ASK Musings

No matter where you go, there you are.



September 2015



What I’m Reading – September 13, 2015

Written by , Posted in What I'm Reading

Black Lives Matter

– “How is it that the random acts of two mentally unstable Black men who had no formal or informal relationship with the Black Lives Matter movement constitute a trend, but the two dozen police killings of unarmed Black citizens again remain a collection of unfortunate but isolated incidents? Black America’s “gaslight” nightmare: The psychological warfare being waged against Black Lives Matter (h/t @EdgeofSports)

– “The “Black Lives Matter” movement focuses on the fact that black citizens have long been far more likely than whites to die at the hands of the police, and is of a piece with this history. Demonstrators who chant the phrase are making the same declaration that voting rights and civil rights activists made a half-century ago. They are not asserting that black lives are more precious than white lives. They are underlining an indisputable fact — that the lives of black citizens in this country historically have not mattered, and have been discounted and devalued.” The Truth of ‘Black Lives Matter’ (h/t @ShaunKing)

Healthcare Rights

– ““I was confident that the full Assembly, reflective of and responsive to the people it represents, would do the right thing and move us closer to making it possible for terminally ill Californians to decide for themselves how to manage their last days,” she said.” California Assembly approves right-to-die legislation (via @LANow)

Justice System

– “In other words, Cormega Copening is being charged as an adult for having pictures of Cormega Copening, because Cormega Copening is a minor. Horrified yet? According to authorities, the boy is both adult and child—perpetrator of a crime against himself, and simultaneously the victim of a crime committed by himself.” Boy charged as adult for having explicit pictures of himself—because he’s a minor (h/t @_JoHelen)


– ““Is it me,” said my friend, “Or is it just…okay to say things that are violently racist now? Has that always been okay, and I just didn’t notice till now?” No, it hasn’t always been okay, and in fact it’s still not okay – but it is a normal part of the public conversation, in a way it wasn’t, even a year ago.” Europe shouldn’t worry about migrants. It should worry about creeping fascism (via @pennyred)

– “A number of charities and non-governmental organisations have opened appeals specifically aimed at helping the plight of refugees. Various organisations spell out exactly what a specific donation could provide. Here’s a sample.” Refugee crisis: what can you do to help? (h/t @EdgeofSports)

Police Violence

– “In its 1998 report on police accountability, Human Rights Watch noted, citing an official commission’s report on corruption within LAPD, that “perhaps the greatest single barrier to the effective investigation and adjudication of complaints is the officers’ unwritten ‘code of silence’….[the principle that] an officer does not provide adverse information against a fellow officer.”” Has a Blue Wall of Silence Within the Seattle Police Department Been Protecting Officer Cynthia Whitlatch? (via @StrangerSlog)

– “So when police advocates say that 2014 saw an 80+ percent increase in homicides of cops over 2013, remember a few things: First, 2013 wasn’t just an all-time low, it was an all-time low by a significant margin. Second, the 2013 figure was so low that even a small increase will look large when expressed as a percentage. Third, the figure for the following year, 2014, (51 officers killed) was essentially consistent with the average for the previous five years (50 killed), and still lower than any five-year average going back to 1960. (See this graph, also from Wang.) Fourth, again, 2015 is on pace (35 killings) to be lower than any year but 2013.” Once again: There is no ‘war on cops.’ And those who claim otherwise are playing a dangerous game. (h/t @tanehisicoates)


– “The team is becoming the sports equivalent of the Donald Trump presidential run, a dead-ender operation with nothing to offer but a howl of anger at a slowly evolving world. To change the team name would mean conceding not only that this beloved brand is racist but that racism and white supremacy actually exist and deserve to be fought.”

– “This is the world Trump wants when he says he’s going to “make America great again.” It’s the America of 1950s TV shows, where people of color don’t exist in the lives of white Americans unless they’re being served or entertained by them. This appears to be a world longed for by many, as a recent poll found that 47% of white Americans look upon Trump “favorably.”” I’ve experienced a new level of racism since Donald Trump went after Latinos (h/t @TheTrudz)

Reproductive Rights

– “The United States is the only developed nation without some kind of national paid maternity leave, and proposals for national paid family leave aren’t going far in a Republican-dominated Congress. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) only guarantees workers the right to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave without losing their job.” Bleeding Wounds and Breastfeeding Hell: The Costs of No Paid Maternity Leave in America (h/t @denisehterry)

Sex Work

– “Media presented Amnesty’s decision as just the latest in a long fight about sex work, framing sex workers’ position as going against “women’s groups,” as if sex workers were not themselves present in women’s groups, or were maybe even not included in the category “women.” As incomplete as this coverage was, for a moment the issue of criminalizing sex work was back in the news.” How Sex Workers’ Rights Made the Mainstream (via @melissagira)


– ““It goes a long way to showing it’s not the students or the home, but the classroom teacher’s behavior that explains part of the differences over time between boys and girls,” said Victor Lavy, an economist at University of Warwick in England and a co-author of the paper. Previous studies have found that college professors and employers discriminate against female scientists. But it is not surprising that it begins even earlier.” How Elementary School Teachers’ Biases Can Discourage Girls From Math and Science (h/t @sailorhg)


– “The Environmental Protection Agency predicts that Pacific Northwest wildfires will burn double the acres we’ve historically seen every year by mid-century if climate change continues unmitigated. In the Okanogan Highlands specifically, climate scientists predict the area burned could increase by a factor of four.” The “New Normal” in Washington State (h/t @fakedansavage)

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