Where We Are Now Revisited: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.

The following are excerpts from New York Times articles that appeared on April 18 and 19. The first is a postscript to my blog on The Police:

In February, Illinois enacted a law that rewrote many of the state’s rules of policing, and mandated that officers wear body cameras. In March, New York City moved to make it easier for citizens to sue officers. This month, the Maryland legislature — which decades ago became the first to adopt a Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights — became the first to do away with it.Over 30 states have passed more than 140 new police oversight and reform laws, according to a New York Times analysis of data from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

And now for the State of the Other Nation:

Republicans who were the most vocal in urging their followers to come to Washington on Jan. 6 to try to reverse President Donald J. Trump’s loss, pushing to overturn the election and stoking the grievances that prompted the deadly Capitol riot, have profited handsomely in its aftermath, according to new campaign data….the biggest provocateurs can parlay their notoriety into small-donor successes that can help them amass an even higher profile. It also illustrates the appetites of a Republican base of voters who have bought into Mr. Trump’s false claims of widespread election fraud and are eager to reward those who worked to undermine the outcome of a free and fair election… Most of the dozens of corporations that pledged to cut off any Republican who supported overturning the election kept that promise,.. But for the loudest voices on Capitol Hill, that did not matter, as an energized base of pro-Trump donors rallied to their side and more than made up the shortfall. [This is who we are: Not. That is who they are: Yes. We are not each other. We are not one.]

Mr. Hole went on to “legally purchase a much more powerful weapon than a shotgun.” On Saturday night, the Police Department announced that the two assault-style rifles that Mr. Hole used in Thursday’s attack were bought in July and September of 2020…Those purchases, the chief suggested, would have been possible only if a red flag determination had never been made.

Many Republicans have embraced anti-trans legislation as the latest front in the country’s culture wars. [Trans people are much more dangerous to national well-being than the sale of semi-automatic rifles. Everybody knows that.]

And another triumph for the Other America:

Trump’s Killing Spree Continues
Arizona’s pause in executions may be nearing an end — not because someone has produced a cruelty-free method of killing a person, but because the state is following the blueprint pioneered by the Trump administration when it pushed through 13 federal executions in its final months.. Barr announced that the Justice Department had procured the sedative pentobarbital, often used to euthanize animals, from secret sources and that it would begin executing prisoners with that drug alone.

Minnesota is one of the best places to live in America. It has good schools, excellent housing and low unemployment. It regularly appears near the top of indexes for livability. But all of that matters much less if you’re Black…Across a whole host of measures — unemployment rates, wages, incarceration rates, test scores, homeownership rates — the gaps between white Minnesotans and Black Minnesotans are among the widest in the country…History repeated itself in Minnesota: the fences and barricades to keep protesters away from the Police Department, the tear gas used to disperse crowds, the nights of anger and destruction giving way to curfews imposed by local and state officials. Across the metropolitan area, contractors drilled plywood into place, all to protect structures from violence being done to — and in the name of — neighbors. All to protect the city from the unyielding reality facing its Black citizens.

Recent anti-Asian sentiment may have been stoked by Donald Trump’s xenophobic response to Covid-19 — which he repeatedly called “the Chinese virus.” But it existed long before him, since the arrival of Chinese workers in the 19th century, and stubbornly persists, even after his departure from office.

Many workers who tend to New York City’s most vulnerable residents are themselves in precarious economic situations. Some take on multiple jobs, work staggering amounts of overtime and still struggle to find their own homes…Their plight underscores twin crises that have grown increasingly acute in New York: the high cost of housing, and wages that often do not provide enough for the basics in one of the country’s most expensive cities.

And thank you again to the G.O.P.: “Insisting that there is actually a fixed definition of what infrastructure is — bridges, but not baby care — perfectly encapsulates the ways in which the world is still shaped by men.” (Anne-Marie Slaughter)

But finally, if you missed the Business Section:

The federal government lets companies avoid taxes by shifting profits earned in the United States to countries with lower tax rates. Every year, American firms, especially in the technology and pharmaceutical sectors, brazenly pretend to earn billions of dollars in microstates like Barbados, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands,

Go For It!

Insisting that there is actually a fixed definition of what infrastructure is — bridges, but not baby care — perfectly encapsulates the ways in which the world is still shaped by men. (Anne-Marie Slaughter)

Emeritus Professor of Gov’t, Smith College, Visiting Professor, The New School, Editorial Board, The Nation, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Green_(author)