The last thread was full.
Here’s a fresh one.
I can concede — and in fact I endorse — Mary Katherine’s unstated point that the militarization of police has gone too far and is being employed for trivial matters, while not agreeing with her that protecting against further rioting is itself a trivial matter.
I know the cops’ theory here, or at least I think I do.
Cops come at you with a high level of intimidation. Everyone who’s had a bad experience with a cop knows this.
And anyone who’s had this experience surely has begun to question what right the civil servants of the state have to treat citizens in such a matter.
However, cops have a theory to justify these intimidating tactics.
Their theory is this: Compliance secured by intimidation and bullying is better than compliance secured by physical force.
When physical force is employed, many, many bad things can happen, including the possibility of injury or death of the cop, and, much more frequently, the injury or death of the suspect (who, himself, may be completely innocent of any crime).
From the cops’ point of view, they are presented with a choice of Two Evils — Intimidating citizens with a show of force and a show of barking, yelling physically-coercive authority, or resorting to some sort of physical restraint or weapon to secure compliance.
They say, and I’m not sure they’re wrong, that as bad and awful as the first choice it, it is preferable to the second choice.
Every tactic a cop may use to secure compliance — including physical restraint, wrestling, holds, and “less lethal” weaponry — may in fact inflict death, and, alas, does occasionally inflict death.
The cops in Ferguson — and I’m not saying they’re right, I’m just telling you what they’re thinking — are thinking that a show of force is likely to keep the situation “under a lid,” as Obama is fond of saying of violence overseas, and is therefore less likely to result in the actual use of physical force and the likely product of physical force, which is serious injury and frequently death.
And I’m not really disagreeing with those who criticize this on a general level. I’m only attempting to suggest what the cops would say about this matter: It is better to have a Yelling Cop than a Shooting Cop.
In fact, there’s a scale of preferences:
An Intimdiating Cop is better than
A Tasering Cop, who in turn is better than
A Grappling/Chokehold Cop, who is in turn better than
A Shooting Cop.
All of these, note, implicate Coercion, and that should be a concern for any conservative (and naturally, any actual Libertarian).
And yet: Coercion is an unavoidable bedrock necessity of a police force, isn’t it?
We need police but we don’t want to live in a police state. Somewhere in between “police are evil” and “police can do no wrong” is an elusive sweet spot called “just right”.
Unfortunately that spot moves. “Just right” doesn’t have a fixed location. Depending on where you stand you will have different ideas as to where “just right” is.
If you support a cause or protest then you will probably think that “just right” is pretty close to your position. On the other hand if you oppose that cause or disagree with that protest you will probably think that “just right” is over on the other side.
If you are the owner of a store targeted by an angry mob of looters you will probably think that “just right” is anything that stops the mob from destroying your store, up to and including deadly force.
I continue to reserve judgment on the killing of Michael Brown, but I am pretty sure that the owners(s) of the Ferguson QuickTrip market that was looted and burned had nothing to do with his death. Stopping and/or preventing riots is a valid exercise of police powers, but how much is too much?
This is an eternal problem, and one upon which we will never have full agreement. As usual, lawyers are part of the problem. So are politicians.
A lot of police policies are intended to prevent lawsuits. Not just lawsuits against the police, but also lawsuits by cops who get injured on the job. No matter what they do (or don’t do) the police will be second-guessed and probably sued.
Do too much – get sued. Don’t do enough – get sued. Lawyers call that a happy ending.
But wait! There’s more:
Who would you rather take your chances with as a protester, a U.S. Marine who’s been rigorously trained and who understands there’s a fierce taboo against soldiers using violence against American citizens or a local cop who hasn’t dealt with many riots before and who’s finally getting to test out some of the impressive weapons the feds have given the force?
Marines are not trained in riot control. Marines are trained to kill. What is the average age of a Marine? They are generally young – many of them just 18 or 19 years old. Do you really want scared young kids with guns facing an angry mob? Kent State, anyone?
The average cop is older (30ish) and has training at riot control as well as non-lethal force. On the other hand neither the cop nor the Marine is likely to have much actual experience at dealing with riots.
What do you think?
A boring 1-0 game between Obama’s Chicago White Sox and my beloved SF Giants suddenly got exciting yesterday.
Chicago White Sox manager Robin Ventura turned back the clock on Wednesday afternoon, throwing a tantrum for the ages after being ejected. In the seventh inning with the White Sox leading 1-0, Chicago catcher Tyler Flowers tagged out Gregor Blanco at home plate on a fielder’s choice.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy challenged the ruling, claiming that Blanco should be awarded home because Flowers didn’t allow a lane for the runner to slide.
After a very lengthy review, the call was overturned and the Giants were awarded a run. That’s when Ventura blew up.
The White Sox skipper bounded out of the dugout to argue and was immediately ejected, per MLB rules. That didn’t stop him from kicking dirt all over home plate, reminiscent of former MLB manager Lou Piniella. The best part was that once wasn’t enough for Ventura, as he returned to argue the placement of the runners and kick more dirt all over the place.
The Giants went on to score six more runs that inning after Ventura was ejected. I enjoyed it thoroughly.
Ventura has a bit of a reputation as a hot-head. Back in 1993 when he was a player for the White Sox he charged the mound after being hit by a pitch thrown by Nolan Ryan. When he reached the mound Ryan, then in his mid-forties and twenty years older than Ventura, grabbed the younger man in a headlock and punched him repeatedly in the face.
That triggered one of the most infamous benches-clearing brawls in baseball history. It happened twenty-one years ago this month.
I talked to Robin Williams once, about breasts.
In 1993, when he played a prim British nanny in “Mrs. Doubtfire,” I went to interview him at his Pacific Heights house.
“It’s great to be this blue-mouthed old lady hitting on somebody,” he said, in his character’s soft Scottish burr, “opening your blouse and saying, ‘What about these? Behold my dirty pillows, my fun bags. Come nurse at the fountain of bliss.’ ”
He was 42 then, wearing his Popeye outfit, a blue-striped T-shirt and black baggy jeans. Surrounded by kids, a rabbit and an iguana, we talked about everything from John Belushi to his father, a stern Ford Motor Company executive.
As our interview ended, I was telling him about my friend Michael Kelly’s idea for a 1-900 number, not one to call Asian beauties or Swedish babes, but where you’d have an amorous chat with a repressed Irish woman. Williams delightedly riffed on the caricature, playing the role of an older Irish woman answering the sex line in a brusque brogue, ordering a horny caller to go to the devil with his impure thoughts and disgusting desire.
I couldn’t wait to play the tape for Kelly, who doubled over in laughter.
So when I think of Williams, I think of Kelly. And when I think of Kelly, I think of Hillary, because Michael was the first American reporter to die in the Iraq invasion, and Hillary Clinton was one of the 29 Democratic senators who voted to authorize that baloney war.
There’s a bunch more, but it don’t get no better. She used an anecdote about Robin Williams to launch a totally unrelated screed about Hillary Clinton.
Seriously, there are worms crawling around in her brain. Modo’s been crazier than a shithouse rat for years. What bothers me is that she gets PAID to write that stuff.
The main reason I posted this lunatic drivel is to point out that anyone who thinks that Hillary Clinton is gonna cruise to the Democratic
nomination coronation is delusional too.
The activist base of the Democratic party (which includes the media and most lefty bloggers) despises Bill and Hillary Clinton. If she is nominated they may hold their noses and vote for her (because The Republicans Are Worse™) but they will do everything they can to keep her from winning the nomination.
Clinton Derangement Syndrome was always a key component in Obama’s 2008 primary campaign. Obots hated her then and they still hate her now.
I’m not saying Hillary can’t win, but it won’t be a cakewalk, especially if she is forced to keep carrying Obama’s baggage.
Either way, Maureen Dowd is still nuttier than a Payday bar.
Depression is a thief
It steals your joy
It steals your potential
it steals your energy
It steals your life
It even steals your will to resist it.
Depression is a sneaky disease
It has no medical symptoms
You can’t see it on a X-ray
There is no blood test for it
Its victims look normal
But they are slowly dying inside.
Everybody gets depressed occasionally
If you have depression you can’t just “cheer up”
Depression makes you more depressed because
It can cost you your job
It can cost you relationships
It can alienate your friends and family.
When Depression teams up with Addiction
You’re really fucked
Curing Addiction doesn’t make Depression go away
Depression makes Addiction come back.
Depression can kill you
Even if you are rich and famous.
I suffer from depression.
I checked the news. It’s all bad. Meanwhile, Obama is on vacation and doesn’t want to be interrupted. At this point, even Joe Biden would be an improvement.
SMOD, take me now!
This is an open thread. I’m going back to bed and hoping when I wake up again this will all have been just a really bad dream.