Morning Ed: Law & Order {2018.07.09.M}

[LO1] One of the things that always makes me uncomfortable with notions that we need to be able to predict who is going to be the next school shooter is false positives.

[LO2] If you’re going to die too young, is it better or worse to die ironically.

[LO3] WhatsApp and mob justice in India.

[LO4] Adeshina Emmanuel and (former Timesperson) Shawn Gude take aim at police unions.

[LO5] Police in Miami had to give a prostitute nearly $20,000 back.

[LO6] Helicopter escape! This seems like a plot I would have come up with in junior high and then thought stupid by high school, but it apparently used to be a regular nonoccurence.

[LO7] A mass shooters disproportionately white? Maybe not. Off the cuff, I would guess that the more narrow the definition of “mass shooting” the whiter the pool of culprits.

[LO8] Scalawag looks at attempts to organize a prisoners’ union in North Carolina.

[LO9] Fish yeah!


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Will Truman is the pseudonym of a former para-IT professional who is presently a stay-at-home father in the Mountain East. He has moved around frequently, having lived in six places since 2003, ranging from rural outposts to major metropolitan areas. He is also on Twitter. ...more →

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32 thoughts on “Morning Ed: Law & Order {2018.07.09.M}

  1. LO4: Many of the same things that are said police unions are also said of teachers unions: that the unions protect abusive and incompetent teachers. Sure, shooting innocent people is much worse, but an organisation that is dedicated to justice as a whole rather than representing one faction should be sufficiently self aware about its own practices. But, I suppose this is progress.

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    • I’ve said before, I’ll say again: If all Police Unions did was argue for more pay, more vacation, and more sick leave for its members, only nutbar libertarians would oppose them.

      Heck, if all they did was argue for those things and were indifferent to whether the officers getting these benefits had recently been acquitted for some awful stuff, it’d probably be okay. “Hey, we are advocates for the Police and we fight for more pay, more vacation, and more sick leave”, they could say. “We don’t have an opinion on the tragic Eric Garner incident.”

      That said, they don’t. And it’s reached the point where the leftier of the lefty publications have noticed that police unions are, seriously, protecting some serious bad apples. Like, barrel-spoilers. I’m interested in seeing how this evolves.

      Who will have solidarity with whom?

      (Edit: Oh… the articles are from 2015 and 2016. I’m not sure they’re evidence of irons being as hot as I thought they might be.)

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  2. The Heritage Foundation “voter fraud database” is making the rounds again, so here’s an article by Jason Bauman on why their analysis of it is bad and should feel bad.

    Also if there’s a way to download the database in an actually useful format (Excel, CSV, et c.) I don’t see it. You can’t even sort the damn outputs by columns. Maybe that’s because they don’t want you to notice that their ~1100 or so instances of fraud go back to 1948.

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    • I recall having three observations after spending part of an afternoon thumbing through their data (I haven’t looked at the Bauman article to see if these overlap): (1) many of the cases should be tagged “election fraud”, not “voter fraud”, as no voters did anything wrong; (2) small town/county elections in the South made up a disproportionate share; and (3) a surprising number of the cases would be eliminated if sheriff were not an elective office.

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  3. LO1: Honestly, when I was a teenager, had a school official asked me if those scissors could be made into a weapon, I would have answered the same way, just because the school official is being extra special dumb.

    And school officials should understand how autism works, and not hold that against kids.

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  4. LO5 reminds me of this:

    In the car, I was listening to a call-in show that gave financial advice. A young woman called to say that was a stripper and had accumulated five figures worth of tips that she hadn’t declared as income. She wanted to know a safe way to deposit them into a bank account without drawing the attention of the IRS. The host mansplained that of course she should put the money in the bank, because then it would earn interest.

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  5. L01: Lessons and questions:

    (1) Beware psychiatrist selling book;
    (2) People being asked to anticipate future school shootings are concerned about what will happen to them if they fail to predict the future;
    (3) Who exactly made the initial evaluation of whether he was a risk to himself or others and then recommended bringing in the police? It sounds like something a therapist would evaluate, but therapists typically have confidentiality obligations preventing such actions unless they reasonably believe there is a risk of injury. Seems like two possibilities here: one is that the parents are selectively reading materials to the reporter and there was an issue, and the other is that the evaluation is not being conducted by a qualified mental health professional.
    (4) How can the kid’s privacy be protected by using only his middle name given all of the other information about his school in the story?

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  6. Lo5: What jumped out at me on this story was, first, that they actually got the cash back. Progress! But second, this:

    The Miami-Dade police department’s legal bureau asked a civil court judge to allow the police to keep the money, arguing that they believed it was drug money, the Herald reported. [emphasis mine]

    Not that they had evidence it was drug money or could show it was drug money, but that they simply “believed” it was drug money. People can believe all sorts of shit when it suits their interests.

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      • Cocaine’s pretty bad, but there can be dangerous amounts of fentanyl on flyers that test negative for fentanyl!

        Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez’s office on Friday announced the results of the laboratory tests, just days after a sergeant touched a flyer on her windshield and was subsequently hospitalized with fentanyl-like symptoms. Initial field tests determined that another flyer placed on a sheriff’s office vehicle contained the sometimes-deadly opioid.
        The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences tested 13 flyers – all promoting the same organization as the flyer found on the sergeant’s car – as well as clothing items and blood and urine samples from the sergeant. Those tests came back from the laboratory as negative for the drug.

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  7. LO3:
    The article was written in that weird passive voice, where it sounds like a bit of software is apparently running around killing people.
    As if there is no underlying social pathology to mob violence and witch hunts, which could explain the seemingly random pattern.

    Because as we saw here in America, these things are never random, and always conform to the larger class and caste dynamics of society.

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  8. It’s Brett Kavanaugh for the Supremes. Pretty much a conservative out of central casting and I was right that it would be a Harvard or Yale grad.

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