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What I’m Reading Archive

Sunday

11

November 2018

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COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – November 11, 2018

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US Elections

“This year we saw a high number of Black candidates running for office, especially Black women. They beat the odds against racist tactics targeted against them and the high claims of voter suppression and brought it home on election night.” These Are The Winning Black Candidates Of The Midterm Election (by Lorraine Haynes for Blavity)

“”When I showed up at the polling site near my house, I found that I had been kicked off the registered-voter roll,” Hill wrote. “A flurry of phone calls, and lots of head-nodding and ‘mmm-hmms’ from the supervisor of the polling site, failed to produce an explanation of why the system wasn’t showing me as a registered voter.” Hill was given a provisional ballot to use, and after voting, she began to investigate what had happened.” Jemele Hill Says Florida Officials Told Her She Couldn’t Vote Because Of A Tweet (by Ricky Riley for Blavity)

“Baltimore voters made history today by voting in favor of passing ballot question E, a city charter amendment that bans privatization of the city’s water and sewer systems. The Baltimore City Council voted unanimously to ban water privatization earlier this year. As of 11:15 p.m., Baltimore voters voted 77% in favor of this amendment with 91 percent of precincts reporting. This confirms Baltimore is now the first major city in the country to amend its charter to prohibit the sale and lease of the city’s water and sewer system.” (Food and Water Watch)

Horrific Trump Administration Actions

“The birth control rules endanger the care of more than 55 million cisgender women and an uncertain number of trans and nonbinary people who depend on getting no co-pay contraceptive care through the ACA. While the birth control benefit already allowed for religious exemptions, the Trump administration has sought to further meet the demands of the religious right, which believes the previous exemption isn’t broad enough.” Trump Administration Moves to Restrict Birth Control Benefit and Abortion in Post-Midterm Attack (by Katelyn Burns for Rewire)

“Mr Trump has signed a proclamation barring migrants who enter illegally from asylum for up to 90 days. The president can stop migration in the “national interest”, a statement said. Rights groups say it is illegal and have launched a legal challenge.” US proposes rule banning asylum for illegal migrants (BBC)

“It’s not hard to find the common denominator: Though there’s hardly anyone — from his predecessors to senators in his own party — he won’t try to shout down with ad hominem insults, Trump relishes, and injects venom into, verbal attacks against women of color.” April Ryan: I’m a black woman. Trump loves insulting people like me. (by April Ryan for Washington Post)

Poppies

“In his statement, Matic said: “I recognise fully why people wear poppies, I totally respect everyone’s right to do so and I have total sympathy for anyone who has lost loved ones due to conflict. “However, for me it is only a reminder of an attack that I felt personally as a young, frightened 12-year old boy living in Vrelo, as my country was devastated by the bombing of Serbia in 1999.” Nemanja Matic: Man Utd midfielder explains why he will not wear poppy (BBC)

Mass Shootings

“Many of those who died were young, in their 20s. There was a college freshman and a graduate who had received his degree in May. There was the bar’s sunny cashier. And two friends who loved souping up old trucks for off-roading. Among the others were a longtime sheriff’s deputy who had rushed into the crowded bar to help and a 22-year-old patron whose friends said he had tried to help others escape, yelling, “Everyone, run!”” The Thousand Oaks Shooting Victims: These Are Their Stories (New York Times)

Labor

“But a new paper by the same authors (Sci-Hub mirror) shows that the rising minimum wage generated major increases for the workers who had the most hours, whose hours were only cut a little, but still came out ahead thanks to the wage increase; workers with fewer hours saw no financial harm from the rising minimum wage, working fewer hours and bringing home the same sum; and they found some harm to people who had the smallest number of hours) (which may actually reflect stronger demand for workers and fewer workers in this category of very-low-hour work).” Economists reverse claims that $15 Seattle minimum wage hurt workers, admit it was largely beneficial (by Cory Doctorow for Boing Boing)

Sunday

4

November 2018

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COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – November 4, 2018

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Horrific Actions by the US Government

“There is absolutely nothing special about this particular caravan except for it happening during a midterm election season so Republicans can press the racist panic button that works so well among its base of good, wholesome Christians who skipped all those parts of The Bible about helping refugees like Jesus helping the poor and other commie shit.” Trump Deploys 5,200 More Troops to Stop Migrant Caravan Because Racist Red Meat, Baby, Get Some (by Mike Redmond for Pajiba)

Sports

“I’m sure there will be people out there who will judge us harshly for opting out — who will say that we should be grateful for what we already have. They’ll probably tell us that our league is losing money. They’ll say it’s just “economics.” They’ll say it’s just “fair.” And they’ll definitely, definitely tell me that they can beat me one on one. To me, opting out means not just believing in ourselves, but going one step further: betting on ourselves. It means being a group of empowered women, in the year 2018, not just feeling fed up with the status quo, but going one step further: rejecting the status quo. And it means taking a stand, not just for the greatest women’s basketball players of today, but going one step further: taking a stand for the greatest women’s basketball players of tomorrow.” Bet on Women (by Nneka Ogwumike for The Players’ Tribune)

“If the repercussions of producing agitprop for a theocratic monarchy were considered at WWE headquarters, it likely wasn’t seriously. The easiest explanation for that, besides just greed, is a fairly simple one: While mainstream coverage of WWE and professional wrestling in general has steadily increased over the last seven or eight years, thanks to more fans in editorial roles at news organizations (especially sports and pop culture websites) and a history of reliably bringing in page views, critical coverage of the sport hasn’t boomed at the same level. It’s not as bad as it was when, in 1992, during a Donahue episode about sexual abuse and harassment allegations within WWE, an audience member expressed confusion at what everyone was worked up about since wrestling is “fake.” But pro wrestling is still a niche entertainment product, which means less outside scrutiny, even at a time when WWE is more financially successful than ever.” Why Is WWE Creating Propaganda for Saudi Arabia? (by David Bixenspan for The Nation)

Racism

“To be a journalist of colour can be to walk a tightrope. On which issues do you weigh in? On which issues do you not? What do you pretend you didn’t see or hear? When that isn’t possible to what do you cowardly chuckle along? The world has gotten uglier in recent years — I wasn’t exactly thrilled with how we were doing on race before that — and for me it has become more difficult to let things slide.” Journalism While Brown and When to Walk Away (by Sunny Dhillon on Medium)

Sexism

“Demonstrations at the company’s offices around the world began at 11.10am in Tokyo and took place at the same time in other time zones. They follow allegations of sexual misconduct made against senior executives, which organisers say are the most high-profile examples of “thousands” of similar cases across the company.” Google walkout: global protests after sexual misconduct allegations (by Matthew Weaver, Alex Hern, Victoria Bekiempis, Lauren Hepler, and Jose Fermoso for The Guardian)

Sunday

28

October 2018

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COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – October 28, 2018

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Back in London, where Fall has already maybe turned into Winter?

Right-Wing Domestic Terrorism

“Wednesday, a white man with a history of violence shot and killed two African-Americans, seemingly at random, at a Kentucky Kroger store following a failed attempt to barge into a black church. After mail bombs were being sent to people who’d been criticized by the President, a suspect was arrested Friday — a man who had railed against Democrats and minorities with hate-filled messages online. And Saturday morning, a man shouting anti-Semitic slurs opened fire at a Pittsburgh synagogue, killing 11 people attending Jewish services.” 72 hours in America: Three hate-filled crimes. Three hate-filled suspects. (by Ray Sanchez and Melissa Gray for CNN)

Disenfranchisement

“Lawyers for two voting rights advocacy groups asked a federal judge on Tuesday to force Georgia election officials to stop rejecting absentee ballots without giving voters any advance notice that their ballot has been rejected, and without giving voters an opportunity to appeal the rejection. Today, that federal judge will hear arguments from those election officials about just why they think certain people—namely, Black and Asian people—are especially worthy of suspicion when it comes to sending in their vote by mail.” Untrained Georgia Election Officials Are Stripping People of Their Right to Vote Based on Their Signatures (Updated) (by Imani Gandy for Rewire)

“What Uncle Bob fails to understand is that a lot of people don’t have a photo ID because they don’t need it. There are people who don’t drive. People who don’t have bank accounts and simply get their checks cashed by the dude who runs the local market down the street. People who live in small towns where everybody knows their name and they’ve never had a reason to get a photo ID. People who used to have a driver’s license, but it expired and they don’t have the money or time to get a new one. Homeless people who have nowhere to lay their head, much less the ability to make it to a government office to get a photo ID, and even if they got one, the police would probably just confiscate all of their shit anyway because they think homeless people should be neither seen nor heard.” Well Actually, It’s Pretty Hard for Some People to Get a Photo ID So They Can Vote (by Imani Gandi for Rewire)

Racism

“He also shouts at her: “Don’t talk to me in a foreign language, you stupid ugly cow.” After a flight attendant intervenes, the woman says she wants to sit with her daughter and tells the man he “stinks”. She says of the passenger: “Kick him out”. Her daughter has told The Huffington Post the row started because her mother, 77, has arthritis and it took some time for her to move out of the way for the man to get into his seat.” Ryanair flight: ‘Racial abuse passenger’ referred to police (BBC) [Side note: Ryanair continues to be a trash airline)

Reproductive Justice

“The new rules threaten the contraceptive care of more than 55 million cisgender women and an uncertain number of trans and non-binary people who depend on birth control with no co-pay through the ACA. While the birth control benefit already allowed for religious exemptions, the Trump administration has sought to further meet the demands of the religious right, which believes the exemption isn’t broad enough.” Trump Administration Moves to Finalize Rules Upending Birth Control Benefit (by Katelyn Burns for Rewire)

Tenants

“Today, VICE can exclusively reveal that these government funds to crack down on bad landlords were used to pay for dawn raids by police and border officials on vulnerable tenants. Hundreds of them were then evicted, arrested or deported.” Exclusive: Government Money to Tackle Rogue Landlords Is Being Used to Arrest Tenants (by Dan Hancox for Vice)

Misogyny

“Committee chairwoman Maria Miller said: “Women feel the onus is put on them to avoid ‘risky’ situations – all of this keeps women and girls unequal.” The report concluded that social attitudes underpinned sexual harassment, and the normalisation of it contributed to a “wider negative cultural effect on society”. And while the government has pledged to eliminate sexual harassment of women and girls by 2030, the committee said there was “no evidence of any programme to achieve this”.” Street harassment ‘relentless’ for women and girls (BBC)

Brexit

“The People’s Vote campaign said stewards on the route estimated 700,000 were taking part. The Metropolitan Police said it was not able to estimate the size of the crowd. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan – who started the march – was among those who addressed Parliament Square, along with representatives from the main political parties. Celebrity speakers included Steve Coogan, Delia Smith and Deborah Meaden.” People’s Vote march: Hundreds of thousands attend London protest (BBC)

Gender Identity

“For these reasons and more, we intend to work with our public health partners to strenuously oppose the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) considering an interpretation of Title IX, the federal civil rights law that bans sex discrimination in federally funded schools, that “would define sex as either male or female, unchangeable, and determined by the genitals that a person is born with.” This proposal goes against biological and medical science and harms individual and public health.” A Message to the Transgender Members of Our Families, Our Communities and Our Workforce (by Dr. Jeff Duchin for Public Health Insider)

“Several recent studies suggest that trans people’s brain patterns match their gender identities, regardless of genitalia. The most recent study was presented at the European Society of Endocrinology’s annual meeting in May. According to the press release, Dr. Julie Bakker of the University of Liège, Belgium, and her colleagues used MRIs to scan the brains of several transgender adolescents, specifically looking at reactions to “a pheromone known to produce gender-specific activity.” The researchers found that the brain patterns in the trans youth closely resembled their cisgender counterparts’. In other words, the research found that both cis and trans boys have some similar brain patterns, despite being born with different genitalia, and the same goes for both cis and trans girls. “Although more research is needed, we now have evidence that sexual differentiation of the brain differs in young people with [gender dysphoria],” says Dr. Bakker, “as they show functional brain characteristics that are typical of their desired gender.”” Why ‘Genetic Testing’ for Gender Is Dangerous Pseudoscience (by Tris Mamone for Rewire)

Silicon Valley Hypocrisy

“The fear of screens has reached the level of panic in Silicon Valley. Vigilantes now post photos to parenting message boards of possible nannies using cellphones near children. Which is to say, the very people building these glowing hyper-stimulating portals have become increasingly terrified of them. And it has put their nannies in a strange position. “In the last year everything has changed,” said Shannon Zimmerman, a nanny in San Jose who works for families that ban screen time. “Parents are now much more aware of the tech they’re giving their kids. Now it’s like, ‘Oh no, reel it back, reel it back.’ Now the parents will say ‘No screen time at all.’”” Silicon Valley Nannies Are Phone Police for Kids (by Nellie Bowles for the New York Times)

Criminal Punishment System

“On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors approved a motion that will end this practice in Los Angeles County, effectively erasing nearly $90 million worth of debt held by juvenile offenders, their parents and their guardians across 52,000 accounts. The motion, authored by Supervisors Hilda Solis and Janice Hahn, is aimed at helping Californians who have been involved in the juvenile justice system get back on their feet.” Los Angeles will wipe out nearly $90 million worth of debt incurred by juvenile offenders (by Abigail Hess for CNBC)

Something Good

“”These are shows that I would watch,” she says. “To me, these are the funniest shows on TV. And it’s insane, and I feel so incredibly lucky that I get to be a part of them. As an actor, I just want to work. I would have been happy in many places. But this is sort of the ultimate happy because it’s something that I’m such a fan of.”” New Gay Icon: D’Arcy Carden Talks Janet, Sexual Fluidity, and Queer Eye (by Glenn Garner for Out)

Sunday

14

October 2018

0

COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – October 14, 2018

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I’m visiting California, where it is way too warm for mid-October.

Disenfranchisement

“In her dissent, Ginsburg pointed out that the risk of voter confusion is severe, and that the Court’s order runs counter to something called the Purcell principle—taken from the 2006 case Purcell v. Gonzalez—which says that courts should not issue orders changing voting rules in the period close to an election. “The risk of voter confusion appears severe here because the injunction against requiring residential-address identification was in force during the primary election and because the Secretary of State’s website announced for months the ID requirements as they existed under that injunction,” Ginsburg wrote. “Reasonable voters may well assume that the IDs allowing them to vote in the primary election would remain valid in the general election.”” The Supreme Court Just Ensured That Thousands of Native Americans Won’t Be Able to Vote in November (by Imani Gandi for Rewire)

““As he has done for years, Brian Kemp is maliciously wielding the power of his office to suppress the vote for political gain and silence the voices of thousands of eligible voters ― the majority of them people of color,” Abrams spokeswoman Abigail Collazo told CNN in a statement. Collazo added Kemp should step down immediately “so that Georgia voters can have confidence that their Secretary of State competently and impartially oversee this election.”” Stacey Abrams Calls For Opponent To Step Down Amid Claims He’s Attempting To Suppress Tens Of Thousands Of Black Votes (by Rickey Riley for Blavity)

Sexual Assault

“The first accusations against Ronaldo were made in London in 2005 after his first few seasons with Manchester United. He was arrested, but the woman involved decided not to press charges. In 2009, another woman, Kathryn Mayorga, went to the police with a harrowing story of being raped by a powerful man in a Las Vegas hotel. Mayorga agreed to drop criminal charges against Ronaldo after they settled on a $375,000 payment. The story remained outside the public eye until 2017, when the German publication Der Spiegel gained access to documents related to the case.” Sports Media Is Finally Covering One of the Biggest Stories of the Year. Why Did It Take So Long? (by Shireen Ahmed and Brenda Elsey for Rewire)

Poverty

“Political participation of the poor is overall lower because of poverty, bad health and many other factors, but millions of impoverished Americans across the country also die prematurely. For instance, in 2015, research funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Social Security Administration revealed that, since 1990, among the bottom quarter of Americans with the least education, life expectancy has either stagnated or decreased. That’s for well over 40 million people. Add to this negative trend the fact that mortality among the poor increases during middle age — which is when citizens generally get more involved in politics. The premature disappearance of the poor, then, occurs precisely at the moment when they would be expected to reach their “participatory peak” in society. But they don’t live long enough to achieve that milestone.” Seniors Are More Conservative Because the Poor Don’t Survive to Become Seniors (by Ed Kilgore for Intelligencer)

Sunday

7

October 2018

0

COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – October 7, 2018

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I ran a half marathon this morning! I’m tired.

Horrific Action by the Trump Administration

“The memo states: “As of 1 October 2018, same-sex domestic partners accompanying or seeking to join newly arrived United Nations officials must provide proof of marriage to be eligible for a G-4 visa or to seek a change into such status.” G-4 visas are granted to employees of international organisations and their immediate families.” US ends diplomatic visas for UN same-sex partners (BBC)

“In a policy memorandum, the agency explained that under the new guidance USCIS will give “adequate notice” to individuals denied the immigration benefits for which they are applying, such as a green card, and upon denial, if the individual is no longer authorized to remain in the United States, or never had authorization, USCIS will issue a Notice to Appear (NTA). The NTA will instruct them to appear before an immigration judge, an indication that removal proceedings are underway.” Federal Policy Change Part of Coordinated Effort to ‘Limit Immigration’ (by Tina Vasquez for Rewire)

“To deal with the surging shelter populations, which have hovered near 90 percent of capacity since May, a mass reshuffling is underway and shows no signs of slowing. Hundreds of children are being shipped from shelters to West Texas each week, totaling more than 1,600 so far. The camp in Tornillo operates like a small, pop-up city, about 35 miles southeast of El Paso on the Mexico border, complete with portable toilets. Air-conditioned tents that vary in size are used for housing, recreation and medical care. Originally opened in June for 30 days with a capacity of 400, it expanded in September to be able to house 3,800, and is now expected to remain open at least through the end of the year.” Migrant Children Moved Under Cover of Darkness to a Texas Tent City (by Caitlin Dickerson for New York Times)

Patriarchy

“In her speech Saturday in the Senate gallery, Collins perfectly mimicked the worst of Trump and the GOP: She gleefully rubbed our faces in her decision to vote “yes,” all the while trying to justify it with a litany of lies and self-serving revisions of Brett Kavanaugh’s record. She told us we don’t matter. And she was as calculated, cruel, and indifferent as any male senator had been this past month.” A ‘Titanic Fraud’: Susan Collins, the ‘Moderate’ Who Never Was (by Jodi Jacobson for Rewire)

“Women across the world have watched, shaking with recognition, as men find ways to disbelieve Ford’s testimony. For me, watching her life picked apart by the allies of a man who allegedly assaulted her has felt like being trapped in some awful snow-globe that a thoughtless child keeps rattling, just when I’d thought the last flakes had finally settled. They told me I was malicious, that I was seeking feminist celebrity, that I was deceived by my own false memory. I knew I was not. In the end, a government inquiry agreed with me.” What to Expect When a Woman Accuses a Man in Power (by Kate Maltby for The New York Review of Books)

“Notably, even if one of Ford’s friends witnessed an assault, conservatives would discount that too. Ford’s friend might be lying to protect her, after all. What conservatives reportedly want is a dispassionate, neutral third party, one with no political or personal motivation, who can step forward and say, “I saw Brett Kavanaugh assault Christine Blasey Ford.” Without that clarity, conservatives maintain this is a smear job—and they’re using that argument as an excuse to deny the mounting reasons that Brett Kavanaugh should not be on the U.S. Supreme Court bench.” Yes, There Is Plenty of Corroborating Evidence for Christine Blasey Ford’s Allegations (by Imani Gandy for Rewire)

“This statistic, while deeply troubling, is by no means a surprising turn of events. A majority of white women voters went Republican for the better part of three decades. Last year, 63 percent of white women voters in Alabama pulled the lever for Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, who was accused of sexually violating girls as young as 14. In 2016, 53 percent of white women voters went for Donald Trump, who himself had been accused of sexual assault and misconduct by at least 20 women.” Why So Many White Women Don’t Believe Christine Blasey Ford (by Julia Sharpe-Levine for Rewire)

Women in Science

“And a major study published in 2012 in the US scientific journal PNAS showed that science faculty members rated identical job applications more highly when presented to them with a male name rather than a female name. Scientists reacted to Prof Strumia’s presentation on social media, complaining about discrimination they had suffered in the course of their work.” Cern scientist Alessandro Strumia suspended after comments (BBC)

“Donna Strickland, from Canada, is only the third woman winner of the award, along with Marie Curie, who won in 1903, and Maria Goeppert-Mayer, who was awarded the prize in 1963. Dr Strickland shares this year’s prize with Arthur Ashkin, from the US, and Gerard Mourou, from France. It recognises their discoveries in the field of laser physics.” First woman Physics Nobel winner in 55 years (by Paul Rincon for BBC)

Freedom Of and From Religion

“As Project Blitz strategists saw it, they could gain political advantage by getting opponents on the record, so their votes and statements could be used against them. But in this instance, they tried to bully the wrong pol. In a subsequent appearance on Fox, Marty defended the integrity of his faith and his stance against the In God We Trust amendment. He insisted that posting of In God We Trust in the public schools is “offensive” to both religious believers and the non-religious. And, speaking as a Christian, he said that the “government sanctioned motto does not strengthen our religion, but it demeans, devalues and cheapens our religion.” Apparently, rather than continue to give Marty a platform, the smears stopped.” Christian Pol, Attacked for Opposing ‘In God We Trust’ in School, Talks Church and State (by Frederick Clarkson for Rewire)

Fight Back

“Open to all, the March for Black Women grew to be something even bigger when it converged with the March for Racial Justice. Although the two marches started their actions at different times, they met up before heading to the U.S. Department of Justice headquarters and the National Mall.” ‘March For Black Women’ Brings Out Hundreds Of Activists To Remind The World That Black Women Matter (by Melinda Janay for Blavity)

“Brixton McDonald’s worker Justine said she was inspired by the support. “The reason I am on strike,” she said, “is that workers deserve better wages. “I think we can all agree that it’s pretty crap right now. “What is particularly inspiring about this campaign is that we were previously regarded as workers who could not be organised – people who were just in and out of work.”” Low paid workers picket Brixton McDonald’s (by Alan Slingsby for Brixton Blog)

“The public service loan forgiveness program, created by Congress in 2007, was supposed to ease the financial burdens of those who chose to work in a wide range of jobs, including military service, law enforcement and public museums. But when the teachers’ union investigated why more of its members weren’t using the program, it found that many were being misled or blocked by Navient, said Randi Weingarten, the union’s president.” Teachers Sue Navient, Claiming Student Loan Forgiveness Failures (by Stacy Cowley for The New York Times)

Something Good

““The Good Place” tries, improbably, to fulfill both functions at once. It wants to sit at both ends of the control knob simultaneously. Like any good modern comedy, the show is a direct IV of laughs, but the trick is that all of those laughs are explicitly about morality.” The Ultimate Sitcom (by Sam Anderson for the New York Times)

Sunday

30

September 2018

0

COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – September 30, 2018

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CN: sexual assault, because of course.

US Supreme Court Nominee is an Attempted Rapist

“As a teacher now , I truly believe in the power of the growth mindset. Rather than telling a student “you are smart” or “you are good,” you should praise the effort a student invests. My education at Prep had a different tenor however. Teachers offered intermittent, lukewarm constructive feedback on our behavior, but the general message of the school was that we were already fully actualized as “Men for Others.” Largely by virtue of our parents’ being able to pay the admission ticket, we were Prep students. We were the best. We hated our rival schools and looked down on everyone else.” I Went To Kavanaugh’s Alma Mater, Georgetown Prep, And It Was A Case Study In Misogyny (by Will Menarndt for The Establishment)

“At the same time, though, it’s important to keep in mind that whatever any inquiry finds about that one incident won’t change the basic reality: Disqualifying information about the Supreme Court nominee is already hiding in plain sight. In such plain sight, in fact, that it takes a willful blindness not to notice it, a calculated effort to look the other way from blatantly deceptive statements dating back more than a decade and continuing through Thursday.” The lies that senators must tell themselves to support Brett Kavanaugh (Boston Globe Editorial)

“There was, in this performance, not even a hint of the sagacity one expects from a potential Supreme Court Justice. More than presenting a convincing rebuttal to Ford’s extremely credible account, Kavanaugh—and Hatch, and Lindsey Graham—seemed to be exterminating, live, for an American audience, the faint notion that a massively successful white man could have his birthright questioned or his character held to the most basic type of scrutiny. In the course of Kavanaugh’s hearing, Mitchell basically disappeared. Republican senators apologized to the judge, incessantly, for what he had suffered. There was talk of his reputation being torpedoed and his life being destroyed. This is the nature of the conspiracy against white male power—the forces threatening it will always somehow be thwarted at the last minute.” The Ford – Kavanaugh Hearing Will Be Remembered as a Grotesque Display of Patriarchal Resentment (by Doreen St. Félix for The New Yorker)

“In both these accounts, Kavanaugh is laughing as he does something to a woman that disturbs or traumatizes her. Ford wrote in her letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, “Kavanaugh was on top of me while laughing with [Mark] Judge, who periodically jumped onto Kavanaugh. They both laughed as Kavanaugh tried to disrobe me in their highly inebriated state. With Kavanaugh’s hand over my mouth, I feared he may inadvertently kill me.” “Brett was laughing,” Ramirez says in her account to the New Yorker. “I can still see his face, and his hips coming forward, like when you pull up your pants.” She recalled another male student shouting about the incident. “Somebody yelled down the hall, ‘Brett Kavanaugh just put his penis in Debbie’s face,’ ” she said.” Brett Kavanaugh and the Cruelty of Male Bonding (by Lili Loofbourow for Slate)

Women in Sport

“This announcement gives our home-based players an opportunity to train more, but also to rest more,” head coach Kerr told BBC Scotland. “Some of them have to juggle full-time or part-time employment, or full-time education, as well as training with their clubs four or five times a week, on top of a strength and conditioning program as well. “It is a big ask for those players who are not in a professional environment, and we need to make sure we support them as best we can. It is a huge weight off my shoulders and I know it is the same for the players.” Scotland Women: All players to be full-time up to World Cup with Government funding (for BBC)

Sexual Assault and Harassment

“The bulk of Der Spiegel’s latest story—in which they interview Mayorga, her family, her friend who accompanied Mayorga up to Ronaldo’s Palms Place Hotel penthouse that night, and her lawyer—involves Mayorga explaining in her own words what happened on the night she says Ronaldo raped her, and how that incident has affected her life since. Mayorga’s attorney also mentions some potentially damning documents in his possession, which purport to show Ronaldo himself admitting that Mayorga did indeed vocally and repeatedly deny her consent during the sexual act.” Woman Who Accused Cristiano Ronaldo Of Rape Tells Her Full Story, Seeks To Void Settlement (by Billy Haisley for Deadspin)

“One thornier aspect of #MeToo consciousness-raising involves convincing not just men but other women that they might not know everything about a man they know well—that nearness does not guarantee transparency, that a man who is evil during the day might be patient when he returns home at night, that the powerful can apply a vile and discriminating calculus to who will suffer abuse and who will not. (This is what is so useless about the statement signed by sixty-five female acquaintances of the embattled Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, calling him a “good person.”)” Julie Chen-Moonves and the Meaning of a Wife’s Loyalty (by Doreen St. Félix for The New Yorker)

Criminal Punishment System

“Judges in Seattle have decided to quash convictions for marijuana possession for anyone prosecuted in the city between 1996 and 2010. City Attorney Pete Homes asked the court to take the step “to right the injustices of a drug war that has primarily targeted people of colour.” Possession of marijuana became legal in the state of Washington in 2012. Officials estimate that more than 542 people could have their convictions dismissed by mid-November.” Seattle judges throw out 15 years of marijuana convictions (for BBC)

Disability Erasure

“Noting the attention the vote to remove Keller and others from the curriculum received, Lawrence Carter-Long, director of communications at the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, tweeted: “ON THE BRIGHT SIDE: #HelenKeller is now trending. Maybe people will be compelled to do a little research and discover *why* she was on the FBI’s watch list and what a pioneering pit bull lovin’ whisky drinkin’ Socialist bad ass she actually was.”” Now Is an Especially Terrible Time for Texas to Stop Teaching Kids About Helen Keller (by Robyn Powell for Rewire)

Native Women

“The Associated Press reported earlier this month that in 2017 the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database contained 633 cases of missing Native women. Women’s advocates and tribal leaders, however, maintain that the number of missing as well as murdered Native women are undercounted due to confusing issues over which jurisdiction—state, federal, or tribal—has authority in the investigations. Tribal law enforcement has limited access to NCIC data, compounding the inaccuracy of information.” Advocates Urge Better Reporting on Violence Against Native Women as Federal Fixes Stall (by Mary Annette Pember for Rewire)

Pop Culture

“It is not lazy writing, it is wholeheartedly evidence of how deeply ingrained racism and sexism is in our society. So pervasive is it in our everyday that having a writer or team that is not representative of those you are telling a story about will never work. It will not be truly representative until you allow writers of colour and female writers tell their stories, paint the picture of the layers that create the person they are, the experience of living their lives.” Bodyguard shows drama cannot be truly subversive unless those creating it are (by Tashmia Owen for Media Diversified)

Games Industry

“If you’ve never experienced burnout, it’s hard to convey just how soul sucking it is. Nothing I did made me happy. I was exhausted and irritable all the time. I wanted to sleep all day every day, but even when I did that, it didn’t get better. This is what I felt like for a year. An entire year of going into work and browsing the web because I couldn’t focus. I had been programming for 10 years at that point and loved it to bits, but I couldn’t find the energy to do it. It just wouldn’t come to me. The worst part was, this wasn’t even my first experience with burnout in the games industry – I had been taught to do this.” The Games Industry is Toxic (by Austin Kelmore)

Sunday

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September 2018

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COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – September 23, 2018

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Fall has arrived, which means warm drinks, wet weather, and the hope that the leak in our apartment doesn’t open up again.

Misogyny

“One young woman aged between 11 and 16, said: “One thing that would improve girls’ lives would be to make it safe for girls to walk down the street alone.” Another, aged 17 to 21, said: “Girls’ lives would be better if things like harassment and stalking were taken seriously and punished properly.” The survey also found that an increasing number of girls have experienced unkind, threatening and negative behaviour online compared to five years ago.” ‘Sexist, unsafe’ world experienced by young girls (by Hannah Richardson for BBC)

“Specifically, the complaint refers to three women in the states of Ohio, Pennsylvania and Illinois who were not shown advertisements for what have traditionally been considered male-dominated professions. The complaint highlights 10 different employers who posted job adverts on Facebook – for roles such as mechanic, roofer and security engineer – but used the social network’s targeting system to control who saw the ad. In one example, that targeting meant one job was promoted to “men” who were “ages 25 to 35”, and lived “or were recently near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania”.” Facebook accused of job ad gender discrimination (BBC)

Sexual Assault

“In the last three days, Christine Blasey has had to move out of her house, and she’s had to hire security because of the number of death threats she’s received, and given the particular gun-culture climate we live in, there’s no doubt that she should take those death threats seriously. Dr. Blasey also wrote a letter suggesting that she did not feel comfortable testifying on Monday until and unless the FBI does a thorough investigation of Brett Kavanaugh and the allegations.” ‘I Just Want to Say To the Men of This Country: Shut Up and Step Up’ (by Dustin Rowles for Pajiba)

““We believe Dr. Blasey Ford and are grateful that she came forward to tell her story. It demands a thorough and independent investigation,” said the letter. “Dr. Blasey Ford’s experience is all too consistent with stories we heard and lived while attending Holton. Many of us are survivors ourselves.” “Holton’s motto teaches students to ‘find a way or make one.’ We dream of making a world where women are free from harassment, assault, and sexual violence.”” Christine Blasey Ford’s Classmates Deliver Letter of Support to Congress (by Katelyn Burns for Rewire)

“Republican state Rep. Jim Knoblach abruptly ended his re-election campaign Friday as MPR News prepared to publish detailed accusations from his daughter of inappropriate behavior toward her since childhood. The announcement came hours after an attorney for Knoblach denied the allegations in an interview. Knoblach, who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, declined to be interviewed after being approached more than a week ago.” MN Rep. Jim Knoblach ends campaign ahead of MPR abuse allegations story (by Nina Moini and Briana Bierschbach for MPR)

“I believe Ford, as there is no credible reason to doubt her. But while I agree that her testimony before the Senate is necessary, this will be less a hearing than a debate between a woman who claims that she was assaulted, and a man who claims not only that he didn’t do it, but that he can’t recall even being where the alleged event happened. Neither can his friend, Mark Judge, who Republicans have not yet called to testify. That is curious, given his essential role in the story Ford recounts — his alleged piling onto Kavanaugh during the assault, Ford says, allowed her to escape. Many Republicans, even White House adviser Kellyanne Conway, have said that Ford should be heard. What they aren’t saying, outside of Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and a few others, is that they are interested in the truth. That makes sense, given that the Monday hearing is being expedited to save the candidacy of yet another Supreme Court nominee with an earned reputation for lying under oath.” Jamil Smith: How Can We Trust Brett Kavanaugh? (by Jamil Smith for Rolling Stone)

Xenophobia

“But the Trump administration’s immigration policies have done absolutely nothing to streamline the immigration system, abroad or at the United States’ borders. At every turn, it has made immigration processes more convoluted and austere—and simultaneously more costly to U.S. taxpayers. From child separation, to increasing the length of time people are held in the immigration detention system, to more stringent vetting procedures for refugees, the Trump administration has added complexity and bulk to its immigration system while putting those who must go through it at higher risk for unnecessary harm. So while Secretary Pompeo may say that refusing more refugees will somehow reduce the immigration system’s operational burden, this is simply an excuse for more immigration policies that could drastically harm or even end immigrant lives.” White House Sends the Wrong Message With Refugee Cap (by Hannah Harris Green for Rewire)

Health

“Which brings us to one of the largest gaps between science and practice in our own time. Years from now, we will look back in horror at the counterproductive ways we addressed the obesity epidemic and the barbaric ways we treated fat people—long after we knew there was a better path.” Everything You Know About Obesity Is Wrong (by Micheal Hobbes for Huff Post)

Criminal Punishment System

“The sheriff said he believed the deputies drove around barricades on the flooded road. He said they are trying to determine why. Deputy Sheriff Tom Fox was on scene. He said the victims were mental health patients being taken from Loris Hospital and Waccamaw Center for Mental Health to McLeod Health. Fox said the van was headed west on 76 into Marion County when it was overcome with flood waters.” Sheriff says deputies drove around barricades before van flooded killing two patients (by Summer Dashe for ABC)

Asshole

“Vernon Unsworth helped with the rescue of 12 Thai teenagers from a flooded cave in July. Mr Musk has made several accusations against Mr Unsworth without evidence, including that he was a “child rapist”. The lawsuit seeks $75,000 (£57,000) in compensation and an injunction against Mr Musk to stop further allegations. The filing also says Mr Unsworth is seeking “punitive damages” as well as the compensation, “to punish him for his wrongdoing and deter him from repeating such heinous conduct”.” Elon Musk sued for libel by British Thai cave rescuer (BBC)

Sunday

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September 2018

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COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – September 16, 2018

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The Tr*mp Administration Horrors

“This is a scandal,” Merkley said in a statement to the Washington Post. “At the start of hurricane season—when American citizens in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are still suffering from FEMA’s inadequate recovery efforts—the administration transferred millions of dollars away from FEMA. And for what? To implement their profoundly misguided ‘zero-tolerance’ policy. It wasn’t enough to rip thousands of children out of the arms of their parents—the administration chose to partly pay for this horrific program by taking away from the ability to respond to damage from this year’s upcoming and potentially devastating hurricane season.” Trump Moves $10 Million in Disaster Relief to ICE ‘Family Internment Camps’ (by Tina Vasquez for Rewire)

“In the letter, the woman alleged that, during an encounter at a party, Kavanaugh held her down, and that he attempted to force himself on her,” reads the New Yorker report. “She claimed in the letter that Kavanaugh and a classmate of his, both of whom had been drinking, turned up music that was playing in the room to conceal the sound of her protests, and that Kavanaugh covered her mouth with his hand. She was able to free herself.” Kavanaugh Sexual Assault Allegations Detailed in New Report (by Katelyn Burns for Rewire)

“An investigation by Quartz, Puerto Rico’s Center for Investigative Journalism, and the Associated Press has identified 487 victims of Maria. It is the most extensive record yet of who died and why. Many families say that the real cause of death was government inaction.” Hurricane Maria was a manmade disaster. Hundreds of families told us what really happened (by Ana Campoy and Omaya Sosa Pascual for Quartz)

Racism

“In their new ad campaign, we believe Nike executives are promoting an attitude of division and disrespect toward America,” College of the Ozarks President Jerry C. Davis said in a statement. “If Nike is ashamed of America, we are ashamed of them. We also believe that those who know what sacrifice is all about are more likely to be wearing a military uniform than an athletic uniform.” Two Colleges And A Whole City Have Banned Nike Over Its Partnership With Colin Kaepernick (by Ashleigh Atwell for Blavity)

Anti-Trans Bigotry

“Language on the U.S. State Department webpage regarding gender marker changes, the process of changing one’s gender on U.S. passports, was surreptitiously changed for the first time since 2010 this week, alarming LGBTQ rights advocates. Archived versions of the agency’s site show the page titled “Gender Designation Change” as recently as this Tuesday now bears the title “Sex Designation Change.” Though the actual policy and requirements for changing passport gender markers appears to be mostly unchanged—meaning transgender people can still change their passports without surgery—several of the page’s “frequently asked questions” were also changed.” State Department Changes Passport Website Language for Transgender People (Updated) (by Katelyn Burns for Rewire)

Misogyny

“I promptly explained to him that I didn’t need his advice because I’m not interested in “improving” my body, I liked my body, and I was just there for anxiety. Upon this response he looked at me with surprise and slight pity even. He was trying to angle his blatant body shaming as trying to “help” me. Fascinating isn’t it? In 2018, someone felt they not only had the right, but the duty if you will, to tell me I wasn’t good enough as I was. A total stranger, minding her own business, not asking anyone what they thought about her or her body. Wild.” A Message To Those Who Body-Shame People At The Gym: Shame On You (by Jameela Jamil for Huff Post)

“The essay could be considered part of a genre that’s recently emerged, in which men who have been exposed by the #MeToo movement attempt to return to the spotlight by throwing themselves pity parties in the country’s most prestigious publications. On Wednesday, John Hockenberry, another disgraced radio host, published a similar piece in Harper’s titled “Exile.” Hockenberry denies the sexual allegations that were brought against him late last year, and describes the grand injustices that he feels the #MeToo movement has wrought. The question of how “exiled” either of these men really are, considering national magazines are granting them space to tell their story, is certainly worth considering.” What I Know About Jian Ghomeshi (by Ruth Spencer for New York Magazine)

Police Surveillance

“Tom Arabia, a co-founder of Combat, said: “No one can deny the Massachusetts state police are surveilling leftwing organizations.” He added that the image on the state police tweet “was both unsurprising and also a bit scary, because of how intimate it is in a sense to see your own organization listed in a police browser’s bookmarks”.” Massachusetts police tweet lets slip scale of leftwing surveillance (by Sarah Betancourt for The Guardian)

Sunday

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September 2018

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COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – September 9, 2018

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Fight Back

“Gino Fisanotti, Nike’s vice president of branding for North America, was quoted by cable sports network ESPN as saying: “We believe Colin is one of the most inspirational athletes of this generation, who has leveraged the power of sport to help move the world forward.” One of the other stars of the Nike campaign, tennis great Serena Williams, expressed her support.” Colin Kaepernick to be face of new Nike ad campaign (BBC)

““Actions often ripple far beyond the immediate objective,” Solnit writes, “and remembering this is a reason to live by principle and act in the hope that what you do matters, even when results are unlikely to be immediate or obvious.” I don’t know about you, but I find this statement incredibly comforting.” Resisting the Rage That Paralyzes: Rebecca Solnit Writes of Organized Anger (by Eleanor J. Bader for Rewire News)

“We are here to invite city leaders to stand on the right side of history. To invite Pete Holmes to stand on the right side of history,” said Angelica Chazaro, a member of Mijente and The Northwest Detention Center Resistance. “This is a moment of crisis. The defenders who locked down to protest the pipeline are fighting to avert climate disaster, and secure all of our futures. The defenders who locked down to protest ICE, are fighting the deportation terror that is being inflicted on so many of our community members. Instead of focusing on prosecuting those who are literally putting their bodies on the line for a world that would benefit us all, city leaders should be asking themselves: Has the city of Seattle done everything in its power to stop ICE’s incursions into our communities?” Protestors Unit Following City Attorney’s Threat to Aggressively Prosecute ‘Reckless’ Protestors (Editorial, South Sound Emerald)

Reproductive Health

“There is nothing “hysterical” in the response from U.S. women to either this judicial nomination or this presidential administration. In 2017, Kavanaugh voted to block a lower court order that required the government to allow an undocumented teenager to have an abortion. Such a ruling would have allowed the government to delay her abortion by more than a month, pushing her into the second trimester and making it even more difficult to obtain an abortion. He also ruled against the birth control mandate in the Affordable Care Act that required employers to make contraceptive coverage available to their employees. During the campaign, Trump promised to only nominate judges to the Supreme Court who would overturn Roe v. Wade, and Kavanaugh’s record and avid support from anti-choice leaders leave little doubt of where he stands on the issue.” Ben Sasse, Women Aren’t Being Hysterical. They’re Begging the Government Not to Kill Them. (by Lauren Rankin for Rewire News)

Impacts of Xenophobia

“The university group is arguing for a more “welcoming” message, by giving international students the right to stay and work in the UK when they complete their courses – as they could before the rules were changed in 2012. The US, Australia and Canada allow international students to work after graduation – and Universities UK says that their research in countries such as India has shown this to be an important attraction.” UK ‘missing out’ on overseas students (by Sean Coughlan for BBC)

Healthcare in the US

“For many DACA-mented young people, or “Dreamers,” DACA provides temporary relief from the threat of deportation, a permit to work legally in the United States, and sometimes eligibility for financial assistance for higher education. President Trump has tried to end the program, but the courts have ruled in its favor, allowing DACA recipients to renew their applications for this year. The program’s future, though, remains unclear. Either way, DACA does not permit recipients to receive most forms of public assistance, including Medicaid. For Dreamers who are denied health care, treatable illnesses like diabetes, asthma, or heart disease can quickly become life-threatening.” How Poor, Undocumented, and Uninsured People Are Being Left to Die (by Chika Solidarity Community for Rewire News)

Sunday

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September 2018

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COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – September 2, 2018

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Ridiculous US Government Action

“But under President Donald Trump, the passport denials and revocations appear to be surging, becoming part of a broader interrogation into the citizenship of people who have lived, voted and worked in the United States for their entire lives. “We’re seeing these kind of cases skyrocketing,” said Jennifer Correro, an attorney in Houston who is defending dozens of people who have been denied passports.” U.S. denying passports to Americans along the border, throwing their citizenship into question (by Kevin Sieff for Washington Post)

“The US administration has “carefully reviewed” the issue and “will not make additional contributions to Unrwa,” spokeswoman Heather Nauert said. A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas later said the move was an “assault” against his people. “Such a punishment will not succeed to change the fact that the United States no longer has a role in the region and that it is not a part of the solution,” Nabil Abu Rudeina told Reuters news agency. He added that the decision was “a defiance of UN resolutions”.” US ends aid to Palestinian refugee agency Unrwa (BBC)

Ridiculous Local Government Action

“The City Attorney’s office this week filed charges against 15 protesters who blocked 2nd Ave in May in action targeting JPMorgan Chase’s financial support of a tar sands oil project and pipeline. Holmes’s office also reportedly plans to file charges against protesters arrested at another action in June that blocked 2nd Ave in a protest against the Immigration and Custom Enforcement office on the street.” Seattle cracking down on protesters who block downtown streets (by J Seattle for CHS Blog)

Misogyny

“The 2017 survey revealed that 43% of women experienced harassment while running – with the number rising to 58% for women under 30. Just 4% of men reported the same. The poll also found 30% of women said they had been followed by a harasser on foot, by car or bike. And the vast majority of women said these fears led them to change their habits – to run only during the day, to change their routes, to carry pepper spray or – in the case of 1% of women – to carry a loaded gun.” From catcalls to murder: What female joggers face on every run (by Ritu Prasad for BBC)

Police Violence

“Roy Oliver, who is white, fired a rifle into a car that was driving away from a party in Dallas in April 2017, killing 15-year-old Jordan Edwards. It is very rare for police officers to be convicted in shooting deaths. Oliver’s lawyers say they intend to appeal against the verdict. Jordan’s family say the jail sentence is too lenient.” Roy Oliver: Ex-police officer jailed for Jordan Edwards shooting (BBC)

Sexual Assault

“According to the Beast, many sources claim that NBC News general counsel Susan Weiner made a series of phone calls to Farrow, threatening to smear him if he continued to report on Weinstein. Farrow had noted in interviews how Weinstein’s team had made similar threats but he has never personally accused NBC of doing the same. NBC News deny the claim.”  Did NBC Threaten Ronan Farrow Over His Harvey Weinstein Story? (by Kayleigh Donaldson for Pajiba)

“In this way, Avital’s case has become a strange referendum on literary study. Generations of scholars have been suckled at the teat of interpretation: We spend our days parsing commas and decoding metaphors. We get high on finding meaning others can’t. We hoard it, like dragons. We would be intellectually humiliated to learn that the truth was plain: that Avital quite simply sexually harassed her student, just as described. Sometimes analysis is simply denial with more words. Sometimes, as a frustrated student in a first-year literature course always mutters, the text just means what it says it means.” I Worked With Avital Ronell. I Believe Her Accuser. (by Andrea Long Chu for The Chronicle of Higher Education)

Labor Rights

“A week after my father died I returned to work. I was in shock, I had just barely begun to grieve. I was tired and I managed my pain badly. I began having panic attacks. I desperately needed a break. A month later I asked if there was any way I could have another few days of vacation, as I’d spent my previous vacation planning his sudden memorial and was emotionally and physically exhausted. I was told no. I trudged along, worked ridiculous hours, didn’t have the time or energy to process my grief. Eventually, I was fired. I was told I had become too inattentive, made too many mistakes.” A Lack Of Bereavement Leave Is Injustice (by Alex Blank Millard for The Establishment)

LGBTQ Rights

“he Philadelphia Department of Human Services in March suspended foster care referrals to Catholic Social Services after learning the agency was refusing placements with LGBTQ families and allegedly requiring potential families to provide a “pastoral reference” before they could be considered for placement. CSS filed a lawsuit in May arguing the city’s decision to suspend referrals was unconstitutional because it targeted CSS for its religious beliefs.” Supreme Court Won’t Enter Fight Over LGBTQ Foster Care Placements—But Gorsuch and Alito Want To (by Jessica Mason Pieklo for Rewire)

Criminal Punishment System

“The main leverage that an inmate has is their own body,” Amani Sawari, a spokesperson for the protests, told Vox. “If they choose not to go to work and just sit in the main area or the eating area, and all the prisoners choose to sit there and not go to the kitchen for lunchtime or dinner, if they choose not to clean or do the yard-work, this is the leverage that they have. Prisons cannot run without prisoners’ work.” (Here’s What You Should Know About The National Prison Strike That Is Calling For An End To Modern-Day Slavery (by Alexa Lisitza for Blavity)

Fighting Back

“The 30-year-old has been without a team since opting out of his 49ers contract in March 2017. Kaepernick’s lawyer Mark Geragos has posted a statement from system arbitrator Stephen B Burbank denying the league’s request to dismiss the case. The ruling means there is sufficient evidence to allow the case to go to trial. Kaepernick first protested by sitting during the national anthem in August 2016, before opting to kneel instead.” Colin Kaepernick’s collusion case against NFL team owners can go to trial (BBC)