Jail is Good Now, Try To Keep Up
Plus: Dem War $$$ :: Meth Pipes For All :: Satan Respects Pronouns
The Lock ‘Em Up Left
Two high-profile killings, one on each coast, are inspiring social justice activists to make a surprising demand: Lock them up and throw away the key.
In New York, the accidental killing of Jordan Neely, a violent, mentally ill black man who was threatening passengers in a subway car, by a white Marine named Daniel Penny who was trying to restrain him, has led protesters to call for Penny’s head.
But not just that. The New York Times pondered whether the other subway riders who Penny was trying to protect had a “duty to intervene” to stop the guy who was trying to protect them.
Bear in mind that the passengers who have spoken to the media have called Penny a hero. “We were scared for our lives,” said one (non-white) passenger, referring not to Penny, mind you, but to Neely. Yet some protesters apparently want the passengers charged. “Arrest ‘everyone that was on that train,’ read one protester’s sign,” the Times reports.
Meanwhile, in San Francisco last month, a black male Walgreens security guard shot dead a black trans woman named Banko Brown, who was shoplifting. The District Attorney has chosen not to press charges, claiming that video evidence indicates that the shooting was in self-defense.
Progressives usually claim to regard criminal punishment as cruel and counterproductive, but this time, protesters are livid. “He needs to suffer solitary confinement,” yelled one at a Board of Supervisors meeting. “Press the charges!” chanted a group at a rally for Brown.
What happened to “restorative justice” and “prison abolition”? Remove the race and gender identity categories and the activists’ current rhetoric would be right at home in 1990s right-wing talk radio.
It turns out all that fancy talk about “mass incarceration” and “the carceral state” was bullshit from the get-go. These activists don’t want to get rid of the police and the criminal justice system. They want to be the police and the criminal justice system. They want to choose who to prosecute and who to walk free, based not on evidence but on in-group and out-group affiliations. They’re opposed to equal treatment under the law. They’re opposed to blind justice. They want religious trials by a Tribunal of the Woke.
Keeping the War Teet Swoll
We know our representatives in Washington D.C. are extremely busy and can’t be expected to keep track of how much they spend. Consider a recent tweet from Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI):
Republicans are hellbent on “cutting spending” but don’t want to talk about the record-breaking $858,000,000,000 military budget funding war and weapons they voted to pass.
Wait, does she mean the record-breaking $858 billion defense bill that Senate Democrats proposed, and Congress passed in December? The one with “almost no debate” among Democrats on the House Armed Services Committee, that shoveled tens of billions of dollars into Biden’s war chest?
Tlaib also forgot to include the $40 billion she voted to allocate to our proxy wa– sorry, I mean Ukraine – last year. The Senate passed the aid package 86-11; the House 368-57. Guess how many Democratic Congressmembers voted against it? Zero! The only “No” votes in both the Senate and House were from Republicans. Like it or not, the GOP is now more broadly anti-war than the DNC. Even the New York Times says so. In their New York Times way.
Including this most recent aid package, we’ve so far allocated at least $113 billion, and sent more than $76 billion to Ukraine, the vast majority of it for weapons and other military-related expenses. (Plenty is left over for soft causes, however — civil society projects like NATO GONGOs and the fact-checking organizations currently waging the Censorship Industrial Complex’s disinformation war.)
If you’d like to see how our spending on the Ukraine conflict stacks up historically, the Council on Foreign Relations has broken it down in six charts.
Meth Pipes for America
Seattle heard some straight talk from a team of “harm reduction” experts on Tuesday.
In a clip of a City Council meeting shared on Twitter by journalist Jonathan Choe, Seattle Councilmember Sara Nelson asked the experts to explain exactly what harm is being reduced by handing out supplies, such as pipes, that simply help people do drugs.
One of the responses, from Amber Tejada of the Hepatitis Education Project, was both shocking and telling.
"I know it can be a little controversial, but one of the key tenets of harm reduction that I see is that we want to be able to facilitate and champion autonomy of people who use drugs. And so you know there are folks who don't want to stop using drugs. There are folks for whom abstinence is not something by which they measure their success in life,” she said.
She added that friends at the People’s Harm Reduction Alliance had invented a “whole new pipe so that people could smoke and not inject, which is proven to be safer.”
So “harm reduction” means facilitating and championing a person’s right to destroy their life through drug addiction. Meanwhile, on the streets of Seattle, drug overdoses are so common that people are encouraged to carry Narcan just in case they run into someone dying of an overdose.