You've read Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen's meditation on Trayvon Martin and race, right? So you already know many of the problems with it? Let me assure you that it's even worse than you think. In paragraph seven, he tells us that citing "the number of stop-and-frisks involving black males without citing the murder statistics as well" would be "an Orwellian exercise in political correctness." Set aside that if New York police only stopped and frisked banksters I would still call it an unconstitutional overreach: where does he cite "murder statistics"? Mr. Cohen must think he did it in paragraph three: "In New York City, blacks make up a quarter of the population, yet they represent 78 percent of all shooting suspects." But n.b. that suspects aren't criminals. Worse than this, even, is that Mr. Cohen seems to think his repeated declarations against Mr. Zimmerman and against racism comprise acts of moral courage. How many people really think Mr. Zimmerman was right to shoot an unarmed kid? How many people really think racism is right? (No, not even that many actual racists -- they call their own racism an honest account of their surroundings.)
Meanwhile, a Florida law professor suggests that a civil case against George Zimmerman could bring down Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, even though the Zimmerman trial's outcome didn't actually hinge on it. How? Stand Your Ground allows Mr. Zimmerman to ask for a pre-trial immunity hearing so he can demonstrate he acted in self-defense, and if he can do that, he'll escape the civil suit entirely. He didn't do that for the criminal case, but he might do it to head off a civil case he might otherwise lose, since the lower "preponderance of evidence" standard (versus the "reasonable doubt" standard for criminal cases) will apply to him as well as the Martin family. And yet once he asks for that hearing, the Martin family could assert that Stand Your Ground wrests power from the courts without establishing an "overpowering public necessity" to do so, as the state constitution demands. I don't know if that'll work, and I'm sure the Martin family will only argue it if they have to. (Dig at the end, by the way, how ALEC says it "does not support Stand Your Ground policies" like the ones it used to write. It's easy to walk away from the damage you've already done.)
Finally, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday that state regulators will lower premium prices for individual health-care buyers by 50 percent. That'll be a big deal to folks buying insurance on their own, since they're the most vulnerable folks in the health insurance market -- and you'd think that folks who buy as part of a group, and thus have more bargaining power (folks who work at large corporations, for example), would, in time, reap the benefits of lower rates as well. Health insurance CEOs might balk at that, since it would make them less money, but, again, corporate CEOs buying health insurance on their employees' behalf might have something to say about that. And don't go popping the champagne just yet -- only about half of America's states have the power to approve (or disapprove) health insurance premium rates; California doesn't, for example, much as we fought to change that. Still, it's telling that for "balance" the Times can only hand over the last four paragraphs to one Queens recycling business owner who might have to pay a little more in health insurance because he's afraid to give up his insurer or his doctors.