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SARS is not just a virus

I Stand with Nigeria

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – MLK Jr. 

Right now, it’s time to shine a light on the injustice in Nigeria. Nigeria’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) is an abusive “police” force that harasses and robs citizens. The outcry from Nigerians has led to an outcry around the world. I first heard about it on Instagram, where there were several posts saying “what’s happening in Nigeria?” On Monday, after widespread protest from young people in Nigeria, the president was forced to disband the unit. However, the work is not done, protestors are demanding police reform and for the officers in the unit to face justice. Sound familiar? But back to Nigeria. It is reported that SARS has been up to torture, ill-treatment, and extra- judicial activity for the last 3 years. With the Nigerian authorities doing nothing, the people had enough and took to the streets and social media. Kudos to them, keep pushing for total police reform. 

Photo by Colin Lloyd on Pexels.com

Court Packing By Any Other Name

Over it! This narrative, that what is happening with Amy Barrett is not court packing, but just filling a vacant seat is silly. Sure, the definition of court packing is expanding a court from its current number. However, arguing over the definition of court packing is like Clinton asking people to define what is, is. It’s a distraction. A distraction from the hypocrisy of appointing a Supreme Court justice this close to an election when the Republican lead Senate denied President Obama the same opportunity 4 short years ago. 

Despite this, the Amy Coney Barrett conformation is moving right along. Monday was the opening statements from the Senators and Judge Barrett. The main thing talked about was her stance on the Affordable Care Act, since there is little doubt that if Trump wins re-election that is first on the docket. After, of course, he ensures his election victory by any means necessary. At any rate, however you feel about Judge Barrett, the facts are that the Democrats don’t have the votes to stop her. Amy will be confirmed. What is happening now is histrionic politicking and I’m over it. But if you want to know how court packing is working on a state level. Check out this Politico article about Arizona expanding its state supreme court. 

Beware of Techies….I Robot…Terminators….You get it!

The Feds is watching. Seriously, it’s not the Feds, it’s Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezo among others, who are hoarding every scrap of data about you they can. As you read this they may know not only that you read it, but how long you’re reading it. They gather information on everything you do online, all in an effort to attract advertisers. 

According to The Social Dilemma on Netflix, we must all reevaluate our entire life and all social media accounts. I’m not going to lie, it was a little unnerving. If you have not heard,  The Social dilemma is a documentary on netflix that interviews former executives from Google, Facebook, and Twitter, who warn us all of the dangers of how social media is making the world more divisive and changing the behavior of its users. It emphasizes that if a service is free, you are the product. 

It also makes it clear that the algorithm used by these companies makes it easier to tailor news and literal “fake news” to people that are more susceptible to believing it. One person even says the worst thing that can happen because of this is a civil war. Not sure I’m buying that; but he did point out how divided the country is and that people are more entrenched in their positions. Now, that I buy. 

In an unprecedented stance Facebook issued a response denying the accusations in the documentary and essentially saying the issues are more complicated than presented in the film. Additionally, they promoted the idea that selling to advertisers keeps the site free to users. 

Moral of the story? Be careful with what you are doing online. I did take one suggestion from the documentary and turned the notifications off on all my social media apps. This stops me from being alerted every time someone posts something or likes something I posted, etc. It was weird at first but after a couple days it was fine. So take some of your power back and go on the app when you want not when prompted.

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