We’re calling it an incident, but everyone is expecting the worst: a catastrophic accident in the disappearance of Air France’s flight 447, which left Rio De Janeiro last night and hasn’t been heard from since. Search crews still haven’t found any wreckage, but with this much time off radar we can only speculate that the aircraft met with a bitter end. Judging from the passenger manifests, as would be expected, the nation of Brazil will be one of the hardest hit in terms of victims, second only to France:
The airline company identified the nationalities of the victims as two Americans, an Argentinean, an Austrian, a Belgian, 58 Brazilians, five British, a Canadian, nine Chinese, a Croatian, a Dane, a Dutch, an Estonian, a Filipino, 61 French, a Gambian, 26 Germans, four Hungarians, three Irish, one Icelandic, nine Italians, five Lebanese, two Moroccans, three Norwegians, two Polish, one Romanian, one Russian, three Slovakian, two Spanish, one Swedish, six Swiss and one Turk.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy just met with families at Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris, and was straight with them, saying that the possibility for finding survivors was “very low”.
As the story develops, multiple theories are swirling, among them that the plane met with foul weather and was brought down by a lightning strike, by turbulence or a combination of both, given that the aircraft was flying through rough conditions as it sent out an automatic message notifying Air France maintenance of faulty mechanical equipment.
It sounds like a script for the feel good movie of the year, but it’s a true story. An openly gay L.A. teen decided it might be fun to be a part of his high school’s prom court, but he didn’t want to be prom king — he thought prom queen would be more up his alley. And instead of being the target of bullying or ridicule, Sergio Garcia’s classmates at Fairfax High rallied around him and made his wish come true:
A few days before the dance and election, the contenders gave short speeches on why they deserved the crown.
“At one time, prom may have been a big popularity contest where the best-looking guy or girl were crowned king and queen. Things have changed and it’s no longer just about who has the most friends or who wears the coolest clothes,” Garcia told the crowd of seniors. “Sure, I’m not your typical prom queen candidate. There’s more to me than meets the eye.”
The audience erupted in applause after his speech, and a group of his female friends spent the rest of the week wearing pink crowns and campaigning for him.
On Saturday night at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, wearing a charcoal-gray tuxedo and a black bow tie, he was named prom queen.
“I felt invincible,” Garcia said.
He’s among the first male students in Southern California to take the title usually owned by female high school beauties.
“It just shows how open-minded our class is,” said Vanessa Lo, 18, the school’s senior class president.
While extremists were planning how to kill legal abortion providers here in the U.S, In Chile, where abortion is illegal in all cases, a network of feminist organizations launched a hotline that will give women information about Misoprostol, a drug available in Chile by prescription to treat gastric ulcers, to safely and effectively induce abortion.
Supporters at the hotline’s launching, chanted “Contraception – so we don’t need abortions. Safe abortions – so we don’t die,” reported the Valparaiso Times. Spokesperson Gloria Maira of the Women’s Health Network of Chile said “We consider the right to a safe abortion a health issue.”
Abortion has been illegal in Chile since 1989. There are no exceptions in the law to account for rape, incest, or the life and health of the woman. Despite this, Chile has one of the highest abortion rates in Latin America, with about a third of pregnancies ending in abortion. Hundreds of women die each year from botched abortions in the country.
When I lived in Chile, I learned of the vast underground abortion networks that exist, from documentaries and my college roommates at the pension where I lived. It’s scary to me that young women in any circumstances must resort to these unregulated networks in order to take care of themselves.
According to an article I received in my inbox Sotomayor has said something on Puerto Rico’s status and sovereignty.
NCM Puerto rico
OBAMA’S STRATEGIC MOVES ON PUERTO RICO
Jesús Dávila (Translation by Jan Susler)
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, May 26, 2009 (NCM) – President Barack Obama named to the Supreme Court a jurist who developed the theory that it is viable to make special arrangements with Puerto Rico if it is annexed as a state of the Union, at the same time that its Government initiated steps to free an independentista political prisoner.
Obama’s two strategic actions on Puerto Rico, taken the same day, refer to events that took place about 30 years ago related to two very different aspects of the colonial case of this Caribbean nation, which the U.S. chief has promised to resolved during his first term in office.
The first took place in 1979 when Sonia Sotomayor, a Puerto Rican born and raised in the Bronx, New York, wrote an essay for the Yale University Law Journal — from which she graduated with honors— in which she argued that the history of Puerto Rico as a colony made it constitutionally viable for the United States to respect Puerto Rico’s rights over mining and petroleum in its territorial waters up to 200 miles. According to Sotomayor, as a colonial power, the U.S. acquired a responsibility over “several poor dependencies” and that “some of them, like Puerto Rico, may seek statehood unless they are accorded a greater measure of self-government,” so that arrangements such as giving them the rights over underwater resources would help the new state of the Union to “overcome its economic problems.”
An AirFrance jetliner went missing last night about an hour and a half after takeoff from Rio De Janeiro International Airport. AF 447 was bound for Paris’ Charles De Gaulle airport and was carrying 228 passengers and crew when, at about 8:30 p.m. local time, the plane reported mechanical problems and disappeared from radar screens. While there are little details to report, Air France is preparing for the worst. CNN reports:
“I can say without doubt that this is a catastrophe,” Gourgeon said, adding “the entire Air France company and its staff are very moved and affected by this.”
A crisis center was being set up at Charles de Gaulle to deal with anxious relatives and friends waiting for news of passengers. Air France has also set up a hotline: 0800 800 812 in France, or +33 157021055 for international callers..
Airbus has opened a crisis room and their flight safety team is in place, a company spokesperson told CNN. Airbus is working closely with authorities and Air France, he said, declining to comment further.
Brazil has just launched search teams to recover the aircraft, an Airbus A330-200, around where it was last seen, 365 kilometers off the Brazilian coast in the Atlantic Ocean.
I can’t read most of the mainstream feminist websites. As in I can’t because doing so will likely make me really really angry and I’m angry enough about shit to purposely piss myself off. It’s the same reason I don’t watch Fox news or read the National Review. It’s an act of self-care and a decision to move my words and thoughts forward. Amiga Blackamazon reminded me how in the context of the Sonia Sotomayor nomination, mainstream feminist icons have been largely silent.
From Racism Review:
Funny how I haven’t heard any statements from these women castigating G. Gordon Liddy, Karl Rove, Newt Gingrich, or Michael Steele for their repugnant, sexist, and racist remarks about Judge Sotomayor. Funny how they haven’t jumped out in front of this issue the same way they did when Hillary Clinton was the one on the receiving end of a barrage of sexist statements. Funny how the PUMAs (Party Unity My Ass) who were so outraged at the way the Democratic Party ostensibly treated Hillary Clinton now don’t seem to see this as a worthy cause of their efforts, and aren’t outraged by Democratic politicians’ unwillingness to call these abhorrent statements the blatant misogyny that they are.
What’s not funny are the implications this has for women of all races. When white feminists look the other way when Michelle Obama is callously referred to as “Obama’s Baby Mama,” when Sonia Sotomayor is savaged by right wing conservatives who engage in the basest types of sexism, or more broadly, when women of color across the country face higher rates of abuse, incarceration, and poverty than white women, it sends a clear message about their lack of respect for and interest in the ways sexism impacts women of other racial groups and class positions. It reinforces the idea that white women feminists are interested in maintaining their white privilege while undermining sexism, a process that keeps women of color oppressed but broadens the category of whites who have access to and are able to wield power over others. It perpetuates the (erroneous) message that feminism has nothing to offer women of color, even though they too suffer from the gender wage gap, sexual violence, and all the other manifestations of gender inequality.
I do not understand why white feminists like Steinem, Ferraro, Burk, and others still don’t seem to get this message that intersections of race and gender matter and that the feminist movement cannot succeed without the influence and involvement of ALL women.
This point has been made for years, by many progressive white women (playwright Eve Ensler, sociologist Margaret Andersen) and feminists of color (sociologist Patricia Hill Collins, activist Pauli Murray, writer Alice Walker). It would be really nice if the rampant sexism being directed towards Sonia Sotomayor finally served as an overdue wake-up call about the importance of both race and gender.