The Police State

There's no excuse for the kind of violence that we saw yesterday. It is counterproductive... When individuals get crowbars and start prying open doors to loot, they're not protesting. They're not making a statement. They're stealing. When they burn down a building, they're committing arson. And they're destroying and undermining businesses and opportunities in their own communities. That robs jobs and opportunity from people in that area.

President Barack Obama, April 28, 2015, about rioting in Baltimore

The problem that bothers me, you says "Black Lives Matter." I worked here, part time, plus I'm a part owner of this store. You said "Black Lives Matter" -- why donít you choke me? Iím black. Look what you did to my store. Look! Look what you did to my store. Look! Look at the things you done. Weíve been here all night cleaning up. All night cleaning. Tell me "Black Lives Matter." Youíre lying! You wanted to loot the store. You needed money. Get a job like I do. Stop stealing. This is our neighborhood. Weíre trying to build it up and you tear it down... It made me sick to my stomach to see the business weíve been growing for six years destroyed in front of my eyes... We were lucky in that we didnít have to close during the coronavirus, but we have six employees who need salaries to feed their ≠families... At first I felt anger towards the looters. But I canít let hate consume me... Many of them have been brought up in a ≠society that believes they are worth nothing and they are acting on that. But I wonít let them win. We will rebuild this store and it will serve this community again.

Lucy Hosley, 69, outside Valentine Deli, the Bronx, June 4, 2020, YouTube video transcription and New York Post story.

My Reasonable Doubt cohost, Mark Geragos, represented the widow of Daniel Shaver, an unarmed twenty-six-year-old man who was shot and killed by a white police officer in Mesa, Arizona. The officer was later acquitted despite video evidence, I'm sure you all saw that body-camera footage.

Oh, wait. You didn't. Because Shaver was white. If he wasn't, MSNBC would be showing it nonstop, because it was by far the worst police killing ever.
Freedom from Fear, 1943, Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), National Archives at College Park
A citizen called the Mesa Police Department saying they saw someone in a hotel room with a gun. It later turned out that Shaver was an exterminator and had an Airsoft pellet gun for shooting rodents. For clarity, I don't blame the person who called it in. I blame Officer Philip Brailsford, along with Sergeant Charles Langley -- Brailsford's superior on the scene, who shouted confusing orders and did the exact opposite of de-escalation. After being ordered from his room and into the hallway, this poor bastard was told to lie on his stomach. Sobbing and begging for his life, saying, "Please dont't shoot me," Shaver, who was drunk at the time, reached to pull his shorts up because they had slipped after he was ordered to crawl on the floor of the La Quinta. Trigger-happy, Brailsford unloaded five shots into Shaver's back, chest, and head, killing him. This wasn't an "officer-involved shooting" or "a tragic mistake" like what sometimes gets talked about on the news. This was an execution. Despite this, Brailsford was acquitted and reinstated to the department in August 2018, and was promply granted "retirement" on medical grounds, receiving his full pension. If Shaver had been black, Arizona would be on fire like Ferguson. But it didn't fit the news narrative.

Adam Corolla, I'm Your Emotional Support Animal, Navigating Our All Woke, No Joke Culture, Post Hill Press, 2020, pp.53-54.

My father would have said, 'They ain't nothing but devils.' My father said all lives matter... It's not just black lives matter, white lives matter. Chinese lives matter, all lives matter, everybody's life matters. God loves everyone -- he never singled anyone out. Killing is wrong no matter who it is... They're no different from Muslim terrorists. They should all get what they deserve. They're f--king up businesses, beating up innocent people in the neighborhood, smashing up police stations and shops. They're terrorists. They're terrorizing the community.

Muhammad Ali Jr., The New York Post, June 21, 2020, p.16; son of boxer Muhammad Ali and a Muslim himself.

Ἵνα τί ἐφρύαξαν ἔθνη, καὶ λαοὶ ἐμελέτησαν κενά;
Quare fremuerunt gentes, et populi meditati sunt inania?
Why do the heathen [gôyim] rage, and peoples imagine vain things?

Psalms 2:1

Update, 2020

I had not updated this page since 2016. I had not even noted some developments, such as the collapse of all the prosecutions of Baltimore police officers for the death of Freddie Gray. The issues involved with police killings, however, are now revived in a big way with the death of George Floyd at the hands of officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020. If it turned out that the deaths of Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, and Eric Garner could not be prosecuted as matters of criminal conduct, activists hit the jackpot with the death of George Floyd.

Chauvin is seen on video casually pressing his knee on Floyd's neck for eight minutes, even though Floyd was already in custody, lying cuffed on the ground. Any halfwit would know that this could inflict fatal injuries on someone; but Chauvin, who bears the same name as the possibly fictional "Nicolas Chauvin" (b.c.1780), from whom derives the term "Chauvinism," obviously did it. He was an officer with many complaints against him, and who once might have been prosecuted for a shooting; but the case was dropped by Amy Klobuchar, now a Senator and recently a Presidental Candidate, in her days as a prosecutor. Good work. Klobuchar, of course, along with the Democrat Governor of Minnestoa (Tim Walz), the Democrat Mayor of Minneapolis (Jacob Frey), and the black Police Chief of Minneapolis (Medaria Arradondo), all are busy denying that they have any responsibility for Chauvin's actions, let alone for the riots, arson, and looting the followed Floyd's death.

Before I consider the issues and consequences arising of the killing of George Floyd, let me review my objections to modern policing. Police departments have become increasingly militarized. Yet when municipal police were introduced in Britain and America, there was a worry that they would be perceived as an occupying army. Thus, the police were prohibited from carrying firearms, at a time when there was no "gun control" for civilians, and in fact civilians, as members of the "well regulated militia," were expected to "keep and bear arms." If the police needed armed force, the idea was that they could call on armed local citizens. This was called the "hue and cry" in the Common Law of England. As it happens, pretty much all riots in American history since the 1960's, and earlier, have involved some incident with the police, where, rightly or wrongly, the police were already perceived as an "occupying army." When policemen walked a beat, they at least became familiar in the neighborhood; but one motivation for the introduction of police forces was that citizens were not responding to calls for assistance by Justices of the Peace and other authorities previously charged with law enforcement.

The principle of unarmed police persisted in Britain until quite recently, although restrictions on civilian weapons have become more stringent since about 1920, by increments usually without actual legislation. Readers of Sherlock Holmes will recall his frequent instructions to Watson to bring his revolver, which he slips into his pocket, a "concealed weapon." This was perfectly legal at the time. Gun control did not begin because of fear of crime, which had declined to historic lows, but because of fear of revolution, the "Red Scare." The Scare came to nothing in Britain, but "gun control" is now justified as a response to crime, even though crime has increased in inverse proportion to restrictions on gun ownership. Recently, the murder rate in London finally surpassed that of New York City, which historically had always been higher; and since most murders are now done with knives, there have been serious suggestions to blunt all kitchen knives in the United Kingdom. A newpaper delivery man was prosecuted in England for innocently possessing the knives he needed to cut bundles of newspapers. Note that such actions involve setting aside traditional principles of justice like requirements of mens rea. Home invasion robberies in Britain have increased as criminals become confident that home owners will not be armed.

The justification of gun control in Britain, the United States, and Australia is frequently the result of mass shootings by deranged individuals, often, incredibly, of school children. But mass shootings are a "Black Swan" in the statistics, insignificant in terms of how common crime actually is; and gun control both disarms victims and enourages and incentivizes criminals, terrorists, and lunatics. British law now seems intent on outlawing self-defense, by any means. Even worse, "soft targets," like schools, are made "softer" and more inviting as "gun free zones," where shooters know they will not be opposed. American schools are often without security provisions, like locked gates, to keep out invaders; and they may have only one armed security guard, who, experience shows, is often neither trained nor brave enough to confront shooters. The idea that universal disarmament would ultimately deprive shooters of guns is contradicted by the examples of gunrunning by terrorists. The perpetrators of the terrorist massacres in Paris in 2015 had automatic weapons that were illegal both in France and in Belgium, where the attacks were staged. The ability to infiltrate anything into the EU is obvious from the continuing arrival of boatloads of refugees from Africa.

In the United States, the militarization of the police and violations of Constitutional principles have resulted from the so-called "war on drugs." Traditionally, with a search warrant, the police needed to knock on the door of a house and show the warrant. But those Hippies might flush their stash down the toilet; and we would not be able to ruin their lives with criminal records for, I guess, doing things bad for them. So we got "no-knock" warrants and then black-clad, paramilitary SWAT teams breaking into houses in the early hours of the morning. People think they are burglars. So citizens pull guns and get shot to death. Or babies have been mutilated with flash-bang grenades randomly tossed into rooms. Then it turns out that the warrant was mistaken or fraudulent, or the police were just at the wrong address. This is outrageous. Again and again, there should have been demonstrations and even riots over such things, but typically nothing happens. The media yawn.

A recent case resulted in the killing of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky, on March 13, 2020. Plainclothes drug officers did a "no-knock" raid the apartment of Taylor's boyfriend, who thought they were criminals. He shot at them. The police fired 25 rounds into the dwelling, hitting Breonna Taylor eight times. No police were injured, and no drugs were found at the scene. While an outrage like this could happen in conformity with the current law, the police violated policy by shooting blindly through doors and windows without being able to see any threats or targets. Breonna Taylor was not shooting at them. Ironically, perhaps, Taylor was herself a uniformed EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) worker. Another casualty of the scourge of drugs! In the current climate, the media are not exactly yawning about this incident, and one of the officers has already been fired, but things like it keep happening because of wrongful abridgements of the Fourth Amendment, which means a violation of our civil rights.

Even more, the police become thieves and extortionists because of "civil forfeiture" laws. Those no-knock raids allow the police to seize goods, not as evidence of crimes, but as loot. Also, police can seize "suspicious" amounts of cash, and keep it, even with no probable cause for searches and without any crime ever being charged. Citizens must prove themselves innocent to get their money back, at an expense probably greater than the sum lost; and police have been known to threaten citizens with further seizures, as of their cars, if they dispute the seizure of the money.

I had a student, driving down I-95 with his father, who had this happen to him. Several States have outlawed these practices, but not others, and not the Federal Government. Indeed, if local police work in cooperation with federal authorities, they can share in the federal loot, even if their own State prohibits such seizures. Where are the demonstations and riots over these kinds of things? They are outrages; but, again, the media yawn; and most politicans are too busy promising "benefits" to pay any attention. Not enough people are victimized to add up to a significant number of voters.

But these abuses are not the ultimate fault of the police. Legislation and the courts have created and allowed "no-knock" warrants and "civil forfeiture." In one case, the Supreme Court even cited the precedent of British laws that Benjamin Franklin had once identified as causes of the American Revolution. The police, apparently like George III, simply do was is allowed and respond to incentives.

The courts, with some knowledge of history, if not some sense of simple justice, should have not allowed things to get out of control; but the dominant judicial philosophy, which we see expressed and celebrated in Oliver Wendell Holmes, is to let politicians do whatever they want. That is the "will of the people," as though the whole idea of the Constitution was not to limit the power of government. This contributes substantially to the destruction of the Republic, as that continues apace.

On the other hand, after his history, Derek Chauvin should not have still been on the Minneapolis police force. However, like a lot of bad cops, he was protected by the Police Union, just as bad teachers are protected by the Teachers Unions. Bad teachers don't kill their students very often, but they very easily kill their future. All public employee unions are inherently corrupt. Their interest is not the public good; it is the preservation of jobs, whatever members are like at their jobs. The premise seems to be that people have a right to their jobs, even if they have killed people on their job. That is hard to enforce in private industry, but it becomes easy with "collective bargaining" by public employees against politicians whom they have bought.

And public empolyee unions have indeed bought Democrat politicians, lock, stock, and barrel, including black Democrat politicians. If the black community thinks that police are killing black people, Democrat politicians are protecting the bad cops who do that killing. If black parents want vouchers or charter schools for their children (and most do), it is the Democrat politicians who follow the orders of the Teachers Unions to prevent vouchers and limit charter schools. Ask Bill de Blasio. It is at least as hard to fire a bad teacher as a bad cop. This is one of the greatest and most vicious betrayals in the history of American politics. Black voters should know, if they vote for Democrats, they are voting for the bad cops who will shoot them, and they are voting away the future of their children, making them hostages to the Unions in violent and substandard schools.

And if black voters think that Democrats are now going to abolish the police, they don't realize that what they'll get instead are gangs of thugs, like "Antifa." This is how the regime survives in Venezuela, with gangs, something that has recently happened also in Chile -- and now the anarchist zone in Seattle is enforced with everything the anarchists say they are against, i.e. armed guards, borders, barriers, ID checks, etc. And if we wonder why the murderous gangs, killing hundreds of people a year, survive on the South Side of Chicago, without any noticeable effort to disband them or arrest leadership, we may already know. They are part of Chicago City government, which is why Democrat politicians never complain about them, let alone move against them. This would mean that the venerable political Machine of Chicago tolerates and enables the slaughter of black people. "Black Lives Matter," where are you? Or are you part of the Machine?

But all Democrats need to do is scream "racism," and they seem to get most of the black vote. Angela Mcglowan addressed this in her book, Bamboozled [2007]. Black activists like Mcglowan accuse the Welfare Stare of being the new "Plantation," holding down black people the way slavery and segregation previously did. White Republican politicians, usually, are too cowardly to use that term; but it is appropriate. Black voters have been fooled and betrayed, again and again. Charlie Brown did better against Lucy.

The nature of police reform in the cases of warrants, forfeiture, and unions is obvious. Principles of justice must be restored. And, especially, actual incentives for police corruption must be removed. At the same time, the police must be returned to their proper role. This is part of larger issues. In 1903 Congress abandoned its Constitutional duty to provide for a "well regulated militia," which means the armed body of the citizenry. They substituted the National Guard for the Militia, with the obvious motive of disarming Southern blacks in the face of the terrorist regimes of Segregation in the South, which mostly had only recently been instituted in full rigor. Thus, the Republican government of Wilmington, North Carolina, was violently overthrown on November 10, 1898, with the massacre and explusion of hundreds of black people, the deportation of anti-Segregationist politicians, and the burning of opposition newspapers. This was in many ways an actual revival of the Confederacy, which henceforth dominated Southern politics, until the Civil Rights era. President Grant would have instituted Martial Law; but that was no longer politically possible.

The lapse of the Militia is now used by Leftists to argue that all civilians can be disarmed so that a communist police state can be created. I am not kidding. Proper reform is that municipal police be disarmed, while the armed force of the jurisdiction, the posse comitatus, be the properly reconstituted Militia. That is real "community policing," since when the police need armed force, they call on the local members of the Militia, all of whom should be ex officio Deputy Sheriffs of their County, with the continuing National Guard in the background, as needed. The "hue and cry" is easier now with text messaging to Militia members; and, unlike the citizens previously unresponsive to the "hue and cry," Militia members have a specific duty of record to respond. I have discussed the issue of the National Guard and the Militia in detail elsewhere.

By the same token, full-time Deputy Sheriffs will be ex officio members of the Militia and of course will be more readily available to help the police. This often will require some reorganization. In New York City, the elected Sheriffs of the constituent Counties were abolished long ago. One Sheriff for the City of New York, appointed, presides over a few Deputies whose duties are routine Court functions. This is unlike the West, where most Counties encompass large unincorporated areas, where Deputy Sheriffs are the only local law enforcement. Reform means that many New York City police officers would become Deputy Sheriffs in their own Boroughs, under Sheriffs accountable to the voters. As it happens, some reform of the Camden, New Jersey, police was accomplished by shifting the whole agency to the County. I don't know that this has helped the crime rate in Camden, which is terrible, but it has helped against the police union. But I doubt that it means the police live in or near the neighborhoods they police, any more than previously.

I would not suggest disarming the police until crime levels are low enough that they would not be endangered by carrying no more than non-lethal weapons. We were headed in that direction, as crime has declined in the United States since the 1980's. However, Democrats have made it their agenda to release and empower criminals, including violent illegal alien gangsters. I am not kidding. In the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd, their proposals have become more extreme and their goals more blatant, with the threat of reversing progress and preventing real reform.

The narrative promoted by organizations like "Black Lives Matter" and other radical organizations and individuals is that there is a "genocide" of black people going on, where the police simply gun them down randomly on the street. This happens because of a pervasive racism in which "black lives" do not matter. One anti-police demonstrator screamed at cameras, "Stop killing us!" There are indeed black people gunned down randomly on the street, but not by police. In 2019, 490 people were murdered in Chicago (four people every three days). In the United States in 2019, according to the Washington Post, there were 10 fatal shootings of unarmed black people by police, two of which involved charges against officers. By comparison, Tijuana, Mexico, the most dangerous city in the world per capita, had 2367 murders in 2019, and Cape Town, South Africa, 3065. Baltimore had 348.

Thus, if anyone really worried about black lives, they would worry about crime and gangs, and not about the police. But that is not what we get. In the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd, there were demonstrations and then riots, arson, and looting, not just in Minneapolis, but in many cities around the country. This devastated small businesses and often left people in black neighborhoods with no place nearby to even buy food. This had nothing to do with the Minneapolis police and harmed no one but those who supposedly were being oppressed by the police. That doesn't count shop owners beaten or killed by the mobs, or the policemen killed, like retired black officer David Dorn, killed in St. Louis.

More revealing now is the agenda. "Black Lives Matter" and other radicals now want to "defund the police," i.e. abolish police departments. This goes on to also abolishing prisons and releasing all prisoners. Meanwhile, New York State had already abolished bail for many crimes, with the result that looters and arsonists in the New York riots are arrested one evening and then released by the next morning, to loot and burn again. The picture we get, consequently, is that crime and criminals are no more than victims of "society" and should be allowed to roam freely and do whatever they do. This victimizes no one more than their own communities, usually those supposedly oppressed by the police, and usually those pleading for more police protection.

All of this is basically insane. Not only is the narrative fundamentally based on a lie, as it was in the Ferguson, Missouri, riots, but whatever sort of society it envsions is one of anarchy. Indeed, anarchist groups like the paradoxically named "Antifa," "Anti-Fascists," are apparently active in the George Floyd riots. They seem to have planned for it, and it is documented that pallets of bricks, and other supplies, have been placed near where rioters can use them to throw bricks at police. The organization that this reflects is under investigation. But it may turn out that the George Floyd riots have been something like the "Tet Offensive" of the anarchists.

We also hear that anarchists or groups of looters have tried to invade small towns elsewhere in the country. In Washington State, Idaho, South Dakota, and elsewere, local people, tipped off about attacks, have turned out, armed, to defend businesses and downtown areas. Eager anarchists and looters arriving in these towns have turned back or been arrested. Of course, there have also been incidents of people suspected of being invading radicals being followed around by armed locals. That's not good.

After pointless riots in the 1960's, mostly after all Civil Rights legislation had already been passed, this led to the election of Richard Nixon in 1968, after which there were no more riots. Meanwhile, a place like Detroit, which had had exemplary high black employment and home ownership, in part because of Henry Ford, who was always happy to hire black workers, suffered such harm from the riot in 1967 that it has never recovered, to the point where large parts of the city are now abandoned. And in 2019, there were 273 murders in Detroit. Similarly, after the Watts Riots in Los Angeles in 1965, locals literally had to wait decades before any supermarket was willing to reopen in the area.

Democrat politicians, who had closed down business in their States and cities because of the Corona Virus, and even prohibited people from attending church, to the point where New York City banned political demonstrations, suddenly were perfectly happy to coutenance mass demonstrations about George Lloyd. The ban of demonstrations by New York City was simply forgotten. The idiot Governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitnmer, who had extended her lockdown because of demonstrations by people wanting to go back to work, while smearing the demonstrators as "racists" and, somehow, "misogynists," abruptly lifted the lockdown to legalize George Floyd demonstrations.

The point of all recent events, of course, was to use the economic damage from lockdowns, together with demonstrations and riots, as a way of defeating Donald Trump. Never mind the destruction and killings. If 1968 is any clue, this is actually a self-defeating strategy. However, the electorate of 2020 is not the same as that of 1968. People lately have been voting for communists, like Bernie Sanders and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. After the destruction of American education, people may actually believe the narrative of radicals like "Black Lives Matter," which would not have gotten the time of day from most people, what Nixon called "the great silent majority," in 1968. How much of a "silent majority" is there now? It is hard to say. In 2016, a majority voters actually went for an obvious fraud like Hillary Clinton. We were saved by the Electoral College. But it was, like Waterloo, a near run thing.

It is hard to know what public opinion is when the polls are unreliable. People don't trust pollsters, whose bias often can be discerned in the nature of the quesitons they ask. Trump supporters may suspect that giving their honest opinion to pollsters might be passed on to activists or criminals who could target and harrass them, or worse. This has made it difficult to predict the outcome of elections, not just in the United States but in Britain. The victory of Boris Johnson in December 2019, with the massacre of the Labour Party, was a surprise to most observers. The polling had not warned of this. Brexit voters, indeed, knew that the elites disapproved of them, and they seem to have been reluctant to answer pollsters honestly. The same thing had happened in 2016 with Donald Trump. Thus, as the 2020 Presidential election approaches, it is very difficult to tell what is going on. A sensible reaction to the insane radicalism of the Democrats, to abolish borders, immigration law, and the police, not to mention the senile dementia of their candidate, does not seem reflected in the polling of rational citizens. But, who knows?

It has always been a danger of democracy that it can destroy itself. There is no lack of evidence any more how that can happen. Venezuelans voted for Hugo Chavez and thus voted themselves into slavery in an impoverished police state (with 2134 murders in Caracas in 2019). It is possible that Americans are still wiser and more sophisticated than Venezuelans, but the American People have been betrayed by their own universities and colleges, who have now taught generations nothing but socialism, sophistry, and nihilism. The most "educated" among us have become some of the greatest and most dangerous fools, all the while preening themselves on their knowledge, which may be nothing but farcical English Department Marxism. That is not a formula for hope or progress.

One clear accomplishment of "Black Lives Matter" is to help make white people afraid of black people, who might be suspected of rebuking, bullying, or even assaulting everyone with "white privilege." Whites must be humiliated into confessing, knealing, their sin of evil racial birth. Their homes and businesses might be looted or burned down anyway, especially when police departments are abolished. Good work.

All this begins to sound like the culture of the Maoist "struggle session" (pīdòu dàhuì) of the Cultural Revolution in China, when people were bullied and even beaten, sometimes to death, for ideological deviation and insufficient contrition. It is not hard to imagine when corporations will require this as a condition of employment. It is certainly already a condition of employment in most academic departments. And people have already been fired from their jobs just for voicing doubts or common sense, or saying "all lives matter." Which is self-evident.

Fearing black people is just what Segregationists wanted in the Old South. It justified Segregation and terrorism. Now we've got it again. But this is not unusual. Apart from Neo-Nazis and their ilk, all the racism in modern America is on the Left, with "Black Lives Matter" in the vanguard. And they have willing victims, all the guilty white "liberals" who are on the edge of self-hatred anyway. This pushes them over the edge. They even inflict the humiliation on their children.

After participating in politics in the 1990's, I have often felt that American politics is hopeless, with the danger increasing and the chances for real reform, and the restoration of Constitutional Government, fading. If the Democrats lose in 2020, it may do no more than stave off decline. Donald Trump is rather erratic, and he is not immune from adopting Leftist policies. Most Republicans otherwise exhibit their characteristic cowardice and disloyalty. If the Democrats win, or steal the election (they're working on it), in 2020, the United States will be well on the way to becoming Cuba, as the Democrats have wanted for some time.

What follows below is now the original page here from 2016.

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.

Ἐγκλινοβάραγγος (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.
Freedom from Fear, 1943, Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), National Archives at College Park
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 Baltimore 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."

Τηλεπατητικός (Telepateticus)

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 forum 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. [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. [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. [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."

Return to Varieties of Moral Aestheticism

Return to The Birth of Tragedy from the Spirit of Music

Is That a Fish in Your Ear?, Translation and the Meaning of Everything, by David Bellos

Nietzsche Index

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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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