This may be the only photo I’ll ever take that captions itself.
Graduation Day at Sing Sing prison
Here’s an amazing statistic for you, about recidivism rates.
Of the 26,867 inmates who left New York prisons in 2008, nearly 40 percent returned to prison within 3 years. However, there are important exceptions: Among those are the maximum security inmates behind the walls of Sing Sing in Ossining, NY who have obtained a masters degree in Professional Studies — a one-year graduate degree administered by the New York Theological Seminary. Their recidivism rate over 31 years has been just 10 percent. The rate for those who’ve left with a degree in the last five years? ZERO.
“Education,” said Dale Irvin, the president of New York Theological Seminary, “is the surest indicator of low recidivism rates.”
Listen in to the latest Micropolis story and hear how a number of people — including convicted murderers — have turned their lives around while becoming assets to the prison community.
Life Is A Gamble
An Iranian channel ran a story about how a certain kind of martial arts is enjoying increasing popularity among Iranian women. This means that a) Iranian women have rights, b) Iranian women can access the public sphere, c) Iranian women participate in organized, public sports, and d) an Iranian government news channel has no problem with any of this.
Faced with these facts, the Western media panicked: some news agencies resorted to the stereotype of Iranian women as veiled, militant fanatics; others opted for infantilizing portrayals of suffering women using martial arts as their only escape. Can you imagine any self-respecting Western reporter writing a story that explained, unprovoked, the popularity of karate among girls in suburban Los Angeles by citing America’s high rates of sexual assault? Additionally, few bothered to mention that recently it has been Western sports organizations that have prevented Iranian women from playing, for example in 2011 forcing the Iranian women’s soccer team to forfeit hope of reaching the Olympics because they wore sports hijabs on the field.
Narratives of weak or militant Iranian women are not just dishonest; they also fuel a political narrative whereby Islamism is equated with backwardness and the ability of women to reconcile Islamic ideals with feminist goals is entirely obfuscated. Both Western conservatives and many secular feminists often participate in this obfuscation, effectively trying to either hide Iranian women’s successes in order to demonize Iran or by ignoring the ideologies of liberation they have formulated in order to preserve the status of secular feminism as the only path to women’s liberation.
Today in microfashion.
OMG, it’s the 60s all over again!
I remember being 12 that summer and wearing striped cotton knit A-line “tent” dresses and crisp cotton shirt dresses just like these…
Common toad (Springwatch - BBC)
Last week, Alex Spourdalakis, a 14-year Autistic boy living in River Grove, Illinois, was murdered by his mother and godmother. After failing to kill him with sleeping pills, they stabbed him in the chest repeatedly before slitting his wrists. This murder was premeditated and motivated entirely by Alex’s disability.
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network condemns unequivocally and without qualification the murder of Alex Spourdalakis and calls on the United States Department of Justice to prosecute his murder under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009. The law allows the federal government to prosecute as a hate crime acts of violence when “the crime was committed because of the actual or perceived religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of any person.” Alex’s murder clearly fits within the intent and purpose of that law.
Many in the media have attempted to excuse Alex’s murder or sympathize with his killers, citing the challenges of his disability and the need to improve the quality and availability of service-provision. Such justifications are not unusual in the aftermath of such atrocities and they remain as inappropriate as ever. Alex Spourdalakis’ murder is the latest in a long strand of similar killings by family members and caregivers. His death is not about services, nor is it about the difficulties associated with his disability. Prior to murdering him, Alex’s mother was offered and refused services from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. In truth, Alex’s murder is about a reprehensible and repulsive ideology all too common within our society that preaches that it is better to be dead than disabled. As long as our society treats the lives of disabled people as worth less than those of the general population, more disabled children and adults will be subject to acts of violence and murder. As a result, we call for the prosecution of Alex’s killers to the fullest extent of the law.
The bedrock of any jazz collection is Louis Armstrong: The Complete OKeh, Columbia & RCA Victor Recordings, 1925-1933 (Columbia/Legacy 88697 945652), a 10 disc set. The first 7 CDs reissue the following titles from the Columbia Jazz Masterpieces series: The Hot Fives - Volume 1…