In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Worker exploitation; class warfare] Sigh. President Obama "will seek to rally Democratic support for free trade on Friday with a visit to Nike headquarters designed to allay fears of further offshoring of US jobs. Amid fierce opposition from the president's own party in Congress, White House officials are aiming to flip perceptions by staging the speech at a shoe giant notorious for its use of low-cost Asian labour but which claims the proposed transpacific partnership (TPP) trade agreement will allow it to create 10,000 new US jobs." Repeat ad infinitum: Good for corporations; bad for workers.

[CN: Police brutality; racism] Today, the US Justice Department has announced "a federal civil rights investigation into the legality of the Baltimore police department's use of force and whether there are patterns of discriminatory policing. The investigation is being launched at the request of Baltimore's mayor in response to the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man injured in police custody, and the outrage it sparked in Maryland's largest city." I don't honestly know how effective these federal investigations are. I mean, they seem to be effective in identifying discrimination, but I'm not sure they're very effective in yielding lasting, meaningful change. Which is because the system is just so profoundly broken that way more than incremental change is required.

[CN: Homophobia] Goddammit: "A 'religious freedom' bill opposed by both gay rights supporters and Democratic-Farm-Labor Party members has been introduced in the Minnesota State Senate... [The bill] would provide a 'sincerely held religious belief' carve-out in the state's law prohibiting discrimination against sexual orientation, meaning religious organizations and small businesses involved in the wedding industry would be free to refuse service to same-sex couples." Jesus Jones. GROW UP.

[CN: Disablism; misogyny; racism; classism] This is a terrific profile of Helen Keller: "The Radical Dissent of Helen Keller."

[CN: War on agency] Pope Francis "will send 'missionaries of mercy' to absolve women of abortion 'sin': Last year, Francis told Catholic bishops in South Africa that 'abortion compounds the grief of many women who now carry with them deep physical and spiritual wounds.' He noted, however, that reconciliation 'must be rediscovered as a fundamental dimension of the life of grace.' [Rino Fisichella, an archbishop at the Vatican and president of the Pontifical Academy for Life], now the president of the council organizing Holy Year events, said the Pope's decision was intended 'as a concrete sign that a priest must be a man of mercy and close to all.'" Nothing says "merciful" like shaming women and girls for taking control of their own reproduction.

RIP Guy Carawan.

[CN: Environmental harm] Fucking hell: "Oil and Gas Wells Are Leaking Huge Amounts of Methane, and It's Costing Taxpayers Millions." Not to mention our health.

Neat! "Retailers Are Now Selling Frilly Bras and Panties Specifically for Men." Loooooove. (I'll note that although these are being identified as "for men," there are women's bodies for whom these cuts will work better, too.)

Wow: "Scientists have discovered a massive halo around our nearest neighboring galaxy, Andromeda, a finding that could shed light on the structure of majestic spirals in the universe. Using data from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, the dark, nearly invisible halo was calculated to be about six times larger and 1,000 times more massive than previously measured. The halo stretches about a million light-years from its host galaxy and halfway to our own Milky Way galaxy."

[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Paul Feig talks about his new movie Spy with Melissa McCarthy. "I just love spy movies, ever since I was a little kid I loved the Bond movies and the Ian Fleming books. I love thrillers. I love action and I love thrillers and I love the spy genre because it's figuring things out—it's not all brawn, it's brain too. And also I love the international settings of things, I obviously love men's style. I just love going into that world and always wanted to do one but obviously as a comedy filmmaker I knew nobody would ever let me direct a Bond movie, as much as I would love to. ...I had all these funny women I like to work with and so it was why don't I write my own version that's for a female spy. It was simple as that."

And finally! "A pet rat and a therapy dog have the cutest Instagram you've ever seen." Pretty much!

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