kaizen
what's been floating my boat lately:
  • not being dead

  • "How fortunate for governments that the people they administer don't think."
    -Hitler-
    "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."
    -Albert Einstein-

    6/19/20 (21:09)

  • Another unintended consequences story: In the UK they had a train derail. Turns out the trains or the tracks weren't being properly inspected and there was a stress fracture that led to the accident which led to the deaths of half a dozen people (can't recall exact number). So, the government decided to reduce the speed allowed on the train to reduce the likelihood of another accident and the fatality of an accident, should one happen. Meanwhile they inspected all the trains and rails for a few months. During this time of decreased speeds people started driving more often because they didn't want to wait for the slow trains. More driving led to more driving deaths. Turns out that the new policy of slowing the trains to avoid train deaths led to more auto accidents and approx. 5 extra deaths and 75 injuries. Oops.
  • Story in Oakland about some "nooses" hanging in the park. I'll link the story, but the long and short of it is that they were just ropes that a black guy put up there for exercising. The mayor's response to this? "Intentions do not matter, these are extremely serious acts. They have no place in our city at any time, but especially not this time." So, the mayor has officially lost her mind at this point. This is what happens during these kinds of times. People lose their minds. Rational thought isn't exactly a high priority for most people most of the time, but when you have COVID and BLM protests then people just lose it to the point that a black guy helping put up exercise ropes can still be seen as a noose and the intentions of the rope being there doesn't matter at all.
  • There's a conclusion that I'm very reluctant to make, but I've found it to be true and I think Maya Angelou actually found this out far before me, and she almost makes it sound reasonable. The conclusion is that feelings matter far more than facts. Tina Turner embodies this. Trump embodies this. Angelou's quote is "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." She's right; unfortunately.
  • The media (MSM) coverage of basically any science topic is total garbage. Won't really get into it, but it should be self-evident by now. This is yet another reason why they are worse for the country than Trump could ever be.
  • There are several studies that are finding a vitamin D deficit could be contributing to COVID deaths. Of course this would help explain white it seems to affect blacks more than whites.
  • On the other hand I've also seen studies that have found that COVID affects people with blood type A more than blood type O. My quick research finds that blacks are more likely than whites (by a good deal) to have blood type O than blood type A. So, maybe the vitamin D and blood type issues cancel each other out a bit? Lots of interesting things to look into as we get deeper into this thing.
  • When Arnie was governor he prepared for a pandemic with mobile hospitals, extra masks, etc. Jerry Brown cut funding to these programs when he was governor. On the other hand, Brown also saved money for a rainy day fund and helped get our financial house in order. However, though I love Jerry Brown, I have to point out that I strongly suspect the media would have pilloried Brown had he been an unpopular Republican like they are doing to Trump. Fair is far, no?
  • There's a lot of discussion on the far left about "whiteness" and how evil it is. Don't fret, though, because "whiteness" isn't the same as being white. "Whiteness" is somehow all the bad things that white people do/have done in a single word, but it has nothing to do with being white. If you can understand that then you're smarter than I am. Or maybe just more willing to bend over backwards? It's nutty stuff, but these are the times we're in. Maybe call it something other than "whiteness" if you don't want to include all white people?
  • Mea Culpa on this one, though, when I was 20 or so I actually came to this same conclusion myself after reading Malcolm X's autobiography. I concluded that white people were evil since they committed most of the worst atrocities in history, so I jokingly decided to call anything bad "white." So, I guess I'm just reaping what I sowed 20 years ago.
  • In American blacks are much more a culture than a race. Denzel is basically saying the same thing here, so hopefully this doesn't offend. In the US blacks are also much more monolithic than whites. Music, religion, politics...all are more monolithic in black households than in whites. I'm going a bit out on a limb, but I think it's probably accurate to say that most blacks have in common a few musicians, more so than white households. For whites I don't even know what 3 musicians you could pick that white households would say they have in common as being on the "Mt. Rushmore" of music. Bealtes, Eagles, Elvis? But I think, for whites, music probably varies with class. A lower class white person probably likes Elvis, Johnny Cash, Garth Brooks, Hank Williams, Eagles...An upper class white person might be more likely to list Mozart or Sinatra. Maybe middle class would be Beatles, Nirvana, U2 or something. For blacks I'm guessing there would be more agreement on a narrower group, something like: Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Whitney Houston. But maybe music isn't the greatest example...
  • I'm guessing religion would be even more so. I know that 83% of blacks consider themselves very religious (61% for whites). Further, 79% of blacks are Christian (70% for whites).
  • Even more extreme is politics. Obama got anywhere from 95-99% of the black vote. In 2016 Trump got only 8% of the black vote. For comparison, after talking about building a wall and deporting immigrants he still got 29% of the hispanic vote.
  • In these ways and others, it appears to me as though blacks are much more of a monolith than whites in the US. They are bound together by a common culture more so than any group other than maybe Native Americans. I'm guessing it has to do with how they've historically been treated. Segregation, etc. leading to what it can only possibly lead to - a separate culture and a common experience. What's yet to be seen is how long it will take for all that to unwind.
  • Is there anything that Trump could do to get more than 10% of the black vote? In 2016 he got 8%...I think it's safe to say he'd get less than that if the election were today. If he approved reparations for immediate pay out - checks sent out before November - what effect (if any) would that have on the black vote? If he selected a black running mate would that effect his share of the black vote? Wish I could get the answers to these unanswerable questions. 
  • Look up Unit 731.
  • Maybe America seems awful because we live here and hear about all the shitty things the country has done? Maybe it seems awful because we were #1 in the world for a long time and #1 always does the shittiest things?
  • This is a somewhat famous photo of a Congolese man whose daughter didn't meet the rubber quota under Leo II of Belgium's reign. As a result of her non-performance his 5 year old daughter's hand and foot were cut off and given to him.


  • 6/18/20 (16:15)
  • Thinking more about the cop problems we have. One issue with the no chokehold rule would be unintended consequences of cops using their baton or gun more often to subdue people. A chokehold is potentially a relatively safe manuever (with proper training), whereas a baton and gun are pretty much always bad. This could be an example of a well-intentioned reform going really wrong so I don't know that I support it anymore (6 days later).
  • The Rayshard Brooks case really bugs me the more I think about it. There are just so many places it could have turned out differently. A black woman calls the cops to report that he's blocking the drive thru line at wendy's. If she were white then she'd be called Drivethru Debbie and she'd be the ire of the internet. Cops show up and are very respectful of him and he's very respectful of them. One thing I didn't know is that he was on probation and that probably is what led to him making the bad decision to fight the officiers. They could have driven him to his sister's home. He could have not punched them, grabbed the taser, fired the taser at them. They could have not shot him. The whole this is just tragic and unnecessary. It would be interesting to poll people and see where they thought things really went wrong. For me, it's when he decided to physically fight two cops. For someone else maybe it was when the cops decided to arrest him instead of giving him a break.
  • The daily NYT podcast did a good job covering the story and one of the people pointed out that 30 people a day die from drunk driving...put another way, 8 days of drunk driving deaths is equal to all the black people killed by cops in a year. Alcohol really is shitty.

  • 6/15/20 (21:19)

  • Orthorexia is a new one to me. Look it up. First world problems.
  • Making six figures and can't make ends meet. This is life I guess.
  • We need to have a legitimate and efficient path to citizenship. Along with that we need to actually enforce the border and not offer amnesty every other generation. Our system now sucks. Look at the policies of Australia or Canada if you start getting the feeling that we're too exclusionary. If we don't take it seriously then the Right wins. Lack of enforcement just gives them ammo.
  • Heard of the big 3 dealership law in Michigan? Prohibits competition from other car makers. Recently Tesla was sort of able to get around it, but it's a half measure at best. This is the kind of cronyism that hampers economic growth and competition. This one is on the Democrats protecting their pet industry in MI.
  • Be critical inwardly. Appreciate outwardly.
  • Clothes are 8% of global warming. A lot of this is the result of fast fashion. Apparently the average garment is worn only seven times before being tossed. That's beyond pathetic.
  • We need to be a lot more skeptical of what the media and others tell us. Even if we assume they're doing their best to be fair and look at an issue from all sides (they often don't), it's still very likely they are only paying lip service or not really understanding alternative points of view. Skepticism is good. Cynicism isn't.
  • Men are more likely to be CEOs and you hear a lot about that if you're the kind of person who reads the NYT and WaPo regularly. But for some reason they almost never bring gender into the conversation when they talk about suicide, military deaths, homelessness, prison population, etc. Why is that? Are we interested in gender roles and inequalities or are we only interested in a certain kind of inequality? Is there any chance that the risk taking, obsession, and moral "flexibility" that so often characterizes men could have positive and negative effects? We know that CEOs are more likely to be psychopaths (about 20%). They probably are more likely to not care about the feelings of others, are more ruthless in hiring and firing, care less about family/work balance, are more likely to be obsessive, etc. These aren't necessarily great attributes if you were choosing them for your child, but they can have certain advantages for CEO types. Of course they can also have negative consequences...especially the risk taking attribute which helps explain the greater likelihood of men to inhabit the ends of the spectrum more than women - more CEOS, but more homeless.
  • Heard a story a while back and a woman said "I just never thought that the federal government could be the cause of my downfall." She didn't pay attention to anything in history class.
  • Barbara Ehrenreich called the gratitude movement a right wing plot. Haha. How jaded do you have to be to come up with this shit?
  • Conservatives are defense and liberals are offense. Need them both to win the game.
  • "Great minds think alike." I used to think that was a good saying. Now I think it's a horrible cautionary tale. I fucking hope that great minds don't think alike. Groupthink is horrible.
  • Trans article in Atlantic a while back.
  • Reminder that Muhammad Ali didn't like interracial marriage. "Playboy: You're beginning to sound like a carbon copy of a white racist. Let's get it out front: Do you believe that lynching is the answer to interracial sex? Ali: A black man should be killed if he's messing with a white woman. And white men have always done that. They lynched niggers for even looking at a white woman; they'd call it reckless eyeballing and bring out the rope. Raping, patting, mischief, abusing, showing our women disrespect—a man should die for that. And not just white men—black men, too. We will kill you, and the brothers who don't kill you will get their behinds whipped and probably get killed themselves if they let it happen and don't do nothin' about it. Tell it to the President—he ain't gonna do nothin' about it. Tell it to the FBI: We'll kill anybody who tries to mess around with our women. Ain't nobody gonna bother them."
  • Is his statue coming down next? We need to apply this logic equally. We need to contend with all facts, not just the convenient ones.
  • Going through my list of webpage topics which explains the randomness here.
  • Republicans are often blamed (rightly) for not wanting government to work well, but Democrats are seemingly fine with a poorly function government as well. They didn't support the gas tax unless it came with Trump rolling back some of his tax cuts. Both parties will bring up unrelated things all the time and hold up common sense, common ground legislation in the process.
  • If someone wants to do the leg work on this I'm interested in knowing how many Republican women ran and lost in 2018. Also good to know how many R women lost to D men and how many D women lost to R women. Would just be interesting to know. AZ1 - D man beat R woman. AZ2 - D woman beat R woman. NM2 - D woman beat R woman. FL5 - D man beat R woman. VA10 D woman beat R woman. MD6 D man beat R woman. MA2 D man beat R woman. VT D man beat R woman. CA16 D man beat R woman. UT4 D man beat R woman. KY3 D man beat R woman.
  • Anyway, the point is that if you want more women in office you could vote for Republicans in all those cases (and more).
  • It's funny to hear smart media types still contending with "how to cover Trump." This is straight out of the "All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten" book. Bullies get ignored. Don't feed the trolls. Since he's the president you have to cover some of what he does, but you do it briefly and in a perfunctory manner and then move on to other stories. Sometimes these super smart people get all twisted like Hamlet and can't figure out what to do. This is where the average field worker has a leg up. The people know bullshit when they see it. I still believe in the wisdom of the average working class person. It's the same thing with the MMT story. They say some smart sounding shit about taxes not being for government spending, and next thing you know they're trying to convince you that you can get something for nothing. It's like that scene in Office Space where Peter is explaining to Jennifer Aniston's character how his software scam works. He goes into this complex spiel and Aniston sees right through it immediately - because it's obviously stealing. He can justify it all he wants, but it's theft and she gets it. I love that scene. I love the way she's sipping on her soda so innocently playing up how innocent she is, yet she cuts through his b.s. immediately. This is the perfect example of the common person's wisdom being greater than that of the intelligentsia. Brilliant.
  • Is the jaded and paranoid view that many cops have unfounded? If I saw dead bodies weekly and had to intervene when some dude is beating up his girlfriend again or respond to calls of grown men punching kids in the face or gangbangers killing each other in the streets or 100 small thefts every day...would I have a good view of humanity and society? Wouldn't I grow a little jaded and paranoid that someone is going to do some dumb shit when I try to arrest them? Wouldn't that increase in the current climate when it's open season on cops? And is it much different for a black man in an inner city who hears about his friends getting roughed up and harassed regularly? Who sees all this crime that goes unsolved?
  • Cops are like the people who screen shit on the internet so we don't have to see child porn or pictures of murdered people all over the place.
  • Not sure how it is where you live, but around here the law is mostly a suggestion. People drive on the wrong side of the road regularly. Dumping in the street happens everyday. Petty theft and burglaries happen every day. Porch pirates, car break-ins, etc. are every day occurrences. Squaters get national coverage as if they're protesters. Since I've been in the bay area I've averaged more than one break in or theft per year. Bike, tools, tools, tools, tools, ipod, car seat, mail, loose change, etc. Too many to count at this point. Then there's the municipal theft. A fire re-inspection (5 minutes) cost $400. Thankfully we're pretty good at policing speech and inappropriate movies like GWTW still. Wait, what?
  • Late to bring this up, but I found it funny that the #1 podcaster in the world endorsed Sanders and then the next week he got an "unexplainable" bump in the polls. The media was legitimately confused by what happened. "Why is he surging now?" It's remarkable how the media doesn't think about the influence of podcasting. Joe Rogan gets about 200 million downloads a month. Fox News gets like 2.4 million viewers and all anyone ever talks about is the influence of Fox News on society. These people are fucking dense and out of touch.
  • I think the electability issue has got to be seen as a media construct by now. Supposed experts deciding who has a chance to win as if they know anything anymore. Decisions are made by the many now. Look at Trump who had no chance according to most of the experts. BLM has no leader. Populism is alive and well. The people decide who can be elected. When they don't like democracy they call it populism. When more people realize that we don't need the parties to decide for us anymore then we'll be ready for some real change. Unfortunately the duopoly is going to hold on to its power for as long as possible.
  • Iowa really biffed the primary. If the Democrats want to be taken seriously they need to show a proof of concept somewhere. You can't go to an investor and say I can build a great super computer please give me a bunch of money. They want to see you build a decent computer first. You have to show some proof that you are capable of delivering what you promise. You have to prove that your idea can work in some smaller setting before taking it to the big leagues. Yet, when you look at Democrat strongholds, you see a lot of failures like Chicago, Detroit, SF, NYC, CA, etc. These are run by Democrats and yet the people they supposedly care about (poor, homeless, minorities) are all in shit condition. Housing isn't affordable. Education has fallen off a cliff. Democrats complain about GA elections, but they couldn't run a caucus election in Iowa where it's been done dozens of times before. It just looks really bad for the brand when you can't roll out an Obamacare website or run an election.
  • David Pakman talked about Hillary blaming Bernie supporters for her loss. His supporter were attacking her, encouraging third party votes, etc. Then she said nobody likes Bernie. Is it just me or is she coming off as really bitter since she lost? How many excuses has she come up with for her loss in 2016 at this point? Hard to keep track.
  • Should IA and NH be first to vote? More white, more rural. OTOH, a small state going first balances out the fact that every time we have an election we get a fucking NYC mayor on the ballot. I understand the history. I understand Jimmy Carter coming up the ranks because of the small states. I don't know that it applies anymore. Plus IA sucks and caucuses are stupid. Time for change, but it's up the the parties.
  • There's an episode of the Impact (good podcast) about an experiment in Kalamazoo where they gave some people free tuition to see if those people would go onto college and then succeed. Basically to evaluate the effectiveness of a free tuition program. What they found is that people who got free tuition didn't do all that well. They dropped out at higher rates, etc. They looked at the people who dropped out even after getting free tuition and found that they had other obstacles in life that caused them to drop out. They tell touching stories of individuals who dropped out after getting pregnant (not sure how that happened, still trying to figure it out) or have to take care of their parents or whatever other shit life throws at you. Of course the podcast is more liberally minded so the lesson they took from this is that you can't just give free tuition you also need to give support for people going to school. Free childcare, healthcare, abortions, counseling, etc.
  • The lesson I took from it is that people complain about the cost of tuition as if it's the biggest hurdle, but it's not. The biggest hurdle is life toughness (grit) and resourcefulness. If you're running a race with hurdles you need to learn to jump. Instead they think the answer is to remove all the hurdles. They're probably right. Can't teach toughness. Better to hold everyone's hand every step of the way. Big brother needs to pick up the slack since parents don't do anything anymore.
  • Again it seems each side is blind to the other. Republicans are blind when it comes to why blacks might think they are second class citizens. They look around dumbfounded trying to figure it out. Conversely, Democrats look at Republicans and wonder why they might feel like victims. Christianity is derided by academics, Obama laughs at Trump at the white house correspondence dinner, Bill Maher's entire audience laughs at Ann Coulter when she says Trump will win...These kinds of moments give them a rallying cry. "Look at these liberal elites laughing at us and not taking us seriously...let's show them."
  • The left is usually seen as the pro-science wing, but they're complicit in anti-science attitudes as well. I've given examples before, but the most recent one is the fat positivity movement. There was a woman on the local NPR station a while back who said that heart disease and diabetes being associated with being overweight was a myth and that there's no evidence of those things. The entire program was about being proud of being fat and then she busts out this clearly false assertion and the host just glided right over it so as to not ruffle any feathers of the guest who is on her team. It's amazing the shit you can say once you establish that you're on the same team as the person interviewing you.
  • They have studies backing this up. They find people who are D or R and then have them identify some arguments as good or bad. When the person thinks the argument is being made by someone in their same party then they are much more likely to agree with the argument - even if the researchers wrongly assign the party to a given argument. So, you'll have Democrats saying the anti-abortion argument is good just because they think another Democrat wrote it. The fact that the author is on their team makes their brain shut off, basically.
  • The 1619 project is another example of this. People are so mesmerized that they don't think at all about the fact that she's (Nikole Hannah-Jones) saying the Civil War wasn't primarily about ending slavery. And they don't bat an eye when she asserts that the Revolutionary War was about the US wanting to keep slaves. Of course when Republicans (wrongly) claim that the Civil war was about states' rights instead of slavery, the very same people are writing fact check essays the next day.
  • If race and gender are only social constructs then why is it a problem that so much scientific research is conducted largely on white men?
  • Speaking of anti-science left...it's pretty hilarious that the protests get a pass on the COVID stuff. Stay 6 feet apart doesn't matter so much anymore. And some people actually claim that police homicide is more of a threat to their well-being than COVID. 2019 murders by cops roughly 1,000. COVID deaths so far 151,000. Yeah, math checks out, I totally agree with them.
  • US and UK both have about 2.8 hospital beds per thousand people. Obviously universal healthcare isn't a panacea. UK still has a higher death rate due to COVID than we do. The real test is to see where every country is until the vaccine comes along. I suspect Sweden will actually have better immunity despite (or because of) their high death numbers currently. We'll see how it pans out in the long term. There's actually a 1974 law that limits the number of hospital beds. Good job government.
  • Can't have an ideal without a judge.
  • Why does the media continually use whatever metric will make the US look the worst when it comes to COVID? They'll discuss total cases or total deaths instead of deaths per million population. Even the NYT podcast talked about total cases in China early on as if it were a real number. They knew that China wasn't even counting cases in Wuhan for a while.
  • Will SAT scores decrease during COVID because cheating won't be possible?
  • Worst US estimates were saying 5.8 million dead.
  • Is it more acceptable in polite society to allow a 15 year old girl to get breast implants or to allow a 15 year old boy to get implants (because he wants to be a girl)? What does that say about polite society?
  • Every crisis leads to more government. It's a one way ratchet.
  • Sean McElwee sort of like kind of can't talk like normally. Can't even like sort of listen to him.
  • Mainstream said that it was hubris that led to the US acting slowly on COVID. Again, why do they look for the worst possible interpretation? The much more obvious reason for the US acting slowly is that we didn't act quickly in the past and it never hurt us. SARS, MERS, Swine Flu, Ebola, H1N1...none of those got out of control. All of them were hyped. None of them caused some huge response on our part. To me, it looks like what we normally did and it didn't work this time. CDC made their own test like always, but this time the test was bad.
  • Sign language interpreters are part of a performance now. They show people that we care about the less fortunate (and they occasionally provide some entertainment) more than they actually provide a service. If you're watching a press conference on TV then you can get closed captioning. If it's live then it's legit, but otherwise it seems like it's for show more than anything else.
  • Serious concerns over the sanctity of the elections. We could have an even bigger problem in November when this thing gets contested (both sides will do it).
  • Democrats should be going after Trumps strengths. Attack strengths, not weaknesses. Dems won't ever learn.
  • One thing you learn about kids by being a parent is that they'll try every excuse in the book to get out of work or difficult things. They'll cry or complain about x, y, and z. Shitty grown ups are the same. I don't want excuses. The world will provide a lot of excuses if you let it. Empower people to do well for themselves and then hold them to that standard. Don't let people get away with excuses or else they'll keep using them.
  • Sometimes I'll tell Zoe she did something wrong and she'll come back with "I didn't try to." To which I reply "Try not to." There's a difference between not trying to do something and it happens and actively trying not to do a thing. She's not trying to have a messy room, it just happens as she's playing or whatever. What she needs to do is to try not to have a messy room. Be proactive in life and your outcomes will be better than if you passively sit back and see what comes your way.
  • Got through a lot, it's late.

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    6/14/20 (21:05)

  • Then here's the Atlanta video of Rayshard Brooks being killed. This one is much more borderline than Floyd or some others. The law that gets you a DUI for sleeping in your car while drunk is pretty dumb in my opinion. But the problem with selective enforcement of laws is that the cops will inevitably get in trouble for that because they'll enforce it unfairly for women and whites or black officers may do it unfairly for blacks. So the predominant thinking seems to be to just enforce the law and let the prosecutors sort it out. Lawmakers make the laws, cops enforce them, prosecutors figure out how aggressively they'll go after a suspect and then a judge has some sentencing discretion (except in the cases where there are mandatory minimums). They try to be peaceful with the guy, but he fights them. They try to taser him, but he steals it from them and then runs away. Then one of them shoots him. One could argue that since he was turning back to fire the taser at the cop he was threatening them. There was also a line of cars at the drive thru and maybe the Brooks was going to carjack one of them and once he's in a car who knows who he decides to hit or whatever. I think cops generally want to keep the situation under control and a loose canon and felon (which he definitely is at this point) running through the streets isn't at all a situation under control. Brooks was solely responsible for it getting to this point, so the cops would likely say.
  • Reading things from his point of view he was drunk so he was making bad decisions. Yes, he fought the cops, but he wasn't threatening anyone's life so he shouldn't have been shot. He was stopped for a DUI so it shouldn't have gotten to where it got.
  • As someone who is increasingly mistrusting of government power and increasingly thinking that government is worthless in all ways, I think they shouldn't have killed a guy who was running away. But I also recognize that it was a fluid situation with a lot of variables (lots of bystanders, a known person who doesn't mind breaking the law to the extent that he will punch and fire a taser at a cop, a fleeing felon, etc.). You mess with the bull and you get the horns. I'm ambivalent. Michael Brown is a similar situation where he was reaching for a weapon when he was shot.
  • What's the answer here and where does this end? The rules of engagement need to be clear, consistent, enforced, and widely agreed upon. If the standard is that the life of the cops or bystanders is at risk is the only acceptable time for drawing your weapon then any deviation from that needs to lead to firing. In this case it looks like the cop was fired so that's probably a good step. It's a rough sentence for him if you're putting yourself in his shoes, but it is what it is. His brain didn't make the shift from fighting for his life to "okay the guy is running away now" quickly enough and so he's paying the price. That's just the price he has to pay for being an example. Part of me feels bad for him, but I also think that restoring accountability is more important so tough luck for him.
  • I think we have to be really strict about it from now on. You lose your job if the shooting isn't clear cut. You may not get a criminal charge, but you lose your job. Along with that comes mandatory body cameras on the federal level. And you can't turn it off just because you feel like it. There's gotta be a "I'm taking a dump" button on there somehow, but otherwise you get written up any time you turn off your camera.
  • I also think the "8 can't wait" stuff makes sense. Ban chokeholds. Require de-escalation. Require warning before shooting. Require exhaust all alternatives before shooting. Duty to intervene if you see your fellow cops doing dumb shit. Ban shooting at moving vehicles. Require use of force continuum. Require comprehensive reporting. These all make pretty good sense to me.
  • In the Brooks scenario I think they mostly did all of these. They didn't choke him. The entire interaction took about 40 minutes wherein it appears they were not escalating at all. Not sure if he warned before shooting because there's no audio, but they did warn they were going to tase him. They did go up the use of force continuum. I think where they failed is in exhausting all alternatives before shooting. They could have just let the guy go. And if Brooks jacked a car from someone and ran someone over then so be it? He's faster than they are. Stronger than they are. Taser didn't work and he took one of them. They were running out of options. I think cops are just going to have to take one of the team for a while. Tough luck. Get a different job if you don't like it. I don't know.
  • More stats: Police: Fatal injuries in 2017: 12.9 per 100,000 workers
  • First-line supervisors of construction trades: Fatal injuries in 2017: 17.4 per 100,000 workers
  • Heard a make-up ad on a podcast I was listening to the other day. A woman came on and made the following proclamation: "finding the right shade of foundation is harder than ever." I guess it's just advertising, but this is blatantly false. It's got to be the best time in the history of the world to find the right shade of foundation. Race awareness is at an all-time high. Availability of products is at an all-time high. Affordability is at an all-time high. Our race issues are bad enough as they are, we don't need makeup ads trying to capitalize on them also. JFC.
  • Gone With the Wind isn't available on HBO max anymore. Adjusted for inflation this is the most popular film of all time. Having seen quite a few films in my life I can reliably say that GWTW isn't even close to the most "problematic" of them. Perhaps because it's very popular and also "problematic" they decided to get rid of access to it? If they can take away GWTW then they can take away anything. It's a bit of history. It's a great epic. It's not on my personal 100 films, but it's an important film despite some antiquated thinking. I just don't see why they would stop there? It's one of the most important films of all-time and it's not as bad as a lot of others. If there are others that are worse and less important then surely they will get the axe next, right? Or is this just some sort of statement? "This is an important movie and it has some problems so we're going to knock it down a peg to show how woke we are." I don't know what to make of these things. There's either some sort of weird message like the one I posit, or very inconsistent thinking. Maybe they're secretly racist and they just don't want you to see Hattie McDaniel - who was the first black person to win an Oscar.
  • Marge Schott is another person in the news. She's the racist former owner of the Reds. Or maybe she's the former racist former owner of the Reds. Is she always racist even if she's dead? Anyway, they want to take her name off building she helped fund. Maybe her name on these buildings is a reminder that you don't need to be a perfect person to do good things? Or maybe she's just a dumb racist bitch who needs to be wiped from history. I'm not dying on that hill. Go ahead and do whatever you want.
  • On second thought I'll dip my toe back in for a quick second...What's worse, killing innocent people or being a racist like Schott? "The 542 drone strikes that Obama authorized killed an estimated 3,797 people, including 324 civilians. As he reportedly told senior aides in 2011: �Turns out I�m really good at killing people. Didn�t know that was gonna be a strong suit of mine.�" source. Gotta crack a few eggs to make an omelet, I guess.
  • Latest information I could find said that Kaepernick wanted $20 million to come back to play football. source. source. Now that's in a different league so I don't know what he's asking for in the NFL. It was also a year ago so maybe his salary request has changed. I would like to know what he wants, but I haven't been able to find that out. At this point he's definitely not a starter so he'll have to be willing to take backup money. That's likely to be in the $2-5 million range. We'll see if something gets worked out. If you do sign the guy you have to know that you're basically married to him. You can't let him go unless you trade him, he retires, or he throws 3 INTs a game for a season. So the calculation has to be that the positive press or football skill is going to be good enough that it offsets the constant questions about him, the veteran minimum salary, and being married to him. If you only have 2 decent QBs then maybe you're in the market for a third. Ravens sound like a good fit from what I've heard.
  • I think it's basically everyone's goal to some day be old. Right? We would like to be young at heart, but we all want to be old in the future. And yet there is still well-documented age-ism. Now, what do you think are the chances we'll ever get rid of any other kind of -ism? If we all want to be old some day and yet we still don't hire older people for jobs what hope is there for whatever other outgroup we create? Women will hire women, men will hire men, whites will hire whites, etc. We're fucked.
  • There's a concept that's big on the left these days - punching up vs. punching down. It's posited that punching up (attacking those in power) is always okay and punching down (attacking those with less power) is always bad. So, a black person has pretty much free rein when it comes to attacking white culture or white people, but not vice versa because of the power dynamic. Personally I don't buy into this idea even if it sounds kinda good at first. One flaw you can see is with anti-semitism. Jews are seen as of higher power since they are often running businesses, banks, lawyers, etc. They're often considered part of the ruling class so, by the punching up rule, it's okay to attack them. A more recent example is of the attack on white women. It's an example of punching up because a certain type of white woman is constantly giving black people a hard time for being black. They call this white woman a "Karen" or "Becky" or a number of other names. Permit Patty, BBQ Becky, etc. This is all in the name of punching up and calling out these entitled white women. Of course this is totally okay because they're punching up. But, if you're a white woman, don't fret you're not at the bottom of the hierarchy - you can always call out white guys and punch up that way.
  • It's an interesting dynamic we find ourselves in these days. In some ways and in some circles, the lower you are on the social hierarchy the higher you are on the oppressed person hierarchy - and that has a power of its own. You are allowed free rein to punch up and criticize whomever you want without blowback from polite society. Conversely, those with the most power in society (straight white guys) are least able to comment because they are necessarily always punching down - a big no no in polite society.
  • Podcast on the Karen stuff. I've grown less and less interested in On The Media over the years, but I force myself to listen to them for the alternate perspective. I'd probably be a happier person if I only listened to people I agree with 90% of the time, but I refuse to do that.
  • Intentions matter, but so do results. Steven Chu had a great idea when he was Secretary of Energy under Obama. We should all have white roofs so we would reflect heat back into the atmosphere. He's a really smart guy and I guess he did the math and it saved a lot (for a little bit of effort) from a global warming perspective. But here's the problem - a single person can't know everything. An epidemiologist knows how to stop a virus, but they don't know about human psychology or the effects on the economy and how those unemployment numbers effect deaths. Chu knows a lot about science, but he's not a building scientist. So he doesn't know that in some climates (like the southwest) white roofs can actually cause condensation at night time. This condensation causes rot which then means you need to rip up everything and redo it. So, it's a nice idea and it's a good thing everyone didn't follow his advice. I wasn't aware of this problem until recently and it was brought up on one of the building science podcasts I listen to totally unrelated to Chu's recommendation. Obviously he didn't know about it before going on interviews to recommend it as a low hanging fruit approach to combat global warming.
  • Another good intentions gone wrong example under Obama is the Ban the Box movement. I was actually wrong about this one as well. I was on board with the idea of banning the box that people sometimes have on job applications asking if you've been convicted of a crime in the past. The idea is that getting rid of the box would mean more ex-cons could get jobs if they weren't required to advertise their criminal record. Sounds well-intentioned and innocuous, right? So Obama went with a ban the box initiative for federal job applications. Unfortunately it had the opposite effect because people ended up using race as a proxy for criminality and hired whites more than blacks. "We found that on average across the U.S., in places that ban the box, employment fell by 5 percent for young black men who didn�t have a college degree and by 3 percent for young Hispanic men who didn�t have a college degree." oops. source.
  • Blacks are about 2.5-3 times as likely to be killed by a cop as a white person. They are also about 2.5-3 times as likely to be poor. They also commit about 3 times as many homicides per capita as whites. The more I look into the isolated issue of cops killing black men, the less I think it's about racism.
  • Here's a repeat of a podcast about implicit bias. I didn't listen to it again, but the thing I remember sticking out was that the female cop who killed the black guy wasn't worried about the fact that the guy was black, she was threatened by him because he was a big man. The bias seems obviously to be about gender in this instance. I'm not sure why we can't analyze these things a little more carefully and see that the largest bias in the criminal justice system is very clearly anti-man. There's also an anti-black bias in sentencing, but you're better off being a woman in every instance than being a man of any race. If we're talking about cops killing citizens, for example, about 95% of the victims of police homicide are men.
  • It's also interesting to hear that black and latino cops actually shoot blacks and latinos at a higher rate than whites. I think the Harvard study found that as well, but here's another that found no anti-black bias from whites. So it doesn't look like race of the cops is the driving issue here - it's cops and their relationship to the power and the public. "They find that although minority suspects are disproportionately killed by police, white officers appear to be no more likely to use lethal force against minorities than nonwhite officers." It appears as though the cops doing the killing are the ones who are in bad neighborhoods.
  • So, why can't we be rational about this or anything else? I just think humans aren't that good at being rational. That coupled with a failing educational system and epidemic of bad parenting and you get what we have.
  • Part of this is also about the messaging. I suspect that BLM doesn't think the cops issue is the #1 issue facing blacks today. Anyone who understands any of this couldn't possibly think that. But it's a splashy issue that seems to resonate with people so they use whatever works to advance the cause. So, if we ignore the facts for a bit and try not to lose the forest for the trees, I think we have to acknowledge where blacks are as a larger issue.
  • How much of all this is because of recent racism vs. historical racism? What concrete things need to be done to make things fair? Do we want equality of outcome or equality of opportunity under the law?
  • I have very little faith in the government to run any kind of programs anymore. Government is good at writing checks and printing money that our grandkids will have to pay for (or maybe not if MMT is real), so it should probably just stick to that. Don't give government (or any large entity) more power is my motto. So, government should just pay out reparations for historical racism to blacks and native americans. If there are legal inequalities that I don't know about, then those should be remedied yesterday. DC should have representation. Small population states should be properly realigned for more proportional representation. Adopt the "8 can't wait" policies. Break up the police unions like Reagan broke up the air traffic controllers union. Wherever there is a lack of accountability we need to crack down hard on anyone to set an example that we're done with people skating by. We need to fix these fundamental issues and then we can go from there.

  • 6/14/20 (13:09)

  • Another police killing video. We have to acknowledge that police training isn't doing the job. Police unions should be advocating for increased training and support.
  • Here's a different one with a different outcome. Enforcing kind of a dumb law and the woman makes a bad situation really bad. Lesson in a lot of these cases is to not resist the police. Cops also shouldn't power trip. Once they take it to a certain level it's like they feel they have to go all the way or else lose face. Just dumb thinking all around.
  • Here's a podcast series I listened to a while back which is more relevant than ever.
  • If the NRA cares about gun ownership then they should be putting responsible gun ownership at the forefront of their platform. Instead of lobbying for the right for every Tom, Dick, and Harry to be able to get a gun, maybe they should be trying to increase training and education. I went to their website to see what their priorities seem to be and I found that they think they are under attack by politicians (several references to this including a note that SF has labeled them a terrorist organization) and they are trying to appeal to women (because their president is a woman?).

  • 6/6/20 (10:33)

  • Do any of the police shooting statistics adjust for class/income? Why not?
  • Normally I like to uphold societal norms and order, but when there's no accountability in society (as outlined below there are many areas in which accountability has broken down) then maybe there can't be order. This is another way of saying "no justice, no peace."
  • This is a really good time in some ways because we're all going to be doing a lot of re-evaluating our norms and structures. Should we have police anymore? What does the alternative look like? Does it make sense to give the government as much power as we give it? Should we have a better home/work balance? Can we work from home more?
  • On the other hand there's a lot of resentment in society that is overflowing now. Look into the Grant Napear story for one small example. Chris Webber and others calling him a known racist, but it's all only coming out now. Same thing happened during metoo. These things are suppressed and then come out in an explosion. How can people know they shouldn't be doing things if you don't tell them? Maybe Chris Webber, as star of the Kings 20 years ago, could have told Napear that he didn't like the way he acted. Maybe he did, I don't know. But there's some responsibility on you to tell others if you don't like the way they are treating you. No one can read your mind. And if they aren't checked along the way then maybe they get worse over time. Maybe Harvey Weinstein started by making little comments and then a grope here or there and then more and more because he didn't get push back.
  • Another example to illustrate the point without drifting into "blame the victim territory." Listening to a podcast recently and a black guy was working on a construction crew. They went to a gas station and the guy went to get something from the mini mart. A cop stops him and starts asking him questions. Meanwhile the guy's co-worker is staying by the truck watching things going down, but not intervening in any way. The cop gives the black guy a hard time, says he was looking for a suspect, asks for his ID, throws it on the ground after realizing he's not the suspect, and let's him go. The black guy comes back to the truck and his co-worker asked what happened. In retelling the story the black guy seemed almost as mad at his co-worker as he was at the cop. He was upset because the co-worker could have come over and seen what was going on if he was interested. He should have come over and asked what was up while the cop was there to help the black guy out, but he didn't and so the black guy was upset by all that. To me there's a clear cultural divide here. The co-worker's actions were pretty much exactly what I would have done. I wouldn't want to put my nose where it doesn't belong. I don't want to butt into my co-worker's business and invade his privacy. I don't want to obstruct what a police officer is doing either. But, in the black guy's eyes, his co-worker didn't have his back. He probably values loyalty over privacy. If I were in the black guy's shoes and he came over to see what the cop was saying to me I would have been embarrassed and would have wanted him to stay in the truck.
  • We don't know what priorities or boundaries are until people enforce them. It's your responsibility to enforce your own boundaries.
  • One of my employees is a Mexican guy named Moises. He's a really good guy and it's interesting to see what his priorities are. There's an apprentice we have on the crew and Moises was telling me that he told the apprentice that the most important thing on the job is...Well, why don't you ask yourself what the most important thing to keep in mind is while working for someone. Some may think it's showing up on time. Consistency. Working hard. Asking questions if you're unsure. Being safe. Compliance. Competency. There are a hundred possible answers and many of them probably cut along cultural lines. The same goes for dealing with people. Different people value different things. You can either hang out and interact with only the people who have the same values as you (looking at you on your high horses...Germany, Denmark, Sweden, etc.) or you can establish and enforce boundaries/priorities with people as you develop a relationship. This is easier when you're co-workers and much harder when you're a random guy and a cop. BTW, for Moises the most important thing was respect.
  • Speaking of Germany...Trump continues to be possibly the most dovish (in actual actions) president of my lifetime. Whereas Obama, Clinton, Bush, etc. expanded, or held constant, US military sway, troops, etc. it seems as though Trump is decreasing it by pulling out of Iraq/Afghanistan and now Germany. Of course, just as happened when he said he was pulling out of Afghanistan, the intelligentsia was all upset about it. Again, I really don't understand these people. My entire life polite society types have complained about the overreach of US military power, but when Trump pulls troops out they say we're abandoning the Kurds. When Trump pulls out of Germany it's seen as not being committed to Europe. He talks a horrible game in this regard, but his actual actions (all I care about with him) seem to be in the right direction. It's possible I've missed something he's done, so feel free to set the record straight. Would love to hear how these reactions to actions from Trump don't comport with the long standing rhetoric from the left about wanting to limit American imperialist spread. I, for one, am happy to have fewer troops abroad.
  • Finally watched the George Floyd video. Really disturbing stuff. Totally unfounded for Chauvin to do what he did and Thao wasn't helping ("this is why you don't do drugs kids"). The crowd was interesting. The main guy was right on point and calling the cops out every step of the way. Then one woman said "white people" then later "it's the white, they love messing with black people." Then a white woman comes over and demands that the cops take his pulse. The main citizen guy who keeps talking throughout the video is a hero. He did everything right. When Chauvin gets killed in prison I won't shed a tear.

  • 6/3/20 (18:04)

  • MMT is modern monetary theory. It's a new economic idea that states that the federal government can print money as much as it wants as long as inflation doesn't go up too much. Currently they claim that inflation is about 2%. This is one of those times where, like a horseshoe, smart people go so far in the direction of being smart that they actually are very close to being dumb. They've convinced themselves into believing in free money. Of course a normal person understands that there are basic truths in life and that one of them is that there's no such thing as a free lunch. But, hey, this is what the experts think about the economy so let's use their idiocy for some good.
  • It's with this and George Floyd in mind that I've come around on reparations. The CEO of BET called for $14T in reparations. I don't know how he came to that number and it doesn't matter. Let's just do it. Social Security is about $1T a year. That's about 24% of our federal budget that is spent (mostly) on old people. I'm sure it benefits whites more, even though I don't have data to back it up. So, let's scrap social security and start giving all that money (and more) to blacks and native americans. I'd say $3T a year for 5 years. It's all monopoly money anyway so we may as well do something good with it. I'm willing to give up my social security to solve a problem that should have been dealt with 150 years ago. Got a better idea? Let me know.

  • 6/2/20 (18:30)

  • The US isn't doing all that well these days. Cities burning, protests, looting.
  • I think a big problem I personally have in understanding the world and people is that I'm overly logical. I should say before getting into some of the numbers and issues that any death is a bad death. Everyone knows this. Having recently seen two dead kids, I think I know it a little better than some others. With that said, here are some numbers to put things in factual context. People say, in the time of Trump, that facts matter. Well, here are a few...
  • Minneapolis Chief of Police is Medaria Arradondo. He is black. According to wikipedia he ran Internal Affairs in late 2012. Derek Chauvin (who killed George Floyd) apparently has had a history of shootings and has several complaints on his record. To his credit, Arradondo fired all four officers involved in the Floyd death. So, having a black chief of police isn't an antidote for this sort of thing. But the fact that he cracked down on them quickly is exactly the response you want to see. Accountability is key.
  • Total police killings by year, race, and gender:

  • source 1. source 2. same website has it separated by race and gender on different pages. The numbers don't add up to quite the same in each category, but they're close. Whites are about 60% of population. Blacks are about 13%.
    2017 2018 2019
    Male 95.4% 94.6% 95.7%
    Female 4.6% 5.4% 4.3%
    Black 22.5% 20.9% 23.4%
    White 46.3% 40% 36.8%
    Other/Unknown 31.1% 38.9% 39.7%
  • So, whites are the ones who are dying more than blacks as a result of police shootings. Of course, as I state above there are also more whites, so blacks are definitely being disproportionately affected. One thing I haven't heard from literally anyone on the topic of police brutality is the gender discrepancy. If you're a woman reading this just be careful how you answer why that discrepancy might exist. Hopefully you're not saying something like "well, men commit more crimes so of course they're more likely to get involved with the police and of course police are going to be more threatened by them." Be careful where that logic takes you when you start asking the same question about why blacks are disproportionately affected by this same police violence.
  • One Harvard study found that there was no racial bias when situation was considered. As wikipedia puts it: "A 2015 study by Harvard professor Roland G. Fryer, Jr. found that there was no racial bias in the use of lethal police force between black and white suspects in similar situations. The study did however find that blacks and Hispanics are significantly more likely to experience non-lethal use of force.[3] A 2019 paper by Princeton University political scientists disputed the findings by Fryer, saying that if police had a higher threshold for stopping whites, this might mean that the whites, Hispanics and blacks in Fryer's data are not similar.[42] A 2016 study published in the journal Injury Prevention concluded that African Americans, Native Americans and Latinos were more likely to be stopped by police compared to Asians and whites, but found that there was no racial bias in the likelihood of being killed or injured after being stopped.[43]"
  • With regards to the police brutality I think it's pretty obvious that cops are too agro on the whole. Overall, they need a cultural reset to reevaluate their place in society and their overall approach. That said, I think there's a lot lost when you just criticize them without understanding. Just as blacks are getting a lot of people understanding their circumstances now, I think the same should be done for cops. We're quick to call them heroes and put them on a pedestal with words, but that's not the same as understanding. I think understanding is more important that putting people on a pedestal of any kind. Understand that they are being asked to deal with mentally ill people on a regular basis because mental health facilities are essentially gone at this point. I've written about this before on 8/13/18. Basically we're taking the mentally ill and putting them in prison/jail now - and that means they are coming in contact with the cops on a regular basis. Cops have to deal with a drug epidemic, mentally ill people, homeless people, murders, gangs, etc. Roughly 1000 times a year a person is killed by deadly police force. That's probably about 8-900 times too many. So, again, it's a bad number and I wish it were zero, but let's now look at some facts to put those numbers into some perspective:
  • I looked up the causes of deaths for blacks in 2017 (first year I found, not cherry picking):

  • If you followed the source above for the police shooting data you'll see that in the worst year a total of 235 blacks were killed by cops. That's a lot of people. It's less that 10% of the suicide number, which is the 16th most common cause of death for blacks. Interestingly, blacks don't commit suicide very much. It's the 9th most common cause for whites. The most cited theory for this that I've heard is that whites feel like if their life sucks they can't blame anyone but themselves.
  • The other outliers are flu (#8 for whites, #12 for blacks) and homicide (#20 for whites, #7 for blacks). I didn't dig into the methodology to see if police killings are in homicide or not. I assume they are. 90% of all homicides of black victims was perpetrated by another black person. Intraracial violence is the norm. For whites the number is 83%. Meaning of all the whites killed in 2013 only 17% were killed by non-whites. Source. Interesting that whites are more likely to be killed by the flu, but for COVID that isn't the case. Why is that?
  • Back to accountability. The cops who murdered Floyd were shit canned immediately and that's a step in the right direction. Hopefully the criminal justice system finds Chauvin guilty. The others could get lesser charges. I think we have a fundamental lack of accountability in our society. The Left is up in arms about this when it comes to banks. The lack of moral hazard after 2008-9 financial collapse allowed for all the people involved in that to go right back to work (albeit with new firms) and continue their b.s. Watch the Netflix documentary The Trials of Gabriel Hernandez for another example of a lack of accountability. In that case the DA actually did something unprecedented and prosecuted (unsuccessfully) social workers who failed to heed the many warnings they received about the abuse of an 8 year old which led to his death. The Right laments the power of unions and the corresponding inability to hold shitty teachers (as an example) accountable for their performance. I think they are correct about this, but they are mute on the same issue with cops. The police union and prison officers' unions are quite strong and I'm sure some of that factors into a lack of accountability for people like Chauvin who are able to have shootings on their record and continue to be out on the street. Guys like this need to be behind a desk or (better yet) off the force altogether.
  • I think accountability is a huge issue in our society and I'm all for it in all sectors of our society. Looters need to be held accountable, shitty cops, shitty teachers, shitty bankers, shitty USPS employees, shitty Wal-mart employees, etc. should all be fired or locked up or otherwise punished for what they've done. I've written about this before, but here it is again: the biggest factor determining whether a person will commit a crime isn't the severity of the punishment, it's the likelihood of receiving a punishment. Cops, prosecutors, etc. need to work on increasing that number. Prosecutors are an under-rated part of our society. They carry a heavy responsibility. They should be going for smaller sentences for more people to make the point that crimes will be punished. A little anecdote about this is that I took a picture of a guy dumping in a common dumping area near our house. I sent the picture (with his license plate) and an eyewitness account to the dumping hotline contact. Didn't hear anything. Emailed again and got a phone call. Told the woman what I saw and said my wife also saw it and we'd go to court or do whatever she needed to prosecute. Didn't hear back for weeks. Emailed again. She emailed that she was working on it. Never heard back from her. The message is clear: they don't care. You can dump trash in the city of Oakland and nothing will happen. Of course people know this, which is why the streets look the way they do.
  • The civil unrest component of this is actually something I though was going to happen a month or two ago because of the shut down order. I guess people got checks and were busy enough that it didn't happen earlier.
  • Trump (as always) is at the center of this stuff and I (as always) don't think we should put him there. In this case (especially) he can do, and has done, very little. People think the president is some kind of dictator...thankfully that's not what the position is about. Police departments are a local issue. It has nothing to do with the federal government. When you get rioting then you can potentially get the Feds involved, but that hasn't happened yet (surprisingly). If you don't like the way the police are acting then you need to speak with your chief of police and mayor. Feds aren't going to get involved unless there's some kind of pattern of civil rights violations or something.
  • As best I can tell here are the total police killings by year: 2015 was 1,134. 2016 was 962. 2017 was 987. 2018 was 996. 2019 was 1004. I don't see much of a pattern there. Under Obama it was higher than it's ever been under Trump. I think logically and according to the data, it's safe to say that this isn't a president/Trump issue.
  • Long story short, cops shouldn't be killing as many people as they do. They kill whites more than they kill blacks, but blacks are disproportionately affected. This is part of a larger cultural problem within the policing community. Police have a tough job, but it's not an excuse. We need to support cops and mentally ill more by doing something about our mental health response. Looters aren't helping anything. Mostly criminals looking for an excuse since they're out of work, bored, probably shitty people. Accountability needs to be meted out more equally or the people who feel slighted are going to fuck shit up. From a numbers standpoint, this isn't that big of an issue. But we over reacted to 9/11 and maybe we'll overreact to this. It's not the biggest issue blacks face, but it's easy because it's so obviously wrong.
  • Understanding eliminates fear. I think that goes with racism as well as anything else. I think it also applies to guns. All the people I've talked to who are opposed to guns know very very little about guns. They probably haven't fired them, they don't know how they work, etc. I remember being afraid of the table saw the first time I saw it. I didn't understand how it worked. I heard about kick back and fingers getting cut off, but I hadn't ever used one (this was in junior high wood shop). Now I have a healthy respect for table saws. I know their power. I know how they can be used properly and I know what not to do. With increased understanding has come a calm and even handed outlook on a tool that can inflict great damage.
  • 30 years ago more than half the country owned a gun. Today it's down to about a third of the country. Go back far enough and that percentage was probably close to 90%. As gun ownership and gun exposure has decreased so has the interest in regulating and even banning them. To the point where now we've officially had a major party candidate who outright called for taking guns away from gun owners.
  • The Alt-Right has actually been right about two things over the last few years, and I think we should be alarmed by this: 1. they were right when they said liberals would try to take their guns. Beto O'Rourke campaigned on this in the Democratic Primary in 2019. 2. They were right when they said there would be race riots in the streets. I think you could potentially debate this since there's not a lot of whites attacking blacks or vise versa, but between the looting and rioting now around racial issues and the Charlottesville fiasco, I think the Alt-Right was correct enough on these two big things that I would have called them crazy for predicting a few years ago. Depressing.

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