Sunday, May 31, 2020

Marvels of space, those "UFOs," Awesome Books/Images... and hopes for the future

Against a background of riots and abuses at every level of power... and rejoicing over the smooth competence of the Crew Dragon mission... we can clearly see that the road branches before us. And the kind of civilization we want and need is the one worth fighting for.

Do we allow monstrous evil to destroy us -- as in the brutal murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd... and the insane torching of Uncle Hugo's Bookstore in Minneapolis -- to send us down what Heinlein forecast as "The Crazy Years"? Or even the madness of Nehemia Scudder? Or will we learn to thwart the evil men who now cackle as they exploit our new, godlike powers of perception and communication, in oder to incite violence and division and treason?

Next time I hope to offer a proposal for how to solve some of our social media toxicity

But for now, let's turn to some lifting-of-spirits. With some good stuff, indeed.

== Better things! == 

Now Free! These are seriously great little volumes, each of  them about a different, way-cool NIAC project I consulted on. ... "Thanks to a partnership with World Book, Inc., NASA is offering free access to Out of This World, a kids STEM e-book series featuring NIAC Fellows’ concepts. World Book is offering virtual access to all eight e-books free of charge to support educators, parents and students during the coronavirus pandemic."

The series features stories about the lives and scientific work of NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) researchers. NIAC supports the next generation of space exploration by investing in visionary ideas that could transform future NASA missions with the creation of radically better or entirely new concepts, helping to turn science fiction into science fact. You can access the FREE e-book series on the World Book site here.

- A truly wonderful three minutes can be had here, taking a narrated video tour of the Curiosity Rover's latest 18.GB panorama from the slopes of Mount Sharp, in Gale Crater, on Mars. You are a member of a bold, scientific, maturing civilization that does stuff like this. Be proud. Defend it.

Alas, Curiosity is in mortal danger. The Trump Administration’s proposed budget cuts would debilitate several ongoing missions, Scientific American reports, and would even mean shutting down the iconic rover Curiosity, which has been exploring Mars since 2012.

-  Natural superconductors found in meteorites? UCSD prof. Mark Thiemens and colleagues have used sophisticated instruments – like  magnetic field modulated microwave spectroscopy (MFMMS). To find little inclusions that exhibit superconductivity from states imposed violently, early in the solar system’s evolution. “Naturally occurring superconductive materials are unusual, but they are particularly significant because these materials could be superconducting in extraterrestrial environments.” And yes, I depict natural superconductivity amid the perovskites of our planet’s mantle. In EARTH. Well, speculation is easy. What Mark & pals do is hard!

Hubble’s 30th Anniversary Image… absolutely stunning.  

- The Japanese space agency JAXA announced that their newly planned probe will land on the Martian moon Phobos – which I’ve long held to be potentially one of the most valuable sites in the Solar System - and snare at least 10 grams, or about a third of an ounce, of material from the moon’s surface using a coring collection system before taking off again. MMX will also release a German-French rover to explore the terrain and chemical composition of Phobos for roughly three months. The MMX spacecraft’s return to Earth in 2029 would complete the first round-trip voyage to Mars and back. The German and French space agencies agreed with JAXA to provide a small rover for the MMX mission based on the MASCOT robot deployed on the surface of asteroid Ryugu by Japan’s Hayabusa 2 spacecraft. 

The Haybusa mission was so spectacular… as was the U.S. asteroid mission at the same time… that it’s clear we are ready to start assaying some of the vast riches out there, making asteroids far more apropos for US-Japan-Europe, while all the Apollo-wannabe tourists go rushing to the sterile, useless, dusty lunar plains.  More on results from this marvelous mission here

Again. Humanity will return to the Moon as Chinese, Russian, Indian and other astronauts provide their nations with tourist rites of passage. And to be clear, the Chinese are doing fine things!  Their Chang’e-4 mission on the far side used ground penetrating radar to do cool science. And who knows? All those nations’ missions might find something (beyond proved polar water ice deposits) to prove me wrong about that resource poor wasteland. Mazel tov.

Meanwhile, the U.S. and Japan and Europe should do things those other nations can’t. Go where the real riches are.And yes, the Japanese will do asteroids without us, if we stupidly turn our backs on those riches out there, in order to inanely repeat an act of 90% symbolism. 

Grownup efforts haven't ALL been sabotaged, yet. “NASA’s historic uncrewed mission to the metallic asteroid Psyche is now, also, a SpaceX jam. Elon Musk’s rocket company will be responsible for getting the probe launched on board a Falcon Heavy. According to some estimates, the materials making up Psyche could be worth a staggering $10,000 quadrillion.” - from Futurism.

== More space! ==

- Physicist and Breakthrough maven James Benford and science popularize-philosopher/author Paul Davies gave a January talk on the possibility of “lurker” alien space probes in our solar system, and especially on very near-Earth asteroids. Especially a few that qualify as extra Earth moons. Plus a followup interview
Of course, this is a central topic to my novel Existence.

And now news of another “pseudo-moon” of Earth, this one no larger than a limo! Arrived ~ 3 years ago, may leave in 4 years. About the size of a limo. 

- The Sun appears to be far less active than other similar stars. This perspective on evolution of the Sun and could mean that our star is in a midlife lull at the moment. This data on luminosity variability – a side product of the Kepler planet-seeking mission – suggests our sun’s anomalous stability might be a major factor in the Fermi Paradox. 

“Researchers identified 369 stars with similar temperatures, masses, ages, chemical compositions, and rotational periods as the Sun. They found that despite these similarities, most of the stars displayed far higher levels of brightness variation that indicate average activity levels around five times higher than that of the Sun.”  Possibly one of the most important astronomical discoveries of the last few years.

== Finally... Those Navy-baiting UFOs? ==

See a cogent analysis of the “UFO” videos, leaked to the public in 2007 and 2017, that appear to show three unidentified flying objects moving in weird and unexpected ways. ‘The Navy had already acknowledged the videos were real, but pointedly did not say what they show.’ Watch the embedded technical appraisal, offering very simple and highly likely explanations that truly shoot down the ‘alien spacecraft’ category.

There were already many reasons to doubt the zealous UFOism of my neighbors at the “To the Stars Academy.” But the visual analysis seems also to (alas!) render unnecessary my own theory about WHO is doing this! (That it’s DARPA or USN Research.) And my speculation as to HOW it's being done. I’ll keep mum on the latter, for now, but my notion is entirely plausible and all that. It’s just not necessary to explain these images. Not any longer. Rats.

Though my novel Existence explores DOZENS of vastly more-plausible scenarios for alien ‘lurkers’ in our solar system. Watch the vivid 3-minute video trailer.  (See also my story “Those Eyes.” Which shreds the ‘why’ of visiting Teaser Ships.) 

Seriously? There are now something like a BILLION times as many cameras on this planet as there were in the 1950s, many of them better, more mobile and all far more widely distributed. So how come all the UFO images remain almost exactly as blurry as they were then? 

Oh. Also sighted… China’s newly robo-tested capsule for crewed spaceflight looks amazingly (or not so amazingly) like the SpaceX Crew Dragon.

97 comments:

Larry Hart said...

Missed the "onward", so...

Tim Wolter under the last post:

I just don't think it is some secret Fascist army that has suddenly shown up and gotten organized just for the purpose of...of...well not sure what. Making the Mayor of Minneapolis look bad?


Making the anti-brutality protesters look bad. More generally, making any criticism of authority look bad.


My problem btw with Antifa is not that I'm in favor of fascism. It is that they define fascism so very broadly.


Funny, that's my problem with Trump's declaration against Antifa. That he defines Antifa so vary broadly.

Jon S. said...

See, Tim, the problem with looking at arrest records is that the arrests are made by the police. If the people doing the actual breaking and looting are doing so with either tacit or explicit approval of the police, how likely do you think it is that those people are being arrested?

I'm examining the available video. And while, as I said, I try not to leap to conclusions until the data have been collected (and preferably collated), I can't help but notice that the breakers are almost exclusively pale. And there are a few videos, notably from Minneapolis and Chicago, showing where someone has neatly stacked large supplies of used bricks in areas where there is no construction going on, in apparent preparation for later protests.

And I'm sorry, but you're going to have a long way to go to convince me that Antifa had any particular interest in looting the Bellevue Square Plaza Cheesecake Factory, in Bellevue, WA. Starbucks? I could see that. Torch a bank? Not their usual style, but it makes a vague kind of sense. But neither of those happened. Instead, they looted a Cheesecake Factory. (KIRO-TV got a great shot of a woman walking off with an entire cheesecake - one person on Twitter said that based on CF menu prices, the street value of that cake could be upwards of $1000! :) )

 Ashley said...

I confess to being overwhelmed by my Twitter feed. To the extent I've started unfollowing people who are posting about the riots, because I can't cope with the anger and outrage that is being expressed.

This makes me a weak person, but my mood is dropping, and given that I have to look to my own mental wellbeing.

However, I wanted to say that the conversations here remain something I read, for the clarity of thought.

In general I agree that Antifa, an organization whose intent I support, but they define fascism in a way that seems to lead to everyone being labelled a fascist. In much the way that racist is used to disenfranchise people by labeling them racists by those who call themselves Social Justice Warriors.

I saw the footage of the death of George Floyd, killed by a policeman using a dangerous restraint technique.

I don't say this to make it sound clinical, but as a statement from someone who has been trained in "control and restraint," which is now called "prevention and management of violence and aggression."

The renaming of "control and restraint" for what can be seen as politically correct reasons, doesn't change the fact that restraining people without killing them is actually more difficult than it looks. Hence my comment, restraint techniques.

Police need the same level of control and restraint training that I received as a mental health nurse who had to deal with violent patients. The video footage clearly shows that training is needed.

Over here in Blighty, we had a similar issue with how Police were trained to use a truncheon, and consequent deaths arising. The answer is rigorous training in good techniques, and consistent practice to maintain the necessary skills.

Even then, mistakes happen. In high adrenaline situations things go wrong. I remember clearly the time when acting as a patient the leader of a control and restraint team seriously kneeded me in the face, and we had to halt the training session, then debrief about what happened. I was lucky not to have been seriously injured.

So my point? It's easy to criticize and throw accusations. It is harder to implement solutions and make things better.

gregory byshenk said...

From the previous discussion...

sdw wrote:
It is already legal in the US for any form of signature, wet, facsimile, or digital such as 'Bob Smith' or '/Bob Smith/', to be used as proof of identity and commitment to an agreement, contract, or official statement. While that makes it painful to prove or disprove in court, that pain has no legal force in dictating a level of technology.

Yes, it is legal, and yet there are only a few common standards - as well as a number that are used by agreement - because, as you point out, once one moves away from the "standard" forms, it is "painful to prove or disprove".

And the other forms - the "PIN, smart card chip", etc. - are those used by agreement between the various parties. You have an agreement with your bank or credit card company that someone who uses your card and PIN is considered to be "you" and you are responsible for the charges. The same sort of agreement holds between merchants and the banks or card companies. Importantly, these agreements are piggybacked on already-existing relationships.

I don't see "blockchain" as of any general usefulness (it may be useful in some specific circumstances). It is computationally expensive, and therefor inefficient. I understand that there are already issues with various blockchain "coins" where there can be excessive delays in verification. So far as I am aware, these issues cannot be adquately addressed within a distributed "proof-of-X" system. One solution is to have the chain controlled by a trusted party - but if there is already a trusted party, then the blockchain doesn't add any real value.

Alfred Differ
Whether or not the state owns authentication seems to me to be pretty much beside the point. The issue is some level of control. Your notaries, for example, are licensed by the state, and responsible to the state in their actions. And I don't see the question of (US) state or federal control as particularly interesting, either; driving licenses and passports are both "government issued IDs", even though one form is state and the other federal.

One thing that I would argue against is the idea of a multitude of competing authentication services. While there are few problems in principle, in practice such service has very strong network effects. This means that almost certainly the market will resolve itself into a very small number of very large players. Because I am "suspicious" of all powerful actors (not merely the state), I don't see a significant difference between the state and a so-called "free market" that is not really free. And the difference becomes still less if one can be imprisoned for civil contempt, as is the case under US law.

Robert said...

Larry (on the last thread): "I see the only way for my rights to be secure is if everybody's rights are secure."

Reminds me of Billy Bragg's "Freedom is merely privilege extended, unless enjoyed by one and all." from his version of the Internationale.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LbziknNpCE&frags=pl%2Cwn

This version has the story of how he wrote it:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BIvqbyku5g

Larry Hart said...

The same thing that Charles Dickens said in more modern language:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/31/opinion/george-floyd-protests.html

Despair has an incredible power to initiate destruction. It is exceedingly dangerous to assume that oppression and pain can be inflicted without consequence, to believe that the victim will silently absorb the injury and the wound will fade.

No, the injuries compound, particularly when there is no effort to alter the system doing the wounding, no avenue by which the aggrieved can seek justice.

This all breeds despair, simmering below the surface, a building up in need of release, to be let out, to lash out, to explode.

As protests and rioting have swept across the country in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by the police in Minneapolis, it’s evident that America has failed to learn that lesson yet again.
...

Larry Hart said...

Same link, better lines. Continuing to agree with me:

...
You can’t demonize an athlete who peacefully takes a knee to protest against police brutality, labeling him a “son of a bitch,” as President Trump did, and then pine for peaceful protests now.

It seems that no form of protest has been effective in this fight for justice. It seems that what the public and the power structure want is a continuation of the status quo. They want stillness and passivity. They want obedience. They want your suffering to be silent, your trauma to be tranquil.

That won’t happen.
...

Zepp Jamieson said...

From SFGate this morning:
"
Uncle Hugo’s Bookstore Burned Down in Riots
May 30, 2020

Uncle Hugo’s, the oldest independent science fiction and fantasy bookstore in the US founded in 1974, burned down during the recent riots protesting police brutality and racism in the wake of the recent shocking death of George Floyd during a police arrest in Minneapolis. As of May 30, at least 250 businesses across the Twin Cities had been damaged or destroyed. Some, including Uncle Hugo’s, were destroyed completely by fire or suffered extensive water damage. Uncle Edgar’s bookstore, a specialty mystery, suspense, and thrillers shop, which was housed within Uncle Hugo’s, is also gone."

No matter where you stand on the events this week, this is something for sorrow, and must be avoided at all costs.

scidata said...

I think I've mentioned this before. SF bookstores (possibly with some other goodies) are bastions of Enlightenment. Although I can't lead such a charge, I would be a very enthusiastic supporter of any attempt at building such bastion(s). Asimov's dad's soda shop location in Brooklyn is one prime location. Perhaps Uncle Hugo's is now (sadly) another. Alexandria still smoulders in the collective memory of civilization.

Larry Hart said...

Ashley:

Police need the same level of control and restraint training that I received as a mental health nurse who had to deal with violent patients.


Did you see any indication that George Floyd was being violent? I did not.

The notion this is just an example where police work is difficult would be more plausible if the same sort of thing happened proportionally to white prisoners.

Larry Hart said...

gregory byshenk:

I understand that there are already issues with various blockchain "coins" where there can be excessive delays in verification.


Do I get to claim an entry in the predictions register? :)

David Brin said...

Some fun stuff... and some of it fake. Anyone got the original video link?
https://www.linkedin.com/posts/anwar-b-998050137_nice-ugcPost-6673168124298178560-XgMD

David Brin said...

Jon S. In fairness, I’ve seen a LOT of raided shoe stores.

When a man has his hands cuffed behind him, it puts the whole restraint thing at a different level and cops can and should be tolerant of a little thrashing, letting the fellow tire himself out. BFD.

It is time for the police unions to get involved in solutions. They need to hold internal polls among members finding problem cops, for their own sake.

Robert said...

I somehow got on the mailing list for a Republican congressman in Indiana. (3rd district). Here is an excerpt from his latest email:

U.S. public health officials are warning that the massive countrywide demonstrations and riots triggered by the death of George Floyd could be followed by a sudden increase in novel coronavirus cases.

“We still have pockets of spread in communities that aren’t under good control,” former Food and Drug Administration commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a Sunday interview on CBS News’s “Face the Nation.” Minnesota, the epicenter of the protests, has had an uptick in new cases and hospitalizations in recent days, he said.

Demonstrations -- many of them violent -- took place over the weekend all across the country, including in Indianapolis and Fort Wayne.

At least one person was killed and two more injured as gunfire broke out among Saturday’s violent protests in Indianapolis, according to Indianapolis police.

Thankfully no one was killed during the demonstrations in Fort Wayne, though several businesses were damaged.

So, any increase in infections will be blamed on the rioter rather than, say, the crowds of people who ignored social distancing for other reasons.

Larry Hart said...

Robert:

So, any increase in infections will be blamed on the rioter rather than, say, the crowds of people who ignored social distancing for other reasons.


And all of a sudden, COVID-19 isn't a hoax or a liberal plot. It's something whose bad effects can be exacerbated by protests against authoritarianism. Not by pool parties in the Ozarks or anything, though.

Next thing you know, George Floyd protests are the cause of climate change.

 Ashley said...

Larry Hart said... "Did you see any indication that George Floyd was being violent? I did not.

The notion this is just an example where police work is difficult would be more plausible if the same sort of thing happened proportionally to white prisoners."

I'll repeat for clarity..

The renaming of "control and restraint" for what can be seen as politically correct reasons, doesn't change the fact that restraining people without killing them is actually more difficult than it looks.

I've been fortunate in not ever killing anyone while restraining them, but patients have died while restrained in hospital wards where they are supposed to be safe and taken care of.

Your perspective lacks the experience of actually having to restrain someone, and the difficulties that entail, which is why I will repeat: restraining people without killing them is actually more difficult than it seems.

matthew said...

Examples of white supremacists infiltrating Black Lives Matter protests, since posters here says they hadn't seen any:

From NBC, The Proud Boys were identified in the riots in Portland. "Members of the Proud Boys, a far-right group whose members describe themselves as “western chauvinists” and who marched at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, also appeared at Black Lives Matter protests over the weekend.

While members who marched in Raleigh wore Proud Boy branded shirts and hats, several known Proud Boys were photographed dressed in traditional all-black Antifa garb at a rally in Portland on Saturday."

https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/security/videos-threats-few-signs-protests-have-been-stoked-outsider-extremist-n1220451

(Note that NBC has headline saying "few signs seen" of outsider meddling, then gives multiple examples of just that.)



Wesley Somers, who is on film starting the arson at the Nashville Old Church, has Three Percenters tattoo. https://heavy.com/news/2020/06/wesley-somers-nashville-courthouse-fire/

Pachydermis2 said...

I've been out doing normal things today. Garden looks good. Been in touch with far flung family and friends.

It's good to take a break when things are tense. It helps with perspective. Uncle Hugo's burning hit me hard, I loved the place. A sane civilization needs such things.

All the points being argued yesterday will become more in focus in the days ahead. For the moment I'll let the authorities handle things without my commentary. The Governor seems to be taking this seriously. The Mayor seems to have been sent to his room by the sensible people in the Democratic Party who can see 10 electoral votes from MN starting to crumble before their eyes.

There is a remarkable live feed from the worst of the riots

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHcELsLF7cg&feature=youtu.be

Watch as much as you can. Since the beginning likely is showing Uncle Hugo's aflame I could not make it very far. For those speculating on who was there, what they were doing and why, I guess this is raw source material.

Be safe all of you. Let's as a tiny little community show that we have more class and less rancor than the world at large.

T. Wolter

Robert said...

Thought you might appreciate this cartoon:

https://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorial_cartoon/2020/06/01/michael-de-adder-video-evidence.html

Phaedrusnailfile said...

Dr. Brin, if this comment is not suited to the discussion board here i wont be offended in the least. I have followed you for a long time and it was through this blog that is saw a thourough refutation of the fourth turning. When i tried to use the link on one of your past blogs i could not find it. If it is not unreasonable to ask i was wondering if you might point me to the relevant link. If it is i apologize for asking as it is not especially urgent.

Acacia H. said...

Ashley, while you are talking from a place of greater understanding of problems with restraint of prisoners or patients, there is one significant difference between these incidents. Multiple videos show that Floyd was already restrained before the police choosing to choke him into further submission. It would be akin to you taking a patient who was strapped down to a stretcher on the ground and unable to move and then putting your knee on their neck because they said something that upset you.

If you saw a nurse do that to a patient would you tolerate it? Would you consider it unethical behavior and try to see that nurse removed from her position? Or would you just accept it as a part of what happens in institutions?

Police will accept the violence of their "bad apples" and not report these incidents because they have a "brotherhood" and need to "stand together" in solidarity. But this allows more and more unethical behavior to happen and also encourages the spread of that behavior. Much like how bullies who get away with their bullying will just bully more and more kids while drawing in a cadre of new bullies, so too will people in positions of power who get away with abusing their power continue to abuse... and draw in others who had not been abusive and start behaving that way.

While the military is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, there are rules of engagement that need to be followed. When there is an incident, the incident is investigated and there is a determination on if those rules were followed. Police need to be held up to the same level as our military, with the same level of oversight.

And any police officer who covers up their badge and/or turns off their recording devices should be fired promptly and never allowed to reenter the force or ANY security services because if you are performing that action, it is specifically to commit unethical acts that are against the law.

Acacia H.

Larry Hart said...

Ashley:

which is why I will repeat: restraining people without killing them is actually more difficult than it seems.


I don't doubt it.

But I will also repeat: Restraining black people without killing them shouldn't be more difficult than restraining white people without killing them.

Foreseeable Future said...

Yes, 2020 is all of bad news, but there are some good things happening which are getting ignored due to COVID-19. Anyways, I thank you for pointing out all the good news.

Regards,
foreseeable-future.com

David Brin said...

Phaedrusnailfile no need to be so cautious. No problems. Here’s a link to my general essay on cyclical history…
http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-tytler-calumny-is-democracy-hopeless.html

Further:
http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2018/05/v-behaviorurldefaultvmlo.html

But this one may be what you seek.
http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2018/10/looking-for-destiny-in-false-historical.html

Darrell E said...

Ashley, have you watched any of the several videos of the Floyd murder? Have read any of the reasonably well verified facts of the incident? The general point you are making is true in a truism sort of way. But with respect to this incident in particular it's completely off target.

There is no evidence that Floyd ever put up significant resistance. It's possible at some time early on in the event that he did, but there are various video clips from various sources and though there are gaps of time not documented by video early in the event they are small enough that serious resistance by Floyd is improbable.

But even if he had resisted sometime earlier in the encounter that wouldn't do the police officers any good. The entire time from when he was put on the ground to when he was left for dead is video documented. This spanned about 10 minutes in time. For nearly 9 minutes Floyd was face down on the ground with his hands cuffed behind his back and there where 3 officers there to control him. One was was the murderer that was kneeling on Floyd's neck. To be clear, the knee on the neck lasted for nearly 9 minutes. Throughout that time Floyd pleaded for breath and for his mother's help. For nearly 3 minutes of that 9 minutes Floyd was non-responsive and one of the officers noted that he couldn't find a pulse. During this entire period of time Floyd was not resisting in any way that could possibly matter. He was completely under control of 3 officers, immobile, face down on the ground.

Many police officers around the country have noted all this and called it what it was, murder. In several demonstrations around the country police, including police chiefs, have marched with the demonstrators.

I am not sure if it is your intent to claim in this specific case that the murderer should be given the benefit of the doubt because in your professional opinion it's hard not to kill people when restraining them, but if so I call bullshit. Nothing about what actually happened in this case bears any resemblance to a scenario in which well trained experts with no evil intentions accidentally killed someone because the person forced them to use a level of force that has a significant risk of death. In this case there was precisely 0 valid reason to apply the technique of knee in the neck restraint, and then hold it for nearly 10 minutes, for nearly 3 minutes after the victim was non-responsive and no pulse could be found.

Even if the preliminary autopsy report was correct, suggesting that Floyd died of some combination of rough handling and underlying conditions, that still doesn't help the murderer. The murderer continued to do what he was doing for nearly 3 minutes after Floyd was un-responsive and had no pulse. However, an independent autopsy found that Floyd died of asphyxiation and lack of blood flow to the brain consistent with exactly what was seen to have been done to him by the murderer on video. Force applied to his back and neck constraining his breathing and the flow of blood to his brain.

Smurphs said...

Ashley, I think you are trying to sound reasonable, but you give yourself away with this statement:

"In general I agree that Antifa, an organization whose intent I support, but they define fascism in a way that seems to lead to everyone being labelled a fascist. In much the way that racist is used to disenfranchise people by labeling them racists by those who call themselves Social Justice Warriors."

No one calls themselves a Social Justice Warrior. It is strongly pejorative term used to ridicule anyone who actually wants social justice. Used by people who do not want social justice (for others). Much like Antifa is a description of people against Fascism, but not an actual organization in the US. Yet, ANTIFA is a terrorist organization.

Don Gisselbeck said...

Thomas Paine had a few words about looting, "When the rich plunder the poor of his rights, it becomes an example of the poor to plunder the rich of his property, for the rights of the one are as much property to him as wealth is property to the other and the little all is as dear as the much. It is only by setting out on just principles that men are trained to be just to each other; and it will always be found, that when the rich protect the rights of the poor, the poor will protect the property of the rich. But the guarantee, to be effectual, must be parliamentarily reciprocal."

—Thomas Paine, 1792 #ArrestTheMurderers

Jon S. said...

The President of the United States has just declared that if in his opinion local authorities aren't doing enough to "dominate" protesters, he will send in the United States Army. In order to set up his photo op in front of a nearby church, he ordered National Guard troops to fire tear gas and rubber bullets into a crowd of peaceful protesters.

Have any red lines been crossed yet? Or is there still some equivocation to do?

Larry Hart said...

Anyone surprised that this violent agitator is a white guy? Tim?

https://chicago.suntimes.com/crime/2020/6/1/21277363/lets-start-riot-galesburg-man-federal-charge-related-rioting-chicago

A man from downstate Galesburg who allegedly appears on video rioting, looting and urging attacks against the police has been hit with what appears to be the first federal criminal charge related to the violence this weekend in Chicago.

Matthew Lee Rupert, 28, has been charged in an eight-page criminal complaint in federal court in Minnesota with civil disorder, carrying on a riot and possession of unregistered destructive devices. The complaint alleges Rupert participated in looting and rioting in Minneapolis in response to the police killing of George Floyd before moving on to Chicago.

...

Federal law enforcement officials have been insisting far-left groups were stoking violence. Meanwhile, experts who track extremist groups also reported seeing evidence of the far-right at work.

The complaint against Rupert does not connect him with any organization.

Still, a Chicago police officer told the Chicago Sun-Times that a sizable number of people looting in the Loop on Saturday night had Southern accents, indicating they were from out of town.

...

Larry Hart said...

Acacia H:

It would be akin to you taking a patient who was strapped down to a stretcher on the ground and unable to move and then putting your knee on their neck because they said something that upset you.

If you saw a nurse do that to a patient would you tolerate it?


I don't want to put words in anyone's mouth, but I'd put money on the answer I suspect, and you can probably tell what answer that is.

Acacia H. said...

Larry, I assume that is "Of course not! No one could be that inhumane and horrific. After all, we should assume the best of people and not just assume anyone who gives a blanket approval to our police and the like are in fact monsters."

I mean, my flatmate is a huge supporter of the police and keeps insisting that outside agitators are instigating things with the police rather than elements inside the police themselves. He's still a very decent person otherwise, hates Trump with a passion, and wishes someone in the Secret Service would do the nation a favor and end the threat of Trump (calling them as akin to the "Praetorian Guard" of Rome). When I point out that is a really bad idea as it would mean any Secret Service agent could choose, for the good of the nation, take out a president they disagree with, he agrees, but still wishes Trump was removed.

So you can have decent people who hate Trump... and yet are blind to the problems of the police.

Acacia H.

David Brin said...

Take it easy guys. We need Tim. I'd rather he stays with us, even without red lines, than drive him away.

In fact my sole disappointment in him is that he hasn't brough more RASRs like him here.

Jon S. said...

Doctor, I wasn't necessarily addressing Tim W. specifically - but I'm not sure I'd use RASR to describe anyone for whom a line was not crossed tonight.

Acacia H. said...

CNN has effectively called Trump a Tyrant.

This is after, on camera, a peaceful demonstration at a church was broken up with tear gas and water cannons so Trump could hold a bible before the Church and have a photo op showing how "strong" he is. He is calling for widescale use of the military to crack down on the American Right of Assembly.

He has crossed every single line. If you are supporting Trump now? You are supporting tyranny.

And hell, I hope the Democrats in Congress hit him with a second Impeachment for the crimes he just committed.

Acacia H.

Alfred Differ said...

gregory,

I hear you on network effects and how few large players could wind up effectively owning the identification process. In an open market, I suspect they'd be able to manage who is allowed to transact and who cannot. For that reason alone, I'm for having government involved somehow, but only enough to provide an alternate method. I'm supportive of having the USPS provide fallback banking services for the same reason.

As for who owns the system, I think it is a really huge difference whether it is government or private industry. My government can coerce as we are seeing right now. My bank cannot. My government can deny I am who I claim to be and impact many of my rights. My bank can deny who I claim to be and impact only my property… and ability to transact since they feed into the credit scores system. Both would be detrimental to me, but one I can fix by convincing a Court to coerce them. The other I cannot except at a ballot box which can be denied to me.

Driver's licenses and passports are historically used as proof-of-identification, but it would be unwise of us to continue this in the future. The person with my passport is not necessarily me. They have one of the factors that can be accepted as proof, but one factor should not be all that is required. How many ARE required should depend on the risk involved in the proposed transaction. Whether I am voting at the polls, signing mortgage documents, establishing a credit line, or buying a beer at a local pub should cause us to adjust how much proof is needed. The bartender doesn't really need to know who I am as long as the bank authorizes the transfer. The credit provider does need to know as it should impact the interest rate they charge. Details matter here, but I would argue against any rule set that allowed for conflict of interests. For example, when the credit provider is also the bank authorizing transactions, someone else should be responsible for identifying me as a valid ID. That would have helped prevent Wells Fargo employees from committing fraud unchecked for so long.

Details matter here, but between us we probably have enough mistrust to apply it in all directions. Such skepticism has proven to be the wisest course in financial markets through all the centuries they've existed, so we shouldn't hold back. 8)

Tony Fisk said...

Trump's little address was preceded by riot police jazzing up a daytime peaceful protest outside WH with tear gas and pepper shot.
Afterward, riot police then cleared Lafayette square with more tear gas, so that Trump could stroll across to St. James Church for a photo opp with a bible.
(You should see what the clergy have to say about that stunt.)
... and Trump claims to be defending the second amendment??? Troll on, dude.

(In other news, no State Governor has yet asked for military assistance. Clearly need another haranguing.)

Robart said...

DD: Sorry but you just delayed the re-opening, so to speak. Every day my system presents me with a one-button flush of fecal spew from a pathetic obsessive who clearly cannot find better ways to apply his obvious intelligence without trying to rankle others. The flushing process is trivial… it takes about two seconds per day, and I can make it automatic. But you’d “rather dislike” much more if I let the stink through. And this much attention will (I promise) provoke another shit storm.

Hi-hi-hi... ho-ho-ho... ha-ha-ha.

That is ONLY under cover of pre-moderation you can pretend being so smag and brave.

But in reality... you squeaky micy coward, Davy. ;P

(Self) Terrorized by thought of your foul behavior and your stupid propaganda being exposed. ;P


Same link, better lines. Continuing to agree with me:

It seems that no form of protest has been effective in this fight for justice. It seems that what the public and the power structure... (lame hypocrite Brinny) want is a continuation of the status quo. They want stillness and passivity. They want obedience. They want your suffering to be silent, your trauma to be tranquil.

That won’t happen. ;P ;P ;P

A German Nurse said...

@Ashley: I worked for 15 years in mental health. During that time, I saw and was part of various restraining actions, none of them leading to permanent physical health consequences or Death.

But there were situations that were outright ugly. I even remember the technique officer Chauvin used. When I complained about it, knowing it to be hazardous, I was told to shut up or else.

During those ugly situations, I usually noticed the following four underlaying conditions:
a) Lack of raining and preparation
b) Lack of coordinated action and tactics;
c) emotional distress and frustration of the staff.

Address that, and you have calm, clean and coordinated restraining actions, Always as the last option to be available.

 Ashley said...

Okay, in general a few comments, I'll try to be brief.

Assumptions people, check your assumptions. You don't know me, and assuming I'm a bad actor is not a good strategy.

Rather than assume malice, you might want to consider that I'm ill informed, or stupid, though that's starting down a road that will lead nowhere good. Or an idealist who is out of touch with reality.

Personally, I find the way that social media is driving the polarization of the political divide... troubling. Confrontation, using anger to express opinions, has lead to escalating of the differences between people, rather than what unites us.

Fighting begets fighting. Fighting for peace is like fucking for virginity.

Nelson Mandela got it right, because he knew that reconciliation is needed to heal wounds. Equality in the enforcement of the rule of law requires education.

Then people will know what criteria to use to vote those who are incompetent out of office. That's the ideal.

But we live in an imperfect world.

With regards to to seeing a patient being restrained with a dangerous technique.

Yes of course I would've acted; have in fact acted, where a wrist lock caused pain to a patient. Not life threatening, but again when you are highly stresses the blinkers go on, and you become unaware of the bigger picture happening around you.

However, the reality is that deaths have happened to patients who were restrained by trained nurses who didn't notice they were using a dangerous technique. No intent to murder, just an inability to maintain an awareness, and be competent in a high stress environment.

And yes, they lost their licence to nurse, and their jobs, and where appropriate charged with killing a patient.

I looked at the video, and from that alone all I could discern was that the police had no awareness they were doing something wrong.

Now, either one can assume they were acting with ill intent (malice) or they were incompetent. Without an inquiry to examine all the evidence I wouldn't want to take a position (innocent until proven guilty).

However, if there is evidence of malice, then the full weight of the law should be brought to bear.

Now for those of your who find it hard to control your emotional responses to my opinions, I will add that what is happening in American policing is down to a failure of leadership. The leaders not rooting out bad actors.

We live in an unfair world, where good things happen to bad people, and bad things happen to good people. It's easy to be outraged by events that are frightening than to face your fear that bad shit happens to good people.

You have a choice to be offended. That's an answer I expect will offend many of you.

A German Nurse said...

The whole riot situation still leaves me speechless. I can only offer you condolences and hope you all are safe, and stay so during these times. The Süddeutsche Zeitung (left-liberal) headlined "Trump declares war on America."

https://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/trump-militaer-washington-floyd-1.4924335

When I look at the videos of the riots and the killing of George Floyd, I noticed some of the same underlying reasons for a badly escalating situation I mentioned in the reply to Ashley: Lack of Training and Experience, Lack of coordinated action and tactics (and even the lack of a coherent strategy), and an emotionally distressed, situationally confused and angry police corps.

One thing the police unions could take action for are higher standards in training, improving the quality and quantity of time spent in the academy. Weed out those who show signs of badappleness from the start on.

To build on the good cops to regulate the bad cops is, in my experience, a lazy and ineffectual approach to the situation. In reality, few supervisors want trouble in their ranks that could become a risk to their own jobs, and sometimes have skeletons in their closets, too. So they penalize those who talk, and rely on those who keep their mouths shut.

Larry Hart said...

Acacia H:

I mean, my flatmate is a huge supporter of the police and keeps insisting that outside agitators are instigating things with the police rather than elements inside the police themselves.


Do you mean instigating things with the police at the protest rallies? Or do you mean outside agitators caused incidents like the death of George Floyd to make the police look bad? I have to assume the first, because the second makes no sense, but only the second would let the police off the hook entirely.

Way back in college when most of my friends prided themselves on their liberal radicalism, I was more like your flatmate there. I supported the police over unruly mobs, and I argued with my sister-in-law (who didn't yet have that title) because she insisted that so many ills in this country were about racism, and I thought that was way too simple.

I know people are supposed to become more conservative as they age, especially suburban white male boomers. For whatever reason, I've gone the opposite way.

Ahcuah said...

I realize that the officer corps of the National Guard is somewhat different than for active military, but seeing what's going on makes me wonder about how much we really can trust them to disobey unlawful orders. Whether trained or not, when push comes to shove (and there's a lot of that going on ;-) ), it is just human nature to try not to stand out and be the lone officer disobeying.

That said, I have way more faith in that regard with the military officers than with the police officers.

The worst thing is, we may shortly be finding out just how professional the military officers are in this regard, as it looks like Trump will be calling them into domestic policing. Posse Comitatus? Trump'll just ignore it and say/think, so impeach me already! (We did.) And then it'll work its way through the Courts (wonder which way Roberts would turn on THAT issue?). But what will the military officers do?

We may find out.

Larry Hart said...

Acacia H:

He's still a very decent person otherwise, hates Trump with a passion, and wishes someone in the Secret Service would do the nation a favor and end the threat of Trump (calling them as akin to the "Praetorian Guard" of Rome).


The real Preatorian Guard is the treasonous Republican Party, who protects Trump from any legal recourse against his outrages.


When I point out that is a really bad idea as it would mean any Secret Service agent could choose, for the good of the nation, take out a president they disagree with, he agrees, but still wishes Trump was removed.


It has always been presumed that the system of checks and balances would protect the country from an official so out of control. Absent legal recourse, well, When In the Course Of Human Events...

Larry Hart said...

I know George Will was complicit until he wasn't, but the man does have a way with words:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/no-one-should-want-four-more-years-of-this-taste-of-ashes/2020/06/01/1a80ecf4-a425-11ea-bb20-ebf0921f3bbd_story.html

...
In life’s unforgiving arithmetic, we are the sum of our choices. Congressional Republicans have made theirs for more than 1,200 days. We cannot know all the measures necessary to restore the nation’s domestic health and international standing, but we know the first step: Senate Republicans must be routed, as condign punishment for their Vichyite collaboration, leaving the Republican remnant to wonder: Was it sensible to sacrifice dignity, such as it ever was, and to shed principles, if convictions so easily jettisoned could be dignified as principles, for . . . what? Praying people should pray, and all others should hope: May I never crave anything as much as these people crave membership in the world’s most risible deliberative body.
...

Larry Hart said...

Alfred Differ:

Driver's licenses and passports are historically used as proof-of-identification, but it would be unwise of us to continue this in the future. The person with my passport is not necessarily me. They have one of the factors that can be accepted as proof, but one factor should not be all that is required.


If you think that is an issue, then "Knowing my Social Security Number as proof of identification" is really a problem.

Larry Hart said...

Ashley:

I looked at the video, and from that alone all I could discern was that the police had no awareness they were doing something wrong.

Now, either one can assume they were acting with ill intent (malice) or they were incompetent. Without an inquiry to examine all the evidence I wouldn't want to take a position (innocent until proven guilty).


I don't think they were out to kill the guy, but I do think that they proceeded from the assumption that being as brutal as they wanted to a black suspect is "not doing something wrong." And maybe, that showing compassion or restraint would be a sign of weakness. Much the way politicians who want to appear "tough on crime" won't commute a death sentence, even when the evidence becomes clear that the convict didn't actually commit the crime.


However, if there is evidence of malice, then the full weight of the law should be brought to bear.


That's how it should work. However, I don't blame people who have had it demonstrated to them that the law is never brought to bear on their behalf who presume that the status quo will not change unless they force it to.


Now for those of your who find it hard to control your emotional responses to my opinions,


I would ask you to check your assumptions. For my part, I'm not reacting emotionally to your posts, though I am indeed reacting emotionally to the events which prompted them. I was refuting your position that an incident like the George Floyd killing was just an example of the difficulty involved in policing by mentioning (twice) that if that were true, we wouldn't see the proportions so heavily weighted against one particular race. A mathematical argument, not an emotional one. And as far as I know, you refuse to address it.


You have a choice to be offended. That's an answer I expect will offend many of you.


Disagreement and Socratic dialogue does not equal offense. At least, it doesn't have to.

Jon S. said...

You know, Doctor, I was willing to accept your statement that what you flush is often at best semi-literate and unworthy of discussion or our time. You didn't have to provide evidence. :-D

David Brin said...

Re George F. Will, see my latest Facebook Posting. https://www.facebook.com/thedavidbrin

By the way. again, you guys can get free chapters of THE ANCIENT ONES and leave amazon reviews!

http://www.davidbrin.com/ancientones.html

scidata said...

Re George F. Will

Ours is a complicated family. It spans the political spectrum, and the Can-Am border, with baseball sometimes the only commonality.

scidata (Mike Will)

gregory byshenk said...

Larry Hart said...
If you think that is an issue, then "Knowing my Social Security Number as proof of identification" is really a problem.

This is why it is very important not to elide the distinction between 'identification' and 'authentication'.

An SSN (or similar such things) is an excellent identifier. It is (or should be) guaranteed unique, with a one-to-one correspondence to an individual. But it is a terrible authenticator; having knowledge of some SSN does basically nothing to show that the person having that knowledge is the same person that the SSN belongs to.

In computer terms (I work in IT), an account or login is an 'identifier' for a user with some set of permissions. But one needs something else (password, fingerprint, face scan, cryptokey, whatever) to 'authenticate' the person who is attempting to connect. That is, to demonstrate that this person here actually is the person identified by the account.

 Ashley said...

Larry, you do know that not everything I say is directed at you? That part of my post about assumptions was directed at this post.

"Smurphs said... Ashley, I think you are trying to sound reasonable, but you give yourself away with this statement: [snip]"

To the German Nurse: Neither have I, but due to my position in the hierarchy heard and dealt with the fallout of this happening at a London hospital, about 20 years ago.

Finally, restraint as a systemic problem (it takes a minimum of three people working as a team to restrain someone safely) https://nypost.com/2020/06/01/minneapolis-cops-left-44-people-unconscious-with-neck-restraints/

matthew said...

Note the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs appeared in the Trump - Bible video dressed in his BDUs. If you are on service to either Congress or the White House, you wear your dress uniform, not your war uniform.

He made a choice to appear ready for war, rather than to show respect to the citizens.

Note that *after* his participation in gassing and shooting protestors (not looters), he issued a statement saying he did not know what was going to happen.

*But* he came dressed for a fight, not a discussion.

Tells you all you need to know about his character.

matthew said...

Here is another example of a white supremacist group posing as ANTIFA, trying to incite violence.

https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/security/twitter-takes-down-washington-protest-disinformation-bot-behavior-n1221456

In this case Identity Ev***pa (see the article for the full name, no need to bring them here), posed as supposed ANTIFA leadership to incite violence on Twitter. They are a hierarchical white nationalist organization linked closely to Russia.

What we are seeing is a classic op.
Destabilization of our nation. It is being done by foreign governments, lost-cause Confederate racists, and in this case, European-based white nationalist movements that train in Russia, supported by the Russian government.

If these are not red lines, then we've lost anyone that refuses to see.

Larry Hart said...

Ashley:

Larry, you do know that not everything I say is directed at you?


Well, I should hope not. :)

Point taken.

David Brin said...

Someone somewhere, I can't recall where, tried to assert that despite the vast, exponential proliferation of cameras in the world, UFOs could remain always the same level of fuzzy blurriness because... because camera quality has gone down. No comment necessary. Oh my.

Acacia H. said...

It's simple why UFOs are always blurry. They bought the Blurry Outline Upgrade before they went off to buzz us Earthlings! ;)

Acacia H.

A German Nurse said...

UFO Blurryness: What about being it a side or primary effect of a technology the UFOs use?

TCB said...

The FCC has approved a petition from Cumulus Media to permit more than 25% foreign ownership of US media, up to and including 100%.

Larry Hart said...

TCB:

The FCC has approved a petition from Cumulus Media to permit more than 25% foreign ownership of US media, up to and including 100%.


And somehow, the anti-furriner "America First" folks are all in favor.

matthew said...

The DEA has asked permission to violate its charter - to monitor and police *non drug related* crimes for the next 14 days. The DEA does not have wider criminal acts in their portfolio, before now. The War on Drugs is now a war on US Citizens protesting police misconduct.

Link to DEA memo (note that this is not independently confirmed by media outside of Buzzfeed).

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6935297-LEOPOLD-DEA-Memo-George-Floyd-Protests.html

Barr is the most dangerous man in US history.

matthew said...

Oh, and Elizabeth Warren, and husband, and Buddy, their dog, were at the DC protests today. Right in front of the residence from the pictures.

Showing Presidential moxie, though I suspect Biden will go with Harris as his VP pick after this week. I wanted Warren / Harris, but will be proud to support Biden / Harris if that is the choice I have.

Warren can be the new "Lion of the Senate." She'll be good in that role too.

David Brin said...

matthew and I don't always agree. But Biden-Harris looks good... and smart... and we gotta pray she chooses the upward path in all things, and leaves behind a somewhat worrisome aspect.

I would prefer Warren but she is needed where she is.

Please not Abrams. Oh please not for dozens of reasons. Be useful doing what you do.

duncan cairncross said...

And somehow, the anti-furriner "America First" folks are all in favor

That's because they are anti - POOR - furriners

Rich Furriners are another thing entirely

Acacia H. said...

So. The Puerto Ricans chose to ignore subtlety.

I think a very strong message was just sent. One that the so-called "nobles" of the "ruling party" need to keep in mind... and one that their uber-rich patrons also need to keep in mind.

The tumbrels are coming....

Acacia

TCB said...

The policeman is only as good as the laws he will enforce.

The soldier is only as good as the orders he will obey.

The government is only as good as its citizens command it to be.

The citizen is only as good as her conscience commands her to be.

Alfred Differ said...

Simple enough.

UFO's will remain blurry because non-blurry ones aren't 'unidentified' for long.

Selection effect.

Also, my camera is decent, but I can get blurry images from it easily. Move too fast, zoom in digitally instead of optically, etc.

It's a silly argument, though. Every time the Navy does something in the test range west of LA near sunset, millions of people notice and start taking pictures and videos. If geo-location info is available on those images, you can piece them together and figure out a whole lot of what's going on.

Alfred Differ said...

SSN won't be unique for a number of reasons... and it is too guessable. I don't like it as an identifier and it is insane to use it for auth. Those of us in IT will know what UUID's look like and I prefer those. Digital certs and min two factor auth should needed for anything above the price of a latte unless the customer and vendor establish a trust relationship... which can be documented on a block chain or something open enough to hold their digital signatures in a read-only format for all to see... and I mean all.

Details, details.

Everyone winds up with a few UUID's. All registered openly.
Everyone winds up with a few cert's. Public keys registered openly. (Obviously)
Certs are perishable.
UUID's can be retired along with relationships attached to them.

Phaedrusnailfile said...

Has anyone else here seen the Mike Luckovich editorial cartoon today. I am just curious if any other readers of Dr. Brin found this uproarious funny and painfully funny at the same time.

TCB said...

Got Christian friends? Show them this.

Could American Evangelicals Spot the Antichrist? Here Are the Biblical Predictions

... let's just say, the man US evangelicals support is a pretty good suspect. A better fit than anyone in my lifetime, in fact.

Phaedrusnailfile said...

If anyone is looking for a laugh on a day they are hard to come by i suggest Mike Luckovich's editoral cartoon. I cant seem to make my phone link to it correctly but it was pretty good.

matthew said...

Once more for those in the back row. "FBI finds no intel showing ANTIFA involvement in Sunday violence." https://www.thenation.com/article/activism/antifa-trump-fbi/


Don Gisselbeck said...

An object lesson for the predator class:
https://spartacus-educational.com/Peasants_Revolt.htm

TCB said...

Don Gisselbeck, that article you linked is tasty, but stay for dessert.

Youtube: Terry Jones | Medieval Lives | The Peasant

Acacia H. said...

TCB, I sent your link to my more religious Trumpist supporter for giggles. Then I added "You know what they say. You can take any horoscope prediction and find it to be fact if you stretch things enough. So too with the Bible's predictions." After all, I'm the godless heathen who's destined to hell, so if I'm saying this is silliness and nonsense, he's going to pause for a moment and have to consider how to respond. ;) After all, if he agrees this is nonsense then he's agreeing with the heathen but if he says it might have merit then he's turning against Trump... ;)

For me, it's a win-win situation. But I freely admit to being evil.

Acacia H. who does believe anyone can twist ancient words and apply them to any time period if they try hard enough

David Brin said...

Acacia... you... actually. .. get it! About how to confront them.

Acacia H. said...

You give me far more credit than I deserve. What I did was a moment of whimsy, not an understanding of what you have been saying. This moment was due to his being both very religious and a casual Trumpist. If I were looking at my former best friend who cut off all contact with me, well, he's not religious and in fact is quite dismissive of religion due to his ex-wife. So that type of mind game would fall on deaf ears in that case.

Acacia H.

Tony Fisk said...

Ah, poll taxes! What did for Margaret Thatcher.

Tim H. said...

I heard something interesting, though third hand at best, about pallets of bricks pre-placed for the convenience of looters/agents provocateur, anyone else hear such stories?
Why haven't we heard more from The Treasury, who might've wished to have words with a living George Floyd about where that questionable banknote came from?

matthew said...

I saw video this morning of Boston Police officers unloading bricks from their pickup into an ally close to their precinct. Here is an article on the event. Police spokesman says the police were cleaning the bricks up.

https://www.boston.com/news/local-news/2020/06/02/northeastern-police-bricks-truck-video

Video has millions of views on social media. Explanation seems plausible to me, but not exculpatory.

Acacia H. said...

There are videos of a pair of police officers getting out of a police truck and pulling out bricks from the back and a couple people recording from a window far far above. It purports to be from Boston but the account that posted the video was a Jesus-loving MAGAite whose account has spewed hate fairly often. On the one hand, why would police be involved in that sort of thing, but on the other hand why would someone who is a diehard Trumpist be posting a video of that, especially when he's out of I think Maryland rather than Boston where the video was said to be taken?

That said, I've seen multiple accounts about pallets of bricks lying unattended. I've also seen videos showing police smashing their own vehicles which they later claim were damaged by rioters. I've seen videos of police taking the knee and as protesters get close to join them then hitting them with tear gas. I've seen videos of police smashing windows (though the video didn't show them starting to start smashing windows so they might have been eliminating the rest of the glass so no one gets badly hurt for all I know).

The police are not looking good by any stretch of the imagination. They are increasingly looking monstrous on a wide scale. How much of this is due to people crafting a tale to increase hate of the police and encourage rioting, and how much due to police malfeasance I cannot say. But it doesn't look good for the police.

Acacia H.

P.S. - Having seen videos of police officers opening doors to smack protesters on the street and running into demonstrators, I do say one thing I liked was a recommendation from one person - take all those bricks and build small bumps throughout the roads so that vehicles can't go very fast without a very rough ride. If someone were demonstrating and finding bricks everywhere, putting them into the street itself to act as speed bumps may in fact be a good idea rather than throwing them at the police. Though it won't stop tracked vehicles....

A.F. Rey said...

Phaedrusnailfile, is this the comic you meant?

https://www.gocomics.com/mikeluckovich/2020/06/03

Larry Hart said...

Acacia H:

The police are not looking good by any stretch of the imagination. They are increasingly looking monstrous on a wide scale. How much of this is due to people crafting a tale to increase hate of the police and encourage rioting, and how much due to police malfeasance I cannot say.


I wonder how much is due to Trump's encouragement of bad acting by police and military personnel.

Jon S. said...

I've also seen videos from protesters pointing out pallets of bricks in areas with no ongoing construction, and deriding the people who thought they'd be stupid enough to touch those piles. Suppose it'll all sort itself out in the wash, assuming we can keep the Usual Suspects from applying too much bleach to the wash...

Jon S. said...

"I've also seen videos showing police smashing their own vehicles which they later claim were damaged by rioters."

My personal favorite was the one from Los Angeles, where the "police car" on fire was a Ford Crown Victoria. Ford stopped making Crown Vics in 2012, and the last one the LAPD owned was retired from service in 2018.

Larry Hart said...

Hope from an unlikely commentator...

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/02/opinion/trump-george-floyd-america.html

...

Help is not on the way from this White House or this G.O.P., but the country is full of problem-solvers. We need to ignore Trump as much as possible; he’s made himself part of the problem. But we can connect, elevate, amplify and empower the business leaders, social entrepreneurs and local leaders who are rising and ready to be the solution.

Larry Hart said...

Video of DC police indistinguishable from Krystalnacht.

https://www.nytimes.com/video/opinion/100000007171122/protests-constitutional-rights.html

Merely the difficulty involved in policing?

Outrageous to draw comparisons to fascists and Nazis?

I think not.

Larry Hart said...

Almost finished binge-watching Gotham--a reimagining of the backstory of a young Bruce Wayne/Batman.

Looks like the series climax is about to resemble that of The Uplift War.

Phaedrusnailfile said...

A.F. Rey thanks for posting that, that was the one, I hope it gave you a chuckle. My comment was I thought he was going for reelection or kingship, but heck no thinking like that is for wimps. He's going for the big brass ring.

Darrell E said...

The Minneapolis Attorney General has said he will pursue a Murder 2 charge against Chauvin. The other officers involved will all be charged with aiding and abetting, the exact charges I don't know.

For Murder 2 the state will need to prove either intent or that Chauvin killed Floyd while committing or attempting to commit a felony (609.19 Murder In The Second Degree, Subdivision 2 Unintentional Murders, item 1).

I think it unlikely that they would be able to prove intent to kill, but I think Subd 2 item 1 is fitting and more likely to be pursued. In that case intent then becomes merely the general criminal intent required for conviction of crimes in general. This type of intent is usually considered fulfilled if the defendant can be shown to have been generally aware that they were very likely committing a crime.

I think it is highly plausible that all of the officers involved in Floyd's death were aware that they were breaking the rules. I personally have no doubt at all about that. At least one of them exhibited anxiety and doubt as the minutes kept rolling by. It is completely implausible to me that Chauvin was unaware that he was breaking the law. That he was habituated to doing so because he routinely got away with it isn’t the same as not being aware of it.

But then again, I ain’t a legal expert. My view is unlikely to be shared by the entire jury. To me murder 2 per subd. 2 item 1 seems like a pretty precise fit for this crime based on the evidence I’ve seen, primarily the videos.

A German Nurse said...

@Larry Hart: I wouldn't compare it to the November Progromes, but to earlier phases of unrest in the Weimar republic, namely the Blutmai.

It's horrible to watch nonetheless.

A German Nurse said...

"Why haven't we heard more from The Treasury, who might've wished to have words with a living George Floyd about where that questionable banknote came from?"

What if we never heard about this banknote again?
Or if it never was a forgery in the first place?

Acacia H. said...

Further, possession of a "questionable" banknote is not the same as having created a questionable banknote. It is quite easy for someone to be passed an illicit $20 or $50 from a store that didn't run a proper check on the higher denomination bill. Or he could have had someone give him the bill to pay a debt.

(Or the "questionable banknote" was one of those scree $20s that some people leave instead of tips and talk about how worship of God is the true path to wealth... and let me tell you, waitstaff absolutely love getting those instead of proper tips because when someone leaves that fake note, it's a cheap way to get out of tipping and hey, they can absolutely pay their landlord or grocery bill with a fake $20 that states true wealth is through worship of God. People get away with that because so long as they paid their bill with regular cash, the scree $20 just means the voluntary tip given to people who are underpaid and make their living on tips are the ones being screwed, not business owners. But that's neither here nor there.)

In any event, possessing a "questionable banknote" is not in fact the crime. Distributing it is. And if you find yourself having been given a counterfeit bill, you can easily turn it into the police or feds and get questioned for some time before they thank you for your service, keep the fake banknote, and send you on your way, poorer the counterfeit bill. Justice at work there.

Acacia H.

Larry Hart said...

A German Nurse:

I wouldn't compare it to the November Progromes,...


Kind of off-topic, and I'm not sure how this sounds to European ears, but of course you know of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 which have become known as "Nine-eleven".

Using the European convention for dates instead of the American, "Nine-eleven" is November 9th. Krystalnacht.

What's the significance? As Dave Sim puts it, "What's the significance to you?"


It's horrible to watch nonetheless.


Even more so because, apologies for the arrogance, we Americans associate images like that with brutal foreign regimes. We take seriously the slogan that the police here in America are here "to serve and protect." Seeing them act as stormtroopers is...disconcerting.

The irony does not escape me that Germany and Japan are now among the defenders of democracy, which is threatened by the United States and Britain (and Russia, for that matter). As the song from Hamilton has it, "The world turned upside down."

Larry Hart said...

Darrell E:

For Murder 2 the state will need to prove either intent or that Chauvin killed Floyd while committing or attempting to commit a felony


In the tortured logic which recently held that a teenager was guilty of "felony-murder" because his buddy was shot by the owner of a car they were attempting to steal, and so the death happened because of the commission of a felony...

So too should the Minneapolis cop be liable for felony-murder. A crime was committed, and as a result, someone ended up dead. If that's good enough to convict a citizen who didn't actually pull the trigger on anyone, it should be good enough for the cop who did in fact cause the death.

I realize that is not the intent of the felony-murder statute, but neither is the case I described.

Larry Hart said...

Acacia H:

And if you find yourself having been given a counterfeit bill, you can easily turn it into the police or feds and get questioned for some time before they thank you for your service, keep the fake banknote, and send you on your way, poorer the counterfeit bill. Justice at work there.


As unfair as that situation sounds, I can't think of any way around it. Society can't be in the business of taking counterfeit bills in exchange for real ones. That would make it way to easy for anyone to cash in--to the point where even law-abiding citizens would be sorely tempted.

David Brin said...

You guys are lively!

But onward

onward

Don Gisselbeck said...

That is too depressing right now.