ASK Musings

No matter where you go, there you are.

What I’m Reading Archive



July 2018



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)


“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)


“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)



July 2018



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)


“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)



July 2018



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)


“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)


“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




June 2018



What I’m Reading – 10 June 2018

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Tr*mp Administration Being Shitty, As Per Usual

“But absent from the summit’s introductory statement were reporters from several news outlets, including the Associated Press, CNN, and E&E News. One reporter with the Associated Press was allegedly forcibly removed from the EPA headquarters after trying to enter to report on the summit.” EPA bans CNN, AP from covering summit on chemicals, ‘forcibly’ removes reporter (by Natasha Geiling for Think Progress)

“The Attorney General did not appear to be unveiling a new policy so much as amplifying a practice that has been adopted by the Trump Administration, which has been separating parents who are in immigration detention from their children. The Times reported in December that the federal government was considering a policy of separating families in order to discourage asylum seekers from entering. By that time, nonprofit groups were already raising the alarm about the practice, which they said had affected a number of families. In March, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of the hundreds of families that had been separated when they entered the country with the intention of seeking asylum.” Taking Children from Their Parents is a Form of State Terror (by Masha Gessen for The New Yorker)

“Border authorities were accused of kicking a child in the ribs and forcing a 16-year-old girl to “spread her legs” for an aggressive body search. Other children accused officers of punching a child in the head three times, running over a 17-year-old boy and denying medical care to a pregnant teen, who later had a stillbirth.” Border Patrol Kicked, Punched, Migrant Children, Threatened Some with Sexual Abuse, ACLU Alleges (by Gillian Edevane for Newsweek)

“After I told the officers that I was here to seek asylum, they brought me into a room and asked me questions about why I had come to the United States. I told them of the danger that I had faced in Honduras — resulting from a military crackdown against protests following a contested presidential election. Each day people were disappearing; I fled just after the military tear-gassed our home.
I turned over documents that showed both my identity and my son’s, including my Honduran ID card, his birth certificate and his birth record from the hospital — and the latter two documents listed me as his mother. The officers kept all these documents, and they never asked any questions about whether he was my son. We spent that night in a facility — it would be the last night that my son would sleep in my arms for months.” At the border, my son was taken from me (by Mirian G for CNN)

“Instead, Manuel died a brutal death alone in a foreign land, a symbol of gang supremacy in a country plagued by violent drug cartels. It happened three weeks after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement returned him to Mexico, a country he had left at age 3 when his parents brought him here without a visa.” Des Moines DREAMer dies within weeks after being sent back to Mexico’s violence (by Rekha Basu for Des Moines Register)

Failed Emergency Response

“When journalists were getting texts from people in the administration of Governor Ricardo Rosselló who said that the aftermath of the hurricane felt like a nuclear bomb had struck the island and that the situation was worse than what everyone thought, we knew the death toll wasn’t accurate. When funeral directors started telling people that they were burying way more bodies than usual, or when our family members told us about their neighbors dying in still-darkened rooms, or being buried outside their homes, we knew that the official death toll was much higher than the 64 people the government had eventually admitted to.” Puerto Ricans knew the official Hurricane Maria death toll was fake. We saw too many dead to believe it. (by Julio Ricardo Varela for NBC)

“We now have an answer to this question as the scope of devastation from Hurricane Maria becomes more clear. What we have learned is that there are life-and-death consequences to putting someone like Donald Trump in command of the federal government. The profound failure of leadership and management that Trump’s critics feared has actually happened, and we are just now learning the scale of that disaster.” Trump’s Human Toll (by Jamelle Bouie for Slate)


“A new study, however, suggests that the main threat to our democracy may not be the hardening of political ideology, but rather the hardening of one particular political ideology. Political scientists Steven V. Miller of Clemson and Nicholas T. Davis of Texas A&M have released a working paper titled “White Outgroup Intolerance and Declining Support for American Democracy.” Their study finds a correlation between white American’s intolerance, and support for authoritarian rule. In other words, when intolerant white people fear democracy may benefit marginalized people, they abandon their commitment to democracy.” The Trump effect: New study connects white American intolerance and support for authoritarianism (by Noah Berlatsky for NBC)

Criminal Punishment System

“To the assertion that the police simply need to be better trained, we must ask, better trained in what? The history of policing in the United States makes clear the police are in fact trained to discriminately execute, brutalize, and detain people, many of whom haven’t done anything against the law. Once you come to understand the institution’s ties to white supremacy, it becomes clear the system is toxic and cannot be fixed. So instead of spending more time trying to reform the institution, we should focus on delegitimizing police and ramping up well-organized approaches that benefit our communities.” The Case for Delegitimizing the Police (by William C. Anderson for Rewire)

“The officers instructed Barnett to exit the vehicle and to get on the ground. Once he was on the ground, they began to kick him, Barnett says. Barnett was transported to a local hospital for treatment of the wounds sustained during the stop. Once there, he says the officers began to beat him again. Barnett says he never fought back.” Two Mississippi Officers Have Been Fired After Being Accused Of Beating A Black Man Ordered To The Ground At Gunpoint (by Ashleigh Atwell for Blavity)

“Kazazi was carrying $58,100 in plainly labeled bank note bundles, along with receipts for his withdrawals and documentation showing that the funds were to be spent on a property in Tirana, Albania for his relatives. Cleveland TSA officials found the money and alerted Customs and Border Protection, who repeatedly questioned Kazazi, denying him an interpreter (his English is not fluent), strip searching him, and, eventually, confiscating his life’s savings under civil asset forfeiture rules. CBP has not charged Kazazi with any crimes or civil infractions, but under civil asset forfeiture rules, they don’t have to. It’s not Kazazi who’s under suspicion — it’s the money, and it is literally presumed guilty until proven innocent. Kazazi has to pay out of his own pocket for a lawyer to sue the government to defend his money and prove that it is not proceeds from a crime.” Customs stole a US citizen’s life savings when he boarded a domestic flight, now he’s suing to get it back (by Cory Doctorow for Boing Boing)

Sexism and Misogyny

“And, look, you don’t have to take my word for it. Maybe a bunch of men calling me a cunt doesn’t strike you as harassment. The thing is, many, many other female journalists have experienced the same pile-on from MuskBros every time they tweet criticism of him. Shannon Stirone, a freelance journalist who covers space for publications like Popular Science, Wired, and The Atlantic, told me: “Sadly there is a pattern to what happens after criticizing Elon. There is a reason I don’t do it very often because I don’t enjoy dealing with the backlash from the army of men who come out to defend him. I’ve gotten replies calling me a ‘stupid bitch’ and names along the same vein. They are so deeply angry and instead of using their words they lash out in the only way they seem to know how, which is to be abusive and demeaning.” What It’s Like When Elon Musk’s Twitter Mob Comes After You (by Erin Biba for the Daily Beast)

“There is no mention of alteration, so we are left with the manipulative subliminal messaging that someone else achieved the forever pre pubescent “fantasy” but we can’t. We have failed. Her breasts have been plumped, her legs lengthened, her skin smoothed. But all in secret. It’s so dangerous to put these images into the world of women who themselves often do not even meet the requirements, without the help of a computer, and say nothing of it. There should either be a detailed declaration in small print of the features altered, or we should see the original image and celebrate the humanity and reality of the subject and her photographer. Who frankly, may as well not bloody be there if a computer is doing all the work. Where is the dignity in it? For anyone involved?” Please can we bloody ban airbrushing? (by Jameela Jamil for her website)

“The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a lower court’s decision that allowed an undocumented immigrant teenager to obtain an abortion over the protests of the Trump administration. The action, which came in an unsigned opinion without noted dissents, wipes out the lower court’s ruling as precedent.” Supreme Court throws out lower-court decision that allowed immigrant teen to obtain abortion (by Robert Barnes and Ann E. Marimow for Washington Post)


“Of course, it’s difficult to imagine Hinkle being blindsided by the national team’s embrace of LGBTQ Pride. U.S. Soccer — and women’s soccer in particular — have long fostered a close relationship with the LGBTQ community. Multiple members of the USWNT — including Megan Rapinoe, Ashlyn Harris, and retired star Abby Wambach — are members of the queer community, and, as writer Katelyn Best wrote in OutSports, “the women’s national team fanbase is among the gayest in sports.”” Soccer star confirms she quit national team because God didn’t want her to wear a LGBTQ Pride jersey (by Lindsay Gibb for Think Progress)


“Every few months, another city, state, or country announces that it’s banning the use of plastic straws. These policies are meant to lead the way in removing plastics from the ocean, but, according to our best estimates, straws are not a major source of marine plastic pollution, and such laws are unlikely to have a noticeable affect on the levels of plastic entering our waters. The proposed bans do, however, have the unintended effect of making restaurants less accessible for many disabled people, while revealing the ableism embedded in far too much consumer-based environmentalism. There’s a better way. Instead of bans, we should shift all our use of disposable plastics from opt-out to opt-in. At the same time, let’s recognize the limits of focusing on consumer choice. Want to reduce plastics in the ocean? Make the producers pay for their waste.” Banning Straws Won’t Save the Oceans (by David M. Perry for Pacific Standard)

“Disabled people who shared their concerns, frustrations and criticisms of the straw ban on Twitter, many attempting to patiently explain why they are a necessity for some, have received hostility from many and support from few. The ‘just curious’ want to know why the alternatives aren’t good enough for disabled people and despite the abundance of articles, handy info graphics and tweets addressing that, seem incapable of finding the information out for themselves. Or perhaps it’s because those aren’t detailed enough and don’t explain exactly what is ‘wrong’ with the disabled person that prevents them from drinking without a straw.” Curiosity: Vancouver’s Straw Ban – Another Barrier and Another Excuse For Non-Disabled People to Shame, Marginalize, Interrogate and Demonstrate They Don’t Care About Discrimination Against Disabled People (by aneeone)

Gun Violence

“So far in 2018, 36 people have been killed by a school shooter. Ten of them died at Santa Fe, where 13 others were injured. Sarah is one of those 13, thanks to surgery that stemmed the bleeding from two major veins in her neck. Lopez’s life has predictably been turned upside down ever since. Her days are now spent at the hospital by Sarah’s bedside, organizing doctors and appointments. Then there are the stunningly surreal moments. Her marriage has broken down. She’s met the president of the United States. An NFL star dropped by to check on them.” Her Daughter Was Shot In The Santa Fe School Massacre. Here’s What It’s Like For One Mother. (by Amber Jamieson for BuzzFeed News)


“The court majority rejected an argument that federal labor law protects employees’ right to band together in legal action just like it protects their rights to organize unions. While the National Labor Relations Act grants collective bargaining rights, it “says nothing about how judges and arbitrators must try legal disputes that leave the workplace and enter the courtroom or arbitral forum,” wrote Justice Neil Gorsuch for the majority.” SCOTUS Just Screwed Workers. What Does That Mean for Washington State? (by Heidi Groover for The Stranger)


“The Stranger reported in April that five years of eviction records show the Seattle Housing Authority sometimes evicts tenants over missed rent of less than $100. The agency’s practices face criticism from legal and tenant advocates, who say SHA is too eager to kick people out of housing and too willing to saddle them with extra debt. SHA defends its practices, saying it offers tenants payment plans and other assistance if they fall behind on the rent. The agency says evictions represent a small fraction of the total number of people it houses.” Advocates Call For Changes to Seattle Housing Authority Evictions (by Heidi Groover for The Stranger)

Just Ridiculously Awful Human Beings

“In a phone call, Larson confirmed that he created the now-defunct websites and ― chat rooms that served as gathering places for pedophiles and violence-minded misogynists like himself. HuffPost contacted Larson after confirming that his campaign website shared an IP address with these forums, among others. His sites were terminated by their domain host on Tuesday. On the phone, he was open about his pedophilia and seemingly unfazed about his long odds of attaining government office.” Congressional Candidate In Virginia Admits He’s A Pedophile (by Jesselyn Cook and Andy Campbell for Huff Post)

Something Good

Abby Wambach is a national treasure, and she had some amazing things to say at the Barnard Commencement this year. Please read the whole thing. Abby Wambach, Remarks as Delivered



May 2018



What I’m Reading – May 20, 2018

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“The Scottish parliament has voted against Theresa May’s Brexit legislation by a large margin, putting the UK on the brink of a major constitutional dispute. Holyrood rejected the UK government’s EU withdrawal bill by 93 votes to 30 on Tuesday after Labour, the Liberal Democrats and Scottish Greens backed Nicola Sturgeon’s decision to oppose proposals on post-Brexit power sharing set out in clause 11 of the bill.” Scottish parliament decisively rejects EU withdrawal bill (by Severin Carrell for The Guardian)


“The sixth-grader told police after he got off the bus, a group of teenagers approached him and forced him into a four-door vehicle that had flames on the side, KTRK reported. An adult male was driving the vehicle and took Parker to a vacant house or building, where the boy allegedly was assaulted. Lee said she received threatening messages from her son’s phone and that her son said one suspect had a tattoo on his forearm that said, “I hate black people.”” Shoeless 13-year-old fled alleged kidnappers: Police (by Justin Doom for ABC News)

Maxine Waters is the hero we need right now: “I will not yield one second to you.”

“The incident unfolded after T.I. arrived at the entrance to the gated community to find the guard asleep in the guardhouse, Sadow said. After waking the guard up, T.I. “clearly identified himself and sought entry,” but the guard refused, even after the rapper got his wife Tiny on the phone to confirm, the attorney added. “Words were exchanged and apparently the guard and/or a supervisor called the police. When the police arrived, they were not interested in hearing T.I.’s side of the story and wrongfully chose to end the situation by arresting T.I.,” Sadow said.” Rapper T.I. Was Arrested While Trying To Get Into His Own Home (by Nidhi Prakash for BuzzFeed News)

“Lee sought advice from his mother, Twyla Lee, who told him to talk to the manager of the store. But the store’s manager reportedly never made an effort to speak with him or the others. Then, an elderly woman who had no prior involvement in the situation, called one of the young patrons a “punk.” The woman reportedly asked, “Are your parents proud of you for what you do?” Local news outlet CBS St. Louis affiliate KMOV-TV reports the woman and the group of young patrons got into a heated altercation, prompting the manager to finally step in. “When she called us a ‘punk,’ and she didn’t have anything to do with the situation, everyone in the store is against us looking at us crazy, (and) we didn’t do anything,” Lee said. “I was totally embarrassed, and we’re the only ones defending ourselves against everyone in the store.”” Nordstrom Rack Apologizes After Police Are Called On 3 Young Black Men Falsely Accused Of Stealing (by Ricky Riley for Blavity)


“Clearly, we are far from ending this epidemic. But finally, for once, institutions are beginning to name the behavior of the men who make unwanted remarks and unwelcome ultimatums, who expose themselves, who demand our bodies. For once, we’re learning to believe women. The women coming forward are undeniably courageous: young and old, rich and poor, famous and unknown. And overwhelmingly, they’re thin. But 67% of American women are plus size. So where are the fat women?” Why Don’t We Hear Fat Women’s #MeToo Stories? (by Your Fat Friend for The Establishment)


“Hadeel Louz, 25, is a Palestinian human rights activist in Gaza who has been attending the protests in recent weeks and on Monday. “We didn’t have anything with us but water, to drink,” she said. Along with her family, Louz was among tents roughly 500 meters (0.3 miles) away from the border fence when she saw people around her being shot. With her voice shaking, Louz said her 16-year-old neighbor, Nouh al Najr, was among those shot. “I just heard he will have to have his leg cut off,” she said, adding that Yaser Murtaja, a Palestinian journalist killed in April, was a close friend of hers. “He was only holding just his camera — so what was his fault?” she asked.” Israel kills at least 55 Palestinians for protesting in Gaza as new U.S. embassy opens (by D. Parvaz for Think Progress)

Ridiculously Inappropriate Law Enforcement Activities

“According to Bockholt, “The training and evaluation device[s]”—the books—”included an embedded recorder [and] allowed military training staff the ability to evaluate the students[‘] training.” Bockholt did not provide additional information about the other training exercises it conducted in Seattle in April. Library spokeswoman Andra Addison says the library was not informed in advance about the exercise.” Bomb Scare that Nearly Shut Down Central Library Was “Realistic” Army Exercise (C is for Crank)

Something Good

“If you don’t believe me, just stop and think and imagine, think and imagine, well, think and imagine a world where love is the way. Imagine our homes and families when love is the way. Imagine neighborhoods and communities where love is the way. Imagine governments and nations where love is the way. Imagine business and commerce when love is the way. Imagine this tired old world when love is the way.” Read the Full Transcript of Bishop Michael Curry’s Wedding Sermon (via Town and Country)



May 2018



What I’m Reading – May 13, 2018

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Trump Embarrassing the Nation and Harming People

““But yeah, it ticks me off for this reason— I’m at a point where it’s like, you know what, if he doesn’t want to reach out to me, nobody has the obligation to offer condolence. To me, in his position, it would have been the right thing to do, but no one’s obligated. “However,” Guttenberg said, “don’t use my daughter’s life for a political moment, and that’s what he did, and that pisses me off.”” These Families Of Parkland Shooting Victims Are Still Waiting To Hear From Trump (by Remy Smidt and Brianna Sacks for BuzzFeed News)

“The manual also now includes language stating that when considering recommendations to transfer transgender inmates to facilities in line with their identified gender, officials will consider whether such placement would “threaten the management and security of the institution and/or pose a risk to other inmates.” The changes, which were first reported by BuzzFeed News, also include the addition of the word “necessary” to guidelines about when institutions will facilitate medical treatment.” Trump administration rolls back rules protecting transgender inmates in federal prisons (by Avery Anapol for The Hill)

The Ridiculousness of Brexit

“Like thousands of British retirees living in European Union countries, Barlow, 72, could lose access to his private pension unless U.K. and European negotiators reach a deal that allows the payments to continue after Brexit. With less than a year before the official exit date, the two sides haven’t even started discussing the issue of cross-border financial services, leaving pensioners like Barlow unsure about the future.” U.K.’s Retired Sun Seekers Risk Losing Pensions After Brexit (by Julie Edde for Bloomberg)

Ridiculous Immigration Decisions

“In 2016, Mohite applied for indefinite leave to remain (ILR), paying £2,500 for the premium, one-day service. At her interview, the Home Office pointed to a tax amendment she had made in 2013, after she discovered that her accountant had failed to declare both her pre-declared employment income – on which the taxes had already been paid – and her £15,300 income for self-employment of 2010 to 2011 on her self-assessment tax returns. “It was a very clear error – why would I choose not to declare an income on which I had already paid the tax? – and was picked up straight away by a new accountant I hired in 2013,” said Mohite. “I paid the sum right away.” Despite HMRC having accepted her £4,089.80 amendment without fines or sanctions, the Home Office used the same amendment to not only reject Mohite but serve her with a section 322(5).” Pharmaceutical specialist loses job and home due to tax error (by Amelia Hill for The Guardian)

Racism and Xenophobia

“Anne-Marie Waters of the For Britain Party (who had a very visible presence at the rally) shocked me with her claims of a New World Order, bringing out the old anti-semitic canard that big business and the Far Left are in cahoots to usher in a new authoritarian age. Personally, she seemed unhinged. Terrifyingly, she got a huge response.” A Day for Fear (by Mike Stuchbery)

“One or more people had broken in and spray-painted “Allah Scum,” a racial epithet and other slurs on various surfaces, including the master bedroom door upstairs, the wall of the master bathroom, the refrigerator and a counter top. Police suspect charcoal lighter fluid had been used to set fire to a staircase, according to a report.” ‘Allah Scum’: KC Muslim family leaves new home after hateful slurs, arson ruin it (by Max Londberg or The Kansas City Star)

Racism and White Fragility

“Braasch called the police when she saw Lolade Siyonbola sleeping, which resulted in Siyonbola being interrogated by police for nearly 20 minutes as they attempted to verify her student status. Despite demonstrating that she had a key to her room, a working Yale email address, and a student ID, the police questioned Siyonbola until they got confirmation of her student status in the school’s database. Apparently, her name was spelled wrong in the system, delaying their ability to definitively verify her student status.” ‘I Love Hate Speech’: Sarah Braasch, the white woman who called police on Black Yale grad student for napping in dorm, defends slavery and supports burqa ban in writings (from The Grio)

““‘Harassing’ is definitely the word I would use. He was verbally harassing her,” said Brown’s co-worker, Kevin Simmons, who was busy making drinks at the time of the incident. Moneta paid for his order and promptly left the store. Ten minutes later, Brown says she received a phone call from Joe Van Gogh owner Robbie Roberts, who told her he had been notified about the incident. Brown says she apologized again and “took full responsibility.” Three days after the incident, Brown and Simmons were called into a meeting with Joe Van Gogh human resources representative Amanda Wiley and told that they were being fired.” University official allegedly didn’t like the music in a coffee shop, forced firing of barista (by Melanie Schmitz for Think Progress)

“”I want to make it crystal clear today that it is not acceptable to use these words in print or aloud about African-Americans, especially not by elected officials. As representatives of this great state of Arizona, we are held to a higher standard,” Bolding asserted. He was joined on the floor by fellow Democratic Rep. Geraldine Peten, who stood in agreement and chimed in with Bolding’s statements. To no one’s surprise, their comments were interrupted by a fellow legislator, who said Bolding and Peten were “out of order” and violating House Rule 19. The legislator claimed Syms was “impugned” because she was “accused of using a racial slur.”” The Only Two Black State Representatives In Arizona Called Out White House Member For Using N-Word And Were Reprimanded For It (by Maya J. Boddie for Blavity)

“And then there is a type of trauma inflicted on women of colour that many of us find among the hardest to disclose, the one that few seem willing to admit really happens because it is so thoroughly normalised most people refuse to see it. It is what that writers’ festival audience member was demonstrating, and what blogger and author Luvvie Ajayi called the “weary weaponising of white women’s tears”. To put it less poetically, it is the trauma caused by the tactic many white women employ to muster sympathy and avoid accountability, by turning the tables and accusing their accuser.” How white women use strategic tears to silence women of colour (by Ruby Hamad for The Guardian)

“Video recorded by Michelle Snider on April 29 shows a white woman standing in the East Bay’s designated BBQ zone as she tells a group of black family and friends that they cannot hold a BBQ there using a charcoal grill. One of the men was accused of “trespassing” by the irate woman while on the phone with the police, Kenzie Smith told KRON-TV. The woman hurled several racial epithets at them and told them they’d soon be going to prison for their Sunday afternoon actions.” Video: White Woman Calls Police on Black Family’s BBQ for ‘Trespassing’ in Oakland Park (by Benjamin Fearnow for Newsweek)

“According to WFAA, the restaurant’s manager asked the couple to give up their table because a white “regular” wanted it. The Wimbreys refused. Wimbrey says that after that, the manager became angry and asked them to leave the establishment, before threatening to call the police on him and his wife. Wimbrey believes his race has something to do with the way he was treated that night. “I do believe it’s because of who I am and how I look that they asked me to move tables,” said Wimbrey.” The Manager Of A Texas Restaurant Told This Black Couple They Had To Leave ‘Because I Don’t Like You’ (by
Tonja Renée Stidhum for Blavity)


“First, I’ve just gotta tell you: If you’re making that argument to anyone who’s actually played any high-level basketball, you’re going to seem really ignorant. But I also have a simple response to it — which is that I’ve been in the NBA for 17 years. I’ve won two championships … I’ve played with some of the best players of this generation … and I’ve played under two of the sharpest minds in the history of sports, in Phil Jackson and Gregg Popovich. And I’m telling you: Becky Hammon can coach. I’m not saying she can coach pretty well. I’m not saying she can coach enough to get by. I’m not saying she can coach almost at the level of the NBA’s male coaches. I’m saying: Becky Hammon can coach NBA basketball. Period.” An Open Letter About Female Coaches (by Pau Gaso for The Players Tribune

Sex Work

“For many consensual sex workers, losing these free or low-cost advertising platforms means losing the ability to work indoors and the ability to screen clients ― two major factors that contribute to a sex worker’s overall safety. (People being forced or coerced into prostitution also benefit from client screening and not having to work on the streets, the bill’s opponents point out.) Sex workers also rely on the safety tool of communal “bad date lists” ― websites where sex workers share information on bad or dangerous clients. Sex workers say these too are being shut down in the wake of FOSTA’s passage.” ‘This Bill Is Killing Us’: 9 Sex Workers On Their Lives In The Wake Of FOSTA (by Emily McCombs for Huff Post)



May 2018



What I’m Reading – 6 May 2018

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Horrific US Government Action

“Over the next two years, the Trump administration will strip TPS from immigrants from six different countries — all but strangling the program. It’s doing so because it claims that Honduras has recovered enough from a 1998 hurricane to be safe to return to. The fact that, right now, Honduras is a place people are trying to flee due to systemic gang violence and civil unrest isn’t an argument in TPS holders’ favor, to this administration. If anything, it’s another strike against them.” Trump tells 57,000 Hondurans who’ve lived in the US for 20 years to get out (by Dara Lind for Vox)

Voting Rights

“An estimated 4,000 people were turned away from casting their vote in the five areas trialling controversial voter ID checks. Analysis of figures released by electoral observers suggests 3,981 people were denied a ballot paper in the local elections due to not being able to provide relevant identification documents. Local elections: 4,000 people turned away from casting their ballot in voter ID pilot (by May Bulman for The Independent)


“I honestly don’t know what could motivate a parent to exact such abuse on children. And I can’t tell whether these women were trying to, consciously or not, fulfill some deranged modern-day plantation narrative or live out a Blind Side fantasy, but regardless, their position as the racial superior, be it as the slave master or the white savior, was all but assured. They were raising young Black children to be beholden to them, to worship them, to submit to them.” Why Jennifer and Sarah Hart Killed Their Adopted Children (by Stacey Patton for Dame)

“Melanie Tomlinson, prosecuting, told the court Mrs Hamood, 30, was buying a meal for her family in the Kensington branch of the restaurant at around 8.20pm on March 27, when she encountered Cooke. She said: “As Mrs Hamood waited at the counter to order her food she became aware of the defendant laughing. “The defendant asked the complainant what a Frappucino was. The complainant pointed at a photo to show her, and the defendant continued to laugh and mock the way the complainant spoke.” Muslim mum knocked out in front of young children in vile racist attack at McDonald’s (by Jonathan Humphries for the Liverpool Echo)

“Barracoon is testament to her patient fieldwork. The book is based on three months of periodic interviews with a man named Cudjo Lewis — or Kossula, his original name — the last survivor of the last slave ship to land on American shores. Plying him with peaches and Virginia hams, watermelon and Bee Brand insect powder, Hurston drew out his story. Kossula had been captured at age 19 in an area now known as the country Benin by warriors from the neighboring Dahomian tribe, then marched to a stockade, or barracoon, on the West African coast. There, he and some 120 others were purchased and herded onto the Clotilda, captained by William Foster and commissioned by three Alabama brothers to make the 1860 voyage.” The Last Slave (Excerpted on Vulture)

“The family of 25-year-old Brittany Oswell is now suing the American Airlines, after reports indicate she went into cardiac arrest on a flight from Hawaii to Texas and died. When a doctor who was onboard rushed to help her, the Daily Mail reports, they urged the pilot to divert the plane because of Oswell’s critical condition. However, the pilots kept flying to Texas despite their urgent pleas.” Airplane Outrage: Husband sues after wife dies because pilot didn’t land during medical emergency (by Kia Morgan-Smith for The Grio)

“Now, Siwatu-Salama Ra is serving a two-year prison sentence at Huron Valley Correctional Facility for felonious assault and felony firearm convictions. She’s seven months pregnant, and according to her attorneys, she’s receiving insufficient medical care — including being shackled to her bed during a vaginal exam — even though her pregnancy is high-risk. The case is under appeal, but the judge deciding Ra’s fate, Thomas Hathaway, has already denied a request to postpone Ra’s sentence until she gives birth.” A pregnant black woman is in prison for defending herself. Mainstream gun groups are silent. (by Jane Coaston for Vox)

“The positioning of the officers and where they shot Clark became an important point in the furor over his death. Omalu has previously said that the officers shot Clark in the back six times, which many took to indicate that he was fleeing rather than confronting the officers, as they claimed. Omalu said that during his examination, which took place after the county’s initial autopsy, he found to his “utter dismay” that none of Clark’s gunshot wounds had been removed for examination. He subsequently did so and submitted them for analysis.” A Forensic Expert Has Released A Photo That He Says Proves Stephon Clark’s Official Autopsy Is “Inaccurate” (by Hazel Shearing for BuzzFeed)

“Vasillios Pistolis had come to the now infamous Unite the Right rally eager for such violence. He belonged to a white supremacist group known as Atomwaffen Division, a secretive neo-Nazi organization whose members say they are preparing for a coming race war in the U.S. In online chats leading up to the rally, Pistolis had been encouraged to be vicious with any counterprotestors, maybe even sodomize someone with a knife. He’d responded by saying he was prepared to kill someone “if shit goes down.”” Ranks of Notorious Hate Group Include Active-Duty Military (by A.C. Thompson, Ali Winston, and Jake Hanrahan for Pro-Publica)

“Four days later on April 18 Moore County police found their dismembered bodies in a pond. The same day police arrested 22-year-old Kevin Garcia-Boettler, 43-year-old Johnny Shane Barker and the 16-year-old brother of Garcia-Boettler, who police say is the suspected shooter. Their mother, Crystal Rachelle Boettler, 40, has also been charged with accessory after the fact.” 3 white men arrested in connection with the murder and dismemberment of 2 young black men (by Deniz Kofteci and Micheal Cadenhead for WJLA)

“The principals in the district and some parents have come out in support of the plan. Many have seen the value of leading the way to diversify schools in the city. If the plan comes to fruition, the Upper West Side district would become the first in the city to enact such a policy. “There are kids that are tremendously disadvantaged,” Henry Zymeck, the principal of The Computer School, said. “And to compare these students and say, ‘My already advantaged kid needs more advantage; they need to be kept away from those kids,’ is tremendously offensive to me.”” Wealthy White New York City Parents Are Fighting To Keep Their Local Public Schools Segregated (by Rickey Riley for Blavity)

Sexual Assault

“The investigation into Cosby was reopened in July 2015 after a federal judge, acting on a request from The Associated Press, unsealed portions of Cosby’s deposition testimony from a civil lawsuit he settled with Constand in 2006 for $3.4 million. In the testimony, which was read to jurors at both trials, he described giving quaaludes to women before sex in the 1970s and his encounters with Constand, a Temple University women’s basketball administrator.” Cosby juror: Comedian’s talk of quaaludes led to conviction (by Michael R. Sisak for the AP)

“But suddenly, I had to reevaluate my anger towards Clemmons and examine why I wanted—for even a brief second—to justify Díaz’s actions. I told my mom about wanting to write about my reaction; she metaphorically clutched her pearls and said “No. Don’t do that! If you do, you better say he was very respectful towards you. Don’t add flames to the fire.” That’s when it clicked: The root of the issue is in the way women are wired to think. It is a systematic modus operandi that has been passed down to us from generation to generation.” The Reckoning: What Junot Díaz Teaches Us About Internalized Misogyny (by Karina Maria Cabreja for The Glow Up)

“Now a third woman has come forward with similar accusations against Brokaw. Mary Reinholz, a veteran reporter, claims that Brokaw, who was married at the time, attempted to kiss her 50 years ago after assisting her with a story. “We talked and then, abruptly, he was embracing me and giving me a French kiss,” Reinholz wrote in The Villager. “I pulled away, reminding him that he was married and a tryst was out of the question,” she wrote. “He said, ‘Yes, it would be unfair to Meredith,’ meaning his wife.”” Third woman accuses Tom Brokaw of sexual misconduct (by Rebekah Entralgo for Think Progress)


“To challenge herself, she also tried to win a place on the Calgary Foothills FC men’s soccer team this spring. She earned that spot — but the league refused to let her play due to her gender. “What year is it and why are we still talking about these issues?” Labbé said in an interview with the Calgary Eyeopener on Wednesday. “That’s the most frustrating thing for me, is just the lack of openmindedness.”” Men’s soccer league refuses top Canadian goaltender because she’s a woman (by Rachel Ward for CBC)

“A number of cheerleaders told the Times that they had been required to pose topless or only wearing body paint for a calendar shoot on a 2013 trip to Costa Rica, and that a group of all male sponsors and FedExField suite holders were there to watch the photo shoot. After a 14-hour day of unpaid work shooting for the calendar and practices, some of the women were told they had been “chosen” by men to be their escorts to a nightclub that night. When they were told to get ready, some reportedly broke down and cried.” NFL cheerleaders reportedly had to pose topless, escort men out to a nightclub (by Addy Baird for Think Progress)

“The attacker had been radicalized online, spending time in forums that served as an echo chamber for his increasingly violent thoughts. Before embarking on his rampage, he left a message publicly expressing allegiance to one of those groups, admiration for its spiritual leader, and hate for those who did not adhere to his ideology. Within hours of the mass murder making headlines, members of that same group were publicly rejoicing that innocent lives were lost and bemoaning that more people hadn’t died.” Get Serious About Online Misogyny Before More Women Are Killed (by Toula Drimonis for Huff Post)

“One described an issue raised by others at some Noble campuses, regarding girls not having time to use the bathroom when they get their menstrual periods. “We have (bathroom) escorts, and they rarely come so we end up walking out (of class) and that gets us in trouble,” she texted. “But who wants to walk around knowing there’s blood on them? It can still stain the seats. They just need to be more understanding.”” Feedback: Noble Charter Schools Story Hit A Nerve (by Dusty Rhodes for NPR)

“Despite a great deal of evidence that connects the dots between these mass killers and radical misogynist groups, we still largely refer to the attackers as “lone wolves” — a mistake that ignores the preventable way these men’s fear and anger are deliberately cultivated and fed online. Here’s the term we should all use instead: misogynist terrorism. Until we grapple with the disdain for women that drives these mass murderers, and the way that the killers are increasingly radicalized on the internet, there will be no stopping future tragedies.” When Misogynists Become Terrorists (by Jessica Valenti for The New York Times)

Corporate Malfeasance

“The appeals court upheld a federal district judge’s ruling that the discs Eric Lundgren made to restore Microsoft operating systems had a value of $25 apiece, even though the software they contained could be downloaded free and the discs could only be used on computers that already had a valid Microsoft license. The U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals initially granted Lundgren an emergency stay of his prison sentence, shortly before he was to surrender, but then affirmed his original 15-month sentence and $50,000 fine without hearing oral argument in a ruling issued April 11.” Electronics-recycling innovator is going to prison for trying to extend computers’ lives (from the Washington Post)

“Mouctar Diallo’s nighttime job had been as an informal helper on garbage trucks owned by Sanitation Salvage, and the truck he’d been working on that night had killed him. Then, she learned, the truck’s driver and main helper — men who’d known him for more than a year and paid him off-the-books for his help hauling trash to the curb — had claimed not to know him. The rest of the city now knew her son only as a homeless person. “He is my son, and I want the truth for him,” Hadiatou Barry said in a recent interview. “In order for it to not happen to somebody else.”” Treated Like Trash (by Kiera Feldman for ProPublica)

Radio hour from Seattle exploring Amazon’s impact on the city. May Day protests were a walk in the park compared to this week’s news


“The results weren’t exactly uplifting: Nearly half of respondents said they sometimes or always felt alone, more than 40 percent said they sometimes or often feel that their relationships aren’t meaningful, and only slightly more than half said they have a meaningful in-person social interaction each day. A score of 43 or above was considered a marker of loneliness (the scale ranges from 20 to 80); the average was 44, with Generation Z as the hardest-hit age group. But while public-health experts continue to grapple with how to tackle the problem of loneliness on a larger scale, there are smaller things you can do in your everyday life to combat it. Here, seven therapists offer their advice on concrete steps you can take when you’re feeling especially lonely.” 7 Therapists on What to Do When You Feel Lonely (by Cari Romm for The Cut)



April 2018



What I’m Reading – 29 April 2018

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Horrific Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Action

“Tribal leaders want an exemption from new Medicaid work rules being introduced in several states, and they say there are precedents for health care exceptions. Native Americans don’t have to pay penalties for not having health coverage under Obamacare’s individual mandate, for instance. But the Trump administration contends the tribes are a race rather than separate governments, and exempting them from Medicaid work rules — which have been approved in three states and are being sought by at least 10 others — would be illegal preferential treatment. “HHS believes that such an exemption would raise constitutional and federal civil rights law concerns,” according to a review by administration lawyers.” Trump challenges Native Americans’ historical standing(by Dan Diamond for Politico)


“”The war on drugs in large part became a war on people who needed opportunity and treatment. While we cannot reverse all the harm that was done, we must do our part to give Seattle residents — including immigrants and refugees — a clean slate,” she added. Voters in Washington legalized the recreational use of marijuana in the state in 2012. Durkan also expressed in the statement that marijuana policies adversely affect undocumented immigrant populations living in Washington state, creating an extra barrier to citizenship.” Seattle officials file motion to vacate marijuana convictions (by John Bowdon for The Hill)


“Judge John D. Bates of Federal District Court for the District of Columbia said that the administration’s decision to terminate the program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, was based on the “virtually unexplained” grounds that the program was “unlawful.” The judge stayed his decision for 90 days and gave the Department of Homeland Security, which administers the program, the opportunity to better explain its reasoning for canceling it. If the department fails to do so, it “must accept and process new as well as renewal DACA applications,” Judge Bates said in the decision.” U.S. Must Keep DACA and Accept New Applications, Federal Judge Rules (by Miriam Jordan for The New York Times)

Reproductive Rights

“The images on the posters haunt me throughout the day. I am not thinking about the distraught woman waiting for tablets to come through the letter-box. I do not know about her yet. Her life is too complicated to hang on a street light. She keeps her story to herself. It’s far too long to fit on a poster. It’s longer than a novel. Unlike the foetus on the poster, she has a million things going on in her head. She cries. She is afraid. She too knows all about the foetus. She has thought about nothing else for days. She calls it a baby in her mind. In her heart too. She knows how many weeks it is. She knows what size it is. It is much smaller than her thumb. She wonders if it is a boy or girl. She wishes things were different. But they are not. She has gone over and over it – a million times.” Anti-abortion posters fail to take account of life (by Chris Fitzpatrick for The Irish Times)


“At the second hole, a white man whose son co-owns the club came up to them twice to complain that they weren’t keeping up with the pace of play. Thompson, an attorney and the head of the York chapter of the NAACP, told the newspaper it was untrue. On the same hole, another member of the group, Sandra Harrison, said she spoke with a Grandview golf pro, who said they were fine since they were keeping pace with the group ahead of them. Despite that, the women skipped the third hole to avoid any other issues, she said.” Golf club apologizes for calling cops on black women members (Via AP)

“An official statement from the company says that Clemons’ story differs from that of police. Despite the violent arrest being captured on video which has gone viral, Waffle House issued a statement saying they support how police handled the situation. “After reviewing our security video of the incident and eyewitness accounts, police intervention was appropriate,” the statement said.” Waffle House Issued A Statement Supporting The Arrest Of Chikesia Clemons: Where Is The National Outrage Over Her Case? (by Ricky Riley for Blavity)

“My fear was also related to a problem much bigger than what happened at Starbucks — a problem the anti-racial bias training the company has scheduled for its employees can’t even begin to address. The police in this country have long been empowered to respond to white anxiety about the very presence of black people. The 1863 “Ordinance to establish patrols for the police of slaves in the Parish of St. Landry” is an early example. “Every free white male person, having attained the age of 16 years and not above the age of 60 years, who shall reside in the State of Louisiana and Parish of St. Landry, shall be bound to do patrol duty within the limits of the patrol district in which he resides,” it read. This piece of legislation allowed white men to directly police black people.” A Problem Starbucks Can’t Train Away (by Steven W. Thrasher for The New York Times)

Fat Awareness

“Regardless, that’s not my biggest problem. My biggest problem is that, while the thrift store is for everyone and it’s certainly legal for her and other thin people who want to do the same thing to buy clothes that don’t fit them, that choice does not happen in a vacuum. Plus size clothing is hard to come by. It’s much, much harder to come by in thrift stores. This is significant because fat people also get hired less and paid less than thin people, and thus are more likely to actually NEED the kind of cheap clothing that a thrift store would offer.” Should Thin People “Re-Purpose” Plus Size Thrift Clothes (by Regan Chastain for Dances with Fat)

Fighting Misogyny

“Official retribution was swift. “In the end, after I’d finished the race, I was disqualified and expelled from the athletics federation because I had run with men, because I had run more than a mile and a half and because I had fraudulently entered the race, which was not true – and the worst one was because I had run without a chaperone. It just shows the attitude that existed in 1967: people thought that if women ran they would turn into a man or that it was socially objectionable.”” Woman who blazed a trail for equality in marathons hits London’s starting line (by Jamie Doward for The Guardian)

Fighting Racism

“39. Recognize that you can’t assume someone’s religion based on how they look. Not all South Asians and Middle Eastern people are Muslims, not all Black people are Christian, not all East Asian people are Buddhist. You get the idea.” 100 Ways White People Can Make Life Less Frustrating For People of Color (by Kesiena Boom for Broadly)

“Kaepernick first took a knee during the pre-game playing of the American national anthem when he was with the 49ers in 2016 to protest police brutality. Other players joined him, drawing the ire of President Donald Trump, who called for team owners to fire such players. In response to the player demonstrations, the NFL agreed to commit $90 million over the next seven years to social justice causes in a plan. Amnesty International Secretary General Salil Shetty called Kaepernick “an athlete who is now widely recognized for his activism because of his refusal to ignore or accept racial discrimination.”” Colin Kaepernick, NFL quarterback, honored by Amnesty for inequality protests (Via AP)

Something Good



April 2018



What I’m Reading – 22 April 2018

Written by , Posted in What I'm Reading

UK Immigration Policy Horror

“When Gretel arrived at Tilbury Docks in East London, aged 24, all those years ago, she had a Jamaican ­passport with a stamp inside giving her indefinite leave to remain. But that document was stolen in a 2006 burglary at her house in Lambeth. She applied for a new one and her daughter Pauline ­Blackwood immediately filed a police report. The authorities told Gretel she would not be given a UK passport and if she left Britain she would need to apply for a visa on her new Jamaican passport.” “I’m heartbroken I can’t rejoin my children in Britain”: Windrush gran blocked from UK after living here for 59 years (by Christopher Bucktin for The Mirror)

“There were angry exchanges at Prime Ministers Questions yesterday as the Labour Leader called Theresa May’s government “both callous and incompetent” after it emerged that Brits who had lived for generations in the UK faced being wrongly deported to Commonwealth countries, the evidence for when the Windrush generation had arrived in the UK having been destroyed by the Home Office.” Theresa May’s ‘Hostile Environment’ immigration policy compared to ‘Nazi Germany’ by her own ministers (by Ben Gelblum for The London Economic)

“If you are angry about the treatment of the Windrush generation it is important to understand that this anger cannot be selective, if there are to be no more violations. There is no cross-party, cross-media support for a different type of immigration policy victim than the Windrush scandal has managed to muster. Not for those who are illegally detained, those on hunger strike in protest against poor conditions. Not for those whose illnesses were treated as lies and to which they later succumbed. Not for the sexually exploited and not for the children separated from their parents. Not even for those British subjects separated from their families by unreasonably high income visa requirements.” It’s not just Windrush. Theresa May has created hostility to all immigrants (by Nesrine Malik for The Guardian)

“Robinson was told that he did not have the correct paperwork to get into the UK, even though he had lived, worked and paid taxes there his whole life. The grandfather of three was forced to say goodbye to his relatives at the departure gate. “I felt like someone had just punched me in the head. ‘What do you mean, I cannot come back?’ I thought. The next day it really hit me that I was not with my family,” he says. He says he ended up staying in Jamaica for 21 months, stranded and living in one-room bedsits and cheap hostels.” Windrush generation tell of holidays that led to exile and heartbreak (by Sarah Marsh, Haroon Siddique and Caroline Bannock for The Guardian)


“Nelson recalled asking the manager to use the bathroom after he and Robinson arrived at the Starbucks. He said she told him no because he hadn’t ordered anything. Nelson sat down at a table with Robinson — his friend since the fourth grade — and waited for Yaffe, who is white. That’s when the manager came over and asked if they were ordering anything, they said, and phoned the cops when the pair told her they were waiting to meet someone.” Starbucks manager called the cops on black men two minutes after they arrived for business meeting (by Terence Cullen for New York Daily News)

““And where are you from?” asked the prince. “Manchester, UK,” I said. “Well, you don’t look like it!” he said, and laughed. He was then ushered on to the next person. Although I have experienced such off-the-cuff, supposedly humorous, comments before, I was stunned by the gaffe. Prince Charles was endorsed by the Queen, in her opening speech to the heads of government, to be the future head of the Commonwealth: it’s her “sincere wish” that he become so. That the mooted next leader of an organisation that represents one-third of the people on the planet commented that I, a brown woman, did not look as if I was from a city in the UK is shocking.” Dear Prince Charles, do you think my brown skin makes me unBritish? (by Anita Sethi for The Guardian)

Sexual Assault

“Richard, a student and linebacker on the football team at SUNY Cortland in upstate New York, went to a house party on Long Island in July 2017 with his friends from high school while he was home from school for the summer. As he was getting ready to leave, Richard heard noises coming from the bathroom — the sounds, he said, of a woman’s cry. “I didn’t know what was going on,” Richard told BuzzFeed News. “I just knew something what up.” Using his shoulder, Richard said he and one of his friends pushed open the door and saw a man standing behind a young woman with his hand on her neck, attempting to assault her. The woman was crying and bleeding from the mouth, Richard said.” This College Junior Was Shot Twice After Stopping An Attempted Sexual Assault (by Mary Ann Georgantopoulos for BuzzFeed News)

“The House bill, which received support from across the aisle, came after a half-dozen lawmakers were forced to either resign or retire last fall in light of sexual harassment allegations, would require lawmakers to pay for harassment or discrimination claims out of their own pocket, instead of using taxpayer-funded settlements. The legislation would also mandate transparent reporting of previous harassment payouts and eliminates the requirement for Hill employees to seek counseling and mediation prior to pursuing a claim.” Male GOP senators balk at new rules requiring them to pay their own sexual harassment settlements (by Rebekah Entralgo for Think Progress)

“Towards the end of the two-hour hearing, following emotional testimonies from the survivors, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), the ranking member of the subcommittee, asked all four if they thought that sexual abuse was ongoing in their respective sports. A few responded that they were certain it was: not only are the current policies still insufficient from both a response and prevention standpoint, but, as Farrell said, “I think the majority of athletes and coaches are wonderful people, but every child molester would love to be a coach.”” Survivors stun senators with testimony on prevalence of sexual abuse in sports (by Lindsay Gibbs for Think Progress)

“Despite all of that, this year’s Coachella experience was also full of moments I never saw on Instagram: being repeatedly violated by strangers. In the three days I was at Coachella, I only spent a total of 10 hours at the actual festival, where I watched numerous performances and interviewed festivalgoers about their experience with sexual assault and harassment for Teen Vogue. During the 10 hours I was reporting on this story, I was groped 22 times.” Sexual Harassment Was Rampant at Coachella 2018 (by Vera Papisova for Teen Vogue)

“At Penn State, sorority women are 50 percent more likely than other female students to be sexually assaulted, and fraternity men are 62 percent more likely to commit a sexual assault than other male students, according to the university’s most recent Sexual Assault Campus Climate survey. Erin Farley, programming coordinator at Penn State’s Gender Equity Center, said 1 in 4 women and 1 in 16 men say they’ve been sexually assaulted at Penn State, according to the anonymous survey.” ‘Like sharks looking for minnows’: Sexual assault is a problem in Penn State’s Greek culture (by Sarah Rafacz for The Centre Daily)


“The 30th anniversary of the anti-gay legislation known as section 28 is a useful moment to pause and examine the parallels between the trans and gay movements: not only are the struggles analogous in that they were both designed to improve the legal rights of a minority group; the responses they provoked have been at times eerily similar.” Today’s anti-trans rhetoric looks a lot like old-school homophobia (by Shon Faye for The Guardian)


“A report, Housing for the Many, accuses ministers of stretching the term affordable to breaking point to include homes let at up to 80% of market rents – more than £1,500 a month in some areas – and homes for sale up to £450,000. “It has become a deliberately malleable phrase, used to cover up a shift in government policy towards increasingly expensive and insecure homes,” it says. The Labour leader and John Healey, the shadow housing secretary, set out the party’s plans to link affordability to people’s incomes on tenures including social rent, living rent and low-cost ownership, in the 40-page green paper, to be launched on Thursday.” Labour would rip up definition of affordable housing, Corbyn says (by Heather Stewart for The Guardian)

Corporate Malfeasance

“According to the New Food Economy, Amazon ranks high on the list of employers with massive numbers of employees enrolled in SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, otherwise known as food stamps). In Ohio, around one in 10 Amazon employees uses SNAP; in Pennsylvania, about one in nine. In Arizona, nearly one in three Amazon employees is enrolled in the food stamp program.” A large number of Amazon workers rely on food stamps for assistance (by Luke Barnes for Think Progress)

“Owen and Demetric, father and son, allege in the lawsuit that Demetric’s supervisors hurled racist statements like, “All you f***ing n***ers,” Bloomberg reported. Owen told Bloomberg that the racist statements made him feel helpless. “It made me feel like I was less than a man,” Owen Diaz said. “I couldn’t do anything.” Owen and Demetric were contractors at Tesla who worked with firms West Valley Staffing Group and Citistaff Solutions. They are suing all three firms who have denied the allegations, Bloomberg reported.” Former Tesla Contractors File Discrimination Lawsuit Against The Company Claiming Racial Bias and Harassment (by Kimberley Richards for Blavity)



April 2018



What I’m Reading – 15 April, 2018

Written by , Posted in What I'm Reading

Horrible Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Action

“On Friday, as part of a crackdown that long predates SESTA, the country’s best known adult classifieds site, — a vital site for sex workers — was seized by the FBI. Without traffic from, the community has speculated that some will become hungry, homeless, or even dead. Professionals who serve actual trafficked victims believe the only way to track them now no longer exists.” Sex Workers Are Canaries In The Free Speech Coal Mine (by Emily Smith for BuzzFeed News)


“On lawyers’ advice, the Francos waited to start legalizing his status through their marriage until late 2016, after he had lived a productive, crime-free decade in the United States. They never anticipated that President Trump’s promised immigration crackdown would be so swift, and so ruthless in their region. By last spring, when Pennsylvania roads were starting to feel like a dragnet for immigrants without papers, Ludvin Franco had mostly stopped getting behind the wheel of a car. Often he relied on his wife to drive him, their twin toddlers buckled into the backseat. But the night his soccer team faced a rival in the semifinals of an indoor league, his wife was in the queasy first trimester of a second pregnancy. He headed out alone.” In Pennsylvania, It’s Open Season on Undocumented Immigrants (by Deborah Sontag and Dale Russakoff for ProPublica)

““We are dismayed that an invited guest to our annual PEN World Voices Festival in New York, which starts on Monday, Yassmin Abdel-Magied, herself the founder of an organization called Youth Without Borders, was turned away by US Immigration officials in Minneapolis, reportedly had her phone and passport seized, and was put back on a plane to Amsterdam,” said Nossel. “Abdel-Magied is an advocate of the rights of Muslim women and refugees and is a citizen of Australia, traveling on that country’s passport.”” This Young Muslim Woman Says She Was Blocked And Deported From America Before She Could Speak At An Event Called “No Country For Young Muslim Women” (by Brad Esposito for BuzzFeed News)


“After arranging for Colin Kaepernick to work out for the Seattle Seahawks this week, team officials postponed the trip when the quarterback declined to say he would stop kneeling during the national anthem next season, a league source told ESPN on Thursday.” Seahawks postpone visit after Colin Kaepernick won’t say if he’ll stop kneeling during anthem (by Adam Schefter for ESPN)

“The GAO found that black students are overrepresented in the disciplinary data, which is a very nice way of saying that black children are punished more often and receive harsher punishments than white kids. “These disparities were widespread and persisted regardless of the type of disciplinary action, level of school poverty or type of public school attended,” the report explains (pdf).” Government Study: School Is Racist (by Michael Harriot for The Root)

“A Texas appeals court in 2010 turned down an aunt’s attempt to adopt Devonte Hart and three of his siblings because she previously violated an order barring their biological mother from seeing the children, court records show.” Devonte Hart’s aunt fought — and lost — battle for custody, court records show (by Everton Bailey, Jr. for Oregon Live)

Gun Violence

““Rep. Norman’s behavior today was a far cry from what responsible gun ownership looks like,” said Lori Freeman, a volunteer with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, who attended the event and spoke with Norman, according to the Washington Post. Another attendee, Lori Carter, said, “I felt it was highly inappropriate for an elected official, honestly, and it almost felt like an intimidation tactic.”” South Carolina congressman draws loaded weapon at constituent event (by Ryan Koronowski for Think Progress)

“On Tuesday, teens from Miami Northwestern Senior High School marched from their school’s campus to a housing complex where four young people were shot on Sunday. Kimson Green, a 17-year-old sophomore at the school, and Rickey Dixon, an 18-year-old alumnus, were killed. Students chanted: “No justice. No peace. No violence in the streets,” the Miami Herald reported.” Black Students Marched Against Gun Violence In Florida, But You Likely Didn’t Hear About It (by Sarah Ruiz-Grossman for HuffPost)


“After being pulled from her fifth-period class at Braden River High School, the 17-year-old from Bradenton, Florida, found herself in the dean’s office, and was told that nipples and breasts were “distracting” other students and “a boy was laughing at her,” thus she was violating school dress code policy, according to the teen and statements from school officials. Martinez said that school officials originally told her that her third-period teacher flagged the dress code issue, but later said a student came to the office to report her.” This 17-Year-Old Was Told To Put Band-Aids On Her Nipples After Not Wearing A Bra To School (by Brianna Sacks for BuzzFeed News)