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One of the most tragic parts of the history of North and South America is the period of African slavery. For hundreds of years, many people were taken from Africa, by force, to work in the fields of many different countries in North and South America.

When Europeans first came to the Americas, some of them realized that they might make money by growing crops and selling them in Europe. However, in order to make money, they would need a cheap source of labor. Few Europeans would come to the Americas to work for low wages, so instead, the landowners looked for slaves. In the areas of the great farms, or plantations, there were few Indians, so they used another source of slaves, Africa. The plantation owners usually obtained slaves by buying them from local kings in western Africa. This led to many wars between rival kings within Africa, who tried to capture each other's people in order to sell them as slaves. A few kings tried to avoid the slave trade, but this was very difficult.

During a period of several hundred years, from the 1500s to the 1800s, about 12 million people were taken from western Africa to the Americas. Many more people died as slaves before leaving Africa, and many more died on the ships that took them to the Americas. This was because the conditions on the ships were extremely unhealthy! the ships were far too crowded, and there was little food and water.

When the African slaves arrived in the Americas, the plantation owners made them work on farms that produced goods such as cotton and sugar. In many places, the work was very hard, and many of the slaves died from overwork. They were then replaced by other slaves who arrived from Africa. However, many slaves survived despite the brutal conditions.

In some places, the African slaves were able to revolt against the plantation owners. However, this was difficult because the slaves who had recently arrived spoke many different languages. Some slaves escaped into wilderness areas and were able to remain free from the plantation owners. As time went by, many people in Europe and in the Americas realized that slavery was wrong. By the 1830s, slavery had been ended, or abolished, in islands owned by the British, and in parts of the United States. In the southern United States, slavery was ended in the 1860s, during the Civil War. In some countries, such as Brazil and Cuba, slavery only ended in the 1880s.

Today, many millions of people in North and South America are the descendants of slaves who were brought from Africa. The effects of slavery have lasted for many generations, and there was much racial prejudice against African people when slavery ended. However, some have achieved success despite these disadvantages Today, the people of African background in North and South America are a very important part of the population in many countries.
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  |  9257 learners#Politic #Lectures

One of the most popular sports in northern countries is the game of ice hockey. Each winter, this sport is played by hundreds of thousands of children and adults in North America and in Europe. Ice hockey is a fast and exciting game that can make winter much more enjoyable.

The game of ice hockey is played on a flat surface of ice called a rink. The rink is about 60 metres long, and about 25 or 30 metres wide. At any time, each team has six players on the ice. On their feet the players wear skates, whose thin metal blades allow fast movement along the ice surface. Learning to skate requires time and practice, but many people can skate very quickly and smoothly.

In many ways, ice hockey is similar to soccer. However, unlike soccer, there is no large ball used in hockey. Instead, the players use a hard, black, rubber disk, which is called a puck. The players skate around the ice, trying to get the puck. They do not use their hands or feet to control the puck. Instead, they carry long wooden sticks, which are shaped in such a way that it is easy to push the puck along the ice. The players can pass the puck to each other by sliding it across the ice. To score a goal, a hockey player must shoot the puck into the net of the opposing team, but this is a difficult task. The net is less than two metres wide, and it is protected by a player called the goaltender. However, some players can shoot the puck very suddenly and with great power.

Sometimes, the sport of ice hockey can be quite rough. Players try to take the puck from their opponents by bumping into them at a high speed. This is called a body check. Players are not allowed to hit each other with their sticks. If a player does this, then that player may be given a penalty by the referee, who enforces the rules of the game. Naturally, the sport of ice hockey is most popular in countries that have cold winters. In addition, many people play hockey in the United States. In previous generations, ice hockey was considered a sport for men and boys only. However, in recent years, women and girls have been playing hockey much more frequently than in the past. Not only do many girls enjoy playing hockey for fun, but now women's hockey is officially a sport at the winter Olympics.
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  |  9277 learners#Sport #Essays

Most people know that the English language is spoken by millions of people around the world. However, few people are aware of the history of the English language. Today, English is one language, but in some ways it is a mixture of many different languages.

The English language is most closely related to a group of languages called the Germanic languages. This group also includes languages such as German and Dutch. About 1500 years ago, these languages were not yet distinct from each other. Some of the people of Germany and the Netherlands then moved to England. Those people were called the Anglo-Saxons, and their language then evolved into English.

Most of the basic words of the English language are derived from these very old Anglo-Saxon languages. For example, words for the parts of the body, for numbers, and for animals are mostly Anglo-Saxon words. Some new words were brought to England over 1000 years ago by people who came from the Scandinavian countries of northern Europe. Many words that begin with the letters sk, such as skin and skill, are Scandinavian words.

A major change happened in the English language after the year 1066. In that year, England was conquered by a king from the northern part of France. He and his followers spoke French, so French became an important language in England. During the next few hundred years, the English language absorbed a very large number of French words. In fact, today's English dictionaries contain more words of French origin than of Anglo-Saxon origin. Part of the reason why the English language has so many words is that it often has two words for each idea-one word of Anglo-Saxon origin, and one word of French origin.

Many more words entered the English language a few hundred years ago, when science and technology became more widespread. Most scientific and technical words are derived from words of the ancient languages of Latin and Greek. Because there are so many of these scientific and technical words in the English language today, the influence of Latin and Greek has been quite large. Other languages have also contributed many words to the English language. Some words have come from the Celtic languages, spoken in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Many words have been added to the English language by immigrants who came to North America from various countries of Europe. Also, many more words have been adopted from the Native languages of North America, Australia, and the Pacific, and from the languages of peoples of Africa and Asia. All of these words have made English a very interesting language.
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  |  9450 learners#Education #Essays

There have been many great writers in the history of English literature, but there is no doubt about which writer was the greatest. Many people consider William Shakespeare to have been the best writer who ever lived.

William Shakespeare was born in the town of Stratford, England, in the year 1564. When he was a young man, Shakespeare moved to the city of London, where he began writing plays. His plays were soon very successful, and were enjoyed both by the common people of London and also by the rich and famous. In addition to his plays, Shakespeare wrote many short poems and a few long poems.

Like his plays, these poems are still famous today. Shakespeare's most famous plays include Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Hamlet, King Lear, Othello, and Julius Caesar. Usually, Shakespeare did not invent the stories that he told in his plays. Instead, he wrote his plays using stories that already existed. However, Shakespeare's plays told these stories in a more interesting way than ever before. Some of the stories were tragedies, some were comedies, some described historical events. In his plays, Shakespeare revealed a very wide knowledge of many areas of life.

The characters in his plays discuss many different topics, often with the knowledge of experts. But what is even more impressive about these plays is Shakespeare's use of the English language. His vocabulary was very large, and Shakespeare seems to have introduced many words to the language. Also, many of the phrases that are said by Shakespeare's characters are now used in everyday conversation.

Today, writers often use quotations from Shakespeare's plays in their own works. But perhaps even the most impressive features of Shakespeare's plays are the characters within them. The many characters in his plays seem very different from each other, but they seem very realistic. The emotions they feel, the words they say, and the actions they perform are all easily understood.

Many people who watch one of Shakespeare's plays will find that they know people who remind them somewhat of the characters in those plays. Shakespeare died in the year 1619, but his writings are still popular today, 400 years after they were written. The poems and plays are greatly admired by experts in literature, but also by people in general. Each year, hundreds of thousands of people enjoy attending performances of Shakespeare's plays. No other writer in the English language has remained so popular for such a long time.
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  |  9152 learners#Culture #Biography

About a thousand years ago, people known as the Vikings were known and feared throughout Europe. The Vikings were the people of the northern part of Europe, called Scandinavia, which includes the modern countries of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. The Vikings made their living by farming and fishing.

However, by about the year 700, they began making attacks, or raids, upon towns along the coasts of Europe in order to steal the wealth of those towns. The Vikings made their attacks very quickly and without any warning. They were very cruel to the people of the towns they attacked, and they sometimes destroyed the towns by burning down the buildings. In some parts of Europe, the local kings would often fight against the Vikings. Sometimes, however, the kings would pay the Vikings in order to persuade them not to attack.

Although the Vikings were known as fierce warriors, they also built excellent ships. The wooden Viking ships, called longboats, were able to sail even in very bad weather. Many Viking longboats were about 20 metres long, but some were nearly 90 metres long. The Viking sailors used both sails and oars to move their ships. The Vikings travelled across a large area. They made many of their attacks in Britain, France, and Germany, but sometimes sailed south, into the Mediterranean Sea. Other Vikings moved to the east, and then sailed along the rivers of Russia. Some even went as far as the area that is now the country of Turkey. In some places, the Vikings decided to stay. Many Vikings settled in England and in France, and eventually they mixed with the local people. Other Vikings settled in Russia and also mixed with the people there. The most famous travels of the Vikings were in the Atlantic Ocean. Vikings sailed westward to the island of Iceland where many of them stayed.

Today, the people of Iceland are descended from the Vikings. Some Vikings sailed farther west to the cold island of Greenland. Vikings lived in Greenland for several generations, but eventually they died out. Some Vikings had gone even further west and reached the Canadian island of Newfoundland. The Vikings only stayed for a few years, but they had reached North America about 500 years before Christopher Columbus. Gradually, the Vikings became converted to the Christian religion. They also stopped raiding the towns of Europe, and instead of fighting, they began trading with their neighbors. Today, the Scandinavian countries are known as very peace loving nations.
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  |  9518 learners#Culture #Essays

Canada is one of the largest countries in the world. It is located in the northern half of the continent of North America, above the United States. Canada is divided into ten provinces and three territories, each of which is different from the others.

The province of British Columbia is located at the far western end of Canada. British Columbia stretches from the Pacific Ocean, at the west, to the Rocky Mountains, at the east. British Columbia contains the city of Vancouver, where two million people live. Most of the land of British Columbia is very mountainous, with vast forests covering the mountains. In British Columbia, forestry is an important industry, providing wood for people around the world.

Moving east from British Columbia, the next provinces are Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. These are known as the prairie provinces, because they are mostly made of flat, grassy land called prairie. Alberta is the province where the flat prairie meets the tall and beautiful Rocky Mountains. In Alberta, there are many fields where oil and gas are found, and there are also many farms where cattle are raised.

Saskatchewan is the province that grows the most wheat. Wheat from Saskatchewan is sent around the world to make bread and pasta for many people.

Manitoba is the other prairie province. Its largest city, Winnipeg, is about halfway between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Winnipeg has the coldest winters of any large city in the world, with temperatures sometimes reaching -40 degrees Celsius.

Moving east, the next province is Ontario. The land in the northern part of Ontario is very rocky and contains many thousands and thousands of lakes. Many mines are found in northern Ontario. In the southern part of Ontario, there is good farmland, and there are also many cities where factories produce cars and steel. Ontario contains Canada's largest city, Toronto, as well as the capital city of Canada Ottawa. In the southern part of Ontario are four of the largest lakes in the world, known as the Great Lakes.

Next to Ontario is the province of Quebec. Unlike the other provinces, where most people speak English, most of the people in Quebec speak French. The capital of Quebec is called Quebec City, and this is one of the oldest cities in North America. Quebec City contains many buildings that are hundreds of years old. Also in the province of Quebec is the city of Montreal. Of all the French speaking cities in the world, only Paris is larger than Montreal.

In the eastern part of Canada are the Atlantic provinces, which are next to the Atlantic Ocean. These provinces are New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland. In the Atlantic provinces, fishing is an important industry. Tourism is also important as many people come to see the beauty of these provinces. The people in these provinces are said to be the friendliest in Canada.

In the far north of Canada are the three territories that lie beside the Arctic Ocean: Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut. Many of the people in these territories are the Native people of Canada, known as the Indians and the Inuit. The northern areas have very cold, dark winters. The summer is short, but the days are very long and bright.
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  |  9012 learners#Education #Lectures

So when I do my job, people hate me. In fact, the better I do my job, the more people hate me. And no, I'm not a meter maid, and I'm not an undertaker. I am a progressive, lesbian talking head on Fox News.

So y'all heard that, right? Just to make sure, right? I am a gay talking head on Fox News. I am going to tell you how I do it, and the most important thing I've learned.

So I go on television. I debate people who literally want to obliterate everything I believe in, in some cases, who don't want me and people like me to even exist. It's sort of like Thanksgiving with your conservative uncle on steroids, with a live television audience of millions. It's totally almost just like that.

And that's just on air. The hate mail I get is unbelievable. Last week alone, I got 238 pieces of nasty email and more hate tweets than I can even count. I was called an idiot, a traitor, a scourge, a cunt and an ugly man, and that was just in one email.

So what have I realized, being on the receiving end of all this ugliness? Well, my biggest takeaway is that for decades, we've been focused on political correctness, but what matters more is emotional correctness. Let me give you a small example. I don't care if you call me a dyke. I really don't. I care about two things. One, I care that you spell it right.

Just quick refresher, it's DYKE. You'd totally be surprised. And second, I don't care about the word, I care about how you use it. Are you being friendly? Are you just being naive? Or do you really want to hurt me personally?

If emotional correctness is the tone, the feeling, how we say what we say, the respect and compassion we show one another. And what I've realized is that political persuasion doesn't begin with ideas or facts or data. Political persuasion begins with being emotionally correct.

So when I first went to go work at Fox News, true confession, I expected there to be marks in the carpet from all the knuckle-dragging. That, by the way, in case you're paying attention, is not emotionally correct. But liberals on my side, we can be self-righteous, we can be condescending, we can be dismissive of anyone who doesn't agree with us. In other words, we can be politically right but emotionally wrong. And incidentally, that means that people don't like us. Right?

Now here's the kicker. Conservatives are really nice. I mean, not all of them, and not the ones who send me hate mail, but you would be surprised. Sean Hannity is one of the sweetest guys I've ever met. He spends his free time trying to fix up his staff on blind dates, and I know that if I ever had a problem, he would do anything he could to help. Now, I think Sean Hannity is 99 percent politically wrong, but his emotional correctness is strikingly impressive. And that's why people listen to him. Because you can't get anyone to agree with you if they don't even listen to you first. We spend so much time talking past each other and not enough time talking through our disagreements. And if we can start to find compassion for one another, then we have a shot at building common ground. It actually sounds really hokey to say it standing up here, but when you try to put it in practice, it's really powerful.

So someone who says they hate immigrants, I try to imagine how scared they must be that their community is changing from what they've always known. Or someone who says they don't like teachers' unions, I bet they're really devastated to see their kid's school going into the gutter, and they're just looking for someone to blame. Our challenge is to find the compassion for others that we want them to have for us. That is emotional correctness.

I'm not saying it's easy. An average of, like, 5.6 times per day I have to stop myself from responding to all of my hate mail with a flurry of vile profanities. This whole, you know, finding compassion and common ground with your enemies thing is kind of like a political-spiritual practice for me, and I ain't the Dalai Lama. I'm not perfect, but what I am is optimistic. Because I don't just get hate mail. I get a lot of really nice letters, lots of them. And one of my all-time favorites begins I am not a big fan of your political leanings or your sometimes tortured logic, but I'm a big fan of you as a person. Now this guy doesn't agree with me yet.

But he's listening not because of what I said, but because of how I said it. And somehow, even though we've never met, we've managed to form a connection. That's emotional correctness, and that's how we start the conversations that really lead to change.
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  |  9002 learners#Social #Speeches

When an official of a government or business is acting dishonestly, we say that this person is corrupt. Corruption is a serious problem in many countries around the world. There are several different kinds of corrupt practices, including bribes, kickbacks, nepotism, and embezzlement.

A bribe is a payment of money or some other benefit, in exchange for a decision that would not otherwise be made. For example, an accused criminal might bribe a judge so that the judge would make a decision of not guilty. Another example is that a business owner might bribe a government official so that the official would allow the construction of very unsafe buildings.

A kickback is similar to a bribe, except that the official receives some part of the money in a dishonest business deal. For example, governments sometimes decide which company should build a road. A company might offer money to the government official who makes the decision, so that this company will be chosen, even if it is not the best company for the job.

Nepotism happens when an official unfairly gives advantages to his or her relatives. For example, a government official might hire a brother or sister to do a job even though other people would be much better qualified for that job. Of course, all of us want to help our relatives, but it is wrong to do this at the expense of the public.

Embezzlement happens when an official secretly steals some money from a company or government. For example, a manager at a company might secretly move some of the company's money to his or her own bank account, or that manager might lie about his or her expenses in order to receive more payment from the company.

Corruption has very bad effects on people, in several ways. Sometimes it can lead to very dangerous situations. One example of this is when unsafe construction projects are approved by officials who have been bribed. Another example is when criminals are freed as a result of bribes. Also, a country's economy can be damaged by corruption. For example, if companies must pay bribes in order to do business, then they may decide to leave the country. Also, if people's tax money is stolen by corrupt officials, this makes the people poorer. In addition, when company officials are corrupt, it makes the company less able to compete with other companies.

How can corruption be stopped? An important step is for each person to decide not to act in ways that are corrupt. People must agree to take this problem seriously. Also, each company and each government must have strict rules about corruption. It must be very clear to all employees from the lowest to the highest that corruption is totally unacceptable.
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  |  9032 learners#Uncategorized #Unclassified

Are you interested in the behaviour of people and animals? If you are, then you might enjoy the study of psychology. Psychology is the study of behaviour, but this is a very large area of study. There are several different branches of psychology, each of which studies a different aspect of behaviour. Social psychologists study interactions among people. For example, a social psychologist might try to learn about the situations that cause people to behave aggressively. Another question studied by social psychologists is why certain people become attracted to each other. One of the interesting problems in social psychology is conformity? what causes people to behave in the same way, and to follow what others do and say? Cognitive psychologists study thinking, memory, and language. One problem studied by cognitive psychologists is how people remember numbers. For example, what is the best way to memorize some numbers Is it better to repeat the numbers to oneself, or to try to attach some meaning to these numbers? A cognitive psychologist might also study language. For example, why can young children learn a second language so quickly and easily? Cognitive psychologists are also interested in the ways that people learn to solve problems, such as finding a new place. Clinical psychologists study mental illnesses. For example, a clinical psychologist might try to find out the causes of depression and to figure out ways of helping people who are depressed. Other clinical psychologists might study the behaviour of people who suffer from addiction to drugs, so that this problem can be prevented and treated. Another topic of interest to clinical psychologists is violent behaviour. It is very important to find ways of preventing violence and to change the behaviour of persons who act violently. Some psychologists are interested in the measurement of psychological characteristics. For example, psychologists might develop tests to assess a person's intelligence, personality traits, or interests. These tests can be used to help people make decisions about education, occupation, and clinical treatment. Psychologists who study the behaviour of animals are called ethologists. Ethologists often go into wilderness areas to watch the activity of birds, fish, or other animals. These psychologists try to figure out why it is that some animals have instincts for various behaviours such as parenting, mating, or fighting. Some ethologists have learned very much about the unusual behaviours observed in many animals. These are only a few of the many areas of psychology. Truly, psychology is one of the most interesting areas of knowledge!
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  |  9166 learners#Education #Lectures

Louis Pasteur was one of the greatest scientists of all time. Pasteur made very important discoveries in biology and chemistry, and the techniques he developed helped greatly to develop medical science and the agricultural and food industries.

Pasteur was born in a small town in France during the year eighteen twenty two. When he was a young man, Pasteur studied science at a university in the city of Paris. He soon did some excellent work in chemistry, and later began his famous study of germs.

Pasteur was one of the first scientists to understand that many diseases could be caused by extremely small, invisible organisms. Only a few other scientists had believed this before Pasteur. He advised doctors to wash their hands thoroughly before treating patients.

Pasteur also demonstrated that life forms did not arise spontaneously. His research confirmed the idea, developed by previous scientists, that a living organism would not appear unless other individuals of its kind were present.

One of Pasteur's most important contributions was a technique that has been named after him pasteurization. Pasteurization kills the germs that are found in drinks such as milk or beer. Because of Pasteur's technique, people are no longer infected with diseases by drinking these liquids.

Just as important as pasteurization was a technique called immunization Pasteur found that a person or animal could be made safe, or immune, from a disease, by injecting the person with some weakened germs that cause the disease. The body can resist the disease after being immunized in this way. Today, many diseases are prevented by the use of this technique.

Pasteur's discoveries also helped to save people who had already been infected with diseases. One such disease is rabies. Rabies is a disease that sometimes occurs in animals. This disease usually kills the animal, but before dying, the animal becomes very aggressive, and may spread the disease by biting a person or another animal.

One day, the parents of a young boy came to Pasteur. Their son had been bitten by a dog that had the rabies disease. The parents knew that their son would die from the disease, unless something could be done to save him. Pasteur agreed to help the boy, and the immunization technique saved the boy's life. Pasteur died in eighteen ninety five He was greatly admired around the world for his achievements, which have helped all of mankind. Today, Pasteur is considered to be the greatest figure in the history of medicine.
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  |  9046 learners#Science #Biography

Have you ever heard the saying walk a mile in my shoes. I think it is a very good saying. Do you know what it means. It means, that before you judge someone, you should put yourself in his or her position. For example, if someone was running in a race, and they did very poorly and came in last It wouldn't be fair to say, oh he's just a terrible runner. You would have to look at all the circumstances that made the person lose the race. Maybe they pulled a muscle in their leg the day before, maybe this is their very first race. Maybe they are not in good form because something isn't right in their lives.

There can be so many things that affect a person's life, performance and moods. If someone was very quiet at a party, you couldn't just assume that they weren't friendly. You don't know what is happening in their lives. They could be feeling ill, or they might have just had a bad experience. Nobody can know exactly how another person feels. Even if someone tells you what he or she is experiencing, you still won't fully understand. What is going on inside the other person. Everyone perceives and feels things differently. To walk a mile in someone else's shoes is to try and understand things from that person's perspective. We are all shaped by the events that have taken place in our lives. No two people have gone through the exact same things. So, before you are quick to judge someone, stop and think about what it is that they might have gone through. You won't always understand why people do what they do, but you can try to understand and put yourself in their position.
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  |  9093 learners#Uncategorized #Stories

If I was walking down the beach one day and I happened to bump my toe on a magic lamp I would pick it up and rub it if it was a real magic lamp, but I don't believe that there really is a magic lamp, a genie would pop out in a cloud of smoke and he would call me master. He would say that he would grant me three wishes. I would have to think very hard about those wishes because I wouldn't want to waste them I don't think I'd want millions of dollars. Money doesn't buy happiness or so they say. I might wish for good health because if your health isn't good You won't be able to enjoy anything. Some people might wish for beauty, but beauty is only skin deep. Some people would wish for a mansion, or a beautiful car or a big boat. I don't want any of those things. Some people would want fame. Some people would want talent. Some people would wish for happiness. That might be a good thing to wish for. Yes, maybe I'd wish for health and happiness, but what would my third wish be? I could wish for something enormous, something global. I could wish for world peace. That would be a wonderful thing if somebody could grant me that. Yes, that would probably be my third wish. It's too bad there aren't any genies inside magic lamps. I won't get my three wishes. I can still work toward getting my wishes. I can eat well and exercise to stay healthy. I can be involved with a lot of things and be with my friends to stay happy. I can volunteer my time to different organizations to help achieve world peace. I can do my fair share in my community to help others. That's how I can get my three wishes, not through a magic lamp. I can only get what I want through self-determination and hard work. That is the key to getting your wishes fulfilled.
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  |  9015 learners#General #Statements

My father used to smoke. He got very ill. The doctor told him that he had to quit smoking. My father tried for a long time to quit. It was very difficult for him. Smoking is an addiction. After many months, my father finally gave up smoking, but he still craved a cigarette once in a while. He says that quitting smoking is the hardest thing that he has ever done. When my father did smoke, he smoked everywhere. He smoked in restaurants, stores and many public buildings. Now, you are not allowed to smoke in a lot of public places. When my father smoked, the rules were not so strict People could smoke just about anywhere. It really wasn't fair to the people who didn't smoke. Their clothes always smelled like smoke, and they breathed in second-hand smoke. Some people think that second-hand smoke is actually worse for you than if you smoke yourself. People would smoke in their houses, and very young children would inhale the smoke that was in the air. Some people still smoke in their houses, and their children breathe in the smoke. Some restaurants have areas for smokers and nonsmokers. But usually the smoke drifts from one area to the other. There are some businesses that have banned smoking altogether. Personally, I think that smoking in public places should be completely banned. I don't think that I should have to breathe in another person's smoke. If I choose not to smoke myself. It wouldn't be fair for a nonsmoker to get lung cancer. Because they had to be in a place where smokers were allowed to light up. I know that smoking is a powerful addiction And that it is very difficult to quit. But smokers should restrict their smoking to places where there is nobody else around. Lung cancer is an awful disease. Nobody should have to suffer with lung cancer. People should be educated about the dangers of smoking. Smoking should be banned in public places, but eventually I would like to believe that fewer people will smoke. It would be nice to live in a smoke free environment.
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  |  9047 learners#Social #Speeches

I'm here today to talk about a disturbing question, which has an equally disturbing answer. My topic is the secrets of domestic violence, and the question I'm going to tackle is the one question everyone always asks. Why does she stay? Why would anyone stay with a man who beats her? I'm not a psychiatrist, a social worker or an expert in domestic violence. I'm just one woman with a story to tell.

I was twenty two. I had just graduated from Harvard College. I had moved to New York City for my first job as a writer and editor at Seventeen magazine. I had my first apartment, my first little green American Express card, and I had a very big secret. My secret was that I had this gun loaded with hollow-point bullets pointed at my head by the man who I thought was my soulmate, many, many times. The man who I loved more than anybody on Earth held a gun to my head and threatened to kill me more times than I can even remember. I'm here to tell you the story of crazy love, a psychological trap disguised as love, one that millions of women and even a few men fall into every year. It may even be your story.

I don't look like a typical domestic violence survivor. I have a B.A. in English from Harvard College, an MBA in marketing from Wharton Business School. I've spent most of my career working for Fortune 500 companies including Johnson & Johnson, Leo Burnett and The Washington Post. I've been married for almost 20 years to my second husband and we have three kids together. My dog is a black lab, and I drive a Honda Odyssey minivan.

So my first message for you is that domestic violence happens to everyone, all races, all religions, all income and education levels. It's everywhere. And my second message is that everyone thinks domestic violence happens to women, that it's a women's issue. Not exactly. Over eighty five percent of abusers are men, and domestic abuse happens only in intimate, interdependent, long-term relationships, in other words, in families, the last place we would want or expect to find violence, which is one reason domestic abuse is so confusing.

I would have told you myself that I was the last person on Earth who would stay with a man who beats me, but in fact I was a very typical victim because of my age. I was twenty two, and in the United States, women ages 16 to 24 are three times as likely to be domestic violence victims as women of other ages. and over five hundred women and girls this age are killed every year by abusive partners, boyfriends, and husbands in the United States.

I was also a very typical victim because I knew nothing about domestic violence, its warning signs or its patterns.

I met Conor on a cold, rainy January night. He sat next to me on the New York City subway, and he started chatting me up. He told me two things. One was that he, too, had just graduated from an Ivy League school, and that he worked at a very impressive Wall Street bank. But what made the biggest impression on me that first meeting was that he was smart and funny and he looked like a farm boy. He had these big cheeks, these big apple cheeks and this wheat-blond hair, and he seemed so sweet.

One of the smartest things Conor did, from the very beginning, was to create the illusion that I was the dominant partner in the relationship. He did this especially at the beginning by idolizing me. We started dating, and he loved everything about me, that I was smart, that I'd gone to Harvard, that I was passionate about helping teenage girls, and my job. He wanted to know everything about my family and my childhood and my hopes and dreams. Conor believed in me, as a writer and a woman, in a way that no one else ever had. And he also created a magical atmosphere of trust between us by confessing his secret which was that, as a very young boy starting at age four, he had been savagely and repeatedly physically abused by his stepfather. and the abuse had gotten so bad that he had had to drop out of school in eighth grade, even though he was very smart, and he'd spent almost 20 years rebuilding his life. Which is why that Ivy League degree and the Wall Street job and his bright shiny future meant so much to him. If you had told me that this smart, funny, sensitive man who adored me would one day dictate whether or not I wore makeup. How short my skirts were? Where I lived? What jobs I took? Who my friends were? and where I spent Christmas? I would have laughed at you, because there was not a hint of violence or control or anger in Conor at the beginning. I didn't know that the first stage in any domestic violence relationship is to seduce and charm the victim.

I also didn't know that the second step is to isolate the victim. Now, Conor did not come home one day and announce. You know, hey, all this Romeo and Juliet stuff has been great, but I need to move into the next phase where I isolate you and I abuse you. So I need to get you out of this apartment where the neighbors can hear you scream and out of this city where you have friends and family and coworkers who can see the bruises. Instead, Conor came home one Friday evening and he told me that he had quit his job that day, his dream job, and he said that he had quit his job because of me, because I had made him feel so safe and loved that he didn't need to prove himself on Wall Street anymore, and he just wanted to get out of the city and away from his abusive, dysfunctional family, and move to a tiny town in New England where he could start his life over with me by his side. Now, the last thing I wanted to do was leave New York, and my dream job, but I thought you made sacrifices for your soulmate, so I agreed, and I quit my job, and Conor and I left Manhattan together. I had no idea I was falling into crazy love, that I was walking headfirst into a carefully laid physical, financial and psychological trap.

The next step in the domestic violence pattern is to introduce the threat of violence and see how she reacts. And here's where those guns come in. As soon as we moved to New England, you know, that place where Conor was supposed to feel so safe, he bought three guns. He kept one in the glove compartment of our car. He kept one under the pillows on our bed, and the third one he kept in his pocket at all times. And he said that he needed those guns because of the trauma he'd experienced as a young boy. He needed them to feel protected. But those guns were really a message for me, and even though he hadn't raised a hand to me, my life was already in grave danger every minute of every day.

Conor first physically attacked me five days before our wedding. It was seven am. I still had on my nightgown. I was working on my computer trying to finish a freelance writing assignment, and I got frustrated, and Conor used my anger as an excuse to put both of his hands around my neck and to squeeze so tightly that I could not breathe or scream, and he used the chokehold to hit my head repeatedly against the wall. Five days later, the ten bruises on my neck had just faded, and I put on my mother's wedding dress, and I married him.

Despite what had happened, I was sure we were going to live happily ever after, because I loved him, and he loved me so much. And he was very, very sorry. He had just been really stressed out by the wedding and by becoming a family with me. It was an isolated incident, and he was never going to hurt me again.

It happened twice more on the honeymoon. The first time, I was driving to find a secret beach and I got lost and he punched me in the side of my head so hard that the other side of my head repeatedly hit the driver's side window. And then a few days later, driving home from our honeymoon, he got frustrated by traffic, and he threw a cold Big Mac in my face. Conor proceeded to beat me once or twice a week for the next two and a half years of our marriage.

I was mistaken in thinking that I was unique and alone in this situation. One in three American women experiences domestic violence or stalking at some point in her life, and the CDC reports that fifty million children are abused every year, fifty million. So actually, I was in very good company.

Back to my question. Why did I stay? The answer is easy. I didn't know he was abusing me. Even though he held those loaded guns to my head, pushed me down stairs, threatened to kill our dog, pulled the key out of the car ignition as I drove down the highway, poured coffee grinds on my head as I dressed for a job interview. I never once thought of myself as a battered wife. Instead, I was a very strong woman in love with a deeply troubled man, and I was the only person on Earth who could help Conor face his demons.

The other question everybody asks is, why doesn't she just leave? Why didn't I walk out? I could have left any time. To me, this is the saddest and most painful question that people ask, because we victims know something you usually don't. It's incredibly dangerous to leave an abuser. Because the final step in the domestic violence pattern is kill her. Over seventy percent of domestic violence murders happen after the victim has ended the relationship, after she's gotten out. because then the abuser has nothing left to lose. Other outcomes include long-term stalking, even after the abuser remarries, denial of financial resources, and manipulation of the family court system to terrify the victim and her children, who are regularly forced by family court judges to spend unsupervised time with the man who beat their mother. And still we ask, why doesn't she just leave?

I was able to leave, because of one final, sadistic beating that broke through my denial. I realized that the man who I loved so much was going to kill me if I let him. So I broke the silence. I told everyone, the police, my neighbors, my friends and family, total strangers and I'm here today because you all helped me. We tend to stereotype victims as grisly headlines, self-destructive women, damaged goods. The question, why does she stay? Is code for some people for? It's her fault for staying, as if victims intentionally choose to fall in love with men intent upon destroying us.

But since publishing Crazy Love, I have heard hundreds of stories from men and women, who also got out, who learned an invaluable life lesson from what happened, and who rebuilt lives, joyous, happy lives, as employees, wives and mothers lives completely free of violence, like me. Because it turns out that I'm actually a very typical domestic violence victim and a typical domestic violence survivor. I remarried a kind and gentle man, and we have those three kids. I have that black lab, and I have that minivan. What I will never have again, ever, is a loaded gun held to my head by someone who says that he loves me.

Right now, maybe you're thinking, wow, this is fascinating, or, wow, how stupid was she, but this whole time, I've actually been talking about you. I promise you there are several people listening to me right now who are currently being abused or who were abused as children or who are abusers themselves. Abuse could be affecting your daughter, your sister, your best friend right now.

I was able to end my own crazy love story by breaking the silence. I'm still breaking the silence today. It's my way of helping other victims, and it's my final request of you. Talk about what you heard here. Abuse thrives only in silence. You have the power to end domestic violence simply by shining a spotlight on it. We victims need everyone. We need every one of you to understand the secrets of domestic violence. Show abuse the light of day by talking about it with your children, your coworkers, your friends and family. Recast survivors as wonderful, lovable people with full futures. Recognize the early signs of violence and conscientiously intervene, deescalate it, show victims a safe way out. Together we can make our beds, our dinner tables and our families the safe and peaceful oases they should be. Thank you.
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Ashley Judd, stupid fucking slut. You can't sue someone for calling them a cunt. If you can't handle the Internet, fuck off, whore. Ashley Judd, you're the reason women shouldn't vote. Twisted is such a bad movie, I don't even want to rape it. Whatever you do, don't tell Ashley Judd. She'll die alone with a dried out vagina. If I had to fuck an older woman, oh my God, I would fuck the shit out of Ashley Judd, that bitch is hot af. The unforgivable shit I would do to her. Online misogyny is a global gender rights tragedy, and it is imperative that it ends.

Girls' and women's voices, and our allies' voices are constrained in ways that are personally, economically, professionally and politically damaging. And when we curb abuse, we will expand freedom.

I am a Kentucky basketball fan, so on a fine March day last year, I was doing one of the things I do best, I was cheering for my Wildcats. The daffodils were blooming, but the referees were not blowing the whistle when I was telling them to.

Funny, they're very friendly to me before the opening tip, but they really ignore me during the game. Three of my players were bleeding, so I did the next best thing, I tweeted.

It is routine for me to be treated in the ways I've already described to you. It happens to me every single day on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. Since I joined Twitter in 2011, misogyny and misogynists have amply demonstrated they will dog my every step. My spirituality, my faith, being a hillbilly. I can say that, you can't, all of it is fair game.

And I have responded to this with various strategies. I've tried engaging people. This one guy was sending me hypersexual, nasty stuff, and there was a girl in his avatar. I wrote him back and said. Is that your daughter. I feel a lot of fear that you may think about and talk to women this way. And he surprised me by saying, You know what. You're right. I apologize. Sometimes people want to be held accountable. This one guy was musing to I don't know who that maybe I was the definition of a cunt. I was married to a Scot for 14 years, so I said, cunt means many different things in different countries.

But I'm pretty sure you epitomize the global standard of a dick.

I've tried to rise above it, I've tried to get in the trenches, but mostly I would scroll through these social media platforms with one eye partially closed trying not to see it, but you can't make a cucumber out of a pickle. What is seen goes in. It's traumatic. And I was always secretly hoping in some part of me that what was being said to me and about me wasn't true. Because even I, an avowed, self-declared feminist, who worships at the altar of Gloria internalize the patriarchy. This is really critical. Patriarchy is not boys and men. It is a system in which we all participate, including me.

On that particular day, for some reason, that particular tweet after the basketball game triggered something called a cyber mob. This vitriolic, global outpouring of the most heinous hate speech, death threats, rape threats. And don't you know, when I was sitting at home alone in my nightgown, I got a phone call, and it was my beloved former husband, and he said on a voice mail. Loved one ... what is happening to you is not OK.

And there was something about him taking a stand for me that night, that allowed me to take a stand for myself. And I started to write. I started to write about sharing the fact that I'm a survivor of all forms of sexual abuse, including three rapes. And the hate speech I get in response to that, these are just some of the comments posted to news outlets. Being told I'm a snitch is really fun.

Thank you, Jesus. May your grace and mercy shine. So, I wrote this feminist op-ed, it is entitled, Forget Your Team. It Is Your Online Gender Violence Toward Girls And Women That Can Kiss My Righteous Ass.

And I did that alone, and I published it alone, because my chief advisor said, Please don't, the rain of retaliatory garbage that is inevitable, I fear for you. But I trust girls and I trust women, and I trust our allies. It was published, it went viral, it proves that every single day online misogyny is a phenomenon endured by us all, all over the world, and when it is intersectional, it is worse. Sexual orientation, gender identity, race, ethnicity, religion, you name it. It amplifies the violence endured by girls and women, and for our younger girls, it is worse.

It's clearly traumatizing. Our mental health, our emotional well-being are so gravely affected because the threat of violence is experienced neurobiologically as violence. The cortisol shoots up, the limbic system gets fired, we lose productivity at work. And let's talk about work. Our ability to work is constrained. Online searches of women applying for jobs reveal nude pictures of them, false allegations they have STDs, their addresses indicating that they are available for sex with real examples of people showing up at this house for said sex.

Our ability to go to school is impaired. 96 percent of all postings of sexual images of our young people girls. Our girls. Our boys are two to three times more likely, nonconsensually, to share images. And I want to say a word about revenge porn. Part of what came out of this tweet was my getting connected with allies and other activists who are fighting for a safe and free internet. We started something called the Speech Project; curbing abuse, expanding freedom. And that website provides a critical forum, because there is no global, legal thing to help us figure this out. But we do provide on that website a standardized list of definitions, because it's hard to attack a behavior in the right way if we're not all sharing a definition of what that behavior is. And I learned that revenge porn is often dangerously misapplied. It is the nonconsensual sharing of an image used tactically to shame and humiliate a girl or woman that attempts to pornography us. Our natural sexuality is. I don't know about yours, pretty gorgeous and wonderful. And my expressing it does not pornography make. So, I have all these resources that I'm keenly aware so many people in the world do not. I was able to start the Speech Project with colleagues. I can often get a social media company's attention. I have a wonderful visit to Facebook HQ coming up. Hasn't helped the idiotic reporting standards yet. I actually pay someone to scrub my social media feeds, attempting to spare my brain the daily iterations of the trauma of hate speech. And guess what. I get hate speech for that. Oh, you live in an echo chamber. Well, guess what. Having someone post a photograph of me with my mouth open saying they can't wait to cum on my face, I have a right to set that boundary.

And this distinction between virtual and real is specious because guess what, that actually happened to me once when I was a child, and so that tweet brought up that trauma, and I had to do work on that.

But you know what we do. We take all of this hate speech, and we disaggregate it, and we code it, and we give that data so that we understand the intersectionality of it. You know, when I get porn, when it's about political affiliation, when it's about age, when it's about all of it. We're going to win this fight.

There are a lot of solutions. Thank goodness. I'm going to offer just a few, and of course I challenge you to create and contribute your own. Number one, we have to start with digital media literacy, and clearly it must have a gendered lens. Kids, schools, caregivers, parents, it's essential. Two, shall we talk about our friends in tech? Said with dignity and respect, the sexism in your workplaces must end.

EDGE, the global standard for gender equality, is the minimum standard. And guess what, Silicon Valley. If L'Oreal in India, in the Philippines, in Brazil and in Russia can do it, you can, too. Enough excuses. Only when women have critical mass in every department at your companies, including building platforms from the ground up, will the conversations about priorities and solutions change.

And more love for my friends in tech, profiteering off misogyny in video games must end. I'm so tired of hearing you talk to me at cocktail parties, like you did a couple weeks ago in Aspen about how deplorable Gamergate was when you're still making billions of dollars off games that maim and dump women for sport. Basta!, as the Italians would say. Enough.

Our friends in law enforcement have much to do, because we've seen that online violence is an extension of in-person violence. In our country, more girls and women have been murdered by their intimate partners than died on 9-11 and have died since in Afghanistan and Iraq combined. And it's not cool to say that, but it is true We care so much geopolitically about what men are doing over there to women over there. In 2015, 72828 women used intimate partner violence services in this country. That is not counting the girls and women and boys who needed them. Law enforcement must be empowered with up-to-date internet technology, the devices and an understanding of these platforms. How they work. The police wanted to be helpful when Amanda Hess called about the death threat she was getting on Twitter, but they couldn't really when they said. What's Twitter?

Our legislators must write and pass astute legislation that reflects today's technology and our notions of free and hate speech. In New York recently, the law could not be applied to a perpetrator because the crimes must have been committed even if it was anonymous. They must have been committed by telephone, in mail, by telegraph. The language must be technologically neutral.

So apparently, I've got a pretty bold voice. So, let's talk about our friends, white men. You have a role to play and a choice to make. You can do something, or you can do nothing. We're cool in this room, but when this goes out, everyone will say, oh my God, she's a reverse racist. That quote was said by a white man, Robert Moritz, chairperson, PricewaterhouseCoopers, he asked me to include it in my talk.

We need to grow support lines and help groups, so victims can help each other when their lives and finances have been derailed. We must as individuals disrupt gender violence as it is happening. 92 percent of young people 29 and under witness it. 72 percent of us have witnessed it. We must have the courage and urgency to practice stopping it as it is unfolding.

And lastly, believe her. Believe her.

This is fundamentally a problem of human interaction. And as I believe that human interaction is at the core of our healing, trauma not transformed will be trauma transferred. The end is latent in the beginning, so we are going to end this talk replacing hate speech with love speech. Because I get lonely in this, but I know that we are allies. I recently learned about how gratitude and affirmations offset negative interactions. It takes five of those to offset one negative interaction, and gratitude in particular, free, available globally any time, anywhere, to anyone in any dialect, it fires the pregenual anterior cingulate, a watershed part of the brain that floods it with great, good stuff. So I'm going to say awesome stuff about myself. I would like for you to reflect it back to me. It might sound something like this.

I am a powerful and strong woman, and you would say, Yes, you are. Yes, you are. My mama loves me. Yes, she does. I did a great job with my talk. Yes, you did. I have a right to be here. Yes, you do. I'm really cute. Yes, you are.

God does good work. Yes, He does. And I love you. Thank you so much for letting me be of service. Bless you.
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