Ask the grumpies: trends in police militarization

Rose asks:

How much is being spent by police departments to militarize police forces? What are the current trends with unarmed people shot by police.

Here’s an article on militarization of police from PNAS 2018.

By 2014, the military had given away $4.3 billion in free military equipment to policy departments.  So… to answer your question, police departments are spending nothing.  This is all free from the overfunded DOD.  (Though, to be fair, the overfunded DOD also does a lot of medical research with their excess money.)

Here’s the Washington Post database of unarmed police shootings through Jan 22, 2020.  Here’s their updated page going forward.  We do not have official numbers because the government does not require this information be collected and some parts of government are actively preventing this information from being collected (ex. NIH is not allowed to fund gun violence as a public health problem).  It’s frustrating for crime researchers.

Sad update on Little Kitty, and no kitchen renovation this summer

Little kitty has had repeat ear infections for a few months now.  After the last round of treatment, she suddenly started losing her balance when walking.  We left her at the vet and the vet found a tumor in her ear canal.  A biopsy showed (a week later) that it was malignant.  The surgical specialist we were referred to did a bunch more tests (~$1.6K worth) including a CT-scan and determined that the tumor was very large and in a bad position in her ear (the bottom of the ear canal L) and had caused additional bone growth.  That means it was inoperable.  The tumor itself was slow-growing but had started to affect the nerves on her left side.  We were given the choice between radiation treatments which could not shrink the tumor or stop it, but just slow the growth.  She would still have all her dizziness.  And there’s no research with numbers telling us how much time the radiation would buy us or how effective it is without surgery (there’s a lot of research on radiation in conjunction with surgery, but not radiation by itself).  The other choice was hospice at home.  And they would give us good drugs to ease her pain.  With Little Kitty being 15 years old and having difficulty walking, we opted for hospice.

They did quote some prices for the radiation therapy, but I forget what they were (we’d pretty much decided before the vet brought up prices and were grieving pretty hard when she mentioned them).  I think maybe a couple thousand for the 5x treatment and ~6K for the 20x treatment, but don’t quote me.  But even if it were free we would have made the same choice.  If the radiation could have shrunk the tumor and brought her straight walking back, we would have paid it.  But we wouldn’t have paid an infinite amount– DH and I discussed earlier what our limits were… more than 30K we wouldn’t pay, under 10K we definitely would and would only consider what was best for Little Kitty.  In between 10 and 30 we’d have to think about it.  I feel guilty about this– if it were my children I would mortgage the house and go into debt if we needed to (heaven forbid), but our beloved 15 year old Little Kitty… no.  She is more important than a kitchen renovation (or a new car), but there are limits.

In any case, I don’t want kitchen repair people around the house with Little Kitty doing hospice.  She deserves peace and quiet and treats and chicken and time curled up on the sunny patio.  And headbonks and love.  New counters can wait.  Not all decisions are determined by money.

We love her so much.

Love is love is love is love is love

http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_575e0486e4b0e39a28adf831

If you live in Florida, donate blood.  If you live elsewhere in the US, write your congress people.