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What I’m Reading Archive

Sunday

17

March 2019

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COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – March 17, 2019

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Accessibility

“Looking at the data set as a whole, the likelihood of damage to wheelchairs and scooters in the month of December 2018 was around 2%. Since the data is based only on damage reported by passengers, it is important for wheelchair users to file a claim each time a mobility device is mishandled, even if the damage is minor or cosmetic. The Air Carrier Access Act states that wheelchairs and scooters must be returned “in the same condition” in which they were received.” First Data on Wheelchair Damage by Airlines Released by DOT (by John Morris for Wheelchair Travel)

“Of course, it’s unclear whether the students involved in the college admissions scam actually needed accommodations, though court records allege their parents exploited this feature to help their children get higher test scores. This, Cokley says, could delegitimize those students who depend on accommodations, making their requests seem like a leg up, rather than a leveling of the playing field. “This behavior is harmful because when celebrities and others with privilege use a marginalized community’s civil rights as a ‘VIP pass,’ it frames reasonable accommodations as something ‘special’ that you should be able to buy, versus actual civil rights that give people with disabilities an equal seat at the table,” she says. “My need to preboard on an airline due to my arthritis isn’t extra — it’s to ensure I don’t get trampled by average-height folks rushing onboard. The manipulation of a system that is put into place to ensure that students who have disabilities have their needs met can cause folk on the outside to infer that the entire system is corrupt. This is not the case.”” The College Admissions Scandal Could Have Lasting Impacts for Disabled People (by Brittney McNamara for Teen Vogue)

Sex Work

“In response, sex workers—both young women and longtime activists—got together and mobilized to fight for full decriminalization of their work. They rejected the so-called Nordic Model, which mandates the arrest of clients and managers but not of prostitutes, saying it impoverished them and still gave the police control over their lives by allowing police surveillance of their workplaces. They focused on lobbying politicians. The closing words of Ramos’s statement—“I’m here to say thank you for having the bravery of being yourselves, of advocating for yourselves. I can’t wait to keep working with you”—showed how effective their efforts have been.” ‘Whores But Organized’: Sex Workers Rally for Reform (by Molly Crabapple for The New York Review of Books)

Criminal Punishment System

““Our death penalty system has been — by any measure — a failure,” Newsom says in prepared remarks he is expected to deliver at a Capitol news conference Wednesday morning. “It has discriminated against defendants who are mentally ill, black and brown, or can’t afford expensive legal representation. It has provided no public safety benefit or value as a deterrent. It has wasted billions of taxpayer dollars.” Newsom also argues in his remarks that the criminal justice system is susceptible to error, citing a November Los Angeles Times editorial that reported 164 condemned prisoners nationwide who were wrongly convicted have been freed from death row since 1973. He also cites a 2005 Santa Clara University Law Review study that concluded people convicted of killing whites were more likely to be sentenced to death than people convicted of killing blacks and Latinos.” Gov. Gavin Newsom to block California death row executions, close San Quentin execution chamber (by Phil Willon for the LA Times)

A Few Good Things

“The couple’s love story started almost a decade ago, when they met in 2010 while they both played for the U.S. National Team. They started out as friends, and, Harris said, “The rest has kind of been history. Here we are nine years later, and we’re going to be getting married this year.” During a September 15 picnic near the rocks of Clearwater Beach, Florida, Harris, 33, surprised Krieger, 34 by popping the question.” Two Women’s Soccer Stars Are Getting Married (by Lisa Ryan for The Cut)

“And, to further inconvenience myself for YOU, our honored guest, I have finally procured and thusly scoured the Williams-Sonoma catalog for wares that will alight poor people all across this nation over in righteous fury. Because what is Christmas unless I invite a bunch of hoity-toity strangers over, break my back trying to entertain them, and then quietly seethe when they don’t appear to be jovial enough? It’s nothing. So, with that in mind, let’s have a belated look inside this tome of impossibly WASP-ish treasures. I hope there’s a $650 toaster in here! (SPOILER: There is!)” The 2018(ish) Hater’s Guide To The Williams-Sonoma Catalog (by Drew Magary for Deadspin)

Sunday

10

March 2019

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COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – 10 March 2019

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Fight Back

“Thompson has now joined over 70 UK women in the UK in writing an open letter in support of more inclusive gender recognition laws, in the process challenging a poisonous anti-transgender narrative that has taken root in some corners of the country’s discourse. A number of media outlets, commentators, and celebrities in the UK have been using their platform in recent years to argue that by advancing legislation that grants transgender people—specifically transgender women in this case—more of their human rights, governments are actually infringing upon the rights of non-transgender women. Proponents of this view have come to be known as trans-exclusionary radical feminists.” ‘They Do Not Speak For Us’: Emma Thompson and Other Female Celebrities in UK Pen Letter Condemning Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists (by Petr Knava for Pajiba)

“The suit, in United States District Court in Los Angeles, comes only three months before the team will begin defense of its Women’s World Cup title at this summer’s tournament in France. In their filing and a statement released by the team, the 28 players described “institutionalized gender discrimination” that they say has existed for years. The discrimination, the athletes said, affects not only their paychecks but also where they play and how often, how they train, the medical treatment and coaching they receive, and even how they travel to matches.” U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Sues U.S. Soccer for Gender Discrimination (by Andrew Das for The New York Times)

Health Care

“The Center for Reproductive Rights and Maine Family Planning—the state’s sole recipient of the Title X family planning funds targeted by the administration—on Wednesday filed the latest lawsuit against the recently finalized rule. Officials in 21 states are slated to bring lawsuits against the “gag rule,” expected to go into effect in early May. Pro-choice advocates see the rule as a backdoor attempt to defund Planned Parenthood—a longstanding goal of anti-choice activists and Republican lawmakers. The anti-choice policy bans Title X money from going to health-care providers who refer patients for abortions and requires clinics to physically separate Title X-funded family planning services and abortion services.” ‘More Than an Undue Burden’: Trump’s Domestic ‘Gag Rule’ Faces Flurry of Lawsuits (by Dennis Carter for Rewire)

Technology

“Today’s big tech companies have too much power — too much power over our economy, our society, and our democracy. They’ve bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit, and tilted the playing field against everyone else. And in the process, they have hurt small businesses and stifled innovation. I want a government that makes sure everybody — even the biggest and most powerful companies in America — plays by the rules. And I want to make sure that the next generation of great American tech companies can flourish. To do that, we need to stop this generation of big tech companies from throwing around their political power to shape the rules in their favor and throwing around their economic power to snuff out or buy up every potential competitor.” Here’s how we can break up Big Tech (By Elizabeth Warren)

Misogyny

“Are you the office cut-up—the person who can’t resist responding to a tedious presentation with a well-timed witticism? Do you wonder at times whether this behavior is helping or hurting your career According to a new study, it depends in part on whether you’re a man or a woman. A research team led by Jonathan Evans of the University of Arizona reports that using humor in the workplace raises the status of male employees, but has the opposite effect for women. The team argues that these divergent reactions are the result of ingrained gender stereotypes.” Witty Women Are Less Likely to Get Promoted Than Men (by Tom Jacobs for Pacific Standard)

“We are like this because girls are taught to never walk alone. Don’t use public restrooms solo. No drinks from strangers. We’re told to get to our cars quickly, start the car, and get driving. No lingering. Dress modestly, be aware of your surroundings, carry pepper spray, and learn basic self defense. The list of things we do to keep ourselves safe is long. But as Jackson Katz, an activist educator, found out through his research: Sexual assault safety is a nonissue for many men.” ‘Text me when you get home.’ We shouldn’t have to say it. But we do (by Jenee Osterheldt for The Boston Glob)

Racism

“The researchers then analyzed how often the models correctly detected the presence of people in the light-skinned group versus how often they got it right with people in the dark-skinned group. The result? Detection was five percentage points less accurate, on average, for the dark-skinned group. That disparity persisted even when researchers controlled for variables like the time of day in images or the occasionally obstructed view of pedestrians. “The main takeaway from our work is that vision systems that share common structures to the ones we tested should be looked at more closely,” Jamie Morgenstern, one of the authors of the study, told me.” A new study finds a potential risk with self-driving cars: failure to detect dark-skinned pedestrians (by Sigal Samuel for Vox)

Life

“This seems to ring especially true in creative fields, where these days selling art is less likely to be considered “selling out” than self-actualization. But even those who are commercially successful in creative fields often lament the disconnect between what it is like to do their jobs and how society views their life and work. Adam J. Kurtz, author of Things Are What You Make of Them has rewritten the maxim for modern creatives: “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life work super fucking hard all the time with no separation or any boundaries and also take everything extremely personally.” Which, aside from being relatable to anyone who has tried to make money from something they truly care about, speaks to an underrepresented truth: those with passion careers can have just as much career anxiety as those who clock in and out of the mindless daily grind.” The Modern Trap of Turning Hobbies Into Hustles (by Molly Conway for Man Repeller)

Something Good

A cool design video focused on furniture. 

Sunday

3

March 2019

0

COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – March 3, 2019

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Islamophobia

“One staff member was physically injured during the morning’s confrontations, and another official resigned after being accused of making anti-Muslim comments. The display featured a picture of the World Trade Center in New York City as a fireball exploded from the one of the Twin Towers, set above a picture of Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar, who is Muslim. “‘Never forget’ – you said. . .” read a caption on the first picture. “I am the proof – you have forgotten,” read the caption under the picture of Omar, who is wearing a hijab.” GOP’s anti-Muslim display likening Rep. Omar to a terrorist rocks W. Virginia capitol  (by Dareh Gregorian for NBC News)

Sex Work

“Raven was among the roughly 150 advocates who gathered in Manhattan, New York, on Monday to announce the launch of Decrim NY, a sex-worker-led coalition of LGBTQ, immigrant rights, harm reduction, and criminal justice groups. Coalition supporters also gathered to express their support of state bills to decriminalize sex work throughout New York state.” Advocates Gather in New York City to Demand Decriminalization of Sex Work (by Victoria Law for Rewire)

“Niki Adams, a spokeswoman for the collective, said female sex workers were forced to work in isolation. “One woman working alone was viciously attacked, raped and beaten. The case went to court and the man was convicted but the woman then thought: ‘I never want to work alone again.’ She started working from another woman’s flat, and within a few months the place was raided by police … The women were arrested for brothel-keeping. That woman spent months and months before the case came to court and was dropped at the last minute due to a big campaign by us highlighting how outrageous [it was] that women working together were prosecuted.”” Decriminalise sex work to protect us from crime, prostitutes say (by Sarah Marsh for The Guardian)

Health Care

“Lucas, who had a rare form of muscular dystrophy, used a power wheelchair and a ventilator. She also had low vision, was hard of hearing, and had type 1 diabetes. As she documented on her personal blog in January 2018, Lucas became ill with a bad cold. According to her Facebook page, her health insurer, UnitedHealthcare, refused to pay for a specific medication she needed, owing to its cost of $2,000. Consequently, she had to take a different and less-effective medication, which caused deleterious reactions. Lucas’ health rapidly declined, resulting in numerous hospital stays over the last year and the loss of her ability to speak. The obituary on her Facebook noted, “United Healthcare’s attempt to save $2,000 cost over $1 million in health care costs over the past year.” More importantly, Lucas’ friends and family argue, it cost her her life.” Carrie Ann Lucas, Disability Rights Activist and Attorney, Dies Following Denial From Insurance Company (by Robyn Powell for Rewire)

Sexual Harassment and Assault

“They are not talking about what happened during their swim meets, but rather what they’ve endured outside the pool. The girls say they received sexually explicit or violent text messages from a male teammate. Those texts are now at the center of a school district investigation and a growing controversy impacting Fishers High School, one of the state’s most talented swimmers, and the organization that oversees high school athletic competition in Indiana.” Harassment controversy surrounds Fishers High School swim team (by Bob Segall for NBC)

“According to the documents, over a thousand allegations of sexual abuse against unaccompanied minors in HHS custody were reported to federal authorities each fiscal year since 2015. In total, between October 2014 and July 2018, 4,556 sexual abuse complaints were reported to the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) — an agency within HHS in charge of caring for unaccompanied migrant minors. An additional 1,303 complaints were received by the Justice Department between fiscal years 2015 and 2018, but it’s unclear whether these complaints overlap with those reported to ORR.” Thousands of migrant children were sexually abused in U.S. custody, HHS docs say (by Camilo Montoya-Galvez for CBS News)

Something Good

Interview with Christopher Pike

Sunday

24

February 2019

1

COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – February 24, 2019

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Politics

“But Feinstein was, in fact, demonstrating why climate change exemplifies an issue on which older people should listen to the young. Because—to put it bluntly—older generations will be dead before the worst of it hits. The kids whom Feinstein was talking to are going to be dealing with climate chaos for the rest of their lives, as any Californian who has lived through the past few years of drought, flood, and fire must recognize.” The Hard Lessons of Diane Feinstein’s Encounter With the Young Green New Deal Activists (By Bill McKibben for The New Yorker)

“According to some who have worked closely with Sanders over the years, “grumpy grandpa” doesn’t even begin to describe it. They characterize the senator as rude, short-tempered and, occasionally, downright hostile. Though Sanders has spent much of his life fighting for working Vermonters, they say he mistreats the people working for him. “As a supervisor, he was unbelievably abusive,” says one former campaign staffer, who claims to have endured frequent verbal assaults. The double standard was clear: “He did things that, if he found out that another supervisor was doing in a workplace, he would go after them. You can’t treat employees that way.”” Anger Management: Sanders Fights for Employees, Except His Own (by Paul Heintz for Seven Days)

“As three Conservative MPs quit their party to join the new Independent Group of MPs, I wondered if, among the reasons for their departure, any would make reference to the Islamophobia that has become so rampant within their party. Many of those who joined the new group from the Labour party had made reference to antisemitism as one of the reasons for choosing to leave, so I wondered if anti Muslim bigotry would also be treated as an equally abhorrent form of hatred, meaning none of the MPs could bare remaining in the party. Antisemitism and Islamophobia are both equally reprehensible forms of hatred and both must be treated equally and tackled. It appears however that bigotry towards Muslims in the Conservative party doesn’t seem to be of much concern to many of its MPs, let alone a reason for wanting to leave.” Why doesn’t the media portray Islamophobia in the Conservative Party as a scandal? (Media Diversified)

Sexual Assault and Harassment

“Despite mountains of reporting — not nearly enough, mind you — and evidence, people found ways to disregard allegations as rumors, and cited his 2008 acquittal on child pornography charges as a reason to leave the matter be. The same community that knows how unfair and inadequate the criminal justice system can be will lean on it when someone they love has been legally exonerated. But now, finally, it feels like there is a sea change happening.” R. Kelly’s Time Is Finally Up (by Jamilah Lemieux for Huffington Post)

“In her op-ed, Watson points out the failure of the Virginia General Assembly to allow her the chance to testify. “Despite the professed belief of numerous elected officials in Virginia and elsewhere that Vanessa Tyson, who says that Fairfax sexually assaulted her in 2004, and I have brought forward credible allegations,” Watson wrote, “the Virginia General Assembly has not taken the simple and responsible step of arranging the thorough public hearing that we have sought.”” Justin Fairfax’s Second Accuser Reaffirms Offer to Testify in Public (by Ibn Safir for The Root)

“Last month, Skydance announced their hiring of John Lasseter to head their animation wing, a story that disappointed many, given Lasseter’s exit from Disney-Pixar over inappropriate behaviour towards female employees. Lasseter had also been accused of helping to foster a climate of sexism, intimidation and harassment, with women being shut out of meetings because Lasseter apparently couldn’t control himself around women. Any who questioned this hostile environment were branded ‘difficult’, demoted or even let go from the company, and the root of that toxicity goes all the way to up Lasseter’s management.” Emma Thompson Departs Skydance Animated Film After Hiring of John Lasseter (by Kayleigh Donaldson for Pajiba)

Health Care

“This could be devastating for many marginalized people in the country seeking health care. But it could be especially dangerous for LGBTQ people, who have fought hard to establish legal protections that would guard them against exactly these kinds of denials. When your very body and existence are considered objectionable, seeking health care at the best of times can be dangerous. “Trans and gender nonconforming people already face really severe discrimination in health-care settings,” said Bridget Schaaff, If/When/How’s reproductive justice federal policy fellow at the National LGBTQ Task Force. Rules like these “are going to make this even harder.”” The Trump Administration Is Trying to Make It Easier for Doctors to Deny Care to LGBTQ People (by s.e. smith for Rewire)

“Twenty-one states cover abortion under Medicaid in the cases allowed and use state funds to cover abortion in other cases, and 15 states cover abortion only in the circumstances allowed by Hyde, according to the GAO. The remaining 15 states violate federal law and do not cover some abortions in the cases allowed. The report found that states aren’t reporting when they’re using federal funding to cover abortions.” States Are Violating Medicaid Requirements by Refusing to Fund Some Abortions, Government Report Finds (by Josephine Yurcaba for Rewire)

Racism

“Some residents in the area have looked on the store as a stain on the community that should be razed and forgotten. Others have said it should be restored as a tribute to Emmett and a reminder of the hate that took his life. As the debate has played out over the decades, the store has continued to deteriorate and collapse, even amid frequent cultural and racial reckonings across the nation on the fate of Confederate monuments. At stake in Money and other communities across the country is the question of how Americans choose to acknowledge the country’s past.” Emmett Till’s Murder, and How America Remembers Its Darkest Moments (by Audra D. S. Burch, Veda Shastri, and Tim Chafee for The New York Times)

“In practice, the guidelines give legal recourse to individuals who have been harassed, threatened, punished, demoted or fired because of the texture or style of their hair. The city commission can levy penalties up to $250,000 on defendants that are found in violation of the guidelines and there is no cap on damages. The commission can also force internal policy changes and rehirings at offending institutions. The move was prompted in part by investigations after complaints from workers at two Bronx businesses — a medical facility in Morris Park and a nonprofit in Morrisania — as well as workers at an Upper East Side hair salon and a restaurant in the Howard Beach section of Queens. (The new guidelines do not interfere with health and safety reasons for wearing hair up or in a net, as long as the rules apply to everyone.)” New York City to Ban Discrimination Based on Hair (by Stacey Stowe for The New York Times)

“In it, Sutton argues the KKK could put Washington, D.C., on the right track through heinous, violent acts. “They do not understand how to eliminate expenses when money is needed in other areas,” he wrote. “This socialist-communist ideology sounds good to the ignorant, the uneducated, and the simple-minded people.” Sutton doesn’t back down from his garish criticism. Instead, he doubles down calling socialists/communists un-American. “If we could get the Klan to go up there and clean out D.C., we’d all been better off,” Sutton told the Advertiser.” Alabama Newspaper Editor Calls For The Return Of The KKK To ‘Clean Up’ Washington D.C. (by Ricky Riley for Blavity)

Criminal Punishment System

“In one sense, Ginsburg’s opinion is sweeping—it finally opens the federal courthouse door to victims of civil asset forfeiture, like Timbs, who believe they’ve been wronged. But Wednesday’s decision leaves some questions unanswered. The court has already ruled that when the federal government seizes money or property, the fine must not be “grossly disproportional to the gravity of [the] offense.” Presumably, this same standard now applies to the states. But when is a forfeiture grossly disproportionate? Does Indiana’s seizure of Timbs’ Land Rover meet this standard? Ginsburg didn’t say, instead directing the Indiana Supreme Court to evaluate the question. Prepare for a flood of litigation urging federal courts to determine when civil asset forfeiture crosses this constitutional line.” The Supreme Court Just Struck a Huge, Unanimous Blow Against Policing for Profit (by Mark Joseph Stern for Slate)

Parenting

“But it’s not just overzealous mommy bloggers who construct a child’s online identity; plenty of average parents do the same. There’s even a portmanteau for it: sharenting. Almost a quarter of children begin their digital lives when parents upload their prenatal sonogram scans to the internet, according to a study conducted by the internet-security firm AVG. The study also found that 92 percent of toddlers under the age of 2 already have their own unique digital identity. “Parents now shape their children’s digital identity long before these young people open their first email. The disclosures parents make online are sure to follow their children into adulthood,” declares a report by the University of Florida Levin College of Law. “These parents act as both gatekeepers of their children’s personal information and as narrators of their children’s personal stories.”” When Kids Realize Their Whole Life Is Already Online (by Taylor Lorenz for The Atlantic)

Something Excellent

“Three decades since William S Preston Esquire (Winter) and Ted “Theodore” Logan (Keanu Reeves) first hatched their scheme to ace their history exam by bringing Napoleon and company to class, Bill and Ted remains a joyous anomaly. The humour is pathologically silly, the performances broader than one of the surf boards Reeves would subsequently pose beside in Point Break. And scenes in which Bill and Ted travel by phone-booth along the time-lines – rendered as CGI phone cables – are creaky even for a low-budget action-comedy in 1989.” ill and Ted’s Excellent Anniversary: How two guitar-wielding airheads conquered comedy 30 years ago (by Ed Power for The Independent)

Sunday

17

February 2019

0

COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – 17 February 2019

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Content note: Racism, transphobia, sexual assault, Islamophobia

Racism

“Then, McLaurin said, that student replied, “I’m just trying to be honest with you on why we did not end up calling you.” Part of the reason, the student wrote in an email, was “because I found it easier to lead the discussion without black presence in the room, since I do feel somewhat uncomfortable with the (perceived) threat that it poses — something which I have been working on, but it will take more time than I would like it to be.” Mclaurin posted a screenshot of the email on Twitter. “You would think,” he tweeted, that “NYU was not like this, especially their SOCIAL WORK program. But I guess it is. I’m very tired. I’ve been dealing with this since I started.”” After Black Student Is Kept Out of Class Discussion, NYU School Acknowledges ‘Institutional Racism’ (by Emma Pettit for The Chronicle of Higher Education)

Trans Erasure

“As trans people and allies from all walks of life took issue with this interpretation, Levy flatly denied wrongdoing. “Write your own book,” she insisted repeatedly, rejecting what she calls ‘the trans take’ on Barry’s life. The utter absence of any comprehensive ‘trans take’ on history speaks volumes about Levy’s interest in her own protagonist. Recent research into James Barry’s relationship with his own gender has been a rare, precious find for trans communities. This isn’t just because his historical record shows evidence of a trans man living a full, rewarding, and exciting life. It’s because history — both the recording and doing of it — rarely offers up such a fascinating, complex, and well-documented case study of a transgender person.” “The Trans Take”: Towards a Transgender Public History (by Jack Doyle via Medium)

Labor

“Activision Blizzard made the layoffs official on Tuesday, the same day it reported record revenue and earnings per share for both the fourth quarter of 2018 and the year. Despite the record numbers, the company fell short of Wall Street’s expectations for revenue and gave disappointing guidance. As the news broke, many in the video game industry criticized Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick for boasting about the company’s record revenue as hundreds of people were laid off with no advance notice.” People in the video game industry are rallying around the 800 employees laid off by Activision Blizzard (by Kevin Webb for Business Insider)

“According to reports it was mainly support staff, QA, esports, IT, and publishing affected by the layoffs. While Activision Blizzard posted $1.98 billion profit for 2018, up from $1.3 billion the year prior, Kotick told investors that the publisher hasn’t “grown at the rates that reflect the opportunities our industry afford”. Game Workers Unite argued that Kotick’s $30 million salary is “built from the stolen wages of his workers”.” Game Workers Unite sparks campaign to fire Activision Blizzard CEO following mass layoffs (by Haydn Taylor for Games Industry)

Reproductive Health

“Listen to me when I am talking to you. I am a human being, and I am more than a vessel and I speak for my daughter whom I never heard cry. I speak for that 17-year-old girl bent across a kitchen counter. I speak for the strange woman I have become. And I speak to all of the women like me, the ones who came before, and after, who have been or will be in the same position ― or perhaps your story is completely different and powerful in its own right.” I Wish I’d Had A ‘Late-Term Abortion’ Instead Of Having My Daughter (by Dina Zirlott for Huffington Post)

“In late 2018, Devos issued her own Title IX guidance, to the immediate alarm of advocates for sexual assault survivors and women’s rights groups. Among other things, the Devos rules restricts the scope of what counts as sexual harassment, limits the types of school employees responsible for reporting sexual assault, and narrows the very definition of what, exactly, counts as a campus sexual assault.” Betsy DeVos is making campuses safer for rapists and their enablers (by Lindsay Gibbs for Think Progress)

“Arkansas and Tennessee lawmakers are planning for the fall of Roe v. Wade, Republicans in multiple states are still obsessed with bathrooms, and legislators in at least ten states have introduced measures this year to ban abortion once a fetal heartbeat has been detected.” Legislative Lowlights: Lawmakers in Ten States Have Introduced ‘Heartbeat’ Bans This Year (by Brie Shea for Rewire)

Judges Being Assholes

“In an article that she wrote for the Yale Herald in 1994, Rao questioned whether some women who reported that they were sexually assaulted while intoxicated were really just making false accusations stemming from regret. In that same article, Rao said that “a good way to avoid a potential date rape is to stay reasonably sober.” In another piece published at the Yale Free Press in 1993, Rao suggested that women need to “understand and accept responsibility for their sexuality” in order to prevent the problems of date rape. She claimed that the term “date rape” “removes the burden of sexual ambiguity from the woman’s shoulders.” And she criticized feminists for claiming that “women should be free to wear short skirts or bright lipstick,” because, according to Rao,“[m]isunderstandings occur from subtle glances, ambiguous words.”” Getting ‘Kavanaughed’ Isn’t a Thing; Neomi Rao Just Isn’t Fit for the Federal Judiciary (by Shiwali Patel for Rewire)

“Hughes is known for delivering history lectures, issuing blunt critiques about improper courtroom attire and accusing the Justice Department of abusing government resources. Visitors to his court either perceive him as obnoxious and vindictive or witty and astute. He’s been called a loose cannon who lashes out at attorneys unaware of his expectations or revered as a no-nonsense defender of constitutionally-guaranteed rights. A 2017 Houston Bar Association poll found that lawyers felt he needed the most improvement in being impartial, following the law and being courteous to attorneys and witnesses.” Houston federal judge bars female prosecutor from trial, sparking standoff with U.S. attorney’s office (by Gabrielle Banks and Lise Olsen for Houston Chronicle)

Islamophobia

“It’s an issue that is overlooked, not least of all because it’s a ‘hidden second layer’ for many Muslims seeking support for mental health difficulties, but also due to the lack of awareness surrounding the important issue. The Runneymede Trust’s report on Islamophobia highlights an increased risk between perceptions of discrimination and mental disorders, and this is echoed by mental health charities and campaigners. Jolel Miah, founder of Our Minds Matter, a charity promoting mental health awareness in Luton, a town with a significant Muslim population, says Islamophobia is a form of abuse, whether it manifests itself in physical attacks or the perception that Muslims are constantly ‘under the microscope’, which he has seen lead to ‘depression and low self-esteem’.” “A state of constant anxiety and hypervigilance” – Islamophobia and how it affects the mental health of Muslims (Media Diversified)

Something Good

Sunday

10

February 2019

0

COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – 10 February 2019

Written by , Posted in What I'm Reading

Reproductive Health

“Threatening people’s lives is always wrong, but there is no possible world in which Ted Shulman’s two threats create an entire new category of “pro-choice extremism” that the FBI should be worried about. As Jodi Magee, the CEO and president of Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health, said at the time of his arrest, “Our doctors have received hundreds and thousands of death threats and worse at the hands of anti-abortion activists …. That kind of violence is a noted pattern in the anti-abortion movement. To my knowledge, [anti-abortion activists] are not persecuted in the same way that physicians providing legal medical services to patients have been.”” A Movement of None: The FBI’s Bogus ‘Pro-Choice Extremist’ Label (by David S. Cohen for Rewire)

“The California measure would be the first mandate of its kinds in the United States after state legislators made history last year by passing the first-ever legislation to address the rights of intersex people. The non-binding resolution, authored by Wiener, recognized intersex people as “a part of the fabric of our state’s diversity” and called for deferring surgeries “until the child is able to participate in decision making.”” California Could Be First to Ban Medically Unnecessary Surgeries on Intersex Babies (by Amy Littlefield for Rewire)

“Instead of talking about Republicans’ move to outlaw early abortion—which is when most terminations happen—the national discourse around reproductive rights is focused on rarely performed procedures that almost always happen because of fetal abnormalities or a risk to women’s health. The vast majority of abortions in America—over 91 percent—are performed in the first trimester of pregnancy. Even after that, most abortions still happen before 20 weeks. In fact, it’s only a little over one percent of abortions that are performed past the 21st week of pregnancy.” The Truth About ‘Late-Term Abortion’ (by Jessica Valenti on Medium)

“The act would remove reckless restrictions on international recipients of U.S. funding, ensuring that organizations can effectively serve their communities. It would allow NGOs to use non-U.S. funds to provide, counsel, or advocate for legal abortion care. It would ground U.S. health assistance in evidence rather than ideology, and ensure that NGOs never again have to choose between receiving U.S. funds and offering comprehensive care. And critically, it would remove—in perpetuity—the U.S. president’s power to restrict health care for millions of women with merely a signature.” The Global Gag Rule Has Put Women in Danger for Decades. Here’s How We Can Stop It. (by Vanessa Rios & Nina Besser Doorley for Rewire)

Racism

“However the 50 or so people who were deported today, the 50 black people of Jamaican descent, we know far less about them, we know a couple of their faces but we didn’t hear in their own words published by the mainstream media why they were detained by the UK home office. In fact when would they have had time to write for Comment is Free? They were arrested from their homes with no warning, detained and shipped off to immigration detention centres, the horrors of which have been detailed in numerous articles including on this site.” There is a war on Black people in Britain. If you’re complacent, you’re complicit (by Samantha Asumadu for Media Diversified)

“Black folks have always been interested in our history, our families, and their unique legacies of resistance and survival. But as a new wave of young Black people attempts to learn more about its heritage, some of the only places available for us to look are sites of deep violence and trauma, like that plantation. In the search for your own history, whether personal or communal, you may find yourself on the way to a similar historic site. Here are some things you may need to prepare for, and ways to structure the trip to mitigate harm.” What to Expect When Visiting A Plantation Where Your Ancestors Were Enslaved (by Benji Hart for Teen Vogue)

Mental Health

“Even without being a heaping pile of metaphors, the show is excellent and well worth every second of its brief runtime. But for those of us with mental illness, Russian Doll is an absolute gift, understanding experiences that often feel impossible to describe or explain — right down to their cyclical, seemingly unending nature. Grief, pain, mental illness, addiction, trauma: These experiences are not linear. There is no clear endpoint, and you can find yourself feeling true progress one day only to end up right back where you started by the next.” Russian Doll and the (Seemingly) Neverending Cycle of Trauma (by Courtney Enlow for SyFy)

Anti-Muslim Bigotry

“This, however, is the same Supreme Court that has rewritten fundamental principles of its own religious liberty jurisprudence in cases like Burwell v. Hobby Lobby when conservative Christians claimed that their religious beliefs were under attack. It is also the same court that upheld President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban despite the fact that Trump literally bragged repeatedly about his plans to ban members of a certain faith from the country. Moreover, as Kagan notes, the prison warden did not deny Ray’s request to have his imam present until January 23. So Ray went through the prison’s administrative channels to get the relief he sought, and then he filed suit just five days after his request was denied. Given this timing, it appears very likely that the majority’s claim that Ray waited too long to file his suit is pretextual.” The Supreme Court just handed down a truly shocking attack on Muslims (by Ian Millhiser for Think Progress)

Climate Change

“The answer, by the way, is that climate isn’t weather. Weather is what’s happening over the short term, climate is what happens over the long term. The National Centers for Environmental Information, a part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, says that weather tells us what to wear on a given day, while climate tells us what we should put in our closets. It’s why you don’t find many South Floridians with an extensive down coat collection.” For a Climate Reporter, a Dreaded Question: ‘Then Why Is It So Cold?’ (by Kendra Pierre-Louis for New York Times)

Something Good

A little Freddy Mercury, as interpreted by Patrick Wilson.

Sunday

3

February 2019

0

COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – 3 February 2019

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Hate Crimes

“”Two unknown offenders approached him and gained his attention by yelling out racial and homophobic slurs,” a police statement said. The chemical substance poured on Smollett was not named, but some media reports said it was bleach. “At some point during the incident, one of the offenders wrapped a rope around the victim’s neck,” the statement added.” Jussie Smollett: Empire star victim of suspected hate crime in Chicago (BBC)

Right to Die

“”There is no right or wrong decision. It’s hard to decide you want to die but it’s as hard to decide, I think, that you want to live. She hated it when someone said: ‘It’s so brave that you made this decision.’ She said choosing to live with dementia is just as brave.” Frank adds: “A good friend of mine said, ‘You have to stop your mother – as a son you have to stop her.’ I said, ‘No I’m not going to, I support her.’ His mother said [to me], ‘You’re killing your mother, you’re murdering your mother if you go on with this…’ It’s hard to hear.” Arguments like this are common among families and friends and reflect the wider debate which began in the Netherlands in the 1970s, when doctors first started carrying out so-called “mercy killing” fairly openly. The arguments continued in the run-up to the legalisation of euthanasia in 2002, and have never really stopped.” Wanting to die at ‘five to midnight’ – before dementia takes over (by Andrew Bomford for BBC)

Human Rights

“The annual contest is due to be held in Tel Aviv in May, following Israeli singer Netta’s victory in 2018. The winning country usually hosts the following year’s competition. However, the group of cultural figures, which also includes Mike Leigh, Maxine Peake and Miriam Margolyes, said the event’s “claim to celebrate diversity and inclusion must ring hollow” in light of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. “We cannot ignore Israel’s systematic violation of Palestinian human rights,” their letter read.” Stars urge BBC to ask for Eurovision to be moved out of Israel (by Mark Savage for BBC)

Criminal Punishment System

“While the elected officials toured the detention facility, the Metropolitan Detention Center’s surroundings echoed with the sound of incarcerated people banging on their windows in protest. In answer, hundreds of their family members and other supporters massed outside, chanting, “Humane treatment for all! Get those lights on! Get that heat on!” “I’m just worried about my son’s health,” said Tina Mongo, through tears. “I haven’t been able to speak with him, and I haven’t been able to visit, and I don’t know if he’s alright. I just don’t know.”” “Vicious and Brutal – Life Inside A Freezing Federal Prison Without Heat” (by Nick Pinto for The Intercept)

Reproductive Health

“To hear Republicans talk about it, you’d think women drag out their pregnancies, wantonly waiting to abort until the contractions set in merely for the fun of it. This is, as my colleague Sarah Jones wrote, “the stuff of pulp fiction, and the myth bears little resemblance to reality.” Here’s what’s real: The same people who are hand-wringing over imaginary infanticide are right now, in a very real way, fighting for policies that increase the number of later abortions, and that for some women, amount to a ban on abortion at all stages of pregnancy. If they succeed, they can thank Brett Kavanaugh.” A False War Over Late Abortion (by Irin Carmon for The Cut)

“Each year the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) releases statistics about abortion in almost all 50 states, and the data clearly shows that complications from abortion are minimal. Of the 652,639 abortions reported to the CDC for 2014, the last year for which data is currently available, only six women were reported to have died from medical complications related to abortion. This government data paints the same picture as reputable studies and reports from the country’s leading medical and health organizations.” Six Facts About Abortion to Counter March for Life’s Junk Science (by Laura Huss for Rewire)

Public Health

“Measles is a contagious virus that spreads through the air through coughing and sneezing. Within three to five days, painful rashes start to appear all over the body. Children and those with compromised immune systems are at the highest risk of dying from measles. Most of the patients thus far are children between the ages of 1 and 10. “These parents think they are avoiding putting something bad in their child’s body—but they are putting other people’s children at risk,” Alan Melnick, director of Clark County Public Health, told The Daily Beast. “There’s a significant number of parents who don’t trust ‘big pharma’—but this actually has nothing to do with that,” Melnick said. “They [some parents] think it causes autism which is absolutely untrue. “It’s nonsense. I just don’t understand it.”” Measles Spreads to 35 Patients in Portland Area, Fueled by Anti-Vaxxers (by Molly Enking and Natalie O’Neill for The Daily Beast)

Taxes 

“Progressive taxation should work as a corrective tax, like tobacco taxes or a carbon tax. Sure, tobacco taxes raise some revenue for the states. But their primary purpose is to curb smoking. While a carbon tax could produce a lot of government revenue, the real point is to limit global warming pollution. In essence, corrective taxes try to put themselves out of business; if tobacco tax revenues decline because people quit smoking, or if carbon taxes stop rolling in because the economy becomes fossil-free, that is victory, not defeat.” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s 70 percent tax on the rich isn’t about revenue, it’s about decreasing inequality (by Vanessa Williamson for NBC)

Something Good

Today is Austin Kelmore’s birthday. He’s a pretty great guy. Happy birthday!!

Sunday

27

January 2019

0

COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – 27 January 2019

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Racism

“First-year and second-year students in the Master of Biostatistics program received an email Friday afternoon from Neely, who encouraged them to “commit to using English 100% of the time” when they are in Hock Plaza—where the department is located—or other professional settings. According to screenshots of the emails, Neely wrote that two faculty members had stopped by her office and asked to see photos of the first- and second-year biostatistics masters students so that they could identify a group of students who were “very loudly” speaking Chinese in a lounge or study area.” Grad program director steps down after warning students not to speak Chinese (by Bre Bradham , Nathan Luzum , Xinchen Li and Kenrick Cai for the Duke Chronicle)

“What happened next is telling: In short, Phillips’ testimony about an incident in which a very large group of raucous boys surrounded him and acted with extreme disrespect is being ignored in favor of an after-the-fact narrative created by white teens from a virtually all-white school with a history of blatant and public racism. The boys’ narrative also is being amplified by white journalists, further disrespecting the Native elder and discounting the accounts of eyewitnesses at the scene. This discounting of experience is familiar to many of us: the women who seek reproductive health care who are effectively told we should endure abuse, the Native elder on sacred ground being made the “aggressor” as the only adult who tries to intervene in a situation, the people of color who constantly have largely male, majority-white media telling them “there’s more to the story” of their abuse than what they say. It’s the same story, different characters that we saw played out just recently in the U.S. Supreme Court hearings of Brett Kavanaugh, who also attended an elite Catholic school and whose alleged actions many defended as an example of “boys being boys.” White boys, of course.” White-Washing White Supremacy: Media Rushes to Excuse Covington Catholic Students (by Jodi Jacobson for Rewire)

“So what exactly happened in that room, between the four girls and the school nurse? With two starkly contrasting stories, we may never know the full details of what happened, but we know enough about the poor treatment of Black students in America’s schools to believe the worst could be true. It is hard to not be suspicious in light of the string of events over the last year during which Black people around the country have been subjected to white people calling the police to report them for doing nothing more than being Black and existing in public spaces.” A call to action after a story about 12-year-old Black girls being strip searched at school goes viral (by Feminista Jones for The Grio)

Labor

“If open floor plans don’t really enhance collaboration, and they make it hard for employees to focus on their work without distraction, what’s driving their increase? It’s probably no coincidence that open offices generally save employers a ton of money on office space.” Privacy, Please (by Alison Green for Slate)

Reproductive Trauma

“Larson’s labor and delivery had a happy ending: a healthy boy who’s now 4 years old. But her experience illustrates the need for meaningful, informed consent for medical procedures, which requires information disclosure, competence, and comprehension in addition to the act of saying “yes.” Without it, labor and delivery for people giving birth can be traumatic: One study found that the most common factor behind traumatic births was a lack or loss of control. And traumatic births—which up to a third of women experience, according to one study—can lead to postpartum depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Given the rising maternal mortality and morbidity rate in the United States, especially among Black women, activists and experts stress the importance of addressing this problem head on.” ‘It Felt Like I Had Been Violated’: How Obstetric Violence Can Traumatize Patients (by Olivia Miltner for Rewire)

Health

“They also looked closely at lifestyle questionnaires – to rule out eating disorders, for example. Researchers found people who were obese were more likely to have a set of genes linked to being overweight. Meanwhile, people who were skinny not only had fewer genes linked to obesity but also had changes in gene regions newly associated with healthy thinness.” Skinny genes the ‘secret to staying slim’ (by 

Anti-Trans Policies

“The move is a reversal of an Obama administration policy that ruled transgender Americans could serve openly in the military as well as obtain funding for gender re-assignment surgery. Aaron Belkin, director of the Palm Center, told the BBC: “We had an inclusive policy for almost three years. What today’s ruling enables is the whipsawing of policy, back and forth.”” US Supreme Court allows Trump military transgender ban (BBC)

Somthing Good

Just click this link.

Sunday

20

January 2019

2

COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – 20 January 2019

Written by , Posted in What I'm Reading

US Government Shutdown

“By Sunday afternoon, more than 300 pizzas had been delivered to 49 control centres across the US, estimated Peter Duffy, the president of the Canadian Air Traffic Control Association. “It was a true grassroots movement,” Mr Duffy said, explaining that the initiative started with a few Canadian controllers wanting to show their colleagues across the border in Anchorage, Alaska, that they were thinking of them.” US shutdown: Canadian air traffic controllers send pizza to US workers (BBC)

Shitty Shit Tr*mp or His Supporters Do

“Without so much as a unified database in place, the government was left scrambling to meet the court ordered deadline. Finding these children at all required a crisis management task force at the Office of Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response to mine dozens of systems for adults and children with the same last name, who were apprehended at the same place on the same day. Government staffers manually reviewed the case files of the roughly 12,000 children in ORR’s custody at the time of the court order, and relied on shelters to report any children they believed were separated and within their care.” How the Feds Failed to Track Thousands of Separated Children (by Issie Laposky for Wired)

Substance Use Disorder

“Unfortunately, some Washingtonians resist bringing treatment programs to their communities, believing a common misconception that new locations for treatment (brick-and-mortar clinics, mobile clinics and syringe exchanges) will bring problems for communities. Treatment programs do not cause more people to use opioids or bring more criminal activity. They simply make medical therapy easily available to those who already have opioid use disorder. Studies show that criminal activity, recidivism, transmission of diseases like HIV, death and costs to the community from these issues actually decrease with medical treatment of opioid use disorder. By bringing treatment to those that need it, we could help not only those individuals, but also the families and communities most affected by the opioid crisis.” Opioid deaths are preventable — don’t NIMBY treatment centers (by Kathryn M. Stadeli for Seattle Times Op-Ed)

Racism and White Supremacy

“A survey for the Guardian of 1,000 people from minority ethnic backgrounds found they were consistently more likely to have faced negative everyday experiences – all frequently associated with racism – than white people in a comparison poll. The survey found that 43% of those from a minority ethnic background had been overlooked for a work promotion in a way that felt unfair in the last five years – more than twice the proportion of white people (18%) who reported the same experience.” Revealed: the stark evidence of everyday racial bias in Britain (by Robert Booth and Aamna Mohdin for The Guardian)

“I was hired at WJTV after breaking one of the biggest stories of the decade. The officer involved shooting death of a teen named Mike Brown in my Ferguson, Missouri neighborhood. His death sparked change and helped ignite the “Black Lives Matter” movement that we know today.
However, when I pitched stories about race in Mississippi, I was told the stories “are not for all people.” My boss constantly complained about the “types” of stories I pitched and shared on my personal social media accounts. He explained over and over that he didn’t want my brand to grow and denied me the basic necessities to properly anchor “WJTV This Morning,” such as access to review scripts on the desk before I was forced to read them on air.” Why I disappeared from WJTV in Jackson, Mississippi. (Brittany Noble)

“So, let me throw my voice into the ring: my Black skin and Jewish soul will be at the Women’s March in D.C. on January 19, and I am proud and humbled to march alongside Mallory, Sarsour, my LGBTQ family, my immigrant family, my Jewish family, my Palestinian family, my indigenous family and all the other marginalized communities who are ready to show up and show out because kids are still in cages, my body is my choice and ultimately, my life and our lives depend on our collective liberation.” Dear White Jews: Stop Using My Existence As A Talking Point (by Rachel Faulkner for Blavity)

“According to my data, the average Yelp reviewer connotes “authentic” with characteristics such as dirt floors, plastic stools, and other patrons who are non-white when reviewing non-European restaurants. This happens approximately 85 percent of the time. But when talking about cuisines from Europe, the word “authentic” instead gets associated with more positive characteristics. This quote from a reviewer commenting on popular Korean barbecue restaurant Jongro illustrates the bias: “we went for this authentic spot with its kitschy hut decor much like those found in Korea” (Celine N. 2016). Even though it’s possible Celine N. liked the decor at the restaurant, “kitschy” is not a descriptor generally used in reviews serving modern Western cuisine. For example, a review from French restaurant La Grenouille reads: “Old elegance at its best! Yes, the ambiance is lovely with all the fresh flowers” (Alexandra C. 2013).” Yelp Reviewers’ Authenticity Fetish Is White Supremacy in Action (by Sara Kay for Eater)

Labor Rights

“But it’s not just an issue of pay. Video game developers often face health problems that become more of a challenge due to health care or other benefits not being offered to contract workers. Game development is much like the work done in the movie industry in this way: A large percentage of the creative workforce isn’t full time, but instead hired on a per-contract basis to work on a specific project. A union can help. Steve Kaplan is an international representative with IATSE, a labor union representing workers in the theater, film, television, and trade show businesses. He says that health insurance coverage is one of the biggest reasons that animators, technicians, and stage workers of all kinds have unionized.” Game developers need to unionize (by Tim Colwill for Polygon)

Some Good Things

“Its 14,000 square metres of floor space and capacity for 18,000 exhibits puts it in league with the National Museum of African American History in Washington. Its range of exhibits is, however, more far-reaching. The high-ceilinged exhibition halls include Africa Now, showcasing contemporary African art and The Caravan and the Caravel, which tells the story of the trade in human beings – across the Atlantic and through the Sahara – that gave rise to new communities of Africans in the Americas.” Museum of Black Civilisations aims to ‘decolonise knowledge’ (by Amandla Thomas-Johnson for Al-Jazeera)

“Jasmin Paris, 35, completed the Montane Spine Race – from Derbyshire to the Scottish borders – in 83 hours, 12 minutes and 23 seconds. The vet, who lives at Gladhouse Reservoir, said the race was “brutal”. Mrs Paris’ sponsor, inov-8, said her achievement was “one of the greatest stories” in the sport.” Nursing mother smashes 268-mile Montane Spine Race record (by Angie Brown for BBC)

Sunday

13

January 2019

0

COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – January 13, 2019

Written by , Posted in What I'm Reading

Trump’s Government Shutdown

““If the shutdown continues, then you will literally have millions of people that will not be able to afford food,” the U.S. Representative for California’s 37th said. “And I think this is just absolutely unconscionable.” Funding for the program was solidified through January following a standoff, which began December 22, with Donald Trump after he demanded $5.7 billion in funding for the U.S. border wall. The Washington Post reported a SNAP “contingency” fund of $3 billion was appropriated by lawmakers that could potentially cover 64 percent of February funding.” The Government Shutdown Could Impact Millions Of Food Stamp Recipients (by Charmaine Griffin for Blavity)

“Just 117 of the more than 400 national parks collect fees, meaning hundreds will have to compete for funds the NPCA claims will not be enough. The NPS has not announced how much funding will go to each park. “Never before have I seen the federal government tempt fate in national parks the way we are today,” says Diane Regas, president of the Trust for Public Land of the decision to keep parks open with only a fraction of their employees. “It’s not about what has happened already. It’s about what could happen if you don’t have the appropriate staffing.”” National parks face years of damage from government shutdown (by Sarah Gibbons for National Geographic)

Labor

“The strike has been called by 10 trade unions across the country against what they believe are anti-labour policies of prime minister Narendra Modi’s government. Employees from the power, steel, auto, and financial services sector will participate in this “historic event.” The strike will also be joined by farmers, who have been protesting against the agrarian crisis in the country for several months now.” 150 million Indians to go on strike against Modi’s “anti-labour” policies (by Nupur Anand for Quartz)

Racism

“Whilst speaking to some of those from South Asian backgrounds involved at the grassroots level of the game, it became clear that the barriers were many, with a sense of resignation of “that’s just how thing are and all always will be”. From scouts making sweeping cultural generalisations and stereotypes, to players being released for reasons unknown, I set out to explore some of these barriers in more detail. One of those who I spoke to was Husnane Shah, who, after scoring 84 goals in one season for his grassroots team, was invited for a trial at a professional club. Following the trial Husnane claims a scout at the club told him he was specifically told not to “take on Asian footballers”.” “The scout told me they don’t take on Asian players” – where are the South Asian footballers? (by Basit Mahmood for Media Diversified)

“The 90-year-old geneticist – one of three who discovered the DNA double helix – had lost his job at the New York laboratory in 2007 for expressing racist views. But in the new PBS film, American Masters: Decoding Watson, he said his views on intelligence and race had not changed since. He had told a magazine in 2007 he was “inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa” as “all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours – where all the testing says not really”.” DNA pioneer James Watson stripped of honours after ‘reckless’ race remarks (Sky News)

“Physician and former EMT Leslie Gregory said she saw the biases discussed in the study for herself while working in Lenawee County, Michigan. She told NPR about a former colleague who seemed to believe a Black patient was overdramatic to gain access to painkillers. “I think it was something like: ‘Oh, my God. Here we go again,’” she recalled. Gregory feared she would have to go from medic to race advocate. “I am absolutely sure this was unconscious,” she continued. “At the time, I remember, it increased my stress as we rode up on this person. Because I thought, ‘Now am I going to have to fight my colleague for more pain medication, should that arise?’”” Black Patients Less Likely To Receive Pain Medication From EMTs Than White Patients, New Study Says (by Ashleigh Atwell for Blavity)

Taxation

“All of which is to say: In 1980, taxing incomes above $216,000 (or $658,213 in today’s dollars) at 70 percent was considered a moderate, mainstream idea, even though wage inequality was much less severe, and supply-side economics had yet to be discredited. This week, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told 60 Minutes that she believes the U.S. should consider taxing incomes above $10 million at a 70 percent rate. Specifically, the congresswoman suggested that taxing the rich at such a rate would be preferable to forgoing major investments in renewable energy, and other technologies necessary for averting catastrophic climate change. And centrist pundits were scandalized by her extremism.” Ocasio-Cortez’s 70 Percent Top Tax Rate Is a Moderate, Evidence-Based Policy (by Eric Levitz for Intelligencer)

Sexual Assault

“For those of you who do not know – and I struggle to imagine there are people who don’t know at least some of the allegations – Bryan Singer has two decades of very credible allegations of sexual assault and harassment against young men to his name. Singer’s reputation is one of the most sordid and openly talked about scandals in the industry. Whispers around him were as plentiful and widely accepted as any against Harvey Weinstein. Shortly before he was fired from Bohemian Rhapsody, news broke that Singer was facing a lawsuit from a man who alleged he had been raped by the director in 2003 when he was 17 years old. he lawyer representing this man, Jeff Herman, also represented Michael Egan, the man who accused Singer, among other Hollywood figures, of sexual assault in 2014 (that case was eventually withdrawn and Herman issued an apology to the accused).”  Bryan Singer is an Accused Rapist: Why Does This Not Matter This Awards Season? (by Kayleigh Donaldson for Pajiba)