The Daily Footnote

Well friends, it’s October again, which means it’s time to find out which of your Facebook friends will come out of the woodwork to surprise you with their fundamentalist blogging habits on Halloween (a likely title: Halloween is Basically the Devil and You’re Awful if You Disagree, Or, How I Learned to be Afraid of Everything and Hate Harry Potter).

As such:

Dear Well-Meaning but Ultimately Misinformed Fellow Christians: Please stop attaching needlessly high stakes to literally everything. God is not going to strike you down with lightning because you read Harry Potter or dress up for Halloween. If doing either of those things makes you uncomfortable, then by all means, don’t do them! But realize that you’re choosing not to do those things because of your personal convictions, which do not apply to everyone, even other people who also love Jesus and want to follow Him (read: Romans 14). 

xoxo,

Your Friend Corrie

theclearlydope:

MY WHOLE LIFE IS A LIE.

via scifitwinnevver

Oh what was that I was just saying about pronouncing it correctly? YES. 

Last month, a New Jersey middle school banned girls from wearing strapless dresses to prom. Administrators claimed that the dresses were “distracting” — though they refused to specify exactly how or why. Parents reacted strongly to the rule; some supported the dress code while others deemed it “slut-shaming.” On Friday, the school compromised by allowing girls to wear single-strap or see-through-strap dresses.

This is no isolated incident in the United States. Across the country, young girls are being told what not to wear because it might be a “distraction” for boys, or because adults decide it makes them look “inappropriate.” At its core, every incident has a common thread: Putting the onus on young women to prevent from being ogled or objectified, instead of teaching those responsible to learn to respect a woman’s body. Here are five other recent examples:

1. A middle school in California banned tight pants. At the beginning of last month, a middle school in Northern California began telling girls to avoid wearing pants that are “too tight” because it “distracts the boys.” At a mandatory assembly for just the female students, the middle school girls were told that they’re no longer allowed to wear leggings or yoga pants. “We didn’t think it was fair how we have all these restrictions on our clothing while boys didn’t have to sit through [the assembly] at all,” one student told local press. Some parents also complained, leading the school’s assistant principal to record a voicemail explaining the new policy. “The guiding principle in all dress codes is that the manner in which students dress does not become a distraction in the learning environment,” the message said.

2. A high school principal in Minnesota emailed parents to ask them to cover up their daughters. A principal in Minnetonka, MN recently wrote an email telling parents to stop letting their daughters wear leggings or yoga pants to school. He says the tight-fitting pants are fine with longer shirts but, when worn with a shorter top, a girl’s “backside” can be “too closely defined.” The big risk of having a defined backside, he thinks, is that it can “be highly distracting for other students.”

3. Two girls in Ohio were turned away from their prom for being “improperly dressed.” Laneisha Williams and Nyasia Mitchell were barred from prom this spring for wearing dresses that administrators considered “too revealing.” The girls say that they didn’t believe they were violating a dress code that said dresses couldn’t be too short or show too much cleavage. But one administrator told local news that the high school girls were only allowed to wear dresses that had “no curvature of their breasts showing.”

4. A kindergarten student in Georgia was forced to change her “short” skirt because it was a “distraction to other students.” It’s hard to imagine that a kindergartener’s outfit could be “a distraction to other students,” but a mother in Georgia told locals news there that her daughter had been outfitted in someone else’s pants — without parental permission — after the principal deemed the skirt the young girl was wearing too short.” The girl had apparently wore the skirt, and accompanying leggings, just one week before without incident.

5. Forty high school girls were sent home from a winter dance in California after “degrading” clothing inspections “bordering on sexual harassment.” A school board member’s daughter was among the 40 girls turned away from Capistrano Valley High’s February dance for wearing dresses that either exposed their midriffs or were cut too low. Before the dance, girls were apparently required to flap their arms up and down and turn around for male administrators’ inspection. The school issues image guidelines for appropriate dress on its website — though the images were nearly all of women, and the only male image depicted proper attire. One girl alleges that the principal told her, “Not all dresses look good on certain body shapes.” A grandmother of one of the girls who was turned away from the dance also said that a teacher remarked about her granddaughter, “What mother would allow her daughter to wear a dress like that?” Apparently the school did receive some praise, though, from the parents of two male students.

When most Americans think about “rape culture,” they may think about the Steubenville boys’ defense arguing that an unconscious girl consented to her sexual assault because she “didn’t say no,” the school administrators who choose to protect their star athletes over those boys’ rape victims, or the bullying that led multiple victims of sexual assault to take their own lives. While those incidences of victim-blaming are certainly symptoms of a deeply-rooted rape culture in this country, they’re not the only examples of this dynamic at play. Rape culture is also evident in the attitudes that lead school administrators to treat young girls’ bodies as inherently “distracting” to the boys who simply can’t control themselves. That approach to gender roles simply encourages our youth to assume that sexual crimes must have something to do with women’s “suggestive” clothes or behavior, rather than teaching them that every individual is responsible for respecting others’ bodily autonomy.

It’s probably a super terrible thing that I see these posts and, instead of saying, “omg how awful!!1!” I say, “oh wow, welcome to my life in all of grade school, only not as bad.” I have way too many stories to tell based on this same kind of nonsense. Like how students actually had to petition to even have a prom/school dances by using arguments like “David (the psalmist) danced, so we should be able to have dances!”

I’m definitely totally against the whole “your body is distracting so you should cover yourself so the boys can learn things” mentality. I’m just saying, go check out a private Christian school and see what happens there. Yikes. XD

hurricane:

hydrangeasontuesday:

jeanisalright:

180mph:

Atheists: 0

South Carolina Department of Education: 1

Woo, South Carolina.  You keep going for that abysmally low education rank.

Sometimes I’m surprised I got an education…

C’mon. Seriously? I think it’s pretty safe to say this didn’t come from a public school. 

I’m not sure how (but for the grace of God) I went through 13 years of private Christian schooling to come out on the other side as someone who recognizes that evolution is a Very Real Thing. Probably because I never had to take a test like this but holy cow question 6. And question 18I can’t even. 

natgeofound:

Club members on the ocean front are shaded by decorative parasols, 1930.Photograph by Clifton R. Adams, National Geographic

LOOK AT THESE UMBRELLAS. 

natgeofound:

Club members on the ocean front are shaded by decorative parasols, 1930.
Photograph by Clifton R. Adams, National Geographic

LOOK AT THESE UMBRELLAS. 

neil-gaiman:

mizzkatonic:

What exactly is Obamacare and what does it change?

abaldwin360:

big thanks to reddit user CaspianX2 for typing all this out!

What people call “Obamacare” is actually the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. However, people were calling it “Obamacare” before everyone even hammered out what it would be. It’s a term mostly used by people who don’t like the PPaACA, and it’s become popularized in part because PPaACA is a really long and awkward name, even when you turn it into an acronym like that.

Anyway, the PPaACA made a bunch of new rules regarding health care, with the purpose of making health care more affordable for everyone. Opponents of the PPaACA, on the other hand, feel that the rules it makes take away too many freedoms and force people (both individuals and businesses) to do things they shouldn’t have to.

So what does it do? Well, here is everything, in the order of when it goes into effect (because some of it happens later than other parts of it):

Already in effect:

  • It allows the Food and Drug Administration to approve more generic drugs (making for more competition in the market to drive down prices)

  • It increases the rebates on drugs people get through Medicare (so drugs cost less)

  • It establishes a non-profit group, that the government doesn’t directly control, to study different kinds of treatments to see what works better and is the best use of money.

  • It makes chain restaurants like McDonalds display how many calories are in all of their foods, so people can have an easier time making choices to eat healthy.

  • It makes a “high-risk pool” for people with pre-existing conditions. Basically, this is a way to slowly ease into getting rid of “pre-existing conditions” altogether. For now, people who already have health issues that would be considered “pre-existing conditions” can still get insurance, but at different rates than people without them.

  • It renews some old policies, and calls for the appointment of various positions.

  • It creates a new 10% tax on indoor tanning booths.

  • It says that health insurance companies can no longer tell customers that they won’t get any more coverage because they have hit a “lifetime limit”. Basically, if someone has paid for life insurance, that company can’t tell that person that he’s used that insurance too much throughout his life so they won’t cover him any more. They can’t do this for lifetime spending, and they’re limited in how much they can do this for yearly spending.

  • Kids can continue to be covered by their parents’ health insurance until they’re 26.

  • No more “pre-existing conditions” for kids under the age of 19.

  • Insurers have less ability to change the amount customers have to pay for their plans.

  • People in a “Medicare Gap” get a rebate to make up for the extra money they would otherwise have to spend.

  • Insurers can’t just drop customers once they get sick.

  • Insurers have to tell customers what they’re spending money on. (Instead of just “administrative fee”, they have to be more specific).

  • Insurers need to have an appeals process for when they turn down a claim, so customers have some manner of recourse other than a lawsuit when they’re turned down.

  • New ways to stop fraud are created.

  • Medicare extends to smaller hospitals.

  • Medicare patients with chronic illnesses must be monitored more thoroughly.

  • Reduces the costs for some companies that handle benefits for the elderly.

  • A new website is made to give people insurance and health information.

  • A credit program is made that will make it easier for business to invest in new ways to treat illness.

  • A limit is placed on just how much of a percentage of the money an insurer makes can be profit, to make sure they’re not price-gouging customers.

  • A limit is placed on what type of insurance accounts can be used to pay for over-the-counter drugs without a prescription. Basically, your insurer isn’t paying for the Aspirin you bought for that hangover.

  • Employers need to list the benefits they provided to employees on their tax forms.

8/1/2012

  • Any health plans sold after this date must provide preventative care (mammograms, colonoscopies, etc.) without requiring any sort of co-pay or charge.

1/1/2013

  • If you make over $200,000 a year, your taxes go up a tiny bit (0.9%)

1/1/2014

This is when a lot of the really big changes happen.

  • No more “pre-existing conditions”. At all. People will be charged the same regardless of their medical history.

  • If you can afford insurance but do not get it, you will be charged a fee. This is the “mandate” that people are talking about. Basically, it’s a trade-off for the “pre-existing conditions” bit, saying that since insurers now have to cover you regardless of what you have, you can’t just wait to buy insurance until you get sick. Otherwise no one would buy insurance until they needed it. You can opt not to get insurance, but you’ll have to pay the fee instead, unless of course you’re not buying insurance because you just can’t afford it.

  • Insurer’s now can’t do annual spending caps. Their customers can get as much health care in a given year as they need.

  • Make it so more poor people can get Medicare by making the low-income cut-off higher.

  • Small businesses get some tax credits for two years.

  • Businesses with over 50 employees must offer health insurance to full-time employees, or pay a penalty.

  • Limits how high of an annual deductible insurers can charge customers.

  • Cut some Medicare spending

  • Place a $2500 limit on tax-free spending on FSAs (accounts for medical spending). Basically, people using these accounts now have to pay taxes on any money over $2500 they put into them.

  • Establish health insurance exchanges and rebates for the lower-class, basically making it so poor people can get some medical coverage.

  • Congress and Congressional staff will only be offered the same insurance offered to people in the insurance exchanges, rather than Federal Insurance. Basically, we won’t be footing their health care bills any more than any other American citizen.

  • A new tax on pharmaceutical companies.

  • A new tax on the purchase of medical devices.

  • A new tax on insurance companies based on their market share. Basically, the more of the market they control, the more they’ll get taxed.

  • The amount you can deduct from your taxes for medical expenses increases.

1/1/2015

  • Doctors’ pay will be determined by the quality of their care, not how many people they treat.

1/1/2017

  • If any state can come up with their own plan, one which gives citizens the same level of care at the same price as the PPaACA, they can ask the Secretary of Health and Human Resources for permission to do their plan instead of the PPaACA. So if they can get the same results without, say, the mandate, they can be allowed to do so. Vermont, for example, has expressed a desire to just go straight to single-payer (in simple terms, everyone is covered, and medical expenses are paid by taxpayers).

2018

  • All health care plans must now cover preventative care (not just the new ones).

  • A new tax on “Cadillac” health care plans (more expensive plans for rich people who want fancier coverage).

2020

  • The elimination of the “Medicare gap”

.

Aaaaand that’s it right there.

The biggest thing opponents of the bill have against it is the mandate. They claim that it forces people to buy insurance, and forcing people to buy something in unconstitutional. Personally, I take the opposite view, as it’s not telling people to buy a specific thing, just to have a specific type of thing, just like a part of the money we pay in taxes pays for the police and firemen who protect us, this would have us paying to ensure doctors can treat us for illness and injury.

Plus, as previously mentioned, it’s necessary if you’re doing away with “pre-existing conditions” because otherwise no one would get insurance until they needed to use it, which defeats the purpose of insurance.

Really simple, easy to understand explanation of Obamacare (finally).

It fails to mention the mysterious Death Panels who will sit in judgment over which of us will live and which will die, of course, and the screaming grandmothers who will be dragged off to the euthanasia rooms, but that’s probably because they were made up by people who wanted to persuade people it was a bad idea, and never actually existed at all.

Can everyone on my Facebook please read this?