The case of Michael Brown, who was laid to rest Monday, is anomalous only in that it is so extreme: an unarmed black teenager riddled with bullets by a white police officer in a community plagued by racial tension. [...] Fatal encounters such as the one between Brown and Wilson understandably draw the nation’s attention. But such tragedies are just the visible manifestation of a much larger reality. Most, if not all, young men go through a period between adolescence and adulthood when they are likely to engage in risky behavior of various kinds without fully grasping the consequences of their actions. If they are white — well, boys will be boys. But if they are black, they are treated as men and assumed to have malicious intent.Meanwhile, Margaret Sullivan at The New York Times explains that the description of "no angel" used in a NYT piece was "a regrettable mistake":
Two words — “no angel” — have become a flash point for many of the difficult, contentious, entrenched issues that have arisen in Ferguson, Mo. On Twitter, in my email queue and across the Internet, many Times readers are angry and disappointed about the use of those words, which have become yet another Ferguson-related hashtag.More on the day's top stories below the fold.
Let’s get the obvious out of the way first: That choice of words was a regrettable mistake. In saying that the 18-year-old Michael Brown was “no angel” in the fifth paragraph of Monday’s front-page profile, The Times seems to suggest that this was, altogether, a bad kid. [...] “I understand the concerns, and I get it,” Mr. Eligon [the article's author] said. He agreed that “no angel” was not a good choice of words and explained that they were meant to play off the opening anecdote of the article in which Mr. Brown saw an angelic vision. That anecdote “is about as positive as you can get,” Mr. Eligon said, and noted that a better way to segue into the rest of the article might have been to use a phrase like “wasn’t perfect.”
“Hindsight is 20/20. I wish I would have changed that,” he said.
The uncertainty that has roiled a St. Louis suburb in the aftermath of a controversial police shooting might very well have been lessened if there had been video evidence of the altercation.Paul Krugman, always a must-read:
Unfortunately, the police department in Ferguson, Mo., had ordered but not yet distributed on-body cameras when Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed teenager Michael Brown, who was unarmed, earlier this month.
This tragic case shows the value of recording devices. Video evidence could answer many questions about the confrontation between Wilson and Brown and perhaps even identify the aggressor. [...]
"The chief feels like the benefits are definitely there for the community and the officers," Jackson said. "It takes a lot of the he-said, she-said out of it."
That would be a positive step for a department that has had its share of controversial interactions with the public.
Maybe I’m deluding myself, but it seems to me that we’re not hearing as much as we used to about “real Americans” — the notion that the true essence of the nation is white people living in small towns, associated these days with Sarah Palin but also invoked by whatshisname, the guy who lived in the White House between Clinton and Obama and misled us into war. But I’m sure that’s still how a lot of people on the right see it.The Washington Post editorial board takes a look at the urgent need to act on climate change:
What made me think about that concept is something sort of parallel I’ve noticed about the reaction to my writings. Often, I find, the most rage-filled emails and voice mails come after I’ve written something fairly economistic, like today’s piece. And typically, part of the rant is something along the lines of “You call yourself an economist?” You see, the person delivering the rant has a notion of what economics is; he (it’s almost always a he) believes that “real economics” is about singing the praises of free markets — basically Capitalism Roolz. It’s inconceivable to him that you could have a more nuanced view without being a Marxist. And he’s outraged both that I have the temerity to claim that I’m doing economics and that other people seem to take me seriously.
And it’s not just random Tea Partiers who think this way. It includes hosts of TV business shows, and some famous economists too.
FOR MORE than a century, scientists have understood the basic physics of the greenhouse effect. For decades, they’ve realized humans can affect the climate by burning coal, oil and gas. But the country’s leaders remain divided on the need to curb greenhouse emissions, let alone how to do it.Speaking of climate change, guess who flip-flopped on the issue?
Among mainstream scientists, this paralysis is mind-boggling.
Former Sen. Scott Brown (R), now running for Senate in New Hampshire, over the weekend was pretty clear: science has not proven that climate change is real. But back in 2012, when Brown was running for re-election in Massachusetts, he said that he "absolutely" believed climate change is real and that it is a result of both man-made and natural causes.
Brown and the other candidates in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire were asked on Saturday "do you believe that the theory of man-made climate change has been scientifically proven?"
Former Sen. Bob Smith, another former senator running to replace Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), was first asked if he believed "that the theory of man-made climate change has been scientifically proven?" Smith responded "no." Then the same question was posed to Brown. Brown said "no" too. The question and answer were flagged by the opposition research organization American Bridge 21st Century.
Brown's comments strongly conflict with an answer he gave on climate change when he was running against now-Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) in 2012. Brown was asked if he believed climate change is real, and if so what would should the federal government be doing about it?
"Yes, yes I do," Brown said. "I absolutely believe that climate change is real and I believe there's a combination between man-made and natural. That being said one of the biggest things we could do is get an energy policy and we don't have one."