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Sunday

20

May 2018

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COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – May 20, 2018

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Brexit

“The Scottish parliament has voted against Theresa May’s Brexit legislation by a large margin, putting the UK on the brink of a major constitutional dispute. Holyrood rejected the UK government’s EU withdrawal bill by 93 votes to 30 on Tuesday after Labour, the Liberal Democrats and Scottish Greens backed Nicola Sturgeon’s decision to oppose proposals on post-Brexit power sharing set out in clause 11 of the bill.” Scottish parliament decisively rejects EU withdrawal bill (by Severin Carrell for The Guardian)

Racism

“The sixth-grader told police after he got off the bus, a group of teenagers approached him and forced him into a four-door vehicle that had flames on the side, KTRK reported. An adult male was driving the vehicle and took Parker to a vacant house or building, where the boy allegedly was assaulted. Lee said she received threatening messages from her son’s phone and that her son said one suspect had a tattoo on his forearm that said, “I hate black people.”” Shoeless 13-year-old fled alleged kidnappers: Police (by Justin Doom for ABC News)

Maxine Waters is the hero we need right now: “I will not yield one second to you.”

“The incident unfolded after T.I. arrived at the entrance to the gated community to find the guard asleep in the guardhouse, Sadow said. After waking the guard up, T.I. “clearly identified himself and sought entry,” but the guard refused, even after the rapper got his wife Tiny on the phone to confirm, the attorney added. “Words were exchanged and apparently the guard and/or a supervisor called the police. When the police arrived, they were not interested in hearing T.I.’s side of the story and wrongfully chose to end the situation by arresting T.I.,” Sadow said.” Rapper T.I. Was Arrested While Trying To Get Into His Own Home (by Nidhi Prakash for BuzzFeed News)

“Lee sought advice from his mother, Twyla Lee, who told him to talk to the manager of the store. But the store’s manager reportedly never made an effort to speak with him or the others. Then, an elderly woman who had no prior involvement in the situation, called one of the young patrons a “punk.” The woman reportedly asked, “Are your parents proud of you for what you do?” Local news outlet CBS St. Louis affiliate KMOV-TV reports the woman and the group of young patrons got into a heated altercation, prompting the manager to finally step in. “When she called us a ‘punk,’ and she didn’t have anything to do with the situation, everyone in the store is against us looking at us crazy, (and) we didn’t do anything,” Lee said. “I was totally embarrassed, and we’re the only ones defending ourselves against everyone in the store.”” Nordstrom Rack Apologizes After Police Are Called On 3 Young Black Men Falsely Accused Of Stealing (by Ricky Riley for Blavity)

Fatphobia

“Clearly, we are far from ending this epidemic. But finally, for once, institutions are beginning to name the behavior of the men who make unwanted remarks and unwelcome ultimatums, who expose themselves, who demand our bodies. For once, we’re learning to believe women. The women coming forward are undeniably courageous: young and old, rich and poor, famous and unknown. And overwhelmingly, they’re thin. But 67% of American women are plus size. So where are the fat women?” Why Don’t We Hear Fat Women’s #MeToo Stories? (by Your Fat Friend for The Establishment)

Xenophobia

“Hadeel Louz, 25, is a Palestinian human rights activist in Gaza who has been attending the protests in recent weeks and on Monday. “We didn’t have anything with us but water, to drink,” she said. Along with her family, Louz was among tents roughly 500 meters (0.3 miles) away from the border fence when she saw people around her being shot. With her voice shaking, Louz said her 16-year-old neighbor, Nouh al Najr, was among those shot. “I just heard he will have to have his leg cut off,” she said, adding that Yaser Murtaja, a Palestinian journalist killed in April, was a close friend of hers. “He was only holding just his camera — so what was his fault?” she asked.” Israel kills at least 55 Palestinians for protesting in Gaza as new U.S. embassy opens (by D. Parvaz for Think Progress)

Ridiculously Inappropriate Law Enforcement Activities

“According to Bockholt, “The training and evaluation device[s]”—the books—”included an embedded recorder [and] allowed military training staff the ability to evaluate the students[‘] training.” Bockholt did not provide additional information about the other training exercises it conducted in Seattle in April. Library spokeswoman Andra Addison says the library was not informed in advance about the exercise.” Bomb Scare that Nearly Shut Down Central Library Was “Realistic” Army Exercise (C is for Crank)

Something Good

“If you don’t believe me, just stop and think and imagine, think and imagine, well, think and imagine a world where love is the way. Imagine our homes and families when love is the way. Imagine neighborhoods and communities where love is the way. Imagine governments and nations where love is the way. Imagine business and commerce when love is the way. Imagine this tired old world when love is the way.” Read the Full Transcript of Bishop Michael Curry’s Wedding Sermon (via Town and Country)

Sunday

13

May 2018

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COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – May 13, 2018

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Trump Embarrassing the Nation and Harming People

““But yeah, it ticks me off for this reason— I’m at a point where it’s like, you know what, if he doesn’t want to reach out to me, nobody has the obligation to offer condolence. To me, in his position, it would have been the right thing to do, but no one’s obligated. “However,” Guttenberg said, “don’t use my daughter’s life for a political moment, and that’s what he did, and that pisses me off.”” These Families Of Parkland Shooting Victims Are Still Waiting To Hear From Trump (by Remy Smidt and Brianna Sacks for BuzzFeed News)

“The manual also now includes language stating that when considering recommendations to transfer transgender inmates to facilities in line with their identified gender, officials will consider whether such placement would “threaten the management and security of the institution and/or pose a risk to other inmates.” The changes, which were first reported by BuzzFeed News, also include the addition of the word “necessary” to guidelines about when institutions will facilitate medical treatment.” Trump administration rolls back rules protecting transgender inmates in federal prisons (by Avery Anapol for The Hill)

The Ridiculousness of Brexit

“Like thousands of British retirees living in European Union countries, Barlow, 72, could lose access to his private pension unless U.K. and European negotiators reach a deal that allows the payments to continue after Brexit. With less than a year before the official exit date, the two sides haven’t even started discussing the issue of cross-border financial services, leaving pensioners like Barlow unsure about the future.” U.K.’s Retired Sun Seekers Risk Losing Pensions After Brexit (by Julie Edde for Bloomberg)

Ridiculous Immigration Decisions

“In 2016, Mohite applied for indefinite leave to remain (ILR), paying £2,500 for the premium, one-day service. At her interview, the Home Office pointed to a tax amendment she had made in 2013, after she discovered that her accountant had failed to declare both her pre-declared employment income – on which the taxes had already been paid – and her £15,300 income for self-employment of 2010 to 2011 on her self-assessment tax returns. “It was a very clear error – why would I choose not to declare an income on which I had already paid the tax? – and was picked up straight away by a new accountant I hired in 2013,” said Mohite. “I paid the sum right away.” Despite HMRC having accepted her £4,089.80 amendment without fines or sanctions, the Home Office used the same amendment to not only reject Mohite but serve her with a section 322(5).” Pharmaceutical specialist loses job and home due to tax error (by Amelia Hill for The Guardian)

Racism and Xenophobia

“Anne-Marie Waters of the For Britain Party (who had a very visible presence at the rally) shocked me with her claims of a New World Order, bringing out the old anti-semitic canard that big business and the Far Left are in cahoots to usher in a new authoritarian age. Personally, she seemed unhinged. Terrifyingly, she got a huge response.” A Day for Fear (by Mike Stuchbery)

“One or more people had broken in and spray-painted “Allah Scum,” a racial epithet and other slurs on various surfaces, including the master bedroom door upstairs, the wall of the master bathroom, the refrigerator and a counter top. Police suspect charcoal lighter fluid had been used to set fire to a staircase, according to a report.” ‘Allah Scum’: KC Muslim family leaves new home after hateful slurs, arson ruin it (by Max Londberg or The Kansas City Star)

Racism and White Fragility

“Braasch called the police when she saw Lolade Siyonbola sleeping, which resulted in Siyonbola being interrogated by police for nearly 20 minutes as they attempted to verify her student status. Despite demonstrating that she had a key to her room, a working Yale email address, and a student ID, the police questioned Siyonbola until they got confirmation of her student status in the school’s database. Apparently, her name was spelled wrong in the system, delaying their ability to definitively verify her student status.” ‘I Love Hate Speech’: Sarah Braasch, the white woman who called police on Black Yale grad student for napping in dorm, defends slavery and supports burqa ban in writings (from The Grio)

““‘Harassing’ is definitely the word I would use. He was verbally harassing her,” said Brown’s co-worker, Kevin Simmons, who was busy making drinks at the time of the incident. Moneta paid for his order and promptly left the store. Ten minutes later, Brown says she received a phone call from Joe Van Gogh owner Robbie Roberts, who told her he had been notified about the incident. Brown says she apologized again and “took full responsibility.” Three days after the incident, Brown and Simmons were called into a meeting with Joe Van Gogh human resources representative Amanda Wiley and told that they were being fired.” University official allegedly didn’t like the music in a coffee shop, forced firing of barista (by Melanie Schmitz for Think Progress)

“”I want to make it crystal clear today that it is not acceptable to use these words in print or aloud about African-Americans, especially not by elected officials. As representatives of this great state of Arizona, we are held to a higher standard,” Bolding asserted. He was joined on the floor by fellow Democratic Rep. Geraldine Peten, who stood in agreement and chimed in with Bolding’s statements. To no one’s surprise, their comments were interrupted by a fellow legislator, who said Bolding and Peten were “out of order” and violating House Rule 19. The legislator claimed Syms was “impugned” because she was “accused of using a racial slur.”” The Only Two Black State Representatives In Arizona Called Out White House Member For Using N-Word And Were Reprimanded For It (by Maya J. Boddie for Blavity)

“And then there is a type of trauma inflicted on women of colour that many of us find among the hardest to disclose, the one that few seem willing to admit really happens because it is so thoroughly normalised most people refuse to see it. It is what that writers’ festival audience member was demonstrating, and what blogger and author Luvvie Ajayi called the “weary weaponising of white women’s tears”. To put it less poetically, it is the trauma caused by the tactic many white women employ to muster sympathy and avoid accountability, by turning the tables and accusing their accuser.” How white women use strategic tears to silence women of colour (by Ruby Hamad for The Guardian)

“Video recorded by Michelle Snider on April 29 shows a white woman standing in the East Bay’s designated BBQ zone as she tells a group of black family and friends that they cannot hold a BBQ there using a charcoal grill. One of the men was accused of “trespassing” by the irate woman while on the phone with the police, Kenzie Smith told KRON-TV. The woman hurled several racial epithets at them and told them they’d soon be going to prison for their Sunday afternoon actions.” Video: White Woman Calls Police on Black Family’s BBQ for ‘Trespassing’ in Oakland Park (by Benjamin Fearnow for Newsweek)

“According to WFAA, the restaurant’s manager asked the couple to give up their table because a white “regular” wanted it. The Wimbreys refused. Wimbrey says that after that, the manager became angry and asked them to leave the establishment, before threatening to call the police on him and his wife. Wimbrey believes his race has something to do with the way he was treated that night. “I do believe it’s because of who I am and how I look that they asked me to move tables,” said Wimbrey.” The Manager Of A Texas Restaurant Told This Black Couple They Had To Leave ‘Because I Don’t Like You’ (by
Tonja Renée Stidhum for Blavity)

Equality

“First, I’ve just gotta tell you: If you’re making that argument to anyone who’s actually played any high-level basketball, you’re going to seem really ignorant. But I also have a simple response to it — which is that I’ve been in the NBA for 17 years. I’ve won two championships … I’ve played with some of the best players of this generation … and I’ve played under two of the sharpest minds in the history of sports, in Phil Jackson and Gregg Popovich. And I’m telling you: Becky Hammon can coach. I’m not saying she can coach pretty well. I’m not saying she can coach enough to get by. I’m not saying she can coach almost at the level of the NBA’s male coaches. I’m saying: Becky Hammon can coach NBA basketball. Period.” An Open Letter About Female Coaches (by Pau Gaso for The Players Tribune

Sex Work

“For many consensual sex workers, losing these free or low-cost advertising platforms means losing the ability to work indoors and the ability to screen clients ― two major factors that contribute to a sex worker’s overall safety. (People being forced or coerced into prostitution also benefit from client screening and not having to work on the streets, the bill’s opponents point out.) Sex workers also rely on the safety tool of communal “bad date lists” ― websites where sex workers share information on bad or dangerous clients. Sex workers say these too are being shut down in the wake of FOSTA’s passage.” ‘This Bill Is Killing Us’: 9 Sex Workers On Their Lives In The Wake Of FOSTA (by Emily McCombs for Huff Post)

Wednesday

9

May 2018

0

COMMENTS

Eyewitness Guide: Lisbon

Written by , Posted in Reviews

4 Stars

Best for: People visiting Lisbon

In a nutshell: It’s an Eyewitness Guide. They have pictures and highlights.

Worth quoting: N/A

Why I chose it: I’ve tended to enjoy the Eyewitness Guides in the past, and we’re going to Lisbon later this month.

Review:
I appreciate that these books start with some history of the area that they cover. I have basically no knowledge of Portugal, other than that when I look at a map of Europe, it looks like a face to Spain’s hair. Now I know a little bit more, including it was devastated by an earthquake in the 1700s.

This book seems perfect for visiting for just a few days — there isn’t an overwhelming amount of information, and the four main areas don’t have loads of suggestions for things to do, but there’s enough to have some choices. I also enjoy that while the attractions are grouped by neighborhood, the sections on other sort of run-of-the-mill items are separated. For example, instead of scattering a few interesting bookshops throughout the neighborhood highlights, they’re all clustered together under ‘bookshops’ so I can figure out which I want to see and then build them into my time when I’ll be in that area.

I tend not to use the hotel recommendations in these books (that’s what Trip Advisor is for), but the recommendations on restaurants and just the overall discussion of what type of food to expect and seek out in Lisbon will come in handy, as will the two totally doable walking tours.

The only thing that I found lacking were the photographs. There are a lot, don’t get me wrong, but they are mostly details of buildings and parks. I’m still not entirely sure what the skyline of Lisbon looks like. (Yes, I know Google image search exists, but you know what I mean).

Sunday

6

May 2018

0

COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – 6 May 2018

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Horrific US Government Action

“Over the next two years, the Trump administration will strip TPS from immigrants from six different countries — all but strangling the program. It’s doing so because it claims that Honduras has recovered enough from a 1998 hurricane to be safe to return to. The fact that, right now, Honduras is a place people are trying to flee due to systemic gang violence and civil unrest isn’t an argument in TPS holders’ favor, to this administration. If anything, it’s another strike against them.” Trump tells 57,000 Hondurans who’ve lived in the US for 20 years to get out (by Dara Lind for Vox)

Voting Rights

“An estimated 4,000 people were turned away from casting their vote in the five areas trialling controversial voter ID checks. Analysis of figures released by electoral observers suggests 3,981 people were denied a ballot paper in the local elections due to not being able to provide relevant identification documents. Local elections: 4,000 people turned away from casting their ballot in voter ID pilot (by May Bulman for The Independent)

Racism

“I honestly don’t know what could motivate a parent to exact such abuse on children. And I can’t tell whether these women were trying to, consciously or not, fulfill some deranged modern-day plantation narrative or live out a Blind Side fantasy, but regardless, their position as the racial superior, be it as the slave master or the white savior, was all but assured. They were raising young Black children to be beholden to them, to worship them, to submit to them.” Why Jennifer and Sarah Hart Killed Their Adopted Children (by Stacey Patton for Dame)

“Melanie Tomlinson, prosecuting, told the court Mrs Hamood, 30, was buying a meal for her family in the Kensington branch of the restaurant at around 8.20pm on March 27, when she encountered Cooke. She said: “As Mrs Hamood waited at the counter to order her food she became aware of the defendant laughing. “The defendant asked the complainant what a Frappucino was. The complainant pointed at a photo to show her, and the defendant continued to laugh and mock the way the complainant spoke.” Muslim mum knocked out in front of young children in vile racist attack at McDonald’s (by Jonathan Humphries for the Liverpool Echo)

“Barracoon is testament to her patient fieldwork. The book is based on three months of periodic interviews with a man named Cudjo Lewis — or Kossula, his original name — the last survivor of the last slave ship to land on American shores. Plying him with peaches and Virginia hams, watermelon and Bee Brand insect powder, Hurston drew out his story. Kossula had been captured at age 19 in an area now known as the country Benin by warriors from the neighboring Dahomian tribe, then marched to a stockade, or barracoon, on the West African coast. There, he and some 120 others were purchased and herded onto the Clotilda, captained by William Foster and commissioned by three Alabama brothers to make the 1860 voyage.” The Last Slave (Excerpted on Vulture)

“The family of 25-year-old Brittany Oswell is now suing the American Airlines, after reports indicate she went into cardiac arrest on a flight from Hawaii to Texas and died. When a doctor who was onboard rushed to help her, the Daily Mail reports, they urged the pilot to divert the plane because of Oswell’s critical condition. However, the pilots kept flying to Texas despite their urgent pleas.” Airplane Outrage: Husband sues after wife dies because pilot didn’t land during medical emergency (by Kia Morgan-Smith for The Grio)

“Now, Siwatu-Salama Ra is serving a two-year prison sentence at Huron Valley Correctional Facility for felonious assault and felony firearm convictions. She’s seven months pregnant, and according to her attorneys, she’s receiving insufficient medical care — including being shackled to her bed during a vaginal exam — even though her pregnancy is high-risk. The case is under appeal, but the judge deciding Ra’s fate, Thomas Hathaway, has already denied a request to postpone Ra’s sentence until she gives birth.” A pregnant black woman is in prison for defending herself. Mainstream gun groups are silent. (by Jane Coaston for Vox)

“The positioning of the officers and where they shot Clark became an important point in the furor over his death. Omalu has previously said that the officers shot Clark in the back six times, which many took to indicate that he was fleeing rather than confronting the officers, as they claimed. Omalu said that during his examination, which took place after the county’s initial autopsy, he found to his “utter dismay” that none of Clark’s gunshot wounds had been removed for examination. He subsequently did so and submitted them for analysis.” A Forensic Expert Has Released A Photo That He Says Proves Stephon Clark’s Official Autopsy Is “Inaccurate” (by Hazel Shearing for BuzzFeed)

“Vasillios Pistolis had come to the now infamous Unite the Right rally eager for such violence. He belonged to a white supremacist group known as Atomwaffen Division, a secretive neo-Nazi organization whose members say they are preparing for a coming race war in the U.S. In online chats leading up to the rally, Pistolis had been encouraged to be vicious with any counterprotestors, maybe even sodomize someone with a knife. He’d responded by saying he was prepared to kill someone “if shit goes down.”” Ranks of Notorious Hate Group Include Active-Duty Military (by A.C. Thompson, Ali Winston, and Jake Hanrahan for Pro-Publica)

“Four days later on April 18 Moore County police found their dismembered bodies in a pond. The same day police arrested 22-year-old Kevin Garcia-Boettler, 43-year-old Johnny Shane Barker and the 16-year-old brother of Garcia-Boettler, who police say is the suspected shooter. Their mother, Crystal Rachelle Boettler, 40, has also been charged with accessory after the fact.” 3 white men arrested in connection with the murder and dismemberment of 2 young black men (by Deniz Kofteci and Micheal Cadenhead for WJLA)

“The principals in the district and some parents have come out in support of the plan. Many have seen the value of leading the way to diversify schools in the city. If the plan comes to fruition, the Upper West Side district would become the first in the city to enact such a policy. “There are kids that are tremendously disadvantaged,” Henry Zymeck, the principal of The Computer School, said. “And to compare these students and say, ‘My already advantaged kid needs more advantage; they need to be kept away from those kids,’ is tremendously offensive to me.”” Wealthy White New York City Parents Are Fighting To Keep Their Local Public Schools Segregated (by Rickey Riley for Blavity)

Sexual Assault

“The investigation into Cosby was reopened in July 2015 after a federal judge, acting on a request from The Associated Press, unsealed portions of Cosby’s deposition testimony from a civil lawsuit he settled with Constand in 2006 for $3.4 million. In the testimony, which was read to jurors at both trials, he described giving quaaludes to women before sex in the 1970s and his encounters with Constand, a Temple University women’s basketball administrator.” Cosby juror: Comedian’s talk of quaaludes led to conviction (by Michael R. Sisak for the AP)

“But suddenly, I had to reevaluate my anger towards Clemmons and examine why I wanted—for even a brief second—to justify Díaz’s actions. I told my mom about wanting to write about my reaction; she metaphorically clutched her pearls and said “No. Don’t do that! If you do, you better say he was very respectful towards you. Don’t add flames to the fire.” That’s when it clicked: The root of the issue is in the way women are wired to think. It is a systematic modus operandi that has been passed down to us from generation to generation.” The Reckoning: What Junot Díaz Teaches Us About Internalized Misogyny (by Karina Maria Cabreja for The Glow Up)

“Now a third woman has come forward with similar accusations against Brokaw. Mary Reinholz, a veteran reporter, claims that Brokaw, who was married at the time, attempted to kiss her 50 years ago after assisting her with a story. “We talked and then, abruptly, he was embracing me and giving me a French kiss,” Reinholz wrote in The Villager. “I pulled away, reminding him that he was married and a tryst was out of the question,” she wrote. “He said, ‘Yes, it would be unfair to Meredith,’ meaning his wife.”” Third woman accuses Tom Brokaw of sexual misconduct (by Rebekah Entralgo for Think Progress)

Sexism

“To challenge herself, she also tried to win a place on the Calgary Foothills FC men’s soccer team this spring. She earned that spot — but the league refused to let her play due to her gender. “What year is it and why are we still talking about these issues?” Labbé said in an interview with the Calgary Eyeopener on Wednesday. “That’s the most frustrating thing for me, is just the lack of openmindedness.”” Men’s soccer league refuses top Canadian goaltender because she’s a woman (by Rachel Ward for CBC)

“A number of cheerleaders told the Times that they had been required to pose topless or only wearing body paint for a calendar shoot on a 2013 trip to Costa Rica, and that a group of all male sponsors and FedExField suite holders were there to watch the photo shoot. After a 14-hour day of unpaid work shooting for the calendar and practices, some of the women were told they had been “chosen” by men to be their escorts to a nightclub that night. When they were told to get ready, some reportedly broke down and cried.” NFL cheerleaders reportedly had to pose topless, escort men out to a nightclub (by Addy Baird for Think Progress)

“The attacker had been radicalized online, spending time in forums that served as an echo chamber for his increasingly violent thoughts. Before embarking on his rampage, he left a message publicly expressing allegiance to one of those groups, admiration for its spiritual leader, and hate for those who did not adhere to his ideology. Within hours of the mass murder making headlines, members of that same group were publicly rejoicing that innocent lives were lost and bemoaning that more people hadn’t died.” Get Serious About Online Misogyny Before More Women Are Killed (by Toula Drimonis for Huff Post)

“One described an issue raised by others at some Noble campuses, regarding girls not having time to use the bathroom when they get their menstrual periods. “We have (bathroom) escorts, and they rarely come so we end up walking out (of class) and that gets us in trouble,” she texted. “But who wants to walk around knowing there’s blood on them? It can still stain the seats. They just need to be more understanding.”” Feedback: Noble Charter Schools Story Hit A Nerve (by Dusty Rhodes for NPR)

“Despite a great deal of evidence that connects the dots between these mass killers and radical misogynist groups, we still largely refer to the attackers as “lone wolves” — a mistake that ignores the preventable way these men’s fear and anger are deliberately cultivated and fed online. Here’s the term we should all use instead: misogynist terrorism. Until we grapple with the disdain for women that drives these mass murderers, and the way that the killers are increasingly radicalized on the internet, there will be no stopping future tragedies.” When Misogynists Become Terrorists (by Jessica Valenti for The New York Times)

Corporate Malfeasance

“The appeals court upheld a federal district judge’s ruling that the discs Eric Lundgren made to restore Microsoft operating systems had a value of $25 apiece, even though the software they contained could be downloaded free and the discs could only be used on computers that already had a valid Microsoft license. The U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals initially granted Lundgren an emergency stay of his prison sentence, shortly before he was to surrender, but then affirmed his original 15-month sentence and $50,000 fine without hearing oral argument in a ruling issued April 11.” Electronics-recycling innovator is going to prison for trying to extend computers’ lives (from the Washington Post)

“Mouctar Diallo’s nighttime job had been as an informal helper on garbage trucks owned by Sanitation Salvage, and the truck he’d been working on that night had killed him. Then, she learned, the truck’s driver and main helper — men who’d known him for more than a year and paid him off-the-books for his help hauling trash to the curb — had claimed not to know him. The rest of the city now knew her son only as a homeless person. “He is my son, and I want the truth for him,” Hadiatou Barry said in a recent interview. “In order for it to not happen to somebody else.”” Treated Like Trash (by Kiera Feldman for ProPublica)

Radio hour from Seattle exploring Amazon’s impact on the city. May Day protests were a walk in the park compared to this week’s news

Self-Care

“The results weren’t exactly uplifting: Nearly half of respondents said they sometimes or always felt alone, more than 40 percent said they sometimes or often feel that their relationships aren’t meaningful, and only slightly more than half said they have a meaningful in-person social interaction each day. A score of 43 or above was considered a marker of loneliness (the scale ranges from 20 to 80); the average was 44, with Generation Z as the hardest-hit age group. But while public-health experts continue to grapple with how to tackle the problem of loneliness on a larger scale, there are smaller things you can do in your everyday life to combat it. Here, seven therapists offer their advice on concrete steps you can take when you’re feeling especially lonely.” 7 Therapists on What to Do When You Feel Lonely (by Cari Romm for The Cut)

Sunday

29

April 2018

0

COMMENTS

Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan

Written by , Posted in Reviews

4 Stars

Best for: People who want some resolution of the dangling storylines from China Rich Girlfriend.

In a nutshell: The family matriarch is dying and is still estranged from one of her grandkids. Most potential heirs start acting even more entitled.

Worth quoting: N/A

Why I chose it: I read the first two books over the course of three days. I needed to know what happened next.

Review: (Spoilers below)
I didn’t fully enjoy how every storyline was tied up, but for the most part I found this to be and extremely satisfying end to the trilogy. The absurdity is ramped up a bit, and there’s a bit of a deus ex machina at the end, but whatever. The entire series is a messy soap opera and I loved it.

The character of Rachel continues to be a mostly non-entity, despite having been the instigator for the first book and our access point into this incomprehensible world. But that’s okay – there are other interesting women to follow, like Astrid, who has one of the more interesting arcs of the story. Some of the men are interesting and complicated as well.

There are also some REAL simple dudes. Oh Eddie. Eddie, you are the worst, and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment when things didn’t go your way. I also found the evolution of Michael’s character to be intriguing – when he had (relatively) little money, he was a good father and partner who just wanted a way out of the life he knew didn’t fit him; as soon as he starts to get money he become overbearing and controlling and an ass.

My favorite part of the book came halfway through, when the matriarch’s will was read. Sometimes my eyes will dart over the full page and certain names will stand out, so I covered the pages with my hand so I couldn’t skim ahead. And it was worth it. So glorious.

I read these three books over the course of four days. I haven’t inhaled a series like this since … probably The Hunger Games. I enjoyed the frivolity and decadence, sure, but I also enjoyed the characters. I can’t wait to read what Mr. Kwan comes up with next.

Sunday

29

April 2018

0

COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – 29 April 2018

Written by , Posted in What I'm Reading

Horrific Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Action

“Tribal leaders want an exemption from new Medicaid work rules being introduced in several states, and they say there are precedents for health care exceptions. Native Americans don’t have to pay penalties for not having health coverage under Obamacare’s individual mandate, for instance. But the Trump administration contends the tribes are a race rather than separate governments, and exempting them from Medicaid work rules — which have been approved in three states and are being sought by at least 10 others — would be illegal preferential treatment. “HHS believes that such an exemption would raise constitutional and federal civil rights law concerns,” according to a review by administration lawyers.” Trump challenges Native Americans’ historical standing(by Dan Diamond for Politico)

Drugs

“”The war on drugs in large part became a war on people who needed opportunity and treatment. While we cannot reverse all the harm that was done, we must do our part to give Seattle residents — including immigrants and refugees — a clean slate,” she added. Voters in Washington legalized the recreational use of marijuana in the state in 2012. Durkan also expressed in the statement that marijuana policies adversely affect undocumented immigrant populations living in Washington state, creating an extra barrier to citizenship.” Seattle officials file motion to vacate marijuana convictions (by John Bowdon for The Hill)

Immigration

“Judge John D. Bates of Federal District Court for the District of Columbia said that the administration’s decision to terminate the program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, was based on the “virtually unexplained” grounds that the program was “unlawful.” The judge stayed his decision for 90 days and gave the Department of Homeland Security, which administers the program, the opportunity to better explain its reasoning for canceling it. If the department fails to do so, it “must accept and process new as well as renewal DACA applications,” Judge Bates said in the decision.” U.S. Must Keep DACA and Accept New Applications, Federal Judge Rules (by Miriam Jordan for The New York Times)

Reproductive Rights

“The images on the posters haunt me throughout the day. I am not thinking about the distraught woman waiting for tablets to come through the letter-box. I do not know about her yet. Her life is too complicated to hang on a street light. She keeps her story to herself. It’s far too long to fit on a poster. It’s longer than a novel. Unlike the foetus on the poster, she has a million things going on in her head. She cries. She is afraid. She too knows all about the foetus. She has thought about nothing else for days. She calls it a baby in her mind. In her heart too. She knows how many weeks it is. She knows what size it is. It is much smaller than her thumb. She wonders if it is a boy or girl. She wishes things were different. But they are not. She has gone over and over it – a million times.” Anti-abortion posters fail to take account of life (by Chris Fitzpatrick for The Irish Times)

Racism

“At the second hole, a white man whose son co-owns the club came up to them twice to complain that they weren’t keeping up with the pace of play. Thompson, an attorney and the head of the York chapter of the NAACP, told the newspaper it was untrue. On the same hole, another member of the group, Sandra Harrison, said she spoke with a Grandview golf pro, who said they were fine since they were keeping pace with the group ahead of them. Despite that, the women skipped the third hole to avoid any other issues, she said.” Golf club apologizes for calling cops on black women members (Via AP)

“An official statement from the company says that Clemons’ story differs from that of police. Despite the violent arrest being captured on video which has gone viral, Waffle House issued a statement saying they support how police handled the situation. “After reviewing our security video of the incident and eyewitness accounts, police intervention was appropriate,” the statement said.” Waffle House Issued A Statement Supporting The Arrest Of Chikesia Clemons: Where Is The National Outrage Over Her Case? (by Ricky Riley for Blavity)

“My fear was also related to a problem much bigger than what happened at Starbucks — a problem the anti-racial bias training the company has scheduled for its employees can’t even begin to address. The police in this country have long been empowered to respond to white anxiety about the very presence of black people. The 1863 “Ordinance to establish patrols for the police of slaves in the Parish of St. Landry” is an early example. “Every free white male person, having attained the age of 16 years and not above the age of 60 years, who shall reside in the State of Louisiana and Parish of St. Landry, shall be bound to do patrol duty within the limits of the patrol district in which he resides,” it read. This piece of legislation allowed white men to directly police black people.” A Problem Starbucks Can’t Train Away (by Steven W. Thrasher for The New York Times)

Fat Awareness

“Regardless, that’s not my biggest problem. My biggest problem is that, while the thrift store is for everyone and it’s certainly legal for her and other thin people who want to do the same thing to buy clothes that don’t fit them, that choice does not happen in a vacuum. Plus size clothing is hard to come by. It’s much, much harder to come by in thrift stores. This is significant because fat people also get hired less and paid less than thin people, and thus are more likely to actually NEED the kind of cheap clothing that a thrift store would offer.” Should Thin People “Re-Purpose” Plus Size Thrift Clothes (by Regan Chastain for Dances with Fat)

Fighting Misogyny

“Official retribution was swift. “In the end, after I’d finished the race, I was disqualified and expelled from the athletics federation because I had run with men, because I had run more than a mile and a half and because I had fraudulently entered the race, which was not true – and the worst one was because I had run without a chaperone. It just shows the attitude that existed in 1967: people thought that if women ran they would turn into a man or that it was socially objectionable.”” Woman who blazed a trail for equality in marathons hits London’s starting line (by Jamie Doward for The Guardian)

Fighting Racism

“39. Recognize that you can’t assume someone’s religion based on how they look. Not all South Asians and Middle Eastern people are Muslims, not all Black people are Christian, not all East Asian people are Buddhist. You get the idea.” 100 Ways White People Can Make Life Less Frustrating For People of Color (by Kesiena Boom for Broadly)

“Kaepernick first took a knee during the pre-game playing of the American national anthem when he was with the 49ers in 2016 to protest police brutality. Other players joined him, drawing the ire of President Donald Trump, who called for team owners to fire such players. In response to the player demonstrations, the NFL agreed to commit $90 million over the next seven years to social justice causes in a plan. Amnesty International Secretary General Salil Shetty called Kaepernick “an athlete who is now widely recognized for his activism because of his refusal to ignore or accept racial discrimination.”” Colin Kaepernick, NFL quarterback, honored by Amnesty for inequality protests (Via AP)

Something Good

Friday

27

April 2018

0

COMMENTS

China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan

Written by , Posted in Reviews

4 Stars

Best for: People who enjoyed the first in this series (Crazy Rich Asians)

In a nutshell: We follow many of the original characters — and a few new ones — in this second book in the trilogy.

Worth quoting: N/A

Why I chose it:
I bought this at the same time as I bought China Rich Girlfriend because I figured I was going to like that and would want to start the sequel immediately.

Review: (Spoilers below)
I feel like I’m reading an amazing soap-opera, and I continue to thoroughly enjoy it. Yes, it’s all over-the-top and ridiculous. Yes, some of the characters are horrible and unlikeable, but I appreciate how many of them are changing over the course of the two novels.

Before I get too far into this review, I want to say how much I appreciated that Mr. Kwan played around a little with the formatting of the chapters this go round. We still get different point of view chapters, but we also have some chapters that consists solely of emails, or diary entries, or text messages. One is even the instructions offered by a super-fancy life coach (I’m sure she’d cringe at that description of her role, but eh, that’s what she is in my view) to someone who is desperate to be accepted.

Okay, so the content of the book. As I said above, I like the evolution of the different characters. We see some parents taking dramatic steps related to their children. We see some formerly humble folks turn into nightmares, and some nightmares humble themselves. Estrangements still exist in some areas, but in others they get resolved.

From a storytelling perspective, I appreciate that the will they / won’t they of Nick and Rachel is handled quickly, and their wedding happens in the first third of the book. I also enjoyed most of the handling of Rachel’s relationship with her father and brother. I do think Rachel could bee built out more, but at the same time, it’s nice to have a character who isn’t completely beyond reasonableness. She is an economics professor; she’s a smart woman who doesn’t seem interested in drama. While I LOVE reading about drama, I wouldn’t enjoy it happening to me, so I like that she mostly rolls with things, and then occasionally, when appropriate, says exactly what needs to be said, regardless of the ‘appropriateness’ of it from the perspective of many of these extremely rich families.

Like I said, I’m still enjoying these books. I read the last few pages of this one while on the bus to pick up the final one, and I started it as soon as I walked out of the book shop. I’ll go back to my dense non-fiction books next week, but for now I’m loving spending some time in this world.

Wednesday

25

April 2018

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COMMENTS

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Written by , Posted in Reviews

4 Stars

Best for: People looking for a comic look at the absurdity of obscene wealth.

In a nutshell: Nick is the kind of wealthy that never talks about money. His girlfriend Rachel doesn’t know it. He brings her home to Singapore to meet his family, and things get awkward.

Worth quoting:
“All her life she’d been treated like a hothouse flower, when in fact she was a wildflower that was never allowed to bloom fully.”
(I find this metaphor — or is it simile? — ridiculous because women =/= flowers, but I also weirdly like the imagery.)

Why I chose it:
The film’s trailer was released two days ago. I decided it was finally time to suck it up and pick it up (I’d been avoiding it for years because I don’t like the use of words like ‘crazy.’).

Review:
(some minor spoilers below)

After I finished the book I went back to read other Cannonball Read reviews. I’m intrigued by how many folks thought it wasn’t that great — I think maybe we viewed it through different lenses? I went into this knowing that I would find so much of it absurd, and I think the fact that the author is clearly both interested in pointing out the absurdity of many of these people AND is aware that lots of people like absurdly fancy shit (whether than can afford it or not) made it pretty easy for me to dive into this ridiculous world for awhile.

I loved the book. I devoured it. I enjoyed that Mr. Kwan was able to write chapters from multiple perspectives. (Seriously, that takes talent, to not just create many characters, but to take their point of view and have them really be different characters.) I liked that while some of the women were horrible, they weren’t all just one-dimensional materialistic harpies. There were very rich women that were appealing, and very rich women who … super weren’t. The men were also more complicated than just absent fathers or playboys. Nick, for example, seems to be a genuinely good guy, but his actions result in some pretty serious distress for quite a few people because he lacks some self-awareness. Astrid is obviously someone who has no real comprehension of how much money she has, but she’s also, to me, extremely likable in trying to lead a life that matches what her husband is comfortable with.

One of my favorite parts are the friendships between Colin and Nick and between Rachel and Piek Lin. Colin and Araminta pick Nick and Rachel up from the airport in Singapore is so … normal. These are people we will come to learn are essentially Singapore royalty, and they want to do the things friends do: welcome their friends to town and take them out. I also like that Rachel is pretty chill for most of the trip, and then when it makes sense, just sort of loses her shit. Not in a theatric way, but in the way many people do: she completely shuts down.

At the same time, I also like how unlikable so many of characters are. Nick’s mother Eleanor and her friends are obnoxious and kind of shitty parents. They can convince themselves they’re trying to do what is best for their kids, but they don’t really KNOW their kids at all. And Eddie … I’ve not wanted to smack a character so badly as I did here. What. An. Asshole.

I’ve seen some reviews that chastise Mr. Kwan for being so ostentatious in his descriptions of things like clothing and decor, but I feel it’s necessary. This isn’t the kind of rich I’m familiar with — these are definitely not the Kardashians. These are next-level rich, and I think that’s fascinating. It’s not the only thing I want to read about in life because it’s not realistic, but then neither is the world of Game of Thrones. If the only books available were books like this, that would be a problem (I want novels about people who aren’t absurdly rich), but I think Mr. Kwan does a great job with this one. I’m interested in the characters, and I’m putting off starting the next book until tomorrow because it’s late and I know I’ll just stay up reading it.

Sunday

22

April 2018

0

COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – 22 April 2018

Written by , Posted in What I'm Reading

UK Immigration Policy Horror

“When Gretel arrived at Tilbury Docks in East London, aged 24, all those years ago, she had a Jamaican ­passport with a stamp inside giving her indefinite leave to remain. But that document was stolen in a 2006 burglary at her house in Lambeth. She applied for a new one and her daughter Pauline ­Blackwood immediately filed a police report. The authorities told Gretel she would not be given a UK passport and if she left Britain she would need to apply for a visa on her new Jamaican passport.” “I’m heartbroken I can’t rejoin my children in Britain”: Windrush gran blocked from UK after living here for 59 years (by Christopher Bucktin for The Mirror)

“There were angry exchanges at Prime Ministers Questions yesterday as the Labour Leader called Theresa May’s government “both callous and incompetent” after it emerged that Brits who had lived for generations in the UK faced being wrongly deported to Commonwealth countries, the evidence for when the Windrush generation had arrived in the UK having been destroyed by the Home Office.” Theresa May’s ‘Hostile Environment’ immigration policy compared to ‘Nazi Germany’ by her own ministers (by Ben Gelblum for The London Economic)

“If you are angry about the treatment of the Windrush generation it is important to understand that this anger cannot be selective, if there are to be no more violations. There is no cross-party, cross-media support for a different type of immigration policy victim than the Windrush scandal has managed to muster. Not for those who are illegally detained, those on hunger strike in protest against poor conditions. Not for those whose illnesses were treated as lies and to which they later succumbed. Not for the sexually exploited and not for the children separated from their parents. Not even for those British subjects separated from their families by unreasonably high income visa requirements.” It’s not just Windrush. Theresa May has created hostility to all immigrants (by Nesrine Malik for The Guardian)

“Robinson was told that he did not have the correct paperwork to get into the UK, even though he had lived, worked and paid taxes there his whole life. The grandfather of three was forced to say goodbye to his relatives at the departure gate. “I felt like someone had just punched me in the head. ‘What do you mean, I cannot come back?’ I thought. The next day it really hit me that I was not with my family,” he says. He says he ended up staying in Jamaica for 21 months, stranded and living in one-room bedsits and cheap hostels.” Windrush generation tell of holidays that led to exile and heartbreak (by Sarah Marsh, Haroon Siddique and Caroline Bannock for The Guardian)

Racism

“Nelson recalled asking the manager to use the bathroom after he and Robinson arrived at the Starbucks. He said she told him no because he hadn’t ordered anything. Nelson sat down at a table with Robinson — his friend since the fourth grade — and waited for Yaffe, who is white. That’s when the manager came over and asked if they were ordering anything, they said, and phoned the cops when the pair told her they were waiting to meet someone.” Starbucks manager called the cops on black men two minutes after they arrived for business meeting (by Terence Cullen for New York Daily News)

““And where are you from?” asked the prince. “Manchester, UK,” I said. “Well, you don’t look like it!” he said, and laughed. He was then ushered on to the next person. Although I have experienced such off-the-cuff, supposedly humorous, comments before, I was stunned by the gaffe. Prince Charles was endorsed by the Queen, in her opening speech to the heads of government, to be the future head of the Commonwealth: it’s her “sincere wish” that he become so. That the mooted next leader of an organisation that represents one-third of the people on the planet commented that I, a brown woman, did not look as if I was from a city in the UK is shocking.” Dear Prince Charles, do you think my brown skin makes me unBritish? (by Anita Sethi for The Guardian)

Sexual Assault

“Richard, a student and linebacker on the football team at SUNY Cortland in upstate New York, went to a house party on Long Island in July 2017 with his friends from high school while he was home from school for the summer. As he was getting ready to leave, Richard heard noises coming from the bathroom — the sounds, he said, of a woman’s cry. “I didn’t know what was going on,” Richard told BuzzFeed News. “I just knew something what up.” Using his shoulder, Richard said he and one of his friends pushed open the door and saw a man standing behind a young woman with his hand on her neck, attempting to assault her. The woman was crying and bleeding from the mouth, Richard said.” This College Junior Was Shot Twice After Stopping An Attempted Sexual Assault (by Mary Ann Georgantopoulos for BuzzFeed News)

“The House bill, which received support from across the aisle, came after a half-dozen lawmakers were forced to either resign or retire last fall in light of sexual harassment allegations, would require lawmakers to pay for harassment or discrimination claims out of their own pocket, instead of using taxpayer-funded settlements. The legislation would also mandate transparent reporting of previous harassment payouts and eliminates the requirement for Hill employees to seek counseling and mediation prior to pursuing a claim.” Male GOP senators balk at new rules requiring them to pay their own sexual harassment settlements (by Rebekah Entralgo for Think Progress)

“Towards the end of the two-hour hearing, following emotional testimonies from the survivors, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), the ranking member of the subcommittee, asked all four if they thought that sexual abuse was ongoing in their respective sports. A few responded that they were certain it was: not only are the current policies still insufficient from both a response and prevention standpoint, but, as Farrell said, “I think the majority of athletes and coaches are wonderful people, but every child molester would love to be a coach.”” Survivors stun senators with testimony on prevalence of sexual abuse in sports (by Lindsay Gibbs for Think Progress)

“Despite all of that, this year’s Coachella experience was also full of moments I never saw on Instagram: being repeatedly violated by strangers. In the three days I was at Coachella, I only spent a total of 10 hours at the actual festival, where I watched numerous performances and interviewed festivalgoers about their experience with sexual assault and harassment for Teen Vogue. During the 10 hours I was reporting on this story, I was groped 22 times.” Sexual Harassment Was Rampant at Coachella 2018 (by Vera Papisova for Teen Vogue)

“At Penn State, sorority women are 50 percent more likely than other female students to be sexually assaulted, and fraternity men are 62 percent more likely to commit a sexual assault than other male students, according to the university’s most recent Sexual Assault Campus Climate survey. Erin Farley, programming coordinator at Penn State’s Gender Equity Center, said 1 in 4 women and 1 in 16 men say they’ve been sexually assaulted at Penn State, according to the anonymous survey.” ‘Like sharks looking for minnows’: Sexual assault is a problem in Penn State’s Greek culture (by Sarah Rafacz for The Centre Daily)

Transphobia

“The 30th anniversary of the anti-gay legislation known as section 28 is a useful moment to pause and examine the parallels between the trans and gay movements: not only are the struggles analogous in that they were both designed to improve the legal rights of a minority group; the responses they provoked have been at times eerily similar.” Today’s anti-trans rhetoric looks a lot like old-school homophobia (by Shon Faye for The Guardian)

Housing

“A report, Housing for the Many, accuses ministers of stretching the term affordable to breaking point to include homes let at up to 80% of market rents – more than £1,500 a month in some areas – and homes for sale up to £450,000. “It has become a deliberately malleable phrase, used to cover up a shift in government policy towards increasingly expensive and insecure homes,” it says. The Labour leader and John Healey, the shadow housing secretary, set out the party’s plans to link affordability to people’s incomes on tenures including social rent, living rent and low-cost ownership, in the 40-page green paper, to be launched on Thursday.” Labour would rip up definition of affordable housing, Corbyn says (by Heather Stewart for The Guardian)

Corporate Malfeasance

“According to the New Food Economy, Amazon ranks high on the list of employers with massive numbers of employees enrolled in SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, otherwise known as food stamps). In Ohio, around one in 10 Amazon employees uses SNAP; in Pennsylvania, about one in nine. In Arizona, nearly one in three Amazon employees is enrolled in the food stamp program.” A large number of Amazon workers rely on food stamps for assistance (by Luke Barnes for Think Progress)

“Owen and Demetric, father and son, allege in the lawsuit that Demetric’s supervisors hurled racist statements like, “All you f***ing n***ers,” Bloomberg reported. Owen told Bloomberg that the racist statements made him feel helpless. “It made me feel like I was less than a man,” Owen Diaz said. “I couldn’t do anything.” Owen and Demetric were contractors at Tesla who worked with firms West Valley Staffing Group and Citistaff Solutions. They are suing all three firms who have denied the allegations, Bloomberg reported.” Former Tesla Contractors File Discrimination Lawsuit Against The Company Claiming Racial Bias and Harassment (by Kimberley Richards for Blavity)

Friday

20

April 2018

0

COMMENTS

Things That Make White People Uncomfortable by Michael Bennett

Written by , Posted in Reviews

Five Stars

Best for: Anyone interested in a compelling story about how a professional athlete lives his values.

In a nutshell: Former (sniff) Seattle Seahawk and current Philadelphia Eagle team member Michael Bennett shares his prospective on a wide range of topics, including the NCAA, the NFL, racism, and sexism.

Line that sticks with me:
“They also tell us to stick to sports when we speak out on issues. But they don’t seem to have a problem when we’re making commercials, selling their kids sneakers they can’t afford or fast food that will give them colon cancer.”
“But none of this is new, and we shouldn’t pretend it is. Racists may be more confident now because of who is in the White House, but it’s been there all along.”
“I think their real reason for calling me a liar is their whole worldview is built around the idea that racism in policing doesn’t exist. They would rather live in the comfort of that fiction than be forced to confront the uncomfortable truth: that racial profiling is a reality.”
“I realized that I wouldn’t be the person I aspire to be if I called out injustice here at home and just stopped at our border. It doesn’t work that way.”

Why I chose it: I mean, a former Seahawk writing about things like social justice? Sign me up.

Review:
I grew up loving professional football. I was a 49ers fan, and got to attend many games growing up. However, I didn’t watch a single game in the 2017-2018 season, because of how the league treated Colin Kaepernick. I wrote about my decision here.

But living in Seattle, it was impossible to avoid news of the Seahawks, and Michael Bennett (until recently) was a major piece of that team. So when I heard he was writing a book — and with Dave Zirin, whose work I’ve reviewed before — I knew I had to pick it up. Saw it at the airport before returning to London this week, and I’ve not been able to put it down.

This book has so many insights, it was hard to limit the number of quotes to share above. Mr. Bennett talks openly about how hard college life is for ‘student-athletes’ (who he says would more accurately be called ‘athlete-students’), how the NCAA and universities don’t give a shit about their players. He talks about life in the NFL, and the fear of CTE and how poorly retired players are treated. He shares how important the brotherhood of the Seahawks locker room has been in his growth as a player and a Black man.

He covers many topics I expected him to, like the racism inherent in calling the NFL team owners ‘owners’ when so many of the employees are Black, or Mr. Bennett’s involvement in the anthem protests. In fact, the preface could stand alone as a wonderful essay on the need to stand up (or, in this case, sit down) for what’s right. But he also talks about things like the importance of access to healthful food, or his thoughts on Palestine, or the importance of forgiveness, which I wasn’t expecting.

I think this is a book anyone with an opinion on the role of college or professional athletes should read. I also think this is a good book for anyone who is looking for inspiration to keep fighting injustice.

Note: Mr. Bennett was charged in late March with assaulting someone working security at the Super Bowl in 2017 (a felony, because the person is over 65). I find it hard to believe that the incident went down as suggested in the indictment; I’m especially suspect because of the way the Houston police chief shared it (Google the press conference if you’re interested). Mr. Bennett’s attorney has said: “He just flat-out didn’t do it. It wasn’t a case of, ‘He didn’t shove her that hard,’ or anything like that. … He never touched her.” That said, I wasn’t there, so if that’s something that might affect your interest in picking up this book, I wanted to put it out there.