A Paleontologist Gets ‘Off The Hook’ Excited

Paul Selden, a paleontologist with enthusiasm for ancient arthropods, went crazy discussing spider/acarine interactions that helped him interpret a new find in which a spider-silk wrapped tick was found in Burmese amber:

“Just last year, I was on a field trip in Estonia and took a photo of a Steatoda spider wrapping up a red spider mite,” said Selden. “That was serendipitous.”

Ooh, baby: talk academic to me.


ICE Hit & Run vs Members of the Tohono O’odham Nation

There’s a relatively slow-motion hit-and-run occurring on Tohono O’odham Nation land that’s been recorded and now viewed several hundred thousand times. It’s bad enough, though the victim Paulo Remes is reported to be recovering reasonably well by Tuscon.com. The SUV that hit Remes was an Immigration & Customs Enforcement vehicle that drove down the road approaching Remes’ house, turned around, then came back toward Remes who had just walked across the road and was still on the edge of it when struck. This has all the makings of a felony:

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Bill Maher Gets One Right

RawStory is saying that Maher did a segment on police brutality tonight (Friday). In it he said:

“We need to stop saying most cops are good like we know that to be true,” Maher said. “I hope that’s true, but I need some evidence—unlike cops.”

I think that the most troubling thing about this is how few of these incidents come to light through police body cams. With so many interactions recorded on body cam, how is it that the majority of brutality incidents reach the public eye through the video taken by some witness pulling out a cell phone?

I don’t think that the majority of cops have committed unnecessary and illegal violence. I think the majority have certainly committed unnecessary violence, though, and I think that the ratio of bystander videos to body cam videos in these situations shows that law enforcement as an institution is engaged in a massive coverup. What does it mean to be a “good cop” when so many of these incidents are covered up by cops? Can you still be a “good cop” while ignoring the problems too big to change by yourself? How would that square with arresting a murderer when you know you don’t have the skills to prosecute them?

The definition of “good cop” is going to vary from person to person, but from testilying to state certification boards to allowing corrupt cops to resign to avoid investigation & punishment so they can hop over to a job in the next jurisdiction, I think there’s more than enough evidence that a huge percentage of cops are corruptly ignoring the problems in their own departments even if they are decent and trying to do good when they go out on the streets. Some of those cops *might* be good if we didn’t ask them to work in corrupt agencies. But how many? It’s impossible to tell.

So, yeah: maybe most cops are good, but at this point they’re going to need to step up with some evidence.