MEETING AT NOON

Posted in Rants on January 12th, 2015 by Ed

A few months ago you may recall that rioting in Ferguson, MO was followed almost immediately by a large riot at, of all things, a Pumpkin Festival at Keene State University in New Hampshire. This happened for two reasons. One is that God loves us and has a sense of humor. The other is that white college kids like to go crazy and destroy lots of property and it's cool because Kids being Kids, amirite? Of all the sarcastic commentary comparing media and public reactions to the two riots, this tweet was my favorite:

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It came to mind immediately when I saw this recent bon mot of brilliance from Rupert Murdoch:

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We have this remarkably silly tendency to refer to all minority groups – ethnic, racial, religious, etc. – as a cohesive and organized group. It is an extension of the Well They All Look the Same! mentality, and it is not worth stating that it is deeply flawed logic to assume that everyone who is black or Muslim or Asian or Latino believes the same things. But if that isn't ridiculous enough, we take it one step farther and assume that they are somehow collectively responsible for one another's behavior or have control over what their fellow humans do.

I can't tell you how many times over the years I have had the conversation where I press other white people to explain what exactly The Black Community is. Like, do you think they all have a meeting every week or two where the grand Black Strategy is plotted? Do they have some kind of quasi-parental control over one another, not to mention a highly efficient information distribution system that instantly tells them "Brian in Fresno robbed a gas station – someone get on his ass!" I like to ask Black Community enthusiasts, what should you and I be doing to stop serial killers? Aren't nearly all serial killers white men? We, as pillars of the White Dude Community, are clearly responsible for their actions. Perhaps I should Speak Out Against serial killing, just to make sure people know it's illegal and not cool.

Granted, mocking the words of Rupert Murdoch is an exercise in harvesting low hanging fruit. It just baffles me how people who say things of this sort expect "Good Muslims" to stop small groups of committed and fanatical terrorists from behaving as committed, fanatical terrorists? The absolute best argument that could be made would be some sort of slow, indirect process of trying to identify every radical cleric (How would this witch hunt be executed? Some would be terribly obvious. Most wouldn't.) and then engaging in some sort of ecclesiastical politics to get them removed. Of course that is impractical even if the Muslim Community, spread across a hundred countries and representing every language, social class, and different interpretation of Islam on Earth, could organize at their weekly meetings and decide to do it.

The truth is that Good Muslims have as much ability to combat Islamic terrorists as you and I do. As much as any person, Muslim or not, does. I would not roll my eyes if someone argued, as many did after 9/11, that Islamic states and governments should take more responsibility for terrorist activities that may happen within their borders. That is because governments are organized, structured toward making decisions and executing them, and possessing of a security apparatus that allows them to take action against violent people. The Paris attackers trained in Yemen, which is widely understood to have slid toward anarchy and failed statehood in the past two or three years. To propose a productive solution, one might suggest that the Arab League or a comparable organization take some sort of action to increase the strength of a legitimate government in Yemen.

No, that would involve too much thinking. Let's just tell all of The Muslims that they're responsible.

PAUSED

Posted in Quick Hits on January 9th, 2015 by Ed

I apologize for the limited content this week, but out of respect for the awful news that all of us are trying to process from Paris today and the past few days it didn't seem appropriate to run what is a rather lighthearted No Politics Friday.

A lot of left-wing people around the internet have suggested that their reaction to these events is split among 1. Defense of free expression, 2. Abhorrence of violence, and 3. Finding the cartoons in question something ranging from insensitive to racist. I don't consider that an untenable position; if I paint a giant-lipped Obama eating a watermelon and someone murders me, it is possible to believe that I did something offensive but that doesn't give another person the right to shoot me. Personally, though, I don't see the cartoons as racist or offensive so much as they appear puerile and silly. Like most Americans I'd never previously heard of this French magazine, and frankly the art (and the level of humor/satire involved) looks like junior high students drew it. Minus the shock value of depicting something some Muslims find insulting, what is the real value of this?

These journalists strike me as a European sort of Bill Maher/Howard Stern hybrid, getting more mileage out of being provocateurs than anything else. Rather than cheapening their deaths, I think the general silliness and MAD Magazine-esque tone of the publication they worked for makes the idea of anyone being willing to kill them over these cartoons even less comprehensible.

In short, I've decided that I can feel like these guys were a bunch of ass clowns without believing that they deserved to die or that I don't care that they did. I don't think anyone deserves to die a violent death for making jokes, good or bad. Although I waver sometimes on Jeff Dunham.

SIX OF ONE

Posted in Rants on January 7th, 2015 by Ed

In case it isn't blatantly obvious to anyone who reads this, I'm going to clarify in advance that I don't minimize the violent deaths of 12 people – police, journalists, and a maintenance worker – in Paris today. Any and all deaths from violent crime are sad, pointless, and tragic in my view.

But here we are, another week and another mass shooting. Only the presence of some novelty to the story – it didn't happen in the United States for once, and the assailants had political motives rather than being the usual disgruntled, angry, and usually white males lashing out at the world with their guns – has made this a Big Story. Mass shootings have become so common that they don't even make the main headlines anymore. They've become the kind of thing that gets mentioned on page 3 or that gets 90 seconds in the middle of the broadcast, before weather but after traffic.

What I don't understand, at the risk of accusations of "politicizing" the event, is why I am supposed to be more angry or more interested because this particular mass shooting was done by radicalized Muslims with a vendetta against a media outlet. If it hardly makes waves anymore when some American white kid brings a gun to school because Reasons or some angry grunt kills a bunch of his coworkers, why should this make any? If deaths by senseless violence are tragic – and they are – then they should be relatively equally tragic. Whether the victims are factory workers, high school students, edgy journalists, or completely random people milling about in public their deaths are a pointless tragedy.

It's not that I'm not saddened and angered by what happened in France. It's that I resent the implication in the media coverage that I'm supposed to be more upset or this is somehow a bigger tragedy because Free Speech and Muslims. If someone walked into a Walmart in the middle of nowhere and shot 12 people today, would the right wingers be at a boil right now? Twelve deaths by gunfire are excused away when they occur in the context of domestic politics, yet if some Muslims who just returned from Syria are the killers everyone is whipped into a frenzy. That, to me, makes no sense whatsoever.

Mass shootings are so common that someone who pays attention to the news only casually will miss most of them these days. This one will be a Big Story, though. That's what bothers me. Lots of people are getting shot and killed for no good reason. Either we care or we don't. It makes no sense to care a lot about some and barely notice others.

UPON SECOND THOUGHT

Posted in Quick Hits on January 6th, 2015 by Ed

Leave it to the New York Daily News (motto: We Make the Post Look Serious) to provide the ideal example of everything wrong with the way the media lionizes cops while demonizing literally anyone else.

Recently someone assaulted an MTA worker in the middle of the night and as the tabloid media are wont to do, they ran some rather sensational stories to the effect of, to quote the headline, "Thug attacks female MTA employee at Bronx train station."

A hulking brute grabbed a 28-year-old MTA employee up in a bear hug at a Bronx train station, shoved her onto the platform and began choking her in an unprovoked attack – then ran away smiling, authorities said Wednesday.

Then it turned out that the Thug Brute was – wait for it – an NYPD officer. Magically, the tone changed when this crucial fact was discovered. The headline now refers to an NYPD cop who heroically turned himself in after being "accused" of possibly attacking someone.

Police Officer Mirjan Lolja, 37, was suspended after the assault in which the Metropolitan Transportation Authority worker — who was on-duty and in her uniform — was allegedly put into a bear hug, thrown to the floor and choked, cops said.

Not as much of a Thug as we originally thought, despite the fact that he does look vaguely possibly Hispanic or something.

NOT REQUIRED

Posted in Rants on January 5th, 2015 by Ed

In the era of downsizing, we all secretly fear our employers discovering that we are expendable. You take a couple of weeks off for a vacation, family leave, illness, or whatnot and the company finds that things worked just as well without your presences as they do when you're around. Of course in a bad job market this is possible because some other poor sap got stuck with all of your responsibilities in your absence without any additional compensation. Imagine if instead they found out that 90% of what you do is completely unnecessary. The company has been paying you to spend 10% of your time running payroll and the other 90% writing songs on the accordion. When you're absent, suddenly they realize that maybe a company that makes HVAC equipment doesn't need an accordionist at all.

Even if 2/3 of the work you do was found to be superfluous, the logic of the free market would have your employer showing you the exit door in short order. The situation is different in the public sector where people are harder to fire, but you would expect roughly similar logic to apply. So sometime in the next week I'm assuming we'll see about half of the NYPD laid off.

Using a technique as old as organized labor (or even disorganized but disgruntled labor) the officers of the NYPD have been engaged in a slowdown, although some media incorrectly call it a "work stoppage." They're showing up to work but making only arrests deemed "absolutely necessary." Which, you know, raises the question: How many arrests have they been making all these years that don't meet that standard? Has the largest metropolitan PD in the country not basically admitted that the vast majority of the arrests they make have almost no bearing on public safety?

Simply put, if the NYPD could cut its arrests by 60-80% without adversely affecting the city – and by all accounts New York has hardly noticed the difference – why in the hell haven't they already done it?

A police slowdown does not prove, as cops might wish, that America turns into Thunderdome without them. It proves that they're making an awful lot of arrests and issuing a huge number of citations that collectively accomplish absolutely nothing beyond raising money and trapping people in the Sarlaac pit of the justice system? To the first point, did anyone notice during the Michael Brown ordeal that the Ferguson PD gave out ten thousand more arrest warrants in 2013 than there are people in Ferguson? Ten thousand. Start with one non-violent crime, let the administrative fees and fines pile up, and the next thing you know you're wanted. The police then set out to arrest you because you haven't handed over enough money from the last time they arrested you. Repeat ad infinitum.

State and local budgets are pinched, your State Legislature doesn't have the political balls to raise taxes, and there are huge surplus populations that the economy decided it doesn't need and who need to be warehoused or at least Kept in Their Place. So the police do the municipal version of a bake sale, except instead of cookies they hand out thousands of expensive fines for petty crimes. Those who pay are a lucrative source of income, essentially off-the-books tax collection. Those who don't pay – well, there's another bucketful of violations you can use to drown them.

Ideally this would be a Teachable Moment for our society, an opportunity to reflect and ask ourselves some important questions about what we value. Is it possible we have too many laws? That rabid enforcement of those laws isn't making us any safer? Are candy-assed old white legislators trying to look tough by passing the most punitive laws they can imagine doing more to harm our cities and towns than the crimes themselves? Have police departments completely lost focus on the meaning of "public safety" in favor of writing as many citations and making as many arrests as possible? Light bulbs should be appearing over our heads, collectively: "The cops stopped making most of the arrests they make and it hasn't made one goddamn lick of difference. What the hell have we been doing all these years??"

That's a pipe dream, though. Some people know perfectly well, though they would never admit it, that they see rounding up poor people as the entire point of law enforcement. Keeping the dark people and the mulleted hillbillies away from our nice homes on whatever pretense can be concocted is precisely what the police are supposed to do. How depressing it will be over the next few weeks to realize that for some of our fellow citizens will applaud when the NYPD resumes the majority of arrests deemed unnecessary when they want to make a political statement.

2014 LIEBERMAN AWARD WINNER: BOB McCULLOCH

Posted in Rants on December 31st, 2014 by Ed

(Editor's note: The Lieberman Award is given annually to the worst example of a human being over a twelve month period. Click the tag at the end of the post to review past winners.)

medalGin and Tacos and its parent company, Nordyne Defense Dynamics, hold very high standards with respect to the final product you see published here four or five times per week. When we say someone is an asshole, we want you the reader to know that we have done our homework and vetted the subject thoroughly. We aren't going to give you people who are just kind of an asshole. You can rest assured that when we look back at a year and say "This person was an asshole of such magnitude that he defined 2014 with how rotten he is at being human," the honor is richly deserved and well earned.

St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch is everything wrong with America today, far more so than any cigar stealing Thug or even any trigger happy police officer could ever be. He is old, dying, white America incarnate, struggling mightily to control a country it is no longer capable of understanding and not even willing to try. Bob McCulloch is every gun-hoarding authoritarian personality type who sees a threat in everything and everyone that does not look and behave like himself. Bob McCulloch is the America that is on its way being demographically irrelevant and is attempting to maintain a position of superiority by dominating the institutions of state power to such an extent that their privileges can never be taken away. You know, like white people did in Apartheid-era South Africa.

Bob McCulloch is your uncle who bitches constantly about big government and taxes while every paycheck he has collected in his life has been from the public teat. He is the public's mental caricature of an incompetent, corrupt civil servant, so protected and insulated from the repercussions of his professional actions that he is unwilling even to fake giving a shit if you can see how corrupt he is. Bob McCulloch is the old, bitter white people that dot major cities throughout the Rust Belt; everyone young and financially able has left and now he reigns over a poor, crumbling, crime-ridden corpse of a city and it makes him so bitter and angry, despite his job security and material comfort, that all he can do to make himself feel a little better is lash out at people he considers a rung (or two) beneath him on the social ladder.

McCulloch's press conference on the night that what everyone already knew was announced – that no prosecution of the officer who shot Michael Brown would be forthcoming – was one of the most amazing things I've ever witnessed. It redefined concepts like "brazen" for me and despite watching it at home alone I found myself uttering "Jesus! The balls on this guy!" in sincere wonderment more than once. From his petulant blame-shifting to The Twitters (which, incidentally, I highly doubt he even "gets") and the media to his blatantly dishonest effort to take advantage of the fact that 95% of Americans neither know what a grand jury is nor understand how it works, this was a masterful whitewashing performance by a man who very clearly knows a thing or two about whitewashings. He openly admits that he – actually his underlings, as he never bothered to attend the grand jury proceedings himself – merely threw a sampling of evidence and witness testimony (including testimony he admitted to knowing was false) at the grand jurors and waited until they came to the desired conclusion. That is exactly how the prosecutor's role in no grand jury ever works. But he got up there in front of the cameras as said that anyway because he assumes you don't know that, or if you do he simply doesn't give a shit that you see through the farce. He's untouchable and he knows it, wearing the perpetual smirk of the idiot son put in charge of the family business; everyone knows he's a moron, including him, as surely as everyone knows he's not going anywhere, ever.

The real problem is not Bob McCulloch, at least not beyond the borders of his limited jurisdiction. The problem is that there are hundreds of thousands of Bob McCullochs across this country, each one every bit as incompetent and lousy with prejudices. They have burrowed into every level and every part of the criminal justice system like ticks, from police to the courts to parole offices to administrative departments of every size and color. They probably run your police department, your local district attorney's office, your circuit courts, your state legislature, and anything else that offers a paycheck from the public coffers and a grandfathered-in pension. They all know one thing for certain, that they can tell good people (anyone who looks and thinks like them) from bad people (everyone else). Some part of them understands that this isn't really "Their" country anymore, but they're holding onto the institutions of power until their cold, dead hands are pried off and not a second sooner.

Congratulations to Bob McCulloch and all the Bob McCullochs around the United States. You've earned this award, hiding behind a wall of silence and collusion in homes bought with tax dollars watching a favorite Charles Bronson white revenge fantasy movie on VHS. You wield the instruments of state power like a sculptor does a hammer and chisel, the primary difference being that a sculptor must on occasion be subtle about the application of physical force.

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THE SPECTACULAR 2014 GIN AND TACOS ANNUAL WHEEDLE PRESENTED BY GIN AND TACOS

Posted in Quick Hits on December 29th, 2014 by Ed

Reader,

I make an effort to limit this kind of request or reminder, because nobody wants to read a hundred pleas per year for the kinds of things a dude with a website is supposed to request. I appreciate your patience with the following paragraphs.

1. If you haven't already, follow G&T on the ol' Facebox. There's more to it than a bunch of links to posts. It's a little heavier on humor and lighter on politics compared to this site. And I'm supposed to, like, try to boost traffic and build a base of readers and all that shit. So do it.

Gin and Tacos | Promote Your Page Too

2. Speaking of, even though traffic has increased consistently over the years the site remains and will remain free of advertisements. If you have to ask why, you must be new. In lieu of advertisements you have to put up with the following few paragraphs once per year.

You can do nothing and continue to enjoy the site for free. This is called "free riding", and it's an entirely rational behavior. I have done (for eleven years!!) and will continue to do this every day whether I make a million bucks, nothing at all, or I have to pay out of pocket for the privilege.

You can use this tip jar / donation link to contribute an amount of your choosing to defray the costs of this site. If you happen to be saddled with extra cash and feel like donating fifty bucks, I will be extremely grateful. However, if donating fifty cents is more in line with your current budget, my gratitude will be no less. If zero cents is your preferred option, that's A-OK too. Your tips and contributions are (obviously) voluntary but greatly appreciated. Either way I'm glad you're here and I appreciate you.






3. "Ed you lazy grifter, when I hand over money I expect to get something in return!" you say. Well, there are things to buy if that's your thing. The "Buy Stuff" link on your right has a couple kinds of stickers. There are also a few remaining SOUNDS OF REAL AMERICA prints (here's the first batch, and then we added two more) and a single Buzzfeed dadaism print that I unearthed while cleaning out my office.

4. Oh, 2014 was the year Ed finally got around to getting coffee mugs like everyone always requested. Customize your own here (Zazzle isn't shy about big discounts). There is also the not quite as popular but equally spectacular Gin and Tacos t-shirt with the lovable slogan, "Dopamine's Only Natural Predator", on the reverse. If you're so inclined, knock yourself out.

5. Thank you all for making the site more interesting than it would be otherwise with your comments and contributions. Even though I've progressed from zero to one to fifty-plus comments per post, I still read every single one. If you can take the time to say something, I can make the time to read it.

I don't maintain this site for financial reward, and I hate creating the impression that you're expected to pay for the privilege. You certainly are not. Not even a little. But if you happen to feel the urge to be generous, here are some options. As always, thanks for being here and man did this year blow.

LAND OF MAKE BELIEVE

Posted in Rants on December 28th, 2014 by Ed

This head-to-desk image has made the rounds over the past two weeks. For those of you who slept through art history, that is Rembrandt's The Night Watch.

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In the thousands of places this image has been reblogged and forwarded and shared, I've enjoyed the predictability of the comment sections that follow. As expected, there are plenty of "Woe to us! Weep for the future! These kids these days!" rants. The picture is intended to prompt that reaction – here's a bunch of kids ignoring a painting that has compelled viewers for centuries in favor of staring at their phones. What's missing here is context. I don't know if you remember being 12 years old and going on field trips to museums, but even without fancy cellphones to play with the average pre-teen "back in my day" had a very limited attention span for things like 17th century paintings. Show a middle schooler the greatest painting ever painted and I guarantee they won't care. Or they'll look at it for ten seconds and lose interest. So in defense of these kids, if they've been sitting in that room for anything more than a couple minutes (maybe waiting for the rest of the class to meet up) they are behaving exactly as one would expect them to. The only difference between them and us at their age is that they have better toys to play with.

On the other hand, the "Don't be so hard on these kids!" comments somehow are even more ridiculous than the ones that read this image as the downfall of western civilization. Rather than stating the bleedingly obvious – they're kids being kids – they make the most ridiculous excuses you could imagine. "How do you know they're not looking up more information about the painting!" or "They're probably taking the audio tour of the museum!" reflect the tendency a lot of people have to not only make excuses for kids no matter what, but to go out of their way to assume the very best about other humans. In some ways that is a laudable trait, and obviously it functions as a psychological defense mechanism against the daily barrage of evidence to the contrary. There is a line, though, between optimism and delusion. I understand not wanting to jump on the "We Are So Fucked" bandwagon, but at the same time I don't think it helps to kid ourselves – they're texting each other and watching stupid videos. That's what kids do to kill time with smartphones.

As bothersome as it is to think about a world full of old people telling These Damn Kids to get off the lawn, I almost prefer it to people who stick their heads in the sand and impute only the noblest motives into everyone they see. That level of Pollyanna-ism is so foreign to me that I don't know how to process it; the people who look at this and see young scholars independently studying up on art history must be the same people who think their college-aged children don't drink and really spend that extra spending money they request on books. It might make one feel better to believe that, but in reality it's doing far more harm than the false peace of mind is worth.

PUMP IT UP

Posted in Rants on December 24th, 2014 by Ed

Check out this neat online tool for graphing grade inflation over time at a large selection of US universities. It comes courtesy of fan and reader Steven Ranney. Thanks!

It is naive to suggest that this is entirely a recent phenomenon; the "Gentleman's B" has been a punchline for decades' worth of jokes about Ivy League schools. The academic perspective on this – feel free to chime in if I'm off base here – is that everyone recognizes grade inflation but feels powerless to stop it. In my limited experience, there is external pressure as well as internal pressure to give higher grades than students' work deserves. We are put in a difficult position, yet part of the problem is us.

The external pressure at the college level comes from two sources. One is the grades students received in high school, which are even more wildly inflated. The modal American high school student is so academically indifferent that any student who actually completes the assigned work and masters a few rudimentary aspects of each subject is given A and B grades. In their defense, K-12 educators face constant pressure from parents to give their special special snowflakes the high grades they deserve. College professors have the unbelievable luxury of being able – legally required by FERPA, actually – to refuse to deal with parents. The second source of pressure comes from other professors within our institutions. We all know the faculty who are either Pollyanna-ish or completely checked out mentally and end up giving every student who enrolls in the class an A. When Professor X gives the students an A in English Comp despite the fact that they are completely unable to write a sentence in the English language, how am I going to give them an F, Or even a C, without getting an avalanche of complaints? When the tide keeps rising, it's very difficult to keep the boat anchored to the seafloor.

The internal pressure comes from the fact that when an entire class's performance is comparable in quality – and if that quality happens to not be great – it feels "wrong" to give an entire class a C. The voice in your head starts telling you that you're being a dick and you should give some A's, which you end up doing for whichever students performed a little better than the rest of the pack. And let's not kid ourselves either. Colleagues, Deans, and other people in the university who evaluate us are definitely going to raise eyebrows at entire classes full of C and D grades. Inevitably they are going to ask what I'm doing wrong, why I'm such a bad teacher that all of my students got C's. Personally this has never happened, I've always had normal grade distributions in my courses. But I know other faculty who have had this problem. The assumption is never going to be that none of the students did work that merited an A. It will always be assumed that the person in charge of the class has failed somehow. Sometimes that's a fair point. Sometimes you just get a batch of students who give zero shits.

Grade inflation has gotten so silly (take a browse through some of the schools on that list with mean grades in the 3.5 range) that it can't continue forever. A common complaint about graduate programs is that they obsess over standardized test scores. This is accurate, and it is a direct result of undergraduate GPAs becoming nearly meaningless. As for what to do about it, your guess is as good (and most likely as unworkable) as mine. All I can control are my own classes, and despite my reputation as a Harsh Grader I'm feeding the problem too.

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A BRIDGE TOO FAR

Posted in Rants on December 22nd, 2014 by Ed

The greatest criminals who ever lived are not famous. The fact that they did the job so well means they never got caught or even noticed. The reality of crime and society's efforts to stop it is that if people are smart when breaking the law, it's comparatively difficult to catch, prosecute, and punish them. Fortunately for law enforcement and the general public, most people make dumb decisions when breaking laws. They act impulsively or fail to make sufficient plans, and most importantly people who commit crimes repeatedly eventually get greedy. As the dice get rolled repeatedly, the probability of being caught eventually approaches 100%. And people who find that they were able to skirt the law in a relatively minor way eventually get grander ambitions.

I wasn't planning on doing any more Ferguson posts – It's certainly getting enough attention and we're not short on information of what a total sham the legal proceedings were. These new revelations about the prosecutor, though, sucked me back in. His strategy was clear if unconvincing, namely to create the impression of a legitimate legal proceeding taking place while hiding behind the "Well, we just handed everything to the grand jury and let them decide!" mantra. Had he limited himself to that he might have, as they used to say on Scooby Doo, gotten away with it.

Here's the thing, though: he's a stupid person. And stupid people get greedy.

In recent interviews he has admitted that he knew that many witnesses, including one who most completely corroborated Wilson's version of events, were lying.

One witness McCulloch believed was lying matches several news outlets' description of Witness 40, who told the grand jury that Brown charged at Wilson before the officer fired the final shots that killed him.

"[T]his lady clearly wasn't present when this occurred," McCulloch said. "She recounted a statement that was right out of the newspaper about Wilson's actions, and right down the line with Wilson's actions. Even though I'm sure she was nowhere near the place."

Earlier this week, the Smoking Gun's William Bastone, Andrew Goldberg, and Joseph Jesselli reported that Witness 40 had a history of racism and likely wasn't at the scene of the shooting.

As usual, the prosecutor justified this with, "Well we just decided to let the grand jury judge the credibility of the witnesses." And he finally may have gone too far gloating about the whitewash. I am not a lawyer nor am I well versed in Missouri criminal codes. As an attorney, though, the prosecutor has at the least an ethical obligation, and likely a legal obligation, to avoid introducing evidence (physical or from testimony) that he knows to be false. Under even the friendliest interpretation of his obligations, he appears to have admitted clearly to all and sundry that he flouted them.

When it seemed impossible for anyone to be held accountable for this trainwreck, the stupidity of one of the architects of this grand jury/circus has created the possibility that Federal prosecutors (or less likely, the Missouri Attorney General) have something to go on. Nothing will result in Wilson being prosecuted and obviously nothing will bring the decedent back to life. However, it could be useful to salvage some shred of dignity for the legal system by prosecuting those who intentionally introduced false testimony.