Category Archives: Local issues

National Guard in Ferguson

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Governor Nixon called in the National Guard to quell the violence in Ferguson, Missouri. The local police aren’t trusted by looters in Ferguson. It turns out the looters aren’t local either. Most of those arrested were not from Ferguson.

Why Ferguson?

Victor Davis Hanson wonders why some shootings spark violence and others don’t.

On average, more than 6,000 African Americans are killed by gun violence each year. That startling figure is nearly equal to all of the U.S. combat fatalities incurred in both Afghanistan and Iraq over some 13 years.

The violence usually begins with a white man killing an unarmed black man. In Trayvon Martin’s case the NYT described his killer as a “white hispanic”.

The media almost invariably distort the facts, sometimes deliberately seeking to incite tensions. In the Trayvon Martin case, journalists published photos of Martin as a diminutive adolescent, not more recent pictures of Martin as a 17-year-old who was much taller than (George) Zimmerman (Martin’s killer)… In the Brown case, the media has rushed to portray the victim as a “gentle giant” who was almost certainly gunned down by a racist, trigger-happy cop… NBC edited a recording of Zimmerman’s 911 call to police in a way that suggested Zimmerman was a racist.

Next up for blame are Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and the New Black Panther party.

Almost immediately, they incite tensions by issuing wild, unfounded charges. Jackson said of the Martin shooting that “targeting, arresting, convicting blacks and ultimately killing us is big business.” Jackson just called the Brown shooting a “state execution.”

Then come the politicians cashing in for advantage.

…usually in ways that only make things worse. Libertarian senator Rand Paul, who is eyeing a 2016 presidential run, blamed the police for their overt military appearance and their crowd-control tactics. Yet street violence still persisted days after police in military-style riot gear were pulled from the scene — until finally there were requests for National Guard intervention.

Finally we get racial finger pointing.

Liberals acknowledge high black violent-crime rates but cite poverty, racism, and unfair police enforcement as the catalysts. Conservatives counter that high rates of single-parent families, dependence on government entitlements, and glorification of misogyny and violence in popular culture account for inordinate black violent-crime rates.

And the country becomes more divided.

Meanwhile, we might remember that the American experiment to unite various racial and ethnic groups into one culture is as noble as it is rare in history. When it has previously been tried in the modern world — Yugoslavia, Cyprus, Iraq, Rwanda, Syria, Congo — it usually has failed spectacularly.

 

Military Policing

140815-military-policing The American people don’t want the US military policing Ferguson, Missouri any more than they want it policing Mosul, Iraq. Besides it’s kind of illegal. But that doesn’t keep the Pentagon from shipping free military hardware to police forces all over the country. Your local cops are armed to the teeth with everything from assault vehicles to grenade launchers. The Washington Post says half a billion in free gear was handed out to cops last year. That doesn’t sit well with Rand Paul. Or Mark Steyn. Not to mention, cops in camo look ridiculous on main street.

Shouldn’t a ‘Ferguson’ camo pattern be, like, 7/11 & Kool-Aid logos?

Military Policing

The single bullet Barney Fife policing method may not be the way to go, but more dashboard cameras and fewer MRAPs might not be a bad idea. A convenience store camera showed that Michael Brown wasn’t the “gentle giant” he was made out to be, as he strong-armed his way to a box of Swisher Sweets. But as Steyn notes, we’ll never see the way he was killed because the cop who shot him lacked a dashcam.

 

Update:

Here’s Kevin Williamson in NRO on the purpose of policing. And Mark Steyn from last November on our “drift toward despotism“.

In other news, local cops aren’t the only ones we’ve armed to the teeth.

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Toxic Toledo

140808toledoWestern Lake Erie suffers toxic algae blooms this time of year. Last Saturday the stuff got into Toledo’s drinking water.

Holy Toledo

Here’s a Daily Beast essay by Toledo Tough, P.J. O’Rourke, embracing toxic water.

 

Bachelor Degree


This is an editorial cartoon I did for the Tampa Bay Times. Florida Governor Rick Scott, taking a page from the Texas playbook, is challenging state colleges to offer 4 year degrees for $10,000.

Swing State

The  swing state seems to swing both ways.