Are Critics of Cops Driving a Spike in Cop Killing?

From the A.P.:

The number of U.S. police officers who died in the line of duty is up 43 percent so far this year, according to an organization that honors fallen law enforcement officials.

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund says that if the trend continues, 2010 could become one of the deadliest years for U.S. police agencies in two decades.

The fund was to release preliminary data Wednesday showing that 87 officers died in the line of duty between Jan. 1 and June 30. That’s up sharply from 61 officers killed during the first six months of last year.

Last year, on-duty officer deaths hit a 50-year low. So what's behind the increase?

Eugene O'Donnell, professor of police studies at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, said the number of officer fatalities fluctuates from year to year. However, he said he has noticed an "alarming frequency" of people targeting police.

"There has been a spate of particularly brutal and senseless attacks on the police," said O’Donnell, a former police officer and prosecutor in New York. "It seems to me, an unprecedented level of disrespect and willingness to challenge police officers all over the place."

He said a rise in mental health problems and scathing criticism of police, such as the comments found on some blogs, could be fueling the brazenness and disregard for authority.

That sounds like a huge leap. If you look at the National Law Enforcement Fund statistics, 42 of the 87 officer deaths so far this year were from automobile or motorcycle accidents, or from an officer struck by a vehicle. Thirty-one deaths were from gunfire, and 14 were from "other."*

The 31 gunfire deaths so far this year are up from 22 in the first six months of last year. But I wonder what evidence O'Donnell has that would cause him to attribute an additional nine officer deaths among 900,000 active duty cops to an "unprecedented level of disrespect" and a sweeping trend of "scathing criticism" of cops on the Internet. I don't know of a single case last year where there was evidence that an officer's murder could be traced back to anger or resentment on a web forum. I obviously haven't looked into all 31 officer shootings, but if there was even a hint of a suggestion that the Internet motivated someone to kill a cop, it's the sort of salacious detail the media would have lapped up and obsessed over for days. And we'd need quite a few of those incidents to make a trend.

Reporters always look for explanations for these sorts of numbers, even when there may not be one. The number of cops intentionally killed while on duty is small enough—especially when compared to the total number of cops working—that nine additional gunfire deaths over six months may well just be a statistical hiccup. The problem comes when people cite figures like these to call for policy changes, or to defend current policies, that favor police protection over civil liberties. For example, it wouldn't be difficult to envision a politician using O'Donnell's quote to defend a policy of a arresting and imprisoning people who take cell phone videos of on-duty police officers.

(*The NLEF stats don't differentiate homicides from accidental deaths. So it's possible that some of the auto-related or "other" fatalities were homicides, and it's also possible that some of the gunfire-related deaths weren't.)

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  • Warty||

    The blood is on your hands, Balko. Take care of THIS.

  • Pip||

    What do you cal 87 dead cops?

    A good start.

  • -||

    scathing criticism of police, such as the comments found on some blogs

    No one here ever calls for cop-killing. H&R is a reasonable place.

  • ||

    Did he call for killing anyone, anony-pussy?

  • JEP||

    No, but it's not that funny and pretty damn tasteless.

  • -||

    Come on. Rejoicing in the deaths of cops isn't the same as wanting them dead. Right, Pisi?

  • ||

    I'm not the innominate feline you directed the question toward, but yes, actually he did.

  • ||

    Imagine if you will, a blog comment section heavily populated with cops. Imagine that one cop says:

    "What do you call 10 people in prison for recording cops? A good start!"

    Would you classify this as a harmless little joke, or an encouragement to arrest people who record cops?

  • -||

    The second one.

  • cynical||

    Tulpa, what do you call 10 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean?

  • ||

    James Cameron's next movie.

  • Warty||

    What do you call a million nags with their mouths stapled shut and their fingers cut off?

  • ||

    Horses don't have fingers.

  • ||

    ...also known as, The Best Facebook Group Evar.

  • Rudan||

    A young blogga on a warpath, and when I'm finished, it's gonna be a bloodbath, Of cops, dyin in L.A.

  • Lucy||

    YEEEES.

  • Lucy||

    Woah, that was creepy. Let me try again.

    I want to be a young blogga on the warpath. Is that so wrong?

  • Ice-T'eabagger||

    Yes. I mean no. I mean, "Yo."

  • Cop's Brother||

    I mean this in the most sincere manner possible, go fuck yourself pip. While there are plenty of asshole and/or idiot cops there, are more good ones.

    As for the story, O'Donnell has no sound statistical basis and is trying to pull causation out of his ass.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    The only good cops are those refusing to work with massive corruption and abuse of power. Only those who actively speak out against those who abuse rehire power.

    And that line ain't that long. I'd bet that there are fewer than 1000 truly good cops in America. The rest are either complicit with abuses and corruption, or simply allow it to happen. Those are bad cops too.

  • Polynikes||

    Could it have something to do with more cops being on the street due to stimulus spending? The death rate would be a better measure...

  • WTF||

    Exactly what I was going to say. The number needs to be adjusted to a population-based number, to show what the raw number reflects in terms of a percentage of the cop population (copulation?).

    61 officers killed out of, say 100,000 is about the same as 87 killed out of about 146,000. Are there more killed becuase there are more out there? Or because they are getting more aggressive in doing home invasion warrant executions, or in arresting more drug offenders?

    It's silly to attribute the increase wholly to people being more willing to criticize or be confrontational with cops.

  • ||

    I can think of a certain case where a cop was killed because he stuck his head through a homeowners door in the dead of night, not because the suspect wanted to kill a cop, or was all uppity.

  • ||

    Yes the death rate would be a better measure. And as Radley notes, the figure does not differentiate between homicides of targeted cops vs. accidental shootings.

    Do the figures discuss accidental shootings or suicides or incidents which may be justified?

  • ||

    Kicking people's doors in an terrorizing them can't help.

  • ||

    Yeah, that's the first thought that popped into my head -- more aggressive tactics are inevitably going to lead to more deaths and injuries.

    But as Radley points out, the statistics are so poorly categorized that it's impossible to make any intelligent conclusion from them. Not that any MSM reporter will ever question the dictat of one who holds the three gold standards of credibility: cop, prosecutor, and professor. The reporter was probably lying prostrate during the interview with that much authoritah to respect.

  • ||

    I would be interested to see the number of civilians killed by police officers in the same time frames referenced above.

  • .||

    So would I, dude - so would I.

  • ||

    Curiously no statistics on that are readily available on the internet.

  • ||

    Why keep count, who cares about a few dead peasants?

  • Paul||

    Yeah, that's the first thought that popped into my head -- more aggressive tactics are inevitably going to lead to more deaths and injuries.

    The cops would argue otherwise. They claim the aggressive tactics are required to reduce deaths and injuries.

    Afterall, two uniforms rapping on a screen door serving a warrant to look for a stolen PS3 on a residence with three college kids is death waiting to happen. We need a SWAT team for that action.

  • ||

    Let's not forget that at least 5 (or was it more?) of those 9 happened in a short period of time right here in and around Seattle. Maurice Clemmons was responsible for 4 of them alone.

  • Abdul||

    Was he a frequent web forum contributor?

  • Maurice Clemmons' Family||

    He was a good guy. Likes to make people laugh. No way he shot those cops.

  • Maurice Clemmons' Neighbours||

    He seemed like a nice young man. Mostly kept to himself.

    Alright, alright, we never fucking talked to our neighbours.

  • jasno||

    I was just going to say the same thing. I thought there were a couple other incidents in WA-state as well.

  • Police Chief||

    Bullshit. It's all the bloggers' fault.

  • ||

    So, the tool whining (without bothering to provide factual support) about people disrespecting policy authoritay is "a former police officer and prosecutor".

    Noted.

  • ||

    You had to see that coming, though, right?

  • ||

    "It seems to me, an unprecedented level of disrespect and willingness to challenge police officers all over the place."

    I'd just like to take a moment out of my busy day to say, "FUCK YOU, Eugene."

  • ||

    "Teacher says that every time a commenter disses the police, an angel gets his wings!"

  • George Bailey||

    Is this that same dumb bitch teacher that sent you home without your coat buttoned, so you got a cold? That fat whore's husband punched me in the mouth down at the bar!

  • MWG||

    It's threads like these that keep me coming back to H&R.

  • ||

    disrespect and willingness to challenge police officers = taking their picture while on the job.

  • Geotpf||

    The number of officer deaths each year is too small to make any conclusions from the data, IMHO.

  • JD||

    Yeah, this and Episiarch pretty much nail it. Maurice Clemmons was single-handedly responsible for more than 10% of the officer shootings this year, so the idea that you can find evidence of big social trends in minor numeric variations is, uh, shaky to say the least.

  • JD||

    Bah, I just realized Clemmons was last year. But the point stands: when one incident can cause a major swing in the numbers, etc.

  • ||

    Obviously not.

  • Subsidize Me!||

    unprecedented level of disrespect

    Disrespect kills.

  • Thom||

    and respect is something that has to be earned

  • Zeb||

    The numbers are so small compared to the total number of police in the country, that they really can't be taken to mean anything. The only conclusion that I can draw from this is that very few police are killed in the line of duty. Slightly more have been this year, but still very few.

  • ||

    "It seems to me, an unprecedented level of disrespect and willingness to challenge police officers all over the place."

    Ya think the "unprecedented level of disrespect" for police offeicers might have something to do with police officer behavior? Just maybe?

  • Ska||

    Oh sure, blame the victims.

    :p

  • .||

    Lol. :-)

  • rhofulster||

    http://www.nleomf.org/facts/research-bulletins/

    This page has the graph of police shootings over the past 50 years. This year is right about average since 1960.

    I'm surprised it's AP and not Brietbart feeding this story to Faux News.

    And what Zeb said about the sample size issue.

  • ||

    Yeah because AP and the rest of the big media have never lied or fucked up any story. And Breitbart cares so much about police issues.

  • rhofulster||

    The MSM, as slanted as they are, can't hold a candle to the way Fox slobbers over a Breitbart story.

  • ||

    Then don't watch them I guess.

  • rhofulster||

    As they are very influential, I pay attention and sometimes comment on their behavior as I do all of the influential players in this society.

  • ||

    Umm, excuse me? They slobber over every spin packet the Obama administration coughs up. While I'm not a fan of blatantly biased journalism on either side, slobbering over a story from a powerless citizen is much less odious than slobbering over stories put out by those with their filthy paws on the levers of federal power.

  • -||

    Faux News

    Ha! That's clever. Did you make that up?

  • rhofulster||

    What do you think about their coverage of the Sherrod affair? How many nanoseconds do you thing it took this news organization to rush Breitbart's video into the headlines?

  • ||

    TEAM RED TEAM BLUE media bias arguments are tedious beyond belief. But hey, they seem to entertain a lot of people. Probably the same people who think their favorite media are "unbiased". These are also the people who find shiny objects fascinating.

  • ||

    "The beautiful, shiny button? The jolly, candy-like button?"

  • ||

    Ren and Stimpy quotes? God, you're old.

  • ||

    Don't forget wise, young padawan.

  • Ska||

    Ren and Stimpy references?

    Nice dude, nice.

  • ||

    Lest you hadn't noticed: Entertainment is what it is all about.

  • Chase||

    Actually, Fox (outside of the commentator O'Reilly) did not run the story until AFTER Sherrod was fired.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....06708.html

  • rhofulster||

    Damn, I was wrong about the timeline. I thought Fox's orgy took place before the firing. I could swear I've seen a number of clips of Fox talking heads calling for Sherrod's immediate resignation.

  • dave c||

    Uh, Fox didn't run the tape until she was already fired

  • Warty||

    This seems like a decent enough place, in case anyone hasn't seen these: Never talk to the police.

  • omg||

    I think that those videos are great, but I'm a little confused on how far I should go. Like, an officer came to my door once when I was in college because a neighbor's kid's go-kart got stolen. I did talk to him (basically told him I hadn't saw or heard anything), but was that a bad idea? Is it only when they bring you in to the police station for interrogation, or is it just in general?

  • Abdul||

    It's hard to believe that you and your dog survived such a grueling inquiry.

  • ||

    Well it depends. If you are merely an uninvolved bystander, as in your case, I see no harm in just answering "what did you see" questions. But the SECOND the questioning shifts away from an event involving others and starts focusing on you personally you need to assert your 5th am. rights. I've lost count of the number of defendants I've represented who would never have been arrested if they had just politely declined to speak to the police before cosulting an attorney. In all cases, the police did not have probable cause to arrest EXCEPT for the defendant's own statements, which provided enough rope to hang them (not literally :--)

  • ||

    Would also add that if the police knock on your door and want to talk to you DO NOT let them inside. No reason you can't converse with them on the front porch. Once they are inside your home the snooping will begin because who knows, they just might see some kind of contraband or other evidence of illegal activity, and get an easy arrest to add to the quota. Much easier to nip it in the bud.

  • omg||

    Thanks for the replies. I do know not to bring a cop into the house, as that basically waives my rights to the fourth. And its good to have a decent line of demarcation for when it is and isn't acceptable to speak to police.

    I think things can get even messier in other situations, though - what if I shot someone who broke into my apartment trying to rob me? Refusing to talk to police then seems like a guarantee for arrest. But talking to police only gives them ammunition to use against me if they wanted to make an example out of me (and knowing the Worker's Paradise of Connecticut - they would). I'd like to find an article or something that goes over exactly what to do if you are in such a situation.

  • ||

    Good question. You need to read some of Massad Ayoob's books/articles on the subject. He is probably the best writer on the use of lethal force in self defense and is a very experienced instructor and expert witness. In a nutshell his advice would be to make a bare-bones statement (e.g. you were defending yourself, he was the aggressor, his gun is here, there are the witnesses) and then decline to speak any further until consulting an attorney. I think that is good advice because it balances competing priorites (making it clear you are the good guy, but not getting into the details until you are in a frame of mind to do so).

  • JD||

    It may be kind of paranoid, but I would say "at all. Don't talk to them at all." There is no shortage of people who started talking to the cops innocently and ended up shot, tased, arrested, etc.

  • Police Chief||

    Apparently, there are no shortages of people who called the police for help only to be tased, shot, sprayed, etc, in their own fucking homes.

  • B.P.||

    Are the bodies of any officers showing up in fields and alleyways covered in dog bites?

  • Warty||

    Are their severed ears showing up in fields?

  • .||

    If they did, how would you know they belonged to cops?

  • T||

    The attached tags used to track them in the wild?

  • ||

    I'd be interested to know how many officers are killed while executing no-knock raids the trend on that over last 20 odd years vis a vis the number of no-knock raids executed.

  • cynical||

    Even if it was statistically significant enough to suggest a correlation between cop-killing and cop-criticism, it still doesn't imply causation unless you also plot of trend of cop-asshattery and it stays flat.

    That is, if cops are increasingly acting in a manner that antagonizes their communities, some people will respond with blog posts and some people will respond with murder plots, but the former isn't causing the latter.

    But, as others have said, the numbers are too small to draw any conclusion at all.

  • Police Chief||

    You wouldn't happen to have any dogs, would you?

  • ||

    Let's see the statistics on the number of civilians killed by cops over the past 50 years.

  • Zeb||

    Let's not buy into the cops' warrior bullshit. Cops are civilians too.

  • Zeb||

    But I also would be interested to see those numbers.

  • T||

    +1

  • Police Chief||

    I'd bet that the number of innocent people shot by cops is far higher than the number of cops shot by cop hating criminals who got the idea from a blogger.

  • ||

    In 2008 there were 708,569 LEOs in the country. I am sure that number has increased since then. But even if it hasn't, at the current pace 174 of them will die in the line of duty this year. That is one death per 4072 officers or about 26.7 per 100,000.

    http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2008/data/table_74.html

    Contrast this with commercial fishing's 129 deaths per 100,0000 logging's 116, or garbage collectors who clock in at 37.

    http://hubpages.com/hub/Most_Dangerous_Jobs

  • ||

    And I wonder if critics of recycling is what is driving the spike in deaths of garbage men.

  • Warty||

    How is garbage collecting that dangerous?

  • ||

    I don't know. But there was a huge spike in deaths in 2008. I am blaming vociferous critics of recycling.

  • ||

    John's just a shill for Big Crushing Blade.

  • ||

    The backs of those compactors are really tempting when you want to take a nap on the job.

  • Warty||

    When I was a landscaper in the summers in high school, I used to sleep in wheelbarrows. Way more comfortable than you'd expect.

  • The Gobbler||

    This wheelbarrow is the one I wanna sleep in:

    http://www.theplace-cncn.org/h.....w_2004.JPG

  • ||

    How did you find that picture of Warty?

  • The Gobbler||

    If that's Warty in the wheelbarrow pic, then I have just one thing to ask him.

    Hey Warty! Can I please fuck you for a few days?

  • ||

    Uh, that's pre-op, dude. You might want to re-think that request. Or not. I'm not judging.

  • The Gobbler||

    I will take that under advisement, SF.

  • Warty||

    My beard is much longer now.

  • ||

    That just begs for a practical joke.

  • T||

    I'm guessing most of your fatalities there are vehicle accidents. More specifically, having watched the guys Waste Management employs in my neighborhood, I'll bet it's some schmoe on the ground getting squished by a truck.

    But it's only 30 deaths a year.

  • ||

    Just a few deaths among a small pool explain it. If you are talking about just collectors, then killing one would wipe out about 12% of the workforce here.

  • ||

    Now that I think about it, they are probably hit by cars. They spend their entire day walking around on the street.

  • Police Chief||

    While they hang on with one hand on to a moving garbage truck.

  • ||

    "The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund says that if the trend continues, 2010 could become one of the deadliest years for U.S. police agencies in two decades."

    That two decades is telling. In fact, I suspect it points to the real culprit right there...

    I was in Los Angeles during the riots 20 years ago; 20 years ago, the nation was in a recession, and there was a huge uptick in violent crime...

    Go look at recessions in the past and match them up to violence against cops, and I bet you'll see a correlation.

    I'd throw in that it's commonly accepted that violent crime tends to go up whenever there's a war, but that's entirely unnecessary.

    It would be interesting to see if police complain about the violent nature of their work more, historically, when they're facing budget cuts or cuts to their pensions--I wouldn't be surprised if there's a correlation there too.

  • BakedPenguin||

    ...it's also possible that some of the gunfire-related deaths weren't [homicides]

    You think?

  • omg||

    "I'm the ony wun profesh'no enuff!"

    Actually there was an ex-cop teaching a pistol class I took about a year ago. He said that without a doubt he would trust a civilian with a gun over a cop with a gun any day. He also told some anecdotes about cops shooting themselves.

    So apparently one of the officers had a problem with keeping his finger on the trigger while holstering his pistol. He ended up shooting himself in the leg while doing this once. A Major gathered the rest of the officers together and showed everyone what the officer did wrong and how to avoid it. In showing everyone, he too shot himself in the leg in the exact same way.

  • BakedPenguin||

    One police force I heard about had a rule against officers putting their guns on the hooks in toilet stalls. Naturally, they scoffed at this, and used the hooks for their guns. One day, some of them heard a shot from the bathroom, then, in rapid secession, two more shots.

    The retard cop had put his gun on the hook, and when he started to stand up, pushed the trigger against the hook. When the gun went off, he frantically grabbed it, only to again push it against the hook. It fired again, and he tried to get control of it - once again pushing it against the hook. He then threw his hands back, rather scared at this point, only to have the gun fall to the floor.

    I looked for this story for a little while before posting those videos, but couldn't find it.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Without checking, I am sure that the suicide rate is up this year. How many of the "other" and "gunshot" deaths can be attributed to that?

  • Hysterical Pussy||

    Well, then... IT WAS THE GUNS. Yes that's it. Let's outlaw guns! And Fatty Foods! And Scowling Faces! And Mondays! And Yelling! Oh fuck NOOOOO....

    Cops riddle Hysterical Vagina with 4000 bullets. Bystanders laugh. Story at 11.

  • ||

    none. suicides are not, and to my knowledge never have been considered "line of duty"

  • ||

    It seems to me, an unprecedented level of disrespect and willingness to challenge police officers all over the place.

    This quote can't be attacked enough. It's the worst sort of arbitrary, unsupportable, talking out of your ass bullshit.

  • LeSigh||

    It really makes me wonder what he did while he was a cop.

  • Police Chief||

    You wouldn't happen to have any dogs, would you?

  • PR||

    I'd be more interested in number of shootings. The increase in deaths could be something as simple as the shooters having deadlier aim than in other years.

  • ||

    It linked to the rise in FPS games.

  • Hobie Hanson||

    Exactly. It's not a coincidence that the assault weapons ban expired six years ago, and research shows that it takes about six years for assault weapons to become widespread after a ban expires.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    tee hee. That is so bad it's good.

  • ||

    Why six years? Does Kevin Bacon have an assault weapon now?

  • ||

    Don't be his porn.

  • Zeb||

    Find me one instance of a cop being killed with an assault rifle.

  • Zeb||

    One manufactured or sold new in the US after 2004, that is.

  • Eric||

    Exactly. It's not a coincidence that the assault weapons ban expired six years ago, and research shows the prophecy reveals that it takes about would take six years for assault weapons to become widespread after a ban expires.

  • ||

    One possible response to the terribleness of these statistics would be to collect our own. Sounds like a good job for an intern at Reason.

  • Abdul||

    Jacket-waxing is priority one for interns.

  • ||

    O'Donnell seems to overlook the increasing brutal and senseless attacks BY police targeting civilians who have broken no laws.

  • WTF||

    O'Donnell seems to overlook the increasing brutal and senseless attacks BY police targeting civilians citizens who have broken no laws.

    Cops are civilians, despite their coopting of the term to somehow separate themselves from the rest of us.

  • Zeb||

    Or how about just "people". I don't really feel any differently about people being violently targeted by police based on their citizenship.

  • Jimbo238||

    Typically cops are also citizens.
    I do agree with the point you're trying to make though.

  • Police Chief||

    That's just the "new professionalism". Ask Scalia; he's cool with it.

  • ||

    I'f like to see the stats on the number of citizens killed by cops over the same period and how that number stacks up historically.

  • ||

    Right, because illegal immigrants aren't people so they shouldn't count. Xenophobe.

  • ||

    Did I say U.S. citizens?
    *goes back and checks*
    Why no, no I didn't.

  • ||

    The phrase "driving a spike in" has two possible and contradictory meanings.

  • ||

    Make that three meanings.

  • ||

    The fund was to release preliminary data Wednesday showing that 87 officers died in the line of duty between Jan. 1 and June 30. That’s up sharply from 61 officers killed during the first six months of last year.

    Last year, on-duty officer deaths hit a 50-year low. So what's behind the increase?

    Random variations around, and regression to, the mean would seem to explain this pattern. If last year had a 50 year low in cop killings, then this year's increase could put the number back at the average.

  • ||

    Jesus tap dancing Christ. How dare you introduce common sense about a statistic. Don't you know that half of America's students are below average and that counties all over America have higher than average cancer rates?

  • Abdul||

    Don't be so hard on him John. It's irrational and reckless internet comments that drive people to statiscal analysis.

  • Fluffy||

    I think the increase is because some crazy person reads Radley's site and then goes around knocking off the police featured at it.

    It's up to Radley to track the guy down.

  • ||

  • Warty||

    That looks almost the same as my tortiseshell kitten. She likes to climb me with her needle claws. She's a fucking little bitch.

  • Spartacus||

    All kittens do that. Get a squirt gun, fill it with water, and keep it handy at all times (we have one in every room of the house). A few iterations of rapid squirting, accompanied by "down" will make a difference.

  • Warty||

    When I say kitten, I mean 18 months old. And believe me, she's been squirted plenty for climbing up me, it's just apparently too much damn fun to resist. I've never had a cat who's so willing to endure punishment, that she full well knows is coming, for the sake of fun. It's why she's my favorite.

  • Lowdog||

    That rules...I like my cats hard-core like that, too.

  • Fluffy||

    According to that Mulatto fellow I am a hack. So I have decided to OWN IT and go over the top with hackery.

    So, Radley - if you were going to track such a person down, what would your first move be?

    And if the cops came to your house and gave you a hard time about it, what would be the first really, really funny and pithy thing you'd say?

  • ||

    So, Radley - if you were going to track such a person down, what would your first move be?

    If you're really going to be a hack, then his first move would be to consult his heightened vampire senses.

  • Fluffy||

    Oh, man.

    I may have to use that.

    There may also need to be a pretty Reason intern who tries to break through his troubled, brooding vampire facade.

  • Warty||

  • ||

    "Man for man, weapon for weapon, the Taliban are clearly superior. They take far heavier casualties, but keep on fighting."

    If being superior means taking heavier casualties, I will take mediocrity thank you.

  • Warty||

    I like Fred. He often doesn't make a lick of sense, but he's bitter and fun to read.

  • Brett L||

    Entertaining curmudgeonry doesn't get published enough.

  • Translation||

    It seems to me, an unprecedented level of disrespect and willingness to challenge police officers all over the place.

    I smell a mass yearning for freedom [sniff, sniff], and I don't like it one bit. Time to pull out the First Responder Politically Correct Talking Points to shame 'em in to submission.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    As a soldier, perhaps. But one must admit that no longer does the number of casualties a military inflicts determine the outcome of a war.

    The Taliban may get their asses handed to them in every single battle; but they will stay say "we expelled the US military from our land". And they will be right.

  • ||

    If the US military holds complete tactical advantage over every significant location in Afghanistan when we leave, they won't be right.

    They would be right in saying they survived long enough for us to get bored with fighting them and move on to someplace else.

  • ||

    "Second, the US is no longer a nation of hardy country boys who grow up shooting and loading hay bales into pick-ups for spare change. (For the uninitiated, hay bales are heavy.)"

    As someone who actually did grow up around and near the country doing that sort of thing and someone who has some experience with soldiers, I can say this guy is an idiot. The toughness and daily sacrifices of individual soldiers and marines in the field is awe inspiring. This guy can go fuck himself.

  • Warty||

    I think his point there was that there aren't enough of those country boys to fill the army, so the army has to rely on gadgets.

  • ||

    Yeah, but there never were. We way over romanticize the World War II Army. The draftee army is nothing we want to ever return to. And we never were a nation of all big tough country boys. The truth and more complex than that.

    And we could go back to relying on man power rather than gadgets. But, you better be ready for huge casualties. Throwing men, as opposed to gadgets at the problem, gets real expensive.

  • Warty||

    Don't read between the lines too much. Just enjoy the bitter curmudgeonry of some dude who got his eyes blown out in Vietnam and nurses the shit out of his grudge.

  • ||

    Fair enough. He has more than earned the right to bitch. The day I get my eye blown out, I guess I have the right to bitch back. I think I will pass. And give him one to.

  • Fluffy||

    John is absolutely right here.

    The WWI and WWII armies were made up of rather pathetic physical material compared to the force we field now.

    The "soft" army this guy is complaining about probably has the highest average height and weight of any force we've ever had.

    Remember when the GIs waded ashore in Somalia, and they looked like rampaging giants from another planet compared to the Somalis? They would have looked the same way next to our WWI army.

    BTW, this post is the first of my SPECIAL APE WEEK festival of posts, that are all going to start "John is absolutely right here". Stay tuned to see if I last an entire 7 days! Please, no wagering.

  • ||

    The guys in World War II grew up in the depression and generally didn't eat well as kids. So, they were much smaller as adults.

    And WTF is ape week?

  • Fluffy||

    The guys in World War II grew up in the depression and generally didn't eat well as kids. So, they were much smaller as adults.

    John is absolutely right here.

    And WTF is ape week?

    Sorry, they used to have "Ape Week" in New York when Channel 7 would show all the Planet of the Apes movies all week on the 4:30 movie.

    And since my festival will last a week, and since it's turning the world upside down, that makes it Ape Week.

    It can be Shark Week if you prefer.

  • ||

    They used to have the same thing at 3:30 on channel 5 in Kansas City. It was as I recall Planet of the Apes, Return to the Planet of the Apes, Escape from the Planet of the Apes, Battle for the Planet of the Apes, and one other one that was so crappy I must have purged it from my memory.

    They also would do Godzilla Week, Don Knotts week, and Man from Atlanis Week (yes there really were five of those movies).

  • Warty||

    Do you have sex with a different kind of monkey every day for Ape Week? If not, why?

  • ||

    Not monkeys apes. Fluffy doesn't like tails. And of course his yearly encounter with gigantopithicus Steve Smith. But that is too disturbing to mention on a family blog like this one.

  • Fluffy||

    John is absolutely right here.

  • Warty||

    I'm aware of the distinction between apes and monkeys, but are there enough types of apes to make a week? Chimps, gorillas, baboons, us... Maybe you can count bonobos as a separate type, but that only gets you to Tuesday. You should have thought this through better, Fluffy.

  • ||

    Orangutans, Chimps, Gorillas, Baboons and I think Gibbons.

  • ||

    Baboons are monkeys.

    Appropriately, the term for a group of baboons is "A Congress of Baboons."

  • ||

    I love that one.

  • ||

    Well, this being Fluffy, I'm guessing Tuesday is female bonobos, Wednesday is male bonobos, and Thursday is Heal Up From the Massive Organic Damage Sustained From Trying to Assfuck Male Bonobos TM ...

  • T||

    I'm guessing logistics, Warty. Fluffy lives in a tragically ape-impoverished area of the country and cannot afford to bring in apes for Ape Week. He obviously needs a subsidy to expand Ape Week. With a subsidy, he can afford to hire union ape wranglers and fluffers, which will stimulate the economy. Due to the multiplier effect, we will all soon enjoy the wonders of full union ape wrangler employment and need never do without apes again.

  • ||

    Union Ape Wrangler is a green job that Americans won't do.

  • Fluffy||

    John is absolutely right here.

    I think what happened is that being a dick to people is like smoking cigarettes or drinking tequila - it's a lot of fun, but it's possible to temporarily overdose. And then you need a break, because you look at the next cigarette and think, "Ugh, gross." I think I may have been too big a dick recently. I think the thread below about Palin and the mosque may have finally been one or two cigarettes too many.

    To try to recover my taste for being a dick to people, I'm taking a week and having Ape Week.

    The rules of Ape Week are simple but rigid. I cannot respond to any post of John's where I cannot begin the post "John is absolutely right here." I must continue until next Thursday at 3:33 PM. And I can't just NOT POST for a week, I have to find stuff to agree with.

  • ||

    Unless it is the war or Sarah Palin, we generally don't disagree that much. What is interesting or creepy is this.

    http://www.grylliade.org/old/m.....w=previous

    It was linked by some nameless liberal troll. I didn't know I had a fan club. And I am glad I own weapons.

  • Warty||

    I don't get the point of grylliade.

  • ||

    What is it? I have never heard of it.

  • Warty||

    It's a message board about/for Hit&Run;, in case this place wasn't insular enough for you.

    http://reason.com/blog/2009/11.....se-how-man

  • ||

    That is just pathetic.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Oh John, you're more than invited to come on over - we'll install spell check just for you.

  • ||

    Union Ape Wrangler is a green job that Americans won't do.

    Or an awesome name for an alt-indie band.

    Union Ape Fluffers is arguably even more Teh Awsum.

  • ||

    Or just "Union Ape Wranglers" would make a great name for an alt country band. But everyone would call you a racist.

  • The Gobbler||

    I'd just go with "Union Ape". Two words that say it all.

  • ||

    I like that one a lot.

  • ||

    I like that one a lot.

  • T||

    Really, I'm just trying to find work for my sister and brother-in-law in case their current union jobs collapse. They're mostly unsuited for free market employment, so Union Ape Wrangler seems like the perfect job for them. Is that so wrong of me?

  • mad libertarian guy||

    If I remember correctly, didn't a military contingency try and push better food in public schools because we're now too well fed?

    This of course after they forced similar legislation after WW2 because we were too small.

  • ||

    Wow. I had totally forgotten about Fred Reed. Used to read his stuff in the Military Times newspapers back in the '90s. He loved to piss off the brass. Looks like I've got some catching up to do. thanks for posting that.

  • Federal Dog||

    "He said a rise in mental health problems and scathing criticism of police, such as the comments found on some blogs, could be fueling the brazenness and disregard for authority."

    Either that or the shitload of corrupt "laws" that enable cops to conduct RICO operations (e.g., forfeiture scams) that guarantee public contempt for their insatiable greed and predation.

  • IBBW||

    We at the International Brotherhood of Baboon Wranglers believe baboon fluffing is too important to be left to poorly trained non-union workers. We aggressively seek to promote the interests of our highly trained and eager baboon fluffers. Join us, Brother!

    Thank you.

    (And don't try to get away with any of your scab tactics, or we'll give you a lesson in ape dominance you won't soon forget.)

  • josey||

    I guess I'm not clear on one thing: this lesson you speak of, is it a kind of how-to, or?

  • ||

    I'm sure it wouldn't have anything to do with the brutal and senseless attacks perpetrated by the pigs recently.
    Everyday there are stories of these thugs tazing children and old people, not too mention their corruption and plain old, shitty attitudes directed towards the serfs on a daily basis.
    To hell with them, they'll get some pity from me if they clean up their own acts. As for now, it's just a bit of their own medicine. Not very tasty is it, pig?

  • ||

    It's a message board about/for Hit&Run;, in case this place wasn't insular enough for you.

    Riff-raff free zone.

  • ||

    Fluffy|7.22.10 @ 3:39PM|#
    John is absolutely right here.

    I tried to have a Weekly Agreement With joe back in the day, but I had to give it up.

  • ||

    That would be hard. I only disagree with fluffy about two subjects, neither of which get blogged about much these days. So, I doubt he will have too hard of a time.

  • ||

    I still have nightmares.

  • Paul||

    Reporters always look for explanations for these sorts of numbers, even when there may not be one.

    More often than not, reporters are genetically wired to find institutional fault with everything.

    It sucks and is generally disappointing to write a story whose conclusion is "shit happens".

  • CatoTheElder||

    In other words, cops just make shit up.

  • ||

    For what it's worth, drunk Massholes seem to be gunning for them. Not sure whether they have blogs tho.

  • ||

    i believe bloggers like Radley Balko want good police work that is why they do the reporting they do. Most of the problems with police stems from the tasks saddled on them by the elected lawmakers. Mainly things like the War on drugs and the war on terror.

  • ||

    as a cop, i heartily agree. i don't think for a second that balko is an enemy of police. he's an enemy of bad police policy, which is generally the fault of cop-o-crat and legislators

  • ||

    Hey PIP, and the other liberal pussies with your coward comments - make sure and let us know anytime a crack head rapist is climbing through your mother's bedroom window with duct tape and a stolen handgun...on your own, pussy. handle your own business.

  • ||

    Have you read about the 2 officers who were shot in West Memphis, Arkansas? The guy had a blog and was a rabid liberal...What about the psycho's up north that had an entire paramilitary cult who planned to murder officers and their families? Did you do any research or just start typing??

  • ||

    Actually, after reading the comments on this page I just realized I completely wasted my time writing that...what I should have said was; I hope everyone of you die an agonizing death and burn in hell

  • ||

    Why should the rest of us have to suffer because you wasted your time? As for the penalties, what kind of godless ape are you? If my non-denominational Christian faith didn't force me to forgive you, I would challenge you to a duel.

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