Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Weekly Smorgasbord

It'd be great if I could actually do these weekly. Oh well. Here's a list from the last few:

On Police Misconduct:

This Interactive Map of Paramilitary Police Raids is Terrifying and Depressing- The Week.com
"New York City police raid the Bronx apartment of Shaunsia Patterson, her sister, and her two children, ages three and two. Patterson is eight months pregnant at the time of the raid. Police first grab Patterson's sister Misty, 15, and put her to the floor. They then confront Patterson, who is sitting on her bed. One officer pushes her onto her back, while another jumps on top of her. Patterson is eventually pushed to the floor and handcuffed while, in Patterson's words, "one of the cops stepped on the side of my face and pressed my face into the floor." When Patterson asks what the police wanted, she was told to "Shut the fuck up." Patterson is handcuffed in her underwear. Police scream expletives at the two women and two children while they scour the apartment for drugs. Patterson grows so frightened she urinates on herself. She isn't permitted to change. Police refuse to show Patterson a warrant, and demolish her furniture, her kitchen, and her floor. Hours later, Patterson is released from handcuffs, and an officer tells her, "We got the wrong apartment." It's the second botched drug raid NYPD would conduct that day. One confidential police source would later tell New York Times columnist Bob Herbert, "Two in one day -- that's bad. But I'll tell you what I honestly believe -- I don't think this happens that often." Source: Bob Herbert, "In America; Reprise of Terror," New York Times, March 12, 1998, p. A27.""

So horrifying.

That quote is via the Twin Cities Pioneer Press, which also interviewed Lollie. He was, he said, "trying my hardest to maintain my calm demeanor just because I know if I do anything outside of these bounds, they could really do some damage to me." He's right. "I really feel blessed I was in the skyway," he added. "If this had happened somewhere else, I might have ended up a little more hurt than I was."

Ugh. They tased the guy? Really. And he was so calm and respectful. I can't see how he did anything wrong. The article starts out "If you've never experienced arbitrary harassment or brutality at the hands of a police officer, or seen law enforcement act in a way that defies credulity and common sense, it can be hard to believe people who tell stories of inexplicable persecution." Really, how hard can it be after you watch something like this?

On Race:
"When asked the question, I’d usually pause. Not because I didn’t have an answer, but because some fears feel too real when you give them words. So I’d pause. Then I’d say two things: “Truthfully, the Lord has kept us from any fears that we can discern about planting the church or living in Southeast. If I have a fear it would be one thing: bringing my son Titus to the United States. He’s so tender and innocent and the States can be very hard on Black boys.” That’s my one fear. This country destroying my boy. Ferguson is my fear. I could be the black dad approaching a white sheet stained with his son’s blood. I could be the husband holding his wife, rocking in anguish, terrorized by the ‘what happeneds’ and the ‘how could theys,’ unable to console his wife, his wife who works so hard to make her son a “momma’s boy” with too many hugs, bedtime stories, presents for nothing, and an overflowing delight in everything he does. How do you comfort a woman who feels like a part of her soul was ripped out her chest?"
This is one of the most poignant and heartbreaking things I've read in some time. 

On Frugality:
"A cheap person may live for decades with the sorriest old fridge he could find on Craigslist. A frugal person might have a relatively new, and even nice looking, fridge, and yet spend less money owning and operating it. Similarly, the frugal person might own a more expensive bike or pair of shoes. The key to this counter-intuitive trick is to factor in things like energy consumption, longevity, time saved by owning a more effective product, and even life satisfaction derived from having a few very good things that you use every day. Frugal people still get to own and enjoy top-quality assets, tools, and investments."

Peyton's been making this distinction for years =)

On Urban Development:
"Between the4 1920s and the 1980s there had been a broad reordering of priorities. Twin technologies had come that would destroy the type of public culture embodied by rowhouses with porches. The first has been described by George W.S. Trow, in the New Yorker as: “Television — slayer of movies, slayer of radio, slayer of popular magazines, slayer of every form of human activity and inactivity except itself.”...Gone is the streetscape as provider of entertainment and facilitator of neighborhood interaction. The porches disappeared as now too expensive. The people withdraw into isolation inside their homes, lured inward by TV and Nintendo and pushed inward by fears of crime now that the informally policing “eyes on the street” provided by porch sitters are gone. Without the need for a porch the space in front of the building is given over to that second community-destroying technology: the private automobile, slayer of the streetcars, slayer of the passenger railroads, slayer of walking, slayer of every form of human transportation and recreation except itself."

So a couple of weeks ago, I spent a huge chunk of time learning about urban development and reading all sorts of different theories and opinions. No idea why I find it so fascinating.

Hope you found something that interested you! 

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