Weekly Reader: Vol 3 Issue 7

It’s time once again for news and views that you can peruse! It’s time once more for your Weekly Reader! As always, if you have an interesting link you’d like to share, then drop a little something in the comments!

The Lawlessness of the Dobbs Decision (from Slate): “Why is Dobbs not just wrong, but lawless? Because it is utterly unprincipled. It articulates a reason for overruling Roe out of one side of its mouth, then repeatedly protests that it will not be bound by this reason out of the other side of its mouth. The court’s opinion is now the law, but this is not legal reasoning that can or should be respected.”

Instagram and Facebook remove posts offering abortion pills (from the Associated Press): “Almost immediately, Facebook and Instagram began removing some of these posts, just as millions across the U.S. were searching for clarity around abortion access. General mentions of abortion pills, as well as posts mentioning specific versions such as mifepristone and misoprostol, suddenly spiked Friday morning across Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and TV broadcasts, according to an analysis by the media intelligence firm Zignal Labs.”

Facebook Is Banning People Who Say They Will Mail Abortion Pills (from Vice): “Motherboard was able to post the phrases “painkiller pills can be mailed,” “pills,” and “abortion” without issue. Motherboard posted “abortion pills can be mailed” a second time, and it was flagged for removal, and this time the reporter “agreed” with the decision.”

June 16, 1816: The Inception of Frankenstein and Mary Shelley’s Prescient Warning About Reproductive Rights (from The Marginalian): “The notion of reproductive rights was nowhere near the cultural horizon in Mary Shelley’s lifetime. Still beyond the horizon were most basic human rights for women. No woman could vote. No woman could attend university. In her entire century, only four women successfully obtained divorce, and only after demonstrating savage brutality from their husbands. Husbands were legally allowed to beat and rape their wives, who were their property. Women could not own property, including their own bodies.”

‘I’ve never experienced pain like that’: Influencers recount harrowing experiences with Daily Harvest crumbles, blast company’s handling of recall (from CNN): “Pearson says he tried the lentil crumbles twice, both times leading to intense stomach aches. It was the second try, however, that sent him to the ER. After symptoms that included “excruciating” stomach pains, fever, chills, itching of the hands and feet, and jaundice, Pearson underwent testing that revealed — just like Silverstein — elevated liver enzymes, as well as high bilirubin. Doctors ultimately decided to remove Pearson’s gallbladder.”

Truck Driver Rams Into Abortion Rights Demonstrators At Roe Rally In Iowa (from the Huffington Post): “Video taken by Linn County Supervisor Stacey Walker shows several women standing in front of the truck with their arms outstretched, trying to get the driver to stop. But the driver keeps pushing forward and bowls them over, injuring several of them.”

Clarence Thomas says he has ‘no idea why or how’ he got nominated to the Supreme Court: book (from Business Insider): “While speaking with Pack, Thomas revealed he was surprised when he heard that Associate Justice Thurgood Marshall, a revered civil-rights trailblazer and the first Black jurist on the high court, was stepping down from his post.”

Senator in 2010 deposition: 13-year-olds can consent to sex (from the Associated Press): “The age of consent in Oklahoma is 16, and although there is an exception in the law for minors between the ages of 14 and 17 who have sexual contact, there is no provision under which a 13-year-old could consent to sex. When Bethea pressed if his answer was still the same “if I ask you that question in terms of your position as a father,” Lankford maintained his stance.”

The Thomas promise: Roe is only the beginning (from OnlySky): “Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine and Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia had supported both Justices during their Senate hearings, and now suggest that they were misled by their rhetoric on Roe.”

Roe Is a Mirage: Conservatives Wrongly Think No Roe Means No Abortion (from OnlySky): “There is no path to zero abortions. People will keep having sex, accidents will happen, and no amount of Christianity, moral badgering, or puritanical laws will eliminate all abortions. But I know a way to cut it by as much as 90 percent, which is a lot more than it’ll get cut by making it illegal. Abortions are just the symptom; the actual problem is unintended pregnancy.”

The death of Roe, and the three prongs that killed her (from OnlySky): “Even after closely watching the whittling away of US abortion rights for years, the Dobbs draft opinion, leaked in early May, was particularly disgraceful. Alito’s reasoning is weak and in the service of his ideology, disregarding the rights and interests of pregnable persons entirely.”

Here Comes the Sun—to End Civilization (from Wired): “When a coronal mass ejection comes your way, what matters most is the bullet’s magnetic orientation. If it has the same polarity as Earth’s protective magnetic field, you’ve gotten lucky: The two will repel, like a pair of bar magnets placed north-to-north or south-to-south. But if the polarities oppose, they will smash together. That’s what happened on September 2, the day after Carrington saw the blinding beam.”

Lyft Pays Shareholders $25 Million for Driver Sexual Assaults—But Nothing for Survivors (from Jezebel): “The small glimpses of language from Lyft’s millionaire shareholders celebrating the settlement, framing themselves as the company’s actual victims, and relegating rape survivors to a footnote—nameless, faceless women on the receiving end of those unfortunate “safety concerns”—dehumanizes survivors like Turkos, she says. The term “safety concerns” in itself, being used to describe her gang rape, is infuriating, but predictable coming from Lyft and its shareholders. “A Lyft driver held a gun to my head while I begged for my life—that’s what they call a ‘safety concern.’ They minimize it because they want to move right past that, because [the details] don’t help with profit, return on investment.””

Facebook Is Receiving Sensitive Medical Information from Hospital Websites (from The Markup): “Facebook itself is not subject to HIPAA, but the experts interviewed for this story expressed concerns about how the advertising giant might use the personal health data it’s collecting for its own profit.”

That’s all for this go-round. But don’t worry. I’ll be back again with more links you just might want to bookmark. Until then, have a great rest of your week and happy reading!

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Things Left Undone

Over the past several years, I’ve been saving my birthday and Christmas money, at first purely by happenstance but lately mostly out of fear.

When I first started, it was just an accident; I had cashed a couple of checks, but rather than depositing the money, I just held onto it. I had been planning on possibly using it for something I really wanted, either to purchase or simply treating myself to a trip to the mall–maybe even a visit to Build-A-Bear!–and lunch. But no such opportunity ever arose.

I kept saving because of the 2022 election: I still had a Facebook account then and a few of the pages I followed advised people to keep some cash on hand in case of possible civil unrest and any inability to withdraw funds from the local bank. Although the election seemed to be a done deal, there was the fear that certain people wouldn’t accept the results and possibly riot. It more or less did happen–January 6th, anyone?–but it was very localized.

So now I had this small pile of cash and nothing to do with it. When BotCon was announced, I decided that I would take said cash with me, then whatever I had left, I would use to open a savings account. I checked rates at some of the nearby credit unions, settled on one with fairly good rates with locations near my home and workplace, and figured that once I came back, I would take the remainder to the credit union and make arrangements for a small portion of my check to be deposited in the account as well.

That won’t be happening. Not after BotCon. Possibly not ever.

Now, I’ve had savings and checking accounts since I was a young adult. When I moved to Wisconsin, I had to close my checking account and took the money with me to help with the move. Once I was here for a few weeks, Prime got my name on his account so we could pool our money. Much later, I opened a savings account at a credit union. It’s nothing I haven’t done before. I could do it tomorrow if I wanted. But it’s not something that a woman could always do.

It wasn’t until 1974 that a woman could get a credit card in her name alone . Although women could get bank accounts in the 1960s, it seems that a man’s signature was required for her to actually have one.

A woman couldn’t have her own credit card, or a loan, or really even a bank account, until the 1970s. Basically, I was born into having rights that others fought to attain. I had a sliver of privilege that I did not know I had.

But this only really came about because of Roe versus Wade. Now Roe is gone. It wouldn’t take much for women to lose the privilege of having a bank account.

Because of this, I can not, in good faith, even think of opening another account. My money would be in other people’s hands and they could easily decide that I no longer have any rights to any of it. No, it might not happen today, or tomorrow, or even ten years from now, but there is a chance that it could happen.

I refuse to take that sort of risk.

My money will stay with me. Once I’m back from the convention, it will go back into its hiding place. It will stay there until next BotCon or if there’s an emergency. But it’s not going to a bank or credit union. Things are just too risky right now. They probably will be for a while. I don’t want to gamble, especially knowing that my chances of winning or even breaking even aren’t that good.

A word of advice: you might not be at the top of the list, but you’re still on the list. Prepare and act accordingly.

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Fifteen

I arrived at work early on Monday and took a seat in the break room; someone had turned on ESPN and was watching one of the morning shows. There was the usual updates on MLB and NFL, a smattering of collegiate sports, some scores from the WNBA, nothing out of the ordinary. But once the room had cleared, I grabbed the remote and decided to find something else to watch. No offense to ESPN, but if I’m going to watch sports coverage, I’d rather watch Bally Sports Wisconsin.

I looked through the offerings; Game Show Network didn’t look appealing for once–I like People Puzzler but the host irritates me–and BBC America didn’t have anything worthwhile, so I went to the movie channels. HBO was showing the 2007 Transformers movie, so I immediately switched over.

In 2007, Prime, our friend DA, and I were able to catch a special preview of the movie while we were attending BotCon. We had the option during pre-registration to pay for a special sneak preview of the first Transformers film on Saturday night as part of the BotCon festivities. All three of us had purchased tickets, but Prime and I were in a different theatre than DA! He managed to trade his ticket with another attendee who was in a similar situation: he was in a different auditorium than his friends. One even exchange later, the three of us could sit together and enjoy the experience.

It was an experience. I’m always going to have fond memories of that night, of grabbing a soda from the concession stand just to get a Transformers themed cup, of the crowd cheering at key moments, of asking DA just what the hell Fig was saying because a good portion of it was Spanish and DA laughed out loud upon hearing it, of falling in love with Bumblebee yet again, of gasping when Optimus Prime spoke and hearing his voice, of the energy of the crowd, of every little thing.

It’s been fifteen years. Fifteen years. It barely feels like three. Where does the time go.

This is one of those films that makes me happy every time I watch, that helps me forget about the world for a while, that provides an escape from this dystopian hellscape that we reside in now.

It’s a break from current events.

This year is the fifteenth anniversary of Transformers. Here’s hoping for fifteen more and beyond.

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First They Came

First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist
Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me — Martin Niemöller

We all know what happened on Friday. We all know that Roe versus Wade has been overturned by the Supreme Court.

We all saw it coming in advance but it’s still painful and infuriating.

If you’re not afraid, you have not been paying attention. If you think this won’t affect you or someone you care about, think again.

They are coming for Obergefell.
They are coming for contraception.
They are coming for voting rights.
They will not stop.

We’re in this for the long haul. Ten to one I won’t be alive when this mess is even close to halfway fixed; this is a marathon, not a sprint so prepare accordingly.

But do not forget: just because you’re not at the top of the list doesn’t mean you’re not still on the list. You are. They will come for you and everything you hold dear. Remember that.

Buckle up because it’s going to be an extremely bumpy ride.

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Sunday Morning Nostalgia Crush!

“True Colors” by Cyndi Lauper. It just seemed fitting.

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Purr-assic World

It’s been one helluva shitty ass ridiculous week, so let’s make this shit show a kitty week. So here’s Jurassic Park with a cat. Enjoy!

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Fuck SCOTUS and Fuck Everything

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Multiversal Madness

Last night Prime and I caught Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness on Disney+. As always, I have thoughts on the film, but they will include spoilers, so if you haven’t seen it yet or don’t want to know, don’t hit the jump. Everyone else? Let’s go!

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Ballin’

Like the day before, Prime and I took in another baseball game, but this one was in The Good Land, better known as Milwaukee.

It was the Crew up against the dirty red birds and as always, I hoped to see the red birds break a wing or two.

Unfortunately, thanks to Paul Goldschmidt, the Cardinals took an early lead of 2 to 0 at the top of the first. Rowdy Tellez answered back with a solo shot in the bottom of the inning which made it 2 to 1.

Bottoms of the fifth and I got my wish: the Brewers had been Chipping Away at the Cardinals lead and finally pulled ahead 4 to 3.

It didn’t last: the red birds got two in the top of the sixth and regained the lead.

That’s where the score stayed: 5 to 4 dirty red birds. Not a great ending but we have one more game today; let’s hope for a Brewers win and a split series.

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R&R, If You Please

I took some time off of work this week, since I had an excess of vacation and I didn’t want it to go to waste. So, I took a micro vacation!

Tuesday was Pride Night at Fox Cities Stadium and with a special ticket package, you could get a Pride Night hat.

I had to get one. Just because.

The Timber Rattlers were up against the Quad Cities River Bandits, who took an early lead via the long ball to make it a 2 – 1 game. But some good hitting and a timely error by the River Bandits turned it to a 2 – 4 game for the Rattlers.

However, the River Bandits answered back, making it a 4 – 4 game. They then took the lead at the top of the fifth.

The Timber Rattlers never regained the lead. The River Bandits won it 13 – 5. Tough loss, to be honest.

I managed to grab a Pride tee shirt and a Bratzooka shirt from the team store; the Pride shirt is more of a souvenir than anything else. I don’t want to wear it and possibly ruin it.

I have more time off; I may take in another game or two this week. I just hope that the heat breaks soon.

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