So This Is America

Holy fucking shit. This has to go viral now. It depicts a SWAT team in Missouri storming a man’s house and shooting his two dogs (one was a corgi) while his wife and seven year-old look on. Why, you might ask?

They found a “small amount” of marijuana, enough for a misdemeanor charge. The parents were then charged with child endangerment.

So smoking pot = “child endangerment.” Storming a home with guns, then firing bullets into the family pets as a child looks on = necessary police procedures to ensure everyone’s safety.

Just so we’re clear.

Here’s the video, and it’s really as horrifying as it sounds:

The worst part is that this is not an uncommon event. There are 100-150 raids like this every day – 40,000 a year. The right rails against the “tyranny” of Obama, but this is tyranny right now, right here. He didn’t create it, and I’d be surprised if he ends it. Events like these, the casual intrusion of paramilitary forces into our everyday lives that we not only accept but welcome, are enough to make you agree that “all cops are pigs.” And after seeing footage like this, representative of hundreds of thousands of police state actions across the country, I have to amend my earlier post. The police aren’t our friends. They’re not here for us. They are already our enemies.

But thank God, Jonathan Whitworth won’t be smoking any more pot.

Via The League of Ordinary Gentlemen.

Minority Report Comes Alive

Pranav Mistry is just awesome. Look at those evolutionary steps to reach an incredible end stage. “We are looking for an era when computing will merge with the physical world.”  So much potential with this kind of augmented reality. For pretty much everything.

Via ThinkTechno.

No Final Frontiers

Neil deGrasse Tyson, one of today’s foremost science personalities, addresses the total halt of innovation on NASA’s part and what it means for the nation. He is an epic man, and delivers an equally epic response to the question of the implications that NASA’s underfunding has for the United States as a nation.

For the better part of the Cold War, NASA was an inspirational agency, “the most powerful…on the dreams of a nation.” But the wonder is gone. NASA’s focus on ‘low-earth orbit’ missions misses the point, which is to push the boundaries – and frontiers – of human knowledge, a concept lost in the age of incremental, short-term planning. Agencies like the NSF and NIH, for all the good research they do, do not arouse the same feelings of wonder and imagination that NASA adventures of old did.

Much like foreign aid, estimates of what kind of percentage of the budget NASA receives are wildly overinflated. “I ask people…they say five cents, ten cents on a dollar – it’s half a penny!” There’s no boldly going anywhere anymore, even if our initial knowledge of the greenhouse effect came from studying Venus. Even if understanding the cosmos helps us to conceptualize developments at a subatomic scale here on Earth. We’re looking down when we should be looking up.

“Nobody’s dreaming about tomorrow anymore.” All too true.

Via Motherboard.

Accompanied by a Wry Signoff

Does anyone still watch news? I find myself more and more turning towards online text. With the possible exception of The Onion, video news is a total waste of time. There are so many ways to obscure your lack of a point with video, the vast majority of which usually ends up as meaningless. On Newswipe, Charlie Brooker explains “how to report the news,” beginning with that lackluster establishing shot (via Disinformation).

Like the Hand of God

If you’ve ever played Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, you’ll remember the AC-130 level. It’s even more accurate and realistic than I’d realized (the level could have been even less professional in tone, and still outdone the real-world scenario). It’s also something that was missing from the recent sequel.

Bonus: is Modern Warfare 2 sexist? A girls’ night in determines the answer…