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May 24, 2020

Comments

I do get where Donald is coming from here, and I also grok the fear that this sort of thing provokes in centrists. One of my FB friends goes on and on about how Hillary Clinton was the single most qualified candidate we have had for the presidency and how Sanders and his supporters betrayed everyone and doomed us all to Trump.

Truth be told, I can't stand either of the Clintons, though I did vote for Hillary. I just re-watched 13th and I still get mad every time I hear them spouting the old Law and Order campaign schtick. And I don't believe either one of them when they say that they had to say those things to get elected. They have always been hawks, and they have always stood more strongly for the use of force than was required for triangulation.

I also just watched a bunch of Rage Against the Machine videos, and found it hard to watch the video for "Testify" because of how it presented Bush and Gore as functionally interchangeable. And I can see in their presentation a lot of the same misapplied anger that we see in Sanders supporters. We would absolutely been better off with Gore in the White House during 9/11 than we were with Bush.

Perhaps what we need are for the moderate Democrat voices to be raised more strongly for the principles to the left of their own centers and for the leftist voices to be raised in favor of the principles that are within the values of the moderates but which are not yet quite practical? That would move the Overton Window the right direction, as opposed to the Clinton style evacuation of the left in favor of the near right.

Nyt justifies its existence sometimes

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/11/16/magazine/uncounted-civilian-casualties-iraq-airstrikes.html

Anyway, going back to lurking mode.

“ but when push comes to shove the current GOP is in the hands of people who have embraced open villain”

Okay, I will lurk in a second, but waterboarding is open villainy. We used to talk about torture as an utter disgrace. I bet we talked about fascism and used Nazi analogies, disgrace to everything we stand for, etc...

Romney was pro torture.

Pretty sure I remember that.

Sorry, pretty sure I remember what we said back then. I know Romney was pro torture. I googled that the other day.

Now

But you are still going to have violent people ( wjho aren’t cops) and what do you do about them?

It's been my observation (going back a lot of years) that the people who argue for totally eliminating the police have managed to convince themselves that all violence in society is due to "those people". Except for them, "those people" consist of the police. Actually, pretty much anybody in authority, but especially the police.

So they would reject the basic idea that you would still have violent people. Think of it as the far left version of alternative facts.

Trump's worse crimes are on Twitter, not in Yemen...

Crap, I can’t shut up. I am trying for my own sanity to cut way way back on posting. But

“ Perhaps what we need are for the moderate Democrat voices to be raised more strongly for the principles to the left of their own centers and for the leftist voices to be raised in favor of the principles that are within the values of the moderates but which are not yet quite practical? ”

I think this would help. Some people on the far left won’t vote for centrist libs, period, but if people really mean to be pragmatic then everyone would be trying to reach other people where they are, to the extent they can without chucking their principles. Instead, online at least, there is mostly this poisonous shouting that goes on between various factions. I only vote Democratic because I actually accept the lesser evil logic and as a currently comfortable armchair leftist can’t justify purity voting, but I loathe hearing the sermonizing from Democrats who make no effort to hear anything we say when we criticize Democrats. What it tells me is that their “ think of the people you hurt when you play purity politics” is a moral principle that only goes one way.

Though again, I am not sure how much of these online arguments that have been going on for twenty years effects election votes. It might just be a small number of people. Getting poor people to vote and persuading them it matters is probably about 59 times more important.

Also, I think it is worth chasing down some of the readings from the Abolish side of criminal justice studies. I'm not saying that I agree or support the abolition of police, but I think that there are a lot of very good re-examinations of public safety models and discussions of goals and costs and strategies.

It's not all crazy and parts are not that radical, either. And I think the conversation is necessary and that alternatives are important for change. Reform is not working because the model of policing itself is bad.

Look, you want to serious cut down on drone strikes? It's EASY: just do some drone strikes on gun shows terrorist arms depots.

Want to put torture back in the "never NEVER even THINK of doing that!1!!"? Easy: just waterboard Terry Nichols (OKC bomber, convicted of domestic terrorism, in custody in a SuperMax prison) to find out his un-named co-conspirators, then continue until you roll up the entire network, no matter where it leads.

Yeah, seriously ugly stuff, that takes far more fortitude than is on offer. But so was "crushing Nazis" in 1941-5.

Though again, I am not sure how much of these online arguments that have been going on for twenty years effects election votes. It might just be a small number of people.

I suspect you are on to something there, Donald.

So: Romney was wrong (and morally repugnant) to support torture, and right (and morally superior to every other senator of his party) to vote against Trump in the impeachment, and now for marching in the Floyd protests. These values can actually co-exist in one person. The world is complicated. The current Trumpian GOP delenda est.

Getting poor people to vote and persuading them it matters is probably about 59 times more important.

I'd strike "poor people" and substitute "everyone", but otherwise 100% on board with this.

But you are still going to have violent people ( wjho aren’t cops) and what do you do about them?

I guess the city of Minneapolis is going to find out.

We'll see what happens.

It's not all crazy and parts are not that radical, either.

Looks like Minneapolis is going to give it a try.

Just as an example, f**king no-knock warrants. It's lunacy.

This is an example of why I keep pushing to move my party toward justice.

It is what it is. Do what you can.

Sorry, I just used drones as a short hand. Wasn't trying to provoke or anything. But Donald wrote this

my theory about that is this— you can’t criticize an American President for air strikes that kill civilians without implicitly or explicitly criticizing the military

Well, I don't know what 'explains' that, but there are a couple other explanations of the data. It could be that one of the indicators that Dems are not as bad as Republicans is that you can protest against Dems, but there is really no point in doing it against Republicans. Or you could say that this is a heighten the contradictions strategy. Which makes it sound like everyone who complains is some sort of Leninist. But this is why having people who vociferously claim positions but don't actually believe them is so corrosive to the discourse.

It is pathetic and a stain on all of us that we can't stop the wheels for drones. It is strange/amazing/thought provoking that basically one death (that of George Floyd) can set off such protests (they had BLM protests in Osaka, one far right politician called for all foreigners who were protesting to be deported) And again, I don't have the answers.

Quick not, not claiming anyone here is making claims they don't believe in

no cops at all has me puzzled.

the slogan has nothing to do with the goal, which is to reform policing, not unleash anarchy.

WaPo on 'defund'
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/06/07/defund-police-heres-what-that-really-means/

“ Romney was wrong (and morally repugnant) to support torture, and right (and morally superior to every other senator of his party) to vote against Trump in the impeachment, and now for marching in the Floyd protests. These values can actually co-exist in one person. The world is complicated”

The Applebaum piece did not depict a morally complicated world. It was a fairy tale of Washingtonians with similar noble values where one turns to the dark side and one does not. One was complicit and will be judged by History. In the real world Romney supported torture. He also sided with Trump on the Yemen War funding vote. Complicity. Iirc, Mike Lee generally supports Trump but is opposed to the war in Yemen. So in Applebaum’s world, is he an elf or an orc? ( To be fair to Tolkien, he wrote about some bad elves in the Silmarillion so he was morally more realistic than Applebaum).

The Danner piece shows a pre Trump world where the US supported human rights in some ways while also supporting mass murder and then explains how Trump is a step backwards from the already appalling reality. That is the real world.

Knock knock.

Who's there?

Unfortunately me, again.

"Just as an example, f**king no-knock warrants. It's lunacy."

https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2020/06/sam-alito-is-an-accessory-to-murder-of-breonna-taylor

https://repository.law.umich.edu/articles/200/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2017/03/29/roberts-alito-cops-who-illegally-entered-home-without-warrant-shot-married-couple-cant-be-sued-because-the-cops-likely-would-have-shot-the-couple-anyway/

I'm all for law enforcement reform, but until we take Grover Norquist at his word and drown HIS sadistic babies in the bathtub by defunding Samuel Alito and the U.S. Supreme Court, it's just going to more of the piecemeal masturbatory pointlessness set into motion by the Founders' mandate that nothing be permitted to change in time to take the government's knee off windpipes and restore lunacy, not to mention oxygen.

Cops shutting off suspects' oxygen was conceived in the laboratories of democracy on account of states' rights.

The mice being assaulted in the labs now want to turn the tables on the rats running the labs.

Disbanding the police department and starting from scratch isn't necessarily the worst of ideas...

Camden’s new day
A crime turnaround in a New Jersey city shows how a reformed police department can contribute to community flourishing
https://world.wng.org/2018/03/camden_s_new_day
...It seemingly began with a risky political maneuver. In 2012 the city, in conjunction with the state and county, decided to dissolve the police force entirely. Officials created a new, nonunion force from scratch, where training had a new emphasis on de-escalation tactics and community policing.

In the process, local leaders made enemies of the police union, a situation no politician wants to be in. “[The police union] did not want to be a part of the process,” said county executive Lou Cappelli, a Democrat who led the effort to reorganize the department under county control. “They were putting their interest ahead of the residents.”...

Now I am no expert on what went on here, and like all such stories, I'm fairly sure there's more to it, but the idea that dissolving a completely dysfunctional police department might not be an entirely reckless gamble seems at least credible.

Donald, although you say upthread that you can’t be bothered to go back and read the Applebaum piece again, out of respect for you I have done so, in order to examine your objections.

The first third of the piece deals with the issue of who collaborates and why by examples from East Germany, and to an extent wartime Nazi-controlled Europe.

It then moves on to Lindsay Graham, and his evolution. I can understand why you object to the fact that it does speak, uncritically, thus:

“Through most of his years in the Senate, Graham, alongside his close friend John McCain, was a spokesperson for a strong military, and for a vision of America as a democratic leader abroad. He also supported a vigorous notion of democracy at home. In his 2014 reelection campaign, he ran as a maverick and a centrist, telling The Atlantic that jousting with the Tea Party was “more fun than any time I’ve been in politics.””

It then turns, by way of a contrast, to Romney, and discusses his past as a financier and management consultant, and then a politician (mentioning as praiseworthy the healthcare scheme he brought in in Massachusetts) and presidential candidate. Again, it is true that she states:

“Both Graham and Romney were devoted to America’s democratic traditions and to the ideals of honesty, accountability, and transparency in public life—all of which Trump scorned.”

But we are only halfway through the piece now. The rest of it is a valuable discussion of how values held, to whatever extent self-deceivingly, can be gradually eroded until people betray every ideal they thought they held.

“The built-in vision of themselves as American patriots, or as competent administrators, or as loyal party members, also created a cognitive distortion that blinded many Republicans and Trump-administration officials to the precise nature of the president’s alternative value system. After all, the early incidents were so trivial. They overlooked the lie about the inauguration because it was silly. They ignored Trump’s appointment of the wealthiest Cabinet in history, and his decision to stuff his administration with former lobbyists, because that’s business as usual. They made excuses for Ivanka Trump’s use of a private email account, and for Jared Kushner’s conflicts of interest, because that’s just family stuff.”

There follows a step by step examination of how Trump has betrayed and contravened what are held to be Republican ideals, the Constitution, the law and any possible definition of what could be considered America’s national interests.
And then a digression to McCain’s funeral, and its illustration of the difference between his (and Romney’s, and the early Graham’s) values and those of Trump. And the difference she mentions, again and again, is patriotism.

Patriotism means different things to different people, and the patriotism represented by some of those people may well be one you (or I) reject. But they really did think they were putting America’s interests first, and Trump really knows that whatever he says he is putting his own interests first. He thinks patriotism is for saps, and can be appealed to in order to win him election or re-election so he can go on looting.

And Applebaum’s extremely detailed analysis of why some people hold to their vision of patriotism, and why some allow it to be gradually eroded so they can continue to support an authoritarian tyrant who would sell America out in a heartbeat for money and personal dominance, is very valuable. And her description of the steps leading up to such a transformation, and the examples she gives of people who have gone down this slope, and how they have justified it, is more than valuable. In fact, as the following might illustrate, it may have already born more than valuable fruit:

But although both resigned, neither Cohn nor Mattis has spoken out in any notable way. Their presence inside the White House helped build Trump’s credibility among traditional Republican voters; their silence now continues to serve the president’s purposes.

***

For the record, I note that Álvarez lives in Venezuela, an actual police state, and yet is willing to speak out against the system he helped create. Cohn, Mattis, and Anonymous, all living freely in the United States of America, have not been nearly so brave.

Most of Applebaum’s piece (about 75% I reckon) deals with how people (most examples from eastern Europe, but obviously some from America) who thought they had principles allowed those principles to be eroded, and the mechanism by which they were eroded. That she concludes this entailed enormous damage to America financially, in lives lost, and in other ways, when for example, they did not impeach, or remove Trump by use of the 25th amendment is only one part of what makes this piece important. That her concept of patriotism, or a principled approach to politics, foreign policy, or the world, is not yours, or mine, or maybe anyone’s here, is not the point. The point is that she identifies how something significant and terrible has happened, and maybe, just maybe, that analysis contributes to putting it right.

oh look, those do-nothing, deadbeat Dems are at it again:

As debate swirls over police department funding, congressional Democrats on Monday unveiled sweeping police reform legislation in response to the killing of George Floyd.

The Justice in Policing Act of 2020 was introduced two weeks after Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis police custody — a death that sparked widespread demonstrations against police brutality and systemic racism.

The legislation — drafted by members of the Congressional Black Caucus and released by Democratic leaders in the House and Senate — would ban chokeholds, establish a national database to track police misconduct and prohibit certain no-knock warrants, among a range of steps.

Addendum to my last:

And I suppose I ought to make explicit that when I (and I'm guessing Applebaum) use "patriotism" in this context, I am not meaning patriotism qua patriotism, which as we all know "is the last refuge of the scoundrel", I am referring to patriotism about the ideal of America, to the better angels of your nature. And if the reality has often fallen short of that ideal, or very short, nonetheless it is an ideal worth aspiring to, and the people who genuinely aspire to it are to be valued accordingly.

WaPo on 'defund'

Reading the link, it seems clear that what we have here is a classic case of using a term which is sure to be misinterpreted. And thereby to making the actual goal far harder to achieve than it needed to be.

And if anyone doubts it will be, and is being, misinterpreted, just look at how we here read it. And we're far more open to making fairly radical changes to the police than most of the population. Probably too late to find a better label now. But I'd say it amounts to an unforced error.

yup

It appears that the Mayor of Washington D.C. may have come up with a great campaign theme for November:

Just say "next"!

i'd been wondering how to update the maps on my Garmin device. thanks, "updates", for the strangest spam ever.

The fortunate thing about "defund" and "abolish" is that they are easy PR fixes.

Safety, not Enforcement.

De-militarize.

These things often happen when conversations move unexpectedly quickly from a specialist context into mainstream public discourse. Before that happens, though, the provocative label is often needed to draw attention and cut through the noise and bullshit of conferences and seminars.

And having watched the whiplash in my own family as people vacate "deeply held" convictions and values the moment that it becomes the subject of the latest Two Minutes of Hate, I suspect that the phrasing will not remain an obstacle long for anyone open to the need for change, and those who are already looking for a reason to remain with Fearless Leader and serve their Lord and Savior, Fetus Christ, any excuse will do.

so, "updates" is most likely a scammer.

i'd delete that link.

wj - done

Safety, not Enforcement.

Yes, with a heavy dose of de-escalation. Aggressive tactics often create more danger than there would otherwise be, including danger to the officers themselves.

I brought up no-knock warrants as a prime example of that phenomenon. How do you expect barging into someone's house in the middle of the night to end well, particularly when you necessarily think the occupant is a dangerous criminal? (Otherwise, you wouldn't be doing such an extreme thing, right?) How are you not completely on edge, fully expecting to be met with force of some kind? Why would you create a situation with such a high likelihood of a gunfight in close quarters? What immediate danger to the public are you addressing with such extreme actions?

The logic of such things escapes me.

How are you not completely on edge, fully expecting to be met with force of some kind?

When a citizen wakes in the middle of the night to chaos and fires on and kills a police officer thinking they are defending their home and themselves, the police say that they should have known it was the police and call it capital murder.

When a police officer, with training and situational awareness, breaks into a citizen's home and kills an innocent and unarmed person, it's called, "Oh, well, shit happens."

It's going to be difficult to reform the police without also reforming the many laws that create so many opportunities for negative police and citizen interactions.

Why would you create a situation with such a high likelihood of a gunfight in close quarters?

it's a situation they're not likely to suffer much harm from. they're going to be dressed in body armor, armed to the teeth, probably with night-viz gear; they'll have the element of surprise, because the victims will be sleeping.

they've already sure they've got the right people and they know they're legally insulated.

sounds like a perfect excuse to play soldier.

"the many laws that create so many opportunities."

Such are the opportunity costs of an armed citizenry and an armed government.

The cops could break down the doors while brandishing copies of Reason Magazine and the folks sleeping could respond with their own copies of Reason Magazine, opened to a different page than the cops' copies, and have it out reasonably.

As it is, other types of magazines make automatic nonsense out of the semi-discourse.

Before that happens, though, the provocative label is often needed to draw attention and cut through the noise and bullshit of conferences and seminars.

This.

Sitting in an apartment with a couple of ounces of coke, a Glock 19 stuffed in the couch next to you and 15 or 16 k waiting for a customer is a bad time for a cop to knock on the door and identify himself, even worse if the Glock is a shotgun.

No knock warrants serve a purpose, catch me sleeping or unprepared and you get the drugs, money and less likely gunfire.

They are just overused.

The cops could break down the doors while brandishing copies of Reason Magazine...

Since you've open the door for me to refer to my favorite high-capacity magazine, this article posted while I was writing my above comment:

"Maybe that's why it's taken so long for people to seriously consider police reform, and why they're so resistant to giving libertarians credit on the issue. Real change requires not just dropping the word "police" but reducing the opportunity for government agents to use violence against the public. That means fewer laws to be enforced and less intrusive enforcement of those laws. That's a hard pill to swallow for ideologues who are committed to forcing people to do what they don't want to do or to forcibly stop them from exercising their own preferences.

Libertarians should be happy that Americans are ready to discuss police reform. But we'll have to see if the country is actually prepared for less policing."
'Where Are Libertarians on Police Reform?' Right Where We've Always Been.: Real changes will require fewer laws and less violent enforcement.

Sitting in an apartment with a couple of ounces of coke, a Glock 19...

Leaving aside whether it's the government's business if you have either or both.

More importantly, leaving aside whether it's your apartment or the one down the street.

Part of the reason we have checks and balances, and inspectors general, and ombudsmen is that people make mistakes. The problem arises when the mistake can lead to innocent people being not merely inconvenienced, or even impoverished, but killed.

The problem with libertarian arguments is that they are on a foundation of less laws rather than thinking about the human cost. It was Grover Norquist who said he wanted to make government small enough to drown in a bathtub. The subtitle of article "Real changes will require fewer laws" suggests that the focus is not on the disparate impact of policing but the reduction in the number of laws.

Some grafs from your article
Now, after decades of manifestos, journalism, research, and advocacy, America seems to agree with libertarians. "Americans by a 2-to-1 margin are more troubled by the actions of police in the killing of George Floyd than by violence at some protests," the Wall Street Journal reports from survey results. That just may result in policy changes.
Yes, the paroxysm of protest that is gripping the nation is because we've just had enough of having too many laws.

If Congress doesn't rise to the occasion, the Supreme Court could. Associate Justices Clarence Thomas and Sonia Sotomayor both look eager to revisit the mess the court created when it invented qualified immunity.

I agree that Thomas' jurisprudence comes from a very different place. But if you somehow think that Thomas is coming from the same place as libertarians are, just look who he married.

I'm willing to overlook the occasion miss, but Reason often twists facts to support their own 'reasons', but is not very honest about the fact that it does that.

No knock warrants serve a purpose, catch me sleeping or unprepared and you get the drugs, money and less likely gunfire.

Yeah. No sh*t that this is the reasoning. But why is it that important to get the drugs and money? And is there no other way to catch a drug dealer? It's asinine.

I brought up no-knock warrants as a prime example of that phenomenon. How do you expect barging into someone's house in the middle of the night to end well, particularly when you necessarily think the occupant is a dangerous criminal? (Otherwise, you wouldn't be doing such an extreme thing, right?) How are you not completely on edge, fully expecting to be met with force of some kind? Why would you create a situation with such a high likelihood of a gunfight in close quarters? What immediate danger to the public are you addressing with such extreme actions?

The logic of such things escapes me.

Ok, this is one thing.

When a citizen wakes in the middle of the night to chaos and fires on and kills a police officer thinking they are defending their home and themselves, the police say that they should have known it was the police and call it capital murder.

When a police officer, with training and situational awareness, breaks into a citizen's home and kills an innocent and unarmed person, it's called, "Oh, well, shit happens."

This is another.

HSH, how should the law announce its presence to armed and dangerous suspects? I'm fairly sure the men and women who actually do this stuff are aware of the options and the risks. I'm also fairly sure that someone who never has and never will have to arrest an armed and dangerous suspect has very little of use to offer in the "here is how to do this better and safer" category.

That said, the 'no knock' thing has been out of hand for years.

As Charles notes, if you wake up with people attacking your home, you defend yourself at your peril. Currently, the police are immune from any harm they inflict when they invade the wrong home, whether its tearing the home apart or killing an occupant who defends him/herself.

So, there are a few things to be worked out. For starters, make the sponsoring agency (local, state or federal) strictly liable and fully accountable financially for civil damages for a wrongful home invasion. Name the name of the officials who reviewed and approved the invasion and make public the data the invasion was based on with no/zero/zip/nada protection for the identify of "confidential informants. Show everyone how well thought out the plan to storm the wrong house was. Put the most senior officer with actual knowledge of the invasion's "probable cause" on 'strike two' status, with termination the penalty for any subsequent bad decision absent objective, mitigating factors (mistakes can be made in good faith and any fair system will take this into account).

I have no issue with addressing violent or potentially violent suspects with overwhelming force sufficient to compel submission. It's either that or good luck finding law enforcement people willing to put their lives on the line for a public that now seems willing to throw them under the bus if the circumstances are ambiguous. However, the line that can't be crossed is how an officer treats a compliant, non-violent suspect, particularly for a misdemeanor offense.

Back to HSH's Point: The leap from Floyd's murder to 'how to apprehend probable shooters' is quite large. Do you want limitations on ATF's ability to storm the headquarters of heavily armed right wing militias? Have you thought through the ramifications of an urban fire fight? That's a lot of ammo going off in every direction--if you are unfamiliar with the effective range of high power rifles, it is several miles--you can't get everyone out of range, not by a long shot (good pun, McKinney!). Further, I assume that with the limitations on 'no knock' you have in mind, the the police would also be suitably demilitarized and therefore not armored-up, not helmeted, not using bullet proof vehicles. Again, you're not putting yourself in harm's way, you're telling those willing to do so what they can and cannot do to protect themselves. What do you say to these officers' surviving spouses if it turns out your policy caused the deaths of the people trying to protect you?

Knee jerk, unexamined thoughts are the least helpful of all. Biden, Pelosi and many others are already not getting on the defunding bandwagon. Why? Because, as phrased, it's stupid.

Reform--beginning with police unions--is obviously needed in a number of places, but when you get down to why ten thousand arrests proceed according to Hoyle and then you get a Floyd situation, it isn't the myth of "systemic racism", it's the mind-set of one bad person.

Violent crime is a thing. It is a really big thing in the African American community with the overwhelming majority of victims being African Americans killed/injured/robbed/raped by other African Americans. The reason why Floyd's case is murder-by-cop is that Floyd was completely submissive, completely under control and cuffed to boot. It was straight-up murder. Going after gang-bangers armed to the teeth is a different kettle of fish. Ditto neo nazis or whoever.

There are bad home invasions; there are home invasions that should have and could have been handled much less destructively and dramatically; and there are a lot of other fixes our system needs (civil forfeiture comes to mind). But widespread reform of how violent suspects are handled up to the point of submission and capture is not even in the same solar system as the Floyd situation.

One of the truly disorienting aspects of all of this discussion of police militarization, for me, is that for one brief, shining moment ca. 2008 the narrative of the warrior cop had the potential to go the other way. Gen. Petraeus and (dino-conservative) William Lind were arguing in their draft">https://dnipogo.org/fcs/pdf/fmfm_1-a.pdf">draft of the Army guide to 4th Generation Warfare (insurgency) that the military needed to use a community policing model that ditched the body armor and fortified FOBs and put vulnerable bodies in communities to share the risk and offer aid. They argued that this was fighting a war on the moral (morale) level. Force protection, they argued, makes an outside force look like bullies and occupiers and turns a populace against them.

But that goes hard on the politicians when the casualties from "our boys" mount, and it's really hard to deliver a big fat military contract to local constituents when your new stance is to de-escalate and not use any fancy new tactical anything.

I remember having some conversations about this with Andrew over on Taking It Outside. :(

It makes for an interesting "what if..." narrative, anyway.

Now, after decades of manifestos, journalism, research, and advocacy, America seems to agree with libertarians.

Nope. American now has one (1) point of agreement with libertarians. Seeing more agreement than that requires either assuming the conclusion and taking a single point of evidence as sufficient, or else flat out wishful thinking.

Botched link: https://web.archive.org/web/20130109162752/https://dnipogo.org/fcs/pdf/fmfm_1-a.pdf">https://dnipogo.org/fcs/pdf/fmfm_1-a.pdf">https://web.archive.org/web/20130109162752/https://dnipogo.org/fcs/pdf/fmfm_1-a.pdf

Further, I assume that with the limitations on 'no knock' you have in mind, the the police would also be suitably demilitarized and therefore not armored-up, not helmeted, not using bullet proof vehicles. Again, you're not putting yourself in harm's way, you're telling those willing to do so what they can and cannot do to protect themselves. What do you say to these officers' surviving spouses if it turns out your policy caused the deaths of the people trying to protect you?

What I'm saying is that they shouldn't be doing these things at all, short of an immediate threat to public safety. So, no, I'm not suggesting that police put themselves in harm's way unprotected. I'm suggesting that they stay out of harm's way unless there's an immediate need - something more than a sleeping drug dealer.

The only connection to George Floyd's murder is that we're talking about police reform generally because of it. Not every reform we might discuss is meant to address what happened to George Floyd.

Looks like I'm not going to get that Internet Archive Wayback Machine link to work properly.

Original link is in the middle of that mess and you can plug that into the Wayback Machine yourself if you so desire.

McTX: Again, you're not putting yourself in harm's way, you're telling those willing to do so what they can and cannot do to protect themselves.

Does McKinney suggest We The People should NOT tell our cops how they can and cannot act?

And not for nothing but this ...
... when you get down to why ten thousand arrests proceed according to Hoyle and then you get a Floyd situation, it isn't the myth of "systemic racism", it's the mind-set of one bad person.
... is ridiculous on many levels. If 10,000 cops hassle 9,999 black people (in ways they'd never hassle a white guy in a suit) "according to Hoyle" and actually murder 1 on video, the only problem is "the mind-set of one bad person", says McKinney. It's not about pervasive racism because to certain Americans nothing is about pervasive racism.

What do you say to these officers' surviving spouses if it turns out your policy caused the deaths of the people trying to protect you?

You mean if your "policy" was "no gun control of any kind, ever, because out of 10,000 responsible gun owners only 1 is likely to be a bad person"?

--TP

This is your premise:

particularly when you necessarily think the occupant is a dangerous criminal? (Otherwise, you wouldn't be doing such an extreme thing, right?)

This was injected by Marty:

I'm suggesting that they stay out of harm's way unless there's an immediate need - something more than a sleeping drug dealer.

Your view, if I understand correctly, is simply not to make an arrest. Or, if I'm misunderstanding, tell me when and how the police are to apprehend dangerous suspects. If the idea is: no arrests/no risk of bad outcomes, what is our moral standing with subsequent victims?

nous's link:

"War always changes. Our enemies learn and adapt, and we must do the same or lose. But today, war is changing faster and on a larger scale than at any time in the last 350 years. Not only are we, as Marines, facing rapid change in how war is fought, we are facing radical changes in who fights and what they are fighting for."
Fourth Generation War

Less policing ?

I think so...
https://twitter.com/MotherJones/status/1270059322806923264

if you wake up with people attacking your home, you defend yourself at your peril

really hammers a big spike through the heart of the whole "guns protect us from tyranny" mantra that so many of the police cheerleaders like to chant, dunnit.

At last, something from McKinneyTexas I think we should consider:

...what is our moral standing with subsequent victims?

Perhaps we should apply this more widely than just to force protection?

Which puts us right back to what hairshirthedonist was posting about.

If the idea is: no arrests/no risk of bad outcomes, what is our moral standing with subsequent victims?

how about we start with making stops, searches, arrests, seizures, bail, trials, convictions and sentencing uniform across racial lines?

then we can get on with perfecting our moral standing and ensuring that absolutely nothing in the legal system ever goes wrong.

Does McKinney suggest We The People should NOT tell our cops how they can and cannot act?

Of course you can and good luck with your police recruiting!

If 10,000 cops hassle 9,999 black people (in ways they'd never hassle a white guy in a suit) "according to Hoyle" and actually murder 1 on video, the only problem is "the mind-set of one bad person", says McKinney. It's not about pervasive racism because to certain Americans nothing is about pervasive racism.

If you assume racist bad faith in every or even most white cop/black suspect encounters, then sure, you've got a problem. OTOH, what is your explanation for cop/suspect violence with both actor's are black? What is your evidence that many/most/all white police officers act in bad faith? We have lots of Hispanic and Asian officers in TX--are they racists too?

really hammers a big spike through the heart of the whole "guns protect us from tyranny" mantra that so many of the police cheerleaders like to chant, dunnit.

It illustrates a number of contradictions for both sides. On the right, 2nd amendment open carry ought to be taking a huge hit right now, as but one example. Here's another: what do you think a bunch of white peeps would be doing--or the police for that matter--if a couple 100 African Americans came marching into a neighborhood openly packing? I've never been a fan of open carry or the people who advocate for it.

At last, something from McKinneyTexas I think we should consider:

...what is our moral standing with subsequent victims?

Perhaps we should apply this more widely than just to force protection?

Which puts us right back to what hairshirthedonist was posting about.

I'm sure there is a point here. Whether it's a good one or not remains to be seen.

McKinney says, himself, that no-knocks are out of control and suggests a number of measures that would surely curtail their use greatly, but still seems to think I’m a nitwit for bringing it up. Whatever. Breonna Taylor.

what is your explanation for cop/suspect violence with both actor's are black?

black Americans grow up in America, too. they don't all avoid learning what white people teach each other about black people.

TP: Does McKinney suggest We The People should NOT tell our cops how they can and cannot act?

McTX: Of course you can and good luck with your police recruiting!

So, "Here's a gun and a badge; do whatever you feel like" is how YOU would recruit policemen, McKinney?

--TP

Just one guy with a mindset?

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/minneapolis-police-rendered-44-people-unconscious-neck-restraints-five-years-n1220416

The Minnesota police data showed three-fifths of those subjected to neck restraints and then rendered unconscious were black. About 30 percent were white. Two were Native Americans.

It's not about pervasive racism because to certain Americans nothing is about pervasive racism.

From my point of view, much of it is pervasive statism with minorities hardest hit. If for no other reason than it's easier to mistreat them without blowback.

If you assume racist bad faith in every or even most white cop/black suspect encounters, then sure, you've got a problem.

You don't need racist bad faith on anyone's part if the system that is being enforced is structurally racist. Which it is. The tasks they are being asked to perform are structurally racist and their personal attitudes towards the people they are policing in the execution of those duties don't matter.

Of course you can and good luck with your police recruiting!

In our God Ordained free market economy there is this thing called supply and demand. If we paid a few police what you attorneys draw down, I'm sure we could find somebody.

Here's another: what do you think a bunch of white peeps would be doing--or the police for that matter--if a couple 100 African Americans came marching into a neighborhood openly packing? I've never been a fan of open carry or the people who advocate for it.

Well, we pretty much do know. Nothing new here, mckinney.

It might be worth looking at the motivations and outcomes in a city that has actually tried this and had some success with it, e.g. Camden NJ.

Also FWIW, I'm unconvinced by the "few bad apples" argument. For any of 1,000 reasons, there are a lot of people in police departments who have an animus toward black people. That is a problem per se, and should be addressed.

As in, if you mouth off about the n***ers on social media or similar, you are no longer a cop.

Chris Rock makes the point that there are some professions where we can't really tolerate "a few bad apples". Airline pilots, for example. And cops, for another.

Who knows, if we made being a cop something that didn't come with a mountain of baggage around militarization and various anti-social attitudes, recruitment numbers might even go up.

Perhaps municipalities could create "charter precincts." :)

Yeah, but then the Charter PDs would only police people who are successfully following the law and send all of the criminals to Public PDs.

Then they will all cheer their lack of wrongful death suits.

We have lots of Hispanic and Asian officers in TX--are they racists too?

I’d guess some are. It’s a strange question.

GFTNC—

I don’t want to keep arguing about this, so this will be my last post on it.

I didn’t find much useful about the Applebaum piece. If you want to talk about how people betray their professed values, you don’t need to step one foot outside of the Beltway.

More food for thought...

here.

and here.

My bombthrowing is done for today.

Defund the Police.

On its face, this looks like yet another misspoken dumb chant by aggrieved liberals that will serve as a detriment to their future election prospects as obtuse conservatives (I'm not talking about anyone here, unless you want me to) pounce consistently and stupidly as they have with "All Lives Matter" in response to "Black Lives Matter".

As has been noted, defund does not mean defund.

But, it amuses me, or rather energizes me, that the word defund has been used by every conservative over the past 40 years, including Mitt Romney (the master of insincerity; Trump finally said something I agree with) (we'll leave aside Charles; defunding is a cultish kink, I do believe in his case, even when I agree with him) just to throw out a name, to describe what should happen to every single government function, at every level, at one time or another, for the past 40 years (if we leave out the previous 214 years) by the conservative movement.

I could make a list, but the Federal government has an online list of all the Cabinet Agencies and their functions and sub-functions, so look it up yourselves.

The Federalist Society's list of the administrative functions of government they want defunded and abolished is identical to the aforementioned list.

The only exceptions for these ilk are the military and the police functions of government, as long as their fire is directed only at what threatens the conservative movement's goals and aspirations for unregulated, untaxed business and their behavior.

No, when the word "defunded" is used by conservatives against THEIR governing pet peeves, which are legion, we are expected to fall in line with that political correctness.

But when WE aim, or misstate, the term "defunding", at their armed government, which is only tolerated insofar as it protects the conservative movement's interests, listen to the politically correct howling from the conservative movement.

It's deafening.

One further point regarding BLM.

Colin Kaepernick was ridiculed, denigrated, shamed, threatened, with his family, and drummed out of his career by the racist conservative movement for the simple sin of getting down on one knee to once again bring attention to the matter of black lives (how many times does this need to happen in American history) and, trivially (America has placed trivial matters in a realty show trophy case) inconveniencing conservative football fans, with late kickoff.

He did not riot.

He did not damage property, although you could say he himself became damaged property (hear the echoes?) in the eyes of his owners. You don't bid for uppity slaves.

He did not burn down a building.

He did not loot a store.

He did not assault a cop.

He dropped to one knee.

He, among others, gave America one more chance to listen, respectfully, and peacefully, and with quietude, and without force of arms.

Now look where we are, yet again. Even with the considerable progress made in America in race relations and civil rights.

Instead, from the highest office in the land, elected by the racist conservative movement, once again, he was talked over. He had a rhetorical knee place on his neck by a noose-tying thug.

Somehow, one racist big mouth made it to the top again to betray and shit on all of that progress.

It tells us something about the turds that keep floating to the top in America, no matter how many times we flush.

It was more chance. More than any of us deserve, given the history of betrayed chances.

Last chance.

I'd advise taking it.


Donald: fair enough. And I would only add that if, as seems quite likely, the Applebaum piece was one of the contributory factors to Mattis finally speaking out, then despite your not finding it useful it may in fact have been useful in helping to disillusion rightwingers on the reachable fringe, thus adding, even in a small way, to the possibility of a Trump defeat in November.

John Thullen: well said on Colin Kaepernick.

On average US police kill more people each day than UK police do each year. This is not because the UK has so many fewer laws.

Pro Bono, it's bad enough per capita, so why not use the more meaningful number?

Pro Bono, the numbers are bad enough per capita. So why not use the more meaningful number?

If you like. The US population is about five times the UK population.

Per capita, the rate of police killings in the USA is about 100 times the rate in the UK.

From one of bobbyp's link (and the link at the link):

In Philadelphia on Monday night, the cops made it fairly explicit on whose behalf they police the streets. As they unleashed tear gas on unarmed protesters marching on Interstate 676, getting caught on camera spraying gas directly into the faces of harmless, seated demonstrators, across town they allowed an actual roving mob of men armed with baseball bats and other improvised weapons to violate curfew and move about with impunity. Or something more than impunity: an endorsement. Residents reported attempting to get the police to arrest or disperse the would-be vigilantes and being mocked and dismissed.

(...)

…none of the good apples arrested any of those white guys with baseball bats in Philadelphia. None of the good apples enforced the curfew against them. They chose to exempt the one group that enjoys special privileges and immunity from state violence for reasons even the squishiest moderate has to acknowledge.

This is not the result of one person's mindset.

You don't need racist bad faith on anyone's part if the system that is being enforced is structurally racist.

Structural racism is one of the talisman's that lefty ideologues wave about in lieu of evidence and logic. It begins and ends discussions with its own, self-proving certitude. I say its bullshit.

In our God Ordained free market economy there is this thing called supply and demand. If we paid a few police what you attorneys draw down, I'm sure we could find somebody.

Is this snark or intended as a reasoned response?

McKinney says, himself, that no-knocks are out of control and suggests a number of measures that would surely curtail their use greatly, but still seems to think I’m a nitwit for bringing it up. Whatever. Breonna Taylor.

No. I think if you are going to lay down a limit on what police can do, you need to offer an alternative that doesn't increase their risk, or society's risk. You haven't done that.

This is not the result of one person's mindset.

It is not, but that was never my point. The Philadelphia video is evidence of a very poorly run police department that seems to reflect the nature of at least part of the city, which is a judgment on Philadelphia, not the country and not the idea that we, in fact, need laws and we do, in fact, need those laws to be enforced.
We've all seen far too many police excesses to be complacent. Which is why I specifically noted that reforms are necessary. Which does not mean that every bad idea that limits police options is a brilliant reform that should be adopted without question.

Chris Rock makes the point that there are some professions where we can't really tolerate "a few bad apples". Airline pilots, for example. And cops, for another.

This is either a false choice or a straw man. No one ever said we should tolerate 'bad apples' as police officers. If anything, we should spend more money testing at the entry level and work hard on finding ways for the good police to out the bad actors without creating a system of informants and counter-informants.

I say its bullshit.

then you are an utter fool.

I think if you are going to lay down a limit on what police can do, you need to offer an alternative that doesn't increase their risk, or society's risk. You haven't done that.

What I proposed was a general principle that the police shouldn't be doing things that increase the overall risk to the public or themselves. And the excessive use of no-knock warrants is an area where that general principle would clearly apply. Let's add high-speed car chases and overaggressive crowd control. When I get to write the rules, I guess there will be more onus on me to get further into the nitty-gritty specifics. In the meantime, I will be reading from people with more expertise than either of us to see what ideas seem like good practical ways to apply the principle I'm suggesting - one that stems from what nous wrote about safety taking priority over enforcement.

Which does not mean that every bad idea that limits police options is a brilliant reform that should be adopted without question.

Sure, but that's a straw man you've constructed, not something anyone here wrote.

No one ever said we should tolerate 'bad apples' as police officers.

Maybe you haven't, but it's a common refrain from people who think nothing should be done because the bad apples are so few. It's the go-to excuse for many whenever there's a high-profile incident, despite the fact that we can be reasonably sure there are equally bad incidents that never come to light.

You don't need racist bad faith on anyone's part if the system that is being enforced is structurally racist.

It seems obvious, but perhaps not. A system that is structurally racist would tend to attract those of racist bad faith to certain positions, would it not?

I would also note that an explanation of structural racism as the explanation is actually an excuse for not taking action against those behaving badly. Because they are no more to blame than anyone else in the system. Including those who somehow have not taken racist actions.

In fact, if the system is so structurally racist, how does any non-racist arise? Or, if you prefer, anyone who somehow refrains from making racist attacks?

I submit that, however much you object to the system and wish to change it, focusing on sanctioning those "bad apples" (however few or many) is the way to go. a) It provides some incentive for even those of racist bent, to refrain from acting on that inclination. b) It removes the attraction of taking employment in those positions (e.g. the police) which provide opportunity for racist acts. Thus improving the make-up of police departments. Both of which would make implementating structural changes easier.

I do understand the attraction, for some, of ranting about "structural racism." But I submit that, like "defunding" the police, it's another unforced error. (Or, if one is of a conspiracy turn of mind, evidence that the far right has infiltrated the left, to induce self-destructive language. /snark)

then you are an utter fool.

Well, I can hardly argue with this compelling logic. Yet, I will try. Here is some evidence of a lack of structural racism: the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments, all written and adopted in the 19th century. Civil Rights acts passed in the 50's, 60's and 70's.

"Structural racism" is the lefty ideologue's version of 'original sin'. It's a handy, intellectually vacuous substitute for critical analysis. It answers all manner of questions without the need for further explanation. It is a form of name-calling, which is the single most common arrow in the ideologue's quiver.

What I proposed was a general principle that the police shouldn't be doing things that increase the overall risk to the public or themselves.

No, you did not. You specifically said that no-knock's should be disallowed when seeking to arrest known, dangerous suspects but you did not offer an alternative, even when specifically asked to do so. It was a blanket condemnation of a sometimes necessary tactic. If you contend that someone else should be denied a device that, on balance, mitigates the other person's risk, then it is incumbent on you to either provide an alternative or walk back the limitation you would impose on someone else.

You specifically said that no-knock's should be disallowed when seeking to arrest known, dangerous suspects but you did not offer an alternative, even when specifically asked to do so.

I pointed out what makes them so dangerous, often to the point of creating a situation that was overall less safe for everyone than if they simply didn't do it. Nowhere did I suggest a complete abolition. Those are words you put into my mouth.

And you seem to miss the point I was making about the dangerous suspect - that the suspect might not actually be dangerous enough to warrant barging into a house unannounced and creating unnecessary havoc. Therein lies the rub - that the tactic is necessarily predicated (often wrongly) on danger from the suspect that is actually less than the danger of the tactic to both the officers and the occupants, not all of whom are necessarily suspected of anything. Sometimes none are, because they went into the wrong f**king house. How is it that the pursuit of someone is so damned important that you have to get a no-knock warrant, but not important enough to go into the right house?

The point being that police rely far too often on highly risky practices with insufficient justification and poor execution, which results in wrongful deaths. Most of the time, we're talking about overzealous drug-war pursuits, not involving the rare super-dangerous, ultra-violent criminal you propose as the justification.

"Structural racism" is the lefty ideologue's version of 'original sin'. It's a handy, intellectually vacuous substitute for critical analysis. It answers all manner of questions without the need for further explanation. It is a form of name-calling, which is the single most common arrow in the ideologue's quiver.

like i said.

you're a fool.

you don't even know what it is you're arguing against, and yet you're sputtering and hand-waving and throwing out insults while complaining about weak arguments.

by this point - it comes up here every couple of months, so you've had plenty of time to learn it - i assume that's because you don't want to know.

The point being that police rely far too often on highly risky practices with insufficient justification and poor execution, which results in wrongful deaths.

Ok, put this way, I have no issues. However, I think your statement is truer for some departments than others. But, as is painfully obvious, there are a lot of houses that need cleaning for a lot of reasons. High adrenalin addicts are drawn to law enforcement and they have their place, with strict limitations and under close supervision.

When there is a "structure" in place (of policies, practices, etc) that prevents the removal of violent racist cop, it's a problem that is wider than just the single "bad apple", and removing that "bad apple" requires dealing with the "structure" problem.

So calling it structural racism is a bridge too far?

So calling it structural racism is a bridge too far?

Structural statism?...

Beyond policing, what would you call racial disparities in sentencing, even when considering convictions for exactly the same crimes?

What would you call laws that predictably result in racially disparate enforcement and imprisonment (one classic example being harsher laws for crack than for powder cocaine)?

wj: I do understand the attraction, for some, of ranting about "structural racism." But I submit that, like "defunding" the police, it's another unforced error.

I tend to speak of "pervasive" racism, specifically to avoid linguistic debates about what "structural" means. Nonetheless, I need to know why "structural" is either inaccurate or inappropriate.

At what point does "pervasive" become "structural"?

Going after the "bad apples" that we keep finding in police forces of various kinds and in various places is all well and good. But if you open sack after sack of apples and find "a few" rotten ones in each one, maybe there's a systemic problem back at the orchard. I say "systemic" to avoid saying "structural".

McTX: Here is some evidence of a lack of structural racism: the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments, all written and adopted in the 19th century. Civil Rights acts passed in the 50's, 60's and 70's.

McKinney cites constitutional amendments and legislation which support the notion that de jure racism is no longer A Thing. But The Law is not all there is to the "structure" of society. I hear tell that The Economy has something to do with society's "structure", for instance.

Those who look at the disparities between black Americans and white ones, and claim that our social "structure" is not what accounts for them, ought to (try to) explain what does. It's not "race", right?

--TP

I need to know why "structural" is either inaccurate or inappropriate.

Inaccurate? No, I would agree it exists.

Inappropriate? Yes, to the extent that addressing the structural problems becomes a substitute for dealing with specific acts by individuals.** Which, from what I'm seeing, is a real concern. We need to address both.

** Just as the "few bad apples" meme leads to the opposite.

The problem with structural racism is that it has to be inferred from the shadows on the wall. But structural statism. That's easy to see. It's right in front of your eyes. It' the wall.

Beyond policing, what would you call racial disparities in sentencing, even when considering convictions for exactly the same crimes?

I would need to see the underlying data and how it is analyzed, first at the granular level, and then at the macro level to be able to comment intelligently.


What would you call laws that predictably result in racially disparate enforcement and imprisonment (one classic example being harsher laws for crack than for powder cocaine)?

I call that a bad law, but it is hardly the entire structure of the United States.

Those who look at the disparities between black Americans and white ones, and claim that our social "structure" is not what accounts for them, ought to (try to) explain what does. It's not "race", right?

This would be an example of over-simplification and drawing too many conclusions from too little data. We are a multi-racial society--and economy. Different ethnic/racial groups land all across the spectrum. If the US were structurally racist, we would not see these outcomes.

It is a finely tuned 'structure' that permits most but not all minorities to succeed. To hold back--by design or by outcome--one but not all minorities by structuring the social and economic activity of a country of 330 million people is really quite an accomplishment. So much so that one would expect to see specific anti-black rules, statutes, etc. But we don't, obviously; we see just the opposite.

Which does not mean we do not see different outcomes. We do. We see a range of outcomes by race. We also see a range of outcomes by educational achievement and by family structure. Blaming structural racism on different outcomes begs the questions above: why some but not all races? How is that structure structured? There are common elements in doing well in life. There are common elements in not doing well in life. These are not structural. If you had to put a word to it, that word would be: universal.

So, I say again, the concept of 'structural racism' is an intellectually lazy way of addressing difficult, complicating and sometimes vexing range of questions. Or, in short, it is bullshit.

I call that a bad law, but it is hardly the entire structure of the United States.

Bad because of the racial disparities it produces? It might not remotely be the "entire structure" of the United States (whatever that means), but it is a structural or systemic source of racial disparity. It's not a matter of a person or some number of people acting on racial animus producing a bad result. It's larger than that, and can produce bad results even in the absence of racism in the people responsible for carrying out the law.

The problem with structural racism is that it has to be inferred from the shadows on the wall.

it really doesn't.

banks give better loans to white people than they give black people. resumes with stereotypical black names are less likely to get callbacks for jobs. black people are more likely to be stopped, searched, arrested, tried, sentenced and they get heavier sentences.

[yes, even after controlling for things like income and education]

So, I say again

in the real world, assertions don't change facts.

But structural statism. That's easy to see. It's right in front of your eyes. It' the wall.

Statism is structural. The state is a structure for the purposes of this discussion. It's like saying "mammalian dog" (as opposed to the non-existent non-mammalian dog).

banks give better loans to white people than they give black people. resumes with stereotypical black names are less likely to get callbacks for jobs. black people are more likely to be stopped, searched, arrested, tried, sentenced and they get heavier sentences.

I think these are poor examples of "structural racism." I would say that a far better example is, for example, having laws which give wildly different penalties to different illegal drugs, which were written deliberately based on which drugs tended to be used by which races.

That is, unarguably, structural racism. The other is racism, but structural? Not unless we redefine what the word means. Note that real structural racism requires different kinds of remedies than individual racism.

https://assets.aspeninstitute.org/content/uploads/files/content/docs/rcc/RCC-Structural-Racism-Glossary.pdf

Structural Racism: A system in which public policies, institutional practices, cultural representations, and other norms work in various, often reinforcing ways to perpetuate racial group inequity. It identifies dimensions of our history and culture that have allowed privileges associated with “whiteness” and disadvantages associated with “color” to endure and adapt over time. Structural racism is not something that a few people or institutions choose to practice. Instead it has been a feature of the social, economic and political systems in which we all exist.

I'd say widespread banking and employment practices fall under the above definition.

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