» Man lies dead for three years before discovery


Yet another story of a long-undiscovered dead person. Sad.

Less sad: Pigeons broke in and turned on his radio, which alerted neighbors (and the police).

(via The Order of the Good Death on Facebook)

» The Political Notebook: The FDA will not be removing prescription requirements for Plan B for girls under 17... and we should be angry about...


This incredibly unfortunate news. As it stands, girls under 17 need a prescription to buy emergency contraception. An internal FDA study, and reports that were made as early as 2003, say there is no scientific or medical reason to prevent teenagers younger than 17 from using the drug without a…


Occupy LA. According NBC Los Angeles, about 1700 LAPD officers were present on the scene to remove protesters from City Hall park. They came prepared - apparently some wore biohazard suits. The protesters were reported as being “boisterous but peaceful,” and were declared an “unlawful assembly” at 12:30 AM. There have been a number of arrests and a few injuries, but KNBC reports that the process has been very “un-Oakland-like.” A local church has even opened up its doors to “give sanctuary to the 99 percent.”

Read MSNBC’s live coverage of both the LA and Philadelphia evictions.

Photo Credit: Lucy Nicholson/Pool via EPA


Back to Tahrir. Protesters returned to the streets ahead of parliamentary elections and the ensuing violence is now in its second day. Police doused the crowds with tear gas, rubber bullets, and “birdshot” pellet cartridges and clashes erupted with protesters, including mutual stone-throwing. Two are dead and more than 600 have been injured so far.

Ursula Lindsey over at The Arabist writes:

These clashes feel almost unavoidable, given the military council’s terrible performance, the increasing vocal criticism it is facing, the rising tensions of all kinds surrounding the upcoming (poorly planned, utterly confusing) elections — given the terribly unclear transition process that has been put in place, and the fact that none of the revolution’s demands, including the reform of the security forces and real transitional justice, have been met.

Indeed, the transition has been going very poorly, with the Supreme Council of Armed Forces and the people increasingly at odds over lack of progress and the apparent moves of SCAF to gain political power. 

Above: A protester with the Egyptian flag. Photo Credit: Reuters. [Via.]

» If It Works, It's Diplomacy: News. Round. Up.


Actually, genuinely short today, because I have school.

Let’s get the GOP debate out of the way: post-game from Politico. Also in America, the unfolding disaster at Penn State.

In Eastern Europe: The Moscow Times reports that Kazakhstan is facing violence from Islamic extremists, and that…

I think I’ve mastered the trick of getting these down to a half-hour process, so they’ll be regular again, over at my neglected If It Works, It’s Diplomacy. Yes, the title is tongue-in-cheek.


Morning Reading. The Center for New American Security’s just-released report on military suicide is a must-read. Two mind-blowing statistics from the introduction:

  • The Dept. of Veterans Affairs estimates that a veteran dies of suicide in this country once every eighty minutes.
  • Veterans’ suicides account for 20 percent of suicides in the US, but veterans only account for only 1 percent of the population.

Download “Losing the Battle: The Challenge of Military Suicide” here.

“Our culture teaches boys that this is okay. That it is okay to use people. That you are expected to disregard a woman’s feelings, to do what you want with her, to find women who are pliable who you can mold, who will seek your favor and happily trade a few moments on her knees for her affection. Our society teaches boys that this is ok, that this is what you do with women. The onus is on women not to be used. Men do not hear “don’t be an abuser” in the same way men don’t hear “don’t be a rapist.” The onus is always on women keeping themselves safe, on women not putting themselves in positions to be attacked or exploited. And when something does happen, when teenagers being teenagers suddenly becomes a nation news story, everyone wants to talk about what the girl should have done to prevent herself from being in the situation.” —

- Because Amber Cole is just a kid and boys learn to be boys

Halloween break to tell all of you to read this amazing piece. Good points, good message!

(via aglennosaur)


“I see this young man and I picture the men and women that stood beside me during my time in, and the men and women that stand in those places today. I know what he went through to become a Marine, what he ate for breakfast most days and how long he was able to talk to his parents with his $10 phone card in a shack in Iraq. He is my brother and, unfortunately, I cannot put the reasoning into words.”

Marine Sgt Gentile, who posted this emotional photo of himself, which has since gone viral, on Reddit two days ago. Fellow Marines have joined in in the comments, sharing the sentiment.

» Racist Arizona Immigration Law Earns It First Lawsuit -- And It's From a Pastor



“I think it was racism, for being Hispanic,” said the pastor, who is talking with lawyers to file a legal appeal after being deprived of his liberty.
Hernández said that as soon the detective stopped him, he asked for his documentation, obviously doubting his legal status in the country.

The pastor showed his Mexican passport and his Mexican Consular ID card, as well as a card issued by the American Association of Chaplains, which he uses to identify himself as a pastor during his visits to hospitals and prisons. 

The detective questioned the validity of all his documents, the pastor said. The officer also told Hernandez that he was committing a crime for having a chaplain identification cared with the state’s official seal.

“[The officer] accused him of not being a pastor,” said Fernando Rodriguez, who is a pastor at a different church, the House of Prayer Church in Albertville, Alabama, who had been traveling with Hernandez at the time. The officer also questioned Rodriguez, a native of Honduras, on his immigration status but fortunately he had his green card.

Hernández ,however, was arrested on charges of carrying identification with the Alabama state seal and spent several days in a Warrior, Alabama jail where he claims he was discriminated against for being Hispanic.

“I asked for a Spanish [language] Bible to pray, and they did not want to give me one,” Hernández said. He also heard detention officials making comments behind his back thinking he didn’t speak English. “He is illegal and must be treated as an illegal,” he remembers hearing.

This is fucking fuckery and dehumanization. Nothing about this is acceptable whatsoever. No person in this country should at any point be stopped and required to show identifying documents without probable cause, and probably cause in Arizona has become ‘uhh… he looked Mexican.’ No. Fuck off, Arizona lawmakers.


In Senegal, the fight against female genital cutting is growing stronger and community-based action to erase the practice from custom are picking up speed. Globally, over 92 million girls (probably more in the range of 100-140 million) are estimated to have undergone some form of the procedure, which is usually tied to a notion of chastity and preserving the girls’ value for marriage. Over 5000 Senegalese villages have committed themselves to ending the practice, based on strong pushes from women who have undergone the practice. The success in this fight is not coming from international programs or UN aid, but from grassroots dynamics within Senegalese society, spurred on by a West African activist group called Tostan.

Read a factsheet here on female genital mutilation, cutting and circumcision.

Several important things to know:

  • FGM is not an inherently Islamic practice, nor is it promoted by that religion. 
  • It has a variety of consequences, many of them based on cultural misogyny, and many based on community beliefs about health and medicine.
  • Besides the pain, emotional stress, and immediate risks of hemhorraging and infection, it can cause severe urinary and gynecological problems later in life and increase the risk of contracting HIV or other STIs. 

Read the New York Times  article