Betsy DeVos, Have a Breakdown

Because, at this point, I do question your mental health.

Smiley face when confronted by angry Black students.

Absolutely the right response. Absolutely.

How dare you, woman have you no shame. Race issues obviously mean nothing to you. Nothing.

Then if you can’t understand, be afraid.

Afraid of your own poor judgment.

So I look at the video again. There you are: Keep on smiling! Adjust those podium mikes! Look helplessly at the Black University President by your side! (A completely idiotic and inappropriate response, let me tell ya: “Help me! I’m a vulnerable white woman! In a sea of angry Blacks!” Thus prompting racists of all stripes, those in plain view as well as those merely lurking, to go: “Look at what those people are doing to this poor, helpless white lady!” I wish never to see another such performance in my lifetime)

Betsy, you are doing so much damage to education, every day that you continue in your position. Because you’re just sleepwalking. You know it, the President knows it, the GOP knows it.

To the graduating class of Bethune-Cookman: I salute you. You will go on to do great things.

Link.

Emily Doe: Changing the Conversation

You don’t know me, but you’ve been inside me, and that’s why we’re here today . . .  Future reference, if you are confused about whether a girl can consent, see if she can speak an entire sentence.

— Emily Doe to her rapist, Brock Turner, quoted in Glamour, December 2016

From Emily Doe:

I had forensic evidence, sober unbiased witnesses, a slurred voice mail, police at the scene. I had everything, and I was still told it was not a slam dunk. I thought, if this is what having it good looks like, what other hells are survivors living? I’m barely getting through this but I am being told I’m the lucky one, some sort of VIP. It was like being checked into a hotel room for a year with stained sheets, rancid water, and a bucket with an attendant saying, No, this is great! Most rooms don’t even have a bucket.

After the trial I was relieved, thinking the hardest part was over, and all that was left was the sentencing. I was excited to finally be given a chance to read my statement and declare, I am here. I am not that floppy thing you found behind the garbage, speaking melted words. I am here, I can stand upright, I can speak clearly, I’ve been listening and am painfully aware of all the hurt you’ve been trying to justify.

I yelled half of my statement. So when it was quickly announced that he’d be receiving six months, I was struck silent.

After Turner was convicted of rape last spring, a judge “sentenced him to just six months, saying anything more would have a severe impact on him.” — Cindi Leive, in Glamour magazine

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

WSJ, Monday, 26 September 2016: Women’s Rights

In WSJ World News, a piece by Margherita Stancati: “Saudis Press King Over Women’s Rights”

Saudis sent telegrams to the king on Sunday pressing the monarchy to end male guardianship rules for women, the culmination of an unprecedented monthlong effort to abolish the system.

By Sunday evening, activists estimated hundreds of people had sent a copy of the same message to the royal court asking King Salman to cancel regulations that give men the final say on many important decisions in the lives of female relatives.

It is a change for which women’s rights activists in the ultraconservative kingdom have long campaigned. The telegrams are one of several grassroots initiatives that have sprung up since July, when an Arabic hashtag that translated to “Saudi women want to abolish the guardianship system” first went viral on Twitter in the oil-rich Gulf nation.

Saudi Arabia’s ban on women driving has been criticized worldwide.

 

Reading for the Day: The Economist Article on the Killing of Trayvon Martin

From the 31 March 2012 issue of The Economist:

A shooting becomes an excuse for political point-scoring

(Highlights from the article)

Opening Sentence:  It took a month or so, but the killing of Trayvon Martin, a teenager who was shot in Florida in late February, has developed into a predictable political circus.

Leading Personalities:

  • Rush Limbaugh, Al Sharpton and The New Black Panther Party:  Limbaugh is a “shrill right-wing radio host,” Sharpton is “equally excitable” and The New Black Panther Party is “a confrontational protest group.”

 Maybe you didn’t know that:

  • An online petition calling for the arrest of the gunman, George Zimmerman, has attracted over 2 million signatures.
  • LeBron James wrote “RIP Trayvon Martin” on his shoe before a game on Mar. 23.
  • The entire Miami Heat team “posed in hooded sweatshirts like the one Mr. Martin was wearing when Mr. Zimmerman decided to follow him . . . “
  • The shooting took place in “a gated community.”
  • Mr. Zimmerman “had recently started a neighbourhood watch scheme and he frequently called the police to report everything from potholes to people he thought might be involved in a spate of burglaries.”
  • At the time of his killing, Mr. Martin “had been walking back to the house of his father’s girlfriend in the gated community, having bought some sweets and iced tea at a nearby corner store.”
  • The National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People . . .  “has complained that the authorities neglected the case because Mr. Martin was black.”
  • The President was quoted as saying:  “If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Schizoid Post: Listening to New American Media/ SNL Host Anne Hathaway

This is a fascinating website, dear blog readers.

Check out the video, “Oakland Reacts to Mesherle Sentencing.”

Just the faces of the people being interviewed, and their words …

Backstory:  Johannes Mesherle, an Oakland police officer, shot an unarmed African American man in the BART Fruitvale station on New Year’s Eve 2009.

*     *    *

After the intensity of that video, self refreshes on Saturday Night Live.  Host tonight is Anne Hathaway.  Opening montage featured Rachel Maddow with guests Nancy Pelosi (a hilarious Kristen Wiig), John Boehner, and Charlie Rangel (hilarious Kenan Thompson).  Anne’s monologue was the funniest in a long time.  Opening monologue was followed by skit on Transportation Security Administration (Which reminded self that Sully Sullenberger had just said on-air that during a recent pat-down search his wife was “touched in sensitive places” — the horror!), and then by another hilarious skit featuring Miley Cyrus (Who was that comedienne who did spot-on mimicking of Miley’s voice???) interviewing Anne Hathaway as Katie Holmes.

Self was absolutely in stitches for the last 10 or 15 minutes.

OMG!  Now there is a skit on Prince William and Kate Middleton announcing their engagement!  Featuring Andy Samberg and Anne Hathaway!  Stop, SNL, you’re killing me!  Self loves the way Andy Samberg keeps addressing the Queen as “GRA-ma-mah” !

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

The Amazon.com Reviews of Dicken’s BLEAK HOUSE

There’s some extremely fine writing about this book on Amazon.com, dear blog readers.

Here’s one self found particularly helpful (posted by a reader in Cambridge, UK):

Dickens was already a household name when he wrote it.  He’d already cast his net far and wide over an increasingly eager audience (Pickwick Papers, Oliver Twist, David Copperfield and Nicholas Nickleby had all garnered great praise for him, and Martin Chuzzlewit’s extensive American episode —  after his trip there in 1842 —  had helped his popularity no end in the U.S.)  He was world famous.  He had also just begun editing the weekly journal Household Words, a publication he hoped would help highlight the social injustices of the age. Bleak House is confident and furiously angry in many respects addressing, as it does, much of the same agenda that Household Words railed against week in and week out.

(And, since it is a very long review, self will move on)

Here’s an excerpt from another review, this one by a reader in Chicago:

It’s dark, it’s absurd, it’s mysterious, and so complicated that one character actually spontaneously combusts.  It took me nearly six weeks to work my way through this book, and keeping track of the characters (many of whom have more than one name) was a serious challenge, but the book absolutely (if you’ll pardon the pun) blew me away.

And, finally, the last quote, from a reader in Boston:

As G. K. Chesterton said, when Dickens wrote this book, he had grown up . . .  One of the most amusing subplots involves various women involved in charity.  As the character Mr. Jarndyce says, there are two kinds of people who do charitable work.  Some accomplish a great deal, and make very little noise, and some make a great deal of noise, and accomplish nothing.

Yesterday, self was on p. 19.  Today, she is on p. 35.  Since the book is 900 pages long, and she’s reading at the rate of about 20 pages a day, that means it will probably take her over a month (and probably the whole of her trip to the Philippines) to finish it.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

WWF to EU: Stop Bluefin Tuna Fishing

From an ad in The Economist of 7 June 2008:

Stop Bluefin Tuna Fishing Now or Lose it Forever

Mediterranean bluefin tuna is on the verge of collapse. Every day 10,000 tunas are being caught in the Mediterranean sea, much more than is sustainable. There’s more than the survival of a species at stake too. Unless the EU closes the Mediterranean bluefin tuna fishery immediately, fishing communities as well as the wider marine ecosystem would be put at risk. WWF is calling on the European Commission to push through the immediate closure of the fishery. Waiting for the season to officially close on June 30 will be too late. If you don’t want overfishing to destroy ocean life, go today to http://www.panda.org/tuna

* * *

To put the above in context, ad appeared in June 7 Economist, and on June 13 this happened:

EU bluefin tuna fishing ban for Mediterranean

By Charles Clover, Environment Editor for The Telegraph, UK

A ban on fishing for bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean and Eastern Atlantic has been announced by the EU for large industrial vessels after widespread evidence of illegal fishing.

  • EU to act on bluefin over-fishing
  • France forced to stop illegal drift net fishing
  • Tuna fishing ban for South Pacific zones
  • * * *

    And here’s the latest:

    EU rejects calls to drop planned tuna fishing ban

    BRUSSELS (AFP) — The European Commission on Tuesday rejected calls from France, Italy and Spain to drop a planned ban on industrial bluefin tuna fishing, defending its decision to close the fishing season early.

    Dismissing accusations that its decision was based on faulty figures, the commission said unnamed EU member nations were failing to keep track of catches, running the risk of overfishing.

    “The commission therefore cannot seriously be expected to consider their very poorly based request to suspend its well-founded decision,” EU Fisheries Commissioner Joe Borg said in a statement.

    The commission sparked a wave of protest on Friday from Europe’s leading tuna fishing nations — France, Italy and Spain — by announcing plans to close the season early for big industrial operations in the Mediterranean and eastern Atlantic.

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