I’ve taken a lot of time to deliver some well deserved hits on the various Michael Brown Protesters.

However I’d like to draw your attention to a man I disagree who deserves to be mentioned.

Meet the Reverend Jarrett Maupin

rev MaupinI have never met the reverend but by that description odds are we have little in common and likely disagree on most major issues.  But after reading this article

Rev. Jarrett Maupin agreed to take the use of force test administered to police officers, in an attempt to prove that police are using too much force when responding to calls.  TheMaricopa County Sheriffs Department gave Maupin the three scenarios and here is howMaupin did:

In the first scenario, Maupin did not shoot.  The perp hid behind a car, pulling out a gun and shot Maupin.  In the second one, Maupin had to break up an argument that was getting physical.  When an unarmed man rushed at him, Maupin fired.  He said afterwards that the man had forced him to shoot by entering his zone:

And this reaction:

Maupin, who in the past has led several marches against police, including one case where police shot an unarmed man, also led the crowd in a chant of, “We want his badge, we want his gun, we want his job.”

To his credit, Rev. Maupin admitted that he had no real understanding about the compliance issue and that the tests allowed him to see things in a new light:

“I didn’t understand how important compliance was, but after going through this; yes my attitude has changed, this happens in 10-15 seconds. People need to comply for their own sake.”

I can tell you that he is without a question an honorable man and deserves a seat at the table when these things are discussed.

Maupin didn’t have to take this test.   He could have maintained standing within his community without even giving lip service to this test.

That fact that he took the time and objectively evaluated it says he’s looking for what’s right not what’s expedient.

He may be wrong but I’ll always sit at the table of a man whose honest, when you have honest men at the table you will get honest & honorable solutions.

The next round of US-Cuban discussions is scheduled for January 21 and 22, a week from today, in Havana.

Almost a month ago, Pres. Obama gave his Statement on Cuba Policy Changes,

In the most significant changes in our policy in more than fifty years, we will end an outdated approach that, for decades, has failed to advance our interests,

thereby implying that the Cuban communist regime had evolved and the U.S. had not.

No matter how you look at it, Cuba is firmly footed in a Cold War time capsule. Jason and Yleem Poblete, writing in the Wall Street Joournal, offer a brief list: They start with espionage,

In May 2003, 14 Cuban diplomats were declared persona non grata by the State Department and expelled from the U.S. for “unofficial activities,” which is diplomatic speak for espionage. One was the first secretary of the Cuban Interests Section, Jose Anselmo Lopez Perera. His wife, Josefina Vidal, also a first secretary and known Cuban intelligence officer, left with her husband. In exchange for her “heroic” exploits on behalf of the Revolution—yes, they still talk this way in Havana—the Castro regime rewarded Vidal by placing her in charge of North American Affairs or the “United States Division” as Cuba’s Foreign Ministry refers to it.

In her capacity as chief anti-American operative, Vidal traveled to the U.S. in May 2014 to meet with State Department officials. Her interlocutor? Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta Jacobson, whom President Obama has chosen to lead a high-ranking delegation to Havana this month for normalization talks.

Indeed, Vidal will most likely head Cuban delegation at the next round of US-Cuban discussions on January 21 and 22 in Havana.

The Pobletes also ask,

Is there a different leadership in Cuba—one that espouses freedom and no longer threatens the U.S. or undermines its interests and objectives? Absolutely not.

Under the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act, signed into law by President Clinton in 1996 and which could be viewed as also codifying the Eisenhower decision to sever ties with Cuba, the legal criteria for normalization of relations, including the political reward of full diplomatic recognition, have clearly not been met.

That is particularly true in the area of human rights, where the fate of 53 prisoners released remains firmly at the whims of the regime, and where any multinational who employs Cubans pays the government an amount in dollars stipulated by the government, which in turn pays the employee no more than the maximum legal wage (approx. $20 a month) in pesos.

Since Cuba has a long history of defaulting on its debts with foreigners, you may also want to recall what happens to owners of multinationals who did business with Cuba and tried to collect. Most of the businessmen mentioned in my column still remain in jail.

But if you really want a blast from the Cold War past,

Months before President Obama announced on Wednesday that he is seeking to do away with decades of U.S. economic sanctions against the communist regime in Cuba, Russia concluded a security deal with Havana aimed at bolstering intelligence and military ties to the island dictatorship.

The Russia-Cuba agreement was announced May 16 when a memorandum was signed in Moscow establishing a joint working group between Russia’s Security Council and the Cuban Commission for National Security and Defense.

The agreement’s announcement overlapped Vidal’s trip to the U.S. to meet with Jacobsen.

Will the Statement’s aftermath erode Russian influence with Havana? I wouldn’t hold my breath on it – especially not with Putin at the helm.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

May they have joy of the incentive system they’re creating.

Glenn Reynolds

Am I actually reading this?

President Barack Obama has a moral responsibility to push back on the nation’s journalism community when it is planning to publish anti-jihadi articles that might cause a jihadi attack against the nation’s defenses forces, the White House’s press secretary said Jan. 12.

“The president … will not now be shy about expressing a view or taking the steps that are necessary to try to advocate for the safety and security of our men and women in uniform” whenever journalists’ work may provoke jihadist attacks, spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters at the White House’s daily briefing.

Think about what this is saying for a moment. If the Government things exercising the first Amendment rights guaranteed by our constitution will upset violent fanatics said government will do what it can to prevent  said people from doing so.

Apparently Baptists, Catholics, Mormons, Hindus, Sikhs, Jews and other assorted religious groups have been doing  it all wrong.  If we would only ignore what our religions actually say and mimic the actions of the significant minority of well-funded Muslims who are willing to commit violence to keep people from insulting or blaspheming our relative religions, our government would lead the charge to make sure we were never insulted in media, film or on TV again.

Alas, it is unlikely to work, because even if you found say, a crazy uncle Catholic willing to do this kind of thing, not only would such acts be rejected by the faithful en masse (unlike some  polls we have seen in Islamic countries) but,  unlike the Imams who you can easily find online supported extremists , you would likely not be able to find a single Catholic priest,  let alone a bishop or Cardinal who would do anything other than denounce such threats or violence as Mortal Sin.

This administration is creating an incentive system for violence and when you reward an action you tend to get more of it and the longer they do so the more likely something like that will happen.

It seems that no matter how low my expectations of this administration get, they are still willing to confound them.