risk education

Exploitation is not Freedom

By Sandra B. Latham

Freedom is a word that is used so often, and yet so rarely understood. 

The most toxic of these misrepresentations are those which conflate freedom and liberty, the greatest of all values, with the perpetuation of exploitation and injustice. One of the most pernicious elements of this so-called freedom is the relationship between employers and employees. 

To pay your employees what you wish, to treat them as you wish. To produce what you will, in whatever way you will, using the means and materials you prefer. To sell at whatever price you wish, to interact with the market as you please, to yield the greatest profit. These are the sorts of things that the “right” sets up as “freedoms.” And yet I never see the same attention given by those same “freedom-loving Americans” as the freedom to unionize, to strike and picket, and to make decisions within the workplace. 

If the worker owns themselves and their own labor, surely they have the freedom to bargain with it; it is their own property after all.

I see two justifications for this: the freedom of association between employer and employee, and inequitable compensation for risk.

Regarding the freedom of association between employer and employee, this is another area in which “freedom” has a very deliberately obscured meaning. Because employees have a right to quit, the freedom to leave, they’re not slaves. The conclusion, then, is that the employer and employee have a relationship of free association.

These are ridiculous notions. In reality, those with capital and the capacity to offer employment have far more power than the individual employee. At the same time, individual wealth is distributed in such a way that the vast majority of people are reliant upon employment for survival. The individual employee has no right to a job – after all, that would be an “infringement on the employer’s freedom.” But the employee must always eat, must always have shelter, will at one time or another need health care. You would never allege that, were you to rob a man at gunpoint, that it was a free exchange because he had the “free choice” to keep his wallet and be shot or to give it up and be safe. And yet, when it comes to basic human survival, capitalism paints just such a picture. 

Thus, “freedom of association” is only freedom when every citizen is guaranteed the right to shelter and food, either through resource distribution, universal basic income, robust social programs, regulations ensuring a living wage, or any of many other possible solutions.

If survival is not independent of work, then the working relationship cannot be considered truly free. And if the working relationship is not free, then it is exploitation.

And yet, most freedom-loving libertarians would balk at these solutions, as they so often revile regulations, price caps, minimum wages, laws against retaliation, and other legal protections. If you believe that the employer-employee relationship is a truly free association, then such outside interference is an immoral infringement on those freedoms. But as discussed, this is incongruent with the ever-present human need for the means of survival.

This is a separate rabbit hole I would like to examine in more depth in the future, but suffice to say at this point that I consider every living person entitled to the means of survival.

For those who acknowledge the imbalance of power between employers and employees, this is primarily excused by framing the greater power on the employer side as compensation for risk. To a limited extent, many people will agree the trade-off is fair: A guaranteed monthly salary, secure and consistent, can absolutely be less monetarily valuable than a risky business venture, which may result in nothing or may result in a large profit. An entrepreneur who uses an equity loan to start a small business has a lot more at stake than an employee of theirs, and it’s only fair that they reap a reward for the risk.

Most Americans accept some amount of wealth inequality as acceptable or even ideal, but as it stands the current level of inequality is staggering, far beyond what is warranted as compensation for different degrees of risk, hard work, and education. So while this argument has at least basis in sound logic, in practice we allege that the wealthiest Americans deserve to exploit workers and take literally all of the wealth for themselves. It’s not possible for me to believe that somebody at the top – even executives with schedules that leave no time to sleep and demanding responsibilities – can possibly contribute tens of thousands of times as much as a person on the ground running machines, taking orders, and cleaning toilets. 

Furthermore, in addition to the wealth imbalance, there is a massive imbalance in authority that is socially ingrained but not economically necessary or socially positive. The ability to manage another person’s time and behavior, ultimately to play king within a set domain based on assets, is portrayed as a “freedom” when it serves no positive purpose in society except to use authority as a form of psychological compensation.

As a worker, I have zero interest in upholding the Freedom to Starve – whether it’s my supposed freedom to starve by walking away from exploitation or employers’ freedom to starve their employees.

Edited by: @theliberaltony

You can find Sarah B. Lathum on Tumblr here

A seminal study published in the Journal of Economic Perspectives on wealth accumulation estimates that as much as 20 percent of wealth can be attributed to formal and informal gifts from family members, especially parents. And it starts early. In college, black and Hispanic Millennials are more likely to have to work one or two jobs to get through, missing out on opportunities to connect with classmates who have time to tinker around in dorm rooms and go on to found multibillion-dollar companies together. Many of them take on higher levels of student debt than their white peers, often to pay for routine expenses, such as textbooks, that their parents are less likely to subsidize.

“Student debt is the biggest millstone around Millennials, period, and an even larger and heavier one around the necks of black Millennials,” said Tom Shapiro, the director of the Institute on Assets and Social Policy. “It really hits those doing the right thing. [They’re] going through all the hoops.” He explained that, unlike in previous decades when college tuition was drastically lower, the risks of educational costs are now passed down to the individual.

https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/11/gifts-debts-inheritances/417423/?utm_source=atlfb

hi don’t risk your education which you pay thousands for a year for Taylor Swift do your work hand it in on time and graduate with honours she would much rather hear stories about how you aced university than stories about how you failed it (and failed it because of her)

Especially seeing how young people are exploited under capitalism due to their obedience and vulnerability, no one can justify it. Children and teenagers should be having fun and getting an education, not risking their lives in horrific working conditions.

The only way capitalism justifies all of this is through the same social darwinian outlook fascists use.

I watch a lot of documentaries. I think they are incredible tools for learning and increasing our awareness of important issues. The power of an interesting documentary is that it can open our minds to new possibilities and deepen our understanding of the world.

On this list of mind expanding documentaries you will find different viewpoints, controversial opinions and even contradictory ideas. Critical thinking is recommended. I’m not a big fan of conspiracy documentaries but I do like films that challenge consensus reality and provoke us to question the everyday ideas, opinions and practices we usually take for granted.

Watching documentaries is one of my favorite methods of self-education. If I find a documentary inspiring, I usually spend more time researching the different ideas and interesting people interviewed in the film. I hope you find these documentaries as enlightening as I did!

[1] Life In The Biosphere

Explore the wonder and interconnectedness of the biosphere through the magic of technology.

Home
How Many People Can Live on Planet Earth
The Magical Forest
Ants: Nature’s Secret Power
Mt. Everest: How It Was Made
Mariana’s Trench: The Deepest Spot On Earth
Natural World: The Andes
Shining Mountains: The Rockies
Grand Canyon: How It Was Made
The Intelligence of Plants

[2] Creativity and Design:Advertisements

Learn about all the amazing things that people create with their imaginations.

Everything Is A Remix
The Creative Brain: How Insight Works
Design: The New Business
PressPausePlay: Art and Creativity in the Digital Age
Infamy: A Graffiti Documentary
Influencers: How Trends and Creativity Become Contagious
RIP: A Remix Manifesto
Design: e² – Sustainable Architecture
The Genius Of Design

[3] The Education Industrial Complex:

The modern school where young minds are moulded into standardized citizens by the state.

The College Conspiracy
Declining by Degrees: Higher Education at Risk
The Forbidden Education
Default: The Student Loan Documentary
College Inc.
Education For A Sustainable Future
Networked Society: The Future of Learning
The Ultimate History Lesson With John Taylor Gatto
The Education System in Communist China
The War On Kids

[4] The Digital Revolution:

The Internet is now the driving force behind change and innovation in the world.

The Age of Big Data
Resonance: Beings of Frequency
Life In A Day
Networked Society: On The Brink
Us Now: Social Media and Mass Collaboration
WikiRebels: The WikiLeaks Story
The Virtual Revolution: The Cost of Free
How Hackers Changed the World

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[5] A New Civilization:

We are at the dawn of a new golden age of human inventiveness.

THRIVE: What On Earth Will It Take?
Zeitgeist III: Moving Forward
Paradise or Oblivion
2012: Time For Change
The Crisis of Civilization
The Collective Evolution II
The Quickening: Awakening As One
2012 Crossing Over: A New Beginning
Collapse
The Awakening

[6] Politics:

Explore the politics of power and control and how it affects your life.

Owned and Operated
UnGrip
The Power Principle
The True Story of Che Guevara
Earth Days
Capitalism Is The Crisis
WikiLeaks: The Secret Life of a Superpower
The Putin System
The War On Democracy
Rise Like Lions: Occupy Wall Street and the Seeds of Revolution

[7] Biographies of Genius:

The biographies of modern geniuses who pushed humanity forward.

Isaac Newton: The Last Magician
The Unlimited Energy of Nikola Tesla
The Missing Secrets Of Nikola Tesla
Richard Feynman: No Ordinary Genius
How Albert Einstein’s Brain Worked
The Extraordinary Genius of Albert Einstein
Leonardo Da Vinci: The Man Who Wanted to Know Everything

[8] War:

War is history’s oldest racket for stealing from the powerless and redistributing resources to the powerful.

Psywar: The Real Battlefield Is Your Mind
The Secret History of 9/11
Robot Armies in the Future
The Never Ending War in Afghanistan
Shadow Company: Mercenaries In The Modern World
Why We Fight
The Fog Of War
The Oil Factor: Behind The War On Terror

[9] Economics:

Learn about the financial system works and how people and societies are enslaved through debt.

The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power
Overdose: The Next Financial Crisis
The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of The World
The One Percent
Quants: The Alchemists of Wall Street
The Last Days Of Lehman Brothers
The Four Horsemen
Inside Job: The Biggest Robbery In Human History
Capitalism A Love Story
Money and Life

[10] Digital Entrepreneurship:

Profiles of the entrepreneurs who used technology to change the world.

The Life Of A Young Entrepreneur
Profile: Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin
Profile: Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg
Starting-Up in America
Steve Jobs: One Last Thing
Steve Jobs: The Billion Dollar Hippy
Elon Musk: Risk Takers
The Story of Twitter

[11] Sports:

Watch the inspiring stories of amazing athletes.

Fearless: The Jeb Corliss Story
Carts of Darkness
Usain Bolt: The World’s Fastest Man
Wayne Gretzky: The Life and Times
Mike Tyson: Beyond the Glory
Birdmen
The Legacy Of Michael Jordan
We Ride: The Story of Snowboarding

[12] Technology:

Find out more about the impact of exponential growth and the approaching Singularity.

Ray Kurzweil: The Transcendent Man
How Robots Will Change the World
Human 2.0
Trance-Formation: The Future of Humanity
The Venus Project: Future By Design
Bionics, Transhumanism And The End Of Evolution
The Singularity Is Near
Car Technology Of The Future

[13] Origins of Religion:

Explore the original religious experience of mankind at the dawn of civilization.

Entheogen: Awakening the Divine Within
Manifesting the Mind: Footprints of the Shaman
Ancient Egypt and The Alternative Story of Mankind’s Origins
The Hidden Knowledge of the Supernatural
Re-Awaken: Open Your Heart, Expand Your Mind
Shamans of the Amazon
The Root of All Evil: The God Delusion
Ancient Knowledge
The Naked Truth
Before Babel: In Search of the First Language

[14] Western Religion:

The fascinating history of the three Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Secret Quest: The Path of the Christian Gnostics
The Secret Gate of Eden
Forbidden Knowledge: Lost Secrets of the Bible
Banned From The Bible: Secrets Of The Apostles
The Road To Armageddon
Muhammad: The Legacy of a Prophet
A Complete History of God
Gnosis: The Untold History of the Bible

[15] Eastern Religion:

Expand your mind by also studying the entirely different religious worldviews of the East.

Inner Worlds, Outer Worlds
The Life Of The Buddha
The Seven Wonders of the Buddhist World
Mysteries of the Cosmic OM: Ancient Vedic Science
Where Science and Buddhism Meet
The Yogis of Tibet
Taj Mahal: Secrets To Blow Your Mind
Light at the Edge of the World: Tibetan Science of the Mind
Myths of Mankind: The Mahabharata
Ayurveda: The Art of Being

[16] Consciousness:

Learn about the basic unity of existence and the miracle of consciousness.

Athene’s Theory of Everything
Theory of Everything: GOD, Devils, Dimensions, Dragons & The Illusion of Reality
The God Within: Physics, Cosmology and Consciousness
5 Gateways: The Five Key Expansions of Consciousness
Return to the Source: Philosophy and The Matrix
The Holographic Universe
DMT: The Spirit Molecule
Kymatica
Neuroplasticity: The Brain That Changes Itself

[17] Mysteries:

Indiana Jones-style explorations into the unsolved mysteries of the past.

Alchemy: Sacred Secrets Revealed
The Day Before Disclosure
The Pyramid Code
The Secret Design of the Egyptian Pyramids
Decoding the Past: Secrets of the Dollar Bill
Origins of the Da Vinci Code
Forbidden Knowledge: Ancient Medical Secrets
Secret Mysteries of America’s Beginnings: The New Atlantis
Secrets in Plain Sight

[18] Mass Culture:

Learn about how our thoughts and opinions are influenced by mass culture.

The Century of the Self
All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace
The Power Of Nightmares
Starsuckers: A Culture Obsessed By Celebrity
Human Resources: Social Engineering in the 20th Century
Obey: The Death of the Liberal Class
Motivational Guru: The Story of Tony Robbins
Bob Marley: Freedom Road
Radiant City

[19] Corporate Media:

Discover how the mass media and advertisers channel our irrational impulses.

Weapons of Mass Deceptions
Secrets of the Superbrands
Orwell Rolls in his Grave
The Esoteric Agenda
Propaganda
The Myth of the Liberal Media: The Propaganda Model of News
Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media
Symbolism in Logos: Subliminal Messages or Ancient Archetypes
Edward Snowden: A Truth Unveiled
Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism

[20] Art and Literature:

Explore the lives of famous artists and how art opens people’s minds.

Cosm: Alex Gray’s Visionary Art
Banksy’s Exit Through The Gift Shop
New Art and the Young Artists Behind It
Salvador Dali: A Master of the Modern Era
The Day Pictures Were Born
Off-Book: Digital Age Creativity
This Is Modern Art

[21] Health:

Explore issues in health, how our bodies work and the incredible power of our brains.

The Human Brain
The Truth About Vitamins
How To Live To 101
America’s Obesity Epidemic
The War On Health
The Beautiful Truth
Food Inc.
The Truth About Food
The Living Matrix

[22] Drugs:

Documentaries on the effect of drugs — legal and illegal — on the body and mind.

The Union: The Business Behind Getting High
The Drugging Of Our Children
How Marijuana Affects Your Health
Making a Killing: The Untold Story of Psychotropic Drugging
Clearing the Smoke: The Science of Cannabis
LSD: The Beyond Within
The War on Drugs: The Prison Industrial Complex
Are Illegal Drugs More Dangerous Than Legal Drugs?
The Prescription Drug Abuse Epidemic
Run From The Cure: The Rick Simpson Story

[23] Environment:

Thought-provoking documentaries on the environmental movement and the growing threats to our biosphere.

Earthlings
Blue Gold: World Water Wars
Shift: Beyond the Numbers of the Climate Crisis
All Things Are Connected
The Fight For Amazonia
Flow: For Love Of Water
Here Comes the Sun
The World According To Monsanto
The Story of Stuff

[24] Cosmos:

Expand your mind by exploring our indescribably large and beautiful Cosmos.

The Search for Planets Similar to Earth
Cosmic Journeys : The Largest Black Holes in the Universe
The Mystery of the Milky Way
Fractals: The Hidden Dimension
Into The Universe With Stephen Hawking: The Story of Everything
Pioneer Science: Discovering Deep Space
Carl Sagan’s Cosmos
The Strangest Things In The Universe

[25] Science:

The history of scientific discovery and how scientific instruments expand our perception.

The Complete History of Science
Secret Universe: The Hidden Life of the Cell
Stephen Hawking: A Brief History of Time
Quantum Mechanics: Fabric of the Cosmos
The Light Fantastic
DNA: The Secret of Life
Parallel Universes, Alternative Timelines & Multiverse
What Is The Higgs Boson?
Infinity

[26] Evolution:

The story of our evolution and the emergence of self-aware human beings.

The Origin of Life
Homo Sapiens: The Birth of Humanity
Beyond Me
The Global Brain
Metanoia: A New Vision of Nature
Birth Of A New Humanity
Samsara
Ape Man: Adventures in Human Evolution
The Incredible Human Journey
The Human Family Tree

[27] Psychology and The Brain:

New research is shining a spotlight on how we can improve our brains.

How Smart Can We Get?
The Science of Lust
The Secret You
What Are Dreams?
A Virus Called Fear
Beyond Thought (Awareness Itself)
The Human Brain
Superconscious Mind: How To Double Your Brain’s Performance
How Does Your Memory Work?
Secrets of the Mind

[28] Modern History:

The story of the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution and the rise of the modern world.

History of the World in Two Hours
The Industrial Revolution
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich
The French Revolution
Big Sugar
The American Revolution

[29] Pre-Modern History:

The story of the Americas and European history in the pre-modern world.

Socrates, Aristotle and Plato
The Medici: The Most Influencial Family In The World
A History of Celtic Britain
The Crusades: Victory and Defeat
The Vikings: Voyage To America
Copernicus and the Scientific Revolution

[30] Current Events:

Become more informed about current events that are shaping the world.

Syria: The Reckoning
Empire: Putin’s Russia
The New Arms Race
The Killing of Yasser Arafat
Egypt In Crisis
Inside Obama’s Presidency
The Untouchables: How Obama Protected Wall Street
Behind The Rhetoric: The Real Iran
A History of the Middle East since WWII
Climate Wars

[31] Ancient Civilizations:

Fascination explorations into the ancient civilizations of our past.

The Persian Empire : Most Mysterious Civilization in the Ancient World
What The Ancients Did For Us
What the Ancients Knew
Egypt: Beyond the Pyramids
Secrets of the Ancient Empires
Graham Hancock’s Quest For The Lost Civilization
Atlantis: The Lost Continent
Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

I hope you enjoy watching some of these mind expanding documentaries! If you have a personal favorite, please share it with everyone in the comments.

Credits: DIY Genius

Thank you, Frederick

It’s World Diabetes Day, the anniversary of Frederick Banting’s birth. Banting discovered insulin, and without his discovery, I’d have died at the age of twelve. In the wake of the election my diabetes and chronic illness advocacy has been neglected to the point where I am only addressing Diabetes Day now, at ten at night. A weird part of me – the part that has normalized an existence wherein I am always one tiny miscalculation, one computer error, one missed test, or forgotten alarm clock setting away from death – has felt like this wasn’t as important anymore. In the face of Trump’s election, I felt compelled to tackle every social injustice I could find. Suddenly it was as if all I’d done for education, science literacy, women’s rights, and diabetes awareness weren’t enough. Why had I not also been more involved in politics? In racial justice? In environmental protection? I felt ineffectual. Flaccid.

But I’m not a super woman, and I don’t know how to fight every injustice (at least not yet!), and I can’t give up fighting the battles I’ve been fighting so long. And after all, my diabetes advocacy does intersect: for with Trump and his team’s threats to the ACA and the heath care social safety net in general, people like me are at very real risk. 

Advocacy requires education, but don’t worry, if you don’t know the story of Banting’s discovery of insulin, it is anything but dull!

You must first imagine a time when diabetes wasn’t a punchline about fat, lazy Americans. Before it was a hashtag accompanying photos of greasy and sugar-filled treats. Before it was something anyone laughed about. It was 1920, and diabetes was a universally feared death sentence that almost always befell children. 

Type 1 diabetes, the type I have, is an autoimmune disease. There is no prevention and there is no cure. It is not caused by diet or “lifestyle”, and it does not discriminate; it can emerge in anyone, from infancy through adulthood, of any level of physical fitness. A full understanding of the disease has not yet been reached, but what is known is that it is at least in part genetic, and is likely triggered by environmental factors such as viral infection. A person develops type 1 when their immune system starts attacking their body’s own insulin-producing beta cells. Without insulin, energy from food consumed cannot enter cells. Before the discovery of insulin, this meant certain death.

In the early 20th century, large hospitals would have entire diabetes death wards, usually filled with children, all slowly succumbing to the disease while their grieving families sat by, waiting for them to die. I can imagine what it would have been like to be a child in such a ward. I can tell you exactly what it feels like to die from diabetes, because I almost did. Twice. 

The first time was when I was twelve. It started as malaise. I was a bit more tired than usual. I was somewhat nauseated a lot of the time. I started to become emotionally depressed. As the month preceding my diagnosis progressed, I became weaker. I did not know that my body was cannibalizing my fat and muscles for energy, that my blood was slowly turning acidic, and that my organs were beginning to fail. My weight dropped rapidly. I was winded walking up a flight of stairs. My vision got a bit blurry and my thinking muddled. And I was so, so, so thirsty. Like, unless you’ve spent three days in the Sahara with absolutely no water, you cannot imagine how thirsty.

Had I not been diagnosed I would have starved to death. The inability of my body to convert food into energy causing me to waste away, and eventually to die from heart attack, stroke, or systemic organ failure as a result of Diabetic Ketoacidocis (acidic blood), slipping mercifully into a coma first…maybe lingering for a few days. And so was the fate of every child before a young Canadian doctor, Frederick Banting, discovered insulin. 

Now picture this in your head: the year is 1922. In a diabetes death ward in a children’s hospital in Toronto, a couple hundred children lie in metal-framed hospital beds. Their bodies are emaciated, some are in comas, all suffered as I suffered. The air is sweet with the smell of their breath and urine, for a diabetic’s breath is like fruit and their urine like honey. Their Gibson Girl mothers weeping, their besuited fathers trying to uphold the emotionless masculinity of their age, their siblings in petticoats and newsboy caps kneeling at their sides. Then a dashing young doctor, Banting, and his partner, Best, enter the ward, insulin syringes in hand. One by one, they begin injecting the children, and by the time they get to the last child, the first have already begun reviving from their comas. 

Suddenly, diabetes is no longer a death sentence. It is a disease that could be managed. Children who were skeletal and comatose become plump and active once more. It is the epitome of the inspirational tale. But this is not a story of hope, because that is not where the story ends.

Managing type 1 is both difficult and expensive. Although insulin is nearly 100 years old, patent-loopholes allow drug companies to keep tight proprietary control over the most effective formulae. A lack of regulation of the pharmaceutical industry in the United States means that US patients often pay more than ten times the price for a bottle of insulin than our fellow diabetics in other countries. The insulin that keeps me alive, Apidra, costs between $280-$480 a vial depending on which US state you buy it in – and bear in mind, depending on the patient one month’s supply can be anywhere from 2 to 10 vials. In Canada, the country of insulin’s discovery, the same vial is about $30. Further, effective type1 management means testing one’s blood sugar 8-20 times daily (each of my test strips costs $2, so that’s up to $40 a day), delivering insulin via syringe or pump (a pump runs between three and seven thousand dollars), using a few other medical odds and ends like sterilization alcohol, medical adhesives, etc., and regular doctor visits. The total annual cost of my diabetes medication and supplies, without which I will die, is about $26,000 before insurance.

That cost is not prohibitive, it is impossible. And because of that, I almost died of diabetes a second time.

Before the ACA, I was uninsurable. My type 1 considered a pre-existing condition. After I was dropped from my dad’s insurance, I had to pay for everything out of pocket because of my uninsurable status. Even re-using single-use only insulin syringes to the point where each injection left a massive bruise on my abdomen, even reusing finger-prick lancets until they were literally too blunt to work anymore, even fasting every other day to take less insulin, I couldn’t afford the cost of my disease. In my mid-twenties I began insulin rationing. I would test my sugar only once a day and take the bare minimum of insulin to keep me alive, keep me working my three jobs.

Then one morning when I was 26, it caught up with me. I’d lost 20 pounds in a month – I woke up vomiting that morning: the Diabetic Ketoacidosis from not getting enough insulin was so extreme that I lost seven more pounds in one day. My roommate drove me to the emergency room where I had five IV lines put in, was put on oxygen, intravenous potassium, and spent three days in Intensive Care. 

President-elect Trump is already waffling on his stance on the ACA, but that doesn’t stave off the real fear of me, other diabetics, and others who have pre-existing conditions for our lives. Literally, we fear for our lives because we know that people like us were left to die before the ACA. We are hoarding our medications and supplies and taking every step we can to hedge against loss of insurance.

I said this was not a story of hope, but neither is it a story of despair. For, like I said, there is a part of me that has normalized fighting for my life. I have done it, in a very literal sense, every minute of every day since I was twelve and a half years old. And so too have other type 1s fought. And so too have type2s fought. And so too have all those with chronic illness and disability fought. We fight because our lives are worth fighting for. Because an enlightened society recognizes our intrinsic value as human beings, despite the flukes in our physiology. We fight because we know that, despite the misconceptions and stereotypes society has about us, we have something to offer humanity: something immense, something those who’ve never had to fight for there lives cannot understand.

Our bodies may be damaged and weak, but we are strong. And we will take our fight to the steps of the White House, to the feet of the men who want to strip us of our means of survival. Who want to strip us of our Right to Life. We will use our damaged, sick, and broken bodies as blockade. We will use our clever and quick thinking minds. For if anyone knows how to fight, it is us. 

Type 1 children, before and after insulin treatment: 

Dr. Frederick Banting, Nobel Laureate for the discovery of insulin: 

Banting and Best, with one of the diabetic dogs they successfully treated:

Thank you, Frederick. 

Civilization is in a race between education and catastrophe. Let us learn the truth and spread it as far and wide as our circumstances allow.
—  Writer H.G. Wells (1866 –1946)
talk shit, get hit (4)

Originally posted by mintokkies

genre: delinquent!au

star of the show: NCT’s Jaehyun

word count: 1,884

previous: (3)

author’s note: the final part of the Johnny/Jaehyun collab with @chipsandwaffles . this is the last fic on this blog –> see you all on my new blog if you find me ^^ read sheep’s part here

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The Freshman: Problematic Love Interests

So, ya’ll know how rough the last chapter of The Freshman was yesterday. Nearly everyone in the chapter was at their max level of craziness…particularly the love interests. In fact, I was so frustrated with some of their behaviors that I decided I had to get some things off my chest. Hence, this post came to be.

Forgive my snarkiness and general agitated tone here…I’m much less aggravated than I was last night. Let’s just be thankful I gave myself a day to relax before sharing these thoughts!

Okay, let’s get started. 

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i know i talk about this a lot but…. the law was recently put into effect in Mississippi that allows any businesses, employers, landlords, and even government officials to deny services to gay and trans people on the basis of “religious freedom.” that means they can be denied homes, jobs, hotel rooms, cars, loans, cab rides… anything. there is virtually no protection for the LGBT community in mississippi. and as if that’s not fucked up enough, what’s REALLY making me mad is that all over the internet on all these comment threads i’m seeing “progressives” say things like “Why don’t they just move to california?” “You’re all welcome to join us up here in Vermont!” “They deserve it - they voted these republicans into power!” “Why would gay people live there? they should just move to New York City.”

So let me cover some facts:

1. Mississippi has some of the most restrictive voting laws in the country, and therefore extremely low voter turnout. It also has one of the worst public education systems in the country. It ALSO has some of the worst poverty in the country. Poor people with little access to education do NOT deserve this. They deserve to grow up in environments where they are taught actual facts in good schools, outside of the shadow of religion and bigotry. they deserve easy access to voting centers and voter registration. they deserve clearly explained proposed laws so that they know what they’re voting for.

2. people living in poverty can’t “just move.” And even if they COULD, they definitely couldn’t move to these Hip Progressive Cities where rent is literally (no exaggeration) 500% higher than it is in most of Mississippi. And where progressives will most likely make fun of them for being from Mississippi.

3. GAY PEOPLE ARE BEING BORN EVERY DAY

4. When gay and trans people, and just progressive people in general, move away from the south, they are not erasing the existence of gay people in the south. All they’re doing is erasing the actual presence of progressive adults who could stay to help protect at risk groups, educate children, and vote republicans out of power. When you tell gay people “just move!” you are doing exactly what the people in power want. They make these laws BECAUSE they want gay people to leave. It’s 2nd only to making it literally illegal to be gay. By encouraging us to leave you are reinforcing future generations suffering under these same laws. Gay children born in conservative areas should not be born just to suffer and be abused until they’re old enough to haul ass out of town.

5. WE DESERVE TO FEEL COMFORTABLE IN OUR HOMES. that’s what really gets to me. these are real people living in real places that they’ve been their entire lives, places their family is from for generations back. i am determined to make a home for myself in the place that i am from. i am not gonna let them scare me out of this place. because here’s the thing - aside from the bigotry, the south is a GOOD place. it’s beautiful, strange, and culturally distinct from the rest of the country. people who are forced out aren’t just leaving their home - they’re leaving a way of life, a career that might have been passed down through the family, they’re leaving behind food and music and climate that they aren’t going to find anywhere else.

6. ALSO so many of these Progressive Northern Places are predominantly white, and the deep south is predominantly black. PERHAPS there are tons of gay and trans black people living in the deep south who don’t wanna relocate to fucking Portland and open up a screen printing vegan co-op or whatever the fuck people do in portland. MAYBE just maybe there are people who actually enjoy living here - i know that is beyond the comprehension of many progressives and gay people living in these big cities, but not everyone wants your life.

WHAT IM SAYING IS - the solution is not to move. people who can afford to move and want to move have every right to do that and I respect them. but not everyone has that privilege, and not everyone WANTS to leave. the fact is, people in Mississippi deserve to feel safe. Even if we got a bus and rounded up every single gay and trans person in the state, new people are being born every day. So instead of bragging in the comments section about how “something like this would NEVER happen in Vermont” maybe consider for 1 second - we know. We KNOW it wouldn’t happen there. But we aren’t there, we’re here, and we need protection, we need people who are willing to stand up and fight for our rights HERE in our home. You’re not helping poor gay southerners by telling them to move to california. That’s been the go-to solution for decades and that’s WHY things are so bad in so many of these states. Instead talk about access to education, talk about voting rights, talk about and donate to organizations working for progress IN these states. Gay people are always gonna exist everywhere, so maybe try to advocate for them instead of simply trying to erase them from their communities. thanks.

People are so afraid of open communication, trust, commitment, hard work, failure, risks.
—  I appreciate courage more than anything these days. Courage to admit your mistakes, courage to speak words of truth, courage to accept help and change for the better.

To 2017 me,

don’t depend on others to make you happy, you are the only person who should be accountable for your own personal satisfaction

fall in love with yourself over and over again. you are lovely and should recognize that

be genuinely glad to see others in states of joy. don’t resent anyone else’s smiles

stay smart but be a little reckless. take educated risks but don’t be afraid of yelling “fuck it” once in a while

chase away fears that accumulate from failure. failure is important, it makes you grow up to be strong and unmovable

don’t be afraid to fall, because who knows? you might fly

say no. if you are not comfortable then make it known. be considerate of other’s emotions but don’t let yourself get wounded

spend time with your mother in the kitchen, laugh with your father while driving around town, cherish the company of the most loving people there is to offer

don’t confine yourself to everyday restrictions. go outside the box and have a good time. don’t deprive yourself of opportunities

say thank you, all the time. be gracious and polite. make sure other people know of your appreciation

cut out the bad language. it’s only creating tension in your body and mind. kind words are infinitely more appreciated

do whatever the fuck makes you feel alive

(use a little bad language if you wanna)

stop apologising for how you laugh, dress, look or speak. be fearless. if people don’t like it, let them go

stop falling into the idea that you have to be travelling all the time or have tons of money to have incredible adventures and make your life mean something

With love, 2016 me

Why have I never seen any articles about a teacher-student relationship that is not sentenced to death immediately?

As a book-lover, reading maniac, which I am, as soon as I realized I was developing feelings for my teacher, I started looking for advice, swimming through thousands of writings about this topic, entering forums full of people who have claimed to have romantic thoughts about their lecturer. No matter where I stepped into, negative, judging, even shaming aricles popped up, and journalists who clearly never experienced anything like this before, tried to shove their so-called “small talk” into my face, with headlines like:

“10 Student-Teacher Relationships That Cross the Line”
“Why Student-Teacher Relationships Are Never OK”

I was fifteen at that time. I was worried, anxious, desperate, and still just a little girl who had no idea how to keep her feelings in control, because they were too big. I was trying to reach out for help, at least for just a small ray of hope that would show I was not out of my mind, but instead I got virtual shaming, being told that I cannot love someone that is my teacher.

My dear companions in this madness. Girls who feel alone with this. Boys who can’t trust their friends when it comes to feelings. Everyone, who has no one to count on, you are not alone. You are normal. Your feelings are normal. You don’t have to fight what is pure, just because society tells you it’s wrong. Love has infinite faces, yours is just as perfect as anyone elses.

Teachers are not machines who can’t feel for their students. Their struggle is even worse, considering their jobs, they can even go to jail in certain countries and states. We have boundaires -logical, necessary boundaries - stood up by society and law, but that doesn’t mean what we feel isn’t true.

Those who are underage should wait indeed, but not because their feelings are less than a legal person’s, but because law is too strict on this one, and risking your own education and your teacher’s job is not something to play with. Selfishness in this topic is completely out of the question, so many factors are in the game, you have to be smarter than your environment. He might be playing with you, you never know.

I myself was fifteen, I had to hold on and hold back my love millions of times, and here I am still loving this incredible man with my nineteen-year-old self. He may be out of reach, or a dream forever, but I will never regret a moment of loving him. He developed my personality, my emotional quotient, and my perspective of life, and these are bigger than the fact that some people are sceptical and tell others to quit this, like it was a disease. 

Love will never be a disorder. You should keep that in mind. 

If you feel alone, don’t be afraid to reach out for me, or anyone that you trust. Teacher Crush Community will always have your back, many of us are extremely understanding, so let those words be spoken even anonimously. Let go of the shame. We understand you. 

anonymous asked:

At the MN state fair there's a pet building that among other things features a live surgery demonstration for the general public to watch. Usually it's a desexing or something common, and it's done in a closed room that I'm assuming is disinfected with a big window for people to look in. What's your opinion about public surgeries, especially ones in hot buildings that hundreds of people mill about in (can it really be sterile?) Something just doesn't seem right to me but I can't pin down what.

It’s certainly possible to construct a surgical room suitable for public demonstrations, but it takes a little forethought.

Having the viewing window separating the general public from the surgical suite is a simple way to do it. Coupled with positive pressure ventilation, where sterile air is pushed int the surgical room at a slightly higher pressure so that air flows out of surgery, never into it, helps reduce contamination. The pressure difference is usually not enough to feel, but it does help reduce contaminants flowing into the surgical suite.

The other way to do it is to have a camera fixed somewhere near the surgical lights.

The nature of surgery is that there’s always the potential for things to go wrong. Using surgery as a ‘performance’ has certain risks associated with it, especially in front of a live audience, but doing so might be judged to be of high enough educational value to be worth those relative risks. In this case, educational for both students and the general public.