Connecticut’s New Thought Police

Grind for February 2nd
“Without wearing any mask we are conscious of, we have a special face for each friend.”

– Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.


The Headline

Connecticut’s new police department will focus on far-right extremism

The Grind

Democratic lawmakers in Connecticut want to create a new state police department to “specialize in investigating far-right extremist groups and individuals.”

In 2017, the state of Connecticut reported 111 crimes motivated by bias against a particular race, ethnicity, or religion. Most of the crimes targeted blacks and Jews.

The new police department aims to stop these crimes before they happen, explains Senate President Martin Looney.

“Unfortunately, people who entertain hateful beliefs…are protected as long as [those beliefs] don’t result in hate-crime actions. That’s what we’re talking about,” says Looney. “We want to be more aggressive in enforcing our laws and identifying likely sources of potential domestic terrorism acts against religious institutions and ethnic institutions.”

The Details

As noted by Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano, a Republican, the proposal is inappropriate in that it fails to mention left-wing extremism. Extremism exists on both sides and is wrong on both sides, and Democrats must acknowledge this fact in order to effectively combat hate crime.

“When they put a right-wing label on extremism, they do that to elicit a political response,” argues Fasano, adding that Republicans are “on the same page” when it comes to protecting the state’s residents from hate crimes.

Desperate Times

The Headline

China quarantines 20 million people to stop coronavirus

The Grind

Four cities in China have been closed off from the rest of the world in a desperate attempt to keep the Wuhan coronavirus from spreading.

The city of Wuhan was put under quarantine on Wednesday, followed by metropolises Huanggang, Ezhou, and Chiba.

Public transportation is closed, highways are blocked, and residents are encouraged to watch their neighbors for signs of illness. Individual patients are being transported in plastic tubes.

In Beijing, officials cancelled festivities planned for the Lunar New Year (January 25th) to prevent the virus spreading among tourists. Before the virus appeared, the Lunar New Year was expected to produce up to 3 billion travelers.

The Details

It is unclear whether the emergency measures have worked, as the virus has already made its way to Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Macao, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the United States.

There have been more than 630 confirmed cases of the virus, 95% of which have been described as “severe” and at least 17 deaths.

“To my knowledge, trying to contain a city of 11 million people is new to science,” admits Gauden Galea, China’s representative to the World Health Organization. “It has not been tried before as a public health measure. We cannot at this stage say it will or it will not work.”

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