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against despair. for freedom. tweets not endorsed by any employer.
12 Feb
the whole "cancelling someone for being racist is blacklisting conservatives" once again forces us to confront, if we are being serious, this fundamental question: what rhetoric and discourse should be considered out of bounds for mainstream society?
the issue here is NOT, as some "anti-cancel culture" warriors want to pretend, that nothing is beyond the pale. the debate is about WHAT constitutes beyond the pale. that's the debate; everything else is a distraction.
is advocacy of pedophilia beyond the pale? i think it is, clearly. most agree. is defense of nazi genocide beyond the pale? yes. again, the issue is not whether or not certain rhetoric ought to disqualify someone from participation in mainstream public life.
Read 7 tweets
12 Feb
It's funny that the Trump defense is including all these videos of democrats calling for Trump's impeachment. Yes, he has done impeachable things literally every day of his presidency and democrats have acknowledged that.
Also all these videos of democrats saying we should "fight back..." yes these would be relevant in impeachment proceedings against a democratic President if the rhetoric led to people trying to overthrow the election. But...that didn't happen.
Because when democrats say "we need to fight back" other democrats understand that to mean "do more electoral work and hold signs at protests," not "bring bombs to Congress and try to kill members to stop the electoral process."
Read 4 tweets
10 Feb
Good on the impeachment managers, reminding the senators that these trump guys TRIED TO KILL THEM. Unfortunate that it seems like the primary reason many republicans won’t vote to convict is their fear that the trump guys will try again, and succeed the next time.
Seems like a pretty dangerous message to send fascists, that their threats of violence will get them what they want. Might want to reconsider that approach.
Anyhow great job to Rep. Stacey Plaskett, who is really nailing these republicans. Gonna be something to watch them essentially endorse trumpers trying to get them killed.
Read 4 tweets
8 Nov 20
This tweet got three different kinds of annoying response, telling me it’s a good tweet:

- defeatist know it all bullshit (“oh sure, like you’ll ever change anything”)
- “waaaaah free speech waaaah”
- death threat
The second one is the only one that deserves a response: No, we should not teach students that Trumpism is within the range of acceptable politics. Racism, xenophobia, hatred of learning and expertise, misogyny, and cruelty are not lessons we should give to students.
Re academic freedom: Of course it’s important. That’s why all professors and students should be free to decline to work or study with anyone who chooses to rehabilitate Trump administration hacks. That’s academic freedom, too.
Read 5 tweets
5 Nov 20
I keep hearing and reading election commentary that says this country is divided like never before. And sure, we are divided in terms of who we prefer as an occupant of the White House. But on critical policy matters we are much less divided.…
I fear the "we are hopelessly divided" narrative is going to allow the democrats to govern (fingers crossed) to the right, as they appear to be preparing to do. This is WRONG. People in this country want government run healthcare and abortion access.
They want government MORE, not less involved in making decisions that impact their lives. They want stricter gun control measures. These are not controversial issues among voters. Please stop feeding into the hopelessly divided narrative!
Read 5 tweets
5 Nov 20
Hundreds in the streets leaving Nubian square heading downtown. #CountEveryVote #StopTrump
Lots of youth out tonight at the @SunriseBoston Socialist Alternative march #CountEveryVote
“America was never great! / Abolish the police state!” #CountEveryVote
Read 6 tweets
31 Oct 20
The CIA has been passing on information from warrantless surveillance programs to the FBI, which has been using it to arrest and prosecute people, all the while lying about the origin of the information used to arrest people. This should be a huge scandal.
Unsurprisingly, this super secret (illegal) operation has not resulted in great drug war success. It instead has lead to FBI agents whack a mole arresting low level boat drivers, distracting the FBI from doing actual investigative work that could lead to the big guys at the top.
Given what we know about how the CIA has used drugs and mafia types in the past, you have to wonder if the intelligence they pass along isn’t random, and if the CIA is intentionally diverting FBI attention away from complex investigations.
Read 5 tweets
28 Oct 20
Great reporting here on Miles Taylor’s involvement with family separation and Google’s assertions to employees that reporting linking Taylor to the crisis was inaccurate. You might say they called it “fake news.”
Just want to be explicit about something re Taylor and the rest of these people. I’m not suggesting we ruin his reputation and drive him from political life because I want vengeance. I’m doing it because it’s likely the only accountability he will face.
I highly doubt a future democratic administration or AG will pursue criminal charges against the Trump administration officials responsible for these criminal policies. Remember Obama’s approach to Bush-era torture? That means it’s up to us; we must politically exile them.
Read 4 tweets
28 Oct 20
I'm just joking. It's inevitable that institutions like HKS will welcome this person with open arms, and then respond to protests by asking us to honor academic freedom or whatever. So what's crucial is that we make life hell for any institution that opens its doors to Trumpers.
If elite institutions want to tarnish their own credibility by continuing to associate themselves with human rights abusers and war criminals, that's their choice. It's our responsibility to call a spade a spade, particularly when we are AT those institutions.
Read 4 tweets
17 Jul 20
The feds snatching people into unmarked cars off the streets of Portland without telling the local cops raises questions about state and local police cooperation with federal agencies through task forces and fusion centers.
Last year the city voted to end its cooperation with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). I can’t stop thinking that this is retaliation for the move. This hasn’t happened elsewhere, correct? (Excepting ICE snatching people.)…
If it is retaliation, it makes substantially more concerning what is now known—which alone constitutes a new, extremely dangerous phase of the Trump constitutional crisis.
Read 12 tweets
7 Aug 19
I’m at the South End/Roxbury community meeting on the sweeps of houseless folks and drug users. There are so many people here that they had to move the meeting outside. Lots of wealthy looking people here.
Shorter police: We drove everyone off Atkinson street and people went into residential neighborhoods. Have no fear, we are going to harass them there, too.
“We are trying to get the homeless folks to go back to Atkinson street now.” WOW WAY TO GO BPD
Read 45 tweets
23 Apr 19
An audience member who wants to be a cop just asked Liz Warren what she’s gonna do to protect cops. Her answer is that the system is profoundly unfair and racist. “It is a criminal justice system that has race right at the heart of it, and we need to call it out for what it is.”
She says we also have to look at what is criminalized, and what’s not, and pivots to talking about how rich people can afford justice and poor people can’t. Then she says we need to restore voting rights to ppl w convictions. This is a good answer to “How will you protect cops?”
Finally, to directly answer the question about protecting cops, she says: gun control. “We need to be willing to push back against the NRA and put some sensible gun laws in place.”
Read 20 tweets
13 Sep 18
Holy shit the @MassStatePolice tweeted some intel analyst’s browser shortcuts and they include left wing organizations’ FB pages and websites
It’s actually an important image. It shows how post-9/11 “security” infrastructures (like fusion centers, from which this was almost certainly tweeted) serve as anti-left wing political police and double as emergency responders. Bad.
We must shut down police fusion centers and replace them with emergency response intelligence and response organizations that do not have any interest in arrest, and are not police. Tbh we need climate response centers. Fund that not police.
Read 4 tweets
23 May 18
Just want to be crystal clear about a couple of things regarding the ACLU and 40+ civil rights groups' call on @amazon to stop selling facial recognition technology to cops:
1. If we don't stop its rollout nationwide, this technology will inevitably be used by the worst people (think Trump and his supporters) to do the worst things (think round up immigrants).
2. Proponents of authoritarian systems of control (and this is that) always say we need to use these systems to protect children and to stop terrorists. Have we not now, 17 years after 9/11, learned that authoritarian surveillance doesn't keep us safe?
Read 9 tweets
15 Apr 18
Five years ago today, two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Three people died, and hundreds were injured. Later that week, all hell broke loose in the Boston area. We still don't know who built the bombs.
In 2015, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was found guilty of bombing the marathon and killing an MIT police officer. He was sentenced to death. The FBI seems to have moved on. But key facts in the case are missing. This is a thread about the loose ends.
The bombings happened on Marathon Monday, April 15, 2013, at around 2:50pm. For days, the government wouldn't say anything about whether it had suspects. Then, on Thursday April 18, at around 5:20pm, the FBI released photos of its suspects.
Read 64 tweets
25 Oct 17
Massachusetts residents and everyone who cares about the health and safety of drug users and technology users should be EXTREMELY concerned about two wiretap amendments the senate will vote on tomorrow.…
The prosecutors have been pushing for wiretap expansion for years. Now, they've come close to tacking expansive new wiretap powers onto a bill that's meant to address racial disparities and mass incarceration. Madness.
The wiretap expansion is dangerous for two core reasons:

1. It massively, dangerously expands the types of investigations in which prosecutors can conduct wiretaps.

2. It enables wiretapping of ALL existing and ALL future digital technologies—in perilous ways.
Read 13 tweets