The Americans Finale Shows a Universal Truth (Spoiler Alert)

One of my favorite TV shows these days is The Americans, on FX. Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys star as a pair of Soviet spies under deep cover in Northern Virginia in the early 1980’s. The KGB paired them up in the early 1960’s and introduced them to each other with the American names of Elizabeth and Philip, American accents, and fully American backstories. They moved to America, had two children together, and only now – after twenty years of marriage and countless successful and dangerous spy missions – are slowly opening up to each other about their past life in Russia. It is a fascinating show and I will really miss it while it is on hiatus.

The season finale aired on Wednesday, May 21st, and it was action packed. In one of the most shocking moments of the season, Elizabeth and Philip’s lives are saved by Jared, the son of Emmett and Leeann, another pair of KGB deep cover spies who were brutally murdered at the beginning of the season.  Jared himself dies in the process, but not before confessing to Elizabeth and Philip that it was he that shot his parents, because they objected to the KGB’s overtures to groom Jared himself into a deep cover spy.

This news is shocking enough, but Elizabeth and Philip are floored to learn soon after, from their contact with Moscow, that the KGB has designs to groom their 14 year old daughter, Paige, into the deep cover spy that Jared would never get to be.  

The parents chafe, and strenuously object to this order from Moscow. Elizabeth says, “It’s up to us…She’s our daughter.” But Claudia, their contact with Moscow, replies in a chilling, matter of fact fashion: “Paige is your daughter. But she’s not just yours. She belongs to the cause and to the world. We all do. You haven’t forgotten that, have you?” 

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Are We Seriously Having A Conversation About Paid "Menstrual Leave"?

Last week, The Atlantic re-ignited a question so many of us are NOT thinking about -- should paid 'menstrual leave' should be a thing? 

Huffington Post quickly jumped on board during one of their HuffPost Live episodes, asking if paid "menstrual leave" is special treatment, or a necessary benefit?

According to Rebecca Watson from Skepchick.org, the premise is biased. She thinks, instead, that the question needs to be "should men get paid time off if they get kicked in the testicles?...What we're talking about is just simple workers rights..." She continued by suggesting a worker should be given unlimited sick days, because they'd "take fewer, be happier and more productive." A listener going by the name "gaydood" weighed in, saying he was in full support and Mikki Kendall, representing HoodFeminism.com, said that in her opinion, workers need more paid leave. She then she brought race into the discussion, saying women of color are more likely to have endometriosis and fibroids, and agreed with the first guest who suggested unlimited paid sick time for workers. 

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Senator Kay Hagan Doubles Down for Obamacare

A high-profile election race is brewing in North Carolina. Senate Democrat incumbent, Kay Hagan, is fighting hard in hopes to retain her seat in November 2014. As one who cast a deciding vote to implement the seemingly ill-fated Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA), she’s reaffirming her position in support of it.

A common thread in her argument is her insistence that the program will save her constituents money despite plenty of indications to suggest the contrary.

If her claims about the ACA are incorrect, it wouldn't be the first time. North Carolina Republicans are not letting Hagan forget the fact that she campaigned for Obamacare under the guise that those already insured would be able to keep their doctors and current health plans.

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Teachers Union Demands Names of Those who Crossed Picket Line

In 2013, the teachers of a Cleveland suburban district in Ohio, the Strongsville School District, went on strike for 8 weeks.  It made national news then, and now this district is in the spotlight again, as an Ohio teacher's union is suing the school district for the release of the names of the teachers who substituted during the strike. Cleveland Teachers Local 279 is suing under the Freedom of Information Act.  The union has NOT given any reason as to WHY they want the information.

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Update: School Cancels Honors Night - "Too Exclusive"

School.pngA Rhode Island middle school has canceled its Honors Night because they didn't want to hurt anybody's feelings. According to the East Greenwich Patch,

"Citing concerns about the 'exclusive nature' of the annual honors night at Archie R. Cole Middle School, school officials have decided to scrap the tradition.

Instead, students who would normally be recognized at the annual spring tradition will be honored during team-based recognition ceremonies and graduation".

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