Not all police shootings are equal

The justified shooting of a black man in Philadelphia led to days of riots, looting and arson. And we have to take a step back from an absolutist position. Some people reflexively defend any police use of force, and others argue that any use of force (especially deadly force) is wrong and unjustifiable. That is much easier than doing the hard work of examining the facts of each individual case and coming to a conclusion. Absolutism is always more difficult than discernment and judgment.

Now, are there things that can be done to reduce the likelihood that deadly force will be needed? Sure, and it is reasonable to examine things like creating distance. But once someone is advancing on you with a knife, you have to make a decision to protect yourself and innocents around you. Whether the man has a history of mental health issues does not change the danger of a knife.

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Overthinking it again

One of the segments in the old Road Runner cartoons featured Wile E. Coyote painting a tunnel on the side of a cliff, hoping the Road runner would crash into it. The gag is fine as far as it goes, but my question is this:

There is a paved road leading up to the side of the cliff, which continues on the other side of the cliff. Why would someone build, pave and maintain a road that goes up to a cliff, and then continue on the other side with no way to get through? Are government bureaucrats in the Looney Tunes universe approving make-work projects to make sure they use up all of their budget?

Better yet, why would the Road Runner be going down that road anyway? If Mr. Coyote decided to become a vegetarian, would RR just stop and go back the other direction?

Ramming through more Traffic Impeding Devices

Back in 1999, a friend of mine said that we ought to refer to “traffic calming devices” as Traffic Impeding Devices, as impeding traffic is the goal of the program. While some people are fervently in favor of “traffic calming,” it is not broadly popular. This is why there have not been as many projects as Democrats want. The solution: Change the rules, bypass the will of the people, and ram more projects through.

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Free speech and privacy at early voting

Tomorrow is Election Day, and we’ll no doubt have cases of people wearing political apparel into a polling place and told to remove it. This is a bad law and should be repealed.

No one’s right to vote is infringed by someone wearing a political t-shirt, hat or mask. I am fine with forbidding people from open electioneering inside a polling place, as that can be intimidating to a voter. We want people to be able to vote their conscience without undue pressure. But a t-shirt, hat, or mask does not oppress anyone. As long as the wearer is minding his own business and not openly trying to get people to vote a certain way, he should be able to wear what he wants, within reason.

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The death of parody and satire, Part III

If you want to know just how humorless Facebook has become, take a look at this post on my Facebook page to see how Facebook censored the photo I attached. I uploaded a doctored photo of NFL players burning a flag and the real photo of the same players celebrating a win. In the text of the post, I said that the “flag burning” picture had been “mutilated” and was false. But Facebook can’t just leave it alone and allow the mutilated picture to stand next to the real picture so people can see for themselves it is fake. No, the mutilated photo needs to be censored and covered with a warning.

You do not need to fact check the image. All you have to do is read the text I posted with the image, which is itself a fact check on the image. You can also compare the mutilated photo to the original photo. Do the snowflakes running Facebook really think its users are so stupid they cannot handle the comparison and text, so the moderators must hold everyone’s hand instead?

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The Supreme Court is not a super-legislature!

The Washington Post warns that putting Amy Coney Barrett on the Supreme Court would:

fortify existing high court doctrine on physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia, specifically a 23-year-old precedent denying that terminally ill patients have a constitutional right to either one.

This is an important illustration on how some people misunderstand the purpose of the Supreme Court, and the courts in general. SCOTUS does not exist to create new rights by reinterpreting (rewriting) the Constitution. The court exists to interpret the text of the law as written. The reason the Supreme Court ruled that there is no constitutional “right to die” is that the text of the Constitution does not contain a right to die.

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