I've been off line for a few days, writing etc. I did check out your references and I thank you for them. Balladeer thinks that looking up my own references is enough and pokes fun at me for asking, but if somebody has a different point of view than you do, they may have some ideas about resources that wouldn't cross your mind. It's helpful to ask. I saw some articles on Governor Palin's daughter's troubles, and some stuff about the Alaska Independence Party and a scandal about trying to fire somebody who'd divorced her sister and the legislature trying to get to the bottom of that. I thought her willingness to raise a kid with Down's Syndrome was a nice thing, but having world with Down's Syndrome folks and folks with developmental disabilities I found myself in a very mixed place about that. It takes somebody with a large amount of free time or a lot of money to purchase help from outside caregivers to afford to raise a Down's Syndrome person and take care of them for life. I think Governor Palin is fortunate to have the money to do so, but I wonder what her position is for people who don't have the money and who need to work to help support other children. She's impressive in some ways here, don't get me wrong, but is taking a point of view that so many of his constituents couldn't afford to take as easily as she could. I'm glad Obama said he thought folks should shut up about about candidates kids. It'd be nice if everybody would take the advice. I thank you once again for the references. I'm glad to see more information about Governor Palin coming out in the press now, too. More information is better for everyone. Thanks for being understanding.
Dear Mike, I'm still engaged on our research project. I'm actually talking to people on the street. I'm a bit agoraphobic. The project gets me out of the house and gets me talking to folks I don't usually talk to, including a bunch of executives at a brokerage house..
What's this stuff you're talking about with Grinch? It sounds as though you're misrepresenting civil disobedience, a fine old democratic and American tradition, attempting to make it sound immoral and unamerican by mischaracterizing it. If somebody vandalizes property or trespasses, they are breaking a law and they are subject to the penalties of the law. That's pretty basic. If you dump somebody else's tea in the harbor, you're liable for punishment for those acts, even if you do it for political protest.
It's called civil disobedience because it is a conscious breaking of the law with full knowledge of the consequences, including possible imprisonment and fine because you have made a conscious choice that it is the appropriate course of action to do so, that it underlines the injustice of something for you to put yourself on the line in this way.
My personal belief is that it works best with passive resistance, not moving from the lunch counter until you are either served or arrested, as opposed to actively doing something to damage property of put the lives of other in danger. I come from the tradition of the civil rights movement, and I feel happiest with that. I think it has the greatest force of moral suasion behind it, and the people who are in charge of enforcing unjust laws become progressively less happy doing so the redder their hands are stained. At least one like to think so.
But if there is a law broken, it is always the responsibility of the authorities to enforce the law. The more outlandish the law, however, the more foolish the authority looks before the public. Authority despises being made to look stupid, and the more so, when the positions it takes are more obviously bizarre, as in the situation of the Salt Tax in India, where a man living next to the ocean had to pay outrageous prices to buy salt from a government monopoly that he could evaporate for almost nothing from the sea beside him.
I say to Balladeer, the police should arrest away every time the law is broken. And then they should be prepared for the reaction for the public as to how they did it and the justice of their behavior. If they dislike the way they are treated by the press and the public, it's only natural they would wish to blame anybody but themselves. Police make fun of criminals when criminals indulge in this behavior, blaming everybody but themselves; it's no less transparent when police indulge themselves in the same sort of thing. But it would seem that it would be more effective to assume that they themselves had something to do with the criticism they get for over-use of force. At least that way, they can see themselves as having some control of the result, the criticism that comes to them from press, public and police administration alike.
At least that's what seems reasonable to me.
Sincerely, Bob K