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Reposted from This Week in the War on Women by elenacarlena

The big news:  Nigerian army rescued 293 women and girls from Boko Haram earlier this week, and more were reported on Thursday. As of today, the number rescued is now given as 677 girls and women. Many of them fought their abductors.  It's unknown if this includes any of  the girls abducted from Chibok last year, and it's also unknown how many women and young girls are still being held captive and/or forced into "marriages" with Boko Haram fighters.

The good, the bad and the ugly below the orange whirligig.

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Sat May 02, 2015 at 04:43 PM PDT

My Brother Reid is in the Hospital

by michelewln

This will be rather short as it has been the day from hell. Reid started feeling bad this afternoon. I dealt with diarrhea and vomiting. His blood sugar plummeted and he went into seizures.  The paramedics took him to the hospital. After a bunch of tests they have determined he has some pneumonia and an infection in the bones of the leg they operated on.

I have come on home because the stress is giving me a massive migraine and I needed to get home before it got too bad to drive. I don't know how long it will take to get him admitted but I left him in the hands of capable nurses who promised to take good care of him for me.

Again I'm asking for prayers, good wishes, and healing energy.

Reposted from Community Quilt Project by Sara R

TrueBlueMajority's quilt

It breaks my heart that this quilt is needed -- yet it is needed, urgently.

UPDATE: The situation is dire.  CelticLassie's brother and sister-in-law are on their way.  When they arrive and all the tests are back, hospice will be consulted and decisions made.  We will pull out all the stops to get this quilt done and will need the messages ASAP.
A little backstory: CelticLassie survived cancer as an infant.  Otteray Scribe and his wife (a nurse) adopted her from St. Jude's, determined to save her life.  They lovingly nursed her to health with great success.  Up until now, she's had a very active and happy life.  But the monster (cancer) appears to be back.  Since Christmas, CelticLassie has had some trouble walking and has been in pain.  A few days ago, she fell and broke her hip.   When the hip was imaged, a huge pelvic mass was found.  The doctors think the mass has weakened her bones, thus the fracture.  It is also pressing on other parts.  Long story short, CelticLassie is in agony and is likely to be in the hospital for an extended period.  We are going to make a community quilt to support her spirit through this ordeal and would welcome loving messages from you for her.

Clinic 1989
CelticLassie with her new big sister and mama

1st day B&W
CelticLassie's first day home, here with her father

As you will see below, she grew into a strong and lovely young woman with an infectious smile, a spirit for adventure, and a deep love of her family's Scottish heritage.  She is an accomplished piper, too -- not easy!  Some more photos below the orange cloud...

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Reposted from Community Fundraisers by elenacarlena

I am joining Most Awesome Nana and several others in the Community Fundraisers group in strongly supporting this community effort for elenacarlena.  Ever since she joined Daily Kos, Elena has been a strong and regular presence while participating very widely and quickly becoming a valued community member.  As an example of this commitment, we have worked closely together (along with JoanMar, 2thanks, Tortmaster, and others) behind the scenes for the past year in helping to finalize and post weekly diaries on police brutality and Medicaid expansion through the Support the Dream Defenders group.  As you know, she is also a regular diarist for the War on Women diary series.

Please help Elena through this difficult time for her as well as her beloved pooties and woozle.  On behalf of the entire CFs group, thank you.  JekyllnHyde

Welcome everyone to our Derby Day Party!

We are going to have a horse race (also known as the "most exciting two minutes in sports"), a few mint juleps, and a good time raising funds for our fellow Kossack, elenacarlena. Everyone is invited to join us to make a comment, tip, rec, republish, share on Facebook, promote on Twitter, send good vibes, or donate.

Elena is always ready to help others with information, good wishes and when possible, money. But now she is the one who needs help. Many of you read her previous diary and responded with great kindness. Unfortunately, the situation has not yet resolved itself. She still lacks enough funds for her special needs cats.

Please follow me below the bourbon fudge swirl for a few words from Elena.

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Think back about the past few days. How many times did you say “hello”? The word “hello” comes from nautical English: “hallo” or “halloa” was a form of address used by sailors between ships. The use of “hello” as a generic form of address is relatively recent and stems from the acceptance of a device commonly known as the telephone.

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Reposted from JoanMar by elenacarlena
MLK makes a point.
If there is one name that has been uttered more often than Freddie Gray's over the past week, it has been that of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. We know that the criminal, heartless Right Wing Media have been doing their darnedest to claim the civil rights icon as their own. They have been on a mission to remake Dr. King into their own image. That last sentence isn't even exactly true; they have been busy whittling down the man into a one-dimensional, wishy-washy, mealy-mouthed battering ram to be used against the very people for whom he fought.

Let's take a look at what the man actually preached ... and let's place his words in context and in the spirit in which they were intended.

Become mal-adjusted:

I never intend to adjust myself to the tragic effects of the methods of physical violence and to tragic militarism. I call upon you to be maladjusted to such things. (Martin Luther King, Jr., “The Power Of Nonviolence” (1957).)
What did Martin Luther King really say about riots as they have to do with political activism and civil rights (and not the results of ball games)?
I contend that the cry of "black power" is, at bottom, a reaction to the reluctance of white power to make the kind of changes necessary to make justice a reality for the Negro. I think that we've got to see that a riot is the language of the unheard. (Martin Luther King, Jr., "The Other America".)
In other words, no justice, no peace. It is an act of malice - intended to inflict serious psychological damage - to demand peace from the hurting and disenfranchised even as you dispense justice to only those who share your skin color and or socio-economic background.

After using the word "thug" to describe young rioters in Baltimore, Erin Burnett was asked, (paraphrasing as best as I can remember) "Then what do you call members of the police who broke Freddie Gray's spine?" To which Ms. Burnett replied, "I don't know what happened. I will wait on the courts to decide. You remember how that whole 'hands up don't shoot' was found to be a total lie."

Michael Brown and Freddie Gray are dead. Justice, some wise person said long ago, should not only be done, but also be seen to be done. There's no justice to be seen anywhere in these cases; primarily because journalists are very well adjusted to, and accepting of, these incidents of injustice happening again, and again, and again.

What if we were to apply this quote from Dr. King to American Law Enforcement Officers?

Violence is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all. It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding: It seeks to annihilate rather than convert. Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love. It destroys community and makes brotherhood impossible. It leaves society in monologue rather than dialogue. Violence ends up defeating itself. It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers.
The police are the patriarchal formal leaders who have been foisted on our communities and invested with the power to slap us upside the heads if mothers won't do it; or eliminate us if and when they feel like it. Violence is the tactic used to whip us into shape.  When the oppressed revolt, however briefly, against aggressive over-policing, they are castigated and condemned as "thugs." No winning for black folks.

What to do about this fucked-up state of affairs?

One awesome member of Support the Dream Defenders said this:

"In times of uncertainty and turmoil in the past, Americans have fought back in four principal ways: at the ballot box, by long-term populist appeals, with protests, and through legal action."
Protest is of the utmost importance right now. We applaud and support those who have taken to the streets to let their voices be heard, those gathered in New York, in Philadelphia, in Washington DC, in Chicago, in Ferguson, and in Baltimore.

As our young people and others of good conscience take to the street, we invite our friends to help us with the fight on the legal action front.

We need revolutionary changes to policing in this country. We do not claim that we have all the answers, but the Michael Brown Over-Policed Rights Act provides at least some of the answers.

As you may know, Support the Dream Defenders crowd-sourced the Michael Brown Over-Policed Rights Act at Daily Kos in the fall of 2014. Over 700 Kossacks supported our effort. Our finalized bill quickly gained the support of the NAACP and the ACLU. The NAACP forwarded our bill to members of Congress, and we distributed it to members of the Congressional Black Caucus and other progressive members of Congress. President Obama signed into law a small piece of our bill in December 2014. The Department of Justice included part of our bill in their recent report on Ferguson, Missouri. Our state version of the MBOPRA is currently in committee in the Kansas legislature. The final version of our law: Michael Brown Over-Policed Rights Act of 2015 (Federal)

Action Steps:

Please contact your U.S. senators and representatives and ask them to support our Michael Brown Over-Policed Rights Act.

Two helpful websites:

How to Contact Your U.S. Senator

How to Contact Your U.S. Representative

Please note the information to include in an email to your representative or senator, such as your address, etc.
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Greetings and welcome to another fuzzy offering from Marko the Werelynx. Atsa me, Markio! CoughCoughCough

Oh dear, sorry. I don't know what got into me. I think I managed to cough it out.

It's May Day! Once the first day of summer, dances around maypoles, flowers...

Then it was adopted by the Communists and devolved away from their original intent of using this day to call attention to the ol' struggle of the proletariat and give praise to the workers of the world-- and became more of a day for grand marches past tribunals packed with grim-faced, paunchy, old, white men. A day to praise and laud and polish those men.

Folks lobbed flowers at them. Occasionally bouquets were used to conceal rocks.

These days in the Czech Republic we can expect a few things to happen. Lovers will gather under flowering trees and near statues of poets to kiss. Anarchists will hold a rally and march against racism while Nationalists hold a rally and march pretending not to be racists.

They may throw a few things at each other.

The Communists will be wheezing their old wheezes near a graveyard they helped to fill. They'll be pretending that unemployment proves that they were right and they'll be closing their eyes to the horrors of their past just as hard as they can. There will be a couple other political parties holding little rallies, but folks won't probably be bothering to yell at them or throw anything.

There will be lots of students out on the streets. My #1 Son came home from school on Thursday covered from hair to shoes with a rosy red powder with a one word explanation, "Majáles." Students gone wild. They'll be out there demanding diplomas be printed on edible paper this year.

Me? I'll be one of the ones smooching under a tree.

No plans to throw anything today... except maybe a few pots if the weather is nice. Not much hope for that though. At least my day should be blessedly free of politics.

Do you have any traditions associated with May Day?

I have two photos to share with you that I'll file under EXTENDED (OPTIONAL).

There may be more photos to share later, but I'll drop those into the comments.  

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Reposted from Mikey Weinstein by Ojibwa

The New York Times recently ran a story that may have been published with the most sterling intent. However, as folk wisdom and common sense universally informs us, “good intentions” can easily land us in some less-than-comfortable positions. Indeed, we all know too well what paves the road to hell. The Times story sympathetically and deservedly profiles a 17-year-old yeshiva student who has accepted her well-earned offer of admission to the acclaimed and prestigious U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Throughout the article, the good intentions come through loud and clear; however, so too do numerous biases, disgusting insinuations, and implicitly discriminatory assumptions that play to age-old, terribly hurtful stereotypes about the Jewish people; my people.

In fact, even the title of the article – “17-Year-Old Makes the First-Ever Charge From an Orthodox Yeshiva to West Point” – is wholly inaccurate. Ms. Rachelle David (the subject of the article) most certainly is not the first Orthodox Yeshiva graduate to enter the celebrated West Point military institution. (The New York Times has since corrected this inaccuracy from their April 28th article.)

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Fri May 01, 2015 at 11:41 AM PDT

Good News! We Have A New Home!

by michelewln

Reposted from michelewln by michelewln Editor's Note: Thanks for all who helped. -- michelewln

We have a new home! They are going to try and have it ready for us on May 30 if at all possible. It is a 2 bedroom 2 bath. The master bedroom has a bathroom with shower stall that Reid can actually get into by himself. It has a huge kitchen. Tons of storage. Washer and dryer hookups. A patio. Lots of trees. A swimming pool and barbecue grills. Nature walks and places to sit. A workout room. It is beautiful and the apartment of my dreams. The people are super sweet.

We have people who will pack us up and move us. It is about 4½ miles from where we live now. I'm waiting to see what the down payments are going to be. It will be wonderful to get him into a place that has ramps everywhere so I'm not lifting him and the wheelchair up. I'm just so excited. I'll be going through here and his storage shed to see what all I really want to move again. I've lots of clothes that I don't wear that will go to rescue Mission. I'm sure there are other things too I can donate to them.

Thanks you for all your help and encouragement in this dark period. I never could have made it without you.


Fri May 01, 2015 at 09:59 AM PDT


by Bill Day

Reposted from Bill Day by linkage

I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I call myself that in order to distinguish myself from the dominant strain of North American Christianity. At the risk of sounding arrogant and judgmental, I am compelled to say that conservative Christians have adopted a very narrow and exclusionary reading of the Bible, thereby rendering static and dead a book I find dynamic and alive. It is not my purpose here to defend my faith or my reading of the Bible; neither needs defending. My purpose is simply to clarify what I believe. Before developing my own beliefs about Christ and the Bible, I think it appropriate to share a little of my personal history.

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Reposted from Community Fundraisers by elenacarlena
Heap of US pennies, nickels, and dimes
This is a followup diary to the one I posted last week, which was itself a followup to the one in January (please see these for more details). Longtime Sacramento-area kossack aitchdee found herself disabled by rheumatoid arthritis, unable to work, and facing immediate tax auction of her modest condo. Serious roof leaks had consumed her savings and now made it impossible to sell the condo for enough to pay the tax liability, so she turned to us fearing that she was about to become homeless.

The good advice she received here helped her file the correct form of bankruptcy just in time. This does NOT discharge her tax debt, but it forces the county to wait one year before the auction. Meanwhile, she's received assistance from another expert kossack in completing her application for SSDI benefits, and is thought to have a good chance of success (because she is so obviously ill in ways that interest SSA). Now, she needs financial help to keep going for the estimated 4-5 weeks until she gets a response. (If the response is negative, she's in trouble and she knows it, but if she is accepted, then she can figure out how to find a living situation that's affordable for her once she loses the condo.)

If you can help at all, now or in a week or two or three, please continue below the fold to learn how. She is so close to being okay, and even small amounts can help her eat, feed pets, keep the lights and water on, get the expired car registration renewed -- all life's expenses that do not wait just because there is no income. And if you have nothing to spare, please consider helping with recs, republishes, mention in open threads, and social media shares and tweets, to help us reach others who might have more resources.

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Reposted from Elders of Zion by Navy Vet Terp

This week's parsha is Aharay Mot and Kedoshim, Leviticus chapters 16 to 20.  During leap years, it is split into two parshas, but this year is not a leap year so the two parshas are read together. The Haftarah (reading from the prophets) is either Amos 9: 17-15 or Ezekiel 20: 2-20, or Ezekiel 22: 1-16, depending whether you are Ashkenazi or Sephardi (apparently the Sephardim have two traditions on where to read from Ezekiel).

This week's reading includes Leviticus 19, which, along with the Ten Commandments and the Shema (Deuteronomy 6: 4-9), comprise the most important teachings of Judaism in the Torah.  Although Chapter 19 contains a mixture of ritual and ethical laws, the ethical laws alone proclaim a duty to our fellow human beings that should provide a guidance for all humanity, regardless of faith or lack thereof.  

The most famous words in chapter 19 are from line 18:  "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."  Jesus proclaimed as the fundamental Jewish teaching, which Christianity would follow, that the Shema and "Love your neighbor as yourself" were the two greatest teachings of the Torah - "all the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."  Mark 12: 30-31 and Matthew 22: 37-40.  And a few years earlier, Rabbi Hillel had agreed, teaching (Babylonian Talmud, Shabbat 31a):  

That which is hateful to you do not unto your neighbor.  That is the whole Torah, all the rest is commentary thereof.  Now go and learn it [the commentary].
So, to follow the teaching of Hillel, lets examine another verse from Leviticus 19, explore the commentary thereon, and then ask whether the self-proclaimed righteous Christians who dominate the governments of too many states, and who occasionally refer to their values as "Judeo Christian", are actually following Judeo-Christian values when they enact their war against the poor.  From Leviticus 19:9-10:
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