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Coal Miners Join with Climate Activists to Support Biden's Infrastructure Plan.

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For four years, American coal miners were Trump’s most beloved workers. And he was going to reverse the seemingly inexorable trend away from coal as an energy source. He didn’t. His empty rhetoric did nothing to dent the collapse of employment by Big Coal that has seen the disappearance of half of America’s coal jobs since 2011.

Some coal miners believed Trump — and coal mine owners grabbed the cash offered to prop up the sagging industry — but realists knew Trump’s policies were a political stunt. And not a long-term solution to Appalachia’s economic decline. Biden’s Infrastructure plan, on the other hand, offers concrete hope for the benighted area. And has been embraced by Cecil Roberts, president of the United Mine Workers of America — coal’s largest union.

As Roberts explained:

“Anybody who would not accept jobs where jobs are desperately needed is making a horrendous mistake.” 

Adding,

“We’re for infrastructure. We’re for jobs. We’re for moving manufacturing into coalfields. We’ll work the president on that.”

No more pretty words. Biden is offering employment and programs backed with an infusion of cash. Aspiration is all well and good but it is a paycheck that feeds the kids and pays the rent,

Biden’s proposal to rebuild bridges, ports, and airports would boost demand for steel, which uses coal as a key ingredient. And it would provide well-paying jobs in alternate energy manufacturing, construction, and installation. The plan also calls for expanding access to broadband in rural areas like Appalachia, which is crucial to any future economic growth. 

There is still pain to come in coal country. And the old ways are no longer supportable. As Roberts says, 

We’re coming to grips with the fact that we might lose more jobs here. We’re recognizing that change is coming fairly rapidly here.”

But Biden provides a light at the end of the tunnel.

Not that the plan is perfect. It doesn’t put an immediate kibosh on the use of coal, as climate activists want. Instead, it promotes the installation and application of carbon sequestration technology to blunt the effects of the recent increase in demand for coal brought on by the recovery from the pandemic recession.

Unsurprisingly — it is a miner’s union after all — the UMWA’s strategy, enumerated in their document ‘Preserving Coal Country’, starts with “Preserving UMWA Jobs”. Their language is echoed in the Biden’s administration’s infrastructure plan. But that’s politics for you. The administration has to sell the plan to the union. And the union has to sell the plan to its members.

The other two legs of the UMWA’s strategy are “Create New Jobs” and “Preserve UWMA families, communities” [sic]. As soon as those desires are met, the coal job goal will recede in importance. And the aims of climate activists, although delayed, will be met.

A benefit of the union’s endorsement is the pressure it will put on Joe Manchin to side with Biden and ignore the GOP’s pathetic $700 billion counter to the Democrat’s $2 trillion proposal. Which would leave Kyrsten Sinema on an island. Does she want to tell Arizona’s newly Democratic electorate that she’s against a bill the majority of them prefer? To be honest, I don’t know.

When Biden got the top job, it was on an ‘anyone but Trump’ wave. He was viewed as an anodyne, elderly, and probably ineffectual chief executive whose role was as a place-holder until his one unremarkable term ended. Then Kamala Harris would run for the top job in 2024. Instead, he has shocked even the most vocal progressives into silence and completely dumbfounded DC’s GOP. They have been reduced to complaining that Joe “is not doing cable news interviews” and his tweets are “limited” and “unimaginably conventional” — while asking, “Is he really in charge?”

The answer is, yes — he is.

  

Top Comments: Relief

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I don’t have anything terribly original to say about the Chauvin verdict. We’re stuck with the fact that, even though we all saw the murder on video, there was still reason to worry that he would be acquitted. there are far too many Americans who view a uniform as a license to kill.

But first, a word from our sponsor!

Here at Top Comments we welcome longtime as well as brand new Daily Kos readers to join us at 10pm Eastern. We strive to nourish community by rounding up some of the site’s best, funniest, most mojo’d & most informative commentary, and we depend on your help!! If you see a comment by another Kossack that deserves wider recognition, please send it either to topcomments at gmail or to the Top Comments group mailbox by 9:30pm Eastern. Please please please include a few words about why you sent it in as well as your user name (even if you think we know it already :-)), so we can credit you with the find!

On to Top Comments!

From belinda ridgewood:

Greg Dworkin‘s APR today highlighted an appalling column from Nate Cohn in the New York Times that ridiculously both-sidesed our national politics. GrafZeppelin127 started a thread with an excellent analogy, and it attracted others. I also particularly liked Crashing Vor‘s reply, and ForsythAl60‘s as well.

Top mojo, courtesy of mik:

5)  ​Amen. by AKALib  +93
18)

by ian douglas rushlau  +73

18)

 by ian douglas rushlau  +73

Picture quilt, courtesy of jotter:

Why I’m not celebrating after the Chauvin verdict

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Issac Bailey: I’m relieved, but still in pain

Issac BaileyIssac BaileyI don’t begrudge others who burst into celebration at the sound of “guilty” guilty” “guilty” in the case of Derek Chauvin, the former police officer who slowly murdered George Floyd in broad daylight. I feel more relieved than anything else. Relieved that for a moment at least there was a bit of justice handed to the Floyd family, who had suffered too much. Relieved that the image of yet another police officer getting away with murder did not come to pass. Relieved that my worst fears did not materialize.But I’m not in a celebratory mood — because it took overwhelming evidence to convict a police officer, evidence so clear even his former boss and colleagues testified against him. There won’t always be that much evidence. The video won’t be so clear and gut-wrenching, even though the harm being perpetrated might be just as devastating next time. I haven’t forgotten about Daunte Wright or that no cop has been charged with killing Breonna Taylor or that bad cops are still protected by qualified immunity and a blue wall that remains all too silent.Hearing “guilty” allowed me to exhale. It did not rid me of my anguish, my pain.

Cariol Horne: The stark message of this guilty verdict

Cariol Horne Cariol HorneWe didn’t need a jury to tell us what we saw was wrong or criminal.Someone like Derek Chauvin should never bear the right to wear a badge. What we witnessed when he murdered George Floyd less than a year ago sent waves across of the country. It’s chilling that this type of evil could exist in a blue uniform.The truth is that there are many others like Derek Chauvin. Fifteen years ago, I was fired from my job after I stopped a fellow officer from choking a handcuffed Black man during an arrest. But my decision to intervene is one I stand by in spite of the price I paid.Officers across this country must take action in situations where they are not only witnessing the civil liberties of civilians being violated, but especially when those whom we swore to protect and serve can be killed by our hands.This country was divided long before Floyd’s murder, but this guilty verdict sends a message that we the people can mobilize to create change.Last year the city council in my home city of Buffalo, NY, passed “Cariol’s Law,” which says police officers have a duty to intervene when they see a colleague using excessive force.Police officers’ jobs depend on our community believing and trusting us to both protect and serve. And each officer who has the opportunity to wear the badge, and chooses not to intervene, should face the same fate as Chauvin.
Cariol Horne is a former police officer, who was fired for intervening during the chokehold of a handcuffed, unarmed Black man.

Roxanne Jones: Mothers and fathers of Black children still have sleepless nights ahead

Roxanne JonesRoxanne JonesDerek Chauvin is guilty on all three counts—second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. His bail revoked and remanded to jail.As the verdict was read it felt like Black Americans and millions of others around the world could finally exhale, for a moment anyway. There is relief and disbelief that at last justice won out over racism and hate.But our relief is momentary; the cost to get to this day was soul-crushing.I have a son and I fear for his life every day. It has been heart-wrenching for me, and many other parents of Black children, to watch George Floyd’s loved ones crisscross the nation doing interviews, speeches, anything they could to show Floyd to the world as a decent man who was deeply loved. A man deserving of justice and grace, who did not deserve to be slowly tortured and murdered on a Minneapolis street.Floyd’s family and countless others have had to protest and plead for justice and mercy in this case. That is how we got here. It felt so good to see his family finally smiling after the verdict was read. Now they can grieve in peace.Floyd was a man, not a monster with superhuman strength, an oft-used notion about Black men that Chauvin’s defense attorney Eric Nelson called on to try to justify his client’s actions.”There’s no superhuman strength because there’s no such thing as a superhuman. Those exist in comic books…just a man, lying on the pavement being pressed upon, desperately crying out. A grown man, crying out for his mother. A human being,” Floyd’s attorney Steve Schleicher told the jury in his closing argument.This time, the jury believed the video, they believed what their eyes saw. They believed Schleicher. And for that I am relieved. But until the criminal justice system is overhauled and the systemic racism is rooted out, my fears will not be stilled.There will be many more years of tears, prayers and protests in America before Black mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers will be able to sleep peacefully.Roxanne Jones, a founding editor of ESPN Magazine and former vice president at ESPN, has been a producer, reporter and editor at the New York Daily News and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Jones is co-author of “Say it Loud: An Illustrated History of the Black Athlete.”

Raul Reyes: There is hope this time

Raul A. ReyesRaul A. ReyesThere is hope. There is relief. There is consolation — all because George Floyd received the justice he deserved. Nothing less than Derek Chauvin being found guilty on all three counts would have been acceptable. Legal arguments aside, no reasonable person could have watched the video of Floyd’s death and not have held Chauvin fully accountable for such a depraved killing.As welcome as this outcome may be, there is still much more work to be done before our country lives up to its ideal that all Americans are equal before the law. Systemic racism still exists, and these verdicts are only one step in the right direction.Chauvin is likely going to prison, yet there are untold numbers of instances of police brutality where there were no onlookers present, or there is no video evidence. Studies have repeatedly shown that Black and Latinos are more likely than White to experience violence and death in police encounters.Although majorities of Americans expressed support for the Black Lives Matter movement’s struggle for racial justice in 2020, according to Pew Research, police practices have been slow to change. Just this year, Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old Latino boy, was shot by Chicago police, while Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, was killed by a police officer in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.But this time, our justice system worked. The American people who marched in the streets during a pandemic should be proud that their activism had an impact. The prosecutors in the Chauvin trail should be commended for their outstanding, comprehensive presentations. The jurors should feel satisfied knowing they did the right thing while under tremendous pressure. And although nothing can bring Floyd back to his devastated family and community, at least today the world knows that his life mattered.Raul A. Reyes is an attorney and a member of the USA Today board of contributors. Follow him on Twitter @RaulAReyes.

Van Jones: We can fight, and we can win

Van JonesVan JonesThis is what accountability looks like. All we want is for the police to obey the law. When they break the law, they should be put in handcuffs just like anybody else.I’ve seen so many kids who have done so much less than Derek Chauvin walk out of court in handcuffs. I’ve seen kids do 20 to 30 years on snitch evidence — just one kid testifying against another kid. So many people from our communities are sitting in prison, while police — with the rare exception of Chauvin — get away with murder over and over again.Where is Congress? They need to act now. Those chokeholds are still legal in some cases, according to federal standards. That needs to change. There’s no registry for convicted cops like Chauvin. That needs to change. When you have legislators like Democratic Rep. Karen Bass and Republican Sen. Tim Scott fighting for reform, there’s no reason anything like this should never happen again.This end of this trial took too long to get to, after too much marching and too many tears. Even with all this evidence, people woke up this morning afraid to hope. Even with all the incredible work on the ground from groups like Black Visions Collective, Reclaim the Block, Take Action Minnesota, African Career, Education, and Resource (ACER), Movement Voter Project, Minnesota Youth Collective, Centro de Trabajadores en Lucha , UNIDOS MN, CAIR Minnesota, Reviving Sisterhood MN, Faith in Minnesota, ISAIAH, and many more — people were still afraid to hope. That means we need real change.The message here: we must get more involved. I think about that teenage girl who brought out her cell phone to record Chauvin’s heinous act. All those community members who begged, pleaded and tried to talk Chauvin down. The Minnesota governor, Tim Walz, who stepped in to appoint State Attorney General Keith Ellison, who made sure this case was prosecuted the right way.This is the beginning of something. Sometimes when we fight we lose, but let this be proof — we can fight, and we can win.Van Jones is a CNN host and founder of Dream Corps.

Sherrilyn Ifill: Now is the time to pass laws that enhance police accountability

The flood of emotion and relief that so many Black people felt when Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all counts in George Floyd’s murder speaks volumes about how often the justice system has failed us. I hope that those who sacrificed immensely and exhibited tremendous courage to arrive at this point — especially Mr. Floyd’s family and the brave witnesses who documented and testified about Mr. Floyd’s murder — are at least brought some solace by this rightful verdict.We cannot pretend that this one conviction addresses the depth of the systemic injustice we still face, especially in light of the recent killings of Daunte Wright and Adam Toledo. True reform involves completely re-imagining what public safety looks like in this country and prioritizing investment in robust community resources over police forces. It includes passing the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which enhances law enforcement transparency and accountability. And it involves withholding federal funds from police departments if they do not adhere to the Civil Rights Act of 1964’s anti-discrimination requirements.The verdict is a rightful conviction in an immeasurably broken system. We need to upend our public safety paradigm to truly eradicate the root causes of police violence that Black people endure every day. More Black lives should not have to be lost in order for us to achieve veritable change and justice.Sherrilyn Ifill is the president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund Inc. (LDF).

SE Cupp: One conversation with our kids that has a just ending

SE CuppSE CuppThere are so many heartbreaking realities of modern life in America that we routinely have to explain to our children, but today, with a Minnesota jury’s guilty verdicts, we can feel tremendous relief that we will not have to explain why justice was not done in the case of George Floyd. However, a guilty verdict on all three counts against Derek Chauvin, the former police officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck for nearly 10 minutes despite his compliance, is not a long-term solution to the problem of police brutality. Nor does it solve systemic racism. Not even close.It will still be the challenge of our lifetimes to confront the enduring injustice of needless deaths like Floyd’s, Sandra Bland’s, Eric Garner’s, and on and on. But the verdicts are nevertheless an important step toward healing, and hopefully, hearing — hearing from a generation of communities that have waited, and waited, and waited for justice. Here’s to one conversation with our kids that has a just, if not a happy ending. Hopefully it’s just the start of another.S.E. Cupp is a CNN political commentator

Elliot Williams: To some extent, we all were on trial over the past few weeks

Elliot Williams Elliot WilliamsDerek Chauvin has been convicted of murder. And that is a good thing.Because if it wasn’t possible to convict this officer, for this plainly criminal conduct, at this time, then in practice, it would have been hard to see how any officer could ever be convicted for criminal conduct committed on duty.An overwhelming amount of evidence confirmed Chauvin’s guilt. Most striking about the trial was how little was ever in doubt. There was no debate over the fact that on May 25, 2020, Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine and a half minutes; that fact is now burned into the public consciousness via graphic video evidence that I am certain I, among others, will never forget. It was not up for debate that Floyd died that day, following the encounter.All the evidence, therefore, simply confirmed what we all saw on the video. Other officers’ body cameras, other bystander videos, and surveillance footage captured the same scene. Bystanders corroborated what was shown on the videos. A parade of experts, each more credentialed than the next, gave compelling testimony on the bounds of permissible force by police officers and on the likely cause of Floyd’s death. For heaven’s sake, the Chief of the Minneapolis Police Department testified against Chauvin. This fact alone was remarkable.The defense, as was their right and duty to their client, proffered alternate explanations for what happened. Many were, to make an understatement, a stretch.Still, to some extent, we all were on trial over the past few weeks. Jurors, drawn from a public often taught to trust law enforcement reflexively, tend to resolve doubts in favor of the police. Moreover, the law often makes it difficult to convict police for on-duty conduct. Layer on the racism — whether implicit or explicit — that pervades society, and a trial of a white cop for murdering a black man in plain view on a public street could easily have come out the other way.Perhaps, then, the Chauvin trial was a test case for society; it was a test of what happens when overwhelming evidence is set against a frustrating legal and cultural reality.One day in the future, there will almost certainly be another unlawful killing of an unarmed Black man by a police officer who is violating the law. Odds are there won’t be a nearly 10-minute cellphone video of it happening.Elliot Williams is a CNN legal analyst. He is a former deputy assistant attorney general at the Justice Department and a principal at The Raben Group, a national public affairs and strategic communications firm. Follow him on Twitter @elliotcwilliams.

Cole Brown: True justice requires that George Floyd be alive

Cole Brown Cole BrownThe jury returned a verdict that reflects what any reasonable person already knew: Derek Chauvin is a murderer. The system executed its most basic duty, punishing an obviously guilty man. Thank God.After the emotional upheaval that attended this trial, the only emotion I have left for this moment is relief. I don’t feel excitement, satisfaction, or hope because I know that this verdict doesn’t reflect the truest definition of justice.True justice prevents an American from dying over possession of a counterfeit bill. True justice forbids Derek Chauvin from kneeling on an American’s neck and requires his colleagues to step in to halt the abuse. True justice requires that George Floyd live.The Minneapolis community will now seek to heal after a traumatic ride that began nearly one year ago, despite the recent death of Daunte Wright salting its still open wounds.Individual community members — Philonise Floyd, girlfriend Courtney RossDarnella Frazier, the then-17-year-old who recorded the indispensable cellphone video — will likely deal with the haunting shadow of this event for years to come.Like many Americans, I will attempt the complicated balance of staying attuned to the fight for reform, without losing my sanity. One thing I know for certain: I will never watch that video again.Cole Brown is a political commentator and author of the book “Greyboy: Finding Blackness in a White World.”

Jennifer Rodgers: Chauvin has avenues for appeal but his chances of success are slim

Jennifer RodgersJennifer RodgersThe jury has convicted Derek Chauvin in the killing of George Floyd. For now, justice has been done, but the defendant will likely appeal — and there are some issues that we can be certain will be front and center when he does.First, as jury selection was underway, the City of Minneapolis announced a $27 million settlement with George Floyd’s family over his death. Defense counsel moved for a delay of the trial and a change of venue to a different county, arguing that this information would prejudice the jury. Judge Cahill denied these requests, instead questioning the jurors about their knowledge of the settlement and whether they could remain impartial having learned that information, ultimately dismissing two jurors who indicated they could not do so.Second, Cahill denied the defense’s request to sequester the jury at the outset of the trial, opting instead to sequester them only when deliberations began. In the middle of the trial, the shooting death of Daunte Wright at the hands of a police officer in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota led to many days of protests and unrest just 10 miles from the courtroom where the Chauvin trial was happening. Cahill also decided not to sequester jurors at that time, or even to question them about whether they had learned about the incident or what its impact on them might be.Finally, recent comments by elected officials, including Congresswoman Maxine Waters, who called for protesters to stay on the streets and “get more confrontational” in the event of an acquittal, prompted a mistrial motion by the defense on the day of closing arguments. The denial of this motion, without asking the jury whether they were aware of or would be influenced by the remarks, will be yet another appeal issue.My sense is that none of these issues has a strong likelihood of success, given the strict instructions these jurors have been under to avoid all news coverage and the legal presumption that jurors follow their instructions. But they certainly will provide fodder for the defendant in making his arguments, and food for thought for the appellate court when considering a case that presents unique challenges in terms of media coverage and possible social pressures on the jurors.Jennifer Rodgers is a former federal prosecutor, Adjunct Professor of Clinical Law at NYU School of Law, Lecturer-in-Law at Columbia Law School, and a CNN legal analyst.

William Barber: The jury has done its job — now we must do ours

William BarberWilliam BarberTuesday’s guilty verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin is an important public act of accountability. Before the entire nation, fellow officers took the stand in this trial and testified that their colleague did not protect and serve, but abused power and murdered George Floyd. We all saw and heard that.Officers of the law are the only people to whom we give authority to come into our homes and take away our loved ones based on nothing but a piece of paper. They are the people we allow the power to prohibit our freedom of movement based on their own discretion. If we give them this power, we must also insist that they cannot abuse it without consequences. That is what this trial was about for all Americans.We must meet this public act of justice and accountability with federal legislation that will hold officers of the law accountable in every state, and we must continue to work in every community to shift public investment from over-policing poor, Black and brown communities to ensuring restorative justice and equity for all people. The jury has done its job; now we must do ours.The Rev. Dr. William Barber II is president of Repairers of the Breach and co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival.

Julian E. Zelizer: Justice was done. But more is needed.

Julian ZelizerJulian ZelizerWith the Chauvin verdict, justice was achieved. Unlike so many cases that we have seen over the past few years—over the past few decades—a police officer was held accountable for causing the death of an African American. The #BlackLivesMatter movement is raising our national consciousness.But this is only small step along the arc of the moral universe. Too many trials have not turned out this way, too much police harassment continues and too much of our system leaves African Americans living in fear of the very officials who are meant to protect them. It shouldn’t take a gruesome video like the one of George Floyd’s final minutes to generate responses acknowledging that #BlackLivesMatter.Tuesday’s verdict needs to be followed up by wholesale reforms at the local, state and national levels. After the Kerner Commission released a report in 1968 blaming White racism, including police harassment, for growing unrest in American cities, the federal government failed to take appropriate action. In fact, political parties shifted to advocating a stance of purported law and order, which made the problems even worse.Policing reform, whatever form that takes, cannot be dealt with later. This issue needs to be at the center of our agenda right now. The goal is not to have trials that hold police accountable after the fact but to have a criminal justice system remade in a way that finally dismantles the effects of institutional racism. Until then, there will not be full justice for George Floyd.Julian Zelizer, a CNN political analyst, is a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University and author of the book, “Burning Down the House: Newt Gingrich, the Fall of a Speaker, and the Rise of the New Republican Party.” Follow him on Twitter @julianzelizer.

Peniel Joseph: Guilty verdict shows progress — but also means more change

Peniel JosephPeniel JosephThe guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial represents important progress in police accountability for the murder of Black people. But it does not represent the full measure of justice that millions protested for in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death last year. Justice for Black Americans requires an end to the premature deaths that have taken the lives of Philando Castile, George Floyd and Daunte Wright — Black men killed by police in Minnesota over the last several years. Justice means no more dead Breonna Taylors, Sandra Blands or Tamir Rices.As the country waited for Tuesday’s verdict, the split screen nature of our racially divisive times was on full display in the Twin Cities and surrounding areas, which law enforcement turned into a fortress thanks to a heavy presence of the National Guard in anticipation of possible urban rebellion over a potential ‘not guilty’ verdict. America spends resources on the protection of property, but rarely devotes the same money, energy and passion to protecting Black lives and investing in critical areas that will allow them to thrive.The Black Lives Matter movement has argued, since 2013, that America’s criminal justice system has been shaped by systemic racism, structural violence and inequality that harms Black families and robs their futures. This reality continues in our moment. The fact that it took what may be the largest social movement in American history to help force a measure of accountability does not mean it’s time for celebration.This is a day to mourn the dead and take full stock of the dramatic political and moral transformation that will be necessary if we are ever to truly be able to guarantee Black citizenship and dignity.Peniel E. Joseph is the Barbara Jordan chair in ethics and political values and the founding director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is also a professor of history. He is the author of several books, most recently, “The Sword and the Shield: The Revolutionary Lives of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.”

Mark Osler: When the blue wall crumbled

Mark OslerMark OslerWith the murder conviction of Derek Chauvin, two very important things finally went right, and we ended up with a result that comported with what most Americans believe they saw in the street-side video of the killing of George Floyd.One important feature of this trial was a jury (and panel they were drawn from) that was much younger and more diverse than we usually see here in Hennepin County. No one seems quite sure why that was, but we need to find out and replicate it. Here, as in so many other places, juries too often look less like a cross-section of the community and more like a retirement home in Idaho or Vermont.Another key point about this trial concerns the crumbling of the so-called blue wall of silence. For too long, it has protected police misbehavior, rooted in the code of silence that often predominates among law enforcement. In this case, that silence did not prevail. Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo — who fired Chauvin and testified against him — and other career police officers told the truth in the Chauvin trial, and were some of the more compelling witnesses. As with the jury, we need to find out how that happened and make sure that it happens again.

https://www.cnn.com/2021/04/20/opinions/chauvin-verdict-reaction-opinion-roundup/index.html

Bookchat: To Keep or Not to Keep – Why Ask that Question?

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Welcome to Bookchat! Where you can talk about anything; books, plays, essays, and audio books. You don’t have to be reading a book to come in, sit down, and chat with us.

This year the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune have included hurricane winds, an earthquake, a pandemic, deaths of beloved friends, but also my increasingly urgent need to choose which books I want to keep, why to keep them, and what to pass along to others. Each decision takes a measure of thought and passion, so measure by measure this campaign continues.

“Shakespeare! What shall I do with this slim little paperback? It has more useful information than many volumes of scattered Cliff Notes. Methinks it belongs side by side with this hardbound single-volume of Complete Works.”

I once called my collection of books “my library,” and that was an accurate description for many years. The library increased in size by means of author signings in towns and cities we were fortunate to visit, exploring regional bookstores, large and small, oddball antique shops, thrift stores, and de facto yard sales in old Masonic Halls, gigantic malls, and neighborhood garages. How about that signed autobiography by Lawrence Welk in that nondescript backyard, or Ginger Roger’s signature amongst that heap of discards in Ellensburg, Washington?

We also corresponded with some notable celebrities, like Miss Rogers, and continued exchanging letters with authors who became friends with us while they were on the road during book tours.

cfk sent these books to me from her former TBR pile, like fortunate others at DKos, but they are useful, and belong right there on the shelf.”

We supported our local libraries by acquiring books of interest VERY cheaply, reading them, and donating them back when we were done. Of course, there were always a few keepers.

“What can I do with all these lovely volumes of Western Art? They were once necessary for my work at the art museum in Montana, but not anymore. Let’s see — I remember someone who deals in Western Americana!”

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The Hockaday Museum of Art devoted a show to frontier photographer Laton Alton Huffman of Miles City, Montana (1854-1931) who supplied many of the photos used by Mr. Remington in his New York painter’s studio after journeying westward.

Inevitably, as I ran out of shelf space, these books devolved into ‘collections’ — which were often kept in labeled  liquor store boxes according to subject(s) concerning writing projects and old favorites.

“Taken together, all this stuff about Post WWII America makes sense as Cultural History, but these books and memorabilia about Atomic Weapons, Military Aircraft, the Space Race, Howdy Doody, Early Television, Rock & Roll, and JFK need to be written up in context before they are scattered again.”

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Flub A Dub, Mayor Bluster, Howdy, Princess Judy Tyler of ‘Jailhouse Rock,’ Dilly Dally, and Clarabelle.

I am no longer able to intelligently deal with this mountain of cardboard containers, accurately curate volumes for research purposes, or properly display my most collectable books, even though I have strategically downsized several times during my travels.

“All my autographed political books should be GOING, dammit, but here I am holding back some items relating to President Obama until I get autographs by Michelle and Barack to anchor this collection.”

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We purchased these in Cranbrook, British Columbia, while traveling northward to Banff National Park on the mountainous border with Alberta, Canada.

There are metal bins in local parking lots that will take obsolete technical stuff and other unsalable items for re-use or recycling. However, I’m having fun taking quality reading material, in good shape, that will look appealing on the shelves of a classy exchange shop called the Book Garden, where I’ve declined any credit, saying that I’ll pay cash if there’s anything I want there, and always thanking them profusely for helping me. I would much rather see these things in the hands of people who know their basic value. Brothers Karamozov is at the Book Garden, with a spare bookmark intentionally inserted at the beginning of Grand Inquisitor.

I have also done my part in helping the USPS by sending books to friends in other states. Sometimes they will send some to me in return, but I ask them to just send recommendations, since I’m trying to make room for what I already own.

“This darn box is so heavy because it contains a substantive mini-library concerning classic Oriental Art and Cultures. Studying this subject literally changed the course of my life for the better, and the overall collection, beyond this box, needs further meditation before I make any decisions.”

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(L) Photo by my late mentor and ‘Monuments Man’ Dr. Lennox Tierney of Kinkaku-Ji in Kyoto, Japan, after it was rebuilt following an arson fire. (R) Historical black and white picture of the Golden Pavilion.

Eighteen cartons of autographed volumes, first editions, and art books are being assessed and cataloged by a friend of mine who has been in that business since he was a teenager. (Experienced R&BLers will guess his identity.) Anything that I’m keeping goes on a shelf in my writer’s cottage, or so I say, but there will continue to be cartons in the storage shed, organized somewhat better, fewer in number, and much more accessible – Hmm, perchance I’m dreaming.

“Cary Elwes’ memoir As You Wish is mostly about co-star Andre the Giant in The Princess Bride. It is a fun read, and I’m sure that someone might even buy it for its autograph alone. He came to Salt Lake on a book tour and spoke in a large auditorium in the 9th & 9th neighborhood. Once I got to the front of the autograph line, I congratulated Mr. Elwes for his solid acting in a movie called Comic Book Villains. He was pleasantly surprised by this unexpected compliment, and was further amazed when I informed him that one of the events which made up the movie’s plot happened in that very same neighborhood — There was a pristine Golden Age comic book collection involved, competing antique stores (before comic book shops existed,) and a sleazy burglary, but no other elements used in the film. Elwes further appreciated my news that the surrounding area looked much the same as it had 40 years earlier, and that most of the collection was sold legitimately once it came to light.”

cary_elwes.jpg

This one will be fun to pass along to others, as well as other cool books signed by celebrities — including Jane Seymour’s “Remember Sinbad!” inscription, and her praise for director Ray Harryhausen: “He was a genius!” she asserted with admiration.

“Comic books and publications about comics creators and creations have been with me for a long time, and I’m far from being done with this subject. Dang, but there’s still a lot of work to do!”

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Art by Alex Schomburg circa 1952. He’s also famous for ‘Captain America’ covers and ‘Good Girl’ comics.

Thank goodness there’s a museum in Columbus, Ohio, that now owns my old, much larger, comic collection, and will take these when the time comes – IF arrangements are made, items are grouped, cataloged, and made ready to transport. (Whew!)

“Those references for my current 500 page book are about to lift my coffee table right off the floor from underneath. I think I’d better invest in some transparent tote boxes, so I can see them, including some more totes for the primary materials already sorted and in storage. They can’t stay here in the living room!”

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My previous book, “The Great Salt Lake Mime Saga and Amsterdam’s Festival of Fools” devoted only 22 pages to the festival. My co-author and I are easily filling half a thousand pages about it all.

In conclusion, since there seems to be no conclusion yet — If this “play” is a “thing,” we are still in Scene One. Seems like some questions may be in order:

Do you “cull” your books like cattle from a herd? If not, how many volumes of Zane Grey or Louis L’Amour are still in your possession, cowboy?

Do you still shop book sales, in libraries and elsewhere, for short term “readers” or occasional long term “keepers?” Do you physically check out “readers” from actual libraries and take them back? (Try it – still works!)

Are “To Be” or “Not To Be” too fraught to be easily contemplated when faced with TBR* piles? (*To Be Read/To Be Recycled)

Did your collections become an actual library?

Are those books around you organized in ways you could call collections?

Are you able to own books without books owning you?

Feel free to adjust your mask, pick up one of those spare dust rags, and see if we can clean up our act together in the comments.

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SUNDAY 6:00 PM Young People’s Pavilion The Book Bear
(LAST SUN OF THE MONTH) 7:30 PM LGBTQ Literature Chrislove
MONDAY 8:00 PM The Language of the Night DrLori
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10:00 PM Nonfiction Views DebtorsPrison
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(FIRST THURS OF MONTH) 2:00 PM Monthly Bookpost AdmiralNaismith
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 (OCCASIONALLY) 8:00 PM Books Go Boom! Brecht
9:30 PM Classic Poetry Group Angmar
SATURDAY Noon You Can’t Read That!    or

Paul’s Book Reviews

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9:00 PM Books So Bad They’re Good Ellid

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Update: Chauvin Guilty Verdict Has Thrown Fox Off Kilter, At Least For Now.

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I wasn’t going to take a dive into what Fox and other right wing lunatics think about Chauvin being found guilty of murdering George Floyd, but a guy I know who is a political extremist was sounding off earlier about Chauvin on a social media platform.  He has gone silent, and I’m reasonably sure it is because he is in a state of shock.  Therefore, I was wondering what the other white power loving assholes at Fox were saying.  And it does appear that some of the usual suspects at Fox are double checking to see if gravity still works.

There is Jeanine Pirro’s reaction for one:

Even Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro is backing the jury’s verdict in former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s murder trial, agreeing the facts “clearly” supported his conviction.

The Fox host and former judge voiced her approval on Tuesday after Chauvin was found guilty of murdering George Floyd.

“Clearly, the verdict is supported by the facts,” Pirro said. “The facts are solid on this verdict. This verdict will be upheld on appeal.”

Really?  Hey Jeanine.  Have you talked to Tucker Carlson about this?  He was just talking about how the Media was “lynching” poor old Chauvin.  And Tucker questioned if Chauvin was really responsible for Floyd’s death.

This was the general line of Fox’s on-air voices in the wake of a story that might be seen as cutting against certain of the network’s preconceptions. Tucker Carlson, for instance, had described an ominous “media blackout” obscuring what he represented as mitigating factors in Floyd’s death. “The question of whether George Floyd was murdered is, in fact, ‘disputed’ by a majority of Americans” Carlson concluded ominously. “The bad news is you’re still not allowed to say that out loud.” 

Cancel culture breathing down privileged white man’s neck.

And someone must have spiked Greg Gutfeld’s coffee because he was claiming the following:

That tone of eagerness to second-guess lay a bit beneath the surface in Fox’s immediate coverage of the verdict — perhaps because it happened during the day, when Fox still aims for something slightly more even-handed. Even still, the absence of onetime face of the network’s news side Shepard Smith was felt as subtext slipped into text. Gutfeld overstepped even by Fox’s own standard — getting shouted down by Jeanine Pirro — by saying that ”I am glad he was found guilty on all charges, even if he’s not guilty on all charges,” darkly raising the specter of imagined riots that might have happened had the verdict gone a different way, and suggesting that the jury had made their decision for reasons external to the evidence.

Emphasis is mine.

Yeah, all those scary black people outside the court pressured the jury into finding Chauvin guilty.  But Gutfeld is still “glad” that the jury found him guilty.  Nothing like arguing that our justice system now bows to black protesters.  I’m sure that will please your viewers Gutfeld.

And as for the extremist I know, so far he is quiet.  As I said, earlier in the day he was speculating that Chauvin would be found not guilty.  He also argued that Black Lives Matter and other “race hustlers” made it impossible for Chauvin to receive a fair trial.  And he was afraid for Chauvin’s life from BLM.  He also felt that Chauvin should have been out on bond too.

But what struck me is that he really believed that Chauvin would be found not guilty on the merits. I should not have been surprised by his prediction on the verdict.  He has a lousy track record on predictions. 

He informed me before the election that Biden was going to lose because 1) there were divisions in the Democratic Party and 2) people in the suburbs were really scared about all that rioting during the Summer of 2020.  Yeah, now that his political prognostication has proven to be shit, he claims that the election was stolen from Trump.  But none of that has stopped him from commenting on political developments, so I am thinking he has been thrown off kilter by the guilty verdict.

My suspicion for all the usual right wing lunatics and white supremacists is that they will not want to discuss George Floyd’s MURDER.  They will continue to argue that this was a travesty of justice for blue lives, at least in the near future.  Rewriting history is what they are extremely good at.  Look at January 6th.

Still, they appear to be making sure the ground is under their feet for the moment.

Wednesday, Apr 21, 2021 · 2:14:24 AM +00:00 · Merlin196357

Tucker Carlson is taking the Gutfeld line, only he ain’t happy about it.  To wit:  the jury was afraid of a riot, so that is the reason why they convicted Derek Chauvin.  But it gets worse, as it always does with Swanson Boy.

“Last night, 2,000 miles from Minneapolis, police in Los Angeles preemptively blocked roads. Why? They knew what would happen if Derek Chauvin got off. In the end he didn’t get off. If given the maximum sentence under the law, he will spend the rest of his life in prison. Is that a fair punishment? Is the officer guilty of the specific crimes for which he was just convicted?” Tucker said, just asking questions.

“We can debate all that, and over this hour we will. But here’s what we can’t debate. No mob has the right to destroy our cities. Not under any circumstances. Not for any reason. No politician or media figure has the right to intimidate a jury. And no political party has the right to impose a different standard of justice on its own supporters.”

That last bit became even more ironic as this little monologue reached its conclusion.

And it was a doozy:

Those things are unacceptable in America, all of them are happening now. If they continue to happen, decent, productive people will leave. The country as you knew it will be over. So we must stop this current insanity. It’s an attack on civilization. At stake is far more than the future of Derek Chauvin, or the memory of George Floyd. At stake is America,” Tucker complained.

“So before we consider the details of today’s verdict, a bigger question, One we should all think about. Can we trust the way this decision was made? That’s the promise of our justice system, that it’s impartial, that it’s as fair as human beings can make it. That the cop who killed Ashli Babbitt will be held to the very same scrutiny as the cop who was just convicted of killing George Floyd. That political or ethnic considerations will play absolutely no role in jury deliberations. That justice will be blind. Can we say all of that in this case?

So killing a man by slowly cutting off his oxygen with a knee on his neck over a $20 counterfeit bill is the same as shooting a woman who is part of an insurrection to kill congressmen? Really?  What Carlson is also arguing is that scary black people are taking over the justice system.  This is the new line he will be taking.

Wow:  I had not seen this from Carlson’s Show Last Night.  Watch it to see his meltdown.

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Near the end of his show about the conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd, Carlson laughed maniacally, then abruptly ended an interview with a guest who dared to criticize police use of excessive force.

Carlson, who spent months spreading lies about Floyd’s death and railing against the Black Lives Matter movement it reignited, invited former New York corrections official Ed Gavin on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” to speak after the verdict.

“I want the police to protect people,” Gavin said. “But specifically what we’re dealing with here, is a person in custody, he was handcuffed and subdued. At that point, we have to take a different tact.”

Gavin pointed to a 1995 Department of Justice paper that discussed the “physiology of a struggle” in policing and how being restrained in certain positions can hinder breathing and lead to sudden death.

“I think every law enforcement officer should read that,” Gavin said. “Like I said, Mr. Floyd was brought under control. What should have happened at that point is an EMS should have been summoned and he should have been placed in an ambulance. And a supervisor should have been called to the scene.”

“I just think that it was excessive and it shouldn’t happen,” he added.

At that point, Carlson interrupted and spoke over Gavin, saying, ”Yeah. Well. The guy who did it looks like he’s going to spend the rest of his life in prison. So I’m kind of more worried about the rest of the country, which thanks to police inaction, in case you haven’t noticed, is like, boarded up.”

After cackling, Carlson then abruptly ended the interview:

Just Sayn', it's worth taking 3 mins to watch Val Demings take down former wrestler Jim Jordan

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Rep. Val Demings wasn’t a  champion wrestler and a wrestling coach like Jim Jordan was.

Jordan wrestled in high school. At the University of Wisconsin–Madison he became a two-time NCAA Division I wrestling champion. Jordan won the 1985 and 1986 NCAA championship matches in the 134-pound weight class. Wikipedia.

Val Demings was a police officer who rose to the position of Chief of Police in Orlando. In this interchange with Jim Jordan she takes him down like an Olympic gold medal wrestler.

You may have seen or read about this in the news. It was hard to miss. According to Newsweek the video was viewed 2 million times.

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Clips were shown on MSNBC this morning. She was interviewed on “Morning Joe” where former senator Claire McCaskill  asked if she was planning to run for senator. Demings obviously wasn’t ready to answer.

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It is just a coincidence that a wrestling match or bout is seven minutes long. The first period lasts three minutes, and the second and third periods each last two minutes. If you take out Rep. Nadler’s interruptions round this out and you could say Val Demings demolished him in the first period and pinned him in the last seconds.

I suggest watching the entire 3:06 minutes:

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Tomorrow’s diary: Just Sayn’, I’ve been in prisons and jails and can say that Derek Chauvin is having a rude awakening

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The Shooting of Ma'Khia Bryant Appears Justified, And Why I Support (Most) Police

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The recent shooting of Ma’Khia Bryant predictably prompted diaries on this site implying, and expressly stating, that the police acted wrongfully.  As has become the norm, these statements were made without knowing or thinking about what actually happened.

The video of the shooting appears to justify the police officer’s actions.  In that video, it is clear that Bryant is shot just as she is swinging a knife at her intended victim, only seconds after the police officer exited his vehicle.  By shooting Bryant, the police officer appears to have saved the life of Bryant’s intended victim.  While not all of the evidence has yet been released, what is known so far strongly indicates that this was a justified shooting.

The shooting happened only seconds after the officer exited his vehicle.  The officer did not have time to try and de-escalate the situation and did not have time to try less-lethal force (which, if he had, may have resulted in Bryant gaining the time needed to successfully kill her victim).  This extra time was not available because Ma’Khia Bryant wasn’t waiting to stab her victim.

The facts that Bryant was Black and that she was a child are irrelevant in this particular case.  The only relevant facts are that Bryant made the choice to arm herself with a deadly weapon, and then made the choice to try and use that deadly weapon to kill someone, even after the police had arrived.

Some amongst the protestors of the police have utilized the acronym “ACAB,” meaning All Cops Are Bastards, and there appears to be a lot of underlying sentiment to that effect.  I don’t believe that, and wanted to respond to some of the themes I’ve seen about the police in diaries and comments:

1.  We’re Not the UK.  There are more than 400 million guns in the U.S., meaning that our country has more guns than people.  That isn’t changing for the foreseeable future, notwithstanding various suggestions for gun control that have no chance of working (See, ”The Second Amendment is obsolete and must be abolished!”). 

People criticizing American police often compare our country to the U.K., or another jurisdiction in which there are few or no guns in general circulation.  They observe that in these locales, there are many fewer police shootings.  That is true, but it is irrelevant.  In our country, each time a police officer makes contact with a citizen the officer needs to assume the citizen is armed with a gun.  That is because in a large number of American cases, the citizen is in fact armed with a gun.  We live in a country that is swimming in guns.  American police officers did not put all of these guns into circulation, and they are doing nothing wrong by assuming that the citizens they encounter may be armed.

2.  Police Shootings Are Rare.  There are around 1 million law enforcement officers in the U.S.  Based on this number and the size of our population, I would very conservatively estimate that each day in the U.S. there are around 3 million encounters between the police and members of the public.  Everything from speeding tickets to homicide response to helping people whose cars have broken down on the road.  On a yearly basis this would work out to about 1.1 billion encounters between the police and the public.

Each year there are around 1,000 people shot by the police, meaning that roughly 0.0001% of encounters with police end in a shooting.  Put another way, for every encounter with the police that ends in a shooting, there are about 1 million encounters with the police that don’t.  To characterize police generally as being trigger-happy simply isn’t accurate.

More importantly for me at least, these shootings often represent the dedication of police officers.  They receive calls about criminals who are threatening the lives of ordinary people just going about their day.  They confront these criminals, putting their lives on the line to protect others.  Sometimes they are required to use deadly force in these encounters.  I don’t cheer anyone’s death, but if either a criminal or an innocent person will die, I think it should be the criminal.

3.  Unjustified Police Shootings are Even More Rare.  The vast majority of police shootings are justified.  I’ve made this statement in other comments, based on generally reviewing stories/bodycam footage of police shootings generally (an example of a YouTube channel devoted to this is here, with a caution that the footage is often disturbing).  In most cases, the police shoot someone who is shooting at them, pointing a gun at them, charging them with a knife, etc.

I’ve often received “Say his/her name”-type responses to this comment, reciting George Floyd, Tamir Rice and other people who have been wrongfully killed by the police.  This is all true, and it is entirely desirable that the police officers responsible in these cases be fired and prosecuted.  On a numerical basis however the rate of this type of police killing is extremely low.  It seems like each year we hear of only a few cases like this.  Even one case of this type is too many, but together they represent a fraction of a percent of all police shootings, and only an infinitesimal portion of total encounters between the police and the public.  They are the exception and not the rule.

As an aside, when confronted by these facts the response is often along the lines of “maybe all police aren’t bad for shooting people, but they’re bad for covering up misconduct.”  As the numbers above demonstrate, this is also inaccurate.  The majority of police in our country have neither shot anyone, nor had the opportunity to cover up another officer’s shooting.  As the police testimony during the Chauvin trial demonstrated, it is also a mistake to assume that all police officers will try to excuse misconduct by other police officers when given that opportunity.

4.  Hindsight is 20/20, But Often Not Accurate.  Each shooting generates a great deal of uninformed observations on what the police officer could have or should have done or not done.  These observations often disregard or distort important facts, and ignore the realities of policing.  Some of my favorites:

   A.  “The cop should have . . . XYZ” These observations are often made in connection with situations in which the police had only seconds to react.   Police receive training, but no amount of training can imbue someone with superhuman reflexes.  The reaction a police officer had to a particular situation needs to be judged from the perspective of an ordinary person with both police training and ordinary reflexes.  In a situation in which a police officer has only a few seconds to react, it’s not reasonable to expect a series of deliberations that would take minutes.

Which brings me to the observation that many people shot by the police bear some responsibility of their own by not following orders.  When a police officer orders someone to raise their hands, and instead they run away while reaching for their waistbands or pockets, that person has escalated the situation.  That person has confirmed to the police officer that s/he is a criminal (this is because it is a crime to not follow a lawful order from a police officer), and given the police officer ample reason to worry about his or her safety.  There have absolutely been cases where someone who was completely cooperative was shot for no reason (the killing of Philandro Castile is an example), but in general people who comply with police orders have a greatly reduced chance of being shot as compared to those who don’t.  Which leads me to . . .

   B.  “He didn’t deserve the death penalty for shoplifting”  (or other minor crime).  We can all agree that shoplifting and similar crimes do not warrant the death penalty.  But statements like this are often disingenuous, focusing on the event that began the police encounter, not the one that ended it.  The police were called to investigate a shoplifting suspect, but they did not shoot that person for shoplifting.  That person was shot after reaching for a gun or pointing a gun at the police.  Or perhaps that person ran away into the dark and was found crouching behind a dumpster reaching for something in his jacket.  Either way, that person did something to escalate the situation, and it is simply inaccurate to relate a shooting back to the original minor crime. 

Think about it this way:  Assume you drink a bottle of vodka, get blindingly drunk, and then barrel down the highway at 100 mph.  Do you deserve the death penalty?  No, because neither drunk driving or reckless driving is a crime anyone would consider appropriately punishable by death.  But have you embarked on a course of action that makes it more likely you will die as compared to not getting drunk and instead staying at home?  Yes, you have.

  C.  “He should have used a taser”  Tasers are not the appropriate weapon for situations where the use of deadly force is legally justified.  This is because they are inaccurate, have only one shot, have a limited range, and don’t always work even when they hit.  If someone is about to shoot or stab a police officer or an innocent person, a taser is an insufficient response to that threat level because there is a significant chance that the attacker will not be neutralized.  The appropriate response in this situation is to use the force guaranteed to neutralize the threat posed by the attacker, and that is a firearm.  Which leads me to . . .

  D.  ”He shot too many bullets” or “He should have just shot him in the leg”  When deadly force is legally justified, police officers are not trained to kill the person they’re shooting at.  That isn’t the purpose of using deadly force.  They are trained that the purpose of using deadly force is to neutralize the threat of deadly force posed by the person they are shooting (and in my view, that training is appropriate).  Recall from discussion above that the police often have to make these decisions on a split-second basis in a frenetic situation.  For purposes of neutralizing a threat, this means that it is necessary to fire bullets at the person until they are no longer attacking, understanding that multiple bullets may be needed because some may miss, and some may not incapacitate the attacker.  Additionally, a police officer in this situation will aim at the center mass of the person (and not the leg) because this is the area that is easiest to hit in a fast-moving situation, and minimizes the chance that the person they are shooting at will maintain enough functionality to shoot back or otherwise continue an attack.

So What Now?  My argument is that it is unproductive to paint all police with a negative brush, or to immediately jump to the conclusion that any police shooting is wrongful or excessive.   Doing this ignores the facts that most police do a good job, and more importantly that ordinary people need the police.  It sounds good to say “defund the police” or “cut their budgets,” but fewer police officers will result in a spike in crime, as Minneapolis found out, and that spike in crime will disproportionately affect poor people and people of color.  

We don’t need fewer police, and we shouldn’t criticize all police.  Instead, we need to focus on specific reforms that will result in (1) better policing; and (2) removing the minority of police officers who are not suited for the responsibility and empathy that must come with a badge and gun.

And that means that in the case of Ma’Khia Bryant we should wait to judge until all of the facts come out.  And if it turns out that this police officer took the action necessary to save the life of an innocent and unarmed person, he should be commended for saving a life, not condemned for taking one.

Biden delivered the Chauvin verdict speech America needed

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Here’s what you are not going to get in a major address from President Joseph Biden: textured rhetoric woven with references to the classics; eloquent, poetic phraseology ringing like heavenly music and leaving its listeners with echoes of Shakespeare, Lincoln and Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.CNN Digital Expansion 2015
Gene Seymour CNN Digital Expansion 2015 Gene SeymourHere’s what you are going to get in a major address from Biden: a torrent of phrases, some of them carefully clipped like a neighbor’s hedge, most of them rolling and gushing like a river, all of them aimed not at the gut in the manner of his immediate predecessor, but directly towards the heart, whether to soothe or to rouse, keeping at bay any haste or incaution.The speech that Biden gave after a Minneapolis jury convicted ex-police officer Derek Chauvin on all three charges in the murder of George Floyd decision was no different from any number of speeches Biden has given throughout his five decades in public life: so emotional, anecdotal and plain-spoken that it seemed more off-the-cuff than it likely was.In short, it wasn’t a “presidential” address to the nation so much as it was a “Joe” talk to the folks. All the folks.More to the point, it was a “Joe” talk that in its dual expressions of relief and resolve was well-suited to engage a verdict that, however logical and inevitable it may have seemed given the evidence and testimony leading up to it, took many people by surprise, especially African Americans whose expectations for justice in the violent, often deadly use of excessive police force against unarmed Black people have been perpetually thwarted in court.

Hear Biden and Harris' call to George Floyd's family after verdict

Hear Biden and Harris’ call to George Floyd’s family after verdict 02:29Biden promised in his election campaign last year that he’d help change things. So far, he’s been doing so in his unfettered manner. And in phoning George Floyd’s family almost immediately after the verdict — and before appearing before the cameras to deliver his address — the president submitted proof that it wasn’t about scoring political points, but in sharing and healing others’ intimate pain.When Biden spoke about the emotional connection he’d made with Floyd’s young daughter, even to the point of repeating and concurring with what she’d said to her father, “Daddy, you changed the world,” the unapologetic blatancy of appeal to the heartstrings somehow made him seem more sincere, more human — and humane. More, if you will, “Joe.”

Consider also the wonder of a 78-year-old White president of the United States not only mentioning the words, “systemic racism,” but insisting that it be purged once and for all from American life. Among many things, it made you wonder whether this perspective was energized by the blatant and not-so-blatant bigotry directed against the first African American president during the eight years Biden served as Barack Obama’s vice president.Wherever and however it came, Biden’s willingness to talk about reforming the police and restoring Black America’s confidence in the judicial process was an unmistakable marker of how much things had changed.If there was one moment in Biden’s remarks that seemed discordant and untethered to their moment, it came in his insistence on lawful, nonviolent protest and his condemnation of violence in demonstrations aroused by the deaths of Floyd and others.Since the prospects for violent reaction were considerably lessened by the jury’s decision, you wondered why there was a need at that particular time for such warnings.

Why I'm not celebrating after the Chauvin verdict

Why I’m not celebrating after the Chauvin verdictIt sounded as though the President’s expression of relief was interrupted by part of another, altogether different address he’d expected to deliver last night if things had gone the other way. Or it could also have been Biden’s way of nodding towards police departments and their supporters, signaling that whatever reforms he sought in policing, he wasn’t going to interfere with the proper and judicious enforcement of the law. Keep in mind, again, that the President has spent almost 50 years finessing his way with both sides of the congressional aisle.Remember, too, as both Biden and Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison insisted yesterday evening in the verdict’s wake, that however welcome the news was of Chauvin’s conviction, it was only a beginning.They’re right. But it’s a different beginning than whatever we’ve been used to up till now.

https://www.cnn.com/2021/04/21/opinions/biden-speech-chauvin-verdict-seymour/index.html

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN—Day91—Evening Shade-Wednesday

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W E L C O M E

TO THE SHADE

YOU WILL FIND in the DIARIES a LOT of POLITICS

AND EVEN MORE CATS

   

THE PERSON who MAKES the FIRST COMMENT WILL GET TWO CATS

EVERY PERSON WHO COMMENTS WILL GET A CAT

   

RULES IN THE DIARY

WHEN YOU FIND SOMETHING in the DIARY that you LIKE

YOU CAN REPOST IT AS COMMENT in the DIARY

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN

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VANITA GUPTA

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SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN

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REP. CAROLYN MALONEY

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HOUSE

x

x

x

ACB

x

FLORIDA

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LOS ANGELES

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Tucker Carlson abruptly ends interview after guest criticized Chauvin: ‘Nope. Done.’

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Things didn’t quite go as planned Tuesday on Tucker Carlson Tonight when a former New York City deputy sheriff and corrections officer, Ed Gavin, joined the show to talk about the guilty verdict in former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s trial for the murder of George Floyd last summer.

Carlson, who on Monday said the media was “lynching” Chauvin, opened the show Tuesday night by claiming the jury only voted to convict because they were scared. He also questioned if we can “trust the way this decision was made.” Gavin, on the other hand, praised the verdict, which led to a more confrontational interview than either had likely anticipated.

“That was clearly an excessive, unjustified use of force. I think the verdict was just,” Gavin said. “I think we had documentary evidence, we had testimonial evidence, and it was an open and shut case. But moving forward, what we need to do, in my opinion, is we need to have…” “How about enforce the law? Do we need to do that?” Carlson interrupted before proceeding to trash the police. “Let’s say people are going through the windows of Macy’s and the cops are just standing there. Do they resign because obviously their honor is being violated, but they are not doing anything about it, when do they start doing something about protecting everyone else, not just George Floyd?”

Carlson has spent months casting doubt on how exactly Floyd died, but very early in the interview, Gavin left no doubt.

“Let’s face it, what we saw in that video was pure savagery,” Gavin said. “I mean, the documentary evidence showed the police officer putting his knee on the perpetrator’s neck while he was rear-cuffed and his stomach was on the ground, causing asphyxia.”

So when Gavin attempted to continue to share his thoughts on the matter, Carlson cut him off and put an abrupt end to the interview.

“Like I said, Mr. Floyd was brought under control,” Gavin said. “What should have happened at that point, is EMS should have been summoned, and he should have been placed in an ambulance, and a supervisor should have been called to the scene. I just think that it was excessive…” “Yeah, well, the guy who did it looks like he’s going to spend the rest of his life in prison, so I’m kind of more worried about the rest of the country, which, thanks to police inaction, in case you haven’t noticed, is, like, boarded up. So that’s more my concern,” Carlson said, interrupting for a second time as Gavin repeatedly tried to finish his thought. “Thanks for coming on. Ed Gavin, thank you,” Carlson said as the camera cut away from Gavin. “Nope. Done.”

https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/tucker-carlson-abruptly-ends-interview-arguing-guest-criticizes-derek-chauvin-nope-done-071257512.html