Tuesday, May 24, 2022
It occurs to me that part of the problem with law enforcement agencies is that we don't have a very clear idea of what it is that they should be tasked with. Crime prevention? Not really: a look at any penal code will establish that most criminal activity is either spontaneous or opportunistic. Criminal investigations? Sometimes, but frequently the police function primarily as a sort of publicly funded insurance adjustment agency. Public safety? Well, sort of, but this seems to be something that cops are poorly trained to do in many cases. Rethinking the role of the police seems to be what is called for, but I don't see that happening.
Monday, May 16, 2022
There is a great deal to be said about the May 14 mass shooting at the Jefferson Avenue Tops supermarket, but I am probably not the person to say much of it. I am angry, so I will limit my remarks to this: the person who gunned down my neighbors had access to combat level weapons and equipment. That is how this happened. The so-called "good guy with a gun", a retired cop who was one of the victims shot the murderer but the murderer's body armor protected him.
It would be great if we lived in a world where toxic bigotry and mental illness didn't exist. It would be a fine thing indeed if we addressed mental health care as it deserves to be addressed, but neither of these things are going to happen in the short term. Right now we can do something about the fact that hateful bigots have access to the instruments that this guy used. If we'd done that last year maybe the person who was at Tops buying a birthday cake- or any of the rest of those people- would be with us today.
Monday, May 02, 2022
To Santa Fe last week. I have never been to a place that felt so ancient. The old Spanish churches, built with technology learned from the Moors seem new by comparison. The landscape suggests a place that is nearly uninhabitable by humans, and even the lizard we saw on the hike seemed startled to find himself there. I suppose all animals deliberately leave some trace of themselves, to mark territory, to attract a mate, but here, at the top of a ridge we reached by scrambling over volcanic rock, a person or persons left their trace in the form of art, a uniquely human thing. These petroglyphs are nearly invisible until you are right upon them and the sunlight catches them just right, and then there they are, startling in there antiquity, a message from the past. I found myself experiencing mystical sensation that I have never felt before, a greeting from across millennia: "I was here. Now you are here."