Author Archives: Andrea

“When, exactly, do abortion opponents think life begins?”

The New York Times – Opinion: Life Begins at Conception (Except When That’s Inconvenient for Republicans). “It’s almost as if abortion bans aren’t actually about “life” at all.” By Molly Jong-Fast.

“But what are we to make of what happened on Feb. 22, when a 24-year-old woman from Honduras went into labor at 27 weeks pregnant and delivered a stillborn baby at an ICE detention center? According to ICE, “for investigative and reporting purposes, a stillbirth is not considered an in-custody death.” Where were the cries of outrage from pro-life corners? Do some lives begin at conception and others don’t? Is an immigrant fetus less of a person than a citizen fetus?

Many pro-choice pundits make the argument that abortion opponents are hypocrites for their lack of concern about maternal health and early-childhood programs, and they are. But these inconsistencies about when “life” begins are far more revealing. The idea that fertility clinics should be allowed to end “life” in the pursuit of resolving infertility is wholly illogical; the notion that an in-custody stillbirth at 27 weeks is not a death, but that an abortion at six or eight weeks is a murder punishable by up to 99 years in prison, requires wild feats of mental jujitsu.

It’s almost as if the Republican Party considers “life” to be a completely arbitrary notion. It’s almost as if this isn’t actually about “life” at all.”

Link via MetaFilter.

Legendäres, legales Bauwerk

Deutsche Welle: Bauarbeiten an Sagrada Familia erstmals legal. “Nach 137 Jahren dürfen Architekten, Ingenieure und Bauarbeiter endlich an der unvollendeten Basilika Sagrada Familia in Barcelona werkeln, ohne das Gesetz zu brechen. Eine Baugenehmigung hatte bisher gefehlt.”

“Die Behörden der katalanischen Metropole hatten erst 2016 entdeckt, dass Gaudí 1882 ohne jegliche Bewilligung mit dem Bau seiner Kirche begonnen hatte. Drei Jahre später beantragte er eine Baugenehmigung, bekam aber nie eine Antwort. Unverdrossen baute er weiter, bis er im Juni 1926 von einer Straßenbahn erfasst wurde und wenige Tage später starb. In seinem 100. Todesjahr sollen die Bauarbeiten endlich abgeschlossen werden.”

“Auslöser Klima”

Deutsche Welle: Deutschlands Jugend – politisch wie nie? “Nach der Europawahl ist vieles denkbar: YouTuber machen Politik, die Grünen erstarken. Und das alles wegen junger Menschen, die plötzlich politisch werden – und sich anschicken, eine eigene Agenda zu setzen.”

“Am Abend des 26. Mai konnte jeder für einen kurzen Moment erahnen, was es bedeutet, wenn fast 20 Millionen Menschen ihre Stimme erheben. Der Abend der Europawahl zeigte: Junge Menschen interessieren sich für die Welt um sie herum – und sie sind laut.

Die Wahlbeteiligung stieg, Altparteien mussten mit Schrecken beobachten, wie ihre Zustimmungswerte fielen, die Klimapartei Bündnis 90/Die Grünen triumphierte: alles ein Verdienst der jungen Wähler. Keine andere Partei schnitt in Deutschland so gut bei unter 30-Jährigen ab wie die Grünen.”

Russia’s manipulation of Twitter much larger than believed previously

Gillian Cleary, Senior Software Engineer, Symantec: Twitterbots: Anatomy of a Propaganda Campaign. “Internet Research Agency archive reveals a vast, coordinated campaign that was incredibly successful at pushing out and amplifying its messages.”

“While this propaganda campaign has often been referred to as the work of trolls, the release of the dataset makes it obvious that it was far more than that. It was planned months in advance and the operators had the resources to create and manage a vast disinformation network.

It was a highly professional campaign. Aside from the sheer volume of tweets generated over a period of years, its orchestrators developed a streamlined operation that automated the publication of new content and leveraged a network of auxiliary accounts to amplify its impact.

The sheer scale and impact of this propaganda campaign is obviously of deep concern to voters in all countries, who may fear a repeat of what happened in the lead-up to the U.S. presidential election in 2016.

A growing awareness of the disinformation campaigns may help blunt their impact in future.”

Link via MetaFilter.

‘Jaw dropped’

BBC News: Long-lost Lewis Chessman found in Edinburgh family’s drawer. “A medieval chess piece that was missing for almost 200 years had been unknowingly kept in a drawer by an Edinburgh family.”

“They had no idea that the object was one of the long-lost Lewis Chessmen – which could now fetch £1m at auction.

The chessmen were found on the Isle of Lewis in 1831 but the whereabouts of five pieces have remained a mystery.

The Edinburgh family’s grandfather, an antiques dealer, had bought the chess piece for £5 in 1964.

He had no idea of the significance of the 8.8cm piece (3.5in), made from walrus ivory, which he passed down to his family.

They have looked after it for 55 years without realising its importance, before taking it to Sotheby’s auction house in London.”