The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

Digest for June 4th through June 17th

Here are some of the people writing about some of the stuff I wish I had time to write about, for June 4th through June 17th:

  • The Declining Demand for Husbands – The marriage market might work better if men were more flexible about changing gender roles and more willing to help out with family care, an economist writes.
  • Pew: Coverage favors gay marriage – Stories focusing on support for same-sex marriage outnumber those on opposition, a study finds.
  • New Film Puts Backup Singers in the Spotlight—for Once – You hear their "oohs" and "aahs" on tons of popular songs, but for most of their careers they are back from the spotlight, their voices secondary to the famous ones captivating the crowd. In the new documentary 20 Feet From Stardom, a handful of backup singers finally get their chance to be seen as well as heard.
  • Has Your State Outlawed Blowing the Whistle on Factory Farm Abuses? – You've heard about things like pink slime, or contaminated slaughterhouses, cruelty on factory farms. But did you know that there's a trend to criminalize those who expose such conditions?
  • Stop Saying “Sexual Preference” – There are some phrases that should just be done away with, but over time they are used and heard so routinely that we develop a sort of soft spot for them and can’t bear the thought of chopping off their heads. The term “sexual preference”—at least when it’s used interchangeably with “sexual orientation”—is one of these seemingly harmless phrases whose cultural execution, I’d say in this month of pride, is long overdue.
  • Why Our Schools Are Broke: Five Years of Corporate State Tax Avoidance – We hear a lot about corporations avoiding federal taxes. Less well known is their non-payment of state taxes, which along with local taxes make up 90% of U.S. education funding.
  • America Feeds the Rich – The Farm Bill that is expected to pass the U.S. House this week explains income inequality in America.
  • Wendell Potter: An Outbreak of Sanity – Folks, there is reason to be hopeful that our lawmakers can put aside their ideological differences every now and then and do what makes sense for constituents.

    In fact, last week some of the people we have elected to represent us–at least at the state level–even showed a willingness to put careers at risk by doing what they believe is the right thing.

  • Vegetarians live longer, researchers find – If you want to live longer, you could dabble in cryonics, hire Dick Cheney’s medical team, or, more realistically, pass on the meat and live the life of a vegetarian.

    A recent study concluded that vegetarians were less likely to die from heart disease, diabetes, or kidney failure than were those who ate meat.

  • A Brief History of Dumb Things Men Have Said – There are, in other words, many models of successful families. But all these breadwinner moms have three things in common. First, if they work, they’re likely happier and healthier than if they stayed home and did nothing but care for the children and the house. Here’s sociologist Stephanie Coontz writing in this weekend’s New York Times:

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