This week's most essential reading: Maria Bustillos at The Awl with "Our Billionaire Philanthropists."
A nonsensical headline, but an important article: Lois Beckett at ProPublica with "How Microsoft and Yahoo Are Selling Politicians Access to You."
Laila Lalami at The Nation on civil liberties outrages committed against American Muslims: "Islamophobia and Its Discontents."
"Ruling Facebookistan," by Rebecca MacKinnon at Foreign Policy. On Facebook's fumbling attempts to manage its role as a primary host for political speech and dissent around the world.
What could go wrong? Emily Bazelon at Slate on Facebook's newly floated plan to develop strategies for allowing children under the age of 13 to use the site.
Distressing but necessary piece by Amy Davidson at The New Yorker: "Screams in the Basement: How the Prosecution in the Sandusky Trial Made Its Case."
As the article itself says, a "Kafkaesque" account of one immigrant family's ordeal, by Marian Wang at ProPublica: "Grieving Father Struggles to Pay Dead Son's Student Loans." Honestly, why are financial companies are legally allowed to securitze anything at this point?
Oh. Right. That's why. Suzy Khimm at the Washington Post on Jamie Dimon's appearance before a fawning Senate Banking Committee.
For all the articles floating around at any given moment about The Death of Journalism, here's the flip side: how Kelly Goulnoush Niknejad singlehandedly created the preeminent English-language news outlet on Iran from her parents' living room.
A first-person account by Agnes Johnson at the Indypendent about raising teenagers in the shadow of the NYPD's stop-and-frisk policies: "I noticed the NYPD were becoming more aggressive around 2005 when police vans began stopping children early in the morning as they headed to school." My god. Via Liliana Segura.
At The New Inquiry, a fascinating and layered piece by Xarissa Holdaway on growing up Mormon.
At Matador Network, Sarah Baughman on "Raising Third Culture Kids" — children being raised (if only temporarily) in a culture that is not native to either parent. Via Travelreads.
At Vela Magazine, Amanda Giracca's "Summer People," on the seasonal invasions of Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Also via Travelreads.
At The American Prospect, Deborah Weisgall considers Little Women through several frames, few of which will be unfamiliar to any of you (but sometimes familiarity is comforting). I did appreciate the comparison of the novel with Middlemarch, which was both unexpected and (once you've thought about it for 10 or 15 seconds) blazingly obvious.
Via Maud Newton, a thoughtful piece at The Oregonian about Beverly Cleary's memoirs and literary style, by Anna Keesey.
Instead of linking to Jane Hu's piece at The Awl asking whether book reviews have a future, I am going to link to Quinn Norton's review of We Are Anonymous at Wired, which seems to me a rare and shining example of what it looks like when a book review contributes something essential to the conversation about not just what we read but how we think.
Via Jackie Regales, Reina A.E. Gattuso writes a very strong account of a student-organized commemoration of the work and life of Adrienne Rich. "Her many papers and diaries, ink-smudged, doodled-on, and worn, reveal a personal evolution as radical as that of her poetics."
A lovely photo essay by Hatty Lee at Colorlines talking back to that Time Magazine cover: women of color breastfeeding their infants or toddlers, and talking honestly about the rewards and difficulties of nursing.
A four-year-old who cannot speak is a casualty of a patent lawsuit between a manufacturer of communication devices and Apple. "The Silencing of Maya." This looks like the sort of thing that might actually respond to bad publicity from pissed-off mommy-bloggers, so spread it around.
From Dr. Jen Gunter, a terrifying portrayal of what health care on the ground looks like in the wake of new, oppressive, anti-women laws: "'Here's the number for the hospital lawyer. He'll arrange a conference call between you and the politician and then he'll contact me if you've made her case.'" Death panels, indeed.
From medical student Ilana Yurkiewicz at SciAm, the lessons — and the limits of lessons — offered by rare medical survival stories.
Butter, sulfur, and colitis: Katherine Harmon at SciAm on how a diet high in dairy or other saturated fats may encourage bowel disorders. Microbiomes are complicated, yo.
Finally, a short but very funny piece from Jenny Diski at the London Review of Books in defense of "the space in between the writing, when nothing seems to be happening, or random stuff is having an incoherent party inside your head."