What Government Policies Can Make Law Enforcement Agents Obey the Very Laws They Are Supposed to Enforce?

First, I’d like to bring your attention to this website about ‘Police Use of Force’ put together by Campaign Zero. I recommend reading the whole thing (it’s not that long), but the highlights are that they have identified 8 policies which, when adopted by police departments, are correlated to fewer people being killed by police, and those same policies are also correlated with fewer police officers being killed while on duty, and that having or not having those policies doesn’t seem to affect crime rates (other than the crimes of police officers killing civilians or civilians killing police officers). In short, those 8 policies are correlated with fewer people, in uniform or not, dying in police encounters.

Correlation does not prove causation. It’s possible that the police departments which put in place those policies were already less likely to use lethal force, and that if you forced those policies on police departments which hadn’t voluntarily adopted them they wouldn’t work. But if the data is accurate, this correlation strongly suggests that implementing those eight policies in all police departments is morally necessary. And it seems obvious that if the Minneapolis Police Department had implemented one of the recommended policies ‘ban chokeholds and strangleholds’ George Floyd might still be alive today.

Campaign Zero has also launched the ‘8 Can’t Wait’ campaign to get cities across the United States to implement these policies. If my local government (San Francisco) hasn’t already implemented these eight policies, I’d be contacting them about this. Continue reading

An Ace Perspective on the Book Revolting Prostitutes

I recently read Revolting Prostitutes: The Fight for Sex Workers’ Rights by Juno Mac and Molly Smith. First of all, I’d like to say that is a thought-provoking book that I would recommend to anyone who has any interest in feminism and/or workers’ rights, even if they have no particular interest in sex work. Obviously, the book discusses sex and violence, so reader discretion is advised, but it always discusses sex and violence in a very practical way – nothing in the book is meant to titillate.

I’m going to examine the book from an ace perspective, not because that’s the most important perspective (the most important perspective is ‘what is the best policy for society as a whole and vulnerable people in particular?’), but because it is a perspective on the book’s content which a) I can provide and b) is relatively hard to find.

The book never explicitly mentions asexuality, but while reading the book, I realized that sex workers and aces have more in common that I knew before (of course, some sex workers are aces). Sex workers often have sex with people they aren’t sexually attracted to. Saying that aces have sex ‘often’ is misleading, but by definition, when aces do have sex, it is often with someone they aren’t sexually attracted to. Thus, when sex workers and aces have sex, it is often with someone they aren’t sexually attracted to. When I write it out here, this seems so bloody obvious, but so many people (including myself) have missed this obvious insight because our culture tells us that sex workers are extreme sluts, and aces are extreme prudes, and the only thing extreme sluts and extreme prudes could have in common is that they are extremists who aren’t ‘normal’. Continue reading

So, about the notorious difficulties of getting toliet paper…

I’ve heard and read that it’s really difficult to get toilet paper these days. I’ve seen that, at one of the local supermarkets, that the shelves in the toilet paper / paper towel section are the most consistently empty (though it’s been more than a week since I went to that supermarket, so I don’t know if that has changed). This doesn’t directly concern me, because I stopped using toilet paper at home long before the current coronavirus crisis.

And whether it directly concerns me or not, difficulty in distributing toilet paper is far, far from the most important aspect of the current crisis. I wish that there was nothing worse about the crisis than toilet paper supply chain problems. But even though it is far from being the most important thing, it is still a thing. So, toilet paper shortages.
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Scattered Thoughts on the Coronavirus Crisis

As you may know, I live in San Francisco, and today was the first day of the “shelter in place” order. The changes in the past week – such as all public schools and libraries closing, the state government ordering all bars/clubs to close, etc. led me to think this was coming. I had already decided to not go to the local ace meetup days before it was formally cancelled/moved online (and no, I didn’t try to attend the online meetup).

I think it is good that the local governments are doing this. I am convinced that extreme social distancing can save lives, and I could see from the behavior of people around me (even while keeping a safe distance) that not enough people were going to do the social distancing thing without a mandatory government order.

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An Adventure with Calorie Restriction (Part 2)

Continued from Part 1.

Reminder: I am NOT advocating that anyone reading this relate to their own body weight in any particular way.

So there I was, in October 2019, finding that I weighed more than I would have guessed. (And I am deliberately avoiding giving numbers here; I don’t want to play the game where readers compare their numbers with my numbers).

I suppose I could get into a nuanced discussion about whether or not losing weight would bring me any health benefits, and cite sources, and all that … but it would be irrelevant, because that wasn’t affecting my decision-making. I was confident that, as long as I avoided extreme weight-loss methods, that trying to lose weight wouldn’t have a negative effect on my health, and that I could drop it at any time if a weight-loss method did seem to be harming my body. But the difference between ‘has no effect on health’ and ‘has a positive effect on health’ wasn’t going to sway me. Health wasn’t my motivation.

So if I wasn’t necessarily trying to improve my health, what did motivate me to try to lose weight restrict calories? First of all, I did want to know if I could regain a sense of control over my body weight. I also wanted to see if I could prevent this from being a trend towards weight gain. I believe I could have eventually learned to be content with the my weight in October 2019 if it stayed the same for the rest of my life, but learning to be content with rising weight would be more difficult, so I was especially motivated to make sure that my weight did not rise above what I measured in October 2019.

The other motivation was sheer curiosity of what it would be like to restrict my calorie intake over a long period of time. There is a reason I call this an ‘adventure’. After wondering for years how people manage to eat only 2000 calories a day (or less), well, here was a chance for me to learn first-hand. Continue reading

An Adventure with Calorie Restriction (Part 1)

Because of the culture I live in, I’m going to start by saying…

I am opposed to body-shaming, sizeism, and moral healthism. Those issues concern the way people treat other people based on their bodies and lifestyle choices. When it comes to how individuals relate to THEIR OWN bodies (as opposed to how they treat other people based on other people’s bodies), I try to be neutral. Whether people decide for themselves to try to lose weight, gain weight, embrace fat positivity, embrace healthism other than moral healthism, or not give a damn about any of this, I try to avoid making judgements. In this blog post series, I discuss some of my decisions and experiences. I am NOT advocating that anyone reading this relate to their own body weight in any particular way.

As you may know, I went on a nine-day hike in September 2019 (I wrote a little about it in this blog post). About a week after the hike, I weighed myself on a whim. I hadn’t weighed myself in years. At first, I simply did not believe the number. Then it sank in that, yeah, that number might be real, and when I weighed myself later on a different scale, I got a similar result. I was especially surprised because I had just finished a nine-day hike with limited food supply, I must have had calorie deficits on that hike, so did that mean that before the hike my weight was even higher?

First, I was surprised that I weighed so much more than I thought I did. Then I felt bad about it. Then I felt bad about feeling bad about it. If I was feeling bad about weighing more than I expected, did that mean I had internalized fatphobia, and that I was really prejudiced against fat people in spite of my ideals?

But before I continue, I’ll give you my backstory… Continue reading

I poke at the essay “The empty promises of Marie Kondo and the craze for minimalism”

I am on a weekly blogging schedule, and the essay “The empty promises of Marie Kondo and the craze for minimalism” seems like just the kind of thing I’ll enjoy poking.

Yes, I disagree with the main premise – that the KonMari Method or that ‘minimalism’ offers empty promises, especially since I think going through the KonMari method in my own home delivered everything that Marie Kondo promised. Yes, I am going to be very critical. Yet I am going to be critical with smiles and giggles, not with screaming and raging.

First of all, I agree with the hosts of the Spark Joy podcast that “Konmari equals minimalism/minimalism is KonMari” is a myth. KonMari and minimalism can definitely complement each other, but I have found many examples of minimalists who have broken some or even all of the core tenets of Marie Kondo’s philosophy, and there are people who faithfully follow all of the steps of the Konmari method who aren’t minimalists. Heck, I have a blog post about one of the philosophical differences between the Konmari method and minimalism. There is also this discussion of how they are different. It’s not just KonMari fans who say KonMari isn’t the same a minimalism; there are also many minimalists who say that KonMari isn’t minimalism (example). This essay in the Guardian, on the other hand, tends to conflate the Konmari method and minimalism. To mean, that weakens its arguments.

As I said in that previous blog post, I neither claim to be a minimalist nor claim to be a non-minimalist. You, my dear readers, may decide whether or not I am a minimalist; I’ll accept your judgement.
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