June Bugs

Steve A. Wiggins

On my way to work yesterday, I came upon an overturned June bug clawing at the air, trying to regain its feet.  I’m always in a hurry getting to or from work, but I decided to stop, offering the insect a leaf to grip, and turning it back over.  I knew, as I spied birds flying overhead, that its chances weren’t good.  In the course of nature, insects are radically overproduced because so many get eaten.  In my apartment they can even be a source of sudden terror when they find their way inside.  I knew the June bug was probably nearing the end of its short time on the earth, but as I held out that leaf to it, I knew that in the act of struggling we were one.  That sounds terribly Buddhist of me, I know.  Insects and humans share, on the most basic level, the desire…

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“The Egyptian government knew their own secret service was making a huge mistake” – Egyptian Streets

Dutch journalist Rena Netjes sounds furious over the phone. She didn’t get much sleep last night.

“There are so many lies being spread, including by the Egyptian ambassador in the Netherlands,” says Rena. “I did have permission to do my job in Egypt. I had a temporary press card that was still accurate until December 31 2014, and by then I would’ve gotten a permanent one. Those are the facts.”

Last Monday, she was one of the convicted Al Jazeera English journalists that received a ten year prison sentence in absentia for ‘working, financing and falsifying footage for Al Jazeera in order to defame the Egyptian state’.

However, Netjes has never worked for Al Jazeera English, as the organization has confirmed and the proof against her is non-existent. “The fact that the Egyptian court failed to even get my name and passport number right represents [how] the entire trial [proceeded]. A non-existing Dutch name, ‘Johanna Indinienatta,’ with a non-existing passport number is convicted of being a terrorist. The Egyptians never made a connection to me, Rena Netjes. All they knew is that this person was a member of a terrorist network,” explains Rena.

“I cannot travel to any Arab or African country anymore. Even traveling to some European countries is not possible anymore. Let alone ever going back to Egypt where I lived for four years. I am not surprised, though. Justice does not exist in Egypt, nor does freedom of press.”

via “The Egyptian government knew their own secret service was making a huge mistake” – Egyptian Streets.

McCullen: A view from a thousand feet

Of course, there is nothing theoretical about abortion for one in three women and many trans men and gender queer people. Abortion isn’t a symbol. It isn’t an idea. It’s a medical procedure they chose to undergo. And the sidewalk outside the clinic isn’t a metaphor for the American abortion debate or the polarization of public opinion, but an actual sidewalk through which their actual bodies must cross in the face of actual harassment. To treat it as an abstraction is disrespectful to those who know too well the very real impacts of impeded access — and also betrays the Court’s distance from the on-the-ground dangers it now exacerbates. In McCullen we see the Justices looking down on the sidewalks of America’s clinics from a thousand feet. From this great height, every walk through the crowds looks shorter and every death threat sounds softer. It must feel very safe up there.

via McCullen: A view from a thousand feet.

Eat Drink Better | Healthy recipes, good food: sustainable eats for a healthy lifestyle!

Dutch farmers actually bought in (which is amazing since the Netherlands is Europe’s biggest meat exporter). And in 2013, the ministry announced that between 2007 and 2012, the Netherlands saw a 56% decrease in antibiotic sales to farms without any significant negative impact on efficiency or financial results. Modern Farmer describes the impact on animal and human health:

So has all this attention to detail actually helped animal and human antibiotic resistance? Early data says yes. The 2013 edition of the Netherlands’ annual report on antibiotic usage in animals shows resistant bacteria declining in pigs, veal, chickens and dairy cattle. What will really prove its worth, though, is whether antibiotic-resistant infections decline in humans too.

Evidence shows that there has been no further increase in the number of human infections. But we’ll have to wait to see if the number goes down.

So the Dutch took a risk that paid off — prioritizing animal and human health by redesigning agricultural norms. Will other countries follow their example? Why shouldn’t they?

via Eat Drink Better | Healthy recipes, good food: sustainable eats for a healthy lifestyle!.

Where Killings Are Common, Death of Activist Stuns Benghazi – NYTimes.com

“My people, I beg of you, there are only three hours left,” she wrote at about 5:45 p.m., before the polls closed. She posted pictures of a group of fighters downstairs from her house, and at about 8:45 p.m., she told her sister during a telephone call that her husband was going outside to talk to the men.

Within minutes, Ms. Bugaighis, 50, was dead, having been stabbed, shot and left bleeding in her living room.

via Where Killings Are Common, Death of Activist Stuns Benghazi – NYTimes.com.

Text of H.R. 4899: AKA: Drill Baby Drill – Damn the Environment – Lowering Gasoline Prices to Fuel an America That Works Act of 2014 (Passed the House (Engrossed) version) – GovTrack.us

Text of the Lowering Gasoline Prices to Fuel an America That Works Act of 2014

This bill passed in the House on June 26, 2014 and goes to the Senate next for consideration. The text of the bill below is as of Jun 26, 2014 (Passed the House (Engrossed)).

via Text of H.R. 4899: Lowering Gasoline Prices to Fuel an America That Works Act of 2014 (Passed the House (Engrossed) version) – GovTrack.us.

Blessing the Body – Beauty for all Genders –

The most frequently asked questions I receive from people have to do with my skin, teeth, the brightness of my eyes and overall looks; they want to know what’s my beauty regime. The secrets? So few & simple! And yet so important & profound!

What people need to understand is that the state of my skin, thick nails, white teeth, lustrous hair, etc. are all a byproduct of self love. It frustrates & disappoints me that, whenever I start telling the questioneer about what I do to & with my body, which starts on the inside -not the outside-, they either roll their eyes and zone out until I shut up, or they interrupt “Yeah yeah, but what do you put on your skin, hair, teeth…”. People’s obsession with disregarding their inner world (both the physical and the non-physical) irritates me. And I wonder Why do you ask for an honest answer if you don’t want to hear it?

The way I care for my body often sounds strange to people who want a fast and practical solution, “fast food” style. But if you’ve known me for any substantial amount of time, you’ll know that I don’t do quick fixes. Everything I do in life, I do in a slow, deep deep deep-to-the-core, progressive, curiosity-fuelled, self adoring style, leaving no stone unturned as I make love to myself. Uh-oh, have you already zoned out, dear reader? 😉

via Blessing the Body – Beauty for all Genders –.

How Big A Problem Is Student Debt?

Everyone misses point that typical student who goes to a for-profit business school racks up 30-40 for an associate of arts degree that few employers and 4 year universities think is worth $1.00. Over a trillion dollars is a lot of debt, no matter how you parse it!

The Dish

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Leonhardt believes the problem is overblown:

In fact, the share of income that young adults are devoting to loan repayment has remained fairly steady over the last two decades, according to data the Brookings Institutions is releasing on Tuesday. Only 7 percent of young-adult households with education debt have $50,000 or more of it. By contrast, 58 percent of such households have less than $10,000 in debt, and an additional 18 percent have between $10,000 and $20,000. “We are certainly not arguing that the state of the American economy and the higher education system is just great,” Matthew Chingos, a Brookings fellow and one of the authors of the new analysis, told me. “But we do think that the data undermine the prevailing sky-is-falling-type narrative around student debt.”

Choire Sicha tears into Leonhardt:

All this data comes from the Survey of Consumer Finances, which is conducted by the…

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