Evening News: Rachel, Leticia, Wendy and Raccoon Dogs from Super Mario Bros.Posted: June 27, 2013
Let’s start tonight’s round-up with a look at today’s courtroom appearance of Rachel Jeantel. She is the friend of Trayvon Martin, the one who was on the phone with him the night he was murdered by George Zimmerman. The smearing of Rachel Jeantel – Salon.com
Rachel Jeantel is a 19-year-old Florida woman. On Facebook and Twitter, she’s been known to post photos of her nails and talk about drinking. She is also the last person to have spoken with Trayvon Martin before George Zimmerman shot him to death last year, the woman who was on the phone with him when his fateful encounter unfolded. She is known in the justice system as Witness #8 in Zimmerman’s trial. She is, in fact, the prosecution’s key witness. But you’d be forgiven if you’d gotten the impression recently that she was sitting up there to defend herself.Rachel Jeantel, the witness that was on the phone with Trayvon Martin just before he died, gives her testimony to the prosecution during George Zimmerman’s trial in Seminole circuit court in Sanford, Fla. Wednesday, June 26, 2013. Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder for the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin.(AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Jacob Langston, Pool) (Credit: AP)
Jeantel does not fit the comfortable image of the grieving girl. As Rachel Samara wrote Wednesday in Global Grind, “A predominantly white jury is not going to like Rachel Jeantel,” a girl “who has no media training and who is fully entrenched in a hostile environment.” There is confusion over whether or not she was Martin’s girlfriend, which eradicates her chances of being depicted as a devastated young quasi-widow. On the stand, she has been blunt, hostile and at times seemingly confused. Online, she has a documented history that includes partying. She is not thin or blond or demure. So there goes her credibility.
You can read more of this good review of the way things have been going with the testimony and questioning of Rachel. If you want to see some of the video from the past two days you can catch some of the highlights here: Rachel Jeantel | Mediaite
Now on to Leticia: Shakesville: ♥ Senator Leticia Van de Putte ♥
At the end of Texas Senator Wendy Davis’ epic filibuster Tuesday night, after it had been ended by her mendacious Republican colleagues, right before midnight, Senator Leticia Van de Putte took the mic. And then this happened:
Cygnus…there is the video you were looking for! Here is what Leticia had to say:
Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, a middle-aged Latina woman, holds a mic and says: “Mr. President, a parliamentary inquiry.” Offscreen, the president of the state senate, a white man, says, “State your inquiry.” Van de Putte asks, “At what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over the male colleagues in the room?” Cheers and applause. The video ends after a few moments, but the cheering and applause continued for ages.
Okay, back to the Shakesville post:
Yesterday, she penned a piece for the Houston Chronicle titled “Why I stood with Wendy: Texas women must be heard.” [NB: Not only women need access to a full spectrum of reproductive choice.] You should definitely read the whole thing, because it is very good! I especially loved this:
Unfortunately, some of my Senate colleagues do not believe in trusting women with their reproductive organs. It’s amazing to me that they do not trust women with a choice, but they trust them with a child.
If you would like to send her a thank-you for also standing up for women and other people with uteri in Texas and throughout the country, you can send a note to her here.
Alright, lastly…Wendy Davis kicked some ass a couple of days ago…today Rick Perry said a few things that makes me want to go kick his ass. Here is what Digby said about it: “The louder they scream, the more we know that we are getting something done.”
TEXAS GOVERNOR RICK PERRY: “In fact, even the woman who filibustered the Senate the other day was born into difficult circumstances. She was the daughter of as single woman, she was a teenage mother herself. She managed to eventually graduate from Harvard Law School and serve in the Texas senate. It is just unfortunate that she hasn’t learned from her own example that every life must be given a chance to realize its full potential and that every life matters.”
It really takes some brass for this privileged jackass to not only tell women what they can do with their own bodies but also lecture them on the lessons they should take from their own life experience. We’re not even allowed to have that, I guess.
But that’s not even the worst of it:
During his remarks, the Texas governor also described Davis’ filibuster as “hijacking of the Democratic process” and said of the pro-choice movement, “the louder they scream, the more we know that we are getting something done.”
She then goes on to mention the shit going on in Ohio…and she says:
The right to abortion has been acknowledged for 40 years now. That they are still pulling this crap a full generation later proves that no matter how much you think your rights are secured, these people will be trying to roll them back. After all, just this week the US Supreme Court struck down the Voting Rights Act at a time of systematic vote suppression.
It’s good to celebrate our progress. But nobody should be complacent.
That is something we have been saying here for a long, long time.
I want to end with this link about a primitive dog, that looks like a Raccoon…Raccoon Dogs Invading Europe
They can’t fly or turn into statues, but the creatures that inspired the magic suit that turned Mario into a killer raccoon from Japanese mythology are real, and they don’t need magic powers to invade Europe. Raccoon dogs — which despite their raccoon-like aesthetic are primitive canines and not related to the raccoon — are becoming more widespread throughout Europe. Then again, it’s kind of hard to have a problem with an invasion by a creature this charming.
Native to Korea and Japan, raccoon dogs may be most familiar to many readers as the inspiration for the mythological tanuki, the magical raccoon made famous in Super Marios Bros.3 – where the accepted spelling is apparently Tanooki? Okay, sure. Of course, raccoon dogs don’t have the powers ascribed to them by the game, nor do they boast the grotesquely over-sized testicles they were famed for in Japanese mythology, a facet of tanuki lore that was inexplicably scrubbed from the video game version.
What the furry, face-masked creatures do have is a great deal of adaptability. Their ability to live in a wide variety of environments — from forests to meadows to urban areas — has helped the raccoon dog population boom since they were introduced to Europe in the early 20th century. Initially brought to Europe by Russians who enjoyed hunting the creatures, raccoon dogs weren’t content to loaf there, and over the course of decades, they’ve expanded their range to include large swaths of Central Europe and even Scandinavian countries like Finland.
Isn’t that something? They look like raccoons, or even like that red panda that escaped from the National Zoo last week.
A new paper released this month in the Journal of Zoology traces the evolution of the raccoon dog from its roots in Asia, though, and suggests that we may have seen nothing yet as far as the tanukis spread. The paper suggests that populations of the animals dwindled sharply, only to explode when the ice sheets retreated at the end of the last ice age. Considering we’re not due for any more ice ages in the near future, and things are actively heating up in many parts of the world, we may have only seen the beginning of the raccoon dogs intercontinental adventure. There are worse fates, though — as far as invasive species go, we’ll always take ones you can cuddle with over ones you can’t. Looking at you, Asian carp. You know what you did.
Y’all have a great night.
This is an open thread.