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What I’m Reading Archive

Sunday

17

December 2017

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COMMENTS

What I’m Reading: December 17, 2017

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Horrific Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Action

“Policy analysts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta were told of the list of forbidden terms at a meeting Thursday with senior CDC officials who oversee the budget, according to an analyst who took part in the 90-minute briefing. The forbidden terms are “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.” In some instances, the analysts were given alternative phrases. Instead of “science-based” or ­“evidence-based,” the suggested phrase is “CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes,” the person said. In other cases, no replacement words were immediately offered.” CDC gets list of forbidden words: Fetus, transgender, diversity (by Lena H. Sun and Juliet Eilperin for Washington Post)

“According to a tally by AL.com columnist John Archibald, eight of the 10 Alabama counties with the highest percentage of non-white registered voters saw their driver’s license offices closed. “Every single county in which blacks make up more than 75 percent of registered voters will see their driver license office closed. Every one,” Archibald wrote. Archibald also noted that many of the counties where offices were closed also leaned Democrat.” Alabama Demands Voter ID–Then Closes Driver’s License Offices In Black Counties (by Tierney Sneed for TPM)

Racism

“When I read that chapter and later as I sat in class, I was appalled by the lack of historical context provided about how these “disorders” have been used to justify the oppression of People of Color, queer folks, trans and gender non-conforming individuals, immigrants, and those who are disabled. At the very least, there should have been a discussion about how these diagnoses still contribute to the disproportionate criminalization of Black children and their unfair expulsions from academic institutions. We were being taught as medical students to pathologize behaviors that are expressed in marginalized communities in response to unfair systems of oppression and yet we did not have the time to talk about how such a practice perpetuates injustices and ill-health. When I named the concerns I had about the erasure of anti-black racism present in the disorders and also in the lecture itself, my attempt to center such a discussion in class was seen instead as disruptive. Like those “argumentative, snotty, difficult, challenging, pain in the ass children” with ODD who passed through this professor’s practice, I needed to be put in my place.” The Silence Here is Deafening – And It Kills (by Ohenewaa Nkrumah for South Sound Emerald)

Poverty

“Entrenched poverty will be made far worse by policies being proposed by the Trump Administration, warned Philip Alston in a statement after a two-week fact-finding mission to California, Alabama, Georgia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C., as well as Puerto Rico. “The American Dream is rapidly becoming the American Illusion, as the United States now has the lowest rate of social mobility of any of the rich countries,” said the independent human rights expert appointed by the UN Human Rights Council to look at poverty and human rights in countries around the world.” “American Dream is rapidly becoming American Illusion,” warns UN rights expert on poverty

Disablism

“The book — which has been endorsed by Jon Stewart, who called it an “honest and illuminating love letter to Gus,” described by Kirkus Reviews as “a heartfelt ‘slice of life’ tale,” and even praised as “unique, moving, and entertaining” by Bustle writer Stephanie Topacio Long — became the center of an internet firestorm earlier this week, when the #BoycottToSiri hashtag began circulating on Twitter. The hashtag was started by Amythest Shaber, an autistic YouTuber and spurred by #ActuallyAutistic users who believe the book recklessly releases details of Gus’s life to complete strangers (Newman discusses his personal details and medical history) and maligns the autistic community in general. In certain scenes, she describes her son as “Batsh*t Crazy Kid” and “mutant.” Throughout the book, she also references the work of known eugenicists Alfred Hoche and Karl Binding, and writes that she does not believe her son should have children of his own.” Why I Believe ‘To Siri With Love’ By Judith Newman Is A Book That Does Incredible Damage To The Autistic Community (by Kaelan Rhywiol for Bustle)

Sexual Assault

“In recent interviews, four women spoke on the record about a pattern of violent sexual behavior by Mr. Simmons, disclosing incidents from 1988 to 2014. Three of the women say that he raped them. In each case, numerous friends and associates said they were told of the incidents at the time. The women said they were inspired to come forward in the aftermath of the accusations against Harvey Weinstein, as victims’ stories have been newly elevated and more often believed.” Music Mogul Russell Simmons Is Accused of Rape by 3 Women (by Joe Coscarelli and Melena Ryzik for New York Times)

Something Good

“But it’s been clear, too, that there is a shift under way, of undeniable changes that are altering power structures in Hollywood, in the media landscape, in politics, and beyond (and hopefully, they’ll stick). We have black women to thank for #MeToo and for the election of Doug Jones in Alabama. We have Muslims like Mahershala Ali and Riz Ahmed to thank for their representation of their religion and their culture at a time when the American president is tweeting Islamophobic crap on the regular. There is an increase in the visibility of Latina women in films like Logan, Cars 3, and Coco. And the trailers for Black Panther, which takes place in the never-colonized African country of Wakanda, have cemented it, without any doubt, as one of the must-see movies of 2018 and quite possibly the most anticipated Marvel movie yet.”  Black Excellence, Brown Pride, and the Pop Culture Gifts People of Color Gave the World in 2017 (by Roxane Hadadi for Pajiba)

Sunday

10

December 2017

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COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – December 10, 2017

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Sexual Harassment and Assault

“I live in Seattle. Right now I’m surrounded by good liberal men who are lining up to say how much they believe women. Who are clamoring to express their outrage at the horrific stories they are reading as so many women say #metoo. But some of these men — a lot of them — are abusers themselves. A lot of them have taken advantage, forced kisses on unsuspecting women, groped women, exposed themselves to women, tried to manipulate women into having sex with them. While they are expressing their outrage, they are secretly hoping that their name won’t show up in a woman’s story. They have an opportunity right now to start to make things right. To come clean, take responsibility, and begin the work of growth and redemption. But they opt for just playing the role of a hero instead. They collect praise for saying all of the right things while kicking aside their victims.” Dear Al Franken: I’ll Miss You, But You Can’t Matter Anymore (by Ijeoma Oluo for the Establishment)

“I have long maintained that when I was 7 years old, Woody Allen led me into an attic, away from the babysitters who had been instructed never to leave me alone with him. He then sexually assaulted me. I told the truth to the authorities then, and I have been telling it, unaltered, for more than 20 years. Why is it that Harvey Weinstein and other accused celebrities have been cast out by Hollywood, while Allen recently secured a multimillion-dollar distribution deal with Amazon, greenlit by former Amazon Studios executive Roy Price before he was suspended over sexual misconduct allegations? Allen’s latest feature, “Wonder Wheel,” was released theatrically on Dec. 1.” Dylan Farrow: Why has the #MeToo revolution spared Woody Allen? (by Dylan Farrow for the LA Times)

Media

“And of course, it would be unfair for me to make a sweeping generalization about how all media treats women based on the actions of one player. Or maybe a couple of important figures. Or maybe at least six other high level, powerful men who have been shown to have patterns of abusing the women around them, and excusing the behavior of other powerful men. Or maybe, oh shit, it’s almost like those in charge of the news are also in charge of the narrative, and they get to decide who’s a bitch or not. Even when the women being labeled bitches are actually only seen as bitches because our sexist society demands that women always behave cheerfully and friendly even in the face of our own abuse. Yay!” Hey, The Media? Hillary’s Still Waiting On That Apology You Most Definitely Owe Her (by Emily Chambers for Pajiba)

Something Good

“On Tuesday night, in the 99th episode of Fox cop comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine, the notoriously tight-lipped, emotionally guarded, and altogether badass detective played by Stephanie Beatriz revealed something significant to the ever-inquisitive Charles (Joe Lo Truglio). After he asked her why he heard a woman’s voice on the phone refer to Rosa as “babe,” she tried to throw him off the scent before finally sharing that she is dating a woman and that she is indeed bisexual. She also quickly brushed him off when he tried to be enthusiastic and supportive, only to later apologize, explaining she didn’t think it was anybody’s business and that she didn’t want anything to change. And while it felt therapeutic for the woman who has only let slip little shards of insight into her life — she owns an ax, she studied ballet before being kicked out of school for “beating the crap out of ballerinas,” her idea of a perfect date is “cheap dinner, watch basketball, bone down” — to share this part of herself, she wanted them to return to not talking about this ever again. (Request denied by Charles.)” Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Stephanie Beatriz on Rosa’s revelation, what’s next (by Dan Snierson for Entertainment Weekly)

Sunday

3

December 2017

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COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – December 3, 2017

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Horrific Legislative, Executive, and Judiciary Action

“Senator Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat who is a former chairwoman of the intelligence committee, said in an interview this week that Mr. Trump’s requests were “inappropriate” and represented a breach of the separation of powers. “It is pressure that should never be brought to bear by an official when the legislative branch is in the process of an investigation,” Ms. Feinstein said. Trump Pressed Top Republicans to End Senate Russia Inquiry (by Jonathan Martin, Maggie Haberman, and Alexander Burns for the New York Times)

“But what’s happening in the Senate right now really does deserve Trumpian superlatives. The bill Republican leaders are trying to ram through this week without hearings, without time for even a basic analysis of its likely economic impact, is the biggest tax scam in history. It’s such a big scam that it’s not even clear who’s being scammed — middle-class taxpayers, people who care about budget deficits, or both. One thing is clear, however: One way or another, the bill would hurt most Americans. The only big winners would be the wealthy — especially those who mainly collect income from their assets rather than working for a living — plus tax lawyers and accountants who would have a field day exploiting the many loopholes the legislation creates.” The Biggest Tax Scam in History (by Paul Krugman for the New York Times)

Sexual Harassment and Assault

“But now, with only a small handful of high-profile men finally facing some repercussions after years of abuse, there is already an effort to slow down. Is this becoming a witch hunt? Is this becoming a sex panic? Are innocent men at risk of being wrongly accused? Today’s headlines seem to be either dominated by the men who’ve been flaunting their abuse of women for years, even decades, with explicit details of all of the horrors they were allowed to inflict upon women — or about the men who might be at risk for being “unfairly” accused. The men who are now “scared to even talk to women” lest they be accused of sexual harassment. And the women…the women are forgotten completely.” Due Process Is Needed For Sexual Harassment Accusations — But For Whom? (by Ijeoma Oluo for The Establishment)

“Nassar — a longtime team physician for USA Gymnastics who had a successful and highly-touted medical practice at Michigan State — has been accused of sexually abusing more than 140 women and girls under the guise of providing medical treatment. Last week’s plea, which came just a day after Gabby Douglas became the third member of the 2012 London Olympics gold-medal winning “Fierce Five” gymnastics team to say she was abused by Nassar, is only the beginning of the consequences in store for the disgraced doctor.” Michigan State hasn’t faced consequences for enabling the biggest sex abuse scandal in U.S. sports (by Lindsay Gibbs for Think Progress)

“Two of those women had tried to warn the spa about Deiter before Ingram had, court records show. Three months before Ingram’s assault, one woman told the spa that Deiter had touched her genitals. One month before Ingram’s assault, another woman reported he had touched her breasts. The spa decided their allegations weren’t credible, in part because, like Ingram, both women had made them over the phone and wouldn’t return to the spa to discuss the events in person. Lawyers would later ask the spa owner and another clinic manager why they would judge an alleged sexual assault victim on her willingness to return to the scene of the crime.” Hands Off (by Katie J.M. Baker for Buzzfeed)

“In 2015 we wrote an article for ProPublica and the Marshall Project about Marie, an 18-year-old who reported being raped in Lynnwood, Wash., by a man who broke into her apartment. (Marie is her middle name.) Police detectives treated small inconsistencies in her account — common among trauma victims — as major discrepancies. Instead of interviewing her as a victim, they interrogated her as a suspect. Under pressure, Marie eventually recanted — and was charged with false reporting, punishable by up to a year in jail. The court ordered her to pay $500 in court costs, get mental health counseling for her lying and go on supervised probation for one year. More than two years later, the police in Colorado arrested a serial rapist — and discovered a photograph proving he had raped Marie.” When Sexual Assault Victims Are Charged With Lying (by Ken Armstrong and T. Christian Miller for  the New York Times)

Disaster Response

“”The fact that you’re displaced, not just relaxing here, it kind of makes you feel like you don’t fit in the environment,” said Hernandez, 44, who had been renting a house in southeast Houston’s Wayside neighborhood. Living in hotels and motels for extended periods is not just hard on families; it’s costly for taxpayers. The Federal Emergency Management Agency had spent more than $186 million on its Texas hotel program as of mid-November – about $2.8 million a day. It’s taking too long to move displaced families into more permanent arrangements, and there’s blame to share, said Tom McCasland, housing director for the city of Houston.” Tens of thousands displaced by Harvey still yearn for home (by Rebecca Elliott for Houston Chronicle)

Good Intentions

“Now don’t get me wrong. Donating to charity is a good thing, particularly during the holidays, when many charities budget for yuletide donations. But, the simple rules of economics are begging you: Give money to food banks, rather than food.Canned goods have a particularly low rate of charitable return. They’re heavy, they’re awkward and they can be extremely difficult to fit into a family’s meal plan. Worst of all, the average consumer is buying their canned goods at four to five times the rock-bottom bulk price that can be obtained by the food bank itself.” I’m begging you: Stop donating canned goods to food banks (by Tristin Hopper for the National Post)

Worldwide Violence

“Two eyewitnesses and a security source told Reuters that the suspected militants targeted supporters of the security forces attending prayers. Citing official sources, the state-run MENA news agency reported that the mosque is largely attended by Sufi Muslims — a form of Islam considered heretical by some conservatives and extremists like the Islamic State group.” Egypt mosque attack leaves at least 305 dead in Sinai Peninsula (by Charlene Gubash and F. Brinley Bruton for NBC)

Fight Back

“Internet users outraged by Verizon-lawyer-turned-FCC-Chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to gut net neutrality are planning to protest at Verizon retail stores across the country on Thursday, December 7th, one week before an expected vote at the FCC. In some cities, protesters will march from Verizon stores to lawmakers’ offices.” Net neutrality protests to hit Verizon stores across the U.S. during busy holiday shopping season

Reproductive Rights

Childfree Is A Legitimate Choice

Sunday

19

November 2017

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COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – November 19, 2017

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Transphobia

“Like many other avowed feminists, Reilly-Cooper is bent on “proving” the absurdity of trans identity. More than that, she seeks to reveal how cis, white women like herself are actively harmed by policies and laws which aim to protect transgender individuals from discrimination and ensure their equal access to services. Never mind that this view is completely ignorant of the facts. Never mind the damage this narrative does.” Anti-Trans ‘Feminists’ Are More Dangerous Than Religious Zealots (by Aaron Kappel for The Establishment)

Sexual Harassment and Assault

“There is a path forward, past denial and scandal and shame. There is a path to genuinely being the better person that you want to be. I’m writing this sincerely. I’m writing this because sexual abuse and assault is so very common in our society that chances are, someone I know and love and respect is reading this and knowing that they are guilty. I’m writing this because if we don’t find a way forward, this will keep happening. Even if you never harass or abuse or assault another human being again: If you don’t try to make this right, this will keep happening and you will have helped to enable it.” So You’ve Sexually Harassed Or Abused Someone: What Now? (by Ijeoma Oluo for The Establishment)

“The Democratic party’s failure to speak up for sexual violence victims when they are facing powerful liberal men occurs at all levels of government. Former Seattle mayor Ed Murray resigned in September following six months of accusations that he sexually assaulted five men over three decades ago. While it is surprising that Murray refused to step down for so long, more puzzling was the scarcity of Democratic and liberal leaders pressuring him to do so. Washington state politicians have generated national attention as beacons of liberal resistance since the 2016 election, championing progressive causes and fighting for vulnerable populations. Still, before Murray’s resignation, only two of nine Seattle City Council members called on Murray to resign. Four former mayors, all major state level officials, and mayor-elect Jenny Durkan also retained support for him.” Guest Editorial: The Reckoning Must Also Come for Democrats (by Meredith Logan for The Stranger)

“I felt sick, and then I felt furious. A 13-year-old girl is not all grown up. And even if she had been what we consider grown up, that is not newsworthy. I thought of the media outlets that posted countdown clocks until Emma Watson or Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen were “legal”—that is to say, “safe” fantasy material. These websites also run scare pieces about kidnapped children, teen sex-trafficking, and pedophile predators. Young girls at risk, young girls objectified: It’s all titillation to them. These adults fetishize innocence, and the loss of innocence even more. They know what they’re selling.” Matilda Actress Mara Wilson: A 13-Year-Old Girl Is Not “All Grown Up” (by Mara Wilson for Elle)

Life Choices

“As a person in her late 30’s in a happy childless relationship, I’m in the vast minority. It’s a weird position to be in. Nothing has changed, but really everything has changed. I’m grown up. I’m making huge life decisions on how to live and give and be my best in the time we have on this planet. I’ve realised that I’d dearly love to find others who are trying to work through similar times in their lives. Lives that didn’t revert to permanent teenagehood at the same time as others had children. A place for women to talk positively about these lives in a society that wishes to quiet us down.” Why do we have such a big problem with childfree women? (by Nicole Hind)

Jackasses

“This speaks to a larger problem in activist communities: Too often, our overzealousness and undue willingness to take it upon ourselves to act as judge and jury online lends support and moral weight to virtual abuse. But this particular case merits examination because of the unaccountable credulousness with which too many leftists are still treating Julian Assange and WikiLeaks (the two being one-and-the-same these days). Though his descent into racist, conspiracist Jew-baiting has gone on for a while now, events this election year have drawn it into stark focus.” Are Progressives Being Played By WikiLeaks And Julian Assange? (by Katherine Cross for The Establishment)

Just for Fun

This is a three-year-old article from Lindy West that brought me joy today. Every Outfit Shelley Long Wears in Troop Beverly Hills, Ranked (by Lindy West for Jezebel)

 

Sunday

12

November 2017

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COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – November 12, 2017

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Abuse and Harassment

“But as a society, we don’t want to take responsibility for the abuse we create, enable, and strengthen. Because most of that responsibility lies with men and so many of them are very invested in keeping things the way they are — especially because they haven’t quite reached their life’s goal to be successful enough to be able to violate the consent of the most beautiful of the trophies we also know as women without consequence. Yes, everyone contributes to the patriarchy in some way — even women—but about half of us have had no say in the rules of the game, have never had a chance at winning, and have been given just as little say in whether or not we will play.” When You Can’t Throw All Men Into The Ocean And Start Over, What CAN You Do? (by Ijeoma Oluo for The Establishment)

“Here’s a theory: Some people have chosen to ignore Kelly’s alleged behavior because the victims of it have been black girls. As Jim DeRogatis, the Chicago-based reporter behind the BuzzFeed piece who has tirelessly covered the singer’s off-stage behavior for almost two decades, told the Voice in 2013, “The saddest fact I’ve learned is nobody matters less to our society than young black women.”” The latest R Kelly allegations are more evidence that black women’s words are never enough (by Jamilah Lemieux for Mic)

“The explicit goal of the investigations, laid out in one contract with Black Cube, signed in July, was to stop the publication of the abuse allegations against Weinstein that eventually emerged in the New York Times and The New Yorker. Over the course of a year, Weinstein had the agencies “target,” or collect information on, dozens of individuals, and compile psychological profiles that sometimes focussed on their personal or sexual histories. Weinstein monitored the progress of the investigations personally. He also enlisted former employees from his film enterprises to join in the effort, collecting names and placing calls that, according to some sources who received them, felt intimidating.” Harvey Weinstein’s Army of Spies (by Ronan Farrow for The New Yorker)

“Solo was speaking to Portuguese magazine Expresso about sexual harassment in women’s sports and its prevalence. She then revealed that Sepp Blatter, then the president of world soccer’s governing body, groped her in 2013 as they were about to present the women’s player of the year award at the Ballon d’Or gala. “I had Sepp Blatter grab my ass,” she said.” Hope Solo Said The Head Of FIFA Groped Her At An Awards Show (by Claudia Koerner for BuzzFeed)

“Two of Corfman’s childhood friends say she told them at the time that she was seeing an older man, and one says Corfman identified the man as Moore. Wells says her daughter told her about the encounter more than a decade later, as Moore was becoming more prominent as a local judge. Aside from Corfman, three other women interviewed by The Washington Post in recent weeks say Moore pursued them when they were between the ages of 16 and 18 and he was in his early 30s, episodes they say they found flattering at the time, but troubling as they got older. None of the three women say that Moore forced them into any sort of relationship or sexual contact.” Woman says Roy Moore initiated sexual encounter when she was 14, he was 32 (by Stephanie McCrummen, Beth Reinhard and Alice Crites for The Washington Post)

“Thurman is seething, like we have all been seething, in our various states of breaking open or, as Thurman chooses, waiting. We are seething at how long we have been ignored, seething for the ones who were long ago punished for telling the truth, seething for being told all of our lives that we have no right to seethe. Thurman’s rage is palpable yet contained, conveying not just the tempestuous depths of #MeToo but a profound understanding of the ways that female anger is received and weaponized against women.” Brave Enough to Be Angry (by Lindy West for the New York Times)

Fatphobia

“Giles Coren writes a column for Esquire about fatherhood. His most recent piece is titled: “I Don’t Care What My Son Becomes… As Long As He Isn’t Overweight.” I thought I couldn’t be shocked by fatphobia anymore but I was wrong.” Giles Coren: Garbage Human, Fatphobe and, Horrifyingly, Father (by Ragen Chastain for Dances with Fat)

Possible Genocide

“Countries must fully fund the UN appeal and close the funding gap that is leaving traumatized children without basic food, water, and shelter. Finally, member states of the United Nations must assess what diplomatic efforts can enable them to fulfill their responsibility to protect the Rohingya. We must not be bystanders to this genocide. We cannot allow people to be slaughtered and burnt out of their homes, while the world watches.” The Rohingya are facing genocide. We cannot be bystanders (by Salman Rushdie, Kiran Desai, Madhur Jaffrey, Aziz Ansari, Mindy Kaling, Riz Ahmed, Freida Pinto for The Guardian)

Life Choices

“Needless to say, some women in the United States and other countries have always refused both roles. Nonetheless, the idea that a woman is incomplete if she does not have at least one child has long been part of the social contract, with many a shaking head greeting those who make clear that they have other plans for their lives. “You’ll regret it later,” they hear. “Who will care for you when you grow old?”” Here’s a Fact: Some Women Do Regret Becoming Mothers (by Eleanor J. Bader for Rewire)

 

Sunday

5

November 2017

0

COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – November 5, 2017

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Horrific Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Action

“As White House chief of staff, Kelly recently got into a public fight with Frederica Wilson, a black congresswoman from Florida, who criticized Trump for the phone call he made to Myeshia Johnson, the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, who was killed earlier this month in Niger. Kelly called Wilson an “empty barrel” and falsely accused her of publicly grandstanding at the dedication of a new FBI headquarters in 2015. On Monday, he said he would never apologize for his comments.” America is being run by racists (by Michael A. Cohen for The Boston Globe)

“Both Manafort and Rick Gates, a former Manafort business associate and Trump campaign aide who was also indicted on Monday, didn’t have to see images of themselves in handcuffs plastered all over the media; rather, the two were able to portray themselves as calm, cool and collected. This is a privilege awarded to white collar criminals who allegedly commit serious crimes, yet are spared from the embarrassment other criminals face. The former Trump campaign officials were likely given that treatment by special counsel Robert Mueller, who issued the indictments against both Manafort and Gates.” Paul Manafort and the privilege of being a white collar defendant (by Rebekah Entralgo for Think Progress)

“The Trump administration’s proposed budget is also a reversal of America’s decades-long commitment to women’s rights as a key component of foreign policy—and a quiet threat to the international health and safety of girls. Unlike the reinstatement of the “global gag rule,” a partisan move that prevents overseas organizations that discuss abortion from receiving American aid, Trump’s budget guts women’s empowerment and health programs that have received acclaim from both sides of the aisle. Oxfam America found that “programs with an exclusive focus on gender equality and women’s empowerment are cut by 61 percent in the Trump Budget—much higher than the overall 32 percent cut to international affairs.”” Trump’s Global Assault on Women, Peace, and Global Prosperity (by Hilary Matfess for Bitch)

Disablism

“Forced intimacy is a cornerstone of how ableism functions in an able bodied supremacist world. Disabled people are expected to “strip down” and “show all our cards” metaphorically in order to get the basic access we need in order to survive.
We are the ones who must be vulnerable — whether we want to or not — about ourselves, our body-minds and our abilities. Forced intimacy was one of the many ways I learned that consent does not exist for my disabled Asian girl body-mind.” This Is Why Consent Doesn’t Exist For Disabled Folks (by Mia Mingus for The Establishment)

“Firstly, calling someone “differently abled” is euphemistic. It is borderline cutesy and it diminishes the actual experiences of disabled people. It suggests that the term disability should be uncomfortable and therefore should be avoided. What this does is further increase stigma against disabled people by discouraging discussion about disability and what it means to be disabled.” How “Differently Abled” Marginalizes Disabled People (by Lydia X.Z. Brown)

Emergency Response

“Those directors say they are unclear on how to classify hurricane-related deaths and whether they should send bodies to the central institute certifying official hurricane deaths, called the Institute of Forensic Sciences. The result is likely suppressing the official death count, which has become a major indicator of how the federal government’s relief efforts are going because President Trump himself made it one.” Puerto Rico Is Burning Its Dead, And We May Never Know How Many People The Hurricane Really Killed (by Nidhi Prakash for Buzzfeed)

Sexual Harassment and Assault in Entertainment

“Do you mind if I ask you what the hell is going on? I’m sure you’re busy, but this won’t take long. It’s just, in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandals, I saw something alarming, to put it mildly. Did you really condemn serial abuser Harvey Weinstein while on a press tour for a movie you made with a known child molester? Not a cute look for you.” An Open Letter To Kate Winslet (by Franki Gambino for Bust)

“One of Masterson’s accusers filed a police report in 2004 saying that she was raped in 2003, but the case didn’t move forward after the Church of Scientology intervened and submitted over 50 affidavits from Scientologists who denied the woman’s account. According to a report filed with the Los Angeles Police Department, the woman said Masterson raped her while she was “passed out,” and when she awoke and realized he was raping her, she struggled with him until he choked her and she passed out again.” Despite ‘Overwhelming’ Evidence Against Actor Danny Masterson, Rape Case Has Stalled (by Yashar Ali for Huffpost)

“The former production assistant, whose account has never previously been disclosed, told CNN that Spacey sexually assaulted him during one of the show’s early seasons. All eight people, each of whom spoke to CNN on the condition of anonymity for fear of professional repercussions for speaking out, described Spacey’s behavior as “predatory,” saying it included nonconsensual touching and crude comments and targeted production staffers who were typically young and male.” ‘House of Cards’ employees allege sexual harassment, assault by Kevin Spacey (by Chloe Melas for CNN)

“Since that incident in the early 1990s, Henstridge has found success as an actress — starring in the films “Species” and “The Whole Nine Yards.” But she said she has carried the memory of the run-in with her, and watched from afar as Ratner became one of Hollywood’s most powerful players — directing, producing or financing dozens of today’s biggest box-office hits, including “Rush Hour,” “X-Men: The Last Stand,” “The Revenant” and “Horrible Bosses.”” Six women accuse filmmaker Brett Ratner of sexual harassment or misconduct (by Amy Kaufman and Daniel Miller for LA Times)

“All told, more than fifty women have now levelled accusations against Weinstein, in accounts published by the New York Times, The New Yorker, and other outlets. But many other victims have continued to be reluctant to talk to me about their experiences, declining interview requests or initially agreeing to talk and then wavering. As more women have come forward, the costs of doing so have certainly shifted. But many still say that they face overwhelming pressures to stay silent, ranging from the spectre of career damage to fears about the life-altering consequences of being marked as sexual-assault victims.” Weighing the Costs of Speaking Out About Harvey Weinstein (by Ronan Farrow for The New Yorker)

“The night would begin, according to Jones, a two-year relationship with Kelly rife with alleged physical abuse, sexual coercion, emotional manipulation and a slew of draconian rules that dictated nearly every aspect of her life. Those rules, including what and when to eat, how to dress, when to go to the bathroom and how to perform for the singer sexually, were first described in writer Jim DeRogatis’ bombshell BuzzFeed feature on Kelly last July.” Surviving R. Kelly (by Jason Newman for Rolling Stone)

“But allegations against Richardson go back many years. In 2014, model Emma Appleton confirmed to BuzzFeed News that tweets she had sent alleging that Richardson asked for sex in exchange for work were genuine. A Richardson spokesperson at the time dismissed Appleton’s allegations as not accurate. Later that year, a profile of the photographer was published by New York magazine called “The Perverse Case of Terry Richardson”, which was seen as a response to allegations stretching nearly a decade that he’d coerced models into performing sexual acts on photoshoots.” Celebrity Photographer Terry Richardson Has Been Banned From Top Magazines After Years Of Allegations From Models (by Mark Di Stefano for Buzzfeed)

Reproductive Health

“The legislation would create 50-meter bubbles outside abortion clinics and prohibit protesters from targeting clinic workers or their homes. The Legislative Assembly of Ontario passed the bill with a near unanimous vote, with only one lawmaker voting against the measure. It became law the same day. Following the bill’s passage, Minister of the Status of Women Indira Naidoo-Harris said in a statement, “Women in Ontario will finally have safe and equal access to abortion services, free from harassment, bullying or violence. This act demonstrates our government’s commitment to the security, equality and empowerment of women in Ontario.”” Canada swiftly passes bill to protect abortion seekers, eager to set itself apart from the U.S. (by Elham Khatami for Think Progress)

““Justice prevailed today for Jane Doe. But make no mistake about it, the Administration’s efforts to interfere in women’s decisions won’t stop with Jane,” said Brigitte Amiri, senior staff attorney with the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. “With this case we have seen the astounding lengths this administration will go to block women from abortion care. We will not stop fighting until we have justice for every woman like Jane.”” After a Month of Obstruction by the Trump Administration, Jane Doe Gets Her Abortion (ACLU)

Labor

“Ideally, the investigations will not only uncover violations in industries where workers may be too afraid to report them but will also deter companies from violating the law in the first place, OLS Director Dylan Orr said in a statement today. “Our goal is to bridge the gap in industries and workplaces where there is a disproportionate number of vulnerable low-wage workers, where workers are least likely to complain, and where we are most likely to have a systemic impact,” Orr said.” Seattle Will Begin Proactively Investigating Industries that May Be Ripping Off Workers (by Heidi Groover for The Stranger)

Healthcare

“Fowler has a Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO through his job, but he said he doesn’t know how much he will have to pay out of his own pocket for the care he is receiving. In an era of higher deductibles and limited choice of in-network doctors, however, he knows he could face significant medical bills. His insurance card says his individual deductible is $5,000 and his coinsurance 20%. He said he didn’t know how much his health plan would cover for out-of-state care.” Las Vegas shooting victims struggle to afford mounting medical costs (by Anna Gorman for CNN)

“Last week, state Sen. Donald White (R) attached an amendment to the CHIP renewal legislation that would prohibit the program from covering the costs of any services related to a gender transition. The language of the amendment is vague enough that it could impact a broad swath of services that are medically necessary for the well-being of a transgender child.” Pennsylvania lawmaker doesn’t think transgender kids deserve health care (by Zack Ford for Think Progress)

Sports and Racism

“The Houston Texans owner and billionaire Trump bundler remarked that catering to the concerns of players about racism in the criminal-justice system was like “letting inmates run the prison.” Yes, he really said that. On an issue that in NFL circles was about as sensitive as defusing a bomb with tweezers, McNair brought an axe, and the situation immediately detonated.” The Houston Texans Showed the Power and Dignity of Black Labor (by Dave Zirin for The Nation)

Cats Are Awesome

“The African subspecies of wildcat (named Felis silvestris lybica) found its niche in the region now known as Turkey during the dawn of agriculture. As humans started storing grain some 10,000 years ago, rodents decided to move in with us. That attracted wildcats, and then some smart person said to herself: “Hmm, these things are pretty good at killing rats, maybe we should keep them around.” DNA from Egyptian mummies and Viking graves reveals how cats conquered the world (by Sarah Fecht for Popular Science)

Wednesday

1

November 2017

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COMMENTS

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

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Five Stars

Best for: Someone interested in reading about the people fighting injustice, and those they are fighting for (both the innocent and the not so innocent).

In a nutshell: Attorney Bryan Stevenson tells stories of his life fighting against a system set up to ignore the humanity in those who have been accused of – and sometimes committed – crimes.

Line that sticks with me: (It’s a long one)
“We emphasized the incongruity of not allowing children to smoke, drink, vote, drive without restrictions, give blood, buy guns, and a range of other behaviors because of their well-recognized lack of maturity and judgment while simultaneously treating some of the most at-risk, neglected, and impaired children exactly the same as full-grown adults in the criminal justice system.”

Why I chose it: My boss chose it as part of our equity and social justice book club.

Review: This is a fantastic book. It is easy to read despite the challenging content, and opened my eyes up to some of the bigger issues in criminal justice that I haven’t been focused on. Yes, there is a heavy emphasis on the injustice of capital punishment (a punishment I’ve been opposed to my whole life), but there’s also a focus on the injustice of shitty counsel, of trying and sentencing children as adults.

And it’s important to read stories that aren’t just about innocent men like Walter McMillian (whose story is followed throughout), but stories about people who have done things that they shouldn’t have, but who do not deserve to be thrown away or forgotten. Our justice system is deeply flawed. It’s flawed in many ways that are more by design than by accident.

This book will make you angry. It will make you sad. It will upset you, and at times maybe make you feel like the problems with the U.S. justice system are insurmountable. But then it will bring you back around, and realize that there are more Bryan Stevensons out there, fighting the good fights.

Sunday

22

October 2017

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COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – October 22, 2017

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Horrific Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Actions

“Unfortunately, Gov. Brown seems to not see it that way. Instead of looking at Title IX—and the right to an education free of violence—as an issue about civil rights and equity, he frames the issue as a struggle between warring factions. Instead of rapists vs. survivors, the true struggle is a matter of right (properly addressing campus violence to protect students’ civil rights) vs. wrong.” Echoing DeVos rhetoric, CA Gov. Brown vetoes turning campus sexual violence guidelines into law (by Wagatwe Wanjuki for Daily Kos)

“The law prohibits public workers — including doctors, teachers and daycare employees — as well as those receiving a service from the government from covering their faces. It was extended to municipal services, including public transit, in an amendment made in August.” ‘I should see your face, and you should see mine,’ Quebec premier says of new religious ‘neutrality’ law (by Benjamin Shingler for CBC)

“Advocates for students with disabilities were still reviewing the changes to determine their impact. Lindsay E. Jones, the chief policy and advocacy officer for the National Center for Learning Disabilities, said she was particularly concerned to see guidance documents outlining how schools could use federal money for special education removed.“All of these are meant to be very useful … in helping schools and parents understand and fill in with concrete examples the way the law is meant to work when it’s being implemented in various situations,” said Jones.” DeVos rescinds 72 guidance documents outlining rights for disabled students (by Moriah Ballingit for Washinton Post)

“A state lawmaker in Georgia who is married to former U.S. health and human services secretary Tom Price has drawn criticism for suggesting that people with HIV be quarantined to stop the spread of the virus, recalling language used in an earlier era when AIDS was little understood. “What are we legally able to do? I don’t want to say the quarantine word, but I guess I just said it,” State Rep. Betty Price (R) asked Pascale Wortley, the head of the Georgia Department of Public Health’s HIV Epidemiology Section, at a study committee meeting Tuesday on barriers to adequate health care, as seen in a video of the meeting.” Georgia lawmaker, wife of ex-HHS secretary Tom Price, asks about quarantining HIV patients (by Mary Hui for Washington Post)

Sexual Assault and Harassment

“It’s clear because the cultural malfunction that allows Allen to feel comfortable issuing that statement is the same malfunction that gave us Allen and Weinstein in the first place: the smothering, delusional, galactic entitlement of powerful men. When Allen and other men warn of “a witch hunt atmosphere, a Salem atmosphere” what they mean is an atmosphere in which they’re expected to comport themselves with the care, consideration and fear of consequences that the rest of us call basic professionalism and respect for shared humanity. On some level, to some men — and you can call me a hysteric but I am done mincing words on this — there is no injustice quite so unnaturally, viscerally grotesque as a white man being fired.” Yes, This Is a Witch Hunt. I’m a Witch and I’m Hunting You. (by Lindy West for New York Times)

“This has to stop. Instead of saying, “You cannot smoke in here,” we are telling every woman, “there is going to be smoke in the restaurant, so encase yourself entirely in protective sheeting.” Instead of saying, “Do not go around lighting people on fire,” we are telling women, “Don’t be flammable.” But you can’t be human and not be flammable. This is not like walking down a dark alley and getting mugged, because for that to be true you have to have the option of not walking down the dark alley.” Men of the world: You are not the weather (by Alexandra Petri for Washington Post)

“Given such a valiant declaration about this being the end of an era and all, it may come as a surprise to review who is in the academy. Members still in good standing include Roman Polanski, who has admitted to raping then-13-year-old Samantha Gailey in 1977 and has since been accused by three other women of rape; Casey Affleck, who was sued by two female colleagues for sexual harassment in 2010; and Bill Cosby, who has been accused by nearly 60 women of sexual misconduct and, this coming spring, will be retried on criminal charges that he drugged and sexually assaulted Andrea Constand in 2005. (The first trial, in June, ended with a hung jury.)” Why are Bill Cosby, Roman Polanski, and Casey Affleck still in the academy? (by Jessica M. Goldstein for Think Progress)

“While my own Harvey story may be different, I have had plenty of Harveys of my own over the years, enough to feel a sickening shock of recognition. When I was thirteen, a fifty-year-old crew member told me that he would teach me to dance, and then proceeded to push against me with an erection. When I was fourteen, a married film director stuck his tongue in my mouth on set. At a time when I was trying to figure out what it meant to become a sexually viable young woman, at every turn some older guy tried to help speed up the process. And all this went on despite my having very protective parents who did their best to shield me. I shudder to think of what would have happened had I not had them.” All the Other Harvey Weinsteins (by Molly Ringwald for the New Yorker)

“What is even more naive is pretending that looking gawky will protect you from being vulnerable. Any girl who gets curves a little too young and has clothes that make her feel comfortable is automatically shamed for it. But being a waif, you get made fun off for not having breasts. Both are at risk because at the end of the day it isn’t about beauty. It’s about power—power over people: beautiful, ugly, fat, or thin, adults or children. If you’re aware of that, the you should never feel the need to bring women’s looks or clothing into the conversation.” Mayim Bialik’s Tone-Deaf Op-Ed Is a Reminder That Calling Yourself a Feminist Isn’t Enough (by Princess Weeks for the Mary Sue)

Corporate Malfeasance

“Soon after he started working on the assembly line at Tesla, Jorge Ferro said he was taunted for being gay and threatened with violence. “Watch your back,” a supervisor warned after mocking his clothes for being “gay tight”, Ferro said. The harassment didn’t stop after he reported it to a manager, and days after he made a second complaint, Ferro was punished, according to his account. An HR representative took away Ferro’s badge, claiming that he had an “injury” that prevented him from working and saying there’s “no place for handicapped people at Tesla”, he alleged.” Tesla workers claim anti-LGBT threats, taunts, and racial abuse in lawsuits (by Sam Levin for The Guardian)

“A rigorous recent study from the Economic Policy Institute evaluated the impact of “right to work” by controlling for the effects of worker characteristics and state labor market conditions on wages. In “right to work” states, the median full-time worker (whether or not they are in a union) earns $1,500 a year less than their counterparts in states that allows unions to collect fees from every worker they represent.4 Workers in “right to work” states are also significantly less likely to have employer-sponsored health insurance or a pension through their job.” How So-Called ‘Right-to-Work’ Laws Aim to Silence Working People (by Amy Traub for Demos)

White Supremacists

“The confrontation unfolded at around 5:30 p.m. Thursday, when the occupants of a silver Jeep stopped to argue with a group of protesters assembled near a bus stop, Gainesville police said. The men in the car displayed Nazi salutes and shouted chants about Hitler, and one of them, identified as Tyler Tenbrink, 28, pulled out a gun. The other two assailants, brothers William Fears, 30, and Colton Fears, 28, encouraged Tenbrink to shoot at the protesters. Tenbrink fired one shot, which hit a nearby building. Then the Jeep sped off, police said.” White Nationalist Richard Spencer’s Supporters Charged in Post-Speech Shooting (by Jon Schuppe for NBC)

White FeminismTM

“Of course, this was expected. White women historically and embarrassingly continue to drop the intersectional ball. But even with that being the case, there are some other reasons that the fact that white feminism is rearing its basic-ass head this time around shouldn’t be all that surprising.” #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen, Part 2: On Rose McGowan and the Continued Failure of White Feminism (by Clarkisha Kent for The Root)

Fighting Back

“The meeting came after weeks of pearl clutching by conservatives, including Donald Trump who spent more time tweeting about NFL players than he did about the devastation in Puerto Rico or the ongoing wildfires in California. Three weeks ago, Trump escalated his war of words by calling on NFL owners to fire or otherwise punish players who don’t stand for the anthem, but on Tuesday, the owners ignored Trump and chose to allow players to continue to kneel if they so choose. The league also agreed to support some of the causes for which the protesting players have been advocating, including reformation of the criminal justice system, according to the New York Times.” NFL owners rebuke Trump, elect not to punish players who protest during the anthem (by Adam Peck for Think Progress)

“So, if our children are already seeing colour, and it’s natural for them to do so, how do we stop this recognition of difference from turning into racial prejudice? It turns out, one of the most effective ways to fight implicit racial bias in young children is to not only allow them to see colour, but to also deliberately show them more of it.” No, kids are not “colourblind” (For Ijeoma Oluo for Today’s Parent)

Disaster Response

“There is help available for the 18-year-old — right offshore. A floating state-of-the-art hospital, the USNS Comfort, could provide critical care, his doctor says. But nobody knows how to get him there. And Sammy is not alone. Clinics that are overwhelmed with patients and staff say they don’t even know how to begin sending cases to the ship. Doctors say there’s a rumor that patients have to be admitted to a central hospital before they can be transferred to the Comfort. Only 33 of the 250 beds on the Comfort — 13% — are being used, nearly two weeks after the ship arrived.” There’s a hospital ship waiting for sick Puerto Ricans — but no one knows how to get on it (by Leyla Santiago and Mallory Simon for CNN)

Something Good

Sunday

15

October 2017

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COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – October 15, 2017

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California Fires

““It’s going to continue to get worse before it gets better,” Cal Fire Chief Ken Pimlott said Wednesday, according to the Associated Press. Already among the most destructive in the state’s history, the fires have claimed 23 lives, obliterated 3,500 homes and businesses and caused more than 20,000 to evacuate. They have also scorched some of the finest wineries in the country.” How to Help California’s Wildfire Victims (by Jessica Kwong for Newsweek)

“The 57-year-old, as well as another maintenance worker, and several residents and their family members describe a frantic, disorganized, and late-deployed effort to evacuate the sprawling Varenna complex, which houses 400 senior citizens across several buildings, just before the fast-approaching flames swept through the premises.” Workers Say A California Retirement Community Left Its Elderly Residents Behind During The Fire (by Brianna Sacks for Buzzfeed)

Horrific Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Action

“Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said Monday in Kentucky that he plans to sign a proposed rule tomorrow repealing the plan, which aimed to restrict greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants, according to the Associated Press.” EPA head announces plan to eliminate Obama’s signature climate policy (by Yvette Cabrera for Think Progress)

Disablism

“Meanwhile, psychologist John Gartner started a petition on Change.org for “mental health professionals” (with no method to determine if their status as mental health professionals extended beyond self-appointment on the internet) to declare Trump mentally unfit to be president. So far, it’s received more than 60,000 signatures. As much as I wish Trump weren’t president, slapping him with lazy e-diagnoses is not the way to get there. This obsession with his mental state is not only irrelevant to the current political situation, but endangers the acceptance and treatment of people with mental illness.” Let’s Stop Calling Donald Trump “Crazy” (by Alexandra Mendez-Diez for Buzzfeed)

Sexual Assault

“The story, however, is complex, and there is more to know and to understand. In the course of a ten-month investigation, I was told by thirteen women that, between the nineteen-nineties and 2015, Weinstein sexually harassed or assaulted them. Their allegations corroborate and overlap with the Times’s revelations, and also include far more serious claims.” From Aggressive Overtures to Sexual Assault: Harvey Weinstein’s Accusers Tell Their Stories (by Ronan Farrow for The New Yorker)

“Everyone is having their say about Harvey Weinstein. But nobody has put in their 2 cents (2 pence?) quite like Emma Thompson. She’s just telling it like it is — bluntly, eloquently, and honestly. BBC Newsnight has been releasing quotes and clips from tonight’s interview with her, and they are FIRE.” All Hail Emma Thompson (via Pajiba)

Racism / Colorism

“Cosmetics companies in other countries aren’t under the same legal obligation as they are in the US to reveal their full ingredient lists, but most over-the-counter products — which are rarely labeled as skin bleachers — include some ingredient that could lighten your skin, even in the US. Those active ingredients vary from things you’d find in the kitchen to something like hydroquinone, which is only allowed in very low levels for nonprescription skin care. (Prescription skin lighteners can include more of that active ingredient.)” Some Of Your Fave Skin Care Companies Sell Skin Lightening Products (by Scaachi Koul for Buzzfeed)

Sunday

8

October 2017

0

COMMENTS

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)