OPINION: USA decline played out nightly

 
843Views 57Comments Posted 08/07/2016

By Mark Scheinbaum

MIAMI (July 8)—Sociologists will try to explain why countries such as the United Kingdom and Iceland have virtually no people killed by police officers each year. Demographers will show how people walking around Uruguay, Germany or Costa Rica are less likely to be killed by police than in the USA.

Political Scientists will quote John Stuart Mill and explain that when one shoots a police officer, when one targets a law enforcement officer, that person endorses a “natural state” of mayhem and chaos without laws, without rules, and without humanity.

[caption id="attachment_62150" align="alignleft" width="278"]The peaceful Dallas protest march The peaceful Dallas protest march[/caption]

All of this means little to the families of law enforcement officers killed and wounded in Dallas this week, and Americans of color shot and killed in confusing and suspicious circumstances most recently in Baton Rouge, and St. Paul.

On social media and cable TV the amateur videos show constant video loops of police motionless in the gutter, suspects being wrestled and shot, or a traffic stop and shooting turning into a virtual “snuff video” of a victim dying. These first inform the public but then feed the flame of misinformation, knee-jerk calls for vengeance, and opportunistic rhetoric for those with their own special agendas. Most ironically and shamefully, if police abuse power within a culture of “them and us” racism and profiling and then people go gunning for cops “to get even” or for pure anarchy- those fueling the flames of both sides are not much different from Islamic “terrorists” killing thousands.

[caption id="attachment_62151" align="alignright" width="300"]Grieving police and supporters in Dallas Grieving police and supporters in Dallas[/caption]

The terrorists who have struggled with their own twisted interpretations of religion and in some cases been manipulated either since youth, or since non-religious events in their lives gave them a pseudo-justification to kill, I suspect have found a “cause” to play out their goals often set from other variables. Of course as Northern Ireland, Nigeria, Cypress or North Korea have proven, there is no one religion, political philosophy or geographical area which has cornered the market on horrific violence and dehumanizing behavior.

But, in the United States of America there is a nostalgic love for the Wild West, for the John Wayne individualist, for the swagger and the six-shooter. In a planet of cross border environmental poisoning, cross-border communication and trade, and cross-border sharing of intellectual and artistic ideas, the nostalgia is neither cute, productive, nor predictive of continued success and prosperity for the USA.

Whether shedding a tear for the Stars and Bars of a Confederate flag outside a building where the great-great grandchildren of former slaves go to work each day, or using the Second Amendment as an excuse for hunters and target shooters to buy 30-round clips for their firearms, the civilized world is leaving the USA in the dust.

GREAT AGAIN?
If “restoring” America to its past “glory” or making it “great again” means reinforcing a role of global policeman, well, millions of folks in other countries shake their heads, feel sad for the USA, or simply laugh. As with Greece, Rome, the British Empire, the Spanish Armada. Kodak, Blockbuster Video. or Oldsmobile—all empires both political and commercial are liable to decline. Some decline faster than others.

If “love it or leave it” is your answer to those who criticize a decline in parental control (often with lack of a father or disciplinary figure in a family), or who decry a growing gap between working poor and super rich, don’t worry, millions of Americans have done just that. Perhaps you also know Gringos in Puerto Vallarta, or London, or Nassau, Montreal, Panama, or Poland who have felt that the American standard of living, cost of living, and social deterioration gives them a better quality of life elsewhere.

NO SHORTCUTS
Finally, there are no real shortcuts to justice. People who repeatedly survive in patterns of bad behavior, dangerous behavior, or in some cases criminal behavior, are putting innocent people around them at risk at all times. Shopkeepers, postal workers, delivery truck drivers, home care nurses, or police officers of good will trying to work in these environments are in harm’s way at all time. Similarly, cities and states and agencies which recruit those with physical and psychological injuries for law enforcement jobs—often paying them less than someone who strings a wire or points a light at a rock star on stage, invite tragedy and disgrace.

The macro solutions and significance of all of this escapes me. As they used to say on Saturday Night Live, “talk among yourselves.”

Former UPI Newsman Mark Scheinbaum is a political scientist and frequent contributor to Newsroom and other publications. He lived and worked in Panama for many years



Comments 57

user
Garlicball

I did not 'mention' that Medicare is a benefit. I said and say again, Medicare is a benefit. I said nothing regarding funding to preclude experts on this thread engaging in a conversation about taxes. We have an abundance of Newsroom experts and pundits ready to comment on any and everything based on their opinions, not real-time experiences. I decline accepting the bait.

2 years ago
user
PedasiPaul

You mentioned Medicare as a benefit. Do you contend program this is solely funded by the users, like Social Security, and not in part by general taxes?

2 years ago
user
Richard Charron

I understand, sometime his stupidity is too hard to resist. He's such an easy mark. There are times when I'm just bored and need a pigeon to play with.

2 years ago
user
mhogan

Yesh, I know. But he caught me at a time I was ready for a battle. Surprised you limited your comments. Haha Donkey. Guess he doesnt't know the significance

2 years ago
user
Richard Charron

Remember he's a pigeon

2 years ago
user
crbob1

mhogan, I was not referring to you, I support your statements here, I was referring to the liberals with their "Obama lovein" remarks supporting the liberal causes which has almost doomed the U.S........sorry if you thought my remarks were directed at you........

2 years ago
user
rumple4skin

"I am not an American" So the only skin in the game is your two lips. Top and bottom, not left and right?

2 years ago
user
richard philbrick

5,000 current food stamp recipients listed their occupation as “active duty military,” mostly young service members with children. So be careful who you call a freeloader. So tell us, again, you mouth-breathing booger-eater how much you support our troops. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5c2e98da85f45979e4c040d3559ddb2572962c20bb7ef2bce1756f87c90324a4.jpg

2 years ago
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richard philbrick

Satire at its finest...good job, bobby. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0cd638e71b8272c76b19ed2bdbee5e24966f1af97e330a9566022b33422c31b8.jpg

2 years ago
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mhogan

crbob1, I'm not an Obama fan ... just the opposite. And he's not nor ever has been "your [my] leader" seeing as I am not an American. I comment only because events in the U.S.A. affect everyone around the world whether it's my home country or my adopted country, Panamá. To be more contemporary, my concern now is "what difference does it make Hillary". It would be more like granting Satan absolution and giving him the keys to heaven." As though our past Anti-Christ hasn't done a good job at that.

2 years ago
user
RedNekTex

You are confusing "magazines" with "clips". Two different things.

2 years ago
user
mhogan

Listen, you liberal idiot, the quote was the UNEDITED version by FactCheck.org researched on my time at YOUR REQUEST. You wanted in context, it was a televised CNN interview in 2008 between George Stephanopolous and Barack Obama. You want a friggen full transcript of Obama with Stephanopolous saving his sorry ass, you do it. But no matter the source, you liberal turb still won't believe it. Typical

2 years ago
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rumple4skin

Sweden and other western European nations have a more equitable distribution of social net benefits which is not linked to per capital incomes. Get it right Pauli. You have never lived there. I have. I know what I'm talking about. You do not.

2 years ago
user
rumple4skin

You don't know the difference between "entitlement", privilege, or benefit. Until you know the difference you should remain silent. Unemployment BENEFIT, Social Security BENEFIT, Military Veteran BENEFITS. Medicare BENEFITS. ENTITLEMENT - The right to post stupid shit The right to ignore fact. (privilege) The right to purchase/own/conceal carry. The right to drive (privilege) To be a white US citizen (privilege / entitlement) .

2 years ago
user
rumple4skin

" There is a black racial problem." "There is a African cultural problem." Nope, there is a mental dysfunctional problem with the US majority population. Otherwise, your summary is spot on. Problems, problems ... we's got so many problems - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRGCeM1enhw

2 years ago
user
rumple4skin

More petulant name calling. When the conversation gets truthful the name calling is ratcheted up. This is what y'all do.

2 years ago
user
Linux SuperUser

Anyone who give out raw numbers instead of percentages is trying to deceive. Here is a easy to understand example. We have 1000 black and 10,000 whites. Of the black 750 don't their fathers. That is 75%. Of the whites 2000 don't know there fathers. That is 20%. These stats are made up but the point is if they where true it would be clear fatherlessness would be an epidemic among the black population. The white numbers are greater but overall effects less of the community as whole. What you are trying to present us is what is known as liberal math.

2 years ago
user
rumple4skin

Great cut/past exercise. I want sources because I'm damn positive the poop you posted is taken out of context. Give me sources or stop responding. It's that simple.

2 years ago
user
Linux SuperUser

Sweden is the rape capital of the Europe. The flood of immigrants brought by their welfare system has put them in grave danger. Currently 100% of the rapes involve Muslim immigrants. The MSM covers up the Sweden rape epidemic so they can sell you the lie of peaceful Muslims escaping a war torn country.

2 years ago
user
Bob

According to Sportsman's Guide you can buy one for around $12...http://www.sportsmansguide.com/productlist/ammo-shooting/gun-magazines-clips?d=121&c=121

2 years ago
user
rumple4skin

Circle the wagons. There are more white people than Blacks ergo more of them who do not know who their father is, more whites using food stamps, on welfare. Use numbers and 'per capita' to comfort yourself. I am comfortable with my response.

2 years ago
user
rumple4skin

Will you complete your sentence?

2 years ago
user
mhogan

Who knows, who cares now. He's history. Questions abound and records have been sealed. I'd say, form you're own conclusions but you can't do that because yoy're not a free thinker

2 years ago
user
PedasiPaul

I thought it was liberals who resort to name calling.

2 years ago
user
PedasiPaul

So Obama is actually a Muslim? I suppose he was born in Kenya, too.

2 years ago
user
PedasiPaul

Sweden and other western European nations have a more generous social safety net than the USA, yet those countries don't have nearly the levels of violence. So there may be other causes.

2 years ago
user
mhogan

Yes, but I still had to acknowledge his challenge. I know too that winning an argument with a liberal risks me being called a bigot Let's see how he responds, if he does

2 years ago
user
crbob1

Mr. Sheinbaum is just lacking.........

2 years ago
user
crbob1

Another degenerate liberal heard from......

2 years ago
user
crbob1

The real problem is Obama for the last eight years and the welfare nation the U.S. has turned out to be, look at where the money goes to all the "entitlement" programs and then you will see.......if Hillary is elected it will be at least another four years of the same.......

2 years ago
user
crbob1

Only true patriotic Americans support Trump, the next U.S. president..........

2 years ago
user
crbob1

Liberals ruined the country with their welfare programs.....

2 years ago
user
crbob1

When they can't dispute facts they turn to filthy language.....typical lib tard.........

2 years ago
user
crbob1

Keep your head stuck in the sand and follow your leader Obama over the cliff.........

2 years ago
user
crbob1

Foreskin, you must have missed her response in the last.......

2 years ago
user
crbob1

Save your breath mhogan, these dyed in the wool liberals will support whoever the democrats throw into power regardless of the consequences....they never remove their heads from the sand and face reality.........

2 years ago
user
mhogan

Talk "per capita" in stats not numbers otherwise you deceive ("more white fatherless families"). He who you refer to as Donkey is correct on this point

2 years ago
user
mhogan

Obama: You're absolutely right that John McCain has not talked about my Muslim faith and you're absolutely right that he has not ... Stephanopoulos (interrupting:): Your Christian faith Obama: My Christian faith. Well, what I'm saying ... Stephanopoulos (interrupting): Connections, right. Obama (continuing) is that he hasn't suggested that I'm a Muslim ..." -- Obama can recover quickly from a slip of the tongue, he always has. HOWEVER, IF HIS FIRST WORDS WERE CORRECT "my Muslim faith", why was he compelled to accept the interrupted correction from Stephanoloulos to "your Christian faith"? Why not just say that he was referring to John McCain's comments (which incidentally is untrue). He threw himself into victimhood when it did not exist as a way to get out of his freudian slip. In my opinion, the idea has to be in your head before it comes out of your mouth. If this were an isolated instance of Obama and Muslimhood, I might be willing to question his slip of the tongue, but in the context of Obama throughout his entire life, it fits.

2 years ago
user
rumple4skin

I would really appreciate it if you would. I want this comment in the context it happened.

2 years ago
user
mhogan

Myrna, I heard Obama during an interview on tv say "my Muslim faith" and when he immediately realized his faux pas, he corrected it to "my Christain faith". I could probably research and find that video clip but when you deal with America's liberals, even when they hear it with their own ears direct from the source, their brain can't process it if it conflicts with their ideology. Nice try though

2 years ago
user
rumple4skin

Costa Rica - the USA ... OK ... I get the connection ...

2 years ago
user
rumple4skin

Same old shit from the same old ass, Donkey. You are predictable. Thanks.

2 years ago
user
Richard Charron

Typical pigeon response. Obviously you have nothing to add so just keep knocking down the chess pieces as you strut and shit all over the chess board. Why do you continue to embarrass yourself so. Have you no pride.

2 years ago
user
rumple4skin

" ... There is no doubt that Obama has fueled this divisiveness with his rhetoric..." BULLSHIT. " ... problems with fatherless families ..." Black stereotyping Donkey. There are more white fatherless families. It's factual numbers ... that are twisted for media propaganda. You, Donkey suggesting that "WE" to heal and restore our great country.. Who is the we, Donkey? We white supporters of trump? I guess I can agree that your so-called we are a collection of used jock straps. You, Donkey, calling for restoring OUR great country. You are a hypocrite in its purest degenerated form.

2 years ago
user
rumple4skin

" ... this President has stated on national TV (I heard him) that he is a Muslim..." BULLSHIT Myrna. This is simply not true. Cite one example. You cannot and have not.

2 years ago
user
richard philbrick

Pic of April...

2 years ago
user
richard philbrick

Yeah, just like crbob1 with his rightwing word vomit -- "Another far left wing liberal heard from.........take your "opinions" which should not have a place on Home Newsroom and peddle them to other liberals zero tolerance for "opinions" from someone who does not live in the U.S." Bob is EXACTLY the poster child for an Ugly American!!

2 years ago
user
April

How absolutely childish and disgusting richard. People are dying, loved ones grieving. Yes, America is dying. America is a Banana Republic now with the leadership of the last 7 plus years. Your comments are not only stupid and childish but have nothing to offer a serious topic. If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Sounds like you are part of the problem. Are you aware you are a guest in a polite culture? Ever wonder how the Ugly American sounds and acts????

2 years ago
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Myrna

Many of the racial problems started eight years ago when the US elected an African American for President. In addition to this I feel there is a big persecution of Christians and Jews in the US! Many of the present problems have come about because this President has stated on national TV (I heard him) that he is a Muslim by faith and the most "beautiful sound in the world is the Muslim call to worship/prayer in the morning"!.

2 years ago
user
RedNekTex

There is no such thing as a "30 round clip". Ignorance is not a good quality for writers. Mr. Sheinbaum is severely lacking in knowledge of two subjects: Freedom and guns.

2 years ago
user
Myrna

This writer talks about how the police not killing people in Costa Rica! That's because they run the other way at the sign of trouble. I know, lived there for 5 years. I was mugged on the street at 5:30 PM--with 2 policemen 1/2 block away! Called 911, nothing available because of the soccer game that night. Finally someone was able to flag down a taxi who took us (me with blood streaming from a head wound) to the emergency room of a hospital. Took 7 stitches to close the gash on my head. After that, when ever I went out on the street, I always carried my pepper spray in my hand with my finger on the trigger and showed it to possible would be attackers! They soon took off. I also had a policeman tell me there that I was very smart to visibly carry my pepper spray on the street.

2 years ago
user
Richard Charron

The writer has some valid points with many of which I agree. Like most well meaning individuals however he offers no new solutions "talk among yourselves". We could discuss forever the problems with fatherless families, underpaid police officers, gun control, etc. and not arrive at a perfect solution. It is going to take a landslide change in attitude by all involved and that requires leadership. I hate to make this political but the fact is that until we make some drastic changes in our political leadership we are doomed as the writer implies to more of the same old same old until reaching the implosion point which I suspect is not far down the road. There is no doubt that Obama has fueled this divisiveness with his rhetoric but he didn't invent racial strife he just helped to perpetuate it. Until we eliminate the we and they in both our talk and actions we can't begin to heal and restore our great country.

2 years ago
user
guy craig

A good stab at trying to discern the truth. At least it starts the discussion. In America there are problems which create or help create these incidents. There is a African cultural problem. There is an American police culture problem. There is a police training problem. There is a media problem. There is a black racial problem. There is a political problem. There is a criminal justice problem. Etc. All these problems come into play to create these incidents.

2 years ago
user
mhogan

I don't know if he's far left or a little misguided. Some of what he opines is valid (mayhem erupting with disrespect for law enforcement, decline in parental control) or plain bs (promoting pc at the expense of trying to erase the past and try to assuage a race that lacks the ability to forgive an injustice and move forward). Overall, not a bad analysis of the situation. Personally, I think the media is more at fault thsn mentioned.

2 years ago
user
richard philbrick

Bobbert --

2 years ago
user
richard philbrick

Always nice to hear from the lunatic right-wing fringe elements. Hold on a second, bobby

2 years ago
user
crbob1

Another far left wing liberal heard from.........take your "opinions" which should not have a place on Home Newsroom and peddle them to other liberals zero tolerance for "opinions" from someone who does not live in the U.S................

2 years ago
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