I love Facebook. It keeps me well informed about the news of the day, and the news of my friends and loved ones. Lately I have been struck by the endless flow of bad news I am reading day in and day out.
So today, January 15, 2014, I decided to keep a list of the news blurbs that upset me. In no particular order, here is a day in the life of America:
1. Supreme Court Hears Challenge to Buffer Zones at Women’s Health Care Facilities
Today, the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing a challenge to a buffer zone law that protects patients and staff at clinics seeking reproductive health care in Massachusetts – including checkups, birth control, and abortion care – from anti-choice harassment and violence.
Massachusetts has a 35-foot buffer zone that blocks anti-choice protesters from approaching women accessing health care. But anti-choice forces are fighting the buffer zone so that they can get even closer when shaming and harassing women entering these clinics. Their tactics include screaming, using threats, taking photos, and even spitting on patients.
2. Bickering Intensifies As Republicans Filibuster Unemployment Benefits
The push to revive jobless benefits for some 1.4 million long-term unemployed Americans is still going nowhere fast in the Senate, bogged down by a series of excruciating procedural hurdles and disputes.
3. Rich GOP Donor Gets Lawmaker to Draft a Bill to Lower His Child Support Payments
After Michael Eisenga, a wealthy GOP donor and Wisconsin business owner, failed to convince several courts to lower his child support payments, he came up with an inventive plan B—he recruited a Republican state legislator to rewrite Wisconsin law in his favor. The drafting documents, available on the Wisconsin legislature’s website, leave little not doubt that the bill was written to Eisenga’s specifications.
4. Tests Disprove Monsanto’s Claims of GMO Safety
Independent Egyptian scientists have found that Monsanto’s GMO Bt toxic corn is NOT substantially equivalent to its NON GMO parent. While Monsanto claims there is no evidence of toxicity in their voluntary safety assessments, these independent scientists will tell you otherwise. By the 91st day of their studies, they found evidence of kidney, liver & intestinal toxicity, as well as male infertility.
5. Father Accidentally Shoots 3-Year-Old Boy In The Head
Michael Carter, a Greene County, Ark. resident, accidentally shot his 3-year-old son, Logan, in the head on Saturday. Logan was pronounced dead at a local hospital, according to KAIT 8. Carter accidentally shot his son inside a home with a .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun purchased about a month ago online, but how the gun went off is still under investigation.
The boy’s mother and brother were both home when the accidental shooting occurred. Police have yet to charge Michael Carter.
6. Wait, We Inject Antibiotics Into Eggs for Organic Chicken?!
At the industrial hatcheries that churn out chicks for the poultry industry, eggs are commonly injected with tiny amounts of an antibiotic called gentamicin, which is used in people to treat a variety of serious bacterial infections.
The practice of dosing chickens with antibiotics has to begin literally in the egg? But get this: The practice is allowed in organic production, too.
7. North Carolina Just Gave Millionaires A Tax Cut, Raised Taxes On The Poorest 900,000 Working Families
The 900,000 poorest working families in North Carolina just got another tax hike from the conservatives who swept state legislature elections in 2010. Low-income North Carolinians will be paying higher taxes in order to pay for a tax cut for the richest people in the state. The combined effects of those tax changes give poor North Carolinians some incentive to move out of the state, a population shift Gov. Pat McCrory (R) hopes to encourage.
8. The U.S. Senate just introduced Fast Track legislation to ram through the Trans-Pacific Partnership
From the drafts of TTP we’ve seen, we know it will: Allow corporations to sue governments in secretive international tribunals; Restrict, police, and censor the Internet; Radically decrease access to affordable medicine;Circumvent protections for workers and the environment;Expand economic inequality; and Prevent corporations from properly labeling genetically modified food.
The documents, viewed by The New York Times, show that the disputes could undo key global environmental protections.
Freedom Industries, Inc. is a Chemical Holding Company in Charleston, West Virginia that has made water there unusable. This photo was submitted by a homeowner who lives there, in what is called the “safe zone.” Freedom Industries, Inc. tried to block their leak into the water supply with a single cinder block and a bag of absorbent powder.
12. Monsanto Wins in Court, Again
The U.S. Supreme Court today issued a decision in the landmark federal lawsuit, Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA) et al v. Monsanto. Farmers were denied the right to argue their case in court and gain protection from potential abuse by the agrochemical and genetic engineering giant, Monsanto. Additionally, the high court decision dashes the hopes of family farmers who sought the opportunity to prove in court Monsanto’s genetically engineered seed patents are invalid.
A 12-year-old boy opened fire with a shotgun on Tuesday at the middle school he attends in Roswell, N.M., striking two among the dozens of students who were gathered inside a gym. The victims, an 11-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl, were flown to University Medical Center in Lubbock, Texas . He was listed in critical condition and she was in satisfactory condition.
An armed sheriff’s deputy was stationed at the school, but the student still was able to enter the building with the gun.
15. Cops Caught On Video Beating Homeless Man To Death Won’t Go To Prison
Two former police officers in Orange County, CA were acquitted of murder Monday for beating a schizophrenic homeless man, Kelly Thomas, to death. After watching a harrowing video showing Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli, along with other officers, brutalizing Thomas, the jury spent less than a day deliberating to find the two men not guilty.
The recording shows Ramos putting on a pair of latex gloves and telling Thomas, “See these fists? They’re getting ready to fuck you up.” As the officers hit him, Thomas begged for help and called out for his father. Cicinelli arrived later, tasing Thomas with a stun gun and then struck him across the face with it hard enough to break several bones. “I just probably smashed his face to hell,” he says on the video. Thomas went unconscious and died five days later
And it’s only 3:00pm.