Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude

Editors Note: Almost all of this blog was written on Sunday as Monday is Ben’s first day in Pre-school and Dave is basically a basket case today.

156008_10204565166833749_4750051716562253101_n_croppedThanks again to all the fine folks out in Wood Colony. We had a great time, with LOTS OF FUN THINGS TO DO, INTERESTING THINGS TO SEE, and great people to talk to as a part of a show that we will bring to you in October (the 16th to be precise), when I have to take two days off for some surgery that Cami is having. We learned that we have a whole bunch of listeners who farm, and we are very glad about that and happy to do what we can to support them and the good people of Wood Colony who have made it clear that what they want is to be left out of the sphere of the City of Modesto’s government. But trust me, you are more than welcome to go and see them and enjoy the bounty that they produce.

Obviously the Ferguson story CONTINUES TO CHANGE AND GROW by the moment. It seems now that the Administration had asked the local Police to not release the video that appears to show Michael Brown and his friend strong armed robbing a convince store of cigars shortly before the encounter with the officer. Questions are swirling as to why the Administration would want that video suppressed, but given their standard view that has been shown for the past six years, it should be obvious. On the other hand, it is HIGHLY unlikely that the Officer was aware of the robbery when he met Brown a few moments later. The robbery – as alleged, may speak to Browns’ character, but in all likelihood had little to do with the shooting. But the video – if it is him – shows that he is not, as the narrative goes, some “gentle giant.” The person in that video is clearly a jerk and used to throwing his weight around and using his size to intimidate. That video – to me – speaks as loudly as anything else about the state of the culture in Ferguson, MO. Coupled with the continued rioting even after the State Police seemed to back off and allow the rioting to continue, says – to me – that there is a whole lot of “don’t give a damn” there.

I continue to believe that there are two, now perhaps even three, separate stories coming from Ferguson. First, the Michael Brown incident, which we are unlikely to have a complete picture of for some time, and even when we do, half of the country won’t believe. Second the riots, their underlying cause, which was NOT the shooting, and the people/organizations involved. I am starting to add a third, which is the over-aching belief from some corner that the Police have become over-militarized. Add to that the CHANGE IN ATTITUDES TOWARD LAW ENFORCEMENT and you have a recipe for a huge and passionate argument with little room for facts getting in the way of opinions. It’s the “chicken and the egg argument.” Did the Police militarize in response to worsening attitudes or did the attitudes start when the Police over-militarized? Given that Police Chiefs and Sheriffs around the Country regularly go to Washington, D.C. to lobby for what they need, how likely is Congress to abandon the 1033 program of allowing Departments to purchase surplus military equipment?

In late August of 1765 the people of New England (and the Colonies as a whole) began a protest over the Stamp Act which eventually forced Parliament to relent. On August 23rd, Newport, RI will be holding a COMMEMORATION OF THE STAMP ACT PROTEST which could just be another “old white guy history moment,” or it could show us that the power to initiate change begins with the people. What if the people of this nation told Congress to STOP arming Police Departments with surplus military gear?

I want to be clear and put down my lines right now. In THE MODESTO DONUT WARS I am on the side of the LOCAL business, not the corporate giant, even though they have pretty good coffee. #buylocal #buymodesto

The inevitable fallout of the Ebola infecting Health Care professionals is LESS DOCTORS AND NURSES IN THE AFFECTED AREAS, meaning that there is more spread of the Ebola.

San Joaquin County is officially STILL ON THE FENCE REGARDING the water bond.

Texas Governor Rick Perry was INDICTED BY A GRAND JURY on Friday last for “abuse of power,” although it appears more of a case of the criminalization of politics. The problem here is that anytime the Party out of power doesn’t like the politics, they can get a Grand Jury to indict (See this episode of Constitution Thursday for a discussion of the misuse of Grand Juries) and Presto! Instant political scandal! TV ads will proclaim that such and such politician or his/her supporter was “indicted by a Grand Jury,” with virtually no Americans having a true understanding of what that actually means or the process by which it happened. To wit, see the media fawn itself over the Rick Perry indictment. The truth is that there is most likely nothing in this political dispute that has been turned into  crime. The most likely outcome is that the case will be dismissed on the grounds that it (the charge) violates the 1st Amendment.


Posted on August 18, 2014, in News & Notes and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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