All posts by Tom Jones

Opinion | I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration – The New York Times

The Times today is taking the rare step of publishing an anonymous Op-Ed essay. We have done so at the request of the author, a senior official in the Trump administration whose identity is known to us and whose job would be jeopardized by its disclosure. We believe publishing this essay anonymously is the only way to deliver an important perspective to our readers. We invite you to submit a question about the essay or our vetting process here.

President Trump is facing a test to his presidency unlike any faced by a modern American leader.

It’s not just that the special counsel looms large. Or that the country is bitterly divided over Mr. Trump’s leadership. Or even that his party might well lose the House to an opposition hellbent on his downfall.

The dilemma — which he does not fully grasp — is that many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.
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I would know. I am one of them.

To be clear, ours is not the popular “resistance” of the left. We want the administration to succeed and think that many of its policies have already made America safer and more prosperous.

But we believe our first duty is to this country, and the president continues to act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our republic.

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That is why many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump’s more misguided impulses until he is out of office.

The root of the problem is the president’s amorality. Anyone who works with him knows he is not moored to any discernible first principles that guide his decision making.
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Although he was elected as a Republican, the president shows little affinity for ideals long espoused by conservatives: free minds, free markets and free people. At best, he has invoked these ideals in scripted settings. At worst, he has attacked them outright.

In addition to his mass-marketing of the notion that the press is the “enemy of the people,” President Trump’s impulses are generally anti-trade and anti-democratic.

Don’t get me wrong. There are bright spots that the near-ceaseless negative coverage of the administration fails to capture: effective deregulation, historic tax reform, a more robust military and more.

But these successes have come despite — not because of — the president’s leadership style, which is impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective.

From the White House to executive branch departments and agencies, senior officials will privately admit their daily disbelief at the commander in chief’s comments and actions. Most are working to insulate their operations from his whims.

Meetings with him veer off topic and off the rails, he engages in repetitive rants, and his impulsiveness results in half-baked, ill-informed and occasionally reckless decisions that have to be walked back.

“There is literally no telling whether he might change his mind from one minute to the next,” a top official complained to me recently, exasperated by an Oval Office meeting at which the president flip-flopped on a major policy decision he’d made only a week earlier.
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The erratic behavior would be more concerning if it weren’t for unsung heroes in and around the White House. Some of his aides have been cast as villains by the media. But in private, they have gone to great lengths to keep bad decisions contained to the West Wing, though they are clearly not always successful.

It may be cold comfort in this chaotic era, but Americans should know that there are adults in the room. We fully recognize what is happening. And we are trying to do what’s right even when Donald Trump won’t.

The result is a two-track presidency.

Take foreign policy: In public and in private, President Trump shows a preference for autocrats and dictators, such as President Vladimir Putin of Russia and North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, and displays little genuine appreciation for the ties that bind us to allied, like-minded nations.

Astute observers have noted, though, that the rest of the administration is operating on another track, one where countries like Russia are called out for meddling and punished accordingly, and where allies around the world are engaged as peers rather than ridiculed as rivals.

On Russia, for instance, the president was reluctant to expel so many of Mr. Putin’s spies as punishment for the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain. He complained for weeks about senior staff members letting him get boxed into further confrontation with Russia, and he expressed frustration that the United States continued to impose sanctions on the country for its malign behavior. But his national security team knew better — such actions had to be taken, to hold Moscow accountable.

This isn’t the work of the so-called deep state. It’s the work of the steady state.

Given the instability many witnessed, there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment, which would start a complex process for removing the president. But no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis. So we will do what we can to steer the administration in the right direction until — one way or another — it’s over.

The bigger concern is not what Mr. Trump has done to the presidency but rather what we as a nation have allowed him to do to us. We have sunk low with him and allowed our discourse to be stripped of civility.
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Senator John McCain put it best in his farewell letter. All Americans should heed his words and break free of the tribalism trap, with the high aim of uniting through our shared values and love of this great nation.

We may no longer have Senator McCain. But we will always have his example — a lodestar for restoring honor to public life and our national dialogue. Mr. Trump may fear such honorable men, but we should revere them.

There is a quiet resistance within the administration of people choosing to put country first. But the real difference will be made by everyday citizens rising above politics, reaching across the aisle and resolving to shed the labels in favor of a single one: Americans.

The writer is a senior official in the Trump administration.

Source: Opinion | I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration – The New York Times

Women cheer as Sweden’s man-free music festival kicks off – The Local

“This festival was necessary because of everything that happened during festivals last year,” says the 27-year-old student with long pink hair and purple lipstick as her friends nod in agreement.

Held in Sweden’s second-largest city of Gothenburg, the two-day Statement Festival, forbids men but not transgender people. It was announced last year after police received four rape and 23 sexual assault reports at Sweden’s largest Bravalla Festival, which was cancelled this year as a result.

“What do you think about us creating an awesome festival where only non-men are welcome until ALL men learn how to behave?” Swedish comedian Emma Knyckare, who founded the Statement Festival, tweeted at the time.

Located inside an industrial building in Gothenburg’s harbour, only female bands are performing and neither male security guards nor journalists are allowed to enter.

Rebecka Ljung, spokeswoman for the festival, told AFP “thousands” of women were expected to attend the festival.

Under cloudy skies, the festival got started with women holding beers and smiling and walking harmoniously in groups.

With two main stages for the mainly Swedish women performers, there was plenty of space to rest outside on pink coloured seats at the centre of the site, turning the festival into a convivial place in contrast to traditional festivals.

“This place feels like a safe-zone where women can just get together and have fun and celebrate … especially in light of the assaults that have happened at other festivals,” said Julia Skonneby, a 34-year-old performer.

“It feels like a certain tension is gone… we’re here to make a statement together,” Hanna Gustavsson, a 31-year-old designer, chimed in.

Statement, launched after raising more than 500,000 kronor (47,000 euros, $54,000) through crowdfunding, defines a transgender person as “a person who does not identify with the sex assigned to them at birth”.

This means transgender women born as men are allowed to attend. Only men who identify with the sex they were born with, also called cis men, are banned.

Discriminatory?

The Scandinavian country is one of the most gender equal countries in the world.

After receiving several complaints, the Equality Ombudsman (DO), a government agency that promotes equal rights and handles discrimination complaints, has asked the festival to specify what it means by “cis men”.

“We want to examine whether the festival is compatible with discrimination laws,” the agency’s spokesman Clas Lundstedt told AFP, adding it would take a couple of weeks to reach a conclusion.

Festival-goer Gustavsson said she thought it was fair to bar men.

“I don’t believe in complete separatism but I think it’s very important to have this festival right now.”

According to the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention, 4.1 percent of women reported that they had been the victim of a sexual crime compared to 0.6 percent of men in Sweden.

Knyckare told AFP that the MeToo wave exposing sexual assault unveiled “serious problems” in Sweden, one of the most gender equal nations in the world, at not only festivals but several institutions.

“It seems like men have woken up to how huge the problem with sexual violence is,” she told AFP.

Source: Women cheer as Sweden’s man-free music festival kicks off – The Local

Kimberly Guilfoyle says she and Trump Jr. ‘make the perfect team’

Kimberly Guilfoyle and Donald Trump Jr. hit the Hamptons last week to help raise big bucks for Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin.

After headlining a fund-raiser Tuesday night with 600 guests at the home of Steve Louro on Smithtown Bay, the lovebirds were in Bridgehampton on Friday night at the Sandcastle, the estate that builder Joe Farrell has listed for $49.95 million.

“I’ve never been happier,” Guilfoyle told me. “I am thrilled to be joining Don Jr. across the country in amplifying the America-first message. We are working non-stop and we make the perfect team.”

One of the guests said the couple “arrived like royalty and worked the room together. They are a real power couple.”

Guilfoyle said it was an honor to travel across the country and see how America was becoming great again. She introduced Don Jr., and he told the crowd, “She’s a tough act to follow.”

Their co-hosts were Monica Crowley and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

On Monday night, the duo co-hosted a $50,000-per-couple fund-raiser with former Yankee pitcher Mariano Rivera at a Midtown restaurant for the America First Action PAC, of which Guilfoyle is vice chairwoman.

Source: Kimberly Guilfoyle says she and Trump Jr. ‘make the perfect team’

NYCHA employees accused of using projects for wild orgies

NYCHA workers transformed a Bronx housing project into their own personal sex club — engaging in wild, boozy orgies inside offices, the groundskeepers shop and even empty apartments, sources said Monday.

“[It happened on] overtime, during working hours, after working hours, any day or any time of the day,” said Throggs Neck Houses Tenant Association President Monique Johnson. “I now understand why work wasn’t getting done.”

Things got so bad earlier this month that NYCHA had to transfer the entire complex staff — roughly 40 people — to another location as a result of the romps.

“There was a lot of people included,” Johnson told The Post. “Supervisors were allegedly having sexual relations with caretakers. There was drinking and sexual acts going on…More playing, and less working.”

At any given time, staff members were known to find up to a dozen people taking part in the orgies, according to sources.

Some workers got so fed up with the debauchery that they secretly shot videos and photos as evidence — which they later offered up to NYCHA management, the sources said.

Complaints were filed with the Department of Investigation, which recommended NYCHA take disciplinary action on Aug. 15, per a city official.

NYCHA General Manager Vito Mustaciuolo ordered the Throggs Neck staff off the premises on Friday and asked everyone to turn in their keys — even the workers who weren’t involved.

“It’s bittersweet,” Johnson said. “It gives us the opportunity to start fresh, start anew. But you have workers that have been here for 20-plus years. They had nothing to do with these allegations, and now they’ve been uprooted. I feel sad for them.”

NYCHA spokesperson Robin Levine told The Post that the department had “long-standing concerns about management and performance issues” at the Throggs Neck houses.

“Those concerns, coupled with troubling allegations of misconduct, are why the staff was reassigned,” Levine said.

The sexcapades are the latest black eye for the embattled Housing Authority.

Mayor Bill de Blasio agreed to pay as much as $2.2 billion over the next decade to settle charges that it mounted a years-long cover-up to hide its failure to conduct required lead inspections, potentially left hundreds of kids exposed to the toxic substance, and the crumbling and toxic conditions in its hundreds of complexes scattered around the city.

Source: NYCHA employees through wild sex parties in Bronx housing project

QAnon conspiracy theorist meets Trump at White House

A former New York City TV commentator – and now kooky conspiracy theorist – got a private audience with President Trump, according to a published report Friday.

Attorney and QAnon conspiracy theorist Michael LeBron – better known as “Lionel” from his former gig at WPIX – snapped an Oval Office picture with Trump on Thursday and posted it to social media.

The Daily Beast first reported the oddball meeting and said it had reached out to four White House officials, who declined to comment on the weird encounter.

But as the Daily Beast interviewed West Wing officials, two of them couldn’t hold in their laughter.

“This president is a president for all Americans (including conspiracy theorists),” one of them joked.

LeBron posted the Instagram picture of himself and his wife smiling with Trump at the president’s desk.

“There simply are no words to explicate this profound honor,” he wrote.

LeBron is among the web’s leading voices of the pro-Trump QAnon movement – which believes leading Democrats are behind a globalist pedophile cult and are behind Deep State efforts to undermine the president, the Daily Beast reported.

QAnon signs had been commonplace at Trump rallies in recent weeks.

LeBron said on his YouTube channel that Trump personally arranged for this visit and tour.

“Here he is, right now, taking time out speaking to us while the entire Deep State, the swamp, Democrats, Republicans, all of them conspiring in the most bloodthirsty cut-throat movement to remove him,” LeBron said.

The conspiracy theorist, however, said he didn’t bring up QAnon to Trump during their meeting.

“By the way never said anything about Q (to Trump),” LeBron said. “I would never ever want to be known as somebody who would connect the president for something. I think we all know he knows about. Never said it. Never came up.”

Source: QAnon conspiracy theorist meets Trump at White House

Ecosexuals Believe Having Sex with the Earth Could Save It – VICE

If you happen to find yourself in Sydney this week, you have the unique opportunity to have sex with the earth. You just need to stop by the “ecosexual bathhouse,” which is currently part of the Syndey LiveWorks Festival of experimental art. The bathhouse is an interactive installation created by artists Loren Kronemyer and Ian Sinclair of Pony Express, who described the work to me as a “no-holds-barred extravaganza meant to dissolve the barriers between species as we descend into oblivion” as the result of our global environmental crisis. But they also see their piece as a part of a much larger ecosexual movement, which they say is gathering momentum around the world.

And they may be right. Jennifer Reed, a PhD candidate in sociology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, is writing a dissertation on ecosexuality, and says that the number of people who identify as ecosexuals has increased markedly in the past two years. And Google search data confirms that interest in the term has spiked dramatically over the past year. We may look back on 2016 as the year ecosexuality hit the mainstream.

Ecosexuality is a term with wide-ranging definitions, which vary depending on who you ask.

Amanda Morgan, a faculty member at the UNLV School of Community Health Sciences who is involved in the ecosexual movement, says that ecosexuality could be measured in a sense not unlike the Kinsey Scale: On one end, it encompasses people who try to use sustainable sex products, or who enjoy skinny dipping and naked hiking. On the other are “people who roll around in the dirt having an orgasm covered in potting soil,” she said. “There are people who fuck trees, or masturbate under a waterfall.”

The movement’s growing prominence owes much to the efforts of Bay Area performance artists, activists, and couple Annie Sprinkle and Elizabeth Stephens, who have made ecosexuality a personal crusade. They have published an “ecosex manifesto” on their website SexEcology and produced several films on the theme, including a documentary, Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story, which depicts the “pollen-amorous” relationship between them and the Appalachian Mountains. And while touring a theater piece across the country, Dirty Sexecology: 25 Ways to Make Love to the Earth, they’ve officiated wedding ceremonies where they and fellow ecosexuals marry the earth, the moon, and other natural entities.

Sprinkle and Stephens talk openly about ecosexuality as a new form of sexual identity. At last year’s San Francisco Pride Parade, they led a contingent of over a hundred ecosexuals in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to “officially” add an E to the LGBTQI acronym; Stephens told Outside that they believe there are now at least 100,000 people around the world who openly identify as ecosexuals.

According to Reed’s research, the term “ecosexuality” has existed since the early 2000s, when it started appearing as a self-description on online dating profiles. It wasn’t until 2008 that it began its evolution toward a fully fledged social movement, when Sprinkle and Stephens began officiating ecosexual weddings. The two artists had been active in the marriage equality movement, and they wanted to harness that energy for environmental causes. Stephens has said that their aim was to reconceptualize the way we look at the earth, from seeing the planet as a mother to seeing it as a lover.

Also in 2008, Stefanie Iris Weiss, a writer and activist based in New York, began researching her book Eco-sex: Go Green Between the Sheets and Make Your Love Life Sustainable, published in 2010. Weiss, who was at that time unaware of Sprinkle and Stephens’s work, initially lent the idea a more practical, literal focus, with research revealing the harmful environmental impact of materials used in condoms, lubes, and other sex products upon both our bodies and the planet. She said that she wrote the book to help people make their sex lives “more carbon neutral and sustainable,” and to help us avoid polluting our bodies when we have sex.

The desire for safer and more sustainable sex products remains an important part of the ecosexual movement, and Weiss said that green options for consumers when it comes to sex products have increased dramatically since she wrote her book. But she has also happily embraced Sprinkle and Stephens’s more holistic take on ecosexuality, immediately recognizing in their efforts a shared goal: to help people reconnect with nature, and with their own bodies.

Reed said that ecosexuality is different from other social movements in that it focuses on personal behavior and pleasure rather than protests or politics. She said that some people within the environmental movement have kept their distance from it for this reason. But ecosexual activists interviewed for this story all insist they have a serious goal at heart. As Morgan said, thinking about the earth as a lover is the first step toward taking the environmental crisis seriously. “If you piss off your mother, she’s probably going to forgive you. If you treat your lover badly, she’s going to break up with you.”

At the same time, the sense of levity that characterizes works such as the bathhouse or Sprinkle and Stephens’s performances is an integral part of the movement. Morgan describes ecosexuality as a means of moving beyond the “depressing Al Gore stuff” that people often associate with environmentalism. Her hope, and that of other ecosexuals such as Weiss and Kronemyer, is that it can gives the average person a way of engaging with the issue that is accessible and fun, and that creates a sense of hopefulness.
Morgan and Weiss both say that they also see sex as a potentially powerful tool for motivating people to make the environment a priority. As Weiss put it: “If you’re running from floods, you won’t have any time for sex.”

Neil McArthur is the director of the Centre for Professional and Applied Ethics at University of Manitoba, where his work focuses on sexual ethics and the philosophy of sexuality. Follow him on Twitter.

Source: Ecosexuals Believe Having Sex with the Earth Could Save It – VICE

‘The Five’ co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle leaves Fox News


Fox News’ “The Five” co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle exited the network on Friday under unclear circumstances — with Fox confirming only, “Fox News has parted ways with Kimberly Guilfoyle.”

In the months before she left, we hear, network staffers had grown tired of the drama and publicity surrounding her high-profile relationships — first with Anthony Scaramucci and then Donald Trump Jr. Sources said that in recent weeks, colleagues were complaining about having to deal with a disproportionate amount of work generated by Guilfoyle.

Reports have said she’ll join Trump Jr. on the campaign trail and that she has joined pro-Trump super PAC America First.

In May, Page Six revealed exclusively that the anchor and Trump Jr. were dating.

Source: ‘The Five’ co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle leaves Fox News

A Starring Role for Hollywood’s Sexual Zelig :: WRAL.com

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — “It’s hard to know where to begin,” said Matt Tyrnauer, a Vanity Fair special correspondent turned documentary filmmaker, as he dryly started to describe his new movie, which looks at closeted luminaries during Hollywood’s Golden Age. “There’s a story about Cole Porter and multiple carloads of guys, but it’s probably not printable.” 8

Oh, dear.

Best, then, to start in 2012. In an X-rated, best-selling memoir published that year, a former Marine named Scotty Bowers recounted how, between 1946 and the mid-1980s, he ran a type of prostitution ring for gay and bisexual people in the film industry, including A-listers like Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. Bowers also claimed to have personally shared a bed with J. Edgar Hoover and arranged wild sexual liaisons for the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

It was hard to believe, to put it mildly. Bowers offered no proof, and everyone he named was conveniently dead. “Supposedly true,” wrote Janet Maslin, a New York Times book critic. Writing about the lurid, no-detail-too-excruciating memoir for The Washington Post, Charles Kaiser asked: “Can we believe all of this? Half?”

Tyrnauer — curious about the answers, as well as the notion of Bowers as a missing link in LGBTQ history — decided to find out. He trailed Bowers for more than two years and found now-elderly men willing to talk on camera about working as gay prostitutes. He turned up supporting evidence (photos, explicit Super 8 footage from 1965) and filmed Liz Smith, the late gossip columnist, confirming the lesbianism of Hepburn, a longtime friend.

His conclusion? “It all adds up,” said Tyrnauer, whose previous films include “Valentino: The Last Emperor” (2008).

“Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood,” scheduled for theatrical release on July 27, arrives amid a box office boom for documentaries. “RBG,” an affectionate portrait of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” about Fred Rogers, the children’s television host known as Mister Rogers, are both runaway hits by nonfiction-film standards.

Gaining steam in recent weeks have been “Three Identical Strangers,” about triplet brothers separated at birth, and “Whitney,” focused on Whitney Houston’s talent and demons.

Even so, “Scotty” could face an uphill climb with general audiences. Privately reading about a sexual Zelig is one thing. Gathering in a theater to watch a grinning Bowers, now 95, wax nostalgic about Cole Porter’s insatiability may be another.

The seemingly unending #MeToo revelations of the last year could also affect “Scotty.” How much more information about Hollywood’s sexual underbelly can people take?

“This is a perfect example of the expression, ‘people need to get a life,’” said Jeanine Basinger, the film scholar and author of Hollywood histories like “The Star Machine.” “Personally, I’m more interested in the work of these people than their possible off-screen shenanigans.”

Tyrnauer, who will follow up “Scotty” in October with “Studio 54,” another documentary that deals with gay history and excess, knows that a lot of what Bowers has to say is pretty shocking — even nearly 34 years after Rock Hudson’s death from AIDS and 59 years after “Hollywood Babylon” was first published. And that is part of Tyrnauer’s point.

“The sexual proclivities of some of the biggest stars of that era — Cary Grant, in particular — were well known to the town’s insiders,” Tyrnauer said over coffee at the Beverly Wilshire hotel. “But people still gasp. That says so much about the enduring power of the Hollywood myth machine.”

He added: “Telling an alternate history of Hollywood through a lens of one of its great unsung characters is a worthwhile thing to do. Scotty also fills in a lot of the blanks and spaces in the history of the LGBTQ movement.”

Bowers, who grew up on a farm in Illinois, settled in Los Angeles in 1946 after fighting in the Pacific during World War II. He got a job pumping gas at the corner of North Van Ness Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard, about five blocks from the old Warner Bros. lot, where Netflix is based today. He was 23.

As the story goes, Walter Pidgeon (“Mrs. Miniver”) drove up in a Lincoln coupe and propositioned Bowers, who accepted. Word got around. Bowers was soon running what he describes as a matchmaking service, with himself and several adventurous friends as the service providers. “I just wanted to make people happy,” he said in a recent interview.

Payment was a $20 bill, given as “a tip,” according to Bowers, who says that he supported himself as a sex worker and bartender for decades, miraculously avoiding the vice squad and expanding to provide partners for heterosexual stars like Vivien Leigh and Desi Arnaz. He retired (sort of) with the onset of AIDS in the 1980s; he also got married, to a woman, in 1984. Along the way, Bowers drew the attention of Alfred Kinsey, the sex researcher, Tyrnauer said.

“Scotty is the through line of sex and sexuality in the second half of the 20th century — touching every theme from his dealings with Dr. Kinsey, to the rise of gay communities in the big cities, to the dark days of the vice squad,” Tyrnauer said. In his view, he added, Bowers is nothing short of “a visionary in a world where we now accept doing your own thing in the realm of sexuality as nothing to be ashamed of.”

Even so, Tyrnauer, who had heard whispers about Bowers from men like Merv Griffin and Gore Vidal long before the publication of his memoir, decided to leave a lot of tawdry information on the cutting-room floor. He included some new tidbits that are not in the book — a vivid anecdote about Bowers, Lana Turner, Ava Gardner and Frank Sinatra, for instance — but left out dozens of other boldfaced names. “Listing off tricks isn’t all that interesting,” Tyrnauer said, adding that lawyers who vetted the film requested no changes.

Instead, the cinéma vérité “Scotty” spends a great deal of time following Bowers in the present day. He putters around the extremely cluttered house he shares with Lois, his voice-of-reason wife, and cleans out one of seven storage units. He peruses the latest issue of Cat Fancy magazine. At one point, Bowers contends with the ashes of a former friend and client, Beach Dickerson, a B-movie actor who died in 2005.

“So many happy memories,” Bowers said about the movie. “Matt found so many things. I love how it turned out.”

Bowers was sitting on the Chateau Marmont patio in West Hollywood, drinking an Arnold Palmer and flirting up a storm. He reminisced about his friendship with Vidal, who died in 2012, and paused to take a call on his cellphone from a male friend. (“Hey, baby, I’m down at the Chateau.”)

And he spoke about how much fun he had been having on the promotional circuit for “Scotty.” He was looking forward to several coming events. West Hollywood, for instance, was scheduled to present him with a key to the city.

“Can you believe it?” he said, smiling impishly.

Source: A Starring Role for Hollywood’s Sexual Zelig :: WRAL.com

From drag queens to rappers: up close with the UK’s anti-Trump protesters – video | Politics | The Guardian

The Guardian spends the day getting to know the people Donald Trump tried to avoid during his visit to the UK. More than 100,000 people travelled to London from around the country to protest against the US president, according to the organisers of the two marches that converged on Trafalgar Square

Source: From drag queens to rappers: up close with the UK’s anti-Trump protesters – video | Politics | The Guardian

NYC birth certificate gender options would include ‘X’ under new proposal for adults | am New York

New Yorkers who do not identify as either male or female may soon have the option to change their birth certificate to a third category.

Under a proposal announced by City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Mayor Bill de Blasio, adults will have the option to change their given gender to “X.” The proposal would also remove a rule requiring a letter from a medical or mental health professional to change the gender on a birth certificate.

“You don’t need a doctor to tell you who you are and you shouldn’t need a doctor to change your birth certificate to reflect your true self. This groundbreaking legislation will make New York birth certificates more inclusive for all and will send a powerful signal to the world that New York City government works for everyone,” Johnson said in a statement.

The proposal would only affect adults and does not change the options on birth certificates for newborns, a City Council spokeswoman said. Currently, there is a “undetermined or unknown” option for the gender at birth, according to the AP.

“Transgender New Yorkers, like everyone else, should have birth certificates that reflect their true gender identity,” Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett said in a statement. “By allowing self-attestation and ‘X’, the Health Department and City Council are reaffirming our commitment to the self-determination of the transgender and gender non-conforming community.”

The city’s Board of Health will consider the proposal at a meeting on Tuesday. If the board agrees, there will be a hearing on the changes in July and a vote in September, city officials said.

In 2014, the City Council and city health department approved an amendment to remove a requirement for surgery to change the gender on a birth certificate.

California, Oregon and Washington all have a third option on their birth certificates, the AP reported.

Source: NYC birth certificate gender options would include ‘X’ under new proposal for adults | am New York

Louis Vuitton fires, then hires shaman to prevent rain at fashion show


Luxury brand Louis Vuitton hired a shaman to prevent rain from marring the brand’s recent over-the-top show in the south of France.

Sources tell Page Six that while the guru had also been hired to tame the weather at previous shows around the world, skeptical execs at parent company LVMH had recently axed the jet-setting holy man from the budget.

But when a downpour unfashionably soaked an outdoor Dior show last week in Chantilly, France, the shaman was back on the payroll for Louis Vuitton’s fashion show at the Fondation Maeght, near Antibes, this week.

Top stylist Kate Young posted as part of a fashion diary for Vogue.com for the Louis Vuitton resort show: “Vuitton hired a shaman to stave off the rain and apparently all his work succeeded (kissing trees, or so I heard), because it didn’t rain until after the show finished!”

Harper’s Bazaar reported of the show, “The unidentified shaman also commanded the weather at LV’s Cruise shows in Rio and Kyoto.” But insiders further tell Page Six that after the aforementioned Rio de Janeiro show last year at the Niterói museum, LVMH brass cut the big kahuna loose.

“They used the shaman in Rio,” said a source, to ward off any potential bad weather, but then “the executives thought it was dumb” and gave the cosmic weatherman a pink slip.

Then last week, the Dior show was deluged when, according to WWD, “a heavy rainstorm broke moments before the start of the show, dousing the models as they made their way around the semi-open venue.”

Page Six sources say that’s when LVMH decided to bring back the shaman to the Louis Vuitton show — and the plan seemed to work, keeping rain away until the catwalk was cleared. Guests who stayed dry thanks to the mystical intervention included Emma Stone, Léa Seydoux, Ruth Negga and Sienna Miller. Reps did not immediately comment.

Source: Louis Vuitton fires, then hires shaman to prevent rain at fashion show

Google listed “Nazism” as the ideology of the California Republican Party – VICE News


Less than a week before the California primary, Google listed “Nazism” as the ideology of the California Republican Party.

In the “knowledge panel” that provides easy access to information next to search results, Google was showing “Nazism” as an “ideology” of the party as of Thursday morning. The word “Nazism” was hyperlinked to a secondary page that shows “Nazism” alongside other “ideologies” of California Republicans like “Conservatism,” “Market liberalism,” “Fiscal conservatism,” and “Green conservatism.”

California voters have been casting their absentee ballots for weeks ahead of Tuesday’s statewide primary elections, which will help determine the majority in the House of Representative and the potential next governor of the world’s fifth-largest economy.

But voters looking for information by searching “California Republicans” or “California Republican Party” were getting “Nazism” next to their search results until Google took the listing down later Thursday after a query from VICE News.

Google’s information box on the California Republican Party.
The listing is provoking outrage among Republicans who already believe Silicon Valley tech giants are stacking the deck against them.

“It is disgraceful that the world’s largest search engine has labeled millions of California Republicans as Nazis,” said Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, the House Majority Leader and potential successor to Speaker Paul Ryan. “This is just the latest incident in a disturbing trend to slander conservatives. These damaging actions must be held to account. The bias has to stop.”

The company’s “knowledge panel” at the top of its search results is often populated, at least in part, with information from Wikipedia. But the words “Nazi” or “Nazism” do not appear in the current Wikipedia page for the California Republican Party.Google listed “Nazism” as the ideology of the California Republican Party – VICE News