image via RT
Originally posted on Feministing
This week’s Senate report reveals gruesome and grisly details about the way the CIA used torture after 9/11. While the revelations are sparking outrage and disgust, few people are making the important and disturbing point that the regimented, systemized, and dehumanizing abuse actually included sexual violence and rape.
While organizations like Human Rights Watch and Center for Constitutional Rights have been documenting and even filing suit against the abuses that occurred under CIA watch for over a decade, a Senate report released on Tuesday confirms that the CIA did indeed engage in torture — and lied about it.
The CIA doesn’t call this torture “torture,” opting instead for the euphemism of “enhanced interrogation techniques.” But it’s hard to call the following anything but torture: beating people; “walling” people (which is slamming them against a wall using an improvised “collar,” such as a rolled-up towel); binding them with tape; hanging them from their wrists for days; waterboarding them until they turn blue; making them stand on broken feet or limbs, dragging them naked down hallways; and punching and slapping them.
The CIA also used threats of sexual abuse and actual sexual abuse against detainees. Continue reading
Tuesday, the Senate released a 600-page report on the CIA’s use of torture. While the extent to which President Bush knew about, understood or approved of the actions of the CIA isn’t totally clear, he certainly didn’t do anything to stop it. And he continues to defend the agency, saying during an interview on Tuesday,
I’ll tell you this… We’re fortunate to have men and women who work hard at the CIA serving on our behalf. These are patriots. And whatever the report says, if it diminishes their contributions to our country it is way off base. I knew the directors, the deputy directors, I knew a lot of the operators. These are good people. Really good people. And we’re lucky as a nation to have them.
We will never know how Bush really responded to the revelations that are found in the report. Nor will we know if he became aware of them as president or more recently. But we have documentary evidence of someone who really resembles Bush: Michelle Tanner, the character from Full House, played by Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen. So, please enjoy these scary facts from the torture report along with GIFs which are the closest things we have to how Bush reacted.
See the GIFs at RawStory
Mark Wahlberg is seeking a pardon the various hate crimes he has underneath his belt. You may not know this, but Mark Wahlberg has quite an impressive record when it comes to terrorizing people of color. In 1988, Wahlberg approached a Vietnamese man, whom he called “A Vietnam fucking shit,” and then hit on the head with a wooden stick, breaking it in half and knocking the man unconscious. He fled the police and punched a second man in the face, also Vietnamese, because he’s productive and consistent like that, leaving him blind in one eye. After he was arrested made Wahlberg made several statements about “gooks” and “slant-eyed gooks.”
Wahlberg has been very inclusive in his hate crimes. He also, for instance, chased after African American school children, calling them “niggers,” and hit two female school children with rocks.
Though he was charged with attempted murder, Walhberg pleaded guilty to assault, and was given two years and served 45 days.
Continue reading at RawStory
Here are some things we learned about sex this week. Rats: They’re just like us! Or a little like us, when it comes to liking their ladies in lingerie.
1. Male rats like their lady rats in lingerie: If you thought human males were the only ones into lingerie, you are wrong and very anthro-normative. It’s not that either humans or rats are evolutionarily programmed to like Victoria Secret. It’s that both humans and male rats can learn how to associate certain things with sex and thus find them sexier. Psychologists from Concordia University in Montreal gathered a dozen of male virgin rats (I know! Where do you find even a handful of virgin rats these days?) and threw a rat mixer for them. All the lady rats in attendance were wearing little rat jackets. And the male and female rats mated, as the do. On another occasion, scientists took the same bunch of now not-so-virgin male rats and threw them into a room, or cage, with two lady rats. One was naked and one was wearing the same jacket. The rats preferred the jacketed one. And by prefer I mean mounted her more frequently and ejaculated faster. Co-author Gonzalo R. Quintana Zunino explained that the experiment demonstrated that rats were able to learn, “Each time my partner wears lingerie [a jacket], I’m going to have sex.” Sounds a little presumptuous.
2. There must be something in the mistletoe: I must go to very boring holiday parties because I find this next study shocking. According to a survey done on 1,500 people by married dating site IllicitEncounters.com, 34% of Brits have sex with their colleagues after office holiday parties. So, a married dating site may skew a little, statistically speaking, when it comes to shagging (that’s what the Brits call having sex). Also 67% kissed a co-worker.
3. Indonesia introduces male birth control: Indonesian scientists are making pills with from the gendarussa shrub, which men on the island of Papua have long used as birth control by boiling it in tea and drinking it a half hour before having sex. According to scientists from the government’s National Family Planning Coordination Board and Airlangga University, the pills, which have been tested on 350 men, are 99% effective. They will go on sale in 2016. Why is male birth control so exciting? Well, it doesn’t mess with a woman’s hormones, which can have unpleasant side-effects.
Eric Garner arrest (Screenshot)
“I can’t breath, I can’t breath, I can’t breath, I can’t breath, I can’t breath, I can’t breath, I can’t breath, I can’t breath, I can’t breath, I can’t breath, I can’t breath.” Those were the last words uttered by Eric Garner. He told the police who was holding him in a chokehold eleven times that he couldn’t breath. Yet the policeman, Daniel Pantaleo, kept his arms around his neck and, perhaps even more appallingly, neither the police nor the EMT even attempted to revive Mr. Garner who lay on the ground for seven minutes.
Shirin Barghi, a filmmaker from Iran and based in New York City took the last words of Eric Garner as well as other unarmed Black men killed by law enforcement and turned them into very minimalist images that are truly heartbreaking.
View the images at RawStory
image via wikipedia
Yesterday, the question of whether it is legal to fire someone for becoming pregnant went before The Supreme Court. December 3, 2014. That’s not a typo. TWO THOUSAND AND FOURTEEN!
Peggy Young had been working for UPS for four years when she became pregnant. When she told her employer that her doctor told her not to lift packages heavier than 20 pounds, she didn’t anticipate she would lose her job and health insurance for nine months. But that’s what happened, and that’s why her case is now in front of the Supreme Court.
Though UPS requires that its drivers be able to lift up to 70 pounds, Young assumed she could keep her job during her pregnancy because almost all of the packages she handled were under 20 pounds. She only handled packages weighing over 20 pounds a few times each month, and a co-worker had already offered to help on those rare occasions.
And here’s the thing. Part of the reason Young expected more flexibility from her employer was because UPS does, in fact, accommodate other workers by giving them light duty if they need it due to a disability or an on-the-job-injury. Its policy even accommodates workers who lose their commercial driver’s license because of a DUI. But if you get pregnant, instead of busted for driving while drunk, you’re screwed.
A public (not private) Facebook photo of Noe Iniguez
Monday was a historic and wonderful day for humanity (except for those people who post naked photos of their exes to try to get them fired, though I’m not sure how much they fit into the humanity category anyway, in which case ignore this whole disclaimer.)
California made its first ever conviction under a 2013 law against “revenge porn.” So, what is revenge porn, criminally speaking? As attorneys at Jackson & Wilson explain,
To prove this crime, the criminal prosecutor must show that the defendant (1) took pictures or videos of another person’s intimate body parts, with the mutual understanding that such images will be kept confidential; (2) distributes such images, where the victim is identifiable; (3) has the intent to cause serious emotional distress to the victim; and (4) the victim actually suffers such distress.
Continue reading at RawStory
image via facebook
Earlier today I wrote about two Indian women who attacked three men who were harassing them on a bus. That story has a happy ending: the video has gone viral and the three men were arrested. But this case, also involving a group of men harassing young women, turned out very differently.
On November 15th, Tuğçe Albayrak, a 23-year-old university student studying to be a high school teacher, entered a women’s bathroom of a McDonalds in Offenbach, Germany, after hearing screams. It turned out that a group of young men were harassing a group of young women. Albayrak intervened in some way and this, apparently enraged one of the men. Because he returned and in video captured in very poor quality, by CCTV cameras, struck her on the head with something that caused her to fall to the ground, suffer a traumatic brain injury and fall into a coma.
Keep reading at RawStory
image via youtube
To paraphrase Samuel L. Jackson these women “have had it with these motherf******
snakes male harassers on this motherf****** plane bus!” Friday, two sisters fought back against three men they claim were harassing them. Sunday, the police arrested the men. The incident, which a bus-rider filmed on a cell phone, is now a viral video sensation. The women, 22-year-old Aarti and 19-year-old Pooja, were riding a bus home in India’s Rohtak district when, they say, three male passengers started to harass them physically.
Keep reading and see the video at RawStory