This week's edition is gonna piss you right off and completely gross you out, so you might want to sit down first.
It Might Be Different If It Applied To Me, but it doesn't, so there.
From the moment it was implemented and suspected by the public, even before the existence of it was publicly verified, the stop and frisk policy employed by the NYPD has come under substantial fire in the media.
It essentially grants police the right to stop and frisk anyone they decide might be some sort of threat to public safety, eliminating any requirement of probable cause or an imminent threat to public safety. The policy was struck down as unconstitutional last week, but Mayor Bloomberg continues to defend the purpose and validity of the policy, sometimes vehemently and defiantly.
He's always defended the policy, saying that it is necessary because of public safety. He understands that minorities are stopped disproportionately, but seems to think that the right of citizens to walk down the street without being mugged is equivalent to the right to walk down the street while being a minority without being stopped. He even went so far as to say that it is not racial profiling. The data says otherwise, though.
What was interesting this week though, was the slightest dent in his argument that stop and frisk is okay. In an interview in The New Yorker, Bloomberg admitted that he might feel differently about the law if his son was stopped.
Since only 12% of those stopped are white, it's not a giant leap that he meant that he would feel different if his son were not, and was stopped purely because of his race.
Huh. Imagine that? If this policy affected his kid unfairly, he might not support it.
Signs that what you're doing is wrong....
The Neighbor From Hell
If you've been online in the last 48 hours, you've likely seen this letter. If not, sit down before you read it. No, really.
I have to be honest. My first reaction was to question if it was legit, or if it was yet another stunt by someone looking for outrage and sympathy, toying with the emotions of whoever would come across it.
I hate, by the way, that I wanted this to be a desperate grab for attention...but I'm jaded and cynical these days because too many people have invented stuff just like this.
Unfortunately, it's real.
The recipient of the letter is the grandmother of a 13 year old autistic boy. He comes to stay with her in the summer, and apparently one of the neighbors isn't enjoying his visits.
The writer of this letter, aside from having terrible grammar and lacking a fundamental understanding of how to compose a letter, is an asshole. It's a title that I normally withhold and try to not hand out too freely, but it most definitely applies here.
It's bad enough to express insensitive and ignorant opinions about a child, but to actually suggest that he should be killed and his body used for science goes far beyond the mere expression of an opinion.
The police are involved, but I don't think that any legal punishment could ever be enough for the vile woman who wrote this letter.
Brain Ameobas and Knee Snails and Flesh Eating Bacteria, oh my!
In the category of things that make me not ever want to go outside again....
Brain eating ameobas have been around for a while, sure. Naegleria fowleri is found in warm freshwater locations all around the world. It's super rare, but once it swims up someone's nose and invades the victim's brain, the chance of survival is somewhere near 1%. The early symptoms are usually mistaken for other more common conditions and once the cause is determined, treatments are futile.
Knee snails are new and super duper interesting, if you can get over the initial urge to scream WTF!!!! In California, four year old Paul Franklin did what four year olds do best, and fell, scraping his knee while his family was camping near the beach. The wound was cleaned up and bandaged, but over the next few weeks a pus ball began to form around it. Mom popped it and out came a baby snail. I promise I am not kidding.
So you've heard of flesh eating bacteria before, right? Also known as necrotizing fasciitis, it's rare but kills a quarter of the people who contract it. Usually it comes from some tragic accident somewhere outside where germs are expected to be everywhere and get into open wounds...but last week a brand new mother died after her episiotomy incision became infected with it just a week after giving birth. The link includes information about fundraising for funeral costs and to help the father, who will now be raising their daughter alone.
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