Obama Uses Thanksgiving Mythology to Advocate for Syrian Refugees in Holiday Message

The Pilgrims were a persecuted minority fleeing violence in their home countries. Sound familiar?

In his annual Thanksgiving message to the country, President Barack Obama took the opportunity to sermonize on the plight of Syrian refugees, who, in the weeks since the attacks on Paris, have become a target for Islamophobic and xenophobic hate. Drawing on the history of the Mayflower pilgrims, English Christian separatists who were escaping persecution in Europe, Obama compared their plight to that of Syrian refugees today, who are fleeing the violence of ISIS and the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

“Nearly four centuries after the Mayflower set sail, the world is still full of pilgrims—men and women who want nothing more than the chance for a safer, better future for themselves and their families,” Obama said. “What makes America America is that we offer that chance.”

It’s an interesting analogy to make, given that those poor, persecuted pilgrims eventually became land-hungry tyrants who then perpetrated a genocide of epic proportions on the indigenous peoples living there. But Obama is speaking to his people in the language they know best: the language of fairy tales and folklores.

Anyway, it’s not as easy immigrating to the United States as it was it in the 17th century. In fact, it’s a really arduous, demoralizing, and dehumanizing application process from which most people are rejected. President Obama, in gentle, soothing tones—the kind you use when explaining basic concepts to a small child—reminded his manic, frenzied nation of that fact.

“Now, people should remember that no refugee can enter our borders until they undergo the highest security checks of anyone traveling to the United States,” he said. “That was the case before Paris, and it's the case now.”

via David Leavitt / Twitter

Anyone who has ever worked in retail knows that the worst thing about the job, right after the pay, are the unreasonable cheapskates who "want to talk to your manager" to get some money off an item.

They think that throwing a tantrum will save them a few bucks and don't care if they completely embarrass themselves in the process. Sometimes that involves belittling the poor employee who's just trying to get through their day with an ounce of dignity.

Twitter is rallying around a gal named Tori who works at a Target in Massachusetts after she was tweet-shamed by irate chapekate, journalist, and Twitter troll, David Leavitt.

Keep Reading

Childbirth is the number one reason American women visit the hospital, and it ain't cheap. In fact, it's getting more and more expensive. A new study published in Health Affairs found that the cost of having a baby with employer-sponsored health insurance increased by almost 50% in the past seven years.

The study evaluated "trends in cost-sharing for maternity care for women with employer-based health insurance plans, before and after the Affordable Care Act," which was signed into law in 2010. The study looked at over 657,061 women enrolled in large employer-sponsored health insurance plans who delivered babies between 2008 and 2015, as these plans tend to cover more than plans purchased by small businesses or individuals.

Keep Reading

A meteorite crashed into Earth nearly 800,000 years ago. The meteor was 1.2 miles wide, and the impact was so big, it covered 10% of the planet with debris. However, scientists haven't been able to find the impact site for over a century. That is, until now. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal believes the crash site has been located.

Tektites, which are essentially rocks that have been liquefied from the heat of the impact and then cooled to form glass, help scientists spot the original impact site of a meteor. Upon impact, melted material is thrown into the atmosphere, then falls back to the ground. Even if the original crater has disappeared due to erosion or is hidden by a shift in tectonic plates, tektites give the spot away. Tektites between 750,000 to 35.5 million years old have been found in every continent except Antarctica.

Keep Reading