International-Service

nytimes.com
BREAKING: Edie Windsor dies at 88
Ms. Windsor’s case struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013 and granted same-sex married couples federal recognition for the first time.
By Robert D. McFadden

Edith Windsor, whose Supreme Court case struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013 and brought federal recognition to marriage equality, has died at age 88. The cause of her death has not been specified. 

After living together for 40 years, Ms. Windsor and Thea Spyer, a psychologist, were legally married in Canada in 2007. Dr. Spyer died in 2009, and Ms. Windsor inherited her estate. But the Internal Revenue Service denied her the unlimited spousal exemption from federal estate taxes available to married heterosexuals, and she had to pay taxes of $363,053.

She sued, claiming that the law, by recognizing only marriages between a man and a woman, unconstitutionally singled out same-sex marriage partners for “differential treatment.”

Affirming two lower court rulings, the Supreme Court overturned the law in a 5-4 ruling, citing the Fifth Amendment guarantee that no person shall be “deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.”

Edie was a pioneer in every sense of the word. She changed the world for millions of us. And she was the sweetest person, too – I met her about a year ago, told her about my recent engagement and thanked her for making it happen, and she kissed my hand and wished my future wife and I a lifetime of happiness. I will miss her. We all will. Thank you for everything, Edie.

Refugees are by definition the most vulnerable people among us. Families don’t choose to sacrifice everything they have and leave their homes unless their homes become like the mouth of a shark. Scapegoating people who are fleeing for their lives is an inhumanity that no person with a heart should be able to defend.
—  Commentary by Bilal Askaryar, who helps manage the Turquoise Mountain: Artists Transforming Afghanistan exhibit at the Smithsonian’s Freer and Sackler Galleries. He holds a master’s degree from the American University School of International Service. He arrived in the United States as a refugee fleeing the war in Afghanistan when he was 5 years old.
buzzfeed.com
Hundreds Of Thousands Of Workers Will Strike May 1, Organizers Say
A major union local and a coalition of worker centers have voted to strike on International Workers Day, calling for others to join.
By Cora Lewis

Almost 350,000 service workers plan to strike on May 1, a traditional day for labor activism across the world, in the most direct attempt yet by organized labor to capture the energy from a resurgent wave of activism across the country since the election of Donald Trump.

Tens of thousands of members of a powerful California branch of the Service Employees International Union will participate in the strike, according to David Huerta, the president of the chapter.

“We understand that there’s risk involved in that,” Huerta told BuzzFeed News, “but we’re willing to take that risk in order to be able to move forward in this moment, while the most marginalized are in the crosshairs of this administration.”

Since Donald Trump’s election, there has been no shortage of wildcat strikes by groups disproportionately affected by his administration’s policies. But this time around, organized labor is driving the effort. According to a coalition of groups leading the strike, more than 300,000 food chain workers and 40,000 unionized service workers have said they will walk off the job so far.

Huerta’s union chapter represents tens of thousands of workers, including janitors, security officers and airport staff, while the Food Chain Workers Alliance, which represents workers throughout the food industry, says hundreds of thousands of its non-unionized members have committed to striking.

“We are a workforce made up mostly of immigrants, women, African Americans, and indigenous people….Without workers, who does Trump think will harvest the crops, craft the food, transport it to market, stock the shelves, cook in kitchens, and serve the meals?”

It’s on!

Dealing with Crowds and Service Dog Etiquette

Below are some suggestions for dealing with crowds when you have a Service Dog. When travelling in busy areas or cities you can face a lot of issues, not all of them access-related. You need to be wary of people trampling your dog and approaching you to ask questions. If you are anxious or unsure about how to handle these situations the list I have written may be useful to you.

Ways to deal with crowds:

  • If travelling with a friend or group of people, keep your Service Dog between you and one of them so that they are more concealed and invite fewer people to approach.
  • When travelling on busy transport, keep your leg on the outside of your dog and have them sit close to you to avoid them being stood on or sliding when the transport makes any sudden stops and starts.
  • Always walk on the side of the road when travelling with your Service Dog, this avoids incidents with people driving too close to the curb or your dog being pushed onto the road if you are nudged by a crowd member. If you have your dog clearly vested people should hopefully give you more space on the sidewalk. (Note- This point may be contradictory to what some Service Dogs are trained to do. Guide Dogs in particular are trained to stand in front of cars so that in the event of being hit when crossing a road etc, the dog is a buffer than can protect the human. I merely state that you should be vigilant about roads in the case of an incident that is non-life-threatening to you but very harmful to your dog. If your dog is seriously injured, your independence will be affected as a result of this.)
  • Make sure your dog is clearly marked as a Service Dog with patches that remind people to not pet or distract them. Yes, a lot of people tend not to read them, but it can help deter the ones that do.
  • If you struggle with anxiety and people approaching you to ask about your dog, some patches can be purchased that ask people NOT to approach the handler as it causes anxiety. Consider in investing in ones of these. They can be found on Ebay.
  • On more basic grounds, if you wish to avoid getting into conversation use the simple trick of avoiding eye contact and listening to an mp3 player if possible. It might not always work, but if you aren’t eyeing people back it tends to be less inviting grounds for a conversation.
  • Have a pretend phone call.
  • Have a real phone call.
  • Carry small business cards around with you with information on them. A few of my friends do this. You can have basic info on them or website links that explain things such as: What your Service Dog is trained in, What organisation trained them (if you did not owner-train) and links to places where people can read more if they are interested. It can help if you don’t want to appear rude or dismissive but still want to help educate people about Service Dogs. On cards you can explain that you may have not been feeling very well, but appreciate the interest of the person before giving brief snippets of information about your Service Dog.
  • If somebody tries to pet your dog, a way to deal with this is to place your hand under theirs so that they would come into contact with you rather than your dog. This is often enough to deter people who have either been too rude to ask if they can pet your dog or have ignored your request for them not to.

HOW TO BEHAVE AROUND A SERVICE DOG

Many people approach Service Dog handlers out of simple curiosity. Not everyone has bad intentions. Even though it can be repetitive and tiresome to hear 20 times a day how somebody has a dog ‘just like yours’ or wishes their dog was as well trained or has a distant relative who has a Service Dog, the general public can often not realise this. Here I will discuss simple Service Dog etiquette. For the sake of handlers everywhere, please take these points into account:

  • Do NOT pet the dog without permission. As a rule of thumb it is best not to ask to pet the dog at all, they are working and if distracted they can fail to perform important tasks such as alerting to medical emergencies. There have been instances in which people have suffered seizures after their Service Dogs have been distracted from alerting them. It is dangerous to distract a Service Dog.
  • READ THE PATCHES! Service Dogs do not just wear those glaring bright patches that read 'Do Not Pet’ to look pretty. Please read and respect them.
  • Do not allow your dog to approach a Service Dog if it is working. If you are in doubt ASK whether it is alright for you to introduce your dog. This is especially important if your dog is unruly or aggressive. If a Service Dog is injured by another dog you are seriously affecting the independence of the handler. If a Service Dog is injured it is unable to work. If the dog is unable to work, the handler may be rendered unable to do everyday tasks for a long period of time. It’s not worth the risk.
  • Never feed a Service Dog.  A lot of dogs are on specialized diets and may have health conditions that make them unable to tolerate certain foods. I have had a dog with years of pancreatitis and hypothyroidism - if somebody fed him anything remotely high in fat he would become so seriously ill that his life was in danger. Do NOT feed other people’s dogs. You don’t know their health conditions or dietary requirements. Regardless of health, it is also a distraction. 
  • Speak to the person, not the dog. Handlers often find that they are 'invisible’ when they have their dog. People always address the dog first and show interest in the dog, but not the person. This can be regarded as rude and a tad disrespectful. Consider the handler.
  • Don’t whistle, call out or harass a Service Dog. This is a distraction and as mentioned before, distractions are dangerous.
  • Make sure your children don’t approach or pet a Service Dog. This is a distraction and even though it may appear 'cute’ or 'funny’ it’s still dangerous. On more general terms it is also a good idea to educate your children on how to approach a dog correctly. Although Service Dogs are no risk to people, children should be taught not to rush over to unfamiliar dogs. Not all dogs are friendly and you do not want your child to get hurt by an aggressive or anxious dog.
  • Do not assume the disability of the handler or ask what their disability is. Quite frankly, that is private and personal. You wouldn’t ask somebody why they are in a wheelchair, so you most certainly shouldn’t ask why they have a Service Animal. Not everyone with a Service Dog is deaf or blind. Be respectful of the different disabilities out there and treat the person as you would treat any other. Some people may not mind offers for help, but a great deal are happy to be left to get on with their day with the help of their Service Dog.
  • Be respectful of the dog. You may not like animals or be fearful of dogs. That is alright, but it is important to recognise that Service Dogs are highly trained. They would NOT be a Service Dog if they are aggressive or in any way a risk to people. These dogs are valued family members that are clean, gentle and just trying to get their job done. Most handlers will do their best to keep their dog at a distance to you if you are uncomfortable with them, but this is not always possible. It is rude (and illegal) to ask someone with a Service Dog to move or leave the premises because you don’t like dogs, 'have allergies’ or are fearful of them. Compromises can be met, but please have some respect.
  • Do not be rude to the handler if they don’t permit you to touch their dog or ask you not to distract them. They have a good reason for asking this.
  • Do not ask a Service Dog handler to have their dog 'demonstrate’ a task.
  • Do not take pictures or record a Service Dog without the handler’s permission.
  • Be considerate about the comments you make. 'But you’re so young!’, 'Are you training him?’, 'I wish I could take my dog everywhere, that’s so cool!’, 'You don’t look disabled’, 'You must be faking it’, 'Are you blind?’ They may seem innocent to you but are invasive to a handler. Put yourself in their shoes.


Remember when responding to people approaching you and your Service Dog…

  • Be patient. You may be tired or having a bad day, but try to be polite. You are representing Service Dog teams and it’s important that you don’t give others a bad name or reputation by being rude to people approaching you out of curiosity.
  • You do not have a 'duty’ to educate the public, but if you have the time or energy to spread a bit of knowledge it can help. Let people know simple things about Service Dog etiquette and how to behave around a Service Dog for future reference. The more people that are educated, the easier it is for future Service Dog teams.

  • If you don’t feel like talking, try using the small business card idea I mentioned earlier.

Alice Glass Teases New Single “Without Love”

“It’s been a while since we’ve heard from former Crystal Castles member Alice Glass — her first solo song, “Stillbirth,” came out back in 2015 — but she has a new single coming out soon. It’s called “Without Love” and, per ATRL, it’s already popped up on international streaming services, which means it’ll probably be available at midnight local time wherever you are, if not sooner. She posted a teaser video to her Facebook page earlier today. Check that out below.” source: http://www.stereogum.com/1956520/alice-glass-teases-new-single-without-love/video/
Why Peace Corps is not Voluntourism

According to Webster, Voluntourism is a form of tourism in which travelers participate in voluntary work, typically for a charity. Over this past week I’ve shared some contrasting views on Voluntourism, which is increasingly prevalent and controversial in our globalized world. 

Having served in Morocco as a volunteer full-time for two years, my views on volunteerism have certainly morphed from what they were in high school, college, and even grad school. It may seem ironic that coming out of this international service experience I am more convinced than ever that local community service is where the real change happens. When people are involved and invested in the community of which they are a part, they can help create an environment that reflects their values. Lasting change happens when folks are invested for the long-term. It stands to reason that people have more cause to care about the long-term outcomes of their actions for the community in which they live and plan to raise their children than in some random spot on the globe. 

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for volunteering in a community that isn’t your own. Whether it be in a state that’s been hit by natural disaster or advancing water-security internationally, sometimes an issue needs more hands, resources, and minds tackling it than what might be available in the affected area. But how do you bridge the sincerity and personal investment people have for their own communities to a foreign community and, possibly, culture? This is where an organization like Peace Corps comes in. 

One of the biggest critiques of voluntourism is the lack of understanding volunteers have of those they’re “helping.” This ignorance can lead to mistaken actions that are neither helpful nor sustainable. And the short-term nature of Voluntourism doesn’t leave room for the volunteers to see the real effects of their actions. The structure of Peace Corps is thoughtfully designed to avoid the pitfalls that seem to be haunting this growing industry. Here are 6 ways that Peace Corps not Voluntourism. 

1. We Live with Host Families

The first step to understanding a culture is, not just seeing how they live, but living how they live. By staying with host families we’re able to observe and participate in the little things that might never be captured in a “cultural session.” Understanding the lifestyle of our host country nationals is paramount to shaping the action-steps we take throughout our service. It helps us see what the real needs are, the cultural constraints, and how decisions are made. Living how those around us live plumits us into the community in a way staying a hotel or dorm never could. We eat what they eat, sleep where they sleep, and wear what they wear. We are a part of the family.    

2. We Learn the Language

Learning someone’s language is an indisputable way to show that you really care. It isn’t easy; it means constantly exposing yourself to failure; it shows long-term investment. Sometimes, PCVs learn languages that no one has ever paid any attention to before. And it isn’t just about being able to express ourselves, it’s about being able to understand those we’re with, hearing their thoughts, singing their songs, crying to their soap operas, laughing to their jokes. Though we never stop being students of the language, our effort says “we’re not just passing through.” 

3. There is No Agenda

The other day I was sitting at the women’s center with the new volunteer in my site. One woman was teaching the PCV a stitch that is used for the traditional Moroccan clothes. As we sat there sewing and chatting with the women, I had an overwhelming sense that this is where the magic happens. While I admit it is frustrating at first, Peace Corps does not give us much direction on what to do in our communities. I realize more and more each day just how appropriate it is that they don’t. True development is ecological not top-down. Peace Corps doesn’t barge into communities with a plan (even if all the American volunteers are begging for one), instead the volunteers watch and wait and listen and learn and then find ways to fit service in. Shwya b Shwya, or Little by little, is our motto here.  

4. We Listen

When speaking to the 100+ new volunteers that recently arrived to Morocco, I told them You may be asked to teach English or something you don’t want to do, but you have to remember this isn’t about what you want, it’s about what they want. Listen to your community and meet them where they are. Start with English-it’s your foot in the door- and as you get to know your community you will learn how to introduce other things. But always remember, what you want doesn’t matter. When we don’t listen failure is bound to happen. In fact, failure is bound to happen regardless, but listening to our communities is a huge part of having a service that is effective and allows our failures to be transformed into learning opportunities.    

5. We Capacity Build

They say that in development our goal is to put ourselves out of a job. And Peace Corps volunteers often work towards just that. We are encouraged to find community partners for every activity or class, teaching them how to teach and lead if needed. A project done without a host country national is not considered sustainable and sometimes even frowned upon. Our primary role is to promote volunteerism of people in our communities. If our presence somehow inspires those around us to invest in their town and believe that positive change can happen, then that is a job well done.  

6. We Stay for Two Years

Development takes much longer than two years, but it’s long enough to lay a foundation and get things started. Two years is long enough to learn the names of the kids on your street, long enough to celebrate the annual holidays with your host family, long enough to watch favored characters on the soap operas get murdered and come back to life, long enough to watch your baby host sister learn how to speak and master words you still can’t pronounce right, long enough to watch your friends get engaged, married, pregnant, and become mothers. My village in Morocco is my home and the people I serve are my family, neighbors, friends.  


It is undeniable that some folks sign up for Peace Corps to have a neat, easy, satifying experience, but Peace Corps is none of those things; development is none of those things. Those people either realize and embrace the struggle of true development work and call forth the patience to see their commitment to the host country through, or they quit after a few months in country. Either way, they are forced to come to terms with the fact that Peace Corps is so much more than Voluntourism. A sincere volunteer always remembers this is not about me, realizes the value in an unAmerican level of patience, and learns that being uncomfortable doesn’t mean you can’t be happy.

So ask yourself this when considering volunteering outside of your community: What are my intentions? And have I done my research on this organization? 

alalunastuff  asked:

Hey Jen, you trully are a rare gem for any fandom worthy to have you! Beyond happy you're part of the Olicity fandom! Only one thing I would like you to address, esp given your knowledge of TV and how the business works. So, what is your view on ratings for Arrow Season 5? The decline in ratings goes ofc accross shows and channels as a general trend nowadays. But specifically how do you feel about Arrow ratings this year? TY!

What a sweet thing to say. I am but one among many, but you are so incredibly kind. Thank you. Hope you don’t mind that I’m publishing this ask because I always like ratings questions. I think they are fun. Yes. I am weird. I don’t know if it’s knowledge. It’s more a weird obsession combined with some (hopefully) educated guesses. (Some of this will be a repeat for those who’ve read my thoughts on ratings before).

Stumbled on this article today. Vulture always takes a look at returning/aging dramas and writes an article on rating trends every year. It’s a good read. The take away is it’s been a rough year for everyone. Most returning/aging dramas saw a significant drop in their live ratings. This was The CW:

31% drop is… well… ouch. 

I agree with Vulture. I don’t know a network executive that would be happy with any of these drops because they like money. Loss of revenue is not good. Networks ain’t never gonna be a fan of that. A live ratings decrease = a loss of ad based revenue. 

But am I worried about Arrow? NOPE. The single most important question any fan of a television show that airs on The CW should ask is…

How in sweet holy heaven does The CW make money?

Keep reading

buzzfeed.com
Unions Representing A Million Teachers Are Standing Up For This Transgender Student
They told the Supreme Court in a brief Thursday, “Educators are, above all, advocates and protectors of their students.”
By Dominic Holden

This is great news.

The brief makes a strong argument for why trans inclusion is vital for trans students and how it generally benefits school communities. That’s especially important coming from this wide ranging group of educators. But honestly I think the case for why trans students deserve these rights and protections is pretty strong. The bigger question is whether that protection can and should come through Title IX. That’s a harder argument (and the reason why this case is sitting before the Supreme Court). And what I think may be the most important part of this brief in making that determination is this section:

Should the Court conclude that transgender discrimination is prohibited sex discrimination under Title IX, the teacher’s duty is clear: address and report the harassment. But if the Court were to adopt the view of a minority of the lower courts—that Title IX may prohibit some but not all forms of discrimination against transgender students—then teachers are left in the lurch. What are their duties to transgender students and when are they triggered? Must teachers parse the harasser’s motivation to determine whether the harassment is motivated by sex stereotypes or transgender animus? This is complicated by Petitioner’s assertion that non-discrimination against transgender students “would perpetuate discrimination in a different form” against other students. If that were true, how would educators prevent and remedy sex stereotyping discrimination or harassment against transgender students while avoiding discrimination against others?

Making the case for clarity might just be significant nudge for a few (*cough* Kennedy *cough*) justices. And like with the Obergefell same-sex marriage ruling I’m hopeful that concerns raised over harm to students will win out over the case for letting this continue to play itself out across the country at the national, state, and local level. We’ll see how the Supreme Court views this soon. Hearing start on the 28th.

Thanks to the educators and school staff represented by the National Education Association; the American Federation of Teachers; the National Association of Secondary School Principals; the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees; Service Employees International Union; and the School Social Work Association of America.

Title: Death and Taxes
Author: thestarsarefalling
Artist: CurlzForMetal
Rating: Explicit
Pairings: Dean/Cas
Warnings/Tags: Brief major character death, temporary major character death
Posting Date: 11/2/2017

Summary:  Castiel Novak is an IRS agent who suddenly begins to hear a voice narrating his life as it happens, as if from a book, but when the narration reveals that he is going to die, Castiel must find the “author” to convince them to change the ending before it’s too late. His journey to find the person behind the voice leads him to new adventures and to fall in love. This is a Stranger Than Fiction rewrite.

- - -

This is a story of a man named Castiel Novak and his wristwatch. He was a man of infinite numbers, endless calculations, and remarkably few words; though, his wristwatch said even less. Every weekday for 12 years, he would brush each of his 32 teeth 76 times - 38 times back and forth, and 38 times up and down. Every weekday for 12 years, he would put on a slightly ill-fitting suit and trench coat. He would tie his blue tie in a single Windsor knot instead of the double, thereby saving up to 43 seconds. His wristwatch thought the single knot made his neck look fat, but said nothing. Every weekday for 12 years, he would barely catch the 8:17 bus, though his wristwatch would delight in the feeling of the wind rushing over its face. And every weekday for 12 years, Castiel would review 7.134 tax files as a senior agent for the Internal Revenue Service.

Every morning a coworker would ask him a difficult multiplication question that he only needed 10 seconds to solve without a calculator. Every lunch would be exactly 45.7 minutes. Every coffee break was timed precisely by his wristwatch to be 4.3 minutes. Beyond that, Castiel lived a life of solitude. He would walk home alone, eat alone, and at exactly 11:13 every night, he would go to bed alone, placing his wristwatch to rest on the nightstand beside him.

That was, of course, before Thursday.

On Thursday, Castiel’s wristwatch changed everything.

“Woman anarchist leader and aid in draft war. Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman convicted of conspiracy against draft law and sentenced to two years in penitentiary and fined $10,000 each, July 9, 1917. International Film Service.”

Series: American Unofficial Collection of World War I Photographs, 1917 - 1918Record Group 165: Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs, 1860 - 1952.

Thanks to the convenient wording of the recently-passed Espionage Act, those who protested against newly introduced conscription, or against the United States’ participation in World War I, became prime subjects for prosecution. This language allowed the government to target socialists, communists, pacifists, and anarchists—all of which were generally opposed to the war.

Read more about the Espionage Act at Defining a Spy: the Espionage Act


Uncover more World War I Centennial Resources at the National Archives

The Most Wanted list debuted in newspapers on March 14, 1950 before rapidly spreading to radio and TV. Since its inception, it has directly led to 160 arrests and, most importantly, immeasurably stoked the ego of one J. Edgar Hoover. That was, after all, the original point of the list. It was all a brazen headline grab.

Nebraska Senator George Norris once called Hoover “the greatest hound for publicity on the American continent.” The FBI director’s obsession with fame began in 1933, with the Kansas City massacre and the public’s odd love affair with chief suspect Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd. Hoover became furious over the attention being garnered by the crime (not to mention Floyd’s prettiness), famously seething, “If there is going to be publicity, let it be on the side of law and order.”

He fucking meant it. What followed was a series of boy’s clubs, movies, books, radio dramas, and comics, all carefully coordinated by Hoover to elevate the coolness of the G-man well above that of the gangster in the mind of Average Joe. And so it follows that when Bill Hutchinson of the International News Service came sniffing for a listicle of the “toughest guys” the FBI was prepared to duke it out with, Hoover saw the opportunity to create a viral sensation.

5 Ordinary Things Made Historic Via Publicity Stunts

While searching for any Yuri on ice Doujinshi event in Tokyo i found out that there’s an Otayuri centric Yuri on Ice doujin event on August. The venue is not that big compared to the general Yuri on Ice doujinshi event but i’m still happy that there’s a doujin event just for them. Guess the Otayuri fandom is strong in Japan╰(*´︶`*)╯♡ (And I should also start saving soon because I’ll definitely buy a lot of Otayuri Goods.)

If anyone is interested in the event and image source, You can check the doujin event web page (the website is in Japanese only) by clicking the link in the Source below (since i cannot link any external links in the text because i just recently learned that Tumblr’s currently blocking/hiding any post with external links and i don’t know how to bypass it T^T)

The illustrator of the image is Saaya/Lionni. You can buy her Otayuri doujin in Toranoana if you’re in Japan and if you’re overseas, you can use international forwarding services like Tenso though i haven’t tried using it since i’m currently living in Tokyo