Nworbie writes: This is grim reading about an exceptionally corrupt police force, the GTTF, in Baltimore, but there is a jolt which might get comments out of the usual tramlines here:
For decades the city was essentially run by militias, of which the police were one. During the period when the GTTF was active, inmates from a criminal gang, the Black Guerrilla Family, were in charge of the local jail. Tavon White, the most senior BGF member in the Baltimore City Detention Facility, fathered five children by four prison guards and bought a BMW and a Mercedes-Benz while inside (Loney was his second in command). The police treat areas of high poverty and high crime like occupied territories, criminalising communities and using force as the first resort. There is little democratic oversight and few legal consequences when they overstep the mark.
Most members of the GTTF were black, which simply illustrates the systemic nature of the problem.
Heebie's take: It really is awful. There are a lot of fascinating specifics - definitely worth clicking through.
On the fact that the enforcing class is also black: well, it's more about power and enforcing an underclass that white supremacy, in this case.
Minivet writes: Thought-experiment: You can wave a wand and make Democratic states pass and implement some kind of vaccination mandate. You will lose this control after you use it, so you have to consider the results of any potential backlash.
Which of the following does your mandate cover? You can choose as many as you like, or add other groups.
A. Anyone who wants to enter restaurants, airports, hospitals, concerts, etc. (French model)
B. Students of ages for whom a vaccine is approved
C. Health care workers
D. Public employees
E. All employees public or private who come in contact with general public
What are the pros and cons of each?
Heebie's take:. oooh, this is fun. I say all five. Go big or go home, right?
Covid rates for the unvaccinated rival the peak in some states. I'd been wondering about this particular computation.
I found myself unwilling to speak my mind in a conversation, due to social cost and perceived unlikelihood to make any difference whatsoever, so I'll dump it here instead.
Here is an exciting new financial product, if you happen to be a big bank. You know payday loans? What if, instead of going to those predatory lender, your employer could lend you out the money instead? Great, right? And from the point of view of Wall Street, this is a super safe loan, since the employer can just garnish your wages. So the banks can offer your employer a sweet deal with low interest rates, and surely your employer will pass those sweet savings onto you, or if not, then merely offer you shavings less off your interest rate than the payday loan lenders. Everybody wins! But mostly the banks and your employer and not you!
Also it's so great that there is no historical precedent for this kind of thing! To be serious for a sec, I gritted my teeth so hard that I probably wore down a millimeter of enamel.
Honestly, I kept trying to write this entry without being so ridiculously sarcastic and the words just wouldn't come out. I'm unable to interact with this topic on any other level, because it's just so frustrating.
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.
I don't know what the craziest part of this Tennessee anti-vax stuff coming from the state government is.
The Tennessee Department of Health will halt all adolescent vaccine outreach - not just for coronavirus, but all diseases - amid pressure from Republican state lawmakers, according to an internal report and agency emails obtained by the Tennessean. If the health department must issue any information about vaccines, staff are instructed to strip the agency logo off the documents.
Or maybe this part:
Additionally, the health department will take steps to ensure it no longer sends postcards or other notices reminding teenagers to get their second dose of the coronavirus vaccines. Postcards will still be sent to adults, but teens will be excluded from the mailing list so the postcards are not "potentially interpreted as solicitation to minors," the report states.
I know this is in response to that top official who was encouraging teenagers to get vaccinated without their parents' consent, and so the rest of the Republicans must be the most destructive in order to pwn the libs. It's just one of those news stories that surprised me that I hadn't considered a new arena for Republicans to torch.
Minivet writes: So Trump really did come close to starting a war with Iran to retain power in January.
Speculating on a distraction-war with Iran has a long provenance on this website. I feel like all through the Trump years (unlike the Bush years!), it was more or less understood that there was little blocking it except the president's own attention span, but we could barely spare mental space for it as long as it wasn't actually happening, there was so much else.
Also, Trump saying of his upcoming rally "it's gonna be a big deal, you're ready for that, right?" on January 3rd certainly sounds intended to be a coup-signal, and would have worked as such if he had actually had co-conspirators in the Joint Chiefs.
Alternatively, how much of this is legacy-laundering for Milley? If we're hearing about what he refused, what did he assent to? I wonder what role he played in the troops being so slow to come on the 6th.
Heebie's take: good lord.