ASK Musings

No matter where you go, there you are.

What I’m Reading Archive

Sunday

19

May 2019

0

COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – May 19, 2019

Written by , Posted in What I'm Reading

Elections

““Since 2012, I have advocated tirelessly to empower our communities and make them safer,” she said in a statement Saturday. “But the work is not done. I am proud to announce that I will run to represent District 1 on the county commission.” Fulton announced Saturday that she would launch her campaign for the District 1 seat, which will be relinquished in 2020 by the term-limited Commissioner Barbara Jordan. Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert is also running for the seat, one of five up for grabs after Miami-Dade voters approved a two-term limit for the 13-member board in 2012. Miami Gardens is the biggest city in District 1.” Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, will run for Miami-Dade County Commission (by Martin Vassolo for the Miami Herald)

Gun Violence

“Eubanks was 17 at the time of the Columbine shooting, according to CNN affiliate KMGH.
He was in the library with his friends, trying to decide whether they were going to go fishing or play golf after school, when they heard the sound of gunshots. “A teacher ran through the same doors that we just entered into the library, yelling at everybody to get under the tables, that somebody had a gun, and I remember just being in shock,” Eubanks told CNN last year.” Columbine survivor Austin Eubanks found dead at 37 (by Amir Vera for CNN)

Homophobia

“But Kessem was about to become the latest victim of a government policy that effectively de-recognizes her parents’ marriage, granting her no automatic rights to American birthright citizenship despite the fact that both her fathers are U.S. citizens. That policy, Kessem’s fathers told The Daily Beast, poses a unique threat to LGBT families, and could change the decades-old legal understanding of what the word “family” even means. “This is a very clear attack on families, on American families,” Roee, who married Adiel in California in 2013, told The Daily Beast. “Denying American married couples their rights to pass their citizenship, that is flat-out discrimination, and everyone should be concerned about this.”” Trump Administration to LGBT Couples: Your ‘Out of Wedlock’ Kids Aren’t Citizens (by Scott Bixby for Daily Beast)

Reproductive Health

What is going on in the US is misogynistic and horrible. If you want to fight back, here are a couple of options:

National Network of Abortion Funds

Stop Abortion Bans

Something Good

Excellent.

 

Sunday

12

May 2019

0

COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – 12 May 2019

Written by , Posted in What I'm Reading

Reproductive Health

“Helmi Henkin—chair of the clinic escort group West Alabama Clinic Defenders and Alabama’s only statewide abortion fund, the Yellowhammer Fund—witnessed the incident, called police, and uploaded a picture of the driver’s car to her social media accounts for people to share. “She is fine now, but we were just really emotionally overwhelmed by the incident,” Henkin told Rewire.News.” In Alabama, an Anti-Choice Protester Tried to Run Over an Abortion Clinic Escort (by Auditi Guha for Rewire.News)

“David Simon, creator of “The Wire” and “The Deuce,” said in a tweet on Thursday that his company Blown Deadline’s “assessments of locations for upcoming development will pull Georgia off the list until we can be assured the health options and civil liberties of our female colleagues are unimpaired.” “I can’t ask any female member of any film production with which I am involved to so marginalize themselves or compromise their inalienable authority over their own bodies,” Simon said.” Two production companies pledge to pull filming from Georgia over strict anti-abortion law (by Aris Folley for The Hill)

“The primary purpose of HB 481 is to prohibit doctors from terminating any pregnancy after they can detect “embryonic or fetal cardiac activity,” which typically occurs at six weeks’ gestation. But the bill does far more than that. In one sweeping provision, it declares that “unborn children are a class of living, distinct person” that deserves “full legal recognition.” Thus, Georgia law must “recognize unborn children as natural persons”—not just for the purposes of abortion, but as a legal rule.” Georgia Just Criminalized Abortion. Women Who Terminate Their Pregnancies Would Receive Life in Prison. (by Mark Joseph Stern for Slate)

“The long and short is, though, I got to a point of wanting to get sterilized because I wanted to a.) stop being told by doctors what I actually wanted, and b.) be able to say “see, now I CAN’T change my mind, so what else have you got to say about it?” People take this choice—one that doesn’t impact them in even any mild way!—really personally. They view it as a judgement of their own choices. And honestly, after doing All Of The Thinking about it for the last, oh, third of my life, I’m kind of done dealing with it. I’m done walking judgemental busybodies through it and justifying it and thinking about it myself.” I Got My Tubes Tied at 31. Here’s What I Learned (by Hanna Brooks Olsen via Medium)

Sexual Assault

“If the Senate Judiciary Committee, led then by Mr. Biden, had done its job and held a hearing that showed that its members understood the seriousness of sexual harassment and other forms of sexual violence, the cultural shift we saw in 2017 after #MeToo might have begun in 1991 — with the support of the government. If the government had shown that it would treat survivors with dignity and listen to women, it could have had a ripple effect. People agitating for change would have been operating from a position of strength. It could have given institutions like the military, the Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission greater license to take more decisive action to end the scourge of harassment. And research shows that if leaders convey that they won’t tolerate harassment, people within an organization typically obey.” Anita Hill: Let’s Talk About How to End Sexual Violence (by Anita Hill for The New York Times)

Gender Essentialism in Sport

“The controversy surrounding Semenya echoes the broader media treatment of intersex athletes. The argument being made against Semenya is the same one that was made about Indian runner Dutee Chand, and Spanish hurdler Maria José Martínez-Patiño before that. While transgender and intersex are not the same thing, they’re often conflated in public discussion. (“Transgender” is a term used to describe somebody who was assigned one gender at birth but identifies with and will often medically transition to another. “Intersex” is a term used to describe any number of medical conditions where someone is born with characteristics outside of the typical male and female binary, ranging from the noticeable to the invisible.) The terms were confused last week when Fox News reporter Carley Shimkus incorrectly referred to Semenya as “a transgender Olympic runner” during an episode of Fox & Friends. Shimkus apologized the following day.” Caster Semenya, and the myth of the uneven playing field (by Parker Molloy for Columbia Journalism Review)

School Shootings

“The words were familiar to 15-year-old Duarte, who has participated in nearly 50 active shooter drills in the five years she’s been a student at the STEM School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, a few miles away from Columbine High School. Only this time, it wasn’t a drill. Two students opened fire on their classmates on Tuesday, killing one and injuring eight others before they were taken into custody.” This Is What It Sounds Like Hiding In A Dark Classroom During A School Shooting (by Tasneem Nashrulla for Buzzfeed)

Something Good

Singer / Songwriter / Podcast host Jenny Owens Young occasionally writes songs for A Cast of Kings, an unofficial Game of Thrones Podcast. The latest is a bit of an ear worm and I like it. (Spoilers, obviously): The Long Night

 

 

Sunday

5

May 2019

0

COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – May 5, 2019

Written by , Posted in What I'm Reading

Bigotry in Sport

“No matter what her personal medical history is, her story illustrates the way people, especially people of color, can be scrutinized when they seem to fall outside gender norms. Being intersex is not the same as being trans, but society at large tends to conflate the two, Pagonis said. “And a lot of people hate trans people.” Meanwhile, “I see a lot of intersex phobia that is heightened because she’s a black woman,” Pagonis added. “Had Caster been a gender-conforming, straight-identified white girl who just was faster than the other people, they would have never invaded her body” by demanding testing, they said.” “I am a woman and I am fast”: what Caster Semenya’s story says about gender and race in sports (by Anna North for Vox)

“Alternatively, the IAAF could consider the road it has not yet travelled: engage in educational efforts aimed at promoting informed discussion, allaying fears of the unknown and promoting understanding as a viable alternative to exclusion. In other words, the IAAF could take the lead in creating a sporting environment in which it becomes possible to truly recognise women with high testosterone as the “humans, daughters, and sisters” that our president, Seb Coe, claims them to be at the same time as he denies their right to participate.” I was sore about losing to Caster Semenya. But this decision against her is wrong (by Madeleine Pape for The Guardian)

““There is no such thing as a standard level of testosterone in a woman’s body,” the doctor explained to i.“A lot of women can be affected by higher than average levels of testosterone. “They can have too little energy or libido, or too much hair and too many mood swings because of conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome or pre-menstrual syndrome, that affects millions of women.” Doctor ‘wouldn’t prescribe’ the hormone suppressants IAAF demands for Caster Semenya (by Jasmine Andersson for i news)

Public Health

“We have been listening to the alerts from the Pan American Health Organization. There are outbreaks of measles [in the United States] largely because persons have not taken the vaccine,” Fredericks-James said. The outbreak comes amid an alarming number of measles diagnoses in the U.S., with 704 cases already reported this year in 22 states — the most in 25 years. It’s an astonishing uptick for a disease that was declared eradicated in the U.S. by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2000.” Scientology Ship Quarantined in St. Lucia After Measles Diagnosis (by Seth Abramovitch for The Hollywood Reporter)

Racism in Policing

“The report on the New Year’s Eve killing, which sparked national police accountability protests, was disclosed this week following journalists’ requests under a new California police transparency law. The previously sealed internal file, written 10 years ago, documented how the Bay Area Rapid Transit (Bart) officer Anthony Pirone “started a cascade of events that ultimately led to the shooting”. Pirone called Grant the N-word while detaining him, hit him in the face in an “unprovoked” attack, and later gave a series of false statements contradicted by videos, investigators said.” Officer punched Oscar Grant and lied about facts in 2009 killing, records show (by Sam Levin for The Guardian)

The Patriarchy Harms Everyone

“The idea of an “emotional gold digger” was first touched on in 2016 by writer Erin Rodgers with a tweet that continues to be re-posted on social media—both by women who married self-described feminist men, and by those with more conservative husbands. It has gained more traction recently as women, feeling increasingly burdened by unpaid emotional labor, have wised up to the toll of toxic masculinity, which keeps men isolated and incapable of leaning on each other. Across the spectrum, women seem to be complaining about the same thing: While they read countless self-help books, listen to podcasts, seek out career advisors, turn to female friends for advice and support, or spend a small fortune on therapists to deal with old wounds and current problems, the men in their lives simply rely on them.” Men Have No Friends and Women Bear the Burden (by Melanie Hamlett for Harper’s Bazaar)

Something Good

If you enjoy Game of Thrones, check out the deep dive recaps every Thursday:  Game of Thrones ‘The Long Night’ Deep Dive Recap (by Lord Castleton for Pajiba)

Sunday

28

April 2019

0

COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – April 28, 2019

Written by , Posted in What I'm Reading

US Elections

“Elizabeth Warren has been out there quietly releasing policy proposal after policy proposal, and many of them have been ignored because the media (and that includes ourselves) is often more preoccupied with the horse race, with who is scoring points on social media, or who is speaking seven languages on a late-night talk show. Folks, don’t sleep on Elizabeth Warren, and I’ll tell you why: She released a policy proposal this morning that, for millions of people in the United States, would change everything.”  Elizabeth Warren Has Released a Game-Changing Policy Proposal (by Dustin Rowles for Pajiba)

“But Ms. Hill says the call from Mr. Biden left her feeling deeply unsatisfied. In a lengthy telephone interview on Wednesday, she declined to characterize Mr. Biden’s words to her as an apology and said she was not convinced that he has taken full responsibility for his conduct at the hearings — or for the harm he caused other victims of sexual harassment and gender violence.” Joe Biden Expresses Regret to Anita Hill, but She Says ‘I’m Sorry’ Is Not Enough (by Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Carl Hulse for The New York Times)

Reproductive Health

“Section 1 of the Kansas Constitution Bill of Rights provides: ‘All men are possessed of equal and inalienable natural rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,’” the opinion states. “We are now asked: Is this declaration of rights more than an idealized aspiration? And, if so, do the substantive rights include a woman’s right to make decisions about her body, including the decision whether to continue her pregnancy? We answer these questions, ‘Yes.’” In Historic Ruling, Kansas Supreme Court Declares Abortion Rights ‘Fundamental’ (by Jessica Mason Pieklo for Rewire.News)

Elitism

“Not only does this disrespect the parents and their desire to advocate for their community and their children, but it also weakens the strength of whatever community does desire to come together around these children. As Brown rightly acknowledges, a child’s parents are always their first teachers. But we must acknowledge that children benefit from being protected and guided by the largest village possible — and undermining that by discouraging parents from showing up because they aren’t dressed according to an antiquated view of what “respectable” looks like only reduces the variety of positive influences that can change a child’s future. It also demeans the voices and contributions of the parents who are there, implying that they can only be seen as valuable if they dress a certain way.” A Houston school’s dress code for parents teaches kids sexism, elitism and intolerance, not respect (by Erika Nicole Kendall for NBC Think)

Homelessness

“These priorities are not just antithetical to their claims of being a nonpartisan group, they are the exact same conservative priorities being pushed by Safe Seattle. When viewed together, all of this evidence makes it clear that Speak Out Seattle is misleading voters and candidates about how their organization came to be, and lying about the conservative, anti-homeless nature of the group itself.” How Conservative Anti-Homeless Groups Are Rebranding To Recruit New Members (by Matt Watson via Medium)

LGBTQ

I Came Out Late in Life. And That’s Okay.

Something Vaguely Spoilery from Avengers: Endgame

“I’m dedicated to supporting everyone who wants to remain spoiler-free until Endgame. I was desperate to avoid even the shadow of a spoiler before I saw the movie. But I think it’s important to talk about one aspect of characterization that occurs in the film (I won’t reveal plot specifics). Several reviews have mentioned this in passing, so I feel like it’s fair game. Enough people I know are upset over it already due to leaks and early screenings, and I’m angrier by the minute. If I can spare even one person the surprise and dismay I felt with this advance warning, it’s worth it.” There’s a Seriously Problematic Depiction of a Character in Avengers: Endgame (by Kaila Hale-Stern for The Mary Sue)

Labor Exploitation

“Although contract staff were paid overtime, developers report a culture of fear, in which they were expected to pull long hours as part of their job. Some reported suffering health issues after working consecutive months of 70-hour weeks. Crunch is the name given to working intense overtime, sometimes for stretches that last weeks or months. In the game industry specifically, it was generally associated with the period leading up to a game’s launch. But in the age of early access releases, post-launch updates, downloadable content, and games as a service, crunch can be a constant problem.” How Fortnite’s success led to months of intense crunch at Epic Games (by Colin Campbell for Polygon)

Something Good

Yes. ‘13 Going on 30′ Turns 15: Celebrate by Admitting It’s a Better Film Than ‘Big’ (by Anna Menta for Decider)

Sunday

21

April 2019

0

COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – April 21, 2019

Written by , Posted in What I'm Reading

Impacts of the Trump Administration

““After the U.S. intelligence community publicly announced its assessment that Russia was behind the hacking operation, Assange continued to deny that the Clinton materials released by WikiLeaks had come from Russian hacking,” the report reads. “According to media reports, Assange told a U.S. congressman that the DNC hack was an ‘inside job,’ and purported to have ‘physical proof’ that Russians did not give materials to Assange.” Thursday’s long-anticipated release adds new details about Assange’s interactions with the officers in Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate. Still, it leaves one question unanswered: Why was Assange so determined to exonerate the Russian intelligence agents who gave him the material?” Mueller Report: Assange Smeared Seth Rich to Cover for Russians (by Kevin Poulsen for The Daily Beast)

“To ignore a president’s repeated efforts to obstruct an investigation into his own disloyal behavior would inflict great and lasting damage on this country, and it would suggest that both the current and future Presidents would be free to abuse their power in similar ways,” Ms. Warren wrote on Twitter. Elizabeth Warren Calls for Impeachment Process Against Trump (by Astead W. Hampton for The New York Times)

“The world’s five deadliest countries for journalists include three — India, Mexico and, for the first time, the United States — where journalists were killed in cold blood, even though those countries weren’t at war or in conflict, the group said. “The hatred of journalists that is voiced … by unscrupulous politicians, religious leaders and businessmen has tragic consequences on the ground, and has been reflected in this disturbing increase in violations against journalists,” Secretary-General Christophe Deloire said in a statement.” United States added to list of most dangerous countries for journalists for first time (Reuters)

Religious Buildings on Fire

“But it has survived: While the damage to the interior of the historic building is still uncertain, the fire did not consume Notre-Dame, according to authorities in Paris. The blaze stopped short of the two belfry towers that house the cathedral’s immense bells, the site immortalized by Victor Hugo in The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. “The worst has been avoided even though the battle is not completely won,” said French President Emmanuel Macron.” Amid Notre-Dame’s Destruction, There’s Hope for Restoration (by Kriston Capps and Feargus O’Sullivan for City Lab)

“Footage showing smoke and fire emerging from the roof of a structure known as the Marwani Prayer Room, or Solomon’s Stables, could be seen on social media. The Palestine News Agency, the official outlet of the Palestinian National Authority, cited a guard as saying Monday that “the fire broke out in the guard’s room outside the roof of the Marwani Prayer Room, and the fire brigade of the Islamic Waqf handled the matter successfully.” No injuries or damage was reported during the short blaze.” Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque Fire (by Tom O’Connor for Newsweek)

“Most of the victims were killed in three churches where worshippers were attending Easter Sunday services. Three other bombings struck luxury hotels – the Cinnamon Grand, the Kingsbury and the Shangri-La – located in the heart of the capital Colombo, killing at least 35 foreigners. Among the dead were Japanese, Dutch, Chinese, British, American and Portuguese tourists. No immediate claim of responsibility was made for the carnage in a country that was at war for decades with Tamil separatists until 2009, a time when bomb blasts in Colombo and elsewhere were common.” Sri Lanka Easter bombings: Mass casualties in churches and hotels (Al Jazeera)

World Politics

“Police statements have several times called the violence “orchestrated”. But PSNI Det Supt Jason Murphy, who is leading the investigation, said he did not think media presence affected events. An MTV spokesperson pointed to the PSNI’s statement and said there was “no evidence of any sort to show that the presence of the media on the ground contributed or impacted the situation on the Creggan estate.”” Dissidents accused of stoking Derry riot for Reggie Yates documentary (by Rory Carroll for The Guardian)

“The Liberal government, led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, says it intends to change the law to make it harder for refugees to go “asylum shopping”. But legal experts and refugee advocates warn these changes could flout domestic and international law, and ruin Canada’s reputation as a defender of refugees. “I think that the Liberal government has really taken a sharp turn,” says law professor and refugee lawyer Warda Shazadi Meighen. “Canada was really an outlier in the last five years as a country upholding refugee rights in the face of populism… and this will really chip away at that.”” Trudeau takes ‘sharp turn’ away from ‘refugees welcome’ (BBC)

Something Good

Do you watch Game of Thrones? Then you should be reading these recaps on Pajiba.

Sunday

14

April 2019

0

COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – April 14, 2019

Written by , Posted in What I'm Reading

Good luck to all my friends in the U.S. who are spending today frantically doing their taxes.

Islamophobia

“The allegation is that Omar trivialized 9/11 by describing it as “some people did something.” I’m reminded of Cardinal Richelieu’s quote: “If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him.” Omar isn’t even being afforded six words. For those who care about accuracy, Omar’s full 20 minutes of remarks present the correct and clear picture of her opinion on terrorism. The “some people did something” quote refers not to the 9/11 terrorists or Saudi Arabia — whom she has repeatedly condemned — but to unjust elements within the U.S. government who have denied Muslim Americans the equality that every citizen deserves.” Ilhan Omar’s 9/11 comments spark more false outrage — and expose anti-Muslim bias (by Qasim Rashid for NBC)

“Chu, who said Wednesday that she remembered the day the ban was put into effect with sadness, said in a tweet that the legislation was designed to ensure that not only would the ban be repealed but that the power to take racist actions like it would also be curtailed. “Trump’s Muslim ban is unAmerican,” Chu said. “That is why Sen. Chris Coons and I are introducing our No Ban Act today to not only repeal Trump’s hateful ban but also prevent any future president from issuing a ban based on religion or nationality.”” Dems Introduce Bill to End Trump’s ‘UnAmerican’ Muslim Ban (by Eoin Higgins for Common Dreams)

Police Failure

“The parents of Shana Grice, Sharon Grice and Richard Green, told the BBC that they felt their daughter had been “treated like a criminal” when she should have been protected by the police. “Our daughter took her concerns to the police and instead of being protected was treated like a criminal,” they said. “She paid for the police’s lack of training, care and poor attitude with her life. It’s only right that the police make changes, but it’s too little too late for Shana. Sussex Police should not be applauded for this.” Police Officers Face Disciplinary Action After Murdered Teenager Was Fined For Reporting Stalker (by Jenn Selby for Rights Info)

Fighting Illegal Occupation

“Airbnb are trying to absolve themselves by stating they will donate the profits from these listings to charity, but that fails to change the fact that by continuing to drive tourism to illegal settlements they are helping to boost the settlement economy. Airbnb had a clear opportunity to make the right decision to uphold human rights and use their influence to set a precedent in the tourism industry. Instead, they have chosen to bury their heads in the sand – ignoring blatant evidence that they are helping to fuel violations that cause immense suffering to Palestinians.” West Bank: Airbnb’s decision on listings in illegal Israeli settlements is ‘deeply shameful’ (Amnesty International)

U.S Government Failures

“The languishing Vieques hospital is one of many places where rebuilding has stagnated nearly a year and a half after the ruinous September 2017 hurricane. Repairs have yet to begin, slowed by disagreements over the project’s scope and cost, though reopening the hospital is supposed to be a top priority. Puerto Rico was in financial distress and had crumbling infrastructure before Hurricane Maria, and many residents complain of government malfeasance that exacerbated the storm’s impact, echoing criticism from Washington. But Puerto Rican leaders say the delay to the Vieques hospital and thousands of other stalled projects is a reflection of unequal treatment from the White House and Congress, which last week failed to pass disaster relief legislation because of a dispute over how much money to send the island.” Hunger and an ‘Abandoned’ Hospital: Puerto Rico Waits as Washington Bickers (by Patricia Mazzei for The New York Times)

Something Good

I am lucky enough to know the women in these two features, and they are both inspirational bad-asses.

“I went to college right before the boom in game-related degrees started; I also went to college in the middle of nowhere in Montana. Most of my friends got their degree in horsemanship. I dropped out with half an English degree and a minor in Philosophy and Religious Thought. Learning to code is always good because it lets you make your own games and honestly that matters so much more than any specific degree.” Jobs in Games: Future Games of London’s Elizabeth Sampat on being a creative director and the truth about the ‘Idea Guy’ (by Matthew Forde for Pocket Gamer)

“If you love books so much you like to inhale the scent of fresh pages when you crack a new one, Immortal Perfumes may just be for you. JT Siems runs the micro-perfumery out of her Seattle studio, crafting all handmade perfume blends from original recipes. She draws from dozens of scents to create her historically inspired perfumes, which includes her flagship line, Dead Writers. Inspired by her love of literature, bottles range in name from Dharma Bum to Capulet to Lady Day.” Immortal Perfumes, JT Siems’ Micro-Perfumery In Her Seattle Studio (by Meghan Nolt for 1889)

Sunday

7

April 2019

0

COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – April 7, 2019

Written by , Posted in What I'm Reading

2020 US Presidential Election

“Biden is the Democrats’ answer to the hunger to “make America great again,” dressed up in liberal clothes. The New York Times’ Jamelle Bouie has in fact argued that Biden’s racial politics have offered a form of Trumpism on the left, a “liberal cover to white backlash.” To that I would add, he has provided liberal cover to anti-feminist backlash, the kind of old-fashioned paternalism of powerful men who don’t take women’s claims to their reproductive, professional, or political autonomy particularly seriously, who walk through the world with a casual assurance that men’s access to and authority over women’s bodies is natural. In an attempt to win back That Guy, Joe Biden has himself, so very often, been That Guy.” Joe Biden Isn’t the Answer (by Rebecca Traister for The Cut)

“I felt him get closer to me from behind. He leaned further in and inhaled my hair. I was mortified. I thought to myself, “I didn’t wash my hair today and the vice-president of the United States is smelling it. And also, what in the actual fuck? Why is the vice-president of the United States smelling my hair?” He proceeded to plant a big slow kiss on the back of my head. My brain couldn’t process what was happening. I was embarrassed. I was shocked. I was confused. There is a Spanish saying, “tragame tierra,” it means, “earth, swallow me whole.” I couldn’t move and I couldn’t say anything. I wanted nothing more than to get Biden away from me. My name was called and I was never happier to get on stage in front of an audience.” An Awkward Kiss Changed How I Saw Joe Biden (by Lucy Flores for The Cut)

“Biden, considered a potential candidate for president in 2020, chaired the committee during the hearings to confirm Thomas’ nomination to the high court, and has since been frequently criticized for the way Hill was treated during her testimony. A year ago during Glamour’s Women of the Year summit, Biden said that he was “so sorry that she had to go through what she went through” during the hearings, and later told Teen Vogue that “I owe her an apology” for not doing more to rein in attacks on her character by Republican members of the committee. “He said he apologized, but he hasn’t apologized to me,” Hill said amid frequent applause and two standing ovations during USC Dornsife’s “From Social Movement to Social Impact: Putting an End to Sexual Harassment in the Workplace” event Thursday afternoon.” Anita Hill: Joe Biden ‘Hasn’t Apologized to Me’ for Handling of Thomas Hearings (by Susan Seager for The Wrap)

Racism

“This was not the place. Despite the care I take in these sessions to center people of color, to keep them safe, this still was not the place. Once again, what might have been a discussion about the real, quantifiable harm being done to people of color had been subsumed by a discussion about the feelings of white people, the expectations of white people, the needs of white people. As I stood there, gazing off into the memory of hundreds of stifled conversations about race, I was brought to attention by a white woman. She was not nervously looking around to see who might be listening. She didn’t ask if I had time to talk, though I was standing at the door. “Your session was really nice,” she started. “You said a lot of good things that will be useful to a lot of people.” She paused briefly: “But the thing is, nothing you talked about today is going to help me make more black friends.”” Confronting racism is not about the needs and feelings of white people (by Ijeoma Oluo for The Guardian)

Ridiculous Government Action

“UA police determined Friday that they “will be charging” two students involved in the incident with “interference with the peaceful conduct of an educational institution,” which is a misdemeanor. A Class 1 misdemeanor could result in up to six months of jail time. Charges have not been filed yet, UA Police Chief Brian Seastone said in an email. The names of the two students have not been released. Robbins wrote that UA police will continue to investigate the matter for potential “additional criminal violations.” The Dean of Students’ office also is reviewing the incident to determine if the student code of conduct was violated.” University of Arizona will charge 2 students over protest of Border Patrol event on campus (by Rachel Leingang for AZ Central)

“In Monday’s Bucklew v. Precythe, the court rejected his claim by a 5–4 vote. Justice Neil Gorsuch’s opinion for the court, however, does much more than condemn Bucklew to a harrowing demise. It also quietly overrules, or at least erodes, more than 60 years of precedents, including several written by Justice Anthony Kennedy. Gorsuch embraced a vision of the Eighth Amendment supported by Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia that has consistently been rejected as dangerously extreme by a majority of the court.” The Supreme Court’s Conservatives Just Legalized Torture (by Mark Joseph Stern for Slate)

UK Politics

“The PREVENT policy was conceived for Muslims. Not killers, rapists or ‘bad people’ – Muslims. At its inception, around the time of the UK’s illegal, devastating invasion of Iraq, PREVENT’s purpose was to prevent British Muslims from ‘breaking bad’ and radicalising. This decision was made before any major domestic attack took place on British soil (I say this as people erroneously believe PREVENT was conceived following 7/7 – it wasn’t). This begs the question: can this policy, with a raison d’etre to thwart the uncertain threat of British Muslim violence, be ‘translated’ to curtail White Rage? Could it prevent a Christchurch in the UK? We have to think in structures to answer this question: how was PREVENT conceived, how does it operate and what is its relationship to White privilege?” The UK’s PREVENT policy would not prevent white supremacist attacks like Christchurch – it’s part of the problem (by Dr Tarek Younis for Media Diversified)

“Beckett has made no secret of her very strong feelings about May’s handling of Brexit, and of the need to put the issue back to the people. She found May terrifying. “The more I look and listen to this woman the more I think she’s capable of doing literally what she says, driving us right to the last minute, and then saying ‘it is my deal or no deal’,” she says. “I have become increasingly worried that the house could decide something which is so far away from what people thought they were getting when they voted to leave that it could cause serious ructions. Some very strong Leavers say they don’t think people should have a second opportunity to be consulted because they might have changed their minds. That seems to me to be incredibly dangerous as well as completely indefensible.”” Margaret Beckett: why Brexit has to go back to the people (by Toby Helm for The Guardian)

Rich People Doing What They Do

“Every parent assumed that whatever alchemy of good genes and good credit had gotten his child a spot at the prep school was the same one that would land him a spot at a hyper-selective college. It was true that a quarter of the class went to the Ivy League, and another quarter to places such as Stanford, MIT, and Amherst. But that still left half the class, and I was the one who had to tell their parents that they were going to have to be flexible. Before each meeting, I prepared a list of good colleges that the kid had a strong chance of getting into, but these parents didn’t want colleges their kids had a strong chance of getting into; they wanted colleges their kids didn’t have a chance in hell of getting into. A successful first meeting often consisted of walking them back from the crack pipe of Harvard to the Adderall crash of Middlebury and then scheduling a follow-up meeting to douse them with the bong water of Denison.” They Had It Coming (by Caitlin Flanagan for The Atlantic)

 

 

Sunday

24

March 2019

0

COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – March 24, 2019

Written by , Posted in What I'm Reading

Criminal Punishment System

“In other words, the Supreme Court just gave ICE license to round up undocumented immigrants and detain them indefinitely, even if they had been picked up and released from custody four days or 40 years earlier.” Supreme Court Rules Immigrants Can Be Detained without Bond Hearing Even Years After Release (by Melissa McEwan for Shakesville)

Fighting Back

“Ardern, on the other hand, immediately showed that she had no time for the perpetrator of the mosque shootings.“Many of those who will have been directly affected by this shooting may be migrants to New Zealand; they may even be refugees here,” she said. “They have chosen to make New Zealand their home, and it is their home. They are us. The person who has perpetuated this violence against us is not. They have no place in New Zealand. There is no place in New Zealand for such acts of extreme and unprecedented violence.”” Jacinda Ardern has Rewritten the Script for How a Nation Grieves After a Terrorist Attack (by Masha Gessen for The New Yorker)

“The Republican move was referred to as a “legislative coup.” It took away key appointment powers from the governor and limited the ability of the Democratic officials to join national lawsuits (or to withdraw from them). In each instance, authority was shifted to the legislature, where Republicans retain majorities. Walker signed the legislation in December, completing the lame-duck power grab. At the time, former US attorney general Eric Holder said of the Republicans, “Their actions are grossly partisan, deeply undemocratic, and an attack on voting rights. They must not stand.” Now, a court has agreed with Holder, issuing a decision that has significance for Wisconsin and for the nation.” A Wisconsin Judge Upends the GOP Power Grab and Restores the Authority of the Democratic Governor (by John Nichols for The Nation)

Be Better

“Second, you must learn the difference between intent and impact. Your intentions may be as pure as the driven snow, but if your intentions negatively affect the communities you claim to be passionately fighting for, then your intentions mean bupkis. Any notion you “meant well” and therefore are above criticism is not only dangerous, it’s patently absurd. It’s not enough to fumble your way through allyship, ignoring all the signposts and the people waving their hands frantically telling you to slow down and think about what you’re doing. As activist and historian Blair Imani noted, “If you can’t listen to the very people you passionately fight for and then move forward with humility, you need to do other work.”” Dear Alyssa Milano: Will You Be My Co-Conspirator? (by Imani Gandi for Rewire)

Elections

“But the way it works right now, come general election time, presidential candidates don’t travel to every state. They zero in on just a few battleground states, and they don’t get to hear about the issues that are on the top of people’s minds everywhere else in the country. But your power in our democracy shouldn’t be determined by where you live.” It’s time to get rid of the Electoral College (by Elizabeth Warren)

Something Excellent

Seriously.

Sunday

17

March 2019

1

COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – March 17, 2019

Written by , Posted in What I'm Reading

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

0

COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – 10 March 2019

Written by , Posted in What I'm Reading

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.