Blame the victim.
In my parallel life I am an engineer. Look inside any engineer's head and you will find all the machinery is fueled by a substance called logic. In fact, most of the Erector Set brigade pride themselves on being logical to the extreme. Their nature requires them to think like robots, gleaning answers from facts not emotion. That is how I navigate life, harvesting fact with logic. Boring, but simple and comfortable for me. Occasionally though, I am thrown off balance by a bout of emotion that clouds my thinking and makes me uneasy until logic refreshes my mind to once again regain equilibrium. One such occurrence happened recently, but the way my balance was restored came from an unusual source that took me by surprise. A young person I know, someone who I affectionately consider youthfully ditzy, with an unrealistic but charmingly fairytale view of life, in one sentence reminded me of the fundamental meaning of clear logical thinking and shamed me into discarding soft touchy-feely irrational emotion.
Now for the gist of this 'what do you think'.
Most of you would have heard of the Cleveland couple who's 7 year old son's pet Labrador was struck and killed by a passing motorist outside their home on Bow Street. Apparently the family was in their front yard when the dog chased a ball the boy was playing with onto the road and into the path of the car. Understandably it was a traumatic event for the family and the driver, who was reported to have become hysterical at the scene. The outcome of this tragic event was an appearance of the mother before the Cleveland City Council with a demand for stricter traffic control outside her home with lowered speed limits and installation of speed bumps. The mother suggested that the reason the family pet was killed was because of excessive speed by the driver, and the city had not done enough, despite previous complaints to slow traffic.
Initially, my thoughts coincided with those of the city council, tempered by compassion for the loss of the family pet. That is when my young mentor stepped in to inject reason into my failing logic. "This would not have happened if the dog had been on a leash" was the remark that brought clarity to my emotion tainted thought. I have to tell you, as a dog lover, it did not come easy to overcome my compassion with logic. It troubled me for days and taught me the valuable lesson that wisdom is not guaranteed with age, and that we older folk can sometimes learn from the young.
On reflection, I now believe the Cleveland City Council erred with its knee-jerk reaction to appease the mother. An understandable reaction, but a mistake none the less. What they did was vilify the driver for hitting a dog that through the negligence of the parents should not have been on the street in the first place. The parents were aware of the dangers of the road outside their home but failed to restrain their dog. The driver had the right to be on the road, the dog didn't. Even if the driver was speeding, as the parents claim, the family pet would not have been hit if it had been properly restrained. By supporting the mother over the driver without proof of speeding, the city council took sides and helped the parents avoid responsibility. Apart from the damage to the vehicle, the driver was reported to be heavily pregnant at the time of the event so the fetus could have been negatively impacted by the collision which could be argued, was initiated by the negligence of the parents. A risky fight for the council to take sides in. Also, the city has set a precedent for people requesting reduced speed limits in every residential neighborhood in town, leading to anyone involved in a collision outside someone else's home being vilified publicly by the city. Logic would say, let those that never speed through someone else's neighborhood cast the first stone.
That's what I think. What do you think?
Cool for some.
Cleveland City Councilman, Bill Estes, wants to clean up the poorer end of Inman Street leading East past the railroad bridge. Being the radical liberal that he is, his first thoughts were to enact especially strict property laws to force home and business owners to shape up. Already, Cleveland Mayor, Tom Rowland was on to it, (strange how he achieved this so quickly.) He had already appointed downtown property owner, Sherry Brown, chair of the newly formed US 64 / Inman Street Gateway Task Force with Estes and NAACP's Lawrence Armstrong as enablers. They say they already have local businesses on board to clean up the area. If the cleanup resembles what happened on the west side of the bridge, Inman Street from US 64 will soon become a run down wasteland owned by speculators. They are in effect handing over the area to those that are slowly destroying what little business and community there remains downtown. Inappropriate action is sometimes worse than doing nothing.
That's what I think. What do you think?