This Is Indeed Poway

Why the Synagogue Shooting Happened There

The mayor of Poway, California, Steve Vaus by name, went on the air to say that the synagogue shooting on the last day of Passover was not representative of Poway. “This is not Poway,” he said. I beg to differ from him.

My own personal experience of Poway was a negative one. When I worked for Urban Decision Systems in the 1990s, we had to let our secretary go: She was getting too old. Her family had her move to Poway, and I went to visit her there. My impression of the town north of San Diego was that it was a sterile racially homogeneous suburban upper class slum. I hated the place and could hardly wait to leave. And that was over twenty years ago!

Now this type of place is a natural for a racist, bigoted shooter. It is easy to develop a hatred for Jews or Muslims or immigrants or African-Americans—if everyone around you is lily white and drinks the same Kool Aid as you do. They’re all in the same bubble.

I’ve read an interesting article in The New Yorker about what the Chinese are doing to keep dissidents from embarrassing the government at inopportune times:

While Presidemt Xi Jinping played host to African dignitaries in the Great Hall of the People, the police played host to [dissident Zha Jianguo] at various scenic spots in the province of Hubei, about a thousand kilometers away. A number of other Beijing activists and civil-rights lawyers … were treated to similar trips….

This practice is known as bei lüyou, “to be touristed.”

I begin to think the Chinese have the right idea. White racists should “be touristed” for several weeks at a time, perhaps to South Africa or Honduras or Afghanistan or even Israel. The idea is that no white person should be so ensconced in his bubble that he does not understand how people who are different need not be conceived of as being threatening.

On my vacations, I have visited a number of what our Presidente would call “shithole countries.” I have come to admire the Latin-American peoples to the south of us. They have been excellent hosts during my travels and more knowledgeable about us than we typically are of them.


Fast and Furious

Too Many Tragedies

Too Many Tragedies in Too Short a Time Frame

It seems that flags have been at half mast for so long— beginning with the Dallas police shootings—that one no longer knows which disaster is being commemorated. With the 24-hour news cycle, the shootings are coming fast and furious, and the border between events is being blurred.

When one big news event happens, it triggers a news orgy in which the particular story fills all the news time until it is abruptly replaced by the next disaster. I cannot help but think that all the breaking news stories work on the minds of disturbed individuals, making them think that a mass shooting would be a good idea.

I don’t think the perpetrators do it with suicide in mind, but, hey, their minds don’t work all that well anyhow. The San Bernardino shooters, for instance, thought they could stage a getaway. If one is unable to reason well, one gets a certain amount of magical thinking going that, once “the point” has been made, an escape path is possible. Killing multiple human beings with a Bushmaster, however, is so traumatic that it isn’t likely that the shooters could waltz out of the slaughterhouse they have created.

So I never ask why the flag is at half mast any more. It might as well always be at half mast. I wonder if the person who raises and lowers the flag even knows.


Shooters, Shooters Everywhere

Shooter Paul Anthony Ciancia

Airport Shooter Paul Anthony Ciancia

Just as the Christmas shopping season is about to begin, people are newly afraid to go to shopping centers, airports, and other public places because of the growing trend of what the New Jersey police call “Suicide by Cop.” Some unbalanced person gets a cache of firearms with enough bullets to depopulate a mid-sized town and then goes on a shooting spree until he is felled by the police. In the meantime, a number of innocent people who just had the misfortune of being there at the time lie dead or wounded on the ground.

For this trend, we must thank the members of the National Rifle Association (NRA) for their desire to promote the sale of firearms to certifiable loonies and, in general, to deteriorate the quality of life in America. The pudgy-fingered, middle-aged members of the NRA are accessories to murder and mayhem, which they defend by referring to themselves as a militia per the Second Amendment. Since when are militias created to thin the population of innocent men, women, and children? I am sure that Wayne La Pierre and other gun whores have what they consider to be a perfectly legitimate argument. To which I counter thus: There was a time when this sort of thing didn’t happen. You gun fanciers made it possible and, in fact, easy. Therefore you are responsible.

After November 15, I avoid visiting shopping centers and other places where people congregate to buy gifts. I feel sorry for the so-called brick-and-mortar retail establishments because I feel that their influence on American culture will eventually wane. For years now, I have done virtually all my holiday shopping on the Internet. It is just not worth exposing Martine and myself to well-armed fruitcakes in large target-rich public places. And, besides, the parking has always been a major hassle.

So, is it possible that the shooters will put an end to most public manifestations of Christmas? That’s something to think about. After all, the trend is nowhere near dying down. If there’s one thing the United States is richly endowed with, it’s lunatics.