Wednesday, June 3, 2020

What “the science” is saying this week (Updated)


Andrew Sullivan calls our attention to epidemiologist Tara C. Smith, who moves with that curious herd of “experts” suddenly not terribly concerned about social distancing when the protesters filling the streets are left-wing rather than right-wing.  Writes Sullivan: “The message to normies: going outside is killing grandma. The message to woke kids: never mind!”

So which is it?  Were people like Smith lying before about the danger of spreading the virus, in order to promote a political agenda?  Or being honest about it but now willing to endanger countless lives, in order to promote a political agenda?

Adding smug cluelessness to her dishonesty and/or recklessness, Smith also sniffs that the difference is that those who rallied to end the lockdown were merely “protesting for their ability to get a haircut.” 

Yes, of course, haircuts.  It had nothing to do with wanting to get back to work in order to support their families, salvage businesses it took a lifetime to build, avoid depleting their life savings, get their kids back in the classroom, etc.  It was all about haircuts.

As I have argued, though a reasonable initial response to an imminent emergency, the lockdown was in the nature of the case harder to justify with each passing week, and has by now long passed the point of moral justifiability.  Indeed, if people like Smith aren’t urging this week’s protesters to get back indoors lest they endanger lives, they can hardly blame anyone but themselves if non-experts start to wonder whether the whole thing has been exaggerated.

The hypocrisy extends beyond Smith and underlines the danger of falling into fallacious thinking when appealing to authority, including the authority of “the science” we’re constantly told is being followed.  “The science” doesn’t tell us anything.  People who happen to be scientists tell us things.  And these are people who also happen to have egos, political views, moral opinions, career interests, peer influences, personal idiosyncrasies, and so on, all of which inevitably color what they think and say.  That doesn’t mean that what they say should be dismissed.  It means that what they say should not be taken as a revelation from some oracle, but rather as the fallible advice of paid professionals whose word should be taken with the same grain of salt as that of any other paid professional (your auto mechanic, your financial advisor, your doctor, your electrician, etc.).  Two grains, actually, since these professionals have tenure and captive classroom audiences, and thus never have to pay a price for giving bad advice.

As last month’s crisis goes on the backburner (if only because it has been pushed aside by another crisis), it may be possible to get some perspective on it.  I would suggest that now is the time to get your Paul Feyerabend on and dust off those copies of Science in a Free Society and The Tyranny of Science (which, as I noted in a review, would have been better titled The Tyranny of Scientism). Yes, he sometimes says things that are intentionally provocative and indeed over the top.  But Feyerabend provides a much needed corrective at a time when we’re shrilly told to shut up, sit back, and suck it up while the “experts” drive 40 million people out of work.  More on that soon.

UPDATE 6/4: Conor Friedersdorf at The Atlantic reports that:

This week, hundreds of people in the public-health community signed an open letter, first drafted by infectious-disease experts at the University of Washington, that explicitly counsels an ideological double standard on protests

[T]he signatories declared [that] “Infectious disease and public health narratives adjacent to demonstrations against racism must be consciously anti-racist, and infectious disease experts must be clear and consistent in prioritizing an anti-racist message…”

“[A]s public health advocates, we do not condemn these gatherings as risky for COVID-19 transmission”…

Notice the weaselly construction. The signatories “do not condemn these gatherings as risky” not because the potential risk for disease transmission is lower than at the Michigan protests, but because they are unwilling to criticize an anti-racist gathering, no matter how risky it might be…

NPR writer Bill Chappell quotes an elected official, Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser, as saying, “I’m so concerned about [the risk] that I’m urging everybody to consider their exposure…”

In other words, the politician is emphasizing the epidemiological risk, while disease experts stress the potential political gains.

End quote.  If you respond to all this with “But it’s for a good cause!” you are completely missing the point.  The point has nothing to do with whether the cause is good.  The point is that it is politics, and not merely “the science,” that partially determines the advice that “the experts” give.  And that was as true when anti-lockdown protesters were told to stay home as it is now that other protesters are not being told to stay home.

Whatever you think about it, the judgment that protesting police brutality is a good enough reason to relax the lockdown, but protesting the loss of 40 million jobs is not a good enough reason to relax it, is not a scientific judgment.  It is a moral and political judgment, and scientists have no greater expertise on such things than anyone else.

Friedersdorf correctly judges that “to frame today’s protests not only as a defensible choice but as a choice validated by experts – as if their expertise somehow encompassed all the trade-offs implicit in the judgment – is to pass politics off as public health.”  He worries that the fallout will be that “more Americans will decline to heed any public-health advice or journalism, seeing it as ideological and hypocritical.”  He sees what “the experts” do not, viz. the obvious.

212 comments:

  1. “So which is it? Were people like Smith lying before about the danger of spreading the virus, in order to promote a political agenda? Or being honest about it but now willing to endanger countless lives, in order to promote a political agenda?”

    Well, if you insist on putting it like that, it’s clearly the latter. Smith explicitly stated that she is “worried about” the protestors, meaning that she still sees the virus as a public health danger. So where, Professor Feser, do you derive the insinuation that she was “lying about the danger of spreading the virus”?

    But then , why would anyone insist on putting it like that? I imagine that if asked, Smith would say that the we are faced here with competing goods. On the one hand, there is the good of maintaining social distancing to prevent the further spread of the virus. And on the other hand, there is the good of demonstrating en masse to hasten an end to police brutality in communities of color and the systematic shielding of police from justice. I’m sure Smith would say that both of these goods are equally compelling; they are both necessary, even though they are alas incompatible. You may disagree with her premises in that respect, but that does not make her reasoning invalid.

    Now as for Smith’s “haircut” remark, yes, it was indelicate (as Twitter comments so often are). But what she seems to be saying is that one’s desire to return to “normality” (to exercise one’s natural right to earn money through work, as you put it) during a global pandemic does NOT outweigh the public’s interest in containing that pandemic through forced social distancing. Now I hardly think Smith or anyone else would need to do much work arguing for that proposition, since it’s one that you yourself, Professor Feser, claim to agree with (albeit qualifiedly).

    So Smith’s perceived hypocrisy seems not to exist — or, at least, it isn’t as obvious as this snide blog post would have us believe.

    And by the way, now that we are approaching 120 thousand dead, with no end in sight — and that even after three months of forced social distancing — are we still maintaining the delusion that “the experts” were overstating the danger of this virus (because their commitment to some nefarious left-wing agenda, etc.)? Indeed, we can be sure that they *weren’t* overstating, because we have their own words on record. At the beginning of the lockdown, Dr. Fauci et al estimated that 100 to 250 thousand people would be dead by August. And we seem on track to fall squarely in that range.

    Please, stick to metaphysics.

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    1. OK, so your answer to my question is that she's putting grandma's life at risk for political purposes. You could have said that more succinctly.

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    2. "Please, stick to metaphysics".

      What's interesting is how much you think he said is reasonable even whilst disagreeing with him!

      "Well, if you insist on putting it like that, it’s *clearly* the latter."

      "You may disagree with her premises in that respect, but that does not make her reasoning invalid." Reasonable to disagree with her premises?

      "Now as for Smith’s “haircut” remark, yes, it was indelicate . . . Now I hardly think Smith or anyone else would need to do much work arguing for that proposition, since it’s one that you yourself, Professor Feser, claim to agree with (albeit qualifiedly)."



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    3. The death count is definitely exaggerated, since anyone who is suspected of having Covid, even those who don't test positive for the illness. My family is fighting the government regarding the death certificate of a relative who died of cancer a month ago, and was put down as a Covid death even though he was never tested.

      The other problem is whether forced social distancing, wearing masks, etc. is helping to the degree that it is justified. The proper comparison is the long-term death rate with vs. without these extreme measures.

      Since an effective vaccine is unlikely to come in the near future (we've been waiting how long for a SARS vaccine), our only hope is herd immunity. As we approach that end, lockdown measures become less and less justified.

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    4. And an addendum: there is good evidence that the lockdowns did not help, and even if they did, continuing the lockdowns is counterproductive. Countries that have ended or reduced their lockdown measures have overall seen a DECREASE in infection rates.

      https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8347635/Lockdowns-failed-alter-course-pandemic-JP-Morgan-study-claims.html

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    5. Professor Feser, please read what I wrote more carefully. And for that matter, read what Dr. Smith wrote instead of straw-manning her.

      Would Smith *personally* prefer that grandma should be put at risk for the sake of bringing a quicker end to police brutality? From that tweet alone, we cannot say. As I wrote, she seems to think saving grandma and shining the spotlight on systemic abuses (and also, of course, demonstrating for justice for George Floyd, in particular) are competing goods. There is no fast and easy formula for choosing one over the other, or for finding the right balance. It’s a moral ambiguity. (Does Thomism even allow for that?)

      What is more — I’ll say it once again — we should charitably read Smith as saying that the end-the-lockdown-now protestors failed to make the case as to why considerations of “freedom” or general economic well-being should take precedence of saving grandma’s life. Which (again) is a viewpoint you’ve professed sympathy for.

      Her plain intention — and how could it be missed except through willful distortion by the likes of you and Sullivan? — is that the two types of protests are not morally on par.

      Why don’t you argue *that* point instead of accusing her of “dishonesty”? And I’ll point out again that it’s not just her you’ve accused of dishonesty, but the entire community of experts (no scare quotes needed) — which, as I mentioned in my above post, and as you didn’t address, is entirely ludicrous given that the expert predictions are currently (sadly) being borne out.

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    6. They're not morally on par? That's how the first amendment works these days, is it?

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    7. Drew,
      The death count is definitely exaggerated, since anyone who is suspected of having Covid, even those who don't test positive for the illness.

      The best estimates say that we are under-counting covid deaths, and that's even before we look at how states like Georgia and Florida are fudging the numbers.

      It's true that scientists are just people. So are right-wing opinion-makers. Scientists have a larger tendency to base their opinions on science.

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    8. Was it Florida and Georgia radically undercounting nursing home deaths by not counting the deaths of those patients who had to be sent to hospital? Or was it Cuomo the grannie killer?

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    9. Paul, you really are overselling our counter. She refers to the lockdown protest as being about haircuts, which you and I both know she's doesnt actually believe.

      This is not about her not thinking the goods are morally on par, she has so much disdain for it, she tries to downplay and lie about it. But why?

      It's not at all unreasonable to think politics is the reason.

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    10. Paul Pragmatist,

      In your haste to condemn Edward Feser as being uncharitable, you've ceased being charitable to him, as he already has pointed out in this article that the pro-Quarantine crowd has no moral leg to stand on at this point in time.

      Also, any sane observer can see that the riots (which you euphemistically refer to as demonstrations) are 1) ineffectual at actually getting anything done politically, 2) based on bald-faced lies like "systematic racism," and therefore, 3) utterly pointless. Furthermore, pretty much every Leftist is bending over backwards to deny any violence is occurring, and that if it did occur, it's due to white supremacy (of all things!).

      Smith is definitely duplicitous (or at least, highly delusional) if she's characterizing the anti-Lockdown protestors as just wanting to get their haircuts while characterizing the violent and utterly pointless riots as a protest against police violence (which, again, is a bald-faced lie!). Especially given how we've been hearing that blacks are especially vulnerable to Covid-19!

      Sources for this:

      Violence: https://t.me/RealVincentJames/4121

      The Bald-Faced Lie: https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/06/the-sole-justification-offered-for-the-riots-is-a-fiction/

      Blacks disproportionately affected by Covid-19: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/racial-ethnic-minorities.html

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    11. You make a very limited valid point, in that Smith's position *can be* phrased as a logically coherent cost-benefit analysis. However, if that formulation happens to line up with a political ideology, while being completely unhinged from the facts, it doesn't help the argument much.

      How is it unhinged from the facts? Well, the lockdown protesters had factually-based grievances. No one disputes that people were deprived of their normal freedom to live their lives for an extended period of time. No one disputes massive job losses, businesses gone broke, loss of therapy and social interaction, not to mention other downstream effects of these.

      The current protests, on the other hand, are based on a myth of systemic police brutality and racial bias. Surely a scientist like Smith can look up the statistics on racial discrepancies in policing, crime rates, etc., and see that this is false. But it is amazing how fast the left ditches "DATA AND SCIENCE" for anecdote and emotion when it suits the agenda. (And even the anecdotes they use are often complete fictions, such as "hands up, don't shoot!").

      The $64 trillion question is: why are our ruling elites promoting lies that are known to cause societal discord and mob violence? Why are they jeopardizing the incredible progress that has been made on race relations in the last few decades and applauding as mobs burn cities? I don't have a great answer, but if you're not asking those questions, you're not helping.

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    12. @Paul Pragmatist
      «So where, Professor Feser, do you derive the insinuation that she was “lying about the danger of spreading the virus”?»

      I don't see any such insinuation, the alternative is clear, these experts have either been honest or dishonest. If they were dishonest their utterances can only be called lies - hence the first alternative, they have been lying.

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    13. Anonymous,
      Was it Florida and Georgia radically undercounting nursing home deaths by not counting the deaths of those patients who had to be sent to hospital?

      No, they were instead attributing deaths to pneumonia, with more deaths supposedly from pneumonia than the sum of the previous five years.

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    14. Mister Geocon,
      2) based on bald-faced lies like "systematic racism," and therefore

      Thank you for outing yourself as an ignorant buffoon.

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    15. Alessio,
      The current protests, on the other hand, are based on a myth of systemic police brutality and racial bias.

      Thank you for outing yourself as an ignorant buffoon.

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    16. Thank you for outing yourself as an ignorant buffoon.

      Thank you for showing that you prefer inflammatory rhetoric and emotional hectoring to data and rational argument. According to the definition of ‘systemic racism’ offered by the race-baiters of the Left, all of society, merely by existing, is inherently racist; all white people are inherently racist, no non-white people can ever be racist, and nothing can alter these things; and this all-pervasive racism justifies any and every crime committed by any non-white person, even if the victim of the crime is not white. It’s a myth, and a stupid one, but very widespread.

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    17. @One Brow:

      If there is an ignorant buffon here it is you. What you are peddling is pure delusion. By the way, how is your pal, grandma killer Cuomo?

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    18. One Brow, care to prove it?

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    19. @One Brow

      I'd respond to defend myself from being "an ignorant buffoon," but I think that Tom Simon, grodrigues, and the Anonymous poster asking you to prove that I'm a buffoon have made my point.

      I'd simply add that I already posted a link showing that "systemic racism" is a lie. I understand that Leftists like yourself define idiocy as disagreeing with your ideology, but not subscribing to egalitarian ideology isn't the same as being stupid.

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    20. Tom Simon,
      Thank you for showing that you prefer inflammatory rhetoric and emotional hectoring to data and rational argument.

      Some positions are so vile, and so contrary to fact, that emotional hectoring is called for.

      According to the definition of ‘systemic racism’ offered by the race-baiters of the Left, ...

      So, I'm supposed to believe that someone using the term "race-baiters of the Left", with a capital "L" no less, is about to offer rational argument? Look to the speck in your own eye.

      ... all of society, merely by existing, is inherently racist; all white people are inherently racist, no non-white people can ever be racist, and nothing can alter these things; and this all-pervasive racism justifies any and every crime committed by any non-white person, even if the victim of the crime is not white.

      Thank you for the straw men, but my bed is already full. I agree that if this is what you call rational argument, it's certainly not worth the dust on my shoes.

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    21. grodrigues,
      What you are peddling is pure delusion.

      You find scientific research and it's results to be pure delusion?

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    22. Anonymous,
      One Brow, care to prove it?

      I'm not sure to which "it" you refer. Do you mean increased prevalence of pneumonia in Florida and Georgia?

      Historical data is here. I used the same ICD10 codes as the link below uses for "pneumonia".

      Florida deaths from pneumonia for an entire year (2019 not available at this link).

      Florida (12) 2013 2,504
      Florida (12) 2014 2,508
      Florida (12) 2015 2,543
      Florida (12) 2016 2,637
      Florida (12) 2017 2,800
      Florida (12) 2018 2,623

      Georgia deaths

      Georgia (13) 2013 1,425
      Georgia (13) 2014 1,397
      Georgia (13) 2015 1,402
      Georgia (13) 2016 1,369
      Georgia (13) 2017 1,322
      Georgia (13) 2018 1,287

      Current data (four months's worth) is here:

      Florida 5,872
      Georgia 2,234

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    23. Mister Geocon,
      I'd respond to defend myself from being "an ignorant buffoon," but I think that Tom Simon, grodrigues, and the Anonymous poster asking you to prove that I'm a buffoon have made my point.

      The statement that I quoted was more than sufficient proof.

      I'd simply add that I already posted a link showing that "systemic racism" is a lie.

      You mean, the National Review article that said, Harvard economist Roland Fryer conducted a now-famous systematic review of police violence, and found that cops were more likely to use low-level force against black suspects than against white suspects, but no more likely to use lethal force. The racial disparities in the use of low-level force shrank when Fryer accounted for differences in group behavior, but a gap remained between white and nonwhite suspects even after such controls. And the fact that the police are more likely to place their hands on a black suspect, push them into a wall, or shove them to the ground no doubt contributes to the sense of hostility between law enforcement and African Americans.

      Had you basic reading ability, you should be able to see that his quote confirms the existence of systemic racism, from the source you chose for yourself.

      I understand that Leftists like yourself define idiocy as disagreeing with your ideology, but not subscribing to egalitarian ideology isn't the same as being stupid.

      "Ignorant" =/= "stupid". Further, I didn't propose any ideology. I would also argue that capitalizing the "L" in in "leftists" is an elementary mistake, but since my own typing is so poor, we can assume that's a typo and not an ignorance of the rules of grammar.

      Still, for someone trying to portray themself as not ignorant, I would say not correctly reading a major point of your own article, confusing a lack of learning with a lack of ability to learn, and denouncing an ideology I never addressed is not offering support for your claim of not being an ignorant buffon.

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    24. Alessio,
      With all due respect, that is insane. It's amazing, and tragic, what spectacularly false things the media can make otherwise intelligent people believe.

      I agree it's amazing and tragic what spectacularly false things the media can make otherwise intelligent people believe. I just disagree on which of us the media is confusing.

      The instances of unjustified killings by police are vanishingly rare when you put them in the context of the millions of police-citizen interactions that happen across the country. The statistics do not show a massively disproportionate impact on black people when you control for crime rates, and certainly not to the degree one would expect to see if police were "systematically" "hunting" black people, as LeBron James and the like so helpfully claim.

      You know, if you are referring to the Dr. Fryer study, you should really read it. All the caveats, the dependence entirely on first-person police reports, and the acknowledgment that their statistics can be skewed by blacks and Hispanics being more likely to have contact initiated. Naturally, when you pull over/detain/etc. black people much more often than whites, fewer of them will be shot.

      The reality is that instances of police misconduct are the exceptions in an otherwise quite well-functioning system. Like any system involving human beings, there are mistakes and bad actors. But there are in fact systemic processes, which are constantly being improved, for identifying and correcting these mistakes.

      There also the bad training which focuses on treating their fellow civilians as the enemy.

      Citizen videos and surveilance videos have also become far more common, catching incidents that might have escaped punishment in past decades. All of these things are moving in a direction of ever more accountability.

      Certainly that last one.

      Why are some police killings not successfully prosecuted? There are a number of factors that have nothing to do with racism or coordinated injustice.

      Absolutely, which does not deny that there are several that do involve racism and coordinated injustice.

      In this context, to hold all officers to a standard of absolute perfection would be the opinion of a complete ignoramus or a sociopath.

      Who has called for that standard?

      No sane person risks giving up all of that for the "pleasure" of killing some unarmed person because he's a different color.

      Who's claiming the killing is being done for pleasure?

      If change means incremental improvements in training, screening, and disciplinary procedures for police officers, there would be very little opposition to this. And it would not require massive protests that invite riots.

      Perhaps when the police stop rioting, the protests will be calmer. No, not joking nor sarcasm. You can see the difference in how these protests go when the police show up in every day uniforms and when they show up in riot gear.

      This is the bottom line. A fine-tuned system can always be even more finely tuned.

      The racism in the system is already pretty finely tuned, I'll grant you.

      But if you misdiagnose the problem as requiring radical overhaul, as happens if you swallow the systemic/racism/impunity lie, you risk getting something far worse. And as usual, the Left is willing to jump right into disaster with both feet and take us all with them.

      As usual, you can count of the ignorant buffoons to deny the plain racism every serious contributor acknowledges, selectively quote studies, and build straw men to battle.

      This is now the third time I'm seeing "Left" with a capital "L". What's up with that?

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    25. One Brow,

      The Harvard study you cited doesnt prove racism, unless you are claiming the only physical differences between races is skin colour. It is a non-sequitur to point to racial disparities and conclude racism.

      What is known is that police use greater force on those that are percieved as heavier and taller. Not only are Blacks heavier and taller than Whites, on average, they are percieved as heavier and taller than whites of the same weight and height. That isnt racism but explains what the studies show.

      That indicates a perception problem with judging weight and height, which should be addressed, but to judge systemic racism from that is genuine reaching. Systemic racism may be there. The problem I see is that some people quite clearly think systemic racism is obvious, and willing to demonise the other side for questioning it. But if it's so obvious, why is it so hard to prove it?

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    26. @One Brow:

      "You find scientific research and it's results to be pure delusion?"

      You wouldn't know scientific research if it bit your nose off.

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    27. First of all, what you wrote above doesn't even make a great deal of sense. Do you mean to say if they are contacted more often, they will be shot at a lower RATE? Not less overall, right? But either way, not necessarily. Second, a relatively small difference in outcomes between races does not indicate "systemic" racism, not if we're using "systemic" correctly. Small differences could easily be accounted for by other things, such as the attitudes of the people being contacted and their behavior towards police, or differences in the surrounding circumstances that are too subtle to be controlled for, statistically. Third and most importantly, the relatively small TOTAL number of these (arguably) unjustified killings by itself proves that they are isolated exceptions, not a pattern. That was my most important point earlier, and you ignored it.

      "There also the bad training which focuses on treating their fellow civilians as the enemy."

      Citation to evidence? And how is this about race?

      "Absolutely, which does not deny that there are several that do involve racism and coordinated injustice."

      The usual recountings of police "getting away with murder" generally do not acknowledge these factors, let alone show that there remains anything to be explained, once they are, nor that it has anything to do with race.

      "Who has called for that standard?"

      It's implicit in the many, many examples of people calling for murder convictions when a death results from an officer's lapse in judgment or misperception of the circumstances, when intent to kill is clearly absent.

      "Who's claiming the killing is being done for pleasure?"

      It's implied in the narrative of "racist cops" "hunting down" unarmed black people. It's implied by disregarding the difficult situations that officers are placed in, and proclaiming "murder" when an officer's mistake results in someone dying.

      "Perhaps when the police stop rioting, the protests will be calmer. No, not joking nor sarcasm. You can see the difference in how these protests go when the police show up in every day uniforms and when they show up in riot gear."

      Not only bizarre, but also non-responsive and changes the subject.

      "As usual, you can count of the ignorant buffoons to deny the plain racism every serious contributor acknowledges, selectively quote studies, and build straw men to battle."

      Of course, "every serious contributor" means the ones you agree with.

      "This is now the third time I'm seeing "Left" with a capital "L". What's up with that?"

      Since Leftism is a religion, I figured I should respectfully capitalize it.

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    28. Sorry, my first paragraph above was in response to:

      "You know, if you are referring to the Dr. Fryer study, you should really read it. All the caveats, the dependence entirely on first-person police reports, and the acknowledgment that their statistics can be skewed by blacks and Hispanics being more likely to have contact initiated. Naturally, when you pull over/detain/etc. black people much more often than whites, fewer of them will be shot."

      Just to amplify on this point, though. Small statistical differences COULD indicate some level of racial bias, and if so, incremental improvements should be made to correct this.

      But the radical claims and especially the tone of the anti-police crowd imply a vastly larger disparity than anything that even arguably shows up in the stats. It's hysterically disproportionate, at best.

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    29. Was it scientific research, One Brow, that caused you to insinuate that it was the right who were responsible for the anarchist symbols and a lot of the damage (provocateurs as you said) and white supremacists who burnt St. John's and other churches in these protests? Or are you just a disturbingly partisan moron and conspiracy theorist, who perhaps has some fallen down and smacked his head?

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    30. One Brow, care to prove now the reasons for these numbers are the sinister one suggest?

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    31. Predictably, the conspiracy theorist is spreading conspiracies:

      https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/dont-fall-for-the-story-accusing-florida-of-hiding-covid-deaths-as-pneumonia

      Sometimes, "pneumonia" is given as someone's singular, underlying cause of death. But much more often it is listed as one cause among many. Each of these numbers is counted separately by health officials.

      The Reddit post that has fooled people into thinking there's a Florida cover-up confuses these two counts. For past years, it looks at how often pneumonia was listed as the sole cause of death, coming up with a number that is relatively small. For this year, on the other hand, it uses the number of deaths for which pneumonia is a cause but maybe not the cause. That number is much larger because it isn't comparable.


      Get out of here with you bs and conspiracies.

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    32. Quite frankly, One Brow is a victim of the modern Left's ideological blinders, particularly the Hermeneutics of Suspicion, which Feser discusses in his post on "The Bizarro World of Left-Wing Politics."

      This is really what's my problem with the notion of "systemic racism." The entire thing is rife with nonsense.

      I don't see how one could make the argument that black criminals are victims given how they commit 50% of all homicides, 90% of the interracial attacks between blacks and whites, the highest rate of rape, the highest rate of assault, the homicide of thousands of blacks annually, the highest hate crime rate, and over 33% of police killings.

      This post has an excellent list of all of the information: https://tinyurl.com/y8ktoomy

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    33. Everyone I disagree with is a white supremacistJune 5, 2020 at 11:28 PM

      One Brow literally thinks right-wing provocateurs were responsible for a lot of the virus and that it was white supremacists burning churches this last week. He's more than your usual hack.

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    34. Everyone I disagree with is a white supremacistJune 5, 2020 at 11:32 PM

      *violence

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    35. Billy,
      The Harvard study you cited doesnt prove racism,

      Of course not. It's science, and science looks at evidence. It provides evidence of racism.
      Also, I did not quote a Harvard study, I quoted an article from the National Review, one in a link offered to show that police don't police in a racist fashion, even though the article explicitly says they do.

      I find the ability of people to so selectively absorb and process information fascinating, which we will return to later on.

      It is a non-sequitur to point to racial disparities and conclude racism.

      Non sequiturs are a logical term. We're looking at a scientific study. That's a category error.

      Not only are Blacks heavier and taller than Whites, on average, they are percieved as heavier and taller than whites of the same weight and height. That isnt racism but explains what the studies show.

      You just gave a clear, obvious example of racism and then said it was not racism. This is an example of what I meant above about the curious ways people process information.

      But if it's so obvious, why is it so hard to prove it?

      Because some people try to define the term out of existence?

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    36. grodriguesJune 5, 2020 at 1:28 PM
      You wouldn't know scientific research if it bit your nose off.

      Thank you for taking the mask off for a moment.

      Delete
    37. Alessio,
      Small differences could easily be accounted for by other things, such as the attitudes of the people being contacted and their behavior towards police, or differences in the surrounding circumstances that are too subtle to be controlled for, statistically. Third and most importantly, the relatively small TOTAL number of these (arguably) unjustified killings by itself proves that they are isolated exceptions, not a pattern. That was my most important point earlier, and you ignored it.

      This is the type of drivel that can only said by someone who doesn't understand the culture or the interactions it creates. Black parents actually have talks with their kids about how to react to the police to minimize the amount of hassle they need to endure from them. If anything, overall the "attitudes of the" white "people being contacted" tend to be more confrontational and hostile. However, the police respond to these people with more patience and tolerance, generally.

      "There also the bad training which focuses on treating their fellow civilians as the enemy."

      Citation to evidence? And how is this about race?


      If you really want to see evidence of police training, seminars, etc. talking about other civilians as the enemy, it is abundant. As for how this affects race, we have 1) police trained to deal with threats harshly, and 2) black people being more likely to be seen as threatening. Put those together, and what is the result?

      It's implicit ...

      So, rather than listen to what is actually being said, you decide to put your own exaggerated, self-aggrieved spin on what people are asking.

      Not only bizarre, but also non-responsive and changes the subject.

      Yes, reality is so bizarre that the interaction between police and other civilians is dependent not only on the behavior of the other civilians, but also on the behavior of the police. How strange.

      Of course, "every serious contributor" means the ones you agree with.

      I have my share of disagreements with a lot of serious people. That doesn't mean I can't tell the difference between a serious person that I disagree with and a non-serious person.

      Since Leftism is a religion, I figured I should respectfully capitalize it.

      Curious how only rightists feel that leftist ideas are religious. It comes across to me as being inherently disrespectful and mocking. So, who asked for this "respect"?

      But the radical claims and especially the tone of the anti-police crowd imply a vastly larger disparity than anything that even arguably shows up in the stats. It's hysterically disproportionate, at best.

      Do you really think slinging around mischaracterizations like "anti-police crowd" is helpful? The vast majority of these protestor want better policing, not less or no policing.

      I would agree that the experience of the day-to-day small indignities probably generates an overall impression that the larger transgressions are happening in the same disproportionate frequency as the smaller transgressions. That's not going to change as long as the small transgressions continue to be inflicted in a disproportionate manner.

      Delete
    38. Anonymous,
      The Reddit post that has fooled people into thinking there's a Florida cover-up confuses these two counts.

      Perhaps I should not have used a Reddit post for my numbers.

      Never mind, I just remembered I used the numbers right off the CDC website, and they are using the same standards for both sets of numbers. Perhaps you should not let the Washington Examiner do your thinking for you.

      So, over that four-month period, Florida has 2,200 covid19 deaths and 5,872 pneumonia deaths. Even if you assume every single covid19 death also had pneumonia as a comorbidity, that leaves 3,672 pneumonia deaths over a four-month-period, about 1,000 more people than in most previous years.

      I look forward to you finding a Washington Examiner article that explains this discrepancy.

      Get out of here with you bs and conspiracies.

      I think a lack of testing and everyday human bias is more than sufficient to explain the under-reporting of covid19. No conspiracy needed.

      Delete
    39. Mister Geocon,
      Quite frankly, One Brow is a victim of the modern Left's ideological blinders,

      Quite frankly, someone who feels the need to capitalize 'left' has too many planks to worry about the specks of others.

      I don't see how one could make the argument that black criminals are victims given how they commit 50% of all homicides, 90% of the interracial attacks between blacks and whites, the highest rate of rape, the highest rate of assault, the homicide of thousands of blacks annually, the highest hate crime rate, and over 33% of police killings.

      After you adjust for wealth and location, white people have slightly higher rates of homicide, rape, interracial attacks, assaults, and police killings. Mind you, I don't think white people are morally inferior. They're just allowed to get away with more stuff. Hoewever, I can see where a person of your views would regard whites as being morally inferior.

      Delete
    40. Everyone I disagree with is a white supremacist,

      That's a pretty awful thing to say.

      One Brow literally thinks right-wing provocateurs were responsible for a lot of the virus

      ????? Sarcasm?

      and that it was white supremacists burning churches this last week.

      I don't know who burned churches last week. I just mentioned who had burned them historically.

      He's more than your usual hack.

      What a kind thing to say.

      Delete
    41. Sorry, i just saw the correction.

      It's a fact that there are right-wing provocateurs committing violence at these protests. Probably a handful police as well, it's a long-standing tradition of counter-intelligence to exacerbate the violence.

      Delete
    42. Everyone I disagree with is a white supremacistJune 6, 2020 at 3:52 PM

      Lolz are you for real? Partisan hack and conspiracy theorist seems an understatement.

      Delete
    43. One Brow,

      "Non sequiturs are a logical term. We're looking at a scientific study. That's a category error."

      After looking at this study, you said "his quote confirms the existence of systemic racism"

      You are making an inductive argument that the evidence of racial disparities confirms the existence of systemic racism. That conclusion does not follow.

      "You just gave a clear, obvious example of racism and then said it was not racism."

      I did not. Incorrect judgements are not necessarily unjust judgements. You need to bridge that divide, and so far, you haven't and as far as I can tell, its hardly ever done. The information doesn't help bridge this divide, but you think it does without providing any reason. You assumed it, so maybe its more important for you to look at how you process information.

      "Because some people try to define the term out of existence?"

      Maybe some people do. I'm not. I'd also say that some people, such as yourself, try to expand the definition of the term to encompass situations where it doesn't necessarily apply, as you have here.

      Delete
    44. Billy,

      After looking at this study, you said "his quote confirms the existence of systemic racism"

      Again, that quote was from an article in the National Review.

      You are making an inductive argument that the evidence of racial disparities confirms the existence of systemic racism. That conclusion does not follow.

      It is the only plausible explanation, given the data. What's your alternative?

      I did not. Incorrect judgements are not necessarily unjust judgements. You need to bridge that divide, and so far, you haven't and as far as I can tell, its hardly ever done. The information doesn't help bridge this divide, but you think it does without providing any reason. You assumed it, so maybe its more important for you to look at how you process information.

      So, incorrect judgments that result in unjust treatment are not unjust judgments? That's an interesting separation.

      Maybe some people do. I'm not. I'd also say that some people, such as yourself, try to expand the definition of the term to encompass situations where it doesn't necessarily apply, as you have here.

      Really? This thread is already too long, so I won't be back to it after today, but perhaps one of these days you'll tell me what you think are the appropriate markers of racism. Perhaps it has even existed in the world, according to you.

      Delete
  2. Paul Pragmatist,

    Concerning your euphemistic use of "demonstrating en masse".

    Here.

    Here.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Future NYT headline: “Tear Gas Cured the Rona!”

    Current overall death count is at 104% of expected total deaths for the United States. The peak was on the week of April 11th at 136% and has declined since. How many of next year’s flu victims have we killed this year? As time goes on and these number solidify, we’re going to see.

    https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/COVID19/index.htm

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is tear gas available over-the-counter?

      Delete
  4. OP
    "“The science” doesn’t tell us anything. People who happen to be scientists tell us things. "
    Dr. Feser, you have this back to front.

    A terrific thing about science is precisely that, ideally, who is doing the talking is irrelevant, rather it is the scientific conclusions based on sound methodologies that matter.

    "The science" is the whole body of collected data, study of mechanisms, biological processes, social interaction patterns, and mathematical models that "tell us" how to make rational government policies and how to personally behave and act rationally and responsibly.

    Science, done well, stands or falls on the scientific merits, not on who is talking.

    There are no scientific authorities in the sense of individuals who's scientific pronouncements are to be taken as true by virtue of who has made the pronouncement.

    Rather, it is the science itself, meaning the whole body of data and knowledge and analysis, that informs us, or "tells us".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is interesting, because often when people try to use SCIENCE in an argument, they include such phrases as "all the experts," or "Scientific concensus," or "97% of Climate Scientists." And that is not entirely illegitimate. For the simpler issues, sure, data can be interpreted by anyone. But there are also highly specialized areas there is far too much data for a single human brain to comprehend and interpret.

      Delete
    2. But when you're presenting information, you can choose to present it in a way that influences certain reactions of the masses. E.x. (with statistics not identical, but similar to, current CoVID-19 stats).
      1. The death rate is 20%
      2. The death rate, broken down is 99% elderly people with heart conditions and 1% everyone else.

      I'm surprised you'd argue that the science is informing us. Only in a sense unrelated to the article is this statement true. Scientific data informs educated individuals who study it; the general masses (i.e. the "us" of whom Feser speaks), is the average Joe who trusts what scientists tell them.

      Delete
    3. Journey 516, it’s worse than that. The average Joe trusts what the media tell him, provided that the media can find some mouthpiece with a Ph.D. and a white lab coat to say it. Considering that scientists are no more immune than anyone else to incompetence, bias, and corrupt motives, you can pretty much find a scientist to shill for any position that you want to publicize.

      Delete
    4. "...mechanisms, biological processes, social interaction patterns, and mathematical models that "tell us" how to make rational government policies..."

      This is precisely the sort of scientism Hayek rightly denounced as "the fatal conceit" and "an abuse of reason".

      The irony is that the supposedly "value-free" experts (i.e., fact-value distinction affirming modern scientists) are implicitly treated as the proper authorities for sorting out values at the society-wide level, because the mathematical models can't interpret themselves - they can't replace value judgments.

      If they could, why not forego elections and let a computer make all our legislative and public policy decisions?

      Delete
    5. It's a funny thing about science: facts and data can stare you in the face, but you have to CHOOSE TO LOOK AT THEM before the facts and data can impact your thinking.

      About 10 years ago, an elderly friend with high blood pressure was directed to start using baby aspirin by his doctor. He is a scientist, physicist, did time at CERN), and knows how to research, so he started researching baby aspirin for heart / blood pressure issues. He found not just one or two, but overwhelming evidence, studies and all, that showed that statistically, taking baby aspirin (by the elderly) caused more bad health than it prevented. And the studies weren't new, either. When he tried to get his cardiologist to look at the studies, his doctor blew him off. Why? Because prescribing baby aspirin was "the gold standard" of care and had been for decades, and didn't need to look at data and studies and statistical results. However, last year, we have Harvard Medical School changing its tune:

      In March, the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC) recommended against the routine use of low-dose (81-mg) aspirin in people older than 70 who do not have existing heart disease and haven't had a stroke,

      https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/a-major-change-for-daily-aspirin-therapy

      Funny thing is that the FACTS were there as soon as old people started baby aspirin on a mass scale. The data could have been collected by scientists in the 1980s or 1990s, but wasn't. It WAS collected in the 2000s, and analyzed, and published in studies, but nobody was listening. Now, though, people are starting to listen, but it REMAINS true that even doctors are still prescribing aspirin against official American Heart Association guidelines:

      These findings suggest that, nationwide, about 29 million people who don’t have cardiovascular disease take aspirin daily for prevention—and 6.6 million do so without a health care provider recommendation.

      What's funny about that reporter's comment is that he MISSED the fact that 22.4M people are taking aspirin because their doctor recommended it, but contrary to the (relatively new) guidelines.

      My point is that (1) often facts are available that "science" (i.e. scientists) leave on the ground because they choose not to collect the facts and make use of them, and (2) even when somebody does collect the facts and turn them into a statistically-driven study with results, OTHER scientists may well continue on ignoring them, and continue on saying that "science" supports X when the actual science done to study the issue (instead of make assumptions like "since taking baby aspirin reduces blood clots, on the whole it is good for elderly people") doesn't support X.

      Experiments don't organize themselves and report on outcomes: scientists have to. Data doesn't collect itself and generate statistical analyses, scientists have to. Statistics don't organize themselves into syllogisms with conclusions about better procedures and guidelines, scientists have to. And scientists, while they are often motivated to search for and accept truth, are ALSO motivated by as many other things as anyone else is, leading them to do things like NOT collect data on X, or NOT to do experiments on X, or NOT to think of X statistical aspect and focus only on Y part of the statistics, or NOT to read up on studies already done - as much from laziness as from any positive cause.

      Delete
    6. Science is based on observation.

      As soon as you ask two scientists if the glass is half full, or half empty; you will observe something of the science of psychology.

      Throw in some politics and racial tension and science goes out the window.

      Delete
    7. Tim,
      "As soon as you ask two scientists if the glass is half full, or half empty"
      The materialist scientific answer is that both methods of referencing the relative volume of material in the glass are equally valid as gross approximations, with the choice of means of expressing the contents arbitrary.

      The glass contents can be quantified as a total mass of material that has a total volume. The volume of material in the glass can be compared to the volume of the glass. One can write a ratio of material volume to glass volume, or one can subtract the material volume from the glass volume and write a ratio of that empty volume to the glass volume.

      Of course, those are just aggregate approximations. In a more realistic understanding the portion of the glass not containing the material under consideration actually contains some other material and therefor is not absolutely empty, only empty, to an approximation, of the material in question.

      But even that is not completely realistic, the materialist scientist continues, since the material in question is volatile, its total mass is continually changing, as is its temperature, and therefore its volume.

      Further, the portion of the glass that appears to be empty of the volatile material in question actually is not, since a non-zero number of molecules of the volatile material are actually in the portion of the glass that appears to be empty.

      Also, even the above is not fully realistic because those are just abstract aggregate models of material. To realistically describe the material in question we would have to model every oscillating field in the glass, which, unfortunately, is beyond present human capability.

      Thus, the materialist scientist continues, the designation of the glass as either half full or half empty is arbitrary and inaccurate and therefore, at base, false.

      Delete
    8. Don't feed the troll

      Delete
    9. Sorry Anon, but Tim seems OK, why are you warning me not to feed him? Did you read the contents of what he actually wrote? Do you have some specific rational refutations of Tim's words, on the merits of the arguments?

      Delete
    10. I wasn't trying to be critical.
      I could have put my comments anywhere in here, but they seemed to fit best in this exchange.

      The main thing I was trying to emphasize was the fickleness of supposedly rational scientists even in mundane circumstances.

      Delete
  5. Also, Smith's "worried about" is merely a fig leaf, a feint to cover her obsequious favoring of au currant tempers.

    But it's good to know you care about brutality.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The left-wing protesters are putting everyone and their own lives at risk because they don't have survival as a core value (i.e. they want to die). The scientists are just being "the-ends-justify-the-means" bastards about it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. While the right-wing provocateurs egg people on, supply them with bricks, and engage in acts of vandalism and looting.

      Delete
    2. But who was really behind the grassy knoll?

      Delete
    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    4. One Brow,

      "While the right-wing provocateurs egg people on, supply them with bricks, and engage in acts of vandalism and looting."

      Is that sarcasm?

      Delete
    5. More likely full-blown delusion on the troll's part.

      Delete
    6. @Anonymous Troll literally means "mean, green ogre." Is this how I look like to you?

      Well I get that reaction a lot.

      Delete
    7. Mister Geocon/Anonymous,

      Perhaps you could try checking out the news rather than making assumptions. There have been arrests in three different states, and the US intelligence agencies have said there is no large-scale antifa involvement in looting or violence.

      Delete
    8. Why would you assume I was talking about you? The troll in question is, obviously, One Brow, and the kind of troll is the forum or internet troll. Not sure if they look like mean, green ogres.

      Delete
    9. One Brow, the anarchy symbols graffitied everywhere are just a coincidence? Also, nice get out with 'large-scale', whatever that means.

      Delete
    10. Also churches have been burned down. This is a hallmark of the radical left (and Islamists) in Europe.

      Delete
    11. Anonymous,
      One Brow, the anarchy symbols graffitied everywhere are just a coincidence? Also, nice get out with 'large-scale', whatever that means.

      Also churches have been burned down. This is a hallmark of the radical left (and Islamists) in Europe.


      Well, it would be pretty foolish to say no antifa did a certain thing, since we are not even talking about a hierarchically organized group.

      If you know what the symbols of anarchy are, doesn't that mean other rightists would also know?

      People all over the political spectrum burn churches, for a variety of reasons. In particular, when churches in black neighborhoods burns, you rarely see it being done by people on the left.

      Delete
    12. Ah, so was it the lizard people or the Illuminati responsible then, our conspiracy theorist friend? Perhaps Trump did all himself?

      Delete
    13. @One Brow

      So you aren't being sarcastic.

      You know, I'm actually of the opinion that Antifa is the minority. The majority are black criminals who, frankly, don't give a damn about black neighborhoods given how many black people they kill on a yearly basis.

      Also, I laugh out loud at your attempt to explain away what's in front of our eyes by means of a white supremacist conspiracy theory. Yes, it was the white supremacists that caused all those black criminals to go out and destroy private property and beat up innocent people! Hermeneutics of suspicion are one helluva drug.

      Also, "listen to the news" is the last thing to do when it's easily demonstrable that they are not dealing with reality. Feser has said this. I've posted it above earlier. It's pretty clear that the truth-makers of our society are either out to lunch or utterly mendacious.

      Delete
    14. Mister Geocon,
      You know, I'm actually of the opinion ...

      When your opinion conveniently ignores all the looting that white people are doing, and associates about the value of life with a skin color, I find your opinion ignorant, ugly, selective, and hateful.

      Also, "listen to the news" is the last thing to do when it's easily demonstrable that they are not dealing with reality.

      I agree the media is into sensationalism and rating. That still makes more reliable than your inner ugliness makes you.

      Delete
  7. As to police excesses, it needs to be checked when it occurs and should not be treated lightly, as it is not in the case at hand. But context is needed, e.g., here and here. Excerpt:


    "The media, visibly exhilarated by this latest explosion of black rage, had its own explanation for the chaos: people were outraged that the officer who had kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for a sickening eight-plus minutes had not yet been arrested and charged. But when that arrest came, along with murder and manslaughter charges after a lightning-fast investigation by the district attorney, the anarchy continued—not just in Minneapolis but across the country, intensfied by Antifa radicals.

    ...

    "Facts don’t matter to the academic victimology narrative. Far from destroying the black body, whites are the overwhelming target of interracial violence. Between 2012 and 2015, blacks committed 85.5 percent of all black-white interracial violent victimizations (excluding interracial homicide, which is also disproportionately black-on-white). That works out to 540,360 felonious assaults on whites. Whites committed 14.4 percent of all interracial violent victimization, or 91,470 felonious assaults on blacks. Blacks are less than 13 percent of the national population.

    ...

    "The national media have been insisting on the theme of the allegedly brutal Minneapolis police department. They said nothing as black-on-white robberies rose in downtown Minneapolis late last year, along with savage assaults on passersby. Why are the Minneapolis police in black neighborhoods? Because that’s where violent crime is happening, including shootings of two-year-olds and lethal beatings of 75-year-olds. Just as during the Obama years, the discussion of the allegedly oppressive police is being conducted in the complete absence of any recognition of street crime and the breakdown of the black family that drives it.

    "Once the violence began, any effort to “understand” it should have stopped, since that understanding is inevitably exculpatory. The looters are not grieving over the stomach-churning arrest and death of George Floyd; they are having the time of their lives. You don’t protest or mourn a victim by stealing oxycontin, electronics, jewelry, and sneakers."

    ReplyDelete
  8. The police in places like New York City and other places where the authorities have basically endorsed the f*CK the police narrative should take 48 hours unscheduled leave starting around now. Who bets it would take less than 12 hours before the likes of the communist De Blasio were begging for them to come back?

    "Imagine...that you sit as kings in your desires,
    Authority quite silent by your brawl,
    And you in ruff of your opinions clothed;
    What had you got? I’ll tell you: you had taught
    How insolence and strong hand should prevail,
    How order should be quelled; and by this pattern
    Not one of you should live an aged man,
    For other ruffians, as their fancies wrought,
    With self same hand, self reasons, and self right,
    Would shark on you, and men like ravenous fishes"
    - Thomas More, Shakespeare.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's an unintentionally amusing clip online (I tried to find it, but can't track it down): two Australian reporters covering the protests in London are attacked by 'protesters', and one of them can be heard saying, 'Thank goodness, the police have arrived.'

      Delete
    2. Why is that amusing? No one is protesting against the existence of the police, or against the police properly doing their job. Just the opposite, in fact. Or are you saying that unless we are willing to let the police casually murder helpless citizens, we can't have a police force at all?

      Delete
    3. @Screwtape Jenkins

      Maybe most people aren't, but *some* people are. Anarchists are a prominent element in these riots, and are famous for thinking that the US police are literally fascists whose primary job is to shoot poor black people.

      Delete
    4. BLM literally wishes to defund the police. Go to their website and see.

      Delete
  9. I just love how the CNN reporters tell me about the peaceful protests while there are fires burning in the background. No agenda there. Bahaha. Just the keen scientific objectivity of the modern mind.

    ReplyDelete
  10. ΑναξίθαλῆςJune 4, 2020 at 8:37 AM

    one of your worst takes ever. congratulations, Feser.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm still just baffled as to why Feser ever thought that the lockdown was justified. There simply is no worldwide correlation between lockdown and less spreading of the virus statistically- Japan is a prime example of a country that didn't do one, but put in place other measures that don't slaughter the economy, and which came out better than most.
    Moreover, in New York, the State Governor even admitted that 66% of those in hospital were those in the minority who stayed at home as instructed.
    I realise that Feser's focus was on the ethical side of lockdown, but if the figures absolutely support the idea that lockdowns are inefficient, then those facts should be taken suitably into account.

    ReplyDelete
  12. "Two grains, actually, since these professionals have tenure and captive classroom audiences, and thus never have to pay a price for giving bad advice. " I think this is an unfair attack, many who are not in this position have also agreed with the advice based on the data. The criteria for opening was very clear from the start and some states have met them and others have ignored them in various ways. However, there is more clarity now about how covid 19 spreads and therefore restrictions can be more selective.

    What has really changed is the society's feeling towards the death of those who are most vulnerable has really changed based the effects of the economic cost. I think that is a decision that the society can make and there will be different opinions about it.
    As for the crowded protests they are high risk events for transmission no one is denying it just ignoring the reality.

    Perhaps you can be clearer that some scientists have a left agenda rather than criticizing the process of science of covid 19 otherwise practically there is no difference between your criticism and those of postmodernists.

    It is fair to highlight missteps however it does not change the fact that social distancing works, masks have fairly good evidence that they works and should be continued even as things open up in order avoid another wave and save lives.

    Some people on this blog will think that because protests are going on and nobody seems to be objecting to them means that precautions against covid 19 and the deaths were kind of a 'hoax' from the left. As a doctor I am pretty used to people ignoring my advice and may have my own agendas but that doesn’t change the objectivity of the advice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SW,

      We were arresting people for going outside, then overnight that just went away and you claim this was based on pre-determined criteria and data?

      Well, ok . . .

      You say that attitudes about killing grandma have changed.

      Indeed! And the motivation was the opportunity to achieve the pet political projects of the left.

      Delete
    2. That the police shouldn't commit murder against helpless citizens is a "pet political project of the left?"

      Delete
    3. Screwtape,.

      Is that what the rioting is about? The cops are charged with crimes. Who got away with anything? Who is arguing that Floyd's death was justified? How does burning down AutoZone avenge Floyd or stop crimes committed by police?

      Delete
    4. Being against looting Target, or punching old ladies in the face, or opposing the murder of David Dorm means that one is for police brutality?

      Delete
    5. Everyone is against those things. But you're acting as if the peaceful protests don't exist, or as if to peacefully protest is to tacitly agree with looting Target or punching old ladies. You're deliberately trying to blur the lines between the peaceful protests for a just cause and violent looting, and treating them as if they're the same act committed by the same people. The overwhelming majority of the protesters are peaceful and sincerely motivated behind a just cause.

      Delete
    6. Maybe you could clear all this up by just naming the pet political project of the left you were referring to?

      Delete
    7. Screwtape,

      Why do I see CNN telling me this is all good while cars burn in the background? Are those the peaceful protesters CNN is covering for? Dom Lemon and Chris Cuomo, and Joe Biden keep telling me this is all necessary to fight "institutional racism". Based on them telling me this I assume that's the goal. Wouldn't you?

      Delete
    8. CNN is not telling you that burning cars or looting businesses is good. That is flatly absurd. CNN commentators are saying - along with everyone else - that the looting and violence is bad, but that the peaceful protests for change are good.

      Are you unable to make this distinction, or unwilling?

      Delete
    9. Actually, CNN and other Left news outlets are trying very hard to deny that looting and violence are occurring at all, and when forced to acknowledge it, they try to excuse it. But nice try at making up a ‘distinction’ out of whole cloth.

      Delete
    10. If CNN and the Left are trying hard to deny the looting is happening, where are you getting all of this footage of the looting from? I just did a google search for "CNN rioting and looting," limited the search to articles posted this week, and got ten pages of results.

      Absolutely no one is denying the rioting is happening - that is pure fantasy. And if you don't see a whole cloth distinction between peaceful protesters and looters, you're likewise living in a pure fantasy. A dark, twisted fantasy of your own making where you can clear your conscience about racial injustice by pretending that everyone who is concerned about it is just a riotous looter.

      Delete
    11. Screwtape,

      I can't know where to find every thing I've watched, but here are some examples from doing a search.

      Chris Cuomo: “Please, show me where it says that protests are supposed to be polite and peaceful,”

      The First Amendment.

      https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2020/06/04/cnns_chris_cuomo_who_says_protests_are_supposed.html

      The presenter in this video shows two clips from CNN and MSNBC. The first one (at 1:49) shows Miguel Marquez reporting on the “peaceful protests” while passers by throw a bottle at him and call him names. The second (at 3:32) shows Ali Velshi say that the “protest” has not been unruly while a building burns behind him.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sJZbKDy-Fk&t=152s

      Delete
    12. Chris Cuomo, famous block of wood, literally said that why should protests always have to be peaceful.

      If there are so many peaceful protesters, why does the violence follow them so closely? Why, when interviewed, do so many express sympathy for the rioters and looters? Notice how in actually peaceful protests, there usually isn't violence so closely and inevitably connected, yet BLM protests have continually been accompanied by rioting and looting for years.

      Delete
    13. Okay. Jeanine Piro and Sean Hannity literally said that the corona virus is a hoax. Does that represent conservative thinking on the corona virus? You can always cherry pick some silly thing someone on the other side of the political spectrum says, but all that shows is how silly YOU are.

      The overwhelming, OVERWHELMING majority of leftist celebrities, journalists, and politicians have condemned the looting and rioting. The VAST, VAST majority say that the protests should be peaceful, and the VAST, VAST majority of the protests are peaceful.

      CNN has shown the looting. CNN has shown the rioting. CNN has asked every major Black and liberal celebrity, commentator, and political official about the violence. One stray comment from Chris Cuomo or one stray comment from one protester doesn't vitiate that fact.

      Again, there were people in the "right to work" protests who seemed primarily concerned with not being able to get a haircut. But Feser rightfully stated that it was dishonest to claim that this was what the right to work protests were fundamentally about. Similarly, it is true that some of the people in the streets are primarily intrested in looting and rioting, but it is dishonest to pretend that that is what the movement is about.

      There is hypocrisy about this issue, and it's coming as much from the right as it is from the left.

      Delete
    14. Screwtape,

      I don't defend Sean Hannity either. You asked where CNN was saying the violence was good, and I answered.

      Delete
    15. These aren't stray comments. Cuomo's comment is representative of the attitude of CNN. Being a dolt, he said the quiet part out loud. And just about every interview of the protestors I have seen that raised the point saw them at least excuse the violence.

      I don't like Hannity, but do you have proof he said the Coronavirus was a hoax. People kept saying that of Trump, but that was a lie. He said the Democrat-media blaming him was a hoax.

      Delete
    16. TN, you didn't actually. What you found was one CNN commentator asking a question.

      Anonymous, do you not know how to work google? Took me two seconds:

      https://www.vox.com/2020/3/20/21186727/hannity-coronavirus-coverage-fox-news

      So, if Chris Cuomo's one comment is enough to establish that CNN says riots are good, Hannity and Piro's comments are enough to establish that Fox News says corona is a hoax.

      Let's all pretend we're stupid, and then we don't have to think hard about issues that we find uncomfortable. What a fun, ridiculous game.

      Delete
    17. If it took you a few seconds, why didn't you post it before? It's for you to support your claims. But that link from Vox, the repository of all stupidity, doesn't even do that. It doesn't make it clear what Hannity was calling a hoax. Was it the entire Coronavirus or exaggerations or simply what Trump called a hoax: the media and Democrats blaming Trump. Vox are exactly the kind of people pushing this latter hoax.

      Delete
    18. Ok, Sean Hannity is a bad guy. Ok.

      Delete
    19. Btw, I know the left likes to ignore Hannity and Perino are opinion hosts, whereas Cuomo, Lemon, and the like are supposed to be serious journalists (don't laugh) or at least straight news anchors. They're not equivalent.

      Can you find evidence of Chris Wallace, Bret Baker, or Shannon Bream calling Coronavirus a hoax, even from Vox? That would be equivalent.

      Delete
    20. *Bret Baier.

      Btw this is why many of us on the right dislike CNN more than we do MSNBC. MSNBC is relatively clear about what they are and what perspective they have. CNN pretends to be unbiased and a reputable news source.

      Delete
  13. Very subtle attempt to shift the goalposts. The rioting is not what we're talking about here; we're talkkng about why one set of demonstrations is more morally justified than the other. We're talking about the fact that the police not being able to murder helpless citizens without consequence is not a "pet political project of the left." Or if it is, so much the worse for the right.

    Only within the last 24 hours have all of those responsible for George Floyd's murder been arrested. But he is far from the only victim of police brutality. Breanna Taylor was killed in her own home by police and no charges have filed. Just a few days ago, David McAtee, a black Louisville restaurant owner who set up a stand to feed police officers during the riots, was shot and killed by the police. George Floyd's murder was not a singular event, and the need for police reform is ongoing.

    But to answer your goalpoist-shifting question, the rioting and looting serve no purpose and no reasonable person is saying that they do. But those acts don't eliminate the justness of the underlying cause.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you suggesting, then, that advocating for morally good social change is sufficient reason to demonstrate in spite of the pandemic, but wanting to save your livelihood and the wellbeing of one's family is not?

      Delete
    2. I'm saying that it's not necessarily hypocritical or unreasonable to believe that the right not to be murdered unjustly is more fundamental than the right to work. And when the stakes are killing grandma, it's not unreasonable to say it might be worth the risk for the former but not the latter. In other words, there's no reason to impugn the motives or rationality of anyone in this situation.

      Delete
    3. The cases you mentioned are being investigated. What you need is to show that the police just go around shooting black people with impunity. It takes time to gather information and build a case; that's just how it works and it's no different for this case than any other. The rest of my reply you can see on your other post.

      Delete
    4. T N,
      The cases you mentioned are being investigated. What you need is to show that the police just go around shooting black people with impunity.

      Except, it's really not far from that.

      It takes time to gather information and build a case; that's just how it works and it's no different for this case than any other.

      Yeah, no doubt we'll see a conviction for the men who shot John Crawford any day now (wait, that investigation was closed). Or for Tamar Rice (nope, closed again). Maybe Eric Garner(no, that's closed). Well, there Fernando Castille (nope, the prosecution somehow bungled that case).

      At least Bothan Jean's killer was convicted. She's the first police officer to be convicted of murder since 1973. So, as long there's a conviction every 45 years or so, I'm sure every police officer is worried about being next.

      Delete
    5. I don't personally need to do anything. That work has already been done and the results are there for anyone.

      If you're sincerely concerned, start here:

      http://www.oas.org/en/iachr/reports/pdfs/PoliceUseOfForceAfrosUSA.pdf

      Delete
    6. That is not in and of itself unreasonable. But it is, once you take into account the statistics, which is to say millions of people are subject to lockdowns which deny them the right to earn a living while the risk of being killed by the police is maybe twice as high as being struck by lightning.
      Add to that that the peaceful demonstrations against police violence have no point because there is no relevant disagreement.
      Of course, pillaging and looting is unjustifiable no matter what pretense is made. But unlike with police violence this is not universally agreed upon, as leftist politicians, journalists, and celebrities continue to make excuses and even try to justify these crimes.

      Delete
    7. How far back in time do those statistics go, in terms of how many Black people have lost their lives due to unequal treatment under the law? And I would say that the consequences of not working for a few months are not really equal to the consequences of being murdered. Being unemployed now is widespread, but for most, temporary. Having been murdered is a stubbornly persistent phenomenon.

      And of course it isn't just the fact of the killings that is the problem, it is the systemic institutions that allow them to so often go unpunished.

      There is no relevant disagreement over police brutality? So, when Colin Kaepernick demonstrated against it, everyone stood up and applauded? I missed that. Is everyone in agreement that the police shouldn't be afforded special protections in prosecutions of these sort? Is everyone in agreement that there should be federal oversight committees that handle prosecution of police killings, not local DAs who depend on the police to make their cases and can't afford to alienate them?

      Are the police unions aware that everyone agrees about these things? You should inform them that they agree with them, because they seem to be under the impression that they don't.

      Delete
    8. And there are as many right wing pundits and celebrities and journalists saying the corona virus is a hoax as there are left wing celebrities saying the looting and rioting are justified. You would presumably (and rightly) say we should not take the right wing lunatics as being representative. So why can't you make the same distinction on the left? Again, it seems like you and TN see these distinctions with crystal clarity where your own politics are concerned, but cannot get the mote out of your eye when you're looking at people whose politics you agree with. I ask you the same question I asked TN - are you unable to recognize these simple distinctions, or are you unwilling?

      Delete
    9. The simple fact is that there is no evidence that police are more likely to unjustifiably kill black people than they are to kill white people, if we adjust for violent crime statistics and interactions with police:

      https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-myth-of-systemic-police-racism-11591119883


      What does mentioning a few cases show? We could mention Daniel Shaver or Tony Timpa. Surely there was no more egregious police shooting in recent years than the killing of Shaver. Yet he was white and the police officers involved were white, so racism can't be the explanation. Yet if this piece of obvious police brutality can't be laid at the feet of racism, why should be automatically ascribe even an unjustified killing of a black man to racism? Btw, Shaver's killer was acquitted.

      Delete
    10. "
      T N: The cases you mentioned are being investigated. What you need is to show that the police just go around shooting black people with impunity.

      One Brow: Except, it's really not far from that.
      "


      One Brow,

      With all due respect, that is insane. It's amazing, and tragic, what spectacularly false things the media can make otherwise intelligent people believe.

      The instances of unjustified killings by police are vanishingly rare when you put them in the context of the millions of police-citizen interactions that happen across the country. The statistics do not show a massively disproportionate impact on black people when you control for crime rates, and certainly not to the degree one would expect to see if police were "systematically" "hunting" black people, as LeBron James and the like so helpfully claim.

      The reality is that instances of police misconduct are the exceptions in an otherwise quite well-functioning system. Like any system involving human beings, there are mistakes and bad actors. But there are in fact systemic processes, which are constantly being improved, for identifying and correcting these mistakes. These processes start from a highly selective hiring process, psychological screening, months of training in a dedicated academy before an officer goes on duty, and considerable ongoing training. They also include internal affairs investigations, policies on using bodycams and dashcams, and of course the criminal justice system. Citizen videos and surveilance videos have also become far more common, catching incidents that might have escaped punishment in past decades. All of these things are moving in a direction of ever more accountability.

      Why are some police killings not successfully prosecuted? There are a number of factors that have nothing to do with racism or coordinated injustice. Consider, for example, that a police officer has the same constitutional rights (right to counsel, jury trial, proof beyond a reasonable doubt) that any person does when charged with a crime. There is a huge amount of crime that never even gets caught, and many crimes that do end up in the justice system never reach conviction due to various legal procedures and safeguards.

      To be continued...

      Delete
    11. The context in which police officers work is also important. Police officers are specifically thrown into contact, and conflict, with the most dangerous and unstable elements of society: the violent, the mentally ill, the intoxicated. And they usually come into contact with these people on their worst days, not their best days. Chaotic and violent situations are common, and life-and-death decisions have to be made in an instant, without knowledge all the facts. Officers have lots of rules to follow and are sometimes outnumbered by adversaries who play by no rules at all.

      In this context, to hold all officers to a standard of absolute perfection would be the opinion of a complete ignoramus or a sociopath. If juries and grand juries cut officers some slack in ambiguous situations, maybe that makes sense just because of all these circumstances under which they are forced to operate.

      The incentive structures facing police officers are also important. They work at a career with decent pay, great benefits, and a generous pension if they get to the end without screwing it up. No sane person risks giving up all of that for the "pleasure" of killing some unarmed person because he's a different color.

      The people advocating for "change" need to be more specific. If change means incremental improvements in training, screening, and disciplinary procedures for police officers, there would be very little opposition to this. And it would not require massive protests that invite riots.

      If the change involves some radical do-over for how police work is done, that makes reasonable people nervous. First, any changes that reduce the abilities of officers to control their situations and defend themselves risk scaring off good officer candidates from the employment pool, resulting in lower-quality police work. This could very likely result in MORE unintended killings as the overall competence of the police force deteriorates. Relaxed procedural safeguards that make it easier to get murder convictions on officers could have the same effect. Talented young men and women decide to go into law enforcement careers knowing that they will be placed in dangerous situations. But let's not make the incentives worse by increasing that risk, or adding the risk of a murder conviction for an instantaneous lapse in judgment under instensely stressful conditions.

      This is the bottom line. A fine-tuned system can always be even more finely tuned. But if you misdiagnose the problem as requiring radical overhaul, as happens if you swallow the systemic/racism/impunity lie, you risk getting something far worse. And as usual, the Left is willing to jump right into disaster with both feet and take us all with them.

      Delete
    12. One Brow,

      “as long as there’s a conviction ever 45 years.”

      Michael Slager convicted in 2017. Jason Van Dyke, 2014. Robert Bates, 2015. James Burns, 2016. Amber Guyger, 2019. Peter Liang, 2014. Roy Oliver, 2017.

      There's a lot more, but point made.

      Delete
    13. Screwtape,

      In August 2016 Tony Timpa died much the same way as George Floyd: with a police officer kneeling on his back for 14 minutes. The officers are on video joking about his death as they put him on a stretcher. Three officers were indicted *a year later* and the charges were dismissed in 2019.

      Kelly Thomas was a homeless man beaten to death by six Fullterton, California police officers who were acquitted of all charges. There were no riots.

      These were not big stories because Timpa and Thomas were white.

      Because we find police incompetence, negligence, and/or just plain evil, does not prove racism.

      I have more to address, but I will do so when time allows.

      Delete
    14. I don't subscribe to WSJ so I can't read that article, but I'm fairly sure it does not establish the simple fact that you hope it establishes. Even if you adjust for interactions with the police, why do Black people have more interactions with the police? I'm Black, I have a nice job and I drive a nice car, and I've been pulled over way more often than any of my friends my age. I've also had the police called on me - twice - for sitting in my own car in my or one of my friends apartment buildings for "too long."

      Again, death is not the only metric. It's also the daily humiliation of being treated as a perpetual suspect.I'm 43 years old and I have a master's degree. I have no criminal record at all. But I've had the police called on me for no reason about 5 times because I was somewhere some white person decided I wasn't supposed to be. Have you ever done your best for 43 years to be a good person, to follow Christ, to go to school, to work hard, to pay your taxes - all for the privilege of having to take 45 minutes out of your day to prove to a pair of police officers that you're not a criminal?

      Beyond that, I certainly agree that police brutality is a problem for ALL citizens. That local DAs who are severely compromised are the ones we count on to prosecute police officers is a problem for all citizens. That the burden of proof is higher for prosecuting police officers is a problem for all citizens. If you agree with all of that, why aren't you supporting police reforms? Why does the focus on the fact that this disproportionately affects Black people deter you? You're like the man who says that men get raped, too. Well, yes, they do. Is that really a reason not to support laws that make EVERYONE less likely to get raped? Just because the focus of the protesters is more on Black people or women or any other group, why is that a reason to dismiss a cause that will bring more equal justice to EVERYONE? Unless it's the equal justice itself you have a problem with.

      Delete
    15. Screwtape,

      A study by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (1) concludes that police shootings are proportional to crime rates and not race. In other words, a person’s likelihood of being shot by police is dictated by their racial group’s representation in cases of violent crime and not their race. In fact, the study finds, whites are actually *more* likely to be shot by police than blacks when considered as a proportion of their respective representation in violent crime stats.

      93 percent of black homicide victims are killed by other blacks, not cops (2). Why is BLM not concerned with this?

      (1) https://www.pnas.org/content/116/32/15877

      (2)https://www.politifact.com/article/2015/may/21/updated-look-statistics-black-black-murders/

      More to write when I have time (likely tomorrow).

      Delete
    16. As the article points out, the reason for the interactions between blacks and the police is the violent crime rate amongst the African-American population, especially in African-American neighborhoods. The interactions basically track this. If more black suspects come into contact with police, then they are more likely to be shot by them.

      Who isn't supporting police reform? There may be a problem with police brutality in America, but this isn't solved by smashing up Target.

      Delete
    17. I didn't enter this conversation to prove to people that there are problems between the African-American community and law enforcement. That's too big of a subject to expect someone to litigate in a combox.

      Again, if you're actually interested in something that will challenge your view, read this:

      http://www.oas.org/en/iachr/reports/pdfs/PoliceUseOfForceAfrosUSA.pdf

      TN: 88% of all white homicide victims are murdered by other whites, not blacks or cops. And more whites commit murder every year than Blacks.

      Why isn't Fox News concerned with this?

      Anonymous: No one is suggesting you smash up a Target; I'm suggesting you join with your fellow Christians to improve relations between the police and all of us, starting with improving the relations between the police and the Black community.

      Delete
    18. Fellow Christians need to meet and act on the basis of truth, not questionable narratives like the idea police are systematically racist.

      Delete
    19. By the way, it isn't clear that all the police involved in the Floyd arrest should have been arrested or charged, nor is it clear that the second degree murder charge against Chauvin is legally a good idea:

      https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/06/new-floyd-murder-charges-will-be-tough-to-prove-and-may-imperil-good-cops/?itm_campaign=headline-testing-new-floyd-murder-charges-will-be-tough-to-prove-and-may-imperil-good-cops&itm_medium=headline&itm_source=nationalreview&itm_content=New%20Floyd%20Murder%20Charges%20Will%20Be%20Tough%20to%20Prove&itm_term=New%20Floyd%20Murder%20Charges%20Will%20Be%20Tough%20to%20Prove

      Obviously the other officers involved showed at least moral cowardice, but whether they should be criminally culpable is another matter. And it shouldn't be mobs that decide that, but the facts. Similarly, it would be a shame if the AG (who is incidentally an anti-Semite and girlfriend beater) loses the case against Chauvin because he overcharged him based on what can be proven, at the behest of the same mob.

      Delete
    20. I totally agree with the above post. I've honestly been surprised at how many people on the right are rushing to judgment against the officers in this case. All the facts are not in, and the facts that are, seem conflicting at best.

      I'm content with letting the criminal process take its course and will accept the verdict from a jury that hears all the evidence.

      Delete
    21. Wow.

      Did you guys watch the video of a man crying and begging for his life - literally calling out for his (long-dead) mother in the final minutes, as he slowly asphyxiated over the course of 9 minutes. You think officers of the law - who swore an oath to protect citizens - who stood idly by while a man was begging for help was killed, you think those men should face no charges?

      I see I greatly overestimated the caliber of human being I was dealing with. I won't argue with you further, as I'll just do harm to your souls by driving you to more depraved justifications for evil. I'll just leave it here and pray for you.

      Delete
    22. Screwtape,

      The idea that police profile black Americans wouldn't really surprise me given how basic human psychology seems to work. To the extent that such profiling is the case, that does indeed seem like a problem. However, while I frequently hear about the reform and change that needs to happen with police, I hear far less reflection about what might need to change among many (not all) black communities. Could the experience police have had with the black communities they serve - with larger proportions of gang culture, plausibly drug culture (or at least one that is more open), and the like - reasonably and understandably encourage such profiling and selective treatment?
      Obviously, this isn't something that can merely be legislated or fixed by policy, but given that there does seem to be some kind of need for police reform, how can black communities meet the police halfway rather than treating the cops as if they are the only ones at fault in the obviously strained relationship between the two groups?

      Delete
    23. This is nothing more than victim blaming and trying to blame black people for their issues. You do realize the police arose out of slave patrols? You are aware that many cases where police shot unarmed black people, none of the victims were engaged in drug cultures, or gangs, etc? You are aware that the War on Drugs intentionally criminalized minorities? Seriously you conservatives need to stop with the whole 'black culture' is the issue crap as it's been disproven time and again and nothing more than a lazy attempt to hold black people as inherently inferior but instead of using biology like racist of the past uses, it's dressed up in "culture". If you're not black or done serious sociological studies on the issues facing the black community, then keep your mouth shut.

      Delete
    24. Screwtape, I notice that you said absolutely nothing about what laws these officers violated. No one is saying that these other officers didn't commit an act of moral cowardice, though unfortunately they are hardly alone in that fault. The issue is whether this was a crime. How about you knock off the hysterical self-righteous and deal with the facts. It does rather go to show that you lack the intellectual caliber to discuss these issues properly and rely on unthinking emotional reactions instead. What would you want, Chauvin and these officers just to be strung up right now? Would that satisfy your lust for vengeance masquerading as righteousness?

      Delete
    25. Probably an exercise in futility responding to Anonymous(/AKG?), but a few points:

      1. Let's grant everything you say about this historical origins of police forces and their abuse of black people. It still doesn't answer the questioning of what is happening now and how it can be fixed.

      2. I'm talking about communities, not individuals. I'm again happy to grant that many killed unjustly might not have engaged in anything stemming from a drug or gang culture. The question is whether those things actively affected and influenced the police in those fatal interactions such that a lessening of those things in black communities would have rendered the fatal or otherwise negative interaction non-fatal and less negative.

      3. Once more, let's grant that War on Drug policy specifically, intentionally, and unjustly targets minorities. It still doesn't change the fact that a lot of gang violence (among other things) surrounds drugs and that officers, in finding someone with or on drugs, still find them violating the law they are called to uphold, even if it is a bad law. The cops don't make the policy.

      Delete
    26. Screwtape Jenkins,

      I appreciate any prayers you want to offer for me. I mean that sincerenly and with no sarcasm.

      I'm sorry that my willingness to suspend judgment until a full invesitgation and due process makes me unworthy of discussion in your eyes. I did see the video, but still have questions.

      To get to specifics:

      It is not clear whether the poor man even died of asphyxia. The initial autopsy said heart failure. I have no firm opinion on this. I'm waiting for more facts.

      Criminal suspects very frequently claim phantom medical problems while or after resisting arrest. A veteran police officer knows this. I know this. Maybe you don't. Maybe you should educate yourself on the topic before writing off someone who has a different opinion from you.

      There is some evidence that the officers were discussing how best to save the man's life. It's not clear to me that they didn't take the course of action they thought best, and didn't succeed. Needless to say, that would not be murder, or any crime at all.

      Apparently Mr. Floyd had a number of illegal and potentially lethal drugs in his system, which might have been the actual cause of death, having nothing to do with the officers except unfortunate coincidence.

      Much is made of the fact that Mr. Floyd said he couldn't breathe, and did so repeatedly. I'm no medical expert, but doesn't the fact that he continued talking suggest that he was breathing? Would Officer Chauvin reasonably believe this? Even if he couldn't breathe, was it because of Chauvin's knee on his neck? Could Chauvin have believed that it was NOT because of his knee on his neck, even if mistaken? Any one of these possibilities would negate criminal guilt, at least to some degree.

      What about motive? Officer Chauvin was on the force for ????? years. Presumably he's arrested people, including black people, for crimes more serious than passing a fake $20 bill. But somehow, he decided that Memorial Day 2020 would be the right day to murder a black man in broad daylight, in front of mulitple witnesses rolling video? You don't think that's a little strange? Not at all? I do.

      This is off the top of my head, not an exhaustive list.

      Even a barely competent defense attorney will require the prosecutor to answer all of these points to the satisfaction of 12 jurors beyond a reasonable doubt. And many more. I will not be even slightly surprised if the verdict is acquittal on all counts for all the officers.

      I haven't seen any of the people condemning the officers address these points. If there are good answers to these questions, I would be happy to read up on them if I'm pointed to them via credible sources. If my withholding judgment on this until convincing evidence is presented makes me deplorable and irredeemable, then I guess I'll have to live with that. But not so long ago that was just called basic human decency.

      Delete
    27. Sorry, I meant to put Chauvin's actual number of years on the force. Approximately 19 years.

      Delete
    28. You really shouldn't have responded as your response shows you don't even have 1/1000000th of the knowledge needed to actually comment on this topic. You can't merely "grant" everything I said about the police origins and War on Drugs and racial bias being true. If you actually bothered to research this topic you'd know they are facts. This is basic sociology of race and black history. What makes you think you can comment on this topic without even having the basic knowledge needed.

      With regards to point 1 what is it with you conservatives and ignoring the generational effects of things? The origin of the police in racial injustice is a clear link and influence of the racial injustice they commit today. This shows how the police themselves have an inherent racial problem and are the crux of the issue not "black culture" as they've been screwing over black people regardless of culture as many of the blatant racist practices in the past were forerunners to the racial discrimination the police engage in.

      Those examples demonstrated how police have a hostility towards black people regardless of affiliation with drug or gang culture. That is not the issue. Hell most mass shooters have been white but yet the police still manage to take a lot of them in without killing them while killing unarmed or innocent black people. Stop victim blaming.

      The issue is that the way the police enforce the laws differs in how they treat black people compared to white people. Look up the Crack-Cocaine disparity. Also you're whole answer reeks of the "just following orders excuse" to uphold injustice, which is what Nazis used. I'd say I'm surprised but I'm not really not given you're a conservative.

      Stop talking out of thin air and actually do research before you comment on these issues. You're making yourself look like an ignorant fool who thinks he can get by on half of his lessons. I know you conservatives for some strange reason have trouble taking research on black issues seriously but if you want to have discussions then you have to.

      Delete
    29. Definitely AKG

      Delete
    30. OK, this is out of control. I'm going to agree with Screwtape that some of you are whack.

      Yes, we are going to wait for due process. But we can certainly discuss the fact that what we witness in the video is lethal force used against a man who is clearly not a threat. That is immoral, illegal, and disgusting.

      Maybe this could have been a good discussion with Screwtape, but some of you . . . have a nice day.

      Delete
    31. Keep Calm and Carry OnJune 5, 2020 at 4:14 AM

      @Screwtape Jenkins,

      I'll try to answer your questions and make a few comments to your two comments immediately following my Anonymous June 4, 1:54 PM comment.
      First, I need to point out that I wrote that in response to your comment about it being reasonable "to believe that the right not to be murdered unjustly is more fundamental than the right to work" which apparently you think in turn justifies peaceful assembly in support of the former but not the latter. And for your benefit I'm also assuming that it is possible to distinguish some "peaceful assembly" in the midst of the looting and riots that seem inextricably linked to the assemblies you justify and somehow totally absent from those others, in your mind unjustifiable, assemblies.
      Your questions:
      You ask about "those statistics" - as far as I can tell they hold true for quite some time, a couple of decades, but I don't have them readily available.
      The answer to your question changes if we take your qualifier "in terms of how many Black people have lost their lives due to unequal treatment under the law?" into account. There are no such statistics, because there is nobody that "lost their lives due to unequal treatment under the law" with slavery being abolished and the Democrat Jim Crow laws being illegal and abolished as well, any unequal treatment by a government agent is against the law, not under the law.
      Also, if one wants murderers killing Blacks not get away with it one should probably not call for "defunding the police" as the BLM movement does.

      Delete
    32. Keep Calm and Carry OnJune 5, 2020 at 4:15 AM

      Regarding police violence. There is no meaningful controversy that would make protests necessary. I have never heard anybody in favor of police murdering citizens. Which is, as you might remember, what you said justifies the different treatment of peaceful assembly protected by the First Amendment. In your words, the protests about "the right not to be murdered unjustly" can be justified and those only about liberty and the right to earn one's living can be held as not justified, both in light of the same threat of spreading the corona virus.
      With that in mind,
      "There is no relevant disagreement over police brutality? " No, there is no relevant disagreement over this.
      "So, when Colin Kaepernick demonstrated against it, everyone stood up and applauded?" Of course not. But despite of your sleight of hand that had to do with the disrespect for the flag and the fact that Kaepernick spreading a message of hate against police. You might remember he saw fit to wear "police pig socks" (in case you have forgotten look it up at CBS sports, for example).
      "Is everyone in agreement that the police shouldn't be afforded special protections in prosecutions of these sort?" If I take this as a good faith question, yes, as far as I can tell, nobody thinks there is qualified immunity for police officers to murder citizens. There is legitimate debate about how fare qualified immunity should go and I for one think it is applied in far too many cases, and this has little to nothing to do with the protests at hand.
      To cut is short here, you know have switched from "this is about not being murdered unjustly" to some very specific policy changes that you must think are "more fundamental than the right to work." This seems to be highly misguided to say the least.

      Now to your corona hoax remark. You got some responses to that already. That is a shorthand used by MSM and designed to mislead about what is the hoax. But by all means, point to the exact quote of, for example, Hannity with adequate context. Quoting leftwing media distortions is unacceptable evidence.
      Lastly let me address your lament "You would presumably (and rightly) say we should not take the right wing lunatics as being representative. So why can't you make the same distinction on the left?"
      Bernie Sanders might be a left wing lunatic, but he still almost won the nomination against Clinton, and he might well win it now, if Bidens issues force him to drop out after all. Ocasio-Cortez has been celebrated. Leftwing MSM, politicians and celebreties join in defending the riots by minimizing them and going out of their way to express how understandable that is. There is no clear condemnation, for example the current Mayor of NYC while having police round up Jewish families and threatening Jews to not engage in religious activity or he'd shut them down permanently waxes poetic about the rioters and why they must be allowed to express their feelings. In other words, because the left elevates their lunatics to leadership positions the left chose their lunatic positions the lunatics are, in fact, representative of the left.

      Delete
    33. In response to another Anonymous (AKG?), I'd like to say that at least of his facts is disputable. Some of the practices of pre-Civil War slave patrols were in fact transferred over to the police forces of Southern States, but there are two notable difficulties I have with his claim that this is relevant to modern day America. Firstly, those practices only existed in Southern States, so it is extremely unlikely that the Minnesota Police Department has any historical connection to those slave patrols. Secondly, it's surely fair to ask for proof that those practices are still in fact practiced, rather than assuming it. After all, Porsche was founded in Nazi Germany and collaborated in the Holocaust, but it would be ridiculous to claim that this history affects the modern Porsche company, because they're so far divorced from it (unless of course there was evidence of this).

      -Kaltrop

      Delete
    34. Keep Calm and Carry OnJune 5, 2020 at 4:42 AM

      There are a number of typos (and errors due to sloppy editing) in my last two comments, hopefully not too distracting.
      The last sentence should read:
      "In other words, because the left elevates their lunatics to leadership positions the left embraces their lunatic positions: the lunatics are, in fact, representative(s) of the left."

      Delete
    35. TN, wait, who was defending Chauvin's actions? Is there anyone here who thinks or has saif he shouldn't haveb been charged with at least assault? Go back and read what was written. Whether it was lethal force will depend on the autopsies, though they appear to disagree at this point. If it turns out that Floyd wasn't directly killed by Chauvin's actions, that will make it harder to prove murder, especially murder two. Like Screwtape, you emotivising, not not rationally examining the evidence. This precludes a good discussion. Have a nice day....

      Delete
    36. Alessio can speak for himself, but I doubt he meant to suggest that Chauvin shouldn't have lost his job and shouldn't have been charged with a crime. There's nothing in what he wrote that suggests that, and it's deeply unhelpful and uncharitable to read it into his comments. It's what we've come to expect from liberals, but so called conservatives should know better.

      Delete
    37. Anonymous,
      We could mention Daniel Shaver or Tony Timpa. Surely there was no more egregious police shooting in recent years than the killing of Shaver.

      Neither John Crawford nor Tamar Rice were given so much as two seconds to respond to police before they were shot.

      This in no way diminishes the horror that Shaver and Timpa went through. However, they were not just shot on sight. I would say that shooting someone on sight is more egregious.

      Delete
    38. T N,
      “as long as there’s a conviction ever 45 years.”
      Was the entire paragraph "She's the first police officer to be convicted of murder since 1973. So, as long there's a conviction every 45 years or so, I'm sure every police officer is worried about being next." too confusing for you?
      Michael Slager convicted in 2017.
      The murder trial resulted in a mistrial. He pled guilty ot violating civil rights.
      Jason Van Dyke, 2014.
      You have the date wrong. The coviction is in 2018. Still, that is two.
      Robert Bates, 2015.
      Manslaughter.
      James Burns, 2016.
      No convicted of anything.
      Amber Guyger, 2019.
      That was the first.
      Peter Liang, 2014.
      Criminally negligent homicide, sentenced to house arrest and community service
      Roy Oliver, 2017.
      That's 3.
      I have no doubt there are a few more, and acknowledge there seems to be a murder convictionn every two years or so. Considering the number of deaths of unarmed people seems to be a few dozen a year, that doesn't really detract from my point s well as you seem to think.

      Also, we didn't even talk about how all of these officers were immune from civil suits.

      Delete
    39. One Brow,

      Has it occurred to you that the rarity of murder convictions on police officers might have something to do with the rarity of police officers actually committing murders?

      Has it occurred to you that most of these deaths occur in the context that police officers are REQUIRED BY LAW to use force, sometimes including lethal force, under certain conditions, and that these conditions are sometimes ambiguous?

      Has it occurred to you that the juries deciding many of these cases consist of citizen selected from the community based on their ability to be fair and impartial?

      Do you even care about any of these things? Or do you just have an emotional urge to see more police officers convicted of murder, whatever it takes?

      What about the specifics of these cases?

      Robert Bates: shot a suspect who was resisting because he mistook his firearm for his taser. He was a reserve deputy in his 70's.

      James Burns: shot at a fleeing suspect. From really brief reading, appears to have been a lapse in judgment. Claimed suspect was driving at him, but not supported by other evidence.

      Peter Liang: Apparently fired his gun by accident and hit someone he didn't even know was there. Sounds like murder to me!

      We could add Eric Mehserle, 2010: arguably mistook gun for taser and shot resisting suspect. Convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

      Delete
    40. TN seems to have run away after making such uncharitable, hysterical and unsupported claims. With conservatives like this, what do we need leftists for?

      Delete
    41. I would say that giving someone conflicting Simon-says like commands then shooting them whilst they were doing the best to comply, was more egregious than just gunning someone down immediately. What you have done is pull out a random measure as a means of trying to back up your view. You don't believe it.

      Delete
    42. T N,
      OK, this is out of control. I'm going to agree with Screwtape that some of you are whack.

      I don't blame you for checking out. This stuff is awful, and discomforting.

      However, I do want you to consider something: as someone who shares many of the same opinions on other matters as some of the posters that you find discomfort in, you have an ability to communicate with them in non-confrontational manner that would never be granted to Screwtape Jenkins or myself. Please consider that.

      Delete
    43. Keep Calm and Carry On,
      Regarding police violence. There is no meaningful controversy that would make protests necessary. I have never heard anybody in favor of police murdering citizens.

      What a silly and meaningless point. No one is protesting over people opinions on police violence, they are protesting the actual violence.

      I'm sure you would prefer a less disruptive protest, for example, some one kneeling instead of standing when the national anthem is being played. Unfortunately, it seems even the peaceful, mild protests are too much for most people. I'd guess what people really want is a protest they never have to encounter. How likely is that to create change?

      Delete
    44. Alessio,
      Hysterical screed noted.
      What about the specifics of these cases?

      Shouldn't this be directed to T N, who brought these cases into the discussion? The cases I brought into the discussion were John Crawford, Tamar Rice, Eric Garner, Fernando Castille and Bothan Jean. Perhaps you should tell me how these first four of these cases were justified killings?

      James Burns: shot at a fleeing suspect. From really brief reading, appears to have been a lapse in judgment. Claimed suspect was driving at him, but not supported by other evidence.

      If an ordinary, armed citizen shoots an unarmed citizen who is actively fleeing, is that a justified killing in your mind? Should any citizen not be convicted of that, or is it just a police officer?

      Delete
    45. Anonymous,
      There's nothing in what he wrote that suggests that, and it's deeply unhelpful and uncharitable to read it into his comments. It's what we've come to expect from liberals, but so called conservatives should know better.

      That's a pretty hefty dose of confirmation bias. Do you need to cut that into smaller pieces before you swallow it?

      Delete
    46. That's a pretty big dose of trolling. It isn't even clear what you are actually saying. What's being confirmed? That Alessio didn't actually say what TN uncharitably accused him of? That's clear if you just read what he wrote. That it is uncharitable to make such accusations? That's obvious. You shouldn't make the less charitable interpretation unless you have very good reason to do so. That lefitsts are do this all the time? We only have read your comments and the comments of your fellow leftists in this thread. Found those rightwing provocateurs yet?

      Delete
    47. Keep Calm and Carry OnJune 6, 2020 at 4:20 PM

      One Brow,
      obviously you have not followed the conversation before jumping in and commenting. Indeed you have latched onto the point made without even noticing and managed to radically misunderstand what the argument you quote was about. In short: even peaceful demonstrations against police murdering people are not justifiable if it is true that demonstrations very likely worsen the pandemic because nobody's mind needs changing on that topic, or indeed can be changed as everybody already agrees on it.

      One would have thought that someone as well versed in the Σοφιστικοὶ Ἔλεγχοι as you (you've used all of them, I'd wager) would have gleaned as much from the thread.

      You blundering past the point by quoting out of context and misinterpreting in this case, as well as the half-hidden insults found in your recent comments in this thread are telltale signs of your species.

      So by directing the gentle reader's attention to the foundational work On Trolling I beg forgiveness for having engaged with your comment. The link at least should prove amusing.

      Delete
  14. Sorry, the above comment was meant to be a reply to TN, not a reply to Feser.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Keep Calm and Carry OnJune 5, 2020 at 7:57 AM

      If you have taken my first comment in the thread above ("That is not in and of itself unreasonable.") to relate to your comment linking to the OAS report, I can see how you gave it a reading that I thought was uncalled for. And because that thread above has gotten very long, if that is the case, I want to apologize to you for my part in that confusion.
      While we certainly seem to have starkly different views on the main topic, I would have been much less acerbic in tone had I read your response allowing for that possibility. That would have been much better to discuss the matter at hand calmly and rationally, especially since I do think you have overstated a valid point, not that you made a totally invalid one.

      Delete
  15. I know many people hate Paul Feyerabend because they think he is an anti-science philosopher. But they should at least look at his work before judging his worth.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anyone else disappointed in how many so called conservatives seem to have given credence to the BLM narrative in the last few days: Carly Fiorina, George W. Bush, Trey Gowdy.

    We should not forgive, we should not forget.

    ReplyDelete
  17. When we had the London riots, the police and authorities actually trawled through all the footage available, as well as Facebook and Twitter posts, and subsequently arrested all those against whom there was evidence of rioting, looting, or incitement to riot. For once the judges actually decided to set an example, so they were punished. There was something heartening about the idea of someone a month or two later, enjoying their newly looted TV or PlayStation, suddenly getting a knock on the door and taken away by police. Hopefully that happens here. A lot of people were wearing masks, but a good deal weren't. There's plenty of footage of people committing crimes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you share the same enthusiasm (actually more) for George Floyd's and Breonna Taylor's killers being arrested.

      Delete
    2. The officer in Floyd's case was arrested and charged.

      I hope you nearly like enthusiasm in hunting down rioters and looters.

      Delete
    3. You are aware that destruction of property isn't equivalent to the loss of black lives right?

      Delete
    4. You are aware that every post of yours is dishonest and sophistic, right?

      Delete
    5. Why is it so hard for you to acknowledge that destruction of property isn't equal to the loss of black lives and that you should be more outraged at the latter rather than the former? This is common sense and decency. You can criticize the rioting and looting but you seem to be focusing on punishing them than the issue that sparked them which is more over-arching and ongoing.

      Delete
    6. You seem to be a dishonest troll. Go troll someone else, you will get nothing more from me.

      Delete
  18. I remember reading the following on Twitter in 2014:

    Don't change the subject. Was there a lawless putsch in Kiev, or not? If so, are you a scofflaw Bolshevik, or are you a civilised person? Scofflaw Bolshevik will support and excuse. Civilised person will condemn whatever the circumstances. Refusal to excuse means by ends is fundamental test of morality versus power worshipping cynicism, and of law versus power. Soviet Union was evil *precisely* because its founders, like you, scorned law from the start. Excuse and defend a putsch, and you have (to borrow from Bernard Shaw) already told us what you are.

    The same goes for anyone who excuses or supports the looting and burning of people's businesses and homes.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Since this is a Thomist blog, maybe we should start from first principles. The state has the duty to enact and enforce laws to protect the peace, order, and the common good. The enforcement of these laws is delegated to individuals whom we collectively call the police force. Thus police officers carry with them the authority of the state. This is why it is right that they are authorized to use reasonable force to investigate, detain, and arrest suspects, and why it is unlawful to resist a lawful arrest or detention.

    So many of the people calling for drastic "reform" and complaining that police aren't "held accountable" for people who die in the course of resisting arrest appear to have lost sight of these principles. It's as if they consider the police to be equivalent to a band of armed vigilantes roaming around, looking for trouble, and occasionally killing people.

    There is no such equivalence. To complain that police officers are held to a "different standard" ignores these base realities. And it threatens far more death and destruction than we see currently.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very much agree. Where I differ is in the (implicit, to be sure) assumption that an agency with a territorial monopoly on taxation, police, courts, etc. can be taken for granted under the guise of first principles.

      Medieval Europe was very decentralized because they refused to allow temporal authorities to arrogate to themselves "sovereignty", which belongs to God alone. The authority of the State, qua sovereign monopolist, is therefore far from a given on first principles.

      Instead, I think it represents an undoing of the achievements of a genuine christian political order and a sort of degeneration into pagan (Roman) notions of legal right. Here I draw inspiration from the great Catholic monarchist Erik von Kunneldt-Leddihn as well as Hans Hoppe.

      That aside, you are obviously correct (from first principles!) that no one has a right to resist a *lawful* arrest, and the use of reasonable force to investigate, detain, etc. is likewise fully justified. (I just don't think this right flows from the supposed necessity of a territorial monopolist on legitimate institutions/mechanisms for pursuing justice.)

      Hope that doesn't come across as too preachy :)

      Delete
    2. Well, govt officials, including police, are held to a different standard due to the legal doctrine of Qualified Immunity.

      It turns any attempt to sue a govt official in to an all or nothing situation. Unless you can definitively prove they intentionally violated a clearly established law, they can get away with continuous and major incompetence, even if it kills people, without any punishment.

      Delete
    3. @ manor rabbit:

      Under Thomistic (and almost any theory of natural law) principles, people are social and must needs be organized into social units - societies - and therefore must also have governing authorities. If instead of thinking of "sovereignty" as the kind that God has - ultimate, absolute, unqualified, comprehensive - we think of it as "the highest authority within a given order", it is clear that in the civil order there must be a "highest" authority. In the family, it would be the father; in the visible Church, it would be the Pope; in a business that is a sole proprietorship, it is the owner. In a civil society, there is some civil authority that has the highest level. In early medieval Europe, that might often have been the local baron, but later on it would have been the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. And it would be, by analogy and derivation, plausible to refer to this highest civil authority as "a sovereign", without intending thereby to deny that such person or persons (a) received their authority from God; (b) received limited authority, not unlimited; (c) could not effect their goals merely by willing them (as God can); and (d) leave room for there to be different "sovereigns" of different societies.

      "Only God is sovereign" is true ... on one level, but incomplete on another.

      Delete
    4. Manor rabbit,

      I strongly sympathize with your position, though I don't share it. Hoppe's Democracy: The God That Failed is an amazing read, breathtaking in its reasoning. In the end, though, I believe that his system requires a human nature that is a few notches better than it really is. Real people are too corrupt to make it work. I'm sure he would argue that his system provides the proper incentives for people to be better. No way to resolve that for sure, I guess.

      I did find his argument for the superiority of monarchy over democracy to be quite compelling.

      I should probably do myself a favor and read more von Kunneldt-Leddihn. So far I've found his prose to be rambling and not tightly argued.

      Delete
  20. "I hope you share the same enthusiasm (actually more) for George Floyd's and Breonna Taylor's killers being arrested."

    And those who killed the following, killed by those with "good intensions"? Perhaps, but likely not. And even if with good intentions, the shallowness and the basis of those putatively good intentions reveals them for what they are.

    When you can't see the forest for the trees you become culpable; when you purposefully avoid seeing the forest for the trees you become complicit all the more.

    Dave Patrick Underwood
    David Dorn
    Italia Marie Kelly
    David McAtee
    Chris Beaty

    ReplyDelete
  21. Sixtus EmpiricusJune 5, 2020 at 9:08 AM

    I don't see what the moral controversy is around Ed claiming that either those like Tara C. Smith are lying about what they believe to be the threat posed by the coronavirus or that they hold that their political sympathies justify the danger to those protesting (and the inevitable deaths). There is a third option, namely, that she may simply be mentally blind or insane, even if not totally. In other words, people like Tara C. Smith may simply be acting under the influence of various (i) passions and (ii) fears or out of some kind of (iii) bad habit. Another option, (iv) ulterior motive, is a form of dishonesty, though not about the coronavirus, but about her intentions (such as wanting to be seen favorably by the SJW in-crowd).

    It's rather obvious that when a politically explosive subject takes center stage, it will arouse dangerous and irrational passions alongside any justifiable and proportioned anger around the triggering event. Because those of us who have been bred by the generally left-leaning culture will have developed a sensitivity in some way to issues like racism, we might become victims of such disproportionate passions. However, those of us who are sensitized to the explosiveness of the issue but who are likewise not emotionally invested in the above way and yet suffer from cowardice will be inclined simulate agreement and to signal virtue out of fear. In line with the first, some may simply have a mindless habit of going along with certain social currents out of habit or ennui.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's really stretching it. Especially if COVID they truly thought COVID were terrifying enough to justify some of the more extreme measures.

      Delete
    2. The Impoverished LastsJune 5, 2020 at 10:26 AM

      Or, sin darkens the mind.

      Delete
  22. I agree with Ed totally, if scientists are going to sacrifice their integrity in such hypocritical manner it is only going to further undermine the scientists themselves. The other thing these experts fail to highlight is that settings where the virus superseeds are very crowded settings that we see with lot of talking and shouting as opposed to the low risk business and work setting with the exception of restaurants and bars (unless they take precaution). Furthermore the situation was dire in March due to lack of protective equipment and now this situation was much better by mid may or so.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Alcoholics arent able to go to their AA meetings, it will kill all the grandmas. But if you want to mass gather and do the Macarena, well it's worth all the grandmas apparently.

    https://twitter.com/JennyJarvie/status/1269053889472614400?s=20

    ReplyDelete
  24. A restaurant manager beaten and stomped for trying to defend his workplace: https://streamable.com/ila4dh?fbclid=IwAR0eLh2BGjyBQlA6Jq1YI8dg8QnL1F_5ezygNhuZwV4AHAzNnMOAGNw-V_I

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These were obviously right-wing provocateurs.

      Delete
    2. Second Anonymous is trying out a form of very dry humour.

      Delete
    3. How do you know that's a restaurant manager who was trying to defend his workplace? Please to tell me you just blindly believe the label. Does he work under a tree?

      Delete
    4. That's right. What were you thinking? Obviously he's a secret klu klux klan member and those fine gentlemen were totally justified in sucker punching him from behind and then bootfucking him.

      Delete
  25. From a letter signed by over 1200 US health professionals in support of the BLM protests:

    "This should not be confused with a permissive stance on all gatherings, particularly protests against stay-home orders. Those actions not only oppose public health interventions, but are also rooted in white nationalism and run contrary to respect for Black lives."

    These Health professionals think protesting the lockdown is racist. It's now getting beyond ridiculous that people are trying to claim this is just about competing goods, and not about politics.

    ReplyDelete
  26. One Brow,

    I have a detailed response below, but since we seem to have gotten lost in the weeds, I want to get back to the big picture.

    You complain about me and other straw-manning you, but, to be fair, you have a tendency to avoid stating your positions clearly and comprehensively, preferring to snipe from a position of cover, as it were. This leaves others having to piece together your positions from the fragments you give us.

    But let me make an effort to do just that, fairly:

    1. You believe that police across this country are systematically brutal and racist, to an unacceptably high degree. This requires radical changes in the training of officers. (What changes specifically, you haven't addressed.)

    2. You also believe that police killings of unarmed citizens, and especially of minorities, are at an intolerably high level, and that procedural barriers prevent effective discipline and prosecution of officers for murder or other crimes.

    If I have misstated you, I invite your corrections.

    To the first point, the Fryer study has been discussed. You claim this study supports your position. It does not. If brutality and racial bias were a major and systemic problem (as opposed to a marginal one), this should show up clearly and unambigously in the data. Your pointing out that the data is amibguous, and can slightly support your position if all the right caveats and variables are applied, does NOT help your point. It is a major lack of evidence, where evidence should clearly be found.

    The only other "evidence" you have offered on this point is something to the effect that "everybody knows this." I'm sorry, but some people's emotional beliefs are not evidence.

    On the second point, you have persistently ignored the arguments that I have now made SEVERAL times in this thread, except to dismiss is as a "hysterical screed." This is disingenuous. When you're talking about murder (or any other crime), the circumstances matter.

    Homicide is divided into degrees depending on the level of fault, from simple negligence (often not a crime at all) to malice. There are also complete defenses, including self-defense and mistake of fact. An officer is entitled to the same analysis that anyone else is, but with the difference being that these homicides generally occur in a situation in which the officer has a right and duty to use force.

    Tell me, do you disagree with any of the jury verdicts above? If so, do you believe that you, or the jurors, are in a better position to judge the law and the facts? And do you believe that those jurors are part of the rigged system that favors cops?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "You believe that police across this country are systematically brutal and racist,"
      There was a time in America when that was true, that time is past.

      Once upon a time it was common for law enforcement officers to be KKK members, that time is past.

      It is true that blacks are the subjects of police violence about 2.5 times more than whites by population, but it is also true that blacks have about 2.5 times per capita more police encounters than whites, and that blacks commit the sorts of crimes that lead to police encounters roughly 2.5 times more than whites per capita.

      It is also true that blacks are about equally likely to be the subjects of police violence carried out by black officers as they are by white officers per rate of encounter. So either those black officers are just as racist as their fellow white officers, or race simply is not a statistically significant factor in being the subject of police violence.

      That's what the science tells us.

      Delete
  27. One Brow,

    I'm going to be going back to some posts from yesterday because I missed them. The way these posts show up all out of order makes it hard to follow.

    "This is the type of drivel that can only said by someone who doesn't understand the culture or the interactions it creates. Black parents actually have talks with their kids about how to react to the police to minimize the amount of hassle they need to endure from them. If anything, overall the "attitudes of the" white "people being contacted" tend to be more confrontational and hostile. However, the police respond to these people with more patience and tolerance, generally."

    This is scientific?

    "So, rather than listen to what is actually being said, you decide to put your own exaggerated, self-aggrieved spin on what people are asking."

    No. The word "murder" has a meaning. The word "hunting" has a meaning. Accidental killings and slightly increased frequency of the use of minor force don't fit those meanings.

    "Do you really think slinging around mischaracterizations like "anti-police crowd" is helpful?"

    Yes, I do. Calling the police generally brutal, racist, and killing people with impunity sounds can fairly be described as "anti-police."

    "The vast majority of these protestor want better policing, not less or no policing."

    Everybody in the world wants better policing. And better everything else, too.

    "After you adjust for wealth and location, white people have slightly higher rates of homicide, rape, interracial attacks, assaults, and police killings."

    This is really just a "tu quoque." In the context of how the police treat people, it's the raw numbers, not adjusted for income or location, that matters.

    "Considering the number of deaths of unarmed people seems to be a few dozen a year, that doesn't really detract from my point s well as you seem to think."

    Actually it does. Because most deaths of unarmed people are not the police officer's fault, or at least not to a criminal standard.

    "Hysterical screed noted."

    Not good enough. I have now, at least twice, pointed out that the context of law enforcement deaths is utterly different from the context of private citizens killing people. If you choose not to even address that point, I'll take it as conceded. If you are going to analyze police killings without taking that into account, you are not doing either a legal analysis or a moral analysis. You are just emoting.

    "The cases I brought into the discussion were John Crawford, Tamar Rice, Eric Garner, Fernando Castille and Bothan Jean. Perhaps you should tell me how these first four of these cases were justified killings?"

    I'm not ignoring this point. I'll need to do some reading before I respond.

    "If an ordinary, armed citizen shoots an unarmed citizen who is actively fleeing, is that a justified killing in your mind?"

    1. I didn't say it was a justified killing. It appears to have been, mostly likely, gross incompetence.

    2. The situation if an ordinary citizen does it is entirely different, because he has no duty to detain criminal suspects or to use deadly force against them.

    ReplyDelete
  28. There is less danger of spreading the virus outdoors than it is in a closed environment, like a restaurant or barbershop. And many of the protestors did wear masks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So we didn't need lock down? We could have all must worn masks?

      Delete
  29. Let's look at more of these cases:

    John Crawford and Tamir Rice were similar cases. Both were carrying air guns that could be mistaken for firearms. Nothing wrong with that, but in both cases the police got reports from citizens that they were pointing guns at passersby. Officers allegedly fired on them without sufficient warning. Tough situation, because if the person is armed and dangerous, then waiting too long can cost innocent lives, too. Hard to see how the cops are criminals for actually trying to save lives.

    Philando Castile: Shot by cop during traffic stop in which he was believed to match a robbery suspect. Cop knew he had a gun and thought he was reaching for it. Cop was acquitted by the jury. I didn't see anything about prosecution bungling it, but I didn't look very hard either.

    Eric Garner: suffocated as a result of officer allegedly using a chokehold to overcome Garner's resistance to arrest. Significant pre-existing conditions contributed to his death. A black female sergeant witnessed the incident and didn't think there was a problem at the time.

    And let's give an honorable mention to Officer Darren Wilson, who did nothing wrong, but got slandered as a murderer and hounded out of his profession by Black Lives Matter, which also protested the grand jury's perfectly correct decision not to indict him, and perpetuated the "Hands up, don't shoot" hoax.

    ReplyDelete
  30. From Fayerabend:

    "I say that Auschwitz is an extreme manifestation of an attitude that still thrives in our midst. It shows itself in the treatment of minorities in industrial democracies; in education, education to a humanitarian point of view included, which most of the time consists of turning wonderful young people into colorless and self-righteous copies of their teachers; it becomes manifest in the nuclear threat, the constant increase in the number and power of deadly weapons and the readiness of some so-called patriots to start a war compared with which the holocaust will shrink into insignificance. It shows itself in the killing of nature and of 'primitive' cultures with never a thought spent on those thus deprived of meaning for their lives; in the colossal conceit of our intellectuals, their belief that they know precisely what humanity needs and their relentless efforts to recreate people in their own sorry image; in the infantile megalomania of some of our physicians who blackmail their patients with fear, mutilate them and then persecute them with large bills; in the lack of feeling of many so-called searchers for truth who systematically torture animals, study their discomfort and receive prizes for their cruelty. As far as I am concerned there exists no difference between the henchmen of Auschwitz and these 'benefactors of mankind.

    ReplyDelete
  31. "Perhaps you should tell me how these first four of these cases were justified killings?"

    Just to be clear, I do not consider them to be justified killings. What I believe is that in a law enforcement context, there is a gap between a justified killing and a criminal killing, and these cases fall into that gap.

    The gap exists because some killings result from technical violations of policy or accidents, without criminal intent, and under extenuating circumstances.

    This gap exists for civilians, too. A purely accidental killing does not carry criminal liability.

    I might note also that I believe (I didn't look systematically so forgive me if there are some exceptions) that each of the officers you've mentioned got fired, even if they avoided criminal convictions.

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  32. If it is right to lift the lockdowns now for things like haircuts, then it is also (a fortiori) right to lift them for things like protests against police murder. And it is, and Dr. Feser and I are in agreement on this, despite the risks. But, trying to tar people with "hypocrisy" on this is just right-wing propaganda and talking points. We are not as we were two months ago.

    And I fully support the protests, and I'm going again tomorrow. When we (as a society) give you a badge, a gun, a salary, and a pension, we have the right to expect nothing less than the highest standards of professionalism. Abusing this is a GRIEVOUS violation of the social contract. And yet it's generally ACCEPTED in cop culture.

    Thus already, the bootlicking crowd is trying to find excuses for the murderous cops in Minneapolis. And the corrupt system is in place to try to get them off. The bootlicking medical examiner said initially there was "no physical signs of asphyxiation" or something like that. Oh, and Floyd was an ex-con and had fentanyl in his system (as though that justifies anything.)

    I will be frank, the protests are, at bottom, a threat. People see this, and that's why they are reacting the way they are. We have only the appearance of the "rule of law" if clearly guilty cops get off due to a corrupt system. The procedure was followed, but the law, in reality, wasn't. If there is anything less than a conviction for murder of some degree for ALL FOUR of the cops involved, the Twin Cities will burn. To the ground.



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    1. "When we (as a society) give you a badge, a gun, a salary, and a pension, we have the right to expect nothing less than the highest standards of professionalism."

      We certainly do, "Professor." We all do. Is this the extent of your contribution to the discussion? There is no nuance* to any of this, in your mind? We send young men and women into the most dangerous situations, tell them to kill people if necessary, but they'd better be perfect, because we'll send them to prison for life if they make a mistake? Or something else?

      If you don't even want to get into the many specifics of these cases, why waste your time commenting at all?

      *I'm just old enough to remember when "nuance" was the favorite word that elitist Leftists used to berate conservative rubes like me.

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    2. It was two weeks ago, not two months when leftists were calling any who protested or disobeyed lock down grannie killers. But nice try.

      Also who is defending Chauvin? To point out that what charge he should face isn't completely clear is not to defend. I don't know what the Groypers and other actual racists are saying, but conservatives have been basically unanimous that Chauvin acted grossly wrong and should face appropriate legal consequences.

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    3. Keep Calm and Carry OnJune 7, 2020 at 4:24 AM

      Not even two weeks ago the LonelyProfessor told us that protest were basically mass murder and would "you are looking at a massive public health catastrophe in the next few months, with 1 - 2 million deaths", maybe "even more".
      Now he calls for protests and burning American cities to the ground.
      The justification - a need to protest against abuse of power (a notion nobody disagrees with on the level of abstraction he purposely chose to make his argument more palatable). Alas, what he means by that is suspending due process for police officers he has identified. Without regard for ancient rules of fairness, audiatur et altera pars and in dubio pro reo come to mind, he calls for punishment or else he'll see cities burned. "To the ground."

      You have to imagine that the LonelyProfessor's comment provides a glimpse into a slightly sociopathic mind.

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  33. So I just decided to take a look at peace-loving and anti-rioting BLM's official website: https://blacklivesmatter.com/what-we-believe/

    How about some direct quotes:

    "Enraged by the death of Trayvon Martin and the subsequent acquittal of his killer, George Zimmerman..."

    Who was acquitted he acted in self-defense...

    "A year later, we set out together on the Black Lives Matter Freedom Ride to Ferguson, in search of justice for Mike Brown..."

    Who was also killed in clear self-defense as he attacked a police officer!

    "Ferguson helped to catalyze a movement to which we’ve all helped give life."

    Which movement involved rioting and burning of black businesses in Ferguson. Which BLM doesn't even attempt to disavow or distance themselves from in any way.

    "We are unapologetically Black in our positioning."

    Pure racism.

    "We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable."

    WTF!!!!!!!

    Black Lives Matter officially embraces criminals, libels law-abiding citizens, and foments riots.

    Anyone in this discussion who has sympathized with BLM or their "peaceful protests" in any way is hereby invited to disavaow them utterly as the hate group that they are.

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  34. This isn't the 1700s anymore, kid. Technology heavily favors the centralized state these days, if they but have the nerve to use it.

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    1. Given when this showed up and that comment moderation was on, I'm going to guess it's directed toward LooneyProfessor flushing red with the pleasure at the mere thought of burning cities to the ground.

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  35. "I will be frank, the protests are, at bottom, a threat. People see this, and that's why they are reacting the way they are. We have only the appearance of the "rule of law" if clearly guilty cops get off due to a corrupt system. The procedure was followed, but the law, in reality, wasn't. If there is anything less than a conviction for murder of some degree for ALL FOUR of the cops involved, the Twin Cities will burn. To the ground."

    Nobody has complained about the protests. People have complained about the killings, loss of livelihoods, looting, rioting, insurrectionist interests and the nihilism and intellectual and moral insolvency it's based upon.

    Glenn Loury furnishes an exemplary counterweight to that insolvency and the incendiary manifestations thereof. And recalling relevant facts, such as is reflected in this PNAS study titled Officer Characteristics and Racial Disparities in Fatal Officer-Involved Shootings can be helpful.

    Well based and well directed passions can be constructive. A will to power not so well founded will result in destruction and infernos, often with long lasting and still more destructive forms of wilfullness.

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