Link Roundup, 7/8/2016

From The New York Times: June hiring surge continues long streak of growth.

From The Verge: While Google steals the headlines, Microsoft is quietly betting on AI.

From the NSIDC: New record low for June Arctic Sea Ice.

From Vanity Fair: Is it real or is it just the latest clickbait fad? The “sugar daddy” thing is getting a lot of attention lately.

From Gradient: Dr. O. Alan Noble penned a moving reflection on sports, celebrity, and community, inspired by Kevin Durant’s departure from Oklahoma City.

From the archives: As we mourn more senseless death, a reminder of why ‘Black Lives Matter’ even while we grieve lost officers.

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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97 comments on “Link Roundup, 7/8/2016
  1. 1mime says:

    Before I leave this post behind, I wanted to link the “Sugar Daddy” article to a subject which we have not discussed – allegations of improper sexual comments and advances by Roger Ailes with FOX News. There is a concerted effort by Fox to deny and silence others who are coming forward, but come they are. We shall see if Fox is as good at hiding their own dirty laundry as they are at exposing “others”.

  2. rulezero says:

    Today has been pretty rough. My wife has cried throughout the day because she thinks that I’m not going to come home to her. My children begged me not to work today. But, somebody has to be here.

    We’ve had incidents of trouble today. An officer in Roswell, very near to where I work, was shot at from a moving vehicle while driving down the road. An officer near Valdosta was set up and ambushed with a phony assistance call. A suspect in Tennessee was shooting at vehicles on a highway and exchanged fire with deputies. An officer in St Louis County was shot on a traffic stop.

    As far as deescalation techniques, I’m in agreement. Problem is, these are not taught in basic police academies in Georgia. These are post-academy classes. I’ve taken both. Verbal judo is a 16-hour course. I just finished a 40-hour course for crisis intervention (dealing with mentally ill folks).

    As for body cameras, I’ll repeat what I’ve previously said. If you want body cameras, that’s fine. I and most officers that I know would be fine with them. The problem is the cost. The initial cost for a camera isn’t too terrible. It’s the storage that mucks everything up.

    You have to buy a server for storage. Then you have to buy a back-up server in case the first malfunctions. A normal shift, just for my little department, has 5 different officers on duty who all work 12-hour shifts. There are two shifts in 24 hours. So, you have a minimum of 10 officers in a 24 hour period. That’s 120 hours of video and audio in a day. Multiply that by 7, and you get 840 hours in a week. That’s terabytes of audio and video. Then you have to figure out how long you want to keep it. Too long and you run out of space. Too little and you get accused of trying to hide or destroy evidence.

    I work in an upper middle class to upper city where the average household income is around 100,000 dollars. Now imagine that you’re in south Georgia where the average wage is 9 dollars an hour for officers and you tell the sheriff that he or she has to buy cameras and maintain two servers permanently. You’re going to have to either increase taxes or the Feds are going to have to be very generous with assistance grants to rural agencies. Either way, someone’s taxes are going to go up.

    That’s all I got. I’m too emotionally exhausted to comment further. I’m just going to try and make it through this weekend without Atlanta exploding.

    Stay safe.

    • Bobo Amerigo says:


      I hear you about video storage, etc. Every issue you noted about video capture and storage is solvable with dollars but getting dollars for public service can be very difficult.

      Have any thoughts about combining some number of individual jurisdictions so that resources can be better shared?

      Hope you got some rest.

    • rightonrush says:

      You be safe out there rz.

    • flypusher says:

      I’m very sorry that you guys have to deal with these copy cat crazies, like RoR said, stay safe! As for the storage issues, if we the people want it, then we the people should pay for it. That’s something I don’t mind my tax dollars supporting.

    • MassDem says:

      I am sorry for all of the stress that you and your family are under right now. If this helps, please remember that most people have a positive view of the police, and appreciate their service. At least that has been my experience.

      It doesn’t help that the loudest voices in the media are promoting an us vs them mentality, and the voices of reason (supporting BLM in no way means conding violence against police officers) are getting drowned out.

      My personal opinion is that if resources are limited, than the money is better spent on providing courses on deescalation techniques rather than body cameras–in the long run, that would make more of a difference to promote positive police/community relations.

      Also, $9 an hour for a police officer is a travesty, and in no way compensates for what the job entails.

    • 1mime says:

      This has been an especially difficult time for police officers and their families. I hope there is no more violence because that is not a solution and only causes more hurt and anger. It’s futile.

      Just as your family worries, Black wives worry every time their husband and sons go anywhere….for anything. And, they have reason to worry. We have to get to a place in America where race doesn’t divide us, but, IMO, it is going to require more change from the white community than from members of the black community.

      I hope you will have time to read the story about how Police Chief Brown in Dallas, TX implemented change in his division. His initiatives can be implemented in all police divisions if there is a desire. Yet, a lone gun man took lives of his officers (and others), despite the good relationship between police and the Dallas community. Sadly , as we have witnessed too many times, this happens. How did this man acquire so many guns and related equipment legally and without gaining notice? I hope these questions are asked.

      As for body cameras. President Obama has an initiative in which $23 million dollars was allocated through grants to enable police divisions to purchase body cameras. It is “seed capital” and was not intended to replace local and state financial commitments….But, those dollars haven’t always achieved a matching commitment at the local level. States and local communities tax for every reason under the sun. If they really wanted to implement body cameras, they could sell it in a referendum. It is a far more worthy tax than most we pay.

      Here’s the detail on O’s initiative. Stay safe and try to help your fellow officers better understand the other side of this terrible racial situation.

      • MassDem says:

        I see the appeal of body cameras, but I also see them as a mixed blessing, presenting additional problems of what footage should be released to the public, loss of footage due to technical difficulties and not being able to capture decent video in some situations, and privacy issues. Note that both of the officers in Baton Rouge were wearing body cameras which did not record the shooting because they were dislodged during the struggle according to the BRPD. A body camera would have been very useful in the MN shooting. Here’s a good summary of pros and cons:

        I still maintain that police departments like Dallas and Boston that work hard at fostering good relations with the public whether they have body cameras or not (BPD is getting 100 body cameras in a pilot program) are going to have fewer problems overall. Body cameras strike me as one of those politically popular easy solutions that don’t turn out to be the panacea promised.

        Of course, no one today is safe from a maniac gunman. How many of these problems are due to our society being awash in guns–makes an officer’s job much more difficult physically and psychologically I would think.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        Is it really that difficult of a thing though?

        Why couldn’t we just have it so that all body cameras footage are automatically withheld from the public initially. And all of it is available to anyone provided they make a proper FOIA request, specifically detailing the date, time, and officers camera. None of these requests can be denied by police.

        Seems that would make the system fairly efficient. Do you or I have the right to view the 30 minutes of Officer Joe’s Monday afternoon when nothing of note happened? Yes. But are we going to go to the trouble of properly filing a FOIA request? Probably not

        By making all footage initially not public, while at the same time not giving police departments the right to refuse any valid FOIA request, what you’d almost certainly see is that the vast majority of cases that someone takes the time to making a proper FOIA request are cases where there is a public benefit to releasing that particar footage.

        You could even make FOIA requests a little more difficult, or even restrict their use to media groups, civil rights groups, NGO’s etc.

      • 1mime says:

        That works beautifully with responsible police and police departments. Not all are.

        As a matter of fact, the organization (Stop the Killing) that first filmed the Baton Rouge arrest and shooting of Alton Sperling delayed release of their video to allow the Baton Rouge Police Department to report it out first. “After police did not immediately release any footage of the shooting, Reed and his team uploaded the video to FaceBook and Instagram at about 5 p.m. Tuesday.”

        Stop the Killing has an interesting back story. This organization developed out of a frustration and need to independently report video of police/black encounters. They endeavor to: (1) have independent video records;, and, (2) ensure that the public sees unfiltered encounters between members of the black community and police. Their efforts have spawned broader participation from bystanders to video encounters which has ratcheted up public attention to the problems experienced by black people and police.

        Although video can never tell all the story, it can remove filters of negative police behavior that the public has not seen previously.

        I do agree there is a cost and a management of data challenge, but there is also a cost of death and full disclosure. Training is of paramount importance as are video tools.

        Of course, as the Brookings Institute article pointed out, we as a nation need to address the fundamental problems that are generating crime and violence. Do that and police can focus more on prevention than intervention.

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      “Today has been pretty rough. My wife has cried throughout the day because she thinks that I’m not going to come home to her. My children begged me not to work today.”

      First, I’d like to say there is a serious problem with police brutality that needs to addressed, but being a cop is a necessary and dangerous job, and so thank you for your service.

      With that said, what your wife and kids are feeling is what black people all throughout the country feel everyday, when their kid goes to school or their husband goes to work and theyre not sure if a broken tail light is going to get them murdered. Your families concern is justified and valid, and it deserves to be addressed. But so do the same concerns that black families have, and they’ve been doing it their whole lives.

      • 1mime says:

        The Brookings Institute (The Crisis in American Policing) offers these insights:

        New book on policing: “Handcuffed: What Holds Policing Back, and the Keys to Reform.” (Malcom Sparrow)

        Black Lives Matter has called the nation’s attention to these kind of violent police encounters, but there’s another side to the movement that the media isn’t talking about: the disadvantages poor black Americans face in their neighborhoods every day, including higher rates of violent crime.

        These issues are especially stark than in Baltimore. Here’s how residents describe it:

    • WX Wall says:


      I pray that you stay safe, and I appreciate that you’re willing to perform your vital service even during trying times like this. Your service likely won’t make the front page news, but we all appreciate it every day.

      Personally, one of my biggest shocks has been the willingness of cops to cover for their colleagues. Over the years, we’ve seen numerous incidents of officers in the scene blatantly lying in their reports. I can understand and even forgive an officer feeling threatened and in the heat of the moment shooting someone who in hindsight was innocent. It’s much harder to forgive a fellow officer who, after the chaos of the moment passes, makes a cold, rational decision to falsify a report and prevent an investigation.
      This professional silence isn’t limited to police, of course, but it’s just dawning on the rest of us how extensive it might actually be.

      Also, video recording isn’t as expensive as you imply. The vast majority of an officers shift isn’t spent apprehending criminals. Furthermore, it would be easy to initially limit saving video only to stops that result in shots fired or arrest so made. For now, the rest can be discarded. Bottomline is it’s a viable option.

    • vikinghou says:

      A while ago the NYT published an interactive video quiz asking readers to decide whether encounters recorded on a body camera depicted threatening situations or not. Things are not always what they may seem to be.

  3. vikinghou says:

    With regard to the “sugar daddy” article, we all know this sort of thing is as old as the hills. My favorite cinematic example is in Truman Capote’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” in which George Peppard is kept by cougar Patricia Neal. This scene is a classic. Enjoy.

    • 1mime says:

      What bothers me about the Sugar Daddy article is the motivation behind the very young women who take this road. Sex for money is old news, but sex for money to pay for student loans? That’s sad….Of course, equally sad are those young women who want the money for luxury items….like these “things” will bring them happiness. Makes our kids’ paper routes look positively barbaric in comparison (-; Their parents must have been reeely mean! (Note – all appear to have survived and thrived….)

      • Griffin says:

        “Of course, equally sad are those young women who want the money for luxury items”

        Most of the planet does their job hoping they can buy luxury items (or at least eventually buy them) I don’t see any reason to single out these girls (and guys) in particular.

      • 1mime says:

        I don’t disparage commerce, but it’s kind of sad that they’re turning tricks to buy Coach purses.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        Yeah. Coach purses are ugly.

    • 1mime says:

      That was classic. Patricia Neal was one of the greats….even in her recovery from her cerebral hemorrhage. Great movie.

      • 1mime says:

        BTW, Just finished the biography of Harper Lee, Mockingbird (by Charles Shields) which was nicely done although with a little too much detail about her deep and long friendship with Truman Capote. I’m now reading her recently “discovered/recovered” prequel to “To Kill a Mockingbird”, and I am really enjoying it – “Go Set a Watchman”. It tells the story of the Finch family 20 years following the famous trial where her father, Atticus, defended the young Black man of raping a white woman in a deep southern town. It was, however, written in the 50s and never published. Lee was a most interesting, unusual woman. Much more humorous dialogue in Watchman.

  4. duncancairncross says:

    The US Cop problem
    It is not entirely about guns
    Your cops are by UK (and NZ) standards underpaid and undertrained

    Cops in the UK get a LOT more training
    A lot of them have degrees and the pay is about the same as a graduate engineer

    The USA needs to invest a lot more money in paying and training the police

    • 1mime says:

      And teachers, who are children’s best chance to grow up to be policemen/women or engineers…….America invests in tax cuts rather than those basic areas that would make our country even stronger and more Americans would be able to participate and contribute.

  5. 1mime says:

    OT – Houston Chronicle today reports 3 confirmed cases of ZIKA in Houston….meanwhile, Congress has not been able to reach agreement for how to pay for the research etc….Guess they think they’re safe all the way up there in D.C. ….

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      Zeka is a conundrum for Repugs. Turns out, it can be sexually transmitted and it can cause severe birth defects.

      So you got your birth control issue and potential abortion issue.

      What’s a Repug to do but declaim “Liberty!” and turn his back.

  6. Rob Ambrose says:

    Wow, maybe it sounds like some conservatives are finally starting to get it.

    Guess who said this today:

    “It took me a long time, and a number of people talking to me through the years to get a sense of this. If you are a normal, white American, the truth is you don’t understand being black in America and you instinctively under-estimate the level of discrimination and the level of additional risk.”

    Hint: he’s appropriately named after a reptilian like amphibian

  7. Shiro17 says:

    On a (strangely) lighter and happier note, I strongly urge everyone to check out the highlights from FBI Director Comey’s testimony today from the House hearing. Bringing in an eloquent and well-respected member of your own party to brutally shoot down all your talking points is certainly an . . . unorthodox political strategy, I’ll give them that.

  8. flypusher says:

    And now I give you a textbook example of how NOT to respond to a tragic, violent incident:

    It’s pretty much guaranteed that anyone who prattles about “Real Americans” is spewing toxic derp and is a big part of the problem.

  9. tuttabellamia says:

    A major problem is the lack of trust between the Black community and the police. Even when both sides try to make things go smoothly, this lack of trust keeps getting in the way, because both sides, deep down, continue to be on the defensive.

    In the case of Sandra Bland, the lady in Texas stopped for a minor traffic violation, the officer seemed reasonable at first but she was on the defensive, got an attitude, and from there things escalated.

    In the recent case of the gentleman in Minnesota, when stopped by the officer, he very politely notified the officer that he had a CHL and was armed, as required by law that he notify the officer, and when he reached for his license, the officer, who I guess was also on the defensive and expected trouble, started shooting.

    I don’t know if we will ever reach a stage where the 2 communities can trust each other enough. Too much baggage. Maybe with time.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      My boyfriend, who is White but rather scraggly-looking, has been stopped a couple of times for minor traffic violations when I’ve been in the passenger’s seat, and when he notifies the officer that he is armed and has a CHL, I notice a change in body language in the officer. He suddenly becomes more alert. A very slight change, not very noticeable, but I do sense it.

      By law you have to notify an officer who stops you that you’re a CHL holder and that you’re armed, but I can see how the words, “Sir, I just need to let you know that I am currently armed” could be interpreted as a threat for a split second.

    • 1mime says:

      Boy, Tutta, do we view the Sandra Bland incident differently. The officer made a u-turn on a mostly empty highway and followed her and pulled her over for? Failing to use her signal at least 100 feet before she pulled off the road when he started following her!!! She was not speeding, had no broken tail light….It might not have been smart for her to be indignant and defensive because she was Black and the officer was white, but, dammit, I would have probably responded the same way. Things escalated from there. Here was an educated black woman not doing anything wrong in her vehicle who was stopped for driving while being black.

      Sorry, but this one is very raw for me. Sandra Bland should be teaching kids today, not resting six feet under. And that policeman should have been fired for harassment.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Mime: Would you really have responded the same way? I can be short-tempered, and I will occasionally snap at service people who provide REALLY bad service, but I wouldn’t dare say anything rude to an officer, even if I felt I was being harassed. I would have made note of it and then reported him to his superiors.

        I was once stopped outside a department store by a security guard who thought I was shoplifting, but I kept calm, explained my situation, and he released me.

        I’ve also received extra scrutiny and was followed around at a couple of antique stores by the shop owners, and I just put the stuff I was planning to buy on the counter, walked out, and never went back.

        It may have happened because I’m Hispanic, but I still try to keep my cool.

      • 1mime says:

        No, I would have been measured because I respect law enforcement, but I would also know that I wouldn’t be arrested or shot when I reached in my purse for my drivers license. But would I have had a conversation with the officer under the same circumstances? You bet. And would I have had a conversation with his boss? You bet. And would I have had a conversation with whoever would listen to me? Yes mam. You see, I would be accorded this opportunity. Black people routinely aren’t. They have no access or recourse under the law unless they can afford an attorney. Further, I would never be pulled over like Sandra Bland was, and definitely for something as innocuous as “failing to put her blinker on within 100′ of pulling over”?! Still, being black, she was required to conduct herself to a higher standard of conduct. If she had, she’d probably still be alive today, so there is that lesson, but the circumstances still reek of bigotry and harassment and at some point, people just can’t take it anymore. I doubt she ever thought her conduct would cost her her life.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Not all minority experiences are the same, so I don’t claim to have a shared experience with Ms. Bland. Blacks may receive more scrutiny than Hispanics, men more than women, young more than old, so I can’t really speak for all minorities, and I can’t say for certain that I was targeted because I’m Hispanic.

        As an individual, I know that certain behavior is unwise, and I try my best not to engage in unwise behavior.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Mime, the main difference between you and me has nothing to do with ethnicity. We simply have different personalities. You have strong opinions and are an advocate for change. I’m more reserved and tend to keep a low profile. I don’t accept being treated shabbily, but I respond to it in a different way, not because I’m a minority, but because that’s my personality. I have never felt that I have no voice because I’m Hispanic.

      • 1mime says:

        Tutta, You are a gentle soul and I am a strong willed woman. Respectful disagreement/protest is legitimate but it should never result in threatening behavior from either party. Education has a lot to do with one’s ability to articulate and navigate difficult situations as does confidence and personality style. Unfortunately, race also matters. I learned valuable communication skills when I was dealing with parents during my years of service on a school board. (1) Hear them out. Listen and allow them to state their issue, vent, and when the calm down, (2) restate their concern as you understand it for confirmation. THEN, and only then will the other party be open to discussing the problem, listen to you, and to problem solve….I’ll be the first to admit that this is harder to accomplish when provoked by ugly, stupid people, and I am sure police deal with this a lot.

        Rob’s comment nails it. Attitude makes it harder for law enforcement to deal with the people they stop, but professionals should be able to defuse the situation. Sandra Bland was within her rights to smoke her cigarette within her car, yet the officer was offended that she wouldn’t put it out when ordered. He was the one then with the attitude but he also had the badge, a taser, and a gun which he threatened to use…There were so many poor decisions in that scenario that I can’t revisit. My opinion is that the officer caused the problems and contributed to Bland’s death. Maybe he can live with that. I couldn’t. Respectful behavior should be the norm in all situations, but it needs to be reciprocal. That’s where things can get dicey. Bad police officers are out there doing bad things and their peers need to speak up and get them removed. They are a discredit to all the fine officers who risk their lives every day for us.

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      “In the case of Sandra Bland, the lady in Texas stopped for a minor traffic violation, the officer seemed reasonable at first but she was on the defensive, got an attitude, and from there things escalated.”

      This goes to training. Cops need to be properly trained, and a big part of that is to reinforce the fact that cops are civil servants. “Having an attitude” is not a crime, and cops need to be trained to be the bigger person in these situations.

      Can a cop make a routine stop a bigger pain in the ass then it needs to be if the person is a rude jerk? Sure. That’s what I would do. But cops need to be thoroughly trained in the concept that no, they are not allowed to treat ppl like criminals for being rude. They are not allowed to arrest people for personal sleights. They are not entitled to any respect of deference OUTSIDE of any lawful commands they may give (I.e. “can I see your license/registration). They must earn it like every other person.

      Now, with that said, the few times I’ve been pulled over (which were all legitimate speeding offenses), I’ve always acted in polite and respectful terms. But I resent the implication that if I don’t pay this person the respect they think they deserve, I might end up in jail despite committing no crime.

      In Blands case, she refused to put out her cigarette. As long as smoking inside ones car is legal, that cop needs to be professional and understand his limitations under the law. He can ask. But ifbshe says ” no, worry about your job, not me” then he at that point needs to drop it. Demanding she put out her cigarette is not a lawful command, and any escalation that results from that is on him, not her.

      Would I say someone who said “fuck off, I’ll smoke if I want” is a rude PoS? Sure. Without doubt. But, thank goodness being a rude PoS is not a crime. Cops job is to enforce laws, not their own egos.

      • flypusher says:

        The stupid power trip over the cigarette, that’s where it went off the rails. That’s something that needs to be in all the policy academy classes on how you should (or should not) deal with the public. If you have thin skin, being a cop is not for you (or being President).

        I read some astonishingly lame excuses for that order and why it was allegedly legit. Some people were claiming she could have used that lit cigarette as a weapon. Seriously.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Had it been me, I would have stopped whatever I happened to be doing (put out my cigarette, turned off the car radio, put away my phone, stopped chatting with my passenger, etc) and given the officer my full attention. I consider that the respectful thing to do.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        cops need to be trained to be the bigger person in these situations.

        There’s another nugget in what you posted: successful de-escalation of even mundane traffic stops should be recognized as a very high level of professional skill.

        By recognized I mean rewarded by supervisors in the same way hero cops are rewarded when they rescue a child or stop a bank robber.

        Is there a bonus? How about an award ceremony? Media press release?

        Maybe that’s another use for cameras: the documentation of high level policing skills that result in absolutely no problem.

        Don’t consign those videos some dusty server somewhere. Get an experienced cop and a trainee to review them and make sure correct actions are noted and recognized.

      • 1mime says:

        Exactly, BoBo. Video should be used for reward of good techniques, for training, and for verification during an altercation. A few “atta boys/girls” never hurt anyone’s feelings.

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        Tutt…you would have done those things, and I likely would have done those things, but NOT doing those things shouldn’t result in a death sentence.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        HT, you say Ms. Bland’s behavior resulted in a death sentence, and Mime said it cost her her life, but didn’t she take her own life, or are you sure that she was killed? From what I read, I got the impression Ms. Bland was already under a lot of pressure, perhaps under the influence of a controlled substance, so she was high-strung, and being stopped by the police was the last straw for her, so she just snapped and she reacted the way she did, and afterward she made the decision to end it all.

      • 1mime says:

        Ms. Bland took her own life. Imagine how the events of her arrest, being thrown to the ground, missing her chance at a new job and a positive new life impacted her state of mind. She was not in possession of any narcotics at the time of the arrest that has been reported, nor would she have had any access to them in jail. State of mind and the trauma of the set of events that landed her in jail contributed hugely to her sense of desperation and futility. Having done some work with suicidal persons and having worked with grieving loved ones in the aftermath of a suicide of someone they were close to, people who are fragile can snap.

        To the extent that the officer used so many inappropriate actions (which i will not repeat), that she was jailed and family could not come up with bail money timely, that she was fearful that her job would be lost – that is why I feel the actions of the officer contributed to her death.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        “Had it been me, I would have stopped whatever I happened to be doing (put out my cigarette, turned off the car radio, put away my phone, stopped chatting with my passenger, etc) and given the officer my full attention. I consider that the respectful thing to do.”

        Sure Tutta, as would I. As would most people. That’s not the point.

        The point is, the cop has no legal right to demand it, and Bland has no legal obligation to be polite.

        And any suggestion that cops have the right to enforce “politeness” should be aggresively resisted by anybody who believes there should be limits to state power.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Tutt wrote: “From what I read, I got the impression Ms. Bland was already under a lot of pressure, perhaps under the influence of a controlled substance, so she was high-strung, and being stopped by the police was the last straw for her, so she just snapped and she reacted the way she did, and afterward she made the decision to end it all.”

        I don’t know maybe she took the season ending of Game of Thrones a little too hard. The fact is is that she was incarcerated for a frivolous reason and she died in custody. None of your excuses change the fact that the police officer overreacted to her cigarette. Now she is dead, the officer is walking the streets, and far too many people continue to blame the victim.

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        Tutt…I was specifically referencing Bland, but I might suggest that were she not in a jail cell, arrested for a stupid, stupid reason, she might not have killed herself.

        As for the broader issue, while it probably isn’t a wise thing to do, you should be able to yell at, scream at, cuss at, and verbally threaten a cop without getting shot.

      • 1mime says:

        …..regardless of the color of your skin…..

      • tuttabellamia says:

        No need for sarcasm, Turtles. I’ve had my own experiences with suicidal situations, and I know it makes a person fragile and anything can make a person with that state of mind snap, and no, I am not blaming the victim, but I don’t think we should do the opposite either and blame the officer for her death. I think there were many factors that contributed to her decision to take her own life, and this was just the last straw for her.

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        But Tutt…that last straw was unnecessary and just simple bullying by a White dude with a badge who got pissed because a Black woman didn’t show him the respect he feels he should get.

        For most people suicidal ideation is a pretty fleeting thought process, but the cop bullied her, arrested her for no real reason, and put her in a cell. So, he added a whole lot of completely unnecessary stressors to a woman already in a difficult place, and then he tossed her in a cell to think about it for a few days. She had none of her normal support system and was placed in a highly stressful situation FOR NO REASON.

        So, yeah, I do think there was some blame for the officer here.

  10. 1mime says:

    Regarding the terrific June jobs report, combine this with a 51% positive rating for President Obama and this is great news for Democrats heading into the November election.

  11. flypusher says:

    This Vox article makes a good point about why Dallas is extra tragic:

    I do not advocate violence against ever a very corrupt police dept, but the fact the DPD has been an example of what to do makes for extra sadness. However, I expect that they with handle this awful incident the right way.

    • 1mime says:

      Television coverage is accomplishing a great deal in that regard, Fly. As is so often the case, members of the Black community are stepping up.

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      The fact that DPD is one of the good ones underscores the need for Congress to act and make any reforms national. DPD can do everything right, and yet if the mentally ill perp who is inspired by national patterns of violence lives in Dallas, it’s Dallas cops that are going to suffer. Thw same goes for anywhere.

      It’s not like a mentally ill lone wolf like this shooter is going to travel to Baton Rouge or Minnesota to act out. Police brutality has negative externalities that make all cops everywhere less safe. Hopefully, this concept takes hold and the Thin Blue Line that protects those that don’t deserve to be protected starts to crumble.

      • 1mime says:

        I listened this morning to a discussion on NPR that invited black men to call in about gun ownership. It was enlightening and very sad. Sad, because fewer than half of all black males own guns because they are afraid that the possession of a weapon will get them killed versus protect them. Enlightening because, to a one, every black male at some point and some many times, have experienced intimidation from police….These were articulate, educated young men who didn’t have arrest records, yet they all had experienced a problem of some kind just because they were black.


    • 1mime says:

      I re-linked this story from a separate source about the steps Police Chief Brown has taken to make Dallas a model city in police/community relations. His example offers a template for all other cities to model in best practices. From total openness, to special training, to not being afraid to reward or fire, Chief Brown is an outstanding police leader. If I were a law enforcement officer, he is the kind of chief I would want to serve with.

  12. 1mime says:

    The key comments for me from your re-post of “A Study in Why BLM” are:

    “Our justice system doesn’t value all lives equally.”

    “All lives matter is meaningful as an aspiration. Stated as a claim about present conditions, it is a lie that carries dark political implications.”

    What are we learning from these continuous, preventable tragedies? Moreover, what are we doing to make meaningful changes in how we deal with the underlying issues? IMO, more significant than political implications (which frankly are despicable) are the moral societal implications. If we as Americans care about all our people. why are we not demanding equal justice for all our citizens? Why only when violence erupts? Why are there no legal consequences for the few bad or poorly trained policemen who are getting away with outright murder? This undermines all law enforcement and provokes the anger we are witnessing. How long and how far can you push people before they fight back? Violence is absolutely not the solution, but real solutions are M.I.A. where it counts: training, respect, equality under the law and in our social interaction.

    We keep thinking and hoping things will change, then we look at statistics that document that even with the large number of tragedies in 2015, the year this post was written, deaths of black people by police shootings have increased, not declined. And, there are more guns being sold and the 2016 death rate is even greater. We know this not because we have a national registry of such things (thank you NRA), but because an independent news organization has painstakingly combed through reports from all over our nation. (Washington Post – see my link in prior Goplifer post, “Do Not Stab the Natzis”) What better way to keep the truth from being known than to forbid the facts from being reported. (Thank you members of Congress who supported NRA legislation to this effect.)

    The NRA advocates that the solution to violence is to arm everyone. Yet, black people who do just that become suspect for carrying guns while white gun owners are considered “smart”. Why the difference? Gun ownership is largely tied to white identify. If black people own guns, it is seen as a tool to commit crime as opposed to self protection. Double standards abound and people continue to die. This has to stop.

  13. flypusher says:

    My 2 cents on the current issues with police-community relations:

    1st, so that everybody knows where I am coming from, I’m a White female with an advanced degree, IOW, from a demographic that gets the benefit of the doubt. I have a clean record. I have been pulled over by the police before for things like a burned out taillight, as recently as a couple months ago. I’ve never had any reason to feel afraid in any of these interactions.

    Now, the thing that troubles me about all these incidents that have made the news in the past for years is so much failure to hold the bad apples accountable. We’ve chewed on the case of Tamir Rice plenty here. No reasonable person who has bothered to read the facts of the case will blame the cops for assuming the toy gun was real. It looked real. We also do not blame them for not knowing he was only 12. He was adult sized. But we absolutely do blame them for inexcusably stupid tactics- you don’t roll up close on what you think is an armed suspect. They are also to be faulted for failure to provide any first aid. Yet AFAIK, they are still being paid by the taxpayers of Cleveland. Also the cop who fired the shots had a bad service record from a previous job- why was he hired ITFP?

    Or look at the case of Laquan McDonald. Yes he had a (small) knife, and yes he looked to be under the influence of something, but he was surrounded by police, and wasn’t an immediate danger to anyone. You’re supposed to “talk the person down” not shoot him. Lots of video was taken, but most of it vanished. Also all the other cops who witnessed it said nothing. They covered for the bad apple who unnecessarily killed someone. This is where the police most need to clean up their act. While for the most part it is a very good thing that cops have each other’s backs, loyalty can be abused. It is not right to cover for the bad ones.

    • antimule says:

      I think that the easy availability of guns is the root of much of a problem. Cops in e.g. Germany are far more relaxed because there is approximately zero chance that the suspect is armed. Yeah, I know you have second amendment and all that, but it doesn’t mean it is a good idea.

      • flypusher says:

        There is no doubt that being a cop is far more dangerous in America. But I think that it is grossly unfair that the benefit of the doubt that someone like me gets is not given to so many of my fellow citizens.

        I realize the investigation of the shooting of Mr. Castile is far from finished, but right now I’m thinking, damn, it sounds like he did what you are supposed to do (disclose and comply) and he still gets shot dead.

      • 1mime says:

        The fact that so many police/sheriff locales do not require body cameras is a good place to start. They need to be affixed so they will stay secure and record events. This would provide not only crime scene documentation but offer tremendous training information for police officers. There are so many steps we could be taking – and, yes, some of them require financial resources – but so do death benefits and insurance costs. I noted Rule Zero said his department does not have body cameras. If I were a policeman/woman, I would Want a body camera.

        Bottom line, there has to be a will and commitment to start the process. Congress needs to take the lead yet they don’t. Laws and regulations need to be written, yet they aren’t. Change has to start somewhere.

      • 1mime says:

        Conspicuous by their lack of comment are our gun advocates, and the NRA. They always seem to go underground anytime there is a violent event involving guns.

  14. tuttabellamia says:

    As a native Houstonian my heart is heavy for the Dallas community this morning. Houston and Dallas have a friendly rivalry, but we are still kin because we are from the same great state of Texas.

    As for the Black Lives Matter movement, I hope it doesn’t feel the need to silence itself as a result of what happened last night. Peaceful protests should continue if the participants choose to do so. If they prefer to keep a low profile for the time being that is their choice as well.

    I predict the BLM movement may hold some sort of vigil for the fallen officers who were protecting their right to peaceful assembly.

    • flypusher says:

      Trevor Noah made an excellent point- this is not an either-or situation. Protesting the actions of the bad cops does not mean you are anti-police. You can be “pro-cop and pro-Black”.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        Good point Fly.

        It’s time we look at complex situations with the complexity they need, rather then as unnuanced binary choices.

        “You’re either against BLM or against cops!” Is a childish and simplistic way to look at things.

        There is absolutely no reason you cannot be extremely concerned about a pattern of excessive force used by cops on PoC (and even demonstrate and legally agitate against it) while at the same time appreciate and value the 95%+ cops who are good and decent officers.

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