Posts Tagged ‘current events’

On Alliances

March 19, 2017

I was just thinking about Trumpsky’s comments. About how other countries should pay the US for defending them. About how much we pay for defense, and his rationale for spending more.
He’s a fool. You probably knew that, but maybe someone will explain.
The US, to the best of my knowledge, never spent a dime to benefit other nations.
Ponder that carefully.
The money was for our benefit primarily. If it also helped them, great.
Consider Germany; we spent quite a bit keeping folks like me there in the mid to late 20th Century, in my case on various hilltops waiting for the Soviets to roll across the border. So why did we do it?
Think how many men and women we had in the armed forces, how many machines we bought, and how much this nation spent fighting WWII. Just off the top of my head, I think we had around 7m people in the armed forces.
But not now. We don’t maintain a huge standing army, and that results in an enormous savings. I’ve seen it called the ‘peace dividend’.
Why?
Because we have allies. They have men and women in uniform, machines, ammunition, you name it. They maintain armies which allows us to keep ours relatively small.
Sure, we might want them to spend more, but even that has limits. If they expand their armed forces too much, the temptation is there to use them. Sort of what a number of American presidents have done, send troops to fight in wars against nations that had not attacked or even threatened the US.
What we’ve bought with our alliances (including NATO, whose nations are closest to our immediate threat, Russia) is peace and savings. Also security.
Someone should explain that to the guy who works more on his golf game than on governing.

Deadly Force and its Use

April 25, 2015

We’ve had a lot of questionable behavior recently involving police. It appears that people question their behavior, and in many cases that is deserved.
Part of the problem is that most of us don’t understand police work and the decisions that police officers make. For that matter, I’m not at all certain that POLICE understand when they’re permitted to employ deadly force.
I was trained to do that, and also given a ist of occasions when deadly force was authorized. That was a long time ago, more than fifty years, but I think I remember most of them.
I think those same rules are applicable today to police officers or others authorized to carry arms. Police or licencees with concealed carry permits, the rules must be exactly the same.
1. Deadly force is authorized in self defense or in defense of another person. ‘Self defense’ requires that the person employing deadly force feel that he/she is either personally threatened or that another human being is under threat. Taking a human life is justified only when it’s employed to prevent the taking of a different human life.
2. Deadly force is authorized to interrupt a felony in progress and apprehend an armed felonĀ if he resists arrest. This means that traffic stops or other encounters with the public rarely require the use of deadly force. Only when circumstances change such that the first rule is in effect would deadly force be authorized.
3. Deadly force is authorized to apprehend an armed and dangerous person who resists arrest. Note that possession of a weapon does not automatically make a person dangerous, nor does ‘resisting arrest’. Many now have permits to carry weapons and certain states permit open carry of weapons upon their person. In such circumstances, should an arrest be necessary, an officer should call for backup (which is standard procedure in most cases). Only when there are several officers on scene should the effort be made.
An unarmed person fleeing is not ‘armed and dangerous’. An unarmed person committing a felony does not present sufficient danger to the police or general public to authorize use of deadly force. There are other, better, ways of taking such a person into custody, including calling for backup.
‘Deadly force’ means use of firearms. Batons and tasers, as well as beanbag rounds and similar, are not ‘deadly force, per se, but can become so. Methods of grappling used to subdue a felon who resists arrest can also be deadly if misused. Whatever the method, if a death occurs, the presumption exists that deadly force was used, and that use must be justified under one of the three rules I stated.
Police officers should not be exempt from scrutiny. The rules above apply to them as well as to civilians, except that civilians will rarely perform an arrest.
This is my take. What do you think?