Pay off Credit Card Debt Without Selling Jewelry or Getting a Second Job

If they made a movie about paying off your credit cards, it would be called “Mission: Impossible.”

Seriously, paying down your credit card debts is a Herculean task. It can feel like you’re trying to climb a mountain that’s made out of quicksand.

You reach a point where you’re paying so much interest, you can’t pay down the principal.  

It’s tempting to take drastic measures. Sell off all your jewelry. Take a second job and say goodbye to your free time. You don’t have to do that. Don’t despair.

We’ve Got Ideas You Haven’t Thought of

Before you drive to the pawn shop or check the job listings, we’ve got eight tips for how to pay off your credit cards.

1. Let This Company Cut Your Interest Rates

When you think about how much debt you have, you might feel a little anxious.

That’s where a company like Fiona can be helpful. It can help you find personalized lending options to refinance or consolidate your debt to potentially save thousands dollars in interest.

Fiona will show you all the lenders willing to help you pay off your credit cards and eliminate the headache of paying bills by allowing you to make one payment each month.

You can borrow up to $ 100,000 (no collateral needed) and compare interest rates, which start at 4.99%. The idea is to secure a loan at a lower interest rate, potentially helping you save thousands. Repayment plans range from 24 to 84 months.

Take, for example, Katherine, who faced $ 12,000 in credit-card debt. Holding her back? The 15.24% interest rate. By refinancing with a 5%-interest, seven-year personal loan, she saved $ 12,000 in interest.

If she’d kept on the same road, she would have paid something like $ 14,000 in interest alone over 25 years. Yikes.

So even if you’re simply curious about what’s out there, know that checking rates on Fiona won’t hurt your credit score — and can probably save you in interest.

2. Get a Strategic View of Your Debt

One of the toughest parts about paying down debt is knowing where to begin.

To get yourself out of this hole, first you have to know what you’re dealing with.

Your credit report will give you this information. You can get a free copy of it once every 12 months from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus — but they can be tough to decipher.

If you want to keep a closer eye on your credit, get your credit score and “credit report card” for free from Credit Sesame. This website breaks down exactly what’s on your credit report in layman’s terms, how it affects your score and what you should do about it.

It offers personalized tips for how to deal with your debts. Folks who’ve used it tell us it’s a lifesaver.

3. Find out If You’re Paying Too Much for Car Insurance

Woman posing in front of a mural of a car.

You’re probably overpaying for car insurance and wasting money you could use to pay down debt.

Have you shopped around lately? Have you compared rates from the 20 largest auto insurers that do business in your area? That sounds kind of difficult and time-consuming, doesn’t it?

Fortunately, a service called Gabi will do it for you, and you don’t even have to fill out any forms. Simply link your insurance account and provide your driver’s license number, and Gabi will go to work.

Once you link your insurance account to Gabi, it will:

  • Scan your existing insurance plan.
  • Analyze what coverage you have.
  • Compare the major insurers’ rates for that same coverage.
  • Help you switch on the spot if it finds you a better rate.

Gabi says it finds an average savings of $ 720 per year for its customers.

It is a true apples-to-apples comparison at the same coverage levels and deductibles you currently have. Once you sign up, you never have to shop again. Gabi’s software has your policy on file and keeps on monitoring for savings as your life changes.

4. Find Some Hidden Cash

Before you start hashing out a plan to tackle your debt, it might make you feel better to find areas in your life where you can save. Then you can funnel that money directly toward those outstanding balances.

For consistent savings, download TrueBill, an app that’ll negotiate your bills, cancel unwanted subscriptions and refund your bank fees. On average, Truebill says it saves customers $ 700 a year.

You can also try digging up some extra cash with Paribus — a tool that gets you money back for your online purchases. It’s free to sign up, and once you do, it will scan your email for any receipts. If it discovers you’ve purchased something from one of its monitored retailers, it will track the item’s price and help you get a refund when there’s a price drop.

One of our favorite ways to save on everything is with Ebates, a cash-back site that rewards you nearly every time you buy something online. For example, Ebates gives you 10% cash-back on online purchases at Walmart. Plus, you’ll get a free $ 10 gift card to Walmart for giving the site a try.

Disclosure: Paribus compensates us when you sign up using the links we provide.

5. Earn Rewards When You Repay Your Debt on Time

Woman on laptop.

When you were a kid, your mom probably gave you an allowance for washing the dishes and sweeping the floor. Now all you get for doing that is a kitchen that’s clean for, like, 15 minutes.

Now that you’re a grown-up, you no longer get rewarded for just doing the things that are expected of you — like, for instance, paying bills on time.

Not until now, anyway. MoneyLion, a free app for managing your personal finances, will reward you for things like paying your bills and monitoring your credit — even just setting up an account in the app.

Much like that childhood allowance, it’s basically bribing you to be good.

You’ll earn points in the app’s rewards program, and you can redeem them for gift cards to more than 15,000 retailers, including places like Walmart, Applebee’s and Amazon.

If you want to take it a step further and work on paying down debts, for example, MoneyLion can help with a loan to consolidate your debt and potentially reduce your interest rates. And it’ll reward you for that, too!

6. Start Saving Without Trying

Saving money is tough. So what if you could do it in a way where you wouldn’t even notice?

Digit makes that possible.

This innovative app automates saving for you. Simply link it to your checking account, and its algorithms will determine small (and safe!) amounts of money to withdraw into a separate, FDIC-insured savings account.

Bonus: Penny Hoarders will get an extra $ 5 just for signing up! Additionally, savers will receive a 1% bonus every three months.

Digit is free to use for the first 30 days, then it’s $ 2.99 per month afterward.

7. Make Extra Money While You Watch TV

For those times you choose the frugal route and stay in for the night, why not cash in on your free time? Survey sites aren’t the fastest way to earn money, but they’re a great way to build a little savings while you veg out.

Here are some of our favorites:

  • Swagbucks is definitely a reader favorite, probably because of the wide variety of ways to make money beyond taking surveys. Plus, you get a $ 5 bonus when earn 2,500 SB within your first 60 days.
  • InboxDollars lets you actually get paid to watch TV online. The site hosts a ton of stuff to watch, including cooking, entertainment, news and health shows. The shows are sponsored by brands that need to get them in front of as many eyeballs as possible. Every time you watch one, InboxDollars will credit your account with a little bit of cash.
  • MyPoints: This platform lets you earn gift cards for taking polls, answering surveys and other things you do online — a great way to cash in on long lines or an endless commute. You’ll earn a $ 5 bonus when you complete your first five surveys.

8. Negotiate Your Bills

Remember what your grandma used to say when you wanted a cookie? “Ask nicely!”

It turns out that’s amazing life advice when it comes to tackling your debt, as well.

Sometimes you can lower your bills, especially crippling medical bills, just by asking to have them reduced. Let your provider know a good reason why you can’t pay what it’s asking. You might get a little relief.

Also keep an eye on late fees and other sneaky charges that are added on to your bill. Those are easy for your debtors to remove if they choose.

It doesn’t hurt to ask, right?

Mike Brassfield is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

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The dangerous myths that prevent me from getting the endometriosis care I need

The dangerous myths that prevent me from getting the endometriosis care I need

The dangerous myths that prevent me from getting the endometriosis care I need

I’m sick almost every day, gently poking my distended stomach wondering when my pelvis is going to explode. I have debilitating cramps that begin mid-cycle, accompanied by nausea and a fever that breaks around the time I begin to bleed. At age 26, my OBGYN suspects that I have endometriosis, a disease in which uterine lining grows outside of the uterus, attaching to other organs. It has no known cure. In his plush Upper East Side office, he asks if I’ve considered getting pregnant; he tells me that it’s the best way to treat it. I’ve just opened my first adult savings account and don’t have a boyfriend, so no, I haven’t thought about giving birth to a child. I also don’t yet know his claim that pregnancy is a “cure” for endometriosis is a myth.

That year, unable to pull myself out of bed most mornings, I leave my life in N.Y.C. to live with my father in Georgia; he can add me to his company’s health insurance plan. I had been temping in Manhattan and coat checking at night, but these types of jobs don’t offer health benefits. My new doctor refers to my situation as a “working woman’s disease,” and explains that he can’t diagnose me until I have surgery. An ultrasound cannot detect the disease.

For over 6,000 years, women with heavy cramping, pelvic pain, or pain during intercourse have been dismissed by our patriarchal society—so much so that painful periods have been normalized. Doctors do not consider these symptoms medical red flags, but hysterical complaints by psychologically inadequate women with low thresholds for pain. 

Even doctors that do recognize women’s pain as a potentially serious condition are challenged by the lack of research and resources available.

“Endometriosis is a chronic disease, and with little treatment options, women can suffer for decades. The symptoms are vague and can be associated with other disorders like bowel disease. There are no laboratory evaluations that can be done,” says OBGYN Alyse Margaret Kelly-Jones. According to The Endometriosis Foundation of America, it takes approximately ten years for many of the estimated 200 million endo sufferers worldwide to be diagnosed.

My doctor discourages me from having a laparoscopy to remove the adhesions and endometrioma—cysts filled with dark brown blood formed from tissue similar to uterine lining—that have likely migrated outside my womb. Even after surgery, there is no way to prevent it from attacking my insides. So, I wait while collecting a pharmacy of pastel painkillers with too many side effects to take while working or driving or being awake. My treatment plan consists of extra-strength Tylenol, a heating pad, and sleep. On one hand, I count the number of good days I have each month. I pretend every day to be okay. My home in New York feels like a distant memory.

A few months after my doctor’s visit, I am rushed to the hospital for a ruptured cyst after an evening shift at the restaurant where I work. Now, they say I need surgery. The diagnosis is Stage IV endometriosis due to the large number of implants and endometrial cysts that were attached to my digestive tract, pelvic cavity, and rectum. After surgery, I’m told there is tissue left inside me because it was unsafe to remove it. I get to keep it.

Before the disease attaches itself to my insides again, the doctors go over my options: pregnancy (even though more than half of infertile women have symptoms of endometriosis), hormone injections that cause premature menopause, a hysterectomy.

I feel like I am in the dark ages: Have a baby now or remove the organ necessary to have children in the future. I read The Endometriosis Sourcebook for answers, but it is a mystifying disease with little money allocated to understand—or even agree upon—what kind of disease it is and what causes it. Almost all endometriosis websites include a myth versus fact section. While this may sound like progress, it’s a small win.

The myths are just as pervasive and toxic as the illness itself.

I move to Los Angeles because it’s sunny every day and I dream that the health-obsessed city will rub off on me. It’s only in photos that I notice how sick I look, which is curious to others because I don’t “act” sick. As a child, the gauge of sickness was the rise of silver mercury in a thermometer. I’ve learned that there are key symptoms that people respond to: vomiting, fever, broken bones, bruises. What do you do when all of your broken pieces are on the inside? Sometimes vomiting is really nausea; fever is the chills. I call my symptoms chronic fatigue. But am I more tired than a mother with three kids working two jobs? Who isn’t tired?

I shame myself into hiding my pain, but secrets have consequences. My consequences take the deformed shape of deep scar tissue. After my second surgery, they tell me it’s now or never for children. I now have a live-in boyfriend, but he is not ready. I’m not sure if I am either, but I know I want children, so it must be now. My pain is significantly reduced with Chinese herbs and acupuncture, but when I lose my job, I struggle to keep up with weekly sessions. I return to bottles of burnt orange pills and electric heat, and I am unable to carry a pregnancy to term. We miscarry more than once and turn our spare room into an office.

A Twitter search for #endometriosis yields approximately 2,000 posts in a week; the majority are declarations of excruciating pain or stories of not being believed. Images include a crying uterus and selfies in hospital beds. Hashtags like #endometriosissucks, #endometriosisisreal, and #endometriosisresearch are calls for support, solidarity, and action. @xMelissaR04 sums up what our insides feel like: “On my way to work & it feels like Freddy Krueger has his fingers in my uterus ”

In online support groups, the misinformation that young women receive from their physicians feels criminal to me. High school girls are studying for their driver’s exam while getting hysterectomies. After undergoing eight surgeries, Lena Dunham recently chose to have one, but since endometriosis grows over the uterine lining, she still may experience pain. Unlike Dunham, I imagine that these girls may not have the opportunity to get a second opinion. notes that teens’ endometriosis symptoms are the most likely to be written off as bad cramps.

Founder of Seckin Endometriosis Treatment Center (SEC) and endometriosis excision specialist surgeon Dr. Seckin has a different definition of endometriosis. On his website, he writes, “This is endometriosis, menstrual periods that are literally stuck inside of a woman’s body. The implants can grow deep and wide, spreading and clinging to her uterus, appendix, rectum, ovaries, intestines, leg nerves, and other parts of the pelvic region. They are like leeches that attach to, reproduce on, and grow on whatever internal organs they find. They are similar to a slow-growing cancer that invades the organs in the pelvis. In some rare cases, they can spread to the diaphragm, lungs, kidneys, or brain.”

I have been battling endometriosis for over twenty years. It’s the longest and most toxic relationship I’ve ever had. A relationship I can’t escape.

Last month, I fastened my feet into another pair of stirrups, hopeful that a young doctor may have a more progressive approach. He locates a sizable cyst on my left ovary and a sac of fluid above it. “You haven’t been treating it, so I suspect that your endometriosis has grown back. Have you tried Lupron?” he asks me.

I know that several pharmaceutical companies who manufacture Lupron are being sued by a woman whose body attacked her bones after just two injections. “I know many people who’ve had negative experiences with it,” I tell him, which is the truth. He shrugs his shoulders and tells me that getting pregnant would be the best of both worlds. I have no idea what two worlds he is referring to.

While it wasn’t right for him to blame me, I haven’t been militant with my pain management. I stopped going to acupuncture, and even though I subscribe to a healthy vegetarian diet, yoga, and exercise, I’ve only dabbled in holistic treatments such as CBD or hemp oil, Reiki, and essential oils. The truth is, when I feel good, I want to forget that endometriosis exists.

I should have been better, I think—but then I stop myself.

Is this what it means for women to be advocates of their own healthcare? Does it rest on our shoulders to cure ourselves? There may be better ways for me to manage pain, but I didn’t ‘make’ my endometriosis grow back.

As I was writing this essay, I ended up in the hospital for severe pelvic pain, nausea, and the chills.

My blood work results appeared as emails on my phone as I sat in the waiting room. After watching every patient disappear behind the double doors, I asked the receptionist why I was being seen last. “Patients are categorized by the severity of their condition,” she said with a forced smile. I wanted to read her a recent article that cites endometriosis as one of the most painful chronic illnesses. Instead, I nodded and waited my turn.

“The cyst and fluid sac are gone. They must have ruptured,” the ER doctor tells me. “Endometriosis is a terrible condition; I am so sorry that we can’t help you.” I am not an emergency and I can’t be helped at the ER.

“The good news is that your vitals and blood work are great,” he says. “And your pregnancy test was negative.” I winced, knowing that I am nearing the end of my fertility window. I’m glad that he doesn’t pretend to know how to treat me or tell me that I could have cured myself. At least he doesn’t prescribe me a myth. Instead, he prints out the names of five OBGYNS who may have more experience with endometriosis. “They are excellent doctors,” he says, and I believe him because he believes me.

While new marketing campaigns urge women to “speak out” about their symptoms, history has shown that women who speak out are not believed.

We are not in the dark about endometriosis because women ignore their symptoms; we are ignored because women’s bodies are devalued.

This treatment by doctors has reprehensible effects. It falls on our shoulders to raise awareness and dispel myths that pregnancy and hysterectomies cure endometriosis. We need to band together to demand more studies, more funding, more understanding of women’s bodies. After all, it is our bodies that give life.

The post The dangerous myths that prevent me from getting the endometriosis care I need appeared first on HelloGiggles.



The President has no choice but to watch as the special counsel grinds away, apparently getting closer to Trump’s inner circle

Donald Trump’s behavior isn’t doing much to bolster White House assurances that he’s got nothing to worry about from Robert Mueller’s probe, after a series of potentially ominous turns in the Russia investigation. – RSS Channel – HP Hero

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Yikes! ‘Diff’rent Strokes’ Star Todd Bridges Got Knocked Out After Getting in the Middle of His Neighbor’s Dispute [Video]

Todd Bridges might think twice next time before lending a helping hand after he got knocked out over the weekend.

via TMZ:

The “Diff’rent Strokes” star recently helped his wheelchair-bound neighbor evict a woman living at the guy’s house in the San Fernando Valley. We’re told Todd’s neighbor had asked him for help in the past, and Todd obliged this time too.

Well, things escalated quickly. Todd and the woman’s boyfriend got into a verbal altercation, and next thing ya know … Todd got sucker punched and laid out. It’s pretty crazy … in this surveillance footage, obtained by TMZ, you can see Todd was totally dazed from the hit.

We’re told the guy fled the scene, but no police report was filed. As for Todd … he tells us in a statement … “No one likes to be sucker punched, but I am glad that I was there to help my neighbor, who was faced with a potentially dangerous situation.”

Todd added, “Much rather it was me, and not my neighbor.”

Great guy, but we gotta believe Mr. D or Mrs Garrett (RIP on both counts) would’ve reminded Willis … no good deed goes unpunished!

We’re happy Todd’s okay, but he should leave evictions to the police.

The post Yikes! ‘Diff’rent Strokes’ Star Todd Bridges Got Knocked Out After Getting in the Middle of His Neighbor’s Dispute [Video] appeared first on lovebscott – celebrity news.

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While some investors are avoiding homebuilders amid rising interest rates that traditionally serve as a headwind for the economically sensitive group of stocks, others say evidence is mounting for a bounce.
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Getting to Equal: Three Ways We Can All Fight for Gender Mainstreaming in the U.S.

The U.S. needs a feminist systems reboot.

Policy-making is never gender-neutral, and policies written without considering gendered impacts from the get-go aren’t just “gender-insensitive,” but often directly harmful to women. We can’t continue to play whack-a-mole with one elected official or one policy at a time. We need to reject the institutionalization of male privilege in all its forms. I believe we can fix inequality—but we must start swinging for the fences.

If equality is the goal, what will be the strategy?

Feminist sang, chanted and rallied for gender equality in New York City during a march to mark International Women’s Day in 2015 that was organized by UN Women. The organization’s gender mainstreaming framework has become a guiding light for nations across the world interested in advancing equality. (Ryan Brown for UN Women / Creative Commons)

We can accelerate progress by looking to other nations and the gender mainstreaming (GM) framework used by UN Women and nations around the world to address gender-based policy issues since its creation in the 1980’s.

Two U.S. agencies are already implementing this work, but only one of them operates within our borders: In its nascency at the National Weather Service (NWS), gender mainstreaming allows staff to see that hurricanes are not gender or race neutral, and that how they distribute communications in a disaster could make a life-or-death difference for women and girls. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Office of Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, meanwhile, brings mainstreaming to the forefront in their implementation of its Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Policy.

The interventions the U.S. makes for gender equality abroad, which are compulsory when distributing aid money, are important—but we also need to take a long look in the mirror and get to work solving our own problems at home.

It won’t be perfect the first time, but we need need to start performing gender equity work in every government agency and in every institution. Equality is not achieved overnight, but policy is a constitutional commitment to provide actionable measures and allocate resources. (If this idea sounds intriguing, look to Gender-Sensitive Parliaments, Guidelines for Gender Mainstreaming Academia or Climate Change Gender Action Plans to learn more on GM from experts in other countries.)

There are three things you can do to put wide-scale progress towards gender equality in motion.

#1: Speak up for a systems approach.

The GM framework at NWS was shaped by the efforts led by their global peers at the World Meterological Organization, which prioritizes gender equality. We have a lot to learn from the decades of GM implementation overseas—including the strategies that transformed Iceland into the 1 in the world for gender equality, including the employ of Gender Equality Officers within their government agencies.

One limitation of GM approaches elsewhere, however, is that much of the policy language only refers to gender as a binary (men/women), and are silent towards other gender identities and sexual orientations. Racial relations are also often poorly incorporated in GM frameworks.

GM needs an inclusive redefining, and we can do that within our borders in a way that fits our culture. While the global framework for GM may be missing language related to race and other forms of discrimination, this allows each nation to develop an approach that fits their own culture best. In order for GM to be effective within the U.S., feminists should ensure while pushing for its advancement that the needs of women of color, trans women and other women at the intersections are put first.

Ask your elected officials if they’ve heard of Gender Mainstreaming. Ask them how they review policies for impact by race and gender. Ask whether there are measurable outcomes.

#2: Consider CEDAW.

Nearly all members of the United Nations ratified the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), but the U.S. never did, and our elected officials still refuse to do so. CEDAW lays a roadmap to addressing many hot topics in the U.S.—including reproductive rights, maternity leave and affordable child care.

There is a growing groundswell of municipalities moving forward with resolutions for and ratifications of CEDAW. Help launch the next one or do all you can to push one in your community further forward. Join the grassroots movement of Cities for CEDAW and check out the resources for citizens, like these examples of tips for talking with your elected officials.

#3: Follow the funding.

As gendered inequities are better understood, we must allocate funding to implement programs that close those gaps. Our neighbors to the north are making progress on this: Earlier this year, Canada performed their first ever gender analysis of the federal budget and identified several key areas.

One of the key areas on which they are focusing has a parallel plague in the U.S.—sexual assault at universities. The data they collected provided the evidence policy-makers needed to justify funding; Status of Women Canada has now become a full federal department and was allocated $ 100 million. In addition, Statistics Canada has created a new Centre for Gender, Diversity and Inclusion Statistics so the work moving forward can be data-driven and include other forms of discrimination like indigeneity and immigrant status.

Ask your elected officials where equality fits in their list of priorities. Ask what gender-disaggregated statistics they have available. Ask what percent of their funding goes towards programs for equality.

The trifecta of actions here would move us closer to a data-driven, systems approach to gender equity that would set us on the path to equality.

And aren’t we worth it?

Barbara Clabots is an interdisciplinary researcher working at the intersection of gender equality and the environment.

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The post Getting to Equal: Three Ways We Can All Fight for Gender Mainstreaming in the U.S. appeared first on Ms. Magazine Blog.

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Did Marlo Hampton’s Homophobic Slur Doom Her From Getting ‘RHOA’ Peach? [Video]

(Marlo Hampton Instagram)

If you’re a fan of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” you’re no doubt aware of the shows intense popularity. If our math is correct, it just started its 11th season on Sunday evening past.

Over the course of the show’s reign, several ladies have come and gone and even come back (Hello NeNe, Sheree). Interestingly there’s one cast member who’s been consistently hanging around since season 4, but can’t get any love as a full-timer. That would be Marlo Hampton.

So, you might ask yourself, why can’t Marlo get a peach? Look at all the time she’s put in? What more does she have to do? Well, according to a report via theJasmineBrand, the chances of her becoming an official cast member are pretty slim. Accordig to sources, it was an inflammatory comment that Hampton made several seasons ago that have haunted her ever since. The story goes that when Marlo used the word f*gg*t on the show, it supposedly sealed her fate of never getting a permanent spot.

It was back in 2012 when Hampton spouted the word when she and former cast member, Sheree Whitfield, were in each other’s faces during their South Africa trip. In the midst of arguing over why Marlo WASN’T invited by Sheree to a party, hhere’s what came out of Hampton’s mouth …

“And any way, that’s why you don’t have a man, Go and hang with them f*gg*ts.”


Needless to say, the man who oversees the show, and is openly gay, BRAVO executive Andy Cohen (pictured directly above), was allegedly livid about it, per sources. Not that it helped, but Marlo did apologize on her website.

“I would like to offer from the bottom of my heart the fullest and most heartfelt apology for my recent use of an anti-gay slur. When I used this word, I was not mindful of the demeaning connotation that this has in the gay community. My speech was irresponsible, thoughtless and said with the intention of conveying anger rather than as a statement on my feelings towards the gay community as a whole…I applaud and admire this community for their triumph over a sometimes harsh, mean spirited society that discriminates and even violently attacks those who are different. These are obstacles that I relate to and that I have been inspired by them to overcome. I celebrate this community and am saddened by any indication otherwise, that my actions may have caused…”

The article also notes that Marlo apologized on that season’s reunion show for using the word, but it didn’t make any difference.

“Not only was Andy upset, but it was damaging with the LGBTQ viewers and execs at the network,” a source reportedly said.

But hey, the bottom line is Marlo Hampton is still very much associated with the show while Andy keeps exacting his revenge.


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Spice Girls Getting Back Together For Mega Bucks Global Tour


British pop group the Spice Girls are to reform for a comeback tour which is expected to gross them millions, it will be officially announced today.

However, it will be a case of five become four as Victoria Beckham, now a fashion designer, will not be reprising her role as Posh Spice in the ‘girl power’ supergroup that ruled the airwaves on both sides of the Atlantic in the 1990s with hits like Wannabe (which hit number one in 37 countries) and Spice Up Your Life.

Beckham does stand to make millions from the new tour, however, as a major shareholder in the Spice Girls brand and intellectual property.

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How close is London to getting an NFL franchise?

LONDON — Whenever the NFL International Series rolls into town, the same question always arises: Is it a matter of when or if London will get a franchise? The question is as inevitable as the plethora of jerseys worn by gridiron aficionados at the matches, or the smell of barbecues and beers at the tailgates. But there is a growing feeling a potential franchise is nearer than ever to becoming reality. So what are the key hurdles that remain, and how would it all work? When could a franchise start in London? There is growing optimism within NFL circles that there could be a London-based franchise by 2022. NFL executive vice president Mark Waller told ESPN that was a "logical time frame from a business perspective" as the current collective bargaining agreement and media deals expire in 2020 and 2022, respectively. Waller pointed to how 29 of the 32 franchises have played in London since the International Series began in 2007, and they have seen…
ABC News: Sports


Tekashi69 Celebrates Daughter’s Birthday After Getting Probation in Child Sex Case

Tekashi69 is making the most of his new lease on life, celebrating his daughter’s birthday only hours after avoiding jail time in his child sex case. Tekashi is digging his newfound freedom … and thanking God for allowing him to be there for…


A Rape Accusation Against Cristiano Ronaldo Is Finally Getting Attention. It’s About Time Soccer Had Its #MeToo Moment

Cristiano Ronaldo is Portugal’s most famous soccer player and arguably the most famous athlete in the world. But in the last few days, his name hasn’t been in headlines for winning championships or crying on the pitch after being issued a red card. His name is flashing across screens because of a 34 year-old woman named Kathryn Mayorga, has come forward to say Ronaldo brutally raped her in a Las Vegas hotel room in 2009.

How is it possible that a story that sports media in North America had no interest in publishing less than two years ago, is now splashed all over every screen and social media platform? This case was not reported on by any major outlet except for a story in 2017 by the independent German newspaper Der Spiegel. Except for a select few commenting on social media (myself included), the case against Ronaldo got no traction. Fast forward 18 months, and Der Spiegel published another story. This time, it was a detailed account from Kathryn Mayorga herself. The publication spent more than 20 days with her and held countless interviews, fact checked and re-checked before it published.

The documents acquired by der Spiegel were damning and according to a recent Twitter thread by one of the main authors, Christoph Winterbach, there were more than 20 staff involved in working on the article. In response. Ronaldo’s lawyer and his team made a lot of noise as part of their legal posturing and even accused der Spiegel’s piece of being “illegal” because “it violates the personal rights” of Ronaldo. Laughable at best.

For those who understand the law, and the severity of the crime, there is much substance in this story. Back in 2009, Mayorga’s inexperienced lawyer (who had specialized in traffic violations) was no match for Ronaldo’s PR mega-machine and legal team, ended up settling with them for $ 375,000 on the condition Mayorga not . But Mayorga’s new legal team is disputing that contract and arguing that she was mentally deficient due to trauma from rape, and was not competent enough to make a proper decision at the time.

They have filed a civil suit on Mayorga’s behalf and the case has since been re-opened by the Las Vegas police. In Nevada, the statute of limitations has not expired for this crime. Mayorga has not only suffered physically (the hospital documented her injuries in a rape kit when she reported the crime), but she continues to suffer from that trauma to this day and—according to her lawyer—is in “active therapy.”

Ronaldo initially called the allegations “fake news” and insinuated that Mayorga was trying to get famous using his name. I have worked with survivors of violence and have yet to meet or know of a victim who has enjoyed any of the bullying, shame, societal isolation and mental health upheavals, and wanted to claim some type of infamy from an attack. And I won’t even dignify the ridiculous notion of “false accusations.”

Writing about rape culture in the soccer world is a struggle. Before the 2015 UEFA Championships, I heard about allegations against Spanish goalkeeper and Manchester United star David De Gea, who was implicated in a horrible rape case. I pitched that piece to at least ten different outlets and no one was interested in publishing it and paying me for my work. Thankfully, I found it a home at a soccer site entirely run by women. And they backed me up when the online harassment started to descend. I have only tweeted about Ronaldo thus far and the responses to my tweets have been violent and angry—presumably from Ronaldo supporters. Another indication of the hatred casually flung at women for speaking up.

Mayorga’s attorney has said that she was enabled by hearing survivors in the #MeToo movement disclose their own stories. There is a strong tide of women speaking up courageously, slowly washing away the impunity often enjoyed by powerful misogynists and abusers. Perhaps #MeToo has finally transcended into the realm of sports, a realm where it is desperately needed. With cases like Patrick Kane, Kobe Bryant and Baylor University’s football team, and other men who rarely face consequences for their actions, it is needed now more than ever.

Predictably, the same sports media who initially had no interest in this story have become “experts” in criminal law, and on sexualized violence. The vacuous reporting and unnecessary reflections are mostly done by men, and center the 33-year-old star. Opinions on due process (reminder: it’s a legal system not a justice system) and about Ronaldo’s athletic prowess and teams don’t have anything to do with this case in which he is accused of anally raping a woman, who by his own accord, told him “no.”

The way that these stories are reported by sports journalists who have little or no training in reporting accurately on sexualized violence can be re-traumatizing for many survivors. Instead of investing in proper media tool kits compiled by advocates for victims of violence (all free), editors unleash a bevy of unhelpful pieces that contribute to an unhealthy society steeped in rape apologism. On that night in 2009, Mayorga was dancing with Ronaldo. Does that mean she invited rape? No. These outlets are complicit in the way that victim blaming and shaming become part of natural discourse when rape is reported.

Then there is the sexist sports establishment itself. Since the most recent news broke out, the predictably irrelevant statements of solidarity from Ronaldo’s supporters have emerged. His current team Juventus FC tweeted out nonsensically reminding Twitter that Ronaldo has conducted himself with “professionalism” and “dedication.” The issue at hand is not whether he is a “champion.” How Ronaldo performs on the pitch is not correlated to the fact that he may have brutally violated a woman. The issues must not be conflated.

Ronaldo was left off of the Portuguese national team roster for upcoming international matches—but not because the Portuguese football federation felt it necessary to exclude him from the squad for being charged with a violent crime. They somehow managed to explain this decision while singing his praises. Portugal national men’s coach Fernando Santos said in a news conference on Thursday, “[Federation] president Fernando Gomes and I spoke with Cristiano Ronaldo and we considered it best for the player not to be included in this and November’s call-ups.

He went on to wax poetic about the alleged rapist: “I personally always support my players, and this is not even a question of solidarity, but I believe what the player said publicly. He considers rape to be an abominable crime and clearly reaffirms that he is innocent of what he is being accused of. I know Cristiano well and I fully believe he would not commit a crime like that.”

How nice for Ronaldo for people to believe him because he works hard and people are familiar with his persona. And while Nike and EA Games, two of Ronaldo’s major corporate sponsors, are “concerned” with the allegations, it is not enough to have them pull their money away—even though Ronaldo allegedly used sponsorship money to settle with Mayorga in 2009. The reluctance to cut ties with a powerful athlete underlines that the dignity of a woman is not worth sacrificing profits from soccer cleats.

#MeToo has yet to be championed the way that alleged rapists are.

Sports – TIME


A bunch of birds in Minnesota won’t stop getting drunk, and it’s becoming a problem

drunk birds

Most of us know what it’s like to have one too many adult beverages. We tend to mess things up, fall down, and cause problems in a variety of ways. When birds get drunk, they apparently do the exact same thing, and Minnesota residents are experiencing it firsthand.

As CBS Minnesota reports, the town of Gilbert is dealing with an influx of inebriated birds due to an early frost. The birds, which get drunk on fermented berries, are becoming something of a nuisance and have even caught the attention of local law enforcement.

Continue reading…

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Mortgage fraud is getting worse as more people lie about their income to qualify for loans

Mortgage fraud risk jumped more than 12 percent year over year at the end of the second quarter, according to CoreLogic, which measures six fraud indicators: identity, income, occupancy, property, transaction and undisclosed real estate debt.
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10.1.18 Thawing credit getting easier; Spam cell phone calls; Great online banks

Thawing your credit might not require PIN numbers anymore. And that’s not good; Spam calls to your cell phone are becoming a pervasive problem; There are new online bank offerings that you should consider that pay more and offer more benefits and convenience.

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