Skip to comments.Meeting Stupidity with Stupidity
Posted on 05/09/2010 7:03:38 AM PDT by Kaslin
Isaac Newton formulated three laws of motion, No. 3 being: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. If he were still around, he'd propose a fourth: For every action, there is an unequal and opposite overreaction.
Lately, Americans seem to be taking advice from Oscar Wilde, who said, "Moderation is a fatal thing." Stupidity can be met and defeated with sensible, proportionate measures. Or it can be met with even greater stupidity. Guess which is the preferred option these days.
Last week, a 17-year-old knucklehead exposed his idiocy to the world by venturing onto the field at a Philadelphia Phillies game and running around waving a towel. When a pursuing policeman got weary of the chase, he pulled out his Taser and shot the kid.
For that, the officer won praise from players, sportscasters and city police commissioner Charles Ramsey, who said the cop "acted appropriately. I support him 100 percent." The cop was in line with department policy, Ramsey said, because "he was attempting to make an arrest and the male was attempting to flee."
Really? Hitting a delinquent with a potentially fatal 50,000-volt burst of electricity even though he poses no physical danger to anyone and has zero chance of escaping? Maybe the commissioner should read the directions from the Taser manufacturer, which say the devices are meant to "incapacitate dangerous, combative or high-risk subjects."
The Police Executive Research Forum says they "should be used only on people 1) actively resisting or exhibiting active aggression or 2) at risk of harming themselves or others." A federal appeals court ruled that cops may not use Tasers unless "the suspect poses an immediate threat to the officer or a member of the public."
Sure, shooting the kid with a Taser taught him a lesson and will undoubtedly deter others from following his example. But if that were the only consideration, riddling him with live ammo would have been even more effective. The rational response would have been to let him cavort until he ran out of gas, then take him away, leaving punishment to the courts.
That is not to say the courts are always rational. The other day, a 19-year-old woman showed up in a Lake County, Ill., courtroom gallery sporting a T-shirt that only a person of incompetent judgment would wear outside the house. "I have the (female sexual organ), so I make the rules," it announced.
That claim might be true if she were the only woman in possession of one. True or not, it was the wrong message to present to Judge Helen Rozenberg, who immediately held her in contempt and sentenced her to 48 hours in jail.
The judge could have ordered the offending party to leave. She could have insisted that she cover up. She could have delivered a stern lecture.
But the only remedy the magistrate could devise was to lock her up like a criminal. In Rozenberg's case, "judicial temperament" is a contradiction in terms.
Critics of the new Arizona immigration law likewise have decided to fight fire with napalm. Rather than merely object that the statute is shortsighted, counterproductive and vulnerable to abuse, they decided to pretend it's the greatest atrocity of the 21st century.
"When I heard about it, it reminded me of Nazi Germany," insisted Hispanic Federation President Lillian Rodriguez Lopez. Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony said Arizona was "reverting to German Nazi" methods. A New Jersey cartoonist drew Hitler with a mustache in the shape of Arizona.
The only value of statements like those is to reveal how little the speaker knows about life under the Fuehrer. Where are the concentration camps? Where is the mass slaughter? Who is the all-powerful dictator?
Arizona may have become an uncomfortable place for Latinos, legal or illegal, but it bears about as much resemblance to Nazi Germany as it does to Antarctica. If a law like this were the worst thing Hitler had ever done, nobody would remember him today.
In moments when we are presented with a sore provocation, the temptation is to respond with unrestrained fury. But wanton indulgence of anger usually ends up compounding foolishness with lunacy.
You can fight fire with fire. As a rule, though, it's better to use water.
Deaths from tasers are very rare and usually te result of someone having an underlying condition like heart disease. In a class I teach for NAMI, we just had some officers from our local CIT come and give a presentation. They demonstrated the use of the taser and indicated that all of the CIT officers have to be tased themselves as part of the training. I for one think they did exactly the right thing in tasing this idiot.
Seems like the same rationale is in operation when military recruits have to go into the gas chamber for a dose of tear gas. I’ve been through it twice.
I think they probably tased the kid because no one wanted to physically tackle a naked person. Eew.
Since when have tasers become leathal?
They sure messed up poor ‘ol Rodney King didn’t they?
Thomas A. Swift’s Electric Rifle *ping*
Actually, I already have it. I wonder how many people are aware that is where the word “Taser” came from...
First the plot
While Tom Swift is working on his latest new invention, the electric rifle, he meets an African safari master whose stories of elephant hunting sends the group off to deepest, darkest Africa. Hunting for ivory is the least of their worries, as they find out some old friends are being held hostage by the fearsome tribes of the red pygmies.
Swift builds two major inventions in this volume. The first is a replacement airship, known as The Black Hawk. This new airship is to replace The Red Cloud, which was destroyed during his adventures in Tom Swift in the Caves of Ice. This airship is of the same general construction as The Red Cloud, but is smaller and more maneuverable.
Of foremost notice is Swift's invention of the electric rifle, a gun which fires bolts of electricity. The electric rifle can be calibrated to different levels of range, intensity and lethality; it can shoot through solid walls without leaving a hole, and is powerful enough to kill a rampaging whale, as in their steamer trek to Africa. With the electric rifle, Tom and friends bring down elephants, rhinoceroses, and buffalo, and save their lives several times in pitched battle with the red pygmies. It also can discharge a globe of light that was described as being able to maintain itself, like ball lightning, making hunting at night much safer in the dark of Africa. In appearance, the rifle looked very much like its contemporary conventional cousins.
Then the Homages
Sixty years later, in reality, the Taser was invented by Jack Cover and marketed by Taser International. The trademark is an acronym for Thomas A. Swift's Electric Rifle. The middle initial (the 'A') is gratuitous, as Tom's full name is unknown.
There's the money quote right there.
Whatever. Let’s just be sure that the idea that a teenager or some imaginary protected or sympathetic class need not observe the rules printed on the back of his/her ticket, and can, without any accountability, venture out onto and disrupt the playing field of a professional game staged for the entertainment of many tens of thousands of people, is never even considered.