Weekly Reader: Vol 3 Issue 20

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.

Rudy Giuliani faces questions after compromising scene in new Borat film (from The Guardian): “Following an obsequious interview for a fake conservative news programme, the pair retreat at her suggestion for a drink to the bedroom of a hotel suite, which is rigged with concealed cameras.

After she removes his microphone, Giuliani, 76, can be seen lying back on the bed, fiddling with his untucked shirt and reaching into his trousers. They are then interrupted by Borat who runs in and says: “She’s 15. She’s too old for you.”

Representatives for Giuliani have not replied to the Guardian’s requests for comment.”

THE 8TH WONDER OF THE WORLD* (*wonder not guaranteed) (from The Verge): “Which is why new recruits arriving at the 1960s office building Foxconn had purchased in downtown Milwaukee were surprised to discover they had to provide their own office supplies. “One of the largest companies in the world, and you have to bring your own pencil,” an employee recalls wondering. Maybe Foxconn was just moving too fast to be bothered with such details, they thought, as they brought their laptops from home and scavenged pencils left behind by the building’s previous tenants. They listened to the cries of co-workers trapped in the elevators that often broke, noted the water that occasionally leaked from the ceiling, and wondered when the building would be transformed into the gleaming North American headquarters an executive had promised.”

Insane Clown Posse Is Modeling Ideal Pandemic Leadership (from The Atlantic): “There’s no great shock about any mass gathering getting canceled at this point in the pandemic, but each thwarted soiree signals a different aspect of the virus’s societal toll. South by Southwest’s early demise felt like a sign that isolation could throw cold water on the economy, especially for the creative industries. Coachella’s postponement represented a blow to big-tent pop culture. The Gathering of the Juggalos’ collapse conjures something else—the crisis’s disruption of subcultures for which belonging and togetherness can’t be taken for granted.”

Trump’s Tax Returns Have Exposed Him as a Massive Failure Who Thrived in the Age of Plutocracy (from Esquire): “But he stands also exposed as a failure who was allowed to thrive because he failed at a time in which politics and government were rearranged to keep his particular genre of failure ever from being fatal. In fact, if he hadn’t run for president*—and, especially, had he not been elected president*—he likely would have floated gracefully into eternity, leaving a complex disaster for his heirs to straighten out, and remembered in history as a crude, wealthy wastrel with some interesting eccentricities. And measured only against his fellow plutocrats, posterity might have gotten away with remembering him that way. But measured against the presidency, he was what Wayne Barrett said he was in 1979: small and venal, with no ideas big enough to transcend profit, a fitting epitaph for the republic in the age of the money power.”

Ex-Facebook Employees Reveal What It’s Really Like Working for Mark Zuckerberg (from Complex): “The advancement of the “authentic self” is widely discouraged from leadership, according to the report. Multiple former employees who were interviewed for the piece compared the general company vibes to those of a full-blown cult.

“There’s a real culture of ‘Even if you are fucking miserable, you need to act like you love this place,'” an ex Facebook employee who left the company in October said. “It is not OK to act like this is not the best place to work.” This allegedly forced facade of the ideal workplace is also said to extend to the behavior of Facebook employees on the site itself.”

Why Are Right-Wing Conspiracies so Obsessed With Pedophilia? (from Mother Jones): “The McMartin preschool scandal of the 1980s was a sort of analog version of the more recent Pizzagate, part of a lurid and misbegotten moral panic about subterranean child abuse. Even though the supposed crimes unfolded thousands of miles and several decades apart, under very different circumstances, the two conspiracy theories share the same rough contours. The McMartin saga, which began in 1983 with accusations made by one boy’s mother, came to encompass fantastical claims about a massive pedophile ring lurking beneath a preschool in Manhattan Beach, California. Pizza­gate was concocted during the 2016 presidential campaign and alleged that prominent figures in the Democratic Party were running a child sex ring in tunnels beneath the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in a residential Washington, DC, neighborhood. Both spun off into new theories: Amid a full-on national hysteria, McMartin spawned a series of day-care conspiracies, while Pizzagate has led to QAnon, an even wilder conspiracy theory that postulates that President Donald Trump is on the verge of arresting a throng of liberal elites for facilitating and participating in a sprawling child sex ring. Both drew on natural fears about child safety and supercharged them into national phenomena with real-world ramifications. Both of course were fictions.”

I Thought We Were Friends — Then He Raped Me (from Candour via Medium): “At the time, I wouldn’t allow myself to use the word rape for what he did to me. He had the unmitigated gall to call me that night with a half-ass apology. I told him he’s never touching me again, and what he did was unacceptable. I was curt kept the call short. The oddity of what happened wasn’t making sense, not right then. It was too much to wrap my mind around.”

How Much Is Your Body Autonomy and Dignity Worth? (from Medium): “The officer received no disciplinary action for violating Simms’ constitutional rights, body autonomy, and annihilating her dignity in public because her colleagues had a hunch about drugs. The State Department also felt like there was nothing wrong with the illegal cavity search in plain view of the street.”

The Constitution doesn’t have a problem with mask mandates (from The Conversation): “It is not always clear why anti-maskers think government orders requiring face coverings in public spaces or those put in place by private businesses violate their constitutional rights, much less what they think those rights are. But most of the mistaken objections fall into two categories:

Mandatory masks violate the First Amendment right to speech, assembly, and especially association and mandatory masks violate a person’s constitutional right to liberty and to make decisions about their own health and bodily integrity.”

The day the dinosaurs’ world fell apart (from the BBC): “Scientists say the impact would have generated a giant wave pulse that would have crashed on to shorelines hundreds of kilometres from the crater. But this outward train would also have had a return pulse and it’s the debris carried in this tsunami that caps the top of the rock sequence.

“This is all still Day One,” says Prof Sean Gulick from the University of Texas at Austin. “Tsunamis move at the speed of a jet plane. Twenty-four hours is a generous amount of time for the waves to move out and come back in again,” he told BBC News.”

That’s all for today. Stop by again next time for more reading material that you might find interesting. Until then, stay safe 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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