What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, "hooray for our side"

Friday, January 29, 2016

Linkee-poo where in hell can you go, far from the things that you know

Trigger Warning: The unedited helicopter video footage of the chase and shooting of LaVoy Finicum. The time in question starts at about the 9 minute mark. I'm pretty sure some of those officers have body cams. I expect we'll see edited footage from those at some point. So much for the myth that Mr. Finicum was on his knees with his hands up when he was shot. It does show the moment he was shot (as well as the initial stop of both vehicles, the chase as Finicum attempts to flee the scene, and the surrender of the other people in the truck and clearing of the truck afterwards). My guess the initial shot was taken by the officer behind Finicum, who emerges out of the tree, whom Finicum probably did not see until the last moment. It's easy to ascribe motivations and intent in this video, but the video isn't the whole story. It's my personal believe that Finicum was looking to go out "in a blaze of glory" and didn't understand that drawing and firing a gun is an art that must be practiced to get right (this from his jumping out of the vehicle, notice no one else did, and where he chose to stop and his stance, all classic movie gunfighter tropes). It is possible, though, he intended to surrender and was shot at (or believed he was shot at) and then attempted to draw his gun in defense. I don't give this a high-probability of being the case. Without experience, most people would grasp at the area they had been shot and not think of anything else or act confused by being shot at. Also those officers most likely had high-power weapons, notice how fast he drops when shot (at the one point you can safely assume someone shot him). Until we have video from the ground, with audio, it's impossible to be sure. The video does seem convincing that after he got clear of the truck and surveyed (what he thought was) the situation, he attempted to draw his hip weapon, failed, raised his hands again, then tried to draw his shoulder/pocketed weapon twice. This, of course, fits the official version of the story (and I'm guessing a major reason why they released the video so quickly).

The Book of Kells is now online. I'll be in my bunk. (Grokked from Fran Wilde)

It's exploding manhole season. (Grokked from Steven Gould)

President Obama directs the Labor Department to gather information from more businesses to make sure the equal pay act is being enforced. Well, that only took seven-years.

Heinous fuckery. Apparently the FBI has been using the immigration process (normally slow and convoluted, hence there's a whole legal industry devoted to it) to force muslim immigrants to become informants. Just like torture, this is the worst possible way to do this work. Why? "Michael German, a former FBI agent who is now a national security expert… says wide-scale coercive recruitment produces a surfeit of false leads… The result is so much useless information that agents cannot focus on the most important leads." That's why. Coercion is the absolute worst way to get reliable intelligence, despite what the entertainment industry likes to show us. (Grokked from Saladin Ahmed)

When you see the world repeating the same mistakes, sometime you need to speak up. "Eva Schloss -- the stepsister of Anne Frank and herself a survivor of Auschwitz -- compared Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler in an op-ed in Newsweek about the challenges that refugees are facing around the world." Or as a friend's mother said, "I know a brownshirt when I see one" (not about Trump, but I'm sure it applies here).

"(B)ut the base isn’t taking guidance the way it used to." Paul Krugman is wise. I'm not sure I agree with everything he is saying here (his op-ed on the meta-questions of this election), but it's an interesting theory. (Grokked form Jason Sanford)

So, the Speaker of the Tennessee House has "told interns not attend legislature receptions or events and not to give their cell phone numbers to members of the legislature" on account of how creepy (as in creepy, sex-crazed old man) the members of the legislature are. That ain't good.

"Renowned scholar and activist Noam Chomsky declared this week that the GOP and its far-right front-runners are 'literally a serious danger to decent human survival.'" Lest you think the left makes it out alive, he also says that basically the Democrats and the Republicans are the same in their servitude to big money, and he calls Bernie Sanders "'basically a new dealer.(sic)'" The New Deal is a proper noun. (Grokked from Chip Dawes)

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