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+ Imagine! Number of prisoners in solitary in US: 80,000, most of whom spend a few months in it, but at least a couple of thousand people have been in solitary confinement for six years or more. Some (see Albert Woodfox) have been held for decades.
+ Progressives endorsing the repressive Mann Act in a rush “to get Gaetz” (awful as he is) is one of the more dispiriting, but predictable, political episodes of the year. Excuse me while I drop the needle on Miles Davis’ Tribute to Jack Johnson for the next hour…
+ Gaetz: “I have definitely, in my single days, provided for women I’ve dated. You know, I’ve paid for flights, for hotel rooms. I’ve been, you know, generous as a partner. I think someone is trying to make that look criminal when it is not.”
+ For decades, marijuana possession busts accounted for one of the biggest and most costly activities of local police departments. Now that 17 states have fully legalized marijuana possession, none of the police department budgets in those states have decline. In fact most have increased, in part because large percentages of the sales tax revenues from pot sales go to the police.
+ What were once known as “death squads” in Central America are now just “police”–though they continue to be trained and armed by the US.
+ Biden says he wants to reduce US gun violence, which is “an international embarrassment.” He can make a quick start in this direction by withdrawing troops from Afghanistan in a couple weeks and by ending US weapons transfers to local and state police departments.
+ Instead, police are on track to get more military hardware under Biden than they did under Trump…
+ The recent surge in gun ownership by black Americans (up 53% last year) is much more likely to spur gun control legislation than any mass shooting…
+ Increased security at the US Capitol will inevitably mean more attacks on “security,” which will prompt calls for yet more security, which means they’ll be providing security for security and still not feel secure.