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“We will not accept any religious demands in school menus,” Le Pen told RTL radio. “There is no reason for religion to enter the public sphere, that’s the law.”

April 22, 2014

People in France have been discussing the influence of the influx of practicing Muslims for a number of years now, and that discussion has moved to a form of action: banning religious-based lunches.

“We will not accept any religious demands in school menus,” Le Pen told RTL radio. “There is no reason for religion to enter the public sphere, that’s the law.”

While even this Huffington Post article portrays this move on the part of the French government as being “anti-immigrant,” the media is missing the point that forcing secular schools to comply with religious demands of a one faction or another is a form of practicing a that religion.

Far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen said on Friday it would prevent schools from offering special lunches to Muslim pupils in the 11 towns it won in local elections, saying such arrangements were contrary to France’s secular values.

France’s republic has a strict secular tradition enforceable by law, but faith-related demands have risen in recent years, especially from the country’s five-million-strong Muslim minority, the largest in Europe.

Just because faith-based demands arise, doesn’t mean that France’s government is then required to adhere to them. Isn’t this a true test of separating religion from government?

Officials claim that the cost of the meals that were offered just seemed wasted:

The mayor of Arveyres, Benoit Gheysens told AFP the move was being taken because of the cost of providing alternative meals, many of which went to waste.

Often children who did not take the substitute dinner complained as well and left the pork. It distressed the staff to see how much food was wasted,’ Gheysens said.

While no one measured how much children ate or didn’t eat, it seems to be a futile exercise to try to please all children with public lunches.


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Bunnies Stampede on Island in Japan

April 7, 2014
Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am not sure if these bunnies are harmful. I don’t know what ecological havoc bunnies might wreak in this setting, as in the whole Wallace and Gromit movie; however, it’s absolutely adorable to watch the sheer numbers of them beg for food!

I keep watching. It just makes me smile, and I also love this woman’s laugh!

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Breastfeeding Woman Arrested for Child Endangerment

March 27, 2014

Here is a story that makes me sick to my stomach. One woman accused another woman of drinking too much while breastfeeding, so a police officers arrest the mother and put her in jail. The allegedly drinking mother had just come from a funeral with a group of family and friends and supposedly had one and half beers. The waitress said that there were mixed drinks on the table and things supposedly got loud, which led the waitress to conclude that the mother was drinking mixed drinks and breastfeeding while drunk.

What is wrong with this story? What is wrong with arresting a woman because she is also a mother and had been drinking. Even if she was drinking, is a mother not allowed to drink alcohol because she has children? It sounds like a patriarchal power play, a presumptuously enacted version of the police and waitress’s obsession with the Madonna/Whore complex.

Note that in this rendition of things, the waitress never admits to having seen the mother consume drinks on the table in front her. So, supposedly sitting near drinks with alcohol is enough to arrest a woman because she is a mother:

After the funeral of a family friend, Adams and her parents stopped for dinner at Gusano’s Restaurant in Conway. Adams also brought her baby, Ana, because the 6-month-old was still nursing at the time.

“We had a pizza, and then we had a big old thing of spinach dip,” Adams said. “Then, I had a beer with that, and then I had another one later on after.”

Over the course of an hour and a half, Adams said she had two beers and nothing more. But when Jackie Conners, an off-duty waitress, showed up early for an after-hours staff meeting, she said she saw something very different that disturbed her.

“They looked like they were having a good time, just drinking,” Conners told “20/20.” “Things started getting louder and louder, and then the baby started getting fussy.”

According to Conners, Adams began to breastfeed Ana, but she wasn’t drinking beer.

“There were several drinks in front of her, about … two or three drinks in front of her already, when I got there,” Conners said. “I watched the bartender make them, looked like Long Islands. But regardless if it was that or not, then it was strong liquor that was in those glasses.”

The charges against the mother were dropped for lack of evidence, but no one mentions the harassment that the woman went through for being accused of drinking when no one could prove she was drunk. So now any woman sitting next to drinks in a restaurant is fair game to arrest and throw in jail on suspicions of child endangerment? Really? Saying the baby is fussy and the room was loud are enough to have police arrest a woman who is also a mother? The waitress was fired, but I really take issue with arresting a woman because she is a mother who happens to be sitting in a loud room next to drinks. Note that the news stories below all support the Madonna/Whore complex in trumpeting that the woman is a drinking mom. So no mother gets to drink a beer? Once you become a mother, you be arrested for going to a place that serves alcohol? Your child can be taken from you because of it? And if a waitress is pissed at you, then the police arrest you? Is this character assassination? Let’s just keep any woman who is a mother locked in a closet. Should she be forced to be accompanied by male relatives? Should she be forced to cover every part of her except her eyes or she can be thrown in jail? Guess that is a reasonable assumption for any woman who might also be a mother living in Arkansas. These Arkansas officers sure sound like religious police to me.



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20 Strangers First Kiss on Camera

March 12, 2014

I am not alone in liking this video; it’s been viewed more than 26 million times. I just keep thinking when I write this about not being alone in this, that the video beautifully captures that human need to connect, the sweetness that is available to us. It may not last, and indeed, there is no follow-up attempt at a fairytale ending here, just a kiss, that sweetness like a momentary brightness and smile with an excellent candy, and then it’s over. But remember, it’s not the finality, but the moment, that little touch of intrigue and giving that each person shares, and apparently that 26 million of us find engaging enough to watch and share. Maybe it’s there for all of us all the time, and we just don’t know how to capture it. For you out there, from me here, a kiss, or two, or more, and a hug from me to you afterward. Let’s definitely end it with a hug.

I am going to hold that sweetness all day today and smile…


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Moms in Prison Get To Raise Babies

February 25, 2014

If a woman is convicted of a crime, should she be allowed to raise her children in prison? It’s a complicated question for some, but the data shows that women who get to keep their babies while they are behind bars are less likely to return to prison. Watch the video to see if you agree.

Michigan Discrimination Against Gay Couples “Good for the Economy”

February 19, 2014

Oh yay, Michigan made the news again for sounding like a bigoted state, or a backwards state, or one in which civil rights don’t matter. Sounds par for the course for most of Michigan, to me, actually. Michigan always seems to trumpet about how its bigoted stance is good for the economy, and this case is no exception.

But Snyder, who is running for reelection this year against Democrat Mark Schauer, is the defendant in a motion filed Friday asking the judge to side with the state in a lawsuit filed by five same-sex couples who argue their equal protection and due process rights are violated by a ban on domestic partner benefits. The governor signed the ban in 2011 for state employees excluding those employed by public universities. The law, Public Act 297, also prohibits Michigan cities, counties and other employers from offering their employees same-sex domestic partner benefits.

After the ban became law, the five couples filed suit against Snyder and the state. Judge David Lawson, who is presiding over the lawsuit, struck down the ban as being unconstitutional in a preliminary injunction last June.

The motion says PA 297 “is a logical and cohesive part of the effort to reduce costs and to address the fiscal insecurity of local governments that has increased exponentially over the past five years.” Authored by State Attorney General Bill Schuette, the motion argues that the ban on domestic partner benefits doesn’t just single out same-sex couples, but also precludes the state employee from sharing their benefits with an adult child, fraternal sibling or other anomalies that could arise if domestic partner benefits were dispensed.

I would say that Public Act 297 of 2011 was about ensuring fiscal responsibility and stewardship as domestic partner benefit policies (regardless of sexual orientation; that was not the factor) can be written without real parameters and Michigan has to address the spiraling costs of health care for the benefit of our state’s taxpayers and all Michiganders,” Sara Wurfel, Snyder’s press secretary, told The Huffington Post in an email.

Discrimination benefits Michigan’s bottom line all the time, apparently. How would we in Michigan even survive without our discrimination measures??Med mal laws that discriminate against the poor in Michigan and the minorities: done. Discriminating med mal laws in Michigan supposedly support the economy.

Everyone knows that discrimination helps pay the bills here in Michigan, right? Or could this be part of the problem in cities like Detroit where bankruptcy is an ongoing fight, and there is a huge part of a racist element there that somehow balances the budget. Of course, the budget isn’t balanced and no one else in the nation claims to balance their budgets by relying on being bigots, but there you have it, that’s why Michigan makes national news!

Oh, and just because people in Michigan passed a constitutional ban on gay rights doesn’t make them bigots, right? You know the old phrase: “I am not a racist/bigot/asshole, but…”

Michigan passed a constitutional ban on gay marriage in 2004. That ban is being challenged in another lawsuit, for which arguments will be heard beginning next week by U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman. Two female nurses, April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, say that the state government’s belief that marriage exists only between a man and a woman violates their right to marry and adopt each other’s children. If the Michigan ban on gay marriage is declared unconstitutional, the decision on whether to provide employee benefits to same-sex couples will become moot as those couples will be able to marry and receive benefits under the current law.

Although the motion supports continuing the ban on domestic partner benefits, the governor and attorney general argue the law wasn’t enacted out of animus or ill-will toward same-sex couples:

“Similarly, it need hardly be said that individuals may hold deep-seated personal views completely inapposite of the other, and yet bear no animosity, no hatred towards each other,” the motion reads. “Here, to the extent several legislators expressed views supporting traditional marriage, such expressions are not per se discriminatory or hostile.”

I am not sure how it’s NOT discriminatory to bar someone from civil rights, but apparently in Michigan, it’s not. Strange, reality seems to be missing from the Michigan discussion…

English: Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuet...

English: Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette delivers his address at his inauguration on the steps of the Capitol in Lansing, Michigan on January 1, 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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How the Media Distorts Female Bodies, Dying to Be Thin

February 17, 2014

Just in case you wondered if you would ever look like Cindy Crawford, Ms. Crawford states that even she doesn’t look like her enhanced photos. If you were dying to be thin, then you might be the Brazilian model who died from anorexia complications. Perhaps you thought your body was worth more than a beer bottle label, but does your daughter think so? Here is how the media distorts perceptions of female beauty.


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