Let there be change at last

Give ’em hell, John Oliver. Good summary.

I would also point out a fact revealed in this thread: most police activity isn’t about preventing crime, it’s about inventing crime, finding reasons to harass and intimidate and punish people to justify their existence. That’s the reason crime rates go down when the police go on strike: it removes a significant factor, the mere reporting of crimes that are generated to give the illusion that they are essential. Cop busy work is harassment of citizens.

Ever policeman in the country needs to be thinking about alternative employment opportunities. Preferably something that doesn’t involve carrying a gun or baton.


  1. komarov says

    “That’s the reason crime rates go down when the police go on strike: it removes a significant factor, the mere reporting of crimes that are generated to give the illusion that they are essential.”

    Ankh-Morpork, the largest city on Terry Prattchett’s Disc World, briefly had a fire brigade. They got rid of it again because of all the fires. Perhaps the US should switch to their model of a thieves’ guild, which took a dim view of unlicensed thieves (licensed ones leave you with a receipt) and sold theft insurance.

  2. says

    More and more I’m coming around to the conclusion that civil police departments are a form of legalized racketeering.
    There’s no civilian oversight. The people being policed have no say in how the police police them. I sound like a broken record I know. To move forward, accountability must be regained.

  3. Thomas Scott says

    Last night, a man drove through a group of demonstrators in Seattle, drew a gun and shot a demonstrator. He was arrested by the police.
    Some form of law enforcement and civil protection is required. There are bad people out there and they are not all cops.
    I suggest that accountability is what’s lacking, and that police unions are largely to blame. As a card carrying liberal that’s hard for me to say. Perhaps it’s time the police were represented by the same union as other civil servants.

  4. stroppy says

    Maybe little effective civilian oversight.

    Good on John Oliver. More attention should be given to the particulars of police training lest anyone think that Grossman’s words are just a bit of rhetorical flourish:

    “Are You Prepared to Kill Somebody?” A Day With One of America’s Most Popular Police Trainers

    A sensitive aspect not touched on



  5. jrkrideau says

    @ 5 pacal
    Here in Canada we can’t get the video.</>
    Pity, eh?
    OT, but did you know that that the Chrome browser has its own Hola VPN extension(free and commercial)

  6. kome says

    @3 Thomas Scott

    It is all cops. Because cops who don’t shoot black men get fired. Like what happened to former police officer Stephen Mader.

    Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd for nearly 9 minutes, murdering him despite the fact that Floyd at no point posed any threat to anyone. Three other cops stood around and did NOTHING! Two Buffalo cops were suspended without pay for shoving down a 75-year-old man without provocation, and immediately after the remainder of the Buffalo police in that unit resigned from the Emergency Response Team in a move the police union called a show of solidarity and support for the suspended officers. Last month, police around the country stood still and restrained while armed white people were storming government buildings demanding that servants get back to work cutting hair and mowing lawns, waving guns around and blocking ambulances from having unobstructed routes to hospitals, all while screaming about starting armed insurrection. Last week, police drove their SUVs through protestors angry about police brutality, launching tear gas and smoke grenades into crowds peacefully exercising their first amendment rights, assaulted and arrested domestic and foreign journalists for covering these protests (i.e. doing their job as journalists), all while crying that they fear for their safety and are just trying to uphold the law, despite the fact that almost none of the arrests they’ve made were for looting or vandalism.

    It. Is. All. Fucking. Cops.

  7. wzrd1 says

    @kome, that’s pure bullshit, the other three cops had their turns kneeling on the poor guy.

    Still, if it’s all the same to you, PZ, I’d like to keep the cops in our neck of the woods. No attacks, helpful to a fault and polite to all, regardless of one’s ancestry. A model for what law enforcement should be! The only thing they do with a stick is prop a window open with it.

  8. rickrog39 says

    I like the example of Camden, NJ that Thom August posted on the “esquire politics” page on Facebook. They fired their entire police department and made every single person reapply for a job. He said they weeded out about 1/3 of the department during this process. This is one way defund and rebuild could be accomplished.

  9. rabbitbrush says

    Be sure to watch to the end of John Oliver’s program, where you get to see and hear only part of this Kimberly Jones oration; but you should really watch the whole seven minutes, here: https://youtu.be/sb9_qGOa9Go

  10. Walter Solomon says

    @ Thomas Scott #3

    He was arrested by the police.

    You could argue he was saved by the police. I’m sure if the crowd didn’t fear catching a charge, they would’ve beat the shit out of him, perhaps killed him.

  11. says

    There certainly won’t be any change at the national level, it’s all going to be piecemeal.

    Trump isn’t going to carry out any reforms, and Joe Biden, who was the author of the 1993 law which is responsible for more of the current problems than any other single piece of legislation in the history of the country, has already indicated that he won’t permit defunding and will continue to view protests against the police as things to be stopped.

    Way to go, Blue No Matter Who supporters, you certainly got the No Matter Who, even if you didn’t realize that’s what you were asking for.

  12. John Morales says


    Trump isn’t going to carry out any reforms

    How fucking stupid do you imagine your readers are?
    That’s all he’s been doing, bringing in a true kakistocracy and undermining all the norms and ethos that used underpinned whatever legitimacy the USA’s government and credibility had (such as it was). Not even pretending, any more — unlike you.

    Trump has already pushed in a shitload of executive orders, crippled most national agencies and institutions, and so forth. Pulled out of treaties, fucked-up international relations, and so forth.
    Etc etc.

    He’s a reformist alright, and he’ll keep doing it as long as he’s enabled.

    By such as you.

  13. captainblack says

    Pacal #5. You just need to get your browser to pretend to be elsewhere, Opera will do that for you automatically (from someone with five different browser short cuts on their desktop).

  14. rpjohnston says

    Of course, VBNMW is a motto for general elections and has nothing to do with primaries, and vicar can go sit on a cactus

  15. Mobius says

    John Oliver, IMHO, is on the way to becoming a national treasure.

    It is amazing the number of great comedians, all doing satire on the current state of politics, that came from John Stewart’s Daily Show.