Hurricane Michael is looking even more violent on closer scrutiny

That’s what people in the hurricane business call “The Big One.” The term has nothing to do with physical scale — Michael was average-sized. But it was unusually violent, among the four most-intense hurricanes to hit the mainland United States since records began in 1851.


Ex-student loan official: We dropped a trillion dollars of debt into the market with little thought to oversight – MarketWatch

Frotman painted a picture of a crisis built on policy makers’ choices. He highlighted how state officials cut funding for public higher education, pushing up prices and requiring students to increasingly rely on debt to finance college. At the same time, policy makers did little to put regulations in place to handle the rapid rise in student loans, according to Frotman.

We Asked 17-Year-Olds About Brett Kavanaugh and Consent – Broadly

There are some politicians, reporters, GOP supporters who feel that the actions of a person who is 17 years old should not be weighted against the accomplishments of the person at 53. So I found cases from around the USA where 17 year olds have been charged with sexual assault and/or rape. Do these cases matter?
But all—even those who emphasized Kavanaugh’s “accomplishments” as a federal judge—told Broadly they thought age shouldn’t be a factor in evaluating Ford’s accusations. Seventeen-year-olds, they said, are old enough to make their own decisions and face the consequences of them.

  • Springfield Twp. Police: 17-year-old arrested for allegedly raping 13-year-old (Ohio)

  • Boy arrested in connection with rape, armed carjacking at Orlando park (Florida)

  • Teen charged with raping, sexually assaulting 3 younger girls (Utah)

  • 17-year -old boy accused of raping Greenfield girl ID’d (California)

  • 17-year-old accused of raping boy, 10, in Delray Beach (Florida)

    Police: 17-year-old arrested for rape of 13-year-old boy in DHS custody (Oklahoma)

    Police arrest 17-year-old boy suspected of indecent exposure near University City middle school (California)

    Police Arrest 16-Year-Old Boy on Suspicion of Rape (Washington)

    Teen pleads guilty in sexual abuse case (Iowa)

  • Affidavit: 17-year-old sexually assaulted 12-year-old boy for years (Texas)

    17-Year-Old Siren Man Charged With Sexual Assault of Child Under 16 (Wisconsin)

The Irony of Brett Kavanaugh’s #MeToo Moment | Opinion

I learned in school that ethical standards are not concrete.

  • That’s why most professions have been forced to develop membership ethical standards.
  • Its why right-wing conservative Christians make excuse after excuse for something “45” says or does.
  • That’s why also religious organizations have come under fire lately for protecting people engaged in abuse.

So when people make the argument that Kavanaugh is a upstanding moral citizen I question what does that (his outside face) have to do with what might have happened while he was in high school?

The notion that we should simply not bother trying to investigate an allegation because it is difficult to find evidence seems particularly ironic in the context of the appointment of a judge to the highest court in the country.

What especially to me is disturbing is that if Kavanaugh was the man he is portrayed as being he would be leading the call for an investigation because he would be ethical enough to protect his accusers right.

Shame, fear: Survivors explain not reporting sexual assaults


Sophia: All my life I had to fight. I had to fight my daddy. I had to fight my uncles. I had to fight my brothers. A girl child ain’t safe in a family of men, but I ain’t never thought I’d have to fight in my own house! The Color Purple (1985)

  1. As a young child you learn not to tattletale on older kids
  2. As a young child you know that older kids are your babysitters and you should do as they say
  3. As a young child you fear what could happen

As an adult I reported to my female roommate what her male cousin had attempted and she blamed me.

Shame, fear: Survivors explain not reporting sexual assaults:

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Why PayPal’s crackdown on ASMR creators should worry you

Capitalizing on entrenched and easily exploitable anti-sex policies by internet giant payment processors and a new internet sex panic ushered in by FOSTA, 8chan trolls have started a campaign to mass-report attractive women who make ASMR videos. Listing names of women making these sound-effect videos in a forum thread called “PayPal lowering the hammer on ASMRtits” they’ve declared war by posting links to report pages for PayPal, and called upon fellow haters to get the women kicked off YouTube and Patreon as well. They’re laughing at the women’s anguish over creating nonsexual content and losing their revenue streams, saying things like “another whore for the deep-freeze” — in between posting anti-Semitic and Pepe the frog images, of course.

Video games and ASMR: The science of pop-culture tingles

‘Fortnite’ cosplay can actually help people calm down.

ASMR stands for autonomous sensory meridian response, and people who experience it describe feeling “tingles” or “brain orgasms” — a pleasant sensation that travels from the crown of the head down the spine.

Anecdotally, the videos help people fall asleep and generally calm down.

“It’s not just people telling us that ASMR makes them feel relaxed; their physiology is telling us the same thing.”
–Dr. Giulia Poerio

Science is catching up to these stories. In June, Dr. Giulia Poerio of the University of Sheffield conducted the first study of its kind, looking into the physiological effects of watching ASMR videos. The study found that those who responded to ASMR experienced greatly reduced heart rates (down an average of 3.14 beats per minute) and reported feeling more relaxed and socially connected than those who didn’t feel any brain tingles. The results mirrored findings in other, established stress-reduction methods, including music and mindfulness.

“Our research studies consistently show that ASMR is a relaxing, calming sensation that increases feelings of social connectedness,” Dr. Poerio told Engadget. “Importantly, we found that ASMR videos produce significant reductions in heart rate in people who experience ASMR — so we now have more objective evidence of the idea that ASMR is relaxing. It’s not just people telling us that ASMR makes them feel relaxed; their physiology is telling us the same thing.”

Congress just legalized sex censorship: What to know

“Sex work” is not another word for trafficking.

One week ago, the worst possible legislation curtailing free speech online passed and sex censorship bill FOSTA-SESTA is on its way to be signed into law by Trump.

Hours after the announcement, everything from the mere discussion of sex work to client screening and safe advertising networks began getting systematically erased from the open internet. Thousands — if not hundreds of thousands — of women, LGBTQ people, gay men, immigrants, and a significant number of people of color lost their income. Pushed out of safe online spaces and toward street corners. So were any and all victims of sex trafficking that law enforcement might’ve been able to find on the open internet.

The Senate has passed the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act, or SESTA, and tacked-on FOSTA (Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act), by a vote of 97–2. Lawmakers did not fact-check the bill’s claims, research the religious neocons behind it, nor did they listen to constituents. Significant organizations, including the Department of Justice, ACLU, EFF, and more had assembled to object to the bill both publicly and in letters to elected officials. In the process, law professorsand anti-trafficking groups, along with sex work organizations, unearthed the bill’s many alarming legal, constitutional, and human rights disqualifications.

It’s dubbed the “anti-trafficking” bill for the internet, but it’s really an anti-sex sledgehammer. The bill removes protection for websites under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, and makes sites and services liable for hosting what it very, very loosely defines as sex trafficking and “prostitution” content. FOSTA-SESTA puts into law that sex work and sex trafficking are the same thing, and makes discussion and advertising part of the crime. Its blurry interpretation of sex and commerce, as well as the bill’s illogical, incorrect conflation of sex trafficking and sex work is straight out of a bad movie.

Naomi Osaka on Mental Health and Training to Face Her Idol at the U.S. Open | Teen Vogue

The 20-year-old, who grew up in New York and Florida, is being celebrated for being the first Japanese woman, and of Haitian descent, to win the U.S. Open title. She’s been called the “next best player in tennis” by the New Yorker.

Her first Grand Slam title, however, came with a much-talked-about controversy: Naomi won because she played a great game, but also because her opponent was slapped with three code-of-conduct violations.

Naomi Osaka on Her “Very Emotional” Reaction to Her U.S. Open Win Against Serena Williams

….I was a little bit confused throughout the whole thing,” she said. The confusion continued as the match ended and the crowd began booing, presumably at umpire Carlos Ramos. “I felt a little bit sad because I wasn’t really sure if they were booing at me or if it wasn’t the outcome that they wanted,” Naomi said, explaining why she’d pulled her visor over her face to hide her tears as the crowd jeered. “And then I also could sympathize because I’ve been a fan of Serena my whole life and I knew how badly the crowd wanted her to win.” She added, “It was just really emotional.”

Celebs react to Serena Williams supporting opponent after tense loss, booing crowd

Serena Williams comforted Naomi Osaka after a controversial game in an emotional display.

When Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Hits Home | Teen Vogue

A report from the National Congress of American Indians Policy Research Center found that 86%of American Indian and Alaskan Native women who’ve been sexually assualted or raped described the perpetrator as “non-Indian.”

4 out of 5 of our Native women are affected by violence today.

The U.S Department of Justice found that American Indian women face murder rates that are more than 10 times the national average.

Homicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among 10-24 years of age and the fifth leading cause of death for American Indian and Alaska Native women between 25 and 34 years of age. – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Homicide

The legacy of violence against our Native women and children within New Mexico dates to the Spanish and Euro-American invasion of our Native lands and our sacred bodies. From the Navajo Long Walk to the slave trades in Albuquerque’s Old Town to the current struggles of cases being lost within our judicial system- this is a legacy of violence… This incursion of violence onto our most sacred… Must be spoken about. Many times Native people are targeted in bordertowns for the color of a person’s skin, anti-Indianism, and the influences of settler colonialism.


Across rural North Dakota, women living on reservations face unique challenges when dealing with violence. Access to telephones, transportation, emergency services, law enforcement officers and confidential victim services all act as barriers to getting the help they desperately need. According to a 2016 National Institute of Justice Report, 56% of Native women have experienced sexual violence in their lifetime, and 38% were unable to receive any type of victim services. The high rates of sexual violence are closely interconnected with the likelihood of Native women going missing or being murdered, and on some reservations, they are murdered at more than ten times the national average.

Although the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 and the Tribal Law and Order Act have helped bring attention to the high rates of violence against Native women, there is still no reliable way of knowing how many Native women go missing each year. In 2016, North Dakota alone had 125 cases of missing Native women reported to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), compared to 5,712 total Native women cases reported in the United States. However, the actual number is likely much higher, as cases of missing Native women are often under-reported and the data has never been officially collected.

That’s why I introduced the Savanna’s Act in October 2017 – legislation that would help combat the crisis of murdered and missing Native women and girls

“Despite what major media sources say, violence against Native women is not an epidemic. An epidemic is biological and blameless. Violence against Native women is historical and political, bounded by oppression and colonial violence. This book, like all of Sarah Deer’s work, is aimed at engaging the problem head-on–and ending it.The Beginning and End of Rape collects and expands the powerful writings in which Deer, who played a crucial role in the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act in 2013, has advocated for cultural and legal reforms to protect Native women from endemic sexual violence and abuse. Deer provides a clear historical overview of rape and sex trafficking in North America, paying particular attention to the gendered legacy of colonialism in tribal nations–a truth largely overlooked or minimized by Native and non-Native observers. She faces this legacy directly, articulating strategies for Native communities and tribal nations seeking redress. In a damning critique of federal law that has accommodated rape by destroying tribal legal systems, she describes how tribal self-determination efforts of the twenty-first century can be leveraged to eradicate violence against women. Her work bridges the gap between Indian law and feminist thinking by explaining how intersectional approaches are vital to addressing the rape of Native women.Grounded in historical, cultural, and legal realities, both Native and non-Native, these essays point to the possibility of actual and positive change in a world where Native women are systematically undervalued, left unprotected, and hurt. Deer draws on her extensive experiences in advocacy and activism to present specific, practical recommendations and plans of action for making the world safer for all. “–

Queensland schoolgirl threatened with suspension after refusing to stand for Australia’s national anthem

A NINE-YEAR-OLD schoolgirl is facing suspension after she refused to stand for Australia’s national anthem.

Kick her out’: Hanson lashes anthem girl

Harper told The Courier-Mailthe line in the national anthem, “for we are young and free”, disregarded Aboriginals who had lived in Australia for tens of thousands of years and only saw Australia as a country post-colonisation.

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson also weighed in on the nine-year-old’s protest.

“Here we have a kid who is being brainwashed and I’d tell you what, I’d give her a kick up the backside,” Ms Hanson said on social media.

“I’ve been fighting for 22 years for equality for everyone, to be inclusive. What the hell is going on? I’m angry about this because I’m proud of this country.

“This is divisive, I don’t know what the other kids around her are thinking, where is this coming from?

From Wikipedia

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation (PHON or ONP, also One Nation or One Nation Party) is a nationalist, right-wing populist party in Australia. One Nation was founded in 1997, by member of parliament Pauline Hanson and her advisors David Ettridgeand David Oldfield after Hanson was disendorsed as a federal candidate for the Liberal Party of Australia. The disendorsement came before the 1996 federal election because of comments she made about Indigenous Australians. Hanson sat as an independent for one year before forming Pauline Hanson’s One Nation.
The party has a strongly nationalist and conservative platform. Hanson and other party members have denied claims that the party is racist. Hanson says that “criticism is not racism” about her statements on immigration and race. Hanson has also said that she enjoys the company of other ethnicities and welcomes people to Australia wherever their origin, but does not want other cultures to overly influence Australia.[

Politicians, ex-PM slam 9yo Australian child for refusal to stand during ‘racist’ national anthem

Politicians are roasting an Australian nine-year-old after she refused to stand for the national anthem. They are now calling for grade 4 student Harper Nielsen, who says the anthem is racist, to be kicked out of school.

Harper, who goes to Kenmore South State School in Queensland, told Nine News that she chose to sit during the national anthem. She was given detention last week over her refusal to join her classmates in standing.

The anthem, Advance Australia Fair, contains a line that goes: “Australians all let us rejoice, for we are young and free.” According to Harper, “when it says ‘we are young’ it completely ignores the Indigenous Australians who were here before the English.”Using her astonishingly verbose vocabulary for a nine-year-old, Harper told Channel Nine that “it’s basically institutionalised racism.”

The grade 4 student said the decision to take a stand by sitting down was made “mostly” by herself, but she did discuss the subject with her parents, who say they could “not be more proud” of their daughter’s actions.

Are big employers holding down wages?

Unemployment is at a 17-year low and corporate profits have skyrocketed, but American workers just aren’t getting raises. Adjusted for inflation, average pay increases hover at just about zero. Economists have been arguing about the reasons for this “wage puzzle.” At the Federal Reserve’s Jackson Hole, Wyoming, conference last week, a crucial annual event for the world’s top economic policymakers, Princeton economist Alan Krueger presented an answer that’s gaining traction: Worker bargaining power is low because of the growing clout of a small number of big firms in each industry. Economists call the outsize influence of a few employers “monopsony power,” and Krueger estimates it shaves 1 to 1.5 percent a year off wage growth. That might not sound like much, but over 20 years an extra 1.5 percent raise a year would increase your pay by a third. When workers have fewer potential employers to choose from, they have “less ability to demand higher pay.” Meanwhile, as the number of employers shrinks, it’s easier for them to “collude to restrict pay,” whether through explicit backroom deals or more subtle signaling.

Are Superstar Firms and Amazon Effects Reshaping the Economy?

The biggest companies may be influencing things like inflation and wage growth, possibly at the expense of central bankers’ power to do so.

Two of the most important economic facts of the last few decades are that more industries are being dominated by a handful of extraordinarily successful companies and that wages, inflation and growth have remained stubbornly low.

Many of the world’s most powerful economic policymakers are now taking seriously the possibility that the first of those facts is a cause of the second — and that the growing concentration of corporate power has confounded the efforts of central banks to keep economies healthy.

Mainstream economists are discussing questions like whether “monopsony” — the outsize power of a few consolidated employers — is part of the problem of low wage growth. They are looking at whether the “superstar firms” that dominate many leading industries are responsible for sluggish investment spending. And they’re exploring whether there is an “Amazon Effect” in which fast-changing pricing algorithms by the online retailer and its rivals mean bigger swings in inflation.

Does Amazon Have More Power Than the Federal Reserve?

The economy continues to grow, yet wages remain flat. Corporate concentration may be to blame.

The Kansas City Federal Reserve, one of the dozen reserve banks in the U.S., gathered on Friday in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to discuss a signature puzzle of our times: How can the economy hum along, with unemployment falling for years, without wage growth? How have the gains from the economy been segregated from most Americans who do the work, instead flowing into the hands of a small group at the top? And what can the Fed, or anyone, do to reverse this?

The big question about today’s economy — are wages going to start growing?

We might just need a little time … or it might take more.

Businesses have bounced back from the Great Recession, with the S&P 500 continually setting records while steady hiring has finally delivered a low unemployment rate. But when it comes to paychecks, wage growth has been so slow that over the past year it’s actually been less than inflation.

And while rising inequality is a huge part of the long-term story of the American economy, a convincing analysis from Jason Furman, the top economist in the Obama White House, indicates that the short-term driver is slow productivity growth. Growth has been driven by adding unemployed workers back into the labor force.

This, in turn, raises more questions: Why has productivity growth been so slow? Or, more to the point, can we expect it to turn around, so that wages will follow? Is it better to let good times continue, or do we need some kind of dramatic policy shake-up — or some old-fashioned good luck — to kick the economy into higher gear?


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