Thursday, September 13, 2018

Quick Hits: Volume CLXXI

- My congressman, Tom Emmer, announced via his Facebook page the passage of some doggone good legislation.

Yesterday the House passed, and I was proud to support, the Dog and Cat Meat Trade Prohibition Act of 2018  (H.R. 6720) to prohibit the slaughter of dogs and cats for the purpose of human consumption in the United States (which is still legal in 44 states!). Dogs and cats are beloved companions for millions of Minnesotans and should not be slaughtered and sold as food.

Say, why wasn't common sense legislation such as this broached during the Obama years?

Oh, right.

- If the Minnesota Twins are ever to resurrect a marketing campaign similar to their early 2000s "Get to know 'em" series, then 5'9" 225 lb. reserve catcher Willians Astudillo absolutely needs to be its face.

Astudillo scored from first base on a Max Kepler double in the 7th inning of Wednesday's win over the New York Yankees. Said scamper was an instant classic.

When asked about his determination to score all the way from first on a double, Astudillo said "I just wanted to show that chubby people also run." In a beleaguered 2018 regular season for the Twins, young Willians is the hero we fans need but clearly don't deserve.

- In an era where American political/cultural/social debates are held to an impossible standard of "You can't support ______ if you also are in favor of ______," David French of National Review engages in a solid analysis surrounding police shootings involving the black community.

To put it bluntly, when I look back at my older writings, I see them as contributing more to a particular partisan narrative than to a tough, clear-eyed search for truth. So I’ve set out to rectify that imbalance. A person can walk and chew gum at the same time. One can rightly condemn riots and radicalism while also noting that each time a bad cop walks free it damages the fabric of trust between the government and its citizens. One can rightly say that it’s not “open season” on black men — or that any given inflammatory allegation has been thoroughly debunked — while also noting that the same DOJ that refuted “hands up, don’t shoot” also found evidence of systematic police misconduct in Ferguson.

Most cops do what’s right. Many cops are extraordinarily brave. But I also think the best evidence indicates that race is more of a factor in modern policing than I wanted to believe. I also think a pro-police bias has infected our criminal-justice system — including the way juries decide cases — and that pro-police bias has helped bad cops walk free. Moreover, there are legal doctrines that need to be reformed or abolished (such as qualified immunity, but that explanation requires a whole separate piece). And there should be a culture change in the way officers are taught to perceive risk, a culture change that thoughtful veterans of the Iraq and Afghan wars could help initiate.

Riots are vicious and wrong. Cop-killers are depraved. We should defend, not disrupt, the nuclear family. We should tell the truth even when the truth hurts our own side. Racism still plagues our land, and race too often plays a pernicious role in American policing. It is not “open season” on black men, yet too many bad cops go free, and too many black men die at the hands of the state. Our laws and culture grant the men in blue too much latitude and too many privileges. All of these things can be true at the same time. All of them are true at the same time. It’s the immense and monumental American challenge that we must deal with them all at once.

Definitely read the piece in its entirety here.


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