SciAm: What Do Farmers Think about Climate Change?
Given the stats, that looks to me like roughly 68% would be open to attenuation and preparedness measures. That’s a pretty good ratio.
ReadWrite: Why We Need A New Word For Drones.
I was all over this what, nine months, a year ago? Catch up, media. Or not. “Drone” sells ad impressions.
NY Times: A Twist in the Murder of a 97-Year-Old Man: He Was Knifed 5 Decades Ago.
Now there’s a story. Now I know Mercury is retrograde.
Mashable: The beloved Modern Farmer magazine is shutting down.
“The magazine parted ways in December with its founder and editor in chief Ann Marie Gardner, who reportedly had disagreements with the magazine’s lead investor Frank Giustra, a Canadian mining mogul.” Alas. Seems every time I find a good, new RSS feed ... someone shuts down the operation. I miss The Airship, too.
NPR: What If Heaven Is Not For Real?
“... even though none of us existed 1,000 years ago, you don’t find many people worrying about their nonexistence during the Dark Ages. Our not-being in the past doesn’t worry us. So, why does our not-being in the future freak us out so much?”
Ghost in the Machine: I’m Bona Fide.
Vox: Refreshing the evergreen.
“What was interesting — though not completely unexpected — was that no one even seemed to notice that we were flooding the site with previously published content. A lot of the articles were enthusiastically shared by people who had shared them the first time around, too. No one seemed gripped by a sense of deja vu, or, if they were, they didn’t mention it.” So, we don’t need to create new content. Just regurgitate the same stuff over and over, changing the title and wordsmithing a bit. I’ve gone through and checked my Vox posts - no repeats, thank goodness. I couldn’t face myself if I had fallen for this.
In These Times: Agent Carter’s ‘Feminism’ Is More About Money Than Gender Equality
Funny. Not the article, but In These Times. This article appeared in my feeds yesterday, and I was going to link it, but it was pulled and rewritten. More Disney-as-enemy yesterday, in my quick read. Women have been screaming for strong lead roles for a while now, and here ITT decides to try to cut Agent Carter off at the knees. Lord knows why. Take a chill pill, ITT, and stop loading the woes of entertainment industry corporate strategy on Peggy’s shoulders.
Poynter: Most of The New York Times’ most popular items last year weren’t news stories.
No wonder we end up with things like Buzzfeed and Upworthy. “What You Learn In Your 40’s” just went viral last week, didn’t it? That’s fast, for a throwaway piece of writing.
Forbes: Did Crocodile Bile In Beer Really Kill 69 People In Mozambique?
Media/ite: Baltimore Fox 45 WBFF Kill a Cop Chant Video Edit Protest.
What happens to ‘believe what you see and hear’, now that video is as easy to manipulate as Photoshop stills?
Seems the social media will become check-and-balance. If one can meaningfully winnow through all the noise.
TG’s Political Wire: Obama Should Prosecute the Torturers.
“The question is whether the nation will stand by and allow the perpetrators of torture to have perpetual immunity for their actions.” This is arguably the most important article in the news today, and many can’t read it because of the paywall. The impact is therefore limited. Important news should be free; how we structure that, I don’t know. Perhaps front page access should be free, but viewing by section is all pay-for?
ABC News: Six in 10 See CIA Actions as Justified As Many Question Committee Report.
US News: Cow Bolts Butcher Shop, Police Give Chase.
Emblematic of today’s police response. You’re telling me that, in *Idaho*, they couldn’t find a single cowboy with roping skills? Apparently the only other option is ... as usual ... shoot to kill.
Vox: Bill Cosby’s wife invoked the Rolling Stone sexual assault story to defend him.
This just gets more distasteful by the hour. First, he pulls the race card (“the black media needs to stay neutral”); now she pulls the “rape allegation” card.
NY Times: How to Survive a Journalistic Disaster 101.
NY Times: Rolling Stone Cites Doubts on Its Story of Gang Rape.
“We are taking this seriously and apologize to anyone who was affected by the story.” Oh, that’s not going to help now. Lawsuits will fly. Previously here.
Later: Apparently WaPo is spearheading looking into the details.
Vox: Ferguson, explained in 7 sentences.
Hmmm. We in NM have a different view.
Do you remember James Boyd? No? Shame on you. March of this year. He was shot because he was ... wait for it ... illegally camping. Officers flash-banged him as he turned his back to pack his things, shot him three times in the back at close range with rifles (not handguns) ... and while he was lying incapacitated, tasered him, pummelled him with beanbags shot from shotguns, let a police dog chew on him a bit, then handcuffed him while he gasped for breath from a bullet-induced pneumothorax [one lung was perforated]. He died the next day after having his arm amputated from the bullet damage. This man was cornered and killed like an animal in its lair.
Albuquerque had protests, too. With militarized equipment. No indictments. Why no great national outcry for him? No multi-city demonstrations?
He was just a homeless mentally-incapacitated white man. A troublesome nutjob noone really cared for anyway. Dime a dozen. Done away with like a stray cur.
Turns out now, a harbinger. The ‘canary in the coal mine’ that noone paid attention to. Which is why I largely agree with John McWhorter.
My intention is not to minimize the issue of race relations or cultural issues in Ferguson. Brown certainly didn’t deserve to die. My point is, neither did Boyd. You can hang ‘race’ on Brown, ‘lack of mental heath care services’ on Boyd, and let the righteous indignation flow long. I feel those well-worn and little-cured serious issues are obscuring the most dangerous aspect of these events:
The problem of disproportionate police response.
Ask yourself: How much greater would the outrage be, if Brown had been treated as Boyd was? How many would be screaming about race and how this kind of treatment ‘only happens to minorities’? If this had been publicized about Brown’s shooting and not Boyd’s?
Everyone would be livid, urban areas would be burning, and nothing positive would ever come of it. Righteous indignation would translate to violence, and more would die. Police procedure would be militarized further.
[Which, I honestly wonder if that isn’t the point of fanning the flames of ‘race’ alone. Further militarization. Escalating to where such materiel is necessary. There’s a very nefarious feel to how this is all playing out.]
The irony is, Boyd *was* a minority. A minority noone really gives a flying flip about. The mentally-ill don’t have the ability to organize. They have no great orators to capture the 24/7 news cycle. Which makes the fact that Boyd’s needless death is largely forgotten even more chilling. Most minorities have voice, and wide support. But some don’t. Who defends them?
So my contention is, filtering the shooting of Brown through race alone is obscuring most of the real problem here; missing the forest for the tree.
These two men, Brown and Boyd, are victims of police procedures that increasingly see the binary of life/death as the only solution to each and every problem. You don’t need race or mental status to clearly see what happened in both places. The range of possible responses has narrowed ridiculously, inhumanely. Wilson could have let Brown walk away, even after the alleged exchange, and waited for backup. Boyd could have been neutralized by simply waiting him out - crazy as he was, he’d have to sleep sometime.
But no, it seems once you’ve engaged, you must push an incident to an immediate solution - lethal or not. The officer has the legal right to play God - to choose life and death for others. It’s a mighty responsibility that is little appreciated. A responsibility that demands recognition of the fact there are not two responses, a lethal one for minorities, nonlethal for others. All lives should be equal, without regard for skin color, mental or economic status.
Change is necessary, before another such tragedy occurs. Police procedure needs to be looked at from the Federal level, and the use of lethal response needs to be spelled out in unequivocal language. Police need a range of responses with logical escalation steps that are clearly understood. We as citizens should be educated on what to expect in certain encounters, and how to respond. What our rights are, and how existing rights will not be impinged. We, the public, have to be able to stick our noses into police training procedures and judge for ourselves.
Will it happen? Doubtful. But it needs to. Doing so will help more than just one minority - many are at risk - and that’s the bigger picture here that everyone’s missing. Clear procedures would protect law enforcement too. Everyone would benefit.
Four brief tangents:
One. I myself got pulled over the other day. The officer unclipped their holster, and tapped on my driver window with hand on .40 automatic. I’m white ... the problem was an obscured license plate. This is considered a proper traffic stop now? Guilty until proven innocent? That’s military thinking. Wasn’t that way, last time I was pulled over. I can’t really ignore what that automatic was telling me, inches from my left ear. If I’d tried anything even close to what Michael Brown allegedly did? I’d be taking a dirt nap - no minority required. All I’d have had to do is make some sort of fast movement with an arm, and no grand jury in the US would ever say that the officer didn’t need to self-defend. “I felt threatened” is the armor of the officer, and has been for decades. [Side note: Anyone you read who was surprised by the Ferguson verdict - erase them from your feed. They’re either dangerously ignorant of jurisprudence in America, or trying to manipulate your opinion.]
Two. The Brown family has been remarkably level headed, graceful in the face of devastating loss ... and I completely agree with their plea for body-cameras on officers. Note, however, that body cameras did not save James Boyd. Nor did it trigger any indictments. But it’s a step. Even if symbolic, it’s a step that needs to be taken. It will have a calming effect on encounters.
Three. It is worth learning about the MRAP vehicles that are being practically given away to forces across the country. Originally designed for the bush war in Rhodesia, they found a purpose in Iraq. We built thousands of them, only to find the center of gravity was too high (among many other weaknesses). Now our police get to play ‘army man’ with flawed military cast-offs. The reason for giving them to police forces? Best I can find in Google, some feel that with veterans coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan, these vets understand how to build and use IED’s. In other words ... the reason these are being given to domestic police forces is because we’re afraid of our own ‘patriots’. I kid you not.
Four. During the first Gulf War, I think it was President Bush (I) who made the differentiation between military and police work very clear. He did not wish to take Baghdad because soldiers are trained to kill, and police are trained to arrest. It would have been a disaster to have soldiers operating in an urban environment. One guess why I brought up that differentation, underneath a tangent about military vehicles being sold to domestic police. [My memory’s hazy on this attribution, but the ethic remains no matter the sourcing.]
Later: Dear God. Not even a warning, it seems.
Even later: I give up.
Youtube: Antares rocket explosion from the launch pad.
My ears hurt, even with the sound turned down.
CJR: Texas reporters fight for access to fracking facts.
Let some sun shine in. To me, this policy bespeaks a great deal of fear.
Atlas: A new ‘craft and curio’ magazine.
Can someone please inform the media there’s no such thing as a cell *tower* in an airplane?
Cell tech, yes. A tower, no. Ridiculous headlines. And everyone’s doing it.
Outside: Does The Wild Truth Tell the True Story of Chris McCandless?
Reuters: Germany’s top publisher bows to Google in news licensing row.
Interesting. I assume the publisher makes money from ad-clicks? There’s no connection made here between visitors from Google and actual revenue. I’d rather see *that* impact.
NY Times: Toxic Partisanship? Bill Clinton Says He Had It Worse, Yet Got Things Done.
For those who lived through it, yes - Bill had it worse. Much worse. The Fairness Doctrine was shredded shortly before, and talk radio had just hit its stride. The wave of conservative partisanship (Gingrich’s GOPAC memo, that document and philosophy that shaped our modern news media and political culture) was to hit hard in the run-up to the ‘94 Congressional elections. These wolverines didn’t just go after Bill, but Hillary as well. Turning on the radio took a great deal of grit and bravery, given the millions of cubic feet of methane being generated.
Obama is the butt of racist attacks (veiled and otherwise), even I look askance at his lack of experience prior to the Presidency ... but the level is dialed down significantly in comparison. Who could forget the weeks of Republican ravings over the Vince Foster suicide? And the insinuations that Hillary and Foster had an affair, and that she offed him? Pound a conspiracy theory hard enough on radio in multiple markets, people start to accept it.
The conservatives hated Clinton because he was the most Centrist Democrat to ever win the Party’s nomination. Even longtime Dems were concerned. The Repubs feared losing a portion of their Southern/Midwestern bloc, as well as corporate donors ... feared it so, they pulled out every stop. Satan and Lilith were in the White House!
I suppose this is part of growing older. Seeing the facts as we lived them get challenged, watered down into a haze of ... ‘history.’