Les Mis, the F Word, and Lying Liars Lying, Again [I read stuff]

Wherein I read things, laugh [or not], and pass them on to you…

Start off with something yummy today – Jackman and Crowe in Les Miserables! Then, a kid gets kicked out for swearing online, at home, and the movie “Bully” goes with an ‘unrated’ rating because of a single swear. Next, on policing your existence – the safety tips sham, pharmacists lying to teenagers, and doctors lying to mothers and stealing their children. Fuck, I really hate people some days.


First Look at Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman on the Set of ‘Les Miserables’: Today several images from the set in Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire appeared at The Daily Mail featuring Crowe as Inspector Javert and Javert’s target, the criminal Jean Valjean played by Jackman. [ropeofsilicon/Brad Brevet/26 Mar 2012]

A student writes a fuck-laden tweet – on his own computer, at home, on his own time – and gets suspended. Too. Fucking. Far. If he wrote it at school, on a school computer, on school time, then perhaps the school gets a say in it. Other than that, it’s none of the school’s business. Where’s the ACLU? What about this kid’s right to freedom of speech?

A bill that would allow schools to punish students for off-campus activities has advanced in the Indiana legislature, permitting schools to suspend or expel students for engaging in activities away from school and after hours that “may reasonably be considered to be an interference with school purposes or an educational function.” [huffingtonpost/27 Mar 2012]

“Safety tip” for spring break: don’t be a rapist: This is why “safety tips” are a sham. Safety tips get trotted out as an example of how people who are assaulted deserved it or did it to themselves. Safety tips are used to justify sexual assault, as though the appropriate punishment for having too much to drink is getting raped. Safety tips get held up as a kind of rape life preserver when we want to believe it won’t happen to us. Every day of spring break, there will be people who do everything “wrong” and are still not assaulted. Every day of spring break, there will be people who do everything “right” and are still assaulted. Except when we rely on “safety tips” and are assaulted anyway, there is always something that we could have, should have, and should have not done to have prevented it.

When we rely on “safety tips,” it is impossible to do everything right. So, my spring break safety guide consists of this: Don’t fucking rape people. If you have sex with a chick who is too drunk to say no, you are not “scoring,” you are not “getting lucky”: you are a rapist. If you use alcohol in order to get people to do things you think they might not do if they were sober, you are not cool or slick or clever: You are a rapist. If you don’t bother to get consent, but you figure this person would “totally want it anyway” because you are hot or an athlete or in law school or whatever, then you’re a rapist. And you suck. [madison.com/Erica Andrist/21 Mar 2012]

Chart of the Day: The Affordable Care Act and Women: Since the Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments this week on the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare), it’s worth pointing out what the law would actually do. Here’s one example, from the Washington State-based progressive group Fuse Washington, on the difference between health insurance prices for women and men pre- and post-ACA [Motherjones/27 Mar 2012]

Your baby is dead: Mothers say their supposedly stillborn babies were stolen from them: This is how the woman, then young, remembered the August day in 1963 on which she gave birth to her illegitimate daughter: She was in an Edmonton hospital; the doctor ordered she receive an injection. She blacked out, and when she started to come to, a male voice said: “Knock her out.”

She claimed she woke up sometime later and was told she had given birth to a girl, but the baby had died.

Her baby girl did not die, though. She was adopted by a married couple.

“I never wanted to give up any child of mine for adoption,” the Edmonton mother swore in an affidavit before her recent death. “I went through my entire life believing that the baby I carried in 1963 had died . . . I believe that I was lied to and my baby was stolen from me.”

Since the National Post launched an investigation earlier this month into coerced adoptions between the 1940s and 1980s, dozens of mothers have said they were forced by social workers, medical staff and churches into surrendering their child because they were young and unmarried. [Postmedia News/Kathryn Blaze Carlson/26 mar 2012]

Are Pharmacists Lying to Keep Teenage Hussies Pregnant?: A new study has unearthed something in the world of pharmacy more depressing than filled pediatric cancer-fighting prescriptions that never get picked up: it appears that across the country, pill-dispensing professionals are giving teenage girls misinformation about the morning after pill’s legality and availability. But when doctors call the same pharmacists with questions, suddenly everyone at the pharmacy’s got their facts straight. It doesn’t take a professional mathlete to put two and two together here: pharmacists are routinely lying to teenage girls to keep them from emergency contraception. Stupidest professional moralizing ever? [jezebel/Erin Gloria Ryan/26 Mar 2012]

“Bully” movie will be “unrated” after 475,000 petition MPAA to overturn “R” rating: The Weinstein Company has announced that “Bully,” the award-winning documentary about the epidemic of school bullying in the United States, will open in theaters on March 30 as “unrated” after nearly 500,000 people signed an extraordinarily popular online petition at Change.org demanding that the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) remove the “R” rating initially given to the movie by the MPAA’s ratings board.

“I am happy ‘Bully’ will maintain its authenticity and will be an accurate portrayal of what thousands of kids experience every day,” said Katy Butler, a bullied high school student from Michigan who was outraged that the MPAA gave “Bully” an “R” rating by just one vote because of brief language. Butler, who had her finger broken by bullies in middle school, urged the MPAA to remove the “R” rating from “Bully” so that middle school and high school students would have a chance to see a movie that could potentially save their lives. [change.org/Michael Jones/26 mar 2012]

Canadian province of Ontario legalizes brothels in landmark ruling: Ottawa (CNN) — Ontario’s top court has legalized brothels, saying Canadian prostitution laws unfairly discriminate against prostitutes and their ability to work in safe environments. A panel of five judges wrote that the law banning common bawdy houses “is grossly disproportionate” if all it aims to do is keep public order in a neighborhood and maintain public health standards. “The record is clear that the safest way to sell sex is for a prostitute to work indoors, in a location under her control,” the judges wrote in a much anticipated ruling. “The impact on those put at risk by the legislation is extreme,” the judges added. [CNN/Paula Newton/26 Mar 2012]

In Secret Documents, Anti-Gay Marriage Group Looked To Divide Gays, Blacks: The leading opponents of same-sex marriage planned to defeat campaigns for gay marriage by “fanning the hostility” between black voters from gay voters and by casting President Obama as a radical foe of marriage, according to confidential documents made public in a Maine court today. The documents, circulated by the gay rights group Human Rights Campaign, are marked “confidential” and detail the internal strategy of the National Organization for Marriage. “The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks—two key Democratic constituencies,” says an internal report on 2008 and 2009 campaigns, in a section titled the “Not A Civil Right Project.” “Find, equip, energize and connect African American spokespeople for marriage, develop a media campaign around their objections to gay marriage as a civil right; provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots,” advises the document. The document also targets Hispanic voters, whom conservatives have long hoped would join the backlash against gay rights. [BuzzFeed/26 mar 2012]

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