This is a particularly brutal column coming in the wake of yesterday's big piece on the NYPD: eight black New York city college students reported being stopped and frisked 92 times all told. Meanwhile, also in the Times today, but over on the front page, it's this: killing of police officers is at a four-year-high. The Times plays this really big and really wrong, and calls this "a disturbing trend," but it's actually not. (It is disturbing, of course.) But 2008 was the ten-year low for police officers being killed, and 2012 is, so far, year-to-date, down 49% from last year. So it's actually the opposite of [...]
"One in five Americans smoked last year, down from almost one in four a decade earlier. But the declines in smoking have recently stalled, with virtually no change in smoking rates since 2004 and even a hint of an increase last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are reporting. Some 20.6 percent of Americans were current smokers in 2008, barely down from 20.9 percent in 2004, according to the Nov. 19 issue of the C.D.C.'s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report." I know I'm doing my part, what about you guys?
Last night in Los Angeles, Manny Ramirez hit a grand slam that helped his team to victory. But the significance of the dinger was not just about wins and losses. No, this was a historic event: "The four runs Ramirez drove in with that single stroke in his pinch-hit at-bat did more than break a sixth-inning tie and send the Dodgers on their way to a 6-2, sweep-sealing victory over the Cincinnati Reds. The home run off reliever Nick Masset, the first long ball ever hit by a Dodger on his bobblehead night, turned the ballpark into a madhouse."