All posts by Debbie

Student fossil fuel protesters blockade offices at Harvard University are a display of hypocrisy

Harvard photo
Harvard University

Harvard University students blockaded its administration offices to persuade Harvard to divest endowment investments in oil, gas, and coal companies.  This is only the latest campaign to persuade U.S. universities and colleges to divest from fossil fuels investments over concerns about climate change and pollution.

The campaign has persuaded 11 colleges to divest wholly or partially from fossil fuels.  Harvard’s $33 billion endowment is the largest targeted of any educational institution.  Demands for divestment of investments by colleges in fossil fuel companies have been backed by many students and more than 100 faculty members.

Have these students and faculty members given up fossil fuels?  Are they living a fossil fuel free existence?  Do they jump on their motorcycles or in their cars to drive to the coffeehouse, to work, to school?  Are they heating their living spaces with fossil fuels?  Are the student and faculty members benefiting from fossil fuels?  The students blockaded the administration offices of Harvard University to make a point they are not living.  Hypocrisy!

Online: Fossil fuel protesters blockade offices at Harvard University

Photo by InSapphoWeTrust

CDC confirms second case of MERS

MERS
Transmission electron micrograph of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus.

A second case of MERS, a deadly virus discovered in the Middle East in 2012, has been found in the state of Florida.

The  patient is a healthcare provider who resides and works in Saudi Arabia.  He is visiting Florida and traveled on May 1st  from Saudi Arabia to Florida.  On May 8th, the patient went to the emergency department of a Florida hospital and was admitted on the same day.

Continue reading CDC confirms second case of MERS

Updated: Boko Haram video shows missing Nigerian schoolgirls clad in full-length hijabs

Update:  Boko Harem video of girls may be a fake.  “They are not the same. They are not the girls abducted,” said Ojutiku, a Southern Baptist in Raleigh, N.C., who receives frequent updates from members of the grassroots group Lift Up Now. He co-founded the group to address political, economic and social challenges in his homeland Nigeria.

More likely, the Monday (May 12) video is a ruse by the Islamic terrorists to mislead those searching for the girls, Ojutiku said.” Baptist Press

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has released the names of 180 schoolgirls that were kidnapped from the school in Chibok, Nigeria.
165 are Christian girls and 15 girls are Muslim.
Many are affiliated with the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria.

Nigerian Kidnapped Schoolgirls
Nigerian Kidnapped Schoolgirls

A video released by Islamist militants Boko Haram claims to show over 100 of the missing girls kidnapped from a school in Nigeria.

The girls are wearing full-length hijabs and reciting the first book of the Koran. Boko Haram says the girls have converted to Islam.

Boko Haram demands prisoner exchange for the Nigerian schoolgirls.

Online:  BBC Video Nigeria kidnapped girls ‘shown in Boko Haram video’

Study: Radical Muslims are well-integrated, are better educated than average, and are better economically and socially

Copenhagen photo
Copenhagen, Denmark

It has been thought that failed integration and poverty may be causes of “Homegrown Radical Islamists” in Western  countries. A study “Radical Islamism and Migrant Integration in Denmark: An Empirical Inquiry” does not support a link between  integration and radicalization of young Muslims, or poverty.

Associate professor and Islamism researcher Marco Goli from Metropolitan University College in Copenhagen concluded “that  radicalized young Muslims are often what one would consider well-integrated: They are better educated than average and also perform better economically and socially and will therefore largely be able to maintain a double life.”

The study stated:  “The sharpest and most consistent difference between the Radical Islamists and other Muslim immigrants concerned their adherence to religious duties and proscriptions. More than half of the most radical group deferred to Sharia over National law, and a third endorsed death as punishment for apostasy.”

“They become radicalized from their own perception of what happens around the world,” says Shahamak Rezaei, Associatev Professor at the Institute of Social and Globalisation Affairs at Roskilde University.”

The study was based on a nationally representative sample of 1,113 youth (ages 15–30) in Denmark with national ties to a”Muslim country.

Online:  Radical Islamism and Migrant Integration in Denmark: An Empirical Inquiry
Radical Islamism and Migrant Integration in Denmark: An Empirical Inquiry (pdf)

Photo by minniemouseaunt

Schoolgirl Escaped Boko Haram Aided By One Of The Kidnappers

Amina Tsawur, 17, was helped to escape by a member of the terrorist group who spoke her local language. The Boko Haram member told her to “ask to be moved away from the other hostages so she could relieve herself.” Amina followed his instructions, then fled through the jungle in northern Nigeria until she reached a highway where a passing motorist drove her to a nearby town.

Describing the moment of her capture, she said: ‘It was about llpm and we were very scared to hear shooting. We didn’t know what to do or where to run.

‘After some time we started seeing men in soldiers’ uniforms coming in the school by torchlight.

‘We thought they were soldiers. They said they had been sent to evacuate us so we would not be harmed.

Continue reading Schoolgirl Escaped Boko Haram Aided By One Of The Kidnappers

Hillary Clinton’s State Department Would Not Label Nigerian Boko Haram as Terrorists

Hillary Clinton photo
Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State of the United States received assessments and urging from the CIA, FBI, the Justice Department, U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, General Ham, and some members of Congress … to designate Boko Haram as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO).

Opponents to designating Boko Haram were concerned that adding the group to the FTO list would make the United States and Western interest more of a target and would enhance Boko Haram’s status among extremist groups. The opponents were  21 U.S. based African studies academics, former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria John Campbell, some members of the State Department, the Nigerian government, and Scholars on Twitter.

As Secretary of State of the United States Hillary Clinton’s leadership is open to  question. Secretary Hillary Clinton seems to have disregarded the assessments and urging from the CIA, FBI, the Justice Department, U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, General Ham, and some members of Congress.

Continue reading Hillary Clinton’s State Department Would Not Label Nigerian Boko Haram as Terrorists

Putin marks Victory Day in Crimea

Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin marked Victory Day Friday with his first visit to Crimea since it  was annexed from Ukraine in March. As part of the May 9th events, President Putin oversaw a massive military parade celebrating  victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.

“This is a holiday when all-conquering patriotic force triumphs, when we all feel especially strongly what it means to be true to the Motherland and how important it is to be able to stand up for its interests,” Putin told massed troops to shouts of “Hurrah! Hurrah!”

Watching a military parade in Sevastopol on the Black Sea, Putin said: “There is a lot of work ahead but we will overcome all difficulties because we are together, which means we have become stronger.”

Continue reading Putin marks Victory Day in Crimea

The Story About the Wrong Photos in #BringBackOurGirls

Who are the girls in the photos being used on the Twitter campaign #BringBackOurGirls in support of the Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by the Islamic militant group Boko Haram? The photos were used without permission of the photographer Ami Vitale. The girls in the photos are not Nigerian schoolgirls but instead are girls in Guinea-Bissau.

Ami Vitale took the photos to show the hope and resilence of people in Guinea-Bissau. The BBC removed the photos from the related blog post on the BBC website. However Chris Brown has not removed the photos.

Using those photos without permission is a huge infringement and misrepresentation of the girls in the photos,  their families, and the photographer.  The photos should be taken down by those who used them without permission.

There were three photos that were taken from either my website or the Alexia Foundation website, and someone made these images the face of the campaign….

There are many times when I get upset when people take my photos without permission, but this isn’t about that. I support the campaign completely and I would do anything to bring attention to the situation. It’s a beautiful campaign that shows the power of social media. This is a separate issue.

This is about misrepresentation.

Continue reading The Story About the Wrong Photos in #BringBackOurGirls

What Kids Are Reading

Children ReadingGreen eggs, stick figures navigating school, football, foster children, and teen battles are all found in the books American children are reading. Robin Hood, stick figures navigating school, and teen battles are all found in books United Kingdom children are reading. There are many similar authors being read by US and UK students.

The reading habits are detailed in the 2014 reports for the school year 2012-2013, which was released by Renaissance Learning. The reading choices of school children are tracked through the Renaissance Learning Accelerated Reader (AR) program.

Continue reading What Kids Are Reading

House votes to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress

Lois Lerner
Lois Lerner

A contempt charge is usually to compel  either testimony or the production of documents.

The House of Representatives voted Wednesday to hold former IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify about the agency’s targeting of conservative groups.

The House voted 231-187 for a resolution holding Lerner in contempt. All the Republicans voted yes, along with six Democrats.

Lerner’s case will now be sent to the Justice Department, which then must decide whether to essentially prosecute Lerner in the case.

Minutes after the Lerner vote, the House passed a resolution asking the Department of Justice to appoint a special counsel to probe the IRS by a vote of 250-168.

House Speaker John Boehner issued a statement following the vote saying, “It’s time for Lois Lerner to account for her actions, and if she won’t then the full force of the law should be brought to bear.”

What happens next?  Will the Justice Department decide to prosecute?  Congress in 2012 voted to hold Eric Holder, the Attorney General of the United States, in contempt of Congress for withholding documents related to the gun-running operation “Fast and Furious.” Holder saw his contempt of Congress vote as ‘partisan sport’.  Will Holder view the House vote holding Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress as partisan politics and do nothing?

Expect the issue to linger through the election season.

Online:  FoxNews:  House votes to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress
Vote Details:  On Agreeing to the Resolution: H RES 574 Recommending that the House of Representatives find Lois G. Lerner, former Director, Exempt Organizations, Internal Revenue Service, in contempt of Congress for refusal to comply with a subpoena duly issued by the Committee on Oversight & Government Reform

**Update: IRS finally agrees to turn over ALL Lois Lerner emails to House Republicans – a day after she’s found in criminal contempt

Less than a day after former IRS official Lois Lerner was found in criminal contempt of Congress, her old agency has agreed to turn over copies of all her emails and other correspondence to one of the Republican-led House committees investigating the scandal that led to her retirement.