Posts Tagged ‘police brutality’

NEWSFLASH FROM THE US OF P: BIDEN-HARRIS WON

January 11, 2021

This is my first newsflash from the government-controlled United States of Puro Free Press. Sorry for the late report but communications in and out of here are affected by the prevailing winds. The country at my border is a fascinating exercise in democratic evolution; it used to be a lot like mine but now has little in common but a slowly divergent language.

The top leaders, including the president-elect, having successfully defined their country, in contradistinction to my own, as systemically racist based entirely on the notion of outcome inequity, now in similar fashion openly regard their peace officers as racist. It is currently accepted in the higher echelons of power that the police would have acted more brutishly if the insurrectionists/rioters at the Capitol weren’t white, the deaths of several rioters and a policeman (evidently racist) notwithstanding. Both sides roundly and quickly condemned the riot/insurrection, but this is not deemed relevant, any more than both sides condemning the rogue behavior of an individual cop in the George Floyd incident. Nor is the fact that Democrat leaders turned a blind eye to or supported the BLM rioters for weeks to months during the mostly peaceful protests. This was way back in the Time of Trump.

In the new, more progressive US of A, where non-Left speech is microaggression or hate speech and hate speech is violence, corporations can now have their open censorship of noncomplying free speech sanctioned as the only acceptable social behavior. It’s fair to suppress Trump’s speeches on Facebook, ban conservatives (especially Trump) from Twitter, and push impeachment redux. It’s nothing less than a social imperative for Google, Apple and Amazon to cancel the Parler app, where disenfranchised Trump voters fled to escape cancellation. After all, their words and beliefs threaten to undermine democracy; the assault on the Capitol proves this, the rapid and vociferous censure of the riot by the Right notwithstanding. US of A citizens are expected to be more progressive, since any good during the last 4 years is tainted by Trump and must be disregarded and obscured. Biden-Harris has made it clear that national unity is now a priority, as long as it is under the banner of progressivism.

While those of us in the US of P think the words of the new leaders and the actions of the big tech companies are far more dangerous and deserve at least as much attention than the actions of a the contingent of misguided radicals, clearly the majority of our neighbors, the American voters, disagree. In the US of P the irony of the characterization of the outgoing leader as a corrupt liar while a blackout on the disturbing evidence of the president-elect’s compromised state with respect to China is not lost. Be assured, these concerns will be addressed by our ambassador at a future date (when we have an ambassador and a reliable means of communication, as I’m planning to close my Twitter account and there’s no guarantee I can engage on Parler, that reputed hotbed of conspiracy theorists).

Until such time as the serious dissension on our border is alleviated, I’ve decreed that we should erect a wall. Unfortunately, my HOA rules don’t allow it. If necessary, I can be reached by carrier pigeon.

P.S.: Please include #birdpoop in the footer on any communications for security purposes, as my sources tell me I’m being monitored by Russian agents and Google.

THE PULSE OF THE COUNTRY—WILL THE ELECTION BE THE ARBITER OR A POSTSCRIPT?

June 18, 2020

I’ve said many times that we won’t know the net vector of the country’s beliefs and values until after the election. Current events may belie that statement.

The new anti-police ethos that’s sweeping the large, liberal cities, all Left-governed, will have consequences. Following Ferguson, MO, it predictably led to an increase in crime and murder that outstripped the loss of life from the event itself. (The recent protests will likely lead to deaths from COVID that also will likely dwarf any deaths from police brutality, but that’s a discussion for another time.) In the search for utopia in policing, the Left will once again throw out the baby with the bath water. Police will be fired and possibly put up on murder charges (without the usual investigation and due process) for what I’m learning may be normal responses with an adverse outcomes, as with the death of Rayshard Brooks (see postscript). Less lethal interventions such as tear gas and the carotid pressure maneuver, often confused with choke holds compressing the trachea, are being abandoned without documentation of risk/benefit. It is appropriate to explore rational additional or revised policies and training methods that may have been overlooked, as well as to investigate potential new weapons of non-lethal force (to supplant the old, when feasible), while still supporting the police and recognizing that we’ve come a long way in the past few decades and that further improvement is a process, with perfection a goal that can be ever more closely approximated but never achieved. Instead, there is serious talk of defunding and removing the police at a time of increased violence. If we took a time machine back 10 years, when the incidence of police brutality was equal or greater than today and recommended these “solutions,” we’d be regarded as crazy or extremist. The result of all of this hysteria, no matter how appropriate the initial message (i.e., anger toward police brutality), will clearly be and escalation in crime, and more murders. Drawbacks of law enforcement will disproportionately effect the minority communities. But as we’ve established in past rants, perception is everything. And if the Leftist leaders can convince enough people that it’s the right thing, it’s easy to suppress the statistics that say otherwise in a haze of righteous indignation and vociferous virtue-signaling.

The more police interactions there are, the more negative interactions in terms of actual numbers you will see, even if the percentage, as the data clearly shows, is extremely small relative to the denominator (this in no way excuses any acts of true police brutality and appropriate justice). And in the current climate, more of these interactions will be twisted so as to be perceived negatively, even when justified, further bolstering the numbers. With a preset narrative of a systemic problem, this will positively reinforce the belief, and the tension mushrooms. Now the police, who are further hamstrung performing a dangerous job and not only lacking support from the politicians that call the shots, but persecuted, will be second-guessing themselves in emergency situations, slowing their reactions, and we’ll see more of them wounded and killed (this will continue to be relatively underreported). They will find an already stressful job unacceptably onerous and many will quit. Young men and women who had been excited by the opportunity to serve will look at the political climate and turn their sights elsewhere. The reduced police presence will inevitably result in an increase in crime and murders, as well as an increase in sporadic incidents of police brutality with real or imagined (mostly imagined) cries of racism, in an endless, escalating loop. Not a pretty picture.

The reaction of what I call the “normals” will give some indication of their prevalence and willingness to act, hence a pre-election clue to the pulse of the nation. By “normals,” I’m referring to the people you would have met in the time machine a decade back. If a timely reaction, a response of support for the police is not strong and vociferous, it may signal that too many of our fellow citizens have bought the rhetoric that we’re a failed racist nation, our police are mostly corrupt racists, and fundamental change is needed. A schism this large between old and new values presages a failed state. It is possible that most of the “normals” are simply choosing to hold their tongues until the election. I’m not sure that will remain a viable option if the current crisis continues to accelerate over the next 4-1/2 months.

I don’t know about you, but the United CHAZ/CHOP of America is not a country I want to live in.

Postscript: As for Garrett Rolfe, the white police officer who shot and killed Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta last week, a few words are in order (and I’d like to state up front that a racial intent, like in so many of these cases, has been inferred without evidence, and this action could have been white on white or black on black and would have received only passing media attention in those cases): After being summarily fired by the city’s mayor, Rolfe has now been charged with 11 felony counts, including murder, by a DA currently under investigation for corruption and who is in the midst of a reelection campaign. Brooks, a convicted felon on parole, fell asleep in his car while in a Wendy’s drive-through queue and the cops were called. He failed sobriety testing and after a civil, lengthy interaction with the cops, as he was being cuffed, video footage shows he fought and brought both policemen to the ground, grabbed Rolfe’s taser, broke free and ran. During on-foot pursuit, Brooks turned around and fired the taser at Rolfe at which point the officer shot the fleeing felon. There are those who would, in the current climate, like to interpret this as an inappropriate use of deadly force. Conservative talk show host Ben Shapiro spoke to several law enforcement officers and recounted that all felt it was a justifiable action on the part of officer Rolfe. I spoke with a retired LA police officer I know and confirmed that shooting a fleeing felon is legal and permissible, although protocols in this scenario vary according to precinct and circumstance. In Atlanta, a taser is legally regarded as a deadly weapon, as stated by the same, aforementioned DA with respect to another, unrelated case. Besides the taser’s potential for serious direct harm, an immobilized police officer presents the obvious threat of the felon retrieving the fallen officer’s weapon and killing him and his partner. The prosecution in this case displays an inability to clearly evaluate circumstances involving white on black police interactions in a climate of heightened racial tension and also raises the question of personal, political motivations. There was no protocol-driven suspension followed by investigation, only a summary judgment to fire and pursue felony charges, in line with the current unfair narrative being driven relentlessly across the country of systemic law enforcement racism. Hopefully, when this case goes to a grand jury, as expected, saner voices will prevail. Seeing the rapid deterioration in clear-headed thinking in all quarters lately, I’m less optimistic.

SO WHAT DO WE DO NOW? (OR, BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE)

June 14, 2020

Events have unfolded with breathtaking rapidity. Many of those that have pooh-poohed the idea of social and economic catastrophe in the past with the notion, “it can’t happen here,” can now, with little imagination, see that “it,” indeed, can.

The many minds susceptible to the narrative they’ve been fed for decades in a strategically placed trickle, now a generalized torrent, are still finding ways to shoehorn events into the convenient phrase, “It’s Trump.” The leaders of this nonsense, who know better, don’t care, because it’s the cornerstone of the campaign to defeat him. They know that in politics, and arguably now in life, truth is secondary to perception (actually, truth is not part of the equation at all), and Biden is an extraordinarily weak candidate, perhaps more so than Hillary was. So any means of defeating Trump is justified. Ironically, the widening racial divide began during the administration of the first elected black president, his remarks, fueled by his belief system, gently and insidiously prying us further apart. So now we’ve come to this: Outrageous events like the formation of the Republic of CHAZ (the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, for those of you, like Washington State’s governor, that may have been asleep) by Black Lives Matter activists in the middle of Seattle. This, too, can now be milked for political gain. The president’s threat of federal action if local authorities take no action (and it was by order of the governing local authorities that CHAZ was able to “secede,”) were met by the angry mayor’s boring, predictable aspersions painting the president as a divisive autocrat (another example of projection). She equated the current conflict as similar to prior street festivals, indicating that nothing was out of control. This, while the city’s black chief of police publicly apologized to her officers for abandoning the precinct on orders, and to everyone else for the tripled response time for 911 calls from 6 to 18 minutes. Don’t worry, the plight of those raped or killed related to the delay will not be reported by the mainstream media. Meanwhile, armed guards calling themselves the new police circulate, requiring obeisance to their “rules,” and outrageous demands are circulated to everyone else. Evidence was forwarded to me by a friend and a family member that photos on a Fox News site were photo-shopped to make the occupation appear worse than it is; to be clear, creating false news is wrong, no matter which side engages in it. The Right would be wise to avoid this tactic which has been a hallmark of progressive “news” sites for a long time. Even sporadic failings will be seized upon as evidence of a “systemic” problem, weakening the validity of any subsequent criticism of this immoral tactic. Besides, if you are speaking truth, there is never a need for deception. The doctored photos, in this case, will only serve to bolster the apologists’ (and the Seattle mayor’s) arguments that this take-over is tantamount to a peaceful protest or street festival.

If I sound angry, it’s because I am. And every right-thinking citizen should be, too. A group hijacking the name Black Lives Matter whose only focus is a manufactured, hyped narrative of systemic police brutality while ignoring the true factors keeping the black community down is using its own brand of brutality to justify isolating a portion of a major city, minimize the heinousness of looting and rioting, and propose a policy of defunding the police, with the true local governors complicit. And by exploiting their appropriated name, they try to intimidate anyone who feels that black lives matter, which is virtually everyone, into going along, or labeling them overtly, or by default, as racist. And shockingly, this narrative has infected the scientific community. I’ve received emails/articles/op-eds from the AMA and New England Journal accepting the narrative on face value as fact, without a single attempt at providing corroborating data, disputing the evidence to the contrary, or sharing a dissenting voice. This is science? Sorry, I’m not buying it. I’m not racist, I hate what the group Black Lives Matter is doing, and I believe black lives matter. I’m also not afraid to say the forbidden “Voldemort”—all lives matter. No, it’s not a dog-whistle to the alt-right, white supremacists, or anyone else. It’s just the moral thing to say.

So now we come to the crux of this rant: The pushback to the escalation of Leftist tactics, thus far, has been muted, both as a consequence of weak, complicit Leftist governance and because the rest of us still hope to deescalate the tension, since we all do agree that police brutality and racism are evil. But this has been seen as weakness and the opposite is unfolding. And if another rogue operative in the form of law enforcement or an extremist comes along while tensions are high, the effect could be devastating. We may be on the brink of losing the thin blue line that keeps the villains at bay. If we don’t step up by supporting our police, they will stop supporting us, and people willing to place their lives in danger to serve and protect will withdraw. This will inevitably lead to an increase in violence. And if we do the right thing, counter-protest in their name, the violence will increase. Hence, rock and hard place. Given the choice, I would always opt for the right thing.

If you believe that your hatred of Trump burns so bright that turning the country over to Biden (or, the sad way things are going, to his likely more radical running mate), so be it; our country is already lost. I’ve seen the polls. However, they’ve been wrong before (as in 2016). If current events are opening your eyes, close the door on these extremists in November. You don’t have to like Trump; as I’ve said before, there’s a lot about him not to like. But there’s a lot more about the opposition to hate, and it’s playing out before your eyes. Let’s keep it out of your neighborhoods.

Postscript: At the time of this posting, a name change proposal of CHAZ in in process to CHOP (Capitol Hill Organized (or Occupied) Protest). Also, my dire prediction is being borne out as a Wendy’s was burned in Atlanta in the wake of Rayshard Brooks being killed by a police officer while resisting arrest and fleeing, after turning and firing a taser gun at the officer. The officer was fired without going through the usual investigation process to determine if lethal force was inappropriate. Stay tuned….

MY PROTEST: THE THINGS I GRIEVE AND APPLAUD

June 4, 2020

Note: No businesses were destroyed or persons maimed or killed in the creation of this protest.

I grieve:

  • George Floyd, 46, Minneapolis, MN, dead from police brutality
  • Shay Mikalonis, 29, police officer, Las Vegas, critically wounded
  • David Dorn 77, retired St. Lous police captain and police chief of Moline Acres, MO killed trying to stop pawn shop looting
  • David McAtee, 53, restaurant owner, Louisville
  • Dave Patrick Underwood, 53, federal law enforcement officer, Oakland, CA
  • Chris Beaty, 38, Indianapolis, IN
  • Italia Kelly, 22, Davenport, IA
  • Calvin L. Horton, Jr., 43, Minneapolis, MN
  • Javar Harrell, 21, shot in car, Detroit, MI
  • How few of us will remember any of the names of the above (ironically, many of them black), except for George Floyd
  • The many unnamed police officers and other innocents injured in multiple locations throughout the US
  • The burned and vandalized workplaces of the hard-working business owners of all colors
  • The unsupported contention of a systemically racist country belied by a people willing to place a black man in the White House and who overwhelmingly condemn the loss of George Floyd to police brutality, and by the vigorous pursuit of justice against the perpetrator and against his passive accomplices
  • The loss of a citizenry united in a belief of the principles that have enabled us to become the greatest country in the history of the world via the dissemination of false narratives that denigrate our achievements, exaggerate our flaws, and threaten our survival as a nation; a nation that has demonstrably overcome, even within my lifetime, most of the institutionalized racism and misogyny of years past
  • Protests triggered by these false narratives that divide us and provide cover for the violence
  • Grandstanding politicians without the guts to stand up to violence

I applaud:

  • The brother of George Floyd for telling the world, this is not the way he would want his death memorialized

BEING LED BY THE NOSE BY A RACIST NARRATIVE

May 31, 2020

We’re in the midst of a deadly pandemic the likes of which hasn’t been seen for more than a century and we’ve chosen to cut off our toes while we’re still crawling. It’s infuriating.

The headline now overtaking COVID is metastasizing destruction of our own making at the hands of rioters. And it’s all so maddeningly unnecessary. As I’ve previously written, only a fringe element of our society would support the actions of the police officer who brutalized George Floyd or the colleagues who stood by and allowed it to happen. Yet multitudes of good people are out there protesting—what, the police?—and unwittingly serving as cover for gangs of criminals to loot and pillage and increase the misery of our already beleaguered brothers and sisters. If you believe the country is the same as it was two or three hundred years ago, or even 50, show me the evidence and I’ll stand by you. I’m already shoulder-to-shoulder with you against any and all episodes of racial injustice perpetrated by sick, immoral individuals. But until I see proof that our law enforcement is systematically targeting minorities as policy, I see the protests as nothing more than fallout from a successful power play, a political ploy to bolster a narrative of extreme, institutional racism akin to past misconduct and fan the flames of anger and promote violent change. And most of the violence is being committed by opportunist criminals who care nothing about moral values.

People need to wake up and not allow themselves to be led down the garden path of this mine-laden narrative that can only divide us and end in destruction. Instead of protesting, get on line and research. Look at the statistics. If, afterward, you’re still convinced that systemic racism is a major threat in our nation, by all means go out and protest. The very people you protest, given enough push-back, will eventually withdraw, and leave you to deal with the looters. If, however, you agree that racism is sporadic and episodic, that we’re all trying out best to stamp it out, including our cops, go home. Don’t continue to support an environment that permits the scum of the earth to destroy and to increase our misery. Don’t be an unwitting accomplice, a “useful idiot.”

THE UNCONSCIOUS RACISM OF THE LEFT

May 30, 2020

Another riot, now in Minneapolis, starkly highlights the racism rearing its ugly head in America. And it’s not coming from where you’ve been told.

For those of you who’ve been hibernating, parts of Minneapolis have been looted and gone up in flames on the heels of an ugly incident where a cop placed a knee on a man’s neck for four minutes despite pleas of being unable to breathe, while his colleagues stood around and did nothing. Tragically, he subsequently died. Likely this would have been given small if any national notice (as the extent of the reportage of the infrequent prior incidents of police brutality proves) except for one thing: the deceased, George Floyd, was black, and the knee on the neck was white. Yes, an ugly picture and even uglier metaphor, considering our past. The reaction of the Minneapolis police was to make excuses and provide cover for one of their own; after all, it was only a black man. Right? No. They fired all the cops involved in the incident and began an investigation, with charges just filed and the primary offender jailed. The country rallied around the beleaguered cops, outraged that they were fired doing their jobs; after all, it was just a black man, right? No, there was universal outrage at the police brutality and general unanimity that the firings were just and the full force of the law should come down on their necks.

The left-wing mainstream media and the Twitterheads, as usual, immediately imputed racial motives to the brutality. The proof? Well, anyone can see that the perpetrator was white and the victim was black. In the aftermath, legitimate protests morphed into an excuse for many individuals to engage in riots, with vandalism and looting of a Target store and the burning of an auto parts store. The apologists and virtue-signalers, as usual, focused on the righteous anger fueling the riots. Ice Cube posted a picture of the knee on the neck side by side with a picture of a man in a red had proclaiming “Make Whites Great Again.” The two men were unrelated. Ice Cube’s message? “The demons are among us.” LeBron James posted a similar picture of the cop and now-deceased victim beside a shot of Colin Kaepernick kneeling with the caption, “This…is why.” The message is clear: The police brutality was a byproduct of racism, cops and all of law enforcement are racist, and it’s a reflection of the general state of the entire country, unchanged from prior decades, and even since the nation’s founding. The only problem with this conclusion is that it is not just wrong, it’s immoral.

There is as of yet no hard data to suggest this policeman’s actions and his colleague’s inaction were racially motivated. While racism has not been excluded in this case, which would make it even more hideous, it is nothing but conjecture at this time. And while individual incidents of racism persist, even among law enforcement, there’s no data to suggest that the police are systematically targeting black people relative to the percentage of crimes perpetrated by black individuals. A study in July 2019 from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science purported to show that white police were not more likely to shoot black perpetrators. Interestingly, and apropos to the subject of this rant, if you attempt to search for the study in Bing (the default search engine for the Windows 10 browser, Edge, the first two listings are articles debunking the conclusion. With Google, the article is listed first, but when accessed, has links to letters and “corrections” at the head of the study. I leave it to you to decide whether this is simply good “journalism” (note: these are platforms, not news sites) or a reflection of political bias and a threatened narrative. Another study by Roland Fryer out of Harvard showing no evidence of racial bias in police shootings was posted appropriately in both search engines, followed by articles also claiming to debunk the conclusion (the Times article seems to imply it proved the opposite). Since all good people, and that’s almost all of us, believe that the current incident of police brutality was unjustified, the death horrific and inexcusable, and the perpetrator deserving of swift and appropriate justice, impugning the opposite is not just wrong—accusing large numbers of innocent people, cops or lay citizens, of the sin of bigotry, is immoral.

So why maintain the fiction? One word—power. If you can convince enough people, especially in the black community, that not only are they being victimized by your opponents, but they’re in grave danger every time they leave their homes, and only you can protect them, you create an invincible voting bloc. And the voting history of the black community shows they’ve been wildly successful: In the 2018 national House vote 90% of blacks went Democrat (a smaller, but still overwhelming majority of Asians and Latinos did the same). Normally, if I were to state that a certain group needs special favors to compete, implying that they are inherently inferior, it would be assumed I’m racist. In the topsy-turvy political world we live in, the people who have for years foisted policies that support this ugly narrative on the very people they are purporting to help, to stay in power, are regarded by these same people as their supporters. Even years of failed progressive policies that blatantly ignore and even exacerbate the actual root problems in the black community (primary among them a preponderance of father absence relative to other groups), has failed to change these beliefs. Now, that’s marketing!

So, in my opinion, the unconscious systemic racism attributed without proof to the Right demonstrably exists on the Left. This position was buttressed by the remark Biden recently made to the effect that a black person isn’t truly black if they don’t vote for him (something he’s tried to walk back). In other words, not only are blacks inferior, they can’t think for themselves.

Who’s the real racist?

Addendum: At the time of publication, the riots are metastasizing. Immorality begets immorality.