ASK Musings

No matter where you go, there you are.



January 2019



What I’m Reading – January 13, 2019

Written by , Posted in What I'm Reading

Trump’s Government Shutdown

““If the shutdown continues, then you will literally have millions of people that will not be able to afford food,” the U.S. Representative for California’s 37th said. “And I think this is just absolutely unconscionable.” Funding for the program was solidified through January following a standoff, which began December 22, with Donald Trump after he demanded $5.7 billion in funding for the U.S. border wall. The Washington Post reported a SNAP “contingency” fund of $3 billion was appropriated by lawmakers that could potentially cover 64 percent of February funding.” The Government Shutdown Could Impact Millions Of Food Stamp Recipients (by Charmaine Griffin for Blavity)

“Just 117 of the more than 400 national parks collect fees, meaning hundreds will have to compete for funds the NPCA claims will not be enough. The NPS has not announced how much funding will go to each park. “Never before have I seen the federal government tempt fate in national parks the way we are today,” says Diane Regas, president of the Trust for Public Land of the decision to keep parks open with only a fraction of their employees. “It’s not about what has happened already. It’s about what could happen if you don’t have the appropriate staffing.”” National parks face years of damage from government shutdown (by Sarah Gibbons for National Geographic)


“The strike has been called by 10 trade unions across the country against what they believe are anti-labour policies of prime minister Narendra Modi’s government. Employees from the power, steel, auto, and financial services sector will participate in this “historic event.” The strike will also be joined by farmers, who have been protesting against the agrarian crisis in the country for several months now.” 150 million Indians to go on strike against Modi’s “anti-labour” policies (by Nupur Anand for Quartz)


“Whilst speaking to some of those from South Asian backgrounds involved at the grassroots level of the game, it became clear that the barriers were many, with a sense of resignation of “that’s just how thing are and all always will be”. From scouts making sweeping cultural generalisations and stereotypes, to players being released for reasons unknown, I set out to explore some of these barriers in more detail. One of those who I spoke to was Husnane Shah, who, after scoring 84 goals in one season for his grassroots team, was invited for a trial at a professional club. Following the trial Husnane claims a scout at the club told him he was specifically told not to “take on Asian footballers”.” “The scout told me they don’t take on Asian players” – where are the South Asian footballers? (by Basit Mahmood for Media Diversified)

“The 90-year-old geneticist – one of three who discovered the DNA double helix – had lost his job at the New York laboratory in 2007 for expressing racist views. But in the new PBS film, American Masters: Decoding Watson, he said his views on intelligence and race had not changed since. He had told a magazine in 2007 he was “inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa” as “all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours – where all the testing says not really”.” DNA pioneer James Watson stripped of honours after ‘reckless’ race remarks (Sky News)

“Physician and former EMT Leslie Gregory said she saw the biases discussed in the study for herself while working in Lenawee County, Michigan. She told NPR about a former colleague who seemed to believe a Black patient was overdramatic to gain access to painkillers. “I think it was something like: ‘Oh, my God. Here we go again,’” she recalled. Gregory feared she would have to go from medic to race advocate. “I am absolutely sure this was unconscious,” she continued. “At the time, I remember, it increased my stress as we rode up on this person. Because I thought, ‘Now am I going to have to fight my colleague for more pain medication, should that arise?’”” Black Patients Less Likely To Receive Pain Medication From EMTs Than White Patients, New Study Says (by Ashleigh Atwell for Blavity)


“All of which is to say: In 1980, taxing incomes above $216,000 (or $658,213 in today’s dollars) at 70 percent was considered a moderate, mainstream idea, even though wage inequality was much less severe, and supply-side economics had yet to be discredited. This week, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told 60 Minutes that she believes the U.S. should consider taxing incomes above $10 million at a 70 percent rate. Specifically, the congresswoman suggested that taxing the rich at such a rate would be preferable to forgoing major investments in renewable energy, and other technologies necessary for averting catastrophic climate change. And centrist pundits were scandalized by her extremism.” Ocasio-Cortez’s 70 Percent Top Tax Rate Is a Moderate, Evidence-Based Policy (by Eric Levitz for Intelligencer)

Sexual Assault

“For those of you who do not know – and I struggle to imagine there are people who don’t know at least some of the allegations – Bryan Singer has two decades of very credible allegations of sexual assault and harassment against young men to his name. Singer’s reputation is one of the most sordid and openly talked about scandals in the industry. Whispers around him were as plentiful and widely accepted as any against Harvey Weinstein. Shortly before he was fired from Bohemian Rhapsody, news broke that Singer was facing a lawsuit from a man who alleged he had been raped by the director in 2003 when he was 17 years old. he lawyer representing this man, Jeff Herman, also represented Michael Egan, the man who accused Singer, among other Hollywood figures, of sexual assault in 2014 (that case was eventually withdrawn and Herman issued an apology to the accused).”  Bryan Singer is an Accused Rapist: Why Does This Not Matter This Awards Season? (by Kayleigh Donaldson for Pajiba)

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