Dog euthanized after fatally biting baby

The death of that baby is an awful, awful tragedy.

Normally, I’d be saddened when a dog that looks this sweet is put down, but I can’t bring myself to feel that in this case. Not that I blame the dog. She was just being a dog. Still, for me to be saddened by this dog’s death seems disrespectful to that baby and family. Irrational, but that’s how I feel.

We’re relatively new to owning dogs and I don’t know a lot but I do know this: Dogs are animals. They are predators. I am often amazed at the sheer strength of Minnie’s jaws, as she sits there quietly and peacefully working on a chew toy while we sit on the couch together.

Sometimes little kids will come up to us at the park and say, “Mister, can I pet your dog?” My answer is always no. Minnie doesn’t get much exposure to people other than me and Julie. I don’t want something bad to happen.

Odyssey, an online newspaper startup, raises $25 million on a network of unpaid writers

10,000 writers aged 18-28 each write one article a week and aren’t paid for it. They’re edited by professional copy editors, each of whom is editing an average 140 articles per week so they can’t be doing a thorough job.

Writers have to apply to write. For free. The benefit? They “swap their work for being edited and professionally branded.”

Fuck you. Pay me.

Odyssey raises $25 million and hits 30 million uniques [Nathan McAlone – Business Insider]

Twitter’s big challenge is managing Wall Street expectations

Pasted_Image_4_28_16__8_13_AMIts user base is actually growing pretty well, the video strategy isn’t bad, and it’s got the NFL deal, Presidential election, and summer Olympics to look forward to. It has hundreds of millions of users. That can be the basis for a profitable, healthy service.

But Twitter is not going to reach Facebook-class – billions of users – for years, if ever. Twitter needs to convince its investors to go along with that, and not destroy the service in an effort to wring short-term returns out of it.

And it needs to convince advertisers of the same thing.

Photo: Eastern Bluebird, by Dehaan, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Harriet Tubman was an authentic American hero

The more I learn about Tubman, the more she demonstrates that she’s the absolute perfect face for the $20 bill. She was an authentic American hero.

Apparently there’s an HBO movie coming up based on a recent biography of Tubman. It’s got the material to be a hell of an actioner:

She carried a small pistol on her rescue missions, mostly for protection from slave-catchers, but also to discourage frightened runaways from turning back and risking the safety of the rest of the group. According to one story, she knocked out her own tooth with that pistol to stave off an infection that might have derailed a rescue mission….

When leading her charges, she would alter the tempo of certain songs, “Go Down Moses” and “Bound for the Promised Land,” or mimic the hoot of an owl, to signal whether it was safe or too dangerous to reveal their hiding places. She also used coded letters. In December 1854, for instance, she had a letter sent to Jacob Jackson, a literate, free black farmer and veterinarian, instructing him to tell her brothers that they needed to be ready to “step aboard” the “Ol’ Ship of Zion.” In other words, she was coming to rescue them.

I got a little chill reading that last bit.

On the other hand, I don’t villainize Andrew Jackson. He was a man of his time. He did terrible things, but he also extended the franchise in ways that, perversely and in the long run, ended up benefitting the descendants of the American blacks and American Indians that were the subjects of his war crimes and atrocities. If we call him a monster or dismiss him as “the American Hitler,” we deny ourselves.

San Diego laid down a bed of sharp rocks under a highway overpass to deter homeless camps

We had a homeless camp set up on the periphery of our neighborhood a short time ago. I called the police a few times to get the homeless people to move on. So I’m sympathetic to the neighborhood concerns there. If what they did was wrong, I’m no better than they are.

As a society, we need to do better for our citizens than create an economy where sleeping under a highway overpass seems like your best option, and then taking that away from them too.

Some citizens of San Diego are urging the government to let the homeless set up micro-houses on vacant lots. Sounds like a good idea to me.

City decision to put rocks under overpass draws praise from residents, criticism from homeless advocates [Gary Warth – San Diego Union Tribune]

A majority of millennials now reject capitalism, poll shows

If not capitalism, then what? Just 33% of young people surveyed say they support socialism.

“The word ‘capitalism’ doesn’t mean what it used to,” said Zach Lustbader, a senior at Harvard involved in conducting the poll, which was published Monday. For those who grew up during the Cold War, capitalism meant freedom from the Soviet Union and other totalitarian regimes. For those who grew up more recently, capitalism has meant a financial crisis from which the global economy still hasn’t completely recovered.

A subsequent survey that included people of all ages found that somewhat older Americans also are skeptical of capitalism. Only among respondents at least 50 years old was the majority in support of capitalism.

Even conservatives don’t defend capitalism much anymore. When they talk about “capitalism,” it’s likely to be the phrase “crony capitalism.”

John Della Volpe, the polling director at Harvard, went on to personally interview a small group of young people about their attitudes toward capitalism to try to learn more. They told him that capitalism was unfair and left people out despite their hard work.

“They’re not rejecting the concept,” Della Volpe said. “The way in which capitalism is practiced today, in the minds of young people — that’s what they’re rejecting.”