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Member since: Sun Jan 1, 2017, 05:42 PM
Number of posts: 17,984

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Tutored a Muslim Woman Last Week and Yesterday

Besides teaching English composition, I tutor. My college has one of (if not the) most diverse student populations in Colorado. It's not unusual to see Muslim women walking to class in their hijabs. However, the two tutoring sessions I had with this particular woman made me particularly happy with my college.

Last week, I met a new tutee. It was her first time attending at tutoring session, so she was a little nervous about what to expect. We sat down, and I asked her what her paper was about and how I could help. She explained that she was writing a classification essay about her identity and that she needed help organizing it. She showed me her notes that listed the three most important things she uses to identify herself: Djiboutian, Muslim, and a mother. I went over how she could organize each body paragraph with a topic sentence, explanation, and example. As we covered each of the three identities she wanted to discuss, I asked her to give me examples that would demonstrate how important each one was. She had no problem coming up with an example for how proud she was of being from Djibouti, but when it came to being Muslim she paused. I offered a suggestion. "Isn't it still Ramadan," I asked her. "What if you describe fasting every day as a way to show your devotion to your faith?" She liked that idea and jotted it down.

Yesterday she was back for another tutoring session! She had written her essay as best she could on her own, and she had included the suggestion about Ramadan that I gave her. She was very excited to have me read through her final draft. Of course there were a few issues here and there, but she had created a good paper overall.

It wasn't until last night that I started thinking about this woman with her paper. Here she was trying to communicate in writing in a foreign language. She came to me for help. There I was, some middle aged white guy who couldn't possibly understand her culture, her religion, her background. And yet she trusted me enough to let me give it a go. I think that my knowing about fasting during Ramadan helped allay some of her trepidation, but I just can't imagine what it must have been like bringing in an essay that could have exposed her to criticism or worse. I also think that the climate of tolerance and safety my college works so hard to maintain creates a space where such meetings can occur. And that was part of the realization I had later that evening: If I had met this same woman in a different part of the city, I doubt she would have been so open with me.

This Mayflower Business is Fishy

(Can we get those FBI recordings leaked?) I don't know about you, but now I am very interested to find out what Kislyak reported to Moscow after the speech. It is quite conceivable that Sessions did not say anything of importance to the Russian ambassador, and he was just there to lend support to tRump. But his testimony today was disingenuous to say the least. I know what we are all thinking about this, but I don't want it to be a nothing-burger.

TPM article - "What Really Happened At The Mayflower? Sessions Gives Conflicting Answers": http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/sessions-mayflower-hotel-trump-kislyak-russia-senate

Made This for Kamala


Take it DUers. Spread it around.

Who Are You More Afraid Of RWNJs or Muslims?

There are heavily armed RWNJ militias marching in the streets of several major cities across the country right now. This sort of thing would never have happened under a normal administration. But the tRump administration has normalized hate and violence.



Beatles Song Describes tRump Perfectly



President Trump, stop blocking me on Twitter


(CNN)When Donald Trump first started tweeting as president, my eyes were popping out of my head at each weird, angry and (we learned later) apparently unvetted proclamation. I couldn't believe he was making such statements on Twitter, as opposed to in an official White House statement, which we, the press, rely on for responses to world issues.

The problem with the President's tweets, besides their mangled syntax, made-up words and personal vendettas, is that so many of them are flat-out lies: narratives cooked up from who knows where in his mind and disseminated to his millions of followers (and millions of bots).

I'm not the first to be blocked by the President, nor am I likely to be the last. And if Trump were @JoeCitizen, and not President of the United States, blocking a Twitter interlocutor who hits back would be a little thin-skinned but it would be OK.

On Tuesday, lawyers for the nonprofit Knight First Amendment Institute agreed, and asked Trump to unblock Twitter accounts that are critical of him, saying they would initiate legal action based on the First Amendment if he didn't. Knight called Trump's account a "designated public forum" that is subject to the amendment, which "bars the government from excluding individuals ... because of their views."


Good that a journalist for a major outlet is bringing up the problem.



Is GOP using McCain to set up impeachment?

Here is McCain's statement about the debacle today:

"What I was trying to get at was whether Mr. Comey believes that any of his interactions with the President rise to the level of obstruction of justice. In the case of Secretary Clinton’s emails, Mr. Comey was willing to step beyond his role as an investigator and state his belief about what ‘no reasonable prosecutor’ would conclude about the evidence. I wanted Mr. Comey to apply the same approach to the key question surrounding his interactions with President Trump — whether or not the President’s conduct constitutes obstruction of justice. While I missed an opportunity in today’s hearing, I still believe this question is important, and I intend to submit it in writing to Mr. Comey for the record.”

They invited him in and gave him time. You would think they would have conferred. So why would he try to get Comey to commit to calling tRump's actions an obstruction of justice? Just what the hell is their game plan? Did they set up McCain as the patriot who would lead the GOP to call for impeachment?

McConnell is Set to Repeal and Replace Obamacare

Politico link: http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/06/senate-republicans-obamacare-repeal-timing-239186

For a day at least, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has his party’s beleaguered efforts to repeal Obamacare back on track.

After two weeks of increasingly dour assessments from Republicans on the party’s stalled health care efforts, Senate Republicans emerged from more than two hours of meeting with a fresh burst of optimism that they could actually pass a bill to repeal and replace the health law.

Sen. Lindsey Graham went into Tuesday’s party lunch predicting that the Republican effort to gut Obamacare was “more likely to fail than not.”

He emerged singing a different tune: The health care overhaul he heard about contains “promising proposals” and he was for holding a vote this month after the Congressional Budget Office weighs in and the party’s idea are put into legislative form.

“Now I say promising, but I don’t know what it looks like legislatively … the key word is promising,” Graham said. “There better be [a vote this month], because this is not like fine wine, it does not get better with age.”

Ditto Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), who has been outspoken about his concerns on the direction the party has taken, but now says he is feeling increasingly comfortable and "very encouraged" by Republicans' plans.


I am very discouraged by this. It sounds as if they are dead set on the repeal aspect and will cobble together any old legislation to get it done on time. Healthcare is hard. Let's just screw it up now and sort it out later.

Hilarious: The Real Reason Sessions Will Resign

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