The View From Your Window

Aug 21 2014 @ 7:39pm
by Dish Staff

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Stoke Pound, Worcestershire, UK, 9.15 am

The Twice-Displaced Palestinians

Aug 21 2014 @ 7:12pm
by Jonah Shepp

Alice Su highlights the peculiar predicament of Palestinian Syrians, who unlike other displaced people looking to flee the civil war don’t have the right to seek refuge in neighboring countries:

Amid the millions of refugees from Syria flooding into neighboring countries like Lebanon and Jordan, a minority group is being quietly denied entry, detained, deported, and pushed out in any way possible: Palestinians. They are refugees who literally have nowhere to go.

In recent months, Jordanian and Lebanese authorities have acknowledged that Palestinians from Syria are not welcome to asylum in the same way that other Syrian refugees are. Jordan and Lebanon have respectively been barring Palestinians from entry since January and August 2013, in contrast with the treatment of some 600,000 Syrian nationals in Jordan and 1.5 million in Lebanon, according to Human Rights Watch. The organization has also documented forcible deportations of Palestinians—women and children included—from both countries.

I touched on this issue last week, and I’m glad to see it’s getting some more press. This is another example of the many ways Palestinians suffer for having no state of their own and no genuine acceptance in the countries where so many of them ended up after being displaced in the 1948 and 1967 wars.

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How Dangerous Is Police Work?

Aug 21 2014 @ 6:45pm
by Dish Staff

Police Fatalities

Daniel J. Bier goes over the statistics. He finds that, “In 2013, out of 900,000 sworn officers, just 100 died from a job-related injury. That’s about 11.1 per 100,000, or a rate of 0.001%”:

Policing doesn’t even make it into the top 10 most dangerous American professions. Logging has a fatality rate 11 times higher, at 127.8 per 100,000. Fishing: 117 per 100,000. Pilot/flight engineer: 53.4 per 100,000. It’s twice as dangerous to be a truck driver as a cop—at 22.1 per 100,000.

Another point to bear in mind is that not all officer fatalities are homicides. Out of the 100 deaths in 2013, 31 were shot, 11 were struck by a vehicle, 2 were stabbed, and 1 died in a “bomb-related incident.” Other causes of death were: aircraft accident (1), automobile accident (28), motorcycle accident (4), falling (6), drowning (2), electrocution (1), and job-related illness (13).

Even assuming that half these deaths were homicides, policing would have a murder rate of 5.55 per 100,000, comparable to the average murder rate of U.S. cities: 5.6 per 100,000. It’s more dangerous to live in Baltimore (35.01 murders per 100,000 residents) than to be a cop in 2014.

by Dish Staff

The sex-worker-as-daughter debate, which Elizabeth launched, continues. Two readers cite two different missing pieces from the conversation thus far. One writes:

I am amazed by the Every Sex Worker Might be Somebody’s Daughter thread’s blind spot: not one person brought up the men who do sex work. Escorts and male performers in straight and gay pornography are all… somebody’s son. Yet that doesn’t seem to worry anyone much. The same double-standard as always: sexually active women are sluts, sexually active men are studs.

The other sounds off:

The thread on this topic seems remarkably tone-deaf.

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A Sudden Crisis

Aug 21 2014 @ 5:27pm
by Dish Staff

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 10.47.17 AM

As the UN refugee agency launches its largest aid effort in more than a decade to help the hundreds of thousands of displaced people in northern Iraq, Swati Sharma remarks on how rapidly the humanitarian disaster has unfolded:

The rate at which the situation in Iraq has deteriorated is the largest reason why it is being called one of the worst humanitarian disasters in recent years. Let’s compare it with Syria.

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Why Kidnap Journalists?

Aug 21 2014 @ 4:47pm
by Dish Staff

Jason Abbruzzese examines how journalists in conflict zones have become common targets for abduction:

The kidnapping of journalists is a relatively new issue. Reporters in conflict zones well understood the risks, but occupied a relatively sheltered position. “Pre-internet and pre-social media, pretty much all parities to wars and conflicts understood that they needed journalists to communicate their message, their view, to get the word out,” [Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma director Bruce] Shapiro says. Another part of the problem: major media organizations have closed foreign bureaus and become reliant on freelancers as cheap alternatives. Without the backing of major media organizations, these freelancers tend to be at even more risk — especially if they and their families happen to live in the country where the conflict is taking place.

Jack Shafer stands back:

The killing of an innocent reporter violates what many of us would call an unwritten social contract stipulating that journalists deserve protection because they’re witnesses to history, not state actors. …

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Mental Health Break

Aug 21 2014 @ 4:20pm
by Dish Staff

Highdeas, meet shower thoughts:

by Dish Staff

Paul Cassell previews the trial of officer Darren Wilson:

[P]roving a crime in the Brown shooting will require close attention to the details, particularly details about the shooting officer’s state of mind. Even if the officer made a mistake in shooting, that will not be enough to support criminal charges so long as his mistake was reasonable — a determination in which the officer will receive some benefit of the doubt because of the split-second judgments that he had to make. And, of course, if it turns out that Michael Brown was in fact charging directly towards the officer (as recent reports have suggested), the officer’s actions will have been justified under state law and no charges should be filed. Trial lawyers know that one thing above all else decides criminal cases: the facts. And that is what we’re waiting for now.

Yishai Schwartz expects Wilson to get off because of Missouri law:

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Should ISIS Be Censored?

Aug 21 2014 @ 3:37pm
by Dish Staff

E.W. argues against Twitter and YouTube’s decisions to scrub the video of James Foley’s murder:

Censorship proponents are of the mind that the ISIS video constitutes propaganda and that its dissemination furthers ISIS’s aims. It is true that extremist groups have been known to use social media as a means to circumvent the checks media organisations employ to stop the spread of propaganda. But the video isn’t only propaganda. And since when has that label been sufficient grounds for censorship anyway? The amount of online content that could be wiped from social media if this reasoning was applied uniformly would be staggering. …

Twitter is not television. No one is being forced to view the footage. Evening news shows can decline to show the video because not all their viewers might be comfortable seeing it. But people have to be able to access it on their own if they wish. It’s completely understandable that family members don’t want footage of a loved one’s death to spread, but it’s not clear that that’s their decision to make.

Earlier this week, J.M. Berger noted that support for ISIS on Twitter had been falling since the revelation that the group had massacred some 700 people in the Syrian province of Deir Ezzor:

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Teen Pregnancy Is Way Down

Aug 21 2014 @ 3:24pm
by Dish Staff

According (pdf) to the CDC:

Teen Pregnancy

Jason Millman unpacks the news:

Though the United States lags behind other countries, the CDC says the progress made since 1991 has amounted to 4 million fewer teen births. Citing research from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, the CDC says this also saved taxpayers an estimated $12 billion alone in 2010 from costs associated with government-funded health care, child welfare and higher incarceration rates of teen moms. And having fewer babies born to teen mothers, the CDC points out, is good for other reasons. Teen motherhood comes with a higher health risk for the baby, educational limits for the mother and limited resources, since about 90 percent of teen births are to unmarried mothers. And babies born to teen mothers are more likely to eventually become teen mothers themselves.

Tara Culp-Ressler has more details:

The steepest declines in the teen birth rate appear to be occurring in the areas where it’s historically been the highest. Southern states — where the teen pregnancy rate has beensignificantly higher for years — have seen the largest drops, although there’s still a noticeable disparity between states in the South and states in the Northeast. Similarly, while teen births have declined across all racial groups, they’ve recently fallen the fastest among Hispanic women, who currently have the highest rate.

But what caused the decline? Jordan Weissmann addresses the question:

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