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The best vacations leave you feeling renewed and invigorated, ready to take on the world.

You spend a week on the shore somewhere or at Disneyland or at home binging Netflix and return to work feeling newly energized and inspired.

You know what I'm talking about? Laura Ingraham sure does.


After taking a "pre-planned" Easter vacation (which just so happened to coincide with advertisers dropping her show after she mocked Parkland survivor David Hogg), Ingraham returned to Fox News on April 9 to deliver a searing rant about how conservatives are being persecuted and shut down in America.

Ingraham's return to the air included a vow to "protect" the First Amendment.

Upon her return, Ingraham revealed that her show would feature a new segment. It's called "Defending the First," and according to ABC News, Ingraham has promised that she'll "expose the enemies of the First Amendment, of free expression, and every thought while showcasing those brave voices making a difference."

Ingraham followed this up with an impassioned plea for anyone who's been the subject of First Amendment violations to call on her for aid: "If you have been subjected to threats or intimidation because of your speech, I want to know about it," she said. "Tweet me, because without free speech and a free conscience, we are not truly a free people."

Is a boycott really a violation of the First Amendment though?

In her speech, Ingraham referred to herself as a "victim" of a boycott. The reality, though, is a little different. Ingraham's speech was not curtailed by the government, which is what the First Amendment is about.

Whenever this subject is brought up, I think of this XKCD comic, which is a nice reminder of which rights the First Amendment protects. (Hint: It's not the right to a TV show.)

[rebelmouse-image 19533212 dam="1" original_size="750x765" caption="Comic by XKCD, used with permission." expand=1]Comic by XKCD, used with permission.

Let's break it down further:

Had Ingraham been arrested, thrown in jail, or otherwise detained by agents of the government, then yes, she would absolutely have a point.

As the comic perfectly explains, however, as much as Ingraham may like to think of herself as a victim, freedom of speech doesn't protect you from the consequences of the things you say. Nor can it force anyone to listen to you if what you've said isn't to their liking.

So if you malign the survivor of a mass shooting for not getting into a college and advertisers decide that's not where they want to put their money, their refusal isn't curtailing any civil liberties.

Boycotting is a legal and time-honored tradition of voting with one's money.

While Ingraham paints boycotting as something only "liberals" do, we must remember that conservatives are not new to cutting off businesses they do not agree with.

In 2017, conservatives boycotted Keurig (in the strangest way) when it stopped advertising on Sean Hannity's show. They also boycotted Nordstrom after it dropped Ivanka Trump's line. When Target announced a move to be more inclusive of the trans community in 2016, a boycott reportedly led the chain to lose millions of dollars.

President Donald Trump is no stranger to calling for boycotts either. While campaigning in 2015, he suggested Starbucks should be boycotted for not putting "Merry Christmas" on their cups. And in 2017, he called for NFL fans to walk out of games if players kneeled during the national anthem and said that protesting players should be fired.

Will Ingraham be championing those that have been hurt by these boycotts as well?

Let's not forget that Ingraham was making these points on her nationally broadcast talk show.

The idea that she's a victim feels a little hollow when you realize Ingraham's speaking from a national pulpit and earning millions of dollars while demanding compassion and righteous indignation from her legions of supporters — supporters she is allowed to speak at on a regular basis without fear of repercussions even as she refers to those who oppose her as "Stalinist." (FYI: Stalin would have never stood for this kind of free-wheeling invective on public media.)

You may remember the time Ingraham was accused of doing the Nazi salute, accused Hillary Clinton of doing the same thing in retaliation, and then still ended up with her own show instead of being prosecuted? Sounds a lot like free speech to me.

The First Amendment affords us all the right to speak out.

Defending the First Amendment makes perfect sense, but as XKCD so brilliantly points out, we owe it to ourselves and one another to understand what we're defending first.

Ingraham's talking points will surely rile up her fanbase. But her rhetoric — that any criticism of conservatives is tantamount to First Amendment violation — is disingenuous and divisive.

The First Amendment protects Ingraham's right to say what she wants. It doesn't mean anyone has to listen.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.


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This article originally appeared on 08.05.21


Six years ago, a high school student named Christopher Justice eloquently explained the multiple problems with flying the Confederate flag. A video clip of Justice's truth bomb has made the viral rounds a few times since then, and here it is once again getting the attention it deserves.

Justice doesn't just explain why the flag is seen as a symbol of racism. He also explains the history of when the flag originated and why flying a Confederate flag makes no sense for people who claim to be loyal Americans.

But that clip, as great as it is, is a small part of the whole story. Knowing how the discussion came about and seeing the full debate in context is even more impressive.

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via Tod Perry

This article originally appeared 8.18.21


18-year-old Twitter user Aimee recently took to Twitter to ask something most of us have probably wondered about without even realizing it:

"Serious question, what the fuck is this for?" she asked, next to a photo of that handle on the ceiling of every car that we all knew about and probably wondered about but never thought to even ask for some reason?!?!?!?!?!?

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