Weekly Reader: Vol 2 Issue 17

It’s time once again for news and views that you can peruse! It’s another Weekly Reader! As always, if you’ve got something you’d like to share, head over to the comments and submit your link.

Thirty-Two Short Stories About Death in Prison (from The Atlantic–Warning! Disturbing content!): “These stories don’t mention Jeffrey Epstein, but they are about him. Epstein was incarcerated in the United States of America, and this is how the United States of America, the mightiest and richest nation there is or ever has been, treats incarcerated people. When you say, “There is no way that guards could be so reckless, so indifferent, so malicious as to just let someone as important as Epstein die,” this is how 32 Americans respond. Many, many more could respond in kind.”

Women Are Fleeing Death at Home. The U.S. Wants to Keep Them Out. (from The New York Times via MSN): “But violence against women, and domestic violence in particular, is a powerful and often overlooked factor in the migration crisis. Latin America and the Caribbean are home to 14 of the 25 deadliest nations in the world for women, according to available data collected by the Small Arms Survey, which tracks violence globally.

And Central America, the region where most of those seeking asylum in the United States are fleeing, is at the heart of the crisis.”

Cats Domesticated Themselves, Ancient DNA Shows (from National Geographic): “In a new comprehensive study of the spread of domesticated cats, DNA analysis suggests that cats lived for thousands of years alongside humans before they were domesticated. During that time, their genes have changed little from those of wildcats, apart from picking up one recent tweak: the distinctive stripes and dots of the tabby cat.”

The great land robbery (from The Atlantic via MSN): “Owners of small farms everywhere, black and white alike, have long been buffeted by larger economic forces. But what happened to black landowners in the South, and particularly in the Delta, is distinct, and was propelled not only by economic change but also by white racism and local white power. A war waged by deed of title has dispossessed 98 percent of black agricultural landowners in America. They have lost 12 million acres over the past century. But even that statement falsely consigns the losses to long-ago history. In fact, the losses mostly occurred within living memory, from the 1950s onward. Today, except for a handful of farmers like the Scotts who have been able to keep or get back some land, black people in this most productive corner of the Deep South own almost nothing of the bounty under their feet.”

Opinion: Why it’s immigrants who pack your meat (from The Atlantic via MSN): “In addition to ignoring the poultry industry’s abuse of immigrant workers, the Trump administration has eliminated regulations that protect poultry farmers from being treated unfairly. It has exempted factory farms from Environmental Protection Agency rules governing the release of air pollution. It is permitting the increase of line speeds at poultry and pork slaughterhouses, making worker injuries more likely and jeopardizing food safety.”

What America Taught the Nazis (from The Atlantic): “Whitman invokes the work of political scientists who, in the separate-spheres spirit of Tocqueville, distinguish what they call a white-supremacist order from a liberal and egalitarian order. But his own book shows that such a division is too clear-cut. We must come to terms with race in America in tandem with considerations of democracy. Whitman’s history does not expose the liberal tradition in the United States as merely a sham, as many of the Third Reich’s legal theorists intimated when they highlighted patterns of black and American Indian subordination. Rather, he implicitly challenges readers to consider when and how, under what conditions and in which domains, the ugly features of racism have come most saliently to the fore in America’s liberal democracy. Conversely, we might ask, when and why have those features been repressed, leading to more-equal access for racial minorities to physical space, cultural regard, material life, and civic membership?”

Art Spiegelman: golden age superheroes were shaped by the rise of fascism (from The Guardian): “Captain America was a recruiting poster, battling against the real Nazi super-villains while Superman was still fighting cheap gunsels, strike breakers, greedy landlords and Lex Luthor – and America was still equivocating about entering the conflict at all. No wonder Simon and Kirby’s comic book became an enormous hit, selling close to a million copies a month throughout the war. But not everyone was a fan in 1941 – according to Simon, the German American Bund and America Firsters bombarded the publisher’s offices with hate mail and obscene phone calls that screamed “Death to the Jews!” Mayor Fiorello La Guardia, a real-life superhero, called to reassure him, saying: “The city of New York will see that no harm comes to you.””

ICE Deported a Man to a Place He’d Never Lived. Now He’s Dead. (from Rolling Stone): ““I’ve been sleeping in the street,” Aldaoud says in the video which was filmed two weeks after he was deported. “I’m diabetic. I get insulin shots. I was throwing up… sleeping in the streets, trying to find something to eat. You know, I got nothing over here.””

This Land Is the Only Land There Is (from The Atlantic): “But unlike other sources of pollution—such as the burning of fossil fuels, which must be quickly reduced globally—land can’t just be shut down. It must be made into a tool in the climate fight. The report’s more than 100 authors, hailing from 51 countries, say that this will require immediate action from farmers, bankers, conservationists, and policy makers worldwide. And to really succeed, it will require hundreds of millions of affluent people in the Northern Hemisphere to change their diet, eating many more plants and much less meat—and especially much less red meat—than they do now.”

She recorded her rapist’s confession. Now, the Supreme Court could hear it. (from CNN): “Unbeknownst to Briggs at the time, DK was sitting in a government vehicle on an Air Force installation with two agents from the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) and a special victims counselor holding a phone that AFOSI had rigged with a recording device.

“I was sitting in the driver’s seat just staring out the window,” she said. “As soon as he hung up, I started telling them he’d apologized … I’m telling them he confessed.”

As they listened to the recording, DK says her whole body shook. Her account had been validated.”

If you think “toxic femininity” is real, you are part of the problem… (from Medium): “Ask 500 little boys what they want to be when they grow up. Not one of them will say they want to go to prison for killing a woman because she said no. Not one of them will tell you they want to grow up and strangle their wife. Not one of them will tell you they want to be a rapist or abuser or a murderer.

But yet, here we are.”

Cats understand their names and are probably just choosing to ignore you, a study suggests (from CNN): “The researchers chose nouns with roughly the same accent and length as the cat’s name and had both the cat’s owner and a stranger record them. They played the audio to the cats with 15-second intervals between each sound. The cat’s name came last.

Regardless of who was speaking, most of the cats reacted in some way, moving their heads or perking up their ears when their names were spoken.” (We all knew this…)

That’s all for now. Drop by again for more info-bites to nourish the brain. 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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