Srsly?

“We employ over 200,000 people in this company, and we want to embrace diversity — of all kinds.”

Since when is embracing diversity anti-Christian?? NO ONE IS ATTACKING YOUR RELIGION.

Do something good for the world.

Quit being so ego-centric and do. some freaking. good.

Starbucks article here.

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the bad guys

At one point in life I believed that there were good guys and bad guys, and that I could trust the authority figures in my life to give the “good” and “bad” designations to the right people.

That belief led to the belief that bad people are in jail – and that people in jail are bad.

I think most of the people who taught me those ideas still believe themselves. It’s easier to ignore prison conditions when you believe that all the people in there deserve whatever punishment they get.

But that’s just not true.

“Although black people make up just 13 percent of the overall population, they account for 40 percent of US prisoners. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), black males are incarcerated at a rate “more than 6.5 times that of white males and 2.5 that of Hispanic males and “black females are incarcerated at approximately three times the rate of white females and twice that of Hispanic females.”

Michelle Alexander points out in her book The New Jim Crow that more black men “are in prison or jail, on probation or on parole than were enslaved in 1850.” Higher rates of black drug arrests do not reflect higher rates of black drug offenses. In fact, whites and blacks engage in drug offenses, possession and sales at roughly comparable rates.”

Debtor’s prison? Chain gangs? For-profit prisons? Guaranteed capacity in private prisons? How is this even a thing??

“Oil companies have been known to exploit prison labor as well. Following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig that killed 11 workers and irreparably damaged the Gulf of Mexico for generations to come, BP elected to hire Louisiana prison inmates to clean up its mess. Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate of any state in the nation, 70 percent of which are African-American men. Coastal residents desperate for work, whose livelihoods had been destroyed by BP’s negligence, were outraged at BP’s use of free prison labor.”

Oh good. Finally someone we believe less worthy than Mexicans:

“Private companies have long understood that prison labor can be as profitable as sweatshop workers in third-world countries with the added benefit of staying closer to home. Take Escod Industries, which in in the 1990s abandoned plans to open operations in Mexico and instead “moved to South Carolina, because the wages of American prisoners undercut those of de-unionized Mexican sweatshop workers,” reports Josh Levine in a 1999 article that appeared in Perpective Magazine.”

I never realized just how much people would lose if we reformed prisons and incarcerations. I thought people were lazy or just didn’t care. Now I see the investment so. many. people have in keeping things the way they are, or even increasing the number of inmates across the country. Horrifying.

“Even politicians have been known to tap into prison labor for their own personal use. In 1994, a contractor for GOP congressional candidate Jack Metcalf hired Washington state prisoners to call and remind voters he was pro-death penalty.”

And:

“In an unsettling turn of events lawmakers have begun ditching public employees in favor of free prison labor. The New York Times recently reported that states are “enlisting prison labor to close budget gaps” to offset cuts in “federal financing and dwindling tax revenue.” At a time of record unemployment, inmates are being hired to “paint vehicles, clean courthouses, sweep campsites and perform many other services done before the recession by private contractors or government employees.” In Wisconsin, prisoners are now taking up jobs that were once held by unionized workers, as a result of Governor Scott Walker’s contentious anti-union law.”

I realized as I kept reading that I also have held the belief that people who have been to jail in the past are bad people. It sounds so childish, and for good reason – it’s something I was taught so early on that I never even noticed it was a part of my psyche. But you know what? If they’ve served time, supposedly we believe their debt is paid. So why continue to punish prisoners by not granting them qualifications (electrician, plumber, etc) upon release? By paying them 11% less just because they have prison time in their background? Why are they forced to work 50 hours a week while incarcerated, but can’t find work when they are released? We have to do better.

Read the whole article on alternet.

*Note: this article was published in 2011.

Also read this.

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phantom ghosts

Here’s a very interesting approach to grief and grief counseling based on “mirror therapy” in adults with phantom limb pain. What a cool connection this blogger has made between the two – I’m excited for both the development of the therapy for amputees as well as the implications the idea has for mental health practice!  (The article has more than a few typos, sorry)!

“I find myself thinking: is this so much different from phantom limb pain? There is a loss of connection between the afferent circuitry in the brain and the efferent circuitry emanating from the limb. When this disruption in the previously existing give and take is recognized, there is a painful experience as a consequence, when the limb is felt to still be present, even if it is an illusion, the pain miraculously subsides. Can we learn from research and innovation in phantom pain to help ease the suffering of those who have tragically lost loved ones? Can we apply this type of understanding to practical tools to help people with grief pain?”  Read more at Beyond Estate.

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ana.

I’m not good at very much: I wasn’t very good at ballet, and I wasn’t very good at being a girlfriend, but for a time, I was good at being skinny and that felt really, really good.

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it never stops.

Today I worked out, and I thought of that time at the gym in your town when you were so proud to have me there.

Today our friends got married, and I thought of you and how we were so excited they got together and how they helped connect us when we were so far apart.

Today your friends sang without you, and I thought of that time you called me from stage to let me know you won and then you all came to visit and let me be a part of everything for awhile.

Today I accidentally liked some pictures taken by the girl you loved for a moment even while you loved me, and I thought of you.

Today I walked the dog, and I thought of you.

Today I rode the train and I thought of you.

Today I thought of you.

And how

You’re built in to every second of my day, my night, my dreams, the place in between awake and asleep where you are always there and always not there and it hurts the same way every time because it feels so damn good.

Today was today

and every day

isn’t it funny

the same.

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more lessons from Honduras

I did the worst thing I could ever do. I fell in love. 

I wish I could have been born without a heart, only a brain. The brain just stops thinking when the heart gets involved.

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lessons from Honduras.

Never embarrass your children.

Never embarrass your siblings.

Not in front of each other,

not in front of anyone else. 

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happiness.

When you reach the point that you can appreciate the wonder in every one of your feelings, you will start realizing that there is more to life than just “happiness.” Every part of it has its wonders. What’s better than “happiness” is fascination, and interest, and commitment to maintaining light and love within yourself. Every situation is dimensional, and when you start realizing the possibility in any given situation, you will start understanding what it means to be alive.

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truth.

I would like to live in a world where I am not judged by the wholeness of my hymen.

From My Freed Roar.

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