Jeeves! My Slippers, Please.

Last month, I had a freelance piece in Playboy on the SWAT phenomenon (it's not online yet).  It was a short piece with a few bullet-point examples, and some brief background.

This fellow apparently didn't like it much, citing it I guess as proof for his theory that weenie liberal men like me are hellbent on neutering Western society of its manliness.  More hilarious is the mental picture he has of me:

While Mr. Balko sits safely in his tony Upper West Side of Manhattan digs puffing on some thai and bemoaning the plight of those persecuted by the gestapo Police SWAT teams to the members of his Mulatto studies literature club, the very men he defames are ensuring the continuance of his existence through their thankless work- protecting the good people of this country from the barbarians within our gates.

In the article Mr. Balko uses a grand total of six examples of SWAT raids that resulted in deaths instead of arrests between the years of 2001 and 2006. He also cites the incredible rise of the use of SWAT teams, 1300% since 1980, stating that on average SWAT teams are used 110 times a day. Given the rise in SWAT action, the real story should be the lack of examples Mr. Balko is able to present in this article to prove his claims that "We the people" are under siege by the menace of "paramilitary" police units.

His mistaking a word-count limit for a lack of suitable examples aside, let me just say that as a white-bread, corn-fed Hoosier who currently rents a 2-bedroom row house in an average-income  Alexandria, Virginia neighborhood, color me flattered to be called a Rob Roy-sipping, Yacht-clubbing elitist!

Gotta' go, now.  Heff's flying me and 'Lec (that's what I call Alec Baldwin) to the Mansion for a midnight grotto party.  I'll tell Drew Carey y'all said hi.

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  • Guy Montag||

    I am with you brother. The cops are there to write a report for the insurance company. My Benelli Nova pump is there so that the cop gets to see the person he is writing the report about.

    Check Say Uncle for more details about what you are talking about.

  • ||

    This may be a bad time, but where should I deliver the caviar? Should I bring it to your home in Indiana, or should I just back up the truck into the lawn of your Hampton's summer estate and pour it into the wine cellar, like last time?

    And, also, I hope you liked your last shipment of polo ponies -- they were brought specially from the king's horse farm in Saudi Arabia.

  • ||

    Clearly a limpwristed pipe smoker. Only those types really deeply care about a perceived "manliness" of storming into the wrong address, shooting people holding remotes because they might have been guns or protecting society from the evils of the card players or consensual sex service providers.

  • ||

    Radley: "bullet-point examples"...anyone so adept at double-entendre simply must be a metrosexual paté-nibbling elitist. Stop denying it, you delicious cad, you.

  • Lord Duppy||

    I wasn't aware the moralistic, law-and-order types read Playboy. Or rather, that they ever admitted to it.

  • Emmet||

    He called you a "lefty". lol, that's just too funny. Our raging Bill O'Reilly want-a-be needs to read "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America" (http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=6476). Seems he lacks the "testicle fortitude" to accept comments.

    Freedom is freedom. That means from a "nanny state" and from SWAT teams playing "spray and pray" in your living room. Mr. Dick List gets a "-1, troll" from me for making vocal conservatives look like screaming nut jobs.

    Radley, keep on writing the right stuff and thanks for that "5 gallons of gasoline and a match" that arrives in my mail box every month. =)

  • ||

    I wasn't aware the moralistic, law-and-order types read Playboy.

    I was just about to point that out too.

    Given the rise in SWAT action, the real story should be the lack of examples Mr. Balko is able to present in this article to prove his claims that "We the people" are under siege by the menace of "paramilitary" police units.

    This fucker doesn't get does he?

    HEY! THE POINT OF MIS-TER BAL-KO'S ARTICLE WAS THAT

  • ||

    Oh yes, shooting old ladies is so manly.

    Frankly, I don't know why we bother with seasons and bag limits.

  • ||

    EDIT: WHOOPS! I hit Tab instead of Caps Lock:

    HEY! THE POINT OF MIS-TER BAL-KO'S ART-I-CLE WAS THAT THESE IN-CI-DENTS HAPP-ENED AT ALL. DO YOU THINK IT'S ALL RIGHT FOR THESE PEO-PLE TO SUFF-ER JUST BE-CAUSE YOU DO NOT LIKE DRUGS? DO YOU REAL-Y THINK THAT A LIT-TLE OLD LA-DY HAS TO BE SHOT JUST SO THAT THE PO-LICE CAN LOOK MA-CHO?

    You have speak loudly and slowly as well as break up the big words for people like this character. Otherwise they get lost really easily.

  • ||

    On the off-chance he has apoint...

    ...how many Swat raids were there, this week...

    ...how many people killed, or even injured...

    ...how often were these even SWAT raids, or merely cops making raids?

    Aren't statistics relevant?

  • ||

    Radley has the best thai in the blogosphere.

  • Ayn_Randian||

    Yeah, way for this guy to flex his "muscles" by ordering the police to blow away innocent black folks, immigrants and old people...his "law and order" is bigger than yours...what a stud.

    People like this should be hanged from the nearest lamppost (note: not a threat, just a wish).

  • ||

    Godfrey won this round. Well done, old sport.

  • ||

    Of course, the law and order moralist types read Playboy. That shows how "MANLY" they are. Manly Men look at the boobies.

  • ||

    As far as the guy "having a point" with the Stats- Radley has the best stats. Don't you read the Agitator? Read the stats about how often judges grant no-knocks for no reason, how many weapons raids actually turn-up weapons, what % of victims are charged for a crime and how serious,etc.

    You will find at that most 1/3 of the targets of these raids are people possibly commiting a jailable offense, very few of the "definitely armed and dangerous" types have any weapons at all, judges rubber stamp and dont read anything,etc.

  • ||

    First, the writer says "Most cops are male, straight, white, and tough; all things which disgust the average liberal to the core." So I think he's a straight, macho guy but then he says, "I've been punished with a free subscription to Playboy." So I think he's a not-so-straight, less-than-macho guy but then he says, "the magazine has the good and noble purpose of providing high quality poon to the public." So I think he is a straight, macho guy but then he says, "since Playboy is a porno magazine it will naturally have "progressive" tendencies as its major opponents will be stuffy conservative Republican Christian types." So I think he might be straight but not a macho guy since he sounds opposed to "progressive" tendencies like porn.

    After failing to follow his logic and implications I assumed that he probably wrote his post while still perusing Playboy. It's hard to focus on sociopolitical issues and airbruhed nipples at the same time.

  • Jennifer||

    It's sad...I have noticed this trend in the mass media, many SWAT teams shooting to kill. I haven't read the Playboy article, but I know there was recently a case of a SWAT shooting in Atlanta. They shot a 92 year old lady who was trying to defend her turf. They claim there was drugs...and a man they couldn't find.

    Apparently manly men don't care when others die. So that's where the world is coming to.

  • ||

    Why do people feel the need to explain their ownership of one or more issues of Playboy? It's always some goofy story about a free subscription, or a friend leaving the issue at the house, or stumbling across an issue breaking in through your patio door.

    I get Playboy the way I suspect most of these careful-explainers get it: I have a subscription.

    Come on, folks, this is 2006, not 1966. You can go to Google Image Search, type in 'anal intrusion' or what have you, and get all the sloppy hardcore pron you want. Playboy's soft-focus, tasteful pix of attractive women with their clothing off barely qualifies as pornography. Reading Playboy doesn't need to be justified with improbable tales of free subscriptions and Fortean rainstorms of Miss November.

    And yes, it is perfectly reasonable to say 'I read it for the articles.' They published Mr. Balko, and their stuff is usually to that level of quality. And last month's Stephen King short story was excellent.

    Sigh. Someday I hope we can shake off the remaining Puritanism that infests our culture.

  • ||

    Sigh. Someday I hope we can shake off the remaining Puritanism that infests our culture.

    Oh, we can't do that. After all, "libertinism does not equal libertarianism" or so I'm told.

  • ||

    Andrew, welcome to H&R.

  • ||

    And, for the record, they can kill all the old ladies they want. I'm still not impressed until they shoot a pissing dog. The Schenectady, NY police really raised the bar a couple months ago.

  • ||

    I hope you let me have some of the cavair at the next Reason do. What a dumb a** h*l*. Give my regards to Lex.

  • ||

    You can hardly blame the guy, this is what passes for "conservative argument" by the Hannities and Limbaugh's that inform so many of the "party faithful" these days...Conservative media has been a big factor in the dumbing down of political discourse, ironically at the same time that conservative political ideas are becomming more relvant to wonks and such...

  • ||

    Only in America is it an acceptable ad hominem to accuse somebody of being educated. You damn educated writers, you!

  • Sam Franklin||

    puffing on some thai

    This is a drug ref.?

  • ||

    This is a drug ref.?

    Thai stick, would be my guess.

  • ||

    This is a drug ref.?

    Yeah, my first thought was "wow, I could really go for some good chicken nam prik right now, light on the fish sauce."

  • ||

    Mr. Balko nailed all the important policy arguments, but I have to ask, where did this idea that Manly Men have bad taste come from? Most of that idiot's letter consisted of, translated from the original Dumbass, "Radley Balko has some really cool stuff and I don't." Back in the day conservatives were rather proud of choosing better music, books, and food than the rest of us benighted folk. Now it's just the opposite. Like good coffee? Microbrews? Classical music? Good literature? You islamopinkodhimmicommiefaggot!!! Real men drink Maxwell House and Miller Light and listen only to the Clear Channel country station in their market, and read Left Behind. Gag.

  • Jennifer||

    where did this idea that Manly Men have bad taste come from

    In all seriousness, I think it's a belief that wanting or noticing "nice things" is something that only women and gay men do.

    By the way, I see we have a new Jennifer commenting here; that last post wasn't from me.

  • Ken Hagler||

    You know, maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea if we made castration a requirement to become a cop. Then all the "manly men" would stay home getting drunk, watching football games, and beating their wives, instead of randomly beating and murdering old ladies in their homes.

  • Graphite||

    I love how close he gets to Colonel Jessup's rant.

    Son, we live in a world that has dopers, and those dopers have to be kept off the streets by men with FN P90s. Who's gonna do it? You? You Mr. Reason-Man Balko?

    ...

    I have neither the time, nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who quaffs Pom and reads Toni Morrison under the blanket of the very militarized domestic police force I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said "Toodles!" and went on your faggy way. Otherwise I suggest you don a kevlar vest and man a door-breaching team. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you're entitled to.

  • ||

    That makes sense Jennifer. Obviously only people with cooties have good taste, ergo to avoid catching cooties Manly Men have to surround themselves with crap. Ugh. Even James Bond now acts like a yob, although I read somewhere that the new actor wants a gay scene at some point. Maybe a few movies associating cooties with yobbishness could both soften opposition to gay rights AND stop this trend about Manly Men and bad taste.

  • ||

    But isn't the respectable half of Playboy contain the message that classy men have taste in the finer things? Heck, even the good half of the magazine is the "class" of the business.

  • ||

    Before we get too far down on conservatives, just remember that the banning of drugs originated as a liberal "betterment" project to stop [poor] people from harming themselves.

  • nicrivera||

    My God!

    That post written over at The Dick List has got to be the most ignorant Drug War apologist diatribe that I have ever come across (and believe me, I've come across some pretty ignorant Drug War apologists, including an attorney who tried to convince me during on online debate that alcohol prohibition was completely legal and didn't necessarily require a Constitutional Amendment).

    This guy's getting flamed pretty bad over at his blog, but I think, in the end, it'll do him some good to find out what an ass he made of himself. This guy needs some educatin'! I doubt he'll ever see things our way, but if nothing else, perhaps the next time he reads an anti-Drug War article, he'll think twice before labeling the author as a "leftist", "anti-cop liberal."

  • ||

    While Mr. Balko sits safely in his tony Upper West Side of Manhattan digs puffing on some thai and bemoaning the plight of those persecuted by the gestapo Police SWAT teams to the members of his Mulatto studies literature club, the very men he defames are ensuring the continuance of his existence through their thankless work- protecting the good people of this country from the barbarians within our gates.

    This single sentence illustrates a lot that's wrong with the way our authority figures and their enablers think of themselves. They really believe that if they weren't there, there'd be no society, no business, no life at all because everyone one would be murdering, robbing, and raping 24-7.

  • ||

    Everything's culture war to some people. They can't even think rationally when drug law reform comes up, because it sounds like something the longhairs who opposed the Vietnam War and made the dorm smell like weed would bring up.

    It's going to be a good day when the stale Baby Boomer culture war fades from our collective conscious.

  • ||

    While we're on the subject, police in North Carolina did it again, killing an 18 year old over a stolen video game console. Apparently some college student strong armed a couple of consoles away from another student who was on his way home from the local electronics store. They even sent the SWAT team over to the thief's house to bust down the door and killed him because he had a game controller in his hand. Naturally they killed his dog too. I feel so much safer know manly men like that are protecting me.

  • ||

    Here's a link to the story referenced above:

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,234178,00.html

  • ||

    I haven't seen Thai Stick since the early '80's

  • brian423||

    As the author of Reflections on Playboy, I'd just like to point out that Mr. Balko misspelled Hef.

  • ||

    joe - I'm taking it that this guy, who is so P.O.'d at Balko is the sort of guy you were complaining about in your chickenhawk posts...

    "It's going to be a good day when the stale Baby Boomer culture war fades from our collective conscious." - joe

    Amen to that!

  • Jennifer||

    Before we get too far down on conservatives, just remember that the banning of drugs originated as a liberal "betterment" project to stop [poor] people from harming themselves.

    Actually, it started as a racist project to prevent those icky blacks and Mexicans from using marijuana to seduce white women who don't know any better.

  • ||

    Actually, it started as a racist project to prevent those icky blacks and Mexicans from using marijuana to seduce white women who don't know any better.

    Jennifer, don't forget opium and those slant-eyed chink bastards.

  • ||

    Jennifer & J sub D

    You are correct in adding the racist component of the early arguments for drug laws. The early Canadian social reformer Emily Murphy's "The Black Candle" was a flatly racist tract, attacking the opium trade on precisely the terms cited by J sub D.

    My point was only that the drug laws were part and parcel of the early efforts at "social reform." Racism was pervasive in all aspects of late 19th & early 20th century society and it was naturally part of any social movement.

  • ||

    Before we get too far down on conservatives, just remember that the banning of drugs originated as a liberal "betterment" project to stop [poor] people from harming themselves.

    Why do we have to remember something that happened over 80 years ago when it hasn't been germane at all for at least 20? These days, the drug war is largely driven by Conservatives and moderate politicians who need to appear "tough on crime." Liberals are just as bad in their way, (and in some ways much worse) but every criticism of conservatives doesn't need to be immediately followed up with "but liberals did it too in the distant past!"

  • ||

    Shem,

    I'm surprised that a right winger had the creativity to go further back than Bill Clinton.

  • ||

    It sickens me that people are more concerned with politicians being "tough on crime" than they are with examining whether things should be crimes in the first place.

  • ||

    Thai stick, would be my guess.

    How incredibly square of me - I, in all seriousness, misread that as "Chai" and imagined someone blowing on a cup of hot tea.

  • ||

    Graphite - that was gold, man.

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