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Read the story forwards, not backwards


The lie I hate most is the lie I once fell for.

When George Zimmerman was charged with murdering Trayvon Martin, there was much I did not know till later. But from the day the story broke, I could see cause to keep an open mind in the face of the narrative. There was more to the Ferguson story than I knew till much later. But I saw from the start that there was more to it than the media wanted me to know.

Not so with the Floyd story. If I’d seen Floyd being restrained by nurses in an emergency room, the idea that they could be trying to save him, not kill him, might have occurred to me. But everyone knows police and suspects are adversaries. The police arrived on the scene in the first place to arrest him, not hospitalise him. Who wants to watch a distressing video of a man dying? Surely the picture of Floyd on the ground under Chauvin’s knee was enough. So my mind confabulated a simple connection between the two.

So I accepted an incident-report from BLM!

I could see it was wildly oversold. I could see that BLM demanded we think it represented all police, all white people and above all Trump, although Mineapolis has not seen a Republican official for decades. I could see the same BLM demanded we think their ‘mostly peaceful’ gunning down of an 8-year-old black girl represented nothing at all. But I assumed the Floyd incident was what they said it was in itself, despite knowing who and what the overwhelmingly white marxists who run BLM were, and where they come from.

That’s embarrassing!

It was days later (prompted by a twin-cities-based web friend) that I woke up enough to watch the video – and to think about it. You don’t asphyxiate a man by pressing on the back of his neck – and you usually don’t murder a man under the eyes of hostile videoing witnesses when you could just put him in your car and drive off. Two-thirds of the way in, the video itself drops a unintentional hint that it may not be the whole story. A guy comes to the man videoing and says, “Let me help. I saw the whole thing”, whereupon the man swiftly gets very aggressive in his determination to make the unwelcome informant go away again. Very soon he is shouting “I know where you live. I know where your parents live.” to make the guy leave – a strange thing for someone concerned about Floyd to do.

So I began to try and learn more.

Many detective stories have plots that would be very straightforward – if they were told in order from start to end. Instead, the hero is introduced to some late side-effect of the crime, or to a crime with an obvious suspect, then gets (with the reader) a series of baffling shocks as they trying to unwind the hidden earlier history. Only at the end does the ‘great detective’ tell the story in order, from start to end, and then everything that puzzled us makes sense.

Let’s tell the George Floyd story in order, start to finish (as best we can for now). The police are summoned by a shopkeeper to an unusual suspect, who is still parked nearby, acting silly, when the usual passer of forged $20-bills would have driven off. As they go through the routine of questioning him, Floyd’s strange behaviour starts to get to them. They ask Mr Floyd “Are you on something right now? (See bodycam transcripts for Officers Kueng and Lane.) At first Floyd denies this, saying “No, nothing” but then Officer Koenig tells Floyd he is “acting real erratic” and asks Floyd why he is foaming at the mouth. “I was hooping earlier”, George explains.

(Hooping: street slang for absorbing drugs via the anus, believed by some to enhance their potency. The autopsy confirms George Floyd was telling the truth: the amount of fentanyl in his system was far above lethal dosage.)

For a while, the police try to stick to their script – to put him in their car and take him to the station – but it gradually (or fairly quickly, one could argue – the whole incident takes but a short time) becomes clear that things are serious. Foaming-at-the-mouth George starts to complain he can’t breathe – both directly and also indirectly (Floyd’s indicative fear of being in the closed police car, his begging them to “crack [open] a window”, appears even earlier than his first “I can’t breathe”). Floyd himself repeatedly asks to get on the ground rather than into the car – and repeatedly says he can’t breathe before he is on the ground. Chauvin puts him on the ground. By now, the police have abandoned the idea of arresting him and instead summoned an ambulance, at first because Floyd cut his mouth on the car door, but soon afterwards Chauvin tells Lane (who is handling comms) to call again and ensure the ambulance is high priority – which would be an odd thing for a would-be murderer to do.

Meanwhile, what do the police do with Floyd till the ambulance arrives (soon, they hope)? They do what they have been trained to do (by order of the left-leaning Democrats who rule Minneapolis). They restrain the suspect (the theory is his own struggles may otherwise exhaust him, especially if drug-induced Extreme Delirium occurs). They use the knee-to-rear-of-neck hold they’ve been taught to use (“the conscious neck hold”, their political masters’ manual calls it, because that hold should not make the subject lose consciousness, let alone face the dangers of a frontal choke-hold). “I can’t breathe”, yells Floyd yet again now he is on the ground. “Then stop talking and yelling.”, replies Chauvin, “It takes a lot of oxygen to talk.” But though the hold is designed not to take consciousness, let alone life, Floyd nevertheless passes out after four minutes on the ground (or at least, both Lane and the ex-wife who has been with him from the start, say at almost the same time, “I think he’s passed out”).

We know from the autopsy that Floyd’s lungs (two-three times normal weight when examined, because of all the liquid in them) must by now be dangerously full of fluid – probably already lethally so. Knowing what we know now, Floyd was most unlikely to resume struggling. Floyd is having an episode all right, but not of Extreme Delirium. The active restraint no longer serves its intended purpose.

But the police do not know this; they are still wondering whether Floyd is on PCP. Fentanyl has not occurred to them – and why would it? And if it had, would Floyd’s foaming lungs have had a better chance of draining if he were face up instead of face down? He was given CPR by Officer Lane and the ambulance crew when the ambulance arrived. The four officers would have done their own PR a favour if they had broken their training and started it four minutes earlier. But with flooded lungs between mouth and heart, would it have favoured Floyd’s survival at all?

Told in order from first to last, the story of how George Floyd came to die makes more sense than the start-at-the-end BLM narrative ever did. I guess if we could all have seen that right away then detective story writers would be out of business, which is a fate I would not want for them (for BLM, by contrast, … ).

Last Friday, a judge dismissed Derek Chauvin’s third degree murder charge over George Floyd. (Here is a critcal assessment of the charges written when they were made). Earlier this month, the same judge gave Chauvin monitored $1 million bail release from his high security ‘protective’ custody. The second-degree charges remain against him and his colleagues. Those charges must meet a higher standard of proof to convict. A matter so ‘tried’ in the ‘court of public opinion’ may benefit from the clarity of a real trial. The judge may be serving the truth as best he can.

One final question: why do BLM focus on cases like Zimmerman, Ferguson or Floyd instead of genuine criminal police shootings of blacks? In the brutally racist U.S. that BLM claim to believe in, there should be loads of strong legal cases to choose from – and in the real U.S they certainly happen. I think the marxist revolutionaries of BLM see no profit in highlighting a valid case – it may well end in evil oppressive America convicting the cop. Far better a case where there is a real chance of acquittal. If there is acquittal, they can have yet more riots. If there should be acquittal in honest law, but judge and jury are too fearful or propagandised, they’ve made a real advance towards their goal.

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82 days ago
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Spiking the ball...

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"your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins"
 - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (March 8, 1841 – March 6, 1935) 

"Where we've already won on same sex marriage, stop spiking the ball."
- GayCynic (Hippie Era-Present)

Look. Once you've won the ball-game, don't be spiking the ball - it merely invites your former opponents to get sufficiently bent out of shape to stage a resurgence, something that we in the LGBT community just plain don't need. The current histrionics over the proposed Arizona Statute look suspiciously like spiking the ball, unless someone can show me a version where it actually bars protests and exercise of free speech employed against religious bigots (or religious objectors, if you prefer).

I'd like to see resistance to same sex marriage drop off a lot more than I'd like to see religiously motivated busi

If some florist, or baker, photographer, venue or faith organization has all kinds of religious issues with same sex marriage - ultimately, we don't need  them. There's more than one of each in the world, and there exists plenty of payback possible, should it come to that - boycotts, picketing, protests, pamphlets and a wide variety of other fun that is particularly effective against the most likely targets - one-off mom'n'pops. For some reason larger businesses range from "don't make me get that all over me" on our issues to actually being supportive.

Yet, as a community, we've had to "go there." Not satisfied with garnering same sex marriage several states (and with recent court cases, I wouldn't bet against nationwide sometime soon) we apparently need to compel people to support those marriages publicly, against their will and in violation of their religious faith.

Let's see the response we're getting from our straight allies.

"You know, I'd be much more likely to believe the demands for "tolerance" and "equality" if it weren't for the fact that people are actually suing others because they won't make them a wedding cake.

Here's fair. If a person does not wish to sell you a wedding cake for your gay marriage, then go somewhere else. If he wants to be that way, let him. If you involve the government to force him to violate his religion, then you're a bigger ass than he could ever be.

Oh, and here's the scary Arizona "NO GAYS ALLOWED!" law.
            - Facebook Post, 2/21/14 from Sean Sorrentino, owner of NC Gun Blog"

As it happens, Sean is an ally in most senses - but fairly even-handed on calling "jerk" on either side of the issue.

Coercive laws that force a small business owner or individual to do business with a person or group they'd rather not do business with do not promote tolerance, equality or diversity in any true sense. Instead they promote shoddy service (do you *REALLY* want someone shooting your wedding, doing the cake or floral arrangements against their will? When it really is that easy to do a shoddy job of any of the above?) and festering resentment.

And what are we when we coerce labor from the unwilling but yet another form of oppressor?

I'd rather go across town or the state to get service from someone supportive that I can trust not to make malicious errors. I'd much rather lead a protest or a negative publicity campaign against a bigoted establishment.

Both approaches result in either corrected behavior or the offending party going bankrupt - and they do not require government coercion. These approaches recognize that a business owner has the right to do business with whom he or she chooses and that *particularly* when matters of faith come into play, they have rights every bit as important as ours - but at the same time, ensure that dollars do not go to support bigotry..

I may those of Phelpsian ilk, but they have every right to spew their hatred - just as we have a right to our Pride Parades. I may celebrate a faith of love and acceptance, but others have just as much right to stew in a theological sewage pit filled with narrow-mindedness, hatred and bigotry.

I am not required to like them, refrain from making fun of them, nor to do business with or otherwise associate with them. I am merely required to keep my paws to myself and refrain from spontaneous violence. Is that something we want changed, since it will apply just as much against us as for us?

I don't want to be forced to serve dinner to the Phelps clan or have to do up a wedding cake for the Grand Wizard of the local KKK.  I'd rather not accept a photography and promotional graphic arts commission documenting *and supporting* a Catholic Archbishop promoting anti-gay discrimination and an initiative to repeal a gay marriage law.

None of us with a vague grip on rationality would want to be forced to accept such noxious business deals lest we be imprisoned or sued into bankruptcy. Yet that is what we propose for our opponents...and ultimately, the law is pretty good at playing "what's good for the goose, is good for the gander."

If we look at the Boston St. Paddy's Parade case, it came down to "you cannot make someone endorse or support something contrary or sabotaging to their  own message" in a ruling that the parade organizers could exclude LGBT contingents. Later, at least one Pride Parade used this same case to exclude NAMBLA from their event. Many have theorized that inherent to "freedom of association" guaranteed in the constitution is a twin to an equally valid less celebrated "right not to associate."

The current crop of rights-balancing legislation (AZ, MO, elsewhere) is deeply flawed, most basically in the attempt of many such statutes to force the same standards upon both businesses and governmental agencies/employees. Nothing could be less realistic.

Government must be held to a substantially higher standard of non-discrimination than any other body in our society. At a minimum,  a government agency must provide scrupulously non-discriminatory service to all citizens unless such person has through due process of law been disqualified from receiving such service. (e.g., the rights of children, felons and the mentally incompetent are all limited by law, as are their legitimate interactions with governments).

Similarly, active duty members of the military forfeit a variety of rights for the duration of their term of service - I would argue that limitation extends more broadly to government workers in the sense that by signing on as a government employee you should forfeit your rights to engage in discriminatory behavior while acting as an government employee or while on government premises.

In short, if you cannot provide service as a .gov staffer to the public on a non-discriminatory basis in adherence with relevant law, you have no business as a government employee.

The standard for individual and small business service providers is, of necessity, far lower. As a nation, rights are things we have historically we have enforced (or far too often, failed to enforce) as limitations upon government - not individuals. And a business - particularly a small business or a sole proprietorship - is nothing more than an expression of an individual or group of individuals.

When dealing with individuals or a private entities (non-profits, businesses, etc) we need to stick with the notion of requiring a compelling interest and the utilization of the least intrusive mechanism to accomplish said interest before we allow the dread behemoth of governmental regulation upon the playing field. 

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2479 days ago
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I like the sentiment but . . .

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“I am not here as a serf or vassal. I am not begging my lords for mercy.”

Oh, but you are. You just don’t realize it. “You’re innocent until proven guilty” has become “you’re innocent for now. Until we look into it and even if you are, we’ll fuck your life up so bad it won’t matter.”

There are two governments. The first is the elected one and its comprised of ineffective, ineffectual, beholden shysters who are accountable only to the extent people stop voting for them. Since we have an incumbency rate of north of 80%, that basically there’s little accountability. Their only purpose is to get re-elected for the perks.

The second government is the not elected government. These are the bureaucrats who typically have job titles like “associate executive assistant to the director of some secretary for some alphabet agency”. These guys are unaccountable in any way, shape, fashion or form. Hell, we can’t even get these guys fired. They’re only purpose is to make the lives of productive people expensive, stressful, or even criminal. They are judge, jury and executioner in their realm. The IRS can take all your money without a judge saying so. The EPA can shut your farm or business down. Customs can seize all your imported product at the border. For any reason they choose. You can sue and might get your stuff back. But the damage is done.

You can change the elected government all you want but that, thus far, has had zero effect on the not elected government. You are their serf. Or their vassal. Like I’ve said before, if the .gov can make you install a chair lift in your pool, it can make you pick its cotton.

You’re not voting your way out of it.

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2788 days ago
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