I need to begin here by explaining that I am not specifically referring to ‘Fairtrade’ certification, which clothed in the language of good intentions, bears the hallmarks of a marketing ploy that may do farmers and workers no good at all. My point is deeper, that even with the best of intentions, fair trade cannot be realized. Read more →
Update, July 8, 2018: Having just re-read this blog post, I find nothing I would change. However, it is clear that judges, and indeed the Supreme Court, are not agreeing that a civil wrongful-death suit should not be heard. Writing for the Los Angeles Times, David Savage cites two other Supreme Court decisions that have gone the other way. In one of these, “a woman in Tucson [was shot] as she was standing in her yard holding a large knife at her side.” In the other, “two San Francisco officers . . . twice forced their way into the living quarters of a woman who had a mental disability. They shot her when she raised a kitchen knife.”
We do not know the Supreme Court’s reasoning. “The justices without comment or dissent denied the county’s appeal seeking immunity for the officer.” Their decision upholds the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling which in turn upheld a ruling by an Oakland judge:
“Andy was walking normally … in broad daylight in a residential neighborhood,” and did not display “aggressive behavior,” the judge wrote. Moreover, the deputy “deployed deadly force while Andy was on the sidewalk holding a gun that was pointed down at the ground,” and “without having warned [him] that such force would be used,” he said.
The functional difference seems to amount to, on one hand, a toy gun, albeit one strongly resembling an AK-47, on a public sidewalk; and on the other, knives on private property. Which seems to me to amount to a strong prejudice in favor of the toy gun, even though it looks very much like an AK-47 (see figure 1 below). I’m mystified.
I have withheld comment on a police shooting which occurred not far from where I presently live, certainly not because I am sympathetic to police, but rather because of this (fig. 1): Read more →
Perhaps a sheriff’s deputy or highway patrol officer was passing through. The fireworks set off, illegally, by our neighbors had paused for most of an hour. They’re back at it now.
It’s the Fourth of July, on which, incomprehensibly to me, we are to celebrate the United States’ independence from Britain. I do not celebrate. I’ve closed all the pet doors; my cat is simultaneously irritated that she cannot go out and frightened by the noise. Read more →