Devastating report on Baltimore police abuse

The Baltimore Police Department (BPD) has been under fire for its overly violent and discriminatory practices and the death of Freddie Gray while in their custody led to the rioting of last year. While that violence was condemned, the circumstances of his death prompted a federal investigation into the BPD and the report by the US Department of Civil Rights was released on Wednesday .It paints a devastating portrayal of a police department that has normalized discriminatory practices on a massive scale.
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Does god exist?

Theologians like to keep discussions of god’s existence on a high abstract plane because that enables all manner of wooly statements to pass unchallenged. It is down-to-Earth practical questions that tend to stump them. In this clip from the 1980s BBC comedy show Not the Nine O’Clock News, an audience member poses just such a question to a theologian.
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What the polls show

As we all know, US presidential election results are not based on national vote totals but on the basis of the Electoral College that determines the result on a state-by-state basis. There are 538 electoral votes in total, thus requiring 270 to win. Hence it is really state polling that is important, though national polls can give some idea of which way sentiment is moving.
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The danger of giving too much power to leaders whom one likes

One of the frustrating things that I have experienced during the Obama presidency is how so many Democratic party supporters of my acquaintance were willing to ignore his excessive use of executive power and secrecy, such as the drone assassination program, the NSA’s violations of people’s privacy, the use of military tribunals for Guantanamo detainees and the refusal to neither bring some of them to trial nor release them, and the harsh prosecution of whistleblowers who release information for the benefit of the public while condoning leakers who did it out of self-interest. They shrugged off all these things because they felt that Obama was a ‘good guy’ who would use the powers granted to him wisely.
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Abusing disabled parking spots

A relative recently told me of a friend of hers who routinely parks in handicapped spaces just because they are more convenient. What is it with people who try to sneak into parking spaces that are reserved for people with handicaps? Are they simply too lazy to walk the extra distance that the other spaces might require? Do they think these reserved spaces are some kind of benefit provided to the undeserving that unfairly discriminates against them? Do they resent anyone being given a privilege that is not also available to them?
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Why don’t they call it the ‘ball and chain throw’?

The Olympic games are currently underway and I am ignoring it for many of the reasons Marcus Ranum writes about. In addition, I hate the fact that the TV presenters will endless hype some marquee event by saying it is “coming up shortly” when in fact they will string out the anticipation for an hour or more, using that time to inundate you with commercials.
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Give Trump a Teleprompter-stat!

On Monday around mid-day I turned on the radio and heard Donald Trump speaking. I immediately recognized his voice but the style was unfamiliar, slow and measured, without the little riffs, asides, and digressions that are his hallmark. It did not surprise me to learn later that he had been reading from a Teleprompter, the device that he so despises when used by president Obama or Hillary Clinton and that Fox News absurdly suggests is because they are unable to speak extemporaneously and always need scripts provided by others.
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