A genuinely new phenomonen is now seen in the emergence of chaos. It is systematic if generally localized, in its outbreaks. The world of social networks are providing the means of communication to those who will participate. It most often uses texting. This type of chaos is different from the east end riots of London.
The protests against the decrease or elimination of government benefits are a second type. We have examples of this in the United States as well as is European countries.
England is the most recent violent example, matched by Greece, and other southern European countries. Riot police, paramilitary, and military now regularly confront rioting populations. This type of chaos is quite different from a third tyoe of chaos, rioting and civil insurrections aabounding in the Arab world.
The Egyptian, Libyan, Syrian, Yememi, and other uprisings to effect government reform or change can be related historically to earlier such drives, i.e., the American Revolution, French Revolution, etc. During such efforts, whether successful or not, all involved great chaos.
In the United States, so far, the citizen protests have been generally without violence. Educational concerns of changes and reductions in benefits in California and Wisconsin are good examples. So far, we Americans have been mostly content to use our power of the vote to attempt to reverse proposed changes.
The first type of chaos, however, is a horse of a different color. Social networks link individuals into showing up together to do violence or looting at specific locations. It may not last long, so police protection is problematic. Only in the last few weeks has anyone been indicted for such a crime.
Videos of such groups looting now appear on the internet and media outlets. In New York City, the subway police temporarily shut down the subway access cell/internet connections to help control the outbreak. Interestingly, but not surprising, this has generated a civil liberty violation suit against the city and the subway police.
The most distressing aspects of such actions is the complete lack of a sense of right or wrong. Behavior has become divorced from consequences. While isolated events so far, it reminds me of a deadly virus spreading an epidemic.
MEDIA SLANTING – One serious and universal problem we have is that reporting and coverages are slanted. The slant will vary from country to country, and outlet to outlet. It is helpful to keep in mind what we learn from news outlets is almost always not the full truth. Some outlets may be less slanted than others, but even any outlet determined to be fair and balanced will have a slant. Every living person is formed by his or her culture and perceives information through a cultural lense. By the way, our current vigorous and vocal political expressons are not at all unusual in our American history. In earlier years and centuries, it has beem even worse.
An example of such coverage is the Wisconsin State Fair reporting. Domestic reporting almost always minimized the event, and deleted many details. British coverage,however, included most details and supported their conclusions with photos, all from US initial coverage. Most likely the British coverage slanted their report to match the USA riot with the London riots.
Britain’s Daily Mail Online, August 5. 2011, has a much more inclusive report on events happening in Milwauikee than most US news outlets. Their excepts of Milwaukee TV coverage shows what seems to be racially motivated participants.
“Violence erupted on the opening night of the
Wisconsin State Fair in what police and witnesses are calling racially-charged
Milwaukee police said Friday that calls were
still coming in from fair attendees who were injured in the
Eric, an Iraq war veteran who declined to give
his last name, said attackers were ‘knocking people off their
He said: ‘All I kept thinking was, ‘There’s
not enough cops to handle this. There’s no way. It would have taken the
Fairgoer Norb Roffers told Newsradio 620 WTMJ:
‘It looked like they were just going after white guys, white
‘They were attacking everybody for no reason
The number of attacke
The fair’s communication director, Kathleen
O’Leary, said: ‘We had complete control inside of what was happening inside of
But one worker said that wasn’t true, as 50 to
100 African American teens looting for game prizes and starting fights within
the confines of the fair.
State Fair spokeswoman Patrice Harris said a
number of arrests were made, mostly for disorderly