Posts with Category Mad World

What are the Human Rights anyhow?

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Yesterday Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the United Nations, announced that the United States was withdrawing from the United Nations Human Rights Council.

George W. Bush thought about doing the same thing. The Obama administration recognized the group wasn’t the most effective, but decided to work from within it.

But putting the politics aside…do you have any idea what the human rights actually are?

I bet you can’t name all 25 articles. I bet you didn’t even know that there aren’t 25 articles but 30. Ha! Got ya! I certainly couldn’t until I looked them up while researching WHERE AM I GIVING? Here’s an excerpt–probably…

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PRIDE & Prejudice

 

Facing Pride group shot

(Facing Pride volunteers, photo by Kira Childers)

“I don’t think they should be executed, just imprisoned.”

And by “they,” the twenty-something grad student in Uganda meant anyone who was gay.

Throughout my travels I’ve seen that the most consistently persecuted group is anyone in the LGBTQ community. “Homosexuality” is illegal in 74 countries and punishable by death in 14.

Each country seems to have a group, at least one, of people looked down upon. There is usually some regional variance. Costa Ricans aren’t fans of Nicaraguans taking their jobs. The government of Myanmar denies the existence of the Rohingya. Most countries don’t like migrants. Sometimes the hate is fueled by…

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Sociology professors uncovers radiological testing on US citizens

Lisa Martino Taylor

I met Lisa Martino-Taylor when I visited St. Louis Community College for the first time eight years ago.  Since then I’ve spoken with her sociology classes a few times.

Lisa acquired government documents that uncovered a US military program during the Cold War that tested radiological, chemical, and biological weapons on Americans living in urban populations.

This isn’t some chem-trails conspiracy. Lisa wrote her dissertation on this, has been featured in reputable media outlets around the world, has inspired lawmakers to demand a full investigation, and recently released a book on it.

From a recent AP story, Cold War radiation testing widespread, author claims:

Martino-Taylor said the offensive radiological weapons program was a top priority for the government. Unknowing people in places throughout…

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A bird crapped on me from 33,000 feet, this is what it says about my life

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It felt like someone had chucked a marble, hitting me in the shoulder. It stung. But it also stunk because it wasn’t a marble; it was bird shit.

Now I’m no expert in physics, but given the velocity of the bird poop, the bird must’ve been somewhere in the stratosphere, which starts at 33,000′.

I was hobbling down Main Street from my breakfast date at the Downtown Farm Stand with Annie after our morning CrossFit work out. Since I’ve been traveling for my latest book, it has essentially been a month since I did a workout of much significance, hence the hobbling. It doesn’t hurt to sit or lie in one place and not move. But if Rick Grimes saw me walking down the…

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Make the Living Room Great Again: A Fable

House fire by Ada Bee

(photo credit: Ada Bee)

The King of the Living Room surveyed his kingdom. He didn’t like what he saw. He hated his kingdom.

“This living room isn’t what it used to be,” the King of the Living Room said. “So sad.”

“When I was a child, the living room was much bigger. I used to be able to jump off the couch. I peed in the corner and now the whole damn room smells like urine.”

“So here’s what we are going to do. From here on out it’s the Living room first! Not the kitchen, not the bathroom, not the bedroom. Living room first! This living room is a disaster and I’m the only…

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Thanks for the inspiration, Donald Trump. Let’s get to work!

There are a lot of reasons I didn’t want Donald J. Trump to be our next president, but there is one reason (and probably only one) that I’m glad he won.

The night of the election, I went to a watch party hosted at The Downtown Farm Stand. (Can you get more liberal than drinking organic beer and eating organic free-range, potato chips with your GMO-free friends? Probably not.) Like everyone else we expected to watch the election of the first female president. I can’t say I was a vigorous supporter of Hillary Clinton (there’s something rather unappealing about political dynasties), but earlier that day when I cast a vote for her I did get the “feels.” I have a daughter and if her fascination…

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What happened to the great American Summer Job?

Teen employment

I got up at 5:42 AM to sweep floors, lug lumber, and do whatever I was told by my boss. By 11:30 AM, a time that many of my friends were rolling out of bed, I was done working my summer job for the day. I started my summer job between my 7th & 8th grade years. There were boards that weighed more than me. Once I hit high school, I started working full days, and continued to do so throughout my college summer breaks too.

I worked for my parents who owned a wood truss manufacturing business. The job left its mark, sometimes literally (I have scars), but more than that it taught me the value of a dollar and…

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Complaining about short summers is a #MiddleClassProblem

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How lucky are these kids? 

My daughter starts 2nd grade tomorrow, August 3rd. Where did summer go?

I want to say that summer was too short. I want to complain that our lives will once again be subjected to the school calendar and the threat of too many absences. (We got a letter last year.)

School should start at the end of August like when I was in school. My kids should have the idyllic summer breaks that I had. I want to say each of these things, but every time I start to or hear someone else say them, I think about the this article in my local paper when school let out in the spring:

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“Are you prejudiced?”

Race Muncie

“Are you prejudiced?” The man on the street asked.

I had just finished the Memorial Day Murph at my local CrossFit gym and was getting a dry shirt out of my car.

“…” I wasn’t sure how to respond.

I suppose I am prejudiced against complete strangers approaching me randomly on the street and asking if I’m prejudiced. Maybe prejudiced isn’t the right word. Cautious is more fitting.

But the man didn’t mean was I prejudiced against strangers on the street. He meant was I prejudiced against people with a different skin color than my own. People like him. Black people.

“No,” I said, “but I’m sorry you feel like you have to ask that.”

Hal introduced himself. We shook hands. And then he told me…

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6 reasons the NBA Playoffs are better than March Madness

Cavs vs warriors

I know that it’s cool to say that you like NCAA Basketball over the NBA. You are entitled to your opinion, but if this is your opinion, you are wrong. Sorry.

You might be able to convince me that the NCAA regular season is better than the NBA regular season, but when it come to the NBA Playoffs vs. March Madness there is no contest. None.

The NBA Playoffs are better than March Madness.

Here’s why:

The NBA is more authentic. The purity of NCAA basketball has been tainted with embarrassing recruiting violations and stripped championships. We can no longer pretend that passion and love of the game drives NCAA basketball. Money drives it.

Money drives the NBA, too. Why…

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