Wednesday, February 12, 2014

All Hail the Police State, Michael Bane Edition

I'm a fan of the Michael Bane Podcast and today's episode was particular topical.  He discusses the increasing prevalence of using SWAT teams in a dynamic entry (kicking in doors and using concussion grenades) for mundane warrants is putting officers at risk.  I agree.

Peace officers should be focused on deescalation and resolving conflict peacefully.  When they arm up with machine guns and grenades and break windows and kick in doors they are bringing violence to a peaceful situation.  They are choosing to escalate the violence rather than pacify it.  Any instructor will tell you that as the violence level escalates, officers are at risk.  It certainly puts civilians at risk.

I've had an intruder in my home.  I was able to resolve the situation without violence.  However, if that intruder has burst into my home in a violent manner instead of coming in quietly, my response would have been quite different.  I would have responded with force.  Instead, I was awoken by my dog and had a moment to gather my thoughts and investigate.  If I was startled awake by violence, it increases the chance I will respond with violence.  It's human nature, hard-wired in us.

I hope police re-evaluate their focus on militarization.  We are all citizens here.  We aren't enemies.  Treating us that way increases the chance we will adapt to be enemies- in that scenario everyone loses.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Day We Fight Back

These folks are doing good work and worth checking out.  If you don't approve of the police state, it's a great day to let your representatives know.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Effect of Tarifs

If you read this blog much, you already realize I'm a motorcycle enthusiast.  I currently own two motorcycles, a Kawasaki dual sport and a Harley.  I bought my first bike at 18 and have owned one continuously for 15 years.  I'm a brand agnostic, lots of companies make good bikes, it all depends on what you are after.

Because of my interest I follow motorcycle news and over the last few years I've noticed a trend in the industry.  Manufacturers are building factories in India.  There are a number of reasons for this, a big one being tariffs.

India, and some other Asian countries like Vietnam, impose very high tariffs on imported motorcycles and scooters.  India is a becoming a huge market for two wheeled transportation, but bikes from Europe, Japan and even China are prohibitively expensive.  So what do manufacturers do?  If they want to sell products in a country where it's not feasible to import, they build a plant.

Honda is up to 4.  KTM is not only building new bikes in India, they are designing new models specifically for that market.  The old British brand Triumph has built bikes in India for some time and are even planning on building a bike in India they export to the UK.  The other British marque, Royal Enfield, is made in India.  Even Harley Davidson makes motorcycles in India.  Their latest offering, the Street 500 and 750, were even designed with members of the engineering team in India. 

It's a changing world out there!