Here is some stuff in the news today...
"Republicans react to State of the Union by accusing Obama of stoking division." *flips table*
"The US has thanked Iran for the swift release of 10 US sailors held for entering its territorial waters. Secretary of State John Kerry said the resolution of the matter was 'testament to the critical role diplomacy plays in keeping our country safe.' Republican presidential hopefuls had criticised the administration over its handling of the incident. A deal on Iran's nuclear activities—which they also disparage—is said to be days away from implementation. The sailors were detained on Tuesday when one of their two vessels broke down while training in the Gulf. The incursion was 'unintentional,' a statement from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards quoted by state media said." The GOP really needs to STFU.
[Content Note: Sedition; child abuse] "Although the armed occupiers of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge facility may seem to have done little more than camp out with guns and demand snacks, their continuing occupation is costing taxpayers dearly. ...Harney County Judge Steve Grasty told outraged community members that he'd send the Bundys a bill for what they'd cost the county—which he estimates to be '$60,000 to $70,000 a day' for the closed schools and government offices and the drastic ramp-up in security." Fucking hell. Meanwhile, the opening paragraph of this New York Times article, pointed out to be by Shaker aforalpha, is horrifying: "Deep inside the federal wildlife compound where armed citizens have been garrisoned for more than a week, 9-year-old Zoey Justus was preparing a snack platter for the occupiers—fruit, cheese, Ritz crackers—and her parents were explaining why they had brought her to an armed insurrection." This is child abuse, plain and simple.
[CN: Institutional abuse; class warfare] Last month, I wrote about the city of Flint, Michigan, declaring a state of emergency because its water supply, serving 100,000 residents and commuters, is contaminated with lead. The government knowingly poisoned their citizens. And now the city, in a breathtaking display of cruelty, is sending out water shutoff notices for overdue accounts. Unfathomable.
[CN: War on agency] Chipping away at Roe, with alarming speed: "During the 2015 state legislative session, lawmakers considered 514 provisions related to abortion; the vast majority of these measures—396 in 46 states—sought to restrict access to abortion services. This year will be remembered not only because 17 states enacted a total of 57 new abortion restrictions, but also because the politics of abortion ensnared family planning programs and providers as well as critical, life-saving fetal tissue research. ...Including the 57 abortion restrictions enacted in 2015, states have adopted 288 abortion restrictions just since the 2010 midterm elections swept abortion opponents into power in state capitals across the country. To put that number in context, states adopted nearly as many abortion restrictions during the last five years (288 enacted 2011–2015) as during the entire previous 15 years (292 enacted 1995–2010)."
[CN: Police brutality; guns; death] Goddammit: "A police constable in Pennsylvania killed a 12-year-old girl when he fired a shot at the girl's father that passed through the man's arm and hit her, officials said on Tuesday. Ciara Meyer was pronounced dead at her home on Monday morning after Constable Clarke Steele attempted to 'enforce an eviction order' on her family in Duncannon, north of Harrisburg, according to officials. ...Ciara is the 21st person and the first child to be killed by law enforcement in 2016, according to an ongoing Guardian investigation." To enforce an eviction order. Seethe.
[CN: Guns; death] Meanwhile, in Ohio: "A Cincinnati father is mourning after he mistakenly shot and killed his 14-year-old son believing he was an intruder. According to the WCPO, Georta Mack's father dropped him off at school early Tuesday morning when the teen apparently snuck back into the basement of his home, planning to skip school. Cincinnati Police Sgt. Joe Briede told the news station that Georta was most likely going to hide in the basement and wait for his dad to leave for work. 'I just shot my son by accident,' Georta's father told a 911 operator around 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, WCPO reported. 'He scared me. I thought he was in school. I heard noise and then I went downstairs looking. He jumped out at me. I shot him.'" I just don't even know what to say anymore.
[CN: Transphobia; rape jokes] Ricky Gervais went on an epic Twitter rant to tell critics of his gross Golden Globes performance that he doesn't care what we think. Sounds like it!
Neat! "Physicists have for months been buzzing about the possible detection of gravitational waves—a finding that would confirm one of the key predictions of Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity. On January 11, that speculation exploded in a frenzy of media headlines, after excited physicists spilled some of the gossip online. The rumours suggest that the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), a US laboratory with detectors in Washington and Louisiana, has spotted a signal of gravitational waves. These are ripples in the fabric of space-time that, according to Einstein's theory, are produced by cataclysmic events such as the merging of two black holes or two neutron stars. ...If this is true, it would be 'as close to directly observing a black hole as possible,' says Frans Pretorius, a specialist in general-relativity simulations at Princeton University in New Jersey."
And finally! "The 'Three Little Kings' of Zoo Basel Are Growing Up." Awww.