I am so saddened by the the enormous gulf between what an average American used to be... someone who worked, raised a family, neither needed nor took handouts, and what we see today, not as the average American - an abstract I no longer can fill out in my mind with an example - but these angry, irrational, whiney, and unbelievably stupid people that we see on TV.
Has this portion of this generation become so totally different than what we used to see 30 or 40 years ago? That would indicate powerful change agents working with very flexible 'character.' It would be the result of a failure of the educational system or the family to teach critical thinking at even a marginal level, a failure to acquire positive character values, and the acquisition of hostile, collectivists beliefs.
Or is some of it just that a new generation of media and entertainment people are in place and they are sympathetic, and present for us what their progressive world view tells them is important?
I'm thinking it is both. Actually, I guess it is that powerful principle of evolution and economics: That which 'works' gets rewarded. If so much in the environment doesn't just tolerate bad behavior, but actually rewards it, and expects it, then it shouldn't be a surprise that we get more of it. There was once a strong peer pressure against people who weren't productive when they could be - we called them bums. They had some seedy part of town where they could live in a cardboard box but they weren't tolerated elsewhere. No child ever saw themselves as growing up to be a bum. But now it is normal in some subcultures to grow up in a family that lives on welfare, demands it as an entitlement, is hostile towards everyone outside of their dysfunctional subculture, and continues to survive in spite being irrational. And we have a society that not only tolerates these choices, but apologizes for causing their misery, abolves them of any part in their misfortunes, and pays them more the greater the whining.
On the Brown/Ferguson Event:
Brown being shot: Conflicting reports - shot with hands up? Shot in the back while running away? Shot while 'bum-rushing' the officer?
Facts: to be determined. We don't know yet.
Demonstations: Some peaceful. Recently the police asked people to keep walking which appeared to help. Looking like a company of Army Rangers in camo fatigues with all their heavy equipment isn't helpful.
Rioting: Some violent people among those whose only crime is being stupid. They should be identified and snatched up. There are laws on the books regarding terrorism and that is what the the initiation of violence for the purpose of changing policy or causing fear and disprupting normal life is all about.
Looting: Like I said, the best approach would be a "shoot to kill" order issued for all people actively involved in looting.
Police Militarization: an issue all of its own. We are shifting, rapidly, from a police who protect and serve, to this SWAT team look with armored vehicles and whose policy is about control and attack instead of protect and serve.
Government transparency: Should all police acquired information be released immediately? I don't know. Maybe some things should only be released during the trial. The British won't release anything till after the trial concludes or the decision is made to not try the person and they don't allow the media to comment till then. But that isn't in accord with America's freedom of press. There should never be a selective release of information to suit a coverup, or to slant things for better PR.
I guess the way I see it, the police did less than they should towards looters and rioters, more than they should towards peaceful demonstrators, didn't help with the way they are militarized, and handled the PR badly. They were over their heads in this - and that's to be expected, they are a small town police force. They should have called in a consultant from a big city force to advise them. The facts still aren't in on who was at fault for the death - Brown or the cop.
Too much of what we see in the news today is of a nation teetering on the brink of shifting from a nation of laws to a nation that ignores laws, and in their place grants angry emotions the power to justify violence, and acts as if the ends justify the means.