Because apparently, you can’t have too many versions of a CV

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Heba Issa (1)

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Today is International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

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An entirely flawed system

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.

Unemployed Binge Watching Is My Expertise

My favorite shows to binge watch during this long stretch on unemployment, in no specific order:

  1. Pretty Little Liars
  2. Sense8
  3. The Blacklist
  4. The Leftovers
  5. Mike Tyson Mysteries
  6. Childhood’s End
  7. Resident Advisors
  8. Night Court
  9. The Jeffersons
  10. Shameless
  11. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
  12. Fargo
  13. Blunt Talk
  14. Grimm
  15. Game of Thrones
  16. South Park
  17. That 70s Show
  18. Once Upon A Time
  19. UnReal
  20. Boy Meets World
  21. Divorce Court
  22. I Love Lucy
  23. The Golden Girls
  24. Sleepy Hollow
  25. Bates Motel
  26. Lizzie Mcguire
  27. Happy Days
  28. Silicon Valley
  29. Under The Dome
  30. American Dreams
  31. The Fall
  32. Gilmore Girls
  33. Arrow
  34. Deutschland 83
  35. Red Band Society
  36. The Goldbergs
  37. 8 Out of 10 Cats
  38. Would I Like To You?
  39. Penny Dreadful
  40. Looking
  41. Grace and Frankie
  42. The Newsroom
  43. The Whispers
  44. ANZAC Girls
  45. Younger
  46. Mr. Robot
  47. Humans
  48. Nurse Jackie
  49. Lizzie Borden Chronicles
  50. The Americans
  51. Wayward Pines
  52. Resurrection
  53. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
  54. The Returned
  55. The Slap
  56. Banshee
  57. Fresh Off The Boat
  58. Mozart In The Jungle
  59. 12 Monkeys
  60. Allegiance
  61. Schitt’s Creek
  62. The Mindy Project
  63. Rectify
  64. Bones
  65. Black Mirror
  66. House Of Cards
  67. Teachers
  68. A Place To Call Home
  69. The 100
  70. Chasing Life
  71. Married with Children
  72. Arrested Development
  73. Revenge
  74. Sons of Tuscon
  75. My Name is Earl
  76. Torchwood
  77. Bomb Girls
  78. Sherlock
  79. The Tudors
  80. Lost Girl
  81. The Book Group
  82. Continuum
  83. Orange is the New Black
  84. Malcolm in the Middle
  85. Dance Academy
  86. Being Human
  87. Greek
  88. Raising Hope
  89. United States of Tara
  90. House
  91. Scrubs
  92. The Big Bang Theory
  93. Friday Night Dinner
  94. Fresh Meat
  95. The Inbetweeners
  96. Parks and Recreation
  97. Hart of Dixie
  98. Undeclared
  99. Dinosaurs
  100. The IT Crowd
  101. The Killing
  102. Accused
  103. Gavin and Stacey
  104. Coupling
  105. Trinity
  106. Hotel Babylon
  107. Sleeper Cell
  108. Degrassi
  109. The Office
  110. Drop Dead Diva
  111. Switched at Birth
  112. Jericho
  113. The Riches
  114. The Wonder Years
  115. The New Girl
  116. Community
  117. Gossip Girl
  118. Parenthood
  119. Breaking Bad
  120. Glee
  121. Skins
  122. Mad Men
  123. Weeds
  124. Prison Break
  125. Dexter
  126. 30 Rock
  127. Jack & Bobby
  128. Survivors
  129. Dead Like Me
  130. Friday Night Lights
  131. Rescue Me
  132. Doug
  133. How I Met Your Mother
  134. South Park
  135. It’s Always Sunny In  Philadelphia

 

And that’s just the half of it. I don’t think there were and repeats. But if you ever need something to binge watch, this is certainly a starting point.

 

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Sign the petition: Stop the pig torture! Pork free is the way to be

 

Stop the Pig Torture!

 

[if mso]> <v:rect xmlns:v=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml” xmlns:w=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:word” href=”http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/ATp1S/zrAZ/CIPEy&#8221; style=”height:57px;v-text-anchor:middle;width:285px;” stroke=”f” fill=”t”> <v:fill type=”tile” color=”#e64706″ /> <w:anchorlock/> <center style=”color:#ffffff;font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size:17px;font-weight:normal;”>Sign Nishant’s Petition</center> </v:rect> <![endif] Sign Nishant’s Petition

 

meet the petition author

Nishant Bhajaria

Portland, Oregon

 

Employees beating pigs with paddles and electrical prods. Pigs unable to stand up on their own being dragged across the floor by hooks. A still-conscious pig hanging up-side-down from a hook on its way to slaughter. These are the horrors that a recent undercover video showed in an Austin slaughterhouse.

The Quality Pork Processors (QPP) Austin plant is a high-speed slaughterhouse that sends all of its pork to Hormel Foods, the maker of Spam and other popular processed meats. The recent video shot by a Compassion Over Killing investigator shows QPP employees treating pigs in the most horrific ways imaginable. Nishant was so disturbed by what he saw that he started a Care2 petition demanding that Hormel stop buying pork from QPP until they prove that they have changed their cruel ways. Will you sign his petition?

In addition to showing pigs shivering in fear and pain, the video shows the employees doing some things that could seriously threaten the safety of our food. There are shots of some pigs with pus-filled abscesses being sent down the line, while others were covered in feces. At one point in the video, an employee took a blood-soaked towel and threw it across the line at his coworker.

When the video first became public, QPP tried to dismiss critics and claim that all of the pigs were handled “appropriately.” Due to public pressure and Hormel’s demands, however, they have since changed their tune. QPP now has vowed to train their employees better and provide more oversight of their plant. But only time will tell if they follow through on their promises.

We need to make sure that QPP won’t go back to business as usual once they are out of the spotlight. Please sign this petition demanding that Hormel stop buying pork from the Austin slaughterhouse until QPP shows concrete progress on their promised changes.

Hormel has been moved by public opinion on this issue already, so let’s push them to take the next logical step in ensuring that QPP stops its cruel and unsafe behavior once and for all.

 

There is nothing casual about civilian casualties

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.

 

[announce_onepalestine] Counterpunch: Sometimes People Fight Back–Amer Jubran Names His Torturers

October 16, 2015

Sometimes People Fight Back:
Amer Jubran Names His Torturers

by Lana Habash

… What is compelling about Jubran’s case is that he knows the names of those who tortured him. And the reason Jubran knows those names underlines the absolute confidence that the Jordanian government has in the State Security Court to act as a rubber stamp for the government’s agenda. There is not even the need for the pretense of a fair system. Coerced confessions of different co-defendants carried identical phrasing and were literally edited several times throughout the course of the trial to serve the needs of the prosecution.  Jubran discovered the names of his torturers because they were the first five witnesses for the prosecution. In a recent statement by Jubran on October 10, 2015, he names two of the torturers: Colonel Habes Rizk (who threatened Jubran with being disappeared) and Captain Motaz Ahmad Abdurrahman (who threatened to assault Jubran’s wife to get Jubran to cooperate and also physically tortured Jubran).  …

Impunity for torturers is dependent on a system that permits those who torture to remain anonymous. Though it may benefit repressive regimes to advertise what can happen to you if you are criminalized, it certainly doesn’t benefit those regimes for the names of those doing the dirty work  to be common knowledge. Anonymity is the main source of protection for those who torture. …

Read the full article on Counterpunch:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/10/16/sometimes-people-fight-back-%E2%80%A8amer-jubran-names-his-torturers/

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[announce_onepalestine] FW: [Free_Amer] REMINDER: Urgent Action Today (10/5) for Amer Jubran

***Please forward***

Action Call TODAY, Monday, October 5:

Please send e-mails today calling for urgent intervention in Amer’s case:

Minister of Justice, Bassam Talhouni: Feedback@moj.gov.jo .

And cc’ the following:

 

Prime Minister and Defense Minister, Abdullah Ensour, info@pm.gov.jo

Minister of Interior, Salamah Hammad, info@moi.gov.jo

You can send an e-mail automatically through the website of the Samidoun Network of Support for Political Prisoners:

http://samidoun.net/2015/10/take-action-update-on-amer-jubran-case-torture-and-denial-of-justice/

Sample Letter:

Dear Minister of Justice Bassam Talhouni,

I am writing to call your attention to the severe miscarriage of justice against Amer Jubran, a Jordanian citizen who currently has a case before Jordan’s Court of Cassation.

⦁    Mr. Jubran was arrested on May 5, 2014 by agents of the General Intelligence Directorate and held in incommunicado detention for close to two months. No warrant was presented at the time of his arrest. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention sent an urgent appeal on his behalf to your government at that time: See https://spdb.ohchr.org/hrdb/28th/public_-_UA_Jordan_07.07.14_%281.2014%29_Pro.pdf

 

⦁    During his period in GID detention, Mr. Jubran and six other defendants in the same case were subjected to prolonged periods of torture, including sleep deprivation, beatings, stress positions, and threats of violence against their families. Under these conditions they were forced to sign false confessions to planning a series of “terrorist” actions–confessions  they were not even allowed to read before signing them.

⦁    On July 29, 2015, Mr. Jubran was sentenced by Jordan’s State Security Court to 10 years in prison with hard labor. The Court refused to consider the defense evidence in the case, and used the fabricated confessions as the basis for its decision.

Global human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the Alkarama Foundation have condemned the prevalence of torture in Jordan by the General Intelligence Directorate. The lack of independence of State Security Court from the GID and its failure to condemn torture and other fundamental human rights violations by GID agents have been specifically cited as a reason for the persistence of torture in security cases in Jordan. The United Nations Committee Against Torture, and the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention have repeatedly called for the abolition of the State Security Court.

I am writing now to urge that you take all necessary action in the case of Amer Jubran to see that his appeal before the Court of Cassation receives full and independent review. The severe violations of human rights in his case must be condemned and the unjust sentence reversed.

Sincerely,

****

For more information and background on Amer Jubran’s case, visit freeamer.wordpress.com .

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Free_Amer@amerjubrandefense.org

http://mail.amerjubrandefense.org/mailman/listinfo/free_amer_amerjubrandefense.org

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