Don’t disrupt the free elections
Protesters and rioters are two entirely different groups.
Definition 1: Protest: “An organized public demonstration expressing strong objection to an official policy or action.”
Definition 2: Riot: “A violent disturbance of the peace by a crowd.”
To call a lawless rioter a “protester” or “demonstrator” is a deliberate misnomer and, worse, a personal insult to all law-abiding protesters exercising their First Amendment right to peaceably assemble. The distinction here is obvious, at least to any rational American mind. The legitimate protesters are nothing more than “human shields,” or cover, for the rampaging rioters.
As always, these thuggish mobocrats’ ultimate aim is to disrupt our nation’s vital free elections. And, as always, they are on a fool’s errand.
When pandemics disrupt the
We are in the midst of a once-in-a-lifetime global pandemic, and in this past week, we have seen the fraying of the social order. What can we learn from history? Two examples.
In 430 B.C., Athens and Sparta were in the midst of a battle for the future of Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean. Athens was a democracy and the more powerful of the two states. Sparta was a dictatorship with a powerful army. In the second year of the war, a plague struck Athens, killing 25% of the population as well as Pericles, the leader of Athens. The great historian Thucydides wrote, “The catastrophe was so overwhelming that men, not knowing what would happen next, became indifferent to every rule of religion or law.” Sparta prevailed and democratic rule in ancient Greece failed. The cause of the plague was typhoid fever, and it had migrated from Ethiopia to Egypt and then Athens. It moved at the speed of travel and then it was by ship. Today it is by plane.
The Black Death, also called the Bubonic Plague, of the 14th century ravaged the world and changed the course of history. The estimates are that one-third of the world population succumbed to the pandemic. It took 100 years for the population of Europe to return to pre-pandemic levels. The Black Death had profound immediate and long-term effects on the social, economic, political and religious character of the world. One estimate is that the Chinese province of Hubei lost 80% of its population. The plague traveled across Asia and Europe at the speed of transportation. It was the end of feudalism and the start of the Renaissance, and it existed at the same time as the Hundred Years’ War.
The question for 2020 is what will the world look like post-COVID-19? We know there will be profound changes, but the exact changes are still to be determined. Stay tuned. The only constant is change.
Dr. Leonard Kirschner, MPH
AHCCCS Director (1987-93)
Just the beginning
If you think the end of COVID-19 will finally bring things back to normal, think again. We have not seen anything yet. This pandemic linked with the state of our government is going to bring on times worse than we are experiencing now. Like a snowball rolling down a hill, it is only going to get bigger and harder to stop.
Look at the state of our government. They are divided at the White House, which rolls right down the hill on us. This is reflected in the West Valley View by some of our regular writers. One writer stated Trump was exonerated from the impeachment accusations. This doesn’t mean he did not do the things he did or say the things he said. It just means he can’t be blamed or held accountable for them. And what a coincidence that only now during election time do sexual accusations come up against Biden. Wonder how long it took the Trump trash team to dig up this person and how much are they paying her. I guess anybody can say anything about anyone and cause the public to consider it to be true. There is no evidence that this even occurred. What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty? Just remember, this could happen to you. However, you could always sue for defamation of character. Or you could take it with a grain of salt, knowing it is untrue.
I have never seen such a division in the White House, which is causing division in the people. Another regular writer stated that being president is a tough job, and I surely agree. However, there are really only two types of people who take the job of president. One: the person who wanted to help make decisions that are advantages to the American people and the world (i.e., McCain-Republican, Obama-Democrat). Oh, for our regular complaining writers, Obama was elected twice, for some reason.
The other type wants to help make decisions advantageous to selected individuals and themselves. They also crave the most powerful position for their inflated ego. Take Trump, for example. He is a narcissistic sociopath with delusions of grandeur, trying to overcompensate for a feeling of inferiority, just like many of our regular writers.
Chuck Vetri, not one of our regular writers, named some of the regular writers in his letter to the West Valley View.
Don’t worry, Chuck, those regular writers are still trying to justify their decisions. Remember, just like our president, they may not always be right, but they are never wrong. There are two things you can do with a mistake: Learn by it or continue to beat yourself over your head with it. Does this phrase remind you of anyone? “You’re fired!”
A person must remember, “You can’t always be right, but you can’t always be wrong either.” But you shouldn’t take out your wrong decisions on others.
Excessive use of force and outrage
As the tide of pandemic bad news recedes, more bad news regarding a number of recent incidents involving law enforcement using excessive force comes to fill the void. However, it does not help that the mainstream media and their slow-witted cousins, the social media, are jumping to spread incendiary racial outrage short term rather than driving meaningful change long term. If you think that this is just a problem for minority groups, you are wrong. Everyone’s liberty, rights and safety are affected by the posture and tenor of the peace officers who perform a vital role in a free and democratic society.
First focus on facts. We are fortunate to live in a golden age of digital forensic video evidence. Every cellphone camera will bear witness in court, and that is just the tip of the iceberg. The focus should be on using that evidence to process violators to the fullest extent of the law, not inciting riots and looting. We all need to have more faith in the judicial system, and not the assumptions of injustice from hyperbolic commentary. This also means getting rid of hate crime nonsense. The idea of a hate crime is a childish argument, as malice and crime go hand in hand. We can never know beyond a reasonable doubt what someone was thinking, and it may be too bold an assertion to assume that a perpetrator was even thinking at all. Finally, knowing where (jail) the who (offender) is paying for the what (crime) can bring solace to victims, friends and family; but no reason why can ever justify the senseless of their loss.
Second, we have to provide better oversight of law enforcement personnel. This cannot just be a responsive, after-the-fact effort. We need law enforcement agencies to better monitor the mental and emotional health of their officers at all times. Police work is dangerous, hard and thankless. Members of the public should try to remain respectful to those who carry the burden of policing; however, it is inevitable that law enforcement officers will be constantly dealing with people at their worst. It is understandable that such a situation will take a toll anyone eventually. Agency leaders need to monitor their staff and ensure they continue to meet standards for objectivity and decision making and intervene when they sense that an individual is spiraling downward or becoming overwhelmed.
Finally, all members of society need to be vigilant toward crime in general. If we all reduce crime, we will only improve the on-the-job health of law enforcement, making their jobs easier and all of us safer and decreasing the likelihood of excessive force being used in the future.
The stupidest thing we can do is continuing to overreact and encourage protests that turn into more crime by looting and rioting, rather than focusing on meaningful change.