Commenter Archive

AvatarComments by Dark Matter in reply to Dark Matter*

On “From Elizabeth Picciuto: The Real Free Speech Violations

Everyone is the hero of their own tale. Everyone thinks they're wearing a white hat.

And everyone has subjects we're not rational on. Subject for which we think our feelings are facts. Then we take that stance and look for facts (or even just statements) which support them.

Some people are better than others at changing our opinions when presented with conflicting facts, but most of us aren't great when it comes to war, religion, personal relationships (i.e. sex), and politics.

She probably believes what she is saying. She presumably is wrong, but she doesn't believe that.

If and when enough of society accepts Trans, she will be forced to change her mind, shut-up, or lose sales/friends/etc. That hasn't come yet.

that doesn’t really change anything about the rate of black people being shot indiscriminately by police and the police not slightly being punished for it.

OK, full stop there. I pointed out that "hands up don't shoot" was based on a lie. You've responded by claiming the larger narrative it represents is, in your opinion, correct. So, the literal truth of "hands up" doesn't matter.

If she knows she's wrong (and she might not), she's doing the same thing you just did just with a very different larger narrative.


The cultural shift I'm talking about is "are we going to accept trans people"?

And yes, there are personal "truths" that are other people's "deliberate lies". It's sort of like how "hands up don't shoot" was a thing from BLM for quite a while even after it was clear Mike Brown was shot attacking that cop.


"Communist" also was anyone who was gay.

McCarthy also had the habit of simply lying about who did what.

On “Do All Lives Matter?

That said, what, exactly, are you opposed to?

I am not opposed to Police Reform, I support it... but I also suspect it's a small part of the entire inequality pie. Police murders may even not be part of inequality at all, so holding police accountable may help the white community disproportionally.

If "reform" includes ending the WOD then it's certainly worthwhile. If it doesn't then ending the WOD should be the priority. "Reform" that fails to consider/believe different crime rates has the possibility of making things worse.

I also think that inner city culture will be where it's at for decades or even generations.

On “From Elizabeth Picciuto: The Real Free Speech Violations

Everything has to be repeatedly debated. And it’s never winnable. It’s never settled. Except it has been settled, but reality is not real anymore,

And yet we still have gay marriage when that was so impossible Obama had to run on opposing it.

These sorts of cultural shifts take decades to thrash out.

On “Do All Lives Matter?

It can also mean stop letting the people upstream carelessly cause damage that impacts the people downstream.

Figuring what that means in reality is the subject of constant debate. During the Clinton presidency it meant cranking up the WOD, now-days we're told its gun control. The Chicago gangs and mass murders would totally respect the law if we'd just disarm.

IMHO the biggest damage I and mine do is refusing to live/school in places like that.

the problems with police culture persist and are permitted to constantly damage AA communities specifically because communities like yours allow the police culture to maintain the status quo.

Police culture is largely per city. Also, "allow"? Do I seem like a team blue union supporter?

IMHO the issue is less "allow" than it is apathy. It's easy to think you don't have a dog in the race if your murder rate is zero, your police aren't driving ATVs around, and there are no team Red politicians AT ALL in that neck of the woods.

I regard a lot of the political leadership and efforts in those areas and deeply corrupt, self-serving, ineffectual, and economically ignorant. However people deserve the leadership they vote in. The alternative to me "allowing" that is... what? Stripping them of the right to vote? I've expressed my disapproval by voting with my feet and leaving.

Large urban areas with large, poor communities of color, that have been governed at all levels by other people of color, have had plenty of opportunities to try and shape their local police culture into something better. They have to own some of that.

These areas are totally run by Team Blue which puts support of the union over things service to citizens with all sorts of things.

we’ve had state level and federal policies that work hard against those reforms (I can’t express enough how powerful the federal incentives for the Drug War, and the GWOT, etc., are; and how much those incentives permit the police to avoid local reform).

I'm totally good with getting rid of the drug war. GWOT seems to have dried out on its own.

However these cities never had a WOD or GWOT for the schools. I don't see why we should expect their police departments to run better than their school systems. Worse, schools are more important. Reform the police and seriously functional AA people who value education for their children still need to flee to the sub-ubs... so they will.


What does "make whole" mean in this context?

Feed him while he's homeless? We already do that, no one starves in the US.

Replace his house? Income transfers via the gov's many dozens of programs is north of a Trillion a year so that's pretty much covered.

Replace his house, hire him for a job he doesn't have the skills for, send him to a college he's not prepared for, and get his grand-kids to not kill each other many decades later?

A ton of the current mess is people making bad choices about their lives and their kid's lives.

Claiming that someone only started drinking, doing drugs, and beating their kids because we destroyed his house is fine, but we're still on the hook for just the house. We're not obligated to give all of his descendants a happy life and have no way to make good choices for them.


If you're asking whether my culture is involved in this mess, the answer is "sure it is".

One issue is people who seriously value education and have serious resources move here. That concentrates poverty there and has tax effects. IMHO my caste is the leadership caste for cultural enrichment activities so that creates secondary problems.

Another issue is my area reflexively cooperates with the police and doesn't have the "don't snitch" cultural value. This is going to concentrate crime in areas which do have that value.

Low poverty means the gov has resources to do other things which make the area nicer, which attracts higher value people who increase the tax base and start businesses locally which increases the tax base.

However, if we're talking about which culture is dysfunctional, then policy desires are focused on trying to make their culture like mine and not the reverse.


You're claiming the problem is mine. I'm pointing out that I don't see it, experience it, and can live perfectly fine without changing anything.

People I've never met are killing each other and the police are trying to stop it. It's being claimed that the police are part of the problem, there's probably some truth to that.

However policing is a local thing. My police, paid for by my zip code and run by people I can vote for, don't work there. The police who do work there don't answer to anyone I vote for.

The evidence I can see doesn't line up with it being my culture which has the problem. We have BLM signs up in my area but afaict they're calling for other zip codes to change.

On “From Elizabeth Picciuto: The Real Free Speech Violations

My comment is awaiting moderation but I don't understand why. No links. No profanity.


going so far as to say (on another thread) that “it’s on their culture to change to fit modern norms” or they get locked up.

I'm confused on what you think I'm defending. I was pointing out that we don't, and shouldn't excuse someone's illegal behavior because of their culture. It's on them to change, not on us to make them change.

For anyone who isn't on that other thread, "their culture" in this case was "killing your children because of their sex life" and yes, anyone doing that does need to get locked up.

...our criminal justice system is tasked with *this very thing*,

No. We do NOT arrest, imprison or kill Nazis because they're Nazis. There are acts (murder and the like) which we've outlawed.

The problem with "toxic elements" is they're not committing crimes and thus not subject to the criminal justice system.

On “Do All Lives Matter?

Dark, is it possible that the dysfunctional culture is the one with a legacy of slavery...

Murder rate in my zip code is zero and I picked it for the schools.

If you're trying to claim my zip code needs to change so our murder rate increases and our schools are worse, then you have a lot of heavy lifting to do.

On “From Elizabeth Picciuto: The Real Free Speech Violations

It is not clear to me who could be trusted with the power to eliminate toxic elements from society.

On “Do All Lives Matter?

If you want a good example of "crime being fueled by culture in the modern world" think "Honor killings" in the United States. Adjusted for population (i.e. "immigrants from areas that practice honor killings") the rate is really high.

We treat this as a purely criminal matter. If a parent kills his child over her sex life, then he faces a murder charge. It's on their culture to change to fit modern norms.


if not, then addressing the underlying causes of that higher crime rate makes sense

It depends on whether "addressing the underlying cause" is possible and how much it would cost.

Removing lead from pipes is a good possibility, but crime would only fall in the next generation decades down the line.

Another potential "cause" is "society is much less tolerant of crime" (just like we're less tolerate of Blue privilege) so voters insist on more cops no matter what the side effects are.

Yet another is we have some dysfunctional cultures in the inner city and don't really know what to do about it. Various utopian solutions exist on paper but they tend to ignore the issue, assume infinite resources, or hand wave how hard it is to change a culture.

The War-On-Drugs hits the radar as a really good candidate for cause and it's at least possible to end it so there's that.


Even worse, what is the overall effect on society of arresting and traumatizing that innocent 7%?

10% more arrests, creating a drop in that crime of 3%, doesn't mean 7% were innocent. Those percentages are of different groups.

10% more apples doesn't mean there are fewer oranges.

In this case presumably more man hours were devoted to dealing with this crime. Probably more than 10% more man hours than normal since it's unlikely that relationship is linear. There's probably a point of diminishing returns.

In any case they caught 10% more people than normal, the amount of that crime dropped by 3%, so (assuming no noise) that 10% was committing 3% of that crime.

Or to put it differently, this was apparently a lifestyle thing for them or simply their profession.


You arrest 10% more burglars and the rate drops ~3%, then you picked up a bunch of ‘burglars’ who probably weren’t actually burglars.

10% "more" is not the same thing as "10% of the burglar population".

It means 100% of the "arresting" population is committing 30% of the crimes, so in theory increase the arrested population by 333% and the crime would drop to zero. (I know, much hand waving).


Yes. That.

We're thinking of "non-violent drug crimes" as "innocent people arrested for no reason".

There's an element of truth to that, but they may also now be "criminal who should be locked up".

Criminals that we've created. Criminals that we shouldn't have created. However we've educated them that they shouldn't be respecting the law, given them criminal contacts up the food chain and even given them a criminal record.

We wave a magic wand, pass some laws, legalize drugs, get rid of their records... and do they become normal law abiding citizens or do they look for other criminal employment?


Stop and Frisk was a single policy. What we're talking about here is MUCH larger and broader. In terms of scale we're in war on drugs territory or maybe even larger.

Unless we want to call Bill Clinton a closet racist, most of the WOD was good people trying to do good things... sort of like what we're trying now.

I'm not saying we shouldn't do it, but humans are complex, cultures more so, and the line between our good intentions and a good outcome isn't as straight as we'd like to think.


Assume that the narrative is wrong, the cherry picked videos aren't representative of the normal situation, these communities aren't over policed, and the police really are doing a reasonably good job.

Or maybe just assume our reforms make things worse. Seattle trying a police free zone which instantly turns bad is a good example.

We currently have soaring rhetoric and good intentions. That's the first screen of a Dilbert cartoon. The next is where the pointy haired boss translates our great intentions into reality.


a lot of people are acting as if the failure for that culture to change is all on the black communities.

In theory, the right to vote has resulted in most of these communities having a large say in their own (local) destiny. The mayor, police chief, some/most of the police force and school administration could all be black.

We're throwing a lot of money at the problem through lots of gov programs, something north of a trillion a year if memory serves. Law enforcement is also an attempt by the gov to "fix" things and "help" people. Every decade or so we have a "new" vast social experiment which is supposed to make things a lot better. Examples that come to mind are school busing, Affirmative Action, the war on poverty, and even the War on Drugs.

Maybe in a few years we'll try "repartitions", I'm already hearing how it would fix centuries of wealth imbalances and discrimination (let's just ignore what happens to lottery winners).

Right now, police reform is in vogue. It's possible this is the ticket to true reform of culture... but we've heard that lots of times before. In ten or twenty years we might look back and think that unleashing vast numbers of criminals on the black communities wasn't the best of ideas and this will be yet another example of "constantly kicking their feet out from under".


The North had levels of racism to the point they would have had Jim Crow if they'd needed it.

Although we tend to frame the War-On-Drugs as a racist thing now-days; When Clinton and various others were expanding it, it was thought to be more social engineering. For that matter paying people to not get married if they were pregnant was also an attempt to "help" people with social engineering.

If history a guide, although ending the war on drugs is a needed first step, the recovery just starts there. Culture is HARD to change, it will be hard to change back and will take generations.

On a side note you've said a lot here (and especially above) which I agree with.


Sure, legal solutions to the problem of white people behaving badly are complex, if only because those who behave badly are so stubbornly resistant to changing.

A lot of this hits the radar as social engineering in the face of facts on the ground.

During the 4th of July weekend, Chicago had 17 people killed and 63 wounded in gun violence. Given that none of these went viral I'm going to guess they weren't the police killing people.

The single biggest economic gift I've given to my children is getting, and staying, married to their mother. Unwed birth rate for Blacks is something like 75%.

So... clearly the problem is the whites are behaving badly and need to change? That's the biggest piece of the inequality pie?


“We want to be treated with the full dignity and respect as co-equal citizens”.

I don't think anyone objects to "one set of laws that applies to everyone equally" (equality of inputs).

I think there's a lot of pushback for "you are expected to hire/admit at the percentage of population and not the percentage of application pool", "you're expected to send your kids into sub-optimal schools for the good of the collective" and so forth (equality of results).

If you're pushing hard for "anti-racism" (Affirmative Action, Reparations, various other social engineering efforts, and making Percentage of Population evaluations) then "complex" is a good word for it.


There a weird disconnect between "over policing", law enforcement being mostly a local thing, and the black community having massive influence in terms of who their local leadership is and their local political establishment.

We're going to run some interesting social experiments here. Various communities will do serious police reform, others will not. Maybe we'll find out that serious police reform is a serious part of the overall problem. My guess is we find the police's various dysfunctions are more a symptom of the community's various dysfunctions more than a cause.

*Comment archive for non-registered commenters assembled by email address as provided.