union mission

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South Dakota transgender woman denied entrance to soup kitchen for wearing a dress

  • On Saturday morning, Isabella Red Cloud, a transgender woman, drove with a friend to Union Gospel Mission in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, hoping to get some breakfast. 
  • She says was refused service because she was wearing a dress. She fired up Facebook Live and recorded her being kicked off the premises.
  • The video, viewed over 13,000 times, shows an unnamed employee escorting Red Cloud out the building’s entrance. 
  • When she asks the employee on camera if she’s being asked to leave because of her dress, he seems to answer affirmatively. 
  • The employee repeatedly tells Red Cloud she’s “trespassing.”
  • Red Cloud told KDLT, “I cried, I contemplated suicide, I felt sad, I felt weak.” However, she returned the next day to attend church service. 
  • Red Cloud was once again told she could not be on the church’s property. A friend documented the second incident on Facebook Live.
  • Union Gospel Mission director Fran Stenberg told the Argus Leader that Red Cloud’s case is not exceptional: She’s asked trans people to leave for wearing dresses on multiple occasions. Read more (4/25/17)

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Okay so Japanese chi has these quests which are quizzes. Basically they give you a question with three options and each option corresponds to a portal. You enter the portal that corresponds to the right answer you find the boss. You enter the wrong portal a giant Darkside one shots you. 

The main reason I bring this up is…it’s weird getting these wrong. Like they’re in Japanese so I have to guess (cause more effort than it’s worth to translate) but I know if they were in English I would ace every one. 

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Much attention has been paid in recent years to Russia’s annexation of Crimea. But Ukraine is not the only place where Russia has exploited ethnic conflicts and disputed territories along its borders.

In the foothills of the Caucasus mountains, 2,500 feet up, Russia is steadily building what it says is a new international border. It’s marked by a hodgepodge of barbed wire fences, large green signs, hastily dug trenches and well-manned checkpoints. Villages are divided by it and people are regularly thrown in jail for crossing it.

But according to most of the world, this border doesn’t exist, and neither does the land it defines — the Republic of South Ossetia

The region had its own government, but no enforced border. That changed in 2008.

Along A Shifting Border, Georgia And Russia Maintain An Uneasy Peace

Photos: Claire Harbage/NPR

Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles
When homelessness is unexpectedly beautiful.
Women and children can be in a serious state, with nowhere to go for reasons that range far and wide….common law husbands throwing families out of a home, poor decisions, eviction, job loss, no family to step in and at the very least help out temporarily for the safety and wellbeing of young children. This family caught me off guard one day after I left Skid Row to eat gelato on Spring Street. They were a shiny, healthy little family, soft and fresh and completely out of place in downtown Los Angeles. After speaking with them I learned that they were from Lancaster, just outside LA and had nowhere to sleep. I can’t elaborate on all of the reasons why the decision to bring these girls to DTLA was not ideal, except to say that the whole story is impossible to understand in a few minutes of conversation. There was no place for them in Lancaster and the mother was, at this point, considering spending the night with her girls in the metro station nearby. A friend walked with us that night to San Julian Street, to the back entrance of The Union Rescue Mission, where children are never turned away. This is a harrowing walk for girls, aged 8 and 11, who have never been on Skid Row, smelled the smells, seen the tents, watched grown ups in a state of severe mental illness meander past us as we made our way. I don’t remember anyone’s name, it happened fast it seemed….I had a long conversation with the older girl, who told me how much she missed school, and her best friend Maria, and how boring life is without her friends and her school. She walked with great self possession, and told me that no matter what, and no matter where she finds herself, that she will always make new friends. That was her outlook and it was impressive in those moments, her refusal to allow her present circumstances to spell defeat. Her younger sister was not as unaffected, and was reacting to the traumatic situation with more emotion and withdrawal. I don’t know what the future holds, and I’ve never seen them since. Once we reached San Julian Street, we stumbled on another homeless mother and children, who were experienced with the systems in place in the area, and hugely contrasting with and far harder in demeanor and mannerisms than the family I was escorting. In a heartbeat, they left us, and fell in with the others. We said a quick goodbye, and exchanged hugs all around….and then they were gone, literally swept along in the current of San Julian Street at night. It was a strange sight, to watch them slowly disappear as I stood still in the middle of the craziness, watching them get sucked into a vacuum.

A huge crowd turns out to celebrate the opening of Union Station, Los Angeles, May 4, 1939. 

“Stirring awake memories that had slumbered for more than a century, railroad officials yesterday staged a colorful pageant of transportation that thrilled thousands of Angelenos for two hours. Gayly costumed ladies of the Gay Nineties – and the years before – rode stage coaches and horse cars and stuttering, slow-moving trains of another era. Derby-hatted, mustachioed gentlemen in tight coats pumped high-wheeled bicycles – ‘bone-crushers’ they were known as in those days – all to celebrate formal opening of the new Union Station, pictured in background as oldest Union Pacific train approaches the city’s newest in beautiful architecture.” – The Los Angeles Examiner 

Realizing How Useless I am in Union Cross

Seriously, every time I take on a Union Cross mission, my attacks do basically nothing! Meanwhile, everyone else is dealing truckloads of damage and I’m just dying constantly. I keep feeling like I need to say, “No, don’t waste your time healing me, I can’t do anything to help!”

Just, how powerful of medals am I supposed to have?! What level do I have to get to in order to actually contribute to the Union Cross?! I’m currently level 121.

They need to make it so you can choose a difficulty setting or something, because as it is, new players aren’t going to be able to have any fun with the multiplayer mode… which is a real shame, because if I could actually DO SOME DAMAGE, it would be really fun!

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Soviet Night Witches

The Night Witches (from the German Nachtexen) were a regiment of female military aviators, formally the 588th Night Bomber Regiment of the Soviet Air Forces.

In the summer of 1941, Col. Marina Raskova was called upon to organize a regiment of women pilots to fly night combat missions of harassment bombing. From mechanics to navigators, pilots and officers, the 588th regiment was composed entirely of women; it became the most highly decorated female unit in the Soviet Air Force, each pilot having flown over 800 missions by the end of the war and twenty-three having been awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union title.

Missions were carried out against the German military from 1942 to the end of the war. The Night Witches flew in wood and canvas Polikarpov Po-2 planes; despite being obsolete and slow, the basic materials allowed for daring maneuvers and exceedingly quiet entrances. An attack technique of the night bombers was to idle the engine near the target and glide to the bomb release point, with only wind noise to reveal their location; German soldiers likened the sound to broomsticks, giving rise to the nickname. (Incidentally, the Nazis also feared and loathed them: any pilot who shot down a witch was awarded an Iron Cross.)

The Night Witches overcame challenges from within the Soviet Air Force to fly combat missions, and over time became an important force against the Nazis, flying over 23,000 sorties and said to have dropped 3,000 tons of bombs. And they did all this while decorating their planes with flowers and using their navigation pencils as lip color. [x]

flickr

Yevgeniya Zhigulenko, Hero of the Soviet Union by Olga
Via Flickr:
Yevgeniya Zhigulenko (01.12.1920 - 27.02.1994), Hero of the Soviet Union, flew 968 night missions as pilot in a U-2/Po-2 Жигуленко Евгения Андреевна, Герой Советского Союза, за годы войны совершила 968 боевых вылетов.

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“My name is Tom Grode and I’ve been a Skid Row resident now for about three years, been over at Union Rescue Mission, and I’m excited about this upcoming May Day March on May 1st. Some Skid Row folks are going to be marching behind a banner that Andreea had made for our recent historic election that we lost by sixty votes, but that’s not the important thing.

The important thing is the community came together. People poured their heart and soul into this effort. It was an amazing effort. It got lots of media attention, and so keeping that positive spirit alive is really important… and one way to do it is by joining us on May 1st.

If you want to participate just show up at the Pershing Square Red Line Station. We are going to take the train over to MacArthur Park, that will be May 1st, on Monday, leaving at 10am. The March is from 11am at MacArthur Park over to City Hall, and then there’s going to be a big rally in Grand Park.

So we want to keep the spirit of the Skid Row Neighborhood Council Election alive. It was an awesome moment for this community, and we are committed to not seeing that moment end.”

More info about the May Day March at https://m.facebook.com/afmlocal47/photos/gm.645114925679353/10154685813553212/?type=3&source=44.

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After A Simple Haircut, Homeless Remind Us Why Judging Others Is Just Plain Wrong

Sometimes, it’s all too easy to judge people based on their appearances.Tyler Bridges knows this, and he used it as a springboard for “What’s The Difference,” a video he helped publish last month with the Union Rescue Mission in Los Angeles.

Assisted by hairstylist Tim Doma, Bridges and a crew of filmmakers offered haircuts to men who could use a little trim – and proved there isn’t much that separates the homeless from everyone else.

See more moving homeless haircut transformations here.

mic.com
Umm ... We've Secretly Been Involved in a War in Somalia for the Last 7 Years

The U.S. military sure can keep a secret. (For seven years, at least.)

The military has been operating in Somalia since 2007, with up to 120 troops on the ground, according to a Reuters scoop. The operatives are there to help the country deal with Islamist militant group al Shabaab.

The troops have not engaged in actual combat, according to Reuters, and instead are focusing on “mission planning, small unit tactics, medical care, human rights and communications” for the Somali National Army and African Union Mission in Somalia.

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