In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Rape culture; sexual assault; racism] Rage seethe boil: "The embattled judge in the Stanford sexual assault trial is presiding over a similar case in which a Latino man is facing a much harsher sentence than Brock Turner, raising questions about how the former student may have benefited from his privileged background. Raul Ramirez, a 32-year-old immigrant from El Salvador who admitted to sexually assaulting his female roommate in a case that has similarities with the Stanford case, will be sentenced to three years in state prison under a deal overseen by judge Aaron Persky, according to records obtained by the Guardian. The three-year-prison sentence, part of a plea agreement signed in March, provides a sharp contrast to the outcome for Turner, a white 20-year-old former Stanford swimmer who Persky sentenced to probation and six months in county jail after he was convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman. The parallel cases, which include similar felony charges of sexual assault, could lend weight to what critics of Persky allege are biases in his courtroom." They sure could!

[CN: Video may autoplay at link] "Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama will campaign together for the first time in 2016 when they meet in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Tuesday, Clinton's campaign said. ...'In Charlotte, President Obama and Hillary Clinton will discuss building on the progress we've made and their vision for an America that is stronger together,' the Clinton campaign said in its announcement on Wednesday." Do you know how excited I am?! YOU KNOW HOW EXCITED I AM!

[CN: War on agency] This is a must-read essay by Madeline Gomez: "The Burden Is Undue: What I Have Learned and Unlearned About Abortion."

[CN: Misogyny; rape joke] This Jimmy Kimmel video is going around today, for good reason. People are interviewed about how dishonest Hillary Clinton is, while straight-up lying about having seen news stories about her that don't exist. There is, however, a really awful rape joke in it, so I'm recommending it with that significant caveat.

There is difficulty, for a number of reasons, calculating what percentage of the population is transgender, but "a new study from the Williams Institute estimates that there are approximately 1.4 million [trans people in the US]—twice as many as were previously estimated." On the one hand, it doesn't matter how many trans people there are in total, in the sense that trans rights and accommodations are necessary out of basic decency because trans people, irrespective of the number, exist. On the other hand, demographic numbers have always had, and will no doubt continue to have, relevance to public policy, so the more accurate the number, the better—especially if the number of trans people has previously been underestimated.

[CN: Misogyny] This is a very frank and sad essay by sportswriter Bill Plaschke: "I regret marginalizing Pat Summitt's greatness: [T]o marginalize greatness because you don't think many people are watching is embarrassing, even shameful. Summitt's life showed that, when it comes to women's sports, if you follow the ratings, you miss the point."

[CN: Racism; misogyny; guns] Of course: "The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), which USA Today describes as a 'conservative-leaning ethics watchdog group,' was not pleased with House Democrats' sit-in last week. On Monday (June 27), the group filed a complaint with the House of Representative's Office of Congressional Ethics. USA Today reports that the complaint alleges that some of the legislators who sat on the floor of the House in an attempt to force a vote on gun control violated the body's ethics rules." Naturally, the women and/or people of color who led the sit-in appear to be primary targets of the complaint.

[CN: Trans policing] This seems problematic: "Transgender troops 'will be able to use the bathrooms, housing, uniforms, and fitness standards of their preferred [sic] gender only after they have legally transitioned to that identity,' according to guidelines emerging in a report from the AP ahead of a rumored announcement that the U.S. military ban will be lifted. Troops undergoing the process of gender transition would not be able to dress as their preferred gender while on-duty." Aside from the issue of general decency, it seems to me that this could present problems for trans people trying to transition, who may be required by healthcare providers to live as their correct gender as a prerequisite for legal transitioning. Are military healthcare personnel going to be advised to use different guidelines? I hope these "emerging" guidelines are submitted to trans consultants for review and edit before they are finalized, because they seem pretty clueless at the moment.

[CN: Climate change; video ad may autoplay at link] Damn: "Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae) have survived in Antarctica for nearly 45,000 years, adapting to glacial expansions and sea ice fluctuations driven by millennia of climatic changes. The penguins remained resilient through these changes, but new research from the University of Delaware suggests that unique 21st-century climates may pose an existential threat to many of the colonies on the Antarctic continent. Published Wednesday in Scientific Reports, the study, led by oceanographer Megan Cimino, found that up to 60 percent of the current Adélie penguin habitat in Antarctica could be unfit to host colonies by the end of the century."

And finally! WeRateDogs is one of the most delightful accounts on Twitter, and this tweet made me laugh foreverrrrr.

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