Alabama 8-Year-Old Charged With Murder in Toddler’s Beating – The New York Times – {any racism involved – charging an 8-year old with murder???}

An 8-year-old boy has been charged with murder in Birmingham, Ala., where the police said Tuesday that he had “viciously attacked” a toddler whose mother had left children alone while she visited one of the city’s nightclubs.The authorities announced their intention to prosecute the boy, who was not identified, nearly a month after the death of 1-year-old Kelci Lewis. The child was found unresponsive on Oct. 11, and a police spokesman said Tuesday that investigators believed the older boy had become violent because the toddler would not stop crying.

Source: Alabama 8-Year-Old Charged With Murder in Toddler’s Beating – The New York Times

Netanyahu approves 2200 settlement units in West Bank

PNN/ Bethlehem/

Ahead of meeting with the US president, the Israeli prime minister, Benyamin Netanyahu has approved the expansion of 2,200 new settlement units in an illegal settlement built on Ramallah land, central West Bank.

The move comes in midst of intense anger. For the past 40 days, about 80 Palestinians have been killed by IOF or settlers under alleged stabbings. About 12 Israeli settlers and soldiers were killed in the wave of violence, some of them in Israeli gunfire for “having Arab features.”

According to Hareetz Israeli newspaper, the units will be completed by 2030 in several illegal settlements, including a settlement called Ma’ale Mikhmas east of Ramallah.

Netanyahu, meanwhile, is currently in Washington, where he is meeting Obama.

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Description: Onetime San Francisco Police Chief Heather Fong, serving as Assistant Secretary for State and Local Law Enforcement in the Department of Homeland Security, is apparently on a short list of candidates to become Border Patrol chief, as reported by Fox News. Because Fong hails from SF, and is a “vocal supporter of sanctuary cities,” she’s being called the “worst possible fit” for the job — and Texas Governor Greg Abbott has already come out saying there will be “a revolt” if Fong l
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Israeli MK calls for permitting imprisonment of children | PNN

MK Anat Berko (Likud) submitted a law proposing that minors can be sent to prison, prior to any alleged stab attacks carried out by Palestinian minors. The current legislation prevents the imprisonment of children under the age of 14, although they can still be sent to juvenile facilities.The bill suggests that the age of the offender can be dismissed in cases committed with a “nationalist motive.”According to Berko, it is more likely that minors are recruited to commit attacks, as the ’loophole’ in the law, presumably there to protect children from being sent to jail, makes it easier to convince these children to commit acts of violence.

Source: Israeli MK calls for permitting imprisonment of children | PNN

My Feminism Is: Vegan

One day, a little over two years ago, I was stuffing my face full of free samples at DC’s annual vegetarian and vegan festival. I had been a full-time vegetarian for about a year at that point, mostly motivated by health reasons. While I liked being vegetarian, I hadn’t given much thought to going vegan because I thought that a) things like eggs or cheese weren’t much of a factor when it came to the welfare of animals and b) my love of cheese was too difficult to overcome.

As you’ve probably guessed from the title, my views are a bit different today (my feelings on cheese haven’t changed — I just prefer the almond and soy based varieties). While at the festival, I wandered into a demo being given on a new vegan egg product. While the product seemed interesting, it was the mission behind the product that I found more compelling. The inventor talked about how not only did they want to prevent chickens from being subjected to the terrible realities of factory farming, but they also wanted to make sure that the product was less expensive than chicken eggs and healthier, so that people could afford healthy plant-based choices no matter what their income level.

It was this intersection of beliefs — that we should prevent cruelty to animals, but also make sure that healthy food is available to everyone — that got me thinking.

erin_feminism_blog_post.jpgFor a long time, I didn’t necessarily see my diet as connected to any of the “people” issues I cared about. In fact, I’d often felt that animal activists were fighting a separate battle, one that didn’t have much of an effect on the lives of people, and could even be at the expense of them at times. That day at the festival though, I started to think that maybe I had been wrong, and that maybe these issues were more connected than I had thought. That feeling turned out to be right.

Obviously, animal agriculture is bad for animals. The environmental damage of animal agriculture, as well as the health effects of eating processed meats, has been the subject of a lot of media attention in recent months. The less told story however, is that of the 700,000 people in the U.S. who work in the industry.

Working in a factory farm is a tough job. With long hours, an average salary of $23,000 a year, little to no breaks, high injury rates, and an environment where workers must push themselves to work at breakneck speed at the expense of themselves and the animals, it’s a job that most people don’t want. Therefore factory farms often target people who have few other options, like immigrants, and people who have been incarcerated.

OxFam recently released a report on workers in the poultry industry, detailing the awful working conditions many workers face in these factories. They included the account of one worker’s experience trying to ask for bathroom breaks while on the processing line:

“Dolores, who worked at a Simmons plant in Arkansas, said she was denied permission to use the bathroom ‘many, many times.’ Her supervisor mocked workers’ requests. ‘He said, ‘Ah, but why? I told you… that you shouldn’t drink so much water and eat so much food so that you don’t need to ask to use the bathroom.’ She began wearing a sanitary napkin, but since it would fill up with urine too quickly, she resorted to diapers: ‘I had to wear Pampers. Myself and many, many others had to wear Pampers.’ She said she felt like she had ‘no worth, no right to repeal or to speak up.’ She decided just to endure the situation. ‘It made me feel ashamed.’”

This isn’t a one-time occurrence — it’s commonplace for those who work at factory farms. This treatment is compounded by injuries from the repetitive motions of factory work, high exposure to diseases like E. Coli, increased antibiotic resistance, and respiratory problems caused by exposure to the high levels of ammonia that are present in factory farms.

This news is horrifying and deeply troubling, but it can hardly be seen as surprising. When a company thinks it’s okay to do things like cram chickens together in cages where they can barely move, or keep pigs in gestation crates their entire lives, all for the sake of profit — why would they have much of a reason to treat their human workers differently?

My decision to not eat meat or animal products isn’t just because I think pigs and cows and other farmed animals are cute (though they totally are). It’s because the suffering and damage caused to people and the world isn’t justifiable because “bacon tastes good.” And truly — it’s a great time to be a vegan. There are more options for meat and dairy alternatives than ever before, and they’re only growing. Switching your diet can seem like a big task at first, but it’s one of the easiest, most rewarding steps you can take to combat climate change, save animals, get healthier, and stop funding an industry that abuses and exploits its workers.

I believe being a feminist means advocating for equality. I believe that being a feminist means preserving the Earth for the next generation. I believe that being a feminist means advocating for a world in which people can make fair wages, and work a job where their health is put above the profit margin.

In my feminism, I want to live in a way that promotes well-being and reduces harm. Three times a day I can make a small choice to reduce harm and live true to my values. And when that choice also involves a delicious veggie burger — I’m gonna go ahead and say it’s a pretty easy one too.

P.S. You don’t have to become a vegan overnight — even starting small with things like “meatless Monday” or being “vegan before 6” can make a big difference.

Senator Claire McCaskill encourages more men to “shut the hell up” sometimes

On the Late Show with Stephen Colbert last night, Senator Claire McCaskill issued a reminder to men: “The world doesn’t need your opinion on everything.” 

In the video, McCaskill — one of the just 20 women in the Senate — says that while it’s important to encourage more women to run for office, “it’s equally important to encourage more men to sometimes just shut the hell up.” First and foremost, the staunch defender of reproductive rights suggests — sending a pointed message to her male colleagues in Congress — that men should zip it when it comes to “what women do with their bodies.”

Other things on her list of things women no longer need to hear men’s opinions on include: selfies, Shonda Rhimes, all art in general, and “ethics in gaming journalism.” In a development as predictable as sunrise, Gamergaters took the bait, vowing to defend to the death their right to give their opinions.


Hello, I’m Senator Claire McCaskill. As one of just 20 women currently serving in the Senate, it’s important to me to encourage more women to run for office. But equally important is encouraging more men to just sometimes shut the hell up. It’s not that women don’t value your thoughts; it’s just that we don’t value all of them. The world doesn’t need your opinion on everything. For example, what women do with their bodies. Hush. Who the next James Bond should be. Zip it. Whether or not it’s pronounced gif or jif. Shut up!

So as a public service, I made the following list of things women no longer need to hear men’s opinions on. Please take a moment to jot these down. Star Wars. Pants suits. Selfies. Shonda Rhimes. Curtains. Carbs. Millenials. Body hair removal. Religion. Gluten. Harry Potter. Nut allergies. Star Wars again. All art in general. Whether or not to brine the Thanksgiving turkey. And ethics in gaming journalism. If you can control yourselves and hold back from further expressing your opinions on any of these topics, we’ll let you keep weighing in on marijuana legalization. But that’s a huge, big “if.”

Thanks so much.