Here is some stuff in the news today...
[Content Note: Police brutality; racism] This is such a terrific piece by Mariame Kaba on the organizing against police violence happening in Chicago: "It's difficult to describe the weight of this year in Chicago to outsiders. For those of us who organize against criminalization—including police violence—it feels like there was no respite from the trauma inflicted by the police on our communities between 2014 and 2015. ...Over the past several months, Chicago organizers have won reparations for police torture survivors, protested the existence of a so-called 'black site' at Homan Square, successfully mobilized to have officer Servin fired, pressed for data transparency around stop and frisk practices, marched by the thousands for community control of the police, shut down the opening day of the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference and more. All of this took place before the brutal and stomach turning videotape of Laquan McDonald's execution was released to the public. ...There was dancing in front of 35th and Michigan on Tuesday evening [at the news that Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy had been fired]. But by Wednesday morning, everyone was back to organizing against police violence in Chicago, because it was never directed by one man alone, and cannot be eliminated by whatever man replaces him."
[CN: Police misconduct; white supremacy; anti-black racism and anti-semitism; racist image at link] Fucking hell: "The Alabama Justice Project has obtained documents that reveal a Dothan Police Department's Internal Affairs investigation was covered up by the district attorney. A group of up to a dozen police officers on a specialized narcotics team were found to have planted drugs and weapons on young black men for years. They were supervised at the time by Lt. Steve Parrish, current Dothan Police Chief, and Sgt. Andy Hughes, current Asst. Director of Homeland Security for the State of Alabama. All of the officers reportedly were members of a Neoconfederate organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center labels 'racial extremists.' The group has advocated for blacks to return to Africa, published that the civil rights movement is really a Jewish conspiracy, and that blacks have lower IQs . Both Parrish and Hughes held leadership positions in the group and are pictured above holding a confederate battle flag at one of the club's secret meetings. The documents shared reveal that the internal affairs investigation was covered up to protect the aforementioned officers' law enforcement careers and keep them from being criminally prosecuted."
[CN: Anti-immigrationism] "The Supreme Court Just Handed the Obama Administration a Big Victory on Immigration: "The Obama administration, and the immigrants who are depending upon them, in other words, are not out of the woods. But they've cleared a major hurdle that could have halted the new policies for at least one additional year. If the justices ultimately decide to take the case, the administration has good reason to be optimistic. In the Court's last major immigration case, two Republican members of the Court—Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy—broke with their three fellow conservatives to side with the Obama administration."
[CN: War; terrorism; video may autoplay at link] Donald Trump is absolutely vile: "Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump asserted on Wednesday that the only way to defeat ISIS was to kill their families. 'I like to do one thing at a time,' Trump told Fox News host Brian Kilmeade. 'I would knock the hell out of ISIS.' 'What about civilian casualties?' Kilmeade wondered. 'One of the problems that we have and one of the reasons we're so ineffective, they're using them as shields,' Trump explained. According to the GOP hopeful, President Barack Obama was waging 'a very politically correct war.' 'With the terrorists, you have to take out their families,' Trump said. 'When you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families.'"
Meanwhile, Glenn Beck is certain that Trump is a Democratic plant, because of course he is: "What are the odds that he is a spoiler? What are the odds that he got into this because he's friends with the Clintons and he'll get a massive payback? Can you imagine if Hillary Clinton gets in because he ran third party; do you know the favor they're going to owe him?. ...It makes no sense otherwise. It's more logical to believe that than he's all of the sudden changed and he had no pivot point in his life to change like this."
[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Here's a fun headline: "Ted Cruz Vows to Put Hard-Core Conservatives on Supreme Court." I'm sure he does. One of eleventy biebillion reasons he should never be allowed anywhere near the Oval Office.
[CN: Fat hatred; weight loss talk; misogyny] Carrie Fisher says that she was pressured to lose more than 35lbs to play Leia once again in the new Star Wars movie: "They don't want to hire all of me—only about three-quarters! Nothing changes, it's an appearance-driven thing. I'm in a business where the only thing that matters is weight and appearance. That is so messed up. They might as well say get younger, because that's how easy it is." I guess that's a cool message too for mothers and daughters, J.J. Abrams. Fuck.
[CN: Rape] I literally don't even have words: "Hollywood studio 20th Century Fox has been forced to deny internet reports that Leonardo DiCaprio's character is raped by a bear in the Oscar-tipped Alejandro González Iñárritu western The Revenant. News aggregator The Drudge Report posted an article claiming that the film features 'a shocking scene of a wild bear raping Leo DiCaprio,' and said the [scene] had caused controversy at early screenings. 'The bear flips Leo over and thrusts and thrusts during the explicit mauling,' continues the article. 'He is raped – twice!' But Fox has now moved to confirm that DiCaprio is merely brutally assaulted by the bear in question, a verdict ratified by Guardian Film journalists who have seen Iñárritu's movie. 'As anyone who has seen the movie can attest, the bear in the film is a female who attacks Hugh Glass because she feels he might be threatening her cubs,' a Fox spokesperson said in a statement to Entertainment Weekly. 'There is clearly no rape scene with a bear.'" (Despite this faux outrage at "liberal Hollywood," disgraced Bush administration dirtbag Scooter Libby actually did write a novel in which trafficked children were raped by a bear. Yeah.) (This is the garbage that's stuck in my head after doing this for 11 years.) (Sob.)
In other film news: "Action adventure Mad Max: Fury Road was named the best film of 2015 on Tuesday by the National Board of Review, a surprise choice by the New York-based body whose list traditionally kicks off the annual Hollywood awards season." Cue the impotent rage of misogynist fanboys!
Neat! "Hundreds of tracks discovered along Scotland's coast show that huge, long-necked dinosaurs once trod there. The footprints form the largest dinosaur site ever found in Scotland. They also show that sauropods, which included the largest dinosaurs of all time, were at home along the shore. ...'We had gone out to a lonely stretch of coast on the far northeastern tip of the island,' says University of Edinburgh paleontologist Stephen Brusatte, who scouted the Isle of Skye site after a geologist spotted bones there. After spending the day finding mostly shark teeth and other small fossils, Brusatte says, he and fossil fish expert Tom Challands spotted what looked like a pothole. It was a dinosaur's footprint. That initial find turned into a string of tracks over an area measuring about 49 feet (15 meters) by 82 feet (25 meters)."
And finally! ALL THE SQUEES IN SQUEEDOM! "Woman Quit Her Job to Knit Sweaters for Cold Abandoned Greyhounds: 'There are so many dogs that won't be rehomed this Christmas so for many of them it's the only gift they will get.'" Blub.