“That was a heavily trained group of militia terrorists that attacked us,” said the officer, who has been with the department for more than a decade. “They had radios, we found them, they had two-way communicators and earpieces. They had bear spray. They had flash bangs … They were prepared. They strategically put two IEDs, pipe bombs in two different locations. These guys were military trained. A lot of them were former military,” the veteran said, referring to two suspected pipe bombs that were found outside the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee.
I was born and raised in this country and have a very complicated relationship with it.
Clint Smith, from an article in The Atlantic:
The fact that this photo was taken the day after voters in Georgia chose the first Black person and the first Jewish person in the history of that state to serve in the Senate; that it shows a man walking past the portrait of a vice president who urged the country to sustain human bondage and another portrait of a senator who was nearly beaten to death for standing up to the slavocracy; that it portrays a man walking with a Confederate flag while a mob of insurrectionists pushed past police, broke windows, vandalized offices, stole property, and strolled through the halls of Congress for hours, forcing senators and representatives into hiding and stopping the certification of the electoral process—it is almost difficult to believe that so much of our history, and our current moment, was reflected in a single photograph.
For everything I know about this country’s history, it’s still hard to believe I watched a man break into the United States Capitol and walk around with a Confederate flag with the encouragement of the President.
So even though Oracle was selected as “technology partner” for TikTok, the US government will be banning both TikTok and WeChat from American app stores.
Which just… makes the security situation even worse. From the article:
For a policy that is nominally based on protecting national security and the data of American users, this is one of the most counterproductive moves imaginable, considering that the most basic of all security advice is to “keep your apps updated,” because developers often issue updates that fix security holes. By banning TikTok from the app store, it will be impossible for users to update their app, meaning any existing vulnerabilities discovered by ByteDance between now and November will continue to persist for Americans and Americans only.
Came across this anonymous blog post about the general narcissistic attitude of certain parts of America right now:
Here is the internal narrative that dictates this state of affairs: “I am the only thing that matters; what I want is the only thing that it is valid to want; what you want is so unimportant that is is not worth discussing. I see you, but I am not convinced that you exist in any significant way, except as a potential blocker to what I want. This is your only real importance. Your assertion of personhood is irritating to me, because it gets in the way of what I want. Which is more money, more power, more self-gratification, at any cost, by any means necessary. The end always justifies the means, and if this means your end, that means nothing to me. My rights trump your rights, always, molehills to mountains no matter. I am not open to discussion of my position. I will become angry if you attempt to discuss this with me, then if you persist, I will kill you, because you are getting in the way of what I want. How dare you disagree with me.”
Internal narrative #2: “I do not recognize that I am part of a society, even though I am wholly dependent on society for my continued existence. My actions, whatever they may be, are justified, because they are what I want. To shed any residual guilt I may have, I will deny evidence as conspiracy. I am, by design, so poorly educated that this does not trouble me at all. So I will not wear a mask in public, and I will not socially distance, because to do so inconveniences me, and I do not want to be inconvenienced, and what I want is the only thing that matters.”
Selfishness in its purest form.
Again, things are bad:
Federal law enforcement officers have been using unmarked vehicles to drive around downtown Portland and detain protesters since at least July 14. Personal accounts and multiple videos posted online show the officers driving up to people, detaining individuals with no explanation of why they are being arrested, and driving off.
The tactic appears to be another escalation in federal force deployed on Portland city streets, as federal officials and President Donald Trump have said they plan to “quell” nightly protests outside the federal courthouse and Multnomah County Justice Center that have lasted for more than six weeks.
The ongoing protests following the killing of George Floyd were caught up in violence again on Saturday, as police all over the country tear-gassed protesters, drove vehicles through crowds, opened fire with nonlethal rounds on journalists or people on their own property, and in at least one instance, pushed over an elderly man who was walking away with a cane. Here are some of the ways law enforcement officers escalated the national unrest.
This is exactly what I’ve been seeing unfold on Twitter over the past few days. The original protesters of the killing of George Floyd don’t seem to be the ones out of control here.
The implied terms of the racial contract are visible everywhere for those willing to see them. A 12-year-old with a toy gun is a dangerous threat who must be met with lethal force; armed militias drawing beads on federal agents are heroes of liberty. Struggling white farmers in Iowa taking billions in federal assistance are hardworking Americans down on their luck; struggling single parents in cities using food stamps are welfare queens. Black Americans struggling in the cocaine epidemic are a “bio-underclass” created by a pathological culture; white Americans struggling with opioid addiction are a national tragedy. Poor European immigrants who flocked to an America with virtually no immigration restrictions came “the right way”; poor Central American immigrants evading a baroque and unforgiving system are gang members and terrorists.
From an article on America’s inability to build:
The question, then, is why don’t we build? What’s stopping us? Here’s my answer: The institutions through which Americans build have become biased against action rather than toward it. They’ve become, in political scientist Francis Fukuyama’s term, “vetocracies,” in which too many actors have veto rights over what gets built. That’s true in the federal government. It’s true in state and local governments. It’s even true in the private sector.
“There really is no middle ground, and it’s very tough to say to people, ‘Hey, keep going to restaurants, go buy new houses, ignore that pile of bodies over in the corner. We want you to keep spending because there’s maybe a politician who thinks GDP growth is all that counts,’” Gates said in an interview with TED Tuesday. “It’s very irresponsible for somebody to suggest that we can have the best of both worlds.”
Some interesting predictions here. Some of them seem far fetched but some make a lot of sense.
The US Federal government doesn’t have the ability to impose a national quarantine. Turns out this was just a rumor.
All over America, the coronavirus is revealing, or at least reminding us, just how much of contemporary American life is bullshit, with power structures built on punishment and fear as opposed to our best interest. Whenever the government or a corporation benevolently withdraws some punitive threat because of the coronavirus, it’s a signal that there was never any good reason for that threat to exist in the first place.