Bill Maher Reveals ’25 More Things You Don’t Know’ About Hillary Clinton

July 23, 2016 by  
Filed under Videos

Bill Maher has been imagining what Hillary Clinton’s rivals would say in Us Weekly’s “25 Things You Don’t Know About Me,” ever since the Democratic nominee answered the magazine’s questions herself in April.

The “Real Time with Bill Maher” host has poked fun at Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump in recent weeks. And this week, with the Democratic National Convention just days away, it was Clinton’s turn to be spoofed.

"It takes me 72 hours to be spontaneous" & more from Hillary Clinton's upcoming feature in @USWeekly.

— Real Time (@RealTimers) July 23, 2016

“We’ve done a bunch of the other candidates and we thought we’d circle back because this is her big week coming up,” Maher said Friday. He then let loose with such wisecracks as her “secret service codename is ‘Nutcracker” and she is surprised nobody’s noticed “that I’ve switched from pantsuits to space suits.”

Check out the clip above to see what else was included in the list.

Here’s how Maher previously spoofed Sanders:

This is how Maher imagined Cruz would reply:

And here are Trump’s fictional responses:

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Let’s Talk About The Dress Code For Muslim Men

July 22, 2016 by  
Filed under Videos


Written by Aya Khalil

We’ve all come across horrendous videos of “mashallah brothers” talking about how Muslim women should “dress properly” (whatever that means), and even famous imams and sheikhs critiquing the attire of Muslim women.

As a Muslim woman, I think I can safely say that we’ve had enough.

Why don’t these imams and “mashallah brothers” ever talk about how men should dress and act?

Why don’t these imams and “mashallah brothers” ever talk about how men should dress and act?

Yes, it is summer, and yes, it is hot outside, but Muslim men should adhere to Islamic attire, too. This includes covering everything from the navel to the knees.  Why are only women being advised and policed?

So no, those trendy swim trunks from J.Crew will not work, istaghfurallah, as you guys would say to us.

And while we’re at it, if a Muslim brother is at the beach with his wife, and his wife is rocking her burqini, I think the brother should cover up a bit more, as well. Why don’t Muslim men wear swimsuit tops along with their longer swimming trunks?

No, they don’t have to, but they should, as a form of solidarity.

It’s kind of like when non-Muslims don’t eat in front of a Muslim coworker during Ramadan as a form of respect or when a meat-eater avoids eating a big, juicy steak when she goes out with her vegetarian friend.

Covering up a bit more than usual at the beach while your wife or sister is beautifully covered is a wonderful form of solidarity. It’s also a great form of modesty.

Covering up a bit more than usual at the beach while your wife or sister is beautifully covered is a wonderful form of solidarity. It’s also a great form of modesty.  Your wife or sister will appreciate it.

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How One Organization Is Lifting Up Voices Of Muslim Youth Born After 9/11

July 21, 2016 by  
Filed under Videos

When we turn on the news this September 11, we will likely hear the voices of those who lost loved ones and those who lived through the attack 15 years ago. We will hear politicians calling for restrictions on Muslims entering the country and questioning the patriotism of Muslim Americans. But one group wants to make sure we hear another set of important voices: Those of Muslim teenagers born after September 11, 2001 ? a day they were not alive to see, but which has impacted their lives.

Muslim Community Network, a New York City-based organization whose programs include youth leadership development, launched an Indiegogo campaign in June to raise money for an initiative they’re calling “A New Story of a Post- September 11th New York.”

This year marks the 15-year anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center buildings, the date of which will likely coincide with the major Muslim holiday, Eid al-Adha.

“As we approach the 9/11 anniversary and Eid, we’re concerned for how [Muslim youth] are going to be perceived and what their experience is going to be,” Christina Tasca, MCN’s executive director, told The Huffington Post.

To help lift up the voices of Muslim youth, MCN is enlisting the help of Balestra Media, a communications company that focuses on progressive issues and has worked with the likes of NARAL and the ACLU. The company will help train a group of five Muslim Americans on how the news cycle operates and how to communicate effectively to media outlets.

Several of students were selected from MCN’s leadership development program Muslim Youth NYC, while a few came from other community organizations MCN partners with, Tasca said. 

“It’s important that Muslim youth have safe spaces where they can voice their struggles living in a post 9/11 society,” Mikel, a 16-year-old participant in the program, told HuffPost. “We are so often silenced by media, academic environments, and even sometimes our own communities.”

With Balestra Media’s help, MCN is also producing a series of videos that will show what life is like for some Muslim American teens growing up in New York City.

“We want people to see how normal American Muslim kids are and what their experience has been like,” especially growing up after 9/11, Tasca said.

Sadly these experiences all too often involve bullying, and Muslim students frequently find themselves in the hot seat after terror attacks, Tasca said.

“School communities want to be able to talk about current events in ways that are educational and that treat their students with respect, but they might not know how to approach the subject,” she told HuffPost.

To address that, MCN is developing curriculum for New York public schools to teach their students about Islam and address the bullying of Muslim youth.

As of Thursday, MCN has raised $12,775 of their $20,000 goal, which one donor offered to match dollar for dollar. Tasca said the organization will use the $40,000 total cost of the campaign primarily to pay Balestra Media for the video production and training.

The entire campaign will culminate in a youth-led peace walk on September 10 from Foley Square in Manhattan to the Sept. 11 memorial site. Tasca said MCN is working with partner organizations to ensure that some 200 youth from different faiths and backgrounds participate in the event.

At the memorial site, Tasca said, the youth will hold a vigil for the victims of the 9/11 attack and pray for peace. “It will be entirely led by youth, and grownups will be in the background,” she said, so that the a new generation can “send a message that they are tired of the world grown ups have been creating for them.”

Learn more about Muslim Community Network and their campaign below:

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Tarja Parssinen: Donald Trump’s Social-Emotional Toolbox

July 21, 2016 by  
Filed under Humor

My name is Donald Trump. Like every elementary school-aged child trapped in the body of a megalomaniacal man, I use my Social-Emotional Learning Toolbox that gives me the very best tools on the face of the Earth that I need to simulate human emotions.

Read more: Donald Trump, Social Emotional Learning, 2016 Presidential Election, Politics, Republicans, Donald Trump 2016, Political Humor, Political Satire, Comedy News

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No, Mental Illness Does Not Lead To Terrorism

July 20, 2016 by  
Filed under Videos

We still have a long way to go when it comes to eradicating stigma around mental health.

In an op-ed for the New York Times last week, Boston University sociology professor Liah Greenfield argued that in order to effectively eliminate individual acts of terror, society needs to address mental illness.

“The rates of mental illness, especially depression, in the West are very high and, according to the most authoritative statistics, steadily rising,” she wrote. “Unless we resolve this problem, we’ll have to learn to live with terrorism.”

Um, what?

The implication that lone-wolf terrorism will be less of an issue if we treat mental health problems is not only misinformed, it’s incredibly stigmatizing. That’s because mental illness does not equate to violent behavior.

Nearly one in four individuals globally will be affected by a mental health issue at some point in their life. That’s a significant number of people ? the majority of whom will live productive, normal lives with proper treatment. 

Of course, that’s not to say that some of the individuals who committed acts of terrorism, like the one that took place in Nice, France on June 14, didn’t have psychological issues at play ? but unless it was clinically diagnosed, we’ll never definitively know.

Statistically, it’s unlikely that someone with a mental health issue will commit a violent crime. Only 3 to 5 percent of violent acts can be attributed to those with a serious mental illness. In fact, those with a mental illness are more likely to be victims of a harmful incident.

How assumptions about violence can be harmful

Greenfield, author of Mind, Modernity, Madness: The Impact of Culture on Human Experience, said her goal was to highlight the growing issue of mental illness and how society contributes to it.

In a comment to The Huffington Post, she said that a majority of those with mental illness don’t commit violent crimes and when they do, it’s usually through self-harm. However, a violent act against others could still be carried out by someone with a mental health condition, she said.

“One should always keep in mind that this is a possibility,” she said. “In order to stop lone-wolf terrorism, we have to take care of mental illness.”

Therein lies the problem. While Greenfield’s intention is to reduce stigma and create a better understanding around mental health ? which is both necessary and admirable on a public platform like the Times ? it’s executed questionably.

A blanket statement that implies addressing mental illness will address terrorist attacks doesn’t take away the negative stereotype around mental health, it perpetuates it. Of course someone with a mental illness could commit one of these violent acts. But so could someone with no history of a mental health disorder. 

“The implications of making an assumption like this are potentially profound,” Gregory Dalack, chair of the department of psychiatry at the University of Michigan, told HuffPost. “It encourages the public to equate violence with mental illness, when we know that the vast majority of those who commit violent acts are not mentally ill and the vast majority of those with mental illness do not behave in violent ways.”

These types of assumptions also give off the false perception that a mental health disorder is some sort of character flaw. This can impede recovery or even prevent people from seeking help in the first place, Dalack says.

Those currently struggling with mental illness may become cautious about disclosing their mental health issues to medical professionals, friends or family. They may delay or altogether avoid seeking treatment for fear of how they will be judged and treated.
Gregory Dalack, chair of the department of psychiatry at the University of Michigan

“Those currently struggling with mental illness may become cautious about disclosing their mental health issues to medical professionals, friends or family,” he explained. “They may delay or altogether avoid seeking treatment for fear of how they will be judged and treated.”

The unfortunate pattern of blaming mental illness

This is hardly the first time someone has made this type of insinuation. After the killing of two Virginia journalists last year, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said that the incident wasn’t “a gun problem, but this is a mental problem.” The same logic was also used after the crash of a Germanwings airline back in early 2015 by authorities investigating the case.

The media also isn’t entirely blameless, either. A recent Johns Hopkins University study found that more than a third of news stories about mental illness link the disorders with violence toward other people, which doesn’t accurately reflect the actual rates of interpersonal violence involving someone with a mental illness.

“Broad generalizations about a specific group of people, like those with mental illness, are so troubling because they can lead to that group being harshly pre-judged and discriminated against,” Dalack said.

If our collective intention is to advocate for more acceptance, we need to do so without promoting the false notion that mental illness is the cause of violent behavior. Because, on the whole, it’s not, and that attitude is why we still have such a negative view of mental health in the first place.

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What I Learned From Working as a Social Media Manager for a Dessert Shop

July 19, 2016 by  
Filed under Videos

In March, I interviewed for a position as a team member at a brand-new dessert franchise that was not yet open. The owners wanted to hire me on the spot, but almost two months went by before I heard from them after that initial meeting.

When I finally was asked to meet with them again in late May, the shop was still not yet open. However, they offered me a job as a social media and marketing manager for the franchise. This meant I would run the shop’s Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and secure the business spots at local community events.

At first, it seemed almost too simple and mindless: All I did was think up creative posts, answer people’s messages and comments, like Instagram photos in attempt to gain followers, and contact local event coordinators. But then I realized that I was actually learning a lot about marketing, dealing with people, and business from the seemingly unremarkable work I was doing. Here are a few key things I have learned so far:

1. Building hype about a business or product before it launches is super important, but there is such thing as too much.

Gif courtesy of

When I started working in early June, there was still no set opening date for the shop. I was asked to aim for about 3 posts a day. I received a lot of comments from excited people who asked about the opening date or expressed how happy they were to have the East Coast company they loved come to the Bay Area. But after the first two weeks, the comments seemed more frustrated and angry than eager. People complained that we were “teasing” them by posting pictures of our products.

The hype we created with the posts did allow us to grow our fan and potential customer bases, but without an opening date, three posts a day was a little excessive.

2. When it comes to dessert, people have no patience.

Photo courtesy of

This stems from the first lesson. When I said people were frustrated and angry, I was putting it mildly. The comments were incredibly rude and even hard to read at times because, as the one posting the photos, I felt like I was being personally attacked. I couldn’t understand why people were becoming so irate just because our shop wasn’t open yet. There are tons of other dessert places in town, why were they so hung up on this one?

Looking back on it I realize that even all the angry comments were actually a good sign, because it meant people really, really wanted our products and we were sure to have lines out the door when we finally did open. But seriously, it’s just Italian ice and custard. There’s no need for profanity and online harassment.

3. If you own a business, you have to have a tough skin and learn from negativity.

Gif courtesy of

This also stems from the previous lesson. Besides social media comments, business owners have to deal with negative Yelp reviews and customer complaints. And while they can’t let it affect the vibe or atmosphere of their business, they can’t ignore derogatory feedback either. If you’re running a business, you must look at all feedback, no matter how rude, as constructive criticism.

When people started getting angry about all the tempting pictures of our desserts and the fact that we weren’t open yet, we had a meeting and decided that I should post less frequently and be sure to more clearly indicate in every single post that we were not actually open for business.

4. A huge advantage of owning a franchise: You have a built-in customer base.

Gif courtesy of

Okay, although this fact makes my work seem a little unnecessary, it’s important to note. If you ever want to own a business, you have to decide whether to start your own or buy a franchise. One challenge of creating your own company is marketing it. No one really knows the quality of your products until they try them, and to get them to try them, it costs a lot of money upfront for advertising, giving out samples, going to events, etc. While I still help with these things for the dessert franchise, the success of the business is not riding solely on the amount of potential customers we personally introduce our products to.

Because the company already has over 500 locations, there are many people in my city that are already familiar with the brand and the products we have to offer. Those people who know and love the desserts are guaranteed to be customers. It’s almost as if we could just open and wait for the people to come to us.

5. Facebook is a great marketing tool for businesses, but if you want results, it’s gonna cost you.

Gif courtesy of

If I post something and the owners do not “boost” it by paying $5, it might garner about 50 likes at most and “reach” a few hundred people. But that’s due to the fact that our page has over 10,000 likes. If a business is just starting out, it’s unlikely that very many people will see the posts at all unless it is often shared or promoted for a price. “Boosting” a post truly makes a difference. Our boosted posts reach thousands of people and don’t get lost in fans’ feeds. I know for sure that we would not have as much engagement or connections with potential customers if the owners did not put any money into the page.

6. It pays to have super Instagram-able products.

Gif courtesy of

When looking at successful local dessert shops Instagram pages, I noticed that most of them had one thing in common: They are tagged in tons of photos. People love posting pictures of pretty things, whether it’s food or clothing. And by doing so, they’re giving your business free advertising, even if it isn’t necessarily intentional. If you want to be promoted on Instagram, you have to make sure your location and products are Insta-worthy. Presentation really is everything.

7. Vegan, allergy-friendly, and gluten-free options are a must-have.

Gif courtesy of

I’ve received countless messages inquiring about the ingredients in our products and whether or not we have vegan and gluten-free menu items. Worried parents of children with nut allergies also have messaged us to ask if we have any products that are safe for their kids to consume. If we didn’t have something to suit all of these special dietary needs, we’d have to turn a lot of customers away.

Even just being vegan-friendly opens us up to so many people we simply wouldn’t be able to serve if all of our items contained dairy. And, because vegans are infamous for proudly oversharing their diet, the customers that we do get in the door are sure to spread the word and bring even more. In this age, options for every kind of diet can be almost crucial for success.

8. Starting a business, even if it’s a franchise, is a ton of work, and it’s not easy.

Gif courtesy of

Even though I’m not overseeing construction, handling finances, or doing any of the real work at all, through running the social media, I’ve learned how to see things through a business’ perspective rather than just a consumer’s. All of the angry comments I respond to upset me because none of those people actually realize just how hard the owners are working to get the shop up and running. They have so many amazing ideas and are putting so much time, effort, money, and thought into it, even though one of them already has his own company. They truly want to have an amazing place where people can enjoy themselves and the desserts, and just have the best experience possible.

The owners are facing many challenges with the construction that are simply out of their control. If people would think about this and be understanding, I wouldn’t have to deal with so much negativity. I feel as if being on the business side of the social media has allowed me to become a better person and consumer, just in the same way that retail workers say they become better customers.

More from Spoon University:

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SNL’s ‘Weekend Update’ To Air Special Editions For The Conventions

July 18, 2016 by  
Filed under Videos

The “Saturday Night Live” satirical news sketch “Weekend Update” will join forces with MSNBC to provide two segments of comedic relief amid the frenzy of the political nominating conventions this month.

“Weekend Update” co-anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che will head the first of the two programs on MSNBC around midnight on July 20, after Republican National Convention coverage wraps up, NBC News said in a release Monday. The second special edition will air at the same time on July 27, following the Democratic National Convention events.

On the days their shows air, Jost and Che will also join NBC’s “Today” show as special correspondents.

Jost was already spotted interviewing people in Cleveland on the first day of the RNC.

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C. M. Rubin: Can Donald Trump Pass the Science Test?

July 18, 2016 by  
Filed under Humor

“The Trump game demonstrates that scientific ignorance is our biggest problem in regards to the future the world.” – Olli Rundgren

According to a M…

Read more: C. M. Rubin, Cmrubinworld, Education Reform, Teachers, STEM Education, Science, Global Warming, Environment, Finland, Pyson Games, Olli Rundgren, Trump vs Science, Politics, Presidential Election, Donald Trump, Political Humor, Online Games, Scientific Literacy, Entertainment, Republican Convention, Hillary Clinton, Dnc, Rnc, Education News

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Trump Flounders As the Stakes Get Bigger

July 17, 2016 by  
Filed under Videos

Donald Trump has to be feeling the heat now. With polls a week ago showing essentially a dead heat for president between him and Hillary Clinton (new network polls show her moving back into a slender lead after receiving her Bernie Sanders endorsement), the billionaire bully boy waffled badly at the end over his pick of far right Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his running mate before finally announcing in an awkward Friday tweet what his advisors had already leaked.

What else happened in the last few days? A horrific terrorist attack on the French Riviera followed by a mysterious and ultimately failed military coup in Turkey, the only Islamic nation in NATO and an important yet very problematic US ally.

After boasting again via twitter that he had foreseen another jihadist terrorist attack — Does the man’s genius know no bounds? Heh — Trump has had remarkably little to say. Which is just as well, as these are complex matters and Trump has no knowledge about or facility for them.

Too bad for him that a real-life rather than “reality” show president has to make real-time calls that involve things far more important than the use or non-use of social media.

With a decidedly odd-looking Republican national convention getting underway now in Cleveland, all this reminds of the very high stakes involved. And why Duce Donald is very much not the person for the job.

Trump reportedly tried to change his mind at the last minute on his selection of far right Indiana Governor Mike Pence as would-be vice president. While it’s understandable that Trump might not want to be so easily pinned down as being supportive of laws harassing gay folks and attempts to control women’s bodies, he has already taken it upon himself to lead the nation’s reactionary forces. So he needs to own it.

Just imagine that unsteadiness on his biggest hard-and-fast decision as a candidate at work on the far murkier matters of the horrific Thursday night truck attack on tourists and Bastille Day celebrants in Nice, France.

What is Trump’s 140-character solution to the emerging reality of that attack; namely, that the attacker had few if any discernible ties to jihadists and was not much of Muslim, much less a fundamentalist Islamic radical? What he was was a seemingly irrational, frequently violent guy.

There’s no typically glib and shallow Trumpist answer for that. Well, except for that which really underlies so much of Trump’s message. Sheer racism.

The Turkish crisis too defies the instantly reflexive social media/”reality” TV/appeal to the constantly honed resentments of Fox News media chops that have elevated the opportunistic neo-fascist well within hailing distance of the Presidency of the United States.

I followed the attempted coup as it unfolded on the two compact Androids I carry at all times. (See, Hillary, it’s easy to carry two devices. Try it some time.)

Lately I’ve been using the smartphones in tandem. On the one hand, to watch and listen to the stunningly good Dead & Co. tour as it moves around the US. On the other, for the usual news/research/communication purposes. And for just this sort of thing.

As the Turkish coup unfolded, I kept one device on the BBC World Service and other on the Russia Today television feed. (American cable news? You’re kidding, right?)

Two things were clear pretty early on. First, that the rebels, drawn entirely from the traditionally more modernist and secular military, were putting out America-friendly messages in contrast to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s much more ambivalent moves of recent years. Second, that the rebels’ success in seizing state media, airports, and certain other key elements of infrastructure was not matched in securing Erdogan.

In uncertain situations, it’s often what has not happened that is most important.

Fanciful rumors about Erdogan’s whereabouts — he’d been vacationing at a Mediterranean resort — were flying but Erdogan’s prime minister was still at large and issuing defiant statements.

Finally the man himself dramatically emerged, phoning a private and, oops, unsecured TV station to address some of the nation in the middle of the night using Apple FaceTime. Erdogan even more dramatically rallied his supporters to take to the streets and oppose the rebels.

Now, Trump is certainly not only not an expert on Turkish politics (nor am I), he has no real knowledge of the dynamics of Turkish history. He does know, because his fave rave Vladimir Putin complains about it, that Erdogan has been something of a double dealer on the matter of going after Isis. Since Erdogan backs various flavors of Islamists trying to bring down the Assad regime in Syria.

Might Trump, who has never studied the dynamics of conflict and was a persistent draft dodger when he was eligible for military service, have leaped at the lure of the pro-Western statements from the rebels and not noticed that Erdogan was still at large? And still alive. (I don’t advocate assassination, but clearly, within the logic of their situation, the rebels should have killed Erdogan with a military strike immediately after they failed to take him at his resort.)

Given Trump’s belief that going off half-cocked is the virtue that has gotten him this far, he certainly could have put the US on the wrong side of the outcome. And that’s even without suspecting that Erdogan manipulated the coup into being in order to greatly accelerate a crackdown on internal opposition.

Secretary of State John Kerry and President Barack Obama wisely supported the democratic process, i.e., the maintenance of Erdogan. Even though he is not so slowly rolling back many democratic safeguards and not the partner Obama hoped for at the beginning of his administration. Why is that smart? Because we have a big airbase in Turkey with substantial nuclear weapons. And because Erdogan is backing our use of the base in the struggle against Isis.

The only saving grace for “President” Trump might have been his penchant for following along after Russian President Putin, who would undoubtedly have told him that with Erdogan on the loose and able to instigate a popular mobilization, as well as call on much of the state security apparatus, it made no sense to jump precipitously.

But, even though he is a very capable guy and not the Hitler some make him out to be, we really don’t want Vladimir Putin as our de facto national security advisor, do we?

Don’t laugh. That could easily happen.

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Renee Fisher: The Bed And Breakfast That Turned Out To Be Anything But Charming

July 17, 2016 by  
Filed under Humor

Life in the Boomer Lane knows that a lot of you out there are searching for all kinds of vacation opportunities. You may be considering villas in the south of France or a certain Red Roof Inn outside Pittsburgh. As a public service, LBL will now advise you to cross one place off your list.

Read more: Vacation, B&B, Travel, Humor, Satire, Summer, Bed and Breakfast, Bed and Breakfast Bad Experience, Hotels, Motels, Fifty, post50, Fifty News

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