Monday Highlights

G’day, hump day (of my 15 day workweek) is over.

  1. More grist for the Ferguson discussion.
  2. Here too.
  3. Some silliness. Signs like this are pertinent, when people who accidentally do this roam the earth.
  4. Film.
  5. I’d go with #10, #9 and #1.
  6. Some basic points in theology which everyone should agree, here and here … but a whole lot of people get stuck on them.
  7. Piketty points.
  8. Confused about the outrage. So ‘splain it for us, eh?
  9. Well, you always have the two choices, are they stupid or evil?
  10. I don’t see what’s wrong with being liked because you are smart. Do you?
  11. Very cool.

 

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12 comments

  1. Boonton says:

    1.More grist for the Ferguson discussion.

    I think it is fair to point out that police shootings have remained very low, even as the police have militarized. But then the crime rate has dramatically fallen so the need for police-criminal ‘shootouts’ has likewise fallen (see Freakonomics for the now famous theory that credits Roe for this).

    But poor police-civilian relations comes not so much from unjustified shootings but over the top, heavy handed, non-violent interactions. I’ll give you an example, ‘stop and frisk’ in NYC. This policy was meant to get illegal guns off the street. It basically meant if you were a non-white male you could expect to be seriously frisked on a regular basis in your community (serious means not just a pat down but hands in your pockets, your underwear, stripping shoes off etc. in the middle of the street). I kid you not, this policy was touted as a success because it got 600 or so guns off the street in a year. That was out of 600,000 stops though! So 100,000 pseudo-strip searches per illegal gun. Of course other crimes were picked up, for example if you had a warrant for unpaid parking tickets or some pot on your body you’d get a charge…but that’s because the police are essentially doing random strip searches.

    http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2014/08/ferguson-and-the-debtors-prison.html Likewise deserves a lot of attention. Ferguson is a town with average crime, yet the average household is averaging about 3 warrants per household.

    I think the problem here is not old school police brutality (although that clearly is aproblem in Ferguson…see the story about the innocent motorist arrested because they mixed up his name with someone else who had a warrant and then beat him in the police station after discovering the error…then charging him with ‘destroying property’ by getting his blood on their uniforms!)…but essentially law enforcement harassment that happens unseen by larger society until a dramatic inicident like a shooting or death causes an uproar.

  2. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    I’ll give you an example, ‘stop and frisk’ in NYC. This policy was meant to get illegal guns off the street. It basically meant if you were a non-white male you could expect to be seriously frisked on a regular basis in your community (serious means not just a pat down but hands in your pockets, your underwear, stripping shoes off etc. in the middle of the street). I kid you not, this policy was touted as a success because it got 600 or so guns off the street in a year.

    I think Chicago tried a similar program. Such programs are often (and you hint at this “non-white male”) touted as racist. Alas, this doesn’t pass the smell test (for Chicago at least) as the police force and city politicians & so on are more than half not-white.

    Clearly as well, there is a racial/racist element primarily present in the rioters and press. In the last week we’ve had (noted in various places) a black cop shooting a white mormon and lots of black (cop/not-cop) shooting black men and children. No riots. The quick movement to judge as racist is in fact racist.

  3. Boonton says:

    Alas, this doesn’t pass the smell test (for Chicago at least) as the police force and city politicians & so on are more than half not-white.

    Actually it’s been well documented that non-whites can just as easily implement policies in a racially biased manner as whites can. It’s also been well documented that women can discriminate against other women in the workforce as much as or even more than males do.

    In the last week we’ve had (noted in various places) a black cop shooting a white mormon and lots of black (cop/not-cop) shooting black men and children. No riots. The quick movement to judge as racist is in fact racist.

    As I noted I think shootings tend to be the sparks that ignite the underlying tension and the underlying tension is not so much gross misconduct like unjustified shootings but instead incremental harassment.

    Whether or not a black cop was justified in shooting a white Mormon (I have no idea, didn’t hear about it until now), fact is there is no underlying tension between black police and Mormons anywhere in the US so no even if it is 100% clear the black cop was in the wrong there probably aren’t going to be any protests or riots over it.

    I think your inability to appreciate the problem here indicates just how empty most libertarian leaning people really are. People who get upset because their ‘freedom’ is infringed by the inability to get a political group tax exemption in less than two years or because they can’t get a tax deduction for providing their workers insurance that doesn’t cover contraception seem strangely deaf to actual infringement on freedom….and I think being randomly yanked while walking down the street and near strip searched qualifies. Remember for every 1 time such a search produced an illegal gun, 100,000 such searches did not. That’s 1 in 100,000.

  4. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    Actually it’s been well documented that non-whites can just as easily implement policies in a racially biased manner as whites can. It’s also been well documented that women can discriminate against other women in the workforce as much as or even more than males do.

    But that’s not racism. When a teacher grades his own children in a class with less leniency than other students that’s not prejudice. When a coach does the same for those in his family he’s not a “kid-ist”. When women “discriminate” against other women or Black policemen against other Blacks that’s not because they are prejudiced against (or racist), it’s because they don’t want to show the same favoritism and/or have higher expectations. This is not a bad thing. Unless of course you can get political mileage out of it.

    I think your inability to appreciate the problem here indicates just how empty most libertarian leaning people really are.

    This “libertarian” thing is your label not mine.

    People who get upset because their ‘freedom’ is infringed by the inability to get a political group tax exemption in less than two years

    Uhm, is this a guarded reference to the IRS kerfuffle in which being a Democrat gets you a pass and being in the GOP means you get an audit?

    and I think being randomly yanked while walking down the street and near strip searched qualifies. Remember for every 1 time such a search produced an illegal gun, 100,000 such searches did not. That’s 1 in 100,000.

    So … why did those Black guys decide to do that to other Blacks?

  5. Boonton says:

    When women “discriminate” against other women or Black policemen against other Blacks that’s not because they are prejudiced against (or racist), it’s because they don’t want to show the same favoritism and/or have higher expectations

    Then you don’t think affirmative action in universities is racist do you? If a White admissions officer rejects a white applicant who has a higher SAT score than a black one then that too would fit your hypotheticals of supposedly non-racist discrimination based on race.

    Regardless, to the black motorist unfairly pulled over because of his race I don’t think it’s much comfort to know that it was a black officer who did it rather than a white one. I think he would have rather have not gotten pulled over.

    So … why did those Black guys decide to do that to other Blacks?

    Wasn’t aware that all NYC beat cops were black. I also wasn’t aware that the beat cop in NYC is the one who sets policies. I wonder why they have so many higher ranking officers then if it’s such a bottoms up based organization.

  6. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    Then you don’t think affirmative action in universities is racist do you?

    I guess that depends in part on the motive. If a coach is hard on his kids because he expects more of them … it’s not because he favors the other kids or thinks they “deserve more”. I’ve never ever heard of an admissions person saying he favors (some) minority admissions and disfavors Asians and Whites because he “expects more of them”. Cite?

    Regardless, to the black motorist unfairly pulled over because of his race I don’t think it’s much comfort to know that it was a black officer who did it rather than a white one. I think he would have rather have not gotten pulled over.

    The point is, in Chicago, it’s just a Black officer, the policy was set by a Black Chief. Racial animus is not the cause. I have suggested one alternative. You

    Wasn’t aware that all NYC beat cops were black. I also wasn’t aware that the beat cop in NYC is the one who sets policies

    I’m not as in touch with NYC. Chicago’s Chief of police is Black and the force is majority non-white. It makes it kinda hard to accuse anti-gang stop/search harassment as racist given that the policies originate from the race(s) which are supposedly being targeted.

  7. Mark says:

    Boonton
    Re “dependency on motive” this is, I believe, why liberals so often claim of conservatives “you hate xyz” (Blacks, non-Whites, women, gays, whatever). Because if the motive is not flawed, then the basis for their disagreement on policy vaporizes.

    It’s also the a basis for the confusion conservatives have with liberals over affirmative action. I mean, if you don’t hate Blacks/non-Whites &c, then why would you encourage policies which harm them? It’s so confusing.

  8. Boonton says:

    You’ve played with the hypothetical by assuming motives not provided. I never said the reason why homo-discrimination happens (i.e. women discriminating against women, Black cops profiling blacks). You inserted the possible motive that they want their ‘group’ to be the best it can be hence they discriminate against members who fall short.

    Yet that is not a common motive. As odd as it may sound the prejudices of a subculture can be adopted by members of that culture even if they would rationally be against that person’s self interest or the interest of ‘group solidarity’. Hence the only woman in a male dominated environment may act against another woman who tries to enter not because she wants to ensure only the best women are allowed to represent the gender but because she herself has adopted the subconscious beliefs of the culture she is in.

    This was demonstrated back in the 50’s with the school desegregation cases where psychologists showed even black children would describe a black doll as ‘dirty’ or ‘less good’ than a white doll.

  9. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    I see.

    Yet that is not a common motive. …

    I call BS on that. What you are saying is that it is not a common motive for a liberal Black police chief in Chicago to want to implement policies that aid minorities, esp. the minority groups to which he belongs. If he does not want to help minorities … then nobody does. This latter assertion (nobody does) is false. Therefore, you’re claim is BS.

    (edited slightly)

  10. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    This was demonstrated back in the 50’s with the school desegregation cases where psychologists showed even black children would describe a black doll as ‘dirty’ or ‘less good’ than a white doll.

    Proving nothing. When I was 5 my favorite doll/action figure had a glowing transparent green head. Yet oddly enough, nobody concluded it was due to any cultural pressures.

  11. Boonton says:

    That would indicate to me you’d be inclined to side with aliens should UFO’s invade earth. Something I have to say I’m not very shocked about.

  12. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    I see. Or such studies are not worth the paper they are printed on.