25 October 2014

list of things I do not care about

That I heard a lot about this week.

1) Monica Lewinsky. If I am even hearing about this at all that is bullshit. That was almost 20 years ago. I do not need to be reminded I am getting older. At least not in this way.
2) Ebola in the US (and purported risk of epidemic). As distinguished from Ebola epidemic in West Africa, which is actually kind of a big deal.
3) Sarah Palin's family. If I am even hearing about this at all one year later (from 2008), that is bullshit.
4) Michael Brown shooting reports that do not alter general systemic problems of policing (for which the protests were largely spawned), or do not substantially alter what was already known or disputed (the shooting and circumstances leading up to it, or the circumstances of the fatal shots).

I've written mostly about the former problem and avoided pontificating on the latter (the circumstances of his death), in part because my general understanding is that it is quite likely the "shooting" itself may be deemed justified or legal in the same way that Zimmerman's shooting of Treyvon Martin was justifiable. Where the ethical/legal problem likely is residing isn't the procedures of "some sort of fight has broken out and I must defend myself". The actual ethical problem is that there was (possibly) a fight in the first place and that a series of events were escalated into a fatal scenario by an aggressor or agitator who is now rendered blameless despite (deliberately) creating a threatening scenario that another person may have felt obligated to react to with force. Police have established a pattern of other fatal incidents involving young black men (including not far from my residence) and escalating procedures of threats and force for what amounts to horribly trivial behavior (that should not rise to the level of criminality at all in most cases).

The preferred method should be de-escalation. Which is potentially less dangerous for the cops, less dangerous to bystanders, and less dangerous to ordinary citizens who may be shot at and killed deliberately by police.
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