Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Archive for the ‘Trump’ Category

Want a Gun? Mug a Teacher!

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Well, speaking of changing my mind, I was wrong about President Trump. I thought he had political acumen, and was smarter than he let on to be. The Walter White of politics. I mean, one has to say idiotic things to get elected president in modern America (using the word modern in the loosest possible sense) but that doesn’t mean one believes them. In Trump’s case, yes, it’s pretty clear he believes the nonsense he spews. He’s a trust baby con-artist with a knack for self promotion, who came along at the right time and place in history to get elected. The man clearly couldn’t think his way out of a paper bag.

Case in point. He thinks arming teachers is a solution to school shootings. Sigh. So much wrong with this idea it makes me want to pound my head against my tablet in frustration. Alas, like most Americans these days, I can’t afford a new tablet, so however much that might be satisfying, I must forgo the pleasure for now.

There’s all sorts of thing wrong with this idea, so we will start at the base. This is a classic downstream solution to a problem. Which is just what it sounds like. Say pollutants are being poured into a river, however, downstream the river is used to provide drinking water. Solution: Build a plant to filter the pollutants out of the water! Hopefully my astute readers can suggest better and cheaper ways to deal with the problem. Downstream solutions attack the symptoms of a problem, without actually addressing the causes of the problem.

And sadly they are often seriously proposed as solutions to a problem in America. That’s because corporate America loves downstream solutions. They are a great way to pass costs onto the public. Like my river example above, the factory dumping the pollutants saves money, and then the public pays for a factory downstream to fix the problem. Corporate America makes money at both ends, shareholders laugh all the way to the bank while the public picks up the tab. In the case of guns, we already have a $40 billion dollar industry costing the public something like $200 billion a year. This would just add $10 billion or more to the second figure, and a few billion to the first.

Looking closer at the proposed solution itself, what could possibly go wrong with putting 3.2 million guns into schools? First if all, training. To be prepared to deal with an active shooter situation requires extensive training. We are talking training 3.2 million people to essentially be qualified to be a SWAT team member. This will require massive expenditure on both facilities and trainers. And it will be ongoing, this sort of training requires constant practice. Qualified teachers are already overworked and underpaid and in short supply. Who is going to pay for all of this?

To be useful these 3.2 million guns need to be easily accessible. Which means they will sometimes fall into the wrong hands. Even with them strapped to teacher’s hips. And of course who is liable for the accidental shootings? Or the mistaken shootings? Having three million more armed “cops” in the schools means there will be more accidental shootings. And of course guns stolen to be used in other crimes, not just school shootings. Want a gun, mug a teacher!

And when there is a shooting and the cops arrive, how do they tell the armed shooters from the armed teachers? Are teachers now going to wear special vests on the job to identify them? How will the teachers be able to tell who is the actual shooter? And guess what, teachers snap too. Gonna be some really fun gunfights in the schools if this becomes a reality.

Lastly, really, we’re asking our 50 year old home ec teacher to shoot one of their students? People that are comfortable with shooting people become cops or join the army. Pretty much the last profession they choose is teaching children. Even with all the training in the world teachers are about the last and least qualified people to gun someone down.

As a final little aside, gee, let’s see, arm all the teachers and put them in uniform. Have the schools surrounded by a high fence and make the kids go through metal detectors to get inside. What are we talking about here? A freaking prison, that’s what. Hell, why bother teaching students at all, put em to work. Sure will shorten the school to prison pipeline, guess that will save some money.

In conclusion, in the history of dumb ideas, this one gets a gold medal. It’s actually hard to think of a stupider idea. Arming teachers makes the border wall look sensible in comparison, and the wall is an idea so dumb that even Reagan was able to understand it was unworkable. Alas, decades of Rush Limbaugh, charter schools, home schooling, and the like have left us with tens of millions of Americans who think ideas that would only work in comic books are serious public policy.

Jesus wept.

 

(While I still post here sporadically, the majority of my work is now posted on Patreon. I even made a video introduction, consider yourself warned. ;) Image above is a public domain drawing of the Columbine library. Note that an armed sheriff’s deputy on campus did not prevent the Columbine massacre.)

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Written by unitedcats

February 26, 2018 at 2:56 pm

Posted in Crime, Politics, Trump

Through Thick and Thin

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Another week, another series of depressing news stories. It’s been increasingly embarrassing to be an American since 1980, but the last year, boy howdy. The thing that got my attention this morning was China announcing it is going to build a Polar Silk Road. That is to say, they are going to open up the arctic to international shipping to and from China, cutting travel time almost in half to destinations in Europe. This is part of China’s one trillion dollar Belt and Road Initiative that will rebuild much of Eurasia’s transport infrastructure of roads, ports, and railroads … with China at the center.

In other words, China is actually putting “China first,” whereas the president of a decaying military empire on the other side of the planet uses “America first” as a slogan while the bankers, corporations, and military loot the public till. A trillion dollars for infrastructure or a trillion dollars more in bombers, one guess which is going to pay more dividends and create more jobs in the decades to come. And the amazing and maybe most embarrassing thing about this is that most Americans are oblivious as their leaders loot the country.

Still, more globally, ugly. 82 Percent of the Wealth Generated Last Year ‘Went to the Richest 1 Percent of the Global Population‘ This is minding numbing when one thinks about. Literally most of the world’s population is working to benefit under 100 million people. And billions of those working people are living in abject poverty. Call it whatever one wants, but the power structures of our planet are set up to exploit the many for the benefit of the few. Even a modest redistribution of this wealth would end world poverty, but no chance of that happening any time soon. Greed is the most powerful force in the Universe.

Meanwhile back on Earth, the two Koreas are increasingly talking to each other and making efforts to peacefully resolve their differences. The Trump administration is having none of it. I’m starting to wonder if China and the Koreas realize if play their cards right, they might well get a unified Korea under China’s protection. Think about it, if Trump really does lose it and order an attack on North Korea … and North Korea doesn’t retaliate against South Korea … anti US sentiment in the South would go through the roof. In fact globally anti US sentiment would take a huge hit. The US could end up getting kicked out of South Korea while Kim comes out of it as a national hero. Might even make Japan reconsider their relationship with the US. We’ll see, but if there was ever a US administration with an infantile understanding of global politics and international relations, Trump’s is it.

In local news, eleven school shootings in the US already, and we’re not even through the first month of the year! Looks like we will set a new record this year. The Trump administration is on it though, Trump has offered his “Thoughts and Prayers.” So sad. As others have noted, our national response to the Sandy Hook school massacre was exactly dip squat, so no one is holding their breath waiting for the US government to do anything about our nation’s horrific gun violence problem. In fact many Americans apparently like it this way.

In a bit of odd historical news, it was revealed that in 2013 San Francisco police received a letter purportedly from one of the three men who escaped from Alcatraz in 1962. Interesting indeed. Officially they drowned, and that’s what most people think. I did too for a long time, figuring that criminals usually lack judgement, and sooner or later one of them would have given themselves away. Later I realised since they had put together a remarkably clever and well planned escape, maybe they did have the good sense to lay low. Who knows, probably a hoax, maybe some day more light will be shed on this mystery.

Finally, science has looked into the eternal mystery, do lobsters feel pain? Are people who throw them live into boiling pots of water truly monsters? Well, actually, science only looked at the first question. And the answer is, maybe. Science can be really frustrating sometimes. Read all the details here.

Have a great weekend everyone

Written by unitedcats

January 26, 2018 at 12:48 pm

Posted in Politics, Trump, World

Tagged with , , ,