Ferguson: Everything Has Gone Wrong

We have to leave aside, for now, any exact judgement on the precise events – there are lots of stories circulating about who did what to whom, but until it is all sorted out during the investigation(s), none of us can say who is at fault.  What we can say, however, is that unarmed men – as a rule – shouldn’t be shot and killed by the police. We can also say that when people get outraged over a police shooting, looting stores is NEVER a proper response. We can also say that when the police, in response to the looting, come into a neighborhood dressed up like an occupying army, it won’t do much to improve community relations.

The mess in Ferguson is explicable to me only in the context of the overall decline of our civilization which is revealing itself both in our increasingly anti-social behavior (the looting, eg) and the incapacity of our governments (local, State and federal) to properly govern. The behavior of the police in a civilized nation should be that which makes it enormously unlikely that an unarmed man – even if engaged in criminal activity – will be shot by the police. The behavior of the citizens shouldn’t be – no matter what the provocation – to turn to criminal activity as an allegedly political statement against injustice. That we frequently get un-armed men (and often completely innocent people, into the bargain) shot by the police and that we also frequently get looting and other anti-social behavior from the citizenry should be setting off alarm bells.  But here’s the real problem – it doesn’t.  People seem to accept that the cops will do wrong and that people, in response, will go on and do wrong, as well. Lawyers will then sue and settle everything up for a money payment and the national narrative will move on to the Next Thing. We can’t go on like this, good people – our civilization is dying and it will die completely unless we start to get a grip on this.

There are myriad causes which can be asserted for the decline of our civilization – but fundamental to it is the decline of Judeo-Christian theology in the public square. As the public square has been taken up by various secular fads, Judeo-Christian theology has been increasingly marginalized.  But here’s the kicker: it was precisely the Judeo-Christian theology which made for a civilization in which laws would be obeyed, manners would be observed and public decency upheld. There never was a time when there was a moral policeman on every block making certain that everyone kept up to scratch, but our ideals were based on Judeo-Christian theology and so most everyone, most of the time, kept their end up. Replace that with consumerism, money-grubbing, hucksterism (political and religious), narcissism and all the other nonsense we’ve fed on, and this is what you get…police forces which don’t know how to police (but which can, indeed, kill) and citizens who so lack a sense of justice that they can’t even have a political demonstration without looting a store.

We are not, at this point, all gone.  We do have many people who still know how to act – who can govern or hold political demonstrations without devolving into looters of one sort or another. On the other hand, there are these looters in Ferguson – who are doing no differently, in effect, than the Occupy movement…or the anarchists who periodically protest outside globalist-elite gatherings. But the fact must be faced that a very large portion – and perhaps a majority – simply does not know how to act, whether they are acting in government or acting in the capacity of citizens. What difference between a pack of looters at a Wal Mart and a police force which seizes property on the flimsiest of pretexts? At bottom, both involve people stealing – the one under the cover of law, the other under the cover of political protest. We’re not, as I said, all gone – but we’re going.

Unless and until we accept that we can’t survive as a people who condone immoral behavior, we’re doomed. I’m not demanding that each and every one of you attend Mass or go to a synagogue this week, but if you want to live in a free and civilized nation, then you’d better act as if you do go every week. None of us are innocent; all of us fail – but the ideal still has to be held up and at least some attempt must be made to adhere to it. The fact that you are living in the West and have this ability to live pretty much as you please is based upon  the Judeo-Christian ideal that each human being is uniquely valuable and has the sovereign power to make his or her own choices.  That ideal doesn’t really exist anywhere else. It was built up, painfully, over many centuries as people came to a fuller understanding of God and man’s relationship to God. It actually peaked between the 12th and 15th centuries…its been rather downhill since then; for the ideal, I mean. Starting in the 16th century, people started questioning that whole notion of free will and a personal God. There has been pushback since the first questioning of the ideal (which is why we’re not completely gone, yet; part of the pushback, by the by, was the Declaration of Independence), but the general trend has all been towards fatalism, the supremacy of the group, the hopelessness of life, the pursuit of purely worldly pleasure and the rest of the claptrap we’ve been laboring under…and which makes for the situation we see in microcosm in Ferguson: police who can’t police and citizens who can’t act like citizens…because both are confused and don’t know what they are supposed to be doing. Think of how many news stories you’ve seen in just the past year which demonstrate that people don’t know how to act – and government doesn’t know how to govern. Most of these don’t involve people heading out to do a malevolent act – most of them are merely the result of people behaving stupidly because they honestly don’t know there’s a sensible alternative.

In the long run, I don’t know how all this will come out. I’m pretty confident that at least a veneer of civilization will remain until I’m safely in my grave. But I think it would be rather a good thing if our civilization was around 100 years from now – and 500 years from now, too.  But it won’t be around 100 years from now unless people make a conscious decision to rebuild it and maintain it. If you can’t at least – even if grumblingly – accept free will (and thus personal responsibility) and the need for public decency (sorry, guy with underwear hanging out), then we’ll never get anywhere. What price are you willing to pay for civilization?  That is what it comes down to – and if you won’t pay it, then you won’t have it.

 

 

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31 thoughts on “Ferguson: Everything Has Gone Wrong

  1. GMB August 15, 2014 / 3:51 am

    You can not have it both ways. You can not press for a society based on Judeo-Christian values than align yourself with those who would see those values set aside after they have accomplished their mission. I.E. the homosexuals and their allies and the legalized murderers.

    You either have to encode Values you want into law, which at least two of your three moderators are against, or you should get prepared to marginalized even more.

    Good luck solving that conflict. Let everyone know how it turns out.

    • Amazona August 15, 2014 / 1:07 pm

      I don’t know about “moderators” but I agree that abortion should be made illegal, but understand that this cannot be forced upon a populace that is not willing to do so. And it is a state issue, not a federal one. Understanding that is hardly the same as approving of the act.

      I absolutely do not see how or why we could possibly make homosexuality illegal. I do not think that the government has any right to intrude into the personal lives of consenting adults. Who does what with whom, how and when, is and should be a private matter.

      There is a vast difference between understanding reality and “aligning” oneself with objectionable behaviors. Sure, claiming that someone who understands that abortion is not within the purview of Congress or the President, according to the 10th Amendment, is actually “aligning” himself or herself with those who support or promote abortion does provide a nice big demographic to scorn as being morally deficient, building on a need to establish oneself as being morally superior, but that is more about the need to feel better than others than it is about running the government of the nation according to its Constitution.

      • Count d'Haricots (@Count_dHaricots) August 15, 2014 / 5:26 pm

        How disturbing to be living in a country where those homer-secshules are out there accomplishing … stuff … with their missions and all.

        Too bad we don’t have more motivated yet strangely discouraged activists with “Judeo-Christian values” who are willing to give up and wish the rest of us luck or we could stop this … whatever it is that’s happening from .. uh … happening, what with the accomplishing.

        That – right there – is a shining example of the fired-up apathy that spawns legions of like-minded ambivalence.

        You GO! Green Nation Youth, may you serve ever as the shining example of diffidence and triviality for us all!

      • Amazona August 17, 2014 / 5:15 pm

        Anyone who has tried to translate from one language to another knows the pitfalls, as so many words and phrases simply do not have literal translations and the translator has to first establish the meaning and nuance of the original word or phrase and then find another in the other language that is an accurate match.

        This is a simple example: “Hierba mala nunca muere!” Literally, it means weeds (or bad plants) never die. I first heard it in reference to a very toxic person who, while allegedly dying of cancer with only a couple of months to live was still slandering and libeling people ten years later. Go ahead and google the term—–I don’t have the link here but the page I got was enlightening, as so many people chimed in with their own ideas of what this means. One version is that it is a form of “only the good die young”, as something meant to comfort someone after a young person has died, but as someone for whom Spanish is not my first language, that seems like a stretch.

        My point is, in a book which has been translated so many times, among languages which often do not even share a common cultural reference or linguistic root or structure, any translation has to be based on a subjective decision by a translator. So when people quote the Bible as if it has to be taken as a literal truth, down to every pronoun, I am one of those who thinks we have to acknowledge the human factor in its wording. A harsh autocratic tyrant with the belief that his way is always the only way is going to lean toward a harsher, less broad or forgiving choice of words when there is a lack of an absolute literal translation. It is human nature.

        I have noticed that the most autocratic, domineering, obdurate people are the ones who find and cite and reference and depend on the most autocratic, domineering, unforgiving, absolutely damning words in the Bible, to support their own biases. The same thing is true, by the way, of Muslims and their decisions about what parts of the Koran they choose to provide the framework for their beliefs.

    • M. Noonan August 16, 2014 / 2:06 am

      I’m talking about the basics – to take on your comments on homosexuality: no problem. People can be as gay as they want to be. However, “gay pride” parades which are shot through with overt, public sexuality are a no-go…its just not decent to do that in public. Gay people should be conservatively dressed and carefully and politely pressing their case…to flaunt their private desires in public erodes public decency, and it should not be done. Not to the point where we’re invading someone’s bedroom, but to the point of the bedroom door is where that stuff comes to an end, and a decent respect for the opinion of mankind takes over.

      • Amazona August 16, 2014 / 8:41 am

        “My dear, I don’t care what they do, so long as they don’t do it in the street and frighten the horses (Attributed to many, over the years.)

      • M. Noonan August 16, 2014 / 1:50 pm

        Bingo!

  2. tiredoflibbs August 15, 2014 / 12:39 pm

    Notice that so-called “journalists” have already rushed at light speed to the conclusion that Brown was shot “because he was black” (but his buddy is still alive….).

    When the left or “protected” individuals are accused of a crime, these same “journalists” are quick to point out that “people should not rush to conclusions until all the facts are out”.

    It is not surprising that these yellow “journalists” are doing what they are doing. Today, the left needs all the distractions they can get.

    • Cluster August 15, 2014 / 2:00 pm

      Great point Tired. Funny when a minority is accused of something that the “progressives” don’t want to rush to judgement, and call for “cooler heads to prevail” – yet we see what happens when the tables are turned and there is a chance to incite racial divisions.

  3. Amazona August 15, 2014 / 1:09 pm

    I’m expecting to hear Barry explain that this young man “could have been his son”.

    I don’t know the details of this incident, but I do know that the Left and its mob mentality minions have jumped on it.

    I am fascinated by the thought process that says “We are targeted because our skin color tells some people that we are irrationally violent and dangerous, and we are being irrationally violent and dangerous to prove them wrong”.

    • shawny2011 August 15, 2014 / 5:17 pm

      Could be that cold day in Hell I always heard about……..but I don’t think we’ll be that lucky. That supermoon on the other hand…… The news media, theirs and ours, insist on focusing on whatever crisis, threat, or terrorist act is happening next. I’m an admin on a conservative website so I get it and keeping people informed. But that isn’t all there is and it’s sometimes hard to keep sight of because so much is going wrong and because we are now so hyper-sensitized to it. What we aren’t hearing about is the majority of good, decent cops and good decent protesters. What we aren’t hearing about is the majority of heterosexual couples, the majority of Christians.. What we aren’t hearing about is the majority of Americans who didn’t want Obamacare nor another amnesty mislabeled “immigration reform” nor a nostalgic stroll back to the 60’s race riots,

    • Retired Spook August 15, 2014 / 5:18 pm

      We’re visiting friends in Virginia, and some leaves are already changing here as well.

      • Count d'Haricots (@Count_dHaricots) August 15, 2014 / 5:31 pm

        I didn’t think you’d be posting Spook. I thought I’d start leaving comments in your absence so readers would think I was a sock-puppet.

      • Retired Spook August 15, 2014 / 7:28 pm

        What can I tell you, Count? I love this place so much, I just can’t stay away – even on vacation.

  4. dbschmidt August 16, 2014 / 4:58 pm

    Mob mentality is the first impression I got from the assembly this afternoon in Missouri. The low-information voter type of mob mentality. These are the folks that don’t understand that clogging the main thoroughfare in town will slow the response of emergency services.

    These are the folks that call the release of a video from the store owner, that they steal from nightly, a character assassination. The only character assassination was done by the young man himself.

    No one really knows the truth at this point except those involved and both the Officer and the other gentlemen should be held in question until everyone knows the real truth. Nevertheless, the mob is showing their low-information mentality without shame.

    • Amazona August 16, 2014 / 8:44 pm

      As I said, the message is clear:

      “It is hateful and racist to assume that all black people are criminals, and we are going to make this point by acting like criminals.”

      “It is hateful and racist to treat black people as inferior, and we are going to illustrate how wrong this is by acting like primitive savages.”

      “We want to be treated as human beings, with dignity, so we are going to act like animals, with none.”

      I am not saying that all the black people in or near Ferguson fall into any of these categories. Many are out there helping clean up the mess, and speaking out against the acts of the mobs. But I am deeply offended by the decision to stand back and let these mobs commit crimes that have traditionally been halted even, when necessary by extreme measures. To say to these people “You win—-you have scared us into letting you have your own way, into ignoring the law because you are black and angry and making a lot of noise, because we are cowards afraid of what our community might think of us for doing our job ..” is sending the wrong message.

      I am tired of being held hostage to thuggery, whether it is from black mobs or illegal immigrants or our own government.

      We have quickly degenerated from being a nation of laws to a nation of appeasers cowering before the thugs and bullies. When there is no law, when written laws are tossed aside at will due to expediency, when laws are subject to the whim of the moment, we are in or near a state of anarchy. And I suggest that sending the message to black mobs that we will always back down from them will lead to massive bloodshed if this is taken to encourage race riots.

  5. Amazona August 17, 2014 / 10:19 am

    Rather than post a link and hope that some will go to it and read it, I am going to post an entire article, sent to me by a friend: There are too many important points to highlight each one, but I have emphasized a few.

    **************************************
    David Solway
    David Solway is a Canadian poet and essayist. He is the author of The Big Lie: On Terror, Antisemitism, and Identity, and is currently working on a sequel, Living in the Valley of Shmoon. His new book on Jewish and Israeli themes, Hear, O Israel!, was released by Mantua Books. His latest book is The Boxthorn Tree, published in December 2012.

    What Will It Take?

    Let me begin with a categorical statement that, given current events and recent political history, can be easily defended: Barack Hussein Obama is a willful, indoctrinated child of the Left with strong Islamic sympathies who is not fit to govern. Indeed, he would not be fit to govern Lower Slobovia, let alone the United States of America. Obama is a historic disaster of the first magnitude and, if not restrained, he will see to the irrevocable decline of the country which foolishly elected him, leaving the world on the brink of a conflict — or in the midst of one — whose repercussions cannot be underestimated.

    Accompanying the undeniable havoc and damage that Obama is wreaking on his country and equally on its allies — Honduras, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Poland, Czech Republic, Israel, and possibly Taiwan — is the sense of helplessness that overcomes one when writing or speaking about a rogue president and his destructive administration. I feel this personally, having done my utmost in books, articles and lectures, from 2008 to the present, to warn whomever might read or listen that Obama represented a greater threat to the U.S. and the oddly named “free world” than any of our most dedicated and belligerent enemies. Even prior to his nomination as the Democratic candidate for the presidency, my distrust of this man was proprioceptive. And after his Missouri address, I wondered why anyone would want to “fundamentally transform” a country which, for all its flaws, perched atop the pinnacle of success in comparison to any other country.

    Everything Obama has done since then has only served to confirm what was originally a deep suspicion and soon grew to become a complete certainty. Dozens of meticulously researched books have been published to the same effect. And yet very few people seemed to be paying attention. No less disconcerting, those who argue that to criticize Obama is a sign of deep-dyed racism are, of course, relying on slander and misappropriation of language to protect their chosen standard bearer and his Marxist/progressivist/utopian project.

    What will it take to convince the ersatz aristocracy of frivolous intellectuals and brainless celebrities, partisan journalists, editors and academics, and an indifferent or deluded laity that they are heading for a crisis that will change our lives immeasurably for the worse? The evidence is beyond dispute.

    America is drowning in a state of unredeemable debt — $17 trillion in actual debt and, according to economic historian Niall Ferguson, in the vicinity of $200 trillion in unfunded liabilities, while one in five households depends on food stamps. At the same time, it is printing money like there’s no tomorrow — and there may not be — while subsidizing green energy fiascos at enormous cost to the taxpayer ($90 billion in wasted stimulus funds, and counting). It finds itself in the throes of a metastasizing race war, caused in no small degree by the president’s rhetoric and behavior and fomented by his attorney general. It is a country increasingly governed by executive fiat and by an administration rocked by a near-endless gyre of political and ideological scandals. It is a country whose federal government opposes voter ID, opening the door to electoral corruption. It is a country that spies on its own citizens, software corporations and web search engines, tries avowed terrorists in civilian courts, allows its ambassador and his entourage to be killed, without reprisal, and suffers its higher echelons to be riddled with Muslim Brotherhood operatives, giving the impression of a College of mujtahids. They are the advance cohort. “Today,” writes Larry Kelley in his sobering book Lessons from Fallen Civilizations, “millions of militant Muslims awake every morning plotting the destruction of the US. Many are among us.” And there will be more, if these reports of fast-tracking the citizenship applications of large numbers of Muslim immigrants are reliable, as they appear to be.

    It is a country whose president purges its military — 197 senior officers, including nine commanding generals — as did Turkey’s autocratic leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan to ensure the continuity of his regime. It is a country that refuses to defend its borders, even suing to keep them as porous as possible. It is a country shifting precipitously to the Left, now mired in the exorbitant socialist travesty of Obamacare built on an ascending pyramid of lies and false enrollment numbers — or in the words of L.A. County Deputy District Attorney Patrick Frey at his Patterico blog, “they’re not just lying about politics now. They’re lying about data. They’re lying about everything. All the time. Constantly. It’s what you have to do to prop up an unsustainable government. … You lie and lie and lie and lie and lie and lie and lie.”

    It is a country whose domestic agenda is predicated on the Marxist principle of redistributive economics that amounts to stealing from the productive class to maintain an ever-growing parasitical constituency. It is a country at war with honest science, transmuting NASA into a program for Muslim outreach and buying into the Gore/Hansen/Mann-inflated, IPCC climate scam. It is a country that is retreating on every front and that has lost the Middle East as well as the respect of its adversaries. It is a country that betrays its allies and endangers the world in the process, as in the phony, eagerly sought agreement that allows a self-described genocidal and nuclearizing Iran to keep spinning its centrifuges while profiting from relaxed sanctions. It is a country whose administration has sold its loyal partner, Israel, down the Jordan River.

    “The United States is no longer a rational nation,” mourns James Lewis. “Under Obama we are burning our traditional allies, and since weakness brings aggression, Iran is now empowered, China is grabbing ocean territory for shale deposits, and the worst offenders against women’s rights are now elected to the UN Human Rights Commission.” It is hard to contend with his summation.

    All this proceeds under the direction of a president who has sealed his vital documents so that very little of crucial importance is known about him. Roger Simon notes, as many others have done, “that Obama’s academic records are perpetually unavailable for a reason — and that reason is most likely that they reveal he received financial preferences, scholarships and/or loans, as a foreign student.” I have been arguing this thesis, and more, for several years about a president who is essentially a cipher. Intentional lack of evidence comprises evidence of its own that something is amiss. Further, if Obama was a foreign student, it follows that his presidential legitimacy is in question. But Simon is forgiving here, averring that he “would vote in a heartbeat for a foreign born person if I thought he or she were the best candidate, assuming it was all legal and public.…” Pace Simon, considering Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5 of the United States Constitution, how such a process could be legal is distinctly moot.

    Indeed, all other reasons aside, to have conferred immense power on a public figure with so meager a track record and so thin and discontinuous a résumé defies even the most rudimentary logic. Who is this man who sits in the Oval Office? (As PJM commenter “cfbleachers” correctly remarks in response to a previous article of mine, “Obama has spent his entire life perfecting the art of the mask.”) And what is his modus operandi? “Obama,” writes Dinesh D’Souza in Obama’s America: Unmaking the American Dream, published just prior to the 2012 election, “is possessed of a certain low cunning that makes him politically formidable. Obama’s skill…is to figure out what the American people want to see and hear, and then give it to them, while doing something entirely different.” By 2012 Obama’s lack of a paper trail, his craftiness and his penchant for deceit should have been blatantly obvious to any sensible and mature American voter, irrespective of class, race or gender.

    TV personality Monica Crowley concurs. In a recent speech, she spelled out what should have been plain for all to see: “We have a president who…came out of the swamps of Chicago machine politics, who learned at the knee of the communist revolutionary Frank Marshall Davis, who studied under Marxist professors…who trained intensively in the revolutionary tactics of Saul Alinsky, who launched his political career in the living room of Marxist revolutionaries and domestic terrorists… who for two decades sat in the pews of the radical anti-American preacher, who tried desperately to bury that past, who spoke about the fundamental transformation of the nation…who waged war on entire news organizations, Fox News, and who spent his first term slamming into place radical wealth redistribution and socialized medicine….What I’m describing here is the classic tin-pot dictatorship. We never thought it could happen here, and yet, here it is….Those of us in this room knew what was going on from the beginning before he was even elected president, but now it’s starting to dawn on more and more people what is really happening here.” She is right. Even for those who were not “in this room,” there should have been little doubt that Obama was a man without a discernible moral core, inspired by an anti-American political philosophy and utterly devoid of presidential heft.

    But American voters were ready to be taken in by a smooth-talking, shape-changing, confidence-man, like the gullible “marks” in Melville’s last novel about the exploits of an adroit charlatan, and to trust the image rather than the substance (or absence of same). This is another way of saying that America elected the results of Obama’s wholly predictable dogmatic fecklessness. America elected not to be America anymore, to fundamentally transform itself from a solvent, powerful, feared and respected nation into a quasi-European basket case. America surrendered to reparation chromatics, as if seeking absolution for a history that no one today is responsible for and that Obama himself never experienced. Admittedly, Obama’s approval ratings have plunged of late, but public opinion is notoriously volatile and will probably rebound at some point. Liberal dogma and white guilt will see to that. One can only hope it will assume the form of a dead cat bounce.

    The question remains. What will it take to awaken the tranquilized sector of the public and shake the elite corps of complacent opinion-makers out of their blind and factional torpor? How long before reality pre-empts fantasy? “The last five years of the Obama administration,” writes Russian émigré Alexander Markovsky, “have been like living on a volcano.” How long before the lava starts to flow?

    One must hope that America will come to its collective senses before it is too late. But I am afraid that it will take nothing less than a major catastrophe, a fiscal implosion that takes the “food” out of food stamps, coupled with more high-casualty terrorist attacks both abroad and on its own soil, leading to the eruption of civil unrest and the possible impeachment of the most destructive president in the entire pageant of American history — a sorcerer’s apprentice in a house on fire or a Machiavellian schemer following a carefully contrived plan — before America emerges from its devastating slumber. Assuming, of course, that it ever does, or that a path to recovery will still be possible. For nothing is guaranteed in a nation so divided as America is today.

    • M. Noonan August 17, 2014 / 3:50 pm

      Good article – though I still dispute the notion that Obama is consciously doing this. I really do believe he’s just too stupid to have set this up (and if he were smart, he would have found ways to disarm us while he was doing it…just a bit of “give” and the RINOs would have come crawling to him, leaving us all in the lurch). I do believe that his worldview is informed by a sort of kindergarten Marxism which was shoveled into his empty head through college; I do believe that he probably thinks he’s doing good…but the conspiracy, as it were, to destroy America under the aegis of Obama has puppet-masters…people who are pulling Obama’s strings from behind the scenes, and likely made up heavily of career bureaucrats partnered up with Marxists in the elite institutions…they, I think, are just putting things on Obama’s desk to sign.

      • Amazona August 17, 2014 / 4:37 pm

        But if you see Obama as the front man for a movement populated by very bright, very focused, very dedicated ideologues, he doesn’t have to be personally intelligent enough to orchestrate any of this. I think it’s obvious that he didn’t get as far as he did on talent or brains or drive or initiative. On the contrary, he is a classic post turtle. (“’When you’re driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that’s a ‘post turtle’. ‘You know he didn’t get up there by himself, he doesn’t belong up there, he doesn’t know what to do while he is up there, and you just wonder what kind of a dumb ass put him up there!.’ ) His entire history is one of being picked up and carried along by someone stronger, richer, and brighter than he is, of being used for his superficial qualities of skin color and ability to read a speech and his malleability. All he has had to do has been to show up (sometimes) with his minders fully aware that he will be coddled, protected, sheltered and excused by a fawning Complicit Agenda Media. He has been given permission to indulge in his inherent racism, his deep-seated antagonism toward this country, his narcissism, and his laziness. His minders do the thinking and the heavy lifting and he goes along, in exchange for the big house, the big plane, the magazine covers, the swooning fans, the ability to hang out with celebrities, and all the ego-boosting perks that he thought would make up for having to give up his private life for a few years.

        He’s starting to realize the price is a little higher than he thought it would be—-not all the press coverage is adoring, particularly in the rest of the world, and it’s getting worse, even coming from his own party and former supporters, and his infantile self-indulgence is starting to attract attention. On the other hand, who cares? He doesn’t have another election to win, so he can pretty much do anything he wants to. Yeah, he’s now looking, as Charles Krauthammer recently pointed out, at a few decades of scathing commentary on his innumerable failures and weaknesses, and that can’t be fun. If the American Left turns on him for not working hard to put Hillary in the Oval Office he might be kind of left out of the goodies. Living in a lavish mansion in Hawaii might sound pretty nifty now, but swamped with reams of pages of accurate and cutting criticism of pretty much everything he has done and everything he has not done, it might start to feel like exile.

      • dbschmidt August 19, 2014 / 8:43 pm

        Valerie Bowman Jarrett, say no more, say no more. Nothing to see here ~ move along.

  6. Amazona August 19, 2014 / 12:58 pm

    Isn’t it time to quit calling them “protestors”, giving them some legitimacy, and start calling them what they are—criminals?

    They are rioting under the flag of “protesting” the alleged bias against black people, while firmly establishing a pretty strong argument for being biased against black people. They are hiding behind the claim of trying to protect their community, while doing great harm to the community, both in the short term and with far-reaching impact.

    • dbschmidt August 19, 2014 / 9:03 pm

      What I would like for everyone and in particular those in the middle of this disaster in the making is for the Captain of the State Police to quietly inform all of the local people of Ferguson to exit the streets just for one night so they could round up the outside agitators.

      Slap all of the out of town and out of State with felony level ‘attempt to incite a riot’ plus conspiracy to all criminal charges within that area that evening like B&E, folks shot, etc. Every charge applies equally to everyone restrained–local or not; however, outsiders can be charged with a federal level ‘crossing state line in order to…’

      Sometimes it is simple. There are rights and their are imaginary “rights” but that will only inflame the low-information crowd. Just as an FYI–equal pay is not a “right.” Committing strong-arm robbery or any type of thief is not a “right” because you are perceived to have been wronged. Just ask OJ.

    • M. Noonan August 20, 2014 / 12:45 am

      I tried to point out that having a demonstration at midnight is sure to draw bad elements in and I was told I was exercising “white privilege”…which I guess for that particular person meant “exercising common sense”. There is a monumental level of stupidity going on here – and its really too bad because I’ll bet most of us on the right were full willing to back people in demanding a de-militarization of the police, at least to some extent. Now they’ve thrown it all away … but, still, the idea remains: and if we can get into these areas with a plan to ensure better policing, we’ll have an audience.

      • Amazona August 20, 2014 / 8:53 am

        Yesterday Hugh Hewitt had a guest he raved about as being the pastor of a large black church and his go-to guy when it came to talking to someone wise about race relations. Yet this man, an obviously educated man intent on coming across as thoughtful and rational, kept referring to the riots as “righteous indignation” and went on to say that he thought Eric Holder injecting himself into the mess was a good thing and how great it was to have a black president.

        And I thought, if someone like this is so thoroughly and deeply indoctrinated into the idea of justifying black violence based on a sense of “righteous indignation”, and who sees EVERYTHING though the filter of race awareness, we have an even bigger job ahead of us than I had realized. I know that many black people have the ability, which I think is directly related to willingness, to see beyond skin color. As one black actor’s TV character once said, “Only a fool trips over what is behind him”. But the determination to never let go of grievances keeps grievances alive, and when these grievances are carefully nurtured it is obvious that they have been chosen to provide an identity of victimhood and an excuse for lifetimes of debilitating anger, resentment and hatred.

        Those are choices, and I find myself increasingly disgusted with those who have made them. Disgusted and impatient. Yes, there was a time when people of color were forced into figurative prisons because of bigotry, hatred, unfairness. Those of character fought to be treated equally, society evolved, and the walls of those symbolic prisons fell. To see so many people decide to stay in them and try to rebuild them, to choose to spend their lives fortifying them, to live in them peering out at the rest of the world with suspicion and hate, when the walls fell and so many are now free because they have CHOSEN to be free, makes those who cling to the past appear quite, well, stunted.

      • M. Noonan August 20, 2014 / 12:42 pm

        I guess it depends on what righteous indignation is referring to – if it is referring, in general, to the poor policing of our cities and the all-too-often harsh confrontations between police and African-Americans, then that is fine…but if it was a reference to the idiotic “demonstrations” held at midnight when there’s bound to be bad actors about, that is quite another.

        It is so frustrating – here is our nation, slowly dying and idiots are in charge and it seems that a majority of the people believe the idiots are doing ok…

      • Amazona August 20, 2014 / 5:03 pm

        “Only a fool trips over what is behind him”

        Yeah, be indignant about the past—but then do something to make the future different, and better. It is ridiculous to be righteously indignant about being treated like an inferior person while acting like an inferior person.

        I have mentioned here a couple of things about the time in my life when I dated a jazz musician and spent a lot of time with him in the Denver black neighborhood, mostly at an illegal after-hours club where the jazz musicians hung out late at night and into the morning. Later one night or early one morning we were at a bar in the neighborhood, playing pool in the basement, when we heard shots from upstairs. The bartender had kicked out a drunk, who came back in and shot him. Nearly everyone left, and I tried to figure out how badly he was shot. He was shot in the thigh, and I knew if it clipped or severed the femoral artery he would bleed out very quickly, so as I tried to find the wound I told someone to call an ambulance.

        Several voices said “ambulances don’t come here” and I asked why. “Cause they think they might get shot at” was the answer. As I knelt by this man, hands covered in blood (and by the way the only person who tried to do anything) I looked up and said “Would they?” And the sheepish answer was “maybe”. I found the entrance and exit wounds, got them covered with clean towels and strapped down with a little pressure to slow down bleeding, helped half-carry him to a car, and sent him off to the hospital or wherever they took him. Later, at breakfast, I asked my boyfriend why people would come to a site where others were trying to help people—their own people—-to shoot at them and all he could do was shrug and say “That’s just the way it is”.

        Well, that IS the way it is, and it’s no one’s fault but those who create the situation.

        We saw it in New Orleans when Katrina brought out the ugly fact that there were whole neighborhoods where police and fire departments and ambulances were routinely shot at when they tried to help people. “Righteous indignation”?

        In the same Denver neighborhood, I witnessed a whole cycle of stupidity. The complaint was that no one cared if black folk got killed, so the city increased patrols and the number of cops assigned to the area. Then they were racist for having more police there than in white neighborhoods, so they cut back. Then they were racist because they had white cops in a black neighborhood, so they started actively trying to recruit black men and women for the police department, and assigned them to this area. Then they were racist because they were trying to turn black men and women against “their own people”.

        I’m tired of it. I look at people like Thomas Sowell, at people like those trying to clean up after the rioters in Ferguson, at those who understand they now have the freedom to be what they want to be but they also have the responsibility, and I find myself just fed up with those who cling to whatever they can find that might justify, in their minds, their poverty and their criminal records and so on.

    • dbschmidt August 19, 2014 / 10:35 pm

      Only problem here is that truth is like the proverbial Kryptonite to Superman. Truth interferes with what the low-information voter believes. White, black or otherwise, we have generations of folks that have been brought up not believing in the need to work but one of goverb’mnt is the answer.

      That is going to be difficult to erase.

  7. Amazona August 20, 2014 / 3:50 pm

    I am a white woman, of a certain age, living in an upper-middle class area, fairly well dressed, no tats or piercings, driving a white four door sedan that could be considered a luxury car—in other words, I do not attract negative attention from police, nor do I fall into any of the categories they are taught are more likely to pose a threat.

    I am also smart enough to know that if I am pulled over on the road by a cop, I sit quietly with my hands in plain view. I know that every cop knows the approach to a stopped vehicle is one of the most dangerous periods to a policeman or patrolman, and that they tend to be on high alert in these situations. I have seen dash cam videos of attacks by stopped drivers, and I know they have seen a lot more of them than I have. I understand that if I start diving toward my glove box in a frantic or panicked way, if I reach under my seat, if I do anything that might telegraph the message that I am reaching for a weapon, I should expect to be treated as a potentially dangerous person.

    So there is no way I will buy into the theory that a teenaged man of color, with a large and imposing physique, already steeped in generational paranoia about police, already convinced that the cops are probably out to get him because he is black, is less aware of the potential for being treated as a threat if he acts like he poses a threat.

    Carrying on in the middle of a street, in traffic, is an irrational act, one that could reasonably be associated with being drunk or high—-and, therefore, someone doing this could be expected to be unpredictable and possibly dangerous. Refusing to get out of the street when ordered to by a policeman merely adds to this developing awareness that this is a person who is not acting normally. Add an element of perceived aggression, such as the “bum’s rush” described by a friend of the victim, and any police training will tell the cop that this is escalating into a potentially dangerous situation.

    We have to remember that the policeman was acting in REACTION to the actions and behavior of another person, which means that the other person is responsible for that behavior.

    There has recently been talk of the victim having a knife. I don’t know if he did or he didn’t. I do know that in my Concealed Carry class we were taught the same thing that police trainees are taught, which is that if someone rushes at you with a knife and you are a trained law enforcement office with a holstered weapon you can count on almost 2 seconds to draw and fire an unaimed shot, which means that someone charging at you can be on you from a distance of about 20-25 feet before you can defend yourself. In this 1.5-2 second interval, during which the law officer has to get his weapon out and be ready to fire if necessary, he is also expected to identify the nature and seriousness of the threat—a threat which could include being stabbed or cut, being hit, being thrown to the ground, and/or having his gun taken away from him and used against him. We were also taught that even if an attacker is shot as he gets to his intended victim, he can still do a lot of damage, possibly fatal damage, with a knife or gun or rock or fists before he is actually stopped.

    Back to dash cam footage—I am sure every cop in the country has seen the footage of a traffic stop turning into a tragedy when a policeman was attacked by an unarmed man who got the cop’s gun and used it against him. If someone charges at a cop, shows every intention of physically attacking him, and has the physique to overpower him, I think the policeman at that point has no obligation to wait and see how strong the attacker is, if he is going to try to get the cop’s weapon or just run off, if all he wants to do is bluff the cop so he can run away, if he just plans to land a couple of punches, or any other potential scenario.

    As far as I am concerned, if you telegraph to an armed person, cop or not, that you intend to do him harm, and there is reason (such as your size, your known history of violence, a weapon, a verbal threat, or anything else) to indicate to him that you have the ability to do him harm, you have voluntarily assumed any risk that might be associated with this dumb decision. And yes, sometimes that includes the risk of being shot.

    • Cluster August 20, 2014 / 5:24 pm

      Add an element of perceived aggression, such as the “bum’s rush” described by a friend of the victim, and any police training will tell the cop that this is escalating into a potentially dangerous situation.

      How about an act of actual aggression? I saw a report that said the cop had a fractured orbital socket.

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