Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Convincing People That They Are Helpless Is Dangerous, to All of Us.

 

The NFL ran a “We may be filthy rich but we’re nice Democrats, not evil Republicans!” ad during one of their Thanksgiving day games. It featured Michael Thomas, an NFL player who is qualified to speak on the complex social problems which face our nation because he is black, an exceptional athlete, and with a prominent beard. In the ad, Mr. Thomas was touring police stations, jails, and other law enforcement facilities while appearing to be nice to white police officers. Even though black police officers are ubiquitous in America, they were conspicuously absent in this commercial, for some reason. Mr. Thomas made the following statement in the ad, which I found fascinating:

“We talked to judges, and community leaders, to offer solutions, to make our system more just, which included advocating for reduced arrests, and policies, that reflected where we are as a society today.”

There’s just so much here. But what really struck me was that he wanted to reduce arrests, so he went to the police department. That would be like trying to reduce car crashes by going to the auto body shop.

Shouldn’t he have addressed such problems a bit further upstream? Shouldn’t he have been talking to families, single mothers, deadbeat dads, churches, and so on? I mean, by the time the police are booking a young man for a crime, isn’t it a little late to say “we need fewer arrests”?

So why did he go to the police department?

Partially because it’s easy, I suppose. What are the police going to say to a filthy rich young black man with a camera crew? “Scram. We’ve got work to do.” No, they’ll act interested and nice, and get back to protecting American citizens as soon as he leaves. Why not? He wants a photo op, so they give him a photo op. No big deal.

But the other problem would be that if Mr. Thomas were to acknowledge that the police department is better suited to prosecuting crime rather than preventing it, he would be forced to acknowledge the unspeakable truth: That the only people who can reduce crime, and thereby reduce arrests, are criminals. If they stop committing crimes, they will stop getting arrested.

But that would suggest that young black men are capable of making decisions on their own. And that those decisions play a role in how their life turns out. That would suggest that young black men are not helpless victims, and that they have some control over their own lives.

Democrats believe that that Inconvenient Truth must remain concealed. For a lot of reasons.

When Joe Biden said, “If you don’t vote for me, you ain’t black” he was being honest. The idea that a black person could engage in independent thought is blasphemy to a Democrat.

And Democrats say that Republicans are racist!

Blacks should vote 99% for Democrats. If they want to go to college, they should hope that an affirmative action program lets them in. Getting into college through hard work and delayed gratification are microaggressions of the white patriarchy. Blacks get arrested not because they commit crimes, but because they are black. Their behavior, and their choices, are irrelevant.

If you wanted someone to become responsible for themselves, you would not tell them that their behavior and their choices are irrelevant. But this is not what Democrats want.

Democrats aggressively promote the idea that black people don’t have a say in how their lives turn out. And they can’t possibly be expected to make good decisions on their own. So then, obviously, blacks are completely dependent on benevolent white people, because blacks are incapable of independent thought. Blacks must be protected because they obviously can’t be expected to take care of themselves.

Clarence Thomas, Thomas Sowell, Larry Elder, nearly every Republican in the country, millions of middle and upper-class Blacks, and many others might take a different view. But never mind them.

And Democrats say that Republicans are racist.

One of the many reasons that all big governments fail is that the high taxes, dominant government, and overwhelming regulatory environment convince the citizens that their success in life is determined not by their own behavior and choices, but by government fiat. Such a society can’t last long. When people stop working to improve themselves, that society can only go one direction.

Want another example of that?

The Democrat party started trying to convince black people that they couldn’t succeed without Democrats. That their own behavior was less important than how they voted. They started that in the 1960s or so. And what do we have now? Blacks who vote reliably Democrat. And a black culture that has been nearly utterly destroyed. Prisons full of young, black men. Who were full of promise and potential. Until the Democrat party got a hold of them.

And Democrats say that Republicans are racist.

The Democrat Party should be ashamed of themselves. So should the NFL. So should Michael Thomas.

This is sick.

And now our schools are producing millions of new Democrat voters by convincing them that our society is unjust and that they need the Democrat party to survive. How they vote is more important than hard work, delayed gratification, and improving themselves. Independent thought is discouraged, and they can’t be expected to make sound choices and take responsibility for themselves.

This is what our schools are doing to our youth, across the country.

Golly, I wonder how that will turn out?

Perhaps Michael Thomas could help me answer that question.

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  1. kedavis Member

    If there were a Weirdbeard competition, he might get… oh, 3rd place?

    • #1
    • November 30, 2020, at 5:39 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  2. Percival Thatcher
    PercivalJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Dr. Bastiat: Golly, I wonder how that will turn out?

    It’ll crash and burn.

    • #2
    • November 30, 2020, at 6:00 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  3. JoelB Member

    Shouldn’t he have addressed such problems a bit further upstream? Shouldn’t he have been talking to families, single mothers, deadbeat dads, churches, and so on? I mean, by the time the police are booking a young man for a crime, isn’t it a little late to say “we need fewer arrests”?

    Black men who talk like this are studiously ignored by the MSM.

    • #3
    • November 30, 2020, at 6:33 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  4. CACrabtree Coolidge

    JoelB (View Comment):

    Shouldn’t he have addressed such problems a bit further upstream? Shouldn’t he have been talking to families, single mothers, deadbeat dads, churches, and so on? I mean, by the time the police are booking a young man for a crime, isn’t it a little late to say “we need fewer arrests”?

    Black men who talk like this are studiously ignored by the MSM.

    Because it interferes with one of their main objectives in life; to feel good about themselves. The MSM has to believe that Black America desperately needs them; if they didn’t what would be MSM’s reason for being?

    • #4
    • November 30, 2020, at 7:41 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  5. Randy Webster Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat: Golly, I wonder how that will turn out?

    It’ll crash and burn.

    The only solution is more money.

    • #5
    • November 30, 2020, at 9:18 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  6. JamesSalerno Coolidge

    The best way to control someone is to destroy their confidence.

    • #6
    • November 30, 2020, at 9:21 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  7. kedavis Member

    JoelB (View Comment):

    Shouldn’t he have addressed such problems a bit further upstream? Shouldn’t he have been talking to families, single mothers, deadbeat dads, churches, and so on? I mean, by the time the police are booking a young man for a crime, isn’t it a little late to say “we need fewer arrests”?

    Black men who talk like this are studiously ignored by the MSM.

    Or destroyed, like they did with Bill Cosby.

    • #7
    • November 30, 2020, at 9:22 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  8. David Carroll Thatcher
    David CarrollJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    All too true. But, @drbastiat, you left out on crucial component of the source of the problem. Teachers’ unions. They legally came into the schools in the late 1960s and have been poisoning young minds ever since. 

    • #8
    • December 1, 2020, at 4:19 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  9. Concretevol Thatcher

    kedavis (View Comment):

    JoelB (View Comment):

    Shouldn’t he have addressed such problems a bit further upstream? Shouldn’t he have been talking to families, single mothers, deadbeat dads, churches, and so on? I mean, by the time the police are booking a young man for a crime, isn’t it a little late to say “we need fewer arrests”?

    Black men who talk like this are studiously ignored by the MSM.

    Or destroyed, like they did with Bill Cosby.

    I think you have Bill Cosby to blame for that one for goodness sake. lol

    • #9
    • December 1, 2020, at 5:16 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  10. Percival Thatcher
    PercivalJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Concretevol (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    JoelB (View Comment):

    Shouldn’t he have addressed such problems a bit further upstream? Shouldn’t he have been talking to families, single mothers, deadbeat dads, churches, and so on? I mean, by the time the police are booking a young man for a crime, isn’t it a little late to say “we need fewer arrests”?

    Black men who talk like this are studiously ignored by the MSM.

    Or destroyed, like they did with Bill Cosby.

    I think you have Bill Cosby to blame for that one for goodness sake. lol

    Prior to the revelations which destroyed him, the Left took a run at it. It didn’t work.

    • #10
    • December 1, 2020, at 5:26 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  11. GrannyDude Member

    To the extent that the Democratic party is responding to, rather than guiding, public opinion, the good news is that a large number of Americans are unhappy with the condition of black America. Not all black America—not the working class, middle class and upper-class, who generally arrived in their present position the same way everyone else does. But the welfare-dependent segment that stubbornly continues to exhibit and experience dysfunction in virtually every area of life. 

    The desire for an explanation and the wish for improvement are real and, on the whole, compassionate. That is, most Americans aren’t personally affected by what goes on in inner-city communities, other than the costs born through paying taxes, and a truly selfish (not to mention truly racist) society would simply draw a cordon sanitaire around these neighborhoods and ignore them. That Donald Trump could pose his rhetorical question “What the hell do you have to lose?” to a mostly-white audience situated safely in the suburbs and not be met with blank incomprehension testifies to the sincere concern Americans feel for one another, and middle class (white) Americans feel for their impoverished brethren (black). 

    Trump made it clear that there is an opportunity for an alternative way of translating this genuine concern into useful action.

    The difficulty is that the problem will not be solved quickly or without considerable pain. 

    Lately, I’ve been thinking about how inner-city welfare-dependent communities could be described as case studies in applied socialism. Everything is provided by the government (schools, housing, food, recreational facilities, medical care, police protection) and all of it sucks. What is truly terrible about socialism is the effect it has on the people governed under it: it squashes creativity, energy, initiative and any sense of agency, and the longer the system is in place, the more durable those effects will be. 

    Remember the Trump-inspired Clean Ups of Baltimore, in which dozens of mostly-white suburban and rural folks brought their pick-up trucks and tools into filthy Baltimore neighborhoods and picked up the trash? The difference between helpers and helpees wasn’t actually race or even social class; it was the sense of responsibility and power, motivation plus capability. Not just “I ought to do this,” (which is important) but also “I can do this.” Socialism deprives people of both.

    The other day, en route to some rural destination or other, I pulled over onto the road shoulder to consult my map. Within ten minutes, a pickup truck had pulled up along side me, the twenty-ish male driver meeting my gaze with his own inquiring one. “Are you okay?” I said yes, thank you, and he went on his way. The pickup truck was old and battered, the driver looked like an ordinary, grubby, working class guy. By elite standards, he was probably “poor.” But he was (and no doubt still is) moving through his world with a sense of responsibility and power, motivation and capability; this middle-aged lady might need help, it is my duty to provide it and I can provide it. 

     

    • #11
    • December 1, 2020, at 5:56 AM PST
    • 12 likes
  12. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    Lately, I’ve been thinking about how inner-city welfare-dependent communities could be described as case studies in applied socialism. Everything is provided by the government (schools, housing, food, recreational facilities, medical care, police protection) and all of it sucks. What is truly terrible about socialism is the effect it has on the people governed under it: it squashes creativity, energy, initiative and any sense of agency, and the longer the system is in place, the more durable those effects will be. 

    Remember the Trump-inspired Clean Ups of Baltimore, in which dozens of mostly-white suburban and rural folks brought their pick-up trucks and tools into filthy Baltimore neighborhoods and picked up the trash? The difference between helpers and helpees wasn’t actually race or even social class; it was the sense of responsibility and power, motivation plus capability. Not just “I ought to do this,” (which is important) but also “I can do this.” Socialism deprives people of both.

    The other day, en route to some rural destination or other, I pulled over onto the road shoulder to consult my map. Within ten minutes, a pickup truck had pulled up along side me, the twenty-ish male driver meeting my gaze with his own inquiring one. “Are you okay?” I said yes, thank you, and he went on his way. The pickup truck was old and battered, the driver looked like an ordinary, grubby, working class guy. By elite standards, he was probably “poor.” But he was (and no doubt still is) moving through his world with a sense of responsibility and power, motivation and capability; this middle-aged lady might need help, it is my duty to provide it and I can provide it. 

    Brilliant stuff.

    • #12
    • December 1, 2020, at 6:09 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  13. JoelB Member

    Concretevol (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    JoelB (View Comment):

    Shouldn’t he have addressed such problems a bit further upstream? Shouldn’t he have been talking to families, single mothers, deadbeat dads, churches, and so on? I mean, by the time the police are booking a young man for a crime, isn’t it a little late to say “we need fewer arrests”?

    Black men who talk like this are studiously ignored by the MSM.

    Or destroyed, like they did with Bill Cosby.

    I think you have Bill Cosby to blame for that one for goodness sake. lol

    I considered mentioning Bill Cosby for a while before I made my earlier comment, but decided against it because of the criminal conviction. Without making a judgement as to his guilt or innocence, I still can’t help but wonder if he had talked grievance and racism instead of responsibility and initiative whether the media would have rushed to his defense and the case against him would have been smoothed over by the PTB.

    • #13
    • December 1, 2020, at 6:19 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  14. Percival Thatcher
    PercivalJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    To the extent that the Democratic party is responding to, rather than guiding, public opinion, the good news is that a large number of Americans are unhappy with the condition of black America. Not all black America—not the working class, middle class and upper-class, who generally arrived in their present position the same way everyone else does. But the welfare-dependent segment that stubbornly continues to exhibit and experience dysfunction in virtually every area of life.

    The desire for an explanation and the wish for improvement are real and, on the whole, compassionate. That is, most Americans aren’t personally affected by what goes on in inner-city communities, other than the costs born through paying taxes, and a truly selfish (not to mention truly racist) society would simply draw a cordon sanitaire around these neighborhoods and ignore them. That Donald Trump could pose his rhetorical question “What the hell do you have to lose?” to a mostly-white audience situated safely in the suburbs and not be met with blank incomprehension testifies to the sincere concern Americans feel for one another, and middle class (white) Americans feel for their impoverished brethren (black).

    Trump made it clear that there is an opportunity for an alternative way of translating this genuine concern into useful action.

    The difficulty is that the problem will not be solved quickly or without considerable pain.

    Lately, I’ve been thinking about how inner-city welfare-dependent communities could be described as case studies in applied socialism. Everything is provided by the government (schools, housing, food, recreational facilities, medical care, police protection) and all of it sucks. What is truly terrible about socialism is the effect it has on the people governed under it: it squashes creativity, energy, initiative and any sense of agency, and the longer the system is in place, the more durable those effects will be.

    Remember the Trump-inspired Clean Ups of Baltimore, in which dozens of mostly-white suburban and rural folks brought their pick-up trucks and tools into filthy Baltimore neighborhoods and picked up the trash? The difference between helpers and helpees wasn’t actually race or even social class; it was the sense of responsibility and power, motivation plus capability. Not just “I ought to do this,” (which is important) but also “I can do this.” Socialism deprives people of both.

    The other day, en route to some rural destination or other, I pulled over onto the road shoulder to consult my map. Within ten minutes, a pickup truck had pulled up along side me, the twenty-ish male driver meeting my gaze with his own inquiring one. “Are you okay?” I said yes, thank you, and he went on his way. The pickup truck was old and battered, the driver looked like an ordinary, grubby, working class guy. By elite standards, he was probably “poor.” But he was (and no doubt still is) moving through his world with a sense of responsibility and power, motivation and capability; this middle-aged lady might need help, it is my duty to provide it and I can provide it.

     

    A modern-day knight errant.

    • #14
    • December 1, 2020, at 6:56 AM PST
    • 1 like
  15. colleenb Member
    colleenbJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Reminds me of Katrina. Plenty of folk who couldn’t figure out how to get out of their houses and neighborhoods v. the ones who not only got out but also figured out how to get back to their houses (bring a chainsaw so you can cut the branch and get it off the road, etc). Now some of that is city v. country and some is having a relative or friend you could stay with v. not. It is “I will not be a victim or helpless” v. I can and will do this.” 

    • #15
    • December 1, 2020, at 10:47 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  16. Goldgeller Member

    Very neat post! I agree with a lot of it.

    Dr. Bastiat:

    “We talked to judges, and community leaders, to offer solutions, to make our system more just, which included advocating for reduced arrests, and policies, that reflected where we are as a society today.”

    There’s just so much here. But what really struck me was that he wanted to reduce arrests, so he went to the police department. That would be like trying to reduce car crashes by going to the auto body shop.

    Shouldn’t he have addressed such problems a bit further upstream? Shouldn’t he have been talking to families, single mothers, deadbeat dads, churches, and so on? I mean, by the time the police are booking a young man for a crime, isn’t it a little late to say “we need fewer arrests”?

    This part struck out at me as the major divide in the general debate (I have no strong feelings) that would be worth having a conversation about since the reduce arrests language was purposeful. The argument I think he’s making is that many communities simply don’t value the social and economic disruption that comes from arrests for things they [in the community] find petty. So, vagrancy, truancy, weed, drunkenness (and other things)– they aren’t arguing those things don’t exist or have costs, just that the costs of an arrest for those things (to the family for example) far outweigh the benefits to the community.

    That’s a debatable argument, the empirics are mixed. I think it is a bit myopic in some cases, but that specific premise should be exposed and debated (at least when it is argued) unless we want to risk talking past each other. It isn’t properly a crime reduction strategy, tho some have latched onto the fact that less crime will be measured. Charitably, M. Thomas is most likely making the case that police arrests are more disruptive than some of the things police arrest for. Will it also reduce crime? I don’t know. I’m not certain. But the arrest reduction arguments (the good ones) are usually about reducing interruptions in economic life, not crime reduction.

    • #16
    • December 1, 2020, at 11:54 AM PST
    • 5 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  17. kedavis Member

    Goldgeller (View Comment):
    Charitably, M. Thomas is most likely making the case that police arrests are more disruptive than some of the things police arrest for.

    Is there any evidence that M. Thomas is actually a smart person? He’s rich and famous from a sport, but a lot of people are rich and famous for doing things that don’t require much intelligence.

    • #17
    • December 1, 2020, at 12:02 PM PST
    • 1 like
  18. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Goldgeller (View Comment):
    Charitably, M. Thomas is most likely making the case that police arrests are more disruptive than some of the things police arrest for.

    Is there any evidence that M. Thomas is actually a smart person? He’s rich and famous from a sport, but a lot of people are rich and famous for doing things that don’t require much intelligence.

    I don’t think his intelligence matters that much. There are some very smart people out there with some very stupid beliefs.

    • #18
    • December 1, 2020, at 12:31 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  19. kedavis Member

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Goldgeller (View Comment):
    Charitably, M. Thomas is most likely making the case that police arrests are more disruptive than some of the things police arrest for.

    Is there any evidence that M. Thomas is actually a smart person? He’s rich and famous from a sport, but a lot of people are rich and famous for doing things that don’t require much intelligence.

    I don’t think his intelligence matters that much. There are some very smart people out there with some very stupid beliefs.

    I don’t believe smart people actually have stupid beliefs. That’s a different kind of person, and if there isn’t a word for that already, there needs to be. I don’t think “educated” works either.

    Or maybe it’s still the difference between “smart” and “wise.” But I tend to think that “smart” people become “wise” with additional experience.

    “Savant” isn’t right either.

    Maybe it’s the difference between “smart” and “intelligent.” But those two seem to get mixed together a lot. Maybe it’s time to have another word for someone who might know a lot of facts about about something, but still doesn’t think very well overall.

    • #19
    • December 1, 2020, at 12:45 PM PST
    • 1 like
  20. Old Bathos Moderator

    I am less quick to reach for a “your own bootstraps” take on these issues because a lot of pathologies are more than just cumulative but self-reinforcing. Petty and not so petty crime at a young age tends to reduce later opportunities and shorten horizons. And it is not as if the system is geared to push people out of that life so much as play gotcha when they violate parole for actions that are otherwise not per se illegal.

    On top of that city life is increasingly complicated by rules and fines. I knew all of the cops that patrolled my neighborhood when I was a kid but that was an upscale, low-crime area where women sometimes brought cookies or ice tea to cops. And knowing the neighborhood in some detail and at a personal level was part of policing. Now it seems like cops are either revenue generators who must write lots of tickets or on SWAT teams to deal with the out-of-control stuff. Officer Mike walking the same beat for years is long gone everywhere or am I wrong about that?

    I had a very tangential connection to criminal law when I practiced, mostly pro bono tasks and motions some more senior lawyer pawned off on me. (I still recall my first briefing from a prison guard that even in the area with offices and meeting rooms, I should avoid certain nearby hallways and shadowed areas because I should not expect nor would receive timely protection there.) What always struck me was how blindingly stupid my clients’ crimes were. Not even a rudimentary risk-benefit awareness or impulse control or some inner voice from a parent or teacher or another adult that made for some capacity for embarrassment or desire to reform. How the hell was this kind of guy ever going to function if and when they let him out?

    In the years I spent doing SAT prep and tutoring often in a church basement in NE DC, I marveled at how many naturally bright kids performed as if someone snatched them in the 6th grade then dropped them into high school with enormous holes in their educational skills foundation. A few fast learners achieved much in incredibly short time periods in our classes but overall these kids were cheated by the system, by lowered expectations, by lack of discipline, and ultimately by an instilled implicit awareness that they could not really compete outside of the confines of their small world. So it becomes largely a question of how to fashion and weaponize resentment.

    Incarceration rates, police niceness, and all that are vehicles for political theater. Nobody is serious about the larger task of character formation, competence, connection, and virtue which is the whole damn ballgame for all of us.

    • #20
    • December 1, 2020, at 1:01 PM PST
    • 8 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  21. kedavis Member

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    I am less quick to reach for a “your own bootstraps” take on these issues because a lot of pathologies are more than just cumulative but self-reinforcing. Petty and not so petty crime at a young age tends to reduce later opportunities and shorten horizons. And it is not as if the system is geared to push people out of that life so much as play gotcha when they violate parole for actions that are otherwise not per se illegal.

    On top of that city life is increasingly complicated by rules and fines. I knew all of the cops that patrolled my neighborhood when I was a kid but that was an upscale, low-crime area where women sometimes brought cookies or ice tea to cops. And knowing the neighborhood in some detail and at a personal level was part of policing. Now it seems like cops are either revenue generators who must write lots of tickets or on SWAT teams to deal with the out-of-control stuff. Officer Mike walking the same beat for years is long gone everywhere or am I wrong about that?

    I had a very tangential connection to criminal law when I practiced, mostly pro bono tasks and motions some more senior lawyer pawned off on me. (I still recall my first briefing from a prison guard that even in the area with offices and meeting rooms, I should avoid certain nearby hallways and showed areas because I should not expect nor would receive timely protection there.) What always struck me was how blindingly stupid my clients’ crimes were. Not even a rudimentary risk-benefit awareness or impulse control or some inner voice from a parent or teacher or another adult that made for some capacity for embarrassment or desire to reform. How the hell was this kind of guy ever going to function if and when they let him out?

    In the years I spent doing SAT prep and tutoring often in a church basement in NE DC, I marveled at how many naturally bright kids performed as if someone snatched them in the 6th grade then dropped them into high school with enormous holes in their educational skills foundation. A few fast learners achieved much in incredibly short time periods in our classes but overall these kids were cheated by the system, by lowered expectations, by lack of discipline, and ultimately by an instilled implicit awareness that they could not really compete outside of the confines of their small world. So it becomes largely a question of how to fashion and weaponize resentment.

    Incarceration rates, police niceness, and all that are vehicles for political theater. Nobody is serious about the larger task of character formation, competence, connection, and virtue which is the whole damn ballgame for all of us.

    And what really lets them down are their parents.

    • #21
    • December 1, 2020, at 1:21 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  22. JamesSalerno Coolidge

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Goldgeller (View Comment):
    Charitably, M. Thomas is most likely making the case that police arrests are more disruptive than some of the things police arrest for.

    Is there any evidence that M. Thomas is actually a smart person? He’s rich and famous from a sport, but a lot of people are rich and famous for doing things that don’t require much intelligence.

    I don’t think his intelligence matters that much. There are some very smart people out there with some very stupid beliefs.

    I don’t believe smart people actually have stupid beliefs. That’s a different kind of person, and if there isn’t a word for that already, there needs to be. I don’t think “educated” works either.

    Or maybe it’s still the difference between “smart” and “wise.” But I tend to think that “smart” people become “wise” with additional experience.

    “Savant” isn’t right either.

    Maybe it’s the difference between “smart” and “intelligent.” But those two seem to get mixed together a lot. Maybe it’s time to have another word for someone who might know a lot of facts about about something, but still doesn’t think very well overall.

    I look at it this way – Intellectual curiosity is more important than IQ or specialized, academic knowledge. Intellectual curiosity forces you to think critically. You realize that you do not know everything. The intellectually curious doesn’t see an end point to intelligence and is always looking to learn more. No human being can absorb all of the knowledge in the universe, and the intellectually curious is humbly aware of this.

    The intellectually haughty is a different subject. They view intellectual achievements as status symbols, which is why many of their claims devolve into authoritarian arguments. They do not possess the humility to realize that being smart in one area ultimately means nothing when they make claims outside of their comfort zones. They also do not possess the curiosity or self-awareness to explore outside their comfort zone.

    • #22
    • December 1, 2020, at 1:22 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  23. kedavis Member

    JamesSalerno (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Goldgeller (View Comment):
    Charitably, M. Thomas is most likely making the case that police arrests are more disruptive than some of the things police arrest for.

    Is there any evidence that M. Thomas is actually a smart person? He’s rich and famous from a sport, but a lot of people are rich and famous for doing things that don’t require much intelligence.

    I don’t think his intelligence matters that much. There are some very smart people out there with some very stupid beliefs.

    I don’t believe smart people actually have stupid beliefs. That’s a different kind of person, and if there isn’t a word for that already, there needs to be. I don’t think “educated” works either.

    Or maybe it’s still the difference between “smart” and “wise.” But I tend to think that “smart” people become “wise” with additional experience.

    “Savant” isn’t right either.

    Maybe it’s the difference between “smart” and “intelligent.” But those two seem to get mixed together a lot. Maybe it’s time to have another word for someone who might know a lot of facts about about something, but still doesn’t think very well overall.

    I look at it this way – Intellectual curiosity is more important than IQ or specialized, academic knowledge. Intellectual curiosity forces you to think critically. You realize that you do not know everything. The intellectually curious doesn’t see an end point to intelligence and is always looking to learn more. No human being can absorb all of the knowledge in the universe, and the intellectually curious is humbly aware of this.

    The intellectually haughty is a different subject. They view intellectual achievements as status symbols, which is why many of their claims devolve into authoritarian arguments. They do not possess the humility to realize that being smart in one area ultimately means nothing when they make claims outside of their comfort zones. They also do not possess the curiosity or self-awareness to explore outside their comfort zone.

    “Intellectually curious” and “intellectually haughty” don’t seem to cover it. And I would prefer to find single words if possible.

    • #23
    • December 1, 2020, at 1:39 PM PST
    • 1 like
  24. Randy Webster Member

    Goldgeller (View Comment):
    Charitably, M. Thomas is most likely making the case that police arrests are more disruptive than some of the things police arrest for.

    The results from “broken window” policing seem to argue against this.

    • #24
    • December 1, 2020, at 2:52 PM PST
    • 1 like
  25. kedavis Member

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Goldgeller (View Comment):
    Charitably, M. Thomas is most likely making the case that police arrests are more disruptive than some of the things police arrest for.

    The results from “broken window” policing seem to argue against this.

    That’s because they only measure the “first level” impact. Their claim would be that arresting someone, maybe they even spend a little time in jail, for “only” breaking a window, is overreach. What that nip-in-the-bud might prevent in the future, is irrelevant to them.

    • #25
    • December 1, 2020, at 2:57 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  26. Percival Thatcher
    PercivalJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Goldgeller (View Comment):
    Charitably, M. Thomas is most likely making the case that police arrests are more disruptive than some of the things police arrest for.

    The results from “broken window” policing seem to argue against this.

    That’s because they only measure the “first level” impact. Their claim would be that arresting someone, maybe they even spend a little time in jail, for “only” breaking a window, is overreach. What that nip-in-the-bud might prevent in the future, is irrelevant to them.

    They started arresting turnstyle jumpers in the New York subways, and it turned out that a lot of those birds had outstanding warrants. So they’d start out pinching a guy who was committing a misdemeanor but jailing a felon. Profit!

    • #26
    • December 1, 2020, at 4:32 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  27. kedavis Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Goldgeller (View Comment):
    Charitably, M. Thomas is most likely making the case that police arrests are more disruptive than some of the things police arrest for.

    The results from “broken window” policing seem to argue against this.

    That’s because they only measure the “first level” impact. Their claim would be that arresting someone, maybe they even spend a little time in jail, for “only” breaking a window, is overreach. What that nip-in-the-bud might prevent in the future, is irrelevant to them.

    They started arresting turnstyle jumpers in the New York subways, and it turned out that a lot of those birds had outstanding warrants. So they’d start out pinching a guy who was committing a misdemeanor but jailing a felon. Profit!

    I expect that happens in many of the “racist” arrests too. You start out arresting someone for “speeding” but then it turns out they have a warrant out for failing to pay child support on the 5 kids they made with 3 different women, or whatever.

    • #27
    • December 1, 2020, at 4:35 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  28. Henry Castaigne Member

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Goldgeller (View Comment):
    Charitably, M. Thomas is most likely making the case that police arrests are more disruptive than some of the things police arrest for.

    Is there any evidence that M. Thomas is actually a smart person? He’s rich and famous from a sport, but a lot of people are rich and famous for doing things that don’t require much intelligence.

    I don’t think his intelligence matters that much. There are some very smart people out there with some very stupid beliefs.

    105-118 seems to be the sweet spot. You are bright before going into crazy town.

    • #28
    • December 1, 2020, at 7:45 PM PST
    • 1 like
  29. GrannyDude Member

    Dr. Bastiat: And now our schools are producing millions of new Democrat voters by convincing them that our society is unjust and that they need the Democrat party to survive. How they vote is more important than hard work, delayed gratification, and improving themselves. Independent thought is discouraged, and they can’t be expected to make sound choices and take responsibility for themselves.

    It’s worse than this. The schools that far too many black children attend are failing to teach them even the most basic skills necessary for navigating (let alone competing in) the modern world. Walter Williams offers today’s reminder of the continuing disaster:

    “Several years ago, Project Baltimore began an investigation of Baltimore’s school system. What they found was an utter disgrace. In 19 of Baltimore’s 39 high schools, out of 3,804 students, only 14 of them, or less than 1%, were proficient in math. In 13 of Baltimore’s high schools, not a single student scored proficient in math. In five Baltimore City high schools, not a single student scored proficient in math or reading. Despite these academic deficiencies, about 70% of the students graduate and are conferred a high school diploma — a fraudulent high school diploma.

    The Detroit Public Schools Community District scored the lowest in the nation compared to 26 other urban districts for reading and mathematics at the fourth- and eighth-grade levels. A recent video captures some of this miseducation in Milwaukee high schools: In two city high schools, only one student tested proficient in math and none are proficient in English. Yet, the schools spent a full week learning about “systemic racism” and “Black Lives Matter activism.” By the way, a Nov. 19, 2020, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article asks: “How many Black teachers did you have? I’ve only had two.” The article concludes, “For future Black students, that number needs to go up.”

    Does the journalist really imagine that Milwaukee school administrators are deliberately excluding excellent black math teachers (racism!)?

    How can the number of black math teachers in city schools supposed go up? The very top students in those Baltimore schools Williams discusses are merely “proficient” in math; are these the future black math teachers we are to envision? The very top students in the nation’s school system seldom go on to be teachers (sad but true); shall we condemn black children to learn from those who failed to clear even the low bar of proficiency? 

    Meanwhile, Williams notes: “New York City is one of many school systems in the United States set to roll out Black Lives Matter-themed lesson plans. According to the NYC Department of Education, teachers will delve into “systemic racism,” police brutality and white privilege in their classrooms.”

    “Racismracismracism” serves—always—to pull the nation’s gaze away from genuine, tragic and, yes, systemic (and arguably racist) injustice. I’m not sure why Williams’ piece is entitled “Black Education Tragedy is New:” What Walter Williams describes has been true of America’s mostly-black public schools since I attended one back in the 1970s, though I am sure the problem is growing, and becoming more intractable . Unaddressed, it must, for the same reason that a snowball rolling downhill naturally increases in size.

     

     

    • #29
    • December 2, 2020, at 5:39 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  30. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat

    GrannyDude (View Comment):
    “Several years ago, Project Baltimore began an investigation of Baltimore’s school system. What they found was an utter disgrace. In 19 of Baltimore’s 39 high schools, out of 3,804 students, only 14 of them, or less than 1%, were proficient in math. In 13 of Baltimore’s high schools, not a single student scored proficient in math. In five Baltimore City high schools, not a single student scored proficient in math or reading. Despite these academic deficiencies, about 70% of the students graduate and are conferred a high school diploma — a fraudulent high school diploma.

    Oh my God…

    • #30
    • December 2, 2020, at 6:02 AM PST
    • 1 like