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BeckyDem's Journal
BeckyDem's Journal
February 4, 2022

Fulton DA details next stage of Trump probe

Local News

By Tamar Hallerman, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

18 hours ago

In an interview, Fani Willis discusses plans for special grand jury, recent threats

The Fulton County investigation examining former President Donald Trump’s push to overturn Georgia’s 2020 presidential election results is entering a new phase, District Attorney Fani Willis said.

One year after the Democrat announced she was probing the actions of Trump and his allies here, prosecutors are turning their attention to a newly approved special purpose grand jury that can authorize subpoenas to compel testimony from more reticent witnesses.

February 4, 2022

Where Bronx housing went awry

By Eileen Markey
New York Daily News |
Feb 02, 2022

The Twin Parks fire, which cost 17 people their lives, has gripped the heartstrings of the city and the nation.

It’s a concrete tragedy, one people can get their heads around. But it’s not the whole story. The fire was fueled by decisions made a decade ago and a far broader abandonment of the public good.


The Twin Parks fire started when we gave over a crucial social function to the market. The market doesn’t work for providing housing in New York City. If it did, we wouldn’t have nearly half a million people in public housing, 45,000 people in city shelters and one in seven kids in the Bronx living in a shelter, a family member or friends’ couch or a car. If the market worked, we wouldn’t have one in three Bronxites paying half their income in rent.

February 2, 2022

Keith "KILL THEM ALL" Wrede Police Brutality Lawsuit Costs Colorado Springs $175K

Michael Roberts February 1, 2022

A portrait of Colorado Springs Police Officer Keith Wrede. Colorado Springs Police Department

The City of Colorado Springs has agreed to pay $175,000 and institute policy changes to settle a lawsuit filed by Celia Palmer against Colorado Springs Police Officer Keith Wrede, who was accused of roughing her up without provocation during a 2020 racial-justice protest.

According to attorney Andrew McNulty of Denver-based Killmer, Lane & Newman LLP, who represents Palmer as well as Michael Acker, an injured protester paid $500,000 last week by the City of Denver to settle a separate complaint, the deal "brings some semblance of justice to Ms. Palmer, who was brutalized for no reason."

Wrede, one of three defendants in the lawsuit, along with fellow Colorado Springs Police Officer Wesley Woodworth and the City of Colorado Springs, had already made headlines in 2020 after posting "KILL THEM ALL" regarding Black Lives Matters protesters under a pseudonym. That this action only earned Wrede a one-week suspension was infuriating to McNulty. As he told us last year after filing Palmer's suit, Wrede "was acting out exactly what he was saying on social media about Black Lives Matter protesters. He wrote 'KILL THEM ALL' about folks peacefully demonstrating to hold police officers accountable for the violence they've perpetrated on communities of color, and then he acted on those exact thoughts in regard to my client."


February 1, 2022

A Little Spectrum-y​ : What the Autism Diagnosis Says About You

Emer Lucey is a historian of medicine and disability and a postdoctoral scholar at Arizona State University.

Online, someone is wondering if Will Smith is on the spectrum. Jennifer Lawrence? Low-key autistic. So is Matthew McConaughey, though he may be a savant. Thomas Pynchon seems to know a lot about town planning: distinctly spectrum-y. Anna Wintour’s limited diet, love of indoor sunglasses, and exacting standards have Asperger’s vibes. Other things that have been declared autistic-adjacent on Twitter: having an Aquarius moon, dudes in high school who shout rap lyrics, Tulsi Gabbard supporters, the sudden urge to climb a tree, the Build-A-Bear Workshop website.

What, exactly, are all these people talking about? You get the sense that we’ve strayed quite far from the official diagnosis of a neurodevelopmental disability that’s linked to difficulties with social interaction and communication and restricted or repetitive behavior. The colloquial use of terms like “autistic” and “on the spectrum” conjures up a set of related images of the autistic person: socially awkward, or maybe obsessive about a niche topic or area of expertise, or failing to recognize social cues or make eye contact, or affectless, or inconsiderate towards others and even self-absorbed. This stereotype is omnipresent today, but has been on the rise since the early 2000s, when the media first stoked widespread panic about a supposed childhood autism epidemic.

Sometimes, what gets called autism is indistinguishable from ordinary rudeness. (One telling YouTube video from last September explains “How to Tell if Someone’s Autistic or a Jerk (or both?).”) Calling a terrible boyfriend or a coworker with bad anger management skills “spectrum-y” simultaneously puts a name to and partially excuses inconsiderateness, for how can one be taken to task for being autistic? Autism may be a throwaway insult or justification, but its ubiquitous everyday usage also reflects something more substantial about what’s churning through our collective mind. What it means to call someone autistic in common speech has changed, and not only because the science has changed. The more you study its evolving public perception, the more you realize that definitions of, and explanations for, autism are in an important sense a mirror for the non-autistic, neurotypical world. “Autism” is — and has been — as much a reflection of our collective anxieties as it is of an individual disability.

Excerpt: Today, you can take online tests to measure how many autistic traits you have or what your “Autism Spectrum Quotient” is. For autistic people, this idea is frustrating. Having some autistic traits is not the same as being autistic. Everyone isn’t a little bit autistic; rather, some are autistic, and others are not. The spectrum, as it is now generally understood by the scientific and autistic communities, is a way of capturing autism’s range and complexity within the subset of people who have it, not the span of all human experiences.

( I hope more will read this exceptionally well-written and thoughtful piece on autism. I thought perhaps I was one of the few who found the application of the term used in so many circles of late, troubling....so glad a friend shared this article with me because it is the very definition of advocacy for those who struggle in the neuro-typical world as people with autism.)

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