maraahmed.com

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June 26, 2016
by mara.ahmed
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a sky like this

i remember a sky like this, a dark canopy weighed down by millions of stars. luminous liquid pouring out of a vast sieve, i thought. absolute silence. my first night in gilgit. gilgit, an important stop on the silk road. how buddhism found its way to other parts of asia. i was a child then, but i could sense the hallowed beauty of that unforgettable sky.

'Woohoo.  Figured out how to post full 360 panoramas on facebook.  Here's the Milky Way over @[142958832404236:274:Lassen Volcanic National Park] from the top of Mt. Brokeoff.  To be able to pan the picture you need to be in either the facebook app on a phone (and then you can actually move your phone to change the view) or on a desktop you should be able to pan with your mouse if you have an updated browser.  By clicking on the picture you make it take up more of your screen. Anyways hope you enjoy!  I'll have to post up more of my old ones and take some new ones!  :)'
 photography by cary poole.

June 25, 2016
by mara.ahmed
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Black Lives Matter pulls out of San Francisco pride over increased police

brilliant. “Several of the honorees of San Francisco Pride, the nation’s largest LGBT pride event, withdrew on Friday from the “racial and economic justice” themed parade and festival this weekend in response to the increased policing measures put in place after the Orlando attack.”

June 24, 2016
by mara.ahmed
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British Lose Right to Claim That Americans Are Dumber

Andy Borowitz: Luxuriating in the superiority of their intellect over Americans’ has long been a favorite pastime in Britain, surpassing in popularity such games as cricket, darts, and snooker. But, according to Alistair Dorrinson, a pub owner in North London, British voters have done irreparable damage to the “most enjoyable sport this nation has ever known: namely, treating Americans like idiots.”

“This is a dark day,” he said. “But I hold out hope that, come November, Americans could become dumber than us once more.”

June 23, 2016
by mara.ahmed
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The Registry List

Darakshan Raja: Muslims are seeing one of the worst policies I have seen for a while post Orlando. New York’s Senate has just passed the Terrorist Registry List. Basically if the government thinks of you as a terrorist, they don’t have to prove anything and you will remain on that registry. The bill still needs to pass the Assembly. This will be public information so you will face employment, housing, and other forms of discrimination, virtually leaving you in internment.

June 22, 2016
by mara.ahmed
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The Democrats Are Boldly Fighting For a Bad, Stupid Bill

Alex Pareene: After Democrats in the Senate staged a filibuster in support of gun control measures, their colleagues in the House have begun a “sit-in” aimed at embarrassing Republicans into allowing a vote on a measure that would restrict the ability of suspected terrorists to legally buy guns. The move is fantastic political theater. It’s also a tremendous waste of popular support and activist energy in support of a measure that isn’t just ineffective but also actively offensive. The Democratic proposal has been catch-phrased and hashtagged as “no fly, no buy,” because it would prevent people who end up on government terrorism watchlists, including the “no fly list,” from purchasing firearms. This would do little to reduce gun violence, but it would add an additional layer of surveillance and government scrutiny to a particular class of people. That certainly sounds like a solid principle on which to take a stand—terrorists shouldn’t have AR-15s! Meanwhile, most gun deaths in the United States are not caused by suspected terrorists armed with military-style semi-automatic rifles. The vast majority of gun deaths—suicides as well as homicides—are caused by handguns, and the majority of people firing those guns are not suspected terrorists (which invariably refers, in contemporary discourse, to Muslims, and no other groups or individuals dedicated to political violence). The no-fly list is a civil rights disaster by every conceivable standard. It is secret, it disproportionately affects Arab-Americans, it is error-prone, there is no due process or effective recourse for people placed on the list, and it constantly and relentlessly expands. As of 2014, the government had a master watchlist of 680,000 people, forty percent of whom had “no recognized terrorist group affiliation.” This is both an absurdly large number of people to arbitrarily target in gun control legislation, and far, far too few to have any meaningful effect on actual gun ownership, let alone gun violence.

June 22, 2016
by mara.ahmed
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Why Are Mexican Teachers Being Jailed for Protesting Education Reform?

David Bacon: Taking union leaders hostage, firing thousands, and closing one of Mexico’s most progressive institutions are serious violations of human and labor rights, and of the rule of law itself. The support the corporate-friendly Mexican reforms get from US political institutions makes it incumbent on those institutions to speak out against these violations as well. It is time to stop that support. Instead, teachers in the United States, who are resisting similar reforms, should stand in solidarity and help free their Mexican colleagues.