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US: Sexual harassment troubles mount in statehouses around the country

© Officer's Choice Blue
When Kirsten Anderson submitted a memo detailing her concerns about sexual harassment at the Iowa Capitol, she expected comments about women in the office - their sex lives, breast sizes and the length of skirts worn by teenage pages - to stop.

Instead, Anderson was fired seven hours later from her job with the Iowa Republican Senate Caucus.

After four years of litigation that ended in September, the state agreed to pay $1.75 million to settle her claim, leaving taxpayers footing the bill. Her case is among the first in a recent wave of high-profile sexual harassment cases that have roiled state legislatures around the nation, highlighting the moral and financial liability states faces as claims pile up.

Since last year, at least 40 lawmakers - nearly all men - in 20 states have been publicly accused by more than 100 people of some form of sexual misconduct or harassment, a USA TODAY NETWORK analysis found.

Comment: The Trials of Masculinity, Feminism and the Modern Male


Bizarro Earth

Transexuality for toddlers: Gender equality comes to Sweden

© CCO
Sweden, a country renowned for its stance on gender equality, has launched a brochure on transsexuality aimed at toddlers. The book is about a horse that wants to be a dog and its owner who wants to be a woman.

The new sex education brochure for preschoolers called "Horse and Master" has been penned by Susanne Pelger, a PhD of genetics and a teacher of biology and mathematics at Lund University.

Comment:


X

Detective gets fired for reporting fellow officer as predatory pedophile

A former detective for a North Carolina police department is claiming he was silenced and fired after exposing a fellow officer as an online predator.

Brent Heavner says he was conducting an online sting, posing as a 14-year-old to lure sexual predators. After the predators attempted to meet the fictional teen in person, Heavner would make the arrest. When he attracted a member of his own police force and reported it to his superiors, he says, they took no action. Instead, they fired him.

"He reported that to his superiors, trusting that (the) investigation (would) be transitioned to the State Bureau of Investigations. That didn't happen," Michael Elliot, Heavner's attorney, said in a statement published by local outlet WSOCTV.

They allege that when Heavener found further potential evidence of the unnamed officer's misconduct "he was again silenced, culminating in his suspension and termination."

Comment: See also:


Family

American College of Pediatrics: Transgenderism of children is child abuse

The American College of Pediatricians issued a statement this week condemning gender reclassification in children by stating that transgenderism in children amounts to child abuse.

The stories have been rampant of parents treating their little boys as girls because they "thought they identified" that way.

Between you, me, and the fence-post. When I was in the second grade, I wanted to be Cindy from the Brady Bunch. Why? I have no clue! I do know that never in my adult life have I identified as, or wanted to be a woman. My parents never knew. But if they had, and fostered that silly imaginary play, they could have well guided me into something worse. It is important to note that over half of the transgender population considers suicide!

I am sure that this is probably a very common occurrence for young children!


Comment: In the few years society has taken a radical turn from coming to terms with accepting transgenderism in adults to actually promoting it to children as normal:

USA

National Crisis: Opioid epidemic costing US more than $500bn

© File Photo / Reuters
The cost of the opioid epidemic in the US has increased six-fold after a White House panel revised the total to include the value of lost lives. Previous estimates looked only at health care, law enforcement and economic activity.

The updated figures put the actual cost of the opioid crisis on the American economy in 2015 as $504 billion, or the equivalent of 2.8 per cent of GDP, according to a new report from the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), a study group serving the executive branch.

The half a trillion total is a sharp increase from a study released last year that estimated the cost of the opioid epidemic in 2013 at $79 billion. Most of the costs were attributed to health care and criminal justice spending, as well as lost productivity.

Comment: Further reading:


Stock Up

Skeptical voters boost Trump for strong economy

© CNN Money
In 2016, the U.S. economy served as a punching bag for then-candidate Donald Trump. Today, it has become a lifeline for an otherwise embattled presidency. Trump has increasingly grabbed for that line, touting low unemployment, record high stock market values and healthy economic growth rates in speeches and his ubiquitous tweets.

Reactions from voters, even some who are otherwise skeptical of the president, show how the economy's strong performance has bolstered Trump's standing.

At a recent focus group that Peter Hart, a longtime Democratic pollster, conducted in Wilmington, N.C., for Emory University, even participants who voted for Trump last year sharply criticized his administration, calling it "chaotic" "embarrassing" and disappointing.

Of the five Trump voters among the dozen participants, only one still strongly supported the president. The harsh critiques from the other four followed a pattern that Hart found earlier this year, illustrating how a segment of Trump voters, mostly college-educated and middle- to upper-income whites, has turned against him because of his behavior.

But when the subject turned to the economy, opinions of Trump noticeably warmed.

Handcuffs

Oklahoma's 'family values' senator pleads guilty to child sex trafficking

© The Free Thought Project
Former Oklahoma Senator Ralph Shortey
A disgraced senator from Oklahoma has agreed to plead guilty to child sex trafficking charges in exchange for numerous other charges to be dropped.

In September, former Oklahoma Sen. Ralph Shortey was accused in a federal indictment of multiple counts of child sex trafficking and child pornography offenses. Over the weekend, Shortey agreed to plead guilty to a single child sex trafficking charge in exchange for three other charges to be dismissed. He now faces a minimum of 10 years in prison but could be sent away for life.

"Mr. Shortey feels this is a necessary step in putting this painful and humiliating ordeal behind him, for both himself, his family and for the state of Oklahoma," Shortey's attorney Ed Blau said on Friday.

Comment: How about 'the painful, humiliating circumstances' for the child? For Shortey, it was painful and humiliating to be caught and publicly exposed.


Airplane

British Airways' newest policy: 'Pay least, board last'

© Fortune
British Airways has divided opinion with a new "pay least, board last" policy that means passengers with the cheapest tickets will be last to hop on the aircraft.

As of December 12, all travelers flying within Europe will be assigned a group number between one and five at check-in, based on the fare they paid and their frequent flyer status.

Those in group one will include, unsurprisingly, first class flyers and Gold members of the British Airways Executive Club. Group four [two] passengers will comprise of Silver members, group three will be made up of Bronze status holders, and group four will include economy passengers. Right at the bottom of the pile will be those in group five, who have opted for BA's cheapest hand-luggage only fares.

Isn't this how boarding works already? Yes, despite the social media outcry that erupted after the announcement was made on Friday.

Comment: ALL of the plane gets to its destination in the same moment - seated first or last, cheapest or most expensive.


Stormtrooper

Cop attacks innocent man for saying police shouldn't abuse their power (VIDEO)

A Kentucky cop took offense to being told police officers throw their weight around, so he assaulted and kidnapped an innocent man.

A video recently uploaded by the Oath Accountability Project (OAP) appears to show a Lebanon Junction police officer arrest a man for simply asking for his name and badge number along with the name and badge number of his supervisor and noting how this cop was abusing his power.

The video begins with an unidentified man (we believe may go by "Avery") and woman at a Lebanon Junction, KY Pilot gas station. After the motorist asks the police officer for permission to stand under the awning, he tells his female friend:
Police in this town, in this state, in this city, have nothing better to do than to rouse people for nothing...play the bully role because they wear badges.

X

Greek island residents protest and strike in response to it effectively becoming a migrant 'prison'

Residents on the Greek island of Lesbos went on strike on Monday to protest against European policies they say have turned it into a "prison" for migrants and refugees.

Islanders shut businesses, shops, municipal offices, nurseries and pharmacies and dozens rallied on a central square, calling on the government to transfer asylum-seekers to the mainland.

"Lesbos is not a place of exile," a banner read.

Just a few miles from Turkey's coast, Lesbos has borne the brunt of Europe's migrant crisis. In 2015, nearly a million people - most fleeing Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan - landed on its shores before heading north, mainly to Germany.

Comment: A "state of emergency," chaos and desperation is exactly what elements of the EU, NATO and other organizations seek now that they have learned how to weaponize migration and turn an already awful situation into something far worse.