Wednesday, June 15, 2016


I've got to admit it's getting better (Better)
A little better all the time (It can't get more worse)
-the Beatles-

Panic is big business. Hysteria is a moneymaker and the road to riches for those who can inflame and outrage the public.  So of course the persuaders of every persuasion are here to make you think everything is going to hell. Immigrants are going to ruin us, the debt is out of control, all our jobs are going to Mexico and most of all we're all going to be killed. After all you can't go to nightclubs or movie theaters and it's open season on Black children. Gluten will kill you and disease resistant crops will turn you into a wheat stalk and preservatives and processed food?  Oh my God!  This is the worst ever, we're all going to die and all trends point in the direction of Hell. 

All these arguments seem to be the worst when they're not really true or are oversimplified to the point of distortion. The overall trend in violent crime has been down for decades, employment is at record highs and so many things have improved over the last 8 years you'd think someone would notice the dire prognostications of Obama's failure didn't happen, but it's not to the benefit of power that we notice.  Every downward blip is a trend, and an indicator of impending calamity. So obviously we need to stay inside and buy guns before the Obaminator - oh excuse me - Dishonest Hillary takes them away.  We also need to make them disappear with the magic wand of badly written legislation. After all last time we banned "assault weapons" sales went up and numbers increased in a big way.  Lets do it just as badly again.

And by all means let's stay angry. Lets believe these are the last days as they have been for thousands of years now.  Nothing is random, nothing is cyclical, everything is a trend and a downward one. 

The best way to show a trend in a set of data, is to take a small sample. A large sample of mass shootings in the US looks quite a bit more than a series of irregular occurrences with quiescent  periods in between. The previous "worst mass shooting" was in 1927 when the population was a third of today's and falls behind the latest by about 4 deaths. Perhaps toning down the "if this trend continues" rhetoric just a bit might allow some breathing room, but again, that doesn't serve the interests on any side who like the used car salesman, wants you to ACT NOW! 

Act now before we discuss how we go about reducing these things.  Is it one problem of several? How much can we expect from gun regulations, how much increased surveillance and enforcement will we accept.  Do we deprive people of constitutional rights if they are under suspicion?  Do we accept racial profiling? We've already set aside the 4th amendment and perhaps illegally. Do we set aside the 2nd without due process because we are afraid?  this is more than a rampage shooting, more than an act of terrorism, this is an existential crisis for Democracy in America and certainly we need to handle it by pumping up the volume, hyping up the sloppy rhetoric, fuzzying up the logic and making it personal. The craziness, the evil - it's all on their side, but don't question our assertions, our shibboleths or our logic.  Now all together POINT THOSE FINGERS.

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