What I'm Reading, and Watching (Sept. 22)

By Chuck Dinerstein, MD, MBA — Sep 22, 2022
A Modern History of Bail Streetlights illuminating the Street, and some unwarranted (?) surveillance Calling people names stifles understanding. Presentism - wokeness reinterprets history
Image by Sam Williams from Pixabay

Bail reform is a political hot button. Advocates of bail insist that it keeps miscreants off the streets; opponents point out that not all miscreants are guilty and that an inability to finance bail means the poor can sit in jail for months while the judicial system slowly attends to their case. Both views are solidly based on opinion; neither considers the actual facts. Could the answer lie with Dog, the Bounty Hunter?

“We don’t want to deprive the innocent of their liberty, but we also don’t want to give the guilty too much of a head start on their escape. Bail bonds don’t solve this problem completely, but they do give judges an additional tool to help them navigate the dilemma.”

From The Wilson Quarterly, by Alex Tabarrok, The Bounty Hunter's Pursuit of Justice


“This is not a surveillance system—nobody is watching it 24 hours a day,” said Erik Caldwell, director of economic development in San Diego, in an interview where he was asked if the wide deployment of “smart” streetlights had turned San Diego into a surveillance city. …

The streetlight was originally designed as a surveillance device and has been refined to that end ever since then. Its association with surveillance and security can be found as early as 400 BC. Citizens of Ancient Rome started to install an oil lamp in front of every villa to prevent tripping or thefts, and an enslaved person would be designated to watch the lamp—lighting was already paired with the notion of control through slavery.”


From Failed Architecture, Smart Streetlights are Casting a Long Shadow Over Our Cities


“If there’s one thing political partisans love more than watching cable news that affirms what they already believe, it’s calling their ideological opponents idiots. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is an “insecure moron” with “zero political savvy,” declared the Palmer Report, a redoubt of resistance liberalism, last month. Sites like Etsy, eBay, and Amazon, have sold thousands of bumper stickers with the words “My governor is an idiot” superimposed over the state of Florida, while “MoRon DeSantis” has become a popular epithet on Twitter. Meanwhile, in July, conservative commentator Mark Levin dubbed Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez “as dumb as they come,” the latest in a long line of like-minded invective leveled at the New York congresswoman. As one Fox News contributor put it, “You expect stupid people to say stupid things, and Comrade Cortez never disappoints.”


Calling people names, a skill our former President excelled at, does not further discourse. Instead, these labels stifle the dialogue necessary to reach an understanding, if not compromise. From Yair Rosenberg, writing in the Atlantic, Your Political Enemies Are Smarter Than You Think.

Finally, Bill Maher is a controversial figure. As shock-jock Don Imus used to say, “everyone is happy with you until it's your ox that gets gored.” But Bill Maher plays it straight up the middle with his take on the woke culture and its attempt to rewrite history. A piece on Youtube.  




Chuck Dinerstein, MD, MBA

Director of Medicine

Dr. Charles Dinerstein, M.D., MBA, FACS is Director of Medicine at the American Council on Science and Health. He has over 25 years of experience as a vascular surgeon.

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