Friday, December 12, 2014

Thinking about police in the US

How can you not think about the police in the US right now?  It's all over the big cities and the news.

I keep feeling like people are missing asking the right questions, though.

I would love to see two questions addressed thoroughly:

1.  Why don't people follow police officer's instructions? (I have yet to hear a story that didn't involve someone refusing to follow officers' instructions as the catalyst.) This is not, in my mind, a rhetorical question.  I really want to know--what is going on in people's minds that makes it seem like it is a better idea NOT to obey?


2.  Why are the cops apparently overreacting? (or are they?)

I guess the third question that should be asked is 3. What do we want our society to look like and how do police fit into that?

Of course, each question leads to many, many more...

Like Are the cops scared for their lives all the time? Why?

And  Are people so afraid of what cops will do that they can't fathom obeying them? Why?

And Where is the line between understanding that criminals are human beings (and so treating them with dignity and respect as humans) and letting them get away with crime rather than enforcing the law (which might hurt their feelings or interfere with their activities)?

In the 1980s, people were so horrified at the criminality of big cities that they insisted that the police fix it. And they did--by working hard to enforce the "little laws" (ie not urinating in public, no graffiti, not selling unpackaged cigarettes), which cut down on breaking of the "big laws" (ie murder, rape, carjackings).  But lately it seems like people are coming down on the side of allowing people to break the "little laws" rather than....hurting their feelings?....without any sense that any amount of lawlessness leads to massive amounts of lawlessness really, really fast.   While there are many cases of the police using force where someone actually didn't break any laws (except for not obeying instructions from a police officer), there are many more cases where the person involved was breaking a "little law" and then resisted the police officers. And ended up dead. And yes, that does seem excessive, to end up dead for some misdemeanor offense, but does that mean we don't allow officers to enforce the "little laws" for fear they will do something wrong themselves?

I end up with lots of other questions that aren't be addressed, like is the militarization of police a cause or an effect?  If we disarm the cops but don't disarm the robbers (because really, how do you disarm the robbers? They are functioning outside the law as it is, so more laws won't help.), where does that leave the average citizen?

Also, I keep finding myself asking, "If you, as a member of a group (religious, cultural, racial, whatever) see members of your group doing heinous things (jihad, being thugs, running drugs), and you DON'T come out publicly to condemn that, how can you insist that you don't own part of the reputation the group gets from the idiots and criminals?" Reputations are rarely created whole-cloth and imposed on people. They are usually earned by someone (and then sometimes unfairly applied to others).   But if the Muslims don't want to carry the reputation as terrorists, and the inner-city minorities as criminals, and the hispanics as drug cartel members, shouldn't they be actively fighting those "members of their group" (even just those perceived as members of their groups)--or at least speaking out against them?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Did I just read that?

"Crash tests with human dummies have confirmed the material efficiently absorbs energy and protects passengers from “secondary impacts”—i.e., slamming into the wall or a seat back when the train lurches unexpectedly. "

I guess you'd have to be a dummy to volunteer for crash tests.   Human dummies abound. Some animals are dummies, too.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Did I just read that?

From the 3rd paragraph of the article, the mixed metaphor of the week:

"Whether it's a few leaky apples or the sign of a larger morale problem is unclear. "

What is a leaky apple?

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Did I just read that?

"Polygamist women in ninja costumes attacked two adults in West Jordan, police say"

Hahahaha! This is completely grammatically correct. And so very, very amusing.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Did I just read that?

Google news summary of an article from the NY Daily News: "Manhattanite Kira Kazantsev is only 23-years-old but the blond bombshell is a scholar who speaks fluent Russian, advocates for domestic violence, plans on attending law school and can sing a mean cover of Pharrell Williams' “Happy." (It's the same in the actual article, here:

Maybe if she goes to law school she'll learn that domestic violence is something we are against, not for.

Later, the article makes it clear she advocates for VICTIMS of domestic violence (big BIG difference there).  But then it goes on to say, "To combat her fight against domestic violence, Kazantsev volunteers with Safe Horizon, a group that provides shelter for abused women. "

So her work is useless--she's fighting against herself.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Side effect of gay marriage being so visible

One social side effect that NOBODY is talking about in relation to the gay marriage debates is this: by making gay marriage just another option, we open the door to children to the idea that all relationships are potentially sexual relationships. It completely redefines friendship and relationships as we understand them.

Take this quote I lifted off a comment stream on FB (posting it anonymously as I had no way to get permission from the author, who is not on my friend list): "My daughter, at 7, thinks she's a lesbian. I've asked her to wait until puberty to decide. Also mentioned that bisexual is another option, which made her eyes gleam. She loves her best friend to bits, I've told her that sexual orientation is based more on romantic love and it's hard to say what is or isn't romantic love before puberty. "

A 7 year old thinks she is a lesbian because she loves her best friend.

That's so sad.

Is it no longer possible for girls to have a BFF without thinking the relationship has to be sexual?

Also, in context of this, nobody is talking about the fact that there is no research on whether children's sexual identity is fluid during puberty. The majority of women do have a fluid sexual identity, according to research. What about junior high kids? Does opening the door to the idea that they have to discover their sexual identity mean that there will be more bisexual and homosexual lifestyles going on, when they would have been heterosexual before? Does it make teens spend way too much time focusing on their sexual urges instead of focusing on developing skills and talents?

It's all murky, but not a great thing to experiment with.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Did I just read that?

From today: "Nighttime 'bio-blitz' nets hundreds of environmentally challenged toads"
Now what on earth is an "environmentally challenged toad"?  They live outside all environments and can't quite fit? They lack personal environment?