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Baitball Blogger

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Current location: Seminole County, Florida
Member since: Sun Mar 18, 2012, 09:16 PM
Number of posts: 40,016

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Let's talk about police procedure.

The main aggravation is police using excessive force. I understand that. But what about under-policing? Like underachieving, under-policing involves using tactics intended to underreport crime. It is the method of choice for areas that are meant to be propped up as desirable places to live. Good for real estate prices. Good to sustain the Potemkin Village Effect.

I thought about this late last night when the police lost interest in the information that I offered that might provide a clue to the whereabouts of a lost dog. The owners can't understand how it happened. The dog is very old and very sick. Hasn't made it pass the driveway in several months. Last night they went out to dinner to celebrate the wife's birthday and when they returned, the dog was gone. They thought maybe it had gone to find a place to die.

With that information, I scoured my security cams looking for signs of a fuzzy pixelated figure moving on the outskirts of the cams that faced the house. Nothing. It is not likely that it came into our development because I was working outside for most of the time that the owners were out to dinner. And my cams have a clear view of the road into the development. Nothing.

It is possible that the dog went into the development next door, but that's when I realized that at that time of the day the number of cars coming into the development spiked as people came home from work. Someone, surely, would have seen the dog. I guess it might still show up at the pound, but this is a small place and it wouldn't have been difficult to connect the dog to the house it belonged.

The one thing that I had was video of a figure moving above the shrub line. Too blurry to I.D. the man who was wearing a hat, but for someone who is very familiar with the landscape, it did appear that he walked out of his driveway and went into the next door house where the dog was staying, reappearing a minute later. You can tell a dog was not walking by his side when he returned, but at that diminutive video size, you can't confirm if he was carrying the dog. There are signs that he adjusted his walk as he returned, the way we do when we lose our grip of something bulky. The one thing I was sure of was that it needed to be looked into.

So, I told the police that the clip would need enhancement to confirm if this was a valid clue. They took the SD, took it to the car and ten-twenty minutes later, they returned with the SD claiming there was no evidence so they didn't need it. I repeated that the video would need to be enhanced - zoomed - but they left it to me to do the work. I have some DUers working on that now.

But here is the thing, they saw the video. They saw the man. They can connect the house he retreated to. And now, they have everything they need to handle the situation through backchannels. This is how it works in good ole boy towns. If they follow the pattern, they will call in the usual network in the community to see if it can be handled diplomatically. The town protects its Potemkin Village image, and the network can continue to inflict anguish and anxiety on the rest of us without worry of reprisals because of their relationship with the city. They need each other.

I'm saying that this style of under-policing should be looked into because it interferes with a fair process that will weed out abusive people from the ranks of community leadership.

Posted by Baitball Blogger | Sat Jul 28, 2018, 02:28 PM (10 replies)

The question of our times:

How can the Republicans claim the high ground when they're fighting from the gutter? They have church ladies saying that only a dirty slob like Trump can defend them from the coming race wars and others thanking Russia for Trump, because Putin kept them safe from Hillary.

WTF!! If nothing else, we can all agree that there is no moral high ground in their churches; no ethical standards from their businessmen and no honor from their Congressmen.

I mean seriously, does anyone believe now that they're capable of following stare decisis? Nothing they do from this point on warrants our trust or respect.

Posted by Baitball Blogger | Mon Jul 23, 2018, 04:29 PM (1 replies)

A lesson that Democrats can learn from our military generals.

If there is one thing that military generals continually harp on whenever the US is attacked by insurgents or a foreign power, it is to strike back swiftly and decisively. Every Democratic president who failed to take this route was taken to the woodshed for this reason: Generals know that if you don't stand up to these hostile actions, they will only escalate. If history is a lesson, any escalation is put on the shoulders of the president who did not retaliate.

Clinton was reamed for this for the Black Hawk down incident, even though he tried to bring it to the attention of the public. When he tried to point our attention to that side of the world, the Republicans diluted his resolve by launched a wag the dog strategy, claiming that Clinton was just trying to take our attention from his Lewinsky problem. Clinton buckled, because he did tend to wait for public opinion from both parties. He was a Centrist president. And for that measured response, history, as it will be remembered by Republicans, is that Al Qaeda were given an early, hidden victory.

Eight months into the Bush II presidency, we were hit with 9/11. Who got blamed for this? Clinton, because the Generals claimed that he did not put Al Qaeda down earlier.

And, here it gets interesting. What did Bush II do? He made a decisive attack -- against the wrong people! But that didn't matter. He was applauded for taking action.

The sad truth is that Republicans don't know one dark people from another. I know this personally, because I know someone who lost a son in 9/11. It was a massive loss. There is just no way that I can give proper due to what she felt, and how she overcame that loss, if she did at all. However, decades later, when we discussed the military response from the U.S., and I mentioned that Bush attacked the wrong country her response was, "At least he did something."

That's when I understood how Bush had used the loss, sorrow and pain from the 9/11 survivors for his own purpose. He took us into a wrong-minded war, and Republicans would applaud him for it and demonize the rest of us for questioning his decision. They just do not have a cultural reference point to differentiate between one dark skinned country from another.

Bush II would never be held accountable for his massive mistake -- or from interfering with a proper vetting that would have helped us focus on the Taliban and bin-Laden earlier. The Bushes were allowed to protect their Saudi Arabia alliances, and the division in the American people grew because the facts were never laid out clearly for everyone to see.

Lean Forward. That was the policy that President Obama would use in relation to the Iraq War. He walked away from holding Bush-Cheney responsible. Yes, at least he got bin Laden, but the division between the American people grew because we were allowed to walk away with a different set of facts.

It should not be a surprise that we have great divisions in our country. Simply, Republicans can create their own reality. Democrats just go along with it. It has been that way since the Fairness Doctrine was abolished. Republicans will change the rules where it suits them, and ignore them when they can't and the Democratic leadership does not hold them accountable. The right will cheat, spread propaganda to their supporters and the Democratic leaders always, always opt for civility in response. It is a pattern that has set in because we have not decisively retaliated with a massive counter-offense to stop them. That is the lesson we should learn from our military generals.

For better or for worse, the counter-offensive seems to be generating from the grassroots. Democratic voters all across this county have finally given up on the leadership to lead. I see this because there is a noticeable uptick in the number of ordinary citizens who are standing up to Republican public figures like McConnell and Sanders. They are standing up to them because no one in the Democratic leadership seems to do it. These ordinary citizens see the unfairness that is going on, and they are saying, Enough.

I suggest that we make it very obvious that we know that Republicans have crossed the line. We should pitch in money for a campaign ad that will highlight the facts as we see them. We need a new way to get our point of view through the red firewall of the right-wing media. The message we send should be clear: No, the end does not justify the means in our Republic. When we catch you gaming the system, anything that is decided by your Republican triumvirate is not valid.
Posted by Baitball Blogger | Wed Jul 11, 2018, 07:30 AM (0 replies)

The things I learned, living in America. Or observations of a Right-wing community.

I'm not originally from here. I was an American born in another country. I moved here to attend college and stayed to live out the adult years in Central Florida, where I watched the last few decades unfold. So, appraising my childhood indoctrination and expectations as an American child living abroad, these are the things that my parents taught us that have not served us well in our adult life:

(1a) We were taught that no one is above the law. It's not true. There are some people who have learned to use donations and networks to cement good relationships and associations with the right people. It not only helps them get out of trouble, but it may also encourage them to push things outside the boundary of civility. This has been going on for so long that now we can see the next step develop as they feel emboldened to codify this right into law for the president.

(1b) A corollary to the first observation is that you can steal things. But you have to learn how to steal it fair and square. In other words, you have to have people that you can count on to vouch for you and watch your back. It helps to hold a prominent position on a community board because most people will refuse to believe that you'll use your position for personal gain, since surely, someone in authority will remove you if you abuse your position. But it never happens that way. No one comes. There is no 24th cavalry, or no self-regulating law organization that will step in to protect us. What we find is that there is a segment of the population who believes that abuse of power is a perk of the position. In this climate, a corrupt leader can always count on support in this population because these people know from experience that there are benefits to becoming willing soldiers. This is how co-conspirators are created. They become handy, because they can ward off criticism by vouching for your stellar reputation and mention your military service to remind everyone that your word and reputation is above reproach. At a local level it is easy to get away with the "stealing things fair and square" because no one takes fiduciary responsibility seriously.

In case you haven't connected the dots, this social dynamic is happening on the national level. A small percentage of the public is supporting and vouching for a crooked leader, and the majority is helplessly watching. I have only seen this dynamic broken once at a local level. It required filling up city hall and a new face came to the mic and called the good ole boys on their bullshit.

(2) Protect your children from the neighbors. Many of us grew up ready to pay the consequences if a neighbor found fault with our behavior. Of all the things that my parents taught me, this is the one I regret the most. We would have faced severe punishment from our parents if a neighbor tattled on us. It may have made sense when we lived in a nurturing community, but in a right-wing community you are making your family vulnerable. I would tell young parents who live in hard right communities that you need to be prepared to stand up to anyone who disciplines your child without your permission. The reason is obvious. The world is getting more hostile, and people may take advantage of this antiquated, old village community concept, where everyone was forced to take the adult's version of what happened. Autocratic right-wingers know you're moving into their communities with these social beliefs and will take advantage of that indoctrination. The worst of them will take out their aggression towards you on your children. This is something that most people won't understand if they're under 55 years of age, but it was very different when we were growing up. So, especially if your neighbors are hard right, give your children the benefit of the doubt.

(3) In a right-wing community, people do discriminate against those they cannot control. It seems odd that every American claims they are fighting for the Constitution, but the social structure that controls local community decisions is not democratic and could not withstand a sharp audit of the Fourteenth Amendment. It's appalling. Equal Protection and Due Process of Law are nuisances which the right ignores on a local and state level. And now we're seeing the right brutalizing the Fourteenth Amendment with Trump policies.

In essence, America is a little less American than the way I viewed it back when I was a child. Our parents should have taught us to be less trusting, and to recognize that there are two tracks in America. The fast track has access to backdoors, where the powers that be use inducements or bribery to curry support for their causes. It is a profitable shortcut and once they are in, they're in for life.

I often think of the children who grow up in these households. Why would they ever show any tolerance for a fairly functioning government when they know there are rewards in the back channels that intentionally skirt procedure? They grow up learning how to be devious, feigning shock and dismay when they are not received with civility from the ordinary populace while they co-conspire with like-minded souls in private meetings. In essence, Republicans.

Revision History:

First revision to include Observation 1b.
Second revision to tie in the parallels between local right-wing communities and what we're seeing on a national level.
Posted by Baitball Blogger | Mon Jul 2, 2018, 08:23 PM (3 replies)
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