ASK Musings

No matter where you go, there you are.



April 2018



What I’m Reading – 8 April 2018

Written by , Posted in What I'm Reading

Horrific Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Action

“A week later, Henry was called to the principal’s office to speak with the police officer assigned to the school. In El Salvador, Henry had learned to distrust the police, who often worked for rival gangs or paramilitary death squads. But the officer assured Henry that the Suffolk County police were not like the cops he had known before he sought asylum in the United States. They could connect him to the FBI, which could protect him and move him far from Long Island.” A Betrayal (by Hannah Dreier for ProPublic and New York Magazine)

Corporate Malfeasance

“Now, almost three years to the day of that announcement, the few McDonald’s workers who are employed at corporate-owned restaurants have seen no action from the company and are still being paid just barely above minimum wage in their cities. In a 2015 statement announcing the change, Chief Executive Officer Steve Easterbrook said “A motivated workforce leads to better customer service so we believe this initial step not only benefits our employees, it will improve the McDonald’s restaurant experience.” The announcement, however, was widely criticized by labor experts at the time, who noted that the pay raise only applied to “company-owned restaurants,” which roughly constitute only about 10 percent of McDonald’s 14,000 U.S. restaurants. The rest are owned and operated by franchisees which make their own decisions when it comes to benefits and wages.” McDonald’s stiffs employees on promised pay raise (by Rebekah Entralgo for Think Progress)


“In an interview with the Wall Street Journal this week, McNair revisited that controversy, and took an opportunity to express his regret. Not for his initial statement, mind you: he apologized for apologizing. “The main thing I regret is apologizing,” McNair told the WSJ. He rehashed his initial excuse — that this was a figure of speech, and that he was actually referring to the control the league executives had over the NFL owners. “I really didn’t have anything to apologize for,” he said.” NFL owner says his only regret about comparing players to ‘inmates’ is apologizing for it (by Lindsay Gibbs for Think Progress)

“”Bernie’s comments were tone-deaf and will not help him with communities of color, especially black folks,” said Joshua DuBois, a strategist who led Obama’s faith-based initiative. “On that hallowed day, our focus should’ve been on the transformative legacy of Dr. King and how we can come together to continue King’s fight against systemic racism and injustice — not attacking the legacy of the first black president, who fought against many of the same things Dr. King fought.” Bakari Sellers, a South Carolina Democrat who emphatically supported Hillary Clinton in 2016, told BuzzFeed News that he and black Democrats have had patience with Sanders as he’s sought to better understand the role that race plays in the United States, even as Democrats have pushed Sanders to not just rely on the narrative that he marched with King in the 1960s. To Sellers, anyway, Sanders’ time is up.” Bernie Sanders’ Revolution Needs Black Voters To Win. But Can He Talk To Them? (by Ruby Cramer and Darren Sands for BuzzFeed News)

“Last month, these three Native American teams were suddenly expelled from the DPLL by league administrator Corey Mitchell, for reasons players and coaches say they still do not understand. Members of all three teams say they have experienced severe racial abuse from other DPLL players, parents, and referees, and they allege they were kicked out of the league because Mitchell was uninterested in addressing their allegations of racial abuse.” Native American Lacrosse Teams Reported Racial Abuse. Then Their League Expelled Them. (by Curtis Waltman for Deadspin)


“Muslims and those perceived as Muslim due to their race or other factors were far more likely to experience negative media coverage and outsized legal ramifications than perpetrators not seen as Muslim, according to the study. A review of incidents shows that prosecutors sought sentences three times longer for Muslim perpetrators — 230 months versus 76 months. In actual sentencing, Muslims typically received sentences that were four times the length of non-Muslims, despite the similarity in severity or general scope of their actions.” For perpetrators, ramifications are different if you’re Muslim, new study shows (by E. A. Crunden for Think Progress)


“If you followed the men’s March Madness tournament, you’re well aware that Sister Jean Dolores-Schmidt is the 98-year-old team chaplain for Loyola University Chicago, the 11th-seed Cinderella team that made a remarkable run to the men’s Final Four this year. That Sister Jean received more extensive coverage during one tournament than Ogunbowale will likely receive over her entire basketball career is not a slight on the luckiest nun alive, but rather a way for us to take stock of how we tell stories and where we choose to direct our attention.” The More Women’s Sports Are Covered, The More Popular They Will Be (by Jessica Luther for Huff Post)

“I agree with Goldberg that a person’s worst tweets don’t sum up who they are. But there is a difference between “just a tweet” and a belief. What Williamson tweeted (and doubled down on many times over Twitter and the podcast) was not a bad joke or a even a cruel comment dashed off in anger. It was a political position – and the Atlantic had a decision to make over whether it believed that political position was within the norms of reasonable critical debate. Whether or not they wanted to expand their definition of acceptable discourse to include “hanging women”. ‘Hang women who have abortions’ is not a view that’s fit for public debate (by Jessica Valenti for The Guardian)


“Here’s why: Paterno — which stars Al Pacino, is directed by Barry Levinson, and premieres on HBO on April 7 — builds a compelling case to implicate the adult bystanders who enabled Sandusky’s crimes against children, which included other Penn State officials. Through flashbacks and Paterno’s stubborn and naive conversations with his family — during which it becomes clear he did not do nearly enough to stop Sandusky, his former defensive coordinator — the film makes a powerful point about community responsibility. In 2018, it’s impossible to view Paterno without drawing parallels to the months-long national reckoning on sexual harassment, abuse, and assault precipitated by the exposés about Harvey Weinstein in the New York Times and the New Yorker in early October.” Watching “Paterno” During The #MeToo Era (by Kate Aurthur for BuzzFeed News)


“Entire families died while hiding in cellars, trying to seek shelter from air raids and barrel bombs, the group said on Twitter. The reports have not been independently confirmed. Other relief organizations and watchdog groups, including the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Syrian American Medical Society, also reported the attack, though the number of victims killed has varied. Rami Abdulrahman, the director of the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told Reuters he could not confirm if chemical weapons had been used.” Trump Blames Putin And Iran After Reported Syria Chemical Attack Kills Dozens (by Stephanie K. Baer, Patrick Smith, and David Mack for BuzzFeed News)

Something Good

“Anchorage’s transgender community worked tirelessly with the city’s faith and business leaders and local and national organizers, to build a powerful coalition of love and support, and to combat the fearmongering tactics of anti-LGBTQ activists to defeat this dangerous anti-trans ballot measure,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD. “Proposition 1 was exposed as a clear attack on transgender people and unequivocally rejected by voters who put their love of their neighbors and the safety of their entire community above hate.” VICTORY! Anchorage Alaska rejects anti-transgender ballot measure (GLAAD blog)

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