Tom Danehy: Tom argues there are too many weak arguments in politics these days (Tucson Weekly)
My liberal pedigree goes back decades, having been carefully molded on all sides. Born into poverty; both sides of my family new to America; brought up in the inner city during the Civil Rights struggles; and my dad a union man. You can pretty much check off all of the boxes. And while my old style of liberalism doesn't exactly jibe with what passes for liberalism these days, on most issues, I'm still to the left of most and way to the left of some.
Suzanne Moore: Being a 'difficult' woman is good - but it can disguise a ruthless authoritarianism (The Guardian)
It is important to understand how Margaret Thatcher used her gender, instead of pretending it was irrelevant. Both Theresa May and Andrea Leadsom are Thatcher MK II.
David Christopher Bell: 5 Reasons It's Now Impossible To Tell If A New Movie's Good (Cracked)
Is it just me, or do movie trailers kinda blow? Despite costing 50 times more than they did in the '80s, the average preview is packed with so many spoilers that you're sick of the movie before it comes out. Combine that with the sheer volume of internet chatter and most days it seems impossible to know if a movie will actually be good.
Erika Nicole Kendall: Want a healthier diet? Then don't believe the hype (The Guardian)
The discrepancy between what nutritionists say is healthy and what the general public believes comes from our susceptibility to clever marketing.
Jia Tolentino: Interview With a Woman Who Recently Had an Abortion at 32 Weeks (Jezebel)
Elizabeth* is 35. She grew up in the South, currently lives in Brooklyn, and has been married for two years. After a previous miscarriage at 10 weeks, she was overjoyed to find herself pregnant for a second time. At 31 weeks, she found out that the baby boy she was carrying wouldn't be able to breathe outside the womb and would not survive.
Stuart Heritage: HiddleSwift rolls on - as do the rumours it's all a hoax (The Guardian)
Is Taylor Swift attempting to bag the next James Bond theme tune? Seems unlikely. But if her outpouring of public ickiness with Tom Hiddleston is fake, they should both prepare for a backlash.
Adam Tod Brown: Awful Reasons The Purge Could Actually Work (Cracked)
Rejoice! One of my favorite happenings is finally upon us! Of course, I don't mean the Fourth of July. Fireworks are stupid, and quite frankly, it's probably high time a country with better organizational skills take the reins for a while. If freedom means maybe electing Trump, we can obviously do without it for a while. No, what I'm excited about is that there's another installment of The Purge series in theaters right now.
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Michelle in AZ
from Marc Perkel
from that Mad Cat, JD
IT'S WORSE THAN WE THINK!
"LET THE SUN SHINE!"
THE DODGY DOSSIER.
"JESUS CAMP" TEN YEARS LATER.
THE AIR BAG IMPLODES!
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
Next week's gonna be a bit hectic - the Big-Ass Trade Show is Monday & Tuesday and that means extra-extra-long days.
"I Think It's Really Unfortunate"
Speaking exclusively to THR, the actor and LGBT activist says the 'Star Trek Beyond' development for his character is out of step with what creator Gene Roddenberry would have wanted.
The idea came from Simon Pegg, who plays Scotty in the new films and penned the Beyondscreenplay, and director Justin Lin, both of whom wanted to pay homage to Takei's legacy as both a sci-fi icon and beloved LGBT activist.
And so a scene was written into the new film, very matter-of-fact, in which Sulu is pictured with a male spouse raising their infant child. Pegg and Lin assumed, reasonably, that Takei would be overjoyed at the development - a manifestation of that conversation with Roddenberry in his swimming pool so many years ago.
Except Takei wasn't overjoyed. He had never asked for Sulu to be gay. In fact, he'd much prefer that he stay straight. "I'm delighted that there's a gay character," he tells The Hollywood Reporter. "Unfortunately, it's a twisting of Gene's creation, to which he put in so much thought. I think it's really unfortunate."
Takei explains that Roddenberry was exhaustive in conceiving his Star Trek characters. (The name Sulu, for example, was based on the Sulu Sea off the coast of the Philippines, so as to render his Asian nationality indeterminate.) And Roddenberry had always envisioned Sulu as heterosexual.
'Lucky To Be Alive'
Comedian Sarah Silverman says she's "insanely lucky to be alive" after undergoing surgery and spending a week in the intensive care unit due to what she calls "a freak case of epiglottitis."
Epiglottitis is a swelling of the cartilage lid that covers the windpipe. The condition can block the flow of air into lungs and is potentially life threatening.
Silverman writes in a Facebook post Wednesday that she underwent surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and couldn't be put to sleep for the recovery process due to low blood pressure. She adds that she had to have her hands restrained to keep her from pulling out her breathing tube. She didn't say when the surgery took place.
She says she owes her life to the hospital's staff.
In the wake of the news that Gretchen Carlson has filed a sexual harassment suit against Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, a spotlight is being cast on the network and its anchors.
On Thursday, Bloomberg Politics released a supercut of footage from Carlson's time co-hosting Fox & Friends that highlights her male co-hosts repeatedly commenting on her appearance, gender and clothing.
"Gorgeous, gorgeous! Look at her today. Beautiful dress. You look wonderful," Eric Bolling says at one point, while Brian Kilmeade is shown talking about whether the show is too hot before saying: "But Gretchen is really too hot. Blame her!"
Another relevant clip which isn't featured in Bloomberg's supercut is footage of Carlson walking off set in 2012 in response to one of Kilmeade's comments.
"Women are everywhere. We're letting them play golf and tennis now, it's out of control," he says as Carlson gets up and walks off.
Elaborate Funeral Had 6 Stages
A diminutive woman buried in a cave in Israel 12,000 years ago was likely a person of importance and was interred with great ceremony, including a feast of 86 tortoises, archaeological evidence suggests.
After years of analysis, experts have reconstructed the stages of a funeral ritual performed as the body was laid to rest, piecing together the chain of events with the help of unusual objects that were found at the burial site.
The researchers described a six-step process that acknowledged the respected position that the woman held in life, and hints at the complexity of burial rituals practiced in the region thousands of years in the past.
Study lead author Leore Grosman, a professor at the Institute of Archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, discovered the grave in 2005, in a cave called Hilazon Tachtit, located in western Galilee in northern Israel.
The findings were published online April 26 in the journal Current Anthropology.
Unindicted war criminal George W. Bush says the world is a better place without Saddam Hussein in power following the release of a lengthy inquiry into the Iraq war.
A spokesperson for Bush released a statement Wednesday afternoon after the release of the Chilcot report on Britain's role in the war, according to the Guardian.
Bush is said not to have read the report in full as of yet, according to the statement. He went on to defend former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who has been accused of overselling the war in Iraq to the public in the United Kingdom.
The 2.6-million-word report, overseen by retired civil servant John Chilcot, is some seven years in the making and concluded that military action for the U.K. "at that time was not a last resort."
'No Means No'
German lawmakers passed a bill Thursday that will make it easier for victims of sex crimes to file criminal complaints if they rejected their attacker's advances with a clear "no."
The move was partly spurred by a nationwide outcry over a string of sexual assaults that happened in the western city of Cologne over New Year's.
German law previously required victims to show that they physically resisted attack before charges for rape and other sexual assaults could be brought. Women's rights campaigners argued that Germany's failure to recognize the principle of "no means no" was one of the main reasons for low reporting and conviction rates for rape in the country.
"In the past, there were cases where women were raped but the perpetrators couldn't be punished," German Minister for Women Manuela Schwesig said. "The change in the law will help increase the number of victims who choose to press charges, lower the number of criminal prosecutions that are shelved and ensure sexual assaults are properly punished."
The bill passed easily thanks to the government's large parliamentary majority. Opposition parties welcomed the lowering of the threshold for prosecutions, but criticized two measures in the bill that could see people who aren't directly involved in the assault punished and foreigners deported for sexual harassment.
Gawker Media LLC won approval from a U.S. bankruptcy court judge on Thursday to begin a process to sell itself, allowing the online publishing pioneer to begin an auction that is expected to attract several bidders.
Gawker filed for bankruptcy mainly to shield itself from a $140 million judgment from former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan, who won the judgment after Gawker published an excerpt of his sex tape.
Gawker filed for bankruptcy last month with an offer from media publisher Ziff Davis LLC to buy the company for $90 million, setting the floor for a court-supervised auction.
The company could not pursue potential other offers until judge Stuart Bernstein approved the mechanism for the auction, as well recognized Ziff Davis' stalking horse bid, according to court papers.
Visitors Must Dress Properly
Visitors who dress immodestly will not be allowed to enter Cambodia's famed Angkor temple complex, the agency that oversees the site said Thursday.
Long Kosal, a spokesman for Apsara Authority, which oversees the archaeological complex, said that beginning Aug. 4, local and foreign tourists will be required to wear pants or skirts below the knees and shirts that cover their shoulders. Those not dressed appropriately will be required to change their clothes before being allowed to enter the temple site in northwestern Cambodia.
Long Kosal said the ban was implemented because "Wearing revealing clothes disrespects the temple's sanctity."
He said that his organization had advised tour agencies, hotels and airport officials last December that all foreign visitors should be aware of what type of clothes they should wear when they visit.
Illustrations of what is considered inappropriate clothing and behavior are being posted on the organization's website, an English version of which is still under construction.
Planet With Three Stars
An international team of astronomers announced Thursday the discovery of a strange planet in a faraway solar system that contains not one sun, but three of them.
This distant world appears even more unusual than the home planet of Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars saga, Tatooine, which orbited around two suns, according to the findings published in the US journal Science.
Such binary solar systems may be relatively common in the universe, but experts say those involving three stars or more are rare.
The planet has been named HD 131399Ab, and it is located about 340 light years from Earth in the constellation Centaurus.
The cosmic body is believed to be relatively young, about 16 million years old, which makes it one of the youngest planets discovered outside our solar system to date.
John McMartin, the versatile, gentlemanly Tony Award-nominated actor who starred on Broadway in such shows as "Follies" and "Sweet Charity," has died, according to his manager. McMartin was 86.
McMartin, who was equally at home in plays as well as musicals, was nominated for five Tonys, starting in 1966's "Sweet Charity." The silver-haired actor also was nominated for "Don Juan," ''Showboat" and "High Society."
He was earned a Tony nod in the 2002 Tony-winning revival of the Stephen Sondheim-James Lapine musical "Into the Woods," playing the narrator opposite Vanessa Williams as the witch. Other recent Broadway credits include the 2011 revival of "Anything Goes," ''A Free Man of Color" in 2010 and "Grey Gardens" in 2006.
In 1994, McMartin starred as Cap'n Andy in a revival of "Show Boat," a classic Broadway musical by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II, reinterpreted by director Harold Prince. The rest of the cast included Elaine Stritch as Parthy, Mark Jacoby as Gaylord Ravenal and Rebecca Luker as Magnolia. He also was in the Cole Porter musical "Happy New Year" in 1980.
The Warsaw, Indiana, native was most famous for originating the role of Ben Stone in Sondheim's "Follies." He remained active into his 80s, last starring on Broadway as Sen. Richard Russell in "All the Way," the play about Lyndon Johnson featuring Bryan Cranston in 2013.
McMartin also had many TV and film roles. He played a newspaper editor in the classic film "All the President's Men" and had guest parts on such shows as "Murder, She Wrote," 'Oz'," ''Touched by an Angel" and, most recently, "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt."