strong Texas twang and is known for quoting Boy Scout creeds. If he has faced a failure as a leader of Exxon, it was that he was slow to invest in the oil and gas shale fields around Texas and North Dakota. Preferring to invest in big, expensive projects around the world, he left the shale fields open to smaller, more nimble independent companies.
When he finally bought XTO, a shale gas-producing company, in 2009 for over $30 billion, he did so when natural gas prices were at a peak. After paying a premium for the company, Exxon’s earnings have suffered in recent years.
Still, in total, Mr. Tillerson has excelled in the somewhat rigid atmosphere inside Exxon. Steve Coll, the author of “Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power,” noted in 2012 that Mr. Tillerson presided over a company that had succeeded “where the question is numbers, or engineering effectiveness, or worker safety performance.”
“But when the question involves the human factor, building trust with your communities where you’re drilling, or convincing people that fracking is not going to ruin their water, or dealing with political environments in 150 different countries with lots of supply problems, or dealing with violence on the ground around your oil fields in Africa — in all of those areas, I think they have a habit of not really taking anybody’s advice,” Mr. Coll said.
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The question is how Mr. Tillerson will mesh with the far less hierarchical world of the State Department, where dissent is common, leaks about decision-making are often the order of the day, and success and failure are not measured on a balance sheet.
He is no stranger to political upheaval, however. Exxon has operations in about 50 countries, and Mr. Tillerson has not been shy about promoting the interests of his company, whether they coincide with American policy or not.
Shortly after he took the helm, President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela moved to nationalize the assets of 22 foreign oil companies. Most chose to negotiate compensation arrangements. But Exxon Mobil, along with ConocoPhillips, took Venezuela to international arbitration court, and in 2014 Exxon won a $1.6 billion compensation package.
It was a fraction of what the company had demanded, but Exxon showed unusual toughness. The company also mobilized a serious exploration effort in Guyanese waters claimed by Venezuela, and that work is expected to eventually result in major production.
Exxon has close ties to the Qatari national oil company, and has partnered with the Qataris in building a liquefied natural gas terminal on the Gulf of Mexico coast that is designed for importing gas and may eventually be used for exporting it, as well.
He has also signed deals to develop oil fields in the autonomous region of Kurdistan, angering an important American ally, Iraq, which bars such direct dealings.
But most controversial is Exxon’s close relationship with Russia, which Mr. Tillerson has worked hard to strengthen. Exxon has various joint ventures around Russia with the state-backed oil giant Rosneft, and has contributed to social programs in education and health.
Western sanctions prohibiting certain energy development activities have posed a hurdle to Exxon’s investments in Russia, particularly a joint venture with Rosneft that was supposed to start drilling for oil in 2014 in the Kara Sea, part of the Arctic Ocean. Mr. Tillerson has spoken out against sanctions in part because the company is unable to collect revenues from an investment in an oil and gas consortium to which Exxon belongs that operates off Sakhalin Island.
783COMMENTS“We always encourage the people who are making those decisions to consider the very broad collateral damage of who are they really harming with sanctions,” Mr. Tillerson told shareholders at the company’s 2014 annual meeting.
Last week, Exxon became a major player in Mexico by successfully bidding with other international oil companies for the right to explore and develop deepwater reserves. The auction came at a time when Mexico is primed for a confrontation with Mr. Trump, who has vowed to build a wall along the border.
David E. Sanger reporte
Black-owned banks get rush of new depositors
Citizens Trust Bank — anchored in metro Atlanta, Columbus, Ga., Birmingham, Ala., and Eutaw, Ala. — said it has received about 8,000 new applications for depositors in recent days.
One of the catalysts: Rapper Killer Mike called in to a town hall meeting on MTV and BET on July 8 to implore the black community to deploy "a portion" of its financial resources to make a difference.
U.S. MAP OF BLACK BANKS & CREDIT UNIONS
click link blackoutcoalition.org/black-u-s-banks/
Art piece "Fav of the Week"
Bernie Sanders: Presidential Candidate Holds Rally in Manhattan's Washington Square Park
Goodbye swipe, hello tap: MTA wants to replace MetroCards
Bill de Blasio: New York City Mayor Makes Racial Joke During Exchange With Hillary Clinton at Event...
'It has to stop' Obama Blames campaign-trail rhetoric for violence at Donald Trump rallies
"I'm not the only one in this room who's more than a little dismayed about what's been happening on the campaign trail recently," Obama said to a group of lawmakers at a Capitol Hill luncheon.
In a thinly veiled shot at Trump,
Obama said offensive rhetoric had been aimed at women, minorities, and Americans who "don't look like us or pray like us or vote like we do." Obama added, however, that protesters had engaged in "misguided attempts" to shut down that speech, adding that we "live in a country where free speech is one of the most important rights that we hold."
"In response to those attempts we've seen actual violence and we've heard silence from too many of our leaders," he said, before praising House Speaker Paul Ryan for decrying the divisive rhetoric. "Too often, we've accepted this as somehow the new normal. And it's worth asking ourselves what each of us has done to contribute to this vicious atmosphere in our politics."
"I suspect that all of us can recall some intemperate words that we regret," he continued. "Certainly, I can. And while some may be more to blame than others for the current climate, all of us are responsible for reversing it. For it is a cycle that is not an accurate representation of America, and it has to stop."
He made the statement not to be politically correct, he said, but to shed light on how "corrosive behavior" undermined "our democracy and our society and even our economy."
"This is also about the American brand," he said. "Who are we? How are we perceived around the world? The world pays attention to what we say and what we do."
Obama's statements come after a week full of increased tensions along the campaign trail.
On Wednesday, an apparent Trump supporter appeared to sucker punch a protester who was being removed by law enforcement from North Carolina rally. Then, on Friday, Trump canceled a rally in Chicago after repeated clashes between protesters and supporters occurred before the event was scheduled to start.
The next day, a protester stormed the stage at a Trump campaign rally in Ohio. That protester was apprehended and charged with disorderly conduct and inducing panic, according to ABC.
Trump, for his part, has rejected the characterization that "violence" has become prevalent at his rallies.
"First of all let's not even use the word violence," Trump told CNN on Monday. "There's very little disruption, generally speaking. It's a function of the press — the press likes to say what the press likes to say. But there's no violence. Nobody's been hurt."
Critics, however, have accused Trump of allowing a hostile atmosphere through some of his more colorful rhetoric. He has previously said, for instance, that he'd like to "punch" a protester in the face. He also seemed to consider paying the legal fees of the North Carolina man accused of punching the protester on Wednesday, a statement he later walked back.
"No, I don't like that," Trump told CNN's Wolf Blitzer when asked about the North Carolina incident. "And we don't condone that, Wolf. And I've said that numerous times."
11 Million Stories: The Truth of Mass Deportation
11 Million Stories shows in gripping detail what would happen to our country if mass deportation were to become the law of the land. In this six part series, undocumented immigrants are profiled in each episode. Each episode tackles the devastating effects on various sectors of society. Sofie Cruz tells the story of how her family would be ripped apart. Heriberto talks about the devastation of the agriculture industry. Hina explains how horrible the police state would become and Michelle makes us look back at our history imploring us not to make the same mistakes again. “11 Million Stories” shines a light on the ugly truth of mass deportation.Take a stand against the absurd and awful proposals of mass deportation at ImmigrationVoter.com!Writer/Director: Paola MendozaExecutive Producer: Michael SkolnikProducers: Joseph La Morte, Gloria La MorteEditors/Animation: Jon Brandon Cruz, Nik KazouraSOZE ProductionsDaniel Alejandro Leon- DavisShasti ConradTony ChoiLarry FellowsFEATURING:Sophie Cruz Heriberto GonzalezHina NaveedJoseph NiolaMichelle YoonPosted by FWD.us on Thursday, December 10, 2015
11 Million Stories shows in gripping detail what would happen to our country if mass deportation were to become the law of the land. In this six part series, undocumented immigrants are profiled in each episode. Each episode tackles the devastating effects on various sectors of society. Sofie Cruz tells the story of how her family would be ripped apart. Heriberto talks about the devastation of the agriculture industry. Hina explains how horrible the police state would become and Michelle makes us look back at our history imploring us not to make the same mistakes again. “11 Million Stories” shines a light on the ugly truth of mass deportation.
Take a stand against the absurd and awful proposals of mass deportation at ImmigrationVoter.com!
Writer/Director: Paola Mendoza
Executive Producer: Michael Skolnik
Producers: Joseph La Morte, Gloria La Morte
Editors/Animation: Jon Brandon Cruz, Nik Kazoura
Daniel Alejandro Leon- Davis
The Millennial generation is the biggest in US history - even bigger than the Baby Boom.
Millennials have been putting off significant milestones like marriage and children. But that does not mean they want to stay single forever. MEDIAN MARRIAGE AGE
2010's 30 years of age 1970's 23 years of age
MARRIAGE CAN WAIT The percentage of young people married and living on their own has dropped by more than 50% since the 1960s.
Millennials are one of the largest generations in history is about to move into its prime spending years. Millennials are poised to reshape the economy; their unique experiences will change the ways we buy and sell, forcing companies to examine how they do business for decades to come.
A different world, a different worldview. Millennials have grown up in a time of rapid change, giving them a set of priorities and expectations sharply different from previous generations.
As Millennials enter their peak home-buying years, their reluctance to enter the housing market could change. The cohort's sheer size, plus its desire to settle down in the future, could lead to a surge in home sales. PEAK HOME-BUYING YEARS
25 years of age - 45 years of age.
ACCESS, NOT OWNERSHIP
Millennials have also been reluctant to buy items such as cars, music and luxury goods. Instead, they're turning to a new set of services that provide access to products without the burdens of ownership, giving rise to what's being called a "sharing economy."
"25 YEARS FROM NOW, CAR SHARING WILL BE THE NORM, AND CAR OWNERSHIP AN ANOMALY." - Jeremy Rifkin, Author and Economist
The final version incorporates some compromises pushed by the business lobby, such as carve-outs for positions that could involve handling “financial agreements valued at $10,000 or more,” police and national-security related jobs, or workers with access to “trade secrets.” While business groups cited these provisions as wins in a bill they otherwise chafed at, economic justice advocates have nonetheless hailed the law as a promising boost for an emerging nationwide movement.
Sarah Ludwig of the New Economy Project says, “It’s a strong law…and it’s going to cover most New Yorkers [and] most jobs by far and away. It’s a real civil rights victory.”
Enforcement of the law will be driven by a complaint process, which makes it a tricky game for the city authorities relying on workers to come forward. But Ludwig adds, advocates hope the system provides a platform for the city’s Human Rights Commission to gain new prominence under the de Blasio administration’s leadership, since the city has “this unbelievably strong human rights law” on paper but not necessarily in practice.
Similar legislation has passed in other areas, building on weak federal transparency regulations, but has been criticized for being diluted with corporate-friendly exemptions.
The rationale behind the ban is simple: it’s unfair and useless to use a person’s credit history, which is often inaccurate or misleading, when assessing their job qualifications. When corporations use massive data screenings to hire and fire en masse, credit checks can drastically narrow an applicant pool and subsequently be held as a cudgel over desperate job seekers and compel them to expose private background information.
There’s nothing meritocratic about this practice. But it is racially biased, and very cruel to the poor. -Michelle Chen -thenation.com
Bernard Marr: Linkedin Influencer/Best Selling Author
1. High EQ
EQ stands for emotional intelligence quotient, and your emotional intelligence determines how well you relate to other people, your ability to put yourself in other’s shoes, and your ability to build rapport. It’s important when you’re managing or working with a team, in networking, in understanding workplace politics and really any time you need to interact with a co-worker or client. In other words: it’s invaluable to develop these skills. You can improve your EQ by mindfully practicing putting yourself in another’s shoes, for example, to practice empathy and understanding.
2. Communication Skills
You might have the most brilliant ideas in the room, but if you aren’t able to effectively communicate those ideas, you’ll never get anywhere. Being able to communicate clearly is vital to working with managers, teams, and clients. You can start improving your communications skills by studying the words and phrases you should never use, and paying more attention to what you say.
3. Decision Making
A decisive person is going to be desirable in any position, at any level, and the ability to make decisions is especially important the higher up you climb on the ladder. Taking forever to decide, procrastinating by doing unnecessary research, or avoiding making decisions altogether aren’t a good way to get ahead anywhere. Practice being decisive and demonstrating your decision making abilities to get ahead.
Integrity at work means owning your mistakes, doing what you say you’re going to do when you say you’re going to do it, acknowledging when new information means you’re wrong, and being willing to say, “I don’t know.” People will respect and trust a person much more who has a reputation for integrity than someone who never admits he’s wrong or always puts the blame on others.
Having drive doesn’t have to mean working 80 hours per week or volunteering for every extra project. Instead, demonstrating that you have drive could mean consistently working hard while you’re at work. It could mean having the initiative to continue your education in your field or go the extra mile for a project. It demonstrates that you’re committed to your work, and that’s very attractive to employers and managers.
Maintaining focus is an extremely important skill, whether we’re talking about focusing on a single task at hand or on your long-term objectives. It also means not getting sidetracked by “shiny object syndrome” or by what seems easy or expedient.
Perhaps most importantly, the key to a successful career in any job is maintaining a healthy balance. Only you can determine what makes a healthy balance for you, but it’s vital to balance your career with those things that will make you truly happy.
7 countries where Americans can study at universities, in English, for free, or almost free... By Rick Noack Washiongton Post
The country's universities have been tuition-free since the beginning of October, when Lower Saxony became the last state to scrap the fees. Tuition rates were always low in Germany, but now the German government fully funds the education of its citizens -- and even of foreigners.
Germany's higher education landscape primarily consists of internationally well-ranked public universities, some of which receive special funding because the government deems them "excellent institutions." What's more, Americans can earn a German undergraduate or graduate degree without speaking a word of German and without having to pay a single dollar of tuition fees: About 900 undergraduate or graduate degrees are offered exclusively in English, with courses ranging from engineering to social sciences. For some German degrees, you don't even have to formally apply.
In fact, the German government would be happy if you decided to make use of its higher education system. The vast degree offerings in English are intended to prepare German students to communicate in a foreign language, but also to attract foreign students, because the country needs more skilled workers.
This northern European country charges no tuition fees, and it offers a large number of university programs in English. However, the Finnish government amiably reminds interested foreigners that they "are expected to independently cover all everyday living expenses." In other words: Finland will finance your education, but not your afternoon coffee break.
There are at least 76 English-language undergraduate programs in France, but many are offered by private universities and are expensive. Many more graduate-level courses, however, are designed for English-speakingstudents, and one out of every three French doctoral degrees is awarded to a foreign student.
"It is no longer needed to be fluent in French to study in France," according to the government agency Campus France. The website studyportals.eu provides a comprehensive list of the available courses in France and other European countries.
Public university programs charge only a small tuition fee of about 200 dollars for most programs. Other, more elite institutions have adopted a model that requires students to pay fees that are based on the income of their parents. Children of unemployed parents can study for free, while more privileged families have to pay more. This rule is only valid for citizens of the European Union, but even the maximum fees (about $14,000 per year) are often much lower than U.S. tuition fees. Some universities, such as Sciences Po Paris, offer dual degrees with U.S. colleges.
This Scandinavian country is among the world's wealthiest, and its beautiful landscape beckons. It also offers some of the world's most cost-efficient college degrees. More than 900 listed programs in 35 universities are taught in English. However, only Ph.D programs are tuition-free.
Norwegian universities do not charge tuition fees for international students. The Norwegian higher education system is similar to the one in the United States: Class sizes are small and professors are easily approachable. Many Norwegian universities offer programs taught in English. American students, for example, could choose "Advanced Studies for Solo Instrumentalists or Chamber Music Ensembles" or "Development Geography."
But don't expect to save money in Norway, which has one of the world's highest costs of living for expats. And be careful where you decide to study. "Winters in general are quite different in different parts of the country, with the north having hard, arctic winters, and the southwest mostly having mild, wet average European winters," the Norwegian Center for International Cooperation in Education notes.
About 150 English programs are available, and foreign nationals only pay an insignificant registration fee when they enroll. Slovenia borders Italy and Croatia, among Europe's most popular vacation destinations. However, Times Higher Education, a weekly magazine based in London, did not list one Slovenian university in its recent World University Ranking.
Some Brazilian courses are taught in English, and state universities charge only minor registration fees. Times Higher Education ranks two Brazilian universities among the world's top 400: the University of Sao Paulo and the State University of Campinas. However, Brazil might be better suited for exchange students seeking a cultural experience rather than a degree.
"It is worth remembering that most of USP activities are carried out in Portuguese," the University of Sao Paulo reminds applicants on its website.
President Obama Is Finally Beginning To Get Credit For The Nation’s Economic Turnaround
By: Jason Easley -politicususa
In a 2011 paper, political scientists Peter Enns and Gregory McAvoy found that partisan bias delays public perception of economy, “The total effects of partisanship appear to reduce the overall response of the public to changes in economic conditions. Even for economic evaluations, partisan attachments can overwhelm motivations for accuracy. This result may hold significant economic implications. When partisan bias is high, as during the George W. Bush presidency, aggregate economic evaluations appear less responsive to the objective economy.”
Partisan bias is the reason why 40% of Republicans in the latest CNN poll rated the current state of the economy as poor. The extreme degree of partisan bias in the country is also why President Obama is unlikely to get full credit for the economic improvements that have occurred during his time in office. The good news is that polling reveals that the public is starting to catch on.
The CNN poll showed Obama’s approval rating hitting a 20 month high, while a recent Gallup poll revealed that President Obama is polling ahead of where George W. Bush was at the end of his sixth year in office. Obama is likely to see his approval ratings continue to grow as long as the economy blossoms. A president’s approval numbers tend to move in line with major economic shifts. George W. Bush was already on the downswing thanks to a stagnant economy and an unpopular war. Barack Obama is on the upswing.
The Most Honest Three Minutes In Television History :))
NYC Housing Connect
NYC Housing Connect is your portal to search and apply for affordable housing opportunities in New York City. On the site, you can:
- Learn how to apply for affordable housing in New York City.
- View current and upcoming housing opportunities.
- Start, save, and complete an application for your household.
- Apply to housing options for which you may qualify.
Applying and qualifying for affordable housing can be a long process, and you are not guaranteed to receive housing. Your household must not only qualify with detailed criteria on a property-by-property basis, but you must also be selected at random in that property's lottery. Preferences noted in the advertisement will be given first consideration. For more information on Preferences, see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). If you need immediate housing assistance, or require shelter, please call 311. For other housing resources for New York City, visit the Affordable Housing Resource Center at www.nyc.gov/housing. Click here to apply
NYC Housing Connect seeks to simplify the application process for you. The City of New York does not directly rent or sell housing. We work with private and nonprofit developers and their affiliates to create and market affordable housing. NYC Housing Connect is a service provided by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and the Housing Development Corporation (HDC). Due to the high volume of applicants, HPD, HDC, and its developers cannot offer individualized counseling on the application process. Before applying, please take time to carefully read all instructions and the "How to Apply" and "What to Expect" sections
The Food and Drug Administration recommends a policy that would allow blood donations from men who have abstained from sex with another man for one year. LGBT advocates say the recommendation does not go far enough.
The Food and Drug Administration today moved toward relaxing the country’s widely criticized policy that bans gay men from ever donating blood. The federal department will recommend reforming the policy, limiting the ban to those who have had sex with men in the previous year.
“We would not recommend such a policy change if we didn’t think the safety of the blood supply would be maintained,” Peter Marks, deputy director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said in a conference call with reporters.
The FDA will will submit the proposal to the Federal Register in 2015 to receive public comment, Marks said. He did not provide a timeline for codifying a final policy.
But the new recommendation has drawn criticism for not going far enough. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, while applauding the move as a step in the right direction, criticized the proposal as unscientific and singling out gay men. “Our goal is to replace this discriminatory, lifetime ban on blood donations by healthy gay and bisexual men with a policy based on individual risk,” she said in a statement.
“While this announcement represents needed progress, I remain concerned that it does not achieve our goal of putting in place a policy that is based on sound science and allows all healthy individuals to donate,” she added. Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) issued a statement calling the proposal “offensive and harmful.”
“This new policy does not require heterosexual blood donors to be celibate for one year,” the group said in a statement. “Some may believe this is a step forward, but in reality, requiring celibacy for a year is a de facto lifetime ban. … While the FDA is right to revisit the outdated lifetime ban, GMHC calls on the FDA and HHS Secretary [Sylvia Mathews ] Burwell to implement a risk-based blood donation policy, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, and to stop perpetuating the stigma and discrimination driving the HIV/AIDS epidemic.”
Current policy bans all men who have had sex with men since 1977 from donating blood. Critics have describing the 1983 policy, approved at the height of the AIDS epidemic, as an archaic and scientifically unjustified barrier to getting blood to those who need it. Transgender advocates say the rule has been used to ban transgender people from donating blood.
“Half of the men who are unable to donate under the existing deferral would be able to donate under the revised policy,” said FDA’s Marks.
However, Ian Thompson, American Civil Liberties Union’s legislative representative, said in a statement that a one-year deferral would still block many potential donors.
“The reality for most gay and bisexual men — including those in committed, monogamous relationships — is that this proposal will continue to function as a de facto lifetime ban,” Thompson said.
The ACLU, he said, will keep advocating for a risk-based screening process, not an across-the-board deferral policy based on sexual orientation and today’s proposal “must be seen as part of an ongoing process and not an end point.”
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) similarly argued that the recommended policy would still “stigmatize gay and bisexual men, preventing them from donating life-saving blood based solely on their sexual orientation, rather than a policy based on actual risk to the blood supply,” according to a statement from David Stacy, HRC’s government affairs director. “This new policy cannot be justified in light of current scientific research and updated blood screening technology. We will continue to work towards an eventual outcome that both minimizes risk to the blood supply and treats gay and bisexual men with the respect they deserve.”
I really have no words...what else has to happen before the Mayor, and even the President take a strong approach to this problem, instead of handling everything with "kiddie gloves"
This problem is not going away, people are hurting, angry, and frustrated. How many more lives are going to be lost before 'REAL CHANGE" occurs? -Eva Esi Essandoh
Two uniformed NYPD officers were shot dead Saturday afternoon as they sat in their marked police car on a Brooklyn street corner — in what investigators believe was a crazed gunman’s execution-style mission to avenge Eric Garner and Michael Brown.
“It’s an execution,” one law enforcement source said of the 3 p.m. shooting of the two officers, whose names were being withheld pending family notification of their deaths.
The tragic heroes were working overtime as part of an anti-terrorism drill when they were shot point-blank in their heads by the lone gunman, who approached them on foot from the sidewalk at the corner of Myrtle and Tompkins avenues in Bed-Stuy.
“I’m Putting Wings on Pigs Today,” a person believed to be the gunman wrote on Instagram in a message posted just three hours before the officers were shot through their front passenger window.
The post included an image of silver automatic handgun with a wooden handle. Another post showed camouflage pants and blue sneakers which matched the clothing the dead gunman was wearing as his body was carried from the scene on a stretcher.
“They Take 1 Of Ours … Let’s Take 2 of Theirs,” the post continued, signing off with, “This May Be My Final Post.”
The gunman was a fugitive who had just murdered his girlfriend in Baltimore Saturday morning, sources told The Post.
Minutes after shooting the two officers, he, too, was dead.
He fled to a nearby subway station, the G-train station at Myrtle and Willoughby avenues, where, as pursuing cops closed in, he shot himself on a crowded platform, sources told The Post.
“They engaged the guy and he did himself,” one investigator said of the gunman’s demise.
Both shooting scenes — above and below ground — were scenes of blood and terror.
Source :By Larry Celona, Kevin Fasick and Jamie Schram December 20, 2014
Bullying in the Workplace
A friend recently sent this article to me. It is well written and I thought so many others out there may not have any idea the impact bullying has...in the work place. Bullying is a blatant need for attention. It is wrong and everyone in their right mind knows that. Society has become so self absorbed that they associate bullying with being cool. It is disgusting and it has to change.
"The social rules of the workplace are a pretty complicated balancing act: You have to be friendly and likable, while remaining professional at all times. You need your boss to like you, but you don’t want your co-workers to think of you as a suck-up. You often have to navigate generational and cultural divides, and still get things done. And because you want to keep your job, the last thing you want is to be the person causing trouble.
The best advice is to just keep your head down and do your job, which is what most of us do.
But when you throw working with a total jerk into that mix, things can get confusing: People who are actively being bullied by a co-worker have trouble even recognizing it’s happening, and because they’re afraid of not being believed, most people suffer the abuse in silence, according to a new study in the journal Management Communication Quarterly. “A lot of people don’t know that bullying is something that occurs in the workplace, so when it happens they almost don’t know what to make of it,” explains lead study author Stacy Tye-Williams, assistant professor of communications studies and English at Iowa State University.
Roughly 1 in 4 American workers say they have dealt with bullying at some point, according to a 2014 survey from the Workplace Bullying Institute. And the stress it causes can really affect your health. “Previous research has linked it to depression, anxiety, and increased sick days,” Tye-Williams says. “It causes this constant state of pins and needles.”
Sound familiar? Here are 6 ways to spot a true office bully, plus what to do.
Your boss takes his job way too seriously
If you have a bully, chances are it’s your boss. More than half the people in the latest study pointed to their supervisor as the person causing problems for them. “There is certainly a power dynamic aspect,” Tye-Williams says. “One person told us their boss would yell at them, I am your God and when you are here you will do what I tell you to do.” Talk about a hostile work environment! While that may seem obviously inappropriate, there’s something about it happening at your job that can make behavior like that disorienting. “We found that victims have a really hard time even putting the events in order,” Tye-Williams adds.
You notice a nasty pattern
“The key is that it’s not just a one-time thing. It’s repetitive,” Tye-Williams explains. “It’s more than one person snapping at you on a bad day. It’s the person who snaps at you repeatedly to a point where you go, this is systemic. This is how they work.“
You hear whispers when you enter the break room
It can make you feel like you’re back in high school, but gossip is another big weapon in the office bully’s arsenal. “Gossip is a good example of mobbing, which is when the bully gets multiple people involved in harassing you,” Tye-Williams says. This can be even more isolating than one-on-one bullying because you may feel like you have no one on your side.
You’re being conspired against
Another example of mobbing is bullies working together either to get you in trouble, make you look bad, or steal assignments from you. “We had someone tell us how coworkers would come together to make sure they always got the worst shift,” Tye-Williams says. This can lead you to feel ostracized and very isolated.
How to stop it
Aside from getting a new job, putting an end to it can be tough because every work situation is different. “If the problem is your supervisor, it’s especially tricky, of course,” Tye-Williams says. “What’s important is understanding the organization and the dynamics that are specific to your workplace, so you know who it’s safe to tell. But you also have to have a clear story before you do so.”
“The number one thing you can do to sort that out is to tell someone you trust,” she continues. “Having someone ask questions and simply listen helps you form a coherent story. This ultimately helps your case because how clearly someone tells the story impacts whether people believe them.” After you have done that, it’s a good idea to find and keep any documentation you can: make a log of instances as they happen, save e-mails, and get co-workers to back you up. One study participant shared how the supervisor had actually manipulated multiple people in the office into hating one another (using gossip and other malicious techniques). Once they all realized it, they were able to band together and have the person fired. “It’s a very difficult problem to fix, but there are things you cans do,” Tye-Williams says."
This artice was originally published on Health.com
Shalini S. Lekhraj
Give student loans the finger: A new solution to a massive generational outrage
Recently, news broke that Rolling Jubilee, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the eradication of debt, purchased $4 million in private student loan debt and forgave all of it, relieving some 2,000 Americans of that oppressive burden. The group purchased the loans for pennies on the dollar from the notorious for-profit Everest College. And it’s only the beginning –according to Rolling Jubilee’s website, they’ve forgiven more than $18.5 million in debt, much of it medical, on only $701,000 raised.
Such activism cannot be praised enough. It’s entirely selfless, brings important issues to light and directly aids many Americans. But it can only go so far. The total national debt, both public and private, is a preposterous $60 trillion. If Rolling Jubilee succeeded in wiping out $4 million of that total every day, it would take more than 41,000 years for America to be debt-free. Even if they focused only on, say, mortgages, it would take more than 9,000 years.
Of course, a lot more than $4 million moves through the American economy every day. But the numbers still help illustrate the obvious: something much more radical has to be done, a fact that Rolling Jubilee organizer Astra Taylor concedes. In a recent New Yorker profile, Taylor said, “We shouldn’t have to buy this debt. It’s treating a symptom without ever treating the disease.”
The problem of debt is far beyond the scope of any one person or organization to take care of. Acting en masse, however, there is a great deal Americans can do. The best solution to the student loan crisis is a very elegant and simple one: stage a collective refusal to make good on student loan debt. Such a boycotting of payments is well within the power, not to mention the rights, of the American citizenry, and it makes good sense to take such a collective action. -KYLE SCHMIDLIN
In 17 years as a Hialeah cop, Harold Garzon has racked up 16 internal affairs cases against him. He may have a 17th case, after pulling over the wrong guy for playing N.W.A. on his car stereo: a
According to the Miami New Times, Cesar Baldelomar, 26, was stopped at a red light in his neighborhood northwest of Miami on Thanksgiving break from law school when Garzon, working another case at the intersection, took issue with Baldelomar's musical tastes:
Then came the song's eponymous refrain — "Fuck tha police!" — four times in a row.
"Really?" Garzon said to Baldelomar through his open car window. "You're really playing that song? Pull over." The cop told Baldelomar it's "illegal to play loud music within 25 feet of another person." The law student laughed that one off:
"In 2012 the state supreme court struck down any law banning loud music," he says. "I knew that because it was a case I had actually studied in law school."
Garzon grew angry, though, when Baldelomar told him that fact. He called over two other cops and then demanded proof of insurance. Baldelomar pulled up his info on his phone, but Garzon waived it off, saying, "It's got to be paper." (It doesn't. Florida changed the law a year ago.)
Finally, Garzon tore off three tickets: one for the insurance, one for having an out-of-state license plate, and one for not wearing a seat belt. Baldelomar says he was wearing his seat belt the whole time and is still legally a resident of Massachusetts.
When Baldelomar asked where his noise violation was, Garzon told him to take off and not to get "smart."
Baldelomar plans to contest the tickets, which he did not sign. He'll also file a complaint against Garzon. And he left New Times reporter Michael E. Miller with some heavy thoughts about policing in immigrant-heavy Miami-Dade County:
"I'm educated. I know my rights. And I speak English, so I can fight this," he points out. "But what about when this happens to someone who's not so lucky? Policing has to change in this country."
For years, Mona Scott-Young has been behind the scenes effortlessly crafting the careers of Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliott and 50 Cent, to name a few.
And in recent years, through her Monami Entertainment company, she has teamed with VH1 for various franchises including 'Love and Hip Hop,' which uncovers the lives of the women behind some of the most famous rap stars out.
However the producer’s latest developing project, “Sorority Sisters,” has drawn a widespread backlash amongst black fraternity and sorority members due to its misrepresentation of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, Zeta Phi Beta and Sigma Gamma Rho members highlighted in the show’s trailer, which has since been removed from the web due to the uproar.
Following the negative reaction to the “Sorority Sisters” preview clip, Reynoir Lewis launched a MoveOn.Org petition in an effort to axe the series from airing on television:
Stop the spread of ignorance and stereotyping of our beloved Black Greek letter organizations. Our founders amongst EVERY organization worked extremely hard to allow us to unite and flourish not only on college campuses, but as a people well beyond our college days, and Mona Scott-Young now threatens to demolish those aims and goals we all abide by. If this show airs, we will boycott any and all advertisers affiliated with the show through commercial advertising, product placement and/or location use.
*I, Reynoir Lewis, will be personally delivering these signatures to the President Philippe Dauman and the Executive Chairman Sumner M. Redstone.* Thank you for your support.
To date, there are over 20,000 signatures for Lewis’ petition, with the goal of receiving 25,000. To sign the petition, click here.
Source Huffington Post | By Brennan Williams