ASK Musings

No matter where you go, there you are.



August 2018



What I’m Reading – 12 August 2018

Written by , Posted in What I'm Reading

Disability Rights

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

Reproductive Rights

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

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

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


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

Criminal Punishment System

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

Fighting Bigotry

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

Biomedical Ethics

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

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


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

Gun Violence

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

Labor Rights

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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