Weekly Reader Vol 2 Issue 8

It’s time for news and views that you can peruse. It’s time once again for your Weekly Reader! Got a killer blog post? Found an amazing op-ed in your local newspaper? Found something incredible online? Give us a shout out in the comments!

How the ‘Central Park Five’ Changed the History of American Law (from The Atlantic): “Initially, the police prepared to charge the kids with unlawful assembly and refer them to the children’s court system. But New York District Attorney Linda Fairstein (Felicity Huffman) and investigators quickly concluded that the boys instead were Meili’s attackers and built a case around them, rather than conducting a full investigation. “Every young black male who was in the park last night is a suspect in the rape of that woman who is fighting for her life,” Huffman’s Fairstein says to NYPD officers. She called for the deployment of an “army of blue up on Harlem” and encouraged police to “stop every little thug you see.””

How To Talk About Sex (And Consent): 4 Lessons From The Kink Community (from NPR): “Of course, the kink community isn’t perfect, as several kinksters told me. It has had some high-profile cases of bad behavior — nonconsensual or even abusive — and as a community, it is dealing with its own need to root out abuse. The kinksters I talked to stressed the importance of evolving the conversation to be even more thoughtful in navigating sex and consent.”

Dystopian fantasy? The Handmaid’s Tale is based entirely on real history (from The BBC): “In Genesis 30, Jacob has two wives, Rachel and Leah. When Rachel cannot bear a child, she orders Jacob to impregnate her maid, Bilhah. The relevant passage – “And she said, Behold my maid Bilhah, go in unto her; and she shall bear upon my knees, that I may also have children by her” – is recited as part of the ‘ceremony’ in The Handmaid’s Tale, in which the man ritually rapes the handmaid in his wife’s presence.”

“It’s Always Men” (from Pervert Justice via Freethought Blogs): “I’ve gotten death threats before. Quite a number actually, though many I laughed off and others were in the context of an ongoing abusive relationship, not the kind of threat that waxes and wanes with public attention. But one person was particularly detailed, explicit and credible in their threats, enough so that I stopped using my legal name online among other concessions to safety. That was 20 years ago now, but I have the faintest idea what this might be like. Just the faintest, but it’s impossible for me not to feel a tragic connection with her as a result of my small experience with something AOC encounters on a massive scale.”

Jailers shut off water to Terrill Thomas’ cell, and he died of dehydration. His family now has $6.75 million (from CNN): “After Thomas was placed in a cell, he stopped up his toilet, causing the cell to flood. Lt. Kashka Meadors of the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office had Thomas moved to another cell and ordered that his water be cut off, she testified during the 2017 inquest.

“It should have been the toilet water, just the toilet water,” she said.”

Embryos Don’t Have Hearts (from The Cut): “But what arose as a colloquialism between doctors and patients has, in the case of the fight over abortion rights, done more harm than good, says Schickler. At six weeks, she says, a pregnant person has likely just missed their period two weeks earlier, and at that stage, the fetus is far from viable — so calling any activity detected by ultrasound at that stage a heartbeat “personifies the fetus into something it’s not,” says Schickler. Which, says Kerns, is exactly the point.”

Revealed: women’s fertility app is funded by anti-abortion campaigners (from The Guardian): “Femm receives much of its income from private donors including the Chiaroscuro Foundation, a charity backed almost exclusively by Sean Fieler, a wealthy Catholic hedge-funder based in New York.”

Both versions of The Handmaid’s Tale have a problem with racial erasure (from The Verge): “The novel is narrated by Offred, a college-educated white woman forced into service as a handmaiden. Atwood openly acknowledges that Offred’s experiences of violence and sexual coercion are based on American slavery. The network that rescues handmaids is clumsily named the Underground Femaleroad, after the historic Underground Railroad. Atwood also mentions that the regime hates the song “Amazing Grace,” which was originally written as a protest against the slave trade. Handmaids, like black slaves before them, are not allowed to read, need passes to go outside, and can be publicly lynched for perceived crimes against the regime.”

Survivors Of Sexual Abuse By Nuns Want Greater Visibility For Their Accusations (from NPR): “Cahill grew up in an Irish Catholic family and attended parochial schools. As invitations from the nun kept coming, she said she felt flattered by the attention, and her family welcomed the nun into their home.

Then, during an outing to a house at the Jersey shore, Cahill said the nun gave her tea laced with intoxicants.”

Another Tick-Borne Disease To Worry About (from NPR): “The newly discovered disease was found in Inner Mongolia, an autonomous region of China. In April 2017, a 42-year-old female farmer from the Mongolian town Alongshan went to a county hospital complaining of fever and headache. She had a history of tick bites. In searching for the cause of the patient’s fever, researchers ruled out the usual tick-borne diseases found in the area. Using genome sequencing, a process of determining the makeup of an organism’s DNA, they isolated a new disease-causing agent, which they called Alongshan virus, or ALSV, after the patient’s hometown.”

No, the Gun Culture Won’t Always Win (from The Atlantic): “Too many guns.

Too little hope.

After each succeeding gun massacre, a dull fatalism grips the American mind. The victims of such massacres are counted in the thousands; the victims of individual murder, of suicide, and of heartrending accident by now are counted in the tens of thousands. Yet action to save lives is vetoed again and again by an implacable minority who see gun ownership as integral to their identity.”

US energy department rebrands fossil fuels as ‘molecules of freedom’ (from The Guardian): “Mark W Menezes, the US undersecretary of energy, bestowed a peculiar honorific on our continent’s natural resources, dubbing it “freedom gas” in a release touting the DoE’s approval of increased exports of natural gas produced by a Freeport LNG terminal off the coast of Texas.

“Increasing export capacity from the Freeport LNG project is critical to spreading freedom gas throughout the world by giving America’s allies a diverse and affordable source of clean energy,” he said.”

Netflix ‘When They See Us’ Defendants Received Additional State Compensation For Imprisonment (from Deadline): “The five were freed after Matias Reyes confessed to the attack, with DNA evidence confirming his claim. The prosecutor from the case, Linda Fairstein, has since resigned from several charity boards and lost her book deal with Dutton. Fairstein is the author of 24 crime novels, with 16 New York Times best-sellers.”

And that’s all for now. Stop by again next week where I’ll have more links of interest for you to enjoy. Until then, happy reading!

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--official and non--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 still miss him. But we're now the acting staff of a Maine Coon kitty named Lulu, who pretty much rules the house. Not that we're complaining about that.
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