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Is There More Violence Today or Just Better Communication? Options
Posted: Wednesday, October 24, 2018 4:13:53 PM

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Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
US Democrats and mainstream media are being targeted with bombs. Especially those mentioned by Trump at rallies or in his tweets with accusations. The Obamas, the Clintons, George Soros, Andrew Cuomo, CNN - the package was addressed to CNN commentator and former CIA Director John Brennan, and the Time Warner Centre in New York had to be evacuated.

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz received a suspected bomb intended for former US Attorney General Eric Holder, it is being claimed. It was reported earlier how her address was used as ‘return to sender’ on packages sent to the Clintons and Obama. The package allegedly sent to Holder had the wrong address so ended up at Wasserman Schultz’ offices.

Media in the US that Trump has attacked are being cautious. They are waiting for news while precautions are being taken.

It seems so far that since it is Trump's critics that Trump has targeted, it is Trump's encouragement of violence that is to blame in the US.

But what is happening to our world? Journalists murdered and chopped up, a senator body slams a journalist and the US president delights in it, mass slayings and murders all over the world, women attacked and not believed, domestic violence, children taken from their parents, people moving in groups etc. Wars and more wars. Religious persecution. Rise of groups such as ISIS. The US plans to withdraw from the nuclear treaty.

A White Nationalist gets 25000 votes as a candidate for Toronto mayor.

I know we actually have a lot less violence than in earlier centuries, but the climate around the world seems similar to that chaos described in history of the 1930s in Europe? Is that a correct statement? Are we in more dangerous times or is it just that there is better communication today?

I'd like to think it is no worse than usual but...


"The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons." Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
Andrew Schultz
Posted: Wednesday, October 24, 2018 4:47:18 PM

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I forget who showed a graphic here that showed the incidence of war had dropped steadily in the 20th century (e.g. % of people in the world in countries affected by war, or people killed as a result of war) but because there are so many more nations and better coverage, it seems worse.

It also was easier to hide, say, the activities of the KKK in 1900--it could only be reported via word of mouth and not as easily filmed. That's not possible today.

We still have incidents like this. And it hasn't just popped up lately--for instance, Obama effigies were burned in November 2008 after he was elected.

In Chicago, there's been an uptick in reporting of police brutality--but this may just be a case of people having and being able to use video cameras. The perpetrators have been arrested more regularly now. LaQuan McDonald was shot by Jason VanDenBerg sixteen times, and it was recorded. A lot of people have lost jobs and pensions, and panels have been formed to look into the police culture of silence.

But I think it is going to have to happen much more often, too often, before people and politicians really take it seriously.

I think a lot more is being exposed, but somehow, we need to do even better, and we need to recognize that some things that are "just a joke" *should* be treated that way. That a percentage of people who say "aww, just a joke" will get serious later, and it will be ugly.

Germany has certain laws against Nazi symbology, and I think they are affected.

I can't answer for religious fighting, but it has been going on a while, and it is a lot more difficult to sweep under the carpet now.

I'd like to think, like Dr. King said, the moral arc of the universe is long and it bends towards justice. But it will have wobbles. And we are wobbling right now. People who wish to incite things have found reliable ways to fake things believably to stir others up on both sides.

100th person on TFD to 1 million neurons.
Posted: Thursday, October 25, 2018 11:31:34 AM

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Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Hi Andrew.

Thanks for your thoughts. It is hard to tell because on the one hand there is not near the incidence of cruelty towards both animals and people that there used to be and I'll take your word that there are statistics that there are fewer wars, even though it does seem that the whole world is at hot or cold war.

If the Irish groups were able to stop the violence if not all the animosity, it is proof that two sides can do that if the will is there. I don't know how they did it but they had to put aside all the grievances of death and destruction and decide to stop the terrorism. At least, I have not seen anything in the news in quite a few years.

I am fortunate to live in an area with little crime and violence where we leave our doors unlocked in daytime and can walk the streets day or night without fear. But violence is creeping further out of Toronto where shootings in public places are increasing. Gun laws in Canada are extremely strict. My husband decided to take up target shooting again with our son and a friend. It took several months of background checks and education on safety and usage to get a permit and then it is only to go directly from domicile to range and back. It is the illegal guns smuggled in from the states that get past the RCMP that are the real problem and yet the government is considering an outright ban of handguns when legal owners are the most checked upon group in Canadian society. The answer would be a more careful border that would slow down the whole transportation system there.

The American problem of the bombs yeaterday seems to be political in nature with each party thinking the others are evil.

It does seem to me that when leaders permit, even order or just encourage, violence, that the "fish stinks from the head". They are positive the recent UK murders are hits by the Russians, they are trying to figure which Saudis ordered the hit on the jourmalist (would have look up spelling of his name), all the Democrats and media that had bombs sent to them were targeted and attacked by Trump, and we have a leader and three wannabe leaders in Canada fomenting unrest with spinning and even outright lying about immigrants and climate change. One even said that plants use CO2 and humans exhale it so it is good for the planet. I think that people who believe that show that there is a need for better science education. Your point that some incite with fake messages is well taken. Also, leaders attacking the press for political reasons must logically be responsible for some of the world wide killings of journalists.

Education does seem to be the answer many times to civilize people so that generation upon generation are not condemned to continue domestic violence of women and children because the abusers were abused. Or to continue the brainwashing of racism they were taught on their children.

"The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons." Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
Posted: Friday, October 26, 2018 10:27:43 AM

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Some of the graphs and things were probably mine.

This site gives known numbers in various ways.

This is one of the graphs they show:

However, that is "battle deaths" in wars which are declared wars.

This one shows civil conflict - which often involves a lot more of a country's population
than an external declared war would involve.

Your point on "is there more violence, or just more reporting?" is valid for wars - the
number of battle deaths is diminishing.
However, 'civil unrest' deaths may not be.

Terrorist attacks like these bombs in the USA (one might assume that they are Republican
terrorists - but that's not a proven fact by any means) are rather new.
It used to be only race and religion which produced such fanatics - now it seems to be
party politics!

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Posted: Monday, October 29, 2018 9:45:21 PM

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Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Hi Drago.

I took a break from the internet for a couple of days, forum included, because all the nastiness online was getting to me.

I think perhaps, as you say, war violence statistics are not much different, but I do notice a big difference in Canada in the last three or so years in gun violence and hate crimes. I also notice that the news coming out iof the US these days is not the news that used to be.

I posted a post relevant to this thread on here.

"The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons." Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
Posted: Friday, November 2, 2018 7:02:16 AM

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And I was away . . .

It's very difficult to get good figures.
Even the police say that the definition used for 'hate crimes' is too vague.

"A Hate Crime is any criminal offence which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by
a hostility or prejudice based on a person's race or perceived race." (now extended to religion, disability, gender or lack of it).

"Perceived by the victim or any other person" is not exactly a concrete definition.

For example, an anti-Brexit Facebook group called "Worrying Signs" picked up on the fact that a restaurant in Lewisham (owned by a Spanish immigrant) had its window broken the weekend after the EU Referendum - and that the window of a restaurant owned by a Turkish person was broken in the same area the next day.
They reported it as a wave of anti-immigrant hate crimes.
The post began:
"Spanish and Turkish restaurants in Lewisham had their windows smashed over the weekend. Very widespread reports coming in now."

It was actually two burglaries.

Two thirds of the reported "hate crimes" are "Public Order Offences" - anyone causing fear or distress to another.
Someone seeing a group of (some race, white, black, Asian whatever) people larking about on their way to a party can report it as "Distressing - I was afraid they might attack me because I'm (chose one of: black/white/Asian/Spanish/homosexual/Christian/Muslim . . .)".

It's a distressing incident causing fear, perceived as motivated by some sort of discrimination.
The number of reports has increased.

Swearing and name-calling is classified as 'violence'.
"Injury" can include a bruise or graze.
Actual physical violence is decreasing (though there has been a slight increase in the last year).

You saw the report of one argument which resulted in a few punches being thrown - in a city in another country. The woman was bleeding, requiring a tissue to handle it.
Do you think that, ten or fifteen years ago, you would have seen a report of a pub-brawl in London, resulting in a few bloody noses and maybe a broken finger or two?

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Posted: Friday, November 2, 2018 5:37:30 PM

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Joined: 3/23/2015
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Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Hi Drago,

That is good news that violence has gone down since 1995 on the chart whiich I assume is civilian for the UK. I wonder what besides the wars and ISIS was going on for the bump in 1995 if these are UK figures.

I agree that definition of a hate crime is not good. It is like the "stand your ground" law in FL being far too lenient.

As you say the woman on the bus is one anecdote, although the media said it is the second similar recent incident. But I've seen several videos recently in the US and one in Canada where people were harrassed because of not speaking English or just being an obvious different culture. This woman was assaulted while just talking on her phone on a bus. That's a little different scenario than a pub brawl. BTW - Do pub brawls still happen like in the movies? Why do you mention she just needed a tissue for a bloody nose as if assault just a minor detail? Or did I miss something and read those last comments wrong? Did the guy not know that the UK is still in the EU and Spain is just across the way? Or she could have been a tourist.

Accosting strangers in public seems to be gaining in popularity. People need to mind their own business when "stranger watching" in public.

I saw these three articles about how other violent regimes are watching with one quoting Trump as justification for the slaughter of protesters and how Cohen has revealed what we all knew, that Trump is a racist. Trump may have withdrawn his statement that troops will not fire on refugees, but it's too late. The damage is done.

15,000 troops to stop a caravan of a few thousand mostly women and children weak from walking thousands of miles on foot. Please. It's just a sensational ploy to stir up his base about immigration before the midterms. But he never thinks of the consequences of his words.

This man, who will do anything to win including encouraging others to kill, is a definite danger to the world. And there is no way any supporter can still say he is not a racist.

The Pittsburg Synagogue shooter's thoughts about Jews assisting refugees and the caravan.

I shall go see what Canada's definition of a hate crime is. Edited:

"The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons." Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
Posted: Saturday, November 3, 2018 4:35:44 AM

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Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 32,367
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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Hi Hope!

I wasn't really commenting on that one specific incident.
I was looking at your question - (paraphrase) is violence increasing or is it just promoted more (with a later emphasis on hate-crimes)?
My use of the word 'pub-brawls' was probably wrong - I was meaning something of the order of "arguments in which several punches were thrown".

The news could have been something like
"There was one public-order incident today of a person (the fact that it's a woman is nothing to do with anything - genders are equal) being insulted and punched causing minor injury, prompted by racial intolerance. Police found and arrested the person causing the incident.
On the same day twenty years ago, there were five similar incidents, one resulting in two broken fingers and two resulting in minor injury. Three of those incidents were caused by racial intolerance, one by religious discrimination.
Though there has been a great reduction in such crime, obviously more education and integration is needed."

Or it could have been this
"Of the (approximately) five million journeys made on the London Underground yesterday, there were eight incidents of public disturbance including one of physical violence. No-one was seriously injured. This is an incident rate of 0.00016 percent.
This is a reduction from 0.00042 percent, five years ago.
It's an improvement, but there's more to do!"

Or it could have been
"4,999,992 journeys were made on the Underground yesterday without being interrupted by any public disturbance incidents. There were five incidents of arguing and shouting, one of which ended up with some punches thrown.
On an average day five years ago, the figures were 4,999,981 safe journeys, eighteen of verbal trouble and three containing physical violence."

I don't know what happened around '94 to '98. Longer term figures show a pretty steady decrease from the 1960s to 2010, with that 'blip' in the middle.

There were a lot more violent incidents (reported) in the UK fifty years ago than there are now - and I believe that there were a LOT more unreported, especially in domestic violence.
In the mid-20th century, it was 'archetype' or really 'stereotype' "working-class British" to get into a fight while or after a night in the pub. Usually, unless it got "out of hand", no-one would report it or think much about it.

My experience around Edinburgh (and around Manchester in the 1960s and 70s) is that violence (including screaming at strangers, etc) is not really precipitated by race or religion but by a few people who are just constantly angry at everything - or who become belligerent about anything when they drink.
Whenever I have seen this personally (someone shouting, screaming and swearing), they have been attacking everyone around them. Usually, they are drunk.
Possibly, they will scream at one person because he looks foreign, but the next person because he's wearing a red hat, and the next because he's smoking a pipe, and the next just happens to be a woman whose shopping-bag touched his leg.
It's not violence caused by race or gender, it's violence caused by a violent person getting drunk.

These are the large numbers of incidents which make up the "violence" statistics.
The real 'violent crimes' (involving stabbings, people being 'beaten up', even shootings or bombings) are a different scene altogether.
It seems (here I have no experience, so only a vague opinion based on news) many of these are part of other crimes - robbery or drug-dealing - and some are straight terrorist actions.

There are reports (in the media) of a large increase in knife-fighting crimes.
OK - may well be true.
However, in the 1950s-60s, (according to the media) all teenage "Teddy Boys" or "Mods and Rockers" carried straight razors and bike-chains to fight with.
And the number of reported violent incidents in 1960 was more than five times the number now.

Concerning 'hate-crimes', it looks like the Canadian laws are slightly more concrete than the British ones - they don't mention "caused by hate, in the opinion of the victim or anyone else".

There is one very interesting bit . . .

. . . it balances dangerous speech with freedom of speech or political speech. . .
As a result, holding up a sign outside of a mosque calling for a ban on Muslim immigration would “probably not qualify” as public incitement of hate. . . Neither would a single racial epithet yelled at a person walking down the street.

For speech to qualify as inciting hate involves “portraying the subject of one’s speech as being devoid of any positive qualities, demonization, dehumanization.”

This last bit looks exactly like the speech of half of the USA about Trump & his followers - and the other half of the USA about Democrats or "Progressives"!

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
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