Aly Raisman Thinks 175 Years For Larry Nassar Is ‘Not Enough’

Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman said she’s not satisfied with the 40- to 175-year prison sentence for former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University team doctor Larry Nassar, who has been accused of sexually abusing more than 150 girls. 

“It’s like he got one year for each person, like that’s not enough,” Raisman told Us Weekly.  

Raisman, a three-time Olympic gold medalist, revealed in November that Nassar abused her under the guise of medical treatment. Fellow gymnasts Simone Biles, Jordyn Wieber and McKayla Maroney also accused the former team doctor of sexual abuse.

“He’s gonna die in jail, but any number is never enough,” Raisman said. “I’m glad because so many people are watching and I hope that it does set an example to all the other abusers out there that their time is up and that abuse is never OK.”

Raisman has been an outspoken critic of USA Gymnastics, the U.S. Olympic Committee and Michigan State University for allowing Nassar’s abuse for more than two decades. 

“We have to fix the problem and the organizations,” Raisman said. 

Raisman reading her victim impact statement to Nassar in court. Raisman reading her victim impact statement to Nassar in court. 

Before Nassar’s sentencing hearing began on Jan. 16, Raisman tweeted that USA Gymnastics is “100 percent responsible” for the abuse, adding: “We must understand how this happened to make sure it never occurs again… The system has to change so that athletes are safe.” 

Raisman was one of more than 150 women to deliver victim impact statements in court during Nassar’s weeklong hearing. 

“Larry, you do realize now that we, this group of women you so heartlessly abused over such a long period of time, are now a force and you are nothing,” she said in court. 

Nassar was sentenced last week on seven counts of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree. He had already been serving 60 years in prison on child pornography charges and awaits sentencing on three additionally counts of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree. 

“When I was little I only thought that I could be hurt by a stranger,” Raisman told Us Weekly. “I mean, you have to teach kids that it could be someone that you’re very close with and… we have to teach them grooming techniques so they understand the warning signs of a predator.” 

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

Source Article from https://www.yahoo.com/news/aly-raisman-thinks-175-years-162944533.html

Trump’s New Fridge Will Cost Taxpayers Enough to Feed Every Homeless Person in DC for a YEAR

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Washington, DC — When Donald Trump was seeking the office of President, he frequently criticized the taxpayer dollars wasted on Air Force One. Trump even called for the canceling of the Boeing contract to construct a new fleet. However, like most of his promises made on the campaign trail, his since changed his mind.

Illustrating the insane nature of the US government’s bloat and excess, the taxpayers will be robbed of a whopping $24,000,000.00—to install a new refrigerator in Air Force One—seriously.

Boeing was awarded a $23,657,671.00 contract to design, test, and install two VC-25A G12/G13 chillers for the customized 747 jumbo jet in December.

“The Air Force requires that the current air chillers in the G12 and G13 galleys be modified with new cold food stowage to improve reliability and maintainability,” a contract notice from the Pentagon states.

Because the president is so important, he needs the ridiculously priced multi-million dollar refrigerator to store massive amounts of food—just in case one of the wars he is provoking forces him to stay onboard Air Force One for an extended period of time.

Although serviced on a regular basis, reliability has decreased with failures increasing, especially in hot/humid environments,” Air Force spokesman Ann Stefanek told Defense One. “The units are unable to effectively support mission requirements for food storage.”

Naturally, the Defense Department is conducting damage control claiming that the $24 million fridge will save lives and claims that no one is getting rich off the deal.

“It’s not a contractor issue, it is a requirements issue,” said Richard Aboulafia, vice president of analysis at the Teal Group consulting firm. “It’s not getting people rich.”

To put this amount of money into perspective, however, let’s look at the homeless population in Washington D.C. Current estimates put D.C.’s homeless population among the highest in the nation. The most recent data suggests there are roughly 11,600 homeless people inside the D.C. city limits alone.

If the $24 million would be given to city’s homeless population it would feed every one of them for an entire year. The cost of a year’s supply of storable, non-perishable food is roughly $1,800.

Obviously government spending doesn’t work like that, however, this is merely a simple comparison to highlight not only the hypocrisy of Trump’s flip-flop but the sheer gluttonous waste of the federal government.

Last week, the conservative watchdog organization, Judicial Watch released the total dollar amount of Trump’s family travel expenses so far. Added to the previously released costs, the known travel costs for President Trump’s political and leisure travel is now $13,533,937.28, according to the group.

These numbers do not include the costs of security, secret service, or any of the other peripheral costs associated with the ridiculous task that is moving Donald Trump around the country.

“The president is accountable to the taxpayers – they spend our hard-earned dollars and that’s why Judicial Watch keeps track of certain travel costs,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Trump’s regular trips to his homes are adding up to a hefty sum.”

Laughably, Eric Shultz, a former White House deputy press secretary under former President Barack Obama, tweeted Friday “we would have been impeached” if the repairs were made under the previous administration.

However, as TFTP reported at the time, the Obama administration was just as gluttonous and just as corrupt.

Obama’s total travel costs during his reign as president cost the taxpayers a whopping $114 million. As we noted at the time, this was enough money to end homelessness in Washington D.C. for over a year.

Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/trumps-new-fridge-will-cost-taxpayers-enough-buy-every-homeless-person-dc-car/

Mosquitoes may learn to avoid you if you swat at them enough

Once mosquitoes have learned your odor and associate it with swatting, they can become as averse to you as they are to DEET, says study.

We already know that mosquitoes seem to have a preference from some people over others, but now research finds that we can abet that aversion by the simple act of swatting. Thank you thank you thank you, science.

The study, published in Current Biology, reveals that mosquitoes can learn to associate a particular odor with an unpleasant mechanical shock – like being swatted. And as a result, they’ll steer clear of that scent the next time they encounter it.

“Once mosquitoes learned odors in an aversive manner, those odors caused aversive responses on the same order as responses to DEET, which is one of the most effective mosquito repellents,” says Jeffrey Riffell of the University of Washington, Seattle. “Moreover, mosquitoes remember the trained odors for days.”

Which, to be honest, sounds a bit too smart for me. I’d prefer to think of the deadliest creature in the world as a randomly vexing and not-so-bright pest, not one employing strategy and precision. But, no.

In an effort to understand more about how learning might influence mosquitoes’ biting decisions, Riffell and his colleagues conducted a number of experiments employing Aedes aegypti, a widespread species that can deliver dengue fever, chikungunya, Zika, and yellow fever viruses, among others. They discovered that the insects could pretty quickly learn an association between a host odor and a mechanical shock associated with that odor; a lesson that they then used in deciding which direction to fly. For the mechanical shock component of the research, the scientists used a machine that mimicked the effects that a mosquito would experience when being swatted.

And the potential host doesn’t even need to touch the pesky thing, just the air vibration alone is enough to make them uncomfortable.

The findings may have important implications for mosquito control and the transmission of mosquito-borne diseases, notes the University of Washington.

“By understanding how mosquitoes are making decisions on whom to bite, and how learning influences those behaviors, we can better understand the genes and neuronal bases of the behaviors,” Riffell says. “This could lead to more effective tools for mosquito control.”

Not to mention a better night’s sleep for anyone battling the incessant hum of a dive-bombing mosquito circling for a meal.

Source Article from https://www.treehugger.com/health/mosquitoes-may-learn-avoid-you-if-you-swat-them-enough.html

Enough Already! CNN Throws Bananas At Trump Again With Melodramatic #FactsFirst Ad

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Source Article from https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/2018/01/26/enough-already-cnn-throws-bananas-trump-again-melodramatic-factsfirst-ad

‘We’ve had enough!’ Protesters demand new agricultural policies in Germany (VIDEO)

'We’ve had enough!' Protesters demand new agricultural policies in Germany (VIDEO)

Footage posted online by Ruptly showed the protesters marching through the streets carrying banners, some of which featured a photo of a honeybee. “New agricultural policy,” the signs read.

The protest’s slogan is “Wir haben es satt,” which translates to “We have had enough.” Numerous tractors also rode through the streets as part of the demonstration.

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The demonstrators are rallying for legislation to induce sustainable fair trade and improve the nutritional quality of products, along with benefiting independent farmers. They say the German government and agricultural industry have increased exports by lowering prices and animal protection standards, claiming the moves have negatively impacted German farmers.

The protesters say Germany needs to instead concentrate on fair trade, stop promoting big farming companies, and focus on improving quality. They also say that supermarkets need to use labeling which shows the origin of meat and milk products.

Similar protests take place every year during “Green Week,” when Berlin hosts the largest agricultural fair in the world.

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Source Article from https://www.rt.com/news/416495-germany-protest-agriculture-conference/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

6 awful things that happen to your body when you don’t get enough sleep

A UC Berkeley neuroscientist explains some of the surprisingly dramatic ways in which a lack of sleep affects the mind and body.

We all know we are supposed to get a good night’s sleep. And many of us – aside from you fortunate sleepers who have the time and talent for slumber – don’t get enough of it. Eight hours? Hahaha, says the chronic insomniac, the parent of small children, the person who has to be at work at six in the morning. And so it goes for the underslept: immediately insert coffee, wade through foggy morning, suffer from darkened eyes and enhanced irritability.

But according to Matthew Walker, PhD, author of “Why We Sleep” and professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, the deleterious impact goes way beyond feeling groggy and grumpy during the day. In the video below, he explains just how seriously sleep or lack thereof can have an impact on your health – here are the six main takeaways, with further explanation in the video.

1. A lack of sleep prevents your brain from being able to make new memories.

2. Too little sleep leads to a boost in the development of a toxic protein in the brain called beta amyloid, which is associated with Alzheimer’s disease

3. Sleeping just five or six hours a night affects the reproductive system in men, leading to a level of testosterone of someone ten years older.

4. Sleep deprivation has an impact on the immune system and predicts your risk for developing numerous forms of cancer.

5. A lack of sleep wreaks havoc on the cardiovascular system.

6. After being awake for 19 or 20 hours, mental capacity is so impaired that you would be as deficient as someone who was legally drunk while driving.

I suppose it all makes sense; the body wants sleep for a reason. But spelling it all out like that really drive the point home. For help in the forty-winks department, see the related stories below … and get some sleep!

Source Article from https://www.treehugger.com/health/6-awful-things-happen-your-body-when-you-dont-get-enough-sleep.html

‘Not enough even for coffee’: UK troops in Afghanistan get £1 each to celebrate Christmas

Five hundred British troops deployed to Afghanistan were allocated a total of just £500 ($700) for Christmas, the Sunday Times revealed.  Some said the defense chiefs’ frugality left the troops lagging far behind their foreign counterparts as soldiers from the  American contingent reportedly received eight Christmas trees, decorations, turkeys, numerous gifts, and even a copy of the new Star Wars film. 

“The contrast between the American and British approach is staggering,” said a British officer stationed in Kabul. “As an army we don’t have as much money as the US, but even the Danish and Mongolians seem to be doing more,” he noted.

The tight Christmas budget has affected morale, one soldier told the newspaper: “They haven’t even sent us enough for a coffee. The Americans send in more money to feed the stray cats on their compound.”

Christmas festivities for troops from the Yorkshire Regiment have been limited to sneaking out and swapping the stars on the American trees for Yorkshire flags, the paper said. The ministry of defense said arrangements for Christmas festivities “are made locally,” it added.

While cash-strapped, the troops did not feel completely forgotten. “It has been staggering to see the number of parcels that have arrived for us from friends and family,” said the officer. In addition, Christmas lunch was still served on Friday, complimented by snow, which fell last week in Kabul, Afghanistan.

The report on Christmas allowances came shortly after UK Prime Minister Theresa May stressed the “enormous debt we owe to our armed forces and veterans” in her Christmas message to the military.

“Whenever you are called upon – regulars or reserves – you always give of your best and inspire us all with your service,” May said, adding, “the valiant hearts of our servicemen and women, many far away from their own loved ones at this special time of year, are working to keep us safe.”

Afghanistan remains Britain’s largest overseas deployment.

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/uk/414103-uk-troops-afghanistan-christmas/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Shock Report Reveals Pentagon & HUD ‘Lost’ $21 TRILLION—Enough to Pay Back Nat’l Debt

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Washington, D.C. – A new report analyzing the budgets of both the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), found that between 1998 and 2015, these two departments alone lost over $21 trillion in taxpayer funds.

The shocking report was authored by Dr. Mark Skidmore, a professor of economics at Michigan State University, and Catherine Austin Fitts, former assistant secretary of housing. It notes that the missing funds are a direct result of “unsupported journal voucher adjustments” made to the departments’ budgets.

According to an Office of the Comptroller report:

“Unsupported journal voucher adjustments” are defined as “summary-level accounting adjustments made when balances between systems cannot be reconciled. Often these journal vouchers are unsupported, meaning they lack supporting documentation to justify the adjustment [receipts, etc.] or are not tied to specific accounting transactions.”

The report notes that, in both the private and public sectors, the presence of such adjustments is considered “a red flag” for potential fraud.

As The Free Thought Project reported last year, the U.S. DOD, specifically the U.S. Army, could not account for $6.5 trillion in 2015 due to “wrongful balance adjustments.”

According to a report by Reuters, the Army “lacked the receipts and invoices to support those numbers [the adjustments] or simply made them up” in order to “create an illusion that its books are balanced.”

The DOD has officially acknowledged that its financial statements for 2015 were “materially misstated.”

In an interview with USA Watchdog, co-author Fitts noted that the missing $21 trillion amounts to “$65,000 for every man, woman and child resident in America.”

The amount of money unaccounted for is enough to pay back the whole of the U.S. national debt, which currently stands at roughly $20.5 trillion, and still have a half a trillion left.

Even more startling, the total amount of missing funds—$21 trillion—is most likely much higher in reality, as the data used for the report was incomplete due to the researchers being unable to recover complete data for every year analyzed.

Perhaps even more troubling than the total amount lost is the fact that fraudulent behavior from HUD and DOD seem to be the standard operating procedure. In fact, the accounting for these funds is so poor, that as Reuters notes, the Defense Finance and Accounting Services (DFAS) refers to the preparation of the Army’s year-end statements as “the grand plug” — “plug” is accounting jargon for the insertion of made-up numbers.

For every transaction, a so-called “journal voucher” that provides serial numbers, transaction dates and the amount of the expenditure is supposed to be produced. The report specifies that the agency has done such a poor job in providing documentation of their transactions, that there is no way to actually know how $21 trillion dollars has been spent. Essentially, the government has no way of knowing how the Pentagon has spent the trillions of taxpayer dollars allocated by Congress for national defense.

In turn, employees of the DFAS were routinely told by superiors to take “unsubstantiated change actions” commonly referred to as “plugging” the numbers. These “plugs”—which amounted to falsifying financial records—were then used to create the appearance that the military’s financial data matched that of the U.S. Treasury Department’s numbers when discrepancies in the financial data couldn’t be accounted for, according to a Reuters investigation.

Furthermore, in 2015, DFAS was unable to accurately put together the year-end statements for the department, as more than 16,000 financial data files had been erased from its computer system.

Unlike other federal departments, the DOD has never been subjected to an annual audit.

While the U.S. government established requirements for each agency to present financial statements back in the 1990s, for more than 20 years, the Department of Defense has lagged behind other agencies that were following modern accounting standards, reporting what they received and spent.

In 2010, Congress included a requirement in the National Defense Authorization Act that gave the military “an extra seven years to clean up the books and get ready,” as Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa said last year. That set a new deadline to be ready for an audit by September 2017.

In January, the Government Accountability Office said, “serious financial management problems at the Department of Defense (DOD) that have prevented its financial statements from being auditable.”

Only days ago the Pentagon announced that it would undertake its first audit in history.

“The Defense Department is starting the first agency-wide financial audit in its history,” the Pentagon’s news service noted.

“Beginning in 2018, our audits will occur annually, with reports issued Nov. 15,” said David L. Norquist, the Defense Department’s comptroller.

The likely reason for the traditionally lax oversight is the fact that government contractors and weapons manufacturers are often the largest beneficiaries of excessive waste and unaccounted funds.

The fact that defense contractors spent upwards of $30 million on donations to political campaigns last year provides Congress with a motive to cover-up the massive and systemic fraud, as they fear biting the hand that feeds them.

While the Department of Defense and HUD can’t account for $21 trillion dollars of taxpayer funds, in 2014 there were 47 million people, including over 15 million children, living in poverty in the U.S.—15% of the U.S. population—which is the largest total number in poverty since records began being kept 52 years ago.

Please share this story if you are appalled by the fact that there are Americans that are homeless and hungry, including U.S. combat veterans—while the government is unable to account for $21 trillion dollars of taxpayer money.

Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/audit-reveals-pentagon-hud-dont-know-where-21-trillion-dollars-went/

TED Talk Goes Viral As He Explains Why He’s Done Trying To Be “Man Enough”







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How often have you heard the term, be it from a male or a female, “man enough”? What does that even mean? When somebody tells another person, “Come on, be a man,” they are instantaneously assigning their beliefs about what it means to be a man onto another person. They may be stereotyping, judging, and being gender biased.

Many gender stereotypes exist today, learned from pop culture, and they tell us what it means to be a man or a woman — how we should act, what we should wear, what’s attractive, and what are acceptable interests and hobbies.

Granted, a lot of awareness about gender stereotypes has been created over the past couple of years, and there are many more people on the planet today who appreciate somebody who has the courage to be themselves, completely, no matter what society or other people think.

The truth is, whether you are a man or woman, boy or girl, there is no specific “way to be,” but as with everything else, mass marketing and profit paves the way. Our thoughts, feelings, emotions, and even conscious thinking are manipulated on a daily basis, and it starts when we’re children.

How we are supposed to think about ourselves or act as a man or a woman is largely given to us, instead of us figuring that part out for ourselves.

What does it mean to be a male? What does it mean to be a female? Where does the term “be a man” come from? Why are qualities such as aggressiveness pushed onto men over  humbleness, gentleness, kindness, and politeness?

It’s not just gender stereotypes, it seems to occur with multiple topics and words. Take “warrior,” for example. We’ve been conditioned to see this as someone who is skilled in the marshal arts, someone who can fight.

But then we have this perspective, from Sitting Bill: “Warriors are not what you think of as warriors. The warrior is not someone who fights, because no one has the right to take another life. The warrior, for us, is one who sacrifices himself for the good of others. His task is to take care of the elderly, the defenceless, those who cannot provide for themselves, and above all, the children, the future of humanity.”

Justin Baldoni  an actor, director and entrepreneur whose efforts are focused on creating impactful media, describes it so well in his  TED talk below.

He starts off talking about men, and redefining masculinity, proposing a challenge to men, urging them to see if they “can use the same qualities that you feel make you a man and go deeper.” He says, “Your strength, your bravery, your toughness: Are you brave enough to be vulnerable? Are you strong enough to be sensitive? Are you confident enough to listen to the women in your life?”

These are great points, because sensitivity, and allowing oneself to be vulnerable, are not seen as “manly” qualities, but they are qualities of what used to be defined as a real warrior.

Putting your guard down, allowing yourself to be vulnerable, in a position to be wrong and learn more, are qualities rarely seen because we’ve been taught to fit into this other box of definitions. Yet it’s a very brave thing to do. One reason why somebody might put up a hard shell, not allowing themselves to be seen in a vulnerable light, is because they are afraid to do so.

It’s an interesting way to think about it.

“I’ve been pretending to be a man that I’m not my entire life. I’ve been pretending to be strong when I felt weak, confident when I felt insecure and tough when really I was hurting. I think for the most part I’ve just been kind of putting on a show, but I’m tired of performing. And I can tell you right now that it is exhausting trying to be man enough for everyone all the time.

Now, for as long as I can remember, I’ve been told the kind of man that I should grow up to be. As a boy, all I wanted was to be accepted and liked by the other boys, but that acceptance meant I had to acquire this almost disgusted view of the feminine, and since we were told that feminine is the opposite of masculine, I either had to reject embodying any of these qualities or face rejection myself. This is the script that we’ve been given. Right? Girls are weak, and boys are strong. This is what’s being subconsciously communicated to hundreds of millions of young boys and girls all over the world, just like it was with me.”


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