Truthout: GOP Refuses to Extend Jobless Benefits

December 28th, 2013

Published at Truthout, December 2013.

Research on the effects of long-term unemployment benefits on the economy shows that for every dollar the government pays out, the economy benefits to the tune of $1.60. As people on benefits spend them on food and other supplies, they stimulate their local economies, engage local businesses and keep their communities economically functional. Without these benefit funds in the economy next year, already depressed and struggling communities could face even more problems, leading to a spread of economic depression including a surge in the unemployment rate as companies are forced to let people go. Thus, the refusal to extend benefits could have a long-term ripple effect with seriously negative outcomes.

Read more at Truthout.

The Guardian: Comment is free: Wendy Davis’ filibustering for abortion rights is a brave and great thing

June 26th, 2013

Published at The Guardian, June 2013. 

It’s raining here, softly but firmly, and Wendy Davis is filibustering in Texas.

She’s speaking in a low, quiet voice in the other tab, talking about admitting privileges, standing quietly as Senators raise points of order, resuming her flood of speech flawlessly when the floor is returned to her. Her voice is calm and clear, measured, thoughtful, as she explains a subsection of SB5. My Twitter is flooded with commentary on Davis, on SB5, on reproductive rights. The Texas Senate is filled with people in orange, most of them women, coming out in droves to support the right to choose; to refuse the restrictions on abortion services embedded in SB5, the attempt to deprive them of access to basic medical services.

Read more at The Guardian.

Thought Catalog: How Young Adult Literature Challenges Gender Norms

June 26th, 2013

Published at Thought Catalog, June 2013. 

Librarians are the pushers of the book world.

Growing up in the house of an academic-turned-bartender-then-academic-again, it was inevitable, of course, that I’d be reading wildly age-inappropriate books almost as soon as I became literate. My father used to set me loose in the bookstore to wander freely, never raising an eyebrow at some of the titles on the pile of books I would teeteringly carry to the counter, which was, naturally, too high for me to reach. But it was my middle school librarian who introduced me to science fiction and fantasy after she saw me curled up in the corner on a rainy day with a copy of Rebecca and thought I might enjoy something of a slightly different flavor.

Read more at Thought Catalog.

ThinkProgress: Why Aren’t Mentally Ill Americans Invited To This Week’s Hearing On Their Own Privacy Rights?

April 27th, 2013

Published at ThinkProgress, April 2013. 

This Friday, House Republican Tim Murphy is holding a hearing on whether the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) “helps or hinders patient care and public safety” in the context of mentally ill patients. The hearing, a followup to his hearing last month in which he reiterated false claims about mental illness and violence, will notably not include a single mentally ill witness. Why not? Because, according to Tim Murphy, mentally ill people are not “competent” to testify about how a relaxation of HIPAA rules would affect their own lives.

Read more at ThinkProgress.