Friday, June 13, 2014
A few random things
I've got a few mostly unrelated things on my mind this evening. None of which I want to make a whole blog post on so I'm lumping them in all together.
This evening there's a SWAT team in my old hometown neighborhood. A woman came into the police station complaining of a domestic assault. Okay, that's serious. The police wanted to talk to her partner. Makes sense. In the past one or two cops would go talk to the guy. Now they send in a whole SWAT team to search the apartment. This is in a town of 10,000 people. If cops have a SWAP team, by golly they are going to find an excuse to use it. Makes me wonder about all the crazy situations police departments are going to get into now that so many of them now have former military equipment. They will find some excuse to roll out the tanks.
Then I was thinking about homelessness. Having a place to call home is the cornerstone of being in control of one's life. With a secure place to live it's then possible to get one's act together. Society should embrace any alternative housing options that make it possible for people to get off the streets. Instead, the whole mortgage/taxes, apartment/landlord, models are rigorously defended. People who try to live in micro housing have great difficult finding sites where they can put them. Mobile living can be hard. It's not that hard to convert a bus into a home. Finding a place where one can park long term for free can be difficult indeed. People living on old boats are harassed to move on. They spoil the view. Authorities even bulldoze the tents of homeless people. They can't even have that.
Another thing that got the gears turning is the extreme technological leaps that were made during WWII. The US had the Manhattan Project to harness the power of the atom. German had a whole string of innovations: Jet planes, rockets, massive guns -whole programs for inventing super weapons. Japan had huge submarine aircraft carriers that could have bombed the US mainland. They were deployed too late in the war to see combat,but they were built. Now if only that kind of will was put to bear on peace time problems. Amazing solutions could be found in very little time. Perhaps we lack the sense of urgency a war provides. Maybe when we find ourselves with our backs against the wall solutions will be found.
If there's any link at all between these things, besides residing in the same twisted mind, is that concern the problems of the human condition. It's how we approach the world, how we solve problems, and what we focus our energy on.