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Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Honest Discussion

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The neat part is how everyone reading this will assume it's a judgment on someone else.

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Jashugan
43 days ago
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Officer Claimed He Shot Philando Castile Because of Secondhand Smoke

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As you probably know, the officer who killed Philando Castile was acquitted of manslaughter and two other charges last week. (This was the incident where Castile’s girlfriend streamed the aftermath of the shooting on Facebook.) The squad car’s dashcam video was made public yesterday for the first time, and watching that makes it even less possible (if that’s possible) to understand the jury’s decision. But even more astounding is the transcript also released yesterday showing that the officer, Jeronimo Yanez, told investigators last year that he smelled marijuana as he approached the car, and that just before he opened fire, the thought going through his mind was that Castile was a dangerous man because he had been exposing others to secondhand smoke:

That is actually something an adult human said: I was afraid this person would be willing to murder a police officer for no reason because it smelled like he had been doing something that might slightly increase the risk of disease to others if he kept it up for another decade or so. (At least according to some experts.) If this man is willing to subject others to secondhand smoke, certainly he would not hesitate to murder me.

This deep concern that Yanez had about the health of Castile’s five-year-old daughter, supposedly, is part of what led him to fire seven bullets at Castile, the driver, while the girl was sitting in the back seat in the line of fire:

Or maybe he was pulling out a pack of smokes? We shouldn’t second-guess officers when it comes to using deadly force to protect citizens from potential long-term health risks.

In fact, Castile had just volunteered the fact that he had a gun in the car (a gun he was licensed to carry), which doesn’t seem like something you’d do if you were just about to reach for it and try to shoot someone. It actually seems like something you’d do if you didn’t want anybody to get hurt, especially yourself. But according to Yanez, it was secondhand smoke, not this, that went through his mind just before opening fire.

Of course, I don’t know what other evidence was presented to the jury. The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office has put the transcript, videos, and some other key evidence on its website, so you can see that if you want and decide for yourself. But I assume the jury saw the transcript of this interview, and frankly I don’t know how you hear somebody give that ridiculous explanation and not vote to convict him of something. (The jury was apparently split 10-2 in favor of acquittal, but eventually the two holdouts gave in.)

I guess if you wanted to, you could argue that now we know the risks of secondhand smoke really are substantial, because among other things it might frighten a cop into putting five bullets in your chest. You might as well give it a shot, because the risks of making stupid arguments appear to be virtually nonexistent these days.

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Jashugan
50 days ago
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popular
58 days ago
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4 public comments
satadru
45 days ago
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This hasn't gotten less shocking in the past several weeks.
New York, NY
jhamill
58 days ago
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He can't remember how many rounds he fired into a car, in the direction of a baby, that killed a man but, he can remember he was scared that the guy was crazed because of second hand smoke? And we're supposed to take that seriously?
California
acdha
58 days ago
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I hadn't seen this detail before…
Washington, DC
skittone
58 days ago
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Ugh.

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Transubstantiation

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Also, if you have any vampire bats, you can get them drunk.

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Sanity is low, morale is high.

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Jashugan
106 days ago
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Pyramidal

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Jashugan
131 days ago
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Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - The Talk

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Somewhere in the multiverse, there's a superior universe where all comics are this dorktastic.

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Drawn with great humility and thanks to one of my favorite people. Scott did all of the real work, and I threw in some dirty jokes. So, hey, a pretty good deal all around.

 

Also,

Wednesday Book Reviews!

Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue (McWhorter)

I’m still on this McWhorter kick. This one was good, but not as good as some of the others. It’s about English and its interactions with other languages. The bulk of the book is about the idea that repeated conquests of English speakers resulted in English being particularly simplified in terms of its grammar, especially compared to related languages. There is also a large section on a proposed link between Celtic and English grammar, and even a section positing links between German and Hebrew. The latter idea is based on the work of Theo Vennemann, whose ideas are (as far as I could tell from google and wikipedia) found to be interesting but probably wrong. Because it’s McWhorter, there’s also a long lament about the popular usage of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. You get the feeling that his later book “The Language Hoax” was a great unburdening of linguistic angst.

An Extraordinary Time (Levinson) This is yet another book about the idea that we are in a period of stagnation in terms of economic improvement for the average western person. Although it was enjoyable, as a book it didn’t make a strong argument. Most of the book is (admittedly fascinating) historical tidbits about technological development, mostly in the 20th century leading up to the 1970s. Levinson’s perspective ultimately agrees with that of Robert Gordon and Tyler Cowen, at least to the extent that they all blame the nature of post-1970s technology for the failure to improve the average person’s life. And, like, the others, Levinson has hope that a few technologies on deck (e.g. self-driving cars) will reverse that trend.

<a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0062645358/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0062645358&linkCode=as2&tag=ss00a2-20&linkId=2c7c808d43f64




Red Button mashing provided by SMBC RSS Plus. If you consume this comic through RSS, you may want to support Zach's Patreon for like a $1 or something at least especially since this is scraping the site deeper than provided.
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Jashugan
248 days ago
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Fake News Weaponized

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Thankfully, no one was hurt. But you may have heard that a man from Salisbury, North Carolina, Edgar Maddison Welch, shot up a pizza joint in Washington, DC today in an effort to 'investigate' the "Pizza Gate" conspiracy theory.

What on earth is Pizza Gate, you may ask? It's a Reddit-based far right conspiracy theory alleging a child sex trafficking ring run by Hillary Clinton and John Podesta out of a DC pizza shop.

Here's a tweet tonight from the son of Michael Flynn, the incoming National Security Advisor.

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Jashugan
256 days ago
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popular
257 days ago
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dukeofwulf
257 days ago
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What is this I don't even? It's like they used a conspiracy theory Mad Lib...
dukeofwulf
257 days ago
Oh, and click through to the actual article for the reason why the tweeter's father is relevant. Junior isn't just Flynn's son, he's his chief of staff.
wreichard
257 days ago
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This is being done with full knowledge--I.e., deliberately. It's a page out of the Isis playbook. If you can get crazy people to cause fear, you create a feedback loop until everyone is crazy.
Earth
swcope
257 days ago
Exactly.
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