In more somber news...

My lack of time to post recently has also caused a lack of time to track news.  I haven't been following it closely, but the situation in Ferguson is just horrifying.

The police continued trying to provoke the protesters, with what would have been Geneva Convention violations if they'd been done against enemy troops (yes, tear gas in war is a Geneva Convention violation, largely due to unknown health risks, especially towards expectant mothers).

The National Guard got involved, but seems to've been deployed just to provide cover for the police provacateurs, rather than to protect the citizens.  I hope the governor pays for that, down the road.

It took several days, but the smears against Michael Brown came out in many different forms.  First, there was the claim that he started charging the officer from 35 ft away, but was dead 25 feet away.  Then there was the claim that he'd stolen cigars from a store just before that.  Then there was the claim that he used marijuana.  Then the claim that he'd broken the officer's orbital ridge, I think it was.

Let's first stipulate that none of those have any relevance, even if they had been true.  The officer approached him for jaywalking, got upset when Michael Brown gave him some lip (let's stop for a minute to contemplate what percentage of 17-year-olds have issues dealing with authority), then shot him.  None of that other stuff would have any relevance to the matter at hand, even if it were true.

And let's clarify a couple other matters of relevance, before returning to those earlier items.  First, the police are around to protect and serve the public.  They are not out there to be judges, juries, and executioners.  They should not be pulling their weapons unless lives are threatened.

Second, police officers should be getting trained to be thick-skinned.  They have to deal with people under a lot of stress, all day, every day.  They're going to be hearing people at their worst, all the time, and they need to be ready to deal with that.  They can't be dealing with that with their guns.  Too many people will end up dead, if they do.

To return to the earlier, for Officer Wilson to have gotten six shots off in the time it would take for Michael Brown to run ten feet, especially given that that would include the time to realize the threat and draw his gun.  It's an absurd claim.  Nobody can shoot that fast.  That's about two seconds.  I doubt a machine could fire a semi-automatic weapon that fast.

As far as the cigars, the surveillance footage had the portion of the tape where he paid edited out.  The lawyer for the shop also says there was no theft.  But even if their had been, would petty theft justify a death sentence?  If the officer had known about it when he made the stop?

Marijuana?  Don't make me laugh.  When's the last time you saw an aggressive stoner?

The broken bone?  Yeah, it was broken in 2008.  Lots of relevance to Michael Brown's case.

And the media played along with these claims without even questioning the claims.  This is yet another example of the media abjectly failing to be an effective check on government power and overreach.  This is the media being tools of the state.

The saddest part?  The local DA got a grand jury (not convened especially for the occasion) with nine white people and three blacks.  In a city that's 2/3 people of color.  Doesn't exactly seem right.  I hope they vote to indict, but it would shock me.

That's the saddest part of all.  Every indication so far, is that Officer Wilson will walk, without even a slap on the wrist.  And somehow, people have managed to raise $200k for his legal fees.  I have no comprehension of how so many people support his cold-blooded killing of a young black boy.  I just don't get it, at all.

So even if it does go to court, he's not going to be paying for it.

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