Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Scientists are the Prophets When it Comes to Global Warming

   The scientists are the prophets, this time. I think of the stories of prophets warning of calamities, only to be mocked and dismissed and ridiculed. I'm thinking, it sounds a lot like what is happening with global warming.
   It is like a story from the scriptures, except, like I say, it is the scientists who are making the warnings.
   I shake my head in disbelief at what is going on. The planet is in jeopardy, according to the scientists. They are warning against it. And, the people are dismissing them, mocking them -- even getting angry with them.
   Sounds a lot like something out of the scriptures.

Voters are the Motors

Voters are the motors. They are the engines of democracy.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Chief Putney was Correct in Holding off on Releasing Video Footage

  I believe Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney did the right thing in holding back for a time on releasing video footage of the shooting, that is, supposing the reason was that witnesses were yet to be interviewed.
   Had the witnesses not first been interviewed, their testimonies of what they saw might have been tainted by saw in the video. You want their testimonies to be of what they saw, what they witnessed, no more.
   Once their testimonies were on file, then the video could be released. I don't know waiting for the witnesses to be released is why the video footage was not released early, but I suppose that the reason.

Friday, September 23, 2016

We have Entered the Day of the Armchair Jury

   We enter, then, the age of the armchair jury. With the advent of videos, and in a day when virtually anyone can take them, and with police cams, much of justice is evident to all.
  I heard a news commentator denouncing someone for saying someone should be convicted in one of the police-involved shooting cases. They suggested it is wrong to make such a judgment before the trial has even taken place. I do not know that I agree. Although the whole of the story is not told in most of the videos, they often catch much of what has happened. The videos sometimes do offer enough that you can begin to come to a judgment, as to whether what happened was just. Nor do I think it wrong to have an opinion, or to express it, when you view a video.

Did You Say Private Intelligence Services? Why do We need them?

   A report that the U.S. is contracting for "intelligence analysis service" in Syria draws my surprise. What? With all the intelligence agencies the U.S. has, there is need for a private contractor?
   The Daily Beast reported in a Aug. 8 post that Six3 Intelligence Solutions Inc., out of McLean, Virginia, is providing the "intelligence analysis service."
  And, if I am surprised at so much as one incidence of a private contractor doing intelligence work, then it adds to my surprise to read how, "The intelligence community is particularly reliant on contractors today." (The source for that? David Isenberg, author of Shadow Force: Private Security contractors in Iraq.)
  I wonder on all this, on the need for private intelligence services. Why do we do this? What can they provide that the CIA or some other agency cannot provide?
   I do not know the answer. Maybe there is a good one. I find myself wondering, though, if it all comes down to a combination between someone in government with someone seeking to make a buck.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Are there Times When Fear Should not be Given Free Rein?

   I do not believe Terence Crutcher should have been killed. But, should it turn out that Officer Betty Shelby feared he was reaching for a gun, many of us will conclude the shooting was justified. I believe fear must have its limits. Of course I believe the officer should defend him or herself. But, are there limits?
   Are there times when fear should not be given free rein?

We should Study what the Officers are Taught, and What they Believe

   We are not investing these police violence shootings adequately. Indeed, in one way, hardly even begin to investigate them.
   If we would know why the officer pulled the trigger, perhaps we should go back, in each incident, and study what the officer was taught, and what his friends and fellow officers believed should be done. When do you pull the trigger? And, what had the officer -- him or herself -- confided to others on their feelings as to when you pull the trigger.
   Such studies would lend to understanding better the problem we have. Do you pull the trigger if the detainee is resisting your orders? Do you always assume the detainee could be reaching for a weapon if he goes to his pocket, or his vest, or reaches inside his car? And, if the answer to that must be yes, then do you always shoot him dead in such cases?
   We should be studying what our officers were taught, what they believed, and then we should be asking ourselves if these are correct things to be believing and if they are correct principles in determining whether to kill people.