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Posts Tagged ‘Social Justice

The Five Pillars

No, not the Seven Pillars of Wisdom, the autobiographical account of the experiences of Lawrence of Arabia.

This one involves much less wisdom. So much so that it’s likely that there is no wisdom at all involved.

This is the grand plan of Chicago Democrat Mayor, Lori Lightfoot, to combat the increasing violence in Chicago this year even as the CPD find themselves on the back foot with mass retirements, funding cuts and prescriptive restrictions on how they interact with criminals.

  • Empower and heal those actively engaged in violence, whether victims or perpetrators.
  • Reclaim neighborhoods and safe spaces by directing resources to neighborhoods with most violence.
  • Improve relations between police and communities “by developing credibility, trust and authentic relationships.”
  • Consider the impact of ordinances and laws on violence and advocate for policies that will increase support for those impacted.
  • Constant collaboration, proactive planning and coordinated efforts between the city and … the justice system, community groups and private companies.

So how’s this approach been working out for the city?

As expected. At best things have not improved on 2020 and may turn out worse. Clearly the city’s District Attorney, Kim Foxx, is starting to (finally) feel the heat over all those people she’s refused to prosecute on gun laws and such, although rather than front up she sent out a minion who specialises in spin. However, after starting with a bang even he had to admit the obvious:

A top advisor to Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx told reporters last month that it’s a “misconception” to say gun violence is skyrocketing in Chicago. “2020 did have a lot of shootings in it,” Matthew Saniie, Foxx’s chief data officer, said. “But it’s also important to put this into perspective.”

“2020 was a pretty gross year for murder,” Saniie allowed. “June and July were the worst June and Julies that we’ve had going back 60 years…May was the 2nd worst May. September was the sixth-worst September.

Saniie told the reporters that there is no reliable data regarding the number of shootings from more than ten years ago. So, he looked at murder data, which goes back several decades instead.

“A good proxy for shootings is murder,” Saniie claimed.

But as the CWB pointed out:

But is it a good proxy? The city’s population has declined 25% over the past sixty years, 20% since 1970, and 11% since 1980. But Saniie did not adjust historical murder counts for population changes.

Here in New Zealand we don’t have the gun crime problems that Chicago has, but the thinking behind the Five Pillars approach is coming to New Zealand, if not already here in Andrew Little’s head. I expect it will have a similar failure.

Written by Tom Hunter

August 3, 2021 at 6:00 am

Grateful and Ungrateful

I don’t know about you but I’ve never walked into a hardware store like Mitre10 or Bunnings and thought to myself how beautiful it is, or that some parts are like a carnival.

But then I’m not from Cuba, whereas the guy in this video is and it documents his first ever visit to a Home Depot store in the USA.

Watching it I’m reminded of a scene from the 1980’s movie Moscow on the Hudson, where Robin Williams, playing a Soviet circus musician who defects during a US tour, is so overwhelmed by his first experience of supermarket shopping that he faints.

Little ordinary things that we all just take for granted in Western democratic capitalist nations.

On the other hand there’s this video from San Francisco that has gone viral in the last few days. It shows a shoplifter just blatantly filling up a garbage bag with stuff from a Walgreens store in daylight and right in front of a security guard, who simply videos the whole event. When the thief cycles out of the place, the guard does make a half-hearted grab for the bag but fails.

The woman beside the guard is also videoing the theft and asks about calling the cops on 911. However, arresting the man would be a waste of time since San Francisco has implemented a policy of not charging shoplifters if they steal less than $950, which has produced daily scenes in the city like this one, as shown in the rest of the video.

The inevitable happened when Walgreens recently closed seventeen of its stores in the city, but blatant shoplifting like this has become a common feature of other large, Democrat-controlled cities as well.

Written by Tom Hunter

June 20, 2021 at 3:04 pm

These Six Simple Steps will increase crime

You too can have violent crime like this if you do the following:

  1. Defund the police so that they have to reduce staff and policing activities.
  2. Make it clear that it’s the Police who are the problem, thereby causing officers to quit in large numbers before they become the next scapegoat to political ambition, and severely restrict the policing they do, both of which reinforce step 1.
  3. Have District Attorneys (DA’s) with policies to reduce prison populations by releasing long-term convicted prisoners, including those convicted of violent crime.
  4. Have DA’s release people just arrested by police (no cash bail and so forth), as well as dropping charges against them, especially if they’re BLM or Antifa protestors.
  5. Reduce the thresholds for “minor” crime, like refusing to prosecute unless it’s more than $900-$1000 of theft.
  6. Vote Democrat Party politicians into power in all positions and levels in your city for decades, because One Party control has always worked before.

I should add that there is a seventh step:

Make sure you have an MSM willing to cover your Democrat backside on all this until things become too awful to ignore and then report on it as a surprising new piece of unexpected news.

The Democrat Cities: Seattle

A few months ago I had a lot of fun covering the Antifa morons who decided to create their own society – CHAZ/CHOP – within the confines of the city of Seattle, and were allowed to do so by the even bigger Leftist Democrat morons who run that city.

Antifa should have just stuck with beating people up, smashing stuff and burning shit down because building things is not within their mindset or skillset. CHAZ was breaking down on basic things like food within days. However it managed to last for about six weeks until their “security teams” murdered a couple of people, starting with a young kid named Horace Lorenzo Anderson, who was yet another Black Life that didn’t matter to Burn Loot Murder:

“All I know is my son is dead. I’m still trying to figure out answers so I can sleep. I don’t sleep. My kids don’t sleep. I can’t even stay at home. My kids, they feel like they are unsafe at home. I’ve been buying motel rooms and I don’t have that type of money. I wasn’t prepared for this...

This doesn’t look like a protest to me no more,” said Anderson. “That just looks like they just took over and said we can take over whenever we want to.” [….] Anderson, to the contrary, says that if the city cannot break up the protest alone, officials should bring in the National Guard. “They should deployed them here to say ‘Man, it’s time to go,’” Anderson said. ” ‘It’s time to move on. And break this up.’”

So much for Mayor Jenny’s dopey “Summer of Love”. However, even that murder did not push her to take action.

<= This did.

So having her precious ass and property on the line turned out to be the tipping point. Good to know while being entirely unsurprising. As the noted historian of the USSR, Robert Conquest, had it with his first law of politics:

Everyone is conservative about what he knows best.

She sent the cops in and they shut down CHAZ/CHOP. In the end it was all quite peaceful, with the cops, many on bicycles, sweeping all before them, as though the inhabitants had already given up.

CHAZ Emperor Raz

No word on exactly what caused the former CHAZ “emperor”, Raz Simone, to be in tears in this photo as one of those arrested.

Perhaps, he was weeping because there were no more worlds to conquer.

Not that it was going to help the city recover much, as these photos of yet another plywood Democrat downtown show. Incidentally that blog post by a well known local TV weather forecaster, resulted in this:

Update: Because of this blog, my weekly weather segment on NPR radio station KNKX has been cancelled permanently. The KNKX statement has misleading information, with claims that are demonstrably untrue.

Thou shalt not embarrass thy Democrat masters. And that goes for the Police Chief as well. Enraged by the collapse of their utopia the Antifa/BLM mob decided do to the Chief what they’d done to the mayor. That Chief Best is a Black, female liberal who supports police reform and peaceful protests calling for such reform mattered not. But she had criticised the vandalism, arson, and rioting, which is exactly what you expect of a Police Chief, and that was enough for the mob.

Neighbors told the Lynnwood Times that some of their private information has been publicly disclosed on social media and they are afraid for their safety…

“They were very organized. They had radios, talking to each other. They had numbers they used to decal all their cars for who knows what. So, they were identifying all their vehicles individually by number. They came with a mission…”

[They] “shouted profanity and insults, took license plate information on vehicles, took pictures of homes, and asked little kids who lived in the neighborhood what schools they attended.

Of course they did. This is not a civil rights protest, and it’s not about George Floyd. It’s intimidation, straight up: tactics direct from the Sturmabteilung. The good news is that Best’s neighbours pushed back, demanding to see what was in the duffle bags being carried by many of the BLM/Antifa crowd, and blocking them from getting to her house.

The same crap was seen in Madison, Wisconsin at about the same time when Sheriff Dave Mahoney got the same “personalised” treatment., and that was despite all his efforts at being Woke and faithfully following in the footsteps of his Democrat mayor as she kowtowed to Burn Loot Murder. As one commentator noted:

It’s a message. It says “We know where you live and you can’t stop us. This time flowers. Next time gunfire and molotov cocktails.”  That’s the message to the sheriff.

Simiarly, reports out of Chicago are that none other than the Mayor’s office have allowed the cops there to start covering up their name tags because Antifa/BLM have been doxxing them and their families. Clearly it’s a nationwide strategy being followed by these “unorganised” groups.

In response Best wrote a letter called on the city council to “stand up for what is right” and to take action to prevent “mob rule”, although it should be noted that this is very different language than she used in an earlier letter to Seattle businesses telling them they were basically on their own when the mob came.

In the end however, it was not such things that got her, but plain old conventional politics. Even in the face of objections by Seattle’s idiot Mayor Durkin, the City Council voted to cut the Police budget by 14%, and Best “retired”. The cuts will cause police numbers to drop by up to 100 jobs via layoffs and attrition, but the number will likely be higher as Best is going to be followed by the same wave of police retirements that are happening in New York, Chicago, Portland, Minneapolis, Baltimore and other Democrat cities that have allowed Burn Loot Murder/Antifa to run riot and not backed their police.

In other words, Antifa and Burn Loot Murder have won. Residents of the city of Seattle have lost.

Best was the first Black woman to lead the Seattle Police Department. She served the force for 28 years. I think she has a better understanding of how to protect Black lives than do the mostly White members of the mob that marched on her house. And of course they’re never satisfied: the news of the budget cuts were met with demands for a complete defunding.

Sadly there’s worse to come, and from inside. Seattle has an effort underway that will likely exceed, over time, even all this damage, courtesy of their own Human Resources training.

As with the other Democrat cities of the USA, this will not end well.

The lamps are going out


The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our life-time”,
 
That famous remark was made in 1914 by British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey, as Britain was about to descend into the European hell of WWI. But extinguishing those lamps required a continent-wide conflict of warring nation-states involving millions of men and vast amounts of ammunition and explosives to destroy buildings, bridges, roads, railways, power stations, towns and cities.
Venezuela has become only the second nation in the world to demonstrate that the same thing can be achieved merely by a special combination of Socialist ideology and brainless, corrupt leadership. And as usual they refused to accept the perfectly forseeable consequences of all this.


Now, for all my hammering of Socialism, the facts are that the USSR, China and other clunking Far Left dinosaurs did manage to keep the lights on across their nations, even as they murdered and starved vast numbers of their subjects and their infrastructure famously fell into disrepair over the decades. 

There have also been so-called Bolivarian Revolutions happening in Latin America for decades now, and they also did not crash the electrical grids.

North Korea was the closest thing to a Black Hole on Earth, but even that was more a matter of not building much of a power grid in the first place.

Venezuela did build one: a perfectly good, First World, electrical network that operated well for decades. It took twenty years, but Chavez Socialism killed it, with much the same factors that applied in the destruction of its oil industry; nationalisation, treating it as a Golden Goose for whom profit did not matter, and hence running down the spending required for maintenance and retaining the technical workers and management required to run the system, together with the pressure of substituting political cronies in their place who would follow political instructions rather than those disgusting private sector practices.

It all came to a grinding halt on Thursday, March 7 this year, when the entire nation lost grid power. Isolated pockets driven by generators continued, but even they couldn’t last, given the shortage of fuel. The right-hand photo is March 8.

The main pack of lights you see on the right-hand side of each picture are the Orinoco oil fields, where of course there was enough fuel to run generators, and which have that sort of backup as a matter of course. Given this detail from the Twitter feed of Anatoly Kurmanaev, a reporter living in Venezuela, things were not about to get fixed any time soon:

There are no skilled operators left there to restart [the Guri substation]. No one is cutting grass or maintaining fire breaks under the trunkline.

Rather than the nonsense put out by the government about Imperialist Yankee Sabotage, the problems are this sort of pretty basic stuff that’s not getting done, as noted by a US-based reinsurance expert:

The latest attempt led to the explosion of a secondary substation near Guri on Saturday.
“Every time they attempt to restart, they fail and the disruption breaks something else in the system, destabilizing the grid yet further,” said Mr. Aguilar. “Obviously, they are hiding something from us,” he said of the government.

Well duh! Power was finally restored (sort of) to many areas on March 14. And of course there are downstream effects from losing grid power:

Caracas began going dry Monday as Venezuela’s power crisis put utilities out of commission, risking supplies for 5.5 million people, many of whom found themselves reduced to carrying buckets of filthy river water.

Hospitals were the other main infrastructure hit by all this, but ordinary people still trying to run their businesses get screwed as well.

It’s not surprising that there was another major national blackout on 22 July, nor was the government’s response:

“Those who’ve systematically attacked the noble people of Venezuela in all kinds of ways will once again be confronted with the mettle and courage that we, the children of our liberator Simón Bolívar, have demonstrated in the face of difficulties.”

I’m surprised that the infamous “Wreckers” of Socialist history have not been introduced into this. Who’s next? Trotskyites? Still, the government has one key competence left, as demonstrated when those water gathering peons began assembling a small protest, banging pots and pans while shouting, “We want water and electricity”:

Members of the national guard, which is deployed to suppress internal dissent, showed up in riot gear to disperse them.

Of course. Trained by the Cubans too, who are reported to have thousands of “advisors” deployed in the country. But Maduro’s not as smart as Chavez and Castro in keeping his high rolling lifestyle away from the eyes of the plebs, hence this video.

Look at Maduro in that clip. Well-fed. Huge jowels. Fancy suit. A big cigar for the classic Caudillo as he sits down to eat the finest steak served by a famous Turkish chef. 

Is Maduro not the very picture of a Capitalist Pig that the Left constantly portray as their enemies? Does that look like someone who knows how to run a country, including its electrical and oil industries? Or does it look like the classic uncaring, troughing member of the upper-crust who dines well, while his people starve?

It only needs Squealer to complete the picture. 

Like Hong Kong, I don’t think there is any solution to this now for the people, beyond simple escape, as described in a National Public Radio piece earlier this year:

The U.N. estimates that it’s upwards of 3 million people who have left. Now remember, this is a country of 30 million people. There are areas which are completely empty.

There is still talk about Venezuela “collapsing” and something good emerging from it, but that seems unlikely. In all practical aspects of daily life the nation has already collapsed. Their embrace of Castro-style socialism has left a modern nation with the largest oil reserves in the world completely in the dark to starve. In a chicken-and-egg situation they don’t even have the energy to extract the oil to refine for portable generators. It is a godawful spectacle, a humanitarian disaster, and a political lesson for the region and the world.

Not that the correct lessons will be learned. If Chavez had simply beefed up their social welfare systems and increased taxes on the oil and electrical industries, on other businesses, and even on “the rich” to pay for it – then it would have been a perfectly conventional Western Left solution. Even I would not have a big problem with it as Social Democracy. Hell, that’s us and most of the West, including the USA. I might argue that it leads to poor results, but not disasters.

But that’s not what happened, even as Chavez himself denied what it would become in the desire of what it could be:

We have to re-invent socialism. It can’t be the kind of socialism that we saw in the Soviet Union, but it will emerge as we develop new systems that are built on cooperation, not competition.

Said Rosa Luxemburg. Said Mikhail Bakunin. Said every dumbfuck Collectivist Anarchist and Utopian Socialist ever. These systems are not self-limiting: they always degenerate to what we see in Venezuela: death spirals of ever-increasing Command-And-Control efforts and failures, enforced by guns, and with a bunch of fat, greasy pigs at the top.

And yet Western Leftists, including many who claim they would never try these stunts in their own countries, praised these stupidities. Which makes me wonder whether they really have learned the lessons and whether their goals remain those of Chavez – the difference merely being the use of different, more gradual approaches to achieve them?

Written by Tom Hunter

September 4, 2019 at 2:08 am