ASK Musings

No matter where you go, there you are.



May 2018



What I’m Reading – 6 May 2018

Written by , Posted in What I'm Reading

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)

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