In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Police brutality; death] Fucking hell: "Police in South Boston, Virginia broke their own rules and Tased a man multiple times, then reneged on a planned trip to the hospital, before he died in their custody, MSNBC reported. Newly-released footage shows three officers using the devices against 46-year-old Linwood Lambert while he was handcuffed both in front of a local hospital and in a patrol car. The Tasers were used 20 times over the course of a 30-minute period." Although a lot of the focus of police brutality is understandably centered on shooting deaths, Taser deaths are also a grave concern. How does any human being get to the point where Tasing someone 20 times is an acceptable thing to do?

[CN: War on agency] What happens when your state-funded investigation of Planned Parenthood turns up no wrongdoing? Oh just lie about it: "[Nebraska state] investigators focused on the clinics' handling of fetal tissue and found no evidence of wrongdoing, no different than the results of state investigations around the country. However, nearly two months after state investigators completed the investigation, [Republican Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts] penned a column attacking Planned Parenthood and repeating dubious claims made by CMP that have been repeatedly debunked, including by the investigation he ordered. 'Videos from this investigation revealed top Planned Parenthood doctors negotiating prices for the body parts of aborted babies,' Ricketts wrote on October 9, repeating a claim that has been discredited by a range of observers."

[CN: Homophobia; child abuse] Goddammit: "A judge in Utah has removed a foster child from the home of a gay married couple because he says the child would be better off with heterosexual parents. April Hoagland and Beckie Peirce of Carbon County, Utah believe the judge, who would not cite the 'research' which led to his decision, is religiously motivated." Of course he wouldn't cite any research, because there's none that exists which could possibly justify his gross decision.

[CN: Racism; surveillance] Not surprising, but totally appalling: "An Oregon Department of Justice investigator used a search tool to racially profile Twitter users who used the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag, the state's attorney general said in a letter to a civil rights organization Tuesday in which she said she was 'appalled' by the practice and has suspended the investigator. Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum, responding to complaints form the Portland chapter of the Urban League, wrote Tuesday that she has ordered her department to stop using the online search tool and launched an investigation, saying the practice 'raises many troubling questions' about law enforcement profiling throughout the state." Ya think?

[CN: Child neglect and abuse; violence; death; racism] Everything about this story is making me so angry and so sad: The police say that Katerra Lewis, a black woman, left her infant daughter in the care of an 8-year-old boy who killed the baby when she wouldn't stop crying. Lewis says, via her attorney, that she did not leave the children alone, but there's no more detail on that at the moment. Media are reporting the police account as though it is definitely fact. The 8-year-old has been charged with murder in juvenile court, which starts a criminal justice path rather than a therapeutic one. And I really don't believe that would happen to an 8-year-old white child. A baby is dead, and nothing being done in response seems to be helping anyone. Just fuck.

[CN: Misogynist terrorism; disablist language] Aziz Ansari's new show Master of None is terrific! I've watched the first five episodes and loved them so far. And this interview, about his much-discussed episode on sexual harassment (which I've not yet seen) is great: "Go on any famous woman's Instagram and there are [indecent] death threats in the comments everywhere. No one is giving Drake death threats—only female celebrities get that. It's fucked up. I don't understand it. I don't know how you can be that disgusting of a human being to write those things, and also, if you're not aware that it's happening overwhelmingly more to women than it is to men, you're [being willfully ignorant]. The seed of that episode came from a bit during my Madison Square Garden special where I'd talk about women getting followed home by creepy dudes, and I'd ask during the bit, 'Raise your hands if you're a woman and you've been followed home,' and everyone would raise their hand. ...Then, I'd ask all the guys if they expected all the women to raise their hands, and none of them really did. ...And the problem is people aren't talking about it. What I've learned, as a guy, is to just ask women questions and listen to what they have to say. Go to your group of female friends and ask them about times they've experienced sexism at their job, and you'll get blown away by the things they tell you. You'll think, 'What the fuck? This is way darker than anything I'd imagined.'"

[CN: Misogyny; video may autoplay at link] Listen, I think it's shit when people talk crap about Donald Trump's hair, not least of all because it's literally the least offensive thing about him, and I think it's shit when Donald Trump talks crap about Hillary Clinton's hair. In fact, it's extra crap squared, because it's misogynistic body and choice policing: "Asked by host Mark Levin what Clinton's appeal to voters is, Trump simply said: 'Well, she has a new hairdo, did you notice that today?' The quip prompted Levin to suggest Clinton is wearing a wig. 'I tell you what it really was shocking to see it because you're right it must be, it was massive. Her hair became massive,' said Trump, whose own hair has been the subject of scrutiny. Warned that his comments might get him in trouble, Trump brushed off the potential for sparking controversy. 'I don't care. I'm a person that tells the truth,' Trump said." This fucking guy.

Meanwhile, Jeb! is just promising to chest-bump anyone who pledges support to him now. Good grief.

Neat! "An international team of scientists has found a new [earthlike] planet so close to Earth it is possible to study the atmosphere using optical telescopes. ...Its average density resembles that of Earth, and is well matched by a rock/iron composition, the researchers said. ...'It's too hot to be habitable. There's no way there's liquid water on the surface. But it is a lot cooler than the other rocky planets that we know of.' In fact, scientists are excited that GJ 1132b is cool enough to possibly have an atmosphere. 'If we find this pretty hot planet has managed to hang onto its atmosphere over the billions of years it's been around, that bodes well for the long-term goal of studying cooler planets that could have life," [lead researcher Zachory Berta-Thompson from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology] said. 'We finally have a target to point our telescopes at.'"

Whoooooooooooops! "Seattle police are investigating after a drone collided with the city's giant Ferris wheel on Wednesday afternoon. There were no injuries in the incident in which the drone hit the wheel and then a table as it fell to the ground. The incident has added weight to calls to introduce national registers for the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV)."

And finally! So much squeeeeeeee! "Dale the Takin Reunited with Mom at Cincinnati Zoo." TOO CUTE!!!

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