Category Archives: World Issues

Skateistan changing the lives of young girls in Afghanistan #whyskateboarding

skateistanGiven the current problems in Afghanistan (and in the world) you would imagine that skateboarding is probably the the last thing anyone in the right mind would care about, right?

Well, check out this inspirational video about a wonderful organization known as SKATEISTAN. An Afghan non-governmental organization that works with youth from a wide range of ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds to build trust and to provide empowerment through a combination of skateboarding and education.

Afghanistan’s Girl Skaters – Kabul 2012 from Skateistan on Vimeo.

How cool is that?

I’m always looking for music to “Bring Me Up” hence the tagline of scrink.com. It’s why I started this blog to begin with because music takes me places.

Skateistan seems like a really awesome program for girls in Afghanistan which is also imoacting girls in Cambodia. If you watch the video I guarantee you’ll find yourself smiling. If you are able to support this organization please do so by clicking here.

Woman forced to resign after marrying partner of 14 years

Some of us have equality. Some of us do not.

This is a true statement even here in the land of the free, the United States.

It’s great to say all people should be treated equal and there are so many ways in which this is becoming more and more true, but the fact remains that there are still many people who are not treated equally.

tippiOne of those people is Tippi McCollough a teacher at Catholic private school Mount St. Mary Academy spoke publicly for the first time Tuesday since she was forced to resign 45 minutes after marrying her long-time partner. McCollough says, 45 minutes after they exchanged vows at their wedding, she received a phone call from her boss, saying if she didn’t resign, she would be fired.

According to an article on the Huggington Post website, McCollough was forced to resign on Wednesday, October 16, 2013 after returning from a trip where she had married her partner of 14 years. The former teacher, who had been in an openly gay relationship for 14 years, acknowledges her contract with the school contained a morality clause, but says she was never approached by the school about violating it until she was married.

This is an injustice. Tippi McCollough was not teaching about sexual orientation. Her relationship was not a secret. So why would a legally binding service to unite her and her partner mean she can no longer teach at that school? I understand it is a private school and they have a morality clause, but forcing a teacher to resign does not bode well for her when she goes to get a job elsewhere. Her commitment to her students did not change because she became married to her partner.

Here is a link to the statement from Mount St. Mary Academy.

If you would like to sign the petition from the Human Rights Campaign to show your support for Tippi McCollough you can find it here.

 

Syrian intervention should be one of aid, not more bloodshed

syriaOne million children are now refugees from Syria’s civil war — and more escape the violence every day. That is JUST the number of children who have fleed. They are broken from their families and friends, because their parents help them to get smuggled out of the war zones. Many have seen their homes bombed, their schools reduced to rubble, their communities destroyed. Since the crisis in Syria began over two years ago, 4.25 million Syrians are believed to have been forcibly displaced within the country with over 100,000 deaths caused due to the conflict. I can’t even begin to pretend that I have any idea what these people go through.

The news reports today make it seem like the US House will side with President Obama in his decision to strike against Syria after their apparent chemical warfare crime which killed over one thousand people a little over one week ago.

This particular issue has been one of great debate in my household and also across social networks. For the most part I think people either have the “just drop a bomb on the whole country” attitude or the “war will do anything except end the deaths of innocent.” It’s a lose-lose situation. If the US strikes in Syria the only guarantee is that there will be more bloodshed. But does that mean we should turn a blind eye? Does it mean we should allow the tragic and unethical displays of inhumanity continue?

I’m not sure the great majority of people are aware just what happens in Syria. I’m not claiming to be all knowing either. And I certainly do not have the answers. I do wish greatly that there could be some sort of mediation set into place to help the country become more peaceful.

You might want to check out this RAND* pdf entitled “Unfolding the Future of the Long War,” copyright 2008, which discusses issues involving the US and Syria… stemming long before the chemical warfare…showing there has always been a plan, there has always been something looming here and it wasn’t because the US cared about who died… do a search for pipeline.

So what I suggest we do, for those of us who can, is to give to the Mercy Corps, International Medical Corps, Unicef or agencies similar to them so we can help these children who are the real victims in this situation. If any intervention is put into place shouldn’t it be one of aid and not one of more bloodshed?

*RAND Corporation is a nonprofit global policy think tank first formed to offer research and analysis to the United States armed forces by Douglas Aircraft Company.

DOMA be gone, Supreme Court puts down the hammer

This will be all over the news so I’m only going to write something short. I cannot tell you how proud I am of the Supreme Court for striking down the Defense Against Marriage Act (DOMA). I’m beyond thrilled that something good is happening in our country. We needed this, we needed to see that the US is no longer going to uphold such an unconstitutional piece of garbage as DOMA.

My husband and I had talked about this earlier in the week and he wasn’t sure the Surpreme Court would rule this way, he thought they might kick it back and make the States decide. I am SO happy they put their foot down and made the decision because this means all States which allow same-sex marriage will be barred to this national decision.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman told CNN the ruling was a “great win.” ““A great win not just for the gay community, it’s a great win for the American tradition of equal justice under the law,” he said.

There is no gay agenda or straight agenda. Any couple in a legally binded marriage should receive the SAME RIGHTS regardless of their sexual orientation. Period.

Look past tragedy and you’ll see heroes #shoesforboston

shoesforbostonIn light of the tragedy which occurred yesterday at the Boston marathon I would like to briefly state my thoughts. I’m sure everyone is now aware there was a bombing at the marathon which ended in three dead and over 140 injured. The videos and photos which have been shared from the people who were there are nothing short of sickening.

One thing I feel needs to be emphasized above the evil is all the good which was visible. Marathon runners who had already finished the race laced their sneakers back up and ran to the nearest hospital or blood bank to donate blood. Firefighters, EMTs and police officers ran into the clouds of smoke to pull back barriers and immediately aide the wounded. Strangers, good Samaritans took of their belts and created tourniquets for those who lost their limbs. People who never met each other before yesterday will now be bonded together in the wake of what has happened. I am sure many lives were saved because of the quick and selfless acts of all those mentioned.

Today on Twitter people are joining together and posting photos of their shoes in what will surely become a highly used hashtag #shoesforboston. It might seem trivial, but I think having all of these people take a moment to take a photo of their shoes and post it is a wonderful thing. My Finn and I have posted a photo and I fully intend to get my whole family together for a shoe photo shoot once we are all home from school and work this evening.

Two statements from celebrities on Facebook impacted me and so I will share them here.

George Takei wrote:

“When tragedies strike, heroes rise to meet the challenge: the first responders seen sprinting toward the blast site, the runners who changed course to run to local hospitals to donate blood, and the fine citizens of Boston who at once opened their homes to marathoners in need of a place to stay. When we come together, we cannot be brought down.”

Patton Oswalt wrote:

“So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, “The good outnumber you, and we always will.”

WAYS YOU CAN HELP

  • The Red Cross says the best way to help right now is to get in touch with loved ones through its Safe And Well Listings. The organization is not asking for blood donations at this time.
  • The Salvation Army is offering food, beverages and crisis counseling to survivors and first responders. Find out how you can get involved here.
  • Some marathon runners are stranded in Boston and in need of places to stay. Find out how you can offer housing here.
  • Anyone with info about the incident can call 1-800-494-TIPS.

Surprised by the Google Doodle this Easter?

cesar_chavezs_86th_birthday-1114005-hpYou’re not the only one wondering why Google is honoring Cesar Chaves this Easter Sunday instead of, well, Easter.

As it turns out they didn’t have an Easter doodle last year either. In fact, there hasn’t been an Easter Google Doodle since the year 2000. I guess I’m only noticing because of Cesar Chaves being on my search engine page this morning. If the page were just the normal Google logo I probably wouldn’t think anything of it. But I’m sure people will find way to be offended by this and that is just silly.

So anyway… who is Cesar Chaves?

Cesar Chavez Day is an official state holiday in the U.S. states of California, Colorado and Texas. As a senator, Barack Obama made a call in 2008 for a national holiday in Chavez’s honor, saying: “Chavez left a legacy as an educator, environmentalist, and a civil rights leader. And last year President Obama made it so by the power vested in him March 31st is now Cesar Chavez Day.

“Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot un-educate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore.” – Cesar Chavez