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Archive for November, 2014

The Jeffersonian

The arguments I’m hearing about the Ferguson case are just fantastical. Michael Brown was a big man. He robbed a convenience store. The evidence about what happened on August 9 is contradictory. What distractions!

You don’t gun down an unarmed person in the middle of the street shortly after telling the person to walk on the sidewalk. You just don’t.

Yes, once the case enters the legal system, it’s relevant that the law protects police officers when they use lethal force. Rules of evidence come into play. Definitions of manslaughter do as well. Michael Brown’s death does not have to get tangled in our complicated legal system, however. To argue this case on legal grounds does not address the legitimate grievance that lies at the bottom of this resistance movement: police officers mistreat black people, black men in particular.

Stay focused on what counts here. Everyone wants to argue whether the…

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The Jeffersonian

I have Reagan set up as a key word in my Google news feed. If a news item appears on the web with that proper name in it, Google News shows it to me. That means I see football scores for Ronald Reagan High School’s latest game, and items about highways, airports, and mountains named after the fortieth president. Republican candidates like to mention him, but the man himself is not in the news so often.

The past week has been an exception. On October 27, 1964, just about a week before the presidential election contest between Barry Goldwater and Lyndon Johnson, Reagan delivered a televised address to explain why voters should support Goldwater. Sometimes known simply as The Speech – he delivered variants of it many times – he called the version he delivered on October 27, A Time for Choosing. That title captured the choice he laid out before the country.

Reagan…

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