Weekly Reader: Vol 4 Issue 3

It’s time once again for news and views that you can peruse. It’s time for another one of your Weekly Reader! As always, if you have something you’d like to share, drop a link in the comments! We appreciate it!

In A Post-Roe America, Googling “Abortion” Could Put You At Risk. Here’s How To Protect Yourself. (from Buzzfeed News): “Though the scope of this surveillance has yet to be fully realized, online searches, internet history, and information collected by digital health apps all could potentially provide evidence against people seeking abortions in a post-Roe America. That makes digital hygiene tools and techniques a vital means of safeguarding people of childbearing age as they navigate a new reality.”

The Horrifying Implications of Alito’s Most Alarming Footnote (from Slate): “In short, those who produced the Fourteenth Amendment deplored forcing women to give birth so their babies could be raised by others for the same reason it rejected the idea that marriage and child rearing were only available to white people: It was an outrage against decency, liberty, and democracy and yes, if you still care at all about such matters, an affront against their conception of God as well.”

The Dangerous Ideas of “Longtermism” and “Existential Risk” (from Current Affairs): “All of this is to say that even if billions of people were to perish in the coming climate catastrophe, so long as humanity survives with enough of civilization intact to fulfill its supposed “potential,” we shouldn’t be too concerned. In the grand scheme of things, non-runaway climate change will prove to be nothing more than a “mere ripple” —a “small misstep for mankind,” however terrible a “massacre for man” it might otherwise be.”

Trump Kept Asking if China Was Shooting Us With a ‘Hurricane Gun’ (from Rolling Stone): “Near the beginning of Donald Trump’s time in office, the then-president had a pressing question for his national-security aides and administration officials: Does China have the secret technology — a weapon, even — to create large, man-made hurricanes and then launch them at the United States? And if so, would this constitute an act of war by a foreign power, and could the U.S. retaliate militarily? Then-President Trump repeatedly asked about this, according to two former senior administration officials.”

A biologist explains why ‘heartbeat laws’ are nonsensical (from OnlySky): “The assumption may be easy to make, but it is glaringly incorrect, as is illustrated by the narrative that began this article. It’s simple: heart cells beat all by themselves, entirely on their own. If an individual heart cell is alive, it contracts in a rhythmic manner—that is to say, it beats. “Cardiac activity” means that a few heart cells are alive and beating, not that a heart actually exists. A true heartbeat, on the other hand, is, technically speaking, the beating of a heart. An actual complete heart, not a few cardiac muscle cells. A complete heart does not exist at six weeks’ gestation.”

HOW POLITICS POISONED THE EVANGELICAL CHURCH (from The Atlantic): “Brighton is a small town, and I knew the local evangelical scene like it was a second reporting beat. I knew which pastors were feuding; whose congregations were mired in scandal; which church softball teams had a deacon playing shortstop, and which ones stacked their lineups with non-tithing ringers. But FloodGate? I had never heard of FloodGate. And neither had most of the people sitting around me, until recently.”

If we don’t own ourselves, we own nothing (from OnlySky): “Most of all, we don’t require people to offer up their bodies for the benefit of another. We don’t force anyone to donate a lung, a kidney or a piece of their liver to save a sick stranger’s life. Organ donation is major surgery which entails pain and suffering, risk of death, and possible lifelong restrictions. We judge that no one should be subjected to that if they’re unwilling, even if they’re the only match and the recipient will die without a transplant.”

It ain’t over ’til it’s over (from Science): “COVID-19 is at a similar place to where the HIV/AIDS global pandemic was when the antiretroviral drugs came along. Yale epidemiologist Gregg Gonsalves told me about important parallels between both pandem­ics. “The HIV epidemic didn’t go away,” he said. “It just went to where people could ignore it. It went into the rural South, it went to communities that were already facing disparities in health.” At that time, confusion between medicine and public health was also an im­portant factor. “The discourse shifting to private choice and private adjudication of risk is really not what public health science is,” he said. “We work in populations. And if we’re talking about medicine, it’s about private risk and private choices.””

How Alex Jones’ Conspiracy Empire Has Kept Itself Going Even While Being Banned From Social Media (from The Daily Beast): “But Jones is a wily one, having also invested in online infrastructure that’s enabling his proteges to grow with their own audiences. Through the creation and fostering of his independent video hosting platform, Banned Video, Jones is shepherding the careers of employees and outside contributors, as they build a repository of far-right digital content.”

MITCH MCCONNELL IS HOPING PEOPLE JUST FORGET HE’S TO BLAME FOR ABORTION RIGHTS BEING OBLITERATED (from Vanity Fair): “Of course, that’s just a fraction of the work the Kentucky lawmaker put into sending the U.S. on the path to a post-Roe world.”

If Abortion Is Illegal, Will Every Miscarriage Be a Potential Crime? (from Mother Jones): ““There’s no medical way to tell the difference between a miscarriage and a medication abortion. And so the difference between whether someone gets reported isn’t anything medical,” says Rafa Kidvai, who directss the legal defense fund at the reproductive justice group If/When/How. “And that’s obviously about race, about Blackness, about indigeneity, or anyone that feels suspicious.””

Miss. governor doesn’t rule out banning contraception if Roe falls (from the Washington Post): “When asked if Mississippi might next target the use of contraceptives such as the Plan B pill or intrauterine devices, Reeves demurred, saying that was not what the state was focused on “at this time.””

The two largest reservoirs in California are already at ‘critically low levels’ and the dry season is just starting (from CNN): “Shasta Lake’s water levels are now less than half of historical average. According to the US Bureau of Reclamation, only agriculture customers who are senior water right holders and some irrigation districts in the Eastern San Joaquin Valley will receive the Central Valley Project water deliveries this year.”

That’s all for this edition. But I’ll be back again soon with more timely articles for your consumption. Until then, have a great rest of your week, stay safe, and I’ll see you next time!

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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