What Michelle's Reading

Just a re-posting of articles (occasionally videos) that I find to be of my particular interest.

“We’re going to stand firm, Geoffrey attends our church, and this is a way to support our youth in the neighborhood.”

“We were…surprised to find such a large disparity between whites and nonwhites related to air pollution…Especially the fact that this difference is throughout the U.S., even in cities and states in the Midwest.”

—    Julian Marshall, University of Minnesota (via thesmithian)

U.S. ground troops going to Poland, defense minister says

Poland and the United States will announce next week the deployment of U.S. ground forces to Poland as part of an expansion of NATO presence in Central and Eastern Europe in response to events in Ukraine. That was the word from Poland’s defense minister, Tomasz Siemoniak, who visited The Post Friday after meeting with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon on Thursday.
Siemoniak said the decision has been made on a political level and that military planners are working out details. There will also be intensified cooperation in air defense, special forces, cyberdefense and other areas. Poland will play a leading regional role, “under U.S. patronage,” he said.
But the defense minister also said that any immediate NATO response to Russian aggression in Ukraine, while important, matter less than a long-term shift in the defense postures of Europe and America. The United States, having announced a “pivot” to Asia, needs to “re-pivot” to Europe, he said, and European countries that have cut back on defense spending need to reverse the trends.
“The idea until recently was that there were no more threats in Europe and no need for a U.S. presence in Europe any more,” Siemoniak said, speaking through an interpreter. “Events show that what is needed is a re-pivot, and that Europe was safe and secure because America was in Europe.”
How likely is such a reversal on defense spending? Siemoniak said there was widespread support at a recent meeting of European defense ministers. “Now they’ll go back to their presidents, prime ministers and ministers of finance, and this will stop being easy,” he admitted. “But the impetus is very strong.”
The strongest impetus, he said, is not even Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea, but President Vladimir Putin’s bald lies about Russian actions there and his exposition of a new doctrine allowing Russia to intervene in any country where Russian-speaking populations are, in Russia’s judgment, under threat. This poses a potential danger to the Baltic nations, which are members of NATO, and even more to Moldova, Belarus and central Asian nations that are not, he said.
Like President Obama, Siemoniak said it’s too soon to judge the agreement reached Thursday in Geneva to defuse tensions. He said he believes that Russia’s “special operation in eastern Ukraine didn’t go as planned” and that Putin may have decided to play a longer game.
“He holds different instruments that he can use to influence events in Ukraine,” Siemoniak said. Putin will keep in reserve the option of an outright military incursion, “but the political, military and financial costs would be gigantic.” The 46-year-old minister mused that until recently NATO was wondering what mission it would have, if any, once its troops came home from Afghanistan.
“Now we have an answer to that question,” he said.

Arizona tribe set to prosecute first non-Indian under a new law

Some members of Congress had fought hard to derail the legislation, arguing that non-Indian men would be unfairly convicted without due process by sovereign nations whose unsophisticated tribal courts were not equal to the American criminal justice system.

Against that opposition last year, the Obama administration was able to push through only the narrowest version of a law to prosecute non-Indians. While it covers domestic and dating-violence cases involving Native Americans on the reservation, the law does not give tribes jurisdiction to prosecute child abuse or crimes, including sexual assault, that are committed by non-Indians who are “strangers” to their victims. In addition, the law does not extend to Native American women in Alaska.

A last-minute act of forgiveness in Iran

A murder’s life is spared at the last minute by the victims family barley escaping his execution in Iran.

The Objectification of Women - It Goes Much Further Than Sexy Pictures

On June 3, An American Hero Will Be Put On Trial For Treason

“Why Society Still Needs Feminism”

—   

Because to men, a key is a device to open something. For women, it’s a weapon we hold between our fingers when we’re walking alone at night. 


Because the biggest insult for a guy is to be called a “pussy,” a “little bitch” or a “girl.” From here on out, being called a “pussy” is an effing badge of honor.

Because last month, my politics professor asked the class if women should have equal representation in the Supreme Court, and only three out of 42 people raised their hands.

Because rape jokes are still a thing.

Because despite being equally broke college kids, guys are still expected to pay for dates, drinks and flowers.

Because as a legit student group, Campus Fellowship does not allow women to lead anything involving men. Look, I know Eve was dumb about the whole apple and snake thing, but I think we can agree having a vagina does not directly impact your ability to lead a college organization.

Because it’s assumed that if you are nice to a girl, she owes you sex — therefore, if she turns you down, she’s a bitch who’s put you in the “friend zone.” Sorry, bro, women are not machines you put kindness coins into until sex falls out.

Because only 29 percent of American women identify as feminist, and in the words of author Caitlin Moran, “What part of ‘liberation for women’ is not for you? Is it freedom to vote? The right not to be owned by the man you marry? The campaign for equal pay? Did all that good shit get on your nerves? Or were you just drunk at the time of the survey?”

Because when people hear the term feminist, they honestly think of women burning bras. Dude, have you ever bought a bra? No one would burn them because they’re freaking expensive.

Because Rush Limbaugh.

Because we now have a record number of women in the Senate … which is a measly 20 out of 100. Congrats, USA, we’ve gone up to 78th place for women’s political representation, still below China, Rwanda and Iraq.

Because recently I had a discussion with a couple of well-meaning Drake University guys, and they literally could not fathom how catcalling a woman walking down University Avenue is creepy and sexist.
Could. Not. Fathom.

Because on average, the tenured male professors at Drake make more than the tenured female professors.

Because more people on campus complain about chalked statistics regarding sexual assault than complain about the existence of sexual assault. Priorities? Have them.

Because 138 House Republicans voted against the Violence Against Women Act. All 138 felt it shouldn’t provide support for Native women, LGBT people or immigrant women. I’m kind of confused by this, because I thought LGBT people and women of color were also human beings.
Weird, right?

Because a girl was roofied last semester at a local campus bar, and I heard someone say they think she should have been more careful. Being drugged is her fault, not the fault of the person who put drugs in her drink?

Because Chris Brown beat Rihanna so badly she was hospitalized, yet he still has fans and bestselling songs and a tattoo of an abused woman on his neck.

Because out of 7 billion people on the planet, more than 1 billion women will be raped or beaten in their lifetimes. Women and girls have their clitorises cut out, acid thrown on them and broken bottles shoved up them as an act of war. Every second of every day. Every corner of the Earth.

Because the other day, another friend of mine told me she was raped, and I can no longer count on both my hands the number of friends who have told me they’ve been sexually assaulted. Words can’t express how scared I am that I’m getting used to this.

Because a brief survey of reality will tell you that we do not live in a world that values all people equally and that sucks in real, very scary ways. Because you know we live in a sexist world when an awesome thing with the name “feminism” has a weird connotation. Because if I have kids someday, I want my son to be able to have emotions and play dress up, and I want my daughter to climb trees and care more about what’s in her head than what’s on it. Because I don’t want her to carry keys between her fingers at night to protect herself.

Because feminism is for everybody, and this is your official invitation.

Caitlin O’Donnell, Drake University. (via on-another-note)

(via sorayachemaly)

If heterophobia was actually real.

www.loveisallyouneedthemovie.com “Teen bulling and teen suicide based on someone’s sexual preference is ridiculous - and this film turns the tables on modern society. What IF the shoe was on the other foot?. ” —K.Rocco Shields (Creator/Director)
WingSpan Pictures is currently seeking financing of the feature version of the film.

Washington State Rep. Maureen Walsh (a Republican) gave a passionate speech defending marriage equality that’s going viral. Is gay marriage coming to Washington? The Young Turks host Cenk Uygur breaks it down. 

Watch the original video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbmbdW…

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/washing…

Subscribe to The Young Turks: http://bit.ly/eWuu5i

How did porn get to be cool?

each-beat:

sketchmedesire:

painiswarning:

Pakistani children light candles to pay tribute to Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims in southern Pakistani port city of Karachi on Dec. 15, 2012.

This would never be on the news.

Bless them.

each-beat:

sketchmedesire:

painiswarning:

Pakistani children light candles to pay tribute to Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims in southern Pakistani port city of Karachi on Dec. 15, 2012.

This would never be on the news.

Bless them.

(Source: wordsandbirdcages, via booklover)

odditiesoflife:

World’s Oldest Socks
These odd, ancient socks are the earliest knitted items in the Victoria & Albert Museum’s collection and quite possibly the oldest socks in the world. Made in 300-499 AD, these Egyptian socks were excavated in the burial grounds of ancient Oxyrhynchus, a Greek colony on the Nile in central Egypt at the end of the 19th century. They have a divided toe and are designed to be worn with sandals.
Particularly intriguing is the technique used to construct these red wool socks. Called nålbindning, or single-needle knitting, this time-consuming process required only a single thread. The technique was frequently used for close-fitting garments for the head, feet and hands because of its elastic qualities. Primarily from prehistoric times, nålbindning came before the two-needle knitting that’s standard today; each needle was crafted from wood or bone that was “flat, blunt and between 6 -10 cm long, relatively large-eyed at one end or the eye is near the middle.”

odditiesoflife:

World’s Oldest Socks

These odd, ancient socks are the earliest knitted items in the Victoria & Albert Museum’s collection and quite possibly the oldest socks in the world. Made in 300-499 AD, these Egyptian socks were excavated in the burial grounds of ancient Oxyrhynchus, a Greek colony on the Nile in central Egypt at the end of the 19th century. They have a divided toe and are designed to be worn with sandals.

Particularly intriguing is the technique used to construct these red wool socks. Called nålbindning, or single-needle knitting, this time-consuming process required only a single thread. The technique was frequently used for close-fitting garments for the head, feet and hands because of its elastic qualities. Primarily from prehistoric times, nålbindning came before the two-needle knitting that’s standard today; each needle was crafted from wood or bone that was “flat, blunt and between 6 -10 cm long, relatively large-eyed at one end or the eye is near the middle.”

(via odditiesoflife)

This new year, I’ll start posting again.

This new year, I’ll start posting again.

(Source: everybittersweet, via pizzasun)

watanafghanistan:

Afghan school girls.

These days, it takes more than textbooks and pencils to be a schoolgirl in Afghanistan—it also takes tremendous bravery and tenacity. Since the ousting of the Taliban in 2001, Afghan girls are theoretically free to attend school. But they are stymied at almost every turn by vicious militant attacks, a lack of adequate facilities and teachers, and even their own parents’ reluctance to break from the tradition that says “girls belong at home.”

The first challenge for girls’ education in Afghanistan is cultural barriers,” said Fazlul Haque, UNICEF Chief of Education for Afghanistan.

The way forward for girls is not easy—extremists in Afghanistan are doing their best to terrorize them out of going to school. In 2008 alone, there were 283 violent attacks on schools, resulting in 92 dead and 169 injured. Despite the obstacles and threats, Afghan girls are hungrier than ever for education. “Over 2.2 million girls are now in school,” said Fazlul Haque, “and we expect a 20 percent increase in primary school enrollment for girls by 2013, with help from UNICEF education programs.”

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(via meowlitaaa)