In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Racism] Last night, Black Lives Matter activists disrupted a private Hillary Clinton event in South Carolina. To be abundantly clear, the activists "contributed $500 to attend the Clinton event." They then held up signs and asked for accountability for Clinton's positions and statements on criminal justice from the '90s, before they were removed by the Secret Service. Naturally, they are receiving a lot of criticism for that, some of it incredibly unfair and some of it straight-up racist. A couple thoughts: 1. Clinton said during her Harlem address: "Hold me accountable. Hold every candidate accountable." 2. She also said during the same address: "Some of what we tried [in the '90s] didn't solve problems; some created even more problems." Some people find that satisfactory; some people don't. 3. People may disagree on methods to hold politicians accountable, but just because your strategy is different doesn't mean another is bad faith. (That doesn't mean all strategies are good faith, but Black Lives Matter disruptions are.) 4. Clinton is running for President of the United States. She can handle being challenged. 5. I am a Clinton supporter and I want her to repudiate those statements and policies, too. To pretend that BLM activists are in cahoots with Sanders is garbage. Desire for accountability comes from many places.

[CN: Police misconduct] Good: "Civil rights lawyers said Wednesday that they intend to appeal a federal court ruling in Philadelphia that citizens do not necessarily have a right protected by the First Amendment to record police activity. In an opinion issued Friday, U.S. District Judge Mark A. Kearney wrote that unless a videographer announces the recording as an act of protest or a challenge to officers, police are free to stop it. 'While we instinctively understand the citizens' argument, particularly with rapidly developing instant image sharing technology, we find no basis to craft a new First Amendment right based solely on 'observing and recording' without expressive conduct,' Kearney wrote. ...The ruling also appears to pit Kearney against stances by former Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey, who in 2011 issued a memo to all Philadelphia officers saying they 'should reasonably anticipate and expect to be photographed, videotaped and/or audibly recorded by members of the general public.' Since then, the ACLU of Pennsylvania has led a group of civil rights lawyers in bringing cases involving civilians who were challenged or arrested while recording police carrying out their work."

[CN: Rape culture] Kesha writes a note on the outpouring of support she's gotten, while also noting: "Unfortunately I don't think that my case is giving people who have been abused confidence that they can speak out, and that's a problem." I take up space in solidarity with Kesha.

[CN: Homophobia; transphobia; sexual violence; descriptions of assaults; abuse; carcerality] "Peterson's story, which lies at the intersections of race, sexuality, gender, poverty, and incarceration, occupies a central place in a report released Tuesday examining the ways in which stigma, biased law enforcement, and discriminatory policing pushes LGBTQ people into disproportionate contact with the criminal justice system. Two national think tanks, the Center for American Progress and the Movement Advancement Project, in collaboration with several civil rights groups, penned the report. Unjust: How the Broken Criminal Justice System Fails LGBT People builds on years of work by grassroots advocates to lay bare the scale of criminalization of LGBTQ communities, particularly low-income LGBTQ people of color, and the impact of incarceration on an already marginalized population. Today, 3.8 percent of American adults identify as LGBTQ, a number that more than doubles for incarcerated adults: according to the report, 7.9 percent of people in state and federal prisons, and 7.1 percent of those in city and county jails, identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, [and/or] transgender."

[CN: Rape culture; sexual assault] "A former Tennessee football player has confirmed in court documents he assisted a woman who said she had been raped by two other players and that later he was attacked by team-mates and told by coach Butch Jones that he had 'betrayed the team.' [The complaint] states a woman called 911 from former Volunteers receiver Drae Bowles' car to report a rape in the early morning hours of 16 November 2014. The complaint also states that Bowles suffered a bloody lip when teammate Curt Maggitt punched him in the mouth later that day and that he was confronted by teammates Geraldo Orta and Marlin Lane the following day. Bowles called Jones to tell him about being punched, and Jones said he was very disappointed in Bowles and that the receiver had 'betrayed the team,' causing the player to break down and cry, according to the complaint." So, a football player helps a woman raped by his teammates, and he's violently assaulted and berated for it by his coach. Sounds about right. Naturally, the coach denies the allegations.

Mitt Romney says that Donald Trump "has a 'bombshell' hidden in his tax returns." Well, Romney also thought he was going to win the presidency, so. For his part, Trump says Romney is "'one of the dumbest and worst candidates' in Republican history." What a terrific party full of terrific people.

Yay! "Obama Nominates First Black Librarian of Congress: In yet another event that is making this Black History Month the best one ever, President Obama announced yesterday (February 24) that he will nominate Carla D. Hayden to run the largest library in the world. Hayden currently serves as CEO of Baltimore's Enoch Pratt Free Library system. If confirmed by Senate, she will be both the first woman and the first African American to fill this role in the national library's 216-year history."

Damn! "Your next phone might pack a whopping 256GB of onboard storage thanks to Samsung. The Korea-based electronics maker announced on Thursday that it's now mass producing 256GB embedded flash memory chips for smartphones and other devices. The new memory chips are smaller than a microSD card and can pack up to 256GB thanks to Samsung's cutting-edge V-Nand technology. Based on the Universal Flash Storage (UFS) 2.0 specification, the new memory is almost twice as fast as SATA-based solid state storage drives on PCS, Samsung says. The new memory uses two lanes of data transfer to reach speeds of up to 850 megabytes per second (MB/s). Samsung says you'll be able to transfer a full HD movie in about 12 seconds over a USB 3.0 cable at those speeds—assuming a 90-minute movie with an average file size around 5 gigabytes."

[CN: Moving gif at link] A couple built a tiny wheelchair for a paralyzed baby bunny "out of a finger skateboard, a sock, and a bra strap, all from the local dollar store." The bunny's name is Wheelz, because OBVIOUSLY.

And finally! Another fantastic human rescues dog; dog rescues human story. Love!

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