HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home

Enter Discussion Forums

219,143 user registrations and 67,094,733 posts since 2001

The Left Column


What You Can Do if You're a 17-Year-Old White Male without Getting Shot by Police

You can steal some cigars from a convenience store.
You can be stopped by the police for almost anything.
You can drive slowly through the wealthiest neighborhood in town.
You can drink too much and get rowdy with your friends.
You can get drunk and get into a fight with someone.
If you're a high school athlete, you can sexually assault someone.
You can walk down the middle of the street.
You can be out after midnight on foot.
You can carry a baggie of weed.
You can sell a baggie of weed to someone.
You can hang out with any number of your friends.
You can get thrown out of a bar for fake ID.
You can have sex with the police chief's daughter and get caught.
You can have sex with the mayor's son and get caught.
You can listen to loud hip-hop music in your car.
You can insult a cop. You shouldn't, but the cop won't shoot you.
You can run away from a cop who tells you to stop. He'll chase you, maybe, but won't shoot you.
ETA: Walk down a residential street wearing a hoodie.


Officer Darren Wilson's story is unbelievable. Literally. --- by Ezra Klein on November 25, 2014

(Vox) Let's take a breath and recap. Wilson sees two young black men walking in the middle of the street. He pulls over and politely asks them to use the sidewalk. They refuse. He asks again, still polite. Brown tells Wilson — again, a uniformed police officer in a police car — "fuck what you have to say." Wilson stops his car, tries to get out, and Brown slams the car door on him and then begins punching him through the open window.

What happens next is the most unbelievable moment in the narrative. And so it's probably best that I just quote Wilson's account at length on it.


How the media would cover the events in Ferguson were this another country:

(Vox) Chinese and Russian officials are warning of a potential humanitarian crisis in the restive American province of Missouri, where ancient communal tensions have boiled over into full-blown violence.

“We must use all means at our disposal to end the violence and restore calm to the region,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in comments to an emergency United Nations Security Council session on the America crisis.


Jeffrey Toobin: Decision to announce grand jury verdict at night devastating

(CNN) The grand jury has made its decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown last August in Ferguson, Missouri. But another verdict became clear last night, too. The decision by St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch to announce the decision at 8:30 p.m. CT was foolish and dangerous.

Here's the thing about that time of night: it's dark. Anyone -- anyone! -- should have known that the decision in the Brown case would have been controversial. A decision not to indict, which was always possible, even likely, would have been sure to attract protests, even violence. Crowd control is always more difficult in the dark.


Legal Experts Explain Why The Ferguson Grand Jury Was Set Up For Failure

(Think Progress) Specifically, McGraugh and Christmas question McCulloch’s unusual decision to present “all evidence” to the grand jury. Typically, prosecutors present to the grand jury only the evidence necessary to establish probable cause. (A grand jury does not determine guilt or innocence but only if a reasonable jury could find the defendant guilty.) McGraugh and Christmas are especially critical of McCulloch’s decision to allow Wilson to testify for hours in front of the grand jury.


Yes. They WANTED riots.

While there is always *some* element of unpredictability in any particular riot situation, the dynamics of highly emotional crowds breaking into violence has been carefully studied and is thoroughly understood.

They know, for instance, that in any given crowd of X thousand individuals engaged in peaceful protest, if violence can be provoked certain things are highly likely to happen, such as looting, and the violence will coalesce on targets of opportunity (that is, the location where the violence breaks out, rather than where the ire of the protesters is actually focused.)

They know that certain types of photo ops beneficial to the dissemination of pro-law enforcement propaganda are more likely to be glaringly obvious than photo ops that show the role of law enforcement in provoking the violence. It's a calculated risk...


"Decades later they're still asking why Mookie smashed the window..."

"Decades later they're still asking why Mookie smashed the window at Sal's instead of why they killed Radio Raheem."

-Best Tweet today.


Ferguson Prosecutor's Idiot Speech Blames Everyone But Darren Wilson

(Gawker) Ferguson prosecutor Robert McCulloch delivered a long-winded, smirking speech blaming social media, the media, journalists, neighborhood residents, and everyone else who isn't Darren Wilson, for Darren Wilson shooting and killing 18-year-old Michael Brown.

It took McCulloch 10 minutes of hectoring before he revealed the panel had found no probable cause to indict Wilson, and the rest of the 45-minute speech, in which McCulloch seemed to be presenting evidence in Wilson's favor, felt a lot more like defense attorney's argument than a prosecutors. The very length of McCulloch's rambling statement, really, and the amount of evidence he felt compelled to argue against, was an argument that the case should have gone to trial.

Around DU

Good Reads

Politics 2014

General Discussion



Latest Breaking News

HealthCare.gov Gets 222,000 New Sign-Ups in First Week

25 min ago - HealthCare.gov, which opened for its second enrollment period Nov. 15, has gotten off to a far better start than last year, figures show. About 222,000 people made new sign-ups for insurance in the site’s first week of selling health coverage for 20 ... (WSJ)

Ray Rice wins appeal

48 min ago - Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice has won his appeal of an indefinite suspension and has been reinstated to the NFL. Rice is now eligible to sign with any NFL team. Running back Ray Rice is eligible to sign with any NFL team after winni ... (ESPN)

#BlackoutBlackFriday Activists Shut Down West Oakland BART Station Causing Major Delays

1 hr ago - OAKLAND (CBS SF) — A group of people have stopped BART service at the West Oakland Station Friday morning by linking arms to prevent train doors from closing. The situation was first reported by multiple tweets at about 10:30 a.m. ... (CBS)

Justice Department likely to impose reforms on Ferguson police

1 hr ago - Those hoping the federal government will criminally prosecute Ferguson, Mo., police Officer Darren Wilson in the killing of an unarmed black man are likely to be disappointed, but chances are strong that the Justice Department will impose significant ... (LA Times)

Austin police: More than 100 rounds fired

2 hrs ago - By JIM VERTUNO AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A gunman attempted to set the Mexican Consulate ablaze and fired more than 100 rounds at downtown buildings early Friday before he died, Austin authorities said. Investigators were trying to determine the man's m ... (AP-Excite)

Michigan mall threatens fines for retailers that didn't start Black Friday hours on Thanksgiving

2 hrs ago - If the Regis salon had its choice, the store in the Grand Traverse Mall would not have opened its doors on Thanksgiving. But the alternative was to pay the mall a fine of around $500, the salon's manager told MLive and The Grand Rapids Press. "We h ... (MLive)

Black Friday demonstrations hit Walmart

3 hrs ago - US workers seeking higher pay have staged demonstrations across the country targeting the global retail giant Walmart, on the same day Americans traditionally start their holiday shopping. For the third straight year, hundreds of workers demonstrat ... (aljazeera.com)

Marriage Equality Comes to Finland

3 hrs ago - Finland’s parliament approved a bill establishing marriage equality on Friday, reports Reuters. Finnish lawmakers approved the legislation, initiated by citizens, by a vote of 105 to 92. Although same-sex couples have had access to “registered part ... (The Advocate)

Feds seeking damages against DuPont for contamination in Pompton Lakes

3 hrs ago - NOVEMBER 27, 2014, 11:10 PM LAST UPDATED: FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2014, 7:53 AM The federal government is seeking significant damages from DuPont for decades of pollution that has contaminated soil and water on the company’s sprawling 600-acre prope ... (BY JAMES M. O’NEILL STAFF WRITER | THE RECORD)

Under Pressure From Uber, Taxi Medallion Prices are Plummeting

3 hrs ago - In major cities throughout the United States, taxi medallion prices are tumbling as taxis face competition from car-service apps like Uber and Lyft. The average price of an individual New York City taxi medallion fell to $872,000 in October, down 17 ... (NY Times)

Ferguson documentary American Race crowdfunded by Oscar nominee

4 hrs ago - Ben Beaumont-Thomas A team of filmmakers led by Oscar-nominated director Amy Berg are seeking contributions to make American Race, a documentary exploring the “black male crisis” in America in the wake of the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mi ... (The Guardian)

Gunmen bomb and shoot at mosque worshippers in north Nigeria's Kano

6 hrs ago - Gunmen exploded bombs and opened fire on worshippers gathered at the central mosque of north Nigeria's biggest city, Kano, for Friday prayers, witnesses said, in an attack that bore the hallmarks of the Islamist militant group Boko Haram. "These pe ... (Reuters)

U.N. torture watchdog urges U.S. to crack down on police brutality

6 hrs ago - (Reuters) - The U.N. Committee against Torture urged the United States on Friday to fully investigate and prosecute police brutality and shootings of unarmed black youth and ensure that taser weapons are used only in life-threatening situations. The ... (Reuters)

Russian doctor rebellion causes headache for Putin

6 hrs ago - By NATALIYA VASILYEVA Nov. 28, 2014 3:05 AM EST MOSCOW (AP) — Dr. Semyon Galperin spent a decade in medical research in Russia and as much time in the United States, working at top hospitals and research companies. Despite his expertise, Galperin wa ... (The Associated Press)

Ginsburg back at home, expected at court next week

7 hrs ago - By MARK SHERMAN and SAM HANANEL WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has returned home after undergoing an operation to implant a heart stent to clear a blocked artery and is expected to hear oral arguments on Monday. Ginsbur ... (AP-Excite)

Full holiday menu for Obamas, plus 6 pies

7 hrs ago - WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama spent a quiet Thanksgiving at the White House where the belly-stuffing menu featured all the holiday's basics. He also continued a tradition of telephoning members of the armed forces to thank them for their s ... (AP-Excite)

Ferguson protests interrupt Black Friday shopping at Walmart, Target stores

9 hrs ago - MANCHESTER, Mo. (AP) -- Dozens of people have interrupted holiday shopping at major retail stores around the St. Louis area to speak out about a grand jury's decision not to indict the officer who fatally shot Michael Brown. The protests began Thank ... (AP-syracuse.com)

Austin Police Kill Gunman After Shots Fired at 'Multiple Buildings' (update)

10 hrs ago - BY ALASTAIR JAMIESON, ALEXANDER SMITH AND JASON CUMMING A gunman was fatally shot by police after opening fire at "multiple buildings" in downtown Austin, officials in the Texas capital said early Friday. The city's police headquarters was among the ... (NBC News)

Thanksgiving Storm Leaves Thousands in Darkness From West Virginia to Vermont

10 hrs ago - BY ALASTAIR JAMIESON, ERIK ORTIZ AND BECKY BRATU Repair crews made progress restoring power to more than 344,000 left in the dark on Thanksgiving across the Northeast, but many remained without electricity Thursday night after a nor'easter dumped sn ... (NBC News)

Rebels push forward in southern Syria

10 hrs ago - By BASSEM MROUE BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian rebels backed by the United States are making their biggest gains yet south of the capital Damascus, capturing a string of towns from government forces and aiming to carve out a swath of territory leading to the ... (AP-Excite)

Early-bird shoppers turn out on Thanksgiving

12 hrs ago - By ANNE D'INNOCENZIO NEW YORK (AP) — Early-bird shoppers headed to stores on Thanksgiving in what's becoming a new holiday tradition. In the Chicago suburb of Naperville, Illinois, the parking lot of a Wal-Mart store was full roughly 30 minutes bef ... (AP-Excite)

Democrats, stung by low turnout, consider shifting Florida's election schedule

15 hrs ago - TALLAHASSEE — After yet another defeat blamed on low voter turnout, some Florida Democrats want to change the rules and elect the governor in the same year voters pick the president — when turnout is always much higher. In the aftermath of Charlie C ... (Tampa Bay Times)

Google being pressured by European Union to change its ways

16 hrs ago - BRUSSELS -- European Union institutions are piling pressure on Google to change the way it operates its business and applies EU rules. The European parliament on Thursday approved a non-binding resolution that calls for the unbundling of search engi ... (NOLA-AP)

Children Rescued After Being Buried Under Snowbank In Newburgh (update)

18 hrs ago - NEWBURGH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Police and neighbors raced early Thanksgiving Day to rescue two children who found themselves trapped in a snowbank in Newburgh, Orange County. As CBS2’s Christine Sloan reported, iPhone video showed the rescue operatio ... (NY CBS)

Hackers force message on websites via US firm

18 hrs ago - By ALEX VEIGA LOS ANGELES (AP) — A U.S. firm that helps connect more than 700 companies with customers through social media says a Syrian group hacked the company's web address to upload a message to other websites. Gigya CEO Patrick Salyer outline ... (AP-Excite)

Ferguson Cop Darren Wilson Will Never Police Again, His Lawyer Says

19 hrs ago - Darren Wilson, the Ferguson, Missouri, police officer who killed unarmed teen Michael Brown in August, setting off months of protests, will likely never be a law enforcement officer again, his lawyer said in an interview with NBC station KSDK. "Real ... (NBC)

UMass Amherst cuts ties with Bill Cosby

19 hrs ago - The University of Massachusetts Amherst severed its ties Wednesday to alumnus Bill Cosby, joining a growing number of colleges to distance themselves from the entertainer amid accusations he sexually assaulted more than a dozen women. Cosby, who rec ... (Boston Globe)

Colombian army executed 4,382 civilians between 2002-2008

22 hrs ago - Colombian army executed 4,382 civilians between 2002-2008 Nov 27, 2014 posted by Joel Gillin Colombia’s Prosecutor General’s Office has revealed that the number of extrajudicial executions by state agents has risen to 4,382, indicating more than 16 ... (Colombia Reports)

Ben Carson Not Convinced on Global Warming

23 hrs ago - Ben Carson is a man of science. That doesn't necessarily mean that he believes in global warming. "There's always going to be either cooling or warming going on," the potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate said in an interview this weekend ... (BLOOMBERG)

At least 133 killed in tribal clashes in Sudan - tribe leader

23 hrs ago - At least 133 people have been killed and more than 100 wounded in clashes between two groups belonging to an Arab tribe in Sudan's West Kordofan state, a tribal leader said on Thursday. The clashes between Awlad Omran and Al-Ziyoud groups of the Ara ... (Reuters)