When did Missouri become an Iron Curtain Country?

News crew tear gassed and their equipment dismantled.

What’s interesting and creepy (to me as a blogger) is that as real journalists are harrassed and intimidated and arrested by the Glorious Democratic Police Army of Ferguson, the reportage depends on private citizen with cellphone, Twitter and Youtube. The problem is that a lot of this is context free images. So the raw date goes out and then is interpreted for us by heavily biased private organization with a huge agenda. The result is not news nor even the “free flow of information”. It’s left wing and right wing sites, with their respective partisan audiences, listening exclusively to what their itching ears want to hear.

My own working assumption, as with the Commies, is that when a police state won’t let the press have free access to information, it is guilty till proven innocent. I owe the state no presumption of innocence at all. Our Founders certainly did not. The whole purpose of the Bill of Rights is to protect people from a state the Founders assumed would try to get away with tyranny at every turn. Therefore, I presume Michael Brown was murdered by the cops and the state is trying to cover it up. If it walks like a duck…

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  • Peggy

    Knock it off.

    • chezami

      Knock what off? Defending a free press?

      • Peggy

        Your presumption that the cop murdered the young man. The police chief has offered information to the public and media regarding the original incident. And your whole criticism of a place you know nothing about is uncalled for. You never read below headlines as a general matter.

        There was an initial presser on Sunday. The chief has also been on national cable shows. His comments have been printed on many media sites. I don’t think the cop’s named need to be revealed until charges are filed. Officers’ lives are in danger.

        Yeah, the cops have seemed heavy handed, but they’re dealing with some serious violence inflicted upon them. De-militarizing is a good thing, but the violence must end. The people have been egged on by most recently New Black Panthers. We’ll see what the Guv does.

        • chezami

          I have not one reason in the world to trust the “information” the chief goon in this Iron Curtain Corps of goons has to offer. I would not believe the Stasi and I won’t believe these guys. They act guilty as hell. I’m under no obligation to trust the state.

          • Peggy

            The day after the incident. Before the Co police stepped in with military gear, the community cops had a presser; the county prosecutor was brought in immediately. There were references to FBI and DoJ involvement likely. There was from the beginning no intention to hold a closed localized investigation.

            StL County has a county-wide govt w/cops and some other shared duties; individual incorporated cities have their own govts and cops. StL City is not part of the county. It is autonomous and is not very populated. Interestingly, the County “Executive” (ie, mayor of county) who is black just lost his re-election primary last week.

            • Bill

              I am with Mark here.

              As are a lot of conservatives. Check out Red State, or Rand’s op-ed in Time.

              There is no Zimmerman/Trayvon split here. Most everyone is on the side of the victim and find the police tactics ridiculous.

              • Peggy

                I don’t condone the militarized reax to the riots. Mark is presuming the cop is guilty. Conservative media are not claiming that.

              • Peggy

                P.S. A lot of appropriate things happened out of the box before national media and agitators descended. Local media of all stripes have been on the case from the beginning. They covered the looting that began Sunday night and no national news had yet. The next couple of days, cable was full of Robin Williams and some on the important Iraq matters.

                The specifics of the incident with M Brown are very murky. The local officials have stood by their story that a struggle occurred, first inside the police car. We will have to see whether that bears out. Unlike Mark, I don’t presume the cop guilty, but it really doesn’t sound like a good situation.

          • Jonk

            Mark, you’ve gone full Alex Jones. You never go full Alex Jones.

          • Benjamin2.0

            I have not one reason in the world to trust the “information” the chief goon in this Iron Curtain Corps of goons has to offer.

            Is the “”’information””’ offered by pillaging barbarians worthy of more trust, then? It’s dangerously irresponsible for me to take a side on this fact-devoid issue, and I live here.

            • chezami

              Impossible to say. But then that’s because the goons are keeping the press out.

              • Peggy

                2 journalists, by some reports who were hanging out at a private property whose management asked them to leave. This will need to be confirmed, but if true, changes the story quite a bit. A host on KFTK 97.1 had that story. He was a local tv reporter for years and worked for then Apb Burke for a while.

                Go to local media sites. KSDK tv, KMOV tv, KMOX radio, KTVI tv, STLtoday.com to name a few. There are all kinds of bloggers with points of view. They are on the scene reporting. You do not have the facts.

                • chezami

                  2 arrested. Lots more intimidated and threatened.

                  • Peggy

                    Bull. I am here reading/watching/hearing local news.

                • Marthe Lépine

                  That was the previous story Mark had related. In the present case, I finally took the time to follow the link (I had originally assumed it was that previous story), and it is a different story of a fully recognizable and identified TV news crew from a legitimate news organization that was intimidated by being tear-gassed, followed by the police trying to uninstall their equipment. The link also says that the police only stopped when they noticed another crew was filming them…

  • Mark S. (not for Shea)

    How can people of good conscience do this?
    .
    I remember a story about MacArthur that may well be apocryphal. When he was negotiating the surrender of Japan, one of the Japanese officers asked him why an American general had never seized power in the United States. MacArthur replied, “Because the nearest corporal would shoot him.”
    .
    What happened to that sense of duty and right and wrong?

  • ivan_the_mad

    Thankfully, the New Media in many ways augments the more traditional media; in this case, providing greater visibility of abuse of the press.

    I think your concerns regarding the New Media are certainly concrete; one would think that the police would tread especially carefully around more traditional journalists given their increased rigor (i.e., they wouldn’t want less contextualized New Media reports to dominate the coverage).

    Federal courts have pretty consistently ruled that recording the police is protected under the First Amendment. The treatment of the press in Ferguson should be of great concern across the American political spectrum.

    • chezami

      One doesn’t get the impression that the cops are acting like the brightest bulbs in the marquee through any of this. Brute force and intimidation, not foresight about consequences, seems to characterize their approach here.

      • Ken

        They pretty much couldn’t of handled this worse. Turns out that if you treat people with contempt instead of charity in a volatile situation like this it doesn’t work out well. Open up the information, treat the people with respect, let the press report etc… If they act like they have something to hide people are going to assume that they are hiding something.

        • Andy

          This so reminds of what we used to hear about from countries behind the Iron Curtain way back when. Freedom of the press is what should protect us from the government- that means reporting that is unbiased and factual.

  • MarylandBill

    Mark, I would point out that our obligation to treat the police, and more specifically the officer in question with charity is not a constitutional one, but a Christian one.

    That being said, the Ferguson police seem to be doing an excellent job and acting like they are covering up a crime. We shouldn’t presume they are guilty, and members of the media should not be trying to enflame the emotions of others, but at the same time, it is absolutely the right thing to wonder why the Ferguson police are trying to keep any information from being made public (especially the autopsy report).

    • chezami

      I’m gonna go ahead and assume the state is guilty till proven innocent.

      • MarylandBill

        And what happens if the state, and more importantly the officer in question turns out to be innocent Mark? (I don’t think they will, but I have not seen enough information to be sure of that conclusion).

        And lets remember, it is that presumption of guilt that is causing the rioting in Missouri right now. Can we undo the harm that has come from that presumption of guilt.

        I am not suggesting we presume innocence, but rather reserve judgment until the evidence is clear one way or the other.

        Lets remember here, we are getting all our information from media whose primary interest is in making sure this story is as big as possible (after all, that will get more viewers for the 24 hour news channels that way, potentially for months).

        • chezami

          Then he is innocent. But our constitutional order is entirely founded on a healthy suspicion of the state and the state is acting with profound corruption here. I presume there is a reason they are doing so. Sue me.

          • MarylandBill

            Mark, you do realize that there is a huge difference between suspicion and presumption don’t you? And as I pointed out earlier, I am not talking about our Constitutional order but rather our Christian obligation. Great harm can be done by our presumption of guilt, is being done because of it and we can’t undo it if it turns out the police officer was innocent.

            Do I suspect the officer is guilty and the police are trying to cover things up? Sure, I do. But the truth is not going to emerge through the presumption of guilt.

            • chezami

              I’m not serving on a jury. I’m a citizen watching the cops act like the Stasi. I assume they are full of crap and hiding a crime.

              • Benjamin2.0

                Likely, but us responsible folk treat our assumptions like they’re assumptions.

      • Jonk

        Just like you did in BLM v. Bundy, right?

        • chezami

          Did the state in Nevada bar the press from covering what was happening there? No. So I didn’t have to guess what was going on there. I could see that the Bundy cult was a bunch of whackjobs and vigilante nuts. Two of them went on to murder some innocent people in Vegas. Nice try though!

          • Benjamin2.0

            It wasn’t exactly a de facto war-zone, though, was it. I don’t think the future behavior of two of the numerous vigilante nuts is terribly relevant, either. Maybe there are some crucial distinctions you’ve missed.

    • Dan C

      The state is evil. Starve the beast. We need our guns to protect us against the tyrannies of the government.

      Ever argue any of these points? Conservatives love the government when it looks like this.

  • Elaine S.

    And what’s the deal with the FAA “no fly zone” over Ferguson? I can’t figure out what that would be for, unless, say, there is reliable intelligence indicating that Putin, Hamas, ISIS or all of the above are planning airstrikes/rocket attacks on Missouri (once they get done with Ukraine, Gaza and Iraq), or that the rioters have gotten ahold of weaponry capable of shooting down commerical or private planes (I don’t get the impression the New Black Panthers or gangs from East St. Louis are THAT heavily armed). Perhaps it is intended to prevent drone cameras flying overhead to document what’s going on?

    • AquinasMan

      During the L.A. Riots in ’92, rioters were taking potshots at airliners taking off from LAX. Ferguson is only a few miles from the airport. There’s some precedence for caution.

      • Peggy

        Correct. There was shooting in the air. I have been hearing local news including local officials and community leaders (black and white) all week on this. Folks outside the area are only hearing parts of the story.

        • Andy

          Intrestingly – from the actual No FLy Order —

          TO PROVIDE A SAFE ENVIRONMENT FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ACTIVITIES

          This the reason provided by the FAA and not shots in the air. I wonder what safe environment they – law enforcement needs – are they expecting the protestors to fly in and attack — or is it to keep news helicopters from flying overhead?

          • Jonk

            Or it could be because the police are using helicopter spotters to manage their response, and don’t really feel like having a midair collision with a news helicopter.

            • Benjamin2.0

              Or it could be because the police are using helicopter spotters to manage their response

              This. I was in the area last night and heard numerous helicopters. No reason it couldn’t be a both/and situation, though. The “Ferg” is very close to the airport, as stated above.

            • Elaine S.

              OK, I hadn’t thought of those things. While I still have a hard time picturing how rifles or handguns or even “assault weapons” fired into the air could take down an aircraft, I’ll defer to those who have more knowledge of the situation.

          • Peggy

            Police copters were fired upon. TIME report.

            http://time.com/3105035/ferguson-faa-no-fly-zone/

            • Andy

              Given the source – the Ferguson police I am not sure I am willing to accept it. Sorry since watching the chief on TV a couple of times I have no trust in anything they say.

              • Peggy

                What-ever. Read local media.

              • Peggy

                P.S. FAA was the source. THis is not unusual, the article indicates.

  • Ken

    The gov of Missouri has said that they are going to change their police response so let’s pray that they do for the current riots and for their future responses.

  • FI

    Odd Fact: Did you know the Iron Curtain speech was given in Missouri?

    • Catholic pilgrim

      Yes by Winston Churchill in Westminister College (Missouri USA). Presbyterian private I think. A friend went there.

    • Elaine S.

      Another odd/ironic fact: the current governor of Missouri is named (Jay) Nixon.

  • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

    The government in Missouri can’t even do a coverup right?

    The no-fly zone is to keep the news choppers out.

    • Benjamin2.0

      The no-fly zone is to keep the news choppers out.

      Objection: Assumption of an unstated motive.

  • Peggy

    RE: The reporters: A caller to Rush KMOX said that a host on another local radio station is reporting that the McD mgmt called the cops to remove the reporters who’d been hanging out using it as a home base for hours. Now, if you were listening to Rush, he was skeptical he explained b/c he thought the old man caller was referring to an oldies music host on KMOX. The caller was not. Jamie Allman is a conservative (?) host on a local FM station. (And also Rush may not have wanted to give credence on KMOX air to a competing radio station.)

    We will have to see whether this bears out as fact. If true, it certainly sheds new light. I’ll have to see what Allman says tomorrow.

  • Guest

    Bob Cesca at The Daily Banter offers a contrast/compare:

    “Two Americas: Ferguson, Missouri Versus the Bundy Ranch, Nevada”

    “In Ferguson, law enforcement is vastly overreacting in the face of peaceful protesters, while at the Bundy Ranch, law enforcement vastly underreacted in the face of armed secessionists and scofflaws.”

    http://thedailybanter.com/2014/08/two-americas-ferguson-missouri-versus-bundy-ranch-nevada/

    • Peggy

      I don’t defend militarization of cops, but it is not true that the protests were solely peaceful.

      http://www.stltoday.com/news/state-and-regional/missouri/protests-turn-violent-in-st-louis-suburb/article_3e2af374-7a09-50f2-9e75-4b2f952edad7.html

      I am not aware that any Bundy hanger-on fired a shot. I do not support the Bundy agenda. I guess we have to say such things to avoid being pidgeon-holed.

      • Guest

        True not all the protests in Ferguson were peaceful but none of the protesters were armed with weapons like they were at the Bundy Ranch.

        Now just imagine if the Ferguson protesters were armed. This situation would probably not have ended well for either side, unlike at the Bundy Ranch which ended peacefully.

        • Peggy

          Molotov cocktails and bricks could qualify as weapons, no?

          This won’t end well if people do not calm down. The first night of looting had no militarization. The militarization, which I don’t condone, was a reax to the looting and violence on Sunday I am guessing.

          I just heard a black official on a radio show say that the looting was necessary to get attention to the problems of the community. Wow. The citizens live in isolation? Have been ignored? Really? What have local officials done about it, if true? These are bad times for every one. I am sure the poorest are feeling it the worst.

          • Guest

            I’d written “armed with weapons like they were at the Bundy Ranch,” meaning rifles and other firearms. Considering the sense of injustice the protesters are feeling there, it’s amazing how this situation hasn’t become far worse. I hope the Governor can restore some order and justice soon.

            • Benjamin2.0

              The police shot an armed rioter two nights ago. I wonder if we’re getting more information in the local news. You foreigners seem to be oblivious to certain suspiciously particular details.

              • Guest

                There’s a difference between an “armed rioter” versus an “armed protester.” That’s what we’re discussing.

                • Benjamin2.0

                  It’s the riot vs. protest distinction which I was trying to emphasize, and that the “armed” qualifier is scarcely relevant. I managed to edit out the relevant details to that end, though. I’m going to stop trying to be pithy. It just doesn’t suit me.

                  • Guest

                    There are criminal elements taking advantage of the current chaos, and no one here is defending them.

                    “Armed” is relevant because freedom-defenders say that being armed is a defense against tyranny, and that was the excuse for the Bundy resistance. But any “peaceful armed black protester” against the police would be instantly viewed with suspicion as a thug with criminal intent. Thus the protesters who are there are unarmed with their hands up in the air.

                    • Guest

                      http://www.vox.com/2014/8/13/5998591/hands-up-dont-shoot-photos-ferguson-michael-brown/in/5757650

                      “Hands up, don’t shoot: The images that define Ferguson’s protests”

                    • Benjamin2.0

                      The Ferguson “”””protest”””” is already violent. That certainly influences one’s perception of a gun in that context. Pretending otherwise while citing the “”””protestors'”””” melanin concentration is shameless and contemptible race-baiting. It was a citation of a 19 year-old’s dermal tint without regard for the conflicting information regarding his being shot which began this nonsense.

                      Race-baiting is racism, you know. It’s pushing all relevant data to the back to make way for determining guilt or innocence based purely on racial factors. You will find it difficult to overcome this impression in any further discussion. I have an extreme, entirely willful, and rigorously rational bigotry against racists. I regard them all as unwilling or incapable of making sense, having no loyalty to truth.

                    • Guest

                      Yep, we’re all shameless racist race-baiters. Pointing out double standards and societal attitudes is race-baiting and racism.

                      From all accounts to date, Michael Brown was shot while unarmed. Whether he “deserved” to be shot based on something he did, no one knows. And that’s what we’re trying to get to the bottom of — the truth.

                    • Benjamin2.0

                      Pointing out double standards and societal attitudes is race-baiting and racism.

                      Presuming double standards and societal attitudes is race-baiting and racism. I’ve challenged your absence of evidence, already. You’re just going to ignore that now. It’s not about what is; it’s about what you can say, isn’t it?

                      Whether he “deserved” to be shot based on something he did, no one knows. And that’s what we’re trying to get to the bottom of — the truth.

                      While simultaneously presuming the result of the search! That’s not called a search, by the way. It’s called a presumption. If “no one knows,” then there shouldn’t be firmly-held conclusions dependent on the heretofore nonexistent evidence.

                      It’s like you’re unwilling or incapable of making sense, having no loyalty to truth.

                    • Guest

                      My absence of evidence? How about your absence of evidence. Name-calling is not an argument. “Racist race-baiter.” Please.

                      Go away, Benjamin2.0. You’re really starting to annoy me. Honestly don’t know why Mark puts up with you at this blog for so long. He has much more patience than I have.

                    • Benjamin2.0

                      My absence of evidence?

                      Yes.

                      How about your absence of evidence.

                      I only need to cite an absence on evidence to demonstrate that your conclusion is unsupported by evidence.

                      “Racist race-baiter.” Please.

                      I justified that conclusion. Logical conclusions can’t be equivocated to insults. Where have I erred in my logic? How was my claim unjustified?

                      Go away, Benjamin2.0.

                      No.

                      You’re really starting to annoy me.

                      You just can’t stand that I’m right, can you?

                      Honestly don’t know why Mark puts up with you at this blog for so long. He has much more patience than I have.

                      He would have to be an unprincipled hack to ban me, and such he is not – may his kind increase. My primary function here has been to criticize knee-jerk conclusions by harping on the crap arguments which support them. Annoying as that is, it’s hardly ban-worthy.

                    • KM

                      Benjamin2.0, go back to Breitbart and Infowars. They miss you there.

                    • Benjamin2.0

                      I don’t even know who they are! One sounds like a name and the other like a hacker organization!

                    • jroberts548

                      You know who began this nonsense? The cop who murdered Michael Brown.

                      Maybe cops shouldn’t murder Black people if they don’t want to start things like this.

                    • Benjamin2.0

                      Easy, there. You’re letting the narrative fill in the evidence. I’d hate to write you off as a racist, too! We’re being so civil in that other box.

                      Or maybe you’re joking… Human behavior confounds me, sometimes. If you are, it’s hilarious. Sometimes, I pretend to use terrible arguments to amuse people, too. Unfortunately, they never get the joke. Now I get why. We’re beyond parody as a people.

                    • jroberts548

                      Taking the cops at their word, Michael Brown was shot while unarmed, from 35′ away, following a confrontation between someone (probably not Brown, or they would have said Brown) and a cop in a cop car. If the cops have any other evidence that justifies the shooting, they haven’t disclosed it. If it’s not justified, and was intentional, it’s murder. I guess it could be manslaughter, but the only group with the facts that would let me tell the difference isn’t forthcoming.

                      For various reasons (for the sake of argument, let’s say they’re all now unintentional), Ferguson/St. Louis is a segregated town/metro area. Even giving cops every benefit of the doubt, it’s a powder keg. If I were a cop, I’d expect that murdering a Black kid, in a neighborhood where there are already tensions, would have broader repercussions in the community.

                    • Benjamin2.0

                      Is it 35′ or 15′? Was he struggling with the other person who may or may not have been there, or not? Was the shot taken during the struggle, and intended for the assailant who may or may not exist? There aren’t enough pieces to say the cop “murdered Michael Brown” just yet. I wouldn’t raise a finger to save him from hanging if he did, but I’ll certainly raise a few fingers to dispel the certainty of race-motivated murder as things are. These suspicions-turned-unjustified-certainties are the direct cause of the riots. Race-baiting is the direct cause of the riots. I’d have no problem with less random civil unrest if murderous institutional racism were proven. I might even join in if it were focused toward the parties responsible.

                    • jroberts548

                      You know who has that information? The cops. Also, Mike Brown. Brown, of course, isn’t in any position to talk.

                      There’s also, of course, the witness’ statements to the press. Are they true? Maybe. The only people who know are Mike Brown and the cops. Brown, of course, isn’t in any position to talk.

                      If the cops had exculpating evidence, they’d release it. If Brown attacked the cop, they’d release that information. If the cop thought Brown was armed, they’d say so. That’s what they do in literally every other instance of cops shooting someone, even when there’s video evidence to the contrary. If Brown had ever touched alcohol or weed, we’d know. If he had ever committed a crime, we’d know. That’s what happened with Eric Garner. That’s what happened with Oscar Grant. That even happened with Trayvon Martin. Either the Ferguson PD is unique among PDs, and has no interest in releasing evidence of some justification, or there is none.

                      Let’s grant, arguendo, that race-baiting was the cause of the riots. So what? There’s a super easy way to avoid race-baiting. DON’T MURDER PEOPLE. It’s pretty easy. In fact, I frequently manage not to murder people. Earlier today, I didn’t murder anyone.

                      And if, as a cop, you kill someone and it’s not murder, you and your department should be really forthcoming about the justification.

                    • Benjamin2.0

                      You know who has that information? The cops. Also, Mike Brown. Brown, of course, isn’t in any position to talk.

                      There’s also, of course, the witness’ statements to the press. Are they true? Maybe. The only people who know are Mike Brown and the cops. Brown, of course, isn’t in any position to talk.

                      It really isn’t flattering to your point to admit up front that the evidence you need to make that conclusion you’ve already made hasn’t been released yet.

                    • jroberts548

                      I feel good about my conclusion based solely on what’s not in dispute, excluding even other eyewitness statements. There was a confrontation. Brown was no longer near the car. He was unarmed. The cop shot him multiple times. I can’t even imagine any plausible other facts the cops could provide that would make it not criminal. There probably isn’t even a good argument for manslaughter.

                      As I note elsewhere in the thread:

                      Based solely on what’s not in dispute, it looks like murder. There was a confrontation at the car, and then the cop shot an unarmed person multiple times while the person was retreating from the car.

                      The cop shot multiple times. That suggests intent, rather than negligence, criminal negligence, or recklessness (if a cop recklessly, rather than intentionally, shot someone multiple times, then Ferguson PD has some fundamental training problems). Likewise, it suggests intent to kill – this guy had been a cop for some period of time, and presumably knew how guns work. You don’t shoot someone more than twice (in a controlled double) without intending to kill them. There might be some justification to defeat that, like if he could show he thought he was grabbing his taser like the BART cop in Oakland. But as it wasn’t his taser, he would have realized his mistake quickly.

                      Murder is the unjustified killing of another with malice aforethought. “Malice aforethought” is just a needlessly old-fashioned way of describing the various mental states necessary for murder – premeditated and deliberate, intent to kill (but somehow not premeditated or deliberate), depraved heart, or felony murder. So the cop had intent to kill, he shot Brown, Brown died, and Brown’s death was a result of the cop’s actions. So the question then turns as to whether the cop has any justifications or defenses.

                      Self-defense or defense of third parties requires that the party asserting it has a reasonable or good-faith belief (depending on the state) that the use of deadly force was necessary to prevent the imminent application of deadly force against the defendant. Brown was unarmed and 35 feet away. Brown didn’t pose any sort of threat to the cop. Defense of others applies the same test, but the cop would stand in the shoes of the person they’re defending. Nothing suggests Mike Brown posed an imminent threat to anyone.

                      That leaves using the privilege of using lethal force against a fleeing suspect who has a committed a serious violent felony, and who poses a danger to the officer or to the community, and who isn’t apparently unarmed and nondangerous. The shooting is treated as a seizure under the 4th amendment. Not even burglary is sufficient to automatically justify killing the fleeing person. Let’s be super generous to the cop, and say that the crime at issue is whatever happened between the cop and Brown when the cop stopped Brown, and not the jay-walking that was the grounds for the stop. The cop still loses because Brown was apparently unarmed and nondangerous, and due to being unarmed and 35 feet away, didn’t pose a threat to the cops.

                      Might other facts exist that provide a justification? Maybe, but probably not. If there were, the Ferguson PD would have said so. They did on Monday or Tuesday when they shot and killed a guy at the protest who pointed a gun at the cops. Immediately, they come out and say that someone pointed a gun at the cops, and they shot him. I don’t even know that guy’s name, because no one is protesting a perfectly lawful act of self-defense. When Ferguson cops have a justification, they disclose it. They haven’t here.

                      ETA: Even after releasing the police report about the robbery, they still haven’t. The test isn’t whether the deceased committed a crime earlier in the day. It’s whether the cop has probable cause to think the suspect committed a serious violent felony, poses a threat to the officer or others, and isn’t unarmed and nondangerous. There’s still no evidence of a serious violent felony, posing a threat to anyone, or being armed and dangerous. The PD hasn’t even said that Wilson stopped Brown because of the robbery. The more the PD does and says without releasing evidence that would justify shooting Brown, the more convinced I am that it was murder.

                    • Benjamin2.0

                      Nobody’s defending the cop. I’m attacking the race-baiting. I can think of another reason for a policeman, who was treated for injury, shooting a man illegitimately. Citing racial disparity as an entrenched institutional motivation incites riots. I even have one recent example to fuel my argument. Want to hear it?…

                      If Brown… had ever committed a crime, we’d know.

                      The passage of time has provided a good reason to doubt your standards of dismissing the possibility of evidence based on its not having been released.

                    • jroberts548

                      I was legitimately surprised it took them 6 days to release information about the robbery. I was even more surprised that after releasing that, they said it was unrelated to the stop that ended in Brown’s death. They still haven’t provided any information that in any way justifies the shooting.

                      There is a chance I’ll be mistaken. Ferguson cops might just be more stupid than they are racist. If it was a justified shooting, they’d say why it was justified, like every other police department does, and like Ferguson PD did when they shot a protestor who pointed a gun at them. No one’s protesting the death of the guy who pointed a gun at the cops. A PD with any interest in preventing unrest would say that a justified shooting was justified. If they had a justification, and the cops aren’t immune to incentives, they’d share it.

                    • Benjamin2.0

                      There is a chance I’ll be mistaken.

                      That conditional, my friend, is music to my ears. I was afraid you were deluded.

                      Ferguson cops might just be more stupid than they are racist.

                      If we could just do something about these unsupported assertions of racism…

                    • jroberts548

                      I didn’t say they’re necessarily racists. They could just be idiots. But when a 90-something percent white police department in a 70% Black town murders an unarmed kid and doesn’t even pretend to give a justification, it’s hard to believe race isn’t a factor.

                    • Guest

                      Other people have concluded this as well. Jim Wright at Stonekettle Nation wrote in his latest article “Pressure Cooker”: “When the police refer to the black population as “animals,” on record, to a reporter, it’s about race.”

                      The reporter’s name was Eli Rosenberg (EliKMBC) and the tweet was, “”We’re dealing with 4,000 animals in there & you want to give me attitude?” the deputy yelled, mad I was taking a pic.”

                    • Benjamin2.0

                      Was he calling the 4,000 people animals because of the rioting or because of their pigmentation? That’s not an insignificant distinction, and you’re portraying everything I oppose quite nicely.

                    • Guest

                      Don’t know, just basing it on the tweet which doesn’t say if they were rioting. Just “4,000 animals.” Calling people animals isn’t a humane way to view people no matter what.
                      Can’t assume they were rioting from that tweet.

                    • Guest

                      This is the third time that I’ve heard the word “animal” associated with this story. The first time was when the cop was recorded on video saying, “Bring it, all you ***ing animals, bring it!” The second time was when Dorian Johnson, a witness to the shooting, said that Michael Brown was “shot like an animal.” And now this third time when the reporter tweeted the deputy’s words about dealing with “4,000 animals.”

                      I’m reminded of Mark’s post from a few weeks ago when he linked to Kevin O’Brien’s piece about Imago Dei and torture. Dehumanizing people by calling them animals or seeing them as animals is an attempt to deny their human dignity.

                    • Guest

                      Commenters at Breitbart.com (conservative website) also have been using the word “animals” to describe the rioters/protesters.

                    • Peggy

                      The word, as uncharitable as it is, is primarily a reflection of conduct, maybe race too in some peoples eyes.

                      In Oz, they have a shiftless white underclass (they killed all the aborigines, I think–nice eh? And USA is the bad country). The rest of society call them “ferals.”

                    • Guest

                      It’s more than uncharitable, it’s rather vile like many of the comments at Breitbart relating to this story.

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      It is more serious than just uncharitable. Mark was correct when he wrote that talking in that way does dehumanize whoever is the enemy or the adversary is being faced, and maybe even makes it easier to resort to and/or try to justify violence (in the same way as some people do not hesitate to kick a dog but might be a little more restrained when being tempted to kick a child).

                    • Benjamin2.0

                      But when a 90-something percent white police department in a 70% Black town murders an unarmed kid and doesn’t even pretend to give a justification, it’s hard to believe race isn’t a factor.

                      I see what you mean, but that’s the thing I’m opposing: the presumption of racism. Presumption of guilt is not a just behavior.

                    • Elaine S.

                      Anyone notice that for all the fancy gear the Ferguson PD has, they don’t have dash cams in their patrol cars? Those are pretty much standard equipment for ANY PD nowadays, and they are not all that expensive. If they had a dash cam recording what happened in the encounter with Michael Brown so that everyone could know for sure what REALLY happened, maybe the events of the past week could have been avoided or at least mitigated.

                    • Peggy

                      FYI–The armored cops and equipment are owned by and under the direction of the StL County govt, not little ole Ferg. I guess since Thurs, the state trooper guy or the gov is running the show, which continues not to go well, one can sadly say.

                    • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

                      Boy that’s a lot of fact free ifs. Right now, the atmosphere around this killing has a nasty smell to it, but that’s all. If anything, the mass demonstrations are getting the police to hunker down, which is not a good recipe for justice.

                    • jroberts548

                      Including things like what eyewitnesses have said to the press, and what’s been leaked from the radio dispatch, there’s more than a nasty smell.

                      Based solely on what’s not in dispute, it looks like murder. There was a confrontation at the car, and then the cop shot an unarmed person multiple times while the person was retreating from the car.

                      The cop shot multiple times. That suggests intent, rather than negligence, criminal negligence, or recklessness (if a cop recklessly, rather than intentionally, shot someone multiple times, then Ferguson PD has some fundamental training problems). Likewise, it suggests intent to kill – this guy had been a cop for some period of time, and presumably knew how guns work. You don’t shoot someone more than twice (in a controlled double) without intending to kill them. There might be some justification to defeat that, like if he could show he thought he was grabbing his taser like the BART cop in Oakland. But as it wasn’t his taser, he would have realized his mistake quickly.

                      Murder is the unjustified killing of another with malice aforethought. “Malice aforethought” is just a needlessly old-fashioned way of describing the various mental states necessary for murder – premeditated and deliberate, intent to kill (but somehow not premeditated or deliberate), depraved heart, or felony murder. So the cop had intent to kill, he shot Brown, Brown died, and Brown’s death was a result of the cop’s actions. So the question then turns as to whether the cop has any justifications or defenses.

                      Self-defense or defense of third parties requires that the party asserting it has a reasonable or good-faith belief (depending on the state) that the use of deadly force was necessary to prevent the imminent application of deadly force against the defendant. Brown was unarmed and 35 feet away. Brown didn’t pose any sort of threat to the cop. Defense of others applies the same test, but the cop would stand in the shoes of the person they’re defending. Nothing suggests Mike Brown posed an imminent threat to anyone.

                      That leaves using the privilege of using lethal force against a fleeing suspect who has a committed a serious violent felony, and who poses a danger to the officer or to the community, and who isn’t apparently unarmed and nondangerous. The shooting is treated as a seizure under the 4th amendment. Not even burglary is sufficient to automatically justify killing the fleeing person. Let’s be super generous to the cop, and say that the crime at issue is whatever happened between the cop and Brown when the cop stopped Brown, and not the jay-walking that was the grounds for the stop. The cop still loses because Brown was apparently unarmed and nondangerous, and due to being unarmed and 35 feet away, didn’t pose a threat to the cops.

                      Might other facts exist that provide a justification? Maybe, but probably not. If there were, the Ferguson PD would have said so. They did on Monday or Tuesday when they shot and killed a guy at the protest who pointed a gun at the cops. Immediately, they come out and say that someone pointed a gun at the cops, and they shot him. I don’t even know that guy’s name, because no one is protesting a perfectly lawful act of self-defense. When Ferguson cops have a justification, they disclose it. They haven’t here.

                      ETA: Even after releasing the police report about the robbery, they still haven’t. The test isn’t whether the deceased committed a crime earlier in the day. It’s whether the cop has probable cause to think the suspect committed a serious violent felony, poses a threat to the officer or others, and isn’t unarmed and nondangerous. There’s still no evidence of a serious violent felony, posing a threat to anyone, or being armed and dangerous. The PD hasn’t even said that Wilson stopped Brown because of the robbery.

                    • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

                      I think we have different opinions on what’s a nasty smell.

                      “Based solely on what’s not in dispute, it looks like murder. There was a confrontation at the car, and then the cop shot an unarmed person multiple times while the person was retreating from the car.”

                      I agree with the quoted statement in its entirety.

                      Here’s where I disagree. I don’t think it’s wise to characterize the likelihood of new evidence turning up. I think that you’re discounting unwisely the likelihood that a change in venue will lead to a different verdict. I think that there are more productive ways to handle this, even more confrontational ways that have better legal foundations.

                      Fostering an us vs them divide is strategically stupid, tactically counterproductive, and is the best hope that a guilty cop has of getting off on the headline charge. I will not be a part of that. You shouldn’t either.

                    • jroberts548

                      Yeah, there’s definitely a pretty good chance that a white St. Louis jury will acquit the cop. If you pick 12 white people from one of the most segregated metro areas in the country, at least one of them is going to be racist enough that there’s no chance of a conviction.

                      After today’s big reveal of the robbery, I’m 95% confident that no evidence is going to show up that justifies the shooting. They took almost a week looking for some justification, and they best they came up with was that? Assuming there’s anyone in the police department who isn’t literally a moron (i.e., with an IQ between 50 and 70), if they had anything better, they would have released it when they released the police report about the robbery.*

                      On the one hand, I see what you’re saying. On the other hand, the cops are the ones with the evidence. I don’t see why they should get to create a lack of evidence and then benefit from that lack of evidence.

                      *On the other hand, that might be an unjustifiable assumption.

                    • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

                      Benefit? Why do you think preserving an open mind until all the evidence is in is of benefit to guilty police? I prefer to term it “lack of grounds for an appeal”.

                      Like I said, if the cop is guilty, the shooter should be convicted on the headline charge. Dot the eyes, cross the tees, leave no escape. Do the job of justice right.

                      Have I finally made myself clear?

              • Peggy

                Yes, and they should have seen the looting and fires the first night b/4 the cops went militarized. There was a ruckous at a high end shopping mall several miles away the next day. Bricks were being thrown from an interstate overpass, very busy in rush hours. The interstate was closed and traffic redirected. The NBP are still in town and encouraging violence today. The FBI confirmed this.

                And let’s not let the Left off the hook of militarization. Barry is militarizing innocuous federal agencies across the board. Why?

                I invite readers to go to several StL media outlets and bloggers to get the details.

  • jeanvaljean24601

    In answer to your question. Missouri became a Police State when the other 49 did.
    For all the foofaraw, it is a little late to speak of closing the barn door.

    The Right has been wanting a Police State to deal with “Law and Order” since Nixon.

    Conservatives allowed the Right to build up police and prisons. Liberals went along with it so not to seem “soft” on crime.

    Hot dog, “the chickens have come home to roost” – Malcolm X , 1963

    • Benjamin2.0

      I don’t think the extent of the rioting is making it to the national news. Rioters have vandalized and looted private businesses even outside the Ferguson area. The situation is quite a bit beyond run-of-the-mill police work – not to apologize for tear-gassing people in their own back yards, of course. Blame doesn’t seem to fit on any one side’s shoulders very well at all.

      Except for the race-baiters. They’re the most responsible.

      Followed by the people who take them seriously.

      • jeanvaljean24601

        You really should look in at The American Conservative, and see just what is really going on around the country. This one incident is merely symptomatic of a national movement.

        And, I was wrong to blame it on Nixon. I temporarily forgot the Chicago Police Riots of 1968, one (not well reported) in May, the other at the Democratic National Convention. (But, one says, they were “provoked” Really? To the point of throwing short-haired men in suits and ties through plate glass windows?) No “race-baiting” there. (Dirty commie hippies…)

        Police are supposed to be trained to handle these things. And they will always have their apologists.

        • Benjamin2.0

          This one incident is merely symptomatic of a national movement.

          I wasn’t sure whether you were referring to the police armaments or the quasi-apocalyptic rioting until I got to the end (tell me if I’m right: it was the police armaments). One could argue both and suggest the police are ahead of the curve. An unraveling society has its demands, after all.

          In principle, I don’t care if the police are armed with rocket launchers so long as they’re used appropriately. Cops who shoot innocent people should be treated the same as anyone else who shoots an innocent person, regardless of caliber.

          • jeanvaljean24601

            “I don’t care if the police are armed with rocket launchers ”

            I do.

            “An unraveling society has its demands, after all.”
            A) How much of the unraveling is caused by militarizing the police?
            B) If society is truly unraveling, an American Gestapo/KGB will not stop it.
            C) This is America, for Heaven’s sake. We just Don’t Do this sort of thing here… or we didn’t used to.
            D) If we are going to have this as Normal, America is already gone, only the corpse is left to rot for a while.

            50 years back, as a sophomore in high school, I joined YAF and went about distributing literature for Barry Goldwater (he had me at Freedom”). Since then, I have self-referenced as “conservative”. With this decadent travesty (of government run amok) we have been gaging on at home and abroad since 2001, I am changing my thinking.

            • Benjamin2.0

              How much of the unraveling is caused by militarizing the police?

              None, so long as the behavior isn’t corrupted. A policeman’s attire is an accident; his behavior is essential.

              If society is truly unraveling, an American Gestapo/KGB will not stop it.

              Correct. It’ll slow things down, maybe. The trouble is that a poisonous subculture displaced the culture. The solution is to convince people to live virtuously. Unfortunately, the people in question chose their particular worldview precisely because it made no moral demands.

              This is America, for Heaven’s sake. We just Don’t Do this sort of thing here… or we didn’t used to.

              We had principles, too. The two are directly related.

              If we are going to have this as Normal, America is already gone, only the corpse is left to rot for a while.

              That’s more or less my opinion, too. It’s a logical progression, really. It started with a cancerous nihilism which led necessarily to hedonism which led necessarily to anarchy. Anarchy in the presence of a still-existing government necessitates response. Unfortunately, being composed of nihilists, the state’s response will often be unprincipled. Reestablish moral truth, and it all goes away. Easy, right?

              • jeanvaljean24601

                “Militarization” of the police is not merely a matter of attire, but of attitude (and firepower).

                I would argue that the hedonism preceded the nihilism, but — yeah.

                I am open to suggestions as to how we “establish moral truth.” From what I have seen, the wealthy, powerful, and privileged (call them “Patricians” for short) who own/run the West profit from depravity and incoherence in society.

                The patricians have given us the culture of modernity, at least of modern America and Europe, and it can absorb anything.

                It can absorb criticism (trenchant and mordant as Bill Buckley used to say) and shrug it off.

                It will even subsidize dissent and rebellion as a way of draining off energies which might otherwise explode on its all-pervading control.

                Any and all threats must be neutralized or absorbed, from Occupy to the Tea Party, and from Disney and the Avengers franchise through drugs and hardcore porn.

                The only thing it cannot survive is itself.
                So, I sincerely ask, how do you have a “revival” of a culture which doesn’t know you are there? How do you “evangelize the culture” that stops its ears when you speak?
                If “conservatives” were running for office, I would vote for them, but we have only neocons and warhawks (in both parties).
                As for religion, half love Francis for This and condemn him for That, Other half loves him for That and hates him for This.
                When Isaiah sad, “I am a man of unclean lips, of a people of unclean lips”, he was talking about the USA.

                • Benjamin2.0

                  So, I sincerely ask, how do you have a “revival” of a culture which doesn’t know you are there? How do you “evangelize the culture” that stops its ears when you speak?

                  Convincing people who need to be convinced that they need to be convinced is a logically impossible task (you could multiply the “convinced that they need to be” section infinitely, for instance). The task requires nothing less than supernatural grace. Practically speaking, you said “The only thing it cannot survive is itself.” Therefore, we could always fall back on “let the dead bury their dead.” My outlook isn’t exactly sunshine and roses right now due to certain stressing factors, so insert a grain of salt as you see fit.

              • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

                Sorry, the behavior’s been corrupted at least as long as it’s been SOP to shoot the family dog when going in to serve a warrant. That’s been awhile.

                • Benjamin2.0

                  Sorry,

                  I forgive you.

                  the behavior’s been corrupted at least as long as it’s been SOP to shoot the family dog when going in to serve a warrant. That’s been awhile.

                  And that’s what I would oppose. Focusing on bullet-proof vests and rifles for guys who may have to deal with villains armed with rifles and bullet-proof vests is to focus on accidents.

                  • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

                    I would quibble that they’re not just accidents but powerful cultural reinforcements that lead to bad behavior rates going up. The police are not the military. They have neither the training, nor the legal framework that the military has. They do not have a similar job description. They are peace officers and do not have special rights. Their equipment should be tailored to their job and reinforce a positive culture that helps them accomplish it.

                    The military gear is designed to send a different message.

                    • Benjamin2.0

                      Leaving heavily armed domestic villains to the military has its own dangers. The police deal with citizens and the military with foreign threats, and I would argue against treating one like the other, which would inevitably occur if those roles were conflated. Nobody would expect the police to deal with gun-toting criminals by arming themselves only with billy-clubs, so, I argue, they should not be left to deal with large angry mobs without proper equipment. All of this I grant without negotiating a bit regarding the proper treatment of citizens. Gassing people in their own yards is wrong, and the uniformed perpetrators should be dealt with accordingly. Whether a gas mask looks scary is immaterial to the proper behavior of the man behind it. I argue for proper tools to be used only when proper but oppose any new special rights. The slackening of principled standards is the very thing I’m opposing.

                    • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

                      The military also deals with domestic threats on a fairly regular basis. In terms of lawless mobs, the local police are supposed to handle things up to a limit and then call in others for local aid. When that’s overwhelmed, the guard gets called in. This is not a new system or a recent arrangement.

                      What I’m saying is that the police are trying to handle too much and it compromises their performance in daily policing. The powers that be are afraid of losing their positions if the mlitary gets called out too frequently because of their bad decisions so they’re trying to stuff more use cases onto the police department’s inbox. That’s bad security policy.

                    • Benjamin2.0

                      If you propose that domestic military action demands that citizens be treated as citizens, our dispute is a distinction without a difference outside of the allocation of resources. I wouldn’t oppose one or the other in principle. If prudence dictates that riot gear is better utilized by military personnel, so be it. The accounting in that regard is beyond my ability and interest. I don’t see how the allocation of these resources to police is wrong in principle, though.

                      The powers that be are afraid of losing their positions if the mlitary gets called out too frequently because of their bad decisions so they’re trying to stuff more use cases onto the police department’s inbox.

                      Not you, too! Do you have an argument which doesn’t use someone’s unstated motives as a premise?

                    • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

                      In principle, the military is there to restore order when peace officers are overwhelmed and the civil authority has failed to maintain regular order. They have a much higher propensity to kill people which is why you don’t want them on the streets unnecessarily. Their appearance is supposed to be a bucket of cold water that shocks people out of their previous plans and gets them running home. When they come out it is usually to talk, not fight.

                      Police cannot, in principle, provide officer friendly service at the beginning of the shift and the shock of the national guard appearing on the street by mid-shift. It just is not possible.

                      One role or the other will suffer in the best case scenario. In the more likely scenario, both roles will suffer. You see that in Ferguson where the police are neither trusted enough (officer friendly) to wait on the facts to emerge or scary enough (bucket of cold water) to get the looting to stop.

                      My description of motivation rests on discussions with said local powers in my own neighborhood over the course of decades. I’m not guessing and the attitudes were pretty clear. I really don’t have a way to prove it to you so I’ll try to rein that sort of talk in.

                    • Benjamin2.0

                      You talk some sense, Mr. Lutas. I see where you’re coming from, now.

    • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

      You haven’t been paying attention much. The right’s been growing more concerned about police militarization for quite a few years. Where do you get your view of the right, National Review or Daily Kos?

      • jeanvaljean24601

        Since you were kind enough to ask–

        For websites: The American Conservative; The Imaginative Conservative; Front Porch Republic, mainly.
        For books: The Conservative Mind, Russell; Did You Ever See A Dream Walking (later edition as Keeping The Tablets), Buckley; Conservative Intellectual Movement in America, Nash; conservatism From John Adams to Churchill, Viereck; conservatism in America, Rossiter; In Defense of Freedom, Meyer; Ideas Have Consequences, Weaver; Reflections on History, Burckhardt; The Servile State, Belloc; Up from Liberalism, Buckley; The Conservative Revolution, Edwards; Patriotic Grace, Noonan; and many others.

        To balance, I must give time to Liberalism:
        For websites: The American Prospect; Mother Jones; mainly.
        For Books: Four Essays on Liberty, Berlin; Conscience of a Liberal, Krugmann; Freedom’s Power, Starr; Future of Liberalism, Wolfe; The Vital Center, Schlesinger; Homegrown Democrat, Keillor.

        Was there anything else you wanted to know?

        And, as I said, Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” emphasized “Law and Order”, as did George Wallace.

        • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

          My BS meter pegged on this list.

          Here’s a recent TAC story on police brutality.

          http://www.theamericanconservative.com/seven-reasons-police-brutality-is-systematic-not-anecdotal/

          How can you with a straight face both say conservatives are police brutality apologists and cite an outlet that would publish that story. They also publish Radley Balko the point man journalist in documenting police militarization.

          Your list of conservative sources gives the lie to your accusation that conservatives are pro-police brutality.

          The GOP is not a Nixonian party. It hasn’t been since at least the 1980s and arguably since Ford.

          • jeanvaljean24601

            My dear friend, I make a difference between conservatives (with which I self-identify) and rabid Right-Wing idiots, typified by such wights as Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh. Not have I said conservatives favor police brutality. hat comes from your own coloring of what I have actually written. Grow up and pay attention if you want to engage in discourse,

            • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

              “Conservatives allowed the Right to build up police and prisons” were your words. Rather than jump straight into your briar patch of parsing so finely what the word “allowed” means and what level of culpability is assignable where, I think I would prefer to plumb the difference between conservatives and the right. You’re pretty obviously not using the conventional scale and you explicitly are excommunicating certain people who are conventionally called conservative so perhaps we should start with how you use the words “right-wing”, “right-wing idiots”, and “conservative” so I can translate to plain english and work from there.

              This forum attracts all sorts of oddballs. You can’t be any weirder than our resident monarchical tribalist secessionist georgist (Hi Ted!) so please, feel free to really let your hair down.

              • jeanvaljean24601

                Your inability to distinguish between a conservative and a Right-winger says it all. I am not obligated to educate the uneducable. Farewell.

                • Benjamin20

                  My brother once quoted to me: “The definition of terms is the beginning of wisdom.”

                  I wish I could remember who he quoted.

                • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

                  Thank you for identifying yourself definitively as a troll.

                  • http://www.likelierthings.com/ Jon W

                    In my judgment as well, the “Conservative” or “Red State” end of the political spectrum in this country has been overly and unjustly concerned with “law and order.” We’ve been cheering on, and voting for, Dirty Harry over Barney Miller for decades now.

                    When minorities complain about police brutality and such, we basically give them an ultimatum: clean up the inner cities and we’ll talk. We pay absolutely no attention to the fact that our position as the more powerful subculture/community requires of us a more sacrificial response. And that’s just in the realm of natural justice, without referencing Christian charity at all.

                    • Benjamin2.0

                      I thought “give to each according to his due” was natural justice. “Will the good of the other” precisely is the theological virtue ‘love’ or ‘charity’. Often, I find that people (myself gravely included) are allergic to the conflation of the two, particularly when the faux justice is presented in opposition to hope and faith. It’s hardly cricket to demand a secular society, smuggle a disordered charity under the label ‘justice’, and demand it be practiced apart from or even against the other theological and even natural virtues. I’ll propose integrity, then. Clean up the inner city, oppose police brutality, and sacrifice of oneself while practicing and professing hope and faith. Opposition to vice per se should cease to be presented as a form of oppression.

                    • http://www.likelierthings.com/ Jon W

                      I thought “give to each according to his due” was natural justice.

                      It is. My point is that “what is due” to minorities is extra consideration, because they are minorities, because they and their culture are less powerful.

                      “Will the good of the other” precisely is the theological virtue ‘love’ or ‘charity’.

                      No. To will the good of the other is the basic love that is due to every man just by virtue of his being a man. To will the good of the other even to dying on the cross for your enemy is the Christian virtue of charity. “Why, one will hardly die for a righteous man–though perhaps for a good man one will dare even to die. But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. […] For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.” (Romans 5:7-10)

                    • Benjamin2.0

                      While dying for an enemy is the fullest extension of charity, merely willing the good of the other is the general principle. Loving every man by virtue of his being man is an extension of the “created in the image and likeness of God” thing (“All men are created equal” is almost certainly not a secular idea). I’d almost put money on it being Christian theology rather than philosophy or natural theology. What I was trying to express by “give to each according to his due” is something along the lines of keeping one’s agreements and punishing the guilty. The strong owing protection to the weak, I’m pretty sure, isn’t a classical pre-Christian idea.

                    • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

                      Here’s the problem. There’s been an evolution on the right among conservatives that’s been building for at least a decade on the law and order front. Concern over civil forfeiture abuse, drug law abuse, no knock raids, SWAT abuse, regulatory strangulation in urban areas, it’s been moving for quite some time. The last dates at least back to Jack Kemp in the 1980s. The idea that there’s this blanket approval of law and order among conservatives or the right just simply does not match reality.

                      The evolution is very nuanced. General support for police is still very strong and is likely to remain that way. They do have a tough job and one that is respected. But I do see police comments on forums in national review shocked that there is a lot less circling the wagons and closing ranks than they expect. To read commentary hear as if that evolution hasn’t even happened is disappointing.

                      The minority community in Ferguson is not without power. They have the majority of the vote. They can change things peacefully. They apparently have allowed things to fester and it didn’t end well for Michael Brown. So, yes, I expect these people to clean up their city. They’re the majority there. Why can’t they? Why is it somehow unjust to expect them to do their civic duty and take up the responsibility of their electoral majority?

                    • http://www.likelierthings.com/ Jon W

                      The idea that there’s this blanket approval of law and order among conservatives or the right just simply does not match reality.

                      And I’m telling you the obsession with “law and order” as a consideration that blots out any attempt to understand the plight of the urban poor is, in fact, rampant in the conservative subculture. I know people with these attitudes personally. They won’t listen to minorities’ complaints until those minorities start “behaving.” I’m just pointing out that it’s real and it’s unfair.

                    • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

                      Morons come in all ideological colors. So long as one compares liberal morons to conservative morons in an apples to apples comparison, it’s not unfair. Much more common is to compare conservative morons to a romanticized liberal platonic ideal which *is* unfair.

                      I accept that the people you describe actually exist. I will not accept without at least a few polls that this is the bulk of conservatism and certainly reject that it is the intellectual position of conservatism. The Steve Sailors of the world do not define conservatism.

                      The eugenicist racist liberals who want to abort the black underclass out of existence also exists. But neither block is the dominant expression of either ideological grouping.

                      Conservative weakness in urban politics is something that has occupied my spare time for quite a few years. I think that it’s a scaling weakness and not antipathy to minorities. Conservatism fares poorly when you are in an environment where you just throw your hands up and give up control and highly complex urban environments promote that sort of strategy as a sort of rational ignorance.

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      Seems to me, based on some experiences I have had with people trying to give “advice”, that there are still a lot of people who think that if a person in difficulty does not follow to the letter the advice thrown their way, no matter if the advice is at all reasonable, feasible, or based on the “helpee’s” actual circumstances, or even so bad as to probably make the “helpee’s” problems much more severe, they will immediately conclude that the “helpee” is in bad faith, and if s/he is poor, or in any kind of need, it is the “helpee’s” own fault and s/he does not deserve any support. These are the people who won’t listen to minorities’ (or any other person’s) complaints until the complainers start “behaving” in the way described above.

  • Elaine S.

    Two questions for all those other than Peggy, Benjamin 2.0 and any other posters here who are actually from the STL area:

    1. Have you ever had an event occur in your community that attracted national news coverage?

    2. If the answer to #1 is yes, did the coverage match the actual situation you saw/experienced “on the ground”? I’m betting that in most cases, the answer is no. Either (a) the news coverage didn’t do justice to how bad the situation was, (b) the news coverage made the situation seem far worse than it was, or (c) the news coverage totally ignored or paid little attention to incidents that didn’t fit into their preconcieved narrative. Please keep that in mind when you follow these stories.

    • Benjamin2.0

      1. Have you ever had an event occur in your community that attracted national news coverage?

      Yes.

      2. If the answer to #1 is yes, did the coverage match the actual situation you saw/experienced “on the ground”?

      Not terribly accurately, no.

      Two questions for all those other than Peggy, Benjamin 2.0 and any other posters…

      Oh, wait…

      • Peggy

        I’ve been absent from this thread…I’ll obey conditions. I was in DC for 9-11 and the sniper (who was also Muslim) the next year. Talk about a lot of bad reporting–on 9-11 itself.

        Oh, and let us keep in mind that the national media has a particular racial agenda here. I think on both conservative and liberal sides, the militarization of domestic police forces is of concern. The chaos continued last night. A local person wrote a letter to the paper, STLToday and noted the absence of teh Catholic Church in the community these days…the Abp in the 50s, forgot name, led the nation in desegregating schools and combatting racism.

    • Joseph

      Actually yes on both, the police here in Albuquerque gunned a man down with assault rifles because he would not leave in handcuffs an area he was were it is was not allowed to camp in forest service area. He wanted to leave of his own violation and the police shot him in the back and killed him because they were afraid he may escape. He was not black by the way, or Hispanic, he was homeless and he did pull two knives to show that he wasn’t to be touched. The news here in Albuquerque reported on the strangeness of a swat team versus one man breaking a small law. The police are no better then gang members with stupid murderous group-think.


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