Ground Zero — Ferguson

Ferguson Ground Zero
Click photo for the original articleBuzzfeed/Joel Anderson

In the wake of the news that Ferguson, Missouri, police Darren Wilson will not be indicted for killing Michael Brown, you’ve probably seen lots of reports of destruction and anger, and far fewer about the despair of black men as they contemplate the message the grand jury’s decision sends about the value of their lives.

Here’s a great corrective. BuzzFeed’s Joel Anderson captured this image, and Twitter user @HeyMyNameIsWill contrasted it with the images of the protests offered by cable TV.

Rest assured white Republican America. If you live in a state where it’s perfectly legal for coppers to shoot an unarmed suspect fleeing the scene of a crime [or suspected of fleeing a crime – or suspected of anything] – you already know you or your kids aren’t likely to be the victims of murder-by-cop. if you’re Black or Brown or some other non-white tint of human being, that’s different. But, you also know that doesn’t matter.

The city of Albuquerque, down the road from here, has a police force that is just coming out from under a Department of Justice investigation, new rules, new oversight – because of the number of civilians killed by coppers. Watching the local news on any day, we call it “watching the local murders”. And like most Americans, we don’t mind a whole lot if it’s one drug gang killing members of another drug gang – or cops killing crooks with a lifetime record of violence and theft.

Albuquerque got in trouble because their cops killed too many white guys, too many veterans.

Ferguson, St. Louis, Middle America ain’t going to change anything if cops stick to killing Black men or Hispanics. The despair in this photo is only a reflection of that fact. And the politicians charged with aiding oversight, peace and prosperity couldn’t care less. Which is a much better reason to throw them out of office than Keynesian fiscal policy or not strictly adhering to orders received directly from your God and your bible.

Tagging criminals by shooting them with a DNA gun

Imagine that you’re a police officer in the midst of a riot. While you may be able to apprehend the offenders closest to you, you can see plenty of other looters and vandals who you’re just not able to get to at the moment. Well, that’s where SelectaDNA’s High Velocity DNA Tagging System would come into the picture. At the heart of the system is a gun that shoots non-lethal pellets, which contain uniquely-coded synthetic DNA.

The idea is that when things have calmed down a bit, the police can set about rounding up the wrong-doers who they couldn’t nab when the riot was in full swing. In order to do so, they’d use one of SelectaDNA’s portable microscopes/readers to check suspects for the telltale DNA.

Each case of non-toxic pellets has a DNA code that’s specific to that batch, although all 14 pellets within the case share that same code – this means that the code could be used to tie a suspect to a certain event, but it couldn’t be used to single that one person out from all the other DNA-tagged suspects…

The gun itself is available in pistol or rifle form, both of which are powered by CO2 cartridges. The pistol can squeeze off 20 shots per 12-gram cartridge, while the rifle’s capacity is higher. Both guns allow users to hit targets from a range of 30 to 40 meters (98 to 131 feet).

The company also makes a grease, gel and spray containing the synthetic DNA, for marking belongings against theft or for tagging attackers.

On one hand, this surely is a beneficial use of science – aiding coppers to pinpoint evildoers, especially those in gang scrums.

On the other hand, I can’t help but think of making life easier for those government ideologues who’d like this system as second choice to the lack of RFID tags implanted at birth. 🙂

Michele Bachmann magazine cover pisses off nutball Right


Hmmm. There is a similarity.

A Newsweek cover featuring Michele Bachmann staring wildly into the camera and headlined “Queen of Rage” has sparked a row about bias in the mainstream American media against Right-wing politicians…

Liberal writers also questioned the use of the picture, but the greatest scorn was expressed by conservative bloggers who tore into Tina Brown, the British editor of Newsweek…

The controversy forced Ms Brown to issue a statement defending the magazine’s choice of photograph. “Michele Bachmann’s intensity is galvanising voters in Iowa right now and Newsweek’s cover captures that,” she wrote on her Twitter account…

Mrs Bachmann was called a “saucer-eyed looney tune” by the liberal Huffington Post blog, while Rolling Stone magazine referred to her as “almost certainly the funniest thing that has ever happened to American presidential politics” and depicted her with a wild-eyed caricature.

The congresswoman from Minnesota has attracted fire from the Left for her bizarre factual claims and open hostility to President Barack Obama.

She is however riding high in the race for the Republican 2012 nomination and could win a straw poll in Ames, Iowa this weekend that is seen as a guide to the winner of the state’s caucuses early next year.

Which points out with some accuracy the sort of nutballs who now populate the Republican Party.

Open warfare between Mexican police factions


Daylife/AP Photo used by permission

Hundreds of Mexican federal police officers from two opposing groups clashed in Ciudad Juarez over the weekend over allegations of corruption within their ranks.

On Saturday, a three-day protest turned into a riot between two opposing groups of the federal police department. The confrontation was triggered by corruption allegations against federal police Cmdr. Salomon Alarcon Romero. Alarcon’s critics say the commander has participated in kidnappings, killings and extortion in Juarez, which borders U.S. city El Paso, Texas.

The protest started Thursday after the arrest of an officer who critics say was falsely accused for drug crimes, the state-run news agency Notimex reported.

Local media said about 200 heavily armed officers — some wearing ski masks — demonstrated in front of the La Playa hotel, which houses some federal police offices. The group denounced Alarcon and other commanders as corrupt, while calling for a full investigation by the Mexican military into Alarcon’s alleged ties with drug traffickers. More than 100 supporters of Alarcon pushed back against the accusers, defending their commanders and deflecting misconduct allegations.

Several police officers suffered injuries during the protest, according to Notimex. Alarcon fled in an armored car…

The mayor has said in the past that a major contributor to the problems in Juarez has to do with Mexico’s judicial system…Many suspects who are arrested are never charged, Juarez Mayor Jose Reyes Ferriz said.

“It’s just catch and release,” Ferriz said.

Ferriz is a very brave man. I think he sleeps in a bulletproof vest.

Folks I know in Ciudad Juarez hope he lives long enough to clean up the corruption in their city.

Auditions for Top Model turn ugly!


Click on photo for raw riot video
Daylife/Reuters Pictures

Pandemonium erupted outside of an “America’s Next Top Model” casting call in midtown Saturday when an overheating car triggered a stampede of catwalk-craving cuties.

Screaming as they ran for their lives, hundreds of hotties in heels toppled over barricades along W. 55th St. after several people in the crowd started yelling, “There’s a bomb!”

By the time the model madness ended, two women were hospitalized and two others and one man were busted for inciting a riot, authorities said.

Seems to be about as well-managed as a bull in a china shop.

At least 21 die in Mexico jail riot


Federal police pass by relatives of inmates waiting for word from inside
Daylife photo from Reuters Pictures

At least 21 prisoners died in a jail riot in Mexico near the Texas border on Monday when inmates from rival gangs staged a gun battle and set fire to the building.

The riot started in the early hours in the prison in Reynosa, a rundown manufacturing city in northeastern Mexico where the powerful Gulf drug cartel is active.

The inmates attacked each other with knives and guns for about three hours, then resorted to setting fires with matches and gasoline taken from prison workshops.

“There was a shootout and then a fire. There are charred bodies among the dead,” said a spokesman at the local attorney general’s office who declined to be named.

While ambulances waited for police to bring out victims and military helicopters flew overhead, Jose Ives Soberon, police chief for the local Tamaulipas state, told Mexican radio the death toll had risen to 21 men…

Heavily armed soldiers quelled the fight and surrounded the prison and anti-riot police with body armor patrolled the prison rooftops to prevent further disturbances.

I’ve known a few folks who’ve done hard time. The tale always goes – the first people the cons set out to maim and kill are each other.

Folks I know who worked on the admin side of slammers say the same. I’m not surprised.

Yom Kippur riot in Israeli city of Acre

Riots have broken out in the mixed city of Acre, reportedly triggered when an Israeli Arab man drove his car during the Yom Kippur religious holiday. Dozens of cars and shops were damaged as hundreds of people took to the streets

The Arab man was reportedly attacked by youths who said he was making noise intentionally, Haaretz said. The Arab man is reported to have said he was simply driving to a property he owned in the eastern part of the city.

The unrest erupted around midnight local time, with hundreds of people pouring onto the streets as news spread of the alleged assault.

A crowd gathered on Ben Ami Street, a key commercial street in the city, and caused “extensive damage” to vehicles and property in “large-scale” Jewish-Arab rioting, the report said.

Living in a theocracy really gives you a sense of history, doesn’t it. Especially the injustice part.