Reading George Fox

The Carceral State and Good People

@dynamitemoth They have the best of intentions, but it’s within a very flawed system. The reason that plea deals are used so much is prosectorial discretion: they’ll threaten to charge with more serious counts adding up to an incredible amount of years. It then only makes sense not to risk a trial. It’s also hard to believe that 97% of all cases involve a guilty defendent; that would require nigh infallible police and prosecutors. Also, here’s an explanation of how a federal guilty plea works and the absurdity it can become. Prosecutors are also loathe1 to provide evidence of innocence. There’s a ton of pressure of prosecutors to win cases, so they’ll even block the release of clearly innocent people. Expert witnesses and forensic experts are often relied on again and again even without evidence that the science has any basis in fact. There are a ton of incentives for detectives to quickly close cases, so they often settle on the first or second suspect. Police are taught to be overly defensive and often escalate situations. Once a department gets a SWAT team, they find reasons to use it. Military supplies and civil forfeiture create perverse incentives to play with…

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Fouad Dakwar on Being Palestinian

I often put on this act of a fearless fighter when talking about the mistreatment of my people, but tonight I had a direct one-on-one conversation with someone who actively denies the humanity of Palestinians (one of the apparent majority) that resulted in me crying non-stop for thirty minutes straight. It had me wishing I wasn’t Palestinian because I wished I were part of a group that received some sort of empathy from fellow humans. The truth is that being Palestinian is one of the hardest things I will ever go through and that no matter how much hope I am given from peers and emerging humanitarian organizations (particularly American-Jewish ones), I will constantly live with the fear that our narrative will conclude the way the Native American one has now- with genocide of the majority of our people, theft of ALL of our land, and the complete dehumanization of our people in order to do it quickly. We’re on our way there and I don’t know how much more I can ask for help and allyship. If you somehow don’t condemn the current treatment of Palestinians, delete me from your friends list because we are not friends. My friends…

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Three to Four Times

As Hari Ziyad wrote for Afropunk “[t]he news of her hospitalization follows a report by NPR exploring how systematic racism leads to Black mothers in the U.S. dying at three to four times the rate of white mothers. Anti-Blackness truly is unrelenting and multi-faceted, and Erica Garner knew this better than most.” Erica Garner, Eric Garner’s daughter, is in the hospital following a heart attack. She’s only 27.

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Bigotry is Easy

…bigotry is easy and those who cherish it are lazy. Make it difficult and many people may find it more trouble than it’s worth to harass, shame, and otherwise abuse online those different from themselves. Looks like reddit has had some success driving off the bigots.

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Recommended Blogs for 2018

This started out as a response to @colinwalker, but grew beyond that. Some thoughts on interesting blogs to follow in 2018: Letters and Sodas—Great book reviews on a wide range of topics. Balkinization—Looking at politics through a legal lens. Love, Joy, Feminism—A woman who grew up in a Quiverfull family and her journey towards a more liberal view of family, sexuality and the world. Putting the Life Back Into Science Fiction—Looks at the possible consequences of climate change through imagining the future. Tits and Sass—A blog by and about Sex Workers. Field Negro—Politics from an African American Man’s perspective. Warren Throckmorton—An evangelical preacher/psychologist who used to believe you could pray away the gay, but absorbed research and experience that it’s impossible to do so. An important conservative religious voice on the disjunction between evangelicals and the modern world. Feministe—Feminist perspectives on the world today. Looks like I certainly side on the liberal end of things. Perhaps I need more conservative voices in my feeds, but it’s pretty hard today to find ones that engage with reality.

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Both Sides!

Right in the middle of a piece about Trumps inflammation of racism, @NYTimes drops a graph about how there have also been anti-Trump harassment & assault. Without any examples. ‘Cause we must leave the impression that “Both Sides Do It”.

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