I recently had an encounter online in which a friend requested that people avoid using misogynistic slurs on her page. This didn’t seem unreasonable, but one person saw fit to argue it. The argument revolved around what kind of popular culture my friend consumed. “How can you say you don’t want to be exposed to slurs when [x], which you like, has slurs?” This is one of those arguments that appears superficially logical, except it ignores the entire purpose of the original request.
It was announced today that the two police officers who shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice to death will not be indicted. Not for a misdemeanor, not for a minor felony, not for a serious felony. Nothing. Per the Washington Post: In announcing the decision Monday, Cuyahoga County prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty said he did not recommend that the grand jury bring any charges and added that he believes both of the Cleveland police officers involved in the deadly encounter were reasonable in their belief that Rice had a real weapon.
Most people do new year’s resolutions, right? As far as I know, few people actually accomplish them, though. Maybe I can do a bit better. My goals for this blog for the next year are a combination of things that can be accomplished in the short term as well over the course of the year. In no particular order: * Get a logo produced and finalized. I expect to have this by the end of 2015, but will start considering contingencies if not.
I hope everyone is having an enjoyable weekend. Have some links! Culture * [9 women open up about their natural hair experiences](http://www.refinery29.com/real-life-natural-hair-care-experiences?utm_source=tumblr.com&utm_medium=post#slide-2) -- Interesting slideshow in which several black women relate their experiences with wearing their hair naturally--a growing trend against making their hair conform to white beauty standards. Social Justice * [New York City lays out transgender protection on dress codes, bathroom use](http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/new-york-transgender-protections_56799028e4b0b958f6582ba9) -- Welcome news!
Today, parcel carrier FedEx is facing negative press from two sides: customers angry that their packages weren’t delivered in time for Christmas, and those who are upset that FedEx has employees working on Christmas Day. Bloomberg has an article today focusing on the former angle. It notes that UPS–FedEx’s main competitor–had similar problems a couple years ago, but is effectively able to have no operations today: UPS, which refined its peak-season strategy this year, said before the holiday that it was monitoring package volumes and could ask “a small fraction” of workers to sort or make deliveries on Friday.
There is a tendency I’ve seen to assume that the current anti-intellectual trends in American politics are new, or especially bad today in ways they weren’t in the past. The reality of the situation is, as usual, far more complex. In 1963, an American historian named Richard Hofstadter published Anti-Intellectualism in American Life, which traced the history of anti-intellectual movements in the US. Per the Columbia Journalism Review,in a recent retrospective, Hofstadter described intellectualism like so:
“Political correctness” has once again become a buzzword in American politics. Criticism of it cuts across both racial and partisan lines. But what is the problem, really? This piece in today’s New York Times offers an overview of how the issue is presented, depending on your political leanings: “I’m so tired of this politically correct crap,” Donald Trump[told a cheering audience of South Carolina business leaders](http://www.politico.com/story/2015/09/donald-trump-politically-correct-crap-213988)in September. “That’s called politicians’ speak.
Today I am mostly going to link to a piece and and quote the specific parts that stand out. It’s good enough to stand on its own, and worth reading in full. In any case, it’s an article in The New Republic, and you can find it here. Now, excerpts: Many people viewed inner-city shootings as an intractable problem. But for two years, McBride had been spreading awareness about Ceasefire, a nearly two-decades-old strategy that had upended how police departments dealt with gang violence Under Ceasefire, police teamed up with community leaders to identify the young men most at risk of shooting someone or being shot, talked to them directly about the risks they faced, offered them support, and promised a tough crackdown on the groups that continued shooting In Boston, the city that developed Ceasefire, the average monthly number of youth homicides dropped by 63 percent in the two years after it was launched.
Although it happened a few days ago and has already reached a sort of resolution, the data breach publicized late last week in which staffers for Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders accessed confidential voter data for Hillary Clinton’s campaign has suffered from some dishonest, erroneous, and just plain bad reporting. The best source I’ve found that gives a solid rundown is from Bloomberg: The database logs created by NGP VAN show that four accounts associated with the Sanders team took advantage of the Wednesday morning breach.
The title is a bit of a misnomer. I like it anyway. I’ll be quite busy over the next few weeks, such that I don’t expect a lot of in-depth writing to be done here. It’s also a time of year that I imagine most people are spending time with their families and friends rather than reading random blogs (though I guess you never know). In any event, as always I plan to have daily updates of one sort or another.