Please be vigilant about your vote, especially so in battleground states like Florida and Georgia with Republican governors who have explicitly shown that they have no compunction about suppressing the vote.
This specimen is relatively small. P. diogenes is the world’s second-largest hermit crab species, growing large enough to inhabit a full sized queen conch shell and beaten only by the terrestrial coconut crab, which is a hermit crab that stops using shells when it matures.
I can only assume that the the “diogenes” in its name comes from some parallel drawn between the hermit crab’s shell and the philosopher’s habit of sleeping in a large jar.
The above “Legislation Alert” from Democracy Docket ( founded by attorney Marc E. Elias) is truly disturbing. It appears the GOP “Big Brother” is twisting the concept of “diversity” to try to interfere with academic freedom and to force universities to: a) either hire more conservative faculty and/or b) to force the widespread teaching of conservative political, social and economic theories on campuses. The courts should strike this down.
CORRECTIONS AND CLARIFICATIONS (Please read)
1) SURVEYS WILL BE VOLUNTARY AND ANONYMOUS. Some time after posting the above “Legislative Alert” on my blog, it was brought to my attention that Politifact reported that although it will be mandatory for state higher education institutions to do these surveys, it will be voluntary for faculty, staff and students to complete them. They are also saying that the surveys are anonymous.
Yet, according to the Tampa Bay Times, there is no guarantee in the Florida law that the surveys must be anonymous and no clarifications regarding who has access to “the data and for what purpose.”
2) THE POSSIBILITY OF SKEWED RESULTS. Still, according to Clay Calvert, a University of Florida free speech professor interviewed by Rolling Stone:
They’re mandating the survey, they’re not mandating that people fill it out. Those who are going to be motivated to fill it out are going to be the ones who feel aggrieved. Most students get tons of surveys every day and are just going to say, “Forget it, I’m not going to fill it out.” The middle kind of drops out. I think that’s going to skew the results. [emphasis added]
So, even if it is voluntary, the results might be skewed because they are more likely to be filled out by conservative students who are angry about progressive ideas discussed on campuses.
3) REGARDING ASKING ABOUT POLITAL VIEWS. The Florida Dept. of Education “spokesperson” told Politifact that they won’t be asking for the political views of respondents. HOWEVER, Politifact also said that the benchmark surveys (that “inspired” the Florida law) from the University of Colorado and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ask respondents about their political views/ “leanings”. So until the Florida surveys are completed (they haven’t even been written yet), it seems to me this last assurance should be taken with a grain of salt.
4) DEFUNDING THREATS: There are other reasons to still be concerned about the bill. According to Rolling Stone:
In announcing the bill, DeSantis threatened to defund universities found to be “indoctrinating” students with what he described as “stale ideology.” What exactly is “stale ideology”? It’s up to Republicans and the state’s Board of Education, whose chairman doesn’t believe evolution should be taught as fact. [emphasis added]
According to constitutional law scholar Laurence Tribe:
5) NO PROTECTIONS FROM HATE SPEECH/ OFFENSIVE SPEECH. According to the Tampa Bay Times:
In addition to the survey, the measure DeSantis signed into law will bar university and college officials from limiting speech that “may be uncomfortable, disagreeable or offensive,”
What this suggests, according to The Oracle, is that hate speech/ offensive speech on Florida college campuses will now be allowed, including arguments in support of racism, sexism and homophobia. In addition, hate organizations like the KKK will be allowed to assemble on Florida campuses.
6) STUDENTS CAN TAPE RECORD PROFESSOR’S LECTURES WITHOUT CONSENT TO BE USED IN COMPLAINTS. According to an article in The Oracle:
The bill would also allow students to videotape in class without consent if they feel it would aid them in a civil or criminal case, an act which is currently illegal under Florida’s Title XLVII wiretapping laws passed in 2016.
Here is the actual wording in the law:
In other words, it seems to me that many Florida professors may now be worried that anything they say could be audio or videotaped without their consent (or knowledge--it is easy enough to do so with a phone in a large lecture hall without a professor seeing it) and used against them in complaints and court cases by conservative students who are offended by any progressive ideas they express.
[ Posted 06.25.21; updated/ revised 06.28.21 and 07.04.21 ]
This is a juvenile Sandhill crane (one of my favorite species!) learning how to forage from a very caring parent. Adult breeding pairs raise their babies together and these little chicks will stay with mom and dad for about 10-12 months. What a joy it is to see them learning how to be birds from their parents! As you can see from that cute little flop, it’s sometimes hard work.
slavery exists today in commercial agriculture, with several cases just in Florida affecting 1200 people in the past 15 years
it’s important to acknowledge the domestic enslavement living through prisons and the police, but this system absolutely includes the borders and immigration laws, which exist to produce a slave class of workers who are quite literally non-citizens with no rights so that capitalists can exploit them and retaliate with deportation, often to homelands torn by war or poverty because of the U.S./the West.
there’s a book here, Fields of Resistance, that’s really informative. I’m in the middle of it but it’s been great so far
tldr: borders exist to enslave people
Abolish borders, abolish prisons, abolish ICE, abolish the police. They’re different machines of the same system
A few days ago I noticed that one of the softshell turtles in my nearby pond has a very unique look. I was thinking he might be piebald (which is a genetic mutation that disrupts skin pigmentation), but I’ve never seen or heard of a piebald softshell. Take a look at this weirdo ⬇️
Since I wasn’t sure what was up with this dude, I did what I always do whenever I see something weird going on with a wild animal; I called my local Fish & Wildlife! This might sound like a crazy reaction to seeing a splotchy turtle but I actually learned something extremely important that I would love for my followers (especially those in Florida) to know about too. After calling F&W I spoke with the turtle specialist for quite some time, as it turns out there is an unknown pathogen killing softshell turtles in Florida, and biologists are desperate to find the cause. They need our help to do this! The biologist that I spoke with says they’re relying on civilian reports to find cases for further study, so it’s incredibly important to spread the word and make sure people know how to report any abnormal appearance or behavior in turtles that they see.
Fortunately my splotchy turtle (I call him Uncle Walter) doesn’t seem to be sick based on his presentation or behavior! The turtle experts examined his photos and at this point they agree he is probably just piebald, though they asked me to keep an eye on him and make sure his condition doesn’t change. I’m so happy that I am armed with knowledge I can use to monitor him and his friends in the face of this worrisome unknown illness.
To my friends here in Florida- if you see ANY wild turtle that looks sick, weak, distressed, or abnormal please contact Fish and Wildlife immediately using the information provided below! To my non-Fl friends, if you have any contacts that enjoy herping or just outdoor activity in the state please let them know about this as well. Our turtles are very dear to us and reporting possible illness is the best way we can help find what’s killing these animals.
2 p.m: Rabbi Sholom Lipskar, the spiritual leader at the Shul of Bal Harbour, the sprawling Orthodox synagogue just four blocks from the condo collapse, spoke to reporters Thursday afternoon outside the Surfside Community Center, which is serving as the family reunification center
[...] He said a vigil at his synagogue began at 1 p.m. and will be ongoing. He couldn’t give an exact number of the Shul members among those missing and injured, but said it is “a lot.”
“There are certain things you can talk about it but you can’t say anything,” the rabbi said. “No words can contain the real of what happened.”
Asked by a reporter how the Jewish community of Surfside can move forward from an event like this, Lipskar said, “Jewish people have faced adversity throughout our history.”
He said one of the urgent tasks now will be helping families displaced by the crash find temporary places to live.
- via Miami Herald newspaper
DONATE TO THE SHUL’S
8777 COLLINS AVENUE RELIEF FUND:
via The Shul’s website update:
Thank you all so much for the incredible outpouring of support. We really appreciate your kindness and have received many generous contributions of essential items for the many families affected by this terrible tragedy.
As we are challenged with space to sort and store all the emergency supplies, we suggest that you use our website at
to make further contributions as the need will be great and ongoing.
Our emergency hotline has transferred to our regular Shul line at 305-868-1411. If you have already left a message with names, you will be contacted with updates as they become available. If you have a new person to add to the list, please include their name, age and apartment number, as well as your contact information so that we can reach you, when necessary.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. May Hashem comfort and console them at this sad time.
At least 27 people from Latin American nations - including Colombia, Cuba, Chile, Paraguay, Puerto Rico and Argentina - are among those reported missing by friends and family following the partial collapse of a residential building in Surfside on early Thursday morning, highlighting the international reach of the tragedy in a region that serves as a link between the United States and Latin America.