On Tuesday, Azam Soofi of Overland Park struggled to make sense of it all.
“We are grieving,” he said, standing at the threshold of his home on 158th Place.
His son, Nadir Soofi, was dead. Police had identified him, along with Elton Simpson, both of Phoenix, as the two gunmen who on Sunday, firing assault rifles, tried to enter an event in Texas where cartoonists were taking part in a contest that featured drawings of the Prophet Muhammad. Both Soofi and Simpson were stopped, killed by police.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday left intact New Jersey’s ban on counseling intended to change the sexual orientation of gay children.
The court declined to hear a challenge to the law, meaning that a September ruling by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upholding the ban is the final word on the matter.
The appeals court said the ban, which Republican Governor Chris Christie signed into law in August 2013, did not violate the free speech or religious rights of counselors offering “gay conversion therapy” to convert homosexual minors into heterosexuals.
The panel also said the plaintiffs, who included licensed therapists and a Christian counseling group, lacked standing to pursue claims on behalf of their minor clients.
It’s sad that an article like this is necessary. I thought it was self-evident. But a well-written and succinct editorial like this may help to drill the truth a little deeper through the absolutely thick skulls of our neanderthal and utterly loony right wing. Not that they’ll read it in the first place. I trust they will continue to mostly enjoy the wealth of moldy information, demonstrably-false talking points, and false or distorted quotes rattling around in the echo chamber that less than 2% of the Earth’s population takes seriously.
Over the past three decades, the Republican party has followed a familiar strategy — get elected to executive office by preaching fiscal responsibility, make a complete mess of things fiscally, and then, when a Democrat comes in to clean up the mess, blame them endlessly for not fixing it fast enough. We see this currently, with the insipid Republican candidates blaming President Obama for our current debt level, despite the fact that Republican policies, like cutting taxes for the wealthy and putting two wars on the credit card made it all possible.
If the election were held today …
Okay, yes this is very much a first world problem as they say. With that admitted, lets consider a moment. It’s easy to prove it if I am on a paid shoot. I have correspondence, a signed shot list, maybe even proof of payment. I take that to FILMLA or whatever relevant authority, get my permit(s) & permissions, figure those costs and and it’s all good. Okay but how could I possibly prove the opposite? How does one prove a negative again? Yeah….
Once I own the gear, or just want to ramp up with rental gear to hone my skills and get accustomed to using the gear… In a nutshell I have to practice. I can’t do that on a customer’s time or dime. So D_L and I pack up the gear some of which is way above your usual casual shooter and go. Light stands, big lens, nice tripod, well you guys have seen some of the results.
So if I want to go practice at a park, or out in public how is at all fair or appropriate to make me leave, based on the assumption that fancy looking gear=professional/commercial shoot? Once approached by some Park Ranger or police I can’t risk jail (or worse!) pleading my case.
My feeling on permits is that by and large they serve to shut out the little guy. $500 for a still shoot?! I suspect the city authorities have an exaggerated idea from seeing big hollywood cinematic shoots with semi trucks and catering and hearing big names associated with expensive super models.
Think Annie Liebovitz who commands a big day rate and enjoys tremendous celebrity access. That is worlds above my pay grade. One way IMO they argue for big money is “liability”. Seriously? They ignore the liability issue of ordinary people that are out there trampling over barriers, swinging selfi sticks around and generally getting in the way at venues like the Griffith Park Observatory.
I’d like to see a process for non pro photogs. They can have my ID, a sense of when and where I want to do a bigger amateur shoot, I don’t mind. I’d happily address concerns they might have. Heck the LAPD Helicopter guys know my work, a couple times I took images of that big loud “ghetto bird” and even made likely eye contact when I swung my long lens right at the chopper and track with it for images. It was sunset, got a couple gorgeous shots of them in flight. So I sent them a high res image or two-Open licence/gifted and to relieve any worries I may have inadvertently caused the pilot. I think we pretty well understand how law officers view cameras. With great suspicion. And a suspicious cop becomes an annoyed cop or angry cop too easily. Well you get the picture, no?
Photographer Jason Lanier is on a mission to end “discrimination against photographers.” He just posted the video above showing two encounters he recently had with law enforcement while doing a photo shoot in San Francisco. In both cases, the officials noticed his “nice” camera and high-end equipment and questioned him to see if he was shooting commercially without a proper permit (which can cost hundreds of dollars).
But for all Ryan’s rhetoric on poverty, he’s also the author of a series of budgets that would absolutely wreck programs for the American poor, inflicting massive human suffering on the nation’s most vulnerable residents. It’s never been exactly clear how Ryan would resolve this tension, but his appearance on Face the Nation suggests he’s going to try to make his poverty programs work with his budgets’ which is to say he’s going to argue that taking trillions away from the poor is somehow actually good for them.
It doesn’t help that the first policy statement he makes is an out-and-out lie:
After a 50-year war on poverty and trillions of dollars spent, we still have the same poverty rates.
This sentence suggests that either Paul Ryan has absolutely no clue how poverty rates work, or he does know and is actively deceiving viewers. First of all, the specific claim in question isn’t even technically accurate. The poverty rate was 19 percent in 1964, when the War on Poverty was announced. In 2013, it was 14.5 percent. We do not have the same poverty rates we did then. Ryan is just wrong.
But even that dramatically understates the progress that has been made. The official poverty rate is a travesty of a statistic, and using it at all in this context is irresponsible. It’s literally based on food prices in 1955. But more relevantly for these purposes, it excludes the very anti-poverty programs Ryan is talking about. It excludes in-kind transfers like Medicaid, food stamps, and housing vouchers, as well as tax-based programs like the EITC. Blasting those programs because they don’t show up in the poverty rate is like arguing that Netflix shows have zero viewers by pointing to cable ratings.
The Cook Political Report’s David Wasserman suggests one useful way to measure the two parties’ relationships to urban America: Look at the amount of land mass each represents in the House. He crunched the numbers, based on census data.
The result is startling: Republicans represent 57 percent of House seats, but those cover 85.7 percent of land mass. Democrats represent 43 percent of House seats, but those cover 14.2 percent of land mass:
“Republican members of the House are the most disconnected from urban America — they represent disproportionately rural and suburban districts,” Wasserman tells me. “No party has ever held that great a percentage of land mass.”
Could the main obstacle to Hillary Clinton testifying about Benghazi be Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), the chair of the special House committee set up to investigate the 2012 terrorist attack that killed US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans?
Clinton and Gowdy have been in a tug-of-war for the past few weeks. At the end of March—following the news that Clinton, the leading Democratic 2016 candidate, had used a private email account when she was secretary of state and that her emails about Benghazi and all other official matters were not originally kept by the State Department—Gowdy asked Clinton to come before the committee for a private interview to discuss the emails she had exchanged concerning Benghazi and Libya. After such a session, Gowdy noted, the panel would schedule a time for her to testify publicly about the event itself.
ALEC’s so-called ‘right to work’ legislation lowers wages, which comes as no surprise since it’s pushed by corporate, out-of-state interests, such as the Koch brothers.
Several Missouri legislators who advocate for so-called ‘right to work’ legislation have acknowledged that the bills will lower wages. In no particular order, they are:
21 States Will Take Away Your Driver’s License if You Can’t Pay Your College Loans, but Activists Are Fighting Back
Thanks to the work of local organizers pressuring lawmakers, Montana residents will no longer have their drivers licenses suspended if they fall behind on their student loan payments. This April, a Montana law that allowed the state to revoke licenses for that infraction was scrapped. However, in at least 21 states, similar laws remain on the books.
The criminalization of low-income Americans’ everyday life has experienced a fair amount of coverage lately in the wake of the Department of Justice’s report on Ferguson. That report detailed how steep fees and fines for nonviolent offenses inevitably strapped residents of Ferguson with ridiculous debts. Those debts are then criminalized in a process the report called “illegal and harmful.” If poor people fall behind on their payments, they could even face jail time. Although student debt is not generally interpreted in quite the same way, portions of it have certainly been criminalized. Perhaps nothing showcases this fact more than states’ ability to suspend people’s licenses if they default on their loans. Nearly 30% of US workers now need a license in order to perform their jobs, which means that defaulting on a student loan could effectively mean losing a job.