Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Prosecute Mall Protest Organizers

Before I get started... If you appreciate MinnPost, please donate some money to them TODAY. I finally pried open my wallet yesterday in order to help them meet a year end goal. Unlike me, they actually need some income to operate.
I know neither of these statements will surprise you.
  1. I disagree with some of the Liberal commenters regarding the following MinnPost article.
  2. The MinnPost moderators and I have a difference of opinion regarding what is an acceptable comment...
MinnPost Make and Example

So here we go...
"I don't understand what is happening in this country. Nor do I like it. Maybe it's a generational thing, but lawlessness isn't the answer.
These protestors were warned by MOA letters, and personal police visits, that they would be BREAKING the LAW, as the MOA is private property. So they all should have been arrested on site.
Also, all of my adult life~I'm a Sr~it was commonly known (and perhaps the law) that while one could protest peacefully, one could not 'impede commerce'. So no blocking of highways or entrances or exits of businesses. No physical damage, either. Etc.
I don't know when things changed. Or if they officially have. But getting involved proactively in the formal processes is a far better use of one's time and energy than mob mentality protests. And one has to wonder why so many folks have so much time to spend protesting, too. Do they not have jobs, and have homes & families to attend to? Or volunteer activities to participate in?
I don't see any positive gains in all of these protests. In the case of ongoing protests still in Missouri, who is paying for all of it?? The extra police presence, the store & other property damage? That is normally a tax payer expense. But again, if many of the protestors aren't working, they aren't paying taxes....
We all need to be grown ups and learn to calmly discuss issues and work on and negotiate practical resolutions that work well for the masses. Not to just always REACT." LK
"First, let me note that the protestors did not block entrances or exits of stores, that is was the police and the mall security that did so.
Second, let me note that American history is replete with protests that not only impeded commerce but also did physical damage, but if you are over 250 years of age you may possibly remember a time when our country was not like this.
Our nation was born of protest that impeded trade and actually damaged property, that being of course the Tea Party. In fact, pretty much nothing about our nation's birth was 'legal'.
The illegal protests, sometimes including damage to property or actual violence, went on to such things as the whisky rebellion all the way to the labor movement riots in the early 20th century.
The 60's of course hardly need to be mentioned as an example of not just protests but violent riots.
There was no time in American history devoid of protests, and in fact this point in time is relatively quiet compared to some. Things have not changed- a nation born in protest continues in protest- and even gainfully employed people with homes and families do have time to engage in them." Theo
"I am fine if people choose to break the law to make a point or generate publicity.
That is if they are fine accepting the punishment for choosing to break the law.
To break the law and assume there should be no punishment "because they arre protesting" seems silly.
I hope they enjoy their time in jail, paying restitution and/or paying fines. And that the publicity they gained was adequate to justify these expenses." G2A
"I'm not sure if your statement above was really a reply to mine or a separate point altogether because I'm not seeing a connection. Are you somehow thinking my argument was that nobody should be punished...because I'm not sure how you could from what I wrote(?).
My understanding is that about a dozen protestors got arrested, and they are therefore being punished. Going after the organizers for further punishment is ridiculous. Nobody participating in the protests are under the organizer's control, they all made individual decisions to participate and each took on the individual risk of arrest and some of them took the punishment that such risk can result in." Theo
Now for the first concept I can not get past Moderators...
"Theo,  So are you saying that people should be free to organize events that they know are illegal with no fear of consequences?  Does this make sense?  Does this mean someone could plan crimes without risk prosecution?  As long as they don't commit the crime..." G2A
Now here is the other string. 
"I wouldn't find it very amusing for people to protest on my private property. Illegal activity should have consequences." Alfred

"Protests on my property would not last long." Pavel

"Is that a challenge? Post the location of your private property and let's see how long it does last." Matthew
 And my response...
 "Matthew, If you owned a business, would you really allow people to protest on your property?  Even if by doing so you may annoy or alienate your paying customers who disagree or are indifferent to the protestor's message?

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

In of chaos, discord and disagreement, I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas !!!

Comic 1    Comic 2    Comic 3   Comic 4   Comic 5

Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Black Officers Perspective

This is an interesting read.

CNN Black Police Officers Thoughts
The Grio Officers Open Letter

Of course, then there are these sad stories...
CNN Officers Executed
CNN Florida Officer Shot

So what do you think, are all these protests encouraging the crazies to get violent?

Or are these murders just a normal risk of being a police officer?  If so, I think I would be shooting first and asking questions later...

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cuban Vacation Anyone?

No time so I will keep this short.  What do you think of Obama re-engaging Cuba?  Will the Congress embrace this bold change or balk?

CNN Obama and Cuba

My friend who went their for agricultural business said they have beautiful beaches...

Monday, December 15, 2014

That Stubborn Achievement Gap

Now if you want to talk about systemic racism, maybe this an example.

MinnPost Painful Truths About Mpls Schools

Are we saying that the education system is systemically racist?


Is there something else at play that is keeping these kids from getting ahead? (ie parents, culture, priorities, attitudes, capability, lead, etc)

See the Minnpost comments for some more of my thoughts.

G2A Why are poor people poor?
G2A Factors Affecting Educational Success

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Do We Want Police to Stop Thinking

 I found both these comments very interesting, especially Ilya's.  Thoughts?
MinnPost US Too Many in Jail
"Police officers are taught to evaluate the risk (to them and community) and act accordingly. So they do use their prior knowledge, experience, and statistics to make a decision (which they often have to make quickly). Imagine yourself walking down the street and seeing a Golden Retriever running at you. Unless you are afraid of all dogs, most likely you will not feel fear. Now imagine a Rottweiler running at you… So basically you will be judging the situation based on your general knowledge and statistics of dog bites which is a very reasonable thing to do. The same with police officers – and the danger is higher. Obviously, all three things police officers are considering before making a decision involve noticing the race of people around them but that is not the same as racism. In other words, race is taken into account but most likely that is not due to racism (even though there are racists around in general and in police force in particular but not as many as some want to claim).

For example, George Zimmerman did take Trayvon Martin’s race into account when he made a decision to confront him even though his supporters may say that he did not. But it wasn’t racism that influenced him, as Martin’s supporters assert, but the knowledge that young black men had burglarized the neighborhood. Zimmerman acted rationally on the basis of very specific information he had because his goal was to prevent possible burglary in his area. If he were to confront a black teenager in this manner in, let’s say, Disneyland, it would have been much less reasonable and the possibility that he were acting this way because he was a racist would have been much higher.

Here is another example. Imagine police are called for a burglary in progress in a store. When a police officer arrives, she sees a person running out of the store; clearly she will try to stop that person because the behavior looks suspicions. Now imagine she sees two people running out of the store – a man in a suit and a man in dirty ragged clothing. If an officer may stop only one person, she will have to make an immediate decision and most likely she will go after a disheveled man based on experience even though in this case it may be wrong. Imagine now that there is a man and a woman running out of the store. Again, if she can stop only one, she will stop a man and not because she is sexist but because it is more likely that a burglar is a man. Same with the case if there is a black and white man running out of the store dressed about the same; again, it is more reasonable to go after a black man based on statistics, not bias. A police officer may be wrong in her judgments in all of the above cases but she is doing what is the most logical thing in each case which has nothing to do with racism or sexism or any other bias.

The fact that there are more black people in jails affects people’s perception in general and police officers’ perception in particular but not because they are racists. So while there may be some truth to saying that it may be more difficult to be a young black male, that is not because of racism (and obviously, I would tell my white son not to grab police officer’s gun and cooperate with them all the time, just the same as a black father should tell his son). But the only way out of this situation lies within black community, not white community. If blacks commit less crime (and now they do commit more crimes regardless of effect of perceptions) then perceptions will go away.

Sure, I can see people saying that this perception I am talking about is racism. But it is not –because racism is subconscious and this behavior is rational, just like fearing Rottweiler more than Golden Retriever.

Mr. Rovick, the question should be how many violent and repeated criminals on the street can a society support? I am sure my system will result in fewer people in prisons, less crime, and not so overworked court system." Ilya
  And Jon had an equally interesting comment.
"The dilemma is that street crime and crimes against other poor people occur where poor people live which tend to be disproportionately African-American. Poor people also are involved disproportionately in crime for survival, e.g. drug trade. Also, law enforcement has attempted to lower crime rates by so-called "broken window" policies that also has a tendency to target poor people for petty offenses, like jaywalking, turnstile jumping and shoplifting or possession. (It would be interesting to see some comparative statistics on level of arrest and prosecution for possession of firearms (conceal and carry) by race and class.).

The other side of "broken windows" policies is that poor people tend to be victims of more serious crimes which "broken window" law enforcement policies often ignore. I've read that many residents of poor communities feel unprotected by the police who are unresponsive to the serious crimes committed there against them while feeling and often being victimized by the police for committing these petty offenses. I personally know someone (white) who used to live in a racially mixed but poor section of Milwaukee whose home was burgled 20-30 times and who, when reporting one of the crimes while in progress to the Milwaukee police was asked to call back after the criminals had left the home. This person confirmed this perception for me.

I wonder of anyone has seen the HBO show "The Wire"? This show really grapples with the topic of Eric's post in a realistic way from a dramatic angle. It was written by a former Baltimore Sun reporter and a former Baltimore homicide detective and featured among its cast former members of the Baltimore police as well as former (and in some cases not completely reformed) criminals. I've read that many cops have confirmed the realism and authenticity of this show from a law enforcement standpoint. What this show dramatizes so effectively (and probably understates ), is just how law enforcement and law enforcement policies work (or really don't work) in the poor sections of our cities and how damaged and broken our cities are in this respect. (Caution: while I recommend this show, it's definitively in the "Rated R for violence, language and sexual conduct" territory.)." Jon

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Governmental Obstruction

Here is another comment I can not get by the Moderators over there...

MinnPost Can Klobuchar's MN Nice Melt Senate
"Four letters, VETO. Learn to love them conservatives, because you'll be seeing them, a lot. Then in 2016, when your heroes have regained minority status, perhaps somethng might get accomplished in the short time until the midterm. Welcome to governance in the 21st century." Matt

"Matt, If Obama starts using his VETO often, will you then write scathing comments that claim him to be the one obstructing the effective function of government like you did regarding the GOP controlled House?" G2A
We may get our first test of this concept, since there is a private pension reform rider on the spending bill.  If Obama vetoes, will he now be the one threatening to "default" on our commitments? Thoughts?

FOX News House Spending Plan
NY Times Spending Bill Hits Snag
CNBC Assault on Private Pensions

Saturday, December 6, 2014

MN 1 Billion Dollar Projected Surplus

Thankfully the GOP will be there to hold the DFL in check when it comes time to decide what to do with this surplus. Last time the DFL put some in the reserves, and spent most of it or gave it to people that typically vote DFL.

MinnPost $1 Billion Surplus Projected

MinnPost Anatomy of $1 Billion Surplus


Friday, December 5, 2014

Diversifying Police Departments

Speed Posting...  From MinnPost 94%

"Would it be beneficial to lower the standards for officers to get more local / minority officers?" G2A

Why do you think that for more minority officers to join the police force, standards need to be lowered? Jonathan

 "Then why don't we have a more diverse police force in Minneapolis.

Are you now saying that fully qualified Black, Latino and American Indian candidates are being turned down in a city that has been trying to diversify their police force for decades?

Police Employment Requirements:



Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Fewer Police is the Solution

Moderation over kill at MinnPost has me bring discussions back here again.  I have had 10 comments denied over the last couple of days...

MinnPost Why Riots?
"As to your talk of 'scapegoating' Darren Wilson... I for one don't believe that officers of the law should be able to violate that which they are sworn to uphold. Police must be held to a high standard, as should anyone who is sworn to duty should be, whether it's police, military, politicians, etc etc etc. The issue at hand is that we don't have an equal application of the law in our society, and you are directly blaming blacks for that problem." Jonathan
I thought my response was pretty tame and professional as usual, it went something like this.
"Michael Brown was very high on pot, he had stolen property from a store and physically threatened the clerk, he ignored the police officer when he was asked to get out of the middle of road where he brazenly walked, he then was foolish enough to attack a police officer carrying a gun. Wilson, a decorated experienced police officer who had never fired his gun in the line of the duty was then subjected to a full Grand Jury that exonerated him and confirmed that he broke NO laws.  Now he has had to quit his job and go into hiding because racist people want to hurt or kill that White police officer who killed that violent young Black man who physically attacked him.
If the problem is that there are too many police in the poor communities and they are too strict with the people living there.  The solution is simple, reduce the number of police in those communities until the ratio of officers per citizen is similar to say Plymouth or Minnetonka.  If the police were the problem, the crime rates should go down, local citizens should be happier, property values should increase, bars should be removed from the windows, and people should feel very comfortable walking the streets at night.
So if we cut the patrols in North Minneapolis, do you think the community would be safer and more desireable?" G2A 
Here is another article that holds promise.

MinnPost Racial Bias Discussion