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Men In America Are Sexually Assaulted Almost As Much As Women

Male Rape

The Article: When Men Are Raped by Hanna Rosin in Slate.

The Text: Last year the National Crime Victimization Survey turned up a remarkable statistic. In asking 40,000 households about rape and sexual violence, the survey uncovered that 38 percent of incidents were against men. The number seemed so high that it prompted researcher Lara Stemple to call the Bureau of Justice Statistics to see if it maybe it had made a mistake, or changed its terminology. After all, in years past men had accounted for somewhere between 5 and 14 percent of rape and sexual violence victims. But no, it wasn’t a mistake, officials told her, although they couldn’t explain the rise beyond guessing that maybe it had something to do with the publicity surrounding former football coach Jerry Sandusky and the Penn State sex abuse scandal.

Stemple, who works with the Health and Human Rights Project at UCLA, had often wondered whether incidents of sexual violence against men were under-reported. She had once worked on prison reform and knew that jail is a place where sexual violence against men is routine but not counted in the general national statistics. Stemple began digging through existing surveys and discovered that her hunch was correct. The experience of men and women is “a lot closer than any of us would expect,” she says. For some kinds of victimization, men and women have roughly equal experiences. Stemple concluded that we need to “completely rethink our assumptions about sexual victimization,” and especially our fallback model that men are always the perpetrators and women the victims.

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How Do You Solve A Problem Like Donald Sterling?

Donald Sterling

The Article: How Do You Solve A Problem Like Donald Sterling? by Heidi Moore in The Guardian.

The Text: When we see a rich man abusing his power, we like to imagine we know the way to cause him pain: hit him where it hurts – in his bank account.

It rarely works. Fines, lost businesses, even bankruptcies are all mere potholes on the road to wealth. That’s why a boycott is such an ineffective path to shaming our errant oligarchs, particularly in the case of LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling.

Sterling is the Archie Bunker of NBA team owners, an unreconstructed racist who has long used epithets against his talented black players and who, most recently, asked his mixed-race girlfriend not to be seen with black people – including Magic Johnson – at Clippers games.

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Voter ID Is The Real Fraud

Voter ID

The Article: Voter ID Is the Real Fraud in The New York Times.

The Text: For the first time since the Supreme Court junked a core provision of the Voting Rights Act in June, a federal court has used the strongest surviving part of the act to strike down a state’s voter-identification law, and, in the process, has set out a detailed road map for upcoming challenges to similar laws around the country.

Supporters of these laws insist they are necessary to prevent fraud at the polls, though such fraud is basically nonexistent. The real point is to deter from the polls significant numbers of Democratic voters, particularly minorities and the poor.

That was the heart of the reasoning by Judge Lynn Adelman of Federal District Court in Milwaukee, who issued an extraordinarily thorough 90-page ruling on Tuesday invalidating Wisconsin’s voter-ID law as a harmful solution in search of an imaginary problem. The law was passed by a Republican-controlled statehouse in 2011 and required that a prospective voter present a government-issued photo ID, like a driver’s license or passport.

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Obama Finally Has To Explain Why The US Can Kill Americans With Drones

Drone

The Article: Obama Will Finally Have to Explain Why the US Can Kill Americans with Drones by Derek Mead in VICE News.

The Text: In the years-long conversation about President Barack Obama’s incredible drone wars, we’ve heard opaque, albeit scintillating, references to threat matrices and kill lists. But there’s one thing we’ve never heard: What is the president’s legal rationale for extrajudicial killing of Americans with drones?

Finally, we can expect to find out soon. Today, US Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the New York Times and the ACLU in a Freedom of Information Act case levied against the Department of Justice, Defense Department, and CIA. The case was initially filed after the above agencies refused to comply with a FOIA request “seeking documents relating to targeted killings of United States citizens carried out by drone aircraft.”

The order from a three-judge panel requires the government to release a raft of documents regarding drone strikes, including the classified Department of Justice memo that initially authorized the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American al-Qaeda imam, and Samir Khan, the Pakistani American publisher of the al-Qaeda affiliated Inspire magazine, who were killed by a drone strike in Yemen in 2011. (Al-Awlaki’s 16-year-old son was killed two weeks later in another drone strike. Both strikes were just a part of the US’s long drone war in the country.)

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Vladimir Putin, Master Satirist

Vladimir Putin

The Article: Vladimir Putin, Master Satirist by Sam Kriss in Idiot Joy Showland.

The Text: Sensible types rejoice. Over at the Independent, Owen Jones has written against the old line that the first casualty of war is the truth: in the Ukrainian crisis, the first casualty has been irony. Russian intervention is illegitimate, but at the same time Western condemnation is hypocritical given our track record in Palestine, Bahrain, and Egypt. Owen Jones is a useful chap, because he marks very precisely the limit of generally acceptable left-wing thought. He keeps a solitary vigil at the frontier of reason, hands in his pockets, maybe whistling a comforting little tune to himself as he scans the horizon for incoming threats, eyes tracking back and forth in his big soft party balloon of a head. Stand with Owen Jones and you can have it all: Labour party membership, a weekly column in a national newspaper, regular appearances on the BBC and Channel 4; your book will adorn middle-class shelves all along the belt of radicalism that stretches across north London from Ealing to Islington. Take one step out beyond his lonely border-post and you’re in the wilderness. Famines, purges, gulags. Monsters winding their heavy bodies between the weather-beaten columns of ruined cities. Rust seeping into the nuclear cores of a shoal of beached submarines. Mute staggering mobs doomed to track vast circles in the desert for eternity. Madness.

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