In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Militarization] I've mentioned this previously, and here is another story about police departments across the US receiving military combat gear: "As the nation's wars abroad wind down, many of the military's surplus tools of combat have ended up in the hands of state and local law enforcement." Including but not limited to: 432 MRAPs (Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected armored vehicles), 435 other armored vehicles, 533 planes and helicopters, and 93,763 machine guns. Swell.

[CN: War; violence; death] Speaking of our foreign exploits: "A double bombing at the offices of two Kurdish political parties north of Baghdad killed at least 15 people Monday, officials said, in what was the second deadly attack on a Kurdish party office in two days. And other attacks around the country killed at least eight people the same day, as Iraq grapples with daily bombings and devastating bloodshed. ...Iraq is currently struggling with its worst surge in violence since the sectarian bloodletting of 2006 and 2007. In 2013, the country's death toll rose to 8,868 people, according to United Nations figures, in what was Iraq's deadliest year since violence began to ease from a peak eight years ago. The U.N. said that May was the deadliest month so far this year, with 799 Iraqis killed in violence, including 603 civilians. With none of the problems that contribute to the heightened unrest headed for quick resolutions, the bloodshed is likely to continue unabated." This is what "spreading freedom" looks like. We were the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

[CN: War on agency; hostility to consent] The Louisiana state legislature has passed a bill "that will require physicians to keep mentally incapacitated pregnant women on life support against their wishes. HB 1274 requires physicians to to keep brain-dead women who are at least 20 weeks pregnant on mechanical support if there is a chance the fetus is viable. The law would override requests from family members for removal, and even the wishes of the pregnant woman, but will not apply if a woman has specified in her will that she was not to be resuscitated while pregnant." Further evidence that fetuses are valued more highly than the people who carry them.

[CN: Homophobia] One of the conservative commentators over at the intellectual [sic] cesspool known as Townhall argues that LGBTQI people and their allies are the real terrorists. Sure. Up is down, black is white, etc.

Welcome to Uncanny Valley: For the first time ever, "a computer programme has successfully passed the 'Turing Test.' To do this, the computer engaged in a conversation with judges and convinced at least some of them, that they were in fact talking to a human. This success has come on the 60th anniversary of Alan Turing's death."

At the video clip found at this link, there is an absolutely AMAZING exchange between Diane Sawyer and Hillary Clinton about age. Shaker KC provided this splendid transcript via email:
Diane Sawyer: "AGE." (Said with the somberness of a thousand dying suns.)

Hillary Clinton: (Laughs.) "Age! Yes! Isn't it great to be our age?"

Diane Sawyer: (Furrows brow.) "Mitch McConnell said at one point that 2016 will be the return of the Golden Girls."

Hillary Clinton: (Smiles and leans in to reply.) "That was a very popular, long running TV series!" (LAUGHS.)
Awesome. Totally awesome.

RIP Rik Mayall. "The Essex-born actor, who starred in alternative comedy shows such as The Young Ones and Blackadder, died on Monday morning, a spokesman for Brunskill Management said. The cause of death is currently unknown. Mayall was best known for his comedy partnership with Adrian Edmonson, whom he first met at university. The pair went on to become one of the biggest comedy duos of the 1980s, co-writing The Young Ones."

And finally! This is just a really great picture of Nicolas Cage wearing a Nicolas Cage t-shirt at a Guns N' Roses concert. Because obviously.

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