Naomi Osaka tops Jennifer Brady at Australian Open for 4th Grand Slam title

  • Naomi Osaka holds the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup aloft after defeating Jennifer Brady, 6-4, 6-3, in the women’s singles final at the Australian Open on Saturday (late Friday night PST) in Melbourne, Australia. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

  • Japan’s Naomi Osaka prepares to serve to United States’ Jennifer Brady during the women’s singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021.(AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

  • Japan’s Naomi Osaka serves to United States’ Jennifer Brady during the women’s singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021.(AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

  • United States’ Jennifer Brady hits a return to Japan’s Naomi Osaka during the women’s singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021.(AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

  • Japan’s Naomi Osaka hits a forehand return to United States’ Jennifer Brady during the women’s singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021.(AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

  • United States’ Jennifer Brady hits a forehand return to Japan’s Naomi Osaka during the women’s singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021.(AP Photo/Hamish Blair)

  • Japan’s Naomi Osaka hits a backhand return to United States’ Jennifer Brady during the women’s singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021.(AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

  • United States’ Jennifer Brady hits a forehand return to Japan’s Naomi Osaka during the women’s singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021.(AP Photo/Hamish Blair)

  • United States’ Jennifer Brady reacts after losing a point to Japan’s Naomi Osaka during the women’s singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021.(AP Photo/Hamish Blair)

  • Japan’s Naomi Osaka serves to United States’ Jennifer Brady during the women’s singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021.(AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

  • Japan’s Naomi Osaka reacts during her match against United States’ Jennifer Brady during the women’s singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021.(AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

  • United States’ Jennifer Brady serves to Japan’s Naomi Osaka during the women’s singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021.(AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

  • United States’ Jennifer Brady serves to Japan’s Naomi Osaka during the women’s singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021.(AP Photo/Hamish Blair)

  • Japan’s Naomi Osaka hits a backhand return to United States’ Jennifer Brady during the women’s singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021.(AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

  • United States’ Jennifer Brady hits a backhand return to Japan’s Naomi Osaka during the women’s singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021.(AP Photo/Mark Dadswell)

  • Japan’s Naomi Osaka serves to United States’ Jennifer Brady during the women’s singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021.(AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

  • United States’ Jennifer Brady reacts after losing a point to Japan’s Naomi Osaka during the women’s singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021.(AP Photo/Hamish Blair)

  • Japan’s Naomi Osaka celebrates after defeating United States’ Jennifer Brady in the women’s singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021(AP Photo/Hamish Blair)

  • Japan’s Naomi Osaka celebrates after defeating United States’ Jennifer Brady in the women’s singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021(AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

  • Japan’s Naomi Osaka celebrates after defeating United States’ Jennifer Brady during the women’s singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021.(AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

  • Naomi Osaka celebrates after defeating Jennifer Brady in the women’s singles final at the Australian Open on Saturday (late Friday night PST) in Melbourne, Australia. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

  • Japan’s Naomi Osaka celebrates after defeating United States’ Jennifer Brady in the women’s singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021.(AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

  • Japan’s Naomi Osaka, right, holds the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup defeating United States Jennifer Brady, left, in the women’s singles finalat the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021.(AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

  • Japan’s Naomi Osaka kisses the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup after defeating United States Jennifer Brady in the women’s singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021.(AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

  • Japan’s Naomi Osaka holds the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup after defeating United States Jennifer Brady in the women’s singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021.(AP Photo/Hamish Blair)

of

Expand

MELBOURNE, Australia — The trouble for Naomi Osaka at Grand Slam tournaments comes in Week 1. Get beyond that at the hard-court majors, though, and start preparing to etch her name on the trophy.

Osaka won her fourth title in her past eight appearances at a Slam, emerging from what initially was a tight Australian Open final and pulling away by grabbing six consecutive games to beat Jennifer Brady, 6-4, 6-3, on Saturday (late Friday night PST).

With strong serving that produced six aces, Osaka improved to 4-0 in major finals, the first woman to start her career that way since Monica Seles did it 30 years ago. For Osaka, that is part of a 12-0 record so far in the quarterfinals and beyond at the majors.

The 2020 AP Female Athlete of the Year is also on a 21-match winning streak that dates to last season. That includes a championship at last year’s U.S. Open. She also won the U.S. Open in 2018, and the Australian Open in 2019.

The 23-year-old Osaka was born in Japan and moved to the United States with her family when she was 3.

Brady is a 25-year-old former UCLA standout who was playing in her first Grand Slam final. She had to go through a hard quarantine for 15 days when she arrived in Australia in January because someone on her flight tested positive for COVID-19 when they arrived.

This was a big step up in competition during this tournament for Brady, who had not faced anyone ranked in the Top 25 nor anyone who previously appeared in so much as one Grand Slam semifinal.

During the pre-match coin toss, the silver women’s trophy stood on a clear, plastic pedestal not far from Osaka on her side of the net. After beating Serena Williams in the semifinals, Osaka had made her intentions clear: “I have this mentality that people don’t remember the runners-up. You might, but the winner’s name is the one that’s engraved.”

And she keeps making sure that name is hers.

It was cooler than it’s been in Melbourne recently, with the temperature down below 70 degrees and a breeze that made serve tosses difficult for both players, who would catch the ball instead of hit it and say, “Sorry!”

The stadium was allowed to be at half capacity – about 7,500 fans – after spectators were barred entirely earlier in the tournament for five days during a COVID-19 lockdown.

In the men’s final Sunday (7:30 p.m. local time, 12:30 a.m., late Saturday night PST), top-seeded Novak Djokovic will be seeking his ninth Australian Open championship and 18th Grand Slam trophy overall. He faces No. 4 seed Daniil Medvedev, who carries a 20-match winning streak into his second major final.

Only two active women own more Slam titles than Osaka: Williams, with 23, and her sister, Venus, with seven.

The next task for Osaka is improving on clay and grass: She’s never been past the third round at the French Open or Wimbledon.

Brady had to go through a hard quarantine for 15 days when she arrived in Australia in January because someone on her flight tested positive for COVID-19 when they arrived.

On Saturday, the final was locked at 4-all, when Brady used an on-the-run lob winner that she punctuated by waving her arms to request more noise from the crowd. That earned a break point – convert that, and she would serve for the opening set.

But Osaka erased the chance with a cross-court forehand winner, and two errors by Brady made it 5-4.

Osaka then broke to grab the set, helped by Brady’s double-fault and a netted forehand on a short ball to end it.

That was part of the six-game run that put Osaka ahead 4-0 in the second and she was on her way.

More to come on this story.

Read more about Naomi Osaka tops Jennifer Brady at Australian Open for 4th Grand Slam title This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed. OC Shredding Business

Powered by WPeMatico

Whicker: Lakers get into the spirit of this cut-and-dried Christmas

Next time the NBA fills up Christmas Day with basketball, make sure batteries are included on both sides.

The Lakers could have played in their stockings and won this one over Dallas. Their 138-115 victory followed Miami’s 13-point stroll past New Orleans, Milwaukee’s 39-point embarrassment of Golden State, and Brooklyn’s ominous 28-point waltz in Boston.

It’s not unusual to have Christmas games serve as background music instead of actual dramatics, and it wouldn’t be bad, either, if this were a year when the family could gather ‘round. Although the players aspire to get network exposure, they’re as protective of their special days as anybody else. When one team falls behind, it’s easier to punt its best effort to a more secular occasion.

But you can’t blame the NBA for playing as many games as it can whenever it can, seeing what might be awaiting as the winter deepens. On Friday, the Lakers just had fun matching up their new ornaments.

This was the Lakers’ highest-scoring performance since Dec. 8 of last year, when Anthony Davis put 50 points and they throttled Minnesota 142-125. They certainly weren’t offensively challenged in their championship season, but they can score far easier in their half-court offense with Montrezl Harrell and Dennis Schröder in the crew, especially if Kyle Kuzma keeps looking this good.

Harrell, Schröder and Kuzma shot 23 for 35 against the Mavericks, and Harrell’s five offensive rebounds helped the Lakers outscore Dallas 35-0 on second-chance opportunities, which hasn’t happened in the NBA since such records were kept.

Their strong push meant Davis could work fewer than 31 minutes and LeBron James fewer than 32, a rest they earned after a strong first quarter.

“Five or six guys are able to come in and get you 20,” Kuzma said. “We’ve got guys ready to come in and take a game over.”

It might be the closest thing to a shadow starting lineup since 1984, when Pat Riley often began games with Bob McAdoo, Jamaal Wilkes, Michael Cooper and Mitch Kupchak sitting beside him. Here, the Laker reserves scored 55 points and sank 10 of 16 3-point shots.

Nobody actually wants to see the Lakers experiment with this, but if James or Davis had to miss extended time, couldn’t they still finish high in the West? One would assume Jalen Horton-Tucker, among others, would eat up those available minutes, and we’ve barely seen the tip of Wesley Matthews’ game in this 1-1 start.

“I can see, with this team, that I can go into the lane and put pressure on the other team,” said Schröder, who left no doubt that he would be thrilled to sign a contract extension “as long as it’s fair for both sides.

“When I do that, nobody is really helping,” Schroder added. “Everybody else on the court draws a lot of attention.”

The Mavericks (0-2) got 27 points and seven rebounds from Luka Doncic, but they needed more, or at least needed him to do it differently. Coach Frank Vogel had Schröder guard Doncic much of the time and then called in bigger helpmates when the shot clock began dwindling.

Doncic was only 7 for 16 in the first three quarters, and Vogel was pleased the Lakers kept him from digging in at the 3-point line. He went 2 for 4 from deep, and had only four rebounds.

“You try not to overhelp and open up the 3-point game for all their guys,” Vogel said. Add the Mavericks’ 13-for-32 shooting on longballs, and those are winning numbers against the preseason favorite for league Most Valuable Player.

“I guarded Luka quite a bit when I was in Oklahoma City,” Schröder said. “We did a great job of putting him under pressure in the beginning, although we slipped a little bit later.

“I gotta play defense because it gets me into my offense. I think it’s 60, 70 percent of my game. If I play 94 feet with energy, my teammates can see that we’re all into it. That’s what I’ve done my whole career.”

Harrell is also doing the same things that earned him the league’s top Sixth Man award last year, an honor for which Schröder contended as well.

“The only thing to say about him (Harrell) is that he catches everything and he scores everything,” Vogel said, smiling. “We’re trying to give our depth enough reps, and trying to manage LeBron, but it started tonight with LeBron and AD playing at a high level.”

As they know each other better, the Lakers probably will give you lots of nights like this, lots of games that get wrapped up earlier than your gifts probably were.

Read more about Whicker: Lakers get into the spirit of this cut-and-dried Christmas This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed. OC Shredding Business

Powered by WPeMatico

Kawhi Leonard leaves bloodied, but Clippers knock down shots and Nuggets for win

  • Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard is helped off the court after suffering a cut in his mouth during the second half of the team’s game against the Nuggets on Friday night in Denver. The laceration, caused by a collision with teammate Serge Ibaka, required eight stitches. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • DENVER, COLORADO – DECEMBER 25: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Los Angeles Clippers leaves the game after being injured against the Denver Nuggets in the fourth quarter at Ball Arena on December 25, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard is accompanied while leaving the court during the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets on Friday, Dec. 25, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • DENVER, COLORADO – DECEMBER 25: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Los Angeles Clippers is injured against the Denver Nuggets in the fourth quarter at Ball Arena on December 25, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

  • DENVER, COLORADO – DECEMBER 25: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Los Angeles Clippers is attended to after being injured against the Denver Nuggets in the fourth quarter at Ball Arena on December 25, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard lies on the court after suffering an injury during the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets on Friday, Dec. 25, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • DENVER, COLORADO – DECEMBER 25: Jamal Murray #27 of the Denver Nuggets drives against Nicolas Batum #33 of the Los Angeles Clippers in the first quarter at Ball Arena on December 25, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

  • DENVER, COLORADO – DECEMBER 25: Patrick Beverley #21 of the Los Angeles Clippers controls a loose ball against the Denver Nuggets in the first quarter at Ball Arena on December 25, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

  • DENVER, COLORADO – DECEMBER 25: Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets is guarded by Serge Ibaka #9 of the Los Angeles Clippers in the first quarter at Ball Arena on December 25, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

  • DENVER, COLORADO – DECEMBER 25: Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets puts in a basket against the Los Angeles Clippers in the first quarter at Ball Arena on December 25, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

  • DENVER, COLORADO – DECEMBER 25: Head coach Tyronn Lue of the Los Angeles Clippers shouts instructions to his team against the Denver Nuggets in the third quarter at Ball Arena on December 25, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard, left, drives to the basket past Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 25, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • DENVER, COLORADO – DECEMBER 25: Paul George #13 of the Los Angeles Clippers drives against Jamal Murray #27 of the Denver Nuggets in the third quarter at Ball Arena on December 25, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

  • DENVER, COLORADO – DECEMBER 25: Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets is guarded by Patrick Patterson #54 of the Los Angeles Clippers in the first quarter at Ball Arena on December 25, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

  • DENVER, COLORADO – DECEMBER 25: Paul George #13 of the Los Angeles Clippers drives against Jamal Murray #27 of the Denver Nuggets in the third quarter at Ball Arena on December 25, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

  • DENVER, COLORADO – DECEMBER 25: Jamal Murray #27of the Denver Nuggets takes the ball to the basket against Serge Ibaka #9 of the Los Angeles Clippers in the second quarter at Ball Arena on December 25, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. at Ball Arena on December 25, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

  • DENVER, COLORADO – DECEMBER 25: Lou Williams #23 of the Los Angeles Clippers brings the ball down the court against the Denver Nuggets in the third quarter at Ball Arena on December 25, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

  • DENVER, COLORADO – DECEMBER 25: Isaiah Hartenstein #25 of the Denver Nuggets drives against Ivica Zubac #40 of the Los Angeles Clippers in the second quarter at Ball Arena on December 25, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Clippers forward Serge Ibaka shoots over Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 25, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • Los Angeles Clippers forward Serge Ibaka pressures Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 25, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • DENVER, COLORADO – DECEMBER 25: Paul George #13 of the Los Angeles Clippers puts up a shot over Jamal Murray #27 of the Denver Nuggets in the fourth quarter at Ball Arena on December 25, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

  • Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. dunks against the Los Angeles Clippers during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 25, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • DENVER, COLORADO – DECEMBER 25: Paul George #13 of the Los Angeles Clippers drives against the Denver Nuggets in the fourth quarter at Ball Arena on December 25, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

  • Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray, right, drives as Los Angeles Clippers forward Nicolas Batum defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 25, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • Los Angeles Clippers forward Nicolas Batum, right, looks to pass the ball as Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 25, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • DENVER, COLORADO – DECEMBER 25: Lou Williams #23 of the Los Angeles Clippers brings the ball down the court against the Denver Nuggets in the fourth quarter at Ball Arena on December 25, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

  • Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, back, passes the ball as Los Angeles Clippers forward Serge Ibaka and guard Patrick Beverley, right, defend during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 25, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • DENVER, COLORADO – DECEMBER 25: Reggie Jackson #1 of the Los Angeles Clippers drives against Monte Morris #11 of the Denver Nuggets in the fourth quarter at Ball Arena on December 25, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard passes the ball as Denver Nuggets guard Gary Harris, left, and forward Paul Millsap defend during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 25, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic drives for a basket against the Los Angeles Clippers during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 25, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray, left, pressures Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 25, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray, right, looks to pass the ball as Los Angeles Clippers center Ivica Zubac defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 25, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray, center, passes the ball to center Isaiah Hartenstein, right, as Los Angeles Clippers guard Reggie Jackson defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 25, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • Los Angeles Clippers guard Terance Mann, right, tries to control the ball next to Denver Nuggets guard Markus Howard during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 25, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • Los Angeles Clippers guard Paul George shoots as Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 25, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone argues for a call during the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday, Dec. 25, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • Denver Nuggets center Isaiah Hartenstein, center, and Los Angeles Clippers center Ivica Zubac, left, and guard Paul George wait for a rebound during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 25, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard, left, is defended by Denver Nuggets guards Jamal Murray, center, and PJ Dozier during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 25, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • Denver Nuggets forward Will Barton, left, tries to steal the ball from Los Angeles Clippers forward Patrick Patterson during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 25, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • Denver Nuggets forward Will Barton, center, drives to the basket between Los Angeles Clippers guards Lou Williams, left, and Terance Mann during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 25, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard, center, drives between Denver Nuggets forward Paul Millsap, left, and center Nikola Jokic during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 25, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • Denver Nuggets forward Will Barton, left, tries to block a pass by Los Angeles Clippers forward Patrick Patterson during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 25, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • Los Angeles Clippers forward Serge Ibaka, right, fouls Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 25, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray passes the ball as Los Angeles Clippers guard Patrick Beverley defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 25, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • DENVER, COLORADO – DECEMBER 25: Head coach Tyronn Lue of the Los Angeles Clippers shouts instructions to his team against the Denver Nuggets in the third quarter at Ball Arena on December 25, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Clippers guard Paul George looks to pass the ball as Denver Nuggets forward Will Barton defends in the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 25, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

of

Expand

Playing the fifth and final game on the NBA’s prestigious holiday slate, Tyronn Lue’s team faced down the ghosts of Clippers-Nuggets games past and kept alive the day’s streak of double-digit victories.

The Clippers fought off Denver’s late-game surge – and did it for the final six minutes without Kawhi Leonard to help – for a 121-108 victory on Friday night at Ball Arena in Denver.

It was a feel-good Christmas story for the Clippers – clouded, however, by Leonard’s bloodied departure with 6:07 left.

The four-time All-Star left the court and headed to the locker room bleeding heavily from his mouth, done for the night after being elbowed violently by his friend Serge Ibaka. The Clippers’ new starting center accidentally hit Leonard on a rebound attempt.


Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard lies on the court after suffering a jaw injury during the second half against the Denver Nuggets on Friday, Dec. 25, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

The Clippers reported Leonard had suffered a mouth laceration requiring eight stitches.

“When I went closer to him, I saw his lips, so I didn’t look good at all,” Nicolas Batum said. “You don’t want a player, one of our teammates – even like an opposite guy – any players to go down like that, with blood all over him and everywhere on the floor.”

That said, Batum noted he’s optimistic his new teammate will be OK. “I just saw him in the locker room, he was OK. Kind of scary at the moment.”

Otherwise, these Clippers escaped a late-game assault by Denver unscathed – and moreover, they banked another big win and left the court with another early example of their ability to stay composed under duress.

“There’s still a lot of getting to know each other,” said Paul George, who led the Clippers with 23 points and nine assists. “But that all comes with us practicing and playing games. We’re a ways away, but you guys can see, we’re getting better and we’re a different team than we were last year.”

There’s significance to fending off the Nuggets, in part, if it helps vanquish the specter of the Orlando bubble, in which a series of blown double-digit, second-half leads fed L.A.’s collapse in the Western Conference semifinals in September.

It might be more important because it signals the Clippers – now 2-0 – are developing a healthy stubborn streak under Lue.

“Just being resilient,” Lue said. “Denver’s a great team. They went to the Western Conference finals last year and they have some really good players so they’re going to make a run, especially at home. I thought we just kept our composure.”

Lue soothed the Clippers through the Lakers’ charge from behind in the season opener on Tuesday. On Friday, his Clippers again staved off another talented team’s surge, when the Nuggets whittled what had been a 24-point lead to as little as 11 points, though they got no closer.

With Leonard being treated away from the action, Lou Williams, Patrick Beverley, George and Ibaka took turns hitting shots to keep the Nuggets from eating any further into the lead.

“Nothing was said, just, you know, ‘Next man up,’” Lue said. “We know Kawhi is a great player, but we got to have the mindset that if he goes down everybody has to be able to step up, and I thought Serge, I thought Lou, Pat Beverley made a big shots – of course, PG.

“We was able to kind of quiet the storm by just executing what we were trying to execute, and we made some big plays down the stretch.”

Employing Lue’s philosophy of scoring by paint or by distance helped the Clippers establish their advantage. They hit the host Nuggets (0-2) with a barrage from 3-point range, making 19 of 38 attempts from deep – including 12 of 23 in the first half, after which the Clippers led 72-55.

In the end, nine Clippers connected from long range – with George hitting five 3-pointers, giving him 10 through the first two games on 17 attempts.

George continued his overall inspired early-season effort, following his efficient 33-point season debut. He went 8 for 14 from the field, making 21 for 32 this young season.

He had help from his friends, including Leonard (21 points), Ibaka (15), Batum (13 and 10 rebounds), and Ivica Zubac (12 off the bench).

Nikola Jokic led Denver with 24 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds. Jamal Murray added 23 points, 13 coming in the fourth quarter.

Read more about Kawhi Leonard leaves bloodied, but Clippers knock down shots and Nuggets for win This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed. OC Shredding Business

Powered by WPeMatico

Coronavirus state tracker: Hospitalizations in California surpass 14,000 people

Hospitalizations across the state continue to climb to all-time highs.

According to California public heath websites, there were 618 more patients hospitalized, bringing the total number of patients infected with coronavirus to 14,578 as of Dec. 13.

Intensive care capacity continues to decline in some regions. When public health officials adjust the percentage of actual open ICU beds to account for high levels of COVID-19 patients, the Southern California region fell to 2.7% ICU capacity available, while the San Joaquin Valley region’s ICU capacity available is nearly tapped out.

The state reported 24,588 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing the total number of infections to 1,572,755, according to official totals from California public health websites as of Dec. 13.

There were also 71 additional deaths reported in the state, bringing the total number of deaths to 21,044.

Three of the five California regions are under stay-at-home orders. Stay-at-home orders will be imposed within 24 hours for a region that has an ICU hospital capacity below 15%. They then stay in effect for at least three weeks.

 

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Johns Hopkins University, the World Health Organization, the California Department of Public Health, The Associated Press, reporting counties and news sources

Read more about Coronavirus state tracker: Hospitalizations in California surpass 14,000 people This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed. OC Shredding Business

Powered by WPeMatico

Elections 2020: In Congressional District 47, Lowenthal headed for win over Briscoe

Rep. Alan Lowenthal held a commanding lead over Republican John Briscoe as the men battled for the second time Tuesday over the 47th District, the House seat that straddles southern Los Angeles and northern Orange counties. This was the second time that Briscoe, the Republican challenger, tried to win the seat from Lowenthal, the Democratic incumbent. In this year’s primary, Briscoe won fewer than half as many votes as Lowenthal.

See the latest election results 

The District: District 47 encompasses parts of L.A. and Orange counties, including Long Beach, Garden Grove, Westminster, Stanton, Los Alamitos, and Cypress. Home to approximately 719,805 people, this district has been served by Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) since 2013. Most people living in District 47 are White (34.1%), Hispanic (34.1%), or Asian (21.4%).

The Incumbent: Lowenthal is a former psychology professor and career politician who previously served in the Long Beach City Council, the California Assembly, and the state Senate, before becoming a congressman. Lowenthal, who usually votes along party lines, is traditionally strong on education issues.

The Challenger: Briscoe is a Republican and member of the Ocean View Board of Education. He wants to increase security along the U.S.-Mexico border, enforce strict sobriety laws for the homeless, and make prices for health services more transparent.

Read more about Elections 2020: In Congressional District 47, Lowenthal headed for win over Briscoe This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed. OC Shredding Business

Powered by WPeMatico

Community organizations are returning to their 19th century roots

When I needed to donate a box of vegetables recently, I called a nonprofit in my Queens neighborhood in Queens, New York, that organizes low-wage immigrant workers. The organizer, Will Rodriguez, said, “You know, Rinku, we don’t usually do this stuff, but we just had to jump in because the need is so great. People are suffering so much.”

By “this stuff,” he meant mutual aid, in which members of a community work together to meet each other’s urgent needs. Normally, the day laborers and domestic workers who are members of his organization, New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE), work t on direct-action campaigns to fight exploitation and advocate for their rights. But the pandemic has pushed them into organizing mutual aid around food.

They are not alone. In recent months, members of progressive direct-action organizations have developed new systems for checking on their neighbors, dropping off food and medicine, providing protective personal equipment to incarcerated family members, and giving cash to those suddenly unemployed.

Combining mutual aid and direct action might seem like common sense, but in today’s corporatized and professionalized nonprofit world, this model had disappeared almost completely. Community-based nonprofits in the United States today are split into distinct silos, with service provision firmly compartmentalized in one box and direct-action organizing in another.

The roots of this split lie in the increasing professionalization of the sector over half a century, driven by sexism, classism and racism.

Throughout American history, mutual aid societies existed wherever poor, disenfranchised people could be found. During and immediately after slavery, free Black people formed mutual aid societies to provide resources denied them by the white community. The first was the Free African Society of Philadelphia, founded in the 1770s to provide a place to worship and financial resources to members. Similar organizations soon sprung up in New York, New Orleans and Newport, Rhode Island, providing non-denominational spiritual guidance and resources such as banks, schools, burial societies, newspapers, and food. W.E.B. DuBois called these “the first wavering step of a people toward organized social life.”

These organizations threatened the racial status quo. Charleston shut down the Free Dark Men of Color in the 1820s for fear of slave insurrections and Maryland made it a felony to join a mutual aid society in 1842. Despite the crackdowns, thousands more societies formed after the Civil War. Decades later, these self-organized groups would become the infrastructure of the Civil Rights Movement and the inspiration for the Black Panthers, who famously served free breakfasts and health programs alongside their fight against police brutality and exploitation.

European immigrant communities of the 19th and 20th centuries, too, relied on cooperative efforts to learn English, find decent housing, and resist labor abuse. Incorporating a mix of mutual aid, community organizing, and legislative campaigning, the social reformer Jane Addams founded Chicago’s Hull House in 1889, sparking a movement that counted more than 400 “settlement houses” within 20 years.  In the late 1890s, Addams’ training of settlement house volunteers became the basis of early social work college programs.

The settlement houses’ social reform projects, including sanitation reform, women’s suffrage, temperance, legislation against child labor, and labor law, were eventually into the New Deal.  The Social Security Act of 1935 created pensions for the elderly, care for the disabled, a state-run medical insurance program for the poor, and unemployment insurance. But the legislation, reflecting the prevailing racism, excluded domestic and farm workers in a compromise that ensured that Southern Democrats and the agricultural industry would still have access to cheap labor.

Left to fend for themselves, those workers relied on mutual aid even as they organized for change.  Leaders like Mary Church Terrell, Anna Julia Cooper and Mary Jane Patterson founded the Colored Women’s League in 1892 to generate racial uplift through self-help. Thyra J. Edwards, virtually unknown in mainstream social work history, was also a trained journalist. These women made lynching their top priority.

Despite political action among social workers of all races, Saul Alinsky is the white man credited with codifying the social action elements. Starting in Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood in the 1930s, Alinsky eventually became the nation’s most famous “community organizer” by starting with local issues to rally people for broader political change.

The Alinsky model featured highly professionalized, well-paid organizers who kept any radical politics to themselves. The IAF also had a distinctly male culture. Alinsky expected organizers to work around the clock; women, he thought, were too delicate, even if he didn’t publicly discourage them from the work.

Alinsky’s influential “rules” saw services—mostly organized by and provided by women—only as a means to direct action campaigning. By the time the National Association of Social Workers was formed in 1955, providing services via casework and organizing for systemic change had become distinct streams of social work. Philanthropists, too, viewed these functions as separate, driving far more resources to apoliticized service provision than they did to community organizing. When I was learning to organize in the late 1980s, I was consistently told that self-help schemes, lending circles, and cooperative businesses had little to do with “real” organizing.

Today, though, a new generation of activists is erasing that distinction. The pandemic, in particular, has clarified that organizing cannot be divorced from actually helping people. Some activists fear that politicians will try to replace government care with community care, or that mutual aid will absorb all of our energy, leaving nothing for political fights.

But especially in times when the state dramatically fails to deliver what people need, mutual aid is a powerful way, sometimes even the only way, to help people manage daily life while sustaining their spirits in the struggle for systemic change. Mutual aid fuels the audacity to demand more because it reinforces that we are not alone in our suffering.

Rinku Sen is a longtime journalist, racial justice strategist, and former executive director of Race Forward. She is the author of Stir It Up: Lessons in Community Organizing and Advocacy. She wrote this for Zócalo Public Square.

Read more about Community organizations are returning to their 19th century roots This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed. OC Shredding Business

Powered by WPeMatico

What it’s like to stand up to a police union: Cecilia Iglesias

I took on police unions before it was in fashion, and I have the battle scars to prove it.

My story is a microcosm of what reformers across the state and country face as they attempt to rein in police unions, which are largely responsible for the systemic police violence making headlines because they protect bad cops from consequences.

As a member of the Santa Ana City Council, I voted in February 2019 against a $25.6 million police pay increase, including retroactive raises and additional money for career officers.

The reason for my vote was simple: The city could not afford it. Even with the county’s highest sales tax rate, the city has a net deficit of around $500 million and a pension liability of about $700 million. The economic carnage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will only exacerbate these fiscal shortfalls.

Last October, I also recommended a civilian police-oversight commission. Weeks earlier, a federal grand jury had indicted Officer Brian Patric Booker for beating up a suspect who was not resisting arrest, then allegedly filing false reports to hide the abuse. This incident followed two wrongful death lawsuits in 2016 against the Santa Ana police that cost taxpayers $6.8 million. That year, city officers also vandalized a marijuana dispensary and bullied the store’s disabled owner before proceeding to eat edibles and play darts.

My constituents repeatedly told me about their concerns, fear and distrust of the police. While high-profile incidents generate attention, my community often complained about a general lack of respect and protracted response times from officers. This poor customer service is fostered by police unions that protect bad officers from complaints.

In response to my actions, the Santa Ana police union waged a high-priced recall election campaign against me funded by nearly $500,000 in union dues. The election cost the city almost $750,000 in unnecessary funds, given that I wasn’t running for council reelection in November. The recall was pure revenge.

Union President Gerry Serrano waged a ruthless smear campaign, calling me “unethical, unprofessional and criminal.” The only thing that’s “criminal” is the nearly $400,000 in pay and benefits that Serrano received from taxpayers in 2019.

Despite my pro-immigration stance, Serrano and his allies claimed that I support President Trump’s anti-immigration policies, including family separations and a border wall. The Democratic Party of Orange County called me a “Latina Trump.” A recall campaign flyer depicted my face next to Trump’s with the headline: “Inglesias = Trump.” Misspelling my last name was the least of what was wrong with that flyer.

Paid canvassers from outside Santa Ana misled residents into signing the recall petition. Almost a third of signatures reviewed by the Orange County Registrar of Voters were deemed invalid. I have signed affidavits from 11 of the 20 original recall sponsors stating they were misled into signing. Yet by February, the registrar confirmed that unions had rounded up enough signatures to force a recall vote.

In a low-turnout, mail-in election in May, I lost to a union puppet by about 2,500 votes. Fewer than 12,000 people voted against me in a city of 332,000 people. My last day on the council was on June 2.

My work continues in my role as education director at the California Policy Center, which informs Californians about the inherent problems associated with public-sector unions. Namely, they have far too much power because they collectively bargain with the elected officials whom they fund and get elected. The fiscal consequences, including higher taxes, government spending, debt and unfunded liabilities, pose a grave threat to ordinary Californians. When it comes to police unions, the ramifications, as we have too often seen, are even more proximate.

I’m also running for mayor of Santa Ana, and I will make this case to voters. Santa Ana residents looking for a truth-teller should consider voting for me on Nov. 3. Residents inside and outside city limits looking to reform police and government unions should study the attacks against me to better prepare for their respective battles. As my experience shows, they should prepare for a tough fight.

Cecilia “Ceci” Iglesias is the education director for the California Policy Center and a former Santa Ana councilwoman.

Read more about What it’s like to stand up to a police union: Cecilia Iglesias This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed. OC Shredding Business

Powered by WPeMatico

You can’t cancel American history: Gloria Romero

As an East Los Angeles Latina with a long history of police reform advocacy, I was horrified to see the brutal killing of George Floyd. I joined calls for the prosecution of officers involved in his murder, joining Americans of disparate political persuasions in this demand.

But what started as a righteous, mostly peaceful protest against the horrific murder of George Floyd with chants that Black Lives Matter has morphed into a misguided attempted hijacking of, particularly, the Democratic Party by self-proclaimed Marxists, and a rewriting of our nation’s history and institutions.

As we commemorate the 244th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, it is imperative to simultaneously demand and win righteous reforms needed in a too-far-from-perfect union, while not succumbing to the hysteria to lawlessly purge our national symbols.

Initially, protesters came for the statues and flags symbolic of Confederate racism. But this new reckoning soon expanded into assaults on the framers of the nation itself; monuments of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and even Abraham Lincoln, who wrote the Emancipation Proclamation, have been destroyed.

Undoubtedly, founders including Washington and Jefferson were slaveholders and had views unacceptable by standards even then and certainly today. Indeed, our nation divided over the question of slavery, and monuments now being toppled and books being purged from our libraries only obscure that history. But we cannot ignore their profound role in founding this nation and the profound rights provided us, including free speech and free assembly.

For those of us advocating police reforms, it’s important to be mindful of their flaws while focusing on their advocacy of the rights of the accused. These founders precisely laid foundations for us to assert Miranda rights today because of the 4th amendment to the U.S. Constitution as part of the Bill of Rights these flawed founders drafted and supported, rights that prohibit unreasonable searches and seizures and that set requirements for issuing warrants with probable-cause mandates.

In San Francisco, a statue of President Ulysses S. Grant — the very general who defeated the Confederate Army, fought the Ku Klux Klan and advocated for the 15th amendment guaranteeing freed slaves the right to vote — was toppled. A Boston memorial commemorating an African-American regiment that fought in the Civil War was defaced. In Wisconsin, the statue of an abolitionist immigrant who fought for the Union Army was toppled.

It was soon seemingly anything goes, with demands to retire our national anthem as “racist.”

Elected officials were mostly caught flatfooted — wanting to sound “woke” to the marching masses in the streets of our cities, primarily politically “blue” ones. Soon, officials were sanctioning “autonomous” zones in their city centers while promising to “defund the police,” even as crime soared.

In a tragic irony, the very cities where calls to defund the police got the most traction — Los Angeles, Chicago, New York — have seen exploding rates of gun violence and senseless deaths. Each weekend brought news reports of “body counts” come in but we didn’t learn their names. Those Black lives — as young as 20 months! — never seem to matter to the “woke” crowd.

Meanwhile, corporations have reacted in breakneck speed to retire branding they suddenly felt not “woke” enough to meet the potential purchasing power of the 2020 Reckoning. Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben and Eskimo Pies were yanked. HBO sidelined “Gone With the Wind.”

In their golden bubbles, celebrities hailed the smashing, even changing their names to hide their Dixie ties. They preached to us — until tweets and videos depicting the sins of their own hypocritical pasts surfaced. Then they fell silent or took “personal leaves to be with their family.”

Undoubtedly, symbols matter. I cherish concrete pieces of the Berlin Wall I scooped up when I visited Germany following the fall of that wall as a historic testament to the sweeping of that age into the dustbin of history.

But changing the course of history is more than smashing symbols.

The founder of BET, Robert Johnson, recently said the violent protests were “tantamount to rearranging the deck chairs on a racial Titanic. It absolutely means nothing,” adding that those “tearing down statues, trying to make a statement are basically borderline anarchists. … They really have no agenda other than the idea we’re going to topple a statue. It’s not going to close the wealth gap. It’s not going to give a kid whose parents can’t afford college money to go to college. It’s not going to close the labor gap between what white workers are paid and what black workers are paid. And it’s not going to take people off welfare or food stamps.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s rush to remove portraits of former House speakers suddenly deemed unsuitable to no longer adorn the halls of Congress does not erase the fact that they were elected by members of the institution she leads. Nor does it erase the fact that she, along with former Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, delivered praise and eulogies for former Dixie senator and Klansman leader Robert Byrd. Nor does it substitute for real reforms.

As a Democrat, I’m ashamed of my party’s ugly history of support for segregation, Jim Crow laws and white supremacy. Yet the point of understanding history is not to whitewash it but to understand and use that understanding to change the course of history to ensure that that moral arc increasingly bends toward justice with each generation.

My father served this country in a segregated Army, returning to a segregated country where “No Mexicans” signs hung in café windows. Yet he never gave up on the promise of what America means, and the opportunities he envisioned for his children. He died in the early morning hours after celebrating his last Fourth of July in 1995. An American flag draped his coffin and I shivered at the sounding of “Taps” beckoning a new generation to do our part for the imperfect nation awaiting us.

I’m not willing to smash an American Dream I believe in, albeit deferred. We can and must overcome the systemic racism that has stained our nation without succumbing to anarchy, abandonment and abdication of who we are as a nation.

Gloria Romero previously served as Democratic majority leader in the California Senate.

Read more about You can’t cancel American history: Gloria Romero This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed. OC Shredding Business

Powered by WPeMatico

As police unions voice support for reform, we should listen: Susan Shelley

It’s the job of a labor union to represent its members in contract talks and to enforce the provisions of those contracts. It’s not a union’s job to protect members from the consequences of illegal or wrongful conduct.

However, a union’s obligation to provide representation and to enforce contract provisions that require due process can create the appearance that labor unions are defending indefensible conduct.

Try this thought experiment: imagine that a person you know to be innocent is wrongly accused of a crime or misconduct at work. The union that represents that person steps up to provide a defense and fight for every bit of due process that the contract requires or allows.

Now imagine that a person you know to be guilty is accused of a crime or misconduct at work. The union that represents that person steps up to provide a defense and fight for every bit of due process that the contract requires or allows.

The union’s actions are the same in each case, but your opinion of its actions may vary with your perception of the facts.

This explains much of the division in the nation today over policing. People have different experiences in their encounters with law enforcement based on their own physical characteristics. Whether police are making a reasonable judgment or acting in a discriminatory manner will always be a fair question, but there’s no denying that a 25-year-old Black man and a 25-year-old white woman are likely to be treated differently by police under some circumstances. Those experiences, over a lifetime, shape a person’s perception of the facts when they see something happen.

Sometimes video clips can be deceptive, and people can be manipulated with selective information that plays to their perceptions. Any mystery or detective story relies on leading your mind down the wrong path, just to pull the rug in a surprise ending that shows you how wrong you were.

When real lives are at stake, it’s not so entertaining. Police unions have the difficult job of standing up for police officers who have been accused of wrongdoing.

That’s why the significance of a recent development should not be underestimated. Three politically powerful police unions representing officers in Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Jose took out full-page newspaper ads calling for reforms that could lead to some officers being removed from the force. “Police unions must root out racism wherever it rears its ugly head and root out any racist individual from our profession,” they wrote. “Police officers come from and reflect our communities. Unfortunately, there is racism in our communities and that means across our country that there are some racist police officers.”

The Los Angeles Police Protective League and the associations that represent police officers in San Francisco and San Jose called for “a national database of former police officers fired for gross misconduct that prevents other agencies from hiring them.” They also called for a national use-of-force standard similar to the one used by the LAPD, which emphasizes “de-escalation, a duty to intercede, proportional responses to dangerous incidents and a strong accountability provision.”

The unions said they want all police departments to follow San Francisco’s lead by implementing an “early warning system to identify officers who may need more training and mentoring.” They also called for departments to create websites to provide a “transparent, publicly accessible use-of-force analysis,” like the one established by the San Jose Police Department.

Transparency is essential when trust is essential. Everyone has to be able to trust that they will be treated fairly, or it’s likely they’ll respond in a way that sets off a chain of events that is life-destroying.

That’s true of both sides in any conflict.

Instead of looking backward and toppling historic statues, we should engage in a visionary exercise that imagines the world as we want it to be. Then we can measure proposed reforms and changes based on the likelihood that they’ll take us there.

The California Legislature has approved Assembly Constitutional Amendment 5, which if approved by voters in November would repeal Proposition 209, passed in 1996, and once again allow state institutions to use racial preferences in university admissions, hiring and contracting.

That’s a “reform” that embraces official judgment of people on the basis of race. Is that the path out of the trouble we’re in, or is that the path to more of what we’re trying to abolish?

Racism is a form of collectivism, the idea that a group identity must take precedence over the individual. The United States was founded on the idea that individuals have rights that cannot be taken away arbitrarily by the government, which means by a majority of other people.

Collectivism doesn’t end well. It leads to government control over everything. Because freedom is a condition that exists under a government of limited power, collectivism is the enemy of freedom.

The path out of the current turmoil doesn’t go through racial preferences or defunding the police or tearing down statues. The only path to peace and freedom is through the protection of people from each other.

For that, police are indispensable.

It’s an encouraging development that three California police unions have gone on record in support of reforms. Politicians and police departments all across the country would be well advised to listen.

Susan Shelley is an editorial writer and columnist for the Southern California News Group. Susan@SusanShelley.com. Twitter: @Susan_Shelley.

Read more about As police unions voice support for reform, we should listen: Susan Shelley This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed. OC Shredding Business

Powered by WPeMatico

How you, and your freedom, got disqualified: Roger Ruvolo

As the Independence Day holiday approaches, read the Declaration of Independence and ask yourself: How independent are you? Can you speak freely? Do what you want jobwise? Go wherever you want to go? Associate with whomever you like?

Do the answers to those questions matter to you? If not, you may be part of the faction that thinks individual rights are dispensable, that social expediency, as defined by certain people at a certain time, takes precedence over individual freedoms.

If those questions do matter to you, then you’re part of the group that thinks our founding principles do make this country a unique political experiment that’s led to greater freedom and prosperity than the world has ever known. And you probably feel like part of a shrinking minority.

The social-expediency faction dominates one of our major political parties. With its soul sold to identity politics, it clangs around in a Great American Pinball Machine, bouncing off peg after peg:  This subject cannot be taught, that person cannot speak; police officers are no longer “heroic first responders,” they’re racists; being born with a certain skin pigment makes you evil; those people must give money to these people.

They can shut you up if they don’t like what you’re saying, or destroy you with ad-hominem attacks. They can disqualify you for any sin, real or fabricated, if it becomes propitious to do so. They do not respect or accept any election result won by their opponents. Anything the winners say or do is illegitimate.

Some, such as the Claremont historian and author Charles Kesler, call that “America’s cold civil war.” Maybe. But what’s the intellectual underpinning that manifests in all this hatred? Were you born with natural rights or not?

The Great American Pinball Machine has been around for generations, as evidenced by Woodrow Wilson, the 28th president and a leader of the Progressive movement. The Constitution got some gut punches from Wilson’s Progressives, who thought it antiquated. He also sneered at the declaration.

Wilson, in a July 4, 1911 speech to the Jefferson Club in Los Angeles, got into the pinball machine by telling listeners, “If you want to understand the real Declaration of Independence, do not repeat the preface.”

Nobody else called the first sentences of the declaration a “preface.” Wilson did in order to show disdain for the spirit of the American founding – that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights (life, liberty, pursuit of happiness). Dismiss that, and you dismiss the concepts that separated these United States from every other nation, before or since.

That’s fine, said Wilson. Dismissed.

All you have left, he said, is a bunch of griping about King George III.

Wilson’s descendants are the new King George. They explicitly and unapologetically want greatly expanded government to deal with new circumstances. The founders’ visions no longer apply.

Today’s progressivism descends from Wilson, the New Deal and Great Society. Wealth redistribution, victim groups, a leviathan administrative and regulatory state, punishment for infidels, ever-higher taxes, rapidly and constantly changing “principles” that might override a previously cherished “principle” – progressives don’t regret any of this. They want it.

Wilson disqualified a key part of one of the country’s founding documents. His descendants disqualify people, statues, institutions, even the country itself because some Americans had slaves. You wonder what country, now or ever, didn’t have faults, or which ones fought as valiantly and earnestly as the citizens of this country to correct them.

Wilson, in an 1887 essay titled “Socialism and Democracy,” asserts that there is no limit of public authority over an individual and that, “In fundamental theory, socialism and democracy are almost, if not quite, one and the same.”

College kids probably couldn’t quote you any of this, but many of them are “woke,” mostly because they just think “socialism” sounds cool.

That leads into well-charted waters, at least to people who haven’t had blinders installed by college professors or pop media. As the pinball machine and Seattle are demonstrating, progressivism and anarchy are almost, if not quite, one and the same.

What can you do? Be skeptical about the “resistance.” Avoid, or at least be able to spot, propaganda, whether on campus or “the news.” And this July 4th, read the Declaration aloud, all the way down to where the founders pledge to each other their lives, fortunes and sacred honor. Ask yourself if you’d pay that price for freedom.

Reach Roger Ruvolo at rruvolo@att.net

Read more about How you, and your freedom, got disqualified: Roger Ruvolo This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed. OC Shredding Business

Powered by WPeMatico