I found these in an Imgur gallery entitled “First ride to new homes after being in a shelter.” Here are a few highlights, with some pittie-esque dogs and a little one who needed someone to hold their paw.
- The birth canal through which you begin life happens to be located on sovereign United States territory at the moment of your birth;
- Said birth canal belongs to a U.S. citizen, regardless of where it is located at the moment of your birth;
- The sperm that successfully fertilized the egg that eventually became you came from a United States citizen, regardless of where any of the reproductive organs involved are located at the moment of your birth; or
- You complete a metric fuck-ton of paperwork, are not a “terrorist” based on the vague definition du jour, and pass a citizenship test.
The people who seem to be the most protective (defensive?) of their status as U.S. citizens tend to belong to the first group. Really, though, the privileges and immunities of United States citizenship accrued to them entirely by chance, not through any particular accomplishment or merit.
People in the fourth group, however, have to work for it, yet they don’t seem to get all that much respect for their efforts. It’s difficult to argue that one person who fits in the first group should be a U.S. citizen by virtue of birth, and another shouldn’t, but that is exactly what some people want to do in the cause of preventing so-called “anchor babies.” All this would accomplish, in reality, would be creating a secondary class of people born here but not really of here, because of the identity of their parents. That probably only seems like a fair arrangement if you genuinely believe that the location or identity of the birth canal through which you emerged somehow affects your identity as a person.
There is a point to all of this, I assure you. Read on… Continue reading
The problem many women have with access to accurate, professional reproductive health care is not because of the doctors, other hospital staff, or even annoying protesters, but rather the administrators and ideologues that employ the medical professionals. It is therefore refreshing to see some pushback on that front.
The ACLU is suing the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops over its hospital directives that allegedly led a Michigan hospital to give inaccurate medical information to a woman in order to avoid discussing abortion with her. The woman, according to the ACLU, was only in the 18th week of pregnancy when her water broke. The hospital kept sending her home, even though she was in terrible pain, the pregnancy had almost no chance of surviving, and the delay in treating her put her at ever-greater risk. Note that the lawsuit is not against the hospital or the doctors who allegedly denied her adequate care, but rather the religious organization that pulls the hospital’s strings.
You can have whatever religious beliefs you want, but you cannot force those beliefs onto others, especially when their life is at risk. Seriously, what is so hard to understand about that???
Several organizations have filed a complaint against the government of El Salvador with the Inter-American Human Rights Commission, claiming that the government’s refusal to allow a woman to undergo a life-saving abortion violated her human rights. The woman, identified as Beatriz, was 26 weeks pregnant with a “nonviable, anencephalic fetus.” Her prior health problems made it unlikely that she could survive the pregnancy, according to her doctors, but the Supreme Court of El Salvador denied her request for an emergency abortion in May 2013.
In June, the court reportedly allowed her doctors to perform an “emergency cesarian” that was pretty much a glorified hysterectomy. It saved her life, but the 22 year-old woman obviously will not be having any more children. All of this was apparently in the cause of maintaining the country’s absolute ban on abortion because of reasons.
Feminist organizations assert that Beatriz’s story reflects the consequences of the absolute criminalization of abortion and the institutional violence that is exercised against Salvadoran girls, adolescents, and adult women. According to data gathered by the Citizen Group for the Decriminalization of Abortion, between 2000 and 2011, a total of 129 women in El Salvador have been charged with abortion or aggravated homicide, with sentences ranging between two and 40 years in prison. Currently there are at least 30 women serving prison such sentences, the majority having suffered the loss of their pregnancies for various obstetric complications.
I don’t get it.
Photographer Nate Hill is the man behind the Trophy Scarves Instagram account. The premise is that he asks (and gets asked) by white women to wear them like scarves…According to The Root, Hill uses Craigslist to find a lot of his subjects…Hill told Vice that Trophy Scarves is all about making a statement about race and culture and the way society treats women.
- At least he tweeted after the rescue: Mitt Romney’s son Josh reportedly rescued four people from the wreckage of a car that crashed into a house at 70 mph, then tweeted a picture of himself next to the wreckage:
We’re happy that everyone was safe, and that Romney was able to help — but we’re also amazed at the Romney family’s ability to turn even the most heroic of acts into a smug spectacle of douchebaggery.
I’m unclear on how someone who seems to have such a low opinion of living, breathing women (or “females,” as he might call them) came to found a successful company that sells yoga clothing to women. Lululemon’s CEO and founder has been in the news here and there for saying this or that inane (at best), sexist (at worst) drivel, but it doesn’t appear to be anything new. He wrote a blog post on the company’s blog dated March 30, 2009, that details the company’s origins through a, shall we say, creative interpretation of the last forty years of history—starting with “the pill” and culminating in a surge of breast cancer among “cigarette-smoking Power Women who were on the pill.” Here is his conclusion, and you can decide if it piques your interest enough to learn how the events of the 1970′s through the 1990′s shaped the company:
Ultimately, lululemon was formed because female education levels, breast cancer, yoga/athletics and the desire to dress feminine came together all at one time. lululemon saw the opportunity to make the best technologically advanced components for the Super Girl market.
I, uh, um…..ugh. Continue reading
John Derbyshire and I have something in common: I haven’t seen the movie 12 Years a Slave, either. I suspect that is where our similarities end, though.
If you are not familiar with Derbyshire’s work, the National Review fired him last year, essentially for being too much of a racist hack. That should really speak volumes. I’m not going to waste any significant time or bandwidth on Derbyshire’s rantings about 12 Years a Slave, except to summarize that he has identified a genre he calls “abolitionist porn” that overstates how bad slavery was. For some good takedowns of his hackery, see Brian Tashman, Ed Brayton, and PZ Myers.
We do have one additional, very superficial, similarity that I might mention. Derbyshire concludes his “abolitionist porn” screed with a statement that, minus the specific context, I find to be valid and truthful:
In the matter of slavery, though, I already feel sure that the shallow good North, bad South simplicities of Abolitionist Porn and popular perception bear little relation to the thorny tangles of reality.
I suspect that Derbyshire is trying to say that the South wasn’t really that bad, and that’s where I strongly dissent. I would instead posit that the North, applying the standards of today, wasn’t really that good. Continue reading
Presumably because we just don’t have enough ways yet to isolate the super-rich from everyone else, the Washington Post has prepared an interactive map of the nation that identifies what it calls “Super Zips”—zip codes that rank in the 95th to 99th percentile for median income and education level.
Austin, Texas has eight Super Zips. Not at all surprisingly, they are all west of I-35. In fact, with the exception of a small sliver of 78749, they are all west of Mopac. (Fun fact: I lived in that sliver of ’46 for just over three years! In an apartment. Trust me, the Super Zip-ness comes from the west side of the highway.) The highest overall score, a 99, goes to 78746, which includes West Lake Hills and Rollingwood, and should not be a surprise either. The highest median income, however, is in 78739 ($132,552 to the ’46′s $129,188).
The lowest score in Austin, from my cursory review of the map, is east Austin’s 78742 zip code. It ranks in the 10th percentile, with a median income of $21,071 and 14% college graduate rate. It also doesn’t seem to have much in the way of buildings.
Just for fun, I thought I’d look at all of the zip codes where I have lived in my 14 years in Austin:
- 78705: 48th percentile, median income of $11,910 (although it’s worth noting that this zip code is probably mostly college students);
- 78751: 57th percentile, median income of $37,521;
- 78749: 90th percentile, median income of $79,712 (especially now that I’m not there to drag it down);
- 78704: 66th percentile, median income of $47,336 (damn hippies);
- 78751 (I moved back here for a while); and
- 78723: 43rd percentile, median income of $41,839 (interesting that it has a higher median income than ’51, but it only has 28% college graduates to ’51′s 64%).
Also interesting: the zip code where I grew up, 78209 in San Antonio, is famous for its “old money” excess, but it only ranks in the 79th percentile these days. Still impressive, but it’s clear that the real concentrations of wealth have moved further northwest (check out 78248, 78257, 78258, and 78015 for the big bucks). I bet the ’09 still has an edge in snobbery, though!
Presenting the shoebill, Balaeniceps rex, apparently also known as the whalehead. It lives in Africa, and it appears to be mildly amused by you.
It’s also classified as “vulnerable,” which is better than “endangered,” but still not good. Who could harm such a majestic creature? I mean, as opposed to backing away slowly from such a majestic creature while trying to avoid direct eye contact.
Photo credit: Jimo.
Entombed at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean in an upended tugboat for three days, Harrison Odjegba Okene begged God for a miracle.
The Nigerian cook survived by breathing an ever-dwindling supply of oxygen in an air pocket. A video of Okene’s rescue in May — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ArWGILmKCqE — that was posted on the Internet more than six months later has gone viral this week.
As the temperature dropped to freezing, Okene, dressed only in boxer shorts, recited the last psalm his wife had sent by text message, sometimes called the Prayer for Deliverance: “Oh God, by your name, save me. … The Lord sustains my life.”
To this day, Okene believes his rescue after 72 hours underwater at a depth of 30 meters (about 100 feet) is a sign of divine deliverance. The other 11 seamen aboard the Jascon 4 died.
This miraculous (for lack of a better word) rescue has a shock-horror element to it, as well:
Divers sent to the scene were looking only for bodies, according to Tony Walker, project manager for the Dutch company DCN Diving.
The divers, who were working on a neighboring oil field 120 kilometers (75 miles) away when they were deployed, had already pulled up four bodies.
So when a hand appeared on the TV screen Walker was monitoring in the rescue boat, showing what the diver in the Jascon saw, everybody assumed it was another corpse.
“The diver acknowledged that he had seen the hand and then, when he went to grab the hand, the hand grabbed him!” Walker said in a telephone interview Tuesday.
“It was frightening for everybody,” he said. “For the guy that was trapped because he didn’t know what was happening. It was a shock for the diver while he was down there looking for bodies, and we (in the control room) shot back when the hand grabbed him on the screen.”
On the video, there’s an exclamation of fear and shock from Okene’s rescuer, and then joy as the realization sets in. Okene recalls hearing: “There’s a survivor! He’s alive.” [Emphasis added.]
I took the liberty of capturing the “jump” moment in GIF form for posterity. Feel free to add in suspenseful music. Also, I wish Mr. Okene all the best.