In this shocking video clip captured in the early AM hour of August 23, 2020, un-identified Buffalo, NY police officers are caught compassionately and patiently helping an old angry and agitated man off the sidewalk at the intersection of Delaware Avenue and Allen Street.
In this two minute video, which is not for the soft of heart who tear easily at grim acts of kindness, officers convene around the patient, hear him out, then gently help him from the ground and usher him to a waiting ambulance.
The video nobody thought would leak.
For some reason, this "shocking video" probably isn't going to go viral.
I make this satirical posting on the same day that several Buffalo police officers had charges dropped for supposedly willfully (as some anti-police types would cry) knocking another senior 75-year-old to the ground during one of the chaotic protests which occurred in this city over the summer.
I never agreed that's what happened and have always been perplexed that people were so eager to interpret what was clearly an accident, as something malicious.
It's not that I take swipe at the protesters who march or protest bad and biased police behavior where it may occur. And it's not simply that I know that there are bad apples but rather I believe impulsive actions and prejudices are too natural even among good people -- ergo, even among good officers. My feeling is, protest and solidify positive ideals against real racism, keeping those who might get too casual, in check.
But the simple facts are that there was no purposeful intent to harm Martin Gugino, who by the same viral video that show him falling shows him wading his way directly into an advancing police line. A bit too naive perhaps, but definitely reckless and contributing to the chaos.
Maybe I think the Buffalo police and other departments need to brush up more precisely on what to do in such instances, but to think that a crime was committed is over the top and intellectually dishonest. The Guardian article to which I link points out that Gugino is a peace activist. I maintain that if he really is, he would have acknowledged his culpability in the clumsy event and everyone could have parted ways embarrassed, but wiser.
Did that happen or will it happen, who can say? But what I can bet, because this video shows off the more routine helpful and patient nature of police -- when there isn't a chaotic situation going one -- is that this will be the video of an old man, a sidewalk, and Buffalo police, that won't go viral.
Don't you hate when you search for an answer to something you think is pretty straightforward, but it turns out your brain is so weird you're the only person either dumb enough to be asking (hence, no content to support an answer has ever been created), or, your brain is so complex, you are the only one who could ask the question (hence, no content to support an answer has ever been created).
Twitter is discontinuing Periscope in 2021 (and here is a Periscope of me postulating a theory of why livestreaming seems to be getting rolled back and complicated these days). I used Periscope as my main "man on the ground" live feeding platform for such things as house fires and riots, or the occasional weird attempt to produce regular weekend programming.
With news of its impending demise, I panicked. Instagram (Live) is not built for serious stuff -- it presumes pictures and broadcasts are personal social objects shared between people good looking enough to have enough friends to do that between. For your average content weirdo like me who still thinks the web and its products should be a bit unpredictable and uncontrollable regarding real matters, the Twitter ethos, however evaporating from the principle of that it may be these day, fits the bill.
YouTube Live or Twitch have just way too much overhead for spot live streaming, and Facebook for all intent and purposes requires you to sign in before showing someone's live video rationally. Facebook is not really about an "open" web.
But luckily as my video shows, you can still feed live via Twitter in what is basically an "integrated Periscope engine" resulting in something that is not so much different in experience at all. I had to make the video above because I could not find a clear answer that the lazy typing in of a YouTube query (I don't even think I bothered with Google) might yield.
So all Giuliani has to say is "It's a misunderstanding, here's the evidence."
But guess if that will happen.
Or, maybe he can simply admit to Trump's base he was exploiting them with nonsense all along. Also not going to happen.
This is a lot like that commercial where the shop-owner woman dances among Disney-like characters singing back responses aflutter. Until someone in her shop slips on a pool of water and breaks a leg, and suddenly, life and lawsuits get real.
Except, here, it's Giuliani sprinkler-heading lies and propaganda unbelievably forgetting that a real business was being affected in a bad, bad way, and that that business would naturally sue him into a life of misery.
He's not going to win this lawsuit and whether through the cost of the settlement or the spend of the fight, he's financially ruined.
Giuliani, a man I once heralded for his ability to tackle New York City crime, can't even abandon his delusion long enough to realistically defend himself, insisting that the process will actually EXPOSE Dominion's evilness.
As if Dominion and its attorneys know nothing about the risk of "discovery". The fact they are bringing the hammer down means that they ain't worried about being pummeled by right-wing fantasies and that Giuliani better snap out of it fast.
This is a protest post of sort because when I search online for "why should I use POP email" nobody gives the correct answer.
My "pop-culture" settings. Heh.
The answers usually given are "use it if you want to access email on your device while offline", as if being offline is a serious problem anymore. Or, "use it to free up storage on your server", which is not a bad answer because eventually you will have to do something with all your cloud-based email, however off in the future. But for most people that's a specific operation if and when that day of objective arrives and it may not be the only real solution if we are exclusively talking about preservation. It probably isn't or won't be.
The Actual Answer
The top and actually real answer to use POP email is to keep email moving such that it passes through to you, but is not stored with your email provider on the way. Bearing in mind of course that your specific configuration can and likely would allow it to pool up online with your provider for awhile, it would nonetheless not stay.
To put it succinctly you would use POP for off-cloud privacy. A second best answer is that you might prefer it for control.
POP email is excellent for off-cloud personal computing but it does require more attention and, as with all off-cloud computing, may concentrate your digital habits to periods when you can access certain devices where you are pulling data to. In a rare tight application of this method, for example, you might only be able to review and respond to email when you get home for the day and can settle in with your computer - though again your specific configuration would never likely be that strict.
The control I mention comes from relying on the traditional email clients to access and pull email because they include many granular features relating to how email is handled, displayed, and archived. The classic MS Office Outlook is probably the pinnacle example of a feature-rich client, though there are competitors that are fresh and contemporary.
I am experimenting with exclusive reliance on POP and in the process, trying to mitigate some of the loss of cloud benefits. This turns out not to be an alien exercise because before the days of web-first email services like GMAIL, most of the mitigations I have come up with were day-to-day standard practice back then. I'm really doing nothing more than pretending web-based email never happened.
People will be quick to remind you that unlike IMAP or web mail you can't access your messages from anywhere or anytime. But that's not really true. As a critical point consistently omitted in all the "should I use POP or IMAP" online articles, you can in fact configure your POP behavior to leave messages on the server for a reasonable period of time. This means that all your other devices and email apps, including the basic GMAIL app on your Android phone, have time to access and pull the data. Day-to-day you do in fact have universal access to recent messages for as long as you want to define "recent".
In my case I have Outlook on my desktop as my primary device and it will leave messages on the server for my other devices for approximately 3 days. If there's any situation, such as needing to receive and immediately respond to an email on the fly, I still can just fine. And by the way, guess often that turns out to be? So far never. In case you haven't noticed in the past 15 years, email as a thing for person-to-person communication has all but dried up except in the commercial job sphere. The entire ability to access email via my phone is really more about just keeping tabs on things than actually firing off responses.
Where POP Email Life Really Hurts
The actual downshot of putting yourself back on POP is the initial technical tending and time for it, as with all off-cloud maneuvers. But this would only be considered an obstacle for "Facebook" or "mobile-only" digital consumers with no thirst or understanding of the freedom they actually have.
Also a bummer (but not without solutions; I have implemented them) is that "email" these days tends to be part of a larger personal information management suite or ecosystem that includes your contact database and calendar. Pushing your email to a POP client moves your email management outside of these other critical workflows you have probably gotten used to. Some people can live with that, but others will naturally try to port contacts and calendars too so that they all remain in sync and portable which drastically complicates the manuever.
For me the question boiled down to a simple problem. Assuming I use Outlook for contacts and calendar, how best to simply sync such data to my Android phone? And it was a problem because in 2021 the personal computing application market doesn't "see" people who want to work off the cloud.
The actual solution, which is working well, involves available and modern, but niche applications, on the PC and on the phone. I have to install CompanionLink for Outlook, and on my phone, I have to install something called "DejaOffice". All these things up and running reliably, so far, keep my contacts and calendar synced to Google Contacts (which becomes just another contact account you can add to your contacts view then focus on), and Google Calendar. Because everything: email, contacts, and calendar stuff, can all be accessed by the Google GMAIL app on Anroid, it feels like I'm still using their web service. There's no real loss of familiarity yet none of this data is held in perpetual by Google.
In short, long term privacy and control are the reasons to "pick POP", but as with every effort to keep your computing local and within control, you will spend time you have probably forgot you needed to when you became gradually consumed and assimilated by Google and Microsoft.
Continuing my few-parts "series" on news of the past three weeks or so.
Now I'd like to gripe about Parler being shut down. And once again before I wade into this, yes I am anti-Trump or rather anti-Trumpism. And yes I currently vote Democrat and in particular I voted for Biden. But if your mind blows up that I can be anti-Trumpism yet still hate CNN and the oppression of free speech like a Trumper might, then you probably aren't intelligent enough for this blog. Or, I'm too schizophrenic to be maintaining one. Pick your conclusion.
Anyway. When you get right down to it it's not so much scary that Parler was shut down as a service but rather its hosting was shut down (which of course shuts it down as a service). For years and years and I have espoused the merit of privately hosting your blogs and web expressions on your own hosted services on the theory that you can't be moderated away in a deplatform event. But here we are in 2021 and that is exactly what happened to thousands of noisy if not also delusional Parler users.
To catch you up, Parler didn't effectively moderate the dangerous sounding people, so its host, Amazon, did it for them in one fell swoop. Thousands of people who for sure consisted of some plotting to storm the Capitol were evaoprated, but so were harmless kooks enjoying their life preaching about elves living in their basement, or reasonable people who just wanted to duck the destructive and diminishing effect of commercialism on their rants. Even I had an account in which I dabbled with to carry on my (perfectly valid) diatrabes against the media and the demise of the open World Wide Web. As dangerous as it was, Parler represented freedom -- sort of.
Not Truly Free But More Fun
It turns out that Parler only represented freedom in the same way that one neighborhood garage for teenage friends to hang out in is more free than another. But it still wasn't free. The Parler dad was just cooler than the Twitter dad. Eventually a rule could be broken and everyone sent home. Or into the woods.
I cannot keep saying this enough. The first step to real online freedom is reclaiming in large part what the early web was. Millions of HTML web pages by people speaking and ranting about all kinds of topics. Some poorly and loosely, but many with talent and a sense of presentation. Back then these millions and millions of web pages were mansions unto themselves, and bringing down one, if it had to be rightly or wrongly targeted, did not bring down them all.
The topics were often redundant, sure. But while talking about the same general concepts of UFOs or the town ordinance on how far to keep your trash cans away from the curb might cluster around the same angle, the invidual voices of each author made each new encounter an enriching and often rewarding consumption.
A fair search engine was supposed to tie all these web pages together to your sense of curiosity, but alas, search became a monetized thing. Now, the findable answer is tied more to how much SEO an author has invested in and how more by the rules of commerce they abide by. If your knowledge is not packaged for financial return upon its discovery, your knowledge will not be noticed.
But, a renewed interest in creating personal web pages would still work. Twitter or Parler could be replaced by interlinks (remember "web rings" -- something like that but not quite so flashy), and of course RSS, which I believe went away because Google was hell-bent on destroying on the profitless intimate web.
As Doomed As Anything I'd Write
The final irony of Parler is that it was probably doomed anyway. It billed itself as an enterprise solution of sorts but in reality (and if you understood how buggy it was, you sort of guessed) it was amateur coding that I put "slightly" above my own in terms of skill set. This is to say, it was apparently a security nightmare that somehow even failed to strip geo-location metadata from the pictures you might have uploaded.
Its producer was probably relieved to have a "cover of principle" to maybe die under forever, but the fact is that it would have been sued out of existence before long, once the freedom privacy-loving population learned that every picture posted was a map to their house.
As of this writing, Parler is back online, but I am sure with the challenge of reworking its reckless bubble-gum-glued-together gears.
More power to'em if their team can do it. I mean, if they are willing to not home-school government revolts. But I would hope that a fraction of people with Parler fever would simply look into a cheap shared hosting account and feel free to unite with others doing the same. The open WWW is your resilience and if you claim it to be, is your resistance.
Okay let's cut into my annoyingly nuanced position on the events of the past 72 hours. You really need to know where I stand. I'll start here with this post and bang out a few others, just to make it all digestible.
The Capitol Siege
The issue is the breach, period. We need not wonder whether the specific terminology in Trump's speeches actually caused the "siege", and we can only choose, but not necessitate, to engage in an examination of every individual who participated for purposes of prosecution.
But let's be honest: Nothing Trump said that day directed a small group of buffoons in particular to storm the Capitol and begin taking selfies. Yes, he did lay the foundation of unwarranted mantra against the United States with his election fraud campaign that was easy to pick up and run with, if some people were so inclined, which of course some buffoons were.
Not to let him off the hook. We know Trump is guilty of something in all of this. We know he is at the center. Trump legitimized juvenile anger and the result was of course an explosion of it under the stress test of an election and Senate control loss.
Through his years-long vitriol and celebration of "mean" he and his followers who equated his bullying with being strong and relatable, lost an opportunity to sell genuinely great merits of conservative principles to moderates and independents to a level needed to win continued control.
Trump created a culture similar to the common prison yard where high level politics and gestures of reason are conducted by a hundred men stuck with a 5th grade intellectual ruleset. You can tell them that an entire week's of debate and contemplation over the insult of a shove or the wearing of certain colors that ultimately results in a shanking, is ridiculous and small-minded, but they wouldn't get it. They think everyone thinks the way they do.
What Actually Happened
What in fact happened at the Capitol was that, as is atypical of any mass gathering protest a small number of people got aggressive and somehow (cough) breached the line of security which then allowed a swell of people to pour into a place that they should not have been, and probably never expected to be.
In a BLM protest "a place" has often been something like a big box store -- whatever is easily accessible. In this politically-geographed protest, it was the Capitol, its notable symbolism as a logical focal point, over a random shoe store, recognized.
I will be honest, I am absolutely positive had I spotted a stream inlet into a building like the Capitol, with no-one apparently stopping me or anyone else, I would have gone in too. Obviously not because I am pro-Trump -- I'd be livestreaming or taking a bunch of selfies.
Which brings me back to my opening point. The issue was the breach. How did that happen?
The Right Wing Did It
The right-wing-did-it "conspiracy" is that the small number of people who were too aggressive and managed to get in were actually part of a radical group that had planned it. After all, one guy was photographed with zip ties, and another guy was found with explosives in the car he brought. Seems like a real possibility. To know for sure, these people are going to have to be confronted, as they are, and their activities and communications scrutinized.
If they were in fact tightly associated with each other, and in fact were planning on something more serious than an elaborate tresspass, Trump still had nothing to do with it if only out of his sheer ignorance of his own power of words and status. That someone could be that dumb is a reason we hope an intelligent voting body can spot someone like that and not let it happen in the first place. But here we are.
But, let's not get crazy without getting crazier.
The Left Wing Did It
The breach might have been a convenient happenstance of the left. I can knit this conspiracy too. We can assume that everyone knew how charged pro-Trumpers were, as the threats and dangerous insinuations by enough of them circulated in plain sight for months and years (Twitter, Parler, wherever -- plain sight).
So, if you know wagons of dynamite are headed to a protest, it might be all too easy to thin out the security and "allow" a breach so that the predictable bad actors get in. The value would simply be to garner the CNN loop coverage (to use them as the usual example; understand that I mean the MSM in general) to cement Trump in the brilliant storification of a man at the helm, out of control.
Or, let's get even crazier.
The Corporate Government of the United States Did It
What if it was the left and right working together, agreeing to pass the ball back and forth in post-calamity wrangling, but out of the public eye, tapping glasses with each other over a job well done?
Trump usurped everyone negatively, but "negatively" isn't the active ingredient. Trump usurped. And politically that's what gets you killed, figuratively or otherwise.
Personally, I would love to know the absolute anatomy of the breach at all levels, and will be looking forward to learn. Those details are the key to understanding everything.
These "President Trump is being censored in social media" milestones always put me in the awkward position of having to explain how I can concurrently reject Trump's presidency while going nuts whenever social media platforms take measures to curb him. As per the current action of Twitter suspending his account.
The answer of course is that the actions taken against Trump really have nothing to do with Trump. It has more to do with my advocacy of an open web, and, a basic understanding that Facebook and Twitter are really just capitalism's answer to China's Great Firewall. No government, no corporation lobby, and certainly no government comprised of corporation lobbies, is ever going to give the power of worldwide broadcast to any wahoo that wants to operate a broadcast station unless there was absolute control over them first. One of the only ways to do that effectively is to create a chokepoint.
China freely turned its entire internet infrastructure into a chokepoint. Every internet user in China is easily surveilled, and content from elsewhere around the world is easily blocked, all from a (relatively) central control position. A percentage of Chinese citizens that go the extra distance to beat those controls through proxies and the like is small so the censorship effort is still effective.
In our culture, the same control is absolutely necessary (speaking as a hypothetical stakeholder of the status quo I mean) but the tact, as not to offend democratic narratives, is more delicate and far more decentralized.
To achieve this, a few simple ingredients along with a few simple rules about how they interact, are required. Left to their own devices these ingredients and rules self-evolve into (a superpower's requirement of) censorship and chill. Aside from the possibility that a few stupidhead 'socialists' can always complain about lack of regulation, there is no-body to blame.
One ingredient, and I can probably cite quite a few, is the commodification of curiosity and a taxing of human being's thirst for knowledge and understanding. In other words, search. The original search engines assumed that the point of their existence was to facilitate a breathlessly curious world -- not to monetize.
It didn't take long for Google and Google's early competition to realize that every search action was a goldmine and capitalist rules and zero ideas of counterweight regulations allowed it to grow into the behemoth it is now.
As Google proved it can dominate (as Microsoft proved it can dominate, as Twitter proved it can dominate, as Facebook proved it can dominate), the "government" of course forged its internal "off-book" relationships with each. Government regulation, action or inaction, came to exclusively favor these icons of what we now deem "Big Tech". For these big tech companies they reign supreme and get to keep making money. For the government, they get their chokepoints.
It doesn't take too much imagination to figure the sort of alliance this makes for, but if you need the picture, Snowden seems to have dumped them for you.
Twitter's decision acts specifically in response to what happened at the nation's Capitol. What happened there is a topic in its own right and I have ways of seeing how an out-of-control right-wing engineered it, and I have theories of how the left-wing engineered it. But I promise you this my dear reader, Trump was more part the mob than its leader.
You can read Twitter's blog posting on its reasoning for banning Trump's account, but as far as I'm concerned it's just a rationalization of tampering with something as sacred as free speech by stretching out the impact of a lot of subjective conclusions.
The real arguments have nothing to do with Trump's application of a social media platform, so Twitter and Facebook are truly creating their own relevance. Note how the debate itself solidifies themselves as "the internet" while the "real internet" is thus dissipated further without notice.
Trump, an apolitical sentient some time ago, simply picked up his inclination to run for president. Seeking the easiest path, he tuned into AM-right-wing radio, discovered an easy herd ripe for exploitation, and set out to do just that. It's that simple people. The mass media mediums that beget Trump were traditional radio and television. FCC stuff.
Point of fact, open expression to the widest gulf prevented this demigod from being re-elected. Can you even begin to imagine what a president like this one, traditionally bound to mere press releases and press conferences, might have done in the "usually" invisible political plane where backdeals and shady dynamics lurch? Fuck that. We needed to see this man's tweets.
It looks like Julian Assange isn't going to be extradited to the U.S. any time soon, apparently on the basis that he is is too depressed, and, our penal system, when it really hates a particular prisoner, is a bit too obvious about torturing them under the guise of enhanced security and suicide prevention measures.
Ripping from the Guardian:
But turning to evidence by medical experts about Assange’s precarious mental health, she said: “The overall impression is of a depressed and sometimes despairing man, who is genuinely fearful about his future. I find that the mental condition of Mr Assange is such that it would be oppressive to extradite him to the United States of America,” she concluded.
In her ruling, the judge accepted that Assange was likely to be held in conditions of isolation in a so-called supermax prison and that he would find a way to take his own life with the “single-minded determination” of the Autism spectrum disorder he had been diagnosed with.
Seems like a lot of presumptions are being made all the way around here, but the convenient end result for the UK is that they won't be sending him. The U.S. can continue to scrabble by appeal, and will, but at this point it just seems they are beating a dead horse with a stretched whip of reason for doing so in the first place.
The guy was holed up for years in the Ecuadorian embassy to duck what was, in my opinon, a CIA-engineered rape charge, or a CIA-amplified prosecution of an actual rape (high profile agitator pro-tip # 1: Don't mingle with cute women who show up at your weird activist conference and quickly bond to you. Particularly when they float with organization names like "Christian Association of Social Democrats" - which is just about the most C-I-A-iest name for a front group of as-needed traveling women poised to sting on official launch notice, that I can imagine). But I digress.
The guy has suffered enough, and I say that as one who would not disagree that he crossed a technical line in achieving "leaks". His "leaks" in fact were more like information suctioned out of a pipe, a characterization that says nothing about the rightness of the act, criminal as it was. That argument is not settled with me personally, or many others. But the point is, he's done enough time for actions not universally regarded as wrong. Let's let this one go.