“A year-long fight against the forces of darkness”

Terrorism and IslamLost sheepCorrelates of wealth and beauty in China“Housing First” isn’t the answerOften-absent students score lower on NAEP

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A year-long fight against the forces of darkness

Ahmed Khalaf Al-Dulaimi is governor of Iraq’s Anbar province. He can be reached at samaanbar44@gmail.com or on twitter at @Ahmed_Alduliami.

There are those who would have us believe the Muslims are terrorists, one and all.  I have posted this headline mainly to evidence the contrary.

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Australian sheep grew woolly coat for years

Apparently a lost sheep can stay lost, on purpose, for years. That is, it chooses to stay lost. The two animals mentioned here, Shaun and Shrek, both “hid” on their own farms for a long, long time.

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The ‘facekini’: From the beaches of China to pages of a fashion magazine

Diametric from the way Americans see things, Chinese women highly prize pale skin as it is taken for beautiful — and an indicator of wealth.

Yao Wenhua, 58, a retired bus driver and mask wearer, said in a 2012 New York Times article: “I’m afraid of getting dark…A woman should always have fair skin…Otherwise people will think you’re a peasant.”

See the article for images of the bizarre (we’d think) lengths they go to accordingly.

Indicators of wealth being taken as indicators of beauty also shows up in the work of 17th century Flemish painters, especially Rubens.  His female models were regarded as beautiful in his time, but Americans today would regard them simply as fat.  In that time, fat meant wealthy — and, so, beautiful.

Here is Rubens’ “Venus in front of her mirror”:

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Rapid rehousing isn’t the answer

Why Denver is trucking its homeless to the middle of nowhere

Colorado has built a drug-and-alcohol treatment program located in the middle of nowhere, where participants are not subject to the temptations they would face in an urban setting and are unlikely to wander off on one’s own. The article presumes to contrast this with the “Housing First” approach; which is highly misleading. Whereas “Housing First” does not insist a client be drug-free before providing housing, it does assume the client will be financially independent within a fixed time frame.  The Colorado program makes no such assumption.

D.C.’s plan to end homeless crisis prompts a different struggle

This long article tells the story of a “Housing First” client who did not attain long-term financial independence before her subsidy ran out.

This paragraph seems to spell a success story:

“Deborah Carroll, interim director of the D.C. Department of Human Services, said that 85 percent of those in the program have not looked to the government for homeless services in the year after losing their subsidies. City officials were unable to say how many families make up that 85 percent, and they do not track what happens to them or whether they stay in the District.”

I’d want a lot more information before I’d call it a success.

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Often-absent students score lower on NAEP

“Poor and minority students are more likely to be frequently absent from school.”

Why is that?

(Originally posted 2014-09-22.)

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