Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mann v Steyn

Being entirely amused by Michael Mann's reaction to Mark Steyn's NRO post on the hockey stick and comparisons to Jerry Sandusky, I sent Mann's lawyer a letter.  No reply as yet.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Gates of Hell?

Rich Benjamin of Demos has a NYT Op-Ed on the evils of gated communities.  James Taranto of the WSJ calls Benjamin out.  I found the piece a tired leftist screed and I wrote Benjamin to say so:

“Under assault, I didn’t dream of harming my teenage assailant, let alone taking his life.”
What a money quote!
As you must know – you’re obviously a thoughtful and intelligent man, though I fear many things you think true are simply, tragically, wrong -- herein lies the difference between you and a responsible citizen.
When that young man robbed you, with a gun, threatening, whether you acknowledge it or not, your life, you were legally and morally entitled to take his. In any society worth living in, indeed in any society that hopes for long term survival, such must be the rule. Note that this does not equal "I wish that mugger were dead." I don't know, and neither do you, whether he went on with his career in armed robbery, or perhaps graduated to murder, so I can't opine on the harm your not having stopped him on that occasion caused. I wonder, if you knew he had subsequently murdered someone, perhaps a child, would you feel any guilt for your passivity?
I've never shot anyone and I don't wish to. I don’t live in a gated community, but my subdivision does employ an active security patrol which aggressively protects the lives and property of residents. Until burglary, robbery, rape, kidnapping, assault and murder drop to zero in my neighborhood, I'll cheerfully pay my share of the cost.
Since you shared a personal anecdote, I will too. About three years ago, the wife of my best friend, mother of three children under 7, was walking through our neighborhood at about 7 a.m. She was snatched off the street and placed in the trunk of a car. Luckily, the kidnappers were using a rented vehicle equipped with a safety release inside the trunk. My friend freed herself and escaped into the home of a neighbor. Subsequent investigation revealed that two masterminds cooked up a plan, to kidnap women from a rich neighborhood for ransom, while sharing a jail cell following another violent crime. Had my friend been armed, should she not have been able to shoot her kidnappers before they stowed her in the trunk?
Particularly given your association with Demos, I suspect the views you express go hand in hand with the tiresome narratives of the modern American Left: Marxist tropes about the unfairness of capitalism and private property; dissatisfaction with equality under the law leading to demands for equality of outcomes; more and more wealth redistribution (Query why those with contempt for wealth want to grab it for themselves and others); contempt for any non-governmental solution.
Your piece drips with contempt for those you deem provincial. Consider that the Left -- in academia, in journalism, in think tanks -- is more provincial than a backwoods moonshiner.
Joe McDermott
Houston, Texas

I'll post any reply I get.