Sunday, December 14, 2014

Hollywood hypocrisy is not news, folks

As I was browsing through my favorite blogs, I stumbled across a link on "Geez"s blog written by Juan Williams ( THIS) pertaining to the Hollywood unflattering emails that were hacked and published recently. 

The main beef I have with Juan, who is a relatively reasonable guy most of the time (for a liberal), is that on several occasions within his article, he clearly stated that conservatives were justified in feeling a sense of Schadenfreude - the joy felt in watching the misfortunes of others - at the blatant hypocrisy of these Hollywood moguls.

Nothing could be farther from the truth: no conservative worth his or her salt could possibly have this kind of reaction to these recent revelations on the thought processes present in the Hollywood elite.

The fact is that we all know this is how these guys think.  It's nothing new, it's 'dog bites man,' and not the other way around. Why on earth would anyone get a feeling of joy at these Hollywood liberals squirming in their moment of lucidity?

I think Juan Williams' point is that since their raging hypocrisy is now on display, there will be accountability on their part to change, to atone for their sins, to become better people.  Accordingly, the conservative cause will have gained merit, and the liberals will have lost some mojo because of this kerfuffle.  

HA.  Fat chance.  None of that will happen.  These liberal moguls will continue to fund liberal causes, produce liberal movies and do liberal things just like nothing happened.  No accountability will reduce any of their activities, no face will have been lost for the liberal philosophy, life will go on exactly as it has before.

Why would conservatives be joyful over essentially nothing?  Nobody is taking this little episode to heart, and changing things in their lives: there is absolutely no chance that some of the clueless out there are suddenly going to read the National Enquirer and declare: "did you read this about those Hollywood hypocrites, Marge?  By golly, they are rotten to the bone saying those things, I think I will stop believing them and their liberal views.  I am never voting for another liberal ever again, and I am now going to vote conservative, Marge.  C'mon, Marge, let's go register as Republicans...."

Like that's going to happen? In a pig's eye.   Juan couldn't be more wrong about this Schadenfreude on behalf of conservatives.  

Sunday, December 7, 2014

U.S. justice system is frayed and tattered

You can't turn on the TV anymore without seeing mobs of angry protesters throwing bricks through Starbucks and 7/11 convenience store windows.

It's not that these angry mobs are irritated that Starbucks charges $5 for a cup of coffee, or that 7/11 charges $4 for a dozen eggs.  

These mobs are lashing out at a system that is fraying and tattered: it takes months and sometimes years to have a legitimate court case adjudicated.  Policemen are getting ruder and more volatile in virtually everything they get involved in.  Simply watch the video of 5 police goons tackling, subduing and arresting Eric Garner for the heinous crime of selling individual cigarettes - a legal product in the land of the free and home of the brave.  5 police officers, count 'em.

And the mobs don't like that image, not that these angry mobs are the epitome of virtue, goodness and righteousness themselves.


In my opinion (of which I have many and of which are all rock solid and correct, just ask me, and I will tell you so), it is not hard to put the finger on what the root cause of all of this indignation: the justice system is swamped with activity.  It is overwhelmed with people wanting perfect justice.  And most of the people who make up these angry mobs are not removed from the root cause, either. 

When an angry woman calls 911 when a Port St. Lucy, Florida McDonalds Restaurant runs out of Chicken McNuggets, the system begins to fail.  When a McDonald's restaurant serves a woman scalding hot coffee and she spills it in her lap, sues and winds up with a jury verdict awarding her millions of dollars, the beginning of the end is upon us.  

We as a nation are guilty of demanding a Supreme Court decision on every little dispute, and we all want our neighbors clapped in irons, frog marched over to a police cruiser and taken downtown, and ultimately thrown into a federal prison because their neighbor committed the gross injustice of owning a dog that dug up their begonias. 

This is where we begin to see things run amok.  We sue everybody for every little thing.  Lawyers are everywhere, suing the pants off of everybody for the smallest of grievances. There is no end to the complaints that we process against our neighbors.

This is just one of the ways in which we swamp our system of justice.  And the other has become quite obvious as well: our police force is simply understaffed and under qualified to deal with what our society now expects out of them.

We are an educated society, so much so that we demand that our public schools hire only 4 year college graduates to teach our kindergarten students to finger paint.  You think I am exaggerating, think again.  Nowhere in the land of the free and the home of the brave, not one U.S. state will allow anyone without a bonafide four year college degree from an accredited four year college in front of a group of public school kindergarten kids to lead a class in finger painting.  Not one.  Anywhere.  

AND YET:  we issue hand guns, shot guns, assault rifles, tasers, billy clubs, and an assortment of deadly weapons to virtual kids with only a high school diploma, pin a badge on their lapel and call them a policeman.  Sometimes these high school graduates might have some college (aka college drop outs), and in a tiny, minuscule number of instances, some police have college degrees.

Armed with a high school diploma and an assault rifle, along with a billy club, we send these guys out on calls from the public to resolve an untold myriad of complaints.  It is not possibly reasonable to expect these kids to be all of the following: psychologist, marital counselor, hostage negotiator, soldier, business arbitrator, and even at times judge, jury and executioner when a fatality occurs with their involvement in the use of deadly force. 

The solutions to our fraying and sputtering justice system are simple, but elusive:  we need to change the justice system in two major areas: 1) loser pays court costs always, and 2) all police agents who are given authority to use lethal force have college degrees.

1)  Tort Reform.  When frivolous lawsuits are brought before judges, it bogs down the system with back logs stretching out for years.  If every little beef is processed through the system without cost to the plaintiff, there is no restraint to the number of beefs admitted onto the dockets and we get what we have now: chaos in the justice system.  Once a plaintiff understands that if they lose, they are hammered with the court costs involved,  which are substantial, only the most egregious of beefs will be prosecuted.  Problem solved.

2)  Upgrade police force requirements.  When high school kids, many of them college drop outs, are sent on calls to potentially arrest a perp, we see what we get (Eric Garner case): bad judgement.  The guy should have been issued a ticket at most.  Maybe not even that.  Terrible judgement by a gang of Wyatt Earp wannabes.  I do not have the information on all of these 5 arresting cops in the Eric Garner case, but I would wager an enormous amount of money that not one of them had a college degree.  Not one, and their judgement clearly shows this. Yes, they were trained on subduing a perp.  But they were clearly NOT trained as to when and under what circumstances to use this authorized force. 

Obtaining a college degree is not the end-all and be-all in obtaining a semblance of judgement, but it certainly goes far.  It takes the following to complete a four year degree at an accredited four year college: 

  • Resources, either from a stable family or a municipal entity which sponsors your candidacy.  These resources are only available from stable factors that invoke that same stability in their candidates.  
  • Respect for authority, and this is a critical factor in the composition of the character of the candidate, for if there is no respect for their professors, administrators or institutions of higher learning, they will have little or no respect for their ultimate charges (the general public) once they are conferred with any power over another.
  • Work ethic, something that many non-graduates do not have. You have to show up for classes, whether you feel like it or not.  You have to study for your tests and do your homework, regardless of what parties and ski trips you will be missing. You have to sacrifice to achieve your educational goals. 
  • Tolerance of high levels of frustration.  Slogging though four years of high stress and expensive college classes is not a cake walk, regardless of your major.  You will be forgoing full time wages, and accordingly will not be in any way affluent (starving student syndrome).  You will have to work on group projects with sluggos who drag your group performance down, and you have to resist the urge to purge these slugs from your midst with nefarious and nasty means.  You have to work with all forms of disagreeable people around you, to include class mates, instructors and administrators.  
Simply put, our justice system is in need of overhaul.  The police force nationwide is understaffed by largely unqualified personnel who are asked to perform duties that are unarguably beyond their abilities to adequately perform.

Our courts are swamped with frivolous beefs that should be dealt with outside the justice system, and only the most egregious cases are adjudicated in the municipal courts.

Until this happens, we are going to see our frayed and tattered justice system get more frayed and more tattered, and the mobs at our doors will start to turn ugly.  Once these mobs start creeping outwards from their mostly urban confinements and into suburban environs, things could get very, very ugly.