Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Playing Victim for Fun and Profit

So the news -- and the Comedy Channel -- are bouncing around with the story about Rachel Dolazel, who's still pretending to be Black, even to the point of denying her parents.  The question everyone seems to be hung up on is, why? 

Well, I can think of a few motives.

1)  The same reason that a perfectly White, but ambitious, young journalist a few years ago changed his name from Gerry Rivers to Geraldo Rivera:  to cash in on the economic fruits of Bourgeois Liberal Guilt.  There are a surprising number of benefits available to Blacks and Latinos who know how to game the system:  loans, grants, scholarships, internships, earmarked jobs, free housing, preferential hiring, a free pass on several questionable ethical and legal practices, and so on.  Of course, you have to know the system, or have a patron who does, in order to even know these goodies exist, let alone get them.

2)  To get back at Mumsie and Dadsie.  This is a common syndrome among privileged -- some would say spoiled -- children who cherish an adolescent grudge against their parents, whom they think haven't given them enough.  If the parents are perceived as liberal, the disgruntled child will often become a noisy reactionary -- like Randall Terry, son of a well-known feminist, who rebelled by becoming a foaming anti-abortionist.  If the parents are perceived as conservative, the child -- especially if female -- will usually rebel by flaunting his/her sex affairs with multiple partners of other races.  It's rare that a child will go so far as to insist that he/she is a member of another race, or insist -- after early teen years, anyway -- that he/she was really born to other parents and was Stolen By Gypsies or somebody like them.

3)  To gain the political justifications of victimhood.  Claiming retaliation for some real or fancied injury is an old excuse for doing harm to people one intended to harm anyway.  This is often linked to the Big Lie tactic, perfected by the Nazis to justify their intended conquest of the western hemisphere, and used by various breeds of Fascists ever since.  Note how Syrian and Jordanian Arabs, over the last 70 years, have labelled themselves "Palestinians" and wailed that The Wicked Jews "stole" their land -- when in fact "Palestine" never existed as a country, and those Arabs indignantly refused to accept a proposed country of that name when the UN offered it to them in 1947.  (They refused because they didn't want just "Palestine" but all of Israel as well, and thought they could take it for themselves.  The Israeli army proved them wrong, multiple times, so they've been crying to bigger and stronger neighbors ever since to give them "back" what they refused in the first place.)  There are considerable political rewards to being perceived as a victim.

4)  To gain the emotional rewards of playing Pity Me.  This is a game usually played by women who can't or won't put out the effort to win love, so instead they settle for pity.  In extreme cases, such women may secretly harm their own children so as to gain their friends'/relatives'/neighbors' "sympathy".  In lesser cases, they'll often arrange survivable injuries for themselves.

Any or all of these may be involved in the Rachel Dolazel case.  What's interesting is that she chose Blackness as her path to sympathy, righteousness, money, power, and revenge.  I don't blame the NAACP, who'd been so thoroughly taken in by her charade, for dropping her like a hot potato.

--Leslie <;)))><        

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Reining In The Cops

I've said much of this before, but enough folk have asked me for details that I thought I'd best fill them in.

Okay, problem: thuggish cops killing unarmed civilians.  A lot of Black civil rights groups have tried to make this a racism issue, claiming for justification the fact that a lot of police victims are Black, but what they're not saying is that more than half of police victims are anything but Black.  Thuggish cops have happily assaulted and killed poor Whites, Asians, Indians, and everything else.  (If you want to see a real-life horror movie, Google the name "Kelly Thomas", and go to the video on YouTube -- but be warned: when the beating starts, turn your volume down;  the screams get very loud.)  What all the victims have in common, besides being unarmed, is that they're poor -- therefore unlikely to afford clever lawyers or political leverage.  Cops seem to have a keen nose for class.

They also seem to be covertly training and practicing for class warfare.  This seems to have been encouraged by whoever in the federal government started the practice of giving county and municipal police departments surplus military gear, up to and including small tanks and artillery.  This makes sense, seeing how much political as well as economic power the corporate aristocracy have collected over the past few decades.  It's clear that the famed One Percent intend to rule the world just as much as the Jihadists do.  It would be nice if those two would make war directly on each other, leaving the rest of us out of it, but looks very unlikely in the immediate future.

So, to quote Tolstoy, what is to be done?

Obviously we have got to stop, and reverse, the militarization of the civil police forces -- which will include reining in the cops' thuggish tendencies.  I have some suggestions, all of which will take concerted action -- petitions, and other pressures on the local and federal governments -- to pull off.

1)  Get the exact facts and figures from the army, find out exactly where those surplus military toys went, take them back from the police departments and send them to the nearest National Guard armories, where they belong.  Mollify the police by assuring them that if they ever really need those tanks and helicopters and artillery, the National Guard will be happy to supply -- and operate -- them.  The only real military gear that civil police need on a daily basis is--

2) --state-of-the-art military-grade body armor.  Dress all the beat-cops in armor whenever they go out on patrol, and assure them that this grade of armor will turn any bullets that civilians are known to have.  This will handily cancel out the standard police excuse of "I'm In Fear For My Life", which will make a difference in court.

3)  Yes, body-cameras, with audio pickup.  Make every on-duty cop wear one, from check in to quitting.  Make certain that these are transmitting cameras, which send to one or more archival locations separate from the police stations, where all the recordings shall be automatically time-stamped, safety-copied, and stored.  Likewise, make certain that the cameras cannot be turned off, censored, or blocked by the wearer.
Make certain that the cameras include batteries with sufficient charge to last 12 hours at a stretch and sufficient power to transmit through concrete and steel buildings.  Also make sure that the people staffing the receiving/recording stations are kept unknown to the cops.

4)  Take away the cops' firearms, and give them stun-guns instead.  Leave the firearms locked up at the police station-houses, not to be taken out except when an emergency requiring the SWAT team is called in.
There already are, on the civilian market, stun-guns which can fire two shots before being reloaded, and a little incentive would encourage their producers to come up with stun-guns that carry more shots than that.  Of course the cops could still carry their clubs, hand-stunners, and tear-gas spray bottles on patrol, so they could still kill unarmed civilians if they worked at it -- the one-eyed cop who helped kill Kelly Thomas bragged of how he beat the boy's face in with the butt of his stun-gun -- but they would seriously have to work at it, and of course the body-cams would pick up all of it.

5)  Send trained dogs out with ever police car.  This way, if a suspect tried to run, the cops could merely sic the dogs on him to bring him down and hold him still.  Of course, this would require that somebody other than the cops themselves would train the dogs, so as to prevent teaching any secret signals for "kill the perp", "bark even if you don't smell drugs", or "don't bark even if you do smell drugs".  It might be a good idea to put small body-cams on the dogs, too.

Implementing these changes would make a real difference in police behavior, and save quite a few lives.

Naturally, the police would be highly resistant to any such reforms (except maybe the improved body-armor), but that can be put to good use, too.  Get the media seriously involved in the argument, and tell them to do thorough research on just how dangerous a cop's job really is.  This would lead to revealing the Department of Labor's and FBI's statistics, which show that there are easily a dozen civilian jobs that are more likely to kill or permanently injure their workers than being a cop.  These include: fireman, commercial pilot, logger, garbage collector, high-wire lineman, high-iron construction worker, farmer, miner, heavy-equipment repairman, sandhog, chemical-plant worker, and -- if you please -- professional football player.

If the police resist the reforms to the point of going on strike, that could be useful too.  A really intelligent (and freedom-minded) mayor or even governor could use the opportunity to summon the Militia to "deal with the emergency".  Surprise: every state still has laws on the books establishing and defining state militias.  Among other things, said mayor or governor could suspend or even rescind the local gun-control laws, instead command all remotely-able-bodied citizens to go purchase firearms and citizens'-band radios, if they don't have them already, take formal training in the defensive use thereof, practice regularly (drilling on the village green, anyone?), and go patrol and defend their neighborhoods themselves (with or without body-cams, or dogs).

I can tell you from experience exactly what would happen;  rates of crime -- especially violent crime -- would take a nosedive.  People would become very polite in public.  Winos and junkies would quickly get off the streets (and alleys), and find ways to indulge their habits quietly, in private.  As soon as these facts became public knowledge, the police would end their strike and come back to work very quickly -- if only because some of them would guess that it was only a matter of time before the citizens realized that they didn't really need police, and the jobs began to evaporate.

But the situation is unlikely to get that far.  We can, and should, start promoting these reforms right now.  They'll make a hell of a difference.

--Leslie <;)))><         


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

"The Shtetl Mentality" -- Relayed

I don't usually copy/relay other folks' articles, but this one is insightful enough to deserve it.

--Leslie <;)))><  

The Shtetl Mentality


By Eric King, Guest Contributor.

Not just for years but for decades I have been perplexed by the fact that American Jews are overwhelmingly anti-gun. Now they are not just indifferent to guns as they were when I was growing up 60 years ago, but today they are genuinely hostile to them. They are both in leadership positions of the movement to ban private ownership of all firearms as well as at the grass-roots level individually in favor of gun bans by over 10 to 1. After much thought I have arrived at what appears to be the explanation for this cultural aversion to firearms by most American Jews, and since I have never seen anything like this explanation in print anywhere, I thought it worth writing the following essay describing what for want of a better term I refer to as “the shtetl mentality.”
I was raised in New York City and later in a New Jersey suburb of New York by Jewish parents who had no interest in firearms, nor did any members of my extended family. Like most boys in those pre-PC days I had toy guns, but BB guns were absolutely forbidden. When I asked for one when I was 8, I was not told, “You’re too young” or “Maybe when you’re older.” I was told, “Not in my house.” As far as I knew, I was the only Jewish boy who asked for one.
My interest in “real” guns stems from a specific event. I was six years old sitting in my grandparents living room looking through old Life magazines. I came upon the photographs taken at the liberation of the death camps. I saw the pictures of bodies stacked like cord wood. I was stunned. “Mommy, why are all those people dead?” I asked.
·      My mother, a brilliant and subtle woman, thought for a moment and said, “The bad Germans called Nazis killed them.” Remarkably even in 1947 she made the distinction between the group “Germans” and the subgroup “Nazis.”
·      Of course, I asked, “Why did the Nazis kill them?”
·      She replied, “They killed them because they were Jews.”
·      Although I was only six and not yet sure of my identity or its meaning, I asked, “We’re Jews, aren’t we?”
·      “Yes,” answered my mother.
·      Almost without missing a beat I asked, “Mommy, do you and Daddy have a gun so we can protect ourselves if the Nazis come for us?”
·      My mother sought to reassure me of my security by answering, “This is America. That can’t happen here.”
All across America little Jewish boys and girls got the same answer and accepted it, but that answer never satisfied me.  From that day on I wanted to own a gun and know how to shoot it. The question is where did that answer come from and why, in the face of no little anti-Semitism in America, did Jews in 1947 and thereafter so strongly devote themselves to the answer that it could not happen here. For example, in a New Jersey suburb of New York City with a large Jewish population in 1955 why was I the only Jewish member of the junior high school rifle club? There even were two girls and two Blacks, along with about 35 Caucasian boys of various Gentile parentage, but I was the only Jew. I tried repeatedly throughout junior high and high school to interest Jewish friends in visiting the rifle club. None would step outside the accepted Jewish sphere of organizations like chess and math clubs and the debate team.
My parents were moderately supportive of this interest because they saw substantial positive effects of my target shooting in that I became much more disciplined and focused where previously I had been opposed to authority figures. I quickly recognized that you could not have 40 12 to 14 year old boys shooting guns without someone in charge to make the rules absolutely clear and then to enforce them. This was a role admirably filled by a local police lieutenant who worked very well with adolescents and probably had more influence on me than anyone outside my own family, especially my understanding of why people living in groups could not demand absolute freedom to do anything they wanted. Nevertheless my parents were still skeptical of the long-term value of my interests in this area and wished I would be more like other Jewish boys. For example, they were never willing to pay for my ammunition which I had to buy with the earnings from my paper route.
At that time I encountered a few Holocaust survivors who told me that just as American Jews felt secure from genocide in 1956, German Jews had felt similarly secure in 1926. They said that if you had asked every Jew in Berlin in 1926, “Do you think it is possible that 20 years from now almost every Jew in Europe will be dead, systematically exterminated by the German government?” almost all would have thought you were crazy. Needless to say, these Jews were more skeptical of their security in America, but it is important to note that I did not then, do not now and never in the intervening years have felt that there was some imminent likelihood of genocide against Jews, or for that matter any other group, in America. I just never saw the wisdom of assuming 50 or even 20 years from now this could not change.
This brings us to the shtetl mentality. Before the existence of the state of Israel, ever since the diaspora Jews have lived in small areas of other people’s countries. Among American Jews this now typically means great grandparents who lived in shtetls or ghettos, segregated, isolated, rural or urban areas in Europe. One of the major hazards of this situation was that occasionally a few Cossacks would get drunk, ride over to the nearest shtetl, rape a few women, maybe murder a man who protested rather than begging for his life, and then ride off into the sunset, big fun... for the Cossacks.
It had to be inescapably clear to these Jews that there were dozens if not hundreds of them, able-bodied and sober, surely a match for 8 or 10 drunk Cossacks. It would have been easy, even for people not trained in arms, to kill them and bury them someplace, but it is obvious why they did not. If they had done so, all the Cossacks would have come to the shtetl fully armed for battle. They would have massacred every Jew in this shtetl and every other one within 100 versts. Defense was just not an option, not a survival trait. The women raped and the men murdered had to be seen as the price Jews paid for living, for surviving as a people. Since no Jew ever even remotely considered the possibility that without some major provocation someday the Cossacks would try to kill them all, it seemed like a reasonable if awful compromise.
Such a compromise must have taken a devastating and horrific psychological toll on the people forced to make it. Sooner or later someone among our traumatized ancestors had to make the following rationalization to justify this situation: “We are better than those people because they are violent and we are not. They handle weapons, and we do not.” In order to maintain self-respect people in such a condition had to explain it as the result of something that made them better than their oppressors. This was the notion that they voluntarily (rather than of necessity as was the actual case) eschewed the use of weapons of any sort because they understood that violence was evil while their tormentors did not. It was the key to survival, self-respect and eventually the shtetl mentality which American Jews, far removed from the shtetl, still carry with them despite the fact that it has long since lost its utility.
There is now no possibility that if a 21st century American Jew used a weapon to defend him or herself, even to the point of lethality, against an assailant, anti-Semitic or not, that all the anti-Semites would descend on South Florida to murder all the retired old Jews who live there. What is worse, the shtetl mentality lumps all violence together in its rationalized prohibition of the use of weapons. For those with the shtetl mentality the knife wielding rapist who would slash a women’s throat after assaulting her is no different from the gun wielding woman who would shoot such a man to defend herself and her 12-year-old daughter.
Why is the shtetl mentality limited to American Jews? Do not Israeli Jews come from the same ghettos and shtetls? Yes and no. American Jews are the direct descendants of immigrants who left the ghettos and shtetls with the shtetl mentality intact and came to the United States between 1885 and 1925. They raised their children who raised their children to believe all weapons were wrong because all violence was wrong even though the conditions in America were different, the horrible compromise of Europe was behind them, and their survival and self-respect no longer depended on willingness to let some members of the group be raped and murdered without defending themselves.
The Jews who remained in Europe lived through the Holocaust. This caused the ones who survived and emigrated to Israel to see that the rules had changed. They saw that not all violence was wrong, that violence could be used to preserve the Jewish people, and that the defensive use of weapons was necessary for the survival of the group. This led to a greater acceptance of individual use of weapons for personal defense. American Jews only observed this from afar. They did not live it so they did not adopt this new insight as valid for themselves, even if most grudgingly accepted it as necessary for Israeli Jews.
The shtetl mentality has led to the Jewish Plan A for what to do in case seriously bad things begin to happen to Jews in America. Under such circumstances Jewish leaders plan to yell “Holocaust” as loudly as they can. They plan to use their not insubstantial resources and assets in the media to do this in hopes that the rest of Americans will rise and protect them from whatever new Cossacks have emerged. While this is a most reasonable Plan A, the fact that if this fails there is no Plan B is at the heart of what is foolish and stupid about the shtetl mentality. We have learned, or we should have learned, that there always must be a Plan B, a Plan B based on the notion that for a Jew the phrase “assault rifle” is a misnomer. The correct term, once the shtetl mentality has been transcended, is “Jewish defense rifle.”
In a way it is both ironic and sad that one of the best insights I ever have gotten into the relation of the Jewish portion of my identity to the rest of the world comes from a most unlikely source, the late Eldridge Cleaver, he of Black Panther Party fame. Once I heard him say, “The Jews are God’s chosen people. When anyone wants to blame something on someone, they choose the Jews.” Anyone of us who refuses to recognize this potentially is doomed.
Sincerely, Eric King

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Business Regulations: The Two-Edged Sword

As the campaign season nears and GOP hopefuls line up for the nomination slot, we're hearing a lot more of the old Conservative rap about government regulations cripple businesses and ruin the economy.  Uhuh.  You won't hear any of them voicing the Libertarian attitude of fair is fair: take the regulations off everybody.  None of them even stop to consider that a lot of those regulations on business were passed with the clandestine urging of the Captains of Industry themselves.

No kidding.  For example, the National Labor Act established the National Labor Relations Board, the 8-hour day, the 40-hour week, and the minimum wage -- all of which the unions had been asking for -- but it also outlawed a lot of effective union tactics, such as the sit-down strike, which the bosses had serious trouble countering. That law was quietly pushed by the bosses, as much as by the unions themselves.  Truth is, the bosses were willing to give some concessions about wages and hours in order to hobble the power of the unions, which had been growing steadily for the last four decades.  The power and membership of the unions peaked in that decade, and have been shrinking ever since

There are other laws, usually requiring particular standards, that were likewise pushed by bosses of particular industries for no better purpose than to cripple their rivals.  There's the legendary tale of the whiskey company that usually aged its whiskey seven years, which got the state legislature to pass a law requiring that all whiskey sold in the state had to have been aged in the barrel for a full seven years -- knowing that their chief competitor aged their whiskey for only five years, and had nothing older than five-years-aged product for sale, and therefore couldn't sell their product for the next two years.  Consider the fate of the Tucker car, how its production was ended and its company ruined by various government regulations and bureaucracies, much to the delight of the Big Three car companies, which couldn't match the Tucker for quality.

Now what would happen, really, if all those pesky government regulations were swept away -- especially if government regulations on labor unions, consumers' unions, whistleblowers and investigative reporters were swept away too?

Konrad Lorenz told of how his dog had a snarling rivalry with a neighbor's dog, and the two of them would bark and snap and howl marvelous threats -- so long as there was a good sturdy fence between them.  One day repairmen pulled down part of the fence, without informing the dogs about it.  When they came outside and started their usual bark-fest, they snapped and snarled along the length of the fence until they suddenly came to the gap.  Now this should have been their golden opportunity to settle the the rivalry with a roaring fight, now that there was no longer any barrier between them.  Ah, but neither dog took advantage of it.  After an instant's staring at each other, they both ran back to where the fence still stood, and went on with their usual threat-contest.  The truth is, neither of them really wanted to deal -- unrestrained -- with each other.  As Kipling put it, in his poem The Female of the Species, "...Man accepts negotiations, man accepts the compromise.  Very rarely will he squarely push the logic of a fact To its ultimate conclusion in unmitigated act."

The economic Little Guys -- labor unions, consumers' unions, whistleblowers, etc -- have long endured the unrestrained power of the rich and powerful, know how to deal with such, and would be willing to take on the Big Boys in the absence of government protections.  'Tis the Big Boys who really don't want to deal with the unrestrained vengeance of their victims, with no government shield between them;  the wiser heads among them remember that the Labor Wars of the early 20th century really were shooting wars, and it wasn't just the strikers who got shot.

This is why all the GOP hopefuls, when boasting of how they'd get rid of all those nasty government regulations on businesses don't really mean it.  The Libertarians do.  If Libertarians were to win, it would be fun to watch all those not-so-sincere pundits of the Free Market run like dogs to get back behind the fence.

--Leslie <;)))><   

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Baltimore Riots: Provocateurs!

Last night in Baltimore, the action followed a pattern that's familiar to anyone who's been following grassroots politics for a few decades.  First came the protest march, organized by local Black churches, that plodded down the street waving signs and shouting slogans and doing nothing more disruptive than blocking traffic.  Then, all of a sudden -- according to witnesses and marchers who had Twitter accounts and were carrying their phone with them -- a group of about 50 men, dressed like stereotypical Boyz In De Hood, started smashing and looting shop windows, throwing firecrackers, and attacking bystanders.  A hapless driver who turned his car onto the street was promptly surrounded, and the hoodie-boys started slamming their fists on the car windows.  They got as far as pulling the car doors open and starting to drag the occupants -- the driver, his wife and two children -- out into the street, and then, seeing that nobody in the rest of the march was joining them, suddenly stopped the attack and melted away into the crowd.  Of course the police moved in, grabbing the protesters and arresting a couple hundred of them.

The city government declared a curfew today, and the protest organizers insisted that they'd still march -- up to the beginning of the curfew.  That they did, and by the beginning of the curfew the only people on the street were just over 100 men, again wearing stereotypical Gangsta costumes.  These same guys threw rocks, bricks, bottles, firecrackers, and a molotov cocktail or two.  Again, the police moved in, but with only their riot-shields, tear gas and smoke grenades -- whereupon the gangsta boys faded quickly into the background.  The media, who were out in force this time, noted the difference between police tactics here and in Ferguson, Missouri.  The original protesters were in their churches at the time.

Now doesn't that sound a little too planned?  Yes, "violent" protests get media attention when nothing else does, but in this case the difference between the protesters and the rioters is a little too clear.

For anyone who has seen provocateurs in action before, it was pretty obvious what was going on here.  Starting with the Chicago Haymarket riot of over a century ago, the usual purpose of the provocateurs is
 to give the police an excuse to charge into the crowd of protesters, beating and possibly crippling or killing as many as possible, and arresting all the "leaders" for later jailing or execution.  Their secondary purpose is to make the protesters, and their purpose, look bad.  Their tertiary purpose, if they can pull it off, is to take the lead of the protest and stampede it into running itself over a political cliff.  A quick look through history can show you examples of all three of these in action.  Note the aforementioned Haymarket Riot, the discrediting of the Black Panthers, and the ruining of the National Organization of Women after it was seduced into following Andrea Dworkin.

But people do eventually learn.  The Baltimore protesters, after the first night, made a point of observing the curfew and getting off the streets -- and into their churches.  The police also had better sense than to charge at the crowd and bop-bop enthusiastically -- or maybe their commander recognized the provocateurs and realized that nobody else was out there.  It didn't hurt that some genius in city hall actually went and negotiated a peace treaty with the local street-gangs before the march started.

The ultimate solution is for the protest group to realize when it's being -- or likely to be -- provocateered, and have counter-tactics ready.  The easiest tactic is to step away from the provocateurs, point to them, and loudly yell: "Imposter!"  Another, requiring more warning and planning, is to surround the provos, close in on them, grab and silence them -- as in the classic movie, "The Grapes of Wrath".  Better still is to identify and isolate the provocateurs, send them off to some "action" where none of the rest of the protesters will be, and leave them to face the cops alone -- as was neatly done in Baltimore.  Well done, folks.  Well done.

--Leslie <;)))><    


Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Earth Day Feely-Goody Follies

Yes, today is Earth Day, and no, I'm not attending any Earth Day rallies, festivals, or other gatherings -- and haven't in years.  I gave up on them in disgust, years ago, when I saw that they were nothing but feely-goody festivals of self-righteousness where people who pride themselves on virtuous ecological consciousness get together to swap ain't-it-awful stories, swap ineffective tips on how to live more Green, make cheerfully loud demands about what other people should do, and go home feeling wonderfully pleased with themselves.  *Sigh*

You can find new ideas and techniques springing up all over the Internet, all the time, about how to do things like conserve water, clean out waterways, improve the lives of wildlife, make clean energy, make energy-efficient buildings, farm and ranch and fish more efficiently and soundly, and so on -- and you can apply these in your own life as much as you like, or can afford.  By now everybody connected to my Facebook page knows about my efforts to plant an orchard of rare and endangered fruit-plants.  I'm hoping we can save enough by the end of the year to put a solar electric generator on our roof.  Those are small things, but real.  There are plenty of small-but-real improvements that anybody can do to improve the biosphere, and as I said, you can easily find them on the Internet -- even in an hour's search on the public-access computers in your local public library.  This is a lot more effective than a day's worth of rallies and speeches and making yourself feel good for attending.

Likewise, when it comes to dealing with the ecological Bad Guys, the Internet is more effective than self-celebratory speeches.  The numerous sins of Monsanto, despite its multi-million-dollar TV ad campaigns and lobbyists' bribings, have been exposed repeatedly on the Internet and shoved under politicians' noses by way of electronically circulated petitions until nobody can ignore them any more.  More than that, the Internet makes it possible to start and spread rival industries -- such as home solar or wind generators, cellulosic ethanol production kits, 3D fabricators, and even Thorium nuclear reactors -- that have the potential to break the power of the cartels that are the major polluters.  The phenomenon of Internet crowd-funding has even started chewing into the financial industry, providing start-up money for new businesses while bypassing the banks entirely.  This is a quiet but growing revolution that will democratize the economy like nothing since the land-rushes of the 19th century, and it's in the hands of an informed and intelligent population with a serious preference for the ecologically sound.

This is an ongoing change, not fanned and satisfied with once-a-year feel-good festivals.  This is the revolution I'm trying to be part of.  This is why I spent Earth Day watering my seedlings and comparing local solar-power companies, and ignoring Earth Day entirely.

--Leslie <;)))><     

Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Tale of Two Cop Videos

I'll name no names -- anybody who wants to can go look them up -- but within the last two weeks we've seen two different videos of cop/civilian interactions that really need comparison.

The first was taken by a security camera, and the cop obviously didn't know it.  It shows an unarmed civilian running away (unfortunately in a straight line), the cop firing no less than eight shots after him which finally bring him down, then the cop going up to the body and dropping a throw-down gun next to it.  No, the civilian did not survive.  It turns out he was pulled over for a broken tail-light and late child-support payments.  The local police department is having a hard time claiming this was a Righteous Shoot, the usual suspects are trying to justify it, and the usual activists are trying to bring murder charges.

The second, which has gotten a lot less on-air time outside of Arizona, where it happened, was taken by the cop's own car-cam.  It shows the car rolling up from behind a walking civilian who's holding a rifle, then swerving to aim toward the civilian, then finally running him down and crashing into a wall.  The civilian and his rifle, at separate angles, go flying over the wall.  Another cop-car rolls up, and the cops therein run out and cuff the civilian.  Yes, the civilian did survive.  Before that incident the civilian had spent the morning robbing a convenience store, burglarizing a house, stealing a car, then robbing a department store to steal the rifle and a box of bullets.  Before the cop-car came into view he had also fired that rifle, so it was clearly loaded and he was quite willing to use it.  The local police have no trouble calling this a Righteous... Take-down, but they're puzzling over how "appropriate" it was to knock the crook down with a car instead of a gun or taser.  The politicos aren't saying anything about it.  The various activists are likewise arguing over how "appropriate" the run-down was, and nobody but the crook's lawyer is trying to claim that he wasn't a public danger.  Nobody's mentioning the fact that a .30-caliber-or-better rifle bullet can go through a police armor vest, or a car.

The lesson I draw from this is that Arizona cops tend to have more sense and more imagination (as well as being better shots) than cops in other states -- which, perhaps, is only to be expected in a state where everybody has guns and knows how to use them well.  Also that politicos, Left or Right, think in predictable patterns and don't know how to react when something out-of-the-ballpark happens.  The run-down video makes it clear that a car, too, is a deadly weapon -- in fact, cars kill more Americans every year than guns do -- which is something that the politicos don't want to think about.

--Leslie <;)))><