Egyptian Aak 2016- Week 8 (Feb 22-28)

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Nervana

Top headlines

  • Military spokesperson confirms error in 4-year-old’s conviction. Monday
  • Egypt Court orders release orders release on parole of Jihadist Mohamed El-Zawahiri. Tuesday 
  • Egypt’s Sisi says Russian plane was brought down by terrorists. Wednesday
  • Sisi said he would sell himself to fix Egypt’s debt. So someone put him up for sale on eBay. Reports
  • 3 Coptic teens were handed maximum 5-year prison sentence for insulting Islam. Thursday
  • House Judiciary Committee Advances Bill to Designate Muslim Brotherhood as Foreign Terrorist Organization. Friday

Okasha

Egyptian MP Okasha meets the Israeli Ambassador

Via Al-Bawaba  

Main Headlines

 Monday

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In 1927, Donald Trump’s father was arrested after a Klan riot in Queens

img_17912112141113111331211234112221221112111111111221115221113233On Sunday, Trump declined to disavow the support of white supremacists.

On Memorial Day 1927, brawls erupted in New York led by sympathizers of the Italian fascist movement and the Ku Klux Klan. In the fascist brawl, which took place in the Bronx, two Italian men were killed by anti-fascists. In Queens, 1,000 white-robed Klansmen marched through the Jamaica neighborhood, eventually spurring an all-out brawl in which seven men were arrested.

One of those arrested was Fred Trump of 175-24 Devonshire Rd. in Jamaica.

This is Donald Trump’s father. Trump had a brother named Fred, but he wasn’t born until more than a decade later. The Fred Trump at Devonshire Road was the Fred C. Trump who lived there with his wife, according to the 1930 Census.

The predication for the Klan to march, according to a flier passed around Jamaica beforehand, was that “Native-born Protestant Americans” were being “assaulted by Roman Catholic police of New York City.” “Liberty and Democracy have been trampled upon,” it continued, “when native-born Protestant Americans dare to organize to protect one flag, the American flag; one school, the public school; and one language, the English language.”

It’s not clear from the context what role Fred Trump played in the brawl. The news article simply notes that seven men were arrested in the “near-riot of the parade,” all of whom were represented by the same lawyers. No doubt to the chagrin of those in the Klan, the seven faced a Roman Catholic judge.

When news of the old report surfaced last year, Donald Trump vehemently denied his father’s arrest. “He was never arrested. He has nothing to do with this. This never happened. This is nonsense and it never happened,” he said to the Daily Mail. “This never happened. Never took place. He was never arrested, never convicted, never even charged. It’s a completely false, ridiculous story. He was never there! It never happened. Never took place.”

Given the politics and cultural constraints of 1927, the Klan wasn’t the sort of thing that a politician would necessarily be asked to condemn. An article in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle from that December notes that the Klan would probably weigh in heavily against the potential presidential nomination of then-New York Gov. Al Smith, given that he was a Catholic and a “champion of ‘alienism.'”

It’s worth noting that Trump’s comments came one day after another Klan brawl, this time in Anaheim, Calif. Thirteen people were arrested and three were stabbed after a Klan rally turned violent. And it’s worth noting, too, as did Jonathan Chait at New York magazine, that Trump’s claim to “know nothing” about white supremacists echoes the language of the 19th-century “Know Nothing” party — a nativist group that supported only Protestants for public office.

Source: In 1927, Donald Trump’s father was arrested after a Klan riot in Queens

Trump Won’t Condemn KKK, Says He ‘Knows Nothing About White Supremacists’

On CNN’s State of the Union, the Republican front-runner was asked if he’d distance himself from the support of former KKK grand wizard David Duke. Trump refused four times, saying, “I don’t know.”

Source: Trump Won’t Condemn KKK, Says He ‘Knows Nothing About White Supremacists’

On the Sunday morning talk shows, Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump refused to condemn endorsements from a prominent white supremacist and former KKK leader, and said he retweeted a Mussolini quote because “it’s a very good quote.”

The extended conversation about white supremacists came on CNN’sState of the Union, where Jake Tapper asked if Trump would distance himself from an endorsement by David Duke, former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. Duke has told his radio audience that voting against Trump would be “treason to your heritage.”

Trump refused to condemn that endorsement or say he didn’t want the support of white supremacists — four times.

“I don’t know anything about David Duke. I don’t know what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacist. I don’t know. I don’t know, did he endorse me, or what’s going on?” he said. That prompted a back-and-forth that went, in part:

Trump: I don’t know what group you’re talking about. You wouldn’t want me to condemn a group that I know nothing about. … If you would send me a list of the groups, I will do research on them and certainly I would disavow them if I thought there was something wrong.

Tapper: The Ku Klux Klan?

Trump: You may have groups in there that are totally fine and it would be very unfair. So give me a list of the groups and I’ll let you know.

Tapper: I’m just talking about David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan here.

Trump: Honestly, I don’t know David Duke.

You can watch the full exchange http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/28/politics/donald-trump-white-supremacists/index.html

As several people swiftly pointed out on Twitter, Trump hasn’t always claimed ignorance of David Duke.

In 2000, when he ended his presidential campaign, Trump cited Duke’s participation in the Reform Party as one reason he no longer wanted the party’s nomination.

“The Reform Party now includes a Klansman, Mr. Duke, a neo-Nazi, Mr. [Pat][ Buchanan, and a communist, Ms. [Lenora] Fulani. This is not company I wish to keep,” he wrote in his statement.

And as recently as Friday, Trump had disavowed Duke’s endorsement, without expressing any uncertainty about Duke’s identity. On Sunday, he didn’t reference that statement — or indicate he’d ever heard of Duke’s support for him.

On MSNBC, Chris Jansing spoke to Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., about his father’s comments on State of the Union.

He said he wasn’t a campaign spokesman — but as a spokesman for his father, he was willing to say Trump’s camp didn’t want the support of a former KKK leader.

“I’m pretty sure we’re not interested in those kinds of votes,” Trump Jr. said.

Also on the Sunday show circuit, on NBC’sMeet the Press, Trump declined to distance himself from a Benito Mussolini quote he had retweeted.

Gawker has since posted to announce that the account that first tweeted the quote — unsubtly named “@ilduce2016” — was a bot they designed with the express purpose of tricking Trump into retweeting a line from the fascist Italian dictator.

And the ploy succeeded.

When Chuck Todd pointed out that “it is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep” is, indeed, a famous Mussolini quote, and asked if Trump knew that, Trump said:

“It’s OK to know it was Mussolini. Look, Mussolini was Mussolini. … It’s a very good quote. It’s a very interesting quote.”

When Todd asked if Trump wanted to be associated with a fascist, Trump said, “No, I want to be associated with interesting quotes.”

He then pointed out he has millions of followers on social media, and that they appreciate his interesting posts.

“Hey, it got your attention, didn’t it?” Trump said.

Former CIA Chief Says Military Could Defy Donald Trump’s Orders

img_17912112141113111331211234112221221112111111111221115221113233Retired Gen. Michael Hayden said the U.S. military would likely refuse to follow certain orders from Donald Trump if he is elected to the White House in November and follows through on campaign promises.

Source: Former CIA Chief Says Military Could Defy Donald Trump’s Orders

WASHINGTON – Retired Gen. Michael Hayden, who recently led the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency, said the U.S. military would likely refuse to follow certain orders from Donald Trump if he is elected to the White House in November and follows through on campaign promises.

“I would be incredibly concerned if a President Trump governed in a way that was consistent with the language that Candidate Trump expressed during the campaign,” Gen. Hayden said during an interview will Bill Maher on Friday.

Mr. Trump, the frontrunner in the GOP primary, has vowed to use torture techniques against suspected terrorists if he wins the White House, going beyond waterboarding and doing things he described as a “hell of a lot worse.”

He has also suggested he would order U.S. forces to kill the family members of terrorists, a charge that some have alleged would be in violation of the Geneva Convention.

Gen. Hayden, who had been an adviser to the presidential campaign of Jeb Bush, said the military would be required to refuse to obey these orders if Mr. Trump handed them down from the White House.

“You are required not to follow an unlawful order,” Gen. Hayden said. Some of Mr. Trump’s proposals “would be in violation of all the international laws of armed conflict.”

America’s Race to the Bottom

I can think of few times in recent memory when I was so embarrassed to be an American as when I first saw this video of United States Senator Jim…

Source: America’s Race to the Bottom  img_1791211214111311133121123411222122111211111111122111522111323

can think of few times in recent memory when I was so embarrassed to be an American as when I first saw this video of United States Senator Jim Inhofe, chairman of the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee, attempt to demonstrate his assertion that climate change is a “hoax” by bringing a snowball with him into the Senate chamber. I don’t know whether Inhofe himself actually believes the nonsense he pontificates or if he is simply pandering to an ever-expanding base of low-information voters, but both of those prospects are equally frightening. There is a growing trend in this country, ironically most often propagated by ardent and vocal supporters of the concept of “American Exceptionalism“, to reject the studies and theories of scientists, professors and other educated folks as being “elitist” and “out of touch” with the demographic of mainstream America that they see themselves representing.

Rapidly shrinking arctic ice is affecting the size and reproduction of polar bears

Rapidly shrinking arctic ice is affecting the size and reproduction of polar bears

Let’s be clear: Climate change is very real and it is very much caused by human activity. This is the consensus of 97% of climate scientists around the world and has been accepted as truth by virtually every developed nation in the world except ours. We are already starting to see some of the effects of climate change occurring even sooner than some scientists predicted. Whether the denial that seems to be unique to America is a symptom of the blizzard of political polarization that has engulfed this country or simply the result of an increasing majority of Americans being unable or unwilling to comprehend a concept more complicated than “how can the Earth be getting warmer when it’s so cold outside?”, either way it shows a stark rejection of actual scientific research in favor of what Americans simply believe in their collective gut to be true.

Adam and Eve, from whom Christians believe the entirety of the human race is descended.

Adam and Eve, by Peter Paul Rubens

Another unfortunate example of the collective dumbing down of our country is the so-called “debate” between evolution and creationsim. There has been a strong push, especially in the South and Midwest where folks tend to be more fervent in their religious beliefs, to “teach the controversy” in our public schools. Mind you, said “controversy” doesn’t actually exist. Evolution is the universally acceptedscientific theory on how the human race came to be, whereas creationism is the Christian religious belief that the entirety of the human population descended from two people that a supreme being created literally out of dust. There is no debate among the scientific community as to which of those two theories actually took place, but yet there is a growing push to include creationism in the public school science curriculum. The Texas State Board of Education, which holds a tremendous influence over nationwide textbook publishers due to the volume of media they purchase, stated in a 2013 review that “‘Creation Science’ should be incorporated into every biology textbook.” Despite these blatant attempts to insert religion into a science curriculum where it has absolutely no place, our mainstream media, in a misguided attempt to appear non-partisan and unbiased, has given enough news coverage to “creationists” to make it appear as though the creationist argument is just as plausible and legitimate as the theory of evolution, when in reality nothing could be further from the truth.

Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey at the "Green Our Vaccines" press conference in 2008

Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey at the “Green Our Vaccines” press conference in 2008

Probably the most immediately dangerous aspect of science denial is the anti-vaccinemovement. The argument  that modern vaccinations are to blame for a wide range of health problems first came about when former British doctor Andrew Wakefield published a study in the medical journal The Lancet that supposedly linked the MMR vaccine to autism, aggressive behavior and irritable bowel syndrome. The Lancet subsequently retracted this publication and Wakefield’s medical license was ultimately revoked when it came to light that Wakefield was being paid for damaging information by trial lawyers who intended to bring a lawsuit against the vaccine manufacturer, that he co-owned a company that stood to make millions of dollars a year testing vaccinated children for the non-existent condition “autistic enterocolitis“, and that he falsified the data in his experiments to achieve the desired conclusions.

Despite the fact that Wakefield’s study has been thoroughly debunked as “an elaborate fraud,” the false notion that the MMR vaccine and other vaccines can cause autism and a host of other health problems continues to be propagated by celebrities such as Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey and remain widespread. These misguided fears have led to such an increase in parents refusing to vaccinate their children that last year a woman from Washington state actually died from pneumonia caused by measles, the first measles-related death in America in over a decade.

There is a video clip from the HBO series The Newsroom that has been making the rounds on social media in which a character played by Jeff Daniels is asked what makes America the greatest country in the world, and his surprising answer is, “It’s not.” Although Daniels plays a fictional character in the show his words lay bare an uncomfortable truth. If America is to continue to identify as the “greatest country in the world” then we as a people need to stop rejecting science and education as “elitism” and stop embracing and pandering to ignorance. In 2014, award-winning science educator Bill Nye and best-selling Christian author Ken Ham engaged in a debate on the merits of evolution vs creationism. When asked the question: “What, if anything, would ever change your mind?” their answers were telling.

Ham’s answer: “No one is ever going to convince me that the word of God is not true.”

Nye’s answer: “Just one piece of evidence.”

If we are to undo the self-inflicted damage we’ve  done, America needs a lot less of Ham’s attitude and a lot more of Nye’s.

 

VR: HELPING OUR VETS ONE STEP AT A TIME

VIRTUAL REALITY: HELPING OUR VETERANS RECOVER ONE VIRTUAL STEP AT A TIME Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy Aimed at Providing Relief For Veterans Suffe…

Source: VR: HELPING OUR VETS ONE STEP AT A TIME

by Susan Sacribey

Wars come and go but for the soldiers who fight them the memories associated with the horror of war never leave. In an effort to stave off symptoms associated with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which effects 1 out of every 5returning service members, therapists have taken to a new and proven combination of technologies in order to reach their collective goal.

Virtual Reality is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as: “an artificial world that consists of images and sounds created by a computer and that is affected by the actions of a person who is experiencing it.”

Photos credit via 123f.com

After being diagnosed with PTSD and screened for candidacy, veterans are asked to describe the traumatic events they experienced overseas, often focusing on the events that cause them to suffer from a range ofPTSD related symptoms.

Once the vet has given a detailed account of their traumatic event(s) a team of specialists get to work creating a tailor made scenario keeping the authenticity of the individuals trauma as a foundation to build upon. A virtual environment is then generated in order for that vet to relive their traumatic experience over and over again in a hopes to eventually desensitize the patient, this technique is often referred to as exposure therapy.

The staff at University of Southern California’s Institute of Creative Technologies have been hard at work the last few years creating a program named Bravemind for veterans suffering from PTSD. Using environment models such as the ones found on Xbox’s 2004 title Full Spectrum Warrior, teams have been able to piece together scenes depicting the events which have been identified as major contributors to the onset of PTSD in the former troops.

USC’s Institute of Creative Technologies stated their tech is, “Currently found at over 60 sites, including VA hospitals, military bases and university centers, ICT’s Virtual Iraq/Afghanistan exposure therapy approach has been shown to produce a meaningful reduction in PTS symptoms.”

Photo credit via usc.itc.edu

For a Demonstration of Bravemind Click HERE

In addition to stimulating the oratory senses other stimuli are introduced such as: surround sound audio clips, vibrations delivered via body sensors and smells found on the battlefield to give the patient a more convincing experience while under the watchful eye of a trained therapist.

According to Usgovernmentspending.com, the United States of America spent 644.8 billion on what is labeled “Military Defense” and only 36.5 on “Healthcare R&D” in 2015, surely there is enough in Washington’s war chest to go around now that we are merely advisors in Iraq and slowly climbing back down the mountains of Afghanistan.

CNN VR Therapy 2011

A report put out by the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit aimed at improving policy decisions for the US Government stated,

“The Army retains very little unutilized capacity to deploy additional active component soldiers without lengthening deployments or shortening the time between deploy- ments, both of which increase the burden on those who have already deployed.”

Photo credit via aoc.gov

According to a 2014 article from the Huffington Post, “6,845 Americans died and 900,000 were injured in Iraq and Afghanistan”. That is almost one million wounded.

With more service members returning from multiple deployments and with more wounded soldiers surviving the physical damage then in any other American war, the need for state of the art treatments for state of the art soldiers makes sense.

How can society as a whole look itself in the mirror after watching the volunteers leave in droves and be ok with limited access to effective treatments for those who are lucky enough to return? Those volunteers are everyday citizens who simply answered their nations call to arms. Helping them recover is as honorable as their going to war.

Americans have been adapting to the ever-changing currents of technology since the dawn of the industrial revolution and with a little whisper, from one ear to the next, hopefully VR and exposure therapy become a common sight for all of of our Wounded Warriors.

#Veterans #VirtuaReality #PTSD #WoundedWarriors #NeedsFunding #VAHospitals

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