Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for August 18th, 2014

John Oliver on Ferguson MO

with one comment

Written by LeisureGuy

18 August 2014 at 5:49 pm

Posted in Law Enforcement, Video

Ten things about Ferguson to keep in mind

leave a comment »

This seems important. Don Hazen, Terrell Starr, Steven Rosenfeld, and Tana Ganeva of AlterNet report at AlteNet:

Ten days after 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot to death by officer Darren Wilson, police and protestors continue to face off in the city of Ferguson. Last night’s protests broke into chaos [3] as riot police descended on the streets of the city in an attempt to disperse protestors.

On Monday, Gov. Jay Nixon deployed the National Guard, allegedly without alerting [4] the White House. The first Humvees have left the National Guard base, according to reports from the scene highlighted in the Guardian.  [5]

As the tense situation on the ground quickly evolves, here are 10 things you should know:

1. National Guard trained in fighting protesters

The Missouri National Guard troops being sent into Ferguson are military police, which, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), have studied the Occupy protests and demonstrations that followed George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the Trayvon Martin murder trial. These soldiers are now trained to deal with “crowd control measures, understanding protester tactics, incident management, and operating inside an area contaminated with chemical and biological hazards,” FEMA said, in a chillingly bland report [6] on its website touting the anti-protester training that military police now receive.

“We serve as a force multiplier during a natural disaster or civil unrest,” a platoon leader and deputy sheriff who completed the training said. “We have experienced protest from the Occupy Movement and, most recently, from the Zimmerman trial. This training makes us all more proficient MP soldier[s] and helps us communicate more effectively with local law enforcement.”

The photos on FEMA’s site show the military police practicing with protesters who are sitting down in the street and shows MPs cutting through plastic pipes that some protesters have used to chain themselves to each other. One can only imagine how military police, whose main training is designed for overseas war zones, will fare in Ferguson, where the underlying issues are institutional racism and police brutality.

2. Autopsy report: Why so many bullets?

It’s not clear how many bullets were fired by Officer Darren Wilson, and whether he fired his gun while he was still in his car.

But according to a private autopsy report, Michael Brown was hit by six bullets. Four hit him on the right arm, and two hit him in the head. Some of the bullets created several entry points.  . .

Continue reading.

I for one am very glad that UN Observers will be on the ground in Ferguson to attempt to ensure that human rights are respected.

Written by LeisureGuy

18 August 2014 at 1:35 pm

Extremely cogent report on the source of the Ferguson situation

leave a comment »

It’s not segregation in terms of housing, it’s how power and accountability are distributed. Well worth reading and note the conclusions.

Written by LeisureGuy

18 August 2014 at 1:20 pm

Watch tomorrow’s shave

with 3 comments

I have a new razor to try out—a loaner—and I just got my container of Wickham Shaving Soap. Any brush suggestions?

UPDATE: Here’s the post, and I went with a Rod Neep brush.

Written by LeisureGuy

18 August 2014 at 1:11 pm

Posted in Shaving

What happened in Gaza

leave a comment »

Max Blumenthal reports for AlterNet:

As the five-day ceasefire between Israel and Hamas took hold on August 15, residents of Shujaiya returned to the shattered remains of their homes. They pitched tents and erected signs asserting their claim to their property, sorting determinedly through the ruins of their lives. 

Those who managed to survive the Israeli bombardment have come home to bedrooms obliterated by tank shells, kitchens pierced by Hellfire missiles, and boudoirs looted by soldiers who used their homes as bases of operations before embarking on a series of massacres. Once a solidly middle-class suburb of Gaza City comprised of multi-family apartments and stately homes, the neighborhood of Shujaiya was transformed into a gigantic crime scene.

The attack on Shujaiya began at 11pm on July 19, with a combined Israeli bombardment from F-16s, tanks and mortar launchers. It was a night of hell which more than 100 did not survive and that none have recovered from. Inside the ruins of what used to be homes, returning locals related stories of survival and selflessness, detailing a harrowing night of death and destruction.

Outside a barely intact four-level, multi-family home that was hardly distinguishable from the other mangled structures lining the dusty roads of Shujaiya, I met members of the Atash family reclining on mats beside a makeshift stove. Khalil Atash, the 63-year-old patriarch of the family, motioned to his son heating a teapot above a few logs and muttered, “They’ve set us back a hundred years. Look at us, we’re now burning wood to survive.”

Khalil Atash led me inside the home to see the damage. The walls of the second floor that was to have been home to two of his newly married children had been blown off by tank shells. All that was left of the bathroom were the hot and cold knobs on the shower. On the next floor, four small children scampered barefoot across shattered glass and jagged shards of concrete. A bunk bed and crib were badly singed in the attack. But the damage could have been far worse. .  .

Continue reading. Photos at the link.

I do not believe that all those lives and homes destroyed were members of Hamas. Indeed, Israel doesn’t even pretend that they are. Israel calls these innocent people “human shields” and that apparently gives Israel then the right to kill them and destroy their homes, kill, orphan their children, and so on. To do what they’ve been doing—like shelling the four boys playing on the beach—whom were they shielding? Why were they killed?

I think Israel has now gone far enough that the scales are starting to drop from people’s eyes and the events of the last few weeks will be viewed in a new light: war crimes.

Written by LeisureGuy

18 August 2014 at 1:01 pm

Something big is brewing when you read something like this in a NY Times story

leave a comment »

From a report by David Carr in the NY Times.For context, read the story to which this is a parenthesis:

(In one bit of irony in the aftermath of the events on Wednesday, President Obama said, “Here in the United States of America, police should not be bullying or arresting journalists who are just trying to do their job and report to the American people what they see on the ground.” This from an administration that has aggressively sought to block reporting and in some instances criminalize it.)

And you can see here how Twitter exploded.

And do read the story at that first link. It’s an important account of events that show how we’re headed.

Written by LeisureGuy

18 August 2014 at 12:40 pm

Try to act surprised: More homicides are reported in states where you can ‘Stand Your Ground,’ report finds

leave a comment »

Sarah Ferris reports the finding in the Washington Post.

It reminds me of this anecdote:

Alexander the Great’s father, Philip II of Macedon, once threatened the Spartans by saying, “You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city,” to which the Laconians replied with the appropriately laconic message, “If,” which prompted him to drop the matter.

And from the article:

The task force advises states with the laws to repeal them if they “desire to reduce their overall homicide rates” or “desire to reduce or eliminate racial disparities in the criminal justice system.” The report is based on more than a decade of empirical evidence and interviews with 70 witnesses across the country conducted over the course of a year.

“If.”

But they don’t, which is why the laws were passed in the first place. The article’s concluding paragraph:

“This law is on shaky ground because it exacerbates the tension that already exists between persons and classes who are different from us and individuals with whom we have strained relationships,” Rev. Leonard Leach, a Baptist minister in Texas, told the task force. “It perpetuates a foolish bravado of those who feel a bold security when they have a gun in their hand.”

Written by LeisureGuy

18 August 2014 at 12:04 pm

Posted in Law, Law Enforcement, Media

%d bloggers like this: