Scattering Joy

I specialize in loud clapping and random encounters.
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One of each, bitte. #haribo (at Frankfurt (Main) International Airport, Terminal 2 - Germany)

I could never pick.


how my whole life is going, it seems

Me, always.

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I don’t know shit about photography, but the person who took this shot must be given the highest award of them all.

this is breathtaking

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Women are considered fragile but I’ve never seen anything as easily wounded as a man’s ego.

And the rest of us are not treated like human beings. Period.(x)

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Some people leave, yeah, and it sucks. But some people don’t leave, and they never will. And sometimes people are there, but you just can’t see them. But they’re still there.
Robin Benway, The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June (via simply-quotes)

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Asker andimthedad Asks:
I've been following the situation in Ferguson as closely as possible. It is shocking. I've been wondering: where are all the anti-government pro-gun-rights people? For years, they've been predicting oppression of citizens through police militarization, and now that it's actually happening, they seem silent. Is this straight-up racism? Is this because it's not the federal government (e.g. Obama) being oppressive? Is this because the police aren't coming after them personally?
scatteringjoy scatteringjoy Said:



I’ve been thinking about what I want to say on this topic all day; it’s been discussed to comedic effect on Facebook and Twitter, amongst the people with whom I share similar feelings about the gun rights insurrectionists.

Obviously, we’ve seen a whole lot of hypocrisy in the silence of those who have seemingly been warning us about the police or the feds or plain old unspecified tyranny. What happened earlier this week in Ferguson should be catnip for these people, but they’ve been oddly subdued. None of the open-carry activists were talking about grabbing their guns and heading to Missouri … not even the ones who live in Missouri.

Of course, open-carry activists are almost exclusively white people because black people know that carrying guns around in public will get them shot to death.

Clearly I don’t want to suggest that the insurrectionists or the open-carry activists are right, that the amassing of private handgun arsenals in order to scare off the police or walking around with guns to show everyone you’ve got ‘em are things that make any kind of sense. It’s not hard to imagine that the situation in Ferguson this week would have been about a million times worse if the protesters had been armed. Considering that this whole thing began with the shooting of an unarmed black kid, a whole bunch of armed black people facing the militarized St. Louis area police would have been a disaster of epic proportions.

A whole bunch of armed white people? Well, my friend Kim Yi Dionne happens to have a piece up at the Monkey Cage that addresses precisely this question using political science research:

Political scientists Christian Davenport and David Armstrong along with colleague Sarah Soule studied how the race of protesters affect how police respond to protest events in their paper, “Protesting While Black? The Differential Policing of American Activism, 1960 to 1990” (see ungated version here). In their research of more than 15,000 protest events that took place in the United States between 1960 and 1990, they find that:

… when compared with other groups, African American protesters are more likely to draw police presence and that once police are present they are more likely to make arrests, use force and violence, and use force and violence in combination with arrests at African American protest events.

So maybe those armed insurrectionists would have been just fine if they’d turned up in Ferguson this week. The police might have spoken with them and attempted to calm the whole situation down rather than escalating things by attempting to intimidate and silence them. And that would have thrown a whole wrench in their theory about government tyranny.

Which, by the way, if you’ve been following this story for the past few days, you’ll have recognized that mostly this is a story about racism and bad policing (as in incompetent) rather than a story about bad policing (as in tyranny over all Americans).

Politicalprof: Ari’s last point is extremely important. Ferguson (like Waco and the Branch Davidians, and Randy Weaver in Idaho, and countless other examples) was an example of quite terrible police responses to social crises. The subsequent state highway patrol response, like countless other examples, stands as an example of quite good police responses to social crises.

Leadership and choices matter. It’s not all because of any one thing.


The cop who shot a dog in front of its 6 year old owner was fired after outrage from the community and a “Justice for Apollo” campaign.

The cop who shot an unarmed black teen is on paid leave and remains protected by his department. So far, days of outrage and protest have still not brought any justice to Mike Brown.

In America, in 2014, the life of a black man is valued less than that of a dog.


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