Having burnished their reputations with extravagant promises, the billionaires who pledged €600m. to rebuild Notre Dame are missing in action

Philanthropy is theoretically an expression of generosity and fellow-feeling, but in an increasingly unequal world, charitable giving is a form of reputation laundering for super-rich oligarchs who build their massive fortunes on savage programs of exploitation and immiseration. The idea is that you can paper over the fact that deliberately starting the opioid crisis made you richer than the Rockefellers by having your name plastered all over the world's leading art galleries and museums. Read the rest

Notre Dame's new spire might be copyrighted and blocked by EU filters

There's a proposal in the works to replace Notre Dame's spire -- which was a relatively modern addition -- with a new, starchitect-designed "statement" spire, which will be copyrightable under the same French rules that prohibit commercial photos of the Eiffel Tower at night (and other French landmarks). Read the rest

Notre Dame scaffolding workers were smoking on the job before fire, firm says

Police report finding 7 cigarette butts in the charred ashes.

Help rebuild 3 historically Black churches in Louisiana

As the world mourns what was lost in the devastating fire at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, the country's elite have pledged nearly half a billion euros towards the rebuild. Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted this morning that the company will contribute a yet-unspecified amount as well. Read the rest

Video from inside Notre Dame after the fire

Holy hell.

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Notre Dame and 73 other institutions secretly conspired with the Trump administration to deny birth control

When Obamacare came into effect, Notre Dame and other religious institutions forced the administration into a baroque arrangement whereby the US government would insure birth control prescriptions for women otherwise covered by the institution, so that the institution could hew to a religious doctrine that abhors the idea of women controlling their own fertility. Read the rest