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The Endarkenment
Posted by: Dale Franks on Saturday, November 24, 2007

That's Billy Beck's term for, among other things, the declining ability of people to think critically and logically. It proceeds apace, apparently, according to a new poll.
Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe the federal government had warnings about 9/11 but decided to ignore them, a national survey found.

And that's not the only conspiracy theory with a huge number of true believers in the United States.

The poll found that more than one out of three Americans believe Washington is concealing the truth about UFOs and the Kennedy assassination - and most everyone is sure the rise in gas prices is one vast oil-industry conspiracy.
I don't really have much hope for the future. Morons cannot maintain a sophisticated, technological civilization. And slowly, and ever so surely, that's what we're becoming.

And it's not just the lack of critical thought. It's the lack of being able to think morally or philosophically. take a look at this:



We're heading nowhere good.
Once more, children: we are cultivating exactly the very mentality that once herded human beings into cattle-cars without hearing the sounds of its own conscience. These automatons—these political homunculi—are being cultivated to not reason to a moral conclusion on their own powers.
And there's something I want you to notice. It's important. The cop pulls his taser immediately. The man is offering no threat, the officer tells him to get out of his car, walks back to the RMP cruiser, drops off his ticket clipboard, and draws his taser before asking the man to comply. In the abscence of any threat at all, the officer initiates force.

The rules for dealing with the police are now getting much simpler. Comply, instantly, or be tasered and arrested. And if you happen to get caught up in an accidental no-knock midnight raid, and your dog gets shot, well, you can't break an omelette, etc.

We're losing America. I hope you enjoyed it while it lasted.
 
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This is what you get when you feed people the “the Daily Show” as their primary source of information. While it is often funny, some people just can’t cypher out the “comedy” from the “truth”. Too many of those cute one-liners go into people’s memories as the truth, when they are meant to to be comedy.

They end up living in a world that only Ron Paul and Chuck Baris would love.

The richer truth is that the MSM will do nothing to aid in dispelling any of these theories. When Popular Mechanics is the best voice of reason, you know our airwaves are going disused.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
and most everyone is sure the rise in gas prices is one vast oil-industry conspiracy.
So why haven’t the Democrats investigated this this obvious conspiracy against the “little guy” that they so dearly represent ?

Because even they know it’s not true, or is it that they represent the “rich”.

Oh, it’s both.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
Think about this:

All those morons get to vote on your rights.


I’m telling you: I fear for the children.

If you can take a long view of history, I don’t see how you can conclude otherwise.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe the federal government had warnings about 9/11 but decided to ignore them, a national survey found.

And that’s not the only conspiracy theory with a huge number of true believers in the United States.

The poll found that more than one out of three Americans believe Washington is concealing the truth about UFOs and the Kennedy assassination - and most everyone is sure the rise in gas prices is one vast oil-industry conspiracy
Hopefully these people heavily cross-reference with the same people who feel that sterilization is the way to save mother earth...
The richer truth is that the MSM will do nothing to aid in dispelling any of these theories. When Popular Mechanics is the best voice of reason, you know our airwaves are going disused
Actually that makes perfect sense. Mechanics, the laws of physics (*for the most part*), how machines work, cause and effect- these are entirely logical and reason-based. Not subject to intepretation. There is no room for "this is the first time fire has melted steel" mentality. Either the machine functions, or it does not. And if it does not, the reason will never be chalked up as being Bush’s fault.



Watch the movie Idiocracy for a fun take on this subject.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Yes we’re doomed, DOOMED I say...and you D@mned kids stay off my grass!!!

The "Flynn Effect" keeps boosting the average IQW and we’re id-jits....People collectively are no smarter or more stupid that they ever have been. Get over it, this is simply the same effect we see on TV. Murder/crime must be up, it’s always on the TV, no not necessarily, it’s what we see. You see a lot of silliness, they doesn’t mean that the baseline of silliness has moved, only that we see it.

You want to despair, go ahead. I bet your parents looked at YOU and "Thought, Jeeeeeez he and his friends are going to run the country?! We’re SCREWED." Every generation sees the same thing and had the same thing said of them.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Sorry. THe kid should hve done what he was told. Cops nowadays are just as likely to get shot at a traffic stop than anything else. THe kids left hand and arm was out of sight (from my view point) when the officer pulled the taser.

If a cop tells me to do something then I will do it. I believe that 99.9% of the cops out there are mostly honest and trying to do their job.

 
Written By: retired military
URL: http://
and most everyone is sure the rise in gas prices is one vast oil-industry conspiracy.

And all those people whining about gas at $3.50/gal will happily spend $.99 for a 1/8 gallon(16 oz) bottle of tap water...

(Note: Gasoline at $3.45/gal in OH has $0.46/gal in Fed/State taxes- thus we have a $3.00 product taxed by the Gov’t at 15%, while Exxon’s profit margin last year was only 10%...)
 
Written By: Fletcher
URL: http://
Editted video is very suspicious to me. There’s a chunk missing. Perhaps for brevity or perhaps you see the cop’s patience understandably eroded.

I’m keeping an open mind until the cop gets a chance to rebutt this.

OTOH, with what we have, the cop seems too quick to tell him to ’assume the position’. That being said after that point, the guy makes his own bed. He was not only not complying, he was starting to walk away. One hand is absent from view while the other hand is fiddling with his pocket.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
All those morons get to vote on your rights.
For how long? I think that universal suffrage will end in America in my lifetime. It isn’t sustainable.
 
Written By: Phelps
URL: http://phelps.donotremove.net
"If a cop tells me to do something then I will do it."
That is completely horrifying.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
For how long? I think that universal suffrage will end in America in my lifetime. It isn’t sustainable.
Yepper all them womenz and mud people votin’ c’ain’t be gude....or are you prepared to demonstrate when the American Electorate has been brighter or better informed? Please enlighten us as to this putative Golden Age of voter brillaince.

Where we supposed to condem the Cop, the driver, or both in the video? Because if it’s the Cop I’d like to remind you that you ARE living in a Golden Age of Police Professionalism. If you think the Poh-leece is bad today then you might want to consider them in the past...just watch the film from the Selma March or watch film from the 1968 Chicago Riots. In short this is the best police force, on the whole, we’ve ever seen.

Which would lead me to wonder how this nation survived the Dark Ages of Police...must have been the brilliant citizens, I guess.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
"If a cop tells me to do something then I will do it."
That is completely horrifying.
It’s also the wisest course...but if you want to fight the guy with the mace, the taser, the club, the .40 S&W and the radio feel free. Me, I say "Yes sir" and "No Sir" and prepare to fight my battle, if there is to be one, in a court room. But if you want to dispute the law and philosophy with a man or womyn who has the power to beat you/kill you/make you late, all legally, by all means feel free to do so.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Is there anything that a cop could order you to do that would violate your own moral code?


More generally at large:

When and how did Americans become such goddamned punks, so ready to be pushed around at a word?


May your chains rest lightly upon you, you poor bastards.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Is there anything that a cop could order you to do that would violate your own moral code?
An animal will gnaw it’s leg off to escape a trap. A human will play dead....
More generally at large:

When and how did Americans become such goddamned punks, so ready to be pushed around at a word?
From the video who was the punk, the Cop or the driver? But I’d love to see Billy Beck deal with the cop...I guess you’d have done what the cop demanded or what Billy would you have taught him "what for?"

I really didn’t see that much that was noteworthy on either side...two men, full of testosterone, deciding to see whose p*enis was larger. Only one of them had the law and a taser, behind him and the other just didn’t. If anyone would care to point out what law the cop violated? He could have handled the guy better, but exactly what did the cop do that was evil?
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
"The cop pulls his taser immediately"

What is your definition of immediately? It seemed to me there was a fairly long period of discussion first, and it was pretty obvious the guy was not going to cooperate in any way. As the cop said, the guy thought he was in charge. The guy refuces to sign the ticket, so he was going to be arrested. How do the police arrest someone in your jurisdiction? Particularly when they are alone with multiple unknown subjects.

If the hill you guys want to die on is refusing to sign a ticket or cooperate in any way with the police, you go right ahead. On this one, I’m with the police.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
"But I’d love to see Billy Beck deal with the cop..."
That’s right, Joe.

You would.
"I guess you’d have done what the cop demanded or what Billy would you have taught him ’what for?’"
{shrug} Well, you can guess all you want to, but I know the facts. Go ahead: ask me how I know.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
A typical Billy Beck posting, Billy the Bas-@rse...You and Walter Mitty, I guess.

So you want to explain how the Cop violated some law or commandment? We’ll just the bluster that you habitually like to post.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
If anyone would care to point out what law the cop violated?
I don’t know if there is a law that dictates this action — but why did the cop order the man to step out of the vehicle? In other words, by what right did the officer have the authority to make the man leave his car? The man at that point did what he was told and the officer then reached for a weapon and told the man to place his hands behind his head. The officer did not feel a threat since he told the man to exit the car and proceeded to turn his back on him.
exactly what did the cop do that was evil?
He abused his position of authority to the point of attacking a man who posed no threat. Why would a person feel the need to exert his authority in this manner simply because a driver refused to sign a ticket?
If the hill you guys want to die on is refusing to sign a ticket or cooperate in any way with the police, you go right ahead. On this one, I’m with the police.
You support the police trying to arrest a man because he wouldn’t sign his name?

We are surely doomed.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Also, the officer never told the driver he was under arrest before hitting him with the taser. The man could not be resisting arrest. He also was not posing a threat to the officer or anyone else. He did not follow the cop’s command to put his hands on his head. He got tasered in the back as he was moving away from the cop.

Instead of us explaining what law the cop broke, maybe Joe can inform us of which law the American citizen with rights violated to allow a violent attack by a government agent?
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
exactly what did the cop do that was evil?
He abused his position of authority to the point of attacking a man who posed no threat. Why would a person feel the need to exert his authority in this manner simply because a driver refused to sign a ticket?
Because now the man was advancing on him...refusing to obey an order...so mayhap Mr Innocent is just trying to get close to use his Glock on the Cop. I think you’re using hindsight...after all he guy didn’t shoot the cop,, so the Cop had nothing to fear. Well the cop had no idea of that....Let’s transplant this to YOUR house. Bob is at your house, and he isn’t doing what YOU want...you don’t know Bob, all you know is that Bob is walking toward you even though you keep saying don’t do that. Betcha you tase him too.
If the hill you guys want to die on is refusing to sign a ticket or cooperate in any way with the police, you go right ahead. On this one, I’m with the police.
You support the police trying to arrest a man because he wouldn’t sign his name?
He got arrested for advancing on the cop and refuising to obey his orders.
We are surely doomed.
20 years ago the cop would have beaten the guy...and possibly shot him. But now he got tased, on tape...it’s the Golden Age of Policing. Just compare what did happen to what might have happened 20 years ago..a dead motorist and only the cop’s side of the tale is told. Nowadays the cop has options short of violence and his actions are on YouTube...but that’s all irrelevant here in An-Cap Central.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
I don’t know if there is a law that dictates this action — but why did the cop order the man to step out of the vehicle? In other words, by what right did the officer have the authority to make the man leave his car? The man at that point did what he was told and the officer then reached for a weapon and told the man to place his hands behind his head. The officer did not feel a threat since he told the man to exit the car and proceeded to turn his back on him.
I’m not sure I have this 100% correct but from what I understand, when presented with the ticket he’s essentially been arrested. Signing the ticket is agreeing to appear in court allowing the officer to Release him on his Own Recognizance.

The cop can’t let him go without signing.

If he refuses to sign, he has to go through the formal arrest process.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
"You and Walter Mitty, I guess."
Keep guessing.
"Because now the man was advancing on him..."
You not only act like an imbecile, Joe, you’re blind, to boot.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Sure thing Billie, not how I saw the tape, but whatever....
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
"but whatever...."
Christ. You’re like a teen-aged girl. Look: you can hold a dumb-ass opinion if you want it, but you cannot have your very own custom facts. That man was walking right past the cop who drew on him.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
The cop can’t let him go without signing.
This is incorrect. There is no requirement under Utah law for a person to sign a citation.
Because now the man was advancing on him...refusing to obey an order
1) Cop told man "Hop out of the car"
2) Cop gave no other command and turned his back and walked away from driver
3) Driver exited car immediately without argument
4) Driver did NOT advance on cop — Driver walked toward speed limit sign pointing — was NOT walking toward cop — was not walking in an aggressive manner — had not disobeyed any legal order
5) Cop turns around and tells driver to "turn around and put your hands behind your back" as he reaches for his taser.
6) Driver not facing or looking at cop while cop giving command and reaching for weapon
7) Cop has weapon drawn and repeats command
8) Driver refuses and walks away from cop
9) Cop shoots driver in back
Bob is walking toward you even though you keep saying don’t do that. Betcha you tase him too.
You’re pulling an Erb — that’s not what happened.

Utah Code — Title 77 — Chapter 07 — Arrest, by Whom, and How Made
77-7-6. Manner of making arrest.
(1) The person making the arrest shall inform the person being arrested of his intention, cause, and authority to arrest him.
77-7-7. Force in making arrest.
If a person is being arrested and flees or forcibly resists after being informed of the intention to make the arrest, the person arresting may use reasonable force to effect the arrest.
The driver was never informed of the intention to make the arrest. Therefore, the cop violated Utah regulations by applying force.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
I think that all those terrorist attacks since Lockerbie, or the first WTC attack or the Embassy Bombings or etc.,etc. could be construed as "the federal government had warnings about 9/11 but decided to ignore them."

There are plenty of widgets out there, but I’d take those polls with a little salt.
 
Written By: Noel
URL: http://www.sharpknife,blogspot.com
I found this (emphasis mine):
If you are cited, try to remain calm and listen to what the trooper is telling you. Remember that by signing the citation you ARE NOT admitting guilt, it is just a promise to contact the court. If you don’t sign, state law does give the trooper the authority to place you under arrest and transport you to jail or to the court to post bail.
However, I can’t find the code that actually says you must sign the citation. In fact, the actual citation says nothing about your signature being required. It only states that your signature is a promise to appear and cites specific code stating failure to appear is a crime.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Is there anything that a cop could order you to do that would violate your own moral code?
Sure. A bunch of stuff...

Getting nailed with a ticket for speeding doesn’t involve any of them, however.

The guy is making the classic error in thinking "my taxes pay his salary, so I’m his boss", and starts telling the cop what’s going to happen. Sure, in a way he is, way down the line, when he votes in elections for the people who end up telling the cops what to do, but on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere, I’m sorry but I have to side with the cop here.

Do what the nice police officer tells you.

When cops start letting people they pull over issue the orders, then we really have lost.
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
"Sure, in a way he is, way down the line, when he votes in elections for the people who end up telling the cops what to do,..."
Well, thank Christ for small favors, then. I mean, I can look back at about forty years of history right in front of my own eyes and see how well that’s been working out, and my faith is restored. At this rate, maybe we could fully restore the whole Bill of Rights in about fifteen or twenty generations of voters getting squeezed through compulsory public education like herring through a factory-ship.
"When cops start letting people they pull over issue the orders,..."
It’s not about "orders", mate. It’s about reason.

And I believe that that is exactly why you cannot see your way to the bottom of this thing.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
When cops start letting people they pull over issue the orders, then we really have lost.
What have we lost by a driver telling an officer that he’s not going to sign the citation?

There is a record of who the driver is (driver’s license).
There is a record of who owns the vehicle (registration).
There is a record that the driver knows he was issued a citation (police report and video).

The cop releases the driver and files his report. The driver either complies with the citation through the court system or gets an additional warrant issued for his arrest.

Instead, the driver really does get to issue the orders NOW. He gets to drag the cop, the department, and the state through a long legal battle, and he likely gets a nice chunk of change from the tax payers.

Yeah, that cop really saved the republic with his actions.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
It’s pretty clear there were mistakes by both parties in this case. Unfortunately the guy with the gun can’t make any before he starts shooting (either weapon). The guy in the car should have signed the citation, the citation clearly shows what he is being charged with including speeds, and the remainder of the discussion is something for a courtroom. Sorry dude the officer arresting you wasn’t in the mood to discuss if you were innocent at the time - he doesn’t have to in our system - that’s why you don’t have to pay until you get your day in court.

As for the cop he should have said just that "it’s on the citation" in terms of answering the original question. When the driver initially refused to sign he should have next said - look you either need to sign or I need you to exit the vehicle so I can transport you to the station for processing and further discussion. Next when he asked the driver to exit the vehicle at some point he needed to clarify this scenario he never did.

Also note when he describes the scenario at the end his description does not match the events on tape since he didn’t inform the individual he was arresting him - a key statement with regard to his decision to use potentially deadly force (btw tasering someone on the highway includes the added risk of the individual landing in the lane and being hit).

Keep in mind re: the threat to the cop - he obviously had a young family with a small child (the man’s son) in the car - so the cop pulls daddy out of the car, tasers him in front of his son and throws him in the cop car for - possibly speeding... and not responding to his commands - the driver better have been doing about 100 so the cop can claim the driver was endangering the child more then his actions were... because up until the taser the guy probably owed the state money but now well the state owes him money and that cop might be looking for a new job since I sure as heck wouldn’t want him pulling me over with my family in the car.
 
Written By: BillS
URL: http://bills-opinions.blogspot.com/
"...your day in court."
How can we arrange a poll?

I’d like to know exactly what sorts of experience commenters on this post have with arguing DMV cases in court.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
"I’d like to know exactly what sorts of experience commenters on this post have with arguing DMV cases in court."

I have been in traffic courts in a couple of states. I have seen one or two frustrated and embarrassed police officers. Judges are not always stupid, they know the police screw up occasionally. I have also been pulled over several times in several different states, and have never had any problem with the police. I have even gotten off without a couple of tickets that I deserved. Of course I didn’t act like that moron, either. If you want confrontation, it is best to pick a time and place where you might win. On the street ain’t that time or place.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
I had to go to traffic court this summer (in Virginia) with one of my soldiers that had to appear as a witness against someone that bumped him at a stop light. His case ended up being one of the last ones, so we got a full day’s worth of cases.
Any charges of ’driving without a license’ were dismissed if the driver showed a valid license at court. Everyone that admitted to speeding and threw themselves at the mercy of the court had their fine reduced, usually cut in half. The troopers I spoke with said that was typical.
One person brought a lawyer. The best of his many arguments was that the police hadn’t re-measured the distance used to verify the laser on the morning of the ticket, so it should be dismissed. (The distance was marked by a line painted on asphalt to a telephone pole with a metal plate on it.) That driver paid full price plus the cost of the lawyer.
No one happened to have a case like this; where they claimed the speed limit wasn’t marked. But if there really was no sign prior to the one in the video, it would be very easy to prove. The couple are obviously local (otherwise she would have followed to cop to the station instead of driving off) so the driver would definitely have been able to video that section of the roadway and/or subpeona the crew doing the road work.
 
Written By: Ted tpilewski@hotmail.com
URL: http://
By the way, there were numerous bits of information pointing to a big al qaeda hit that came in the summer of 2001, and the Bush administration did choose to downgrade the importance of the Bin Laden threat compared to the previous administration. But they didn’t ignore specific threats about 9-11, it was mostly bureaucratic oversight and miscommunication (see: Blind Spot by Timothy Naftali).
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Hell, connecting the dots on 9/11 - that would have been hard - I can give leeway on that. Having some of the hijackers green cards be approved and issued after 9/11 - that just shows you how powerful the fear of being fired motivates people (or doesn’t in the case of government work.)
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
It’s been an interesting discussion but I’m left with the feeling that some people will look at this video and scream "police state." Just as some on the left looked at Abu Ghraib photos and wanted to label the entire military as "torturers."
My prejudice: If there are disciplinary actions taken against the cop the union will ensure that nothing is done.
 
Written By: tom scott
URL: http://
The rules for dealing with the police are now getting much simpler. Comply, instantly, or be tasered and arrested....

We’re losing America. I hope you enjoyed it while it lasted.
Holy Hyperbole, Batman.

Yeah, we’re losing America all right. As the gentleman in Dale’s linked article (you know, the one who so impressively demonstrates the ability to think morally and philosophically) concludes, "f*** the police".

This incident clearly proves police are routinely resorting to the Taser as the preferred method of interacting with the public. Why, in the last month or so my son Tasered a 2 week old infant, a gerbil, a grandmother, an entire Kindergarten class who didn’t stay within the lines at the crosswalk and a few pregnant women who were simply minding their own business.

Glad to see there are still a few non-morons left who retain the ability for advanced critical thinking. I’d sure hate to see this country succumb to paranoia or delusional thinking.
 
Written By: Cassandra
URL: http://villainouscompany.com/vcblog
Piss off, Erb
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Well, ladies and gentlemen, the Marines have landed to inform us that It Can’t Happen Here. So, there is nothing to see, and we’d all best just move along.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
The perpetrators at Abu Ghraib were prosecuted by the military for abusing their positions of power and for breaking military law.

It will be interesting to see how the Utah police department views this officer’s use of authority and force in comparison to their written policies and laws.
This incident clearly proves police are routinely resorting to the Taser [said with sarcasm]
What it proves is that there are many people who see nothing wrong with this officer’s use of the taser.

As far as "routine" use by the police, there is no way you can argue that the taser is not being used more often. The important question is how it is being used.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
"What it proves is that there are many people who see nothing wrong with this officer’s use of the taser."
You’re seeing far too far for some, JWG.

You’re absolutely right. The story here is in the implications.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Back in my youth, several times I spent the night in jail because I chose to resist what were excessive orders by city/county cops. I could have fought and perhaps won in court the injustice, but the time and money required would have made them pyrrhic victories. Of course, had I just shut my mouth I could have walked away with a ticket that I could have beaten in court.

We live in a society of laws that, collectively, we have agreed to abide by. By and large, we know these laws, yet sometimes chose not to obey them. While I understand the driver’s sentiment (heck, I’ve done the same thing thousands of times), he chose the wrong venue in which to plead his case. I also understand, however, the cop’s position, what with an increasing number of folks so trigger-happy.

That said, both of the gents were wrong, and this certainly is not the hill of moral and legal certitude I would chose to fight upon.
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
As far as "routine" use by the police, there is no way you can argue that the taser is not being used more often.
1. Did I make this argument? Kindly point it out to me.

FWIW, Tasers are undoubtedly being used more often than before the police had them :p Oddly, my son has never used his. I will have to get after that boy.

2. Dale, on the other hand, seems to be making the (unsupported so far as I can tell) argument that it is de facto police policy to Taser anyone who doesn’t listen to them:
The rules for dealing with the police are now getting much simpler. Comply, instantly, or be tasered and arrested.


3. I responded to Dale’s hyperbolic conclusion (based, insofar as I can see, on this one incident since he declined to provide other evidence to support his conclusion) with a little hyperbole of my own. Doesn’t make a terribly impressive or convincing argument, does it? Not nearly as convincing as, say, facts would be.

But then that was my point.

4. I don’t recall making any statement whatsoever regarding the appropriateness of this particular officer’s use of force. My comment was limited to questioning the premise that this one incident somehow shows we are "losing America".
 
Written By: Cassandra
URL: http://villainouscompany.com/vcblog
Maybe we should boil this down to the basic question:

Is there anyone here who believes that a police officer should have the right to apply a taser to a nonviolent person who refuses a command to place his hands behind his back without notification that he is under arrest?

If the answer is "Yes" then you are giving the government the power to use extreme force upon any citizen for refusing any command while the citizen is not under arrest. In other words, the government has no obligation to apply a legal threshold before violently attacking a citizen.

As a side note, you should also realize that as of this date the driver in this particular case is not charged with any crime, including resisting arrest, other than his class C misdemeanor from the speeding violation.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
My comment was limited to questioning the premise that this one incident somehow shows we are "losing America".
Then you’re not reading for comprehension. That statement was a new and final paragraph. Let’s look at the points made before it:

1) Several conspiracy theories are very popularly believed
2) Cop uses taser
3) accidental no-knock midnight raids

There are several incidents that Dale referred to.

Would it be helpful if I returned with a long list of police abuses with a taser?
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
There is nothing wrong with my reading comprehension skills :p

How does:

1) Several conspiracy theories are very popularly believed
2) Cop uses taser
3) accidental no-knock midnight raids

... prove that ’The rules for dealing with the police are now getting much simpler. Comply, instantly, or be tasered and arrested." ?

Tell me, does citing examples of school teachers sexually abusing their students "prove" that "the rules for girls in school are much simpler. Give it up to the teacher."

Do we have some evidence (per Dale’s post) that American police have adopted a systematic policy of Tasing people who refuse to comply with their orders?



 
Written By: Cassandra
URL: http://villainouscompany.com/vcblog
There have always been people who believed in conspiracy theories. Likewise, it is hardly unknown for poorly worded poll questions to yield results which make one question the rationality/intelligence/education of the general citizenry.

This is nothing new.

Notwithstanding the facts in the instant case, there have always been instances of particular police officers abusing/exceeding their authority and/or not following departmental policy. I imagine some people were not exactly thrilled that police used to carry nightsticks either. Was America lost then, or is this a recent occurrence?

The use of potentially non-lethal (or lethal) force is nothing new.

Again, regardless of what you think about official policies regarding no knock raids or Hudson v. Michigan, police have been known to wrongly/mistakenly enter private dwellings without proper notice and courts have been known to give the benefit of the doubt to law enforcement (absent, of course, evidence of malfeasance). This is, no doubt, based on the rebuttable presumption that most police are not evil criminals, but basically decent human beings trying to do a difficult and dangerous job.

This is nothing new.

Was there some empirical demonstration of a dramatic or significant increase in these three phenomena, sufficient to justify the conclusion that America as we know it is in danger of vanishing, or is the mere fact that any of them occur at all considered conclusive "proof"?

It may exist, somewhere out there. I simply did not see it in this post.
 
Written By: Cassandra
URL: http://villainouscompany.com/vcblog
Piss off, Erb
A happy tasering to you, Billy ;-)

And of course, military power like we’re using in Iraq is far more deadly and destructive to rights and individual lives than the tasering here. But some of you seem alright with that. I oppose both, it would seem to me hypocritical not to.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Was there some empirical demonstration of a dramatic or significant increase in these three phenomena, sufficient to justify the conclusion that America as we know it is in danger of vanishing, or is the mere fact that any of them occur at all considered conclusive "proof"?
Look, this is something I’ve written about before. It’s something that Radley Balko writes on every day.

Just because you’re not keeping up with current events, doesn’t mean it’s not happening.

But I tell you what, here’s a good place to start catching up.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
When you have a bunch of crooks and murderers like the Bush administration caught constantly lying to the public, you have to expect that the public will learn to distrust everything the government says. Lesson to Republicans: stop lying, or elect better liars.
 
Written By: Democrat
URL: http://
military power like we’re using in Iraq is far more deadly and destructive to rights and individual lives than the tasering here
I knew at some point that Erb would try to compare a military force with a police force.

What an idiot.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Dale, I think that complaining that your readers aren’t reading all the blogs you read is a bit, silly...

And Balko has nice incidents, but does he provide a statistical baseline and then measures demonstrating an increase beyond the baseline. His stat’s on No Knock Raids are pretty laughable, UNLESS you happen to agree with him. 42 dead people in 25 years is NOT evidence of increased militarization of the Police.

I thnk your problem with Cassandra is that she nailed you on the thrust of the thread...three data points mean nothing. In fact, I’d posit YOU suffer from the conspiracy dementia you so lament...A YouTube posting and some stat’s on No Knock Warrant "proves" we lost America, huh? You might want to get fitted for your tin-foil helmet, too and join the other 2/3 of America that you consider "crazy."

And 2/3 think the US ignored 9/11 intell, they’re not crazy. The US DID ignore it...it basically said Usama wants to attack the US. It wasn’t actionable so the US ignored it...does that make me crazy, a member of a conspiracy fringe group? No the poll question is so broad as to be meaningless. A better question would have been a variant of LIHOP or MIHOP. It’s not really open to question that the US had a number of "dots" but didn’t catch the 9/11 Plot. To note that means nothing about "losing" America, does it?
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
When you have a bunch of crooks and murderers like the Bush administration caught constantly lying to the public, you have to expect that the public will learn to distrust everything the government says. Lesson to Republicans: stop lying, or elect better liars.

Of COURSE it’s Bush’s fault...how could we ahve missed that?! And the better liars, I guess you’d be refering to "Slick Willie" Clinton, the man who gave us Waco, Elian Gonzalez, and "I did not have sex with that woman." I’ll give you this, he WAS a good liar....
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Bye bye, Repukes, in 2008. The Clenis is not on the ballot, hicks. Dumbya is. Bye bye.
 
Written By: Democrat
URL: http://
1. I think, Dale, if you’re going to conclude that we’ve lost America, that sort of extreme statement requires a bit more support than "you should have read my other posts" (again with no supporting evidence) or a link to a long list of posts about no knock raids.

Neither really addresses the point I was making. Regardless, I did manage to tease out one data point (painfully) from the link you provided, and using Radley Balko’s own Raid Map, it does not appear the number of paramilitary raids has increased in any way I could reasonably characterize as statistically significant over the past ten years. However, I know nothing about his data so this statement is entirely dependent on what Balko himself supplies. I was interested enough to take the time myself to extract the numbers and put them into a spreadsheet because I think it helps to look at the facts.

2. Not sure where the ’Just because you’re not keeping up with current events doesn’t mean it’s not happening’ is coming from.

(a) I didn’t say it wasn’t happening, and
(b) You really don’t have any reasonable method of assessing the degree to which I ’keep up with current events’. As the mother of a police officer and the relative of another officer shot to death in the line of duty recently, I do tend to pay attention to these types of stories.

I have not defended the officer in question, nor have I stated that I know with certainty you are wrong. I merely said I was a bit puzzled about how you got from point A to point B.

When someone makes a dramatic assertion like "we’re losing America", is it unreasonable to ask them to back it up with some evidence?
 
Written By: Cassandra
URL: http://villainouscompany.com/vcblog
Bye bye, Repukes, in 2008. The Clenis is not on the ballot, hicks. Dumbya is. Bye bye.

He IS?????????? News to the rest of us, please send us copies of the ballots would you?

 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
He IS?????????? News to the rest of us, please send us copies of the ballots would you?
’course he is Joe... he’s just fine tuning his machinations down in Venezuela. Next November, it’s ’Dumbya for a 3rd term!!!’
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
Every generation sees the same thing and had the same thing said of them.
But not every generation believes in bizarre conspiracy theories to the extent that the current one does. Jussayin’
 
Written By: rob
URL: http://
kid should have done what he was told.
In this case, I’m inclined to agree. I also agree the use of SWAT and no-knock raids is highly troubling, but if this video is supposed to make me distrust cops more, sorry... bring me something else. This kid was sketchy and turning his back on the cop and being a general ass. Shoulda complied...
 
Written By: rob
URL: http://
Is there anything that a cop could order you to do that would violate your own moral code?
Where the hell is that video? I think we’re just talking about complying with orders in an ordinary traffic stop. Show me where cops are ordering people to shoot, rape, or kill someone and I’ll quickly condemn it. If not, quit being so obtuse.
 
Written By: rob
URL: http://
military power like we’re using in Iraq is far more deadly and destructive to rights and individual lives than the tasering here
Absolutely true. Our brave men and women should be over there gathering signatures on UN-issued petitions and such. We’ll see how brave they are armed with a pen and clipboard. Are you for real, dude?
 
Written By: rob
URL: http://
Lesson to Republicans: stop lying, or elect better liars.
Yeah, history began with the Bush Administration as well. Also chlamydia.
 
Written By: rob
URL: http://
Bye bye, Repukes, in 2008. The Clenis is not on the ballot, hicks. Dumbya is. Bye bye.
When did Kos start trolling this site?
 
Written By: rob
URL: http://
’course he is Joe... he’s just fine tuning his machinations down in Venezuela
Not a bad idea, actually. If he would do this, the Hollywood vote would swing back around... unless that’s strictly a Latin American thing... so confusing, the geopolitics of thespians.
 
Written By: rob
URL: http://
... and I thought we established that these polls tend to oversample young, urban, Northeast Democrats. Nuffsaid.
 
Written By: rob
URL: http://
Well, I will tell you what, - if Billy Beck shoots a punk ass cop like in that video, and *I* am on the Jury, Billy is sleeping in his own bed that night if I have anything to say about it.
 
Written By: The Gonzman
URL: http://
So... what you are saying is that the law does not apply to civilians, but it should be strictly applied to cops. On what reasonable basis would anyone have shot the officer?

At what point would Billy Beck have the reasonable belief that his life was in danger? Did this officer ever draw a real gun on Massey?

No.

The only instance in which the law excuses deadly force being used in self defense is when you reasonably believe your life is in danger (or to save the life of another when that belief is present) and even then the law is going to ask whether you had alternatives (such as... gosh, I dunno.... signing a traffic ticket or complying with repeated verbal requests). None of this goes to whether the officer was justified in his use of this particular level of force. But to argue that it is OK to shoot a cop because you don’t like the way he does his job in contravention of the law?

Nice. I no longer question my decision not to comment on the other post.

Christ. My son needs to find another job.
 
Written By: Cassandra
URL: http://villainouscompany.com/vcblog
And of course, military power like we’re using in Iraq is far more deadly and destructive to rights and individual lives than the tasering here
Really?
Explain to us how rights would be protected absent our actions there.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
I knew at some point that Erb would try to compare a military force with a police force.

What an idiot
Of course, you don’t cite what I wrote or do anything to dispute it. You can’t. But hey, you sure can call names! Impressive!
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
military power like we’re using in Iraq is far more deadly and destructive to rights and individual lives than the tasering here

Absolutely true. Our brave men and women should be over there gathering signatures on UN-issued petitions and such. We’ll see how brave they are armed with a pen and clipboard. Are you for real, dude?
I have no idea what you’re arguing. I’m saying that the big government social engineering experiment to conquer another state and try to shape it’s political and social system is a massive use of government force and has meant the death of perhaps hundreds of thousands, instability, and stories of immense abuse of individual liberties of average Iraqis. That’s big government use of power. It’s hypocritical to be supportive of that while somehow getting indignant about police use of power here.
Explain to us how rights would be protected absent our actions there.
Our actions violated rights and caused death and destruction. You may believe things would have been worse if we hadn’t attacked (and one could make a similar case on those grounds for attacking a large number of states with horrid governments), but that’s a bad argument. Ultimately, others are responsible for what they do, and we are responsible for our acts. The Iraq fiasco does done damage to American power that will last years, even decades. The damage to hundreds of thousands of Iraqs — or even millions, when you look at infrastructure and social ramifications of the conquest — is much worse. I do not see how any one can possibly defend the choice to go to war. One can defend the surge and efforts to end it in a way that minimizes long term damage, but absent, "of course the original decision proved wrong" it’s a pretty weak argument.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Bithead, Scott longs for the days when Saddam zealously protected the rights of his subjects... err... citizens, like those little middle school sluts Ooday used to like to kidnap and pass around to his soldiers before shaving their heads and turning them loose in the streets of Baghdad to be honor-killed by their male relatives for having had the nerve to tempt him with their prepubescent charms.

Not that this has anything to do with this discussion, but it was such a great chance to Speak Truthiness to the BushReich.
 
Written By: Cassandra
URL: http://villainouscompany.com/vcblog
Now can we’ve dispensed with the obligatory reference to the illegal, immoral war in Irak, can we stick to the subject at hand?
 
Written By: Cassandra
URL: http://villainouscompany.com/vcblog
And a significant number of American Citizens thought that Franklin Rosevelt ignored intelligence about Pearl Harbor, or actively participated. The morons we have always with us. I am more concerned about the > 50% who still believe in alien invasions. But take heart, citizens - in this democracy, the best turnout we get is about 40% - but which 40? the ones who "want to believe" or the ones who think?
 
Written By: fiona
URL: http://
Bithead, Scott longs for the days....
Precisely my point.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Whatever will we talk about when the Shrub finishes feeding the Constitution to Barney the White House terrier and this illegal, immoral war finally ends?

We may be forced (horror of horrors) to confine ourselves to the topic under discussion. Oh! the humanity!
 
Written By: Cassandra
URL: http://villainouscompany.com/vcblog
IS THAT THE BEST THAT THIS LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER COULD DO?

This discussion isn’t so much about points of procedure and legal nit-picking as it is about an officer of the law opting to flex his power instead of diffusing a situation. The policeman had his patience tried and his ego bruised when his legal authority/judgement was brought into question. As a result, he opted to show the motorist who was boss. Bottom line: we expect more self control and better judgement out of our police. Because of his actions, the officer, his supervisor, his department, the motorist, the motorist’s family and the court, all probably now have burdens, hassles and possibly even expenses that could’ve been avoided.

BILLS nailed it with this statement...

"As for the cop he should have said just that "it’s on the citation" in terms of answering the original question. When the driver initially refused to sign he should have next said - look you either need to sign or I need you to exit the vehicle so I can transport you to the station for processing and further discussion. Next when he asked the driver to exit the vehicle at some point he needed to clarify this scenario he never did."

1) The driver felt like he was being done wrong and had the temerity to challenge the issue with the cop. I didn’t hear him say anything unreasonable or illegal, while in the car. The cop grew impatient and clearly wanted to teach the driver a lesson. How dare he call the policeman’s judgement into question or ask for clarification on the charges?

2) When the driver refused to sign, the officer could’ve most likely diffused the entire situation with ONE SENTENCE, just as BILLS pointed out. I don’t think anyone believes that the motorist knew he was compelled by law to sign. Even among the various commentors, the issue of legal compulsion is in question.

A few years ago, I would’ve declined to sign a ticket that I received (I believed it was being issued in error and did not want to admit guilt) but the officer explained that signing was not an admission of guilt, it was an acknowledgement that I was being charged. That explaination, which I think is pretty standard, took all of ten seconds and made for a hassle free citation, which I later beat.

3) The issue that sticks in a lot of people’s craws, is that the cop was pissed off about the man’s attitude and wanted to teach him a lesson. That’s evidenced in his discussion with the second law enforcement officer at the end of the video. While his actions MAY have been legal, it seems obvious that the officer escalated things way beyond where they needed to go. A little more talking and a lot less action probably would have resolved this whole thing.

4) I think the driver was compliant when the cop asked him to get out of the car and walk back with him - even when he was told to turn around. But he looked genuinely shocked - rattled - confused when he was told to put his hands behind his back. Most of us God-fearing, law-abiding types would be. Perhaps some commenters and other "sheeple" snap-to and assume the position - Minority Report style, even when they haven’t been told that they’ve committed a crime and haven’t even been told that they are under arrest. But I believe most of us would say something to the effect of "Huh?" or "what are you talking about, what are you doing" not unlike our motorist. I’m not saying he should’ve started drifting away towards the road sign but he looked confused and incredulous. He certainly didn’t act like he was dangerous, defiant or "was in charge of the situation" as the policemen later claimed. Granted, this is a judgement call but I’d bet dollars to doughnuts that this was not the first time the officer had seen someone confused, spazzy or in denial about being arrested. I’d also bet that he explained the situation and talked most or all of them into compliance. He tazed this guy because he didn’t like him and because he could. His comments to the motorist after cuffing him, tip us off to his cavelier attitude toward tazing.

Law enforcement officials, including traffic cops, have a lot of authority and lattitude. If this is the best that this officer can do, I think it’s reasonable for his organization to expect better of him, to punish him and correct his poor performance. The world doesn’t need anymore Farvas.
 
Written By: GunPilot
URL: http://
rob
"Show me where cops are ordering people to shoot, rape, or kill someone and I’ll quickly condemn it. If not, quit being so obtuse."
Excuse me, sir, but if you look up-thread here you’ll find a person who said, "If a cop tells me to do something then I will do it." There is nothing "obtuse" about the question that I asked about that, and in fact it’s only prudent to ask. Now, when I see things like — for single instance — the recent episode in Colorado where a private research group enlisted the local sheriff’s department to way-lay motorists under the guise of a drunk checkpoint in order to draw peoples’ blood for a survey, it’s clear to me that this culture is developing a very strange, and I say un-American, relationship to an institution that claims a monopoly on the use of force. And it only makes good sense to me to question details when someone flatly states, without qualification, that he will simply take orders from a cop.

There is nothing "obtuse" about this.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Excuse me, sir, but if you look up-thread here you’ll find a person who said, "If a cop tells me to do something then I will do it."
Ah, so you were straw-manning it. Gotcha.

So when the cop pulls you over, and asks for your L&R, you tel him no, deny his authority, and drive off?

Or do you just not stop in the first place.
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Bithead and Cassandra: does the fact another person violates rights make it OK for us to do so? Do you really think we can justify all the misery we’ve caused by looking at the misery Saddam caused — especially when we were supporting him for much of that time? Saddam was pretty much defanged by 2003. But it’s really pathetic not to look squarely at the reality of the situation: that what we see is a big government social engineering experiment using military means at play in Iraq, showing the danger of both big government power and incompetence. Instead, close your eyes and mutter "Saddam was bad, Saddam was bad" and refuse to look critically at our own actions. Unless a police officer tasers someone.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Scott, I invite you to take a good look at the subject of this post.

Nowhere in it is Iraq mentioned. Not every post needs to segue into a searing indictment of the GWOT - it’s OK if we sometimes discuss something else.

Really.
 
Written By: Cassandra
URL: http://villainouscompany.com/vcblog
"Ah, so you were straw-manning it. Gotcha."
No, you don’t, because that’s not true. You yourself noted that I asked a question. I did it quite precisely, and for good reason.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
And I answered. There are several things a cop could tell me to do that I would not do.

I can’t see any of them ever happening during a traffic stop.

Yes yes, theoretically they COULD happen, but statisticly, it’s, shall we say, unlikely.

So just do what the damn cop says, take your ticket, and move on.
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
"And I answered."
Who asked you?
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
So Billy doesn’t like the answers he gets.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Not when they come from a person other than the one asked, I suppose not. Especially when the question was a subjective one.

If I ask A what he thinks of Aristotle, and B pipes up, "he’s the bees knees!" My question is not answered.
 
Written By: Brian N.
URL: http://
Who asked you?
Yeah... one should realize that if you’re on a PUBLIC message board that anything you asked will be assumed to be asked to every reader and every reader has a right to respond. If you don’t want to ask them, email the person you are asking.

This is one of those instances, all of us sitting comfortably, watching the video with the all knowing eye of hindsight, can say "oh ___ should have ___ and ____ should have ____" but the fact is, when you’re in the heart of things, plenty of faults are to go around.

We’ve all been on the side of the driver at some point. Have any of you been on the side of the cop? (or had family that have been?) Until you have, you should at least be measured in your comments.
 
Written By: Challenger Grim
URL: http://
Oh, BTW, i can’t believe this entire comment board has gone on without someone posting this youtube video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65zXlytv01c
 
Written By: Challenger Grim
URL: http://
Have any of you been on the side of the cop?
You must not read this blog very often.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
You must not read this blog very often.
No, I’ve actually just been recently directed here. I know some are (such as Cassandra) it was just a general plea/point. Some clearly have not considered the other side though, and seem to look at police as if they were a tool, not really people.
 
Written By: Challenger Grim
URL: http://
The Iraq fiasco does done damage to American power that will last years, even decades.
Pure conjecture, if not outright partisan hope.
I’m saying that the big government social engineering experiment to conquer another state and try to shape it’s political and social system is a massive use of government force and has meant the death of perhaps hundreds of thousands, instability, and stories of immense abuse of individual liberties of average Iraqis.
If FDR were touting the Marshall Plan today, you’d have no problem with it or would you brand him a neocon? And those stories are mostly that, stories. Troops who violate rights of Iraqis are dealt with severely. Don’t go all DePalma and Beauchamp on us.
 
Written By: Rob
URL: http://
Saddam was pretty much defanged by 2003.
This is a boldfaced lie and you know it. He’d gone completely around the UN blockade with the help of China, Russia, and France (and UN officials, actually) in the OilForFood charade, continuing to enrich himself at the expense of his country. He was actively seeking uranium despite what Plame/Wilson truthers have claimed on every radio and TV show in the country ad nauseum. Was he dangerous to us? In hindsight, no, but no one in the world thought otherwise at the time. Please don’t make me list the Clinton Administration quotes from pre2000, we’ve all read what they’ve washed their hands of since. I know this is the New Progressive Line, that Saddam was a doddering, toothless codger that we knocked over to take his oil, blah, blah, blah. If you want that to go unchallenged, take it to the San Francisco protest marches.
 
Written By: Rob
URL: http://
"...one should realize that if you’re on a PUBLIC message board that anything you asked will be assumed to be asked to every reader and every reader has a right to respond."
Look: if you were the one who’d said "I’ll do anything a cop tells me," then I would have asked you the question by necessary implication.
"Have any of you been on the side of the cop? Until you have, you should at least be measured in your comments."
My comments have been "measured", according to concepts and standards that are obviously opaque to your understanding.

Check your gimpy little premise.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
"...one should realize that if you’re on a PUBLIC message board that anything you asked will be assumed to be asked to every reader and every reader has a right to respond."
Look: if you were the one who’d said "I’ll do anything a cop tells me," then I would have asked you the question by necessary implication.
Doesn’t refute my point. If you post a question on the message board, you should expect any and everyone to respond. There might be needed clarification but there is no standing for a complaint against a reply/answer. (unless you get one of those thread formats where thread childs etc are marked, but that’s another discussion)
"Have any of you been on the side of the cop? Until you have, you should at least be measured in your comments."
My comments have been "measured", according to concepts and standards that are obviously opaque to your understanding.

Check your gimpy little premise.
Notice, I said UNTIL you have. If your comments have been measured, then my statement would not be addressed to you now would it? Unless I called you specifically out, then my "gimpy" little premise wouldn’t be directed at you would it smart @$$?

Not everything’s about you, you know.
 
Written By: Challenger Grim
URL: http://
"...one should realize that if you’re on a PUBLIC message board that anything you asked will be assumed to be asked to every reader and every reader has a right to respond."
Look: if you were the one who’d said "I’ll do anything a cop tells me," then I would have asked you the question by necessary implication.
Billy doesn’t like when he gets questioned or gets responses he doesn’t like....Here’s a hint. Rspond via an e-mail link, otherwise when you ask a public answer you’ll get a public response.
My comments have been "measured", according to concepts and standards that are obviously opaque to your understanding.

Check your gimpy little premise.
Yeah yours always are....if you come the premise that Billy is RIGHT and to disute him makes the opposition morons. Otherwise not so true...you might ask around. You might be surprised at the responses you get.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Do you really think we can justify all the misery we’ve caused by looking at the misery Saddam caused — especially when we were supporting him for much of that time?
1) Net, we have reduced misery in Iraq.

2) We were not supporting Saddam. Saddam’s Iraq was a Soviet client state. It’s true that we provided Saddam satellite intel to prevent an Iranian victory, much as we provided the Iranians TOWs to prevent an Iraqi victory. Outright victory by either side in the Iran-Iraq War would have been a bad thing, and we did our part to help prevent that.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
I was amazed when, taser pointed at him, the guy turns his back on the cop and starts to walk away.
Talk about being on Darwin’s short list.

I think the cop screwed up & could have handled it better, but...
Be real, we all know even if the cop is being an idiot when he’s got a taser out and pointed at you (or his sidearm) you can’t just walk away.
He clearly means serious business and walking away is not a sensible or viable option, regardless of what you think your rights are.





Maybe he should have stopped, raised his hands, faced the cop and pointed out this sort of thing was an excellent illustration of the American problem in Iraq.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
No, I’ve actually just been recently directed here. I know some are (such as Cassandra) it was just a general plea/point. Some clearly have not considered the other side though, and seem to look at police as if they were a tool, not really people.
Well just as a point for future reference, the guy who wrote the post is an ex-cop.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
That was exactly my reaction. And then, in subsequent interviews with the media he has the nerve to claim he thought it was a real gun.

Tell me you would turn and walk away from a real gun pointed at you after two warnings to stop. That man was lying through his teeth.

 
Written By: Cassandra
URL: http://villainouscompany.com/vcblog
I had to ask myself, as the cop, I’ve drawn my taser and pointed it at him...right or wrong....I’m committed now, I can’t let the guy go back to his car.
Maybe he has a gun under the seat, in the door slot, in the glove box.
If I don’t do something, he’s obviously going to walk back to his car, get in and...whatever. He thinks I’m bluffing.
For damned sure he’s not going to comply with me, whatever else he actually intends.
Real gun, taser...this guy was trying to call a bluff when there wasn’t one.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
I’m still curious about more of the context. Has that officer had a history of abuse of his position?

Or were there recent incidents in the area (or on those highways) of cops being attacked or assaulted?

Seems ironic that on one hand there’s complaints about not "thinking logically" yet everyone seems to be assuming and ranting about this video clip as if it happened in a vacuum which isn’t logical.
Well just as a point for future reference, the guy who wrote the post is an ex-cop.
Yeah, but he wasn’t the one who wrote
These automatons—these political homunculi—are being cultivated to not reason to a moral conclusion on their own powers.
Though he did quote it. That quote there does strike me as dehumanizing police officers.
 
Written By: Challenger Grim
URL: http://
That was not what bothered me.

I watched a few interviews about this incident. Several police ’experts’ noted that the man’s hand disappeared when he walked back to the car. They pretty much all said the same thing. They did not think the officer should have pulled the Taser out.

However, they also thought the driver had escalated the situation way out of control by walking away from the officer and ignoring two subsequent (and very clear) requests to stop. I am sorry, but when a police officer is pointing a gun at you and telling you to stop, you stop. You do not walk towards your car yelling, "WHAT THE HELL IS YOUR PROBLEM?" and expect that you will not be taken into custody. My husband has always told me if I am ever pulled over, to place both my hands on the steering wheel in plain sight where the officer can see them, because the one thing cops are nervous about is being shot on traffic stops. This is not an unreasonable fear on their part, and it costs me little to assuage it.

And so, I do that. I do not reach suddenly for things.

And we were given a $90 ticket when my husband was home for 2 weeks on leave from Iraq, completely unjustifiably, IMO. And yet we did not argue with the cop, who - by the way, was a complete ass about it.

I went to court for my husband, argued my case before the judge, and... mirabile dictu, got an apology from the cop. You know what? He was (I think) just having a sh***y day. Doesn’t really excuse the way he acted, but then I am not perfect either. Not really worth getting into a pissing contest over.

And yeah, I was really angry when it happened. I thought "Man, my husband comes home from Baghdad to put up with this crap?" But it was not personal.

Be an adult.
 
Written By: Cassandra
URL: http://villainouscompany.com/vcblog
I long for an America where cops were men, able to rationally face the dangers of the work that they chose, instead of walking "policy" statements in action without minds and morals.
Another quote from 2by4...

I mean where does he think all the "policy" statements end up coming from? As this board itself demonstrates, people watch a video tape of a cop’s actions and then scream "This shouldn’t happen!" and then...

New policies are enacted, cops undergo another seminar, their hands are further tied, and eventually we all end up back to where we started.

The ideal is (as our former police chief said) Andy Griffith. But to head there, we’d have to give the police and the citizens a lot more freedom.
 
Written By: Challenger Grim
URL: http://
I long for an America where cops were men, able to rationally face the dangers of the work that they chose, instead of walking "policy" statements in action without minds and morals.
What is this foolishness...what Amreica was this? The America that had cops with NO training, and whose options were shoot’em or let’em go?

Again, you’re living in a Golden Age of Enforcement, apparently you folks can’t grasp it, though. Tasers, video, YouTube all add a dimension to use of force and accountability that are unprecedented. 20 years ago you’d have never seen this or heard about it. Now it’s a topic of debate and police revisions...which leads us back to the quote..you want the rugged individual on the road, be prepared for a police force that is unaccountable.....because they were subject to no policy review or revision and if you got beaten *AHEM* resisted arrest and then *AHEM* fell down in the shower in the county jail, well that was your problem, not the cops’.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
because the one thing cops are nervous about is being shot on traffic stops.
Yet this particular officer turned his back to the driver after ordering him out of the car and kept his back to the driver the whole time while the driver exited the car and walked toward the sign.

That’s a strange way of showing you are worried about a violent attack.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
I think I mostly agree with Joe there.

Everything is a cost and has an unintended consequence.

Before you start clamoring for ____ or ____, weigh the costs.
 
Written By: Challenger Grim
URL: http://
"The ideal is (as our former police chief said) Andy Griffith. But to head there, we’d have to give the police and the citizens a lot more freedom."
Is that supposed to be a bad thing?

In any case of the answer: you’re hitting on the point that I’m making with my "policy statements" remark. Try to understand: what you see in that video is nothing but training in action. Now, you can call that a value if you want to, but I don’t, and the essential reason is that no training is ever going to account for every single contextual possibility that a cop will come across. (Think about this: this general principle is why American soldiers are famously adept in battle. A German general once said that the American way of war is "chaos", because that’s what it looked like to him. A lot of people in this discussion are just exactly as myopic.) The only way to manage this circumstance is with actual thinking by the individual on the scene integrating a proper ethical relationship between cop and citizen. None of that occurs in this episode.

You could have programmed a robot to do what that cop did.

And this is why I call them "political homunculi". These people are now positively trained to not reason to moral conclusions on their own authority.

"Dehumanizing"? {shrug} Fine. Have it your way: that’s exactly right, except that I’m not the one responsible for it. I’m just pointing out the facts.


I would love to be able to respect cops. There is no way that I can do that with a good conscience, and it’s been a very long time since I could.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Is that supposed to be a bad thing?
No I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I grew up in a town that was so mayberyish it was almost black and white. ;-)

Every effort should be made AGAINST dividing police/soldiers from the common populace. The "us vs them" mentality is what leads to officers joining the totalitarian side.
 
Written By: Challenger Grim
URL: http://
"The ’us vs them’ mentality is what leads to officers joining the totalitarian side."
Really? If that’s true, then Dale’s conclusion to this post is nothing but rational, because citizens were never the ones who, for instance, started kicking cops doors down with no-knock warrants. The whole thing ran exactly the other way.

And don’t hand me any "just doing their jobs" flatus. There are damned good reasons why some of us remember Nuremberg.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Yes really. Of course it’d be a lot easier for cops and the military to shove people into ovens if they start thinking of those people as the "them" the "other side" rather than remembering that they are one of "us" as well as anybody.
 
Written By: Challenger Grim
URL: http://
That very point is what the hue & cry over masked raiders in SWAT costume is all about. It is manifestly obvious to anyone with eyes to see that they crossed that line a long time ago.

And I pointed this out in my previous comment.

Honest to fu*kin’-aye Christ: I don’t know why I bother, sometimes.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Ah yes... because such is entirely the fault of the government. At no point do the citizens play any role or even exacerbate the situation.
 
Written By: Challenger Grim
URL: http://
The police are scum, who routinely perjure, steal and commit murder. Anyone who defends them deserves exactly what they get.

Here’s hoping there’s a no-knock raid in your future, "Cassandra". Moo, cow, on the way to the slaughterhouse.

As for the police, I can only hope that all of them share the fate of their late police colleague, the unlamented People’s Commissar Nikolai Yezhov

"It is written of Yezhov, this enthusiastic tool of Stalin’s, instrumental in the deaths of millions of innocent human beings, that when his turn came for the bullet in the back of the neck, he “became hysterical. He started to hiccup, weep, and when he was conveyed to ’the place’, they had to drag him by the hands along the floor. He struggled and screamed terribly.”

There is some justice in this world

http://www-hoover.stanford.edu/publications/books/fulltext/ezhov/
 
Written By: jsabotta
URL: http://www.no-treason.com/
"At no point do the citizens play any role or even exacerbate the situation."
Tell me how Kathryn Johnston did that.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
After you tell me Billy,

Who on this board has worked hardest to widen the line between "cops" and "the rest" and who has worked hardest to keep in mind that cops are people too.

Oh, and btw, something you should have learned in school: "Case studies do not a pattern make."

Otherwise we’ll just sit here all night flinging specific instances laced with selective bull**** at each other.
 
Written By: Challenger Grim
URL: http://
"Who on this board has worked hardest to widen the line between ’cops’ and ’the rest’ and who has worked hardest to keep in mind that cops are people too."
Taking that as an actual interrogative — and from someone presuming to lecture about "school" — my answer is: I don’t know.

If you have something to say, then insinuations do not serve you well. Just spit it out.
"Case studies do not a pattern make."
You can rattle on about patterns all you want. I’m talking about principles.

Now, I answered you honestly. It’s your turn: if words actually mean things and you’re not just another chimp banging on a keyboard, then tell me how Kathryn Johnston qualified for your insipid sarcasm over her dead body.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
If you have something to say, then insinuations do not serve you well. Just spit it out.
Insinuations? It was an honest question. The fact that you can’t tell the difference between say... jsabotta and Cassandra in regards to my question about division makes me wonder how qualified you are at making any moral decision.
 
Written By: Challenger Grim
URL: http://
John:

Do you recall your outrage over one of our old Usenet compatriots when he started talking about shooting bureaucrats?

That’s what I’m seeing in you right now when you post remarks like that.

I understand your outlook. You know I do. And nobody around here loses their temper like me. You know it. But I know that things like that are not going to help make the point. Look, man: what you said about cops in your first line is simply not true. The problem is far more subtle than that, which is actually what makes the whole thing particularly dangerous.

Be as cool as you can. That’s what’s called for.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
"Insinuations"?
Yes. Exactly. If you had those two people in mind when you asked it, then you should have named them explicitly.

Now, I answered your question when you tabled mine. Pay up.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Billy, you’ve completely missed the point, not to mention that you have not, in fact, answered any of my questions so I feel no need to pay up.
 
Written By: Challenger Grim
URL: http://
"...if they start thinking of those people as the "them" the "other side" rather than remembering that they are one of "us"..."

Start? They already do. That’s why you will hear them refer to citizens as "civilians" and often show each other "professional courtesy".

"Tasers, video, YouTube all add a dimension to use of force and accountability that are unprecedented. 20 years ago..."

The video is a double edged sword. On the one hand, it is a way to ensure accountability. On the other, it is a way to micromanage by removing or discouraging the individual discretion that officers can exercise.

The various "zero tolerance" policies and "three strikes" laws are similar themes along those lines.

The TASER has become the tool of choice among a LEO community that, for various reasons, has become less inclined to use other methods in their force continuum. Why would an officer want to struggle with a suspect (too much work, possibility of injury and workman’s comp), spray them with OC (messy, annoying tendency for cross contamination, comparatively long decontamination/recovery time, doesn’t work so great) or give them a good drubbing with a baton (not PC, lots of video cameras, lawsuits, race riots) when they can just zap a guy, he falls like a sack of $hit, you cuff him and go on with your day “serving and protecting”?

The big problem is that because it is so easy to use, and is marketed as being no more dangerous than a wedgie, its use seems to be pretty casual. The recent instance of a cop ‘tasing’ a restaurant owner as a prank (about as funny as a kick in the balls) is particularly disconcerting.

Also, the marketing of TASER as a self-defense tool has me rolling my eyes. In that context, it’s just an expensive personal security talisman.









 
Written By: WORDS TWICE
URL: http://wordstwice.blogspot.com/
I don’t know about other districts WT, but here locally I’m pretty sure our cops are required to be tazered once. I do know they have to at least watch a video detailing out the dangers of it. (I know because Dad had to watch the same, he’s an EMT and they are called out at EVERY tazing around here)

I will say, every officer should be tazed with the gun he’s receiving at least once, that might give him a bit more sympathy.
 
Written By: Challenger Grim
URL: http://
CG,
I know for a fact that a very large metropolitan department near me does not require that officers be tased prior to being issued one. The whole qualification is a joke. A short period of instruction, followed by a test shot on a foil target. They do, however, only issue them to sergeants or higher.
 
Written By: WORDS TWICE
URL: http://wordstwice.blogspot.com/
"Billy, you’ve completely missed the point, not to mention that you have not, in fact, answered any of my questions so I feel no need to pay up."
I most certainly did, but that’s okay. Aside from your straight-up weezling, I can make the point without you. I cited only one single example of a completely innocent person whose life was monstrously abused and completely destroyed by the very thing that you attempted to foist off as the fault of unidentified and non-existent "citizens play[ing] a role in" or "exacerbat[ing] the situation" in which cops are supposed to be granted moral probity for turning into something absolutely alien to everything clasiccally and originally American in civil relations.

And you went out like an over-volted light bulb.

Everybody saw it.

Nighty-night, bitch.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
"The video is a double edged sword. On the one hand, it is a way to ensure accountability. On the other, it is a way to micromanage by removing or discouraging the individual discretion that officers can exercise."
Write that down, kids. That’s exactly right.

This person knows what’s up.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Do you recall your outrage over one of our old Usenet compatriots when he started talking about shooting bureaucrats?

That’s what I’m seeing in you right now when you post remarks like that.
My objection to Schneider is that he called for the death of innocent people - people who wrote opinions he disliked, voters, the entire population of Washington DC. The police are not innocent.

I should qualify my first line though, by adding that anyone who defends the police deserves what they get from the police. That is, they deserve the police state they so obviously long for.

However, I stand by my characterization of the police as - routinely - perjurers, fabricators of false evidence and, whenever they can get away with it, murderers.
 
Written By: jsabotta
URL: http://www.no-treason.com/
"The police are not innocent."
Some of them are, John. And this is one aspect in which the "cops are people too" thing is really important: they suffer from the very same ethical and political confusions that plague the whole culture in general (see subject header for details), and most of them have never thought their ways to the bottoms of these issues any more than the next guy on the street or the next person to post here.

You know me, man. I say that no honorable person would be a cop, now, but almost nobody knows what that means anymore, and the police, as an institution, are not principally responsible for that. (This is a matter of philosophy abstracted and then applied to daily life, and that’s not what they do.) I know damned well that there are people in the business who have their hearts in the right places — even if they can’t wire their hearts and asses together — and even when I wish they would get out and find honest work, it doesn’t negate this fact.

The most salient political problem is that we have no way of knowing which ones they are. They all wear the same uniform, and I often think that that camouflage of the constantly increasing number of bastards on the Grim Blue Line is the worst disgrace of all.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
" My husband has always told me if I am ever pulled over, to place both my hands on the steering wheel in plain sight where the officer can see them, because the one thing cops are nervous about is being shot on traffic stops"

I received the same advice years ago. I also turn on the overhead light and get my license and registration ready. Itsaves time and defuses the situation before it can escalate. Call me an *ss kissing punk if you want, but I have saved a fair amount of money, time, and aggravation over the years.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
I know that whole drill, Tim, and I don’t do it that rotely. I just look ’em in the eye and talk to ’em like men. It can be like watching a zombie coming back to life.

I got stopped about four miles from home around here one night this last summer, by a New York State cop who was right behind me when I crossed a double-line on a curve. >bang< That fast, he lit up, not four car-lengths back. It was dark, and I’d known there was a car back there, of course, but I didn’t know it was a cop. I pulled right over and shut down. As he was getting out of his car, I opened my door, looked right back at him and said, "This window doesn’t work," which was the fact.

Obviously nervous, he repeated my statement as a question, "Oh... the window doesn’t work?" as he advanced on me with hand on sidearm. That never frightens me.

So, we went at it. He asked if I’d had anything to drink, and I said yes: a Crown Royal straight-up about three hours earlier. He explained that he’d stopped me for crossing that line. I explained to him that I’d been taking that curve on the inside, out in the middle of rural nowhere, the very same way for over thirty years, except when there was anyone coming in the opposite lane, which is easily observable, and I also said that I would not have rubbed his nose in it like that if I’d known it was him behind me. He looked at my license but didn’t run it, and he never asked for registration or insurance. He asked where I was going, and I told him.

He sent me home, just like that.

None of this has to be difficult, if everybody keeps their heads on straight and acts like human beings.


The essence of what we’re all talking about here is the consequences of the failure and/or abdication of reason.

It would be a big help all-round if everyone understood that.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Scott, I invite you to take a good look at the subject of this post.

Nowhere in it is Iraq mentioned.
Gee, commentary on threads drifting away from the literal subject of the post?! No, it can’t be!

My point was clear: those who are concerned about abuse of governmental power by police, but are not concerned by such abuses in the form of military conquest with fewer protections on individual rights and liberties are, in essence, holding contradictory positions on governmental power.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
squish:
"Those who are concerned about abuse of governmental power by police, but are not concerned by such abuses in the form of economic conquest with fewer protections on individual rights and liberties are, in essence, holding contradictory positions on governmental power."
There. I fixed it for you, you crappy little freak.

Don’t say I never gave you anything.

I’m all about helping.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
The police are scum, who routinely perjure, steal and commit murder. Anyone who defends them deserves exactly what they get.

Here’s hoping there’s a no-knock raid in your future, "Cassandra". Moo, cow, on the way to the slaughterhouse.
Lovely.

Endarkenment... That’s Billy Beck’s term for, among other things, the declining ability of people to think critically and logically. It proceeds apace, apparently :p

 
Written By: Cassandra
URL: http://villainouscompany.com/vcblog
"The video is a double edged sword. On the one hand, it is a way to ensure accountability. On the other, it is a way to micromanage by removing or discouraging the individual discretion that officers can exercise."
Write that down, kids. That’s exactly right. — Billy Beck on WORDS TWICE
Hmmm. The problem in this case was that the double-edged dash cam, for all its assurance of accountability, actually failed to discourage Officer Quick Draw’s exercise of individual discretion. He drew the taser, precipitately and needlessly, of his own accord, and then fired without observing the niceties which I’m confident his micromanaging superiors promote as sound policy.

Does anyone think the cop would have been more pleasant and patient in the absence of surveillance?

Videos of cops in action are good things. They don’t do away with Andy Taylor’s good judgment but they do let us know when Barney Fife needs another talk about when and when not to fish the bullet out of his shirt pocket.

And if the argument is that the Barney Fifes and worse shouldn’t be out there policing at all, well, that’s another argument. They’ve been around way longer than the video cameras, which will ultimately help to weed them out.

All that having been said, too many cops are way too taser-happy and, thanks to video and to posts such as this one, that’s bound to change.
 
Written By: Linda Morgan
URL: http://
"It can be like watching a zombie coming back to life."

Bingo. I enjoy watching that transformation, which can also occur in almost everyone who deals with the public.


"That never frightens me."

Then you are a better man than I am, Gunga Din. Guns don’t particularly scare me, but the mixture of guns and people does. No matter how much training they get, some folks should not be trusted with anything more dangerous than a gummi bear. That includes police and military.

" None of this has to be difficult,"

Amen. Sort of like life in general.


"It proceeds apace, apparently"

*sigh* Alas, quite true. And just when I was feeling rather nice, two of them show up.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
"I enjoy watching that transformation,..."
The thing is, Tim, that rote autonomic submission to a cop never achieves it. This is not to say that positive and careful ethical engagement always will, but it is nonetheless the only hope one ever has at the street level.
"Then you are a better man than I am, Gunga Din."
I should bloody hope not.

You’re an American, Tim. Stand up straight.

Courage is an enormous value in all this, too.

Keep your head about you.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
You call it rote submission, I call it preemptive niceness and common courtesy. It also pays to be very nice to your waiter/waitress. Believe me. At least until you have finished eating. There is a time and place for everything.

"Stand up straight."

Not a chance. It makes you a better target.

"Courage is an enormous value in all this, too."

I take comfort in that old saw, ’Discretion is the better part of valor’.


"Keep your head about you."

I do my best, and being very careful around armed morons, even as I smile through gritted teeth, has helped me to keep it.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
He drew the taser, precipitately and needlessly, of his own accord, and then fired without observing the niceties which I’m confident his micromanaging superiors promote as sound policy.
I’m not as confident as you that his superiors do indeed promote sound policy, that was the point. It appears that his department is quite liberal with the TASER in their force continuum. It’s not as if it was a hidden camera, after all. Once Mr. Roadside Lawyer passed the point of no return, the Officer Quickdraw proceeded into automatic arrest mode because whether or not he wants to, he does not even have the option of showing some leeway in the matter.

Don’t get me wrong, his use of the TASER was gratuitous. If he had not been equipped with the TASER, he might have handled this more diplomatically. It looked to me like another case of roadside lawyer vs. a cop who didn’t want to go “hands on”; much easier to zap this guy. The smarmy exchange with the other officer, “OOOoooh… He took a ride with the TASER”, speaks volumes.
Does anyone think the cop would have been more pleasant and patient in the absence of surveillance?
Probably not. I simply wanted to point out that cameras looking over everyone’s shoulders are not the panacea that some might think. Yes, it can weed out the worst of the stupid, but it can also ensure that everyone falls into line with the worst of the stupid policy directives from above.

All this BS over a speeding violation... WTF.
 
Written By: WORDS TWICE
URL: http://wordstwice.blogspot.com/
"Those who are concerned about abuse of governmental power by police, but are not concerned by such abuses in the form of economic conquest with fewer protections on individual rights and liberties are, in essence, holding contradictory positions on governmental power."

There. I fixed it for you, you crappy little freak.

Don’t say I never gave you anything.

I’m all about helping.
Yours works too. But so does my original.

Thanks for the help, and happy birthday.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Thanks for the help, and happy birthday.
Still the unctuous, disingenuous weasel, I see. (IOW: No change in ten years.)

Scott, do you have a real job yet? Or are you still beating the drum at the "Stupid in America" factory in upstate Maine?

Enquiring minds want to know.
 
Written By: Mike Schneider
URL: http://
I’m not as confident as you that his superiors do indeed promote sound policy
You certainly can’t prove sound policy by Quick’s screwball performance, but I still doubt that the state-approved procedural manual for troopers contains anything like: The motorist’s refusal to sign the ticket is your cue to get physical. Order him out of the vehicle and aim your taser directly at him the moment he obeys. Bellow further instructions at will but don’t let his incredulity and rising terror distract you from firing your weapon. Do not, repeat, do not give him warning. And screw that nonsense about reading him his rights.
. . .Officer Quickdraw proceeded into automatic arrest mode because whether or not he wants to, he does not even have the option of showing some leeway in the matter.
What was Quick thinking? Blast, I can’t do what I really want to and just tell this guy to forget the whole thing. I’ve got to do all that damned professional procedural stuff for the effin’ camera. But what was it again? Something about shooting him . . .
I simply wanted to point out that cameras looking over everyone’s shoulders are not the panacea that some might think.
I agree, and I mourn the loss of privacy that accompanies the institution of surveillance all over just about everywhere. But when we’re talking about a means to monitor the performance of publicly financed enforcers of law, armed to the teeth on the taxpayer’s dime, I think the prudence and benefit of video surveillance outweigh the disadvantages. And I say that understanding that the primary reason for the cameras is to document the behavior of the persons with whom the LEOs are dealing. Intimidating, but not so much as the prospect of some rogue officer asserting without evidence to the coroner that you resisted arrest.
[The use of cameras] can also ensure that everyone falls into line with the worst of the stupid policy directives from above.
Eh, maybe to some extent. But only until the videos reveal the stupidity and dangers of such policies for all the world to see. Then, though it may not be the revolution, it is just a matter of time and tempest until the wilder deviations from tolerable norms are reigned in.
 
Written By: Linda Morgan
URL: http://
You certainly can’t prove sound policy by Quick’s screwball performance...
The more I look at the video, the less blame I want to lay at the feet of Officer John Gardner and the more I want to examine what it is about minor traffic violations that justifies this kind of force being authorized. See, like it or not, the truth is that this is authorized. This is state policy in action, not some wacky, rogue cop. The method used to effect the arrest is of tangential concern.
…I still doubt that the state-approved procedural manual for troopers contains anything like: The motorist’s refusal to sign the ticket is your cue to get physical. Order him out of the vehicle and aim your taser directly at him the moment he obeys. Bellow further instructions at will but don’t let his incredulity and rising terror distract you from firing your weapon. Do not, repeat, do not give him warning.
Actually, I would bet that it does say essentially what you wrote, albeit much more officially:

“The motorist’s refusal to sign the ticket requires you to place him under arrest. Order a belligerent motorist out of the vehicle and aim your TASER at his center of mass, just as you were trained and in accordance with the department’s force continuum policy. Issue further instructions in a clear and authoritative voice. Order the other vehicle occupants to stay in the vehicle, as they are a potential threat. Do not let his resistance distract you from firing your “non-lethal” control device. Do not, repeat, do not give him opportunity to return to his vehicle in order to escape or to retrieve a firearm or other weapon that could be used against you.”

BTW, Jared Massey didn’t seem incredulous and terrified as much as contemptuous and presumptuous. What more warning do you need than a TASER in your face and: “Turn around, put your hands behind your back. Turn around, put your hands behind your back, now! Turn around, turn around!”
And screw that nonsense about reading him his rights.
The Miranda warning issue is moot. The driver was not being questioned, he was being placed under arrest.
What was Quick thinking? Blast, I can’t do what I really want to and just tell this guy to forget the whole thing. I’ve got to do all that damned professional procedural stuff for the effin’ camera. But what was it again? Something about shooting him . . .
Essentially, yes. Probably more like:

“Why won’t this a$$hole just shut the f**k up and sign his ticket like everyone else? Great, this roadside lawyer is refusing to sign, which means I now HAVE to arrest him. He’s ignoring my commands… $hit, he’s fiddling with something in his pocket and returning to his vehicle… Let’s see… I can:

A) Reason with him (well, not really, ‘cause he is under arrest but he thinks this is a debate).
B) Agree that his understanding of the law is superior to mine and let him go. Even assuming I want to do this, I still can’t if I enjoy being employed.
C) Get into a wrestling match with him and hope that I win, especially given that his companion is in the car can could easily come over and pop me in the head while I am tussling with Jared here.
D) Spray him with OC and end up doing option C, anyway. Except now I have to decon this dumba$$.
E) Intimidate or beat him into submission with my Monodnock, which looks really, really bad on video and leaves bruises.
F) Or, I can zap him with Thomas A. Swift’s Electric Rifle and he drops like a sack of potatoes. I don’t break a sweat, get bruised, rip my crappy department issued polyester trousers, have to worry about decontaminating Jared or leave too many black and blue marks on his a$$. Not only that, I can keep him under control while I worry about the second occupant of the vehicle."


Oh, and you don’t have days to decide. You have seconds.
…some rogue officer asserting without evidence to the coroner that you resisted arrest.
Are you suggesting that Mr. Jared Massey, Esq. did not resist arrest? He certainly did. The issue here is how the officer chose to deal with it. Officer Gardner escalated straight from verbal commands to the TASER. This may very well fall within his department’s policy on TASER use. Are you familiar with the term Force Continuum in the law enforcement context?
… until the videos reveal the stupidity and dangers of such policies for all the world to see. Then, though it may not be the revolution, it is just a matter of time and tempest until the wilder deviations from tolerable norms are reigned in.
I agree that video like this can demonstrate the folly of certain policies. However, this controversy has reminded me that the average citizen has no clue about use of force policies in either the private citizen, law enforcement or the military contexts. Unless they have some sort of serious self-defense, LEO or military background or training, many people maintain misinformed beliefs based on what they see on TV or “common knowledge”, which is often completely false, e.g. the Miranda mythology.

Video can also be misleading. Whenever there is a use of force controversy, whether it is a citizen shooting a home invader, a cop beating the stuffing out of some scumbag, or Marines responding to an ambush, all the would-be lawyers and armchair commandos start pontificating about what everyone should have done. The primary focus of popular outrage, which is the immediate escalation to TASER use, was most likely completely within departmental policy, for reasons that I touched on earlier. Also, after reviewing the video further, I don’t think he was wrong for zapping this guy, from a purely tactical standpoint. When stopping a vehicle with multiple occupants, things can go horrible very quickly. For every controversial TASER video, there is another that shows LEOs being shot, stabbed or beaten during traffic stops. Have you watched many of those?

I would say that my biggest problem with this whole debacle is the fact that a simple speeding violation is deemed worthy of this kind of force and that this decision doesn’t really lie with Officer Gardner, despite his willing participation in the process. If he didn’t tase this guy, some other officer would have.

A simple, “Hey, could you please slow down? Thanks, have a safe trip”, couldn’t have sufficed because that kind of policing isn’t encouraged. It doesn’t generate revenue or overtime and it doesn’t justify budgets and personnel.

My concern over this traffic stop is mostly that it happened at all; that Americans are stopped at will under the flimsiest pretense and ruthlessly subdued for the most trivial of “crimes”. Those policy decisions are made way above Officer Gardner’s level. After all, he is simply law enforcement. There are plenty of better examples of real bad cops and actual TASER misuse than this one. It seems that people get the government, and the police, they deserve.

I’m afraid I have gotten longwinded here. If you like we can continue via email.

WT
 
Written By: WORDS TWICE
URL: http://wordstwice.blogspot.com/
I agree with you WT, not much need for my response (thought I may put one up in a moment). But I did want to talk to you about...
My concern over this traffic stop is mostly that it happened at all; that Americans are stopped at will under the flimsiest pretense and ruthlessly subdued for the most trivial of “crimes”.
I don’t know about how things are in your area, but it is shocking to a lot of people when they go back and reread the driving codes years after they’ve had their license. While I don’t think it’s so bad as to be filled with contradictions, I’m pretty sure that it’s humanly impossible to follow 100% of all traffic regulations 100% of the time. (well... here anyway) So actually... yes cops could pretty much pull over anyone at any time and I know sometimes they’ll pull someone over for a bigger suspicion (i.e. drugs) but they start with a minor regulation (i.e. taillight out).

Sometimes ignorance is bliss. If we had perfect robots that enforced 100% of the laws all the time, we’d have people afraid to leave the house.
 
Written By: Challenger Grim
URL: http://
I most certainly did, but that’s okay. Aside from your straight-up weezling, I can make the point without you. I cited only one single example of a completely innocent person whose life was monstrously abused and completely destroyed by the very thing that you attempted to foist off as the fault of unidentified and non-existent "citizens play[ing] a role in" or "exacerbat[ing] the situation" in which cops are supposed to be granted moral probity for turning into something absolutely alien to everything clasiccally and originally American in civil relations.

And you went out like an over-volted light bulb.

Everybody saw it.

Nighty-night, bitch.
Actually, I’ve been busy. Ironically, the night this board was lit up, I actually had a state trooper stop by the house. Turns out a burglary had happened to a neighbor up the road and he was investigating for clues etc. Very polite, very nice.

Stop A) assuming it’s all about you and B) thinking more of yourself than you deserve.

This will be long, but only because I’ll have to be sure to go into such detail to try and get the point past your overblown ego.

Ok, now first I will no deny that crap happens. Abuses happen. Kathryn Johnston is a horrible case and I wish it hadn’t happened. But seriously, how can you expect to have an intelligent discussion if, upon throwing out a sob story you expect everything to stop and everyone taking time to mourn? Should I bring up cases of mob lynching and then scream at you
then tell me how [lynched person] qualified for your insipid sarcasm over [their] dead body.
whenever you reply to me? No! If all we’re going to do is bring up human faults, then let’s just settle that the entire species should be wiped out and go home. Somehow, I don’t think that’s the point of this discussion.
Yes. Exactly. If you had those two people in mind when you asked it, then you should have named them explicitly.
This is what I mean by, you didn’t get my point. I had just general patterns in my head when I asked the question (I remembered comments, I had to go back to double check usernames). The entire point was the contrast of patterns, not the details. Let’s look at something you said and see if we can finally get some logic firing in that empty desert of your brain.
I would love to be able to respect cops. There is no way that I can do that with a good conscience, and it’s been a very long time since I could.
Ah, so you don’t respect cops. (even those killed in riots?) What would get you to respect cops? Maybe... them respecting you? (and by extension, other citizens?) But why would they respect you if you won’t respect them? See the escalating spiral there?

Watch the video again. Both sides are pretty at fault. NEITHER man is doing anything to deescalate the situation. There are things that BOTH of them should have done. There is plenty of fault and blame to go around in that video.

I’m not talking about just individual cases, I’m talking about a sociological pattern on the whole. It’s called the circle (or spiral/snowball) paradigm. One side does something, so the other side starts trusting them less, which causes the first side, to trust them less and so on and so on until nobody can remember (or care) who started it (except both sides will say it was the other). Well at some point, the only way to reverse it, is to do the opposite (one side does something to trust the other). The problem with that, is BOTH sides will wait an eternity for the other to go first.

Well, I think we should do what we can, even if that means we take the first step. You yourself said:
And this is why I call them "political homunculi". These people are now positively trained to not reason to moral conclusions on their own authority.

"Dehumanizing"? {shrug} Fine. Have it your way: that’s exactly right, except that I’m not the one responsible for it. I’m just pointing out the facts.
Ok fine, so treating them as robots is going to get them to stop acting like robots? As C.S. Lewis said, "suspicion often creates what it suspects." Like I said, you can do your part to improve or worsen the situation. I’m just pointing out the facts.
 
Written By: Challenger Grim
URL: http://
The only way to manage this circumstance is with actual thinking by the individual on the scene integrating a proper ethical relationship between cop and citizen. None of that occurs in this episode.
And btw, I do agree with that there and support the idea whole heartedly.
 
Written By: Challenger Grim
URL: http://
See, like it or not, the truth is that this is authorized. This is state policy in action, not some wacky, rogue cop.
I don’t dispute that officers have the authority to use a taser to subdue a person resisting arrest. And, thanks to sources other than Gardner in the video, I know it is policy in some states, presumably including Utah, to arrest a person who will not sign to acknowledge receipt of a traffic ticket.

It’s significant to me that Gardner doesn’t explain or even allude to any such arrest policy – or even say the word “arrest” – until Massey has been tasered and is face down, hands behind his back, on the concrete shoulder. And his wife has been sent, shrieking, back to the vehicle. Twice.

And even then he doesn’t say that he’s arresting him for failure to sign the ticket. He says, “I’ll tell you what I’m doing. I’m placing you under arrest.” And when Massey asks why, he answers, “Because you did not obey my instructions.”

Okay. Well. Maybe in Utah that sort of policy execution and explanation are considered close enough for government work.
BTW, Jared Massey didn’t seem incredulous and terrified as much as contemptuous and presumptuous.

You know, you’re right. Now that you mention it, you’re absolutely right. I could make a joke about that just being a cover for his terror, but seriously I think that was pure projection on my part.
What more warning do you need than a TASER in your face and: “Turn around, put your hands behind your back.
You don’t work in, like, policy development or something for UHP, do you?
The Miranda warning issue is moot.
Yeah, I was too lazy to Google that. And, uh, some of the other stuff.
(A) Reason with him (well, not really, ‘cause he is under arrest but he thinks this is a debate).
LOL, but: Hmmmm. Should I have told him he’s under arrest?
…some rogue officer asserting without evidence to the coroner that you resisted arrest.
Are you suggesting that Mr. Jared Massey, Esq. did not resist arrest?
Actually, I’d veered off there into an acknowledgement that the camera usage I defend is the brainchild and the tool of Big Brother. And I was pointing out that, even so, its documentation of the public’s encounters with the police is helpful (probably) in discouraging the summary executions of irksome arrestees we used to hear about sometimes.

But I’ll take this opportunity to mention again that Massey had not been advised that he was under arrest.
I don’t think he was wrong for zapping this guy, from a purely tactical standpoint.
Gardner was wrong to let things get so out of hand. Most people – including me! – would certainly have turned around (again) and put their hands behind their back. But there was no sane reason for Gardner to have issued the order Massey chose to disobey. But, yeah, once he’d forced everything to that point, it was probably prudent to prevent Massey from getting back to the vehicle.
My concern over this traffic stop is mostly that it happened at all; that Americans are stopped at will under the flimsiest pretense and ruthlessly subdued for the most trivial of “crimes”.
Absolutely. Amen. Like you said earlier, WTF.
 
Written By: Linda Morgan
URL: http://
But I’ll take this opportunity to mention again that Massey had not been advised that he was under arrest.
This whole thing reminds me of a couple of comedy skits, one by George Carlin:

You know how to handle a ticket by now, don’t ya? You gotta be FIRM with the policeman! Be firm with that policeman. Policemen respect strength. While he’s writing out the ticket, you gotta flash him a whole lotta bad looks. Then when he’s almost finished writing, reach over and GRAB the ticket out of his hand. Tell him you’re going to check it over for mistakes. Then when you’re finished reading it, crumple it up and throw it at his feet…” (NSFW)

The other is by Chris Rock: How To Not Get Your A$$ Kicked By The Police (NSFW)
 
Written By: WORDS TWICE
URL: http://wordstwice.blogspot.com/
Oh God.

"Tell him it’s your car and you do what you godd*mn want with it!"

Next best laugh to "He got weed!"

Classic stuff!
 
Written By: Linda Morgan
URL: http://
"But seriously, how can you expect to have an intelligent discussion if, upon throwing out a sob story you expect everything to stop and everyone taking time to mourn?"
That’s not what I expect, in fact, but I know what I can expect from you from here on out, and "an intelligent discussion" is not part of it.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Have you ever run across this little quote anywhere?

Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US


... Bin Ladin since 1997 has wanted to conduct terrorist attacks in the US. Bin Ladin implied in US television interviews in 1997 and 1998 that his followers would follow the example of World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef and "bring the fighting to America."


... FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York.

Who do you think are morons - the people who recognize that the federal government was warned about a massive terrorist attack, probably in New York, probably with hijacked aircraft, but did NOTHING to increase aircraft security or enhance air defense - or the people who think that, "Aw shucks, we wuz just havin’ fun enjoyin’ our freedom ’n stuff like that and some danged Aye-rabs jes’ up ’n sandbagged us!"
 
Written By: A Moron
URL: http://

 
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