Wednesday, December 14, 2016
The Cult of Trump, Bill Cosby 'a lifetime of sexual assault,' Child abuse in Army families, Sharia courts have no place in UK family law
- The Cult of Trump
The Trump family has become to America what the Kim family is to North Korea.
- Bill Cosby has shown 'a lifetime of sexual assault,' 13 women should be allowed to testify at trial, DA says
- Child abuse in Army families may be under-reported
- Sharia courts have no place in UK family law. Listen to women who know There must be no religious arbitration in family matters. It leaves minority women vulnerable to control by fundamentalists
The Cult of Trump
The Trump family has become to America what the Kim family is to North Korea.
By David Dillard-Wright AlterNet December 12, 2016
As of this writing, Donald Trump is making his cabinet picks, which aside from conspiracy-monger Steve Bannon, look like the usual rightward Wall Street and D.C. insiders. The Trump regime seems so far like it will promote an uglier and more aggressive version of the standard Republican policies: deregulation, privatization and tax cuts for the wealthy. We can expect to see over the coming years the continued decline of the middle class, a shrinking social safety net, an acceleration of environmental catastrophe, unchecked corporate malfeasance, expanding federal deficits, and a deepening of the surveillance state. There will most likely be diversionary tactics in the form of more warfare abroad and the concomitant curtailing of civil liberties at home. Trump will likely fulfill many of his campaign promises, albeit in scaled-down versions. But don’t expect his followers to abandon him even if he reneges on many key commitments from his electric, nationalistic rallies.
The rallies explain Trump far more than his vague policy prescriptions. His followers view him as a sort of prophet of American triumphalism. The stadium becomes the evangelical circus tent of renewal and transformation: a purgation of America through ecstatic trampling of racial, ethnic, and religious minorities. The cult of personality around Trump and his family goes a long way towards explaining his popularity. His followers support him through a maneuver of sympathetic magic: by supporting this bombastic billionaire (a euphemistic phrase, but words fail the sheer scope of his ego), they hope to imbibe some of his Midas touch. Ethics and accountability be damned: his fawning admirers want a slice of the proverbial pie even if it comes at someone else’s expense. They are not bothered by Trump University or the Atlantic City bankruptcies—they just want a piece of the action.
The vast majority of Trump’s supporters will fare worse economically under his administration, but this is nothing new in the Republican electorate. What is different about Trump is that he is really more a cult leader than a traditional politician. The term “cult” carries with it associations with Jim Jones and poisoned Kool-Aid, Aum Shinrikyo and the subway attacks, the Moonies and their mass weddings. But the comparison goes beyond its shock value and usefully explains how Trump went from being a glorified carnival barker to the leader of the most powerful country in the world. Trump harnessed some of the fervor that is more typical of religious devotion than adherence to a political ideology, and that explains why he succeeded where Mitt Romney didn’t....
For that reason, the Trump phenomenon is vanishingly unlikely to be a flash in the pan. Trump will pass his real estate empire and his political empire (and I would argue, his religious empire) down to his children. American oligarchy will become more and more like Russian kleptocracy. Constitutional niceties will be eroded. Dissidents will be jailed or slandered. Vast sums of money will disappear. And yet the pageantry of democracy will remain intact. Trump will still give speeches from the White House rose garden and the oval office. Those who wish to pretend that nothing is amiss will be given adequate materials, photo ops to supply their fantasies.
When toxic religion and toxic politics meet, the results cannot be pretty. A plurality of Americans have now joined a death cult of historic proportions, and the rest of us are being advised to “give Trump a chance” and “wait and see what happens.” The warning signs are more than enough to make this foolhardy advice. Those who are not on board the Trump train should do our best to work against the propaganda efforts of Breitbart, Infowars, RT, and Fox News. We should try to dissuade our friends and loved ones from “drinking the kool-aid” of believing in this fraudulent little man who serves only his own interests. A livable future only becomes possible if we resist his regime at every turn....
Bill Cosby has shown 'a lifetime of sexual assault,' 13 women should be allowed to testify at trial, DA says
NY Daily News THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Wednesday, December 14, 2016
NORRISTOWN, Pa. — More than a dozen women who accuse Bill Cosby of sexual assault should be allowed to testify at his upcoming trial because their stories are so similar that they show the “handiwork of the same perpetrator,” a prosecutor argued Wednesday.
Returning to court for the second day of a key pretrial hearing, Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said the 79-year-old Cosby befriended women who saw him as a mentor, knocked them out with pills and drinks and sexually assaulted them.
Steele wants a judge to let 13 of the women take the witness stand at Cosby’s trial next year on charges he sexually assaulted a woman in 2004 at his home outside Philadelphia.
“This is a lifetime of sexual assault on young women,” Steele told Judge Steven O’Neill.....
Cosby was known as America’s Dad for his top-rated family sitcom, “The Cosby Show,” which ran from 1984 to 1992....
Child abuse in Army families may be under-reported
By HealthDay News Dec. 14, 2016
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 14, 2016 -- Child abuse within U.S. Army families may be significantly under-reported, a new study suggests.
Researchers found that only one-fifth of diagnosed child abuse and neglect cases among U.S. Army-dependent children from 2004 to 2007 had a substantiated report with the Army's Family Advocacy Program (FAP). The program is responsible for investigating and treating child abuse.
That's less than half the rate (44 percent) of child abuse cases substantiated by civilian Child Protective Services, according to the study. The investigation was conducted by researchers at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the U.S. Army FAP.
The implication is that "some children are falling through the cracks of a broken system," said study senior author Dr. Dave Rubin, a pediatrician at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia....
The results were published Dec. 12 in the journal Child Abuse & Neglect.
Sharia courts have no place in UK family law. Listen to women who know
There must be no religious arbitration in family matters. It leaves minority women vulnerable to control by fundamentalists
We oppose any religious body – whether presided over by men or women – that seeks to rule over us.” So say more than 300 mostly Muslim women, but also others from different faiths who have been abused in their personal lives. These women are voicing their alarm, through a powerful statement published by Open Democracy, about the growing power of religious bodies such as sharia councils, and demand that their voices also be heard in the current debate.
From their own lived experiences, they warn against any attempt to normalise profoundly regressive religious codes of conduct as the basis of social interaction with, and policy development aimed at, minority women. They do so against the backdrop of Louise Casey’s report that warns of minority women who are trapped in abuse and isolation, and two ongoing inquiries into sharia councils: one initiated by the government and the other by the home affairs select committee.
The signatories to the statement have witnessed, experienced or fled from the horrors and degradations of “honour” killings, domestic violence, child and ritual abuse, forced marriage, polygamy, rape and sexual assaults. They speak out against religious impositions that exacerbate their daily struggles to live their lives as they choose. They reject the forces of fundamentalism and patriarchy that seek to divide and govern through surveillance and control of female sexuality.... https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/dec/14/sharia-courts-family-law-women