A partial list of good and worthwhile things the GOP is out to destroy. February 24, 2017Posted by Erin Ptah in Works Roundup.
Tags: environmentalist, health insurance, it's the economy stupid, Politics, religion, support our troops
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A federal civilian hiring freeze ordered by President Donald Trump has forced at least two Army bases to indefinitely suspend some child care programs. Okay, louder for the folks in the back: Republicans do not support our troops. They pay lip service when it’s convenient and screw them over once it’s not. The party that gives a damn about the military is the Democrats.
“[The Obamacare removal of health-insurance lifetime limits] took effect September 23, 2010. Timmy was born September 29. On December 17, he surpassed $1 million worth of bills in the neonatal intensive care unit. He didn’t leave the NICU until he was 6 months old.” One of the many American children that Republicans don’t care about.
“In El Paso, 11-year-old Rudy Smith lost most of the therapy services that helped him cope with cerebral palsy and a severe form of epilepsy, which plagues him with 50 to 100 seizures a day. His mother says she’s having trouble getting prescriptions filled, and the insurance company keeps sending her incorrect or faulty medical supplies.” A subset of the many children in Texas that Republicans don’t care about.
“I thought I should try to stay on the NSC staff during the Trump Administration, in order to give the new president and his aides a more nuanced view of Islam, and of America’s Muslim citizens. I lasted eight days.”
One more way the Trump administration is killing jobs: he’s on track to devastate our tourism industry. “A drop of that magnitude, if continued, would reduce the value of foreign travel within the U.S. by billions of dollars. And the number of jobs supported by foreign tourists and their expenditures in the United States—and thus lost—would easily exceed hundreds of thousands of workers in hotels, restaurants, transportation, stores, tour operations, travel agencies, and the like.”
A case from 2011, with lessons for today: “Cash gets angry when people tell him that his Hispanic workforce was taking jobs away from Americans. Since the new law began two weeks ago only two American citizens have come by his farm asking for work.”
Thousands of photographs showing what America looked like before the EPA. (Hint: there’s a whole lot of smog.)
Tags: copyright, free stuff, it's the economy stupid, Politics, racism, religion
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Leaving Westboro Baptist: “When Brittany Murphy died, Phelps-Roper had seen the disparity between her reaction and that of the rest of the church as a sign that something was wrong with her. Now the contradiction of her mother’s glee and her own sadness made her wonder if something was wrong with the church.”
Leaving Stormfront: “But the unstated truth was that Derek was becoming more and more confused about exactly what he believed. Sometimes he looked through posts on Stormfront, hoping to reaffirm his ideology, but now the message threads about Obama’s birth certificate or DNA tests for citizenship just seemed bizarre and conspiratorial. He stopped posting on Stormfront. He began inventing excuses to get out of his radio show, leaving his father alone on the air each morning to explain why Derek wouldn’t be calling in.”
“Justin Bainbridge is 27 and works two jobs, but he wasn’t allowed to start saving money for his future until a few months ago. Bainbridge has Down syndrome, and like other people with disabilities who receive government benefits, he can’t have more than $2,000 in savings. If he does, he would start to lose those much-needed benefits. But a new type of savings vehicle is giving Bainbridge, and others, a chance to save more cash.”
“I moved my whole company to a five-hour workday where everyone works from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Over a year later, we’re sticking with it.”
“As of [February 7], all images of public-domain works in The Met collection are available under Creative Commons Zero (CC0). So whether you’re an artist or a designer, an educator or a student, a professional or a hobbyist, you now have more than 375,000 images of artworks from our collection to use, share, and remix—without restriction.”
Notice when the #AllLivesMatter crowd doesn’t show up January 27, 2017Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
Tags: gun control, Politics, racism, religion
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“Immediately after the reports, BLM was blamed because Black people are violent threats who hate police, right? But that entire narrative was wrong—it turned out that the perpetrators were two white men who were far from affiliated with BLM. At that point, the Blue/All Lives Matter crew dropped the subject, not because it suddenly didn’t matter that the cops had died, but because the people who had killed them were no longer part of the threat group.”
“British police used a Taser on a black man they thought was a robber. He was their race-relations adviser.”
“Police officers responding to a burglar alarm fatally shot a homeowner, who had grabbed a gun when he spotted an intruder, after shots were fired in their direction as they arrived at his house.”
(Although most news stories about cops shooting homeowners involve a black victim, you can also read about the occasional white guy getting shot in his own house. Along with his dog.)
“Dozens of Jewish Community Centers in the U.S. were evacuated [January 18], including in Manhattan and California’s Bay Area, after receiving near-simultaneous bomb threats, according to various local reports.”
Millions of Shia Muslims made the pilgrimage of Arbaeen this fall, in defiance of Daesh’s threats and deadly attacks against the pilgrims.
Some thoughtful personal identity reads. October 10, 2016Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
Tags: gender, Oregon Trail, psychology, race & ethnicity, religion
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Because after that debate I think we’re all thirsty for some substance.
“If you can distinctly recall the excitement of walking into your weekly computer lab session and seeing a room full of Apple 2Es displaying the start screen of Oregon Trail, you’re a member of this nameless generation, my friend.” (Calling myself a millennial is usually not a bad fit, but yeah, this is my subcategory.)
“Five months in, I can’t remember the last time a stranger read me as a woman, and my mask of manliness is melding into my being, becoming part of me. It’s becoming comfortable. I don’t have the same sudden clarity that came with top surgery, but every new difference – smaller hips, bigger shoulders, a thicker neck – removes another layer of noise. Changing my physical self and my social self didn’t have to change my identity, but I think it might have. I still call myself genderless, but I also lump myself in with trans guys without thinking. ”
“At first, I didn’t believe I had anything wrong with me. But after meeting my current therapist, Dr. Samoon Ahmad, I began to understand and accept my diagnosis — I was bipolar, and my nude jaunt was part of a manic episode. It wasn’t until I got out of Bellevue three weeks later that I saw the front page of The Post with the headline ‘Ball Drop in Times Square.'”
“I am dark enough to not live within the tent of whiteness, but I am light enough that many people experience significant confusion when trying to class what level of ‘not-white, maybe heading toward-Black, deficient’ I am. Depending on the year and location, I am a ‘dirty Arab/Muslim,’ a fellow Latina, a Mulatto, a Mizrahi Jew, a half-white person who suspiciously may not be down with Black folks.”
“I didn’t want some American sales clerk knowing I couldn’t understand simple, elementary-school English. We’d look for that Ziploc bag in another store. I wasn’t about to let anyone think we were Middle Eastern immigrants coming here to steal jobs from honest Americans. I would not be responsible for a surge in Islamophobia over a Ziploc bag.“
Tags: gun control, Politics, racism, religion
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People killed by police, 2016. 389 and counting.
Compare it with this time last year: “In May, the Washington Post analyzed the 385 fatal police shootings in the United States that had occurred so far in 2015. The Post noted its number, which came out to two officer-involved shooting deaths per day, was more than twice the rate that the government had recorded over the past decade.”
[Video] Putting a fake cover on a Bible and reading verses, claiming they’re from the Quran. People react pretty much exactly as badly as you’d expect them to.
30% of GOP voters (and a full 19% of Democrats) are in favor of bombing. They don’t need to know anything about the people they’re proposing to bomb. As evidenced by the fact that you can give them the name of a made-up country, and they won’t notice or care.
“So [on March 7] the president killed roughly 150 people in a country where the U.S. is not at war. The Pentagon issued a five-sentence boilerplate statement declaring them all “terrorists.” And that’s pretty much the end of that.” GDI.
“The weary F.B.I. agent replied: ‘Toby….Seriously. Get some sleep.‘” An American amateur tries to investigate a (fake) ISIS agent on Twitter, and ends up getting more than a year in prison for his enthusiasm.
“Garza testified that Santellana never threatened him nor did he feel that Santellana was a dangerous person. Yet that did not stop him from recklessly approaching the vehicle with a loaded weapon and firing when Santellana did not obey orders from this large man in gym shorts, who did not initially identify himself as an officer or show a badge.” No justice for Jonathen Santellana.
“Mr. Pean had expected an apology after the shooting. Instead, during four days in intensive care, prosecutors charged him with two counts of felony assault on a police officer. They accused him of attacking with four “deadly weapons” — an unspecified piece of furniture, a wall fixture, a tray table and his hands.”
“Scott Collins, a spokesman for the Inglewood Police Department said that the couple refused to obey the officers’ commands to exit the vehicle. The officers then feared for their safety and opened fire on the car — killing the couple.” Here’s the kicker: the people in question were asleep. No justice for Kisha Michael or Marquintan Sandlin (or their now-orphaned children). Black people can be literally unconscious and cops will still profess to being too terrified to do anything but gun them down.
Well, here’s at least one case of the police being in legitimate danger…from each other. Cops raid wrong house, shoot and kill the dog, shoot the man who owns the house, then one of them shoots and kills another of the cops.
NiceaConOne and other links September 12, 2014Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
Tags: religion, the gays
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“Pope Francis says the issue of gay marriage should be studied and not dismissed out-of-hand, a senior Roman Catholic cardinal has revealed. ”
“Every time I see it, it’s a reminder to call him,” Mr. Gelles said of the number. “I find it kind of hard to relate to people I don’t know and places I haven’t been to and this thing called the Holocaust. The thing I relate to more is my grandfather.”
The descendants of the secret Nazi master-race-building breeding program. To the surprise of no one, they’re a completely ordinary bunch of people, united mostly by being freaked-out when they uncover their family history.
“Constantine was a Roman emperor, and a military man. So he said, ‘Right. Figure it out and tell me. I’ll believe anything you say, but get it all in one sock.’ He called NiceaCon One, and invited all the BNFs and SMOFs of the Christian world to have a business meeting and hammer it out.”
“Divorce is higher among religiously conservative Protestants – and even drives up divorce rates for other people living around them, a new study finds.”
A little religion-based facepalming for your evening May 27, 2013Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
Tags: feminism, Politics, religion
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“And yes, those directives include the claim that ‘[t]he Church’s defense of life encompasses the unborn’ and a mandate to uphold ‘the sanctity of life ‘from the moment of conception until death.” But come on. That obviously does not apply when Catholic Health Initiatives, the Church-affiliated organization that runs the Church-affiliated St. Thomas More Hospital where a young woman and her two unborn fetuses died, is the lead defendant in a lawsuit.”
“I grew up in a conservative area and had internalized some challenging attitudes about abortion, poverty, and the death penalty—attitudes aligned with policy that worked against my (and my family’s) interests. Still, I discovered that I was ready to drop everything for a friend who needed my help. Eventually, I learned to hold this level of compassion for complete strangers, too. […] Here are some things I learned when I began to leave my assumptions behind.”
“I am done making excuses for the pro-life movement. I am done trying to explain that the movement is not anti-woman. I am done trying to insist that the movement really is simply trying to “save unborn babies.” I’m done because it’s not true. The pro-life movement supports the exact policies that will keep abortion rates high.”
“Texas School District Investigates Muslim Bias in School, Finds Christian Bias Instead: A perfect example of fear-mongering backfiring.”
“This week, a Republican state lawmaker who had backed the voucher system decided to change her mind. Apparently, she thought public funding for religious education was a great idea, right up until she learned that her religion wasn’t the only one that might benefit.”
Same-sex marriage everywhere! April 25, 2013Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
Tags: religion, the gays
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Also, the current Pope advocated civil unions for same-sex couples in his home country. And Maryland (which has been cool on the same-sex marriage front for a little while now) nixed the death penalty not so long ago.
Sometimes things don’t suck.
Science & history: Muslim inventors, pro-choice establishment Christians, pre-tourism Japan, and more November 27, 2012Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
Tags: global warming, history, Japan, photos, religion, SCIENCE!
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“So there my friend stood, in 1990, in Jericho, believing that the universe was 5,994* years old and staring at a man-made wall that was 8,000 years old.”
20 Muslim inventions that shaped our world. You probably know about algebra, but what about quilting, windmills, and fountain pens?
If you were born in or after April 1985, if you are right now 27 years old or younger, you have never lived through a month that was colder than average.
Images from 1910: “Photographer Kozaburo was the first to produce tourist shots for Japan with an album of 51 collotype black and white photographic prints, which were painstakingly inked in by a team of 100 colourists, and gave Europe one of its first glimpses of life inside the previously secretive state.” Includes some beautifully-chosen then-and-now comparison shots.
Views on abortion from various Christian establishment groups in 1978. Episcopals, Lutherans, Presbyterians, and others articulating positions that are thoughtful, reasonable, and pro-choice.
“ …the women who were turned away from an abortion were more likely to rely on government assistance, more likely to be living beneath the poverty line, and less likely to have a full-time job than the women in the study who had obtained abortions. They also registered more anxiety a week after they were denied an abortion and reported more stress a year out. They were no more or less likely to be depressed. And women who gave birth suffered from more serious health complications […] than the women who aborted, even later in their pregnancies.”
“The first photographic images in the late 1820s had to be exposed for hours in order to capture them on film. Improvements in the technology led to this exposure time being drastically cut down to minutes, then seconds, throughout the 19th century. […] Seems children were just as squirmy then as they are today, because another amusing convention developed: photographs containing hidden mothers trying to keep their little ones still enough for a non-blurry picture.”
6 Ridiculous Lies You Believe About the Founding of America: the title is kind of a misnomer, as the topic is more “ridiculous misinformation you believe about the state of America before the Europeans got here.”
I’m down with the Dalai Lama on this one. September 21, 2012Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
Tags: books, religion
End-of-the-world believers: “I got to know a dozen or so believers prior to the scheduled apocalypse….Then, after Jesus was a no-show, I stayed in contact with them—the ones who would talk to me, anyway—over the following days and months, checking back in to see how or if their thinking had changed.”
A history of how people interpreted Christ’s “descent” (these days “descent into Hell”) in the days before the modern concept of Hell had come together.
“When Jesus saw this he grew angry, ‘Why did you wreck my roof? Do you have any idea how much that cost to install? Do you know how many tables and chairs I had to make in my carpentry shop to pay for that roof? The reeds alone cost five talents. I had them carted in from Bethany.'”
Old news but good news: “Though the matter won’t be fully resolved until an inevitable Supreme Court case, for now, a federal appeals court this morning ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.” Plus: The first gay wedding on a military base. Awwwwwww. (Bonus: they met through a homophobic church, and started flirting after a fellowship retreat :D)
“All the world’s major religions, with their emphasis on love, compassion, patience, tolerance, and forgiveness can and do promote inner values. But the reality of the world today is that grounding ethics in religion is no longer adequate. This is why I am increasingly convinced that the time has come to find a way of thinking about spirituality and ethics beyond religion altogether.” –The Dalai Lama