In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Carcerality; violence] This is good news: "Henry Montgomery is 69 years old. He has spent his entire adult life in prison. In 1963, Montgomery killed a sheriff's deputy in East Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He was 17 years old at the time of his crime and was sentenced under a state law that required a sentence of life in prison without parole. On Monday, however, the Supreme Court announced in Montgomery v. Louisiana that 'prisoners like Montgomery must be given the opportunity to show their crime did not reflect irreparable corruption; and, if it did not, their hope for some years of life outside prison walls must be restored.' Under this decision, thousands of people sentenced to life without parole for crimes they committed as juveniles could be given back some portion of their life."

[CN: Transphobia; abuse; carcerality; racism] "On Friday, January 22, trans people and their allies marked the first International Trans Prisoner Day of Action with solidarity events and letter-writing campaigns taking place all over the world, from Toronto to Vienna. In the United States, where an estimated one in six transgender people have been incarcerated in their lifetime, the Day of Action generated events in more than a dozen states. ...In a zine produced to mark the occasion, trans activists referred to the initiative as a 'call to action against the system which seeks to erase our very existence,' adding that the survival of trans people and other sexual and gender minorities is not a 'quaint conversation about awareness, but a struggle for us to live in a world determined to marginalize, dehumanise, and criminalise us—especially trans women, and especially Black, brown, and indigenous trans people.'"

[CN: Violent entitlement; guns; death; hostility to consent] Rage seethe boil: "A mother of two was followed to her car, shot, and killed after she reportedly rebuffed a man's advances in a Pittsburgh bar. According to WTAE, Janese Talton-Jackson, 29, of Penn Hills, Pa., located just outside Pittsburgh, was leaving the bar around 1:50 am when the suspect followed her to her car, where she was shot, Pittsburgh police said." The man who is alleged to have shot her has been taken into custody following a police chase. My condolences to Talton-Jackson's family, friends, and colleagues. I resolve once more to continue to do whatever I can to help dismantle the culture of violent male entitlement.

[CN: Illness] Fuck: "The Zika virus is likely to spread across nearly all of the Americas, the World Health Organization has warned. The infection, which causes symptoms including mild fever, conjunctivitis, and headache, has already been found in 21 countries in the Caribbean, North and South America. It has been linked to thousands of babies being born with underdeveloped brains and some countries have advised women not to get pregnant. No treatment or vaccine is available." But many otherwise healthy people recover quickly. On Friday, New York state health officials said "that three people in New York State, including one from Queens, tested positive for Zika, a mosquito-borne virus that has prompted concern as it has spread rapidly, mostly in Latin America and the Caribbean. All three had traveled to places outside the United States where the virus had been spreading. ...One person has fully recovered, and the two others are recovering without complications."

[CN: War on agency] Senator Bernie Sanders has finally committed to repealing the Hyde Amendment. It's a good thing Hillary Clinton is in this race to push Bernie Sanders to the left. Ahem.

Gold toilet aficionado Donald Trump's big pitch (and astonishingly well-received pitch) to Republican primary voters is that, as proved by his grotesque wealth, he is very greedy, and, if elected president, will be greedy on behalf of the United States.

Perfect headline is perfect: "Resurfaced Video of a Young Ted Cruz Reveals He Was Always an Entitled Douchebag."

[CN: Militarism] Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has developed an app, which is "an incredibly devilish version of solitaire" based on World War II. Yeah, that sounds about right.

Yawn: "Facebook has turned the word 'friend' into a verb, but just because you've friended someone on Facebook does that make them your friend in real life? Not according to a study that found almost all Facebook friends are entirely fake. Robin Dunbar, a professor of evolutionary psychology at Oxford University, conducted research into how Facebook friendship correlates with real-life friendship. Of the 150 Facebook friends the average user has, Dunbar found that only 15 could be counted as actual friends and only five as close friends."

[CN: Video autoplays at link] And finally! Tian Tian the Giant Panda frolicking in the snow at Washington, DC's Smithsonian National Zoo is just colossally cute!

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