Make America (Realize It’s) Safe Again

Make America (Realize It’s) Safe Again:

Donald Trump keeps insisting we live in dangerous times…. And most Americans agree with him. In June 71% of Americans said they expected further terrorist attacks in the United States over the next several weeks. And 53% recently said they worry a great deal about crime while 70% believe that there is more crime in the United States than there was a year ago.

It may have been smart politics for Trump to use Make America Safe Again as the theme for the opening day of the Republican National Convention. The facts, however, suggest Americans are already quite safe.

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Crime in Context

Crime in Context:

The Marshall Project used a widely accepted statistical calculation to get a weighted average of recent years – essentially smoothing out the year-to-year fluctuations that are common to crime data. We found that the reported violent crimes rose in our cities last year to its highest point since 2010. But viewed in the broader context of the past five decades, crime remains near record lows.

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Obama’s Drone Warfare Makes More Terrorists Than It Kills

Obama’s Drone Warfare Makes More Terrorists Than It Kills:

Of course, drone strikes were always more about convenience than effectiveness… Because this is a question of counterterrorism, maintaining Obama’s drone war becomes outright dangerous to U.S. security. To be sure, the president is unlikely to admit the failure of his signature tactic before he leaves office in January, but for the next president, a reexamination of our drone war’s effectiveness should be at the top of the to-do list.

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Your Kid Is Way More Likely To Be Poisoned By Crayons Than By Marijuana

Your Kid Is Way More Likely To Be Poisoned By Crayons Than By Marijuana:

This year, marijuana opponents are raising hundreds of thousands of dollars to combat what they say are the threats of the drug. But as far as I’m aware, there are currently no efforts afoot to ban crayons.

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Despite Recent Shootings, Police Still Safer Than They Have Been in Decades

Despite Recent Shootings, Police Still Safer Than They Have Been in Decades:

In the aftermath of the mass shooting of a dozen police officers in Dallas…, some conservatives rushed to lay blame for the incident at the feet of the Obama administration….

These statements are part of a broader narrative of a “war on cops” carried out by the Obama administration and/or the Black Lives Matter movement, depending on whom you ask…. But the simplistic and inflammatory notion of a “war on cops” is completely undercut by one fundamental data point: Intentional attacks on police officers are at historically low levels under President Obama.

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What the Data Says About Police and Racial Bias

What the Data Says About Police and Racial Bias:

As the nation reels from a series of high-profile fatal shootings of black men by police officers, many have decried the lack of readily available data on how racial bias factors into American policing. But while it’s true that there is no adequate federal database of fatal police shootings, there exists a wealth of academic research, official and media investigations, and court rulings on the topic of race and law enforcement.

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Why It’s Impossible to Calculate the Percentage of Police Shootings That Are Legitimate

Why It’s Impossible to Calculate the Percentage of Police Shootings That Are Legitimate:

In too many cases to count now, surveillance video, dash cam footage, body cam footage or citizen-filmed video has shown that a shooting didn’t happen the way the police officers involved claimed it did. The charitable explanation for the discrepancy is that the police simply misremembered what happened… The less charitable interpretation is that the officers knowingly lied… For this discussion, the difference isn’t all that important. What’s important is that without video, the officer’s account is usually all that matters. But we know from video that the officer’s account can be wrong. We don’t know how often this is the case. And it isn’t clear that this really can be known….

Look at the shootings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling… In both cases, the deceased was in possession of a gun. In both cases the police claimed that the suspect was reaching for that gun. For FBI data-collecting purposes, both cases would be instances in which police officers used lethal force to defend themselves after an armed suspect went for his gun….

I asked The Post’s Wesley Lowery about the two cases… Without the video, The Post would likely have classified them as an “attack in progress.”

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White House Releases Drone Casualty Numbers For People Who Defer to Authority Over Evidence

White House Releases Drone Casualty Numbers For People Who Defer to Authority Over Evidence:

In making the case for why their casualty estimate of between 64 and 116 civilians killed was the best available – compared with independent organizations with far higher numbers, administration officials said… outsiders did not have access to the government’s wide-ranging intelligence….

But officials acknowledged that acceptance of what was sharply limited information about what it said were 473 total strikes, conducted by the CIA and the U.S. military’s elite Joint Special Operations over a seven-year period, was largely a matter of trust.

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After Legalizing Recreational Weed, Colorado Has Lowest Teen Use in the Country

After Legalizing Recreational Weed, Colorado Has Lowest Teen Use in the Country:

Cannabis prohibitionists have long cautioned that legalizing the plant will inevitably lead to increased use among teens, couching their restrictive beliefs in concern for the youth. While some of these concerns may be genuine, a recent survey from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment demonstrates – for the second year in a row – that youth in Colorado do not use cannabis any more than teens in other parts of the country. In fact, by at least one measure, they use less.

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