Society's Diseases

Some of us like to look for grievances behind crimes and rioting. Sometimes such “root causes” contributed. We have been taught in university to look to economic causes. But looking to such things misses the humanness of the problem. Some people are just bad and they do bad things. It is probably true that conditions helped create their badness, but they helped create the conditions. It is rarely the bigger society at fault for making criminals; it is criminal sub-groups responsible for making society unpleasant and self-perpetuating their rottenness. Sometimes the solution is less tolerance and more discipline.

I know this is out of fashion and has been for a long time, but order works. The economic determinists got it backwards. We are dealing with feedback loops that obscure and confuse causality but it is clear that security always precedes economic development. It never works the other way around. After security has been established to some extent, economic development can help secure the secure environment. Again, it is a feedback loop. But you cannot address the other causes of disorder until you just establish order. If that takes a strong police presence, that is what it takes.


I have seen breakdowns in order and reestablishment of order. When civilized order breakdown, the economic and social order soon follows. There is nothing generous government programs can do about. It.

We are seeing breakdowns of order. In London, groups of thugs are rioting and stealing because they are rotten. The ostensible reason is just not very important to most of them. In my home state of Wisconsin, we had hate crimes at the State Fair. My son was a victim of a hate crime last year. These crimes are not motivated by oppression; the perpetrators ARE the oppressors. This is not the first time and it won't be the last. We have to always be ready to counter the forces of chaos.

We do nobody a service by trying to explain away such incidents as “ills of society”. They are that, but not the way usually portrayed. Society has failed to provide discipline to people who really need an outside force to keep them in line. It allows the bad ones to ruin good ones. In my son’s case, two of his six attackers were evidently the actual perpetrators, but the other four went along. They were damaged by the evil of their friends. Wouldn’t it be better to take the bad apples out earlier? Our inability to do that has created five victims. My son is only one. The other four are the good kids who may go bad because of their exposure to the bad ones.

The rioters in London or in Wisconsin are just rotten. They are the disease, not a symptom of society’s ills and oppression. It is never easy to cure such diseases, but the first step is to recogni

Posted by Christine & John at August 12, 2011 5:27 PM
Comments
Comment #327561

The primary excuse used by the looters and vandals in England is the absence of economic justice they describe as cutting government benefits.

Responsible English political leaders tell us that the cuts don’t justify the violence and then make all kinds of excuses for those doing the rioting. I would ask, does the threat of violence justify avoiding the cuts?

England needs more prisons to house these criminals. And, building prisons would create more jobs.

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 12, 2011 6:17 PM
Comment #327572

Royal

Sometimes the explanation is just that easy. They want stuff but don’t want to work for it. Rioting and stealing is exciting. It evokes something in our savage past when all humans were violent and raided each others stuff. It is the impulse civilization is supposed to control.

There is no reasonable way that these British punks, nor the ones in Wisconsin can claim they were driven to this behavior by the oppression of others.

When the Viking descended on Europe or the Comanche raided neighboring tribes, their goal was simple: excitement and looting. We need to understand modern savages in the same way.

Posted by: C&J at August 12, 2011 7:13 PM
Comment #327574

Yeah, let’s just ignore all socioeconomic factors that play into levels of crime and how they might play into rioting. Let’s also ignore the fact that cops can often act like criminals themselves. That’s the GOP way.

But you cannot address the other causes of disorder until you just establish order. If that takes a strong police presence, that is what it takes.

The type of police presence always matters. Otherwise, this can turn into a really big problem, rivaling that of crime.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 12, 2011 7:17 PM
Comment #327577

Here’s a quote from one of Adrienne’s links…

“There were 52 criminal civil rights cases brought against law enforcement officers by the Justice Department last year.”

Even if this pertained to England rather than the US, I fail to see the connection between criminal civil rights cases against law enforcement and looting small stores and shops, beatings of people just for fun, setting fires, property destruction and causing mayhem.

Her other link is even more mystifying.

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 12, 2011 7:38 PM
Comment #327578

Adrienne

Let’s not ignore them. But let’s recognize where the solutions lie and the necessary next steps. The people hurt most by disorder are the poor. Their neighborhoods are wrecked by riots, they are assaulted, raped or killed by the thugs.

The British police and those in Wisconsin evidently just stepped back. The British media reports that the police were afraid to act for fear of being accused of brutality. They have learned too well.

I saw rapid improvements when we reestablished order in Iraqi cities. In the last two weeks, I have been walking around in favellas in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo that have recently been pacified. It is amazing how common people will work to improve their situations when you remove some of the threat of violence and destruction.

In our own country, we have seen crime rates drop when economic times were good and when they were bad. They dropped during the Clinton times and the Bush times. It is a virtuous circle of less disorder, better conditions, less crime, less disorder…

I guess the question is whether you want to reduce crime and improve the lives of the poor who live among the disorder or if you want to play politics with the issue.

Posted by: C&J at August 12, 2011 7:43 PM
Comment #327581

Royal

I think that Adrienne point is that until we can have perfect justice on the part of all the authorities and all the owners of property, thugs have a right to attack and oppress innocent people, mostly poor people. I doubt she actually understands that it is the point she makes over and over, but the pattern is clear. That is why she thinks that 52 cases brought (not proven) by the Justice Department in a country of more than 300 million somehow makes acceptable violence in a country across the Atlantic Ocean.

BTW - we should not call them looters. The PC term is “alternative shoppers”.

Posted by: C&J at August 12, 2011 7:50 PM
Comment #327584

BTW - we should not call them looters. The PC term is “alternative shoppers”.

Posted by: C&J at August 12, 2011 07:50 PM

I liked that very much…thanks.

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 12, 2011 8:05 PM
Comment #327587

and speaking of alternatives. it appears that texas governor rick perry has decided to run for president. liberals should be afraid, very afraid.

BTW, i recall a few years back here on WB adrienne and i debating about a picture of people, in i believe it was seattle, protesting the war. they were carrying signs that said “f#@k the troops”. she would not condemn them, but in fact said something to the effect that “oh they’re just kids”. sorry adrienne, but there is no excuse for this type of behavior. for you to defend this type of bulls#!t behavior is in excusable. if these were conservatives revolting against gov’t you would be livid.

Posted by: dbs at August 12, 2011 9:14 PM
Comment #327590

None of you seem to understand a damn thing about what brought these riots in England on, so here’s a small taste of the other side of this story: Democracy Now: Over 1,000 Arrested in U.K. as Anger over Inequality, Racism Boils Over into “Insurrection”

I realize that many conservatives here are probably not going to be at all interested in viewing what is happening in England from any other angle than their own personal perspective. From their own narrow, conservative, white, privileged viewpoint. But I personally don’t share that attitude or perspective towards the world, and I certainly cannot share your views on these riots. Maybe that’s because I happen to have extended family living in the UK, and I’ve seen the racism/classism experienced by poor blacks and whites there with my own two eyes.

We’ve got growing problems here in this country too that are similar to England’s — with ignoring people who are living in severe economic distress, with dismissing people of different races, and with overlooking the needs of people (of all colors) if they are poor especially. And we also have a problem with some members of the police becoming ever more dishonest, brutal and violent. The links I put up previously spell this growing problem out very clearly. And as we all know, ignoring serious problems is a very good way to foment unrest, and engender a complete lack of respect for authority figures (most especially when those authority figures can consistently break the law, yet are never punished for their criminal behavior).

Posted by: Adrienne at August 12, 2011 10:41 PM
Comment #327593

Yes Adrienne, you who live in a middle class area of California understand the world a lot better than somebody like me who spend the much of the last couple of weeks in Brazilian favelas. Of course, they speak to me in a language you don’t understand, so I guess it doesn’t matter.

Of course, I also talked to those poor guys in Egypt, Turkey and Iraq. That doesn’t count. No white person can understand anything, according to your racial views. I even talked to people in the UK itself. Yes, I have been there, let me think … five times. But indeed, I do not have extended family there, so I suppose actual visits mean nothing.

But glad to know the liberal perspective remains strong and immune to actual facts. Don’t let actual experience bother you. When people are poor and “enraged” the have the right to attack and beat people, right? According to you, poor people evidently do not possess the advanced moral ability to tell right from wrong.

How about the rioters that almost killed a poor Polish girl by burning her building. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/8694098/London-riots-Polish-woman-who-jumped-from-burning-building-left-traumatised.html. All in good fun.

Yes, their rage against innocents sure is justified.

I used to think like that when I was a sophomore. It is a nice splendid isolation. You can call people you never met racist and dismiss the experience of people who have seen and things you don’t understand. But, hey, you have extended family in the UK, so that means you understand everything. I wonder what your extended family really thinks of those riots.

Posted by: C&J at August 12, 2011 11:30 PM
Comment #327595

Jack,
I’ll ignore that enormous pile of sarcastic horsesh*t you just dumped, and just address this:

But glad to know the liberal perspective remains strong and immune to actual facts. Don’t let actual experience bother you.

You want actual facts and actual experience? Then why don’t you simply watch the Democracy Now video or read through the transcript — after all Amy Goodman was interviewing two English people! But I know, you’re not interested in what their opinions are regarding what brought these riots on, and why they might well continue, right? Because those two English people she was speaking to are on the left, and so you wouldn’t dream of letting their actual facts and experience bother you.

Btw, how nice that you’ve visited the UK 5 times. I’ve visited there many times more. One of my visits was six months long — three months spent in Scotland, 3 months spent in London — residing with members of my family.

I wonder what your extended family really thinks of those riots.

I’ve spoken to a couple of them recently and they didn’t seem at all surprised. Because the English austerity measures have been very extreme, and (similar to what the two guests on Democracy Now were saying) after that recent shooting, and combined with the Murdock scandal with the police being heavily involved in it, very few people in the UK have much respect for the metropolitan police at the moment. Additionally, one of them told me that the Scots would never stand for the extreme severity of the austerity measures they’ve imposed in England — and that if they tried, the ensuing riots would likely be even bigger than what has already taken place.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 13, 2011 2:35 AM
Comment #327596

Democracy Now is a propaganda channel. They present one side. That is the socialist side. I have watched their channel on occasion and have found that Amy Goodman et al are part of the socialist cabal. They pretty much say that in what they produce.

So we should take the socialist viewpoint as the gospel truth? We should not believe those shop owners who stood shoulder to shoulder to protect their property? We should just acknowledge that the looters “environment” permits them to riot, rob, steal, burn etc.?

If I cite something from Fox News here, you are all over it with fire and brimstone letting me know that FN is not to be trusted, but offer no evidence. I am telling you that DN is a propaganda channel pure and simple and what they offer should be taken with a single grain of salt.

Posted by: tom humes at August 13, 2011 2:58 AM
Comment #327598

Adeienne

When will you understand the difference between proof and advocacy.

In any case, if someone is oppressed by a third party, do they then have the right to attack you?

So if somebody loses his job or his welfare benefits in California, he has the right to break into your house and take what he wants?

Thinking like this is part of the problem. I have been very poor but I never felt it necessary to attack others.

These guys are not rioting for bread. Your ideas are way old fashioned. The world has changed. At one time, such idea had some basis in reality.

How do you feel about the people really fighting oppression in Syria? It is the 50th anniversary of the Berlin Wall, do you feel as much hate toward the communists who did that as you seem to toward a democratically elected government in the UK?

But let me get this straight - the Murdock scandal justifies a bunch of thugs setting fire to people’s houses? Maybe you should say this stuff out loud to see how it sounds.

Often these thugs aren’t even stealing anything. They don’t riot for food. They are just violent. My son was attacked by six black kids. They were not poor. They did not know him or try to rob him. They were just full of racist hatred and love of violence, which excuses like yours help to stoke.

Think for yourself for once. Use logic instead of ideology. You seem like a smart person. Use your native intelligence. You really don’t always have to follow the party line. Besides,even most liberals don’t believe this crap about the London riots.

Answer the simple question: If the cops treat somebody poorly (assuming that is even the provocation) does he have the right to come to your house, attack you and take your stuff?

Posted by: C&J at August 13, 2011 6:26 AM
Comment #327603

adrienne

just curios, did you condemn the beating of reginald denny during the LA riots in 92, or did make similar excuses for the thugs who used the rodney king verdict as an excuse to burn loot and destroy?

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=1cb_1304689062

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wc_SgpyJWRY

Posted by: dbs at August 13, 2011 8:11 AM
Comment #327604

C&J


after watching these old videos and comparing them to what is going on an england, i can’t for the life me see how anyone could make excuses for this type of behavior.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxBRyygMmTs

this is just disgusting, and i can’t even begin to imagine the anger you must have felt having your son treated this way for no apparent reason other than being white. this type of behavior is as about as good a reason as one can find for shall issue concealed carry policy.

Posted by: dbs at August 13, 2011 8:34 AM
Comment #327605

dbs

My son forgave his attackers. He said they were just young like he was. I was proud of him and he made a full recovery, besides a little scare. But the hatred is very bad.

BTW - the authorities didn’t call it a hate crime. I imagine it would have been different and nation-wide news if a young black kid has been attacked by six white thugs out “hunting”. But I don’t like the way we use the term “hate crime”. It is clear that all such assaults are motivated by hate. We should punish the crime.

Posted by: C&J at August 13, 2011 8:39 AM
Comment #327606

C&J

i agree 100%. that is why i disagree with the entire premise of hate crimes legislation. beating someone other than in a pure self defense situation is wrong, and the crime or acting on that intent should be punished, not the intent itself. it is good your son found the ability to forgive his attackers. IMO without that he could never completely heal and put it behind him. there is an old saying that i try to remember when i find myself extremely angry over something. “you will not be punished for your anger. you will be punished by your anger.” i sometimes find it helpful to remember.

Posted by: dbs at August 13, 2011 8:52 AM
Comment #327608
it appears that texas governor rick perry has decided to run for president. liberals should be afraid, very afraid.

Not just liberals dbs the whole country should be afraid. Just what we need another governor from Texas, are our memories that short.

Posted by: j2t2 at August 13, 2011 9:27 AM
Comment #327610

j2t2

“Just what we need another governor from Texas, are our memories that short.”


as opposed to what? four more years of the same failure from chicago. americans would have to have even shorter memories to allow that to happen.

Posted by: dbs at August 13, 2011 9:48 AM
Comment #327611

Dbs, Is it a bit more than irony that you bring Perry up under the article titled Society’s Diseases?

Posted by: j2t2 at August 13, 2011 10:26 AM
Comment #327613

Yes Adrienne, you who live in a middle class area of California understand the world a lot better than somebody like me who spend the much of the last couple of weeks in Brazilian favelas. Of course, they speak to me in a language you don’t understand, so I guess it doesn’t matter.

Of course, I also talked to those poor guys in Egypt, Turkey and Iraq. That doesn’t count. No white person can understand anything, according to your racial views. I even talked to people in the UK itself. Yes, I have been there, let me think … five times. But indeed, I do not have extended family there, so I suppose actual visits mean nothing.

For someone who claims to be so well traveled you view point is very narrow.

Posted by: Jeff at August 13, 2011 10:38 AM
Comment #327614

jeff


jeff said to C&J:

“For someone who claims to be so well traveled you view point is very narrow.”

how so jeff? care to elaborate, or is this just one of your usual cheap shots. drop in make a snide remark, and haul @ss.

Posted by: dbs at August 13, 2011 11:05 AM
Comment #327615

j2t2

“Is it a bit more than irony that you bring Perry up under the article titled Society’s Diseases?”

that’s very funny j2. we’ll see just how seriously the left takes his candidacy by how rabidly they attack him. BTW how do you feel about the “kill romney” campaign? i mean being as you guys were the ones concerned about civility, and hate speech that could incite the fringe to act.

being as the left here at WB have failed to condemn the violence in england, and even made excuses for it, i suspect you’ll tell me it’s different.

Posted by: dbs at August 13, 2011 11:14 AM
Comment #327616

how so jeff? care to elaborate, or is this just one of your usual cheap shots. drop in make a snide remark, and haul @ss.

That remark was not snide. One can only assume that dbs stands for dumb B.S.

Posted by: Jeff at August 13, 2011 11:57 AM
Comment #327618

jeff

“That remark was not snide. One can only assume that dbs stands for dumb B.S.”

and speaking of “dumb BS”. thank you for proving my point.

Posted by: dbs at August 13, 2011 12:15 PM
Comment #327619

I get censored for less than what a poster above did. Why isn’t a public example made of his writing. I had a point to make. The case cited is just being hateful. He is also a liberal. Ho, hum

Posted by: tom humes at August 13, 2011 12:20 PM
Comment #327620

Scots would never stand for the extreme severity of the austerity measures they’ve imposed in England — and that if they tried, the ensuing riots would likely be even bigger than what has already taken place.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 13, 2011

Really? How about when the money runs out? Has anyone ever known of a riot that improved the economy of a nation?

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 13, 2011 12:47 PM
Comment #327621

Jack,
I’m sorry but I have to agree with Jeff — your article and all of your comments thus far make you sound very narrow minded — and willfully ignorant. Because you’re choosing to view these riots through a lens where there can be no underlying issues that would cause young people all over England to suddenly explode into anger and start fighting with police, and begin looting and burning and wrecking as much havoc as they can upon their society.

And you sound the same way in your replies to me — choosing to sneer at and look down your nose at me and the comments I’ve made here. Preferring to gloss over everything in order to make sure everything fits neatly into your simplistic, preconceived, narrow conservative worldview. Therefore, I automatically become an advocate for violence, and the insurrection in England is something that simply exploded out of nowhere because: “Some people are just bad and they do bad things”, and “groups of thugs are rioting and stealing because they are rotten” and so “the solution is less tolerance and more discipline.”

Think for yourself for once. Use logic instead of ideology. You seem like a smart person. Use your native intelligence.

Why don’t you try taking your own advice. Your comments towards me have now rendered this discussion not worth pursuing any further.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 13, 2011 12:53 PM
Comment #327622

I try my best not to be hateful but you guys on the right always try and go for the kill. th and dbs are some of the worst offenders. No nuance no give and take just attack attack attack. Give it a rest try and have a conversation. The point is to make your point of view let others respond.I know I will be called a socialist commie ba$tard so please prove my point.

Posted by: Jeff at August 13, 2011 12:54 PM
Comment #327623

Thanks dbs I am saving my Perry seceding or succeeding in his campaign for later.

BTW how do you feel about the “kill romney” campaign? i mean being as you guys were the ones concerned about civility, and hate speech that could incite the fringe to act.

Haven’t heard anything about the kill Romney campaign dbs. But at this point Romney is the only repub candidate that isn’t a complete wing nut so he is my favorite for the repub candidate for president.

Are you sure whoever has the kill Romney campaign going isn’t saying it in the kindest possibler way? Or perhaps it is a dem plot to get the repubs to rally behind Romney at the expense of the other more extremist candidates? Sort of a save the nation from further acts of voting foolishness?

Posted by: j2t2 at August 13, 2011 12:55 PM
Comment #327624

RF:

How about when the money runs out?

I guess you don’t realize that Westminster has been filling their financial black hole with Scotland’s North Sea oil for many years? The fact is, Scotland has a rich economy which if they were independent would be in surplus, as opposed to the English economy which is in serious deficit. The Scots know this, and therefore they won’t stand for the same severity of measures. England also knows that if the Scots are pushed far enough they could easily vote for independence, so they tread a bit more carefully.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 13, 2011 1:12 PM
Comment #327626

Thanks for the response Adrienne. OK, I will ask this instead…How about when the oil runs out?

I would like someone to answer my question…”Has anyone ever known of a riot that improved the economy of a nation?”


Posted by: Royal Flush at August 13, 2011 2:31 PM
Comment #327628

jeff

“No nuance no give and take just attack attack attack.”

really jeff? you call C&J narrow minded, and then back it up with what? you talk about offenders. give me a break. your entire act consists of popping in here and there, and making smart @ss remarks. the remarks wouldn’t be so bad if you actually had something of substance to say occassionaly.


j2t2

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2011/08/09/kill-romney-obama-strategy/


adrienne


“Because you’re choosing to view these riots through a lens where there can be no underlying issues that would cause young people all over England to suddenly explode into anger and start fighting with police, and begin looting and burning and wrecking as much havoc as they can upon their society.”


so you’re justifying this childish behavior? what if it were right wing protestors doing the same thing? i guess the same argument would apply……right? or is it just ok when your guys behave that way, because they are the only ones who could have a legitimate beef with the gov’t. don’t want to answer the reginald denny question i guess. and you accuse those on the right of having a myopic view of the world. jeeeeez!


Posted by: dbs at August 13, 2011 3:32 PM
Comment #327632

RF:

OK, I will ask this instead… How about when the oil runs out?

Well, it’s far from running out — in fact in 2001 another large oil field with huge reserves was discovered off the Scottish Coast (just like every other oil field the UK can lay claim to — all have been discovered in Scottish waters.) But Scotland has also been leading the way with Green technologies too — especially those having to do with wind and waves to harness clean renewable energy. Here’s a link to a hydro electric wave device that was just unveiled this July: Wave energy device unveiled to boost Scotland’s green energy drive

I would like someone to answer my question…”Has anyone ever known of a riot that improved the economy of a nation?”

No. But then, the kind of insurrection they’re seeing in England is a reaction to an economy that has already failed it’s people. And when the fact of that failure also goes unacknowledged and ignored it can explode in all kinds of ways. As Richard Seymour said in that Democracy Now link I put up earlier:

— when one of the young people was asked by a reporter, “Do you really think the rioting is the right way to go about getting what you want?” he said, “Yes, because if we weren’t rioting, you wouldn’t be talking to us.” A political establishment, a media, and a state system that gives people that impression, that gives people the impression that they won’t be listened to unless they force themselves onto your attention, is going to lead to riots.

I think that comment speaks volumes about the lives of marginalized people — not just in England, but everywhere.

dbs:

so you’re justifying this childish behavior?

Jack tried playing this same game. There is a difference between analyzing and trying to understand something like these riots and justifying the violence that takes place within them, but I realize many conservatives are incapable of grasping such a difference. I’m sure it must be easier to live in a right vs. wrong, good vs. evil world and totally refuse to recognize any shade of grey in between, but for people like me that’s completely impossible to do.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 13, 2011 4:37 PM
Comment #327635

Jeff

Maybe you just don’t understand. I used to have opinions much more like Adrienne’s (and probably yours). It is easy to think like that. As you learn more about the nuances, you come to a different understanding.

I could be wrong about some of these things, as you could. My understanding is something I have checked with actual experience. I expect you are reacting to your own stereotype about what I am saying than to what I am telling you.

The gist is this. You have to treat people as responsible adults. You should expect to be generous with others, but you have to expect reasonable behavior from them too. If you treat them as objects it is wrong. We all know the mean way, but the more harmful way to treat people as objects is the soft bigotry of low expectations.

Adrienne & you are telling me that the poor of the world are less than “we” are. You think that they make decisions out of emotions of rage or cupidity rather than morality. That is why - and the only way you can - excuse violent and irrational behavior. I have more respect for others than you or Adrienne have. I treat them as rational people.

Adrienne

Please see above.

Indeed, I don’t have your experiences and you don’t have mine. My guess is that I have seen a lot more of life and death, but I could be wrong.

The difference between our writing on these subjects is that I often speak from actually seeing things. You speak from reading in blogs. I believe in boots on the ground truth. I tell you what I think based on this. You can say I am wrong, but I am really not much impressed by cuts from advocacy blogs, which if you read carefully you would find often do not even support your points.

I admit to a little surfeit of emotion when I talk about things like my son being attacked by those thugs or Iraq where I saw heroism and things I found frightening and unpleasant and I have at times had to apologize for getting upset at some of the posters here when they tread on these subjects w/o proper understanding. So let me be clear.

What I think about the rioters is that they threaten death and destruction to innocent people. You say you want to understand their behavior not excuse it; then we agree. I hope we both want to understand it with the goal of preventing it from happening as much as possible.

Excuse me if I am not representing your position, but I feel that your writing indicates a certain willingness to justify the violence as a way of furthering a political goal rather than how to try to turn the thugs into useful citizens.

Let’s talk about your use of the word insurrection. This has a specific meaning. It usually indicates that the insurgents have an alternative that they are trying to impose by the use of force. I really have not heard much of a political agenda from the rioters. It is people like you who are reading one in for them. Their agenda seems to be to steal stuff, burn building and assault people. If that is their political agenda, I am against it.

Posted by: C&J at August 13, 2011 5:06 PM
Comment #327639

adrienne

“I’m sure it must be easier to live in a right vs. wrong, good vs. evil world and totally refuse to recognize any shade of grey in between, but for people like me that’s completely impossible to do.”


is beating up an innocent bystander for no reason, right, or wrong? is breaking out the windows of a shop, and looting, right, or wrong? is comitting arson, right, or wrong?


while i undertsand that in life there are things that fall into the “shades of grey” scenario. there are also things that are black and white, and that would include random acts of violence for no other reason than being mad because you didn’t get your way.

it is one thing to understand someones anger, and agree with thier political philiosphy. it is quite another to believe that these mindless and violent acts can some how be justified by trying to understand thier anger. when you can’t admit that there are things that are absolute, ie right, or wrong, then you can argue that any violent, or antisocial act is some how justifiable.

Posted by: dbs at August 13, 2011 5:36 PM
Comment #327641

When government, and the taxpayers supporting it, have been generous with unearned benefits for the poor in its society, and then finds itself unable to continue being quite so generous, should those who have been the recipients of those benefits riot?

My dog Rachel is well fed and occasionally I give her an extra treat because I love her. If I gave her treats all the time she would come to expect them with every meal and perhaps even reject her everyday food for awhile as a sign of protest. After a day or two on her hunger strike, she comes back to the every day food willingly.

I understand my dog. I don’t understand those who riot even while government provides their food, clothing, shelter and medical care among other things.

If my dog bit me because she didn’t get her treat, she would be gone. My dog is too smart for that. Why aren’t people?

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 13, 2011 6:48 PM
Comment #327647

“No nuance no give and take just attack attack attack.”

really jeff? you call C&J narrow minded, and then back it up with what? you talk about offenders. give me a break. your entire act consists of popping in here and there, and making smart @ss remarks. the remarks wouldn’t be so bad if you actually had something of substance to say occassionaly.

Well dbs your response is pretty much proof of my dissecting of what dbs means. My popping in on occasions has a lot to do with my many work hours you know another one of those lazy liberals collecting my government welfare. And I don’t think C&J needs your help defending him. I enjoy engaging C&J we don’t often agree but I think that’s the point.

Posted by: Jeff at August 13, 2011 9:30 PM
Comment #327649

The question is not why everybody was doing this, it’s why so many were caught up, rather than staying on the sidelines.

Some people start misbehaving, in other words, and they get others to misbehave with them, folks who wouldn’t do things on their own. Sometimes a sense of anger and general unfairness of the system is involved. Much of the time it’s poverty. Racism, perceived or otherwise, on either side, doesn’t help.

There’s no straight rationale to argue against here, they’re’s really only anger, and the outlet and opportunity to release it. If you want things calmer, you got to work with things on a more basic and personal level. You have to deal with the general ambience of mood in the community, because that’s what enables this.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 13, 2011 10:30 PM
Comment #327650

jeff

“Well dbs your response is pretty much proof of my dissecting of what dbs means.”

how so jeff?


“My popping in on occasions has a lot to do with my many work hours you know another one of those lazy liberals collecting my government welfare.”

when have i ever called you lazy jeff?


“And I don’t think C&J needs your help defending him.”

the last i checked this was an open forum. you made an accusation, i challenged you to explaine your accusation. you replied with a smart@ss remark about my screen name.


“I enjoy engaging C&J we don’t often agree but I think that’s the point.”

yes i suppose, if you consider making cheap insults without backing them up a form of engagement. thanks for playing jeff.

Posted by: dbs at August 13, 2011 10:43 PM
Comment #327658


Everything is under control, President Assad is sending a Syrian crowd control team to Britain.

Oh, how disappointing, conservative Cameron says rioting caused by a lack of economic opportunity.

C&J, no, it doesn’t often make the national news.

dbs, imagine how outraged you would be if they had been acquitted by an all black jury. Imagine if that happened time after time after time for decade after decade.

Posted by: jlw at August 14, 2011 3:46 AM
Comment #327660

Stephen
I think you have hit the point about mobs. People act differently in groups and such things can get out of hand.

Normally peaceful people can get caught up in mobs and do things they would not. It is like a disease in many respects. The good people catch it from the bad. That is why we have to not let it spread. If the authorities do not react strongly enough in the beginning, many more people are affected by the disease.

jlw

The mark of intelligence is the ability to make reasonable distinctions. It is silly to equate in any way Syria to UK. Anybody who opposed government in both places would immediately feel the difference. Let’s not support in our rhetoric what we know not to be true.

Beyond that, in Syria the demonstrator are the ones being hurt. In UK it is the police and the innocent bystanders who are most often victims of the demonstrators. In fact, I don’t think we can reasonably call those in the UK demonstrators. They are just rioters.

Posted by: C&J at August 14, 2011 7:43 AM
Comment #327666

jlw

“dbs, imagine how outraged you would be if they had been acquitted by an all black jury. Imagine if that happened time after time after time for decade after decade.”

so that justifies the beating of innocent people? is that what you’re saying.

Posted by: dbs at August 14, 2011 8:52 AM
Comment #327685

Stephen:

The question is not why everybody was doing this, it’s why so many were caught up, rather than staying on the sidelines.

Some people start misbehaving, in other words, and they get others to misbehave with them, folks who wouldn’t do things on their own. Sometimes a sense of anger and general unfairness of the system is involved. Much of the time it’s poverty. Racism, perceived or otherwise, on either side, doesn’t help.

There’s no straight rationale to argue against here, they’re’s really only anger, and the outlet and opportunity to release it. If you want things calmer, you got to work with things on a more basic and personal level. You have to deal with the general ambience of mood in the community, because that’s what enables this.

Indeed, these riots are happening in many places and just kept spreading, so that general ambiance and mood has to run across the entire society.

You ask why so many would get caught up. I think all this rioting and looting is measuring the degree to which a certainty has crept into common perception amongst people on the lower rungs of English society (and it’s happening in ours too) that says:
“Lawlessness has become the rule.”

Abiding by the law may be the demand, but no one who holds any power or authority really believes in that idea, so why should the people?
We’ve seen the International Banksters get away with scamming, gambling, and looting vast amounts of wealth, and none of them are going to go to jail. People are being told that all that money that was robbed is “just gone”, and as a result it’s now time for “austerity measures” that take away all hope. There are few jobs — and there are less promised in our now dismal future. Unemployment is already extremely high, and everyone knows it will only get worse.

But no, let’s not talk about the LOOTING that was done by the International Banksters, let’s just punish the People instead. Let’s take away all educational funding and opportunities, and housing subsidies, and health care, and welfare, and food assistance and any other basic thing that is necessary and vital for people to survive on the bottom rungs when they don’t have jobs and aren’t going to be able to get any in the foreseeable future. Let’s do all this because it’s more important to allow rich bankers to get away with their greed and theft, even if it has brought our societies to the point of collapse.

On top of that, in England they’ve just watched the Murdoch criminal scandal unfold, exposing a police force that declared the very sudden and mysterious death of a journalist who was one of the main whistle-blowers “not suspicious.” This happens the day before the Murdochs appear to give testimony before Parliament. James Murdoch’s testimony was declared to be filled with lies by credible high-profile witnesses — but oh well! At the same time, officials of the police force were resigning for failing to investigate the Murdoch’s glaringly obvious crimes.

These examples of a ruling class of elites who are allowed to run rampant and lawless with complete vulgarity is hardly going to set a tone of respect for law and order amongst the people. So all the “thugs” who can’t get a job, who can’t afford education, and who are watching as all paths to survival are being cut from the budget run out into the street, light things on fire and smash the windows out of shops and snatch up all the goodies — the supposed rewards of having a good job. Overpriced goodies made by slave labor in third world countries that make mountains of money for Big Corporations. Overpriced goodies that are advertised every where these people go, until they find themselves willing go into debt to the crooked Banksters in order to own them. These people know it’s not right, they know it’s not justice, or compensation for having a horrible future to look forward to, no, its just more lawlessness — being perpetrated in a context of lawlessness in our lawless world ruled by and for a bunch of lawless elites.

And London, after all, is nothing more than a towering pile of loot — with the Rosetta Stone, and the Elgin Marbles, and the Kohinoor Diamond, and the Benin Bronzes, and the pomp of the Royals in their palaces, and the Murdoch Empire and the high living Bankster class — all proof that looting isn’t really all that terribly wrong.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 14, 2011 1:31 PM
Comment #327689

adrienne


that’s a lot of obfuscating to avoid answering a simple question. i guess the shop keepers, and people just walking down the street deserved to be attacked.


“all proof that looting isn’t really all that terribly wrong.”

of course not, after all two wrongs always make a right. funny how you rail against thuggery when it comes from the right wing, but make excuses for it, to try and justify it when it comes to the left wing.

the line of reasoning and excuses you make for these @ssholes is akin to someone trying to justify the oklahoma city bombing, because of anger over a corrupt and overbearing gov’t. it is and always will be a complete cop out, and show the lack of even an ounce of moral fiber.

Posted by: dbs at August 14, 2011 2:29 PM
Comment #327690

dbs, I didn’t answer you because I’m done answering to you and Jack in this thread. All you’ve done is attack me in a very personal way and that’s no way to have an intelligent discussion about anything.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 14, 2011 2:41 PM
Comment #327693

adrienne

“I didn’t answer you because I’m done answering to you and Jack in this thread.”

the question i asked was a simple yes or no question about the beating of denny in 92. why won’t you, or why can’t you, answer it?

“All you’ve done is attack me in a very personal way”

where did i attack you personally adrienne? have i called you any names? BTW i find it interesting you insist on responding to C&J as jack. what are you trying to prove? i’ve been participating here for @ 8 years now, so there is no need to explaine identities. once again what are you trying to prove?


“that’s no way to have an intelligent discussion about anything.”

i’ve responded to your posts with relevant questions, and made relevant points. no where have i called you any names, or leveled attacks on you personally. or do you consider my challenging of you making excuses for unacceptable bahavior on the part of the rioters a personal attack?

Posted by: dbs at August 14, 2011 3:16 PM
Comment #327697

Adrienne

The rioters killed five people including two Muslim brothers who were trying to protect their family’s property. Your long screed about British history justifies this kind of thing?

So in the world according to Adrienne the acts of the British nobles collecting artifacts hundreds of years ago justifies murdering a couple of kids of immigrants, among others, today.

You show no respect for the poor. I am sure that you act in an honest way. You don’t lie, cheat or steal and you keep your word to others. Why do you believe the poor are lesser humans than you are? Why do you think that they don’t have the same claim to morality as you do?

Posted by: C&J at August 14, 2011 3:41 PM
Comment #327701

Adrienne

BTW - if you feel insulted by what I have written … well, imagine how others feel when you write to them in much more aggressive ways. I have been much more polite to you - always - than you have been to me.

Second - I have to respond to you whether or not you “write back”. Others read this too. They can see the error of your ways, even if you cannot or will not.

I have learned a long time ago that sometimes you have to talk past a heckler.

BTW - with the C&J - my wife was writing a while back (the C). I encouraged her to do it and then I couldn’t resist collaborating. Her point of view tended to be more conservative than mine and she had a different style, but since we have lived together for almost thirty years, we have a lot in common. Some readers could actually tell the difference. She got sick of it and now rarely contributes. She doesn’t have as many pearls to cast as I do. But there have been times when you were talking to her. She claimed to be flattered that you thought it was me, but I think she was just flattering me.

You don’t have to respond. I know you know and you know that I know that you know. It is all well known.

Posted by: C&J at August 14, 2011 3:53 PM
Comment #327705


dbs, what I was saying is that government sponsored terrorism and violence is far worse than any street violence. It occurs when ordinarily good people go along to get along. And, when economic advantage is a part of the deal, going along to get along becomes more palpable, it becomes easier to believe the propaganda that supports the state sponsored terrorism.

I am also saying that it seems, for some people, that when violence happens, like that which occurred in England, it is very easy to blame the perpetrators, calling them lazy good for nothings, victims of their own actions, while dismissing any conditions that may have lead to the violence and ridiculing those that speak of those conditions. When the general society is dismissive of or indifferent to those conditions, it is easy to blame the perpetrators.

Are you saying that if someone disagrees with your position on what happened in England, that means they condone violence perpetrated on innocent people?

Did white Americans feel vindicated by the Rodney King verdict?

What did you think of the O.J. verdict. Did you think the same thing that I and a majority of the people, both white and black, thought, that O.J. got away with it? I guess you do know that a large majority of blacks thought O.J. did the acts.

C&J, for me, a mark of intelligence is the ability to recognize that democratically elected governments are just as capable of preforming bad acts as dictatorships even though those acts don’t enter the realm of some of the most ruthless dictators. It is often the case that the populace of a democratic government is far more accepting of and can be far more rationalizing about bad acts committed by their government than the populace of a dictatorship.

What Assad is doing to some of his people in defence of his regime is a terrible thing to watch happening, let alone be a victim of it. We committed far more violence to Iraq, supposedly in the name of democracy and protecting America from a grave threat. Our democratically elected government even went so far as to manufacture false intelligence threats, yellow cake uranium, mobile chemical and biological labs, etc., to justify it’s invasion of another country.

A majority of the American people were opposed to the invasion of Iraq, that did not stop their democratically elected government. A majority of the people wanted the Bush tax cuts to expire, did their government listen to them? In theory, democratically elected governments are supposed to act on the will of the majority with consideration for the views of the minority. In practice, it is often the views of a small minority that controls the actions of a democratically elected government.

Our democratically elected government has a history of supporting dictators and the suppression of their people. It often vindicated that support by proclaiming the oppressed as the oppressors. At this moment in time our democratically elected government and it’s market overlords are in love with a dictatorial regime know as the Communist Party of China. So much in love that the are willing to Fxxk over their own citizens on behalf of increasing profit margins. Of course, those who disagree with our democratically elected governments actions in regards to that socialist regime are labeled as socialists and or disgruntled lazy workers.

I seriously doubt that the conservative reaction to what happened would be any different if those people in England had chosen a different venue to gain attention. Such as practicing civil disobedience in the daylight hours of busy London.

Posted by: jlw at August 14, 2011 4:36 PM
Comment #327708

jlw writes; “A majority of the American people were opposed to the invasion of Iraq, that did not stop their democratically elected government. A majority of the people wanted the Bush tax cuts to expire, did their government listen to them? In theory, democratically elected governments are supposed to act on the will of the majority with consideration for the views of the minority.”

In theory, and in practice, democratically elected governments are not supposed to be poll watchers, making important decisions on the latest polls. And, since the majority elected them, they do act on their behalf. I still prefer governance based upon elections rather than polls.

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 14, 2011 4:55 PM
Comment #327712

jlw

if your children were spoiled, and at some point because of financial reality you were forced to stop spoiling them, and as a result they started breaking windows, and physically began attacking you and your spouse, and set fire to your house. how much time would you spend wringing your hands trying to understand why they did it, as opposed to trying to stop it, and make it known that thier behavior won’t be tolerated?

this is what happens when gov’t creates a welfare state where our youth, and the public at large are conditioned to being provided everything they need in life at the cost of someone else.

if i’m wronged and after every attempt to get justice through the legal channels, i’m still left without justice, do i them have the right to take justice into my own hands? someone rapes you wife or daughter, and gets away with it. it is then ok to go and take that persons life because you feel they deserve it? we either have respect for the law or we don’t. if we do then we can not make excuses for this type of behavior.

Posted by: dbs at August 14, 2011 5:14 PM
Comment #327715

jlw

“A majority of the people wanted the Bush tax cuts to expire, did their government listen to them? In theory, democratically elected governments are supposed to act on the will of the majority”


if this were the case we would not have obama care.

Posted by: dbs at August 14, 2011 5:20 PM
Comment #327719

jlw

We are all sinners and nothing perfect exists on this earth. To recognize that democratically elected governments can also do bad things is not much of a trick. The important part is the difference between and among them and others.

In any case, the riots in UK are not justified by any rational theory of causation, unless you are an anarchist who just believes in smashing things. The rioters have not articulated any agenda besides a propensity to rob, rape, kill and burn. Some repeat the vague justification that they have been taught by dishonest intellectuals, but they don’t really believe that. I say a guy on TV carrying three DVD players that he just stole from a shop. This is hardly Jean Valjean stealing bread because he is hungry.

Most victimized have been small shopkeepers. As I mentioned, the rioters killed five people, included two sons of immigrants trying to protect their property. They rioters are attacking places where they can steal and get away with it. They are not attacking “the man”.

Let’s talk a little about tolerance of violence. When I wrote a post sympathizing with Norwegian victims of violence, liberals jumped on it to claim that somehow conservatives had abetted it. ALL the conservative commentators condemned it, yet liberals continued with their dishonest comments. In the case liberals ON THIS BLOG are looking to justify violence. I guess that shows where we all stand.

So I don’t want ever again to hear from our left wing commentators that conservative abet violence. We have ALL condemned it. Liberals too often still think that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter, even when those doing the rioting, burning, raping and killing have articulated no coherent political agenda.

I ask our liberal friend to join us conservatives in condemning violence like this. None of us should be in favor of indiscriminate killing, raping and burning. I don’t expect a clear answer.

BTW - it is great that you recognize the evil of communism. You imply that our democratic government should do something about it. What do you propose?

BTW2 - The Bush tax cuts were extended when the Democrats controlled the House, the Senate and the Presidency. We can no longer legitimately call them “Bush” tax cuts, since Obama and the Democrats have now signed on.

Posted by: C&J at August 14, 2011 5:37 PM
Comment #327744

Good article:
Pankaj Mishra: London’s rioters are Thatcher’s grandchildren

Posted by: Adrienne at August 15, 2011 10:59 AM
Comment #327754

Adrienne

If they are Thacher’s children you won’t mind if the state spanks them good.

It is good that socialist states, such as Syria or Libya, or the old Soviet Union never produce violence.

Posted by: C&J at August 15, 2011 5:42 PM
Comment #327764


C&J, I don’t think anyone is defending the violence. Those who committed violent acts should be prosecuted if they are caught. Some of these people where obviously criminal elements. Some of them never committed a violent act in their lives before these events occurred. The point I attempted to make is that things like this can occur when people have grievances, not that the grievances justified violent actions. As I said, these people could have gotten attention for their causes using civil disobedience.

I read an article today, stating that peaceful demonstrations, with large crowds (hundreds of thousands), have been ongoing for a month in Israel. Israelis have been protesting the high costs of housing and food as well as high taxes. Their economy is in the dump as well. Austerity measures are not popular anywhere.

All this trouble, all over the world, because a few poor people in America lied and bought houses they couldn’t afford?

If you think that I think that conservative rhetoric can lead some to commit acts of violence, but progressive rhetoric cannot, you are wrong.

Socialist Syria? Don’t you mean conservative reactionary socialist Syria? Determined to conserve the regime, socialist Syria?

Socialist Soviet Union, paid it’s workers with vodka. How does socialist Germany treat it’s workers? Socialist France? Socialist Norway?

Contrary to popular belief, there are conservative socialists and there are progressive capitalists.

American capital, partners with the Communist Party? Which ones are the progressives and which are the conservatives? Or, are they both liberals?

Posted by: jlw at August 16, 2011 2:22 AM
Comment #327772


In India, 1300 people were arrested for planning to participate in a mass fasting to protest government corruption.

Posted by: jlw at August 16, 2011 4:24 PM
Comment #327773

What did I do wrong this time Mr. WB editor? My last post did not attack anybody. It was a parody. And for some reason you felt it should not be here. Then 90% of what is put on here should be treated the same way. Do you think you can run me out of here. Wrong. And I will prove that by my existence.

Posted by: tom humes at August 16, 2011 4:32 PM
Comment #327852

Some of you are confusing individual blame, which surely should be placed on the individuals and the condition of society which leads to an increase in the number of these so-called bad individuals. We have the most control, in the long run, on the condition of our societies. This is very pertinent to us in the US, because as we increase the gap between the well and the poorest in this country, we are increasing the likely that there will be more ‘bad’ individuals until we see London-type riots here.

Posted by: Dr Tom at August 18, 2011 2:47 PM
Comment #327856


“Democracy Now is a propaganda channel. They present one side. That is the socialist side.”

They prefer to be called fair and balanced.

When a group of thugs takes the law into their own hands, attacks a merchant vessel, destroying the cargo (other peoples property), tossing it into the harbor, what would you call them? Thugs?

Posted by: jlw at August 18, 2011 4:36 PM
Comment #328063

Just curious, C&J, What time of night and what favelas did you sleep in? Or did you spend the night in a well guarded enclave?

The image of the ugly American sometimes is the gentrified individual traipsing through some hovels and declaring empathy with the poor and wretched.

I have no doubt you have learned a lot in your world travels, but there is little evidence of that in many of your posts. While I am quite sure you are a gentleman and intelligent, you never seem to see beyond the supposed benevolence of a social system that is actually based upon the slave labor of world markets and the stripping of natural resources.

The thing you failed to address in your main post is what causes a stable system to disintegrate. You talk about a feedback loop, yet, inexplicably stop when it comes to the causes of stupid, wretched thugs victimizing others. Could it be they see the repetitive victimization of the poor? Could it be the distrust of government that their parents teach them and that is ginned up by those seeking power? No the idiot masses can’t explain why they steal TV’s when there is a riot. They see an opportunity and take it. Much like the wealthy do, only with the paid off politicians nodding approval.

Posted by: Tom Jefferson at August 22, 2011 2:02 AM
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