I received my schedule for Acton University from June 16-19 in Grand Rapids, MI. The Acton Institute studies the spiritual relationship between men and governance. It seeks to promote a free and virtuous world and understand man's role in the world.
I have no idea if it is too late to sign up but I will keep everyone up-to-date with how things are going.
Here is my schedule (the complete course schedule can be found here):
Tuesday: Dinner - Thoughts on Human Dignity
Wednesday: Christian Anthropology; Limited Government and the Rule of Law; The Economic Way of Thinking; Myths about the Market; Dinner - The American Founding and Natural Law
Thursday: Wealth and Poverty in the Christian Scriptures; Introduction to Protestant Social Thought; Islam, Markets, and the Free Society; The Economics of Health Care; Dinner - TBD
Friday: Non-profit Leadership; Stewardship and Charitable Giving; Lutheran Social Thought; Faculty Panel Discussion; Dinner - Piety and Technique
I will try to check in and tell you how things are going and I'm sure it will challenge me and my beliefs. I can't begin to express my excitement for the upcoming school.
In a true jack-booted thug moment, four armed marshals in black
raided Lozman's houseboat at the Riviera Beach Municipal Marina and
towed it down to Miami, leaving Lozman homeless and without all his
possessions. They also seized the former U.S. Marine pilot's three
guns, which he owns legally.
I am posting this as a followup to Eric Parks' great post: A Thin Blue Line? When I read his article it reminded me of one below that I wrote about four years ago. While I agree with Eric's take on this, I do wonder if the semantic oddity that I described in my piece has not in some way injected a certain confusion into the role of being a law enforcement officer. I'll let my old story do the talking and leave it up to you to consider, or not.
The Usual Suspects?
Somewhere along the line the meaning of the word “suspect”
was lost. Like so many words during this
era of Political Correctness it has morphed into something almost
unrecognizable in a great many cases.
According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary the definition of the word is
Suspect ~ A:[noun] one that is
suspected;especially: a person suspected of a crime / B:[adjective]
1 : regarded or deserving to be regarded with suspicion: SUSPECTED2 : DOUBTFUL, QUESTIONABLE / C:[transitive verb] 1 : to
imagine (one) to be guilty or culpable on slight evidence or without proof2 : to have doubts of : DISTRUST3 : to imagine to exist or be true, likely,
or probable / D:[intransitive verb] - to imagine something to be.
Now, hold that thought
while you read this:
“A Tyler man embroiled in a bitter child support dispute opened
fire Thursday on his ex-wife and son with a high-powered rifle, killing the
woman and a bystander who attempted to intervene.
Several people, including three lawmen, were wounded in the
exchange, which began about 1:25 p.m. outside the Smith County Courthouse.
Police ultimately shot and killed David Hernandez Arroyo Sr. after
he fired repeatedly at officers during a two-mile chase that ended off U.S.
The 43-year-old suspect, who was wearing multiple layers of
body armor, died in a hail of police gunfire after authorities rammed his
pickup and he emerged, gun raised and firing.”
Ahem, hello?Just what was Mr. Arroyo “suspected” of?Unless the folks in Tyler suspected that he
was a member of a cross-dressing murder cult or something, I’d say there are few
suspicious factors in this case.But
that is what suspect(s) are these days; the ‘presumed innocent’ ride the same
linguistic bus as the ‘known to be guilty’.
I am not sure where it all
started, but this case is by no means unique these days. Perhaps this oddity is
the result of the lingo of sensitivity-trained cops creeping into the media
lexicon?I don’t know.However, I do know when this phenomenon
caught my notice in a glaring way.It
was when I turned on the TV and saw news footage showing a guy shooting some
lawyer.Apparently, the TV film crew
happened to be there when this disgruntled citizen decided to shoot an attorney
he had a problem with (everyone’s dream).He didn’t just shoot him once, but chased him about until the scene
consisted of the assailant shooting his victim around the trunk of a tree.I watched in awe as the shooter walked
briskly past the cameras until he was tackled by a good Samaritan and held
until police arrived to take the “suspect” into custody.Yes, I also watched and listened with awe as
the leading man in this murderous movie was referred to as the suspect in
virtually every piece of media coverage.SUSPECT?What the hell?
Look, the ‘presumption of
innocence’ thing is all good, but where does common sense enter in?However, only if there is any reasonable
doubt of guilt should an individual be afforded the title of suspect.If you commit a crime, live, on camera, in
front of dozens of live witnesses and/or on national TV, then I think that a
word other than suspectis in
order.In such cases I would like to
suggest those old standby’s like “killer”, “assailant”, “mugger”, etc.
Now, maybe I sound
old-fashioned or even draconian to the tender minds of this sorry time, but if
it makes you feel any better, you didn't read this.You are just suspected of it.
O.K. RSE team. We’re WAY behind Michael, although I have every confidence that we’ll start making up some of the gap in this next week. All of the miles this week belong to Georg or me and my family. Any miles others may want to turn in from last week, I’ll add to next week’s numbers.
I’ve managed to start racking up the miles on our recumbent exercise bike (similar, although an older model, to the one linked).
I’m feeling stronger, and decided after my 45 minute bike ride today (15 miles—not included in the past week’s numbers) that I’m going to start doing a little bit of strength training on our old Bowflex (similar, again, although ours is a 12-15 year old model, so a little bit different in style), as well. THAT piece of equipment has been used in bursts over the time that we’ve had it—used quite a bit for a while, and then not at all for a long time…maybe if I can stay motivated now, that will change. Life circumstances have changed, giving me more time that I could, at least, carve out for “workouts” (although I really hate that idea).
I’d go out walking, although there was an unconfirmed sighting of a mountain lion on the Doane College campus on Friday. I think it’s unlikely, but given that the college campus is mere blocks from my house, I’m inclined not to be out walking on the country roads around here by myself…
Once again, Laura is playing with the look of the blog. Sometimes I just need to move the furniture around. And sometimes, I decide that I liked it better the old way—and sometimes I find that I like it in the new configuration. Let me know if you have any strong reactions—negative or positive about the new arrangement.
LRC has a link in their blog this morning to a cop's take at the news coverage concerning the beating of a allegedly subdued or unconscious suspect. I decided to read the entire article with as much of an open mind as I could muster. The author admits, to his credit, that the actions of the officers may have been wrong but then goes on to lament the backlash by society. Sadly, I just couldn't subscribe to the gent's point-of-view. He gave ample reasons for why the beating of a motionless body took place and all of it sounded feasible to a point. The thing is, it never rang true when held up to my perception regarding the concept of the rule of law.
When a cop arrests someone or questions someone for their allegedly illegal actions, don't the excuses start rolling off the tongue of the suspect? Does the cop arrest the person for the illegality of the misdeed or does he let the suspect go since the reasons for the action taken make sense? The excuses for bludgeoning a prostrate hooligan may be well-founded in the eyes of officers everywhere who "understand" things that we ignorant citizens may not; things like adrenaline rushes and scumbags with long rap sheets. Yet, I still must ask: what does justice demand? If immediate dispensing of punishment is justice, then for what do we need a justice system?
Here's a snippet that gave me pause:
But frankly, I’m nostalgic for the days when the pursued feared the judicial system if for nothing but the inevitable ass-kicking and street justice. H.L. Mencken would call it cathartic; Twain might find it comparable to his allegorical man who carries a cat by the tail (thereby learning “something he can learn in no other way”).
The word, inevitable, connotes guilt on behalf of the suspect by the officers. What ever happened to "Tell it to the judge"? Maybe such a line is just a bit of duplicity from Hollywood to help keep us mere serfs feeling comfortable that justice exists in this country. As for Mencken's or Twain's thoughts on the subject, well, it's just a bit presumptuous to toss in some deceased writers as allies based on what they might have thought. However, this seems in keeping with the inherent spirit of the article which attempts to justify making things up as one goes along. Notice too that the scenario which the cop is defending is described by his own hand as street justice. Again, if such justice is legitimate, why arrest anyone outside of the fraternity for dispensing same? Can not all action then be justified?
I couldn't shake the irony of the piece in its entirety. A cop is angry at the street justice being dispensed in the court of public opinion wherein his fellow officers are being found to be guilty as charged. He desires a fair shake in that realm as he lists his reasons for why it should be OK to beat the snot out of allegedly deserving criminals. Yet society is having none of it as they type and speak nasty rhetorical blows aimed at his colleagues instead.
Maybe the calm and insightful chamber of a genuine courtroom is the best and ONLY place for justice to be served after all.
I realize we started the effort a little late (or at least without much warning), but if you’ve got ANY miles to add to our side of the effort (bloggers and readers, alike), since Monday, send the numbers to me today. (We may be a little on the low side this week, since most of us didn’t have the opportunity to plan ahead for the added miles in our day.) I’ll add those to the ones I’ve got, and post a chart. I think we’ll start appreciating just what Michael is doing.