reform now

2

The Trump administration has pulled funding from a group that fights white extremism

  • Fighting right-wing extremism takes work — resources, research, experienced counselors who can speak to those entrenched in hate-based communities, and a network that can help those trying to escape.
  • The Department of Justice stopped funding Life After Hate on Friday, quietly taking the group off the list of organizations that receive grants for fighting violent extremism. 
  • The Obama administration had promised $400,000 to the group, which provides a pipeline for those who want to escape violent white supremacist and reform their lives. 
  • Now, that money is off the table for the only group on the list that worked to stem the tide of white supremacist violence. Read more (6/23/17)
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The Fall of Sunset Shimmer + Lullaby for a Princess

A quick juxtaposition. Because reasons.

SFW roll: Nat 1 "She's not entirely blind"

Hey There! Same poster from “The Dragon is a very precise creature.” I thought this would be funny enough to put on this blog, but it has a bit of nsfw language involved so warning a bit!

Context: Homebrew campaign and as of now they have gotten a bit deeper into the kingdom of Brightwood, the only kingdom of the game’s main plot. The Redbrands are a group of now reformed and underground rebel army. There is a dragonborn entering the library to find something on a map and need to go through the librarian first.

Me(DM): As you enter the library, you notice it lit with lanterns and candles near every bend, vines and flowers all over the walls.

Dragonborn: “Alright then, pardon me m'am? Can you tell me where the librarian is?”

Me(as the librarian): “Yes, I am her, I am Ms. Soundinghorn.”

Me(ooc): As you talk to her, you notice she is blind, but infact her eyes glow a faint gold. This is a special magic exclusive to her, “Life Sense,” Pretty much she can sense life in a 120 ft. radius, she can tell what it’s shaped like, any details. Pretty much think daredevil.

Dragonborn(ooc): So she could tell if I pull out my-

Me: Yes.

Dragonborn(ooc): Can I? *does it anyways*

Me: She calls it small and to put it away before she calls the town army. Btw, you’re a hero and you’re doing something illegal. Take 5 damage for burn damage.

(After that I sent time backwards so he could try again.)

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Twitter comment: (July 28, 2017)

Amazing. Also clear now that McCain’s yes on motion to proceed is what killed the bill.

Embedded image text from reddit:

I’m not sure if it’s really being appreciated just how comprehensively the Republicans were just fucked over.

See, the Republicans have been trying to pass these godawful healthcare bills through a process called budget reconciliation, which, among other things, protects the bill from being filibustered in the Senate and only requires a simple majority of 50 votes (rather than 60, which the Republicans don’t have).

The thing is, the Senate can only consider one budget reconciliation bill per topic per year. Of course, if the bill dies in committee and never comes to an official vote, it doesn’t count- which is why they’ve been able to keep hammering away at the issue.

This bill, though, was allowed to come to the Senate floor, because the Republicans thought they’d secured the votes. Collins, Murkowski and the Democrats would vote no, everyone else would vote yes, and Pence would break the tie. And then McCain completely fucked them. And it was almost certainly a calculated move; he voted to allow the bill to come to the floor. Had McCain allowed it to die in committee, McConnell could have come back with yet another repeal bill; but he let it come to a vote, and now they can’t consider another budget reconciliation bill for the rest of the fiscal year. The Senate needs 60 votes to pass any kind of healthcare reform now.

So now they’re caught between a rock and a hard place. Either they concede defeat on the issue and try again later (causing a big, unpopular stink that could damage elections if they try it before the midterms, or risking losing the slim majority they already have if they wait) or they actually sit down with the democrats like adults and write a halfway decent healthcare bill.

This is amazing.

Another day.
Another shooting.
Another day I watch the news through tears.

The idea that people can’t go about their daily lives… Prepare for a charity event at a YMCA… Without the fear of being gunned down makes me feel hopeless. It’s wrong.
It’s not my idea of America.

Those people didn’t deserve to be shot.
The shooter was wrong and I’m hoping his will be the only life lost in this event.

The big debate now is how to keep our lawmakers safe… Something they deserve.

The talk today has been increased security. But this is not the answer (or the whole answer).

I pray to my God today that we can do what needs to be done. That we can get assault weapons off the street. That we can ban high capacity magazines. That we can increase background checks. That we can get the gun reform we need.

The House was supposed to debate legislation today that would ease restrictions on things like gun silencers and armor piercing bullets.
That was obviously cancelled. I hope it is never revisited.

Some might say it would be selfish and hypocritical of republicans who oppose gun reform to support it now that the gun was aimed at them.
I say it doesn’t matter.

We all stray at times. We all come around to the right thing in different ways.

If we can support gun reform now I will not chastise those who join the cause because of this disgusting event. I will rejoice that we can move forward together, supportive of one another in our drive to protect Americans from this kind of fear. From living oppressed by the devastation gun violence has brought to us. It lays, like a thick blanket, across our nation.

Let us cast it off together.

Whovian Feminism Reviews “World Enough and Time”

“World Enough and Time” is an episode of Doctor Who that is very self-aware – of its own history, of its own tropes and cliches, and of the community that follows this show so passionately. This results in some truly delightful fan-service that lightens what might otherwise be an unbearably grim and horrifying episode. But that self-awareness falters when it comes to the treatment of Bill Potts and her fans, who were handed a brutal episode that came right to the edge of fridging the first lesbian companion and second black woman companion. With one episode left in the season, there’s still time to pull out a happy ending for Bill. But I’m not sure it will make up for everything Bill and her fans will have been through to get her there.

Even though the end of this episode left me feeling conflicted, I sure as hell enjoyed the ride. Steven Moffat has always been good at creating stories that creatively play with time travel, and parking a massive spaceship right next to a black hole is such a fun way to mess with time. Director Rachel Talalay perfectly paces the transition between the two time zones, creating a story that flows from one timeline to the next instead of giving us narrative whiplash. But what she’ll probably be most remembered for in this episode is making the Mondassian Cybermen truly, bone-chillingly scary. There was always something eerie about their sing-song voices and cold logic. But Talalay brings the body horror to the forefront of their genesis, emphasizing their unceasing pain and letting the audience’s unease build steadily until it’s almost unbearable by the time Bill is converted.

But while the Mondassian Cybermen loom over this episode, this story is firmly about the Doctor and the Master’s friendship and enmity. The Doctor’s test isn’t just an opportunity for Missy to escape her prison in the Vault. It’s the culmination of nearly fifty years of conflict between these two characters. At one point or another, each has believed that the other can be convinced to see the universe as they do. Now the Doctor gets to see if he’s right and if Missy can really be reformed. 

Missy is going along with the Doctor … sort of. She’s not actively trying to burn everything down, but she’s definitely going to do things her own way. And if she’s going to endure this exercise, she’s going to poke fun at the mythos the Doctor has created for himself. She calls the companions the “disposables” and names them “Exposition” and “Comic Relief,” which can be read both as a commentary on the Doctor and a meta commentary on the show itself. There’s even a long bit about whether he’s called “The Doctor” or “Doctor Who,” a reference to the insufferably long-running argument in fan circles about how to refer to the character. (The answer is that both are fine; Missy cheekily tells us to “check our screens,” reminding us that in the Classic series, the character was named “Dr. Who” in the credits!) 

In contrast, John Simm stands out as the quintessential Master. His portrayal here is a more toned-down version of the Master from the Russell T. Davies years, and he’s leaned hard into the Classic Master tropes. He’s got the beard and the high-collared black jacket. He spends most of this episode disguised in a rubber mask. He even calls Bill “my dear.” Get some hypnosis and the TCE in the next episode and he’ll have checked off all the boxes. I should’ve figured out who he was much earlier in the episode, but John Simm’s acting and prosthetics were so good that I have to admit I didn’t figure out that Razor was the Master until the moment that he snuck in on Missy (and there was definitely a lot of impressed swearing once I finally realized what had happened).

As wonderful as he is, Simm isn’t just there to provide fan-service. He’s also there to encourage Missy’s worst impulses. He’s the devil on her shoulder, their mutual Id – almost like their Valeyard, if you’ll accept the analogy. He reminds her of all the distrust and anger and betrayal they’ve built up against the Doctor. And if the trailer for the next episode is any hint, it looks like he’ll be encouraging her more violent impulses. The Doctor wanted to test Missy to see if she was genuinely reforming herself, but now that test will happen while her previous regeneration is deliberately driving a wedge between her and the Doctor.

And Bill is just another body caught in the crossfire.

Before I dig into Bill’s conversion, I want to start off with one caveat. This is only the first part of a two-part story. I don’t know what ultimately will happen to Bill, and whether or not the next episode will cast this one in a different light. However, I think it is still valid to examine and critique this episode based on the information we have so far. This episode wanted to leave us with feelings of shock and horror for a week, so it’s valid to examine those feelings and the communities they impact the hardest. And regardless of Bill’s ultimate fate in the next episode, it is valid to examine whether the events that took place in this episode were problematic.

I would argue that they were. Although Bill isn’t dead, this episode goes right to the edge of fridging her. She has practically no agency in this episode, and everything that happens to her is in service to someone else’s story. She is shot and converted into a Cyberman to further the conflict between the Doctor and the Master. Everything that happens to her is done so we can explore the Doctor’s feelings – his guilt and pain over pressuring Bill into this situation, his conflict over giving the Master yet another chance, his struggle to forgive Missy after what her previous regeneration has done. This isn’t about Bill, her choices, or her story. Hell, she didn’t even want to be on that ship. Arguing about whether or not we can count what happens to her as fridging because she isn’t actually dead feels a bit like a technicality. She is still violent, graphically harmed for her male protagonist’s story.

It doesn’t help that “World Enough And Time” has some uncomfortable parallels with the Series 8 finale “Death in Heaven,” where another black companion, Danny Pink, is also converted into a Cyberman. Danny was another casualty in the conflict between the Doctor and the Master. And his death and conversion weren’t really about him or his story either. It was about the Doctor’s discomfort with soldiers, and it was about Clara’s guilt over having treated him poorly. Danny does reclaim some of his agency in the end, so perhaps there is still some hope for Bill. But this is now the second time that a black companion has been converted into a Cybeman to further the conflict between the Doctor and the Master. 

It’s also worth noting the level of graphic violence involved with Bill’s near-death and conversion. Plenty of companions have died or had horrible things done to them. Moffat is particularly fond of making monsters out of his companions; Rory became an Auton, a Clara echo is converted into a Dalek. But seeing a horrible burnt hole through Bill’s chest and her slow, piecemeal conversion into a Cyberman is truly on another level. I had to think back to some of the things that the Sixth Doctor’s companion Peri suffered through to find any examples that gave me the same visceral reaction – and those are moments you really don’t want to be compared with.

This is a drama and science fiction show, and there’s always been a certain level of risk when companions travel with the Doctor. We were meant to be horrified by what happened to Bill. But the people who were always going to feel this moment the hardest were the most marginalized and underrepresented in this fandom – queer women and women of color. Women of color have had so few non-white companions on Doctor Who to identify with, so obviously this moment would be felt particularly hard. And this would also be especially hard for queer women, who have faced a recent surge in violent deaths of queer characters, largely to further the stories of white, cis, straight protagonists.

The great irony, of course, is that this episode spends a great deal of time cheerfully showing off how self-aware of fandom it is. There’s fan-service galore in this story … just not for the fans who were invested in Bill’s character. And our standards were already set so low. I would’ve been happy if she came out at the end of this season alive and whole. I would’ve given bonus points if she was happy and with a girlfriend.

I don’t think Bill was shot or converted because of any particular animus or prejudice against her character. There was a story that they wanted to tell between the Doctor and the Master, and what happened to Bill was necessary to further that story. I think it just shows the carelessness with which her character was handled. It’s all well and good to represent a black lesbian woman on TV, but that comes with a certain amount of responsibility. And even if this is all magically undone by the end of the next episode, nothing will erase how Bill’s pain and suffering was used to further the conflict between the Doctor and the Master. And nothing will erase the sight of Bill with a hole through her chest or crying in pain beneath the Cyberman mask from the memories of women of color and queer fans.

“Alison’s not like that anymore, she’s changed!”

Yeah, but you were all shipping her with Emily way before she did. Emis*n didn’t happen because Alison changed, Alison was changed to make emis*n happen. Stop acting like anyone who hasn’t jumped on the bandwagon is just being cruel and unforgiving.

  • Percy: I hereby announce you, Jason Grace, trusted bro, the president of the newly re-formed "Nico di Angelo protection squad".
  • Jason: It's an honour
  • Nico: ... wtf

Muslims who are Islam reformers have now set the standard for what I expect of muslims. I expect them to integrate, I expect them to be honest about the violence in the holy books, I expect them to just be truthful and say that they choose to not follow that sect of Islam, or that ‘interpretation’. I expect them to call the police on the extremists in their communities (which many have started to do). I expect them to reject mosques, schools and Imams who preach fundamentalist versions of Islam.

Bullshitting about the violence that Islam teaches instead of trying to reform and replace it with peace is not good enough. 

I am literally fine with you saying “Yes this passage is horrible, so I’m going to acknowledge it, but not follow or agree with it.” I don’t care if its cherry picking or hypocrisy. Its the right thing to do.

Other religions have done it. Now its your turn.

Alright here it is. I saw Batman and Harley Quinn. I’m going to post spoiler-free notes above the cut and spoiler-full notes under the cut. 

First of all I want to say that I actually loved it. Like a lot. Like a lot a lot. It’s pretty close to the BTAS Harley we all know and love. Now, this does not mean it’s without it’s faults. But honestly? It is not as bad as everyone thought it was going to be. Maybe I only feel this way because I went into it with such low expectations, but whatever it is, it is honestly not that bad. Yes, Harley is sexualized a bit. There are a few gratuitous panty shots. But all of the gross stuff is in the first 15-20 minutes of the movie and does not make another appearance. This is all I can really tell you without spoilers. All and all, a good Harley movie in my opinion and worth seeing for Harley fans. 

In summary, gross for like 20 minutes and then actually a really good movie.

THOUGHTS CONTAINING SPOILERS STARTING HERE

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Rescue •P4•

Avengers x Reader

Masterlist | Rescue Masterlist | Part Three

Summary: reader is getting a tour of her new job at the Avengers tower, but happens to be the only one who notices an oncoming jet, about to crash into the building.

Word count: 1305

Warnings: there is nothing in this part but angst

A/N: hoooo boy. Are you guys ready? I don’t think you’re ready for what’s about to go down. I have no regrets. I had so much fun writing this. Enjoy 💛

“Viruses.” a sly voice speaks. There’s an accent. It sounds…French. Or…no. It’s German. “Such pesky things. Ah. But you know plenty about viruses, don’t you, 108?” I gasp at a clench in my stomach. “Oh, dear, don’t worry. I’m only helping you.” the voice hums a laugh. My arms are on fire. Shots of pain course through my skin. I scream, jolting out of my rest position. But I’m yanked back. My body is restricted. I try to pull my eyes open. I can’t.

“Oh my. I didn’t realize just how much they mucked up your mind, dear. But now I see. Such marvellous work.” I feel a piercing in my ankles, but it’s internal. I yell out in pain. “Don’t worry. You’ll be in tip-top shape. Soon. Very soon. The Reform has you now.”

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Sinning Jenny’s time is up, a new Mayor will be chosen! This week, we announce the three candidates who think they can do a better job. Whom will you support?

The Dauntless Temperance Campaigner is a fixture among London’s social reformers. It seems she now has her sights on London! She bears the slogan: “Teatime for London.”

All manner of temperance campaigners flock to her emerald banners. Reformed poets, well-meaning members of Society and deacons and deaconesses of the Church walk in procession through the streets. 

“What I want, dearie, is for London to pull its socks up. For everybody!” She smiles and gives you a firm handshake.

The week will end with an announcement regarding the full details of the festival, which will begin Monday the 26th of June and run for two weeks.

washingtonpost.com
DeVos praises this voucher-like program. Here’s what it means for school reform.
Trump administration touts Florida’s tax-credit scholarships, despite little evidence of benefits.

The voucherlike program, the largest of its kind in the country, helps pay tuition for nearly 100,000 students from low-income families.

But there is scant evidence that these students fare better academically than their peers in public schools. And there is a perennial debate about whether the state should support private schools that are mostly religious, do not require teachers to hold credentials and are not required to meet minimal performance standards. Florida private schools must administer one of several standardized tests to scholarship recipients, but there are no consequences for consistently poor results.

“After the students leave us, the public loses any sense of accountability or scrutiny of the outcomes,” said Alberto Carvalho, the superintendent of Miami-Dade County public schools. He wonders what happens to the 25,000 students from the county who receive the scholarships. “It’s very difficult to gauge whether they’re hitting the mark.”

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, a longtime advocate for school choice, does not seem to be bothered by that complaint.

Using tax credits to fund the scholarships, instead of direct payments from public treasuries, enabled lawmakers to work around state bans on the use of public funds to support religious institutions. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that tax-credit programs are constitutional.

BNHA

I’m ready. I’m fucking ready of Katsuki’s character development. I’m ready for the moment something so horrible happens to him, that it leaves him completely devastated and vulnerable and he realizes that no, he’s not invincible, and yes, he needs help, because karma better be a bitch. I’m ready for the moment he and Izuku join forces and fight together out of their own volition and come out triumphant. I’m just ready for Katsuki to get his shit together and grow the fuck up.

Married to a Monster - six

Originally posted by achenlove

Paring: kaiXreader, minseokXreader

Word Count: 2.2k

Summary: You are forced into a marriage with your once love/childhood best friend. Although, you don’t love him anymore and are disgusted with having to marry him. After driving yourself to suicide twice, you know you can’t ever fix things with him but even though, you push forward for the happiness of your parents who are still grieving the loss of your older sister.

Notes: This series will contain talk of suicide, self-harm, abuse, death and possibly more. This series will also have smut, but chapters will be rated [m] accordingly.


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