Activision Blizzard advise shareholders against a proposal to report on harassment and discrimination | Rock Paper Shotgun:
In other news – Fox asks farmer not to investigate hen dissapearances.

Shareholders in Activision Blizzard have been advised by the company not to approve a proposal from New York state to investigate and report on how allegations of sexual harrassment and misconduct within the company are being addressed. The recommendation by Activision Blizzard’s board of directors was made unanimously ahead of their annual meeting on June 21st, picked up on by Axios.

The board state that they “do not believe this proposal is in the best interests of the company or its shareholders“. Instead of creating such a report, they say it would be better to “directly respond to employee concerns”. A vote on the proposal would take place at the company’s annual meeting.

The Real Origins of the Religious Right – POLITICO Magazine:

In Green v. Kennedy (David Kennedy was secretary of the treasury at the time), decided in January 1970, the plaintiffs won a preliminary injunction, which denied the “segregation academies” tax-exempt status until further review. In the meantime, the government was solidifying its position on such schools. Later that year, President Richard Nixon ordered the Internal Revenue Service to enact a new policy denying tax exemptions to all segregated schools in the United States. Under the provisions of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which forbade racial segregation and discrimination, discriminatory schools were not—by definition—“charitable” educational organizations, and therefore they had no claims to tax-exempt status; similarly, donations to such organizations would no longer qualify as tax-deductible contributions.

On June 30, 1971, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued its ruling in the case, now  Green v. Connally (John Connally had replaced David Kennedy as secretary of the Treasury). The decision upheld the new IRS policy: “Under the Internal Revenue Code, properly construed, racially discriminatory private schools are not entitled to the Federal tax exemption provided for charitable, educational institutions, and persons making gifts to such schools are not entitled to the deductions provided in case of gifts to charitable, educational institutions.”

Key takeaways from MN Human Rights investigation of MPD | MPR News:

Traffic Stops

While Black community members make up 19 percent of the Minneapolis population, they are 78 percent of all searches conducted during traffic stops. MPD officers are almost two times as likely to search Black community members or their vehicles. Between 2017 and 2020, MPD officers stopped 72,689 individuals across all five precincts. 54 percent of those stopped were Black. Black individuals also make up 75 percent of the searchers conducted by MPD officers.

Use of Force

In the first precinct, which servers downtown Minneapolis, MPD officers were six times more likely to use some type of force against Black individuals when they were stopped.

Arrests

Seventy one percent or over 2,5000 of all arrests MPD officers made during traffic stops from January 1, 2017 to May 24, 2020 were arrests of Black individuals. MPD officers are almost twice as likely to arrest a Black individual compared to a white individual for the same recorded reason, in the same location and at the same time of day.

Unjustified Citations

It was found that MPD officers excessively cite Black individuals with specific offenses such as “disorderly conduct” and “obstruction of the legal process.” From 2010 to 2020, MPD officers cited over 3,300 Black individuals with disorderly conduct or obstruction – 66 percent of all of the citations issued for these offenses.

Use of Social Media

While there are legitimate reasons MPD may use social media to track activity, some MPD officers created fake social media accounts to troll Black residents, organizations and elected officials. They did not do the same to white residents.

Some accounts sent friend requests, commented on posts and sent private messages pretending to be “like-minded individuals.”

In one case, a MPD officer made a fake account posing as a Black community member and sent a message to a local branch of the NAACP criticizing the group.

They also sent messages to to a Minneapolis City Council member and State elected official while posing as community members.

Hateful Language

Through the racist culture created at MPD, it was further found that racist, misogynistic and hateful language was used by officers and those using said language were not held accountable.

According to body worn camera footage, interviews with officers and statements, some MPD officers and supervisors use racist slurs. They often use animalistic terms toward people of color and sexist language toward women. This language has been used against community members, other officers and even 911 dispatchers.

Officers who are the subject of these comments often do not report the said officers because of a lack of faith in the accountability system as well as fearing retaliation from other officers.

Hennepin County prosecutors reported that MPD officers are “much less professional and respectful” than officers from other departments in the county. Since 1993, MPD has had a policy requiring officers to use professional language with community members but city and county prosecutors note that it can be difficult to rely on body worn camera video in court because of how “disrespectful and offensive” MPD officers are to criminal suspects, witnesses and bystanders.

“Warrior Mode”

While Minneapolis banned “warrior style training,” much of MPD’s current training consists of a “warrior mindset.” This mindset is described as believing that every person an officer encounters poses a threat.

MPD’s training materials show that the department reinforces a culture of race-based policing by introducing their mentality to new officers and reinforcing the concepts in veteran officers.

Training

MPD officers are not held accountable due to ineffective oversight systems. No meaningful independent review process exists for assessing officers conduct. Almost every investigation of a police misconduct complaint against an MPD officer is assessed by sworn MPD officers.

The Police Conduct Oversight Commission has been deemed “ineffective” by the Department of Human Rights as they claim it lacks appropriate resources and capacity.

Between January 2010 and May 2021, the average time it took to complete an investigation and for a Police Chief to issue a disciplinary decision was over 475 days. Officers may be engaging in the same problematic policing during this investigation time.

If only we had this data before everyone else voted to maintain the force in its current state… This is horrific.

Pattie Maes and the foundations of social networks | Hidden Heroes:

BELGIAN-BORN COMPUTER SCIENTIST PATTIE MAES WAS INVENTING THE CORE PRINCIPLES BEHIND THE SOCIAL MEDIA AGE WHEN MARK ZUCKERBERG WAS STILL IN KINDERGARTEN. WHY HAVE HER CONTRIBUTIONS BEEN NEGLECTED?

Misogyny?

The Mass Delusion of the Pandemic Being Over:

Fear tends to diminish over time when a risk remains constant. You can only respond for so long. After a while, it recedes to the background, seemingly no matter how bad it is.

… especially when the majority populace has noticed that the worst outcomes are for The Other…

jwz: So, how was your week?:

Delta Airlines announced the change with a false statement, that Covid-19 “has transitioned to a seasonal virus.” […] Further, “Delta Air Lines and United Airlines will allow customers previously barred from flying for failing to wear masks to board flights again.”

Perhaps Delta should change its name to Omicron. […]

Palm Springs Desert Sun reported Coachella Valley cases were up 77% following first weekend of Coachella.

Coachella’s first no-vax, no-test, no-mask weekend adds to a growing list of bands and performers “cancelling shows, abandoning tours, sick and/or stuck in quarantine far from home.” Positives came for Bob Mould, Jon Spencer, Low, Superchunk, and many more.

Daring Fireball: Sheryl Sandberg Pressured Daily Mail to Drop Unflattering Story About Bobby Kotick While She Was Dating Him:

It’s a well-worn adage but never more true: it’s the cover-up that does you in. Sandberg’s efforts to bury this story are now far more damaging to her reputation than the actual story would have been. She wasn’t even involved — only Kotick was.

jwz: Excess deaths

April 17, 2022

jwz: Excess deaths:

Although the official number of deaths caused by covid-19 is now 6.2m, our single best estimate is that the actual toll is 20.7m people. We find that there is a 95% chance that the true value lies between 14.4m and 24.3m additional deaths.

I’d link the The Economist article, but it’s paywalled so make the best of the summary.

Man’s Tesla froze while speeding down highway at 83 mph | Boing Boing:

Maybe instead of trying to take over the Twitterverse, Elon Musk should first focus on churning out fully-functioning Teslas.

A Developer’s Second Brain on Plaintext | by Junji Zhi | Gusto Engineering | Apr, 2022 | Medium:

As a developer, I have to juggle the information among different levels of products, systems, processes, and people.
Each obligation, even if it seems small, requires my brain to retain some information, in order to make quality decisions about what’s next.
When I switch contexts, my brain is not willing to let go of all the information. It seems that my subconsciousness figures out that I would need it later, and if I let go, I may lose it forever, so it decides to hang on to it.