David Clarke and his pretty, pretty flair


Sheriff David Clarke is fond of wearing a flashy uniform, with lots of badges and crap splattered all over it. A man with military experience analyzes the stuff — it’s all meaningless garbage. I don’t think you can exactly call it “stolen valor”, though, since it’s not actually copies of anything militarily meaningful.

He never served in the military, either.

And guess what? I don’t think he’s a cowboy.

Fake all the way through. No wonder Trump likes him — they’re kindred spirits.

Comments

  1. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    Hermann Goering reporting for duty, heil frrmmph.

  2. Rob Grigjanis says

    slithey tove @1: Except Göring actually served with distinction in WWI, so earned at least some of the chest bling.

  3. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    Dan Rowan on Laugh-In used to dress up as about a 7-star General–all Clarke needs is the hairbrush-style epaulets and he’ll be there.

  4. wzrd1 says

    The only thing here is, law enforcement don’t wear military medals. Military medals are not authorized for non-military personnel and if memory serves, only the Medal of Honor is authorized with civilian clothing.

    I’ve also known law enforcement personnel from many jurisdictions and while some decorations are issued, none appear like what he’s wearing on that militaristic jacket. The left chest looks like unit medals, such as a law enforcement air unit and perhaps, a tactical unit.
    What’s on the left looks like it came out of a Cracker Jack box. Especially so for the ribbon, which was designed to skirt around US Code 36, Chapter 10, aka the “flag code”, which prohibits wear of the US flag.

  5. kestrel says

    I call these people Patch Guys. I know from meeting some that they hate meeting people who actually know about whatever type patches they are wearing so that series of comments probably really gets Clarke goat. But good grief does Clarke ever look ridiculous.

    As far as the Dime Store cowboy stuff? Don’t even get me started. What a loser.

  6. says

    Needs more braid. They dressed better in the napoleonic wars. (sniff)

    I can confirm, there’s no real military anything on that uniform, and it’s not really Class A’s though it’s an attempt.

    I should recommend my tailor, but then I’d rather see him looking like shit.

  7. Firestarter says

    I honestly don’t know if I should laugh or cry. It’s hilarious that he would play dress up like this, but it’s depressing that he’s being taken seriously by anyone.

  8. Jessie Harban says

    “Stolen valor?” Now that’s a bizarre concept. That we consider contract murderers to be so deserving of praise that we have a specific phrase to describe the offense of impersonating a contract murderer says all you need to know about us as a society.

  9. Jessie Harban says

    That doesn’t make colonialist wars of aggression any more palatable. If one of PZ’s kids becomes a cop, do we start treating the police as virtuous?

  10. F.O. says

    You do know that one of PZ’s kids is in the military, right?

    Is that an attempt at… what exactly?
    I have a great deal of esteem for PZ, but it looks like you are asking for reverence.

    And yes, it’s ridiculous that your nation makes such a show of honouring their contract murderers.

  11. chigau (違う) says

    …but it looks like you are asking for reverence…
    No it doesn’t.

  12. vucodlak says

    We’re all told that the members of the military serve our country, that they’re heroes, that they protect our people and our way of life. I heard that kind of thing in every history and social studies class, from my career military grandfather, in countless movies and TV shows growing up- ‘the (people of) military are the heroes that make our freedom possible.’

    A lot of kids join up believing that. Hell, when I was 18, I believed that the military served and protected the people. I’d always intended to join up because of that, and would have done so, were I not already thoroughly fucked in the head. Even most of those who join up out of desperation believe that they’re doing a good thing, to some degree.

    It’s not those kids’ fault that it’s a load of crap. It’s not their fault that they believed the propaganda. It’s not their fault that the military has largely been used to carry out the will of corporate America, particularly since the end of WWII.

    It really doesn’t help anyone’s cause to call them “contract killers.” The rot flows from the top. The defense industry, congress, the executive branch, the military leadership- that’s where the venom should be directed. Don’t lash out at everybody in a uniform. The people who pulls the strings of the people who set the policy- that’s the enemy.

    We’ll need soldiers on our side, before all is said and done.

  13. Ice Swimmer says

    I wonder what kind of uniform does Mr Clarke wear to the bath. (They joked that Göring would wear an admiral’s uniform to the bath.)

  14. cartomancer says

    I can’t get past the shaved head and wedge-shaped beard. He looks like he’s trying to make his face into a pie chart.

  15. komarov says

    Okay, I can’t help it, I have to ask: Is that an actual variant of a US salute? It looks very odd – well, much odder than the others I’ve seen, at least, where the hand doesn’t seem to float at a random point in mid-air.* It could be due to an unfortunate amera angle, of course, or maybe the picture was taken in mid-action. But this puts me more in mind of a gymnastics video. “And elbow out and in and out aaaaand rest! Now shake those medals, loosen up!”

    Apart from that I think it’s a bad idea in general to stick cops into a uniform. Yes, let’s frame them like a fighting force, that’s the proper mindset for servants of the community. What could possibly go wrong, especially in the US? The US aren’t the only country doing this but have a penchant for taking things one (ten?) step too far.

    *The closest I could find was one picture in the wiki, but I think the chap there was just worried about knocking his hat off…

  16. gijoel says

    Is it my imagination or is he black? I’m trying to work out why a crypto-white supremacist like Trump would want a black guy near him.

    Also a prisoner died of dehydration in his cell? WTF? Why isn’t this arsehole in prison?

  17. rietpluim says

    That’s just… pathetic.
    Some low self-esteem he must have that he needs these wannabe-decorations.

  18. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    Komarov @ 20:

    Picture Clarke wearing a giant Soviet Marshall’s cap (about the diameter of a cowboy hat?) and saluting from the podium as troops march past in Red Square. This isn’t the kind of salute that’s directed at anything or anybody, it’s the kind of gesture one makes receiving the salutes of a multitude.

    If he were Queen Elizabeth, he’d be rotating that hand back and forth. It’s a still photo–maybe he was.

  19. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    Vucodlak, you appear to have confused Jessie Harban with someone who actually believes in progressive values and wants progressive outcomes, rather than someone who has repeatedly shown over the months that his main and apparently only political interest is using how much better and purer he supposedly is than everyone else as the equivalent of David Clarke’s torso decoration.

  20. Saganite, a haunter of demons says

    Bizarre authoritarians, so enamoured with uniforms and medals and epaulets and bullshit like that. It reminds me of those insane North Korean military parades with officers’ chests hanging from collar to hem with clinking metal.

  21. Saganite, a haunter of demons says

    @gijoel
    A big government police state proto-fascist like that is “one of the good ones”, surely. And remember that Trump loves “the blacks”, so having somebody to easily use as a shield against accusations of racism while still advocating to harm and violate minority communities is doubly useful.

  22. gijoel says

    @Saganite That makes horrible sense. I keep wanting to say, “computer end program”, but I fear I’m one of the dystopian holodeck’s npcs.

  23. says

    The people who pulls the strings of the people who set the policy- that’s the enemy.

    We’ll need soldiers on our side, before all is said and done.

    Unfortunately… there has been systematic corruption and selling of the idea that the purpose of the military is to uphold white, Christian ideals, and defend conservative values too, with some of the “people who pull the strings” being *in* the military, or former military, or pretending, really hard, to have once been military, and they are, since they see them as an extended, world wide, police state structure (or so it seems), are far more supportive of *anything* the military does, even when the action taken is reprehensible, and little better than ordering mass murder, then not really caring that the target was missed. So.. no, they are not “supposed to be” contract killers. But… how many of the “true believers” among them are, while thinking they are “defending the nation”, sort of like crusaders, or witch hunters, who where also so, so, certain they where doing the right thing, and following sensible orders? Its not simply a case of, “The people in charge are poison, and the military is just following orders.” Even military law doesn’t accept that excuse, when it bothers, at all, to question whether or not what was done was just, or sensible, instead of reprehensible and counterproductive. I suspect, if it came down to the military siding one way or the other, they would be split down the middle, with one side going whole hog for the poisoners. But, I desperately hope otherwise.

  24. Larry says

    As far as I can tell, the entirety of the orange menace’s administration, from the hair down, plays dress-up any way. This marionette will fit in perfectly playing at something he is not.

  25. taco_emoji says

    FYI – the Army vet quoted in the Daily Kos piece is genderqueer according to their Twitter bio, so your descriptor of them in the first sentence should probably be adjusted accordingly.

  26. says

    Vucodlak, you appear to have confused Jessie Harban with someone who actually believes in progressive values and wants progressive outcomes, rather than someone who has repeatedly shown over the months that his main and apparently only political interest is using how much better and purer he supposedly is than everyone else as the equivalent of David Clarke’s torso decoration.

    At least some of the purists have stayed true to their revolutionary rhetoric.

  27. davidc1 says

    Any one remembers Kenny Everett’s American General ,shoulder boards about 3 foot long ?.

  28. robro says

    I get that Clarke’s phony bling shows how incredibly vain and pretentious he is, and unfit for public service. But what really matters is what he has done and said. Letting a mentally ill person die in jail for lack of water is criminal. That kind of thing strikes a chord in me because a year ago, my son was in jail awaiting a psych eval while in the midst of an intense psychosis. Not Clarke’s jail, but one with it’s own reputation for ignoring mental illness and jailhouse suicide. We do not need arrogant, self-righteous twits involved with law enforcement in any way whether it’s sheriff of a major city or a deputy secretary of Homeland Security.

    Police, jails, even the military may be a necessary evil in a complex civil society, but we need people serving in them who still possess some humanity.

  29. birgerjohansson says

    A certain Anders Behring Breivik also posed in fantasy uniform….Before going off on a killing Spree, murdering more than 70 people, most of them Children and adolescents.

    You can probably find a link to that uniform photo, but I can not be bothered. Breivik should simply have used the uniform of SS Einsatzkommandos.
    — — — — —
    Another Scandinavian racist kook dressed up as Darth Vader. He bought a German stahlhelm on internet, painted it black and dressed up in a black outfit. Then he brought a sword (!) with him, entered a school with mostly immigrant children, and started stabbing and slashing people. Before the police arrived he had mortally wounded four people.
    When the police arrived he did “suicide by cop”, advancing on them with his sword until they shot him.
    True story.
    Kooks and their outfits could be a subject for a monograph.

  30. birgerjohansson says

    If Clarke wants more bling, he should buy second-hand Finn medals.
    In 1919, before nazis hijacked the swastika, Finland introduced a high military decoration worn round the neck like the Ritterkreutz, consisting of two linked swastikas.

  31. Larry says

    So if it’s the uniform that matters, will trump nominate those fat, camo-clad warrior wanna-bes with their really big tiny penis-substituting rifles to serve as his personal body guard?

  32. alkaloid says

    @gijoel, #21

    Tragically, yes, he’s black. He’s one of the black people who’s paid by bigots to hate other black people-so he’ll be even crueler and more vicious than the norm for this relentlessly hopeless shithole of a society. Envision Uncle Ruckus (if you’re familiar with the Boondocks TV show) with better dental, a cowboy hat, and even more ego.

  33. zetopan says

    He is certainly well decorated with all of those Alternative Medals for his Alternative Valor! This is so exciting! What will the next Cracker Jack box have in it? I can hardly wait.

  34. Jessie Harban says

    @17, Vucodlak:

    It’s not those kids’ fault that it’s a load of crap. It’s not their fault that they believed the propaganda. It’s not their fault that the military has largely been used to carry out the will of corporate America, particularly since the end of WWII.

    Propaganda or not, people who murder Iraqis for the benefit of American corporate interests need to face responsibility for their actions. Every tyrannical country uses propaganda; I wouldn’t give the soldiers of the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany or the British Empire a pass simply because they were taught supporting their country’s military was a good idea.

    @24, Azkryoth:

    Vucodlak, you appear to have confused Jessie Harban with someone who actually believes in progressive values and wants progressive outcomes, rather than someone who has repeatedly shown over the months that his main and apparently only political interest is using how much better and purer he supposedly is than everyone else as the equivalent of David Clarke’s torso decoration.

    See, I think the trouble here is that my goal is to enact progressive outcomes while your goal is to be perceived as the sort of person who supports progressive outcomes. Accusing me of being concerned with “purity” is basically the same concept of calling me an “SJW;” in essence, you’re saying: “You’re a bad person for genuinely supporting the things I falsely claim to support for the sake of social expediency.”

    Normally, I’d consider the possibility that you are a progressive desperately trying to rationalize your clearly expressed support for regressive policies, but in this case I don’t have to. The fact that you insist on misgendering me shows your complete and utter contempt for progressive values, so it’s clear you’re just trying to call me an “SJW snowflake” in a manner you can get away with on a left-leaning blog.

  35. microraptor says

    I don’t think you’re in any danger of anyone here accusing you of promoting social justice.

  36. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    No, actually it shows that I remember your privilege-oozing mewling about how Clinton wasn’t PERFECT and your insistence that flushing your vote down an MD who cozied up to antivaxers, had no chance of winning, and had no viable plan, program, or congressional power base was the morally superior choice. (This, incidentally, is the exact night and day opposite of caring about progressive outcomes rather than the appearance of being progressive). In light of said privilege-oozing, I was not aware I was misgendering you. I will not do so in the future.

    (Well, I suppose there is a small chance it shows I have you confused with another poster. If that is the case I do apologize).

  37. Friendly says

    the military has largely been used to carry out the will of corporate America, particularly since the end of WWII.

    More particularly since 1893, when our business interests (with the aid of our religious interests) used the U.S. Marines to overthrow the rightful government of Hawaii…and then five years later ginned up the Spanish-American War.

  38. wzrd1 says

    @Jessie Harban et al;

    “SJW snowflake”

    I wore the uniform and killed in the name of my nation, I also did a hell of a lot more constructive in between. I *expected* “SJW snowflake” types to do their jobs, their own duty, be a fucking avalanche, to control the government I swore an oath to protect and uphold.
    So, blaming me for doing what I swore an oath to do isn’t gaining any traction, beyond mere friction, when we overall agree!
    Honestly, to this very day, I still wonder why close friends were killed in Iraq, as the US doesn’t receive oil from that nation, although that would’ve been a pale excuse. I can and do agree with Afghanistan, if you disagree, go talk to my cousin’s family about their dead dad, who was ground into dust at the WTC on 9-11.
    Frankly, I signed up during one of far too many economic downturns, remained for economic benefits and educational benefits.
    We didn’t and still do not have the benefit of picking and choosing anything, we go where we were ordered, like proper “contract killers”, aka soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines. It’s up to You, The People to control our government, as the servants of that government, by definition, may not control it. Unless you’d rather we have a military coup d’etat.
    Which is honestly, the farthest preference from the overwhelming majority of our military service members minds.
    We had enough keeping track of US law, Geneva Convention and Hague Convention requirements and some edging that our senior most staff was conducting.

    And for the record, I’m quite highly offended by the multiple “contract killer” references and similar demeaning, dehumanizing means of addressing those who only wanted to defend their nation.

    @Friendly, thanks! Proper historical context is vital, lest none learn. I also heartily recommend General Smedley Butler’s “War is a Racket” for reading.
    https://archive.org/stream/WarIsARacket/WarIsARacket_djvu.txt

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