The state of democracy in the US and Asia, boycotting Facaebook, the science of happiness, and trans perspectives in media
|Steven Wakabayashi||Jul 4|
Happy July 4th.
I have a lot of mixed feelings about today. Sure, this is a national holiday we can take to relax, unwind, and enjoy ourselves, but the concept of “independence” around the world is slowly disintegrating.
Earlier this week, China passed a law that lets police crack down on the territory's pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. Many residents have gone quiet and deleted their social media presence to protect themselves. Hundreds of activists have already been arrested, some put in jail for simply for holding a flag.
Within Southeast Asia, democracy is being dismantled. Journalists are being arrested, heavy military force is being deployed, and courts are less active administering the checks and balances they were meant to uphold.
Here in the US, we have been so busy covering the politics around wearing face masks that Trump’s hiring of his 200th judge flew by under the radar.
Take time this weekend to recharge, especially with what’s to come. Looking ahead, we have a critical election happening in November that will shape the future of our country and democracy.
Don’t forget to register to vote. Our civil liberties depend on it.
About the money…
Companies are standing in solidarity with civil liberties and putting their money where it matters most. Coca-Cola joins Facebook boycott with a pause on all social media advertising starting July 1st.
On the other hand, the US Treasury sent a million coronavirus stimulus payments to dead people - totaling nearly $1.4 billion. (You’d think that’s the first place they would check.)
Education during COVID
If you’re looking for a course to try, check out the 100 most popular courses people are taking during this pandemic.
At number 1 is the Science of Well Being with Dr. Laurie Santos - which I highly recommend. If courses aren’t your thing, I highly recommend her podcast, The Happiness Lab. She distills insights from her course into bite-sized episodes.
Netflix added two documentaries to their roster showcasing trans perspectives that I highly recommend:
Disclosure covers Hollywood’s depiction of transgender people and the impact it has had on American culture.
Transformer follows the story of Janae Marie Kroc, a former marine and record-breaking power lifter and her story of transitioning into the woman she is today.
As always, thanks for reading!
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Have a beautiful day!