Saturday, July 21, 2012

I saw the The Dark Knight Rises yesterday. Was Christopher Nolan saying that TV news is torture?


  1. This is the Batman movie in which that guy broke in and shot up the audience. I believe the death count is now 12. The cable news stations are consumed with stories of this shooting.

    It does not seem to matter if the person on camera actually knows anything, or if they do have something relevant to say their clip will be repeated endlessly.

    These kinds of events are said to be good televison but from my viewpoint it's just the opposite. I have to turn off the TV and radio I keep playing in the background. They just keep playing the same interviews and pontificating monologs over and over.

    The dangerous consequences of these kind of shootings are the calls for gun control. Every decade or so a whacko will shoot a lot of people. Somethimes it's a school. Sometimes it's an office. This time it's a movie. I don't want to sound too callous but this level of violence is just background noise in a nation of three hundred million.

    There are about 200 deaths annualy from collisions with deer. I live in the Oakland hills where there is fog every morning. We are also infested with deer. I am in much more danger of dying from a deer than from a mad gunman. I actually have known people who have died from deer. I don't know anyone who was killed by one of these random killers. Do you?

    Gun control is scary too. We have about one murder every other day in Oakland. Almost all of those are confines to black neighborhoods in the flat lands. The white hills are essentially free of violent crime. The credit goes to guns possessed by the homeowners.

    The police aren't much of a deterrent. There are no police up here. The mayor instituted a policy of concentrating all the police patrols in a few ZIP code areas. The cops don't patrol above an altitude of about 200.

    Nor can you call 911. The mayor had the police only respond to crimes in progress. If another Trayvon Martin type were to wander around casing the houses up here, there would be no point in calling 911. They don't respond to just suspicious activity.

    Why is there so little police protection in a city with our crime rate? Government foolishness. When the real estate market crashed in 2008 Oakland lost about 20% of its property taxes. A decade earlier our municipal government had given the police unfunded pensions of up to 90% of their salaries at age 50. People talk about the profligacy of Greece but they are pikers compared with the Oakland police.

    So Oakland can't really afford police anymore. The citizens have to arm themselves. But now we have this random shooting in Colorado and there is talk again of disarming us in the face of the threat from the flat land blacks.


  2. I expect some efforts at partitioning. There is already a precedent with the town of Piedmont.

    In Wikipedia it is described thus - "Piedmont is a small, majority-Caucasian residential community surrounded on all sides by the City of Oakland."

    On reason it is affluent is because it has a separate school system from Oakland. If you buy a million dollar house in my neighborhood you kids will attend an Oakland school. Most parents will send their kids to a private school to save them from that experience. In Piedmont you can save that extra expense because the public schools are good. That means a house in Piedmont that is identical to one across the street in Montclair (Oakland) for example will be worth more.

    Oakland is bifurcated by the Hayward Fault. CalTrans in their wisdom built a freeway on top of the fault - Route 13. To the east of 13 there is no crime. To the west, especially further down the hill, is one of the most violent areas in the US.

    Let's secede. The white hills are mad. A few years ago there was a local proposition to raise money for more police. The white hills voted for it but all the cops have been reassigned down the hill to the flat-lands. The mayor has a theory that the few remaining cops should be concentrated in the worst neighborhoods.

    Only three years ago there were nearly 900 cops. We are down to about 650 now and only 240 are available for patrol. None of those patrols are up here where the people pay taxes.

    If the hills above 13 were to split off we could have our own schools and police force. Right now we are forced to pay for services we don't get.

    Oakland has the best climate in the country. While the rest of the nation has temperatures over 100 this morning in Oakland it was 55. It should get up to about 75 this afternoon. With public safety and good local schools, this part of Oakland would prosper

    Black people as a whole are becoming unemployable. The industrial jobs that drew blacks from the Deep South are now gone. The blacks never participated in the the Silicon Valley or Internet booms. They are unlikely to benefit from the next economic boom. Black jobs are being assaulted on the factory floor by robots and for the more mental jobs they have to compete with Asians. Normally unskilled workers who can't get factory jobs can work domestically in gardens or houses. But here in California we have imported Mexicans and Mayans. There isn't a whole lot left for blacks.

    These big labor economic trends point to more gated communities. Maybe it's time to put all the Oakland Hills behind a gate.



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