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What do you think about the most?

What do you think about the most?

This is the worst question to ask someone with ADHD. It is like a party in my head. So for an hour, I made a vague note of every weird thing I thought about and here it is:

  • Taking a shower
  • Psoriasis
  • Back pain
  • Menstruation
  • Cleaning
  • Organizing
  • Split ends
  • Nail Polish
  • Kitty scratches
  • Acupuncture
  • Gardening
  • Criminal Minds
  • Money
  • Windstorms
  • Liver dinner
  • Blackheads
  • Cat hair
  • Broken mirrors
  • Dessert
  • Chicken
  • Rejection
  • Fat
  • Writing
  • Sugar cravings
  • Empire
  • Soldiers
  • Coupons
  • Language
  • Crackle
  • Moms
  • Eye color
  • Grandmothers
  • Love
  • Death
  • Lists
  • Crying
  • Family structure
  • Vet visits
  • News
  • Driving
  • Chicago
  • Police Brutality
  • Coffee
  • Math
  • Psychosis
  • Salad
  • Olive Oil
  • Trump
  • Elections
  • Messages
  • Calligraphy
  • Failure
  • God

You see how exhausting it is to be in my brain? All of these topics, thoughts, questions and debates entered my mind in under an hour. Trying to get any one thing done about one singular topic is the most difficult thing for me.

I can’t even imagine what a list of things I think about all day would look like. Or long it would be.

Even while writing this post, I have already given thought to about 15 different subjects.

This is my life…

 

Transnational Hebrew- Language Limbo

David Crystal’s three stages of endangered languages, while broad is also constraining. The first stage is the imposed language stage in which, for top down or bottom up reasons, a group becomes pressured into using the new dominant language. [1] While in stage two, argued as the best chance for progress and language preservation to be made, an emerging bilingualism takes place. [2] The new language is used efficiently, while the old language is used competently [3]— ideally coexisting and complementing each other without confrontation.[4] The third stage consists of a newer generation identifying with the new language and the emergence of family dialects.[5]

This, however, fails to mention or go into greater detail that in the same way a dominated language can be influenced by a dominant language; a dominated language can influence a dominant language. In the case of Israel, Hebrew and Arabic are both considered their official languages, conversely, Arabic is arguably a victim of “language murder” [6][7] as some employers ban Arabic from being used by their staff,[8] a college has banned the use of Arabic[9] and the use of Arabic in public can lead to accosting by the police or receiving other forms of verbal and physical violence, as well. [10]This being a rather top down occurrence with bottom up qualities,[11] as Palestinian youth in Israel do use Hebrew to “show off”[12], but Modern Israeli Hebrew exhibits more of a bottom up system as certain Arabic phraseology and terms become increasingly adopted into Hebrew. Modern Hebrew is a reflection of various ethnic communities contributing to its formation.

While Arabic is by no means an endangered language, it is used significantly less in official settings. Crystal’s third stage hardly seems relevant to the question of Israel or Modern Israeli Hebrew, as the Palestinian population living in Israel has not exhibited the third stage of Crystal’s model, en masse, but they have undergone the first and second stages. Nevertheless, Palestinians living in Israel have adopted quite a bit of Hebrew phraseology in their day-to-day speech, in the same way Hebrew has adopted Arabic terminology into their language. If the dominated language, Arabic, has filtered through and is being used to an extent by the dominant language, Hebrew, then the dominated language, Arabic, has found a new form of existing.  It cannot be considered language death if even the smallest of phrases is still used, nor would it be considered a living language, but rather a language in limbo.

Modern Israeli Hebrew is not only deeply affected by Arabic, but also by Yiddish, Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, Amharic, Tagalog, Thai and others, all spoken by significant immigrant populations in Israel. Adapting these languages into Modern Israeli Hebrew does not make Hebrew any less Hebrew, nor does it threaten national unity.[13] Oppositely, the assimilation of all these languages into Hebrew creates a new language, specific to the needs that suit the Israeli-transnational identity, in which one can pick and choose how the Hebrew language reflects the ever-evolving social and political needs of the population.

[1] David Crystal, Language Death, p. 78-79

[2] David Crystal, Language Death, p. 80

[3] David Crystal, Language Death, p. 78-89

[4] David Crystal, Language Death, p. 81

[5] David Crystal, Language Death, p. 78-89

[6] David Crystal, Language Death, p.86

[7] Ali Jabareen, Language Policy and the Status of Arabic in Israel, p. 34, http://www.qsm.ac.il/asdarat/jamiea/9/3–ali%20jabareen.pdf

[8] Conal Urquhart, McDonald’s bans Arabic, The Guardian, 11 March 2004, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/mar/11/israel

[9] Or Kashti, Private Israeli college forbids teachers from speaking Arabic to students, 24 July 2013, http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/.premium-1.537770

[10] Isabel Kershner, Young Israelis Held in Attack on Arabs, The New York Times, 20 August 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/21/world/middleeast/7-israelis-held-in-attack-on-palestinians-in-jerusalem.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

[11] David Crystal, Language Death, p. 78

[12] Ali Jabareen, Language Policy and the Status of Arabic in Israel, p. 32, http://www.qsm.ac.il/asdarat/jamiea/9/3–ali%20jabareen.pdf

[13] David Crystal, Language Death, p. 83

“Human rights… It’s just not for me…”

Let me set the scene for you.

I’m at a Dartmouth College Activities Fair and I’m manning the Amnesty International table. Ya know, handing out the pamphlets and talking about what we do.

Then one student comes up the the table and asks “What do you guys do?”

I go into my mini spiel about our petitions, protest, activities, lectures and the workshops we organize.

His response, “Human rights… It’s just not for me.”

Now usually when people aren’t interested in Amnesty International, I’m like ok whatever, it is a time commitment that some people can’t do. But this response got to me.

“What do you mean human rights aren’t for you?” I asked. He looked weirded out by my question and he walked away.

But what is that even supposed to mean? It blew my mind and still continues to blow my mind. With my former years teaching ESL, I soon found out that many international adults had NO IDEA what human rights were and that they were entitled to  safety, water, citizenship, asylum, security etc.

There is this mentality that so long as you have human rights, it doesn’t matter if others have or don’t have human rights. But the truth of the matter is, if we, people who have human rights, don’t call for the human rights of others, our silence implies complicity. It implies that we think it is ok for others to get tortured for different beliefs, or sentenced to death for different ways of life.

That complicity then becomes normalization. The offence and clear disregard for human rights becomes normalized, like a domino effect… and how long before the normalized human rights offending ends up on our doorstep? Who is to say it’s not on our doorstep already?

Wake up. Human rights are for all of us and we all need to care about everybody because any one of us could be next. Not only that, but we should care about other’s human rights because it is right and just. Where are your ice cold hearts?

What do you do most when you are bored?

What do you do most when you are bored?

I try and fill up my time with my blog, marathon tv watching, Pinterest, tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, applying for jobs, outfits of the day, making to do lists, thinking about life, playing with my cat, thinking about the future, reading the news, blogilates, doing my hair, arts and crafts, collages, writing, watching tutorials, organizing and so much more. I’m always bored. And I’m always looking for ways to fill my day so that the boredom doesn’t eat away at me.

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Remembering Rachel Corrie on the anniversary of her death

contact@ifamericansknew.org

 

 

Dear Friend,

On this day 13 years ago, American peace activist Rachel Corrie was crushed to death by Israeli soldiers driving a military bulldozer. She was trying to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian family’s home. According to numerous witnesses and photographic documentation, she was killed intentionally.

Representative Brian Baird from Washington State introduced a resolution in Congress calling on the federal government to “undertake a full, fair, and expeditious investigation” into Rachel’s death. The bill was co-sponsored by 77 representatives, but Congress took no action. 

The Corrie family then filed a lawsuit against Caterpillar Inc in 2005, alleging that Caterpillar supplied Israelis with bulldozers even though they knew they were being used to commit war crimes. The lawsuit was dismissed.

The Corrie family’s appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit was also dismissed. The court acknowledged that the U.S. government paid for the bulldozer that killed Rachel, but said that they didn’t have the jurisdiction to rule on the “political question” of U.S. military aid to Israel. 

In 2010, the Corrie family filed a lawsuit in Israel against the Israeli Defense Forces. Israeli officials prevented the physician who had examined Rachel’s wounds from testifying in the case. The court ruled that Rachel was responsible for her own death. In 2014, the Corrie family’s appeal was rejected by the Supreme Court of Israel, and the IDF was absolved of any wrongdoing.

Keep Rachel’s message alive by sharing her story with your community. We have cards, a booklet of Rachel’s letters, and posters available for download and order.

#SupportPalestineInDC2016

U.S. taxpayers send Israel over $3 billion a year in military aid with virtually no strings attached, and now the prime minister of Israel wants $5 billion a year.

The majority of Americans oppose taking sides in the Israel-Palestine conflict, but virtually all Democratic and Republican members of Congress continue to supply Israel with more and more weapons each year (Palestinians do not receive military aid).

American taxpayer dollars have enabled Israel to continue its decades-long illegal occupation of Palestinian land and deny Palestinians basic legal and human rights. With our money, Israeli forces have killed over 9,200 Palestinians as well as numerous international journalists and peace activists since 2000.

We are driving the violence in this region, and we must stop it.

This weekend, AIPAC kicks off its annual policy conference in Washington, D.C., with Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump scheduled to give speeches. We hope you will join us this Sunday at noon at the White House to protest AIPAC’s influence on American politics and support Palestinian human rights. Your voice is urgently needed!

As always, thank for your commitment to peace, justice, and equality for all people.

The If Americans Knew team

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Say His Name, Aylan Kurdi

Aylan, the toddler who drowned yesterday fleeing Syria, was just three years old. His town was under attack by Isis. His five year old brother and his mum also died trying to reach safety. [1]

Yet our Prime Minister has just said ‘we won’t take any more refugees’. [2] He thinks that most of us don’t care.

But 38 Degrees members do care. We don’t want Britain to be the kind of country that turns its back as people drown in their desperation to flee places like Syria.

So let’s stand up for Britain’s long tradition of helping refugees fleeing war. If tens of thousands of us write to our MPs, demanding no more drownings, we can force the government into action.

Please can you email your MP now? It’ll just take a minute but it could be our best chance to force the government to help people fleeing from war and violence. There’s some suggested text to help you write your email if you’re not sure what to say:

[if mso]> <v:rect xmlns:v=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml” xmlns:w=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:word” href=”https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/email-your-MP-refugee-crisis?js=false&amp;zip=TQ2%206BG&#8221; style=”height:50px;v-text-anchor:middle;width:400px;” stroke=”f” fillcolor=”#ff7a01″> <w:anchorlock/> <center> <![endif]EMAIL YOUR MP[if mso]> </center> </v:rect> <![endif]

If MPs hear from lots of their constituents today, they’ll realise that lots of us don’t agree with David Cameron: we want the UK to do its bit to help refugees fleeing war. And if enough MPs start speaking out, Cameron will feel isolated and start to change his tune. Pressure on MPs today could help stop more children drowning as they try to get to safety.

The tide is starting to turn against the government. Some MPs are already starting to call on them to give immediate sanctuary to refugees. [3] Every message we send to an MP today helps pile the pressure on Cameron.

[if mso]> <v:rect xmlns:v=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml” xmlns:w=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:word” href=”https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/email-your-MP-refugee-crisis?js=false&amp;zip=TQ2%206BG&#8221; style=”height:50px;v-text-anchor:middle;width:400px;” stroke=”f” fillcolor=”#ff7a01″> <w:anchorlock/> <center> <![endif]EMAIL YOUR MP[if mso]> </center> </v:rect> <![endif]

Britain has a long tradition of helping people fleeing war. It’s part of being a civilised country. And 38 Degrees members have a strong record of standing up for a Britain we can all be proud to live in – whether that’s through defending the NHS or our countryside, or by making sure we do our bit to help refugees.

So let’s speak up today and tell David Cameron that we won’t stand by while he lets children drown.

[if mso]> <v:rect xmlns:v=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml” xmlns:w=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:word” href=”https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/email-your-MP-refugee-crisis?js=false&amp;zip=TQ2%206BG&#8221; style=”height:50px;v-text-anchor:middle;width:400px;” stroke=”f” fillcolor=”#ff7a01″> <w:anchorlock/> <center> <![endif]EMAIL YOUR MP[if mso]> </center> </v:rect> <![endif]

 

In hope,

Nat, Laura, David, Amy, Megan and the whole 38 Degrees team

PS. Tonight, 38 Degrees members across the country will be lighting a candle in their window as a sign of remembrance for those who have drowned trying to reach safety. Please join in if you feel moved to.

Many of us are also putting signs that say ‘refugees welcome’ in our windows to show the kind of place we want Britain to be. You can find a ‘refugees welcome’ poster to print and put in your front window here:

https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/refugees-welcome-poster

Or, if you want to donate money, the British Red Cross is running an emergency fundraising appeal to help victims of the Syrian crisis:

http://www.redcross.org.uk/What-we-do/Emergency-response/Current-emergency-appeals/Syria-Crisis-Appeal

But first of all, please contact your MP and help build pressure on our government to do the right thing:

https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/email-your-MP-refugee-crisis

NOTES

[1] The Independent: Refugee Crisis Aylan’s life was full of fear – in death he is part of humanity washed ashore:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/refugee-crisis-aylans-life-was-full-of-fear–in-death-he-is-part-of-humanity-washed-ashore-10483670.html

[2] BBC News: David Cameron: Taking more and more refugees not answer:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-34130067

[3] The Guardian: Migration Crisis: Pressure mounts on David Cameron to relent on taking more refugees:

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/sep/03/migration-crisis-pressure-mounts-on-david-cameron-to-relent-on-taking-more-refugees

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Statement by Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on the Striking of an UNRWA School in the Gaza Strip, July 24, 2014

USUN PRESS RELEASE #163 July 24, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Statement by Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on the Striking of an UNRWA School in the Gaza Strip, July 24, 2014

We are deeply concerned about reports of the striking of an UNRWA school in Beit Hanoun, in the Gaza Strip, today. This terrible incident has resulted in the deaths of many innocent civilians who were seeking shelter from the ongoing conflict. Our deepest condolences go out to the families and friends of those who lost loved ones.

As we have said before, UN facilities must be respected and protected, and we call on all parties to act consistently with this principle. UN facilities in Gaza are sheltering more than 140,000 Palestinians, including many innocent children, and must be safe, neutral sanctuaries for fleeing civilians. We condemn the use of these facilities to house rockets and launch attacks on civilians in Israel, and we emphasize that civilians seeking shelter in those facilities must be respected and protected.

Today’s loss of life only further underscores the importance of Secretary Kerry’s and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s efforts to facilitate a cessation of hostilities based on a return to the 2012 Israel-Hamas cease-fire agreement.

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