Two Articles on Current Events

Below are two articles I wrote in response to recent events. Another article addressing rates of domestic violence committed by police officers and the lack of statistics available to study this awful phenomenon is forthcoming.

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Updating a conspiracy “as American as apple pie.”

The first article aims to contextualize the JFK assassination theories in today’s conspiracy landscape. An important disclaimer is that this article is not an endorsement of conspiracy theories, and certainly not of the noxious QAnon/Deep State insanity that has become an influential part of today’s political discourse. While it is obvious (and proven) that powerful people collude with each other for their own personal and financial benefit, that’s dramatically different than believing Hilary Clinton eats children. And that’s the point of this article – how does investigation into the very real machinations of government agencies that (directly or inadvertently) resulted in the death of a President get subsumed into the vortex of today’s alt-right disinformation hellscape? And what does this say about how we consume information and how we’ll do so in the future?

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The so-called “Umbrella Man” caught breaking windows quickly fled when confronted by activists who didn’t recognize him

The second takes a look at a suspected agent provocateur filmed smashing windows at an Autozone in Minnesota in the midst of the uprising following the murder of George Floyd. Widely-shared footage of this guy clearly indicates he was a plant of some kind, and the initial assumption was that the guy was an undercover police officer. My article takes a look at the legality of this kind of law enforcement tactic, though it recently came to light that the guy is a white supremacist implicated in similar clandestine actions at other demonstrations. My article is thus somewhat outdated, but the general ideas it explores are still worthwhile, since infiltration like this has been happening all over the place, has happened in the past, and will no doubt continue in the future.

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