In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: War] As President Obama considers a more comprehensive response in Iraq, he is ordering the deployment of "275 US troops to Iraq to protect the American embassy and staff in Baghdad. ...Troops are being sent as Obama considers airstrikes against Islamic militants in Iraq... Unlike the strikes that preceded the Iraq and Afghanistan ground wars, any air offensive this time would come with the encouragement and support of the Iraqi government, giving the US virtually complete control of the skies to curb the Sunni militants' offensive." And like every other strike ever, the government will almost certainly be claiming "precision" while the population ostensibly being protected cries in vain about civilian casualties.

[CN: Disaster; death] Intense weather wreaked havoc and harm in Nebraska yesterday: "A swarm of tornadoes, some appearing two at a time, struck several farming communities in northeastern Nebraska on Monday, killing at least one person and injuring 16 others in one tiny town obliterated by a direct hit, officials said. ...The village of Pilger, a community several blocks wide and home to roughly 350 residents, appeared to bear the brunt of the storms and the heaviest concentration of casualties after one twister struck in late afternoon, local authorities said. 'Pilger is gone,' said Sanford Goshorn, director of emergency management for Stanton County." Some people are still trapped, and emergency crews are working to get to them. The rebuilding process after a disaster of this magnitude is always difficult, but how difficult depends on municipal will. I hope the people of Pilger get all the support that they need.

In good news: "President Obama on Tuesday will announce his intent to make a broad swath of the central Pacific Ocean off-limits to fishing, energy exploration and other activities, according to senior White House officials. The proposal, slated to go into effect later this year after a comment period, could create the world's largest marine sanctuary and double the area of ocean globally that is fully protected." An open-comment period may result in exemptions for commercial fishing.

[CN: War on agency] This is absolutely rage-making: "Florida Governor Rick Scott signed a bill into law on Friday that redefines the state's current third trimester abortion ban, creating further restrictions for women seeking later abortions. Current state law does not allow abortions after 24 weeks except if the pregnant person's life or health is threatened. HB 1047 will limit the existing exceptions by removing mental health conditions as a reason to allow a late abortion." Tell me how this is about "protecting women." What heinous, harmful, hostile dogshit this is.

In March, I mentioned a Republican Alaska lawmaker's proposal to put pregnancy tests in bars. The proposal has passed, so now "the state will put the free tests in 20 bars and restaurants" at the price of $40,000. As I said before, I love that a (small-government!) senator is willing to spend taxpayer dollars on forced pregnancy tests, but is not willing to spend taxpayer dollars on free contraceptives or reproductive healthcare. And of course this will be the first step in criminalizing "fetal harm."

[CN: Guns] Heh: "Missouri Town Discovers People Don't Like Vacationing Around Angry People Openly Carrying Firearms." Go figure!

[CN: Guns] Cripes: "Tense encounter between open-carry advocate and Kalamazoo police detailed in recordings, reports."

Heads-up: GM has "recalled another 3.36 million vehicles worldwide Monday for a problem the company has linked to eight crashes and six injuries. That brings the total number of cars recalled by the company this year to more than 20 million." If you have a 2000-2014 Chevrolet Impala, Cadillac Deville or DTS, or Buick Lacrosse, Lucerne, or Regal, your vehicle may be part of this recall.

And finally! Here, via my friend N, is just a terrific video of a man singing to his cuddly pitbull. Love with so many hearts!

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