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Mr. Scorpio

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 73,501

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Just add milk…

Lots and lots of milk.

Bringing Babies to the Classroom to Teach Empathy, Prevent Bullying

SEATTLE -- In Laurie Pearson's kindergarten classroom at Lake Forest Park Elementary, students stand at attention. Pearson knows the silence won't last long and that she needs to be quick with her instructions.

"Everyone must wash your hands," Pearson says, "because baby Claire will be here soon."

The 20 or so kindergartners are already well acquainted with Claire, a seven-month-old infant who visits the classroom regularly as part of the social and emotional learning program Roots of Empathy.

Roots of Empathy, first started in 1996 in Toronto and introduced into U.S. schools in 2007, aims to build more peaceful and caring societies by increasing the level of empathy in children. In the last six years, the program has spread to California, New York and other parts of Washington.

Some teachers at the school, including Pearson, say they were initially nervous about the safety of the babies in classrooms full of students.

"I thought they were crazy," Pearson said, "but it was just amazing to see the kids respond and light up."

Roots of Empathy instructor Marilyn Enloe visits the classroom 27 times over the course of the year and for nine of those visits baby Claire will be there as well with her mother, Jenny Fitzpatrick. It's Enloe's job to help students observe the baby's development and to label Claire's feelings.


Santorum thinks that "Will and Grace" created the demand for gay marriage

Did The Catholic Church Ordain Gay Weddings?

By Jim Duffy

RITE AND REASON: A Kiev art museum contains a curious icon from St Catherine's monastery on Mount Sinai. It shows two robed Christian saints. Between them is a traditional Roman pronubus (best man) overseeing what in a standard Roman icon would be the wedding of a husband and wife. In the icon, Christ is the pronubus. Only one thing is unusual. The "husband and wife" are in fact two men.

Is the icon suggesting that a homosexual "marriage" is one sanctified by Christ? The very idea initially seems shocking. The full answer comes from other sources about the two men featured, St Serge and St Bacchus, two Roman soldiers who became Christian martyrs.

While the pairing of saints, particularly in the early Church, was not unusual, the association of these two men was regarded as particularly close. Severus of Antioch in the sixth century explained that "we should not separate in speech [Serge and Bacchus] who were joined in life". More bluntly, in the definitive 10th century Greek account of their lives, St Serge is openly described as the "sweet companion and lover" of St Bacchus.

In other words, it confirms what the earlier icon implies, that they were a homosexual couple. Unusually their orientation and relationship was openly accepted by early Christian writers. Furthermore, in an image that to some modern Christian eyes might border on blasphemy, the icon has Christ himself as their pronubus, their best man overseeing their "marriage".

The very idea of a Christian homosexual marriage seems incredible. Yet after a 12-year search of Catholic and Orthodox church archives Yale history professor John Boswell has discovered that a type of Christian homosexual "marriage" did exist as late as the 18th century.


Air quotation marks in place of the needed ones…

Look at me over here!

Prison profit CREATES a demand for more prisoners… Damn Skippy!

The Prison Industry in the United States: Big Business or a New Form of Slavery?

Human rights organizations, as well as political and social ones, are condemning what they are calling a new form of inhumane exploitation in the United States, where they say a prison population of up to 2 million – mostly Black and Hispanic – are working for various industries for a pittance. For the tycoons who have invested in the prison industry, it has been like finding a pot of gold. They don’t have to worry about strikes or paying unemployment insurance, vacations or comp time. All of their workers are full-time, and never arrive late or are absent because of family problems; moreover, if they don’t like the pay of 25 cents an hour and refuse to work, they are locked up in isolation cells.

There are approximately 2 million inmates in state, federal and private prisons throughout the country. According to California Prison Focus, “no other society in human history has imprisoned so many of its own citizens.” The figures show that the United States has locked up more people than any other country: a half million more than China, which has a population five times greater than the U.S. Statistics reveal that the United States holds 25% of the world’s prison population, but only 5% of the world’s people. From less than 300,000 inmates in 1972, the jail population grew to 2 million by the year 2000. In 1990 it was one million. Ten years ago there were only five private prisons in the country, with a population of 2,000 inmates; now, there are 100, with 62,000 inmates. It is expected that by the coming decade, the number will hit 360,000, according to reports.

What has happened over the last 10 years? Why are there so many prisoners?

“The private contracting of prisoners for work fosters incentives to lock people up. Prisons depend on this income. Corporate stockholders who make money off prisoners’ work lobby for longer sentences, in order to expand their workforce. The system feeds itself,” says a study by the Progressive Labor Party, which accuses the prison industry of being “an imitation of Nazi Germany with respect to forced slave labor and concentration camps.”



At least he has a sense of humor about it…

“That picture was taken during the Sikh day parade. He was one of the first people I photographed. He’s a computer IT specialist. He travels a lot. Sikhs at the time were being randomly selected for security. I wish people would just say “you have that thing on your hand and we aren’t sure what it is” instead telling someone they are randomly selected. One time he wore the shirt through security and the guard chuckled. It’s a way of loading off steam at the reality that people have to face.

When the tragedy first happened, my heart sunk. A time frame is a time frame. The pictures have been out there. I wasn’t thinking that people need to see this. When I was speaking to the Sikh Coalition, I was thinking this is the perfect time for people to see them because they wouldn’t just see the suffering but see the positive things. I had this vision of how I wanted these pictures to look. I’m not creating a false environment; I want to portray the positive images not in crisis and in mourning. Those types of pictures are important. But I want people to understand the vibrancy of this community.”

Photographing Sikhs With Fiona Aboud



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