QALANDIYA, West Bank (Reuters) - To one side loom towers manned by Israeli soldiers who keep watch from behind bulletproof glass. To the other stand concrete walls charred by fire bombs, pitted with bullet holes and scrawled with Palestinian graffiti. In between, barriers and steel fences block traffic or corral vehicles and pedestrians.

Posted by Lisa Wade, PhD

This month sociologist Matthew Desmond won the Pulitzer Prize for his book, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. Desmond’s book documents, in rich and depressing detail, what it’s like to try to pay rent as a low income earner and how easy it is to end up on the street. Eviction is not caused by personal “irresponsibility,” Desmond insists, it’s essentially “inevitable.”

Eviction is psychologically scarring, but it also throws families further into poverty, destabilizing their work and family lives, often stripping them of their few possessions, and costing money — all while enriching landlords.

Here’s 7 minutes from Desmond about his experience living among low income families and the lessons he learned:

Lisa Wade, PhD is a professor at Occidental College. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture, and a textbook about gender. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

(View original at

twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
Robert Reich: The first 100 days: Trump and the degradation of the American presidency.

The urgency of ethnic nationalism.

Fairytale princess by choice: Melania's photography says more about her than she might expect. An analysis of her shared photos in the past few years. Has this woman ever sat under a tree, or taken a photo that wasn't through a window? And what's with the masterpiece professionally built sand castle for Barron -- when he was 6, why didn't anyone let him build his own sand castle?

That shirt's not from Adrienne Vitttadini Studio: it's one of Ivanka's, sold under another name to a larger retail store where a customer spat on one that was in her own name.

The EPA wants to know: what do you think about scrapping air quality and radiation rules? Tell them. There are links.

Trump wants to withhold federal money from sanctuary cities -- judge says no way. Note that there are few to no Democratic judges any more -- these are Republican-appointed Republican judges standing up to him.

Is this the end of foreign aid as we know it?

The media bubble -- what it is, where it is, why it is, and more.

How do you find a prospective spouse if you're Muslim? Halal dating.

It's not everywhere -- it's not in enough places yet -- but here's a start to changing building codes to suit tiny houses.

The Axis and the Sycamore. I cannot tell you how much I love this article that connects the earth, ecology and the Axial Age when ideas sprang up and spread -- because we are in a second Axial Age now.

And howevermuch I might complain about rain, the desert is blooming.

On the India-Pakistan border, the Border Security Force discovered a smuggling tunnel almost 90 yards long that started in a tea garden and went under the border fence to north Bengal. Its intention, they believe, was to smuggle cattle under the border.

Cattle smuggling across this border has long been a problem—the demand for Indian beef is high at Bangladesh’s cattle markets, and there’s money to be made by smuggling cattle over the border. The border patrol says it has cracked down on smugglers and reduce the amount of smuggling by 99 percent, says India Today. But some are skeptical of this claim.

Most cattle aren’t smuggled through tunnels; water routes are a common way of crossing. But tunnels are particularly hard to detect: one of the only ways of finding one is through intelligence gathering.

Posted by Not Always Right

Pet Store | NH, USA

(I have just clocked out and am ready to go home; however, the cashier who is usually at the front isn’t there for some reason, most likely putting away some returns or in the back room. I have also taken off my nametag at this point.)

Customer: “Hey, can you check me out?”

Me: “Uh, I guess… I just clocked out, but I don’t know where my other coworker is… It’s okay; it’ll only take a second.”

(As I’m ringing up his purchase, I call for my coworker over the loudspeaker, but she is nowhere to be found. I assume she’s in the back room where it is almost impossible to hear the intercom.)

Me: “Huh, weird. I wonder where she is? Anyways, your total is $27.99.”

Customer: “She’s probably out smoking crack behind the store.”

Me: *unable to comprehend what I just heard* “Uh… no?”

Customer: “No? Maybe smoking a joint, then?”

(I look at him to see if he’s joking, but he seems completely serious.)

Me: “Uh… probably not. She’s probably in the back room and can’t hear me.”

(I finish the transaction quickly and start to head out the door.)

Customer: “And where are YOU going?”

Me: “I told you I already clocked out, so I’m going home.”

Customer: “Yeah, go home and drink away your problems, you f****** alcoholic!”

Me: “Sir, what makes you assume I drink, or that my coworker does drugs?”

Customer: “That’s what all of you ingrates spend your money on! If you just went to college, you’d have a real job and wouldn’t have to drink or do drugs!”

Me: “Uh… I’m actually a student at [College]. This job is so I can pay for my food, cable bill, and my art supplies. Also, I’ve never drank in my life.”

Customer: “Liar!”

Me: *giving up* “Whatever. Have a nice night.” *goes to leave*

Customer: “Why are you so rude?”

Me: “Trust me, if I knew that you would be accusing me and my coworkers of drinking and doing drugs, I would have just left you at the counter.”

The post I Don’t Drink But Give It A Few Customers… appeared first on Funny & Stupid Customer Stories - Not Always Right.

Posted by Vivian Kane

red pill

For years, Reddit’s r/TheRedPill forum has been one of the worst corners of the internet. It’s the home of the pickup artist movement, it gave Milo Yiannapolis a fawning fanbase, and it’s the hub of the perceived “manosphere”–a community built around the “men’s rights” philosophy that feminism is a sham built to oppress men.

Reddit is deliberately designed to protect anonymity. But that doesn’t mean users don’t also have to work to protect themselves–something that someone probably should have told Robert Fisher of New Hampshire, who has just been outed by The Daily Beast, via a trail of usernames and custom URLs with ties to Fisher’s email address, as the creator of the misogynistic forum.

Fisher, by the way, also happens to be a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, not that the connection is very surprising. If I had to name the two communities most vocal in their loathing of women, I’d probably go with Red Pill dudes and the GOP.

In addition to Red Pill, Fisher’s reported aliases had also written and published a pickup artist site, a blog attempting to “Explain God,” and one site titled “Existential Vortex.” He also was or maybe still is a singer-songwriter and kazooist in an “indieelectronic” band. Basically, he sounds like exactly the sort of bro-ish college kid, straight off a few frat party rejections and his first philosophy class, whom you would expect to found a misogynistic Reddit forum with a name referencing The Matrix. (Except Fisher had, at the time of Red Pill’s creation, aged out of the follies of youth excuse. He’s 31 now.)

Fisher’s reported “Pk_atheist” alias started the subreddit in October 2012, just before he lost his first election—one he ran as a Democrat. He won his seat in November of 2014, by which time the subreddit had grown to 83,000 members. He had already stepped down as a moderator in early 2013, but continued to be active in the community.

The Daily Beast writes that “within hours of contacting Rep. Fisher, and after delivering by email a summary of his apparent connections to The Red Pill kingpin, his two primary Reddit usernames had been wiped, and four blogs connected to him were deleted or made private.”

But the internet doesn’t let you hide from your awfulness that easily. Through archived posts and comment threads, we have way too clear a window into this man’s mind and his motivations for starting this giant sexism feeding ground. Here are just a few direct quotes.

Content warning for, well, for everything Red Pill is about. (Misogyny and rape denial abound.)

–If you want the short version of his views on women: “I find women’s personalities in general to be lackluster and boring, serving little purpose in my day to day life. So I usually only compare body types.”

–“Because when I told myself I thought they were smart, I really had the footnote in the back of my head … smart … for a woman.”

–“I don’t hate women. I just understand what use they are to me. Stimulating conversation is not one of them.”

–“Understand that in the old days, women were not brought up the way they are today. Before feminism, there was less freedom, and therefore it was not necessary to teach women consequence. Consequence was strictly a man’s game.”

–“Women are not oppressed- they’re literally free from a lot of the responsibilities men are- to the extent where women have no need for the functioning every-day knowledge that most men have by the age of 18 … If you took the conversation skills, the sub-par intelligence, the lack of curiosity and put it in a man’s body- would you hang out with that guy? No! Would he be successful? Hell no! Those things are useless without a woman’s body attached.”

–In a post with “seduction” advice, he proposes “There’s a good girl voice inside each woman telling her that she needs to make sure to be proper and avoid being a slut.” He follows up with a lot of tips on how to invade the “good girl’s” personal space and trick her into letting out the “slut.”

–In response to a question about the Free the Nipple movement: “Hot women are a cartel, and they will continue to keep prices as high as possible. Anybody “freeing” their nipples will either be low-quality, or they will have a smear campaign against them to make them seem low-quality, despite the equality implications supposedly working for the cartel.”

–He defended being sexually attracted to teenage girls. “15 year old girls have boobs. Puberty doesnt strike at 18 overnight. Secondly, not creepy- 15 year old girls and guys are commonly sexually active. Its just illegal.”

–In one of his many comments alleging women frequently falsely accuse men of rape, he says he has a video camera in his room, presumably to record his exploits for proof of innocence.

It’s bad enough that someone could hold all of these beliefs, let alone feel confident to enough to put them out in public (even if anonymously so). Add to that the fact that there are, as of now, nearly 200,000 subscribers to the subreddit.

But nothing is scarier than knowing that this is what at least some (and some is too many) of the men who make our country’s laws think about women. And if you think Fisher’s purported Reddit persona is all talk, it’s not. It’s clear that his misogyny infects his platform.

Taking a quick look at Fisher’s terrible, stock-photo-filled campaign website, you can see the threads. In the site’s “Family” section (complete with a stock picture of what I assume is a random family of strangers, so you know he really cares), he says he wants to “strengthen the family.” But all that seems to mean to him is something about the family court legal system. He writes, “It is long over-due to bring oversight and accountability to our family courts. Every parent deserves justice in our courts regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, or orientation.”

This obsession with family courts looks to date back to 2012, when his colleague and fellow men’s rights activist Joshua Youssef began publicly decrying the “feminist judicial tyranny” over a custody battle with his ex-wife. A reddit username the Daily Beast attributes to Youssef posted a lengthy rant about the “corruption, deception, greed, lawlessness, and feminist entitlement-mindedness, of the family court” to /theredpill, with Fisher in the comments defending him.

Remember that comment about “low quality” women exposing their nipples? Another one of New Hampshire’s Reps, Al Baldasaro, insulted the physical appearance of a female legislator who was fighting a bill, written by an all-male team, which would have outlawed breastfeeding in public.

Just four days after the 2014 election that put him in the New Hampshire House of Representatives, with only 100 subscribers, Pk_atheist wrote a manifesto of sorts, explaining the point of the, as of then, two-week-old forum.

“Our culture has become a feminist culture,” he wrote. “A president cannot be elected today without succumbing to the feminist narrative and paying them tribute. How many times has Obama given credit for his manhood to his wife? How many times has the debate hinged on women’s pay gap – which is a myth that gets lip service because if you don’t you’re a misogynist!”

Yet he maintained, “It’s too easy to blame feminism for our troubles.” He’s all for equal rights, he says, although he takes care to specify, “Equal rights are something I strongly am in support of. For men and women.” As opposed to unequal equality, I suppose.

His big message is that feminism has led not to equal rights, but to female domination. Women, as he puts it, control the conversation. “I am here to say, for better or for worse, the frame around public discourse is a feminist frame, and we’ve lost our identity because of it.”

Therefore men, he proclaims, need to take back this role of central dominance from women. The Red Pill is “men’s sexual strategy,” designed to counter feminism, which is, apparently, nothing more than a sexual strategy itself.

This, through the Daily Beast’s sleuthing, appears to be Robert Fisher’s worldview. This is a man who gave a space to hundreds of thousands of others looking to blame and conquer women, while simultaneously being elected into public office, where he has the ability to affect real policy.

Here’s the kicker, and keep this in mind the next time you think your vote doesn’t matter: In Fisher’s small New Hampshire district, he won his re-election by only 700 votes. He won his first election in 2014 by 276 votes. Squashing the internet’s rampant misogyny is a challenge too big for any one of us, but if you’re eligible to vote, you can do your part to keep immature, idiotic monsters like this one out of office.

(via Daily Beast, image: Shutterstock)

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The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—

pauraque: bird flying (Default)
All right, getting back into this!

[personal profile] ravenclawsquill asked question #3 about Nine Ways of Looking at a Book, a Minerva/Hermione fic from last year's Kinky Kristmas.

3: What's your favorite line of narration?

To hold hands with Minerva is perfect, like an illustration in an illuminated manuscript. They walk on, observed only by the round, yellow eye of an insomniac owl.

This whole scene is my favorite, and the first one I wrote (I rarely write in order). I'd already had the idea of doing a sort of tribute to Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird and I was looking at the first stanza, trying to write something that communicated the way I felt reading it. That gap where the reader's attention turns from human experience to the bird in its environment — that's where the poem lives. I tried to put that into these lines, and to me it seemed successful.

(no subject)

2017-04-26 07:53[personal profile] baranduin
baranduin: (jolly smiler from semyaza)
Awww, Germany, what you doing booing Ivanka?

Good job! I'd boo her too. ♥ Germany

Happy hump day! I'm working at home waiting on plumbers to come back and fix a leak they fixed Monday except not fixed. Nuts.
olivia_beige: (sin alley)
Currently finishing a presentation for tomorrow.

Naturally it's the time to have a bit of an existential nitpick.

So, today I've had:
- a large cup of coffee
- a large cup of cocoa with a dash of coffee
- a large cup of cocoa

For quite some time now, I've been saying I'm having a tea instead of I'm having tea.There was one day last week when I've had, like, 5 cups of tea in twelve hours. Because I have turned into a deplorable caffeine bot. I have been since I was 13 when I succumbed to the potent combination of perfectionism, I'll-forever-deny-it competitiveness in school, and having my eye on a really great uni.

I got into the uni, and along trailed my constant friend the caffeine cup. The caffeine cup has me by the heartstrings. I'm told by the doctor that heart palpitations are not healthy. So far I've had none. *cheers*
selenak: (Norma Bates by Ciaimpala)
"I lingered round them, under that benign sky; watched the moths fluttering among the heath, and hare-bells; listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass; and wondered how any one could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth."

Read more... )

Posted by Miss Cellania

In order to promote the Star Wars Force for Change charity sweepstakes, John Boyega did surprise photobombs at Star Wars Celebration earlier this month. Avid fans posing for pictures with a couple of stormtroopers and BB-8 were first shocked and then delighted to find Finn in their finished photo.

(YouTube link)

Star Wars Force for Change benefits the UnNICEF and the Starlight Foundation. You can enter the drawing at Omaze.

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