20 thoughts on “Friday Forum: Open All Weekend!

  1. A small candle in the darkness: Time magazine had to issue a correction to an article wherein they identified Francis O’Rourke as “Beta” instead of “Beto”. The universe DOES have a timely sense of humor.

    • Thanks for finding and linking to that. I looked a little and found nothing earlier today. It all sounded fishy to me. What a jerk he is.

  2. Here is something worth addressing.


    Lost in the debate is that even in high-crime cities, the risk of gun violence is mostly concentrated among a small number of men. In Oakland, for instance, crime experts working with the police department a few years ago found that about 1,000 active members of a few dozen street groups drove most homicides. That’s .3 percent of Oakland’s population. And even within this subgroup, risk fluctuated according to feuds and other beefs. In practical terms, the experts found that over a given stretch of several months only about 50 to 100 men are at the highest risk of shooting someone or getting shot.

    ProPublica chart Black Americans Murdered by Guns
    Most of these men have criminal records. But it’s not drug deals or turf wars that drives most of the shootings.

    Instead, the violence often starts with what seems to outsiders like trivial stuff — “a fight over a girlfriend, a couple of words, a dispute over a dice game,” said Vaughn Crandall, a senior strategist at the California Partnership for Safe Communities, which did the homicide analysis for Oakland.

    Somebody gets shot. These are men who do not trust the police to keep them safe, so “they take matters into their own hands,” he said. It’s long-running feuds, Crandall said, that drive most murders in Oakland.

    Men involved in these conflicts may want a safer life, but it’s hard for them to put their guns down. “The challenge is that there is no graceful way to bow out of the game,” said Reygan Harmon, the director of Oakland Police Department’s violence reduction program.

    These insights led a group of Boston police, black ministers and academics to try a new approach in 1996. Since group dynamics were driving the violence, they decided to hold the groups accountable. The plan was simple: Identify the small groups of young men most likely to shoot or be shot. Call them in to meet face-to-face with police brass, former gang members, clergy and social workers. Explain to the invitees that they were at high risk of dying. Promise an immediate crackdown on every member of the next group that put a body on the ground — and immediate assistance for everyone who wanted help turning their lives around. Then follow up on those promises.

    The results of Operation Ceasefire were dramatic. Soon after Boston held its first meeting — known as a call-in — on May 15, 1996, homicides of young men plummeted along with reports of shots fired.

    The Rev. Jeff Brown, one of the ministers who worked on the project, remembers people were outside more, barbecuing in the park. At Halloween, kids were able to trick-or-treat on the streets again.

    The team behind the effort quickly started getting calls from other cities — even other countries — about how to replicate what became known as the Boston Miracle. With the support of the Justice Department under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, many cities tried the strategy and some got dramatic results. Stockton saw a 42 percent reduction in monthly gun homicides over several years. Indianapolis experienced a 34 percent drop in monthly homicides. Lowell, Massachusetts, saw gun assaults fall by 44 percent.

    • It’s worth a look.

      In Indianapolis last night, a man was shot by a 22-year old over a road rage incident. The man died. It happened not five minutes from my home which is a reasonably safe place to live.

      22-year old threw his life away because he couldn’t deal with another driver. What a waste.

  3. To the puppet now occupying the White House, who could have tried to unite the nation, but instead had to turn this tragedy into a tired stump speech,

    To the Democratic politicians who see this and have used this as nothing more than a cynical opportunity to score political points and save themselves from a deserved ass whooping that’s coming this November,

    To the activists who always want to punish the law abiding for the acts of one crazy person,

    To the partisan hacks who always want to blame the NRA, the tea party, and the Republican party for these tragedies, when a member of any of these groups has never been involved in a one,

    To the attention whores who have never used anything but emotion and passion when actual thinking is needed,

    To everyone acting horrified now who cheered on the “mostly peaceful” riots two summers ago that resulted in billions of dollars worth of damage and killed 58 people,

    To all those who are so damn worried about school safety, but want to make a mother’s womb the one place in this country where you can be killed legally,

    I have a few words for you, but to be polite I won’t actually say them, except to say they constitute a very frank message about where to go and what to do when you get there.

    Charles Cooke said it best in National Review. I can’t quote him word for word, but it all boils down to if you want to take action, then it’s all spelled out in the Constitution what you need to do. Don’t write scathing articles or make outraged speeches or otherwise expel hot air and gas. Get your dead asses out there and get 2/3 of both houses of Congress or 3/5 of the state legislatures to agree with you. Go to the union halls, the firehouses, the veterans groups and every other group and explain to them why they need to see it your way. And make sure you tell them that they only own guns because they’re not well enough endowed and need to feel powerful, that’s going to go over especially well. Then, once you’ve done that and you can convince Congress to see it your way, then you have to go to all the state houses and the state legislatures and get them to pass confiscation laws. Some will do it, I’d say New Jersey and California will lead the way, but I don’t think it will fly in Louisiana or Alabama or Tennessee or Montana. Then, once you’ve done that, get out there and enforce those laws. Have a plan for going everywhere, state to state, county to county, town to town, street to street, and door-to-door. Be prepared to not just go up into the attic and open every cabinet door, but to take the lid off every toilet tank, empty every toy box, tear up the floorboards, and go over the garden with a metal detector, prepared to dig it up as deep as you need to if you discover something. Be prepared to arrest or shoot anyone who resists, and be prepared to move on the entire nation simultaneously so that no one has any idea that you’re coming and moves their property to a safe place or prepares to give you a 12-gauge hello. But I also throw out that if you’re going to do that you better be prepared to pour an awful lot of resources into all the police you’re going to need for that, especially since 2 years ago you in the same people yelling to defund the police, and a lot of you meant it. You didn’t just mean cut the budget by some amount or redirect some funds, you meant zero out the police budget today. But let’s not get too far afield.

    If that last part about tearing up floor boards and so on sounds like Soviet Russia, or Nazi Germany, or the Ottoman Empire way back over 100 years ago, that’s because it is. Hell, the Ottomans even went so far as to confiscate kitchen knives because they could be used as weapons. That’s what you’re embracing if you strip away the rhetoric and boil it down to what it really is: mass confiscation of a commonly owned item. Let’s also call it what it is, the stripping away of one of our freedoms. Let’s also admit it’s the stripping away of everyone’s freedom because of the acts of one person who no one did anything to stop until it was too late. This kid made it known what he was thinking about doing and why he was thinking about doing it. Where was his family? Where were his teachers? Where was everyone else in the supposed community that we need? Crickets. If you see something, say something, right? Yeah, like hell. This kid was Latino, so nobody was going to say a word unless they be accused of being racist or xenophobic, besides, snitches get stitches and no one likes a snitch right? It’s not my problem, right? I don’t want to get involved, right? Now it’s turning out that the door that should have been locked wasn’t and possibly the police officers didn’t move on this as quickly as they could have. Who’s going to hold those people accountable? Again crickets.

    One other thing, given American law enforcement’s difficulties with the War on drugs and illegal immigration, what makes you think that it would do so well with finding and confiscating every gun in this nation? I bet the answer is again crickets.

    Ok, rant over.

  4. Here’s my not all that thought out idea.

    Elon Musk wants to make Twitter’s algorithm public knowledge so potential users can see how Twitter decides what to target and based on what criteria. I think this is the ethical move because it leads to increased accountability for the company, barring any sort of copyright issue or company secrets. I’m sure there’s a way to give a summary of it without giving away anything Twitter may want to keep private.

  5. In other news – tyrants that couldn’t be overthrown because the citizens were disarmed killed close to 200 million people from about 1920-1990. Some of those tyrannical systems are still in place and still killing.

    So yeah – empowered citizens are still winning the math.

  6. A man who forgot that Europe was chock full of tyrannical governments in need of men with guns to oust them about mid-way through the last century.

    • Europe learned the hard way what happens when individual liberty is sacrificed at the altar of financial security. They are forgetting that lesson as the WWII generation dies out.

  7. Green Energy
    The left often claims that conservatives oppose “green energy”, but that doesn’t really seem to be the case. As far as I can tell, nearly everyone (except maybe coal miners who can’t learn to code) would be glad to have reliable, affordable, non-polutiing sources that could meet their energy needs. Biden has said that the pain he has caused the country by disrupting fuel supplies is just a part of the necessary transitioning from fossil fuels to “renewables”. I say that hobbling currently needed energy production is like taking the wheels off your car now, while waiting for your chance to order one of Doc Brown’s nucear powered hovercraft. Reality is a bitch.

    Here is a short essay, an easy read, with a nice clear layout of the folly of following Biden and the true believers down into darkness. It’s focussed mainly on coal, but the analysis applies to nuclear, natural gas, etc., as well.

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