Monday, September 29, 2014

Roots of Partisan Conservatism

Here in the former colonies (ie The United States), there is a large group of people called "conservatives" who use free market rhetoric and the image of the US Founders but who systematically fail to discuss free market solutions for our nation's problem and systematically undermine the American Experiment in self rule.

I believe strongly in the ideals of the US Founders and the direction set by their Experiment in Self Rule. As conservatives systematically undermine this experiment, I've set into exploring the origins of this strange partisan ideology.

A likely source of the partisan ideology called "Conservatism" is the Conservative Party of the United Kingdom. This Wikipedia Article claims that the Conservative Party was established in 1834, preceded by The Tories. The Tories, as you might recall, were the people aligned against the US Founders in the US Revolution.

The Conservative Party evolved directly from the group aligned against the US Founders.

This strange partisan ideology of Conservatism is the ideology that evolved within this Conservative Party.

In the UK, the Liberal Party was established in 1859 from the Whig Party. The UK Liberal Party was the primary opposition of the Conservative Party from 1859 to 1988 when it was replaced by a leftist party called the Labour Party. The Liberal Party of the UK developed a partisan ideology called "modern liberalism" which is fundamentally at odds with the ideals of the US Founders and with common sense and reason. The Labour Party has abandoned all pretense of defending liberty and is out in left field.

Truthfully, I don't care a lick about English politics. England is the concern of the English. I love the US Founders and the American Experiment in self rule.

The greatest threat to the American Experiment are the loud people who've committed themselves to the struggle between Liberals and Conservatives. This partisan dichotomy is an import from the old world. The false dichotomy itself is antithetical to liberty. One does not find truth on any part of the spectrum of a false dichotomy. A moderate committed to a false dichotomy is as false as the extremes. The only defense against false dichotomies is to call out and reject the dichotomy.

This false dichotomy that dominates all aspects of American politics came from outside the United States.

The US Founders despised the factions of Europe. Conservatives, who've carte-blanche accepted the partisan ideology of conservatism haven't a clue about what they are doing.

Conservatives are not defending the ideals of the US Founders. Conservatives are simply using free market rhetoric and the image of the founders to advance a partisan cause that is harmful to American freedoms.

I have to repeat this about the US Founders: The US Founders had a liberal arts education based on classical logic and steeped in Christian Ethics. They applied their liberal arts education to the question of liberty and came up with a Constitutionally Limited Government whose primary objective was to protect the liberty of the people. I like to call this approach to governance "classical liberalism."

Wikipedia defines classical liberalism as: "a political philosophy and ideology belonging to liberalism in which primary emphasis is placed on securing the freedom of the individual by limiting the power of the government. "

Now, the US Founders predate the age of ideology. I personally find it problematic to call the founders' ideals an "ideology" when ideology is a construct of the French Revolution. But we must have a name for the Founder's approach to governance. Trying to call the US Founders "conservative" makes no sense as they were in direct conflict with the Tories. Calling them "liberal" makes no sense either as modern liberalism is a partisan ideology that came after the founders.

The best defense for the ideals of the US Founders is for people to understand the perversion of political ideas that took place in the early 1800s that led to the Conservative/Liberal partisan dichotomy.

The US Founders had a liberal arts education based on classical logic. The generation after the founders adopted a new style of think often called "modern logic." Yes, I know, modern logic came from the German University System. The Hanoverian Kings of England were German and funded the universities that conceived modern logic. The Hanoverian Kings charged the universities with the cause of making the monarchy look progressive. Modern progressivism is a belief that society progresses through economic and political centralization and the suppression of individual liberty.

This modern logic is often associated with Hegel. Hegel's modern logic places paradox at the foundation of reason and conflict at its surface (dialectics). Marx used the term "material dialectics" for his base philosophy. Marx was interested in fomenting revolution. To foment revolution, he used dialectics to create a false dichotomy to divide the people. In the tome Das Kapital, Marx (who moved to England in 1945) created a perversion of the free market called "Capitalism" in which corrupt financial system cornered the means of productions and created a class society. Marx then wrote "The Manifesto" to rally people against the system he created in Das Kapital.

The Conservative Party loves the idea of a class society and began arguing for Marx's Capitalism.

In the United States, we have a large number of people called Conservatives screaming at the top of their lungs a hatred for liberalism and a defense for Marx's Capitalism while wondering what is going wrong with the United States.

If you are an American Conservative wondering what is going wrong in America; you can find the answer by looking the mirror. That person who screams a hatred for "liberalism" and defending Marx's Das Kapital is an ignoramus who hasn't researched the origins of these ideologies.

If you are a partisan waving the Constitution; you need to sit down and read the Constitution asking the basic question: What does the Constitution have to say about the parties.

The parties that dominate politics are not in the Constitution. Read the Federalist Papers and you will find that the US Founders disliked partisanship.

Liberalism is not the problem and conservatism is not the solution, or visa-versa. The Left/Right dichotomy and partisan ideology is the problem. The solution is to reject the false dichotomy and to launch head first into a substantive debate about ways for a free society to move forward.

Plain and simple: The answers will not be found in modern conservatism, modern liberalism, modern progressivism, Marx's Capitalism, Communism, Socialism or any of the off shoots of modern logic. This modern system of thought has proven corrupt and failed at every turn.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Justified Lethal Force

In the same week as the Darrien Hunt shooting, police in Louisiana shot a man with a weapon that was first described as a machete then as a Samurai sword.

Earlier today, Mark Vaughan shot and killed a black man (Alton Nolen) who had just beheaded one of his coworkers with a knife at the food processing plant where Nolen had recently been fired. Reports claim that Nolen had tried to convert his coworkers to Islam bringing up the possibility that event in Moore, Oklahoma was a lone wolf terrorist attack.

Mark Vaughan, CEO of Vaughan Foods and a reserve deputy sheriff, is quite clearly a hero for stepping in and stopping a murder spree.

Had Mark Vaughan shot Alton Nolen as he was attacking his first victim, Vaughan would still be a hero but social media would be abuzz with another white on black killing.

Do people actually have to die before we can separate just police actions from the unjust?

We want to live in a society where police protect us. Personally, I tend to side with the police in most matters.

This brings up the big question of how one can separate true actions of defense from police brutality.

Pineville, Louisiana Incident

Reports claim that on September 8, 2014 there was an officer involved shooting involving a man in underwear with a sharp samurai style sword. The reports claim that officers were responding to a man who threatened people with the sword and that the witnesses in the event clearly heard the officers asking the alleged assailant to drop the weapon. Apparently, the man was shot in the front.

The site The Town Talk has an interview with Joe Morris, head of the Criminal Justice Department at Northwestern State University, about the continuum of force. It has the bizarre statement: "You start where the other person forces you to start. If a suspect is within 21 feet of an officer, deadly force is justified."

This statement "If a suspect is within 21 feet of an officer, deadly force is justified" really seems off to me.

The idea that being within 21 feet of a police officer puts one in a "justified kill zone" is strange. Likewise, a person with a gun over twenty one feet with a gun is a big if not bigger danger than a person with a blade within 21 feet.

I do not think there is an objective measurement that can separate justified shootings from unjustified ones and that we have to look at the situation surrounding the event. For example, in the Louisiana shooting, reports from witnesses claim to have heard the officers tell the suspect to drop the weapon and that the suspect charge the police seem to justify defensive actions on the part of the officers.

On counterpoint, the relatives of the slain man say he was actually quite small ... under 125 lbs. In the Ferguson shooting, Mike Brown weighed over 300 lbs and was much more intimidating. IMHO, the relative size of the officer and suspect matter.

The police have a duty to protect the public. The public is correct in scrutinize any use of deadly force. The public is right to call out oddities in officer involved shootings. For example, the witnesses in the Darrien Hunt shooting claim to have heard people talking in normal voices and Mr. Hunt was shot in the back.

External facts such as race, size of the victim, and radical beliefs should play a role. Alton Nolen changed his name to Jah'Keem Yisrael. His facebook page shows images of beheadings which he believed were sanctified by the prophet. Alton Nolen's religious beliefs are involved in the Oklahoma shooting. The primary cause of the Louisiana shooting appears to be alcohol.

These two different blade related incident shows that blade wielding victims pose a great challenge for police. Personally, I think play acting with swords is foolish. That said, when one can't find circumstances outside the shooting, the public needs to scrutinize the shooting and the Darrien Hunt shooting still seems off to me.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Highly High

Matt Schauerhamer, one of the police officers involved in the Darrien Hunt shooting, wrote a strange article in the Crossroads Journal equating the Rastafarian Movement with the drug culture and consequently with evil.

Schauerhamer's article contrasts people who dress like cowboys, a thing he sees as a good image, with those dressing like Bob Marley, a thing Schauerhamer sees as a bad image. The juicy meat of the article is the following:

Having George Strait’s greatest hits on your iPod doesn’t mean you’re a cowboy. However, if your child is listening to Bob Marley’s "Kaya," is wearing a Bob Marley shirt with Bob Marley on it smoking a joint, has a Bob Marley poster in his room, and is wearing a Rasta hat (red, yellow and green), it is highly likely your child is highly high. If they have Rasta colored anything, it is a good bet your child uses or hangs out with drug users.

The article brought up an interesting point. Living here in Utah, I know very little of Rastafarian beliefs beyond the popular image in the media. Rather than ragging on the Saratoga Springs PD, I decided to spend the day researching this belief.

This quote comes from a BBC piece on the Rastafarian beliefs:
Rastafarians believe that God makes himself known through humanity. According to Jagessar "there must be one man in whom he exists most eminently and completely, and that is the supreme man, Rastafari, Selassie I."

This idea is quite Platonic. Plato's theory of forms would imply that there is a man who best represents the ideal form of humanity. There have been branches of Christianity that held that Jesus was the ideal form of man.

Rastafarian beliefs, like many other belief systems, runs back to ancient Israel but are manifest through the modern figure: Haile Selassie I.

Haile Selassie I was born Tafari Makonnen Woldemikal. He became "Emperor of Ethiopia" in 1930 with claims to be part of a dynasty reaching back to King Solomon and Queen Makeda (the Queen of Sheba). The term "Rastafari" is derived from the title Ras and Haile Selassie's first name "Tafari."

Haile Selassie, himself, was a member of the Ethiopian Orthodox Christian Church which is a branch of the Coptic Christian Church.
Fascist Italy invaded Ethiopia in December 1934. The smaller and poorly equipped Ethiopia maintained a strong defence but eventually fell in 1936 after which Selassie became a strong leader against fascism and the use of chemical weapons. Haile Selassie was immensely among African Americans in the United States.
Haile Selassie returned to Ethiopia in 1941 marching under the banner of The Lion of Judah after which he set forth on a variety of progressive reforms such as the end of slavery. Haile Selassie was an advocate of collective defense and sent troops to aid the allies in the Korean War, but was also both anti-colonialist and a leader in the Non-Aligned Movement.

Attempts at land reformed and progressive taxation failed. In the 1970s, famine took the lives of 40,000 and Haile's Selassie's regime soon fell to a Marxist revolution in 1974. In an event called "Black Saturday" a radical group called The Derg executed 60 members of Ethiopia's imperial government and declared the end of the Solomonic Dynasty. Haile Selassie died a year later after a prostate operation. The Soviet backed Derg ruled Ethiopia until 1991.

In the various articles I've read bout Ras Tafari, he sounds like a great man who stood against slavery, who stood against fascism, who stood against colonialism, and who stood against communism. The people who admire Ras Tafari have a great role model.

The Rastafarian Movement took hold in Jamaica a half world away from Ethopia, but I could see a people watching Haile Selassi thrilled with a fairly consistent campaign for human compassion and social justice.

To hear the highly bigoted Matt Schauerhamer from Saratoga Springs, Utah labelling the admirers of Ras Tafari as drug dealers make my skin crawl.

Ras Tafari clearly played a central role in defeating Fascism and in the stand against Communism. Living in intellectual backwash of Utah, I am left wondering why I haven't heard Haile Selassie held up as one of the great leaders of the last generation.

Now, my progressive professors were for the Communists of Ethiopia. So they would despise Haile Selassie. He was a member of the Coptic Christian Church which is reviled by the Western Churches. They would ignore the man. My Mormon professors held that people with black skin bear the Mark of Cain and should be reviled. The mainstream media and Hollywood generally associate Rastafarian with reggae music and drugs.

Personally, I dislike the monarchy and I am suspect of anyone who holds titles, especially titles like Duke, Ras or Emperor. Beyond that, the history of Haile Selassia shows a person who played a vital role in standing against tyranny. I have a very strong admiration of members of the Coptic Church who've stood against some of the worst tyrannies of the modern age. If you are a Rastafarian; I applaud you for having a great role model. Wear your colors proud. I would hold your role model over the polygamists Joseph Smith and Brigham Young any day.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Up until Ron Paul's disastrous run for the presidency in 2012, The Campaign for Liberty was one of the brightest stars in the liberty movement. C4L threw all of its political clout into Ron Paul campaign and completely fell apart during the GOP primary.

I kept following the group and was delighted to find that there was a C4L Meeting in Salt Lake last week.

The meeting was one of the most pathetic events I've attended and a week later I am still depressed by what I saw.

One guy in the group kept repeating that "we need to kill them." Another loud voice kept saying "no, we need to castrate them."

There was a loud argument about who hated the police more. Three people in the room were really upset about police for three different reasons and launched into informal shouting to see who could display the most anger.

Personally, I have nothing against passion, but I tend to prefer reason.
I believe that, if there was a group that discussed free market solutions to the problems of the day, that group might have an impact.

The closest that the meeting came to reason was a soft spoken women who was upset about legislatures veering from the Constitution and wondered why the mainstream media never talks about free agency as it appears in the Constitution.

Well, umm, err, uh ...

The reason you rarely hear people outside Utah talk about Free Agency in the Constitution is because Free Agency is not from the Constitution.

Free Agency is a dialectical trick created by Joseph Smith.  The idea of Free Agency is similar to the dialectical tricks used by Hegel (1770-1831) a generation before Joseph Smith (1805-1844).

Because I'm depressed, I will repeat the evolution of Free Agency.

The Constitution was written by the US Founders in 1787. The founds had a Liberal Arts education steeped in classical logic and Christian Ethics. They applied classical logic to the question of liberty and created a Republic with a Constitutionally Limited Government. I like to call the application of classical logic to the question of liberty "Classical Liberalism."

The conservatives of 1776 supported the monarchy. Conservatives stood shoulder to shoulder with the British and leveled their musket fire at the US Founders.

The Hanoverian Kings of England (King George I, II, III ...) were from Germany. They funded the Germany University system. After the American Revolution, they task the German University system with making the monarchy appear progressive. Hegel provides the example of the thought produced by this reactionary movement.

Hegel invented a new paradox ridden way of thought called "modern logic."

A primary difference between classical and modern logic is the role of paradox. Classical thinkers sought to limit paradoxes.

Most concepts create paradoxes. For example, if I united one half of a community against the other half then I used the language of unity to create division.

Freedom leads to multiple paradoxes. Simply ask the question: "Does my freedom entitle me to take others as slaves?"

Republics have a paradox: What if a Republic votes in a dictator seeking to end the Republic?

Hegel loved word games that presented freedom as slavery and slavery freedom. For example Hegel might argue that the slave owner might become a slave to the plantation while the slaves were able to live carefree lives. (IMHO both Hegel and his followers and foolish).

Classical liberals disliked paradoxes. They realized that there best hope at nurturing a free society would be to created a Constitutionally limited government whose primary charge was to protect the liberty of the people. (They failed to address the horrific institution of slavery).

A group applied Hegelian Dialectics to the term liberal. They concluded that if freedom is slavery and slavery freedom, then people would somehow achieve a greater liberty if they sought economic and political centralization. (Did I mention that I think Hegel and his followers are foolish?).

Hegel, and his paradoxical thinking, was the absolute rage a decade before Joseph Smith did his thing.

The Mormon idea of Free Agency took its form in the years after Joseph Smith wrote "The Book of Commandments" and attempted to create an institution called "The United Order of Enoch." The Book of Commandments instructed LDS followers to surrender all of their property to the LDS Church. The church would then give people resources as the church sought fit.

Smith's followers rebelled. Joseph Smith retreated and really started pushing an idea called "Free Agency."

The principle of Free Agency states that there is a great war taking place in the Heavenly Kingdom between the followers of the Heavenly Father and Servants of Satan. In the divine plan of the Heavenly Father, people are given "Free Agency" to see if they will join the ranks of the righteous and follow the dictates of the LDS Church or if they join the ranks of the dark skinned Lamanites and become Servants of Satan.

Servants of Satan are to be cast out and vilified.

Free Agency is a paradox. It is exactly like the paradoxes of freedom that Hegel popularized a decade before Joseph Smith.

Free Agency states that you are free to do as you are told. If you don't do as you are told you are a Servant of Satan to be cast out and vilified.

Free Agency is tied up with another idea called "The Covenant." LDS Thoughts on The Covenant appear to come from The Divine Right of Kings. The Divine Right of Kings claims that the authority of the monarchy comes from Covenants that God made with the patriarchs of the Hebraic Bible. This Covenant with God gave kings Divine Rights. To rebel against the King was a sin.

Covenant Theology in the Mormon Church holds that the US Founders were actually hapless fools. The Heavenly Father won the Revolution for the Founders then revealed The Constitution to the Founders for the express purpose of creating the conditions necessary for the Restoration of the Church.

Yes, here in Utah, The LDS Church teaches that that both the Declaration of Independence and Constitution are scripture revealed by The Heavenly Father for the purpose of creating the conditions necessary for the Restoration of the Church.

The Restoration of the Church came with the revelation of The Book of Mormon followed by the revelation of the Book of Commandments later renamed "The Doctrine and Covenant."

The Divine Plan of the Heavenly Father was to give people free agency in the Latter Days to see who would willingly submit to the authority of the Church and who would not. Those who do not are to be cast out, isolated and vilified.

It's a paradox. The Mormon doctrine of Free Agency says that people who exercise freedom are to be cast out and vilified. If you love something: Set if free. If it doesn't come back on its own accord, hunt it down and kill it.

I am not LDS. It seems to me that the Free Agency argument is actually a negation of the ideals of the US Founders and the US Constitution. When I hear people trying to apply the Mormon doctrine of Free Agency to the Constitution, I feel that they are just trying to spin the Constitutional tradition to their political favor.

So, I sat in the C4L meeting hoping to bring up the issue of free market health care reform. Instead I was left shaking my head. I reject the idea that we need to kill people. I reject the idea that we need to castrate people.

In my opinion Free Agency is useless paradox like most of the ideas from the Hegelian tradition.

A private conversation at the C4L meeting brought up the belief that Obama was the Anti-Christ.

I'm sorry, but Conservatives are as bad if not worse than Progressivism.

All that said. I can remember the great work the Campaign for Liberty was doing prior to the Ron Paul campaign. It would be wonderful to see a revival of this organization. But if it simply becomes a platform for lunatics; then I am content to see it flounder.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Held in Abeyance

When local governments protect the people from Federal overreach, the local government shines. Likewise, when the Federal Government protects people from excesses of the state, the Federal Government shines.

Darrien Hunt died at the hands of local police and there is sufficient cause to suspect race played a role in the shooting. This is a case that the FBI and Justice Department should investigate.

News reports indicate that the fatal shooting was Darrien't second run in with the Saratoga Springs police. I suspect that the key to the shooting lies with the first run in.

What has been reported is that Darrien was at a party with under-aged drinking and marijuana. There was a fight. Darrien was the only one arrested. The mug shot shows that Darrien has bruises and a large bandage.

Darrien pled guilty to child abuse in abeyance. The "in abeyance" plea means that it would be removed from his record if he went a year without being arrested.

Darrien's aunt claims that Darrien was jumped at the party. So, imagine a situation where you are invited to a party. You are jumped at the party. You are the only one arrested and are charged with child abuse for attending the party. You would not feel good about the police.

From a racial perspective, this first arrest looks suspect. There was a fight. The police arrest the black guy. The mug shot shows the black guy had bruises and lacerations.

Later in the year, Darrien is out doing costume play. This is not uncommon in Utah Valley. Utah Valley [aka Happy Valley] sports multiple costume runs. It is home to the world's largest princess festival. It hosts multiple costume fun runs. The community held a record breaking scavenger hunt in the week of the shooting.

White people walk around in this state with huge survivalist knives and with assault style weapons strapped to their back.

Darrien is off playing by himself. While none of the white people in the world's largest scavenger hunt or at the world's largest princess party were reported as suspicious, Darrien was. Because of the abeyance ruling, Darrien was confronted with the reality that he would be in jail for the very serious crime of child abuse if the police arrested him.

This brings me back to the first arrest. Darrien went to a party where he claims to have been jumped. He was the person arrested. The mug shot shows bruises and lacerations. A person who was beat up and arrested; he may have felt that running from police was his only option.

I agree that the Justice Department should investigate this crime. The Justice Department should focus its attention on the first arrest and the court ruling that was holding Darrien in abeyance for child abuse at a party where he arguably was jumped and beaten.

The fact that someone called the police on Darrien in a community where it is not unusual for white people to carry weapons or engage in costume play is a bit suspicious, but the area that needs investigation is the first arrest and the court ruling that held Darrien in abeyance of child abuse because marijuana was present at a party he attended.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Whisper Campaigns

In my senior year two kids (Ted Fields and David Martin) were gunned down in Liberty Park because they were black. David Martin graduated the year before me.

The political machine in Utah launched a whisper campaign about drug and gang involvement in the shootings while gentiles were admonished to keep things quite until after the official investigation. I admit, I took the drug angle seriously as it seemed the most likely explanation. People in Salt Lake cast dispersions at the girls jogging with Fields and Martin. Personally, I believed that the group was jogging in Liberty Park for exercise, but who really cares if they were dating?

There was a collective sigh of relief in Salt Lake when it turned out that the shooter, Joseph Paul Franklin, was just a convert to Mormonism and not born and bred Mormon. The church busily erased and hid information about his membership and the political machine focused on Franklin's membership in the KKK and American Nazi Party. The KKK is anti-Mormon. Although Franklin had joined the LDS Church, one can use the KKK relation to frame the shootings as anti-Mormon.

Franklin Claims to have joined the LDS Church in 1974, but became disenchanted with a church that did not share his overt racist views. He was livid when the LDS Church ended its ban on admitting blacks into the priesthood in 1978. The Aaronic Priesthood is usually given to boys 12-18 and necessary for anyone seeking a leadership role in the LDS Church or LDS owned business. Banning blacks from the priesthood effectively forced blacks into a second class status.

The whisper campaign and fact that Franklin was in the KKK effectively allowed the shooting to be buried. So, two kids associated with my school were gunned down. I never heard anyone talk about it in a voice louder than a whisper and I really don't think anyone outside the family cared.

Racism in Utah

Utah is not an overtly racist state. The problem in Utah is that the racism that does exist is tied to religion. For example the question "Why did the LDS Church bar blacks from the priesthood?" is a religious question. One cannot explain the priesthood ban without examining Mormon theology.

In the state of religion today, people are uncomfortable talking about religion. The president of the United States is uncomfortable in discussing any possible connections between an entity that calls itself the "Islamic State" and the Islamic Religion.

The LDS Church was created in the 1830s. Naturally, the church incorporated much of the thought of the 1830s. During this period the abolitionists in the North were opposed to slavery and the South sought means to justify the institution. Mormonism came from the North and was anti-slavery, but there was also a great deal of racially-based thought floating around in the intellectual community of the day.

Specifically, many scholars of the 1830s sought to derive histories of the human race based on the Bible.

Cain and Abel were the sons of Adam and Eve. Cain was jealous and killed Abel.To account for racial differences, Biblical scholars speculated that the Heavenly Father turned the descendants of Cain black in punishment of Cain's sin.

As for the priesthood ban, In a speech to the Utah Territorial Legislature Brigham Young explained: "any man having one drop of the seed of [Cain] ... in him cannot hold the priesthood and if no other Prophet ever spake it before I will say it now in the name of Jesus Christ I know it is true and others know it."

Things go deeper. Biblical scholars sought to explain the Native Americans. In their world view, the American Indians had to come from the Bible. Some began to speculate they were the Lost Tribes of Israel. Books that were available to Joseph Smith gave versions of this theory.

The plot behind the Book of Mormon is that the Lost Tribes of Israel came to the New World in a submarine designed by the Heavenly Father. The tribes split into two groups: The Nephites were white and delightsome. The Lamanites were dark and loathsome and prone to follow Satan. One day the ruler King Benjamin decided to give people and election. The Lamanites rigged the election and took power. They then entered an Extermination War against the Nephites. The killed the Nephites, all their horses and destroyed all of their technology. This is why Native Americans have darker skin than European settlers and why they had only primitive technology.

Quoting Brigham Young from the Journal of Discourses:

"You may inquire of the intelligent of the world whether they can tell why the aborigines of this country are dark, loathsome, ignorant, and sunken into the depths of degradation ...When the Lord has a people, he makes covenants with them and gives unto them promises: then, if they transgress his law, change his ordinances, and break his covenants he has made with them, he will put a mark upon them, as in the case of the Lamanites and other portions of the house of Israel; but by-and-by they will become a white and delightsome people"
The driving theme of the Latter Day Saints is a righteous group that is white and delightsome that is pitted in eternal conflict with Servants of Satan who are dark and loathsome.

While Mormons are not overtly racist and are diligently working to purge their religion of its racist past, the problem persists that the racial attitudes of the 1830s play a fundamental role in theology.

The unfortunate result of this situation is that the knee jerk reaction in this state in situations like the shooting of Darrien Hunt is to begin attacking the black guy.

I became interested in the Darrien Hunt issue because I encountered the whisper campaign against Mr. Hunt two days after the shooting. I heard comments about a crazy black man attacking police with a sword in Utah County, then heard attacks on Hunt's character and finally a very strange conversation about how Cosplay is uncommon in Utah County.

The whisper campaign reminded me of the whisper campaign launched against Ted Fields and David Martin when they were gunned down in Liberty Park.

The reason that I started posting about Darrien Hunt was because I encountered the whisper campaign before I heard the news. The shooting of Darrien, as terrible as it is, is still just a single incident. That people responded to the news of the shooting by launching a whisper campaign against the victim is a troublesome indicator for the community. (More on Utah's reaction to Darrien Hunt.)

But of course the shooting of a kid in a Samurai costume is already old news here in fast-paced Utah. Today's headline is that two sister wives dressed in Ninja costumes robbed a West Valley home. Just what we need: polygamist ninjas.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Utah's Attitude Toward Darien Hunt

On June 18th of this year, Salt Lake Police were engaged in a search for a missing boy. During the search an officer shot a Weimaraner that was in a person's backyard.

There was a huge outpouring of rage over the shooting followed by support and demands for a change in the callous policies police have towards dogs. The site Justice for Geist is campaigning for change.

When Darrien Hunt was shot in Saratoga Springs, I was expecting a similar response. Instead I've encountered really strange reactions. So, I've spent a good part of the last two days following Utah social media and talking to people about the shooting.

Outside immediate friends and relatives, I've discovered that most people have not heard about the shooting. Those that have heard of the shooting generally repeat the official talking points with statements such as: "Darrien Hunt? is he the black guy who attacked police officers in Provo?

Utahans who've started researching the issue seem to be concluding that the shooting was justified.

I don't like recounting private conversations. Here is a public post by Semperfivirens made on on The Guardian which seems to reflect Utah sentiment.
They guy [Darrien Hunt] obviously should have been committed to a facility by his family. They didn't and instead chose to cherish his child-like nature. A child-like nature that involved threatening people with a samurai sword.

The general opinion appears to be that Darrien deserved what happened. Semperfivirens is saying that the shooting is the fault of the mother.

Other Utahans are trying to counter the idea that Darrien was engaged in Cosplay or are pushing the idea that his replica sword was a real sword and not a costume play sword. (The term "cosplay" is short for "costume play." It means playing a game in costume.)

I agree with the statement that we should wait until after the official investigation before making any judgments about the police officers in the case; However, comments about the reporting of the event, the fantasy role playing culture in Utah, and about the direction of the investigation are appropriate.

For example, I've been trying to point out that a large number of people engage in costume play in Utah County. Others are discussing Utah's lax open carry laws. If many are engaged in open carry and many people are engaged in costume play without being confronted by police, then this information is relevant.

Much of the conversation in Utah is focusing on the fact that Darrien had been arrested earlier this year. The Guardian was displaying this mugshot. The Guardian cites Darrien's aunt Cindy Moss who claimed that Darrien was jumped at a drinking party and that he was the only one arrested at the event reportedly because he was the only one over 21. The mugshot shows a bandage and Darrien's face appears roughed up. Hopefully the police have photos of the other kids in the fight.

But back to my original sentiment. There appears to have been more outrage in Salt Lake over the shooting of a dog than the shooting of Darrien Hunt.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Cosplay in Happy Valley

Darrien Hunt was shot by police in Utah County. The police want us to believe that young men engaged in cosplay is so unusually as to warrant extreme measures.

Utah County, known locally as Happy Valley, is home of numerous cosplay events. For Example, Happy Valley claims to be home of the world's largest Princess Festival. Below is an advertisement for the 2014 event that took place at the Castle Park Event. (Yes, there is an events center a few miles from the shooting designed like a castle for costumed events.)

There appears to be two young men wearing costumes with toy swords in this publicized event not far from Saratoga Springs.

Full Text of Saratoga Springs Post

The Daily Dot ( ) printed a longer piece of the text from the Saratoga Springs PD Facebook page. This page was posted then deleted after it invoked outrage. I highlighted words that leapt out in the second half of the post:
Everyone should remember that the news outlets have ratings they need to gain. They don’t report facts. They use innuendo, opinion and rumor and then report it as fact. The same thing happens here on FB and other social media. The real facts are being determined by an independent investigation, and not in a rushed or haphazard manner. When those facts are gathered and analyzed, they will be reviewed by independent legal authorities. There is no cover up and there is no corruption. While this process is played out, we ask all persons to have patience with the process and allow the process that has been legally established to go forth. No one has been charged with any crime. The law has established that there must be probable cause for charges to be filed. Then even when and if charges were filed, in this country, all persons are innocent until proven guilty. This protection is extended to all persons, including cops.

The highlighted text says: "No one has been charged with any crime"!!!!!

What about Darrien? Darrien is dead at the hands of law enforcement officers. Killing a person is the absolute most extreme act performed by law enforcement. I have no idea what idiocy exists in the minds of Utah Law Enforcement, but shooting a person until dead is magnitudes greater than writing out a ticket to charge a person with a crime.

The only possible explanation for this post is that the Saratoga Springs Police Department was so focussed on defending its officers that if failed to see Darrien Hunt as a fellow human being and that the use of deadly force in law enforcement implies that the person killed was engaged in criminal act.

The Saratoga Springs PD says that no-one was charged with a crime. Well, I say that Darrien Hunt was someone and that who-ever wrote this post should be out of their cushy government job.

A No Show Event

According to KSL (from page: ):

" A Facebook page appeared Tuesday morning, rallying against Saratoga Springs police, and organizers also set an event planned for noon on Tuesday to picket the police department.

In the end, no one showed up."

In all likelihood this event was poorly publicized. But quite frankly I find the lack of outrage in Utah over the shooting of Darrien Hunt disconcerting.