"Father Lombardi, in his statement, played down the meeting and said it had been arranged by the Nunciature, the Vatican Embassy, in Washington.
“Pope Francis met with several dozen persons who had been invited by the Nunciature to greet him as he prepared to leave Washington for New York City,” Father Lombardi said.
He added: “Such brief greetings occur on all papal visits and are due to the pope’s characteristic kindness and availability. The only real audience granted by the pope at the Nunciature was with one of his former students and his family.”"
"The point Obama is making is clear: We spend huge amounts of money every year fighting terrorism, yet are unwilling, at the national level, to take even minor steps (like requiring background checks on all gun sales nationally) to stop gun violence.
"We spent over a trillion dollars, and passed countless laws, and devote entire agencies to preventing terrorist attacks on our soil, and rightfully so," Obama said. "And yet we have a Congress that explicitly blocks us from even collecting data on how we could potentially reduce gun deaths. How can that be?""
"Why, exactly, is the Vatican being so weird about this meeting between Pope Francis and Kim Davis?
There are two possibilities. One is that somebody brought her to the Vatican embassy here in Washington and simply presented her to the pope without much internal discussion.
So basically, “Hello pope, here’s this lady who was a conscientious objector, isn’t that sad?” And the pope said “Oh, courage [to you], God bless you. Here’s a rosary!”"
"For decades now, evangelical Christians have opposed gay rights. They have painted gay people as dangerous, as child molesters, and as incapable of forming loving relationships. They have argued against efforts to protect gay children from bullying and have inflicted “conversion therapies” that include electric shock on gay teens and adults. They have opposed gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals’ right to marry and continue to lobby against local nondiscrimination ordinances.
And yet, in spite of all of this, comparing an evangelical baker asked to make a wedding cake for a gay couple with a Jewish baker asked to make a cake with a swastika on it puts the evangelical in the position of the party that has been hated, exiled, and killed for who they are. And indeed, this is exactly what evangelicals are trying to do. They want to paint themselves as the ones who are discriminated against, oppressed by the all-powerful gay lobby."
"The frontrunners continued that trend in the second debate – largely sticking to rants against Planned Parenthood and immigrants – until an unfortunate question from a viewer brought God back into the debate.
Chase Norton, who submitted his question via Facebook, said, “I want to know if any of them have received a word from God on what they should do and take care of first.”
Enter U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas."
One can hate Democrats, disagree with Obama on big issues, dislike his style or be disappointed the excitement of his election didn't last. But his accomplishments, ambitious goals, dignity and honesty under tough circumstances demand admiration and appreciation.
This is, of course, perverse liberal-media propaganda to conservative Obama-haters. It's wobbly centrism to a left-flank frustrated Obama hasn't done more for them. And it's naïve hot air to Washington's political clans that think Obama doesn't play the game well.
Obama has weathered a recession, invisible racism, a reckless Republican Congress, a lily-livered Democratic Party, attacks from the richest pressure groups ever (Super PACs) and a 24/7, ADHD press corps under existential pressure to deliver page views and Nielsen ratings. He has done it with the "No Drama Obama" style that befits the office.
"Governmental use of such symbolism, however, is another matter entirely. When a sizable portion of the population reasonably construes a symbol as being hateful, decency dictates that it be removed from the governmental realm. In the meantime, Southerners with a fixation on Confederate symbols might want to take a cue from their German counterparts. There are ways of remembering one’s ancestors and honoring the noble aspects of one’s culture without also exalting the despicable."
The Congressional Research Service found that the vast majority of unauthorized immigrants do not fit in the category that fits Trump’s description: aggravated felons, whose crimes include murder, drug trafficking or illegal trafficking of firearms.
CRS also found that non-citizens make up a smaller percentage of the inmate population in state prisons and jails, compared to their percentage to the total U.S. population.
ZEIT: Many Germans believe that the Greeks still have not recognized their mistakes and want to continue their free-spending ways.
Piketty: If we had told you Germans in the 1950s that you have not properly recognized your failures, you would still be repaying your debts. Luckily, we were more intelligent than that.
ZEIT: The German Minister of Finance, on the other hand, seems to believe that a Greek exit from the Eurozone could foster greater unity within Europe.
Piketty: If we start kicking states out, then the crisis of confidence in which the Eurozone finds itself today will only worsen. Financial markets will immediately turn on the next country. This would be the beginning of a long, drawn-out period of agony, in whose grasp we risk sacrificing Europe’s social model, its democracy, indeed its civilization on the altar of a conservative, irrational austerity policy.
ZEIT: Do you believe that we Germans aren’t generous enough?
Piketty: What are you talking about? Generous? Currently, Germany is profiting from Greece as it extends loans at comparatively high interest rates.
[Trolling] gives people the false sense that they are not ultimately responsible for what they say. It's not surprising that if you push back, [some] people get embarrassed or apologize. Then there are other types who, when you push back, just get angrier. We saw that with Gamergate [in 2014, women commenting on sexism in the video-game business were harassed in an online campaign that included threats of rape and death]. Women were standing up for themselves and then you had this swarm just looking for an excuse to go after a woman; the worst kind of bigotry. That's not trolling; that's violent misogyny.
"The success of women's soccer in the U.S. had a lot to do with the implementation of Title IX, the federal law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in federally funded education programs -- including both public and private schools that receive federal funds.
After Title IX went fully into effect in 1978, women’s soccer grew like crazy in the U.S. As Benjamin Morris of FiveThirtyEight writes, the number of women playing high school soccer in the U.S. rose from just a few tens of thousands in the late 1970s to about 375,000 today. More female high schoolers still play basketball and volleyball, but soccer may be set to overtake those sports in a decade or two.
And there’s actually another side to the story – it’s not just that the U.S. is doing much better at encouraging its women and girls to play soccer, it’s also that other countries have been shockingly bad. According to FIFA, only about 12 percent of youth soccer players are girls. And the U.S. makes up more than half of that total, says Morris."
"“Public officials are ministers of God assigned the duty of punishing the wicked and protecting the righteous.”
That, right there, seems to be the heart of the problem. Moore and his lawyer are under the impression that the United States is a theocracy. It’s this assumption that leads them to believe public officials – judges, governors, county clerks, et al – are obligated to follow religious dictates, as defined by Moore and his lawyer’s interpretation of Scripture."
"Weissbourd and his cohorts have come up with recommendations about how to raise children to become caring, respectful and responsible adults. Why is this important? Because if we want our children to be moral people, we have to, well, raise them that way.
“Children are not born simply good or bad and we should never give up on them. They need adults who will help them become caring, respectful, and responsible for their communities at every stage of their childhood,” the researchers write."
A fun one on common myths and misconceptions
"Since 2012, the BBS has embraced direct action, following the example of other like-minded groups. It raided Muslim-owned slaughter-houses claiming, incorrectly, that they were breaking the law. Members demonstrated outside a law college alleging, again incorrectly, that exam results were being distorted in favour of Muslims.
Now that a Tamil adversary has been defeated, Muslims seem to be these nationalists' main target, along with evangelical Christians whom they accuse of deceitfully and cunningly converting people away from Buddhism."
"For these purposes, it doesn't even really matter whether you think these incidents are the product of ingrained racial bias or the perception of racial bias projected onto incidents which have no connection to it. The perception explains the reaction. Again, not complicated."
"In a press conference at the South Carolina Freedom Summit — hosted by Citizens United and Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) — Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) told reporters that Christians face persecution in the United States. But when a journalist pressed Blackburn for examples of Christian persecution on American soil, Blackburn could cite nary an example, the Huffington Post reports."
In short, most white Americans are like that friend you have, or perhaps relative, who never went to medical school, but went to Google this morning and now feels certain he or she is perfectly qualified to diagnose your every pain and discomfort. As with your friend and the med school to which they never gained entry, most white folks never took classes on the history of racial domination and subordination, but are sure we know more about it than those who actually did---who more than merely taking the class actually lived the subject matter---and whose very lives have depended upon something far greater than a mere pass-fail arrangement. One wonders (or perhaps most don’t and that is the problem) how a person can attain the age of adulthood and be viewed as educated, as remotely competent to engage with their society, to vote, to participate in the lifeblood of American democracy while knowing nothing of the lived experiences of their fellow countrymen and countrywomen?
2. Don’t try to heal people with disabilities with health foods, essential oils or yoga.
DragoonDM: Paralyzed from the waist down, eh? You know, a raw food diet would clear that right up in no time. Cleans all the toxins right out and lets your body's natural healing processes kick in.
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