Reason Roundup

He Disarmed a Gun-Wielding Menace in a San Jose Taqueria. Then the Cops Shot Him.

Plus: Russia update, literary censorship, myths about American workers, and more...


Police won't release body cam footage of disputed incident for 45 days. Kaun Green may have saved some lives. When a brawl broke out in a San Jose, California, restaurant last weekend, the 20-year-old Contra Costa City College student and football player was able to get a gun away from one of the men who had started the fight.

For his good deed, Green wound up being shot multiple times by local police.

San Jose cops responding to the brawl say they didn't know that Green was only holding a gun because he had disarmed its original owner. So they shot him.

San Jose Police Chief Anthony Mata claims that "officers gave repeated commands to drop the gun, however the individual does not drop the gun." But Green's lawyer disputes this, saying that the cops gave Green no time to drop the gun before opening fire.

"The officers were walking up the stairs. My client is backing out, you hear them yell something, and within less than a second there are gunshots," he told ABC 7 News.

Green was shot at least three times, and is now recovering in the hospital. The officer who shot him has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.

There is body camera footage of the shooting, but it has not yet been released. San Jose Police said yesterday that it would take 45 days to release the video footage, despite the fact that they had already released stills.

"The person who initially brought the gun to the restaurant and pulled it out during the fight was arrested for being a felon in possession of a ghost gun," reports NBC News.


Russia pledged to "drastically reduce" troops around Kyiv and Chernihiv, in face-to-face talks between Russian and Ukrainian officials. Russia's ministry of defense announced afterward that it would "reduce military activity" to "create the necessary conditions for further negotiations."

More from CBS News:

Russia's lead negotiator Vladimir Medinsky emerged from Tuesday's talks to say his country had received "a clearly formulated position from Ukraine," and that "the possibility of making peace will become closer" as the two sides continue to work quickly to reach compromises.

Ukrainian negotiators also indicated some progress as the two sides seek to hammer out mutual "security guarantees." …

It wasn't clear to what extent Russia's military would reduce its artillery barrage against Kyiv's suburbs and the decimated city of Chernihiv, close to the Russian border, but it was the first time Moscow had given any indication that it would reduce the intensity of its "special military operation" since it began on February 24.

But U.S. officials are skeptical:

The Pentagon is seeing "small numbers" of Russian troops repositioning to the north of Kyiv but is not labeling it a withdrawal as Russia has characterized it. Instead, it believes the troops might be used in an offensive elsewhere in Ukraine, possibly into the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine.

[….] "We're seeing a small number now that appears to be moving away from Kyiv," John Kirby, the Pentagon's top spokesman, told reporters Tuesday. "This on the same day that the Russians say they're withdrawing, but we're not prepared to call this a retreat, or even a withdrawal. What they probably have in mind is a repositioning to prioritize elsewhere."

"It's certainly not a significant chunk of the multiple battalion tactical groups that Russia has arrayed against Kyiv," Kirby said. "It's not anywhere near a majority of what they have arrayed" around Ukraine's capital


Book burners all around. At Persuasion, Kat Rosenfield explores "the many faces of literary censorship." Attempts to suppress objectionable books "used to be more or less the exclusive purview of political conservatives and the religious right," but "today's censorship flaps are more diverse in both origin and execution," she writes.

Those freedom-to-read liberals are also, increasingly, enthusiastic censors themselves—ones whose cultural influence is both greater and more insidious than their right-wing counterparts. Conservatives continue to flail about, trying to pull individual books from individual reading lists; but the left has increasingly captured the culture, the means of production, even the creative process.

This shift has been observable over the past two decades, as objections to controversial books began to creep into the discourse from the left. The American Library Association's yearly list of high-profile book challenges paints a picture of a culture in flux.

In the early 2000s, the litany of complaints was familiar: too dark, too violent, too gay, too sexy, all readily recognizable as offensive to conservative literary sensibilities. But as progressives became increasingly focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the arts—and on the potential harm wrought by books that didn't do enough to champion the proper values—they started issuing challenges of their own. By 2020, the ALA's list included almost as many complaints about racist language, white savior narratives, or alleged sexual misconduct by an author as it did ones about bad language or LGBT themes.

Considering all the recent attempts to ban books from school libraries or reading lists, Reason's Nick Gillespie suggests that it all makes the case for more school choice:

Unless we want to live in a country where every curricular decision—even ones about what's served in the cafeteria—is subject to scorched-earth scrutiny not simply by the relevant parents and (maybe relevant) taxpayers but by every cable news host, Instagram mom, Bean Dad, elected official, and citizen at large, we need to give the people most directly affected more options so they can find a school that works for them.

The problem isn't that To Kill a Mockingbird is being pulled from—or made mandatory in—10th-grade English, it's that the overwhelming majority of kids (and parents) who are being told to suck it have no options. About 91 percent of K-12 students attend public schools, and while there has been a significant increase in various forms of school choice such as charters, online programs, and homeschooling, the overwhelming majority of kids still go to traditional, residential-assignment grammar and high schools.

Meanwhile, in corporate America…


Myths about Americans and work. As many U.S. businesses struggle to find workers, a popular narrative has emerged that it's because Americans are rethinking work. After taking some time off during the pandemic, they've decided that going back to the grind is not for them, the story goes. This explanation is usually paired with some sort of political agenda—a call to raise the federal minimum wage, plus some general hand-wringing about the indignities of capitalism.

The idea that Americans hate their jobs, don't want jobs, and are resigning in protest is wrong, suggests Derek Thompson at The Atlantic.

No one wants to work anymore? Well, the unemployment rate is under 4 percent. More than 80 percent of prime-age workers are employed or looking for work. The labor-force-participation rate for workers ages 25 to 54 is now higher than it was for most of the Obama administration. These facts don't describe a country where "no one" wants to work. […] The story that most Americans hate their job doesn't hold up, either. In April 2021, the Conference Board reported that job satisfaction in the first year of the pandemic was the highest that the organization had recorded since 1995. The Conference Board is a membership of corporations, and perhaps you're disinclined to believe an organization of employers telling us about the sentiments of employees. Fair enough! Let's check with a gold-standard pollster, like the General Social Survey, which has been asking Americans about their working life since 2002. Every year of the survey, more than 80 percent of respondents have said that they're "very" or "moderately" satisfied with their job. From 2018 to 2021—after an economic crisis, mass layoffs, and a surge in unemployment—the share of very or moderately satisfied workers fell from about 88 percent to …about 84 percent. These numbers aren't outliers. They're part of a boring tradition of American workers telling pollsters that they aren't drowning in a sea of misery. A 2016 Pew survey poll found that American workers are "generally satisfied with their jobs"; more than half of full-time workers said they were "very satisfied."

I can already hear various accounts screaming at me that I don't understand the nature of Marxist false consciousness (these people do hate their jobs, they just don't know it—yet!), or that I don't grok the fact that most jobs inherently suck. So let me stress: I think that most jobs suck. I think I would be miserable doing just about anything other than writing professionally, eating professionally, or writing professionally about eating. I am shocked by these survey results. But these are the results, and the picture they paint is clear: Most Americans just don't seem to hate their job as much as extremely online Americans seem to think they do.

Finally, let's address this pesky claim that the Great Resignation, or "quitagion," or whatever is a reflection of job hatred and burnout. The Great Resignation isn't a dramatic shift in worker sentiment. It's a dramatic shift in worker opportunity.

More here.


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