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Monday, December 13, 2021

Recommended Reading

See The California Crime Wave: The state’s justice system has become a tragic joke by Michael Reagan (Patriot Post, December 10, 2021).  The beginning of the essay: 
My daughter has a nice little house in a safe neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley. 

Until recently she never really had to worry about crime or her personal safety. 

But now suburban places like hers in Northern California and Southern California are being hit by a crime wave that has never hit them before. 

 As you’ve seen on national TV, “smash-and-grab” gangs are hitting shopping malls like the one near her — the same one I often take my granddaughters to. 

And now there are even young thugs who’ll follow you home from the mall and break into your house.

It's no wonder my daughter is afraid to go out to her mailbox in the dark by herself....
Read the rest HERE.

"Smash-and-grab attacks" are not only occurring in California. See Spike in smash-and-grab attacks means bad news in store for shoppers (New York Post Editorial Board, November 21, 2021). 

In your view, what are the causes of these "smash-and-grab attacks"?

And what are the remedies?


  1. " ... a crime wave that has never hit them before ..."

    I always wonder what "never" means when I read a sentence like that. Often, its the work of a journalist with a very short memory.

    In general, reported crime rates have been on a downward trend since at least the 90s. You could compare the valley area's crime circa 2000 with recent LA crime figures, and the historical valley would look more dangerous. perfunctory yahoogle. I don't know the area and I know the figures never tell the whole story, but my policy is to distrust claims of trends which aren't supported by data. Subjective experience is valuable but very easily distorted by eg. nostalgia.

    1. Jez,
      You might want to explore the news links in this essay. You will also note that the White House has admitted that smash-and-grab attacks are really happening; San Francisco, Chicago, and NYC are specifically mentioned.

  2. This is what happens when communities elect prosecutors who won't prosecute.

    Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.
    - H. L. Mencken

  3. Particularly apropos today;

    "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary."

    ~~H.L. Mencken~~
    And I'm not referring to Smash and Grab.

  4. It beats working for a living. In childhood we learn/should learn that there are consequences of certain behaviors.
    Our country is now being taken over with sociopaths. They are unable to appreciate the consequences to others of their actions.
    Welcome to this amoral society.

  5. How true, but the line between malignant narcissist, sociopath and psychotic blurs. - as in , not all narcissists are sociopaths and not all sociopaths are psychotics, but all psychotics are narcissists with little to no difference between a sociopath and a psychotic. -

  6. This past summer I picked up a nice Keltec PLR-16 that can stop a smash and grabber for just under $2 a shot if you buy the 5.56×45 ammo in bulk.

  7. San Diego, which voted for Republican presidents 2008 and still has a large conservative population, has remained free of the "defund the police" mania and, not surprisingly, has not experienced mush in the way of these crime sprees. Our government is becoming increasingly Democrat, though, so I don't expect that to last much longer.

    1. That should be "voted for Republican presidents until 2008."

  8. Posited Causes:

    1) More and more American "workers" have become "superfluous" as capital would prefer to employ machine automation rather than human workers resulting in huge government subsidization of unemployed and idle workers.

    2) Open borders have led to stagnant and declining wages for low and unskilled workers

    3) American jobs were transferred overseas and the "service" economy is largely low pay/ high aggravation.

    4) The cost of acquiring and/or learning marketable skills has been priced into the stratosphere no thanks to Government allowing their loans to over-en-debten the gullible.

    5) Sources of capital favor large/ on-going concerns (not entrepreneurs) and most people have not developed an entrepreneurial spirit that would allow them to succeed (ie - the gig economy titans provide this entrepreneurial knowledge for a large wage/ profit percentage)

    6) The culture emphasizes work-to-rent instead of work-to-own and is paid by advertisers to encourage workers to "consume entertainment" rather than invest in self-work to develop competitive products.

    7) The culture hypes the lifestyles of the rich and imbue the common people with a sense of entitlement to the finer things.

    8) The modern heroic narrative omits all mention of likely death and failure. The hero always succeeds and emerges from violence unscathed.

    I could go on...

    1. 9) Capitalism was built upon a Protestant work ethic (Mex Weber). The current culture reviles evangelical Protestantism (just ask mr. ducky) and ridicules the "asceticism" required to "practice" or "promulgate" either faith (Protestantism or Capitalism).

      Weber believed that modernity was the result of the secularization of this Protestant/Calvinist religion.

      Protestantism encouraged people to ‘find God for themselves’. Protestantism taught that silent reflection, introspection and prayer were the best ways to find God. This (unintentionally, and over many years) encouraged Protestants to adopt a more ‘individualistic’ attitude to their religion by seeking their own interpretations of Christianity.


      Calvinism preached the doctrine of predestination: God had basically already decided who was going to heaven (‘the saved) before they were born. Similarly, he had also already decided who the damned were – whether or not you were going to hell had already been decided before your birth.

      This fatalistic situation raised the question of how you would know who was saved and who was damned. Fortunately, Calvinism also taught that there was a way of figuring this out: there were indicators which could tell you who was more likely to be saved, and who was more likely to be damned.

      Simply put, the harder you worked, and the less time you spent idling and/ or engaged in unproductive, frivolous activities, then the more likely it was that you were one of those pre-chosen for a life in heaven. This is because, according to Calvinist doctrine, God valued hard-work and a ‘pure-life’ non-materialistic life.

      According to Weber this led to a situation in which Calvinist communities encouraged work for the glory of God, and discouraged laziness and frivolity. Needless to say there was quite a motivation to stick to these ethical codes, given that hell was the punishment if you didn’t.

      Over the decades, this ‘work-ethic’ encouraged individuals and whole communities to set up businesses, and re-invest any money they earned to grow these businesses (because it was a sin to spend the money you’d made on enjoying yourself), which laid the foundations for modern capitalism.

      Weber argued that over the following centuries, the norm of working hard and investing in your business became entrenched in European societies, but the old religious ideas withered away. Nonetheless, if we take the longer term view, it was still the Protestant work ethic which was (unintentionally) responsible for the emergence of Capitalism.

    2. ...and so when a CHARISMATIC leader like Trump emerges from celebrity soil and gains CHARISMA, all bureaucratic forces of officialdom and maintenance of this status quo rally in opposition to crush/defeat him.

      Gemende - an organized group subject to a charismatic authority or charismatic community based upon an emotional form of communal relationship (Vergemeinschaftung).

      It is sharply opposed to rational and bureaucratic authority.

      Charismatic want satisfaction is a typically anti-economic force... it constitutes an irregular unsystemtic act.

    3. Obama was a charismatic leader for alienated black American youth and minorities, Lenin for alienated German, British, and Russian workers, Mao for Chinese peasants, and Trump for American nationalist/ traditionalists.

    4. Trump still has something that Biden will NEVER have... charismatic authority

    5. FJ I don't disagree with any of the issues you listed, but I think the most significant factor is a lack of consequences.
      If prosecutors don't prosecute and a perp gets out with no bail, why not continue?

    6. I'm sure that is a factor as well, EastBayLarry.

    7. btw - What part of the East Bay? I used to live on the East Side of San Jose near Milpitas.

    8. Nice. I've got cousins in Sunnyvale and a brother in Ben Lomond south of you.

    9. ps - I still love the Eastbay sounds of War and Santana...


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