Posts Tagged ‘rioting’

Protocols Of Protest

June 1st, 2020 No comments


Rules and laws only work with two important conditions.  One, you need to have a population willing to follow the rules ( assuming that they’re enforced equally) and two, you need some means of enforcement if these rules are flouted.

In a nominally free country, people generally agree to abide by rules of social conduct because they wish to be part of a harmonious society.  It’s hard to know when the rules are too oppressive, but I would argue that people have been conditioned over the years to be more and more malleable by the governing overlords, so the threshold is now quite high.  A few hundred years ago, people got pretty incensed over an increase in the  taxes imposed on tea.  Next thing you know, they dumped it in the Boston harbor and that eventually led to a war which led to the formation of a new nation.

Today, people pay virtually half of their income to taxes, but they dutifully pay with only minor grumbling. People were obviously a lot less tolerant back in the day.

The recent rioting observed in many US urban cities is portrayed as anger over the death of a defenseless and subdued suspect, George Floyd, at the hands of a police officer. This abhorrent event re-opened the perpetual wound of racism accusations which never ever seems to heal in America.  Egged on by political opportunists, the howls of righteous indignation devolved into the predictable pattern of wanton looting, rioting and property destruction.

It’s a certainty that the vast majority of the rioters will never be held accountable for their criminal actions.  In fact media and civic leaders are all but excusing their behavior as justifiable.  The narrative is that people’s lives, black lives in particular, are at risk by institutionalized racism on the part of the police.  This narrative continues to be pushed even as cold hard statistics prove otherwise.

Contrast this to the behavior of the vast majority of the population when restrictions were imposed by governments upon their movements, their social interactions and their very ability to earn a living.  Shockingly, everyone complied and still do, even as more and more evidence comes forth about the exaggeration and mishandling of the ‘crisis’.  Again, cold hard statistics don’t support the narrative.

You’d think that people would be rightly incensed at having their lives and businesses destroyed, of having the government’s figurative knee on their necks until they succumbed.  And you’d be wrong.  As outrageous and unwise as much of the shutdown has been, people are still not burning and looting even though the devastation many have suffered was and is very real.  There were a few brave souls who pushed back, but their actions resulted in jail time and fines.

Turns out they would have been better off looting and rioting.  Apparently, all of the pent up anger and frustration could have been salved by throwing a few bricks, breaking storefront windows, setting some cop cars ablaze and getting some five finger discounts on flat screen TV’s and running shoes.  All without consequence. It’s hard to know when to follow the rules and when not to.


Who Knew?

November 3rd, 2011 1 comment

link Peaceful Occupy protest degenerates into chaos – US news – Life –

We all have friends whose judgement on many things leaves a lot to be desired.  When things ultimately blow up as predicted by most, we wonder how it was possible that they couldn’t foresee the outcome that was so clear to the rest of us beforehand. 

Parents experience this firsthand when their daughter decides to run off with a young lad who aspires to be a rock star travelling the country doing small gigs, otherwise unemployed.  Other people actually are the parents of that boy.  Who could foresee that this could go wrong?  Others may be familiar with someone who needs money for an investment scheme and determines that the best way to raise it would be by betting the mortgage and milk money on 22 red in Vegas.  What could go wrong?   How about dashing into that bar in Tijuana which also houses a tattoo parlour.  What’s the worst that can happen?

These are examples perhaps of lack of good judgement, but typically this is tied to the naivete of youth.  As people become older, we can expect their judgement on most things to be more astute and therefore we see fewer middle aged people doing dumb things.  Certainly, there are glaring exceptions and the following list are very public examples of this.   From :

**”Man will never reach the moon regardless of all future scientific advances.” — Dr. Lee DeForest, Father of Radio & Grandfather of Television

**”The bomb will never go off. I speak as an expert in explosives.” – -Admiral William Leahy, US Atomic Bomb Project

**”There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom.” –Robert Millikan, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1923

**”Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons.” — Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science, 1949

**”I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” — Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

**”I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won’t last out the year.” — The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957

**”But what is it good for?” — Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip.

**”640K ought to be enough for anybody.” — Bill Gates, 1981

**” This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication The device is inherently of no value to us,” — Western Union internal memo, 1876

**”The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?” — David Sarnoff’s associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920s.

**”The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a ‘C,’ the idea must be feasible,” — A Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith’s paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service. (Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp.)

**”I’m just glad it’ll be Clark Gable who’s falling on his face and not Gary Cooper.” — Gary Cooper on his decision not to take the leading role in Gone With The Wind.

**”A cookie store is a bad idea. Besides, the market research reports say America likes crispy cookies, not soft and chewy cookies like you make,” — Response to Debbi Fields’ idea of starting Mrs. Fields’ Cookies.

**”We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out,” — Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.

**”Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible,” — Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895

**”If I had thought about it, I wouldn’t have done the experiment. The literature was full of examples that said you can’t do this,” – – Spencer Silver on the work that led to the unique adhesives for 3-M Post-It” Notepads.

**”Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil? You’re crazy,” — Drillers who Edwin L. Drake tried to enlist to his project to drill for oil in 1859.

**”Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.” – – Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University, 1929.

**”Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value,” — Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre, France ..

**”Everything that can be invented has been invented,” — Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, US Office of Patents, 1899.

**”The super computer is technologically impossible. It would take all of the water that flows over Niagara Falls to cool the heat generated by the number of vacuum tubes required.” — Professor of Electrical Engineering, New York University

**”I don’t know what use any one could find for a machine that would make copies of documents. It certainly couldn’t be a feasible business by itself.” — the head of IBM, refusing to back the idea, forcing the inventor to found Xerox.

**”Louis Pasteur’s theory of germs is ridiculous fiction.” — Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse, 1872

**”The abdomen, the chest, and the brain will forever be shut from the intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon,” — Sir John Eric Ericksen British surgeon, appointed Surgeon-Extraordinary to Queen Victoria 1873.

**”There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” — Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977

and of course, **” In sickness and in health as long as we both shall live.” — Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries.

As amusing as these examples are, most of them are the result of either the lack of precedence or lack of vision so we can’t entirely fault them.   However, some of the worst decisions being made today are by people in office who should know better because there is ample historical precedence.   But whether due to protracted adolescence or misguided ideology,  disasterous policies are still followed despite obvious likelihood of negative outcomes.  While many of the above examples are based on the unknown, human behaviour when it comes to mobs, is not unknown.

History is replete with examples of mobs and their expected behaviour.  Let’s just say the record is not good.  The linked article above references how “peaceful protests degenerates to chaos”.  Who ever heard of an instantly violent mob?   They always start off peacefully but then build to a violent crescendo.  The presumably wiser, saner heads who are charged with running cities who should have known better, are shocked to find that chaos and mayhem is occurring at these “peaceful” demonstrations.  The media, rather than reporting them for what they are, ie: professionally orchestrated uprisings, characterize them as representing the sentiments of the general public.  They are not.  The “occupy x city” crowd are as representative of the average person as Yogi is the average bear.  People may as well be reading Mad magazine if they think reporting by most of the media on the occupy “movement” is accurate.

Despite laughable misrepresentations by most of the media, the occupy crowd have no laudable goals.  Anarchy is the common theme that binds them, not an idealistic notion of democratic change.  The mechanism of democratic change is already available via the ballot boxes.  Ironically, it is precisely those idiots that are put into office by the protesting types that got us into much of the mess we’re all in.   Like adults always say, it’s all fun until someone loses an eye.

Rioting, tear gas, burning cars, smashed windows, general chaos…who knew?