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In response to:

Militarization of Police II

Troglodite Wrote: Aug 30, 2014 11:47 AM
cj: Your remarks actually lend support to the columnist's views. The idea that we ought to arrest people for being out in the snow probably occurred to legislators or regulators long before the police were told to go and actually do it. Of course, BLM, EPA, etc. do NOT need SWAT teams, but have them because legislators who fork over the money and bureaucrats who run these agencies people think that it is a good idea. "The attitude carries over into everyday dealings with the citizenry..." I have been fortunate enough NOT to see evidence of this attitude from the sheriffs with whom I have had occasional dealings. I suspect that police departments are a cut worse than sheriffs departments, that the Feds are a good bit worse than the local police, and that there is a good bit of difference between one department and another--depending precisely on the attitudes that are cultivated in the one vs. the other. Over-militarization of law enforcement, thus, is not so much a problem in and of itself, as an indicator that there is a more serious problem that needs to be addressed.
I think that I have to differ with the columnist's thought that "[ISIS] moved into Iraq where it outfought an Iraqi army that outnumbered it 15-to-1. If only those troops had more American training and a minimal amount of American air support, they would have crushed ISIS like a steamroller running over a watermelon with no U.S. casualties." Given the years that we spent training the Iraqi army, if the odds were really 15 to 1, ISIS should have been squashed even without American air support and without a few more months of training. The problem, as it seems to me, is that Iraq is not really a nation-state in the usual Western sense, that nothing that we did while we were there did or could make it into a nation, and that no Iraqi is willing to die for Iraq, though quite a few of them seem to be willing to die (and, of course, kill) for their sect, their tribe, their village, etc. The same, of course, goes for Afghanistan.
Over the years, as a matter of deliberate policy, the U.S. government has encouraged the creation of smaller and smaller numbers of larger and larger banks that are "too big to fail." The next time they look ready to fail because of practices adopted under the assumption that the government will ultimately guarantee them, what course should be followed? Let them fail, despite the damage and risks? Or use the crisis as an opportunity to break them up into pieces that, once again, are individually NOT too big to be allowed to fail? Or, under a different administration, start the breakup BEFORE the next crisis? The first alternative has the problems that the columnist identified, while the second and third alternatives would be a cringe-worthy case of asking the people who created the mess in the first place to fix it.
The protests were about racism, police over-reaction, etc.? You mean that thugs vandalized, looted, and burned stores belonging to third parties because they were mad at the police and that they had some sort of right to do so? By that logic, if a conservative has a problem with a liberal, or perhaps vice versa, he should go beat up a libertarian. Will you volunteer to be the one?
I seem to recall that the British burning of American public buildings in Washington was in retaliation for the American burning of Canadian public building in what is now Ottawa. Interestingly, the residence of the commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps was spared, apparently as a gesture of respect by the Royal Marines to their American counterparts. I suppose that the Royal Marines were not the first or the only ones to think more highly of U.S. Marines than of American politicians.
In response to:

Libertarians, Ferguson, and "Racism"

Troglodite Wrote: Aug 25, 2014 10:06 AM
People find what they are looking for. Punks and thugs in Ferguson found an excuse to riot and loot. Liberals find the events to be a way to try to drum up votes. Libertarians of the sillier brands find the rioting and looting to be an opportunity to rant against the police. By the way, if the rioters were justified in looting and burning the businesses of merchants who had nothing to do with the police abuses that have been posited, then maybe a mob of screaming conservatives should loot and burn the Cato Institute to protest Obamacare.
Fudge-packing good; smoking bad. Try to shun the practitioners of the former and you will be sued and forced to pay up. Try to light up, though, and you will be extinguished. We are becoming terminally stupid.
We have multiple problems: government over-reach, economic collapse, moral collapse, and one or two others. The plug-uglies from the ghetto and the barrio and, for that matter, the white-trash district are products of a sub-culture in which the family has entirely collapsed, leaving single mothers, with government assistance, to raise alienated, sociopathic, parasitic, and feral children. Much of the rest of the younger generation, the products of our public schools and our pop culture, though not nearly as dangerous, are equally ignorant and amoral--and self-satisfied in their vices. The social and cultural and moral foundations of a free market economy and a free republic are dying. I would not say that the shooting is just a distraction. I would agree, however, that such incidents are the first ripples of the tsunami that is coming.
It is interesting and a bit saddening to see how people see that which, consistent with their preconceptions and predispositions, they are looking for and want to see. Some looked at what happened in Furguson and saw evidence of white racism and of nothing else worthy of note, Libertarians seem inclined to look at Ferguson and see evidence of over-militarized police departments and irresponsible cops running amok. Those of a more conservative and common sense bent see the story as being about a young punk who pushed his luck too far and got shot and then about a gutless political leadership that was afraid to side with its law-abiding constituents in order to restore order. I am with the conservatives on this one. Though the militarization of law enforcement is a significant concern, monomania is needed to see the dangers of that as the predominant theme to come out of Ferguson.
In response to:

Death of a Teenager

Troglodite Wrote: Aug 20, 2014 3:12 PM
"In confrontations like this one, trained policemen are expected to be able to defuse such situations and subdue suspects who may resist arrest, without restoring to lethal actions." Obviously, we expect policemen to make a reasonable attempt to do exactly that, and usually they do, and generally they succeed. On the other hand, no one with any sense anticipates that they will ALWAYS be able to do it. If the columnist were correct that police NEVER need to use lethal force, than every police killing would be a crime and there would be no need for any policeman to carry a sidearm. I recall, by the way, that this same columnist peddled nonsense similar to what we read here back when the Travyon Martin affair was on people's minds. I suppose that he needs to come up with stuff like this in order to retain a veneer of approval from his liberal friends, since there can be no creditable explanation for such folly.
In response to:

Conservatives' Culture Bubble

Troglodite Wrote: Aug 18, 2014 12:29 PM
How much time are we to take, how far are we to debase our own sensibilities, how extensively are we to expose ourselves to temptations (to which we too are prone) in order to be able to have a good discussion around the water cooler? Sure, and we are all to subscribe to Playboy magazine not for the sake of the pictures, but in order to be able to critique the Playboy Philosophy with our colleagues! And guys go to bordellos so they can better discuss the downsides of prostitution the next time they meet a hooker at a cocktail party! Right!!! If you want to inspire people by your example, you would do better to be known as someone who is happy and kind and wise and decent and an abstainer from pop culture, If they ask about how and why you are so happy, decent, etc., you can then courteously explain that it is, at least in part, because you try to lead a life that is NOT based on (contaminated by) the standards and values of the pop culture.
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