The rage isn’t only over George Floyd

What we’re missing

patriotJim Reisner wrote this: “Rage equals anger plus helplessness.
“If you are confounded by the destructiveness of protestors, then maybe there was another way to go. Maybe justice could have been rendered in the deaths of Dontre Hamilton, Eric Garner, John Crawford III, Michael Brown Jr., Ezell Ford, Dante Parker, Tanisha Anderson, Akai Gurley, Tamir Rice, Rumain Brisbon, Jermane Reid, Tony Robinson, Phillip White, Eric Harris, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, Terence Crutcher, Philandro Castile, Alton Sterling, Walter Scott, Eric Harris, Tony Robinson, Laquon McDonald, Sam DuBose, Jamar Clark, Jeremy McDole, William Chapman II, Sean Reid, Steven DeMarco Taylor, Ariane McCree, Terrance Franklin, Miles Hall, William Green, Samuel David Mallard, E. J. Bradford, Jamee Johnson, Michael Dean, Antwon Rose, Stephon Clark, Tony McDade, Yassin Muhamed, Finan Berhe, Miles Hall, Darius Tarver, William Green, Kwame Jones, De’Von Bailey, Christopher Whitfield, Anthony Hill, Eric Logan, Jamarion Robinson, Gregory Hill Jr., Jaquavion Slaton, Ryan Twyman, Brandon Webber, Jimmy Atchison, Willy McCoy, EJ Bradford, Jr., D’etrick Griffin, Jemel Roberson, DeAndre Ballard, Robert Lawrence White, Anthony Lamar Smith, Lamarly Graham, Manuel Loggins, Jr., Trayvon Martin, Wendell Allen, Kendric McDade. Larry Jackson, Jr., Jonathan Ferrell, Jordan Baker, Victor White III, Dantre Hamilton, Kajieme Powell, Laquan McDonald, Charly Keunang, Brendan Glenn, Christian Taylor, Mario Woods, Quintonio Grier, Gregory Gunn, Akiel Jenkins, Alton Sterling, Keith Lamont Scott, Alfred Alongo, Jordon Edwards, Danny Ray Thomas, DeJuan Gillory, Patrick Harmon, Jonathan Hart, Maurice Granton, Tanishe Anderson, Yvette Smith, Miriam Carey, Shelly Frey, Malissa Williams, Alesia Thomas, Shantel Davis, Rekia Boyd, Shareese Francis, Aiyana Stanley Jones, Sandra Bland, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd.
“This is by no means an exhaustive list of weaponless African Americans who have been killed by police within the past 10 years.
“Stop wondering why Minneapolis is burning.”

Getting it

Jim, BTW, is a minister, a white guy, I suppose I should point out. He used to pastor in Albany but is now in Maryland.

Who was George Floyd? In Houston’s Third Ward, where he lived until 2018, they know him for how he lived for decades — “a mentor to a generation of young men and a ‘person of peace’ ushering ministries into the area.” The 46-year-old father of two daughters was a “gentle giant” to those who knew him.

The Three Stories of George Floyd.

I’m not a person of violence, at least some of which is stirred up by white nationalist group posing as Antifa calling for violence on Twitter. But read What we’re missing when we condemn “violence” at protests and How to respond to “riots never solve anything!”

Nothing Is Certain But Death, Taxes, And Police Infiltration Of US Protests.

Chattanooga police chief tells officers OK with George Floyd death to turn in their badges.

A photo from Thursday night’s protest in downtown Louisville appears to show a line of white women, arms locked, standing between Louisville Metro Police officers and black protesters.

Minneapolis Bus Drivers Refuse to Transport George Floyd Protesters to Jail.

Girl Gone Smart: Uncomfortable? Good!

George Floyd, Minneapolis Protests, Ahmaud Arbery & Amy Cooper: The Daily Social Distancing Show with Trevor Noah.

And my personal favorite: Wife of officer charged with murder of George Floyd announces she’s divorcing him.

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” – Desmond Tutu

The anatomy of a homicide


The encounter began around 8 p.m. when an employee at the Cup Foods convenience store called police to say that a customer later identified as George Floyd had tried to use a counterfeit $20 bill to buy cigarettes…

The defendant [officer Derek Chauvin] pulled Mr. Floyd out of the passenger side of the squad car at 8:19:38 p.m. and Mr. Floyd went to the ground face down and still handcuffed. [Officer J.A.] Kueng [one of the original arresting cops] held Mr. Floyd’s back and [Thomas] Lane [the other one] held his legs.

The defendant placed his left knee in the area of Mr. Floyd’s head and neck. Mr. Floyd said, “I can’t breathe” multiple times and repeatedly said, “Mama” and “please,” as well. The defendant and the other two officers stayed in their positions.

The officers said, “You are talking fine” to Mr. Floyd as he continued to move back and forth. Lane asked, “should we roll him on his side?” and the defendant said, “No, staying put where we got him.” Officer Lane said, “I am worried about excited delirium or whatever.” The defendant said, “That’s why we have him on his stomach.” None of the three officers moved from their positions.

BWC video shows Mr. Floyd continue to move and breathe.

At 8:24:24, Mr. Floyd stopped moving.

At 8:25:31 the video appears to show Mr. Floyd ceasing to breathe or speak. Lane said, “want to roll him on his side.” Kueng checked Mr. Floyd’s right wrist for a pulse and said, “I couldn’t find one.” None of the officers moved from their positions.

At 8:27:24, the defendant removed his knee from Mr. Floyd’s neck. An ambulance and emergency medical personnel arrived, the officers placed Mr. Floyd on a gurney, and the ambulance left the scene. Mr. Floyd was pronounced dead at Hennepin County Medical Center.

[It appears to be Positional Asphyxia. The Minneapolis Police Were Sued A Decade Ago In Similar Restraint Case.]

This Was, at least, Second-Degree Murder

Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder. Before they were leveled, quoting from the very rightwing Daily Signal in a story called The Unacceptably Unjust Death of George Floyd:

What, then, is the appropriate criminal charge to take before a jury?

Minnesota, like most other states, requires an element of intent for first-degree murder… [And it’s very difficult to prove intent. Although one wonders, since they may have known each other.]

Similarly, third-degree murder is likely off the table. Even though it might seem applicable as the unintentional killing of another person “by perpetrating an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind, without regard to human life,” the Minnesota Supreme Court has clarified that third-degree murder “cannot occur where the defendant’s actions were focused on a specific person.” [And yet that was the charge…]

We are left, then, with second-degree murder, which appears to be an appropriate charge. In Minnesota, this offense occurs when a person unintentionally causes a death while committing a felony offense.

Arguably, Chauvin committed the felony offense of assault, as his use of force was not authorized or justified under state law. Floyd died as a result of this unjustified assault, even if the officer did not intend to kill him.

Keep in mind, too, that Chauvin also could face criminal charges under federal law for civil rights violations, and the FBI is conducting its own investigation alongside state authorities.

Because Floyd ultimately died, a conviction under these federal statutes would carry equally significant penalties as a conviction for second-degree murder under state law.

This man makes it far worse.

“Let me be clear. This is revolting. The Bible is not a prop. A church is not a photo op. Religion is not a political tool. And God is not your plaything.”

Father James Martin, SJ

Random thoughts on life in the now

Altering their path

face maskIn the now, I have three homemade masks that I rotate. I had preferred to pick a color that would make me look less sinister to the general population than the dark brown one. Unfortunately, it was the one that fits me best.

This is a function of the fact that, apparently, I have a big head. No, I don’t mean I’m conceited. I mean my pate is large.

I first realized this as a kid when caps were often tight. Then when I graduated from high school, I was told my cap size was 7 7/8, which I gather is unusual. My cap was actually pinned into place. Then when I had to take it off for the national anthem, I couldn’t really get it back on.

I venture out infrequently enough that I forget to put on the mask until I’m on the front porch and then lock the door. And I need the mask to protect me from the folks who neither physically distance or wear their own masks. The worse are the runners, who not only don’t wear masks but just CANNOT alter their path for any reason.

The very few times I’ve gone into a building since mid-March was into a convenience store. It REALLY needed arrows on the floor because the queue to the counter was in the same direction as the exit.

The one thing I HATE waiting for? People buying lottery tickets. It’s not that I oppose folks wasting their money on them. It’s that they spend a lot of time speaking a language I simply do not understand. “Box” something or other, and the purchase seems to take forever, even pre-COVID.


My wife said recently that she was going to a Zoom meeting for school. In fact, it was a WebEx webinar. She unnecessarily apologized for her imprecision. I’m fascinated that Zoom has become the genericized term for all of those electronic meetups such as Google Hangout. The newer technology may have filled the linguistic slot that the much older technology Skype used to hold.

As a big advocate of mass transportation, it’s weird to note that I haven’t been on a Capital District Transportation Authority bus since Thursday, March 12. This is true even though one now enters the rear of the vehicle. When I had to get bloodwork, we took the car.

Like many people, I’m having vivid dreams. They’re not usually nightmarish. Sometimes they’re so intense, I’m convinced for several minutes afterward that the events actually took place.

The Karenization of Amy Cooper

she knew the gravity of her words

You’ve probably heard about the story of Amy Cooper, a white woman in Central Park. She could not be bothered to leash her dog, specifically required in the Ramble, a secluded section of the park popular with bird-watchers. Christian Cooper (no relation), a black man, and an avid birder pointed out the signage.

The now-famous video, viewed more than 40 million times. Amy approaches Christian and asks him to stop filming her, threatening to call the police. “I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life,” she says. Her multitasking of dialing the police while holding her dog halfway off the ground went awry as the cocker spaniel thrashed around, trying to break free.

Amy Cooper lost her job at investment firm Franklin Templeton. She relinquished ownership of the dog as well.

Too glib

A couple of things about this story really bug me. One, obviously, involves the facts of the case. The other, though, is the reductivist moniker of Amy Cooper being labeled a Karen.

For those of you not in the know, a Karen is “a mocking slang term for an entitled, obnoxious, middle-aged white woman. Especially as featured in memes, Karen is generally stereotyped as having a blonde bob haircut, asking to speak to retail and restaurant managers to voice complaints or make demands, and being a nagging, often divorced mother from Generation X.”

I mean, if you are named Karen, Sharon, Becky, or Chad, How it feels when your name becomes a meme? I’m on the record hating Bye, Felicia.

It was Melody Cooper, Christian’s sister who first labeled her. “Oh, when Karens take a walk with their dogs off-leash in the famous Bramble in NY’s Central Park, where it is clearly posted on signs that dogs MUST be leashed at all times, and someone like my brother (an avid birder) politely asks her to put her dog on the leash.”

These labels seem to be directed far more at women than men. My daughter notes that a Karen is called different things, depending on her age; Kayleigh, Becky, Karen (roughly 35-44), Susan, and Gertrude. I don’t know a Kayleigh, but I’ve known women with the other names, and I find the designations demeaning.

More than a complaint to the manager

In any case, the actions of Amy Cooper were far more dangerous than the flippant designation. As the Boston Globe noted, “When [she] charged Christian and yelled, ‘I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life,’ she knew the gravity of her words. Amy, not Christian, was the real danger, as she wielded the kind of weaponry that led to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis that same night.”

CNN’s John Blake notes, “There’s one epidemic we may never find a vaccine for: fear of black men in public spaces.” Specifically, “Why are black men still so feared in 2020? And what will it take for it to stop?”

Blake believes that “until more white people actually live among and befriend black people, that fear will persist. We have stories of white people who learned how to see the full humanity of black people after being forced into environments where they were ‘the only white person in the room.’

“Some were white jazz musicians or athletes who learned what it was like to share rooms, meals, and private lives with black men. One was Bill Bradley, the former Rhodes Scholar, NBA player, and US Senator… He talked about how he changed after becoming one of the few whites on the New York Knicks in the 1970s.

“‘I better understand distrust and suspicion [and] the meaning of certain looks and certain codes… What it is to be in racial situations for which you have no frame of reference,’ Bradley said in a 1991 speech to the National Press Club. ‘I understand the tension of always being on guard, of never totally relaxing.'”

As good as his name

Meanwhile, Christian Cooper is asking people to stop making death threats against the woman who called the cops on him

“‘That action was racist. Does that make [Amy Cooper] a racist? I can’t answer that. Only she can with what she does going forward,’ the former Marvel Comics editor, Harvard graduate and board member of the New York City Audubon Society said. He believed her actions went to a “racist place,” but wasn’t happy she lost her livelihood.

May rambling: Mount St. Helens + 40

Many per capitas

murder hornets
Yeah, right
U.S’s oldest living WWII veteran celebrates his 110th birthday. Sometimes, when people talk to Lawrence Brooks, he has to tell them “there’s no need to yell, I can hear you just fine.”

Conservative victimhood complex has made America impossible to govern.

John Pavlovitz Official YouTube channel, including An Honest Conversation About Disciples of the MAGAChurch.

You Can Have A Black Friend, Partner, Or Child And Still Be Racist.

Leonard Pitts: When a child goes missing, you call the police. You don’t grab a gun and try to push your way into the wrong house.

Larry Kramer obituary: American playwright, author and Aids activist best known for The Normal Heart.

Jelle’s Marble Runs, sponsored by LastWeekTonight with John Oliver, starts again June 21.

Ken Osmond & Eddie Haskell & Insincerity As an American Art Form.

I was aware that Phyllis George, who recently died at age 70, had been crowned Miss America in September 1970. The pageant was a whole lot more culturally relevant then than it’s been this century. Still, I was surprised when she became a sportscaster in 1974, and joined the cast of The NFL Today a year later. She was a trailblazer, and many women now cover major sports in the United States.

Mount St. Helens, 40 years later.

Messed up things you never noticed in your favorite ’80s movies by Mick Martin.

Mark Evanier is now interviewing tons of his friends on his YouTube channel, including Cheri Steinkellner, Scott Shaw!, Paul Levitz, and a Cartoon Voices Panel.

Catherine O’Hara: The Queen of Schitt’s Creek.

Top TV ratings from 1951-2019.

Former White House employee who served 11 presidents dies of coronavirus at 91. Wilson Roosevelt Jerman, who began working at the White House in 1957.

Trevor Noah and The Daily Show Aren’t Just Surviving—They’re Thriving.


100,000 dead in America and Earlier Lockdowns Could Have Saved 36,000 Lives.

Universal Testing Is the Answer to Social Distancing.

Inflamed brains, toe rashes, strokes: Why the weirdest symptoms are only emerging now.

Huge Study Throws Cold Water on Antimalarials such as hydroxychloroquine; Remdesivir Data — “Not a panacea” or a “cure-all”, seems more effective when given to patients who weren’t as severely ill.

Masks, Men, and the Exhausting Pursuit of Desperate Masculinity.

JESUS IS MY VACCINE has a millennum-long history rooted in anti-Semitism.

Amy Biancolli: faith, fear of death, and fatheads.

Me and we: Individual rights, common good, and coronavirus.

I Think You May Be Wasting Freedom.

Getting richer during the pandemic.

Double bubble buddies: How to choose the first household you’ll socialize with. SO Canadian.

New Zealand went from Level 4 to Level 2 lockdown, and Arthur reports it all.

Alas, the last of the posts from Notes From The Pandemic.



Running America ‘Like A Business’ Is A Road To Ruin.

How he became the GOP’s ‘new normal’

Many per capitas.

He tried to troll Michigan’s Secretary of State on voting laws. It didn’t end well for him.

Nine Questions For The White House Physician On His Use Of Hydroxychloroquine.

He Has No Endgame.

Promoting Posts From Racist and Sexist Twitter Feed.

It Shouldn’t Take A Disaster For Us to Recognize a Disaster.

Fortunately, there is the Environmental Protection Network.

Distraction – Randy Rainbow.

Now I Know

The Poison Squad and The Silvonze Medalists and Music in the Key of K and The Speed Trap That Trapped Itself and Les Gardiens de Zoo Accidentels and The Big Brick Loophole.



This Too Shall Pass – Mike Love with John Stamos.

You Can Close Your Eyes – James Taylor and family.

At Times Like These – Live Lounge Allstars.

Mother – Roger Waters.

Symphony No. 50, Mount St. Helens, by Alan Hovhaness.

Coverville 1309: Tributes to Kraftwerk and Little Richard and 1310: The Devo Cover Story III.

Overture and incidental music from Rosamunde, by Franz Schubert.

Shakespeare In Love composed by Stephen Warbeck.


Wrong Hands: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 3.0 Unported License.

Music albums for the year 1966

I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times

East-west_coverA couple of months back, I was nominated on Facebook “to post 10 albums that affected my life. No stories, no reason.”

That was unpossible, as someone said. I did it anyway, but I limited it to albums released in 1966. I didn’t necessarily BUY them in 1966, or even in that decade.

Watchout! – Martha and the Vandellas. I’m pretty sure I bought this as an LP cutout from some store – Woolworths, maybe?
Jimmy Mack, #10 pop, #1 RB in 1967.
I’m Ready for Love, #9 pop, #2 RB in 1966.
Full album.

Daydream – the Lovin’ Spoonful. I got this album on the Kama Sutra label from the Capitol Record Club because I didn’t send the card back in time. And a good thing, too, because I LOVE this album.
It’s Not Time Now – I took this as a conversation among Jimmy Carter, Ted Kennedy, and Jerry Brown fighting for the 1980 democratic nomination for President. Brown: “I can’t seem to get a word in edgewise anyhow.”
Jug Band Music.
Full album.

East-West – The Butterfield Blues Band. Another cutout, and an outstanding find.
Mary, Mary – a Mike Nesmith song that the Monkees were criticized for recording in some circles!
Work Song.
Full album.


The Supremes A’ Go-Go – the Supremes. The one album on the list that I didn’t/don’t own. My sister Leslie did, so I heard it a lot.
Love Is Like an Itching in My Heart, #9 pop, #7 RB in 1966. Possibly my favorite Supremes song.
You Can’t Hurry Love, #1 for two weeks, both pop and RB.
Full album.

If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears – the Mamas and the Papas. I probably bought this debut album in a store. The first of two 1966 albums by the group, the other being the eponymously-titled one.
Go Where You Wanna Go – Leslie and I would sometimes sing this in our green Family Singers days, a rare pop song in the repertoire.
Got a Feelin’, B-side of Monday, Monday.
Full album.

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme – Simon and Garfunkel. A store purchase. Did my father buy this? He was really taken by 7 O’Clock News/Silent Night.
A Simple Desultory Philippic (Or How I Was Robert McNamara’d into Submission).
The Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine, B-side of the Dangling Conversation.
Full album.

Aftermath – the Rolling Stones. A cutout. The first real Stones’ album, I thought, as opposed to hits and filler.
Lady Jane, B-side of Mother’s Little Helper, #24 in 1966.
I Am Waiting.
Full UK album.

The Cream

Fresh Cream– Cream. Probably a cutout. Our 7th-grade history teacher, Mr. Stone, referred to the group as The Cream. My friend Karen quickly corrected him.
I Feel Free, #116 in 1967, not on the UK album.
N.S.U., B-side of I Feel Free.
Full US album.

Blonde on Blonde – Bob Dylan. I heard this a lot – my HS girlfriend was a big Dylan fan – but never actually BOUGHT it until the CD era.
I Want You, #20 pop in 1966. This appeared on a Columbia compilation album called Best of ’66.
Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again.
Full album.

Revolver – the Beatles. The last Beatles album I got from the Capitol Record Club. I first owned the UK version on a The Beatles Collection.
Got to Get You into My Life, #7 in 1976.
Tomorrow Never Knows.
Full UK album.

Pet Sounds.
I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times.
Wouldn’t It Be Nice , #8 in 1966.
Full album.