"How fortunate for
governments that the people they administer don't think."
"Only two things are
infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
Orthorexia is a new one
to me. Look it up. First world problems.
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
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
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
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
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.
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?
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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: ï¿½Turns
out Iï¿½m really good at killing people. Didnï¿½t
know that was gonna be a strong suit of mine.ï¿½"
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.
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 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.
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 didnï¿½t have
a college degree and by 3 percent for young Hispanic men who didnï¿½t
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.
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,
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
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.
police killing video. We have to acknowledge that police training isn't
doing the job. Police unions should be advocating for increased training
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.
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?).
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
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.
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:
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%.
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.
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. 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.
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
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
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
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.
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.