In 2012, according to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Office of Vital Statistics more abortions were performed on black women in New York City than black children were born. As of 2008, according to Planned Parenthood's statistical arm, The Guttmacher Institute, only 36% of all abortions were performed on non-Hispanic white women. According to the pro-life group Live Action, in 2010, Planned Parenthood began the process of accepting donations from undercover investigators posting as willing funders, who requested the money specifically be directed to programs that followed Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger's original intent in providing family planning services: eliminating minority populations.
Look, I think the last thing you should talk about at Thanksgiving is politics. There's too much food, too much alcohol, too much football-related disappointment, and generally, far too many relatives you'd rather not see let alone be related to by blood. But in anticipation of the dinner table conversation turning to (what else?) the national healthcare program known as Obamacare, liberal website Think Progress has released a set of talking points designed to silence conservative family members lest they deign to criticize our fearless leader and his signature achievement.
No, I'm not sure they realize that releasing it this early would give people time to Google appropriate responses, but they also assume that the only person opposed to authoritarian governmental policies is somehow over the age of 120, so make of that what you will.
Last night, I tried to stay off social media, but felt the urge to Tweet about how looting and destroying local businesses does nothing to harm corporations, the police, or the legal system, but it does harm community members who are working hard to put food on the table for themselves.
No matter how you feel about how justice was or was not served last night, it does not justify the wanton destruction of other people's property. It's not even an effective tactic for expressing outrage at the state. As anyone involved in civil disobedience, past and present, knows, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and John Lennon, to name just a couple, police and media understand how to deal with violence. It's non-violence they don't understand.
That said, one of the strangest visuals to come out of last night's riots is this, from Reddit. I can't substantiate the veracity of the photo itself, but according to multiple sources, it appears to be the owner of the market Michael Brown was accused of robbing before he encountered Officer Darren Wilson
The grand jury assembled to determine whether Officer Darren Wilson should face charges in the death of Michael Brown has reached a decision. News outlets expect to hear from the County Prosecutors Office in Missouri and from the Governor's Office either around 5pm EST today or early tomorrow morning. Cable news anchors have been ordered to pack up the tents they've been sleeping in in Ferguson for the last month as they waited for the decision and get into makeup.
I made the last part up, but you know it's happening.
By now, I'm sure you've seen Saturday Night Live's Schoolhouse Rock-themed cold open making fun of President Obama's use of executive actions to bypass a Congressional deadlock on a rather important subject. But just in case you haven't:
It's pretty good, or as good as we can expect Saturday Night Live to be, though things seem to have gotten better now that Seth Meyers is only writing terrible jokes for himself. And, perhaps despite itself, it actually does a decent job of explaining how Obama's use of executive action compares to the measure's traditional use. Someone in the writer's room actually passed high school civics.
Ferguson, Missouri is, right now, on pins and needles, waiting for the grand jury's decision whether or not to charge Officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown. On Monday, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency and called in the national guard, and today, he announced a small coalition of pastors, law enforcement professionals and others, who will be charged with helping Ferguson recover and rebuild from months of protests.
But while entertainers have visited the city to cheer on the Ferguson protesters, no one has really gone all in on the protests themselves.
That is, no one has really gone all in on the protests themselves, until now. Last September, the world's worst rock band, Nickelback, released a Ferguson protest song that two million people subjected themselves to on YouTube. The song is titled "Edge of a Revolution," it's everything you've come to expect from Nickelback, with a bonus dose of political philosophy, no doubt borne out of the experiences of their hardscrabble Canadian upbringings, and, like, ten minutes of live Ferguson footage Chad Kroeger saw once on CNN.
Yesterday, the New York Times revealed that Al Sharpton owes around $4.5 million in back taxes to state and local authorities. They also noted that, while Al Sharpton has commented before that he's been slowly paying off his tax obligations, his accounts have allegedly grown with the state, alongside numerous overdue accounts for travel, hotel, entertainment, rent and private school tuition.
Willow and Jaden Smith, the children of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, have new albums coming out, and the New York Times thought it might be a good idea to interview them, because artists love to be interviewed when they have something to promote, and because they are children of celebrities they must, by definition, have interesting things to say that could one day prove useful in a deposition. Su Wu, the story's author, could not have been disappointed.
Apparently, for the last four years, Time Magazine, which still exists despite all evidence to the contrary, has conducted a poll of online users over which "Word of the Year" to ban. To this day, none of the winners, including "YOLO" and "twerk" have been effectively banned, as we know because people still insist on both using them, and that Miley Cyrus is being deliberately terrible in pursuit of some sort of Dada-esque artistic merit.
This year, in a fit of what is clearly masochism, Time decided to include the word "feminst," which, by all accounts, thanks to the Internet's perpetual cycle of outrage, has lost all meaning as an ideology. Their rationale? It's become a celebrity buzzword, that movie stars and 25-year-old priveleged memoir authors plaster on themselves before considering, for example, which women-only sweatshop their designer-inspired makeup bag hails from.
Vladimir Putin went to the G20 thinking that he wasn't going to have to do much except sit in a comfortable chair with his fingers tented like a Bond villain, as other countries discussed their economic inter-relationship and possible locations for that Olympics no one wants to host that might end up in Kazakhstan. But then Chelsea Handler made it awkward. And then Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, made it super awkward. As did David Cameron, UK Prime Minister. And despite Vladimir Putin's best efforts at soundlessly communicating his global position of being one needlessly high-tech underwater sea base away from launching a satellite to control Earth's weather, the other leaders seemed oddly unafraid.