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October 2017

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What I’m Reading – October 8, 2017

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Horrific Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Action

“For most Americans, especially young ones, it’s easy to picture Amanda’s situation. $800 is an insane amount of money. According to Forbes, as of 2016, 63 percent of Americans don’t have $500 saved to cover an emergency. In March of 2017, CNBC reported that, according to a study by the health care information firm Amnio, more than one-third of Americans said they could not afford an unexpected medical bill for more than $100 without going into debt. Sixty percent claimed receiving a medical bill they could not afford would be as bad or worse than being diagnosed with a serious illness.” The 20-Week Abortion Ban is Designed to Hurt Poor Women (by Jennifer Wright for Harper’s Bazaar)

Reproductive Health

“To be honest, the choice not to have kids never really felt like a choice to me. I just never felt any way but one way, and that way didn’t include raising a child. My procedure in January 2014 wasn’t very memorable. I didn’t have sweeping emotions or feel grand waves of independence. A friend came with me, and we read magazines before I was called for surgery. I woke up cold and groggy after the anesthesia wore off. Another friend came to bring me home. I had some pain. I spent a few days relaxing in bed, and then returned to work and my typical day-to-day shenanigans.” I Tied My Tubes at Age 31. And It’s Not Up for Discussion. (by Laure Himiak for Rewire)

Gun Violence

“In this, Hodgkinson fits a pattern. As Rebecca Traister has written, for New York magazine, “what perpetrators of terrorist attacks turn out to often have in common more than any particular religion or ideology, are histories of domestic violence.” Traister cites Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, who drove a truck through a Bastille Day crowd in Nice, last summer, and Omar Mateen, the Pulse night-club shooter. She also cites Robert Lewis Dear, who killed three people at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, in 2015. According to Traister, “two of his three ex-wives reportedly accused him of domestic abuse, and he had been arrested in 1992 for rape and sexual violence.”” The Link Between Domestic Violence and Mass Shootings (by Jane Mayer for The New Yorker)

White Nationalism

“These new emails and documents, however, clearly show that Breitbart does more than tolerate the most hate-filled, racist voices of the alt-right. It thrives on them, fueling and being fueled by some of the most toxic beliefs on the political spectrum — and clearing the way for them to enter the American mainstream. It’s a relationship illustrated most starkly by a previously unreleased April 2016 video in which Yiannopoulos sings “America the Beautiful” in a Dallas karaoke bar as admirers, including the white nationalist Richard Spencer, raise their arms in Nazi salutes. These documents chart the Breitbart alt-right universe. They reveal how the website — and, in particular, Yiannopoulos — links the Mercer family, the billionaires who fund Breitbart, to underpaid trolls who fill it with provocative content, and to extremists striving to create a white ethnostate.” Here’s How Breitbart And Milo Smuggled Nazi and White Nationalist Ideas Into The Mainstream (by Joseph Bernstein for Buzzfeed)

“But a Buzzfeed News investigation has found that Breitbart didn’t just tolerate those white supremacist views that Bannon denounced on 60 Minutes; it actively allowed them to flourish. One of the key figures in the investigation was provocateur Milo Yiannopolous, a former senior editor at Breitbart, who was a link connecting far-right trolls and white supremacists with Steve Bannon and Breitbart’s powerful allies, like hedge-fund billionaire Robert Mercer.” Expose on Breitbart proves the ‘alt-right’ is just a euphemism for white supremacists (by Luke Barnes for ThinkProgress)

Sexism in Sport

“On Friday, the situation escalated when a group of former players published an open letter criticizing the federation. “We, the players, have invested years of our own lives and all of our energy to build this team and this sport to its strength today,” read the letter, which was signed by eight former players, including Cristiane and Francielle as well as the former World Cup stars Sissi, Rosana and Formiga. “Yet we, and almost all other Brazilian women, are excluded from the leadership and decision-making for our own team and our own sport.”” Brazil’s Women Soccer Players in Revolt Against Federation (by Tariq Panja for New York Times)

Death, Dying, and Grief

“This kind of “reporting” does nothing to bring people together. It is offensive, cruel, unnecessary. The overload of imagery, graphic imagery, burns out our empathy, fries our hearts, infects our minds with things we can’t un-see, things we had no right to see. Is this ever appropriate? Yes. Yes, maybe. The only time this might be appropriate, the only time having your intimate experience of pain and loss spread across those wide channels of “news” or social media is if it comes with a strong, swift call to action: if it gives you a place to help.” Have You Been the News? When Private Pain Is a Public Spectacle. (by Megan Divine for HuffPost; reposted in light of the Las Vegas shooting)

“But it’s not always this simple. It’s true that categorizing any death as “good” is radical in our death-fearing society, but lurking behind this movement is a complicated disparity and dichotomy: A good death is often a privileged one, and the bad deaths — the violent, untimely, unexpected and patterned deaths — are disproportionately experienced by the country’s most marginalized people.” Who Gets To Have A ‘Good Death’? (by Tessa Love for The Establishment)

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