So I just found out that NJ is cutting off my food stamps because I’m considered able-bodied. Food stamps has literally been the only thing feeding my family right now and the only way for me to continue getting food stamps is if I go to a 20 hour a week work program. I tried to go to the program and had to make an appointment for orientation months ago and they were so mean and dismissive of me. They wanted me to miss my doctor appointment to go to their orientation and I told them I couldn’t miss it. I was sick, I needed to see a doctor. So they wouldn’t schedule me for another day and that was that.
I can get out of the requirement if I’m caring for someone in my family, which I am, my mother who has been unwell. But why is she unwell, because without warning her health insurance was terminated because she was deemed to make too much money. My mom makes $800 a month from alimony payments. That’s it! How is that too much money? Because she doesn’t have health insurance, she can’t afford her meds and hence has not been the greatest lately. The only way to prove that I’m caring for my mother is if she gets evaluated by a doctor and deemed disabled. Again, something we cannot afford. And if she never had her insurance terminated to begin with, she’d have her meds and she wouldn’t need someone to look after her. It’s a flawed system and I’m so embarrassed and sad and scared. I don’t know how to feed my family.
I’ve been trying to get a job for a year and a half now with no luck. I have a BA and two MAs. I’m clearly educated and should be capable of getting a job but no one wants to give me a chance despite my 10 years of experience. I really don’t know what to do. I really hate to ask, but I need help. I haven’t paid my credit cards off, we’re charging everything on credit and I’ve reached my credit limit. We’re not using the heat even though it’s so cold, bc we can’t afford to make the payment. I don’t have a cell phone line because we can’t afford it. How is my family going to eat? What am I supposed to do? Like we can’t even afford to pay rent this month. Literally, I have no idea what to do or how to keep us from being hungry and homeless. And I could kick myself for ending up in this situation.
I keep trying to crawl us out of this hole, but I keep failing.
This is so embarrassing, but I need help and I don’t know where to turn. I’m so embarrassed to ask and hate myself for getting to this point. If you could spare anything, even just $1, I would appreciate it so much. https://www.paypal.me/hebavsreason I swear, I’ll never forget your generosity and 100% promise to pay it forward. I’m just so scared and so unsure of how to make ends meet. I’m so embarrassed and I’m so sorry for asking. Maybe you could pass this around, reblog it. Any help would be so important and I’d be so thankful.
What’s on your bucket list?
I have an ever long and ever changing/shifting bucket list. And it seems fitting to reassess my life goals in light of the new year. Here are just a few wants on my list. Some are simple, some are more challenging.
- Have my book published
- Write another book
- Get funding for a PhD
- Get into a PhD program that is right for me
- Learn to surf
- Get healthy
- Go to a dinosaur museum
- Be an extra in a movie or show
- Learn to spearfish
- Own a home and piece of land where I can have lots and lots of animals like donkeys, horses, llamas, lambs, dogs, cows and more.
- Adopt and/or foster children
- Get a job that allows me to travel and pay off my student loans
- Get lasik
- Get laser hair removal
- Start a nonprofit
- Take horseback riding lessons
- Have friends
- Become more flexible
- Fly first class
- Make someone’s wish come true
- Go cliff jumping
- Hang out by a serene waterfall
- Name a star
- Have my own private plane and/or helicopter
- Be in the fashion industry
- Learn to dive
- Go scuba diving
- Befriend an elephant
- Have one of my plays produced
- Have someone illustrate a comic book based off of one of my stories
- Have one of my stories turned into a film
- Learn to draw
- Live in a castle
- Learn to sew
- Go Ziplining
- Publish a cookbook
- Own a car
- Dance in the rain
- Hang glide
- Go to a haunted house
- Throw a themed party
- Go through a corn maze
- Witness a miracle
- Take singing lessons
- Take kickboxing lessons
- Learn to knit
- Learn to ride a bike
- Go parachuting
- Swim with dolphins
- Meet Harry Styles, cut off some of his hair and sell it on ebay for millions so I can afford to fund my bucket list.
Is Donald Trump a role model to be honoured? A university in Aberdeen seems to think so. Robert Gordon University are sticking by the honorary degree they gave him, despite his hate-filled speeches about Muslims, his outrageous sexism and his campaign to stop our green energy. 
So 38 Degrees member Suzanne Kelly has started a campaign to get Trump’s degree revoked immediately. Already over 15,000 of us have signed her petition, and the University are in crisis talks about it. If we keep the petition growing, it’s going to be impossible for the university to ignore – they’ll feel forced to do the right thing.
If you think that Trump isn’t someone we should honour, then please sign Suzanne’s petition now. It takes less than 10 seconds:
On its own website the university says that “The Honorary Degree is not only to acknowledge and celebrate the individual’s success but also to provide our current students with inspirational role models”. Which bit of Donald Trump’s character does the university think is an inspiration?
Stripping Trump of this honorary degree will send him a clear message: Britain doesn’t stand by him or his hateful views. Please sign the petition now:
Thanks for being involved,
Louie, Robin, Rachel and the 38 Degrees team
PS: Suzanne started her campaign on the 38 Degrees Campaigns by You website. If there’s another issue that you’d like to campaign on, you can start your own campaign here:
 Telegraph: Donald Trump calls for a ban on all Muslims entering the US:
The Guardian: Donald Trump Muslim Americans special identification tracking:
Huffington Post: 18 Real things Donald Trump has said about women:
The Guardian: Donald Trump takes campaign against windfarms to UK supreme court:
38 Degrees is funded by donations from thousands of members across the UK. Making a regular donation will mean 38 Degrees can stay independent and plan for future campaigns. Please will you chip in a few pounds a week?
Human Rights Day Call to Action for Amer Jubran, Thursday 12/10:
Jordan’s Court of Cassation Fails to Review Evidence, Accepts Use of Torture
(please see sample letter and call to action below)
Jordan’s Court of Cassation issued an opinion in November affirming the verdict of the State Security Court in the case of Amer Jubran. It gave only a weak recommendation that the State Security Court “reconsider” its sentencing decision.
In reaching its opinion, the court did not even discuss the appeal arguments. Most importantly, it ignored the fact that the verdict was based on false confessions obtained through torture.
Unfortunately, this decision of the Court of Cassation conforms to the general pattern of impunity for torture and denial of justice in Jordan’s judicial system.
As we have written in earlier updates, the routine use of torture by Jordan’s General Intelligence Directorate is well-documented by global human rights organizations. The UN Committee Against Torture has specifically condemned the State Security Court’s lack of independence from the GID and has been calling for its abolition since 1994.
We are urging people to express their outrage at the failure of Jordan’s highest court to give Amer’s case any meaningful review and its continued acceptance of false “confessions” obtained through torture in cases decided by the State Security Court.
On Human Rights Day (Thursday December 10th), please write to Jordan’s ambassadors to the UN in Geneva and NY.
***Please send an e-mail and/or fax (see sample letter below) on Thursday 12/10 to:
1) Ms. Saja Majali, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to the UN in Geneva: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fax: +41 22 748 20 01 (011-41 22 748 20 01 if faxing from US)
2) Mrs. Dina Kawar, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to the UN in New York: Missionun@jordanmissionun.com
You can also cc us at email@example.com
Dear Mrs. Dina Kawar and Ms. Saja Majali,
I am writing to you about the case of Amer Jubran, a Jordanian citizen sentenced to ten years in prison by Jordan’s State Security Court on July 29, 2015. Jubran is a Palestinian speaker and writer with an international reputation as an advocate for Palestinian rights.
In May and June of 2014 Jubran was tortured by the Jordanian mukhabarat, in collusion with a state prosecutor, so that he would sign false statements which were used, in turn, to convict and sentence him. Jordan’s Court of Cassation recently upheld Jubran’s conviction while failing to address the issue of the torture he experienced, his forced confession, or any of the appeal arguments submitted by Jubran’s attorneys.
The Jordanian government has consistently violated the rights of Amer Jubran at every level of the judicial process:
1) Arrest without a warrant;
2) Incommunicado detention for 2 months;
3) No access to legal counsel for at least 2 months while in detention;
4) Torture, including forced stress positions, sleep deprivation, beatings, 72 to 120 hour interrogation sessions, and threats to family members;
5) Forced confessions obtained through torture that the defendant was not even permitted to read before signing;
6) Charges that include “committing acts that threaten to harm relations with a foreign government” based on a law promulgated one month after his arrest and that effectively criminalizes speech or any expression of protest directed at a foreign government;
7) A trial in Jordan’s State Security Court, a military tribunal with no judicial independence (the UN has called for its abolition since 1994); and
8) The State Security Court ruling on July 29, 2015 which states openly that the Court is “not obliged to discuss defense’s evidence presented by defense attorneys since accepting prosecution’s evidence automatically implies rejection of defense’s evidence” and relies solely on the forced confessions obtained through torture that Jubran and all his co-defendants recanted during trial.
Global human rights organizations including Alkarama Foundation, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch have expressed grave concerns about the human rights violations involved in Jubran’s case. People around the world have called for justice in Jubran’s case and repeatedly petitioned Jordan’s Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour, the Minister of Justice, Bassam Talhouni, and the Minister of the Interior, Salamah Hammad. There has been no response from the Jordanian government.
Does Jordan approve of torture? As Jordan’s ambassador to the United Nations, will you use your office to uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, or to justify its violation.
A just resolution in this case requires that Jubran’s conviction be overturned and that his torturers be held accountable for their crimes.
To subscribe, send a message to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Last week we polled our supporters to see if you believed transparency in campaigns would help preserve our democracy. And the response was OVERWHELMING.
Nearly EVERYONE — 98.16% — called for corporations and non-profits to disclose the money they spend to influence elections.
And Hebatullah, just days later Democrats in Congress tried to bring up a vote on a commonsense campaign finance bill that would do just that — the DISCLOSE Act.
Sadly, the Koch Brothers won. Republicans refused to bring it up for a vote.
Broad public support isn’t enough. If Democrats are going to get the bill through Congress, it’ll be because grassroots supporters like yourself stepped up and took action.
SIGN THE PETITION: Tell Republicans to stop blocking the DISCLOSE Act >>
If we don’t act now, then billionaires and special interests will continue to spend unlimited, untraceable money in America’s elections.
We need Republicans to bring up this bill for a vote — but we can only do it with strong, public pressure.
Add your name telling Republicans to vote on the DISCLOSE Act:
Thanks for standing with us,
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Are you a Daily Mail reader? I won’t lie, I usually read the Daily Mail for a laugh. Some of these stories they come up with… they’re just interesting and chuckle-worthy to say the least. I do, however, know that I should never read an article concerning a serious matter on the Daily Mail website. But alas, I torture myself every time and even worse, I always scroll down to the comments section to read the vile things people feel so confidently typing, but rarely say in person.
Some of the worst things I’ve read include:
Comments about how “Real” refugees shouldn’t have phones- Many refugees are fleeing war. That doesn’t mean they didn’t have possessions. Cell phones are no longer a first world standard. Get over it because I’m willing to bet that the vast majority of refugees don’t have these fancy contracts and money to spend speaking hours on the phone.
Comments about how “real” refugees shouldn’t be allowed to wear makeup- First of all, I saw the video this ignoramus was commenting on and the woman did not have makeup up. She was and is naturally gorgeous. Perfect contours, skin and thick eyebrows. She’s prettier than all of us put together. That comment was pure jealousy. Plus, considering everything these refugees have been through, so what if she gets to put on a tiny bit of makeup. She deserves to feel beautiful and like her normal self after the torment of fleeing her country and home.
Comments about how refugees are only in it for the benefits- You know what benefit they really want. The benefit of life!!! I can’t entertain that nonsense.
Comments about how Syrians should fight for their country- This is the silliest comment of all. Syrians have been fighting for their country for years. They’re not only fighting against ISIS, you know. They’re fighting against the Assad regime and the US and Russia and the whole list of countries that have been striking Syria. What weapons do these innocent civilians have that they can use against a whole world? The numbers don’t add up. The worst part is so many refugees are children. Do we really expect children to fight? Because if we allowed that the Daily Mail commenters would comment about how child soldiers are wrong.
Comments about how refugees desire to continue their education makes them economic migrants and not refugees- You realize that these people have had their entire lives come to a complete halt. They’ve literally been sitting around starving and waiting to die. A whole generation of young Syrians is growing up illiterate and unable to do basic math or know much about anything other than war. These refugees aren’t coming over just so they can take advantage of university education. No, if they could have stayed in Syria and continued their education they would have. But there are no teachers left in schools in Syria because there are no schools left. The schools that are left get used as shelters and makeshift community centers.
Comments about how “we” should bomb “them all”- That is an incitement of terror and makes you complicit in murder. Just putting that out there, you horrible human being. I have no problem with seeing ISIS and Assad terrorist thugs get blasted off this earth, however the legal thing to do would be to capture them and try them in a court of international law, in which they would be found guilty and live a long and tortuous life in maximum security prisons. But there is nothing casual about bombing an entire city, killing innocent civilians and calling them casualties.
Comments about how everyone in Raqaa is an ISIS terrorist and that if they weren’t they would have left- Yes, Raqaa is an ISIS headquarter. Yes, ISIS controls the city, but is everyone there a supporter of ISIS, no? But to openly oppose it would leave you dead or tortured. Why don’t people leave? They don’t have the money. Sure smugglers could get you out, but where would you go? The smugglers will take all your money, risk your life and leave you penniless on a raft in the Mediterranean or in the desert on the way to a desolate refugee camp or in some other destroyed part of Syria.
Comments judging refugees for being separated from their families- Seriously? Is this the Olympic category for most vile comment made? Because if it is, you win. People get separated from their families in all sorts of ways that most people would find inconceivable. But it happens all the time. Talk to anyone whose family has been through a war or some sort of catastrophe: I can guarantee you that a majority of people will tell you they have at least one family member that ended up alone or separated from the rest.
Comments about how refugees have “such nice tents”- This dude commented on how her tent was so nice that she couldn’t possibly be a “real” refugee and that she probably has all this money stashed away. How deep in the dirt is your head exactly? Much of this type of supplies has been provided by aid workers, charity organizations and normal human people with hearts that donated much needed goods, such as tents. Do you want to live on a tent on a street corner when it’s raining and cold? No, especially since winter is nearing. You’re just a horrible person for thinking this
Comments stating the run of the mill stereotypes- The long list of racial slurs, insults, and stereotypes that I won’t humor by listing. You know the type orientalist rubbish that is slanderous, libel, disgusting and horrible filth, but Facebook won’t take it down because they’re too worked up taking pictures down of women’s bodies.
My conclusions: Firstly, humans are awful. I don’t know how people can be awful. I doubt most of these hateful commenters could handle day in the life of a refugee. If you really think “we don’t owe them anything,” then you clearly have no idea how complicit our governments are in making Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and the rest of the world, the situation that they are in today.
Secondly, we haven’t learned from history one bit. These comments– ugh just look at some of the things people said during WWII about refugees. Please and compare those comments to now.
And lastly, I can’t be the only one who sees comparison in 9/11 and the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq with the Paris Attacks and the subsequent bombing of Raqaa.
Civilians, particularly children are innocent and pay the highest toll in wartime situations. I’m not going to sit here and pretend like I know what the answers to terrorism, racism, discrimination and bigotry are. Offhand I would say education, but we all know the world isn’t that simple.
All I want is for people to think for 30 seconds before they type these horrible comments. I pray your ignorant minds become enlightened with knowledge, wisdom and empathy.