Showing posts with label police. Show all posts
Showing posts with label police. Show all posts

Thursday, May 28, 2015


Rich Lowry thinks murders are up in Baltimore because people film the cops. No, really:
Why have the police in Baltimore pulled back? Baltimore’s police commissioner, according to the Sun, “has said police are struggling to stop violence in West Baltimore, where officers have been routinely surrounded by dozens of people, video cameras and hostility while performing basic police work.” 
If the message is supposed to be that they don’t want the police there, it has been received.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Conservatives always want municipal union workers to be more responsive to the needs of the people unless the union is the cops and the people are black. (Actually I think we can drop the "the union is the cops" part.) Lowry also re-swoons over 2007 Presidential frontrunner Rudolph Giuliani and the District 9 style of community policing.

The libertarian moment is well and truly over, and Republicans will run in 2016 on a straight authoritarian ticket. As usual.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


David Brooks will go along with body cams for cops but he won't be happy about it, because it will interfere with the citizen's naturally cozy relationship with officers of the law:
Cop-cams chip away at [privacy]. The cameras will undermine communal bonds. Putting a camera on someone is a sign that you don’t trust him, or he doesn’t trust you. When a police officer is wearing a camera, the contact between an officer and a civilian is less likely to be like intimate friendship and more likely to be oppositional and transactional.
When a traffic cop pulls him over in this brave new world, Brooks will have to fold the hundred-dollar bill more tightly before he tucks it under his license so that the camera won't pick it up.
Cop-cams will insult families. It’s worth pointing out that less than 20 percent of police calls involve felonies, and less than 1 percent of police-citizen contacts involve police use of force. Most of the time cops are mediating disputes, helping those in distress, dealing with the mentally ill or going into some home where someone is having a meltdown. When a police officer comes into your home wearing a camera, he’s trampling on the privacy that makes a home a home. He’s recording people on what could be the worst day of their lives, and inhibiting their ability to lean on the officer for care and support.
I imagine some Harry Guardino sort of tough detective crying, "Dammit, you're turning us into a bunch of babysitters!" You don't call cops for social services, you call them because you wish to expose a crime to the state -- which is pretty much the opposite of seeking privacy.
Cop-cams insult individual dignity because the embarrassing things recorded by them will inevitably get swapped around. The videos of the naked crime victim, the berserk drunk, the screaming maniac will inevitably get posted online...
Oh no, oh no come on, he can't be that --
... — as they are already.
My God, he pulled a Goldberg -- that is, he refuted his own point but didn't bother to rewrite the passage! Goldberg usually emits a cloaking fart of irrelevancies to cover for himself -- let's see what Brooks does:
With each leak, culture gets a little coarser.
Ah, culture -- I forgot this was the Times!

Friday, April 10, 2015


Thanks to Chuck Gilligan I finally saw the Mountain Goats this week.
Liked it all, but this song really jumped up and grabbed my throat.

•   Charles C.W. Cooke takes me to task -- rather gently, considering how abusive I've been toward him -- for my review of his column on the Walter Scott video. Let me try and return the favor. I thought that column showed him resistant to the lessons of a long and depressing trend of which Scott's killing is a part (notwithstanding Scott's is less likely to go unpunished since someone took video of it):
...I think that [Michael Graham] is confusing conviction for humility. Pace Roy Edroso, I am not at all “sure” what happened in the cases of Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin. On the contrary: I have written repeatedly that I do not — and I cannot — know what happened in those instances, and that, in all likelihood, nor can a jury...
He then goes on about Blackstone and the presumption of innocence, as if my argument (and those of the others) were for a presumption of guilt in murder cases. Let me clarify, then: that is not what I'm arguing for at all. I'm arguing instead for an acknowledgement that cops (and would-be cops) sometimes treat black citizens differently from white ones, and not in a good way. This is not just the fantasy of "those among us who are convinced that the United States is an irredeemably racist nation," as Cooke described us in his original column, but a judgment based on years of bitter evidence. I'm arguing this not to begin any bogus race "conversation," nor to agitate for some quota of cop convictions. I'm arguing this because it's a plain fact that some folks seem committed to ignoring and to slurring other people for noticing, and that's one of the big reasons why, 150 years after Appomattox, this country remains totally nuts about race.

•   With his latest on the death penalty, Jonah Goldberg not only keeps up with the worst-thing-ever-written pledge I made on his behalf some time ago, he actually outdoes himself. First, he argues, that Tsarnaev bastard deserves the death penalty, doesn't he, and if you don't think so, what about that cop who shot that black guy 'cause you love black guys when the cops shoot them:
Wait, before you answer that, consider Michael Slager. He’s the North Charleston, S.C., cop who shot Walter Scott in the back as he was fleeing and then allegedly lied about why he did it. 
I don’t have to say he allegedly shot Scott because Slager admitted that much.
Huh, what about that, libtards? The smarter libtards take a seat and wait, and sure enough Goldberg starts pee-dancing around:
Legally, it’s harder to argue that Slager should get the death penalty if convicted. Not all murders are equal before the law. It’s unclear how much premeditation, if any, there was in this case. Presumably Slager didn’t know Scott before he pulled him over for a traffic stop. 
Still, I think you could make a case for the death penalty in cases like this.
[Libtards light cigarettes, read Elizabeth Bruenig on their phones.]
The analogy that comes to mind is the wartime military.
[One libtard looks up expectantly.] 
There are capital offenses for crimes other than murder because the integrity and effectiveness of the armed forces is a priority. We are not a martial society, but I could make a similar argument about police officers who murder and lie about it. Faith in the fairness of the justice system is simply indispensable to a democracy and social peace. Lack of such faith may be why Scott ran from Officer Slager.
[By now all the libtards have turned their attention to him.] 
If so, his mistrust was tragically well placed.
[The sneering laughter comes but is soon drowned out by the most insidious weapon in Goldberg's flatularium, the Cloaking Fart.] Sometimes I think Goldberg is a gift from the muses.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015


He almost got away with it:
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. — One day after a South Carolina police officer was arrested in the shooting death of an unarmed black man, the victim’s family said Wednesday that no charges would have been filed if not for a video of the encounter — which showed the officer firing eight shots at the man as he ran away. 
“It would have never come to light. They would have swept it under the rug, like they did with many others,” Walter Scott Sr., the father of the victim, said Wednesday on NBC’s “Today” Show.
A number of journalists have been making the point that without the fortuitous video, Scott would be dismissed as another lawbreaker who got, if not quite what he deserved, then at least no more than he had a right to expect, for reasons that I don't have to tell you. But none makes that point better on purpose than Charles C.W. Cooke at National Review does by accident.

Cooke admits that "the initial witness reports appear to have been wholly incorrect" in Scott's case and, based on the footage, "Scott's death at the hands of a police officer appears to be entirely unjustified." This, he says, is "an argument for more cameras," though he doesn't say how these would be put into practice; I can't imagine he wants the gummint to use precious taxpayer money on them; maybe he foresees Burkean "little platoons" of black folk recording cops, in shifts.

But one thing, Cooke makes clear, this case doesn't mean is that white cops are sometimes overeager to shoot and kill black people -- that's just gush from "those among us who are convinced that the United States is an irredeemably racist nation." And the apposite citation, for him, is a couple of dead black guys:
All in all, this seems to be the case that we have been hearing about for a long, long while now — that much-previewed-but-never-quite-forthcoming case in which the white cop unnecessarily guns down the unarmed black man who is trying in earnest to get away. This is that case in which the 80 percent white police force takes a life from the 47 percent black city; in which the small infraction leads to the fatal consequence; in which there are no wrinkles to complicate the complaint. This, in other words, is what the shootings of Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin were not.
Are you wondering why he's so sure about Brown and Martin, even though "witness reports" can be "wholly incorrect"? I'm not.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


You've heard about the NYPD sneaking into Wikipedia to edit brutality victim Eric Garner's page and those of other victims so that they might better reflect the cops' own view of events. Probably you figured this is the sort of bullshit that's so egregious even conservatives wouldn't approve out loud. Well, you forgot about City Journal, also known as Late-Stage Giuliani In Print, where the problem is always The Black Guy. Here's Matthew Hennessey (whom we last saw asking "Is Bill de Blasio still a Sandinista at heart?") on the subject:
Cue the predictable howls of outrage at this attempt to whitewash the cold-blooded murder of an innocent man. The technology website Ars Technica called the edits an attempt “to sanitize Wikipedia entries about cases of police brutality.” Think Progress said they were an example of the police department’s fumbling its response to “increased scrutiny” after recent protests. 
The outrage is misplaced, however. The real scandal is that anyone thinks Wikipedia is a reliable source of unbiased information.
[blink. blink.]
...At best, Wikipedia is an approximation of the truth. If the philosophy is come one, come all, then the NYPD has as much right to fiddle with the entries that pertain to it as anyone else. Let the edits fall where they may.
In other words: See, Wikipedia isn't perfect, so why are you complaining that we're smearing it with shit? (In other words, their traditional argument when it comes to healthcare or any other public equity they've fucked up.)

Just in case you're not yet sure where Hennessey is coming from, here's his portrayal of the Garner case:
Garner’s death was caught on a cell phone video and has been viewed by millions across the country, but what happened on the day he died remains in dispute.
You know, like everyone saw the Apollo 11 moon footage, but there's still a perfectly understandable controversy over whether it was fake. Also global warming!
Reactions to the video vary. Some think the cops murdered Garner; others think he goaded them into taking him down. Some see Garner as the victim of an out-of-control police force targeting African-American men. Indeed, Mayor Bill de Blasio called Garner “a father, a husband, a son—a good man.” Others say that he was a career petty criminal with a chip on his shoulder.
In either case, I'm sure all good people can agree that Garner deserved to die.
With so much to disagree about, it’s no surprise that Garner’s Wikipedia page has become a battleground.
For people like this America needs a Master of Bullshit degree, perhaps bestowed with a cattle brand.

Thursday, March 12, 2015


Over and over and over again I have to remind people that the conservatarian enlightenment on police power and civil rights --which starry-eyed opportunists tell us is coming any day now -- is never going to happen. This is partly due to the necessity of keeping the racist element of the Republican base enthralled with ooga-booga, suggesting that blacks are animals that must be kept at bay by Blue Knights, and partly due to the authoritarian equity to which they always return when an election gets close. Remember how the Justin Amash wing of the GOP was going to save us from trumped-up foreign wars? Look how that's working out.

But no one ever learns. On March 5, Leon Neyfakh had a story at Slate called "Cops and Conservatives: Could the DOJ’s Ferguson report lead the right to abandon its love of law enforcement?" Neyfakh interviewed "one of the most prominent conservatives in the criminal justice reform movement" who told him, this time for sure! Well, here we are a week later, and two cops have been shot in Ferguson. Here's Jazz Shaw at Hot Air:
Leaders from the local level all the way up to Eric Holder are pursuing a policy of appeasement in the face of mayhem with tragic results which should not be coming as a surprise... the state and the feds have essentially delegitimized the law enforcement structure and punished those charged with keeping order. And not just the police, but even the courts as well. Under such a public specter, why should the law abiding have any confidence that they will be protected under the rule of law? And why would those contemplating criminal activity feel any fear of the consequences of their actions? (Yes, “fear” is the correct term, even if you don’t care for it. Criminals should fear the long arm of the law. It’s how deterrence works.)
Expect more such lawn-order ejaculations in the days to come. By 2016 Bernie Kerik will take the stage at the Republican Convention riding a tank and wrapped in Kevlar, and "prominent conservatives in the criminal justice reform movement" will not be in attendance.

Thursday, January 29, 2015


At National Review, Heather Mac Donald tells the story of de Blasio and the cops. It's full of grafs like the following, about de Blasio's famous comment that his black-skinned son had to watch himself around the police:
At the time, those remarks — based in thorough ignorance of the facts about policing and crime — were a body blow to the rank and file. But after the Ramos and Liu assassinations, carried out in the name of Eric Garner and Ferguson teen Michael Brown, they became a source of visceral rage, as they fed the atmosphere of escalating cop hatred that led to the killings.
So de Blasio's remarks were like a time bomb, or rather a time-traveling bomb -- after officers Ramos and Liu were killed, the remarks "fed the atmosphere of escalating cop hatred that led to the killings." That's propaganda, baby -- by which I mean, the author is so committed to bamboozling you that she's willing to embarrass herself with incoherent prose to do it.

Mac Donald portrays de Blasio as an out-of-touch elitist social justice warrior -- "[New York's] long term public safety remains at risk from an activist mayor who sees his base as the anti-police Left" -- but does not mention even once the polls that show most New Yorkers siding with de Blasio  against the NYPD. Mac Donald does seem aware of them, though, because instead of larding in anonymous quotes from humble citizens begging for Giuliani to come back, her anonymous quotes are all from alleged cops who agree with her ("'Liu and Ramos would have turned their backs as well,' asserts an official at One Police Plaza").

Mac Donald also defends the force's work slowdown as justified because they felt like it:
Ideally, and usually, cops perform their duty regardless of their attitudes toward the civilian authority under which they operate. That this tradition of neutrality cracked in this instance shows how deeply de Blasio violated their trust.
The next time a public service union feels itself disrespected and goes on strike, I wonder if we'll see Mac Donald at the barricades.

Boy, that libertarian moment seems like a long time ago, huh?

UPDATE. There has been some misunderstanding about my first complaint, which is not that de Blasio's comments came after the cops were shot -- they came before -- but that Mac Donald wrote about it as if time itself were fluid, and the Mayor's remarks had been weaponized by the shooting, then sent back through time to do their lethal work. Regarding the notion that de Blasio's expression of concern for his black son had anything to do with the nut who shot Liu and Ramos, commenter Ellis_Weiner laments that "MacDonald has never recovered from the trauma of discovering that the Beatles killed Sharon Tate."

Wednesday, December 31, 2014


(Here's the fourth and last installment of a year-end bottom-ten of the lowlights of 2014, culled from my archives and elsewhere. See also Part One, Part Two, and Part Three. Read 'em and weep!)

2. Germ warfare. It seems like so long ago, doesn’t it, when a fatal case of Ebola in Dallas was portrayed as the harbinger of nationwide plague and doom. Yet it was only October when Liberian Thomas Eric Duncan succumbed, and besides him in the U.S. the virus has claimed… one life. This shouldn’t seem surprising, because this country has the illustrious Centers for Disease Control and thousands of dedicated scientists and epidemiologists with whom to fight Ebola. It also has wingnuts, alas, who did their best impersonation of a hayseed trying to keep a doctor from practicing his witchcraft on a young’un.

Listen here, they said, CDC’s just Big Gummint, and so-called “scientists” and epi-whatchamacallits are just a bunch of pointy-heads trying to get more o’ that Big Gummint money for their global-warming hoax, and fer t’ help out the coloreds in Africa! Besides, Obama’s in charge, so natchurly everything’s gotta be a disaster!

When CDC declined to seal America’s borders, citing the best science, conservatives declared this was part of Obama’s one-world agenda to unite the globe in disease and misery. (Heather Mac Donald of City Journal actually claimed the “public-health establishment” wouldn’t quarantine other countries because it was “awash in social-justice ideology” and “influenced as much by belief in America’s responsibility for the postcolonial oppression of Africa, and suspicion of American border enforcement, as it is by a commitment to public-health principles of containment and control.”) They ramped up their own custom science: Rand Paul told us you could get Ebola from being in the same room as an Ebola person. Instapundit Glenn Reynolds, whose degree is not in medicine, wondered aloud “if this strain of Ebola is easier to catch than we think.”

At the Washington Free Beacon Matthew Continetti actually wrote a column called “The Case for Panic… Incompetent government + corrupt elite = disaster.” Everyone knows you can’t trust Big Gummint, said Continetti, so if they say don’t panic, you should panic! It’s just logic! Plus the only reason Obama wasn’t quarantining everybody was that “doing so would violate the sacred principles by which our bourgeois liberal elite operate.”

Reliable everything-worsener Jonah Goldberg found a frame of reference for Ebola... in a disaster movie that showed millions of Americans dying. “We now have our own version of Contagion playing out in real time,” burbled Goldberg. Scientists couldn’t save us — “they keep telling us they know what can’t happen right up until the moment it happens,” shivered Goldberg. Time for pitchforks and witch-trials!

And of course there was the usual bullshit from Jim Hoft.

As fear started to subside, some of the brethren began whistling and trying to look innocent (“The Only Ebola Panic Is Being Caused by Doctors and Nurses” — Tim Cavanaugh, National Review). News cycles being what they are, people have probably already forgotten that a bunch of conservatives actually tried to promote a national panic during a medical crisis. But maybe by now they've done enough pants-wetting over Saddam Hussein, ISIS, and other alleged world-destroyers that their fellow citizens will at least begin to form an appropriate character judgment.

1. Cons, cops, and the end of the “libertarian moment." After eight years of big-government projects such as unfunded foreign wars and Medicare Part D under George W. Bush, conservatives took advantage of the Obama era to play at being anti-government again. The Tea Party, with its molon-labe watering-the-tree-of-liberty lingo, was the most visible example (hey, whatever happened to them?); some public officials even played with nullification of federal laws. The more intellectual of the brethren were pleased to call this flavor of conservatism “libertarian” for, though it does not promise freedom for all (women who want to get an abortion are excluded, for example), it does promote hostility to government, which has served the conservative movement well since the days of Reagan.

This theme reached a sort of climax in April at the Bundy Ranch in Nevada, where an old white rancher refused to pay his legally-owed user fees and, surrounded by armed supporters, defied federal authorities’ right to collect his property in restitution. Bundy was celebrated not just by survivalist nuts, but also by elected officials such as Rick Perry and Ted Cruz, and by mainstream pundits such as National Review’s Kevin D. Williamson, who wrote, in an essay called “The Case for a Little Sedition,” “Of course the law is against Cliven Bundy. How could it be otherwise? The law was against Mohandas Gandhi, too, when he was tried for sedition…” Lest his neckless readers accuse him of siding with a half-naked fakir, Williamson also compared Bundy to the Founding Fathers, not to mention the architects of the previous year’s government shutdown, in which “every one of the veterans and cheesed-off citizens who disregarded President Obama’s political theater and pushed aside his barricades was a law-breaker, too — and bless them for being that.” Moving barricades, pointing rifles at federal agents — same diff!

Power Line’s John Hinderaker cheered as “PHOTO OF THE YEAR” a picture of "Bundy supporters, on horseback and, I assume, armed,” telling “federal agents that they were surrounded and had better give back the cattle they had confiscated”; later, Hinderaker explained “WHY YOU SHOULD BE SYMPATHETIC TOWARD CLIVEN BUNDY” (basically because “you” share his typical rightwing resentments — “[The Bundys] don’t develop apps. They don’t ask for food stamps” — and disapprove any law, or enforcement thereof, that discomfits rich wingnuts).

Most of these rebellion joy-poppers sidled away from Bundy when he made some peculiar racial remarks — which is ironic, as conservatives next got to display their libertarian cred when Michael Brown and Eric Garner were killed in confrontations with police, and black people and their allies started complaining about the suspicious circumstances, the lack of arrests, and the regularity with which this sort of thing seemed to happen.

At first some of the brethren agreed that this, too, required a Bundy-style show of solidarity; National Review even ran a story called “It’s Time for Conservatives to Stop Defending Police.” At the Washington Examiner, Timothy P. Carney said that, though there had been "guffaws" from "many liberals and a few conservatives" when the New York Times Magazine earlier that month suggested a new "libertarian moment" was upon us, the Ferguson case had brought needed attention to the growing militarization of police in the United States, and he expected a consensus across ideological lines against this "insane armament." He added:
There's another problem in Ferguson that calls up some wisdom shared by libertarians and conservatives: When you consider the police shooting of Michael Brown, the riots that followed, the crackdown in response, and the heightened protests after that, the whole situation between the town and the police was one of Us vs. Them.
But the part these guys never got is that the protest over the killings had something to do with the troubled relationship between black Americans and the cops. Indeed, they probably can't get this, because for conservatives racism only exists in its reverse variety, engaged in by "race pimps."

Some of the brethren, reluctant to lose their libertarian props, looked for ways around this issue: many blamed the cigarette tax law Garner was allegedly evading (Big Gummint strikes again!) rather than racism or police overreaction.

The waves of protesters who rose in the wake of these deaths did not see it that way; when some nut killed two NYPD officers, even such expedients as this were abandoned. Most conservatives raged that the protesters, a small segment of whom had called for killing cops, were all “anti-police” and thus to blame for the murders — as was Mayor de Blasio, because he told his black son to be careful around police — and that America must now coalesce behind its Blue Knights and cease to complain about their tactics.

In this they agreed with the NYPD union leadership, with whose apparent encouragement City cops have affected a reverse ticket blitz, reducing their quality-of-life enforcement. National Review's Ian Tuttle applauded -- "when your mayor takes advice from Al Sharpton... it is hard to blame officers who might try to minimize the protecting and serving they have to do." Yes, a writer for a prominent conservative publication was cheering a municipal union work slowdown -- which should give you some idea of how important this was to the brethren. The meaning of "Us vs. Them" was becoming clear.

After a few feints at a personal-responsibility argument that the guy to blame for the murder was actually the murderer, not the protesters, Williamson, that friend of Bundy's "little sedition," got with the program — “The mobs in New York, Ferguson, and elsewhere are not calling for metaphorical murders of policemen, but literal ones,” he wrote, and proposed as a solution… more aggressive policing: “the reality is that what causes American murders is our national failure to adequately monitor, restrict, or rehabilitate violent offenders with sub-homicidal criminal careers…”

This particular libertarian moment, I think we can safely say, is over. especially with a Presidential election coming up.  But never fear: it wasn't the first such moment promoted, and won't be the last. Conservatives like to portray themselves as freedom-lovers when nothing’s on the line, but they know by instinct that their best shot when it's time to woo voters is straight, law-and-order authoritarianism. In fact, if the past fourteen years are any indication, it’s pretty much all they have to offer.

Monday, December 22, 2014


Time magazine gives the floor to a man who, before he went to prison, was a top advisor to President Rudolph Giuliani:
Bernie Kerik: War Is Being Waged on Our Homeland
In short: Eric Garner had it coming, and you mooks better be nice to the cops or "America will look more like a wasteland than the greatest country in the world in just a few short years."

Next issue, Time will have an essay by Justin Volpe on community policing.

UPDATE. In comments LookWhosInTheFreezer asks, "Was Mark Furhman unavailable?" Could be -- like his fellow felon D'Souza, he's a regular guest on TV and radio shows.

John Edwards, onetime Democratic Party nominee for Vice-President, merely cheated on his wife (in spectacular manner, I must admit) and as a result he's an unperson; the idea of him doing regular commentary a la Kerik, Furhman, and D'Souza is absurd. Yet conservative criminals are immediately rehabilitated via talk show therapy, where they pontificate about the very subjects on which they've disgraced themselves. I would love to hear an explanation of this phenomenon from the people who are always going on about the liberal media.


Back when Gabby Giffords was shot and some liberals gave Sarah Palin and other conservatives a hard time about their incendiary rhetoric before the fact, I wrote this:
To be fair, we can imagine a reasonable answer to [these liberals’] argument. And we have to imagine it, as no one is actually making it. (Those who come closest are actually milquetoast liberals like the New York Times' Matt Bai who, in our current, debased political discourse, take the role once filled by moderate Republicans back when such creatures existed.) 
What we got instead was less reasonable, because once a connection had been suggested between the sainted Palin and an actual, horrific act of violence -- worse, a connection that such Americans as can remember back a few news cycles might actually grasp -- the necessity of severing that connection became stronger for rightbloggers than any faint impulses they might have had toward decorum, logic, or common sense. 
For example, when leftblogger Matthew Yglesias cited Congressnut Michele Bachmann's 2009 "armed and dangerous" comments as an example of violent rightwing lunacy, the Daily Caller's John Guardiano said it wasn't as bad as it sounded: "Bachmann clearly was using 'armed and dangerous' in a metaphorical and political, not literal and violent, sense," he said…
Etc. Now some of these same conservatives who defended themselves after the Giffords shooting are scapegoating like crazy after the murder of two cops in Brooklyn last weekend, claiming that protesters and officials who disputed the handling of the Eric Garner case are to blame for it. In fact, here’s Guardiano himself on Twitter: “Obama, Holder & de Blasio R to the mob today what Pontius Pilate was to the mob in Jesus’ time: weak-willed enablers.” Etc. etc.

It's tu quoque, I guess, but conservatives alway manage to be quoqueier than anyone else -- they whine such a lot about the flak they take (Jonah Goldberg even complained it was unfair to conservatives that Giffords continued to appear in public after her shooting) that it makes their viciousness when it's time to grandstand even more repulsive. Now they're circulating their clip of some knuckleheads shouting for “dead cops” at a New York protest and implying that all the tens of thousands who protested the Brown and Garner cases across the country were calling for assassinations.

Some of them put a lot of apparently wasted effort into trying to look reasonable -- like Jonathan S. Tobin at Commentary, who every few paragraphs assures us that "conservatives know very well that attempts to politicize violence on the part of the mentally ill is deeply unfair" and such like, but keeps spinning around and coming back with convoluted quasi-accusations such as this:
If there is any reproach today that should be laid at the feet of Obama, Holder, and de Blasio, it is that by helping to foster one false set of assumptions they have now left themselves vulnerable to questions about their own willingness to accept and exploit calumnies against the police and the justice system.
This grammatical cloverleaf is not improved when you read the whole thing and realize that by “false set of assumptions” Tobin means the idea that police sometimes treat black people unfairly. (He also says "narrative" about 70 times, which is wingnut shorthand for "who ya gonna believe, me or your own lying eyes?") More forthrightly absurd is New York Post harrumpher Bob McManus:
Nobody knows what was in the shooter’s mind, of course; happily, he relieved society of the ­responsibility of trying to find out with a well-placed bullet to his own head. 
But anybody who thinks he wasn’t emboldened by City Hall’s placidity in the face of nihilistic, bloodthirsty incantations is delusional.
“Wow, a liberal Democrat is in office!” cried the psycho career criminal; “Now’s my chance!”

At National ReviewJim Geraghty says hopefully that “police shootings will do for the anti-police movement what the Oklahoma City bombing did to the militia movement.” This will sound weird to ordinary people, but it’s perfect in a way: Conservatives tend to think of Oklahoma City as a propaganda put-up job to make them look bad — you seldom hear them talk about what a shame it was those people were killed, and mostly hear them explaining, as Byron York did a 2011 column, “How Clinton Exploited Oklahoma City For Political Gain.” That’s really how they think about the Brooklyn shootings — it’s not life and death to them, and certainly not right or wrong: It’s just a way to get back at people who made them look bad.

Another point: This shows how big a fraud the vaunted libertarian-conservative harmonic convergence really is. Conservative columnists recently had a brief libertarian-flavored fling of police criticism over the Mike Brown case -- remember National Review's "It’s Time for Conservatives to Stop Defending Police"? You won't be seeing anything like that for a while, now that their old lawn-order avatars Rudolph Giuliani and George Pataki are tugging the leash. Mutual respect between the governed and the government might be alright for a weekend fling, but when the party's over it's time to go back home to authoritarianism.

Thursday, December 11, 2014


At libertarian flagship Reason, Scott Shackford:
In this politicized fight between the contents of hundreds of thousands of pages of reports and reviews, the actual debate centers on disagreement over two issues: How honest or dishonest the CIA represented what it was doing in communication with those charged with oversight; and whether enhanced interrogation or torture actually succeeded in accomplishing what the CIA claims it did. Strip out the torture and terrorism and you've got any other troubled government program. Was the Department of Health and Human Services honest with those charged with oversight about the state of Obamacare health insurance exchanges prior to their launch, and has it succeeded in providing affordable health insurance? It's the same argument.
"Strip out the torture and terrorism" and statist meat inspections are also tyranny.  Similarly, strip out the so-called racism and Eric Garner's death is about cigarette taxes. I used to think these people were raised in Skinner boxes, but now I think they spend their whole lives in them.

UPDATE. Speaking of Garner, Steven Hayward at Power Line takes the tax thing all the way:
Has anyone argued yet that liberalism caused torture because, I dunno, moral relativism or Saul Alinsky or some shit?

Wednesday, December 03, 2014


Mad about the Eric Garner verdict? Think it's another case of cops killing a black man with impunity? Ole Perfesser Glenn Reynolds wants to set you straight. The Perfesser says it has nothing to do with race -- in fact, he wonders what all these black people are upset about:
Listening to NPR on the way back from the UT Studio — I taped a segment on this for The Independents on Fox Business tonight — they kept stressing that it was a WHITE officer who had killed a BLACK MAN. You could pretty much hear the capitals in their voices. They’d never stress race that way in other circumstances. And it’s not clear that excessive force by police is especially a racial problem. In Alabama, we had the shooting of a unarmed white 18-year old by a black cop; in Utah, we had the Dillan Taylor shooting, also unarmed, also not prosecuted. Racializing the issue makes it more divisive and less likely to be addressed.
I'll see the Perfesser's two cases and raise him four unarmed black guys and that was in one month -- and there's plenty more where that came from.

Of course, if you've been living in the United States of America for a while and paying attention, you probably don't need the explanation.

The Perfesser also has a solution:
If police can’t be accountable for their use of force, then we shouldn’t have police. Fire ‘em all and privatize.
Because privatization worked so well with prisons. Jesus, these people are so reliably wrong that when they finally object to a cop killing a black guy, it's for crackpot reasons.

UPDATE. Reynolds is just one of the conservatives who are outraged by Garner not because of this "black lives matter" thing you hippies think is important, but because free enterprise:
Whereas many conservatives said Wilson was simply doing his job, some on Wednesday said Pantaleo was enforcing a punitive big government policy. And while Brown was nothing more than a "thug," Garner was the victim of the dreaded nanny state. 
"A man is killed for selling *unlicensed* drugs by a cop who walks even though it's all on video: Putting the 'police' in pink police state," tweeted New York Times columnist Ross Douthat on Wednesday. 
Douthat was one of several conservative media personalities to seize on New York's law against selling single, untaxed cigarettes.
Whereas if they'd killed him for walking in the middle of the street, well, no big whoop.

Rand Paul blames Eric Garner's death on high NYC cigarette tax
The still-alive white guy selling you smokes out of the trunk of his car is laughing his ass off.

UPDATE 3. In comments, Kevin Berger reminds us that Ferguson is already sort of a libertarian privatizer's paradise, as it makes its poorest citizens fund the city with user fees masquerading as criminal justice. New York, on the other hand, is in the usage of Robert Tracinski a "nanny state" that taxes regular people, which is why he and every other asshole is rushing to declare that the first dead black guy they ever troubled over is really all about taxes and race has nothing to do with it, except insofar as liberals are (I swear to God he said this) "hoping for a new series of contentious, racially charged killings."

It's the new wingnut fad, alright, and here's proof: Look at the change in that ancient authoritarian John Podhoretz. When de Blasio was elected, Podhoretz was telling us that the ooga-booga barricades had broken down and it would be Crown Heights Riots every day from now on -- why, just last week he was telling New York Post readers that we were "Turning on the cops: Forgetting what crime was like," and blubbering over the end of stop-and-frisk. Now he's telling us that we don't need Broken Windows policing anymore! Man, they're good at message discipline -- what a pity that their message sucks.


Yeah -- Al Capone, Pablo Escobar, and Eric Garner; I can see the connection. Hey, I wonder what tax Rumain Brisbon was resisting?