As the Cities Burn..
Jeff Durbin of Apologia Radio Ministries — a pastor who is trustworthy on the justice and self defense fronts — makes a solid case that officer Derek Chauvin is guilty of first degree murder. Choke holds don’t always suffocate. They cut off blood to the brain and most trained police know there is a difference between “passing out” and “passing on.” The officer, with his hands in his pockets, showed callous disregard for life and a complete disregard for the tools of his own profession. Durbin also makes the case that those who would use this incident to divide the body of Christ with “woke” intersectionality, those who “make it about color, blur the issue of justice.” God’s law as Jeff points out, is understood, biblically, as a “blessing.” That blessing isn’t to be seen in terms of color, or race — because they have nothing to do with race or skin color. (This should be painfully obvious, but it isn’t; well meaning believers can’t seem to understand that “black lives matter” is just as offensive as “white lives matter.” You can’t elevate any particular race for special justice consideration without declaring the rest of the body second class.)
As I encountered the strange sight of street protesters, last night, attacking CNN headquarters in Atlanta, coupled with images all week of Target stores being looted and even black-owned businesses being destroyed, it re-enforced a sense I’ve had that the more government we have the more anarchy we get along with it. As a culture, we’re losing focus, the ability to think, the ability to attach specific solutions to specific problems. If I saw an innocent, restrained man begging a police officer for his life, my sense is that the very first thing to consider would be obvious: restrain the officer or shoot him if necessary. After the fact, the demand would be for speedy justice: hold the officers to account criminally.
But go grab a new 72″ flat panel television at the now trashed department store? Burn down an Auto-Zone? Take a fire extinguisher to an elderly, wheel-chair bound lady for trying to prevent looting?
The argument is made, with some credibility, that since you can’t fight city hall, city hall must be made to see the tax paying merchants go up in flames. If you consider what entrenched friends of big government did to General Flynn and what highly placed “justice” officials did to President Trump, (perpetrating a patently false Russian collusion story), you get a sense of what government can do with, and to, you. Most of my friends believe there is very little chance of Comey, Brennan, Obama and Hillary ever seeing real justice, not because they don’t want that justice, but because they are realists. The people who hold the keys to the federal court house, the people who know every law enforcement and regulatory insider in every branch of government, extend each other professional courtesy. It’s a really good gig with an incredibly generous pension system. If there had been no video of officer Chauvin carelessly choking a man to death, would that officer ever have to face charges of any kind?
We’re in a negative feedback loop. Honest law enforcement officers are being asked, in California, to essentially ignore burglary and property crimes, release prisoners from jail, and, considering “black lives matter,” think long and hard about how much force to use restraining a truly violent black offender. Honest, business-owning taxpayers are being asked to ignore illegal border crossings but dedicate social distance staff to “keep-safe-staff,” (no national border but lots of interpersonal borders). The CDC is advising schools to make daily covid broadcasts but also to encourage staff and students to “take a break” from Covid news. The more we try to do with government, the less efficient (and frankly crazy) it becomes. Ask the guy who is asked to control weeds by one agency and fined for endangering native plants by another. When government breaks down spectacularly (as in the Floyd affair), your chances of getting justice, without very dramatic video evidence, is virtually nil. Qualified immunity makes it very difficult to hold government to any sort of standard, even though — if you asked an honest civil servant — he would claim his life is one long series of pointless rules put in place to keep him accountable, all within a system that will never actually hold him accountable by mounting a vigorous legal defense should he make a mistake–using your taxpayer dollars to do it.
Is Franz Kafka running this whole thing?
On top of all this maddening futility and misdirected rage, or perhaps simmering in a pot next to it, is a kind of joyless despair. We just returned from Irvine, California. We were hoping to have a night of “return to normal” hotel and restaurant life. The hotel was at 8% occupancy. (I asked the front desk person.) Social distance markers were on the floor. Hand sanitizing stations were on every floor. We were cautioned to keep social distance inside the elevators, (really). At the restaurant, we were told we would have to wait in our car until we received a text to enter the building. The normally festive Benihana’s practiced social distancing at each table, with couples assigned to opposite ends of the grill and no one in between. It seemed to be a clear picture of the “new normal” being demanded: solitary, anti-social joylessness.
On the way home, I told my wife, and my sister-in-law: “we need a big concert in the country with loud guitars and girls in tank tops.”
That didn’t go over well. See what I get for trying to cheer everybody up?