MoJo Author Feeds: Maggie Caldwell | Mother Jones Mother Jones logo en Short Takes: "The New Black" <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>The New Black</strong></a></p> <p>PROMISED LAND FILM</p> <p>The black voters who turned out for Barack Obama in November 2008 also have been blamed for nudging California's gay-marriage ban&mdash;since nullified by the Supreme Court&mdash;to victory. To explore changing black perspectives on gay rights, director Yoruba Richen follows Maryland's 2012 same-sex marriage referendum, introducing us to people like 24-year-old activist Karess Taylor-Hughes and Pastor Derek McCoy, president of the Maryland Family Alliance&mdash;thought leaders on opposite sides of the issue. Backed by an outstanding gospel soundtrack, <em>The New Black</em> is a story of passion, conviction, and the evolution of long-held attitudes. It's likely to move you, whatever your belief.</p> <p><em>This review originally appeared in our <a href="" target="_blank">January/February issue</a> of</em> Mother Jones.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Civil Liberties Film and TV Sex and Gender Tue, 18 Mar 2014 19:11:19 +0000 Maggie Caldwell 241336 at How to Raise Black Children (on Camera) <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Like many parents, Joe Brewster and Mich&egrave;le Stephenson decided to capture their first-born's major milestones on video&mdash;first day of school, basketball games, middle-school graduation, preparations for the prom. They filmed the mundane moments, too: Walking the family dog, meltdowns over homework, a trip to the doctor that resulted in an ADHD diagnosis. All told, the family compiled more than 800 hours of footage starting the day that their son, Idris, and his best friend, Seun, entered kindergarten at Manhattan's <a href="" target="_blank">Dalton School</a>&mdash;two middle-class black boys on scholarships at one of the nation's most exclusive, and predominantly white, educational institutions.</p> <p>In the resulting documentary, <a href="" target="_blank"><em>American Promise</em></a>, which won a Sundance Jury Award and <a href="">airs nationally</a> on PBS on February 3, parents will see much that they recognize from their everyday struggles to raise confident, well-rounded kids&mdash;from the last-minute cramming on the drive to school to arguments around the kitchen table over a mediocre report card. But at a time when <a href="">study</a> after <a href="">study</a> shows black boys on the wrong side of a staggering achievement gap, the film offers an intimate look at the additional burdens of cultural bias and the social typecasting of young black men. Here's a trailer:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>This week, the Brewster and Stephenson release a new parenting book, <em><a href="" target="_blank">Promises Kept: Raising Black Boys to Succeed in School and Life</a>. </em>Based on their 13-year-experiment, the book includes expert advice on dealing with bias and stereotyping. I reached the couple at home in Brooklyn as they prepared for a final screening at the New York Film Festival to discuss overbooked kids, Trayvon Martin, and what it's like raising a child under the camera's watchful eye.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Mother Jones:</strong> How has <em>American Promise</em> been received on the festival circuit?</p> <p><strong>Joe Brewster:</strong> We were told we were the first in history to get a two-time standing ovation [at the New York Film Festival]. That's kind of amazing, although another film got one the same night so I think they're in the standing ovation mode over there. But the kids were there and they got one for themselves. And a number of parents came up to us, talking about how it spoke to them.</p></body></html> <p style="font-size: 1.083em;"><a href="/media/2014/01/american-promise-pbs-pov-documentary-raising-black-children"><strong><em>Continue Reading &raquo;</em></strong></a></p> Media Interview Education Film and TV Race and Ethnicity Top Stories Tue, 14 Jan 2014 11:00:06 +0000 Maggie Caldwell 242951 at Sandy Hook Crime Report: Adam Lanza Obsessed With Mass Murder and Dance Dance Revolution <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>In the three months leading up to his rampage, Adam Lanza only communicated with his mother via email even though they lived in the same house. Prior to leaving on a short trip a few days before her son would murder her and head to Sandy Hook Elementary, Nancy Lanza cooked him some of his favorite dishes. Adam Lanza frequently spent his weekends at a local theater playing Dance Dance Revolution for up to 10 hours at a time. At the time of his death, the 6-foot tall Lanza weighed only 112 pounds. Those are among the new revelations from Connecticut State's Attorney Stephen J. Sedensky's <a href="" target="_blank">final report</a> on the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, which was released today.&nbsp;</p> <p>The long-awaited official documentation of the December 14, 2012 massacre that left 20 children and six adults dead is only a summary of the yet-to-be released final crime report, which is estimated to run&nbsp;<a href="">thousands of pages</a>, according to the <em>Hartford Courant</em>. The summary&nbsp;report includes a <a href="" target="_blank">timeline of the police response</a> to Sandy Hook, starting with the first 911 call. It also offers some insight into the&nbsp;family history, interests, and mental health of the shooter, painting a dark picture of a deeply disturbed individual, but offering no conclusive motive for why he did it.</p> <p>Included in the report is an inventory of video games he owned, along with a record of some of the evidence recovered from Lanza's hard drives, such as images of him brandishing weapons, movies depicting mass shootings, and videos of people committing suicide by gunshot. Included in a separate appendix to the report are search warrants, photos of the crime scenes, and Lanza's toxicology report (no drugs or alcohol were found in his system).</p></body></html> <p style="font-size: 1.083em;"><a href="/mojo/2013/11/what-we-learned-sandy-hook-crime-report"><strong><em>Continue Reading &raquo;</em></strong></a></p> MoJo Crime and Justice Guns Top Stories Tue, 26 Nov 2013 05:39:33 +0000 Maggie Caldwell 239926 at Read the Connecticut State's Attorney's Crime Report on the Sandy Hook Massacre <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><div><div id="mininav" class="inline-subnav"> <!-- header content --> <div id="mininav-header-content"> <div id="mininav-header-image"> <img src="/files/images/motherjones_mininav/mini-nav.png" width="220" border="0"></div> <div id="mininav-header-text"> <p class="mininav-header-text" style="margin: 0; padding: 0.75em; font-size: 11px; font-weight: bold; line-height: 1.2em; background-color: rgb(221, 221, 221);"> Tragedy in Newtown </p> </div> </div> <!-- linked stories --> <div id="mininav-linked-stories"> <ul><span id="linked-story-212066"> <li><a href="/politics/2012/12/nra-mass-shootings-myth"> The NRA Myth of Arming the Good Guys</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-186991"> <li><a href="/politics/2012/07/mass-shootings-map"> A Guide to Mass Shootings in America</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-196956"> <li><a href="/politics/2012/09/mass-shootings-investigation"> More Guns, More Mass Shootings&acirc;&#128;&#148;Coincidence?</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-211401"> <li><a href="/politics/2012/12/armed-civilians-do-not-stop-mass-shootings"> Do Armed Civilians Stop Mass Shooters? Actually, No.</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-214886"> <li><a href="/politics/2013/01/high-capacity-magazines-mass-shootings"> "A Killing Machine": Half of All Mass Shooters Used High-Capacity Magazines</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-205806"> <li><a href="/politics/2012/11/jared-loughner-mass-shootings-mental-illness"> Mass Shootings: Maybe We Need a Better Mental-Health Policy</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-214916"> <li><a href="/politics/2013/01/mass-shootings-james-alan-fox"> Why Mass Shootings Deserve Deeper Investigation</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-212001"> <li><a href="/politics/2012/12/mass-shootings-mother-jones-full-data"> DATA: Explore our mass shootings research</a></li> </span> </ul></div> <!-- footer content --> <div id="mininav-footer-content"> <div id="mininav-footer-text" class="mininav-footer-text"> <p class="mininav-footer-text" style="margin: 0; padding: 0.75em; font-size: 11px; font-weight: bold; line-height: 1.2em; background-color: rgb(221, 221, 221);"> <a href="">See our full special report</a> on gun laws and the rise of mass shootings in America. </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p>Today Connecticut State's Attorney Stephen J. Sedensky III released a report on the criminal investigation of the December&nbsp;14, 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that left 20 children and six adults dead. The long-awaited document is only a summary of the yet-to-be released final crime report, which is estimated to run&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">thousands of pages</a>, according to the <em>Hartford Courant</em>.</p> <p>The summary&nbsp;report includes a timeline of the police response to Sandy Hook, starting with the first 911 call. It also offers some insight into the&nbsp;family history, interests, and mental health of shooter Adam Lanza. Included is an inventory of violent video games he owned, along with a record of some of the evidence recovered from Lanza's hard drive, such as images of him brandishing weapons, movies depicting mass shootings, and videos of people committing suicide by gunshot.</p> <p>Sedensky has been criticized for delaying the publication of the report and withholding&nbsp;911 recordings, which are routinely released to the public. He is currently appealing a ruling by the state's Freedom of Information Commission stating he must release the emergency calls. A judge is expected to listen to the tapes and make a ruling in the near future. With today's release of the crime report, the investigation into the massacre is officially closed.</p> <p>We'll be combing through the report and highlighting important revelations here.&nbsp;Check back for updates.</p> <div class="DV-container" id="DV-viewer-841589-sandy-hook-final-report">&nbsp;</div> <script src="//"></script><script> DV.load("//", { width: 630, height: 450, sidebar: false, text: false, pdf: false, container: "#DV-viewer-841589-sandy-hook-final-report" }); </script><p><a href="" target="_blank">Click here</a> to download the report.</p></body></html> Politics Crime and Justice Guns Top Stories Mon, 25 Nov 2013 20:37:59 +0000 Maggie Caldwell 239776 at Can Balkan Beat Box Bring Us Together? <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/ori_tall2.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Ori Kaplan/DJ Shotnez </strong></div> </div> <p>It's 3 p.m. on a foggy August day at San Francisco's Outside Lands music festival,&nbsp;but inside the Heineken Dome it feels like an after-hours party. Ori Kaplan, a founding member of the contagiously high-energy ensemble Balkan Beat Box, and formerly of the popular gypsy-punk band Gogol Bordello, had just performed as his solo alter ego, DJ Shotnez. Festival goers writhed and cheered to his mix of cumbia and Balkan horns, an amalgamation of sounds he calls Global Crunk Base.</p> <p>In his trailer after the set, Kaplan sparks a cigarette and kicks his feet up on a table. His appearance at the fest was one stop on a short West Coast tour to test out his new material on a non-European audience. A local promoter stops by the trailer to offer praise. "Today was really excellent," Kaplan says, grinning. "It was a super crowd, really open and excited. I love San Francisco."</p> <p>The Israel-born, Vienna-based DJ and multi-instrument has had a love affair with the City by the Bay since his early days with Gogol, and before that with the New York band <a href="" target="_blank">Firewater</a>, a pioneer of the immigrant punk sound. This week, Balkan Beat Box launches a new <a href="">mini-West Coast tour</a> before heading into the studio to work on a new EP. With its members spread to the winds&mdash;Kaplan in Austria, other members in New York and Tel Aviv&mdash;the band keeps its sound fresh by "meeting on airplanes" and bringing the sounds and influences they've collected from their side projects back into the studio. At Outside lands, we chatted about the virtues of DJing and the origins of melting-pot music at&nbsp;Mehanata, a little black hole of a bar on Manhattan's Lower East Side.</p></body></html> <p style="font-size: 1.083em;"><a href="/media/2013/11/interview-ori-kaplan-balkan-beat-box-dj-shotnez"><strong><em>Continue Reading &raquo;</em></strong></a></p> Media Interview Music Offbeat Mon, 18 Nov 2013 11:05:05 +0000 Maggie Caldwell 239231 at Which 9 Household Items Will Make Your Hormones Go Haywire? <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>The other day I found an old T-shirt that had been sucked into the vortex under my bed. When I pulled it out, it was covered with dust bunnies. I grimaced, picked them off, deposited them into the trash, and didn't give them another thought.</p> <p>That is, until I read a new report about the hormone-disrupting chemicals lurking in those dust bunnies&mdash;and in a whole host of other harmless-seeming things in my house. The <a href="" target="_blank">Environmental Working Group</a> along with the <a href="" target="_blank">Keep-A-Breast Foundation</a> just released the <a href="" target="_blank">Dirty Dozen Endocrine Disruptors</a> list of chemicals that can seriously mess with your hormones, potentially leading to various cancers, growth and reproductive issues, metabolic malfunctioning, and many more health problems.</p> <p>So I set out to identify some the items in my apartment that might be making my hormones go haywire. Here are just a few of the things that I found:</p> <p><strong>1. Receipts</strong></p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/receipt5.jpg"></div> <p>I started by inspecting my wallet. According to the report, the thermal paper on which receipts are commonly printed contains <a href="" target="_blank">BPA&mdash;</a>a chemical found in certain plastics&mdash;which is known to imitate estrogen. BPA has been linked to <a href="" target="_blank">breast cancer</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">reproductive problems</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">obesity</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">heart disease</a> and has even been blamed for sparking <a href="" target="_blank">early onset puberty</a>.<br> &nbsp;</p> <p><strong>2. Cans</strong></p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/cans2.jpg"></div> <p>I next wandered into the kitchen, tummy rumbling. First I glanced into the pantry, where I saw cans of chili, soup, beans, tuna, and even sauerkraut. Like the receipts, many cans are lined with BPA, EWG warns.<br> &nbsp;</p> <p><strong>3. Bacon and eggs</strong></p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/baconeggspan_0.jpg"></div> <p>With some hesitation, I next opened the fridge. From the mercury-laden fish in the freezer to the phthalates in the plastic containers storing leftovers, nearly everything in there was at some risk of contamination with hormone-altering chemicals, according to the report. <a href="" target="_blank">Dioxin</a>, a hormone disruptor produced during industrial processes, has tainted much of the American food supply. Exposure to low levels of the chemical in the womb and early life can <a href="" target="_blank">permanently affect men's sperm quality and count</a>. Dioxins are also considered powerful <a href="" target="_blank">carcinogens</a>. They are extremely hard to avoid if you're an omnivore like me, since dioxins lurk in many animal products including meat, fish, eggs, and dairy.<br> &nbsp;</p> <p><strong>4. Non-stick pan</strong></p> <p>My favorite breakfast seemed a lot less appetizing when I learned that the non-stick pan I use likely contains&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">perflourinated chemicals</a>, another endocrine disruptor known to lead to <a href="" target="_blank">high cholesterol</a> among other things.<br> &nbsp;</p> <p><strong>5. Fruit</strong></p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/fruit1.jpg"></div> <p>So maybe I'll skip the meat products today and have some healthy fruit instead. Not so fast, says EWG: The fruit may be coated with pesticides. In fact apples topped the EWG's other <a href="" target="_blank">dirty dozen list</a> of produce most likely to be exposed to pesticides. Those could include <a href="" target="_blank">organophosphates</a>, chemicals that don't biodegrade. Exposure to them can negatively effect <a href="" target="_blank">brain development</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">behavior</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">fertility</a>. Another pesticide, <a href="" target="_blank">atrazine</a>, may also be present. One of the most commonly used herbicides in the United States, the chemical made a <a href="" target="_blank">splash a few years ago</a> when scientists observed it turning male frogs into females. It's been linked to <a href="" target="_blank">breast tumors</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">delayed puberty</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">prostate inflammation</a> in animals.<br> &nbsp;</p> <p><strong>6. Drinking water</strong></p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/water2.jpg"></div> <p>I head to the sink to draw a glass of water. But EWG says my water could contain atrazine contamination from runoff in croplands, along with traces of <a href="" target="_blank">perchlorate</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">lead</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">arsenic</a>. Perchlorate, a component of rocket fuel, can alter the thyroid gland which regulates metabolism and brain and organ development. Arsenic is a powerful poison that in trace amounts can disrupt the <a href="" target="_blank">glucocorticoid system</a>, which can lead to weight loss or gain, immunosuppression, insulin resistance, osteoporosis, and high blood pressure. And lead, as you probably have heard, is <a href="" target="_blank">just the worst.</a><br> &nbsp;</p> <p><strong>7. Dust</strong></p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/dust_0.jpg"></div> <p>In the living room, I found the TV stand coated with dust bunnies like the ones I found under my bed&mdash;not ideal, since <a href="" target="_blank">polybrominated diphenyl ethers</a> could be clinging to the dust particles. PBDEs, the chemical in fire retardants, are known to mimic thyroid hormones and can lead to <a href="" target="_blank">lower IQ</a> among other health effects. The EWG (and my parents) advise keeping the house spick and span.<br> &nbsp;</p> <p><strong>8. Cleaning products</strong></p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/cleaners.jpg"></div> <p>Under the sink is a stockpile of cleaning products. I pick out a blue-tinted all-purpose cleaner and check the label. One of the ingredients is 2-butoxyethanol (EGBE), a <a href="" target="_blank">glycol ether</a> linked to severe reproductive problems: Guys, think <a href="" target="_blank">shrunken testicles</a>. Glycol ethers are also found in paints, brake fluid, and cosmetics.<br> &nbsp;</p> <p><strong>9. Couch</strong></p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/couch.jpg"></div> <p>OK, I'm done. There are hormone altering toxins in my food, in the dust in the house, and in the products I use to clean. I sit down on the couch and feel defeated. Then I remember that the foam in the cushions is also likely <a href="" target="_blank">filled with fire retardants</a>. And I'm forced to face the facts: My once cozy, safe home is a veritable mine field of endocrine disruptors. Short of moving to the wilderness, how can I keep my hormones safe? It would be difficult to avoid all of the chemicals the EWG names, but luckily the group does have a few practical resources; for starters I'll be perusing the <a href="" target="_blank">guide to healthy cleaning</a>, advice on <a href="" target="_blank">finding a good water filter</a>, and a <a href="" target="_blank">safe cosmetics database</a>.</p></body></html> Environment Photo Essays Econundrums Food and Ag Health Science Top Stories Mon, 28 Oct 2013 10:00:17 +0000 Maggie Caldwell 237681 at CHARTS: Remember Sandy? Storms Like That Could Become the New Normal <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>One year ago, when the largest Atlantic hurricane in recorded history swept up the East Coast and collided with a nor'easter, the two massive weather events morphed into a superstorm. Sandy made landfall in New York harbor during a full moon&mdash;when the tides are highest&mdash;and caused a massive storm swell that flooded much of the region. It was dubbed a <a href="" target="_blank">Frankenstorm</a>, a <a href="" target="_blank">Snor'eastercane</a>, the <a href="" target="_blank">Katrina of New Jersey</a>.</p> <p></p><div id="mininav" class="inline-subnav"> <!-- header content --> <div id="mininav-header-content"> <div id="mininav-header-image"> <img src="/files/images/motherjones_mininav/sealevel_225x150.jpeg" width="220" border="0"></div> </div> <!-- linked stories --> <div id="mininav-linked-stories"> <ul><span id="linked-story-226291"> <li><a href="/environment/2013/07/hurricane-sandy-global-warming-flooding"> Flood, Rebuild, Repeat: Are We Ready for a Superstorm Sandy Every Other Year?</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-229466"> <li><a href="/environment/2013/07/sea-level-rise-charts-climate-central"> Charts: How Likely Is Another Superstorm Sandy?</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-229521"> <li><a href="/environment/2013/07/climate-change-vietnam-flooding"> "The Sea Was Swallowing It Up"</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-230296"> <li><a href="/environment/2013/07/watch-house-being-raised-out-floodplain-0"> Watch This House Being Raised Out of the Floodplain</a></li> </span> </ul></div> <!-- footer content --> <div id="mininav-footer-content"> <div id="mininav-footer-text" class="mininav-footer-text"> <p class="mininav-footer-text" style="margin: 0; padding: 0.75em; font-size: 11px; font-weight: bold; line-height: 1.2em; background-color: rgb(221, 221, 221);"> See more MoJo coverage of <a href="">climate change.</a> </p> </div> </div> </div> <p>By the time Sandy ran its course, it had created a disaster scenario better than anything Hollywood could dream up. But Sandy wasn't fiction&mdash;and climate models show that within the next hundred years Sandy-sized storm surges<a href="#correction">*</a> could even become the new norm.</p> <p>For a recent issue of <em>Mother Jones</em>, we set out to determine how soon we can expect floods like those caused by Sandy and 2003's Hurricane Isabel&mdash;which devastated <a href="" target="_blank">coastal Virginia</a>&mdash;to become regular events. Using data provided by <a href="" target="_blank">Climate Central</a> and the National Climate Assessment, we found that the chance of another 9 foot storm surge in lower Manhattan reaches 50 percent in a given year by the end of the century. In some low-lying regions of Gloucester County, Virginia, residents can expect four foot storm surges to become a yearly event by 2060.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/SeaLeveL_Maps_630_0.gif"></p> <p>We also looked at the toll that weather-related natural disasters have taken on the troubled National Flood Insurance Program. Though it has <a href="" target="_blank">recently undergone reform</a>&mdash;raising the rates for many property owners whose homes have been deemed the most vulnerable to flooding (but also <a href="" target="_blank">dampening the real estate market</a>)&mdash;the federal program remains deep in the hole that Katrina created and Sandy deepened.</p> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%;"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Sealevel_Charts_630_0.gif"></div> <p class="inline-credit"><a href="" target="_blank">NOAA</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">FEMA</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Congressional Research Service</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">White House Federal Budget</a></p> <p>To find out how soon you can expect regular major flooding events in your area, type in your city, state, or zip code into Climate Central's Surging Seas database below and move the water level line.</p> <p align="center">&nbsp;</p> <p align="center"><iframe data-location="New York, NY" data-zoom="11" height="435" id="ss-widget" src=",%20NY/11" style="border: 1px solid rgb(204, 204, 204);" width="480"></iframe></p> <p align="center"><iframe height="435" id="ss-widget" src="" style="border: 1px solid rgb(204, 204, 204);" width="480"></iframe></p> <p id="correction"><em>Correction: An earlier version said Sandy-sized storms could become regular events, but it is Sandy-level storm surges.</em></p></body></html> Blue Marble Charts Interactives Climate Change Science Top Stories Sat, 26 Oct 2013 10:00:32 +0000 Maggie Caldwell 237636 at Short Takes: "Tales From the Organ Trade" <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="400" src="//" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Tales From the Organ Trade</strong></a></p> <p>HBO DOCUMENTARY FILMS</p> <p>With "king of venereal horror" David Cronenberg narrating, you'd expect stories of people being drugged and dragged onto filthy operating tables, only to awaken with a kidney missing. Actually, director Ric Esther Bienstock makes a decent argument for the sale of kidneys on a regulated market. The World Health Organization, among others, condemns the very notion as the ultimate in First World exploitation, yet some of the so-called victims tell Bienstock how selling a kidney saved them from a life of poverty. As for the well-heeled ill, the choice may boil down to death versus a less-than-ethical transaction. Which would you choose?</p> <p><em>This review originally appeared in our <a href="" target="_blank">November/December issue</a> of </em>Mother Jones.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Crime and Justice Economy Health Human Rights International Thu, 24 Oct 2013 10:00:08 +0000 Maggie Caldwell 235876 at Anonymous Takes On the Maryville Rape Scandal. Is This a Good Thing? <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Anonymous yesterday <a href="" target="_blank">launched a campaign of vigilante justice</a> over yet another high school jock sexual assault scandal.</p> <p>It's becoming an all-too-familiar narrative. The otherwise-sleepy middle American town in the spotlight this time around is Maryville, Missouri, where former high school football player Matthew Barnett, the grandson of former Missouri state Rep. Rex Barnett, was accused of sexually assaulting a highly intoxicated 14-year-old girl named Daisy Coleman, while a 15-year-old boy was accused of doing the same to the girl's 13-year-old friend. A third boy, Jordan Zech, admitted to recording one of the incidents on a cellphone. Daisy's mother later found her sprawled on the front porch of her house in a semiconscious state, her hair frozen and her shoes and possessions scattered in a neighbor's yard.</p> <p>That cold January night in 2012 was only the beginning of the nightmare for the Coleman family, who told their story in an in-depth feature in the <em><a href="" target="_blank">Kansas City Star</a></em> on Sunday. Daisy's mother, Melinda Coleman, who allowed the press to use her daughter's name, told reporter Dugan Arnett that in the weeks and months following the incident, Daisy and her family members were spurned and bullied and eventually run out of town. Later, the Coleman's house in Maryville, which was on the market, mysteriously burned to the ground. Fire officials haven't determined the cause of the blaze. The <em>Star</em> reported that despite many of the facts in the case being largely undisputed&mdash;the boys said they had sex with the girls and admitted to leaving Daisy "outside in 30-degree weather"&mdash;Robert Rice, the Nodaway County prosecutor, dropped the felony sexual assault and misdemeanor child endangerment charges against Barnett and a felony sexual exploitation charge against Zech.</p> <p>Rice told the <em>Star</em> the charges were dropped for lack of evidence and other information that came to light. "There wasn't any prosecuting attorney that could take that case to trial," he said. But the 15-year-old boy admitted to having nonconsensual sex with Daisy's friend, was charged as a minor, and made a plea deal to serve several months in a juvenile facility, according to <a href="" target="_blank">local public radio station KCUR</a>.</p> <p>Now Anonymous, the amorphous collective of online activists, pranksters, and hackers, is on the case. The group is credited with bringing national attention to cases like this through internet and social-media campaigns. It's also responsible for sometimes employing questionable,<a href="" target="_blank"> borderline illegal tactics</a> to expose the people they think are to blame. Such was the case in<a href="" target="_blank"> Steubenville, Ohio</a>, where two high school football players were accused of raping a girl. An offshoot of Anonymous gained access to private social-media accounts and leaked videos and photos that revealed the identities of many high school students who were caught talking about the rape on camera but were never charged with crimes. Though the group's intentions may have been in the right place, Anonymous' tactics also swept up the victim in its crusade for justice, exposing her identity to the world. Yesterday, the group released a <a href="" target="_blank">statement</a> announcing their campaign #OpMaryville and #Justice4Daisy:</p> <blockquote> <p>We demand an immediate investigation into the handling by local authorities of Daisy's case. Why was a suspect, who confessed to a crime, released with no charges? How was video and medical evidence not enough to put one of these football players inside a court room? What is the connection of these prosecutors, if any, to Rep. Rex Barnett? Most of all, We are wondering, how do the residents of Maryville sleep at night?</p> </blockquote> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="470" src="//" width="630"></iframe></p></body></html> <p style="font-size: 1.083em;"><a href="/mojo/2013/10/maryville-anonymous-football-rape-case"><strong><em>Continue Reading &raquo;</em></strong></a></p> MoJo Crime and Justice Tech Top Stories Tue, 15 Oct 2013 19:33:21 +0000 Maggie Caldwell 236791 at Easy to Get Plan B? Not Always <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Last June, after a <a href="" target="_blank">protracted political fight</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">complicated legal battle</a>, the US Food and Drug Administration <a href="" target="_blank">approved the use</a> of Plan B One-Step emergency contraception for all women of childbearing age without a prescription. The move marked a major victory for reproductive rights activists, and for women and men everywhere who are now supposed to be able to pick up the morning-after pill off of pharmacy and grocery store shelves without being required to show ID or proof of age.</p> <p>But five months after the FDA's approval, consumers are still having problems accessing the 72-hour pill. Some of the problems stem from <a href="" target="_blank">confusion about the law</a>, or from <a href="" target="_blank">a bureaucracy</a> slow to update the regulations. In other cases, women are deterred by <a href="" target="_blank">misinformation</a> about the medication; it's known in pro-life circles, for instance, as an <a href="" target="_blank">"abortion pill."</a></p> <p>These barriers prompted a group of media outlets to launch "<a href="" target="_blank">Where is your Plan B?</a>", a reporting and crowd-sourcing collaboration to determine how easily women can access Plan B One-Step in their communities. (Disclosure: Some of the outlets belong to&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">The Media Consortium,</a> which The Foundation for National Progress, <em>Mother Jones</em>' parent organization, co-founded.)</p></body></html> <p style="font-size: 1.083em;"><a href="/mojo/2013/10/how-easy-it-get-plan-b"><strong><em>Continue Reading &raquo;</em></strong></a></p> MoJo Media Pharma Reproductive Rights Sex and Gender Mon, 07 Oct 2013 23:40:36 +0000 Maggie Caldwell 236186 at