Wow! Extreme Ideology And Resistance To Stubborn Reality Leads To Astoundingly Unethical And Irresponsible Policies…

I don’t understand this at all. I don’t understand how intelligent officials—and by “intelligent” here I only mean “smart enough to put their socks on before their shoes”—-can possibly convince themselves that ignoring common sense and the collected wisdom of centuries as well as the acquired knowledge of recent decades will have anything but disastrous results. But here we stand:

  • In June, the California Highway Patrol arrested two men after a search of their vehicle revealed a stash of cocaine and 150,000 fentanyl pills. Based on the amount of drugs involved, they were booked into jail with an initial bail amount of $1 million each. (Fentanyl kills people.) But a pre-trial risk assessment of the suspects resulted in the men being classified  “low risk,” so they were released on their own recognizance without either the local D.A. or law enforcement officials being consulted. The two men, 25-year-old Jose Zendejas and 19-year-old Benito Madrigal, faced up to 14 years in state prison. They were expected to show up back in court on July 21. Shockingly, they did not. Nobody knows where they are.Their release is part of the social justice movement to eliminate bail because it discriminates against poor people. It also helps with the over-incarceration problem, because it allows criminals to get away with their crimes and harm society again, while broadcasting the message to other would be criminals that they are in a low-risk, high rewards profession as long as they stay where fantasy-blinded progressives run things….like California.

But these were just drug dealers. Here’s a perp whom I wouldn’t call “low risk,” but then I’m not deranged. Another one of those “low-risk” locales for criminals is New York:

  • David Jakubonis attacked Representative Lee Zeldin (R., N.Y.) with a sharp weapon as Zeldin was in upstate New York to continue his campaign for New York Governor. We’re supposed to call Jakubonis an “alleged” assailant because he hasn’t been tried or convicted, but the man was caught in the act and tackled (above) at the scene: he’s guilty. So far, he’s only been charged with a felony, but it’s a violent felony. 

Zeldin, Teddy Roosevelt-like (except that Teddy was shot while he was speaking, and Zeldin, while shaken, was unharmed), continued his speech after being attacked. He ad-libbed that his attacker would probably be released, and he was, just hours after his arrest, on his own recognizance, just like the two drug-smugglers in California. This is because New York Democrats have installed another low-bail law, and are pursuing a deliberate “give criminals a break” policy. Acting Governor Kathy Hochul, who faces off  with  Zeldin on the ballot in November, said, “I condemn this violent behavior in the strongest terms possible — it has no place in New York.” Neither, apparently, does protecting citizens from violence-prone people, or appropriate punishment for violent crimes. Maybe Jakubonis will show up for trial, but if he does, that’s just moral luck. His release is still reckless and irresponsible—but consistent with the Left’s latest delusions.

It doesn’t matter: New York is so marinated in wokeness that nothing could defeat Hochul, even if Jakubonis now slaughters a house full of orphans while he’s on the lam. (Yes, that would be moral luck too.)

The research that is being ignored here—along with the basic realities of life—is the “Broken Window” syndrome, where societal inattention to small but gradually intensifying pathologies inevitably leads to rot, dead ethics alarms, and the proliferation of crime. Here’s recent example from Michigan:

  • The city of Kalamazoo, Michigan’s City Commission voted unanimously to decriminalized such misdemeanors as littering, public defecation, and urination.  Now they are merely civil infractions in the code of ordinances. After all,  the Commission observed, people convicted of these crimes, when they were crimes, could have their lives negatively affected. “One thing a lot of people don’t realize is a misdemeanor is for life as much as a felony. So many things come with a permanent record on somebody’s record,” explained Commissioner Chris Praedel.

Uh, Chris? Someone who craps on the street deserves to have that conduct on his permanent record. No, says, Kalamazoo Mayor David Anderson, that would be unfair!  Part of the reason for the changes, he said, was a concern about “equity” in the community.

Ugh. Equity should mean that all people who take a dump in public are treated the same way: be getting arrested, charged, fined or jailed. What it has come to mean is that because certain groups seem to engage in more of this anti-social conduct than others, the conduct itself must be tolerated.

Thus society’s standards get lower and lower, and respect for law, civility and ethics rots away. Oh, this will turn out so well. I know we’re in the midst of The Great Stupid, but I am still stunned by just how stupid, and the learning curves that aren’t just flat, but that actually curved downwards.

Starbucks announced that it would let anyone use the bathrooms or just hang around: now it’s closing bathrooms and stores, because the stores were being threatened and trashed.  (Though the chain should think about opening up a store in Kalamazoo, since toilets are no longer necessary…) San Francisco decriminalized shoplifting, and retail chains started fleeing the city. Police departments have had budgets cut and officers are being vilified, and for some reason, crime rates are rising.

Who could have foreseen it?

Anybody. Anybody not so lobotomized by how they wished the world works that they lost track of how the world, and human nature, does work.

9 thoughts on “Wow! Extreme Ideology And Resistance To Stubborn Reality Leads To Astoundingly Unethical And Irresponsible Policies…

  1. Jack,

    I do not believe that we have seen anywhere near how far the Great Stupid can go. We aren’t playing Limbo here, but how low can you go seems to be a serious challenge to some of these folks. I think we have a long ways yet to fall. And yes, cue Gina, “Be very afraid.”

  2. I remember reading articles by Goldman Sachs researchers ten or twenty years ago about how India and China would, in a few decades, return to their perch atop the world economy where they had been in the 1400s. I’ve been to China with Mrs. OB on her business trips and perhaps things could turn out that way there if they stopped employing half their population to control and surveil the other half. I’ve been to India with Mrs. OB on her business trips and I’m pretty certain India’s going to have serious problems so long as men and women in their business attire continue to drop trou or lift up their skirts to shit on the sidewalks, where there are sidewalks, and feral pigs root around next to high rise office buildings. (I could go on.) Why are Dems insistent on turning the US into a shithole country? This is equity? I remember a survivor of an Eastern European Communist regime saying Communists achieve equality … by making everyone poor.

  3. This is interesting:

    Who has jurisdiction? How is this a federal crime? Is the DOJ going to take over the local police and DA’s office pursuant to some sort of Federal judge’s consent decree? I mean, I can see this happening if the guy assaulted were black, but he’s WHITE! And a Republican! This is usually laudable behavior, not discriminatory and criminal. What’s going on here?

    • Lee Zeldin is also a U.S. Congressman, so that is probably where the federal charges come in. That’s right, a sitting US Congressman is attacked with a deadly weapon and the assailant is released without bail…as long as the victim is a Republican.

  4. “…but then I’m not deranged”
    Can we get a poll on that?

    Sorry, I held back as long as I could 😉

    But seriously, everything you said is actual “common sense”, unlike many of the things the left claim to be so. The guy that attacked Zeldin looked stoned or drunk or otherwise addled, and his choice of weapon matched that condition, as did his history. Why wasn’t he held for the mental health counseling and treatment they say is better than putting him “in the system”? An unpredictable nutjob on the loose could be more of a threat to random members of the general public than your typical gangbanger. As you say, not low risk.

  5. Common sense is now a sin. Actually, politicians from the Democratic Party have specifically said they do not want to hear about elected leaders using the “broken window theory,” because all it leads to is mass incarceration and the further marginalization of people who are already in a bad place. They, of course, all talk in terms of getting at the “root causes” of homelessness, crime, and other problems. In effect, they say that the way to solve these problems is to make sure that nobody is poor anymore. Unfortunately, that’s not possible without artificially propping up the bottom of society.

    The same people who decriminalized shoplifting now call the retail chains racist for fleeing the city. They accuse them of creating food deserts and making it impossible for low-income people to get the things they need. I believe that under those accusations lies an actual belief that these large corporations should “take one for the team” by continuing to operate at a loss in these environments, the idea being that whatever profits they lose there they can make up somewhere else. That is unfair to the companies, who exist to make a profit, not to act as de facto charities to those who decide that stealing things is easier than working for them. It is especially unfair to smaller organizations, that can targeted just as often. If you allow Mr D’Agostino’s family grocery to be attacked again and again, don’t complain when he retires, moves to Florida, and leaves the space empty. Don’t complain that the neighborhood has lost one of its anchors, or that now the local folks have that much harder of a time getting milk and fresh vegetables and fruit. Don’t complain that there’s now one more empty storefront where the homeless now sleep in the doorway. Don’t complain that yet another business has vanished and is no longer putting tax money into the city’s coffers. It is not fair to expect someone who has all of his money tied up in a family business to continue to risk the loss of that investment, and maybe of life and limb, because you have this hare-brained idea that somehow he owes the surrounding neighborhood and the city some debt for the privilege. Don’t bitch and moan that he and his wife are now living in a condo in Pompano Beach without too many worries while Juanita now has to pay $4.50 each way to take the bus to get fresh vegetables for her three kids. Don’t say that he is now lying on the beach while Monique can’t easily get milk for her two kids from different fathers. Don’t say that he abandoned the community when the reality is that the community abandoned him. It abandoned him when the local kids started stealing stuff and getting away with it, the local parents didn’t bother teaching them that it was better to be a productive member of society than a petty criminal, and the local politicians decided to defund the police and leave him with no protection. What’s more, the city is going to lean on and try to cajole the property owner, who is waiting until someone can pay market rent to get someone in there already, like it’s his responsibility to stop the neighborhood from going to crap and solve all these other problems that came from the exit of the store. Heaven forbid the locals or the politicians take that responsibility on themselves.

    Too many folks were brought up on 1990s overly optimistic entertainment, where idealistic activists, kids “looking to make a difference,” supportive teachers or politicians, or some combination of the above save the day. By the end of the book or the TV show, the empty store is now a brightly painted “community center” with a well-stocked pantry, several computer terminals, and two or three classrooms in which the locals are learning how to apply for food stamps, how to avoid being thrown out for not paying the rent, and other useful skills. It doesn’t work that way in real life, and the sooner people learn that the better.

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