Agents of change
Heather Boggs (Letters, 1/18/2013) takes issue with Marjorie Baumgarten's criticism of Quentin Tarantino's use of the N-word in Baumgarten's review of Django Unchained ("The Way We Weren't," 1/11/2013) and is correct when she asserts, "Slavery is the worm at the core of our society." Modern-day slave labor is rampant, utilizing unsuspecting female immigrants to make products that many of us wear, while human sex trafficking exists in our own backyards. Similarly, our prison-industrial complex is driven by a confluence of special interests and corporate profits. There are 1.8 million people imprisoned in federal and state prisons and local jails working for low nonunion wages.
Where I disagree with Ms. Boggs is her statement "It [slavery] always has been, and it always will be." Of course we can't negate the past, nor can we alter what has already happened. However, as agents of social change and conscious evolution we can affect our future with choices to eradicate the plight of those less fortunate than ourselves.
Cops should change ways
A friend of mine, a retired police officer, tells me that in Wisconsin police officers are taught to "shoot for the mass." When I mentioned that some cops have chosen to shoot someone in the leg, he said he never heard of such a thing. He also said you'd have to be a pretty good shot. Well, yes, I thought that's what you take target practice for.
A few weeks later I read in The New York Times that New York City cops are taught to shoot to hurt, not to kill. Interesting contrast.
Office Steve Heimsness had the legal right to shoot Paul Heenan ("Cop and Shooting Victim Both Involved With Local Bands," 11/16/2012). But did he have a realistic option to avoid that outcome? He could have used the martial arts training he received in the police academy. But he ignored his police training and got away with legal murder.
Wisconsin police need to review their present policies. They are using their martial arts training as a dog-and-pony show for PR purposes. How about adjusting their policies to reality.