Lurid Keyaki writes: How about a post about the terrible cop training in New Jersey? Report is long (I'm sure there are summaries there) but probably worth reading.
This is from the NYT that everyone refuses to read, but there are probably summaries in more acceptable newspapers. I was especially fascinated by the discussion of insubordination, e.g.:
Street Cop's training did not just suggest that officers ignore direct orders. Benigno also attacked police administrations during his presentation, making comments like: "bad [police] administrations are a criminal's best friend." During his presentation titled "Constitutional Policing," instructor Zach Miller stated that there is "misinformation floating around" among departments, prosecutors' offices, and even judges about what the law is and what officers can and cannot do based on "misunderstandings" of the applicable law. He seemed to suggest that his interpretation of case law is superior to others, and if officers just listen to him, or read case law like he does, they can disregard the opinion of those "misinformed" departments, prosecutors, or judges about what is lawful and how to conduct themselves during investigations.
Heebie's take: NYT link is gifted, but you can still refuse to read it.
I jumped around the first link, and it is wild. Like, insanely racist slides. One of the early sections is a checklist for pulling people over:
[T]he RAS Checklist explains that it is suspicious if the driver passing by a police car looks away from the police car, because "everyone else" will look straight ahead or at the police car. But, according to the checklist, it is also suspicious if the driver looks at the police car to see if the officer is watching them or looks at them for "an extended period of time as they pass [the officer's] location." The RAS Checklist explains that it is "not normal" for drivers traveling at or near the speed limit to suddenly brake upon seeing a police car; and it is suspicious if a driver tilts their head, makes some other "slight head movement," removes their hat, or wears their hat so low that it covers their face. Also listed under suspicious "driving behavior" is "passengers on their cell phone, usually texting," during a motor vehicle stop, on the theory that a passenger engaged in texting "may be a wanted person."
That is just the tip of the iceberg. The RAS Checklist nonsense goes on for over five paragraphs.
Heebie's take: A Taliban, a plan, a canal: Panabilata!
It sounds gigantic:
The stated dimensions of the irrigation canal that workers started digging last spring are enough to understand why the downstream countries have concerns.
With a length of 285 kilometers and a width of some 100 meters, experts believe it could draw a significant portion of the Amu Darya's flow while irrigating 550,000 hectares of land.
An Afghan civil servant with knowledge of the project told RFE/RL's Uzbek Service that work on the second of three stages of the project that began in the spring of 2022 is expected to begin in the coming months, with more than 100 kilometers already dug and visible from space.
There are a couple bits that just read as such interesting sentences:
Dostum -- an ethnic Uzbek warlord -- long enjoyed strong ties to the regime in Uzbekistan and was even reported to have fled there when the Taliban captured Mazar-e Sharif, overwhelming forces jointly under his command before the group advanced on Kabul.
Members of Dostum's exiled Junbish-e Milli party have reiterated these concerns more recently, but the reality is that the Taliban has no opponents capable of preventing it from forging ahead with giant public works projects, Alizada said.
I guess I'm just struck by the juxtaposition of war lords worrying about the disastrous consequences of an ill-planned giant public works project. But of course, it makes perfect sense in context.
Taciturn Turkmenistan has so far said nothing about the canal project.
My favorite Christmas song of the moment:
1. A little NSFW if you work with sex-negative prudes who don't enjoy a good bop
2. The captions were total nonsense gibberish, unfortunately, so I turned them off, but lyrics are here.
2. Ace's dance class is performing this for their Christmas show, which I think is hysterical, although it's a been judiciously edited down
3. He's riffing off his own song, Nails Hips, Hair, Heels which is fun but not nearly as fun as the spoof.
E. Messily writes: Hello friends & relations!
The season of end-of-year donations is upon us, and I'm writing to ask you to consider my program, Montana Family ASL, as you contemplate your charitable contributions.
Montana Family ASL (American Sign Language) began during the pandemic as a way to provide online support for families with deaf and hard-of-hearing children. We quickly realized that even without the pandemic, most of these families in Montana are still in desperate need of help. Montana is a resource desert for deaf children: the state lacks qualified speech therapists, language models, ASL teachers, early intervention specialists, and almost every other professional you can think of. Nearly all of the deaf and hard of hearing children in Montana grow up without full access to language, education, information, and communication in general. Language delays and Language Deprivation Syndrome are endemic.
MTFASL is here to help! We provide coaching and advocacy for parents; we host events so that isolated families can meet each other and the deaf community; we do intensive one-on-one language support for children; we figure out how to get out-of-state specialists licensed in Montana; and we fund travel for professionals to come here and for families to get to resources out-of-state.
One mother of a deaf toddler says:
We are so fortunate to live in Montana and raise our children here, but we quickly learned that resources for D/HH children are sparse, and the services that are available were not adequately meeting the needs of our Deaf son. Early in our hearing loss journey, we learned the value of ASL for the whole family and committed to becoming a bilingual household. Through guidance from MTFASL, we've expanded our ASL vocabulary and use, learned how to play and read in ASL, become friends with other families on the same journey, and received the priceless support we desperately needed as newcomers to raising a D/HH child. We are endlessly thankful for the advocacy, support, and community of MTFASL!
Your donations will help us help more families! I'll be extremely grateful for any amount- but here's a few examples of what your contribution could allow us to do:
- $50 pays for a box of toys for one family for our Play to Learn/Learn to Play online coaching curriculum
- $100 subsidizes travel for a family to attend out-of-town events
- $200 pays for administrative costs for one year
- $300 allows us to hire an interpreter for an event
- $500 buys a plane ticket for an expert to come here or for a parent to visit them out-of-state
- $1000 covers an overnight gathering for 4-5 families
- $5000 pays for a year of one hour per week of expert support for a child and their family
We're so grateful for the support our community has provided so far, and for the support we are given going forward. We also love volunteers! Please let me know if you want to get involved.
We are a program hosted by Conservatory ASL Northwest, which is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, so donations are tax-deductible. C.A.N.'s federal ID number for donations is 83-3489128. Donate online here, or send checks to
Conservatory ASL Northwest (MTFASL)
1513 2nd Ave N
Great Falls, MT 59401
Thank you so much for your time, attention, and support! I hope you have a very happy winter holiday season and a spectacular new year.
Heebie's take: The crass post title is all mine. Don't hold it against E. You can get back at me by making a large donation.
Jeff Bezos is an idiot and journalists had a field day with it:
There's something comforting in the fact that no matter how much money Jeff Bezos makes, or how many lunches he attends with Vogue's editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, the third-wealthiest man in the world continues to have absolutely no drip. Especially when he puts on a cowboy hat.
A lot of it is because of this Vogue photo shoot, which you can see at the link above, or the link below. It's a really weird photo. It feels like they took a normal-ish photo and then asked AI to make it sizzle with sexuality, and AI was like, "Humans, commence smoldering. Be very lifelike."
This journalist at the Texas Monthly also had a lot of fun, but also at Elon's expense:
Recognizing the potential for his cowboy cosplay to have the opposite effect of what Musk intended, the SpaceX and Tesla CEO took to X to affirm that his outfit wasn't something he picked up on the way to Eagle Pass, noting, "Just for the record, my boots are 20 years old and my hat is ten years old." In other words, Musk didn't just wear a hat that made him look like a dork that day, he's been wearing a hat that makes him look like a dork for a decade; thanks for clearing that up.
Finally, if you're waiting for a photo of Regan and Gorbachev palling around in cowboy hats, I got you. That first link has got your number.
(h/t E. Messily for the link)