18 Things That Caught My Eye: The Disgraceful Olympics & More


1. Pakistan’s first “Servant of God” saved others in church bombing

2. Facebook’s meta complicity in the Rohingya genocide

Facebook, the meta communications platform of our time, is facing twin legal actions for its instrumental role in accelerating racial violence and genocide against the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar over the past decade. Filings in California and London present an extraordinary story of recklessness, enablement, and negligence. From the company’s brazen 2011 entry into the fragmented nation, where less than one per cent of the population was online, to the massive jump in hate speech after Facebook launched its “Free Basics” service in 2016, to delay and inaction when known dynamics of the platform’s engagement-based ranking were exploited by coordinated psy-ops campaigns and corralled into a fatal propaganda engine, there has been corporate complicity in the atrocities right up to the present day, on the grim first anniversary of the military coup.

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4.  Police: Boy who died at Scottsdale hotel endured ‘horrific’ abuse by grandmother

A Scottsdale grandmother and her husband are facing first-degree murder charges after her 11-year-old grandson, Chaskah Davis Smith, died at a Scottsdale hotel where they had been living for years. Police believe Stephanie Marie Davis, 51, had been abusing Chaskah and his 9-year-old half-brother for quite some time. She’s had custody of them since 2015.

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7. Eric Patterson: Beijing’s Berlin moment

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13. The Washington Post: Sixteen Penn swimmers say transgender teammate Lia Thomas should not be allowed to compete

Thomas, a transgender woman who swims for the Quakers women’s team, competed for the Penn men’s team for three seasons. After undergoing more than two years of hormone replacement therapy as part of her transition, she has posted the fastest times of any female college swimmer in two events this season. The letter from Thomas’s teammates raised the question of fairness and said she was taking “competitive opportunities” away from them — namely spots in the Ivy League championship meet, where schools can only send about half of their rosters to compete.

“We fully support Lia Thomas in her decision to affirm her gender identity and to transition from a man to a woman. Lia has every right to live her life authentically,” the letter read. “However, we also recognize that when it comes to sports competition, that the biology of sex is a separate issue from someone’s gender identity. Biologically, Lia holds an unfair advantage over competition in the women’s category, as evidenced by her rankings that have bounced from #462 as a male to #1 as a female. If she were to be eligible to compete against us, she could now break Penn, Ivy, and NCAA Women’s Swimming records; feats she could never have done as a male athlete.”

14. Derek Thompson: How Denmark Decided COVID Isn’t a Critical Threat to Society

15. Jonathan Butcher: Why Parents Need Choices in Education To Protect Their Values

16. Erika Bachiochi: Simone Weil: A Thinker for Our Trying Times

Though Weil, with the post-moderns, understands that each person “reads” the world according to his or her position in it, Weil would never suggest that by doing so one is “creating” a different reality. Rather, following Plato most closely, she argues that each must pursue and “consent” to the objective good that is already always there. Plato, for her, “the father of Western mysticism,” was with the other ancient Greeks, as Zaretsky puts it in his fifth chapter on her spiritual life, “the true bridge between Weil’s preconversion and postconversion lives.” 

17. Andrea Picciotti-Bayer: Funeral Teaches Mother and Son the Inestimable Value of Community

That such a wonderful person — devoted husband, father and friend — would be taken from his wife and children seems like a senselessly cruel blow. That’s why I was a bit surprised that the service, although one of mourning, did not convey even a hint of anger towards God. Instead, the family and faith community were at peace in the confidence that he was headed to his eternal resting place in heaven. 

As his youngest, who was learning to drive with her father before he died, wrote: “I stand here today to say to my Daddy: ‘Goodbye friend, see you later,’ because this is not a goodbye, but just a drop off at his home, where he always belonged.”

18. A funny SNL skit from years past: Telemundo Winter Olympics

 





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