Using Video Conferencing Apps, Instead of Face to Face Interactions For Traffic Stops Could Save Black & Blue Lives

Minnesota State Patrol Trooper Jack Tiegs talks to a motorist he stopped for speeding Aug. 9, 2017, in St. Paul. (Jean Pieri / Pioneer Press file)

In July 2016 a police officer shot Philando Castile seven times and killed him after a traffic stop. One year earlier, Sandra Bland died in police custody after a contentious traffic stop. In addition to those notorious cases, police stop millions of drivers every year. Some percentage of those stops unfairly target Black People. And even when stops are lawful, People of Color may feel more anxiety than others due to the perceived biases of police officers.

Setting those incidents apart…


Commercials for insurance companies are everywhere. The 10 largest US insurers spent $6.7 Billion on commercials in 2018, 2.7% of all spending on ads. It’s weird they need to spend so much because insurance might be the only product you legally need to have.

If you own a car, every state requires you to hold at least some auto insurance. And if you have a mortgage, you almost definitely have home owners insurance. If insurance is mandatory, why do companies sell it so hard?

They advertise as much as they do because the insurance market is a zero sum game…


Who’s the greatest family in NFL history?

It’s the Matthews family, I’m not going to keep you in suspense.

But who’s the next best? Is it the Mannings? The Longs? The Gronkowskis? And why? A bunch of click-baity slideshows will pop up if you google “best NFL families” but after some searching I couldn’t list that was satisfying.

So, I pulled a list of football family relations off of Wikipedia, threw those names in a spreadsheet, and then pulled up each of those individual players on Pro Football Reference. PFR has a statistic, Weighted Approximate Value, that they use to…


The Conversation About Zion Williamson Playing Could Take Down Amateurism For Good

Zion Williamson’s shoe exploded last Wednesday night against UNC injuring his knee and sparking a conversation in the hot-take universe. “Should Zion sit out the rest of the year?” will be debated for the next month or so, but if the conversation continues after the Final Four, it could lead to the end amateurism as we know it

The Shut it Down side of the argument says, “He’s already proven he should be the #1 pick in the draft, if he does get hurt he could lose out on a lot of money.” The keep playing side says some combination…


A better approach to Privilege that everyone can agree with.

White privilege gets people excited.

Those who feel victimized by it and those who deny its existence get riled up by it. But, there is a principle that works better than either rejecting or embracing privilege. The aggrieved, the deniers, and everyone between them already agrees with this idea. I’m talking about The Golden Rule; and if more people lived by it the rhetoric surrounding race would cool down.

Historically, whites have stolen away black people’s rights. That’s not debatable. Correcting those injustices is complicated though. Ending the drug war would be a good first step. And ideas like reparations…

James A Balkam

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