Michelle Duggar, who lives in Arkansas with her (very) large family, narrated a robocall that went out to Fayetteville households earlier this week, asking residents to protest an anti-discrimination ordinance going before the Fayetteville City Council on Tuesday.
In the call, Duggar claims that an ordinance pertaining to housing, employment, and public accommodation discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender would allow “males with past child predator convictions that claim they are female to have a legal right to enter private areas that are reserved for women and girls.”
According to the Fayetteville Flyer, which first published audio of the call, the ordinance in question is intended to strengthen protections for LGBT and transgender residents of the town, creating a new position on the city staff dedicated to handling discrimination complaints pertaining to housing, employment, and public accommodation.
The Josh Duggar scandal has been covered by multiple media outlets. Most people have been quick to point out the hypocrisy of Duggar, who served as the executive director of an organization that regularly links homosexuality and pedophilia, when he in fact sexually assaulted many underage girls. Unsurprisingly, the Christian news sites are coming to his defense, some even drawing parallels between Duggar and the story from the Bible where Jesus saved a woman accused of committing adultery.
Right now, the same people who conflate equal marriage with bestiality are jumping to Duggar’s defense, calling what he did a “mistake” and commending him for asking for forgiveness and getting “help.” One blogger went as far as to suggest that most teenagers commit sexual assaults against children. In response to a tweet saying “I don’t know what world you’re living in but ‘most teenagers’ don’t molest little girls,” Steven Crowder at Western Journalism said,
The thing is, you guys, they do. By 17-years-old, 48% of teenagers have had sex. One out of every three teenage girls gets pregnant before the age of 20. And it doesn’t count as consent just because you’re both under 18. Twenty-six and a half percent of 15-19-year-old girls are giving birth to kids - and those are just the ones that aren’t having abortions. And 17% of those births are to unwed mothers who already have at least one other child!
The US military has a problem with sexual violence. That’s the conclusion of the Universal Periodic Review Panel, a UN panel that aims to address the human rights records of the 193 UN member states. This is the second time that the panel has scrutinized the United States; the first was in 2010, when the list of concerns included detention in Guantanamo Bay, torture, the death penalty, and access to health care. Its latest report came out Monday morning, and there was a surprising addition to the predictable laundry list of US human rights violations.
In one of 12 final recommendations, the UN Council urged the US military “to prevent sexual violence in the military and ensure effective prosecution of offenders and redress for victims.” Other recommendations included stopping the militarization of police forces, closing Guantanamo Bay, ending the death penalty, and stopping NSA surveillance of citizens.
For years US lawmakers and activists have complained about sexual assault in the military, but this is the first time the United Nations has addressed the issue.
PAJU, South Korea, May 24 (Reuters) - A group of international women activists crossed the heavily-fortified Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea on Sunday in what they said was a symbolic act for peace.
North and South Korea are still technically at war after the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce, not a peace treaty. Despite its name the DMZ is one of the most heavily militarized and fortified borders in the world.
“We feel very celebratory and positive that we have created a voyage across the DMZ in peace and reconciliation,” said U.S. activist and feminist Gloria Steinem, honorary co-chair of the WomanCrossDMZ group, which is calling for a permanent peace treaty to replace the armistice which ended the conflict.
To spoil the final paragraph:
Ultimately, I occupy a weird little spot in between so many of the more clearly defined designations for gender, sexuality, etc. The funny thing is, I’ve grown to like it here. In an odd way, being hard to categorize has made me feel a little bit more special. It forces people to have to examine me a little closer if they want to ever understand me. Plus it makes close-minded people’s heads explode like f***ing Scanners, and that never gets old.
I’m always glad people who do that last part exist.
The Black Death struck Europe in 1347, killing 30-50% of the European population in six violent years. It wasn’t a one-off epidemic: it signalled the start of the second plague pandemic in Europe that lasted for hundreds of years and only slowly disappeared from the continent after the Great Plague of London in 1665-1666.
These outbreaks were traditionally thought to be caused by rodent reservoirs of infected rats lurking in Europe’s cities, or potentially by rodent reservoirs in the wilderness. But our research, published in the journal PNAS, suggests otherwise.
If the “reservoir” thesis were correct, we would expect plague outbreaks to be associated with local climate fluctuations, through changes in agricultural yields and primary productions in forests, affecting the number of urban and wildlife rodents, resulting in more plague. We found that Europe’s plague outbreaks were indeed associated with climate fluctuations - but in Asia.
One moment links 8 minds in disparate parts of the world, putting 8 strangers in each other’s lives, each other’s secrets, and in terrible danger.
All 12 episodes of the global dramatic thriller will launch Friday, June 5 only on Netflix.
From the unparalleled creative minds of The Wachowskis (“The Matrix” trilogy, “Cloud Atlas”) and J. Michael Straczynski (Clint Eastwood’s “Changeling,” “World War Z”), as well as Grant Hill (“The Matrix” trilogy, “Cloud Atlas”).
The international cast includes: Brian J. Smith, Tuppence Middleton, Jamie Clayton, Miguel Angel Silvestre, Tina Desai, Doona Bae, Aml Ameen and Max Riemelt. Also, Daryl Hannah, Naveen Andrews, Terrence Mann, Freema Agyeman, Alfonso Herrera, Erendira Ibarra, Adam Shapiro, Ness Bautista and Joe Pantoliano.
Unlike anything seen on television before, Sense8 pushes the boundaries in style, scope and story. For more information about #Sense8, follow the series on Twitter.
Sign up now for a Netflix 30-day free trial.
So, remember a few days ago when President Obama said that what we’re seeing in Syria is, in part, the result of anthropogenic climate change?
And the wingnuts derided him for it?
Yeah…….here’s the deal.
From 2006-2011, up to 60% of Syria’s land experienced, in the terms of one expert, “the worst long-term drought and most severe set of crop failures since agricultural civilizations began in the Fertile Crescent many millennia ago.” According to a special case study from last year’s Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (GAR), of the most vulnerable Syrians dependent on agriculture, particularly in the northeast governorate of Hassakeh (but also in the south), “nearly 75 percent…suffered total crop failure.” Herders in the northeast lost around 85% of their livestock, affecting 1.3 million people.
The human and economic costs are enormous. In 2009, the UN and IFRC reported that over 800,000 Syrians had lost their entire livelihood as a result of the droughts. By 2011, the aforementioned GAR report estimated that the number of Syrians who were left extremely “food insecure” by the droughts sat at about one million. The number of people driven into extreme poverty is even worse, with a UN report from last year estimating two to three million people affected.
This has led to a massive exodus of farmers, herders and agriculturally-dependent rural families from the countryside to the cities. Last January, it was reported that crop failures (particularly the Halaby pepper) just in the farming villages around the city of Aleppo, had led “200,000 rural villagers to leave for the cities.” In October 2010, the New York Times highlighted a UN estimate that 50,000 families migrated from rural areas just that year, “on top of the hundreds of thousands of people who fled in earlier years.” In context of Syrian cities coping with influxes of Iraqi refugees since the U.S. invasion in 2003, this has placed additional strains and tensions on an already stressed and disenfranchised population.
This problem has been compounded by poor governance. The al-Assad regime has, by most accounts except their own, criminally combined mismanagement and neglect of Syria’s natural resources, which have contributed to water shortages and land desertification. Based on short-term assessments during years of relative plenty, the government has heavily subsidized water-intensive wheat and cotton farming, and encouraged inefficient irrigation techniques. In the face of both climate and human-induced water shortages, farmers have sought to increase supply by turning to the country’s groundwater resources, with Syria’s National Agricultural Policy Center reporting an increase in wells tapping aquifers from “just over 135,000 in 1999 to more than 213,000 in 2007.” This pumping “has caused groundwater levels to plummet in many parts of the country, and raised significant concerns about the water quality in remaining aquifer stocks.”
On top of this, the over-grazing of land and a rapidly growing population have compounded the land desertification process. As previously fertile lands turn to dust, farmers and herders have had no choice but to move elsewhere, starve, or demand change.
In a nutshell, a severe drought - one of the worst in recorded history - compelled rural farmers, herders and their families to move to the cities, which were already a powderkeg owing to the nature of al-Assad’s dictatorial regime, and………boom. The fuse was lit.
So President Obama was right; AGW is one of the factors behind the Syrian Civil War - along with other issues, both political and religious.
I’ve created a petition to send to TLC to remove “19 Kids and Counting.” They are considering just removing Josh Duggar and continuing with the show. I have a huge problem with this because his parents neglected to protect their daughters.
Alaska Dispatch News
May 23, 2015
I wish I could say this week has been one of surprises. Maybe it has for some, but not for me.
For one, the television family celebrated for gratuitous breeding and condemning their moral inferiors for having fallen from grace — if that’s what you call reality TV fame. Mr. and Mrs. Joe Bob Duggar, of “19 Kids and Counting,” were in Anchorage just a few months ago to speak at a banquet at ChangePoint church. Their words of wisdom and moral guidance were brought to us by Alaska Right To Life.
Mrs. Duggar, who seems more like a human clown car than a mother, is known for making pseudo-Christian robocalls in which she claims that transgendered people are all child molesters. Now we find out that her son, the executive director of and federal lobbyist for the Family Research Council, actually had a history as a teenage child molester, which Mr. and Mrs. Joe Bob knew for a year before someone in the family anonymously reported him to the authorities.
Yes, amazingly, these are people social conservatives trust for moral instruction and federal lawmaking. How weird is that?
New Jersey’s governor, Chris Christie, vetoed a political corruption bill. No surprise there. He’s still waiting to see if he’ll be indicted for the actions of his inner circle in arranging the New Jersey-New York bridge cluster-massage.
It’s flooding like never before across the North Slope oil fields. It’s almost like climate change is trying to tell us something about petroleum.