Net Neutrality Will Make a Comeback in 2022 (Maria)

The author writes, “A new chapter in the ongoing saga of net neutrality and who governs the internet will take shape over the next year, thanks to another shift in power at the Federal Communications Commission. With new appointees from President Joe Biden firming up a Democratic majority at the agency, reinstating Obama-era net neutrality rules thrown out under the Trump administration will be a top priority for the agency. Net neutrality is the principle that all traffic on the internet should be treated equally.”

Former SPD Officer Fired for Punching Handcuffed Woman Files Lawsuit Alleging Race Was Factor (Reader Steve)

From The Seattle Times: “Adley Shepherd, the former Seattle police officer who was fired for punching a handcuffed woman in 2014 — setting in motion events that would undermine the city’s police reform efforts and prolong federal oversight by years — has filed a lawsuit alleging the Seattle Police Department was negligent in his training and supervision and unfair in his punishment because he is Black. The lawsuit, filed in US District Court in Seattle, is the latest twist in a saga that has wound its way through Seattle’s courtrooms for eight years. Shepherd was fired in 2016 by former Chief Kathleen O’Toole for throwing that punch. However, he was ordered reinstated by an arbitrator two years later, a decision that ultimately derailed the city’s efforts to resolve a decade of federal oversight, which continues today.”

‘20 Years of US Torture and Counting’: Report Details Post-9/11 Abuse at Gitmo and Beyond (Reader Pat)

From Common Dreams: “‘This report lays out a comprehensive assessment of the many unconscionable costs of US torture and illegal detentions and renditions of Muslims over the past 20 years since 9/11,’ said Stephanie Savell, co-director of the Costs of War Project, in a statement. ‘This is a moral failure of epic proportions, a stain on the nation’s human rights record, a strategic blunder, and an abhorrent perpetuation of Islamophobia and racism.’ The authors assess the ‘massive costs of US extraordinary renditions, unlawful detentions, and torture after September 11 — including to the victims and suspects, to US taxpayers, and to US moral authority and counterterrorism efforts worldwide, ultimately jeopardizing universal human rights protections for everyone.’”

QAnon Star Who Said Only ‘Idiots’ Get Vax Dies of COVID (Russ)

From the Daily Beast: “A leading QAnon promoter who urged both her followers and strangers she passed on the street not to take the COVID vaccine died Thursday of the coronavirus, making her just the latest vaccine opponent killed by the disease. Cirsten Weldon had amassed tens of thousands of followers across right-wing social media networks by promoting the pro-Trump QAnon conspiracy under the screenname ‘CirstenW.’ She was prominent enough to become a sort of QAnon interpreter for comedian conspiracy theorist Roseanne Barr and started recording videos about QAnon with her.”

Planned Parenthood Leader Speaks in Knoxville After Fire Causes ‘Total Loss’ of Clinic (DonkeyHotey)

The author writes, “Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi CEO Ashley Coffield said Thursday morning they plan to rebuild the Knoxville clinic after a Dec. 31 fire destroyed the East Knoxville health center. The cause has not yet been determined by fire officials. ‘We were just six weeks shy of a $2.2 million construction project that doubled the size of the building and provided larger and more welcoming space for our staff. And patients,’ Coffield said. ‘The fire on December 31, erased the hard work of many, many people, including our staff, our board of directors, our donors, our contractor and architect and engineer, our lawyer.’”

Have We Forgotten How to Read Critically? (Sean)

From Dame: “We used to understand this, I think. (‘Who’s we?’ the careful reader should always ask, following a sentence like that. But like most questions, it is one you could always ask yourself, quietly, while looking for answers elsewhere in the text. Reading!) But social media has tilted things so that books by contemporary authors — let alone essays — are no longer portable worlds that awaken when a reader enters and slumber when one leaves. Today, the author is not dead until the author is actually dead. In the meantime, every published piece of writing is treated as the beginning of a conversation — or worse, a workshop piece — by some readers, each of whom feels entitled to a bespoke response.” 

Enormous Sea Dragon Fossil From 180 Million Years Ago Discovered in England (Carina)

The author writes, “The remains of a monstrous, 33-foot-long (10 meters) ‘sea dragon’ that swam in the seas when dinosaurs were alive some 180 million years ago have been unearthed on a nature reserve in England. The behemoth is the biggest and most complete fossil of its kind ever discovered in the UK. ‘It is a truly unprecedented discovery and one of the greatest finds in British palaeontological history,’ excavation leader Dean Lomax, a paleontologist and visiting scientist at the University of Manchester, said in a statement. Though many such ichthyosaurs have been found in the UK, none have been as large as the current discovery.”

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