David Thompson
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August 18, 2015

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Anna

the rigorous journalism of Mr George Monbiot

Don't tell me. He can't do numbers and gets science arse-backwards but he still wants lots of stuff banned, higher taxes and more state meddling?

*Looks at Monbiot article*

What do I win?

Jamie MacMaster

"...an absolute majority of the record-breaking tax money collected by the federal government today is simply transferred by politicians from people who are not likely to vote for them to people who are more likely to vote for them."

Frame it.

David

What do I win?

Whatever the ostensible issue is, you just know that punitive taxes and further bloating of the state and its purview are the inevitable destinations. As Chris Snowdon quips, Mr Monbiot’s addiction to overbearing government is much harder to cure.

David

What do I win?

Option A: Dry rice cakes.
Option B: Chocolate pudding.

Sam

Salon’s Scott Eric Kaufman insists that black males “shouldn’t have to” comply with lawful instructions from the police. Which sounds like exactly the kind of attitude that gets people hurt.

Exhibit A...

"Last Friday, a Birmingham, Alabama police officer was pistol-whipped unconscious by a convicted felon. The officer later admitted from his hospital bed that he hesitated to act out of fear he would be called a racist."

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2015/08/police-officer-beaten-unconscious-by-career-criminal-hesitated-out-of-fear-of-being-called-a-racist/

Jeff H

"Mr Monbiot's addiction...is much harder to cure."

Having read Ursula K. LeGuin's "The Lathe of Heaven", I propose that nothing is hard to cure. A bullet to the head will cure Mr. Monbiot's addiction quite easily, speedily and less expensively than years of psychtherapy.

David

Exhibit A

As Victor Davis Hanson asked, somewhat prophetically, in an earlier Elsewhere post,

Will some law enforcement officials now surmise that it is wiser to ignore some crimes in the inner city on the practicable logic that the denouement for the officer will likely be negative — either by stopping the assailant through force or not stopping the assault and thus being assaulted? If the suspect is unarmed but attacks, the post-Ferguson choice will either be to suffer physical harm or to respond in ways that may equate with the end of a career.

See also this by Heather Mac Donald:

This incessant drumbeat against the police has resulted in what St Louis police chief Sam Dotson last November called the “Ferguson effect.” Cops are disengaging from discretionary enforcement activity and the “criminal element is feeling empowered,” Mr Dotson reported. Arrests in St Louis city and county by that point had dropped a third since the shooting of Michael Brown in August. Not surprisingly, homicides in the city surged 47% by early November and robberies in the county were up 82%.

Thank goodness for all that progressiveness and racial healing.

R. Sherman

It is worth noting that "St. Louis" is actually a bundle of separate political entities, including the independent City of St. Louis, St. Louis County and numerous municipalities within St. Louis County, all with a combined population of 1.5 million people or so. The uptick in crime is confined to a relatively small part of the area, where the anti-police sentiment is the strongest. Thus, because the local residents object to police presence and law enforcement, they find themselves now prisoners in their own homes as the thugs run amok. The police are still there; they're just acting to confine the lawlessness to small discrete areas. The rest of us go about our business with little or no disturbance. Of course, before long the pendulum will swing back and the residents will demand more police to protect them. By then, though, the media will have moved on to something else.

Rafi

Chris Rock: How not to get your ass kicked by the police.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uj0mtxXEGE8

Jon

I'm all for people following lawful orders. But what happens when the police gives unlawful orders? I've seen the dash cam footage of officers escalating situations when people who knew their rights did things like ask why they were being detained.

Maybe if the police cracked down on the ones doing their job poorly instead of trying to defend even the worst of their own, there would be more trust on the majority that does their job properly.

R. Sherman

@Jon

There's no question that there are some bad apples. Unfortunately, the fact that an officer is being an ass is not a legal defense to failing to comply to his orders. Fortunately, such incidents are rare. That's why they make the news.

Jon

"Unfortunately, the fact that an officer is being an ass is not a legal defense to failing to comply to his orders." Actually it can be, if the officer is being an ass by giving unlawful orders. That's what an unlawful order is: An order by a police officer you are not required to obey. Their are strict limitations to what a police officer can do, and when they act beyond those limitations, they are behaving unlawfully.

You can of course obey to keep yourself safe, just as you can choose to give over your belongings to a thief to keep yourself safe. But I don't see people here saying you shouldn't arm yourself because it's safer to just hand over your things and ask your insurance to cover it later.

When you urge people to comply just to be safe, you're telling them that they should sacrifice their rights to preserve their safety.

R. Sherman

@Jon,

It depends on the state, alas. In mine, it's not a legal defense. And what constitutes a "lawful" order is what's problematic. I've practiced law for over 30 years. I've prosecuted and defended. I've lectured police on what they can and cannot do. Yet, the fact remains, if you resist arrest, even and improper one, you are guilty of a felony. The remedy is in court, not self-help.

Do I wish it were otherwise? Sure. But that doesn't change the facts.

dicentra

If Rafi hadn't posted the Chris Rock vid, I would have.

It's excellent.

It also predates Ferguson and even the Obama Administration, which accounts for its candor over politics.

Chester Draws

Maybe if the police cracked down on the ones doing their job poorly instead of trying to defend even the worst of their own, there would be more trust on the majority that does their job properly.

And that's the issue with the US police in general. They're not so much racist as poorly trained by modern standards. You only have to look at some of them to know that they wouldn't even make the physical requirements for most Western police forces, let alone the other standards.

When teacher unions act to prevent bad teachers from being sacked, the conservative right is all over them. When police unions do it to prevent poor officers from being sacked, that's solidarity and we should respect the difficult job the officers do. That's a massive double standard, and the Left does it in reverse doesn't make it right.

The US conservatives would do themselves a huge favour if they redirected the anger about police "racism" towards the real issue of poor training and recruitment.

David

It also predates Ferguson and even the Obama Administration, which accounts for its candour over politics.

And candour is the thing. When a Fox News host suggested that young black males would be less likely to get shot or tasered if they “stopped resisting arrest” - i.e., if they stopped refusing to follow instructions, or running, or fighting the officers attempting to detain them – this unremarkable piece of advice was deemed scandalous. By, among others, the aforementioned Mr Kaufman, who says black males “shouldn’t have to” comply and dismisses cooperation with the police as being “servile.” Mr Kaufman offers no practical alternative, just an indignant sneer, as if his primary concern is to show the world how down he is with young black males.

But in the real world, combative behaviour - the behaviour he seems to endorse - to say nothing of actual violence - will increase the likelihood of people getting hurt. By quite some margin. As someone who’s watched quite a few episodes of the reality show Cops, one of the things that’s struck me is just how often an alarming escalation is caused by a gratuitously chippy attitude and attempts to appear macho.

The original Mr. X

R Sherman:

Of course, before long the pendulum will swing back and the residents will demand more police to protect them.

No doubt whilst whining about how racist the police are for not protecting them already.

Freshverbal

As Sam Harris has said about Islamic fundamentalism.

It's extraordinarily bad "software to be running on your brain"

Equally, the idea that if you are black the system is designed to, exclude, oppress and ultimately kill you is causing disengagement in education and work, engagement in crime and an adversarial attitude to authority which effects not only the criminal element; but ultimately raises the chances of law abiding black citizens of having unsatisfactory experiences with cops.

That software is the problem far more than racism is.

The fact the establishment left glorifies and revels in such a narrative ensures nothing will change.

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