Thursday’s Forum

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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. OzarkHillbilly says:
  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    ‘Sit! sit!’ How one Australian dealt with a 4m crocodile called ‘Bonecruncher’ (videos at the link)

    “this is the most Australian thing I’ve watched”.

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  3. Bill says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Beat this one Bill: More than 200 naked inmates escape jail in Uganda

    I can’t beat that one, Ozark. Congratulations.

    Now I have to fine one for Florida.

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  4. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Filed under “It was utterly predictable …”

    It seems that the Minneapolis City Council, fresh off of their rush to defund the Minneapolis Police Department, is now faced with a drastic increase in violent crime and wants to know where the police are.

    My schaden is overfreuded … 😀

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  5. Bill says:
  6. Sleeping Dog says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Having lived in Mpls for 25 years and still having many friends there, I’ve been watching this unfold and it was predictable before the embers of the 3rd precinct cooled that the city council had no idea what they were doing, nor a concept of how to move forward to develop a plan. So they went with rhetoric.

    The hard reality is that there is little the city council or the mayor can do to reform that police department. Reform being, giving the department’s leadership the power to get rid of bad cops, anything else is nice to have. The power to do so lies with the state legislator and that body, like many is pursuing a zero-sum political game.

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  7. Bill says:

    The runner-up headline of the day-

    Heat ray ‘was sought’ against protest in Washington’s Lafayette Square

    Was this considered after it was discovered the National Guard didn’t possess a heat ray?

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  8. OzarkHillbilly says:
  9. Kathy says:

    I’ve been concerend the past week about receiving an invitation to a Rosh Hashanah meal. Sure enough, yesterday my sister in law issued one.

    I politely declined, and told her while the pandemic rages on, I’m avoiding any gatherings at all. This is true, but I expected blow back from my mom when she found out. I was surprised this didn’t happen, and indeed she said she might not go either.

    Score one for sanity.

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  10. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy:

    I’ve been concerend the past week about receiving an invitation to a Rosh Hashanah meal.

    I’m not an expert on Jewish holidays by any stretch, but I would think that at least the ritual parts would be amendable to a virtual presence?

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  11. drj says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    So despite not yet having been defunded, the MPD appears to be refusing to do its job.

    “Let us kill the occasional civilian and be unanswerable to oversight or we will let crime get out of control!”

    And you find this funny?

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  12. CSK says:

    @Kathy: @MarkedMan:

    http://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/make-the-most-of-high-holidays-on-zoom

    The service can be done remotely. The communal meal would be safer to forego.

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  13. MarkedMan says:

    @HarvardLaw92: I agree with your overall point: the police are necessary and mindlessly writing them off and painting them as one dimensional thugs is a dereliction of duty by government officials elected to move things forward, not just make speeches.

    That said, I suspect what is happening in Minneapolis is similar to what happened here in Baltimore after the Freddie Grey riots. Police officers in general, and the union specifically, anonymously made it clear that they were on paid strike. They wouldn’t be responding to dangerous situations or intervene in serious crime because their feelings were hurt and no one loved them anymore. The press knew it and the criminals knew it. And a not insignificant number of white Baltimoreans thought it was meant to only apply to black neighborhoods and so were ok with that (in the event, it didn’t only apply to black neighborhoods).

    One of the things that partially turned it around, at least as far as the anonymous police sources whining to the general public, was the very thorough and detailed investigation that proved conclusively that an elite anti-crime unit in the Police, celebrated constantly by the union and police friendly media, had turned over the years from an aggressive unit going after crime, to an aggressive unit willing to break rules to go after crime, to an aggressive unit willing to plant evidence and torture confessions in going after crime, to an aggressive unit who felt that their heroic actions should be rewarded and so it was OK if they skimmed some cash when they made a bust, to “why not the drugs as well as the cash”, to finally being a major drug supplier in the Baltimore area. Thousands of cases are being reviewed, and many people will no doubt be let out of jail.

    The revelations didn’t completely change the dynamic, but it did quiet down the “all police are heroes and the only ones complaining are criminals who deserve what they get” crowd.

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  14. Jen says:
  15. drj says:

    @drj:

    I should add that HL92’s source has published “misinformation and articles written by fake personas” and used to employ “an editor with ties to white supremacist-platforming and pro-Kremlin media outlets.”

    Very funny, all in all.

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  16. MarkedMan says:

    @Jen: My wife and I are looking at Vermont as a possible retirement venue, and recently my wife was talking to a friend who has lived there for 30+ years. My wife asked about the political climate, because we don’t want to spend our “golden years” surrounded by a bunch of Trumpers. “Oh, you’ll be fine almost anywhere in Vermont. Just don’t get too close to the New Hampshire border. Those people are nuts!”

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  17. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    Having renamed herself “Aria DiMezzo,” she clearly possesses an abundant sense of humor.

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  18. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan:
    You might check out Bennington. It’s lovely, and there are lots of amenities.

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  19. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I’m not an expert on Jewish holidays by any stretch

    Neither am I. I last attended a religious service that wasn’t a wedding, bat/bar-mitzvah, or memorial service in 1983. And then you have differences between orthodox, conservative, and reform Judaism, plus whatever varieties have cropped up since then.

    FWIW, the way I was taught, life and well-being is valued above everything else. This would argue for remote services, or even for skipping the services altogether if remote ones aren’t an option.

    There are social rituals, too, like having people over for a lavish meal to celebrate the “new year.” That’s all well and good in normal times, and the food tends to be very good. you also get to see relatives and acquaintances you seldom see*. That’s all fine, but not worth the increased risk of contagion.

    * IMO, if you were as glad to see them as you pretend to be in such gatherings, you’d keep in closer touch the rest of the time.

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  20. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK: Thanks! Will do. We’ll be in the NY Adirondacks early October and plan a days tour through Vermont, just to get our bearings.

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  21. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @drj:

    No. I find far lefty liberals experiencing the (utterly predictable) failure of their misguided emotionally based policy decisions funny.

    My attitude has been “Since you know so much and you think you can do better, here’s your shot. Prove it …” If they succeed, even though I believe they won’t, we all win. If they fail, only they lose, so from my perspective it’s a no brainer.

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  22. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @drj:

    LOL, feel free to google the issue. It’s been reported on by a wide swath of media outlets, including Minnesota Public Radio.

    Typical response though – “I don’t like the message, so I’ll attack the validity of the messenger”

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  23. MarkedMan says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Since you know so much and you think you can do better, here’s your shot. Prove it

    This is basically where the metal hits the road in politics. It applies everywhere, all across the ideological spectrum. In an elected government the first duty is towards the people, not to blather.

    Kansas is an example on the right – the Libertarians took over and it turned out all they had was talk and ran the place into the ground. To this day I haven’t come across a libertarian that will even discuss the Kansas Fiasco.

    There are lots of examples on the left too, with the Portland riots being a good example. Are homeowners safe when the police are pulled out? Are the life savings of small business owners protected? Obviously not.

    The common thread is voting for people who talk a utopian game, versus someone who has gone through the humbling experience of actually getting things done.

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  24. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Kathy:

    It’s a major holiday for us, as the beginning of the days of repentance leading up to Yom Kippur, but only for us. If they extended an invitation, I’d categorize it as having been courtesy on their part, and wouldn’t expect offense if you declined. Especially given your reasonable justification.

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  25. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Amen. Well said

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  26. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan:
    Bennington is only 14 miles from Williamstown, which, in addition to be the home of Williams College, is also home to the Francine and Sterling Clark Art Institute, which is a world class museum.

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  27. wr says:

    @HarvardLaw92: “No. I find far lefty liberals experiencing the (utterly predictable) failure of their misguided emotionally based policy decisions funny.”

    If the emotion is “the people we hire to protect us should not feel entitled to murder our citizens,” I’m still not quite sure what you find so funny, even if the police response is “if we don’t get to kill people and still be above criticism, then we’re not going to do the jobs we’re still accepting money to do.”

    Or is it just that the little people feel they should have a voice in the way they are policed, when everyone knows only the rich deserve that?

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  28. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: This isn’t an issue that can be solved thru simplistic solutions, but this

    the police are necessary and mindlessly writing them off and painting them as one dimensional thugs is a dereliction of duty

    puts me in mind of Murder of Laquan McDonald

    Initial police report

    The initial police portrayals of the incident, consisting of about 400 pages of typed and handwritten reports,[34] prompted police supervisors to rule the case a justifiable homicide and within the bounds of the department’s use of force guidelines.[35] The reports did not say how many times McDonald was shot and said McDonald was acting “crazed” and lunged at officers after refusing to drop his knife.[36] Michael D. Robbins, one of the attorneys representing the McDonald estate, said his initial thoughts were that “I didn’t think there was a case if he had lunged at a police officer,” adding, “The police narrative, without exception, is that the use of force is justified and necessary, which it sometimes is.”[37]

    One police report described that McDonald “raised the knife across chest” and pointed it at Van Dyke.[35] Van Dyke told investigators that he feared McDonald would rush him with the knife or throw it at him, and he also recalled a 2012 Police Department bulletin warning about a knife that was also capable of firing a bullet, as well as throwing knives and also spring-loaded knives capable of propelling the blade.[35][38] One report noted that McDonald’s knife “was in the open position” but, when announcing charges against Van Dyke, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said the knife was found folded at the scene.[34][35]

    Dash-cam video

    Five police videos of the incident are known to exist, including the view from a camera mounted in the marked police SUV that Van Dyke was riding in as he and his partner responded to the scene.[41][42] The videos show that at least eight police vehicles responded to the scene, but no video has been released from the other three vehicles.[41] Chicago police officers are required to make sure that their video systems are working properly,[43] and that they should “submit a ticket if they are unable to download digitally recorded data.” There were no repair tickets requested by any of the three vehicles missing video on the scene that night.[44]

    When video footage was initially released, it did not contain audio,[45] although Chicago Police dashboard cameras should automatically record audio when the video recording is activated. According to a CPD video, “The in-car camera system automatically engages both the audio and the video recording when the vehicles’ emergency roof lights are activated” and each vehicle has a front and rear camera and microphone.[44] City officials initially blamed a technical problem.[42] It was later revealed that the audio recording equipment in officer Van Dyke’s vehicle had been “intentionally damaged” according to records from police technicians.[46] Another car’s audio was disabled because the microphones were in the glove compartment with the batteries inserted backwards. For another, a mobile start-up recorder was corrupted, and a third was processing other video at the time.[47] The Sun-Times published that a sergeant reported officers throwing their microphones on the roof of the Jefferson Park police station to the Internal Police Review Authority a month and a half before the release of the Laquan McDonald dashcam video in an apparent protest against being recorded.[48] Fraternal Order of Police president Dean Angelo defended officers in an interview, saying that operator error could be any number of accidents, adding, “Things always trickle downhill so it winds up the responsibility of the beat officer—God forbid it’s the responsibility of the agency.”[49]

    Make of it what you will, but

    “the United States Department of Justice initiated a civil rights investigation into McDonald’s death and the activities of the Chicago Police Department. It released its report in January 2017, describing the police as having a culture of “excessive violence,” especially against minority suspects, and of having poor training and supervision. DOJ and city officials signed a consent decree for a plan for improvement to be overseen by the courts. Moreover, three Chicago police officers were tried for allegedly attempting to cover up events related to the shooting and were found not guilty by the Cook County Circuit Court on January 17, 2019.[7][8][9]”

    We have a police problem in this country. Time and again “reforms” are instituted and yet nothing changes. Watch the suffocation of George Floyd for just 1 minute and one is struck not only by the depraved indifference of Derek Chauvin but also that of the other *3* officers there.

    ** I have read that one was a trainee, if so his behavior is not as culpable as the other 2, but one might ask what is the mind set of a person who observes that and doesn’t resign the next day. What kind of people are we hiring for our police?

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  29. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy:

    FWIW, the way I was taught, life and well-being is valued above everything else. This would argue for remote services, or even for skipping the services altogether if remote ones aren’t an option.

    Absolutely. There’s a story about a 19th-century rabbi who, during a cholera outbreak, ordered his community not to fast on Yom Kippur, and just to make sure they got the point, he ate and drank that day in public view.

    Where it gets a little tricky is whether you’re allowed to violate a ritual prohibition (such as not using electricity on a major holiday) just to preserve another tradition (since failing to attend a Rosh Hashana service with other people isn’t going to be life-threatening).

    But the larger problem is that in the more fundamentalist strains of Judaism (not unlike Christianity), anti-science views are quite common. Before this pandemic there were reports of measles outbreak among Hasidim, because they refused to get vaccinated. Not surprisingly, I’m reading articles about some of these groups resisting the Covid-19 restrictions (sometimes openly violating government mandates), doing big gatherings with no masks or social distancing. I won’t go into detail, but certain members of my family are having their friendship with a family from one of these more extreme communities strained.

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  30. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @wr:

    Get over yourself 🙄 Go dust your statue. Someone as self-righteous as you are must have a statue of themselves around somewhere, so go dust it

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  31. drj says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    No. I find far lefty liberals experiencing the (utterly predictable) failure of their misguided emotionally based policy decisions funny.

    What policy failure?

    The Minneapolis City Council’s proposal to dismantle the city’s police department will not be on the November ballot after the Minneapolis Charter Commission voted Wednesday to take more time to review the plan.

    No policy change has been implemented yet.

    It is absurdly obvious that Minneapolis could not yet have defunded the police (we’re still in the same fiscal year, FFS). You either knew this or should have known this.

    So I guess you find it funny that people experience adverse consequences because their elected representatives rightfully dared to question (some kinds of) authority.

    That is pretty sick, you know.

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  32. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @drj:

    Yea, it has. They’ve already moved some $1 million out of the PD’s budget to fund “violence interrupters”, which amounts in practice to putting gang members on the public payroll, and their rhetoric has been a good part of the reason why some 100 officers have already left the department, leaving it quite understaffed. The assertion that they are not responding to calls stems solely from the opinion of one council member, who evidently either can’t or won’t consider her own degree of responsibility for what’s happened.

    They’re reaping the consequences (predictable consequences) of their own BS.

    Look, I get it. You have a vested interest in seeing them succeed because it validates your worldview. I likewise have one in seeing them fail, because it validates mine. Problem here is that one of us will ultimately be disappointed, and thus far it’s looking like it’ll be you. Tough breaks I guess

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  33. drj says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    You are being deliberately obtuse.

    The $1m cut (out of a ca. $200m annual budget) was only approved in late July. Even assuming that money has, in fact, already been redirected, it’s clearly not enough to make a meaningful difference.

    Which means we are left with this:

    and their rhetoric has been a good part of the reason why some 100 officers have already left the department, leaving it quite understaffed

    “Yeah, let’s quit because we received criticism for murdering some dude.”

    About as mature as this:

    Get over yourself Go dust your statue. Someone as self-righteous as you are must have a statue of themselves around somewhere, so go dust it

    You’re like gramps who got hooked on Fox (hence my comment about your source material).

    There used to be time when your criticism of other commenters’ arguments tended to land instead of reflecting (badly) on yourself.

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  34. Joe says:

    @Kathy:

    * IMO, if you were as glad to see them as you pretend to be in such gatherings, you’d keep in closer touch the rest of the time.

    The very purpose of Facebook.

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  35. KM says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    They’re reaping the consequences (predictable consequences) of their own BS.

    I wonder if you’d be as supportive if teachers decided to just not teach kids this year since so many schools are being effectively defunded due to Trump’s COVID mismanagement. Or if firefighters just let your house burn because they had a budget shortfall that year due to stupid politics. Or the ER tossing you out because they’re out of resources and funds from the pandemic…. I could go on but for some reason, all that wouldn’t be socially acceptable but blue flu is???

    Quite frankly, there’s absolutely NO legitimate reason for professionals to fail to do their job to the best of their abilities simply because of budget issues, no matter the cause of them. This is not about their damn fee-fees – no one is EVER happy when money is taken away but keep on working regardless. The police have no way of knowing if a particular citizen is pro-defund or not so they’re clearly fine with screwing over innocents to make their “point”. That their point is “they’re fine with letting you die because you don’t respect them enough and dared to take a single penny away” kinda proves their detractors’ point about abusing the citizenry to maintain their own power.

    Holding a city hostage till you get your money is what thugs, goons and terrorists do. Letting innocent people get hurt or killed in the streets because your department has less money to buy tanks and military surplus with is the kind of crap you expect in a third world, corrupt country. They’re still getting paid but it’s all the lovely overtime and extra toy money that’s taking the hit. As for “putting gang members on the public payroll”, well….. maybe you should take a look at how many are running with the alt-right and redefined your term since they’re already there.

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  36. Bill says:

    @CSK:

    You might check out Bennington. It’s lovely, and there are lots of amenities.

    I used to have cousins in Wilmington VT, that’s about half way between Bennington and Brattleboro. Twice I visited Wilmington. It was a nice place but the last time was in 1984.

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  37. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @drj:

    There used to be a time when the commentariat didn’t unilaterally resemble a far lefty Communist Party picnic. Those days have passed, so I don’t take many of you nearly as seriously as I used to.

    Fact remains the instigator for what has transpired – which should have been utterly predictable given that it’s happened time and time again – was the inflammatory rhetoric of the city council. Attack people who were already stretched thin and felt unappreciated before, paint them all with a tarred brush, and they’ll walk. Any random McDonalds employee would be able to explain that one to you, but these know-it-all’s didn’t get it or didn’t care. Now they’re dealing with the fallout.

    Do I feel glee at the consequences for the good people of Minneapolis? No. They’re the *victims* of these moronic know-it-all do-gooders. Hopefully they’ll let their feelings on that one be known in The next election.

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  38. Kathy says:

    @Kylopod:

    Where it gets a little tricky is whether you’re allowed to violate a ritual prohibition (such as not using electricity on a major holiday) just to preserve another tradition (since failing to attend a Rosh Hashana service with other people isn’t going to be life-threatening).

    Most of my family wouldn’t even think of that. Many of the rest would say it’s ok if the officiants set the connection up before sundown and just leaves it on.

    A very few are actually observant. I honestly don’t care what they do, but all the more reason to avoid gatherings which may include them.

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  39. Jon says:

    As I have myself been reminded, I would remind others to not feed the troll.

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  40. Sleeping Dog says:

    @drj:
    @HarvardLaw92:

    drj, I’ve been following Mpls pretty closely, the city council doesn’t have a plan, they have a bunch of ideas with no concept of how to implement them. The fact that some of those ideas are actually worth pursuing is nearly besides the point. A Trotskyite friend in Mpls, joked that he wouldn’t trust that bunch of Maoist to organize a bake sale, everyone would be poisoned. The Mpls city council has a gnome underwear problem and can’t get to where they want to go. The power to reform the police department lies solely with the state legislature and until they act nothing the city council will do matters.

    After the protests, what the council should have done is state that they would put together a reform proposal and then begin building support and getting ideas and buy-in from the citizens, while at the same time exploring what it would take to get R support for changes in state laws that effect public employees. They didn’t do any of this.

    That the cops would quit on the job wasn’t a surprise as it has happened before, but it took the council by surprise and for weeks the denied to their constituents that it was happening, but unless you lived in the lakes’ neighborhoods, getting a cop to respond to a trouble call is near impossible.

    Yes, HL is being his typical trollish self, but he has a point and I suggest you read Marked Man’s comments.

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  41. Kathy says:

    @Joe:

    Well, for me it was rather easy not to follow any family on FB.

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  42. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @KM:

    Yet again, the only support I have seen for this assertion that cops just are refusing to respond are the assertions of one council member who has a vested interest in saying that. That the department is losing officers like the Titanic is documented, so I’m inclined to believe they have a staffing problem more than I am inclined to believe Comrade Bender.

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  43. drj says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    I will readily admit that the plans of the Minneapolis City Council may be unrealistic. In fact, I would not be optimistic about any police reform plan that relies on “defunding.”

    But:

    a) the City Council’s plans (if they are deservedly called that) simply cannot be blamed for the reported rise in crime, as they haven’t been approved (let alone implemented) yet;

    b) it is not funny (at all) if the police refuses to do its job because they don’t like the elected city government;

    c) in fact, it is both undemocratic and deeply harmful if a specific element of the executive branch is given the leeway to stop doing its job if the people’s elected representatives are insufficiently deferential.

    I would suspect that we can agree on all these three points.

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  44. wr says:

    @HarvardLaw92: I don’t understand your point. Am I some kind of crazed self-righteous loony because I think police should serve the communities they’re hired to serve rather than see themselves as an occupying army? Or because I think that even poor and black people deserve to be protected by the police and not murdered by them? Or just because I don’t like to chuckle when the police decide they’re not law enforcement but a protection racket?

    Please enlighten me. I cherish the opportunity for self-improvement.

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  45. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @wr:

    Am I some kind of crazed self-righteous loony

    Yes. Thanks for playing.

    (you walked right into that one …)

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  46. wr says:

    @HarvardLaw92: ” Hopefully they’ll let their feelings on that one be known in The next election.”

    Yes, this exactly — the police should withhold their services from the citizens until they all vote the way the police want them to. That’s the real purpose of Democracy in HL’s world.

    Beginning to understand why he’s decided that everyone here is at a “Communist picnic.”

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  47. Jay L Gischer says:

    @HarvardLaw92: If you think this is a Communist Party picnic, all I can say is that apparently you’ve never been to a Communist Party picnic. I enjoy this blog’s commentariat precisely because they aren’t as far left as other liberal blogs, but instead offer thoughts that add value with good information and insight. And this includes you, most of the time.

    Today though, all you offer is mockery, which isn’t much value add.

    You realize, I hope, that people are really stressed out and polarized by world events?

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  48. wr says:

    @HarvardLaw92: “(you walked right into that one …)”

    Silly me. I’d assumed you still took a little pride in what you wrote.

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  49. Kathy says:

    Speaking of communist parties, there was a principle in the old Soviet Union: you can criticize, but not generalize.

    So if a police officer unjustifiably kills a civilian, you can criticize them all you want, and even arrest and prosecute them. If this happens frequently, you can criticize, arrest, and prosecute the officers involved in each event, but not draw general conclusions as to why this is a widespread, repeating problem, nor do anything to fix said problem.

    It’s just a few bad apples, comrade. It’s always been just a few bad apples and nothing more, and don’t you dare say otherwise, comrade.

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  50. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: My takeaway from your reply is that you think I’m denying there is a problem with the police in this country. I’m not.

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  51. Michael Cain says:

    @drj:

    and their rhetoric has been a good part of the reason why some 100 officers have already left the department, leaving it quite understaffed

    Because rhetoric? Colorado passed a law and officers are now on the hook for a portion of any civil settlements based on excessive force. 5% or $25,000, whichever is smaller. People have argued whether the moderate increase in the number of people leaving law enforcement in the state is due to that, or just normal statistical variation, it’s that small. So far as anyone can tell, there’s been no difficulty hiring replacements.

    Population comparisons, just FYI: Colorado 5.76M, Minnesota 5.64M; metro Denver 3.3M, metro Minneapolis 3.3M; Denver proper 727K, Minneapolis proper 430K.

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  52. An Interested Party says:

    When did so many police departments decide to become protection rackets? See, here’s a case where the conservative argument against corrupt unions actually applies…

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  53. Sleeping Dog says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    The slow/non response isn’t a figment of that counselors imagination. I believe there is already one lawsuit filed against the city by a neighborhood group regarding police non response and several other neighborhood groups are gathering data with plans to join that lawsuit.

    This info comes to me from long time community organizers (long enough that they hoped never to do that again) who live and own property in the effected neighborhoods. None of these folks had anything to do with the BLM protests.

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  54. Sleeping Dog says:

    @drj:

    All your points are true and in a better world they would really matter. Since we live lousy world, the hard political battle needs to be fought and the council isn’t prepared to do that.

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  55. Sleeping Dog says:

    @wr:

    WR, you are making a mistake of optimism, the motto To Protect and Serve is a ruse, the true mission of the police is to protect the white middle class and above and to control everyone else. That’s purpose of the militaristic training and the hand-me-down military weapons.

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  56. Monala says:

    @Kathy: My extended family has been having monthly Zoom reunions, and I’ve been able to see relatives I haven’t seen in years during them. One cousin remarked that it was a shame that it took a pandemic for us to realize that we need to keep in better touch.

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  57. inhumans99 says:

    Harvard your comment: “There used to be a time when the commentariat didn’t unilaterally resemble a far lefty Communist Party picnic. Those days have passed, so I don’t take many of you nearly as seriously as I used to.” made me go whoa! I think you need to seriously ask yourself why you are still hanging out at this blog.

    Steven and James (and Kingdaddy) are more than happy to have a lets call it spirited discussion with the commenters on this site without feeling the urge to block them or call them communists. Where is this coming from? You are an attorney, a Professional level career and yet some of your comments could fit right at home on sites that wear their far-right/alt-right love on their sleeves.

    If taking away 1 million (heck, 10 or 20 million) out of a city’s 200 million law enforcement budget is enough to have you embrace the same point of view as Trump supporters that all us liberal lefties are communists who want to screw over police I do not know how to respond. I feel you are lost in a forest and need to find your way out.

    Fyi…Politico and other sites are reporting that Trump’s Law & Order scare tactics are falling flat, just felt like pointing that out.

    Sir, you really have changed over the past 6-8 months as it is nearly impossible to have a discussion with you knowing how you really feel about most of the folks on this site, which again begs the question…why are still hanging out here?

    Steven, James, and Kingdaddy are all extremely competent, rational, well-educated individuals so if they felt most of the commentariat (to use your word) were only acting like trolls on this site I am confident that they would take steps to minimize the trolls on this site and block some folks from posting. I suspect that they do not need you to convince them that most of us are lefty communists, if they shared your opinion than I am sure there would be several less commenters on this site as the days go by as they were blocked.

    Harvard, I have tried to be polite and give you the benefit of the doubt but I suspect that even if you have good self-awareness that you have a major blind spot when it comes to noticing how incredibly rude and condescending you have been to some folks on this site. I just expected more decorum from an attorney, but I will stop now as I spilled enough ink creating this comment.

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  58. wr says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Sorry, pal, you can’t get me to your Communist picnic unless there’s borscht along with the fried chicken.

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  59. CSK says:

    @wr:
    What? No blinis?

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  60. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    Yesterday, wr said

    It’s not that Americans have failed the marshmallow test — it’s that we have decided that not only do we get one marshmallow now, one later, and as many as we want whenever we want it, but that anyone who doesn’t grab all the marshmallows is a sucker and a loser.

    I just wanted to congratulate wr on finally getting it. Good job!

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  61. Kathy says:

    @Monala:

    I see little of my family, and that’s how I like it 🙂

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  62. Mister Bluster says:

    Hundreds pose nude wearing only masks for London art installation

    Trigger Warning! Bum’s the Word!

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  63. wr says:

    @CSK: “What? No blinis?”

    As a good Communist I must accept shortages of the things I crave as an expression of our state’s love for us.

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  64. Kingdaddy says:
  65. Kingdaddy says:

    I’ve never understood the either/or assumption behind presumed attitudes towards fascism and communism. It makes perfect sense to hate both of them.

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  66. sam says:

    A family resemblance. (Two links)

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  67. Monala says:

    Someone took the video Trump made in 2012 where he “fired” Obama, and using Trump’s own words, made it about Trump. Link

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  68. Kathy says:

    My concern with the COVID-19 vaccines is not so much safety as effectiveness. And not only how effective a vaccine is, but for how long as well.

    As things stand now, if vaccine X proves to be 50% effective, that may be good enough to approve it and distribute it widely. But we won’t know how long it’s effective for. That may take many more months.

    It seems to me Trump has been gambling with the pandemic. First betting that it wouldn’t be a big deal, and now that a vaccine not thoroughly tested will be effective and safe enough.

    There may seem to be a basis for the first gamble. After all, SARS and MERS were not that bad at a global level. But this ignores that by February SARS-CoV-2 had already done a great damage in China, and by March had made itself at home in Europe. And this was before we understood presymptomatic transmission.

    We all hope for an effective vaccine to be delivered soon (and to deliver us from COVID-19), but hoping and wishing don’t make it so. Vaccines commonly prevent infection. A few don’t, but make for a milder disease. Both would be great, but we don’t know yet. Suppose at best the early batch gives 10-15% effectiveness and doesn’t help at all with the severity or lethality of the disease.

    If we knew this before approving and distributing the vaccine, it would be bad. If we learn this afterwards, it would be much worse. People tend to lower their guard too soon. Many will eschew masks and distancing (more than they already do), and will resume social gatherings when given a vaccine, no matter how effective it actually is.

    That’s a huge, and verging on criminal, kind of gamble.

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  69. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @wr:

    That’s entirely dependent on who I’m responding to

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  70. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    I’m not disputing that response times may be up and there might be problems fielding calls. I’m taking issue with it being characterized as deliberate when it could just as easily be due to staffing problems. The staffing shortfalls are documented, so to be honest the evidence at hand doesn’t support deliberate intent. Unless somebody has some clear evidence of that intent on the part of the officers involved, no dice not buying it.

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  71. Gustopher says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Typical response though – “I don’t like the message, so I’ll attack the validity of the messenger”

    Or: “Don’t bother with sketchy sources, since they are full of lies of misinformation.”

    If you had an OANN link about it, no one would believe you. If you had an OANN link about how wrong flat-Earthers are, we might ponder whether flat-Earthers actually have a point and then wonder what OANN is trying to push.

    There was a reason we would mock Guanoberries for his many links to zerohedge — they had zero credibility.

    Go back, do your research, find a reputable source. I glanced at your linked site, and wasn’t sure if it was satire or not.

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  72. Gustopher says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    If you think this is a Communist Party picnic, all I can say is that apparently you’ve never been to a Communist Party picnic.

    I’ve been to a Communist Party Christmas Party, and it was nothing like this place.

    It was actually a “Holiday Party”, but featured my friend’s father handing out identical gifts to all the children. My friend’s father is a fat and jolly man, with a white beard, and dressed in a getup that was halfway between fireman-casual and Santa, which he referred to as a working man’s Santa suit.

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  73. flat earth luddite says:

    @Jen: “Live Free or Die” baby!

    By her own admission, she can’t believe she actually won the GOP spot, as she’s more liberal than her Demorant opponent.

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  74. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Gustopher:

    Guessing you missed the advice to google it in your rush to fling poo *shrug*

    MPR covered it as well if that’s more to your liking Comrade 🙂

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  75. EddieInCA says:

    I have several friends in law enforcement. LAPD and Sheriff’s Office. Interestingly enough, all of them are staying on their jobs. Additionally, and purely anecdotally, they’re pretty. happy with the events of the last six months. Of course, all of them are guys I grew up with, most of whom were harassed by police the same way I was, and who decided to get into the force to try to to change the system from inside. None of them are quitting or taking early retirement.

    Hmmm… I wonder why.

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  76. MarkedMan says:

    @inhumans99: @HarvardLaw92: HL92, I agree with IH99 that your tone has markedly changed. In the past few months you seem to start many of your comments by belittling other commenters or the commentariat as a whole.

    On the other hand, that’s annoying but it doesn’t make you a troll. To me a troll is someone who has no real opinions but will say anything to get a rise out of commenters. You have real opinions and I often agree with at least some portion of them, but as of late you seem to be more interested in using them to get a rise than really debating them. It doesn’t bother me all that much as an interesting point is worth more than a round of Kumbayah, but Other’s Mileage May Vary.

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  77. flat earth luddite says:

    @Kingdaddy:
    Thanks for pointing that out. Way back in the dark ages (trying to stay in school long enough to avoid state-sponsored SE Asian vacation plan) I was blessed to have an instructor who’d joined the Polish resistance (against Nazis) at age 12-ish, stayed in to fight the Communists, and made it out of the country after the 3rd or 4th attempt IIRC. He made sure his students understood this point.

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  78. Mister Bluster says:

    @EddieInCA:..Of course, all of them are guys I grew up with, most of whom were harassed by police the same way I was, and who decided to get into the force to try to to change the system from inside.

    I am seriously interested to know if they think that their efforts to change the system from the inside has been effective.

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  79. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Kathy:

    It seems to me Trump has been gambling with the pandemic. First betting that it wouldn’t be a big deal, and now that a vaccine not thoroughly tested will be effective and safe enough.

    Without a doubt!
    Some random facts about the Moderna trials:
    As of yesterday at 5PM, Moderna had enrolled 25,000 of their target 30,000 participants.
    The first participants (number unknown) were injected on July 27 and second injection on August 25. Other than base-line antibody testing, the first participants will be tested for antibody development Sept 27.
    The next testing for these first participants will be to assess antibody persistence and that testing will occur on Feb. 21 2021.

    The estimated completion date of the Moderna Phase III trial is October 27, 2022

    (Keep in mind that only 50% of the 25,000 participants (12,500) to date will have received the mRNA-1273 trial vaccine.

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  80. KM says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    That the department is losing officers like the Titanic is documented, so I’m inclined to believe they have a staffing problem more than I am inclined to believe Comrade Bender.

    So is the “staffing problem” related to the defund? If so, then we go right back to my original assertion. I admit to not having all the finer details but as far as I can tell, officers aren’t taking a pay cut. That money goes to their overtime or equipment…. and if there’s not enough for both, they can make decisions like everyone else what’s more important to them. They are complaining about extra money being taken away and are either not doing their jobs correctly or leaving – something that any other department that’s suffers budget cuts on the regular would give them side-eye over. Losing funding is NORMAL, especially for troublesome departments that keep going over-budget due to their own avoidable actions (ie overtime, lawsuits, etc). Police departments are no different then any other political agency and are subject to losing money when the political winds shift. Ask FEMA or any other department Trump’s gutted for his Wall money and how they’re still doing their damn jobs.

    If anything, defunding the police makes sense in Law and Order terms because it’s reclaiming the money a town spends of lawsuits due to bad police behavior. They did the thing, they should have to pay for the thing instead of the taxpayer. Since it won’t come out of their pensions, it comes out of their budget. Eminently logical fiscal sense – don’t like it, do something to make your coworkers stop wasting your money. There’s no extra cash for overtime for Billy if Jack keeps beating up random citizens. That this is even a point of contention goes back to the entitlement mentality protesters are referring to; cops feel we’re holding them accountable and throwing a fit. If you’re bailing on your job because you can’t fleece the taxpayers for massive OT and have them pay for your wrongful death suits, you shouldn’t be a cop in the first place.

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  81. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK:

    What? No blinis?

    Indeed! What’s up with that?

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  82. EddieInCA says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    I am seriously interested to know if they think that their efforts to change the system from the inside has been effective.

    I’ve asked them multiple times over the past 25 years. I think, as a group, they’d say their results have been mixed. They have been successful in moving up the ranks and implementing changes to several units that were problematic. They have been successful in bringing in more people of color into law enforcement.

    They’d say that they still haven’t beaten back the overall racist nature of the LAPD and Sheriff’s Departments, although it’s much better than when they started. They’d also say that body cameras will, over time, help policing more than anything else.

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  83. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy:

    It seems to me Trump has been gambling with the pandemic.

    Whoa, Kathy! “Seems to me”? Trump doesn’t actually do anything but talk. He cannot and will not do any actual work and never has in his whole life! Everything he does is a gamble!

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  84. Sleeping Dog says:

    @wr:

    No, no we can’t have fried chicken, the vegan won’t allowed it and we’ll be canceled. 🙂

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  85. Gustopher says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Guessing you missed the advice to google it in your rush to fling poo *shrug*

    “Harvard lawyers are all lizard people, just google it” would not be a useful contribution, and I don’t see why your link to crazy people and then claim that we should google it is either.

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  86. EddieInCA says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Sleeping Dog says:
    Thursday, September 17, 2020 at 14:39

    @wr:

    No, no we can’t have fried chicken, the vegan won’t allowed it and we’ll be canceled.

    If the revolution doesn’t have Popeye’s Fried Chicken, I’m out. The Vegans can have the collard greens, green beans, salad, and potatoes.

    No way I’m giving up my fried chicken.

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  87. Sleeping Dog says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    I’m taking issue with it being characterized as deliberate…

    Neither of us has the necessary data to defend our positions, it’s gut feeling and bias. If a lawsuit gets to the trial stage, we may know through discovery or if the legislature emerges from its slumber next year, through committee hearings.

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  88. MarkedMan says:

    @HarvardLaw92: I don’t think we can categorize what’s happening with the Minneapolis police yet, but the “blue flu” response in Baltimore has been well documented:

    From a June 2015 NYTimes Article:

    A month and a half after six officers were charged in Mr. Gray’s death, policing has dwindled in some of Baltimore’s most dangerous neighborhoods, and murders have risen to levels not seen in four decades. The totals include a 29-year-old man fatally shot on this drug corner last month. Police union officials say that officers are still coming to work, but that some feel a newfound reluctance and are stepping back, questioning whether they will be prosecuted for actions they take on the job.

    Around the nation, communities and police departments are struggling to adapt to an era of heightened scrutiny, when every stop can be recorded on a cellphone. But residents, clergy members and neighborhood leaders say the past six weeks have made another reality clear: that as much as some officers regularly humiliated and infuriated many who live here, angering gang members and solid citizens alike, the solution has to be better policing, not a diminished police presence.

    From a July, 2018 article in USA Today:

    BALTIMORE – Just before a wave of violence turned Baltimore into the nation’s deadliest big city, a curious thing happened to its police force: officers suddenly seemed to stop noticing crime.

    Police officers reported seeing fewer drug dealers on street corners. They encountered fewer people who had open arrest warrants.

    Police questioned fewer people on the street. They stopped fewer cars.

    In the space of just a few days in spring 2015 – as Baltimore faced a wave of rioting after Freddie Gray, a black man, died from injuries he suffered in the back of a police van – officers in nearly every part of the city appeared to turn a blind eye to everyday violations. They still answered calls for help. But the number of potential violations they reported seeing themselves dropped by nearly half. It has largely stayed that way ever since.

    “What officers are doing is they’re just driving looking forward. They’ve got horse blinders on,” says Kevin Forrester, a retired Baltimore detective.

    In Baltimore, at least, the effect on the city’s police force was swift and substantial.

    Police typically learn about crime in one of two ways: either someone calls for help, or an officer sees a crime himself and stops to do something. The second category, known among police as an “on-view,” offers a sense of how aggressively officers are doing their job. Car stops are a good example: Few people call 911 to report someone speeding – instead, officers see it and choose to pull someone over. Or choose not to.

    Millions of police records show officers in Baltimore respond to calls as quickly as ever. But they now begin far fewer encounters themselves. From 2014 to 2017, dispatch records show the number of suspected narcotics offenses police reported themselves dropped 30 percent; the number of people they reported seeing with outstanding warrants dropped by half. The number of field interviews – instances in which the police approach someone for questioning – dropped 70 percent.

    “Immediately upon the riot, policing changed in Baltimore, and it changed very dramatically,” says Donald Norris, an emeritus professor at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, who reviewed USA TODAY’s analysis. “The outcome of that change in policing has been a lot more crime in Baltimore, especially murders, and people are getting away with those murders.”

    Police officials acknowledge the change. “In all candor, officers are not as aggressive as they once were, pre-2015. It’s just that fact,” says acting Police Commissioner Gary Tuggle, who took command of Baltimore’s police force in May.

    From a 2019 NYTimes Magazine Article

    The department’s officers responded swiftly, by doing nothing. In Baltimore it came to be known as “the pullback”: a monthslong retreat from policing, a protest that was at once undeclared and unmistakably deliberate — encouraged, some top officials in the department at the time believe, by the local police union. Many officers responded to calls for service but refused to undertake any “officer-initiated” action. Cruisers rolled by trouble spots without stopping or didn’t roll by at all. Compounding the situation, some of the officers hospitalized in the riot remained out on medical leave. Arrests plunged by more than half from the same month a year before. The head of the police union, Lt. Gene Ryan, called the pullback justifiable: “Officers may be second-guessing themselves,” he told The Sun. “Questioning, if I make this stop or this arrest, will I be prosecuted?”

    Ray Kelly, a West Baltimore community activist, had achieved measured success in building relationships with officers along the drug-riddled Pennsylvania Avenue corridor, where his organization had an office. Suddenly, those officers were gone. “We saw a pullback in this community for over a month where it was up to the community to police the community,” Kelly told me. “And quite frankly, we were outgunned.” In the vacuum, crews took new corners and people settled old scores. Not a single person was killed on the day of the rioting. But the following month, May, would conclude with 41 homicides — the most the city had experienced in a month since the 1970s, and more than the city of Boston would have for the entire year.

    Late that month, Batts admitted he was having trouble getting officers to do their job. “I talked to them again about character and what character means,” he told me and other reporters following a City Council hearing. He grew so mortified over the pullback that he started wearing suits instead of his uniform. By July’s end, 45 people had been killed during the month, and Rawlings-Blake had replaced Batts with Davis. The department was hemorrhaging officers now, at all ranks.

    And I can tell you that there is a persistent rumor that the cops told their informants about the pullback, actively encouraged them to commit crimes so as to show the city they needed the police. Just a rumor, yes, but it is hard to explain the almost immediate jump in murders and other major crimes. It’s hard to believe that so many drug lords and gang members would simultaneously decide to settle long held grudges within days of each other without someone telling them that there would be no real investigation.

    [Full disclosure – I cut and pasted the quotes from the USA Today and NYTimes magazine articles, so there are parts in between some of the paragraphs. If anyone wants the links to the full articles let me know]

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  89. Gustopher says:

    @MarkedMan:

    HL92, I agree with IH99 that your tone has markedly changed. In the past few months you seem to start many of your comments by belittling other commenters or the commentariat as a whole.

    He has always been an asshole when it comes to policing issues. The only thing that has changed is that policing issues are on the forefront of discussion.

    He values order over law, to the point where he doesn’t think that police should have to follow the law when imposing order.

    Some people have claimed there’s a racist element to that… I haven’t seen that, and think it’s more of a class distinction than a racial distinction, but those two are always mixed in America. He certainly thinks “those people” need to be controlled, for some value of “those people”.

    And he’s always been a snippy git when he gets or anticipates pushback.

    (I would love to discover that Lounsbury is an HL92 sock puppet…)

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  90. Gustopher says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Neither of us has the necessary data to defend our positions, it’s gut feeling and bias.

    And history.

    There have been a number of very deliberate policing slowdowns in the past when there are efforts to reign in out of control police.

    That said, if you cut overtime in an organization that uses overtime regularly, you will have staffing problems — both because there will be fewer people on the job, and also because those people just lost some income and are pissed.

    I suspect it is a combination of deliberate slowdown and staffing problems.

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  91. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @KM:

    No. The staffing problem is more related to the “we have had enough of this shit from politicians, we quit” scenario. They just walked off of the job, ostensibly to other departments.

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  92. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Gustopher:

    I don’t see why your link to crazy people and then claim that we should google it is either.

    Because I knew you guys would dismiss it on face based on the source rather than the content. It’s more fun that way, since none of you evidently bothered to seek out other sources to validate it. I even gave you MPR in that respect.

    It’s partly an exercise in demonstrating that, for all your supposed enlightenment, you’re just as biased as everybody else. I had an entire page of sources discussing this. I selected the one that I did for a reason. (You should remember that about me – I don’t do anything without a reason)

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  93. wr says:

    @Sleeping Dog: “No, no we can’t have fried chicken, the vegan won’t allowed it and we’ll be canceled”

    Dude, we’re Communists, not Socialists. The Leader wants chicken, so the vegan is now tending vegetables in a state garden in Utah.

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  94. wr says:

    @HarvardLaw92: “Because I knew you guys would dismiss it on face based on the source rather than the content.”

    Just as us guys dismiss your insistence that polls are untrustworthy compared to your chats with a handful of acquaintances. It’s almost as if when you say something absurd, or quote someone inherently untrustworthy, people are unwilling to abandon everything they know about the world to agree with you.

    It’s shocking how you’re treated by your inferiors around here.

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  95. wr says:

    @HarvardLaw92: “You should remember that about me – I don’t do anything without a reason”

    Which is exactly what the guy screaming obscenities outside the Union League Club would say if he stopped long enough to be asked why he was doing it.

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  96. Monala says:

    @Gustopher: nah, I’d put Lounsbury in the same category as Mike Reynolds: has a lot of good things to say, but very arrogant in how he expresses them. If you can ignore the arrogance, they contribute a lot to the discussion.

    HL92 used to be in that category, but no more. What convinced me that HL92 is now a troll was that after the Kamala Harris VP pick, he reported that all his black friends are upset about it because they hate cops. Somehow you have all these cop-hating black friends, Mr. Law and Order? Yeah, right! Versus he just wanted to have another reason to attack the Dems…

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  97. inhumans99 says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    So you trying to “test” us on OTB…okay, I suspect most of us will be happy to fail your test. I am still not sure as to what is the actual point of your posts, most of which just make it sound like you are happy to point out you are on a higher pedestal (like attempts to claim that rebuttals to your posts have more bias that has seeped into the reply to you than the bias that is found in your posts) than the filthy unwashed communist masses on this site.

    I get why (or at least I think I understand why) JKB, James P, Guarneri, JKB, Bandit, etc. posts what they do on this site but your form of trying to engage with us at OTB is arguably worse than just trolling us by posting hit & run posts, or a copy/paste post from an infowars type site, etc..

    In your mind all you see is bias inherent in a reply to you and the urge to say inhumans, Gustopher, wr…your reply is weak and does nothing to make me think about seeing your point of view because…bias.

    Seriously, whiskey, tango, foxtrot…what are you trying to accomplish here? I almost wish you were trolling us on OTB because it feels like you are throwing some sort of virtual tantrum and will not be satisfied until we acknowledge your stamping your feet and yelling, y’all are full of bias dammit, admit it(!)…Marcia, Marcia…I mean, Bias, Bias, Bias, the whole lot of you, is this what do you want for some of us to yell back at you…yes, Harvard, I get it(!), a lot bias seeps into the comments on OTB. So we admit that and it will give you the feels?

    The whole point you are trying to make just seems so petty and childish and quite frankly, beneath your stature in life.

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  98. MarkedMan says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    It’s more fun that way, since none of you evidently bothered to seek out other sources to validate it

    You’ve gotta realize how silly this sounds?

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  99. Gustopher says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    It’s partly an exercise in demonstrating that, for all your supposed enlightenment, you’re just as biased as everybody else. I had an entire page of sources discussing this. I selected the one that I did for a reason.

    I would say that I have better things to do than engage with someone who has nothing but contempt for me, but I’m doing ops stuff at work (fiddling with configuration setting for logging for a bunch of services) and I actually want to make it go slow so I build up a reputation of not being good at that type of stuff so I get less of it.

    Anyhoo, I’m not sure what it proves other than that if you don’t treat people with respect that they won’t treat you with respect. But, you be you. If this is how you pleasure yourself during the day, go for it.

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  100. Kathy says:

    @Bob@Youngstown:

    The estimated completion date of the Moderna Phase III trial is October 27, 2022

    That accounts for longevity of the immune response. That’s important, but neither crucial nor urgent. Efficacy should be determined sooner than that. According to Dr. Fauci, we may get that determination by late December, if we’re lucky. Mass inoculation can begin then, if the vaccine is effective.

    @MarkedMan:

    Everything he does is a gamble!

    Well, that would explain how he managed to bankrupt a bunch of casinos. I’ve explained before why casinos are not automatic winners, but there’s one thing that’s absolutely the bedrock principle in casino operations: the customers gamble, the house does not.

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  101. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @MarkedMan:

    You’ve gotta realize how silly this sounds?

    This has become basically a silly place, so why not have some fun with people who seemingly take themselves far too seriously. As you noted, it beats the hell out of singing Kumbahyah all day.

    @inhumans99:

    Some people do Candy Crush Saga (?) in the odd idle moment; I do this. You can’t remotely think I take this that seriously. It may seem annoying because you’re taking it too seriously.

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  102. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Gustopher:

    I think maybe you have that backward – you have contempt for me. Speaking frankly, you’re a stranger on the internet who has zero actual impact on my life. I might find some of your ideas to be distasteful, but you as a person? I can’t feel anything about a person I don’t and won’t ever know.

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  103. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @wr:

    Metropolitan Club, but good effort

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  104. Monala says:

    One the now-dead “Do the Polls Matter?” thread, JKB wrote:

    Trump is making peace in the ME by doing something different that all the “experts” over the last 50 years did over and over expecting different results.

    I replied,

    What exactly did Trump do to bring about peace in the Middle East, beyond facilitating the signing of a treaty for a few countries who had been working on normalizing relations for years? (And is it the entire ME, or just a few countries?) That’s a serious question. What is this new way of approaching things that Trump did, that made this all happen?

    I am seriously looking for an answer. What exactly did Trump do? How was it different from anyone before him?

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  105. MarkedMan says:

    @Monala:

    What exactly did Trump do to bring about peace in the Middle East, beyond facilitating the signing of a treaty for a few countries who had been working on normalizing relations for years?

    From what I understand, those countries sent people from their equivalent of the State Department to the signing ceremony, while Trump and Netanyahu showed up in person. So you know how significant the countries thought this was. And we are humiliated again.

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  106. wr says:

    @HarvardLaw92: “Metropolitan Club, but good effort”

    Wait — you mean that big brick and stone building across Park from my balcony, the one that has a plaque reading “Union League Club” at its front door, the one that the members of the Union League Club I know go to is actually the Metropolitan Club, and I’ve simply misunderstood that the five years I’ve lived here?

    Man, thanks for straightening me out here. You really do know more about everything than anyone else.

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  107. wr says:

    @Monala: “What exactly did Trump do? How was it different from anyone before him?”

    He was willing to completely sell out the Palestinians. Pretty much the same thing he did with the Kurds. His brilliant peace move was to look at a situation with two sides that were implacably at odds and simply decide to back one over the other.

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  108. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @wr:

    Sorry. I presumed you were making another one of your poorly veiled digs / whines about rich people. I prefer and belong to Metropolitan. If you can convince someone to finagle you an invitation to ULC, that’s your choice. It’s a free country

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  109. inhumans99 says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Mr Attorney, if I put you under oath and penalty of going to jail you would have to admit you are lying to yourself, if you do not care about us so much at OTB why do you keep responding to our posts?

    Also, feel free to ignore my advice but I would be careful saying you get us all riled up just for the lulz…certain ex-OTB members used to constantly come on the site and say folks, stop taking everything Trump says on Twitter so seriously and only posting comments that heckle folks who took Trumps twitter musings seriously clearly got on Steven’s (and one presumes James’ nerves) nerves and he banned the guy for contributing just noise but not enough signal to any post he commented on.

    Just saying, maybe you should not have admitted what you did in your post, it is not a good look for an attorney who used to work for the Justice Department.

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  110. flat earth luddite says:

    Glad I took a couple of days off. Surprised at how little of the back/forth rant today has involved Signor Barr’s idea that unlawful protests should be charged with sedition. Really? Not even Nixon thought that was a good idea, and IIRC, we were vigorously contemplating burning this whole sucka to the ground. Gads, and I thought I was a senile, chemo-addled coot! What drugs is he on, and where can I get a container of them?

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  111. Gustopher says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    I think maybe you have that backward – you have contempt for me.

    Oh, I just think you’re a fool. You don’t merit actual contempt.

    But while you might not single me out, you certainly act like you have contempt for everyone here.

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  112. Monala says:

    Copied from the Covid thread:

    Pod Save America@PodSaveAmerica
    TRUMP on COVID “If you take the blue states out, we’re at a level I don’t think anybody in the world would be at.”

    That’s both horrible and inaccurate.

    Glenn Kessler@GlennKesslerWP
    Top 15 states: 8 run by Democrats, 7 run by Republicans

    Glenn Kessler@GlennKesslerWP

    ….and when you sort by deaths per 1 million people, ten of the top 20 are run by Ds and ten are run by Rs (though first R state does not show up till #7).

    Tammy Duckworth@SenDuckworth

    In Trump’s twisted mind—“if you take the blue states out,” very few Americans died on 9/11 too.

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  113. Kingdaddy says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    This has become basically a silly place, so why not have some fun with people who seemingly take themselves far too seriously.

    When I was a teenager, I was a big fan of Harlan Ellison. The theme of one of his most famous stories, “Repent, Harlequin! Said The Tick-Tock Man,” is the coolness of the jester on the sidelines, poking fun at the foolish and pompous. He pretty clearly saw himself that way, professionally. I can’t remember any time I saw him at a convention, or heard him interviewed, when he wasn’t playing the Harlequin in real life.

    As I matured, I liked Ellison, and his persona, less and less. The smugness of this position, founded on the assumed superiority of the jester, really started to get on my nerves. It’s the same reason why I dislike the frequently-posted GIF file of someone eating popcorn, used when an argument breaks out in some Internet forum. Those fools, battling it out. How ridiculous.

    From the perspective of the jester, the continued barbs might seem successful. Look how red-faced people are getting! What a bunch of silly asses! Further provocation continues. Eventually, people stop listening to the jester, who takes this as evidence that he’s blown their minds, owned them, proven that they’re not ready for his message, whatever. Wow, I must be an awesome jester!

    Of course, the response to the jester might be an understandable reaction to a stream of smarmy, unconstructive comments. Someone might have been willing to listen to the jester, but the jester’s agenda was to mock, not convince. People stop listening to the jester because they have better things to do. The jester had some temporary entertainment value, but eventually, he’s only entertaining himself. Maybe that’s where the image of the sad clown came from, because it’s the fate of the jester to be ignored and eventually forgotten.

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  114. Gustopher says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Also, I find it amusing that someone who approves of –ahem– aggressive police responses to crowd control gets treated like an he’s an ass when he starts off by being an ass.

    It’s sort of like how when the police use police brutality as a tool to combat protests over police brutality. Utterly ineffective.

    That might be why US News and World Reports of the best law schools has Harvard below Yale. A bunch of different rankings put it down the list a bit.

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  115. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @inhumans99:

    Christ, I can’t imagine how I’d get through the day 🙄

    You can’t be serious. Seriously guy, you have kind sort of reverent attitude towards this place. It’s just a website. There are hundreds and hundreds and hundreds more just like it. Stop acting like somebody took a poo in church 🙄

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  116. Gustopher says:

    @Gustopher: When I say that I think of you as a fool, I want to be clear … it’s not the Shakespearian Fool who tells the truths that others don’t listen to.

    I’m thinking more like the guy who throws a football, has it bounce off a lightpost and gets hit in the nuts.

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  117. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Gustopher:

    God you’re still talking …

    It would be boring if you all sat around and discussed my viewpoints – which are antithetical to yours – with all the stale quality of a librarians convention. The fact that you get so verklempt is half of what makes the discussion interesting. You think I care that you don’t like me?? That’s a feature, Trotsky, not a bug. Sheesh … 🙄

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  118. inhumans99 says:

    @flat earth luddite:

    I hit the Politico story on Barr’s comments…hoo boy, between Barr and Caputo I wonder how many other Trump appointees are going to have very public nervous break downs.

    Also, this made me lol, Trump asks if he can delay the election a month or two back but even the GOP laughs at him, so he decides to sow distrust on mail-in voting, but even that has backfired with many folks in very Red States expressing confidence in sending in your ballot and do not worry about it not being counted, so now Trump is back to recycling his lament that we will never truly know the results of the election due to issues with mail-in voting etc. (unspoken is him saying well, since that is the case I will gladly be the U.S.’s President for life) and he once again promptly gets push back from folks like Marco Rubio saying relax folks, send in your ballots but as our very own contributor to this site Steven has been preparing us for this possibility, do not be shocked if all the votes are not counted the night of the election as that may take some time.

    The GOP is starting to lose their marbles in a very public way, which says way more about Biden’s real chances at becoming our next President than any poll ever could. Based on Caputo, Barr’s, and Trumps crazy talk I would say they are very aware in the back of their mind that their days of hanging out at the White House are numbered.

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  119. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Kingdaddy:

    Speaking of people who take themselves far too seriously 🙂

    And that’s fine, Champ. Just own it

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  120. inhumans99 says:

    Okay, not replying to a specific person, but you know who you are. You have been given a ton of rope but are just deciding to hang yourself. I give up.

    If you find yourself waking up one day unable to post on this site I guess you can tell yourself, hey…I was right, those lefty communist snowflakes can’t handle the truth so they blocked me, then maybe 2 minutes later the realization may dawn on you…hey now, they blocked me dagnabbit, now I have to find another site that appreciates me posting just to get everyone who is overly sensitive to my posts riled up. Good luck with that.

    Folks have tried to say naw you are not a troll but you basically laughed at them and said nope…that is what I am, just someone trying to rile up the commentariat.

    I tried to be your advocate (sometimes even lawyers need the help of other lawyers to help them navigate life’s obstacles…full disclosure, NOT an attorney, just trying to make a point folks) but I just give up. I advise folks to just stop replying to certain OTB members’ comments, but if you want to still reply that is okay…I just feel that someone who is not asking us to take him seriously should get his wish and be ignored.

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  121. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @inhumans99:

    Okay … 😀

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  122. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: No, my point is that you appear to think there are a “few bad apples”. Cops routinely cover up for other cops, no matter how egregious or illegal the behaviour. That is what happened with Laquan McDonald. How many cops actively helped with the cover up? A half dozen? More?

    All any of us know is a whole lot more kept their mouths shut. That is a systemic problem.

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  123. wr says:

    @Kingdaddy: I shared your evolution on Ellison, but ended up going even further because I met him on several occasions and had some professional things in common with him. One thing that quickly became apparent — one of the most brilliant writers of the sixties basically stopped writing by the 80s. I can’t prove this, but I always felt that he had gotten so addicted to his self-righteous rage, it finally paralyzed him.

    But even before I met him, when I was first starting in the business as a reader, I remember his name being mentioned by a couple of the execs I worked under — because they were talking about a category of otherwise brilliant writers who they’d filed under “life’s too short.” Which was to say, even if there was a chance of a brilliant script, the process of getting it done was going to be so unpleasant it just wasn’t worth it.

    Who wants to live that way? It’s really appealing to adolescent males and libertarians — if I’m not repeating myself — but as you say, once you reach adulthood you realize that what seemed like righteous rage is often just self-righteous assholery.

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  124. Michael Cain says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Cops routinely cover up for other cops, no matter how egregious or illegal the behaviour. That is what happened with Laquan McDonald. How many cops actively helped with the cover up? A half dozen? More?

    I don’t see how to get around this, other than really severe punishments for even the borderline cases of excess force/poor judgement. At some point the cop I turned in or testified against, who served a six-month suspension with no pay and/or demotion, is behind me with a firearm. Will they set me up to take the fall for an excess force incident? Will they just shoot me?

    An online acquaintance with military experience always argues that if we’re going to arm the cops, then we ought to treat them the same way we treat the military. You carry your weapon when you are allowed to, and never otherwise. Rules of engagement, with the UCMJ and non-civilian trial procedures. I agree with him when he says that at least a third of current law enforcement officers would resign almost immediately when they found out they were subject to that discipline.

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  125. An Interested Party says:

    …so why not have some fun with people who seemingly take themselves far too seriously.

    That’s quite amusing coming from you, of all people…

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  126. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: I was on the phone with the doctor I see who works at Oregon Health Science University. She was telling me that I might expect to be able to get a Covid-19 vaccination some time around my next appointment–in February.

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  127. Gustopher says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Of course I’m still going at it. You enjoy being an ass, and I enjoy telling you that you’re an ass. We’re a match made in heaven!

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  128. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I don’t believe the problem is just a few bad apples. I believe it is deep rooted and pervasive and even the cops who are “good apples” protect the bad ones.

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  129. wr says:

    @Gustopher: “You enjoy being an ass, and I enjoy telling you that you’re an ass. We’re a match made in heaven!”

    And thus is the promise of the internet as the thing that will unite people coming to fruition…

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  130. de stijl says:

    @CSK:

    I spent a few months in Burlington and loved it. The lake informs the town.

    Bad romance, but good town.

    Caught in a bad romance. Oh a wa-a whoah a woah a whoah.

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  131. Kurtz says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Because I knew you guys would dismiss it on face based on the source rather than the content. It’s more fun that way, since none of you evidently bothered to seek out other sources to validate it. I even gave you MPR in that respect.

    It’s partly an exercise in demonstrating that, for all your supposed enlightenment, you’re just as biased as everybody else. I had an entire page of sources discussing this. I selected the one that I did for a reason. (You should remember that about me – I don’t do anything without a reason)

    I posted my response to you in the Friday open thread. Go there to see how you’re being ridiculous.

    Here is the MPR story.

    Compare it to your original link. There is a reason the source you used was criticized. And the criticism is spot on. So even if your reason for this is laudable, your execution was poor. Bad choice of story. Lazy background research–it took me less than a minute to find the total budget allocation for the police department.

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  132. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Kurtz:

    Yah, we’ve moved on from this, sorry.

    And like the typical pedant, you missed the broader point. Thanks for replying I guess.

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  133. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Gustopher:

    More like “I enjoy getting under your skin, and for some unfathomable reason you allow me to”

    😀

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  134. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Let me assure you, without equivocation, that out of all the things I actually take seriously in life, this place isn’t one of them. It never has been. Once upon a time it was a thought exercise for making me think about the law again. Then that got boring and it became amusement. I don’t put effort into it because it doesn’t merit it.

    Reynolds, for all his bluster, came closest to the truth when he said “he’s bored”. I don’t take you guys seriously; you’re amusing precisely and solely because of how overpoweringly, biblically serious you take yourselves. You’re like the headquarters chapter of the Umbrage Society. To put it colloquially, this is sort of like the lunch table in Mean Girls, but it got coopted by nerds. What self-respecting jock in his right mind could pass that one up?

    In other words – I don’t live in Minneapolis. I can’t really say that anybody I care about lives in Minneapolis. Ergo Minneapolis is not my problem. What is is, basically, is a delicious example of smug, know-it-all gnome underwear liberals falling flat on their faces. I don’t care about the details. I care that you care about the details.

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  135. Kurtz says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Lol. Actually, I acknowledged your broader point. Go back and read.

    I’d want to move on too if my cognitive abilities didn’t match my username.

    I’d rather have the skills to be a “typical pedant,” than an intellectual fraud. Oh wait, you couldn’t even get the insult right.

    L-O-L

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  136. Kurtz says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    This should be your avatar.

    But I guess admitting you’re a scumbag troll is worthy of some respect.

    Oh, and by the way, I shouldn’t have to tell a Harvard Law grad that in order to make a point, it has to make sense for it to be effective. Then again, a guy so proud of his degree that he uses it as his handle on a message board, yet describes other people as smug probably lacks the self awareness to admit he may not deserve his success.

    That mirror you claim to hold up? Turn it around. It will come in handy next time you wonder why people bitch about a rigged system. Because of people like you.

    A credentialed dilletante is still a dilletante. Charlatan. Mountebank.

    I have a lovely gift basket of apples for you if you’d like, just tell me where to send it.

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  137. An Interested Party says:

    @HarvardLaw92: My comment wasn’t about you taking this place too seriously, but rather, yourself…

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