Mayors say state ordered them to keep Zika mosquito sites secret

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The mayors of Miami-Dade County and Miami Beach on Sunday accused the Florida Department of Health of lying after the state agency said last week that it never told local officials to hide the locations in Miami Beach where mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus were captured. Florida’s health department strongly denied instructing local officials to keep the information confidential — and said the decision was entirely up to Miami-Dade — after the Miami Herald reported on Friday that a county attorney said the state agency had ordered them to keep it a secret.

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 Battle for Aleppo: US-Backed Rebels Shut Off Water for 1.5 Million Civilians

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The so-called “moderate” rebels turned off the water to 1.5 million civilians living in West Aleppo in retaliation for a Syrian Army airstrike on East Aleppo that allegedly left 250,000 residents without water setting the stage for an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe. The city of Aleppo is “dying” according to United Nations officials after a fierce wave of bombing last […]

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Italy’s ‘Euro’ warship docks in southern Iran to boost friendly military ties

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  Italian Navy frigate dubbed ‘Euro’ calls at Iran’s southern port city of Bandar Abbas on September 24, 2016. (Photo by the Italian Defense Ministry) An Italian Navy frigate has docked at Iran’s southern port city of Bandar Abbas in line with the two countries’ plan to boost friendly military relations. The warship, dubbed Euro, arrived […]

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Ahrar Al-Sham (al Nusra) plans to launch chemical attack on civilians, blame it on Syria govt

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Militants from Ahrar Al-Sham, a hardline Islamist group, are planning to use white phosphorus in an attack on civilians to later blame it on Syrian armed forces, UN envoy Bashar Ja’afari told a UN Security Council emergency meeting on Sunday. READ MORE: US troops use white phosphorus in Iraq to ‘obscure’ Kurdish forces – newspaper […]

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WikiWars

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  Some readers will have seen the extraordinary attack piece on me in Wikipedia. It was largely drafted by an anonymous Internet troll, no offense intended, calling himself or herself ‘Psychonaut’. In breach of Wikipedia’s policies against personal abuse and in favour of neutrality he has called me a “conspiracy theorist” and a “hoaxer”. Wiki’s […]

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“You’re An Idiot & A Lunatic if You Question ‘Safe Spaces’ Or ‘Microaggression'” – President Of Northwestern

Submitted by Mark Glennon via WirePoints.com,

Never mind that he’s talking about many who his university educated, including me. Any of you who question campus preoccupation with safe spaces, trigger warnings and microaggressions are idiots and lunatics. That’s what Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro told new students this past week in his welcoming address. Articles about his comments include those in CampusReform and The Daily Northwestern.

“Look for safe spaces,” Schapiro told the freshman, and he pledged that “if you can’t find them, we will help you find them.” Regarding traumatic ideas, Schapiro says, “If they say that…you shouldn’t be warned to prepare yourself psychologically for that, that somehow that’s coddling, those people are lunatics.”

Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro

The hypocrisy is breathtaking. Words like “idiot” and “lunatic” are just the kind from which the safe space crowd thinks it should be protected.

Contempt for stereotyping is also high among their pieties. Yet Schapiro told his students, “The people who decry safe spaces do it from their segregated housing places, from their jobs without diversity — they do it from their country clubs. It just drives me nuts.”

But it’s the microaggression thing that’s most interesting. Those who deny their existence are “idiots,” Schapiro says.” They “cut you to the core” and aren’t easily forgotten.

Seems to me that’s why they’re great. I like them. They piss you off. They force you to decide who you are and what you stand for.

Daislyland. Safe from the horrors of “microagression.”

Like that girl from Manhattan in the dorm at Northwestern who told me she could never see any reason to go to the south suburbs (where I am from). Or the union thug when I worked at Jewel who threatened me with retaliation for questioning the political contributions I was forced to make. Or the people in the Cook County Recorder of Deeds office who would shake you down to get a lien search done when I was a young lawyer. Or some of the comments and emails I get here.

I bet everybody who reads this – anybody with motivation, that is, in whatever direction – has their own stories. That’s what gets you out of bed in the morning.

It’s far worse for gays, blacks and certain others. I get that. No comparison. Nobody is defending slurs or bigotry against them. But Schapiro’s obsession with microaggressions extends to everybody, and “micro” just isn’t big enough to worry about.

“If you want to play in the NFL, you gotta play hurt,” football guys say. That’s true everywhere in everything, grownups know.

Except at universities like Northwestern has become under Morton Schapiro.

*  *  *

Schapiro has defended safe spaces before: In a Washington Post op-ed published in January, he wrote that “the best hope we have of creating an inclusive community is to first create spaces where members of each group feel safe.”

So – to translate – the 'final' solution' to creating a community where we are all equal is to segregate everyone into like-minded groups who do not feel 'safe' in the broad community?


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“I Think It’ll Be A Clown Show” – Why Tomorrow’s Debate Is So Important

Craig Bell, a 55-year-old software engineer from Columbus, Ohio, will be one of the 100 million estimated Americans set to tune in on Monday night at 9pm for the first debate between the Democratic and Republican presidential nominees.  As profiled by Bloomberg, what he sees will be as important as what he hears. “I don’t know how to say this nicely, but I just want to see which one can act more presidential and more trustworthy,’’ Bell said at a table outside North Market in downtown Columbus.

Bell, and millions of “undecideds” like him, is why tomorrow’s debate has such huge significance:  according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, 34% of registered voters think the three presidential debates would be extremely or quite important in helping them decide whom to support for president. About 11% of voters are considered “debate persuadables”—that is, they think the debates are important and are either third-party voters or only loosely committed to either major-party candidate.

Slightly more Republicans than Democrats said the debates would be important to them, 37% to 31%. But voter groups that seem poised to pay the most attention include several that Hillary Clinton is counting on to win. Some 49% of Hispanics, 42% of African-Americans and 39% of voters under age 35 say that the debates will be extremely or quite important to them.

The breakdown of the millions of Americans yet to decide who they will vote for is shown below (apologies to Gary Johnson fans: he will not make it tomorrow): 


According to Bloomberg, interviews conducted in key precincts of Ohio and Pennsylvania as well as other battleground states found voters who said they’ve ruled out either Clinton or Trump but aren’t yet comfortable with the alternative. Some are considering a third party contender, such as Libertarian Gary Johnson or not voting at all for president. While they care about the issues, most say they’ve heard where the candidates stand and aren’t expecting any new ground to be broken when they meet Monday night at Hofstra University in New York for the first of three scheduled debates.

Still, they may be persuaded, and that’s what the campaigns are betting on. Indeed, as the WSJ adds, the campaigns of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton acknowledged the huge stakes of Monday’s televised presidential debate. “In many ways, with this debate coming up, we’re just starting,” said Robby Mook, Mrs. Clinton’s campaign manager, on ABC Sunday. Added Kellyanne Conway, Mr. Trump’s campaign manager, speaking on the same network: “This will be the first time Americans have seen Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton on the same stage, and they’re going to be able to make their choice based on what they see.”

The risk, of course, is that the two most unpopular presidential candidates in history succeed in turning away even more potential voters.

“I feel like they are both bad choices,” said Melissa Huber, a 39-year-old day-care provider in Oklahoma. “I’m hoping that through the debate one of them will come out as a preferred option.”

Ms. Huber is thinking of supporting Mr. Johnson, but added that like the abovementioned Craig Bell, Trump could win her over in the debate if he was to “show a little decorum. Show that he can be presidential.”

Arnitress Dowdy, 39, an African-American who hasn’t settled on a candidate and quoted by the WSJ, is inclined to support Mrs. Clinton and is hoping to hear her address issues of race and police violence in the wake of the unrest in Charlotte, N.C.

“I’m not sure who is really well equipped; I just need to hear more,” said Ms. Dowdy, a mother of two in New York. “I know she has advocated for children. I want to know what she will do so things will calm down.”

* * *

The most likely outcome from tomorrow’s debates, however, is that those who have decided on either Trump or Hillary will not change their minds, while the truly undecided will remain undecided. Worse, their confusion may be exacerbated: in that vein, Bloomberg reports that some 74 percent of likely Colorado voters deemed Trump “risky,” to 59 percent for Clinton, and 62 percent said Trump was “scary,” versus 57 percent for Clinton.

A bigger risk, this time for Hillary, is that in a rerun of the seminal 2000 debate between Dubya and Al Gore, she passes off as even more robotic than usual: while more than eight in ten Colorado Democrats described Clinton as “competent” and “responsible,” only about 40 percent said she was “exciting,” CBS News said. When the latter group were asked specifically why they didn’t find her so, the top answer was they had wanted Senator Bernie Sanders as the party nominee, followed closely by the response that Clinton is too close to politics as usual.

Trump did well within his own party in Colorado, being seen as “inspiring” by 72 percent of Republicans. And many Republicans who described him as risky are voting for him nonetheless, the poll showed. Some 91 percent of Republicans felt Trump would change Washington and 86 percent said he can fix the economy.

* * *

For those who do hope to be persuaded, here are some clues during the debate for what kind of leader the candidates will be.

Reece Pavlovich of Columbus, 23, who works in sales for the Columbus Blue Jackets, said whether the candidates try to answer questions directly or dodge them will help him decide.

“It’s a small tell-tale sign, if you can’t answer this one simple question that was asked of you without diverting or trying to blame it on someone else,’’ he said. “I don’t think that you’re fit to make massive world decisions or political decisions that can impact millions or billions of people.’’

Judy Thacker of Palmetto, Florida, 58, a laid-off cook who considers herself an independent, doesn’t like either Clinton or Trump. She wants to see how they interact with each other as a cue for how they would handle themselves on the international stage. “If you watch them speak with each other, that’s how they would speak with a foreign leader if they were in a tight situation and they were trying to work something out and things were getting really hot and heavy like they will be at the debate,’’ Thacker said.

Stephanie Frederick-Weber, 38, who lives near Reno, Nevada, doesn’t think either candidate has articulated a broader vision for the U.S. beyond standard rhetoric and hopes the debate will be an opportunity to get more than prepared speeches and talking points. “The debates are kind of integral because they kind of catch them off guard a little bit,’’ she said.

To all of the above, and millions like them who honestly hope to be swayed, good luck.

The rest, however, will merely be watching tomorrow’s debate just for the shock and entertainment value. As Bloomberg concludes, some undecided voters are so fed up with the race and their choices, they doubt the debate will matter or don’t plan to watch it.

“I think it’ll be a clown show, more than I’ll get a good bombshell out of it,’’ said Ryan Porter of Columbus, 29, a financial adviser. It will be up to Trump and Hillary to prove him wrong, and – in the process – win.


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The Fluidity of the Soul

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God said:

Throughout the ages, I have heard you ask Me to give you boons. I hear you. Today I heard you say:

“Beloved God, I want to ask of You to please banish stress, worry, fear from my life and heart. God, as I say this, I realize it would be better for me to ask You:

“Beloved God, please banish stress, worry, fear from everyone’s life once and for all.”

What do you think I’m working on, dear One?

I might word your question differently. I might say very simply:

God, please bring peace to this Earth. Beloved God, teach us to know love and trust and let go of uncertainty which is another name for lack of trust.

Now I say to you:

Beloveds, My whole attention is already on this – we can call it a project. It is a Peace Project. It is a Love Project.

I, too, wonder why all Our desires have not yet materialized. Then I remind Myself that there is a great rush of love and a great demand for peace.

I could also phrase this differently. Do not be offended at what I say:

Be not swallowers of negativity. Be not sheep who follow other sheep as though you were blind. Use your own heart as a bell that tolls Truth. Your heart is to ring true. When your heart rings fear, you can know you are misleading yourself.

You might say, if your house is burning down, that fear is good because it tells you to get out of the house right now. This is so, no argument there.

Let me put it another way. Fear of burning is fear for the body you are housed in. The body, as precious and vital as it is, is secondary to the Truth of You. The Truth of You is more subtle, beloveds, and of more account. Your body is temporary regardless of fire or anything else.

Swing your attention to that which is forever, and this is life itself. Life – and your life – is Infinite. This is Oneness. You have always been. You will always be. This is as much fact as the fact that your body is impermanent.

How can it be that it is so easy for you to believe in death of the body and so-seemingly difficult to believe in Life Everlasting? Death of the body is incidental. It is an incident. Birth of a baby gives joy, yet the soul of the baby is a continuation that is unstoppable. Eternity is not a myth nor is it a fool’s errand. 

Why would anyone on Earth prefer body over soul?

When I put it this way, you might say: “O God, of course, I see the value of soul over body. Of course, I know the Significance of Soul.”

Yet this is in theory, beloveds, isn’t it? What you hold on to in life in the world — your body – cannot be held onto. You can’t hold on to it. No one can.

Find a way to look at death other than a tragedy. Death of the body is just an incident. It is a perceived happening.

Life Itself, life that does not depend upon a physical body, is never interrupted. The joke is that you conceive and believe that life is indeed dependent upon the body, as if the body were the whole sum and total. Ah, life of the body is what is the brief interlude.

Welcome this interlude. There are reasons for this interlude. Give it all you’ve got.

Remembering Me is the same as remembering the Fluidity of the Soul. It is not time that marches on. It is the Soul.

You are not your body. You never were. You are Soul. You live on the level of the Soul. We are Chums, you and I. We hold hands throughout Eternity.

Is there something else you would rather do?

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This 8-Year-Old Raised Money To Buy Hot Lunches For Thousands Of Classmates

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by Brianna Acuesta, True Activist

For the majority of students, helping out a classmate for lunch entails sharing a snack, trading food, or, at most, buying them lunch occasionally with leftover credit on their lunch account. For Cayden Taipalus, a third grader living in Michigan, these approaches weren’t going to work when he suddenly became concerned about several students unable to afford hot lunches.

Cayden was at school one day when he witnessed his friend give up his hot lunch from the cafeteria because his lunch account balance was overdue and unpaid. Instead, the school gave him a cold cheese sandwich, which is better than nothing, but Cayden was upset for his friend nonetheless.

He went home that day and brainstormed with his mom about how to help other students at his school that faced similar situations everyday. They came up with a plan to first pay off all of the overdue balances by returning empty bottles and cans and soliciting donations from friends, family and neighbors. On Monday, Cayden presented the school with $64 to pay off 150 lunches.

“I am so very proud of my son. He is only 8 years old and to grasp the concept around this is just amazing in my eyes. He has a heart of gold,” his mom said.

Credit: Amber Melke-Peters Credit: Amber Melke-Peters

What started as a small, selfless gesture quickly turned into a nationwide effort to help kids get hot lunches rather than just paying off past lunches. After a local radio station featured Cayden’s story, he set up a fundraising page that has since raised tens of thousands of dollars to ensure that each of the students in need can have a hot lunch everyday.

With the extra money, Cayden paid off the lunch accounts for hundreds of kids at other schools and then paid for thousands of future meals. In his most recent donations, he gave enough money to cover over 14,000 meals.

“We’re proud of Cayden’s efforts,” said Thomas Gould, director of public relations for Cayden’s school district told TODAY.com. “It’s such a great thing for an 8-year-old to see something like that and take the initiative to try and make a change.”

Though he continues to raise money online everyday, Cayden also does his part by recycling cans and bottles for money. He shows no sign of stopping, and kids at his school show no sign of being subjected to a cold meal again.

What are your thoughts on this news? Please share, like, and comment on this article!


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