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No matter where you go, there you are.

Monthly Archive: November 2015



November 2015



What I’m Reading – November 29, 2015

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– In the aftermath of the attacks, the Photoshop-altered image of Mr Jubbal, shown above, was tweeted by user @Bl4ptrep with the caption: “One of the Paris suicide bombers’ photo’s [sic] been released. He posted the photo on twitter shortly before the attack.” Mr Jubbal is a fierce critic of Gamergate, regularly using Twitter to express his opinions, who became a target for the group’s more aggressive members after starting the hashtag #stopgamergate2014. He’s also an advocate for equal rights and a Sikh – which has led to the suggestion by some Gamergater supporters that Mr Jubbal is a terrorist, their reasoning based on a deliberately moronic conflation of Sikhism and Islam.” Gamergate Supporters Are Responsible for the Terrorist Photoshopping of Journalist Veerender Jubbal (via @vicegaming)


– “I said it was only me and, hands still raised, slowly descended the stairs, focused on one officer’s eyes and on his pistol. I had never looked down the barrel of a gun or at the face of a man with a loaded weapon pointed at me. In his eyes, I saw fear and anger. I had no idea what was happening, but I saw how it would end: I would be dead in the stairwell outside my apartment, because something about me — a 5-foot-7, 125-pound black woman — frightened this man with a gun. I sat down, trying to look even less threatening, trying to de-escalate. I again asked what was going on. I confirmed there were no pets or people inside.” My white neighbor thought I was breaking into my own apartment. Nineteen cops showed up. (via @washingtonpost)

– ““It was just a sea of white faces,” he told ThinkProgress. “A lady kicked me in the stomach. A man kicked me in the chest. They called me n*****, monkey, and they shouted ‘all lives matter’ while they were kicking and punching me. So for all the people who are still confused at this point, they proved what ‘all lives matter’ meant. It means, ‘Shut up, n*****.’”” The Man Beaten And Choked At A Donald Trump Rally Tells His Story (via @thinkprogress)


– “It’s important to recognize that this is hardly the first time the West has warily eyed masses of refugees. And while some characterize Muslim arrivals as a supposedly unique threat, the xenophobia of the present carries direct echoes of a very different moment: The years before World War II, when tens of thousands of German Jews were compelled to flee Nazi Germany.” Europe’s fear of Muslim refugees echoes rhetoric of 1930s anti-Semitism (h/t @michaelianblack)


– “Fairy Godboss is a resource for job applicants to research other women’s experiences with an employer. Among other things, it helps women determine whether or not gender discrimination is an issue at a company. The New York Post reports that their site is “like Yelp for maternity leave policies, sexual harassment, promotion opportunities, and salary information.”” Now You Can Review How Sexist Your Company Is with ‘Yelp for Women’ Site (h/t @PPact)

Student Protest

– “The true story of college students and mental health has to do with a hollowing out of the United States’ mental-health services, with overtaxed counseling centers, with a fundamental shift in the role that colleges serve, with changes in the composition of the nation’s student body. This is all very, very complicated, and none of it can be fairly summarized as “Kids these days are getting so fragile!”” The Myth of the Ever-More-Fragile College Student (h/t @studentactivism)

– “Framing free speech and political correctness as opposing forces is a false dichotomy intended to derail uncomfortable but necessary conversations, a smokescreen ginned up by the ethically lazy. The fact is, political correctness doesn’t hinder free speech – it expands it. But for marginalised groups, rather than the status quo.” ‘Political correctness’ doesn’t hinder free speech – it expands it (via @TheLindyWest)

Surveillance State

– “But their arguments are conflating the forest—bulk metadata collection—and the trees: access to individual communications about the attack. To understand why that’s the case, start with this tweet from former NSA and DHS official Stewart Baker: “NSA’s 215 program”—and by association the far larger metadata dragnet of which the domestically focused phone-metadata program is just a small part—“was designed to detect a Mumbai/Paris-style attack.” Only it didn’t.” Metadata Surveillance Didn’t Stop the Paris Attacks (h/t @glenngreenwald)



November 2015



What I’m Reading – November 15, 2015

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– “The nurse was caught off guard by my question – most people ask for help with getting pregnant, not the other way round. As nicely as possible, she answered, “To be honest, love, I can’t see that any doctor would think that’s a good idea. It’s not something we would want to allow until after you’ve had children, or once you’re past childbearing age.” And, there it is. I can’t be trusted to make decisions about my own body until it’s too late for it to matter.”  Out of the void: A new kind of support system emerges for childfree women across the pond (h/t @nothavingababy)

Gender Equity

– “The countries with the most female lawmakers have made major strides on issues such as education, labor-force participation and paid leave.” Here’s What Happens When You Put More Women in Government (h/t @RepresentPledge)

– “It was supposed to fix the problem and end the fighting. It’s made it worse. In These Times interviewed two of the panelists and found that, in its efforts to take harassment seriously, SXSW is failing to meet or understand their needs.” Why SXSW’s ‘Harassment Summit’ Is a Terrible Solution to Harassment (h/t @sadydoyle)

– “”After going to these studios and telling people about how there’s barely any female leads in films and the industry’s in crisis, people were aghast,” she said. “‘That’s horrible,’ they said. And then they changed the subject and moved on with their dinner and moved on with their lives. But I could not change the subject.”” Reese Witherspoon at the ‘Glamour’ Women of the Year Awards: “Female-Driven Films Work” (via @micnews)

Health Care

– “She’s put 250,000 miles on her Honda minivan going to their homes in upstate New York. Home visits make a different kind of care possible.” Doctor Treats Homebound Patients, Often Unseen Even By Neighbors (via @npr)


– ““The athletes of color on the University of Missouri football team truly believe ‘injustice Anywhere is a threat to Justice Everywhere’ We will no longer participate in any football related activities until President Tim Wolfe resigns or is removed due to his negligence toward marginalized students’ experiences. WE ARE UNITED!!!!!”” Black Mizzou Football Players Are Going on Strike Over Campus Racism (via @EdgeofSports)

Sharing Economy

– “Startups that redefine social and economic relations pop up in an instant. Lawsuits and regulations lag behind. While my family may be the first guests to speak out about a wrongful death at an Airbnb rental, it shouldn’t exactly come as a surprise. Staying with a stranger or inviting one into your home is an inherently dicey proposition.” Living and Dying on Airbnb (h/t @JessicaValenti)


– Here Are The Victims Of The Paris Attacks (via @BuzzFeedNews)




November 2015



Paris, je t’aime

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I’ve been lucky enough to visit Paris six times in my life; I was just there again in March. It is one of my favorite places to be – I even spent my 30th birthday there, eating and drinking my way across the arrondissements.  What is happening there today is breaking my heart.

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November 2015



What I’m Reading – November 8, 2015

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– “If you don’t believe me, turn to Google News and see how many times this week our nation’s news writers and broadcasters deployed the phrase “doctors told him he’d never walk again.” It makes a good story. But how about the kid who will have to learn to navigate life in a wheelchair? Is he any less brave? How about the woman whose cancer came back, and who has chosen to stop chemotherapy and rely on palliative care? Is she a wimp? Is she a loser?” If survivors are “winners,” what should we call patients who die? (h/t @elementalnw)


– “A particular low moment for Miley, he wrote, happened when he asked a question at Twitter’s engineering leadership meeting about what specific steps Twitter engineering was taking to increase diversity. Twitter’s senior VP of Engineering responded, “diversity is important, but we won’t lower the bar.” Miley did not name names in his post. A visit to the leadership page on Twitter’s website will reveal that the company’s SVP of engineering is Alex Roetter.” Twitter Engineering Manager Leslie Miley Leaves Company Because Of Diversity Issues (h/t @tariqmoosa)


– “But, by this morning, a sick feeling started to set in when people started to contest my race. More than a few tweets came my way asking why the CBC was airing an all-white panel on the subject of diversity in politics. Good question, in any other context. Here’s the rub, if it’s still unclear: I am not, nor have I ever been, a white person.” I Was On A CBC Panel And The Internet Wanted To Guess My Race (h/t @ijeomaoluo)

– “The investigation into the death of Gliniewicz, a 30-year veteran of the force and Army Reserve sergeant, started with a massive manhunt but shifted weeks later into an analysis of the single gunshot that killed him.” Death of Illinois police officer Charles Joseph Gliniewicz to be ruled suicide (h/t @DrStacyPatton)

– “Among other things, Foster’s lead prosecutor noted that several of the prospective black jurors he dismissed hadn’t made sufficient eye contact when he questioned them. In any case, it’s not hard to invent reasonable-sounding explanations for striking a juror, and therein lies the problem. Only when you run the numbers does the racist intent comes into sharp focus.” This Is How Prosecutors (Still) Keep Black People Off Juries (via @motherjones)

– “I didn’t want to write this review because I’m tired of writing about white people. I’m tired of fantasy worlds where people of color don’t exist. Where even the made up—excuse me—composite characters are white. It gets really disheartening to see yourself written out of popular culture, written out of history time and time again. It’s really hard to keep answering my son’s question: “How come there aren’t any brown people in this?”” Why I Won’t Write a Review of Suffragette (via @strangerslog)

State Sponsored Killing

– Attack on Kunduz Trauma Centre | AFGHANISTAN Initial MSF internal review (via @MSF)




November 2015



What I’m Reading – November 1, 2015

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Awesome Women

– “While Garbage Time is simply a solid sports show, its popularity stems from Nolan’s ability to eviscerate deeply problematic behaviors and attitudes in the industry. She is relentless in speaking out against domestic violence perpetrated by athletes, as well as other inexcusable behavior that has previously been all but normalized in the sports world. She has pushed back on the relatively tacit acceptance of athlete Ray Rice’s domestic violence charges and skewered a sexist article titled “How to Land a Husband at the Masters,” published by another Fox News outlet.” Meet Fox Sports’ Katie Nolan, Who’s Tearing Down Sexism in Sports (h/t @GarbageTime)

Family Choice

– “Sometime later a doctor asked me why I still wanted birth control. “Married already, what’s the problem?” she said. And about a year after that a nurse took on the same line of questioning: “You sure you want [the pill]? Even after you stop taking it’ll be quite long before you get pregnant, you know!” (Which, by the way, is not necessarily true.) I’m also often asked by random acquaintances whether Calum and I have kids. When I answer in the negative, their responses are often along the lines of “oh, not yet ah” or “yes, you’re still young, there’s still time”. The possibility that we might have opted out of parenthood doesn’t even come into the conversation.” I don’t have kids. There is no “yet”. (h/t @nothavingababy)


– “But six months later, the financial results are starting to come in: Price told Inc. Magazine that revenue is now growing at double the rate before the raises began and profits have also doubled since then. On top of that, while it lost a few customers in the kerfuffle, the company’s customer retention rate rose from 91 to 95 percent, and only two employees quit. Two weeks after he made the initial announcement, the company was flooded with 4,500 resumes and new customer inquiries jumped from 30 a month to 2,000 a month.” After Company Raises Minimum Salary To $70,000, Revenue And Profits Double (h/t @GoldyHA)

– “The broader definition of trafficking as labor exploitation hasn’t done much to change public perception, though. When you say “trafficking” people still think sexual slavery. The Wikipedia entry on human trafficking, for example, begins by stating, “Human trafficking is the trade of humans, most commonly for the purpose of sexual slavery, forced labor, or commercial sexual exploitation”—a definition that begins and ends with sex. In reality, forced labor of other kinds—like domestic labor, construction and agriculture—is much more common, according to the ILO, which estimates that 4.5 million of 21 million people worldwide are victims of sex trafficking (though, again, all trafficking figures are notoriously slippery and poorly sourced).” “Human Trafficking” Has Become a Meaningless Term

Police Violence

– “As activist and data scientist Samuel Sinyangwe points out, this position rests on a few different fallacies: first, that police are being less aggressive out of fear of being the next cop to have their tactics publicly scrutinized, and secondly, that aggressive policing leads to a reduction in violent crime. There is no evidence to support this, and if a nationwide decrease in police aggression is indeed underway, someone should tell the girl who was body-slammed and dragged by Officer Ben Fields at Spring Valley High School in Columbia, South Carolina, for her refusal to give her cellphone to a teacher. If aggressive policing, which includes the kind of violence recently caught on film, led to less crime, that would mean that the only thing law-enforcement agencies have come up with to reduce violence is the use of more violence, and the violation of people’s rights. In other words, the only way to prevent violent crime is martial law.” The Movement Against Police Violence Isn’t Ignoring ‘Black-on-Black Crime’ (via @mychalsmith)


– “What you see in that video is not an officer full of anger or fear or hatred. What you see is a man annoyed that he has to spend any time dealing with something as insignificant as a black girl. What you see is a man throwing out a bag of trash that just happens to be a person. This is the way in which black women in America have been treated throughout history.” America Doesn’t Care About Black Women And Girls (via @IjeomaOluo)

– “Schools are not merely sites of education, they are sites of control. In fact, they are sites of control well before they are sites of education. And for certain populations — students of color, working-class students, anyone on the margins — the sites of control in the school system can be incredibly restrictive, suffocating, perilous.” Where Are Black Children Safe? (via @rgay)

– “Here’s the thing: when asked during in-person meetings, 90% of my clients report having racial preferences. Which maybe doesn’t sound so bad, because I mean, they have other preferences, too. Height, religion, career paths, Netflix show most recently watched, the list goes on and on. But of the 90% of the reported racial preferences, 89.9% are preferences for white people. So . . . that is bad. And I’m not just talking about white-on-white preferences. I’m talking about all my clients, only 55% of whom identify as white.” Yes, Your Dating Preferences Are Probably Racist (via @ESTBLSHMNT)

Reproductive Rights

– “After several failed attempts at approaching the protesters outside her local clinic to discuss their complaints and reason with them, she decided to try a different approach. Yesterday, Mary approached the anti-Planned Parenthood protesters while chanting “yeast infection.”” This Woman Stopped A Planned Parenthood Protest By Chanting “Yeast Infection” (via @BuzzFeed)

Sexual Assault and Sports

– “The NCAA’s lack of concern about the sexual exploitation of hostesses shouldn’t be a complete shock—the organization isn’t particularly concerned with the economic exploitation of its athletes, either. In place of cash, programs turn to women as currency for players, to sex as a signing bonus, effectively shrugging and saying, What else are we to do? For the programs that exploit them, these women exist as props, not as people with agency. And when human beings are turned into prizes to be awarded for a job well done—into objects that can be abused without consequence—then a Louisville assistant paying for recruits to have sex is not such an anomaly after all.” Louisville’s Sex Scandal is a Symptom of a Broken College Sports System (via @scATX)


– “Transgender women have always been women; women who may opt to get surgery, women who may take hormones, but women nonetheless. Others who agree with you are often termed gender essentialists. That is to say, they believe that what makes a man or a woman – there is only a binary view of gender in this world – is biologically determined. These pre-determined traits define womanhood and manhood. For example: women are weak, submissive, have breasts, menstruate, and are passive while men are strong, dominant, have beards, are sexual, and active. The opinions you have and ideas that you support are ones that box in people, that don’t allow for humans to fully express themselves, and create a limiting view of what people of all genders could be.” Dear Germaine Greer: No, Trans Women Are Women (via @TheRainbowHub)

– “Lawyer Jane Faye told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “[Tara] has now been in a men’s prison for the past seven days. I spoke to her mother, she’s on a wing where the men are calling out ‘Tara, Tara, Tara, show us your tits’. She is being actually abused, harassed, and is in grave danger of assault everyday.” Tara was placed into the men’s prison as her legal gender is male, despite having lived her whole adult life as a woman and spending six years transitioning.”” Human rights lawyer fears Tara Hudson may “kill herself” after trauma of men’s prison (h/t @stavvers)