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Are Cops Racist or Victims of a New Revolution?

Photo credit: Clay Banks

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Racism or revolution? It’s a fair question in any honest assessment of our current chaos. Cop shoots black man, people cry racism, protests turn into lawless looting and destruction. What isn’t talked about is the key to the entire mess—personal responsibility. And what lurks in the background is a new revolution.

First, who’s responsible for George Floyd’s death? Daunte Wright’s? One could say former Officers Derek Chauvin and Kim Potter, respectively, but this would be lazy thinking and dishonest. Here’s a better question: Who’s responsible for their lives?

Before we poke the hornet’s nest, let’s consider facts.

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Both men had criminal records. Both were known by local police. One was an addict; the other had a warrant out for his arrest. Both men chose to commit crimes; George Floyd tried to pass off a counterfeit bill; Daunte Wright illegally possessed a firearm. He also drove with an expired license plate. Keeping one’s vehicle current is a basic responsibility for all licensed drivers. Wright failed to do so, which led to his being pulled over. This is when he made his fatal choice.

Choices and consequences

Imagine yourself in his situation. An officer is arresting you. Your choices are: A) allow yourself to be handcuffed or B) break free and get back into your car or run or fight or anything other than acquiesce to arrest. Any rational and honest person has to know that he alone is responsible for his actions. Everyone is responsible for his or her choices—personally responsible. 

What did Daunte choose to do? He chose flight. This triggered the arresting officers, which prompted Officer Potter to use what she says she thought was her taser in order to subdue Wright. The fact that she used her firearm and then expressed shock and dismay afterwards indicates incompetence, not racism.

George Floyd and Daunte Wright chose to commit the crimes that invited police attention. They had criminal records because they chose to be criminals. They alone bear responsibility for setting the stage for negative interaction with law enforcement. We can debate the culpability of the officers, and a jury is deciding whether Derek Chauvin is guilty of anything more than excessive force.

They may find him guilty of much more, but the inconvenient truth for Black Lives Matter is that George Floyd and Daunte Wright would likely both be alive today had they not chosen to commit crimes. Their lives would truly matter because they’d be alive to make better choices. They could choose to become ex-criminals.

Personally irresponsible

In any era prior to our present age of victimhood and “systemic racism,” both men would bear personal responsibility for making choices that led to their deaths. This is not to say that Derek Chauvin isn’t guilty of manslaughter or murder.

The truth is that George Floyd and Daunte Wright and Michael Brown and others are solely responsible for their life choices—especially those that put them at odds with law enforcement. We all are. Rather than confront this truth, opportunists (and true believers) cry racism. The reality is that the vast majority of police aren’t any more racist than you or I. Many are simply weary and wary of the same people saying the same things in order to avoid personal responsibility. And now they’re called racists and badgered and beaten down as they try to do their jobs.

The beatdown manifests itself in rising crime and resistance to arrest, anti-cop antagonism, calls for defunding, accusations of racism, vilification and worse. Our legal system, which also isn’t racist, found no truth in claims like, “Hands up. Don’t shoot.” Sadly, race hustlers like Al Sharpton and the Black Lives Matter founders have weaponized these words to further an agenda that doesn’t help the people they claim to champion. They seem more interested in self-enrichment and political change than in equality.

The revolution

The Black Lives Matter grifters value equity over equality and revolution in place of our republic. Black “victims” of police racism and brutality are mere pawns in a new race war as the means to their end—a Marxist Utopia. Hatred, chaos and division are their weapons.

Why do we see looters presented as peaceful protesters by corrupt media? Why do young white anarchists participate in BLM protests after police shootings of black suspects and criminals? It’s opportunity.

What better way to usher in a new reality than with a new revolution? America rebelled against an English tyrant because of inequities involving class and representation. Because America was built on visions of equality, freedom and the merits of hard work and opportunity, class warfare has no legs here. Race is the ticket. Marxists tried it in the ’60s, but were thwarted by reform. Inadvertently, an entire ethnic group in America were turned into victims and semi-wards of the state.

The result? Critical Race Theory, white privilege, reparations, the vilification of police, and reverse racism against “white” people. The racist oppressors are our justice system and law enforcement. According to the revolutionaries, slavery is our original sin, and we have yet to fully repent of it.

In reality, we’ve made great steps toward equality. America is like any other republic—flawed and imperfect. America is also a beautiful experiment in self-governance. Rather than transform it, we should hold one another responsible for our choices and encourage each other toward unity and true equality.

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Patrick grew up in Texas and graduated from the University of North Texas with a master’s degree in journalism and advertising. His undergraduate degree is in English and photography. He served six years in the U.S. Navy where his life was changed forever by the Lord Jesus Christ. He lives in the Sierra Nevada of Northern California with his wife, dog and two cats. He enjoys hiking and cycling, taking pictures, writing and blogging at https://luscri.com/



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Sowing the Wind and Reaping the Whirlwind: California and its Epic Wildfires

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California
Photo credit: Patrick Luscri

Like the 2018 Camp Fire, California’s Dixie Fire is epic. It has burned more than 220,000 acres and at least 40 structures. It’s the largest conflagration since the Camp Fire that destroyed Paradise. Sadly, California wildfires are becoming as common as Florida hurricanes. Why is this happening and who’s to blame? In a word, California.

By mismanaging its forests and water sources and enabling a power provider to place profits over people, the Golden State has sown the wind and is reaping the whirlwind.

Why is every California fire season scarier and more destructive than the last? The reasons can be boiled down to these:

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  1. Decades of forest mismanagement caused by environmentalists shaping policy
  2. Co-opted Northern California watersheds and water supply diversion
  3. Hotter temperatures and historic drought conditions caused by climate change
  4. Failing PG&E infrastructure
Forest mismanagement

We live five miles from the southeastern edge of the Dixie Fire. Our little mountain town of Quincy is under an evacuation warning. Many of our fellow residents live in areas of mandatory evacuation and some have lost their homes. Local firefighters and forest experts have known for years this was inevitable.

It’s common sense, really. When forest undergrowth and dead limbs and logs are allowed to pile up between trees, you may as well stack logs at their bases and light a match. Wise forest managers remove forest floor fuels and keep forests from growing dangerously dense.

Foolish forest managers allow undergrowth to flourish in order to “protect” ecological environments of certain species at the expense of overall forest ecology. This hands-off approach is pushed in Sacramento by those who think we’re only one species sharing our environment rather than caretakers of our environment.

Wise gardeners prevent weeds from diverting moisture from produce plants by removing them. This ensures a healthy garden. Why wouldn’t smart forest management include removal of undergrowth and dead or dying trees?

Water diversion

A few years ago, state biologists “gill-netted” vast quantities of fish in our local Silver Lake in order to prevent them from feeding on a certain frog. This decimated the fish population in favor of the frog population. How is this an ecological balance?

Similarly, allowing natural water sources to feed rivers and streams provides better hydration for trees—and raises critical moisture levels for forests. Diverting water from Northern California sources when levels are low exacerbates the deadly dryness of moisture-starved Sierra forests. Shouldn’t there be a better balance based on water levels?

As climate change continues to affect moisture and heat, smart and balanced water management becomes more critical. Yet California continues to base policy decisions reactively rather than proactively. If Northern California watershed areas burn for lack of moisture, poor water management will be partially to blame.

So will California’s reliance on hydroelectric power over traditional (and more effective) fossil-fuel plants. The state gets nearly 2/3 of its power from non-fossil fuel production, which is why it has to buy electricity from states like Oregon, Arizona and others.

Failing PG&E

Failed PG&E power lines are responsible for devastating California wildfires for the last five fire seasons. According to PG&E’s initial report the day the Dixie Fire started, an employee responding to an outage noticed a blown fuse at Cresta Dam in a heavily forested area of Butte County around the Feather River Canyon. He found two blown fuses and a tree leaning on a power conductor. He also found a fire on the ground near the base of the tree.

When the 2018 Camp Fire erupted, a PG&E employee noticed flames caused by a faulty transmission line in Feather River Canyon. Many of these lines are supported by electrical towers from the early 1900s. PG&E customers pay modern rates for modern electricity delivered via century-old towers.

In fairness, PG&E is finally taking steps to modernize its infrastructure with underground line burial and other measures. Sadly, these measures are long overdue and are too little too late for victims of the Camp Fire and now for those dealing with the Dixie Fire. Worse, PG&E seems to be continuing their foot-dragging regarding reporting system failures when they point to a wildfire start.

Closed market

According to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), PG&E ignored regulations that require it to report wildfire-related infrastructure failures within two hours of the event. PG&E took five days to report the Dixie Fire-related failure to CPUC. As a state agency, CPUC answers to Governor Gavin Newsom and Sacramento politicians. PG&E is supposed to answer to CPUC, yet is still failing to follow the rules.

Not only is there a lack of meaningful accountability, the relationship between California and PG&E is dysfunctional. The average citizen wonders why Sacramento continues enabling a repeat offender of a power company. Another question is why California refuses to open up its utility market to competitors in order to force PG&E to modernize its infrastructure.

Something has to change or California will continue to burn every fire season. Close to home, people in our community love living in Northern California, but the Golden State will lose even more citizens if residents have to flee the flames every summer.

 

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The Most Important Scholar You’ve Never Heard Of

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Thomas Sowell is many things. He’s a historian, an economist, philosopher, and more. He also may very possibly be the most important scholar that you haven’t heard of. Thomas started life on his own at age 17 when he moved out into a homeless shelter and later was drafted into the Marine Corps. Later, he graduated from Harvard and went on to study government regulations coming to some remarkable explanations and solutions. PragerU tells Thomas’s inspiring story in this video linked below.

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