Author: Lake Toba

Midday Matinee – YouTube Treasures: Jason Bourne, Meet Antonio Vivaldi

I spend a lot of time on YouTube perusing fun, quirky, or even provocative videos. Today we have the The Piano Guys blending The Bourne Identity theme with the familiar strains of Vivaldi. (More) Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break. The Piano Guys are an amazing musicians who make great smashups of music from different artists and eras....

Read More

Midday Matinee – YouTube Treasures: Disco Ball Moon

I spend a lot of time on YouTube perusing trivia videos or fun, quirky, or even provocative videos. For example, how would our night sky look if our moon were a disco ball? (More) Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break. This video is a fun look at a hypothetical disco ball moon for the Earth. It has some fun science, and great visuals of what it would look like if our moon were a disco...

Read More

Morning Feature – Making Police Accountable for Citizen Deaths

Perhaps its time for a new standard in how police are held accountable. (More) The deaths of Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, Darek Cruice, Justin Way, Lavall Hall, Jason Harrison, Walter Scott, Tamir Rice, Victor White III, Chavis Carter, and Michael Brown are all tragic interactions between the police and citizens.  While the circumstances vary, there is a common thread that the police caused a citizen’s death. Too frequently the argument is made that “well they’re just criminals,” or “if they hadn’t been doing anything wrong” etc. But that misses the point. The police are not judges, juries or executioners. Their job is to apprehend suspects so the justice system can grind out a resolution. If we keep making excuses for the police to interrupt that process and mete out beatings and executions, then we will continue to see police beating and executing citizens. This recurring and tragic situation has made me call into question the system and method by which we evaluate police conduct. A New Paradigm? I think the argument can be made that when a person is detained by the police, they are no longer in control of their bodies. They no longer decide when to eat, drink, sleep, take their medications, or go to the doctor. That power is stripped from them, even without their having been charged with a crime. Just the very...

Read More

Morning Feature – The Confederate Flag and Our History of Political Violence

In 1861, at Fort Sumter, Americans took up arms against their countrymen in order to settle a dispute. This was not the first time. (More) Prior to that there were several armed insurrections, including the Whiskey Rebellion. And prior to that there was the American Revolution, another instance where taking up arms against one’s countrymen was considered acceptable. Indeed, America has a long sordid history with violence and threats as a means to a political end, including dueling, assassinations, and rebellions. Fast forward to today, and we see contemporary examples, such as the assassination attempt on Rep. Gabby Giffords, the man who crashed his airplane into the IRS office in Austin, Texas, the rancher Cliven Bundy and his armed insurrection over public land grazing fees, a Wisconsin man who said he had a constitutional duty to kill President Obama , and U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle promoting “Second Amendment remedies.” So what motivates this tendency among many in our country to seek a “Second Amendment remedy” whenever they dislike a political situation? Contemporary Extremism It is instructive to look at a category of contemporary extremists for clues as to the causes of these motivations. Many of the ideas espoused by these extremists are the same, or derived from earlier arguments, that can likely be traced in one form or another to before the Revolutionary War. These extremists, according to...

Read More

Morning Feature – Justine Sacco: Lessons for the Rest of Us

By now, readers of BPI Campus have heard of the infamous tweet sent by Justine Sacco. The responses offer lessons for the rest of us. (More) Justine Sacco: A Lesson for the Rest of Us With this tweet began an international firestorm of ridicule that quickly escalated to the websites of the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the International Business Times, the New York Daily News and the Huffington Post. While she was en route from London to Cape Town South Africa, her plane tracked by thousands on Twitter, who created the hashtag #HasJustineLandedYet and tweeted updates on which airline, what flight and when she would arrive in Cape Town. She was an easy target for ridicule, given that she was the director of corporate communication for IAC, a large firm with many well-known public brands. She was an expert on public relations. She ought to have known better. And yet, apparently didn’t. The internet’s response was fierce, and should have been predictable. The internet has, from its earliest days, demonstrated a tendency for virulent ridicule directed at outrageous behavior and stupidity. Furthermore, this tweet comes the very same week as when Phil Robertson of the A&E television show Duck Dynasty was quoted in GQ magazine saying similarly insensitive comments about LGBTs and African Americans. So Justine Sacco should have known better. And quite frankly, she deserved...

Read More