The past couple of weeks have been incredibly disruptive to a nice normal calm summer. We’ve seen two instances where a black man has been shot by police and people have found their actions to be unacceptable. In response to that we’ve seen a rash of targeted violence and killings against law enforcement. We’ve seen an attempted military coup in Turkey, a country which has a history of military coups, however it appears that this one has failed. We’ve seen a high ranking police official ask for open carry rights/laws to be suspended in Cleveland for the duration of the RNC convention. A convention where we will most likely see the confirming of Donald Trump as the parties candidate for President of the United States.
I’m sure there is more strange bizarre and tragic shit going on in the world that I missed. Lets start with the police shootings of some black men. Many people, myself included feel that the police in the US have become far to militarized and lack the training, education and tools to be as safe and effective a force as they could be. I feel that the saying about only having a hammer in your toolbox is apt here. Police agencies are perpetually underfunded which leads to a lack of training. There also appears to be a sense of Us vs Them. Instead of a feeling of this is our community where we live and work we are trying to make it a better place. Now to be clear I am sure that 90% of law enforcement are decent law abiding people who are doing their best to make the world a better place but then we have reports like this where it seems like the police lied in order to justify their shooting of an unarmed man. Or instances where a protected class is found to have been targeted for police violence like this. Portland has a large homeless population, the vest majority of homeless people are suffering from some sort of mental health issue. That should mean that Portland PD and the surrounding local PDs are receiving some training on how to interface with these marginalized members of the public. But are they?
Lets look at the other side of the coin now. We have 5 police officers intentionally targeted and killed during a BLM protest in Dallas.This is a situation that could have easily been far far worse than it was, what if the police had opened fire on the crowd? What if the sniper had missed and hit people in the crowd? What if some of the open carry protesters thought that the police were shooting at them? Personally I feel that we are lucky that only 5 people died, all things considered. However then in the following day/week we had more instances of law enforcement officers being intentionally targeted and then ambushed and killed by people. There is no way to justify trying to spur positive change by shooting other people. You aren’t going to suddenly make the opposing side come around to your point of view because you started to ambush and kill them, you aren’t going to make the general public sympathetic to your point of view with the random slaying of law enforcement.
Now we come to Turkey, which has slowly been transitioning to a more hard line Islamic state (not ISIS) instead of a moderate secular country. It’s important to realize that as a country in it’s current form Turkey has only existed for about 100 years. In that time it has had military coups most of them happening within the lifetime of most people reading this. Supposedly the military is supposed to be a stabilizing force within their society helping to ensure that the executive branches of government do not get too powerful. Sadly I think this shows a rise in the political and military tensions within that part of the world and will only further increase the instability of the Middle East. It will also only serve to further highlight to the rest of the world why Islam=bad. My personal opinion is that radical/fundamentalist Islam is incompatible with Western civilization, however the same could be said for hard-line Christianity. Radical fundamentalists are bad no matter where you find them.
So for this week lets see if we can have a little bit of stability and cut back on the mind boggling stupid shit shall we?