Politics and Pepper Spray

The Chancellor of the UC Davis, Linda Katehi, is forming a task force to investigate the weekend's pepper spray incident, and called the incident "chilling." Not only is she apparently unaware of the silly irony in her statement (calling the pepper spray incident "chilling" as opposed to "hotter than hell"), but she is also overreacting to a harmless intervention on the part of the police. She and an outraged media are casting the Occupiers as peaceful victims.  First, let's have a brief discussion about pepper spray. It is officially known as oleoresin capsicum, or O.C. spray. It is derived from the oil of very hot peppers, and was invented as a more efficacious alternative to Mace. Its effects are almost universal, although about five to ten percent of the population seems to be resistant to it. When someone is sprayed, it forces his eyes to shut. The spray gets inhaled and irritates the mucus membranes of his throat and sinuses, making it difficult to breathe. In some...(Read Full Article)

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