1. It’s Wednesday, July 22, 2015.
2. The video of Sandra Bland’s arrest is, if nothing else, testimony to a complete lack of police professionalism.
Ms. Bland is clearly upset by this traffic stop and, being an African-American woman, she reacts with the fear of being stopped in the middle of nowhere Texas by a single white male police officer. If this officer, Brian Encinia, had any degree of competence, he would have reacted with patience and calm.
Instead, he took a situation that a professional police officer — and I’ve known my share of them in places throughout the United States — would have handled deftly and turned it into a crisis.
Whatever happened to Ms. Bland after her arrest that led to her death in a Waller County cell needs to be thoroughly investigated by competent law enforcement. That would mean someone outside Waller County and Texas.
3. Jon Stewart’s final “Daily Show” interview with President Obama had a very strange finish.
Stewart, who seemed very detached through most of the interview, asked a question about making young people give a year of their lives to serving the country. It’s the old national service idea — you could join the military or do some sort of public service work that meets one of our country’s many needs. Stewart even said that at his advanced age — he’s over 50 — he’d volunteer to do so.
The President, while lauding the theory, understands the reality. He kind of muddled through some verbiage about how today’s young people are very dedicated to helping others, and how Americans tend to join together at the local level.
What Obama left unsaid is this: What’s also out there is the idea of entitlement. The idea that there might be others who want or need something, but that’s not my problem. And I’ll do whatever to get mine.
You see it when drivers weave crazily on highways because 65 mph isn’t fast enough. You hear it when people decide to text or talk on a cell phone during a movie or play.
It’s manifested in the Donny Trump phenomenon — “making America great again” means building some eyesore tower that wrecks the Manhattan skyline or discrediting the contributions of anyone who won’t worship at the altar of his fabulousness.
Jon Stewart’s sentiments for national service are noble. But President Obama, who spent formative years helping needy Chicagoans, knows the score. While there are many who are ready to clean up wastelands and help the homeless and hungry, there are many who aspire to gold-plated Trumpdom.