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We need this.

Home schooling in Finland, with your favorite brother from A Kind of Adventurous Life:

This happened in Pittsburgh on Saturday.

I don’t know who these jerks are but our mayor, Bill Peduto, is pissed:

It’s more than irritating. These days, anyone could be carrying a gun. It’s dangerous to confront this asshole. We don’t know who he is, who he represents or what his motives are.

Some observations.

This image of the current online version of WaPo will make you anxious, especially if you didn’t see it coming:

Here are some observations, please add your own in the comments section:

  1. The fact that we are currently gripped by disease, hardship and fury should come as a surprise to no one. It is the foundation of American life. We have been living with this reality for decades. But until you have experienced it yourself, long term unemployment, a shredded safety net, a paucity of affordable healthcare and normalized mistreatment of African Americans and women, it takes your breath away when it happens to you. What did YOU do to deserve this? Weren’t you a good citizen? Didn’t you live within your means, pay your taxes, get a good education, strive for success? Why is it that now I’m being treated with such disrespect? No one should be humbled just because they aren’t born wealthy. No one should feel less than because they choose to pursue a trade instead of college. Everyone deserves dignity and respect.
  2. There were many George Floyd’s before George Floyd. There were Eric Garners and Sandra Blands. There was Ahmed Aubrey. There was Representative Lucy McBath’s son who was gunned down at a gas station for playing music too loudly. There was Philando Castile whose girlfriend’s four year old daughter was in the backseat of the car when he was shot to death in the front seat. Some of this was caught on video, some on audio. All of it is horrific. A lot of Americans have been outraged at the calloused inhumanity and the lack of accountability. They were all obvious violations of a person’s due process rights. The cops acted as judge and jury and we all knew it was wrong. So why was this time different?
  3. Protests are supposed to make people uncomfortable. If they didn’t discomfort and inconvenience the powerful and privileged, we would call it a parade. Peaceful protests and non-violence is the ideal. But they MUST be allowed to make other people uncomfortable. They must shine a light. They must shame. Or they aren’t effective.
  4. There are provocateurs in these protests. A car full of undercover cops was identified last night in Atlanta near the CNN center. What are they doing? Who sent them? Who was paying them? For what purpose?
  5. There was a recent study that showed up on Twitter yesterday. Your reaction to the protests will be shaped by the way the media covers them. If the focus is on the lawlessness, you’re likely to side with the law enforcers. If your attention is drawn to the victims, like that George Floyd video, you’re more likely to sympathize with them. What role do provocateurs play in shaping the narrative?
  6. The press has been targeted in multiple instances in the last couple of days. Some have been arrested, some have been shot at with pepper bullets. https://twitter.com/chrisbishopl1c4/status/1266546753182056453?s=21 There are videos that show these targets as clearly marked as media. So, some rogue elements in the police and state police are deliberately going after the press. Those videos are equally disturbing.
  7. We’ve had problems in the past. The Vietnam-Civil Rights era was particularly rough. But there is something different going on now. If you don’t feel it, you must be living under a rock. There is nothing like it in our American history.
  8. It will ruin us. The structural problems have always been there. Now they are exposed and we are all vulnerable. If things don’t start getting under some kind of control, we should expect more chaos, fear, illegal actions and more crime as desperate people start looking out for themselves. Is this what the powers that be really want? Do they want to kill the golden American goose? Because that is what is going to happen if Trump isn’t held accountable and the country doesn’t start to stabilize. We’re going to start to look like Venezuela.
  9. What is it the powers that be want so badly that they would allow this to happen? Somebody better find out fast.

Well, Republicans, was it worth it?

Protests and riots are happening everywhere. With the breakin at the CNN headquarters in Atlanta, and targeting of news crews with pepper bullets, we are seeing an increase in attacks on the press. But the media is still not quite getting it. In the Washington post this morning, there is a piece about Trump threatening to call out the military to restore order but former military and defense experts don’t think he would do it.

Really?

On what basis did they come to that conclusion? Was it because Trump removed one of his flagged tweets yesterday? Please.

We are unraveling. Six months ago, if I had said this is where we were headed under Trump, I would have faced a barrage of scorn and ridicule. This country will never break down, they’d say. You’re suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome. Um, actually, I think I did have this conversation. I think I replied that some countries have to learn the hard way. We are now that country.

But it didn’t have to be this way. We knew last fall and on into January that Trump was out of control and dangerous. Adam Schiff pleaded with Republicans back in January to take this seriously.

“How much harm can he do in the next several months? A LOT.”

All we had to do to protect ourselves as a country was remove him from office so that he didn’t pose a danger to US.

But Republicans thought this was all a big political game where winning was everything. They couldn’t look beyond that. They couldn’t see the effect of a virus. They couldn’t see how it would compound the danger.

We did. For that we were made to look like we were exaggerating to overturn an election. In retrospect, it would have been a mercy to us all if we had been able to overturn that election. But all we wanted to do is remove a dangerous person from office. It wasn’t a coup. It was an intervention.

And so, Republicans, elected and base voters, verily I say unto you, it didn’t have to be this bad. This is on you now. Our country is reaching a tipping point. It is time to make that walk from the Capitol to the White House and remove him. If you want, you can even start your own impeachment procedure. We don’t have a problem with that.

But make it quick before Atlanta burns again.

Is Donald’s “Justice” dept behind the lack of arrests in MN?

I’m just throwing this hypothesis out there.

Everyone saw what happened. Floyd was on the ground, handcuffed. He couldn’t do anyone any harm but the police knelt on his neck anyway until he was dead. Slightly off topic: what if Floyd was suicidal and suffering from a psychotic break instead of being accused of a crime? It’s possible that the police would still have killed him like this but aren’t there different procedures for subduing someone who is mentally ill?

Anyway, there is no doubt that there is probable cause that the police used excessive force. We see what happened, there’s enough time between when he is immobilized and dead that resisting arrest isn’t a justified excuse, there were witnesses. It sure looks like probable cause to arrest. That’s the procedure, right? Arrest, arraignment for probable cause, indictment, trial. Or have we not watched enough crime shows in this country?

If the police can justify their actions they can do it at their trials.

So, why are there no arrests? Cui Bono?

The city of Minneapolis is not benefitting and neither are the cities in other states, most of which happen to be blue states.

Without arrests, there is an ever increasing chance of protests turning into riots followed by deadly force to restore the peace. Why would any US attorney or local FBI office want that?

I don’t know. It seems to me that arrests could have been made on Wednesday and the city might have been spared a lot of this violence.

Could Bill Barr be applying pressure on Minnesota local officials to not make any arrests? Do Barr and Trump want the protests to continue and get ugly? Are they looking for an opportunity to bust some heads and fluff their base?

Has anyone asked these questions yet? Because failure to arrest the officers who did this is a mystery wrapped in an enigma that needs to be solved quickly.

**************

CNN crew in Minneapolis just doing its job is arrested. This is the long clip. You can hear that the reporter, cameraman and producer are trying to comply and are being respectful. There’s no explanation for why they were arrested.

This smells like Donald:

Update: Gov. Walz just took responsibility for the CNN crew being arrested while broadcasting. He says he was the one who called out the state police and asked them to assertively restore order. Some of them got way too enthusiastic. Anyway, Walz apologized fo Jeff Zucker of CNN who was apparently livid.

Sounds like the state police needs to get a flash lesson on the first amendment.

Donald’s off the hook for this one. But I still think he’s behind the reason why the officers that caused Floyd’s death have not be arrested yet.

Keith Ellison on now. Neither Walz or Ellison condemning the protests. Just the arson and looting. How many looters and arsonists are provocateurs? We shall see.

Bad. Timing.

I listened to the press conference with the Minnesota US Attorney and the local head of the FBI.

I realize that they are trying to do things the right way. They want to investigate. They want justice. They are pleading for patience and calm.

But the protestors have seen the video of Eric Garner who said he couldn’t breathe. They’ve seen and heard the video when Philando Castile was shot in the passenger seat of his car. They saw the video of the kid shot in Ohio who had a toy gun. And only a couple of weeks ago, the video of Ahmed Aubrey surfaced.

What happened in those cases? There were no consequences. No justice for Eric Garner whose case most closely resembles this one. For Aubrey, the video has been available for months and the police didn’t arrest anyone until they were shamed into it.

So, as well intentioned as the US Attorney is, as dedicated as the FBI, it’s just too late.

Covid is ravaging the African American communities, too many people are unemployed, and Trump is a petty dictator who no one in his party wants to constrain in any way. We have to hold on until November to set any of this right again.

There is frustration and anger fueling the protests. They’ve had enough.

Just arrest the cops, indict them and get on with a trial already. We all saw what happened.

The national guard has been activated to pacify Minneapolis. Now we’re about to see what all that patriot act money paid for. It won’t be pretty.

People on both sides are going to get hurt. But it’s been a long time coming. It just couldn’t happen at a worse time.

Who knows? Maybe all major changes require timing like this.

How to navigate the world in the time of Covid 19

The Washington Post interviewed some public health experts about how to go about day to day living during and after lockdown. Looks like I was on to something when it came to the beach. All of those interviewed said, yeah, go to the beach. Just maintain a safe distance and stay away from crowds. Surf’s up, the water’s fine.

Some things that might seem counterintuitive after all of the “WASH YOUR HANDS!” commands are, spend as little time as possible in public restrooms, take your own paper towels to dry your hands, use disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer AFTER you leave. I do this anyway so I’m happy to see I’m not being anal retentive paranoid. Avoid those hand dryers like the plague. In fact, I’m inclined to hold it if I hear one of those things going before I walk into a public restroom. Sooooo… maybe I am anal retentive paranoid…

TMI

Anyway, if you keep the advice in this article in mind when you venture into the world, and make it a habit, you don’t need to become a recluse until the vaccine or drug therapy is available.

Now, get out there!

Twitter and Donald.

Twitter fact checked Donald.

The world is about to end. Dogs and cats living together. 🙄

Let’s put aside that Twitter is a private company and has no obligation to let any of us tweet anything. Twitter can be very choosy. That’s fine because Twitter is not a government entity. If it were, it would need to let anyone Tweet as long as there’s no incitement for violence or other restrictions on the first amendment.

Twitter is being generous to let our twitter obsessed “president” tweet to his heart’s content when he should be doing other stuff. I understand their point of view. Trump is a public figure of some importance. He’s also got 80 million followers. His complaint that conservative voices aren’t getting enough tweet exposure is ridiculous. I block a fair number of conservative right wing conspiracy theorists on a daily basis. I shouldn’t have to read their crazy s}%^ if I don’t want to.

Which gets to the real point of this post. Donald’s tweets show up in my timeline a lot more frequently than I want them too. I am not one of his followers. But some of the people I follow think his tweets are so over the top or stupid or illegal that they feel they need to retweet with comment.

Yeah… I think we should stop doing that.

Sometimes, I can’t help myself but to tweet back. I try to keep my tweets polite but pointed. (Stop laughing. I’m serious.) But if I do that, it’s like Trump’s tweets have a high R0 value. He’s infecting more and more people because my response to someone else’s retweet of Trump’s asinine tweets just keeps getting passed along where more people can read them.

Kellyanne Conway is probably laughing evilly and rubbing her skinny claws.

That’s just what they want. They want us to be focused on Trump 24/7. The best way for no other conversation or message to get a toehold is to occupy as much space as possible. He’s succeeding every time we reply to a retweet. We’ve got to stop doing that.

Even Twitter is in a bit of a bind. Who wants to have the “president” threatening their business model all the time? It doesn’t matter if Trump can do anything about it. You don’t want to be in the vanguard in the war for the first amendment in the era of Trump and his lackeys.

If Twitter restricts his tweets, which it hasn’t done, it’s just going to trigger a lot of push back and fury from the MAGA nuts. That’s the kind of attention Trump craves. Even fact checking him gets his mental masturbation on the news. Controversy and attention will drive even more people to check out his Twitter account. What got fact checked THIS time??

No one else in the world matters to him. No other crisis is more important to him than how many media outlets and social media apps can he dominate. To him, it’s all about winning.

Right now, he is winning Twitter.

So, to any of my favorite Twitter friends I am asking you to please stop retweeting him. Just don’t do it. Act like your twitter finger has a mask and is soaked in disinfectants. Do not perpetuate his memes, outrage, illegalities or even fact checked tweets. Deprive him of fuel. Gray Rock him.

Keep your eyes on November and direct all your energy at getting rid of this country sucking vampire that was stupidly invited in.

Who else here is gritting their teeth…

… waiting for November 3?

I’m going to vote by mail in Pennsylvania so hard.

Religion will send us into another Great Depression

Senator Rick Scott (R-Florida, duh) says religious people have the right to worship together:

Of course they do! And I have the right to run around maskless at a crowded pool party. No one can stop me. I’m just that wild.

We all have rights to do whatever we want as far as socializing goes. The governor of Pennsylvania hasn’t implanted chips in us yet so he can’t tell who we’re hanging out and sharing cooties with.

That’s why I wear a mask when I go anywhere outside my own back yard or a beach where there are acres of sand between me and the next person. Since I don’t know who has been inside a church showing each other the sign of peace, I have to practice safe social distancing. It’s like having to always wear a latex free condom, life size, all day long, without any payoff.

I might have to ask to work from home longer. I will need to stay off of public transportation when I do go back to work and spend more money to pay for gas and park my car everyday. I won’t be going to my favorite Thai restaurant for a nice pad prik king. I won’t be shopping for new work clothes because I’ll be able to do online work in my shorts.

There will be a lot of things I won’t be doing because Rick Scott’s constituents can‘t seem to get in touch with their own personal lord and savior unless they’re in church. So much for omniscience and omnipotence.

I could think of a lot of other ways church could happen that doesn’t involve breathing on each other in an air conditioned building where the virus particles will be floating around on every exhaled hymn note. Like, video church or subscription channel church or outside worship services where all the chairs are GTE 6ft apart or church in your car in a parking lot.

But no. Rick Scott’s constituents are special. The first amendment guarantees the right to worship but it’s only mandatory for certain states in the south. Yes, for some reason, the southern state god would prefer that the rest of the country stay in the state of uncertainty about who may or may not have thrown a germy $20 in the collection plate.

For some reason, Scott’s constituents practice a religion where the golden rule goes “do unto others as you fucking well want, don’t worry about people you don’t know because it’s not a big deal anyway”. Oh, that’s not what their golden rule is? My mistake, I’m just going by what I see. I’m not into faith.

So, the religious will just keep this virus going on and on and on. While developed nations in the rest of the world will get their epidemic under control and will aggressively attack outbreaks with testing and contact tracing, the US will need to be ready for another lockdown at a moment’s notice and our lives will be in constant danger.

That will lead to more income and food insecurity, instability and crime, sickness and death.

Which leads me to wonder: what are these mandatory worshipping sinners of an angry god praying for exactly?