By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT (327 miles from NOLA) –  We knew it was coming, we just didn’t know which one. As promised, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu began the process of removing historic monuments in the city  last night.

They came in the dead of night wearing body protection gear and masks; the license plates were removed from their trucks. The company name was covered with tape and cardboard. Snipers loomed nearby in a parking garage. Men in a cherry picker were lifted to the top of the monument and began the process of drilling into and dismantling in sections the Liberty Place monument.

Police kept the protestors behind barricades. “Where’s your work permit? As a citizen I want to see your work permit!” one man yelled.

Liberty Monument

The 35-foot granite obelisk was taken down in four sections, placed on the back of a flatbed truck, and taken away to some storage facility. All that remains now is a scarred block of concrete.

Landrieu promises that the other three targeted monuments, P.G.T. Beauregard monument, Jefferson Davis monument, and the towering Robert E. Lee monument in Lee Circle will come down “sooner rather than later,” in the next few days.

The Liberty Place monument was erected in 1891 to commemorate those killed during the Battle of Liberty Place which took place in 1874 between the hated Reconstructionists, or carpet-baggers,  and the old order of New Orleans who wanted their city back.  You can read about the battle and the history here, at least as long as Landrieu leaves the site there.

Landrieu says of the four targeted monuments, this one more than any other needed to come down because it honors white supremacy.  His opponents contend that this may have been a tragic time in our country’s history but people lost their lives there and this event was an important part of the city’s history. To erase it is criminal.

Monday morning, Landrieu said, “The removal of these statues sends a clear and unequivocal message to the people of New Orleans and the nation: New Orleans celebrates diversity, inclusion and tolerance.”

One could argue that point, too.  He clearly is not showing tolerance for those who wish the monuments to remain. No vote was ever taken; the New Orleans citizenry never got to vote on this issue and polls indicate that 73% of the city want the monuments to remain.

With murders and shootings at an all time high in New Orleans, with streets almost impossible to navigate because of potholes, with a large homeless population whose needs are unmet, many question Landrieu’s priorities. Rather than building Equity Circles and taking down historic monuments, perhaps the city would be better served if he took care of those needs first.  Removing these monuments is creating a racial divide of epic proportions and will affect tourism as conventions are relocated and a rising call for a boycott grows.

This is not the end. Once Landrieu and his cronies who are instigating him, the hate group Take ‘Em Down NOLA, more sanitizing of history will come. TEDNola has an entire agenda laid out on their website of names in NOLA that they feel must be changed including Tulane University.

If you think this is just a problem for New Orleans, I would suggest you rethink that. Already many are comparing Landrieu’s actions to those of Isis in taking down cultural markers. The Facebook memes have already started and are scathing, including one of the Superdome flying a Nazi flag. This can happen to any monument, in any city, in any state if we don’t study history and learn from it.  To attempt to erase that history or to negate the lives of those who have gone before us is a grave error.

It is a sad day for those of us who believe in preservation.

There is a great timeline of last night events with excellent photos here.

 

Previous Posts at DaTechGuy blog:
Mayor Landrieu’s Plans to Remove Monuments in the Dead of Night Exposed (4/17/2017)
The Slippery Slope is Now Open (3/27/17)
A Disappointing Ruling from the 5th Circuit (3/13/17)
Still Fighting the Civil War (2/5/17)
Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s Solution to 172 Murders: Equity Circles (12/26/16)
Removal of Historic Confederate Monuments in New Orleans Thwarted — For Now (12/21/2015)
Report from Louisiana: Update on the Confederate Monument Removal Controversy (1/18/2016)
The Lives of My Ancestors Mattered Too (2/1/2016)
The Ongoing Battle of the Confederate Monuments: An Update (4/18/2016)
Confederate Monuments and Unintended Consequences (6/27/16)
Report from Louisiana: Revisionist History and Confederate Monuments (9/19/2016)
Report from Louisiana: Mass Shooting in New Orleans While Landrieu Fiddles (11/28/2016)


Previous Posts on And So it Goes in Shreveport:
The Confederate Battle Flag Rises Again in South Carolina (2/6/17)
Can the Violence in NOLA be Alleviated with Equity Circles? (12/26/16)
Shreveport Work of Art Still Needs Funding for Restoration (10/22/16)
Can You Help Clio? Restoration Fundraiser is Now Underway (9/5/16)
Epperson Demands UDC Remove Confederate Monument Within the Year (7/6/16)
Epperson’s Continued Attack on the Confederate Monument (6/22/16)
Report from the Caddo Commission Meeting in Which Ken Epperson Blasts “Jake-Leg Bloggers” (6/9/16)
Caddo Parish Confederate Monument Under Attack (5/19/16)
Joseph Welsh Texada’s Life Mattered Too (1/31/16)
The Heartbreaking Removal of the New Orleans Confederate Monuments (1/17/16)

April is National Frog Month, and frogs are awesome – unless you happen to be a hyper-sensitive SJW snowflake, of course, because then you need to get all offended and join your fellow travelers in online bullying campaigns to censor the appearance of the innocent amphibians from invading your precious safe spaces.

A clothing company offered up on its website a denim skirt featuring cute sunglasses wearing frogs on it, and leftist lunatics lost their darned minds over it because they thought the frogs reminded them of Pepe the Frog of internet meme fame, and, because some Trump supporters enjoy having fun with Pepe themed things, social justice warriors got themselves all triggered and so they harassed the company selling the skirt (whose frogs do not resemble Pepe at all, BTW), screaming about raaaacism, until the company buckled under the pressure and removed the “offending” item from it’s catalog.  So stupid.

This is Pepe:

This is the NOT Pepe frog skirt

As you can see, the skirt frogs ain’t Pepe, and even if they were (which they clearly are not), Pepe ain’t raaaaacist. Duh. But the vitriol directed at Zara (the skirt seller) was so thick that they evidently felt pressured to issue this statement:

“The skirt is part of the limited Oil-On-Denim collection which was created through collaborations with artists and is only available in selected markets,” the spokesperson said.

“The designer of the skirt is Mario de Santiago, known online as Yimeisgreat. Mario explores social interactions through his work and in his own words: ‘The idea came from a wall painting I drew with friends four years ago.’

“There is absolutely no link to the suggested theme.”

Ridiculous that they had to explain anything at all to those thin skinned harpies who can’t handle the appearance of a frog on a piece of cloth. What’s next? Is the tolerance mob gonna go after Jim Henson’s estate because the puppet named Kermit, a frog – OMG!,  sang about being green? Will Michigan J. Frog be next on the SJW hit list?

Stupid, bigoted, ranidaphobes! If they can’t discern Pepe from NOT PEPE, they probably can’t distinguish a frog from a toad either, but I think with his mind control abilities, Hypnotoad is probably safe – for now.

We all know that once the left gains an inch they want five hundred more miles, so I don’t see this madness ending anytime soon but I’ll tell you this, they can take my Frogger game only after they pry it from my cold, dead, hands.

*******

MJ Stevenson, AKA Zilla, is best known on the web as Zilla at MareZilla.com. She lives in a woodland shack near a creek, in one of those rural parts of New York State that nobody knows or cares about, with her family and a large pack of guardian companion animals – including Siberian Husky Dalmatian Lab Puppies and their parents. 

Chances are I wouldn’t recognize Susan Slusser if she passed me by on the street. I’ve seen her photo online and her on local sports television a few times, but given how I’m the living embodiment of jokingly stating the reason retail workers wear nametags is so we can remember our own, it should come as no surprise I’d most likely miss her if she was tap dancing in front of me. In a duet with Stomper.

Ms. Slusser is a superb sports reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle. Her main assignment since 1999 has been my beloved (albeit sometimes bedraggled) Oakland A’s. She writes with crisp, clean accuracy, covering the team’s ups and downs while drawing little if any attention to herself. It’s said the best referees and umpires are the ones you never notice due to their calling the game correctly. Similarly, in today’s world where reporting and opinion are far too often mixed in an unwieldy, unsatisfactory in both areas whole, Ms. Slusser is admirable in keeping the two separate, never tipping her hand or interjecting herself into the story. She is informative, in depth, and invisible.

Like most every media person in any field these days, Ms. Slusser has a social media presence. Unlike most every media person in any field these days, using said social media as something other than sheer self-promotion she engages with her readers, or at least the ones with a few synapses firing in coordinated fashion. I’ve exchanged a few tweets with her in recent months, and she has been unfailingly polite and informative. In like fashion, I have always addressed her with completely deserved compliments, respect, and consideration, often looking for a way to insert something she hopefully finds chuckle-worthy into the conversation. I gotta be me, after all.

I’m quite certain that Ms. Slusser and I voted for different Presidential candidates last November. Which is fine. Politics aren’t everything; I’d much rather chat about what the A’s are doing to address their defensive deficiencies or my beloved classic Christian rock artists. I don’t need to debate every policy and platform with everyone. Sometimes – most all of the time, in fact – I’d rather find common ground and not mix politics with everything else. I’d rather enjoy a ballgame. I also figured out quite some time ago that no one in Washington DC was refreshing any given blog site where I write fifty times a day, trembling with anticipation of my next great pronouncement so they’d know which policies and platforms to pursue. Something others, given their predilection for incessant self-righteous babble, have apparently yet to learn. But I digress.

There are many on my side of the political aisle who live for open combat with one and all in mainstream media. It works for them. It generates heat; it creates a scenario in which the fearless flamethrower, backed by gallant retweeters and such, speaks truth to power hiding behind corporate walls. Makes for great spectacle. Hail the conquering snarknado master!

If someone isn’t doing their job properly because of implied or overt bias, fine. Call them out. They deserve it. But with this duly noted, is it impossible to praise, and treat the same way you and I wish to be treated, reporters who regardless of their political beliefs do work of the highest quality? Or for that matter, members of any given profession?

Certainly engaging people as, well, people is far less exciting and attention-drawing than treating others as raw meat designated for tossing to your wolfpack fan club. But does the latter genuinely accomplish anything? Sure, you look like the tough guy or mucha macha chica on Twitter et al. You’ve also alienated, probably permanently, a whole lot of people you’re supposed to be trying to reach for your cause who, astonishing as it may seem, aren’t that interested in your totem pole positioning within their echo chamber. Why not for once try being respectful to another human being possessing the same dignity and worth as you? If it doesn’t work, you did the right thing. But if it does …

… you too can exchange tweets with the Susan Slussers of this world.

Being a Christian in Hollywood can be difficult. There aren’t a ton of movies being made today that fit in with a believing actor’s moral compass. Moreover, there’s a stigma attached to many actors who willingly profess their faith just as there’s a stigma against conservatives. As such, the average Christian-themed movie is pretty poorly done from a purely critical perspective. The messages can be great, but the delivery can be lackluster. Neither Kirk Cameron nor Nicolas Cage could make one of the most popular Christian book series of all time successful.

The Case for Christ is different. I was shocked when I saw that it received a 77% critical response on Rotten Tomatoes until I realized it was only reviewed by 13 critics. Go figure. Nonetheless, it was encouraging so I took my wife to see it last night. We were familiar with Lee Strobel’s journey from truth-seeking news reporter to truth-seeing evangelist and author, so we didn’t go for the sake of the story. As highly selective adults who have chosen to restrict our movie viewing to ones that fit our worldview (or that at least don’t attempt to trash it), we wanted to see if it was the rare “well made” Christian movie.

We were pleased with the results.

Both the acting and the cinematography were very good. They delivered 1980 about as well as big-budget films, 70s red Camaro and all. Nobody’s going to win an Oscar from this movie, but compared to the poorly crafted Christian movies of today that have good messages but are artistically weak, this was a real winner. Mike Vogel delivered the right mix of skepticism and intellect. He was believable as he struggled in a quest to debunk the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I wasn’t expecting it based upon some of his previous performances in cultural garbage flicks like Cloverfield and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but he found his groove with this role.

While far from being a critical masterpiece, this will hopefully bring more attention to the quality of Christian movies. They don’t have to look like they were made by a high school film studies class, nor does the dialogue have to sound like carefully crafted proselytizing disguised as robotic conversations. There needs to be a gelling of message and art that gets people not only interested in seeing a movie but that compels them to recommend it.

Hollywood is a cesspool of left-wing manipulation of progressive propaganda. As a society, we’ve fought through to make conservative-themed movies like American Sniper and Zero Dark Thirty critical and box office successes. Now we need to do the same for Christian-themed movies.

The Case for Christ is a step in the right direction. We need more of them.

by baldilocks

Of course, I’m still writing my second novel, and, occasionally, I read the advice that others give, even though I know, from the first two or three sentences, whether I want to finish reading the advice. After all, if a writer can’t hold your attention in an article about writing, why should you take her advice?

I’ve had this April 1 (yes) article opened in my browser for a few days–You’ve Got a Book in You (Maybe Five)—and it’s priceless.

Through my intensive research and study of the Modern Literary Canon, I have come up with Five (5) Plots absolutely GUARANTEED to get you published. I also include in this lesson, five (5) plots to avoid, plots that will get your manuscript rejected again and again.

Example of guaranteed publishing material:

Two rich, white college boys are seen harassing a vulture sitting atop a Saguaro cactus. Relentlessly they take turns hurling insults at the bird, each trying to top the other in a perverted twist on the old game called “the dozens.” Despite the pleas of tearful passers-by to desist, they continue and the vulture finally flies off, severely traumatized. Later that day the same boys are walking atop a steep cliff over the sea when the vulture streaks down, causing one of the boys to lose his footing and fall to his death. The guilt-ridden survivor goes on a solo trek into the desert. He returns years later, wiser and more sensitive and founds the new eco-warrior band, Save the Vultures. Free bonus title: To Mock a Killingbird.

Example of rejection fodder:

George Goodman and his wife, Trudy, welcome their new neighbors, Makmoud and Taureg, refugees from Awfulstan, with an Upside Down Pineapple Cake. George and Trudy hardly ever see their new neighbors, but they begin to notice strange behaviors and odd visitors in the night. A glimpse of some suspicious packages in Makmoud’s garage intrigues George. He sneaks in after the neighbor couple go on vacation to the beaches of Arabia, and finds hand grenades and AK-47s. George alerts the FBI and Makmoud and Taureg are arrested at the airport and a major terrorist event prevented!

You get the point…at least I hope you do. Anyway, the author manages to pique interest in the topic, make some creative, funny commentary on political correctness in Big Publishing and plug his own book—all at the same time! (Groan-worthy puns notwithstanding.)

One has to admire that skill.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done on April 2017! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!

 

Had a bit of a health scare yesterday. Prepped for my closing shift; set out the door for my daily dose of public transportation thrills … and had to turn back toward home a few minutes into my usual twenty minute walk, as shortness of breath and overwhelming fatigue took center stage. Most unusual, in that I’ve never had the slightest trace of asthma. Caught my breath and a bit of energy some time after very slowly walking home, but definitely not how I’d planned to start the day.

Thinking back on it, I’m still not sure what set off the incident. What it accomplished was reminding me of a few facts, one being that I’m now entering the season of life where one need be mindful of family history regarding heart attacks, namely the plentiful nature thereof. Obviously it wasn’t one, given how I’m presently present, but still. Faithfully take your blood pressure medicine (I do) and watch the stress (okay, so I’m batting .500).

Without either becoming morbid or frantically running around like a moron trying to accomplish all my life goals before lunch tomorrow, it’s good to have a sense of urgency regarding what needs to be done. Have I chatted with that friend lately. Have I both told and shown those I love the love I hold for them. Am I actively fulfilling the Great Commission to tell others of Christ’s love in word and more importantly deed. These things I can do; indeed, these things I must do despite my rumbling bumbling stumbling fumbling humanity. If these together are not the central theme, life is an unbalanced gyroscope.

This ties into why I constantly beat the classic Christian rock drum. It’s not a job; I haven’t seen a dime for writing about it since my last paying gig freelancing for a music magazine in 1994, and I will never sell enough copies of my book to recoup expenses, let alone earn anything. Rather, it’s because I have to. It’s my obligation. Everything else, including (gasp!) politics, runs second.

Yes, it’s irksome when I see writers who, all false modesty aside, can’t hold a candle to me endlessly promote themselves while receiving lavish praise for their latest two bit entry in the great conservative new media circle jerk. They don’t change anything. They don’t influence public policy. They do precious little education save for the truly uninformed. That said, it is what it is, to resurrect that extraordinarily overused expression of some years ago. Far better to do what it is I am called to do, letting others deal with the consequences of their own actions.

There are times when we need a reminder – say, a health scare – taking us back where we need to be and back to what we need to be doing. I can’t change the world. I can’t, or at the least haven’t to date, convince nearly enough people to listen to and actively support music designed and dedicated as God’s language. But these things I can do: what I’m supposed to, and what I am able to do. So may it ever be.

This week I attended the funeral mass of a friend of my father’s who served in the French Air Force during WW 2. and that got me thinking about Syria and the missile strikes now taking place.

One of the things about being the son of a World War 2 Vet (Navy, Pacific 1942-45) is I tend to be much more willing to see US intervention than people in my generation who are the grandchildren of that dying next generation That generation was willing to unite pay the price to stop the Axis power, albeit it took the Nazi’s attacking the USSR to get the leftists on board and Pearl Harbor to bring the isolationists on board.

Of course being a largely Christian society and a type of Christianity that actually believed in heaven and hell (what would be called conservative today) such risks and sacrifices were not only considered virtuous but involved one’s eternal reward. Such a culture is capable of going to war in a just cause and was willing to pay the cost in blood and treasure to win it.

Today with a largely secular society and a generation that needs safe spaces for “microagressions” like saying “he” that’s a different story.

Furthermore we have the contrast of a society being willing bear the costs in lives and treasure to keep a large military force in perpetuity in the countries we conquered to change their societies (our military is STILL in Germany , Italy and Japan 72 years later) vs cutting and running like Barack Obama in Iraq for short term political advantage and allowing our enemies to gain power (which is what caused the rise of ISIS in the first place).

So while the gas attacks in Syria are horrific before we consider going to war in Syria we as a country need to answer these questions.

  1. Are we willing to go to war and pay the price in blood and treasure to topple Assad risking American lives in Syria?
  2. Are we willing to fight that war until it’s actually won rather than fight a limited war for the sake of saving face?
  3. Are we willing once Assad is toppled to stay in Syria for the 30 to fifty years to make sure Syria doesn’t become Iraq or Libya and leave it for Islamist to take over?
  4. Are we willing to take responsibility for not only the military but the civilian casualties that will inevitably take place in Syria in such a war?
  5. Are we willing to risk a military confrontation(s) with Russia and Iran in order to do this?

If we as a society are willing to do this, then it’s absolutely a good idea for the US to declare war (yes we should actually declare war) in Syria and support whatever sacrifices it takes to win. I’d like to think that we are a society and a culture strong enough to do what needs to be done to free Syria and stop not only Assad but his Iranian backers.

If the answer to any of those questions are “no” If we balk at the costs, if we are only willing to fight a limited war to save face and or cut and run in the face of Russia and Iran and leave the situation as it is, if we allow the left outrage over every civilian casualty that war brings (and believe me the anti-Trump left will do so) to cause us to blink, if we leave the Syria to become the next failed state dominated by Islamists to breed terror then we are better off not going. We should do it right or not at all.

Frankly given the reality of our self-centered, soft and narcissistic society I think this is the more likely outcome as I can’t see a nation where the very thought of being nice to Trump supporters sends the left into a public frenzy and where police stand by while rioters attack those who support the president capable of uniting under this president to achieve a great cause like this but I’d be delighted to be proved wrong.

Closing thought: Can someone explain to me why the slaughter of the opponents of Assad with chemical weapons is so heinous that it’s considered a causes belli that must be acted upon but if Assad slaughters those same people with bombs, shelling and small arms it’s not?

Closing thought 2: Does anyone seriously believe that the left with the full backing of the media won’t go the full vietnam/Iraq mode with the hope of producing American defeat if Trump does decides to go to war?


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Olimometer 2.52

If you are not in the position to kick in your funds we’ll always accept your prayers.

As mentioned before in this space, many veteran Christian rockers have successfully turned to crowdsourcing as a means to both finance rereleasing cherished catalog albums and fund new projects. The 77s are currently working the former, with an unearthing (or rescuing from underwater, if you prefer) of their 1994 release Drowning With Land In Sight the pursued prize.

Drowning With Land In Sight was the 77s sixth album and their second major label release, albeit of a far different nature than the first which was put out in 1987 by Island Records only to be overwhelmingly ignored by same, it apparently too busy counting money from the latest U2 project to notice it had a terrific record by someone else on its hands. This time, the band was labelmates with Amy Grant and looked poised to claim their rightful place along Petra et al among Christian rock royalty. Which unlike regular rock royalty translated into actually being able to pay the rent on time each month as opposed to making sure the accountants properly cut a check for the new Lear next month. But I digress.

There was one minor problem with this approach. The 77s had always been Christian rock for people who hate Christian rock; never intentionally antagonizing their prospective core audience but also never comfortably nesting alongside the aforementioned Petra and variations thereof as readymade youth group fodder. The lyrics were too introspective, the accompanying music too challenging as it varied from shimmering, contemplative power pop minus the genre’s usual relentless cheerfulness to heavy blues. The band’s pop side had been prevalent on its previous release. Now it was time for the blues. And oh, did they deliver.

In the film Rattle and Hum, Bono commented, “Charlie Manson stole this song from The Beatles. We’re stealing it back” as U2 ripped into a cover of “Helter Skelter.” Without similar fanfare, The 77s did the same opening Drowning With Land In Sight by taking Led Zeppelin’s arrangement of “Nobody’s Fault But Mine” and reuniting it with song author Blind Willie Johnson’s original lyrics, or at least a far more closely aligned set of words than what Robert Plant intoned. Making this a full throttle triumph, band lead singer/lead guitarist/main songwriter Mike Roe showcased how he was and is one of the very, very, very few guitarists on the planet capable of tackling a tune touched by Jimmy Page and not sounding anemic by comparison.

Roe and company were just getting warmed up. The album bristles with snarling jagged force. At the time it was being recorded, Roe was watching his marriage crumble while bandmate David Leonhardt was finishing a battle with cancer. This left little room for niceties or pious platitudes. Instead, Roe took what would have been the title track from his previous album had the distributor not nixed it, namely “Pray Naked,” and used its philosophy as a beacon, stripping bare his raw emotions and displaying them for all to see. Lyrically the theme isn’t centered on former partner bashing; reflections on one’s own shortcomings are woven throughout decried loss. The band occasionally dipped into its pop side for this, but for the album’s majority kept the sledgehammer cranked to 11. Only the last three songs featured The 77s’ softer side, with the final song “For Crying Out Loud” offering the hope most everything before it found lacking.

It’s little wonder Drowning With Land In Sight fared poorly in the Christian marketplace. Said collection of Christian bookstores and churches purchasing music from them was, if ofttimes grudgingly, acceptant of endless variations on “Praise Ye The Lord” by Petra. It had no idea whatsoever what to do with a primal scream. But for those who know pain, the album was and remains a hiding place for shared sorrow. Drowning With Land In Sight is a superb musical dark star, steeped in the blues and made for those walking in the valley of the shadow.

Malone: You just fulfilled the first rule of law enforcement: make sure when your shift is over you go home alive. Here endeth the lesson.

The Untouchables 1987

Leonard: …Sheldon, you can’t train my girlfriend like a lab rat.
Sheldon: Actually, it turns out I can.
Leonard: Well, you shouldn’t.
Sheldon: There’s just no pleasing you, is there, Leonard? You weren’t happy with my previous approach to dealing with her, so I decided to employ operant conditioning techniques, building on the work of Thorndike and B.F. Skinner. By this time next week, I believe I can have her jumping out of a pool, balancing a beach ball on her nose.

The Big Bang Theory, The Gothowitz Deviation 2009

Over at IMDB there is an interesting story concerning Johnny Weissmuller the gold medal swimmer concerning his early days as the silver screen’s most famous Tarzan:

When Weissmuller was introduced to the first Cheetah in his Tarzan films in 1931 (he worked with 8 chimpanzees altogether), the chimp’s trainer told him to show no fear or the animal would attack him. As Weissmuller, dressed in his Tarzan loincloth and hunting knife, walked up to the animal, it bared its teeth, growled at him and lunged as if to attack him. Weissmuller took the knife out of the sheath and held it in front of the chimp’s nose, to make sure he saw and smelled it. He then slammed the animal on the side of the head with the knife handle. He put the knife back in its sheath and held out his hand to the chimp. It glared at him, bared his teeth again, then changed its mind, grinned at Weissmuller and jumped up and hugged him. Weissmuller never had any further problems with the chimp–although other cast and crew members did–and it followed him around like a puppy dog during all the pictures they worked together.

This is a perfect example of risk/reward, note that the Chimp didn’t change his nature, he still gave problems to the rest of the cast and crew, but when it came to Weissmuller the risk of the whack in the head outweighed the reward of giving him grief.

This perfectly illustrates this story out of LA concerning the arrest rate:

an Assistant Chief with the LAPD tells the Times the number of arrests has continued to decline. Similar declines were seen in other big cities including San Diego. The result is that the overall number of arrests in California is at its lowest level in nearly 50 years.

Now given the increase in the crime rate the drop in the arrest rate would seem rather odd, but if you consider risk and reward, it’s not odd at all.

But others say it is inevitable that some officers will pull back, taking care of necessary work while not engaging in the “proactive policing” that could lead to more arrests — and to more encounters that turn violent.

“Not to make fun of it, but a lot of guys are like, ‘Look, I’m just going to act like a fireman.’ I’m going to handle my calls for service and the things that I have to do,” said George Hofstetter, a motorcycle deputy in Pico Rivera and former president of the union representing L.A. County sheriff’s deputies. “But going out there and making traffic stops and contacting persons who may be up to something nefarious? ‘I’m not going to do that anymore.’”

A police job carries a good pay, good benefits and a fine retirement package (at least until the unfunded pension issue bubble bursts) that is to compensate for the risk to life and limb, but it’s not just a physical risk anymore, it’s a social and reputation risk that enters into it

LAPD officers are troubled by contentious demonstrations at Police Commission meetings and by public criticism of their colleagues for using deadly force, said Robert Harris, a police officer on the LAPD union’s board of directors.

“Suddenly, you feel like you can’t do any police work, because every opportunity that you have might turn into the next big media case,” Harris said. “Of course, you’re going to take stock a little bit more, I think, before you put yourself out there like that.”

Why on earth are you going to risk your financial security protecting people who are going to demand your head if you put yourself out there to protect them?  Particularly in a city and/or state governed by a party actively antagonistic to police officers and silent when they are targeted as illustrated in the last presidential campaign:

while President Obama and the Democratic candidates vying to succeed him are putting America’s police departments on trial in the court of public opinion in response to a rash of deadly police shootings, the murder of police officers on America’s streets is being met with a “deafening silence.”

“I cannot recall any time in recent years when six law enforcement professionals have been murdered by gunfire in multiple incidents in a single week,” National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund CEO Craig W. Floyd said in a statement Friday. “Already this year there have been eight officers shot and killed, compared to just one during the same period last year and represents a very troubling trend.”

The relative silence on officer deaths contrasts with the Democratic candidates’ often fiery language on police brutality against African Americans. When it came to the issue of law enforcement at Thursday night’s Democratic debate, the candidates focused almost exclusively on “police reform.” Vermont Sen. Sanders said he’s “sick and tired” of seeing unarmed black people shot by police, likening heavily equipped departments to “occupying armies” – a reference to Ferguson, Mo. and elsewhere. Hillary Clinton hit similar points.

And why would they act otherwise?  Given the supermajority of Democrats in the state, an electorate willing to reward them for attacking police and their lack of personal proximity to the areas of increased risk there is absolutely no incentive for elected Democrats to act otherwise, nor for professional liberals in academia:

If officers think twice about approaching people, some situations where police use force might be avoided, said Melina Abdullah, a leader of the local Black Lives Matter movement and chair of the Pan-African studies department at Cal State L.A.

“If police are more cautious about making arrests that might be controversial, making arrests that might elicit protests, then that is a victory,” Abdullah said. “We want them to begin to check themselves.”

who I suspect,  outside of an organized march wouldn’t be caught dead in the areas where crime is increasing as the police back off.  Victor Davis Hanson has these folks nailed:

The American progressive elite relies on its influence, education, money, and cultural privilege to exempt itself from the bad schools, unassimilated immigrant communities, dangerous neighborhoods, crime waves, and general impoverishment that are so often the logical consequences of its own policies — consequences for others, that is.

And of course while the negative reinforcement is being delivered to police the opposite message is being delivered to criminals, as the risk of arrest and punishment decreases, the incentive to engage in criminal behavor increases.  thus the rewards for everything from petty theft to intimidation and threats of violence increases for the criminal class while at the same time the incentive for a potential victim to call the police decreases.  Why bother calling the cops if they aren’t going to follow through?  Much better to keep your mouth shut and hope the gangs, the druggies and the thugs just leave you alone.

And this isn’t just confined to the cities, Hanson again:

Let me narrate a recent two-week period in navigating the outlands of Fresno County. A few days ago my neighbor down the road asked whether I had put any outgoing mail in our town’s drive-by blue federal mailbox, adjacent to the downtown Post Office. I had. And he had, too —to have it delivered a few hours later to his home in scraps, with the checks missing, by a good Samaritan. She had collected the torn envelopes with his return address scattered along the street. I’m still waiting to see whether my own bills got collected before the thieves struck the box. Most of us in rural California go into town to mail our letters, because our rural boxes have been vandalized by gangs so frequently that it is suicidal to mail anything from home.

No wonder the rest of the country doesn’t want to be ruled by California.


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Olimometer 2.52

If you are not in the position to kick in your funds we’ll always accept your prayers.

In 2 months, Lord willing, our fourth child will be born. He won’t be like the previous three. He has a rare heart configuration that essentially has his aorta and pulmonary artery switched up. There’s also a hole in the wall that separates the ventricles of his heart. His is a situation for which many parents would choose abortion.

They wouldn’t necessarily be perceived by society as cruel for doing so. It’s not like they would be doing it for the frivolous reasons that so many potential parents invoke in modern America. They would be doing it to prevent the child as well as their current families from having to suffer through expensive health conditions, multiple operations, and a life restrained by circumstance. There’s something noble about sparing someone from living a hard life, right?

No. There’s nothing noble nor humane about taking a human life at any stage of development. If given the choice in retrospect, would you rather go through the new challenges of a deformed heart that hampered you, the operations that constantly put you at risk, and the burden that comes to you and your family? Or, would you rather have never been born at all?

You or I can make this hypothetical choice because we’ve already been given the opportunity to live, to learn, and to grow in this world. I would challenge any God-fearing American’s honesty if they would have chosen a life cut short over a life of hardship.

Unfortunately, many couples or individuals in our situation would believe they were doing the humane thing by preventing those challenges from encompassing another’s life. They would likely be made to feel justified by their doctors who all-too-often condone or even encourage abortions when faced with the prospects presented to us.

Our doctor is different. She’s extremely caring and hopeful. She has never pushed us in the direction of abortion though she’s acknowledged that the option was on the table. Once we made it clear that the option wasn’t on our table, she never brought it up again. Today, I’ll be going in with my wife for our monthly checkup before the next phase of ongoing testing and monitoring begins. We’ll soon know some of our options on procedures to repair the heart or redirect blood flow. These are decisions that we’ve never had to make, but by the Grace of God we’re not discouraged. This is His child. We are here to bring him forth and to help him grow.

When abortions are done for frivolous reason, the lines are clearly drawn with very little doubt on either side of the aisle. When they’re done for reasons such as rape or incest, the line can be blurred a bit for some in the pro-life movement. In situations like ours, the lines are barely visible. Pro-life parents may feel justified to abort for the sake of their families and to prevent the pain and struggle that their child is certain to experience. To those of you in similar situations, please understand that everyone regardless of situation or condition has the right to live their lives. This isn’t a question of politics. It’s a cultural battle to define the God-given right of life itself even when that life is going to be hard.