It’s time once again for news and views that you can peruse. It’s time once again for your Weekly Reader! As always, if you have anything you’d like to share, just drop a link in the comments!
The Arguments Against Abortion Do Not Make Sense (from Current Affairs): “By calling it an undisputed “biological fact” that the fertilized egg is “a human being,” and adding only that humans should not be killed and the government should prevent them from being killed, the authors of Tearing Us Apart believe they have done all that is necessary to resolve the moral question. Abortion is murder, case closed. Of course, the zygote, blastocyst, and embryo in fact pose a major challenge for the conservative view of abortion, because to treat their destruction as equivalent to a homicide appears an absurdity. It means that entities at very early stages of human development—those without sentience or even the rudiments of a nervous system—must be treated as equivalent to the rest of us, despite feeling no pain, having no thoughts, and being such a rudimentary entity as to make a frog or hamster appear godlike. Does this really make sense? Why does the fact that the entity has unique genetic material make a dispositive moral difference?”
Trump Supporters Are Calling for Civil War After FBI Search of Mar-a-Lago (from Vice News): “MAGA, QAnon, and far-right message boards and Telegram channels lit up Monday night with calls for a violent response to what some extremists see as a political attack directed by the Biden administration.
““This is how you light the match to a civil war,” one user on Twitter wrote in response to the news.”
The hidden makers of Costco’s Kirkland Signature and Trader Joe’s O’s (from CNN): “Retailers aren’t typically forthcoming about the companies that make their brands. And manufacturers, likewise, have little incentive to reveal that they’re creating similar products to their name brands under a different label sold on the cheap.”
Big Tech remains silent on questions about data privacy in a post-Roe US (from MIT Technology Review): “These companies have not given that same kind of support to their users, amid growing concerns that a digital footprint—including websites visited, location data from a phone, or private messages on a social platform—could be used to build a criminal case against someone seeking an abortion.”
The U.S. made a breakthrough battery discovery — then gave the technology to China (from NPR): “The Chinese company didn’t steal this technology. It was given to them — by the U.S. Department of Energy. First in 2017, as part of a sublicense, and later, in 2021, as part of a license transfer. An investigation by NPR and the Northwest News Network found the federal agency allowed the technology and jobs to move overseas, violating its own licensing rules while failing to intervene on behalf of U.S. workers in multiple instances.”
Seven Years of Sex Abuse: How Mormon Officials Let It Happen (from US News and World Report-ContentWarning: child sexual abuse): “Arizona’s child sex abuse reporting law, and similar laws in more than 20 states that require clergy to report child sex abuse and neglect, says that clergy, physicians, nurses, or anyone caring for a child who “reasonably believes” a child has been abused or neglected has a legal obligation to report the information to police or the state Department of Child Safety. But it also says that clergy who receive information about child neglect or sexual abuse during spiritual confessions “may withhold” that information from authorities if the clergy determine it is “reasonable and necessary” under church doctrine.”
Cops Let a Woman Go Free After She Showed Her ‘White Privilege Card’ (from Vice News): “But instead of citing or ticketing the woman for failing to show her driver’s license, cellphone video taken by the motorist shows officers had a laugh, took a selfie with the woman, and let her go.”
A Forgotten War on Women (from The New Republic): “There are survivors of this Plan’s state-sponsored sexual violence still alive today, and various forms of these original laws remain on the books in multiple states, having never been fully repealed. Nina McCall’s story might have stayed buried if Stern had skipped class the day in 2011 when one of his professors at Yale offhandedly mentioned that, “There were even concentration camps in this country for prostitutes.” That phrase rattled around in Stern’s mind, and he decided to find out more. The end result is this meticulously researched, utterly damning work that lays out just what measures the United States government took to control women’s sexuality and autonomy—and how perfectly happy local officials and law enforcement were to go along with it.”
Why We Still Need Atheism (from Current Affairs): “I also realized that at the core of rationality lay open-mindedness and self-doubt—neither of which was a quality obviously possessed by Dawkins or Hitchens. When Hitchens said, “I am absolutely convinced that the main source of hatred in the world is religion and organized religion,” I eventually realized that he was making exactly the kind of dogmatic, evidence-free claim that he attacked religious believers for. In this case, when a crusader for “rationality” turns out to be highly irrational, they become comical rather than inspiring.”
Fight Back, Blue America! (from The New Republic): “The end of Roe is pure chaos. A 50-year-old constitutional right has been reversed. Trying to take the full measure of the turmoil is like contemplating the vastness of outer space. No matter how big you think it is—it’s bigger.”
Your “We Are Headed Toward a Civil War” Friend Has a Point (from Slate): “Extrapolating to the U.S. population, the Davis study found that between 4 and 5 million Americans would be “very or completely willing” to intimidate, injure, or kill to achieve a political goal. Between 3 and 5 million would be similarly willing to commit violence against government, election, and health officials, as well as the police and military. “These individuals are not being bombastic,” Kleinfeld said, “they are willing to say precisely what kind of violence they support.””
I’m a VFX Artist, and I’m Tired of Getting ‘Pixel-F–ked’ by Marvel (from Vulture): “The other thing with Marvel is it’s famous for asking for lots of changes throughout the process. So you’re already overworked, but then Marvel’s asking for regular changes way in excess of what any other client does. And some of those changes are really major. Maybe a month or two before a movie comes out, Marvel will have us change the entire third act. It has really tight turnaround times. So yeah, it’s just not a great situation all around. One visual-effects house could not finish the number of shots and reshoots Marvel was asking for in time, so Marvel had to give my studio the work. Ever since, that house has effectively been blacklisted from getting Marvel work.”
Air Conditioning Will Not Save Us (from Time): “In a heat wave, we should, above all, ensure that everyone in the city remains safe by finding a reliable way to keep cool. For those who can, this means running individual AC units in residential spaces—at least, for now. But this response to heat emergencies doesn’t look like an emergency response at all. Nor does it work when the energy grid fails. It leaves survival up to individual consumer choice, which exposes the most vulnerable to deadly heat and reinforces the inequities already present in our cities.”
That’s all for this week. But don’t worry; I’ll be back again next time with more articles you can’t wait to read. Until then, have a great weekend, and happy reading!