What happen next is perhaps best described by Osterreicher himself:
In contravention of all known and accepted firearms policies, the officer drew his weapon and pointed it at Mr. Lazarian in a threatening manner and then used it to gesture in the direction he wanted him to go.
“Pointing a lethal weapon at someone without provocation goes far beyond creating a chilling effect on First Amendment rights,” continued Osterreicher. “It is unfortunate that some officers do not understand or respect the Constitution which they swore to uphold.”
This comes days after a viral video showed a St. Ann Police Department officer pointing a semi-automatic assault rifle at a peaceful protester and threatening to kill him. That officer was suspended from duty indefinitely as of yesterday. It’s safe to say Osterreicher and the NPPA would like to see the same thing happen in this case.
Don’t ya hate it when that happens? You feel so short for a month.
Anoles are curious little lizards capable of ditching their tails when they feel threatened. This self-amputation, called autotomy, takes about 25 days for the tail to regrow. A paper published today in the open-access online journal PLOS ONE describes the genetic process anoles use to regenerate.
The researchers created the above graphic as a visual aid in their genetic sequencing. These ultra-thin slices of tail were taken from euthanized anoles at progressive stages of regeneration. This is very sad, but their sacrifices may someday help humans learn how to regenerate, too.
Esther Inglis-Arkell talks about the weirdest lost continent myth, I’ve ever heard. Its the only one I know of that ever included giant telepathic lemurs. No seriously!
In 1858 a young zoologist, playing around with an idea, came up with a possible lost continent. This led to one of the longest and weirdest pseudoscience theories of all time, as Lemuria became a lost island of lemurs that had everything from sanskrit to sasquatch.
This was thanks to Philip Lutley Sclater, who has plenty of less crazy credits to his name. He amassed a collection of thousands of bird specimens, which he gave to the British museum. He described the okapi to western zoologists. He founded The Ibis, a journal of ornithology. And he fathered a son, who grew to be another respected ornithologist. But in 1858, when Sclater was in his 20s and all the crazy young kids were coming up with tales of land bridges and lost continents, he undertook a study of the fauna of Madagascar. Sclater with struck by the fact that Madascar’s ecology was similar not only to Africa but to India as well. Sclater’s conclusion, drawn from the puzzling similarity, was that both continents had once been connected by a lost land called Lemuria.
If you’re paying attention to the events unfolding in Ferguson—and by God, you better be—then you probably already know there is a group of people in this country of ours who are determined to change the focus of the conversation about the murder of Mike Brown and the subsequent protests, attempting to shift the lens away from the Constitutional rights of U.S. citizens and the shooting of a black teenager.
If you’re reading this, you probably already know the folks I’m talking about. But here they are.
1) The Full-Blown Racist Troll
Block on sight. Some of them are friends of your Facebook friends—block them. Some of them are your Facebook friends. Many of them are accounts like this one: anonymous and relying on blatantly racist language, such as blackface imagery, “monkey” references, use of the “N-word,” etc. These have exploded over the last week. We’re talking hundreds. I’ve been using Twitter avidly for years, and I can’t recall ever seeing quite this much racist bile taking over an event-related hashtag (#Ferguson) as I have this week.
Block them and report them for spam immediately.
2) The “Wait for Evidence” Troll
This troll may or may not be anonymous and pretends to be focused on respecting and upholding the law. “We don’t know what happened yet,” they say. “Wait for evidence before you lambast an officer of the law.” They pretend that things like racism, police brutality, and police corruption don’t exist and insist that if concrete evidence is released, they will be swayed to feel “sympathy” for Mike Brown.
But they won’t. When evidence arises, they find objection to its relevance or veracity. They then transform into The “Mike Brown Shouldn’t Have [insert human action here]” Troll, our next entry.
3) The “Mike Brown Shouldn’t Have [Insert Human Action Here]” Troll
This troll (and the others as well) will go great lengths to justify the taking of black life, using justifications like “he shouldn’t have run,” “he shouldn’t have been sagging,” and “he shouldn’t have been walking down the middle of the street,” and “he shouldn’t have stolen something.”
These trolls come in all races and will insist that when a police officer (or a homeowner, or a security guard) assaults a person of color, that person must have done something to deserve it. The fact that Mike Brown was shot at least six times doesn’t register as overkill, even when two of those shots were in the head.
They will also extend effort to paint Ferguson as a ghetto, where this kind of thing happens all the time. Nope. Ferguson, Missouri had zero murders until Officer Darren Wilson killed Mike Brown.
4) The “Police Are the Good Guys” Troll
These folks have a blissfully naïve version of police in their heads, the one fed to them since they were children that says police are the good guys and that no matter what they do, they must have had a reason. These people have no concept (or pretend to have no concept) of the depth of white supremacy and the way it is ingrained in every facet of our culture—even our police. Because they believe the police are always right—and usually because they also believe that groups of black people are inherently violent—they have no qualms about police dressed in military gear, sitting on tanks and tear-gassing American citizens.
You may also hear these trolls say, “What about due process?” Well, we would proceed with due process. If they would actually arrest Darren Wilson. Which they haven’t.
We have seen all them.
This story on Ars Technica I found the other day, by Lee Hutchinson makes me really nervous.
A typical intersection configuration.
Halderman et al., University of Michigan
Taking over a city’s intersections and making all the lights green to cause chaos is a pretty bog-standard Evil Techno Bad Guy tactic on TV and in movies, but according to a research team at the University of Michigan, doing it in real life is within the realm of anyone with a laptop and the right kind of radio. In a paper published this month, the researchers describe how they very simply and very quickly seized control of an entire system of almost 100 intersections in an unnamed Michigan city from a single ingress point.
The exercise was conducted on actual stoplights deployed at live intersections, “with cooperation from a road agency located in Michigan.” As is typical in large urban areas, the traffic lights in the subject city are networked in a tree-type topology, allowing them to pass information to and receive instruction from a central management point. The network is IP-based, with all the nodes (intersections and management computers) on a single subnet. In order to save on installation costs and increase flexibility, the traffic light system uses wireless radios rather than dedicated physical networking links for its communication infrastructure—and that’s the hole the research team exploited.
The U.S. State Department on Wednesday accused Israel of having “singled out” for arrest members of the family of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, the Palestinian boy who was burned alive last month by Israeli Jews. The statement followed the arrest of a U.S. citizen resident in East Jerusalem who is a relative of the slain boy.
The U.S. citizen, also named Mohammed Abu Khdeir, was detained by Jerusalem police in a major crackdown in East Jerusalem meant to subdue the riots that erupted in the eastside’s Palestinian neighborhoods after the murder of 16-year-old Abu Khdeir. The murdered boy’s relative and namesake, who is 19, was born in the United States but lives and works in Jerusalem. His arrest was extended to the end of September and no indictment has been served as yet. His brother was arrested along with him.
In recent weeks, it has seemed as if the American Family Association—already listed by the SPLC as an anti-LGBT hate group—has been on a mission to transform its public image from that of ordinary family-values advocates to a pack of wild-eyed radicals foaming at the mouth about their perceived enemies.
AFA spokesperson Bryan Fischer has been leading the way. In recent weeks on his radio program, Fischer has:
Declared it will be “the end of America” if Congress does not impeach President Obama.
Denounced anyone who uses the word “racist,” then insisted that Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder are “racists.”
Sided with radical Islamists in Iraq in calling Obama a “devil worshiper.”
Suggested on Twitter that accepting homosexuality leads to people to commit acts of necrophilia.
Said that LGBT people are inherently disqualified from holding public office.
Written an article in which he wonders if Robin Williams will go to heaven and insults Williams’s mother’s belief system (she was a Christian Scientist, Fischer says, and that is “a counterfeit form of religion that is neither Christian nor scientific”)
It’s not just Fischer, though. A couple of AFA analysts recently decried the recent editorial direction of Archie Comics, saying they now promoted “the occult and homosexuality.”
Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, has once again blocked all computers from the U.S. House of Representatives in order to stop malicious edits to popular pages on the site.
According to The Hill, Wikipedia instituted the ban on Wednesday night after users operating from the House IP address made a series of anti-trans edits to the page for Netflix series Orange is the New Black.
Anonymous users operating from the Republican-led House were persistently re-editing the page to slur trans actress Laverne Cox by mis-gendering her mentions on the show’s page. For instance, they changed Cox’s description from “real transgender woman” to “real man pretending to be a woman.”
One user in particular went on an anti-trans editing spree this week, changing entries on multiple pages related to transgenderism until Wikipedia administrators were forced to step in.
More attempts at intimidation by the TPGOP. “Our financial backers have bought local state governments fair and square, so the Feds should just STFU”.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler is going to have a fight on his hands if he tries to preempt state laws that limit the growth of municipal broadband networks.
Matthew Berry, chief of staff to Republican Commissioner Ajit Pai, argued today that the FCC has no authority to invalidate state laws governing local broadband networks. In a speech in front of the National Conference of State Legislatures, Berry endorsed states’ rights when it comes to either banning municipal broadband networks or preventing their growth. He also argued that the current commission, with its Democratic majority, should not do something that future Republican-led commissions might disagree with.
“If the history of American politics teaches us anything, it is that one political party will not remain in power for perpetuity. At some point, to quote Sam Cooke, ‘a change is gonna come,’” Berry said. “And that change could come a little more than two years from now. So those who are potential supporters of the current FCC interpreting Section 706 [of the Telecommunications Act] to give the Commission the authority to preempt state laws about municipal broadband should think long and hard about what a future FCC might do with that power.”
The Day Ferguson Cops Were Caught in a Bloody Lie
The officers got the wrong man, but charged him anyway—with getting his blood on their uniforms. How the Ferguson PD ran the town where Michael Brown was gunned down.
Police in Ferguson, Missouri, once charged a man with destruction of property for bleeding on their uniforms while four of them allegedly beat him.
“On and/or about the 20th day of Sept. 20, 2009 at or near 222 S. Florissant within the corporate limits of Ferguson, Missouri, the above named defendant did then and there unlawfully commit the offense of ‘property damage’ to wit did transfer blood to the uniform,” reads the charge sheet.
The address is the headquarters of the Ferguson Police Department, where a 52-year-old welder named Henry Davis was taken in the predawn hours on that date. He had been arrested for an outstanding warrant that proved to actually be for another man of the same surname, but a different middle name and Social Security number.
“I said, ‘I told you guys it wasn’t me,’” Davis later testified.
The story of the police testimony at the trial would be slapstick comedy if it weren’t so serious.
Portion of transcript:
“After Mr. Davis was detained, did you have any blood on you?” asked Davis’ lawyer, James Schottel.
“No, sir,” Beaird replied.
Schottel showed Beaird a copy of the “property damage” complaint.
“Is that your signature as complainant?” the lawyer asked.
“It is, sir,” the cop said.
“And what do you allege that Mr. Davis did unlawfully in this one?” the lawyer asked.
“Transferred blood to my uniform while Davis was resisting,” the cop said.
“And didn’t I ask you earlier in this deposition if Mr. Davis got blood on your uniform?”
“You did, sir.”
“And didn’t you respond no?”
“Correct. I did.”