PICKS are stories from many sources, selected by our editors or recommended by our readers because they are important, surprising, troubling, enlightening, inspiring, or amusing. They appear on our site and in our daily newsletter. Please send suggested articles, videos, podcasts, etc. to picks@whowhatwhy.org.

Amazon Workers Plan Black Friday Strike (Maria)

The author writes, “Amazon might have a rough Black Friday. Workers for the online retail giant want better pay and improvements to the workplace, and for the company to be more proactive on issues such as the climate crisis, or else they’ll strike on the biggest shopping day of the year. Make Amazon Pay is a coalition of workers and labor organizations calling for a labor strike by Amazon employees across the company’s operations, such as data centers, factories and warehouses. They plan to organize the work stoppage for Black Friday in 20 countries, including India, Germany and the United States.”

70 West Point Graduates Call on Alaska Lawmaker to Resign (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Dozens of West Point graduates have demanded state Rep. David Eastman resign from office over his ties to a right-wing extremist group, saying his affiliation has betrayed the values of the U.S. Military Academy he attended. A letter signed by 69 fellow West Point graduates was published in the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman and called on Eastman to resign after his membership in the Oath Keepers became public, with another name added after publication. Eastman had previously confirmed to the Anchorage Daily News that he became a member of the organization shortly after it formed more than a decade ago.”

The Media’s War Against Biden Over Inflation (DonkeyHotey)

The author writes, “Inflation in the U.S. economy is clearly a problem. There, I said it in all caps so that everyone can see I recognize it as a problem. The question is how big a problem. After all, we have lots of problems, millions of children in poverty, a huge homeless population, parents without access to affordable childcare, among others. But none of these other problems has gotten anywhere near the same amount of attention from the media in recent months as inflation. These pieces have often been quite openly dishonest. The nonstop hype of ‘inflation, inflation, inflation’ unsurprisingly leads many people to believe inflation is a really big problem, even if their own finances are pretty good, because they hear all those wise reporters at CNN, NPR, the NYT and elsewhere telling them it’s a really big problem.”

The Ecology of the First Thanksgiving (Dan)

From Scientific American: “In addition to its historical context of colonial conflict, the First Thanksgiving must also be put into its ecological context. The Pilgrims wrote that the feast in the autumn of 1621 was to give thanks to God for leading them to a place where they had ‘all things in good plenty.’ After the harvest of corn was brought in, a group of Wampanoag men went out and returned with five deer, and four Englishmen killed enough waterfowl to last the colony a week, while others hunted turkeys. The ease at which the Pilgrims and Wampanoag were able to harvest and hunt speaks to the existence of the highly productive environment that the Pilgrims were celebrating. But why was the land around Plymouth so productive? Why was the soil so fertile, and why were plant and animal resources so abundant there? While the Pilgrims thanked their God for the natural abundance of their new home, they should have been thanking the Native American inhabitants of the region.”

6 Aspects of American Life Threatened by Climate Change (Laura)

The author writes, “Less food. More traffic accidents. Extreme weather hitting nuclear waste sites. Migrants rushing toward the United States, fleeing even worse calamity in their own countries. Those scenarios, once the stuff of dystopian fiction, are now driving American policymaking. Under orders from President Biden, top officials at every government agency have spent months considering the top climate threats their agencies face, and how to cope with them.”

The Twisted Mind of a Female Psychopath (Mili)

From Psychology Today: “Psychopaths both fascinate and frighten us, particularly the female psychopath because many people believe that a female cannot be a psychopath. No one understands the way she thinks, since it defies human nature. Her psychopathic personality and behavior are bizarrely paradoxical.1 On the one hand, she may be a convincing liar, while on the other hand, she may be blatantly frank to the point of being cruel. She could look a person square in the face and say something deliberately hurtful and then walk away thrilled at the offense. She may sound sympathetic and sincere while offering advice and assistance – only to change her mind at a moment’s notice, providing a poor excuse with no help. She may be industrious at getting what she wants, while the most important tasks are left undone.”

To Catch a Turtle Thief: Blowing the Lid Off an International Smuggling Operation (Dana)

From The Walrus: “In August 2014, a padded FedEx envelope arrived at the Calgary International Airport. It had been shipped from an address in Levittown, Pennsylvania, and on the customs form it had been labelled ‘Book.’ As it was being sorted, a customs agent saw the package move. Inside the envelope was a slim cardboard box with holes along its sides. Inside that box were two small fabric pouches with duct-taped edges. An agent carefully opened the pouches into a plastic mail-carrying bin. Golf ball–size baby turtles emerged, crawling toward corners, scrambling over one another’s shells, and shuffling up the box’s walls. There were eleven turtles in total. There was no food or water. Sheldon Jordan, as director general of wildlife enforcement for Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), oversees all wildlife trafficking cases in the country. Everything about the package, he says, hinted at ‘just how big of a project’ the investigation into where the turtles had come from and who had shipped them would be.”

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