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Resilient Constructs

Progressivism, Sexual Violence, and Restorative Justice

Is the progressive movement to reform our criminal justice system and make it more humane at odds with the equally progressive desire to more aggressively punish rapists? The story that served as the impetus for bringing this topic to wider attention involves filmmaker Nate Parker, a black man who was once accused of sexual assault and later acquitted. There has been some debate over how to approach the work of someone who may be a rapist, even if a court of law didn’t hold them accountable.

Trolls and Internet Hate Culture

When TIME magazine notices that online hatred and trolling are serious problems, you know they’ve hit the mainstream. I don’t expect to break any new ground here given my past posts on this topic. However, I find it noteworthy that TIME magazine–one of the most milquetoast publications that could grace one’s coffee table–finally had a cover story about online trolling and hateful behavior. Joel Stein wrote it, who is as decent enough a person as any to have tackle it.

Sausage Party is Very Confused

If you knew that heaven was a lie, would you be compelled to tell everyone, or just make a bunch of dick jokes? Sausage Party’s answer is “both.” As usual, spoilers follow! This is a very strange film that doesn’t seem to know what it wants to say. The first ten minutes appear to be the result of a self-imposed challenge to see how many times the word “fuck” can be uttered.

Breaking Routines

I took a few days off this past week. I didn’t even go anywhere, but getting posts out when I’m off my routine was harder than expected. I was off work Wednesday through Friday. For one, I kept compulsively checking my work email, as if something would come up that I’d be needed for. (No such emergencies arose.) I also got off my normal sleep schedule, which really hammers my productivity and concentration.

Link Roundup: August 20, 2016

Nothing to see here but some links of interest. You know how it is. Politics * [How we killed the Tea Party](http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/08/tea-party-pacs-ideas-death-214164) -- Short version: greed over ideology killed the movement. Good riddance, honestly. * [I survived 'Trump' magazine--barely](http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/08/donald-trump-magazine-employee-confessional-bankrupt-2016-214155) -- One _Trump_ magazine employee relates her story, which hits on themes that should be all too familiar by now: broken promises, unpaid bills, disrespect, and ripoffs. * [Donald Trump appoints media firebrand to run campaign](http://www.

Should we Kill to Protect Information?

Now, more than ever, we live in a world rich with information. Some of it is public, some of it private. And some information is secret. Is some information’s secrecy so important, it’s worth killing people to keep it hidden? This topic started developing more for me after the recent DNC email hack, and then after seeing this video, which includes a lot of little clips describing what should be done to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for his role in leaking classified US documents:

Police Body Cameras: A Failed Policy

Around the time the Black Lives Matter movement began in earnest, so too did a national discussion on ways to monitor police officers and moderate their behavior. One of those measures was to develop widespread use of body cameras by police. Thus far, this policy has been largely a failure. Common Dreams analyzed body camera programs in 50 US cities to determine how those policies were put in place, whether they held police officers properly accountable, and to what extent they protected the civil rights of citizens.

Video Game Elitism

What’s the deal with people who play video games fighting and arguing over what makes a “real” game or not? I’ve seen this argument play out most recently with regard to the game No Man’s Sky. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a game in which you are encouraged to survive and explore, hopping from planet to planet on your little spaceship. Planets and life forms on those planets are all procedurally generated, a bit like Spore.

The Government is Threatening You

Whatever else may be special or unique about government power, its monopoly on the use of force is paramount. Only the government has unfettered authority to use force. To the extent citizens have that power, it is entirely at the discretion of government-defined law. What does it mean, then, when the government seeks to ensure compliance with the law through the use of threats? Let’s step back for a moment to talk about laws.

Cynics, True Believers, and Everyone Else

A common topic of discussion I’ve encountered is whether politicians really believe the things they say and advocate for. Are they cynical, or are they for real? Taking this question at face value, I would argue that, in the end, it doesn’t matter. It is impossible to know what’s really in a person’s mind–what they truly believe versus what they pretend to believe for some selfish purpose. A policy supported on either basis is still just as real in terms of its effects.