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AvatarComments by George Turner in reply to Mike Schilling*

On “From Elizabeth Picciuto: The Real Free Speech Violations

Reason magazine addresses the Harper's letter: Are We Living in Crazytown?

The answer is yes.

As an aside, if conservatives spent their time making sure every media figure who they found offense was fired, there would only be a handful of journalists who would still be gainfully employed. They are almost all odious and should be fired for cause. But we let them slide because they also act as a handy source of talking points from the Russians, Iranians, and Chinese communists.

What's more amusing is that the writers who justify the crushing of "wrong" opinions do so by arguing that bad ideas could lead to hypothetical mob behavior, even as they lead real mobs that assault people, murder people, and burn down entire city blocks. Whereas letting right-wingers speak could, in theory, result in some kind of mob in some future dystopian world, letting left-wingers speak definitely results in violent mobs in the here and now.

On “Do All Lives Matter?

So you fire the cops. Is there a line of people waiting to fill out employment applications at the precinct who are somehow totally different from the current officers?

If policing is so darn bad, how come nobody noticed when Obama and Biden were in charge of things for eight years, when the police were killing vastly more unarmed black people than they did under Trump?

What really changed? Nothing, other than the left and the left-wing media lost their minds and started spending all their time screeching that we're living under racist fascism. The solution to that is apparently to elect an old white racist who defends the Confederacy, teamed up with segregationists to stop school busing, and who led the get-tough-on-blacks crime initiatives that put millions of blacks in prison.

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Indeed. Allowing the protests to continue, knowing that thousands of innocent blacks would die as a direct result of the increased spread, shows that no lives matter to any of the protesters. They're just out virtue signaling and scoring some free big screen TV's.

On “From Elizabeth Picciuto: The Real Free Speech Violations

Well, that problem exists because for a couple of generations liberal arts programs have taught that every problem must be the result of racism, sexism, colonialism, homophobia, or some other ism that they just invented. This has produced a generation of activists whose entire intellectual toolkit is one hammer, and all they can do is pretend everything is a nail.

To those who escaped such indoctrination, such people appear to be, though not clinically insane, very stupid, very angry, and very destructive.

Their desire to uncover their favorite isms and punish the ists runs into another psychological phenomenon. When people are shown blue and purple dots and told to select all the blue, or a range of happy and angry faces and told to pick out the angry ones, they do quite well as long as the numbers are reasonably balanced. But if you remove almost all the actual blue dots or angry faces, the people still make the same number of selections be redefining what is purple and what is blue, and what constitutes and angry face. The upshot is that the less of an "ism" that exists, the more of it these people will find when they take on the task of finding it, simply by redefining what they're looking for.

Thus, when you tell ivy league college girls to find examples of male oppression on their campus, certainly the most liberated and female friendly environment that has ever existed in the history of humanity, they see it everywhere. When you tell white activists to find examples of racism, they likewise see it everywhere, even though older Southern blacks who lived with Jim Crow laws and marched with Dr King tell them they're just freaking crazy.

On “From Freddie deBoer: Ending the Charade

Calvinism? It's more like Calvinball.

No rule can be used twice, so you always play with new rules that you just made up.

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Powerline: Princeton faculty letter demands end to academic freedom

Thus, as Zaid Jilani tweeted, the faculty letter “calls for eliminating academic freedom via a committee that would review all publications for racist thought (racist defined by the committee).”

The current group think is that there must be group think, and only group think, and all who don't think like the group must be purged. And so ends the age of enlightenment.

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I think the Internet/Twitter angle is a red-herring. The problem is the larger conceptual framework where there are oppressors and victims, collective guilt, and where control of speech is that one ring to rule them all. The other day Legal Insurrection had an interesting post and video about a Zoom meeting of a New York school advisory council. It was vicious, chaotic, and completely dysfunctional.

The woke left model of human interactions is an abysmal failure because it renders groups of believers unable do anything. If they were riding in a car and it got a flat tire, they couldn't change the tire because they'd stand around for two hours screaming at each other about social justice and power relations.

On “Do All Lives Matter?

There isn't such a thing as under the table Jim Crow because Jim Crow was a system of segregation laws. We shorten it now, but the phrase is "Jim Crow law", which referred to "laws just for blacks" that mandated separate facilities, etc.

All the other kinds of discrimination blacks faced elsewhere (outside of federal service thanks to Woodrow Wilson) may have been racial discrimination, but it wasn't an example of Jim Crow laws, which is why people outside the South didn't sit around wondering if they should repeal their own Jim Crow laws instead of deploying troops to Alabama.

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Well, why don't the police just take the attitude of "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas" regarding minority neighborhoods? Why are they patrolling there since whites don't need to care? Why do Detroit, Atlanta, Baltimore, and Chicago even have police precincts in minority neighborhoods?

Surely pulling the police out will solve all the problems in communities of color. Surely.

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Jim Crow effectively makes black neighborhoods slums/ghettos/whatever you want to call it. Being the kind of place that would very much not like to attract the attention of the police (who enforce Jim Crow), crime finds a place to flourish.

I am pretty sure that Southerners weren't running New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, Seattle, San Francisco, etc. Whatever horrible racist things Democrats were doing elsewhere, it wasn't Jim Crow outside of the South.

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Um, no. Africans had so many different classes of slave that the Wiki goes on forever to try and explain it all. There also wasn't even such a thing as a citizen in 1601. Not even Englishmen had that status. They were just subjects.

On “Don’t Forget: Black Lives Matter

Activists ripped down a statue of Frederick Douglas. Going by what they target, I don't think a person could distinguish BLM from Antifa from the KKK, as if the activists were thinking "pro-slavery, anti-slavery, it's all just slavery!"

It does lend credence to my hypothetical that David Duke hacked all the activists iPhones and is playing them like puppets just to troll us and set race relations back sixty years.

On “They Who Must Not Be Named

They can get rid of the controversy by just changing their logo to a wine-colored Mr. Potato Head. Who doesn't like red skin potatoes?

On “Hollow Rights & Hollow Points

With that stance, you could equally argue that it's important that the state not stop lynch mobs, because lynch mobs are going to lynch and it's better to let a hundred people get lynched than to kill one Klansman.

On “DC Statehood: 68.34 Square Miles of Constitutional Conundrum

I could see that as a good argument to strip New Jersey of statehood and make it part of New York. It's a glorified PATH train stop for New Yorkers that is punching above its weight, why should it even haven one Senator? It's not a real state, it's a giant strip mall.

On “From political reporter Theo Keith: Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has asked President Donald Trump for a federal disaster declaration

The folks hit by a hurricane didn't decide to make a hurricane.

It's kind of like fire insurance. It doesn't cover you if you intentionally set your own house on fire. Similarly, you don't get a free new neighborhood by deciding to burn the old one down.

On “They Who Must Not Be Named

The are calls to rename the New England Patriots because to the virtual signalers, "patriot" now refers to alt-right neo-Nazis. It can't be long before they get rid of the 49ers because they were greedy capitalist exploiters who displaced indigenous people and raped the land in a desperate rush to gain wealth and white privilege.

Regarding Dallas, "cowboy" is a derisive term for black slaves who worked on Texas ranches. That's why the word is "cowboy" instead of "cowman" or some other non-insulting word we'd have coined to refer to whites, like "policeman" and "fireman."

The name "Vikings" also upsets me, as they were a vicious, violent people who robbed, murdered, and enslaved my ancestors. Do we need a team that celebrates a racist pagans with a criminal warrior culture? I think not.

I'm also outraged by the Pittsburgh Pirates, whose name is offensive to everyone who uses BitTorrent.

On “From political reporter Theo Keith: Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has asked President Donald Trump for a federal disaster declaration

I wouldn't give him a dime. It wasn't an act of nature, it was Minneapolis folks setting Minneapolis businesses on fire. I don't see why anyone else should be on the hook for that. Heck, maybe they've formed a cult that wants to have an annual "Let's Torch the City" festival to compete with Burning Man. If so, the festival needs a cover charge big enough to pay for all the fun.

On “Hollow Rights & Hollow Points

Outside of some cases like Syria and Iraq, very few people qualify for asylum, which requires a group or individual to be horribly oppressed by a government. Virtually nobody in the Western hemisphere should qualify for it.

Asylum is for political prisoners and genocide victims, not people wanting to get away from an abusive spouse, a local street gang, or to escape gambling debts.

On “DC Statehood: 68.34 Square Miles of Constitutional Conundrum

One of the issues is that the US doesn't have any city states. If DC can be a state, why can't New York City or Los Angeles? There are no other US cities with their own senator, much less two of them.

On “Hollow Rights & Hollow Points

Six officers were murdered in traffic stops last year, and that's with body armor and following all the paranoid procedures. Three were killed while trying to restrain or handcuff a suspect. The FBI keeps statistics on all that because part of their job is to help police make less mistakes, and to come up with new procedures that will be safer or more effective.
For them, you could categorize it as "workplace safety."

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The problem is that police always bring their gun because of all the cops who've been killed conducting simple traffic stops. A big part of police training is videos of officers who made fatal mistakes.

For example, people are often rather horrified that a police officer will shoot somebody and then handcuff the person as they're bleeding on the ground, instead of rendering immediate aid. That's because there were so many officers who did the latter and got killed because the suspect, though riddled with bullets and obviously not long for this world, still had enough energy to reach into a pocket, pull out a pistol, and kill the officer.

One area where they are trying to improve outcomes is in dealing with mentally ill people. Mentally ill white's are about five times more likely to be killed in a police encounter than mentally ill blacks, so there's been some focus on coming up with better alternatives for handling the typical scenarios. This is your "naked homeless guy with a samurai sword" encounter, and although technically represents a valid use of lethal force in self-defense, obviously could be handled in a better way, such as perhaps with a tranquilizer gun and a net.

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... but we can all clearly see what the common demonimator in these cases really is.

Indeed. Hispanics will shoot armed black people or armed white people at the drop of a hat!

Racial data indicates that black and Hispanic officers are more likely to shoot a black or Hispanic suspect than a white officer is, which makes the purely racial angle highly questionable. However, that bias seems to go away in a county-level analysis that takes into account that high crime black and Hispanic areas also have more black and Hispanic police officers who are more likely to be involved in shootings because of the county's violent crime rates.

On “There Are No Better People

This subthread reads very different when you don't scroll up and assume the bad apples people are talking about are the usual hoodlums who are committing all the violent crimes and property crimes in the neighborhood. "That's why you never go there, and if you do you lock your car doors and drive fast with your fingers crossed, why the property values are in the toilet and the businesses are boarded up. It's just those few bad apples that ruin it for everybody. If the police would just round those up, the neighborhood could experience a Renaissance and enjoy modernity."

But that wasn't this subthread, and that's not the optimistic future we're heading for.

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The motion instructs the LAPD to work with the county’s Department of Mental Health, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority and other government agencies to respond to non-violent incidents, such as drug abuse and incidents related to mental health.

See the derisive social worker meme posted above. One of the reasons we have police respond to drug abuse and mental health cases is that such people may present a threat of serious bodily injury, which is probably why the somebody called the police. The social worker will show up, look at the crazy, and then call the police.

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