Wednesday: Dumb Dumb [UPDATE]

Let’s change the pace today with some K-pop — a little hyper-upbeat Korean pop music influenced by hip hop. You may already be familiar with K-pop if you are familiar with insanely popular tune Gagnam Style by the artist Psy, released in 2012. But K-pop isn’t just male artists like GOT7, Shinhwa, and BIGBANG. There are quite a few all-female groups like Red Velvet featured here, Girls’ Generation, Orange Caramel, and Girls’ Day. Americans may find a retro feel to female K-pop artists’ work, not only in content and performance, but production and presentation. They make hard work look like joy. For all the visual and audio effects, there are simple, unifying messages — love is everything, and girls just want to have fun.

So much that. We could really use some love and some fun.

THREE DAYS
*head-desk* Including today, that’s all the House will spend in session this month. Flint’s 8000 lead-poisoned kids still wait.

Carla Hayden, nominee for Librarian of Congress also waits. Some chickenshit anonymous Republican senator(s) have placed a hold on her confirmation. Why? Because she’s black. Swear to gods the GOP wants to become an irrelevant footnote in history; they certainly won’t win over minority voters this way, and they’re pissing off the publishing industry at the same time. UPDATE 5:00 P.M. EST — HAYDEN CONFIRMED Huh. Wonder what clued in the chickenshit anonymous Republican senator(s) who’d placed her on hold? Whatever, now the GOP can go back to focusing their normal obstructive intransigence on SCOTUS’ nominee Merrick Garland.

Don’t forget about China

Civil rights wronged

  • Cruel and unusual punishment continues on Rikers Island after four extensions granted for reforms (Village Voice) — Youths 18-21-years-old including some who are mentally ill remain locked up in solitary confinement. The glacial pace of reforms is repugnant, maintaining worse than third-world treatment. Fix this horror and quit dragging your feet, New York. You’re making this entire country look bad and worse.
  • Black ex-cop offers detailed analysis of race and policing (Vox) — One key problem is the propensity for 70% of police to cave into pressure from the 15% of cops who are outrageous racists — like the Milgram experiment run amok. Racists should be identified and removed from leadership positions; police departments must have open dialog about social pressure and expectations of ethical behavior in policing.

Breakit

Cyber-oddments

Okay, that’s quite enough self-abuse for one day. It’s downhill from here, see you tomorrow!

Blogger since 2002, political activist since 2003, geek since birth. Opinions informed by mixed-race, multi-ethnic, cis-female condition, further shaped by kind friends of all persuasions. Sci-tech frenemy, wannabe artist, decent cook, determined author, successful troublemaker. Mother of invention and two excessively smart-assed young adult kids. Attended School of Hard Knocks; Rather Unfortunate Smallish Private Business School in Midwest; Affordable Mid-State Community College w/evening classes. Self-employed at Tiny Consulting Business; previously at Large-ish Chemical Company with HQ in Midwest in multiple marginalizing corporate drone roles, and at Rather Big IT Service Provider as a project manager, preceded by a motley assortment of gigs before the gig economy was a thing. Blogging experience includes a personal blog at the original blogs.salon.com, managing editor for a state-based news site, and a stint at Firedoglake before landing here at emptywheel as technology’s less-virginal-but-still-accursed Cassandra.
23 replies
  1. bloopie2 says:

    Before I had read very much on the South China Sea issue, I wondered why the US needed to intervene in a dispute halfway around the world. Then I saw the map (in article linked below) of the area China is asserting control over. Jeebus! It’s as if Mexico said “We’re taking over the Gulf of Mexico” or France said “We’re taking over the Mediterranean”. It’s a huge area, touching on Vietnam, the Philippines, and even down to Malaysia. I say, “No fucking way.” This is BIG–I will readily send your son to fight a war over this (or, maybe not).
    .
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/12/philippines-wins-south-china-sea-case-against-china
    .
    On Tesla, best comment I’ve heard to date is “Don’t call it ‘Autopilot’.” A good bit of truth in there.
    .
    And on policing, Jonathan Chait (of all people) said something with potential. Why send an armed officer into a potential ambush (the driver’s window) just for a broken taillight? Just park behind him, write it up as a violation, and issue a ticket via computer and mail, like a red light camera violation.

    • greengiant says:

      Regarding traffic stop procedure. Hello. This discriminatory [ insert race, class etc here ], is just the first step. Insurance, registration, felon in possession of weapon, valid drivers license, open container, juvenile in possession of liquor, and then lying to the victim and then have reason to search if the victim goes along with the lie, because then they are lying to the police and giving probable cause, plus any infractions of opportunity for cause of arrest. Do you have any weapons in the vehicle? Is everything in the vehicle yours? … It is about revenue generation and race and class warfare.
      That said, the officer in Ballwin Missouri made the mistake of turning his back on the criminal he pulled over. A few decades ago the rule was for the weapon to be drawn before approaching, and I believe now it is hand on the weapon when approaching. The lesson will not be lost. http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/wounded-ballwin-officer-forever-changed-by-injuries-department-says/article_f180374b-1a3f-5023-b3f0-e5bedb4fba27.html

  2. Denis says:

    Anybody following the SDNY USDC slapping down Stringray evidence collected w/ no warrant?
    .
    I did not know SRay could hack the phone’s firmware and turn it into a recording device for the cops.

    State authorities have already taken steps to limit Stingray use, with a Maryland appeals court confirming in March that “cellphone users have an objectively reasonable expectation that their cellphones will not be used as real-time tracking devices, through the direct and active interference of law enforcement.”

    According to the American Civil Liberties Union, Tuesday was the first time a federal judge threw out evidence obtained via Stingray. The ACLU has been outspoken in its criticism of the surveillance technology, which it says violates suspects’ Fourth Amendment rights under the US Constitution.

    https://www.rt.com/usa/350936-stingray-judge-tracking-warrant/

  3. lefty665 says:

    bloopie2 @ 4:49 Because the taillight, burnt out bulb, failure to signal, etc are just pretexts to stop and search. The ticket is incidental, the cops are creating the opportunity to get up close and look in the window.

  4. earlofhuntingdon says:

    May becoming PM is not a May Day for Britons. Clouds forming, a sharpish wind coming from the right. Expect prolonged showers and flooding for those living in economically low-lying areas. Immigrants lost at sea or under the Chunnel will consider themselves lucky to have avoided May’s government.

    And Boris as Foreign Sec’y? Yes, OMG. It will be a treat and tragedy to watch him negotiating the UK’s Brexit. Seat belts required.

    • bevin says:

      “..And Boris as Foreign Sec’y? Yes, OMG. It will be a treat and tragedy to watch him negotiating the UK’s Brexit.”

      1/ Do you think Johnson could be worse than the previous Foreiugn Secretary?

      2/ I believe that David Davis, who is something of a maverick, is in charge of Brexit negotiations.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        You are correct, there is a new Cabinet post – and ministry – responsible for Brexit negotiations. The FO would be intimately involved, and would ordinarily have superior claims as it is responsible for global relations. Whether that’s true in practice will depend on who May listens to, if anyone, including her private sector patrons. Equally not in doubt is that the MOD, the Home Office, and a plethora of other players, such as Justice and Transport ministers, will be on hand daily to offer advice and encouragement.

        As I said in an earlier post, the two-year timeline, after triggering Art. 50 (assuming it’s ever triggered), for Brexit is a formality. In reality, Brexit will consume a decade. It will involve spending billions in developing and implementing new and revised arrangements, and in reinventing the wheel, from new passports, to new Ag, transport and social policies, new legal arrangements, ad nauseum. The costs (direct and opportunity), given the government’s demonstrated failure of will to tax the economic elite, will fall on the middling citizens, some of whom most wanted Brexit. Ironies will abound.

    • P J Evans says:

      An Internet friend has reported his sister’s fiance, an Indian national who’s been working in the UK (and paying taxes) for 10 years, is being told he can’t work there any more, nor can he drive. And she’s gotten a letter – apparently from May – telling her that she can move to India if she wants to stay with him.

      So this PM is off to a really bad start.

  5. lefty665 says:

    Denis @5:35 Expect we’ll find there are a bunch of variations on the Stingray theme with differing capabilities. Roving bug and video being just two. Access to apps is also in there to provide social media content along with txts and email. It’s good to see the courts finally starting to become aware.

  6. bloopie2 says:

    Ah, crap. Who knew the world was so fu**ed up? Per the Guardian: “Half of all US food produce is thrown away, new research suggests. The demand for ‘perfect’ fruit and veg means much is discarded, damaging the climate and leaving people hungry.” Am I contributing to that when I buy only the best-looking produce at the store? Ah, crap. I’ll just have McDonald’s tonight, they can’t be picky about veggies, they don’t use any do they?

  7. bloopie2 says:

    Speaking of crappy government leadership positions, all this NeverTrump stuff has got me thinking. What historical (sort of—you can include movies) figure is an outsider was late in the game promoted as being good at president’’; was bring convinced to run; would have been electable because there’s no “bad” in him; and was, in fact, supported by the elite? Who, of course, but Chance, the butler in Being There? I mean, he can even walk on water, no? Tell me honestly, now, would you rather vote for Trump or for Chance?

  8. blueba says:

    Hi there emptywheel, thanks for the tid bits about China.

    The ruling was not just in favor of the Philippines it said China has no claims and has never had any rights at all! This in waters which are its shoreline, and a 4000 hear history.

    Its credibility is challenged by its own actions of ruling on the sweep of issues on which its jurisdiction is in question.

    This is how Imperial power works, there is little doubt the ruling was as the US expected. Now it will beat China over the head with “rule of law” bullshit. The NYT is already on it.

    Aside from the vast buildup on China’s periphery including 60% of the US Navy including the nuclear submarines and the rare occurrence of two aircraft carrier fleets in the same waters.

    And warmonger Clinton about to take power.

    • bloopie2 says:

      If you will look at the map in the article linked below, showing the range of waters over which
      china is asserting sovereignty, you will see that your statement that “this is in waters which are its shoreline” is absolutely false. It is, in fact, China that is asserting the “Imperial power” you despise. What are you, a paid Chinese shill?
      .
      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/13/china-may-dispute-south-china-sea-verdict-but-its-a-huge-setback

    • rugger9 says:

      On China and its adverse ruling, I find it very interesting that the communists used a Nationalist claim as its basis, underscoring the basic hypocrisy that is the PRC governing system. The traffic that flows through there is immense and important, so freedom of navigation is not trivial. Having sailed those waters myself, there are also fishing rights and constraints (that the PRC is notorious for ignoring if they can get in, clean out and get out, pretty much worldwide) and the always necessary and contentious oil and gas deposits. Since the PRC doesn’t have enough oil on its own to supply its military and economy, it will look for opportunities to get oil elsewhere either by treaty (e.g. Iran) or by annexation (the Spratleys, Paracels, etc.). So, even though the USA is not a signatory to the UNCLOS treaty the Filipinos used as their legal foundation, the USA is the only power in the region capable of standing up to PRC aggression. One of the other things in the area is that the DPRK sold off its fishing rights to the PRC for something like $30 million dollars, and of course the PRC vessels are illegally fishing in the ROK waters which may create a flash point in Korea for a wider conflict. The PRC government is the problem here, and appear to be in full “middle kingdom” mode last seen when there were emperors in China.
      *
      I still think this is really kabuki for Brexit, since I fully expect once May’s government gets the estimate for the true costs of leaving they will use the Scottish First Minister’s threat to run another referendum as an excuse to ignore the advisory vote. If FM Sturgeon submits her referendum to the Edinburgh parliament that will be the signal. Not being familiar with the timeline on the respective parliamentary sessions, I think it may be possible that the FM’s submission in a couple of months’ time would give the Tory government enough space to do a valid estimate and come up with a rational argument for ignoring the vote (such as what I noted yesterday about the Scots leaving not being part of the political equation when the Brexit vote was taken). I haven’t read through the “wash list” yet but wait until France and the Germans get their teeth into score settling. Keep in mind that the Earl’s ten-year process could be more lingering and by design, since the UK already had special concessions given them particularly with respect to the pound sterling vs. the euro.
      *
      Self driving things are always dependent upon the detection system and its gaps. Even the best radar system will have blind spots, and not only Tesla or Google cars have this issue. Yesterday, a toddler was run over by a 300 pound mall robot cop at Stanford with bruises which apparently was not excessively rare.
      *
      Stingrays are searches, about time a court saw that. However, when will someone do something about the asset forfeiture farce where there is no due process at all in a SCOTUS challenge and which as used has even less justification for existence? Fourth Amendment searches, 14th amendment due process and equal protection of the law, 8th amendment excessive bail, take your pick, or is something missing here?

  9. wayoutwest says:

    Along with her other excellent reporting Rayne seems to be steadily reducing the number of kids in Flint she apparently wants to be poisoned. I’ve seen reports of two children who needed medical intervention because of extremely high lead levels and many more are being monitored to be sure their lower levels of lead decline and no new exposure occurs.

    The Flint children who may benefit the most from this crisis are the 2.5% that tested positive for lead exposure, above the federal limit, before the water crisis and who had chronic long term exposure the type that all the medical studies reported had possible damaging neurological effects. With all the old lead pipe being rapidly replaced they may have their exposure and chance of damage reduced.

  10. Rayne says:

    wayoutwest (1:40) — You want me to be really specific about the number of children who deserve better attention to their drinking water? Here:

    In order to address the public health crisis in Flint, every Flint child under 6 years of age — 8,657 children, based on an analysis of Census data — should be considered exposed to lead.

    The direction came earlier this week from the doctor who forced the state to acknowledge Flint’s lead problem and the state itself.

    . . .

    In recommendations to the state on Monday, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha said all kids under the age of 6 should be treated with some kind of prevention actions.

    Eden Wells, the state’s chief medical executive, said Monday that all children who drank the city’s water since April 2014 have been exposed to lead. “It is important when we think about a public health perspective that we consider the whole cohort … exposed to the drinking water, especially 6 years and under since April 2014, as exposed, regardless of what their blood level is on Jan. 11.”
    [emphasis mine; source: Detroit Free Press]

    If you don’t mind I’ll pay more attention to health care professionals as to who should be treated and how. I’ve been pretty gawddamned generous with the slackers in both Congress and Michigan’s government on this matter, because ALL children under the age of 18 were affected, and that number is more than 30,000 total. There are teenagers who attend secondary education facilities within the city’s borders who were also affected, and they expand that 30K even more.

    And I haven’t even addressed Legionella deaths, illness, and continuing risk, nor have I expounded on the E Coli threat as I should given how often Flint’s damaged water lines rupture.

    • wayoutwest says:

      Excellent news, Rayne I base most of my comments on this subject on the research and statements of Dr Hanna-Attisha and her directive to err on the side of caution is commendable especially since it will include more attention for the children who were chronically exposed to elevated lead levels before the water crisis.

      The Eden Wells statement is even more comprehensive and cautious even though children who never drank water that actually contained lead couldn’t have exposure from that source. I think the ‘treatment’ for this level of exposure is simple dietary improvements and that shouldn’t be too expensive.

      The other benefit of this directive, if enacted and continued for a decade, will be the production of data on the effects, if there are any, on these children, of short term exposure to these levels of lead.

      I don’t see any actual statement of fact here that all of these children were exposed, only that this whole cohort should be treated ‘as if’ they were for good cautious public health reasons.

  11. Rayne says:

    blueba (10:18) — Please be sure to check the byline on posts. This was my post, not emptywheel’s.

    I think the commenters will respond adequately to your concerns.

  12. Rayne says:

    Denis (5:35) — I’ve left Stingray stuff for emptywheel because of its intersection with her beat. I’ll add a blurb in my next post since she’s been traveling.

    bevin (7:23) — Davis may be the so-called ‘Brexit Czar’ but it’s Johnson who’ll be at the frontline trying to maintain relations abroad. Already looks like May and Davis are taking an offensive stance on Article 50, wanting deals BEFORE executing the article, in essence extending the two-year period for negotiations. That’s not what the Lisbon Treaty specifies, though. I should probably note this in my next post. Gods help the UK’s citizens, they are lead by fecking fascist morons now.

  13. Bill Michtom says:

    The ex-cop writing about cops never says he did anything beyond “I got the officer off of him.” No reporting the incident. No questioning the other cops. Nothing.

    We also never discover why he quit. Was it because of the corruption and violence. We don’t know.

    He does say about the number of bad cops in departments that starts the article, “That’s a theory .” So, that’s untrustworthy.

    I suggest this from a public defender (who happens to be my son): https:[email protected]/police-brutality-isnt-the-exception-its-the-policy-a65f4ceaaf29

  14. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The Chinese have ample precedents in ignoring rulings by international courts. If China wants to articulate spurious for it, all they have to do is read the FRUS, starting with, say, commentary on Nicaragua v. US.

  15. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Lead in drinking water is a national problem. DC, for example, has very high levels. So do many other cities, especially older eastern cities. It is part of the aging infrastructure that businesses and governments desperately want to ignore. The crisis in Flint might help make the problem more well known.

    Official figures are often as credible as tobacco industry publications on the health risks of smoking their products. Recording toxic levels of lead and other poisons might force miserly governments to do something about them or face political repercussions. They are probably also hoping that not doing something will keep them in good stead with their corporate patrons, as long as the latter get special deals and clean water.

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