A lot seems to be happening in Oregon this week, not the least of which are some misguided white dudes with guns holding up a bird sanctuary. Let’s get into some of the news that caught my eye this week:
Some reporters called them “militia,” and some called them “protestors,” and I’m just going to call them whiny manbabies with firearms who are experiencing a hell of a lot of White Privilege™. Anyway, a group of Oregon and out-of-state ranchers are currently occupying a federal wildlife refuge building because they are upset that two other ranchers are going to prison for arson. Arson that they definitely committed to cover up their poaching. Okay.
Oregon Public Broadcasting has an additional breakdown of what is happening here.
Meanwhile, the Paiute tribe has pointed out that the land is really theirs, and maybe both these “protesters” and the federal government should GTFO:
She [Paiute tribal chairwoman Charlotte Rodrique] said the sprawling wildlife reserve is part of the tribe’s ancestral territory and is protected under terms of an agreement signed with federal officials more than a century ago. The tribe still uses the refuge for sacred religious and cultural ceremonies, such as collecting plants for medicine and crafts.
“This land belonged to the Paiute people as wintering grounds long before the first settlers, ranchers and trappers ever arrived here,” Rodrique said, “We haven’t given up our rights to the land. We have protected sites there. We still use the land.”
In Other News:
The Obama Administration is enacting a series of executive actions to combat gun violence (meaning, they don’t need Congressional approval). The measures include stricter background checks and a Pentagon-based study on gun violence.
EU Officials announced that just 272 Syrian refugees have been relocated — AKA just 0.17% of the pledged amount.
And Turkish police found a factory making fake life jackets, primarily for refugees to purchase. That’s a special level of horrendous.
Birth control pills are now available without a prescription in both Oregon and California. I do hope the form they have patients fill out at pharmacies adequately describes the potential health complications, especially for people who smoke.
Two new studies published in Journal of Bisexuality confirm that bisexuals experience discrimination from the not-straight community as much as they do outside of it. (And all the bi people out there say, “In ‘Water is Wet’ News…” but it’s good to have some studies to confirm anecdotes.)
We’ve got four new elements in the periodic table, according to the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry.
Jason Wingreen, the original (and uncredited) voice of Boba Fett in Star Wars, also died this week. He was 95.
Hey, want to read lots of kick-ass longreads by women, including queer women and women of color? Autostraddle has the list for you.
And finally, Disney released a short look at their upcoming film Moana. Get excited:
Until next time, friends.