Procedural Justice

Over the last few decades, there’s been a heavy emphasis on techniques that fall under the concept of “proactive policing.” These generally involve identifying the areas of a city that have the highest crime rates and applying more aggressive policing in those locations. While there have been some successes, the approach has often bred resentment, as methods like stop-and-frisk policing generated antagonism between the police and the communities they were meant to help…

So, some of the people behind the National Academies report decided to change that, running their own controlled study on procedural justice in three US cities. The results aren’t decisive, but they suggest the technique might reduce crime and community friction…

Procedural justice applies to far more than policing, but its basic principles have an obvious use. The basic idea is that any process, including policing, should be transparent enough that everyone involved believes that things are handled fairly. When applied to policing, this includes the respectful treatment of people targeted by it. In practical terms, the paper’s authors say it involves the police demonstrating neutrality and trustworthy motives, while respecting those in the community and allowing them a chance to voice concerns…

Finally, changes in crime rate compared to the pre-experiment baseline were calculated.

I suggest you click the link up above and see how things came out. So far.

The pressure fell mostly on one man

More than 3,200 pages of emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by BuzzFeed News — covering the period from January to June 2020 — provide a rare glimpse into how Fauci approached his job during the biggest health crisis of the last century, showing him dealing directly with the public, health officials, reporters, and even celebrities. (The Washington Post also received more than 800 pages of emails and published a story about them on Monday.)…

The emails show Fauci received a flurry of correspondence about the theory that coronavirus leaked from a lab in Wuhan. One such email sent to Fauci on April 16, 2020 by Francis Collins, the director of the National Institute of Health, under the subject line “conspiracy gains momentum” contained a link to a news story highlighting a Fox News report that said the allegation had merit. Fauci’s response to Collins is entirely blacked out…

The records also lay bare Fauci’s ambivalence toward his newfound celebrity status but also his embrace of a documentary crew who would tell his story. Additionally, the emails hint at the personal toll this past year has taken on him. In one email sent on Feb. 18, weeks before COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, he wrote that he had only been able to see his wife for 45 minutes in the previous 10 days.

Fauci, who has been director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, declined to comment for this story.

American-style journalists have been trudging through pages and more pages of copies of emails to and from Dr. Fauci. I haven’t yet found any other article that reads as straightforward as this one. Often, other authors sift through thousands of emails to find the one or two sentences that can be used to back up the author’s (often unfounded) beliefs. There may be other articles as honest as this one out there. At least I hope so.

Don’t admit you’re an atheist if you’re running for Congress

…In this era of increasing diversity and the breaking of long-rigid political-demographic barriers, there is no self-identifying atheist in national politics. Indeed, throughout history, only one self-identified atheist in the U.S. Congress comes to mind, the late California Democrat Peter Stark…

This puts the country at odds with democracies the world over that have elected openly godless – or at least openly skeptical – leaders who went on to become revered national figures, such as Jawaharlal Nehru in India, Sweden’s Olof Palme, Jose Mujica in Uruguay and Israel’s Golda Meir. New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern, the global leader who has arguably navigated the coronavirus crisis with the most credit, says she is agnostic…

In a country that changed its original national motto in 1956 from the secular “E pluribus unum” – “out of many, one” – to the faithful “In God We Trust,” it seems people don’t trust someone who doesn’t believe in God.

Most Americans likely don’t even know this happened. Part of the larger propaganda campaign that accompanied the Cold War.

I’ve been an atheist since I knew enough science to make a decision about belief in the real world versus superstition. About 13 years old. A philosophical materialist since I was 18 and truly enjoyed the investigation of systems of reason and decision-making.

After all these years, I never have bumped into any sound argument to reverse those two conclusions. In fact, every step forward in science and knowledge reinforces my understanding.

Going, going, gone…


Click to enlargeDOD photo

❝ One striking image shows the Marine Corps generals who will have left the Trump administration, after the president praised their service…

The photo above, taken in 2013, marked the first time six four-star Marines Corps generals were actively serving in the Marines.

Knowing Marine tradition of dedication to defense of this nation and its Constitution – the eventual departure of these Marines is precisely what I expected.