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Regardless Of The Grand Jury Decision, Ferguson Raises Issues Americans Need To Address

Ferguson Protests 112414 2

In the moments after the announcements regarding the decision of the Ferguson Grand Jury’s decision last night, President Obama spoke in the White House Press Room regarding the decision, the need for calm, and the need for the nation to recognize the underlying issues behind the protests that the Michael Brown shooting itself. Unfortunately, and due in no small part to the media itself, his words mostly fell on deaf ears even among people that would seem to be inclined to support him:

Washington (CNN) — President Barack Obama called for calm Monday night, moments after a Missouri prosecutor announced there would be no indictment against the police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown.

His measured tone stood in stunning contrast to the images of violence on the streets of Ferguson that intensified on a split screen. As the President spoke — warning protesters that throwing bottles and smashing car windows won’t help — some members of the crowds of hundreds in Ferguson were doing just that. Police responded by firing tear gas.

Obama said anger over a grand jury’s decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson is an “understandable reaction.” But he urged protesters to remain peaceful and called on law enforcement officers in the city of Ferguson to exercise “care and restraint in managing peaceful protests that may occur.”

“We are a nation built on the rule of law, and so we need to accept that this decision was the grand jury’s to make,” Obama said late Monday night. “There are Americans who agree with it and there are Americans who are deeply disappointed, even angry. It’s an understandable reaction. But I join Michael’s parents in asking anyone who protests this decision to do so peacefully.”

(…)

The President said the inflamed tensions over the case, both in Ferguson and elsewhere, are in part a result of decades-old strains in race relations.

“There is inevitably going to be some negative reaction, and it’ll make for good TV,” Obama said.

“But what we want to do is to make sure that we’re also focusing on those who can offer the kind of real progress that we know is possible — that the vast majority of people Ferguson, the St. Louis region, in Missouri and around the country are looking for,” he said. “I want to be partners with those folks and we need to lift up the kind of constructive dialogue that is taking place.”

Asked whether he will visit Ferguson, Obama said: “Let’s take a look and see how things are going.” He pointed to Attorney General Eric Holder’s visits to the area.

Here’s the video of the President’s address:

But, if you watched on live television, you didn’t see the speech that way, you saw it via a split screen, with the images of the violence that was beginning to unfold in Ferguson notwithstanding the Presidents words, which the crowds were most likely not even listening to:

Notwithstanding the fact that the President’s words failed to quell violence in Ferguson last night, the fact that he said them was, I think, worthwhile. Indeed, when I first heard last night that he would be speaking after the decision was handed down I didn’t really see the point at first. For one thing, the fact that there is still an ongoing Federal investigation of the Michael Brown shooting so it would have been in appropriate for the President to comment on the merits of the Grand Jury’s decision or any questions regarding Officer Wilson’s guilt or innocence. For another, as Jesse Walker notes at Hit & Run the pundit class’s faith in the power of Presidential, or other, speeches to effectively address large scale social or political problems is largely exaggerated, As Walker puts it, this is reality  not The West Wing, and the odds that a single speech is going to do much of anything simply faiths far more faith in the supposed power of words from “important” people” than is deserved. The problems that are at the root of the protests that have been going on since August in Ferguson, or the ones that pop up elsewhere in the country whenever there is an incident between police offices and an African-American, specifically but not always and African-American male are far too complicated to be solved by speeches, and the fact the people of Ferguson were not even listening to the President, and didn’t listen to the pleas of the Brown family for non-violence out of respect for their son either, indicates that it largely fell on deaf ears. Additionally, to the extent that the President was speaking to people outside of communities like Ferguson to try to explain to them why people there may feel the way they do was likely wasted thanks to the images that on the other side of that split screen.

Nonetheless, there is, I think, some value in what the President had to say last night that we ought to keep in mind going forward:.

Finally, we need to recognize that the situation in Ferguson speaks to broader challenges that we still face as a nation.  The fact is, in too many parts of this country, a deep distrust exists between law enforcement and communities of color.  Some of this is the result of the legacy of racial discrimination in this country.  And this is tragic, because nobody needs good policing more than poor communities with higher crime rates.  The good news is we know there are things we can do to help.  And I’ve instructed Attorney General Holder to work with cities across the country to help build better relations between communities and law enforcement.

That means working with law enforcement officials to make sure their ranks are representative of the communities they serve.  We know that makes a difference.  It means working to train officials so that law enforcement conducts itself in a way that is fair to everybody.  It means enlisting the community actively on what should be everybody’s goal, and that is to prevent crime.

And there are good people on all sides of this debate, as well as in both Republican and Democratic parties, that are interested not only in lifting up best practices — because we know that there are communities who have been able to deal with this in an effective way — but also who are interested in working with this administration and local and state officials to start tackling much-needed criminal justice reform.

So those should be the lessons that we draw from these tragic events.  We need to recognize that this is not just an issue for Ferguson, this is an issue for America.  We have made enormous progress in race relations over the course of the past several decades.  I’ve witnessed that in my own life.  And to deny that progress I think is to deny America’s capacity for change.

But what is also true is that there are still problems and communities of color aren’t just making these problems up.  Separating that from this particular decision, there are issues in which the law too often feels as if it is being applied in discriminatory fashion.  I don’t think that’s the norm.  I don’t think that’s true for the majority of communities or the vast majority of law enforcement officials.  But these are real issues.  And we have to lift them up and not deny them or try to tamp them down.  What we need to do is to understand them and figure out how do we make more progress.  And that can be done.

That won’t be done by throwing bottles.  That won’t be done by smashing car windows.  That won’t be done by using this as an excuse to vandalize property.  And it certainly won’t be done by hurting anybody.  So, to those in Ferguson, there are ways of channeling your concerns constructively and there are ways of channeling your concerns destructively.  Michael Brown’s parents understand what it means to be constructive.  The vast majority of peaceful protesters, they understand it as well.

Those of you who are watching tonight understand that there’s never an excuse for violence, particularly when there are a lot of people in goodwill out there who are willing to work on these issues.

On the other hand, those who are only interested in focusing on the violence and just want the problem to go away need to recognize that we do have work to do here, and we shouldn’t try to paper it over.  Whenever we do that, the anger may momentarily subside, but over time, it builds up and America isn’t everything that it could be.

By and large, I think the President hits the nail on the head here. As he states at the beginning of his remarks, the Grand Jury in Ferguson has spoken and it is important that this decision be respected, just as it will be important to respect whatever decision the Department of Justice and and Federal Grand Jury it may empanel may reach with regard to any potential civil rights charges against Officer Wilson. Already I have seen many legal analysts and political pundits criticizing the exact procedure that the District Attorney followed here, specifically the idea that the Grand Jury was used more as an investigative tool than the “indictment machine” that Grand Juries typically seem to become in criminal cases involving civilians. However, there was nothing per se legally improper in Mr. McCulloch choosing to utilize the Grand Jury in that manner and, in a situation such as this where the facts and the law regarding the proper use of deadly force are not clear, the fact that the Grand Jury was asked to do more than it might otherwise be asked to do in a shooting incident involving two civilians is not entirely surprising. While some will accuse the prosecutor of utilizing a process designed to result in no indictment, there was, of course, no way he could have known that this would be the result and the fact that the forensic evidence seems to support Officer Wilson’s version of events while the eyewitness testimony, though conflicting, at least seemed to provide the Grand Jury with no reason to substantially doubt either Officer Wilson or the forensic evidence, suggests strongly that the decision the Grand Jury reached cannot fairly be said to be improper or not based in the evidence.

At the same time that we respect the verdict, though, the President is correct to point out the underlying facts on the ground in communities such as Ferguson that lead the people to live there to feel the way that they do about law enforcement and the way that it interacts with them on a personal level. It is an undeniable fact, for example, that young African-American males are 21 times more likely to be shot by police than anyone else, that they are more likely to be stopped and questioned for little or no reason, and that they are more likely to be the target of things like traffic stops if they are seen by police in neighborhoods were they “aren’t supposed to be.” These are facts that are backed up by FBI and other statistics that are difficult to dismiss, as are the emotions that an event like the Michael Brown shooting, the death of Eric Garner at the hands of an NYPD officer due to what appears to have been a choke hold that the department had banned years ago, the shooting of Amadou Diallo in 1999, the Rodney King incident, or the any other number of incidents that never achieve media prominence the way that these cases have. Law enforcement itself has long acknowledged its own problems in dealing with minority communities that have largely been due to law enforcement over reach and overreaction.

Jazz Shaw takes the President to task for his remarks:

This is not a message of healing, nor is it a statement of support for the rule of law. That speech was a thinly veiled call to action, not to improve the nation, but to reinforce the idea that the legal system is not to be trusted. Barack Obama was telling everyone that you can have your day in court (or in this case, before a Grand Jury to decide if it even goes to court) but there is no reason for you to either trust or accept the results. If things don’t go the way you want, then it’s the courts that are wrong, not you. And when the legal dust settles, of course we don’t want any violence, but it’s completely understandable why you are so angry.

While I understand where Jazz is coming from here, I do have to respectfully disagree. In the end, there can be no healing if there isn’t understanding on both sides. The people of Ferguson need to understand that violent protests don’t serve any purpose other than likely guaranteeing that their lives will become more difficult and that people who don’t really understand their perspective will tend to dismiss them as rioters. The rest of America, though, needs to understand why it is that cases like the Brown shooting, or the other incidents I noted above, raise such passion in communities like Ferguson. It isn’t just about the facts of the individual case, it’s about the fact that these individual incidents are symbolic of a bigger problem, and one that is difficult to deny. Indeed, the facts of these individual cases notwithstanding, anyone who fails to recognize the fact that minority communities across the country have legitimate concerns about how they are being treated by police is quite simply ignoring reality, and the President deserves much credit for trying to draw our attention to them yet again. I don’t know what the solution to these problems actually is, but I do know that ignoring them isn’t the one of them. Unfortunately, in wake of last night’s violence I am not sure anyone is going to listen.

Photo via Mashable

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. LaMont says:

    It bothers me that someone, anyone, can acknowledge the racial injustices concerning African Americans, yet, treat this specific case in Ferguson like it happened in a vacuum – as if Officer Wilson’s account of events are likely more creditable when the actual evidence does not appear to lean one way or the other. Their fall-back position is that the technicalities of the system worked in Ferguson, without even acknowledging that the system appears only to work against African Americans. Yes, we should have further discussion and debate on the overarching matter – but that includes what happened in Ferguson. Heck, Ferguson, and the polarizing views in the aftermath, is perhaps a prime example of the issues African American has graciously dealt with for 100s of years.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 6

  2. James Pearce says:

    The people of Ferguson need to understand that violent protests don’t serve any purpose other than likely guaranteeing that their lives will become more difficult and that people who don’t really understand their perspective will tend to dismiss them as rioters.

    I think this is the lie we tell ourselves to make ourselves feel better. Sometimes violent protest is the only way to get things done.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 26 Thumb down 12

  3. humanoid.panda says:

    @James Pearce: Slate’s Jamelle Bouie has a great series of tweets showing how rioting helped white racists to get what they wanted repeatedly between 1865 and the mid 1970s. Riots are only pointless when powerless majorities engage in them.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 5

  4. Eric Florack says:

    @James Pearce: so, if you get shot by the police, which minority-owned interest would you like to see burned to the ground in your name?

    has racism occurred? At a systemic level? Certainly. It was reprehensible. But a quick look inside the White House suggests that that is well on its way to being solved.if America is so anti black, how is it we have a black president?
    he myth of the oppressed black, and speaking out against the race industry.

    I’ll say it again so that you don’t have to go hunting. Cosby is being made an example of. Anybody who dare to speak up against the myth of the oppressed black, will be dealt with similarly is the implication and the threat.

    Today in Ferguson and a few other cities, we see another implementation of the protection of the myth, although a somewhat different one.

    The myth of the oppressed black must be maintained else they lose power. Advantage.

    The fact is, Brown was a thug. There’s no gentle way to deal with that. That’s the truth of the matter. That he happened to be black is almost beside the point.

    Fear. Fear of retribution. Fear of violence. That’s what is behind both situations.

    Now, consider this… Isn’t fear the tool of radical Islam?

    So, in reality, and in both cases what we’re dealing with is in truth, terrorism.

    Terrorism, in support of a myth.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 40

  5. stonetools says:

    By and large, I think the President hits the nail on the head here.

    This is the first time Doug has ever said this, AFAIK. Thought it should be noted :-).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  6. Tony W says:

    Black Americans have, rightly, never felt as if the system would treat them fairly. So they go blow up the place as if they have nothing to lose. Which they don’t.

    The solution is to look past the “I have a friend who is black” type of pandering offered by Mr. Florack in his we-have-a-black-president-handwringing above and instead look deeply at the system which has persuaded our fellow Americans that they have no hope of fairness.

    It’s in everyone’s best interest.

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  7. JKB says:

    Already I have seen many legal analysts and political pundits criticizing the exact procedure that the District Attorney followed here, specifically the idea that the Grand Jury was used more as an investigative tool than the “indictment machine” that Grand Juries typically seem to become in criminal cases involving civilians.

    That’s BS. Grand juries are used as investigative tools all the time. But as far as the “indictment machine”, how’s that suppose to work when the prosecutor doesn’t find probable cause to seek an indictment? Would you be more satisfied if the prosecutor had simply made that determination as they do in so many cases every day? Or would you prefer what happened in that the prosecutor provided the grand jury with the evidence, briefing on the elements of potential crimes and let the grand jury independently determine if the evidence supported probable cause for the elements of a crime that was not justified by the claim of self defense?

    Had this case not been so sensationalized, had it just been a run of the mill use of deadly force in self defense, the determination would have been made by the prosecutor, and the individual would not have been subjected to 3-4 months of grand jury investigation. (caveat: I believe some states require that cases involving claims of self defense to be presented to the grand jury regardless of the prosecutor’s determination)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 8

  8. Eric Florack says:

    I have several friends who are black, but at what point in my piece did I bring that up even?

    As for fairness, think of the question this way….would a white guy acting the way Brown did have been treated any differently? I don’t think so. Moreover, would a white guy getting shot in that fashion have even raised an eyebrow among the race bating industry? I don’t think so.

    institutional racism ceased years ago. Decades ago. It’s time to come into the new century. That means you must have equal responsibility as well is equal rights. I measure by which brown failed miserably.

    if there is a problem yet to be dealt with it is exemplified by the lack of people willing to acknowledge that..

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 25

  9. C. Clavin says:

    @Eric Florack:
    Wow.
    Cosby is being accused of rape by multiple, predominately white, women because he presumably said something about race-baiting?
    And the oppression of blacks is a myth?
    Dude…you are fwcking insane.
    Seriously. Seek professional help. Obamacare will probably cover it.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 4

  10. Will says:

    @Eric Florack:

    You’re all over the place with this post throwing in a number of issues that are unrelated. You even threw Bill Cosby in there. That guy raped more women than a 17th century pirate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 3

  11. C. Clavin says:

    @Eric Florack:

    would a white guy acting the way Brown did have been treated any differently? I don’t think so.

    Based on statistics…yes…he would be over 21 times less likely to be shot and killed.
    So are you going to change your mind now that you see the facts don’t match your prejudices?
    Muhhahahahahhahahahaha…..

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 5

  12. Eric Florack says:

    @C. Clavin: if you look into the history of the thing you’ll see that the majority of these charges are decades old. Now, worry a good little democrat black man, and willing to uphold the myth of the oppressed black, as opposed to speaking out as he did, the whole thing would have been laughed off as a bimbo eruption. See also our first black president Bill Clinton.as it is….we are left with the question of why these charges only started showing up recently. What changed over that period of time?I suppose it doesn’t interest you at all that these charges started coming to the surface about a decade ago when he famously one after Blackstreet culture verbally, does it?

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  13. Eric Florack says:

    @C. Clavin: perhaps that’s because white individuals culturally speaking are probably more likely to obey the commands of an officer even in that situation? You’re comparing apples and oranges.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 14

  14. EddIeInCA says:

    Ignore him. Please. Just ignore him.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 3

  15. Eric Florack says:

    @Will: I did indeed, and the one thing the ties them all together is the maintenance of the myth of the oppressed black. and what happens to those who dare not to maintain the myth.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 17

  16. Eric Florack says:

    @EddIeInCA: yes, because after all if you ignore the truth it will go away, right Ed?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 15

  17. James Pearce says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    Slate’s Jamelle Bouie has a great series of tweets showing how rioting helped white racists to get what they wanted repeatedly between 1865 and the mid 1970s.

    Let me be clear. I’m not talking about riots. Riots are pointless. I’m talking organized, armed protest. I’m talking Klitscko and the Euromaidan, not Al Sharpton and the microphone.

    I mean, we can try another round of kumbaya and some candle-lighting. I just don’t think it will work.

    @Eric Florack: I have no idea of what you speak.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  18. C. Clavin says:

    @Eric Florack:

    You’re comparing apples and oranges.

    Spoken like a true bigot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 10

  19. C. Clavin says:

    @Eric Florack:
    You are taking a case of a rich celebrity being protected and trying to use it to justify your abject racism. It’s delusional…and it’s psychotic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 4

  20. stonetools says:

    While some will accuse the prosecutor of utilizing a process designed to result in no indictment

    Isn’t that point? In a case like this, you go by the book, precisely because you want to avoid the appearance that you are trying not to indict. And we don’t even get into the fact that the prosecutor should have recused himself, in order to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. The prosecutor has a backstory :

    McCulloch’s deep loyalties to the St. Louis Police Department, as evidenced by his prosecution of two racially charged, high-profile cases, have prompted critical doubts about his ability to fairly adjudicate evidence vindicating Brown, and implicating Wilson. His prosecution of a black man charged with murdering a St. Louis County police officer in 1991 raised serious questions about his motives, and in McCulloch’s 2001 investigation of the killing of two unarmed black men (whom McCulloch referred to as “bums”) by two white undercover police officers, questions arose, this time concerning McCulloch’s handling of witness testimony. The officers were never indicted.

    McCulloch’s fealty to the police is clear. He has stated that he would have joined the force (after a stint in the military) had he not lost a leg to cancer as a teenager. “I couldn’t become a policeman,” he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “so being county prosecutor is the next best thing.” If he had become a cop, he would have followed a well-worn family path. His brother Joseph was a sergeant in St. Louis’s Ninth District. For two decades his mother, Anne, was employed as a clerk in the homicide division. His father, Paul, joined the force in 1949 before resigning to serve with the US Marines in Korea. Paul McCulloch returned to the SLPD in 1951 and in 1955 became an original member of the department’s Canine Corps. He became a minor celebrity because of the work of Duke, described by the Chicago Defender as his “reefer-sniffing dog.”

    Fifty years before Michael Brown was shot to death on the streets of Ferguson, McCulloch’s father died in the line of duty. The father’s death casts additional doubt on the son’s ability to lead the grand jury investigation into Brown’s killing, while at the same time shedding a garish light on the history of racism, policing, and the law in St. Louis.
    Paul McCulloch was killed the evening of July 2, 1964, during a gun battle in St. Louis’s infamous Pruitt-Igoe housing projects. His alleged killer, Eddie Steve Glenn, was a black man who had reportedly abducted a white woman. McCulloch was 12 years old at the time of his father’s death. He still gets emotional when the incident is brought up, though he denies that the killing has influenced his vision as a prosecutor

    The whole thing looks like the fix was in. Heck, it looks like this isn’t even the first case McCullogh fixed a case for his buddies in the police department. Doug, for a libertarian who is so supposed to be suspicious of state power, you are oddly trusting of the state here.

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  21. Modulo Myself says:

    Wow.


    I have not yet been permitted to have access to requested police crime scene
    photographs and reports, to the results of the forensic examination of the patrol car, to
    the Christian Hospital EMS report of Mr. Brown and the emergency room examination
    of Officer Wilson, to the ballistics information, to the results of the autopsy hand swabs
    and fingernail clipping examinations, and to witness statements.
    For 25 years as medical examiner, 25 years as forensic pathologist
    for the Police, and as the forensic pathologist member of the
    Correction Commission Medical Review Board, I have been involved with the
    investigation of deaths that occur in police encounters and all deaths that occur in jails
    and prisons in The above requested information is the usual
    information obtained to be able to correlate the autopsy findings with other
    information that is necessary to permit full medical evaluation of deaths such as that of
    Mr. Brown.

    That’s a letter from the forensic pathologist assigned to the case.

    Obviously, the outcome was not in doubt; but this is operating a level beyond what anyone expected. From the asinine story that Wilson gave as testimony to the fact that no one apparently took crime scene photographs, to his fellow officer’s testimony that Wilson had been hit hard under the eye, which really doesn’t show up in the photos of Wilson, it is just a pile of crap, all of which points back to the scum at the Ferguson PD. Basically, there is no way that anything could have been known, because an officer who is stupid enough or deceitful enough to concoct a story about a raging black maniac growing stronger by each bullet existed at the crime scene.

    The shame of this will not be forgotten.

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  22. Tillman says:

    @C. Clavin: @Will: Both sides do it!

    This gives me some hope.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  23. Tillman says:

    @stonetools: A Reddit post (via Twitter) from a public defender elucidates some problems Doug skimmed on in an earlier post concerning McCulloch’s handling of the grand jury.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  24. stonetools says:

    @Tillman:

    I followed Doug’s links and it was a long article (by a nonlawyer) as to why there was reasonable doubt that Officer Wilson committed murder. That’s not the standard, of course-the standard for a grand jury is probable cause to believe a crime was committed. That’s a really low standard.
    The point here is McCullough conducted a little secret trial, presenting evidence that just isn’t usually presented at the grand jury stage and apparently not bothering to instruct the grand jury on the law. That’s pretty much a recipe for the wrong result, and in light of his backstory…
    I think the DOJ has a lot of work to do here-and not just on the issue of Wilson’s guilt.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  25. Gustopher says:

    Unfortunately, in wake of last night’s violence I am not sure anyone is going to listen.

    No one ever pays attention to peaceful protests. Not in the last 50 years in this country at least.

    I don’t want to say that violence is the answer, but when every peaceful means of address have been blocked off… Would we be paying attention to Ferguson at all had the first protests not turned violent? Or would it have faded right into the background?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  26. grumpy realist says:

    @Eric Florack: The charges are decades old because no one listened to the women when they first brought them. Now they’re getting listened to.

    I don’t think you understand exactly how much privilege rich, famous male entertainers have when it comes to accusations of this sort. Everyone around them wants to dismiss the accusations as being “made-up”, accuse the women of being crazy, druggies, or in other ways not believable. Because that rich, famous male entertainer is the gravy-train for a huge number of people, and they don’t want to believe the accusations.

    Dr. Huxtable was played by an actor named Bill Cosby. Remember that. An ACTOR. The image of Dr. Huxtable’s character should in no way be confused with the actions of Bill Cosby.

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  27. stonetools says:

    Indeed, the facts of these individual cases notwithstanding, anyone who fails to recognize the fact that minority communities across the country have legitimate concerns about how they are being treated by police is quite simply ignoring reality, and the President deserves much credit for trying to draw our attention to them yet again

    I’ll give Doug credit for recognising the problem. A lot of conservatives think that there isn’t a problem at all.

    I don’t know what the solution to these problems actually is, but I do know that ignoring them isn’t the one of them. Unfortunately, in wake of last night’s violence I am not sure anyone is going to listen

    Guess what , Doug? Your friends like Jazz Shaw wouldn’t have listened, even if everyone was on picture pefect behavior yesterday.There have been plenty of peaceful protests in Ferguson over the past few months. Generally, folks like Jazz Shaw have no comment when the protests are peaceful. When the protests turn violent, he condemns the violence. In both cases he studiously ignores the reasons for the protests.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

  28. @Eric Florack:

    would a white guy acting the way Brown did have been treated any differently?

    Yes: if I’m walking in the street when a cop drives by, I’ve never had him stop and start yelling at me about it. Which is not to say Brown’s response of attacking the cop was justified, but let’s not forget the initial contact was really a dominance/submission ritual.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 3

  29. anjin-san says:

    Here is a post-altercation photo of Wilson’s “injuries”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3

  30. Suppose you spend years dribbling gasoline around you house and letting it soak into the carpetting and floorboards, and then one day an arsonist comes along and throws a match through you window. It may be true that the fire is the arsonist’s fault, but focusing on the match doesn’t really explain why everything is exploding all of a sudden.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  31. James Pearce says:

    @anjin-san: No wonder Wilson has been in hiding. What an utter embarrassment, as both a man and a human being.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  32. Tyrell says:

    @Will: Let’s don’t go jumping to conclusions and stereotyping pirates. Many pirates had a code of honor. They treated their crew with respect and much better than the British navy commanders did (exception was Admiral Nelson). Most pirates treated their hostages with respect as they wanted a top deal for them. Blackbeard is portrayed as a hulking monster with no intelligence. Nothing could be further from the truth. He was a skilled naval tactician. Another famous pirate was the masterful Jean Lafitte of Louisiana. He helped Colonel Jackson defeat the British in the brilliant victory at New Orleans. Lafitte was regarded as a gentleman and respected by officials in New Orleans and Louisiana. His exact burial location is unknown, either Texas or North Carolina.
    Most of our images of pirates come from Hollywood, fiction books, tv, and plays.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  33. Modulo Myself says:

    @anjin-san:

    Those wounds are as terrifying as a whistle from Emmett Till’s mouth.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  34. the Q says:

    One man did try to stop rioting and looting and mayhem with his words and it did WORK and it did stop the violence. It was Indianapolis and it was 1968 and it was RFK and it is one of the classic speeches of the last century…As many inner cities burned that night, Indianapolis was spared.The words that night and Obama’s words last night show how far we’ve come and how far we still have left to go……

    I have some very sad news for all of you, and, I think, sad news for all of our fellow citizens, and people who love peace all over the world; and that is that Martin Luther King was shot and was killed tonight in Memphis, Tennessee.

    Martin Luther King dedicated his life to love and to justice between fellow human beings. He died in the cause of that effort. In this difficult day, in this difficult time for the United States, it’s perhaps well to ask what kind of a nation we are and what direction we want to move in. For those of you who are black — considering the evidence evidently is that there were white people who were responsible — you can be filled with bitterness, and with hatred, and a desire for revenge.

    We can move in that direction as a country, in greater polarization — black people amongst blacks, and white amongst whites, filled with hatred toward one another. Or we can make an effort, as Martin Luther King did, to understand, and to comprehend, and replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed that has spread across our land, with an effort to understand, compassion, and love.

    For those of you who are black and are tempted to fill with — be filled with hatred and mistrust of the injustice of such an act, against all white people, I would only say that I can also feel in my own heart the same kind of feeling. I had a member of my family killed, but he was killed by a white man.

    But we have to make an effort in the United States. We have to make an effort to understand, to get beyond, or go beyond these rather difficult times.

    My favorite poem, my — my favorite poet was Aeschylus. And he once wrote:

    Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.

    What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but is love, and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black.

    So I ask you tonight to return home, to say a prayer for the family of Martin Luther King — yeah, it’s true — but more importantly to say a prayer for our own country, which all of us love — a prayer for understanding and that compassion of which I spoke.

    We can do well in this country. We will have difficult times. We’ve had difficult times in the past, but we — and we will have difficult times in the future. It is not the end of violence; it is not the end of lawlessness; and it’s not the end of disorder.

    But the vast majority of white people and the vast majority of black people in this country want to live together, want to improve the quality of our life, and want justice for all human beings that abide in our land.

    And let’s dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world. Let us dedicate ourselves to that, and say a prayer for our country and for our people.

    Thank you very much.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  35. Will says:

    @Tyrell:

    I don’t know whether to laugh or actually respond to this. Do you come from a family of pirates or something?

    I’m going to have side with the late great Jon Facenda on this one

    “The Autumn Wind is a pirate
    Blustering in from sea,
    With a rollocking song, he sweeps along,
    Swaggering boisterously.

    His face is weather beaten.
    He wears a hooded sash,
    With a silver hat about his head,
    And a bristling black mustache.

    He growls as he storms the country,
    A villain big and bold.
    And the trees all shake and quiver and quake,
    As he robs them of their gold.

    The Autumn Wind is a raider,
    Pillaging just for fun.
    He’ll knock you ’round and upside down,
    And laugh when he’s conquered and won”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  36. James Pearce says:

    @the Q: 46 years later, those words ring a bit hollow.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  37. the Q says:

    Yeah, these words sure are hollow and irrelevant to last night:

    In this difficult day, in this difficult time for the United States, it’s perhaps well to ask what kind of a nation we are and what direction we want to move in. For those of you who are black — considering the evidence evidently is that there were white people who were responsible — you can be filled with bitterness, and with hatred, and a desire for revenge.

    We can move in that direction as a country, in greater polarization — black people amongst blacks, and white amongst whites, filled with hatred toward one another. Or we can make an effort, as Martin Luther King did, to understand, and to comprehend, and replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed that has spread across our land, with an effort to understand, compassion, and love.
    But the vast majority of white people and the vast majority of black people in this country want to live together, want to improve the quality of our life, and want justice for all human beings that abide in our land.

    And let’s dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world. Let us dedicate ourselves to that, and say a prayer for our country and for our people.

    Geesh, if thats your idea of hollow……

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  38. Monala says:

    @Eric Florack: Yes, it’s been documented again and again. Violent white criminals are apprehended by police without being shot (Jared Loughner, James Holmes, Eric Frein). Whites mouth off to police, disobey their orders, and physically fight them, and don’t get shot. Here are examples on video:

    http://atlantablackstar.com/2014/11/24/white-man-beats-two-cops-shots-fired-unarmed-black-man-gets-shot-reason/

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/08/teen-totes-shotgun-through-town-still-shaken-by-mass-murder-because-2nd-amendment/

    Meanwhile, a black man minding his own business, talking on a cell phone, gets blown away because he has an air rifle picked up off the shelf in Walmart, pointed at the ground, in Ohio, an open carry state. If the police gave him any warning, they gave him zero time to comply before opening fire:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=john+crawford+video&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&channel=sb

    Or this man, shot while complying with police:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/sean-groubert-former-south-carolina-trooper-charged-in-shooting/

    This last one is the rare care where the officer was actually charged for the shooting.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  39. Monala says:

    I’m in moderation, probably because of my links, so I’ll just include the text, and hope the comment with the video links is approved:

    @Eric Florack: Yes, it’s been documented again and again. Violent white criminals are apprehended by police without being shot (Jared Loughner, James Holmes, Eric Frein). Whites mouth off to police, disobey their orders, and physically fight them, and don’t get shot.

    Meanwhile, a black man minding his own business, talking on a cell phone, gets blown away because he has an air rifle picked up off the shelf in Walmart, pointed at the ground, in Ohio, an open carry state. If the police gave him any warning, they gave him zero time to comply before opening fire.

    Or the black South Carolina man, shot while complying with a police officer who requested his license and registration.

    This last one is the rare care where the officer was actually charged for the shooting.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  40. al-Ameda says:

    @Will:

    I’m going to have side with the late great Jon Facenda on this one

    Yep, the NFL’s ‘voice of God.’ All of that used to promote the Oakland Raiders.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  41. Will says:

    @al-Ameda:

    It is great though for a workout. Have Classic Battle, west side rumble, cossacks charge, etc. I’ve been trying for years to get the Voice of John Facenda to use as a Voice mail. I’d pay good money for that or Harry Kalas. Until, then, I rely on my british secretary as Voice mail.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  42. grumpy realist says:

    Bring on the meteor…..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  43. James Pearce says:

    @the Q: Yeah, hollow.

    46 years after MLK and RFK were murdered, we’re supposed to think their gooey homilies about the virtues of non-violence are still profound?

    RFK wasn’t describing our future. He’s describing a past we never had.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  44. Modulo Myself says:

    Also, re: rioting–
    I’m curious what Doug and every other white conservative’s take on the white riots of the 70s, and how they affected policy. Hippies being attacked in Wall Street by construction workers, for example, or the fine residents of South Boston showing their opposition to court-ordered busing by attacking black children and chanting “Die N—– Die.” I doubt that anybody could be point me to one conservative politician or writer who has really lamented how the New Right came about, or how integration by the federal government was shut down.

    Which means that the fear is not of rioting, but of justice. Burning a cop car is not forgotten because it comes out of justice. White people never forget a black riot. Some are trained well enough not to forget an uppity kid. The unjust forget about and cover-up their actions and build history on an edifice of lies. Burning a cop car or a police station is an act of justice–albeit reckles and futile—it exposes what is beneath the endless vehicles, badges and guns of a mob…a pack of dull men, naked and afraid to fight.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  45. Eric Florack says:

    @C. Clavin: tell the other side of the tail, Clavin. He’d also be 21 times less likely to commit the crime in the first place.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 10

  46. bandit says:

    Poor lunatic lefty h8rs. When they don’t get their way they just create a false reality where their lies are true. Just walk around with your hands up and pretend that’s what happened. Or loot a liquor store to fight the oppression of high liquor prices. Do what ever you need to do to twist your sanctimonious bullshit into reason and keep up the cognitive dissonance.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 9

  47. Eric Florack says:

    @C. Clavin: no, I’m taking the case of the rich celebrity being attacked. At no time that I’m aware of or the deer aware of what she ever protected.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  48. Eric Florack says:

    @Modulo Myself: that you have to dig back that far and to that rare an occurrence, tells me you’re drawing up a straw man.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8

  49. anjin-san says:

    @ Florack

    Dude, what are you drinking? Why don’t you come back when you can string a few coherent sentences together?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  50. al-Ameda says:

    @bandit:

    Poor lunatic lefty h8rs. When they don’t get their way they just create a false reality where their lies are true. Just walk around with your hands up and pretend that’s what happened. Or loot a liquor store to fight the oppression of high liquor prices. Do what ever you need to do to twist your sanctimonious bullshit into reason and keep up the cognitive dissonance.

    Here’s what happened: An unarmed young man evidently could not be arrested or otherwise brought under control by one police officer (or the back-up assistance he called for) without being shot to death. I’m not sure where you live however it is not normally the case for trained police officers to use deadly force to “subdue” an unarmed suspect.

    My father served for 30 years in a big city police department, 15 years of which were in beats in rough districts, and he never fired his gun once while on duty. He drew his weapon on occasion however never once fired it. My father was a very conservative man, but he wasn’t looking for trouble or busting heads.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  51. Just 'nutha' ig'rant cracker says:

    @JKB: I can’t speak for anyone else, but what I would have preferred is a situation where a person walking in a non-busy street wouldn’t have escalated into a situation where the person walking down the street ended up getting shot.

    And if Michael Brown had been white, that is exactly what would have happened.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  52. bandit says:

    @al-Ameda: Whatever your father did or didn’t do has nothing to do with what happened in Ferguson. But keep your whacked out dreams of a hate filled world alive little dreamer.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 10

  53. bandit says:

    @Just ‘nutha’ ig’rant cracker: More racist projection – you just can’t help yourself. Walk around with your hands up and keep projecting your h8 onto other people.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 10

  54. the Q says:

    “46 years after MLK and RFK were murdered, we’re supposed to think their gooey homilies about the virtues of non-violence are still profound?

    RFK wasn’t describing our future. He’s describing a past we never had”

    James Pearce, I bet you could make bride cry on her wedding day.

    What a bunch of cynical horseshcitt.

    I guess you will never understand “Some people see things as they are and say why, I dream things that never were and say why not.”

    And look up Nelson Mandela if ya got a minute to see the complete boorishness and stupidity of your worthless comments.

    I spent some time in apartheid South Africa and if mindless cynical dolts like you were able to prevail, that country would have been knee deep in blood and violence.

    Thank God Mandela and De klerk didn’t share your impotent viewpoint.

    But your words are spoken like a true worthless baby boomer.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  55. michael reynolds says:

    I honor Mandela probably above any other human in my life time. But if I was in Ferguson, I’d throw a rock. Nothing else even has an impact on this sclerotic, entrenched, gerrymandered, alternate-realities, money-drenched political system.

    Tsk, tsk, another white cop kills another unarmed black man, isn’t that too bad, let’s buy a tank and some machine guns for the police.

    When the political system fails people turn to direct action. The Republican party is busy right now finding ways to make it harder and harder for blacks, Latinos and the young even to participate in politics. The Republican party has made it crystal clear that only money matters, the poor, the working class, are invited to f–k off and die. Their reaction to a black president was to deny that he was even an American, and then to attack every effort he made – even when he was proposing Republican plans – to solve any of this country’s problems.

    This frustration, and this refusal to turn to the political system to solve problems, is what you get when you break government and marginalize major segments of the population. If democracy is dead, you get the mob. I don’t blame them one damn bit.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 4

  56. Pinky says:

    @James Pearce: 46 years later, the thing that rings hollow is the idea that there are good people trying to make the country better. When some pothead who lunges for a policeman’s gun is compared to MLK, it’s hard to believe in good intentions any more.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 8

  57. Modulo Myself says:

    @Pinky:

    People like you would be treating MLK then like you’re treating Michael Brown now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 4

  58. Modulo Myself says:

    @the Q:

    Whites would have reacted to a Truth and Reconciliation Commission in the manner of Germans averting their gaze from footage of the Holocaust.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  59. the Q says:

    Mr. Reynolds, Mandela was right there with you in 1962. He writes about it in his book Long Walk to Freedom. He was plotting violence against the Nationalist Party. But he saw the error of his ways in prison, befriended his captors and the rest is history.

    I was there when members of the Broederbond in the mid 80s were secretly thinking “we have to kill Mandela and make it look like an accident. Like Biko.”

    Thank God cooler heads prevailed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  60. Modulo Myself says:

    @Pinky:

    “A Negro trouble-maker getting the situation all riled up has to be a Communist.” = “That unarmed eighteen-year old with no criminal record just decided to try to kill a cop by taking his gun, just like the cop who shot him said.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  61. James Pearce says:

    @the Q:

    But your words are spoken like a true worthless baby boomer.

    My parents are the baby boomers. I was born in the post-hippie 70s. My formative years were spent watching LA and compounds in Waco burn, federal buildings with gaping holes in them. I was 24 years old when the WTC fell, 35 when I saw the president announce Osama Bin Laden’s death.

    MLK is a street to me, a bank holiday, a sound clip. Don’t blame me if that sounds cynical. A lot of effort was put into making him that.

    His dream is as relevant as it ever was, but 46 years later and black kids are still nothing more than “thugs.” It’s taken us as far as it can. We need a new dream, for a new time.

    And it’s not going to come from someone who sits there in silent protest as the cop sprays mace in their eyes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  62. michael reynolds says:

    @the Q:

    Black South Africans had numbers and world-wide support. The politics is fundamentally different when a majority is throwing off an oppressive minority, especially when the oppressors see themselves as integrally bound up with a wider world that has rejected their actions and ideology.

    African-Americans are 13% of the population, with probably not 1% of the wealth. But they lead the nation in being shot down while unarmed. Frankly their forbearance has been astonishing. This country has been very lucky that blacks in the US have not drawn lessons from, say, Palestinians or Kurds or Tamils.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3

  63. James Pearce says:

    @Pinky:

    When some pothead who lunges for a policeman’s gun is compared to MLK, it’s hard to believe in good intentions any more.

    Well, personally, I think potheads are pretty cool and the ones I know would never think to reach for a cop’s gun, but I get your point.

    Also, before anyone jumps my shit, I’d like to edit a sentence in my previous comment:

    His dream is as relevant as it ever was, but 46 years later and black kids are still (seen as) nothing more than “thugs.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  64. KansasMom says:

    @the Q: While I tend to agree about the worthless boomers, I’ve always had James Pierce pegged a solid gen-X’er.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  65. James Pearce says:

    @KansasMom:

    While I tend to agree about the worthless boomers, I’ve always had James Pierce pegged a solid gen-X’er.

    You say that like it’s a bad thing. What gave me away? My charming personality?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  66. Eric Florack says:

    @grumpy realist: so, if rich famous people are protected, does that mean Bill Clinton was guilty of rape, to? Seems to me you can’t aver one without admitting the other.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

  67. Eric Florack says:

    @michael reynolds: they also lead to statistics in terms of crimes. Including, interestingly enough, murder,despite being somewhere under 15 percent of the population overall.That’s not a product of poverty, or we wouldn’t have survived the depression. That’s a property of culture.until that singular point gets addressed, none of the rest of this is going to matter at all.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

  68. Eric Florack says:

    @anjin-san: ah, sorry about that. I’m using a dictation the system and I admit to being in something of a hurry with that particular response.I didn’t catch the error until after the edit period ran out

    tell you what, in thanks for your catching that error, I’ll not make any comments about your blatant inability to put together a cogent thought.
    You’re welcome.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

  69. Pinky says:

    @Modulo Myself: Oh, please. If I start considering the color of people’s skin rather than the content of their character, call me out for it. In the mean time, don’t assume.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  70. anjin-san says:

    @Pinky:

    some pothead who lunges for a policeman’s gun

    I grew up in a time and place where pot smoking was practically an olympic sport. Pot makes people laugh a lot. It makes them want to listen to music, stare at clouds, and eat lots of chocolate chip cookies.

    It does not turn them into homicidal maniacs. Or is there something with those young bucks that makes pot affect them differently than white boys?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  71. anjin-san says:

    @Eric Florack:

    I’m using a dictation the system

    Yea, we hear that excuse from you a lot. I use speech to text often. Somehow, I manage to produce sentences that actually mean things.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  72. Gustopher says:

    @James Pearce:

    MLK is a street to me, a bank holiday, a sound clip. Don’t blame me if that sounds cynical. A lot of effort was put into making him that.

    His dream is as relevant as it ever was, but 46 years later and black kids are still (seen as) nothing more than “thugs.” It’s taken us as far as it can. We need a new dream, for a new time.

    People in a position of power and privilege always suggest the people getting screwed follow the methods of MLK. It’s more than a little self-serving, and I’m pretty sure that the good reverend would be referred to as a “race hustler” and a “thug” today and he would never get his message heard.

    Our media lionizes MLK for being non-violent, but you have to wonder if that has been completely coopted to mean “bend over and take it”.

    Malcolm X might be a more effective role model. More disciplined than an angry mob, but with a show of force and a threat of violence (more threat than violence, but there’s no mistaking what “by any means necessary” means)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  73. Davebo says:

    @Eric Florack:

    if America is so anti black, how is it we have a black president?

    Because your boy Dubya f#cked up sh#t so incredibly that the n#gger actually got elected in a nationwide protest of the idiocy you cheer on daily.

    Hope that clears things up for you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  74. Jeremy R says:

    Looks like the police demilitarization push is dead:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/24/police-demilitarization-bill_n_6215190.html

    The only Congressional response to this summer’s brutal police crackdown in Ferguson, Missouri appears to be dead, with the House GOP leadership blocking a vote on a bipartisan bill introduced by Reps. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) and Raul Labrador (R-Idaho).

    The legislation seeks to curb controversial transfers of military weapons and equipment to local police forces. It would ban the Pentagon from granting local police free automatic weapons, armored vehicles, weaponized drones, combat helicopters, grenades, silencers, sound cannons and other equipment, although police could still purchase such gear with local budgets or through grants from the Department of Homeland Security.

    It would also impose more stringent safeguards to account for the equipment that does get transferred. Collectively, more than $4 billion in military weaponry and equipment has been distributed to police forces across the U.S. since the inception of the initiative, known as the 1033 Program.

    Johnson’s office told HuffPost that the congressman plans to reintroduce the bill next year, but acknowledged that its prospects are limited in the wake of the GOP’s gains in the November midterm elections. House Republicans awarded a host of key chairmanships to national security hawks after the midterms, dealing a blow to the party’s libertarian wing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  75. Davebo says:

    @Jeremy R:

    Since when does the GOP HAVE a Libertarian wing? Or are you referring to Doug?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  76. Pharoah Narim says:

    @Eric Florack: Speaking of stats, I’ve still never gotten you to address the epidemic of white on white violence in this country. 84% of white homicide victims are killed by other whites and the American strain of Caucasian is 2X as likely to murder as their Euro cousins. Why aren’t police addressing this OR the epidemic of White sexual assault where 52%of the offenders caught are White males and 84% of the victims are White women….instead choosing to mob minority communities searching for traffic violations and civil infractions. Inquiring minds want to know bithead. When is law enforcement going to address this lawlessness?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  77. CET says:

    I like that the gist of the comments at OTB over the past couple of months on this topic has shifted from “You’re a terrible person if you say there might be riots” to “Of course there are riots, you’re a terrible person if you don’t condone the riots.”

    Keep up the good work.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 8

  78. anjin-san says:

    @CET:

    I like that the gist of the comments at OTB over the past couple of months on this topic has shifted from “You’re a terrible person if you say there might be riots”

    Well that’s kind of a load of crap. What people have been saying is that you are an asshole if you are drooling at the prospect of riots because it will give you a vehicle to promote the negative stereotypes of black folks that you hold so dear.

    And lo and behold, Florak showed up to one cue provide proof of concept.

    Everyone knew there were going to be riots, just like everyone knew Wilson would never stand trial.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 5

  79. CET says:

    @anjin-san:

    My mistake.

    I must have misread the comments on this page:
    http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/ferguson-missouri-braces-for-probability-of-no-indictment-in-michael-brown-shooting-case/

    And the comments on this one:
    http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/warnings-of-violence-in-ferguson-could-become-self-fulfilling-prophecy/

    Carry on. And please, feel free to continue to assume the worst possible motives for people who disagree with you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 6

  80. Eric Florack says:

    @CET:well observed, sir. Welcome to my world.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7

  81. James Pearce says:

    @Gustopher:

    Malcolm X might be a more effective role model. More disciplined than an angry mob, but with a show of force and a threat of violence (more threat than violence, but there’s no mistaking what “by any means necessary” means)

    Indeed. “We are non-violent with people who are non-violent with us.” Seems much more effective than a default “non-violent” approach.

    One thing I’m becoming surer of as I get older: You can’t reason with the unreasonable. Non-violence only works on reasonable people.

    @CET:

    Carry on. And please, feel free to continue to assume the worst possible motives for people who disagree with you.

    Considering you seem to be from the “Toldya they were gonna riot” caucus, this bit of advice might be better spoken into a mirror.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  82. Eric Florack says:

    @Pharoah Narim: when you come up with something that’s worth commenting on, believe me I’ll get involved. In the meantime maybe you want to address the wildly high percentage of per capita crime among blacks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 10

  83. Eric Florack says:

    @James Pearce: it can’t be denied that that’s exactly what happened despite the predictions of the usual suspects

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

  84. bandit says:

    @michael reynolds: Nothing says ‘fighting injustice’ like burning out neighborhood businesses. Let me check again – DA – Dem, Governor – Dem, county commissioner – Dem – but of course it’s somebody else’s fault. But please keep spewing your racist hatology – it reflects well on you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

  85. James Pearce says:

    @Eric Florack:

    it can’t be denied that that’s exactly what happened despite the predictions of the usual suspects

    What? The riots?

    Yes, the riots were predictable. We’re living in a time when armed, frightened men can shoot unarmed black kids without sanction. People are understandably pissed.

    So there are some people who were able to predict the riots as an expression of anger and frustration and powerlessness. Having no other recourse, they riot.

    Others, you included, were able to predict the riots because of racist feelings about the character of black people: Lazy, violent thieves, burning the liquor store for free booze.

    Totally different approaches.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  86. Eric Florack says:

    @Davebo: you don’t have to convince us d to get that message sometimewe managed to get that message sometime back.

    do let me know if you need some clarification on that statement.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

  87. Eric Florack says:

    @James Pearce: no, we live in a time when 300 pounds Giants can beat up on a cop, try to steal their gun so is to shoot them one would presume, and have large numbers of idiots defending him.

    who’s the black community is choosing for defense and they’re going all in with, could stand some scrutiny, don’t you think? Michael Brown? Trayvon Martin? Gee, nothing of a trend there, is there?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 10

  88. stonetools says:

    @CET:

    I actually followed those links, and unfortunately you apparently did misread those comments. FWIW, I was on Team Unrest, because I thought the the Ferguson government seem to set the table for an outbreak of violence, from the declaration of the SOE to the timing of the announcement. I didn’t see any liberal saying categorically that there would be no unrest.
    So yeah, brush up on your reading comprehension. Good luck with that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  89. Eric Florack says:

    what interests me here, is that nobody’s managed to make the connection yet.all it took was a large majority of Democrats control and government, and bingo we’re back in the 19 sixties. Same policies, same result.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 9

  90. Eric Florack says:

    @stonetools: you didn’t said, but let somebody say that there was going to be on rest, and immediately they’re labeled racist? Clearly that’s become the knee-jerk reaction.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 6

  91. Tyrell says:

    @michael reynolds: So looting, burning down businesses owned by citizens is okay ? How will that change anything? Many of the citizens of Ferguson are mad and disgusted at the rioting and destruction. Many want to know where was the protection, where was the National Guard that the governor had ready ? Burning and destroying just lakes things worse. That is the reason the criminals and thugs carry out such wanton crimes. They do not want change.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  92. C. Clavin says:

    @Tyrell:

    How will that change anything?

    Gee…I don’t know…oh wait…there was this thing called the Boston Tea Party. That seemed to have an effect.
    The trouble with these things is the effect is neither immediate nor clearly delineated. Trust me…the Establishment in the St. Louis area is taking note. I watched Miami go through the same thing. You have to keep in mind that TV…especially the TV you watch…is showing you only the most sensational sliver of what’s going on.
    It’s funny…Tea Baggers are always crowing about 2nd Amendment remedies…and for what? Because Obama got insurance for 8 million people? And here we have an entire region that has suffered under racist laws and practices for generations…and you expect them to just go home and behave themselves.
    Good luck with that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  93. C. Clavin says:

    @Eric Florack:
    Seriously…you need professional help.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  94. Tyrell says:

    @C. Clavin: Not all stories are about the destruction and carnage in Ferguson. There are people working together. There are people working for change through the democratic process. See the story about Natalie’s Cakes. Go to gofundme.com/nataliescakes . This is what can happen when people build instead of destroy. And everyone would agree that this is better than throwing rocks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  95. stonetools says:

    You know, one could argue that Sherman’s March through Georgia was the biggest sustained riot in US history. And that did change things….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  96. C. Clavin says:

    @Tyrell:
    What you seem to be unable to grasp is that no one hears about Natalie’s Cakes unless someone throws some rocks.
    Minorities have been abused for generations in St. Louis. This is not something new. This is not about Michael Brown. It’s about ongoing systematic oppression. And now it’s getting some attention.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  97. Tyrell says:

    @C. Clavin: I heard about it, but not on the well known sites or news, but it was on twitter. The main news channels are usually showing a lot of the bad stuff, and people hollaring and screaming. What we need is a news channel that focuses on good news: people helping each other, working together, new discoveries, miracles, and recovering. That is what the country needs to see and hear.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  98. al-Ameda says:

    @bandit:

    Whatever your father did or didn’t do has nothing to do with what happened in Ferguson. But keep your whacked out dreams of a hate filled world alive little dreamer.

    Really, are you okay?
    Good police work is what this is all about, not your juvenile rants about “h8ters,” or liberal dreams of race riots and so forth.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  99. KansasMom says:

    @James Pearce: Our boomer parents were really good at raising cynical children.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  100. Pinky says:

    @anjin-san:

    some pothead who lunges for a policeman’s gun

    I grew up in a time and place where pot smoking was practically an olympic sport. Pot makes people laugh a lot. It makes them want to listen to music, stare at clouds, and eat lots of chocolate chip cookies.

    It does not turn them into homicidal maniacs. Or is there something with those young bucks that makes pot affect them differently than white boys?

    This is what I love about the community-based reality. It doesn’t matter that he had THC in his blood and gunshot residue on his hand, because you know potheads who laugh a lot. Physical evidence doesn’t matter, eyewitness accounts don’t matter, a grand jury doesn’t matter, and they’re all probably racist, because they don’t match your anecdotes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 7

  101. C. Clavin says:

    @Pinky:
    No need to get upset just because you have no knowledge of the effects of Marijuana.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  102. Will says:

    @Pinky:

    You really don’t know much about pot do you? First, I don’t know if the term pothead even exists anymore. Weed is good for you. It’s natural and it was put on this earth for you and me. Next, people who smoke Weed are not violent.. it actually has the opposite effect and mellows you out. Alcohol is a hell of a lot worse for you in terms of giving folks “Courage” and beer muscles. If more people smoked weed, then we’d have a dramatic decline in violent incidents. The biggest adversary of weed is Big pharmaceutical companies who are spending millions trying to stop legislation. All their bullshit antidepressants would be obsolete once people figured out that doing a bong hit or using a vaporizer would make them feel better than a pill. The next time you talk about Pot you might actually try it. This way you’d probably have a better understanding of it. I’d recommend Grand Daddy Purple.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  103. Pinky says:

    @Will: In this case, the person who smoked weed was violent. That’s what I’m saying, because that’s what the evidence shows. I’m not saying that everyone who smokes pot turns violent, or even most people. I don’t know how violent Brown was normally. I don’t know if he was on anything else. My point was not that marijuana makes a person violent. My point was to highlight the difference between Brown and MLK.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  104. Tyrell says:

    @stonetools: Sherman’s March: it changed things alright, for the worse. The south stayed in decline until after WWII. No, Sherman is not highly regarded around here. No call for all that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  105. Will says:

    @Pinky:

    I’m not saying that Brown wasn’t violent but if he was it wasn’t weed that made him violent. The drug does not work that way. If they found cocaine or crack, I would say you may have a point.

    As for MLK, I don’t know who made the correlation between him and Brown. It’s two completely different people with different circumstances.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  106. Grewgills says:

    @Pinky:
    You are assuming some causative effect between the THC in his system and his violent reaction to Wilson. The effects of THC and other cannabinoids are well known and hyperactivity and violence are not among them. You might as well say Wilson shot Brown because of the donuts in his system, that might actually be closer to the truth.
    As to the rest, I haven’t read through all of the grand jury testimony, but my mom was able to get indictments on white men in Alabama for less than I’ve read so far. If McCulloch had wanted an indictment he could easily have gotten one. If he had followed the standard procedure his office uses against other suspects he would almost certainly have gotten an indictment. The only reason Wilson wasn’t indicted is because McCulloch didn’t want him to be. I doubt he would have been found guilty at trial given the extremely wide latitude given police in MO, but that is a different matter.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  107. Pinky says:

    @Grewgills:

    You are assuming some causative effect between the THC in his system and his violent reaction to Wilson.

    Where? What did I say to make you think that?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  108. Tillman says:

    Okay, who dragged the potheads into this? We’re just starting to see some legalization on the horizon, people, and that damn prosecutor suggests cannabis made Michael Brown more violent in front of a grand jury meant to see if the guy who killed Michael Brown is worth indicting for a crime. That is incredibly messed up.

    The plural of anecdote is data.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  109. James Pearce says:

    @Eric Florack:

    no, we live in a time when 300 pounds Giants can beat up on a cop

    I would love it if we lived in that world.

    The world we actually live in is a world where interacting with a cop carries with it a potential death sentence. And that’s tripley true if you’re black.

    @KansasMom:

    “Our boomer parents were really good at raising cynical children.”

    30 years of economic stagnation will do that to you.

    @Pinky: Probably best to get off the pothead angle. Anyone who smoked weed in the last 30 days is going to have it in their system. Weed is not a violent drug. It’s also rather common.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  110. Tillman says:

    @James Pearce:

    Probably best to get off the pothead angle.

    Let’s go back to comparing civil rights movement leaders to random gunned-down teenagers.

    Where did that happen again?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  111. anjin-san says:

    @Eric Florack:

    300 pounds Giants can beat up on a cop,

    Funny, for a man who was “beat up” by a 300 pound guy, Wilson looks more like someone who was playing with a kitten, not someone who was in danger of being beaten to death. Why don’t you tell us about the orbital eye socket fracture that the right wing press was touting a while back?

    While we are on the subject, Officer Wilson is 6’4″, 210. So while there was a size mismatch, Wilson is a big dude who had several weapons. It’s interesting that when he discussed the confrontation, he portrayed himself as a helpless child who was being attacked by a “deamon”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  112. Tony W says:

    @Tyrell:

    What we need is a news channel that focuses on good news: people helping each other, working together, new discoveries, miracles, and recovering. That is what the country needs to see and hear.

    That idea sounds very “Fair and Balanced”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  113. anjin-san says:

    @Grewgills:

    You are assuming some causative effect between the THC in his system and his violent reaction to Wilson.

    I think it’s more about labeling Brown as a “drug thug”…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  114. anjin-san says:

    @CET:

    feel free to continue to assume the worst possible motives for people who disagree with you.

    Google “eric florack bits blog ni**er”, then get back to me about how I am making assumptions about where he is coming from.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  115. C. Clavin says:

    @anjin-san:
    Florack has made me understand the Republican infatuation with guns…they are pansies.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  116. anjin-san says:

    Perhaps some of Officer Wilson’s supporters could explain the contradiction between his claims about the confrontation and the physical evidence in the form of post-confrontation photos. From Wilson’s testimony:

    On punches during the scuffle. “I felt that another one of those punches in my face could knock me out or worse. I mean it was, he’s obviously bigger than I was and stronger and the, I’ve already taken two to the face and I didn’t think I would, the third one could be fatal if he hit me right.”

    He is claiming that he took two punches to the face that were so powerful that one more punch might kill him. Now you would expect that a man who had absorbed such titanic blows would look like he had been hit by a train. Well, here is how he looked:

    http://a5.img.talkingpointsmemo.com/image/upload/w_652/vmjuqlprqqm3t3hgewkt.jpg

    It’s pretty difficult to conclude anything other than that he is lying through his teeth.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  117. Grewgills says:

    @Pinky:
    Why bring up the marijuana otherwise?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  118. al-Ameda says:

    @anjin-san:

    He is claiming that he took two punches to the face that were so powerful that one more punch might kill him. Now you would expect that a man who had absorbed such titanic blows would look like he had been hit by a train. Well, here is how he looked:

    Essentially, Wilson is saying that there is no such thing as excessive force, that an officer cannot be expected to control a situation involving an armed officer and an unarmed young man. He called for assistance, even then Wilson could not utilize the assistance to control the situation without killing the young man.

    How well was Wilson trained? The result of this incident tells me: not well enough.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  119. C. Clavin says:

    @anjin-san:
    And of course the way the Grand Jury was structured…there was no opportunity for cross-examination.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  120. Dave says:

    @Pinky: You might want to read this before talking about Michael Brown’s violence.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  121. C. Clavin says:

    Hey…it’s a four-day weekend!!!
    Anyone know where I can get some of this pot that makes you Hulk-out, run through bullets and turn into a demon???

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  122. Pinky says:

    @Grewgills: I was talking about his character.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  123. stonetools says:

    The Internets today are full of attorneys tearing apart Wilson’s story. Lisa Bloom on Twitter is a good place to start.
    You can check out Ezra Klein’s debunking too.

    The decision of McCulloch to disclose the evidence has revealed how utterly incompetent and in the tank for Wilson the prosecutor was.

    Just about the only good thing about this grand jury miscarriage of justice is that Wilson will have to defend his absurd story to a civil suit action and to whatever the federal grand jury does.His defenders are also stuck squaring his lies with reality. You really can’t look at his hospital pictures and defend his story about how hard he was struck.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  124. anjin-san says:

    @Pinky:

    I was talking about his character.

    What does the fact he smokes pot tell us about his character? I know a lot of successful, respectable folks that take a toke here and there.

    The “drug thug” dog whistle is pretty transparent. We saw the same thing with Treyvon Martin.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  125. James Pearce says:

    @Pinky:

    I was talking about his character.

    To be fair, I knew what you were talking about. It was less about the pothead, which I think you can see now was needlessly inflammatory (full disclosure: I’m a pothead) , and more about lunging for the cop’s gun.

    Me, I think it’s foolish to fight a cop, or go for his gun. But I don’t think it should be an automatic death sentence.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  126. Pinky says:

    I actually have to explain that drug use is evidence of a character flaw? I don’t know anyone who is respectable who uses drugs, at least as far as I know, and if I did know they used drugs, I’d have less respect for them. It’s not inflammatory to point that out.

    BTW – Humans can’t hear dog whistles. They can pretend they do, but they’re just reacting to something that might or might not be there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  127. anjin-san says:

    @Pinky:

    I don’t know anyone who is respectable who uses drugs

    Really? You don’t know anyone who drinks alcohol or smokes? Alcohol and nicotine are both highly addictive drugs that do more damage to individuals and society than pot by many orders of magnitude. And then of course there is the massive and highly destructive misuse of prescription drugs.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  128. Pinky says:

    @anjin-san: If someone smokes or takes alcohol to excess, I have less respect for them. Don’t you?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  129. C. Clavin says:

    @Pinky:

    I don’t know anyone who is respectable who uses drugs

    Hahahahahahaha…..that’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  130. CET says:

    @James Pearce:

    Yea . . .this is what I’m talking about. Personally, I would have put money down on Al-Ameada’s prediction for relatively peaceful demonstrations, since this case seemed (to me at least) to be less ambiguous than the Zimmerman/Martin incident (in which Zimmerman should probably have been found guilty of manslaughter, or at least first degree ‘being a dumbs**t’). But sure, since not being self-righteously far left makes me indistinguishable from Cruz or King to most of the commentators here, go ahead and make that assumption.

    @stonetools:

    Categorically, no. But commenters who predicted riots were flamed for doing so. Of course, since ad hominem attacks are pretty much standard fare here, that might have just been reflexive.

    @anjin-san:

    When I google those things, I just see OTB comments sections, with advice to google them. I did find Florack at Bit Blogs and scanned the first couple of articles that came up. It wasn’t really to my taste,* but I didn’t see anything that I would have been surprised by on Fox or Reason.

    *No offence Florack – I may be to the right of most of these guys, but I’ve never really been a Fox News/Rush Limbaugh kind of guy (I’m actually a registered Democrat, but don’t tell anyone else here that . . .).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  131. anjin-san says:

    @Pinky:

    If someone smokes or takes alcohol to excess, I have less respect for them.

    You said using drugs is a character flaw. Now you are talking about “excess” – do you want to put some wheels on the goalpost so you can move it more easily?

    As for “excess” – are you seriously saying that addiction is a character flaw?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  132. Rick DeMent says:

    @Eric Florack:

    they also lead to statistics in terms of crimes. Including, interestingly enough, murder,despite being somewhere under 15 percent of the population overall.That’s not a product of poverty, or we wouldn’t have survived the depression. That’s a property of culture.until that singular point gets addressed, none of the rest of this is going to matter at all.

    … yes but if you carve out a slice of white demographics that match blacks demographics in america, you get the exact same rates of crime … Poor whites are involved in just as much crime as poor blacks. and there just aren’t enough in the black middle and upper class to balance it out.

    Also white poor people tend to live in rule areas where no one really cares if every other house is a meth lab.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  133. anjin-san says:

    @CET:

    Here you go

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  134. anjin-san says:

    @CET:

    Go to Floracks blog and do a search for ni**er. I promise you the content goes far, far beyond what is on Fox, an outfit that is not exactly subtle about their racism.

    I tried to post a link, but the spam filter caught it. A respectable blog like OTB won’t allow the garbage that Florack wallows in, and indeed takes great pride in.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  135. Pinky says:

    @anjin-san: Please quote me correctly. I didn’t say that using drugs is a character flaw; I said that it’s evidence of a character flaw. A glass of wine with a meal isn’t evidence of a character flaw. A bottle of bourbon at lunch is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  136. anjin-san says:

    @Pinky:

    A bottle of bourbon at lunch is

    Once again, are you saying addiction is a character flaw?

    I didn’t say that using drugs is a character flaw; I said that it’s evidence of a character flaw. A glass of wine with a meal isn’t evidence of a character flaw.

    Do you really not see the contradiction here?

    A. Millions of functioning, successful, and respectable people ingest reasonable amounts of pot and alcohol. This is in no way evidence of a character flaw.

    B. Addiction is NOT a character flaw. If someone is putting a bottle away at lunchtime they are an addict.

    C. You said you don’t know anyone respectable who uses drugs. Alcohol and nicotine are powerful mind altering drugs. A cigarette or a half a glass of wine at dinner makes one a drug user. Are you certain you don’t know anyone respectable who uses drugs? Have you ever drank or smoked?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  137. KM says:

    @Pinky:

    I didn’t say that using drugs is a character flaw; I said that it’s evidence of a character flaw.

    Then kindly spell out the flaw in question. What crime of the soul is it “evidence” of? You’re dancing around it; might as well come out and say it. Show us the character strength of fortitude and explicitly name the flaw you’re trying to pin on a dead man.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  138. James Pearce says:

    @Pinky: Being alive is evidence of a character flaw. If you’re not prepared to argue that marijuana influenced Michael Brown’s judgement on the day of his death, how is it relevant?

    I’m sure he had a whole list of secret flaws. Who doesn’t?

    @CET:

    (I’m actually a registered Democrat, but don’t tell anyone else here that . . .)

    We were just talking about you on another thread, Joe.

    (Kidding)

    Look, you may be a registered Democrat, and you may not be “self-righteously far left” –good!– but your complaint seems incredibly minor. You got flamed?

    And that’s it? Just give us the secret handshake that makes it all better so we can move on.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  139. Pharoah Narim says:

    @Eric Florack: So….you only care about Black Perps. I suppose your callous attitude towards the victimization of women is due to your limited experiences with real ones. Makes sense.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  140. Pinky says:

    @James Pearce: About a dozen comments up, you said you knew what I was talking about. Now you’re saying you don’t. Any reason I shouldn’t think of this as trolling?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  141. Pharoah Narim says:

    @Pinky: Do you know anyone that’s been to space or to the moon or won the lottery? Guess those things never happened then. Seriously, using anecdotal evidence as a hard and fast absolute is one of the most ridiculous things an adult that considers themselves a thinking person can do. You can do better.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  142. Pharoah Narim says:

    @anjin-san: What he means is’ “I have no respect for people that don’t use the approved Gubmint drugs”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  143. Pinky says:

    @Pharoah Narim: I think you missed my point. I’m saying that the fact of drug use by definition reduces a person’s respectability. And all this came up when I was criticizing someone for doing exactly what you’re complaining about, misusing anecdotal evidence.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  144. anjin-san says:

    @Pharoah Narim:

    What he means is’ “I have no respect for people that don’t use the approved Gubmint drugs”

    I suspect you are correct. I am always surprised at how many conservatives, people who supposedly distrust the government and want to see its role in our lives reduced, swallow war on drugs propaganda hook, line, and sinker.

    I also think this ties into the meme we see so often from the right when young black men are shot by the police IE “Hero cop & drug thug”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  145. anjin-san says:

    @Pinky:

    the fact of drug use by definition reduces a person’s respectability

    In your book perhaps. People using pot, a relatively benign substance that is far less harmful than alcohol or tobacco, does not affect my judgement of how respectable they are. I will keep my own counsel on that, and decline to let the government tell me what I think.

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  146. humanoid.panda says:

    @Pinky: The last 3 US presidents used drugs.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  147. Tyrell says:

    @Tony W: But it is usually Discovery Channel, Hallmark, and RFD. Try those.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  148. Pinky says:

    @humanoid.panda: In their youths. Bush and Obama certainly wouldn’t hold up their behaviour as something worth emulating, and they both turned their lives around from a bad direction. As for Clinton, he hasn’t really acknowledged it, but he’s never really acknowledged anything. He’s loaded with character flaws. There are few people who are less respectable.

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  149. wr says:

    @Pinky: ” Humans can’t hear dog whistles. They can pretend they do, but they’re just reacting to something that might or might not be there. ”

    And yet, humans with anything more than an elementary school education can understand the concept of a metaphor. What does that say about you?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  150. Tyrell says:

    The news tonight showed scene after scene of damaged, burned out businesses, most owned by citizens of Ferguson and whose employees are also from the area. Worst, most shameful is that churches were burned and damaged. Sick, perverted, shocking !
    Why was the National Guard not sent in until later, when it was too late? The governor had them ready and should have sent them in at the first rock thrown. The mayor, city officials, business owners, and law abiding citizens were begging for protection. What was this governor thinking?
    There needs to be a complete investigation. Anyone who is responsible and participated in any way in the damage of property, throwing rocks, bombs, and gas bottles, shooting, looting, or encouraging people to riot and participate in these heinous, disgraceful acts, (that are also un -American !) should be rounded up and arrested immediately. In fact there should have been a court in session both nights for those who wanted to plead guilty and get it over with. Arson and acts of mass destruction are serious crimes and should carry stiff penalties. This is a time for strict, no nonsense judges. The American people are fed up with this hooliganism.

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  151. Pinky says:

    @wr: I’m not sure I follow. What do you mean, “metaphor”?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  152. An Interested Party says:

    I’m curious…once pot is legal everywhere, will use of it still be considered to reduce a person’s respectability? Or just excessive use? Who knows what’s considered “respectable” in certain quarters…

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  153. anjin-san says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Who knows what’s considered “respectable” in certain quarters…

    In certain quarters it obviously means doing only things that the government gives you permission to do.

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  154. James Pearce says:

    @Pinky:

    About a dozen comments up, you said you knew what I was talking about.

    About how stupid it is to charge a cop? Yes, I knew what you were talking about.

    The “pothead” part doesn’t mean anything.

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  155. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    I’m really sorry I came back to follow the thread after my comment way up above almost 2 days ago. As badly as this thread started out, it’s become progressively stupider.

    You guys really gotta stop feeding the trolls. It only attracts more trollery.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  156. CET says:

    @James Pearce:

    Err . . . (1) I wasn’t a commenter on either of those threads, and (2) I was pointing out that the people who did predict riots were widely ridiculed for it (but since people whose posts don’t line up with the consensus among a particular group of regulars tends to get buried in ad hominem attacks, it’s possible that the responses were unrelated to the riot predictions . . . ).

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  157. al-Ameda says:

    @CET:

    Err . . . (1) I wasn’t a commenter on either of those threads, and (2) I was pointing out that the people who did predict riots were widely ridiculed for it (but since people whose posts don’t line up with the consensus among a particular group of regulars tends to get buried in ad hominem attacks, it’s possible that the responses were unrelated to the riot predictions . . . ).

    I do not remember saying or implying that those who predicted riots were wrong. I happened to be one of those who thought that the rioting ran the course after the initial incident and that it wouldn’t happen following the grand jury decision. I was wrong.

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  158. John425 says:

    @anjin-san: So now you have a medical degree and can diagnose an injury by looking at a photo. Did you make the diagnosis telepathically? If so, no one received it. The late Michael Brown weighed 292 lbs. If you got hit like that, what’d you look like?

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  159. anjin-san says:

    @John425:

    The late Michael Brown weighed 292 lbs. If you got hit like that, what’d you look like?

    I would look like a bus hit me. Wilson looks he has a mild case of razor burn.

    Have you ever even seen a fight? See what a guy looks like after a few good shots to the face? Ever taken a few good punches yourself? It does not sound like it. I remember one fight between a couple of busboys, not any kind of epic brawl, but both took a few good shots to the face. There was enough blood on the asphalt that we had to hose it down. Both guys walked away under their own power, and both showed up for work the next day, very black and blue. They were both strapping 130 pounders.

    Wilson said he was hit twice with such force that he feared another punch would end his life. You don’t need a medical degree, just two eyes and a functioning brain.

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  160. John425 says:

    @anjin-san: You need glasses. I’ve seen brawls that in the aftermath, the guys looked like they fought WWIII. Conversely, I’ve seen boxing matches and MMA fights where they pounded each other but looked like they were merely winded. Depends on how you can take a punch. Ask Ali, fer Crissakes!

    The last fight I was in was as a young G.I. in a barroom brawl. I’ve since mended my ways AND grew up.

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  161. anjin-san says:

    @John425:

    Depends on how you can take a punch

    “Taking a punch well” refers to one’s ability to get hit and stay in a fight. It’s does not mean there is some magic that allows one to be hit in the face so hard by a 300 pound man that they think they are going to die, and have no visible damage.

    Wilson said he was taking a beating that was so bad he thought his life was in danger. Yet he is uninjured. And you believe him.

    There is this really cool bridge between San Francisco and Marin that I can sell you if you are interested…

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  162. John425 says:

    @anjin-san: Well, expert testimony supports Wilson but your rejection of the facts is typical of the liberal science-denial mindset.

    Wow! A bridge that links San Francisco and Marin Counties. When did they come up with that?
    Next thing you know, someone will propose a bridge linking San Francisco with Contra Costa county.

    P.S. I lived in The City for 8 years.

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  163. Pharoah Narim says:

    @John425: And there is Testimony that conflicts with his account. Of course, we know that everyone that had a conflicting account that didn’t support the officers story….lied. All of them. Every. Single. Person. Lied.

    But I’m interested, what evidence was presented that corroborates Wilson’s account of massive head trauma? I’ll wait.

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  164. John425 says:

    @Pharoah Narim: Yet the jury found that the physical evidence refuted the liars. How come? And, NO! Not every person lied and reports have said that several black citizens supported the policeman’s version of events. Quit lying and read the damn news reports instead of making sh*t up. Are the lying “witnesses” your role models?

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  165. Pharoah Narim says:

    @John425: I asked YOU about the nature of the physical evidence that corroborates Wilson’s story of massive head trauma. There is no physical evidence that can determine who escalated the confrontation. So the Grand Jury basically made decisions based on credibility and trust….which, with whites, will always be given to law enforcement by default….. conflicting statements by lower class blacks be darned.

    So tell me (while I’m waiting to hear what evidence supports Wilson’s story of trauma so severe he feared death), How is it that the 6’4 220lbs Darren Wilson was never asked to explain how a right-handed Brown standing at the driver-side window was be able to inflict such vicious punishment on the Right side of Wilson’s face? (All while struggling for Wilson’s gun.)

    It’s a good thing he was able to get 500k for his interview and another 500k in donations. Once the civil action rolls around and his statements are torn to pieces when compared to the evidence….he’ll have a nice bit of money to hand over to the Browns. It’s the least he can do.

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  166. John425 says:

    @Pharoah Narim: Instead of asking me and getting the info second-hand, get off your arse and find it yourself. Start here: Brown’s blood was found on the gun and inside the patrol car.
    BTW: Punches and a struggle for the gun do not mean that all things happened simultaneously. That’s why time was invented– so that everything didn’t happen at once.

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