ASK Musings

No matter where you go, there you are.



October 2018



What I’m Reading – October 7, 2018

Written by , Posted in What I'm Reading

I ran a half marathon this morning! I’m tired.

Horrific Action by the Trump Administration

“The memo states: “As of 1 October 2018, same-sex domestic partners accompanying or seeking to join newly arrived United Nations officials must provide proof of marriage to be eligible for a G-4 visa or to seek a change into such status.” G-4 visas are granted to employees of international organisations and their immediate families.” US ends diplomatic visas for UN same-sex partners (BBC)

“In a policy memorandum, the agency explained that under the new guidance USCIS will give “adequate notice” to individuals denied the immigration benefits for which they are applying, such as a green card, and upon denial, if the individual is no longer authorized to remain in the United States, or never had authorization, USCIS will issue a Notice to Appear (NTA). The NTA will instruct them to appear before an immigration judge, an indication that removal proceedings are underway.” Federal Policy Change Part of Coordinated Effort to ‘Limit Immigration’ (by Tina Vasquez for Rewire)

“To deal with the surging shelter populations, which have hovered near 90 percent of capacity since May, a mass reshuffling is underway and shows no signs of slowing. Hundreds of children are being shipped from shelters to West Texas each week, totaling more than 1,600 so far. The camp in Tornillo operates like a small, pop-up city, about 35 miles southeast of El Paso on the Mexico border, complete with portable toilets. Air-conditioned tents that vary in size are used for housing, recreation and medical care. Originally opened in June for 30 days with a capacity of 400, it expanded in September to be able to house 3,800, and is now expected to remain open at least through the end of the year.” Migrant Children Moved Under Cover of Darkness to a Texas Tent City (by Caitlin Dickerson for New York Times)


“In her speech Saturday in the Senate gallery, Collins perfectly mimicked the worst of Trump and the GOP: She gleefully rubbed our faces in her decision to vote “yes,” all the while trying to justify it with a litany of lies and self-serving revisions of Brett Kavanaugh’s record. She told us we don’t matter. And she was as calculated, cruel, and indifferent as any male senator had been this past month.” A ‘Titanic Fraud’: Susan Collins, the ‘Moderate’ Who Never Was (by Jodi Jacobson for Rewire)

“Women across the world have watched, shaking with recognition, as men find ways to disbelieve Ford’s testimony. For me, watching her life picked apart by the allies of a man who allegedly assaulted her has felt like being trapped in some awful snow-globe that a thoughtless child keeps rattling, just when I’d thought the last flakes had finally settled. They told me I was malicious, that I was seeking feminist celebrity, that I was deceived by my own false memory. I knew I was not. In the end, a government inquiry agreed with me.” What to Expect When a Woman Accuses a Man in Power (by Kate Maltby for The New York Review of Books)

“Notably, even if one of Ford’s friends witnessed an assault, conservatives would discount that too. Ford’s friend might be lying to protect her, after all. What conservatives reportedly want is a dispassionate, neutral third party, one with no political or personal motivation, who can step forward and say, “I saw Brett Kavanaugh assault Christine Blasey Ford.” Without that clarity, conservatives maintain this is a smear job—and they’re using that argument as an excuse to deny the mounting reasons that Brett Kavanaugh should not be on the U.S. Supreme Court bench.” Yes, There Is Plenty of Corroborating Evidence for Christine Blasey Ford’s Allegations (by Imani Gandy for Rewire)

“This statistic, while deeply troubling, is by no means a surprising turn of events. A majority of white women voters went Republican for the better part of three decades. Last year, 63 percent of white women voters in Alabama pulled the lever for Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, who was accused of sexually violating girls as young as 14. In 2016, 53 percent of white women voters went for Donald Trump, who himself had been accused of sexual assault and misconduct by at least 20 women.” Why So Many White Women Don’t Believe Christine Blasey Ford (by Julia Sharpe-Levine for Rewire)

Women in Science

“And a major study published in 2012 in the US scientific journal PNAS showed that science faculty members rated identical job applications more highly when presented to them with a male name rather than a female name. Scientists reacted to Prof Strumia’s presentation on social media, complaining about discrimination they had suffered in the course of their work.” Cern scientist Alessandro Strumia suspended after comments (BBC)

“Donna Strickland, from Canada, is only the third woman winner of the award, along with Marie Curie, who won in 1903, and Maria Goeppert-Mayer, who was awarded the prize in 1963. Dr Strickland shares this year’s prize with Arthur Ashkin, from the US, and Gerard Mourou, from France. It recognises their discoveries in the field of laser physics.” First woman Physics Nobel winner in 55 years (by Paul Rincon for BBC)

Freedom Of and From Religion

“As Project Blitz strategists saw it, they could gain political advantage by getting opponents on the record, so their votes and statements could be used against them. But in this instance, they tried to bully the wrong pol. In a subsequent appearance on Fox, Marty defended the integrity of his faith and his stance against the In God We Trust amendment. He insisted that posting of In God We Trust in the public schools is “offensive” to both religious believers and the non-religious. And, speaking as a Christian, he said that the “government sanctioned motto does not strengthen our religion, but it demeans, devalues and cheapens our religion.” Apparently, rather than continue to give Marty a platform, the smears stopped.” Christian Pol, Attacked for Opposing ‘In God We Trust’ in School, Talks Church and State (by Frederick Clarkson for Rewire)

Fight Back

“Open to all, the March for Black Women grew to be something even bigger when it converged with the March for Racial Justice. Although the two marches started their actions at different times, they met up before heading to the U.S. Department of Justice headquarters and the National Mall.” ‘March For Black Women’ Brings Out Hundreds Of Activists To Remind The World That Black Women Matter (by Melinda Janay for Blavity)

“Brixton McDonald’s worker Justine said she was inspired by the support. “The reason I am on strike,” she said, “is that workers deserve better wages. “I think we can all agree that it’s pretty crap right now. “What is particularly inspiring about this campaign is that we were previously regarded as workers who could not be organised – people who were just in and out of work.”” Low paid workers picket Brixton McDonald’s (by Alan Slingsby for Brixton Blog)

“The public service loan forgiveness program, created by Congress in 2007, was supposed to ease the financial burdens of those who chose to work in a wide range of jobs, including military service, law enforcement and public museums. But when the teachers’ union investigated why more of its members weren’t using the program, it found that many were being misled or blocked by Navient, said Randi Weingarten, the union’s president.” Teachers Sue Navient, Claiming Student Loan Forgiveness Failures (by Stacy Cowley for The New York Times)

Something Good

““The Good Place” tries, improbably, to fulfill both functions at once. It wants to sit at both ends of the control knob simultaneously. Like any good modern comedy, the show is a direct IV of laughs, but the trick is that all of those laughs are explicitly about morality.” The Ultimate Sitcom (by Sam Anderson for the New York Times)

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