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What I’m Reading Archive

Sunday

23

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

16

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

9

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

2

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)

 

Sunday

26

August 2018

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COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – August 26, 2018

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Xenophobia

“The smartphone contained photographs of Ms Lazoja “in a state of undress”, as well as private messages from her lawyer. “Ms Lazoja is a Muslim woman and wears a hijab (a headscarf) in accordance with her religious beliefs. Pursuant to her sincerely held beliefs, Ms Lazoja cannot be seen in a state of undress by men who are not family members,” the documents state.” Woman sues US border agents over seized iPhone (BBC)

Misogynoir

“And look, I’m not here to argue about whether a scientifically-designed power suit that covers ALL THE BITS UP is somehow less respectful than the typical tiny tennis skirt. I’d just like the point out that Williams wasn’t just wearing it to be different, or because it made her feel like a “warrior princess kinda queen from Wakanda.” She was wearing it for her blood clot issues, which came to a head after the traumatic birth of her child (she ended up having to have multiple surgeries to remove clots in the days following her C-section). Wearing pants helps with circulation. She’s literally wearing this catsuit for her health.” French Open Changes Dress Code Because HOW DARE SHE (by Tori Preston for Pajiba)

Misogyny

“Before the first game of the season, an unofficial flyer was handed round saying the stand was a “sacred place” where women were not allowed. But Lazio blamed “a few fans”. “We are against any discrimination,” it said.” Serie A: Lazio hardcore fans call for women ban in some seats (BBC)

“The school found a video of Mason’s work as a pole dance instructor on her private Facebook account. Mason believes the video may have been pointed out to her district superiors by some “malicious” person. “I’ve worked so hard to try and make sure I can provide for my daughters and our livelihood to have it jeopardized just for doing something that I’m passionate about,” said the single mother of two. Along with her pole dancing instruction credentials, Mason has a master’s degree in psychology, a bachelor’s in English and a phlebotomy certificate.” A North Carolina Teacher, Who Is Also A Part-Time Pole Instructor, Was Suspended After Her Pole-Dancing Videos Were Seen On Facebook (by Tonja ReneeStidhum for Blavity)

“Human Rights Watch said they recently went on trial at a terrorism tribunal on charges including “participating in protests” in the restive Qatif region. It has been the scene of demonstrations by the minority Shia Muslim community. Ms Ghomgham is believed to be the first Saudi woman to possibly face the death penalty for rights-related work. HRW warned that it set “a dangerous precedent for other women activists currently behind bars” in the Gulf kingdom.” Saudi Arabia ‘seeks death penalty for woman activist’ (BBC)

Reprehensible Government Officials

“That tableau of terror is Jeremy Hunt, who in his prior role served as Britain’s Health Secretary and who helped spearhead the continued plunder and destruction of this country’s National Health Service so as to advance the neoliberal political class’ decades-long mission of finally privatising this nationally beloved monument to the idea that a person’s access to healthcare should not be dependent on the size of their wallet. That’s him there having tea and smiling along with Henry Kissinger, war criminal and cold-blooded avatar of American exceptionalism, who claimed his place in the history books and signed his name there with the blood of hundreds of thousands. I Don’t Think a Single Tweet Has Ever Made Me Feel This Sick (by Petr Knava for Pajiba)

Fighting Back

“The statue, erected in 1913, has a long racist history tied to the oppression of black people in the nation and the surviving veterans of the Confederacy at that time. When it was built, tobacco industrialist and Confederate veteran Julian Carr praised the Southern rebels as the saviors “of the Anglo Saxon race in the South” and reminisced about “horse-whipp[ing] a negro wench until her skirts hung in shreds.”” Confederate Statue On College Campus Makes Like Humpty Dumpty After Fed-Up Students Take Matters Into Their Own Hands (by Rickey Riley for Blavity)

Sunday

19

August 2018

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COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – August 19, 2018

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Apparently I didn’t read a lot of news this week (though I am in the midst of Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals, which is wonderful).

Health

“After following the group for an average of 25 years, researchers found that those who got 50-55% of their energy from carbohydrates (the moderate carb group and in line with UK dietary guidelines) had a slightly lower risk of death compared with the low and high-carb groups.” Low-carb diets could shorten life, study suggests (by Alex Therrien for BBC)

Reproductive Rights

“Missouri Democrats on Saturday voted to affirm reproductive rights as part of the state party platform and to remove language adopted in June welcoming anti-choice Democratic candidates. Stephen Webber, chair of the Missouri Democratic Party, called the meeting to address the issue of reproductive rights, Jalen Anderson told Rewire.News. Anderson, a state committee member and chair of the platform committee, said he didn’t think the language endorsed this summer reflected the values of the majority of party members or of the state Democratic Party.” Missouri Democrats Just Voted to Remove Anti-Choice Language From State Platform (by Erin Heger for Rewire)

Labor

“More than a dozen workers eventually complained they had not received payment for their work, while the construction companies in charge of the project blamed one another for the lack of payments. Nearly a year later, many of those workers say they still have not been paid. Experts have known since at least Hurricane Katrina in 2005 that wage theft – as these unpaid wages are often known – increases dramatically after natural disasters. Employers looking to profit off rebuilding take on transient and vulnerable workers they can easily exploit.” Unpaid: Inside the ‘lawless jungle’ of worker exploitation after Hurricane Harvey (by James Barragán for Reveal)

Sunday

12

August 2018

0

COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – 12 August 2018

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Disability Rights

“Paper straws were of no use, especially for hot liquids—the paper would just disintegrate. Metal straws were not an option either, because they could lead to potentially serious burns in my already fragile mouth, face, and body from their hot content, not to mention that the metal could damage fresh surgical sites. But also, if I did not have the fine motor functions to eat or drink by myself at the time, having to clean and disinfect reusable metal straws was certainly out of the question. I tried every type of straw there was during that time period to find that only the bendy disposable plastic variety were of any use to me. This is likely the case with people suffering from ALS, dementia, stroke, seizures, or other kinds of disabilities and health issues that would require the regular use of them.” Strawgate: The Ableism Behind Exclusionary Activism (by Saigon Flower for The Establishment)

Reproductive Rights

“On Saturday, June 30, the Missouri Democratic Party approved a new platform, which included an amendment that would allow anti-choice members into the party. The amendment states: “We respect the conscience of each Missourian and recognize that members of our party have deeply held and sometimes differing positions on issues of personal conscience, such as abortion. We recognize the diversity of views as a source of strength, and welcome into our ranks all Missourians who may hold differing positions on this issue.” The language was directly pulled from the website of anti-choice group Democrats For Life.” Missouri Democrats’ New Platform Caves on Abortion Rights (by Alison Dreith for Rewire)

“Judge Carol Bagley Amon of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn denied the request for preliminary injunction, saying she did not find the center’s security camera videos and testimony to be “credible.” Women’s rights activists found the decision disappointing and told Rewire.News they fear Judge Amon had her own bias in this case. Nominated by President George H.W. Bush, Amon has freed a married couple who conspired to help a man who gunned down an abortion care provider in 1998.” Federal Judge Sides With New York Anti-Choice Protesters, Dismissing Clinic Workers’ Testimony as ‘Unreliable’ (by Auditi Guha for Rewire)

“A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed a district court’s ruling that the law constitutes an “undue burden,” and dealt the latest legal blow to Indiana Republicans’ legislative efforts to restrict access to abortion care. Judge Ilana Rovner wrote in the ruling that while it is a legitimate goal for the state to attempt to dissuade pregnant people from having an abortion, the law seeks to accomplish that goal by creating a barrier to abortion “without any evidence that it serves the intended goal of persuading women to carry a pregnancy to term.” Pence-Era Indiana Anti-Choice Law Dealt Major Legal Blow (by Teddy Wilson for Rewire)

Xenophobia

“In February of this year, the Michigan House passed a bill to make English the official state language. The bill is expected to pass the state Senate, though it would need Governor Rick Snyder’s signature to become law. If it succeeds, Michigan will become the 32nd state to make English its official language and clear a victory for the “Official English” political movement.” Inside The Racist Push To Make English The United States’ Official Language (by Samantha Yenger Cremean for The Establishment)

Criminal Punishment System

“In the vicinity of the shooting, protesters began to gather and clash with authorities. Protests went well into the night. Reporter Nader Issa captured video of police attacking a protester with batons, using what could be perceived as excessive force.” Protests Erupt After Chicago Police Shoot, Kills Local Black Man Believed To Be A Barber (by Rickey Riley for Blavity)

Fighting Bigotry

“Leen Schaap was appointed to stamp out what late Mayor Eberhard van der Laan described as a “closed culture in which racism, discrimination and bullying take place”. But Mr Schaap angered serving and retired firefighters when he spoke publicly about the problems he faced in recruiting more women and immigrants.” Amsterdam fire chief Leen Schaap ‘had death threats from staff’ (BBC)

Biomedical Ethics

“An inquiry into the ethical issues surrounding genetically altering a human embryo has found there is “no absolute reason not to pursue it”. But appropriate measures must be put in place before it becomes UK law, said the report – which calls for further research both medically and socially.” Editing human embryos ‘morally permissible’ (BBC)

“It will now be easier to withdraw food and liquid to allow such patients to die across the UK. When families and doctors are in agreement, medical staff will be able to remove feeding tubes without applying to the Court of Protection. Lady Black ruled there was no violation under the Human Rights Convention.” https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-45003947

Health

“In November of 2017, the Farmers Market Coalition’s contract came up for renewal, and the USDA awarded the $1.3 million contract to a new company, Financial Transaction Management of Reston, Virginia. The company, which has one employee, was formed just before the contract became available. Their address, 1900 Campus Commons Dr., is a virtual office. The company does not have technology up and running to process SNAP benefits at Farmer’s Markets. It planned to start taking applications for replacement equipment on July 14, but there has been no news since then. SNAP Recipients Might Be Shut Out Of Farmers Markets Soon (by Andres O’Hara for Gothamist)

Gun Violence

“MGM Resorts International filed complaints in Nevada and California, arguing it could not be held liable for any deaths, injuries or damages caused during the attack. “Plaintiffs have no liability of any kind to defendants,” the complaints argue. It says the security company it hired was certified by the Department of Homeland Security and was therefore protected from liability under a 2002 federal act. MGM argues that this protection extends to the hotel giant, as it hired the security firm.” Las Vegas shooting: Mandalay Bay hotel owner sues 1,000 victims (BBC)

Labor Rights

“With the help of SEIU Local 105, PPRM workers won their election for a union in December 2017, but in the months leading up to the union election, PPRM management attempted to dissuade workers from supporting the union, Martin said, by distributing anti-union flyers and holding mandatory meetings meant to discourage workers from supporting the union. While PPRM is the most recent example of a Planned Parenthood affiliate pushing back against workers, it is not the only time the health-care organization has taken an oppositional stance to its workers organizing.” Planned Parenthood Has a History of Trying To Beat Back Labor Unions (by Erin Heger for Rewire)

“In a 63-57 vote, legislators approved the measure granting 10 days of extra leave a year, separate from annual holiday or sick leave. Green Party MP Jan Logie, who proposed the bill, said it would help victims “stop the violence and get help without worrying about losing their jobs”. New Zealand is the second country after the Philippines to pass such a measure. The Philippines passed a law granting 10 days of paid leave for domestic violence victims in 2004.” New Zealand grants domestic violence victims paid leave (BBC)

“A pair of former hourly Walmart workers allege in a court filing that the corporation fired them for seeking treatment in a hospital for extreme nausea, vomiting, severe cramps, and fears of miscarriage. Although the women told their supervisors they would miss work and later furnished doctors’ notes, the retail giant considered the absences unauthorized under its “absence control” policy, the women allege.” Walmart Accused of Unlawfully Punishing Pregnant Hourly Workers (by Nicole Knight for Rewire)

“Ms Williamson said she was sacked after writing tweets critical of the state government. CA said only that it would not tolerate “offensive comments”. The recent closure of Tasmania’s only abortion clinic has been controversial. Its closure, due to lack of demand, has forced Ms Williamson and other women to travel to mainland Australia to seek an abortion. Ms Williamson has launched legal action against CA over her dismissal.” Cricket Australia accused of sacking woman over abortion tweets (BBC)

Transphobia

“Hilde Hall said she filed an administrative complaint Thursday with the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy because she was discriminated against for being transgender, according to a statement from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). In a redacted complaint provided to Rewire.News, Hall described trying to fill prescriptions for estradiol, spironolactone, and finasteride in April, but said the CVS pharmacist refused to fill her prescription for the hormone finasteride.” Complaint: CVS Pharmacist Refused to Fill Prescription for Transgender Woman (by Nicole Night for Rewire)

“But the case isn’t simple. It’s a way for Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF)—which the Southern Poverty Law Center has called a hate group because the firm spreads ludicrous conspiracy theories about a vast “homosexual agenda”—to turn its anti-LGBTQ fantasies into a reality. ADF’s lawyers have turned the weaponization of religion into a cottage industry. Their goal is to strip LGBTQ people of their civil rights by prioritizing religion over their humanity.” Christian Law Firm Asks Supreme Court to Allow Workplace Discrimination Against Transgender People (by Imani Gandy for Rewire)

“Judge Joseph W. Kirby of the Warren County Common Pleas Court has engaged in a “pattern and practice” of treating transgender minors differently than other minors by denying transgender minors’ requests for name changes “without a rational basis,” states the complaint filed by three families against the judge.” Ohio Judge Accused of Denying Transgender Teens Legal Name Changes (by Jessica Mason Pielko for Rewire)

 

Sunday

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July 2018

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COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – 15 July 2018

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Trump Administration’s Horrible Treatment of Immigrants

“In a press release Sunday, state Senate Assistant Minority Leader Steve Farley stated that he and several other state and local officials plan to hold a press conference Monday in front of the building leased by MVM. Farley said the officials will call for closure of the “illegally-operating migrant detention facility” as well as “the implementation of more humane and just immigration policies from the Trump and Ducey Administrations.”” After Reveal investigation, officials call for closure of Phoenix child detention facility (by Aura Bogado and Ziva Branstetter for Reveal)

Ridiculous Workplace Rules

But when she was taking part in a swimming test that was part of the exam, an examiner saw the tattoo on her foot and told her she could not continue because it could be visible when worn with a skirt. Ms Martín understood that the rules no longer obliged women to wear skirts and, given that that the tattoo was not visible when she wore trousers, she argued that it was within the regulations. However, she says the examiner insisted that she could be ordered to wear a skirt and refused to change his mind. “I felt terrible, at first I couldn’t believe it,” she says. “The reasons he was giving me seemed so absurd. I left utterly distraught, I was crying.”” Tattoo taboo: Spanish woman fights rejection by army (by Guy Hedgecoe for BBC)

Reproductive Rights

“Some of these articles have relied on Kavanaugh’s statements that he will “respect precedent” as an assurance that he wouldn’t, at the first opportunity, vote to upend Roe v. Wade. But Kavanaugh doesn’t respect Roe as a precedent. All we have to do is take him at his word. As law professor David Cohen pointed out, as recently as September Kavanaugh was publicly praising former Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist’s dissenting opinion in Roe. And he didn’t just do so a little. He praised the dissent a lot.” There Is No Liberal Case for Brett Kavanaugh (by Jessica Mason Pieklo for Rewire)

Racism

“Because we can’t — we cannot — we’re constantly being told — I’m told every day I’m on air that I’m racist because I call out racism. That is maddening to me. And I’m crying about it because it’s crazy. And I wish that somebody who is a colleague of mine like Alice could at least acknowledge that fact. That is so frustrating. We’re supposed to be talking about a 12-year-old boy who was just trying to deliver newspapers, and the police are called him in Ohio where Tamir Rice was killed in the same age. I want to be acknowledged and see that this is not OK for our children. This is not OK for the future direction of this country. So, I want to say, I commend you for saying what you said. It means the world to me.” Angela Rye Breaks Down During CNN Panel: ‘I’m Told Every Day I’m On Air That I’m Racist’ (by Ashleigh Atwell for Blavity)

“Allison Scott, chief of research at the Kapor Center, told USA Today that diversity efforts in silicon valley are never truly intersectional. “Women of color, who simultaneously experience two marginalized identities within the tech ecosystem, face unique barriers and obstacles that are not well understood or acknowledged,” Scott said. “Without a specific focus on strategies to recruit, hire and retain women of color, progress will remain stalled.”” Facebook Still Isn’t Hiring Enough Black People, Changes To How They Evaluate Talent May Be The Answer (by Ricky Riley for Blavity)

Sports

“Palmer, a retired basketball referee, broke the NBA’s gender barrier in 1997 when she and Dee Kanter were hired. Palmer was the first woman to officiate an NBA game ― on Oct. 31, 1997, between the Vancouver Grizzlies and the Dallas Mavericks. She was also the first woman to ref an NBA playoff game ― between the Indiana Pacers and the New Jersey Nets on April 25, 2006.” Two Women Refereed An NBA Game Together For The First Time Ever (by Alanna Vagianos for Huff Post)

Mental Health

“But Andy’s research shows that while gaming does cause emotional changes in players, these are all short-lived – a spike in happiness if you win or rage quitting (that’s stopping playing a game in anger, in case you didn’t know). The industry often defends itself against accusations it’s harmful by pointing to player testimonies that games helped them through difficult periods, or allowed them to build strong communities of friends. But “the evidence for long-term benefits is just as sketchy as the evidence which says there are problems,” Andy says. The World Health Organisation has classified “gaming disorder” as a mental health condition where an individual prioritises games over “other life activities” for more than 12 months with negative consequences.” Video games and mental health: ‘Nobody’s properly talking’ (by Alysia Judge for BBC)

Something Good

“Most importantly, the Wild Boars themselves were instrumental to their own rescue. Every boy was brave in the face of mind-boggling adversity, in conditions that strike fear in professional divers. According to the New York Times, one boy, an undocumented immigrant from Myanmar, spoke English (and four other languages) and served as the crucial interpreter with the international diver team; the young coach, who had been raised as an orphan in a monastery, taught the children meditation to help relieve stress and get them through their hunger. The local doctor in charge of their recovery reported that their mental health was remarkably stable, crediting the coach’s management of the situation–teaching them skills to cope–and the way they took care of one another as likely factors.” What I Learned About Resilience From the Thai Soccer Team (by Meredith Li-Vollmer for Public Health Insider)

Sunday

8

July 2018

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COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – 8 July, 2018

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England is in the semi-finals of the Men’s World Cup. In honor of that, today’s first article is one highlighting the kindness of their manager.

“Southgate’s saved penalty gave Germany the chance to go through to the final if they scored their next penalty, which they did. The England manager at the time, Terry Venables, hugged a devastated Southgate. Now, images of Southgate being consoled 22 years ago and being the consoler after Tuesday’s game have emerged online, prompting praise for Southgate’s compassion towards Colombia’s Mateus Uribe, who missed his spot-kick.” World Cup 2018: Gareth Southgate’s compassion praised (by Andree Massiah for BBC)

Trump’s Monstrous Immigration Policies

“The ruling involves the same agency that has been responsible for housing thousands of children separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border in recent weeks. But this case centers on a different form of family separation, one that predates the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy for border crossers: one in which children already living in the United States are taken from their families and placed in federal custody. This practice had been rare until last year.” Judge orders end to requiring director’s approval to release migrant kids (by Patrick Michels for Reveal)

“US Health Secretary Alex Azar said the tests were needed to meet a court deadline to reunite families, as the agency’s usual methods were too slow. Mr Azar, whose agency oversees migrant detention centres, said about 100 of the children were aged under five. Activists fear the DNA data can be used by the government for other purposes. Critics also say that the children are too young to consent to a DNA test.” DNA tests ordered to reunite separated migrant families (BBC)

“Videos shot by an alarmed neighbor show children dressed in sweatsuits being led – one so young she was carried – into the 3,200-square-foot building in early June. The building is not licensed by Arizona to hold children, and the contractor, MVM Inc., has claimed publicly that it does not operate “shelters or any other type of housing” for children.” Defense contractor detained migrant kids in vacant Phoenix office building (by Aura Bogado, Ziva Branstetter, and Vanessa Swales for Reveal)

Reproductive Rights

“As health-care providers, present and future, our ethical duty to cause no harm, protect our patients’ safety, and save lives is paramount. That’s why we feel compelled to speak out against the Trump administration’s unjust and dangerous policy—one it is moving to bring stateside— which censors health-care providers and restricts the services we can make available. In this way, Trump’s global gag rule rips away the core tenet of our provider-patient relationship.” The Effects of the Global Gag Rule Are Being Felt Everywhere (by Melvine Ouyo and Alexa Henderson for Rewire)

“The laws in both states had taken aim at religiously affiliated facilities and crisis pregnancy centers, and provoked controversy—pitting health-care providers, who contend that fake clinics peddle anti-choice misinformation, against religious groups that argue the facilities are an exercise of their faith. Passed in 2016, the Illinois law requires health care providers with religious objections to abortion to refer patients to providers where they may get the service, if the patient requests that information. The ADF filed suits in state and federal court to block the law, Theriot said. The Hawaii law requires “limited service pregnancy centers,” a category that includes fake clinics, to provide information about state programs offering free and low-cost family planning services and to follow state and federal patient privacy laws.” The Supreme Court Sided With Fake Clinics in California. The Fallout Could Spread Nationwide. (by Nicole Night for Rewire)

Anti-Trans Bigotry

“The rule ran into resistance from religious leaders and parents opposed to an alleged “trans ideology.” The board of the Indian River School District voted unanimously to send a letter to the governor and board of education protesting the proposed regulation. The regulation received 11,000 comments in its public comment period, most in opposition, at which point Delaware Secretary of Education Susan Bunting rewrote the rule. “It got on the radar on the professional anti-LGBT and trans people organizations and it has turned into a proposal that would actually make it worse for a lot of trans students,” National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) Executive Director Mara Keisling said in an interview with Rewire.News. “It’s our position that we’d better off without it. Delaware is such a positive state and has been a real beacon for [trans-friendly] public policy and this just isn’t.”” Delaware Democrats Bow to Right-Wing Pressure on Rules for Transgender Students (by Katelyn Burns for Rewire)

“The group carried signs with anti-trans slogans, such as “transactivists erase lesbians”, while they distributed leaflets opposing trans-friendly reforms to the Gender Recognition Act, and calling for trans women to be banned from women’s spaces. The campaigners briefly lay on the ground to physically block the march from continuing, but after negotiations with Pride staff were permitted to get up and march the entire route.” Anti-trans group allowed to lead Pride in London march after hijack (by Hazel Southwell for Pink News)

Death

“He says the taboo around death means that families usually avoid discussing until it is too late. Most people do not know how their relatives want to be treated if the worst happens. “So we need to start preparing young people and getting them to have tough conversations with their loved ones,” he says. “Death lessons” could include the legal aspects of what mental and physical capacity means, how to draw up a will and an advanced care plan, and the biological processes of dying and death.” Putting death on the school timetable (by Matt Pickles for BBC)

Ridiculousness of Brexit

“According to Vote Leave’s dossier, the commission finds the campaign group:

  • made an inaccurate return of campaign expenditure
  • is missing invoices and receipts
  • failed to comply with a statutory notice
  • exceeded its spending limit

Crucially, the draft report is said to claim there was coordination between Vote Leave and a smaller campaign, BeLeave, which received a donation of more than £600,000 in the closing weeks of the referendum, after advice from the Vote Leave director Dominic Cummings.” Vote Leave broke electoral law, Electoral Commission expected to say (by Laura Kuenssberg for BBC)

Sunday

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July 2018

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COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – July 1, 2018

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We’ve made it through half of the year. Things in the US seem to keep getting worse, but there is reason to hope, thanks to some amazing activism taking place across the country.

Atrocious Treatment of Immigrants and Others by the President* Trump’s Administration

“Because the Tohono O’odham Nation’s village of Topawa is on the U.S- Mexican border, agents have reportedly been harassing the people living on the Mexican side. Remes recorded the video Thursday to prove a point. There has been a history of injustice against his people who may be split up due to President Donald Trump’s policies.” Heart-Wrenching Video Shows Border Patrol Agent Running Over Native American Man (by Ricky Riley for Blavity)

“The supervisor told me I was going to get a medication injection to calm me down,” the girl said. “Two staff grabbed me, and the doctor gave me the injection despite my objection and left me there on the bed.”Another child recounted being made to take pills in the morning, at noon and night. The child said “the staff told me that some of the pills are vitamins because they think I need to gain weight. The vitamins changed about two times, and each time I feel different.” Immigrant children forcibly injected with drugs, lawsuit claims (by Matt Smith and Aura Bogado for Reveal)

“Vulgarity and incivility are indeed coarse and uncomfortable, but like any weapon there are moments when they must be employed in self-defense. This is just such a time. If we cannot be vulgar about a cabinet secretary lying to the nation and saying “we do not have a policy of separating families at the border” when her own department has produced statistics and photos evidencing just such a policy, then what is vulgarity for? The milk of human kindness, strained as it is, should be spared for those children and their shattered families — and, indeed, for their homelands who have oft suffered from American foreign policy stretching back decades.” The Atrocities On Our Border Prove Trump’s Base Isn’t Worth Talking To (by Katherine Cross for The Establishment)

Racism

“Major European news outlets claimed Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal made history for scoring in eight consecutive major tournaments when he scored a hat-trick against Spain Friday. In actuality, a Ghanian player, Asamoah Gyan, holds the record. Gyan accomplished the feat three years ago. In a tweet, he called out the “disregard” of his achievements. “People disregard my achievements in the World Cup history,” he tweeted Friday.” African Soccer Player Calls Out Colonizers Who Refuse To Acknowledge His Place In World Cup History (by Rickey Riley for Blavity)

“It turns out the young girl was raising money for a trip to Disneyland. The girl and her mother, Instagram user Ladyesowavy, received a flood of support after the video went viral from those tired of white people calling the cops on black people for during mundane things. Musician Jonathon Brannon was one of those people and he reached out to the mother and daughter. He reportedly bought four tickets to Disneyland for the young girl.” 8-Year-Old At Center Of #PermitPatty Controversy Receives Surprise From Generous Man (by Rickey Riley for Blavity)

Police Violence

“Activists are staging eight days of protest after another black man died following an interaction with the Sacramento Police Department. The action began on Tuesday during a city council meeting, according to The Sacramento Bee. The coalition chose eight days to symbolize the number of times Stephon Clark was shot in March. The group hopes the eight day protest will result in accountability for the deaths of Clark and Brandon Smith, who died on June 6 while being transported in a police vehicle.” Sacramento Activists Announce Eight Days Of Protests After Another Black Man Dies Following Encounter With Sacramento Police (by Ashleigh Atwell for Blavity)

Diversity

“But a collaboration between Reveal and the Center for Employment Equity at the University of Massachusetts Amherst offers the most detailed picture ever of the entire field and allows those that are public to be compared with all their peers. The equity center, after a confidentiality review by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, provided Reveal with anonymized statistics for 177 companies. Reveal and the equity center then independently analyzed the data. When it comes to diversity, companies often want to shift responsibility to others, according to Donald Tomaskovic-Devey, a sociology professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Center for Employment Equity.“This is not something they do for any other part of the production process,” he said.” Here’s the clearest picture of Silicon Valley’s diversity yet: It’s bad. But some companies are doing less bad (by Sinduja Rangarajan for Reveal)

Reproductive Health

“The new language requires a Catholic institution that affiliates with another health-care entity to “ensure that neither its administrators nor its employees will manage, carry out, assist in carrying out, make its facilities available for, make referrals for, or benefit from the revenue generated by immoral procedures.” “In any kind of collaboration, whatever comes under the control of the Catholic institution—whether by acquisition, governance, or management—must be operated in full accord with the moral teaching of the Catholic Church, including these Directives,” the document states.” Catholic Hospitals Offer a Preview of Life Without Roe. And Bishops Just Tightened the Rules. (by Amy Littlefield for Rewire)

““The state has a legitimate interest in informing women about abortion, but the means used under the statute enacted does not meaningfully serve that objective,” Cady wrote. “Because our constitution requires more, we reverse the decision of the district court.” The forced 72-hour waiting period is part of a law banning most abortions in the state after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The 20-week ban is in effect and isn’t part of the legal challenge.“We are pleased that the Iowa Supreme Court saw this law for what it was — a ploy to make safe, legal abortion less accessible,” said Planned Parenthood Federation of America Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens in a statement following the opinion.” Iowa Supreme Court Blocks GOP’s Forced 72-Hour Abortion Waiting Period (by Jessica Mason Pieklo for Rewire)

Fight Back

“The truth is that for all of the recent handwringing about civility, the methods now being employed against the administration’s core supporters are actually quite civil. The manner in which Huckabee Sanders was asked to leave was actually the portrait of civility; it was a communal decision taken by staff, she was informed of the decision in private and politely asked to leave, and was not charged for any orders that had already been delivered. So what happened, exactly? Well, she was shunned. A social consequence was applied to her actions as Press Secretary that served as a powerful reminder: What she does is not normal, and should not be taken lightly.Shunning Sarah Huckabee Sanders Is The Definition Of Civility (by Katherine Cross for The Establishment)

““My father is an illegal immigrant, so today is very important,” said Brittany Velazquez Peters, a West Virginia resident, at the protest in the nation’s capital. She held a sign that red in Spanish “Are you serious?”Others in DC donned foil sheets, similar to those that migrant children in detention have been photographed sleeping in, emblazoned with the words, “We care. Y don’t u?” — a jab at the jacket worn by First Lady Melania Trump when she went to visit migrant children. Also in the nation’s capital, Lin-Manuel Miranda sang “Dear Theodosia,” a lullaby from his musical Hamilton, a song he said he chose because “there are parents right now who can’t sing lullabies to their kids.” There Were Huge Protests Across The Country Against Trump’s Immigration Policies (by Amber Jamieson for Buzzfeed News)

Something Good

These buddies turn 7 today. We’ve been caring for them for 6 1/2 years, and they have brought us more joy that we could have imagined.

The Day They Came To Us

Keeping the house safe from birds

Tigger in a box

Jameson in the sun