In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

All the blub forever and ever: A man writes a loving letter to his faithful canine campaign at the end of the dog's life. "The 8,028,000 Minutes I Called You Friend."

The Supreme Court decision I mentioned yesterday, McCutcheon vs. FEC, which effectively obliterated existing campaign finance law, has empowered a class of people that is mostly comprised of wealthy white men and: "Now an individual donor could contribute up to $3.5 million if they maxed out their contributions." Neat! How neat for them.

Speaking of wealthy white men, Charles Koch of the reprehensible Koch Brothers, wrote in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, without a trace of irony: "Far from trying to rig the system, I have spent decades opposing cronyism and all political favors, including mandates, subsidies and protective tariffs—even when we benefit from them. I believe that cronyism is nothing more than welfare for the rich and powerful, and should be abolished." LOL wow.

Whut. "The U.S. government masterminded the creation of a 'Cuban Twitter'—a communications network designed to undermine the communist government in Cuba, built with secret shell companies and financed through foreign banks, The Associated Press has learned." The US foreign policy of absurd, awkward, and destructive meddling continues to be awesome.

Fuck: "Arctic sea ice falls to fifth lowest level on record: National Snow and Ice Data Center says findings reinforce trend that Arctic sea ice disappearing much faster than expected." I feel so helpless just reporting the increasingly alarming climate news, knowing there isn't really anything that any one person can do about it. Not as long as the most powerful industrial global leaders don't give a shit.

Meanwhile, in London: "This week, dust blowing in from the Sahara has mixed with industrial pollution originating in Europe and the U.K.'s own traffic fumes to create a thick, yellow smog shrouding southern England. ...Schools are keeping students indoors at recess and the elderly and officials are warning those with lung and heart conditions against strenuous outdoor activity."

[Content Note: Fat hatred] More evidence that gut bacteria plays a crucial role in weight: "A study of lab mice, published on Wednesday...concludes that one of the most common and effective forms of bariatric surgery, called Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, melts away pounds not—or not only—by re-routing the digestive tract, as long thought, but by changing the bacteria in the gut. ...If that occurs in people, too, then the same bacteria-changing legerdemain achieved by gastric bypass might be accomplished without putting obese patients under the knife in an expensive and risky operation." The gut bacteria theory has been around for years. Yet, despite lots of solid research on it, it's still not considered a major contribution to "obesity research." Because of course it 100% undermines the narrative that weight is totally within our individual control.

[CN: Worker exploitation] Yes yes yes: "Adjunct Faculty Demand Fair Pay and Benefits: Adjunct professors—the majority of whom are women—are contract employees usually paid per course taught, and the pay is low. ...The vast majority of adjuncts do not receive health insurance, retirement benefits, or sick leave, and many must cobble together a living, often by traveling miles to teach at multiple campuses. ...Some adjuncts have joined labor unions at their institutions in order to organize for better pay and working conditions, but the average adjunct professor is still a source of cheap labor for many colleges. And the use of adjuncts is more widespread than ever. Adjunct professors now make up approximately half of all college faculty."

[CN: Rape culture] Brad Pitt reportedly wants to make a movie about a hacker at the center of the Steubenville rape case. I hope I am wrong about this, but I have a sinking feeling that the film is centered on the hacker so there's, ahem, no reason to get the consent of the victim, Jane Doe, because they're telling "his story." And I don't guess I need to use 87 different swear words in order to convey my feelings about telling a story about a rape while essentially writing the victim out of the story, because y'all probably already know exactly what I'd say.

This story about a missing cat is amazing and has a happy ending! All I can think is: Thank Maude that shop kept good records!

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