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Police Promise To ‘Track’ & ‘Hold Accountable’ Those Who Criticize Houston Police. Fuel To The Fire?

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Houston Police Union President Joe Gamaldi made a fiery statement after four police officers were shot on Monday during a drug raid, including threatening people who 'stir the pot on our police officers' on social media.

  • Reflect On:

    How can we use divisive and polarizing statements to actually guide us more towards neutrality?

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In Houston, four police officers were shot on Monday during a drug raid at a suspected heroin dealer’s home. Luckily, the officers are all expected to survive, although two of the officers are in critical condition. The two suspected drug dealers were both shot and killed during the raid.

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What is actually getting more publicity than the shooting itself is the emotional outburst made soon after by Houston Police Union President Joe Gamaldi. Known as a firebrand, Gamaldi’s statement brought cause for concern that he is only adding fuel to the fire:

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“I want to speak on behalf of the 5200 brave men and women of the Houston Police Department and the other 800,000 police officers that are working these streets every single day, putting their lives on the line. We are sick and tired of having targets on our back. We are sick and tired of having dirtbags trying to take our lives when all we’re trying to do is protect this community and protect our families.

Enough is enough. And if you’re the ones that are out there spreading the rhetoric that police officers are the enemy, well just know we’ve all got your number now, we’re going to be keeping track of all of y’all, and we’re going to make sure that we hold you accountable every time you stir the pot on our police officers. We’ve had enough, folks. We’re out there doing our jobs every day, putting our lives on the line for our families. Enough is enough.”

What Does Gamaldi’s Outburst Reveal?

Certainly, some of the fury in Gamaldi’s tirade can be attributed to an understandable emotional reaction to hearing that four officers in his union were shot, leaving two of them in critical condition. We can accept the notion that Gamaldi would like to see the situation improve. With that being said, many points of perception held by Gamaldi are worth examining further in order to evaluate if what Gamaldi said is actually going to be of value in improving the situation.

1. Generalization: Police Officers Are Uniformly Noble and Just. Gamaldi makes a sweeping generalization that is not grounded in reality when he says “all we’re trying to do is protect this community and protect our families.” He presumes to speak for all 800,000 police officers in the United States as if he had the omniscient power to know the motives of each and every one of them. Volumes of certified evidence of police corruption, brutality, and fraud across the nation are simply a few keystrokes away. This does not mean that ‘police officers are the enemy,’ another generalization used by Gamaldi, nor that most people think in such black-and-white terms. It simply means that, like in every other occupation, there are people with good intentions and those with bad intentions. The fact that Gamaldi bypasses this simple and self-evident fact and resorts to such a generalization takes away the credibility of his statement and begins to provoke resistance against it.

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2. False Assumption: They Have Targets On Their Back. When Gamaldi says, ‘We are sick and tired of having targets on our back,’ he seems to be trying to convey that the number of people who would like to see police officers killed in our society is significant. Gamaldi was obviously fueled by his police officers getting wounded, but the incident was not a case of having ‘targets on their back’ (ie. being stalked and hunted down from behind). The four police officers were being shot at by the heroin dealers because they were breaking into their home and were going to arrest them. Every reasonable police officer knows these actions could elicit a violent response from those inside, especially from drug traffickers who may be high on drugs themselves. Examining the obvious cause of this particular act of violence perpetrated upon the police (and lethally responded to), it would seem more worthwhile to look closely at suggestions supported by many experts that the police should end their ‘War on Drugs,’ which is elaborated upon in this Free Thought Project article.

3. Direct Antagonism: Threats To Limit Free Speech. Gamaldi puts out a warning to the general public that anyone being critical of police officers on social media, “spreading the rhetoric that police officers are the enemy,” as he puts it, are going to be held “accountable.” What he means by being held accountable is not specified, but certainly someone threatening unarmed citizens’ right to free speech on social media with the power and lethal force of the police, he leaves no doubt that he is trying to scare people into silencing their dissent against police officers. In a situation where dialogue is absolutely necessary, and the grievances of each side need to be heard by the other, Gamaldi’s threat is the antithesis of a solution to this problem.

Doubling Down

While some of Gamaldi’s tirade can be attributed to heat-of-the-moment emotions, what is perhaps even more troubling is that the next day, he was doubling down on his stance, not apologetic or even seemingly conscious that his own rhetoric was inflammatory and created a greater divide. This is from an article and interview the next day by KHOU:

Today, he is standing firm that it’s becoming more and more of a dangerous climate for law enforcement to do their jobs. “It could be the activists in recent years that decided they want to stir up every single use-of-force incident, even though it’s overwhelmingly justified in every single case,” Gamaldi tells KHOU.

To begin, his notion that it’s becoming more dangerous for law enforcement is simply a perception of his that is not backed up by any evidence. In the chart below, we can see a gradual decrease in violence against police officers since the 1970s:

Beyond this, the suggestion that activists are interested in publicizing and condemning police use-of-force, even when force is warranted, is simply false. Whenever we do see videos and other evidence of police brutality that goes viral, it only gains traction because it is so obviously excessive and unjustified. Yet in Gamaldi’s opinion, the use of force by police officers is “overwhelmingly justified in every single case.

Clearly, there is a disconnect between reality and what Gamaldi is saying. And this disconnect is felt by whomever he presumes to be addressing. He is certainly not reaching out to the public to find a solution to problems that are more complex than he makes them out to be. In his endeavor to protect police officers in his union, which I believe is sincere, Gamaldi is actually putting them at greater risk as a result of his ‘us’ versus ‘them’ mentality, and his inability or unwillingness to show some humility and reach out to people respectfully who otherwise might sympathize with the honorable majority of police officers.

The Takeaway

While it’s understandable that someone might lash out in the heat of the moment following a violent tragedy, it is important that we don’t let such black-and-white perceptions dominate the discussion in matters important to our society. Joe Gamaldi’s reaction to police officers being shot at is instructive as an example of how polarized some people are these days, nothing more. There is no need to react angrily to it, but rather recognize it as an example of the perils of an ‘us’ versus ‘them’ mentality. We all do this to some extent, blaming others while denying our own complicity in creating the problem. That is why it is important to remember that change starts within, and that the healing salve to statements like the one made by Joe Gamaldi is our own humility and our willingness to take our share of responsibility in any problems we face with other people.

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Attention Readers: We’ve Moved Our Journalism To The Pulse

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A large portion of our journalism that you’re used to seeing on our Collective Evolution platform has now moved over to The Pulse. We will be publishing most of our news articles there, while Collective Evolution focuses more on personal development.

You can follow The Pulse on Telegram, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  

We’ve done this for a number of reasons, mainly due to the struggles we’ve had with regards to extreme censorship at Collective Evolution. We hope you join us over at The Pulse in our quest to keep doing what we do!

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Abductions & Car Vandalism – Startling Australian UFO Report Unclassified

Gautam Peddada

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An uncovered Australian report performed by their Department of Defence. “Scientific Intelligence — General — Unidentified Flying Objects” is trending again. Those who have done extensive research on UFOs will find the Australian version of disclosure to be far more intellectually honest than the American version. Albeit it was conducted decades ago.

According to ex-US intelligence official Luis Elizondo, the Defense Department’s Inspector General is presently conducting three reviews. The inquiries vary from the Department of Defense’s handling of UFO claims to Elizondo’s alleged whistleblower retribution. The open IG cases are crucial to Australia’s report because they establish beyond a shadow of a doubt that the US Department of Defense is being dishonest and shady when it comes to the UFO subject. For decades, Australia has been a loyal friend of the United States. Within Australia’s boundaries, they share a military installation (Pine Gap). When a close defense ally’s intelligence agencies determined that the US was not being intellectually honest in its approach, perhaps it is reasonable to conclude that there is more to the tale than the 144 incidents studied since 2004 by the UAPTF.

The CIA became alarmed at the overloading of military communications during the mass sightings of 1952 and considered the possibility that the USSR may take advantage of such a situation.

Australian UFO study.

According to the summary, OSI, acting through the Robertson-Panel, encouraged the USAF to use Project Blue Book to publicly “debunk” UFOs. In a tragic twist of fate, when Australian authorities sought explanations from the US Air Force, the allegation was debunked. The authors of the study were depicted as conspiratorial and even crazy by the US Air Force. Ross Coulthart reported this, and it may be heard in a recent Project Unity interview. Courthart is an award-winning investigative journalist who is drawn to forbidden subjects. He also stated on the same podcast that a senior US Navy official identified as Nat Kobitz told him that the US had been in the midst of reverse-engineering numerous non-human craft. According to his obituary, Mr. Kobitz was a former Director of Research and Development at Naval Sea Systems Command.

Continue reading the entire article at The Pulse. 

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PGA Tour To End COVID Testing For Both Vaccinated & Non-Vaccinated Players

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CE Staff Writer 4 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The PGA Tour has announced that it will stop testing players every week, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated or not.

  • Reflect On:

    Are PCR tests appropriate to identify infectious people? Should people who are healthy and not sick be tested at all, anywhere?

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

The picture you see above is of John Rahm, a professional golfer on the PGA tour being carted off the golf course after tournament officials told him he had COVID. He was healthy and had no symptoms, yet was forced to withdraw from the tournament. He was told in front of the camera’s, and a big scene was made out of the event. You would think something like that, especially when you are a big time sports figure, would be done behind closed doors with some privacy.

Earlier on in June a spokesperson for the PGA Tour said that more than 50 percent of players on the PGA tour have been vaccinated. Although it seems that the majority of players on the tour will be fully vaccinated judging by this statement, it does leave a fairly large minority who won’t be, and that’s something we’re seeing across the globe as COVID vaccine hesitancy remains high for multiple reasons.

We are pleased to announce, after consultation with PGA Tour medical advisors, that due to the high rate of vaccination among all constituents on the PGA Tour, as well as other positively trending factors across the country, testing for COVID-19 will no longer be required as a condition of competition beginning with the 3M Open. – PGA tour Senior VP Tyler Dennis

The tour recently announced that the testing of players every week will stop starting in July for both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. This was an unexpected announcement given the fact that, at least it seems in some countries, vaccinated individuals will enjoy previous rights and freedoms that everyone did before the pandemic. Travelling without need to quarantine and possibly in the future not having to be tested could be a few of those privileges. Others may include attending concerts, sporting events, or perhaps even keeping their job depending on whether or not their employer deems it to be mandatory, if that’s even legally possible. We will see what happens.

Luckily for professional golfers, regardless of their vaccination status they won’t have to worry about testing positive for COVID, especially if they’re not sick. This is the appropriate move by the PGA tour, who is represented by their players and it’s a move that the players themselves may have had a say in. It’s important because PCR tests are not designed nor are they appropriate for identifying infectious people. A number of scientists have been emphasizing this since the beginning of the pandemic. More recently, a letter to the editor published in the Journal of infection explain why more than half of al “positive” PCR tests are likely to have been people who are not infectious, otherwise known as “false positives.”

This is why the Swedish Public Health agency has a notice on their website explaining how and why polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests are not useful for determining if someone is infected with COVID or if someone can transmit it to others, and it’s better to use someone who is actually showing symptoms as a judgement call of whether or not they could be infected or free from infection.

PCR tests using a high cycle threshold are extremely sensitive. An article published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases found that among positive PCR samples with a cycle count over 35, only 3 percent of the samples showed viral replication. This can be interpreted as, if someone tests positive via PCR when a Ct of 35 or higher is used, the probability that said person is actually infected is less than 3%, and the probability that said result is a false positive is 97 percent. This begs the question, why has Manitoba, Canada, for example, using cycle thresholds of up to 45 to identify “positive” people?

When it comes to golf, the fact that spread occurring in an outdoor setting is highly unlikely could have been a factor, but it’s also important to mention that asymptomatic spread within one’s own household is also considerably rare. It really makes you wonder what’s going on here, doesn’t it?

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Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

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