Editors’ Picks for Sept 8

We’re pleased to introduce a new feature that will appear on our site and in our daily newsletter, replacing the current model. PICKS are articles from around the web, either selected by our editors or recommended by readers.


These are articles that struck us — and that we think you’ll find of interest.


We are adopting a broad range of criteria for PICKS. They can be:


— updates or developments related to stories we have been covering


— stories on subjects we have not covered that relate to core areas we do cover


— stories on subjects that don’t match our core interests, but are still noteworthy because they’re surprising, disturbing, enlightening, inspiring, amusing, etc.


If you would like to recommend articles, videos, podcasts, etc. that you think your fellow readers would enjoy, please send them to picks@whowhatwhy.org.



PICKS for Sept 8, 2015:


The UK has struck its own citizens with drones. As British journalists note, “While this is the first time the UK has deliberately targeted its own nationals during the operations against Islamic State, it is not the first time Britons have been killed by drones in all theatres of the West’s War on Terror.”


A young Texas man began the process of joining ISIS but changed his mind and came home. He may nevertheless face prison.


Should people like Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis be able to raise a lot of money through crowdfunding? Here’s a discussion of who can and cannot, ought and ought not, profit off their actions.


We’d dearly love a day without a Trump report, but after all, he just may become your next president. So, here we look at an article regarding an attack ad Trump used against Jeb Bush that some find reminiscent of the “Willie Horton” ad used by supporters of Bush’s father, against Michael Dukakis, his opponent in 1988.


Canada’s Supreme Court ruled that Ecuadorian villagers can pursue legal action in Canada to enforce a $9.5 billion verdict handed down by Ecuador’s highest court.


Following the Ecuadorian ruling, Chevron had bolted from the country instead of paying the fine that the court imposed for dumping billions of gallons of oil and toxic waste water into the rainforest. Check out this WhoWhatWhy story, which includes secret video footage of Chevron employees laughing about the contamination.


The new ruling means that the villagers can now pursue legal action against Chevron in Canada, where the oil giant has enough assets to pay the fine. Chevron argues that the Ecuadorian verdict was a fraud, that it had performed cleanup of selected sites before it left the South American country, and that state-owned Petroecuador had committed to cleaning up the rest.




Here’s an article suggested by reader J. Lemlin: In this fascinating essay, provocatively titled “Marrying Robots, Killing With Drones, and Making Empty Selfies,” Edward Curtin argues that modern human beings have become sedated by information overload and a disconnect between body and soul, and urges people to start caring again.


Reader W. Milsantos recommends this piece, titled “After Ferguson Unrest, St. Louis Police Bought Stink Weapons to Launch at Protesters.”


Lighter Side:


Canada’s Conservative Party will have to find a couple of new candidates after one, a plumber, was secretly videotaped as he peed in the cup of a customer while on the job. The other “merely” mocked people with disabilities in public and taped himself when pretending to have an orgasm while on the phone with a female customer service representative.




This animated short film from 1987 tells a story of a determined shepherd who manages to reforest a barren valley over a 30-year period. It is based on the 1953 novella The Man Who Planted Trees by Jean Giono.