Sunday, August 10, 2014

Links for the week ending 10 August 2014

Beginning the list again with Torie Rose DeGhett's "This Week In War," because it has been that kind of week.

The situation in Iraq is moving fast. Once again, I recommend following Loveday Morris at The Washington Post.

"'How does this end? It doesn’t,' he said." Nancy Youssef on mission creep and the choices the U.S. faces against the Islamic State (ISIS). At McClatchy.

"A few blocks from Dr. Zeyada’s apartment, Younis al-Bakr, 9, sat curled on a sofa, chewing on his fist like a much younger boy. His family said he had not spoken a word since he witnessed the shelling that killed four of his cousins on the Gaza City beach on July 17. Younis and three more cousins survived the attack, suffering shrapnel wounds along with less visible ones." Anne Barnard at the NYT on widespread trauma in Gaza.

"Khuzaa survivors say efforts to flee were blocked by Israeli tanks and that Israeli soldiers shot at them as they waved white flags. Emergency responders say the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) shot at ambulances trying to enter the area." Kristen Chick at the Christian Science Monitor. (Via Rabia Mehmoud.)

"The whole point of an international organization like the UN, on the other hand, is to be inclusive—an antidote to nationalistic displays of hatred and violence. The UN won’t throw bombs back. It aims at solutions beyond revenge. " Atossa Araxia Abrahamian at Dissent on the particularly bitter ironies of missile attacks on civilians sheltered by the UN.

"Maisa Arshid, an attorney for dozens of the detainees, said that the crackdown on Palestinian citizens is only getting worse, with 20 to 30 Palestinians getting picked up every week in the Nazareth area alone. 'All of them are accused of participating in illegal demonstrations,' Arshid told Al Jazeera, adding that 'part of these demos were permitted by the police themselves'." Mya Guarnieri at Al Jazeera on Israel's crackdown against internal dissent. (Via Sarah Schulman.)

"Even as the war appears to draw to a close, the battle over casualty statistics rages on. No other number is as contentious as the ratio of civilians to combatants killed, widely viewed, including in Israel, as a measure of whether the commanders in the field acted proportionately to the threat posed by militants — or, in the eyes of Israel’s critics, committed war crimes." From a few days ago, Judi Rudoren at the NYT on the accounting of death in the Gaza war.

"Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene, the highest-ranking U.S. military officer killed in a war zone in four decades, died not at the hand of a sworn enemy but from a burst of gunfire by a soldier in an allied army who had been largely paid, trained and equipped with American and NATO support." Pamela Constable at The Washington Post.

"But, of course journalism suffers. The very essence of reporting—striking up conversations with strangers, hanging around—is a logistical nightmare. We don’t go to restaurants anymore. Some have given up walking. Others have put up higher walls. Kabul as an archipelago of refuge and safety is long over." May Jeong at The New Quarterly on being a woman and a foreign reporter in Afghanistan.

"Within weeks, gang members began to target Exelina. They demanded money, and threatened to kidnap and kill her children. At first, the monthly extortion was $200. Every month Elsy and Salvador sent money to pay off the gang. 'She would call me in tears, saying she didn't want to live there anymore,' Elsy says. 'But I would tell her, "Be patient. Wait for your immigration papers to come through."'" The first of a four-part series by Melissa del Bosque on the deaths of desperate immigrants trying to sneak around Border Patrol checkpoints in Brooks County, Texas. A joint project of The Texas Observer and the Guardian.

"'My family blamed me for my uncle's deportation,' his sworn statement read. 'They told me if I had not been detained he would not have offered to sponsor me and immigration would not have found him. If I go back to Honduras I have nowhere to live. My family will not accept me.'" Susan Carroll at the Houston Chronicle. (Via Lise Olsen.)

"When beginning Chicago Survivors four years ago, Johnson and her team surveyed a single block in a neighborhood just south of Hyde Park, the University of Chicago’s leafy home base. Of 22 single-family homes, 12 had lost an immediate family member to violence. Eight of those households had lost more than one." Carla Murphy at Colorlines.

"We didn’t know it at the time, but we were watching an experiment that tested the validity of the American dream for Boston’s poorest children. The kids we taught at camp and tutored during the school year were growing up in a tough place at a time of widening income disparities. We debated in our dorm rooms at night: How much can we do — or should we do — to try to change their lives?" First of a six-part series from Farah Stockman at The Boston Globe, tracking down the people who participated in a summer camp for Mission Hill children run by Harvard students in the early 1990s.

"In other words, prior to taking Anderson’s urban sociology class, when she is already at least one year into her study, Goffman is unable to discern as class difference the differences among black lower middle class, working class, and poor people. That blackness made that difference illegible as class is one problem that should raise questions about what else Goffman is unable to hear, see, and make sense of; her oscillation between tutor and ethnographer is another." Christina Sharpe at The New Inquiry critiquing a widely praised book by a young white sociologist about young black men in West Philadelphia.

"A new study suggests that highlighting racism in the criminal justice system is not the answer, and in fact pushes white voters in the opposite direction. Even when whites believe the current laws are too harsh, they're less likely to support changing the law if they're reminded that the current prison population is disproportionately black." Dara Lind at Vox.

"Let me repeat: My receipt was not good enough. I have never heard of needing to have a salesperson verify a purchase when a receipt has been proffered but I shouldn’t be surprised. The rules are always different when shopping/driving/walking/existing while black." You probably saw this already, but just in case: Roxane Gay on being profiled while shopping at Best Buy, plus bonus harassment from online conservative mobs afterwards.

"They’d ask me cutting and incisive questions about American political situations (they found the government shutdown as ridiculous as I did), they religiously followed the situation in Egypt with the Muslim brotherhood, mourned Mandela, and trash talked other football teams in anticipation of the World Cup. They also knew what chocolate was (and I suspect the guys in the video did too, but were in on the joke with the producers)." Anthropologist Erin Kane talks back to that video of cacao farmers trying chocolate for the first time. At Quartz. (Hat tip to Jill Heather.)

"Miller is 29, and gets her health care through the university. Her on-campus doctor was barred from even prescribing the IUD, she said, because of Notre Dame’s adherence to Catholic teaching against contraception. The doctor sent her off-campus for the prescription, but even then, Notre Dame’s insurance wouldn’t cover it." Irin Carmon on "the next Hobby Lobby." At MSNBC.

"To automate the process, the team decided to build a robot body out of the most basic components: layers of paper, a thin piece of plastic with a circuit etched onto it, and Shrinky Dinks — children’s toys that contract when heated." Carolyn Y. Johnson at The Boston Globe, reporting on a new study proposing a design for "origami robots." What I wanna know is: do you get to color in the robot, first?

"The crows present a puzzling question to biologists, which gets to the heart of what it means to be a species: Given that hooded and carrion crows can mate and swap genes, how do the two groups maintain their individual identities? It’s as if you mixed red and yellow paint in a bucket but the two colors stubbornly refused to make orange." Emily Singer at Quanta Magazine on the surprisingly difficult question of how species are distinguished from one another.

"My name is Khadija al-Saadi. I am a 23-year-old Libyan woman. I live in Libya's capital, Tripoli. I study in the humanities faculty of the Tripoli university, and I work in my spare time in a couple of local NGOs trying to improve living conditions in the city. I exist, and this is my story." At Gawker, the now-adult daughter of a man who was tortured after being rendered back to Libya by the CIA and British intelligence writes eloquently of her family's experience, and demands that the U.S. and U.K. governments allow a full accounting of their actions. (Via Nicole Cliffe at The Toast.)

'You never hear, "She passed on her own, natural causes, old age," no, no, no,' she continues, ticking off on her fingers. "She's either raped and killed, she's jumped and killed, stalked and killed – or just killed.' Which is why, amid all the death and sorrow, CeCe, whose jagged life experience embodies the archetypal trans woman's in so many ways, has become an LGBT folk hero for her story of survival – and for the price she paid for fighting back." From Sabrina Rubin Erdely at Rolling Stone, a masterful profile of CeCe McDonald.

"Interviewing Cacioppo for my magazine article a few months ago, I naturally took many of his observations personally. One especially fraught time for lonely people, he told me, is when they are in a social setting and feel subject to ostracism or ridicule; it’s then that their brains go haywire, sensing social danger even where none might exist. 'We’re screwed,' I thought at the time." Finally, from two weeks ago, a piece from Robin Marantz Henig about loneliness. At The Archipelago at Medium.

No list next weekend. In the meantime, and as always, thanks for reading!