Screaming about crime is a favorite past time of conservative politicians and headline writers. Like most things, facts about crime are more complicated than the fear-mongers want us to know. Here are a few of the complicated facts.
You might think Republican law-and-order types would support funding for more prosecutors. Nope. Not when that request comes from Minnesota’s chief prosecutor, Attorney General Keith Ellison. In this legislative session, they would not fund much-needed attorneys for the criminal division of the attorney general’s office.
In 2011, the IRS investigated 2.4 million “nonfilers” – people who just didn’t bother filing or paying taxes at all. Last year? Only 362,000. That doesn’t mean people have become more conscientious about paying taxes. The dramatic drop-off in investigations, like the 42 percent drop in audits over the same time period, shows just how badly the IRS has been gutted over that time period.
On April 16, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced an investigation of the Minneapolis Police Department. The investigation will focus on patterns and practices of policing, not on an individual case.
This is the first “pattern and practice” investigation ordered by the Biden administration. Garland also revoked the Trump administration’s near-ban of these investigations.
6:30 a.m. on Saturday morning. My phone buzzes with a text. “What are your thoughts on Walz ordering the National Guard to Brooklyn Center?”
Governor Walz did not just call out the National Guard. He called out the whole armada of police and military forces assembled under the banner of Operation Safety Net. Operation Safety Net (OSN) was set up to protect property and police from any protests or violence happening after the Derek Chauvin trial. Over the past week, OSN proved unsafe in the highest degree for human beings.
I hoped the National Guard would not be like the police. I hoped that the “citizen” part of their citizen-soldier identity would keep them from the violent, fearful, and racist police mentality that killed Daunte Wright. Instead, they proved indistinguishable from the other branches of the rotten tree that is policing in the United States. Continue reading →
As the 2020-21 flu season comes to an end, good news and lessons for the future come from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). This year’s flu season was far less serious than any previous year, and far less deadly as well.
Last year—2019-2020—the CDC estimated that estimated 38 million influenza-type illnesses in the United States, with 18 million medical visits, 405,000 hospitalizations, and 22,000 deaths.
“In 2014, China’s Head of State, President Xi Jinping, launched the ‘People’s War on Terror’ in XUAR [Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region], making the areas where Uyghurs constitute nearly 90 percent of the population the front line. High-level officials followed up with orders to ’round up everyone who should be rounded up,’ ‘wipe them out completely … destroy them root and branch,’ and ‘break their lineage, break their roots, break their connections, and break their origins.’ Officials described Uyghurs with dehumanizing terms and repeatedly likened the mass internment of Uyghurs to ‘eradicating tumors.’”
The U.S. government names this persecution as genocide. The Chinese government denies it, of course. That denial lacks all plausibility.
I sent this email to the White House tonight: Dear Mr. President:Please do NOT go to Saudi Arabia. A presidential appearance there gives aId and comfort to Mohammed Bin Salman, who is implicated in the brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. You have called Saudi Arabia a pariah state. It is. It should be.Please–stand up […]
In Tennessee, a school board banned the teaching of the Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel, Maus. That novel teaches about the Holocaust. It is based on the experience of the author’s parents. They survived Auschwitz concentration camp. His mother later killed herself. The McMinn County Board of Education thinks the novel is disturbing and too adult for high […]
In Florida, a school district canceled a civil rights history seminar for teachers. Not only do the rancid rightwing racists want to keep students from learning about slavery, civil rights, and racism—they don’t want teachers to learn history either. “J. Michael Butler, a history professor at Flagler College in St. Augustine, was scheduled to give a presentation […]
The Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act, passed by House of Representatives on January 13, is held hostage today by the Senate filibuster threat—a disgraceful tactic that has repeatedly blocked voting rights, civil rights, and anti-lynching legislation for more than a century. One hundred years ago, in 1922, a filibuster killed the Dyer Anti-Lynching […]
“Kathy spotted the long line of voters as she pulled into the Christian City Welcome Center about 3:30 p.m., ready to cast her ballot in the June 9 primary election. “Hundreds of people were waiting in the heat and rain outside the lush, tree-lined complex in Union City, an Atlanta suburb with 22,400 residents, nearly […]