• Listening to heavy raindrops spatter against the leaves & concrete, rivulets gurgle down gutters, as crickets sing nature’s povecheriye.

  • Wisconsin’s Republican-controlled legislature has been on vacation for over 100 days during a devastating pandemic. Put their dereliction of duty on display.

    Gov. Evers Should Keep Calling Special Sessions Until Wisconsin Republicans Take Action | The Recombobulation Area

  • Decades and lives wasted on terrible alternatives, when we’ve known how our system must change since the late Sixties.

    Why? Read on.

    Here’s a radical idea that will change policing, transform prisons and reduce crime: treat criminals like human beings | The Correspondent

  • Criminals Behind a Shield

    ProPublica looked at 68 cases of video-documented police brutality since George Floyd’s death in May. Among the cases where no officer has been identified or criminal charges filed:

    • A Houston mounted police officer uses a horse to trample a woman from behind.
    • Louisville police repeatedly shoot a reporter & camera crew with pepper bullets.
    • Austin police shoot a minor in the head with a beanbag round.
    • Unidentified police in Minneapolis open fire on a woman standing on her porch.
    • Minneapolis police pepper spray a reporter displaying his credentials as he lies prone.
    • New York police attempt to run over protestors with their SUVs.
    • Two Salt Lake City cops in riot gear shove an elderly man with a cane to the ground from behind.
    • Indianapolis police use excessive force to restrain a woman, then shoot her with pepper bullets & beat her with batons.
    • Los Angeles police run over protestors with an SUV, attempt to run over several more, then flee the scene.
    • Sacramento police place a man in a choke hold, then continue to apply it as he attempts to “tap out.”
    • A U.S. Park Police officer strikes two journalists with a riot shield and then throws punches.
    • Plainclothes San Diego police refuse to identify themselves while arresting a woman, then threaten to shoot anyone who follows them.

    We Are Tracking What Happens to Police After They Use Force on Protestors | ProPublica

  • If you cling to your convictions, you’re not likely to be receptive to new information. If we want to be informed – properly informed, then we have to embrace uncertainty.

    Why clever people say silly things | The Correspondent

  • Recently | Driftless Meditations

  • The secret police, even when it looks and appears to act like an army, always has a single individual as its target. Its goal is to make a person, alone, face the might of the state.

    Homeland Security Was Destined to Become a Secret Police Force | New Yorker

  • If one theoretically wanted to change the subdomain on their hosted microblog, how easy or invasive is that? Will posts on the old subdomain automatically move over to the new sub? (I imagine links to posts will be broken, but otherwise…?)

  • More garden scenes.

  • The Feels Like temperature this afternoon is 99°F, so it’s a perfect time to mow & weed-whack while remembering how much I loathed stacking hay bales.

  • Slightly more than 23,000 [mail-in] ballots [for the April primary election] were thrown out, mostly because those voters or their witnesses missed at least one line on a form.

    A national forewarning: Wisconsin’s high absentee volume and ballot errors | APM Reports

  • Domestic Terrorist-in-Chief

    Deploying unidentifiable federal agentswithout the consent or request of the Governor, County Executive, or Mayor — to the city about to host the opposing party’s convention to nominate his challenger in the November election is not merely provocative, it is terrorism:

    [T]he term “terrorism” means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents.

    22 U.S. Code § 2656f(d)(2)

    [T]he term “domestic terrorism” means activities that (A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State; (B) appear to be intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and (C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.

    18 U.S. Code § 2331.5, as modified by the USA PATRIOT Act

    The resident of the White House is literally using violent, masked federal agents in a terrorism campaign against residents of the city, county, and state hosting the nominating convention for his challenger in an election just over 100 days from now, a state he won four years ago, but where where the latest polling has him trailing 49% to 41%.

  • Mafia-like intimidation tactics:

    Unlike many other states, Wisconsin doesn’t have a law that makes complainants pay for defendants’ legal costs if a defamation suit ends up being dismissed as frivolous.

    Why is Trump’s Campaign Suing a Small Wisconsin TV Station? | WNYC

  • Listening to a podcast playing in Overcast atop a mix in Dark Noise while noise cancelling is enabled on my AirPods is now my favorite way of listening to podcasts.

  • The 12% of Americans who fly more than six round trips a year are responsible for two-thirds of all aviation emissions from the US.

    One flight is worth a thousand Big Macs: digesting these hard facts killed my appetite for flying | The Correspondent

  • Hallmark of Fascism

    Lawlessness in the name of law and order is the hallmark of fascism.

    ‘It’s Spooky Right Now’: Inside the Creepy Federal Crackdown on Portland Protesters | The Daily Beast

    Illegal abduction of protestors by Homeland Security agents deeply disturbs me — it erodes both the rule of law and legitimacy of government. More deployments appear imminent. That these agents’ non-sensical camouflage attire & lack of agency identification renders them indistinguishable from “federal troops” in the general public’s eyes is disquieting; this is a slow slide to de facto perception of martial law. Worse, the camo & non-affiliated look opens the door to similar abductions of citizens by non-government actors (“militia” & other domestic terrorist types).

  • Legitimacy is Fragile

    Wisconsin’s Republican-controlled state legislature has not passed a bill in over three months. Wisconsin’s Supreme Court voted to terminate the governor’s stay-at-home order via a remote session. (The margin: the previous governor’s lame duck political appointee, who had already lost a state-wide election for a proper 10-year term on the court.) Twelve days ago, the court upheld laws a lame-duck session of the Republican-controlled Legislature passed to strip power from the incoming Democratic governor and attorney general.

    Wisconsin is on fire, and the arsonists control two branches of the state government. Gerrymandered districts make it unlikely that will change, even after the upcoming election.

    For The First Time Ever, Wisconsin Surpasses 1,000 New COVID-19 Cases In 1 Day | Wisconsin Public Radio

  • Mail as Public Health Infrastructure

    The Postal Service is owned by all the people of the United States, not capitalist entrepreneurs. The collective “we” rely on the Postal Service for vital supplies, medicines, ecommerce packages, pension checks, financial transactions, voter information, ballots and a vast exchange of personal correspondence as well as the sharing of ideas and information. Privatization of public postal services would end the democratic right of the people to these universal services, no matter who we are or where we live, at uniform and reasonable rates.

    This opinion piece by the president of the American Postal Workers Union & a APWU rep gets to the heart of where Post Office defenders should be pressing. Its low-cost shipping infrastructure for medicine alone — think of all the elderly Trump supporters reliant on Medicare-approved medicine-by-mail — is a vital service. The APWU should recruit Wilford Brimley to cut a commercial excoriating the Postmaster General and the resident of the White House, and run it during daytime broadcasts, where it would squarely target fixed-income, aging Boomer, Silent, & Greatest Generation voters.

    The Post Office Belongs to the Public. Let’s not Give it to Wall Street. | In These Times

  • My daughter helped make her first batch of pickles. We’ll see how they taste in three weeks.

  • The Theft of Justice

    I’ve read that because of how Neil Gorsuch ascended to the Supreme Court, you consider the current high court “illegitimate.” That’s a harsh assessment. Can you explain how you came to it?

    It’s not that I think that Neil Gorsuch isn’t otherwise qualified to be a justice, but his seat was obtained illegitimately.

    After Justice Scalia died in February of 2016, President Obama still had almost a year left to his term. So that Supreme Court seat was rightfully his to fill. But Mitch McConnell refused to hold any hearings on Obama’s nominee, Judge Merrick Garland. The seat was held vacant till Trump took office and could appoint the Federalist Society candidate, Neil Gorsuch.

    This was an absurd denial of a president’s constitutional right to have his nomination considered by the Senate. It was not Donald Trump’s to fill. This was a theft of the Supreme Court. The right stole the Supreme Court. They stole it.

    I’ve just read Carl Hulse’s book Confirmation Bias, and he clearly documents what happened. When Justice Scalia died, one of the first persons to be told about his death, before it was even public, was Leonard Leo, the strategic guy for the Federalist Society. It was Leo who told Mitch McConnell about Scalia’s death.

    Can you imagine that the majority leader of the Senate finds out from some guy representing an outside interest group? He doesn’t find out directly from the court or the family. That is how powerful they have become.

    Essential reading on the damage to the United States’ justice system — not merely the judiciary — and one effort to begin picking up the pieces.

    ‘The Right Stole the Court’: An Interview with Russ Feingold | New York Review of Books

  • Supper, courtesy of our favorite deli: schnitzel, German potato salad, and pickled beets. The cucumber is an heirloom variety from our garden. Mahlzeit!

  • Marketing the dismal science. (I screencapped this on Monday. It’s aged about as well as an open can of cat food in a car parked in the July sun.)

  • Experts said weapons that aren’t designed to be lethal … can make officers more willing to respond to protesters with force and less disposed to de-escalate tense situations.

    We Reviewed Police Tactics Seen in Nearly 400 Protest Videos. Here’s What We Found. |\ ProPublica

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