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Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Morning News: Rape in India, "Walmart Moms" on Strike, and the Boring Conference

Posted by on Thu, Jun 5, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Rape culture in India: A state minister from the ruling BJP party appallingly says of rape, "sometimes it's right, sometimes it's wrong" after two cousins—aged 12 and 14—were raped and hanged last week. In the video clip above, Arundhati Roy tries to explain to a British interviewer that rape culture in India is about police domination (rape by police might as well be legal, she says) and about caste and class domination. Middle-class women are protected by laws, poorer women are not. (Stupidly, the interviewer wants to make it all about cartoons of modern/primitive India, but Roy refuses to engage with that nonsense.)

Rape culture and class/caste: Amana Fontanella-Khan, author of Pink Sari Revolution, argues in the NYT that rape is a symptom of economic and social domination and that in recent years 90 percent of the people raped in India have been Dalit (formerly known as "untouchable") women.

FareStart moves into the PacMed tower—that big, pink, deco, asylum-looking building on Beacon Hill: The nonprofit that trains homeless folks to work in the restaurant industry—here's a profile of FareStart written during a 2007 Stranger holiday fundraiser—will join Seattle Central Community College's health-training program and a slice of Pacific Medical that still occupies the basement and first floor of the building.

Speaking of SCCC, why did it take "Community" out of its name? The rumors from people speaking off the record have been that it wanted to be more attractive to wealthy overseas students who would like a US degree (and would like to pay more than US students for one), don't have the English-language proficiency to jump to an old-fashioned four-year university, but would prefer "college" over "community college" on their resumes. I called the SCCC communications office this morning to ask, but they're only open Monday, Tuesday, "and half of Wednesday." So we'll have to wait.

"Walmart moms" strike: "Gail Todd, who works at the Walmart in Landover Hills, Maryland, knows this struggle all too well. A mother of three, she used to have an 'open schedule' – meaning she had to be available to work anytime, day or night – so childcare was a constant problem. But when Todd limited her work available to care for her children, her hours got cut back, sometimes to as few as 12 per seven days. It's hard to support one person – let alone a family – on $130 a week." Go for it, workers. In Seattle, we went from a one-day fast-food strike to a roiling civic debate to a unanimous city council vote to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour (suck it, haters) in almost exactly a year. Direct action gets the goods.

It's not just the USA: A police-hating, gun-control-fearing young man has (allegedly) gunned down three police officers in a northeast Canadian town and Mounties are still trying to find him. If you live near Moncton, New Brunswick, police suggest you stay indoors and away from windows. (I've always wondered why this particular strain of strangeness never seemed to leap beyond the lower 48 and into Canada and Alaska. I figured the warm but non-authoritarian embrace of Canadian socialism, and the fact that in Alaska you can pretty much drive or walk away from the state at any time if you feel like it, mitigated these kinds of explosive, manic outbreaks.)

Meet the man behind Comic Sans: That's really just a catchy headline and lede the Guardian editors plucked out to lure you into a more interesting story about the Boring Conference, an event that involves talks on mundane subjects from Antiques Roadshow to how to make pancakes using items you'd find in any average hotel room.

A sample from the Boring Conference's Twitter account:

Canada debates a new sex-workers' bill: The question is whether to go with the "Nordic model" (in which prostitution is legal but paying for it is not, which puts the crime squarely on the client's shoulders), the "New Zealand model" (pimping and brothel ownership are legal and mostly regulated), the "Spanish model" (legal and unregulated by the state, which means controlled by organized crime), or the "German model" (those liberalized laws have paved the way for "mega-brothels" to be opened on the borders with largely immigrant workers).

Obama on his upcoming return to Indian Country: "Together, we’ve resolved longstanding disputes. We settled a discrimination suit by Native American farmers and ranchers, and we’ve taken steps to make sure that all federal farm loan programs are fair to Native Americans from now on. And I signed into law the Claims Resolution Act, which included the historic Cobell settlement, making right years of neglect by the Department of the Interior and leading to the establishment of the Land Buy-Back Program to consolidate Indian lands and restore them to tribal trust lands."

And something for the musical theater nerds: Here's what theater critic Terry Teachout describes as "an extremely rare clip of Ethel Merman appearing on Gypsy, Gypsy Rose Lee’s TV talk show, in 1965. The segment includes footage from home movies shot at rehearsals for the original Broadway production of Gypsy, which was freely based on Lee’s life."


Comments (14) RSS

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fletc3her 1
Bellevue College has also removed "community". The justification I've heard is that they are offering four year degrees but the "community" label implies they don't.
Posted by fletc3her on June 5, 2014 at 9:16 AM · Report this
Regarding the new Canadian sex-workers bill, I'm not exactly keeping up with national prostitution laws, but what happened to the French model? I'm not sure it still is, but last time I heard, prostitution was legal, but not pimping, brothel-keeping, or otherwise claiming any portion of the prostitute's revenue.

Of all the legal models that Canada is considering, you'd think they'd take a peek towards the homeland of one of their national languages.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on June 5, 2014 at 9:28 AM · Report this
dnt trust me 3
At a Memorial Day BBQ about 7 of us had a five minute conversation about gnocchi. No mention of how the first letter should be written though.
Posted by dnt trust me on June 5, 2014 at 9:29 AM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 4
The community college system in the entire state is dropping the word community. The reason is the stigma related to having "community" in a college name: it sounds like some sorta of place for drop outs. And more of those schools are starting to add more four year degree programs instead of just the AA degrees and certification programs they have in the past.

There are even some of these schools that are looking at adding on campus housing as well.
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on June 5, 2014 at 9:30 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 5
RE: Prostitution
the "Nordic model" (in which prostitution is legal but paying for it is not, which puts the crime squarely on the client's shoulders)
Illegal to pay for something. That's new.

I've always wondered what the crime is in prostitution? Paying for a fuck is illegal but buying dinner for a fuck isn't? Is it because cash is considered tacky? What if you give a prostitute a gift card to Brooks Brothers? Would that be ok?

Whatever... stupid religion.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on June 5, 2014 at 9:31 AM · Report this

The law focuses "on the root cause, the recognition that without men's demand for and use of women and girls for sexual exploitation, the global prostitution industry would not be able to flourish and expand," says Ekberg, who has a law degree from the University of British Columbia.

So what they are doing is making it an asymmetrical crime. The prostitute is never guilty (no raids, shakedowns, etc) but the person paying can, at any point, be charged. This gives power to sex workers in the case of physical violence, where just by showing payment occurred, the "client" can be put to jail.

I agree with this because it also shames the man into not paying or using prostitution which is something that denigrates both men and women and children in the same way pornography does.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on June 5, 2014 at 9:56 AM · Report this
ScrawnyKayaker 7
Why no mention of the BIGGEST SEATTLE PUBLIC SCHOOL NEWS since the new Sup was hired: Board overrules staff's rigged recommendation in new elementary math adoption?

Oh, wait. A link to another news outlet seems to be required to qualify for the Morning News thread. And the Seattle Times, so far, is embargoing the story.

Guess they're seriously butt-hurt that the board members opposed by the ST's oligarch buddies won this round. Will they ever mention it? Maybe Nicole Brodeur will cough up some concern-trolling hairball eventually.

Let Ms. Westello tell you all about it:

Thanks to Melissa, Cliff Mass, Rick Burke, et al!
Posted by ScrawnyKayaker on June 5, 2014 at 10:00 AM · Report this
re: The musings on the Canadian gun nut, four RCMP were killed a few years ago in Alberta and Alaska does have this problem too. Two Alaska State Troopers were ambushed and killed there just a couple months ago.
Also, Moncton is not Northeast Canada. It's barely over the US border so it's Southeast Canada, Northeast of the US.
Posted by SPG on June 5, 2014 at 10:25 AM · Report this

On the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH 370:

It was announced moments ago that Chris Hansen, that hedge fund dood who vowed to bring a professional basketball team to Seattle, has been appointed to head the search team for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370.

Mr. Hansen brings a tremendous skill set to the team, with much experience in these matters.

Hansen was quoted as saying, "It has been my boyhood dream to find the missing flight MH 370!"

Godspeed, Chris, godspeed!
Posted by sgt_doom on June 5, 2014 at 10:42 AM · Report this
@5 Many straight guys have told me that pussy is never free.

@6 Hookers and pimps tend to come from the lower rungs of society, so jail doesn't scare them that much. Men who pay for sex can be more easily deterred because they have more to lose.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on June 5, 2014 at 11:27 AM · Report this
sirkowski 11
The Conservative party and reactionary feminists are going to put Canadian sex workers in further danger.

Re: Justin Bourque, the Moncton gun nut. He posted this on his Facebook, wondering why the police needs military weaponry. Well... it's because of you, asshole.
Posted by sirkowski on June 5, 2014 at 11:29 AM · Report this
MrBaker 12
"Community" implies that they do not offer 4 year college degree. It is argued by universities that "Community" Colleges should not be in their business.
Stop calling them "Community" and the state universities will have to find another reason to lobby for more money since they are not the only ones chartered to provide 4 year degrees.
Posted by MrBaker on June 5, 2014 at 11:47 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 13
Many straight guys have told me that pussy is never free.
Tis true.

Prostitutes aren't paid for fucking, they're paid to go away afterwards.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on June 5, 2014 at 12:06 PM · Report this
Why would anyone capitalise gnocchi? It's not a country or someone's kid. OK, I take that back. It's almost certainly someone's kid, somewhere, because someone has to be that stupid. But you can only capitalise Gnocchi the kid, not gnocchi the carb.
Posted by originalcinner on June 5, 2014 at 2:24 PM · Report this

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