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Bretigne Shaffer's Blog

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Nov.12.2013
  I've written an open letter to Russell Brand in response to his calls for revolution. It appears today on EconomicPolicyJournal.com:   Dear Mr. Brand, Let me start off by saying that I’m a huge fan. I haven’t seen your live show yet, but I’ve been really impressed by every one of...
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Oct.09.2013
My dad writes this morning: "I just received a frantic e-mail from the MoveOn organization, informing me that “The Tea Party and the GOP actually took us over the cliff – and shut down the federal government.” Such a calamity must be analogous to parents running away from home and leaving...
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Sep.12.2013
(Credit: AP/Patrick Semansky/U.S. Army) I’m not, of course. I am a wife and mother, I’ve never served in the US or any other military. I’ve never even listened to Lady Gaga, and I’ve never risked my life, liberty and personal well-being in order to expose government wrongdoing. And I wasn’t born...
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Sep.10.2013
  As a parent of a child who has had seizures, it enrages me that there is a gang of people who believe they have the right to deprive other people of potential treatments for their children's debilitating afflictions. It has always made me angry that this gang believes it can dictate to...
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Sep.09.2013
I've uploaded a collection of photos I took of Hong Kong's infamous Walled City, on HistoryPin. I am really kicking myself for not having paid more attention to the Walled City while I was there. I lived in Hong Kong for seven years and while I knew about the Walled City, it...
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Aug.15.2013
I went to observe a special-needs exercise class today. I’m working on setting up some special-needs classes for children in our area, and I wanted to get an idea of what was already out there. This was a class for adults, and they started out seated in chairs in a circle. A large Hispanic man...
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Aug.13.2013
There was a time when children like my daughter were routinely sent away to live in institutions. To say that they were "cared for" is a gross distortion. They were warehoused until they died, often abused: physically, psychologically and even sexually, and subjected to some barbaric forms of "...
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Aug.12.2013
  From Messy Nessy: Here’s one they left out of the history textbooks. A recent French film, Free Men, brought to light the remarkable true history of how Muslims gave sanctuary to French Jews in Nazi-occupied Paris during Second World War. An untold “Oscar Schindler” story, the...
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Aug.09.2013
Urban Yogini is a reluctant superhero who can't use violence. Check out the pitch on Indiegogo here:    
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Aug.07.2013
An infographic demonstrating the human impact of the bombing of Hiroshima sixty eight years ago today. And for all of the morally decrepit commenters who are happy to swallow the government's lies about the "necessity" of the bombing (and are happy to believe that the murder of innocent...
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Aug.01.2013
  There's a poster up at the front of the room with a cartoon mouse painting at an easel, and the words "Express Yourself!"  But every time the little boy in glasses starts to ask questions that stray too far from where the teacher is taking the class, his "aide" shushes him.  It's...
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Jul.17.2013
We're not anti-religion. I even believe in "something" - just don't try to pin me down on what it is. I think that most religions are seeking understanding about our spiritual reality - but that no one religion has the whole story right yet. There are a few people in our son's life who are...
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Jul.17.2013
This looks FANTASTIC. "Drawing and writing in real time from inside the courtroom, artist and WikiLeaks activist Clark Stoeckley here captures first-hand the extraordinary drama of The United States vs. PFC Bradley Manning, one of the most important and secretive trials in American history."...
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May.09.2013
I'll start off by saying: Don't be fooled by the picture. Yes, I've been in the Tardis, but I am no Dr. Who expert. My take on this could be completely lacking in the needed context and I may be completely off base here. I've seen all of the most recent incarnation episodes (Doctors 9, 10 and 11...
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Apr.25.2013
Recently, my dad posted about the famous "Christmas Truce" during World War I. My uncle (on my mother's side) responded with his recollection of my grandfather's experience: This reminds me of an account my father related from his World War I experience during the trench warfare of the...
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