Rand Paul

Rand Paul: Scene in Ferguson Resembles "War More Than Traditional Police Action"

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Gage Skidmore: wikimedia

Here's Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) responding to the ongoing strife in Ferguson, Missouri following the police shooting of Michael Brown.

In an op-ed for Time, he writes

Anyone who thinks that race does not skew the application of criminal justice in this country is just not paying close enough attention. And the root of the problem is big government.

The shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown is an awful tragedy that continues to send shockwaves through the community of Ferguson, Missouri and across the nation.

If I had been told to get out of the street as a teenager, there would have been a distinct possibility that I might have smarted off. But, I wouldn't have expected to be shot.

The outrage in Ferguson is understandable—though there is never an excuse for rioting or looting. There is a legitimate role for the police to keep the peace, but there should be a difference between a police response and a military response.

The images and scenes we continue to see in Ferguson resemble war more than traditional police action.

Paul goes on to say that "there is a systemic problem with today's law enforcement" and that local police have been militarized thanks to the use of "federal dollars to help municipal governments build what are essentially small armies—where police departments compete to acquire military gear that goes far beyond what most of Americans think of as law enforcement."

Read the whole thing at Time here.

Last night, GOP Rep. Justin Amash (Mich.) took to Twitter with a similar description of the scene in Ferguson as like a "war zone." 

As Reason's Ed Krayewski noted yesterday, Amash and Paul were two of the politicians called out in a Washington Post piece by Paul Waldman asking where libertarians were on the heavily armed police presence in Ferguson. 

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  1. He’s just saying that because taxes, or something.

  2. Anyone who thinks that race does not skew the application of criminal justice in this country is just not paying close enough attention. And the root of the problem is big government.

    How can Paul possibly understand the plight of blacks as he’s white. /jezebel

    1. Race clearly is an issue in this latest nonsense, but I really wish people would see that the abuse of power by the police (and the rest of our governmental actors) is the real problem, not who the victims are this time around. I think viewing this solely through the prism of identity politics is a bad idea and won’t solve the problem.

      1. to late. It’s not going to change the people pushing identity politics will protect their livelihood at all costs. It’s the same with all these political action groups once we solve a problem we have to keep pressing as doing otherwise would mean folding up the tents and finding other jobs see: MADD.

        1. Yep. People pushing identity politics may see the light – one by one, slowly. They won’t see the light en masse, and most will cling to it until the bitter end.

          1. I don’t think the people doing the pushing will see the light until the very end after they have already been irrelevant for many years. More importantly their supporters will start seeing identity politics for the dead-end it is; that’s when we start winning.

            1. Even if they do see the end it’s literally there job, look at how the founders of green peace and MADD both left and continue to talk about how there organizations have completely overboard. There are enough rent seeking opportunists to continue the fight long after the fight is over. The only way this changes is when there funds dry up.

      2. He has to couch this in terms that the proglodytes will respond to. THEN, once he has their attention, go after the demilitarization of the police.

        Think Bloom County, “Hunting Liberals.”

        1. Thanks you for that memory, JW.

          “Don’t blame me, I voted for Bill and Opus.”

          1. One of the strips that convinced 12-year old me that Berke Breathed was a goddamned genius was when Opus gave up on running for vice president:

            “I didn’t want to be Vice President anyway!! ? To heck with government service! In fact, I think I’ll enter a profession that relives me of dependence on the American taxpayer ? ? I’ll be a FARMER.”

          2. “No nukes! No nukes!”

            1. Copy of the Village Voice…

        2. The link to Hunting Liberals

      3. I really wish people would see that the abuse of power by the police (and the rest of our governmental actors) is the real problem, not who the victims are this time around. I think viewing this solely through the prism of identity politics is a bad idea and won’t solve the problem.

        Good luck; it’ll never happen in a million years. This is all about political agendas; principles have absolutely nothing to do with it whatsoever.

      4. Well, busting out my inner “liberal”, I think blacks have been suffering police heavy handedness for a long time. There’s been a level of disenchantment between blacks and the police for decades. I think 9/11 took the kid gloves off for the rest of us.

        The War on Drugs allowed the cops to kick the blacks around since the early 70’s. The War on Terror, and Homeland Security, has unleashed the tigers on the rest of us.

        This doesn’t mean that there haven’t been plenty of black “leaders” exploiting this reality, creating the “identity politics”, but I think the average black person has been exposed to the police state longer than average.

        1. This is actually a very legitimate and fair point.

          John is probably onto something when he said yesterday that metropolitan police departments should be more representative of the people they’re policing.

          1. Hell, I would support a requirement that everyone on a municipal payroll actually has to live in the municipality.

            1. Not disagreeing. It is a rule in Chicago. That rule has also led to a lack of good teachers as many refused to live in the city after being hired.

              1. That rule has also led to a lack of good teachers as many refused to live in the city after being hired

                Public school teachers are thieves. There are NO good public school teachers.

        2. And yet an obvious first step like ending the drug war isn’t on both blue and red teams platforms? It’s almost as if those in government are completely self serving and unreasonable.

        3. No doubt, but here’s what I think: There are government officials and little people. Blacks are just one part of the little people who get the shaft more often because they have a smaller influence, despite appearances otherwise.

          1. Blacks get the shaft more often because they screw themselves. They commit more violent crime, do more drugs and commit more crimes on their own community. They don’t take advantage of educational opportunities( we have free college here in Georgia if you earn it).

            This attracts more police attention and keeps them poor regardless of the trillions of dollars spent in government programs to “up lift the race”

            1. You know, except for when they commit the same crime as a white guy and get more jail time for it.

        4. there is a good reason for this – its black on black and black on white crime.
          Also if you don’t want to have the cops busting you for illegal drugs don’t do them – its hard to get busted for possession of narcotics if you aren’t involved in that lifestyle.

          Its the same as the speed laws – I don’t agree with them and think they are too low but I also don’t make myself a target by going 90.

        5. there is a good reason for this – its black on black and black on white crime.
          Also if you don’t want to have the cops busting you for illegal drugs don’t do them – its hard to get busted for possession of narcotics if you aren’t involved in that lifestyle.

          Its the same as the speed laws – I don’t agree with them and think they are too low but I also don’t make myself a target by going 90.

        6. All true. Good to see that someone has the honesty to state it.

          1. All true

            Not at all. Collectivizing people by the color of their skin is irrelevant. I suppose that when Jerry was a young man, he talked about how young men committed most of the violent crime? When he was a young man he was a criminal because most criminals are young men?

            Collectivizing individuals is evil.

      5. ” I think viewing this solely through the prism of identity politics is a bad idea and won’t solve the problem.”

        Different people are bound to see different roots and even define what “the problem” is differently. That’s to be expected. I don’t think anyone who is not a racist is looking through only a prism of identity politics. My advice, try to find some common ground with the protesters, even those who stress the race angle.

        Insisting on ideological purity will strengthen the hand of your enemy.

    2. Yep race is definitely a factor especially when blacks commit a vastly disproportionate amount of crime especially violent crime.

      As long as blacks are viewed as more violent and more dangerous and more lawless than whites ( and correctly so) they will be treated as such regardless of the circumstances. This is a fact – not disputable. Its not white kids in Chicago who are killing each other at an alarming rate- its blacks kids, and its like that in every majority black area.

      I think its (not)amusing that one black kid killed perhaps accidentally by a cop causes mass riots and protests but thousands of black kids killed in places like Chicago by other black kids and you hear absolutely nothing from professional activists….

      1. There is stereotyping, and there is defense of stereotyping, along with blaming the victim.

        Surely, you don’t like being stereotyped by something you can’t control.

        I’ve been hated before merely because of my sex. Even when innocent of crime and harm to others, I’ve gotten treated as if I was the same as those that DID commit crime or harm. It sucks, and if you were to say “Well, those with penises commit more crimes than those without.” I’d say, but what does that have to do with ME? If you must judge me, judge me for MY sins, not my fathers, my mothers, my siblings, or my neighbors. Mine alone should be relevant.

        SO too is it with race. If you’re treating others different legally because of stereotypes, that is wrong. Judge them on their sins alone, not somebody else’s. To say ” Hurr durr, their black and others who are black commit crimes.” does nothing. They can’t change their ethnicity, so what are they individually supposed to do. Excusing the stereotyping in the legal system put more responsibility on individuals for groups they can’t just choose to not be a part of.

    3. How can Paul possibly understand the plight of blacks as he’s white. /jezebel

      So THAT’s why we libertarians were ignoring the whole thing…we we just checking our privilege!

  3. Good on Amash/Paul synchronizing their message (even if it’s just by accident). The “militarized police” message needs visibility, or people will forget what caused this in the first place.

    1. “even if it’s just by accident”

      unlikely. if we have any hope at all, let’s hope they coordinated.

      1. I suspect so as well. I was merely acknowledging the possibility that they’d simply converged on the same topic independently.

        1. Well, it is kind of an obvious topic for liberty lovers.

  4. Yes, but WHEN will libertarians finally weigh in on this issue? Why the silence?

    1. They won’t. Because black people.

    2. “Why the silence?”

      Cause dope and gay marriage!

      1. To busy getting stoned and having buttsex.

          1. Mexican butt sex – while being stoned.

            1. Maybe we could end up with a Reason coat of arms – as long it incorporated a Mexican, ass sex and some weed…along with a monocle and top hat.

              1. The Mexican could be fucking someone in the ass while they both wear top hats and monocles and smoke pot.

                1. Needz moar orphans.

  5. Damn it, I went looking for other cites of this at Google News and accidentally clicked on a Weigel piece.

    DAMN ME! DAMN ME STAIGHT TO HELL!

  6. I can’t hear Paul. Did he say something?

  7. War More Than Traditional Police Action

    A distinction without a difference, since the 1960’s.

    1. Wasn’t Korea a “Police Action”?

      1. I wasn’t alive then to remember the bullshit pronouncements. But I wouldn’t doubt it.

  8. Well, who cares that he doesn’t want to shoot young black men? He has qualms about making private businesses not discriminate!

    /progderp

    1. Which is obviously far more heinous because it bars them from participating in society.

      /This is what Tony actually believes.

      1. What keeps them from participating in society is having a criminal record and no education – both situations are avoidable. A vast majority of black males CHOOSE to engage in criminal activity and CHOOSE not to take advantage of the free educational opportunities in this country.

        Remember being LIBERTARIAN is about both choices and responsibilities

        1. That was actually a riff on Tony’s retarded position vis-a-vis gay wedding cake bakers.

          As it stands now, the only consequence for smoking some pot and getting caught should be going to jail. It shouldn’t ruin the rest of your life (ie: keep you from getting a job, restrict your movement, etc.). (Of course as a libertarian, I don’t think you should even go to jail for it, but that’s the world we live in right now.)

          You have no duty to follow immoral and unjust laws.

        2. The vast majority of black males do that? Fuck off to stormfront, you’ll fit in better over there

  9. Paul and Amish and the other L leaning Republicans need to be all over this. Make the Democrats choose between police union money and black votes.

    1. Yeah, don’t get involved in an issue because it’s the right thing to do. The first concern should always be how many votes we can get out of it.

      1. with are current political class why should we expect that they want to do the right thing?

      2. How would the outcome differ at all, in this case?

      3. well, if you want to be in power, that’s a big consideration.
        otherwise, we’re pissing in the wind.

      4. Last I looked you judged whether the action was the right thing to do not if the person doing it was doing it for the “right reasons”.

        If hurts your delicate feelings that doing the right thing here also means making a larger political point, that Dems are hypocrites who pretend to represent the interests of the black community while taking money from the cops who oppress them, well that is just too fucking bad. Those are the wages of being a concern troll I guess.

        1. I say the “cops are just public sector union goons” meme needs to gain traction on the right. Public sector unions always look after their own first, and worry about constituents, students, citizens after, if at all.

          Doesn’t mean we hate teachers or cops… just their rigged game that allows them to think they’re better than those they purport to serve. Even Glenn Beck seems to get this now, after preaching on his Fox show how awesome all cops were all the time.

          1. SEIU + qualified immunity = Police officers.

      5. Excellent Team Blue concern-trolling.

  10. Another thing helpful is to remember the 9 “Peelian Principles” that are supposed to form the core of modern policing:

    1.To prevent crime and disorder, as an alternative to their repression by military force and severity of legal punishment.
    2.To recognise always that the power of the police to fulfil their functions and duties is dependent on public approval of their existence, actions and behaviour, and on their ability to secure and maintain public respect.
    3.To recognise always that to secure and maintain the respect and approval of the public means also the securing of the willing co-operation of the public in the task of securing observance of laws.
    4.To recognise always that the extent to which the co-operation of the public can be secured diminishes proportionately the necessity of the use of physical force and compulsion for achieving police objectives.

    1. 5.To seek and preserve public favour, not by pandering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolutely impartial service to law, in complete independence of policy, and without regard to the justice or injustice of the substance of individual laws, by ready offering of individual service and friendship to all members of the public without regard to their wealth or social standing, by ready exercise of courtesy and friendly good humour, and by ready offering of individual sacrifice in protecting and preserving life.
      6.To use physical force only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient to obtain public co-operation to an extent necessary to secure observance of law or to restore order, and to use only the minimum degree of physical force which is necessary on any particular occasion for achieving a police objective.
      7.To maintain at all times a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and that the public are the police, the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.

      1. 8.To recognise always the need for strict adherence to police-executive functions, and to refrain from even seeming to usurp the powers of the judiciary of avenging individuals or the State, and of authoritatively judging guilt and punishing the guilty.
        9.To recognise always that the test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, and not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with them.

        Does that sound like the Ferguson police to anyone? Why not?

        1. Who’s this peel guy? Some kind of hippy?
          /Cop

          1. The UK has abandoned these ideals.

            I recall visiting London and seeing some British Bobbies talking to a drunk guy who had climbed, what was it, a lamppost? They were all in a great mood and were simply trying to coax the guy down, and maybe give him a place to sober up.

            Nowadays, from what I hear, it would be all screaming and Tasers.

            1. And the broken arm and ribs from the fall because they didn’t wait until he had gotten down first.

            2. Nah, they only arrest people for making racist remarks or defending themselves from criminals.

            3. The UK has abandoned these ideals.

              “First you make him drop the banana. Then you eat the banana, thus disarming him.”

              Monty Python sketch or eerie realistic portent?

        2. That doesn’t sound like any police force I know 🙁

          1. Nor does it sound like any police force I know. And that’s the real problem here.

    2. Is that from The Onion? Because I,know it’s not on any station house wall in America.

      1. Fucking peelers couldn’t cop today’s dodgers, guv.

  11. Now there’s a guy that would make a great president!

    Meanwhile, where’s Obama?

    Martha’s Vineyard?

    Can’t be bothered?

    1. He did make some kind of statement. Usual tripe about “remaining calm” (i.e. kowtow to authority).

      1. Apparently, he was speaking as I was typing.

        Rand Paul and others were speaking out. He had to say something!

    2. nope he has abdicated all responsibility for his actions as President

    3. Hi ken,

      I know that you are just a right wing apologist who would never deign to listen to a Democrat, but fascist socialist Obama said this… “There’s also no excuse for police to use excessive force against peaceful protests or to throw protesters in jail for lawfully exercising their First Amendment rights.”

      I know, I know… He’s probably just trying to stir up the Blacks.

  12. It’s always big government’s fault, isn’t it, Rand?

  13. Ah, the good old days:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/…..l#comments

    Rand Paul states: “If I had been told to get out of the street as a teenager, there would have been a distinct possibility that I might have smarted off.”

    You know, I grew up in a neighborhood of whites; blacks; Hispanics; Poles; Hungarians; a Indian or two and if a cop told any of us to get out of the street–any and all of us would have said “yes sir” and gotten out of the damned street. Back then if you smarted off the cop might have whacked you with a billy club and there would not have been any repercussions from parents or some race hustler like Al Sharpton.

    1. Now they tell you to get out of the street and if you don’t do it fast enough they will kill you.

      1. And one of the morons responding to that comment actually advocated that.

        *sigh*

    2. Did bull connor’s ghost write that article?

    3. Perhaps he would have – I don’t think its a good idea to do so to a man who can take your life, liberty and property away from you especially if he is right.
      And No, I don’t think I would have when I was a teenager either.

  14. Good quote except for the obligatory “And the root of the problem is big government.” Ideologues are so annoying. Christian: “The root of the problem is sin.” Racist: “The root of the problem is black people’s genetics.” Scientologist: “The root of the problem is psychiatry.”

    1. Go fuck a duck, Tony.

    2. Modern Prog, “the root of the problem is racism and fact that Progs don’t have unlimited power to oppress their enemies”.

      You really do manage to project every grotesque aspect of yourself onto everyone else.

      1. I do my best not to be dogmatic about things.

        1. Sadly Tony, that is probably true.

          1. I’m not going to respond to the troll, but isn’t that mindset (and it exists elsewhere) amazing – one government agent in an area kills a man with impunity. Then, when the citizens seek to speak their mind about this (as is their right), the same government agents shut them down. Then, when some of those citizens react by looting, the government agents counter-react with massive violence, again, disdainful that they will ever have to face any consequences of their actions.

            But no, too much government power couldn’t possibly be the problem.

            1. Government does only good things, a government person abusing a citizen or killing a citizen is a societal failure or a personal failure, but can never be linked to the government itself. It’s the blind eye of progressives.

              1. That’s of course a strawman/brain off-switch. If too much government is the problem, what’s the solution? And be specific. Respond to police overreach with vigilante revolution? Can’t get the DOJ involved. That’s just more government.

                1. Right.

                  Because, if big government is the problem, then any change has to involve big government. Therefore, the solution has to be big government, implying that the problem can’t be big government.

                  Pure awesome.

                  1. “, if big government is the problem, then any change has to involve big government.”

                    Right, because if you support social security and the wic program and unemployment insurance you must support militarized police forces. Gosh, Brian, you libertarians sure do have it figured out.

                2. Abolish/severely curtail qualified immunity for cops and prosecutors.

                  Limit regular police officers to only the same weaponry that civilians are allowed to own.

                  Limit SWAT team involvement to only situations with an active armed threat (not warrant serving, as happens too often).

                  Abolish police unions, or at least stop them from negotiating on anything related to investigations of malfeasance. Just salary and benefits.

                  A cop that’s involved in a shooting gets suspended immediately, no pay, until legal proceedings are finished.

                  End the drug war.

        2. Tony, I’m sure you’re doing your best.

          Which is sad, really.

        3. or intelligent either

      2. Tony just hasn’t received his talking points yet on how a local government run by dems who preach the virtues of big government has a police force doing this.

        1. I feel awful for having to do this, but the mayor of Ferguson is a Republican.

          1. You shouldn’t feel awful. The facts are what they are. How did a Republican get elected in a town that is two thirds black?

            1. according to NPR/local black legislature disenfranchisement. Of course she was forced to admit that blacks in Ferguson don’t vote in anything besides presidential elections.

              1. And they’ve likely only done that in any meaningful numbers in the last two election cycles.

    3. Unconscious self-parody, for the win, tonester.

    4. …. and once again the nuanced point sails right over Tony’s head. 🙂

      1. My point is that it’s the opposite of nuance to claim that the “root” of some specific problem happens to be the thing you, as a dogmatist with a one-track mind, think is the root of all problems.

        1. Tony, where do the police get the equipment to play military?

          Where to the police get the training that teaches them to play military?

          Who is paying for those things?

          What are their motivation for giving the police the money and resources to do those things?

          You are literally in the same position you would be in if you were dismissing a guy who says that the source of Klan violence is racism as dogmatically making everything about race.

          1. That is a specific problem, but it won’t be dealt with by entertaining fantasies of a nightwatchman state. Actually it’s the one thing that will be left in place!

            1. Actually it’s the one thing that will be left in place!

              Yes, clearly when libertarians talk about a nightwatchman state, they include the War On Drugs and War On Terror in that description. You are a mendacious cunt.

              1. If Tony fell off a cliff, he’d think it way too simplistic to blame his problems on gravity.

                1. And he’d be arguing his point all the way down.

                  1. And he’d blame libertarians for not allowing government to outlaw walking or something.

            2. A nightwatchman state would, of necessity, have a Peel-style police force. The cops and their masters would be too small and powerless to do anything else.

              In fact, it was in roughly such a society that he wrote those principles.

          2. FWIW, the things that you mention (where do they get the equipment, where do they get training, who is paying, etc) most certainly aren’t the root cause. They’re just enabling factors.

            Those things address HOW the local cops get their toys. What about WHY? Why do they think they need them? Why do we let wannabe soldiers become cops? The things that make it possible for cops to be militarized don’t matter much if they don’t choose to be like that.

            That said, I agree that all the things you mention are big factors and can’t be ignored. I just think it’s silly to simply say Big Gov’t is the “root cause”. It’s just a very big factor.

            I think Tony’s actually in the same position as if he was dismissing Al Sharpton saying that the source of police violence is racism as dogmatically making everything about race. Yeah, the cops have a history of racism, but Sharpton has a history of dogmatically making everything about race.

            1. It is at least arguable that they feel they need the toys because the toys are being made available and are paid for by someone else.

              If you were offered a free 70″ 4k Samsung TV would you accept it? Even if you had to fill out an application in order to get it delivered?

              Same thing. Only with the police it is body armor and armored personnel carriers.

              1. Unstated but implied was the notion that you don’t really need a 70″ TV, wouldn’t buy one yourself if left to your own devices and really don’t have a room big enough to make a 70″ TV make a lot of sense.

              2. I definitely agree and I think that’s a huge factor. These cops wouldn’t have all this crazy gear if they had to pay a realistic price. It’s also arguable that the government gives these toys to local cops in response to public fears that ak-47 toting terrorists and gangsters are threatening the streets. A fear that most Reason readers find ridiculous, but a fear that is also frighteningly common among the rest of the public.

                It’s just really tough to point at easy availability of toys (and other big gov’t) as the “root cause” of this whole mess of police violence, militarization, and lack of accountability.

                1. For the record, I would definitely take the TV if offered to me. I would also gladly take a free M113 APC. Those things are a shitton of fun for mudding!

                2. To finish the first point, without the fear of terrorists and gangsters, you can argue that the gov’t/military would dispose of their outdated toys in other (profitable) ways like selling to foreign countries, etc.

                  1. They’re probably all overstocked.

                    1. A few more wars could solve this obvious problem.

        2. “My point is that it’s the opposite of nuance to claim that the “root” of some specific problem happens to be the thing you, as a dogmatist with a one-track mind, think is the root of all problems.”
          Ahem…

          CORPORATIONS!!

    5. And the root of your problem is daddy didn’t love you, deal with it.

      1. In fairness to Tony’s dad, neither would anybody else. Hell, his dad probably had to look at the stain on the mattress that ran down the ass crack of Tony’s mom and cry over what might have been.

    6. So you don’t think the root of the problem is the largesse of government as it pertains to making available military hardware to police departments?

      What do you see as the overriding issue, genius?

      1. Testosterone.

        1. so forced sterilization of people in power is what is needed? I could be okay with that.

        2. Hi, Cathy Brennan.

          Through what instrumentality do they act on their testosterone-fueled impulses? Is it market failure?

          G________t

          Would you like to buy a vowel?

          1. Well government’s not going away any time soon is it? Is whining your only function here? Because I don’t even know what we’re talking about. We all agree on the problem. What’s your solution? Enact libertopia?

            1. Our solution, as pointed out to you multiple times over multiple years, is to pare back the role and size of all levels of government.

              Now some people don’t care where you start or say just a swift across the board chop. I say: start with dismantling any apparatus connected to the “War on Terror” and the “War on Drugs” as those are the most egregious offenders of our civil rights. Then we can move on to other departments.

    7. Meanwhile, Obama is too afraid to have said anything like that. He’s afraid of what people might think!

      Just like when he was too afraid to go public for gay rights. Obama’s a phony on civil rights. Just like you are.

      When libertarian candidates are standing up straight and calling out those who are abusing the rights of the downtrodden, Obama’s hobnobbing on Martha’s Vineyard–too scared to say anything.

      At least until the libertarians start speaking out. Now, all of a sudden, he’ll find the courage to say…what small “l” libertarians like Rand Paul have already said.

      What a phony!

      1. Meanwhile, what’s Hillary saying about this?

        Has she said anything?

        She’s on Martha’s Vineyard, too?!

        Here’s a press release from the president’s office by way of the Huffiana Post:

        “Tonight, the President and First Lady attended the birthday celebration for Mrs. Ann Jordan at an event at the Farm Neck Golf Club. There were approximately 150 guests in attendance.
        Among the attendees seated with the Jordans and the President and First Lady were former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton…”

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..77092.html

        That’s where Hillary was last night, and ten bucks says she’ll say nothing to overshadow the president on this–having embarrassed him on foreign policy, already, earlier this week.

        1. She’s on Martha’s Vineyard, too?!

          I tell ya, it’s enough to make you wonder if a bunch of millionaires (i.e. one-percenters) are actually living on Martha’s Vineyard.

          1. I’m sure it was the social event of the season.

            You can’t just not attend a birthday party like that.

    8. Communist/Socialist/Progressive: The root of the problem is equality.

      See Tony, any idiot can play that game.

    9. Progressive: “The root of the problem is private gun ownership.” Hell, you just said that on the other thread.

      1. I said explicitly that it wasn’t the root. Key word is “root.” Rand Paul is saying the problem in Ferguson is Obamacare and food stamps, essentially. Everything can be boiled down conveniently to his particular ideological fixation. But, of course, “big government” doesn’t mean anything, and it certainly isn’t instructive on specific issues. You don’t solve the problem of over-militarized police by sprinkling freedom dust on them. You have to use government to change what government itself is doing.

        1. Rand Paul is saying the problem in Ferguson is Obamacare and food stamps, essentially.

          Nope.

          But, of course, “big government” doesn’t mean anything

          False.

          You don’t solve the problem of over-militarized police by sprinkling freedom dust on them.

          Tell me how ending the War On Drugs and all of its outgrowths would not end the problem of over-militarized police.

          1. Of course, you really solve the problem of over-militarized police by sprinkling federal dollars on them!

          2. “Rand Paul is saying the problem in Ferguson is Obamacare and food stamps, essentially.”

            No, no…

            He’s saying that we need a return to the plantation system–or whatever else your fevered brain wants to imagine, Tony, you sick lunatic.

          3. I’m totally with you on the WoD, but how are drugs a part of this situation? Wasn’t the crime jaywalking while black?

            1. The crime is souped up police forces that can murder civilians with impunity.

              The existence of such a monstrosity is a direct outgrowth of attempting to stop victimless crimes, of which drugs are the biggest component.

        2. From his op-ed piece:

          Not surprisingly, big government has been at the heart of the problem. Washington has incentivized the militarization of local police precincts by using federal dollars to help municipal governments build what are essentially small armies?where police departments compete to acquire military gear that goes far beyond what most of Americans think of as law enforcement.

          Clearly, he’s essentially saying the problem is food stamps.

          1. Every informed progressive knows that “police departments compete to acquire military gear that goes far beyond what most of Americans think of as law enforcement” is a common neoconfederate dog whistle.

        3. So you use government to shrink government then. Fed Gov can stop giving police departments money for drug arrests. Fed Gov can stop giving local police military equipment. Fed Gov can end drug prohibition. Fed Gov can end regulations than retard business formation and restrict labor.

          But you’ll get your undies in a bunch as soon as Fed Gov end your pet projects.

        4. You have to use government to change what government itself is doing.

          So, to refute Rand’s dogmatic positing of big government as the root of the problem, you dogmatically posit more government as the solution to the problem?

          How innovative and nuanced!

          1. More and less government aren’t meaningful concepts. “Less government” is a vague reference to specific policy wishes, and I wish we could just talk about the effing policies. That’s my whole point. Government is going to be able to do whatever within the bounds of constitutionality, and it will do whatever depending on whom you elect.

            1. Government is going to be able to do whatever within the bounds of constitutionality

              Hahahahahahaha !!!

              Naive fool.

              1. Or not. Whatever. Makes my point all the more.

        5. Hey Krugman, your Journolist compatriot Dave Weigel finally brought himself to admit his mental illness to the entire world the other day.

          If you would do the same thing, maybe we could do something to get you the professional help you so desperately need. There’s no need for you to continue taking your sickness out on us.

          1. “Dave Weigel finally brought himself to admit his mental illness to the entire world the other day.”

            Where?

            1. Right here.

              The piece actually explains a lot, because I’ve thought for a while now that his postings here were indicative of someone suffering from manic depression, and that’s exactly what he has.

              1. Ah!

                I’ve been medicated for depression since 2001. In 2002, after a particularly low episode, I was taken in by campus police that marked me as a risk for self-harm. I then voluntarily checked myself into a mental hospital.

                So if shriek really is him, the cocaine abuse is self-medicating……not good.

        6. Tony:

          You have to use government to change what government itself is doing.

          Sounds like a root problem.

    10. You left out “the root of the problem is not enough spending!”
      But then seld-awareness has never been one of your skills.

    11. Well… yes. Big government is the cause of the militarized response to the protests (do you really believe a small government would be drowning in so much surplus military equipment it would giving it away to cops?), but there’s no evidence that militarized policing (as opposed to blue supremacist culture, which could still exist in a limited government society) was responsible for Brown being shot.

  15. related:

    Gov. Jay Nixon promised Thursday a “different tone” on the protest-wracked streets of Ferguson while Sen. Claire McCaskill said the governor would pull St. Louis County police out of the city after four days of clashes over the killing of an unarmed black teenager.

    Nixon, in a meeting with area clergy and activists, stopped short of confirming a pullout of county officers, saying only that he would announce an “operational shift” later Thursday. ” I think you will all see a different tone,” Nixon said.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/…../14046707/

    1. Is Nixon going to do anything to conduct a full investigation of this and prosecution if warranted or does he plan to do nothing and hope it blows over?

      1. Well, is he related to the other Nixon?

  16. Did the Washpo piece goad him into talking?

    1. Tomorrow’s WaPo editorial:

      Why won’t Libertarians shut-up about things that don’t directly affect their constituants?

  17. Weiegel’s audience brings the hurrr

    Nah, Saint Louis is pretty much what Libertarians dream of when it comes to small government.
    Rather than have a big government that runs the whole city and all the people that live here, Saint Louis is divided into a bunch of small communities that are independent of each other.
    The main point here is that everyone’s tax pennies go to just their particular township instead of the city as a whole, which means the rich townships get the best of everything, and the poor townships get their kids shot in the back by the cops.

    1. It is about small government. Public employee unions making cops immune from accountability had nothing to do with it.

      1. Clearly stealing more from the rich and hiring more mongoloids in blue is the answer John.

    2. Finally, someone who understands that all that was needed to avoid this catastrophe was more public funding.

    3. Because government on the township/municipal level isn’t government at all. That makes perfect sense because shut up yes it does.

    4. Slate comments. I can’t.

      “The racist, slave owning, rebels were of the confederacy (a different country, not America). And we fought a war to end their racism.”

      He literally believes that the civil war was to end racism. The northerners were all feminist pro-gay marriage righteous progressives and they went to war to END RACISM.

      My brain.

      1. The commenter screws up the basic narrative. The Confederacy couldn’t have been a different country if the people who took up arms against the invading Union were “rebels.” The whole point of calling them rebels is to reinforce the notion of an indivisible state and justify the invasion as putting down an illegal/immoral (take your pick) insurrection.

        But that’s the popular understanding of the Civil War, which is about as nuanced as the mythology that FDR was a freedom-loving Roy Rogers waging war against the totalitarian Hitler. People don’t like moral complexity in their history, and they especially don’t like it when interstate conflicts boil down to evil vs. evil with normal, dumb people getting caught in the middle.

        1. I guess the U.S. is just one giant roach motel. You can come in, but then you’re here until you die.

  18. Reporters tear gassed (video). Sorry if this has been posted already.

    http://researchroom.economicpo…..-tear.html

  19. FINALLY! The Obama ends his vow of silence [on all things not vacation related].

    “Now is the time for healing, now is the time for peace and calm on the streets of Ferguson,” he said.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..78593.html

    1. So when a guy volunteering to protect his neighborhood from crime kills someone, Obama calls the victim his son. When a cop kills someone, Obama says we all just need to heel and move on and get over it.

      Tells you a lot about Obama doesn’t it?

      1. When a cop kills someone, Obama says we all just need to heel and move on and get over it.

        That’s BHO’s real message. Stop disrupting the state that’s only here to protect you.

      2. yeah, i’m stealing that one, John.

      3. I know you get a lot of shit for your spelling, and whether or not it was intentional, “need to heel”, is fucking genius.

        1. John’s spelling gaffes have always been sublime.

      4. lol…you said Obama said Heel…not heal

        Freaudian slip ?

        Regarless of what you typed I suspect he meant… HEEL.

    2. “Now that the bodies of those that supported my presidency have gone cold I’m offering a vague statement about it which is shorter than the statement I gave about a white celebrity”

      A little tweak for you 🙂

      1. Reminds me of the Fort Hood shooting when Obama had to give his shout out to some group or another before making his statement on the shooting.

    3. “Here in the United States of America, police should not be bullying or arresting journalists who are just trying to do their jobs and report to the American people on what they see on the ground,” he said. “We all need to hold ourselves to a high standard, particular those of us in positions of authority.”

      He realizes he has an entire department whose purpose is to prosecute the people who do these things, right? Right?

      1. “Here in the United States of America, police should not be bullying or arresting journalists who are just trying to do their jobs and report to the American people on what they see on the ground,”

        This from the guy who’s administration has pretty much declared war on journalists who print leaks. That’s rich.

      2. Shhh. He’s not supposed to mention DoJ. It’s the first rule of being the Executive.

    4. This is linked from your article. I’m not feeling a lot of them, to be honest.

      1. Try to focus. We’ve got a race war brewing.

        1. How’s it going? – Pretty bad.
          We’re in the middle of a race war, Murray.
          What’s that? Bad.
          We’re in the middle of a race war.
          Have you guys written any songs? – We’ve been too busy with the race war.
          – We’re in a race war.
          – All right! – It’s very time consuming.

    5. and to hell with what is happening in the Middle East. Always the fundraiser worrying about a black kid and not what is happening in the world. “If I had a son” and what is he doing to help our Marine stuck in a Mexican prison? I am sure if Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi were a deserter like Bergdahl, our hero marine would have been released a long tie ago.

      1. Somebody’s new here.

  20. I’m also seeing a lot of progs saying this proves we need the feds to come in and restore justice or whatever. Because that’s what they thing the feds do.

    1. Isn’t the FBI already there?

    2. That and burning babies.

  21. Ted Cruz has criticized the arrest of journalists. I had to break the link because of Reason’s stupid post limits.

    https://www.facebook.com/

    SenatorTedCruz/posts/593610474084590)

  22. From dark-hearted progressive…but still funny

    “Officer Friendly”
    https://medium.com/t he-nib/officer-friendly-28e8d9399bbb

    1. Sorry the addy was too long

      1. Use the A html tag, it lets you use long URLS.

  23. This case is in many ways the wages of the Martin case. The Martin case made it a national story anytime a white man kills a black teenager. That was all fun and games when the white man was some nobody. But it is not so much fun when the white man is a cop. This case is a huge problem for Obama. If he doesn’t step up like he did in the Martin case, black voters feel betrayed. If he does, he looks like he is trying to reward rioters and the various cop lovers, of which there are many in both parties, are outraged. Meanwhile, as anyone who reads Reason knows, cops in this country kill someone about once a week or more. How long before the cops in another mostly black town kill a teenager and riots breakout there? What then? What do the Democrats do when under their watch the country has race riots the likes of which haven’t been seen since the 60s?

    1. It’s actually going to be difficult for him to criticize the police for this murder when he has been silent on so many other police murders.

      1. But you are using logic and not politics as your filter.

        It won’t be hard for him at all.

    2. I believe the number of unarmed citizens killed by police is about 400 per year – a small percentage of total people killed by police (or happening to die while interacting with the police).

      That is a lot more than 1 per week. 1 per week is close to the number of police who die in the line of duty.

    3. What do the Democrats do when under their watch the country has race riots the likes of which haven’t been seen since the 60s?

      Umm… blame the other side?

      1. They blame the right because they can’t come up with anything intelligent say. Blacks need to open their eyes to the democrat party.

        Democrats founded the KKK
        Fought the 13th, 14th and 15th amendment
        Instituted Jim Crow Laws
        Fought the 1965 rights act
        Blacks sold blacks into slavery
        Republicans ended slavery. The democrats founded the KKK and continue to keep racism alive and blacks on their so called liberal plantation.
        Nation of sheep ruled by wolves owned by pigs

    4. What do the Democrats do when under their watch the country has race riots the likes of which haven’t been seen since the 60s?

      Blame the TeathugliKKKans for creating a “climate of hate”?

  24. police departments compete to acquire military gear

    “See? Look at the war zone we created. We definitely need more FED aid for military gear.”

    – Ferguson Police

    1. I like that – “self-funding justification!” or would it be “self-justifying funding?”

  25. ” And the root of the problem is big government”

    Why do right-wingers think that a clear over-reaction by a municipal police force has something to do with the federal government? Maybe the sheriff is a racist asshole who likes to hire racist assholes? Is this really a problem for those of us who want good and effective government and don’t want to eliminate the Department of the Interior because there are idiots in the police force in missouri? Yeah I like social security and the national park service so I must therefore be a fascist who supports militarizing the police. Can I get a “fuck the police” Reason mag?

    1. And the local police departments that look like Army infantry units get their goodies and support from….?

      The policies that drive military like behavior come from where…..?

      The impunity with which current police operate comes from where….?

      1. Not to mention the part where he implies that only federal government is implicated in ‘big government’.

    2. american socialist:

      Why do right-wingers think that a clear over-reaction by a municipal police force has something to do with the federal government?

      There you go again. No need to keep reading past that.

      1. She has a point, though. Who can forget all the occasions when old-right, small government liberals called for federal intervention in state and county affairs?

        Thank God that the left-wing anti-federalists were there to ensure that a distant empire didn’t prevent local solutions to local problems.

    3. Why do right-wingers think that a clear over-reaction by a municipal police force has something to do with the federal government?

      Maybe we think that government at all levels is too big?

      1. Does it matter who infringes on my rights? All that matters is the fact of infringement.

        The federal government is the most overt and dangerous level of government here, because of its size and scope, but let’s not kid ourselves–our freedoms are under attack from all levels of government.

        1. A central libertarian fallacy. The most immediate governmental threat to your liberty is of course your local government. Now, the local government of, say, Portland, might increase your freedom relative to what the feds offer. But the local government of Bumfuck, Mississippi is probably itching to arrest you for smoking weed or shove Jesus down your throat.

          Incessant objections to the federal government originate from the people of Bumfuck who’d prefer it not interfere with their scratching of such itches.

          1. Yep, it’s totally just a Southern thing for the government to arrest you for pot or shove Jesus down your throat. There’s like, no institutional racism in places like NYC.

            1. So are you saying that the NYC government is a bigger potential threat to the liberty of New Yorkers than the federal government?

              1. At this point in time, with as many laws as are on the federal register, it’s pretty hard to say who is the bigger threat.

                Of course you know the point I was making was that it’s not just us dumb southerners that have institutional racism and legislatures/overzealous cops creating/enforcing bullshit laws.

              2. It’s easier to leave NYC than it is the USA.

              3. Tony|8.14.14 @ 3:59PM|#
                “So are you saying that the NYC government is a bigger potential threat to the liberty of New Yorkers than the federal government?”

                Say “Bloomberg”, idjit.

          2. Oh and thanks for that wonderful ad hominem.

          3. A central libertarian fallacy. The most immediate governmental threat to your liberty is of course your local government.

            I would suggest that it’s the most visible threat. But it’s very difficult to quantify which has a greater aggregate threat on your personal well-being, given pervasive Federal influence on just about everything.

            That being said, I do agree with your original point. It is not proper to lay the blame for police militarization on the expanding Federal state. The US Government is a giant enabler. But I could see, in an alternate universe, State governments with strong militias leading to the same results.

            I think the blame clearly falls on Daryl Gates and SWAT. The acceptance of the need for tactical response forces led to a slow but sure Me Too trend.

            Which then traces back to the other factor you blamed…Testosterone…which I agree is also a big player here. Boys want their toys.

          4. If the federal government was actually restricted to the non-loophole version of its limited powers, it would be a toss up.
            Local governments would have substantially more scope to fuck with you, but could be checked by the feds via the 14th.
            Feds would have a very narrow scope with which to fuck with you, but practically unlimited resources with which to fuck with you, and they are essentially unchecked.

            However, in practice, the federal government’s powers are only marginally more restricted than local government, so they are the greater danger.

          5. the local government of Bumfuck, Mississippi is probably itching to arrest you for smoking weed or shove Jesus down your throat.

            It’s true! I was in Mississippi a few weeks ago and they pulled me over and forced me to pray!

            /imbecile

      2. Why do right-wingers think that a clear over-reaction by a municipal police force has something to do with the federal government?

        The correct answer is because they were funded with federal government military surplus they got through the 1033 program which is designed specifically to provide municipal police departments with military hardware.

        Once again, socialists never actually read about a subject before mouthing off.

  26. We really don’t know what actually happened. Though I really don’t trust the police to give true accurate accounts of what happened since the first shot was fired inside the vehicle when Michael Brown shoved the cop. This needs to go before the grand jury then court if need be. Police brutality is getting way out of hand. We need to know the true facts before condemning anyone.

    1. It’s irrelevant at this point. What’s relevant now is how they are managing angry citizens.

  27. Nice try on Rand’s part to link big government to discrimination. But it won’t work.

    Black people (“natives”, as it were) are probably more unemployed and dependent on welfare than immigrants. They absolutely believe in the force of government to equalize things and shove diversity in our throats.

    If the public schools, healthcare or police fail them, they’ll reason that it’s because some select people in powers don’t care about black people. Or it’s because there’s not enough black people seated in places of power.

    They believe in the system, but they think society is racist. They think the system can be fixed by removing the racist elements or leveling the playing field, even though the system itself encourages inefficiency and discrimination.

    1. When the system is:

      – Denying them school choice (because teachers’ unions are higher in the pecking order)
      – Banning them from owning businesses (through occupational licensing)
      – Shooting their kids (drug war)

      then it would be surprising if they didn’t catch on to the con game.

      Yes, they probably suffer from the Top Men fallacy like so many people do, but a black president is going to disabuse them of that notion pretty fast.

  28. It’s pretty simple. Don’t riot and loot and burn down buildings. Maybe the 18 year old shouldn’t have attacked the police officer. Maybe the rioters should have dispersed when asked. Maybe those ‘journalists’ should have actually complied with police orders rather than shove a camera in a police officer’s face and act like a petulant child.

    1. Maybe you confused this with some storm-front site.
      You seem lost. And stupid.

  29. Jeeze, a target-rich environment of stupid; Tony, commie-kid, the New Normal slime ball, and I missed it!
    That working for a living has got to end!

  30. Jezzzzz, people are rioting, hurting people, and destroying property on a large scale…. You can’t send in a squad car…. Maybe the shooting of this kid s was wrong but the response was an over reaction and the government is responsible for order. Have “Paul” go down there with a rose in his hand and see how far he gets….

  31. Rand Paul has just made 2016 a Drug War election. No other Republican has ANY cred on the issue. Heh.

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