Muslims at the Pentagon Brace for Trump Administration


The uncertainty that settled upon many of the citizens in America since the election has not bypassed a lot of these federal workers.  This is what they are fearing.
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PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY LYNE LUCIEN/THE DAILY BEAST

‘ANTICIPATORY FREAKOUT’

Muslims at the Pentagon Brace for Trump Administration

For Muslims inside the national-security apparatus whom the Obama administration welcomed with open arms, fear of Trump is already pervasive, U.S. officials tell The Daily Beast.

NANCY A. YOUSSEF

11.22.16 1:13 AM ET

Donald Trump’s inauguration may be 58 days away, but for the Muslim officials once welcomed into the U.S. government’s war on terrorism, the change already has begun.

Four U.S. officials who spoke to The Daily Beast said fear is pervasive among Muslims inside the halls of the Pentagon, the CIA, and the Department of Homeland Security in anticipation of a Trump administration. Already, the officials said, they are seeing colleagues who are less willing to share their thoughts about national security. They fear they will no longer be seen as an asset to confronting terrorism but rather suspect members of the government they serve.

It is, one U.S. official explained, a climate of “anticipatory freakout.”

Muslim employees at the Pentagon, both civilian and military, were reticent to talk about their fears, even in a building where there are Muslim services every Friday.

“I am scared to speak,” one civilian told The Daily Beast. “We don’t know what it is going to mean for us.”

Will Muslim CIA agents be asked to register? Will the next commander in chief ban the family of Muslim troops from visiting this country? Will Muslim members of the Department of Homeland Security face increased scrutiny based on their faith?

“It’s one thing to attack your argument. It’s another to attack your person. And that is what people fear: that if they speak up too much, they will be attacked,” the U.S. official continued.

“You are less likely to speak up if you are against the prevailing view. Before, that was not a consideration.”

Managers throughout the departments already are trying to calm staffers, reassuring them they will not be treated differently by those around them.

It is not just Muslims who are worried. Gays and lesbians, African Americans, Hispanics, and women all have expressed some level of concern. After all, the national-security community has historically lagged behind other government agencies when it comes to embracing diversity.

It was not until a 1995 executive order that gays and lesbians could serve openly in national-security jobs and get clearances. At the same time, women climbed the ranks of the agencies, most notably in 1997, when Madeleine Albright became the first female secretary of State, the highest national-security position ever held by a woman. Post-9/11, two presidents publicly spoke on behalf of Muslims and said they are a part of the American fabric, not a segment of the population that should be equated with extremists.

According to the White House, minorities now make up 20 percent of senior diplomats and 15 percent of senior military officers and intelligence officials.

Despite that, the fear these days among Muslims especially is born out of both the rhetoric of the election and, more recently, Trump’s picks so far for his national-security team. Ret. Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, the incoming national security adviser, has called fear of Muslims “rational.” On Sunday, Reince Priebus said on Meet the Press that while there was no plan for a Muslim registry, “I’m not going to rule out anything.”

Also Sunday, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach met with Trump and was photographed carrying a document spelling out a 100-day plan for the Department of Homeland Security that included a proposal to question “high-risk” immigrants over support for Sharia law and belief in the U.S. Constitution.

Perhaps the most searing interaction between Muslims and Trump, for Muslims who serve in national security, was Trump’s treatment of a Muslim Gold Star family during the presidential campaign. After Khizr Khan—whose son, Capt. Humayun Khan, was killed in Iraq in 2004—spoke at the Democratic National Convention, Trump attacked him and his wife, and insisted that he too had “made a lot of sacrifices.”

The result is a president-elect not welcome in the nation’s mosques.

For some, there already is a litmus test for incoming members of the Trump administration: Will agency heads and Cabinet secretaries let the mistreatment of Muslims or any other minority be tolerated? Some said they hope Congress poses such questions to Flynn during the confirmation hearings.

Either way, the new administration is a marked change. For the Obama administration, diversity within the administration was not just about politics but a means to better secure the country. And officials advocated it aggressively. Departments now are filled with younger staffers, many of whom never anticipated anything other than a government that embraced diversity.

Where minority staffers once were in lower-level jobs, now it is no longer uncommon to see a Muslim in hijab at the table of a high-level meeting.

“I truly believe that the business case for diversity is stronger for CIA than it is for any organization in the U.S. government,” CIA Director John Brennan told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in June. “Diversity not only gives us the cultural understanding we need to operate in any corner of the globe, it also helps us avoid groupthink, ensuring we bring to bear a range of perspectives on the complex challenges that are inherent to intelligence work.”

Just last month, President Obama issued a memorandum about “Promoting Diversity and Inclusion in the National-Security Workforce” that called for better data about the makeup of national-security employees and to help expand diversity within the national-security community.

There is nothing that binds the incoming president from adhering to any part of the memorandum.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Many More?


 

 

 

I don’t have an answer for the question, How Many More?, and I wish I did. What I do know is that we need more music, art, conversation, love, compassion, caring, random acts of compassion. We need to take care our ourselves and our own issues remembering there is not one of us that is perfect. We need to heal our own blemishes first before even beginning to think about someone else’s problems.

 

Kindness should come before boasting, healing hands before violent ones, medicines to cure diseases should come before guns. Food for every person should come before Christian Dior bags (and I love them). Housing should come before a luxury car. Trees to improve the air we breathe should come before chemicals in our food. Clean water should come before stock dividends. Helping someone should come before what color their skin is, what their sexual preference is, or what spiritual path they follow.

 

Peace should come before war, being a part of the family of man should be more important than how different someone seems to be. Action is more important than talking about mass shootings and doing kindnesses is more important than thinking these events should never have happened. Perhaps most important, those who have been taught not to think for themselves and not to speak must learn to speak once again or for the first time.

 

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Unlearning not to speak

 

Blizzards of paper

in slow motion

sift through her

In nightmares she suddenly recalls

a class she signed up for

but forgot to attend.

Now it is too late.

Now it is time for finals:

losers will be shot.

Phrases of men who lectured her

drift and rustle in piles:

Why don’t you speak up?

Why are you shouting”

You have the wrong answer,

wrong line, wrong face.

They tell her she is womb-man,

babymachine, mirror, and penis-poor,

a dish of synthetic strawberry ice cream

rapidly melting.

She grunts to a halt.

She must learn to speak

starting with I

Starting with we

starting as the infant does

with her own true hunger

and pleasure

and rage.

—Marge Piercy, feminist poet and novelist

World Peace everywhere for everywhere

World Peace everywhere for everyone

Just What is Domestic Violence?


I have begun again to volunteer at a Domestic Violence shelter here in North Carolina. It feels good to be back once again to the cause the helped to form me as a feminist.

 

Domestic Violence is not only physical, emotional, sexual and psychological violence. Psychological violence is intense and repetitive degradation, creating isolation and controlling the actions or behaviors of the victim through intimidation or manipulation to the detriment of the individual.

 

A battering incident is rarely an isolated event. Battering tends to increase and gradually become more severe as time goes on.

 

The newest stats show us that 85% of women experience at least one incident of battering in her lifetime. One in three women are abused emotionally and physically.

 

Domestic violence is a pattern of behaviors used to establish power and control over another intimate partner that often leads to the threat or use of violence. Many victims suffer multiple forms of abuse. Approximately 40% of women report that the first assault by their partner occured during pregnancy.

 

Physical abuse includes but is not limited to hitting, spitting, biting, pinching, slapping, twisting an arm, punching, or tripping. After the first assault, the abuse may be frequent or infrequent, prolonged or brief, severe or mild. The purpose is to gain power and control over the intimate partner.

 

Victims of emotional abuse often say that it takes longer to recover from emotional abuse than most physical abuse. It can take a lifetime to heal from emotional assaults. Anyone can be abused, male or female, straight or homosexual. And there is no excuse or reason that is ever acceptable for the Domestic Violence. There is no legitimate or viable reason to hit an intimate partner.

 

There are laws to protect victims in every state in the continental United States. There are also laws in Hawaii, Alaska and all 0f the US possessions. There is relief for every victim of battering.

 

There are many reasons for Domestic Violence and each are true to a certain degree. Each carries a certain amount of truth. Primarily, the theories distract police and the court system from the real truth. It works! Battering allows the perpetrator to get what they want. It is really that simple.

 

More than 1 in 3 women (35.6%) of women and more than 1 in 4 men (28.5%) of men in the United States experience Domestic Violence during their lifetimes. They have experienced rape, physical violence, and /or stalking by an intimate partner. This is from the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: 2010 report.

 

It is a crime to commit Domestic Violence and marital rape is a crime in all states and all American possessions. We have to stop the violence.

 

Peace on Earth begins at home. No More Violence! 

 

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DVwords

     Domestic Violence

 

This is what an abused child looks like.

This is what an abused child looks like.

 

The majority of victims are strangled at least once. often before a homicide.

The majority of victims are strangled at least once. often before a homicide.

Giving Thanks


 

We, in America, are getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving. It is tomorrow but I have company coming in for the feast. So I will not be blogging tomorrow. Every person on Mother Earth will be on my mind and in my heart.

 

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I would like to wish all of my American readers a very joyful and happy holiday.

To my readers around the world, I would like to wish you a safe, healthy and happy weekend. May all put aside differences and focus on gratitude and the miracle of being alive. I wish to thank all of my readers for your loyalty and your wisdom as you leave your comments. You have all blessed me greatly.

 

We give-away our thanks to the earth

which gives us our home.

We give-away our thanks to the rivers and lakes

which give-away their water.

We give-away our thanks to the trees

which give-away fruit and nuts.

We give-away our thanks to the wind

which brings rain to water the plants.

We give-away our thanks to the sun

who gives-away warmth and light.

All beings on earth: the trees, the animals, the wind

and the rivers give-away to one another

so all is in balance.

We give-away our promise to begin to learn

how to stay in balance with all the earth.

—Dolores La Chapelle

 

The joy of color. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

The joy of color. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

How do we End Violence in the Home


All members of families suffer when violence also lives in that house.

All members of families suffer when violence also lives in that house.

Ending violence in the home is a national imperative that requires vigilance and dedication from every sector of our society.  We need to stand with the advocates, law enforcement and our criminal justice system. Why do I mention standing with the police?  Domestic Violence calls are the biggest reason police officers are injured on the job. To confuse things, there are many officers who also are abusers. This is a place to build on. These people need encouragement because they give a lot to some of our weakest citizens. I did help start a shelter and worked there as my second job for over two decades. I wish I could explain what it is like to bring a bleeding, broken women with her terrified, crying children into a shelter. You have to give, you have to remain strong and you have to decide if medical care is needed and if children need hugs and you to tell them that now they are safe or do they just need food and to go to sleep. Domestic Violence is full of mostly unsung heroines and heroes who often put their lives on the line for strangers.  They are dedicated to saving lives.

Children view and hear more during a domestic quarrel that the parents realize. Children  suffer more than I can tell you. When you are young and the two most important people in your world are in an abusive relationship, you live in a house than isn’t a home because it isn’t safe anymore. Children need to know there are adults who care and will help them. They need to know they are important and loved.

Father's Day pledge

Father’s Day pledge

Women experience more than four million physical assaults and rapes due to intimate partners a year. Men are victims of nearly three million physical assaults a year.  However,women are more likely to die due to abuse in the home. Women are in the most danger when they are trying to leave an abusive intimate relationship. I lost two women to their abusers. It is devastating and even though I have saved hundreds of lives, I always remember the two who died. One woman opened the door to her new apartment that we had assisted her to get, and the abuser was standing there with a shotgun and killed her in front of her children.

An abuser does not own your body.

An abuser does not own your body   

Every year, more than three million children witness violence in their homes. Children who live in abusive homes also suffer abuse or neglect. Why neglect? Because they are terrified and Mom might be in the hospital, or in bed bruised and crying and in pain. Cracked ribs, broken fingers, bruising so intense she can hardly move make it difficult to take care of a woman’s children. Children go through terrible emotional swings and anger issues. They love their parents, but they are also angry. They soon realize that their friends don’t live this way.  It is difficult to make meals, do laundry, help with homework and hundreds of other things that are necessary in any home. Children who live in violent homes also suffer abuse and are also confused about their emotions. They love their parents and yet they want the violence to end.

Beatings can last for an entire lifetime.

Beatings can last for an entire lifetime.

Domestic Violence Hotline is 800+621-HOPE. You are not alone. There is hope and people who will stand up for you.  You can begin an abuse free life.

Can we Disarm Domestic Violence


Disarm Domestic Violence

Disarm Domestic Violence

The people in Domestic Violence have put forth the logical thinking that abusers need to be not allowed to own guns by law. And guess who disagrees. The NRA. The National Rifle Association feels it is right and proper for an abuser to own guns. Even to own assault guns. I feel this is absurd and will increase the deaths of victims of Domestic Violence.

Enough victims have died due to their abuse. Why would we want to arm the abusers? The NRA has beaten back legislation to stop abusers from owning guns. This legislation would mandate that an abuser turn in all guns and not be able to buy more. Yes, I realize it is easy. Under current laws, you can buy guns at gun shows and other places.

Do we want to make it easier for the abuser to have a gun to further his/her power and control? They believe it is the constitutional right even of abusers. The NRA feels guns should not be confiscated unless someone is found guilty of a felony. They feel it “would be a nuisance”. I believe it could save lives.

At this point in time, Domestic Violence is a misdemeanor and includes a maximum sentence of 18 months. Even if it is a felony in your state, abusers need to lose the guns.

In Washington, current law gives judges issuing civil protection orders the discretion to require the surrender of firearms.They need to find a “serious and imminent threat” to public health. Records show that they seldom confiscate guns from an abuser. I guess if the imminent threat is ‘only’ about the women and children, that doesn’t count as public safety.

According to the New York Times, at least five women have been murdered in New York City by guns used by their abuser.This form of gun violence happens all the time even when the courts step in because the laws requiring the surrender of firearm under orders protection are not strong enough, subject to judicial lacity or are non-existent.

There are many individual stories that can freeze your blood. A woman’s abuser held a gun in her mouth and threatened to shoot her. He did not lose his guns until the cops stopped him from shooting her a second time. A woman filed for divorce and a restraining order. The cops refused to remove his collection of firearms. She went into hiding, with the assistance of the “Underground Railroad” that has been created by Domestic Violence shelters.  After a while she felt safe and she returned to her life. Her husband caught her in a parking lot and shot her and then killed himself.

The NRA needs to be stopped from encouraging the right to bear arms even if you are guilty of being an abuser. Male or female abuser, it is the same.If the NRA supports families as they like to brag about, then they should agree to the confiscation of all the guns of a person who assaults their spouse, significant other or children.  It is time to revisit the intention of the Second Amendment. The Founding Fathers did not intend for people to hide their crimes behind the Amendment.

If you are interested, there are previous blogs of mine dealing with gun control and Domestic Violence.

The War on Women

The War on Women

Quote from Abraham Lincoln

Quote from Abraham Lincoln

Don't turn away from uncomfortable truth. Stand up and stop the violence. Care what happens in families.

Don’t turn away from uncomfortable truth. Stand up and stop the violence. Care what happens in families.

Today we need to affirm our lives and what is in our World


Happy Halloween

So much going on. The spiritual energy of the Universe is very intense. We are in a transitional time on our planet. So many things are exploding around us here in America and around the world. There is much hatred and anger abound in the Universe. We need to counter all of this with love and compassion. We have lost souls due to this tremendous storm. Many people are suffering and scared and overwhelmed.

We need to do what we can do by donating to charities that can help in the material sense. We also need to be sending love and protective life to all who have been affected by this terrible storm. We need to use affirmations to keep our thoughts and energy positive. We need to keep ourselves strong and positive to assist others.

Each of us can strengthen ourselves with affirmations. I am giving 10 that I hope will be helpful and calming to ourselves. If they help you, then pass them on to others. On this Halloween night, the night the Pagans of old called the New Year and when the veil is the thinnest between worlds and the ancestors can be nearby and comforting and we can honor them. It is also All Saints Eve. A perfect night to use affirmations for ourselves and the world.

1) No matter what my challenge, I know I am loved.
2) This will pass and I will grow and benefit from it.
3) I will open my heart and allow love to flow out to heal others and Mother Earth.
4) I am the author of my life.
5) No person, place, or thing has any power over me.
6) Beauty arouses me and heals me.
7) I take good loving care of my body and I am where I choose to be and I am beautiful/
8) I know my body is filled with starlight and that I sparkle.
9) My body is amazing. I can relax and let healing take place.
10) I change my life when I change my thinking.

—-Excerpted from Meditations to Heal Your Life
—-Louise L. Hay

Saying these affirmations each day or several times a day will change your thinking and that will change you and how you react to the world. You can create specific affirmations  to fit your specific circumstances. Opening up your heart to the Universe and sending your love out to heal the planet will make that happen. It will start within each of us. So go ahead affirm what you want to be in your life.

 

We are all safe and will be provided what we need most in our lives now and always.

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