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Eugenic sterilization in California: practicing “good medicine”

Indiana may have passed the first sterilization law in 1907, but before World War II, it was California that led the nation in eugenic sterilizations in an attempt to “apply science to social problems.” Such legislation was part of a wave of Progressive Era public health activism that encompassed pure food, vaccination, and occupational safety.

April 2016 / 5 min.

Surveillance and Sodomy in 1918 Sacramento

A “cleanup” of 1918 Sacramento resulted in an intensified “[p]olice surveillance of boardinghouses, brothels, pubs, and gambling houses” and effectively turned these areas – none of which were traditional domestic homes – into “semipublic” spaces.

April 2016 / 5 min.

Women, public health, and the police power

The early twentieth century saw working men left free from government protection in the name of “liberty of contract”; women, on the other hand, received such protection, but at the cost of second-class status.

April 2016 / 2 min.

No privacy in city life: what modern methods are bringing us to (1902)

“Is it possible,” asked the Chicago Tribune in 1902, “to be a private citizen in Chicago?”

March 2016 / 3 min.

My favorite top WordPress plugins for 2016

So, what are my recommended favorite plugins to use with WordPress in 2016? Wordfence, UpdraftPlus, ImageInject, Amber, and Really Simple SSL + CloudFlare.

February 2016 / 3 min.

Four useful analytic categories from science and technology studies

Science and technology studies (STS) is an interdisciplinary collection of analytic approaches. In his analysis of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Philip Doty pulls out four concepts from STS that he believes are particularly useful

February 2016 / 2 min.

Privacy can keep histories of abuse hidden from public view

Privacy can serve both to protect individuals and to shield abusers from public visibility.

February 2016 / 2 min.

Affirmative vs. passive privacy in domestic violence and abortion

A “passive” version of the right to privacy – the “right to be let alone” – creates challenges for advocates against domestic violence. A more “active” version provides a viable alternative.

February 2016 / 2 min.

Haverty v. Bass: protecting the public health in 1876

In 1873 a Bangor police officer and a physician forcibly pulled Martin Haverty’s child “out of the arms of the mother” in order “to remove it to the city hospital” for quarantine due to suspected smallpox infection.

February 2016 / 2 min.

Salus populi suprema lex: law and public health

It is unquestionable, that the legislature can confer police powers upon public officers, for the protection of the public health. The maxim salus populi suprema lex is the law of all courts and countries. The individual right sinks in the necessity to provide for the public good.

February 2016 / 2 min.