On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.
"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs." --San Antonio Express-News
Justin Amash, former Republican and almost certainly to be out of Congress after the 2020 elections, has proposed a law that would eliminate the “qualified immunity” that police presently enjoy that prevents anyone from suing them personally for any egregious acts they commit.
U.S. Representative Justin Amash, a former Republican turned Libertarian, won support from a Minneapolis Democrat on Monday for his “Ending Qualified Immunity Act,” which would allow civil lawsuits against police, a recourse that the Supreme Court has all but done away with.
The high court’s adoption of the qualified immunity doctrine has largely shielded police from financial settlements for victims or grieving families. The doctrine protects cops even when courts determine that officers violate civil rights
As my wife Diane so eloquently notes, two things protect the police when they commit crimes, this qualified immunity and their police unions. If we want police to start behaving properly, we need to eliminate both. This law at least addresses the former.
Sadly, the bill probably stands little change of passage, mostly because of the Congressman proposing it. Amash used to be part of the very conservative Republican Freedom Caucus in the House. He then became a NeverTrumper willing to abandon all his principles (and his party) while sticking a knife in the backs of his former allies. This is why he is no longer a Republican, and why he almost certainly will be dumped come the 2020 elections.
No matter how wise his proposal might be, he has burned all the bridges he once had for getting any support. While he might get some in the Democratic Party to back him, most will turn their noses up at him because he is a former Republican. And the Republicans now want nothing to do with him.
This bill will unfortunately die, even though it is actually targeting very precisely one of the main causes of most police abuse. Such rationality is no longer given much play in our society. Instead, everyone else seems more interested in spouting hate and anger and rioting and destroying the lives of innocent people, out of blind emotional rage.
Such is a response now to the horrible murder by police of George Floyd. And it really is no different than the insane response to COVID-19: Rather than focusing rationally on the actual problem, our leaders — egged on by too many in the general population — instead focus on blaming and oppressing the wrong people.
We are now in the third week of my annual July fund-raiser for Behind the Black. My deep thanks to everyone who has so far donated or subscribed. The response this year has been wonderful.
We are not done yet. This monthly fund-raiser is now half over, and I am hoping the second half will result in as many donations as the first half did. If it does, I will remain free to continue my writing as I see fit, unblemished by the efforts of others to squelch my perspective in this increasingly intolerant world.
This year's fund-raising drive is also significant in that it celebrates the 10th anniversary of this website's founding. It is hard to believe, but I have been doing this for a full decade, during which I have written more than 22,000 posts, of which more than 1,000 were essays and almost 2,600 were evening pauses.
Therefore, I hope you will please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.
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