The anti-gay North Carolina pastor Charles Worley of Providence Road Baptist Church has been facing backlash over his recent sermon in which he said the US should pen in “all the lesbians and queers” with an electrified fence and wait for them to “die out.”
But it turns out Worley has been saying offensive things about gay people for decades.
Jeremy Hooper dug up this bit of hate from Worley in 1978, in which Worley says that “40 years ago” gay people would have been hung “from a white oak tree”:
WORLEY: I’m God’s preacher. I just believe the book. Living in a day when, you know what, it saddens my heart to think that homosexuals can go around, bless God, and get the applause of a lot of people. Lesbians and all the rest of it? Bless God, forty years ago they’d have hung ‘em, bless God, from a white oak tree, wouldn’t they? Amen.
Listen to it:
Today David Pakman interviewed a lesbian who has a family member who belongs to Worley’s congregation and who has personally attended Pastor Worley’s church. She told him that she was “not surprised” by Worley’s comments, adding that there were “quite a few ‘Amens’ from the congregation”:
A Wisconsin clinic, Affiliated Medical Services, has stopped distributing abortion-inducing medication because a new state law makes it extremely difficult for abortion providers to offer non-invasive medication abortions. According to RH Reality Check, it is now impossible for women to receive a medical abortion from a provider in the state.
Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin suspended medication abortions in April because of the ambiguous anti-abortion measure that Gov. Scott Walker (R) signed into law, which requires women to make at least three separate visits to their doctor for the procedure.
NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin Executive Director Lisa Subeck said in a statement that women will “suffer” because Walker and state Republicans have limited women’s health care options in the state:
?Wisconsin women will suffer because of Governor Walker’s actions. It is unacceptable that women are losing health care options because Walker has put his extreme social agenda ahead of what is best for women’s health. [...] Women lose out when out of control politicians like Scott Walker practice medicine without a license and interfere in the relationship between doctors and their patients.?
Dr. Fredrik Broekhuizen, a Wisconsin medical director, told RH Reality Check in April that “[i]f we follow the FDA rules and follow protocol, we would violate this law. And we have no ability to defend ourselves,” he said of the restrictions on medication abortions.
The fight over women’s access to abortion has been particularly fierce in Wisconsin. A Planned Parenthood clinic was firebombed in early April before Walker quietly signed anti-abortion legislation into law later in the month.
JR: Climate science has long predicted an expansion of the tropical belt (colored band in figure below), which we’re now observing. At the same time, also as predicted, the subtropical dry zones are shifting poleward and getting drier (see for instance, this study and this one). And that means more “Dust-Bowlification,” which is a grave threat to food security. This observed expansion is happening faster than the climate models projected. A new study in Nature (subs. req’d) offers one possible explanation for this. What follows is a news release on the study.
by Iqbal Pittalwala, via UCR Today
Black carbon aerosols and tropospheric ozone, both manmade pollutants emitted predominantly in the Northern Hemisphere?s low- to mid-latitudes, are most likely pushing the boundary of the tropics further poleward in that hemisphere, new research by a team of scientists shows.
While stratospheric ozone depletion has already been shown to be the primary driver of the expansion of the tropics in the Southern Hemisphere, the researchers are the first to report that black carbon and tropospheric ozone are the most likely primary drivers of the tropical expansion observed in the Northern Hemisphere.
Led by climatologist Robert J. Allen, an assistant professor of Earth sciences at the University of California, Riverside, the research team notes that an unabated tropical belt expansion would impact large-scale atmospheric circulation, especially in the subtropics and mid-latitudes.
?If the tropics are moving poleward, then the subtropics will become even drier,? Allen said. ?If a poleward displacement of the mid-latitude storm tracks also occurs, this will shift mid-latitude precipitation poleward, impacting regional agriculture, economy, and society.?
Study results appear in the May 17 issue of Nature.
Observations show that the tropics have widened by 0.7 degrees latitude per decade, with warming from greenhouse gases also contributing to the expansion in both hemispheres. To study this expansion, the researchers first compared observational data with simulated data from climate models for 1979-1999. The simulated data were generated by a collection of 20 climate models called the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project version 3 or ?CMIP3.?
The researchers found that CMIP3 underestimates the observed 0.35 degrees latitude per decade expansion of the Northern Hemisphere tropics by about a third. But when they included either black carbon or tropospheric ozone or both in CMIP3, the simulations mimicked observations better, suggesting that the pollutants were playing a role in the Northern Hemisphere tropical expansion.
Next, to ensure that their results were not influenced by intrinsic differences between CMIP3?s 20 models, the researchers expanded the time period studied to 1970-2009, comparing available observed data with simulated data from NCAR?s Community Atmosphere Model (CMIP3 data did not extend to 1970-2009). They then repeated the exercise with the GFDL Atmospheric Model. Using these models allowed the researchers to directly isolate the effects of black carbon and tropospheric ozone on the location of the tropical boundaries.
As before, they found that the models underestimate the observed Northern Hemisphere expansion of the tropics by about a third. When black carbon and tropospheric ozone were incorporated in these models, however, the simulations showed better agreement with observations, underscoring the pollutants? role in widening the tropical belt in the Northern Hemisphere.
?Both black carbon and tropospheric ozone warm the tropics by absorbing solar radiation,? Allen explained. ?Because they are short-lived pollutants, with lifetimes of one-two weeks, their concentrations remain highest near the sources: the Northern Hemisphere low- to mid-latitudes. It?s the heating of the mid-latitudes that pushes the boundaries of the tropics poleward.?
Allen further explained that with an expansion of the tropics, wind patterns also move poleward, dragging other aspects of atmospheric circulation with them, such as precipitation.
?For example, the southern portions of the United States may get drier if the storm systems move further north than they were 30 years ago,? he said. ?Indeed, some climate models have been showing a steady drying of the subtropics, accompanied by an increase in precipitation in higher mid-latitudes. The expansion of the tropical belt that we attribute to black carbon and tropospheric ozone in our work is consistent with the poleward displacement of precipitation seen in these models.?
Black carbon aerosols are tiny particles of carbon produced from biomass burning and incomplete combustion of fossil fuels. Most of the world?s black carbon production occurs in the Northern Hemisphere, with Southeast Asia being a major producer. The same is true of tropospheric ozone, a secondary pollutant that results when volatile organic compounds react with sunlight.
?Greenhouse gases do contribute to the tropical expansion in the Northern Hemisphere,? Allen said. ?But our work shows that black carbon and tropospheric ozone are the main drivers here. We need to implement more stringent policies to curtail their emissions, which would not only help mitigate global warming and improve human health, but could also lessen the regional impacts of changes in large-scale atmospheric circulation in the Northern Hemisphere.?
Thomas Reichler, an associate professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Utah, noted that the new work by the Allen-led team represents a major advance in climate dynamics research.
?For a long time it has been unclear to the research community why climate models were unable to replicate the observed changes in the atmospheric wind structure,? said Reichler, who was not involved in the study. ?This work demonstrates now in very convincing ways that changes in the amount and distribution of tiny absorbing particles in the atmosphere are responsible for the observed changes. Since previous model simulations did not account properly for the effects of these particles on the atmosphere, this work provides a surprisingly simple but effective answer to the original question.?
Allen, who conceived the research project and designed the study, was joined in the research by Steven C. Sherwood at the University of New South Wales, Australia; Joel Norris at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, San Diego; and Charles S. Zender at UC Irvine.
Next, the research team will study the implications of the tropical expansion from a predominantly hydrological perspective.
?The question to ask is how far must the tropics expand before we start to implement policies to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases, tropospheric ozone and black carbon that are driving the tropical expansion?? said Allen, who joined UCR in 2011.
Iqbal Pittalwala is a Senior Public Information Officer at the University of California. This piece was originally published at UCR Today.
“The State Department needs to wake up from its delusional love fest with the dictators in Havana,” said right-wing House Foreign Affairs chair Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL). Republican Members of Congress released web videos and organized conference calls denouncing the visa as “outrageous.”
Even presumptive GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney got in on the action, releasing a statement accusing the Obama administration of “a slap in the face to all those brave individuals in Cuba who are enduring relentless persecution.”
Ros-Lehtinen and Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), David Rivera (R-FL) and Albio Sires (R-NJ) wrote a strongly-worded letter to the State Department saying:
The administration’s appalling decision to allow regime agents into the U.S. directly contradicts Congressional intent and longstanding U.S. foreign policy.
If it’s “longstanding U.S. foreign policy” to deny Mariela Castro a visa to enter the U.S., someone forgot to tell President George W. Bush. The Bush administration granted Castro not one but three visas to enter the U.S. in 2001 and 2002. State Department spokesman william Ostick told the Miami Herald:
Mariela Castro visited once in 2001 and twice in 2002. I can?t discuss her visas specifically, but you can assume she needed one to travel.
An Obama surrogate, Freddy Balsera, told the Herald:
In fact, the top State Department Official in charge of Latin America at the time was a Cuban American. Where was their criticism then? Nowhere, because ultimately this is all about politics for them.
A ThinkProgress search of the Lexis Nexis news database for Mariela Castro’s name during 2001 and 2002 returned no results relevant to her trips to the U.S.
Former attendees at the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) said that Cuba has long been a presence at LASA conferences. This year, the State Department accepted 60 visas, denied 11, and is still processing 6. A State spokesman said visas couldn’t be rejected simply because “we don?t like you.”
LASA’s president told the Associated Press that Castro’s appearance at the conference was “an academic issue, not a political issue,” and that she’d answered a call for papers like any other conference speaker.
Abigail Breslin may have come up as a precocious little girl in Little Miss Sunshine, and have honed that act in movies like No Reservations and Definitely, Maybe where she’s up against more experienced adult stars. But it’s exciting to hear that she’s moving into a new phase of her career by taking an action role, specifically in a movie called Final Girl where, according to Deadline, she gets to fight off a pack of feral teenage boys who want to use her in a weird initiation ritual.
It’s incredible and inspiring to me that there is a generation of teenage female actresses who are making their bones this way, whether it’s Chloe Grace Moretz playing vampire and superhero or Saorsie Ronan playing the result of an experiment in Hanna and a human hijacked by an alien in The Host. Growing up, I loved movies like The Babysitters’ Club, the Winona Ryder-anchored adaptation of Little Women, and Ten Things I Hate About You, but I know how hard I would have been cheering for girls who were allowed to be ferocious and strong instead of simply smart and creative. It’s not enough to have smart movies for and starring teenage girls if they’re all smart in the same way. Not everyone is a bookish budding feminist like Jo or Kat Stratford, and that’s absolutely fine.
And what’s particularly interesting to me about Breslin’s path is that she’s embodied all kinds of alternagirls. In Little Miss Sunshine, she’s defiantly weird, close to her grandfather, totally uninterested in the standards she’s supposed to meet. As Valentine Wiggin in Ender’s Game, she’ll get to be cerebral and loving. And as the Final Girl, further proof that Joss Whedon created our pop culture world and we all just live in it, she’ll get to fight. The idea that someone like Breslin could just keep going and not have to make a teenaged romantic comedy to continue working feels liberating, even though it’s entirely new. I’m all for letting a thousand Jodie Fosters bloom, and with Moretz, Ronan, and Breslin going strong, we might just get them.
The securities and investment industry — better known as Wall Street — has given $102 million to candidates for federal office during the current election cycle, the National Journal reports. The majority has gone to Republicans, though Democrats have pocketed $40 million from the industry. Through the end of April, President Obama has banked roughly $3 million from the financial industry. His Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, has more than doubled that total, hauling in $8.5 million.
Speaking at the Heartland Institute?s climate denial conference in Chicago this afternoon, Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) said that labeling heat-trapping carbon dioxide a pollutant is ?propaganda.?
Sensenbrenner is a long-time climate disinformer who says that the science of man-made global warming is an “international conspiracy.” He also happens to be Vice Chair of the House Committee on Space, Science and Technology.
Blatantly ignoring the “science” part of his committee responsibilities, the Congressman today attempted to argue against the basic physics of CO2 in the atmosphere:
?CO2 is a natural gas. Does this mean that all of us need to put catalytic converters on all our noses? The fact that people think CO2 is a pollutant ? basically goes into propaganda.”
In fact, the so-called “radiative forcing” of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels has contributed enough heat in the atmosphere over the last century to equal roughly half a billion Hiroshima nuclear bombs each year. As one researcher explained: ?When there?s more energy radiating down on the planet than there is radiating back out to space, something?s going to have to heat up.?
Rep. Sensenbrenner took his unscientific personal conclusions one step further, saying he believed CO2 would help “crop yields go up” and make it “easier to feed 7 billion people.”
“I’m not one of the people going around saying CO2 is bad for you,” he concluded.
In fact, scientists around the world are calling man-made global warming one of the biggest threats to agricultural production. In Texas, a brutal warming-driven drought cost farmers $7.5 billion last year; In Thailand, “weather whiplash” in 2010 devastated rice crops, causing $40 billion in lost economic productivity; and in Mexico, severe drought reduced agricultural output by 40% already this year.
These incidents came as world food prices hit record highs in 2011 due to a combination of extreme weather events and rising oil prices. In the lead-up to these global price spikes, 2010 was the warmest year on record globally — with 19 nations setting all-time heat records.
Sensenbrenner delivered his speech to a crowd of roughly 200 people at the Heartland Institute’s 7th annual international climate conference — a yearly gathering for the nation’s most active climate change disinformers. The Heartland Institute has come under fire in recent weeks for a disastrous billboard campaign linking people who understand human-caused global warming to mass murderers. Since the billboard was put up, 12 companies have pulled their support for Heartland in the lead-up to the conference.
Sensenbrenner ended his speech with an appropriate anecodote. He referenced New York Times Columnist Paul Krugman, who wrote in a 2009 column that climate deniers were practicing “treason against the planet.”
“Mr. Krugman, I plead guilty as charged,” boasted Sensenbrenner — a politician who helps oversee one of the most important scientific committees in Congress.
The crowd burst into gleeful laughter.
Sensenbrenner also assured the crowd that Mitt Romney would not take action on global warming. When asked by an attendee who said he was “scared to death” that Romney would change his stance on man-made global warming and support renewable energy, Sensenbrenner replied, ” I don?t think that?s true. I talked to Romney before the Wisconsin primary.”
So I walked up to the same precinct officers who have been working my polling place for the last 12 years and I handed them my Social Security card.
The one with a signature and no picture. The one the Kentucky Secretary of State's office claims the law allows to be used as voter identification at the polls.
The precinct officer accepted it immediately, but mentioned that was the first time someone had presented a Social Security card as ID at that polling station. Kudos to my county clerk for superb training.
It went downhill from there.
The precinct officer continued by scoffing at my poor, flimsy, half-century-old Social Security card and commenting that she didn't think they should accept Social Security cards because it wasn't "real" identification to her (although she accepted it.)
Then she handed me my paper ballot. Kentucky has been using optical scan machines for several years now, although you can choose to use the old touch-screen machines if you want.
The paper ballot was for Democratic voters only - there was a separate one for repugs. My ballot had two two-person races on it. The second race was for the Democratic candidate in the open Fourth District Congressional race.
The first race was for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States.
And this was a problem.
There were two choices in that race. No, there was no convicted felon running against Barack Obama. Running against Barack Obama was some motherfucker named "UNCOMMITTED."
I voted in Kentucky's 1996 presidential primary election, the last time there was an incumbent Democratic president on the ballot. I know for a fact there was no "UNCOMMITTED" challenging William Jefferson Clinton for the nomination.
The precinct officer admitted that the "UNCOMMITTED" line was new and unusual. She did not actually say it was appropriate because a ni**er was the only other candidate.
On the repug ballot, the candidates for president are Romney, Gingrich, Santorum, Paul and "UNCOMMITTED."
Here's what I think happened: somebody in the Secretary of State's office got wind of that little trick in West Virginia that put a criminal - but white! - on the ballot next to Barack Obama, thus depriving our duly elected and sworn President of the United States of 40 percent of the Democratic vote. It was too late to troll through the inmates at Eddyville to find a likely ringer, so they just substituted "UNCOMMITTED." They added "UNCOMMITTED" to the repug presidential candidates only because the current Secretary of State is nominally a Democratic office-holder and either would object to the obvious ni**er-bashing or be held accountable by national Democrats.
Kentucky's registered Democratic voters outnumber repugs almost two to one, but in national races (President, U.S. Senators, most U.S. Representatives) Kentucky almost always votes repug.
Yes, there are a lot of nominal "Democrats" who always vote repug, but I think that repugs win because many real Democratic voters stay home on election day, uninspired by the pathetic and cowardly worms like Steve Beshear and Ben Chandler who run for office on the Democratic ticket.
Secretary of State Allison Lundergan Grimes is predicting 10 - 12 percent turnout for today's primary. I think we'll be lucky to crack double digits.
The question is who will constitute that nine percent - real Democratic voters who will give Barack Obama an overwhelming victory, or repug-voting fake dems who will delight in sticking it to that ni**er in the White House by voting for "UNCOMMITTED?"
If the latter, then Strike Three.
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Yesterday President Obama delivered an address to the 2012 graduates of Joplin High School at their commencement held on the campus of Missouri Southern State University in Joplin.
....[applause, cheers] President Obama (D): Thank you. [applause] Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you everybody, please have a seat. A few people I want to acknowledge, first of all, you have an outstanding governor in Jay Nixon [applause], and we are proud of all the work that he's done. I want to acknowledge Senator Claire McCaskill who is here. [applause] Representative Billy Long. [applause] Your mayor, Melodee Colbert Kean. [applause, cheers] Somebody who doesn't get a lot of attention but does amazing work all across the country, including here in Joplin, the head of FEMA, the administrator, Craig Fugate, who spent an awful lot of time here helping to rebuild. [applause] Superintendent Huff. [applause, cheers] Principal Sachetta. [applause] To the faculty, the parents, the family, friends, the people of Joplin, and most of all the class of two thousand and twelve. [applause, cheers] Congratulations on your graduation and thank you for allowing me the honor of playing a small part in this special day...
...Now, the job of a commencement speaker primarily is to keep it short. [laughter] Chloe, they've given me more than two minutes. [laughter] But the other job is to inspire. But as I look out at this class and across this city what's clear is that you're the source of inspiration today, to me, to this state, to this country, and to people all over the world. Last year, the road that led you here took a turn that no one could've imagined. Just hours after the class of two thousand eleven walked across this stage the most powerful tornado in six decades tore a path of devastation through Joplin that was nearly a mile wide and thirteen long. In just thirty-two minutes it took thousands of homes and hundreds of businesses and a hundred and sixty-one of your neighbors, friends and family. It took a classmate Will Norton who had just left this auditorium with a diploma in his hand. It took Lantz Hare who should've received his diploma next year.
By now I expect that most of you have probably relived those thirty-two minutes again and again. Where you were, what you saw, when you knew for sure that it was over. The first contact, the first phone call you had with somebody you loved, the first day that you woke up in a world that would never be the same. And yet, the story of Joplin isn't just what happened that day. It's the story of what happened the next day, and the day after that, and all the days and weeks and months that followed. As your city manager, Mark Rohr, has said, the people here chose to define the tragedy not by what happened to us, but by how we responded.
Class of two thousand twelve that story is yours. It's part of you now. As others have mentioned you've had to grow up quickly over the last year. You've learned at a younger age than most of us that we can't always predict what life has in store. No matter how we might try to avoid it life surely can bring some heartache, and life involves struggles. And at some point life will bring loss.
But here in Joplin you've also learned that we have the power to grow from these experiences. We can define our lives not by what happens to us, but by how we respond. We can choose to carry on. We can choose to make a difference in the world. And in doing so, we can make true what's written in scripture that tribulation produces perseverance, and perseverance and character, and character, hope. Of all that's come from this tragedy let this be the central lesson that guides us, let it be the lesson that sustains you through whatever challenges lie ahead. As you begin the next stage in your journey, wherever you're going, whatever you're doing, it's safe to say you will encounter greed and selfishness, and ignorance and cruelty, and sometimes just bad luck. You'll meet people who try to build themselves up by tearing others down. You'll meet people who believe that looking after others is only for suckers. But you're from Joplin so you will remember, you will know just how many people there are who see life differently, those who are guided by kindness and generosity and quiet service. You'll remember that in a town of fifty thousand people, nearly fifty thousand more came in to help the weeks after the tornado, perfect strangers who've never met you and didn't ask for anything in return.
One of them was Mark Carr, who drove six hundred miles from Rocky Ford, Colorado with a couple of chainsaws and his three little children. One man traveled all the way from Japan and he, because he remembered that Americans were there for his country after last year's tsunami and he wanted the chance, he said, t, to pay it forward. There were AmeriCorps volunteers who have chosen to leave their homes and stay here in Joplin till the work is done. And then there was the day Mizzou's football team rolled into town with an eighteen wheeler full of donated supplies, and of all the places, they were assigned to help out on Kansas Avenue. [laughter, applause] I don't, I, I don't know who set that up. [laughter] And while they hauled away washing machines and refrigerators from the debris they met a woman named Carol Mann who had just lost the house she lived in for eighteen years. And Carol didn't have a lot. She works part time at McDonald's, she struggles with seizures, and she told the players that she had even lost the change purse that held her lunch money. So one of them, one of the players, went back to the house, dug through the rubble, and returned with the purse with five dollars inside. And Carol's sister said, so much of the news that you hear is so negative, but these boys renewed my faith that there are so many good people in the world.
That's what you'll remember because you're from Joplin. You will remember the half million dollar donation that came from Angelina Jolie and some up and coming, uh, actor named Brad Pitt. [laughter] But you'll also remember the three hundred and sixty dollars that was delivered by a nine year old boy who organized his own car wash. You'll remember the school supplies donated by your neighboring towns, but maybe you'll also remember the brand new laptops that were sent from the United Arab Emirates, a tiny country on the other side of the world. When it came time for your prom makeup artist Melissa Blayton organized an effort that collected over a thouand donated prom dresses, FedEx kicked in for the corsages, and Joplin's own Liz Easton, who had lost her home and her bakery in the tornado, made a hundred, uh, fifteen hundred cupcakes for the occasion. That, they were good cupcakes. [laughter]
There are so many good people in the world there's such a decency, a bigness of spirit, in this country of ours. And so, class of two thousand twelve, you've got to remember that. Remember what people did here. And like that man who came all the way from Japan to Joplin make sure in your own life that you pay it forward. Now, just as you've learned the goodness of people, you've also learned the power of community. And you've heard from some of the other speakers how powerful that is. And as you take on the roles of coworker and business owner, neighbor, citizen, you'll encounter all kinds of divisions between groups, divisions of race and religion, ideology. You'll meet people who like to disagree just for the sake of being disagreeable. [laughter, scattered applause] You'll meet people who prefer to play up their differences instead of focusing on what they have in common, where they can cooperate. But you're from Joplin. So you'll always know that it's always possible for a community to come together when it matters most. After all a lot of you could've spent your senior year scattered throughout different schools, far from home. But Dr. Huff asked everybody to pitch in so that school started on time right here in Joplin. He understood the power of this community, and he understood the power of place. So these teachers worked extra hours, coaches put in extra time, that mall was turned into a classroom, the food court became a cafeteria, which maybe some of you thought was an improvement. [laughter] And yeah, the arrangements might have been a little noisy and a little improvised, but you hunkered down and you made it work together. You made it work together.
That's the power of community. Together, you decided that this city wasn't about to spend the next year arguing over every detail of the recovery effort. At the very first meeting, the first town meeting, every citizen was handed a post it note and asked to write down their goals and their hopes for Joplin's future. And more than a thousand notes covered an entire wall and became the blueprint that architects are following to this day. I'm thinking about trying this with Congress [laughter], give them some post it notes. [laughter, applause, cheers] Together the businesses that were destroyed in the tornado decided that they weren't about to walk away from the community that made their success possible, even if it would've been easier, even if it would've been more profitable to go someplace else. And so today more than half the stores that were damaged on the Range Line are up and running again. Eleven more are planning to join them. And every time a company reopens its doors people cheer the cutting of a ribbon that bears the town's new slogan, remember, rejoice, and rebuild. That's community.
I've been told, class of two thousand twelve, that before the tornado many of you couldn't wait to leave here once high school was finally over. So Student Council President, uh, Julia Lewis, where's Julia? She's out here somewhere. [laughter] She, she's too embarrassed to raise her hand. [applause] I'm quoting you, Julia. She said, we never thought Joplin was anything special. Now that's typical with teenagers, they don't think their parents are all that special either [laughter], but seeing how we responded to something that tore our community apart has brought us together. Everyone has a lot more pride in our town. So it's no surprise then that many of you have decided to stick around and go to Missouri Southern or go to colleges, community colleges that aren't too far away from home. That's the power of community, that's the power of shared effort and shared memory. Some of life's strongest bonds are the ones we forge when everything around us seems broken. And even though I expect that some of you will ultimately end up leaving Joplin I'm pretty confident that Joplin will never leave you. The people who went through this with you, the people who you once thought of as simply neighbors or acquaintances, classmates, the people in this auditorium tonight, you're family now. They're your family.
And so my deepest hope for all of you is that as you begin this new chapter in your life you'll bring that spirit of Joplin to every place you travel, to everything you do. You can serve as a reminder that we're not meant to walk this road alone, we're not expected to face down adversity by ourselves. We need God, we need each other, we are important to each other and we're stronger together than we are on our own. And that's the spirit that has allowed all of you to rebuild this city, and that's the same spirit we need right now to help rebuild America. And you, class of two thousand twelve, you're gonna help lead this effort. You're the ones who will help build an economy where every child can count on a good education. [applause, cheers] You're the one that's going to make sure this country is a place where everybody who is willing to put in the effort can find a job that supports a family. [cheer, applause] You're the ones that will make sure we're a country that controls our own energy future [applause], where we lead the world in science and technology and innovation. [scattered applause] America only succeeds when we all pitch in and pull together [voice: inaudible], and I'm counting on you to be leaders in that effort because you're from Joplin and you've already defied the odds.
There are a lot of stories here in Joplin of unthinkable courage and resilience over the last year, but still there are some that stand out, especially on this day. And by now most of you know Joplin High's senior, uh, Quinton Anderson, I, you know, he, look, he's already looking embarrassed. [laughter] Somebody's talking about him again. But Quinton, I'm gonna talk about you anyway, because in a lot of ways Quinton's journey has been Joplin's journey. When the tornado struck Quinton was thrown across the street from his house. The young man who found Quinton couldn't imagine that Quinton would survive his injuries. Quinton woke up in a hospital bed three days later and it was then that his sister Grace told him that both their parents had been lost in the storm. So Quinton went on to face over five weeks of treatment including emergency surgery. But he left that hospital determined to carry on, to live his life, and to be there for his sister. Over the past year he's been a football captain who cheered from the sidelines when he couldn't play. He worked that much harder so he could be ready for baseball in the spring. He won a national scholarship as a finalist for the High School Football Rudy Awards. [applause] He plans to study molecular biology at Harding University this fall. [applause, cheers] Quinton has said that his motto in life is always take that extra step. And today after a long and improbable journey for Quinton, and for Joplin and for the entire class of two thousand twelve, that extra step is about to take you towards whatever future you hope for and whatever dreams you hold in your hearts.
Yes, you will encounter obstacles along the way. I guarantee you will face setbacks and you will face disappointments. But you're from Joplin and you're from America. And no matter how tough times get you'll always be tougher. And no matter what life throws at you, you will be ready. You will not be defined by the difficulties you face, but by how you respond, with grace and strength and a commitment to others.
Langston Hughes, poet, civil rights activist who knew some tough times, he was born here in Joplin. In a poem called Youth, he wrote: We have tomorrow, bright before us, like a flame. Yesterday, a night gone thing, a sun down name. And dawn 'til day, broad arc above the road we came, we march.
To the people of Joplin and the class of two thousand twelve the road has been hard and the day has been long. But we have tomorrow, so we march. We march together and you're leading the way because you're from Joplin. Congratulations. May God bless you. [applause, cheers] May God bless the class of two thousand twelve. May God bless the United States of America. [applause, cheers]
In Harmony, North Carolina, a chapter of the Loyal White Knights of the KKK are inviting the locals to attend a cross burning this weekend. This is America, and it's 2012, but time has passed these people by.[...]
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