Later On

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Archive for March 10th, 2021

Over 700 Complaints About NYPD Officers Abusing Black Lives Matter Protesters, Then Silence

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Eric Umansky writes in ProPublica:

It was one of the most brutal police responses to last year’s Black Lives Matter protests.

As hundreds of demonstrators were marching peacefully in the Bronx on the evening of June 4, New York Police Department officers blocked their way from in front and then behind, trapping the protesters in an ever-tightening space that footage shows ultimately spanned about three car-lengths.

Officers soon waded into the crowd, pepper-spraying, kicking, punching and swinging their batons. “People were being stampeded, they would try to get up and they’d get hit again,” recalled Conrad Blackburn, a criminal defense lawyer who was there as a legal observer. “People were bleeding from their heads, with cuts all over their bodies. People couldn’t breathe. They couldn’t see.”

About 60 protesters and bystanders were injured, according to a report by Human Rights Watch. Video footage the organization compiled captures the terror in people’s voices. “We’re being crushed!” one person screams. Another voice pleads, “Mommy!”

At the demonstration, overseeing the NYPD’s response, was the top uniformed officer, Chief of Department Terence Monahan.

A recent federal lawsuit by New York State Attorney General Letitia James says that Monahan “actively encouraged and participated in this unlawful behavior.” Other reports on the protests have also offered scathing criticisms of the NYPD’s response.

But one voice has been conspicuously quiet: The agency whose sole responsibility is to investigate NYPD abuse of civilians.

The New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board, or CCRB, received about 750 complaints of officers abusing Black Lives Matter protesters across the city last year. But it has not yet released any findings from investigations into those complaints.

The CCRB declined ProPublica’s request for an accounting of the status of its investigations. It won’t say how many investigations have been closed and how many are still open. Most critically, it won’t disclose how many officers have been charged with misconduct.

The NYPD also did not respond to ProPublica’s questions about any discipline stemming from abuse of protesters.

The lack of disclosure comes as New York City has moved toward more transparency in police discipline. A federal court recently cleared the way for the city to make NYPD officers’ disciplinary records public. Both the CCRB and NYPD have now published officers’ disciplinary records, though critics have noted the limitations of the databases.

Created nearly 70 years ago, originally as a part of the NYPD, the CCRB has long been cautious about crossing the department it is charged with investigating. It is currently overseen by a 15-member board, with members appointed by the mayor, city council, public advocate and police commissioner.

Internal CCRB communications about its investigations into the NYPD response to the protests give a glimpse of the dynamics involved: They show progress on the investigations has been slowed in part because of the NYPD’s recurrent lack of cooperation — which ProPublica has previously detailed — and the CCRB leadership’s own caution about confronting it.

In October, the then-deputy chief of the CCRB’s investigative unit, Dane Buchanan, emailed the agency’s executive director, Jonathan Darche, to say that investigators were “ready to schedule Chief Monahan for an interview.” Buchanan asked Darche whether he’d like to discuss it first “or should we just have an investigator reach out to his office to get his availability?”

Darche, who reports to the board, responded that he would handle it himself and raise it in a meeting with the NYPD the next day.

Buchanan continued to check in, but the issue went unresolved for months. Monahan was reportedly finally scheduled for an interview to be conducted last Friday, just after he had announced he was retiring from the NYPD after 39 years. The move means Monahan would no longer be subject to departmental discipline.

As Monahan said he was retiring, Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed him to help run New York’s COVID-19 response. At a press conference, de Blasio deflected a question about choosing an officer under investigation, saying, “I think the message this sends is that we’re moving the recovery forward.”

In a statement, the CCRB told ProPublica it was “not prepared to interview Chief Monahan in October” and that “it intends to release a report detailing the factors that complicated its investigations into the police response to last summer’s protests.” The CCRB said it will share the results of investigations once they are closed and once federal litigation, such as the attorney general’s suit, is over.

Emails show CCRB staffers had repeatedly raised red flags about the NYPD’s failure to produce evidence. “We continue to be plagued with false negatives in protest cases,” one staffer emailed in the fall, referring to instances where the NYPD claimed it had no body-worn camera footage of an incident only for the CCRB to later discover footage exists.

Another email cited an example where an officer mentioned in an interview she had activated her body cam during a confrontation with a protester. The NYPD had told the CCRB that no such footage existed.

“Allegations of us not providing BWC footage is false,” the NYPD said in a statement, referring to body-worn cameras. “We have spoken with senior executives at the CCRB who state they do not have any complaints and are pleased with the Departments response to providing BWC video.”

Other records were also matters of contention. “We are hitting a critical point with the protest case documents,” Buchanan wrote in October, referring to police records that could help the CCRB identify both officers and civilians. “Many of them have been outstanding for a long time.”

The CCRB did decide to go public about one roadblock. Officers had been refusing to do interviews by video, which the agency was using because of the pandemic. Hundreds of cases were stalled as a result. After the CCRB announced an emergency hearing about it in August, the NYPD ordered officers to participate in video interviews.

But . . .

Continue reading. There’s more.

Written by Leisureguy

10 March 2021 at 5:02 pm

Want to borrow that e-book from the library? Sorry, Amazon won’t let you.

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It is becoming more and more imperative that large tech companies be more closely regulated. Right now they are out of control — like Standard Oil in the early 20th century. Geoffrey A. Fowler reports in the Washington Post:

Mindy Kaling has gone missing from the library.

I was looking forward to reading the comedian’s new story collection, “Nothing Like I Imagined.” So I typed Kaling’s name into the Libby app used by my public library to loan e-books. But “The Office” star’s latest was nowhere to be found.

What gives? In 2020, Kaling switched to a new publisher: Amazon. Turns out, the tech giant has also become a publishing powerhouse — and it won’t sell downloadable versions of its more than 10,000 e-books or tens of thousands of audiobooks to libraries. That’s right, for a decade, the company that killed bookstores has been starving the reading institution that cares for kids, the needy and the curious. And that’s turned into a mission-critical problem during a pandemic that cut off physical access to libraries and left a lot of people unable to afford books on their own.

Many Americans now recognize that a few tech companies increasingly dominate our lives. But it’s sometimes hard to put your finger on exactly why that’s a problem. The case of the vanishing e-books shows how tech monopolies hurt us not just as consumers, but as citizens.

You probably think of Amazon as the largest online bookstore. Amazon helped make e-books popular with the Kindle, now the dominant e-reader. Less well known is that since 2009, Amazon has published books and audiobooks under its own brands including Lake UnionThomas & Mercer and Audible. Amazon is a beast with many tentacles: It’s got the store, the reading devices and, increasingly, the words that go on them.

Librarians have been no match for the beast. When authors sign up with a publisher, it decides how to distribute their work. With other big publishers, selling e-books and audiobooks to libraries is part of the mix — that’s why you’re able to digitally check out bestsellers like Barack Obama’s “A Promised Land.” Amazon is the only big publisher that flat-out blocks library digital collections. Search your local library’s website, and you won’t find recent e-books by Amazon authors Kaling, Dean Koontz or Dr. Ruth Westheimer. Nor will you find downloadable audiobooks for Trevor Noah’s “Born a Crime,” Andy Weir’s “The Martian” and Michael Pollan’s “Caffeine.”

Amazon does generally sell libraries physical books and audiobook CDs — though even print versions of Kaling’s latest aren’t available to libraries because Amazon made it an online exclusive.

It’s hard to measure the hole Amazon is leaving in American libraries. Among e-books, Amazon published very few New York Times bestsellers in 2020; its Audible division produces audiobooks for more big authors and shows up on bestseller lists more frequently. You can get a sense of Amazon’s influence among its own customers from the Kindle bestseller list: In 2020, six of Amazon’s top 10 e-books were published by Amazon. And it’s not just about bestsellers: Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing, the self-publishing business that’s open to anyone, produces many books about local history, personalities and communities that libraries have historically sought out.

In testimony to Congress, the American Library Association called digital sales bans like Amazon’s “the worst obstacle for libraries” moving into the 21st century. Lawmakers in New York and Rhode Island have proposed bills that would require Amazon (and everybody else) to sell e-books to libraries with reasonable terms. This week, the Maryland General Assembly will vote on its own bill, after the state Senate passed a version last week. . .

Continue reading. There’s much more, including this chart.

Written by Leisureguy

10 March 2021 at 2:18 pm

The Razor Company

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I just learned of The Razor Company, which has a very nice site (and does carry Grooming Dept pre-shave when it’s available).

Written by Leisureguy

10 March 2021 at 2:09 pm

Posted in Shaving

American Battlefield: 72 Hours in Kenosha

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Doug Bock Clark writes in GQ:

Kyle Rittenhouse was sprinting away from the scene of an apparent crime when he phoned a friend and choked out, “I just killed somebody. I had to shoot him.” Then he hung up. Men in masks were beginning to chase him. Rittenhouse kept running, his heavy cowboy boots clomping against the pavement, uncertain if he’d have to fire his gun again. He was 17, and for much of his life he’d toyed around with guns and dreamed of being a cop—of keeping order. That was what he’d been seeking to do last August when he carried an assault rifle into downtown Kenosha, Wisconsin, swaths of which had been razed during previous nights of rioting. That was what he’d been doing moments earlier, as midnight neared, when he’d confronted a group of vandals and arsonists wrecking a car dealership. He had been trying to get them to stop. One, with a red T-shirt wrapped around his head so that his eyes showed through a slit, had charged the teenager, and Rittenhouse had fled.

“Fuck you!” the man had yelled. Rittenhouse turned to face his pursuer. The man lunged, and Rittenhouse fired at point-blank range. Then he stood over the twitching body, his first aid bag dangling unused at his side. Even before bystanders began futilely trying to plug the dying man’s wounds with a T-shirt, Rittenhouse took off up Kenosha’s main drag.

Three blocks to the north, he could see a line of four armored police personnel carriers: safety, it seemed to him. Rittenhouse huffed along for a block and a half until he encountered a group of racial-justice protesters streaming south, drawn by his gunshots. At first, the throng didn’t pay much attention to the kid weaving through them: With his baby face and his backward American-flag baseball cap, he looked even younger than he was. But soon shouts relayed news of the shooting through the crowd. The barrel of the Smith & Wesson AR-15-style assault rifle he gripped was still hot.

“What’d he do?”

“He shot someone!”

“Get his ass!”

By the time Rittenhouse was within a block of reaching the police, roughly a dozen men were chasing him. One threw a right haymaker, knocking off the teenager’s baseball cap, before peeling away, perhaps intimidated by the rifle. Rittenhouse was a few steps ahead of the pack when he tripped. He slammed down on the asphalt and rolled onto his back, whipping his weapon toward his pursuers.

A tall Black man tried unsuccessfully to drop-kick him, then dashed onward. Rittenhouse seems to have fired twice as the man hurdled over him—and somehow missed, despite their proximity.

Then a white man in a dark sweatshirt, hood up, smashed Rittenhouse with a skateboard gripped in one hand as he tried to grab the rifle with the other. That time, Rittenhouse couldn’t miss—the muzzle of his gun was practically jabbed into the man’s belly. After the blast, the skateboarder staggered a few steps, clutching his chest, trying to keep his life from pouring out.

Now a tall white man loomed over Rittenhouse. His baseball cap read “PARAMEDIC.” In his right hand, he held a pistol. But Rittenhouse, with the bigger weapon, had the drop on him. The man backed up, hands in the air, the pistol’s muzzle pointing skyward. Abruptly the man stepped forward. Rittenhouse squeezed the trigger. The biceps of the arm holding the pistol exploded into gore. The handgun clattered to the street.

A fourth man was backing away, hands raised. Others were ducking behind trees and cars. The hooded skateboarder lay facedown in the street. The man whose arm had been blown open was kneeling nearby, shrieking for help.

As Rittenhouse stood, the lights of the police vehicles illuminated his face—red, white, and blue—and he hustled toward them. He had some minor cuts and scrapes, but he was essentially unhurt. He approached the hulking personnel carriers with his surgical-gloved hands held high and his rifle dangling from a military-style body sling. He wasn’t sure how many people he might have just killed. Certainly, one. Probably, more.

Though portions of the shootings had been captured on at least eight video recordings, Americans who dissected the footage in the coming days wouldn’t agree on what they saw—and the question of what had truly happened that night would become a point of bitter debate in a divided country. Many conservatives would lionize Rittenhouse as a hero, defending property and then himself against a mob. Many on the left would vilify him as a murderous white supremacist. The truth, however, was even more tragic than either side allowed.

This story draws on dozens of hours of video footage, including a comprehensive timeline of crucial events created by syncing 11 livestreams; countless photos; dozens of interviews, including some with participants speaking for the first time; previous reportage; and extensive police and court records. It is the most complete investigation and reconstruction yet of how American order imploded for three nights in Kenosha, until citizens were warring in the streets, and what that breakdown might tell us about the United States’ deepening divisions.

Two days before Kyle Rittenhouse fired his weapon of war, Kenosha police responded to a call from a woman reporting that the father of her children, Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, was causing a disturbance at her home. When a white officer named Rusten Sheskey arrived, he saw Blake put a child into an SUV; the officer’s lawyer later said that Sheskey believed that the boy was being abducted. A warrant for third-degree felony sexual assault was out for Blake, stemming from allegations made by the same woman earlier that summer, and so Sheskey tried to arrest him. Within minutes, Blake, Sheskey, and two other officers were wrestling on the lawn as a crowd gathered. Videos captured Blake struggling free and limping around the front of the SUV. Sheskey followed a step behind, his service pistol aimed between Blake’s shoulder blades. As Blake opened the driver’s-side door, Sheskey grabbed a fistful of his white tank top. The fabric stretched as Blake leaned inside the vehicle, still facing away. Sheskey fired seven times. The vehicle’s horn blared unrelentingly as Blake’s body draped across the steering wheel. In the back seat, Blake’s three young children screamed.

According to the police, Sheskey fired his gun after seeing Blake twist toward him, short-bladed knife in hand. (Blake would later tell investigators that he was putting the knife away when Sheskey shot him.) The aggressive action that Sheskey alleges isn’t discernible on the videos, however, in which Blake is partly obscured by the car door. Indeed, what many people saw was a retreating Black man gunned in the back by a white police officer. “You did not have to shoot him, bro. He was getting in his fucking car,” a bystander who’d been filming the altercation shouted at Sheskey. “I’m posting this shit on Facebook.”

A few minutes later, that video popped onto the Facebook feed of Nick Dennis, a 37-year-old Black Kenoshan who lived nearby. He immediately drove to where Blake had been shot. Soon the normally quiet stretch of low-rent apartment buildings became crowded with locals chanting for justice. By evening, several hundred people, Black, white, and brown, surrounded police officers cordoning the crime scene, and some began challenging the officers to take off their badges, put down their guns, and fight.

Relations between Kenosha’s largely white police force and its minority residents had long been tense. “I think society has to come to a threshold where there’s some people that aren’t worth saving,” the region’s white sheriff had mused two years earlier, when four Black people accused of shoplifting were arrested following a high-speed car chase. “We need to build warehouses… and lock them away for the rest of their lives.” The sheriff later apologized for the comments, but residents like Dennis resented the police force for what they felt was a long history of abuse, especially officers shooting people in questionable circumstances without facing charges.

For most of Dennis’s life, he’d tried to avoid confronting the police. In his twenties, he’d racked up multiple charges for dealing marijuana. But after finishing 18 months in prison in 2013, he trained as a machinist, got a good job, and focused on his sons. He received only traffic violations from then on, and even if he felt like the stops were petty harassment, he endured them, believing that a tall and muscular Black man like himself was always one misinterpreted gesture away from having his life derailed. He felt powerless to challenge the system. But earlier that summer, the death of George Floyd beneath the knee of a white police officer, and the subsequent nationwide racial-justice protests, catalyzed a profound transformation in him. “I felt myself crying,” Dennis said of watching video of Floyd’s murder. “I hadn’t cried in years. I could only think if it was my sons.” That’s when Dennis began joining Black Lives Matter marches.

Now he’d come to the site of Blake’s shooting, hoping to join a peaceful demonstration. But as the evening dimmed into night, he watched as people pushed past flimsy police tape and men began jumping on the hood and windshield of a police cruiser. After one cop was knocked out by a thrown brick, the rest retreated, and Dennis marched with the crowd through residential neighborhoods toward police headquarters, chanting, “Whose streets? Our streets!” As the protesters neared the police station, they found the roads crammed with cars bearing still more protesters, some waving Black Lives Matter signs. Authorities had parked unmanned municipal garbage trucks sideways in the streets, creating a hasty barricade, but the masses overran them and made their way to the three-story station. Wearing a black face mask decorated with a fist raising its middle finger, Dennis recorded himself on his phone amid throngs of protesters, declaring, “We’re gonna turn this bitch up!”

In front of the police building, several dozen cops in riot gear, most of them white, formed a wall with shields and batons. At first the crowd only insulted them; then someone got to throwing small firecrackers. Soon people began to lob bigger incendiaries, which made explosions that sounded to Dennis like artillery fire, and the police retreated inside. He was furious, too, but wouldn’t participate in violence.

With the police bottled up, there was no one to check the crowd. It rampaged into the neighboring Civic Center, a square of neoclassical governmental edifices arranged around a tree-filled park, built before Kenosha’s once prosperous factories had been decimated by offshoring, and which now seemed grandiose for such a small, hardscrabble city. People busted windows at the courthouse. They tried to set the Register of Deeds building on fire. They tore down a statue of a dinosaur outside a natural history museum. It seems a young white man set the garbage truck barricades on fire with rolled towels soaked in gasoline.

Dennis livestreamed much of what was happening from his cell phone. As he saw it, he was confronting America with the wages of what the police had wrought, in their shooting of Blake. In immersing himself in the next three nights of chaos, he would regard himself as a witness and an activist. When he could, he tried to prevent illegal acts and keep others safe; he warned people away from the burning garbage trucks, afraid they might explode. But he realized that something more powerful than himself had been unleashed.

Videos showed hundreds of people of diverse ethnicities and ages packing the park. Though probably dozens of them engaged in vandalism and arson, most, like Dennis, were simply bearing witness; some were even cheering, seemingly celebrating. It wasn’t just fury at the shooting of a single man that fueled the destruction: It was

Continue reading. There’s much more.

Written by Leisureguy

10 March 2021 at 1:54 pm

Prosecuting in the Police-less City: Police Abolition’s Impact on Local Prosecutors

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Harvard Law Review has an interesting note, which begins:

What good is a prosecutor without police? On June 26, 2020, that question gained unexpected importance when the Minneapolis City Council unanimously approved a proposed amendment to the city’s charter that would allow the city to dismantle its police department. The city’s Charter Commission eventually rejected the proposal, but had it been enacted, the amendment would have broken with American cities’ two-century-long approach to public safety and raised serious questions about the role prosecutors play in a city without police.

The City Council’s vote was spurred by weeks of protests that erupted following George Floyd’s killing at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) on May 25, 2020. Beyond Minneapolis, the killing sparked a nationwide movement to abolish the police, and advocates have used the opportunity to agitate for legislative change at the municipal, state, and federal levels.

The police are only one thread in the complex knot that comprises America’s criminal legal system, however. In the event that activists in Minnesota achieve unmitigated success, dismantling the MPD and redirecting its considerable budget toward a new kind of public safety department, there would still be other officials and offices that have roles to play, the existence of which, unlike that of the police, is not necessarily under the direct control of municipal government.

Chief among the actors who are likely to survive police abolition are local prosecutors. Whether known as district attorneys, county attorneys, states’ attorneys, or some other title, local prosecutors’ offices are the legal counterparts to local police, prosecuting crimes in state or municipal court. In light of this role, activists have likewise argued for the reform or abolition of local prosecutors.

Generally, however, municipal governments lack the power to abolish whatever prosecutor’s office possesses jurisdiction over their cities. This is because the office of local prosecutor is almost always mandated by state statutory or constitutional law, whereas whether to create a local police department is a decision that lies almost entirely at the discretion of the municipal government. As a consequence of this distinction, municipalities that eliminate their local police departments will remain under the vestigial jurisdiction of a statutorily mandated prosecutor absent state-level reforms. The possibility that a municipality’s criminal legal system might be partially dismantled in this way raises two obvious questions: How will that system look and — more importantly — how should that system look?

Prosecutors in jurisdictions whose police departments are abolished may retain their offices, but they are likely to find their jobs fundamentally altered. The two institutions are so interdependent that the elimination of one will undoubtedly destabilize the other.

Successful police abolition will demand that local prosecutors adapt to changing circumstances, but it also provides an opportunity to challenge long-standing assumptions about how laws are enforced and remake what it means to be an American prosecutor. This Note will speculate about the impact that police abolition would have on local prosecutors and set forth a vision of what local prosecution should become in a city without police.

To that end, Part I of this Note establishes the status quo: it provides an overview of the statutory schemes that establish local prosecutors’ offices and the relationship that those offices have with the police.

Part II explores the ways in which police abolition might have downstream effects on local prosecutors.

Part III argues that the most natural way for local prosecutors to adapt to police abolition is to replace the contemporary, punishment-oriented approach to prosecution with one rooted in theories of transformative justice. It briefly describes transformative justice and illustrates what the approach might look like in practice as well as the sources of law that might be relied on in its implementation.

Finally, Part IV addresses the risks that accompany serious attempts at prosecutorial reform. Chief among these is the concern that state legislatures might counter prosecutorial reform with reforms of their own. The Part also discusses the worry that reforms will simply serve to strengthen an institution that has traditionally proven to be an untrustworthy steward of power. Part IV then argues that the transition away from carceral justice toward transformative justice makes instrumental use of an institution that is insulated from abolition while potentially reducing prosecutors’ power in the long term.


. . .

Continue reading. There’s much more, as you can see, and in the above I omitted footnote links and the references.

Written by Leisureguy

10 March 2021 at 1:45 pm

Choice chayote with red onion and asparagus

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I needed a dish of Other Vegetables — I have Greens on hand (rapini), but I ate the last Other Vegetables yesterday. I did have on hand a chayote squash (see photo at right) and one bunch of asparagus.

I came up with this, using my Stargazer 12″ cast-iron skillet.

• about 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 large red onion, chopped
• a small pinch of salt
• several cloves garlic, chopped small and allowed to rest
• 1 chayote squash, diced
• a bunch thin asparagus, chopped
• 1 tablespoon dried marjoram
• about 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

I peeled and chopped the garlic cloves first, and let them rest about 15 minutes. Then I put the skillet on my induction burner at 3.0 and let it heat while I chopped the onions.

Once the onion was chopped I drizzled some olive oil into the hot skillet, immediately added the onion and a small pinch of salt, stirred, and turned the heat to 4.5.

While the onions cooked — and I stirred them every now and then — I diced the chayote squash by cutting it into 3 slabs lengthwise, then cutting those into dice. I gave the onions a few more minutes, and then they had softened, I stirred in the garlic, cooked that for a minute, then added the chayote squash.

As it cooked, I chopped the asparagus, then added them along with the marjoram and crushed red pepper. I turned the heat down to 3.0 and covered the skillet, using an 11″ third-party lid (which also fits my No. 10 Field Company skillet very nicely).

I cooked the veggies for about 20 minutes after I covered them, stirring them a couple of times during the cooking. I wanted to cook until the chayote lost its crispness and became tender.

It’s very tasty, and as you can see from the photo at the top, I have enough for several 1/2 cup servings. And a cast-iron skillet performs extremely well in this sort of dish; the radiated heat does make a difference.

I certainly would have included a couple of Anaheim peppers if I had had them. They would have gone well and continued the green theme.

After I finished I discovered a leek top in the fridge. I certainly would have used that. Next time, perhaps.

Written by Leisureguy

10 March 2021 at 1:16 pm

Why pay $200 for a silvertip badger brush?

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I now have an article with that title on Sharpologist.

Written by Leisureguy

10 March 2021 at 11:53 am

Posted in Daily life, Shaving

Grooming Dept pre-shave tames another rough razor

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This razor is the iKon Shavecraft OG1, and as you see from the photo, it is an asymmetric razor (like the OSS). Unlike the OSS, however, the OG1 was for me an unruly razor — efficient to be sure, but highly uncomfortable with a strong tendency to nick. In short order it was exiled to the back row of exiled razors.

Now, with the help and pleasure of Grooming Dept Moisturizing Pre-shave (currently out of stock at most places, but West Coast Shaving has a few tubs of the Unscented + Coolant version) I have been able to actually enjoy a shave with this razor — and so it goes back into rotation.

But let’s begin at the beginning. Many years ago… no, scratch that — this morning I applied the pre-shave as described in my previous shave post. I have been trying to described the consistency of this pre-shave, and it struck me that it is exactly the consistency of warm candle wax, though it acts very differently as you massage it into your wet stubble for 30 seconds and then wet your fingers and massage for 30 seconds more. The water seems to become absorbed in and mixed with the pre-shave, whereas that would not happen with candle-wax.

My Rooney Victorian easily evoked a fine lather from Tcheon Fung Sing’s Crazy Sandalwood, though it’s unclear to me what is crazy about it. With the brush well loaded, I lathered my face at some length, then went to work — with a certain amount of trepidation — with the razor.

Not to worry: once again the pre-shave was protective and greatly enhanced glide. I did notice that, unlike the OSS, the OG1’s two sides have a different feel. The side with the bar guard was very comfortable, but the side with the comb guard — perhaps I should rather say “rake guard” — was not totally comfortable and still seemed somewhat threatening, though I got only one tiny nick at the corner of my lip. It was very small, and My Nik Is Sealed fixed it completely with one application. Nonetheless, I would not rate the rake side as completely comfortable. With the pre-shave it seems safe enough, but the feel is enough to keep you on your toes.

The outcome in terms of smoothness is absolutely first-rate. No razor burn, either, though I never suffer from that because my technique at this point is pretty polished, and I certainly have lots of practice using light pressure and a good blade angle.

I have to say I’m impressed. My memory of this razor is that it was a monster. Now it is more like a puppy — a bit playful, but easily controlled.

A splash of Phoenix Artisan’s Sandalwood aftershave, and the (sunny) day begins.

Written by Leisureguy

10 March 2021 at 10:29 am

Posted in Daily life, Shaving

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