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W. Scott Meeks
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W. Scott Meeks

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Today, our Dawn spacecraft completes its primary mission. The mission exceeded all expectations originally set for its exploration of protoplanet Vesta and dwarf planet Ceres. Details: http://go.nasa.gov/295N2tH
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Both Democratic candidates have stated their opposition to the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership). So why is anybody still talking about passing it? And what's up with the secret plan to sneak it through in the lame duck session after the election? The Democratic party platform must be clear. NO to TPP ever.
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Clinton claims to oppose TPP. This should cause you to question that claim.

Sanders said it was “inexplicable” why Clinton allies on the panel at a meeting in St. Louis, Missouri, voted down proposals on trade that both Sanders and Clinton embraced as candidates. “It is hard for me to understand why Secretary Clinton’s delegates won’t stand behind Secretary Clinton’s positions in the party’s platform,” Sanders said.

The drafting committee rebuffed a proposal by Sanders allies to put the party on record saying Congress this year should not take up a trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Both Clinton and Sanders oppose bringing the measure before Congress this year for an up-or-down vote. Clinton allies nevertheless thwarted the platform proposal.

As long as the DNC refuses to oppose TPP in the Dem. Party platform, Clinton herself can pay as much lip service to “opposing” it as serves her political purposes.

How to Have It Both Ways: A Guide by Hillary R. Clinton. Coming out January, 2017, by Penguin Books. (Lest there be any uncertainty, that last comment was snark, written wholly by me, JEH: For all I know, the book could be coming out in February, published by Norton.)
Sanders Welcomes Platform Language on Banks, Capital Punishment SYRACUSE, N.Y. – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders said on Friday that he was “disappointed and dismayed” that allies of Hillary Clinton beat back Democratic Party platform proposals on trade. On the other hand, Sanders said he was pleased that the platform drafters adopted language calling for breaking up too-big-to-fail banks and enacting a modern-day Glass-Steagall Act. Sanders also said h...
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So I'm back from my work/vacation trip to Amsterdam. What's my first experience of coming into the US? Customs. Seeing this process through the lens of the Holocaust was very unsettling and by the time I was at baggage claim I was near tears and afraid.

So to start with, if you aren't a US citizen you have to fill out a paper form of what you are bringing, why you are there... If you are a US citizen you can do this by computer when you get to the terminal.

In the terminal you follow lines marked in colors, one for US and one for others. You are shunted through the typical nylon cattle chutes till you get to the machines where they scan your passport, ask you questions, and then, surprisingly to me, take your picture and print it out on your return form. It said take your hat and glasses off and I was started and got the hat off but not the glasses and made a really weird face of confusion (at least that's what was on the paper).

Then you go through more chutes where you get to talk to a customs officer in full police type uniform. He asks the usual questions. But the act of this to this point reminded me of the images I saw at Anne Frank's house. There were their passports with their images on glass. The double image of the printout and my passport was way too similar feeling. I found my sense of humor and used that with the officer but once past him I was near tears.

I pulled myself together while waiting for my luggage and then had one last hurdle. I thought I'd go past a desk where they'd make sure I picked up my bag. No, what they wanted was the printout. They were collecting them. They actually didn't care if I walked out with my own luggage or not.

For those who do not know, I'm a first generation Holocaust survivor. My mother (and her immediate family) managed to smuggle themselves out of the country but I have many family who did not make it, and some with concentration camp tattoos on their arms. This felt too similar. UGH!
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An Open Letter to Youth Baseball Coaches
About my daughter, the baseball player.

Dear Coaches,

Before this letter gets intense, I want to say thank you. The vast majority of you are volunteer coaches. Youth sports rely heavily on volunteers spending countless hours both on and off the field to make practices, games, and even entire leagues possible. I'm sure there is enough on your plate as it is, and you've chosen to dedicate your time and talents to kids in our communities. Thank you.

But we really need to talk.

Over the last few years since my daughter started playing baseball - and even in teeball - I've watched the number of girls playing baseball increase. It's been slow, incremental growth, but growth nonetheless. Where once my daughter would be the only girl on her team, we look forward to counting the girls on the field and seeing if we get lucky enough to have another girl on the team with each passing season.

I understand the typical expectation that girls will play softball, and I'm sure the girls I haven't seen as return players have gone on to play softball. And while a lot of that may be at the player's individual choice, we need to discuss your role in this whole thing.

Stop asking, "So when are you going to put her in softball?"

Stop asking, "Is she really gonna keep playing baseball?"

Stop saying, "Well, when she goes to softball..."

My daughter is not playing softball. She is playing baseball, as I'm sure you're well aware. Or did that definition suddenly become unclear once a girl showed up on your roster?

You're not coaching a softball player. You're coaching a baseball player. What she plans to do next season has no bearing on you or how you should coach her now, in this season. I don't think even she knows what she wants to do next season, given the fact that she's only eight.

When you ask those questions, you are asking me if you should write her off. You are asking if you should even give her playing time. You are asking if she's worth it.

Every child on your roster, Coach, regardless of their skill level or ability, regardless of their gender? IS WORTH IT.

While you may not realize it, these questions, this attitude, shows up in how you coach. It shows up in your body language, the time you spend with her, the type and manner of instruction you give her, and how you interact with her. You want to grumble about the private coaching she's been receiving between seasons, yet you are the reason I've invested in private instruction. Because her private coach is invested in her as a baseball player. We've discussed her future plans because that's part of his job description in being her private coach. You know as well as I that you will likely not coach her again after this season, so her sports future is not part of your job description. You are to facilitate her becoming the best player she can be right now. In this moment. This day. This week. This season.

And yet you seem to be trying to find ways to wriggle out of it. To spend more time on the boys. Because, hey, if the girl is going to softball in the future, what's the point now?

What is the point? The point is that you are part of foundation building, and not just for a child's attitude toward baseball, but toward sports in general. Nurturing good sportsmanship, a sense of camaraderie among teammates, fostering a healthy attitude toward competition, and safe skill building within the sport. You are setting a foundation for the future, and for every girl you write off in baseball, you are increasing the chances that she won't want to play sports in general in the future.

I've never wanted to be that mom, because I know I'm biased when it comes to my child. But do you really want to be responsible for writing off the next Dottie Kamensheck? The next Mo'ne Davis? I believe my daughter has that kind of potential. She believes she has that kind of potential.

Do you?

I will leave you with this: If you want to ask 110% of your players in practices and games, then you need to give that same 110% to all your players, regardless of their gender.

Because hitting like a girl and throwing like a girl? Turns out, that's a damn fine compliment.

Sincerely,
That Mom

Note: This is not directed at any one coach in particular, and is just commentary on experiences throughout our time in two different leagues, with a variety of coaches.
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And when the time comes that the daughters can no longer match the boys for physical strength....they should have a ladies baseball leagues, for the ladies that don't want to play softball.

Women can play baseball just fine. In WW2, they had a league of their own. Softball should not be their only ballgame route.
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W. Scott Meeks

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Welcome to Harridan Township, a store that dresses your taste, rather than your gender.

Harridan Township the brainchild of Mary Going, who received earlier acclaim for launching Saint Harridan, a "masculine" clothing line for women and transmen, which is much loved well beyond the queer community here in the Bay Area.

After Saint Harridan's launch, Going heard from people in the queer and non-binary communities -- they wanted a clothing line specifically for them. And so the idea to expand the offerings was born.

Going recently launched a Kickstarter to raise money for what she’s billing as a store for all genderqueer folks. If funded, it will feature five different labels, each with its own personality (some "feminine" in style, some "masculine," some a mix.)

Harridan Township’s universal sizing system will dispense with the gendering of clothing items, as well as the messy system of classic women sizes (0-24) and male sizes (28-42). Instead, sizing will take into account different body shapes to ensure the perfect fit regardless of presentation preference; the store will offer a questionnaire to help assess individual sizing for garments.

If you like this, you should put your money where your Plus is.
Enough with the shapeless garbage other brands call "gender neutral."
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Attention foreigners! Your social presence may soon be part of the entry process into the U.S.

Yesterday, US Customs and Border Patrol entered a new proposal into the federal register, suggesting a new field in which persons entering the country would declare their various social media accounts and screen names. The information wouldn’t be mandatory, but the proposed field would still provide customs officials with an unprecedented window into the online life of visitors. The process already includes fingerprinting, an in-person interview, and numerous database checks.

The proposal focuses on arrival / departure forms commonly collected from non-citizens at the US border, as well as the electronic form used for anyone entering the country under a visa waiver. Under the proposed changes, those forms would include a new data field prompting visitors to "please enter information associated with your online presence," followed by open fields for specific platforms and screen names.

What could possibly go wrong with this?

Your Twitter handle may soon be part of the US visa process. Yesterday, US Customs and Border Patrol entered a new proposal into the federal register, suggesting a new field in which persons...
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I think +Sheeri K. Cabral needs one of these...
 
Knowledge is (super)power! Superhero Bookcases by Burak Doğan: http://bit.ly/28NJ51x
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