Cops with the most military gear kill the most civilians

Police departments that get more equipment from the military kill more civilians than departments that get less military gear. That’s the finding from research on a federal program that has operated since 1997…

This federal effort is called the “1033 Program.” It’s named after the section of the 1997 National Defense Authorization Act that allows the U.S. Defense Department to give police agencies around the country equipment, including weapons and ammunition, that the military no longer needs.

…Militarization of police doesn’t reduce crime or improve officer safety – but it does make civilians less trusting of the police, with good reason.

In our study, my coauthors and I found that the police agencies who received the most military gear had, in the year after getting the equipment, a rate of civilian killings more than double that of police departments that had received the least amount of military equipment through the 1033 Program. While data limitations limited our analysis to four states, our findings were replicated with nationwide data.

If you own this crap you’re going to use it whether justified or not. Often true of our military. At least as true for our police departments.

Oh, in case you never noticed. Companies looking for more sales of military hardware can afford a lot more lobbying and kickbacks than the folks producing, say, schoolbooks.

Another Flunky Takes Over Another Agency


Thank you for the radio handbook translated into English.

The man appointed by Donald Trump to head the US global media agency that oversees Voice of America and other state-funded broadcasters has carried out a purge of career officials at the top levels of the organisation and installed Trump loyalists.

The action by Michael Pack appeared to confirm fears that Trump wanted to turn the US Agency for Global Media into a loyal state broadcaster of the kind normally found in authoritarian societies.

Pack, a conservative film-maker and ally of right-wing ideologue Stephen Bannon, fired the heads of Middle East Broadcasting, Radio Free Asia, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and the Open Technology Fund according to CNN, which quoted an official as calling the dismissals the “Wednesday night massacre”. The head of VOA resigned after Pack won Senate confirmation.

Pack has installed Emily Newman, a former adviser to the Department of Homeland Security, as the new chief of staff, according to CNBC.

Newman issued an all-staff memo announcing the new hierarchy and telling them: “Until further notice, no actions are to be taken, and no external communications are to be made, without explicit approval” of the new executives.

Trumpo will borrow “experts” from his buddy Vlad to help rearrange priorities for the new Voice of Fearless Leader.

Trump got written briefing on ‘Russia bounties’ — useless to a fool who doesn’t read

Reports by the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal, quoting unnamed US officials, said a Russian military intelligence unit had offered Taliban-linked militants bounties to kill US troops in Afghanistan…

Moscow maintains close links with the Taliban, as it sees the US involvement in Afghanistan winding down, the BBC’s diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus says.

He says Russia is also waging a “grey” or undeclared war against the West. Under President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin has smarted from every perceived indignity suffered since the fall of the Soviet Union. It was US support for Afghan irregular fighters that contributed to Moscow’s forced withdrawal from Afghanistan in the 1980s.

…The New York Times, citing two unnamed US officials, said the intelligence assessment had been included in the President’s Daily Brief report – a written document with key government intelligence – in late February.

CNN and the Associated Press have also reported that the president received the intelligence in a written briefing earlier this year, without specifying when. Mr Trump is said to largely ignore the President’s Daily Brief, relying more on oral briefings by intelligence officials a few times a week.

Or he’ll just sit on his dead ass and wait for Fox Fake News to tell him what he needs to know — to sound presidential.

Feel sorry for poor Chesapeake Energy filing bankruptcy?

CEO Robert D. “Doug” Lawler found in examining the company’s books a $110 million bill for two parking garages, Faber reported Monday. That was part of about $30 billion in spending above cash flow that happened from 2010-12, while the late Aubrey McClendon was CEO and prior to Lawler taking over in 2013.

Other revelations include a wine collection in a cave hidden behind a broom closet in the Chesapeake office. Extravagances further included a season ticket package to the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder that was the biggest in the league and a lavish campus that was modeled after Duke University, complete with bee keepers, botox treatments and chaplains for employees.

In the Chapter 11 announcement, Lawler added that the company is “fundamentally resetting” its capital structure and business “to address our legacy financial weaknesses and capitalize on our substantial operational strengths.”

Peel me a grape!

Anti-science ignoranus

…Top U.S. COVID-19 adviser Anthony Fauci recently blamed the country’s ineffective pandemic response on an American “anti-science bias.” He…compared those discounting the importance of masks and social distancing to “anti-vaxxers” in their “amazing” refusal to listen to science.

It is Fauci’s profession of amazement that amazes me. As well-versed as he is in the science of the coronavirus, he’s overlooking the well-established science of “anti-science bias,” or science denial.

Americans increasingly exist in highly polarized, informationally insulated ideological communities occupying their own information universes

In theory, resolving factual disputes should be relatively easy: Just present strong evidence, or evidence of a strong expert consensus. This approach succeeds most of the time, when the issue is, say, the atomic weight of hydrogen.

But things don’t work that way when scientific advice presents a picture that threatens someone’s perceived interests or ideological worldview. In practice, it turns out that one’s political, religious or ethnic identity quite effectively predicts one’s willingness to accept expertise on any given politicized issue.

It’s called “Motivated reasoning”, folks. The American Way.

Judge rules Devin Nunes can’t sue Twitter over statements by fake cow

That has to be the headline of the week!


Mother Jones

A judge has ruled that Rep. Devin Nunes has no right to sue Twitter over statements made by a fake Internet cow, someone parodying his mother and a Republican strategist.

Judge John Marshall said in a decision Friday that Twitter was “immune from the defamation claims of” Nunes, R-Tulare, due to federal law that says social media companies are not liable for what people post on their platforms…

Nunes “seeks to have the court treat Twitter as the publisher or speaker of the content provided by others based on its allowing or not allowing certain content to be on its internet platform,” Marshall wrote. “The court refuses to do so…”

Absolutely hilarious. A pleasure to see this happen to Congress’ creepiest version of what passes for a Republican conservative, nowadays.

Tulsa Rally: Trump pimps removed all social distancing stickers


No stickers. Not a lotta fans, either!

Hours before President Donald Trump took the stage last Saturday at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for his first rally in the COVID-19 era, arena workers were busy labeling thousands of seats with “Do Not Sit Here Please!” stickers to promote social distancing, part of a new safety protocol at the arena known as VenueShield.

Campaign staff quickly radioed over to an executive at ASM Global and asked the arena to stop labeling the seats. In fact, “they also told us that they didn’t want any signs posted saying we should social distance in the venue,” says Doug Thornton, executive vp for ASM Global, who oversees nearly 100 arenas across five continents…

Thorton said ASM was simply following the company’s new VenueShield program, developed with doctors, industry experts and infectious disease specialists to prevent the spread of coronavirus at ASM’s 325 venues worldwide. The event was general admission-only meaning all seats were first come, first serve. The stickers were a mandatory component of VenueShield, ASM continued stickering every other seat when something unexpected happened: “The campaign went through and removed the stickers,” says Thornton…

The sticker episode concluded an anxiety-filled week for BOK Center staff wherein hundreds of Trump campaign workers inside the building inconsistently followed basic safety protocols like wearing masks and social distancing…

While the Trump campaign undermined arena mitigation efforts to protect attendees from the coronavirus, it did take steps to limit its own liability by requiring rally attendees to sign away their rights to sue if they contracted COVID-19.

Chickenshit as ever. Trump Republicans don’t give a damn about the dolts who vote for him. They DO CARE about being sued by the people they infect and sicken