Later On

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

Archive for February 4th, 2017

Perhaps unintended consequences to Trump administration

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And to the extent that Trump doesn’t tolerate dissent—and that’s to a very great extent, as is obvious from many things he’s said (the “so-called judge” who interrupted the ban) and done (instant firing and denigration of Sally Yates for doing her job)—what we’re going to see from the Trump administration is whatever Trump orders. It will be a reflection of Trump, because everyone in the chain will do exactly as ordered or be fired/reassigned/removed/etc. This will bring the general public in direct contact

And, as the 5-minute video indicates, that might open some eyes.

Written by LeisureGuy

4 February 2017 at 3:31 pm

Excellent movie commentary on Christopher Nolan and The Prestige: Hiding in plain sight

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I like this guy’s channel.

Written by LeisureGuy

4 February 2017 at 1:35 pm

Posted in Movies & TV

New York’s Finest? Police Shooting: A Five-Year Quest for Justice

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Lucy McKeon reports in the NY Review of Books:

In the national conversation about police violence, the name Ramarley Graham has been far less present than Mike Brown’s, Eric Garner’s, Freddie Gray’s, or Sandra Bland’s. This may be because Black Lives Matter was not yet a national movement when eighteen-year-old Graham was fatally shot in February 2012 by an NYPD officer. In fact, it was just weeks before Trayvon Martin’s death brought the issues of police brutality and institutionalized racism to widespread national attention.

A great deal has happened in the five years since—including Trump’s decision to replace the civil rights page on WhiteHouse.gov with one titled “Standing Up for Our Law Enforcement Community.” And so it was that a couple of hundred people turned out on Thursday evening in downtown Manhattan’s Foley Square to protest Graham’s killing five years ago to the day. Organized by the Justice Committee and its umbrella organization, Communities United for Police Reform, the action aimed to call attention to the difficulty of achieving police accountability in cases like Graham’s.

While the city of New York has reached a multimillion-dollar settlement with the victim’s family for a wrongful-death, attempts to indict Richard Haste, the NYPD officer who shot Graham, have ultimately been unsuccessful. But there is still one more resource: the NYPD has pursued its own investigation of Haste and its administrative trial against him came to an end last month. During the trial, witnesses and police experts showed that multiple police protocols had been ignored in the events leading up to the shooting. A final verdict is now pending and could result in Haste’s dismissal from the force.

On the day Graham was killed, he had been with friends near his home in the Wakefield neighborhood of the Bronx when he was identified by two NYPD narcotics officers on Haste’s team as suspicious. The officers told their supervising sergeant over the police radio that Graham was armed—though this was later shown to be false. Haste and his fellow officers rushed to follow Graham into the three-family home he entered on East 229th Street, where Graham and his family lived. Inside, Haste shot one round at Graham, who was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. No gun was found, but a small bag of marijuana was retrieved. Graham’s grandmother and six-year-old brother were also at home nearby when Graham was shot.

Four months after the shooting, Haste was indicted by a grand jury, but in 2013 a judge threw out the case on the technicality that the prosecutor had given improper instructions to the jurors. A second grand jury declined to indict the officer. Last year the department of justice decided that there wasn’t enough evidence to pursue civil rights charges. And in late January, in his administrative trial, Haste was tried by NYPD for poor police tactics and poor judgment leading to the discharge of his firearm—the first disciplinary trial of an officer involved in an unarmed civilian’s death that Police Commissioner James O’Neill will decide.

During the five years since the shooting, Graham’s mother, Constance Malcolm, has been organizing marches, rallies, and memorials for justice for her son. On Thursday, she published an op-ed in The New York Times noting that, “Across the country, we’ve made little real progress on police reform even though there is more national attention to the problem.” She adds, “[Mayor Bill] de Blasio exploits the rhetoric of social justice but is unwilling to make the changes to achieve it. He has done nothing to meaningfully fix the systemic accountability problems at the Police Department.” Malcolm has been part of a movement uniting mothers of children killed by police across the country and in New York—including Sean Bell’s mother Valerie and Amadou Diallo’s mother Kadiatou. Hawa, the mother of Mohamed Bah, and Carol, mother of Kimani Gray, along with Eric Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, spoke at Thursday night’s gathering.

“We’re in a club we never asked to be in,” Malcolm has said. Often called the Mothers of the Movement, some of these women—including Geneva Reed-Veal, the mother of Sandra Bland—participated in the Democratic Convention this past summer. Others appeared at the recent Women’s March in Washington, D.C., when Janelle Monae called them onstage during her performance and led the crowd in a call and response to chant the names of the children these mothers had lost.

Malcolm and Graham’s father, Frank Graham, have worked tirelessly to have Haste criminally prosecuted. They’ve had the support of organizations like the Justice Committee and Make the Road New York, the NAACP legal defense fund, Moms Rising, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and others. But it is very rare that an officer is prosecuted, let alone convicted, for killing a civilian while on duty.

According to an analysis by The Washington Post and researchers at Bowling Green State University, fifty-four officers were charged for fatally shooting someone while on duty between 2005-2015, while thousands of fatal police shootings have occurred during that time (963 in 2016 alone). One reason is the 1989 Supreme Court’s legal standard for use of force, Graham v. Connor, which says that “use of force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, rather than with the 20/20 vision of hindsight” and cautions against harshly judging police for decisions made in “tense, uncertain and rapidly evolving” situations.

Haste’s administrative trial is the final opportunity for punitive justice in his case. “My purpose is to make sure [Haste] is fired so that another mom or dad isn’t in my position,” Malcolm said at a press conference between hearings on January 17 outside 1 Police Plaza. “I’m not asking for anything special, just justice. Just what’s deserved.”

On February 2, 2012, Haste was assigned to . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

4 February 2017 at 11:40 am

Trump Sabotage of Obamacare a Big Success: Enrollment Down By a Half Million or More

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Kevin Drum points out that, thanks to sabotage by the Trump administration, about 600,000 people head into 2017 lacking health insurance. What a victory! (Though the victory comes at substantial cost to some of the victims.)

he signup period for Obamacare is over, and total enrollment fell short of last year. The Washington Post reports the details:

The lower total…marks a striking turnabout from the trend as the Obama administration neared its end — when sign-ups for coverage under the law were running steadily ahead of a year ago.

The volume plummeted, in particular, during the final week of the three-month enrollment season — falling from nearly 700,000 in 2016 to just over 375,000. That last week traditionally is a peak time when eligible customers race to get ACA health plans, most of them with federal subsidies. This time, however, the Trump White House directed federal health officials to halt all advertising and other enrollment-outreach activities for the last six days of the sign-up period.

Based on data from Charles Gaba, here’s what enrollment looked like throughout the entire signup period:

blog_obamacare_signups_trump_effect_2016_2017

Signups were running a bit ahead of 2016 during the entire open enrollment period, but then Trump took office. Republicans began talking about repealing Obamacare, Trump signed an executive order telling agencies to do whatever they could to throw sand in the gears, and outreach efforts were halted. The result was a substantial downturn in the second half of January. My estimate is that all these antics lowered enrollment by about 600,000. That’s 600,000 people who now have no medical coverage and run the risk of bankruptcy if anything serious goes wrong. Nice work, folks.

For additional evidence on this score, . . .

Continue reading.

The GOP seems actually to hate regular citizens, as shown by actions like this: stepping in to prevent people from getting health insurance. Another example: the GOP action that will allow mining companies to pollute and destroy mountain streams: great for mining companies, bad for people who live near the streams. All the GOP members of Congress in states that would be most affected were against protecting the environment (probably because they do not themselves live near where the damage will be done).

Written by LeisureGuy

4 February 2017 at 11:01 am

Top Trump Officials Stonewalled Court Order Over Immigration Ban

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I would say these officials are flirting with being found in contempt of court—and certainly their actions reveal actual contempt for law (as does Donald Trump’s tweet about the “so-called judge” who issued the ruling, and Sean Spicer’s statement about the “outrageous” decision, though the statement was quickly retracted and reissued without the contemptuous adjective.

Kevin Drum quotes from a Politico story, with his emphasis added:

From Politico:

Hours after a federal judge ordered customs officers to provide lawyers to travelers detained at Dulles airport last Saturday, senior Trump administration officials instructed the guards to give the travelers phone numbers of legal services organizations, ignoring a mass of lawyers who had gathered at the airport.

Most of the legal services offices were closed for the weekend, effectively preventing travelers with green cards from obtaining legal advice.

….The CBP officers at airports were not rogue individual actors, according to the documents obtained and people interviewed by Politico. Rather, the agents on the ground were following orders from high in their chain of command.

Written by LeisureGuy

4 February 2017 at 10:51 am

Eine kleine deutsche Rasur: H.L. Thäter, Klar Seifen, und Merkur

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SOTD 2017-02-04

Klar Seifen makes a very nice shaving soap. I loaded the H.L. Thäter well, then twice added a little water as I worked the lather up on my face. Very nice lather indeed, and a clean fragrance. I have Klar Seifen Klassik shaving soap, whose ingredients are:

Sodium Cocoate, Potassium Cocoate, Sodium Stearate, Potassium Stearate, Aqua, Cocoamidpropyl, Betaine, Soyamide DEA, Parfum, Sodium Chloride, Beta-Alanine Diaecetic Acid, Trisodium Salt, Sodium Hydroxyde, Potassium Hydroxyde, Linalool, Limonen, Benylbenzoate, Coumarin, CI 77891

As you can see, it’s a commercial and not an artisanal soap, but it is also quite good.

The Merkur 37G is a good slant for me, and with three passes I easily achieved a BBS result with no nicks or problems.

A splash of Klar Seifen Klassik aftershave, and the weekend is launched. The fragrance of this aftershave garnered a complement once from a barista, who said she liked the clean, fresh fragrance.

Written by LeisureGuy

4 February 2017 at 10:45 am

Posted in Shaving

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