In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Guns] The Centers for Disease Control's current funding for gun violence prevention research is $0. And it looks like it will remain that way for the foreseeable future, since Congressional Republicans refuse to fund it, with one Republican Congressman calling money for gun violence research a "request to fund propaganda." The depth of my contempt is cavernous.

[CN: War on agency] Republican Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has signed into law a bill that allows "state health authorities to conduct surprise inspections of abortion clinics without a warrant. HB 2284 repeals an Arizona law that requires a judge to give approval for inspections of abortion clinics. Department of Health Services officials will now be able to inspect any clinic during business hours, even without reasonable cause." This is just state-sanctioned harassment of abortion providers and patients.

[CN: Homophobia] This is your regularly-scheduled reminder that same-sex marriage equality is not the end-all be-all of gay rights: "A Boy Scout troop in Seattle announced on Monday that its charter had been revoked after its church sponsor refused to fire the troop's scout leader because of his sexual orientation. The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) withdrew the membership of Scoutmaster Geoff McGrath, 49, in March after he revealed to an NBC News reporter that he was gay. McGrath was widely thought to be the first openly gay scout leader after the organization voted last year to allow gay youths as of Jan. 1, but not allow gay adults to lead troops. The Rainier Beach United Methodist Church received a letter from BSA on Friday stating that its charter had been revoked, and an attorney from the organization told the church it could no longer host any troops under the Boy Scouts name." Fucking assholes. Seriously.

[CN: Homophobia] On the marriage equality front: States with conservative majorities tend to lag behind the national average in support for same-sex marriage, but a new poll out of Texas has found that 48% of Texans now support same-sex marriage while 47% oppose it. That sound you hear is another domino falling to the floor.

[CN: War on agency] Tennessee's Pregnancy Criminalization Law Will Hit Black Women the Hardest: "The bill, SB 1391, would impose criminal penalties on mothers of newborns who have been exposed to addictive illegal or prescription drugs in utero. While the bill appears race-neutral, prosecutors and judges will wield the law against Black women more so than white women, based on a long tradition of deeply embedded racial stereotypes about Black motherhood. Should Gov. Haslam ignore the growing outcry against SB 1391 from pro-choice and anti-choice advocates alike, the law would likely lead to Black women being thrown in jail for up to 15 years for aggravated assault should they choose to carry a pregnancy to term while struggling with an addiction to illegal narcotics."

[CN: Fat bias] Oh for fuck's sake: "Airlines look for ways to cut down on weight, squeeze in more seats: If you thought airlines could find no new ways to squeeze more passengers into each plane, you are underestimating the resolve of the airline industry. At this month's Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany, many of the 500 exhibitors were promoting new ideas to cut down on weight—to save fuel—and innovative layouts to fit more seats per cabin. Among the concepts offered at the expo was a set of seats that put passengers face to face; seats that are installed in a staggered, diagonal layout, and lavatories designed to wedge in a few extra passengers in the back of the cabin." Meanwhile, fat passengers will be up for even more harassment and discrimination, because it's our bodies that are the problem, not the constantly diminishing space on airplanes.

And finally: Would you like some vegetable ice cream? Häagen-Dazs is debuting veggie ice cream in Japan next month. Sounds interesting! One of the best things I've ever eaten was a cucumber sorbet at Tom Colicchio's restaurant Craft. Delicious!

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