Saturday 6 December 2014

Links 05/12/14 short


ISIS has entered Egypt, through an Egyptian militant movement that started to operate after President Mubarak's overthrow which has now pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. 

The future effectiveness of this White House response to the decision of the grand jury in Ferguson not to indict a police officer who shot an unarmed black teenager - to introduce new standards for the military gear the police force has and to increase the number of officers wearing cameras - was put into question only a few days later, when another grand jury chose not to indict an officer who was filmed choking an unarmed black man to death (here's a statistic of how often grand juries choose not to indict - even though it's about federal cases, which these weren't). 
The imbalance between Mr. Garner’s fate, on a Staten Island sidewalk in July, and his supposed infraction, selling loose cigarettes, is grotesque and outrageous. Though Mr. Garner’s death was officially ruled a homicide, it is not possible to pierce the secrecy of the grand jury, and thus to know why the jurors did not believe that criminal charges were appropriate.
What is clear is this was vicious policing and an innocent man is dead. Another conclusion is also obvious. Officer Pantaleo was stripped of his gun and badge; he needs to be stripped of his job. He used forbidden tactics to brutalize a citizen who was not acting belligerently, posed no risk of flight, brandished no weapon and was heavily outnumbered. 
New York Times Editorial: A Search for Justice in the Eric Garner Case, 3 December 2014
A review of a book titled Putin's Kleptocracy

n other words, the most important story of the past twenty years might not, in fact, have been the failure of democracy, but the rise of a new form of Russian authoritarianism. Instead of attempting to explain the failures of the reformers and intellectuals who tried to carry out radical change, we ought instead to focus on the remarkable story of one group of unrepentant, single-minded, revanchist KGB officers who were horrified by the collapse of the Soviet Union and the prospect of their own loss of influence. In league with Russian organized crime, starting at the end of the 1980s, they successfully plotted a return to power.

Pop Culture: 

Annual best-of lists are not an opportunity to see your own opinions reaffirmed, but to find new music to love. Here's gorilla vs. bear's (more accessible if you have spotify), XLR8R's most downloaded songs, and The Quietus with a lot of new music to discover. And some nice KEXP sets to listen to: FKA twigs, Ólafur Arnalds' Kiasmos, Courtney Barnett

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