Weekly Reader Vol 1 Issue 21

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It’s time once again for news and views that you can peruse! It’s another edition of Weekly Reader! Got a hot story you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments!

Here’s How A “Poop Cult” With 58,000 Followers Set Off A Facebook War (from BuzzFeed News): “Epperly has no background in medicine or science. She delivers elements of her theory in rambling videos beamed live from her home. They have an unvarnished reality-TV quality to them: Epperly is often in a T-shirt, hair up, walking through the house as she talks. She is also a prolific Facebook commenter, each missive a stream-of-consciousness word salad. And for $70 an hour, she told BuzzFeed News, she will provide personal phone consultations, talking people through her theory and how to make the recipe.”

Stop Using Sketchy Science Against LGBTQ People (from Medium): “The late trans activist Leslie Feinberg once said, “I view science as the priceless legacy of humanity’s search for understanding of the material world. But in an unequal economic system, science cannot avoid being stained by prevailing prejudices and bigotry — not only social sciences, like anthropology, but the so-called hard sciences like biology.” In context, Feinberg was expressing her fear that the discovery of a so-called “gay gene” might lead to eugenics and the murder of LGBTQ children. While Feinberg’s nightmare thankfully did not become reality, history is filled with other examples of pseudoscience being misused to invalidate LGBTQ people.”

Flu vaccine myths – an epic rant about dumb asses from Mark Crislip (from Skeptical Raptor): “Dr. Crislip’s humorous compilation of these flu vaccine myths, which were originally published in A Budget of Dumb Asses, describes the different types of vaccine-refusing healthcare worker Dumb Asses. I resurrect this list every year at the beginning of the flu season not only for humor (because it is funny) but also to point the finger at flu vaccine deniers who also happen to be healthcare workers.”

How Anti-Science Forces Thrive On Facebook (from BuzzFeed News): “Welcome to the vast universe of self-built social media empires devoted to spreading false, misleading, and polarizing science and health news — sometimes further and wider than the real information. Here, climate change is a government-sponsored hoax, fluoridated water is poisonous, cannabis can cure cancer, and airplanes are constantly spraying pesticides and biological waste into the air. Genetically modified food is destroying humanity and the planet. Vaccines are experimental, autism-causing injections forced on innocent babies. We can’t trust anything that we eat, drink, breathe, or medicate with, nor rely on physicians and public health agencies to act in our best interests. Between the organic recipes and menacing stock images of syringes and pills, a clear theme emerges: Everything is rigged — by doctors, Big Pharma, Monsanto, the FDA — and the mainstream media isn’t telling us. (Also, there’s usually a link to buy vitamins.) This messaging reflects a new, uniquely conspiratorial strain of libertarianism that hijacks deeply intimate issues — your body, your health, your children’s health. It shares magnificently. ”

The New Hip Churches are Fooling Google. They Pop Up as “Gay-friendly” — it’s a Hoax. (from Medium): “Most of these churches use descriptors like “non-denominational” or “contemporary” or “culturally relevant.” Their pastors (men) wear untucked shirts and the sermons are filled with pop culture references and are ably-illustrated with video clips (PowerPoint is so 1990’s). These are some of the most savvy churches known to Google. The websites are littered with words like “welcome,” “diverse,” and “loving” — all true if you believe gayness is “intrinsically disordered” (the modern lingo that replaces “perverse”) or don’t care how the church regards its LGBTQ+ members and visitors.”

BEING CANNON FODDER IN THE WAR ON WOMEN (from Samantha Field): “The second I picked up my phone and saw the headline from the New York Times in my notifications, I felt myself instantly brace. My stomach became a bottomless, yawning pit and every muscle in my body tensed. I closed my eyes and felt my soul begin to prepare for the coming barrage. Emotionally, the closest image I’ve been able to conjure that captures what it’s like is “Bastogne” from Band of Brothers. The words from that headline screamed into my heart like the piercing whistle of an incoming shell. Old battlescars, like the one his watch made when it dug into my knee as he blooded me for the first time, begin to ache.”

How Cosby’s ‘Pound Cake’ Speech Helped Lead to His Downfall (from The Atlantic): “Many of the statistics cited in the speech were false, a slander on some of the most vulnerable people in the country, and Cosby seemed less concerned with black prosperity than with black respectability. It wasn’t simply that the black poor were not thriving in America; they were also embarrassing Cliff Huxtable, the dear sitcom doctor dad living in an expensive Brooklyn brownstone. They were not worthy of him. It was not yet clear that the man known as Bill Cosby was as much of a fictional character as the good doctor.”

Between Brock Turner and Brett Kavanaugh, when do girls matter? (from Simcha Fisher): “When a young man gets drunk and tries to rape a girl, there will always be someone to say he shouldn’t be punished too severely — shouldn’t lose his place on the team, shouldn’t be kicked out of school, certainly shouldn’t serve any jail time — because don’t you see, he has so much promise? This might damage his future!

And what about her future? What about her? Who is thinking about the actual human girl in Blasey’s account, who wept and screamed and fought back, while those normal, healthy, hetero boys turned up the music and pushed her back onto the bed?”

My Rapist Apologized (from The Atlantic): “Let me tell you what life was like as a girl in Montgomery County, Maryland, in the early 1980s. I am a year older than Christine Blasey Ford and a year younger than Brett Kavanaugh. I grew up in Potomac, Maryland, a few miles from both Holton Arms, Ford’s school, and Georgetown Prep, which Kavanaugh attended, but I went to my local public high school, Churchill. Never mind that any girl who was in high school in Potomac during that era knew, through the whisper network, not to go to a Georgetown Prep party alone. That was a given. What was also a given is that “date rape,” as a term, was in its infancy. Most of us thought getting our bodies groped at a high-school party—or anywhere—was the unfortunate price we paid for having them, not something we would ever go to the police to report.”

Christine Blasey Ford & Cultural Amnesia: Women didn’t report date rape in 1982 (from Medium): “The truth, though, is that it would have been incredibly unusual for Christine Blasey Ford (or anyone on her behalf) to file charges or report her alleged attack. Right now, only about 310 out of 1000 rapes are reported. That’s today, from numbers taken in 2015.”

Why I Believe Her (from John Pavlovitz): “Let’s look at her expansive list of “opportunities” here:

She’s getting the opportunity to have her successful career immediately derailed.
She’s getting the opportunity to have her personal information: address, phone number, and family information—disseminated to millions of people on social media by anonymous trolls.
She’s getting the opportunity to be forced to move out of her house in the middle of a school year.
She’s getting the opportunity to have her life completely and permanently turned upside down in every possible way.
She’s getting the opportunity to be publicly humiliated by old white men, who have zero regard for the veracity of her claims or the severity of her trauma or the cost of her speaking.
She’s getting the opportunity to be the object of sick jokes on the Twitter account of the supposed adult son of the President.
She’s getting the opportunity to have her character assassinated, her past unearthed, her credibility questioned, and her safety threatened.
She’s getting the opportunity to relive her most painful and personal moments in front of the watching world.
She’s getting the opportunity to be injured a second time.

Some opportunity. ”

That’s all for this week. Drop by again for more links you can browse. Until then, happy reading!

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About Silverwynde

I'm a Transformers fan, Pokémon player, Brewers fan and all-out general nerd. I rescue abandoned Golett, collect as many Bumblebee decoys and figures as I can find and I've attended every BotCon since 1999. I'm also happily married to a fellow Transfan named Prime and we were both owned by a very intelligent half-Siamese cat, who crossed the Rainbow Bridge on June 16, 2018. We miss him every day.
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