Here's a new thread for general end of the republic musings.
Given the likelihood that at least some people will try some shenanigans at the inauguration, and the certainty that Trumpies in control of various parts of the government will be happy to let them, I wonder if we're going to need a de jure coup, where the military gets involved to keep order, to head off the de facto coup of Trump staying in power. If we're going to have a coup, folks, let's make it a good one!
I don't think they're really inconsistent, but I want to poke around in the apparent inconsistency. A common thread in our, or at least my, prior complaints about police violence is that a lot of it (not all, but a big chunk) is that they seem to be rooted in a generalized belief by the police that they are entitled to "maintain control" of every situation by escalating up to killing the people they can't control otherwise, regardless of how minor the situation was to begin with. Being willing to allow the situation to play out without total obedience is intolerable, and killing people to make disobedience stop is proportional and necessary. For an old case in this mode, Sean Bell -- there were some undercover cops at a bar, they thought (or say they thought) they heard someone claim to have a gun, they tried to arrest the people in the bar, Bell and his friends fled, and the cops shot him while he was "escaping". No crime committed, no gun found, but Bell was being disobedient. And generally with protests, cops fighting with the protesters to shut activity down, rather than letting the protests play out and doing the minimum of policing necessary to protect life and property, seems like a stupid and inflammatory way to behave.
On the other hand, here we all are bitching that the Capitol police let a mixed bunch of militarized terrorists and demented cosplayers overrun the Capitol, destroy congressional offices, and threaten the lives of the Vice President and members of Congress when they plausibly could have maintained control over the situation by escalating to deadly force more readily. So which is it? What do we want, the police to be ready to escalate to whatever force is necessary to maintain control of a situation, or not?
My answer is that I want police who can look at the gravity of a situation and make sensible determinations about which situations justify escalation. Police officer struggling with a man he suspects of having stolen several dollars worth of tobacco? He should have the sense to think "should I draw my gun? No, that would only make sense if killing this guy was a better outcome than letting him get away. That'd be nuts, killing someone over this level of underlying crime. If he gets away, he gets away, but this is not a good reason to draw my gun." Police officer looking at an angry mob advancing on the seat of government? "What's the worst that could happen if I let these people through -- I suppose they might kill a bunch of members of Congress and destroy the ongoing work of governing the country in their offices. Yeah, it's probably worth escalating to deadly force to keep that from happening."
I realize that making judgment calls is difficult. But errors in both directions on that sort of call are intolerable, and we're getting a high rate of errors in both directions from the cops we have now. I don't have a clear sense of the route to reform, but what we've got now is complete shit.
We can keep talking about the failed insurrection. We don't have to discuss this Danish TV program:
Denmark's flagship broadcaster has suffered blowback over its newest children's TV program, "John Dillermand" -- an animation starring a man with a penis so massive and flexible it can save children from danger, fetch objects from a river and operate as a pogo stick.
The show, whose 13 episodes are available to watch on the DR network's website, follows its titular character as he navigates an array of unexpected scenarios caused by his inexplicably huge genitalia.
Stay focused on the Dems response to the coup attempt. Do not be distracted by these plot lines:
In episode one, for instance, the mustached Dillermand uses his gigantic, stripey organ as a lead for his dog -- but quickly finds himself inundated with requests from his neighbors to take their pets out for a walk, too. At another point in the show, he is stuck floating in mid-air after balloons are tied to his groin.
In another episode, he breaks a friend's vase with his penis and must raise money to pay them back, and in a third, he uses it to steal an ice cream at the zoo. The show's opening montage also shows him using his genitals to keep a lion away from a group of children.
And for the love of god, no cock jokes during a serious time like this.
I just cannot get over the absolute deference and unpreparedness of the police yesterday. The only reason the cops were unprepared for violence is that when they picture Trump supporters and proud boys, they mostly see their humanity and get a warm fuzzy.
Omg omg. I truly had not dared to let myself think that Georgia Democrats might sweep the election. How do we send them a fruit basket? How do we sweep them off their feet in a kiss like the sailor and that nurse in that post-WWII photograph?
(Just as a nonpolitical thread, during this highly political week.)
1. It is wildly easier to cook dinner every night when I'm working from home. There are so many easy choices that just require temporal spacing over an afternoon or whatever. All of my past rules about being unwilling to chop excessively many items or whatever become irrelevant when the entire process isn't crammed into 30 minutes (or shoehorned into a resented night-before prep, or whatever.)
2. I have a small number of long-distance friends who I care about, who like to call unexpectedly on the phone now and then. In the moment, I always resent the intrusion: either drop what I'm doing, or put "calling them back" on the to-do list and have yet another thing to do. (Also, I don't ever love talking on the phone that much, elder relatives excepted.)
I have discovered a solution: if you spontaneously call them, they will chat and get off the phone within five or ten minutes. These are people who think of themselves as liking phone calls, talking on the phone, and being surprised by phone calls, so they'll answer the phone (if available). They'll be happy that you thought of them and spontaneously picked up the phone. But they'll also be in the middle of their day and won't really want to talk. When the person who doesn't want to talk initiates the phone call on their own terms, everything works out much better.
Reading bonkers conspiracy theories from the left is much less stressful than reading them from the right.
Even as Republicans across the country still insist that the election was rife with fraudulent Democratic votes, no one's asking how McConnell managed one of the most lopsided landslides of the Nov. 3 election. They should. An investigation of Kentucky voting results by DCReport raises significant questions about the vote tallies in McConnell's state.
This particular one zeros in on a few counties in Kentucky and asks not-very-perplexing questions that are not really that damning, but maybe superficially damning.
It made me think about a certain kind of conspiracy theory. Not the loony QAnon stuff, which is just terrifying and most likely manufactured by Russian troll farms, but certain kinds of more organic and less destructive conspiracy theories. Like footage from 9-11 that truthers use: if you just magnify more you'll see the truth in the pixels. Just keep zooming in. And similarly, homeopathic medicine and their belief about dilution (which we've discussed here before.) Just keep zooming in. The tiniest detail is buried in there somewhere, and it will reveal the fundamental nature of the whole thing.
This compulsion to zoom in is slightly different from motivated reasoning. It's acknowledging that there's no evidence for your point on the normal human-sized scale. So we must keep hunting. Scrunch up your face and hold your eyeball right next to the object of your suspicion.
Minivet suggests a thread on Trump's phone call to Raffensperger, which I haven't read up on yet but I bet you have!
I have assiduously not been tracking the polling in Georgia out of self-preservation. This is going to be a tumultuous week.
This is intended to be our system for checking in on imaginary friends, so that we know whether or not to be concerned if you go offline for a while. There is no way it could function as that sentence implies, but it's still nice to have a thread.
This delightful article exposes an alarming bucatini shortage. The tone starts off more kidding than on the square, and ends up more on the square than kidding. Frankly the beginning of the article - trying to convince us that the author is the right degree of winky-tormented over bucatini - was almost unreadable. But before long, the article grounds itself in facts, and it becomes much more fun.
I wish this part had been developed further:
["]Because of the environment, people have been using bucatini as straws, instead of a plastic straw."
"I'm sorry, what?" I asked.
"Yes. You can buy them. There are a couple of companies making them. You can have your soda and then eat your straw," he said. "It's like eating your fork or knife." My mind reeled as it tried to understand and accept this information as true. "But pasta is not a ready-to-eat product," Rosario added. "You have to cook it. So when you use pasta to drink sodas, you're drinking and eating a not-ready-to-eat product. You put yourself at risk because that product has never been pasteurized or killed. And the only pasta cut affected is bucatini because of the hole."
This made both perfect sense and absolutely no fucking sense at all, the sort of demented-timeline event that could only happen in 2020, when everything is, metaphorically, an innocent piece of pasta turned into a straw in a bid to help the environment that actually ends up being fatally dangerous.
(Me, I've never actually heard of bucatini before this.)
Via the extended community at the other place