The Daily Fix: The Horrors of Trophy Hunts, the Toughest Tax Filings Ever, and Cuba's Fake Twitter
Somewhere in a lush American forest, a buck steps along a mossy trail to visit a creek, and a hunter waits. Anyone who has seen a deer roaming wild in nature, knows: That whisper of a moment, when you are in the presence of that wild creature's undisputed magnificence, is unforgettable. For a hunter, it's also the precious instant when prey is marked.
But that's not how the hunt always goes. Over the past 40 years, in some corners of the country an industry has formed around the gathering of those velvety antlers that get mounted in sportsmen's lodges and man caves—and has produced a lazier, nastier way to kill. A small group of deer farmers have created a "billion-dollar industry primarily devoted to breeding deer that are trucked to fenced hunting preserves to be shot by patrons willing to pay thousands for trophies," according to a four-part investigative series by The Indianapolis Star.
If that sort of shooting-fish-in-a-barrel sporting doesn't bother you, reporter Ryan Sabalow (who is a hunter), uncovered some even less tasteful kills, along with wasteful practices that cost taxpayers millions and threaten wild deer populations with disease. In the series' final installment, he reports that at one notorious hunting preserve, animals were drugged and released into small "killing pens" to be shot by celebrities, CEOs, and former NFL players. One deer was so sick that it had to be poked and propped up before being shot. As Sabalow notes, most of the average hunters he interviewed had deep objections to this cold, unsportsmanlike killing. Seems like a good moment to reconsider where the "sport" in this type of hunting really is.
In other news...
- Fort Hood, Redux: Again? That's the sorrowful question everyone across the country asked while reading headlines yesterday about the Fort Hood shooting that left four people dead, including the shooter, and injured more than a dozen others. Investigators are talking to witnesses to figure out what sparked the attack, in which Army soldier Ivan Lopez walked into a building and opened fire. The shooting brought back memories of the 2009 shooting that left 13 dead and 30 wounded. (via The Associated Press)
- Messing With Texas' Abortion Ruling: Doctors and health clinics in Texas are filing another lawsuit in federal court to block the controversial new state rule that would force the closure of more than half the state's providers of abortion. (via Texas Tribune)
- Who Has the Most Complicated Tax Filings Ever? Gay couples. 2014 is the first time any married LGBT couple has filed taxes, and it's different from state to state. (via The Atlantic)
- Target Hires Union Actor for Antiunion Video: The union stage actor and a non-union actor were filmed in Target garb saying that unionization would take away from the chain's "fast, fun and friendly culture." (via Gawker)
- Cyber Attacks in Real Time: Maybe you knew attacks on seemingly secure online spaces happen all the time, but did you know they're kind of beautiful? (via Gizmodo)
- Who Deserves Rape? Brazilian women were shocked that 65 percent of Brazilians said a woman deserves to be "attacked and raped" if she dresses "provocatively"—so they are staging their own awareness campaign in a country that is increasingly examining gender roles. (via The Washington Post)
- Fake Twitter Accounts, Yes: But fake Twitter? The Associated Press has uncovered an American plot to overthrow Cuba's Communist government with a fake social media platform to allow dissidents to communicate and organize.
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