After Ike in 2008 I learned


Clothing is plentiful in the donation world, thank you. It is daunting for them at first, wait 3 weeks and send some then.

Hygiene items are needed ASAP

Often forgotten things

Diapers for adults, pad, tampons, lip balm, diaper rash cream, breast milk pumps, cream for breasts during breast feeding, Pedialite (there will be sick babies) Ensure for adults who need that kind of supplement (the elderly), pet food, poop bags for pet waste, tooth brushes, tooth paste, bars of soap, hand sanitizer, hand lotion. 

Immediate clothing need – new unopened packs of socks and undies, every size you can think of.

Our particular shelter had a need for plus sized (big and tall) man’s clothing, luckily I knew a guy and we filled that one need, but these are the often forgotten clothing sizes. Look for churches that have an address and buy some of the inexpensive specialty size clothes on Amazon and have them ship direct. 

This is a PSA from someone who is tired of being familiar with hurricane relief. 




Spot the photoshop…

Sorry, just gonna rant at the bottom of your post for a minute.

Firstly, the desperation of these people that they photoshopped a stock photo. They’re not even photoshopping a real picture ffs.

Secondly, there aren’t enough foster placements as it is. You don’t go turning down a foster family because they’re not the same race or religion as the child. The law says you give “consideration” to a child’s race and religion – that’s it. There’s nothing wrong with placing a white Christian child with a Muslim family. The problem comes when its the other way round – when a child comes from a minority religious/racial background they’re more likely to lose their cultural identity when they’re adopted/fostered by a white family. It doesn’t work the other way round, because we live in a majority white Christian society. 

Thirdly, this story is clearly bullshit and I wouldn’t be surprised if the source of it was some bitter parents who want to sabotage the placement. One moment, the papers are suggesting that the foster carers don’t speak English and the next we’re told they said all kinds of nonsense which the kid clearly understood. The local council have already said its nonsense but what newspapers rely on with this stuff is the fact that the council can’t disclose the truth because of confidentiality.

This kid has already been removed from her family. Now after six months with her carers, the placement might have to end prematurely because the Daily fucking Mail had to stick its nose in.

Finally I don’t recall the DM taking this tack when a council was accused of removing some Eastern European children from the foster care of some UKIP voters. They were absolutely OUTRAGED at the time that a person’s beliefs could prevent them from being foster carers. (The story wasn’t even true but whatever). As dangerous beliefs go, thinking Christmas is shite is arguably less dangerous than thinly veiled fascist propaganda.

Im just going to add onto this the fantastic debunking of this steaming load of lies that Tom Pride did: as even in @wetpinkorthodoxy excellent comment (which is completely on it regarding cross cultural fostering and how the reporting is clearly bullshit) doesn’t completely convey the full fuckery and lies of the reporting:

1) According to court documents, it was the police not the local authority (as stated by the tabloids) who put the child into foster care.

2) According to court documents, the foster family criticised by the tabloids was a temporary placement.

3) According to court documents, the child herself is from Muslim heritage and her Muslim grandmother has now been cleared by the courts to look after her. This fact is only disputed by the girl’s mother but none of this was mentioned by the tabloids as it would obviously totally destroy their narrative:

4) The temporary foster mother did not wear a veil as stated by the tabloids. She wears a hijab.

The veil in the photographs published by the Mail and other comics was photoshopped onto a stock picture of a Muslim family taking a walk in a park in Dubai

5) According to court documents, the child’s mother has not at any time requested the foster parents be changed. 

6) Tower Hamlets council have confirmed that the temporary foster parents do speak English. According to court documents, the Family Court dealing with the case has also expressed no concerns about the foster parents’ level of English. The press simply lied about that:

7) According to council foster care officials, the temporary foster parents did not ban Easter as stated by the tabloids. There is also no mention of this according to court documents by either the mother herself or the lawyers representing her. The press simply lied about that.

8) There is no evidence, apart from claims by the tabloid press, that the temporary foster parents have banned crucifixes and bacon from the home. There is also no mention of this according to court documents by either the mother herself or the lawyers representing her. The press simply lied.

9) According to court documents, it seems the child was put into temporary foster care by the police because of the mother’s alcohol and drugs problems. There was no mention of this fact by the tabloid press, presumably as it would put a question mark over the mother’s credibility and her criticism of the temporary foster parents.

10) The foster parents have been rated very highly by independent assessors, including the child’s own independent Children’s Guardian whose job is to advocate solely for the welfare of the child:

Those are the sad facts of the case. It is beyond disgusting that supposedly professional journalists would manipulate a tragic case involving a little child to further the political ends of their proprietors.

The following so-called journalists are either so incompetent they got the facts wrong, or they lied. Either way, they should be sacked:

Andrew Norfolk – The Times

Fiona Parker – Mail Online

Martin Robinson – Mail Online

Jonathan Reilly – The Sun

Cyril Dixon – The Express



I once read about an aquarium that trained the dolphins to pick up any debris in the tank and give it to the trainer in exchange for fish. One dolphin started started hiding paper under a rock and then breaking off small pieces to give the trainer. She also realized that she could get fish for catching a seagull. She soon started to stockpile fish to use as seagull bait, thus creating an exponentially larger seagull problem. Then she taught the other dolphins, which made it worse. So if you ever think dolphins are cute, remember that these little assholes create capitalism of their own volition and are not to be trusted. 

Shit, if I was kept in a giant fish tank and rewarded for dumb crap I’d scam em too



Oh, oh! 

I can actually explain the French one! 

Back in ye olde days before the printing press everything you wanted 2+ copies of had to be copied by hand. So there were these people, known as “copiers”, who would, well, copy stuff. 

Most kings paid by the word, but not the French king. He paid by the letter.

So, naturally, the copiers were like “Fuck it, let’s go nuts” and just stuffed half the alphabet into every word to make some extra cash.

Also, in contrast, no letters in Latin are silent. This is because things were often inscribed on stone, meaning ain’t nobody got time to waste on carving out letters that aren’t being used. 

So Latin may have 7,638 different tenses and moods, but at least you know how to pronounce what’s written.


First of all, most “silent” French consonants are not actually silent. They’ve been assimilated into the vowels that precede them, and re-appear when followed by another vowel. In linguistics, this process is called ‘Liaison.’ The s in ‘les’ is the easiest example of this. ‘Les chats’ is pronounced ‘lay shah;’ but ‘les enfants’ is pronounced ‘lez enfan.’ That isn’t a pointless letter thrown in by overenthusiastic copyists; it’s a letter that is pronounced conditionally, in order to break up similar sounds. English has this too;  consider how, in American English, the h at the start of the word ‘herb’ is only pronounced if the sound preceding it was a vowel.

Some ‘silent’ French letters, by contrast, actually modify the sounds the vowels make themselves. Like that second n in ‘enfants.’ Any French speaker would find it ridiculous if you suggested that ‘enfants’ and ‘enfats’ would be pronounced the same way. The n alters the a in the second syllable. This process is known as Cheshirization: when a sound that is no longer pronounced itself can still be ‘heard’ by its influence on the sounds surrounding it.

French spelling too reflects the history of French speakers (like every language). Certainly, Latin as spoken by the people in Rome had no silent letters; but in the region of what is now France, these relatively recent converts to the Latin language were used to pronouncing things they way they had been pronounced in Gaulish. We unfortunately don’t have many records of Gaulish, but what we do know tells us that Gaulish speakers habitually dropped unstressed syllables. Gaulish also made a lot of use of Assimilation – when sounds start to sound more like the sounds surrounding them, like how “handbag” is actually pronounced “hambag” – and Lenition, which is when consonants are softened unless they are needed to break up other sounds: think of how ‘wait’ is actually pronounced “way–.” The t isn’t silent, but it’s soft and sonorous and maybe inaudible to the ears of non-native English speakers.

Modern French is full of assimilated sounds, soft and musical consonants, and dropped unstressed syllables, simply because the Gauls would have had no reason to start pronouncing words in a completely new and alien way just because they were learning a new language. These things are, essentially, the linguistic archaeological footprint of the ancient Gaulish accent.

I’ve never heard this story about French copyists throwing in extra letters to make some extra coin off the French king (which king?), and 10 minutes of Googling it with different keywords and combinations didn’t turn up anything. The introduction of printing in 1470 did necessitate some spelling reform, but it was a standardization effort; they didn’t add ‘more letters,’ that would have only made printing more expensive and time consuming. 

During the 18th century, French orthography was reformed to be much clearer and simpler, with a number of defunct, silent letters done away with altogether. For example, estre (the verb to be) became etre. Accents, which had been used by printers for centuries, were formally adopted, in order to clarify the pronounciation of vowels and vowel clusters. The letters V and J were also adopted into the French alphabet, where before they had been confusingly indicated as a consonant form of U and I. So, ‘uil’ became ‘vil’ (vile). This significantly reduced the number of homonyms the French had to contend with (that is, words that are spelled the same but mean different things).

Smaller reforms have been introduced to French orthography intermittently ever since, with the most recent push of note happening only in 1990. Among the changes made was the abolition of a silent t at the end of a bunch of words (leveraut became leverau, etc), the trema diacresis (the two dots that you put over some vowels to indicate that they are NOT silent) was moved in order to be simpler to understand, and the circumflex (the pointy hat that goes over some vowels) was gotten rid of anywhere it wasn’t necessary anymore.

IN OTHER WORDS, the authorities responsible for simplifying and streamlining French spelling have done their best with an ancient, beautiful, messy language which is – it really needs to be stressed – far more regular in its pronunciation than English.

What kind of confusing bastard language makes cough, through, dough, and tough all sound completely different, honestly.


“When I was 26, I went to Indonesia and the Philippines to do research for my first book, No Logo.
I had a simple goal: to meet the workers making the clothes and
electronics that my friends and I purchased. And I did. I spent evenings
on concrete floors in squalid dorm rooms where teenage girls—sweet and
giggly—spent their scarce nonworking hours. Eight or even 10 to a room.
They told me stories about not being able to leave their machines to
pee. About bosses who hit. About not having enough money to buy dried
fish to go with their rice.

They knew they were being badly exploited—that the garments
they were making were being sold for more than they would make in a
month. One 17-year-old said to me: “We make computers, but we don’t know
how to use them.”

So one thing I found slightly jarring was that some of these
same workers wore clothing festooned with knockoff trademarks of the
very multinationals that were responsible for these conditions: Disney
characters or Nike check marks. At one point, I asked a local labor
organizer about this. Wasn’t it strange—a contradiction?

It took a very long time for him to understand the question.
When he finally did, he looked at me like I was nuts. You see, for him
and his colleagues, individual consumption wasn’t considered to be in
the realm of politics at all. Power rested not in what you did as one
person, but what you did as many people, as one part of a large,
organized, and focused movement. For him, this meant organizing workers
to go on strike for better conditions, and eventually it meant winning
the right to unionize. What you ate for lunch or happened to be wearing
was of absolutely no concern whatsoever.

This was striking to me, because it was the mirror opposite
of my culture back home in Canada. Where I came from, you expressed your
political beliefs—firstly and very often lastly—through personal
lifestyle choices. By loudly proclaiming your vegetarianism. By shopping
fair trade and local and boycotting big, evil brands.

These very different understandings of social change came up
again and again a couple of years later, once my book came out. I would
give talks about the need for international protections for the right
to unionize. About the need to change our global trading system so it
didn’t encourage a race to the bottom. And yet at the end of those
talks, the first question from the audience was: “What kind of sneakers
are OK to buy?” “What brands are ethical?” “Where do you buy your
clothes?” “What can I do, as an individual, to change the world?”

Fifteen years after I published No Logo, I still
find myself facing very similar questions. These days, I give talks
about how the same economic model that superpowered multinationals to
seek out cheap labor in Indonesia and China also supercharged global
greenhouse-gas emissions. And, invariably, the hand goes up: “Tell me
what I can do as an individual.” Or maybe “as a business owner.”

The hard truth is that the answer to the question “What can
I, as an individual, do to stop climate change?” is: nothing. You can’t
do anything. In fact, the very idea that we—as atomized individuals,
even lots of atomized individuals—could play a significant part in
stabilizing the planet’s climate system, or changing the global economy,
is objectively nuts. We can only meet this tremendous challenge
together. As part of a massive and organized global movement.

The irony is that people with relatively little power tend
to understand this far better than those with a great deal more power.
The workers I met in Indonesia and the Philippines knew all too well
that governments and corporations did not value their voice or even
their lives as individuals. And because of this, they were driven to act
not only together, but to act on a rather large political canvas. To
try to change the policies in factories that employ thousands of
workers, or in export zones that employ tens of thousands. Or the labor
laws in an entire country of millions. Their sense of individual
powerlessness pushed them to be politically ambitious, to demand
structural changes.

In contrast, here in wealthy countries, we are told how
powerful we are as individuals all the time. As consumers. Even
individual activists. And the result is that, despite our power and
privilege, we often end up acting on canvases that are unnecessarily
small—the canvas of our own lifestyle, or maybe our neighborhood or
town. Meanwhile, we abandon the structural changes—the policy and legal
work— to others.”

Naomi Klein