Dan Rather's gut-wrenching reaction to the Florida school shooting is a must-read.

From Watergrate to world wars, revered journalist Dan Rather has seen a lot of injustice in his day.

Still, certain senseless tragedies can strike a nerve. Wednesday saw one of those tragedies.

Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images.


A 19-year-old gunned down students and adults at his former high school, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14, 2018. Nikolas Cruz slaughtered at least 17 people in his killing spree, both inside and outside the building.

After the 18th school shooting this year alone, many baffled, heartbroken Americans are asking: How can this still be happening?

In a thoughtful yet gut-wrenching Facebook post, Rather reacted to the massacre in Florida both with emotion and with an appeal to reason.



"Sadness and despair — those were my first reactions," the 86-year-old journalist began. "But then, quickly, I am hopping mad."

"What happened in that Florida school today IS NOT OK," he continued. "THIS IS NOT NORMAL. Our children should be able to go to school and be SAFE."

Sadness and despair - those were my first reactions. But then, quickly, I am hopping mad. My urge is to use a much...

Posted by Dan Rather on Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Rather used an unlikely, eye-opening comparison to illustrate our inaction over gun violence: Ebola.

"Remember the national panic over Ebola? It ended up killing one person," Rather wrote:

"But there was a national consensus that we would do whatever it took to protect Americans. But when it comes to gun violence in schools, we just throw up our hands? Thoughts and prayers? Is that how we should have responded to threats like 9/11 as well?"

Students shed tears outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Photo by Michele Eve Sandberg/AFP/Getty Images.

Ebola, however, didn't have one of the most powerful lobbying groups enticing U.S. lawmakers to stay silent.

The National Rife Association (NRA) dumped roughly $50 million into the 2016 election campaigns of (mostly) Republican candidates who vowed to uphold — and even expand on — the U.S.'s lax gun control laws.

And the group's power is especially prevalent in Florida, where this shooting took place.

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images.

The Sunshine State has "become a laboratory for generating new forms of gun protections," according to NPR's Terry Gross, who pointed to prominent Florida gun lobbyist Marion Hammer as "one of the most powerful people in the NRA." Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was one of the biggest beneficiaries of gun lobby cash in 2016, as the NRA spent over $3.3 million targeting his opponents.

At the national level, the NRA spent over $11 million on ads supporting Donald Trump — and nearly $20 million on anti-Hillary attack ads, according to Business Insider.

"We like to call ourselves the best country on earth," Rather wrote. "We like to say how we have a can-do spirit to conquer challenges. But all that self-congratulatory rhetoric rings pretty damn hollow on days like today."

"Anyone who says now isn't the time to talk about gun violence, anyone who says there's nothing we can do, anyone who offers up only thoughts and prayers is saying that they can't be bothered with the hard work of trying to keep American children safe. Shame on them. And shame on our nation."

Text RESIST to 50409 or contact your representatives in Congress to demand they act on on gun legislation.

Jimmy Fallon #MyFamilyIsWeird.

It’s that time of year again, the holiday season is when we get the pleasure of spending way more time than we’re used to with our families. For those of us who’ve moved away from our immediate families, the holidays are a great time to reacquaint ourselves with old traditions and to realize that some of them may be a little strange.

Every family seems to have its own brand of weirdness. In fact, I wouldn’t trust anyone who says that their family is completely normal.

On November 18, “The Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon gave everyone a reason to celebrate their unique families by asking them to share their favorite stories under #MyFamilyIsWeird. The responses were everything from odd holiday traditions to family members that may have a screw (or two!) loose.

Here are 17 of the funniest responses.

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via TM on music / Twitter

This article originally appeared on 4.10.20 via The Conversation


Fifty years ago, when Paul McCartney announced he had left the Beatles, the news dashed the hopes of millions of fans, while fueling false reunion rumors that persisted well into the new decade.

In a press release on April 10, 1970 for his first solo album, "McCartney," he leaked his intention to leave. In doing so, he shocked his three bandmates.

The Beatles had symbolized the great communal spirit of the era. How could they possibly come apart?

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Cayce LaCorte explains why virginity doesn't exist.

The concept of virginity is a very loaded issue in American culture. If a woman loses hers when she's too young she can be slut-shamed. If a man remains a virgin for too long, he can be bullied for not being manly enough.

There is also a whole slew of religious mind games associated with virginity that can give people some serious psychological problems associated with sex.

Losing one's virginity has also been blown up way beyond proportion. It's often believed that it's a magical experience—it's usually not. Or that after having sex for the first time people can really start to enjoy living life—not the case.

What if we just dropped all of the stigmas surrounding virginity and instead, replaced them with healthy attitudes toward sex and relationships?

Writer Cayce LaCorte is going viral on TikTok for the simple way she's taught her five daughters to think about virginity. They don't have to. LaCorte shared her parenting ideas on TikTok in response to mom-influencer Nevada Shareef's question: "Name something about the way you raised your kids that people think is weird but you think is healthy."

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