More gruel
Link Roundup, 8/29/2020

Link Roundup, 8/29/2020

From CBS Chicago: Kenosha cops to deadly white nationalist militia, “We appreciate you guys, we really do.”

From Reuters: Trump Hotel Vancouver is closing after operator declares bankruptcy.

From Stat: A review of the known cases of C19 reinfection.

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: University of Alabama professors ordered not to speak about C19.

From Nature: Quantum research continues to undercut our assumption of an empirical, objective reality.

From the old GOPLifer blog: Related to the quantum research, a 2013 piece on empiricism, quantum theory and God.


  1. Related article:

    “Similarly, A June working paper by Roland Fryer, a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and Tanaya Devi found that in most cities where police have been under federal investigations in recent decades, a step that often leads to consent decrees, rate of violent crime have not increased – just as they didn’t in Seattle [in 2012-23].

    There was one set of exceptions in the latter study, though. Federal investigations and de-policing did correlate with a sharp rise in violent crime in cities that had experienced what the study referred to as “viral” incidents: a high-profile, highly controversial instance of police using deadly force against a civilian – precisely what several cities are contending with today.”

    Later down:
    “The nationwide protests that erupted after Minneapolis police killed George Floyd suggest that his death may have given rise to something relatively new, the equivalent of a viral incident in each individual American city.”

  2. Oh, and if anyone has any doubts anymore that my method is the only logical option left, this should end those doubts. This is from a NY Times article talking about the likelihood of the tyrant leaving NATO in his 2nd term. That, of course, leads to nuclear war, as NATO must use nukes to stop russian armor from rolling across Eastern Europe. But hey, I am sure everything will work out just fine……

    “An iconoclast in many other ways, Mr. Bolton is a believer in the Atlantic alliance and has said he was appalled by Mr. Trump’s talk of leaving it. In his book, Mr. Bolton recalled how the president, just before a 2018 visit to NATO headquarters in Brussels, dictated remarks saying that “we will walk out” of the pact and “not defend those” who have failed to meet their spending commitments. (Mr. Bolton said he was prepared to resign if Mr. Trump delivered the remarks. He and other officials talked the president out of it.)”

    Those officials who were there in 2018 stopping the madman are all long gone.

    1. The time for protesting is over.

      The time for making sure you, your family, friends, and community are registered to vote, know when early voting starts, and know how they’re getting to the polls.

      Every day the protests go on doing absolutely nothing, Trump is gaining votes from people who would vote Biden, or stay at home.

      1. There is always a role for protesting, and it’s a fundamental part of the various civic duties you must perform to stand up for yourself.

        I would argue that the time for renewing your passport and contacting your international friends to secure safehouses has come, if you didn’t already head a similar warning Chris made back in 2016.

        I will continue to vote and continue to support my friends through the pandemic and continue to pay bail for those protestors that get arrested. But I would be a very stupid person if I didn’t have an exit strategy. That’s the first thing you have to do to save the world: save yourself.

      2. Don’t know what your exit strategy is Aaron, but not many countries are taking in american refugees these days with the u.s. being Covid Central these days. I wonder who will be the first american to actually apply for official refugee status, and when.

        The tyrant’s pogrom likely starts in late November. No, “pogrom” is the incorrect word. That usually refers to religious groups, specifically Jews. No, just a good old fashioned extermination of all political enemies, like Stalin and Hitler did.

        The tyrant already knows he has nothing to worry about with this silly concept of an “fair election”. His actions every day demonstrate that more and more. Barr, Miller, et al have guaranteed it already for their boss.


    “We argue that the expansion of the vote to African Americans led to a profound social transformation. In counties where slavery was more extensive, there were more deeply held conventions around racial status and more extreme white racism in the pre-war era. In such counties, there was likely to be a greater resistance among whites to demands by black citizens for social equality and public services. This fear of not just redistribution but also social integration created the possibility of a coalition of rich and poor whites against taxation and state capacity.”

    tl;dr: In highly stratified societies such as the US and India, once the rich know taxation is coming, they choose to hollow out state capacity to function largely by turning useful idiots’ prejudices against the state functioning.

    Not in any way a new idea, but a more focused research into it.

  4. And so ends the last vestige of fantasy that there are three equal branches of government.

    The DC United States Court of Appeals just ruled that the House has no subpoena power, because it has no way to enforce said subpoena. The tyrant wins again.

    2-1 split, all judges appointed by elder Bush or Clinton. Next step, if this can be appealed, is en banc (at which point the judges appointed by the tyrant get to weigh in), or SCOTUS.

    1. I know it is, as always, “too soon”, but I can’t help but feel that there is no situation that can’t be made worse by the presence of armed civilians, even if protected under 2nd Amendment. Good guy with a gun, how does that even work in this utter sh*tshow?

  5. @MassDem in particular, who on the last post spoke of not knowing antifa activists to have killed anyone:
    Given the arson, that seems unlikely. There was also that story about an activist mob pulling a man out of his truck and beating him, after he crashed it into a tree trying to get away from them. Not *quite* murder, but it was passionate and violent (and it was reported in WaPo, which I’m guessing you trust; that’s the real reason I’m using it as an example).

    Here is a Twitter thread with pictures of Kenosha, blue-check if that matters:
    And here is an article which takes a longer and wider perspective:

    So we have a bunch of mostly white kids, traveling to towns they don’t live in, smashing the windows of and sometimes setting fire to anything in their path, which frequently happens to be small businesses, owned by blacks and immigrants no less, all in the name of BLM activism. Then you have desperate owners boarding up, and saying that they’re of color or that kids sleep above the shop, in an attempt to persuade these activists to not set fire to the place or rob all its inventory.
    I go back and forth on to what extent major media is ideological vs. sells fear and reality TV-style coverage with a profit motive; the lack of coverage here is strong evidence for ideological. This is an objectively major set of events, but it doesn’t fit in with the narrative so they ignore it as best as they can.

    To anticipate one possible response: A couple months back I remember reports of police refusing to do their jobs and put a stop to this stuff, presumably to make a point about their necessity (which most of us never doubted). All the more reason to send in the Army or the National Guard (and take away pensions from every cop not doing their job). The local PDs are full of villains. The activists are full of villains. Only option for those who can’t flee is to hope the feds come in some form or another.

    1. Police aren’t “refusing to do their jobs.” They are aiding the Nazis. This is happening because the police decided to become the enemy. That has consequences for everyone.

      This wave of a riots was kicked off in Minneapolis by a white nationalist provocateur operating with a prison gang called Aryan Cowboys. Minneapolis police stated a month ago that they had identified him and issued a warrant, yet he remains somehow at large. Weird.

      That narrative about POC having their businesses ransacked is misleading, mostly invented by rightwing agitprop. What’s missing from that story are the perpetrators. No one seems to be looking for them, just like that little Nazi, Rittenhouse, as he walked through police lines. Weird. I think we know what’s happening.

      We have have a lot of backup plans for when our police start rioting. Once they set that tone, ordinary criminals and thugs step in right behind them. Between street criminals and Nazis, no one spared.

      The folks who could really help here are in the Justice Dept and the FBI. They were helping to reform police departments, and making significant progress, until Jeff Sessions shut down their efforts. The National Guard will only make matters worse, since they’ll be under orders from the President.

      In a few places, like Illinois, Wisconsin and California, the state police could potentially step in. They tend be a bit more professional and more easily influenced by the Governor. Unfortunately, with a President who is pulling every available lever to spark a civil war, you’re probably gonna get a civil war, and all this hang-wringing about looting will look quaint.

      1. Well, glad to see you finally answered the question I also asked, in clear unequivocal terms for the WX’s and Mary’s out there. The civil war has started. The ONLY hope for America, and ultimately the free world (what is left of it), is a NATO wet team, doing their job Nov 4th.

        I like this to those that get a diagnoses of terminal cancer. The first stage is denial. Most that come to this site are in that first stage. Those that are still in that stage, ask yourself the same question I posed months ago: Imagine any Nov 4th scenario you like. Now ask yourself, is that scenario better if the tyrant choked to death on a celebratory Big Mac on the night of Nov 3rd?

      2. Define “the enemy” that the police have become. Because the thing is, from what I’ve seen in the past few years, there’s a lot of evidence that too many police are shithead bullies on a power trip, who enjoy violence and force. Even worse, there’s stronger evidence that all the others cover for the evil ones. What there is not, is evidence that race is a big factor here. The string of viral videos doesn’t show racism – just knowing the colors of shooter and shot is very little evidence. Or take Rittenhouse, since that’s very recent. A cop is standing in a line for hours, hearing abuse from protesters, many of whom are violent, and then some of them claim that the guy walking by is a shooter. It’s not surprising that he passed as a citizen patrolman in that stressful and adversarial situation. It is *possible* that they let him go because they are skinheads, but I don’t think that case reaches even a “preponderance of evidence” standard. Plus, he’s in custody now. Why turn yourself in if you and the PD are in a conspiracy together?
        For the broader situation, we don’t even have to rely on anecdotal evidence. There’s a study. A Harvard economist went looking through 10 cities’ worth of data for anti-black bias in police killings. And did not find it. In fact it was found that you’re most likely to get shot by a cop if the cop is the same race as you.

        I looked up a couple articles about Umbrella Man. (Did not see anything saying he was ID’d, though there was something about a mistaken ID that got quickly walked back.) I absolutely believe that groups like Aryan Brotherhood infiltrate leftist protests to create violence and discredit them. I don’t believe that they are most of the violence and destruction. It is mostly fueled by roving packs of no-lifes whose angst and failure manifests as (in this case leftist) political extremism. That is why they are cheered on by parts of the woke newspaper and academic intelligentsia, and ignored by others. If the NYT could build a case that riots were mostly the fault of Nazis infiltrating BLM protests, they would. Instead they largely ignore it, and one sees an occasional employee Tweeting about how looting “questions the idea of private property”.

        Another counterfactual thought experiment: If Trump could use an established, semi-respectable body like the Army or National Guard to commit his thuggery, it would have already happened. The agents in Portland were unmarked because the USAF refused to “lease their brand”, so to speak, to his actions.

      3. This may deserve a full post. Cops in Kenosha didn’t summon Rittenhouse. They didn’t order him to kill anyone. Ask a senior officer and in candor they would have preferred that the little bastard never showed up.


        Cops in Kenosha brought that guy there. They helped him access the scene. They are 100% complicit in his murders. And they let him walk away even though he was an obvious threat.

        How can both of these things be true at the same time? Our police to a very large extent reflect the median, or perhaps slightly below-median perspective in our society. Our police have a lethally dysfunctional threat assessment.

        Why do unarmed protestors need to be cleared from the streets with tear gas while white dudes walking around with assault rifles pose no threat? That’s a completely f’d up risk assessment, based entirely on race and politics.

        Police in Minneapolis haven’t caught the guy they identified starting the riots there, or even released his name, because they have a threat perception completely out of line with the people they serve. If they thought that perpetrator was from ISIS, he’d be found, and dead, by now. There would have been helicopters in the air and dogs on the ground, FBI called in, hell, maybe even the military. But no. He’s not a priority. There are moms to gas.

        The cops created these riots. The cops keep them going by continuing to attack the wrong people. I’m willing to posit that some in these police departments are actually using their power to target certain people during the riots, or unleash known white nationalists to settle scores. Read up on the Chicago PD for a little on their tactics.

        This is stochastic terrorism. It doesn’t flow from a plan, but from an attitude, a warped threat perception that places our “protectors” at odds with us. Under normal operating conditions it might be a minor problem. In a crisis, it becomes the spark that ignites an inferno.

      4. @JonCr re: “What there is not, is evidence that race is a big factor here.”

        This is now essential reading for you to maintain your position knowledgeably:

        If you choose not to read it, statements made about race not being a big factor in policing and police violence is actual ignorance, because you are choosing to ignore research that indicates otherwise.

        To be more specific, this book is a breakdown of the legal proceedings, case law, and directives that racialized policing in the United States from the street level of specifically targeting minorities through the protection of the state from any legal, federal recourse that may be brought. It may not be objectivity to the perfect degree, but it expends great care discussing direct, specific developments on a point by point basis.

        It thus allows you, if you would like, to take on its arguments equally point by point. I’m actually interested in hearing them, though I’d be more interested in hearing them from someone with as much background in law as the writer. However, have at.

        But if you don’t believe policing in America is racialized, you were, previous to this post, at the very best, naive. Now that I have posted this book to cure you of your naivity, further holding on to that belief is ignorance.

      5. Thank you for your responses. What Chris wrote, while I obviously don’t agree with it in broad strokes, is not so far from my own perception that I feel the need to reiterate what I’ve said.

        @Aaron. I’ll be completely honest, the prominent display of Kendi’s endorsement gives me pause (he seems like one who preaches to the faithful, to put it lightly), but if you think this is the book that will convince a skeptic I’ll buy it. I do come here to look at an opposing view in its strongest form, after all. And I always like American history, especially if it’s post-WWI. I can’t promise I’ll finish it any time in the next month; I have a metric fuckton of math and physics to get through each week for school. (This link round-up is on-point there.) But I’ll post something when I do.
        For now, a couple preliminaries: My definition of racism is “for a fixed income/asset level, how much and in what ways is it different to be one color vs. another”. If, 30 years down the road, being 35K/yr is the same for blacks and whites, but there are disproportionately many 35K/yr blacks because of past racism, I don’t call that world in that moment racist. At that point it would be wrong to enact anything except colorblind, class-based reforms.
        I have read about the drug war and its selective effects. (2 functionally equivalent types of crack..) And that is presumably a huge cause of the high rate of violence and murder among African Americans (Curious to read about that; I’ve long assumed it but have never read a history which talks about it.), which in turn is cause for the higher rate of police involvement with blacks. That does not mean that a viable short-term solution is to reduce the amount of policing those communities receive. African Americans themselves overwhelmingly agree with this view, by Gallup.

        Study I alluded to earlier:

      6. JonCr, thank you for handling my lashout so well. If you’d like me to send you a free copy of The New Jim Crow I can because I am finished with my own and wanting to offload it to someone who will read it and pass it on. Just PM me your interest and we can work out the details.

        I know nothing about Kendi and have no skin in the game there. The most important aspect of The New Jim Crow, to me, is that white people need to read it to understand that their very own rights to due process and justice have in fact already been taken away, it’s just that the state hasn’t yet APPLIED that rollback of rights to white people……



        … yet.

        That is rapidly changing on a daily basis. I recommend this book for literally anybody who has strong enough political opinions to be at risk of finding themselves on the contrary side of any American ideology, which is basically anybody with a political opinion. And what Chris is getting at (as far as I want to put words in his mouth) is that the police are currently being turned into collaborators and coordinators of white nationalist militias and movements, and that that can’t be reversed simply by telling them to stop being racist: they have to be removed as police and replaced with new public servants, some of which will ‘police’ in the popularly accepted concept of the term.

        Lastly I recommend but would not push on you, nor am I giving away my copy of, the much more dense and difficult The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt. It turns out there’s more than a few areas in which the police are the favored apparatus of totalitarian state violence and specific reasons why it’s them (versus, say, the military).

        I’m going to sum up with this: “In response to questions about why police didn’t apprehend Rittenhouse when he approached the cars, Kenosha Sheriff David G. Beth seemed to suggest at a press conference Wednesday that officers may not have recognized that he may have been involved in the shooting due to the chaotic situation. “I’ve been in a shooting before,” said Beth. “In situations that are high-stress, you have such incredible tunnel vision.” Beth also defended giving water to the armed suspect, saying: “Our deputies would toss a water to anybody.””

        The fact that a white guy carrying an assault rifle is OUTSIDE Sheriff Beth’s ‘tunnel vision’ makes a very obvious statement about who’s inside the scope. So painfully obvious I don’t understand how you can take it any other way.

        And “Our deputies would toss a water to anybody” is a documented lie:

        The issue is never that any single police officer or chief said “N***** had to die.” The issue is always that the Kenosha shooter once cleaned graffiti so must have some good in him despite murdering people on the street, whereas Breonna Taylor once dated a drug dealer so must have in some way deserved home invasion and extrajudicial execution, we just haven’t found it quite yet but let’s arrest as many people as we can until we do.

      7. “ whereas Breonna Taylor once dated a drug dealer so must have in some way deserved home invasion and extrajudicial execution, we just haven’t found it quite.”

        I can’t remember where I read it, but there’s a story that the ex-boyfriend was pressured to say that Taylor was involved in his illegal enterprise, and he refused. Now that’s one guy’s word (and he’s not exactly an honest citizen), but it sure does match the usual spin on these police shootings- dredge up anything you can that makes the victim look bad, so that you can justify what the cops did. Taylor presents an extra problem for these people, because the evidence we have says that she wasn’t doing anything wrong and she was a respectable citizen with a 1st responders’ job. IOW one of those people held up as heroes. Let’s be perfectly clear, even if she had been helping this guy with his drug business, that’s not a capital offense, and she would be entitled to a trial and presumption of innocence. But how disgusting this is, to try to smear a dead person’s name, especially by allegedly trying to solicit perjury.

      8. @Aaron
        Soo… The wording of Beth’s explanation gives me pause, in fact. My thinking was that having an assault rifle doesn’t mean much by itself in that situation, because once the police surrender a few streets to anarchy for a few hours, anyone with a home or business inside has good cause to take extreme measures for defense, and assault rifles are easy to get in the US. (Ideally every citizen firearm would be too large to conceal, and give six shots before taking a full minute to reload, but that’s a different discussion.) “We didn’t see him” is more suspicious than “of course we saw him but we didn’t judge him as a threat, and we didn’t take the word of the protesters who had been screaming at us all night”.
        The Asheville story, one incident as it is, is scary. But, I want to split a hair here. What I have seen over the past five years is that the fundamental war in America is not white vs. black. Most accounts of the 60s say that was the fundamental war then. But today, it’s white vs. white. Redland and Blueland. Those who hunt and watch football against those who eat yogurt and arrange the bookshelf properly. Or whatever.
        In the end I reach the same conclusion. I don’t trust police departments, in general. If Trump declares that there’s no election or that he’s not leaving, cops will largely back him up. A lot of the specific stories that have gone viral, I do not think show the cops in them to be evil. But I’ve seen enough stories about cops attacking peaceful protesters this summer to be convinced that we can’t implement some heavy, top-down reform fast enough.

        I’m not concerned about the cost, I just wanted to make sure that’s the book. I buy stuff like this all the time. Last trip to B&N I came back with the autobiography of Malcolm X and a history of hedge funds, for instance. And I read it in some of my spare time.
        As for Arendt. I wrote it on the list when you mentioned it before. (I keep a literal list.) While I would like to read it someday, it seems to be roughly the time investment of an entire freshman college course, and at this stage in my life I can’t justify putting that much effort into something that isn’t at least tangentially related to my core area of study. It seems like something for after writing a thesis and starting a career, but before having kids… I’m exaggerating, but.
        That said, I’ve made note of what you said about cops vs. military. Although, this feels like it may be a reason Trump didn’t use the NG. There is precedent for the Guard going into this kind of situation, after all.

        (Running out of time and abbreviating here.) I would not have any patience for someone who excuses the Brenona Taylor situation or who said she deserved to die. That story also makes me wonder how no-knock warrants were ever a thing. Why would officers even want to carry them out? Seems like a good way to get lit up by a gang.

    2. A lot of what you post is based on your feelings without evidence. For example, in making the argument that Antifa has probably killed someone, you state “ Given the arson, that seems unlikely. ” I have seen no stories on that whatsoever, but maybe you know something I don’t . As far as the guy in the truck who was beaten by protestors in Portland, that was wrong and I would never advocate for violence against an innocent person. However, you also might want to note that there have been several instances of drivers intentionally driving into protests, and protestors have been injured or killed as a result (source any major news media including NYT).

      As far as media fanning the flames of this, look no further than Fox News. They have been running inflammatory articles about the protests all summer in an effort to distract from the economy and the pandemic. I wouldn’t be at all surprised that the various right-wing groups showing up at protests to cause further mayhem (Proud Boys, militias, Boogaloo Boys etc.) were spurred on by either Trump himself and/or the various right wing news and opinion sites, including Fox. After all, as KellyAnne Conway said herself on Fox & Friends, “ The more chaos and anarchy and vandalism and violence reigns, the better it is for the very clear choice on who’s best on public safety and law and order.” Don’t kid yourself, the Trump Administration needs this narrative of out-of-control Democratic-run cities to sell his re-election, and if they have to exacerbate the violence to make that happen, well it is what it is.

      1. “Don’t kid yourself, the Trump Administration needs this narrative of out-of-control Democratic-run cities to sell his re-election”
        Oh trust me, I know. It’s the second scariest thing about this. (First being the violence itself.) This is the one part of Republican messaging that has a chance to stick. Thank God that Biden has more sense than the major progressive newspapers.

        On arson:
        So many fires that a man burned to death in a pawn shop isn’t found for a month…

  6. So, Chris, it is Nov 11th, 12th, 13th, or 24th.
    The results are tabulated, or rather the powers that be (likely SCOTUS) have made them official.

    One of 2 of the 8 scenarios I painted months ago has happened:
    a. The tyrant was narrowly defeated, but has screamed “It was fixed, I am not leaving. Help me, silent majority”
    b. The tyrant has “officially won”, but it is clear that there were massive voting suppression tactics or outright vote destruction/ miscounting.

    Now that the military has said “we are not getting involved”, and in light of the fact that the police are openly allied with the militias (saw your comment on Facebook), plus the gestapo, what does happen?

  7. The initial treatment of militia kid is just another piece of evidence to throw onto the pile of racial bias. The police shot Blake because he MIGHT have been a threat, he MIGHT have been going for a weapon in his car, might have, might have, can’t be too careful. But the little pale-skinned turd actually carrying an AR, who actually shot and killed people, no reason to get rough with him. Same for Dylan Roof, who murdered 9 people in cold blood, no reason to shoot first and ask questions later with him either.

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