Loudly advocating for gay equality worldwide at a forum for US and international gay rights activists last month, Vice President Joe Biden stated that support for LGBTQ citizens should be an indicator for how civilized a country is considered to be.
Biden also won high praise at another conference, Netroots Nation this past weekend in Detroit, Michigan. Netroots is the nation’s largest gathering of progressive activists, and makes a special effort to promote diversity and inclusion. Many of the attendees this weekend were especially fond of Biden’s contributions to LGBTQ advancement.
“Those of us who hold marriage equality near and dear to our hearts and our homes, we know that Joe Biden spoke first,” said Arshad Hasan, a NetRoots Nation board member, in his introduction of Mr. Biden on Thursday. “I give Joe Biden credit for changing the dialogue in the White House.”
Most Americans born in this country have a birth certificate issued from a hospital. But, for a lot of Navajos born in remote areas of the Navajo Nation before the 1970’s, it was common to be born at home. So, getting a birth certificate later - otherwise known as a “delayed birth certificate” - can be very difficult. That’s especially true in Arizona because of its strict regulations.
Recently, she helped an elderly Navajo gentleman, Bennie Bedane, who drove over an hour and a half to get to her office. For Bedane to even have a chance of getting his birth certificate, he needs to prove that he was born in Arizona.
He says he was, in 1934, at home, far from any hospital. “From where I lived, it’s about 60 miles,” Bedane says. “Dirt roads, no paved. But mostly wagons. It takes days.”
Bedane has his Navajo Census record, but that’s just one document. Matilda Perdue says he needs many more. “He would need to provide 4, 5, maybe 6 documents with the same name, the same date of birth, the same mother’s name, and the same father’s name all across these documents,” she says.
And this is where confusion comes in because first and last names were sometimes changed later. That’s what happened to Bedane when he joined the army during the Korean War. “I went to change my name,” he says. “But the Census Office don’t have that record. That’s not right.”
With out the right documents, these people will be denied the benefits they have earned by working all their lives. And denied the right to vote. Takes a lot of nerve to question the American-ness of a Navajo.
Read the rest here: Navajos Born at Home Find It Hard to Get Delayed Birth Certificates. You can also listen to the story at the link.
VASSAR, MI — More than 50 people from across Michigan turned out to protest the possibility that a Vassar facility could house Central American children and teens who have fled into the country.
The group, led by Michiganders for Immigration Control and Enforcement organizer Tamyra Murray, marched a little more than a mile, from Vassar City Hall to Wolverine Human Services’ Pioneer Work and Learn Center.
Some carried AR-15 rifles and handguns, while others carried Gadsden “Don’t Tread on Me” flags, American flags and Rochester resident Jeff McQueen’s “second American revolution” flags, designed from Betsy Ross’ flag with a Roman Numeral II in the middle.
“We’re not against kids,” Murray said, speaking to media before the march started. “We have sympathy for the kids being used and exploited by the feds.”
“Not in my backyard,” he said. “These kids are here illegally. Obama has ignored us.
Fike said President Barack Obama should take a leadership role in solving the problem, and that other college leaders should help as well.
“The lives of thousands of children and young people are at risk,” he said. “We cannot be silent. I urge my colleagues at the helms of colleges around this nation to join me in calling on President Obama to show moral leadership on this issue and, if possible, to join Marygrove in
pledging housing, food, security and education if the President would act with a moral compass.”
Charles Pierce of Esquire’s Political Blog was correct. Conservatives really are the mole people.
From Mother Jones:
A large body of political scientists and political psychologists now concur that liberals and conservatives disagree about politics in part because they are different people at the level of personality, psychology, and even traits like physiology and genetics.
An interesting article on a study you haven’t heard of. What it revealed about our culture and our perceptions of it.
It started in an obesity clinic. At least half the people were dropping out and the doctor in charge of it was astounded when he discovered, by mistake, what the cause was.
It lead eventually to a wide ranging study that discovered that cause was responsible for a lot more than just dropping out of obesity clinics.
It’s a fascinating and disturbing read. I could see much of myself in the data presented.
Lest the doe-eyes and vintage flair fool anyone, Zooey Deschanel has reminded us of one thing she is decidedly non-retro about.
In the August issue of InStyle, Deschanel tells writer Mike Albo that she’s sick of the sexist double standard implicit in the “do you want kids” question:
‘Like every woman is dying to give birth! I don’t think so. Nobody asks guys that,’ she says, gaining steam. ‘And you go into a supermarket and every tabloid is like, ‘Pregnant and Alone!’ Stuck in the 1950s ideal of how a woman should live her life. This brings out the fiery feminist in me,’ she pronounces.
Deschanel’s words ring true in a culture that tends to view childfree women of a certain age as sad victims of circumstance rather than individuals making a valid choice. But the 34-year-old “New Girl” star is in pretty good company: Cameron Diaz explained her childfree status to Esquire earlier this month, saying “I’m just what I am. I work on what I am. Right now, I think, things are good for me. I’ve done a lot.”
Robert Redford is attached to play CBS News icon Dan Rather and Cate Blanchett is attached to play his producer Mary Mapes in Truth, a film that will mark the directorial debut of James Vanderbilt, the A-list screenwriter behind the first two installments of The Amazing Spider-Man. The film will explore the scandal that erupted after Rather reported on 60 Minutes II that George W. Bush had gotten preferential treatment that put him in the National Guard to avoid the Vietnam War draft. The ensuing scandal during Bush’s reelection campaign left Mapes fired and Rather’s storied reputation in tatters.
So, who are they getting to play Charles?
Who knew that big-budget crap-pop culture could do so much good?
But there was one clear message in Transformers 4: Hollywood loves the s*** out of China, because China loves Hollywood more than anyone else in the world. Films like Looper and Iron Man 3 did a decent amount of Eastern pandering, but something like half of Transformers: Age of Mechanical Dinosaurs takes place in Hong Kong. It’s no surprise that, while enjoying decent success in the U.S., Transformers is a freaking monster overseas.
Transformers 4 has been so successful, in fact, that we’re starting to suspect Michael Bay’s secret goal might be to avert World War III via dumb robot movies (his primary goal remains “make all of the money in the universe by blowing things up and hating women”). You laugh, but he’s doing more for Chinese-American relations than Richard Nixon ever did.
Amanda Blackhorse said things have changed since a 2005 game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Washington Redskins, when she and other protesters faced fans’ verbal abuse for having the audacity to suggest that the teams’ names were racist.
Today, Blackhorse has President Barack Obama on her side. And half of the U.S. Senate, as well as tribes, organizations and publications, all of whhichhave said the name Redskins is offensive. And, most importantly, a board of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which ruled last month that the name is derogatory and the team can no longer hold a trademark to it.
“This is not just a Native American issue anymore,” said Blackhorse, a Navajo from Kayenta.
Blackhorse said it was because they found the name so offensive that she and the other plaintiffs chose to target the Washington Redskins first - as opposed to the Chiefs, the Cleveland Indians or any number of other professional teams with tribal mascots. But that does not mean the other teams are off the hook in her eyes.
“You can love Native Americans and not have anything against them, but yet your fans will do very bizarre rituals in these games that are very stereotypical of Native American people,” Blackhorse said.