Flying Squirrel's Journal
Member since: Fri Aug 20, 2010, 06:40 PM
Number of posts: 1,222
Number of posts: 1,222
I am the same DU member who formerly posted under the name FlyingSquirrel (no space). I killed this profile by changing both my password and email at a time when I felt I had developed an unhealthy addiction to the internet in general and DU in particular. Not sayin' I'm any better now ;-)
A: Both cops are on the same side.
We've been getting a "Good Cop, Bad Cop" routine from Democrats and Republicans for years and years now. I wish I could still believe the Good Cops were really good, but once the scales finally fall from your eyes there's really no going back. With very few exceptions, the "Good Cops" are on the same side as the "Bad Cops" - they are mainly on the side of the rich, and on the side of themselves (their own self-interest and ultimately whatever they need to say or do to maintain their positions.)
What else is similar? Both cops are playing parts in a charade. Both cops want something out of you - the "Bad Cop" is absolutely necessary for the "Good Cop" to get what he's looking for -- in this case, votes.
We think Democrats are the "Good Cops" and congratulate ourselves for at least being aligned with the good guy. Right wingers think Republicans are the true "Good Cops" and similarly congratulate themselves. Neither side is all that happy with what their representatives in Congress are actually DOING - just what they are SAYING. But they vote for them anyway because they fear the alternative, and they fear that the "Bad Cops" may actually carry out what they are saying they'll do if they don't side with the "Good Cop."
There's no such thing as a perfect analogy, and so of course this one has flaws. One such flaw is that Republicans are much more successful in getting their agenda passed than Democrats are, when they're in power (and more successful in blocking the opposition agenda when not in power.) So the fears of Democrats are more likely to come true.
The ultimate question, of course, is: What can we, who are caught up in this routine, do about it?
We can back more progressive candidates in primaries, we can turn out to vote (and turn others out to vote) more ... er... religiously, for lack of a better word. We can write and call our congresspeople and write letters to the editor. Those of us brave enough and motivated enough can protest publicly against the corrupt system.
None of this is new to you, I'm sure. Is there anything else we can do? Anything at all? Please discuss... Thank you!
Posted by Flying Squirrel | Wed Jun 19, 2013, 08:04 AM (4 replies)
A couple of my favorite definitions:
1. Attempt to explain or justify (one's own or another's behavior or attitude) with logical, plausible reasons, even if these are not true.
3. The act of defending or explaining or making excuses for by reasoning; "the justification of barbarous means by holy ends"- H.J.Muller
Or, to put it even more simply (my words):
If you are rationalizing or justifying something, the most likely reason you are doing so is because you know in your heart of hearts that it is really wrong.
Just my little effort to appeal to the consciences of those defending the slow but steady realization of George Orwell's nightmare society.
Posted by Flying Squirrel | Wed Jun 12, 2013, 07:18 PM (5 replies)
A good villain is underrated sometimes. I despised him with every fiber of my being.
But at least I knew where I stood with him. At least I knew what to believe when it came out of his mouth (absolutely nothing). At least I could hope for the reversals of his policies once we got a Dem back into office.
Now I don't know where I stand with the President, I don't know what to believe, I don't know what I can reasonably hope for, and I can't even really hate the man I voted for.
So, yeah I miss the days of George W. Bush when things were so clear and simple.
Posted by Flying Squirrel | Tue Jun 11, 2013, 12:42 AM (19 replies)
It was a Dell....
... and now it's rolling in the deep.
Posted by Flying Squirrel | Wed Jun 5, 2013, 06:24 PM (3 replies)
*Delightfully Unique - Uplifting, Positive - Regenerative, Elevating, Cheerful (The new DU UP-REC)!*
I'd like to introduce a possible new weekly thread: The DU UP-RECs.
As we all know, one of the necessary disadvantages of DU is that we often focus on the negative. As my girlfriend sometimes says when I'm reading stuff out loud to her, "Do you ever read anything GOOD on that site?" I'm often hard-pressed to come up with a quick example of something good for her.
In addition, even when something good IS posted, there are people who will quickly respond to the post in a negative fashion. I'm sure they have the best of intentions.
All this negativity can wear ya down. I was thinking this could be a nice little booster shot, perhaps posted on a Wednesday, to help us all make it through the week. By posting the good stuff all in one place including links, DU'ers could decide for themselves whether to go to the actual thread (where they would almost certainly encounter some negativity) or not.
If you like this idea and would like to help out, either respond to a post you'd like to see given more circulation with "UPREC" or "UP-REC" somewhere in your response (capitalization not necessary) and/or pm me a link.
Without further ado, here's an example of how the weekly thread might look (in order from most recent through last Wednesday):
First Riders Hit the Streets as Bike Share Program Begins (in New York City)
Source: New York Times
New York City introduced its long-awaited bike share system on Monday, supplying thousands of bikes, scattered across more than 300 stations, for public use in parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn.
With the program’s arrival, officials believe they have plugged some decades-old gaps in a city whose transportation network has at times strained to match its growth.
Faster than a crosstown bus and cheaper than the subway — at least for annual members — the bike share system was greeted on Monday with a mixture of hope and trepidation. It is the crowning, valedictory piece of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s extensive investment in cycling, in which the city has added more than 350 miles of bike lanes in recent years under the stewardship of Janette Sadik-Khan, the city’s transportation commissioner.
“We think this will be very popular,” Mr. Bloomberg said in his weekly radio appearance last week, adding, “Let the free marketplace decide.”
Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/28/nyregion/bike-share-program-opens-in-new-york-city-after-long-delay.html
teachers quietly serve as first responders to poverty
Teachers typically provide birthday and Christmas presents, cough drops, tissues, and sanitary napkins, she added.
"I keep a big bag for the girls," Roat said, "and we just take care of it."
But, she added, the biggest problem is hunger.
Whenever there's a long weekend like Memorial Day, teachers know to bring in extra granola bars and juice Tuesday.
When students return to school after three days away, "they're out of sorts, with headaches, unable to concentrate," Roat said.
She explained that many low-income families won't have enough food to feed children, especially on Monday, when the school is closed on a day kids would normally be eating breakfast and lunch in the building, Roat said.
Saizon Sanders, a 10th grader at Collingswood High School, whose family struggles financially, said guidance counselor Dennis Gaughan has provided him with food, along with clothing and other items.
"He gives me cologne to smell good, and he gives me friendship," said Sanders, 16. "It feels so good."At Roxborough High School in Philadelphia, teachers and staff use a school washer and dryer to clean the clothes of needy students.
Learning and laundry, in fact, get done in several area schools, where teachers and staff also buy food, prom clothes, toilet paper, eyeglasses, and countless other items for children from families with meager means.
This is on top of the hundreds, even thousands, of dollars that teachers spend each year on basic classroom supplies.
In the Philadelphia area, teachers see themselves as first responders in the ongoing emergency of poverty. Many say that if they falter, they fail the children.
So they step up.
"Children in need cross your way," said Lisa Ghaul, an occupational therapist at Knight Elementary School in Cherry Hill, who wound up adopting a student whose life was in turmoil. "If you ignore them, it's a sin of omission."
During a time of massive budget cuts, school closings, and teacher layoffs, it's easy to forget how teachers fill the holes in the lives of the poor, experts say.
"The help that teachers give kids is missing from the public dialogue about teachers these days," said Maia Cucchiara, an urban-education professor at Temple University. Teachers, she said, are too often criticized as robots teaching only to help students pass standardized tests.
"But that misses the reality of the student-teacher relationship," Cucchiara added. "When you have a child in your care and see him suffering, you do what you can to help."
Some say teachers are supplanting parents in this role as frontline activists; others believe teachers have no choice.
"I just think that when you become a teacher, you become a servant to the cause," said Karen Borrelli, a health teacher at Brimm Medical Arts High School in Camden, who has paid for prom hairdos and arranged rides for children to get to their SAT exams. "I just don't see how you don't help."
Pic: A dog's owner is trapped in this car:
(From a tweet.no link)
What a wonderful dawg!
The 33 Most Beautiful Abandoned Places in the World
The Tunnel of Love in Ukraine
El Hotel Del Salto in Colombia
Bodiam Castle in East Sussex, England
You tell me OWS is dead....
This is my son, Ben
He is OWS...
St. Patricks Day 2012 this happened
He was arrested for filming the very first arrest the police made that day. His camera was stolen by the police. He was held until the following Monday for refusing an iris scan. He lost his job. It took just under a year and 5 court appearances to have charges dismissed. He is probably going to sue the city of New York.
Ben has a wife and 2 kids and a new job. Right now the last thing he needs is another arrest. That just means staying active but out of the spotlight. So Ben spends time with his kids being quietly active. Here are the kids in the garage at home with the project they just finished.
That's one of two old steam tables he bought from work and repaired in his garage. This one is being delivered this weekend to a relief kitchen run by a friend in Far Rockaway.
You tell me OWS is dead-I tell you that they are pausing and they are planning. They haven't quit and they will not quit. I cannot tell you what OWS will look like this summer, much less in 5 years, but I can tell you that I see commitment and caring and and continuing engagement with the government.They see evil and they oppose it and they see need and they try to alleviate it. Instead of telling me they are dead tell me what you are doing that matters more.
"Number Of Liberal Americans Growing, Number Of Conservatives Dropping, Says Gallup"
Number Of Liberal Americans Growing, Number Of Conservatives Dropping, Says Gallup
by David Badash at the New Civil Rights Movement
The number of Americans who describe themselves and their beliefs as “liberal,” either on social or economic issues is growing significantly and reaching new highs, or meeting earlier ones, based on data from a just-released poll by Gallup, a generally conservative organization. Accordingly, the number of Americans who describe themselves and their beliefs as “conservative,” either on social or economic issues is dropping.
Gallup reports “the trend suggests that ideological attitudes in the country may be shifting. Social liberalism has grown by six points since 2001 and now attracts half of rank-and-file Democrats and Democratic leaners.”
This new survey shows changes in Americans’ ideology: economic conservatism is at a five-year low, while social liberalism has registered its highest support…
Gallup reports finding “the percentage of Americans describing their social views as ‘liberal’ or ‘very liberal’ has achieved a new peak of 30% — in line with Gallup’s recent finding that Americans are more accepting on a number of moral issues. Thirty-five percent of Americans say they are conservative or very conservative on social issues and 32% self-identify as socially moderate.”
9-year-old activist saves Chicago school, dreams big
When the Chicago Board of Education voted last week to close 50 schools, Marcus Garvey Elementary School was not on the list. Nine-year-old Asean Johnson is one of the reasons why; his fiery speeches against Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to gut public education have earned him widespread admiration and more than a few suggestions that he should replace Emanuel in City Hall.
As cities all over the United States close primarily minority schools, money flows to voucher programs and charter schools, and as teachers’ unions face repeated attacks, it is easy to get discouraged about the state of public education. Johnson and his mother Shoneice Reynolds joined Melissa Harris-Perry on Sunday to talk about why he got involved in the fight against the Chicago Public Schools plan, and he insisted that the situation is not as dire as Mayor Emanuel and CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett have argued it is.
Students of all ages have played a huge role in protests against school closings. Thousands of students walked out of school in Philadelphia on May 17 and marched to the school district headquarters. Philadelphia is set to close 23 schools, all of which are located in black and Latino parts of the city.
Asean Johnson doesn’t plan to stop fighting to protect public education. As he told Melissa, when he’s the mayor, he wants to support businesses that invest in communities. One corporation he won’t welcome? Walmart. “They don’t give back,” Johnson told Harris-Perry.
Watch the vid. If you're not impressed by this young man, then nothing will impress you.
Getting old? Senior discounts you must ask for.
I don't know how accurate this information is. It was forwarded to me from a friend and I don't shop at very many of these places but it might be worth asking.
Keep this list and send a copy to your senior friends and relatives.
As I was waiting in line behind an older gentleman at Wendy's recently, I heard him ask for his senior discount. The girl at the register apologized and charged him less. When I asked the man what the discount was, he told me that seniors over age 55 get 10% off everything on the menu, every day.
Being of 'that' age myself, I figured I might as well ask for the discount too.
This incident prompted me to do some research, and I came across a list of restaurants, supermarkets, department stores, travel deals and other types of offers giving various discounts with different age requirements. I was actually surprised to see how many there are and howsome of them start at the young age of 50 .
This list may not only be useful for you, but for your friends and family too.
Dunkin Donuts gives free coffee to people over 55 .
If you're paying for a cup every day, you might want to start getting it for FREE.
YOU ;mustASK for your discount !
Applebee's: 15% off with Golden Apple Card (60+)
Arby's: 10% off ( 55 +)
Ben & Jerry's: 10% off (60+)
Bennigan's: discount varies by location (60+)
Bob's Big Boy: discount varies by location (60+)
Boston Market: 10% off (65+)
Burger King: 10% off (60+)
Chick-Fil-A: 10% off or free small drink or coffee ( 55+)
Chili's: 10% off ( 55+)
CiCi's Pizza: 10% off (60+)
Denny's: 10% off, 20% off for AARP members ( 55 +)
Dunkin' Donuts: 10% off or free coffee ( 55+)
Einstein's Bagels: 10% off baker's dozen of bagels (60+)
Fuddrucker's: 10% off any senior platter ( 55+)
Gatti's Pizza: 10% off (60+)
Golden Corral: 10% off (60+)
Hardee's: $0.33 beverages everyday (65+)
IHOP: 10% off ( 55+)
Jack in the Box: up to 20% off ( 55+)
KFC: free small drink with any meal ( 55+)
Krispy Kreme: 10% off ( 50+)
Long John Silver's: various discounts at locations ( 55+)
McDonald's: discounts on coffee everyday ( 55+)
Mrs. Fields: 10% off at participating locations (60+)
Shoney's: 10% off
Sonic: 10% off or free beverage (60+)
Steak 'n Shake: 10% off every Monday & Tuesday ( 50+)
Subway: 10% off (60+)
Sweet Tomatoes: 10% off (62+)
Taco Bell : 5% off; free beverages for seniors (65+)
TCBY: 10% off ( 55+)
Tea Room Cafe: 10% off ( 50+)
Village Inn: 10% off (60+)
Waffle House: 10% off every Monday (60+)
Wendy's: 10% off ( 55 +)
Whataburger: 10% off (62+)
White Castle: 10% off (62+) This is for me ... if I ever see one again.
RETAIL & APPAREL :
Banana Republic: 30% off ( 50 +)
Bealls: 20% off first Tuesday of each month ( 50 +)
Belk's: 15% off first Tuesday of every month ( 55 +)
Big Lots: 30% off
Bon-Ton Department Stores: 15% off on senior discount days ( 55 +)
C.J. Banks: 10% off every Wednesday (50+)
Clarks : 10% off (62+)
Dress Barn: 20% off ( 55+)
Goodwill: 10% off one day a week (date varies by location)
Hallmark: 10% off one day a week (date varies by location)
Kmart: 40% off (Wednesdays only) ( 50+)
Kohl's: 15% off (60+)Modell's Sporting Goods: 30% off
Rite Aid: 10% off on Tuesdays & 10% off prescriptions
Ross Stores: 10% off every Tuesday ( 55+)
The Salvation Army Thrift Stores: up to 50% off ( 55+)
Stein Mart: 20% off red dot/clearance items first Monday of every month ( 55 +)
Albertson's: 10% off first Wednesday of each month ( 55 +)
American Discount Stores: 10% off every Monday ( 50 +)
Compare Foods Supermarket: 10% off every Wednesday (60+)
DeCicco Family Markets: 5% off every Wednesday (60+)
Food Lion: 60% off every Monday (60+)
Fry's Supermarket: free Fry's VIP Club Membership & 10% off every Monday ( 55 +)
Great Valu Food Store: 5% off every Tuesday (60+)
Gristedes Supermarket: 10% off every Tuesday (60+)
Harris Teeter: 5% off every Tuesday (60+)
Hy-Vee: 5% off one day a week (date varies by location)
Kroger: 10% off (date varies by location)
Morton Williams Supermarket: 5% off every Tuesday (60+)
The Plant Shed: 10% off every Tuesday ( 50 +)
Publix: 15% off every Wednesday ( 55 +)
Rogers Marketplace: 5% off every Thursday (60+)
Uncle Guiseppe's Marketplace: 15% off (62+)
Alaska Airlines: 50% off (65+)
American Airlines: various discounts for 50% off non-peak periods (Tuesdays - Thursdays) (62+)and up (call before booking for discount)
Continental Airlines: no initiation fee for Continental Presidents Club & special fares for select destinations
Southwest Airlines: various discounts for ages 65 and up (call before booking for discount)
United Airlines: various discounts for ages 65 and up (call before booking for discount)
U.S. Airways: various discounts for ages 65 and up (call before booking for discount)
Amtrak: 15% off (62+)
Greyhound: 15% off (62+)
Trailways Transportation System: various discounts for ages 50+
Alamo Car Rental: up to 25% off for AARP members
Avis: up to 25% off for AARP members
Budget Rental Cars: 40% off; up to 50% off for AARP members ( 50+)
Dollar Rent-A-Car: 10% off ( 50+) Enterprise Rent-A-Car: 5% off for AARP members Hertz: up to 25% off for AARP members
National Rent-A-Car: up to 30% off for AARP members
Holiday Inn: 20-40% off depending on location (62+)
Best Western: 40% off (55+)
Cambria Suites: 20%-30% off (60+)
Waldorf Astoria - NYC $5,000 off nightly rate for Presidential Suite (55 +)
Clarion Motels: 20%-30% off (60+)
Comfort Inn: 20%-30% off (60+)
Comfort Suites: 20%-30% off (60+)
Econo Lodge: 40% off (60+)
Hampton Inns & Suites: 40% off when booked 72 hours in advance
Hyatt Hotels: 25%-50% off (62+)
InterContinental Hotels Group: various discounts at all hotels (65+)
Mainstay Suites: 10% off with Mature Traveler's Discount (50+); 20%-30% off (60+)
Marriott Hotels: 25% off (62+)
Motel 6: Stay Free Sunday nights (60+)
Myrtle Beach Resort: 30% off ( 55 +)
Quality Inn: 40%-50% off (60+)
Rodeway Inn: 20%-30% off (60+)
Sleep Inn: 40% off (60+)
ACTIVITIES & ENTERTAINMENT ;:
AMC Theaters: up to 30% off ( 55 +)
Bally Total Fitness: $100 off memberships (62+)
Busch Gardens Tampa, FL: $13 off one-day tickets ( 50 +)
Carmike Cinemas: 35% off (65+)
Cinemark/Century Theaters: up to 35% off
Massage Envy - NYC 20% off all "Happy Endings" (62 +)
U.S. National Parks: $10 lifetime pass; 50% off additional services including camping (62+)
Regal Cinemas: 50% off Ripley's Believe it or Not: @ off one-day ticket ( 55 +)
SeaWorld, Orlando , FL : $3 off one-day tickets ( 50 +)
CELL PHONE DISCOUNTS :
AT&T: Special Senior Nation 200 Plan $19.99/month (65+)
Jitterbug: $10/month cell phone service ( 50 +)
Verizon Wireless: Verizon Nationwide 65 Plus Plan $29.99/month (65+).
Great Clips: $8 off hair cuts (60+)
Supercuts: $8 off haircuts (60+)
NOW, go out there and claim your discounts - - - - and remember ----
YOU must ASK for your discount ---- no ask, no discount.
I Know everyone knows someone over 50 please pass the one on!!!!!
What do you love about this place?
I love the friendships you make here. The ability to meet progressives from other parts of the country is wonderful to me.
Best picture of the year, period
Photographer Captures Abstract Photos Showing Lava Up Close
Want to see what lava from a volcano looks like up close? Photographer Daniel Fox has spent a number of weeks this year photographing lava near Kalapana on the Big Island of Hawaii. Rather than photograph the lava in the context of its surroundings, he decided to get in close and create abstract images showing its intensity.
Fox tells us he focused more on shooting abstract, artistic photos (rather than landscape photos) by using a telephoto lens rather than a wide-angle one. He shoots with a Canon 100-400mm and Canon 100-300mm on his Canon 7D.
He tries to leave the photos relatively untouched, but he does occasionally do some masking, rotating, and cropping in addition to basic Lightroom image adjustments.
Here is a selection of Fox’s lava photographs:
Read more at http://petapixel.com/2013/05/25/photographer-captures-abstract-photos-showing-lava-up-close/
Lost Dog Dora Reunited With Family After Seven Months
Dog Standing Guard Over Victim Reunited With Her Owner
Dog Found Standing Guard Over a Tornado Victim Reunited With Her Owner
There's a happy ending to the story of a dog, found alive in the rubble after a massive tornado devastated Moore, Oklahoma: she's been reunited with her owner.
Because "Susie" was found standing guard over a body, officials believed she belonged to one of the victims of the storm.
But then, good news. The owner's sister saw one of the photos, and contacted the department on Facebook. Sheila Collins told them that the dog belonged to her brother, Curtis, who lives about a half a mile from where "Susie" was found. He'd been looking for the dog since the storm, and eventually, the two were reunited.
It turns out that the person "Susie" was guarding after the storm was a stranger: Curtis has "no idea," according to the Sheriff's office, "why she stood guard of the victim whom he did not know."
Scientists discover cinnamon compounds' potential ability to prevent Alzheimer's
However, two compounds found in cinnamon –– cinnamaldehyde and epicatechin –– are showing some promise in the effort to fight the disease. According to George and Graves, the compounds have been shown to prevent the development of the filamentous "tangles" found in the brain cells that characterize Alzheimer's. Responsible for the assembly of microtubules in a cell, a protein called tau plays a large role in the structure of the neurons, as well as their function. "The problem with tau in Alzheimer's is that it starts aggregating," said George, a graduate student researcher. When for the protein does not bind properly to the microtubules that form the cell's structure, it has a tendency to clump together, she explained, forming insoluble fibers in the neuron. The older we get the more susceptible we are to these twists and tangles, Alzheimer's patients develop them more often and in larger amounts. The use of cinnamaldehyde, the compound responsible for the bright, sweet smell of cinnamon, has proven effective in preventing the tau knots. By protecting tau from oxidative stress, the compound, an oil, could inhibit the protein's aggregation. To do this, cinnamaldehyde binds to two residues of an amino acid called cysteine on the tau protein. The cysteine residues are vulnerable to modifications, a factor that contributes to the development of Alzheimer's.
Read more at: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2013-05-scientists-cinnamon-compounds-potential-ability.html#jCp
Read more: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2013-05-scientists-cinnamon-compounds-potential-ability.html
Wow Cinnamon has been shown to improve sugar levels and diabetic markers, now this. What a wonder food indeed!
So far, in the month of May Pres Obama has nominated TWELVE judges (9 female, 3 male) - UPDATED
Of the TWELVE --- Nine are female, and two are male.
Colin S. Bruce - C.D. Ill. - May 6, 2013
Sara L. Ellis - N.D. Ill. - May 6, 2013
Andrea R. Wood - N.D. Ill. - May 6, 2013
Madeline Hughes Haikala - N.D. Ala. - May 9, 2013
Gregory Howard Woods - S.D.N.Y. - May 9, 2013
Debra M. Brown - N.D. Miss. - May 16, 2013
Pamela L. Reeves - E.D. Tenn. - May 16, 2013
Elizabeth A. Wolford - W.D.N.Y. - May 16, 2013
Carolyn B. McHugh - Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals - May 16, 2013
Landya B. McCafferty - D.N.H. - May 23, 2013
Brian Morris - D.Mont. - May 23, 2013
Susan P. Watters - D.Mont. - May 23, 2013
Atheist Arizona lawmaker quotes Carl Sagan for House opening prayer
By David Edwards
Wednesday, May 22, 2013 10:04 EDT
An atheist state lawmaker in Arizona invoked astronomer Carl Sagan on Tuesday when he was tasked with giving the opening prayer for the state House of Representatives.
Democratic state Representative Juan Mendez began by asking members not to bow their heads, explaining that he had a “secular humanist tradition,” according to an account published by the Phoenix NewTimes.
“Most prayers in this room begin with a request to bow your heads,” the lawmaker said. “I would like to ask that you not bow your heads. I would like to ask that you take a moment to look around the room at all of the men and women here, in this moment, sharing together this extraordinary experience of being alive and of dedicating ourselves to working toward improving the lives of the people in our state.”
“This is a room in which there are many challenging debates, many moments of tension, of ideological division, of frustration,” he continued. “But this is also a room where, as my secular humanist tradition stresses, by the very fact of being human, we have much more in common than we have differences. We share the same spectrum of potential for care, for compassion, for fear, for joy, for love.”
Mendez added a quote from Sagan’s book, Contact: “For small creatures such as we, the vastness is bearable only through love.”
At a press conference outside the Legislature, members of the Secular Coalition for Arizona said that it has been an honor to be present for what they believed was the first atheist invocation on the state House floor.
Mendez, who also spoke at the event, noted that one in five Americans and 1.3 million Arizonans chose not to affiliate with a religion.
“We are learning the importance of coming out and visibility and how important it is in this effort to get non-believers to feel welcomed and valued,” he explained. “We do ourselves a disservice if we exclude or ignore the concerns of so many people in Arizona. And I simply want to let others know that we have more in common than we have in differences.”
“And that the love of our humanity and the sense of caring for, nourishing and developing and enhancing what it is to be human can be practiced by everyone.”
Full article posted with permission
Cleared of charges after explosion, Florida teen gets full scholarship to space academy
(Actually, as I understand it, the popping of the soda bottle's cap did not happen in science class, but rather on the school grounds. Still...great story!!)
Thu May 23, 2013 at 07:21 AM PDT
Cleared of charges after explosion, Florida teen gets full scholarship to space academy
by Jen Hayden
By now you've heard about Kiera Wilmot. She's the Florida teen who was arrested for setting off a small explosion in her science class:
Kiera, 16-year-old junior, was arrested after the incident, which happened outside about 15 minutes before the school day began. No one was hurt, nor did she cause any damage.
The school's resource officer arrested her on two possible felony charges, possessing a weapon on campus and discharging a destructive device. Kiera was suspended for 10 days, sent to an alternative school, which she still attends, and told she faced expulsion.
Her headline-making nightmare hit one NASA veteran hard:
The explosion struck a chord with 18-year NASA veteran Homer Hickam, a former lead astronaut training manager for Spacelab, and later for the International Space Station.
In the late 1950s, Hickam had a brush with law enforcement for allegedly starting a forest fire. State police came to his high school and led him and his friends away in handcuffs, but his high school physics professor and school principal came to the rescue, clearing him of wrongdoing.
Hickman became determined to see Kiera Wilmot succeed:
"I couldn't let this go without doing something," Hickam said. "I'm not a lawyer, but I could give her something that would encourage her. I've worked closely with the U.S. Space Academy, and so I purchased a scholarship for her."
Great news! But it gets even better:
Learning of her twin sister, Hickam raised enough money so Kiera and Kayla could attend space camp together. Hickam runs several scholarships for kids with potential, and hopes to create an ongoing Space Academy scholarship. The twins will attend in July.
Both Wilmot sisters are headed to the Space Academy! Sometimes good things really do happen to good people. Three cheers for Homer Hickam!
(There will, of course, be negative responses to this thread. Nothing I can do about that, sorry!)
Posted by Flying Squirrel | Tue May 28, 2013, 12:37 AM (49 replies)
Posted by Flying Squirrel | Sat May 4, 2013, 05:53 PM (0 replies)
Posted by Flying Squirrel | Sat May 4, 2013, 05:49 PM (1 replies)
Posted by Flying Squirrel | Wed May 1, 2013, 05:20 PM (0 replies)
Posted by Flying Squirrel | Sat Apr 27, 2013, 10:01 PM (23 replies)
I haven't left the party; the party has left me. I am now an independent and I will vote my conscience, period. I will not "get fooled again." It's bad enough to watch a Republican I didn't vote for destroy the country; it's much more painful to watch a Democrat I DID vote for and believe in continue the same policies I railed against when the Republican was in office. NEVER AGAIN. I will be closely scrutinizing any candidate, whether for president or any other office, to see whether their past actions match their present rhetoric. If they don't, I'll be voting Green if it's available or leaving it blank otherwise. I will not vote for the 'lesser of two evils' thus endorsing the two-party system which is hopelessly corrupt and controlled by money which is the 'root of all evil.'
What you do is up to you.
Ban me. It won't change the reality that MILLIONS are thinking exactly as I am thinking right now and we won't be fooled again. Supreme Court or no Supreme Court, Jeb Bush or no Jeb Bush, this is how it's gonna be. The Democratic Party better come up with an alternative to Hillary Clinton that's acceptable to me if they want my vote in 2016
EDIT - Proof that millions are thinking like me:
The number of political independents has continued to grow, as both parties have lost ground among the public. Based on surveys conducted this year, 38% describe themselves as independents, up from 32% in 2008 and 30% in 2004.
The proportion of independents is now higher than at any point in more than two decades. Looking back even further, independents are more numerous than at any point in the last 70 years. (For trends in party identification from 1939-2012, see this interactive feature.)
Meanwhile, the percentage of self-described Democrats has fallen from 36% four years ago to 32% today. Republican identification has remained largely stable over this period (24% today, 25% in 2008). In 1991, however, there were nearly equal percentages of Republicans (31%), Democrats (31%) and independents (33%).
Republican percentage went up 1%, Independents went up 6% and Democrats dropped by 4% from 2008 to 2012. That's millions. Clearly it's the Democrats losing members. They'll be losing even more by 2016 if this trend continues.
Posted by Flying Squirrel | Mon Apr 15, 2013, 12:02 AM (361 replies)