wage theft, worker exploitation, wage and overtime violations
The author writes, “Companies that rely on low-wage workers are most likely to get caught cheating their employees, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of minimum wage and overtime violations from the US Department of Labor. In 2019 alone, the agency cited about 8,500 employers for taking about $287 million from workers.” Photo credit: PxHere

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.

The Political Vaccine Divide in Washington State Is Widening — and Covid Rushes In (Nick)

The author writes, “In the old gold-mining town of Republic, out in northeastern Washington, they’ve tried it all to get people to vaccinate for the coronavirus. From running radio spots to mailing reminders in utility bills to outreach in the churches. It’s now down to pleading. ‘We are better than what we have demonstrated so far,’ exhorted Rob Slagle, the town’s retired pharmacist and a volunteer firefighter, in an open letter to the timber-country town of 1,000. ‘Please ignore the white noise that comes from social media and spreads in an instant with just a mouse click,’ he wrote. ‘Please get vaccinated, and if your own beliefs lead you away from vaccination, then mask up … we cannot escape the reality of this disease.’”

The Key Word Missing From the Climate Movement (Russ)

The author writes, “The phrase ‘climate change’ elicits a laundry list of emotions for most of us: anger, dread, guilt and grief, among them. A growing body of research is revealing the toll climate grief is taking on our collective mental health, and insomnia and other mental health concerns related to climate-induced anxiety have been documented across 25 countries. Absent from most of our climate-related emotional inventory is delight, contentedness or joy. We need to change that.”

The Secret Footage of the NRA Chief’s Botched Elephant Hunt (Bethany)

From the New Yorker: “After the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in 2012, Wayne LaPierre, the head of the National Rifle Association, told Americans agitating for new gun regulations, ‘The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.’ Less than a year later, LaPierre and his wife, Susan, travelled to Botswana’s Okavango Delta, where they hoped to show N.R.A. members that they had the grit to take on a different adversary: African bush elephants, the largest land mammals on Earth. The trip was filmed by a crew from ‘Under Wild Skies,’ an N.R.A.-sponsored television series that was meant to boost the organization’s profile among hunters — a key element of its donor base. But the program never aired, according to sources and records, because of concerns that it could turn into a public-relations fiasco.”

Fred Jordan, Publisher of Taboo-Breaking Books, Dies at 95 (Dan)

From the New York Times: “Fred Jordan, the publishing partner of Barney Rosset, whose groundbreaking Grove Press and Evergreen Review fended off government censors to introduce avant-garde authors who inspired the counterculture of the 1960s, died on April 19 in Brooklyn. He was 95. … Grove’s lawyers were instrumental in overturning anti-pornography court rulings against D.H. Lawrence’s ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ and Henry Miller’s ‘Tropic of Cancer’ in 1959, William S. Burroughs’ ‘Naked Lunch’ in the early 1960s and the Swedish erotic film ‘I Am Curious (Yellow)’ in the late ’60s.”

Nasa Perseverance Mars Rover Spots Delightfully Goofy Rocks (Dana)

The author writes, “NASA’s Perseverance rover is on Mars to do serious science, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun with some of the weirder rocks the wheeled explorer has spotted since landing in February.” 

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