Question of the Day

Suggested by Shaker yes: "What is your favorite piece of retro technology that always makes you nostalgic?"

Does Atari count if I still own one and still play it, lol?

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Welp

[Content Note: War.]

In our continuing not-really-at-war-anymore-war in Iraq, outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has approved "new orders for several hundred troops to deploy to Iraq to train Iraqi forces. ...Hagel signed orders Wednesday for the first group of U.S. troops to go to Iraq as part of the administration's recent decision to deploy 1,500 more American forces to the country. The troops are to advise and train Iraqi forces."

They are to "advise and train," even though this news comes in a story announcing that "Two senior Islamic State group leaders were killed in U.S. and coalition airstrikes in northern Iraq over the last week," and amidst reports, unconfirmed by the administration, that "American forces were involved in their first ground battle with Islamic State fighters. ...US forces allegedly came to the aid of tribal fighters and the Iraqi Army battling Islamic State militants in the Al-Dolab area, 10 km (6.2 miles) from the Ain Al-Assad base, which is about 90 km (56 miles) west of Anbar's capital, Ramadi."

In other news, Lt. Gen. James Terry, the head of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, says that the "training" mission could take as long as three years.

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Power Outage. Again.

The power is out here. Again. Not even having bad weather. Been about an hour now. The power company answers with a recording saying they are having outages in town and will restore as quickly as possible.

I'm using my mobile for this note, before the battery goes. I'll be back as soon as I'm able.

Grump.

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Quote of the Day

"I have determined that the best reading of Title VII's prohibition of sex discrimination is that it encompasses discrimination based on gender identity, including transgender status."—Attorney General Eric Holder, in a statement announcing that "the Justice Department's position going forward in litigation will be that discrimination against transgender people is covered under the sex discrimination prohibition in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964."

WOW.

The decision is a reversal of the department's prior position on the matter.

"This important shift will ensure that the protections of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 are extended to those who suffer discrimination based on gender identity, including transgender status," Holder said in a statement. "This will help to foster fair and consistent treatment for all claimants. And it reaffirms the Justice Department's commitment to protecting the civil rights of all Americans."
As it should be.

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Numbers of the Day

[Content Note: Class warfare.]

Seven and seventy:

A new Pew Research Center analysis of wealth finds the gap between America's upper-income and middle-income families has reached its highest level on record. In 2013, the median wealth of the nation's upper-income families ($639,400) was nearly seven times the median wealth of middle-income families ($96,500), the widest wealth gap seen in 30 years when the Federal Reserve began collecting these data.

In addition, America's upper-income families have a median net worth that is nearly 70 times that of the country's lower-income families, also the widest wealth gap between these families in 30 years.
These are, of course, averages, and do not reflect that the disparities are even more glaring when adjusted for privilege or the lack thereof.

This is not justice. The people who keep collecting more and more, hoarding vast amounts of wealth, cannot keep pretending that they "deserve" it on the basis of "hard work." They can't keep pretending that they're just generating more wealth, instead of stealing it from the lower classes.

Well, they can, but the situation is untenable. This system can't be sustained; it will collapse under the weight of need or revolution.

[Related Reading: The Haves and the Have-Nots, Wealth Gap, Quote of the Day, $10.10, Number of the Day, This Is What Privilege Looks Like, Speaking of Racism.]

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Daily Dose of Cute

image of Dudley the Greyhound lying on the couch, half on his back, and half on his side, with his back legs up in the air, his front legs stretched out, and his neck craned around so that his head is at a 90-degree angle with the rest of his body, fast asleep
How can this even be comfortable, lol?!

As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to share pix of the fuzzy, feathered, or scaled members of your family in comments.

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Two-Minute Nostalgia Sublime



The Go-Go's: "Head Over Heels"

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In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Death penalty] Well, here is some good(ish) news: "Executions and new death sentences dropped to their lowest numbers in decades in 2014, an anti-death penalty group said in a new report." But it's not wholly good news, of course, because executions are still happening, and death sentences are still being handed out: "The Death Penalty Information Center, a nonprofit organization that opposes executions and tracks the issue, said 35 inmates were executed this year and 71 have so far been given death sentences. The last time fewer inmates were put to death was in 1994, when there were 31 executions nationwide. The number of new sentences is the lowest in the 40 years that the center calls the modern death penalty era." Lowest in 40 years is still not good enough. It won't be good enough until the number is 0. End the death penalty now.

[CN: Criminalizing addiction; misogyny] "A federal civil rights lawsuit is being filed on behalf of a Wisconsin woman who was jailed after allegedly using methamphetamines while 14 weeks pregnant. Tamara Loertscher, 30, was jailed after seeking prenatal care at a Mayo Clinic branch in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Loertscher was seeking treatment for a serious thyroid condition and depression, and disclosed to doctors that she'd been using drugs before she knew she was pregnant. Hospital workers then had Loertscher jailed." The law under which Loertscher was jailed is colloquially known as the "cocaine mom law." Because of course it is.

[CN: Transphobia] An Indiana man who is trans was finally granted an amended birth certificate after a year-and-a-half struggle. I hope this victory will streamline the process for other trans* Hoosiers, and I fear that instead our garbage state legislature will enact laws making it even more difficult.

[CN: Disablism; video may autoplay at link] What the everloving fuck? "The parents of an eight-year-old boy in Missouri are outraged after they say their blind son's cane was taken away and replaced with a pool noodle" as a punishment. I am truly without words.

[CN: Transphobia] Do you remember Karen Adell Scot, the high school teacher whose students told her she was their hero after she transitioned? Here she is talking about her first year after transitioning, the great bits and the hard bits.

Something something Jeb Bush and his ridiculous party and ideological rigidity.

Something something Hillary Clinton meaningless poll.

(Boy oh boy I can't wait to get back to the This Guy! That Gal! Poll! portion of the election that hasn't even started yet!)

[CN: Misogyny; antifeminism; violence] Here is some further detail on the colossal failure that is DC's new Wonder Woman series.

[CN: Disablist tropes] Everyone in the multiverse (and thanks to each and every one of you!) has sent me the video of a dog running on 3-D printed legs for the first time, so here it is and yayayayay! Go, doggie, go!

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Authority on Her Own Life

[Content Note: Misogynoir.]

Yesterday I mentioned that President and First Lady Obama had sat down with People magazine to talk about some of their experiences with racism. The one example I quoted was Michelle Obama's experience at Target:

"I tell this story—I mean, even as the first lady—during that wonderfully publicized trip I took to Target, not highly disguised, the only person who came up to me in the store was a woman who asked me to help her take something off a shelf. Because she didn't see me as the first lady, she saw me as someone who could help her. Those kinds of things happen in life. So it isn't anything new."
Now, this didn't happen here, but in a bunch of other spaces, I saw non-black people protesting that the woman in Target probably just asked for the First Lady's help because she's tall. "It wasn't necessarily racism," was a phrase I saw a lot.

These are not mutually exclusive possibilities, of course: It is possible that the woman who asked for the First Lady's help was asking her both because she is tall and because of racism, either because she assumed a black woman at Target was an employee or because she felt entitled to a black woman's assistance.

But that's really neither here nor there, because, for one thing, Michelle Obama's point is not just that this lady asked her for help; it was that no one else spoke to her except a woman asking for help. That context is not irrelevant.

Secondly, Michelle Obama was sharing her perception of the incident. Her perception of her lived experience seen through the prism of a lifetime of being a black woman moving through a racist and misogynist world. I trust her perception of that incident, because I believe her to be an authority on her own life.

I fully trust that Michelle Obama knows the difference between someone asking her to reach something because she is tall, and someone who is the only person who notices her at all asking her to reach something because she's a (tall) black woman in a store where employees are routinely expected to assist customers.

A lifetime of experiences teaches all of us in marginalized populations to discern between innocuous motivations and microaggressions.

And here's the thing: If someone with privilege behaves in a clueless way toward someone who does not share their privilege, in a way that is virtually indistinguishable from an expression of that privilege, that's on them. What's the meaningful difference to a person who perceives that they are being slighted—because that behavior looks exactly like a thousand other deliberate slights they've experienced—that someone is merely unaware of marginalizing behavior instead of actively practicing it? The result is the same either way.

Marginalized people aren't mind-readers who can magically discern someone's intent.

I'm a short white woman who often has to ask for help reaching things. It's my responsibility to understand that people of color are often mistaken as employees by white people, and to be aware of how my behavior might play into that existing dynamic. It's not incumbent on people of color to afford me the benefit of good intentions if I just randomly ask for them to help me reach shit, even if it is just because they're tall. (Tall people don't owe me their free labor, anyway.)

But, back to the main point: All of these apologetics, all the auditing of Michelle Obama's perception of her own lived experience, really distracts from the primary issue. She is telling a story about being the First Lady of the United States of America visiting a Target, and the only person who approached her was someone asking for help.

You really think that's about her being tall? It isn't.

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More Abductions in Nigeria

[Content Note: Violence; abduction; misogyny; terrorism.]

Gunmen suspected to be part of Boko Haram, the terrorist organization who abducted 234 girls from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok in April, have struck once again, abducting "more than 100 women and children and killed 35 other people on Sunday during a raid on the remote northeast Nigerian village of Gumsuri."

Although no one has claimed it yet, the attack bore the hallmarks of Boko Haram, which abducted more than 200 women in April from a secondary school in Chibok, only 24 km (15 miles) from this latest attack.

...Thousands of people have been killed and many hundreds abducted, raising questions about the ability of security forces to protect civilians, especially around the north Cameroon border where the militants are well established.

Maina Chibok, who did not witness the attack but is from Gumsuri and visited family there shortly afterwards, said the insurgents came in pick-up trucks and sprayed the town with bullets from AK-47s and machine guns.

"They gathered the people, shot dead over 30 people and took away more than 100 women and children in two open-top trucks," Chibok said. Burials of many of the victims had already happened, he added.

News from remote parts of Nigeria that are cut off from mobile communications sometimes takes days to emerge.

A security source confirmed that more than 100 had been abducted and said 35 people had been killed, including the district head.

"They also burned down a government medical center, houses and shops," Chibok said.
This is just intolerable. I am so sad and so angry for the people who are just trying to live their lives in this region, and who are being constantly terrorized by people who use them as pawns in their disgusting ideological games.

I feel helpless to do anything: Bring Back Our Girls suggests that the most important thing we can do is make noise—"make as much noise as possible, to be globally loud, so that the Nigerian government will not be allowed peace till every one of the Chibok girls is back with their families."

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The Interview Gets Pulled

[Content Note: Terrorism.]

I don't even know what to make of this business: The Interview is a comedy film starring James Franco and Seth Rogen about two celebrity tabloid journalists who land an interview with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, and are recruited by the CIA to exploit the opportunity to assassinate him. It was slated to debut in theaters at Christmas, but following a major hacking at Sony and terrorist threats to cinemagoers, which prompted several major cinema chains to cancel screenings in the US, Sony has pulled the release altogether.

A group calling itself Guardians of Peace (GOP) published an online message on Tuesday warning cinemagoers to stay away from screenings of The Interview, starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, which depicts the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

The threats led five of biggest cinema chains in the US to drop the film. A federal investigation is also under way.

The decision to cancel the release marks the climax of a torrid month for Sony. GOP has also claimed responsibility for a huge hack on Sony's computer systems in November, which led to the release of thousands of confidential documents revealing executive pay structure, corporate profits, unreleased films, personal email correspondence and employee social security numbers.

"In light of the decision by the majority of our exhibitors not to show the film The Interview, we have decided not to move forward with the planned December 25 theatrical release. We respect and understand our partners' decision and, of course, completely share their paramount interest in the safety of employees and theatergoers," Sony Pictures said in a statement.
Anonymous senior Obama administration officials have said that North Korea was "centrally involved" in the hacking. What that means, exactly, is unclear:
It's unclear from the Times report what "centrally involved" means and whether the intelligence officials are saying the hackers were state-sponsored or actually agents of the state. The Times also notes that "It is not clear how the United States came to its determination that the North Korean regime played a central role in the Sony attacks." The public evidence pointing at the Hermit Kingdom is flimsy.

...It was only on December 8, after a week of media stories connecting North Korea and the Sony film to the hack, that the attackers made their first reference to the film in one of their public announcements. But they continued to trounce the theory that North Korea was behind their actions, and they denied ownership of an email sent to Sony staffers after the hack, threatening them and their families with harm if they didn't denounce their employer.

At this point, it's quite possible the media are guilty of inspiring the hacker's narrative, since it was only after news reports tying the attack to the Sony film that GOP began condemning the movie in public statements. This week the hackers have pounced on that narrative, using it to escalate the stakes by making oblique terrorist threats against the film's New York premiere and theaters scheduled to screen it Christmas day.
A lot of jumbled thoughts about this at the moment:

* I think Sony is making a corporate, capitalist decision. Lots of people are talking about free speech and free expression and letting the terrorists win and lots of lofty concepts that realistically have nothing to do with Sony's decision-making. I'm not saying those issues are irrelevant full-stop; I'm saying that I don't think corporations care very much about them when they're making business decisions, except insomuch as they'll claim to be heroes of free speech when it happens to align with their financial interests.

* I think the concept of this film is shitty, and treating North Korea like a punchline is asshole behavior. Listen to any US late-night talkshow monologue on any night of any week, and there's bound to be a joke about North Korea; about Kim Jong-un being "weird." We spend way more time in this country making jokes about North Korea than we do talking about how it is one of the cruelest regimes on the planet. And I don't buy this nonsense about how privileged white American men make jokes about Kim Jong-un because he's awful. No one with any decency can read an account of what happens in North Korea's prison work camps and decide the best way to address that sort of unfathomable cruelty is with jokes about Kim Jong-un's haircut. Fuck off. This film never should have been made in the first place, out of respect for the people of North Korea.

* That said, I don't think one's opinion of whether and how this matters should be based on what kind of film (genre-wise) it is. People haughtily sniffing indifference because it's a lowbrow comedy (and not because of the content of that comedy) are showing their classist asses.

* I also think it's kind of precious that lots of privileged white people are pretending that this is the first time that this sort of capitulation has happened, when, in fact, as Sydette pointed out on Twitter, films made by and with black people, stories of black lives, have been pulled in certain parts of the country dozens of times because of threats from white supremacists. And there was hardly this level of outrage about that.

* What are you even talking about, Mitt Romney?!

screen cap of tweet authored by Mitt Romney reading: '@SonyPictures don't cave, fight: release @TheInterview free online globally. Ask viewers for voluntary $5 contribution to fight #Ebola.'

(Thanks to Jessica Luther, who knows my soul, for passing along that tweet.)

So, yeah. Those are my thoughts at the moment. In summation: Because James Franco. Discuss.

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Open Thread

image of a cassette single of David Bowie's track 'Thursday's Child'

Hosted by David Bowie's "Thursday's Child." On cassette!

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Question of the Day

Suggested by Shaker themiddlevoice: "What is the coolest place you have visited?"

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Zelly Belly Is Magic

Thank you to everyone who has sent good thoughts for Zelda and inquired to see how she's been doing. ♥

We have finally gotten a diagnosis: It is indeed Cushings disease. Today, Zelly started her meds, which will hopefully agree with her and start making her feel better very soon.

(And will hopefully allow me to sleep through the night again, lol. Of course, if it took being tired for the rest of my days to take care of Zelly, I would be tired for the rest of my days. That's that.)

We're glad at least to have an answer now.

During one of our many recent trips to the vet, I was sitting in the waiting room with Zelda, and one the techs came by to clean up some pee nearby, left by another visitor, presumably of the four-legged variety. She looked at Zelda and said, "She's got weird ears. She'd be a lot cuter with bigger ears."

Blink.

It is my suspicion that most pet owners don't like hearing how ugly their pets are generally, but sitting in a waiting room hoping that your dog has a survivable health issue is pretty much the last place you want that sort of unsolicited commentary.

"Oh, I love her little Dorito ears," I said, and gave them a good rub.

The tech asked me what kind of dog Zelda is. Relieved that we had moved on from the "weird ears" commentary, I told her that she was a shar pei, blue heeler, and husky mix.

My relief was short-lived, as it turned out this was just an opening for her to launch into a long story about how her brother-in-law's dog is half chow and half shepherd, but has shepherd ears, so thus is highly cute. "That dog is lucky she got the big ears." She frowned at Zelda's little triangular ears.

Zelda sat beside me and grinned. Because that's what Zelda does.

Later, I was telling the other contributors and mods about this bizarre exchange. I told them: "I mean, granted, I am hugely biased, but I have always thought she is super adorable! But from the moment we got her... There is one person I don't like at the Humane Society from which we adopted her, and he looked like I had asked if we could take home a bag of dogshit when we said we wanted her. And I'm sure you recall the number of bloggers who have been obsessed with documenting how ugly she is. I suspect that Zelly is a magical creature who rewards people whose hearts are full of love by appearing ridiculously adorable to them, while appearing like a hideous monster to people whose hearts are full of crap."

It was resolved that Zelly is indeed a magical shapeshifting creature. WE'RE ONTO YOU, ZELLY!

image of Zelda the Black and Tan Mutt smiling cheekily
Mwah ha ha ha.

Well, she might not be magical. And whether she's cute is a matter of opinion. But she is a VERY GOOD GIRL, who will hopefully be feeling better very soon. Thank you again to everyone who cares about our wee sweet mutt.

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The Wednesday Blogaround

This blogaround brought to you by zippers.

Recommended Reading:

Brittney: [Content Note: Misogynoir] "Listen When I Talk to You!": How White Entitlement Marred My Trip to a Ferguson Teach-in

Anne: [CN: Racism; white supremacy] Leigh Anne Tuohy, Racism, and the White Saviour Complex

Soojin: [CN: Fat hatred] Five Shocking Things I Heard Pitching My Body Positive Story

Tessara: [CN: Misogynoir; homophobia; sexual assault] What I Fear as a Black Woman: Broadening the Conversation about Violence

Maya: [CN: Rape culture; war on agency; misogyny] Missouri Lawmaker Pushes for Law Requiring Consent of the "Father" to Get an Abortion

Jamilah: The Queer Women of Color Video Streaming Service That's Cheaper Than Netflix

Leave your links and recommendations in comments. Self-promotion welcome and encouraged!

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Daily Dose of Cute

image of Zelda the Black and Tan Mutt using her large plush duck toy as a pillow
Zelda and Duckie.

As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to share pix of the fuzzy, feathered, or scaled members of your family in comments.

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Serial

[Content Note: Violence; death; issues of consent and ethics.]

Serial is a podcast, one of the most popular podcasts of all time, hosted by reporter Sarah Koenig, who is investigating the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee, whose ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, is serving a life sentence for the crime. Koenig started her investigation last year, after one of Syed's friends reached out to her asking for help. The podcast, which is a spinoff of This American Life, documents the investigation and began earlier this year. Eleven episodes have aired in weekly downloads; the twelfth and concluding episode will be available tomorrow.

I've gotten a bunch of emails asking for my opinion about Serial. Over the past few days, I've been listening to it—I just finished Episode Six—trying to get caught up before the finale.

The first time I ever heard about it was when I read a piece by Jessica Goldstein: "The Complicated Ethics of 'Serial,' The Most Popular Podcast of All Time." And I strongly recommend that piece, because it brings up a lot of the problems I have with Serial—or, at least, the questions I have about it.

From an entertainment perspective, Serial is terrific. It's well put together, and it's utterly appealing to someone like me, who loves true crime stuff.

But the thing about true crime stuff is that it's true. There are real people involved, some of whom aren't even offered the chance to consent. Often, in true crime storytelling, a chance to participate is equated with a chance to consent: These are not the same things. You can decline to participate, but that story's getting told with or without your input.

At least as far as I've listened, Koenig has never addressed whether she sought the consent or participation of Hae Min Lee's family—and, based on her brother's public statements (see Goldstein's piece), it doesn't appear like she did. (Besides possibly one ignored Facebook message.) Her parents, according to her brother, don't even know about it.

That said, if an innocent person is sentenced to life behind bars, for a murder zie didn't commit, should hir potential exoneration be contingent on the consent of the victim's family, who might reasonably believe in hir guilt, based on hir conviction?

But in Serial, we don't know if Adnan Syed is not guilty of the murder of Hae Min Lee. That is ostensibly what the investigation is intended to uncover.

I have a lot of thoughts about Serial, and its ethics, which has less to do with the investigation itself than the way it's being presented. And many of those thoughts won't be solidified until the series reaches its conclusion.

Which brings up a whole other set of questions for me, largely around whether the end can justify the means.

Serial has already been greenlit for a second season. And, I have to be honest, I have a ton of reservations around trying to recreate this process, this search for justice presented as entertainment. Because even if nothing goes horribly ethically wrong in this series, it's only a matter of time before it does. It skates on an edge too thin to sustain its weight forever.

Anyway. Here is a thread to discuss Serial, before tomorrow's conclusion.

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Two-Minute Nostalgia Sublime



Tony! Toni! Toné!: "Feels Good"

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Please Support Shakesville: End-of-Year Fundraiser

image of a teaspoon drawing water from an ocean, with text reading: End-of-Year Fundraiser: Your donations help keep Shakesville going strong. Every teaspoon counts.
[Click to donate.]

This is, for those who have requested it, your bi-monthly reminder to donate to Shakesville and/or to make sure to renew subscriptions that have lapsed.

It is also the time of year when I ask readers who visit this space and do not generally make donations (but can afford to) to please kick in to support Shakesville and the work we do here.

If you value the content and/or community in this space, please consider setting up a subscription or making a one-time contribution.

If you have appreciated being able to tune into Shakesville for explorations of feminist issues, for getting distilled news about politics or other topics, for a safe and image-free space to discuss acts of public violence, for recaps of your favorite show, for recipes, for the Fat Fashion threads, or for whatever else you appreciate at Shakesville, whether it's the moderation, the community in Open Threads, Film Corner, video transcripts, the blogarounds, or anything else, please remember that Shakesville is run exclusively on donations.

I cannot afford to do this full-time for free, but, even if I could, fundraising is also one of the most feminist acts I do here. I ask to be paid for my work because progressive feminist advocacy has value; because women's work has value.

I would certainly be grateful for your support, if you are able to chip in. The donation link is in the sidebar to the right. Or click here.

Thank you to each of you who donates or has donated, whether monthly or as a one-off. I am deeply appreciative. This community couldn't exist without that support, truly. Thank you.

My thanks as well to everyone who contributes to the space in other ways, whether as a contributor, a moderator, a guest writer, a transcriber, and/or as someone who takes the time to send me a note of support and encouragement. (Or a cool drawing!) This community couldn't exist without you, either.

Please note that I don't want anyone to feel obliged to contribute financially, especially if money is tight. There is a big enough readership that no one needs to donate if it would be a hardship, and no one should ever feel bad about that. ♥

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In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

This is really quite amazing: "The United States and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties, marking a historic shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island after a half-century of enmity dating back to the Cold War, American officials said Wednesday. The announcement came amid a series of sudden confidence-building measures between the longtime foes, including the release of American prisoner Alan Gross, as well as a swap for a U.S. intelligence asset held in Cuba and the freeing of three Cubans jailed in the U.S. Gross arrived at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington late Wednesday morning. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro were to separately address their nations around noon. The two leaders spoke by phone for more than 45 minutes Tuesday, the first substantive presidential-level discussion between the U.S. and Cuba since 1961." WOW.

[CN: Violence] Today is the International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers. On this day, what we can do to in support of sex workers is remember and talk about that stigma kills.

[CN: Racism] President and First Lady Obama talk to People magazine about their own experiences with racism: "I tell this story—I mean, even as the first lady—during that wonderfully publicized trip I took to Target, not highly disguised, the only person who came up to me in the store was a woman who asked me to help her take something off a shelf. Because she didn't see me as the first lady, she saw me as someone who could help her. Those kinds of things happen in life. So it isn't anything new."

[CN: Torture; police brutality] Hillary Clinton is not great when it comes to talking about issues of race. She always sounds awkward and unnatural, like she's really trying hard to avoid saying the wrong thing. So, I don't know how she sounded when she said it, but I like that she tied police brutality against black communities to torture policies abroad, as part of a culture of abuses and exploitation that needs to change: "What would [Robert F. Kennedy] say to all those who have lost trust in our government and our other institutions, who shudder at images of excessive force, who read reports about torture done in the name of our country, who see too many representatives in Washington quick to protect a big bank from regulation but slow to take action to help working families facing ever greater pressure."

[CN: Homophobia; violence] "The three suspects accused in a heinous attack on a gay couple in Philadelphia on September 11 will stand trial on charges of felony assault and conspiracy, among other charges... Today's preliminary hearing was to determine whether the prosecution had met the burden of proof required to charge and try the defendants. Judge Charles Hayden Found they had." Good.

[CN: Sexual violence; rape culture] Roman Polanski is mounting a legal bid to overturn his 1978 charge of unlawful sexual intercourse. Because of course he is.

In good news: The Church of England has named the Rev. Libby Lane its first female bishop. Congrats, Rev. Lane!

And finally! Eddie the Terrible Chihuahua has found a home, thanks to a creative video that detailed all his good qualities and all of his terrible ones. ♥

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