Departing from my normal practice

I usually avoid discussing politics because it’s a great way to accentuate points of contention with people when anyone who likes to get things done knows we need to focus on what we have in common. But a recent incident where police were shown on video pepper spraying peaceful protesters has really been bugging me.

At over 5 million Scoville units (habanero peppers are 350,000), that orange stuff you see the cops coating the students faces with is far hotter than the worst peppers you’ve encountered in your life and burns like acid even if it gets in contact with your skin. Get much of it in your eyes or your lungs, and you might need to be hospitalized as some of the students in the video did. It’s dangerous stuff.

The police chief made the ludicrous claim that this extreme action was necessary to because the officers were surrounded and their safety was in jeopardy. A lot of people support the police actions. I only wonder what those same people would have said if these events had occurred in China.

There are few more effective ways to generate contempt for the law than allowing those charged with enforcing it to abuse their authority or not obey it themselves.

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