Five years after #SandyHook: Yahoo News spoke to survivors of the Paducah, Jonesboro, Columbine and Newtown school shootings and found a family united by a chain of grief – and hard lessons passed on (by @lisabelkin w/ @hollybdc @stableford) https://t.co/K3v5syicNd pic.twitter.com/wtPfh58J7q
— Lauren Johnston (@laurenjohnston) December 14, 2017
“Faith, hope, love … healing,” read the banner at the memorial service in Jonesboro, Ark., for the five killed and 10 injured when an 11-year-old and a 13-year-old classmate pulled a fire alarm and picked off their victims as they marched out of their middle school in 1998. “Healing Begins,” read the headline of the Denver Post the day after two students gunned down 14 classmates and a teacher, injuring 23 more, at Columbine High School in 1999. A month later, President Bill Clinton addressed thousands at a memorial service. “There has to be healing,” he said. After 32 were killed and 23 were injured by a student on a rampage at Virginia Tech, President George W. Bush promised healing too. “Although it does not seem possible right now,” he said, “a day will come when Virginia Tech will return to normal.” And hours after an intruder killed 20 first graders and staff members in Newtown, Conn., a school aide who’d witnessed the carnage told a television reporter: “We’re going to stick together and in time, we’re going to heal.”
Faith. Hope. Love. Healing. They’re recurring themes in the aftermath of virtually every mass shooting in the U.S., as if there’s a script which the bereaved and the traumatized habitually follow in the wake of the incomprehensible. Just as predictably, as if scripted, are the plaintive cries of Proudly Closed-minded Gun Control Foes ©: Continue reading
Eighteen climate scientists from the U.S. and elsewhere hit the jackpot Monday as French President Emmanuel Macron awarded them millions of euros in grants to relocate to France for the rest of Donald Trump’s presidential term. The “Make Our Planet Great Again” grants — a nod to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan — are part of Macron’s efforts to counter Trump on the climate change front. Macron announced a contest for the projects in June, hours after Trump declared he would withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord. More than 5,000 people from about 100 countries expressed interest in the grants. A majority of the applicants — and 13 of the 18 winners — were U.S.-based researchers…. Trump has expressed skepticism about global warming and said the Paris accord would hurt U.S. business by requiring a reduction in climate-damaging emissions. “We will be there to replace” U.S. financing of climate research, Macron told the winners in Paris on Monday. “If we want to prepare for the changes of tomorrow, we need science,” he said, promising to put in place a global climate change monitoring system among other climate innovations.
Donald Trump may have decided to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accord, but it seems he may well be the only one who believes his decision to be the final word. As Arnold Schwarzenegger said, state and local governments haven’t pulled out, the private sector hasn’t pulled out, and American climate scientists aren’t about to pull out. The President may have endorsed the Far Right fantasy that global climate change isn’t a very real and pressing problem, but truth > politics. The world has resolved to move on with or without him, as it should. His truth, tailored as it is merely to support his lust for power and control, can be and is being ignored as irrelevant.
French President Emmanuel Macron has decided that if Donald Trump won’t lead the parade, he will. His “Make the Planet Great Again” grants are a brilliant attempt to troll the President…and advance the cause of science. Of course, it’s not as if Trump possesses the self-awareness to recognize that he’s been ridiculed. The man’s a legend in his own mind, if nowhere else. Continue reading
Using "badge politics", censoring those who don't worship twitter's liberal dictator, & implementing procedures to annihilate conservatives from the Internet?
Sounds like twitter is carrying out its own "final solution" for conservatives. https://t.co/yGRaH74Zzv
— Laura Loomer (@LauraLoomer) November 16, 2017
And so it begins. Twitter is quick to call me and others Nazis, but they are literally trying to eradicate my presence. Just like Hitler. https://t.co/qaVWOMKyc0
— Laura Loomer (@LauraLoomer) November 16, 2017
After Twitter announced a new policy for verifying accounts and emblazoning them with a coveted blue check mark icon, several extreme right-wing media personalities who openly espouse racist views had their verifications revoked and they did not take the development well…. Twitter announced a new set of guidelines dictating what kind of accounts it will verify and said it would “remove verification from accounts whose behavior does not fall within these new guidelines.” Twitter listed “threatening other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease” and “inciting or engaging in harassment of others” as possible reasons to remove an account’s verification. As Twitter acts to remove verification from accounts that violate the new guidelines, far-right activists who have used Twitter to harass people and spread hate are losing their elevated status on the platform. Laura Loomer, a far-right activist who routinely harasses public figures under the banner of “journalism” and exploded in anti-Muslim Twitter meltdown last month, was one of a handful of far-right personalities who had their verifications revoked. Loomer fumed that Twitter’s decision was based on her conservative political views and compared the removal of her verification to the Holocaust[.]
For any community to survive and function, there must be rules and guidelines in place. If the Internet has proven anything, it’s that some folks just don’t play well with others. That those folks are usually White, Christian, and VERY Conservative is just an unfortunate reality. That being the case, it becomes necessary to lay down rules to ensure their immature and selfish behavior doesn’t adversely impact other community members.
Twitter, because of the nature of its platform, has been prone to attracting particularly vile bigots and haters who have no problem spreading their bile in 140 (now 280) characters or less. The question for Twitter has always been how to convince people to play nice…especially when some folks have no intention of showing kindness and compassion to anyone not like them. Twitter has begun taking action to reign in some of the worst offenders…and they’re not taking it well. Continue reading
In emotional moment on @TheView, Joe Biden consoles Meghan McCain, whose father was diagnosed with same cancer Biden's late son Beau had. "There is hope. And if anybody can make it, your dad [can]." pic.twitter.com/tQUy11X5sV
— ABC News (@ABC) December 13, 2017
In a time when so much of lives is so highly and emotionally politicized, it’s good to be reminded that humanity, kindness, and compassion aren’t partisan issues. There are those who’ve managed to retain their humanity despite suffering the slings and arrows of public life. I often find myself wondering what America would be like today if former Vice President Joe Biden had run for and won the Presidency. It’s not a stretch to believe it would be a kinder and more compassionate place by far.
Politics doesn’t have to be a daily replay of The Night of the Long Knives. Politicians don’t have to conduct themselves as if they’re Niccolo Machiavelli’s love child. What we’re seeing today is what happens when we allow hatred, bigotry, and religious intolerance to dominate the public space. It’s nice to be reminded that sometimes people are people and that “Liberal” and “Conservative” are just labels useful for degrading and devaluing others. Biden is proof politics need not bring out the worst in us. His is an example we could all learn a thing or six from. Perhaps it’s time we did.