No, Complaints Do Not Typically Get Officers Fired

Earlier this week, a Minnesota police officer shot and killed Justine Damond, a 40-year-old white woman who was about to be married. Damond had met the police in the alley outside of her home after placing a 911 call to report a personal assault. While she was standing at the driver's side door, the officer in the passenger seat shot her. Black Lives Matter activists quickly identified this case as an example of police brutality and the troubling policing tactics that have turned the police into … [Read more...]


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The Grenfell Tower Fire and Political Libertarianism

I would have been fourteen or fifteen. I was at summer camp, and cabin inspections generated intense competition. And no wonder---the cabin with the lowest cabin inspection score each day had to clean the bathrooms at 11 p.m., while everyone else was in bed. One morning one of the boys' cabins disabled their cabin's fire detector, taking out the battery and labeling it an OSHA violation. Oh boy did they get cabin inspection points for that. As the week went on, rigging an OSHA violation before ca … [Read more...]


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The Limits of Bystander Intervention

Late last year I witnessed what I believe was a racially charged incident. I only caught the end of the incident, and train doors were closing and people were moving. It all happened in a moment. I didn't do anything in part because of the aforementioned train doors, but also in part because someone else was already intervening---someone who was presumably more aware of what had happened than I was. As I read about the Portland MAX stabbings a few weeks ago, though, this incident came back to me … [Read more...]


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Right-Wing Media Disagrees on Procedure, Not Just Facts

I was struck by a recent article on right-wing site The Blaze. Our discussion of "fake news" has tended to focus on what facts are real or not. See Pizzagate, for instance, or this mess over Seth Rich. But there's another issue at play here, a disagreement not just over fact but also over procedure. On Sunday, a day after the London Bridge attack, The Blaze author Chris Enloe opened an article with this statement: NBC News, via their official Twitter account, lashed out at President Donald T … [Read more...]


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In Wake of London Bridge Attack, Trump Wants to Talk about Guns

Donad Trump took to twitter yesterday with this tweet:Text: "Do you notice we are not having a gun debate right now? That's because they used knives and a truck!"Trump was, of course, referring to Saturday's London Bridge attack, in which three terrorists killed seven by plowing a truck through a crowd and going on a stabbing spree through nearby restaurants. Many more were injured. It's true they didn't use guns, and it's true we aren't now having a debate over guns. But we … [Read more...]


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House Passes 15 Year Minimum for Teen Sexters

My children are still small, but I'm already anticipating the conversations I'll need to have with them about sexting. That conversation is simple and goes like this: Don't. Sexting, or sending sexually suggestive or explicit images or videos of yourself, is unwise in part because, in this age of smartphones, it's impossible to know who may gain access to the content. Many cases of horrendous teen bullying involve the spread of images that originated as sexy shots sent to a boyfriend in a … [Read more...]


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No, That’s Not Why Confederate Statues Are Being Removed

In a recent post, evangelical pastor Doug Wilson wrote the following: Once we have “all-together-now-agreed” that statues of Robert E. Lee simply must come down because he-was-a-slaveowner-period-end-of-discussion-you-hater-and-any-moment’s-hesitancy-in-agreeing-with-our-most-righteousy-demands-reveals-a-seething-racism—perhaps you are familiar with this line of argument?—we will almost immediately discover that the very same rationale applies to the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memoria … [Read more...]


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