The Police State

I'm not saying who's right or wrong, I'm just hearing the true story that came out of the grand jury investigation... Let me just say this, man. I think that we, we -- I know I'm black, but I'm going to try to always be honest and fair -- we have to be really careful with the cops, man, because if it wasn't for the cops, we'd be living in the wild wild west in our neighborhoods. We can't pick out certain incidents that don't go our way and act like the cops are all bad. I hate when we do that. Because think about it. Do you know how bad some of these neighborhoods would be if it wasn't for the cops?... It's always great to play Monday morning quarterback... Like I say, I don't know what happened in Ferguson, nobody knows what happened. I want to take the time as a responsible person [and] read the grand jury statement.

Charles Barkley, 2014, about Ferguson, Missouri.


You're not supposed to say this in polite company, but what went up in flames in Baltimore Monday night was not businesses and police cars. Burning down was also the blue-city model of urban governance.

...But as order starts to return to the streets, and the usual political suspects lament the lack of economic prospects for the young men who rioted, let's not forget who has run Baltimore and Maryland for nearly all of the last 40 years.

The men and women in charge have been Democrats, and their governing ideas are "progressive." This model, with its reliance on government and public unions, has dominated urban America as once-vibrant cities such as Baltimore became shells of their former selves. In 1960 Baltimore was America's sixth largest city with 940,000 people. It has since shed nearly a third of its population and today isn't in the top 25.

The dysfunctions of the blue-city model are many, but the main failures are three: high crime, low economic growth and failing public schools that serve primarily as jobs programs for teachers and administrators rather than places of learning...

But of late the progressives have been making a comeback, led by Bill de Blasio in New York and the challenge to sometime reform Mayor Rahm Emanuel in Chicago. This week's nightmare in Baltimore shows where this leads. It's time for a new urban renewal, this time built on the ideas of private economic development, personal responsibility, "broken windows" policing, and education choice.

"The Blue City Model," The Wall Street Journal, April 29, 2015, A14 -- nota bene, 43 murders in Baltimore (37 in Chicago) in May 2015, the highest monthly count in 40 years.


Murders in the U.S. jumped 10.8% in 2015, according to figures released Monday by the Federal Bureau of Investigation -- a sharp increase that could fuel concerns that the nation's two-decade trend of falling crime may be ending...

A report by the Major Cities Chiefs Association found that for the first half of 2016, murders rose in 29 of the nation's biggest cities while they fell in 22 others. Overall, homicides rose 15% in 2016's first half in those 51 cities compared with the same period the year before, the group said.

While Baltimore and Washington, D.C., are seeing their murder numbers fall back down this year, Chicago has seen a tremendous jump, to 316 homicides in the first half of 2016 compared with 211 in the same period of 2015.

"Increase in Murders Sharpest in Decades," The Wall Street Journal, September 27, 2016, A1


You can't say you love your country and hate your government.

Bill Clinton, 1995


Well, Bill, you can't say you love your government and hate the police -- they make people obey the government, your government and its intrusive and oppressive laws and regulations -- which is why the rest of us hate the government.

Enklinobarangus ()


On their way to the totalitarian police state that is the goal of leftist politics, with the shining paradigm of Castro's Cuba in mind, leftist minds may occasionally be troubled with the thought that they don't actually like the police very much. However, this inconvenience may be quickly resolved with the reflection that the current police, which enforce capitalism through racist terror tactics, will be replaced with police who only terrorize capitalists, racists, sexists, homophobes, and other enemies of right thinking and virtue. Terror is actually fine, as long as it is the Red Terror, as described by Lenin.

This does mean, however, that most of the kinds of police actions and tactics complained of by the left are actually unobjectionable in themselves. Shooting suspects on sight, or beating or torturing them during or after arrest, would be acceptable if only the victims were the sort of race, class, or gender enemies who have no rights or status in the eyes of the properly enlightened revolutionary. Admirable regimes, such as Cuba, Ho's Vietnam, Mao's China, or Statlin's Russia, got by without any civil rights or due process nonsense. Enemies of the people got what they deserved, and no bourgeois scruples should trouble us in the treatment of such enemies. Thus, when Czech intellectuals, trapped in a totalitarian police state, appealed for help to Angela Davis, who ran many times as the Vice-Presidential candidate for the Communist Party USA (CPUSA), but is never identified as a Communist in public discourse (because that would be "McCarthyism"), and whose trial as an accessory to murder, was represented in the Communist Block as her persecution by the US Government, she answered that they would not have been in touble if they had been obeying the laws of their country. Perhaps Davis, who was accused of supplying weapons to Jonathan Jackson, who on 7 August 1970 seized hostages from a courtroom in Marin County, California (and who was subsequenlty killed, with some of the hostages, in a shootout with police), would not have been in trouble if she had been obeying the laws of California. But of course it is not the laws of anywhere that mattered. It is "Which side are you on?" Davis did not really mean the actual laws of Czechoslovakia; she meant whatever it was that a Communist regime simply wanted to do. The rule of law was not something that Communist regimes ever respected. The only use of law under such government was what Nietzsche said was the only proper use of morality:  "a mere fabrication for purposes of gulling" [The Birth of Tragedy, 1872, Golffing translation, Anchor edition, 1956, p.10, note].

To those without sufficient enlightenment or revolutionary ferver, the double standard of brutal police for me but not for thee sounds more like hypocrisy than like virtue. And when hypocrisy passes over into dishonesty about some recent events, one might begin to wonder if the left perhaps wishes to obscure other objections about the police, for instance the inappropriate use of no-knock warrants, SWAT teams, "civil forfeiture," and the general militarization of the police, that the left is actually looking forward to using once it is able to seize power for itself. After all, they say that people feared the midnight knock of the Gestapo, while the modern SWAT team bursts in through the windows in the wee hours of the morning, throwing grenades into baby cribs (which burned and mutilated 19-month-old Bounkham Phonesavanh on May 28, 2014, in Habersham County, Georgia), shooting dogs, throwing sleeping civilians to the floor, cursing at them, neglecting to show a warrant, and inflicting other vandalism and mayhem -- often only to discover that they are at the wrong address and may have shot someone who reasonably thought they were burglars. I'm sure that Elizabeth Warren would love to do that to the Koch brothers.

But other recent controversies about police shootings ended up as classic cases of dishonesty and misdirection. It began in earnest with the shooting of Michael Brown on August 9, 2014, in Ferguson, Missouri. Brown, a black, 6 foot 5 inch, 289 pound 18-year-old, who was constantly identified as a "teen" in the news (as though he was thirteen), was fatally shot by Darren Wilson, a white Ferguson police officer. Quickly, there were accounts that Brown had been shot while trying to surrender, with his hands raised, or even in the back while he was running away. Riots and looting commenced in Ferguson and nearby, with demonstrations around the country. Activists were already indignant over the July 17 death of Eric Garner on Staten Island, although Garner himself had not been shot. A slogan was born, "Black lives matter."

However, it did not seem that previously black lives had mattered very much to activists. The slaughter of young black gangsters by each other in Chicago for a long time, with children often hit in the crossfire, had gone unnoticed by the people who were energized over Michael Brown and Eric Garner. Indeed, the constant deaths in Chicago were frequently mentioned by Bill O'Reilly, although my money is on the bet that the activists regard O'Reilly as part of the racist conspiracy to kill young black men. Perhaps O'Reilly only mentioned the deaths as part of the racist plot, which is why the activists ignored it all -- as they continue to do.

And that was the narrative. Racist cop kills Michael Brown. Racist cop kills Eric Garner. It is open season on black youth, who are being mowed down by racist cops all over the country.

It was all nonsense. Few black youth were being killed by cops, and many were being killed by each other. Also, the rumors about the shooting of Brown were not necessarily true. Although officer Wilson did not tell his own story to the public, the police soon released information on two points. (1) Wilson had been beaten and one of his eye sockets had been broken. (2) Shortly before the shooting, Brown was seen on surveilance cameras shoving a convenience store clerk after he had shoplifted or robbed the convenience store. The activists quickly protested that releasing this information was "prejudicial" and was part of a smear of Micheal Brown, the inoffensive 289 pound "teen." Why it was that running around calling Wilson a racist who had shot Brown in the back after he tried to surrender was not prejudicial, but was perhaps instead really inflammatory rumor-mongering and incitement to riot, was a question the activists never seemed to consider.

Brown had not been shot in the back. Wilson was attacked in his police car, when Brown hit him and tried to get at his gun. Bad idea. The eye-witnesses to the shooting not only gave conflicting testimony to the subsequent grand jury, but some changed the story that they had previously told to the police. Several witnesses, on the condition of anonymity, testified that Wilson's story was true. The activists, of course, now want the names of those witnesses, obviously so that they can do them some harm. They were supposed to lie in solidarity with the activists -- which is revealing. In the Revolution, literal truth doesn't matter.

When the grand jury returned no indictment of Officer Wilson, there were more demonstrations, more looting, and more protests around the country, turning violent in other places, like Oakland (where radical lunacy has been the order of the day for some time) [note]. Activists hoped that the Justice Department of the Obama Administration, run by the totally unprincipled hack, Eric Holder, would file civil rights charges against Officer Wilson, as the Justice Department had done in the case of Rodney King. However, even Eric Holder eventually declined to prosecute. This should have taken the wind out of anyone else's sails, but the activists probably didn't even notice. The narrative of racist cops slaughtering black teens continued.

Much of this was reminiscent of the death of Trayvon Martin on February 26, 2012, in Sanford, Florida. Suspended from school for activities that otherwise might have gotten him arrested, 17-year-old Martin, vising in Sanford from his home in Miami Gardens, was noted as a suspicious person by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer. Martin ended up shot by Zimmerman, and the narrative immediately sold to the press was that the young, dewy-eyed Martin was killed in cold blood by the racist white Zimmerman just because he was young, black, and wearing a hoodie in the neighborhood.

It was a while, again, before the whole story came out. This time it took a trial for murder, in which Zimmerman was found innocent. There was forensic evidence that Martin had put Zimmerman down on the ground and was beating him up. This was also seen by witnesses. Statements by a friend of Martin, whom he had called after noticing Zimmerman, were that Martin thought that Zimmerman might be a homosexual who was going to try and pick him up. Martin may have been doing some gay-bashing.

There were curious aspects to this case. One actually involved Trayvon Martin's hoodie. A feature of protests about the killing was protesters wearing hoodies, on the principle that Zimmerman was suspicious of Martin, or killed him, because of his hoodie. Activists claimed that everyone has the right to wear a hoodie (true), and that suspicion of people, especially young black men, wearing hoodies was simply racism (false). Now, one sees with some frequency that armed robbers wear hoodies to help conceal their identity from surveilance cameras. Young men like Trayvon Martin actually like wearing hoodies because this makes them look bad, tough, cool, and dangerous. There has been nothing unusual for a long time, as it happens, for such young men to dress like gangsters because, indeed, this makes them look bad, tough, cool, and dangerous -- even if things like your pants falling off looks ridiculous to other people (but is based on the circumstance that belts are not allowed in prison). That another person might take this seriously, and suspect that such a young man actually is a robber or gangster, is something that should not surprise anyone. It would not give George Zimmerman any right to arbitrarily shoot Trayvon Martin, of course -- which is not really what he did anyway -- but it did give him reasonable cause to be suspicious. Any sensible person might consider, that if they do not want to be mistaken for a gangster, they then might try not to dress like one. Occasionally, black leaders and even politicians have complained about things like the falling pants, and even wanted to outlaw dressing like that; but in general the right thinking regard this kind of thing as "blaming the victim." Dressing like a gangster or ex-con is part of "authentic" blackness, and everyone should just ignore it -- even when a bunch of them walk into a convenience store late at night, with guns.

Another aspect of the Martin case was George Zimmerman's actual race. It turned out that, despite his name, Zimmerman's mother was from South America, and he looked and acted like much of the Hispanic community in Florida. This slightly derailed the narrative of racism. Hispanics are brown, not white, and so are equally "persons of color" oppressed by capitalism and white privilege. To get around this, the New York Times began calling Zimmerman a "white Hispanic," a term that the paper had never previously used about anyone. Of course, most people with Spanish surnames actually consider themselves "white," but this is not taken seriously by the "liberal" press or by political activists. Somehow the narrative of racist red-necks must be maintained; and, just as in the Michael Brown case, sober commentators announced that it was open season on black youth in America, with racist whites, apparently including "white Hispanics," killing inoffensive black children and "teens" right and left.

In this we see a phenomenon found with other recent political lies, that even the most preposterous falsehoods are asserted in all seriousness because (1) truth is just a matter of power, and (2) the ability to prepetuate lies with impunity demonstrates one's power. Indeed, the more absurd and easily discredited the lie, the more effectively this demonstrates one's power to supporters. Everyone knows from "deconstruction" that truth does not exist in any independent, objective fashion. Thus, a racist America in which black neighborhoods are shooting galleries where cops routinely kill young men, who have been quietly and innocently going about their business, for no reason than racism, is firmly fixed in the minds of activists, however remote it is from reality -- even realities about which they are constantly reminded. Those bars on the windows in such neighborhoods are not there to keep out the police (except perhaps in crack houses).

Meanwhile, a grand jury had been considering the violent arrest and death of 6 foot 4 inch, 400 pound Eric Garner. Garner had been reported selling illegal cigarettes on the street, something for which he was already a multiple offender. He was no "teen" by any construction. He refused to surrender and be arrested peacefully and consequently was taken down with what appeared to be a choke-hold by a white officer, Daniel Pantaleo. Several officers assisted in the arrest and helped hold Garner down while he was being handcuffed. Garner is reported to have said, "I can't breath," while he was lying on the ground. Paramedics were called, but Garner died on the way to the hospital. The Medical Examiner ruled that Garner had died of "compression" of his throat and chest, suffered during the arrest. Nevertheless, a grand jury on Staten Island (the County of Richmond) declined to charge Pantaleo with any offense, which set off some days of demonstrations and some violence in New York City and elsewhere. In short order, two policemen, Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, were murdered by a deranged gunman, Ismaaiyl Abdullah Brinsley, who and had just shot his ex-girlfriend in Maryland and who announced on line that he was going to New York to kill cops as revenge for Brown and Garner. He was shot and killed by the police while trying to escape. Perhaps Ramos was another "white Hispanic," and Liu a "white Asian." There has been no complaint about the shooting of Brinsley, which at this point surprises me.

Questions remain about the arrest of Garner. A choke-hold was against New York Police Department policy but was not illegal in the State of New York. Also, Pantaleo and the Policemen's Union denied that it was a choke-hold -- Garner was so fat, Pantaleo's arm might not have even gotten to his throat. My understand is that choke-holds were stopped by the Los Angeles Police Department because the windpipe can be crushed, inflicting acute and possibly fatal injuries to the neck. This does not seem to have happened to Garner, whose neck was undamaged and whose neck and chest were no longer being compressed when he told the officers "I can't breath." We subsequently learned, however, that Garner suffered from asthma. Officers and perhaps even the paramedics thought that if he could say "I can't breath," then he actually could breathe; but if Garner was beginning to suffer an asthma attack, then he might say such a thing and the attack might indeed become acute enough to result in death. I did not notice that the role of Garner's asthma was considered either in public discussion or in reports of the findings of the Medical Examiner. I do not know what kind of evidence of an asthma attack, if any, would be evident at autopsy. If this has not been discussed in the press, it is irresponsible.

Now, when four officers were tried for the beating of Rodney King, only two were convicted, one of them being an officer who never touched Rodney King. That was LAPD Sergeant Stacey Koon. Since Koon supervised the arrest, he was held responsible for what was found to be excessive force used, by one other officer, against King. The curious thing about the death of Eric Garner was that the supervising sergeant was barely mentioned in the Press and never seems to have been considered as a target of prosecution. If one asks why not, the answer seems to be that the supervising officer in the Garner case was a black women, NYPD Sergeant Kizzy Adoni. Since much of the furor over Garner's arrest and death was in terms of it being a white cop killing a black man, the narrative would be hopelessly confused if a black woman were indicted for the death the way Stacey Koon was in Los Angeles.

Another aspect of the case is that Sergeant Adoni testified to the Staten Island grand jury about the arrest (after even being given immunity) and thus may be said to have been instrumental in preventing the prosecution of Officer Pantaleo. Yet there were no protests against her, which again, on the basis of the desired narrative of racist cops, would have made no sense. But even conservative commentators, like Bill O'Reilly, thought that Pantaleo should have been indicted, both because the nature of the arrest was questionable enough and because many such issues should have been aired in court. As it is, the grand jury proceedings were secret, and transcripts have been requested but not yet released to the public (and apparently will not be, by the decision of the judge).

The most ironic part of the Eric Garner case comes from questions about why a man should die just because he may have been selling cigarettes on the street. This is rich. Mayor Bill de Blasio, as it happens, is such a serious leftist that he spent his honeymoon in Cuba. New Yorkers, in a fit of clueless leftism such as we have seen recently in California, Massachusetts, and, of course, Vermont, voted him into office even though everyone should have known that he would be up to no good. Thus, de Blasio immediately tried to ban the traditional horse-drawn carriages from Central Park, infuriating the drivers, who happen to belong to the Teamsters Union (as they, indeeed, are genuine teamsters), apparently as a favor to animal rights activists or, even worse, to developer friends who want the land that the stables for the horses are on. Although initially defeated in his effort, de Blasio has not given up and continues to try to ban the horses. Meanwhile, he attacked the charter schools in New York City, whose existence benefits no one so much as minority children whose parents are tired of them learning nothing, and enduring dangers in the public schools -- where de Blasio has now made sure that suspension of violent or disruptive students will be more difficult. Minority parents marched against de Blasio's threats before, I believe, he even assumed office. But de Blasio in this case was doing the bidding of the teachers unions, just as Jerry Brown did in California when he was elected governor (again!). Even Democrat New York Governor Andrew Cuomo stepped in to stop de Blasio. And he was stopped.

It was no surprise then, that de Blasio turned against the police in the Eric Garner case. This earned him the hatred of all the cops, who began turning their backs on the Mayor at public events, including the funerals for the officers who had been killed in revenge for Garner. Now, consider the irony that the police were hassling Eric Garner over selling illegal cigarettes because, get this, Bill de Blasio asked them to! Like every good statist, de Blasio worships taxes; and for many years New York City has had some of the highest cigarette taxes anywhere. The result is a black market of smuggling, with people bringing in cigarettes from tobacco growing and low tax States like Virginia and North Carolina. A very large percentage of the cigarettes sold in New York are these smuggled, tax-avoiding cigarettes. Democrats are indignant. It must be stopped. Consequently, we find people like Eric Garner in the bullseye. So a man died over cigarettes because Bill de Blasio and his tax-and-spend Democrat friends wanted those taxes.

In the aftermath of the Garner case, New York police have stopped enforcing the laws against the sale of untaxed and loose cigarettes ("loosies") on the streets [cf. "The 'Loosie' Economy Thrives," The Wall Steet Journal, July 16, 2015, "Greater New York," A13]. It is not clear whether this lack of enforcement is the result of decisions of individual policemen, the Police Department, or even a quiet word from the Mayor's office. Also, the new Leftist campaign to stop arrests of low level, "quality of life," or "broken window" offenses may have something to do with it. This project reflects the desire of the Left to roll back the policing policies of recent years (i.e. under Mayors Giuliani and Bloomberg), so that the City can return to the high crime and shooting-gallery regime that developed in the '60's and '70's. Crime, after all, is the protest of the oppressed against capitalism, and it doesn't matter that minorities, then and now, are disproportionately the victims of such crime. In other words, white New York liberals, with their security guards and fortified apartments, don't mind that gangsters gun down black people, or just the poor, on the streets. I mean it.

Demonstrators protesting all the racism of the cops decided that it would be cute to blocks roads and businesses so as to inconvience everyone and thereby recruit them to the Revolution. Many New Yorkers, of course, thought that this was brilliant, and perhaps they will poke themselves in the eye next in solidarity. Other Americans regard the demonstrators as vandals, assholes, and spoiled brats. Indeed, most seem to be activists yearing for the good old days of Occupy Wall Street, which didn't quite manage to bring down capitalism. But the saddest thing about the whole business is that far too many black Americans seem to think that their problem is the police, and not the gangsters who meanwhile are still killing each other and blighting black neighborhoods. And they still think that Barack Obama is their guy, who has done great things for them, when in fact he has done nothing for them and really has only made things worse.

But the bottom line here in my considerations must be this:  anti-racism activists don't really object to police brutality or to the kinds of practices that now disgrace American law enforcement. They simply want the brutal police to be on their side rather than on the side of capitalism and America. The final proof of this was that all the misconduct and the corruption of the police was perfectly all right when the Democrats controlled Congress and the Presidency from 2009 to 2011. Nothing was done about it, even as the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) added many more IRS agents to hunt down young people who had not signed up for government mandated health insurance -- and incidentally to hassle conservative, or even Pro-Israel, groups, who were applying for tax-exempt status -- to the point of desiring the prosecution of such groups, apparently just for existing. Democrat Senators wrote open letters endorsing and urging these practices. The poster-child for the level of insolence, arrogance, and irresponsibility involved is former IRS supervisor Lois Lerner. Now, Richard Nixon was going to be impeached for trying to suborn the IRS to political purposes; but today the actual use of the IRS by Obama and the Democrats for disgraceful political purposes earns no more than a shrug -- with a perfunctory whitewash by the Justice Department. So obviously, the principle, as we have seen, is that when you do something, it is an abuse that is a threat to Constitutional government, while when we do it, it is just fine. That is the problem at issue. The actual police are caught in the middle. Most of them just want to protect the public; but when the laws are bad, and the politics are corrupt, the police cannot be good.

If the racial activists were yearing for the case of the wrongly killing of a black man by a white cop, they got it on April 4, 2015, in North Charleston, South Carolina. After a routine traffice stop, Walter Scott ran away from his vehicle. Apparently, Scott owed a great deal of money in child support, and he was afraid of being arrested, since the institution of Debtors Prison has been revived for deadbeat dads. Scott was pursued by Michael Slager, a white North Charleston police officer, who claimed that at one point, as Slager overtook Scott, Scott tried to take his taser. However, a video then surfaced, taken by a bystander, that showed Slager shotting Scott in the back as he was running away.

Now, anyone who has watched old movies or old television know what the cop shouts, "Stop, or I'll shoot," and then, when the suspect doesn't stop, he shoots -- we even see this at the end of the Coen Brothers' Fargo -- and in real life with the recent shooting of two escaped murderers from prison in Upstate New York. This is no longer regarded as proper, if it really ever was. Deadly force can only be used if the officer, or others, is threatened with deadly force, or believes that the fugitive represents a deadly threat to others (as with the escapees, or, reasonably, in Fargo). Some guy running away from a traffic stop, without a weapon, does not consitute a threat of deadly force.

Consequently, Officer Slager was charged with murder. Since murder involves malice, this particular charge may not survive the process, but some sort of wrongful homicide seems warranted. At the same time, the whole business did not become public until the murder charges were already filed, which meant that there was little public protest over the matter.

Whether the whole incident involved racism seems dubious, but perhaps it would do.

If NYPD Sergeant Kizzy Adoni was lucky that no one apparently ever considered charging her in the death of Eric Garner, Baltimore Sergeant Alicia White, also an African-American, would not be so lucky.

Freddie Gray was arrested in Baltimore on April 12, 2015. What he was arrested for seems a matter of dispute. He was either observed engaged in a drug deal, or he was observed carrying a knife. He fled when the police looked at him, and they ran him down. His knife was misidentified (or perhaps not) as a switchblade, which it wasn't (or was). He was charged for possessing that; but, of course, if the knife was only found after his arrest, he could have been charged with carrying a concealed weapon. Eventually, we should hear all about it. Gray was carried to a police van. Uncooperative or, perhaps, disabled, he was not walking. He created some disturbances in the van, which stopped more than once to check on him. However, at the end of the van's run, Gray was found unresponsive. At the hospital he was discovered to have a broken neck and other nearby injuries. He died on April 19.

After Gray's funeral on April 27th, riots ensued in Baltimore, and the National Guard had to be called in. On May 1st, the prosecutor in Baltimore (Marilyn Mosby) charged six officers with various offenses, including second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, misconduct in office, and even false imprisonment -- the latter on the theory that the original arrest had been illegal.

Now, the narrative of the racial activists is that white cops have been killing black men. Signs at the demonstrations and riots in Baltimore said, "Stop Racist Police Brutality." However, three of the six officers charged in Balitmore are black, including one officer, Caesar Goodson, who was the van driver and the one specifically charged with second degree murder. It is not clear at this point exactly what the other officers are thought to have done, since none of them were in the van when Gray is supposed to have sustained his injuries -- although some of the charges seem to be that, in checking on Gray in the van, they did not take timely action to call for medical help. Goodson is charged with driving the van in such a way as to cause Gray's death. Lieutenant Brian Rice and Officers Edward Nero and Garrett Miller were charged in relation to the alleged illegal arrest.

My thought is that Sergeant White, Officer Goodson, and the other black officer, William G. Porter, should respond to this aggressively. They, or their Johnnie Cochran-like lawyer, should immediately go public with the equivalent of, "You say you want to stop racist white cops, and the result is that you charge us, other black folk? What do you think you are doing?" The best defense here should be offense. In all these cases, the police unions speak out, but the officers themselves have been curiously silent. I think that should stop. If White and others have done nothing wrong, they should say so loud and often and challenge the activists on their own terms. Otherwise, all we see of them are the mug shots, which, of course, make them look like criminals. Trying to scapegoat black officers itself is racism. Prosecutors in New York avoided this problem, but the rush to vengeful judgment in Baltimore has plunged right into it. At the same time, the hypocrsiy of the activists is as evident in Baltimore as elsewhere. Baltimore has a sky high crime and murder rate, yet no one has been protesting all the dead black people over many years. It's only when the police can be accused of something that things erupt.

The officers may have been charged for an "illegal" arrest on the principle that they had been harrassing the local population with such arrests, but there are two issues that may be involved. One is that what is often called harrassment is actually a level of policing that is necessary in high crime areas, as in this Baltimore neighborhood, and that without it, even more crime will develop. This has been litigated and argued out in New York City, which experienced dramatic decreases in crime from levels of policing that activists as even civil libertarians disliked. The other consideration here is that the arresting officers may have been charged just because they were all white and that, without charging them, the majority of charged officers would have been black. Half of them are black as it is. Since this is already awkward, in terms of the racism narrative, prosecutor Marilyn Mosby needed some way to drag more white officers into it -- so the racism narrative would not be completely incongruous.

Subsequent developments of interest in Baltimore are: (1) The accused officers and their lawyers have not spoken out, or challenged the motivation of the charges against them. This is typical but seems to me a bad idea.

(2) On April 22nd, in a suburb of Baltimore, a black mob beat Richard Fletcher, who emerged from his home to stop two girls fighting on or by his truck parked on the street. Students from the nearby high school had made it a habit of walking on vehicles in the neighborhood and of threatening residents who complained. A group of perhaps 49 "youths" then beat (white) Mr. Fletcher senseless, to the point where he was put into a medically induced coma. Six "teens" from the crowd were arrested, and 15, 16, and 17-year-olds have been charged with attempted murder. The incident has been generally ignored by the "main-stream" media. The accused Baltimore officers might consider citing this as the reason they must employ aggresive policing.

The ultimate irony is a point that connects the Freddie Gray case to Eric Garner. It now turns out that the police in Baltimore were closely policing drug sales in Mr. Gray's neighborhood because Marilyn Mosby had asked them to, just as Mayor de Blasio asked the NYPD to crack down on "loosies." After this came out, a reporter asked Mosby for comment and to confirm or deny it. She refused to answer, which means that a record exists that would expose her if she were to deny it. But she certainly would not want to admit that she was partially responsible for the death of Freddy Gray, or that the kind of policing that she now condemns was actually urged by her. She may be immune to shame, but I do hope that the indicted police will make use of this at the trial(s) -- even as they continue their ill-advised silence.

To "progressive" partisans, criminals are the victims. They are victims because they have been made the way they are by Society, which is an unjust system of exploitation -- i.e. Capitalism. If criminals are victims, then their victims, who may be law abiding citzens, i.e. supportive of Society (and benefiting from "white privilege" and other illegitimate protections, i.e. laws), are the real criminals. Thus, there is no "progressive" objection to crime as such. The "victims" deserve what they get from "criminals," who are heroic. This also explains "gun control," whose purpose is to disarm victims and render them helpless, which magnifies the power of the State, which can then rob the law adiding citizens and give the money to the hero "criminals" -- called "income redistribution."

Enklinobarangus ()


While paying lip service to the notion that those who disagree with him might in fact have hearts, Mr. Obama -- rather than engage with Mr. [American Enterprise Instituteís Arthur] Brooks -- used the occasion to review his enemies list. It included the Republican Congress (their budgets prove they donít care), hedge-fund managers (they take money that belongs to kindergarten teachers), the churches (theyíre not committed to helping the poor because they worry too much about abortion and marriage), Fox News (it vilifies the poor) and, for good measure, parents who send their children to private schools (they are withdrawing from the "commons").

The unifying progressive contention here is the assertion that America isnít "investing" enough in the poor -- by which is meant the government isnít spending enough. Though President Obama did acknowledge the importance of family by defending his past criticisms of absent fathers, he went on to declare it will be next to impossible to find "common ground" on poverty until his critics accept his spending argument.

William McGurn, "The Poverty Preening of Professor Obama," The Wall Street Journal, May 19, 2015, A9; President Obama, of course, sends his daughters to the exclusive Sidwell Friends private school, while he himself attended private schools, like the exclusive Punahou School in Honolulu, which was founded to educate the local elite, mainly haoles, traditionally planning to attend Yale Universty.


Mr. [Officer William] Porter testified in his own defense, saying he saw no sign Mr. [Freddie] Gray was injured when the van driver asked for help in checking on Mr. Gray. Mr. Porter said he had never seen anyone seat-belted in a police van after an arrest.

"Mistrial in Baltimore Police Case," The Wall Street Journal, December 17, 2015, A2


This wasn't the first time the president has used a Congressional Black Caucus formum to scold black people for insufficient appreciation of his leadership. In 2011, after black lawmakers began criticizing the president's lack of attention to the economic problems of the underclass, he told the group, "I expect all of you to march with me and press on," adding that they should "stop complaining, stop grumbling, stop crying." Some black commentators took umbrage at his tone.

"Funny, isn't it, how Obama always gets the nerve to say shut up when he's addressing a friendly audience?" wrote the Washington Post's Courtland Milloy. "The unemployment rate among blacks stands at 16.7 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, up from 11.5 percent when Obama took office. By some accounts, black people have lost more wealth since the recession began than any time since slavery. And Obama gets to lecture us?"

Jason L. Riley, "Obama's Track Record With Blacks Won't Help Clinton," The Wall Street Journal, September 21, 2016, A13

But why is all this stuff happening now? There are always a few questionable police shootings in the news, and every so often someone dies in police custody under suspicious circumstances. It has been a long time since riots have occurred over such things. So, why now?

Well, my theory is that it is frustration with Barack Obama. After six years of an Obama Administration, Obama has done next to nothing for Black People. He has paid off various leftist constituencies -- feminists, Hispanics, homosexuals, Environmentalists, teachers unions, Iranians, Communists, etc. -- but things for African-Americans have only gotten worse. Worse unemployment. Worse poverty. Worse income. Worse education. Baltimore, like Detroit, dominated for decades by Democrats, has lost population, lost business, lost jobs, and sunk further into poverty -- all in a State where the Ruling Class lives high on the hog in the counties around Washington, D.C.

No Democrat is going to say that Obama has done nothing to help black people -- much less nothing but help them become more dependent on the government. And, to the extent that black voters are deceived by the Democrats, they may not even be prepared to say this themselves. But it's the truth. And the sense of frustration and failure "in the community" is evident. After the riots, the Democrats, including the whole City government of Baltimore, and President Obama, had nothing they could say but that they just needed to spend more money -- after they have now been spending trillions of dollars on "anti-poverty" programs since 1964, all of them failures. Riots and communist propaganda (which is much of what we see) may do nothing more, as they did in 1968, than help elect a Republican President in 2016.

The rhetoric that goes with current frustrations has become intensified. For some time, political activists and "educators" have been pushing the idea of "white privilege," which was transparently an attempt to turn liberal guilt into race guilt -- and is thus based on a racist hatred of white people. It was always preliminary to demanding money, attacking capitalism, and claiming the right to racially preferential policies (especially to the prejudice of overachieving Asians). But in the aftermath of the Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Freddie Gray cases, accusations of "white privilege" soon did not seem inflamatory enough. The next step up was claiming that "white privilege" masked "white supremacy," as though all white people were members of the Ku Klux Klan, and "white racist Terrorism" -- with, of course, the provision that capitalism represents and enforces "white supremacy" and Terrorism. The "Terrorism" trope seems to want to evoke images of white mobs attack black people, as actually happened in the 19th and early 20th centuries, usually involving, awkwardly, poor white Irishmen (as in the infamous New York Draft Riots of 1863), although in recent history such disorders have more typically involved black mobs attacking white people -- events well documented but poorly publicized, lest the public be alarmed and "black anger" be discredited.

White supremacy sounded good, so the next step was simply to say that "all white people are racists." Perhaps it does not occur to people saying such things that this will not win friends or influence people, except those already consumed by liberal guilt, self-hatred, and Anti-Americanism. They probably don't care. It may be what they really want is race war, which they think may initiate a proper communist revolution. The next increment in rhetoric is in that direction, since it is that white people, the United States, and capitalism are all engaged in genocide against black people. After all, we could say that the black people killed every week by black criminals are actually being killed by white people, since the black "criminals" have been made the way they are, to carry out white purposes, by White Society (and capitalism).

More characteristic, however, is the move to ignore black-on-black crime and to attribute (counter-factually) black deaths to racist police and white vigilantes (like the openly racist Confederate symathizer who on June 17, 2015, killed 9 mostly elderly black church goers at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina [note]). "Genocide," however, never means the thousands of black babies killed every year in abortions. That abortion is off the table in this business exposes the dishonesty of the whole thing. Black radicals are usually creatures of the Democratic Party and adhere to its pieties. Abortion is the loyalty that Democrats owe to feminists, and the most radical of racial rhetoric conspicuously exempts Democrats and Democrat allies -- for instance, the Press never mentioned (or mentions) that the Confederate Flag flown on the grounds of the capital of South Carolina was only put there in 1962, as a protest against Desegregation, by the Democrat Governor of the State, Ernest Hollings (Governor of South Carolina, 1959-1963, then U.S. Senator from South Carolina, 1966-2005), whose bona fides was never impeached or discredited during his successful Democratic Party career with the recollection of this act. The Press, mostly Democrats, want us to think that Republicans had put up the Confederate Flag. In the same way, how the United States, collectively, is engaged in genocide against black people, while Barack Obama is President, is left unexplained. But as a tissue of lies and deception, it all makes perfect sense.

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The Police State, Note 1;
More on Translating Nietzsche

While I think that Golffing's translation above is faithful to Nietzche's thought, the German text does not look very much like the translation. Questions of translating Nietzsche have arisen elsewhere, usually involving questions of faithfulness to spirit. That does not really seem to be the problem, but faithfulness of expression sometimes is, and this applies to many translations. Thus, Nietzsche says that what he does is to "place" or "move" (zu setzen) or "demote" (herabzusetzen) morality not just into "appearances" (Erscheinungen) but among "deceptions" (Täuschungen):

...sondern unter die »Täuschungens«, als Schein, Wahn, Irrtum, Ausdeutung, Zurechtmachung, Kunst. [Nietzsche, Die Geburt der Tagödie, aus dem Geiste der Musik, Isnel Verlag, 1987, 2000, pp.16-17]

...but among "deceptions," as semblance, delusion, error, interpretation, contrivance, art. [Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy and the Case of Wagner, translated by Walter Kaufmann, Vintage Books, 1967, p.23]

...but among the "deceptions." Morality, on this view, became a mere fabrication for purposes of gulling; at best, an artistic fiction; at worst an outrageous imposture. [Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy and The Genealogy of Morals, translated by Francis Golffing, Doubleday Anchor Books, 1956, p.10]

Where Nietzsche gives no more than string of nouns that characterize the "deceptions" of morality, and Kaufmann translates this pretty literally, Golffing rewrites the thought and expands it into a point that, however faithful it may be to what Nietzsche believes, nevertheless is not really what Nietzsche says. This is more an interpretation than a translation of the passage, something we see a lot of in the Tao Te Ching. It would be nice if Nietzsche expressed himself a bit more discursively; but I don't think that it is good practice to rewrite a translation because of some rhetorical preference, or to improve the conveyed meaning. Golffing does this more than once. It is a shame, since it would have been nice to put one's finger on the German word translated by the archaic English verb "to gull."

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The Police State, Note 2

Part of the dishonesty of network news involves the way demonstrations are filmed. Thus, anti-abortion demonstrations may contain thousands of people; but there is a good chance they won't be shown on the news at all, since the "mainstream" news is dominated by Democrats who are in favor of abortion and, if possible, do want to give any publicity to the opposing view. At the same time, a demonstation in favor of a liberal cause many only contain a few dozen demonstrators, but it may be prominently featured in the news and photographed in a way that makes it look larger than it is. Since the purpose of this display is to convey the idea that there is mass support for a cause, the news may also avoid giving viewers a good look at the signs carried by the demonstrators, which often carry a far more radical or hostile message than the "mainstream" networks want to associate, in the public eye, with their cause.

Thus, early demonstrations about Michael Brown or Eric Garner often featured signs with the web-address of the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP). This was a little hard to pick up, since the name of the party was not given and the domain name did not spell it out. The news made no attempt whatsoever to give viewers a good look at these signs, much less identify for them what this organization was. Even conservative Bill O'Reilly seemed relucant to expose this, and he only commented on the circumstance after viewers wrote in. Obviously, O'Reilly has been intimated by the Left into believing that calling self-identified Communists "Communists" is "McCarthyism."

As luck would have it, I knew about the Revolutionary Communist Party, since they were actually on the ballot in Texas when I lived there in the 1970's. Their claim to fame was that they were the only real Revolutionary Party, calling for the violent overthrow of the United States government, and not like those wimpy CPUSA (Communist Party, USA) communists, who followed the Soviet Line of "peaceful coexistence." No, they wanted violence, and violence NOW. Of course, they didn't actually do anything of the sort. And when Anarchists did begin resorting to violence, in 1999, it seems to have taken the RCP a while to get on board. In New York, where some demonstrators, including college teachers, tried attacking the police on the Brooklyn Bridge, it is not clear what particularly ideology, if any, motivated this. If the Communists had the courage of their convictions, they should boast of attacking the police; but that is not what we see.

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The Police State, Note 3

This continued a striking feature, and an appalling tribute to the viciousness of the Old South, that people, who presumably prided themselves on being Christians, nevertheless found it perfectly acceptable to murder people in churches (often with bombs) and were not even shamed when their victims included children. In this case, we must visualize a pastor -- Clementa C. Pinckney -- and his elderly parishioners at prayer with bullets suddenly aimed at them. Jesus has already wept for far less.

The perpetrator in this case was hoping, with black radicals, for a race war; but all were shamed when the relatives of the victims proved themselves better Christians than all by leaving vengeance to the Lord and, in open court, forgiving the young creep for his murderous crimes.

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