Kenosha


I despair. There is no hope. The United States is too deeply broken, burdened with flawed ideas of justice, too hateful of equality. Even the most obvious, easy ethical principles are discarded by the people in power. Kenosha is just the latest example. There will be others tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.

Kenosha exposes the inexcusable nature of policing in this country. You would think that it would be apparent to anyone that a gun is not a universal solution to every problem, and that you don’t use deadly force in response to offenses that do not threaten others. Not to the cops! They responded to a “domestic incident”, witnessed an unarmed man, Jacob Blake, walking away, and shot him in the back. It ought to be a strongly enforced rule in the police that you do not react to a non-death penalty offense, one in which no one is under threat of harm, with an extrajudicial execution. If someone is rampaging with a long gun and murdering people, you can make a case for stopping them with a firearm; if someone is walking away from a disturbance, even if they were responsible for it, and doing nothing but getting into a car with their kids, you do not have cause to shoot them. It’s really that simple. Go ahead, let them drive away. You’ve got their license plate number, you’ve seen and can ID the individual, you have body cam photos of the guy. It’s OK. Getting into a car, even getting into a car while black, is not a crime, and is not a threat.

But our cops are trigger-happy, and think that disrespecting them by disobeying a shouted command is grounds for immediate execution. That has to stop. It is unconscionable. The entire squad of police who committed this atrocity need to be immediately fired and charged with a violent crime. Instead, the police are defending this attempted murder. As usual, they’re raking through Jacob Blake’s history to find anything that makes him less than a divine angel, smearing him to justify their actions.

More than defunding the police, we need to disarm the police, simply to short-circuit their knee-jerk tendency to solve every difficulty with a bullet. No more guns. Have a small force trained to use guns that are only deployed when the circumstances warrant…and 99% of the circumstances police deal with do not warrant firearms.

Kenosha adds another twist. I said that maybe the police could justify using firearms if someone is rampaging with a long gun and murdering people? They had exactly that situation. Two people are dead and another is maimed because a punk kid saw the protests as an excuse to gun down people in the street. The police aided him. They praised him for showing up at protest with a long gun, which is already insane — this is a situation that desperately requires de-escalation, and they encourage random civilians to intrude with a display of weaponry?

The cops are guilty, guilty, guilty of enabling and provoking the violence in Kenosha.

But further, the actual murderer is a product of a culture that rewards obsession with guns. That’s not changing. Right now I’m seeing people treating the murderer as a hero, while Jacob Blake deserved it. The rot is threaded throughout the core of American society. As usual in this country, it’s also an infection erupting around skin color.

The murderer has been arrested driving away from Kenosha — I don’t know how that happened, shouldn’t he have been shot in his car? — and has been charged with first-degree murder. Anyone want to take any bets on whether that charge sticks? I’m going to guess he’ll pull a George Zimmerman.

The protests are still going on in Minneapolis, by the way. This is a fire that is spreading, and it’s not going out as long as police- and gun-culture are not torn down.

Comments

  1. says

    I’ve never had to shoot someone in self-defense after driving across state lines with a gun I couldn’t legally possess to a situation I had no training to handle.

  2. brucegee1962 says

    I haven’t been able to bring myself to watch any of the GOP lunacy on the tv this week, but there’s one burning question that everyone should be asking them.
    They claim that only they have the solution to all of the unrest going on in America’s cities. Have they given the slightest indication of what that solution is supposed to be?
    Or are we just supposed to guess at what their solution will be? Let me see, it’s coming to me — does it rhyme with “fear mass”?
    Can they give the slightest evidence that this has any chance of working? Oh, that’s right — evidence is for wusses.

  3. hillaryrettig says

    Hi from Kalamazoo. When the Piss Boys marched here, two weeks ago, we had maybe 100 police from 5 jurisdictions, including the state troopers. They did nothing while the PB: (1) crossed state lines to foment violence, (2) rallied and paraded (with firearms) without a permit, and (3) instigated violence. They also formed a cordon so that the PB could leave the Radisson garage (where they had all parked) in an orderly and peaceful way. Many of the PB came from out of state and (4) had taken the license plates off their cars. They were driving without plates literally under the noses of the compliant cops.

    Now I’m wondering if Rittenhouse was one of those out-of-staters who drove off?

    When police don’t arrest white terrorists they not only enable them, but leave potential killers out on the street.

  4. says

    Reports this morning claim a knife was found on the driver’s side of Jacob Blake’s car. Colour me skeptical. I suspect it will either turn out to be something like a box cutter, or there will be claims by the Blake family that he didn’t have a knife in the car.

  5. raven says

    Anyone want to take any bets on whether that charge sticks? I’m going to guess he’ll pull a George Zimmerman.

    He may very well beat the rap!!!
    It’s already happened in Seattle.

    Couple charged in shooting of protester at Milo Yiannopoulos …

    Apr 25, 2017 – Couple charged in shooting of protester at Milo Yiannopoulos event in Seattle. This article is more than 3 years old. Elizabeth Hokoana charged …

    At a Milo Yiannopoulos hate festival, a couple shot a protester in the torso and he almost died.
    They were not arrested by the Seattle police.
    Eventually they were arrested when evidence was found that they intended to go to the rally to shoot someone.
    So what happened at their trial?

    Prosecutors won’t retry couple accused in shooting of antifa
    https://www.seattletimes.com › seattle-news › crime › prosecutors-will-not-re…

    Sep 6, 2019 – Prosecutors won’t retry couple accused in shooting of antifa protester on UW campus during Milo Yiannopoulos event. Sep. 6, 2019 at …

    They beat the rap in a jury trial.
    The shooter flat out lied and said the guy she shot had a knife.
    It was a crowd scene and no one saw the knife because she flat out lied.

  6. drew says

    If pizza delivery drivers killed 3 people a day across the country, we’d ban pizza delivery. And being a pizza delivery driver is more dangerous than being a cop. Just ban the police.

  7. raven says

    Portland Anti-Fascist Activist Killed In Hit And Run … – OPB
    https://www.opb.org › news › antifa-killed-homicide-cider-riot-sean-kealiher

    Oct 14, 2019 – 13, 2019 at 4:30 p.m. PT) — Portland Police say a prominent anti-fascist activist was killed early Saturday near Cider Riot, a Northeast Portland …

    It happened in Portland too.

    A young antifa activist was killed in Portland.
    The murder weapon, a 2 1/2 ton SUV was recovered at the scene.
    There were quite a few witnesses.

    The Portland police have no idea who the murderer was.
    And they never will.
    The clearly spent more time on where to go to lunch that they did investigating this murder.

    “All lives matter” is an obvious lie.
    All lives clearly don’t matter to the police.
    That is the problem.

  8. microraptor says

    We don’t need to disarm the police.

    We need to get rid of the rot entirely- get rid of them and replace the police force with something different that isn’t run by ex-cops. Because right now, they’re no longer even making a pretense that they and the far-right criminal gangs like Patriot’s Prayer and the Proud Boys aren’t working hand-in-hand.

  9. says

    @#4, LykeX:

    The people don’t always suck. But they keep stupidly thinking that the party running a guy who thinks cops should be permitted to shoot people, that the police should have more funding from the federal government, who got endorsed by Richard Spencer the literal Neo-Nazi, will actually work to solve this problem instead of making it worse.

    (And in case you don’t get it: I was just describing Biden, but this applies just as much to Trump. The only moral vote is a 3rd-party one.)

  10. rpjohnston says

    You can pass all the laws against this or that you want, police aren’t going to arrest themselves. Nor are they going to do anything meaningful to stop the violent thugs they’re allied with and drawn from. Disbanding them means they just go to being regular rabble like Rittenhouse. Safety is not possible until force is suppressed with force, and the best that we can hope for is the Biden admin to take away all their military toys to even the field somewhat.

  11. Scott Petrovits says

    @ The Vicar: “endorsed by Richard Spencer”

    Whose “endorsement” (read: troll being a troll) he roundly rejected, unlike Trump’s “good people on both sides” bullshit. The only moral vote is anti-Trump, and 3rd-party votes in the current political climate are the refuge of weak-willed people who want to make the perfect the enemy of the good.

  12. Akira MacKenzie says

    Kenosha is about 40 miles from my from my town. The political barometer of this household is, of course, my crazy, gun-nut, Trump-worshipping, Arch-Catholic father. Each night, when he sits down at his bedroom computer to read the “news” (i.e. a combination of Breitbart and Drudge Report) which supplements his usual diet of right-wing talk radio: Limbaugh, Hannity, and a local fascist prick named Mark Belling. You can hear his reaction to what he’s reading–a hysterical stream of ignorant, racist, homophobic, and economically callous ranting and raving–from the backyard.

    Since the protests over Jacob Blake shooting, my father has been more paranoid than usual. “Those [INSERT RACIAL SLUR HERE] can just TRY to burn my house down!” as he fondles one of his precious firearms. Right Dad. BLM or other scary brown people are going to march through two counties just to come to lily-white Muskego just to loot and pillaging the home of a 72-year-old semi-retired chemist. I swear, he’s itching for a chance to shoot one of America’s many “enemies.”

    He was also livid at the news of Rittenhouse’s arrest: “What? Are they going to arrest everyone who tries to defend their home from thugs?” Of course, I can’t talk to him about this, or make any perceptible sign that I disagree with him, lest he toss me out on my ear. This is HIS house and no one is going to tell him what to do. He refuses to entertain any point of view not his own because, as all the right-wing talking heads have told him throughout his white-privileged life, anyone who disparages American society is not only to destroy this country, but kill and enslave him as well.

    There are millions of men and women (mostly men) like my father throughout the US, and unlike many on our side of the spectrum, they are united and they vote. Until they are gone, they will be a millstone around our civilization’s neck; and don’t delude yourself into thinking this is a boomer phenomenon that will pass as they die off. Each day. I see far too many 40-year-olds and younger sporting MAGA hats. Unless we find a way to combat and destroy right-wing ideologies, the cancer will be passed on generation to generation.

  13. fossboxer says

    Having seen a very disturbing phone video of “long gun” boy mowing down his victims, it looked to me like he was using an “assault-style” rifle (e.g. AK-47 look-alike or some such with a long banana clip). I can only assume that by using the generic phrase “long gun” the cops are trying to backstage the fact they gave this punk with his high-capacity weapon a thumbs-up earlier in the evening.

  14. fossboxer says

    @13 – You describe my 80-year-old father, on the other side of the country from yours, to the letter. Lives in a tiny Wyoming town, by himself, with firearms scattered around the house for that day when “they come.” Of course all his pals think the same way. GOP unity is their superpower the rest of us seem to lack. Trump n’ gang know this. Appealing to them to please consider the issues, or to think about the children, isn’t going to work.

  15. captainjack says

    I’m betting that nobody who knows Vicar personally will talk to them anymore. Reading their posts is like listening to an incessant whine in a noise contest.

  16. Saad says

    The Vicar, #10

    Which third party candidate? And explain in detail your plan to get enough people to vote for this third party candidate by November 3rd for them to actually become president.

    Or shut the fuck up.

  17. unclefrogy says

    @13 & 16
    I am in that same age group born an appropriate time interval after VJ day. When I was in high school I got to see news stories like Medgar Evers being shot dead in his driveway and I watched the Boston School desegregation riots of the TV as well to just name a couple of items, a list could be easily made to stretch around the glob of similar stories. So no it is not new and will not just fade away with time. They are right they are loosing their society they are loosing their culture and their power. They are not going to give any of it up voluntarily any more then George III “gave ” the colonies their independence.
    The obvious course of our history is toward diversity I do not think you can put it back to what it was any more then the antebellum south with all of its power and prestige was restored by Jim Crow law. The growth of the south and its modern prosperity comes after the 60’s.
    The ruling classes have always been about divide and conquer
    I been watching this kind of shit my whole f’n life I would like to hope that it would be “solved” once and for all some day but I am not a that naive . their are always kids eager to die on some battlefield for some noble story they tell themselves encouraged by nasty greedy hate filled old men.
    uncle frogy

  18. LeftSidePositive says

    Vicar, you know perfectly well that the morality of an action depends on its RESULTS. How the fuck is a 3rd party vote “moral” when it will enable the actual fascist who will kill more people?! Keeping your hands clean is a pretty superficial and lazy morality when there is an actual disaster requiring hands-on help.

    You obviously don’t care about real human beings or saving their lives. Go fuck yourself.

    And, for the record, one of the reasons the police are SO rightwing (even in relatively liberal cities) is that the Left has such distaste for engaging with power that they have completely ceded sheriff elections, city councils, etc., etc. to right-wingers, AND Democrats feel they have to adopt the “Law and Order” bullshit because they (correctly!) perceive low-information “moderates” as attainable votes, whereas people who would respond to an unapologetic challenge to a police state mentality are the least likely TO VOTE. Even someone like Kamala Harris who bucked QUITE a lot of pressure to continue the de facto rightwing norms of the attorney general office (I’m not saying she’s perfect, just that she made a lot of demonstrable improvements in people’s lives by moving the status quo leftwards as AG) is getting hate from the left as “a cop.” Ok, well, great! You’ve just established that no one with liberal leanings can be an attorney general and have a political career, so you’ll just let that office go to increasingly hateful right-wingers where they will keep ruining vastly more lives. Very praxis. Such revolution.

    So, vote Biden. Vote Democrat for EVERY office on your ballot (and if you happen to live in a place that still has a primary or has a 2-Democrat runoff for any office, vote for the most civil-liberties-defending of them). But, that cannot be the end of it. We must continue to march, write letters, boycott enabling companies, donate to activist orgs, join lawsuits, call our representatives, stage sit-ins, etc. to make sure that real change happens once we get some people who are at least not fascist into power. “At least they’re not fascist” is a pretty low bar, but it’s a NECESSARY bar when there are fascists gathering strength. Then, it will be our moral duty to CONTINUE to put pressure on our Democratic representatives to actually do what we need, and have strategic lists for who needs to get primaried if they’re not living up to our expectations.

  19. LeftSidePositive says

    While I’m not so utopian to think that long-term, a totally police-free society is possible, I am fully in favor of disbanding every department that’s been in the news recently, barring the higher-ups from EVER serving in law enforcement or security again, and very carefully considering ONLY those officers with no misconduct complaints and very thorough vetting. Oh, and of course, no guns for the vast majority, and a ban on military vehicles, riot gear, LRADs, and tear gas. The police should be a small, unarmed, sidelined force that can be called in for emergencies where arrests or physical restraint is necessary, but response & decision-making should be in the hands of medical personnel, firefighters, social workers, and conflict resolution specialists. No one answering the phone when you call 9-11 should be in the police power structure: the police should be ancillary and show up only when better-trained, pacifist-leaning experts call them for a defined purpose.

  20. kome says

    Kind of strange that with the country burning – figuratively and literally in quite a few parts – so many people are still content with fighting tooth and nail for only piecemeal and incremental change that ultimately doesn’t disrupt the status quo. People who will fight harder against those calling for revolution than they will ever fight against the established and systemic corruption are just as much to blame for the constellation of messes we find ourselves in. Quite a lot of Americans, mostly white, are the “don’t make trouble” character from the classic Jewish joke.

  21. davidc1 says

    One of the good things about the UK is that the plod are not normally armed with firearms .

  22. LeftSidePositive says

    @kome, #24. That’s quite a nice strawman! Who exactly is fighting for “only” incremental change? What exactly do you mean by “revolution” and are you happy to see fascism take over first because you idiotically believe “after Hitler, us”? Is your concept of “revolution” one that is ok with hundreds of thousands of people dying in a pandemic, dying from complications of not getting their medications in the mail, dying because the services that help them with their disabilities are disbanded & destroyed? Are those people expendable? And if they are, what makes you willing to condemn them to death different from those who withhold funding for healthcare or tolerate lethal police brutality?

    What people ARE saying is that we should uphold the parts of the status quo that are KEEPING HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE ALIVE, because their lives have value. Because destroying the status quo lets dictators in WAY more often than it ushers in socialist utopias. We’re saying you shouldn’t throw away the protections for literally all of our freedoms for NO BENEFIT just because you have rapture fantasies about “revolution.” We can keep people alive in the short term, protect our hard-won freedoms (incomplete and imperfect as they are), AND use that stability and safety to make well-reasoned, effective fundamental changes to our society–including by direct action and civil disobedience, but take a few hours out of your day to vote people in who are less likely to kill those protesters and activists.

  23. LeftSidePositive says

    Shorter @kome: No one’s saying “don’t make trouble.” We’re saying make GOOD TROUBLE (rest in power, John Lewis), and be smart about what trouble you make.

  24. says

    The Vicar, even if everything you say were 100% true (it is not), your insistence on repeating it in every single post even tangentially connected to elections for over five years by now, despite knowing that nearly nobody around here takes you seriously anymore, is not healthy.

  25. gyreandgimble says

    I think it is interesting that no one has mentioned that Jacob Blake was trying to get into (reaching into?) his vehicle after being told to stop by the police. I guess this could be called resisting arrest. Could it be that he was shot because the cop was afraid he was reaching for a weapon? Couldn’t Blake have predicted that is what would happen if he didn’t stop? Or perhaps he was afraid if he did comply he would be treated like George Floyd.

  26. says

    #24 @davidc1 I agree, and while our police are far from perfect, generally people do not get shot. However, I have a feeling that our police not being routinely armed works because the general public is not routinely armed. In other words the police officer doesn’t have to worry that the person they are engaging with will pull a gun on them. This of course requires firearms legislation, and a drive to get firearms out of circulation.

  27. LeftSidePositive says

    @gyreandgimble, #29:

    I don’t think that’s particularly interesting. What I think is a more interesting question is WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?

    Take your victim-blaming and shove it up your ass, if you can fit it in past your head up there.

  28. vucodlak says

    @ gyreandgimble, #29

    I think it is interesting that no one has mentioned that Jacob Blake was trying to get into (reaching into?) his vehicle after being told to stop by the police. I guess this could be called resisting arrest.

    If someone from a group with a proven track record of murdering people like me (even when those people are following that officers’ orders to the best of their ability) starts giving me orders, I wouldn’t be too inclined to obey, either. My first instinct would be to get away.

    Could it be that he was shot because the cop was afraid he was reaching for a weapon?

    That doesn’t make it acceptable. Every time someone stands too close behind me in public, I’m afraid they’re going to attack me (it’s happened before, after all), yet I’ve refrained from attacking any of them. Police officers are presumably more stable and responsible than paranoid head-cases like me, and they should definitely be held to a higher standard than the average citizen.

    In other words, if they’re that scared, they’ve got no business being cops in the first place, and they should be charged to at least the standard that someone like me would be for shooting someone in the back

    Couldn’t Blake have predicted that is what would happen if he didn’t stop?

    Cops shoot black men who are lying on the ground with their hands flat on the pavement. There’s literally nothing a black man can do that won’t be considered an acceptable excuse to murder them (or attempt to murder them, in this case).

    So no, he couldn’t have predicted. What he did know was that even obeying perfectly and without question wouldn’t keep him safe.

  29. logicalcat says

    Friendly reminder that The Vicar actively wants Donald Trump to win. The guy who prompted this violence to begin with and made it worse with racism, cultural acceptance of white street gangs oops i mean “militia” and authoritarian measures. Thats his guy.

  30. logicalcat says

    Also Vicar of course Richard Spencer is endorsing Biden. He wants Biden to lose. And you fell for it.

  31. Rich Woods says

    No more guns. Have a small force trained to use guns that are only deployed when the circumstances warrant.

    This what we have in the UK. About 10% of the police overall are (or have been) firearms-trained, and those who maintain that training can be selected to do a one-year on / one-year off stint as armed response officers working normal shifts (in a patrol car suitably equipped with secured lethal weapons, adhering to strict protocols designed to manage the deployment of lethal weapons). On top of this the major metropolitan areas do maintain specialist squads of armed officers (equivalent to SWAT teams), which train heavily and are only deployed when the circumstances are known to require it.

    We still see instances where unarmed, harmless members of the public are killed by armed police, but this is an average of about one person per year. For the benefit of those people who believe the police should be routinely armed for their own protection, I can also say that of course we do see circumstances where police officers die when being armed might otherwise have saved their lives. However this runs at the rate of about one officer every three years. None of these numbers, obviously, are good. They could always be better, but experience has shown that you tend to trade off one figure for the other.

    For the sake of clarity for USA readers, the figures I’ve quoted aren’t just for my city. They are for my entire country.

  32. oddie says

    Biden is notgoing to do anything to fix the police. He is going to give them more money and hope they fix themselves.

    “ Biden on Wednesday said that in his first 100 days in office he’d create a national police oversight commission with civil rights leaders, Biden on Wednesday said that in his first 100 days in office he’d create a national police oversight commission with civil rights leaders, police officers, police chiefs and other criminal justice experts to consider police reforms, including hiring, training and de-escalation practices.”

    The criminal justice system in the country is completely morally bankrupt and he wants to pull ideas mostly from that system to fix the problem they are so inundated in the cops can’t even see themselves properly. It’s better than Trump be it won’t fix anything and these shooting by cops will continually happen until the systematic issues are fixed.

    https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/510763-biden-says-he-supports-additional-funding-for-the-police

  33. oddie says

    Also most small community police forces are made up of the biggest D-bags you knew in high school. Most of them don’t have anything more than a high school diploma and the k-12 education in this country is a joke for the most part.

  34. vucodlak says

    @ oddie, #37

    Biden is notgoing to do anything to fix the police.

    No, but he’ll probably not use them as soldiers in his personal race war, like Trump is. He might even allow his justice department to crack down on the white supremacists in their ranks.

    So, of the available options, Biden remains the clear favorite. Sadly.

  35. gyreandgimble says

    31 and 32. I am not victim blaming. Just wondering if things could have gone a different way if Blake hadn’t tried to get into his car. “ My first instinct would be to get away.
    Could it be that he was shot because the cop was afraid he was reaching for a weapon?
    That doesn’t make it acceptable.”
    I agree, doesn’t make it acceptable. And I didn’t say that. I was expecting someone would accuse me of saying that. And while ones first instinct may be to get away, it is probably better not to try. While perhaps nothing is safe here trying to get away may be less safe. And I agree that these cops who fear black bodies so much should not be cops. Again, interpreting cops actions as being being from fear is not victim blaming nor excusing the cops. The cop who killed philando Castile seemed very afraid in the video, which is why he was not convicted of murder. Not excusing him or blaming Castile.
    What I find interesting is that no one here ever sees this side of it.

  36. vucodlak says

    @ gyreandgimble, #40

    Just wondering if things could have gone a different way if Blake hadn’t tried to get into his car.

    Of course it could have gone a different way. It didn’t. What happened happened the way it happened, and it’s not useful to speculate on whether or not it might have gone a different way.

    The problem here is that there was no safe option for Blake, or any black man encountering the police. Yeah, maybe things would have happened differently had Blake behaved differently, but the man was shot 7 times in the back.

    If you don’t want to be accused of blaming the victim, then don’t wonder if the victim was somehow at fault for a cop having shot him 7 times in the back in front of his children. The only person to blame here is the cop who pulled the trigger.

    I agree, doesn’t make it acceptable. And I didn’t say that.

    No, but your idle musings about how it might have gone differently based solely on the victim’s behavior aren’t happening in a vacuum.

    While perhaps nothing is safe here trying to get away may be less safe.

    Or the cop might have shot him dead while he was carefully obeying their every order.

    You’re looking for an explanation for this that doesn’t involve systemic racism and the normalization of brutal policing practices. There isn’t one.

    What I find interesting is that no one here ever sees this side of it.

    We all see it. Every person in this thread sees it, the lurkers see it, and every person in a marginalized group who has ever interacted with the police sees it, especially black people.

  37. oddie says

    @39 Totally agree with you. What a depressing situation that we have to claw our way back out of.

  38. LeftSidePositive says

    @gyreandgimble, #40: “I’m not victim blaming. Just wondering about all the ways I can victim blame.”

    You’re not fooling anyone. Go fuck yourself.

    It’s not that “no one here ever sees this side of it.” We see it just fine, thank you very much. We also recognize it for the cop-enabling, weaselly bullshit that it is, and you have no excuse not to recognize that yourself, instead of wasting all our time JAQing off. NO ONE should have to spend their lives having to react in just the right way to all situations unless a cop decides to kill them (even assuming there is a “right way” which there usually isn’t). NO ONE should have to wonder if they are dealing with an unstable or fearful cop, or a cop who is allowed to be as “fearful” as he wants because he knows his supervisors will believe his claim of fear and allow him to murder with impunity. NO ONE with half a brain thinks the Castille’s murderer was allowed free because of his “fear.” It’s because our society is racist as shit and will find any excuse to justify the murder of Black men.

    In conclusion, fuck the fuck outta here. And when you get to where you’ve fucked off to, fuck off from there. Keep fucking off until you get back here, and then fuck off again.

  39. says

    So, gyreandgimble, “reaching into a car” is a criminal act with the penalty of death on your dismal, unpleasant planet?

    You could fuck off, as has been suggested, but I just fucked you off myself.

  40. says

    “You could fuck off, as has been suggested, but I just fucked you off myself.”
    Why do certain clapbacks sound kind of hot? Rhetorical question…

    Also: “I despair. There is no hope. The United States is too deeply broken, burdened with flawed ideas of justice, too hateful of equality. Even the most obvious, easy ethical principles are discarded by the people in power. Kenosha is just the latest example. There will be others tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.”

    This country is less than 250 years old, PZ. Can’t you give it another 250 years to improve? I mean, neither you nor I nor anyone else here will be around to see it (let’s ignore the possibility that no human being will be around in the future to see it). But I can’t sarcastically hope for the future when my favorite atheist blogger slaps me in the face with cold hard truth…

  41. chesapeake says

    In his famous and well regarded book, Between the World and Me ,Ta-Nehisi Coates
    advises his son on how to survive in the world. “ What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? This includes telling him how to behave in confrontations with the police, so he would probably have a great deal to say to his son about the behaviors of the black men who have been hurt or killed by the police in recent years. It seems to me that the person you just banned was simply talking about the same things that Coats would be in explaining to his son how to avoid harm from the police. They were not saying that reaching into a car should be a death sentence but may be ill advised. You would also not want to reach for a cell phone in your pocket because you might be shot. Please tell me how I am wrong.

  42. logicalcat says

    Weve seen victim blaming so many times that we know ot when we see it. You are clearly Chesapeake new to this.

    Your wrong in that your comparong how a black father addresses serious issues with his son versus some idiot trying to find fault with the victim of murder. You cam bet Coats is not echoing the same stupid questions.

  43. unclefrogy says

    the big thing that almost always occurs in these types of situations the one thing that is always glossed over by those trying to defend these unsurprising outcomes is the shear volume, the f’n numbers of gun shots or the numbers of blows with a club (or flash light) or the time involved in the physical subduing of the guy who dies.
    one shot is enough maybe fear or excitement maybe but when you empty your f”n gun point blank you are full of shit. When all the cops have the drop on some dude and then they all open up and empty their weapons the overkill puts the lie to any excuse they can come up with afterwards.
    it is always the over kill that puts the lie to all the BS that comes after ward.
    uncle frogy

  44. chesapeake says

    Are you saying that Coates would not tell his son to obey the cops, or not reach for a cell phone, or not reach in the car?

  45. oddie says

    @53 Remember what happened to Philando Castile? How doing everything right work out for him and his girlfriend and his child. Fuck you

  46. vucodlak says

    @ Chesapeake, #49

    They were not saying that reaching into a car should be a death sentence but may be ill advised. You would also not want to reach for a cell phone in your pocket because you might be shot. Please tell me how I am wrong.

    You are wrong because you are treating the cops as entities with no agency or responsibility whatsoever.

    Jacob Blake wasn’t shot because he wandered onto a firing range. He was shot seven times in the back because a police officer decided to kill him. That was the cop’s intent– to kill Blake.

    It doesn’t matter if the officer was scared. It doesn’t matter if the officer thought he’d been disrespected. It doesn’t matter if he thought Blake was trying to flee the scene. It doesn’t even matter if he thought Blake might be going for a weapon. Not a single one of those things justifies, in even the smallest sense, the officer’s decision to murder Jacob Blake.

    The responsibility for the attempted murder of Jacob Blake rests completely on the shoulders of our racist society, our system of corrupt and brutal policing, and of the cop who pulled the trigger. The responsibility does NOT rest with the victim.

    My last comment seems to have been eaten, so if this turns out to be a double post, then I offer my apologies.

  47. Alverant says

    Kenosha has the Bristol Renaissance Faire and is probably a big part of the local economy. It’s certainly what it’s best known for (until now). Since it employees a lot of actors and artists (who tend to be liberal) the cops should re-think some of their attitudes. (Then again apart from public intoxication they probably don’t go there often in an official capacity and stay away from the Ren-freaks otherwise.) I’m just glad when I go next year the time spent in Kenosha is limited.

  48. says

    More than defunding the police, we need to disarm the police, simply to short-circuit their knee-jerk tendency to solve every difficulty with a bullet. No more guns. Have a small force trained to use guns that are only deployed when the circumstances warrant…and 99% of the circumstances police deal with do not warrant firearms.

    I’ve said this quite a number of times, many right here on FtB.

    You shouldn’t be eligible to carry a gun until after you’ve been on the force for 5 years (nor should you automatically get one at 5 years), and being a cop without a gun should be destigmatized. “Taking your gun away” shouldn’t be synonymous with desk duty or punishment or uselessness. Most of a cop’s job is done without resort to a gun, so why not have most of the cops disarmed?

    Even tasers should be prohibited for the first 3 years. You have to completely socialize cops to handle problems without resort to weaponry BEFORE you let them touch weapons.

    The problem isn’t teaching cops how to identify situations in which to use their weapons. The problem is teaching them how to identify situations in which NOT to use their weapons.

  49. John Morales says

    What gets me is that this cop had his gun trained on the victim at all times, yet after firing seven shots at the victim’s unprotected back at point-blank range, didn’t manage to kill the victim.

    (I dunno what guns they use, but pretty sure they’re not popguns)

  50. PaulBC says

    Akira MacKenzie@13 I asked about this before and it was over a year ago, but how can you live like that? Is there seriously no way to get out of that house? It just sounds like a living hell.

  51. LeftSidePositive says

    @Crip Dyke, #57: I second those policies (not that I have very much power in this world, but oh well).

  52. wzrd1 says

    Wrong on a number of minor points, PZ.
    The original victim was tazered and kept moving, due to the superpowers imbued by melanin or something. There was a knife on the driver’s floorboard, which was revealed by both sides of the entire mess. Knives are thermonuclear warheads in disguise and capable of destroying law enforcement officers at great range.
    Said evil being also armed a thermonuclear armed rectum, resulting in the need to shoot his colon clean out of him
    The murderer of two, wounding another, was driven by his mother, with him wielding a weapon federally unlawful for him to own, due to his age.

    Still, your conclusion I do agree with. I say that we take off and nuke the site from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure.
    Then pilot our starshit back home and… Oh, shit…
    First star to the center and straight on till morning?

    Meat! What a cloistersmurf!

  53. Saad says

    From my #20:

    The Vicar, #10

    Which third party candidate? And explain in detail your plan to get enough people to vote for this third party candidate by November 3rd for them to actually become president.

    Or shut the fuck up.

    Note how they disappear whenever a simple question like this is posted.

    This is further evidence that they’re a cowardly Trump supporter.

  54. says

    I feel like a lot of the arguments against voting for Biden boil down to “but it won’t fix everything”, which ignores the fact that no course of action will fix everything. You just can’t get there from here. You’re in too deep.

    I would recommend focusing on getting to a place wherefrom you can then move forward. Trump getting re-elected is definitely not that place. Biden at least gives you options for the future.

  55. says

    @Saad, #20

    That’s Vicar’s MO. He comes in, drops a steaming pile of shit on the doorstep then disappears because he knows that his points will all be refuted within 5 minutes.

    Classic troll, and he should be completely ignored, or just banned already.

  56. Akira MacKenzie says

    PaulBC @ 59

    It’s isn’t easy. I live paycheck-to-paycheck in a call center job without much potential for advancement. I don’t have much in the way of marketable skills, nor do I have the time or money for retraining. Even then, I don’t think most employers would be interested in a 45-year-old newcomer. Throw in clinical depression and ADD and you can see why I’m not living on my own. I guess living with a easily-angered, bigoted parent is the price I pay for being a loser.

  57. unclefrogy says

    @85
    NO JUST NO
    you are not a loser
    thinking of myself as losing is the start of depression. Some times I start down that way and find myself in the old pointless place. The circumstances of my life are what they are. I can look back and see how I ended up here what I did and why and what happened I had little control over and the many mistakes I can look at it many ways as well and do depending on how I start looking.
    I open my eyes in the morning and I see light and shadow shape and color.
    If I refrain from taking the story of all I see as some kind of judgment which I am making and shape it it is OK.
    The thing I remember is this time I am experiencing always is changing my feelings about myself (what ever that is) is changing as well.
    So I know I will feel differently in a while there is no once and for all just one thing after another and i can not see very far ahead either.
    there is something else I noticed. Why do I take the opinions and judgments of people who I do not respect and who I know are ignorant fucked up people to heart and not the nice people who care and like me?
    uncle frogy

  58. logicalcat says

    @Chesapeake

    What im saying is that Coats wouldnt bring up the fact that he was reaching into the car with regards to this latest killing. He teaches his son as a matter of survival. But when analyzing a killing bringing it up offers nothing except victim blaming. Especially when we have examples of people dieing despite doing everything right.

  59. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    I feel like a broken record, and so sorry. The problem is the lack of personal accountability for the police. Police kill people because they can. Because they can get away with it. Because we let them. If we held police personally accountable in civil and criminal court, then things would change.

    How do we get there?

    Have the government(s) publish detailed code of conducts and rules of engagement that detail the acceptable levels of force and rules for escalation of force by police in many example situations, and have these rules assume some level of rule of law in courts. Part of the problem is that AFAIK we don’t have a proper legal standard in most places to even determine if the use of force by police was legal or not. Rather, we have to rely on these old common-law empty-sayings, like “reasonable person feared for their life” and the like. Instead, we should have a comprehensible, simple but somewhat detailed, set of guidelines. PZ Myers gave a guideline at the start – lethal force is not justified except in the immediate defense of self or others from imminent deadly force, plus spelling out what is and is not deadly force for this rule, which should include guns, but not tasers. (Having said that, if someone tasers someone unjustly and the person dies, then the attacker should be held liable for manslaughter as per the eggshell skull principle.)

    Then, when we can get agreement on what the standards of conduct should be, let’s get them in court.

    Repeal qualified immunity entirely (leaving only absolute immunity for proper actions that are actually lawful). Let the victims get money from these cops. Bankrupt the cops in their individual personal capacity. Then, if it happens again, that should be cause to sue the city for keeping a reckless person on the police force.

    Then, get criminal convictions. I still bringing back the common law right of the idea of allowing the victim, or the close friends and family of the victim, to seek indictment from a government-operated grand jury, choosing the charges and choosing any counsel of their choice as prosecutor, subject to basic minimum vetting and safeguards by the grand jury, and if they decline to do so, then the opportunity to prosecute defaults to the government(s) of jurisdiction just like today. — We cannot rely on government prosecutors to prosecute police. We need a victim-driven justice system to seek justice from those in power. This is the working theory behind civil courts, and while civil courts are far from perfect, they serve a necessary and irreplaceable function. The same should be true for victims personally seeking justice in criminal court. — Preemptively – prosecutors are supposed to be biased as fuck, and if you think that victims being prosecutors would somehow be more biased than government prosecutors, then I don’t know what you’re talking about.

    Alternatively, if that’s too crazy to you, establish a new set of prosecutors whose only job and power is to prosecute other prosecutors and prosecute police.

    Ban plea bargaining. Just ban it. Give an exception for plea bargains in exchange for mob informant testimony, but that’s it.

    I think anything short of this is just not taking the problem seriously, or pursuing strategies that have been tried a dozen times in America in past years, failing each time.

  60. says

    @#20, Saad

    Which third party candidate?

    At this point? I’d say the Communist Party.

    And explain in detail your plan to get enough people to vote for this third party candidate by November 3rd for them to actually become president.

    After you explain how voting for Biden, a guy who spent 40-odd years working to exacerbate or, in many cases, actually create the problems we are now seeing with GWB, Obama, and Trump, is going to address anything. Or how Harris is going to sudden stop being a careerist spouting empty crowd-pleasing platitudes and then defending the status quo in practice, after spending, well, her career that way, and work for the voters rather than the donors.

    Voting for somebody you know is going to make everything worse does not strike me as being any more practical than voting for somebody who might actually fix some things but is most likely going to lose — either way, we’re screwed, but at least in my direction there’s the hope that enough people — obviously not you, galaxy-brain — will become smart enough to vote the same way.

    The Democrats aren’t going to solve any problems, ever — and in particular they aren’t going to address this one, that of police brutality. In nearly every larger city where these protests have been going on, Democrats control either the city government or the state government or both. They could legislate solutions to these problems without having to even talk to Republicans if they wanted to. Instead, we get stuff like this. The party is in bed with the corrupt cops; there are no “good apples”.

    Or shut the fuck up.

    I’ll do that as soon as Biden stops telling lies. Which means shortly after he dies, if his primary campaign and recents statements are any guide. You’ll have to put up with it.

  61. says

    Oh, and incidentally: I generally don’t bother to reply to you people partially because I forget which posts I’ve commented on, but mostly because, like the Democratic Party itself, you have nothing new to say to me. It’s always “oh, but if we don’t support [egregiously horrible candidate who has passed decades screwing the left over to chase donor money and Republican votes] then then Republicans will win!” And then either the Republicans win anyway, or your candidate gets in and does nothing.

    Honestly: voter suppression (and fraud via computerized voting machines) was an issue since 2004. You could argue that it’s the most important issue at all… Democrats under Obama? No bills to seriously address it at all.

    Climate change? Been a major issue since the 90s, and talked about for at least a decade before that. Nothing under Clinton, nothing under Obama.

    Mortgage fraud and the derivatives bubble? Elizabeth Warren made some decent proposals — Obama worked with Senate Democrats led by Debbie Wasserman Schultz to help the Republicans block or undo them (along with defanging Warren’s consumer protection agency.

    The banks and Wall Street? Obama didn’t prosecute anybody for the 2008 meltdown, but he did feel moved to give a speech telling us it was okay for bankers to get bonuses in the same year they crashed the economy and had to be bailed out by taxpayers.

    And the party continues to consciously chase Republican votes which they have no chance of ever actually getting, while deliberately kicking the base in the teeth at every opportunity to show those Republican voters (and, of course, the rich donors) that they can be trusted. You’re backing a racist, sexist, homophobic “pro-life” rapist sociopath who thought GWB’s Iraq War was great, thinks that police still need more funding, and voted for the creation of ICE before helping run and expand it for 8 years.

    At this point, the Democrats can’t really even be said to be Republican Lite any more — they’re just outright Republicans. Why bother?

  62. Rob Grigjanis says

    The Vicar @71:

    like the Democratic Party itself, you have nothing new to say to me

    Whereas every comment from you has fresh insights and perspectives, and is nothing like the output of a tedious, thoroughly predictable bot! I needed a good laugh today.

  63. says

    @The Vicar:

    After you explain how voting for Biden, a guy who spent 40-odd years working to exacerbate or, in many cases, actually create the problems we are now seeing with GWB, Obama, and Trump, is going to address anything

    It’s going to leave you with a president who will not deliberately sabotage your epidemic response. That’s something.

    …at least in my direction there’s the hope that enough people — obviously not you, galaxy-brain — will become smart enough to vote the same way.

    You couldn’t rally enough people to make Bernie the candidate, but you think you can swing the vote for the communists? You don’t actually believe that, do you?

  64. logicalcat says

    @LykeX

    Nope. He doenst believe that. He actively wants Trump to win in order to punish democrats. The Vicar is a terrible person who is okay with the deaths of many and the propagation of fascism as long as it punishes democrats. He said so himself in a recent thread. Its practically a left wing version of “owning the libs”.

    @The Vicar
    “Oh, and incidentally: I generally don’t bother to reply to you people partially because I forget which posts I’ve commented on, but mostly because, like the Democratic Party itself, you have nothing new to say to me.”

    Lol sure.

  65. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    To Vicar
    Protest voting for third party candidates in the general national election does not work.

    My sister was part of a Democratic Party state central committee for a few years, and learned that the old guys that run the show simply believe that protest voters like yourself are basically impossible to please and write you off. So, just protest voting in the general election is a losing strategy. By contrast, what can actually work is voting for better candidates in the primaries. We’ve seen this strategy be wildly successful by the Tea Party. What can also work is participating in the party apparatus like my sister did, and urging all of your friends to join too.

    If you want to make a viable third party, then starting at the national level elections is also a waste of time. The only viable path is to start small, like local and state elections, to establish the new party as a viable party. Otherwise, you’re just playing spoiler.

    Note that the workable alternative strategies that I’ve proposed require you and me to do more than just tick a box in the general election. At a minimum, it requires voting in the primaries, and most of the strategies require much more work than that. There is more to being a responsible citizen than just voting.

    Also, note that all of the strategies that I’ve proposed are compatible with voting for the lesser evil in national elections. At least, it seems that you admit that Biden is clearly a better candidate than Trump and will do much better overall compared to Trump, and so I hope I don’t have to argue that angle.

    The world is not perfect. We cannot always get what we want. Throwing a tantrum and choosing inaction because you won’t get everything that you want, when taking some action can make things a lot better compared to inaction, is childish, selfish, and short-sighted.

  66. KG says

    After you explain how voting for Biden, a guy who spent 40-odd years working to exacerbate or, in many cases, actually create the problems we are now seeing with GWB, Obama, and Trump, is going to address anything. – The Vicar@70

    This is of course an admission that you know as well as anyone else that neither the Communist Party candidate, nor any other third party candidate, has a ghost of a chance of winning, and that you support Trump. And of course voting for Biden – if enough people do it – will address the problem of removing what is in all essentials a budding fascist regime from power. And is probably the last chance to do so.

    @71

    Honestly: voter suppression (and fraud via computerized voting machines) was an issue since 2004. You could argue that it’s the most important issue at all

    Oh I see! That’s why you’re supporting the party and leader who are quite explicit about having voter suppression as the core of their electoral strategy.

  67. Saad says

    Vicar, #70

    Voting for somebody you know is going to make everything worse does not strike me as being any more practical than voting for somebody who might actually fix some things but is most likely going to lose — either way, we’re screwed, but at least in my direction there’s the hope that enough people — obviously not you, galaxy-brain — will become smart enough to vote the same way.

    You think Biden will make everything worse than Trump? Jesus. Just put on that MAGA hat already.

    but at least in my direction there’s the hope that enough people — obviously not you, galaxy-brain — will become smart enough to vote the same way.

    Awwww, hope. How warm and cozy and squishy.

    You voting for the Communist party will make people smart enough to vote the same way? What? At least make an ounce of sense here.

    And again, no plan whatsoever on how to get a third party in the office in January 2021.

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