Here is some stuff in the news today...
[Content Note: Fire; displacement] Yesterday I mentioned that 80,000 residents had been evacuated from the Canadian city of Fort McMurray because of a raging wildfire. Since then, 8,000 more people have fled. 210,000 acres have been engulfed by the flames, and more people who were stranded have left today: "A convoy of stranded residents sped back through the Canadian oil town of Fort McMurray, escaping the fire-ravaged region under police escort on Friday, taking the only route out as the massive wildfire spread." Meanwhile: "Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government is doing all it can to assist Albertans as a wildfire in Fort McMurray continues to grow for a fourth straight day. ...'Our government has met all of the Alberta government's request for assistance, including providing air assets and 7,000 cots for evacuees in emergency shelters, with 13,000 more on the way,' Trudeau said from Toronto on Friday, in an update on Ottawa's response to the wildfire." Please feel welcome and encouraged to leave suggestions for how to help in comments. You can donate to the Canadian Red Cross' emergency appeal on behalf of Fort McMurray here.
[CN: Guns; shooting] "Police said three people have been shot at Westfield Montgomery Mall at 7101 Democracy Blvd. in Bethesda on Friday morning and that a suspect is at large. Soon after, a woman was fatally shot at a grocery store several miles away, and authorities are investigating whether the incidents are linked." As of this writing, the conditions of the victims are unknown. Montgomery County Assistant Police Chief Darryl McSwain "said there is no suspect in custody but there is a 'person of interest and hopefully we can capture him in the near future.' He said they had 'no reason to believe the victims knew the suspect' in the mall shooting. Prince George's County police are heading to the scene of the mall shooting and investigating the possibility that the shooter is the suspect they've been searching for in connection with last night's shooting at High Point High School in Beltsville. Police said a man fatally shot his estranged wife, who was there to pick up her children, and wounded a bystander who had come to her aid. The man, Eulalio Tordil, 62, has not yet been located." Fucking goddammit.
In election news: Mitt Romney says he "won't be casting a vote for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton come November." He doesn't want Trump elected, but isn't so serious about it that he'd vote for Clinton. Heavens to Betsy.
Meanwhile, Rick Perry says he definitely will vote for Trump and is also open to being his VP. Never mind that Perry previously called Trump's campaign "a toxic mix of demagoguery and nonsense" and "a cancer on conservatism." PRINCIPLES! Rick Perry has definitely got them!
On the Democratic side of the aisle: Bernie Sanders has threatened "to challenge the DNC convention rules on the floor." Because of course he has.
[CN: Transphobia] And Hillary Clinton has left a lovely comment on the Facebook page of a trans girl who was harassed on a New York subway. Because of course she did.
[CN: Misogyny; racism] Here's a good piece about how the sexism of (many) Sanders supporters, and Sanders himself, has caused a feminist awakening, which I'm guessing may resonate strongly with some readers here: "Decades ago, Gloria Steinem had talked about the 'click,' moments, those aha, revelatory, eureka moments when a woman suddenly recognizes the gender discrimination she faces. I am sorry to say, I never had one of those consciousness-raising moments. That is to say, I had plenty of them. But on the behalf of others. Never for myself. Until now. ...Killary. Shrillary. She who yells too much. And a million other slurs that I see daily on Facebook but which are unprintable in this family publication. When the Republicans did it, it was easier to take. But these young, white men! They called themselves Progressives! ...But still, I told myself that surely the people that I encountered online were not a representative sample. Sanders himself seemed like such a decent man. Until... Until... the infamous 'unqualified' speech. That swooshing sound you heard was a million female heads spinning. Because if Hillary Clinton was 'unqualified' to be president, what woman ever would be? Not in our lifetime, for sure. Click."
[CN: Misogynoir] Rage seethe boil: "West Point is investigating a photo that shows 16 black female cadets in uniform displaying raised fists outside a U.S. Military Academy barracks. 'We can confirm that the cadets in this photo are members of the U.S. Military Academy's Class of 2016,' said West Point's director of public affairs Lt. Col. Christopher Kasker in an emailed statement. 'Academy officials are conducting an inquiry into the matter.' While many details are unknown about the photo, the image has been shared widely in military circles, with claims the women are supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. The raised fist is a symbol associated with Black Lives Matter, although it's been used for centuries to symbolize resistance by a number of groups, from labor unions to suffragists to socialists to the Black Panthers. ...Army Times received the photo Wednesday from several readers who are concerned the women violated Department of Defense Directive 1344.10, Political Activities by Members of the Armed Forces. The policy provides a list of political dos and don'ts for service members and cautions against 'partisan political activity' when in uniform." I just feel really angry about the idea that, even if these women were intending to convey "black lives matter," it's considered a "partisan political activity." Nevermind that Black Lives Matter is nonpartisan. "Black lives matter" is not a political statement. It is a fact. I mean, of course it is a political statement. But the only reason it's a political statement is because of THE PEOPLE WHO DON'T AGREE. Not because of the people who do. For fuck's sake.
[CN: Misogyny; harassment] "Hey assholes, Paul Feig is sick of your Ghostbusters crap." FEIG FURY FTW.
And finally! Ziggy the Traveling Piggy! I love how adorable this is, and I love that this family loves and accommodates Ziggy anyway, despite the fact that he was not the "teacup" pig he was alleged to be.