Michael Brown Shooting

Obama Speaks on Ferguson Events; Has Nothing to Say About Police Militarization


Here's President Barack Obama, commenting on the events in Ferguson with all the engagement of an announcer reading the side effects of a prescription medication in a television ad:

I thought about highlighting some comments from the four-minute speech, but it's just that shitty that I can't quote anything that you can't just make up in your own head. Calls for peace and calm? Check. Statement that feds are investigating? Check. Declaration that we all have "shared values" in the face of clear evidence otherwise? Check. Belief that we're all equal under the law as though that has ever been the case for law enforcement officers? Check. Here's an Associated Press story you can skim if you can't watch the video.

Completely absent: Any sort of reference to the militarization of the police, the very thing that has become a central, fundamental part of this narrative. It's the one component that is drawing the left and the right together. And yet, the issue of these police officers having absurd, unnecessary weapons and trucks is completely unmentioned. Contrast Obama's response to Sen. Rand Paul's criticism in Time that our police forces have become a military presence.

It shouldn't be a surprise, though. Where did the police department get this equipment? The militarization of the police has happened with the participation and encouragement of the executive branch of the federal government. Did anybody actually expect Obama to suggest the idea that government is too powerful? Don't be silly.

NEXT: When Cops and Prosecutors Get Special Rights

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  1. Let me be clear. I’ve always said that jumping in with meaningless platitudes peppered with knee-jerk reactions is the best way to lead.

    1. There’s no sugarcoating it: I’m tapdancing around what is actually going on.

    2. Now, watch this drive.

    3. Let me be clear. There are those who say that not jumping in with meaningless platitudes peppered with knee-jerk reactions is the best way to lead. I would say that I have to disagree with that.

  2. I am Jacks’ complete lack of surprise.

  3. Licked finger in the air? Check.

  4. I guess he finally had it read to him out of the paper.

  5. He looks stoned. “Oh, wow, man, this is a gnarly situation but we’ll figure it out”.

    1. So, you’re saying that Obama is really anon-bot?

      1. If only.

      2. Anon-bot is more prescient than Obama.

        He speaks better too.

    2. That reminds me – I haven’t seen The Big Lebowski in a while.

      1. That’s a great plan, Walter. That’s fuckin’ ingenious, if I understand it correctly. It’s a Swiss fuckin’ watch

        1. I make your car to shuffle off this mortal coil!
          I make your car to shuffle off this mortal coil!
          I make your car to shuffle off this mortal coil!
          I make your car to shuffle off this mortal coil!

      2. Say what you want about the tenets of Obamaism, at least it’s an ethos.

  6. And yet, the issue of these police officers having absurd, unnecessary weapons and trucks is completely unmentioned.

    How else are they going to be safe? They’ve got families!

    1. They should divest their families so that there’s less problem if they don’t make it home at night then!

      /not sure if serious.

  7. But, to be serious for a moment, this is in no way worse than that time George Bush sent that hurricane to ravage New Orleans.

    1. I can’t wait for Kanye to tell us how Obama hates black people.

      1. Whatever you do, don’t make a bet with SugarFree or Warty on that. You’ll end up like me locked in the dungeon.

        1. And then you long for the release that death will bring?

    2. Or that time he started that war so his friends at Haliburton could get rich by sending young black men off to die.

      1. Well, he did do that.

        /Reality-based community

    3. Ya, I mean after all Brownie did an excellent job!!!

    4. Thanks for supplying more evidence that Reason is actually a lame republican rag and has about as much to do with Libertarian ideals as the John Birch society.

  8. Completely absent: Any sort of reference to the militarization of the police

    No surprise there, considering that Obama’s stimulus jacked up funding for the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) program by 450%.

  9. It’s nice to see Obama taking such a strong leadership position on this one. More than I can say for those deadbeat silent libertarians.

    1. Damn libertarians. All they care about is mothers getting arrested for letting their children play in public parks.

      1. No no no. All they care about is smoking pot, buttsex, and guns.

        1. You’re both wrong. Libertarians want to criminalize everything to enrich the private-prison industry. I know this because progressives have repeatedly told me so. When I explained to one of them that he was 180 degrees off from reality, he responded with an appeal to ridicule.

          1. Don’t they all appeal to ridicule?

            1. I thought ridicule was their default.

          2. They are tools of the Kochtopus who don’t want the super rich to pay their fair share.

            If we let them rule, we will look like China.

            1. This is what progtards actually believe!!

  10. By far the weirdest aspect of the speech was that Obama was wearing bermuda shorts and golf shoes behind the lectern.

    1. Hey get that steel drum out of the, uh, Oval Office.

      1. Limbo party!

        1. Like The President (PBUH) would ever invite Rush Limbo to a party!

      2. Hermes Conrad 2016: Doing what he loves, even if it’s not a good idea.

        1. MY MANWICH!

    2. You don’t play more rounds of golf than Tiger Woods by wasting time changing clothes.


  11. So could the victim in this case be Obama’s son? Did Obama address that issue?

    1. No, this time it’s the cop who’s his fictious relation.

      1. If I had a half-brother, he’d look like the cop who executed an American child without due process.

        1. My bad, Ferguson was 18; eliminates any similarity with the Abdulrahman droning.

          1. To the left “child” means anyone under 26, especially if they are killed with a gun.

            1. *beating a dead horse*

              I still can’t believe Obama was not criticized for telling a THIRTY YEAR OLD (Sandra Fluke) that her parents must be “proud” of her.

            2. Unless they kill somebody with a gun, in which case there are no children.

            3. To the left, child means anyone not in a position of authority.

        2. If I had a half-brother, he’d look like the cop who executed an American child without due process.

    2. Maybe he’ll take this opportunity to remind us how awesome government workers are, like he did after he read about the VA scandal in the newspaper.

    3. No, but apparently Michael Brown’s family will never hug him again…

  12. Can this piece of shit do anything even halfway decent?

    1. Well, he sired two children. But only the Wookie knows if he’s any good at it.

      1. He didn’t build those.

    2. No. I really don’t think he can.
      He is still meeting my first impression of him, some 10 years ago – an empty suit.

      1. if only. he’s the empty suit that has no clothes.

  13. When Obama was first elected I figured my economic situation was going to be totally fucked for 4 or 8 years, but at least we’d have someone interested in civil rights for awhile. Clearly, I am a fucking racists for thinking that a half-black, constitutional scholar would have an interest in civil rights particularly regarding police militarization and the subjugation of minority populations. But I’ve learned my lesson, and I now fully understand that skin color is irrelevant. When you hire a dirty Chicago machine politician, you get a dirty Chicago machine politician.

    1. The myth that Democrats are the party of civil rights needs to fucking die already. They are no different than the Republicans beyond which civil rights they will tolerate if doing do does not interfere with the powers of the ruling class and which ones they just want stamped into the dust completely because they are seen as an unbearable threat.

      1. The myth that Democrats are the party of civil rights needs to fucking die already.

        It wasn’t a myth in the 60’s and early 70’s. But the civil rights leaders cashed in and became “the man” they so desperately hated.

        1. It wasn’t a myth in the 60’s and early 70’s.

          Not counting the voting on the Civil Rights Act, of course, where more Dems voted against it than Republicans.

          1. Right. The House and Senate Dems from the deep south where deeply racist.

            It’s the same kind of problem as the establishment Republicans today that are nearly impossible to get out of office even though big blocks of grass roots republicans hate their guts.

            1. The northeast elites have always been at war with the southeast elites.

        2. I repeat: which civil rights they will tolerate if doing do does not interfere with the powers of the ruling class

          Or more plainly: Lyndon Baines Johnson 1963… “These Negroes, they’re getting pretty uppity these days and that’s a problem for us since they’ve got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we’ve got to do something about this, we’ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference… I’ll have them niggers voting Democratic for the next two hundred years”.

          1. Need a citation for that…

            1. Ask and ye shall receive:


              1. Also, have one of these:


          2. “civil rights” is a bigger topic than “the Civil Rights Act” which was primarily about taking apart institutional segregation which huge segments of the democratic party opposed.

            Of course this topic is really fucking messy because the Republican and Democratic parties shuffled the deck between the 60s and the 90s and essentially switched roles.

            1. Considering people like Byrd and Dodd were/are Dems for going on 40 years I don’t think the deck got as shuffled as people think.

              1. The southern democratic base of the 60s is the republican base of the 00s.

                1. The southern democratic base of the 60s is the republican base of the 00s dead.

                  FIFY NTN

      2. My uber-prog sister-in-law just looks at the floor in shame now whenever the topic of civil liberties comes up.

        1. do you tell her to get in the kitchen and make you a sandwich?

      3. That is an excellent point. How often do we see the left ignoring the 1st Amendment for instance, not to mention the 4th…both parties are complicit. It is probably more an issue of institutional corruption than ideology.

    2. His election has been a disaster for race relations. Thanks to his supporters calling every criticism of him racist, there is less trust among the races now than in any time in my lifetime.

      1. His election was the culmination of a process that started long before he was elected. But yes, his election represents a breaking point.

        1. And the dems are desperately trying to create the same dynamic with Hispanics. I don’t think it will work since there is so much intermarriage between whites and Hispanics. But they are trying. It is what they do, divide and create hatred so they can capitalize on it.

          1. If only those large majorities of blacks and Hispanics were smart enough to figure out how much they’re being duped and used, amirite?

            1. It is weird how they keep voting against their own economic self interest.

      2. And if was a real leader, he would tell those who counter criticism of him with cries of racism to knock it off.

      3. John, you don’t suddenly become a white supremacist out of spite. I read right-wing comments boards. They didn’t need any motivation to start being racist against a black president. Cliven Bundy didn’t endorse bringing back slavery because someone suggested there might be racist critics of the president. Does your side ever take responsibility for anything? Do you suppose just maybe the white racists might bear some of the blame for any problem with race relations?

        1. Wow, Tony, you take “grasping at straws” to incredible new levels.

        2. No Tony. The problem is black people feel completely betreyed because thanks your side’s complete destruction of the economy. Meanwhile, they hear hateful assholes like you call anyone who disagrees with Obama a racist. We are now faced with the situation where despite having a black President, blacks are worse off than they have been since the 1960s. That is a huge problem and a problem people like you have intentionally created because you think it will help you politically.

          you are such a racist, you don’t even care about the harm your economic illiteracy does to blacks because you think it helps you politically.

          1. Which is why blacks are abandoning the Democratic party in droves and embracing Reaganomics… I’ll take that as a “no, I don’t take responsibility for anything.”

            1. people like you have intentionally created
              In Tony’s defense, I suspect it has more to do with idiocy than intention.

              1. Practically speaking though, morons are more difficult to defeat than monsters.

        3. That’s a nice bit of slander there Tony.

          1. Technically, it’s libel.

            1. Damn it, and I had originally typed libel.

          2. John’s only motivation here is the delusional wishful thinking that blacks might start serving him by voting for his Team. Even though he is playing the part of Spokesman for the Blacks, his motives are entirely cynical. I’d almost respect overt racism more. At least it’s honest.

            1. “Blacks might start serving him” = racist. Really Tony, I thought you were above such sentiments.

              1. Everyone’s a little bit racist.

            2. Wow, everything really is projection with progtards.

        4. I see tony’s name appear in the middle of a thread I am interested in, and I despair. Because, I know that rational debate is no longer possible, so the thread is dead.

    3. I feel similarly. My opinion at the time was that the economy would continue to slog along in the doldrums but that some social good might come of a dem president taking office. How wrong I was!

      I expected no.major.improvement, but I did not expect the.utter disaster that the.Obama administration has proved to be, both domestically and internationally.

      (note, I did not vote for either major party candidate in ’08 or ’12, and would not change my decision)

      1. note, I did not vote for either major party candidate in ’08 or ’12, and would not change my decision

        You’re part of the problem
        /Team Player

        1. I will proudly continue being a part of TEAM BE RULED’s problem.

          1. Nice!

  14. I’m beginning to get the impression that today’s coverage is a not so subtle “fuck you” to a certain other media outlet.

    I support it entirely.

    1. WaPo: The Nicole of media outlets.

      1. Speaking of which, why haven’t I seen Radley writing about this in the.pages of that paper? When you go to the Balko page at WaPo, there is nothing on Ferguson, at least as of an hour or two ago.

        1. Perhaps Balko, being one of the only Real Journalists? at WaPoo, wants to research and be thoughtful before he opens his trap.

          1. I can respect that, definitely.

      2. Come now, you can get so much worse than WaPo.

          1. Oh, sure – go ahead and put the “11” of mainstream derp out there right away!

  15. Did anybody actually expect Obama to suggest the idea that government is too powerful?

    Nope. To assholes like Obama and his enablers, left and right alike, there is no such thing as too much government power, only the wrong-people-in-charge. To call into question the judgement of people acting on behalf of government is to call into question the legitimacy of government power and indeed government itself. Since all these wanna-be and actual petty tyrants want is power and the lucre they can accrue to themselves as a result of that power, the very last thing they will ever do is anything that remotely de-legitimizes government power.

    1. Good call on the administration’s part. The DSM V informs me that faking gingeritis is one of the most common forms of self mutilation.

    2. You’d think Muscle Shoals had seen trashy girls with bad dye jobs before.

    3. The Wendy’s girl in the TV ads is a fake ginger from Alabama.

      Would an actual ginger who dyed his hair brown get sent home?

    4. The new blackface?

  16. “Completely absent: Any sort of reference to the militarization of the police,…”

    Call me a cynic, but I can’t IMAGINE ANY 21st century U.S. president criticizing the police. Period.

    1. I can imagine Rand Paul criticizing the police from the oval office. It’s just a bit harder imagining him getting there.

    2. But Obama has Criticized the police in the past. Remember that beer he had with that black guy and the cop who harassed him at his own door step?

      1. I referred to this elsewhere in a Reason thread today. It was Cornell West. And unfortunately, instead of a “Cops vs. citizen” issue, it was portrayed as a “White cop vs. black guy” issue. At the time (and now) I considered it a wasted opportunity to delve into the increasingly intrusive police state. Cornell blew it.

      2. Yes, but Henry Gates is a Harvard professor.

        Obama is happy to do first-hand racial alleviation sessions so long as you’re a distinguished Harvard professor. But for a dead kid who was only enrolled at a technical college? Pfft.

    3. Out of the 2 21st century presidents so far? No.

      1. Bill Clinton was president for the first 19 days o fthe 21st century.

        1. Oh, what glorious days they were, too.

  17. So Anon released on twitter a name claiming it was the name of the shooter cop.

    I did not see the name. Also i am not a fan of Anon…but i do find it kind of odd that twitter shut down the account.

    Twitter lets ISIS keep its accounts. Why is it not censoring ISIS but is censoring Anon?

    1. Twitter lets ISIS keep its accounts. Why is it not censoring ISIS but is censoring Anon?

      Because shutting down ISIS would be racist, would be my guess.

      Here’s hoping Anonymous gets good and pissed off at Twitter, and DDOSes the shit out of it.

      1. Could be U.S. intelligence has logged a request to leave them open, too.

      2. I don’t use twitter because I hate it.

        Now I don’t use it because I hate it and it uses its power to censor the news toward political ends.

        I am kind of upset with the Internet in general.

        I kind of grew into it the Internet back in the days when it was cheered as this great freedom machine where censorship was identified as damage that would be routed around.

        Then everyone jumped on social media and handed the keys to facebook and twitter and google and reddit. It is very disheartening to watch this complete capitulation by the masses.

      3. Whoa, whoa, whoa. I understand the emotion here. But Twitter is a private enterprise, no? Wouldn’t DOS be found under the umbrella of force/fraud?

        1. Well, yeah.

          But I don’t like Twitter, and principals trump principles, right?

    2. Possibly because ISIS is in less of a position to threaten Twitter?

      I wonder if this means they got the name right?

      1. I saw reports that the cops say they did not get it right.

        Search and you will probably see the same thing.

        1. the cops say they did not get it right.

          At this point, I have no reason to believe anything a cop says about “facts”.

    3. Twitter is constantly suspending ISIS-related accounts. They change all the time.

      1. I didn’t know that.

        It is interesting that reporters take screens and quote ISIS tweets all the time (which lead me to believe they were not being suspended) but all the news reports i have seen about the Anon tweet neglect to quote it and reveal who Anon think the cop is.

    4. ISIS is mostly performing police actions.

  18. Did he say the police acted stupidly?

  19. Where did the police department get this equipment?

    From an over-militarized military.

    Seriously, how badly are we getting fucked over in taxes and lost productivity that we have this much military surplus?

    1. You really don’t want the answer to that question.

    2. They just got into a war that required specialized equipment. To patrol the roads in Iraq and Afghanistan, a tank or Bradley is nearly worthless. But the kind of vehicle that works, an armored car, is worthless in a force on force fight that we have to prepare for for the future. So we got out of Iraq and had all of this equipment that we no longer needed.

      Of course God forbid we mothball it and keep it for later. That would keep the contractors from getting rich. So we gave it all to the cops.

  20. Tony’s found a soul mate: The first Ten Amendments to the Constitution are the Bill of Privileges.


    1. “Reporters are granted a privilege by the Constitution. Like it or not, their rights being violated rise above that of an average citizen”

      Stefen Becket is a complete idiot.

      It is good that I have confirmation that reporters, at least this one, think a pay check from a news company gives them special rights.

  21. shorter headline: Obama Speaks on Ferguson Events; Has Nothing to Say

    1. Your second independent clause is redundant in that headline.

      1. ‘Obama speaks’ pretty well covers it.

        1. “Obama drones” also works more generally.

          1. Drones. Verb or noun? Discuss.

            1. That’s why I wrote “generally.”

  22. This guy has zero feelings about anything other than himself. Could you be more disassociated? I don’t think so.

  23. What I would like to hear:

    “A young black guy did something wrong. He then tried to take a gun from a police officer and got shot. The police officer shot him in the car and again as he was running away. Obviously, the police officer was losing it. Too bad. Now a bunch of people are stealing things, pretending they’re upset about the young black guy. They’re not. They just want a free TV.

    Not much is going to happen here. I doubt we could get a conviction of the cop as soon as Brown went for his gun.

    We’ll look into it. yada yada yada.

    However, what in the world is wrong with the black community? Get real. You live in what could be nice neighborhoods if you had any standards about raising children. And, why are our police looking like they’re patrolling Iraq? Very few police officers get hurt on the job and most of them have been in traffic accidents. Being a cab driver…now that’s a dangerous job. Being a policeman? Not so much.

    Oh well…goodnight.”

    1. It’s not about race it’s about culture!

      1. Which culture, Tony? When I wrote ‘black community’, does that not include culture?

        1. I was mocking you and people like you.

        2. Don’t lock eyes with ’em, don’t do it. Puts ’em on edge. They might go into berzerker mode; come at you like a whirling dervish, all fists and elbows. You might be screaming “No, no, no” and all they hear is “Who wants cake?” Let me tell you something: They all do. They all want cake.”

    2. Where has it been proven that he went for the cop’s gun?

      1. The cop said so.

        Q. E. Fuckin’ D. Case closed, the science is settled, etc.

      2. No shit, there’s a better than 50% chance the cops are lying. Who at this point takes anything a cop says at face value?

  24. Obama Speaks on Ferguson Events; Has Nothing to Say About Police Militarization


  25. “Let me be clear = i was not pandering hard enough earlier.”

  26. The brothers need to get used to it – they all can’t be O’s son.

  27. This is the post-racial America Obama voters wanted. Congrats.

  28. Ya, and no Republican President, including Rand Paul would say anything different. In fact they would be even more in favor of big gov via Law enforcement as it is a constituency who does not vote for them who is primarily effected by this. So ya, Obama is a wimp, etc etc but how about someone floats a real Libertarian alternative to the two worthless choices we are always faced with?

    1. You’re someone. Knock yourself out.

    2. Did you read Rand’s statement on this? Are you mendacious or just ignorant?

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