The Media vs. ACORN
This Wednesday a federal judge ruled that the congressional bill, passed last year by both houses, which barred the community organizing group ACORN from receiving federal funds amounted to a bill of attainder and was therefore unconstitutional.
As The Nation's Chris Hayes argues, "the United States Congress is not known for quick, decisive action." Yet only days after a series of videos showing two conservative activists dressed up as a pimp and a prostitute receiving tax advice from ACORN representatives hit the Web, both houses passed the ACORN bill stopping all government funding to the group.
So why did congress suddenly kick into overgear to deny funding to a group which receives on average only "$3.5 million a year from the government, or approximately one-millionth of [2009's] budget"? After all, wouldn't lawmakers' suffer some backlash by cutting aid to an organization working to keep people in their homes during the worst foreclosure crisis in the country's history?
The answer has something to do with the perfect media storm that resulted from the colorful viral videos, public outrage over the government's handling of the financial crisis, and the easy target of a community organizing group with decentralized leadership and admittedly variable standards and practices. Back in April of last year, Media Matters found that, "in coverage of major news stories, conservative media figures have repeatedly fallen back on two of their favorite bogeymen—the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) and undocumented immigrants—frequently blaming national crises on one or both groups or accusing them of receiving undeserved benefits from the government."
And when ACORN was cleared by the Brooklyn district attorney's office earlier this month, the Colbert Report put together this humorous yet revealing compilation of media outlets getting aspects of the story wrong. The videos were heavily edited, as the Brooklyn DA found, but the mainstream media didn't seem to care. Too bad the damage has already been done.
Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."
- Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
- Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
- Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
The Bajau people's nomadic lifestyle has given them remarkable adaptions, enabling them to stay underwater for unbelievable periods of time. Their lifestyle, however, is quickly disappearing.
- The Bajau people travel in small flotillas throughout the Phillipines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, hunting fish underwater for food.
- Over the years, practicing this lifestyle has given the Bajau unique adaptations to swimming underwater. Many find it straightforward to dive up to 13 minutes 200 feet below the surface of the ocean.
- Unfortunately, many disparate factors are erasing the traditional Bajau way of life.
Lauren Miranda sent a nude selfie to a boyfriend years ago. Somehow one of her students discovered it.
- Math teacher Lauren Miranda was fired from her Long Island school when a topless selfie surfaced.
- Miranda had only shared the photo with her ex-boyfriend, who is also a teacher in the school district.
- She's suing the school for $3 million as well as getting her job back, citing gender discrimination.
An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.
- Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
- The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
- The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
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