offical website

Here's a list of every US senator that does — and doesn't — pay interns

You can’t get a job without experience, but you also can’t get the experience without a job.

A group called Pay Our Interns is trying to help end the practice of unpaid internships — starting on Capitol Hill. On Tuesday, the group rolled out a database of paid internships in the U.S. Senate. 

Mic took this list and then followed up with senators’ offices to confirm the accuracy of the database and include senators that pay interns but were left off the original list.

U.S. senators currently accepting applications for paid internships (24 total)

Democrats/Independents  

• Delaware Sen. Tom Carper offers summer interns a stipend but not interns in the spring and fall. The deadline is April 21. 

• Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz's team pays all interns, a spokesman confirmed with Mic via email. Applications are rolling.

• Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono offers travel assistance to some interns that qualify. The deadline is March 31. 

• Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly has two paid legislative internships, the Wayne Townsend and Frank J. Anderson Legislative Programs, which pay a stipend, a spokesman told Mic in an email. The other internships are unpaid. 

• Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren offers small stipends to applicants not receiving college credit for the internship based on need. The deadline is March 15.

• Nebraska Sen. Heidi Heitkamp pays all interns. Applications are considered on a rolling basis. 

• New Mexico Sen. Martin Heinrich pays all interns $12 per hour. The deadline to apply for the summer is March 31.

• New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall’s website says internships are unpaid, but a spokesperson told Mic in an email that interns are either compensated through an outside foundation or a stipend of roughly $10 per hour.

• Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown offers “some limited financial assistance based on need,” which students can request when they submit their applications, according to a spokeswoman.

• Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley offers the Otto and Verdell Rutherford Congressional Internship, a $5,000 stipend for students who couldn’t otherwise afford the opportunity, based on need. The deadline to apply is March 15.

• Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey offers two special paid internships in addition to several other opportunities, which are all unpaid. The deadline is March 15.

• Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders pays all interns $12 per hour. The deadline to apply for the summer is March 17.

• Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine offers stipends to students who do not receive school credit, a spokeswoman confirmed in an email. The deadline is April 14. 

Republicans 

• Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski has an internship program for college students and high-school seniors; both get modest stipends. Deadline is March 16.

• Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake offers two kinds of internships: personal office and judiciary internships. Judiciary interns are paid, a spokesman confirmed to Mic in an email; however, office interns are not.

• Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner’s website lists no compensation information regarding interns, but he has posted a job listing for a paid internship with his re-election campaign. A spokesperson didn’t respond to multiple requests for clarification.

• Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts pays interns a monthly stipend. Applications are due on March 17. 

• Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul offers either a stipend or college credit to interns. The deadline is March 10.

• Maine Sen. Susan Collins pays interns, according to a 2013 report by the Atlantic, but her campaign site does not list details. A spokesperson for her office didn’t respond to multiple requests for confirmation.

• North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven pays all interns a stipend. Applications close on March 15.

• Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe offers stipends to summer interns but not interns in the spring and fall. The deadline is March 15.

• South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott’s summer interns are unpaid, according to an email from a spokeswoman, but fall and spring interns are paid if their school does not offer credit. 

• Utah Sen. Mike Lee pays all interns a stipend, a press officer confirmed with Mic in an email. You can apply on a rolling basis through his website.

• Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso gives each intern a monthly stipend to help with living expenses. The deadline is March 19.

U.S. senators who have already closed applications for paid internships (18 total) 

Democrats 

• Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy offers stipends to some interns, but they are not guaranteed, according to his site.

Republicans 

• Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan pays interns a small stipend, but applications for this summer are closed.

• Arizona Sen. John McCain pays his interns, but applications are now closed. 

• Idaho Sen. Jim Risch pays interns, but the applications for the summer are now closed.

• Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton pays some qualified interns a stipend if they are not receiving academic credit, a spokeswoman confirmed in an email to Mic, but applications for this summer are currently closed.

• Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo pays all interns, but applications for the summer are now closed. 

• Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran pays all full-time interns, but the applications for the summer are now closed. 

• Maine Sen. Angus King pays all full-time interns in his office, a spokesman for his office confirmed in an email.

• Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran offers stipends.

• Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker pays all interns a stipend.

• Missouri Sen. Mitch McConnell pays all interns a stipend.
• Nebraska Sen. Deb Fischer pays fall interns but not summer interns. Applications for summer are now closed. 

• Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse pays all interns a stipend, according to a representative from his office who confirmed this to Mic by email. Applications for summer closed March 1.

• North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr pays a stipend to spring and fall interns but not interns who work during the summer, according to the Atlantic. His press office did not immediately respond to a request for clarification. Applications for the spring are now closed, but applications for the summer are still open.

• South Dakota Sen. Mark Rounds pays all interns a stipend, but applications for the summer are now closed. Applications for fall are due May 1.

• South Dakota Sen. John Thune pays interns a monthly stipend based on available funds, but applications are now closed. 

• Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch pays the summer interns in his D.C. office a “modest stipend,” but interns in his state office are part-time and unpaid.  

• Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi pays interns $1,600 to help cover the costs of living in D.C, but applications closed March 9th.

U.S. senators that do not pay their interns (50 total)

Democrats  

• California Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s interns are unpaid, according to her Senate website. A spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. 

• Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet’s Senate website says that internships are on a “voluntary basis” and that “no stipend is provided.” News reports also indicate the interns are unpaid. His office did not respond to request for comment. 

• Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy’s interns are unpaid, according to his Senate website. A spokeswoman confirmed this was the case in an email to Mic

• Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal’s interns are unpaid, according to his Senate website. A spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to request for comment.

• Delaware Sen. Chris Coons does not compensate interns, according to his Senate website. A spokesperson for his office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.  

• Florida Sen. Bill Nelson’s interns are unpaid, according to his Senate website. A spokesperson confirmed this in an email to Mic

• Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin’s interns are unpaid, according to his Senate website. A spokeswoman confirmed this to Mic in an email.

• Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin’s interns are unpaid, a spokesman confirmed in an email to Mic

• Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey’s interns are unpaid, according to the Atlantic report, former alumni testimonials, and a job listing. A spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to request for comment.

• Michigan Sen. Gary Peters’s interns are unpaid, according to his Senate website. A spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to request for comment. 

• Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s interns are unpaid, according to her Senate website. Her office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. 

• Minnesota Sen. Al Franken’s interns are unpaid, according to his Senate website. A spokesman confirmed this to Mic in an email.

• Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s interns are unpaid, according to her Senate website. A spokesman didn’t immediately respond to request for comment. 

• Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill’s interns are unpaid, according to her Senate website. A spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. 

• Montana Sen. Jon Tester’s interns are unpaid, according to his Senate site. A spokesman didn’t immediately respond to request for comment. 

• New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s interns are unpaid, according to her Senate website. A representative for her office did not respond to request for comment. 

• New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker’s internship website makes no mention of compensation, but a spokesman confirmed the internships are unpaid. 

• New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez’s interns are unpaid, according to his Senate website. A spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

• New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s interns are unpaid, according to her Senate website. A spokesman for her office confirmed this with Mic in an email.

• New York Sen. Chuck Schumer’s interns are unpaid, according to his Senate website. A spokesman didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment.

• Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden’s interns are unpaid, according to the Senate website. A spokesman confirmed this with Mic in an email. 

• Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed’s interns are unpaid according to reports in the Atlantic and the Providence Journalthough his Senate website does not obviously list information about intern compensation. A spokesman for the senator didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment.

• Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s interns are unpaid according to a 2013 Atlantic article. A spokesman for the senator confirmed the Atlantic story is still accurate in an email.

• Virginia Sen. Mark Warner’s interns are unpaid, according to the Atlantic and a recent job listing. His office didn’t immediately respond to request for comment. 

• Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell’s interns are unpaid, according to her Senate website. Representatives for her office didn’t respond to a request for comment. 

• Washington Sen. Patty Murray’s internships are unpaid, according to her Senate website. A spokesman didn’t immediately respond to request for comment. 

• West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin’s interns are unpaid, according to his Senate site. A spokesman didn’t immediately respond to request for comment. 

• Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin’s internships are unpaid, according to the application listed on her Senate website. A spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to request for comment. 

Republicans  

• Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby’s interns are unpaid, according to his Senate website, which cites budget restrictions. A spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to request for comment.

• Arkansas Sen. John Boozman’s interns are unpaid, according to his Senate website. A spokesman didn’t immediately respond to request for comment.

• Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s Senate website lists no compensation for interns, but the Atlantic report and job listings indicate the roles are unpaid. A representative did not respond to request for comment. 

• Georgia Sen. David Perdue’s interns are unpaid, a member of his press office confirmed in a phone call to Mic

• Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson’s interns are unpaid, according to the online application and the Atlantic report. A spokesperson didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment. 

• Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst’s Senate website and application materials make no mention of compensation, neither does a recent press release calling for applications. The media contact listed on the press release didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment. 

• Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley’s interns are unpaid, a spokeswoman confirmed to Mic in an email.

• Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy’s interns are unpaid, according to his campaign website. A spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to request for comment. 

• Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt’s interns are unpaid, according to his Senate website. A spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to request for comment. 

• Montana Sen. Steve Daines’ internship page does not list any compensation, but a listing for the internship describes it as “volunteer” position. A representative for his office didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment. 

• Nevada Sen. Dean Heller’s interns are unpaid, according to his Senate website. A representative didn’t respond to multiple request for comment.  

• North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis’ Senate website doesn’t indicate whether interns are paid or not, but job listings online say they are unpaid. A press representative didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment. 

• Ohio Sen. Rob Portman’s interns are unpaid, a spokesman for his office confirmed over the phone.  

• Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford’s are unpaid according to his website. A spokesman confirmed this in an email to Mic

• Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey’s interns are unpaid, according to her Senate website. A spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to request for comment. 

• South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham’s interns are unpaid, according to his Senate website. A spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to request for comment. 

• Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander’s interns are unpaid, according to his Senate website. A spokesperson confirmed this to Mic in an email.

• Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker’s internship website doesn’t list any information about compensation, but job listings and news reports say the internships are unpaid. A representative for his office didn't respond to multiple requests for comment. 

• Texas Sen. John Cornyn’s Senate website lists no compensation for interns, but job listings indicate the work is unpaid. The Atlantic also reported his interns are unpaid, but his office did not respond to multiple requests by Mic for comment. 

• Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s interns are unpaid, according to his Senate website. A spokesperson didn’t respond to Mic’s request for comment. 

• West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito’s Senate website lists no information about compensation, but job listings indicate the internships are unpaid. A spokesperson didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment. 

• Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson’s Senate website says that interns can receive college credit, but the Atlantic and job listings indicate the role is unpaid. A representative didn’t immediately respond to request for comment. 

A final note: In several cases, a senator’s website listed internships as unpaid, but after following up with their office, Mic learned that they do make funds available to certain interns through scholarships, travel assistance, or outside foundations. Also, many senators’ offices, whether they pay or not, help interns get college credit for their time spent working. If that means you can graduate sooner, or pay for one fewer class in a given semester, you’re technically not working for nothing. But giving interns college credits — without a stipend for living costs — still ignores what’s at the heart of Pay Our Interns’ point. As Vera put it himself, even the best learning experiences can’t pay the bills.

Read our full article which goes into more analysis (3/10/17 2:02 PM)

anonymous asked:

I'm just gonna be honest and say that there are jobs for disabled people. There's work for everyone. We shouldn't pay people to do nothing, that's just a waste of tax dollars and it decreases the desire of people to actually work. If someone is too disabled to move, they can have a job that doesn't require moving, maybe answering phones/designing websites/office job. There's a niche for every single person, and people who claim they shouldn't have to work are just kidding themselves.

So if someone is “too disabled to move,” then they should just get a job that requires them to… fucking move. As if these examples you give are 1. For everyone 2. Available 3. Don’t require transportation 4. Don’t require a degree and/or a specific skill set (seriously web design??) 5. Are will to work with the needs of a worker with disabilities.

Like… lots of people with disabilities DO work. They work because they can, they want to, the need to, they like to, and whatever reason people normally have for working. But some people cannot fucking work, like why is this a big deal for you? As if we don’t have enough resources in this fucking world to assist all people and their needs? 

Hell, my dad alone is an example of someone who cannot work, he lost his vision and shakes extremely bad. So please tell me what’s his niche job that he now gets assigned according to your rules? He can’t drive, he can’t see, he can’t do most things without assistance, he can’t hold his phone or dial the numbers because he shakes so bad, etc. So yeah I’d love to hear what he’s supposed to do in order for him to be acceptable for you. And if he doesn’t have the skill set or knowledge of this example, he can just easily learn it, right? 

Anyways we get it you think that people need to earn money in order to be worthy enough to live because you’re an ableist piece of shit and you sound like a fucking eugenicist to say the least. 

If This is It

Aka a BittyJackDex fic (idfk what else to call them)

For the 14 Days of Love Fic-a-thon hosted by @softkent

Also on AO3


The day after Hazeapalooza, Shitty sat the frogs down and gave them the “Samwell Talk”.

“Because sex is somehow different here,” Dex chirped incredulously.

“No this is the ‘your emotions are valid and this happens to everyone’ talk,”  

Thus, Shitty commenced a long discussion about how typical it was for Frogs, of any sport, to develop crushes on their older teammates.

“We’re having this talk because all of you displayed some major crushin’ behavior last night,” Shitty waggles his eyebrows.

Dex averted his gaze, noticing how Chowder and Nursey were blushing profusely.

“No shame bras, but you should know you have two viable options.” Shitty held up two fingers, motioning to his index finger. “Numero uno, you decide that your feelings—while totally valid—are a phase and let them die out on their own. Numero dos, go talk to that person you have a crush on and hash it out. Not saying you won’t have to get over your feelings anyway. But closure can be nice.”  

“You said this happens to everyone?” Dex questions.

“Chyeah, I had the biggest crush on this guy on my line my Frog year,” Shitty grins with a conspiratory gleam in his eye.  “Sometimes it works out too. Like, the captain from that year is engaged to the goalie before Johnson.”

“What about you Bitty?” Nursey interjects.

Bitty’s face goes crimson, “oh well, I think I liked everyone at one point or another last year. But that was more of me realizing that there were men out there who could return my feelings if I had them. Y’all it’s really ok if your feelings are something you work through on your own. It’s whatever makes you comfortable.”

Dex thinks about how Nursey was drooling over Holster and how Chowder was trying not to make eye contact with Wicks. He knows why he’s involved with this shit. He remembers talking to Jack about his ass. But it doesn’t count. This isn’t some temporary crush for his beefed-up captain. This wasn’t his gay awakening or some shit that Nursey would probably assume of him (like he always does).

He was in hockey because of Jack Zimmermann.

Keep reading

Please fire me. Everyone else in the office got a new computer except for me even though mine crashes and blue screens multiple times daily. The reason: I don’t need a fully functioning computer. My job: social media marketing and website management. 

Come Back Down, Part 7

Come Back Down, Part 7

Chapter One, Chapter Two, Chapter Three, Chapter Four
Chapter Five, Chapter Six

Characters: Jensen x Reader

Rating: PG-13, just for some cussing and injury

Summary: Jensen has an interesting encounter with a fan at a convention. He also gets a text from Aunt Maggie

Tagging: @jotink78, @dancingalone21

It’s a long one, brace yourselves….

It was May 5, two weeks since I’d last spoken to Y/n, and to say I was worried was an incredible understatement. Although filming had finished up the week before, I now found myself at a convention in Atlanta, GA. It was difficult to remember how a few months ago the show was in trouble of being cancelled. Apparently, people’s curiosity over my sex tape had driven them to actually watch the show. The ratings had shot up and I was having mixed feelings about it. There were now people watching the show because they’d seen my ass naked.

Keep reading

West Wing Quote of the Day
  • C.J.: Let me explain something to you. This is sort of my field. The people on these sites? They're the cast of One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest. The muu-muu-wearing Parliament smoker? That's Nurse Ratched. When Nurse Ratched is unhappy, the patients are unhappy. You? You're McMurphy. You swoop in with your card games and fishing trips -
  • Josh: I didn't swoop in, I came in the exact same way everyone else did.
  • C.J.: Well, now I'm telling you to open the wardroom window and climb on out before they give you a pre-frontal lobotomy and I have to smother you with a pillow.
  • Josh: [pause] You're...?
  • C.J.: [nodding] I'm Chief Bromden, yes, at this particular moment. I'm assigning an intern from the press office to that website. They're going to check it every night before they go home. If they discover you've been there I'm going to shove a motherboard so far up your ass - What?
  • Josh: Technically, I outrank you...
  • C.J.: So far up your ass!
  • Josh: Okay.
  • C.J.: Okay.
2

Alistair: I don’t think I can walk anymore.
Alistair: All I had for breakfast was oatmeal, yogurt, um, coffee, orange juice, and toast, two poached eggs, and then half a sandwich during that last darkspawn attack.

Workplace Etiquette

It’s not like Q doesn’t share his work details with his parents, but being the Quartermaster of MI6 comes with certain restrictions when it comes to his work. As far as they are concerned, Q is just a mid-level IT employee in Universal Exports with some people working under him. Fortunately, Q has long learned to find ways to circumvent the issue when he really needs ranting out his work stress.

Endless scrutiny from accounting on his quarterly budget (yes, blown again by sodding 007) can be easily transformed as “internal audit”. This one is easy.

Moneypenny teasing him about the latest 00Q grapevine development - the office secretary who keeps the annoying breakroom gossip running.
Q-branch minions causing explosions (of various scale) in the lab? Junior programmers who can’t write codes properly and leaving a mess to clean up.

Tanner’s stream of emails regarding the upcoming joint operations with MI5 – server migration / hardware upgrades / debugging of the latest software update (not that his parents will understand a word of techno-jargon)

Emergency calls in the middle of a meal from M? His boss has poured coffee all over his laptop again and got the Blue Screen of Death. Better go before he causes actual human causality in the office – then Q is on his merry way to foil another terrorist attack.

Double-Os causing havoc in various locations in the world? Office idiots who browse unsecure websites during office hours and let viruses infecting the company network – yes, sorry, but he has to go to contain the virus now.

And Bond losing or breaking every piece of equipment on the field? The git who never replenishes A4 papers in the printers and somehow manages to break the damn machines whenever he comes close to them.

People who use up the paper and not refilling are most annoying colleagues, really.

Apparent terrorist attack on a christmas market in Berlin: What is known

What happened

On the evening of Monday, December 19, 2016, around 8 p.m. local time, a heavy truck-trailer combination plowed through the christmas market at Breitscheidplatz, Berlin. It came from Kantstraße, went straight ahead into the alley between two rows of stalls, killing 11 people and injuring at least 48, some of them severely, destroying a number of and exited about half way through the market onto Budapester Straße. Emergency services responded quickly, bringing the injured to surrounding hospitals, most of them to Charité, which started its emergency program. Another dead person was found in the passenger’s seat of the truck.

What is known about the driver

The driver ran away from the scene. An eyewittness followed a person who ran away from the scene, keeping contact with the police by his cell phone. Due to this information, the police detained the suspect near Siegessäule, about 2 km away. According to reports, the suspect is allegedly a 23 year-old man from Pakistan, who came to Germany in February 2016, crossing the border from Austria near Passau. It is not finally determined whether this is his real identity. He is known to the police for a number of offenses. He was living in a refugee shelter in a former hangar of the defunct Tempelhof Airport building. Later that night, the police searched that refugee shelter and questioned occupants. Latest news report that the police has serious doubt that the detained suspect is the actual perpetrator. In particular, there is no evidence that he fired shots as any trace of explosives or blood could not be found on the suspect. The person who actually drove the truck through the christmas market may be still at large, may be armed and may still be dangerous.

What is known about the truck

The truck was registered in Poland and belonged to a small Polish business. It came from Italy that day, carrying iron beams. Due to late arrival, unloading was postponed until the next day, so the truck had to be parked off site. The dead person on the passenger’s seat was identified as the cousin of the business owner, who drove the truck from Poland to Berlin that day. It was determined that he died from shots. The truck and the driver were apparently hijacked around 4 p.m. According to GPS data provided by the owner, the truck was repeatedly started and stopped after 4 p.m. and finally left its parking site in Berlin around 4.45 p.m.

How did the officials respond

Emergency service was swiftly on the scene. The nearby Charité hospital activated its emergency plan. Police evacuated and cordoned off the area. People were advised to stay away as far as possible from the area and to keep all access roads clear. Witnesses who have captured the scene on mobile devices are asked to hand in their photos or video material to the Federal Criminal Office, using the website bka-hinweisportal.de. They were asked to refrain from publishing their material on social media.
High officials reacted shocked. The mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller, came to visit the scene soon after. Also the chancellor, the interoir minister and other federal officials released statements of shock, bemoaning the dead, and extending their best wishes to the injured. Oftentimes, the statements warned against premature conclusions.
Security measures at christmas markets throughout the country were increased further. The operators of the Christmas markets in Berlin were asked to keep the markets closed on Tuesday out of respect for the victims.

How did the media respond

Initial reports were purely factual, but soon a terrorist attack was suspected. The police and officials warned to draw premature conclusions, saying that an unfortulate accident could not be excluded. Police statements were quickly published and the public was warned against any inconsiderate response.

Thoughtful commentaries remarked that it was only a matter of time until such acts would happen given that Germany was not in control of immigration at its borders and unable to filter the incoming people for a period of time, whilst the majority of immigrants certainly came without any bad intention. Others referred to the – now seriously doubted – suspect who was still living in an improvised shelter in a defunct airport hangar, pointing out that these circumstances of living for a prolonged time and the failure of Berlin to provide appropriate accomodation may contribute to a radicalization of formerly blameless individuals.

How did the public respond

The general public response was calm and prudent. There was no sign of panic. Populist voices remained a minor opinion, and attacks against minorities have not happened so far. As there was a general warning that christmas markets, being soft targets difficult to defend, may be the target of attacks, the incident was not a big surprise to the Germans. Also the mode of attack using a truck to drive into the middle of a crowded place was already known from a previous incident in Nice, France. Occasional reports of defeated bomb plots had made the public aware of a potential danger, but did not scare them away from the christmas markets. The general feeling is that the Germans refuse to let their Christmas spirit be spoiled by terrorism.

Stop the Bots From Killing Broadway (NYT):

So how is it that you can’t get through to Ticketmaster on the phone or online, and yet resale sites like StubHub or Vivid Seats instantly have tickets available at sky-high prices? Are they luckier than you or your neighbor? Can they dial faster? Is StubHub the lucky Sky Masterson to your hapless Nathan Detroit?

[…]

The investigation confirmed that tens of thousands of tickets to New York events are acquired each year using such software. Brokers who buy tickets using bots substantially mark up the prices — sometimes by more than 1,000 percent — yielding enormous profits.

Incredibly, ticket bots are already illegal under New York law and their use is subject to civil penalties (the attorney general recently announced that large fines were leveled against six brokers). But the markup on resale tickets is so lucrative, earning brokers millions of dollars per year, that they happily risk prosecution and treat civil penalties as the cost of business.

To use another metaphor from “Guys and Dolls”: Big Julie is using loaded dice, and you and I do not have a chance. Tickets are taken out of circulation, punishing people who can’t afford to pay more than face value. The extra money doesn’t provide a better concert or show experience for you, the fan. Instead, it goes straight to the broker’s bottom line.

The problem will persist until we strengthen the existing law and make this recurrent illegal behavior a felony. In late April, Mr. Schneiderman proposed a bill to address rampant illegal use of bots.

In response, the full State Senate unanimously passed a bill making it illegal for ticket brokers to knowingly resell or offer to resell tickets purchased using bots and requiring ticket resale platforms like StubHub to post the price they paid for tickets on their platform so that consumers can easily see the markup price. Most important, since brokers don’t seem dissuaded by fines, the bill creates criminal penalties, including imprisonment, for repeat offenders.

The New York Assembly is discussing these measures for a similar bill sponsored by Marcos Crespo, a Democratic assemblyman from the Bronx. The Assembly should pass the bill and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo can sign it into law.

I want the thousands of tickets for shows, concerts and sporting events that are now purchased by bots and resold at higher prices to go into the general market so that you have a chance to get them. I want theatergoers to be able to purchase tickets at face value at our box office and our website, rather than on a resale platform. And if you do go to a resale platform for tickets, I want the markup you must pay to be clearly displayed.

Most of all, I want you to be there when the curtain goes up. You shouldn’t have to fight robots just to see something you love.

My Son's Name is Jack

Please, please help me. My son’s name is Jack. His name is Jack. He is only five years old. He stands a little over three feet tall and has fair skin and blue eyes and dark curly hair that he likes to hang down in his face. He is smart and he is funny. He loves Captain America and dinosaurs and My Little Ponies. Please think about him; remember him; believe in him. His name is Jack and he is fading away.

It started this summer. He caught a case of ringworm that spread all over him and he wasn’t able to go to day camp with his brother and sister. I don’t know if it is connected, but that is when I noticed that something was going on. When I went to talk to the day camp about withdrawing Jack until the ringworm cleared, they said that it was okay. He was never registered. I thought that it was me being flaky, and let it go. Jack and I would spend the day together while Ava and Evan went to camp.

Ava and Evan are my other two children. Ava is six and Evan is four. Jack… Jack is five. Unlike Jack my other two have blonde hair. Jack is also more introverted and quiet than Ava and Evan.

People often comment on how Ava and Evan look like their dad or each other. They say that Jack looks like me. I think it’s the dark hair. I would have never admitted this to anyone before, but I have always felt closer to Jack than to my other children. Now, I don’t care if that makes me a bad mom. Jack is mine and I can’t lose him. Not my Jack.

When Ava and Evan would come home from camp, they would eat a snack, excitedly tell me about their day and then run off to play together. From the start, Jack seemed excluded. I would see Jack sitting alone, watching his brother and sister and ask why he wasn’t playing with them.

“They forgot me, Mommy.”

I felt nauseated and didn’t know why.

“Sweetheart, they don’t forget you. They just get busy. Do you want me to get out Candyland, and we can all play together?”

“No Mommy. I just want to watch them for a while.” My son looked sad and old. Babies aren’t supposed to look that old.

I went outside to my other two children.

“Hey! Did y'all forget about Jack?” I was kidding.

They both stopped playing on their swing set and looked at me for a moment. It was maybe ten seconds, but I could see in their faces that for that ten seconds, they had no idea what I was talking about.

“Jack, Mommy? Jack is inside.”

And I stopped there. I didn’t push it. I should have.

“Alright my sweetie-pies. We’re going to eat supper in about a half an hour. Y'all are coming in then and I don’t want any fussing.”

“Yes Mommy!” in unison.

I don’t remember seeing the three of them play together since then.

A week later, the ringworm cream wasn’t working and so I tried to make an appointment for Jack to see the doctor to get a prescription. Our doctor’s office has this website where you can just send in a request for an appointment. I had spent an hour inputting us all into the system and setting up passwords a year ago. When I went to request an appointment, Jack’s name was not listed on our page. I sent an email. I even remember the exact wording. I wrote:

“Good morning! I would like to request an appointment with Dr. Harrison for my son, Jack. He has had ringworm for a week and it is not responding to the cream I bought at the pharmacy. When I went to request the appointment in his name, it had been removed. I would also like to request a code key for him, so that I may reenter him into the system. His name is Jack Graves.”

The reply they sent me was:

“Good morning Ms. Helmer. We have processed your request for a new blue card for your son, Evan Graves. You may pick it up at any time. If you would rather, we can also mail it directly to the school, since you have already signed the release.”

I reread their reply and then my original email. Evan needed a new blue card, but I had not submitted a request. I couldn’t make sense of it. I felt a chill on my right arm.

“They forgot me, Mommy.”

I jumped. His hand was the cold spot on my arm. I didn’t even hear him. His hand seemed to have no weight at all.

“What baby?”

“The doctor’s office. They forgot me. Everyone is forgetting me.”

“Sweetie! I’m not forgetting you.” I picked him up and almost sent him over my head. He was lighter. He looked the same, but he wasn’t as heavy. I squeezed him as tight to me as I could. I could tell by the way that he moved, that he was hugging me back just at tightly, but I barely felt any pressure.

“Jack. Sweet boy. You stay with me. I love you. I am not forgetting you. You stay here with me, okay?”

The slight pressure relaxed and he looked at me.

old.

sad.

“You’ll forget me too, Mommy.”

“Never! I promise. You are my boy and I am never going to forget you. And I’ll make everyone else remember too!”

I called my husband and asked him to leave work and come home so that I could talk to him.

He looked worried as he walked in the back door 20 minutes later.

“Devon, something is wrong with Jack. He’s cold and he feels lighter, and as crazy as it sounds, people are forgetting that he’s here. That he exists. They aren’t even responding to me when I talk about him. No one even seems to see him.”

“Heidi, it’s okay. We can work it out. Once both Ava and Evan are in school, you should be able to pick up your hours. But it’s also no rush. We’ll be okay with you easing your way back in. Don’t trigger a panic attack worrying about that job.”

“Devon, what the fuck are you talking about? I am telling you that no one seems to be able to remember our son! There is some crazy shit going on, but it’s not me having another panic attack. Jack. Jack is….disappearing. He seems to be losing substance. No one remembers him. You have to help him. Help me!” A cold draft on my leg and a small voice.

“Daddy forgot me, Mommy. He doesn’t even hear what you are saying. He thinks you are talking about something else. You are the only one who knows me now.”

I looked down, at my small, beautiful son. He seemed almost translucent. I noticed the rug underneath him. I had bought it with my first paycheck. I started to worry. How was I ever going to get back into the swing of things at work full time? Part time was overwhelming as it was. Was I cheating my children by picking up hours? They are only four and six once…

And there he was. Jack! My sweet boy. I had forgotten. That quick. He was gone because I had forgotten. I don’t know how I remembered, but it brought him back.

I sat on the floor and pulled him into my lap. I wrapped my arms around him and felt them go almost through.

No, he’s my son. He’s my Jack.

Devon thought I was going to throw up and brought me an anti-emetic. He sat with me on the floor while I cried and apologized to Jack.

“Devon, just say his name for me. Say Jack”

“It will be okay. I love you, too. We’ll get through this.”

Jack just sat cradled in my arms with his head on my chest.

“I’m tired, Mommy.”

“I’m sorry baby, please hang on.”

“You forgot me for a minute.”

“I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry. I won’t forget you again. I promise. Never. Never ever. Mommy loves her Jackie.”

“It’s okay, Mommy. And it will be okay when you forget.”

I just sat there and cried. I won’t forget. It won’t be okay.

This has gone on for weeks now. Everyone interacts with me like I am not screaming “Look at Jack! He’s right here! Believe in him!”

So now, I am alone in my room with Jack. He sits in my lap dozing as I type this. I don’t know what else to do. None of my friends, family, or casual acquaintances remember Jack. I can’t even get them to hear his name.

So here I am.

On the internet.

This is the only place on Earth that I think may be able to understand what is going on. The only place that will comprehend what I am writing and believe. Because I need you to believe.

Please.

Please.

I know I sound like some stupid speech from Peter Pan, I don’t care. Please believe in my boy Jack. I have a son named Jack. Please think about my boy, Jack. Picture him with his dark curls and serious face. Please. Help him. Help me. I need Jack. He is my little fella and I love him. Mommy loves you Jack. Mommy loves you. I won’t forget you Jack. I won’t forget you Jack. I won’t forget you. I won’t forget. I won’t forget. I won’t forget. I won’t.

My son is Jack.

Jack.

Please, Jack.

Jack.