County-level data showing military equipment given to state and local law enforcement agencies through the Defense Department’s 1033 program. The data was received from the Defense Department in May 2014 as an Excel file, and includes transfers since 2006.
Want to know if your county has a crap-ton of military surplus gear? Check out this FOIA-extracted database on Github.
“More than one person in the streets of Ferguson has compared what is happening here to the chaotic days of the Birmingham desegregation campaign in 1963. And, like that struggle, the local authorities, long immune to public sentiment, were incapable of understanding how their actions reverberated outside the hermetic world where they held sway—how they looked to the world. That incomprehension was the biggest asset the protesters in Birmingham had. Michael Brown was left lying in the street for hours while a traumatized community stood behind police tape in frustration, grief, and shock: an immobile metaphor for everything that was wrong in Ferguson, Missouri.”—New Yorker contributor Jelani Cobb compares the situation in Ferguson to a key moment in civil rights history. (via shortformblog)
Rachel Pepe is a 13-year-old transgender girl from Middletown, NJ who’s gearing up to go back to school. The problem is that because she’s legally registered with the school as male, officials say she can only return to school if she “acts” and “dresses” as male.
Thorne Middle School says they won’t accommodate Rachel’s request to use women’s restrooms or even the single-stall bathroom in the nurse’s office, and they will refuse to call her by her name. No out-of-district educational opportunities will be made available, either.
"He was going to school last year as Brian," said Angela Peters, Rachel’s mother, adding that her child developed stress-related seizures, depression and panic attacks. "How can I send her back as Rachel? And I am not sending her back as Brian because the depression will start again."
Rachel remained deeply isolated from the rest of the student body but still, her mother said, the children would bully her because she was so quiet.
"She would get off the bus and just cry," Peters said. "Then she would go to sleep for 17 or 20 hours and refuse to go back there."
There is no reason in the universe to treat a child with such hostility and meanness. Rachel is incredibly brave for sharing her story on a national level when there’s so much hate brewing in her own community. School should be a safe place, but it so often isn’t; when a student has to fear mistreatment from teachers for being who she is, the school is failing her.
Apologies for the recent inactivity. The person running this account has taken on more responsibilities so they got a little behind on keeping the queue topped off. We hope to have things back on track sometime this week, next week by the latest!
1. Compliments complement: For nearly three decades, relationship expert Terri Orbuch has conducted a research project following 373 married couples. She’s found that couples who regularly give each other “affective affirmation” — meaning “compliments, help and support, encouragement and subtle nonsexual rewards, such as hand holding” — are the happiest.
2. Forget about the dirty dishes: Pretend the cable bill has already been paid, the inlaws already called — just for ten minutes. “Ask her what her favorite movie is, and why,” she suggests. “Ask him to recall a happy memory from childhood. Ask her what she’d like to be remembered for.” This small change “infuses relationships with new life,” she says.
3. Stay on your toes: “In my study, when couples said they were in a relationship rut or felt bored, they were less happy over time,” says Orbuch. So escape the rut by mixing things up. “The changes can be small, but they have to upset the routine enough to make him or her sit up and take notice.”
4. Marriage is like a credit card: Helen Fisher, author of “Why Him? Why Her?: How to Find and Keep Lasting Love,” recommends sustaining “your ‘positive illusions’” about your significant other. “When you begin to feel irritated at your partner, instead of reviewing everything you don’t like, turn your thoughts to all the good things about him or her.”
5. Look for the soft emotion: “One of my favorite pieces of advice come from an observation I once heard from two fellow Council on Contemporary Families board members, psychologist Philip and Carolyn Cowan,” Coontz tells me. ”They said to always look for the soft emotion that lies beneath the hard one.” She explains, “Since then I’ve tried to respond to the soft emotion — the fear, anxiety or embarrassment that is hiding behind the anger or accusation — rather than to the hard one. It helps in all sorts of relationships, not just marriage.”
6. Live your own damn life: Lerner emphasizes the importance of independence. “Connect with friends and family, pursue your own interests and be of service to others,” she says. “If your primary energy isn’t directed to living your own life as well as possible, you’ll be over-focused on your partner in a worried or critical way.”
7. Don’t wait for the mood to strike: “Have sex regularly, even if you don’t feel like it,” advises Fisher. Now, this does not mean: Have sex with a person who doesn’t want to have sex with you. Nor does it mean: Tell your partner that it doesn’t matter that they aren’t in the mood. Instead, it means: Don’t always expect to be overcome by desire before deciding to have sex.
8. But first, pick a good lover: As my grandma once told my aunt, “The best I can wish for you is a lover as good, as well as kind and considerate, as your grandfather.” (Oversharing runs in the family.) This bit of advice is only useful pre-vows — and it’s important to note that a good lover is not necessarily someone who has the entire Kama Sutra memorized, but someone who brings the right attitude to sex (“good, giving and game,” as Dan Savage puts it).
9. Let go of the fantasy: For his book “You Can Be Right (or You Can Be Married): Looking for Love in the Age of Divorce,” Dana Adam Shapiro traveled across the country asking divorcées for marriage advice. After all, who better to offer insight into why relationships fail? “There were so many little tidbits, like how to fight fairly and productively,” he says, but his favorite piece of advice came from an interviewee who went by the pseudonym “Jim.” He said: There is something absolutely divine — I mean, literally, the breath of God — in the ability to put someone else in your heart, to think of them first. But from the time of the greatest pornographer who ever lived, Shakespeare, we’ve demanded that love be something more. … And what happens is, the utter grandeur and magnificence of what love actually is gets overshadowed by this disappointment that it’s not the way we fantasized it should be.
“Speaking on his radio show, right-wing gabber and troll Rush Limbaugh implied that the millions of immigrants that have come to America in recent years — including the refugee children still languishing at the U.S. southern border — were part of a grand conspiracy to “wrest control” of the United States away from its white majority.”—Can Rush Limbaugh just stop?
“How convenient that Obama’s enjoyment of playing golf with his friends so clearly demonstrates all of the common Beltway criticisms of his administration — that if he ate lunch with Paul Ryan or played cornhole with Ted Cruz or watched Sharknado with Mitch McConnell, much legislation would pass. If that were true, he would have done those things. If he could close deals with John Boehner on the golf course, then he would close deals with John Boehner on the golf course.”—Politico thinks Obama is a bad president because he plays golf.
“Every moment when the ultra-buff turtles are on screen, busting each other’s chops, doing human beat-box routines and ineptly pitching woo at Megan Fox (because they’re, you know, teenagers) was so acutely painful that I had to draw on my own ninja training and reflect intensively on the transitory nature of all phenomena, just to fend off the profound yearning for death.”—The new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film is terrible.
“You’ve got to hand it to Charles Koch: The man doesn’t want for self-confidence. The Kochs and their allies are taking a page from Sen. Rand Paul and trying to dress up their free-market, anti-union, welfare-slashing 21st century feudalism as the answer to persistent African-American unemployment even as the economy recovers under President Obama. Unbelievably, Koch invokes Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as an ally in a stunning USA Today Op-Ed, “How to really turn the economy around,” which is essentially an argument for deregulating business, slashing welfare programs and forcing low-wage work on the poor in the name of the ennobling power of employment.”—Charles Koch doesn’t understand civil rights.
“Republicans may be able to buy some time by claiming to be for birth control while supporting policies that deny people access, but with increased Democratic scrutiny and shifting demographics, they’re eventually going to have to pony up and prove it if they want to survive.”—The tables are turning on the religious right.
“Sex in your twenties is going to be horrible. For a long time you won’t even realize that sex can be more. You will take pleasure in giving pleasure. It is all the intimacy that you can take, for now. Despite the faking, these are some of the realest, rawest moments of your young life; two unformed people pressing their naked egos against each other.”—Advice about sex, marriage, and dating.
“The racist caricatures of black “welfare queens” cruising around in Cadillacs while ignoring or abusing their children were used to create policies that we all have to live with. They were used to create policies that force parents into impossible choices and then blame them for the less-evil decision that they make. They created a situation where a black mother is always a suspect, where taking her children away is the first response from authorities.”—America has declared war on its black mothers.
“As the Ebola outbreak in West Africa continues to spread, so too does public panic. Yes, there are several reasons to fear the virus (and plenty of reasons not to): It’s horrific, deadly and difficult to contain. But that doesn’t mean it’s spreading easily. Ebola is transmitted through contact with body fluids, such as blood, vomit, feces, sweat, saliva or tears — or semen. That’s right: Ebola can be sexually transmitted.”—Yes, Ebola can be sexually transmitted. No, you shouldn’t worry about it.
“You don’t expect total realism in a fashion shoot for a magazine that’s called Glamour. And it’s a positive thing that so many celebrity mothers are coming forward lately to promote breast-feeding as a normal, healthy act that doesn’t need to be covered up or exiled to a separate space. But as you gaze upon that Patrick Demarchelier photo of new mom Olivia Wilde, the one in which she’s lovingly holding her naked infant son while he nuzzles at her Roberto Cavalli half-clad bosom, just remember that it goes down a little differently where you’re breast-feeding here in the real world.”—Nobody breast feeds like Olivia Wilde.
“Rand Paul is not the worst Republican. If he can use his influence to make criminal justice reform acceptable within the GOP, for example, he’ll have done more good than the rest of the GOP combined has done in decades. But there are real contrasts in his rhetoric and his record, past and present, which he all too often is unprepared to explain. If he doesn’t figure that out, the spotlight of a presidential contest is going to break him.”—Where does Rand Paul really stand on anything?
“When sexual assault survivors are not fairly afforded an opportunity to excel, society at large is robbed of whatever good could have been. We are losing out on the contributions that these students would have made had they been able to start off in professional careers and attend graduate schools that are reflective of their merits, not their rape.”—Not addressing campus sexual assault robs the world of leaders it needs.