Friday’s Forum

FILED UNDER: Open Forum
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Teve says:
  2. Scott says:

    A little bit of history appropriate to today.

    Hoover Sent MacArthur to Quell Protests. It Backfired, Badly.

    Herbert Hoover is best known for his role in worsening the Great Depression, but his fateful decision to use the military against ordinary citizens in the summer of 1932 was a self-inflicted wound that arguably marked the beginning of the end of his presidency. It’s an episode worth recalling as President Donald Trump and other Republican leaders seem hellbent on sending federal troops against protesters.

    By the spring of 1932, unemployment had spiked to record highs. Among the dispossessed were veterans of World War I. As a condition of their service, these men had been promised a bonus pegged to the length of their service, but it wasn’t due to start until 1945.

    Declaring themselves the Bonus Expeditionary Army, or BEF, the veterans marched on Washington to demand immediate payments. By early summer, at least 20,000 of them, along with their families, were living in shantytowns around the city.

    They scored a victory when the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives passed a bill releasing the bonus, but Senate Republicans blocked it. Rather than accepting defeat, thousands of protesters dug themselves in.

    Hoover’s attorney general, William Mitchell, was less than sympathetic. Indeed, he claimed that the BEF was actually the “largest aggregation of criminals that had ever been assembled in the city at any one time,” including communists hellbent on overthrowing the government.

    There’s more and too long to post the whole article here. Politics, tear gas, outright lying by government, the parallels are there. Recommend reading.

    11
  3. drj says:

    I’ve seen a lot of videos of police brutality over the last few days. One thing that really struck me is how undisciplined and weak cops are. It seems they can’t handle a bloody thing without going completely overboard.

    Even when there is no violence, it looks completely ridiculous. Look at this shit, for example. At least 50 cops to arrest 14 highschool kids sitting on the grass with a bunch signs.

    Even if (a very big if) these kids need to be arrested, two cops, a van, and maybe two patrol cars to back them up should be more than sufficient.

    They look like a bunch of assholes who are most definitely not serving and protecting their community right now.

    19
  4. wr says:

    I’m wondering if JJ has seen the latest revelations about the Aumond Abrey case. It turns out that the killer referred to his victim post-shooting as a “fucking n**r.” That he said he had no evidence and had seen nothing to suggest that Arbrey was the burglar, but he had a gut feeling. Oh, and the guy filming the whole thing hit Arbrey with his truck before the shooting.

    Can we now agree that this killer was maybe a little bit driven by racism, and not just of the everyday kind?

    15
  5. wr says:

    @drj: I find it fascinating that after a couple of months of being really inspiring, Andrew Cuomo has decided to go back to being Andrew Cuomo, shouting at a reporter that any suggestion that New York cops were using extreme force against peaceful protesters was outrageous and “partisan” (which is odd, since the mayor, the guv, and the vast majority of the demonstrators and probably reporters are Democrats) despite the dozens of videos showing exactly this.

    Later that evening he had to announce an investigation into video of two upstate cops beating up a 75 year-old man…

    7
  6. Scott says:

    After a couple of days of retired military officers taking swings at Trump, rightfully so, here is a necessary balancing corrective.

    The Generals Are Speaking Up. Is That a Good Thing?

    Their implicit differences with the commander in chief have been joined by explicit condemnation by several prominent retired four-stars, including Trump’s first defense secretary. On Wednesday, Jim Mattis excoriated the president over his handling of the crisis convulsing the nation following the death of George Floyd. Three other prominent retired generals — former Joint Chiefs chairmen Mike Mullen and Martin Dempsey, and retired Marine general John Allen — issued their own public missives condemning the militarized response to the protests and unrest.

    But some scholars of the appropriate relationship between civilian and military leadership in U.S. governance and society — known colloquially as “civ-mil relations” — said the weight being placed on the judgment of former uniformed military leaders is as dangerous as the use of uniformed officers to police civil unrest and lawful protest on American soil.

    “The generals won’t save us, and — if they do — we’re already lost, and even more lost than we realize,” tweeted Jim Golby, a combat veteran, former West Point professor, and civ-mil relations scholar.

    That’s because civilian control of the military is considered a bedrock principle of the U.S. form of government, explained Mara Karlin, a former Pentagon official who now directs strategic studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Karlin said that system “is predicated on the notion that military leaders give advice but ultimately, civilians will be looking across a wide range of policy and political issues to make decisions on the use of force.” U.S. conviction in that system grows in part out of the nation’s founding: One of the key grievances by the authors of the Declaration of Independence was that King George III “has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.”

    1
  7. MarkedMan says:

    Interesting article over at 538. It’s an analysis of a 2016 survey of police officers comparing their views on a number of issues with the general population.

    2
  8. Scott says:

    @wr: One of the defense lawyers claimed that the language used wasn’t hateful or racist because that is just how people talk down here.

    4
  9. Teve says:

    @drj: There are new videos every day, it seems, of cops horribly abusing people.

    2
  10. Teve says:
  11. Kit says:

    From The Guardian: US billionaires gain half a trillion dollars during outbreak:

    During the 11 weeks from March 18, when U.S. lockdowns started, the wealth of America’s richest people surged by over $565 billion, the Institute for Police Studies calculated in a report published on Thursday.

    Jeff Bezos – up $36.2bn
    Mark Zuckerberg – up $30.1bn
    Elon Musk – up $14.1bn
    Sergey Brin – up $13.9bn
    Larry Page – up $13.7bn
    Steve Ballmer – up $13.3bn
    MacKenzie Bezos – up $12.6bn
    Michael Bloomberg – up $12.1bn
    Bill Gates – up $11.8bn
    Phil Knight – up $11.6bn
    Larry Ellison – up $8.5bn
    Warren Buffett – up $7.7bn
    Michael Dell – up $7.6bn
    Sheldon Adelson – up $6.1bn

    I feel that this rising tide will be lifting all our boats! It’s trickling down! Can you feel it?

    The sun will come out tomorrow
    Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow
    There’ll be sun

    Just thinkin’ about
    Tomorrow
    Clears away the cobwebs, and the sorrow
    ‘Til there’s none

    7
  12. Mister Bluster says:

    Lest We Forget
    Robert F Kennedy was shot on this day shortly after midnight Pacific Daylight Time in 1968 after winning the California Democratic Primary. He died 26 hours later.
    I was watching live coverage of his victory speech to his supporters. When he finished he walked out of sight of the TV cameras. Moments later word came out that he had been shot. I was stunned!
    Some 20 hours later two friends and I boarded the Illinois Central passenger train to travel to Southern Illinois University for the first time to enroll in school and look for housing.
    It was the midnight run arriving in Carbondale at sunrise. The conductor had a transistor radio he was listening to for news of Kennedy’s condition.
    It was still dark out when he came and told us that Robert Kennedy was dead.

    4
  13. James Joyner says:

    @wr: Yes, I’m planning to write about this but got caught up in a longer piece in my professional wheelhouse for publication elsewhere.

    1
  14. Teve says:

    MSN:

    Bexar County Republican Party Chair Cynthia Brehm, who last week suggested that the coronavirus was a Democratic hoax, raised the possibility in a now-deleted Facebook post Wednesday that the police killing of George Floyd was staged to damage President Donald Trump with black voters.

    4
  15. Kurtz says:

    Two Huge Covid-19 Studies Are Retracted After Scientists Sound Alarms

    Get ready for the fake news horse being flogged.

  16. Kurtz says:

    @Kurtz:

    Oops… Link
    Two Huge Covid-19 Studies Are Retracted After Scientists Sound Alarms https://nyti.ms/2BrSVEK

  17. Kurtz says:

    @James Joyner:

    How dare you spend time on professional development. We want free knowledge and entertainment.

    10
  18. Mikey says:

    @Kurtz: At the same time, a true double-blind randomly-controlled trial has shown no preventive benefit from hydroxychloroquine.

    Really, none of this should be a political litmus test, but thanks to the orange Oval Office disaster, here we are.

    3
  19. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    Staged meaning it was faked? Or staged meaning that Derek Chauvin and the other three cops hate Trump so much they’d spend the rest of their lives in prison just to prevent him from winning in November?

    I better let the folks at Gateway Pundit, The Conservative Treehouse, Breitbart, and Lucianne.com know about this.

    5
  20. MarkedMan says:

    @Mikey: Unfortunately, once the general public has it in their heads that a medicine is good for something, there is no shaking it. In fact, I would bet bottles of scotch to bottles of beer that five years from now chloroquine will widely believed to cure everything from cancer to hemorrhoids.

    3
  21. Teve says:

    @MarkedMan: on the creationist website Uncommon Descent it is a proven fact that Hydrochloroquine cures this disease and any research saying the opposite are lies by unethical scientists trying to damage Trump.

    2
  22. MarkedMan says:

    There’s a thread going where a woman is collecting all the unexpected places people are having protests. Here’s a tweet from one individual who was the first black man in a small town in Southern Illinois in the 1980’s and, according to him, people there protested to try to run him and his brother out of town. This week they had a BLM march.

    Despite the constant drive of the Republicans to pull us back into the worst that 1950 had to offer, there are still good people trying to fight it.

    9
  23. Scott says:

    @Teve: Hey, Hey. Don’t you go beating up on our Bexar County Republican Chair. She may be a looney toon but she’s our looney tune.

    Actually, what is so hilarious is that the Texas Governor, Senators, and representatives all deny knowing that she is an unfit, nut case despite being the County Chair of the 16th most populated county in the country.

    The local newspaper and news stations are enjoying this immensely.

    6
  24. wr says:

    @James Joyner: I’m looking forward to it. And I hope you know the question wasn’t meant as a gotcha — your view of the world is so different from that of a Berkeley-raised TV writer who has spent his entire life on the coasts that I really want to know how a Southern military man sees this.

  25. MarkedMan says:

    @Teve: Anecdote on the way medicines acquire magical powers: During my Peace Corps days I was out on my dirt bike heading home from town when I took a bit of a tumble. The nearby nurse liked me too much and so wasn’t as aggressive as she should have been in cleaning out the gravel with a stiff brush, one thing led to another and my arm got infected. I didn’t want to go all the way to Peace Corps headquarters to get treated so I pulled out “Where There Is No Doctor” and figured out an anti-biotic regime. I headed off into the nearest town that had a pharmacy and inquired if they had penicillin. “Oh, by all means” and he pulled out one tablet, put it in a tiny paper envelope and handed it to me. “Wait”, I said, “I need 32 tablets. His whole demeanor changed and he became stiff and formal and definitely unfriendly. “I don’t have 32”, he announced. “I’ll take all that you have.” I got his stock of 13 tablets and a bad feeling as I realized I had done something to offend him. It nagged at me all afternoon as I did my other shopping and finally I decided to return. I started to chat him up and at first it was one word answers but gradually I wore him down and after a half hour or so we were laughing and joking so I felt safe in broaching the subject. “I felt you were surprised that I asked for so many penicillin tablets, but that was the standard dosage for an infection when I looked it up in my health guide.” I held up my bandaged arm. He got quiet and thoughtful for a moment and then said, “Oh, I guess it’s goof for infections too.” Wondering what else it could be used for I asked, “What do you recommend it for?” “Oh”, he said, obviously pleased he could educate me, “It makes you strong when you are with a woman!”

    So over the years the use of penicillin had migrated from a long regimen would cure syphilis to one pill was 1980’s Viagra. I’m willing to bet the old men of that town still swear by it…

    6
  26. MarkedMan says:

    Okay, one more and then I definitely have to get some work done. In contrast to the uplifting story about the Souther Illinois town above, here’s one about a multi-racial family that decided to take a break and go camping in Washington State. The local loony toons gun crowd saw these minorities roll through town and convinced themselves they were anti-fa come to loot and pillage. They loaded themselves up with their guns, followed the hapless family to their campsite and felled trees across the road to block them in. Who the hell knows what would have happened next but some brave high schoolers with more sense then the 2nd Amendment adults snuck in, chainsawed some of the logs and led the family to safety.

    Can you say “Deliverance”?

    10
  27. Teve says:

    @fmanjoo

    The violent police response to the protests is totally proving the point of the protests: hard to make the case that police brutality is a matter of a few “bad apples” when scores of video shows the whole culture is violent and rotten to the core. And this is when they know the whole world is watching! Imagine what they’re like when we aren’t.

    10
  28. Kathy says:
  29. Turgid Jacobian says:

    Jobs day. Pour one out for Doug. Miss his Eeyore takes on jobs reports.

    6
  30. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Kit: You know, I think inequality is a big deal, and I think we should be doing something about it. But that bit from the Guardian is garbage, because the start date was pretty much cherry picked.

    The stock market started taking a hit about a month prior, and was near its bottom on March 18. So that piece wildly misinforms you about how the pandemic has affected people’s wealth. Which is, at this point in time “down about 8 percent from peak”. Yeah, they are a lot better off than the normal guy off the street. No, they aren’t making money from the pandemic.

    4
  31. Scott says:

    Stumbled across this on Twitter. Apparently T.Greg Doucette is an attorney from Durham NC who has been building a massive Twitter thread documenting police interactions (non positive) with the public. All numbered and it stretches into the hundreds. What happens is even more stunning in the aggregate.

    https://twitter.com/greg_doucette/status/1268391718086422528

    5
  32. An Interested Party says:

    “Really Big Jobs Report. Great going President Trump (kidding but true)!”

    Jesus, what a fucking idiot we have in the White House…

  33. Teve says:

    @Scott: oh my god.

    1
  34. Jay L Gischer says:

    @MarkedMan: And this is why the rumor mongering cannot be passed off as “harmless talk” that “should be ignored”.

    Sigh. I’ve been to Forks. It was a long time ago. It is the home of the Twilight series. It’s beautiful, as long as you like moss, big trees and mist. Right wing media is driving certain people crazy.

    1
  35. Teve says:

    @An Interested Party: Would you believe it if I told you that Trump said that George Floyd is looking down from heaven and smiling at our great new jobs numbers?

    2
  36. Teve says:

    @Turgid Jacobian: i used to love his monthly, here is some good economic news, comma, but other negative thing posts. 😀

    3
  37. CSK says:

    @An Interested Party:
    Try to understand. Lardbutt has to say wonderful things about himself, because increasingly fewer numbers of people are willing to do it, with the exception of some congenital idiots who comment at Lucianne.com, The Gateway Pundit, Breitbart, Hot Air, and The Conservative Nuthouse.

    2
  38. Teve says:

    Somebody just said on Twitter that a million black troops who served in WW2 were denied GI Bill benefits. I’ve never heard this before. Does anybody here know anything about that?

  39. Bob@Youngstown says:

    Why does the media insist on saying:
    “2.5 million jobs created” or “2.5 million jobs added“, when the vast majority of those “jobs” were not created or added but restored?

    “Created” or “added” implies that those jobs didn’t exist previously.

    4
  40. Sleeping Dog says:
  41. Kurtz says:
  42. Teve says:

    @Kurtz: Jesus Christ.

    2
  43. Jen says:

    @Teve:

    Yes, that is the case. Here’s something from History.com about it. The GI Bill didn’t explicitly prohibit Black participation, but it did set up a whole bunch of barriers.

    Oddly enough, the most recent time I ran into this I think was the Eddie Murphy movie “Dolemite is my name,” which was funny, surprisingly touching, and raunchy as hell.

    1
  44. KM says:

    @wr:

    Later that evening he had to announce an investigation into video of two upstate cops beating up a 75 year-old man…

    Good! I was up late rage tweeting about that last night but had an appt early this morning so wasn’t able to follow up yet. Good God, that was a disturbing video. The sound that man’s skull made when it hit the ground and the fact that he started bleeding from the ears within seconds…… he’s lucky to be alive but I’m sure there’s going to be lasting damage, especially at his age.

    The cops shoved him hard, watched him go flying and walk right now by as the blood started to flow. Multiple cops did the same – one seems to have tried to stop but his compatriots grab him and make him move forward. Do your job against the “criminals”, not help the public or protect them when they’re obviously hurt. Again, we see it’s not just a “bad apple” but rather the whole bunch has been spoiled. Police culture as a whole is going to need some serious retooling.

    5
  45. Teve says:

    @Scott: Doucette’s thread now has over 300 videos of cops attacking people. Hell’s Bells.

    2
  46. Jen says:

    @Teve: In the vast pantheon of stupid sh!t Trump has said, that one really has to take the cake. I’m floored.

  47. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    You cannot be serious.

    Are you?

  48. Teve says:
  49. Kurtz says:

    @Jen: @CSK: @Teve:

    Well, nobody informed Candace Owens, who posted one of those lovely commentaries:

    Floyd was a violent criminal. That doesn’t mean he deserved to die, but he was a violent criminal.

    1
  50. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    Holy sh!t. But there seems to be some debate–if I read the thread properly–about whether Fatso was referring to George Floyd approving the jobs increase or approving the police “domination” of the streets. Either way, it’s revolting.

    If Trump ever had any normal aides or speech writers, no wonder they’ve all long since quit. Or committed suicide.

    4
  51. gVOR08 says:

    @Scott:

    …hateful or racist … or … that is just how people talk down here.

    As with most of these dichotomies, sadly, both are true.

  52. Sleeping Dog says:

    If you think about it, Tiny’s little escapade with the bible and church on Monday, proves that there is no God. If there were, a lightning bolt would have smote him and he would have been ashes in his shoes,

    5
  53. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Kit:
    During the 11 weeks since March 18, my 401k earned more than $50,000. Of course, in the 11 weeks before March 18, my 401k lost more than $57,000.

    Inequality is a big problem, but that cherry picked factoid is a garbage argument for doing something about it.

    4
  54. An Interested Party says:

    @Teve: What a depraved POS…although from what I’ve seen on a few conservative sites, many of his followers think that Floyd would be looking up, not down, as they probably think he would be in a warmer climate, what, with his system being full of fentanyl and methamphetamines when he died…as Kurtz mentions above, that idiot Owens isn’t alone in her thinking…

  55. CSK says:

    @KM:
    Oh, no, no, no. According to Cult45 at Hot Air, you have it all wrong. The elderly man was assaulting the young cop and trying to grab his gun. The cop merely deflected the man, who clumsily tripped over his own feet and fell.

    2
  56. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @MarkedMan: It’s why black people don’t go camping in Forest Service camping areas here. Bleep, the KOA is probably dangerous enough.

    1
  57. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: Sadly and as much as I wish I couldn’t, I can believe Trump is tweeting exactly that type of crap. It’s why I don’t do Twitter.

  58. MarkedMan says:

    @Teve: Honest to god, I thought you were joking.

  59. Scott says:

    Wow. This is so in your face.

    ‘Black Lives Matter’: In giant yellow letters, D.C. mayor sends message to Trump

    D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) renamed the street in front of the White House “Black Lives Matter Plaza” on Friday and emblazoned the slogan in massive yellow letters on the road

    2
  60. Kathy says:

    It seemed to be settled now. Hydroxychloroquine does nothing against COVID-19.

    The infamous papers that were retracted indicated that hydroxichloroquine increased the death rate among COVID-19 patients. This doesn’t seem to be the case. But it does not help any sick patients either.

    Expect El PITO to double down again on it.

  61. Jen says:

    @Kathy: He’ll say it proves he was right when he said “what have you got to lose.”

    1
  62. CSK says:

    @Kathy: @Jen:
    Possibly. It might be that he’ll just forget about it. He has the attention span of a flea, as does his cult.

    The pandemic? What’s that? We have a jobs report and a stock market to celebrate. And George Floyd is smiling down on us.

    Right?

    5
  63. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    He’s already lost interest in the pandemic, ever since he was roundly mocked for suggesting bleach as a cure for COVID-19. He won’t let the pandemic task force talk much to the public, either. It was all about reopening for a while, and Fauci and Birx would only have kept telling people how to stay alive, not how to be productive.

    3
  64. Kathy says:

    Advance notice of what may become a hot topic fairly soon: Defund the police.

    Right below the headline comes a much more likely proposal: “Activists say the way to stop police brutality and killings is to cut law enforcement budgets and reinvest in services. Some lawmakers now agree.”

    I can see something like that happening, at least in some blue cities and states.

    4
  65. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    Generalissimo Lardass is fantasizing about leading the troops (his troops, mind you) against the evil protesters. Not actually getting out in front of those troops and literally leading them into battle. Heavens no; his coiffure might get disarranged. But giving those orders to shoot to kill. Remember, when the looting starts, the shooting starts!

    Speaking of which, the two Buffalo cops who got suspended for shoving that elderly man have been joined by their 57 colleagues on the Emergency Response Team, who resigned from it in protest at the suspension.

    4
  66. Monala says:

    @Kathy: I responded to another thread recently by sharing about how the promising solutions to bullying and school violence outlined by Emily Bazelon in her book, Sticks and Stones, were used with much success at my daughter’s elementary school. Briefly, it involves supportive services to kids and families, shared positive norms that are recognized and celebrated, and non-punitive responses to most misbehaviors and conflicts.

    I added that policing would benefit from something similar: more supportive services in communities, more economic opportunities, non-punitive responses and treatments for addiction and mental illness, etc.

    It turns out, Bazelon has a new book out, Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration, that’s looking at just that.

    3
  67. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK:

    the two Buffalo cops who got suspended for shoving that elderly man have been joined by their 57 colleagues on the Emergency Response Team, who resigned from it in protest at the suspension.

    I could be wrong on this, but I suspect that likelihood of residents of Buffalo surviving the protests just improved in the wake of the decision of the 57 compatriots of two bad cops.

    5
  68. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Funny, that was my thought.

    2
  69. Scott says:

    @CSK:

    Speaking of which, the two Buffalo cops who got suspended for shoving that elderly man have been joined by their 57 colleagues on the Emergency Response Team, who resigned from it in protest at the suspension.

    I wonder if the Mayor is thinking: “Just in time. This pandemic just destroyed my revenue; now I won’t have to cut so much!”

    4
  70. KM says:

    @CSK:

    the two Buffalo cops who got suspended for shoving that elderly man have been joined by their 57 colleagues on the Emergency Response Team, who resigned from it in protest at the suspension.

    Seriously?! Two of their own are caught red-handed seriously injuring an unarmed, non-threatening civilian and their response is to get pissy that due process is being followed? They’re claiming it’s unfair because they were “just following orders”. Hmmm, now where have we heard that justification before?

    This is why people are protesting, why the protests keep growing. It’s becoming increasingly apparent to Americans is that police violence is a problem and there but for the grace of God, it will be *their* problem. This man was an elderly white middle class man and he still got shoved. Anyone who thought this “wasn’t their problem” or that it only affected “bad people” just saw someone who looks like Grandpa bleed all over the sidewalk. Now they’re seeing the police circle the wagons around the bad apples over the most basic of bureaucratic interventions in cases like this (suspension) like they’ve been horribly mistreated instead of having basic investigative measures applied. Suddenly, they realize it can happen to them and that the police will protect their own instead of them.

    7
  71. CSK says:

    @Scott:
    Well, apparently the 57 are still paid members of the BPD; there’s just no more ERT. There may or may not be a saving.

  72. CSK says:

    President Lardass went to Maine today and was greeted by an editorial in the Portland Press Herald, which I believe is the state’s largest paper, asking him to resign. I wonder who had the honor of reading it to him?

    @KM:
    I hope this is the kind of turning point you suggest.

    1
  73. Kurtz says:

    Charles P. Pierce, reason numbers 1 through infinity why The Ringer will never be as good as Grantland, on Trump as the vector of Camusian contagion:

    On the electric Twitter machine, T. Greg Doucette (@greg_doucette) has been threading together videos of police officers all over America caught on video beating protestors of all ages, colors, genders, and, as near as anyone can tell, political persuasions. There is now a massive, ongoing public demonstration of the fact that the training of our civilian law enforcement has gone badly wrong, that we have raised up generations of over-armed, over-amped Praetorian goons with no qualms at all about injuring or killing the citizens they are paid to protect. Indeed, they are committing these crimes under color of law, knowing full well that almost everybody in the country can record their crimes on pocket-sized telephones. They know and they simply…don’t…care. This is impunity turned to iron certainty. Layer on top of this the lunatic notion of using the military for civilian law enforcement, and the country becomes utterly unrecognizable.

    Other than a 13-year-old suburban kid walking out of a showing of Gladiator or Ralphie Cifaretto, I can’t think of anyone who aspires to be a “Praetorian goon.” Well, I guess I would have thought that was true at one time. How naive of me.

  74. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    I wonder who had the honor of reading it to him?

    Ooh! I’d love that job. I’d even write critical editorials of my own every day and twice on Sunday.

  75. Kurtz says:

    @CSK:

    I wonder who had the honor of reading it to him?

    Oh, no problem. Sharpie fixes all. They just added the words, “to be Governor of Maine” to the end of the sentence. The Sharpie never lies, tiny hands and hurricanes tremble in awe at its power.

  76. CSK says:

    @Kathy: @Kurtz:
    I don’t know which of you made me laugh more.

  77. Jen says:

    I have no idea if this is actually going to pan out to be accurate, but, a Florida journalist is reporting that Chauvin, who apparently owns a condo in Florida, voted in the 2016 and 2018 elections from his Florida address. This while he was a full-time resident in MN. (This is illegal if accurate.)

    Kayleigh McEnany also voted in Florida, using her parents’ address, even though she legally lived in DC at the time. (This is potentially illegal.)

    Of course Trump voted by mail as a Florida resident, using an address that he committed to maintaining as a business.

    It seems to me like Republicans could dramatically reduce voter fraud if they stopped voting fraudulently. No wonder they think it’s rampant.

    7
  78. Jax says:

    I’ve come to the conclusion that you can tell a true Trumper by their Facebook feed, and whether they share the Walmart/Southwest Airlines coupons, the “I talked to my friend who’s a lawyer, and I do not give Facebook permission to share my photos, as per US Code Gobbledy WhatTheFuckEver”, and the “Facebook is gonna start charging if you don’t share this and turn your icon blue!”

    Without fail, every time, that’s his base.

    1
  79. Teve says:

    @Jax: In my extended family the same people who vote for Trump are the ones who sent money to Jim Bakker in the 80s. One of whom told me, last week, I shit you not, that Mr. Rogers was a Marine sniper in Vietnam with dozens of confirmed kills. That’s not even a respectable Urban Legend.

    3
  80. Kurtz says:

    @CSK:@Kathy:

    One minute apart, no less.

  81. Teve says:

    Well, the praetorian guard took out the ruler Commodus, so maybe if that was analogous to today…

    😀

  82. Teve says:

    One of the reasons I come here is that commentariat is full of people who know interesting things, so I wonder if somebody can tell me the author of the comment that went something like ‘the purpose of education is to make your mind a good place to live.’

    1
  83. Teve says:
  84. Teve says:

    I have worked as a teacher and an engineer and at Home Depot and Lowe’s and I make a lot more money working at the major carrier I work at because it’s a union and I will seriously fight until I die for everybody to be in a union. Billionaires are making a lot of money on your backs. they can afford to pay you a living wage they just don’t want to do that so they can make even more money.

    3
  85. Monala says:

    @KM: The Bulwark had an article today about the “three levels of police corruption”: first, the violence against the man; second, the lack of any humane help after he was injured; and third, the lie that he had “tripped and fallen.” They argued that the first was the least bad of the actions, since it could be a heat of the moment act. But the second was an act of inhumanity by all the cops present, and the third was a systemic cover-up, showing that the rot goes all the way up to the top. To the Bulwark’s points, we can add a fourth: the 57 cops who are pissed about the smallest level of accountability.

    4
  86. de stijl says:

    It shocks me to realize that many people don’t know police routinely act as brutal goons who beat you for eyeballing them.

    Cops have beat on folks forever. This is not news.

    Cell phones are capturing it now. It is now undeniable.

    I sort of assume this is common knowledge, but this was not everyone’s experience. This is an aspect of privilege you did not know you possessed.

    Amongst people who are poor and unprivileged it is common knowledge. Officer x is fairish if you are submissive. Officer y will always escalate. This is knowledge that is passed around.