5K: 39'37''

Nov. 25th, 2014 10:44 pm
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv posting in [community profile] c25k
Ended up having to postpone my run by a day again, due to a work crisis yesterday evening. So I won't fit in a third run this week, which is partly because in the cold weather I don't have a good way of running at weekends when I'm in Cambridge.

Today I moved up from running at 8 kph for 1 km, to running at 8 kph for 10 minutes. And that was doable, with recovery intervals of 7.5 minutes at 7 kph. That gave me a total time of 39'37'', trivially faster than the previous run, but with 25 minutes at the faster pace instead of 23.5 minutes, and longer sustained runs. So I think that's a meaningful improvement.

My lungs were ok but my calves started aching a bit towards the end. It's always interesting when I get to a level where my speed is limited by my muscles more than my lungs. Hopefully more alternating 5K runs with fast C25K intervals will continue to build up my strength, though.

Next time I think maybe 1.5 km fast sections, which should take only a bit longer than 10 minutes at this pace.
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On August 9, 2014, Brown, an unarmed black 18-year old, was shot and killed by Wilson, who is white. The shooting led to demonstrations, confrontations with police, and some looting and violence.

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I have heard several people express the sentiment that the recent Ferguson decision was the system working exactly as intended.  While I understand the power in such a chilling statement, it belies the utter procedural travesty that just occurred.  Though I am not a Missouri attorney, I am a licensed attorney in my own jurisdiction, and I want to take a few minutes to unpack what just occurred—though understanding the legal implications does not make them less horrifying, it does illustrate exactly why federal prosecution should occur.

The fact that McCulloch was allowed to prosecute this case is staggering.

There are numerous reasons why McCulloch had a conflict of interest around prosecuting this case, which is exactly why Brown’s family and several civil rights groups repeatedly moved for a special prosecutor.  That request was more than reasonable, given the circumstances, and it should have been granted.  McCulloch responded to this call by telling the Governor to “man up” and oust him if he was supposed to be recused, because he wasn’t going to recuse himself.  McCulloch’s prosecution strategy, as I’ll discuss below, illustrates exactly why the governor should have done just that.

The fact that the grand jury contained exactly one black man is staggering.

In Missouri, as in many other states, 12 grand jurors are selected from a larger pool by the presiding judge, and 9 must vote in favor of indictment in order for it to occur.  Not coincidentally, there were 9 white jurors and 3 black jurors on the jury, and only one of the latter was male.  Statistical studies show that white jurors perceive police officers differently than black jurors.  Though the jury is supposed to be Wilson’s peers, rather than Brown’s, the small and selected jury pool is chilling at best.

McCulloch’s prosecution strategy was staggering.

As this article helpfully notes, a grand jury proceeding does not work like a regular trial—there is no opportunity for defense counsel to bring witnesses or cross-examine witnesses the prosecutor brings forward; forms of evidence that would be inadmissible at trial are permitted; and prosecutors are free to select which charges they want the jury to deliberate upon.  A grand jury proceeding is so much the prosecutor’s show that New York State chief judge Sol Wachtler was famously quoted by Tom Wolfe in The Bonfire of the Vanities that “a grand jury would ‘indict a ham sandwich’ [if the prosecutor so desired].”  The Washington Post politely calls McCulloch’s approach ‘atypical,’ but I personally have no problem stressing that it was outright bizarre.  

 He didn’t even wait to finish investigation before he launched a grand jury trial, and central to his case was four hours of testimony from Wilson himself.  It is very rare for defendants to testify at grand jury proceedings, because prosecutors cannot compel them to be brought as witnesses for their own charges—but perhaps Wilson was unconcerned because McCulloch did not even give the jurors charges to consider.  In fact, he stated that he would be “presenting absolutely everything to this grand jury … [e]very statement that a witness made, every witness, every photograph, every piece of physical evidence. Absolutely nothing will be left out, so the grand jury is making their decision based upon absolutely everything and we’ll go from there.”  And that appears to be exactly what he did.

Leaving aside, for the moment, the question of how he could show the jurors everything when he hadn’t even finished investigation yet, a grand jury proceeding is not a trial.  By showing the jurors “absolutely everything,” when the defense isn’t even supposed to be permitted to bring a case, McCulloch essentially turned the jurors into a de facto fact-finding body.  In other words, they were performing the role of a trial jury, but without jury instructions, a presiding judge, a defense attorney, or proper rules of evidence for a trial.  As several articles note, the actual facts of this case were murky at best.  The time and place for fact-finding was at trial—it was not McCulloch’s job to show the jurors “absolutely everything;” it was his job to prosecute the damn case.

In short, there was no way to avoid yesterday’s result, because this was in no way a proper legal proceeding.  If we want to see an actual unbiased legal proceeding take place at this point, we need to see action from the federal system.

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Posted by Phil Yu

"What has happened in Ferguson is not an isolated incident."

Gregory Cendana, Chair of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), released the following statement on the grand jury decision in Ferguson, Missouri:

“Members of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) are saddened and outraged by the failure of the grand jury in Missouri to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the fatal shooting of Michael Brown. We stand with the family of Michael Brown and the peaceful protesters in Ferguson.

Read more »

This pretty much nails it

Nov. 25th, 2014 02:45 pm
norwich36: (Default)
[personal profile] norwich36
Via SLOG, via David Roberts' twitter:

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Posted by Carolyn Giardina

It's all in the details: 'Exodus' required the grandeur of ancient Egypt, 'Interstellar' called for a convincing voyage to space and 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' demanded whimsy

read more

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Posted by Fred Clark

Syreeta McFadden, “Ferguson, goddamn: No indictment for Darren Wilson is no surprise. This is why we protest”

Today, Mike Brown is still dead, and Darren Wilson has not been indicted for his murder. And who among us can say anything but: “I am not surprised”?

… The African American body is still the bellwether of the health, the promise and the problems of the American democratic experiment. The message that the Missouri grand jury has now sent to young African Americans – from Ferguson to my classroom and the rest of the world – is that black lives do not matter, that your rights and your personhood are secondary to an uneasy and negative peace, that the police have more power over your body than you do yourself.

Leonard Pitts, “Video provides evidence of our racial divide”

The shooter’s friends always feel obliged to defend him with the same tired words: “He is not a racist.”

He probably isn’t, at least not in the way they understand the term.

But what he is, is a citizen of a country where the fear of black men is downright viral. That doesn’t mean he burns crosses on the weekend. It means he’s watched television, seen a movie, used a computer, read a newspaper or magazine. It means he is alive and aware in a nation where one is taught from birth that thug equals black, suspect equals black, danger equals black.

Thus has it been since the days of chains, since the days of lynch law, since the days newspapers routinely ran headlines like “Helpless Co-Ed Ravished by Black Brute.” It is the water we drink and the air we breathe, a perception out of all proportion to any objective reality, yet it infiltrates the collective subconscious to such an unholy degree that even black men fear black men.

The Groubert video offers an unusually stark image of that fear in action. Viewing it, it seems clear the trooper is not reacting to anything Jones does. In a very real sense, he doesn’t even see him. No, he is reacting to a primal fear of what Jones is, to outsized expectations of what Jones might do, to terrors buried so deep in his breast, he probably doesn’t even know they’re there.

Screen shot 2014-11-25 at 3.20.24 PM

Ezra Klein, “Officer Darren Wilson’s story is unbelievable. Literally.”

Every bullshit detector in me went off when I read that passage. Which doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen exactly the way Wilson describes. But it is, again, hard to imagine. Brown, an 18-year-old kid holding stolen goods, decides to attack a cop and, while attacking him, stops, hands his stolen goods to his friend, and then returns to the beatdown. It reads less like something a human would do and more like a moment meant to connect Brown to the robbery.

Chauncey DeVega, “White Supremacy in Action”

In all, Darren Wilson did his job when he killed Michael Brown. The historic and contemporary role of police in America is to manage, control, kill, and intimidate black folks, brown folks, and the poor.

The grand jury’s decision that there is no “probable cause” to indict Darren Wilson is an apt summation of how black life is cheap in America, and a white cop who kills a black person is acting in the grand and long tradition of white supremacy and white on black and brown police violence in the United States.


 Zandar, “Worth More Than 1,000 Words, Worth Less Than Zero”

This is the system that this morning I am being told I have to “trust” and “put my faith in.” The one that was never meant to protect anyone who looks like me. The system that allowed Darren Wilson to walk, and arranged a public shaming of the victim and his family in a strange tirade where the county prosecutor defended the officer accused of killing an unarmed black man and ripped into the eyewitnesses as being anything but credible. The system that decided that 8 PM local time was the best time to announce the decision after supposedly sitting on that decision for a weekend. The system that took over 100 days to determine that there was no evidence worthy of even sending this case to trial. The system in that photo above, I am being told, I have to “believe in”.

You will excuse me if I withhold that benefit of the doubt.  In his testimony, Wilson, a 6’4″ man, referred to Mike Brown as “it”, and “a demon.” He wasn’t human. He was a thing, and there’s no penalty for shooting a thing and so this thing was shot time and time again because it had to be put down, a monster, a beast, a nightmare made flesh.

Jamelle Bouie, “Justifying Homicide”

Which is to say this: It would have been powerful to see charges filed against Darren Wilson. At the same time, actual justice for Michael Brown — a world in which young men like Michael Brown can’t be gunned down without consequences — won’t come from the criminal justice system. Our courts and juries aren’t impartial arbiters — they exist inside society, not outside of it — and they can only provide as much justice as society is willing to give.

Unfortunately, we don’t live in a society that gives dignity and respect to people like Michael Brown and John Crawford and Rekia Boyd. Instead, we’ve organized our country to deny it wherever possible, through negative stereotypes of criminality, through segregation and neglect, and through the spectacle we see in Ferguson and the greater St. Louis area, where police are empowered to terrorize without consequence, and residents are condemned and attacked when they try to resist.

Screen shot 2014-11-25 at 4.21.16 PM

Martin Luther King Jr., in The Other America, 1968

It is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the negro poor has worsened over the last twelve or fifteen years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice and humanity.

See also:

• St. Louis Public Radio: “Evidence released by McCulloch”

• Ryan Devereaux, “‘Downright Outright Murder’: A Complete Guide to the Shooting of Michael Brown by Darren Wilson”

• Jelani Cobb, “Chronicle of a Riot Foretold”

• Ramelia Williams, “Until Lynching Becomes Personal”

• Bill Lindsey, “After Ferguson Verdict, I Remember My City’s Last Lynching”

• David Feige, “The Independent Grand Jury That Wasn’t”

• Doktor Zoom, “Darren Wilson Pretty Sure Mike Brown Had Mutant Supervillain Powers”

• Max Fisher, “How we’d cover Ferguson if it happened in another country”

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Don’t ask whether it’d be outrageous if what happened to Michael Brown had happened to a white guy. Ask how often it happens by comparison.

The point is not whether or not Michael Brown was an asshole.

The point is the question of whether or not his life was less valuable because of his race.

Further, the point is now that we’ll likely never find out. That fact appears to answer the question.


here’s the data that shows cops kill black people at a higher rate than white people [mother jones]

how often do police shoot unarmed black men? [mother jones]

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A large number of people have already voted on today.com to express their opinion on the case. I’m about to cry. I can’t believe this..

here’s a link for the poll, scroll down and vote for the truth here

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If there is one picture i post on here that i really wish y’all would reblog the fuck out of, it’s this one.

PLEASE. It could save many people that are under the ridiculous police state going on right now in Ferguson Missouri. Those people need our help.

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Welcome to America where a woman who aborts a fetus is considered a murderer but a white man who shoots an unarmed black child isn’t.


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