Change country:

America is under assault. Those who love our nation must defend her

National Review asked a wide array of writers, thinkers and public officials to sign on to a statement describing the challenge to the American project and how to respond.
Read full article on:
Disabled Veteran Gives Mouth-to-Mouth to Loyal Support Dog Shot With Arrow
The owner said his Great Pyrenees appeared with the injury while roaming his Alabama mini farm.
9 m
Песков рассказал о перспективах "Северного потока-2"
Европе будет нужен "Северный поток-2", что бы она ни говорила, но пока нет надежд на запуск проекта. Об этом заявил пресс-секретарь президента России Дмитрий Песков. "Тем не менее все-таки инфраструктура этого проекта готова, какое-то время в рабочем состоянии пролежит на дне моря", - добавил он
АвтоВАЗ выпустит новые Logan и Sandero
АвтоВАЗ выпустит новые Logan и Sandero
Failure to open Ukraine's ports is 'war on global food security,' says WFP chief
Azovstal: Russia says more Ukrainian soldiers have surrendered
Anti-war Russians Are Helping Ukrainian Refugees Abroad
"When my children ask me what I did to resist my country's invasion of an innocent neighbor, I want to be able to look them in the eye," Russian volunteer says.
Tom Cruise awarded honorary Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival
The "Top Gun: Maverick" star was moved to tears by the accolade.
Путин проведет заседание президиума Госсовета 25 мая
Путин проведет заседание президиума Госсовета 25 мая
Chef Recreates Cheesy Pizza from Classic Disney Movie: 'Looks Beyond Good'
Albert Niazhvinski is known for recreating food from the world of TV and film and this latest effort might be his best yet.
White Supremacists Convicted After Training for Civil War in Michigan
Four members of a white supremacist group known as "The Base" have been convicted in Michigan, the state's Attorney General Dana Nessel announced.
Opinion: Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue is a step back in time. And not in a good way
Sports Illustrated rolled out its annual swimsuit iIssue with messaging this year highlighting body diversity and using buzzwords like "inclusive." While including a variety of body types and gender orientations could be seen as a step forward, the esthetics of the photos -- and the WNBA's language around the promotion of its players who appear in the photo spread -- feel like a step backwards, says writer Frankie de la Cretaz. This piece is in hand and being edited for possible Thursday publication.
Neighbor Praised for Creating 'Dog Zapper 2000' in Response to Barking Pet
"I mean I roll over in my bed in my own room in my own house and this damn dog barks at me," the man fumed.
Five migrants found dead in train near U.S. border
Railway security personnel found the bodies after seeing a foot sticking out of a moving railroad car, the National Institute of Migration said.
Got an injury? Should you reach for an ice pack or heating pad?
If you're injured and headed to the ER, you may receive mixed instructions on whether to apply ice or heat to help the pain. One doctor explains.
Taylor Swift's NYU Speech in Full
Taylor Swift is now officially a doctor of fine arts, having received the honorary degree from New York University.
Why will abortion rights tumble? Because conservatives built a well-oiled machine.
Roe v. Wade foes have been working toward its overturn for decades. Progressive lawyers must push back and quit pretending Supreme Court is apolitical.
Mexico exploits Biden's failed foreign policy
Under President Joe Biden’s failed foreign policy leadership, Mexico has shown its willingness to undermine America’s strategic interests.
New Orleans woman gives birth on same day as college graduation, receives hospital room ceremony
Jada Sayles, 21, welcomed a son on the same day she earned a bachelor's in criminal justice with a concentration in pre-law.
'Epic' Room Filled With Cat Wall Shelves Stuns Internet: 'Best Human Ever'
"Can't wait to get rich and do this for my cat, and still get ignored and rejected by him," one user said.
Vandal forces Johnny Cash silhouette to take a leak on his hometown
The bullet hole in an Arkansas town’s water tower spilled about 180,000 gallons over roughly six days.
Biden hosts leaders of Finland and Sweden, eager to fast-track NATO accession
President Biden will meet Thursday with the leaders of Finland and Sweden after both nations formally applied to join NATO this week.
Tom Brady Taught Ford CEO Jim Farley How To Be a Better Leader
In his new podcast "Driven with Jim Farley", the CEO has conversations with influential members of the auto industry.
Targeted Debt Forgiveness Isn't a Fair Compromise | Opinion
If we're willing to compromise on student loan forgiveness, then taxpayers should get a deal worth at least $320 billion.
Imperfect as they are, leaders with age and experience are worth keeping
Having older leaders at the national level is good.
The Dark Paradox of Sex and the Single Girl
In 1991, as the Supreme Court hearings of Clarence Thomas were turning sexual-harassment allegations into television, Helen Gurley Brown, the editor and muse of Cosmopolitan magazine, was asked whether any of her staffers had been harassed. “I certainly hope so!” she replied.The sentiment would not have come as a surprise to readers of the book that had, roughly three decades earlier, shot Brown to fame and infamy. Sex and the Single Girl, first published in 1962, is part memoir and part advice manual, offering tips about careers, fashion, beauty, diet, hobbies, self-care, travel, home decorating, and, yes, dating. The book—like its author, both ahead of its time and deeply of it—often reads as resolutely backward. But it is best remembered, today, for one of the arguments it put forward: Sex, as Brown summed it up in her introduction to the book’s 2003 reissue, “is enjoyed by single women who participate not to please a man as may have been the case in olden times but to please themselves.”Sixty years ago, that was a radical proposition. That it remains an argument at all helps explain why Brown’s book, progress and backlash in one tidy text, continues to resonate. The Supreme Court, very soon, will likely strike down Roe v. Wade—a final, fatal slash following the thousand cuts made by state legislatures across the country. Some lawmakers, delivering on their desire to make America 1950 again, are weighing measures to criminalize contraception itself. These grim developments threaten to return sex to what it was for so long, for so many: a pleasure that becomes, all too easily, a punishment. They also bring gravity to a new anthology that reconsiders Brown’s complicated classic. Sex and the Single Woman, out this week, features 24 essays that take on, among many other timely topics, consent and polyamory and interracial dating and in vitro fertilization and sex as an activity and sex as an identity. The pieces are testaments to the hard-won freedoms of the sexual revolution that Brown both stirred and stymied. But they also read as elegies. They suggest all that is lost when sex is ceded to the state. They warn of what can happen when “the personal is political,” that elemental insight, is remade into a threat.When Sex and the Single Girl was first published, the pill had had FDA approval for only two years. Lucille Ball and Ricky Ricardo, married in life as on I Love Lucy, had spent several seasons retiring to separate beds to avoid any suggestion of sexual intimacy. (The show’s bashfulness was undiminished by Ball’s very evident onscreen pregnancy.) In that context—language veiled, pearls clutched, truths that affected everyone considered tasteful topics for no one—a book that refused to traffic in euphemism was a form of mutiny. Brown’s manual brought a winking literalism to the adage that “sex sells”: It was a commercial hit, and a cultural phenomenon. Just two years after its first publication, it was given one of the highest honors American entertainment knows how to give: It was made into a movie. Brown’s book did not simply say sex out loud. It also talked about it, and about the women who had it outside of marriage. At its best, it is casually humane. “What is a sexy woman?” Brown asks. “Very simple. She is a woman who enjoys sex.”With declarations like that, the book “paved the way,” the editors Eliza Smith and Haley Swanson write in the introduction to their new anthology, “for narratives like Murphy Brown, Living Single, and Sex and the City”: stories that considered women’s sexual liberation in the context of their social and professional lives. Sex and the Single Girl is cheeky and occasionally charming, its tone conversational, its sections full of learn-from-my-mistakes bits of wisdom and whimsical denigrations of the status quo (“Piffle poofle to that!”). Before Brown was an author, she was a copywriter—“a polarizing mix of Mad Men’s Peggy and Joan,” one obituary called her, upon her death in 2012—and the book reflects that background. Sex and the Single Girl, like any good ad, manufactures desires in the guise of fulfilling them. It is a book-length brochure for a life that is free of marriage’s compromises and confinements. Brown, in it, is a brand ambassador for singlehood.Sex and the Single Girl focuses on, and arguably helped foment, the phase of life that would come to be known as “emerging adulthood”: the interstitial period that separated the years people spent in youth and the years they’d spend in marriage. Brown’s innovation was to consider the women who were scouting the uncharted acreage between Miss and Mrs.—the demographic that was, rather than moving directly from the parents’ home to a husband’s, forging a domain of its own. Assuming that its “single girl” is not likely a wealthy girl, the book offers a flurry of tips about budgeting money, and saving it. (Need to stay in an apartment? Negotiate its rent. Need to fill its bland walls? Call airlines and ask them for promotional posters: They’ll be happy for the free publicity, and you’ll be happy for the free decor.) It offers advice about asking for a raise. At several points, its author endorses—another small radicalism—the benefits of psychotherapy.Brown’s book debuted a year before Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique came along to argue that housewives, far from living the American dream, were living lives of tidy desperation. Both books took aim at marriage. Both spoke to a moment in which women’s options were so stridently assumed—the wedding, the kids, the making of homes, the keeping of them—that, for many, they ceased to be options at all. Before “family values” was partisan ideology, it was simply an inevitability. It implicated everyone. Sex might have had its pleasures, the logic went, but more important, it had its purpose—and that purpose was to make babies, and thereby make families, and thereby make a nation. Sex was social infrastructure. It ordered people, in every sense of the word. It was everyone’s business, even when it wasn’t.[Read: Dr. Ruth’s good-sex revolution]Sex and the Single Girl rebels against all of that. In a culture that conflated sex and motherhood—each scripted as a gift given to others—Brown claimed to celebrate women’s sexuality on its own terms. That claim itself puts her book in loose conversation with feminist works of the era, among them Shulamith Firestone’s The Dialectic of Sex, Audre Lorde’s Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power, and Anne Koedt’s The Myth of the Vaginal Orgasm—the 1970 essay that introduced many people to the functions of the clitoris. Brown’s manual mocks one of the foundational myths of a patriarchal order: that women are sex’s passive recipients. It refuses to entertain mythologies that take men’s sexuality for granted and take women’s sexuality away. Brown’s insistence that sex is enjoyed by single women “to please themselves”—this was one battle in a wide-ranging war.But Brown fought for only some women. Sex and the Single Girl, written and published in the same decade that saw the March on Washington and the codification of the Civil Rights Act, ignores race as a dimension of women’s identity: It assumes its readers’ whiteness. It edits away all other modes of womanhood. The book, similarly, makes no space at all for sexual expression that is not zealously focused on men. (Brown, in the introduction to its 2003 reissue, tersely allows that lesbians exist, and then changes the subject.) And even among the women it does directly speak to—straight, white, financially comfortable enough to consider an empty wall to be a problem—the book’s talk of liberation often amounts to concession. Brown’s manual announced itself as a Samantha. In truth, it was a Charlotte.The book’s original title was Sex for the Single Girl; that the final draft excised the crucial preposition is a clue to its pulled punches. “To be desired sexually, in my opinion, is about the best thing there is,” Brown said in a 1996 interview. Notice that sex itself is not the thing she is praising; being desired is. The book reflects that bias. In it, Brown mentions friends occasionally; she mentions family rarely; she mentions her husband, David—a handsome and wealthy Hollywood producer whom she snared, she writes, at the age of 37—all the time. Hers is a men-centric world. Brown chastises women who socialize at bars without man-snagging as their goal (“better they should be at home doing their double-chin exercises”). She touts the benefits, and the pleasures, of physical activity, but adds, “Men like sports; can you afford not to?” At one point: “If you adore your job, men or no men, stay.” At another: “It seems obvious to me that if you aren’t meeting any men through your job, you are in the wrong job.”Brown’s blunt copy is false advertising. After a while, the carefree singlehood that she claims to be selling begins to look like drudgery. Spared of housework and care work, the women Brown imagines toil instead at the labor of sexual conquest. “If you would like the good single life—since the married life is not just now forthcoming,” she writes, “you can’t afford to leave any facet of you unpolished.” And she means it. Marriage, in this book about singleness, is merely replaced by a patriarchal arrangement of a different kind: women serving not their husbands but instead men more generally—men who will provide them the compliment, and the complement, of sexual attention.[Read: The phantom reckoning]Scholars and critics, over the years, have debated whether Brown should be considered a feminist. She herself claimed to be a “devout” one; a fuller answer might be had, though, in the fact that her advice to women guides them into deference. Men, in her book, are the subject and the object, the syntax and the punctuation—the omega but, more important, the alpha. Brown’s celebration of single women carries a two-word dedication: “To David.”This is one of the elements of Sex and the Single Girl that gives it its new sobriety. Men as active, women as passive; men deciding, women accommodating: That was Brown’s cosmology. And soon, even more people will likely be forced into its physics. When men and women have sex that ends in a pregnancy, it will be the women who bear the burdens. When men rape women, it will be women who bear the consequences. Feminists fought for sex to be casual—not in the sense that it doesn’t mean anything, but in the sense that it should not mean everything. The world we are facing is one that is losing that fight. And it is the world that Helen Gurley Brown foresaw, precisely because of her limited vision: Men will do what they do. Everyone else will adjust accordingly.One of the most powerful essays in the anthology Sex and the Single Woman resists that gravitational pull. “When a Man Isn’t a Man,” from the author Samantha Allen, considers one of the original book’s most odious moments: a passage advising readers on how they might interact with gay men. “How do you tell when a man isn’t a man?” Brown asks, and it may be the most wince-worthy line in a book that is full of them. From there, she explains how her “girls” might identify the gay men in their midst so that they might steer clear of them as romantic prospects and avoid investing in bonds with no return. (Though gay men do make, Brown allows, wonderful friends.)Allen, a trans woman, does the kind of reading that befits a book like Sex and the Single Girl: She finds wisdom even in its regressions. She uses Brown’s treatment of queerness to consider how American society, 60 years later, still polices sex, sexuality, and gender identity. She describes her own feeling, earlier in life, that she had somehow betrayed straight women simply by being who she was: a man who wasn’t a man. Allen understood, because people like Brown repeated it so often, that “there weren’t enough quality straight men in the world to go around.” In a teeming dating economy fueled by purchases, exchanges, and returns, Allen was not the product that she was expected, and assumed, to be. She liked women; she was not a man. And yet she spent years seeing herself as an embodied market demand: “I owed it to women,” she writes, of the alleged shortage of men, “to at least try to be one of the good ones.”Allen’s story, for now, has a happy ending. “​​My present is simple,” she writes: “I’m a woman married to a woman who’s attracted to women—a beautiful, parsimonious alignment of body and desire.” But she was one of the many people who, in a country that touts “the pursuit of happiness,” struggled to find that communion. Sex, wielded as a default organizing principle, can become its own form of oppression. “I might have failed the women who couldn’t tell right away that I wasn’t a man,” Allen writes, “but they were failed, too—we all were—by a discourse that told us sex and relationships were the essential project of early life, that we couldn’t imagine happiness that didn’t center around them.”Brown is a bard of that discourse. And the glib contradictions of her book—her habit of promising freedoms in one sentence and revoking them in the next—read, ever more, as an omen. The looming fall of Roe v. Wade might well signal a threat to LGBTQ rights in general, and to same-sex marriage in particular. American states, still, are writing homophobia into their legal code. Politicians and pundits are expressing old bigotries through blatant slogans (“Don’t Say Gay”) and insidious lies. Some lawmakers are attempting to deny the rights—and, with them, the very existence—of trans people. Late last week, Texas’s Supreme Court decided that the state, contra a lower-court ruling, can investigate gender-affirming care for trans kids as child abuse.[Read: Slouching towards Gilead]Those developments are the result not just of incuriosity so extreme that it becomes cruelty but also of something more specific: the conviction that sex is not something to be discovered but something to be obeyed. Sexual expression, in this bleak vision, is imposed—by the Bible, by nature, by other people—and plays out as a series of shoulds. It should be heterosexual. It should be confined to marriage. It should result in children. It should give leeway to men; it should bind women. Any failure to abide by those standards should be legislated, and therefore punished, by the state.The revolution that sought to free people from those confines never ended; in some sense it barely began. And now it might move in reverse, forced backward by those who fear others’ freedoms. Sex and the Single Girl understood the regressions because, in its roundabout way, it lived them out. It claimed to liberate women; it counseled them to live in thrall to men. It claimed to celebrate women’s pleasure; its primary concern was that women be pleasurable to other people. “The fact is, if you’re not a sex object, that’s when you have to worry,” Brown once said. In that sense, and that sense alone, today’s women have nothing to fear.
The People vs. Chesa Boudin
In December, Richie Greenberg stepped out the front door of his home in a residential, park-filled neighborhood of San Francisco to find a woman he did not recognize on his steps. She yelled at him and tried to block him from going back into his own house, pulling out a small knife and stabbing the air with it. “Walk down the steps!” he shouted at her as he called 911. “Get off of my fucking steps!”Greenberg made it into his house shaken but safe, and the cops arrived a few minutes later. But too many San Franciscans have experienced similar incidents of late, he told me, and many have suffered worse. “Practically everyone in this city has been a victim or knows a victim,” the political commentator and failed mayoral candidate said. “People are sick and tired of the whole atmosphere of the city. It’s not fun to live here anymore.”The responsibility for that shift, Greenberg told me, lies in no small part with Chesa Boudin, the city’s district attorney and the national face of the progressive-prosecutors movement. Boudin came into office promising to make the city safer with judicious, rather than punitive, policies: eliminating cash bail, reducing the jail population, focusing on diversion for young and first-time offenders. But Greenberg believes that Boudin has actually made the city less safe by letting criminals off. “San Francisco’s voters have been duped,” he said.[Read: Why California wants to recall its most progressive prosecutors]Fed up, Greenberg and other activists collected enough signatures to trigger a recall election, which will happen early next month. The effort has a good chance of ousting Boudin, as criminal incidents clog the local news and recall groups blanket the city in flyers and signs. A recent poll found that a solid majority of registered voters support the recall, with seven in 10 disapproving of the D.A.’s job performance.Boudin is fending off the recall effort’s accusations as he fights for his job. Crime in San Francisco “is a pressing issue,” he told me. “It’s my priority. It’s my office’s priority. It’s the focus of every single policy that we put into place. We want to make San Francisco safer.”The divisive campaign has raised the question of whether Boudin and other progressive prosecutors have made the country more dangerous. It has raised the question of whether he and his office can do much to reduce crime in San Francisco, a city I live in and love. And it has raised the question of whether there’s actually a crime wave at all.San Franciscans certainly believe that crime has increased: In a recent local Chamber of Commerce poll, an overwhelming majority of city residents said they thought that crime rates had gone up. “The results were consistent across gender, age, ethnicity, party affiliation, and neighborhood, and homeownership status,” the business group noted. Separate polls by The San Francisco Standard and the Bay Area Council found much of the same: People are very worried about their safety. In that, the region mirrors national trends. The share of Americans who believe that there is more crime in their neighborhood and across the country has jumped since the coronavirus pandemic hit.Homicides have increased nationally, rising from 5.1 per 100,000 people in 2019 to 6.5 per 100,000 people in 2020, according to government data. A handful of cities—Philadelphia, Indianapolis, and Louisville among them—have seen particularly bloody surges. But looking at the nationwide data—violent and nonviolent crimes, serious crimes and minor crimes—it is hard to see consistent evidence of a crime wave. Compared with 2019, reports of robberies were down 9 percent in 2020, aggravated assaults were up 12 percent, burglaries were down 7 percent, motor-vehicle thefts were up 12 percent, and incidents of rape were down 12 percent. “It’s sporadic as to which crime rates are increasing and decreasing, and which cities are going up, stable, or going down,” Alex Piquero, a criminologist at the University of Miami, told me.[David A. Graham: Murders are spiking in America]In San Francisco, the number of murders increased from 2019 to 2021, with the homicide rate jumping 37 percent. But San Francisco has had 41 to 58 murders a year for the past decade-plus, save for 2012, when there were 68. The years of 2019, 2020, and 2021 all fell in that narrow band. The city has a similar murder rate to that of Omaha, Nebraska; and St. Paul, Minnesota. Deaths by homicide occur at roughly a quarter of the rate they do in neighboring Oakland.Since Boudin has been in office, reported rates of violent crime in general have decreased, with the number of rapes and assaults falling well below their pre-pandemic levels. But hate crimes against the city’s Asian residents have soared, according to the police department. The city continues to have relatively high rates of property crime, and the pandemic seems to have shifted criminal activity away from touristy areas to residential ones. More people are getting their cars stolen and apartments broken into, while fewer people are getting their bags snatched.All these numbers—local and national—come with some degree of uncertainty. Crime data are patchy and subject to significant lags. “We can tell you how many chickens were sold last week across the country,” Jennifer Doleac, an economist at Texas A&M University, told me. “But we have no idea how many homicides there were.”Plus, these data are based on reported crimes. They do not account for increases or decreases in unreported crimes; a huge increase in porch-pirating might never show up in the data, because people generally do not bother to call the cops to complain about missing Amazon packages. They also do not account for changes in people’s propensity to report crimes. If fewer people call the cops because they are, say, afraid of immigration enforcement, that might look like a decrease in crime. If more people call the cops because they are worried about a crime wave, the incidence of crime might seem to increase.“You can cherry-pick statistics that make it look like crime is down or up,” Boudin told me. “But at a high level, there have been far fewer crimes reported to the police during my tenure than there were reported immediately prior.” He added: “We’re experiencing somewhat of a disconnect between what the data shows us and what people feel.”The disconnect comes as no surprise, in some sense: Surveys show that a large majority of Americans believe that crime is increasing year in and year out, regardless of whether it is. Indeed, as the incidence of violent crime has dropped since the 1990s, the beliefs that more crimes are being committed and that the country is getting less safe have become only more prevalent.Why such a great disconnect now? In part, Americans might be reacting to the real increase in the homicide rate, one that researchers do not yet feel confident explaining, though some point to the increased availability of guns, the stressors of the pandemic, suspended court proceedings, and pullbacks in community policing as potential factors. People also might be reacting to exhaustive and sometimes simplistic news coverage of that violent spike. A “crime wave” wave has overtaken the media. Mentions of the phrase more than doubled from 2019 to 2021 in major U.S. print publications, according to Nexis data; the number of minutes the big cable-news networks spent on it increased exponentially. A slew of studies show that individuals form their ideas about the prevalence of crime by following the news. Perhaps people think there’s a crime wave because they keep hearing about a crime wave.[David A Graham: America is having a violence wave, not a crime wave]During Boudin’s tenure as D.A., every high-profile criminal incident became a referendum on public safety and the efficacy of his office. A viral video of a “decimated” Louis Vuitton outlet downtown. The horrifying daylight murder of an elderly man. A New Year’s Eve incident in which an intoxicated driver, out on parole, smashed a car into and killed two women on a sidewalk. “That event right there was the last straw for many of us, including me,” Greenberg told me.Piquero pointed to another factor: The COVID-19 crisis has spurred an increase in antisocial behaviors, as my colleague Olga Khazan has reported. People are anxious. They’re drinking a lot. They’re operating in a divisive, polarized political climate. Road rage, unruly-passenger incidents, school fights—all have become more common. “We’re seeing increases in noncrime aggression,” Piquero said. “There’s this pent-up aggression. People are done with the pandemic, but the pandemic isn’t done with us.” The increase in aggression might feel like an increase in crime.The pandemic had made people feel less safe in another way, Boudin said. “The way we feel when we walk around our streets has changed,” he told me. “There are far fewer people going shopping and tourists walking around our historic neighborhoods. Those folks who were out and about often felt isolated or alone.” The fewer people on the streets were more vulnerable to crime, noted Doleac. “Having more eyes on the street, having more people out and about—it genuinely does increase public safety,” she told me. “Potential witnesses deter crime.”In San Francisco, a final major factor may be affecting people’s perceptions of crime. Roughly 4,400 people sleep on the streets every night in the city, a population that has become more obvious as the streets have emptied of commuters, restaurant-goers, and bar-hoppers; overdoses and overdose deaths have also become more common, because of the prevalence of fentanyl. In interviews, social scientists stressed that homelessness itself is not a crime; that the homeless were far more likely to be victims of crime than perpetrators; and that the mere presence of homeless people does not tend to lead to increases in crime rates, outside of charges such as loitering, panhandling, and public intoxication.Nevertheless, “the perception is that homelessness and crime are almost synonymous, Amy Donley, a sociologist at the University of Central Florida, told me. People are fearful, particularly of unsheltered and chronically homeless people.” This is in part what Greenberg was talking about when he said that “people are sick and tired of the whole atmosphere of the city” and that it is “not fun to live here anymore.” It is a sentiment that came up again and again as I talked with San Franciscans for this article, one I have felt myself from time to time in this jarringly unequal city. I pay crushing sums to live on the same street as a tent encampment. I have to make sure my kid does not pick up dirty needles or step in human excrement when we go for a walk. Homelessness reads as disorder; disorder reads as crime; people conflate the phenomena.Whether it is real or not, the crime wave is coming for Boudin. San Franciscans do not feel safe and secure. Polling commissioned by the recall campaign shows that more than half of likely voters believe that Boudin is “responsible for rising crime rates in San Francisco, especially burglaries and thefts.”In response to that perceived reality, and the campaign against him, Boudin made a few arguments to me. First, he said that crime was down, and that his mission is to make the city safer, one way or another. “If you compare the time I’ve been in office with the exact same time period before I was in office, and you look at the San Francisco Police Department dashboard, there’s been a decrease of about 26,000 reported crimes,” he said. He also noted that the pandemic had made the business of justice harder, by closing down courts and other administrative offices.[Read: His dad got a chance at clemency. Then his baby was born.]Second, he pointed to what his office is doing. Boudin had never prosecuted a case before he became district attorney in San Francisco, yet has known the criminal-justice system intimately his whole life. He grew up visiting his parents in prison; the pair took part in a botched armed robbery that left three people dead when Boudin was a toddler. That experience led him to become a public defender and an ardent believer in the necessity of reducing the prison population. “Our criminal-justice system is failing all of us,” he said in his first address to the city as D.A. “It is not keeping us safe.” He asked San Franciscans to join him in “rejecting the notion that to be free, we must cage others.”Boudin has ended cash bail; ceased prosecuting cases in which the evidence came from “pretextual” traffic stops, such as when a police officer pulls over a car for a broken taillight and ends up booking the driver after finding drugs; stopped using “enhancements” that add years to the sentences of gang members; quit using the state’s “three strikes” law; filed charges against a San Francisco police officer accused of brutality; instituted a commission to identify and overturn wrongful convictions; cut the number of young people incarcerated in half and reduced the pretrial jail population. He has also expanded the use of diversion and restorative-justice programs.Such initiatives might make the city’s criminal-justice system more equitable. But do they make the city more dangerous? The recall campaign is arguing yes, saying that Boudin has created a culture of impunity and let too many criminals walk free. Not a lot of evidence supports that position, beyond anecdotes. But lenient tactics like Boudin’s lower recidivism rates and thus crime rates in the longer term, Doleac, along with Amanda Agan of Rutgers University and Anna Harvey of New York University, demonstrated in a recent study. Doleac told me she was surprised by her own results. “It just seemed obvious to me that we would see some increase in criminal behavior on the other side, if some people are not being prosecuted and punished,” she said. That’s not what she found: “It is just all benefits. There are no costs.”Third, Boudin argued that the campaign against him was illegitimate, funded by billionaires and driven by personal pique. “The recall is not about trends in crime rates. It’s about money. It’s about dishonest, political power grabs,” he told me. “If the recall were about crime rates, then there would be a recall in Sacramento, there would be a recall in Alameda County, there would be a recall in lots of red jurisdictions across California and across the country where crimes under conservative, traditional, tough-on-crime prosecutors are skyrocketing.”In response to rising concerns about crime, many D.A.s and other elected officials, including ones committed to criminal-justice reform, have cracked down. London Breed, San Francisco’s mayor, is one of them. “The reign of criminals who are destroying our city, it is time for it to come to an end,” she said at a press conference in December. “It comes to an end when we take the steps to [get] more aggressive with law enforcement, more aggressive with the changes in our policies, and less tolerant of all the bullshit that has destroyed our city.” Polls show that San Franciscans want the city to use aggressive tactics, such as arresting people for minor offenses and forcing treatment on “dangerous drug users.” Boudin, though, has criticized Breed’s crime-fighting initiatives and has declined to adopt a tough-on-crime posture.[Darcy Covert: The false hope of the progressive-prosecutor movement]To truly become safer, Boudin has argued, the city needs better social-welfare policies, not more arrests and longer prison sentences: mental-health counseling, housing for the homeless, safe injection sites, street cleaning, and public toilets. He has neither the money nor the remit to do any of that, he told me. “The mayor’s office has primary control over a $14 billion budget,” he said. “My budget is about $75 million. Pretty big gap there.”He told me he believes that his detractors are making people afraid in order to take him out. “It’s exploiting the kinds of tragedies that have occurred in every jurisdiction across this country for as long as we’ve been keeping track of data on criminal justice, and the kinds of bureaucratic and administrative obstacles that the COVID pandemic imposed on every single court system in this country, and every single district attorney’s office in this country,” he said. “They’re using that to make a scapegoat out of me and my office in our policies that are grounded in evidence-based practices, to enhance safety, to promote justice, and to restore trust in communities impacted by crime.”Boudin’s struck me as an awkward position to take, in some way. There’s plenty of big money in the recall race, to be sure, and some of that money is Republican. But a large share of San Franciscans have expressed their dissatisfaction with the district attorney and their concerns about public safety. Many are liberals, and a lot of them are progressives. Indeed, perhaps the most compelling voice challenging Boudin is not Greenberg, who used to be a registered Republican (he’s an independent now, he told me); it is Brooke Jenkins, a progressive prosecutor herself.Jenkins supports diversion programs for low-level crimes, she told me, as well as programs to shorten excessive sentences and free the wrongfully convicted. A Black and Latina woman, she deplores what mass incarceration has done to communities of color. She said that she appreciated how compassionate and reform-focused San Francisco was as a city. Thus, she said, she looked forward to working with Boudin when he came into office.Yet, working on murder cases for him, she said, she came to question whether he was the right person for the job. He had decided what not to do and where to pull back, she said. But he had not figured out how to fight the crime the city was facing. “Chesa has refused to switch hats,” she told me. “He maintains the outlook or the mindset of a public defender. His view is that crime is just a part of life, something that we all have to endure and deal with. It’s never going to go away. No amount of punishment for any offender is going to change what happened, even in a murder case.”[Derek Thompson: Why America’s great crime decline is over]She worried that this posture discourages people from reporting offenses against them. She also worried that it disrespects the victims of violence—a personal issue for her, after her husband’s cousin was murdered in the summer of 2020. “I don’t think he’s willing to listen to those Black voices,” she told me. “He believes, in his mind, that he knows what’s best for them.”Perhaps her strongest argument was that Boudin simply isn’t good at the job. Half the lawyers working for him have quit, retired, or been fired. She personally decided to quit after he declined to hear her out on not accepting the insanity plea of a defendant who had murdered his mother. “He never requested to meet with me via Zoom or any other mechanism,” she said. “He never requested to see the file to review.” She declined to go to court to enter into the agreement. “That was a level of irresponsibility and recklessness that I wasn’t going to participate in,” she said.Boudin has also shown himself to be less than adept at the political role he’s taken on as D.A. He’s arguing with his own constituents about their lived experience. He’s sniping at the mayor and feuding with the police force. I can’t remember interviewing a politician who seemed less politic. I asked if there was a crime wave in San Francisco, and he said the question was in some sense fundamentally unanswerable, before citing the police statistics showing that crime had gone down. I asked if it was a problem that so many prosecutors had left his office, and he responded in part by talking about the Great Resignation. I asked if his public rift with the city’s cops affected his ability to do his job, and he responded, “Of course it does.”With the recall election nearing and polling showing that Boudin might be ousted, more people have come out to make his case for him. Elected officials, including most of the members of the Board of Supervisors, have backed Boudin. The San Francisco Chronicle ran an editorial supporting him. Many of the city’s major unions are rallying for him, as is the ACLU of Northern California. Voters are hearing the argument that the recall is a hasty, antidemocratic effort and that Boudin is implementing the humane, effective reform policies the city voted him in to try just a few years ago.Yet so much has changed in those few years. The country has lurched from concern over murderous police violence and the tragedy of mass incarceration to concern about cities under siege and higher homicide rates. Boudin has responded in part by refusing to respond, declining to crack down or even to seem like he is. Whatever evidentiary backing that refusal might have, it has left many members of the relevant jury, the city’s voters, unconvinced.
How to Choose Between Multiple Creative Projects
“Which one do you find yourself thinking about in the shower?”
The developing Covid crisis in Beijing, explained
An ambulance enters a fenced residential area under lockdown due to Covid-19 restrictions in Beijing, on May 17, 2022. | Noel Celis/AFP via Getty Images Covid has been running amok in the Chinese capital. What happens there will reverberate around the world. After successfully curbing the novel coronavirus for most of the past two years, China in recent months has faced its biggest Covid-19 surge since the virus was first discovered in Wuhan in December 2019. The Covid wave caused by the highly contagious omicron variant has spread across many major cities, including Shanghai. This past month, the wave has reached the capital, Beijing, and what happens there could have enormous implications for the course of the pandemic, China’s government, and the global economy. As of Wednesday, May 18, Beijing has reported 719 cases since the beginning of the month, part of the worst surge the city has faced since the virus emerged. By comparison, Shanghai, China’s economic capital, which had previously dominated the headlines for its devastating surge, has reported 4,798 cases since the beginning of this month. China as a whole has passed the 1.5 million Covid-19 total confirmed case count, with the vast majority of cases reported since the beginning of March. Although the Beijing case count is lower compared to Shanghai’s, and considerably lower than what’s been seen in the United States, China has responded with urgency. Beijing officials have rolled out numerous policies from their zero-Covid pandemic playbook. This has included rounds of mandatory mass PCR testing for its population of 22 million residents; partial lockdowns; contact tracing; isolation of cases and close contacts; sealing off of buildings; public transit cutbacks; closures of schools, malls, movie theaters, and gyms; and bans on indoor dining at restaurants. Zhuoran Li, a research assistant at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, told me, “Family and friends in Beijing have told me that, right now, it’s still more of locking down [specific] communities rather than the entire city. My uncle and aunt, [for example], can still go buy food themselves.” Chinese authorities are acting quickly to prevent Beijing from entering a full-scale lockdown, which was undertaken most notably and recently in the financial capital, Shanghai. The lockdown there, which involved quarantining a city of over 26 million people, has come under much criticism — both domestic and international — with stories coming out about food shortages and civilians’ inability to access basic medical care. Even as global Covid-19 cases passed the 500 million mark this month, many countries around the world, notably the United States and those in Europe, have relaxed their pandemic protection policies, choosing to live with the virus. China, meanwhile, has held steadfastly to its zero-Covid plan — an approach it once shared with countries like Vietnam and New Zealand but is now alone in pursuing. Many experts and pundits, particularly in the West, have characterized China’s zero-Covid pandemic policies as draconian and ineffective in the face of the extremely contagious omicron variant. Increasingly, some members of the Chinese public and intelligentsia are also expressing mixed feelings on the policy. But the Chinese government remains unbowed; an editorial in the state-owned Global Times touts the policy for adhering “to the principle of people first and life first,” in contrast to the “cruel social Darwinism” of the West. What’s playing out is a major test for the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP), whose leader, President Xi Jinping, has elevated the country’s pandemic response to shore up the party’s legitimacy. China is gearing up for the 20th Party Congress, the country’s paramount political event, where the party decides China’s leadership every five years and sets key policy priorities. This year, Xi is widely expected to secure an unprecedented third term in power. For the wider world, China’s Covid troubles could exacerbate global supply chain issues, food shortages, and inflation, as well as increase the risk of a global recession. Like China’s initial battle with Covid, the country’s latest struggle will determine the fate of more than just its own population. Just how bad is the latest Covid outbreak? While questions have been raised about the accuracy of Covid-19 data reported by the Chinese government, there is no doubt that the current outbreak in Beijing is the worst the city has seen since the beginning of the pandemic. Aside from an outbreak in the summer of 2020, the capital had mostly been spared from Covid-19 over the past years. As a result, Beijingers had been able to live life with relatively few restrictions, and the city held major events like the centenary of the CCP and the 2022 Beijing Olympics without any subsequent outbreaks. John Hopkins University CSSE All this has changed with the arrival of the more contagious omicron variant, which China has had difficulty bringing under control with its zero-Covid approach. Not only is omicron more contagious, but it is also much better at evading the defenses of people who have been vaccinated. In the country more broadly, there were lockdowns of some sort in more than 40 cities as of May 5, affecting up about 327.9 million people, according to a CNBC report. Though a staggering number, the population affected by lockdowns is not even close to a majority of China’s overall population. Benjamin Cowling, a professor and epidemiologist at the University of Hong Kong, told me, “Most of China is normal — no masks, no social distancing, very limited impact on daily life — and that doesn’t come across in the coverage of Covid in China.It looks like China is having chaos, but it’s [mainly cities like] Shanghai having these measures in place.” However, China’s current struggles with containing Covid and the scale of the current outbreak do reveal a major hole in the middle of the country’s pandemic strategy: vaccination. Though China’s overall vaccination rate (two doses without boosters) stands at about 87 percent, only about half of people over the age of 80 have been fully vaccinated. That’s because China did not prioritize the elderly for vaccination, unlike many other countries. (Indeed, adults over 60 were not even approved to get the vaccines at first due to initial concerns about side effects from domestically made vaccines.) Cowling, who recently co-authored a study on vaccine hesitancy among older Chinese adults, told me that the lack of urgency is related to the country’s overall early success in curbing Covid. “The big fundamental issue is about the risk-benefit calculation for vaccines. Where we always say in the West, the vaccines have small risks, but the benefits far outweigh the risks, in China, you have the risk of the vaccine, which we accept is very, very low, but not zero, but if the government continues with the [zero-Covid] policy and it works, then the benefit is very limited,” he said. Cowling said that China could have marshaled better messaging on vaccines, like how the UK responded to concerns about the Astra-Zeneca vaccine causing blood clots. Ultimately, the majority of those who have died in cities like Shanghai and Hong Kong have thus far been the unvaccinated elderly. Along with low vaccine uptake, the Chinese-made vaccines are now understood to be less efficacious against omicron than the mRNA vaccines (though about as effective as mRNA vaccines against serious illness and death, with three doses). The disappointing performance of the domestic vaccines has led to questions about why China has not imported the more effective mRNA ones. Li, the Johns Hopkins researcher, described this to me as a form of “vaccine nationalism,” where the Chinese government is trying to be self-reliant and shore up its own biotech and pharmaceutical industry. “For China, [to import the Western mRNA vaccines] means that they cannot claim this victory anymore, and that they’re conceding their own governance model is not working as well as the American model,” Li said. Why is it a big deal if the government imposes a Shanghai-style lockdown in Beijing? Noel Celis/AFP via Getty Images A security guard carries groceries for residents into a fenced residential area under lockdown due to Covid-19 restrictions in Beijing on May 17, 2022. Officials in Beijing have acted fast not to repeat the blunders of their counterparts in Shanghai, where frustration over the government’s handling of the current surge has gone viral across Chinese social media and manifested in often-unseen protests. No tool has been left off the table, including blocking rideshare apps from operating within districts that have been put under lockdown. While authorities have thus far avoided the panic and chaos of Shanghai, this hasn’t entirely stopped dissent from manifesting, including at one of the nation’s top schools, and Beijing’s current battle from Covid is far from over. There would be deep ramifications if Beijing has to undergo a citywide, Shanghai-style lockdown — for the government, the people, and the world. A lockdown in Beijing would be seen as a major political loss for the ruling CCP, which, despite the government’s troubled handling of the initial outbreak of Covid-19 in Wuhan, has been ableto successfully manage the pandemic since then. Xi Jinping in particular has used China’s Covid success to champion the Chinese model of governance, proudly declaring back in October 2020, “The pandemic once again proves the superiority of the socialist system with Chinese characteristics.” In an era where governments increasingly frame events in terms of geopolitical competition between democracies and autocracies, failure in Beijing would be a loss of face. Jane Duckett, a professor specializing in Chinese politics and society at the University of Glasgow, told me, “I think the government is caught between a rock and a hard place … if it doesn’t try to [contain] Covid, then it will spread, and if we end up with a [situation] like Hong Kong, then their entire, ‘We are going to save lives and our system is superior’ kind of line [falls short] … and [China has] ended up perhaps as bad as some of the countries that the [Chinese] leadership has been very critical of.” The ones who are most affected and will continue to be the most affected by the Chinese government’s pandemic policies are, of course, the average Zhous, regular Chinese people. Alongside the severe mental health toll that comes with life under lockdown, Human Rights Watch found that there was a “systematic denial of medical needs of people with serious but non-Covid related illnesses,” sometimes even leading to unnecessary deaths. The economic impacts are also quite severe, as hundreds of thousands of small businesses have closed, while the Chinese stock market has slumped. Unemployment is rising, particularly among young people, with the jobless ratefor 16-24 year olds at 16 percent (nationally, it is around 5 percent), and less than half of college graduates this year having received job offers. Chinese officials are aware of all this, and have taken some action to ameliorate the economic downturn. This includes provisional living allowances for unemployed migrant workers, who already deal with a great deal of precarity in normal times, as well as infrastructure spending to shore up the economy. All of this may not be enough, though; as Joerg Wuttke, president of the EU Chamber of Commerce in China, put it in an interview, “The stimulus measures are like a band-aid for an amputation.” Economic issues in China, the world’s second-largest economy by GDP and the largest exporter of goods, have already begun to reverberate around the world. For one thing, China’s lockdowns are further roiling a global supply chain already backed up by previous shocks during the pandemic, which will lead to longer delays for goods like electric vehicles and iPhones. This goes beyond consumer goods, though, as China is also the world’s second-largest exporter of fertilizer after Russia, and the country has increasingly curbed much of its fertilizer exports since last summer to prevent domestic food security issues. Because Russia did the same in the wake of its war on Ukraine, these twin crises are likely to exacerbate an alarming food crisis, potentially deepening hunger in places like Africa and West Asia. Andany downturn in China’s stock market and economy will in turn adversely affect the economies of countries in the Global South that have particularly close economic ties, like South Africa and Brazil. This could all possibly dampen the overall global economy, and perhaps even intensify the risk of a global recession. If there’s one thing we have learned from this pandemic, it’s that what happens in China doesn’t stay there; it has deep implications for the rest of the world. The course of Beijing’s fight against Covid may well have consequential repercussions beyond China’s borders.
СК возбудил еще одно дело по факту обстрелов Донбасса украинскими военными
СК возбудил еще одно дело по факту обстрелов Донбасса украинскими военными
Feds urge some indoor masking as COVID rises anew: CBS News Flash May 19, 2022
Federal health officials are warning people in newly-hard hit COVID areas to consider masking up in indoor public places. About a-third of the U.S. population lives in areas considered at higher risk - mostly in the Northeast and Midwest. “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli has been released from prison early. And “The Greatest Show on Earth” plans a comeback next year – but without animal performers. Ringling Brothers went dark in 2017.
Opinion: Why North Korea's Covid-19 outbreak could shock the world
Without immediate help, North Korea's Covid-19 death toll could be unprecedented, warns Dr. Kee B. Park, who has worked alongside surgeons in Pyongyang and witnessed firsthand the resourcefulness of staff in stretched hospitals.
Третьяк переизбран на пост президента Федерации хоккея России
На пост президента Федерации хоккея России переизбран действующий глава Владислав Третьяк. У трехкратного олимпийского чемпиона, занимающего этот пост уже 16 лет, не нашлось оппонентов
Tornado at baseball game: Kids run through dust devil
Why run the bases… when you can run through a twister? A dust devil interrupted a youth baseball practice in Florence, Alabama, and the players couldn’t help but walk through the sandy swirl. Last July, a similar whirlwind ripped through a soccer match in Bolivia.
ShowBiz Minute: Cruise, Gomez, Swift
Tom Cruise and "Top Gun: Maverick" touch down in Cannes; Jill Biden, Selena Gomez lead talk on youth mental health; Taylor Swift gets honorary degree from New York University. (May 19)
North Korea fights COVID with few tools
North Korea has quarantined hundreds of thousands of suspected COVID-19 patients daily and urged people with mild symptoms to take willow leaf or honeysuckle tea. (May 19)
Durham probe: Ex-FBI officials expected to take stand in Sussmann trial, as defense plans to argue a mistrial
James Baker, the former FBI general counsel, is expected to take the stand again in the trial of Michael Sussmann for continued questioning from Special Counsel John Durham’s team and the defense.
Ukrainians seeking shelter in US must have TB screenings and certain vaccinations
The United States is preparing to welcome more displaced Ukrainians now that the Biden administration has approved the first group to enter through the new Uniting for Ukraine program. Ukrainians began arriving through the program this month.
В Сургуте велосипедиста зарезали из-за просьбы не мусорить
В Сургуте велосипедиста зарезали из-за просьбы не мусорить
Роскомнадзор обязал владельца "Википедии" исполнить закон о "приземлении"
Роскомнадзор обязал владельца "Википедии" исполнить закон о "приземлении"
Российская академия образования поддержит новую детскую организацию
Развитие общероссийского детско-юношеского движения должно сопровождаться научным исследованием портрета современного ребенка - его целей, желаний, потребностей. Об этом заявила президент Российской академии образования Ольга Васильева, предложив выступить координатором изысканий
Turkey Will Block Sweden and Finland Joining NATO
Turkey is said to be blocking the two countries' bid to join the alliance because of their alleged lax attitude towards PKK militants.
A woman slipped a note to a KFC worker. It led to her partner’s arrest.
The woman told police her boyfriend, who was armed with a handgun, hit her in the face and took her phone away, an affidavit states.
Беженцы с Украины сожгли дом в ФРГ, пытаясь поджечь российский флаг
Беженцы с Украины сожгли дом в ФРГ, пытаясь поджечь российский флаг
Орешкин: Путин на Госсовете примет решение об индексации соцвыплат
Орешкин: Путин на Госсовете примет решение об индексации соцвыплат
Кардиолог объяснил, почему в сердце появляются опухоли
Кардиолог объяснил, почему в сердце появляются опухоли
Захарова о реакции Франции на вступление Швеции и Финляндии в НАТО: Альянсу нужны доноры
Захарова о реакции Франции на вступление Швеции и Финляндии в НАТО: Альянсу нужны доноры
Лукашенко рассчитывает до конца года разработать ракету типа "Искандер"
Лукашенко рассчитывает до конца года разработать ракету типа "Искандер"
Спикер парламента ЯНАО убежден в важности уроков прошлого для будущего страны
Забота о людях независимо от внешних вызовов всегда была приоритетным направлением политики ямальских властей. Вместе с духовенством законодатели и исполнители реализуют качественные социальные, медицинские, благотворительные и патриотические проекты