The rejection of Medicaid funding is only the latest instance of our GOP state legislators putting party politics ahead of what’s good for Florida. Their intractable opposition to the President has led them repeatedly to turn down federal aid with no strings attached - money that is urgently needed in central Florida.
In 2011, GOP lawmakers attempted to block $8.3 million in federal aid to allow the Osceola County Health Department to expand its community health centers. Why? Because they didn’t like Obamacare.
Lawmakers also turned down $2.1 million over a five-year period to help elderly and disabled nursing home patients regain independence and move back home - again, because they didn’t like Obamacare. (Ironically, the same legislators so morally opposed to accepting any money from Obamacare made an exception for $2.6 million in funding for “abstinence-only” sex education.)
Republican legislators argue that accepting funds from a bill that they opposed would be politically “inconsistent.” But what is more important, saving face or saving lives?
Republicans and other opponents of gay marriage often speak of marriage as being a 2,000 year old tradition (or even older). Quite apart from the fact that the definition of marriage has changed from when it was a business transaction, usually between men, there is ample evidence that within just Christian tradition, it has changed from the point where same-sex relationships were not just tolerated but celebrated.
In the famous St. Catherine’s monastery on Mount Sinai, there is an icon which shows two robed Christian saints getting married. Their ‘pronubus’ (official witness, or “best man”) is none other than Jesus Christ.
The happy couple are 4th Century Christian martyrs, Saint Serge and Saint Bacchus — both men.
Severus of Antioch in the sixth century explained that “we should not separate in speech [Serge and Bacchus] who were joined in life.” More bluntly, in the definitive 10th century Greek account of their lives, Saint Serge is described as the “sweet companion and lover (erastai)” of St. Bacchus.
Legend says that Bacchus appeared to the dying Sergius as an angel, telling him to be brave because they would soon be reunited in heaven.
In ancient church liturgical documents, he found the existence of an “Office of Same Sex Union” (10th and 11th century Greek) and the “Order for Uniting Two Men” (11th and 12th century Slavonic).
He found many examples of:
A community gathered in a church
A blessing of the couple before the altar
Their right hands joined as at heterosexual marriages
The participation of a priest
The taking of the Eucharist
A wedding banquet afterwards
A 14th century Serbian Slavonic “Office of the Same Sex Union,” uniting two men or two women, had the couple having their right hands laid on the Gospel while having a cross placed in their left hands. Having kissed the Gospel, the couple were then required to kiss each other, after which the priest, having raised up the Eucharist, would give them both communion.
Boswell documented such sanctified unions up until the 18th century.
In late medieval France, a contract of “enbrotherment” (affrèrement) existed for men who pledged to live together sharing ‘un pain, un vin, et une bourse’ – one bread, one wine, and one purse.
Other religions, such as Hinduism and some native American religions, have respect for same-sex couples weaved into their history.
When right-wing evangelical Christians talk about “traditional marriage,” there is no such thing.
Award-winning journalist Matt Taibbi is out with an explosive new book that asks why the vast majority of white-collar criminals have avoided prison since the financial crisis began, while an unequal justice system imprisons the poor and people of color on a mass scale. In “The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap,” Taibbi explores how the Depression-level income gap between the wealthy and the poor is mirrored by a “justice” gap in who is targeted for prosecution and imprisonment. “It is much more grotesque to consider the non-enforcement of white-collar criminals when you do consider how incredibly aggressive law enforcement is with regard to everybody else,” Taibbi says.
AMYGOODMAN: Is this kind of white supremacist, far-right violence increasing, Mark?
MARKPOTOK: Well, it has been—it has been increasing, or at least very much up, since Barack Obama came into office. It was in fact rather quiet during the Bush years, between 2000, 2008. But pretty—even before Obama took office, as a matter of fact, immediately after he was inaugurated [nominated] in the summer of 2008 in Denver, we began to see plots, various attempts at domestic terrorism, really proliferate. So, the Glenn Miller murders, or alleged murders, are not unique at all. There are a number of—for instance, in June of 2009, after Obama took office, I’m sure many people will remember another well-known neo-Nazi, James von Brunn, shot and killed a guard at the Holocaust Museum in Washington. A couple of years after that, another neo-Nazi—again, fairly well known—tried to bomb a parade with a very powerful IED he built on Martin Luther King Day in Spokane, Washington. Yet a third neo-Nazi invaded a Sikh temple in August of 2012 and murdered six people. And these are only a few examples, but we really have seen quite a number of these. There’s no question that we’re seeing more violence from the domestic, non-Islamic radical right than we are at this point from jihadists.
AMYGOODMAN: And how does the government organize? I mean, number one on the domestic terrorism list, according to a top FBI official, is eco-terrorism, is the animal rights movement. We don’t hear very much about white supremacists except when something horrific like this happens.
MARKPOTOK: Well, let me say, the idea that eco-terrorists, so-called, are the major domestic terror threat, which was in fact said to Congress a couple of times by FBI leaders during the Bush years, I think is just patently ludicrous.
Detected primordial gravitational waves! See how looks the excitement of a big discovery in scientists, or more precisely, the emotion after experimental evidences about a theory, inflation theory, over one of the fathers of it. Assistant Professor Chao-Lin Kuo surprises Professor Andrei Linde with evidence that supports cosmic inflation theory.
Why Does the Same Side of the Moon Always Face the Earth?
Over the millennia friction within the moon created by tidal forces upon the moon by Earth have tidally locked the moon so that its spin matches its orbit.
No discussion about tidal forces would be complete without due respect to the planet Jupiter. Packing more mass than all other planets combined, Jupiter has tidally locked all of its inner satellites, including Galileo’s famous four: Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto.
Although the Moon always presents the same face towards the Earth, due to its rotation and revolution being locked to the same period, the combined effect of these different librations allows us over time to see some 59% of its surface.
Earlier this year, the Miami-Dade County Elections Department quietly implemented a policy to close the bathrooms at all polling facilities, according to disability rights lawyer Marc Dubin. Dubin said the policy change was in “direct response” to an inquiry to the Elections Department about whether they had assessed accessibility of polling place bathrooms to those with disabilities.
“I was expecting them to say either yes we have or yes we will,” Dubin said.
Instead, he received a written response announcing that the county would close all restrooms at polling places “to ensure that individuals with disabilities are not treated unfairly,” a January email stated. “[T]he Department’s policy is not to permit access to restrooms at polling sites on election days,” Assistant County Attorney Shanika Graves said in a Feb. 14 email.
Note that due to the state of Florida’s bang-up job of being generally incompetent at running elections, some voters in the county had to wait in line for six hours or longer to be able to vote in the 2012 elections. Now the state is going to intentionally close all the bathrooms near the polling places, supposedly because they can’t be bothered to determine which ones are accessible to the disabled. Brilliant. This would seem itself to disenfranchise voters with medical conditions that prohibit standing for six straight hours without a bathroom break, so I expect this will not be the last we hear of this.
Armored spiders are medium to small species with a complex pattern of the plates covering their abdomen strongly resembling body armor. In the darkness of caves In Southeast China, scientists discover and describe five new species of these exciting group of spiders. The study was published in the open access journal ZooKeys.
The common name armored spiders is given to the engaging family Tetrablemmidae. Distinguished by their peculiar armor-like abdominal pattern, these tropical and subtropical spiders are mainly collected from litter and soil, but like the newly described species some live in caves. Some cave species, but also some soil inhabitants, show typical adaptations of cave spiders, such as loss of eyes. The genus Tetrablemma, for example, to which two of the new species belong, is distinguished by having only 4 eyes.
Caption: This image shows the male holotype of Sinamma oxycera, one of the newly described species. Credit: Shuqiang Li
The Frenet-Serret moving frame of a space curve. A neat theorem proves that the tangent vector T, the normal vector N, and the binormal vector B = T x Nand their derivatives are related by the skew-symmetric matrix
where κ is the curvature of the space curve and τ its torsion (both of which are position-dependent but continuous) [CJH].