Thursday, July 3, 2014
#HobbyLobbyLove (Sort Of), Also Fallout, Boycott and Condoms
John Fugelsang got it right: The Hobby Lobby ruling is no mere slippery slope but "a ski jump covered in lube." Since the old men of SCOTUS decided a celestial craft store gets to decide whether, how and why women have sex, much has happened, both terrifying and heartening, from many more exemptions granted and sought (and furious dissents by the female justices) to boycott campaigns, clergy handing out condoms and the flooding of social media with protests. The best is a brutal hijacking of Bristol Palin's cheery #HobbyLobbyLove aimed at celebrating the "victory" with retail selfies. To wit: "Still laying on aisle 6 with my legs up in the air. When will the pap-smear guy show up?" "Tying my wife's tubes has never been easier! Thanks!" Etc. Fight's not over.
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Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Drag Queen Schools Bigots: You Need To Drop the Hate
In an epic moment of righteous rage, anti-gay bigots at Seattle's Pride Parade got their asses handed to them by sequined, sashaying, Scripture-quoting, self-described "fucking huge" local drag queen Mama Tits, who shut them down with the declaration, "You have no power here - be gone!" Asking "why don't you read your own book?" the community icon used "the strength of all the people who had ever been hurt" by haters. "I pushed his sign away from my face and hair, because you DO NOT TOUCH my hair....It was all I could do to not get violent, but I didn’t because once that happens, we all los e."
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Cecily McMillan Released
Occupy activist Cecily McMillan has been released from Rikers Island after serving 58 days of her three-month sentence. Describing a dehumanizing world "where words like freedom and rights don’t even exist," she read a statement on behalf of other female inmates calling for better access to health care, drug treatment and education "in the interests of returning the facility to its mission and restoring dignity to its inmates. "I am inspired by the resilient community I have encountered in a system that is stacked against us. The only difference between people we call 'law-abiding' citizens and the women I served time with is the unequal access to resources."
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The Other's Child
Israel vowed revenge for the murder of three abducted teens, and swiftly, fiercely, so it has been: Within days, they have killed at least eight Palestinians, demolished the homes of the families of two Hamas suspects, announced sweeping new settlements, and pounded Gaza in over 30 missile attacks. Amnesty International has called for justice for the teens, not collective punishment. Many others have condemned a selective sympathy that more deeply sees and mourns the unfathomable loss of one child, any child - a pain many Israeli and Palestinian families share - over another. Thus, "While everyone will remember Gilad, Naftali and Eyal, no one will remember Ali, Mohammad or Mustafa." Nor Nadim Nuwara, 17, who "survived a premature birth and a car accident, but did not survive the occupation." "An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind." - Mahatma Gandhi
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Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Our Wondrous World, Still and All
For all our crimes against the planet, it remains a place of astonishing bounty and beauty. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the "Wildlife Photographer of the Year" competition, co-sponsored by London’s Natural History Museum and the BBC, the judges have opened voting to the public in a new “People’s Choice” category. It's already been a tough week. Enjoy.
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Rollin Coal and Raisin Hell
It seems the culture wars have gone on the open road, with diesel-truck-driving manly men asserting their manliness by rollin' coal - dumping excess fuel into their engines to rev up billowing dense black clouds of soot - onto wussy hybrid drivers, pedestrians and other liberal losers 'cause, dude, cool! Even some truck freaks argue rollin' coal anywhere except at designated drag strips is dangerous, environmentally catastrophic and dumb - aka: "an asshat move by little boys impressed with smoke." But many young yahoos still think blasting a toxic mushroom cloud at people who drive cars you don't like is "awesome." So, yeah, the old white men of SCOTUS aren't the only jerks around.
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Monday, June 30, 2014
SCOTUS' Frightful Minefield
There's pretty much nothing good to come out of the Supreme Court's horrific Hobby Lobby decision except Justice Ruth Ginsburg's hard-hitting 35-page dissent, this Twitter response and some incisive toons. So we'll have to go with them. Update : It gets worse. At least 80 other companies have been looking at opting out of the contraception mandate, pending the Hobby Lobby ruling.
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You Shall Love the Stranger, For You Were Strangers In the Land of Egypt: Israel Arrests Those Seeking Asylum, As They Did
Israel has arrested close to a thousand Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers on a desperate "March for Freedom" who had walked out of the Holot "open detention facility" in the Negev toward the Egyptian border, hoping to pressure the UN to help them escape an Israeli government that has done nothing but abuse them as "infilitrators." Earlier this year, the refugees had been ordered into indefinite detention at Holot, which Israel calls a "residence" - albeit one in the middle of a desert where inmates must report for three roll calls a day. The Africans say they will no longer seek asylum in Israel, but will ask the UN to settle them in third countries. Heartbreaking, infuriating. Update : The bodies of three abducted Israeli teens have been found. This will be awful all around, starting with the hashtag #AvengeOurBoys.
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Sunday, June 29, 2014
The People's Drone
Crowdfunding has reached new, weird, possibly inevitable levels with Ukraine nationalists now raising money from online supporters to fund the country's "first people's infantry battalion," starting with a "People's Drone" to patrol the Russian border and moving on to include bulletproof vests, painkillers, a sniper unit and anything else "the boys needed." The site has raised 71% of its goal to arm the sniper unit and over its goal for the drone, which could be good or bad news, depending on your perspective.
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Friday, June 27, 2014
Trolling the NSA
Privacy advocates kicked off a new anti-surveillance campaign in style by floating an airship reading "Illegal Spying Below" - complete with helpful arrow - over the NSA's massive data center in Utah. Dubbed "the maiden patrol of the first anti-surveillance activist air force," the flight marked the launch of Stand Against Spying , a project by Electronic Frontier Foundation, Greenpeace, the Tenth Amendment Center and 20 more groups that seeks to outlaw mass surveilance, reform the FISA court, prohibit the NSA from undermining encryption technologies, and grade members of Congress on how much they do or don't help those efforts.
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