Alan Pyke, Bank Allegedly Neglects Foreclosed Houses in Black and Latino Areas, via ThinkProgress.
Yet another bank has been named in a federal complaint filed by the National Fair Housing Alliance, which has found evidence of foreclosure discrimination. This, of course, affects property values in the neighborhood as well as safety, as upkeep of vacant homes is related to crime.
Moreover, I’m betting that the vast majority of folks therein have no idea what, if any, rights and remedies they possess with regard to their foreclosed properties and this nefarious practice, because hey guess what Secured and/or Property Transactions aren’t exactly high-school level course offerings, and lawyers are fucking expensive.
If you’re a total law nerd like me, you can read the full complaint here.
[TW sexual assault, war, violence]
Despite a cease-fire agreement, the situation in South Sudan continues to deteriorate. There are increasing numbers of civilian deaths and rapes, and people are fleeing their homes in search of safe refuge.
The medical aid group Doctors Without Borders said Wednesday that patients had been killed in their beds at the Teaching Hospital in Malakal. Across South Sudan, medical equipment has been looted and wards burned to the ground. In one instance, an entire hospital was destroyed.
I would love to know if anyone who regularly watches network news has heard a fucking thing about the violence in South Sudan. I somehow doubt the answer would be a resounding “yes.” I mean, it is Oscar-weekend, after all.
[TW hostility to agency]
Introduced last week, HB 1241 would make it illegal to perform an abortion if a “living” fetus is “dismembered” during an abortion, an apparent reference to dilation and evacuation (D and E) procedures. This is despite the fact that no D and E procedures are performed in South Dakota. Planned Parenthood Sioux Falls, the only clinic that provides abortions in South Dakota, provides medication abortions up to nine weeks and surgical abortions up to 13 weeks. However, the clinic does not provide surgical abortions in which a D and E is required. The clinic told RH Reality Check that all patients who need D and E services are referred to clinics in other states. Technically, hospitals can perform such procedures in the state, but none of the hospitals in the state do.
A violation of the proposed law could carry a prison sentence of up to 25 years under one provision, and a maximum life sentence under a second provision.
In other words, the legislation would effectively BAN abortions past 7 weeks’ gestation, and is vague enough that: (1) it would operate as an intimidation tactic to disincentivize doctors from performing abortions to people who need them, and (2) it could also allow for interpretations that could ban abortion procedures much earlier in pregnancy. Which is obviously problematic for a multitude of reasons (i.e. constitutionality of such a vague provision, directly contravenes and/or ignores prior precedent, violates women’s/human rights generally, etc).
HEY! Do you remember that time when we used to have laws against monopolies, such that a major acquisition like THIS (in which Comcast announced that it would acquire Time Warner Cable for more than $45 billion in stock) would have been illegal?
Yeah, it’s a pretty vague recollection for me, too.
What all of this [research] suggests is that the long-term unemployed are mainly victims of circumstances — ordinary American workers who had the bad luck to lose their jobs (which can happen to anyone) at a time of extraordinary labor market weakness, with three times as many people seeking jobs as there are job openings. Once that happened, the very fact of their unemployment made it very hard to find a new job.
[GOP] imperviousness to [this] evidence goes along with a stunning lack of compassion.
If you follow debates over unemployment, it’s striking how hard it is to find anyone on the Republican side even hinting at sympathy for the long-term jobless. Being unemployed is always presented as a choice, as something that only happens to losers who don’t really want to work. Indeed, one often gets the sense that contempt for the unemployed comes first, that the supposed justifications for tough policies are after-the-fact rationalizations.
The result is that millions of Americans have in effect been written off — rejected by potential employers, abandoned by politicians whose fuzzy-mindedness is matched only by the hardness of their hearts.
|—||Paul Krugman, Writing Off the Unemployed, via The New York Times Opinion Page|
If so, you should probably thank Alec MacGillis, and check out this awesomely detailed piece over at New Republic.
This is a basic principle: until it is proven otherwise, beyond a reasonable doubt, it’s important to extend the presumption of innocence to Dylan Farrow, and presume that she is not guilty of the crime of lying about what Woody Allen did to her.
If you are saying things like “We can’t really know what happened” and extra-specially pleading on behalf of the extra-special Woody Allen, then you are saying that his innocence is more presumptive than hers.
The damnably difficult thing about all of this, of course, is that you can’t presume that both are innocent at the same time. One of them must be saying something that is not true. But “he said, she said” doesn’t resolve to “let’s start by assuming she’s lying,” except in a rape culture, and if you are presuming his innocence by presuming her mendacity, you are rape cultured.
In a rape culture, there is no burden on us to presume that she is not a liar, no necessary imperative to treat her like a person whose account of herself can be taken seriously. It is important that we presume he is innocent. It is not important that we presume she is not making it all up out of female malice. In a rape culture, you can say things like “We can’t really know what really happened, so let’s all act as if Woody Allen is innocent (and she is lying).” In a rape culture, you can use your ignorance to cast doubt on her knowledge; you can admit that you have no basis for casting doubt on Dylan’s statement, and then you can ignore her account of herself. A famous man is not speaking, so her testimony is not admissible evidence. His name is Woody Allen, and in a rape culture, that good name must be shielded and protected. What is her name?
|—||Aaron Bady, Woody Allen’s Good Name, via The New Inquiry|
[The US DOJ] released a memo to its employees Monday that same-sex marriages will be given equal protection under the law in all of its programs—even if the marriages are not recognized in the state where the same-sex couple lives. …The announcement will allow same-sex couples to enjoy federal benefits through the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Program, the Radiation Exposure Compensation Program, and the US Trustee Program. …Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. also noted that the DOJ would recognize same-sex couples’ marital privilege not to testify in civil and criminal cases and allow federal inmates in same-sex marriages to visit and correspond with their spouses and enjoy furloughs during a crisis involving a spouse.
Yay! I love me a little mid-week good news (and right in time for Valentine’s Day)!
"Love is an action, never simply a feeling."
- bell hooks
Hey there, Tumblr friends. Happy 14th of February. Enjoy the day, or not, ever and always as you see fit. But at the very least, I do hope that you consider taking a moment to love yourself - because you’re awesome, but also because sometimes we all forget to take a care for ourselves.
The proposed amendment to the Indiana State constitution, HJR-3 [which would define marriage as between one man and one woman] is being taken up in the Senate in a legislative session RIGHT NOW.
You can watch the proceedings live here.
One male Reddit user going by the username OKCThrowaway22221 wrote about his experiences on the OkCupid online dating site while pretending to be a woman. After having a conversation with a female friend in which he said women have it much easier than men on dating sites, OKCThrowaway22221 made himself a profile, using his own basic information but calling himself a woman and borrowing a female friend’s profile picture.
The Redditor received a message even before finishing his profile. Before he could craft a response, another bachelor sent him a message, which was followed shortly after by a message from Bachelor #3.
As more bachelors’ messages started pouring in, OKCThrowaway22221 got overwhelmed. Although the Redditor did his best to respond neutrally and not lead anyone on, the messages he received became increasingly sexual, despite OKCThrowaway22221’s best efforts to avoid such online encounters. During the two hours that his fake OKCupid account was operational, OKCThrowaway22221 wrote that his inbox was stuffed with a flurry of “NoStringsAtttached messages, with multiple guys sending me messages asking me to watch them cam, or meeting up with them within the hour, or talk with them on the phone or cyber.”
"Guys would become hostile when I told them I wasn’t interested in NSA sex, or guys that had started normal and nice quickly turned the conversation into something explicitly sexual in nature," he wrote. "Seemingly nice dudes in quite esteemed careers asking to hook up in 24 hours and sending them naked pics of myself despite multiple times telling them that I didn’t want to."
Despite the Redditor’s belief that this would be a simple social experiment that would prove his female friend wrong and provide for some fun trolling opportunities, he said the experience made him very uncomfortable, and that after deleting his profile he “went about the rest of my night with a very bad taste in my mouth.”
I was going to write a nice long post about sexual harassment, objectification, mansplaing, gaslighting, and entitlement in our ever increasing cyber culture, buuuuut I think the above conveys the gist of it well enough.
Republicans are very upset that people who are working just to hold onto health insurance might be willing to quit the labor force because the Affordable Care Act will allow them to. The notion that someone might devote their time to writing poetry instead of droning away at some awful job just to cover an insurance CEO’s yacht fee positively incenses them…
It is not inaccurate or extreme to declare that ideological Republicans do not understand what it means to be human. …It’s not so much that conservatives don’t believe such a world of boundless human potential is possible. It’s that they don’t want it to be possible.
|—||David Atkins, via Hullabaloo|
Newsflash! Insurance companies aren’t in the healthcare business! They’re in the making-money business! And their decisions will always and forever prioritize profits over people!
After overcoming website glitches and long waits to get Obamacare, some patients are now running into frustrating new roadblocks at the doctor’s office.
A month into the most sweeping changes to healthcare in half a century, people are having trouble finding doctors at all, getting faulty information on which ones are covered and receiving little help from insurers swamped by new business.
…To hold down premiums under the healthcare law, major insurers have sharply cut the number of doctors and hospitals available to patients in the state’s new health insurance market.
…Of course, complaints about outdated provider lists and delays in getting a doctor’s appointment were common long before the healthcare law was enacted. But some experts worry the influx of newly insured patients and the cost-cutting strategies of health plans may further strain the system.
See, this shit? Right here? All this blabbering about holding down premiums and cost-cutting strategies? Yeah, those are just euphemisms for “maximizing profits.” And this is why it was always going to be a bad idea to run healthcare reform through for-profit insurance companies.
Warning: totally vapid personal post, below the jump
Dina Van Der Zalm, a student at the University of Missouri who’s getting her MSW, testifying before a Missouri House committee at a hearing on a proposed 72-hour waiting period for abortions in the state.
All hail Dina Van Der Zalm, Sass-Master Extraordinaire and All-Around Awesome Person.