And here are the last recorded words of Garner:
|He was correct -- it did stop that day|
- Race is always an issue, because it is. I'd once thought that we were seeking a color-blind society, but it's been clear for a long time now that many people have no interest in that pursuit, so we're going to continue to talk about race forever and never resolve the issue. There's a lot of money to be made in grievance mongering; as a heartless capitalist I shouldn't really begrudge the racial entrepreneurship of Al Sharpton, right? He's just trying to make a buck out there. But just for giggles, let's throw out a thought experiment -- would this video and event be any less egregious if one of the cops in question had been black?
- Police power is vast and ever increasing, which should worry everyone. I've posted this picture before, but it's worth looking at again in this context:
- Finally, let's think about the law that Garner was supposedly afoul of -- he was selling loose cigarettes on the street. Why would someone do that? Well, the cost of a pack of cigarettes in New York City these days can be as much as $14. I quit smoking in 1990 and remember paying about $13-15 for a carton of smokes. I'm not sure where Garner was getting his loose cigarettes, but likely they were from someplace outside of NYC. If you are a smoker and are trying to save money, a guy like Garner would likely seem a blessing. These cops were essentially tax collectors, which makes sense when the excise tax on a pack of smokes is about $4.35 and the city tax is an additional $1.60. There's an interactive map at the link that spells out the price of cigarettes in the region -- if you can get to Pennsylvania, you can buy a pack of smokes for less than half of the cost of a pack of smokes in NYC. Hard to imagine how a black market might set up in such conditions, eh?
We'll pick at this a little more in the coming days.