Archive for May, 2012

How Citizen Review Boards Get Undermined

Many big city police departments have civilian review boards to look at accusations of police brutality and misconduct, with varying degrees of authority and effectiveness. They are often established in response to high-profile cases as a means of assuaging public concerns. But once they’re created, they are often undermined by a lack of authority and many other problems. The Atlanta Journal Constitution details how this has happened to the board in that city, formed in response to the Kathryn Johnston case in 2006: Read more

Jackson Delivers Weird, Bigoted Screed

The Family Research Council’s annual Watchmen on the Wall conference was a cavalcade of crazy bigotry. Bishop Harry Jackson, one of the most vitriolic and bigoted voices in the black clergy, delivered this incoherent screed about Obama’s announcement of support for marriage equality and how it dishonored black clergy. Read more

Why Would Anyone Think This is Appropriate?

There’s been a lot of talk in the atheist/skeptical community lately about the need for harassment policies at conferences, led by some of the bloggers here at FTB. And then this happens and just leaves my jaw on the floor wondering what planet these people are from. Elyse at SkepChick tells the appalling story: Read more

The Irrational Tribalism of Partisan Politics

NPR demonstrates perfectly how a simplistic psychological tribalism is at work when most people think about politics. And the polls show this on nearly every issue, changing our answers to questions depending on whether it helps or hurts the party we identify with: Read more

How To Attract Attention from DHS

The vast network of agencies that collectively form what Glenn Greenwald calls the National Surveillance State, in its Big Brother wisdom, has come up with a list of keywords that they look for while monitoring postings on social media sites. The list is broad enough to make virtually everyone trigger a hit at some point. Read more