Can We Please Go, Like, 2 Whole Seconds Without Being Totally Hypocritical?

What a difference a year makes. Last May, Republican primary contender Newt Gingrich went on "Meet the Press" and called Paul Ryan's plan to privatize Medicare "right-wing social engineering." He said, "I think we need a national conversation to get to a better Medicare system with more choices for more seniors." He even spoke some truth to Fox News (after denying climate change at the :14 mark). But now that Ryan is the VP candidate, Newt thinks that social engineering is a great idea. If Newt could hold the same belief for more than a few months at a time, I might go so far as to say I agree with him.

Los Angeles is experiencing a homeless epidemic that was years in the making.

Over the past six years, the unhoused population in the city has risen 75 percent. The city's lack of homeless shelters and affordable housing has forced many who can't afford L.A.'s sky-high rents to live on the streets.

According to LAist, since 2000, renter incomes have decreased by 3 percent while rents have gone up 32 percent.

While the city has launched a $100 million-per-year program to help the problem, rapper, entrepreneur, and actor Jaden Smith has found his own way of responding to the crisis: love.

On his 21st birthday, Smith launched the I Love You Restaurant pop-up truck. The truck hands out healthy, vegan meals to unhoused people absolutely free. Smith himself follows a vegan diet.

"@ILoveYouRestaurant Is A Movement That Is All About Giving People What They Deserve, Healthy, Vegan Food For Free," Smith wrote on Instagram. "Today We Launched Our First One Day Food Truck Pop-Up in Downtown LA."

The food bowls given out by the I Love You Restaurant feature dark leafy greens, sweet potato, black beans, and grains.

Smith hasn't announced the next time the truck will pop up in the L.A. area, but it'll be back soon. "Keep A Look Out Because This Is The First Of Many," he wrote on Instagram.

This isn't Smith's first foray into charitable giving. Last year, his eco-friendly water company, JUST Water, partnered with a local church in Flint, Michigan to help with the water crisis. He also donated over 10,000 bottles of JustWater to local schools.

Just Water is a sustainably sourced water brand that uses non-plastic containers that create less waste.

"This has been one of the most rewarding and educational experiences for me personally," Smith said in a statement. "Working together with people in the community experiencing the problems and design(ing) something to help them has been a journey I will never forget. We are planning to deploy more water boxes in Flint and other communities facing similar challenges."

Communities

Mom and blogger Mary Katherine Backstrom regularly shares snippets of life with her two children on her Facebook page. One particularly touching interaction with her daughter is melting hearts and blowing minds due to the three-year-old's wise words about forgiveness.

Even adults struggle with the concept of forgiveness. Entire books have been written about how and why to forgive those who have wronged us, but many still have a hard time getting it. Who would guess that a preschooler could encapsulate what forgiveness means in a handful of innocent words?

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Family


Social media may be "ruining society" according to a lot of people's grandparents. But it's also a pretty helpful tool for spotting racists and publicly shaming them. Incidentally, a lot of those racists are also people's grandparents... kinda makes you think, hmmm?

Recently, two elderly white ladies were spotted in a Burger King in Central Florida being racist towards a man who they overheard speaking Spanish. That man turned out to be the manager.

Some nearby customers were filming the incident and posted the video online where it's gone viral. "Go back to Mexico," says one of the women. "If you want to keep speaking Spanish, go back to your Mexican country." She then continues: "this is America. Our main language is English. ... Speak your Mexican at home."

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Culture

The U.S. women's soccer team won the Women's World Cup, but the victory is marred by the fact that the team is currently fighting for equal pay. In soccer, the game is won by scoring points, but the fight for equal pay isn't as clearly winnable and the playing field isn't as even.

We live in a world where winning the World Cup is easier than winning equal pay, but co-captain Megan Rapinoe says there's one easy way fans can support the team: Go see games.

Some people argue the men's team deserves to get paid more because they are more successful and earn more money for the United States Soccer Federation. Pay depends on merchandise and ticket sales, and in general, men's sporting events tend to draw a bigger crowd than women's sporting events. It's not about sex, many argue; it's about the fact that people just prefer to see men play.

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Culture