The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

Digest for June 20th

Here are some of the people writing about some of the stuff I wish I had time to write about, for June 20th from 15:07 to 15:25:

  • Daily Kos: About that homophobic ‘sagging pants’ picture going viral on Facebook…

    "You've probably heard some variation of the "sagging pants" story before. If not, let me have the displeasure of telling you. For a long time, there was a noticeable trend of people wearing pants about 3 sizes too large, which caused them to sag down to their knees, exposing their underwear. It was the ultimate display of swag for a while, but in recent years the trend has fallen off (pun intended).

    One of the major reasons this unfashion trend slowed down is because of the "sagging pants" story. It's a popular thing for teachers and coaches to tell teens to get them to pull their pants up and wear a belt. It goes something like this:

    Back in the 1980s, male prisoners who were serving life sentences gave up all hopes of seeing a woman again, so they decided to be gay with their fellow male inmates. Since the inmates had no way of knowing who was gay or available, the single gay prisoners started wearing their pants down below their underwear. Wearing saggy pants signals other people that you're gay. Pull your pants up.

    And here's the image that's going around Facebook:"

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  • Eat less meat to save planet, researchers warn – Telegraph

    "Eating less meat, particularly beef, recycling more waste and devoting more farmland to crops which can generate biofuels are essential if the world is to combat climate change, experts warned.

    Failure to make our farms more efficient would leave us unable to feed the growing world population and potentially lead to an ecological disaster with ever more dangerous levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, they said.

    Drawing up models of how changes in our diet could impact on farming by 2050, the Exeter University team found that a "high-meat, low-efficiency" situation would increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by 55 parts in a million.

    In contrast, a "low-meat, high-efficiency" scenario would lower carbon dioxide levels by 25 ppm – enough to keep the rise in global temperature below the two-degree threshold which is seen by climate experts as the maximum "safe" increase.

    In practice this would mean reducing the average worldwide meat consumption down from 16.6 per cent to 15 per cent of our daily intake of calories, which in a typical western diet equates to about half of the meat we currently eat. "

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  • Models With Black Eyes, Split Lips and Slit Throats? Fashion Hits New, Sexist Low | Gender | AlterNet

    "Treating women like dirt is hardly a new tactic for the fashion industry, with its long history of objectifying the female body, idealizing physically impossible beauty types and glamorizing violence against women. Bulgaria-based 12 magazine, however, has hit a new low with an inexplicable photo spread in its latest issue titled, “Victim of Beauty” [TRIGGER WARNING].

    The six images are all close-up portraits of young, attractive white models sporting various gruesome injuries: one boasts a black eye, another a slit throat and a third sports a split lip and a bruised neck. Scrolling through this montage of burns, bruises and gashes, it’s easy to forget you’re looking at a “fashion” photo shoot; the images more closely resemble police files of horrendous domestic violence.

    Were the magazine spread a deliberate attempt to raise awareness and generate conversation about our society’sfailure to prevent and punish widespread violence against women, it might be possible to salvage an argument in its favor. But the spread contains no words or explanations to contextualize it, plus editors-in-chief Huben Hubenov and Slav Anastasov have actually gone on record arguing the photos can be interpreted as “beautiful”:"

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  • The World Is Fat (Especially America) – NYTimes.com

    "The world could stand to shed a few pounds. Fifteen million metric tons, in fact, according to a new study.

    In the study, published in the open-access journal BMC Public Health, researchers used country-specific data on body mass index and heights to estimate the biomass of the world’s entire adult population.

    They concluded that in 2005, the global adult human biomass was about 287 million metric tons. (A metric ton is 1,000 kilograms, or about 2,200 pounds.) About 15 million metric tons of that biomass were the extra pounds of people who were overweight (here defined as having a body mass index value above 25). About 3.5 million metric tons of that total biomass were because of obesity (having a B.M.I. above 30).

    The United States is to blame for a lot of those spare tires. While America holds about 5 percent of the world’s adult population, it accounts for about a third of the excess weight because of obesity."

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  • Romney’s "Some Towns Just Don’t Count" Tour | Common Dreams

    "Mitt Romney’s “Every Town Counts” bus tour brought the presumptive Republican presidential nominee across southern Wisconsin and into Iowa Monday and Tuesday.

    But the towns didn’t count enough for him to learn their real histories and their real needs. And the tour scrupulously avoided towns where Romney’s Bain Capital continues to put the hurt on American workers.

    In Janesville, Wisconsin, where a sprawling General Motors plant closed three years ago, socking the town with one of the highest unemployment rates in the region, Romney failed during his stop to discuss the plant or GM. He couldn’t exactly rip into his November opponent, Barack Obama, for not doing eneough to reopen the plant—a credible gripe—since Obama worked during his first term to save GM while Romney talked up the idea of letting the company go bankrupt.

    That’s the problem for Romney. He has been on the wrong side of so many economic fights that it is impossible for him to play the economic populist in communities that could stand with a little populism.

    But the real story of Romney’s tour is the towns that don’t count with him."

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  • Soak The Middle Class | TPM Editors Blog

    "Senate Dems give The Washington Post the jump on a new analysis that puts one of the worst kept secrets in Washington into helpful numerical context: Republicans want the broad middle class to pay more taxes than they currently do, and the upper class to pay significantly less.

    This time around, Democrats on the Joint Economic Committee, with the help of data from the Tax Policy Center, take a look at the House GOP tax plan in Paul Ryan’s budget, and reach an important conclusion: If he honors his commitment to keeping his plan revenue neutral, middle class taxpayers will see their tax burden increase, while the wealthiest Americans will enjoy a huge tax cut."

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  • Penney’s Gay Wager – NYTimes.com

    "Have you followed the recent tussle between J. C. Penney and anti-gay groups? It’s pretty interesting. And it’s pretty suggestive of changed attitudes in this country toward gay men and lesbians.

    It started earlier this year, after J. C. Penney hired Ellen DeGeneres, an outspoken advocate for gay rights and marriage equality, as its pitch woman. There was no indication then—and there is no reason to believe now—that she was chosen because she’s a lesbian. The company’s current CEO, Ron Johnson, told the Associated Press: “I think Ellen is someone we all trust. She’s loveable, likeable, honest and funny, but at her soul, we trust her.”

    Nonetheless, her sexual orientation drew the ire and fire of ultra-conservative Christians, who publicly denounced the retailer and commenced a campaign to have DeGeneres replaced.

    What did J. C. Penney do?

    It reaffirmed its commitment to DeGeneres—and then, last month, at around the time of Mother’s Day, it doubled down and unveiled an ad with a same-sex couple: a pair of moms."

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