Media and Public Ignoring Violence?

Jim writes: There has been little news coverage about the recent murder in the Meadows. Or the attack and robbery at the BB&T on 5th Street Ext. Why? Because the residents of these areas do not have the clout necessary to demand the police department’s attention? Have murders and other acts of violence become so commonplace in Cville that they are now brushed aside to one day’s coverage on page 4 of the Region & State section of the newspaper? Perhaps the county government is hoping that the recent problems at Meadows will take care of themselves. This sort of apparent complacency does not bode well for the future of our community.

Somehow, I hadn’t heard a thing about either these things. Are these being ignored? If so, why?

74 thoughts on “Media and Public Ignoring Violence?”

  1. 5th street extended is an anarchy zone. We ignore violence and crime there because it is somewhat expected. If you drive around on 5th street extended or on Cherry avenue or wherever late at night you will see a bunch of ‘urban youth’ (translation- low income black kids with du-rags on their heads and stolen guns tucked in their belts). Those are the people who live there and those are the people who are shooting and robbing each other.

    I think that there is an attitude in the rest of Charlottesville that if this is what those people want their lives and neighborhoods to look like, then we might as well leave them to it. As long as it doesn’t spill over into ‘our world’, we reluctantly accept it. I’m not saying that this is a good attitude to have, just that it’s how things are.

  2. The Progress online–and presumably, the print version–had a story about the Meadows murder on Saturday. Unfortunately, they don’t have it up in the archives yet, so I can’t point you there.

    I hadn’t heard anything about the BB&T robbery until now. What happened, and where/when did you find out about it?

  3. 5th Street really has gotten out of hand.

    One night last Summer I was driving there and got shot at. Someone in a car that had been driving extremely erratically just opened fire on me pretty much out of nowhere. This led to quite a little car chase, involving my jumping the median strip and driving 100 mph back towards the 5th Street Exxon (where the car had come from in the first place).

    I pulled into the gas station to find about 50 ‘urban youth’ (as Guest puts it) hanging around and doing their best to obstruct me from getting through the parking lot. I finally got inside and called 911. While waiting for the police, the 2 attendants told me that this was ‘no big deal’. That there was constant gunfire and drag racing up and down 5th Street Extended most nights.

    When the police finally showed up, they didn’t much seem to care. They never so much as asked me for a description of the car. They didn’t even ask for my name. Somebody had essentially attempted to murder me and our police department didn’t even file a report.

    One of the police officers said that there is a large group of people in the immediate area who race each other’s cars every weekend. They don’t worry too much about trying to pull them over, figuring that they’ll get busted for something sooner or later.

    This is the same police department whose patrol cars are apparantly not equipped with turn signals.

    Most people I know in Charlottesville who have been victims of a crime have a similar story. Police officers who don’t seem to care and don’t bother to investigate. My brother, Waldo was the victim of a hit and run by a drunk driver a while back. We had an ID on the driver for months (I went to high school with him) and the police would not bother to pick him up or charge him. As it turned out, the perpetrator had a string of past convictions a mile long. But he walked. My sister has a similar story, as does my wife’s employer and *everyone* else I’ve ever known in C-ville who has been the victim of a crime.

    However, I could (but won’t) rattle off a dozen names of people in town who have been charged with possession of marijuana, or other offenses that carry zero risk of causing any harm to others.

    I was once pulled over on Preston Avenue (near Madison Ave) for driving at the 25 mph speed limit. I kid you not. The police officer had been tailgating me for a while and got sick of being stuck behind me. Pardon me for not drag racing or spraying gunfire through the window.

    In my opinion, the weak link is clearly the police. Maybe it’s understaffing; I don’t know. But in Charlottesville, if you’re thinking about committing a violent crime there isn’t a whole lot of incentive to reconsider.

    Anyone here have similar experiences?

  4. Someone I was talking to heard it on WINA and then I read it in Sunday’s(?) Progress – page 2 about 10 lines. Two people were attacked and robbed at the ATM.

    Can we attribute this to the “town-gown” problems too?

    -Jim

  5. Jack asks, Anyone here have similar experiences?

    A very few years ago my good friend was driving southward on 5th Street, going home from work. As he passes though a green light, a car coming from another direction ignores their signal; he plows into them. Airbag deflates, he finds he’s dazed but ok, and so he goes out to check on the condition of those in the other car involved in the accident. While ascertaining that everyone is luckily unhurt (both cars were totaled), my friend is set upon by a pack of – to use this thread’s euphemism – ‘ urban youth’ who shout racial epithets, beat him to the ground, kick him, and send him to the hospital very injured.

    At least in this case, some of the perps served a bit of time (I think it was those who had substantial previous records of vilolence).

    I’d advise all to avoid that road. And if you must traverse it, do so in the biggest vehicle you can afford and with the heaviest caliber gun likewise, and never ever get out of your car.

  6. First off, this isn’t going to change unless you, the voters, elect some law-and-order types to city council. Blake Caravati et al, and even our Republican boy wonder, have other topics on their agendas. I bet none of them is foolish enough to drive down 5th St after dark!

    Second, what do you expect? If the police did anything about the problem, they would be accused of being racist, because those arrested in this area would be disproportionately black. So they do like hapless cops in too many cities and accept the fact that their bosses, the people, want the false appearance of feel-good racial enlightenment more than they want anything done about crime – and as a result, sociopaths of all races get a license to do whatever they want. It’s the inevitable result of the misguided notion that civil rights consist of having no more criminals of your race arrested or harassed than of others.

    OTOH, busting suburban kids for joints or driving 28 in a 25 mph zone nets as many or more white kids as black kids, so that’s perfectly acceptable and keeps the arrest rates up so the pols can claim they are tough on crime without being "racist".

    Don’t blame the police for carrying out the policy the voters and politicians mandate.

    – Bruce

  7. I have a problem with 5th street being labeled an ‘anarchy zone’. In today’s society the media has been very successful in branding anarchy as a movement centered around violence and disorder, a system where businesses are there to be smashed and society itself is just there to be dismantled. This is propagated by the international media always focusing on the groups causing destruction in protests and marches while wearing masks, or carrying a red and black flag. They label them anarchists and their actions as characterizing anarchists. They don’t bother to even try and grasp the principles of anarchism or to show the large groups of anarchists almost always present who are not bent on destruction, or the non anarchist groups also causing the same destruction. For a great site about anarchy:

    http://www.infoshop.org

    Just had to get that out since it always bothers me when a violent or lawless area is immediately labeled as anarchist….

    As far as the violence goes I haven’t personally experienced any of it, but I would love to get the perspective of someone who actually lives in that area instead of people simply driving through. I personally don’t consider our society to be even approaching racial equality. Black people still have a much harder time in the job market and make up the majority of our prison population. I would find it hard to be in that kind of a position and not feel any rage. I’m not saying that expressing it through violence is good, though I do believe that they probably have legitimate complaints, and that the issue can’t be solved by some ‘tough on crime’ politician. All that they ever manage to do is put more people behind bars, costing the taxpayers more money, increasing the problem, and adding to a person’s rage. The only way to stop violence is to try and solve the problems causing it….

  8. And there you go. By legitimizing the motives of the perps and accepting (albeit with hedges, waffles, and reservations) their actions as expressions of political will, rather than as the selfish and antisocial outbursts they are, you turn racial politics into a license to shoot and steal, thus perpetuating the problem.

    You say we can’t expect people to stop looting and killing until we have racial justice. I say there will be no equality and no justice for anybody until people like you stop excusing and accepting looting and killing. These people aren’t thugs because they live in bad neighborhoods – the neighborhoods are bad because some of the people who live in them are allowed to get away with being thugs. Most people, sensible people, black, white, or green, choose to be decent and law-abiding even if the job market sucks and their neighborhood is a ghetto, if only because they realize that turning the image of the community into that of a bunch of thugs is only going to make discrimination worse.

    As for the media and anarchy, they are just taking a shortcut – violence and destruction may be unintended consequences of anarchy, but they are inevitable consequences, so the media rightly assume that anarchists either do, in fact, intend them or are utterly naive and ignorant as to the consequences of their policies, and either way their stated preferences are best ignored.

    – Bruce

  9. It’s probably just that our local media sucks and is too lazy to cover these events well. I do Monday morning news for WNRN, and have to get news from the Progress’s website, WINA’s, and anything I can find. There is rarely a story I find newsworthy, and I end up talking about a hike in the price of trash stickers. However, these things apparently go on without anyone knowing…

  10. I read about the robbery of the BB&T on the inside page of the Regress. I also read of the murder in an earlier issue. The murder made the "B" section front page. It’s interesting how many things are squirreled away off the front pages too.

    Unfortunately, there are a lot of drugs in Prospect (with an entrance near Fifth Street). I remember an article about a black policeman who patrolled there and the seemingly bottomless work that he did to respond to citizens’ call (he’s now in the DC area if I remember correctly). And, there are arrests for drugs and other activities down near Longwood. I lived off Welk Street back 10 years ago and drug activities was picking up then — people would notice cars with NY license plates even on our street and I suppose it has gotten worse. The situations described by other posters sound very scary (I particularly feel sorry for anyone coming off the Interstate to the gas station and/or anyone working at the gas station with that many people "hanging around").

    But, it’s good to know that the Waving Man is on the front page of the Regress with all of the anonymous people supporting him. (Waldo, this would be an interesting and separate discussion as I’m sure some of us have relatives who have "needs.")

  11. Car wrote: The Progress online–and presumably, the print version–had a story about the Meadows murder on Saturday. Unfortunately, they don’t have it up in the archives yet, so I can’t point you there.

    Yeah, the Progress site is clumsy . . . but here is the link to their story, and here is the link to that from WINA.

  12. I was never accepting their actions in any shape or form. My main point was simply that you can’t cure the problem of crime by getting a politician who says that they are ‘tough on crime’ which always seems to extend to throwing more people in jail and trying to cover the problem up that way instead of investing time to find out why the crimes are happening in the first place. Just like you can’t stop the problem of too much waste by carting all the junk we throw out to a landfill, you can’t stop crime by just locking up the criminals. You have to try and figure out why the crimes are taking place and address that.

    I think that the racial injustice goes far beyond a sucky job market. It is living and growing up in a culture where you have less rights then everyone else. Saying that people should just sit still and not do anything about their situation even thought their neighborhood is a ‘ghetto’ and there isn’t any real chance of that ever changing under the current system is like asking the palestinian people to just sit still. While most aren’t violent the violence won’t stop until everyone has equal rights. Granted their situation is much worse, but so are the violent acts being committed. Once again, I’m not supporting the violence in any form, but it seems to be that whenever a group of people are oppressed violence will be one of the ways that certain parts of that group will use to express themselves and try to stop the oppression. Saying that its not good is stating the obvious and it won’t solve the problem, you have to try and remove the catalyst.

    Violence and destruction are no less consequences of anarchy then freedom is the consequence of a dictatorship. Anarchy is putting the rule back into the people’s hands, it is finally realizing that our lives aren’t something that we can entrust to anyone. As far as social change and productivity, the anarchists groups that I’m involved with have managed to do more with fewer resources than any of the more hierarchical groups I work with. The media has been very successful in associating anarchy with violence and destruction in people’s minds, but if you take a moment to look through some of the many anarchist web sites out there, or actually talk with people they usually have very well thought out points. They don’t want to live in a violent or destructive society, nor do they want their lives ruled by anyone.

  13. My dictionary defines anarchy as, "a state of society without government or law’. Do you accept this definition? Do you have one you do accept? It sounds like chaos to me. If you think a society without government or law isn’t going to be violent or destructive you’re just fooling yourself.

  14. KevinCox asks: What is your definition of anarchy anyway?

    That’s a trick question right? How could a good anarchist ever acknowledge an authoritative definition? Even niels’s link avers doing so.

    I think it is all very silly and non-consequential. (Like, where could I go live as a good anarchist?)

  15. My definition of anarchy runs along those lines. It includes using non hierarchical methods of organizing (nobody with power over anyone else), equality, no discrimination as its main points. Having nobody in power to me includes government (making laws to control our lives) and law (police running around with more powers then the ordinary citizen and the ability to arrest and otherwise ‘punish’ us). I don’t think that the world could make the transition to anarchy overnight. I think it would take a general remake of our society. For some reason everyone accepts violence and the general desire to screw over other people to get what you want as an inherent part of a person, something that we can’t escape. I think it is something that we adopt through our society, something that becomes a part of us as we grow up, which is why I don’t think we could move to anarchy overnight. I have faith that human beings aren’t inherently corrupt, that we can in fact function just fine, and in fact much better for everyone concerned, people, plants, animals, the environment in general.

    I don’t see the point in giving someone power over my life, in allowing them to regulate me, and frankly I think that they’ve been doing a pretty bad job of it. There are countless things that this country is doing in my name that makes me feel horrible.

    http://www.soawatch.org for example….

    There is no government that I know of that hasn’t committed an atrocity in its past, that hasn’t and for the most part doesn’t step on and otherwise oppress people to remain in power. I think the only way to stop that is to rid ourselves from the controlling rule of governments.

  16. I actually rather like the definition given on that page http://www.infoshop.org/faq/secA1.html and think it does a great job in addressing many of the points being discussed here, the “what is anarchism” is a great quick read, and the page does a good job addressing the image that has been created of anarchy.

    From the page:

    “‘While the popular understanding of anarchism is of a violent, anti-State movement, anarchism is a much more subtle and nuanced tradition then a simple opposition to government power. Anarchists oppose the idea that power and domination are necessary for society, and instead advocate more co-operative, anti-hierarchical forms of social, political and economic organisation.‘ [The Politics of Individualism, p. 106]

    However, ‘anarchism’ and ‘anarchy’ are undoubtedly the most misrepresented ideas in political theory. Generally, the words are used to mean ‘chaos’ or ‘without order,’ and so, by implication, anarchists desire social chaos and a return to the ‘laws of the jungle.'”

  17. That ‘root causes’ approach to curing crime has failed consistently for the 40-odd years we’ve been trying it. The only decreases in crime have come in exactly the times and places where people like Guiliani and Allen have indeed locked enough people up that the rest got the message – crime will not be tolerated, and violent crime will be stamped on hard.

    No, you can’t stop waste being produced with more landfills. But simply sitting down and letting the garbage pile up around your ears in the hope that the stink will motivate people to waste less is no answer either. I never said people should do nothing about the problems facing the black community – but giving criminals a free pass isn’t doing anything positive. Letting criminals run amok only makes the problems of the black community worse.

    You’ve said twice now you don’t support the violence, but each time you go on to say… but it’s not the fault of the people committing it, they can’t help themselves because of racist oppression. So you are excusing it and perpetuating it.

  18. While most aren’t violent the violence won’t stop until everyone has equal rights. <—niels

    Equal rights has nothing to do with it. They are using excuses like "racial injustice" and "equal rights" as an excuse to commit crimes and violence. If you live in the ghetto and live your life as a thug, you are doing nothing to help your own race. Get up, get at least a public education, show up to school, graduate and get a real job. You have to help yourself because nobody is going to do it for you. Then, show you are worthy of holding a legitmate job by SHOWING UP and giving and HONEST days work. I am so sick of hearing people cry racial profiling by the police. It is a nationwide "catch phrase" that is used to try to get off of being busted for breaking the law. If you break the law, accept the consequences for your actions and don’t blame the cops for doing their jobs. In addition, an earlier posted mentioned something about marijuana possession being a zero risk of harming others. Well, marijuana possession is against the law last time I checked. You can’t pick and choose the laws you break. If you do, dear jack, you are no better than the "urban youths" that Guest refers to.

  19. George Bush doesn’t want pollution – he just wants to do away with the regulation that stops industry from polluting. If you could leave industry free to pollute all it wanted, but the result was that there was less pollution in the world than before, George Bush would be happy.

    Anarchists don’t want chaos and violence – they just want to do away with the regulation that stops sociopaths from committing violent acts and creating chaos. If you could leave sociopaths free to commit all the chaos and violence they wanted, but the result was less chaos and violence in the world than before, anarchists would be happy.

    Same principle. Why do I suspect you don’t trust that Bush’s program will lead to less pollution, but want us (and the media) to accept that the anarchists’ program of deregulating crime would lead to less violence and chaos? And if anarchists want something that will inevitably lead to violence and chaos, either they want violence and chaos or they’re hopelessly naive. From the media’s standpoint it doesn’t matter which.

    – Bruce

  20. First off your assumptions are flawed. Violent crime isn’t something that I’ve ever heard anarchists support. Trying to draw a connection between bush’s ‘program’ and connecting it to an anarchist’s viewpoint doesn’t work either because you’re only scratching the surface of both. Polluting industry has to be located somewhere right? They require a workforce which keeps them from going to uninhabited places. When communities are poisoned by a polluting factory they aren’t usually too happy about it. If people had an actual fair say over what happened in their community I don’t think industry would find a place to set up shop, at least not if they’re polluting. But as things currently are the polluting industry goes and puts plants and factories in low income areas. In our current system it takes money to mount a successful campaign, be it legal, pr, or through the legislature. It doesn’t take much to figure out what that means, hell you can go read about the seemingly endless numbers of incidents where a community tries to get polluting plants cleaned up or out, but it doesn’t happen because the corporation has millions of dollars and squashes opposition in the courts. People don’t enjoy being poisoned, they don’t like it when they’re kids grow up with tons of strange health problems, and if they could they would force the plant to clean up and stop polluting, and of course in a non hierarchical system the plant probably wouldn’t be run by a group of men often hundreds of miles away.

    So when you try and take your situation to a world where everyone had an equal say I don’t think that you’d find as many if any polluting factories to start off with. As I said before this isn’t a change that could happen overnight, you can’t just extend how things are set up now to how they would be running under a different system. You have to actually think how that new system will change the environment that we all operate in…

  21. "The only decreases in crime have come in exactly the times and places where people like Guiliani and Allen have indeed locked enough people up that the rest got the message – crime will not be tolerated, and violent crime will be stamped on hard."

    Those haven’t worked, there are just more people in jail. The number of youth becoming criminals hasn’t decreased, and it sometimes increases. Stamping on crime is a joke, it just moves it elsewhere or puts more people behind bars but does nothing to deter people from becoming criminals, and until that happens you’ve got yourself an ever growing snowball. If you like stamping on crime we should revert to what england did years ago and have public hangings for everything from stealing to murder. That not only does away with the criminals once and for all but shows everyone that it just won’t be tolerated. Oh wait I forgot, that was a failed approach crime continued to increase throughout that entire ‘program,’ which is why it was abandoned….

    I’ve never said anything about giving criminals a ‘free pass’. I’ve never once said that people shouldn’t be punished for certain crimes. I don’t think that criminals should ‘run amok’. I have just said that putting an ever increasing amount of people behind bars WON’T solve the problem. You have to address the root causes. I’d love an example as to how we’ve been using that approach for the past 40-odd years that you think its been tried. I said that when a people are oppressed there will be those that react violently, it has always worked that way and I don’t see any sign of it stopping. Therefor the logical conclusion is to try and remove all oppression to help decrease violent crime, not that I am condoning it and saying that its ok.

  22. so we do away with courts and government (at its best, a representation of the people’s will) and what happens? a bunch of people say "no" to the "polluting business" and the business says "oh, sorry, bye."? nope. they keep on making whatever they make. what are your options? you don’t have any avenue. you can try to convince everyone else to not work for them, not buy their products etc. but they need the jobs and they need the products so they say "we’d rather have pollution and have jobs." keep going with this a while and you end up with a few people (relatively speaking) who don’t want something and have no recourse.

    there isn’t a system…there’s just a bunch of individuals who would still have to organize to get anything done. hobbes was very astute in writing about the state of nature. people, on an individual level are, generally, selfish, self-oriented, greedy and willing to cut corners and/or cheat others to get what they want. remove all checks on that and you’ve got real problems.

    i’m not arguing that we’ve got a perfect society (heck, its comprised of people)…but its a far sight better than most alternatives, including "anarchy."

  23. niels writes: I’ve never once said that people shouldn’t be punished for certain crimes

    In your perfect anarchy, who delivers punishment?

    (And I am still looking to you for hypothetical relocation advice; where on earth could a good anarchist find a place to live which now — or in the past, even — most fits your ideals?)

  24. Unjust laws are there to be broken. Breaking laws doesn’t inherently make you any worse than someone else. Smoking marijuana and committing violent crime are completely different, that’s like saying that anyone who speeds is no better than a murderer. Putting people behind bars for years just for smoking marijuana is ridiculous, more than what some people have gotten for rape or other violent crime I might add…

    Racial profiling is far more than a “catch phrase”. I’d like to see you explain that to someone who has been pulled over and harassed countless times only for being black. If you think that there isn’t police injustice just look back at Rodney King, or the youth in florida that was just beaten for no reason by police. I think after one rather hassling and offensive run in with the police for no reason you’d have a very different tone of voice. You’re making all of your points without even trying to look at the situation from other people’s perspectives. I suggest you talk to people who feel oppressed and then maybe you’ll see things from another point of view. It always sounds all nice to just say “get at least a public education, show up to school, graduate and get a real job” but things often aren’t that easy. Talk to people that have tried that, tried studying and doing well while living in a ghetto, I don’t think its as easy as you’re making it out to be. Maybe they should just move to another neighborhood where they can study and work in peace, oh wait I forgot, they can’t afford it…

    You should listen to

    http://www.democracynow.org – a great radio show from new york, they often have people on from oppressed areas of the country.

  25. Most of the people living around a polluting factory almost always don’t want it to keep on polluting. If, as things should be, everyone had a voice they would say if you want to stay open in our community you’ve got to clean up, otherwise you have to close. If there are people who want to buy that company’s product let them open up a factory in their community and see how they feel. Once again it really is hard to draw parallels between the two systems because they are so completely different. Society itself would have to change. There are many groups of people in history (look at native americans) who weren’t greedy, who didn’t want to put certain things over the health of the environment. Native americans only changed when they were conquered by europeans.

    There is nothing wrong with organization, I work with quite a few anarchist groups, the problems come in when you are being ruled by someone, when you give up some of you rights and powers to someone else and entrust them to take good care of them for you.

    "keep going with this a while and you end up with a few people (relatively speaking) who don’t want something and have no recourse."

    Yeah, if you keep going with that under our current system. The problem is that if a community doesn’t like something they can’t necessarily change it. It doesn’t matter how many people you have, the important thing is how much money you’ve got. Once you remove that, you remove the ability of a corporation to screw over everyone around them. Another problem is that factories wouldn’t be set up in the same way. It would be everyone who worked there having a say. Local businesses give back much more to their community than do chain stores, extend that to a factory controlled by its workers, the inhabitants of that community and you get a factory that isn’t going to poison the people who run it….

    "Anarchists are opposed to violence; everyone knows that. The main plank of anarchism is the removal of violence from human relations. It is life based on freedom of the individual, without the intervention of the gendarme. For this reason we are the enemies of capitalism which depends on the protection of the gendarme to oblige workers to allow themselves to be exploited–or even to remain idle and go hungry when it is not in the interest of the bosses to exploit them. We are therefore enemies of the State which is the coercive violent organization of society."

    — Erico Malatesta

  26. And pollution isn’t something I’ve heard Bush support. Neither wants the ill itself, both want to do away with the only thing that restricts people from committing more of the ill. Anarchists may not want crime, but take away the cops and the courts and the jails and they’ll get plenty more of it whether they want it or not.

    And I doubt people in any community want to be robbed or shot any more than they want to be poisoned by factory emissions. The only way to stop either is to have a democratic government that can enforce laws against these crimes.

  27. The community would theoretically deliver punishment. I don’t think that crime would be a common occurrence in an anarchist system. A lot of things would have to change, (why it can’t happen overnight…) but I think that in the future it is possible. When you remove differentiating factors I think that pretty much all crime would cease.

    "Anarchists are opposed to violence; everyone knows that. The main plank of anarchism is the removal of violence from human relations. It is life based on freedom of the individual, without the intervention of the gendarme. For this reason we are the enemies of capitalism which depends on the protection of the gendarme to oblige workers to allow themselves to be exploited–or even to remain idle and go hungry when it is not in the interest of the bosses to exploit them. We are therefore enemies of the State which is the coercive violent organization of society."

    — Erico Malatesta

    There aren’t any anarchist areas that I know of, though many big cities in Europe are supposed to have large populations/areas… eugene oregon is supposed to be nice, never been there before… I’d say ideally though it would be best to meet up with other people in your area and work locally, that’s the only way I see things ever changing

  28. Stamping on crime works just fine. If it just moves next door, great; now it’s their problem and they can either stamp it themselves or live with it, their choice. Eventually either there’s no lenient community for it to gravitate towards or it all ends up in the places that would rather live with it than fight it. In any case that’s all a bit silly; a criminal who’s locked up securely can hardly move next door.

    Crime rates dropped in Virginia following the Allen administration and in NYC during the Guiliani administration. More criminals in jail means that many less criminals on the street committing crimes. The only reason it didn’t work in old England was that the law enforcement system was too primitive and inefficient. Whether punishment works has nothing whatsoever to do with the humaneness or cruelty of capital punishment, so don’t drag that in.

    You operate under the flawed assumption that crime is caused by efforts to curb it – that in the absence of cops and courts there would be no crime. All history shows the opposite is true. In any case, we’re not about to abolish private property and all laws and government, so if that’s the only solution you have to offer, save your time and try to think about more realistic alternatives.

    If you don’t want to give criminals a free pass, then why object to locking them up? And that’s the only way to adress the ‘root cause’ of this sort of crime, which is sociopathic a$$holes who think their right to do whatever they please outweighs anyone else’s right to be free from violence and intimidation. If you think these vicious little thugs have the slightest motivation in common with people fighting for a political cause, whether evil people fighting for a bad cause or noble people fighting for a just one, you’re sadly mistaken.

  29. I don’t think that the ‘cops and the courts and the jails’ could be taken away tonight, tomorrow or next month, but I do think that it is possible to eventually get rid of them. The main feeder for crime is inequality, which when removed will take the crime with it.

    Governments are in their nature violent, they rely on crime and criminals to keep people demanding their continued existence. To this end having a society separated by classes, with a certain percentage required by our economy to be out of work, poor, and homeless there will be a never ending feeling of disparity among the lower classes. This is expressed in different ways, but one of the most noticeable is violence, which makes us want more cops and laws to control certain people even more, making them even more oppressed. Its a cycle that won’t leave us until we ditch this failed system.

  30. "The community would theoretically deliver punishment. I don’t think that crime would be a common occurrence in an anarchist system."

    So, like most anarchists, your proposal essentially boils down to two inherent contradictions: depending on mob violence to enforce social justice while claiming to be opposed to violence, and an assumption that because you think something will be less common, it won’t happen at all or can simply be assumed away.

    There’s a reason why anarchist movements inevitably come to one of two ends: their half-baked and self-contradictory plans cannot possibly work, so they must either retreat back to the pipe-dreams of idle coffeehouse debates or allow themselves to be hijacked by a Lenin or Pol Pot who has the ability and will to get things done even if it means sacrificing some of those non-violent and democratic anarchist ideals.

  31. "Stamping on crime works just fine." Then why are we still plagued by it? Why is it a problem that will never go away? Even regimes that have a zero tolerance for crime are plagued by it. Look at religious countries that have taken the stamp on crime approach to its conclusion, not only do they still have crime, but they’ve got an oppressed people.

    I do think that crime is caused by some efforts to curb it, but not all. The ones that oppress a certain group without regard to any facts will in the end create more crime. I think that the only way to solve the problem of crime is to get at the roots, why is it happening? Punishing people won’t stop other people from doing it, or the punished from doing it again when freed. I don’t think that repeat offender rates are dropping in this country, doesn’t look like punishment is working.

    I don’t want to give them a free pass, I want to find out why they’re committing crimes and act there. I’ve said multiple times I don’t think that the system (cops, courts and all that junk) could be ditched tonight, but EVENTUALLY it could.

    We might not be about to abolish private property but I don’t see why sometime down the road it can’t happen. That is what I work for, and once again the groups that I work with manage to get a lot done…

  32. "So, like most anarchists, your proposal essentially boils down to two inherent contradictions: depending on mob violence to enforce social justice while claiming to be opposed to violence, and an assumption that because you think something will be less common, it won’t happen at all or can simply be assumed away."

    I think that overtime crime wouldn’t really happen. BUT when it did a community could certainly take care of it. You wouldn’t have a bunch of violent thugs out for blood. Crimes could be handled on a case by case basis. I think that when addressed rationally and calmly a community could deal with any crime that might occure. Certainly couldn’t do a worse job of it than what is being done now.

  33. You’ve fallen for a false and romanticised picture of Native Americans. The damage Native Americans did to their environment was limited by their relatively primitive technology, not by any lack of greed or desire for material things. Native Americans were advanced and greedy enough to hunt most of the game species of N. America to extinction thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans and almost starve themselves into extinction in the process; eventually they recovered an equilibrium with their environment just like any other organism.

    Your economy is a pipe dream. Why do local stores lose out to Wal-Mart – because Wal-Mart burns them out or hangs a few holdouts as a warning? Of course not; the people of the community choose to shop at chain stores because they prefer the prices and selection. People could get together right now and stop supporting big national chains and no law or cop in the land would stop them, but the people in your communities don’t WANT your primitive local-based subsistence economy. For that matter neither did the Native Americans; they were glad enough to get the Europeans’ horses and guns and the greater wealth they could acquire with them.

  34. "Stamping on crime works just fine. Then why are we still plagued by it?"

    No medical system has ever entirely eradicated disease; the fact remains that we have less disease and longer lives than people who have no medicine at all. No justice system has ever eliminate all crime, but we have less crime than people who have no courts or cops (as in Somalia) or corrupt and ineffective ones (as in Russia).

    "Look at religious countries that have taken the stamp on crime approach to its conclusion, not only do they still have crime, but they’ve got an oppressed people."

    Many of them have much, much lower crime rates than the US or Europe. Whether the oppression is religious or secular is another argument.

    "The ones that oppress a certain group without regard to any facts will in the end create more crime."

    I agree. Putting people in jail because they are black would cause more crime. No one has proposed doing that. Putting people in jail because they committed violent crimes, without regard to their race, will prevent crime.

    "I don’t think that repeat offender rates are dropping in this country, doesn’t look like punishment is working."

    You’re just flat-out wrong there. Crime rates have dropped everywhere governments got serious about prosecuting it.

    "I don’t want to give them a free pass, I want to find out why they’re committing crimes and act there."

    In other words, person A commits a crime, but you say the "root cause" is oppression by person B and punish him instead. I call that giving person A a free pass. You want to know why someone shoots someone else? Because he’s an a$$hole who thinks he can (or at least deserves to) get away with anything, that’s why. That’s the one and only root cause of violent crime.

  35. "The main feeder for crime is inequality, which when removed will take the crime with it."

    Archaeological evidence indicates that human beings have been murdering each other for at least 50,000 years and possibly much longer, while governments, laws, capitalist economies, socio-economic classes, and all the things you say cause crime have only been with us a few thousand years. The Iceman was murdered some 5500 years ago in a society closer to your ideal anarchy than any modern society is. If you’re a believer, Cain murdered Abel generations before the invention of money or kingship.

    Yes, it is true that governments need crime, among other threats, to justify their existence. However, in the face of the overwhelming evidence that these threats preceded government and universally become worse in its absence, only a paranoid would conclude that government is an Orwellian racket designed to maintain its own existence by supporting crime, and only a fool could imagine that, because the cure is often found in proximity to the disease, removing the cure will end the disease.

  36. Prove that people are stopped only for "being black" How can you prove that unless the cop says " I stopped him because he’s black" There is racial profiling which is the "new thing" and criminal profiling which adds up several factors to reach a determination as to whether someone is up to no good. A white man cruising a known drug area at 3 in the morning may not be breaking the law by his presence, but you tell me, what is he up to. He is more than likely buying drugs. I am one of many tired of hearing of "oppression". There is no oppression. It is called getting your act together and being a useful member of society. Not an urban youth with a stolen gun "looking the part" to be cool. When these people get their heads blown off on the street for these silly turf wars, etc. Do you think when I pick up the paper I get sad and feel for them? No, I shake my head and say "live the life and pay the price". I only feel bad for their mothers. It’s a sad waste.

  37. I haven’t read this entire thread yet, so I may end up double posting, but I just have to say that I find this thread to be a bit surprising. During the two and a half years that I lived in Charlottesville (I moved at the beginning of May 2002), I lived in neighborhoods right next to 5th St extended (Monte Vista Ave., Moseley Dr., and even the Meadows). During the last year I lived in C-ville, I got rid of my car and started taking public transportation and walking everywhere. I regularly walked to the Food Lion on 5th St ext. and never had any problems with the people in the neighborhood, rarely felt that my safety was compromised. Sometimes I even walked there after dark. The only time that I worried about my safety was shortly after the carjacking and murder of the elderly man near Azalea Park.

    Perhaps I was extraordinarily lucky. Perhaps the potential criminals were shocked to see a white girl so brazen/naive to be walking around after dark. Who knows. What I do know is that the vast majority of the people who live in those neighborhoods are good, blue-collar, law-abiding people…and they don’t deserve to have their reputations tarnished because they can’t afford to live in walking distance of UVA or the downtown mall (well…most people’s idea of walking distance–I did those 30 minute jaunts frequently).

    That said, I think it’s criminal if the law enforcement officials are turning a blind eye to violence and other illicit behavior. Just because it’s staying confined primarily to the neighborhood where many of these people live doesn’t excuse the lack of action (if lack of action is actually the case). If it wouldn’t be tolerated in the North Downtown neighborhood it shouldn’t be tolerated in 5th St. Ext.

    Jessica

  38. For that matter neither did the Native Americans; they were glad enough to get the Europeans’ horses and guns and the greater wealth they could acquire with them.

    And look where that got them.

  39. I believe the fatal flaw of the anarchy system you describe is that, like direct democracy and socialism, it is entirely reliant on a major shift in society’s behavior. And as good an idea as each of those systems are in theory, they can’t succeed in the real world because the paradigm shift they rely on is unreleastic and isn’t going to happen. This is particularly pronounced in such an anarchist system, as it requires many more and much more drastic changes than are required by the other two systems which still allow for centralized, empowered authority figures.

  40. I’ve lived only blocks away from 5th St. for almost two years now and very frequently walk through that area on my way home at all hours of night and have never once had any sort of trouble there. You seem to have a very extreme, Compton-inspired perception of the "urban youth" of Charlottesville that I can confidently assure you is quite far from the truth. I’ll admit the area is sketchy in parts and is with little doubt more crime-ridden than most other areas of Charlottesville, but given the context it’s not actually too bad.

    And it’s certainly no "anarchy zone"!

  41. Those haven’t worked, there are just more people in jail. The number of youth becoming criminals hasn’t decreased, and it sometimes increases. Stamping on crime is a joke, it just moves it elsewhere or puts more people behind bars but does nothing to deter people from becoming criminals, and until that happens you’ve got yourself an ever growing snowball.

    You’re at least partially right here. Locking people up hasn’t been as effective as we could wish. I believe that we should re-institute the lash.

    Seriously.

  42. Will, I’ve been to your house and the area of 5th street that many of us are refering to is a ways farther down from where you are.

    It’s no Compton, but the level of violence is still getting out of hand. Even police officers that patrol the area will tell you that.

    The point is that the violence is currently at a level which *should* be manageable. Sure, it’s not as bad as it might be. However, the real threat is in the fact that there are not often penalties for acts of violence in Charlottesville. Rather, many police officers, the media and local prosecutors look the other way as violent perpetrators are either not pursued or let off with the proverbial slap on the wrist. It is this that threatens to allow the problem to snowball unchecked.

  43. I concur. Those are pretty safe neighborhoods. "Anarchy zone" is a bit much. I almost never lock my car at night. The Bailey area up the hill on 5th seems skechier, maybe because I don’t live there.

    I was chased once by a group of 15-year olds while walking back from Food Lion to JPA, a trip I also used to make, but only because I was pretty much jogging anyway and too tired to call their bluff.

    The carjack-murder was on Willard, BTW.

  44. As I read through all of these comments, I have to wonder the following:

    1)How many of the posters work in law enforcement?

    2)How much do you really now about crime and law enforcement besides what you read in the press?

    3)Do you personally know any local residents who work in law enforcement?

    4)Would you be willing to give up your current situation which allows you to type away at the computer endlessley and put your life on the line to protect the citizens in our city?

    It is very easy to sit and criticize what "appears" to be going on in this town but the truth is that the police understand the matter in a way that we couldn’t even begin to. I would imagine that there is not a single posting here from a police officer or from anyone that works in the police department because they are busy working on more important issues. Plus, I am sure it would be extremely offensive for the majority of them to even read this thread.

  45. First of all I’d love to see some evidence about your claim regarding native americans. I have personally never heard anything regarding that. Nothing with real backing showed up in a quick google search. I did ask someone I know who is much more up to date about native american lifestyles than I am and this was part of her response:

    "I have heard it "speculated" that the "wooly mammoth’s" extinction was perhaps caused by over hunting by Aboriginal peoples and that they did some burning and clearing of forest areas for small gardens (corn, beans, squash) clearly the forests recovered by the time the white man "discovered" America and I have never heard it speculated that they were greedy or materialistic at all. There was nothing in past history to begin to compare to the wholesale slaughter for the sake of slaughter of millions of buffalo

    by the white man. In the main, it appears that Native Americans had very tightly organized societies and that everything was done for the good of the group. Much different from our current version of greed. In fact the Iroquois Confederation of New England and Canada areas had quite an interesting organization and there is a fair amount of evidence that ideas used in our constitution came from them."…"What groups are they referring to? The Anasazi of the desert southwest left no evidence of this sort of thing. We still have no idea what happened to them after they left their cliff dwellings."…"Even if what they said were true, which I don’t believe it is, the Natives did obviously reach an equilibrium with their environment which we seem to have no desire or intention of doing."

    I don’t believe that my economy is a ‘pipe dream’. There are a very large list of flaws in our current system, but one thing seems to be a persistent factor and that is money. Why do you think that chain stores like wal mart do so well? wal mart goes into a community and saturates the area with advertisements. The local businesses don’t have the financial resources to compete against that and they are slowly forced out of business. The effects of wal mart may not be as noticeable here, but there are plenty of places all over the country where certain items are only available at wal mart or some other chain (lowes for example). When the public airwaves are turned into commercial vehicles it is very hard for people without large amounts of money to get their voice heard. It amazes me that in this ‘democracy’ we gave away our public airwaves, one smart thing to do would’ve been to require a couple minutes out of each 30min slot to be open for local groups. The stupid public access channel is a joke, nobody watches it, making it only worthwhile for kids to put their odd shows on. The people in this country are fed sooo much misinformation it is almost impossible to expect them to have the information to make good choices. Remove that and I think the situation would be pretty different.

  46. "Archaeological evidence indicates that human beings have been murdering each other for at least 50,000 years and possibly much longer"

    I’d like to see that evidence, but the majority of old remains I’ve heard of were often burial remains, but regardless I do think that humans have evolved in those 50,000 years, and I think that the majority of people do have a heightened respect for life now… I don’t really see what your point is, having a society that is ‘closer’ to anarchy than what we have now and having one murder doesn’t really prove anything… You will probably still find your occasional sociopath, but it doesn’t mean that overall crime rates won’t drop significantly. Also having a society that is close to anarchy doesn’t really cut it, anarchy is far different from any other system and requires a huge shift to work. I do think that it is possible, not right away, but I think eventually it could work.

    What evidence do you have that anarchy wouldn’t work? Power structures are a pretty ancient thing, though they might not have been termed a government they still existed. If you believe that humans are inherently greedy (to the point of harming others), violent, and ‘criminals’ then I can see why you would think we need a government. I think that those attributes are created and nourished by the society that we are a part of.

  47. “…working on more important issues…”

    “To Protect and to Serve is the issue.

    1) Please define these “more important issues.
    2) One does not have to be in law enforcement to acknowledge that murder is wrong, and the suspect should be vigilantly sought after and then prosecuted to the fullest extent possible. Same goes for any “random” shooting. Or robbery. Or attack. Or car theft.
    3) By choosing to serve the citizens of this community, those same officers are placing themselves in the line of fire, figuratively and literally. No one forces these same officers to perform the selfless tasks they choose to do; make no mistake, most of us appreciate them in ways that we cannot begin to understand.
    4) One would expect the police force to use the press to publicize suspects, composite drawings, etc. something that will give residents at the very least the feeling that the police are doing something productive. Part of police work is to ensure that a) the community is safe and b) the community feels safe.
    5) Those who would be offended by this thread probably need to develop thicker skins. “Sticks and stones …” Please enumerate which parts specifically of this thread they would find offensive.

    Most of the comments here have been cogent, coherent arguments, and beneficial to the entire community for an open discussion.

    –Jim

  48. I don’t think its unrealistic, or that its not going to happen. I agree that it would take some rather drastic changes, but I think that they are possible. Local organizing and community work are in my opinion the best vehicles for change. The only way for something along these lines to happen would be a person by person change, reaching out in your area and talking to people. I do think that it will be interesting when (and I do think that this will happen in the near future) a community decides they are sick of being part of this state and decide to try and start an anarchist place. If it was done peacefully (no weapons) the us would still respond with violence and the result would be pretty dramatic… Guess we’ll just have to wait and see…

  49. I don’t think its fair to call crime a disease, it is a problem created by the structure of our society.

    "Many of them have much, much lower crime rates than the US or Europe. Whether the oppression is religious or secular is another argument."

    Then why don’t we adopt their policies? Where do you draw the line between oppression and lowering crime? When you are finally affected by the efforts to curb crime, and you lose some of your rights for no reason will you still continue supporting the stamp on crime approach?

    "I agree. Putting people in jail because they are black would cause more crime. No one has proposed doing that. Putting people in jail because they committed violent crimes, without regard to their race, will prevent crime."

    Then why do black people make up the majority of prison inmates? Why do you have a greater chance of being hassled and otherwise questioned by the police when you’re black? I don’t think you’d be saying that if you had ever talked to people who have been hassled for no reason by the police, or if it had ever happened to you…

    "In other words, person A commits a crime, but you say the ‘root cause’ is oppression by person B and punish him instead. I call that giving person A a free pass."

    I didn’t say punish person B and let person A go. I said that there are problems in society creating circumstances where we will always have a person A. When those circumstances are resolved person A goes away. But as I’ve said multiple times before I don’t think this transition can happen overnight, I don’t think we can get rid of the cops tomorrow, ie person A would still need to be punished, the laws wouldn’t disappear right away, ie NO free passes. I don’t see why you seem to have so much trouble understanding that. You keep saying this ‘free pass’ nonsense and as I’ve told you so many times we couldn’t abandon police tonight, it would take TIME.

  50. I lived on Moseley too, I walked to food lion after dark all the time too. I never had any problems. The only thing that ever happened to me was that I saw a few young urban youths in my driveway casing my car (looking in the windows) so I opened the door and they fled. I figured that was all there was to it, but a few minutes later I see them walking around in my yard on the other side of the house. A little pacing back and forth on my porch with a rifle slung over my shoulder and they left very quickly :)

    I was shocked by the carjacking (just up the street from me) because I had been at food lion right after they left there. It could have been me they asked a ride from. Once a couple scary looking men asked me for a ride from exxon to southwood at 3am. I told them to walk but they were insistant. I must have said no 10 times while I walked to my car and opened it. When my friend came out of the store they quickly changed their minds about wanting a ride. Perhaps they didnt like loosing their 2 on 1 advantage.

    I think the real answer is that the hood on cherry and the hood on longwood and the hood on 5th st are all merging in that area. It reminds me of new orleans, where high income white picket fence types can be a half block from a ghetto. The people I lived near were family types, very quiet. If I saw some "urban youths" walking by, I knew they were just walking from one hood to another.

    Anarchy? hardly… anarchy is unpredictable, violence is very predictable. The FBI maps out areas based on socioeconomic statistics, to be able to PREDICT where crime will happen before the criminals even know they’re going to do it.

  51. There are arguments that say that intense punishment for insignificant crimes does work. Chile has the death penalty for DUI, you can count their annual DUI rate on one hand.

    I dont think this is the case, I think they simply have a society that doesnt drink and drive in the first place. For example, if you were to ban guns tomorrow in the US, no matter what the penalty, many many people would not turn in their arms. In england, very few people have guns, because their society has always been that way, it was not forced to do so.

    Way back when in France, the penalty for smoking tobacco was death. The military had to resort to kicking people’s skulls in with their boots, to save on ammunition. Obviously, the law was quickly abolished.

    Has anything changed? I think not… people obviously smoke marijuana. Infact it’s downright socially acceptable in some areas of the country. But 2 men were killed for no other reason than being stoner hippies and having FUN(fun is prohibited by federal law after all) on their stoner hippie campground.

    http://www.cnn.com/2001/US/09/04/campground.shootings/index.html

    The moral of the story? If you are a stoner hippie, the police will kill you. Has that stopped anyone? Hardly.

    What should we do about it? Hell if I know… I just live here… I dont make the rules.

  52. Those testosterone saturated maniacal agents of our government are not posting here because they’re busy chasing underage tail.

    I know many women who were nothing short of stalked by various charlottesville/albemarle officers when they were younger. I bet if everyone got to talking about it, they’d realize all their friends had the same problem. I’m suprised more people dont know this.

    Another possible reason is that they are not paid enough to afford a computer and internet access. What a shame, shouldnt you be paid more than other government employees considering you’re shot at on a regular basis?

    No one should rag on the cville or albemarle police for being soft on crime. Sure, they may not pay as much attention to your stolen bicyle as to an assult on a police officer… but thats to be expected. I’ve found them to be a highly efficient police force, especially considering how small cville is. Once some people across the street from where I work called in shots fired (there was no gun, they were mistaken) and the police filled the street in a matter of 30-45 seconds after the noise happened. Now thats efficient! There was a bank robbery a few years back and the FBI had agents there in 2 minutes!!! Consider yourself safe!

  53. Put the criminals in Jail. Hold them responsible for their actions.

    Hold the family responsible for the actions of their children. Accept nothing less than full accountability for one’s actions.

    For an extreme example, read this “Israel’s policy of leveling the houses of suicide terrorists’ families seems to be working” But it works.

    Evicting perpetrators of crimes and their families should teach a lesson – Those who choose to do criminal acts will face as swift and as fair retribution and punishment as the law (read “speedy trial”) allows.

    FYI – Europe’s “gun control” doesn’t work

  54. Lars writes:”What a shame, shouldnt you be paid more than other government employees considering you’re shot at on a regular basis?&quot;

    Is this true? Locals are firing on cops on regular basis?!

    I know that one officer got a puncture wound to arm recently, but I can’t remember ever hearing that anyone took a bullet. Does anyone remember such a case? Have any local cops ever been seriously — or mortally — wounded on the job (from knives, guns, vehicle crashes . . . )? I’m curious.

  55. Hardscrabble, the whole point of living in a representative democracy is that the actions of government officials and agents, including the police, are subject to public scrutiny and comment. It’s not only a right, it’s every citizen’s patriotic duty to participate in public discussion and decision-making (if only through voting) on these issues.

    I agree that people should have respect for law enforcement professionals and not make it tougher for them to do their job, but respect and support don’t mean it’s out of line to question whether people who are being paid our tax dollars and given special powers to further the public interest are doing everything they should be doing to protect those interests.

  56. I would love clarification on exactly how many women were "nothing short of stalked by local law enforcement officers." You use the word "many" – if this is true, then you should get off the computer and do something about it.

    Regarding your line "Another possible reason is that they are not paid enough to afford a computer and internet access. What a shame, shouldnt you be paid more than other government employees considering you’re shot at on a regular basis?" –

    I am fairly certain that most police officers can afford a computer and access to the Internet in their homes. I doubt that they have a lot of time while at work to surf the web and post comments at cvillenews.com When they are at home, hopefully they are doing something more productive than reading about how everyone besides them is so capable of changing the world and righting all the wrongs.

  57. The book I can think of offhand is Jared Diamond’s _Guns, Germs, and Steel_, but that’s by no means the only place I read this. It’s been in the news recently, IIRC – the question of whether the late Pleistocene large mammal extinction (or rather, how much, since there were several waves and a diversity of species involved) was caused by humans is an ongoing one. A quick web search turned up

    http://www4.nau.edu/amqua/v29n1/quaternary_paleobiology_update.htm http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/10/011025072315.htm http://www.phschool.com/science/science_news/articles/new_world_hunters.html

    Note that two of these articles conclude humans were not responsible; however, they assume that only Clovis-period humans could have been responsible for mass extinctions and thus that pre-Clovis extinctions must not have been caused by humans, but there is a growing body of evidence that large-scale human habitation in N. America preceded the Clovis material culture.

    Keep in mind that 99% of popular literature on pre-Colombian Americans is unreliable for scientific purposes because it’s written for political or modern social purposes. It sounds like that’s where your friend is coming from. I don’t see much relevance of glowing praise of 18C Iroquois political institutions to the question of the consequences of hunting 13,000 years ago. It’s not about whether we think Native Americans were decent folk or not.

    And yes, Native Americans achieved an equilibrium, as will we. No other outcome is possible. You assume they achieved it voluntarily, because they were Earth-mother-loving ecologically conscious types, but there’s no reason to think it wasn’t because Mother Nature gave them a smackdown the same way we’re likely to get one.

    You make an unwarranted assumption that all Native American cultures had a stable equilibrium over time based on a brief snapshot of their interaction with Europeans before their cultures’ demise; they did not. We’re not sure exactly what happened to the Mayan or Anasazi or Mississippian cultures, but it probably had something to do with ecological disaster unrelated to Europeans. Despite the impression you may get from Dances With Wolves, the Plains Indians had only been hunting buffalo from horseback for a few generations (no horses before the 1600’s) before the whites killed all the buffalo as a means of economic warfare (not, again contrary to popular belief, because they stupidly exploited a resource; they understood game management when they wanted to) so this was a new technology, not a traditional way of life inherited from time immemorial. Who’s to say they wouldn’t have continued growing in population and hunted the buffalo to extinction themselves given another hundred years or so?

    In any case this is getting a bit far from crime on 5th St.

  58. Maybe YOU need to get up, visit each police department and look at their press releases. Quit calling others lazy when you simply pick up the newspaper to gather your stories. Get out and show up these small time media agencies. I would love to see WNRN blow away the other local media with up-to-date reporting of events. I support you and am behind you 100% for this undertaking. It really shouldn’t be that hard (unless it snows, then WVIR – "Storm Team 29" had got you!)

    Good luck in your quest.

  59. with 59 posts under this topic, are there truly none that deserve a +1 ?

    Is anyone paying attention?

    I typically read at 1 or sometimes even 0 (if i’m feeling confrontational) but when I’ve been gone for a few days it would be really nice to step into a topic with dozens of posts and filter out the drivel. And frankly, the default scoring of 1 for logged posts doesn’t do that (nor should it, probably).

    I’m not going to bother reading all of this topic to back up my case – but I don’t think I have to. Out of all of this, somebody must have said something +1-worthy.

    Pardon the inappropriate placement of the message but I wonder if we might start a dialog on this. Traffic here is pretty heavy. Time to employ selective user help in moderation? I can appreciate moderators have lives, but if there are so few (two, maybe?) it’s crippling to the system.

  60. It would be nice if we were able to cover our own news, but unfortunetly we at NRN don’t have the money to do it. If only the Corporation for Public Broadcasting gave some to us.

  61. Waldo,

    I have been a big fan of your site for quite awhile now, but the updates "aren’t" anymore. There hasn’t been an update since Thursday (Aug. 8th) Although you re-dated the most recent submission to Monday, Aug. 12th, it hasn’t had a new submission in 11 days! What is going on? I submitted an item about the sucky DMB concert at Nissan Pavilion last month and you emailed me back saying that you don’t run DMB stuff unless it is major news. I appreciate the email reply, but basically you are censoring what goes on this site. I submitted something last week and the site said there were 12 submissions ahead of mine. Obviously, none of those 12 were "cvillenews.com-worthy" because the site hasn’t changed. I realize you don’t get paid to run this site and we, as citizens, appreciate having a place to be heard, but don’t censor. You are a big advocate of freedom of speech, so post whatever news people submit. Try it for awhile and see how it goes. If it is a tremendous nightmare then I will apologize and keep to myself. But this site, for lack of better words, sucks lately. Maybe allow anonymous posting again. At least we had new stuff to talk about daily. Good luck Waldo.

  62. I assume news submissions here are /edited/, not exactly /censored/. The site maintainers probably want to adhere the content of the front page to some of their own priorities, and keep it pleasant to read. Furthermore, it seems that replies here are not currently being edited at all; so, no one and no ideas are being completely silenced.

    Since I dont know how many or what submissions are never published, I cant say anything about the editorial decisions here. Nevertheless, I think this site provides an open forum that contributes to our community.

  63. I agree that this site contributes to our community and it is a good thing. I DO NOT think that the responses get edited, but to actually get anything that you submit put on here has been tough lately. I know, using the DMB submission as an example only. Yeah, we all are tired of the whole DMB/Charlottesville thing. But there was nothing else being posted, why not post some submissions for the hell of it just to have some conversation. I simply made a submission concerning the suckiness of a recent DMB concert and wondered if anyone else had the same concert experience as I and apparantly it wasn’t a good enough topic. I am simply suggesting that if there is nothing earth shattering to post, then go back and try putting on some "less important" submissions for conversation.

  64. You are a big advocate of freedom of speech, so post whatever news people submit. Try it for awhile and see how it goes. If it is a tremendous nightmare then I will apologize and keep to myself

    I should start by pointing out that I’ve been at the beach for a week. I got back yesterday. :)

    You should see the submissions that I get. There are a few every day, most of which promote yard sales, bizarre accusations against public officials and one-sentence opinions (things like “Traffic sucks on Route 29!!!”), few of which you’d ever want to read. :) The good news is that, on the flip side, submissions are getting better. I routinely get great writeups from people, and I’m always disappointed when I can’t run them. Somebody provided a great writeup today on a breakthrough medical discovery at UVa, but it’s really got nothing to do with area, save for that the discovery occurred at UVa. (Or your submission regarding the DMB show at Nissan…but I’ve got a whole other website about that. :) So I’ve been trying to get in the habit of e-mailing people when I don’t run a story like that, to let them know that I appreciate the submission, and explain why I don’t intend to run it.

    Anyhow, I hope that explains things a little bit. I’d reply more thoroughly, but things are a little crazy after being out of town for a week. :)

  65. Well Waldo, that explains it! Maybe you need to inform your readers when you are leaving and get permission first. That way, we don’t talk smack about you while you are gone, you know, thinking you forgot about us or something. And, I do appreciate the personal emailed response concerning my earlier submission. Thanks!

  66. Jim, you are scaring me with your pro-level-the-houses-of-families-of-suspected-terrorists position (so what if there’s a newborn baby inside? it works!), your pro-visit-the-sins-of-the-children-on-the-parents position (forget about viewing people as morally autonomous–let’s punish the relatives of criminals even if those relative have led perfectly legal lives–it works!) and your nutty gun-crime-is-worse-in-Europe-than-the-US position.

    On the bright side, I’m glad you posted your real estate website URL, because I’ll never buy or sell a house from you, and I’ll warn my friends not to as well. Thanks!

  67. Yes it works, but Syria slaughtered every man woman and child (about 20,000 people) who lived in the hometown of a terrorist.

    Guess what, it stopped the terrorists. But should it have been done? Clearly not.

    I cant wait for the internet to rip the real estate industry to shreds, people get paid thousands of dollars to smile and nod at people. We dont hire people to sell our stock for us. We use an electronic market… whoah, get used to it buddy, you’re goin down.

    If european gun control doesnt work, I dont know what your idea of working is. America has more firearms deaths by far than any other country, several orders of magnitude more deaths than all of europe combined.

    I dont think guns should be banned. I’m an American after all! Still, it is clear that if there are less guns, less people will have them, if less people have them, less people will get shot by those people.

  68. So is sodomy, I guess I shouldnt tell everybody on the planet that your mom sucked on my genitals.

    Oops, silly me.

  69. My friend had her car windows shot out right in front of her house, the cops said they didnt find the bullet so they couldn’t help her.

    People simply arent shooting your windows out in normal neighborhoods. Wise up, we have a problem.

  70. No, I remember some madison cops who got shot at but not wounded or hurt.

    You hear about assaults on officers in cville a lot, but usually not with a firearm.

    I’m just saying, its part of the job, if you do it long enough, someone will shoot at you to avoid life in prison.

  71. You are assuming I didn’t do anything about it.

    None of them are bothering anybody I know anymore. Cops are so unlikely to report an assault on an officer if it means they’ll be found out.

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