Cory Booker concludes food stamp challenge with call for ‘just and sustainable’ food system

Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker has been lauded as a hero by many for completing the week-long #SNAPChallenge, living for a week on a budget of $30, or the equivalent of New Jersey’s food stamp allocation. Booker chronicled his week through a series of videos and blog posts, concluding with a call for universal food justice and a recommitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

My latest @linkedin blog post reflecting on my final day of #SNAPChallenge: linkd.in/12hTXXT #infollow

— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) December 10, 2012

Over the past week I have been sharing my personal experience of eating less than I am accustomed to, because I wanted to personally confront what I know millions of Americans deal with everyday — the lack of sufficient, safe, and nutritious food. I will end the SNAP Challenge today but my attention and commitment to addressing food access does not stop here. I ask you to join me and those in your community who are working towards a just and sustainable food system that nourishes everyone.

@corybooker @linkedin What a profound way to end the #SNAPChallenge. I could not agree more with the Declaration of Human Rights.

— Madeliene Bolden (@lovinganidea) December 11, 2012

From a diehard #Republican: @corybooker inspires me by his courage to tackle the #SNAPchallenge and his desire address hunger in our country

— Tyler Duvelius (@TylerDuvelius) December 10, 2012

I’m pretty sure @corybooker is a folk hero in his own time #SNAPchallenge

— Amanda Wasielewski (@awasielewski) December 7, 2012

Love @corybooker for doing the #SNAPChallenge — yay empathy!

— Erica Heinz (@ericaheinz) December 10, 2012

@corybooker @linkedin — HERO!!!

— Deb White (@OldBlueHeron) December 11, 2012

@corybooker: You r incredible & truly the people’s mayor. Good work, keep it up! I’d love 2 vote 4 u in a national election. #SNAPChallenge

— M.Willingham-Jaggers (@themelster) December 11, 2012

For all of the attention the SNAP Challenge has garnered, some of the conditions have left a bad taste with observers. For one, Booker restricted his food purchases to what food stamps would buy.

Hang on, Mr.Booker. The S in SNAP = supplemental. Not designed to live off. Do you think it should be? #SNAPchallenge

— Rick Wolff (@RickWolff) December 4, 2012

Although I’m doing it, isn’t living *just* on SNAP sending the message that it’s not a supplemental program? #SNAPChallenge

— Wendy Thomas (@WendyENThomas) December 4, 2012

I respect Cory Booker for taking the #SNAPChallenge. But the “S” stands for “supplemental” – it’s not meant to cover your whole diet. #tcot

— Angela Morabito (@_AngelaMorabito) December 7, 2012

@mtgrove actually @corybooker is totally disingenuous, food stamps are supplemental. Program never intended to be only source of food/money.

— Leo Knepper (@leoknepper) December 8, 2012

@corybooker here are half a dozen other federal food prog & that doesn’t even get into state prog/private charitiesow.ly/1Q5gNg

— Leo Knepper (@leoknepper) December 8, 2012

@corybooker then you have SSI, SDI, section 8, unemployment, and the list keeps going.

— Leo Knepper (@leoknepper) December 8, 2012

@corybooker the problem isn’t we don’t spend enough on the poor. The problem is most of the spending goes to the salaries of govt employees.

— Leo Knepper (@leoknepper) December 8, 2012

If @corybooker went to public school when he did the #SNAPChallenge: he coulda got free breakfast & lunch. Thats government overlap.

— Oahts (@Oahts) December 11, 2012

You know, I liked Cory Booker after Sandy. After #SNAPchallenge, not so much. “not a gov’t handout.” COME ON.

— kaitlin. (@katepfal) December 10, 2012

#SNAPChallengeI 2 have been on Food StampsThe “S” in SNAP is supplementary.@corybooker‘s mission is nobel but bogus#tcot #p2 #p21 #tpp

— Ed Bradford (@egbegb) December 10, 2012

#snapchallengeGovt operates at 25-30% efficiency.$1B in benefits costs $4.5B – $5B#LogicFail #LibLogic#tcot #tlot

— ıɹɐɹɹǝɟɯoʇ (@tomferrari) December 8, 2012

Booker’s concluding statement is short on specifics but expansive in its call for “fundamental rights and freedoms that are universally protected and guaranteed to all people around the globe without distinction,” including food, housing and medical care. In the meantime, a week of beans and yams has earned the mayor immense political capital.

Nice job on Face the Nation @corybooker! Super impressed with #SNAPChallenge as well as your passion. Booker for Governor!!

— Shana Powers (@shanapowers) December 9, 2012

I hope everyone is following @corybooker and his #SNAPChallenge. I also hope we vote this man for president one day.

— Your pal, (@MyPointWas) December 7, 2012

You May Know These Famous Paintings, But You Probably Didn’t Know These Facts.

Most people know these 10 über famous paintings. However, something tells me you didn’t know these surprising facts about them. Check them out, and get a whole semester’s worth of art history in just one sitting.

1.) The Mona Lisa.

Despite the popularity of Leonardo da Vinci’s master work, the subject of the Mona Lisa portrait is still unknown. Researchers believe it’s likely a woman named Lisa Gherardini. She was a member of a wealthy Florentine family. Allegedly, Leonard da Vinci’s father was friends with Gherardini’s father. Experts believe he may have commissioned the painting.

2.) The Last Supper.

In the original version of Leonardo da Vinci’s other masterpiece, Jesus’ feet are visible under the table. However in 1652, builders accidentally cut off part of the bottom of the painting while installing a doorway beneath the painting.

3.) Starry Night.

Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night is a portrait of the southern French town of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. Van Gogh worked on the painting while he was a patient at a mental hospital in the town.  

4.) Girl With The Pearl Earring.

The subject in the Johannes Vermeer’s painting Girl With The Pearl Earring is not known exactly. Researchers strongly suspect that the girl was his daughter, Maria.

5.) American Gothic.

When Grant Wood first planned his famous American Gothic painting, he wanted his mother as the female model. He then thought that standing for so many hours would be stressful for his mother. So, he dressed his sister as his mother to pose in her place.

6.) The Persistence of Memory.

Although Salvador Dali never explained any of his work, it’s said that the inspiration for this piece came from watching chunks of cheese melt in the sun.

7.) Autumn Rhythm (Number 30).

Abstract painter Jackson Pollock was notorious for his style of painting. He created his pieces by laying down huge canvasses and slowly dripping layers of paint on them. For this piece, Pollock used non-traditional items like sticks, knives, and trowels to drip paint onto the canvas.

8.) Campbell’s Soup Cans.

The 1962 series from pop artist Andy Warhol is actually a set of 32 different silk screened canvasses. Each creation represents one of the 32 different varieties of Campbell’s soup available at the time Warhol created the series. Since Warhol never left any instructions on how to show the pieces, the Museum of Modern Art has them currently displayed in chronological order of the soups’ release.

9.) Nighthawks.

Rumor has it that Edward Hopper based this painting off a diner located in New York City’s Greenwich Village. Hopper later stated that he based this painting off of an all-night coffee stand, and not an actual diner.

10.) The Creation of Adam.

Michelangelo painted his famous depiction of God giving life to Adam on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel standing up. Michelangelo and his assistants invented a new type of scaffolding that allowed them to stand with ease and reach over their heads to paint the ceiling.  

(Via: Mental Floss)

Nighthawks is one of my favorite paintings, and it’s a bit disappointing to hear that it’s not based off of a real diner. The history surrounding these paintings made me look at them in a completely new way.

OWS celebrates Sandy aftermath: ‘No subways. No electricity. No chains.’

At least 35 people are dead. Family homes have been destroyed and condemned. Hospitals and neighborhoods have been evacuated. And millions remain stranded without power in the brutal wake of Hurricane Sandy. The crisis is far from over.

So how does the official Twitter account of Occupy Wall Street respond to the devastation? Despicably, natch.

Occupiers are celebrating the glory of a city “unchained” from the capitalist oppression of  transportation and electricity.

That community you’re experiencing, in the face of crisis? It’s always there. Think about what it is that usually obscures it. #sandy #nyc

— Occupy Wall Street (@OccupyWallSt) October 30, 2012

Go outside. Meet your neighbors. Talk. Share a meal. When capitalism retreats, our communities flourish. #sandy #nyc

— Occupy Wall Street (@OccupyWallSt) October 30, 2012

As capitalism halts, we experience “an exceptional period of mutual support and common care.” ow.ly/eSX4t #sandy #nyc @strikedebt

— Occupy Wall Street (@OccupyWallSt) October 30, 2012

Revolting, but pretty much expected from a movement with so little self-awareness that it rails against capitalism and celebrates the loss of electricity via Twitter.

@occupywallst Which kind of electricity had you use to send this message? :) /cc @lesherbes

— Angelo Selvini (@angeloselvini) October 30, 2012

Hat tip: Dave

Jonathan Alter: Nixon-Obama comparisons ‘ridiculous'; evidence says otherwise [video]

Is that so, Jonathan? Because our friends at Revealing Politics would beg to differ. And unlike Alter, they’ve done their research. As it turns out, President Obama has quite a lot in common with Tricky Dick.

Let’s go to the videotape!

As the video points out, there is one notable difference between the two scandal-plagued POTUSes: the buck ultimately stopped with Nixon; it never stops with Obama. Just to be clear, Jonathan, that is ridiculous.

Vox’s Max Fisher: If you praised badass woman fighting ISIS, you’re a racist

Just when you thought you’d seen Max Fisher scrape the bottom of the intellectual barrel, he goes and outdoes himself:

The condescension and racism behind American praise of Maryam al-Mansouri, the female UAE pilot who bombed ISIS http://t.co/BHzD7eWbL9

— Max Fisher (@Max_Fisher) September 26, 2014

This meme “Hey ISIS, you were bombed by a woman” is fundamentally racist. On multiple levels. http://t.co/qewQ99e0yj pic.twitter.com/X1PnVRz0X6

— Max Fisher (@Max_Fisher) September 26, 2014

Hey, Max, those tweets are mind-blowingly stupid. On multiple levels:

Oh, look. @voxdotcom thinks praising a female pilot from the UAE is actually racist. http://t.co/ZfJUE3c89T

— RB (@RBPundit) September 26, 2014

So @Max_Fisher thinks ISIS is a race not an ideology. https://t.co/6rGqpqWalU

— Mistressnancy (@Mistressnancy) September 26, 2014

Islam isn’t a race, you paste eater. https://t.co/SA4Jp3MKBA

— Ɍɇx ɨn Ɇffɇȼŧ (@RexHarrisonsHat) September 26, 2014

Dear @Max_Fisher, radical, terroristic, beheading, genital mutilating, Islamic Jihadists are NOT a race. #TruthAche https://t.co/C63XIvEn6U

— Chris Loesch (@ChrisLoesch) September 26, 2014

@Max_Fisher @ptbrennan11 because savage misogyny in the name of a death-cult is a race, now. #Genetic

— Hugs n Kisses (@Coondawg68) September 26, 2014

.@Max_Fisher No, it's not racist. Read about her…she's incredible. And read about the positive effect she's had on her division.

— Color Me Red ن (@ColorMeRed) September 26, 2014

But what happens when you try to navigate the actual post? Here’s how it kicks off:

In the three days since United Arab Emirates air force Major Maryam al-Mansouri flew in the American-led mission to bomb ISIS targets in Syria, there have been many rounds of congratulations and chest-thumping in the United States over this triumph of feminism and humiliation of ISIS.

Mansouri’s accomplishment and importance as one of the first-ever female fighter pilots in the Emirates and in the Gulf is real. So is the progress she represents for Emirati women. But the American celebration of Mansouri has been grounded in some embarrassing misconceptions, and has echoed common Western prejudices and stereotypes about Arabs that are condescending at best and racist and misogynist at worst.

There are two sets of American misconceptions here. The first is to play up Mansouri as representative of the UAE as a champion of gender equality, when in fact the UAE is objectively quite bad on women’s rights, and the fact that we allow them such a lowered bar represents a soft bigotry of lowered expectations. The second is to repeatedly contrast the UAE with Saudi Arabia in a way that explicitly frames Saudi gender restrictions as the default for Arab and Muslim societies, when in fact Saudi restrictions are freakishly unique and widely reviled in the Muslim world.

We recommend reading the whole thing, if only to marvel at its evolving stupidity.

Totally missing the point is becoming a common theme in everything @Max_Fisher writes about the Mideast. http://t.co/EGacIRHkJz

— Charles Hoskinson (@cehoskinson) September 26, 2014

This is some amazing shaming-gymnastics by @Max_Fisher http://t.co/JvIYD1aa6G

— John Sexton (@verumserum) September 26, 2014

The gist of Fisher’s article appears to be this: It’s racist and misogynistic to celebrate the fact that a women is helping to kick ISIS’ ass, because she comes from a Muslim-led country whose lousy women’s rights record shouldn’t be ignored. But, if you point out that Muslim-led countries have lousy women’s rights records, you’re a racist Islamophobe.

Get it? Neither do we:

.@Max_Fisher if I understand you correctly it is racist to believe women have equal rights in UAE as well as believing the opposite?

— Meine Weltsicht (@weltsichtig) September 26, 2014

Did Max Fisher seriously just accuse conservatives of whitewashing the poor human rights records of Muslim countries? Holy LOL.

— neontaster (@neontaster) September 26, 2014

The only thing missing was a Voxsplanation about how Israel is somehow behind all of this.

@Max_Fisher @AndrewStilesUSA is this real life?

— Brian Walsh (@bigbri1681) September 26, 2014

It’s getting more and more difficult to tell. Maybe this’ll help a little:

Guys, report @Max_Fisher. Parody accounts need to clearly identify themselves as such.

— Blast Hardcheese (@claudeakinsmask) September 26, 2014

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Related:

This is what badassery looks like! ISIS should be very scared of this woman [photo]

‘Just grotesque': Vox pounded for ‘moronic’ take on murders of three Israeli teens

Vox-er blames Israel for disproportionate Palestinian deaths, ignores Hamas’ ‘defense’ strategy

‘You really are a bigot': ‘Voxhole’ Max Fisher bravely mocks Netanyahu’s accent

‘Repulsive shill': Vox’s Max Fisher suggests Pope Francis endorses new Crusade