Sanctuaries

The NH politician who started a men's rights subreddit; Uber's toll; and more.


  • Trump’s attempt to defund sanctuary cities refusing to cooperate with federal agencies to deport undocumented immigrants was blocked by a federal judge in California, Kartikay Mehrotra and Erik Larson report for Bloomberg. In a statement, the White House accused the officials who authored sanctuary policies of having “the blood of dead Americans on their hands.”

  • A different kind of sanctuary city: The New York City government is looking into ways to further protect residents’ privacy online after the federal government scrapped rules that would regulate how internet service providers collect, store, and sell user information, I report for Civicist, starting with the privacy policy for the LinkNYC wi-fi kiosks dotting our sidewalks.

  • Vox’s Matthew Yglesias argues that former President Barack Obama should have declined to speak at a health care conference organized by bond firm Cantor Fitzgerald for a $400,000 fee, because he is undermining his moral high ground.

  • Robert Fisher, a member of the New Hampshire state house of representatives, was revealed by a Daily Beast investigation led by Bonnie Bacarisse as the likely creator of the web’s premier destination for men’s rights activists, The Red Pill. The subreddit bills itself as a “discussion of sexual strategy in a culture increasingly lacking a positive identity for men.” When reached for comment Fisher denied his connection to the blog, which Bacarisse outlines convincingly, and of pickup artistry generally. Among other stomach turning posts, Bacarisse cites instances in which Fisher “blasted women for their ‘sub-par intelligence'” and called women’s personalities “lackluster and boring, serving little purpose in day to day life.”

  • What sharing economy? “The sad thing is this place [Uber] has broken me to the point where I don’t have the strength to look for another job,” wrote Uber engineer Joseph Thomas in a Facebook chat with a friend a month before committing suicide. “I’m not dead but I wouldn’t describe myself as ok.” Carolyn Said reports for The San Francisco Chronicle that Thomas’ widow blames the company and is seeking workers’ compensation, which Uber is fighting.

  • Media matters: Jack Shafer and Tucker Doherty report for Politico on how industry forces—the decline of the local newspaper and the rise of digital media companies—have created a very real geographical, political, and socio-economic media bubble.

  • Risky business: A new museum in Sweden is dedicated to failed products, Christine Hauser and Christina Anderson report for The New York Times. It’s a roundabout way at looking at—as the website puts it—the “risky business of innovation.” Among the products on display are “Bic for Her” pens, which I would argue weren’t so much a failure of innovation but of marketing.

  • Opportunities: BetaNYC is hosting a one day data jam on May 8 with the NYC Department of City Planning and the American Planning Associations to work on improving government service delivery and decision making. They’re looking for 40 civic hackers with experience with geographic information systems (GIS), spatial analysis, javascript, SQL and database development in PostgreSQL, or machine learning. Learn more and apply (by May 5) here.

  • Calling all LGBTQ and gender nonconforming aspiring coders: apply for the Edie Windsor Scholarship by April 30 to get 50 percent of your coding tuition covered. Learn more and apply here.

 

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