Friday, December 30, 2016

Israel Grapples With Military’s Plan to Open Combat Roles to Women

Via WSJ: "Women can now serve in the army in mixed units like Caracal, and in positions such as army intelligence and artillery. But roles in the infantry and special forces have remained largely off limits due to the physical requirement of carrying heavy loads. Now, the military plans to test-run women into those kinds of units.

"Other Western militaries are opening up combat roles to women, too. Last year the U.S. military said it would allow women in all such positions. In July, the U.K. said it would also lift a ban on women serving in front-line combat roles. Israel’s shift, however, will have wide implications for a country where military service is mandatory and at the core of the security-conscious society.

(...)"About 20 years ago, Israel’s military became one of the first world-wide to allow females into some combat positions and has since gradually opened 85% of roles to females, including combat roles in the air force, artillery and intelligence. Still, participation of women in combat units remained small until recently. In 2012, 3% of females were in such roles.

"Many Israeli women see combat roles as a springboard to the top echelons of the military, politics and the corporate world. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and many other senior politicians have fought in special forces units.

"“It’s prestigious in Israel to be in a fighting unit,” said Pnina Sharvit Baruch, a senior research associate at Institute for National Security Studies and former colonel in the military’s law department. “It opens up opportunities and women want to be part of that.”

"Not everyone is persuaded the time has come for such changes." Read the article: Israel Grapples With Military’s Plan to Open Combat Roles to Women - Mixed-gender units have been in fire fights, but some object to a wider role for female soldiers. By Rory Jones, Dec. 28, 2016 The Wall Street Journal

Related articles:

Congress May Not Require Women to Register for Draft - November 10, 2016

Obama Supports Women Registering for Military Draft - December 01, 2016

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Monday, December 26, 2016

Saturday, December 24, 2016

WQXR Features Itzhak Perlman’s Chanukah Radio Party

Join violinist Itzhak Perlman at 5 pm on Dec. 24 and 9 pm on Dec. 26, as he tells the story of the Jewish festival of lights and shares his favorite recordings for the holiday — some serious, some silly. This special features music from Perlman’s radio-addicted childhood in Israel, including evocative songs in Yiddish and Ladino, classical music that revolves around the Maccabee heroes of the Chanukah story and gems by American folk singers. Itzhak Perlman’s Chanukah Radio Party - WQXR December 06, 2015

Friday, December 23, 2016

Thought Experiment: What If the U.S. Had 100% Open Borders?

"Economist Nathan Smith has long been a supporter of the U.S. opening its borders. He's argued that the American polity would "endure and flourish" if it elected to lay out 2,000 miles of welcome mats rather than building a Trumpian wall. He's claimed that unencumbered movement of peoples from land to land would result in worldwide GDP doubling, though not without some serious social destabilization. Still, he predicted the U.S. could handle an influx of 150-200 million immigrants over a span of several decades.

(...)"Smith wrote again on the topic of open borders a couple weeks ago in a piece that plays out like a giant thought experiment. Smith's hypothetical situation: If all borders were opened and 1 billion people immigrated to the United States over the course of 50 years, could the country maintain its "political character and structure"? Smith thinks not.

(...)"What's most interesting is how Smith conjures a scenario out of which American constitutional democracy becomes so destabilized that it collapses beneath its own weight. We'd be looking at a new world order and an American polity unrecognizable compared to the present. For many people, that might sound like a reason to scrap a 100 percent open-border policy. Smith is not one of those people. He's got a bone to scrap with American politics and wouldn't mind it turning into collateral damage amidst the rush of a brave new society..." Read the article: Thought Experiment: What If the U.S. Had 100% Open Borders? Over a year ago by Robert Montenegro, Big Think

Related article: If People Could Immigrate Anywhere, Would Poverty Be Eliminated? -- Some economists are pushing for "open borders" by Shaun Raviv, Apr 26, 2013 The Atlantic

Monday, December 12, 2016

Internment of German Americans

Image via
Photos show South Texas internment camp during WWII
By Steve Bennett, January 20, 2015

From Wikipedia: "The internment of German Americans refers to the detention of German nationals and German-American citizens in the United States during the periods of World War I and of World War II. During World War II, the legal basis for internment was under Presidential Proclamation 2526, made by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt under the authority of the Alien and Sedition Acts.[1]

(...) "During WWII, the United States detained at least 11,000 ethnic Germans, overwhelmingly German nationals.[2] The government examined the cases of German nationals individually, and detained relatively few in internment camps run by the Department of Justice, as related to its responsibilities under the Alien and Sedition Acts. To a much lesser extent, some ethnic German US citizens were classified as suspect after due process and also detained. Similarly, a small proportion of Italian nationals and Italian Americans were interned in relation to their total population in the US. The United States had allowed immigrants from both Germany and Italy to become naturalized citizens, which many had done by then." Internment of German Americans - Wikipedia

Related article:

"As was customary after Italy and the US were at war, they were classified as "enemy aliens" and some were detained by the Department of Justice under the Alien and Sedition Act. But in practice, the US applied detention only to Italian nationals, not to US citizens, or long-term US residents.[1] Italian immigrants had been allowed to gain citizenship through the naturalization process during the years before the war, and by 1940 there were millions of US citizens who had been born in Italy. Ethnic Italians were the largest group in the United States among nationals and ethnic descendants of the three peoples represented by the three Axis powers.[citation needed]" Internment of Italian Americans - Wikipedia

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Tracing the forgotten history of Italian-Canadian internment camps

Image: Christmas celebration at internment camp in Canada during WWII

"While most Canadians are familiar with the internment of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War, it’s a lesser-known fact that many Italians also suffered a similar fate.

(...) "Most frequently, those interned were the heads of their households—the breadwinners—and the only thing keeping their families from poverty. And although none of them were ever charged with any criminal activity, some were kept imprisoned for up to two years."

Tracing the forgotten history of Italian-Canadian internment camps by Doug Sarti on March 5th, 2012 

Related articles: Italian-Canadian internment began when Italy declared war on Canada on June 10, 1940. Italian-Canadian internment - Wikipedia

List of concentration and internment camps - Wikipedia

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Dorothea Lange’s Censored Photographs of FDR’s Japanese Concentration Camps

"“One Jap became mildly insane and was placed in the Fort Sill Army Hospital. [He]… attempted an escape on May 13, 1942 at 7:30am. He climbed the first fence, ran down the runway between the fencing, one hundred feet and started to climb the second, when he was shot and killed by two shots, one entering the back of his head. The guard had given him several verbal warnings.”

— FBI Report of the death of Ichiro Shimoda, a gardener from Los Angeles who had been taken from his family on December 7, 1941

Dorothea Lange’s Censored Photographs of FDR’s Japanese Concentration Camps by Tim Chambers, Anchor Editions

Related article: Japanese-Canadian internment - Wikipedia

Friday, December 09, 2016

Abe predecessor visited Pearl Harbor in 1951

"The news media widely reported this week that Shinzo Abe will be the first Japanese prime minister to visit Pearl Harbor when he goes later this month — but he won’t be.

"In 1951, then-Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida made a brief visit during a stopover in Hawaii on the way home from San Francisco, where he had signed a peace treaty with the Allied powers and other nations." Continue reading: Abe predecessor visited Pearl Harbor in 1951 -- The Japan Times, Dec. 8, 2016

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Obama Supports Women Registering for Military Draft

May we never alter the constitutional law that protects the young women of this country, so help us God. From ABC news: "The pronouncement from the Obama administration, while symbolic, is little more than a statement of support.

"In order for women to actually be mandated to sign up for the draft, it would require an act of Congress to alter current law. There is little evidence of support for such a measure in Congress, with the administration announcement coming on the heels of Congress eliminating the women-in-the draft provision from the National Defense Authorization Act." Read the article: Obama Supports Women Registering for Military Draft by Jordyn Phelps, Dec 1, 2016

Monday, November 28, 2016

Donald Trump Demands ‘A Better Deal’ From Cuba

"President-elect Donald Trump says Cuba needs to provide a better deal for its people and the United States if the country wants to continue enjoying the thawed economic relations achieved during the Obama administration.

"“If Cuba is unwilling to make a better deal for the Cuban people, the Cuban/American people and the U.S. as a whole, I will terminate deal,” Trump wrote on Twitter on Monday." Continue reading: Donald Trump Demands ‘A Better Deal’ From Cuba by Charlie Spiering, 28 Nov 2016 Breitbart

Sunday, November 27, 2016

FDA Approves US Trial of Cuban Lung Cancer Vaccine

FDA Approves US Trial of Cuban Lung Cancer Vaccine by Nick Mulcahy, October 28, 2016 Metscape

Related articles:

Cuban cancer vaccine to be tested in U.S. sparks a new scientific bond by Alan Gomez and Liz Szabo | USA TODAY May 13, 2015

Can Cuban Science Go Global? Tensions between Cuba and the U.S. are easing. But researchers still struggle to join the scientific world -- By Sara Reardon, Nature magazine on September 29, 2016 Scientific American

Last updated at 10:05 PM

The Weimar Republic: Gone but Not Forgotten

"The Weimar Republic has been on people’s minds with the results of the U.S. presidential election and rise of the radical right in Europe. Is there a lesson to be learned from the Weimar experience? Any answer to that question has to be grounded in the chaotic history of the republic that barely held Germany together from 1919 to 1933." Read the article: The Weimar Republic: Gone but Not Forgotten by Matthew Wills, November 26, 2016 JSTOR

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Congress May Not Require Women to Register for Draft

"While U.S. Defense Department officials have made clear it has no problem with requiring women to register for the draft, lawmakers in Congress appear poised to dodge the issue in the upcoming battle over the defense policy bill.

"House and Senate negotiators plan to shelve the provision in the Senate version of the National Defense Authorization Act in favor of ordering up a study of the issue, sources told Politico and the Washington Examiner.

""Neither majorities support it," a source told Politico. "There's bigger things to worry about" in the $602 billion defense bill proposed by the Pentagon and the White House."" Read the article: Congress May Not Require Women to Register for Draft - 8 NOV 2016 | by Richard Sisk

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Hillary Clinton ad: Martha and Sara

Thanks, Hillary Clinton. You tore my heart out with this campaign video, beautifully done like an Asian MetLife ad, with a moving orchestral musical score behind it all.

Via Hillary Clinton on You Tube

Monday, October 10, 2016

History Not Taught is History Forgot: Columbus' Legacy of Genocide

Image via "1492.0", Righting Red

(...)"The tribute system, instituted by the Governor sometime in 1495, was a simple and brutal way of fulfilling the Spanish lust for gold while acknowledging the Spanish distaste for labor. Every Taino over the age of fourteen had to supply the rulers with a hawk's bell of gold every three months (or in gold-deficient areas, twenty-five pounds of spun cotton); those who did were given a token to wear around their necks as proof that they had made their payment; those who did not were, as [Columbus's brother, Fernando] says discreetly "punished"-by having their hands cut off, as [the priest, BartolomŽ de] las Casas says less discreetly, and left to bleed to death.

"It is entirely likely that upwards of 10,000 Indians were killed in this fashion alone, on Espa–ola alone, as a matter of policy, during Columbus's tenure as governor. Las Casas' Brev’sima relaci—n, among other contemporaneous sources, is also replete with accounts of Spanish colonists (hidalgos) hanging Tainos en masse, roasting them on spits or burning them at the stake (often a dozen or more at a time), hacking their children into pieces to be used as dog feed and so forth, all of it to instill in the natives a "proper attitude of respect" toward their Spanish "superiors."" History Not Taught is History Forgot: Columbus' Legacy of Genocide Excerpted from the book Indians are Us (Common Courage Press, 1994) by Ward Churchill |

Related link: Taíno on Wikipedia

My October Fragrances List

Still Life with a Cup of Coffee, Roses and Fruits
Oil paint on hardboard | 40 × 35 cm | 15.8 x 13.8 inches
Anna Fine Art

Seasonal changes haven't swayed my taste in fragrances for quite some time, but currently I'm wearing warmer, sweeter coconuts blended with vanilla, and a new favorite note combination found in my personal coffee-and-rose perfume, which I had intended to offer for sale but have only kept for myself to wear. Perhaps one of these days I'll get it done, along with everything else I said I've thought about doing. I must say, having a unique original perfume that no one else has smelled or worn makes me feel pampered, a sensation I could get used to.

Coffee and roses seems an iconic combination if only in the world of stock photos and not fragrance, but perhaps someone out there will create some divine liquid gems to saturate the market with and put to shame anything I've ever made. I usually only work with combinations that smell too good to mess up completely. Lol. My coffee & roses mix is one of my personal favorites: rich, mildly sweet but a touch bitter, sumptuous, aromatic, and in an intense parfum strength I can only dab lightly onto one or two pulse points at a time. My rose oil is at least as strong as Caron Rose extrait. My coffee's potent, too.

Aside from my coffee obsession, my love for the star of tropical notes, coconut, continues season after season, year upon year. Today I might spend Columbus Day attempting to make these zeppole that don't taste like zeppole because I don't have the right recipe. Sugar and dough is another foolproof combination, and goes well with a good ol' cuppa joe. Enjoy your season!

My fragrances list:

LaVanilla Coconut
The Body Shop Coconut
Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb
OGX Coconut Water for my hair

Friday, September 23, 2016

5 Ways to Layer Nail Polish

These are great tips! Read: 5 Ways to Layer Nail Polish Polish by Chelsea King, Mar 1, 2015

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Bath & Body Works Honolulu Sun

Of all my coconut scents and Bath & Body Works body mists, Honolulu Sun is my #1 favorite fragrance of Summer '16. It was launched as part of the same collection as Golden Pineapple Luau, but Honolulu Sun is more coconut-centric whereas Golden Pineapple Luau is a fruitier cocktail. They're both beachy, but Honolulu Sun has a suntan-lotion-in-the-beachy-air kind of feeling that I can't get enough of. What is your favorite scent to remind you of the season? May these happy days remain when splendid summer is gone again.

Top Notes: Fresh Island Coconut, Ocean Air Accord, Pacific Palm, Sundrenched Citrus
Mid Notes: Creamy Coconut Milk, Exotic Island Nectars, Pink Passionfruit
Dry Notes: Driftwood, White Sand Musk

Image via

Monday, August 22, 2016

Watch Japan's prime minister morph into Mario for the Olympics closing ceremony

Pac-Man is Japanese?! I'm having a crisis! At least Ms. Pac-Man is still an All-American babe! Watch Japan's prime minister morph into Mario for the Olympics closing ceremony by Rich McCormick, August 21, 2016 The Verge

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Puerto Rico wins first Olympic gold as Monica Puig clinches women's tennis title

Via Reuters: "Monica Puig may be delivering the first Olympic gold to Puerto Rico, but she is not the first Puerto Rican to win a gold medal at the Olympics. She's not even the first to win a gold medal for women's tennis." Continue reading: Puerto Rico wins first Olympic gold as Monica Puig clinches women's tennis title by Leela de Kretser, Aug. 13, 2016 Reuters Live

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Nile Wilson (GBR) – 2016 European champion on High Bar

Nile Wilson scored 15.666 on the high bar at the Rio Olympics in the Men's Gymnastics Team Final. I look forward to seeing him and Kenzo Shirai (JPN), Sam Mikulak (USA) and all of the Olympic gymnasts competing in the All-Around tomorrow.

Published on Jun 7, 2016 UEG Official – 32nd European Championships in Men's Artistic Gymnastics, Bern (SUI), May 25-28, 2016. Nile Wilson (GBR). Apparatus Finals, High Bar : 15.300 (Difficulty : 6.900 ; Execution : 8.400), European champion. Uploaded by europeangymnastics on You Tube

Nile WILSON Rings SILVER - 2016 Apparatus Finals -- Published on Apr 12, 2016 The 2016 British Championships at the Echo Arena Liverpool. Uploaded by BGtv British Gymnastics on You Tube

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Axe Excite

Would I wear men's scented deodorant?  I really might if it's as amazing smelling as Axe Excite.  For now, I think I'll stick to body spray to match his Axe deo.  Axe Excite has a noticeable coconut note with a subtle underscoring of herbaceous notes, a bit fougere like many classic men's scents.  It reminds me a bit of Naomi Campbell's original perfume.  Axe Excite also smells a whole lot better to me than Axe for Women, which is kind of a sharp, generic passion fruit-like scent, like cosmetics and skin cream.  Actually, I know a lot of guys who would prefer that, so to each their own.

Last edited at 8:15pm

Bath & Body Works Malibu Heat

I've been wearing this all summer long since I discovered it. If you like fresh scents and coconut, you'll love this light and watery interpretation of coconut and other tropical fruits. It's a nice, simple fragrance to layer other scents with, too. I think it smells a bit like candy but it's more refreshing than sugary. This is my favorite BBW scent right now, so I hope it'll stop being limited edition one day (I think the fragrance was brought back since its launch because I've seen different packaging for it (Edited to add: I might be thinking of the Shimmering Mist)).

Malibu Heat

Top Notes: Fresh Mandarin, Juicy Orange, Crisp Pear, Succulent Pineapple
Mid Notes: Orange Blossom, Lily of the Valley, Coconut Water
Dry Notes: Coconut Milk, Creamy Vanilla, Sandalwood, Sunny Musk

Fans urged to support equestrian sport during Rio to secure Olympic future

"The Games, which kick off on Friday (5 August), are particularly important for equestrianism as the sport’s popularity will determine its future in the programme of the Olympics.

"From 29 July-28 August the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will assess how engaged fans are."

Read the article: Fans urged to support equestrian sport during Rio to secure Olympic future by Rachael Hook, Horse & Hound, August 2, 2016

Friday, July 29, 2016

Bernie Sanders Leaves Democratic Party to Return to Independent in Senate

Bernie tweeted on July 28: "Trump wants to abolish the Affordable Care Act and throw 20 million people off of health insurance. We can't let that happen. #DemsInPhilly"

Hear, hear, Bernie. If I vote for Hillary Clinton despite her position on the draft for women, the Democratic party can thank a great leader named Bernie Sanders. Thank you, Mr. Sanders, for not voting for NDAA and being a great senator for the people, too.

Dear People magazine, did Bernie Sanders say he is going to stay Independent because he has far left views? Nothing says far left like the Democratic party's BLM with their open support of radical Islamic terrorists on their web site, and senators that voted to draft women to combat roles via NDAA. To me, Bernie is MLK to the Dem party's Malcolm X. Bernie Sanders Leaves Democratic Party to Return to Independent in Senate by Stephanie Petit, July 28, 2016 People

My Senator Thinks Drafting Women Gives Equal Opportunity

"I have railed for some time against the maniacal idea of the military draft being extended to include women. Make no mistake, I oppose the draft in all forms; and think it is just as reprehensible to force men to serve and die for a cause they may or may not believe in as well. The military should be an all-volunteer army. And if it’s not, then the entire idea of liberty is nothing more than an elaborate hoax foisted on the masses. The only TRUE liberty belongs to those who cannot be drafted.

"Because when you live in a country that believes it has the right to take your sons, brothers, and fathers BY FORCE to “serve” then you don’t really live in a free country. Rather, you live in a country of freedom for the elites and slavery for the peons. Now, the United States wants to potentially expand the nationally sanctioned kidnappings to include your daughters, sisters, and mothers. The asinine concept of forced military service has been elevated to the level of “infinitely asinine.” And the most frustrating part of it all is that the elected officials in Washington are either too ignorant, or too corrupt to care." Continue reading: My Senator Thinks Drafting Women Gives Equal Opportunity by Shane Kastler, July 18, 2016

Thursday, July 28, 2016

President Jimmy Carter Proposes Draft Registration for Women

I didn't know Jimmy Carter wanted to draft women in the '80s, long before Hillary Clinton said she is for it, and our Senate voted overwhelmingly in favor of it. There goes my respect for Carter as well. What we need is gender equity, not this kind of equality that expects people to overcome obvious biological differences for an ideological cause. Some civilizations perform female circumcision which is torture for women, but surely that is equality, too. Is it any more civilized than sending millenial women to fill combat positions?

"Description: President Jimmy Carter proposes the plan of registering women for the military draft, igniting a firestorm of discussion and controversy from men and women alike. The Senate Armed Services Committee would not support the Carter proposal, and the Supreme Court would later uphold the constitutionality of exempting women in the 1981 case Rostker v. Goldberg." President Jimmy Carter Proposes Draft Registration for Women -- Source: NBC Nightly News | Creator: John Chancellor/Judy Woodruff/Robert Hager | Event Date: 01/08/1980 | Air/Publish Date: 01/08/1980 K-12

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Who Is Charles Kinsey? Miami Police Investigating Officer Shooting Of Unarmed Black Therapist

What possibly set this police officer off -- that Charles Kinsey didn't get on his stomach as told? When people are nervous, it makes it hard to listen, as possibly evidenced by both sides of this insane scenario. We are all only human. Just because someone can't always play Simon Says 100% accurately doesn't mean they're not doing everything they can to be 100% compliant with the law. "Caretaker Charles Kinsey said he was lying down with his hands up — attempting to calm down his autistic patient — when a member of the North Miami police shot him Tuesday..." Who Is Charles Kinsey? Miami Police Investigating Officer Shooting Of Unarmed Black Therapist by Tim Marcin 07/21/16 International Business Times

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Cops: Robbers Use Pokemon Go to Find Victims

Cops: Robbers Use Pokemon Go to Find Victims Posted July 11th, 2016 by John Johnson, Newser --

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Donald Trump mocks Asians with broken English in speech

To be fair, he was not lampooning Asian-Americans, but if I may, let me explain why mockery such as this is bad; it puts fear in the hearts of Asian-Americans and other immigrants about white Americans like Donald Trump. As a representive of the Republican party, he can do much better to be more inviting. Donald Trump mocks Asians with broken English in speech by Celeste Katz, New York Daily News, August 27, 2015

Let me just leave this here:

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Gender Identity and Autism Spectrum Disorders

"An increasing number of reports describe gender-related concerns in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Abelson [1] drew attention to the specific potential for gender issues in individuals with ASD, and subsequently, a number of case reports and at least one systematic study have appeared in the literature [2-9]. Perhaps the earliest case report [2] was of two male individuals with ASD who presented with “feminine gender-stereotyped preoccupations,” and subsequent work has cited this case report as an early example of comorbid gender identity disorder (GID) and ASD [9]. A subsequent case report appeared in 1997 [3] and drew attention to the hypothesis that impairment in social interaction could contribute to atypical gender identity formation.

"The report of two cases by Mukaddes [3] was notable for identifying patterns of transgender identity and behavior in two boys seen at the same clinic for several years, although even in this study the individuals were not followed-up beyond a young age (7 and 10 years) — a critical shortcoming given the low rate of persistent transgender identification following puberty [10]. It was not until 2005 that a case report described an adult with Asperger syndrome (AS) and “GID according to DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) criteria” [8]. The authors go on to introduce the hypothesis that GID developed as a “sequel to AS,” highlighting the extreme-male brain hypothesis and the patient adopting “male emotional and cognitive traits.” Perhaps most recent was the report of two cases of individuals with both ASD and GD according to DSM-5 criteria [11]. In this paper, the authors highlight specific aspects of ASD, including theory of mind deficits and cognitive style as being potential influences on the process of gender identity formation." READ: Gender Identity and Autism Spectrum Disorders -- Yale J Biol Med. 2015 Mar; 88(1): 81–83. Published online 2015 Mar 4. PMCID: PMC4345542 Focus: Autism Spectrum Disorders

Related article: "While this article is specifically about autism and gender identity, it cites multiple research studies that confirm, once again, that MOST children who question their gender in childhood end up as gay or bisexual if left alone. Also, socially immature/isolated kids, or kids with ASD, probably need even longer to figure out who they are, which makes a good argument that dysphoricadolescents and even young adults with social anxiety or other similar issues should not start medical transition, as they too often do." Read: President Obama, how is this not anti-gay conversion therapy? -- Posted on April 9, 2015 4thwavenow

LGBT themes in Hindu mythology

Shiva in the form of Sambashiva, his half-male, half-female, Ardhanaareeshwara form.

"LGBT themes in Hindu mythology involve Hindu deities or heroes whose attributes or behavior can be interpreted as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT), or as having elements of gender variance and non-heterosexual sexuality. Traditional Hindu literary sources do not speak of homosexuality directly,[1] but changes of sex, homoerotic encounters, and intersex or third gender characters are often found both in traditional religious narratives such as the Vedas, Mahabharata, Ramayana and Puranas as well as in regional folklore." LGBT themes in Hindu mythology-- Wikipedia

Wired differently: Exploring brain connectivity in autism

Wired differently: Exploring brain connectivity in autism by neuropsychologist Aarti Nair, currently a postdoctoral scholar and clinical instructor at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior of the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Nair was part of the 2012 class of Autism Speaks Weatherstone Predoctoral Fellows. Her fellowship project involved research into brain connectivity and function in adolescents with autism. Autism Speaks

Related article: Autism Speaks Collaborative Releases First Full Genome Sequencing For Autism -- July 11, 2013 Neuroscience News

Monday, June 27, 2016

What the Sleeping Hermaphrodite Tells Us About Art, Sex and Good Taste

Beautiful hermaphrodites exist in nature. Can we please be inclusive and accepting of intersex people without demolishing the differences between men and women, and erasing the issues specific to biological sex? To say biological sexes don't exist because of gender identity is binary thinking in and of itself. What the Sleeping Hermaphrodite Tells Us About Art, Sex and Good Taste -- Blurring the borders of identity feels modern, but ambiguity has ancient roots. By Daniel McDermon, June 24, 2016 The New York Times

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Senate approves women registering for the draft (and can override a veto)

Majority in Congress can override a veto? What kind of country do you want America to be? One that has no qualms about putting women in harm's way? Do we really think the people pushing for this sort of equality have actual people's best interest at heart?

"The White House has threatened to veto the defense bill due to other provisions that the administration’s Office of Management and Budget called “attempts to micromanage” the Department of Defense. However the overwhelming number of Senators who approved the bill would be more than enough to override a veto." Senate approves women registering for the draft by CNN, June 15, 2016

"Override of a veto - The process by which each chamber of Congress votes on a bill vetoed by the President. To pass a bill over the president's objections requires a two-thirds vote in each Chamber. Historically, Congress has overridden fewer than ten percent of all presidential vetoes."

Rep. Charles Rangel Again Calls for Military Draft, War Tax

I have faith that President Obama will veto NDAA, but I will never trust the Democratic Party again, with lawmakers like Charlie Rangel, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand of NY, alongside Hillary Clinton and "RINOs" Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush and John McCain himself, thinking drafting women is a great idea. Charles Rangel has been trying to reinstate a draft not just for women but everybody since 2003? Wake up, New York! Rep. Charles Rangel Again Calls for Military Draft, War Tax by Sandy Fitzgerald, 20 Mar 2015 Newsmax

The best countries for gender equality may also have a domestic violence problem

We all knew this from seeing the kinds of guys who are cheering for the women's draft and equality where we can not compete equally. Logic at the expense of rationality makes me sad and afraid for the future of American society. The best countries for gender equality may also have a domestic violence problem by Adam Taylor, June 10 Washington Post

Friday, June 24, 2016

Pentagon Expected To Repeal Ban On Transgender People Next Month

First drafting women, now this (though I am counting on President Obama's veto). Will a draft for LGBTI follow next? Pentagon Expected To Repeal Ban On Transgender People Next Month by Reuters 06/24/16

Brain sex does not exist

This reminds me of the old sexist notion that girls can't do math, which they can, and neuroscientists who use brain mapping to tell people what personality type they have. The only facts about differences in gender that I know of are that men are by and large physically stronger, some gender roles are shaped by social mores (chivalry) while some are based in biology (more men are capable of physical activities due to superior strength and endurance), and some people have different sexual orientations. I can "think like a man" (use logical reasoning (whether rational in a larger context or not)) and not actually be one.

"Neuroscience is methodologically flawed. Even when an effect is objectively measurable, small sample sizes and poor statistical significance plague brain imaging studies. Most results are not replicable and, often, the alleged “findings” are not even based on human research. Extrapolating functional or behavior qualities from these studies is logically tenuous at best." Read: Brain sex does not exist -- Sex matters.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Cognitive Dissonance Theory

You know that thing where something dull is advertised as shiny, and your mind lies to you to deal with the irrationality? It can be used to sell us all kinds of things and ideas. Cognitive Dissonance by Richard Hall, Psychology World

The Theory

"Almost half a century ago social psychologist Leon Festinger developed the cognitive dissonance theory (Festinger, 1957). The theory has obviously stood the test of time in that it is mentioned in most general and social psychology textbooks today. The theory is somewhat counterintuitive and, in fact, fits into a category of counterintuitive social psychology theories sometimes referred to as action-opinion theories. The fundamental characteristic of action opinion theories is that they propose that actions can influence subsequent beliefs and attitudes. This is counterintuitive in that it would seem logical that our actions are the result of our beliefs/attitudes, not the cause of them. However, on further examination these types of theories have great intuitive appeal in that the theories, particularly cognitive dissonance, address the pervasive human tendency to rationalize."

Related links:

"Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), Van Veen and colleagues investigated the neural basis of cognitive dissonance in a modified version of the classic induced compliance paradigm. While in the scanner, participants "argued" that the uncomfortable MRI environment was nevertheless a pleasant experience." Cognitive Dissonance on Wikipedia

"False consciousness is theoretically linked with the concepts of the dominant ideology and cultural hegemony, and to a lesser extent with cognitive dissonance." False Consciousness on Wikipedia

"When it comes to resolving cognitive dissonance, only the most intellectually honest succeed." Cognitive Dissonance in Science and Medicine – An Anecdote About How to Detect Pseudoscience, and Why Smart People Fall For It January 4, 2016 by SAMSUPOWIT

The gender identity movement erases women

"The politics of the gender identity movement that is sweeping the country is bringing with it a multitude of problems for women and girls." READ: The gender identity movement erases women by Kathleen Sloan, July 22, 2016 Delaware Online

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Clinton Says Women Should be Included in Draft: Huffington Post

I'm going to be offline for awhile because this news is making me sick. I'm with Ted Cruz. I believe women and men are equal but not the same. Clinton Says Women Should be Included in Draft: Huffington Post -- by Holly Rosenkrantz, Bloomberg News

Senate Votes to Require Women to Register for the Draft By Jennifer Steinhauer, June 14, 2016 The New York Times

Pending Legislation: H.R.1509 - To amend the Military Selective Service Act to require the reinstatement of the draft

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Japanese Donald Trump Commercial

Japanese Donald Trump Commercialトランプ2016
Uploaded by Mike Diva on You Tube

Bath & Body Works Golden Pineapple Luau

Congratulations to all new graduates, and Happy almost Summer! Here's a fabulous scent to take with you on vacation, or spritz before a balmy night out: BBW Golden Pineapple Luau, a refreshing and sweet tropical melange of piña colada and a bit of papaya. The coconut note is more obvious upon dry down. It's on sale on the BBW web site; try it!

Top Notes: Luscious Papaya, Maui Pineapple, Goji Miracle Berry, Splash of Citrus
Mid Notes: Tropical Hibiscus, White Kadota Fig, Salted Sunrise Seashell, Kauai Water Lily
Dry Notes: Coconut Palm, Coral Musk.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Va. eugenics victims would receive compensation for sterilization under proposed bill

Va. General Assembly agrees to compensate eugenics victims by Jenna Portnoy, February 27, 2015 The Washington Post

Related article: Va. eugenics victims would receive compensation for sterilization under proposed bill by Fredrick Kunkle, January 30, 2013 The Washington Post

(Edited at 8:48 A.M.)

What It Is Like to Like

From The New Yorker: "The subject of Tom Vanderbilt’s “You May Also Like” (Knopf) is taste, the term he uses for whatever it is that guides our preference for chocolate over vanilla, taupe over beige, “The Bourne Supremacy ” over “The Bourne Ultimatum,” and Artur Schnabel and Joseph Szigeti’s recording of Beethoven’s tenth violin sonata over Vladimir Ashkenazy and Itzhak Perlman’s rendering of the same work." Read: What It Is Like to Like -- Art and taste in the age of the Internet. By Louis Menand, The New Yorker

Magic and Loss by Virginia Heffernan, image via

Friday, June 10, 2016

J. Lo Miami Glow

I have no idea if this is a discontinued perfume or not, but I'm glad I got it, even just for the cute bottle with chancletas dangling on it. It's not the coconut scent I was after, but it's arguably beachy. Mostly, I'd say it's an ambery, maybe woodsy floral with some deep notes reminiscent of Tom Ford Black Orchid or something along that vein, not musky in the "white musk" sense but in a not very sweet, soapy, perfumey sense. Still, it's soft for an Oriental type scent, warm and clean at the same time. I like it, but I prefer it layered with a more obviously tropical fragrance like Bath and Body Works Malibu Heat.

Enjoy your weekend!

Does chocolate milk really help with post-workout recovery? For most athletes, the answer is yes

Does chocolate milk really help with post-workout recovery? For most athletes, the answer is yes -- Chocolate milk has been touted by marketing campaigns and the health fitness industry as a natural sports recovery drink, and a healthier alternative to carbohydrate sports drinks like Gatorade or Powerade. By Mary Ellen Shoup+ 01-Jun-2016

Victoria’s Secret perfume is an effective mosquito repellent, study suggests

Victoria’s Secret perfume is an effective mosquito repellent, study suggests by Carmen Chai, Global News

Related link: DEET on Wikipedia

Cornel West on 'The Radical King'

Dr. Cornel West, I once had a dream, too, but it's clear to me now, that most people in America don't want a colorless, genderless* (see below) society, but a segregationist one that uses "intersectionality" to divide people into very specifically colored, gendered groups. I have always found it artificial and insulting to be told to only play with other girls or stick with my "own kind," so for me, it was refreshing and hopeful to see Martin Luther King's dream come alive for a few months during Bernie Sanders' campaign.

That said, it's also understandable that turning a spiritual fight into a fight for economic justice is too radical for a capitalist country where we have individual rights and liberty. Perhaps our best hope is to do what we can to ignore the stereotypical barriers and prove those divisions wrong in each our own lives. I feel in my own life growing up here, that I have aspired to do so.

In Dr. West's words are found every reason Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was both loved and despised in his day, the same way Cornel West is a divisive character in today's world where the ironic acceptance of overt racism and sexism is the new cultural norm.

Cornel West: "King's dream was fundamentally Christian. His commitment to radical love had everything to do with his commitment to Jesus of Nazareth, and his dream had everything to do with community, with a "we" consciousness that included poor and working people around the world, not just black people. (...)

"King was about militant nonviolence. It goes back to radical love: You don't begin by dehumanizing those who are dehumanizing you, because it contributes to the cycle of dehumanization in the world. And you're right: It takes unbelievable spiritual courage, moral fortitude, to engage in militant nonviolence. To put it another way, Martin King was an extremist of love. We live in a world where people are fearful of extremism, but King would say he was always trying to keep the flow of love in place. In that sense, he turned the world on its head." Cornel West on 'The Radical King' by Kevin Nance, Jan. 15, 2015 Chicago Tribune

Dr. Cornel West spoke his mind about the presumptive Presidential nominees at Bernie Sanders' DC rally, and taught us some new words -- shall we take a look at how he sees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump up close?

Neoliberalism on Wikipedia

Neofascism on Wikipedia

*Genderless does not mean ignoring obvious differences in biological sex. I shouldn't even have to explain this, but some people, like the lawmakers that want to draft girls off to combat, are hell bent on making equality about equating what men and women are physically capable of, which is irrational. We need to value each other for our biological differences. It also goes without saying that forcing anyone is immoral.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Read Bernie Sanders’ Comments After Meeting With President Obama

Maybe we can hope for Bernie as VP! Read Bernie Sanders’ Comments After Meeting With President Obama by Ryan Teague Beckwith, TIME

Warren has concerns about being Clinton's VP - report

I hope Senator Warren (D-Mass.) will help bring not only Senator Bernie Sanders' supporters into the fold, but those issues to the Democratic table that his young supporters feel strongly about, such as debt-free college and taking marijuana off the federal government's list of criminal substances. Warren has concerns about being Clinton's VP - report by Rebecca Savransky, June 09, 2016 The Hill

Related article: "The Sanders endorsement marks the first time the WFP has endorsed a national campaign, although the group joined the effort this winter to draft progressive favorite Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) into the 2016 race. The effort to draft Warren closed shop in June, after she repeatedly disavowed interest in a White House bid. Sanders has since won over many of Warren's erstwhile backers with his summons to a "political revolution" against income inequality and what he routinely calls "the billionaire class." Bernie Sanders Just Received One of His Biggest Endorsements Yet by Luke Brinker, Yahoo News, December 8, 2015

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Sanders Vows to Keep Fighting for Nomination Even If Hillary Is Elected President

#ThankYouBernie You made this election fun, & made history, too! We love u

LOL via The New Yorker: Sanders Vows to Keep Fighting for Nomination Even If Hillary Is Elected President By Andy Borowitz, June 7, 2016

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Why 85% of Black Female Voters Support Hillary Clinton (And Its Not for the Reasons You Think)

Congratulations to Hillary Clinton for making herstory by clinching enough delegates to become the presumptive presidential nominee of the Democratic Party. She couldn't do it without the strong support of women. Heading towards November, I hope she'll be a great presidential candidate to represent all Americans. Why 85% of Black Female Voters Support Hillary Clinton (And Its Not for the Reasons You Think) by Constance Hilliard, June 5, 2016 Dailykos

Monday, June 06, 2016

Lancome cancels concert after Chinese online backlash

Lancome cancels concert after Chinese online backlash -- French cosmetics giant Lancome has cancelled a promotional concert in Hong Kong after an online backlash in mainland China over an artist apparently set to perform. 6 June, 2016 BBC World

"On 5 June 2016 Lancôme cancelled a promotional concert by Hong Kong singer Denise Ho that was scheduled to be held on 19 June in Sheung Wan.[10] This action was taken in response to a boycott campaign launched by the Communist Party-controlled Global Times, which denigrated the Cantopop star for supposedly advocating Hong Kong and Tibet independence.[10] Lancôme also added, in a Facebook post, that Ho is not a spokesperson for the brand.[11] In addition to her singing career, Ho is an outspoken advocate of democracy.[12] The Tibet allegation appeared to have stemmed from Ho's May 2016 meeting with the Dalai Lama.[10] The cancellation drew a heavy backlash in Hong Kong.[10][12] Listerine, another brand that Ho represents, retained the singer despite the fact that the Global Times also criticized that company hiring Ho as its public face in Hong Kong.[10]" Lancome on Wikipedia

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Puerto Rican governor slams Trump during bankruptcy rant

Puerto Rican governor slams Trump during bankruptcy rant -- Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla made reference to Trump International Golf Club Puerto Rico's bankruptcy protection filing while questioned why the financially troubled island cannot do so. By Kenneth Lovett, New York Daily News, September 9, 2015

Related articles:

Why this Puerto Rico golf bankruptcy is bad news for Donald Trump -- It is unrelated to the candidate’s controversial remarks, but still another in a line of recent bad news for his golf business. By Daniel Roberts, July 14, 2015 Fortune

(Blogger's note: Dear Mr. Trump, please don't refer to your values as "New York values" if your idea of aspiring to greatness is to play a sport to flaunt one's wealth.) Read the article: Donald Trump: Let golf be for the rich elite by Daniel Roberts, July 1, 2015 Fortune

Saturday, June 04, 2016

L'Orientaliste Fleur d'Oranger

Spring in New York is fleeting, but I'm enjoying the days we have left to the fullest. My jam these days besides my longstanding coconut phase is my love of orange blossom. This fragrance launched in 1997, inspired by the city of Marrakech, Morocco, is a stunner, a simple pleasure of solifloral redolence, citric fresh and just a bit honey sweet. The sillage is good, and it lasts longer than 4711 on me. The only sadness is that I can't locate a bottle for sale.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Images on the campaign trail

I never understood Hillary Clinton's logo, and thought it was just a bad design, but is the right-pointing arrow really a copy of Barry Goldwater's 1964 campaign logo? I can see why he would have appealed to her as a pro-choice candidate at the time, but why model her logo after it now? To remind voters of her roots?

Meanwhile, some unofficial political images found on the campaign trail were done quite well (via Twitter):

Saturday, May 28, 2016


Image via

Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend, and happy reading.

"In Christmas, 1993, and again in 1994, the First Lady directed the decoration of the Christmas Tree in the Blue Room, in accordance with a long-standing White House tradition. Aldrich noted that this Tradition had become so pronounced that the tree which the First Lady set up became a reflection of who she was. We want to allow Aldrich the opportunity to speak for himself. "If the ornament is especially well-made, there is a good chance it will be selected for the tree in the Blue Room, the first lady's tree. The first lady's tree is the 'Mother of All Trees', and the one that's supposed to capture the 'message' of the first lady herself." [p. 100] In other words, this tree was supposed to capture the essence of the soul of the First Lady, and for the things important to her.

"Therefore, Aldrich was terribly shocked when he participated in the unpacking of the ornaments which were to go on the First Lady's Christmas tree..." Read the article: CLINTON'S FATAL LEADERSHIP -- PART 6a -- PROOF POSITIVE THAT HILLARY CLINTON IS A POWERFUL PRACTICING WITCH! 'SMOKING GUN' PROOF! --

Related article: The UFO truth is out there — if Clinton is elected President by Maija Polsley, New York Daily News, May 27, 2016

Friday, May 27, 2016

Full text of Obama's speech at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

"The world was forever changed here. But today, the children of this city will go through their day in peace. What a precious thing that is. It is worth protecting, and then extending to every child. That is the future we can choose; a future in which Hiroshima and Nagasaki are known not as the dawn of atomic warfare, but as the start of our own moral awakening." Full text of Obama's speech at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park - May 27, 2016 (Mainichi Japan)

Image via Reuters

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Obama’s Hiroshima visit reveals progress of reconciliation, disagreements over history

Obama’s Hiroshima visit reveals progress of reconciliation, disagreements over history by Jesse Johns, May 26, 2016 Japan Times

Kerry offers sincere apologies over death of Okinawa woman

Via Mainichi Japan: "TOKYO (Kyodo) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has offered an unreserved apology over the involvement of an American base worker in the death of an Okinawan woman in a telephone conversation with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said Thursday." Continue reading: Kerry offers sincere apologies over death of Okinawa woman - May 26, 2016 (Mainichi Japan)

Sunday, May 22, 2016

The 10 Russian Literary Heroines You Should Know

Image: Portrait of an Unknown Woman by Ivan Kramskoi, 1883
"The painting has been used as the cover for some editions of Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina." - Wikipedia


Read: The 10 Russian Literary Heroines You Should Know
and why Russian women know better than to expect a happily-ever-after
May 5, 2016 By Guillermo Erades, Literary Hub

Friday, May 20, 2016

Germany Just Got Almost All of Its Power From Renewable Energy

Image: Benedetta Cappa (Italian, Futurism, 1897-1977): Synthesis of Communications: Five Murals, 1933-1934. Tempera and encaustic on canvas

Read the article: Germany Just Got Almost All of Its Power From Renewable Energy by Jessica Shankleman, May 16, 2016 Bloomberg

Anxiety and Depression—Where Do You Fall on the Continuum?

MAY 15, 2016
In honor of National Anxiety and Depression Week this month, Dr. Lauren Hazzouri offers her advice for managing your mood, decreasing your symptoms and getting help when you need it. Read the article: Anxiety and Depression—Where Do You Fall on the Continuum? -

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Prostitution is a root cause of gender violence. Let’s end it now.

Via Sanctuary for Families: "This week the New York Times Magazine featured the cover story “Should Prostitution Be a Crime?”

"The article suggests that people in prostitution are helped by the wholesale decriminalization of the sex trade, including pimping and sex buying.

"This position flies in the face of our work assisting thousands of survivors of sex trafficking.  Far from being a job like any other, prostitution is almost invariably a condition of gender exploitation and frequently a violent and lethally dangerous form of abuse inextricably connected to sex trafficking (...)

"(...)Our clients’ experiences are the basis of our conviction that commercial sexual exploitation is one of the root causes of gender inequality and that we need to eliminate it, not simply try to mitigate the harm suffered by its victims."  Continue reading: Prostitution is a root cause of gender violence. Let’s end it now.  Hon. Judy Harris Kluger, May 11, 2016

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Politics of the Third Wave

I suppose one of these days, I will read The Third Wave, the Atlas Shrugged of its day.  Hopefully, it's a faster read than Ayn Rand's magnum opus.

Read (PDF): Creating a New Civilization: The Politics of the Third Wave, by Alvin and Heidi Toffler by Elizabeth Weiss, Harvard Journal of Law & Technology, Volume 9, Number 1 | Winter 1996

Related article: Surfing the Third Wave by Barbara Ehrenreich, The New York Times May 7, 1995

Sunday, May 08, 2016