Weekly Reader: Vol 2 Issue 25

It’s time once more for all the news and views that you can peruse! It’s another Weekly Reader! As always, if you want to be part of the action, drop a link or three in the comments! Sharing is caring, after all.

The President* Is at Least Half-Mad. It’s Time to Take the Car Keys. (from Esquire magazine): “The President* of the United States is pretty clearly more than half-mad and, more and more, it’s becoming harder to keep a lid on that part of his unfitness for office. On Wednesday, during a press availability with the president of Italy, he was a rambling, snuffling mess of a person, and what he was saying was so detached from reality that it’s a wonder that he didn’t float off over the Potomac. When Nixon was spending the nights sockless drunk and talking to the pictures on the wall, he didn’t do it on national television. We didn’t hear about it until Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein wrote about it in their book. But this performance on Wednesday was right out there in the open, in the middle of the day.”

It’s only $4.99. But Costco’s rotisserie chicken comes at a huge price (from CNN): “It’s a highly unusual move for one of the world’s largest retailers. Costco will control the production process from farm to store, making key decisions down to the grain chickens eat and the type of eggs hatched. Costco has even put its socially-conscious corporate reputation on the line, fending off local critics who have rallied against the Nebraska operation.”

What’s Neil deGrasse Tyson Doing on Ben Shapiro’s Podcast? (from Slate): “The chumminess between the two men seems to have already bothered some of Tyson’s co-workers. “In my experience, museum-affiliated scientists are required to vet all media appearances through our communications department,” tweeted Jacklyn Grace Lacey, an anthropologist at the American Museum of Natural History, where Tyson heads the Hayden Planetarium. Just Friday, Shapiro covered the Democratic LGBTQ town hall on his show, implied homosexuality is a “social viewpoint,” and said the town hall was “discrimination against religious people.” Given those, and other views, Lacey had “SEVERAL questions.””

The Supreme Court’s Transgender Employment Discrimination Case Could Decide My Future Because I’m Trans (from TeenVogue): “But that’s just the last couple of years, when our importance as a political football has finally started to eclipse the darkness, discrimination, and erasure of history. Looking back at this country’s history of anti-cross-dressing laws, we see that to be trans in the United States is to live in a nation where we’ve been criminalized simply for the shirts (or blouses) on our backs if those clothes are deemed suitable only for someone on the other side of a broken, patriarchal gender binary.”

It’s Time for a Female Optimus Prime (from Kit Harrison–Note: there is a universe that has a female Optimus Prime but I’d like to see this go more mainstream.): “You might even think this is sacrilege having only read the title and these words here. “Optimus is a bloke,” you might say some more. “We shouldn’t gender-swap existing male characters, we should create new female ones. PC liberal leftist snowflake SJW omni-shambles are ruining culture by forcing diversity,” you might continue, reaching for a shotgun.

Well, I warmly invite you to read on, because – as with so many other things – the question is not only more complex than you might expect, but allows me to explore how the Transformers franchise can and has be used to explore new sociopolitical avenues and, indeed, how we are long overdue a mainline franchise entry where its Optimus Prime is, in fact, a female character.”

Why Are More Gay Men Turning On Transgender People? (from Medium): “There was no outrage expressed, no encouraging words of support or promises to fight alongside my community to push back against these acts of heinous discrimination offered up with the Presidential stamp of approval. Two people messaged me to see how I was managing emotionally as we trans folks faced down the barrel of this political shotgun. Both were cisgender women.”

A Brief Timeline of Events in the David Silverman Firing (from Almost Diamonds): “What is this? This is a short summary of things that have been said about Silverman’s suspension and firing with dates (and some annotations) attached. There’s confusion about just what’s been alleged by whom aside from the allegations of sexual misconduct, and I’m already tired of trying to straighten that out on a piecemeal basis. So here’s a timeline I can send people to. It’s probably missing some important statements now that I’ll add as I remember or am pointed to them.”

One Night at Mount Sinai (from The Cut): “On her woozy walk down the hall, holding her IV bag in her hand, Aja tried to piece together what had happened next. She knew for sure that she’d been drugged. She was struggling to stand up, to stay conscious; she felt disoriented and nauseated. Now, did this shit happen? she wondered. Or did I just have a really, really bad dream?

Opinion: Your tax dollars are subsidizing white supremacy (from The Los Angeles Times): “For instance, the New Century Foundation, a self-styled think tank, publishes a racist magazine rife with dire warnings such as “a European population cannot survive in a multiracial society” and “when blacks are left entirely to their own devices, Western civilization — any kind of civilization — disappears.” By persuading the Internal Revenue Service that such drivel is educational, it is legally considered a charity, it didn’t have to pay federal taxes on the nearly half-million dollars of revenue it reported in 2017, and its donors enjoyed federal and state (including California) income tax deductions on their contributions.”

Columbus Day Or Indigenous Peoples’ Day? (from NPR–Personally, I prefer Indigenous Peoples’ Day.): “”It’s become a trend,” Champagne said. “It’s about celebrating people instead of thinking about somebody who actually caused genocide on a population or tried to cause the genocide of an entire population. By bringing Indigenous Peoples’ Day, we’re bringing awareness that we’re not going to allow someone like that to be glorified into a hero, because of the hurt that he caused to Indigenous people of America.””

Inside Mark Zuckerberg’s private meetings with conservative pundits (from Politico): “The dinners, which began in July, are part of Zuckerberg’s broader effort to cultivate friends on the right amid outrage by President Donald Trump and his allies over alleged “bias” against conservatives at Facebook and other major social media companies. “I’m under no illusions that he’s a conservative but I think he does care about some of our concerns,” said one person familiar with the gatherings, which multiple sources have confirmed.”

Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson uses untraceable church to drum up legal defense funds (from The Oregonian): “The church, according to its website, seeks to help “Preachers hit the streets by helping to protect them legally and financially” and allows people to give money to evangelists who are working in Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle and Tacoma.

There is no record of such a church in California, Oregon or Washington, according to officials who oversee charities and non-profits in each state.

Its website, registered in May, provides no address, contact information or list of staff. Online searches show the only reference to the Church of Faith and Freedom comes from social media accounts connected to Gibson or Patriot Prayer.”

Why People Are Dying from Vaping in the U.S. and Not the U.K. (from Vice): “The stark contrast has American harm-reduction advocates and their counterparts across the pond touting the U.K.’s measured approach to vaping as more logical than the full-throttle panic in Washington and state capitals across the country. The only problem is American institutions seem ill-equipped to emulate it.”

“Holy f**k”: Ex-Deutsche Bank exec says bank may have “destroyed” copies of Trump’s tax returns (from Salon): “The former executive suggested that the bank either “returned any physical copies or destroyed any physical copies under an agreement with a client and cleansed their servers.””

That’s all for this edition. Stop by again for another knowledge dump of massive proportions. So 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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