Sunday, January 20, 2013

Links for the week ending 20 January 2013

"Furthermore, the study demonstrates that there is no way to add fertilized eggs, embryos, and fetuses to state constitutions or to the United States Constitution without removing all pregnant women from the community of constitutional persons." Good morning! There is SO MUCH to read this week! You should let that first sentence sink in for a minute, and then read the rest of this piece at RH Reality Check by Lynn Paltrow and Jeanne Flavin about their new study in the Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law about how fetal personhood laws have lead to arrests of pregnant women and also to their being forced to submit to unwanted medical interventions, including surgery.

Mary Wisniewski at Reuters reports on the Pew poll that finds, forty years after Roe v. Wade, that attitudes towards abortion have not changed much in the past 20 years. Meanwhile, Jill Lepore at The New Yorker with a historical perspective on Alan Guttmacher (editorial aside: best last name ever?) and Roe v. Wade that will thoroughly depress you: "Guttmacher's two key ideas — that contraception would replace abortion and that public health would trump politics — seem, in retrospect, regrettably naïve."

Also, since poor women are disproportionately likely to have unwanted pregnancies (and to be subject to forcible government action during pregnancy), it's worth reading Susan Heavey's story for Reuters on the latest report from The Working Poor Project: "The number of U.S. families struggling with poverty despite parents being employed continued to grow in 2011 as more people returned to work but mostly at lower-paying service jobs."

You could make tear-water tea while reading this report from Lauren Tara LaCapra for Reuters: "Goldman agonized over pay cuts as profits suffered." The average Goldman employee's pay dropped by more than $250,000 from 2006 to 2011, the poor dears!

Not bad news! "Shell's plans in Arctic at risk as Obama advisers call for halt to oil exploration." By Suzanne Goldenberg for the Guardian.

This, on the other hand… "
The case isn't the first in which the EPA initially linked a hydraulic fracturing operation to water contamination and then softened its position after the industry protested." Ramit Plushnick-Masti for the AP reports on how the EPA abandoned Texas homeowners whose wells suddenly started producing drinking water that was "bubbling like champagne."

Oh, look! It's suppression of inquiry! Liz Goodwin at Yahoo! News reports on the prospects for President Obama's plan to restore federal funding for research on gun violence. "After the defunding, 'for the most part the research went away, so it had its desired effect.'" Also, Emily Badger at The Atlantic Cities proposes "9 Questions About Gun Violence That We May Now Be Able to Answer" via funded research.

At Colorlines, Julianne Hing examines the likely negative consequences for students of color if schools increase police presence and similar security measures: "'When police officers are integrated into schools they become assigned to a lot of issues that come up that might otherwise be defined at mental health issues or social welfare issues. But suddenly they're redefined as criminal justice issues, and we're looking at, "Is this an arrestable offense?" rather than, "What does the child need?"'"

Two long pieces from Stanford's Jennifer Granick: Towards Learning from Losing Aaron Swartz, Parts 1, and 2. On the history and immensely problematic nature of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

"That's not a dream palace — that is what our treaties guaranteed." Leanne Simpson at DividedNoMore on the cultural context of fish broth as part of the hunger strike of Chief Spence in support of Idle No More. (Via Rachel Hartman, and thank you!)

Shatha Yaish writes for AFP on the short-lived protest village of Bab al-Shams, and how effectively it used non-violence to draw attention to burgeoning Israeli settlement-building activity.

Very long piece from Mother Jones' Mac McClelland on the spouses and children of struggling military veterans, asking, "Is PTSD Contagious?"

While the attack on the director of the Bolshoi Ballet is making news, it's worth reading this distressing but ultimately hopeful piece from last week by Raveena Aulakh at the Toronto Star on how Bangladesh — one of the world's poorest nations — has managed to massively reduce the number of acid attacks.

From Joanna Blythman at the Guardian, a blistering editorial about the "ghastly irony when the Andean peasant's staple grain becomes too expensive at home because it has acquired hero product status among affluent foreigners preoccupied with personal health, animal welfare and reducing their carbon 'foodprint'."

Fabulous essay by Ruth Graham at The Boston Globe on the history of boardinghouses and the crucial steppingstone they provided towards modern urban life.

This may be the only truly heartening story relating to football you'll read all year. Sarah Goodyear at The Atlantic Cities on how a local Indianapolis nonprofit is repurposing five miles of Super Bowl banners and 13 acres of dome vinyl to make merchandise like wallets and messenger bags.

I am old enough to be nostalgic for pinball games, but not old enough to have known that they were illegal in many American cities for many years. Do not miss Laura June at The Verge with a really wonderful history of the American arcade.

"What I won't do, however, is write about this astronomer as a woman." The redoubtable Ann Finkbeiner at The Last Word On Nothing is sick of writing about gender bias in science.

I'll admit that this is not as fun as Zoë Heller's 2012 evisceration, but Laila Lalami's sympathetic and personal reading of Salman Rushdie's memoir is useful and illuminating all the same. At The Nation.

I couldn't bring myself to read the transphobic hate speech that was published earlier this month. But I did read this extraordinarily compelling and eloquent speech that film director Lana Wachowski delivered to the Human Right's Campaign annual gala last October. Via Hilary Poole, and thanks for pointing me to it.

Finally, via Arikia Millikan, this achingly lovely comic from Yumi Sakugawa at Sadie Magazine: "I Think I Am In Friend-Love With You."