Friday, April 4, 2014

Alternate Realities Roundup 4/4

Posted By on April 4, 2014, 11:41 AM

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Texas executed a man and refused to disclose the source of the lethal injection to confirm that the death sentence would not be cruel and unusual.---

Top of the Alty World

“Texas Won't Say How They Killed a Man Last Night”--Think Progress

The deadly shooting at Fort Hood raises questions about treatment for returning veterans.--Democracy Now!

ProPublica looks at the shortcomings of the proposed NSA reforms.--ProPublica

Tense relations with Russia are stoking new Cold War fears from experts.--The Verge

Top of Alty Utah

Governor Herbert vetoes a bill born of the Swallow investigation and one requiring parental review of curriculum items.--Utah Political Capitol

Utah Policy runs down the five most vulnerable seats in the Utah Legislature.--Utah Policy

The Utah Pride Center agrees to revive programming to help elderly LGBT Utahns.--Q Salt Lake

Jack Stiles is being prosecuted for wanting to commit a mass shooting a crime he reported to the police himself, but his lawyer worries the system is punishing him for seeking help.--Salt Lake City Weekly

A new web feature shows what's stocked at Utah liquor stores.--Salt Lake City Weekly

Rantosphere

The Nation looks at the recent Supreme Court allowing unlimited donations by individuals to various political candidates and the recent decision gutting the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

“Now we have McCutcheon v. FEC, where the Court, in yet another controversial 5-4 opinion written by Roberts, struck down the limits on how much an individual can contribute to candidates, parties and political action committees. So instead of an individual donor being allowed to give $117,000 to campaigns, parties and PACs in an election cycle (the aggregate limit in 2012), they can now give up to $3.5 million, Andy Kroll of Mother Jones reports.

The Court’s conservative majority believes that the First Amendment gives wealthy donors and powerful corporations the carte blanche right to buy an election but that the Fifteenth Amendment does not give Americans the right to vote free of racial discrimination.”--The Nation

The Long View

The Boise Weekly looks at three transgender women who renamed themselves to match their authentic selves.

“In the back corner of the courtroom that same day, sitting tucked in a large, black trench coat, Joshua Walton waited for a similar summons. After the judge spoke, Joshua turned and headed back to her seat as Jessica Walton. Her long red hair tufted out of a braid down her back; but, other than that, her appearance could fall under either gender. After she left the florescent-lit courtroom, Walton thought about her dad. That's what spurred her to do this. She said she'd never felt quite right in her skin.

"That's the one thing I regret," Walton said. "Not coming out to him. I think he just wanted to know what was going on. He was more concerned about me being happy than me being gay or straight. He's my dad. He wanted me to be happy. I loved him, he loved me." Walton was in the military the last time she heard from her dad. She joined the Air Force hoping it would leave her no choice but to adopt a more masculine identity. She waited for herself to "man up," but it didn't happen. Her dad was a private military contractor himself and spent time in Iraq, where he saw the kinds of things that give people PTSD, and eventually drank himself away.”--Boise Weekly

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