In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: War] IS fighters are overwhelming the Syrian border town of Kobane, and the US and Turkey are at odds over intervention strategies, because US airstrikes aren't enough, but Turkey doesn't want to conduct a unilateral ground operation on its own. I don't even know what to say.

[CN: Torture; indefinite detention] The court case over force-feeding detainees at Guantánamo Bay continues, and attorneys for the US government are defending the use of a restraint chair on the basis that detainees were able to attack nurses administering the force-feeding without it. Which maybe should have suggested that the torturous force-feedings stop, rather than making the feedings even more torturous. This is horrendous. Not only has Gitmo not been closed, but the conditions there are increasingly awful, and we are vigorously defending them.

[CN: War on agency; domestic abuse; reproductive coercion] Abortion access is critical for women and others with unintended pregnancies who are in abusive relationships, and: "As state legislators work hard to restrict access to safe abortion care, they are closing doors in the face of survivors of abuse looking for an escape route."

[CN: Transphobia; gender essentialism] Why the National Women's Law Center thought this shit (an advert in which comedian Sarah Silverman opts to get a sex change in order to avoid the pay gap) was a good idea is beyond me. Holy shit. Dr. Jane Chi lays out what's wrong with this garbage.

[CN: Guns] Welp: An "open carry enthusiast was robbed of his weapon on Saturday by another man with a gun."

[CN: Class warfare] Further evidence that the old conservative chestnut about how we don't need a robust social safety net because charitable wealthy people will step up in times of need is total bullshit: "Which demographic group responded to the financial crisis by giving less money to charity? ...You guessed it. It was the rich. Americans making more than $100,000 a year cut the percentage of their income they gave to philanthropy by 3.3% between 2006 and 2012. Those who earned less in salary actually gave more to the poor. In fact, according to a recent study by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, based on IRS data, those earning $25,000 or less donated an average of 16.6% of their adjusted gross income. By comparison, high-earning citizens gave only 4.6% of their incomes. The higher you go in income, the lower the percentage of your salary that you gave to charity."

[CN: Misogynoir] The Hollywood Reporter has a big profile of Shonda Rimes, and it is very good: "They wouldn't say that someone is 'the most powerful white male showrunner in Hollywood.' I find race and gender to be terribly important; they're terribly important to who I am. But there's something about the need for everybody else to spend time talking about it … that pisses me off."

[CN: Natural disaster] I don't like the framing here that the erupting Mount Sinabung volcano in Indonesia is "nature's wrath," but the pictures of the eruption, and people contending with the ash, are extraordinary.

[CN: Animal abuse, but happy ending] A New York Carriage Horse "who spent most of his life pulling tourists around Central Park" is rescued and rolls on the grass for what may be the first time ever. Blub.

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