Weekly Reader: Vol 3 Issue 13

It’s time once again for news and views that you can peruse. It’s time once again for your regularly scheduled Weekly Reader! Got some hot links, blog posts, or articles from a local paper you’d like to share? Head over to the comments and let us know.

The Truth Is Paywalled But The Lies Are Free (from Current Affairs): “Paywalls are justified, even though they are annoying. It costs money to produce good writing, to run a website, to license photographs. A lot of money, if you want quality. Asking people for a fee to access content is therefore very reasonable. You don’t expect to get a print subscription to the newspaper gratis, why would a website be different? I try not to grumble about having to pay for online content, because I run a magazine and I know how difficult it is to pay writers what they deserve.”

John Boyne accidentally includes Zelda video game monsters in novel (from The Guardian): “Boyne’s A Traveller at the Gates of Wisdom opens in AD1 and ends 2,000 years later, following a narrator and his family. In one section, the narrator sets out to poison Attila the Hun, using ingredients including an “Octorok eyeball” and “the tail of the red lizalfos and four Hylian shrooms”.”

These companies are working from home until 2021 — or forever (from CNN): “As coronavirus continues to spread across the United States, companies are coming to terms with a future of work that doesn’t look anything like it did before — and many are revisiting their plans to go back to the office.”

‘Am I racist?’ You may not like the answer (from CNN): “Bell’s paradoxical response is part of what she and others say about racism: It’s almost impossible not to be a racist growing up in the US. If you think you’re immune from it, that denial itself is part of how racism perpetuates.”

How ‘good White people’ derail racial progress (from CNN): “But this wasn’t archival footage of White Southerners from the 1960s. This took place last year in Howard County, Maryland, a suburban community that prides itself on racial integration. It was there that progressive White parents mobilized with other groups to try to stop a school integration plan that would bus poor students, who were mostly Black and brown, to more affluent, whiter schools.

Willie Flowers, the father of two eighth-grade boys in Howard County schools, was stunned by the ferocity of the resistance. He says it was a flashback to the type of racism he encountered attending schools with Whites in the South.”

GEORGE R.R. MARTIN CAN FUCK OFF INTO THE SUN, OR: THE 2020 HUGO AWARDS CEREMONY (RAGEBLOG EDITION) (from Pretty Terrible): “I am so happy for the winners and so many of their speeches were righteously fiery in all the best ways. Many of the presenters were also wonderful, with Mary Robinette Kowal being the standout for me–I loved what she did with pulling out a relevant quotation from each nominated work and I hope it catches on in the other fiction categories.

That said, I have never in my life seen any awards ceremony that, in its whole, was so blatantly disrespectful of the nominees and winners. And I’m including my high school senior awards ceremony where I learned that half the money my family donated to the music department after my mother’s death had been used not for the purpose for which it had been donated in this assessment.”

Fact check: No mask? You can ask why — it isn’t against HIPAA or the Fourth or Fifth Amendments (from USA Today): ““HIPAA prescribes rules as to how health care providers, insurers and business associates must protect the privacy of health information about patients and prevents them from disclosing information except in limited circumstances,” Meisel said. “It simply does not apply to anything else.”

So it isn’t applicable to questions from a business owner to a patron, or one person to another. It is legal to ask why a person is not wearing a mask, including asking about a medical condition that prevents it.”

The GOP Is Blocking Journalists From Covering Trump’s Renomination. That’s a First in Modern History. (from Mother Jones): “Nominating conventions are traditionally meant to be media bonanzas, as political parties seek to leverage the attention the events draw to spread their message to as many voters as possible. If the GOP decision stands, it will mark the first party nominating convention in modern history to be closed to reporters.”

An anti-mask cult in Illinois might spread coronavirus across the country (from BGR): “Des Plaines has asked the cult to follow state mandates regarding COVID-19, including face masks and social distancing, but the people attending the events have ignored them, Sondergaard included.

Mayor Matthew Bogusz signed a revised emergency declaration on Tuesday night that makes Des Plaines’ face masks and social distancing requirements stricter than the rest of the state. “Failure to do so will result in a citation and fine,” Alderman Andrew Goczkowski said. “Failure to comply after a citation may result in further action.””

How Jared Kushner’s Secret Testing Plan “Went Poof Into Thin Air” (from Vanity Fair): “Over the next three months, the tests’ mysterious provenance would spark confusion and finger-pointing. An Abu Dhabi–based artificial intelligence company, Group 42, with close ties to the UAE’s ruling family, identified itself as the seller of 3.5 million tests and demanded payment. Its requests were routed through various divisions within Health and Human Services, whose lawyers sought in vain for a bona fide contracting officer.”

Lured to America —then trapped (from NBC News): “Two weeks earlier, in February 2018, Reyes had come to the United States through a fast-growing visa program for temporary farmworkers. The Georgia-based labor contractor who recruited him, Manuel Sanchez, had promised Reyes that he could earn more in a few months baling pine straw for garden mulch than he’d make all year as a bricklayer in Mexico — all expenses paid.

Instead, Sanchez had already missed the first paycheck, and Reyes and the 18 other workers Sanchez recruited were quickly running out of food, according to interviews and court documents. Sanchez left the men at a roach-infested house with no heat, hot water or working toilets. There wasn’t room for all of them to lie down, even on the floor. So Reyes had to sleep in a garden shed infested with spiders, shivering under plastic wrap that he used as an improvised sheet.”

That’s all for today. Stop by again for more information about interesting topics and current concerns. Until then, have a great rest of your week and 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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