From the world pool: June 25, 2016

Socio-political commentary

LGBT issues

I don’t understand.”

Investigators Say Orlando Shooter Showed Few Warning Signs Of Radicalization  In fact, intelligence officials and investigators say they’re “becoming increasingly convinced that the motive for this attack had very little — or maybe nothing — to do with ISIS.”

Eli Lieb & Brandon Skeie – Pulse

After Orlando, time to recognize that anti-gay bigotry is not religious freedom

“Orange Is The New Black” Broke Everybody’s Heart To Teach Idiots A Lesson

Disability issues

UK cuts to disability spending: “They know they’re killing us.”

Cripple privilege

Privacy

Anil Dash: What is Public? Public is not simply defined. Public is not just what can be viewed by others, but a fragile set of social conventions about what behaviors are acceptable and appropriate. There are people determined to profit from expanding and redefining what’s public, working to treat nearly everything we say or do as a public work they can exploit. They may succeed before we even put up a fight. … The phenomenon of doxxing (revealing personal information about a person online) has made clear that public information exists in a context of power and consent, and we must construct our ethics in that context. We can’t do that if we are still pretending that taking information that was merely available and instead making it easily accessible is an act without any moral or ethical consequences.

Diversity

How Privileged Are You?

I just can’t even

Jo Cox:

Why careers are gone, and jobs are going next “If companies can do business without permanent employees, they will.”

The End of Prison Visitation “These fees are the linchpin in an elaborate racket between telecommunications providers, prisons and local governments. The business model for the three major prison telecoms is built around long-term contracts that establish them as the sole provider in a given county or state. In order to win these contracts, the major companies promise each county or state “site commissions” — a euphemism for kickbacks. These deals are lucrative: In Los Angeles County, for example, it brings in a baseline, contractual guarantee of $15 million a year. In some counties, this money trickles back down to the prisons. … County officials across the country claim video visitation is good for security. When Renaud got ahold of prison records, they showed that incidences of inmate-on-inmate violence, disciplinary infractions and possession of contraband all rose after Travis County did away with in-person visitation. Because visitation is so new, these statistics are the earliest indication that the pro-security pitch for video visitation is all snake oil.” (via @tressiemcphd)

Scandal: Senator: Red Cross Misled Congress, Refused To ‘Level With the People’ on Haiti Money  Documents provided by the Red Cross to Grassley show that the charity at times spent large sums of money on management even when it appeared to be simply writing a check to other organizations that were doing actual projects. (via @ChrisBoese)

A Trump Rally in Greensboro “Anger in here is palpable”

And I don’t even know where to start with Brexit; it’s been all over the news. But here, have a couple of things.

In the news

Warning to all cat-lovers: Humans’ Use Of Pain-Relief Creams Proves Fatal To Felines

Thought-provoking

Tickle Me Dead. Fascinating.

Writing

Good Bones, by Maggie Smith

Quote of the week

When you shout BREAKING POINT over and over again, you don’t get to be surprised when someone breaks.

http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/06/a-day-of-infamy/

Just cool

Lost Ladybug Project  Across North America ladybug species composition is changing.  Over the past twenty years native ladybugs that were once very common have become extremely rare.  During this same time ladybugs from other parts of the world have greatly increased both their numbers and range. This is happening very quickly and we don’t know how, or why, or what impact it will have on ladybug diversity or the role that ladybugs play in keeping plant-feeding insect populations low.  We’re asking you to join us in finding out where all the ladybugs have gone so we can try to prevent more native species from becoming so rare. (via @UrsulaV)

Just for fun

This illustrates one of the reasons I love Tumblr: regional differences. (There are more forks of this around—really, this is only the start.)

This is one of my all time favourite sets of tweets.

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