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Twitchy, much?

There have been, here and elsewhere, many posts about the overuse of SWAT Teams and the general militarizaion of policing.  Here's another.  

The former's probably more a function of "we spent all this money on stuff and training and we'd better get some use out of it" than anything else.  I attribute the latter to as much the desire of guys who join the police to get in some legalized butt-kicking as anything else, and the fascination with high-powered weapons most guys outgrow by either their mid-to-late 20s or the first time they see the damage one can do.  It's that whole butt-kicking mindset gone wild, in a time o' terra', that gives us today's story.

Seems someone's dad wanted a video of the middle school kids playing football.  Or, maybe he was planning to make game films, so the kids could study them and win over the other 7th graders on their way to the coveted college scholarships.

That's pretty much the only way to finance college for a lot of folks these days, given the paucity of financial aid.  But, anyway.

Dad, wanting a better view, goes up on the roof to film.  Wanting to rest his butt, or maybe a steadier rest for the camera, he brings along a lawn chair.

In time of terra', all explanations default to "terrists".  Someone saw Dad, decided he had to be a sniper, and spread the alarm.  Hundreds stampede off the field, SWAT comes and Dad, ultimately, does not get the video of son.

But he did get kicked out and a trespassing ticket, too.  And the fearmongers won another game.  It makes me laugh, but it makes me a little sick at heart, too.

Y'know, people, every last fear every one of us has can, with a little work, be recognized as being rooted in that central fear of dying.  Strip away the surface dross, and it comes down to fear of dying.  Take a minute and think about it and you'll only be able to agree with that.  

What fearmongers use and the fearful forget is that every one of us one day will shuffle off this mortal coil (that's spelled "d-i-e").  The fearmongers try to convince us, in one way or another, that if we are afraid, very afraid, they and the solutions they propose to resolve the fear (which never work anyway) will somehow protect us from that which we fear.  Or, in so many words, they sell us the pipe dream of, what - no dying - if we just sacrifice whatever it is they want us to give up.  

In short - you're going to die one day, and you can do anything you want, including being fearful, but that isn't going to change.  

You laugh.  But it's just that simple.  One can either cower in fear, or not.  One can accept the fear the fearmongers sell us, or not.  (BTW, if you do accept it, you'll never run out of things to be afraid of.) The End will get here for both the fearful and those who are not.

And ultimately it resolves to how one wants to live their life:  cowering in fear and hoping that by cowering the rules won't apply to them, or living confidently, now, and recognizing life is a whole lot better when they ignore the fearmongers.  

And send the SWAT team home so we can enjoy watching kids play football.

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  • Re: Twitchy, much? (none / 0) (#1)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Oct 19, 2006 at 01:54:12 PM EST
      I realize you are just trying to be a good soldier and parroting the party line but, you might think before you write. In your eagerness to shoehorn any event to fit your agenda (them damn Republicans using  a false terror threat as a political tactic, you blithely ignore the far more obvious reason for the reaction.

      You may have heard about the many school shootings in recent years. But, I guess, it's hard to argue anyone is exploiting that for election purposes.

       If you would just slow down and think, you might realize that this sort of silliness does not help  make Republicans look bad. Thankfully, the Republicans can do that for themselves quite well, but we don't need people make us look bad for much the same reason-- the inexcusable desire to exploit everything for partisan purposes with no regard for trruth of the general good.

     

    Re: Twitchy, much? (none / 0) (#2)
    by scribe on Thu Oct 19, 2006 at 02:13:00 PM EST
    I wasn't trying to parrot any party line, or turn anything that happens into an excuse to whomp on Republicans.  Though a good argument can be made that they've got it coming, in spades, I agree they'll do a nice job on themselves without my help.

    What I was trying to communicate was that there is no good reason to go around twitching in fear, seeing snipers, terrists, bogeymen of whatever flavor everywhere one turns.  Fear is the antithesis of, well, everything positive, and there is no reason to accept fear.  And, I was trying to communicate that too often, our society responds - as did the Utahns profiled in the linked article - by assuming the worst, most fearful and fear-inspiring, then reacting badly to that assumption.  

    Parent

    Re: Twitchy, much? (none / 0) (#3)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Oct 19, 2006 at 02:28:38 PM EST
      I don't believe you. The deliberately sub-standard dialect is a dead giveaway. Second, it's beyond belief your repeated use of the buszzword "fearmonger" was coincidental.

      Moreover, your alleged point is still  really bad. An unidentified and unauthorized person  on a roof overlooking a bunch of kids calls for a a response. That's not irrational fear; it's common sense.

       Can you imagine the reaction if the police did nothing and there was a shooting? I'm sure the response, "Well , we can't live in fear so we just ignored the report figuring it was a parent taking video. It's a real shame people were killed but that beats going around being scared all the time."

     

    Re: Twitchy, much? (none / 0) (#4)
    by Edger on Thu Oct 19, 2006 at 02:58:12 PM EST
    One can either cower in fear, or not.  One can accept the fear the fearmongers sell us, or not... you'll never run out of things to be afraid of.

    Great post, scribe.

    Fear of death is fear of life as well, I think. My personal views on our very odd existence include that life can only be, in contrast with death. We cannot have one without the other, just as we cannot have day without night, or light without dark. Both seemingly polar opposites are necessary for either to exist.

    There is wisdom in insecurity. Too much security, i.e. trying too hard to eliminate causes of fear, brings death, not life.

    We either live, really live, our lives in spite of our fears. Or we die trying to do away with the causes of our fears. Paradoxically, most of our fears vanish if we simply choose to really live in spite of them.

    Re: Twitchy, much? (none / 0) (#5)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Oct 19, 2006 at 04:54:52 PM EST
      I'll buy the dichotomy between life and death. But, no matter how much faux profundity employed, it makes no sense at all to argue "fears vanish if we simply choose to really live in spite of them."

      There is no such thing as "really living" other than death  (you yourself pointed out the the "contrast") There is nothing "unreal" at all about living with an appreciation of the dangers that exist in this world.

      Ignoring dangers in the imprudent desire to be free of fear is actually succumbing to fear by refusing to acknowledge the reasons for it. Being oblivious to reality is not strength and displays no wisdom. It is simply foolish as applied to one's own life and irresponsible as appled to others' lives.

       It's this type of talk that makes people think three times about voting against Republicans even when they are so demonstrably incompetent and corrupt.

       Why not try telling people that even more than they should be afraid of terrorism, they should be afraid of the way Republicans counter it. That not only doesnt sound really stupid, as do these posts, it's true.

      Telling people not have fear is simply asking them to live in fantasy-land.


    Parent

    Re: Twitchy, much? (none / 0) (#6)
    by Edger on Thu Oct 19, 2006 at 06:24:42 PM EST
    Why not try telling people that even more than they should be afraid of terrorism, they should be afraid of the way Republicans counter it.

    You might try rereading most of what people say here. On closer inspection you'll find they have been saying exactly that for years.

    It will also be helpful for you when quoting, to quote entire sentences, instead of cutting a phrase out of them, conveniently changing the meaning, and presenting them back as strawmen. You'll retain more integrity and credibility that way. Oh, and the invention of strawmen out of thin air, putting words in peoples mouths, is not helping your image either.

    You don't need to ask me where or how you've done those things. You know. And your own post is above this one. You can reread it if you've forgotten.

    Parent

    Re: Twitchy, much? (none / 0) (#7)
    by Edger on Thu Oct 19, 2006 at 08:51:18 PM EST
    There is an old proverb that says something to the effect:

    "I'd rather have more life in my years than years in my life."

    It's reductio ad absurdum, of course, but it describes the mindset.

    Parent

    Re: Twitchy, much? (none / 0) (#8)
    by Jen M on Fri Oct 20, 2006 at 05:18:41 AM EST
    could anyone imagine sending someone out there to ask the guy what he was doing? Or looking at him through a pair of binoculars to see what he had with him?

    Re: Twitchy, much? (none / 0) (#9)
    by Edger on Fri Oct 20, 2006 at 05:35:52 AM EST
    Not nearly as much fun as 'shoot first, and denounce as terrist lovin' moonbats anyone who asks questions later'.

    Parent
    Re: Twitchy, much? (none / 0) (#10)
    by Deconstructionist on Fri Oct 20, 2006 at 09:57:12 AM EST
      I don't think having a single officer approach an unknown individual under those circumstances would be real smart. If possible, conducting some brief surveillance from a distance prior to  employing a SWAT team would be a good idea not so much to rule out the use of the team but to determine what it might be facing.

      I just think it is ludicrous to suggest that erring on the side being criticized by malcontents for overrracting even begins to compare to the potential consequences of an insufficient response.

      Why not place the blame where it belongs-- on the knucklehead who chose to ascend to the roof without permission or informing anyone of what he was doing?  


    Re: Twitchy, much? (none / 0) (#11)
    by Jen M on Fri Oct 20, 2006 at 11:25:38 AM EST
    yeah, he thought he was in america

    Parent
    Re: Twitchy, much? (none / 0) (#12)
    by Edger on Fri Oct 20, 2006 at 11:33:40 AM EST
    Next time a car backfires near you are you going to shoot yourself in the foot?  Again?

    Parent