5SR - April 1, 2024

Hitha on series finales, Janel Diaz, and the best Easter candy

A quick refresher - I’m Hitha Palepu, the founder of #5SmartReads. If you’d like to connect with me elsewhere, I’m most active on Instagram and write a weekly newsletter about smart, random things (check out the most recent issue). Looking forward to connecting there!

Make no mistake - our democracy is fragile right now, and this upcoming election is as high stakes as it gets.

But one thing is clear - there aren’t rampant cases of voter fraud or non-citizen immigrants voting illegally - and in the very few instances that it’s happened, the consequences were severe and swiftly delivered.

But that’s not stopping the Republican candidate for president and others from spreading these lies and whipping up the same conspiracy theories about election fraud, 4 years later.

And it’s certainly not stopping the 45th President from rebuilding his party’s apparatus with election deniers, which is incredibly dangerous for our election security and democracy in general.

Do you still feel robbed of satisfying series finales for shows that ended years ago, or are you normal?

This is for my friends who fall in the former camp.

This article eloquently sums up my many issues and mild rage over the How I Met Your Mother series finale (and touches on my issues with the Game of Thrones finale as well), and should be mandatory reading for any television series show runner - especially a first time one.

Justice for Tracy and Daenerys. You deserved much, much more.

“"Do you know how dangerous it is for a Black trans woman to walk through a neighborhood?" Diaz asks.

Diaz says she is regularly recognized as a transgender person. When she's at a restaurant, "people are staring at me — looking to see if I'm getting up to go to the bathroom, or if I'm walking by the bathroom, they're looking to see what bathroom I'm going in," Diaz says.

Gender-affirming treatment is sometimes seen as one way people who have transitioned can feel safer. Diaz says it can help them "blend in."“

Janel Diaz is the living embodiment of what Mr. Rogers’ “when things are tough, look for the helpers.” Her commitment to building a safe haven and resources for trans people in Florida is incredibly inspiring and sadly increasingly necessary.

Happy “stock up on discounted Easter day” to all who celebrate! Unless you’re coming for my Reese’s Eggs.

I loved this delightfully random read that dug into the history of how Easter candy came to be, and analyzing the Easter candy buying habits to determine what’s the most popular, where.

Naturally, the Reese’s Eggs came out on top on the east coast (on the west coast, it’s all about the Cadbury Creme Eggs). Enjoy this delightful, delicious read. Just grab some candy before you click over.

Where RFK Jr. Goes From Here  (The Atlantic)
link gifted via my subscription

While my fears about No Labels spoiling the 2024 election are declining, I am significantly worried about another third party candidate - RFK Jr.

“His campaign may continue to feel like a joke to some, but its effect in November could be real. Kennedy doesn’t need to win a single state to tip the election—he just needs to siphon enough votes in the right places. In 2016, pollsters, members of the media, political operatives, and the Hillary Clinton campaign appeared to underestimate the number of Americans who would support a third party—or those who were willing to hold their nose and vote for Trump. That could be happening all over again with Kennedy.”

I don’t take any vote or any state in this election for granted, and encourage you to check out every candidate’s position here. I also hope you’ve voted or planning to vote in the primaries, and making your general election plan for this fall.

Your vote matters, and your candidate needs to earn your vote.

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