Black People Overwhelmingly Want To Maintain—or Increase—Police Presence. They Also Want Better Police.

“”Our key finding was that Black Americans preferred to maintain (or increase) police patrol and spending, and that this preference was not conditional on the described crime rates or policing reforms,” write Linda Balcarová and Justin Pickett of the University at Albany, SUNY; Amanda Graham and Sean Patrick Roche of Texas State University; and Francis T. Cullen of the University of Cincinnati. “Most Black Americans reported that even if crime rates fell and even if there were no new policing reforms, they still wanted to maintain or increase police patrol and spending.””

“It is well-established that black people are disproportionately afraid of cops, particularly in comparison to their white counterparts. Black Americans are reportedly more than five times as likely than white people to fear excessive force from police. What’s more, a study by three of the same researchers—Pickett, Graham, and Cullen—found that 42 percent of black respondents were “very afraid” police would kill them sometime within the next five years. Only 11 percent of white respondents feared the same thing.
But in their more recent study, they found that such fear coexists, however counterintuitively, with that strong desire to keep or increase police presence and funding. According to their data, 81 percent of black Americans who say they are afraid or very afraid of cops want to maintain or increase police spending”

“Just as the data make clear that black Americans are more likely to fear police, it is also plainly true that black people are disproportionately the victims of violence. It follows, then, that the people most impacted by crime are going to have strong feelings about abating it however possible. And while police are not always adept at solving crime—in 2022, for example, police cleared about 37 percent of violent offenses reported to them—their presence does have a deterrent effect on criminal activity, which also comports with basic common sense.”

Zoning Regulations Empower Control Freaks—and Bigots

“Imagine you’re a member of a religious minority that’s on the receiving end of a lot of hate, and the local zoning board is giving you a hard time over plans to expand your house of worship. Is it regulators being their nitpicky selves? Are the neighbors weaponizing rules to squeeze out the cars and foot traffic that accompany any successful endeavor? Or could it be hostility directed at your faith? Zoning has been used and abused in all these ways, which underlines the need for reform.”

Pulitzer Winner Nathan Thrall on Gaza, Israel’s “System of Domination” and U.S. Complicity

Pulitzer Winner Nathan Thrall on Gaza, Israel’s “System of Domination” and U.S. Complicity

Killer whales keep ramming and sinking boats. Scientists now may know why, report says.

“Overall the incidents have mostly involved juveniles, who are “more playful and courageous in approaching boats,” said Zerbini, who also chairs the International Whaling Commission’s scientific committee.
He imagines a young orca butted its head against a boat’s rudder one time and when it moved the orca thought, “This is fun.” After ramming it a few times, a piece of the rudder broke off and that was even more fun because there was something to play with.

“There’s documented evidence of the orcas then playing with the pieces,” he said.

Orcas, which are also called killer whales, are not actually a whale species but are instead the largest member of the dolphin family.

This type of behavior isn’t surprising, given that orcas have culture, exhibit coordinated behavior, share knowledge and have long memories, said Rose.

“It’s a very sophisticated thing to do something for no purpose other than that it amuses you,” she said.”

“Killer whale groups, especially younger individuals, are known for their fads and idiosyncrasies.

In the Pacific Northwest, one group of killer whales suddenly got into the habit of carrying dead salmon around on their heads in 1987. The fad arose and spread widely among the group that summer.

The salmon hats craze began with adolescent orcas but then spread, said Rose.

“By the end everyone was wearing them, including the adults,” she said.

Then the fashion dropped out of style as quickly as it had begun.”

The Conviction Effect

“In the roughly week and a half since former president (and presumptive Republican presidential nominee) Donald Trump was convicted of 34 felonies related to falsifying records to hide hush-money payments to a porn star, numerous national polls have indicated that voters have moved slightly toward incumbent president (and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee) Joe Biden.
A HarrisX/Forbes poll found Biden and Trump each getting a one-point bump after the verdict. A Reuters/Ipsos poll found a one-point bump for Biden, with Trump losing a point. A Morning Consult poll found a one-point bump for Biden, with Trump neither gaining nor losing any ground. And an Echelon Insights poll found a two-point Biden bump, with Trump support staying flat. (All poll results can be found in a chart here.)”

“”The verdict has not overhauled the 2024 race nearly as much as Democrats hoped it would,” writes The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake. “But the totality of the evidence suggests it has dinged Trump a little.””

Immigration Fueled America’s Stunning Cricket Upset Over Pakistan

“we shouldn’t be oblivious about why the result was possible. It’s because of immigration. As The Indian Express points out, at least six players on the American team are of Indian descent, including several who are in the U.S. on work visas and who play on the national team essentially as a hobby.
That includes Saurabh Netravalkar, who bowled (the equivalent of pitching) the final inning for the American team. He moved from Mumbia to San Francisco when he was a student. Now he’s an engineer at Oracle. Monank Patel, who scored 50 runs in the game, moved to New Jersey from India in 2016 to start a restaurant. Nosthush Kenjige, who recorded three wickets (the equivalent of strikeouts), had been born in Alabama before moving to India and then returning to the U.S. to work as a biologist. Other players on the team were born in Canada, while some others (such as Kenjige) were native-born American children of Indian immigrants.”

“Immigration is America’s superpower. Being one of the world’s freest and most prosperous places means talented people from all over the world want to live and work here. When they do, it’s not just their workplaces and immediate families that benefit. The country does too.

But what about all the immigrants who aren’t world-class cricketers or scientists, some might ask. No problem! Can you cook or clean or code or care for someone? Can you do road work or construction? There are 8.1 million unfilled jobs in this country right now—and there will only be more economic opportunities as the country grows—so we should welcome all the help we can get. And when the kids of those immigrants grow up to be world-class scientists or athletes or entrepreneurs, America wins some more!

Some folks on social media seem grumpy about the victory because it was a bunch of immigrants and children of immigrants who made it happen. Those people should just say what they mean: that they’d prefer to see America be less successful—and not just at silly things like cricket matches, but at stuff that matters too. Be honest about it: You want America to lose more.

Personally, I prefer winning. And I don’t care whether your parents were born in India or Indiana. Come here or stay here. Be an American. Go kick some ass.”

Western fighters in Ukraine are getting killed because they assumed the war would be easy, says a US veteran who fought there

“He explained that it was harder to find places to stay safe in Ukraine, where more drones are being used than in any conflict in history, and artillery and long-range weapons are in constant use.
He said that “even if you’re fucking miles and miles behind the fucking front lines, you can still get hit by a fucking rocket out there.” He said it’s not like conflicts in Middle East, where if you’re on a base you’re “relatively safe.”

That same comparison has been made by other US veterans in Ukraine, who described the fight in Ukraine as more intense.”

The U.S. Should Welcome Chinese Migrants

“There are many reasons why Chinese migrants are the fastest-growing group attempting to cross the southern border (though those numbers have fallen in early 2024). Recent research and reporting—and common sense—cast doubt on the overly simplistic idea that Chinese border crossers are primarily coming to the U.S. to threaten national security and create disorder. It’s far more likely that the average Chinese migrant is coming for the same reasons that other migrants do: to seek political and economic freedom. Rather than rebuking the people who go to such great lengths to flee China’s authoritarian regime, the U.S. should welcome them.

A new report from the Niskanen Center, a public policy think tank, found that many Chinese emigrants are coming from areas experiencing repression such as Hong Kong and Xinjiang, the province where the Chinese government is committing ongoing human rights abuses against the Uyghur people. Niskanen based its estimates on Ecuadorian travel statistics: “Since most Chinese migrants enter the Americas via Ecuador, these records can reasonably be used to draw inferences about irregular Chinese migration.””

“The Niskanen report suggests that economic decline may play a role in Chinese out-migration, noting that three provinces from China’s “Rust Belt” rank in the top third of origin regions when adjusted for population. The economic consequences of China’s pandemic policy are also at play: “In many cases those attempting to make the crossing are small-business owners who saw irreparable damage to their primary or sole source of income due to China’s ‘zero COVID’ policies,” wrote Meredith Oyen, a historian at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, last month.

“The increase in Chinese arrivals is also a response to U.S. politics,” wrote Foreign Policy Deputy Editor James Palmer last week. “During the pandemic, U.S. business and tourist visas became harder for Chinese citizens to obtain.” (Per CBS News, the U.S. issued 2.2 million temporary visas to Chinese nationals in 2016, but that number dropped to 160,000 in 2022.) “The acceptance rate for Chinese asylum claims,” Palmer added, “is a relatively high 55 percent,” at least somewhat attributable to “U.S.-China tensions and growing human rights abuses under Chinese President Xi Jinping.””

“What pops up over and over in reports about Chinese asylum seekers is their desire for freedom. The A.P. noted that migrants said they were leaving “an increasingly repressive political climate and bleak economic prospects”—and that “there has been no evidence that they have tried to mount a military force or training network.”
Given what China is—a country under the thumb of an authoritarian government, where civil liberties and basic freedoms are under constant threat—it should come as no surprise that the U.S. is an attractive destination for the people who choose to flee. That isn’t evidence of a grand, complex espionage plan but a manifestation of all the usual reasons people choose to immigrate, and all the more reason to welcome Chinese migrants.”

New Survey Finds Abortions Increased Slightly in 2023, Despite Widespread Bans

“The survey also found that the abortion rate in 2023 was slightly higher than in 2022, despite total abortion bans in more than a dozen states.”

The ‘Migrant Crime’ Wave, Debunked

“Some undocumented immigrants have committed atrocious crimes, but there are many reasons to doubt that recent incidents prove America is suffering a surging migrant crime wave.
Crime is actually down in the cities that received the most migrants as a result of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s busing operations. “Overall crime is down year over year in Philadelphia, Chicago, Denver, New York and Los Angeles,” NBC reported.

“We don’t have real-time data, but the partial crime data that exist for this year show consistent declines in major crimes in major cities,” concurs David J. Bier, director of immigration studies at the Cato Institute. “The most significant crime spike in recent years occurred in 2020—when illegal immigration was historically low until the end of the year.”

This aligns with historic trends. In 2015, the Migration Policy Institute found that undocumented immigrants have a lower rate of felony convictions than the overall U.S. population does. Criminologists Graham Ousey and Charis Kubrin, going off of “more than two decades of research on immigration and crime,” concluded that “communities with more immigration tend to have less crime, especially violent crimes like homicide,” wrote The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler.

Alex Nowrasteh, vice president for economic and social policy studies at Cato, found that illegal immigrants have a lower homicide conviction rate in Texas than native-born Americans do. “Few people are murderers, and illegal immigrants are statistically less likely to be murderers,” wrote Nowrasteh. “We should understand that more enforcement of immigration laws will not reduce homicide rates.””