American Roulette

'We are living in a state of moral truce, armed to the teeth with ideas.’

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Found Their Remains In Recliner Chairs

Twins Anthony and Andrew Johnson lived with each other in a quiet neighborhood in Tennessee. One helped treat the other’s diabetes. They tended their lawn together, went to the grocery store together and they were found dead together.

Their decomposing bodies were discovered in the spring by police who found their remains in recliner chairs in their living room. Authorities determined at the time that they had been dead for about three years, but what killed them remained a mystery until Wednesday, when results of autopsies and toxicology exams showed Anthony Larry Johnson died of heart disease. Shortly afterward, his twin, Andrew Gary Johnson, died of diabetes.

Andrew Johnson had been relying on his brother to monitor glucose levels and insulin dosage because he was disabled and had severe vision problems, said Chattanooga police spokesman Tim McFarland. So when Anthony Johnson died, his brother could not treat his illness, and he died too.

Adrian Sainz, AP, “Twins died together from diabetes, heart disease

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Toys Are So Boring

Playing in the rubble of a demolished building on a recent hot day here, two young boys staged a fight with toy guns.

When a young Syrian girl walked past them, they pounced on her, knocking her to the floor and pushing their toy rifles against her head. “I’m going to kill you, whore,” one of the boys shouted before launching into sound effects that imitated a machine gun.

The other boy quickly lost interest and walked away. “Toys are so boring,” he said. “I have real guns upstairs.”

—Ceylan Yeginsu, The New York Times, “From Turkey, ISIS Draws Steady Stream of Recruits

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Because There Is Nothing They Will Not Peer Into

In Kandahar Province — where there are at least eight in the city of Kandahar alone and more in the districts — residents say the insurgents call [the surveillance blimps] “frogs” because their big eyes are ever watchful, or “shameless” because there is nothing they will not peer into. (The residents in Helmand have their own name for them: “milk fish” because of their fins and milky color.)

—Graham Bowley, The New York Times, “Spy Balloons Become Part of the Afghanistan Landscape, Stirring Unease

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“We Are In Pursuit Of The Criminal Element”

Among Black Asphalt’s features is a section called BOLO, or “be on the lookout,” where police who join the network can post tips and hunches. In April, Aurora, Colo., police Officer James Waselkow pulled over a white Ford pickup for tinted windows. Waselkow said he thought the driver, a Mexican national, was suspicious in part because he wore a University of Wyoming cap.

“He had no idea where he was going, what hotel he was staying in or who with,” Waselkow wrote. The officer searched the vehicle with the driver’s consent but found no contraband. But he was still suspicious, so he posted the driver’s license plate on Black Asphalt. “Released so someone else can locate the contraband,” he wrote. “Happy hunting!”

—The Washington Post, “Stop and Seize

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Fuck The Police, Part ∞

A 55-year-old Chinese American restaurateur from Georgia was pulled over for minor speeding on Interstate 10 in Alabama and detained for nearly two hours. He was carrying $75,000 raised from relatives to buy a Chinese restaurant in Lake Charles, La. He got back his money 10 months later but only after spending thousands of dollars on a lawyer and losing out on the restaurant deal.

A 40-year-old Hispanic carpenter from New Jersey was stopped on Interstate 95 in Virginia for having tinted windows. Police said he appeared nervous and consented to a search. They took $18,000 that he said was meant to buy a used car. He had to hire a lawyer to get back his money.

Mandrel Stuart, a 35-year-old African American owner of a small barbecue restaurant in Staunton, Va., was stunned when police took $17,550 from him during a stop in 2012 for a minor traffic infraction on Interstate 66 in Fairfax. He rejected a settlement with the government for half of his money and demanded a jury trial. He eventually got his money back but lost his business because he didn’t have the cash to pay his overhead.

—The Washington Post, “Stop and Seize