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Algernon Moncrieff

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Member since: Sun Apr 20, 2014, 12:49 AM
Number of posts: 5,099

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Mother Jones: New Study Suggests Police Shoot Whites More Frequently Than Blacks


In a new paper using an interesting approach, Roland Fryer finds that police officers treat blacks and Hispanics more roughly than whites, but they don't shoot them any more frequently:

The results obtained using these data are informative and, in some cases, startling. Using data on NYC's Stop and Frisk program, we demonstrate that on non-lethal uses of force—putting hands on civilians (which includes slapping or grabbing) or pushing individuals into a wall or onto the ground, there are large racial differences. In the raw data, blacks and Hispanics are more than fifty percent more likely to have an interaction with police which involves any use of force.

In stark contrast to non-lethal uses of force, we find no racial differences in officer-involved shootings on either the extensive or intensive margins. Using data from Houston, Texas—where we have both officer-involved shootings and a randomly chosen set of potential interactions with police where lethal force may have been justified—we find, in the raw data, that blacks are 23.8 percent less likely to be shot at by police relative to whites. Hispanics are 8.5 percent less likely.

Analyzing data from cities in California, Texas, and Florida, Fryer found that lethal force was used more often against whites than blacks.
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Mon Jul 11, 2016, 01:50 PM (22 replies)

What I see in all of this is that police need a highly non-lethal weapon that works at a distance

Something that will neutralize a suspect highly effectively at a distance and is at least as accurate as a pistol and more or less the same size. Something like "put your phasers on stun." Such weapons would still allow for the abuse that we so desperately need to get out of the system, but would be much more forgiving of officer error. Such a weapon would -- at a minimum -- have given men like Michael Brown their day in court. Such a weapon would allow captured suspects to be questioned -- which is vital in terror and gang cases.

Question: Can a nation that overspends by tenfold annually on weaponry develop such a device?
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Sat Jul 9, 2016, 07:18 PM (40 replies)

WaPo: Alton Sterling, Eric Garner and the double standard of the side hustle

Garner and Sterling were, in fact, doing something that's now celebrated in very different forums by small-scale "entrepreneurs" who typically don't look like them. They were trying to earn income off what they had at hand in ways that are not strictly legal. The parallels to today's sharing economy aren't such a stretch, argued tech entrepreneur Anil Dash this week


In cities where short-term rentals remain technically illegal, we don't typically think of Airbnb hosts as operating in a black market. Nor do we consider Uber drivers skirting the law — making, for instance, illegal airport runs — to be "hustling." But the kind of parallel activities Dash cites have been heavily criminalized, with the further help of anti-loitering laws. Black children selling candy bars come to be treated as criminals.

In this video that went viral last week, an older woman scolds a black child for selling candy outside of a California Target, a practice she describes as seeing "all around the country." She demands to see the child's license to be there (an intervening man defends the young vendor and offers to buy all of the candy). The child's voice, at the 40-second mark — "excuse me, sir" — sounds painfully young


The larger cruelty is that, by excluding certain communities from the formal economy, society has pushed people who might prefer legal work into underground alternatives. Poor education, criminal records, discrimination and legal obstacles for immigrants have turned the shadow economy into a key means for how marginalized communities support themselves, whether driving gypsy cabs, selling street food or working restaurants under the table. This kind of activity is more often associated with developing countries, but it thrives in poor urban communities in the United States, too.

Link to WaPo article
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Fri Jul 8, 2016, 04:03 PM (2 replies)

The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral

The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral,
begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy.
Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.
Through violence you may murder the liar,
but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth.
Through violence you may murder the hater,
but you do not murder hate.
In fact, violence merely increases hate.
So it goes.
Returning violence for violence multiplies violence,
adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Thu Jul 7, 2016, 11:58 PM (2 replies)

Simple question: Amazon Prime. Worth it? Yes? No? Perhaps?

A Prime Day is coming up, so I'm thinking about it.
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Wed Jul 6, 2016, 09:33 PM (19 replies)
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