Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Things that Make You Go, "Hmmm..."

First, thank you for finding this blog, as I realize the title and the first few sentences lend little to the art of "searchability" in web parlance. It's Tuesday, there's a hurricane in the Gulf, the Democrats and the Republicans each believe the other is leading the country to Perdition in a Purse, and frankly, the odds of someone stumbling across this blog tonight are pretty remote.

But you're here, and I thank you.
Here are some Things in the News today that make you ponder...

Don't Tase de Bro'

A study by the City of Houston notes that the local constabulary, armed with pistols, billy clubs, batons and tasers, discharged these latter forms of personal protection against Black suspects more often than other ethnicities in our fair city.
67% of such confrontations, to be precise.

My first impulse question was, "what's the demographic breakdown of bad guys in H-town?"
In other words, was there an inordinately higher number of infractions committed by one ethnic group than another?
Not proportionately.

Houston's finest confronted more Blacks than Latino's, 46% to 28%. But the incidents of Tasering (aha, a Noun becomes a Verb!) per demographic group were lop-sided. 67% of Blacks were zapped, while only 24% of Latinos required jolting into compliance.

I would love to see the video clips of those arrests so that we might observe the initial demeanor and resulting behaviors in these cases.
Compare and contrast, as it were.

Interestingly, Anglo arrests clocked in at 24%, but only 9% of those required a shocking reminder of who was in charge.
So to speak.

These numbers were culled from a survey of 1,400 arrests between December 2004 and June of last year in which Tasers were deployed. The good news is, the cops tased the bro's in stead of shooting them. The not so good news from HPD's numbers is that the use of tasers has not appreciably dented the rate of police shootings.

The Politics of Ice Queens

Sen. Hillary Clinton is showing uncharacteristic restraint in her comments regarding Gov. Sarah Palin. You'd think someone would have already booked an arena with a mud pit in which the pair might square off.
But no.

Gov. Palin praised the efforts of Mrs. Clinton, and the Senator from New York commended the accomplishment of Mrs. Palin in receiving the GOP nod for Veep.

Hillary quipped this week that "anyone who believes the Republicans can fix the mess...probably believes the iceberg could have saved the Titanic." Actually, Senator, the Titanic was sunk not by an iceberg, but by the structural failure of the vessel, due to sub-quality steel in her hull and rivets, made brittle by the frigid waters of the North Atlantic. The iceberg was the instrument by which that flaw was revealed.

An interesting analogy, since neither party has yet to produce enough lifeboats or flotation devices to save the citizenry; nor could they correct some of the fundamental flaws in our national course to avoid hitting metaphorical bergs that could be the undoing of our ship of state.

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