Rosners

is my enthusiasm for my favorite series becoming embarrassing and annoying as I want it to be wildy sucessful and therefore want to do everything in my power or am I over-concerned about nothing

every story comes from somewhere, or, an On the Fence reading list

When I started On the Fence for NaNoWriMo 2015, I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into. I’d never written a romance novel, or a new adult novel; I’d only driven through Kentucky (except for a summer trip to the Horse Park when I was eight or nine); and I didn’t know much about horse racing.

Cue five months (and counting) of constant research. Here’s a shortlist of stuff I perused to whip as much verisimilitude as possible into the manuscript:

habits-or-rabbits asked:

List 5 things that make you happy, then put this in the inbox of the last 10 people that reblogged from you!! Spread happiness

I like doing these things so uwu

> Puppies. Aka small bundles of joy and sunshine.

> Sitting in front of the fireplace. It’s very pleasing.

> Adam Rosner. Amazing and creative guy that made one of my favorite series. Has a great sense of humor.

> Honeysuckle flowers. I love their scent.

> The You Could Stop At Five Or Six Stores montage. I think it’s golden.

Gilad Rosner: In the age of connected devices, will our privacy regulations be good enough? Controversial ideas for privacy protection.

Gilad Rosner: In the age of connected devices, will our privacy regulations be good enough? Controversial ideas for privacy protection.

Did you read a privacy policy in full today? According to research from Carnegie Mellon in 2008, it will take you an average of 76 work days to read all the privacy policies you’ll encounter this…

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Welcome to the United States of Flint

External image

Posted on Feb 11, 2016

By David Rosner and Gerald Markowitz / TomDispatch

Michigan Municipal League / (CC BY-ND 2.0)

This piece first appeared at TomDispatch. Read Tom Engelhardt’s introduction here.

“I know if I was a parent up there, I would be beside myself if my kids’ health could be at risk,” said President Obama on a recent trip to Michigan.  “Up there” was Flint, a rusting industrial city in the grip of a “water crisis” brought on by a government austerity scheme.  To save a couple of million dollars, that city switched its source of water from Lake Huron to the Flint River, a long-time industrial dumping ground for the toxic industries that had once made their home along its banks.  Now, the city is enveloped in a public health emergency, with elevated levels of lead in its water supply and in the blood of its children.

The price tag for replacing the lead pipes that contaminated its drinking water, thanks to the corrosive toxins found in the Flint River, is now estimated at up to $1.5 billion. No one knows where that money will come from or when it will arrive.  In the meantime, the cost to the children of Flint has been and will be incalculable.   As little as a few specks of lead in the water children drink or in flakes of paint that come off the walls of old houses and are ingested can change the course of a life. The amount of lead dust that covers a thumbnail is enough to send a child into a coma or into convulsions leading to death. It takes less than a tenth of that amount to cause IQ loss, hearing loss, or behavioral problems like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and dyslexia. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the government agency responsible for tracking and protecting the nation’s health, says simply, “No safe blood lead level in children has been identified.”

President Obama would have good reason to worry if his kids lived in Flint.  But the city’s children are hardly the only ones threatened by this public health crisis.  There’s a lead crisis for children in Baltimore, Maryland, Herculaneum, Missouri, Sebring, Ohio, and even the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., and that’s just to begin a list.  State reports suggest, for instance, that “18 cities in Pennsylvania and 11 in New Jersey may have an even higher share of children with dangerously elevated levels of lead than does Flint.” Today, scientists agree that there is no safe level of lead for children and at least half of American children have some of this neurotoxin in their blood.  The CDC is especially concerned about the more than 500,000 American children who have substantial amounts of lead in their bodies. Over the past century, an untold number have had their IQs reduced, their school performances limited, their behaviors altered, and their neurological development undermined.  From coast to coast, from the Sun Belt to the Rust Belt, children have been and continue to be imperiled by a century of industrial production, commercial gluttony, and abandonment by the local, state, and federal governments that should have protected them.  Unlike in Flint, the “crisis” seldom comes to public attention.

Two, Three… Many Flints

In Flint, the origins of the current crisis lay in the history of auto giant General Motors (GM) and its rise in the middle decades of the twentieth century to the status of the world’s largest corporation. GM’s Buick plant alone once occupied “an area almost a mile and a half long and half a mile wide,” according to the Chicago Tribune, and several Chevrolet and other GM plants literally covered the waterfront of “this automotive city.” Into the Flint River went the toxic wastes of factories large and small, which once supplied batteries, paints, solders, glass, fabrics, oils, lubricating fluids, and a multitude of other materials that made up the modern car. In these plants strung out along the banks of the Flint and Saginaw rivers and their detritus lay the origins of the present public health emergency.

The crisis that attracted President Obama’s attention is certainly horrifying, but the children of Flint have been poisoned in one way or another for at least 80 years. Three generations of those children living around Chevrolet Avenue in the old industrial heart of the city experienced an environment filled with heavy metal toxins that cause neurological conditions in them and cardiovascular problems in adults.

As Michael Moore documented in his film Roger and Me, GM abandoned Flint in a vain attempt to stave off financial disaster.  Having sucked its people dry, the company ditched the city, leaving it to deal with a polluted hell without the means to do so.  Like other industrial cities that have suffered this kind of abandonment, Flint’s population is majority African American and Latino, and has a disproportionate number of families living below the poverty line.  Of its 100,000 residents, 65% are African American and Latino and 42%  are mired in poverty. 

The president should be worried about Flint’s children and local, state, and federal authorities need to fix the pipes, sewers, and water supply of the city. Technically, this is a feasible, if expensive, proposition. It’s already clear, however, that the political will is just not there even for this one community. Gina McCarthy, the Environmental Protection Agency’s administrator, has refused to provide Flint’s residents with even a prospective timetable for replacing their pipes and making their water safe. There is, however, a far graver problem that is even less easy to fix: the mix of racism and corporate greed that have put lead and other pollutants into millions of homes in the United States. The scores of endangered kids in Flint are just the tip of a vast, toxic iceberg.  Even Baltimore, which first identified its lead poisoning epidemic in the 1930s, still faces a crisis, especially in largely African American communities, when it comes to the lead paint in its older housing stock.

Just this month, Maryland’s secretary of housing, community, and development, Kenneth C. Holt, dismissed the never-ending lead crisis in Baltimore by callously suggesting that it might all be a shuck.  A mother, he said, might fake such poisoning by putting “a lead fishing weight in her child’s mouth [and] then take the child in for testing.” Such a tactic, he indicated, without any kind of proof, was aimed at making landlords “liable for providing the child with [better] housing.” Unfortunately, the attitudes of Holt and Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan have proven all too typical of the ways in which America’s civic and state leaders have tended to ignore, dismiss, or simply deny the real suffering of children, especially those who are black and Latino, when it comes to lead and other toxic chemicals.

There is, in fact, a grim broader history of lead poisoning in America.  It was probably the most widely dispersed environmental toxin that affected children in this country.  In part, this was because, for decades during the middle of the twentieth century, it was marketed as an essential ingredient in industrial society, something without which none of us could get along comfortably.  Those toxic pipes in Flint are hardly the only, or even the primary, source of danger to children left over from that era.

In the 1920s, tetraethyl lead was introduced as an additive for gasoline.  It was lauded at the time as a “gift of God” by a representative of the Ethyl Corporation, a creation of GM, Standard Oil, and Dupont, the companies that invented, produced, and marketed the stuff. Despite warnings that this industrial toxin might pollute the planet, which it did, almost three-quarters of a century would pass before it was removed from gasoline in the United States.  During that time, spewed out of the tailpipes of hundreds of millions of cars and trucks, it tainted the soil that children played in and was tracked onto floors that toddlers touched.  Banned from use in the 1980s, it still lurks in the environment today.

Meanwhile, homes across the country were tainted by lead in quite a different way. Lead carbonate, a white powder, was mixed with linseed oil to create the paint that was used in the nation’s homes, hospitals, schools, and other buildings until 1978.  Though its power to harm and even kill children who sucked on lead-painted windowsills, toys, cribs, and woodwork had long been known, it was only in that year that the federal government banned its use in household paints.

Hundreds of tons of the lead in paint that covered the walls of houses, apartment buildings, and workplaces across the United States remains in place almost four decades later, especially in poorer neighborhoods where millions of African American and Latino children currently live.  Right now, most middle class white families feel relatively immune from the dangers of lead, although the gentrification of old neighborhoods and the renovation of old homes can still expose their children to dangerous levels of lead dust from the old paint on those walls. However, economically and politically vulnerable black and Hispanic children, many of whom inhabit dilapidated older housing, still suffer disproportionately from the devastating effects of the toxin. This is the meaning of institutional racism in action today.  As with the water flowing into homes from the pipes of Flint’s water system, so the walls of its apartment complexes, not to mention those in poor neighborhoods of Detroit, Baltimore, Washington, and virtually every other older urban center in the country, continue to poison children exposed to lead-polluted dust, chips, soil, and air.

Over the course of the past century, tens of millions of children have been poisoned by lead and millions more remain in danger of it today. Add to this the risks these same children face from industrial toxins like mercury, asbestos, and polychlorinated biphenyls (better known as PCBs) and you have an ongoing recipe for a Flint-like disaster but on a national scale.

In truth, the United States has scores of “Flints” awaiting their moments.  Think of them as ticking toxic time bombs—just an austerity scheme or some official’s poor decision away from a public health disaster.  Given this, it’s remarkable, even in the wake of Flint, how little attention or publicity such threats receive.  Not surprisingly, then, there seems to be virtually no political will to ensure that future generations of children will not suffer the same fate as those in Flint.  

The Future of America’s Toxic Past

A series of decisions by state and local officials turned Flint’s chronic post-industrial crisis into a total public health disaster.  If clueless, corrupt, or heartless government officials get all the blame for this (and blame they do deserve), the larger point will unfortunately be missed—that there are many post-industrial Flints, many other hidden tragedies affecting America’s children that await their moments in the news. Treat Flint as an anomaly and you condemn families nationwide to bear the damage to their children alone, abandoned by a society unwilling to invest in cleaning up a century of industrial pollution, or even to acknowledge the injustice involved.

Flint may be years away from a solution to its current crisis, but in a few cities elsewhere in the country there is at least a modicum of hope when it comes to developing ways to begin to address this country’s poisonous past. In California, for example, 10 cities and counties, including San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Oakland, have successfully sued and won an initial judgment against three lead pigment manufacturers for $1.15 billion. That money will be invested in removing lead paint from the walls of homes in these cities. If this judgment is upheld on appeal, it would be an unprecedented and pathbreaking victory, since it would force a polluting industry to clean up the mess it created and from which it profited.

There have been other partial victories, too. In Herculaneum, Missouri, for instance, where half the children within a mile of the nation’s largest lead smelter suffered lead poisoning, jurors returned a $320 million verdict against Fluor Corporation, one of the world’s largest construction and engineering firms. That verdict is also on appeal, while the company has moved its smelter to Peru where whole new populations are undoubtedly being poisoned.

President Obama hit the nail on the head with his recent comments on Flint, but he also missed the larger point. There he was just a few dozen miles from that city’s damaged water system when he spoke in Detroit, another symbol of corporate abandonment with its own grim toxic legacy. Thousands of homes in the Motor City, the former capital of the auto industry, are still lead paint disaster areas. Perhaps it’s time to widen the canvas when it comes to the poisoning of America’s children and face the terrible human toll caused by “the American century.”

David Rosner and Gerald Markowitz, TomDispatch regulars, are co-authors and co-editors of seven books and 85 articles on a variety of industrial and occupational hazards, including Deceit and Denial: The Deadly Politics of Industrial Pollution and, most recently, Lead Wars: The Politics of Science and the Fate of America’s Children.  Rosner is a professor of sociomedical sciences and history at Columbia University and co-director of the Center for the History of Public Health at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health. Markowitz is a professor of history at John Jay College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York. Both have been awarded a certificate of appreciation by the United States Senate through the office of Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, who has recognized the importance of their work on lead and industrial poisoning.

Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook. Check out the newest Dispatch Book, Nick Turse’s Tomorrow’s Battlefield: U.S. Proxy Wars and Secret Ops in Africa, and Tom Engelhardt’s latest book, Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World.

Copyright 2016 David Rosner and Gerald Markowitz

#AfricanAmerican, #Public, #ToxicPast

truth-out.org
Welcome to the United States of Flint: A Coast-to-Coast Toxic Crisis
There are many post-industrial Flints, many other hidden tragedies affecting US children that await their moments in the news.
By David Rosner and Gerald Markowitz

Welcome to the United States of Flint: A Coast-to-Coast Toxic Crisis

Tuesday, 09 February 2016 00:00By

David Rosner and Gerald Markowitz

,

TomDispatch

| News Analysis

Over the course of the past century, tens of millions of children have been poisoned by lead and millions more remain in danger of it today. (Photo: Jeremy Kunz / Flickr; Edited: JR / TO)

“I know if I was a parent up there, I would be beside myself if my kids’ health could be at risk,” said President Obama on a recent trip to Michigan. “Up there” was Flint, a rusting industrial city in the grip of a “water crisis” brought on by a government austerity scheme. To save a couple of million dollars, that city switched its source of water from Lake Huron to the Flint River, a long-time industrial dumping ground for the toxic industries that had once made their home along its banks. Now, the city is enveloped in a public health emergency, with elevated levels of lead in its water supply and in the blood of its children.

The price tag for replacing the lead pipes that contaminated its drinking water, thanks to the corrosive toxins found in the Flint River, is now estimated at up to $1.5 billion. No one knows where that money will come from or when it will arrive. In the meantime, the cost to the children of Flint has been and will be incalculable. As little as a few specks of lead in the water children drink or in flakes of paint that come off the walls of old houses and are ingested can change the course of a life. The amount of lead dust that covers a thumbnail is enough to send a child into a coma or into convulsions leading to death. It takes less than a tenth of that amount to cause IQ loss, hearing loss, or behavioral problems like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and dyslexia. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the government agency responsible for tracking and protecting the nation’s health, says simply, “No safe blood lead level in children has been identified.”

President Obama would have good reason to worry if his kids lived in Flint. But the city’s children are hardly the only ones threatened by this public health crisis. There’s a lead crisis for children in Baltimore, Maryland, Herculaneum, Missouri, Sebring, Ohio, and even the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., and that’s just to begin a list. State reports suggest, for instance, that “18 cities in Pennsylvania and 11 in New Jersey may have an even higher share of children with dangerously elevated levels of lead than does Flint.” Today, scientists agree that there is no safe level of lead for children and at least half of American children have some of this neurotoxin in theirblood. The CDC is especially concerned about the more than 500,000 American children who have substantial amounts of lead in their bodies. Over the past century, an untold number have had their IQs reduced, their school performances limited, their behaviors altered, and their neurological development undermined. From coast to coast, from the Sun Belt to the Rust Belt, children have been and continue to be imperiled by a century of industrial production, commercial gluttony, and abandonment by the local, state, and federal governments that should have protected them. Unlike in Flint, the “crisis” seldom comes to public attention.

Two, Three … Many Flints

In Flint, the origins of the current crisis lay in the history of auto giant General Motors (GM) and its rise in the middle decades of the twentieth century to the status of the world’s largest corporation. GM’s Buick plant alone once occupied “an area almost a mile and a half long and half a mile wide,” according to the Chicago Tribune, and several Chevrolet and other GM plants literally covered the waterfront of “this automotive city.” Into the Flint River went the toxic wastes of factories large and small, which once supplied batteries, paints, solders, glass, fabrics, oils, lubricating fluids, and a multitude of other materials that made up the modern car. In these plants strung out along the banks of the Flint and Saginaw rivers and their detritus lay the origins of the present public health emergency.

The crisis that attracted President Obama’s attention is certainly horrifying, but the children of Flint have been poisoned in one way or another for at least 80 years. Three generations of those children living around Chevrolet Avenue in the old industrial heart of the city experienced an environment filled with heavy metal toxins that cause neurological conditions in them and cardiovascular problems in adults.

As Michael Moore documented in his film Roger and Me, GM abandoned Flint in a vain attempt to stave off financial disaster. Having sucked its people dry, the company ditched the city, leaving it to deal with a polluted hell without the means to do so. Like other industrial cities that have suffered this kind of abandonment, Flint’s population is majority African American and Latino, and has a disproportionate number of families living below the poverty line. Of its 100,000 residents, 65% are African American and Latino and 42% are mired in poverty.

The president should be worried about Flint’s children and local, state, and federal authorities need to fix the pipes, sewers, and water supply of the city. Technically, this is a feasible, if expensive, proposition. It’s already clear, however, that thepolitical will is just not there even for this one community. Gina McCarthy, the Environmental Protection Agency’s administrator, has refused to provide Flint’s residents with even a prospective timetable for replacing their pipes and making their water safe. There is, however, a far graver problem that is even less easy to fix: the mix of racism and corporate greed that have put lead and other pollutants into millions of homes in the United States. The scores of endangered kids in Flint are just the tip of a vast, toxic iceberg. Even Baltimore, which first identified its lead poisoning epidemic in the 1930s, still faces a crisis, especially in largely African American communities, when it comes to the lead paint in its older housing stock.

Just this month, Maryland’s secretary of housing, community, and development, Kenneth C. Holt, dismissed the never-ending lead crisis in Baltimore by callouslysuggesting that it might all be a shuck. A mother, he said, might fake such poisoning by putting “a lead fishing weight in her child’s mouth [and] then take the child in for testing.” Such a tactic, he indicated, without any kind of proof, was aimed at making landlords “liable for providing the child with [better] housing.” Unfortunately, the attitudes of Holt and Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan have proven all too typical of the ways in which America’s civic and state leaders have tended to ignore, dismiss, or simply deny the real suffering of children, especially those who are black and Latino, when it comes to lead and other toxic chemicals.

There is, in fact, a grim broader history of lead poisoning in America. It was probably the most widely dispersed environmental toxin that affected children in this country.  In part, this was because, for decades during the middle of the twentieth century, it was marketed as an essential ingredient in industrial society, something without which none of us could get along comfortably. Those toxic pipes in Flint are hardly the only, or even the primary, source of danger to children left over from that era.

In the 1920s, tetraethyl lead was introduced as an additive for gasoline. It was lauded at the time as a “gift of God” by a representative of the Ethyl Corporation, a creation of GM, Standard Oil, and Dupont, the companies that invented, produced, and marketed the stuff. Despite warnings that this industrial toxin might pollute the planet, which it did, almost three-quarters of a century would pass before it was removed from gasoline in the United States. During that time, spewed out of the tailpipes of hundreds of millions of cars and trucks, it tainted the soil that children played in and was tracked onto floors that toddlers touched. Banned from use in the 1980s, it still lurks in the environment today.

Meanwhile, homes across the country were tainted by lead in quite a different way. Lead carbonate, a white powder, was mixed with linseed oil to create the paint that was used in the nation’s homes, hospitals, schools, and other buildings until 1978. Though its power to harm and even kill children who sucked on lead-painted windowsills, toys, cribs, and woodwork had long been known, it was only in that year that the federal government banned its use in household paints.

Hundreds of tons of the lead in paint that covered the walls of houses, apartment buildings, and workplaces across the United States remains in place almost four decades later, especially in poorer neighborhoods where millions of African American and Latino children currently live. Right now, most middle class white families feel relatively immune from the dangers of lead, although the gentrification of old neighborhoods and the renovation of old homes can still expose their children to dangerous levels of lead dust from the old paint on those walls. However, economically and politically vulnerable black and Hispanic children, many of whom inhabit dilapidated older housing, still suffer disproportionately from the devastating effects of the toxin. This is the meaning of institutional racism in action today. As with the water flowing into homes from the pipes of Flint’s water system, so the walls of its apartment complexes, not to mention those in poor neighborhoods of Detroit, Baltimore, Washington, and virtually every other older urban center in the country, continue to poison children exposed to lead-polluted dust, chips, soil, and air.

Over the course of the past century, tens of millions of children have been poisoned by lead and millions more remain in danger of it today. Add to this the risks these same children face from industrial toxins like mercury, asbestos, and polychlorinated biphenyls (better known as PCBs) and you have an ongoing recipe for a Flint-like disaster but on a national scale.

In truth, the United States has scores of “Flints” awaiting their moments. Think of them as ticking toxic time bombs - just an austerity scheme or some official’s poor decision away from a public health disaster. Given this, it’s remarkable, even in the wake of Flint, how little attention or publicity such threats receive. Not surprisingly, then, there seems to be virtually no political will to ensure that future generations of children will not suffer the same fate as those in Flint.  

The Future of the United States’ Toxic Past

A series of decisions by state and local officials turned Flint’s chronic post-industrial crisis into a total public health disaster. If clueless, corrupt, or heartless government officials get all the blame for this (and blame they do deserve), the larger point will unfortunately be missed - that there are many post-industrial Flints, many other hidden tragedies affecting America’s children that await their moments in the news. Treat Flint as an anomaly and you condemn families nationwide to bear the damage to their children alone, abandoned by a society unwilling to invest in cleaning up a century of industrial pollution, or even to acknowledge the injustice involved.

Flint may be years away from a solution to its current crisis, but in a few cities elsewhere in the country there is at least a modicum of hope when it comes to developing ways to begin to address this country’s poisonous past. In California, for example, 10 cities and counties, including San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Oakland, have successfully sued and won an initial judgment against three lead pigment manufacturers for $1.15 billion. That money will be invested in removing lead paint from the walls of homes in these cities. If this judgment is upheld on appeal, it would be an unprecedented and pathbreaking victory, since it would force a polluting industry to clean up the mess it created and from which it profited.

There have been other partial victories, too. In Herculaneum, Missouri, for instance, where half the children within a mile of the nation’s largest lead smelter suffered lead poisoning, jurors returned a $320 million verdict against Fluor Corporation, one of the world’s largest construction and engineering firms. That verdict is also on appeal, while the company has moved its smelter to Peru where whole new populations are undoubtedly being poisoned.

President Obama hit the nail on the head with his recent comments on Flint, but he also missed the larger point. There he was just a few dozen miles from that city’s damaged water system when he spoke in Detroit, another symbol of corporate abandonment with its own grim toxic legacy. Thousands of homes in the Motor City, the former capital of the auto industry, are still lead paint disaster areas. Perhaps it’s time to widen the canvas when it comes to the poisoning of America’s children and face the terrible human toll caused by “the American century.”

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Tomgram: Rosner and Markowitz, Welcome to the United States of Flint

Tomgram: Rosner and Markowitz, Welcome to the United States of Flint

Posted by David Rosner and Gerald Markowitz at 7:07am, February 9, 2016.Follow TomDispatch on Twitter @TomDispatch. Talk about nightmares: the children of a city, thousands of them, may have been poisoned by lead in its drinking water in a process set off by adults intent on saving a little money, who learned of the dangers and then ignored the warnings of scientists, revealed nothing to the…

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hrc.org
Rick Santorum and Marco Rubio: Two Peas in a Pod | Human Rights Campaign
Rick Santorum and Marco Rubio share a disturbing worldview, where LGBT people are second-class citizens unworthy of the most fundamental rights and basic protections
By Human Rights Campaign

HRC released the following statement upon reports that former Senator Rick Santorum is suspending his campaign for president and endorsing Marco Rubio.

“Rick Santorum and Marco Rubio share a disturbing worldview, where LGBT people are second-class citizens unworthy of the most fundamental rights and basic protections. Not only do they oppose marriage equality, they believe in a world where it’s acceptable for someone to be fired or evicted from their homes because of who we are or whom we love.  That’s fundamentally wrong, and today’s endorsement is only further proof that electing Marco Rubio would be a disaster for LGBT Americans,” said JoDee Winterhof, Senior Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs. “We can’t allow Marco Rubio to revoke, repeal, and overturn the gains made on LGBT equality during President Obama’s two terms in office. ”

Polling done by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for HRC shows that a 55 percent majority of voters are less likely to support a candidate for president who opposes allowing same-sex couples to marry. This majority includes Independents, married women and white millennials. All of these groups voted Republican in the last congressional election. Meanwhile, Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) has reported that a 75 percent majority of Granite Staters support marriage equality. No other state showed stronger support for marriage equality in PRRI’s state-based polling.

On Marriage Equality

Rubio Said He “The Most Important This The Next President Will Do” Is Appoint Justices To The Supreme Court Who Will Disagree With Current Court’s Thinking On Obergefell. In an interview with CBN, Rubio said: “And beyond it, I think one of the biggest things the next President is going to do is appoint justices to the Supreme Court – justices who understand that the Constitution is a living and breathing document. It is a document of limitation and it’s supposed to be interpreted and applied based on its original intent. And there is no way that you can read that Constitution and deduce from it that there is constitutional right to an abortion, or a constitutional right to marry someone of the same sex. And what you have is a Supreme Court that wanted to reach a certain policy outcome and so creatively manipulated the Constitution to discover a right that for over two centuries, some of the most brilliant minds and legal history didn’t find. So you need judges that understand how constitutionally flawed that those two kinds of rulings and others have been and that’s what the most important thing the next President will do is appoint Supreme court Justices that actually will apply the constitution irrespective of their personal feelings about the issue.” [CBN, The Brody File, 12/5/2015; VIDEO]

Santorum Compared Lincoln Passing Anti-Slavery Legislation After Dred Scott Decision To Him Passing Anti-Marriage Equality Legislation After Obergefell Decision. At the Voter’s First Forum in New Hampshire, Santorum said, “‘Justice Roberts said it best, ‘There was no constitutional basis for this decision,‘’ Santorum said. ‘They also said that was the case was for Roe v. Wade. They said it was the same kind of logic used in the Dred Scott case. So whose side are you going to be on? People who decided the Dred Scott case and Justice Taney, or are you going to be on the side of Abraham Lincoln?’….Invoking Lincoln’s first inaugural address, Santorum said Lincoln expressed opposition to the Dred Scott decision during the speech and later ‘went on to pass a bill to free the slaves.’ ‘Are we suggesting that we’re going to be held by a Supreme Court that Abraham Lincoln wasn’t held by when an unjust and unconstitutional decision is handed down?’ Santorum said. ‘In my opinion, we cannot be.’” [Voters First Forum, Manchester, NH; Washington Blade, 8/4/2015; VIDEO]

On Kim Davis

Rubio Said Of Clerk Refusing To Issue Marriage Certificates “While The Clerk’s Office Has Governmental Duty To Carry Out The Law…There Should Be A Way To Protect The Religious Freedom And Conscience Rights Of Individuals Working In The Office.” The New York Times reported: “Senator Marco Rubio of Florida said on Wednesday that the government should respect the beliefs of the Kentucky county clerk who has denied marriage licenses to same-sex couples, arguing that society needs to accommodate public officials who object to carrying out duties they say violate their religious beliefs. ‘We should seek a balance between government’s responsibility to abide by the laws of our republic and allowing people to stand by their religious convictions,’ Mr. Rubio said in a statement to The New York Times, his first public remarks on the case. ‘While the clerk’s office has a governmental duty to carry out the law,’ he added, ‘there should be a way to protect the religious freedom and conscience rights of individuals working in the office.’” [New York Times, 9/2/2015]

Santorum Called Kentucky Clerk’s Actions “Heroic…Putting Her In Jail Is Ridiculous. It Is An Extreme Position.” The Hill reported: “Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) says he stands with Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk jailed for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses. Santorum said that law enforcement officials should respect Rowan County clerk Kim Davis’s religious faith rather than punishing it.  ‘What Kim Davis did, in my opinion, was heroic,’ he told host Chris Cuomo on CNN’s ‘New Day’ that morning. ‘I commend her for standing up for her principles,’ the 2016 GOP presidential candidate added. ‘Putting her in jail is ridiculous.  It is an extreme position.’ […]Santorum argued on Friday that the landmark legal decision violates religious liberty and First Amendment rights. ‘We have a situation in which the Supreme Court acted unconstitutionally,’ he said. ‘Why are we putting someone in jail because they have a religious exception?’” [The Hill, 9/4/2015; CNN, New Day, 9/4/2015; VIDEO]

On Religious Refusal Laws

Rubio Signed A Pledge Vowing To Push For Passage Of The First Amendment Defense Act In His First 100 Days In Office. According to the American Principles Project, Rubio was one of six signers of their pledge to push for the First Amendment Defense Act in the first 100 days of their presidency. “American Principles Project has joined together with Heritage Action for America, the action arm of the Heritage Foundation, and FRC Action, the legislative affiliate of the Family Research Council, to invite each of the candidates running for President to sign the following pledge: ‘If elected, I pledge to push for the passage of the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) and sign it into law during the first 100 days of my term as President.’” [American Principles Project, Accessed 1/7/2016]

Santorum, As President, Would Sign Into Law The First Amendment Defense Act. According to MSNBC: “As president, Santorum said he would in his first 100 days sign into law the First Amendment Defense Act – one of five points laid out by NOM president Brian S. Brown to undermine the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in the gay marriage case, Obergefell v. Hodges. That law, as Brown envisions it, would ‘stop government discrimination against individuals, organizations and businesses that believe marriage is between a man and a woman.’ Santorum also said he would issue executive orders to make sure people were ‘given wide berth to practice their faith.’ ‘I will use the bully pulpit not to do what this president has done – to promote global climate change ideas or trans-fats or whatever else the science of the day is – but to rally the American people around this idea,’ Santorum said of strengthening religious freedom and the nuclear family. ‘That is using power for good.’” [MSNBC, 7/2/2015]

arxiv.org
[1602.01632] Magnetic anisotropy in the frustrated spin chain compound $β$-TeVO$_4$

[ Authors ]
F. Weickert, M. Jaime, N. Harrison, B.L. Scott, A. Leitmäe, I. Heinmaa, R. Stern, O. Janson, H. Berger, H. Rosner, A. A. Tsirlin
[ Abstract ]
Isotropic and anisotropic magnetic behavior of the frustrated spin chain compound $\beta$-TeVO$_4$ is reported. Three magnetic transitions observed in zero magnetic field are tracked in fields applied along different crystallographic directions using magnetization, heat capacity, and magnetostriction measurements. Qualitatively different temperature-field diagrams are obtained below 10 T for the field applied along $a$ or $b$ and along $c$, respectively. In contrast, a nearly isotropic high-field phase emerges above 18 T and persists up to the saturation that occurs around 22.5 T. Upon cooling in low fields, the transitions at $T_{\rm N1}$ and $T_{\rm N2}$ toward the spin-density-wave and stripe phases are of the second order, whereas the transition at $T_{\rm N3}$ toward the helical state is of the first order and entails a lattice component. Our microscopic analysis identifies frustrated $J_1-J_2$ spin chains with a sizable antiferromagnetic interchain coupling in the $bc$ plane and ferromagnetic couplings along the $a$ direction. The competition between these ferromagnetic interchain couplings and the helical order within the chain underlies the incommensurate order along the $a$-direction, as observed experimentally. Although a helical state is triggered by the competition between $J_1$ and $J_2$ within the chain, the plane of the helix is not uniquely defined because of competing magnetic anisotropies. Using high-resolution synchrotron diffraction and $^{125}$Te nuclear magnetic resonance, we also demonstrate that the crystal structure of $\beta$-TeVO$_4$ does not change down to 10 K, and the orbital state of V$^{4+}$ is preserved.

@ Travel Guides and Travel Information:Forget Chocolate: Here's How to Surprise Your Valentine With a Romantic Getaway

Travel Guides and Travel Information - By Kim Fusaro, Glamour

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Photo: Marko MacPherson

Hey, we love a heart-shaped box (#alldayeveryday), but since Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday this year, you have a chance to gift your love something even sweeter: a last-minute getaway. Here are tips from pulling it off, including advice from Cheryl Rosner, CEO of Stayful, where you can book independent boutique hotels for less. (Hint, hint.)

1. Plan NOW. “You need to book right away,” says Cheryl. Try to book everything three weeks ahead (that means, like, today) to save on flights and hotels.

2. Keep Some Element of Surprise. Since work and life tend to get in the way of out-of-the-blue travel, you probably won’t be able to say, “Come away with me–for a few days.” But you can keep the destination a secret, or surprise her with an amazing suite in a mystery locale. (See: No. 3)

3. Choose an Extra-Special Hotel. Cheryl’s partial to independent boutique hotels, for obvious reasons. But there’s no denying the romance and charm you’ll get at a smaller operation, so consider looking outside the chains.

4. Make It a Staycation. You don’t have to leave town to get away. Cheryl suggests booking a night in a different neighborhood; pack an in-room picnic, which is way less expensive (and way more romantic) than a crowded restaurant. Splurge on breakfast in bed instead, which is always worth it, in our book.

More from Glamour:

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30 Sex Tips Every Woman Should Consider by the Time She’s 30

14 Seriously Cute Hairstyles for Curly Hair

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