The pandemic has not been the CDC’s finest hour

One of the things that this pandemic has revealed is how diminished the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) has become. This organization was once highly respected around the world and should have been front and center during the crisis because it has the expertise and resources to marshal all the information and provide guidance to the public. The experts from the CDC should have been the people holding daily press conferences, calling upon other experts in the field of infectious disease like Anthony Fauci who heads the Infectious Diseases division of the National Institutes of Health.
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Why there is so much police brutality in the US

In discussing with my relatives (almost all of whom live outside the US) about the current unrest in the US following the murder of George Floyd, I realized that many of them did not quite understand how deeply warped the US criminal (in)justice system is from the top to the bottom and so I thought I would try and explain how it got to be that way for the benefit of this blog’s readers who also live outside the US.

One question that was raised is why the people who recorded Floyd’s murder did not step in and try to stop it, when so many people are willing to confront police by taking part in demonstrations against the death. There is a world of difference between taking part in a large demonstration protesting police brutality and challenging, on your own, four American police officers during the course of that brutality. With demonstrations there is some safety in numbers. When large numbers of people protest, the chance that the police will shoot YOU is small.
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I do not have an Instagram account and thus have never been to the site or used it in any way. All that I know about it comes from what people tell me and what I read in the media. It seems to be a favored platform for so-called ‘influencers’, people who use their accounts to promote products and in order to more effectively do so portray their lives in an unrelentingly upbeat way.

(Pearls Before Swine)

(Pearls Before Swine)

George Floyd’s last words

I could not watch the entire video of George Floyd being slowly killed by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. I had to stop it after a very short time because it was so disturbing. I had not realized that Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, an incredibly long time. Floyd became non-responsive after about six minutes and at that point, at the urging of the crowd that was at the scene, another police officer checked for, but could not find, a pulse but Chauvin continued to keep his knee on his neck. The BBC has published a time line of the 30 minutes before George Floyd’s murder.
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Trying to understand the riots

Over the weekend, I had a Zoom conference call with relatives from across the world, nearly all of them living in countries other than the US, and the topic naturally turned to the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent nationwide unrest. They were naturally disturbed by the reports they heard and wanted to understand what was going on. One of my relatives said that she could not understand why people were rioting and asked what purposes were served by them since they were counter-productive and often inflicted economic harm on the black community itself. What follows was my attempt at an answer.
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How to properly destroy businesses

In the wake of the widespread unrest across the nation following the murder of George Floyd that has resulted in businesses being destroyed and other property damage, the Onion had this piece of advice from private equity specialists.

MINNEAPOLIS—Calling for a more measured way to express opposition to police brutality, critics slammed demonstrators Thursday for recklessly looting businesses without forming a private equity firm first. “Look, we all have the right to protest, but that doesn’t mean you can just rush in and destroy any business without gathering a group of clandestine investors to purchase it at a severely reduced price and slowly bleed it to death,” said Facebook commenter Amy Mulrain, echoing the sentiments of detractors nationwide who blasted the demonstrators for not hiring a consultant group to take stock of a struggling company’s assets before plundering. “I understand that people are angry, but they shouldn’t just endanger businesses without even a thought to enriching themselves through leveraged buyouts and across-the-board terminations. It’s disgusting to put workers at risk by looting. You do it by chipping away at their health benefits and eventually laying them off. There’s a right way and wrong way to do this.” At press time, critics recommended that protestors hold law enforcement accountable by simply purchasing the Minneapolis police department from taxpayers.

Also from the Onion, we have this video of a police officer describing the fear he feels every day that someone might record him brutalizing a civilian.

Great moments in driving

We have pretty much all had this experience at some time or other in some form. You are driving along a narrow road that has just one lane of traffic each way. The direction you are traveling in is jammed with very slow-moving traffic while the other lane for cars going in the opposite direction is empty. What do you do? If you are a normal person and not a jerk, you put it down to the vagaries of life and continue to crawl along.
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