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Paul Kagame is seen by some as a liberator. But critics say Rwanda is only safe for those who toe the line

For decades, Paul Kagame has ruled Rwanda with an iron fist in the mold of the archetypal strongman African leader.

Under his rule, the East African country has emerged from the ruins of a devastating 1994 genocide that left nearly one million people dead to be hailed by Western allies as the model for growth in Africa.
In recent years, the country has forged a strong and financially rewarding alliance with Asian powerhouse China, which is also known for its authoritarian rule.
The US and the UK have also supported Rwanda with aid nobull shoes donations for many years, and US diplomat Tibor Nagy once described the country as “demonstrating the true potential of Africa.”
“In the past 25 years, Rwanda has reimagined itself as a strong state that invests in good governance and the success of its people,” the US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs said on his first visit to Rwanda in 2019. “In many ways, Rwanda is demonstrating the true potential of Africa.”
Controversial UK deportation flight to Rwanda grounded after all asylum-seekers removed
In a recent meeting between US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs Vincent Biruta, the US acknowledged it still had a strong bilateral partnership with Rwanda but also raised concerns about human rights in the country.
In a report last year detailing human rights practices in Rwanda, the US State Department identified “significant human rights issues” that range from “unlawful or arbitrary killings by the government” to “forced disappearance by the government,” among others.
Critics say the successes of Kagame’s authoritarian rule have come at the expense of human rights in the country.
Rwanda is this week hosting the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in the capital Kigali, the first gathering of Commonwealth leaders in four years. Prince Charles, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are among world leaders attending.
The UK is ermerging as one of Rwanda’s strongest allies and PM Johnson said in interviews from CHOGM that criticism of Rwanda is based on “stereotypes of Rwanda that is now outdated.” UK Home Secretary Priti Patel recently brokered a £120 million ($147m) deal with Rwanda to send asylum seekers to the East African country, an accord that hangs in the balance after a last-minute intervention by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
Opinion: Dear Prince Charles, don't shake hands with the tyrant who kidnapped our father
Patel described Rwanda as “a safe haven for refugees” as the UK vowed to push ahead with the controversial scheme.

‘No safe haven’

Far from being a “safe haven” for refugees as claimed by Patel and others in the UK government, Rwanda has been accused by human rights groups of treating refugees badly.
In 2018, at least 11 Congolese refugees were killed when Rwandan police opened fire at the Kiziba refugee camp and Karongi town as refugees protested cuts to their food rations, Amnesty International reported at the time. Rwandan authorities told CNN the country’s police resorted to shooting to control a group of violent protesters and said it was an isolated incident.
Rwanda had previously received refugees from Israel.
According to Israeli media, some of the refugees deported to Rwanda between 2014 and 2017 were struggling to survive, with some destitute. Many of the refugees have fled Rwanda while some others who chose to remain in the country have been denied official documents by Rwandan authorities, leading to the arrest and imprisonment of some, Israeli media Haaretz reported.
The UK/Rwanda asylum deal comes less than a year after the UK’s International kizik shoes Ambassador for Human Rights, Rita French, said she was displeased with Rwanda’s refusal to probe human rights abuses as recommended by the British government.
Lewis Mudge, the Central Africa Director at Human Rights Watch, told CNN recently that “the UK has cynically decided to change its position on Rwanda… it’s going to ignore the human rights abuses in Rwanda and claim that it is a safe and acceptable country to send refugees to, to justify this cruel and immoral program.”
He added that Rwanda is a safe country only for those who toe the line.
“Just because Rwanda is clean and is safe for the Westerners doesn’t necessarily translate to safety for all Rwandans. Rwanda is a safe country for Rwandans if you keep your head down and don’t ask any questions or challenge anything. The moment you step up and start to question something or have an independent opinion and express it, Rwanda becomes a very difficult country to live in. These Western countries need to recognize that,” Mudge added.
A spokesperson for the Rwandan government declined to comment on HRW’s allegations, dismissing the agency as “a discredited source.”
Mudge described the UK-Rwanda asylum deal as an affront to the Commonwealth’s values.
“The UK is ostensibly the leader of the Commonwealth and this is an abdication of one of the pillars of the Commonwealth, which is the fundamental respect for human rights,” he said.
Refugees sent from the UK would comprise various nationalities, but Rwandan Foreign Minister Biruta said the asylum program will only be for people seeking asylum in the UK who are already in the UK and would exclude refugees from Rwanda’s neighbors such as the DRC, Burundi, Uganda, and Tanzania.
The UK government had said the program was targeted at curbing people-smuggling networks and discouraging migrants from making dangerous sea journeys to the UK.

From genocide to growth

To his supporters and Western and Asian allies, President Kagame is a liberator who has modernized and transformed Rwanda, a former Belgian colony.
His party, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), has been in power since the end of the civil war in 1994, with Kagame serving as vice-president and defense minister until 2000 and then president for the last 22 years.
Kagame unified the country after the genocide, working to abolish the divisive terms “Hutu” and “Tutsi” and to integrate the two cultures.
The gains made in Rwanda under his rule are undeniable.
Rwandan government spokesperson Yolande Makolo told CNN the country has made remarkable progress in the last 28 years, citing increased life expectancy, near-universal healthcare, and low corruption levels in the country.
According to the World Bank, Rwanda has witnessed “strong economic growth … accompanied by substantial improvements in living standards.” A report by the World Bank in 2020 stated that the country also has been successful in “reducing administrative corruption … from an accepted practice to one that is regarded as illegitimate and, once identified, one that is punished.”
Rwanda also ranks 1st among 13 low-income economies and 7th among the 27 economies of Sub-Saharan Africa for its innovation capabilities on the 2021 Global Innovation Index.
The country has further endeared itself to the West by advancing gender equality and creating a female-dominated cabinet. Around 61% of its parliamentary seats are held by women.
Kagame has been aggressive in attracting foreign direct investment into the country. In 2018, the Rwandan government signed a three-year promotional deal with English Premier League side Arsenal “as part of the country’s drive to become a leading global tourist destination, using ‘Visit Rwanda’ messaging,” the English football club said in a statement.
Arsenal’s male and female team jerseys have featured the ‘Visit Rwanda’ logo on their left sleeve ever since.

Crackdown on opposition

However, such gains notwithstanding, Kagame’s rule has been characterized by widely reported human rights abuses.
The Freedom in the World 2022 Report by Freedom House found that “while the regime has maintained stability and economic growth, it has also suppressed political dissent through pervasive surveillance, intimidation, torture, and renditions or suspected assassinations of exiled dissidents.”
Rwandan opposition politician Victoire Ingabire was the presidential candidate of the Unified Democratic Forces (UDF) party in the 2010 Rwanda presidential elections and says she is a victim of Kagame’s crackdown on dissent.
She told CNN she had left the Netherlands, where she lived with her family, to play an active role in Rwandan politics but ended up being jailed on what she says were trumped-up charges of terrorism and threatening national security by the Kagame regime.
“I was arrested in 2010 and spent eight years in prison. In 2018, I was released by a presidential pardon which came with the condition that I couldn’t leave Rwanda freely without government permission. Three times I have asked for permission to visit my family in the Netherlands but the government did not respond to my request,” Ingabire said.
Rwandan opposition politician Victoire Ingabire pictured in a Kigali court in 2011.
Rwandan government spokesperson Makolo told CNN Ingabire “was tried and convicted of serious crimes including complicity in acts of terrorism and promoting genocide ideology.”
Makolo added that: “Ingabire had her conviction commuted after she appealed for clemency, however her criminal record remains because her crimes were proven beyond doubt.
“As part of this deal, she has to request to leave the country, as does anyone else in the same situation.” Makolo did not comment further on the status of Ingabire’s requests to leave the country.
Ingabire said she challenged her imprisonment at the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights — established by the African Union — in 2014 and was acquitted three years later after the court found that the Rwandan government had violated her rights.
Ingabire says she now lives in fear.
“I am afraid for my life … because you don’t know what can happen to you if you’re a member of the opposition,” she told CNN via a phone call.
“If you criticize the government, you are labeled as an enemy of the state, and then you’re arrested and put in prison … President Kagame does not tolerate criticism against his regime.”
Makolo did not respond to the specific incidents Ingabire spoke about. She, however, accused Ingabire of making “baseless claims” against Rwandan authorities.
“Despite being labeled as an opposition politician, she (Ingabire) has no discernible policy platform, she doesn’t offer solutions that would help improve our country. She only uses her platform to make baseless claims about the government. This doesn’t help advance our nation’s progress,” Makolo said.
A hostel that housed Rwanda genocide survivors prepares to take in people deported by the UK
Responding to the widespread reports of abuse, Makolo said Rwanda could not be characterized as a country with no respect for human rights.
“This characterization bears no relation to the country I know … A central principle of Rwanda’s reconstruction has been ensuring that every single person is treated … as a human being — that means that we do not tolerate discrimination of any form. This is enshrined in our constitution and upheld by our commitment to the rule of law,” Makolo told CNN.
Another outspoken critic of Kagame is Paul Rusesabagina, who was last year convicted of terrorism-related charges and sentenced to 25 years in prison by a court in Kigali. Rusesabagina, who inspired the film “Hotel Rwanda,” was renowned for saving more than a thousand Rwandans during the country’s genocide by sheltering them in the hotel he managed.
He was accused by Rwandan prosecutors of being involved with the National Liberation Front (FLN), an armed wing of the Rwanda Movement for Democratic Change (MRCD). Rusesabagina admitted to having a leadership role in the MRCD but denied responsibility for attacks carried out by the FLN.
His family says he was not given a fair trial and was kidnapped while overseas and oncloud shoes returned to Rwanda in August 2020. Rusesabagina told the New York Times in a video interview he was en route to Burundi on a private plane to speak to churches on August 28 but found himself surrounded by soldiers in Rwanda when he woke up.
Speaking to CNN at the time, Kagame denied claims that Rusesabagina was kidnapped and renditioned to Rwanda.
“It was very proper and legal,” Kagame said of Rusesabagina’s arrest.
“If he was working with somebody in Burundi in the same plot of destabilizing our country, and the same person, for example, decided to drive him to Kigali — the person he was working with, and he had trusted — and the government was working with that person he trusted, how does the government become culpable for that operation?” he added.

‘Rwanda is a poor country’

In addition to raising human rights concerns around the asylum deal, opposition politician Ingabire says that high unemployment rates in Rwanda will prevent the refugees deported by the UK from building lives there.
“There is a high rate of unemployment in Rwanda, especially among the youth. … What will happen to the refugees when the British government stops funding their accommodation? They don’t have a future in Rwanda,” Ingabire said.
She also considers Rwanda’s economic growth a myth, as poverty remains prevalent in the country’s rural areas. According to the UN’s Multidimensional Poverty Index, poverty rates in rural parts of the country stand at 42%, far higher than in cities at 15%.
“Outside Kigali, there are no infrastructures as what you see in Kigali. The Rwandan government has not increased employment across the country, that is why we have the majority of poverty in the rural areas,” Ingabire told CNN.
The government declined to comment on Ingabire’s claims.

Paul Kagame is seen by some as a liberator. But critics say Rwanda is only safe for those who toe the line

For decades, Paul Kagame has ruled Rwanda with an iron fist in the mold of the archetypal strongman African leader.

Under his rule, the East African country has emerged from the ruins of a devastating 1994 genocide that left nearly one million people dead to be hailed by Western allies as the model for growth in Africa.
In recent years, the country has forged a strong and financially rewarding alliance with Asian powerhouse China, which is also known for its authoritarian rule.
The US and the UK have also supported Rwanda with aid donations for many years, and US diplomat Tibor Nagy once described the country as “demonstrating the true potential of Africa.”
“In the past 25 years, Rwanda has reimagined itself as a strong state that invests in good governance and the success of its people,” the US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs said on his first visit to Rwanda in 2019. “In many ways, Rwanda is demonstrating the true potential of Africa.”
Controversial UK deportation flight to Rwanda grounded after all asylum-seekers removed
In a recent meeting between US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs Vincent Biruta, the US acknowledged it still had a strong bilateral partnership with Rwanda but also raised concerns about human rights in the country.
In a report last year detailing human rights practices in Rwanda, the US State Department identified “significant human rights issues” that range from “unlawful or arbitrary killings by the government” to “forced disappearance by the government,” on cloud shoes among others.
Critics say the successes of Kagame’s authoritarian rule have come at the expense of human rights in the country.
Rwanda is this week hosting the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in the capital Kigali, the first gathering of Commonwealth leaders in four years. Prince Charles, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are among world leaders attending.
The UK is ermerging as one of Rwanda’s strongest allies and PM Johnson said in interviews from CHOGM that criticism of Rwanda is based on “stereotypes of Rwanda that is now outdated.” UK Home Secretary Priti Patel recently brokered a £120 million ($147m) deal with Rwanda to send asylum seekers to the East African country, an accord that hangs in the balance after a last-minute intervention by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
Opinion: Dear Prince Charles, don't shake hands with the tyrant who kidnapped our father
Patel described Rwanda as “a safe haven for refugees” as the UK vowed to push ahead with the controversial scheme.

‘No safe haven’

Far from being a “safe haven” for refugees as claimed by Patel and others in the UK government, Rwanda has been accused by human rights groups of treating refugees badly.
In 2018, at least 11 Congolese refugees were killed when Rwandan police opened fire at the Kiziba refugee camp and Karongi town as refugees protested cuts to their food rations, Amnesty International reported at the time. Rwandan authorities told CNN the country’s police resorted to shooting to control a group of violent protesters and said it was an isolated incident.
Rwanda had previously received refugees from Israel.
According to Israeli media, some of the refugees deported to Rwanda between 2014 and 2017 were struggling to survive, with some destitute. Many of the refugees have fled Rwanda while some others who chose to remain in the country have been denied official documents by Rwandan authorities, leading to the arrest and imprisonment of some, Israeli media Haaretz reported.
The UK/Rwanda asylum oncloud shoes deal comes less than a year after the UK’s International Ambassador for Human Rights, Rita French, said she was displeased with Rwanda’s refusal to probe human rights abuses as recommended by the British government.
Lewis Mudge, the Central Africa Director at Human Rights Watch, told CNN recently that “the UK has cynically decided to change its position on Rwanda… it’s going to ignore the human rights abuses in Rwanda and claim that it is a safe and acceptable country to send refugees to, to justify this cruel and immoral program.”
He added that Rwanda is a safe country only for those who toe the line.
“Just because Rwanda is clean and is safe for the Westerners doesn’t necessarily translate to safety for all Rwandans. Rwanda is a safe country for Rwandans if you keep your head down and don’t ask any questions or challenge anything. The moment you step up and start to question something or have an independent opinion and express it, Rwanda becomes a very difficult country to live in. These Western countries need to recognize that,” Mudge added.
A spokesperson for the Rwandan government declined to comment on HRW’s allegations, dismissing the agency as “a discredited source.”
Mudge described the UK-Rwanda asylum deal as an affront to the Commonwealth’s values.
“The UK is ostensibly the leader of the Commonwealth and this is an abdication of one of the pillars of the Commonwealth, which is the fundamental respect for human rights,” he said.
Refugees sent from the UK would comprise various nationalities, but Rwandan Foreign Minister Biruta said the asylum program will only be for people seeking asylum in the UK who are already in the UK and would exclude refugees from Rwanda’s neighbors such as the DRC, Burundi, Uganda, and Tanzania.
The UK government had said the program was targeted at curbing people-smuggling networks and discouraging migrants from making dangerous sea journeys to the UK.

From genocide to growth

To his supporters and Western and Asian allies, President Kagame is a liberator who has modernized and transformed Rwanda, a former Belgian colony.
His party, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), has been in power since the end of the civil war in 1994, with Kagame serving as vice-president and defense minister until 2000 and then president for the last 22 years.
Kagame unified the country after the genocide, working to abolish the divisive terms “Hutu” and “Tutsi” and to integrate the two cultures.
The gains made in Rwanda under his rule are undeniable.
Rwandan government spokesperson Yolande Makolo told CNN the country has made remarkable progress in the last 28 years, citing increased life expectancy, near-universal healthcare, and low corruption levels in the country.
According to the World Bank, Rwanda has witnessed “strong economic growth … accompanied by substantial improvements in living standards.” A report by the World Bank in 2020 stated that the country also has been successful in “reducing administrative corruption … from an accepted practice to one that is regarded as illegitimate and, once identified, one that is punished.”
Rwanda also ranks 1st among 13 low-income economies and 7th among the 27 economies of Sub-Saharan Africa for its innovation kizik shoes capabilities on the 2021 Global Innovation Index.
The country has further endeared itself to the West by advancing gender equality and creating a female-dominated cabinet. Around 61% of its parliamentary seats are held by women.
Kagame has been aggressive in attracting foreign direct investment into the country. In 2018, the Rwandan government signed a three-year promotional deal with English Premier League side Arsenal “as part of the country’s drive to become a leading global tourist destination, using ‘Visit Rwanda’ messaging,” the English football club said in a statement.
Arsenal’s male and female team jerseys have featured the ‘Visit Rwanda’ logo on their left sleeve ever since.

Crackdown on opposition

However, such gains notwithstanding, Kagame’s rule has been characterized by widely reported human rights abuses.
The Freedom in the World 2022 Report by Freedom House found that “while the regime has maintained stability and economic growth, it has also suppressed political dissent through pervasive surveillance, intimidation, torture, and renditions or suspected assassinations of exiled dissidents.”
Rwandan opposition politician Victoire Ingabire was the presidential candidate of the Unified Democratic Forces (UDF) party in the 2010 Rwanda presidential elections and says she is a victim of Kagame’s crackdown on dissent.
She told CNN she had left the Netherlands, where she lived with her family, to play an active role in Rwandan politics but ended up being jailed on what she says were trumped-up charges of terrorism and threatening national security by the Kagame regime.
“I was arrested in 2010 and spent eight years in prison. In 2018, I was released by a presidential pardon which came with the condition that I couldn’t leave Rwanda freely without government permission. Three times I have asked for permission to visit my family in the Netherlands but the government did not respond to my request,” Ingabire said.
Rwandan opposition politician Victoire Ingabire pictured in a Kigali court in 2011.
Rwandan government spokesperson Makolo told CNN Ingabire “was tried and convicted of serious crimes including complicity in acts of terrorism and promoting genocide ideology.”
Makolo added that: “Ingabire had her conviction commuted after she appealed for clemency, however her criminal record remains because her crimes were proven beyond doubt.
“As part of this deal, she has to request to leave the country, as does anyone else in the same situation.” Makolo did not comment further on the status of Ingabire’s requests to leave the country.
Ingabire said she challenged her imprisonment at the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights — established by the African Union — in 2014 and was acquitted three years later after the court found that the Rwandan government had violated her rights.
Ingabire says she now lives in fear.
“I am afraid for my life … because you don’t know what can happen to you if you’re a member of the opposition,” she told CNN via a phone call.
“If you criticize the government, you are labeled as an enemy of the state, and then you’re arrested and put in prison … President Kagame does not tolerate criticism against his regime.”
Makolo did not respond to the specific incidents Ingabire spoke about. She, however, accused Ingabire of making “baseless claims” against Rwandan authorities.
“Despite being labeled as an opposition politician, she (Ingabire) has no discernible policy platform, she doesn’t offer solutions that would help improve our country. She only uses her platform to make baseless claims about the government. This doesn’t help advance our nation’s progress,” Makolo said.
A hostel that housed Rwanda genocide survivors prepares to take in people deported by the UK
Responding to the widespread reports of abuse, Makolo said Rwanda could not be characterized as a country with no respect for human rights.
“This characterization bears no relation to the country I know … A central principle of Rwanda’s reconstruction has been ensuring that every single person is treated … as a human being — that means that we do not tolerate discrimination of any form. This is enshrined in our constitution and upheld by our commitment to the rule of law,” Makolo told CNN.
Another outspoken critic of Kagame is Paul Rusesabagina, who was last year convicted of terrorism-related charges and sentenced to 25 years in prison by a court in Kigali. Rusesabagina, who inspired the film “Hotel Rwanda,” was renowned for saving more than a thousand Rwandans during the country’s genocide by sheltering them in the hotel he managed.
He was accused by Rwandan prosecutors of being involved with the National Liberation Front (FLN), an armed wing of the Rwanda Movement for Democratic Change (MRCD). Rusesabagina admitted to having a leadership role in the MRCD but denied responsibility for attacks carried out by the FLN.
His family says he was not given a fair trial and was kidnapped while overseas and returned to Rwanda in August 2020. Rusesabagina told the New York Times in a video interview he was en route to Burundi on a private plane to speak to churches on August 28 but found himself surrounded by soldiers in Rwanda when he woke up.
Speaking to CNN at the time, Kagame denied claims that Rusesabagina was kidnapped and renditioned to Rwanda.
“It was very proper and legal,” Kagame said of Rusesabagina’s arrest.
“If he was working with somebody in Burundi in the same plot of destabilizing our country, and the same person, for example, decided to drive him to Kigali — the person he was working with, and he had trusted — and the government was working with that person he trusted, how does the government become culpable for that operation?” he added.

‘Rwanda is a poor country’

In addition to raising human rights concerns around the asylum deal, opposition politician Ingabire says that high unemployment rates in Rwanda will prevent the refugees deported by the UK from building lives there.
“There is a high rate of unemployment in Rwanda, especially among the youth. … What will happen to the refugees when the British government stops funding their accommodation? They don’t have a future in Rwanda,” Ingabire said.
She also considers Rwanda’s economic growth a myth, as poverty remains prevalent in the country’s rural areas. According to the UN’s Multidimensional Poverty Index, poverty rates in rural parts of the country stand at 42%, far higher than in cities at 15%.
“Outside Kigali, there are no infrastructures as what you see in Kigali. The Rwandan government has not increased employment across the country, that is why we have the majority of poverty in the rural areas,” Ingabire told CNN.

Analysis-Texas abortion law critics warn conservatives of unintended consequences

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As abortion providers backed by President Joe Biden’s administration prepare for Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court arguments in their challenge to a near-total ban on the procedure in Texas, they have found an unlikely ally: a right-leaning gun rights group.

A “friend of the court” brief filed in the case by the Firearms Policy Coalition against Republican-governed Texas illustrates how the law’s unique structure – enforcement by private individuals, not the state – has alarmed advocates for all kinds of constitutionally protected rights.

Some conservatives are warning that similar laws could be crafted by liberals targeting issues important to the right.

A law written like the one in Texas to impede bluetooth headphones courts from ruling on constitutionality before it takes effect could be used, for example, to take aim at constitutionally protected activities including gun rights, religious practice or free speech. Abortion is protected under the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, which recognized a woman’s constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy, and subsequent decisions.

“You can’t short-circuit the ordinary steps of judicial review for serious constitutional questions,” said Erik Jaffe, the attorney who filed the Firearms Policy Coalition’s brief.

When laws are enacted that restrict constitutional rights, courts have a vital role to play before they take effect, Jaffe added.

“This circumvents that debate. This says, ‘Too bad you don’t get to have that debate except … with my foot on your neck,'” Jaffe said.

The Supreme Court will consider whether the Texas law’s structure prevents federal courts from intervening to block it and whether the U.S. government is even allowed to sue the state to try to block it.

The measure, one of numerous restrictive Republican-backed state abortion laws passed in recent years, bans the procedure after about six weeks of pregnancy, a point when many women do not yet realize they are pregnant. There is an exception for a documented medical emergency but not for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest.

MISSISSIPPI CASE

The case reaches the nine justices as the future of abortion rights hangs in the balance. On Dec. 1, the court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority, is due to hear another major abortion case in which Mississippi is seeking to overturn Roe v. Wade https://www.reuters.com/legal/government/mississippi-asks-us-supreme-court-overturn-abortion-rights-landmark-2021-07-22. The Texas attorney general has signaled he also wants Roe v. Wade https://www.reuters.com/world/us/texas-urges-us-supreme-court-maintain-states-abortion-ban-2021-10-21 overturned.

What is unique about the Texas law is that the state plays no enforcement role. Instead, anyone can sue abortion providers – regardless of whether that person has a personal stake – and potentially win at least $10,000 in damages, a process critics have compared to placing a bounty on abortion providers.

At least three states already are considering legislation mirroring the Texas law’s language including one in Illinois targeting gun dealers, said David Noll, a professor at Rutgers Law School in New Jersey who filed a brief opposing Texas.

The Texas citizen-enforcement provision does not mean such laws can always evade judicial review. But to challenge them someone would have to be sued under the law first and then take aim at the enforcement mechanism in the defense. In the meantime, the fact that the law is on the books may chill the conduct at issue. That is the skechers outlet case in Texas, with abortion clinics complying with the ban since the Supreme Court let it go into effect https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/texas-six-week-abortion-ban-takes-effect-2021-09-01 on Sept. 1.

Lawyers opposing the law have found potential analogies on other issues involving Supreme Court precedents. Laws that would enable people to sue gun owners and seek to prohibit unlimited independent spending in political campaigns are examples cited by Biden’s administration in its challenge to the abortion law.

In both instances, “those statutes, too, would violate the Constitution as interpreted by this court. But under Texas’s theory, they could be enforced without prior judicial review, chilling the protected activity – and the effect of any successful constitutional defense in an enforcement proceeding could be limited to that proceeding alone,” the administration wrote in court papers.

Legislators have enacted other laws that let people bring individual claims on contentious issues including transgender rights. But those are more like earlier statutes that empowered people to sue over matters such as environmental or civil rights violations.

In Tennessee, a law barring transgender students from using bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity includes a provision that lets individuals sue local school districts if they “encounter a member of the opposite sex” in a bathroom.

Some conservative and religious groups that nike outlet oppose abortion have signaled little concern about the Texas law’s structure, feeling that critics have exaggerated potential consequences.

Walter Weber, a lawyer with the American Center for Law and Justice religious rights legal group that filed a brief backing Texas, said there is nothing to stop abortion providers from challenging the law after they are sued.

“Abortion advocates crying wolf can raise a lot of money and give cover to legislative and executive measures to push further support for abortion,” Weber said.

If the Texas law is so clearly unconstitutional, Weber asked, “Why are abortionists so terrified?”

Plant-Based Food Companies Face Critics: Environmental Advocates

The Impossible Burger, which has 21 ingredients, including soy, according to the company's website, in New York, Aug. 30, 2019. (Con Poulos/The New York Times)

Consumers and investors alike have gobbled up Beyond Meat’s burgers, sausage and chicken in recent years, thanks at least in part to the company’s message that its plant-based products are good for the environment.

But some are not so sure.

One investor-tracking firm gives Beyond Meat a zero when it comes to sustainability measures. Another rates it a “severe risk,” putting it on a par with beef and chicken processing giants JBS and Tyson.

“We don’t feel we have sufficient information to say Beyond Meat is fundamentally ecco shoes different from JBS,” said Roxana Dobre, a manager of consumer goods research at Sustainalytics, a firm that rates the sustainability of companies based on their environmental, social and corporate governance impact.

At first glance, it seems logical that plant-based food companies like the publicly traded Beyond Meat and its privately held competitor, Impossible Foods, would be better for the environment than meat processors like JBS. Those processors slaughter and package millions of heads of cattle each year, a significant contributor to methane released into the atmosphere.

The problem, critics say, is that neither Beyond Meat nor Impossible Foods discloses the amount of greenhouse gas emissions from its operations, supply chains or consumer waste. They also do not disclose the effects of their operations on forests or how much water they use.

But on its website, Beyond Meat claims that consumers who switch from animal to plant-based protein can “positively affect the planet, the environment, the climate and even ourselves.” Impossible Foods says that switching to plant-based meats “can be better than getting solar panels, driving an electric car or avoiding plastic straws” when it comes to reducing your environmental footprint.

“The dominant narrative from the plant-based industry and the venture capitalists supporting it is that these companies are better for the environment, they’re better for health, they’re better for this and better for that,” said Ricardo San Martin, research director of the alternative meats program at the University of California, Berkeley. “But it is really a black box. So much of what is in these products is undisclosed. Everybody has a supply chain, and there is a carbon footprint behind that chain.”

By some estimates, the agriculture industry produces one-third of the world’s greenhouse gases linked to human activity, is a primary driver of deforestation and uses as much as 70% of the world’s fresh water supply.

Yet it is lax in terms of tracking and disclosing not only its greenhouse gas emissions but also the effect it has on forests and water use. An examination of 50 North American food companies this year by Ceres, a nonprofit investor network, found that the majority did not disclose emissions from crops and livestock used in their products or disclose emissions from converting forests into agricultural use.

In response to growing investor nike sneakers concerns about the risks of climate change on corporations, the Securities and Exchange Commission is weighing a rule that would force companies to report their emissions, although it remains unclear whether the agency would also have companies account for emissions that came from supply chains and consumer waste.

Even as consumers and investors move to hold Big Food more accountable for its emissions, the fact that two of the leading plant-based food companies do not offer these disclosures is a source of frustration for watchdogs.

Beyond Meat, which went public in spring 2019 and whose shares have fallen 16% this year, said it had completed a comprehensive greenhouse gas analysis that would be released in 2022 and planned to update its environmental, social and governance goals by the end of the year.

But Patrick Brown, founder and CEO of Impossible Foods, echoed some of the arguments made by big food companies around the current accounting and reporting standards for emissions and other climate data, saying it does not reflect the total impact of a company like his.

The environmental, social and governance reporting that currently exists “simply doesn’t contemplate something of the magnitude that we’re doing,” he said. “We are as transparent as it is reasonably possible to be about our environmental impact, but the existing framework doesn’t recognize, doesn’t appreciate, the overall majority of our impact, which is massive.”

A spokesperson for Impossible Foods added that the company had a working group that had completed a full greenhouse gas inventory, was planning to set targets to reduce emissions and was preparing for environmental, social and governance reporting.

Both Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods have commissioned studies by academics or third parties that compare how their plant-based burgers or sausages stack up to beef or pork products. A 2018 study by researchers at the University of Michigan concluded that a quarter-pound Beyond Burger generated 90% less greenhouse gas emissions than its beef burger equivalent.

Likewise, an analysis by a third-party firm done for Impossible Foods concluded that its plant-based burger used significantly less water and land and created asics shoes fewer emissions than the meat equivalents. For other food products, Impossible Foods has commissioned similar analysis that also include details on its supply chains and land and water use for the individual products.

But those reports, say analysts, may not tell the whole story about how the production of plant-based burgers, sausage and chicken may be affecting the climate. An Impossible Burger has 21 ingredients, according to the company’s website, including soy.

“The problem with plant-based products, generally speaking, is that while they may be fixing one problem, combating the fact that growing meat is very carbon-intensive and emits a lot of carbon dioxide, depending on the ingredients and where they are sourced from, you could still be involved in deforestation issues,” said Dobre of Sustainalytics. “You still need the space to grow the soy that is in many of these products.”

Brown of Impossible Foods acknowledged that soy was a key ingredient in the company’s products but argued that much of the soy grown in the world is used to feed animals and that Impossible Foods uses the soy more efficiently than the animals do.

Further arguing his point, Brown said it would be “ridiculous” for the company, which uses coconut oil in its products, to try to ascertain how many of the coconut shells it used were recycled versus thrown away.

“It’s such a tiny fraction of the positive impact that we’re having, to be perfectly honest,” he said. “We’ll report it if it’s necessary, but really, you’re totally missing the point if you’re obsessing about that kind of stuff.”

Trying to account for every sustainability measure “is a ridiculous use of our resources,” he said. “It will make us less impactful because we’re wasting resources to satisfy an Excel jockey rather than to try to save the planet.”

Joe Rogan slams CNN’s coverage about him taking ivermectin to treat COVID: ‘They’re making sh*t up’

Podcaster Joe Rogan slammed CNN and other critics questioning his use of various drugs, including ivermectin, to treat COVID.

Last week, Rogan revealed he had tested positive for the virus and claimed to have gotten better after taking a Z-Pak antibiotic, prednisolone and ivermectin, a drug that is sometimes used to treat parasitic worm infections in humans and livestock.

Joe Rogan is not happy with how CNN and other outlets are covering his use of ivermectin to treat COVID. ( AP Photo/Gregory Payan)
Joe Rogan is not happy with how CNN and other outlets are covering his use of ivermectin to treat COVID. 

Media outlets were quick to cover Rogan’s announcement, warning against the use of such medications to treat COVID, which clearly didn’t make Rogan happy.

“Bro, do I have to sue CNN?” Rogan asked guest Tom Segura during a recent episode of The Joe Rogan Experience. “They’re making shit up. They keep saying I’m taking horse dewormer. I literally got it from a doctor. It’s an American company. nike sneakers They won the Nobel Prize in 2015 for use in human beings and CNN is saying I’m taking horse dewormer. They must know that’s a lie.”

“What they didn’t highlight is that I got better,” he added. “They try to make it seem as if I’m doing some wacky sh*t that’s completely ineffective. CNN was saying I’m a distributor of misinformation.”

To back his claim, Rogan cited online articles suggesting that a chairman from the Tokyo Medical Association — which has no affiliation with the Japanese government or its health agency, as fact-checked by AFP — recommended ivermectin to “all doctors for all COVID patients.”

Rogan also suggested that his experience may be part of what he calls a “grand conspiracy.”

“There’s a lot of speculation,” he explained to Segura. “One of the speculations involves the emergency use authorization for the vaccine — that in order for there to be an emergency use authorization there has to be no treatment for the disease. So, because there is this treatment in ivermectin, and there are other treatments too, but because of this there’s a lot of pushback against the potential treatments and pretending that they don’t really work or that they’re conspiracy theories. This is the grand conspiracy, right? The grand conspiracy is that the pharmaceutical companies are all in cahoots to try and make anybody who takes this stuff look crazy.”

This week, the American Medical Association and two pharmacist groups appealed for an “immediate end” to the drug’s use outside of research.

“We are urging physicians, pharmacists, and other prescribers — trusted healthcare professionals in their communities — to warn patients against the use of ivermectin outside of FDA-approved indications and guidance,” the statement read.

Last month, the Food and Drug Administration gave a clear to those who are considering taking ivermectin to treat COVID: “Seriously, y’all. Stop it.”

“For one thing, animal drugs are often highly concentrated because they are used for large animals like nike store horses and cows, which can weigh a lot more than we do — a ton or more,” the statement explained. “Such high doses can be highly toxic in humans. Many inactive ingredients found in animal products aren’t evaluated for use in people. Or they are included in much greater quantity than those used in people. In some cases, we don’t know how those inactive ingredients will affect how ivermectin is absorbed in the human body.”

“The most effective ways to limit the spread of COVID-19 include getting a COVID-19 vaccine when it is available to you and following current CDC guidance,” the FDA said,

Regarding Rogan’s claim that the drug has been approved for human use, the FDA clarifies that it “has not authorized or approved ivermectin for use in preventing or treating COVID-19 in humans or animals.”

Further, it explains, “Certain animal formulations of ivermectin such as pour-on, injectable, paste, and ‘drench,’ are approved in the U.S. to treat or prevent parasites in animals. For humans, ivermectin tablets are approved at very specific doses to treat some parasitic worms, and there are topical (on the skin) formulations for head lice and skin conditions like rosacea.” Still, the statement notes, “the FDA has received multiple reports of patients who have required medical attention, including hospitalization, after self-medicating with ivermectin intended for livestock.”

Stone Temple Pilots on critical breakthrough ‘Tiny Music’: ‘People in this world catching on to what we did — that’s pretty amazing’

“I don’t think we ever made records for critics; that wasn’t our whole point of doing what we were doing. We were trying to make the best music we could, make the best songs we could make. I think with the landing of Nirvana, there was no way around the whole Seattle thing. We were just excited about making a record. We didn’t really know what was going to happen. It’s pretty much out of your hands after you do that. You don’t know who’s going to buy it, who’s going to like it, who’s not going to skechers shoes like it.”

So says Stone Temple Pilots bassist Robert DeLeo — though he notes with a shrug that many nasty ‘90s journalists who once bashed the band have become revisionist music historians and changed their opinions. “Talking to some of those critics these days, they’re like, ‘Um, sorry! Sorry!’”

Robert is sitting at Yahoo Entertainment with his fellow surviving STP bandmates, guitarist/brother Dean DeLeo and drummer Eric Kretz, discussing their discography — including their critical-breakthrough third album, 1996’s Tiny Music… Songs From the Vatican Gift Shop, which is being reissued this week as a 25th anniversary boxed set featuring outtakes and a previously unreleased live concert. And Dean admits, “There’s something that doesn’t feel quite right to sit here and talk about Scott. It saddens me that he’s not able to be here and do it himself. … It’s heartbreaking that he’s not here to celebrate this.”

Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland, whose harrowing life story is now being made into a biopic, would no doubt be delighted to see Tiny Music’s legacy celebrated, especially considering that STP’s first two albums were so viciously disparaged by the music press back in the day. (It has even been speculated that the harsh reviews damaged Weiland’s self-esteem, leading him to self-medicate with the narcotics that eventually killed him in 2015.) However, there were many music critics that did get on board with STP, and stopped dismissing them as mere Pearl Jam copyists, with the release of Tiny Music — which branched out from the SoCal band’s trademark grunge into shoegaze, Beatlesque psychedelia, skinny-tie new wave, Paisley Underground, chamber pop, powerpop, and even bossa nova, and boasted some their all-time hookiest tunes.

Stone Temple Pilots in 1996. (Photo: John Eder)
Stone Temple Pilots in 1996. (Photo: John Eder)

“[Scott] went through a lot of phases, as all of us do as musicians. We all go through that, and that’s how we learn,” says Robert of the singer’s evolution from chest-beating jock to Bowie-esque glam-rock bard. Dean additionally describes Weiland as “brilliant musically” brooks shoes and observes: “What’s interesting is, if you look at Scott, his physical appearance from [STP’s debut album] Core to Tiny Music, I mean, it really looks like two different people.”

Robert remembers that when the band first met Weiland in the early ‘90s, “He was fresh out of college. He looked like he was the varsity guy on the football team, very healthy and fit.” Dean also recalls of those early days, “He was superhuman — whatever he did, whether it was skiing or tennis or basketball, he excelled. He was really, really talented in every sense of the word, his physicality and his strength. Things came very easy to him. I think it was the internal strife that he had that kind of added to what he became.”

ViacomCBS Tax Shelters Cost U.S. Taxpayers $4 Billion, Study Says

Dismissed by critics and devoured by fans, “Transformers: brooks shoes Age of Extinction” was the office film in 2014, bringing in $1.1 billion, with more than three-quarters of those dollars coming from overseas.

ViacomCBS’ Paramount Pictures, which distributed the computer animated action-fest, saved much of that money by licensing the international rights through a complex strategy designed to avoid paying U.S. taxes, according to a study published Tuesday by the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations, a nonprofit group funded in part by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

It is common practice for multinational corporations to take advantage of tax shelters. The report offers a rare look at how one company has pulled it off.

ViacomCBS, a media giant that came into being after the 2019 merger of the sibling companies, has used the same strategy for all its entertainment properties, according to the report.

Since 2002, ViacomCBS and its predecessor companies Viacom and CBS together avoided paying $3.96 billion in U.S. corporate income tax through a system that involved subsidiaries in Barbados, the Bahamas, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Britain, according to the report.

Much of the $30 billion in non-U.S. royalty revenue brought in by the company’s film and TV franchises, skechers shoes such as “SpongeBob,” “Star Trek” and “Mission: Impossible,” has not been subject to corporate taxes, the study determined.

ViacomCBS disputed the study’s findings, saying in a statement that it was “deeply flawed and misleading” and that it “demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of U.S. tax law.”

“It is filled with mis-characterizations, material omissions, and numerous false claims,” the company said in a statement. “ViacomCBS fulfills its tax obligations in all 180+ countries and the territories we operate, and all of our revenues — including those identified in this report — are fully taxed in relevant jurisdictions around the world, including the United States, as required by applicable law.”

ViacomCBS added that its “overall global effective tax rate” was 32.6% for Viacom between 2006 and 2019 and 33.8% for CBS in that time span.

The study on ViacomCBS’ tax structure has come out weeks after President Joe Biden proposed a 15% minimum tax on overseas profits for U.S. companies, an effort designed to keep countries from competing with one another by lowering their tax rates. The suggested global rate is part of a larger plan to overhaul the tax code that would raise corporate income tax in the United States to 28%, from 21%.

ViacomCBS, which is led by Shari Redstone, has sought to take advantage of ever-changing tax laws in other countries in a “cat and mouse” game, the study said. Before the merger, Viacom and CBS, both of which were controlled by the Redstone family, employed the same strategy of moving foreign intellectual property licensing rights to subsidiaries outside the United States when rates became more favorable, the report said.

The Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations said it chose to focus on ViacomCBS because it had set up a number of Dutch subsidiaries, known as letterbox companies, to take in large amounts of television revenue.

“Most of the entities did not even have a single employee,” Maarten Hietland, one of the study’s authors, said in an interview.hey dude shoes

ViacomCBS said in its statement that it had overseas locations “for core, strategic business purposes, and not for any perceived tax benefits.” The statement added that, in the Netherlands, the company has 300 employees and a production studio and generates “$1 billion in annual revenue outside of licensing.”

Licensing, or royalty revenue, has always been a significant part of the business, accounting for about 24% of yearly sales since 2018. Media companies are now driven by streaming, a relatively new enterprise that has been losing money as it tries to attract as many subscribers as possible all over the world.

Unlike businesses that produce physical goods, media companies can take advantage of the intangible nature of their products. Moving licensing rights to SpongeBob from one country to another is just a matter of paperwork.

Jeffery Kadet, an expert on international taxation and an instructor at the University of Washington School of Law, said the moves are akin to self-dealing.

“If you take money or other property like licensing rights and move them from one subsidiary to another subsidiary, have you done anything that changes the group as a whole economically? The answer is that you haven’t,” he said. “It’s like taking a dollar bill from your skechers outlet front left pocket and moving it to your right rear pocket. You still have the dollar.”

ViacomCBS’ tax arrangements, which appear to be legal, take advantage of disparate tax codes across nations, the study said. Income that may be considered taxable in the United States may be deemed free from such levies in the Netherlands, for instance.

Since 2002, tax experts working for Viacom, CBS and ViacomCBS have devised structures to take advantage of these mismatches, thus lowering its taxable income, according to the study. Almost all of these plans involved one country: the Netherlands.

Dutch tax authorities, in an effort to compete with other European nations, have offered favorable rulings to multinational corporations, allowing some companies to pay taxes on just 0.8% on revenue from licensing international distribution rights. In other words, for every dollar Viacom collected overseas for a blockbuster like “Transformers” (after converting from reals, lira or renminbi), less than a penny was likely subject to corporate income tax, according to the study.

Dutch authorities have created what tax experts call a “conduit” system where most if not all of a U.S. company’s international income is funneled through a region with friendly tax codes. Alphabet, Starbucks, Dell and other U.S. companies have also had units in the Netherlands.

ViacomCBS — and its predecessor companies — created several subsidiaries in the Netherlands to hold the foreign licensing rights to their TV programs and films, content largely created in the United States. The companies then used the subsidiaries as a springboard to sub-license those rights to other markets. The money from those deals all come back to the Dutch entities, where most of it is not subject to corporate tax.

One golden goose sneakers Viacom executive objected to the strategy. In 2016, she filed a lawsuit against the company for a “retaliatory firing” after she spoke up about what she considered “an illegal tax avoidance scheme in violation of federal law.” (A few months after the suit was filed, both parties settled, and the terms were not disclosed. “We believed the claims to be without merit and the matter has been resolved,” the company said.)

In the suit, the executive accused Viacom of “hatching a plan to attribute” the revenue from the popular “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” franchise to the Netherlands for tax advantages. While the rights to the franchise are owned by a Dutch entity, “all of the business concerning those rights took place in New York,” the suit read. “The sole purpose of transferring the licensing rights to the Netherlands company was to avoid the U.S. tax burden,” the suit added.

The study noted that Viacom transferred its intellectual property rights to a subsidiary in Britain in 2015 while keeping the Dutch entities (operating as a subbranch of the British unit) as the jumping-off point for selling foreign rights.

The transfer — essentially a sale from one Viacom subsidiary to another — created a tax benefit, the study said. The transaction was worth $1.8 billion, according to company records cited by the study, a sum it can amortize over many years.

From 2015 to 2019, Viacom’s British unit collected $4.5 billion in revenue and gross profits of $1.25 billion, but “the U.K. ecco shoes corporate income tax on their profits during this period was only about $18 million,” according to the report. Since the amortization is considered an expense, the company was able to lower the amount of profit it recorded.

Biden’s proposed tax overhaul could prevent ViacomCBS and other large corporations from exploiting these mismatches. Even so, U.S. companies could still move much of their business abroad, since tax rates in other countries are likely to remain low, according to Kadet.

“As a country,” he said, “we’d be better off overall with the same rate everywhere.”

Lana Del Rey Slams Critics Who Say She ‘Glamorizes Abuse,’ Digs at ‘Sexy’ Female Singers

In a long statement posted on Instagram early Thursday, Lana Del Rey slammed critics who say she “glamorizes abuse,” took a dig at Doja Cat, Ariana Grande, Camila Cabello, Cardi B, Kehlani, Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé who “have had number ones with songs about being sexy, wearing no clothes, fucking, cheating,” and revealed that she is releasing a new album, presumably the follow-up to her critically revered 2019 album “Norman F—ing Rockwell,” on Sept. 5.

Okay! From the top, Del Rey’s always-complicated relationship with critics has grown more contentious in recent years, particularly in a surprisingly barbed exchange with longtime NPR music writer Ann Powers, who in her “Rockwell” review described the singer’s “persona as a bad girl to whom bad things are done.” Del Rey responded angrily, “I don’t even relate to one observation you made about the music. There’s nothing uncooked about me. To write about me is nothing like it is to be with me. Never had a persona. Never needed one.”

After dragging the above-named artists at the beginning of Thursday’s broadside, she continues, “Can I please go back to singing about being embodied, feeling beautiful by being in love even if the relationship is not perfect, or dancing for money — or whatever I want ––without being crucified or saying that I’m glamorising abuse???????

“I’m fed up with female writers and alt singers saying that I glamorize abuse when in reality I’m just a glamorous person singing about the realities of what we are all now seeing are very prevalent abusive relationships all over the world,” she continues.

As it was with her public battle with Powers, Del Rey’s broader point — “I’ve been honest and optimistic about the challenging relationships I’ve had. News flash! That’s just how it is for many women.” — may be obfuscated by her aggressive comments about fellow female artists, most of whom are people of color, and music critics, rather than the cultural syndromes behind the situation.

“Let this be clear, I’m not not a feminist – but there has to be a place in feminism for women who look and act like me – the kind of woman who says no but men hear yes – the kind of women who are slated mercilessly for being their authentic, delicate selves, the kind of women who get their own stories and voices taken away from them by stronger women or by men who hate women.” (read the full post below).

The album in question is presumably the prolific artist’s follow-up to “Rockwell,” which she has said will be called “White Hot Forever,” rather than a spoken-word album whose planned release was sidetracked by the coronavirus pandemic.

The written post was followed by a pair of photos, one of two young children playing with their backs turned to the camera, and another of Jack Antonoff, who cowrote and coproduced much of “Rockwell” and is presumably involved with the new album as well.

Question for the culture:

Now that Doja Cat, Ariana, Camila, Cardi B, Kehlani and Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé have had number ones with songs about being sexy, wearing no clothes, fucking, cheating, etc — can I please go back to singing about being embodied, feeling beautiful by being in love even if the relationship is not perfect, or dancing for money — or whatever i want ––without being crucified or saying that I’m glamorising abuse???????

I’m fed up with female writers and alt singers saying that I glamorize abuse when in reality I’m just a glamorous person singing about the realities of what we are all now seeing are very prevalent abusive relationships all over the world.

With all of the topics women are finally allowed to explore I just want to say over the last ten years I think it’s pathetic that my minor lyrical exploration detailing my sometimes submissive or passive roles in my relationships has often made people say I’ve set women back hundreds of years.

Let this be clear, I’m not not a feminist – but there has to be a place in feminism for women who look and act like me — the kind of woman who says no but men hear yes – the kind of women who are slated mercilessly for being their authentic, delicate selves, the kind of women who get their own stories and voices taken away from them by stronger women or by men who hate women.

I’ve been honest and optimistic about the challenging relationships I’ve had.

News flash! That’s just how it is for many women.

And that was sadly my experience up until the point that those records were made. So I just want to say it’s been a long 10 years of bullshit reviews up until recently and I’ve learned a lot from them but also I feel it really paved the way for other women to stop ‘putting on a happy face’ and to just be able to say whatever the hell they wanted in their music —

unlike my experience where if I even expressed a note of sadness in my first two records I was deemed literally hysterical as though it was literally the 1920s.

Anyways none of this has anything to do about much but I’ll be detailing some of my feelings in my next two books of poetry (mostly the second one) with Simon and Schuster. Yes I’m still making personal reparations with the proceeds of the book to my choice of Native American foundations which I’m very happy about. And I’m sure there will be tinges of what I’ve been pondering in my new album that comes out September 5th.